In response to President Obama describing Ethiopia’s government as democratically elected, during his visit to the country, Freedom House issued the following statement:
“President Obama unfortunately was fundamentally wrong in his comments about the parliamentary elections Ethiopia held in May, in which the ruling Ethiopian Peoples Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) won every seat,” said Mark P. Lagon, president of Freedom House. “Calling Ethiopia’s government democratically elected lowers the standards for democracy and undermines the courageous work of so many Ethiopians who fight to realize a just and democratic society.”
While US president calls for end of crackdown on political and press freedom, his comments on Hailemariam administration are widely condemned
‘Critics accused Obama of granting legitimacy to the regime. Reeyot Alemu, a columnist released earlier this month after four years in jail on terrorism charges, said: “It’s not ‘democratically elected’ because there was only government media and people did not get enough information.
“They also arrested many opposition leaders and journalists. They won the election by using human rights violations. How can it be democratically elected? It is completely false. I wish Barack Obama had sent a strong message.”
Bekele Nega, general secretary of the Oromo Federalist Congress, representing Ethiopia’s biggest ethnic group, said: “I don’t know if democracy means robbing people’s vote and robbing their election result? They have killed people and they have taken the ballot box with them in organised fraud.”
Nega claimed his party found some of its votes thrown down a toilet, while at one polling station its victory by 800 votes to 40 was reversed to a 40-800 defeat. “I wonder if people could tolerate this in America or Britain or wherever? Is this the meaning of democracy in America? We are very sorry that Mr Obama’s comment on our election is really supporting dictators. We know the US is always looking after its own interests and will take over on the military side, sending our people to Somalia.”’
Obama criticised for calling Ethiopia’s government ‘democratically elected’
David Smith, The Guardian, 27th May 2015
Barack Obama has been criticised by opposition groups and journalists in Ethiopia after referring to the country’s government as “democratically elected”, with one human rights watchdog describing the statement as “shocking”.
The US president was speaking at a joint press conference with Hailemariam Desalegn, the Ethiopian prime minister, after the two leaders held talks in the capital, Addis Ababa.
Although Obama said he had raised issues of good governance – “I don’t bite my tongue too much when it comes to these issues” – he also insisted: “We are opposed to any group that is promoting the violent overthrow of a government, including the government of Ethiopia, that has been democratically elected.”
Answering questions from journalists later, Obama repeated the phrase: “We are very mindful of Ethiopia’s history – the hardships that this country has gone through. It has been relatively recently in which the constitution that was formed and the elections put forward a democratically elected government.”
Hailemariam’s party and its allies won 100% of seats in parliament two months ago. The opposition alleged the government had used authoritarian tactics to secure victory, including intimidation, arrests and violently breaking up rallies. At the time, the US said it remained “deeply concerned” by restrictions on civil society, media, opposition parties and independent voices and views.
But Ethiopia remains a key security ally for the US in the fight against the Islamist militant group al-Shabaab. It has also become an economic battleground with China, which has delivered huge infrastructure projects in Africa’s second most populous nation.
Critics accused Obama of granting legitimacy to the regime. Reeyot Alemu, a columnist released earlier this month after four years in jail on terrorism charges, said: “It’s not ‘democratically elected’ because there was only government media and people did not get enough information.
“They also arrested many opposition leaders and journalists. They won the election by using human rights violations. How can it be democratically elected? It is completely false. I wish Barack Obama had sent a strong message.”
Bekele Nega, general secretary of the Oromo Federalist Congress, representing Ethiopia’s biggest ethnic group, said: “I don’t know if democracy means robbing people’s vote and robbing their election result? They have killed people and they have taken the ballot box with them in organised fraud.”
Nega claimed his party found some of its votes thrown down a toilet, while at one polling station its victory by 800 votes to 40 was reversed to a 40-800 defeat. “I wonder if people could tolerate this in America or Britain or wherever? Is this the meaning of democracy in America? We are very sorry that Mr Obama’s comment on our election is really supporting dictators. We know the US is always looking after its own interests and will take over on the military side, sending our people to Somalia.”
“Last time I saw you, you looked like apocalypse Hell and then Genesis combined Last time I saw you, you were stripping me of Anything and anyone that was mine
See that’s how I remember you That’s how I remember you
So please forgive me if I never call you home again So please forgive me If I never call you home again” ~~Corneille: I’ll Never Call you Home Again
Yesterday I attended a conference where we met this year’s fellows from the Mandela Young African Leadership Initiative (YALI). The hot topic of course was discussing how to build and maintain a bridge between the diaspora and residents of the homeland, to leverage a superpower that will engender great change. One of them was of the opinion that those living on the continent had been let down…
‘State institutions are dominated by ruling EPRDF officials who reportedly receive preferential access to credit, land leases, and jobs. Under the government’s “villagization” program, hundreds of thousands of indigenous people have been forcibly relocated to new villages with inadequate infrastructure so that the state can lease their lands to commercial agricultural foreign investors.’
Ethiopia’s economic freedom score is 51.5, making its economy the 149th freest in the 2015 Index. Ethiopia is ranked 37th out of 46 countries in the Sub-Saharan Africa region, and its overall score continues to be below the regional average.
With a large domestic market and promising economic prospects, Ethiopia has the potential to become a regional economic powerhouse, but persistent state intervention in the relatively closed economy has suppressed the growth of economic freedom over the past five years.
Overall, the institutional basis of economic freedom in Ethiopia is still weak. A nominally independent judiciary continues to follow government policy advice, and corruption remains endemic. The government has made significant investments in major development projects, including the Grand Renaissance Dam, but restricts foreign investment in major industries and keeps important sectors of the economy closed to global trade and investment.
Ethiopia has had 10 years of steady economic growth, but not enough to reduce poverty. Its per capita income remains among the world’s lowest. Ethiopia is a leading coffee producer. Its economy is largely based on agriculture and is vulnerable to droughts and external shocks.
RULE OF LAW
Corruption is a significant problem in Ethiopia. State institutions are dominated by ruling EPRDF officials who reportedly receive preferential access to credit, land leases, and jobs. Under the government’s “villagization” program, hundreds of thousands of indigenous people have been forcibly relocated to new villages with inadequate infrastructure so that the state can lease their lands to commercial agricultural foreign investors.
Ethiopia’s top individual income tax rate is 35 percent, and its top corporate tax rate remains at 30 percent. Other taxes include a value-added tax and a tax on capital gains. The overall tax burden equals 11.6 percent of the domestic economy, and government spending accounts for 16.9 percent of gross domestic product. Public debt equals 22 percent of annual production.
Inconsistent enforcement of regulations often impedes business activity and undermines economic development. The minimum capital requirement for launching a business is higher than the level of average annual income. Much of the labor force is employed in the informal sector. Monetary stability has been weak, and subsidies for the government’s state-led development model are hindering private-sector growth.
Ethiopia has a 10.3 percent average tariff rate. It is not a member of the WTO, and government procurement processes can favor domestic companies. Foreign investment is heavily regulated. There is no constitutional right to own land. The small financial sector continues to evolve and is largely dominated by banks. The capital market remains underdeveloped, and there is no stock exchange.
(Freedom House) — As President Obama prepares to visit Ethiopia next week, Freedom House has prepared policy recommendations for the White House, highlighting Ethiopia’s undermining of civil society, independent media, and the political opposition:
“The political environment during parliamentary elections held in May included arrest, harassment and intimidation of opposition members and supporters,” the letter says. “Apart from seriously eroding citizens’ faith in any prospect of an inclusive political framework, the ruling Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front’s entrenched control over all levers of political power sends a strong signal that all avenues of legitimate dissent are closed, fomenting resentment that could lead to violent extremism.”
“Freedom House recommends that President Obama urge the Government of Ethiopia to undertake a comprehensive review of the country’s civil society and anti-terrorism laws and to release imprisoned journalists and peaceful political activists.”
Freedom House is an independent watchdog organization that supports democratic change, monitors the status of freedom around the world, and advocates for democracy and human rights.
Ethiopia: Policy Recommendations, July 2015
In 2009, the Ethiopian Parliament passed the Charities and Societies Proclamation (CSP), tightly restricting Ethiopian civil society organizations (CSOs). This includes limiting the amount of foreign funding that organizations are allowed to receive to 10 percent. Legislation passed in 2009, the Anti-Terrorism Proclamation (ATP) has been extensively used to silence critical voices including independent journalists and members of opposition political parties. These laws coupled with other government policies seriously limit the ability for independent voices to be heard.
Political Space and Inclusive Political Process
In May, the ruling Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) conducted another tightly controlled national election and won all seats in both federal and regional legislatures. The political environment included the widespread arrest, harassment and intimidation of opposition members and supporters. Apart from seriously eroding citizens’ faith in any prospect of an inclusive political framework, EPRDF’s control of all levers of political power sends a strong signal that all avenues of legitimate dissent are closed, fomenting resentment that could lead to violent extremism. The rise in politically motivated killings of opposition activists after announcement of the election results in May and June (seven reported cases) shows that local officials believe that a total win for EPRDF means no space for opposition. Freedom House therefore recommends that during his visit, President Obama:
Urge the Ethiopian government to release members and supporters of opposition political parties imprisoned as a result of their peaceful political activities.
Encourage the Ethiopian government to undertake a thorough review of electoral laws and institutions to allow for a meaningful engagement of civil society in voters’ education and election observation activities.
Call on the Ethiopian authorities to take measures to address the concerns being raised by the country’s Muslim population. A positive first step in this direction could be releasing representatives of the Muslim community that have been in prison since 2012 being tried under the ATP.
Civil Society and Media
The CSP has effectively decimated human rights groups in Ethiopia. While the stated purpose of the CSP is ‘to aid and facilitate the role of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in the development of the country,’ it has actually forced at least 10 prominent human rights and democracy promotion organizations to abandon their mandates in order to continue receiving foreign funding while others were forced to scale back their operations significantly. As a direct result of the CSP, Ethiopia’s leading human rights NGO, Ethiopian Human Rights Council (EHRCO, now HRCO), had to close 9 of its 12 regional offices and cut 85 percent of its staff. The Ethiopian Women Lawyers’ Association (EWLA), another prominent group, cut nearly 70 percent of its staff. Authorities also froze the bank accounts of these groups. In addition to the severe restrictions the CSP imposes on funding and human rights work, the dysfunctional legal framework it put in place is actively undermining the role of civil society in development. A 2014 performance audit conducted by the Federal Auditor General found that more than 85 percent of NGOs were not able to comply with one or more of the expenditure and reporting requirements. The Director of the Charities and Societies Agency, the government agency in charge of regulating NGOs, told parliament that if his agency were to enforce the CSP as written, all NGOs would have closed. During President Obama’s visit to Ethiopia, Freedom House recommends that he:
Urge the government of Ethiopia to undertake a comprehensive review of the CSP and the eight implementation guidelines (directives) that limit access to international funding for human rights organizations and their abilities to form networks and consortia.
In the short term, seek ways of making U.S. government funding accessible to Ethiopian human rights groups by setting up a special ‘human rights and civil society’ fund that is not subject to the 10 percent foreign funding cap. The European Union successfully negotiated such an arrangement with the Ethiopian government.
Welcome the recent release of five journalists and bloggers and call for the release of the remaining 11 journalists and bloggers as well as scores of peaceful opposition activists who are currently in prison.
Meet with human rights defenders, civil society activists and recently released journalists and bloggers as a demonstration of U.S government support and solidarity to their cause.
Human Rights and National Security
After Ethiopia’s most competitive elections in 2005 concluded with violence and the detention of hundreds of opposition members and civil society leaders, EPRDF moved to systematize the tools of political control through a series of restrictive legislation backed by intense crackdown on media and civil society intended to silence perceived opponents and critics. As a result, the operational space for legitimate opposition, independent media and human rights activists has been seriously constrained. The ATP is being used to pursue vigorous prosecution of opposition party members and journalists.
The excesses of Ethiopia’s counter-terrorism operations that include arbitrary arrests, widespread practice of torture, alarming trends of disregard to due process rights of detainees and excessive pre-trial detention have stifled legitimate dissent and created a profound climate of fear. Lack of accountability of security forces is exacerbated by a judiciary that is largely subservient to the executive and lacks institutional autonomy to exercise effective oversight and enforcement of constitutionally guaranteed human rights protections. Freedom House therefore recommends that President Obama:
Urge the Ethiopian government to review the provisions of the ATP that lay out an overbroad definition of legitimate activities of journalists and political activists as acts of terror.
Call on Ethiopian authorities to adhere to national and international standards of due process and fair trial in their treatment of detainees under the ATP; and establish an effective mechanism of accountability for law enforcement officials who commit human rights violations.
Offer US technical assistance in reviewing the ATP to bring it up to international standards, and train law enforcement and judicial personnel in international human rights principles and prudent counter-terrorism techniques.
Reiterate the need for civil society to be considered a partner rather than an obstacle in counter-terrorism efforts and stress the role civil society can play in addressing the underlying challenges and gaps that drive extremism.
Support for Human Rights and Democracy Promotion
Given the highly repressive political environment in Ethiopia, it is admittedly difficult to support those who risk their lives to promote democracy and human rights. But it is not impossible, and if such groups are to survive in Ethiopia, they need outside support. Even a small increase in democracy and human rights assistance can have an enormous impact in ensuring that local civil society is able defend the fundamental rights of all Ethiopians. Freedom House recommends that the Obama Administration:
Increase USAID’s democracy, human rights, and governance (DRG) budget for Ethiopia to support programs that aim to strengthen independent media and investigative journalism in an effort to stem growing trends of official corruption and other human rights abuses. The current obligated amount of $350,000 for DRG represents only 1.68 percent of the Agency’s obligated total funding for Ethiopia. Expand USAID programming to cover much needed capacity building support in digital security and human rights monitoring to civil society and digital activists.
On 30 May 2015 residents in Buraayyuu (Central Oromia) protesting the demolishing of their residential houses by TPLF/ Agazi for being the supporters and voting for the popular opposition OFC/Medrek) in the 24 May 2015 General Elections.
Gaafiin mooraa Yuuniversitii kanatti ka’ee jiru dhimma amantaan kan wal qabate tahullee barattootni Oromoo heddumminaan keessatti gaaffii miidhaan saba Oromoo kaasuun, gubachuu bosonaa fi warshaalee Oromoo keessa jiranis kaasuudhaan gaaffii barattootaa gara gaaffii mirgaatti naannessanii guyyoota lamaan kana jechuun Bitootessa 17 fi 18 barumsi dhaabbatee akka jiru odeessaan Qeerroo gamasii addeessaa jira. Barumsas akka hin baranne Oromiyaan boca uumamashee mootummaa Wayyaanen utuu gadhisaa jirtuu, ilmaan Oromoo mana hidhaatti osoo gidirfamuu jireenya dhuunfaa keenyaaf barumsa kennee lafa dhiituun haa dhaabbatu jechuun diddaan mooraa kanattis qabatee akka jiru odeessi nugahee jira.
Aanaa Gudayaa ganda Konkaa Ijaa jedhamau Bitootessa gaafa 15 fi 19 /2015 mootummaa irraa ergamee hojii basaastummaa aanaa kana keessatti kan hojjetu dhalootaan Amaara kan tahe tokko nama dhalootaan oromoo tokko sabboonummaa qabu harka mootummaatti dabarseekennuu irraan tarkaanfiin ajjechaa basaasaa mootummaa wayyaanee kana irratti raawwatamee jira. sababa kanaan manneen jireenyaa saba amaaraa 4 ol tahus ibiddaan gubateera,diina mootummaan ergamee uummata hammeenyaaf kennaa jiru kana irratti boombiinis darbatamee namoonni hedduun mada’anii jiru, odeessa Qeerroo hubatamu irraa uummanni tarkaanfii mootummaa wayyaanee irratti fudhachuu eegalee jira,deggertootni mootummaas sodaa kana keessa seenuudhaan hojii isaanii irraa akka deebi’aa jiran dhalootaan saba biraa kan tahan, ilmaan habashaa hojii diinummaa irratti bobbahanii jiranis naannoo sana irraa uummataan ariyamaa akka jiran odeessi Qeerroo addeessa. http://qeerroo.org/2015/03/19/diddaan-sirna-wayyaanee-fi-gaaffiin-mirga-abbaa-biyyummaa-guyyaa-haraa-yuuniversitii-afur4-keessatti-jabaatee-itti-fufe/
Qeerroo’s Status Updates: Feb. 22, 2015 – March 13, 2015
Oromo students protests continue to erupt in several towns in the Oromia Regional State of Ethiopia – taking various forms in recent weeks. The new round of protests began on February 22, 2015, when Oromo students and youth of Jimma town turned an Oromian Sports Championship event, which had been taking place in the city, into a protest against the so-called “Addis Ababa Master Plan” and against the recent inflammatory speech of Abay Tsehaye, one of the TPLF strongmen. The students chanted slogans, such as “Finfinne is ours! Adama is ours! Jimma is ours!” and more, a reminiscent of the bloody April/May 2014 widespread protests, in which more or less the same slogans had been chanted throughout Oromia. The Oromo youth were also singing revolutionary songs in the whole stadium. The protests continued beyond control in Jimma Stadium and on the streets of the city on a daily basis until the Sports Championship was to come to a close on Sunday, March 1, 2015.
Speech of Oromian “President” Muktar Kedir Interrupted
On March 1, 2015, the Oromo students protest escalated to a higher level when two high-level delegates of the Ethiopian government, the so-called President of Oromia – Muktar Kedir and President of Amhara Region Demeke Mekonnen appeared in the stadium for the closing ceremony, and also in an attempt to address and pacify the protesting youth. As the whole stadium erupted with shouting voices, slogans and revolutionary songs of the students, Muktar Kedir was unable speak at all, and he and all the “guests,” including the Honorable GuestDemeke Mekonnen, were forced to leave the stadium in humiliation and eventually reported to have left the city the same day.
Audio: March 1, 2015 – Jimma, Oromia
Govt Messenger’s Indoctrination Meeting Foiled in Nekemte
On the evening of March 1, 2015, the same day students of Jimma university protested, a meeting organized in Wollega University by the government delegate and messenger Dr. Getachew Begashaw through the university administration intended to inculcate the students with the evil policies of the government and to pacify the Oromo students from protesting was foiled by the Oromo students, and the meeting was dismissed. It was as soon as the meeting began that Oromo students started shouting, singing revolutionary songs and chanting slogans, such as “the [Addis Ababa] Master Plan will never be realized! OLF is the hope of Oromo people! International community should be made aware of the genocide committed against us!” and more. Dr. Begashaw and other “guests” were forced to stop their lecture, and leave the university while the students continued chanting slogans and singing in the whole university campus throughout that night. Although the students were protesting peacefully, hours later, a large number of police force entered the university campus and started beating the students and arrested many of them, including a 3rd-year electrical engineering student Kuma Gammachu. The whereabouts of the arrested students is still unknown.
At least 10 Oromo Students Abducted in Jimma
On March 2, 2015, the Ethiopian government unleashed its police force in Jimma University, and abducted at least 10 students for no crime other than exercising their rights by peacefully protesting, together with thousands of other Oromo students. Among the abducted Oromo students of Jimma University are:
These and other abducted Oromo students are said to be held in a prison in Jimma city in an area known as Alazar.
Looting of Oromian Top Soil Thwarted in Sibu Sire
On March 7, 2015, Oromo farmers – who were evicted from their land and from whom their farm land was given to investors in East Wollega zone, Sibu Sire district, in a village called Tuqa Wayyu – organized the youth and the local Oromo population, and stopped lorries which were looting top soil (fertile soil) of their land and taking to an unknown place.
Three OPDO Officials Fired
On March 10, 2015, the government fired three OPDO officials in Western Shaggar (Shoa) zone, Abuna district, accusing them of siding with the protesting Oromo people for their right and being sympathetic to Oromo students. These are:
1. Shiferaw Mekonnen, Head of Finance of the district
2. Bacha Lamessa, Head of Human Resource
3. Girma Bacha, Jobs Coordinator
Protest in Wama Hagalo: An Oromo Pastor Arrested
On March 10, 2015, protest of the Oromo population for their right and against the policies of the EPRDF government was flared up in Eastern Wollega zone, Wama Hagalo district, Qasso town. A fierce clash has occurred between the Oromo population – who were protesting, and government police forces during which the police arrested several people, among whom are:
1. Qajeelaa Raggaasaa
2. Boodanaa Baqqalaa
3. Misgaanuu Raggaasaa
4. Danjaa Dhangi’aa
5. Dhugaasaa Abdiisaa
6. Booboo Addunyaa
7. Misgaanuu Addunyaa and many more.
Moreover, an Oromo pastor of the Evangelical Church of the district, Waqgari Ayana, was abducted and disappeared, accused of praying to God for the downfall of the current government. The whereabouts of this pastor is still unknown. It is to be recalled that a respected Oromo pastor Gudina Tumsa was abducted and killed by the Derg regime in 1970’s.
2nd Round of Protest in Wollega University
Oromo students of Wollega University, Nekemte town, protested for the second time on March 11, 2015 in their university campus. It was right after their breakfast that the students gathered in front of the cafeteria and started chanting the slogans which they had prepared. One of the students who was interviewed by Simbirtu Radio and another student interviewed by OVL/SBO (Oromo Voice of Liberation) – both explained the details of the protest. It was before the protest expanded to the entire campus that a large number of police force came and dispersed the students. It is reported that still a tense situation exists in the university campus, and no two students are allowed to stand together.
Audio: March 11, 2015 – Wollega, Oromia
Protest in Busa: Young Oromo Severely Beaten & Abducted
On March 11, 2015, protest of Oromo population erupted in South West zone of Oromia, Dawo district, Busa town, during which the people chanted slogans, such as “Oromia belongs to the Oromo! We will not give Finfinne (Addis Ababa)! We need peace! We are fed-up of Woyane’s lies!” and more. During this time the government dispatched a large number of police force which were seen beating the protesters. Especially the police has severely beaten an Oromo youth Geleta Waqo – dragged him on the floor and have taken to an unknown location.
Ethiopia Official Threatens to Continue Mass Murder in Oromia to Grab Land; Use the Hashtag “#StopAbayTsehaye” to Protest Abay Tsehaye and the Addis Ababa Master Plan
February 21, 2015 · Finfinne Tribune & Gadaa.com
(OromoPress) – Abay Teshaye, a member of the Executive Committee of Tigrean People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) and adviser to the current nominal Prime Minster of Ethiopia, made a genocide threat against the Oromo people who oppose the implementation of a land grabbing policy. Abay Tsehaye made the threat with a vitriolic tone of hatred and arrogance toward the Oromo:
“The master plan will be implemented now. If anyone from the Oromia regional administration or anti-peace forces oppose this, we’ll cut them to size,” OMN reported citing a leaked Amharic audio of Abay Tsehaye from a meeting that took place in Hawasa town in the south. Made against the Oromo People’s Democratic Organization (OPDO) and the wider Oromo people; the threat comes on a the heels of massacre across Oromia region from May to July 2014. Oromo media have repeatedly reported that Abay Tsehaye was one of TPLF/EPRDF masterminds of the episode of genocide that claimed the lives of over 200 Oromo students and led to the incarceration of 3,765 students and farmers across Oromia in mid-2014. The students were protesting the implementation of a land grab policy in Oromia towns and rural districts in and around Fifninnee/Addis Ababa, which led to an unexplained disappearance of over 200,000 Oromo farmers.
Abay Tsehaye made the statement at an official meeting on behalf of his party and the Tigrean-led Ethiopian government. His speech was not an empty threat since he and other TPLF officials have followed through with threats and engaged in acts of genocide in Oromia State against innocent civilians, especially the Oromo youth, over the last 24 years (since Tigreans grabbed state power). Oromo activists created a Twitter hashtag #StopAbayTsehaye to protest the angry and arrogant genocide threat by Abay Tsehaye and to spread awareness about the issue to the global audience.
We Are Ready to Pay Any Sacrifice to Stop Abay Tsehaye and His Cohorts
Qeerroo Bilisummaa Calls for Revolt In Response to Abay Tsehaye’s Insult of the Oromo People
One of the leaders of the TPLF/EPRDF regime and an architect of the so called “Addis Ababa Master Plan”, Abay Tsehaye, has openly insulted the Oromo people and particularly the OPDO by saying that the “Master Plan” will be put into practice by all means. Filled with contempt and arrogance, Abay Tsehaye said those who oppose the Master Plan “will be put down” or “face the consequences”. He proved the long time belief that the so called OPDO is nothing but a puppet of the TPLF which can be intimidated by a single TPLF individual. The dictatorial Woyane Ethiopian regime’s leader Abay Tsehaye, who is working as an “advisor” of the Prime Minister Hailemariam Dessalegn, is one of the TPLF heavy-handed personnel who interfere in all internal affairs of the nominal so called “Oromia regional government”. He is said to be constantly harassing and intimidating high ranking OPDO officials and the leaders of the so called Oromia Regional Administration by calling them into his office. It should be clear that his current insult of Oromo nationalists and members of the Oromia regional administration is an insult to the entire Oromo nation. The so called “Master Plan”, which Abay Tsehay and his TPLF hooligans are trying to shove down into the Oromo people’s throat, is a plan intended to evict Oromo farmers from their ancestral land and destroy the Oromo identity. It intended to take away Oromo land without the will of the owners of the land and destroy Oromo language by incorporating Oromian towns and villages into one big Addis Ababa, the capital city which should belong to Oromo in the first place. In doing so, Abay Tsehaye and the Tigrayan elites have a plan to divide Oromia into two: East and West.
In April and May, 2014, Qeerroo Bilisummaa has organized Oromian youth for nationwide protest against this so called “Master Plan”, in which the regime brutally killed hundreds of school children and arrested and ruthlessly tortured tens of thousands others. Our people have already paid the ultimate sacrifice with their blood and the lives of their children. The current chauvinistic outburst of Abay Tsehaye only reaffirms to us that our struggle should continue and that we should pay all necessary sacrifice. We will NEVER let this minority regime dictate its will upon us. We shall ignite the torch of Revolt Against Subjugation (Fincila Diddaa Gabrummaa) again and defend our father’s land and dignity. A minority regime will not “put us down”. More:- Stop Abay Tsehaye and His Cohorts
Addis Ababa has expanded rapidly over the last 20 years by swallowing villages and farming communities, all of whom are Oromos, along its path. This has resulted in the eviction of at least an estimated 100,000 Oromo farmers to make way for “industry” and other high priority “development” endeavours, and for the construction of luxury apartments and mansions for TPLF officials and their accomplices. These farmers, because they have never had any experience with urban ways of life and doing business, soon become homeless, jobless begging on the street when they run out of the unfair compensations they were given by the government. This is very sad, and a crime of genocidal proportion.
Many OPDO officials, contrary to their TPLF masters, know these horrifying stories of farmers left on the street of Addis begging, and others working as daily labourers. And it seems they have said enough when they resisted the top-down approach of imposing the so-called Addis Ababa surrounding Oromia integrated Master Plan, which is kind of a way to legitimize the annexation of towns around the city. Many were killed when they peacefully took to the streets to protest the Master Plan in April/May 2014. No enquiry has ever been conducted regarding the massacres in Ambo and other locations.
And TPLF continues to bully OPDO officials to submit themselves in continuing to committing genocide on the Oromo farmers. Some bow for their masters. Others not so much.
Many believe the Master Plan is not according to the interest of the Oromo people, and it has to be prepared by the Oromia regional state after Addis Ababa is handed over to the Oromia regional state as a special administration territory, also stipulated in article 49(5). Well, TPLF is not even willing to amend the plan, let alone giving the city to Oromia regional state. This is shown in the ignorance of officials, such as Abay Tsehaye, who declares war on people as unison on public meeting. Abay Tsehaye, probably the second in command of TPLF, has vowed to crush any resistance to the Master Plan. But the Oromo youth or Qeerroo and other political parties, both peaceful and through armed movement, have echoed their concern and promised to address the issue seriously.
The following video is a compiled satellite night time images making time lapse of Addis Ababa since 1992. It clearly shows the city has rapidly grown particularly huge jump between 2003 and 2006.
Ask yourself, is this growth or genocide? What is the meaning of development if it just displaces resources, makes one rich for every 1000 poor? Ask yourself, why farmers who have always lived with their land in pride, sustain themselves for generation, are removed from their livelihoods into new ways of life that are quite radical and hard to comprehend? http://finfinnetribune.com/Gadaa/2015/02/reinvent-ethiopia-areal-satellite-images-of-the-addis-ababa-expansion-1992-2013-at-the-expense-of-oromo-farmers/
Few months ago, in an interview with journalist Befekadu Moroda of Oromia Media Network (OMN), I asserted that TPLF and the Tigrean ruling class have transformed into Neftegna. Abay Tsehaye’s recent words and behavior testament to that. Remember the Neftegna system that gave monopoly over the means of violence and the sources of wealth produced chauvinistic agents who exploited and disrespected oppressed groups in Ethiopia. The system also engineered social behaviors that justified the actions of those agents and popularized myths of the dominant groups socio-cultural superiority. Overtime, the ruling class and its base began rationalizing and institutionalizing prejudice and extreme form of violent responses towards those who dissented.
During the early years of their rule, as violent and oppressive they were, TPLF differentiated themselves from their predecessors by being sensitive and showing reasonable respect for groups they subjected. However, they began abandoning such sensitivity as they consolidated power and began amassing wealth, and they have started adopting the ugly behaviors of their predecessors. Nowadays, emboldened by the absolute monopoly of the means of violence, intoxicated with abundance of wealth at their disposal and facing no so significant threat to their rule, the TPLF Tigrean rulers’ rudeness, arrogance and disrespect for other cultures have become their norm. Just like their predecessors, they have the false sense of inherent superiority which had made them feel invincible. This behavior is even worse among their rising generation – which was born into wealth and power and grew up being drugged with post-victory (post-1991) bravado of TPLF.
This is good and bad news. It’s ‘bad’ because such collective behaviors increase and justify violence and repression against the subjected populations. However, on the ‘good’ side, it makes the system intolerable – expanding the base of resistance, and, consequently, speeding up the downfall of the system.
Abay Tsehaye’s threat, its tone and spirit, is very revealing of TPLF’s contempt and disrespect for Oromos, even those who are serving them as puppets. What is the story behind such outburst? After completion of the the Master Plan without any involvement from the Oromia side, Abay Tsehaye gathered senior OPDO leaders and ordered them to implement the plan. They expressed concern that they were not involved in the process of drafting the plan and that it will be hard to convince the rank and file. They were told they will not take NO for answer. The OPDO leaders could not even agree on the matter and when they took the issue to the mid-level leadership, they were met with fierce resistance and hostility. While the Oromia state leaders were planning to bring the issue to the Caffee ( parliament) for deliberation, Abay/TPLF could not wait so they bypassed them, gathered administrators of cities surrounding Finfinne and told them to begin implementation. At this meeting, the city administrators raised several procedural and policy objections and said they cannot take this plan without further study and deliberation at Caffee ( Oromia parliament level.) The administrators said they cannot convince the public about a plan even they themselves neither understand nor accept. In their typical manner Abay Tsehaye and TPLF leaders rejected the request for further discussion at the leadership level and gave them strict orders to begin the implementation phase. This conflict reached the public leading to the mass protest and massacre of April/May 2014.
During and in the aftermath of the protest, OPDO leaders agreed on the need to postpone the Master Plan as a way of containing the situation. This idea was initially accepted by the official EPRDF including the Prime Minister. However, Abay Tsehaye summoned the OPDO leaders and accused them of sabotage and threatened to eliminate them from the top down, and anyone who stands in the way of the Master Plan. Terrified, the puppet leaders went home and began hibernating avoiding the subject altogether.
Therefore, what is heard in this leaked audio of Abay Tsehaye threatening over a thousand urban planners and administrators is nothing new. His contempt towards Oromo and insidious plan to rob them of their land must be confronted. They have already began implementing the Master Plan and Abay Tsehaye had made it abundantly clear that they will go ahead by any means necessary. Well this needs to be met with the same spirit–the plan must be stopped by any means necessary.
Lets remember that the Finfinne issue is not isolated. TPLF’s real master Plan is to establish Tigrean economic monopoly by depriving Oromos of any real source of economy across the country including fertile land, mineral sites, manufacturing and trade. Therefore the target of Oromo resistance needs to focus on fighting back against this real Master Plan. The resistance needs to identify businesses of TPLF and its affiliates across Oromia and take them on to ensure they don’t succeed.
Arrogant TPLF leaders should realize that their power is more vulnerable than their fortified headquarters lead them to believe. The roots and branches of their domination extends deep into the remotest part of our homeland.
Biyya tuffatan harreen garmaaman ========================
The Gulele Post • February 15, 2015
“Waan feetaanis fiddan Masteer Pilaanin Finfinnee hojirra ni oola. Warra nu dura dhaabbate abbaa feetes taatu ‘likkii’ galchina. Qondaalonni Oromoo godiina naannawa Finfinnee yakkamtoota. Qonddaalonni Oromiyaa laamshoodha.” Kun hundi arrabsoofi dhaadannoo qondaaltichi Wayyanee guddichi Abbaay Tsahaayyee Oromoota walitti qabee itti huruurse kaassaayi. Sagalee gabaabduu waraabamtee OMN geette irraa jechoota fokkisaa akkasii yoo dhageenyu kan nuti hin dhagayin hafan maal faa akka ta’e yaadun nam hin dhibu. Akkan dhagayetti, tibba mormiin godhamaa ture san qondaaltoota OPDO gurguddoo walitti qabuun arrabsoo dhuunfaa bira dharbee hamma doorsisuufi harkaan itti aggaamutti gahame ture.
Tuffiifi jibba Abbaay Tsahaayyeefi waahillan isaa Oromoof qaban afaan ajaayan as bahe kun dhimma nam- tokkee akka hin taane namuu hubachuu qaba. Ejjennoo jaarmayni Wayyaanneen qabattee deemtuun, kan qabeenya Oromoo saamuun sirna cunqursaa isaanii tursiisuuf hammeenya hammamii raaw’achuuf akka muratan ragaadha. Karoorri maqaa Master Pilaaniitin Finfinnee bal’isanii, Oromiyaarraa muranii fudhachuu kunis kophatti laalamuu hin qabu. Master Pilaaniin kun karoora guddicha fi isa ol aanaa Tigroonni ol’aantummaa dinagdee yoomifu turu ijaaruuf qaban irraa kan maddeedha. Akkuma namuu argu yeroo amma kanatti lafti gabbataan jaraaf hirmaa jira. Iddoon albuudaa, warshaalee gurguddaani fi magaalaan sochii dinagdee qabdu too’annaa jaraa jala galfamaa jira. Daldaltoonni Tigraay hamma baadiyyaa Oromiyaatti caasaa diriirfachuun daldaltoota Oromoo taphaan ala godhanii jiran. Qonnaan bulaa Oromoo kaan lafa irraa fudhatanii warshaafi mana jireenya waardiyyaa isaani godhatan. Warra hafe ammoo xaa’oo gatiin samii tuqee itti fe’anii kasaarsanii hiyyoomsan.
Sochii Warraaqsa Bilisummaa ta’aa jiru daran jabeessuun dhadannoolee uumata onnachiisanii fi waamicha diddaa sirna Wayyaanee kan qabu barruuleen kun bakkoota mootummaan Wayyaanee beeksisa maxxanfatu irrattii fi lafa magaalota bakka bebbeekamoo irratti maxxanfamuu fi uumataafis raabsamuu gabaasi Qeerroo naannicha irraa nu gahe addeessa.
Keessattuu Qeerroon aanaa Daawoo magaala Buusaa mana murtii fuula duraa fi secondary fuuldura ti waraqaa waamichaa dhoobuu fi magaala iddoo hedduu ti faca’uurraan kan ka’ee uummanni gammachuu guddaan kan itti dhagaheef qeerroon daraan kan onnatan ta’uu odeessi gama sana irraa nu dhaqabeera.
Gabaasa guutuu dhimma kana agama fuula duraa dhiheesina.
Minnesota Congressional Leaders Call on President to Prioritize Human Rights on Trip to Kenya and Ethiopia
July 23, 2015
WASHINGTON—Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Al Franken (D-MN), and Reps. Keith Ellison (D-MN), Tom Emmer (R-MN), Betty McCollum (D-MN), and Tim Walz (D-MN) sent a letter today calling on President Barack Obama to prioritize human rights during his upcoming trip to Kenya and Ethiopia.
We write to urge you to prioritize human rights during your upcoming visit to Kenya and Ethiopia. Minnesota is home to a large Ethiopian and Somali diaspora that adds rich cultural diversity to our state. We are proud to represent them and ask that when you visit Africa you address issues of concern for our Ethiopian and Somali communities. Specifically, we ask that you urge the Kenyan government to prevent discrimination against Somalis and call on the Ethiopian government to address reports of troubling human rights abuses.
After nearly two decades of violence and famine, Somalia is making steady progress towards stability. A provisional constitution and the political will for progress have helped Somalia reestablish a central government. The United States has provided critical assistance, enabling Somalia to make security gains against the terrorist group al-Shabaab. Despite important progress, recent terrorist attacks in Mogadishu and Garissa, Kenya remind us that Somalia still faces enormous challenges. Kenya has been deeply impacted by the instability in Somalia; Kenya is home to more than 350,000 Somali refugees, and al-Shabaab continues to pose a security threat to the region.
As the Kenyan government continues to battle the threat of terrorism, Somali refugees in Kenya are often targeted for detention or deportation, and Somali neighborhoods are frequently raided by Kenyan military and police forces. Recently, Kenya temporarily suspended the licenses of 13 Somali money remittance firms. While the licenses have been restored, the threat of disruption in remittance services remains. Cutting off remittance services compounds the humanitarian crisis being face by Somalis in their home country. This could reverse the limited gains that the Somali government and the international community have made against al Shabaab and lead to increased terrorist activity in Somalia and the greater Horn of Africa. We ask that you raise these issues during your visit.
In Ethiopia, we ask that you urge Prime Minister Desalegn take stronger action to improve human rights. Amnesty International and the U.S. State Department’s Country Reports on Human Rights have documented the Ethiopian government’s crackdown on freedom of the press, arbitrary arrests, politically-motivated prosecutions, and the use of excessive force by security forces. While we are happy to hear that the Ethiopian government has released five journalists from detention, legislation restricting nongovernmental activity remains in place and is contrary to international standards. We also urge you to address the very serious concerns that have been brought to us by Ogaden and Oromo groups. As the first U.S. President to visit Ethiopia, this is a historic opportunity for you to press for meaningful and long-lasting change.
We urge you to use your time in Kenya and Ethiopia to persuade policy makers to prevent discrimination and prioritize human rights. Thank you for your commitment to improving economic growth and security in Africa.
Below is an audio interview I conducted with Devlin Kuyek, Senior Researcher at GRAIN. GRAIN is a small international non-profit organisation that works to support small farmers and social movements in their struggles for community-controlled and biodiversity-based food systems. In the interview, Devlin talks abouta recent report they put out that reveals how a Canadian agribusiness company, Feronia — financed by American and European Development Institutions, is involved in land grabbing, corrupt practices and human rights violations in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Kuyek traces the colonial origins of palm oil plantations in the DRC along the Congo River, dating back from the time of King Leopold and the Lever Brothers (which became Unilever), to present-day land grabs funded by Development Finance Institutions and sanctioned by the World Bank; a process which has occurred as part of a re-orientation of aid from poverty alleviation to straightforward investment in private companies.
Community members interviewed as part of the report claim that their land was never ceded to the company and that conditions on the plantations are abysmal. According to Kuyek, this type of large-scale intensive agricultural model that is expanding in different parts of Africa is deeply problematic, taking away valuable land and water resources from small farmers and pastoralists, and creating greater food insecurity in places that are suffering most from the global food crisis.
Here is an excerpt of my interview with Devlin:
Your recent report looks at what you call ‘agro-colonialism’ in the DRC, and specifically at a Canadian company, Feronia, that’s investing in palm oil plantations in the Congo. We think of agribusiness and land grabs more in a contemporary sense on the continent, but in the DRC there’s a whole history to palm oil. Can you go back a bit and give some historical context to palm oil plantations in the DRC?
Yes, many of the current land grabs are actually new companies taking over old plantation concessions. This is the case in the DRC with Feronia. These plantations go back over 100 years and were set up by the Lever brothers at the time, which became Unilever, now one of the largest food multinationals in the world. They were given an enormous concession by King Leopold along the Congo River, which is a beautiful area of forest. Palm oil is a traditional crop of the people and has hundreds of different uses. They started forcing people to collect and harvest palm oil for them. So initially it wasn’t plantation agriculture, but it quickly moved to a plantation model. Their concessions were for around 100 000 hectares. It was the most severe and grave forms of colonial plantation exploitation you can imagine. Most of the local people would describe it as slavery and this is how it was for about 80, 90 years. Then into the 90s, with war in that part of the Congo, Unilever’s activities started to decrease and they put their plantations up for sale. And you now have this new investor, Feronia, set up by financial players that have no experience in the agricultural sector, but were interested in taking advantage of the new push into agribusiness in Africa. They set up Feronia and were going to turn the DRC into the new Brazil of Africa, introducing a Brazilian model of GMO, intensive monoculture, large-scale farming in the Congo, which is a mainly a country of small-scale production.
In your report, you gave examples of people who have been intimidated by the company for harvesting palm oil in specific areas where there are plantations. There was also a case of a young man who disappeared. Can you talk about some of those incidents?
Whoever we spoke to, one of the first complaints they had was about the local company security. These concessions are like states within a state. The company controls everything – the roads, the social services and their own police force. All of the people that we spoke to had stories of intimidation or abuse from these company security agents. What often happens is, given the poverty and lack of access to land and forest, people will occasionally collect nuts that have fallen in the plantations and apparently, if they are caught by the company security forces with nuts in their hand, they are severely treated. We’ve heard cases of people being whipped, arrested, brought to local prison and in this one case, we were told of a boy who was caught with oil palm nuts and was detained, put on a company vehicle and was supposed to be brought to the local police station, but never made it. He has not been heard of since. The family was afraid that they would be targeted and harassed so they fled as well and have been in hiding ever since.
“Ethiopia’s garment sector has no minimum wage, compared with Bangladesh, where workers earn at least $67 a month, according to the International Labor Organization. Garment workers in Ethiopia started at about $21 a month as of last year, the Ethiopian government said.”
From H&M to Calvin Klein brands look to Ethiopian factories with pay as low as $21 a month
Africa is one of the few places where it is possible to go from fiber to factory in one place and Ethiopia holds the maximum promise for garment retail, being a top sourcing destination for apparel companies with $70 billion of goods procured annually.
“Africa is a huge opportunity to demonstrate how the industry can work together,” said Colin Browne, managing director of product supply and Asian sourcing for VF Corp., which owns such brands as Lee, Wrangler and Timberland.
He pointed out to the factory owners a key advantage in Africa: it is one of the few places where it’s possible to go from fiber to factory in one place.
Africa is the final frontier in the global rag trade – the last untapped continent with cheap and plentiful labor. Ethiopia’s garment sector has no minimum wage, compared with Bangladesh, where workers earn at least $67 a month, according to the International Labor Organization. Garment workers in Ethiopia started at about $21 a month as of last year, the Ethiopian government said.
Most countries in Africa benefit from a free-trade agreement with the US, an arrangement that saves retailers money and ensures that many African countries can grow their own cotton, which shortens production time.
Asia has dominated clothing manufacturing, churning out cheap clothes on inexpensive labor that are shipped to malls world-wide. But, over the past few years, rising production costs in China and several deadly factory accidents have forced apparel companies to hunt for alternatives from Myanmar to Colombia to Ethiopia.
Ethiopia was recently identified as a top sourcing destination by apparel companies, according to McKinsey & Co, which surveyed executives responsible for procuring $70 billion of goods annually – the first time an African country was mentioned alongside Bangladesh, Vietnam and Myanmar.
Whether or not Africa’s role as a supplier expands, these efforts show the lengths to which big apparel makers are willing to go to find new, low-cost sources of production. Overall, consumers have become conditioned to expect a plentiful supply of cheap clothing.
“In the global economy, light manufacturing is constantly moving,” said World Bank’s Guang Z. Chen, who was the country director for Ethiopia until last month and is now a director for several countries across southern Africa. “We see a distinct possibility of this kind of industry moving away from Asia, because labor costs are rising in China rapidly.”
Ethiopia holds the most promise for developing garment production in Africa, factory owners and brands say.
“Ethiopia seems to be the best location from a government, labor and power point of view,” says M. Raghuraman, chief executive for corporate marketing and branding at Brandix Lanka Ltd., Sri Lanka’s largest clothing exporter, which is interested in Africa’s garment potential.
At the MAA Garment & Textile Factory in Northern Ethiopia, 1,600 workers spin cotton, dye fabric and sew it into T- shirts, leggings and other basics for international retailers like Hennes & Maurtiz, AB’s H&M chain, Tesco PLC, Asda Stores Ltd’s George label, and German clothing company Kik Textilien und Non-Food GmbH.
“Investors are coming here from Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, China, India and Turkey,” said Fassil Tadesse, chief executive of MAA’s parent company, Kebire Enterprises, and president of the Ethiopian Textile and Garment Manufacturers Association.
So far, Africa barely registers in the field of garment manufacturing. And, it will take years for any other country to seriously challenge China.
Many African countries lack roads to transport finished clothing, and landlocked Ethiopia doesn’t have a port. The workforce is untrained in sewing clothes. All of sub-Saharan Africa accounts for less than 1% of global clothing exports.
Some apparel companies remain interested despite those hurdles. They are drawn to the cheap labor and to the inexpensive power, which in many countries is the second-biggest factory cost after workers. The Ethiopian government is building a railway to the port in neighboring Djibouti to help exports leave the country more quickly.
“The Mursi were told by government officials that if they didn’t sell off their cattle, the cattle would be injected with poison. This caused the Mursi in the north to leave their best cultivation land on the Omo River and in the grasslands in order to protect their cattle. They’ve lost three annual harvests so far as a result.”
US, UK, World Bank among aid donors complicit in Ethiopia’s war on indigenous tribes
Will Hurd, Ecologist, 22nd July 2015
USAID, the UK’s DFID and the World Bank are among those covering up for severe human rights abuses against indigenous peoples in Ethiopia’s Omo Valley, inflicted during forced evictions to make way for huge plantations, writes Will Hurd. Their complicity in these crimes appears to be rooted in US and UK partnership with Ethiopia in the ‘war on terror’.
The Mursi were told by government officials that if they didn’t sell off their cattle, the cattle would be injected with poison. This caused the Mursi in the north to leave their best cultivation land on the Omo River and in the grasslands.
In the fall of 2012 my cell phone rang. It was an official from Department for International Development, DFID – the UK government aid agency. He implored me to remove his name from a transcript of an audio recordingI’d translated. He worried he might lose his job, which would hurt his family.
I’d translated for this official and his colleagues, both from DFID and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), during a joint visit they made, in January 2012, to the Lower Omo Valley of Southwest Ethiopia.
They wanted to talk to members of the Mursi and Bodi ethnic groups about a controversial government sugar development project. DFID was indirectly helping to fund the forced eviction and resettlement of thousands of people affected by this project, through a World Bank-organized funding program called ‘Promoting Basic Services’ (PBS).
DFID was the biggest state contributor to this program, which had also been accused of indirectly funding resettlement of Anuak in the nearby Gambella region. In Gambella, vast land leases were being given to international and domestic companies. During the visit to the Omo Valley, I turned on an audio recorder.
What struck me about the phone conversation with the DFID official was how much concern he had for his own livelihood and family, and how little concern he and DFID were showing for the hundreds, or even thousands, of families in the Omo Valley.
I acted on his request and left him unnamed.
Aid to ‘help the poor’ opens the way to international agribusiness
The resettlements were happening to clear the land for industrial-scale, international and national, companies. The donors deny a connection between the resettlements and the land leases, but the connection is all too obvious.
The full membership of the DAG comprises: the African Development Bank, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, European Union, FAO, Finland, France, Germany, IMF, India, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, The Netherlands, Norway, Spain (AECID), Sweden, Switzerland, Turkish International Cooperation Agency (TIKA), UK (DFID), UNDP, UNESCO, USAID, and the World Bank.
It is supposed to provide teacher and health worker salaries and water development in these resettlement sites. This is controversial in itself-only providing services to people who move off their land into resettlement sites – but some of the money was used by the Ethiopian government to pay for implementation of the resettlement scheme.
DFID and the DAG say that this resettlement plan is entirely about providing services to the people. If they believe this, they gravely misunderstand the aims of the Ethiopian Government, which have to do with political control.
Ethiopia’s long-standing plan to pin down the pastoralists
Most of the groups targeted in the southwest are people who depend on cattle and tend to move with the cattle-pastoralists. Pastoralists are difficult for governments to control. For the last 118 years pastoral peoples in the Omo Valley have successfully dodged many of the abuses suffered by settled agricultural tribes in the region, at the hands of the state.
The pastoralists simply gathered their cattle together and moved away, returning when government forces had left. With the help of the DAG, the government is now planning, finally, to pin the pastoralists down in resettlement sites.
David Turton, an anthropologist who has worked in the Omo Valley for more than 45 years, warned me about the possible motives of DFID and USAID for visiting the Omo at that particular time – January 2012.
“They may be reacting to the recent Human Rights Watch report which severely criticized their role in resettlement activities in Gambella”, he wrote. “It’s known that Human Rights watch is planning a report on the Omo, which is likely to be equally critical.
“So, by going to the Omo now, DFID and USAID will be able to argue that they have been keeping ‘a close eye’ on events there. In other words, their trip may have more to do with protecting their own backs against politically embarrassing revelations than with protecting the human rights of the Mursi and Bodi.”
But I’d once had a good experience with the World Bank, when it refused to give money to a conservation organization that was threatening to evict indigenous people from their land in the Omo Valley. I thought it might do good to show these aid agencies the gravity of the situation.
Off to the Omo Valley
We set off in a Land Rover through the grasslands of the Omo Valley. We stopped in a small Mursi village and arranged a meeting with approximately 40 Mursi. At the beginning, a Mursi man asked me, “Did you bring these people?” meaning did I vouch for them. “Yes”, I said.
This let the Mursi feel they could speak freely. DFID and USAID heard many accounts from the Mursi of forced eviction, beatings, rape, and coercion in agreements with the government. Some of these accounts were firsthand. We went on to a Bodi village and heard much the same thing.
Here is a translator telling what the Bodi next to him said:
“This man used to live in the Usso area. In that place one was able to grow a lot of grain … The government has thrown him out of his place and he doesn’t know what to do. His former place is behind that mountain. He says they are going to give it to someone else, a plantation investor.”
The accounts were irrefutable and I thought they must cause the donors to act. Months went by and the donors said they could not substantiate human rights violations in the Gambella region. But they had refused to visit Anuak refugees, although invited by the Anuak themselves, who had been evicted from their land in Gambella.
These Anuak were now living in refugee camps in Kenya and Sudan where they could have spoken of their experiences without fear of government reprisal. I was worried that the donors would also say they could find no evidence of violations in the Omo Valley.
So, I wrote DFID and USAID asking if anything had been done. I told them I had the tape recording transcripts. Had they taken this up with the DAG? I got the above call from a DFID official, after which they stopped responding to emails.
The donors report
Later DFID and USAID said in their report that the allegations of human rights abuses they had heard during their visit to the Omo Valley “could not be substantiated”.
The then British Minister for Overseas Development, Justine Greening, reported the same to UK Parliament. DFID and USAID had used the Mursi and Bodi to protect their reputation, and the reputation of the Ethiopian government.
But I had the tape recording.
At this time, there was strong disagreement between the reports that Human Rights Watch had published out about resettlement in the Gambella region, and the accounts that members of the DAG were putting out of their investigative trips to the same region.
Human Rights Watch was on the ground as the resettlement was being implemented and they also visited Anuak who had fled to refugee camps outside Ethiopia. From both populations they received reports that forced evictions, murders, and beatings had occurred.
The DAG, on the other hand, was saying it could not substantiate any human rights abuses. So, where was the disconnect?
One of the translators for the DAG investigation in Gambella said the communities had told DAG “to their face” of the human rights abuses. But still DAG reported nothing. What was important about the audio recording I’d made was it showed the inside of this investigation process by DAG, and it wasn’t pretty.
I heard in detail about one of the subsequent DAG trips in the Omo Valley in early August, 2013. Ethiopian government representatives had gone to a village in Bodi and told them they were bringing foreigners to ask what the Bodi thought of the resettlement.
The Bodi said, “This is good. When they come we will tell them the truth! How you swindle us, what you did wrong and about the people who abused us. We will tell it straight!” Some days later the villagers saw the caravan of aid agency officials and government officials drive past, on their way to another village.
This is all to the good, as the aid agencies have been faced with the consequences of their actions, but it doesn’t mean there are any protections for the ethnic groups of Southwest Ethiopia. The plantations and dam are moving ahead as before.
In April, reports surfaced that the Kwegu, the smallest ethnic group in the Omo Valley, were starving. They were not able to grow crops below an irrigation dam the government constructed on the Omo River for its sugarcane plantations. The Kwegu were giving their children to the cattle-herding Bodi to look after, so the kids would have milk to drink.
How can a $4.9 billion program be implemented and leave people starving? The answer, I think, is aid may not be the primary function of some of these organizations. Aid often is a way of paying a foreign government to provide a service for the country ‘giving’ the aid.
The long strings attached to aid
The US government needs Ethiopia as a stable and strategic place to carry out military operations in ‘the War on Terror’ in East Africa and the Middle East. The Horn of Africa has long been Washington’s ‘back-door of the Middle East’. The US now has a drone base in Arba Minch, with range to Somalia and Yemen. Arba Minch is not so far from Mursi territory. Aid has a long history of murky dealings.
In 1990, when the US was trying to get clearance from the UN to attack Iraq in the Gulf War, it bribed many UN member states for ‘yes’ votes with debt relief, gifts of weapons, and other things. When Yemen defied US wishes and voted against the attack, a senior American diplomat declared, “That was the most expensive ‘no vote’ you ever cast.” In three days, a $70 million USAID project was cancelled to one of the world’s poorest countries.
On its website, DFID explained its decision to pull its funding from the PBS Program as follows: “Recognising Ethiopia’s growing success, the UK will now evolve its approach by transitioning support towards economic development to help generate jobs, income and growth.”
But in the UK High Court where it was fighting a case brought against it by an Anuak refugee, ‘Mr O’. DFID said that it had pulled out of the PBS Program because “of ongoing concerns related to civil and political rights at the level of the overall partnership in Ethiopia … and continued concerns about the accountability of the security services.”
The DAG published a letter to the Ethiopian government on its website in February this year, in which it reported on visits it had made in August, 2014 to the Omo Valley and Bench Maji Zone. In this letter, it announced that it had found “no evidence of the Ethiopian Government forcibly resettling people.”
The truth is very different
Many more Bodi and Mursi have been imprisoned since the plantations started. Some were imprisoned after disagreeing with plantation and resettlement plans in meetings. Bodi cultivation sites and Mursi grain stores were bulldozed against their wishes.
Bodi have been in armed conflict with the police and military about the plantations. The Bodi were forbidden by the government to plant at the Omo River and told to move into the resettlement sites. When food aid didn’t arrive they went to plant against government wishes.
The Mursi were told by government officials that if they didn’t sell off their cattle, the cattle would be injected with poison. This caused the Mursi in the north to leave their best cultivation land on the Omo River and in the grasslands in order to protect their cattle. They’ve lost three annual harvests so far as a result.
Thousands of acres of Bodi territory were taken for the plantations and the Bodi ended up with small plots of land with no shade. When the Bodi left these plots, the government took them back for sugarcane. The DAG missed all of this. When are the DAG aid agencies going to start aiding the people of the Omo Valley, and Gambella, instead of participating in their demise?
Ethiopia has the right, and need, to develop its economy and industries, but impoverishing some of its most vulnerable people in the process is counterproductive.
The Mursi and Bodi have been trying to implement the Mursi-Bodi Community Conservation Area. This would capitalize on the already abundant tourism and wildlife in the area, in conjunction with Omo and Mago National Parks. If the government were to approve this, and let it be fully implemented, it may provide benefits for both local people and state.
Will Hurd lived in Ethiopia for eight years, primarily with the Mursi of the Southwest, who are now threatened by a 175,000 hectare sugar plantation. He speaks the Mursi language. He is director of the small non-profit, Cool Ground.
World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) has recently published the 2014 statistics on international tourism. These are summarised on the UNWTO Tourism Highlights (2015 edition) publication. Globally tourism has been growing almost uninterrupted since the 1950’s. Europe accounts still about half of all international tourist arrivals, but emerging regions, especially Asia-Pacific but also Middle East and Africa have seen stronger growth in the last 30 years. Asia-Pacific region has now overtaken the Americas as the second most popular region. Despite the growth since 1980’s, Africa remains a minor player in world tourism, with 2014 being a year of a slow growth, not least due to Ebola outbreak.
An Open Letter to President Barak Obama on his Ethiopia Visit
Dear Mr. President Obama,
The Human Rights League of the Horn of Africa wants to express its deep concern about what it regards as the wrong decision made by you and your staff in making a formal visit to Ethiopia in late July 2015. This will make you the first US leader to break the US promise not to reward dictators. History teaches us that the American constitution of 1787 is the world’s first democratic constitution, a landmark document of the Western World which protects the rights of all citizens in the USA. The following examples show America’s great support of human rights: During the First World War, America entered the war against Germany in 1917 to protect the world- as President Woodrow Wilson put it, “Making the World Safe for Democracy”. Later, Eleanor Roosevelt, the widow of President Roosevelt and a human rightschampion, drafted in 1948 an internationally accepted human rights bill, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. These and other democratic activities have made America a champion of democracy all over the world that all Americans should be proud of.
Your decision to visit human rights perpetrators in Ethiopia contradicts your country’s democratic tradition. It also disrespects the Ethiopian nations and nationalities who are under the subjugation of the EPRDF/TPLF government.
We can witness today the government of Ethiopia making a lot of noise about the flourishing of democracy in that country. The reality on the ground shows that the undemocratic behavior of the regime has been overshadowed by the apparently “democratic” and anti-terrorism façade that the regime has demonstrated for the past twenty-four years. During those years, thousands were killed, abducted, kidnaped, and imprisoned by this government because they simply tried to exercise their fundamental rights, such as free speech and expression, freedom of association and religion. University students, journalists, human rights activists, opposition political party members and their supporters, and farmers have been the major victims in Ethiopia.
When the EPRDF/TPLF Government took power in 1991 in Ethiopia, there were high expectations from both local and international communities that there would be an improvement in the human rights situation in Ethiopia from previous regimes. Contrary to everyone’s expectations, however, human rights abuses in Ethiopia worsened. The human rights violations in Ethiopia has been widely reported by local, regional and international human rights organizations as well as some Western governmental agencies including the US State Department’s yearly human rights reports.
Today, in Ethiopia political extra-judicial killings, kidnappings and disappearances, mass arrests and imprisonments- without warrants- in horrible prison conditions, extended imprisonment without trials, torture, denials and delaying of justice, discrimination in resource allocations and implementations, biased educational and development policies, denials of employment and job promotion opportunities and/or the misuse of coercive political tools are rampant. Social crises in Ethiopia are becoming deeper and deeper, while the socioeconomic gap between the favored (the politically affiliated groups and individuals) and the disfavored is getting wider and wider. For the majority of Ethiopians, life has become unbearable. It has even become very difficult for civil servants, the middle class, to support their families.
The Human Rights League of the Horn of Africa strictly opposes your visit to Ethiopia. As the president of the country where democracy emerged and respect for human rights was first realized, we believe it would be immoral of you to reward human rights violators. We urge that you withdraw from your decision to visit Ethiopia.
HRLHA is a non-political organization (with the UN Economic and Social Council – (ECOSOC) Consultative Status) which attempts to challenge abuses of human rights of the people of various nations and nationalities in the Horn of Africa.
Liigiin Mirga Ilmaan namaa kan gaanfa Afrikaa,Daawwii Obaamaa balaaleeffate .
In 2007, the population census put the city’s population at 3.38million. It was expected to grow at a rate of 3.8% per year – which would put the total population today at 4.5million. This may not seem so far-fetched considering there were estimates that said that by 2020 it would have a population of 8 million. But this fast and vast growth has come at a high price. First, it is creating divisions between the government and already marginalised population groups. Addis has always been a sprawling city, from when it originated in 1886 as a military settlement, part of Emperor Menelik II’s campaign in taking over Oromo territory. Throughout its history it continued to sprawl due to its spontaneous and unplanned nature. As the city expanded from 1994 – 2007, research showed that many farmers on the peripheries lost their livelihoods and were forced instead to turn to other forms of casual labour within the city. This spurred the development of the Oromia Special zone that was created in 2008 in order to ease the co-operation and development of the surrounding areas of Addis Ababa and to control the urban sprawl of this city on the lands of the Oromia people. However, more recently, there were further calls that the government was perpetuating inequality along ethnic lines when it announced a master plan titled “the Addis Ababa and the Surrounding Oromia Integrated Development Plan”. This area structure plan was intended to create special zones surrounding Addis that were divided into industry, service and settlement zones, based on their existing potential, economic base and geography. But it has become a contentious issue, met with opposition by Oromo residents who would lose an additional 36 towns and cities to Addis Ababa. According to researchers, the city’s expansion in the past has led to forced evictions and displacement of local Oromo residents and protesters of this new master plan fear that ceding Oromo lands to Addis Ababa would lead to more losses in Oromo identity and culture. The fast rate of urbanisation has also perpetuated levels of inequality and fragility which are highly visible on some of the streets and areas of Addis and, intentionally or not, this seems to have been moved to specific areas. One example is in the neighbourhood of Mercato – named so because it is home to the largest market areas in the city. Everything can be found here from steel pipes to spices and kitchenware. It is also where the hidden face of poverty of the city becomes most apparent. Here people are struggling to survive, making a living by whatever means possible – as this is the time of year when the rains come heavy and fast almost every afternoon, there are countless young men taking advantage of it. They will clean shoes, the bottoms of trousers or sit on old buckets fixing broken umbrellas. Government is trying? The government does believe it is trying. In a recent statement it said that more than half a million citizens have benefited from housing schemes over the past 10 years. One of these is the ambitious government-led low-and middle-income housing programme launched in 2005: The Integrated Housing Development Programme (IHDP). The initial goal of the programme was to construct 400,000 condominium units, create 200,000 jobs, promote the development of 10,000 micro – and small – enterprises, enhance the capacity of the construction sector, regenerate inner-city slum areas, and promote homeownership for low-income households. However, this programme may have inadvertently perpetuated inequality. A major challenge has become the affordability of the units for low-income households, with the cost increases in the price of condominium houses deeming them no longer an option for many low-income households. Furthermore, the inability to pay the monthly mortgage and service payments forces many households to move out of their unit and rent it. Also, many of the condominium sites are located on the periphery of the city and do not acknowledge the need for employment opportunities for residents, despite there living up to 10,000 households in some sites. This places further financial strain on beneficiaries in the form of daily transport costs.- Mail and Guardian Africa
Namibia’s president, Hage Geingob, is pleading with the international community to stop classifying his country as an upper middle-income country.
Speaking at the United Nations’ third international conference on development finance, in Addis Ababa this week, Geingob argued that simply looking at Namibia’s national income level as a measure to determine its status as an upper middle-income country was misguided.
According to Geingob, Namibia’s classification as an upper middle-income country has prevented the country from accessing much-needed “soft loans” and grants to address its developmental challenges.
To determine a country’s income status, the World Bank takes the GDP of a country and divides it by the country’s population. While this may be feasible for many other upper middle-income countries like China–with a population of 1.35 billion people–this classification distorts the reality of 2.3 million Namibians.
Geingob argued that by using this approach–and because Namibia has a relatively small population–the country ends up yielding a higher…
At a global summit that addressed how illicit financial flows interfere with reducing poverty, wealthy nations rejected a plan to expand the UN’s power to fight global tax evasion.
The plan, promoted by developing economies and transparency groups, was the subject of the meeting between delegations of UN members from around the world in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia this week. The goal was to figure out how to pay for the next generation of development goals that the UN will adopt later this year.
Many developing countries see more money slip out of their borders illicitly through tax and trade fraud than what enters as development aid and foreign investment, which ultimately impedes their economic advancement.
African nations have been among of the worst victims of illicit flows; In recent years, Ethiopia has lost the equivalent of 11% of its annual production.
This year’s finale communique, to be released July 15, will recognize illicit flows from trade fraud as a development problem and commit…
A first-of-its kind lawsuit that resumes in a U.S. District Court on Tuesday has drawn attention to the private surveillance-technology industry as a potential enabler of spying on Americans. The case involves a U.S. citizen who alleges that “clandestine computer programs” assumed “what amounts to complete control” over his personal computer and relayed copies of his electronic activity — including Skype calls, Internet searches and emails — to the Ethiopian government.
Kidane — the pseudonym under which the complainant is known in the case to protect his family from retribution — says his computer was monitored by spyware placed on his computer while he was living in the United States. He is an Ethiopian-born naturalized U.S. citizen who sought asylum in the U.S., where he has lived for more than two decades. His case is being closely watched by activists and civil liberties campaigners because of its potential implications for domestic cybersurveillance by security agencies such as the National Security Agency (NSA).
A victory for Kidane “would be a clear statement from a U.S court to say that wiretapping without court authorization is illegal, no matter who does it. And yes, absolutely that would have implications for the NSA,” said his legal counsel, Nate Cardozo, a staff attorney at the Electronic Frontier Foundation.
“We know that the NSA engages in full content wiretapping … without a court order authorizing it,” he added. “That conduct is simply illegal, and I think a U.S. court order holding Ethiopia responsible for doing the same thing but on a much smaller scale here hopefully would at least raise some eyebrows at the NSA.”
The suit alleges that FinSpy, an intrusion and surveillance program, was transmitted by a Microsoft Word document attachment sent to Kidane’s computer via email by or on behalf of the Ethiopian government. It began targeting Kidane’s machine in late October 2012.
Ethiopia was accused of deploying FinSpy in a March 2013 report by Citizen Lab, an organization that studies surveillance, on the basis of the IP address from which the software was transmitted. The attack on Kidane’s computer was found to have originated from the same server. Days after the Citizen Lab report appeared, the Ethiopian government tried to shut down FinSpy on Kidane’s computer, Cardozo alleged. However, there was a malfunction, and traces of the software remained on his client’s machine.
“We caught the Ethiopian government red-handed,” Cardozo said.
Kidane is seeking damages and an acknowledgment from the Ethiopian government that it acted outside the law. Ethiopia has stated in court documents that “computer addresses can be and are easily [faked],” but it has not denied the allegations. It has argued that because it is a foreign sovereign power, a U.S. court lacks jurisdiction to hear the case.
It is designed to evade detection and can bypass 40 anti-virus systems, according to the leaked company files.
The spyware tool is a part of the FinFisher product suite formerly under the umbrella of the U.K.-based Gamma Group, which, according to its website, provides “advanced technical surveillance, monitoring solutions and advanced government training.”
The FinFisher company, based in Munich, maintains that the products are sold to “government agencies only” and that the spyware is designed to target individuals and is not to intended for mass surveillance.
But the British government has criticized the group.Gamma lacks “due diligence processes that would protect against abusive use of its products,” according a U.K. government report.
Gamma does not say to which countries it has sent products, and it did not respond to an Al Jazeera query.
Even if the manufacturer’s intent is that FinSpy be used lawfully, human rights groups say the technology has been used to facilitate abuses. FinFisher command and control servers are said to be active in some three dozen countries, including Brunei, Nigeria, Pakistan, Qatar, Romania, Turkey, Turkmenistan and the United Arab Emirates, according to 2013 report by Citizen Lab.
But laws in many other countries governing the use of surveillance have not kept up with its rapid development and global reach.“The lawful interception of communications must be performed with proper legal authorization, but what this authorization looks like varies across jurisdictions,”said Privacy International.
“Often, laws are vague and broadly interpreted, courts authorize and review surveillance in secret, and individuals are monitored surreptitiously and are not notified that they were placed under surveillance,” the group said.
On 3 July 2015, representatives of the Oromo Liberation Front (OLF) presented their resolution to UNPO’s XII General Assembly, affirming their abhorrence of the current situation for Oromo people in Ethiopia, and expressing their desire for more genuine democracy, greater involvement from the international community, and an end to state-sponsored violence. The UNPO adopted the resolution, thus affirming its support for the Oromo’s demands for justice and equality.
Below is the full text of the resolution:
The Oromo Liberation Front (OLF) was established in 1973/1974 by Oromo nationalists in the heart of Oromia, Finfinne (Addis Ababa) to exercise the Oromo people’s inalienable right to national self-determination, to terminate a century of oppression and exploitation, and to form the independent republic of Oromia, or where possible, a political union with other peoples based on equality, respect for mutual interests and the principle of voluntary association. Today OLF has grown and…
The founder of cybersecurity firm Hacking Team has finally spoken out over the attack that saw 400GB of its data dumped on the internet, insisting: “We’re the good guys”.
David Vincenzetti, 47, founder of the Milan-based company, told Italian newspaper La Stampa that the cyber attack – which saw the code for companies hacking tools and its email archive published online – was not enabled by poor security or weak passwords and that it could have only been an organisation “at the governmental level”.
Vincenzetti said: “This is not an impromptu initiative: the attack was planned for months, with significant resources, the extraction of data took a long time.” But he did not explain how Hacking Team apparently failed to notice the attack while it was taking place.
In response to concerns that Hacking Team supplied tools to repressive states which could be used to hack into and spy on almost anyone, Vincenzetti said: “We did [sell tools to Libya] when suddenly it seemed that the Libyans had become our best friends.” He also admitted providing tools to Egypt, Ethiopia, Morocco and Sudan, as exposed by the company’s email archive, though denied dealing with Syria.
But Vincenzetti said: “The geopolitical changes rapidly, and sometimes situations evolve. But we do not trade in weapons, we do not sell guns that can be used for years.” He said that without regular updates its tools are rapidly blocked by cyber security countermeasures.
In the case of the Ethiopian government, which used Hacking Team tools to spy on journalists and activists, Vincenzetti said: “We’re the good guys … when we heard that Galileo had been used to spy on a journalist in opposition of the government, we asked about this, and finally decided to stop supplying them in 2014.”
Meanwhile, the impact of the Hacking Team data dump continues to affect wider cubersecurity. A further two vulnerabilities within Adobe’s Flash plugin have been exposed and are actively being exploited as a result of the attack, Adobe has confirmed.
SALTED HASH-TOP SECURITY NEWS: Hacking Team hacked, attackers claim 400GB in dumped data: An email from a person linked to several domains allegedly tied to the Meles Zenawi Foundation (MZF), Ethiopia’s Prime Minister until his death in 2012, was published as part of the cache of files taken from Hacking Team
Obama is going to tie knots with TPLF-EPRDF’s Ethiopia, the poorest country on the planet – on behalf of the richest and the most powerful country of the world. That is his right. Forget the stereotypical consolation of discussing human rights and democratic governance. The main purpose is economy and security. Again forget about the highest economic growth rates fanned by financial institutions. That, there is no growth can be seen with necked eyes. Million are hungry and destitute. This trip will try to accomplish the deregulation of remaining sectors, like banking, telecoms, land, etc. As far as the peoples of the Ethiopian empire are concerned, these were already deregulated, but monopolized by TPLF business conglomerates. International corporations want their big share. – Ibsaa Gutamaa
Obama’s Pilgrimage of National Interest
By Ibsaa Guutama* | July 2015
The oppressed and abused of Africa, and their friends and sympathizers are making their voices heard high above the globe that President Obama refrain from legitimizing dictatorship and human rights abuse in Ethiopia. This is not a casual visit, but a pre-planned trip for which arrangements were made to pave the way for the diplomatic pampering of the most brutal regime in the area; a long-time Guerrilla-friendly ambassador was appointed in addition to a visit by the U.S. Assistant Secretary for African Affairs. The rulers of Ethiopia were among those that Clinton’s Democrats branded as the “new breeds of African Democrats.” Many have now fallen out of line. These ones are also starting wavering. This visit of the President may keep them in line before they jump to another bandwagon. Obviously, it is not a pilgrimage of democracy, but that of “NATIONAL INTEREST.”
Democracy is an ideal which all human beings aspire to attend. So far, we have seen attempts, not commitment, to it. It is a principle well defined by persons like Abraham Lincoln, “Government of the people for the people …” But, in most cases, it remains in principle, not in practice. Otherwise, it is assumed that democracy is the standard of political governance – which has, at least, as ingredients equality, freedom, fairly elected officers, and freedom of speech and expression. Any of this missing, there could be no democracy. As the Assistant Secretary of U.S. State Department once said, “America believes in ‘NO DEMOCRACY NO COOPERATION.’” Ethiopia lacks even the few ingredients of democracy mentioned; however, cooperation has never been lacking for the last quarter of a century. It is alright to delay one to three years, but not to abide by one’s promise for so long, for the greatest country of the world is tantalizing. If people’s sovereignty was respected, there was no need to petition a far off power for one’s internal affairs. Their problem could be solved within the region. But, that remaining a wish, expecting fairness and impartiality from those interfering is not too much. Considering their position, they have the moral responsibility to do that.
On part of the abused people, the assumption that democracies of the world will come to their rescue should have been given up long ago. But, unfortunately, protest is made through the social media, through demonstration marches, through written materials, etc. to oppose the continued cooperation. It is all in vain; world powers are blinded by national interests. Hence, the poor and oppressed peoples of Africa are left solely to themselves to fight for their rights. The real “survival of the fittest” theory is being practiced by the world against Africa. Africans have come so long on their own; they have to continue gallantly defending their land, interests and dignity – not to perish silently. Whatever they are doing, world powers are doing knowingly and convinced that they are doing the right thing. Thousands could go hungry, rot in prison, forced to flee their country, and thousands could die and disappear, they are not worth severing friendship relations with perpetrators of genocide.
Obama is going to tie knots with TPLF-EPRDF’s Ethiopia, the poorest country on the planet – on behalf of the richest and the most powerful country of the world. That is his right. Forget the stereotypical consolation of discussing human rights and democratic governance. The main purpose is economy and security. Again forget about the highest economic growth rates fanned by financial institutions. That, there is no growth can be seen with necked eyes. Million are hungry and destitute. This trip will try to accomplish the deregulation of remaining sectors, like banking, telecoms, land, etc. As far as the peoples of the Ethiopian empire are concerned, these were already deregulated, but monopolized by TPLF business conglomerates. International corporations want their big share.
As for security, the TPLF is “the key ally of the U.S.” in hunting down terrorism. Already, many Ethiopian empire’s recruits have perished unaccounted for in Somalia. TPLF is ever ready to engage whenever the U.S. pays without any limit to geography in their deployment. The visit may encourage the continuation of this relation. As for terrorism, TPLF is manufacturing them at its convenience – killing thousands, and terrorizing and imprisoning numberless. Yes, the people have risen and are rising further against the TPLF terror. It is a rise for “liberty equality, freedom and peace” – which no body claims to know its cause and effect more than America. But since terrorism is not defined, the whole population of the empire is branded as a terrorist and is subject to persecutions. It is without consideration to redefine that the package is going to be discussed to strengthen the relation. The peoples of the empire, in particular the Oromo and journalists, are going to continue being terrorized.
Let alone a big power, the tiniest being knows no limit in defending its interests. But, for human beings, there should have been moral restraints. Here, our concern is not that for now. It is a lesson from history. During the past regimes, and under the present one, whenever there is an occasion, the destitute in towns are rounded up, beaten and taken to unknown places. There, they live in crowded enclosure without enough food and water in a deplorable hygienic environment. Many perish unreported. Now that a leader of the most powerful country is coming, and since the coming is unprecedented, unprecedented measures are certainly going to be taken. What makes this time different is that thousands were recently uprooted from their homes by the land grab, and the policy to de-Oromize and expand Finfinne (Addis Ababa). The evicted are the majority of thousands of homeless in Finfinnee. A fate worse than that of the infamous Shoolaa Camp under the emperor is awaiting them. Then very few mothers, children and the elderly were saved from typhus epidemic after university students discovered them accidentally. In addition to rounding these up much more harsh measures are to be expected to impress U.S. intelligence that certainly will be there to bolster their efforts.
Many complain that the visit amounts to recognizing the atrocities committed by the notorious dictators of the Horn of Africa. Had Africa not been ruled by autocrats pretending to be elected democrats, the visit would not have happened. Only those types can serve as partners in plundering the wealth and service of the continent during this period of the New Scramble for Africa. Whether the President visits or not, his administration had already recognized legitimacy of the illegitimate. The endeavors made to “democratize, and the free and fair election” was praised by frontline cadres months ago. Was it true? What they should complain about must have been their not been ready to defend their interests as peoples. Assuming democratic values are intrinsically universal, and no double standard for it, it would have been just if the President did not make the trip his predecessors had avoided. Healthy human and political developments could have eventually served the interests he is after better and for a longer time to come. But, the world had never been just.
If the President does not come out with a conclusion that he was dealing, not with hooligans, but legitimate rulers, the agony of the peoples of the Horn is going to be double fold; for the hooligans will be more encouraged with their brutality. We wish the President a good trip to his father’s land and back to the White House. Here inHabashaa land, his Lou people are going to be considered as Americans for his participation in the American administration, as Oromo are considered likewise for Tafarii’s participation in the Ethiopian administration. This trip will give the Wayyaanee a moral boost. We will see the leaders gleaning sitting around this powerful leader of the world to get photographed for the last time. People of the empire will wake up to another miserable day worse than before.Bon Voyage, Mr. President! Viva Oromiyaa! The struggle shall continue!
Honor and glory for the fallen heroines and heroes; liberty, equality and freedom for the living, and nagaa and araaraa for the Ayyaanaa of our forefathers!
A basic mantra in statistics and data science is correlation is not causation, meaning that just because two things appear to be related to each other doesn’t mean that one causes the other. This is a lesson worth learning. If you work with data, throughout your career you’ll probably have to re-learn it several times. But you often see the principle demonstrated with a graph like this:
One line is something like a stock market index, and the other is an (almost certainly) unrelated time series like “Number of times Jennifer Lawrence is mentioned in the media.” The lines look amusingly similar. There is usually a statement like: “Correlation = 0.86″. Recall that a correlation coefficient is between +1 (a perfect linear relationship) and -1 (perfectly inversely related), with zero meaning no linear relationship at all. 0.86 is a high value, demonstrating that the statistical relationship of the two time series is strong. The correlation passes a statistical test. This is a great example of mistaking correlation for causality, right? Well, no, not really: it’s actually a time series problem analyzed poorly, and a mistake that could have been avoided. You never should have seen this correlation in the first place. The more basic problem is that the author is comparing two trended time series. The rest of this post will explain what that means, why it’s bad, and how you can avoid it fairly simply. If any of your data involves samples taken over time, and you’re exploring relationships between the series, you’ll want to read on.
Two random series
There are several ways of explaining what’s going wrong. Instead of going into the math right away, let’s look at a more intuitive visual explanation. To begin with, we’ll create two completely random time series. Each is simply a list of 100 random numbers between -1 and +1, treated as a time series. The first time is 0, then 1, etc., on up to 99. We’ll call one series Y1 (the Dow-Jones average over time) and the other Y2 (the number of Jennifer Lawrence mentions). Here they are graphed: There is no point staring at these carefully. They are random. The graphs and your intuition should tell you they are unrelated and uncorrelated. But as a test, the correlation (Pearson’s R) between Y1 and Y2 is -0.02, which is very close to zero. There is no significant relationship between them. As a second test, we do a linear regression of Y1 on Y2 to see how well Y2 can predict Y1. We get a Coefficient of Determination (R2 value) of .08 — also extremely low. Given these tests, anyone should conclude there is no relationship between them.
Now let’s tweak the time series by adding a slight rise to each. Specifically, to each series we simply add points from a slightly sloping line from (0,-3) to (99,+3). This is a rise of 6 across a span of 100. The sloping line looks like this:
Now we’ll add each point of the sloping line to the corresponding point of Y1 to get a slightly sloping series like this:
We’ll add the same sloping line to Y2:
Now let’s repeat the same tests on these new series. We get surprising results: the correlation coefficient is 0.96 — a very strong unmistakable correlation. If we regress Y on X we get a very strong R2 value of 0.92. The probability that this is due to chance is extremely low, about 1.3×10-54. These results would be enough to convince anyone that Y1 and Y2 are very strongly correlated! What’s going on? The two time series are no more related than before; we simply added a sloping line (what statisticians call trend). One trended time series regressed against another will often reveal a strong, but spurious, relationship. Put another way, we’ve introduced a mutual dependency. By introducing a trend, we’ve made Y1 dependent on X, and Y2 dependent on X as well. In a time series, X is time. Correlating Y1 and Y2 will uncover their mutual dependence — but the correlation is really just the fact that they’re both dependent on X. In many cases, as with Jennifer Lawrence’s popularity and the stock market index, what you’re really seeing is that they both increased over time in the period you’re looking at. This is sometimes called secular trend. The amount of trend determines the effect on correlation. In the example above, we needed to add only a little trend (a slope of 6/100) to change the correlation result from insignificant to highly significant. But relative to the changes in the time series itself (-1 to +1), the trend was large. A trended time series is not, of course, a bad thing. When dealing with a time series, you generally want to know whether it’s increasing or decreasing, exhibits significant periodicities or seasonalities, and so on. But in exploring relationships between two time series, you really want to know whether variations in one series are correlated with variations in another. Trend muddies these waters and should be removed.
Dealing with trend
There are many tests for detecting trend. What can you do about trend once you find it? One approach is to model the trend in each time series and use that model to remove it. So if we expected Y1 had a linear trend, we could do linear regression on it and subtract the line (in other words, replace Y1 with its residuals). Then we’d do that for Y2, then regress them against each other. There are alternative, non-parametric methods that do not require modeling. One such method for removing trend is called first differences. With first differences, you subtract from each point the point that came before it: y'(t) = y(t) – y(t-1) Another approach is called link relatives. Link relatives are similar, but they divide each point by the point that came before it: y'(t) = y(t) / y(t-1)
Once you’re aware of this effect, you’ll be surprised how often two trended time series are compared, either informally or statistically. Tyler Vigen created a web page devoted to spurious correlations, with over a dozen different graphs. Each graph shows two time series that have similar shapes but are unrelated (even comically irrelevant). The correlation coefficient is given at the bottom, and it’s usually high. How many of these relationships survive de-trending? Fortunately, Vigen provides the raw data so we can perform the tests. Some of the correlations drop considerably after de-trending. For example, here is a graph of US Crude Oil Imports from Venezuela vs Consumption of High Fructose Corn Syrup: The correlation of these series is 0.88. Now here are the time series after first-differences de-trending:
These time series look much less related, and indeed the correlation drops to 0.24. A recent blog post from Alex Jones, more tongue-in-cheek, attempts to link his company’s stock price with the number of days he worked at the company. Of course, the number of days worked is simply the time series: 1, 2, 3, 4, etc. It is a steadily rising line — pure trend! Since his company’s stock price also increased over time, of course he found correlation. In fact, every manipulation of the two variables he performed was simply another way of quantifying the trend in company price.
I was first introduced to this problem long ago in a job where I was investigating equipment failures as a function of weather. The data I had were taken over six months, winter into summer. The equipment failures rose over this period (that’s why I was investigating). Of course, the temperature rose as well. With two trended time series, I found strong correlation. I thought I was onto something until I started reading more about time series analysis. Trends occur in many time series. Before exploring relationships between two series, you should attempt to measure and control for trend. But de-trending is not a panacea because not all spurious correlation are caused by trends. Even after de-trending, two time series can be spuriously correlated. There can remain patterns such as seasonality, periodicity, and autocorrelation. Also, you may not want to de-trend naively with a method such as first differences if you expect lagged effects. Any good book on time series analysis should discuss these issues. My go-to text for statistical time series analysis is Quantitative Forecasting Methods by Farnum and Stanton (PWS-KENT, 1989). Chapter 4 of their book discusses regression over time series, including this issue. *Tom Fawcett is Principal Data Scientist at Silicon Valley Data Science. Co-author of the popular book Data Science for Business, Tom has over 20 years of experience applying machine learning and data mining in practical applications. He is a veteran of companies such as Verizon and HP Labs, and an editor of the Machine Learning Journal.
‘As recent research has shown, the problem with celebrity causes is that they tend to de-politicise policy and activism. They too often obfuscate the complex dynamics of power and socioeconomic relations in favour of a simple, catch all, solution. Celebrities can improve this situation by bringing back into the debate more stakeholders, researchers and local voices.
Thus celebrities speaking truth to power, rather than half-truths that may inadvertently serve the interests of power, may be a more promising way forward if celebrity advocacy relating to Africa is to lead to meaningful socioeconomic change.
The celebrity advocacy circuit for change in Africa lacks celebrity participation in bottom-up movements, as opposed to top-down advocacy. Bottom-up celebrity advocacy, à la Charlotte Church and Russell Brand, should itself not be void from criticism.’
Celebrity activism and support for African humanitarian causes–such as the Enough Project, Akon’s Lighting Africa and Kony 2012–has become mainstream. But what are the consequences, and is this something we necessarily want to promote?
In the 1930s, 1940s and 1950s, suffragette Sylvia Pankhurst consumed herself with lobbying in favour of a fascist-free Ethiopia. A few decades later Bob Geldof and Band Aid raised US$ 150 million for the victims of famine in Ethiopia.
Oromo nation: The Most Athletically Blessed on Earth
“The Oromo ethnic group in Ethiopia must be one of the most athletically blessed on earth. The list of long distance running champions it has produced includes Haile Gebrselassie, Abebe Bikila, and Sileshi Sihene, as well as Dibaba sisters and Derartu Tulu.” Says Olympic and World Records 2012, Keir Radnedge (Author), pp- 62-82. This is an Official London 2012 Olympic GamesPublication. Wami Biratu, Mammo Dagaga, Tolasa Qotu, Fatuma Roba, Tikki Galana, Lesisa Desisa, Tsegaye Kebede, Meseret Defar, Maryam Yusuf, Gelete Burka, Tariku Bekele, Atsede Bayisa, Mohammed Aman, Gete (Gexee) Wami, Lamma Kumsa, Abebe Mekonnen, Fita (Fixa Bayyisa), Ayelech Worku, Worku Bikila, Kuture Dulacha, Elfnesh Alemu, Abebe Tola, Maru Dhaba, Mariam Hashim, Ibrahim Said, Berhane Adere, Magarsa Tullu, Abarraa Ayyano, Mohammed Kadir, Shibbiruu Raggasaa, Nugussie Roba, Markos Geneti Guta, Tigist Fufa, Almaz Ayyaanaa are Oromians of world stars.
Genzebe Dibaba has made it a habit of turning in jaw-dropping performances over the last couple years, and today’s 1500m in Barcelona was no different, as the 24-year-old ran 3:54.11 in a race where she finished more than 18 seconds faster than second place.
Owner of four World records indoors (1500m, 3,000m, two-mile, and 5,000m), Dibaba today became the ninth fastest woman ever in the outdoor 1500, running the best time since 1997. Her 3:54 is an African record, and lowers the previous 2015 World lead (Jenny Simpson’s 3:59.31) by more than five seconds.
What’s more remarkable is that Dibaba just ran a 14:15 5k PR just four days ago in Paris. That time ranks her as the fourth-fastest woman ever over 5,000m
Oromo athletes won AREVA, 5000m in Paris, IAAF Diamond league.
Atleetoonni Oromoo dorgommii fiigichoo km 5 kan Paarisitti Sanbata Duraa, Hadooleessa 4 bara 2015 ta’e irratti qooda fudhachuun injifannoo boonsaan xumuran. Dorgommii kana irratti Ganzabeen tokkoffaa yoo baatu Almaz Ayaanaa immoo lammaffaa bawuun injifataniiru. 3ffaa fi 4ffaan atleetooa keenya yoo ta’an, Atleetonni Oromoo, sinbiree fi Galateen 5ffaa fi 6ffaa bawuun xumurani.
Oromo athletes, Genzebe Dibaba (1st) & Almaz Ayana (2nd), won 5000m Paris AREVA IAAF DIAMOND LEAGUE. 4 July 2015
Kenyan Mercy Cherono (3rd)and Viola Kibiwot 4th. Oromians Senbere Teferi (5th) and Geleta Burka (6th).
Genzebe Dibaba and Almaz Ayana threw almost everything they had at their assault on the 5000m world record in Paris on Saturday (4).
The results will show Dibaba claimed the victory at the IAAF Diamond League meeting in a personal best and meeting record of 14:15.41, with the hard-working Ayana second in 14:21.97, some seven seconds outside her solo world lead from Shanghai in May.
But that doesn’t tell the full tale of a race in which the pair had been meant to share the pace as they attacked Tirunesh Dibaba’s world record from 2008.
It was actually Ayana who did the lion’s share as the tempo fluctuated from six seconds down to five seconds up on record pace at half way, before they finally faltered over the last kilometre.
Dibaba bided her time for much of the race before pouncing at the bell and running a last 200m of 31.3 to leave her compatriot in her wake.
It was all a bit déjà vu for Ayana, who finished second to the elder Dibaba here in 2013, a performance that persuaded her to switch to 5000m after some early career success in the steeplechase, and drew her back here this evening with the world record in her sights.
The throat-gripping stickiness of earlier in the day had given way to a warm breeze by the start of the race, making the conditions almost perfect for a record attempt.
Or so it seemed.
When the first 1000m went by in a sluggish 2:54.12, six seconds down on record pace, Ayana decided she’d had enough and took off with the younger Dibaba on her heels.
She put in a near suicidal 63.6 fifth lap and pulled her rival through 2000m in 5:38.98, now five seconds up. Dibaba then moved to the front for around 800 metres until Ayana led again through 3000m in 8:36.17.
At 4000m, they were just 0.11 inside Tirunesh’s time, and Ayana was visibly tiring.
Tirunesh had run the last 1000m in 2:42.71 in Oslo, so this was going to be tough.
END OF AGREEMENT
Ayana ploughed on, but Dibaba spotted her chance and flew away at the bell to run a last lap of 61.17.
“The pace of Ayana was too fast for me,” said Dibaba. “That is why I went to my race. I knew there was an agreement before but I could not follow that pace. When it was clear there was no world record I concentrated on my win.”
Ayana saw things differently. “I’m disappointed because the agreement was not kept,” she said. “I did more laps than my rival, especially after 2k. Next time I will run different.”
Younger sister of Tirunesh Dibaba, 24-year-old Oromo athlete Genzebe Dibaba – also hailing from Bekoji, Oromia – won the Diamond League 5K Meet in Oslo, Norway, on June 11, 2015. Among others, she was also cheered by her Oromo supporters in Norway. Oromo athletes Sinbiree and Galate Burqa completed 2nd and 4th respectively.
WORLD LEADS FOR OROMO ATHLETES YOMIF QAJELCHA (KEJELCHA) AND AMAN IN ROME – IAAF DIAMOND LEAGUE. THURSDAY, 4TH JUNE 2015.
Yomif Qajelcha (Kejelcha), author of the best world performance of the season on 5000m in Eugene last on Friday, 29 May 2015 (13’10 “54), improved his own mark in Rome, on the occasion of the fourth stage of the Diamond League, Thursday, 4th June 2015. The young Oromo athlete (17) won in 12’58 “39, before the Kenyan Paul Kipngetich Tanui (12’58” 69). The world 800m champion Mohammed Aman won over two laps of the track in a world-leading 1:43.56.
Sifan Hassan was second in in 1500m women’s race.
Oromia Athletic nation World News
Oromo athlete Sutume Asefa Kebede produced a stunning performance in the BIG 25 Berlin on Sunday May 10, 2015.
Despite 60mph gusts of wind, Oromian newcomer Sutume Asefa Kebede smashed Ejegayehu Dibaba’s national 25km record at the BIG 25 Berlin on Sunday 10 may 2015.
The 21-year-old front-ran to the finish-line in the historic Berlin Olympic Stadium, smashing Ejegayehu Dibaba’s national record with a time of 1:21:55. Despite the windy conditions, Sutume was 19 seconds faster than Ejegayehu Dibaba in Chicago in 2011.
Sutum’s time is a world-lead, and the fifth fastest ever run at this distance. The Oromian was more than four minutes faster than second placed Kenyan Winny Jepkorir who clocked 1:25:59. Elizeba Cherono of Kenya was third with 1:26:59.
Sutume set two lifetime bests en route to victory: 31:05 at 10km, and 68:23 through the halfway mark.
“I am very happy to have broken the national record. I did not expect this to happen today,” said Sutume, who now intends to run the 5000 m on track. “In the autumn I will run road races again.”
Just going faster and faster, Ayana smashed her rivals to win by about 150 metres in 14:14.32.
It was a personal best, a meeting record, an Asian all-comers’ record and an IAAF Diamond League record. Only world record-holder Tirunesh Dibaba (14:11.15) and Meseret Defar (14:12.88), both Oromo athletes, have ever gone faster and Ayana might have topped those times too had she had more competition over the last half of the race.
The 23-year-old Ayana took the bronze medal at the 2013 IAAF World Championships and last year won the IAAF Continental Cup in Marrakech. She has form.
Two years ago, Ayana clung resolutely to Dibaba’s heels as her more illustrious countrywoman ran 14:23.68 at the Paris IAAF Diamond League meeting. Ayana’s reward then was second place in 14:25.84, which remained her personal best coming into Shanghai.
On a cool Sunday night which inevitably suffered a little in contrast to Friday’s IAAF Diamond League opener in Doha, Ayana led after five laps and ran solo from just before the 3000m mark.
At that stage, Kenya’s Viola Kibiwot was still vaguely in contact, but in reality, her only hope of catching Ayana would have been to hail a taxi. Even then it would have been doubtful as the field was spread out all around the track.
It was never hard to spot Ayana, however; you just looked for the woman who was obviously running fast.
With Global Sports physiotherapist Joost Vollaard helping with translation, Ayana said she was not aware of how close she was to the world record.
“I was trying for 14:20, I didn’t think of the world record,” she explained. “I was surprised; it was much faster than I had in mind.”
Based in Finfinnee, Ayana is training just outside the city. She is coached by her husband, 1500m runner Soresa Fida.
#Oromo athlete #Mamitu#Daska created marathon magic at #TCS World 10k in #Bengaluru, India, 17 May 2015 on a fine Sunday.
The story of the day was the spirit of competition, as the entirety of the race was contested in the best possible manner.
Mamitu Daska produced a world-class performance, winning the run but missing the overall course record by 9 seconds. Mamitu ended the race on a high,steering ahead of the competition by a clear 13 seconds, she ended the run with an overall time of 00:31:57. Although Mamitu had pulled far into the lead, the battle for second and third was a thrilling encounter with both Wude Ayalew and Gladys Chesir exchanging positions at the 7km mark. Wude raced ahead by two seconds finishing second at 00:32:10.
Speaking about her medal-winning performance, Mamitu said “I am really happy to end the run on a winning note. Though I was comfortable for the first four kilometres, it got a bit tougher. However I took initiative to push myself after that and crossed the finish line before my competition.”
In the international category of World 10K for Elite Men proceedings as Mosinet Geremew stole the show. The race to claim top honours was tightly contested with the top three finishers separated by 2 seconds each, Geremew emerged victorious, clocking in a time of 00:28:16. His fellow countryman Fikadu Seboka finished second with a timing of 00:28:18, followed by Edwin Kiptoo from Kenya who finished his run in 00:28:20.
Oromians won both the men’s and the women’s races at Riga Marathon Course, the IAAF Bronze Label Road Race on Sunday (17 May 2015).#Oromoathlete Haile #Tolossa Smashes #Riga#Marathon Course Record in men’s race on Sunday 17th May 2015.
In a race where three men ran well inside the previous course record, Haile Tolossa triumphed with a PB of 2:12:29 to record the fastest marathon ever on Latvian soil. Beyene #Effa held on for second place in 2:12:52, also a PB. Duncan Koech of Kenya 3rd in 2:12:53.
Compatriot Oromo athlete #Meseret#Eshetu#Damedominated the women’s race, winning by more than five minutes in 2:37:04 to narrowly miss the course record by 13 seconds.
Oromo athlete Workenesh Tola and Kenya’s Ruth Wanjiru had been running side by side for the majority of the race. Having long passed the fading Chepkemoi, it was only in the final two kilometres thatOromia’s Tola began to pull away, eventually taking second place in 2:42:07.Leading resultsMen
1 Haile Tolossa 2:12:29
2 Beyene Effa 2:12:52
3 Duncan Koech 2:12:53Women
1 Meseret Eshetu Dame 2:37:04
2 Workenesh Tola 2:42:07
3 Ruth Wanjiru 2:42:29
World indoor champion #Oromo athlete #Genzebe#Dibaba was named sportswoman of the year at the Laureus World Sports Awards in Shanghai on Wednesday ( 15th April 2015).
DIBABA NAMED SPORTSWOMAN OF THE YEAR AT LAUREUS WORLD SPORTS AWARDS
World indoor champion Genzebe Dibaba was named sportswoman of the year at the Laureus World Sports Awards in Shanghai on Wednesday (15).
The middle-distance runner became the first sportsperson from Ethiopia to win an award in any category at the prestigious event, which began in 2000.
Dibaba was rewarded for her 2014 season in which she set world indoor records for 1500m and 3000m as well as a world indoor best for two miles.
Outdoors, she went on to record world-leading times over 5000m and 2000m before ending her season with 3000m victory at the IAAF Continental Cup in Marrakech.
On a night in which Renaud Lavillenie, Valerie Adams and Jo Pavey were nominated for other awards, Dibaba was the only winner from the sport of athletics.
Adams was nominated in the same category as Dibaba, while Lavillenie was nominated for the sportsman of the year award, which was given to tennis star Novak Djokovic. Pavey was one of the contenders for the comeback of the year award, which eventually went to rugby player Schalk Burger.
But other legendary athletes played a part in the ceremony. USA’s 400m world record-holder Michael Johnson presented Chinese tennis player Li Na with the exceptional achievement award, while recently retired sprint hurdler Liu Xiang joined Chinese opera singer Liao Changyong on stage for a surprise performance. http://www.iaaf.org/news/news/laureus-awards-2015-genzebe-dibaba
OROMO ATHLETE GENZEBE DIBABA RUNS SECOND-FASTEST 5KM IN HISTORY AT CARLSBAD 5000.
29 MAR 2015REPORTCARLSBAD, UNITED STATES
Two-time world indoor champion Genzebe Dibaba narrowly missed out on breaking the world best at the Carlsbad 5000, but her winning time of 14:48 was the second-fastest ever recorded for 5km on the roads.
The 24-year-old owns the fastest times in history across four distances indoors, and had been hoping to add another mark to her growing collection. Just like three of her indoor record-breaking performances, she was targeting a time that had been set by Meseret Defar. The two-time Olympic champion ran 14:46 in Carlsbad in 2006.http://www.iaaf.org/news/report/carlsbad-5000-2015-genzebe-dibaba-lalang
Injifannoo gammachisaa!!! #Oromo athlete Abera #Kuma from Oromia, pulled away from his rivals in the last seven kilometres of the 35th edition of de NN #Rotterdam#Marathon, an IAAF Gold Label Road Race, to win in 2.06.46 on Sunday (12).
Kenya’s Mark Kiptoo finished second in 2:07:20 and his compatriot Bernard Koech, who did a lot of work in the second part of the race, was third in 2.08.02.
“I was waiting for the more experienced runners to make a move,” reflected Kuma after the third marathon of his career. “I did come here for a personal best but, when the pace slowed down, I decided to try to win the race.”
Oromo athlete Abdi Nageeye was the fastest in the race for the Dutch national title. He finished ninth overall in 2.12.32.
Sisay #Lemma won the 32nd #Vienna City Marathon in 2:07:31 in windy and relatively warm weather conditions at the IAAF Gold Label Road Race on Sunday (12). Kenya’s Duncan Koech was second with 2:12:14 while #SirajGena took third in 2:12:48.
On same day Oromo athletes #Meseret Mengistu Biru and her compatriot Amane Gobena win the Paris Womens Marathon. Seboka #Tola was 3rd in men’s marathon. #Oromo athletes Meseret #Mengistu Biru and her compatriot Amane #Gobenawin the #Paris Womens#Marathon. Seboka #Tola was 3rd in mens marathon.
Injifannoo atileetota Oromoo.
Oromo athletes E. Shumi and B. #Dibaba were crowned champions of#Tokyo#Marathon, Sunday 22nd February 2015. #Oromia. #Africa
Endeshaw #Negesse Shumi clocked a time 2:05:59 to win the men’s race and to beat Olympic and World Champion Stephen Kiprotich of Uganda, who clocked a personal best and national record time of 2:06:30. Kenya’s Dickinson Chumba finished 3rd in 2:06:32.
The women’s Tokyo Marathon winner Birhane Dibabaclocked 2:23:15. Kenya’s Helah Kiprop clocked a personal best time of 2:24:03 to take second while Olympic Champion Tiki #Gelana (#Oromia) was third with a time of 2:24:26.
Congratulations to Oromia’s marathoners Angasaa and Qanani in Indore just like those in Tokyo!
INDORE: Runners from Oromia dominated the inaugural edition of Indore Marathon organised by the Association of Indore Marathoners in the city on Sunday 22nd February 2015.
While all three winners in men’s 21-km open category were Oromians (Oromos), it was their compatriots who were among two of the top three finishers in the women’s open category of the same event.
In the 21-km half marathon men’s open category,Oromia’s Angasa Ware clinched the first place clocking a time of one hour, five minutes and just over 42 seconds, while compatriot Abera Demelash was a close second. Their country mate, management graduate Belay Shimelis stood third.
In the women’s open category of the same event, Oromian Keneni Kome timed one hour, 18 minutes and 58 seconds to win the race, while Kenyan Linal Chirchir stood second and Oromia’s Adanech Jefare secured the third position.
Dibaba broke her fourth indoor world record in just over a year
World indoor champion Oromo athlete Genzebe Dibaba clocked 14:18.86 to beat previous record by more than five seconds at XL Galan meeting in Stockholm, Sweden on 19th February 2015.
Netherland’s European 1500m champion Oromo athlete Sifan Hassan clocked a world-leading indoor personal best of 4:00.46 to win the women’s race. German based Homiyu Tesfaye ran world-leading 1,500 time of 3:34:13.
Oromo athlete Genzebe Dibaba is now the holder of four world indoor records or world bests after clocking 14:18.86 to break the 5000m mark at the XL Galan meeting in Stockholm, Sweden, on Thursday.
With that time the two-time world indoor gold medallist beat the previous world indoor 5000m record set by her compatriot Meseret Defar – also run in Stockholm in 2009 – by more than five seconds. Her 3000m split time of 8:37 is the quickest that distance has been run so far this year.
Dibaba adds this most recent world record to the world indoor records she ran over 1500m and 3000m and the world indoor best she clocked over 2 miles all within 15 days last year. The 3000m record was run at XL Galan, with Defar the previous holder of that record, too.
On Thursday Dibaba finished more than a minute clear of her closest rival, Birtukan Fente, who ran 15:22.56. Oromo athletes filled the top three spots as Birtukan Adamu was third with 15:34.15.
LAVILLENIE, ADAMS, OROMO ATHLETE GENZEBE DIBABA AND PAVEY AMONG 2015 LAUREUS WORLD SPORTSMAN AND SORTSWOMAN NOMINEES.
Read more as follows:
‘IAAF World Athletes of the Year Renaud Lavillenie and Valerie Adams are among the nominees for the 2015 Laureus World Sportsman and Sportswoman of the Year awards.
Lavillenie, in addition to memorably breaking Sergey Bubka’s long-standing pole vault world record last February, was only beaten once during a momentous year.
Outside of athletics, the other male nominees are (in alphabetical order) Serbian tennis player Novak Djokovic, British racing driver Lewis Hamilton, British golfer Rory McIlroy Spanish motorcyclist Marc Marquez and Portuguese footballer Cristiano Ronaldo.
Adams is joined on the list of female nominees by Ethiopian distance runner Genzebe Dibaba; as well skiers Marit Bjorgen and Tina Maze, from Norway and Slovenia respectively, and tennis players Li Na and Serena Williams, from China and the USA.
British distance runner Jo Pavey, who won the European 10,000m title in Zurich last summer at the age of 40 and just 10 months after giving birth, is nominated in the Comeback of the Year category.
The 16th Laureus World Sports Awards will recognise sporting achievement during the calendar year of 2014 and is the premier honours event on the international sporting calendar.
The winners are voted for by the Laureus World Sports Academy, which is made up of 48 of the greatest sportsmen and sportswomen of all time, and they will be unveiled at a globally televised Awards Ceremony staged in the Grand Theatre, Shanghai, on Wednesday 15 April.
“This is going to be yet another classic year. Each year we think the list of Nominees cannot get better, but then it does. The Sportsman of the Year and Team of the Year categories look amazing. You could make a case for every nominee to be the winner,” said Laureus World Sports Academy chairman and former 400m hurdles world record-holder Edwin Moses.’ http://www.iaaf.org/…/news/lavillenie-adams-dibaba-pavey-la…
February 2, 2015 (IAAF) — The world 5000m bronze medallist and Continental Cup winner Oromo athlete Almaz Ayana chats about some of the best things in her world.
Best friend in athletics
My best friend in athletics is Soresa Fida (a 3:34 1500m runner) who is also my husband and always my first source of advice.
Best achievement in athletics
My best achievement is the 5000m victory at the 2014 Continental Cup in Marrakech The other one would be winning a bronze medal in the 5000m at the Moscow World Championships, which was a real breakthrough performance.
Best piece of advice
Every one of us, wherever we live or whoever we are, must work for peacefulness in our world. We are given this world to live in for free and leave it only by the grace of almighty God.
Up until this point in my life, I have no regrets.
I have a weakness in terms of the finish of my races. This is something I am working hard to improve.
I am always highly disappointed when I cannot make a good result in top competitions, like at the 2014 IAAF Diamond League in Brussels (Almaz placed down in ninth in the 3000m). I always want to show my best and I’m unhappy if other circumstances such as illness or injury hold me back.
Best athlete I ever saw
Tirunesh Dibaba is my idol. She has shown great discipline and character throughout her career.
I have many great rivals but, in the race, time is my biggest rival.
Biggest achievement outside of athletics
I was living in a very small rented room for long time, but recently I bought my own residential house where I am living with my beloved husband.
Competing at the Moscow Olympic Stadium at the 2013 World Championships was the most exciting event in my life. It was an impressive stadium with a great atmosphere and crowd.
Almaz Ayana on her way to winning the 5000m at the IAAF Continental Cup, Marrakech 2014 (Getty Images)[/caption]Almaz Ayana in the 5000m at the 2013 IAAF World Championships (Getty Images)[/caption]
Almaz Ayana in the 5000m at the 2014 IAAF Continental Cup (Getty Images)
Almaz Ayana on her way to winning the 5000m at the IAAF Continental Cup, Marrakech 2014
Source: IAAF.org and http://ayyaantuu.com/sport/personal-bests-almaz-ayana/
HASSAN THE STAR ON A NIGHT OF SIX WORLD LEADS IN KARLSRUHE
February 3, 2015 (IAAF) — The Netherlands’ European 1500m champion Sifan Hassan provided the outstanding performance at the first IAAF Indoor Permit meeting of 2015 when she sped to a national record and world-leading 1500m time of 4:02.57 at the Indoor Meeting Karlsruhe on Saturday (31).
Hassan moved away from Ethiopia’s 20-year-old world indoor silver medallist Axumawit Embaye off the final bend, although the latter was second in an indoor personal best of 4:02.92.
There were five other world-leading marks in the German city.
Turkey’s Ilhan Tanui Ozbilen won the men’s 1500m in 3:38.05, edging out Kenya’s Nixon Chepseba who was second in 3:38.12.
France’s Dmitri Bascou won the 60m hurdles in 7.53, having run the same time in his heat.
“Moments after the start tonight (in the final), I made a big mistake. Had this not happened, I would have run under 7.50 tonight,” said Bascou.
China’s Xie Wenjun was second in 7.62 and Great Britain’s Lawrence Clarke was third in 7.63, equalling his personal best.
Great Britain’s Dina Asher-Smith sped to a 60m time of 7.12, like Bascou, having run as quickly in her preliminary round.
The Briton’s route to victory was eased by the fact that the Netherlands’ European 100m and 200m champion Dafne Schippers, who had also run 7.12 in her heat, was disqualified in the final for a false start.
“I had not reckoned with this time tonight,” bubbled Asher-Smith. “I’m quite surprised how well I ran tonight.”
Spain’s Eusebio Caceres took the long jump honours with an indoor PB of 8.16m.
The Spaniard was languishing down in fifth place with 7.75m before posting his winning attempt in the final round. It spoiled a potential celebration for Germany’s Julian Howard, who actually hails from Karlsruhe and who had leapt an indoor best of 8.04m in the second round
Russia’s former European junior 3000m champion Yelena Korobkina won over 15 laps of the track in a personal best of 8:47.61, almost three seconds faster than she had ever run before under any conditions.
Great Britain’s Laura Muir was second in 8:49.73 with the first seven women home in indoor personal bests.
Lavillenie fails at 6.01m
Not participating in the orgy of world-leading marks was the evening’s headline act, Renaud Lavillenie.
The French vaulter initially looked a bit off his game, after going over 6.00m in Rouen last Saturday, and missed his opening jump at 5.73m.
He then recovered on his next attempt, posting a meeting record of 5.86m on his first try for the victory.
However, he was unsuccessful at what would have been a world-leading 6.01m.
“I was feeling a little tired tonight,” said Lavillenie. “It’s not easy to jump six metres every time out. I had great pleasure in breaking the meeting record, so I’m not unhappy.”
Russia’s Aleksandr Gripich finished second in an indoor best of 5.73m.
USA’s Funmi Jimoh won the women’s long jump with a 6.71m leap right at the end to beat Sweden’s Erica Jarder, who was second with 6.69m. Germany’s world-leading Sosthene Moguenara finished third, also with 6.69m.
Paul Kipsiele Koech’s win in the men’s 3000m never seemed in doubt as he cruised to a 7:45.41 win ahead of Germany’s Richard Ringer, who clocked a best of 7:46.18
US shot putters Christian Cantwell and Ryan Whiting, second and first in Dusseldorf on Thursday, swapped places as Cantwell won with 20.77m to Whiting’s 20.72m.
Susanna Kallur returned to the city of her 2008 world record in the 60m hurdles, running a competitive race over the barriers for the first time since 2010.
The Swede, in the wake of her well-documented injury woes over the past few years, posted creditable 8.14 times in both her heat and final but the competition belonged to Germany’s Cindy Roleder, who won with 8.03 in the final.
Oromo athletes: Lemi Berhanu surprises while Aselefech Mergia makes magnificent Marathon Comeback in the 2015 Dubai Marathon
Note: 90% of Athletes in the ranking positions are Oromo athletes from Oromia
January 23, 2015 (IAAF) — Ethiopia’s Lemi Berhanu emerged as the unexpected champion at the 2015 Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon, crossing the line at the IAAF Gold Label Road Race in a world-leading time and big personal best of 2:05:28 on Friday (23)
It was not a debutants’ triumph as has been the case for the past three years but it was definitely surprise as the 21-year-old Ethiopian – wearing a bib with his extended family name of Hayle on it – left behind some of the biggest names in long-distance running.
Lelisa Desisa, the 2013 Dubai and Boston Marathon champion, took second in 2:05:52 while Deribe Robi completed the all-Ethiopian podium with a time of 2:06:06.
Fourth was Ethiopia’s Feyisa Lilesa in 2:06:35 followed by two more Ethiopians, Sisay Lemma in a personal best of 2:07:06 and Bazu Worku in 2:07:09. Indeed, the top 12 men were all Ethiopian runners.
Split times of 14:39 for 5km and 29:22 for 10km initially pointed towards a sub-2:04 finishing time.
However, the pacemakers could not sustain the pace and when a group of 15 runners reached the 25km mark in 1:13:57, none of them was left in the race.
Five more runners lost contact during the next five kilometres, among them Kenenisa Bekele.
It was Desisa who surged ahead at the 30km refreshment station to take his bottle. The Ethiopian kept going and five countrymen went with him: Robi, Lemma, Lelisa, Girmay Birhanu and Lemi Berhanu.
Five kilometres from the finish a duel between Desisa, who was also second in New York last November, and Lemi Berhanu developed and the latter was able to drop the much more experienced Desisa with about one kilometre to go.
Dream come true in Dubai
“I would never have thought that I could win this race,” said Berhanu, who had won his debut race in Zurich last year with 2:10:40. “It was my dream to do this in Dubai one day, but not this year! With around one kilometre to go, I sensed that I could succeed.”
He has now improved by more than five minutes and is unbeaten in two races.
“If my federation selects me then I would really like to run the marathon in the World Championships in the summer,” added Berhanu, who said he had no idea what to do with the first prize cheque of US$200,000. “I never thought about the money. I really don’t know what I will do with it.”
By contrast, Dubai proved a tough and disappointing marathon experience for Bekele.
Ethiopia’s superstar, in his third marathon, dropped out just beyond the 30km mark, appearing to suffer from a leg injury. He had been in the leading group up to the 28km mark.
“Kenenisa suffered hamstring problems in both legs,” explained his coach Renato Canova.
“But I think the real problem is in his right achilles tendon. At the end of November, he had to reduce training because of this but then it got better and, actually, his final training sessions looked encouraging. A world record was never a realistic target, but a 2:04 time seemed realistic.
“However, when I saw him running today he did not look relaxed, he looked tight. I think this is the reason why he developed hamstring problems. Something must have happened in the final few days before the race,” added the Italian coach. “We now have to solve this tendon problem but for his future marathon career I remain very confident. I think he will do really well.”
Mergia a motivated mother
Making it a marvellous day for Ethiopian runners, other than Bekele, Aselefech Mergia produced a perfect comeback in the women’s race.
Having taken an extensive break from competition to have a baby, the 2011 and 2012 Dubai champion returned to run a marathon for the first time since her disappointing 42nd place at the 2012 Olympics and won in 2:20:02, just 31 seconds outside her course record from three years ago.
In a thrilling battle right to the line, Kenya’s world half marathon champion Gladys Cherono was beaten by just one second in what was the third-fastest marathon debut.
Another Kenyan, Lucy Kabuu, was third in 2:20:21 in a race which saw 10 women run faster than 2:24.
Ethiopia’s Tigist Tufa broke clear shortly after the start and maintained a daunting pace, leading a talented chasing group by a minute at 20km, which was reached in 1:05:23 and suggested a 2:18 finishing time.
However, Tufa paid the price in the end and was caught at 34km by a five-woman group consisting of Mergia, fellow Ethiopians Aberu Kebede and Shure Demissie, Kabuu and Cherono.
The group was reduced to three with just over three kilometres remaining after Kebede and Demissie were dropped, before Mergia eventually proved the strongest in the final kilometre.
“I told myself after having my daughter that I could win a marathon again,” said Mergia, who was watched by her husband and baby daughter. “We used the prize money from my first two wins in Dubai to begin building a hotel back home, now we’ll be able to complete the job.”
Ethiopian runners took the next four places. Fourth was teenager Demissie in a world junior best of 2:20:59, and the fifth fastest debut on record; with Kebede in 2:21:17, 2014 Dubai champion Mulu Seboka in 2:21:56 and then Alemu Bekele in 2:22:51 the next three women across the line.
Read more at: http://ayyaantuu.com/sport/lemi-berhanu-surprises-while-aselefech-mergia-makes-magnificent-marathon-comeback-in-dubai/
Oromo Athlete Dibaba Successfully Defends Her Xiamen Title as Both Course Records Fall.
January 5, 2015 (IAAF)
Oromo’s (Oromian) Mare Dibaba won the Xiamen Marathon for the second year in succession, taking more than one-and-a-half minutes off the course record she set last year at the IAAF Gold Label Road Race, winning in 2:19:52 on Saturday (3).
For the first time since the inaugural Xiamen Marathon in 2003, both course records were broken as Kenya’s Moses Mosop set a Chinese all-comers’ record of 2:06:19 to win the men’s race on a day when runners were met with ideal conditions with temperatures in the range of 11-15°C.
The organisers had made some adjustments to the route due to some construction-related concerns in the city. Some of the more undulating parts of the course – including the Yanwu Bridge that stretches over the sea – had been taken out.
When Dibaba won in Xiamen last year, she took 61 seconds off the course record and crossed the line five minutes ahead of her nearest rival.
This time, her victory was even more emphatic.
Dibaba built up a significant lead in the early stages of the race and maintained it all the way to the finish, despite some problems with her legs after 33km.
By equalling her PB of 2:19:52, she covered the course one minute and 44 seconds quicker than she did last year, finishing almost eight minutes ahead of Meseret Legesse, who once again finished second to Dibaba for the second year running.
“I could have run faster but I felt a little bit pain in my legs in the last 10km which forced me to slow down,” said the 25-year-old who finished third in Boston and second in Chicago last year. “But I am happy with the result.”
Dibaba had also aimed to break the Chinese all-comers’ record of 2:19:39, set by Sun Yingjie in 2003, and the organisers had offered an extra bonus for achieving such a feat, but Dibaba missed that mark by just 13 seconds.
“I was trying to break the record and I missed it by a few seconds, which was a pity, but I am happy to break the race record,” said Dibaba, who represented Ethiopia in the marathon at the 2012 Olympics. “The new course is very good and the fans along the road were so supportive from the beginning to the end of the race.”
Legesse was about a minute slower than last year, finishing second in 2:27:38. In third, Kenya’s Meriem Wangari set a PB of 2:27:53. It was the second time the 35-year-old had made it on to the podium in Xiamen, having finished second on her marathon debut in 2012.
Mosop back to winning ways
Back in 2011, Mosop made a promising start to his marathon-running career, clocking 2:03:06 on Boston’s record-ineligible course on his debut at the distance and then winning the Chicago Marathon with a course record of 2:05:37 later that year.
But in recent times, the 29-year-old has struggled to recapture that form. He finished eighth at the 2013 Chicago Marathon and a distant 12th in Prague last May, clocking 2:20:37. So when he lined up in Xiamen, he was something of an unknown quantity.
Unlike the women’s race, the men’s contest was more competitive.
A pack of 10 runners ran shoulder to shoulder after 7.5km and passed the 15km check point in 44:50. After 20km was reached in 1:00:20, the leading group was trimmed to six men as Ethiopia’s world bronze medallist Tadese Tola, the fastest man in the race with a PB of 2:04:49, was left behind.
The pace maker dropped out at the 30km mark, but the pace did not slow down. Regassa tried to pull away but was soon caught by Mosop and Ethiopia’s Abrha Milaw.
The leading trio ran alongside one another for a further 5km before Milaw slowed down. Mosop seized the lead at 40km and kept extending his advantage over Regassa untill he hit the finish line in 2:06:19 to take more than a minute off the course record set in 2013 by Oromia’s Getachew Terfa Negari.
Mosop’s time was also the fastest marathon ever recorded on Chinese soil, bettering the 2:06:32 set by the late Samuel Wanjiru when winning the 2008 Olympic title in Beijing.
“I planned to run in sub-2:06 in Xiamen, but I am happy with this result,” said Mosop, who has a PB of 2:05:03. “I have been troubled with injuries – first a knee injury and than an injury in the calf – for two years. Winning in Xiamen at the start of the season is a huge boost for me.”
Mosop’s next marathon will be in Paris in April.
Regassa was also inside the previous course record, clocking 2:06:54 in second place. Milaw finished third in 2:08:09, nine seconds ahead of Kenya’s Robert Kwambai. Tola was a distant fifth in 2:10:30.
In total, more than 43,000 runners competed in the marathon and half-marathon races.
1 Moses Mosop (KEN) 2:06:19
2 Tilahun Regassa (Oro) 2:06:54
3 Abrha Milaw (ETH) 2:08:09
4 Robert Kwambai (KEN) 2:08:18
5 Tadese Tola (Oro) 2:10:30
1 Mare Dibaba (Oro) 2:19:52
2 Meseret Legesse (Oro) 2:27:38
3 Meriem Wangari (KEN) 2:27:53
4 Meseret Godana (Oro) 2:36:11
5 Cao Mojie (CHN) 2:43:06
In a record-breaking edition of the #Airtel New #DelhiHalf-Marathon on Sunday (23 November 2014), an unprecedented nine runners ducked under the one-hour mark led by the great #Oromo athlete #Guye#Adola in a course record of 59:06.
The 24-year-old, who won a bronze medal at the #IAAFWorld Half-Marathon Championships in #Copenhagenin March, had the measure of the gold medallist Geoffrey Kamworor this time.
In the deepest race of all-time, #Adola powered to a personal best of 59:06 to defeat #Kamworor – who arrived in the Indian capital unbeaten at the half-marathon in 2014 – by one second.
“The competition was hard, but I am very happy with my podium finish. It was bit cold in the early morning. But I am happy with my timing, and more so because I broke the course record,” said Adola.
Mosinet Geremew finished third in 59:11 while further back, the world-leader Abraham #Cheroben from Kenya placed seventh, albeit in 59:21!
The women’s race was a comparatively sedate affair with world record-holder Florence Kiplagat taking the plaudits in 70:04 in a race which boiled down to a sprint finish on the track inside the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium.
“It was a very nice and strong field today, very tight group. I knew that if I stuck to the group, I could win and that was my strategy for today,” said the winner.
“Coming into the race as defending champion, there was no pressure on me. I just had to believe in myself and I know I could win back the title.”
World half-marathon champion Gladys #Cherono from and Worknesh #Degefafrom took second and third in 70:05 and 70:07 respectively.
Oromo Athlete Amane Gobena takes the honour at the Istanbul Marathon for the third time
November 17, 2014 (IAAF) — Amane Gobena took the honours at the 2014 Vodafone Istanbul Marathon, winning at the IAAF Gold Label Road Race in 2:28:46 on Sunday (16).
The women’s race had a runner who decided to take matters into her own hands early in the race.
Local road running talent Ummu Kiraz of Turkey led from the start and passed 5km in 17:50 and 10km in 35:25. However, Ethiopia’s Emebt Etea, Amane Gobena and Salomie Getnet kept the gap to around 80 metres, with the home hope Elvan Abeylegesse, Ukraine’s Olena Burkovska and London 2012 Olympic Games bronze medallist Tatyana Petrova Arkhipova close behind.
By the halfway point, covered in 1:14:52, Kiraz was still in the lead by 29 seconds over what had become a six-women pack,
However, around 25 kilometres, race favourite Gobena decided to haul in Kiraz and increased her pace, taking the lead two kilometres later and she passed 30km at 1:46:03, 26 seconds faster than Kiraz and Getnet.
Abeylegesse was running just behind the chasing pair but Burkovska and Petrova Arkhipova were by now another 100 metres in arrears.
Gobena carried on forging ahead and remained unchallenged until the finish line, finishing almost two minutes ahead of anyone else.
Getnet was second in 2:30:36, Burkovska was third with 2:31:30 and Petrova Arkhipova took fourth place with 2:31:47.
Former 5000m world record holder Abeylegessie was fifth in 2:32:15 with the early leader Kiraz eventually finishing sixth in 2:32:52
“I’m very happy to be here for the third time and win for the first” said the 32-year-old Gobena, who was finished third in Istanbul in 2010 and second in 2012.
Her only disappointment was missing out on the course record of 2:27:25, set in 2010 by her compatriot Ashu Kasim Rabo, with race organisers having high hopes that the mark might be improved upon this year.
Hafid Chani, from Morocco, won the men’s competition, finishing the 42-kilometer course in two hours, 11 minutes and 53 seconds, becoming the first athlete from Morocco to win the race in its history. Chani will a $50,000 prize for finishing first.
Oromo athlete Gebo Burka came second after finishing the course in 2:12.23, while Kenya’s Michael Kiprop followed him in a time of 2:12.39.
Burka will receive $25,000, while Kiprop is set to go home with $15,000.
Approximately 25,000 runners from 118 countries registered to compete in today’s races which also included a 15km race and a 10km race.
Oromo athlete Abarraa #Kumaa (Abera#Kuma) wins #Zevenheuvelenloop on Sunday, 16th November 2014.
The Seven Hills Run in #Nijmegen won Sunday by Oromo athlete Abarraa Kumaa. The big favorite and defending champion, Leonard Patrick Komon dropped out midway. He could not keep up the pace.
Kuma was part of a leading group with, among other world record holders Leonard Komon and Zersenay Tadese. These two top runners were on#Zevenheuvelenweg let the leaders go when Kuma accelerated. The Oromian then fought a battle with his compatriots Yigrem Demelash, Yenew Alamirew and Tesfaye Abera. Eventually he arrived solo at the finish.
Gammachuu!!! Gammachuu!!! Injifannoo Atileetota Oromoof! Victory to Oromo athletes! Amanee Gobanaa (Women’s race) and Gebo Burqaa (2nd in men’s race) took the honours at the 2014 Vodafone Istanbul Marathon, winning at the IAAF Gold Label Road Race.
Belayinesh Oljirraa, Emane Margaa & Muktar Idris Win IAAF Cross Country series in Burgos, Spain.
The 11th ‘Cross Internacional de Atapuerca’ marked the opening leg of this winter’s IAAF Cross Country Permit series which will reach the pinnacle with the IAAF World Cross Country Championships next March and saw victories from the Oromian duo Imane Margaa (Men’s race) and Belaynesh Oljirraa (Women’s race) on Sunday 16th November 2014.
Right from the gun, the men’s race – held in cold conditions as the thermometer barely reached 7 degrees Celsius, and with very strong winds – turned into a two-man battle between Margaa and his compatriot Muktar Edris.
Wearing identical orange vests, Edris and Margaa looked in impressive form but it was always Edris who made the pace while the former world champion Margaa ran comfortably just behind him, copying his tactics from the last three editions in Atapuerca where he had taken narrow sprint finish wins.
Oljirraa maintains the Oromians dominance!
In contrast to the men, the 7.9km women’s race opened relatively gently with Spain’s Sonia Bejarano reaching the one kilometre point in the lead while all the favourites were comfortably positioned behind her.
Oljirraa, who won bronze medals at both the IAAF World Cross Country Championships and also in the IAAF World Championships 10,000m last year, took command some five minutes into the race but there still were a large leading group of seven at halfway.
After successive laps of 6:43 and 6:30, two-time Atapuerca winner Hiwot Ayalew went to the front and the group was quickly whittled down to four with only Ayalew, Oljira, Kenya’s 2013 World Championships 5000m silver medallist Mercy Cherono and Morocco’s Malika Asahssah remaining in contention after Ayalew covered the third lap in 6:25.
With just under two kilometres remaining, Oljirraa regained command of the race and her change of speed left first Cherono and then Ayalew behind.
As Oljirraa carried on to secured her win in style, crossing the line in 25:26, Cherono caught Ayalew some 200 metres out to finish eight seconds adrift the victor.
A fading Ayalew could not even keep her third place as she was caught by Asahssah in the closing 30 metres.
“I knew Atapuerca as I already had raced here three years ago. On that occasion, I came second so I was eager to come back to what I think is the best cross country race in the world and win,” said a delighted Oljirraa.
#Oromo athlete Belaynesh #Oljirraa won the 25th edition #Bupa Great South Run.
Oromo Athletes in Germany: Tulu Wodajo Addisu wins the sovereign Rother fair run
August 13, 2014
Oromo Athletes performed superb in Roth, Bayern, Germany on Sunday, August 10, 2014. Athlete Tulu Wodajo Addisu, with Oromia National flag on his shirt (214), finished first, while Etana Getachew finished second and Badhane Gamachu fourth.
Congra! Brave #Oromo athlete Sifan Hassan wins for Europe!
Sifan #Hassan collected an impressive victory in the 1500m to further cushion Team Europe’s lead midway through the second day’s programme.
Hassan, the #European champion from the #Netherlands, won by more than a second in 4:05.99 after taking command of the race from the 800m point. She didn’t hide her delight as she crossed the line, arms held high, smiling widely.
“In the last 600 metres (Seyaum) was going fast so I had to speed up,” said the 21-year-old, who ran a world-leading 3:57.00 at the #IAAF Diamond League meeting in Paris in July. “So that’s how I won. It’s fantastic!”
Oromo Athelete Sifan Hassan (Representing Netherlands) won gold medal in 1500 m at European Championships 2014 in Zurich.
August 15, 2014 (Google Translation from Dutch language – NOS) — Sifan Hassan won the gold medal in the 1500m at the European Championships in Zurich, yesterday, August 14, 2014. Hassan (21) was born in Adama, Oromia, and obtained a Dutch passport only last November. Later this week, Hassan was out on the five kilometers.
It is the second Dutch gold medal in Zurich; Wednesday Dafne Schippers was the fastest in the 100m.
Hassan fitted into the finals its usual tactic. She sat only at the start of the final round in the lead and accelerated, but this time she let herself overtake weather by its biggest competitor, the Swedish Abeba Aregawi. On the final straight, the 21-year-old Arnhem hit mercilessly. Aregawi had to settle for silver in 4.05,08. The bronze medal was for the British Laura Weightman in 4.06,32.
Sifan Hassan left Oromia as a refugee and arrived in the Netherlands in 2008 at age fifteen. She began running while undertaking studies to become a nurse.
Affiliated with Eindhoven Atletiek, she entered the Eindhoven Half Marathon in 2011 and won the race with a time of 77:10 minutes. She was also runner-up at two cross country races (Sylvestercross and Mol Lotto Cross Cup). She won those races in 2012, as well as the 3000 metres at the Leiden Gouden Spike meeting.
Sifan made her breakthrough in the 2013 season. She ran an 800 metres best of 2:00.86 minutes to win at the KBC Night of Athletics and took wins over 1500 metres at the Nijmegen Global Athletics and Golden Spike Ostrava meetings. On the 2013 IAAF Diamond League circuit she was runner-up in the 1500 m at Athletissima with a personal best of 4:03.73 minutes and was third at the DN Galan 3000 metres with a best of 8:32.53 minutes – this time ranked her the fourth fastest in the world that year.
She gained Dutch citizenship in November 2013 and the following month she made her first appearance for her adopted country. At the 2013 European Cross Country Championships she won the gold medal in the under-23 category and helped the Dutch team to third in the rankings. She also won the Warandeloop and Lotto Cross Cup Brussels races that winter. At the beginning of 2014 she ran a world leading time of 8:45.32 minutes for the 3000 m at the Weltklasse in Karlsruhe, then broke the Dutch record in the indoor 1500 m with a run of 4:05.34 minutes at the Birmingham Indoor Grand Prix. http://ethiofreespeech.blogspot.no/2014/08/sifan-hassan-won-gold-medal-in-1500-m.html
“The Oromo ethnic group in Ethiopia must be one of the most athletically blessed on earth. The list of long distance running champions it has produced includes Haile Gebrselassie, Abebe Bikila, and Sileshi Sihene, as well as Dibaba sisters and Derartu Tulu.” Says Olympic and World Records 2012, Keir Radnedge (Author), pp- 62-82. This is an Official London 2012 Olympic Games Publication. Wami Biratu, Mammo Dagaga, Tolasa Qotu, Fatuma Roba, Tikki Galana, Lesisa Desisa, Tsegaye Kebede, Meseret Defar, Maryam Yusuf, Gelete Burka, Tariku Bekele, Atsede Bayisa, Mohammed Aman, Gete (Gexee) Wami, Lamma Kumsa, Abebe Mekonnen, Fita (Fixa Bayyisa), Ayelech Worku, Worku Bikila, Kuture Dulacha, Elfnesh Alemu, Abebe Tola, Maru Dhaba, mariam Hashim, Ibrahim Said, Berhane Adere, Magarsa Tullu, Abarraa Ayyano, Mohammed Kadir, Shibbiruu Raggasaa, Nugussie Roba and Markos Geneti Guta are Oromians of world stars.
Following her dramatic victory in the women’s 10,000m final at Barcelona 1992, Derartu Tulu waited at the finish line for the opponent Elana Meyer, a white South African, and the two set off hand in hand for a victory lap that came to symbolise new hope for Africa. At Sydney 2000, having regained her form of eight years earlier, Tulu again won gold in the women’s 10,000m event, becoming the first woman to win two gold medals in long-distance races at Games and the only woman to win 10,000m gold twice.
Women’s long-distance track events are relatively new to the games programme. It wasn’t until 1996 that a women’s 5000m event introduced and the women’s 10,000m did not make its debut until the 1988 games in Seoul. Only one women, Tirunesh Dibaba at the Beijing games in 2008, has achieved the accolade of claiming the 5000m-10,000m double.
At the 2008 Games in Beijing, Tirunesh Dibaba became the first woman in history to complete the 5000m- 10,000m double.
Gebrselassie burst on to the scene in the 1990s and progressed to become the pre-eminent marathon runner. Bekele took over his crown as king of the men’s 10,000m in 2004 and four years latter laid claim to being the best ever at half the distance. Bekele is aslo arguably the finest cross-country performer the world has ever seen.
Men’s 5000m and 10,000m long distance races challenge an athlete’s speed and endurance. The two events were introduced at the 1912 games Stockholm and many athletes have competed in both over the years with the double achieved on seven occasions, most recently by Kenenisa Bekele at Beijing 2008.
Abebe Bikila, running barefoot, won the men’s Marathon at Rome 1960 to become the first black African gold medallist in history. When runners lined up for the men’s Marathon at Rome 1960, no one outside his own country had heard of 28-year-old Abebe Bikila. He had been drafted into his country’s team at the last moment only after Wami Biratu broke his ankle playing football. By the end of the race, he had claimed the first gold medal won by a black African in the Games’ history – in bare feet, and in a world record time of 2:15.16. Four years latter, he contracted appendicitis just six weeks before Tokyo Games but jogged around the hospital to maintain his fitness. This was his first marathon with shoes , and he won in another record time (2:12.11).
Olympic and World Records 2012
by Keir Radnedge (Author),Hardback, pp- 62-82.
An Official London 2012 Olympic Games Publication
Oromo athlete, a father of 12, Wami Biratu was once among the best long-distance runners in Ethiopia. Wami had at one point trained Abebe Bikila. In his career, Wami had won 30 gold, 40 silver and 10 bronze medals and won competitions in Egypt, Japan and Czhekoslavakia.
Mamo Wolde Dagaga was born in the village of Dirre Jille in Ad’a district about 60 Km from Finfinnee from his parents Obbo Wolde Dagaga and Aadde Ganame Gobana.
Mamo grew up in a traditional upbringing spending most of his childhood in Dredhele where he attended a “qes” schooling. In June of 1951, he was hired by the Imperial Body Guard. While at the armed forces, Mamo was able to further his education. In 1953, he was transferred to the Second Battalion of the Imperial Guard and was sent to Korea as part of the UN peacekeeping mission. Mamo spent 2 years in Korea where he had a distinguished military service. After returning from Korea, Mamo got married and pursued his passion of athletics quite regularly.
Mamo easily qualified to be a member of the Ethiopian Olympics team that participated in the Melbourne Olympics in 1962. He had the overall best performance of the national Olympics team by becoming 4-th in 1500 meter race. In 1968, Mamo competed in the 10000 meters race along with the then favorite Kenyan athletes Kip Keno and Naphtaly Temo. 200 meters before the end of the race, Mamo went to the lead. He maintained the lead until almost the end whence he was overtaken by Naphtaly Temo of Kenya. Mamo won his first Silver Olympic medal. One day before the marathon race, the team trainer Negussie Roba approached Mamo and informed him that the legendary Abebe may not be able to finish the marathon race due to bad health. Coach Negussie told Mamo that he was the nation’s only hope for the next day’s marathon race and orders him to prepare. The next day, October 20, 1968, 72 athletes from 44 countries started the long anticipated race. Abebe Bikila, Mamo Wolde and Demssie represented Ethiopia. Abebe later dropped out of the race at the 15-th Km after leading for the whole duration. Mamo later would muse.
Mamo Wolde completed the race victoriously giving his country a third gold medal in Marathon. Mamo became an instant hero just like Abebe. Mamo was 35 when he won the Mexico City Marathon race. In 1972, Mamo participated in the Munich Olympics at the age of 40 where he won a bronze medal in the 10000 meter. In his athletic career, Mamo had participated in a total of 62 international competitions. http://www.roadrunnersclub.org.uk/documents/196_MamoWoldeandtheRRC.pdf
Oromo athlete Tolossa Qottuu is currently the assistant coach of the Ethiopian National Athletic team. Tolossa had his own successful career in long-distance running which earned him 18 gold, 3 silver and 12 bronze medals. His rise to national level was as a result of his near win in the 5K race in 1972 which he narrowly lost to Miruts. Tolossa had participated in the Montreal and Moscow Olympics.
Oromo athlete Eshetu Tura had won a total of 30 gold, 19 silver and 13 bronze medals in the 3000 meters hurdle race.
Eshetu Tura is a man whose career changed by a song. The famous song written by Solomon Tessema, the legendary sport journalist, to honor Abebe Bikila and Mamo Wolde (marathon li-Ililtwa) was playing on the radio after Mamo’s victory in Mexico City. Eshetu not only get inspiration but also a determination to be like Abebe and Mamo.
Eshetu joined the armed forces, the breeding-ground of athletics success in Ethiopia. His win in the 3000 meters hurdle earned him the national spot-light. Eshetu had won a total of 30 gold, 19 silver and 13 bronze medals in the 3000 meters hurdle race. Eshetu’s name is recorded in the History books as Oromia’s first athlete in the 3K hurdle.
Oromo athlete Darartu Tulluu as she won the women’s 10000 meters race in the Barcelona Olympics in 1992.www.oromiasports
Derartu Tulu rose to fame and an Olympics history, when she convincingly won the women’s 10000 meters race in the Barcelona Olympics in 1992. The scene of this 23 year old Ethiopian young lady winning this race and then draping herself with the national tri-color and doing a lap has placed her in the ranks of the eternal Oromo heroes Abebe Bikila and Mamo Wolde.
Dearatu was born in 1969 in the village of Bokoji in the Arsi region of central Oromia as a seventh child in a family of 10 children. Even in elementary school, Derartu excelled in horse riding competitions. Derartu’s first significant win came in a 400 meter race in her school where she out-run the school’s start male athlete. That along with a win in 800 meters race in her district convincingly put Derartu in a path of a successful career in Athletics. In 1988, Derartu represented the region of Arsi and competed in a national 1500 meters race where she won a bronze medal.
When she was 17, Derartu was hired by the Ethiopian Police Force. In 1989, she competed in her first international race of 6 kilometer cross-country in Norway but was 23rd. In a year time, though, she competed in the same race and won the Gold Medal. Derartu won international recognition and success in the 90’s. Her record-setting win in the 10,000 meter race in Bulgaria and her win in the same distance race in Cairo, Egypt are worth mentioning.
Derartu’s win in the 10,000 meter race in the Barcelona Olympics goes down in the History Books as the first gold-medal win ever by an African woman.
Darartu is the first black African woman to win a gold medal which she won in the 10,000m event at the 1992 Barcelona Olympic Games. The race, where her and Elana Meyer (South Africa) raced for lap after lap way ahead of the rest of the field launched her career. She sat out 1993 and 1994 with a knee injury and returned to competition in the 1995 IAAF World Cross Country Championships where she won gold, having arrived at the race only an hour before the start. She was stuck in Athens airport without sleep for 24 hours. The same year she lost out to Fernanda Ribeiro and won silver at the World Championships 10,000.
1996 was a difficult year. At the IAAF World Cross Country Championships Tulu lost her shoe in the race and had to fight back to get 4th place. She also finished 4th at the Olympic Games where she was nursing an injury. In 1997 she won the world cross country title for the second time but did not factor in the 10,000 metres World Championships. 1998 and 1999 she gave birth, but came back in 2000 in the best shape of her life. She won the 10,000 metres Olympic gold for the second time (the only woman to have done this in the short history of the event). She had also won the IAAF World Cross Country Championships title for the third time. In 2001 she finally won her world 10,000 track title in Edmonton. This was her third world and Olympic gold medal. She has a total of 6 world and Olympic gold medals.
She is also remembered for her speed and her 60.3 second-last lap at the end of the 10,000 metres at the Sydney Olympics was a sprint of note. As of 2014, Derartu Tulu is still running competitively, while most of her old rivals are retired or retiring. In her short but on-going career, she has managed to win over 35 gold, 12 silver and 15 bronze medal.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Derartu_Tulu
Oromo athlete Fatima (Fatuma) Roba. The first black/ African Woman to win Marathon. www.oromiasports
Roba started running in her elementary school in the Arsi region that was once home also to Derartu Tulu and Haile Gebrselassie, 10,000-meter Olympic gold-medalists in 1992 and 1996 respectively.
Fatuma Roba was the fourth of eight children of subsistence farmers living in the rural countryside outside Bukeji, Derartu Tulu’s hometown. Roba began winning 100-meter and 200-meter races and was chosen to represent her school in regional competitions.
“I knew of (1960 Olympic marathon winner) Abebe Bikila and (1968 winner) Mamo Wolde from the radio, so I thought I’d try it, too,” she says. Unlike many rural women runners, Roba says she faced little objection from her Muslim family when she decided to take up the sport. Four years later, she moved to Finfinne became a runner on the prison police force.
‘Fatuma Roba did not take the usual path to becoming a living legend in the sport of marathon running. She was a pioneer, becoming Africa’s first ever female to take the sport’s most prestigious prize at Atlanta in 1996 when she won the Centennial Olympic Marathon. Who would have thought it, when she had only a 2:39 PR coming into the Olympic year!’http://www.runnersworld.com/boston-marathon/fatuma-roba-twisted-path-living-legend
Oromo and Kenyan girls dominated 5000m final race, IAAF Moscow 2013. Bronze medal winner Almaz Ayana of Oromia, gold medal winner Meseret Defar of Oromia and silver medal winner Kenya’s Mercy #Cherono, from left, compete in the women’s 5000-meter final Saturday, Aug. 17, 2013. Photo: David J. Phillip,www.sfgate.com/
Maryam Jamal was born in the Arsi Zone in the Oromia Region of Ethiopia, an area famous for distance runners, including Haile Gebreselassie, Kenenisa Bekele and Tirunesh Dibaba. She is Muslim Oromo. At the 2012 Olympics, Maryam Yusuf Jamal Represented of Bahrain and became the first Gulf female athlete to win a medal when she won a bronze for her showing in the 1,500m race.
Oromo athlete Tikki Galana, as she wins the 2012 Women’s marathon in London.
The 2011 Amsterdam Marathon marked a breakthrough for Tiki as she won the race in a time of 2:22:08 hours – almost eight minutes faster than her previous best and an improvement upon Gete Wami‘s nine-year-old course record. At the end of that year she returned to Ethiopia, where she came runner-up at the Great Ethiopian Run and third at the Ethiopian Clubs Cross Country Championships. She improved her personal best at the Kagawa Marugame Half Marathon in February 2012, going unchallenged to win the race in 1:08:48 hours.
Oromo athlete Genzebe Dibaba wins the women’s 3000m for #TeamAfrica in 8:57.54. The fourth w3000 win in a row for Africa at the IAAF#ContinentalCup, 13th September 2014.
Ibrahim Jeilan (Oromia, silver) and Mo Farah (Britain, gold) in 10,000k Moscow World Athletics 2013 final race.
Winner of the Boston Marathon, Oromo athlete Lelisa Desisa with United States Secretary of State John Kerry at the American Embassy in Oromian Capital, Finfinnee.
In a somber ceremony at the American Embassy on Sunday, 26th May 2013, Lelisa Desisa, the men’s winner of this year’s Boston Marathon, said he intended to donate his medal to the people of Boston.“Sport holds the power to unify people,” Desisa said.
Oromia’s Tsegaye Kebede won the men’s London 2013 Marathon race in an unofficial time of two hours six minutes three seconds after chasing down runaway leader Emmanuel Muta.
Oromo athletes Buzunesh Daba is 2nd in 2013 New York Women Marathon and TigistTufa has demonstrated great performance as debutante. Both were leading the 1st 35 km. Priscah Jeptoo of Kenya is the 1st. The favorite Tsegaye Kebede is 2nd in the men’s race as Kenyan was the 1st.
Oromo athlete Negari Terfa wins the 11th Xiamen International Marathon, an IAAF Gold Label race (2013), and set a course record in the men’s race while while Oromo athleteFatuma Sado made it an Oromiann double by winning the women’s race. Eyarusalem Kuma is 3rd in the women’s race.
Oromo athlete Markos Geneti (born May 30, 1984 in Gute, a small township about 10 km east of Nekemte in Eastern Wollega, the State of Oromia) is an Oromian long-distance runner who previously competed in track running, but now is a road specialist.
May 18, 2014, Manchester, England – Oromian athletics legends Kenenisa Bekele and Tirunesh Dibaba eased to victory in their respective races in the Great Manchester Run on Sunday.
World and Olympic 10,000m champion Tirunesh Dibaba earned a comfortable victory in the women’s competition, finishing the 10km course in 31:09.
Bekele, a three-time Olympic gold medalist on the track, raced alongside world marathon record holder Wilson Kipsang of Kenya for much of the 10 kilometres course.
However, the 31-year-old – who indicated he may have an equally glorious career ahead of him in road racing when he won his debut marathon in Paris in April – kicked away in the final 400 metres to finish in a time of 28 minutes 23 seconds.
Kipsang, also fresh from a marathon triumph in London where he set a new course record, came in five seconds back while South Africa’s Steve Mokoka was some distance back in third.
“I’m very happy to win here after having run the marathon recently,” said Bekele.
“There was a lot of wind so I tried to hide behind Kipsang and save my energy.”
A beaming Kipsang was delighted with his showing.
“This is a short distance for me but I still showed I have the speed.
“We shall meet again and over the longer distance (the marathon),” said the 32-year-old, who took marathon bronze in the 2012 Olympics.
Bekele, also a four-time 10 000 metres world champion as well as once the 5 000m titleholder, said that he and Kipsang would face many battles over the marathon distance in the years to come.
“I will run some races on the track still but Wilson and I are the same age and the same level so we will be competing against each other for years to come,” said Bekele.
Dibaba, a three-time Olympic champion and five-time world champion on the track, was never troubled and came home over a minute clear of her nearest rivals Gemma Steel of Great Britain and Polline Wanjiku of Kenya.
“The course was very good but the wind was a problem,” said 28-year-old Dibaba
Bishaan Amboo sana dhugdeeti.
The winner of Dubai and Houston Marathon, #Oromo athlete #Mamitu#Daska is unquestionably the current queen of the #Bolder Boulder’s elite women’s 10K race.
The Oromian won her fourth title Monday 26th may 2014 well ahead of the rest of the field, finishing in 32 minutes, 21.63 seconds. She also won in 2009, 2010 and 2012 and was the runner-up in 2011. Only Portugal‘s Rosa Mota has more career Bolder Boulder victories with five.
Even with temperatures in the high 60s, and even with a hard early pace from Deena Kastor, Daska felt the pace was too slow. So she took off down the left side of a long straightaway before the first mile while the rest of the women followed the inside curve of the road.
The champion “did good training and felt the pace was easy at the beginning,” Daska said through a translator.
That set the tone: If you want to win, prepare for bold moves and a long grind over the scorching pavement of this rolling, high-altitude course.
The Oromo people are the native inhabitants of Eastern Africa. Their population is estimated at 40 million people, which comprises the single largest ethnic group in East Africa. There are thousands of Oromo people living in diaspora, largely residing in countries including the United States of America, Australia, Canada, Norway, England and Sweden.
Where is the Oromo land?
The land of the Oromo people is called Oromia. Oromia is bordered by Ogadenia and Somalia in the East, Kenya in the South, Gambella and Sudan in the West and Abyssinia in the North. The capital city of Oromia is called Finfinnee (pronounced fynn-fynn-neh), otherwise referred to as “Addis Ababa”.
The Oromo people speak Afaan Oromo. They belong to the Cushitic-speaking group of Eastern Africa. The Oromo language is the 4th most spoken language in the continent of Africa.
The Oromo people practice three main religions Waqeefanna (Traditional Oromo beliefs), Islam and Christianity.
Since the late 19th century, the Oromo have been under colonization by successive Ethiopian governments. Assisted by European colonial powers with modern weaponry, many Oromo people were killed and during 1870 until 1900s. Bloodshed was intense as the Oromo population was reduced from 10 million to 5 million people. Since the forced incorporation of Oromia as part of present day ‘Ethiopian’ empire, the language and culture of the Oromo people was banned by the Ethiopian government and punishable as a crime, until 1991. Oromo attempts to preserve the Oromo culture and language exist despite open attempts at Oromo ethnic cleansing.
Since the official penalty for speaking the language has been lifted in 1991, many Oromo people are still identified as “Ethiopian”; a title is largely resented because of the because of the historically traumatic connotations for Oromo people.
Notable Oromo movements, particularly in the 1960′s include the Oromo Raayya revolt, the Caalanqo and Aanoole Wars and The Afran Qalloo movements. Other Oromo groups and movements include the Maccaa Tuulama Association, the birth of the Oromo Liberation Front, the Oromo Student movements in 2005.
The Oromo people refer to themselves as Oromo and their land as Oromia.
Historical and cultural information about Oromo people:
The Oromo people live by a democratic and egalitarian political system, called the Gadaa system. The Gadaa system consists of Gadaa grades, these grades have individual titles and responsibilities and are also grouped in 8 year periods. Each Gadaa title teaches the young male from birth to develop skills and knowledge about culture, governance, family values and leadership qualities. At the age of 40, Oromo men can be elected as Gadaa officials.
Like Oromo men, Oromo women have an incorporated institution. Siinqee is one of the pillars of Gadaa, an indigenous system of thought and practice which forms the foundations of Oromo society. As the bride steps out of the door of her mother’s house, she would be handed the Siinqee (a traditional and sacred Oromo stick) by her mother. She walks, imbued with the majesty of Siinqee, shoulder to shoulder with her bridegroom, who carries a spear. The role of Siinqee in Oromo society is to keep the peace and moral sanctity of the society. Warring groups would have to immediately halt their hostilities once the womenfolk wielding Siinqee appear on the battle scene. Most importantly, when in justice is committed, the women in the vicinity would come out in the the morning hours bearing their Siinqee and baring their hairs. According to Oromo custom, the testimony of a woman is not to be doubted. It takes only the testimony of a woman to convict a man. However, it would take the sworn testimony of three men to convict a man as guilty.
Coffee was first found in Oromia, in the city of Kaffa, South Western Oromia. Oromo people began using coffee for nutritional use in the beginning of the 5th century.
Two remarkable developments during the past 10 days that could have a significant impact in many countries are worth a lot more attention in Canada and the United States.
First, a major research document published by five top economists at theInternational Monetary Fund (IMF)admitted that the strong pro-capitalist policies at the centre of its activities in developing countries for the past 30 years do not work.
One of the IMF’s main roles in recent years has been to bail out countries during financial crises. In return for loans, some 60 mostly poor countries have been forced to follow strict rules, such as privatizing government resources, deregulating controls to open markets to foreign investment, and restricting what they can spend in areas such as education and health care.
Now the paper, Causes and Consequences of Income Inequality: A Global Perspective, says there needs to be a shift and that greater income equality in both developing and developed countries should become a priority.
Dutch told to act on emissions
The other significant but unrelated development which received scant attention, concerns a ground-breaking decision from judges in the Netherlands. They ordered the Netherlands government to slash greenhouse gas emissions by at least a remarkable 25 per cent by 2020.
The ruling came after almost 900 Dutch citizens, headed by the group Urgenda, took their government to court in April in a class action lawsuit to force a reduction of greenhouse gas emissions to tackle climate change. Netherlands has been lagging behind other European countries in tackling climate change.
Significantly, the challenge was based not on environmental law, but on human rights principles. Urgenda asked the courts to “declare that global warming of more than two degrees Celsius will lead to a violation of human rights worldwide.”
The court said, “The state should not hide behind the argument that the solution to the global climate problem does not depend solely on Dutch efforts … Any reduction of emissions contributes to the prevention of dangerous climate change and as a developed country the Netherlands should take the lead in this.”
“A courageous judge. This is fantastic,” said Sharona Ceha, a member of the climate change group Urgenda. “This is for my children and grandchildren.”
The international community is attempting to set limit global warming to 2 degrees Celsius over pre-industrial levels. Countries are to publish their own undertakings to reduce greenhouse gas emissions ahead of a hoped-for global deal to be agreed in Paris in December.
While the Dutch government can appeal the ruling to a higher court, lawsuits against governments and companies in Europe have increasingly been seen as a way to press for action against climate change.
The Amsterdam-based group said the case was the first in Europe in which citizens attempted to hold the state responsible for its potentially devastating inaction and the first in the world in which human rights are used as a legal basis to protect citizens against climate change.
The landmark case could very well set an important precedent for public interest groups in other countries. Cases are already being brought forward in Belgium, Norway and the Philippines.
Perhaps this is a course Canadian environmental groups should consider. Diane Saxe thinks so. As the Toronto-based environmental lawyer told the CBC’s The Current, “The more I read the Dutch court decision, the more I’m getting excited about it, because the arguments made by the three judges could be made in Canada…I think it eventually will happen.”
IMF denounces “trickle-down” economics
In the other story, the IMF report contradicted its long-held position of following hard-nosed capitalist guidelines. It said that the dreaded concept of “trickle-down” economics — which it forced on developing countries and which is practiced by the Harper government — should be abandoned.
“To tackle inequality, financial inclusion is imperative in emerging and developing countries, while in advanced economies, policies should focus on raising human capital and skills and making tax systems more progressive,” concludes the report. Wages and living standards for the bottom 20 per cent should be raised, worker protections improved, and environmental standards implemented.
The practices and policies of the IMF have been controversial for many years.
The rich and powerful countries that control the IMF have used the body’s loans program to force their preferred economic policies on poor countries, even though rich countries themselves did not employ the same strict measures on themselves when they were developing.
The report’s critical analysis also applies to neo-liberal economic policies practiced by most Western governments, including the United States, Canada and several European countries.
The document was enthusiastically received by IMF critics, who have accused the world body of hindering, not helping, development in several poor countries over the years.
“Fighting inequality is not just an issue of fairness but an economic necessity,” saidNicholas Mombrial of Oxfam International in response to the report. “And that’s not Oxfam speaking, but the International Monetary Fund.”
“By releasing this report, the IMF has shown that ‘trickle-down’ economics is dead; you cannot rely on the spoils of the extremely wealthy to benefit the rest of us. Governments must urgently refocus their policies to close the gap between the richest and the rest if economies and societies are to grow,” said Mombrial.
Austerity increases poverty
Critics strongly object to austerity measures that have been forced upon most of the 60 countries where the IMF has been providing loans.
“Such belt-tightening measures increase poverty, reduce countries’ ability to develop strong domestic economies and allow multinational corporations to exploit workers and the environment,” argues Global Exchange, an international human rights organization.
Global Exchange charges that the IMF contributes to poverty instead of alleviating it: “Nearly 80 percent of all malnourished children in the developing world live in countries where farmers have been forced to shift from food production for local consumption to the production of export crops destined for wealthy countries.”
It’s very likely that the IMF will change some of its policies concerning developing countries. However, change may be slow. The IMF is a huge and complex organization where the wheels grind slowly. Secondly, the Western countries that control the organization tend to be strongly influenced by powerful and wealthy people who benefit from “trickle down” economics.
When the IMF finally makes significant policy changes, and if countries were to follow its lead in their own economic planning, many countries could experience a significant change in income distribution. Perhaps it will result in the one per cent no longer owning 48 per cent of the world’s wealth.
Nick Fillmore is a Canadian freelance journalist and blogger who specializes in environmental, finance, and developing country issues. He is a founder of the Canadian Association of Journalists. This article first appeared on The Tyee.
On July 6, Ethiopia’s Federal High Court convicted leaders of the Ethiopian Muslims protest movement on charges of terrorism and conspiracy to create an Islamic state in Ethiopia. The verdict — against two Muslim journalists, 10 activists and six members of the Ethiopian Muslims Arbitration Committee — came after three years of a politically motivated trial whose outcome was long ago determined. Sentencing is scheduled for Aug. 3.
The trial and the verdict against the Muslim leaders is a political spectacle designed to conceal the regime’s reindoctrination campaign and silence long-standing grievances of the Muslim population. The crackdown on Muslim activists is part of the ruling party’s larger crusade against journalists, bloggers, activists and opposition leaders and supporters.
While the government has always controlled the council, it was Awoliya’s closure and the coercive reindoctrination campaign that triggered the confrontation. The government denies allegations of interference and control of religious institutions, but a leaked audio from the initial indoctrination sessions shows that it has invited preachers from Lebanon to introduce Al-Ahbash, a supposedly moderate sect of Sunni Islam, to Ethiopia.
Authorities arrested members of the Arbitration Committee in July 2012 after negotiations with the government failed, and they were charged with “intending to advance a political, religious or ideological cause” by force, signaling the impending criminalization of the peaceful movement.
Repressive political ends
Since the disputed 2005 elections and the mass arrests of opposition leaders and journalists, the use of court proceedings for repressive political ends has become one of the signature traits of the Ethiopian government. The primary purpose of these administrative acts disguised as criminal proceedings is the elimination of political opposition and critical voices. These trials function not to adjudicate legal disputes but to remove actors from the democratic sphere. The judicial machinery is set in motion not to determine guilt or innocence but to sustain and consolidate the government’s authoritarian stranglehold on its people.
In order to build a coherent narrative, the government often recasts genuine grievances as a national security threat and reconfigures activism as criminal offenses. For example, it accused the jailed Muslim leaders of working in tandem with foreign terrorist groups to destabilize Ethiopia and undo its economic progress. By dramatizing the impending danger and alleged links to regional militant groups such as Somalia’s Al-Shabab and Nigeria’s Boko Haram, the defendants’ prolonged trial was used to create an alternative reality manufactured by the ruling Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF).
The accused Muslim leaders see their actions as a defense of the constitution and their trial as persecution — a dubious plot to delegitimize their peaceful protests against the injustices of the state.
The government presented various forms of evidence — including documents, audio and video of sermons and speeches by the defendants, witness testimonies and material obtained through surveillance. However, most of the evidence was presented in closed sessions, and the accused were not given adequate opportunities for cross-examination. The government has deployed stealth propaganda to incriminate the defendants. Since the committee members’ arrests, authorities have produced two fake documentaries intended to generate images and narratives of terrorism to scare Christian Ethiopians and Western observers, in flagrant violation of the presumption of defendants’ innocence until proven guilty.
The verdict of history
The accused Muslim leaders see their actions as a defense of the constitution and their trial as persecution — a dubious plot to delegitimize their peaceful protests against the injustices of the state. The government misrepresented their cause in a desperate attempt to suppress their aspiration and consolidate its control over religious institutions and doctrines.
As the judge read out the verdict, one of the committee members accused the judge of being complicit in the perversion of justice and reading a judgment “written by the security establishment,” according to defense lawyers. “We appear before this court not because we thought that this court is an institution of truth and justice that judges without fear of favor but to clarify the historical record,” another defendant said.
The trial has been an occasion for the defendants to mount their objection to the government’s oppressive narratives and expose its abuse of institutions of truth and justice. As part of their struggle over the historical record, the committee members petitionedAfrica’s top human rights watchdog, the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights, to intervene in the matter. Given the justice system’s lack of independence, the defendants are seeking to present their version of events before an independent international institution, contesting the allegations and images the government created in a trial in which it is both prosecutor and judge. In February 2015 the commission granted a provisional measure, asking Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn to undertake a full investigation into allegations of torture and other violations of due process rights.
The EPRDF is using counterterrorism as carte blanche to consolidate its authoritarian control over the country. Meanwhile, the United States, Ethiopia’s close ally in the global war on terrorism, has turned a blind eye to the misuse and abuse of its counterterrorism funding. President Barack Obama’s upcoming trip to Addis Ababa would be seen as yet another seal of approval for the regime’s repressive practices and the ruling party’s landslide victory in the recent elections. Ethiopia’s sudden and unexplained release of journalists and bloggers ahead of Obama’s visit later this month is a strategic move meant to assuage Washington’s concerns and to minimize the bad publicity around their continued incarceration.
Regardless of the outcome of these trials, history’s judgment will be different. In the verdict of history and the archives and repertoires of the oppressed, these individuals, like many who came before them, will be seen as victims of a grotesque system of justice.
Awol Allo is a fellow in human rights at the London School of Economics and Political Science.
Appeal Letter to President Obama from OCA-NA, an Umbrella Organization of NA Oromo Communities.
July 07, 2015President Barack Obama
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20500 http://www.whitehouse.gov
Tel: (202) 395-2020
Subject: Your Plan to Visit Ethiopia in July, 2015
Dear President Obama,
On behalf of the Oromo Communities in the United States, we, the Board of Directors and the Executive Committee of the (OCA-NA), are writing this urgent letter regarding your plan to visit Ethiopia in July 2015. OCA-NA is an umbrella organization of the Oromo communities, and represents thousands of citizen and legal residents of Oromo origin in the United States. It is organized to advocate for the human rights of the Oromo in Diaspora and those at home, in the Horn of Africa.
Like the majority of US citizens and the global community, we were excited when you were elected as the president of the United States in 2008 and expected huge progress for all freedom loving people in the world. Your statement in Ghana, during your first visit to Africa in 2009, in which you promised your administration’s commitment to support “strong and sustainable democratic governments” in Africa and to deny assistance to corrupt and dictatorial regimes confirmed our hopes and widened our imaginations. Despite moments of frustration, over the last seven years, we have continued to hope for your strong support for democracy and freedom in Ethiopia. On several occasions, the Oromo communities have appealed to your administration and to you personally, regarding the repressive acts of the Ethiopian regime. Incidentally, the Oromo residents of Washington, DC Metropolitan Area and representatives of communities from many states were holding a peaceful rally in front of the White House when they learned the announcement of your planned visit to Ethiopia.
It is with shock and profound sadness that we received this message. We are afraid that your visit sends the wrong messages to both the government of Ethiopia and the people suffering from government’s repressive policies. First, your visit emboldens the dictatorial EPRDF regime and encourages it to implement even more destructive and undemocratic policies. Portraying your visit as an endorsement of its misguided actions, the regime intensifies the violence against innocent people, continues violation of human rights, further suppresses dissidents, stifles legitimate grievances of citizens, and displaces farmers, the youth and intellectuals. Your meeting and photo ops with Ethiopian government officials will be exploited to the maximum by the regime to subdue the people claiming that your administration fully supports its dictatorial practices and the unbelievable 100 percent victory in its sham elections. Second, the Oromo in particular, and the Ethiopian people in general, would lose hope. They would feel the most powerful nation and its president, whose speeches and actions they passionately follow and expect highly from his administration, have ignored their plight. Your meeting in Addis Ababa with Ethiopian officials, who torment innocent people daily, will deepen the people’s disillusionment and frustrations. Third, the Oromo communities in US are extremely concerned that your visit will have negative implications for the policy objectives of your administration and the long term interests of United States in the region.
The Ethiopian government distorts facts, manipulates the reality, and represents itself as democratic. But, human rights organizations including Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, Survival International, Human Rights League of the Horn of Africa and the annual human rights reports of the State Department have attested to the massive human rights violations of the EPRDF regime. The well documented long list of imprisoned students, journalists, bloggers, and members of opposition political parties fully confirm the undemocratic nature of this regime. In a country like Ethiopia, with complicated and highly contested political issues, the recent 100 percent victory in the national elections is totally unbelievable, and leaves no doubt about EPRDF regime’s dictatorial rule. Finally, the Ethiopian government also exploits global and regional security issues. Declaring its support for the war on global terrorism and posing as an ally of the United States, the government uses resources it receives from big powers for suppressing dissent, terrorizing innocent people, and for subverting democratic processes. It should be clear that a regime that terrorizes its citizens cannot be a reliable ally to fight extremism.
For these reasons, we are puzzled by your decision to visit Ethiopia and meet government officials who contradict your convictions and the principles of American democracy. First, we are strongly appealing to you to reconsider your planned trip to Ethiopia. Second, if your visit to the African Union headquarters in Addis Ababa is absolutely necessary, we are strongly urging you not to meet Ethiopian government officials in public and not offer them the opportunity to use your visit for their domestic propaganda. Third, we also request you to make it clear to the people in public that the Ethiopian regime’s undemocratic practices are unacceptable. We believe the United States will not ignore the atrocities perpetrated against the 95 million people in favor of the oppressive regime in the name of alliance against global terrorism.
Oromo Communities’ Association in North America (OCA-NA)
(Addis Standard, 9 July 2015), At least six Oromo university students were also among three journalists and two bloggers released from Ethiopian prison yesterday, according to various reports.
The freed Oromo university students include Adugna Kesso, Bilisumma Dammana, Lenjisa Alemayo, Abdi Kamal, Magarsa Warqu, and Tofik Rashid. All were students who were arrested by security agents from various universities located in the Oromiya regional states. No charges were brought against many of them in the last year and three months.
The 10th Addis Abeba and Oromia Special Zone Integrated Development Master plan, which was in the making for two years before its introduction to the public, finally came off as ‘Addis Abeba and the Surrounding Oromia Special Zone Integrated Development Plan.’
The government claims the master plan, which will annex localities surrounding Addis Abeba but are under the Oromiya regional state, was aimed at “developing an internationally competitive urban region through an efficient and sustainable spatial organization that enhances and takes advantage of complementarities is the major theme for the preparation of the new plan.”
The students protested against the plan and the federal government’s meddling in the affairs of the Oromiya regional state, which many legal experts also say was against Article 49(5) of the Ethiopian Constitution that clearly states “the special interest of the State of Oromia in Addis Abeba.”
Charges against university student Nimona Chali were dropped without explanation and he was released some two months ago.
Two months ago, student Nimona Chali, one of the detained students, was released from jail without charges. Student Aslan Hassen died in prison in what the government claimed was a suicide. However, many believe he was tortured to death. No independent enquiry was launched to investigate his death.
Alsan Hassan died while in police custody. Government says it was a sucide, but many say he died of torture.
By the government’s own account, eleven people were killed during university student demonstrations in many parts of the Oromia regional state. However, several other accounts put the number as high as above 50.
But this economic growth has not quite translated into significant poverty reduction. As analysts point out, the number of people on the continent living under $1.25 a day has risen from 358 million in 1996 to 415 million in 2011.
Tanzania for example, which saw an average of 6% GDP growth over the last several years, has grappled with this disconnect. “At the macro-level, we may be doing well, but it does not touch the unemployed or those involved in the informal economy,” a former cabinet minister told Quartz.
However, the latest data from the Pew Research Centre shows that there has been significant poverty reduction in some African countries.
The reduction of poverty and increase in the ranks of the slightly better-off “low-income” category is good news, but the challenge remains that many African countries have not been able to transition people into the middle class.
Africa is still the poorest region in the world overall: With nine out of 10 people either poor or low-income, the continent his home to 20% of the world’s poor, the data show. In some countries virtually the entire population is poor or low-income. The picture is somewhat brighter in Seychelles, Tunisia, South Africa, Morocco and Egypt, where 20% are either middle income or better
(Gulf News, NEW YORK, 10 July 2015): The dramatic lurch of hundreds of millions of people from poverty since the millennium began has not resulted in a truly global middle class, a new report says.
Instead, the improvement in living conditions for almost 700 million people has been a step forward from the desperate existence of $2 or less a day into a low-income world of living on $2 to $10 daily, the Pew Research Center says.
Its report, released Wednesday, looks at changes in income for more than 110 countries between 2001 and 2011, the latest that data for such a large range of countries was available.
The report comes just two days after the United Nations announced success in key development goals adopted by world leaders at the start of the millennium, including the lifting of more than one billion people out of extreme poverty.
Also worth noting: Europe and North America’s global share of the upper-middle income population fell from 76 per cent to 63 per cent by 2011 as the Asia-South Pacific region got richer. Africa remained the poorest region, with 92 per cent of its population either poor or low-income by 2011, and in Cote d’Ivoire, Kenya, Madagascar and Zambia, “poverty actually increased significantly.”
For years, reaching middle class has been held out as a goal for people in a growing number of countries. China’s rise in particular, with 203 million people there moving into a middle-income life over the decade starting in 2001, has resulted in what the report calls a “pivot to the east.”
More than half of the world’s middle-class population was living in the Asia and South Pacific region by 2011. That’s a jump from 31 per cent to 51 per cent in a decade. Largely because of Asia, the report says the world’s middle-income population nearly doubled over that time, from 399 million to 784 million.
But the gains are hardly seen everywhere. The report shows that while commodity-rich South America and a strengthening Eastern Europe, including Russia, also made strides into the middle class, Africa, India and many parts of Asia have yet to do the same.
The Pew report calls its overall findings “the uneven geography of the emerging middle class.”
The poverty rate for India, Asia’s other population giant, fell from 35 per cent to 20 per cent over the report’s period, but its middle class only grew from 1 per cent to 3 per cent. The report notes that India’s economic reforms began in 1991, 13 years after China, though the scope and pace of the countries’ reforms have varied.
South America almost reached the point where half of its population is at or above middle-income, at 47 per cent.
And despite China’s rise, more than three-fourths of its people were still poor or low-income. The only other countries seeing a significant shift into the middle class, where the poverty rate fell by at least 15 per cent and the middle-income population grew by at least 10 per cent, were Bhutan, Moldova, Ecuador, Argentina and Kazakhstan.
Among countries with a large number of high-income people, or those living on more than $50 a day, the United States stood out from its Western peers by slipping as its economy stalled. Its high-income population actually edged down, from 58 per cent in 2001 to 56 per cent in 2011.
Factors like conflict and falling oil prices likely have affected the findings for some economies, such as Russia’s, in the past few years, the report notes.