As narrated by historians and individuals who were close to the Emperor.
Archive for November, 2012
As narrated by historians and individuals who were close to the Emperor.
Ethiopian National Transitional Council (ENTC) has continued to work on expanding its organizational reach throughout the world. This effort includes strengthening the chapters that are already established as well as forming new ones. In line with this effort, it has announced the successful completion of the formation of ENTC Uganda chapter with dedicated Ethiopians.
Ethiopia’s new prime minister, Hailemariam Desalegn, has made a cabinet reshuffle today and appointed Debretsion Gebremichael, the notorious spy and member of Meles Zenawi’s death squad, as a deputy prime minister. Another TPLF politburo member, Teodros Adhanom, is appointed as Minister of Foreign Affairs.
This is a major blunder on Hailemariam’s part since Debretsion is not only a criminal who was responsible for carrying out assassinations for Meles Zenawi, he is a threat to Hailemariam’s own authority.
On top of being a serial killer, Debretsion’s crime include keeping 99.5 percent of Ethiopians in the information dark age by limiting their access to information technology as Minister of Communication. Because of the policies implemented by him, Ethiopia’s information technology sector is one of the least developed in the world.
The promotion of Debretsion to the deputy premiership is further proof that Ethiopia is sliding deeper into tyranny even after khat-junkie dictator Meles Zenawi is gone.
However, Hailemariam may not have a choice in the matter in the first place. It is likely that he was forced by TPLF to make such cabinet appointments.
It is with tremendous excitement we announce the 30th Ethiopian Sports Federation in North America (ESFNA) Tournament venue and the return of North American’s largest and longest Ethiopian annual sporting and cultural event to the Washington, DC metropolitan area. After evaluating several options, ESFNA has selected the newly modernized, high-tech facility at The University of Maryland Byrd Stadium for its historic 30th anniversary cultural and sports celebration. The week-long event will take place from June 30 to July 6, 2013. Byrd Stadium is located at 2001 Paint Branch Drive, College Park, MD.
A major reason for selecting the University of Maryland Byrd Stadium is its capacity and modern conveniences which are ideal to accommodate the large crowds expected to attend this historic week-long celebration. The Washington, DC metropolitan area is home to the largest Ethiopian community outside of Ethiopia. It is within driving distance of other metropolitan areas with large Ethiopian communities – to name a few; Atlanta in the South, Toronto in the North, New York and Boston in the East, and Columbus, OH and Chicago in the Midwest. It is estimated that more than 600,000 Ethiopians live within these geographic locations. The Washington, DC metropolitan area is served by three major airports: Reagan National Airport, Washington Dulles International and BWI Thurgood Marshall International. Byrd Stadium is also centrally located near many Ethiopian
restaurants and other Ethiopian businesses.
We are currently evaluating several bids to serve as main and overflow hotels with significant discounts for our guests. As soon as the selections are made, we will post information on our website (www.esfna.net). We invite and encourage Ethiopians and friends of Ethiopia to join us during the week of our events so that we can all celebrate our heritage and our 30th year together.
For more information, please visit our website (www.esfna.net) or call 647-701-8527.
For sponsorship and vending matters, please contact our Business Department at 408-373-0606 or 202-257-9791.
Bringing Ethiopians Together
ESFNA prides itself in creating a unique stage where Ethiopians of all backgrounds, ethnicity, religions and political convictions can come together to celebrate our long enduring unique heritage and diversity that has become our strength through the millenniums. Our goal and vision over the past 30 years has been to maintain ESFNA’s annual festivities as the Mecca where ALL Ethiopians and supporters can come together once a year to create our own mini Ethiopia in the land of our refuge.
Founded in 1984, ESFNA is a non-profit organization dedicated to promote the rich Ethiopian culture and heritage as well as building positive environments within Ethiopian-American communities in North America. Its mission is Bringing Ethiopians Together to network, support the business community, empower the young by providing scholarships and mentoring program, primarily using soccer tournaments, other sports activities and
cultural events as vehicles. ESFNA, by virtue of its status is non-political, non-religious and non-ethnic. We adhered to this position all along as legally expected and aligned with our bylaws.
ESFNA Public Relations
Ethiopian Sports Federation in North America
ADDIS ABABA (Reporter) — The House of Peoples’ Representatives today approved the appointment of two new Deputy Prime Ministers. Minister of Communication and Information Technology, Debretsion Gebremichael, and Minister of Cabinet Affairs and head of the Office of the Prime Minister were both appointed to be coordinators for Finance and Economy Cluster with the rank of Deputy Prime Minister and Governance and Reform Cluster with the rank of Deputy Prime Minister respectively. Muktar was also appointed to be the Minister of Civil Service replacing Junedine Sado.
Hailemariam said that the new portfolio of his deputies is structured in a way that his administration’s focus is on good governance and reform as well as finance and economy.
In an another unprecedented move Hailemariam appointed Tewodros Adhanom (Ph.D.), minister of Health, to be Foreign Minister. Keseteberhan Admasu State Minister of Heath was appointed to be Minister of Health while Kebede Chane, who served as Minister of Trade for over a year without the endorsement of the House, has been confirmed in the same position.
Acting Foreign Minister, Berhane Gebrekristos assumed his previous position of State Minister of Foreign Affairs. The fate of Junedine Sado, former Minister of Civil Service remains unknown.
Lone opposition MP, Girma Seifu, accepted the new cabinet reshuffle but turned down the appointment of Kebede Chanie.
How Ethiopia Lost Control of Its Teff Genetic Resources
By Regine Andrsen and Tone Wenge | Fridtjof Nansen Institute (FNI)
November 12, 2012
In 2005, Ethiopia concluded an agreement with the Dutch company HPFI, sharing its teff genetic resources in return for a part of the benefits that would be achieved from developing teff products for the European market.
In the end, Ethiopia received practically no benefits. Instead, due to a broad patent and a questionable bankruptcy, it lost its right to utilize and reap benefits from its own teff genetic resources in the countries where the patent is valid.
The amazing story of the Teff Agreement has been uncovered and meticulously documented in a recent FNI report by FNI researchers Regine Andersen and Tone Winge.
Teff is a food grain endemic to the Ethiopian highlands, where it has been cultivated for several thousand years. Rich in nutritional value, it is an important staple crop for Ethiopians. Since it is gluten-free, it is also interesting for markets in other parts of the world.
A 2005 agreement between Ethiopia and the Dutch company HPFI gave HPFI access to 12 Ethiopian teff varieties, which it was to use for developing new teff-based products for the European market. In return, the company was to share substantial benefits with Ethiopia.
The Teff Agreement was hailed as one of the most advanced of its time. It was seen as a pilot case for the implementation of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) in terms of access to and benefit-sharing from the use of genetic resources (ABS).
But the high expectations were never met: The only benefits Ethiopia ever received were 4000 Euro and a small, early interrupted research project.
And then, in 2009, the company went bankrupt. In the years prior to bankruptcy, however, HPFI managed to obtain a broad patent on the processing of teff flour in Europe, covering ripe grain, as well as fine flour, dough, batter and non-traditional teff products. This patent, along with other values of the company, had then been transferred to new companies set up by the same owners.
These companies now possess the exclusive rights to a large range of teff-based products. But as it was the now bankrupt HPFI that was Ethiopia’s contract partner, these new companies are not bound by the contractual obligations of HPFI towards Ethiopia.
Ethiopia thus ended up receiving practically none of the benefits promised under the agreement, and its future opportunities to profit from teff in international markets were smaller than before.
How was this possible?
This is what FNI researchers Regine Andersen and Tone Winge have been looking into in their new report The Access and Benefit-Sharing Agreement on Teff Genetic Resources: Facts and Lessons, published by FNI today.
Their report has been written as part of FNI’s contribution to the German-led ABS Capacity Development Initiative, focusing on mainly African experiences with access to and benefit-sharing from the use of their genetic resources.
Lessons to be learned
Through their in-depth analysis of the course of events with regard to the Teff Agreement and the related patent on the processing of teff flour, Andersen and Winge attempt to extract lessons to ensure that future access and benefit-sharing agreements will have better prospects of success. They also provide recommendations for the implementation of the CBD. Some of the main conclusions can be summarized as follows:
Under the current circumstances, even the very best ABS agreement is without value if there is no willingness to comply with it: As long as there are no measures in place in the user-countries (in the teff case: The Netherlands) such agreements can be seen as gentlemen’s agreements, requiring a basis of good faith.
Provider countries (in the teff case: Ethiopia) need institutional and financial support to enable them to monitor ABS agreements, and to facilitate real access to justice in the user countries. A multilateral instrument for this purpose under the CBD combined with user-country legislation is probably the most realistic possibility to realize the objectives on fair and equitable benefit-sharing of the CBD and its Nagoya Protocol.
Formulations in ABS agreements prohibiting the patenting of genetic resources may be easy to circumvent, and more sophisticated formulations should be chosen if this is to be avoided.
By Michael Hirsh | National Journal
For a president who rarely shows emotion, Barack Obama’s surprisingly personal blast at Republican critics of Susan Rice, his U.N ambassador, suggested two things. One, Obama genuinely admires Rice and thinks she’s being unfairly criticized for giving a controversial explanation of the Sept. 11 Benghazi attack that later didn’t hold up. And two, he may well intend to name her his second-term secretary of State, as some reports indicate.
Obama made a fair point when he said Rice “had nothing to do with Benghazi and was simply making a presentation based on intelligence that she had received.” All Rice did was to carefully articulate on the Sunday TV talk shows what the administration knew at the time, “based on the best information we have to date,” as she put it.
But there are other issues with Rice’s record, both as U.N. ambassador and earlier as a senior Clinton administration official, that are all but certain to come out at any confirmation hearing, many of them concerning her performance in Africa. Critics say that since her failure to advocate an intervention in the terrible genocide in Rwanda in 1994 — Bill Clinton later said his administration’s unwillingness to act was the worst mistake of his presidency — she has conducted a dubious and naïve policy of looking the other way at allies who commit atrocities, reflecting to some degree the stark and emotionless realpolitik sometimes associated with Obama, who is traveling this week to another formerly isolated dictatorship: Burma.
Most recently, critics say, Rice held up publication of a U.N. report that concluded that the government of Rwandan President Paul Kagame, with whom she has a long and close relationship, was supplying and financing a brutal Congolese rebel force known as the M23 Movement. M23’s leader, Bosco Ntaganda, is wanted by the International Criminal Court for recruiting child soldiers and is accused of committing atrocities. She has even wrangled with Johnnie Carson, the assistant secretary of State for the Bureau of African Affairs, and others in the department, who all have been more critical of the Rwandans, according to some human-rights activists who speak with State’s Africa team frequently.
Rice claimed she wanted Rwanda to get a fair hearing and examine the report first, and her spokesman, Payton Knopf, says that “it’s patently incorrect to say she slowed [it] down.” But Jason Stearns, a Yale scholar who worked for 10 years in the Congo and wrote a book called Dancing in the Glory of Monsters, says “that is not common practice with these reports. Even when Rwanda did get a hearing, all they did was to use it to smear the report and say how wrong it was.” The report has since been published.
Mark Lagon, a former assistant secretary of State under George W. Bush and a human-rights specialist at Georgetown, has generally positive things to say about Rice’s tenure as U.N. ambassador, especially her leadership in the intervention in Libya against Muammar el-Qaddafi and her revival of the administration’s failing policy on Darfur. But he too says she has fallen short on Africa. “In recent months, there is documentary evidence of atrocities in the DRC [Democratic Republic of the Congo], and their umbilical cord is back in Rwanda. These issues have not been raised in the Security Council, and Susan has fought the U.N. raising them in the Security Council,” Lagon says.
In September, Rice also delivered a glowing eulogy for the late Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi, whom many rights activists considered to have been a repressive dictator.
Recently, during a meeting at the U.N. mission of France, after the French ambassador told Rice that the U.N. needed to do more to intervene in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Rice was said to have replied: “It’s the eastern DRC. If it’s not M23, it’s going to be some other group,” according to an account given by a human-rights worker who spoke with several people in the room. (Rice’s spokesman said he was familiar with the meeting but did not know if she made the comment.)
If true, that rather jaded observation would appear to echo a Rice remark that Howard French, a long-time New York Times correspondent in Africa, related in an essay in the New York Review of Books in 2009, which was highly critical of Rice. In the article, headlined “Kagame’s Secret War in the Congo,” in which French calls the largely ignored conflict “one of the most destructive wars in modern history,” he suggests that Rice either naïvely or callously trusted new African leaders such as Kagame and Yoweri Museveni of Uganda to stop any future genocide, saying, “They know how to deal with that. The only thing we have to do is look the other way.” Stearns, the author, says that during Rice’s time in the Clinton administration “they were complicit to the extent that they turned a blind eye and took at face value Rwandan assurances that Rwanda was looking only after its own security interests.”
Knopf, Rice’s spokesman, says “she clearly has relationships, some of which are very close, with African leaders, and Kagame is one of them. Her view and our view is that these relationships have given her an opportunity to influence events.”
At the same time, however, Knopf says Rice has been tough and forthright in criticizing Rwandan abuses, and backed a “very strong statement out of the Security Council in August about M23.” (The statement, though, did not refer to Rwandan support directly.)
In a speech she gave at the Kigali Institute of Science and Technology in November 2011, Rice took Kagame’s government to task for a political culture that “remains comparatively closed. Press restrictions persist. Civil-society activists, journalists, and political opponents of the government often fear organizing peacefully and speaking out. Some have been harassed. Some have been intimidated by late-night callers. Some have simply disappeared.”
The long conflict in Congo has sometimes been called “Africa’s World War,” because it has led to a staggering 5.4 million deaths — far more than any war anywhere since World War II. Throughout it, Kagame has appeared to play a clever game of pretending to intervene to impose peace and deliver Western-friendly policies, while in fact carving out a sphere of influence by which he can control parts of Congo’s mineral wealth.
Ironically, much of the controversy that surrounds Rice’s relationship with Kagame and other African leaders goes back to the event that Rice herself has admitted was personally wrenching for her, and influenced much of her later views: her failure to stop the Rwandan genocide.
At the time, under National Security Adviser Anthony Lake, Rice was in charge of advising Clinton’s National Security Council on peacekeeping and international organizations such as the United Nations. “Essentially, they wanted [Rwanda] to go away,” scholar Michael Barnett, who worked at the U.S. mission to the United Nations then and later wrote the book Eyewitness to Genocide, told me in an interview in 2008. “There was little interest by Rice or Lake in trying to stir up any action in Washington.”
Both Lake and Rice later said they were haunted by their inaction. In an interview in 2008, Rice told me that she was too “junior”at the time to have affected decision-making then, but that “everyone who lived through that feels profoundly remorseful and bothered by it.”
“I will never forget the horror of walking through a church and an adjacent schoolyard where one of the massacres had occurred,” Rice said in her 2011 speech in Kigali. “Six months later, the decomposing bodies of those who had been so cruelly murdered still lay strewn around what should have been a place of peace. For me, the memory of stepping around and over those corpses will remain the most searing reminder imaginable of what humans can do to one another.”
Rice’s relationship with Kagame began with her efforts to form a new African leaders group in the aftermath of the Rwandan genocide. Among them were Museveni and Ethiopia’s Zenawi. The Clinton administration “believed in an African renaissance,” says Stearns. “She backed this somewhat naïvely, because they were forward-looking leaders who spoke a different language. They spoke about markets.”
While Rice was serving — and despite her later denials before Congress — the Clinton administration appeared to back an invasion of the troubled Congo by Rwanda and Uganda, according to a 2002 article in the journal Current History by Columbia University scholar Peter Rosenblum. In the article, titled “Irrational Exuberance: The Clinton Administration in Africa,” Rosenblum called the invasion “a public relations disaster from which the United States has not recovered.”
Ethiopian National Transitional Council (ENTC) has continued to work on expanding its organizational reach throughout the world. This effort includes strengthening the chapters that are already established as well as forming new ones. In line with this effort, it has announced the successful completion of the formation of ENTC Kenya chapter with dedicated Ethiopians.
The key elements are:
A. UNITY with an Effective Leadership
B. Offensive and Defensive Continuous PLANNING.
C. Non-violent DISCIPLINE.
• With Non-violent Discipline it is easy to induce loyalty shift
• Wide majority of the population don’t endorse violence.
On September 2, 2012, Susan Rice, the U.S. Ambassador to the U.N., delivered a nauseatingly sentimental oration at the funeral of Ethiopian dictator Meles Zenawi. She called Meles “selfless and tireless” and “totally dedicated to his work and family.” She said he was “tough, unsentimental and sometimes unyielding. And, of course, he had little patience for fools, or idiots, as he liked to call them.” The “fools” and “idiots” that Rice caricatured with rhetorical gusto and flair are Ethiopia’s independent journalists, opposition leaders, dissidents, political prisoners, civil society leaders and human rights advocates.Watching the video of her eulogy, one could easily say she “had gone native” completely. But it was clear that her aim was to deliver the last punch to the gut of Meles’ opponents as a sendoff present.
As the old saying goes, “birds of a feather flock together”. Rice, like Meles, likes to insult and humiliate those who disagree with her. She had a reputation in the State Department as boor and a bit of a bully; or as those who knew her say, she was a “bull-in-a-china-shop”. She is known for verbal pyrotechnics, shouting matches and finger wagging at meetings. On one occasion, she is reported to have flipped her middle finger at the late Richard Holbrooke, the dean of American diplomats, at a senior State Department staff meeting. Prior to the onset of the air campaign in Libya in March 2012, France’s U.N. ambassador, Gerard Araud, advised Rice that the European Union would seek a no-fly zone resolution from the Security Council regardless of U.S. support. She gave Araud the verbal equivalent of a kick in the rear end: “You’re not going to drag us into your shitty war.” She later tried to claim full credit for the effort: “We need to be prepared to contemplate steps that include, but perhaps go beyond, a no-fly zone at this point, as the situation on the ground has evolved, and as a no-fly zone has inherent limitations in terms of protection of civilians at immediate risk.” This past July when China and Russia at the U.N. blocked adoption of language linking climate change to international security, she lambasted them as “pathetic” and “shortsighted” and accused them of “dereliction of duty.”
That was then. In the past several days, Rice was on the receiving end. Republican Senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham virtually called Rice a fool and an idiot for her statements following the U.S. Consulate attack in Benghazi, Libya on September 11 in which four Americans were murdered. Rice appeared on five national Sunday talk shows five days after the attack and made the boldfaced claim that the attack on the consulate “was a spontaneous — not a premeditated — response to what had transpired in Cairo in response to this very offensive video that was disseminated”. According to Rice, the protest by a “small number of people who came to the consulate” was “hijacked” by “clusters of extremists who came with heavier weapons.”
Senator McCain showed “little patience for fools, or idiots” and fairy tales when he angrily threatened to block Rice if she were nominated to become Secretary of State: “Susan Rice should have known better, and if she didn’t know better, she’s not qualified. She has proven that she either doesn’t understand or she is not willing to accept evidence on its face. There is no doubt five days later what this attack was and for.” Rice’s Benghazi story was reminiscent of the bedtime stories of the late Meles Zenawi.
Truth be told, only a “fool” or an “idiot” would not know or reasonably surmise the attack on the U.S. consulate was a terrorist act. CIA Director David Petraeus recently testified that from the moment he heard of the attack, he knew it was a terrorist act. He included this fact in the talking points he sent to the White House which somehow got redacted form Rice’s public statements. The experts and pundits also called it a terrorist act. For Rice, it was a protest gone wrong.
But there remain a number of puzzling questions: Why was Rice selected to become the point person on the attack in light of President Obama’s defense that Rice “had nothing to do with Benghazi.” Why didn’t Hilary Clinton step up to explain what happened? Did the White House throw Rice under the bus to save Hilary? Was Rice supposed to provide plausible deniability and political cover until the election was over by calling a manifest terrorist attack a protest over an offensive anti-Muslim video? Did Rice have to fall on the Benghazi sword to divert attention or delay accountability for the Administration’s failure to take appropriate preventive action in Benghazi as the price for nomination to the job of Secretary of State? Or was the White House trying to showcase Rice’s diplomatic adroitness and savvy in a futile attempt to bridge her unbridgeable competence and “stature gap” to become America’s foreign policy chief?
President Obama was ready to drive a lance through the heart of Republican villains hell bent on capturing and devouring his prevaricating damsel in distress. He told McCain and Graham to bring it on. If the Republican duo and their buddies “want to go after somebody, they should go after me. But for them to go after the U.N. ambassador? Who had nothing to do with Benghazi? And was simply making a presentation based on intelligence that she had received? To besmirch her reputation is outrageous.” That was great drama staged by “no drama Obama.”
What is mindboggling is the fact that Rice would believe and earnestly propagate such a cock-and-bull story about the Benghazi attack. Rice is a person with extraordinary credentials. She is a graduate of Stanford and Oxford Universities and a Rhodes scholar to boot! She was a top official in the National Security Agency and an Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs in the Clinton Administration. She has two decades of solid high level foreign policy experience. Yet five days after the attack, Rice shuttled from one news talk show to another telling the American people the Benghazi attack was not an act of terrorism. Is that willful ignorance, foolishness or idiocy?
The fact that the attack occurred on September 11 – a day that shall live in infamy in American history — and the attackers used their trademark “heavier weapons” (to use Rice’s words) of terrorism — pickup mounted machine guns, AK-47s, RPGs, hand grenades, mortars and IEDs — meant nothing to Rice. The fact that in Libya today there are all sorts of militias, rebel groups, Islamist radicals and terrorist cells are operating freely did not suggest the strong possibility of a terrorist attack for Rice. The fact that Gadhafi made Libya a state sponsor of terrorism for decades provided no historical context for Rice. Simply stated, in the Benghazi attack Rice saw something that looked like a duck, walked like a duck and quacked like a duck, but she concluded it was a giraffe.
The race card-ists and race baiters came out in full battle dress to defend Rice against charges of “incompetence”. Rep. Jim Clyburn, House Assistant Democratic Leader, was the first to strike a blow by politicizing Rice’s incompetence. “You know, these are code words. These kinds of terms that those of us — especially those of us who were grown and raised in the South — we’ve been hearing these little words and phrases all of our lives and we get insulted by them. Susan Rice is as competent as anybody you will find.” A group of democratic lawmakers delivered a second salvo charging “sexism and racism”. That was the shot across the bow and the message to the Republicans is clear:
Obama wants Rice as Secretary of State. He has won re-election. Rice will be nominated. Republicans who oppose her will be tarred and feathered as racists, sexists and misogynists persecuting a competent black woman. They will be demonized, dehumanized and discredited in the media. The democrats have 55 votes in the Senate and will be able to peel off at least 5 Republicans to end a filibuster. Rice will get the job of Secretary of State. Republicans will have eggs on their faces and will look like fools and idiots at the end of the day.
Such is the Democrat game plan and screenplay for victory and triumph in the Rice nomination. The Republicans will probably put up a nominal fight but will eventually fold under a withering Democrat attack. Rice will rise triumphant.
Rice’s confirmation as Secretary of State will be a sad day for American foreign policy because she is simply not qualified to be America’s diplomat-in-chief. Her confirmation will mark the saddest day for human rights throughout the world and particularly in Africa. Thetired, the poor, the huddled masses of Africa yearning to breath free will continue to find themselves in the iron chokehold of African dictators for another four years as Rice turns a blind eye to massive human rights violations. African dictators will be beating their drums and dancing in the streets. They will be happier than pigs in mud. They know she will have their backs for another four years. With Rice at the helm, there will be more money, more aid and more loans for African dictators. But the truth must be told. Calling Rice “incompetent” is a fact, not a racially coded denigration of African Americans. To paraphrase Clyburn, Rice is as incompetent as you will find.
The Peter Principle essentially states that in an organization where promotion is based on achievement, success, and merit, that organization’s members will eventually be promoted beyond their level of ability. In other words, “employees tend to rise to their level of incompetence.” The Dilbert principle states organizations tend to systematically promote their least-competent employees to higher management positions in order to limit the amount of damage they are capable of doing. If Rice succeeds Hilary Clinton, she will be a living example of the fusion of the Peter and Dilbert Principles at the highest level of the American government.
Let the truth be told: Susan Rice is simply not competent to become U.S. Secretary of State! To be a competent diplomat-in-chief of a great country, fundamental moral integrity is a necessity. Rice is incompetent because she lacks not only the moral judgment to tell right from wrong and truth from falsehood, but she is also incapable of distinguishing between two wrongs. In March 2012, Rice scathingly condemned Iran, North Korea and Syria “for their mass violations of human rights”. On September 2, 2012, she delivered a canonizing oration at the funeral of one of the ruthless dictators in recent African history. Twelve days before Rice recited Meles’ hagiography, Human Rights Watch issued a report stating, “Ethiopia has seen a sharp deterioration in civil and political rights, with mounting restrictions on freedom of expression, association, and assembly. The ruling party has increasingly consolidated its power, weakening the independence of core institutions such as the judiciary and the independent media that are crucial to the rule of law.”
A competent Secretary of State must have a working knowledge of military operations. Rice is clueless about military and paramilitary operations. She said the Benghazi attackers used “heavier weapons” but she could not connect the signature weapons of terrorists to the attackers who used them. Cluelessly or disingenuously, she tried to convince Americans and the world that a coordinated assault on a U.S. consulate in Benghazi was caused by “a small number of people” whose “protest” had gone awry!
A competent Secretary of State must have sound political judgment. Despite her stellar education and broad experience in foreign policy, Rice has traded intellectual integrity and prudence for blind political ambition. She seems incapable of discerning truth from falsehood even when it is obvious. She seems to have little concern for the truth or falsity of what she says; and evidently, she will say anything to advance her political ambitions in reckless disregard for the manifest truth. As Senator McCain perceptively observed, “she either doesn’t understand or she is not willing to accept evidence on its face”. She also does not seem to understand or appreciate the fact that a high level public official in her position has an obligation to undertake due diligence to find out what is true and what is false before swaggering in public peddling boldfaced lies.
A competent Secretary of State diplomat must subordinate his/her political ambitions to his/her patriotic duty to those who put their lives on the line to defend American values. Rice is incompetent because she will put her own political ambitions and loyalties to her political party above her patriotic duty to her fallen compatriots. She is a person for whom political expediency and opportunism are the creed of life. She will blindly tow the party line and support a policy without regard to principles or scruples. In other words, Susan Rice is a party hack and not material for the job of America’s diplomat-in-chief.
A competent Secretary of State must have intellectual courage and conviction. Rice is incompetent because she lacks intellectual courage, commitment and conviction. In a scholarly writing in 2006, Rice energetically argued that “Mali [as] an example of a well-governed country that suffers from capacity gaps that extremist groups have been able to exploit. Mali cooperates fully with the United States on counterterrorism matters.” In April 2012, when radical Islamist rebels took over Northern Mali and split the country in half, all she could offer was an empty statement calling on “all parties in Mali (including murderous terrorists) to seek a peaceful solution through appropriate political dialogue.” She folded her hands and watched for nearly four years doing nothing as Mali spiraled from a “well-governed country” to a divided strife-stricken country half of which today is a haven for murderous terrorists. Rice will talk the talk but not walk the talk.
A competent Secretary of State must be tempered in language and demeanor. Rice is incompetent because she lacks diplomatic temperament and thrives on being antagonistic, condescending and disrespectful to colleagues and other diplomats. A bullying and loose cannon Secretary of State cannot perform his/her job competently. She has a disgusting scatological lexicon. She is intolerant and arrogant and will try to vilify into submission those who disagree with her.
It is said that “stupid is as stupid does”; so “incompetent is as incompetent does”. I hope President Obama will not nominate Rice to replace Clinton. But I believe he will and we will all get to see a Shakespearean mini-drama at the confirmation hearings: “To be, or not to be (Secretary of State): that is the question (for Rice):/Whether ’tis nobler in the mind to suffer (for all the lies she has told)/ The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune (in a Senate confirmation hearing),/ Or to take arms against a sea of troubles (by coming clean and telling the truth)…/.
I believe Rice will be will be exposed for what she really is at the confirmation hearing– a grand obfuscator of the truth, an artful dodger and a masterful artist of political expediency and intrigue. In 1994, when the Clinton Administration pretended to be ignorant of the terror in Rwanda and the death toll continued to rise by the thousands, Rice’s concern was not taking immediate action to stop the genocide and saving lives but the political consequences of calling the Rwandan tragedy a “genocide” and saving her job and others in her party. She had the audacity, moral depravity and sheer callous indifference to ask, “If we use the word ‘genocide’ and are seen as doing nothing, what will be the effect on the November [congressional] election?”
Did Rice avoid using the word “terrorism” in explaining the Benghazi attack because she was concerned about the political costs the President would have to pay in the November election if the voters were to see him as doing nothing to prevent it?
At the end of the day, what Rice told the American people five days after the Benghazi attack, to quote Shakespeare, “is a (tall) tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.”
Previous commentaries by the author are available at:
ከፕሮፌሰር ዓለማየሁ ገብረማርያም
ትርጉም ከነጻነት ለሃገሬ
በሴፕቴምበር 2 2012 የአሜሪካዋ አምባሳደር በተባበሩት መንግስታት: ሱዛን ራይስ በኢትዮጵያ ጠቅላይ ሚኒስትር መለስ ዜናዊ የቀብር ስርአት ላይ ስሜታዊ ሆና የሚያቅለሸልሽ ቃላት ያዘለ ንግግር አነብንባ ነበር፡፡ መለስን፤ ‹‹የማይደክምና ራሱን የማይወድ››በአጠቃላይ እሱነቱ ለስራውና ለቤተሰቡ የሆነ ብላዋለች፡፡ ‹‹ጠንካራ፤ በእምነቱ የጸና እና በእርግጥም ለጂሎችና ለደደቦች እሱ እንደሚጠራቸው ትእግስቱ ትንሽ ነበር፡፡ ሱዛን ራይስ ይህን ቅጥ ያጣና ከአንድ አሜሪካን ከሚያህል ሃገር ወኪል ጨርሶ ሊሰማ የማይገባ ያልተገራ ንግግር ስታደርግ ጅልና ደደብ የሚለውን ቃል በድፍረትና በአጥንኦት የለጠፈችው በኢትዮጵያዊያን ነጻ ጋዜጠኞች፤የተቃዋሚ መሪዎች፤ተሟጋቾች፤የፖለቲካ እስረኞች፤የሲቪል ማሕበረ ሰብ መሪዎች፤እና የሰብአዊ መብት ተሟጋቾች ላይ ነው፡፡ የንግግሯን ቪዲዮ በመመልከት ሴትዮዋ ይህን ንግግር የመለስን ተቃዋሚዎች በመጨረሻ ጡጫ ደረታቸዉን ብላ ለመለስ የአስከሬን መሸኛ አድርጋ ማቅረቧ እንደነበር ያስታውቃል፡፡
‹‹ አንድ አይነት ላባ ያላቸው ወፎች አብረው ይከንፋሉ›› ይባባል፡፡ ራይስ እንደ መለስ ሁሉ ተቃዋሚዎቿንና ሃሳቧን የማይጋሯትን ትሳደባለች ታንቋሽሻለች፡፡ በስቴት ዲፓርትመንት አካባቢ የሚያውቋት በዘለፋ በቁጣና በማስፈራራት አነጋገራዎ ነው፡፡ በዚህም አጉል ደንፊ ተብላ ትታወቃለች፡፡ አለያም በጣም በሚያውቋት ዘንድ ‹‹የቻይና መደብር በሬ›› (አተራማሽ ወይም በጥባጭ ማለት ነው) ይሏታል፡፡ በስብሰባዎች ላይ በቃላት ርችት፤በአፈነበልባል፤በጣት ቀሳሪነት ራይስ ትታወቃለች፡፡ በአንድ ወቅት በአሜሪካን ዲፕሎማቶች ዋና ታዋቂ በነበሩት ሪቻርድ ሆል ብሩክ ላይ የበላዮች ስቴት ዲፓርትመንት አባላት ስብሰባ ላይ በአሜሪካንና በሌላውም ዓለም በሳቸው ደረጃ ካሉ ሰዎች የማይጠበቀውንና ጸያፍ ተብሎ የሚጠራውን ድርጊት በአደባባይ የመሃል ጣታቸውን ቀስረውባቸዋል ይባላል፡፡
በማርች 2012 የፈረንሳዩ የተባበሩት መንግስታት አምባሳደር ለራይስ እንደምክር የአውሮፓ ዩኒየን አሜሪካ ደገፈም አልደገፈም የበረራ ክልከላ ዞን ከተባበሩት መንግስታት የደህንነት ካውንስል ይፈልጋል በማለት ላቀረቡላት ሃሳብ ራይስ ለአምባሳደሩ ወሽመጥ በሚቆርጥ አነጋገር ‹‹መቼም ወደ አዛባ ጦርነታችሁ እንደማትጎትቱን አምናለሁ›› በማለት ከያዘችው ስልጣንና ከፈረንሳይ አቻዋ ጋር ሊደረግ በማይገባ የጋጠ ወጥ አባባል መልሳላቸዋል፡፡ በኋላ ግን ይህ ያጥላላችው ሃሳብ አመርቂ ውጤት በማስገኘቱ የሃሰቡ አፍላቂ በመምሰል ምስጋናውን ጠቅላ ለራሷ ለማድረግ በመዘየድ ‹‹ከማሰብና ከማቀድ ባለፈ የበረራ ክልከላውን ዞን በማጠናከር ልናተኩርበትና ልንተገብረውም አስፈላጊነቱ ወሳኝ ነው፡፡ የምድሩ ፍልሚያ ብዙም ስላላዋጣና ሲቪል ማህበረሰቡንም ከአደጋው ለመጠበቅ አዋጪው ይሄው ነውና›› በማለት ቀድማ ያጣጣለችውንና የፈረንሳዩን አቻዋን የሰደበችበትን ሃሳብ መልሳ በራሷ አፍላቂነት የተገኘ ለማስመሰል ጥራበታለች፡፡ ባለፈው ጁላይ ቻይናና ሩስያ ስለዓየር ለውጥ የቀረበውን ሂደት በተቃወሙበት ወቅት ራይስ ጉደኛዋ እዚህም ላይ ‹‹እርባና ቢስ›› ‹‹ሃሳበ ቢስ›› በማለት በማጣጣል ‹‹ የተግባር ውድቀት›› በማለት ኮንናቸዋለች፡፡
ያ እንግዲህ ያ ነበር፡፡ባለፈው ሳምንት በቤንጋዚ ሊቢያ ውስጥ በሴፕቴምበር 11 የ አራት አሜሪካውያንን ሕይወት የቀጠፈውን በአሜሪካን ኮንሱሌት የደረሰውን ፍንዳታ አስመልክቶ ራይስ በሰጠችው ዘገባ የተነሳ የሪፓብሊካን ሴኔተሮች ጆን ማኬይንና ሊንድሲ ግራሃም ሱዛን ራይስን ጅል ደደብ ስራዋን የማታዉቅ ናት የሚል ሃያል አስተያየታቸውን ሰንዝረውባታል፡፡ ራይስ ከፍንዳታው አምስት ቀናት በኋላ በአምስት የተሌቪዝን ዜና ፕሮግራሞች ላይ ቀርባ፤ “በኮንስሌቱ ላይ የደረሰው ፍንዳታ ግብታዊ፤ በእቅድ ያልተደረገ፤ ነው:: በካይሮ በተነሳሳው ተቃውሞ ላይ የተመሰረተና ዋናው አነሳሽም አጸያፊውና አሳዛኝ የሆነው የእስላምን እምነት የሚያንቁያሽሽ የቪዲዮ ዝግጅት ያስከተለው ነው” በማለት ገለጠች፡፡ እንደ ራይስ አባባል፤በጥቂት ሰዎች ስብስብ ወደ ኤምባሲው የሄደው የተቃውሞ ትዕይንት በድንገት በተጠናከረ መሳርያ በታጠቁ አክራሪ ስብስቦች ‹‹ተጠልፎ›› ነው አደጋው የተፈጸመው ብላ ነበር፡፡
‹‹ሴኔተር ማኬይን ለ‹‹ጅሎችና ለደደቦች ትዕግስታቸው ማለቁን›› እና ለራይስ ተረት ተረት ጨዋታ ቁጣቸው ገንፍሎ ራይስ የውጭ ጉዳይ ዋና አስተዳደሪ ሆና ስሟ ለምርጫ ቢቀርብ ተቃውሟቸው የከረረ እንደሚሆንና ለማሳገድም እንደሚጥሩ አስጠንቅቀው ነበር፡፡ ‹‹ሱዛን ራይስ ቀድማ ልታውቅ ይገባት ነበር፡፡ ሳታውቅ ከቀረች ደግሞ ለቦታው ጨርሶ አትመጥንም፡፡ አንድ ያረጋገጠችው ጉዳይ ቢኖር፤ ወይ አይገባትም ደድባለች አለያም፤ ያገጠጠውን ሃቅ መቀበል ቸግሯታል” ብለው በሃይል ቃል ተናግረዋል፡፡ ይህ የጥቃት ድርጊት ከአምስት ቀን በኋላ በእውነታነት የተረጋገጠው ነገር ነበር፡፡ለነገሩ የራይስ የቤንጋዚ ታሪክ የቀድሞው መለስ ዜናዊ የመኝታ ሰአት ተረት ተረት ቅሪትን ያስታዉሳል፡፡››
ሃቅ በገሃድ ይውጣ:: በቤንጋዚ የአሜሪካን ኮንሱሌት ላይ የደረሰው ጥቃት የሽብርተኞች መሆኑን ማወቅ የተሳነው አለያም መገመት ያቃተው ‹‹ጅል››ና ‹‹ደደብ›› ብቻ ነው፡፡ የሲ አይ ኤ ዋና ሹም የነበሩት ፔትራዩስ፤ በቅርቡ በሰጡት መግለጫ መሰረት፤ ፍንዳታው መፈጸሙን እነደሰሙ ድርጊቱ የሽብርተኛች መሆኑን ወዲው ማወቃቸውንና ማረጋገጣቸውን ይፋ አድርገዋል፡፡ ይህን መግለጫ ለሁዋይት ሃውስ የመነጋገርያ ነጥብ እንዲሆን ቢያቀርቡትም ከራይስ ንግግር ላይ አልገባም ነበር:: ለነገሩ ግራ የሚያጋባው ጉዳዩ በአግባቡ የሚያገባቸውና መግለጫውንም ሊሰጡ የሚገባቸው ዋና አስተዳዳሪዋ ሂላሪ ክሊንተን ሆነው ሳለ፤በምን ሰበብ ራይስ ጥልቅ እንዳለች ግልጽ አይደለም፡፡ ለምን ሂላሪ መግለጫውን አልሰጡም፤ወይስ ሁዋይት ሃውስ ሂላሪን ለማዳን ሲል ራይስን አውቶቡስ ጎማ ስር እንደታኮ አስቀመጣት? ወይስ ራይስ እውነት የሚመስል ቅጥፈትና የፖለቲካ ሽፋን ለመስጠት ነበር የሽብርተኞች ድርጊት አይደለም ያለችው? ካልሆነስ፤ ምናልባት በቤንጋዚው ስለታማ ጉዳይ
ላይ ወድቃ አስፈላጊውን እርምጃ በወቅቱና ባስቸኳይ ባለመወሰዱ ያደረሰውን ጉዳት መከላከያ ለማቅረብ የሞከረችህው? ወይስ በቤንጋዚ ለተፈጸመው እኩይ ተግባር ራይስ መሳርያ በመሆን ወደ፤ የሃገር አስተዳዳሪነቱን ሹመት ለማግኘትበቀላማጅነት መቅረቧ ነው፡፡ ወይስ ሁዋይት ሃውስ የራይስን የእውቀት ደረጃ፤ ጥንካሬ፤ያላትን አይደፈሬነትማስመሰልና የተፈጠረውን ክፍተት ለማጥበብ ሲባል ለሹመቱ ያላትን ብቃት ለማረጋገጥ የተፈጸመ ነው?
ፕሬዜዳንት ኦባማ የሪፓብሊካን ራይስ አቀንቃኞች ላይ ጎራዴአቸዉን መዘው ነበር የወጡት፡፡ ማኬይንንና እና ግራሃምን ኦባማ ሲናገርዋቸው ‹‹ሪፓብሊካኖችናወዳጆቻቸው ሰው ማጥቃት ካሰቡ እኔን ማጥቃት ይችላሉ፡፡ ግን በአንዲት የሃገሪቱን የተባበሩት መንግስታትአምባሳደር ላይ መነሳሳት? በቤንጋዚ ጉዳይ በማያገባት ላይ? እና ከደህንነት ክፍሉ ያገኘችውን መግለጫ መሰረትአድርጋ በመናገሯ? ስሟንና ተግባሯን ማጥላላትና ማንቋሸሽ አሳዘኝ ተግባር ነው፡፡›› ይሄ እንግዲህ ‹‹የኦባማ ድራማ ›› በሚባለው አይነት የተቀነባበረ ትእይንት ድራማ ነበር፡፡
ለሕሊና የሚከብደውና አሳፋሪ ነገር ግን ይህን የመሰለውን ቅጥ አምባሩ የጠፋ የቤንጋዚ የጥቃት ታሪክ ራይስ አምና ለአለም ማስተጋባቷ ነው፡፡ራይስ እኮ እንደብዙዎቻችን ዝም ብላ አይደለችም፡፡ የስታንፈርድ እና የኦክስፎርድ ዩኒቨርስቲዎች ተመራቂ፤የሮድስ ስኮላር፤ በናሽናል ሴኪዩሪቲ ኤጀንሲ ከፍተኛ ቦታ ላይ የነበረች፤ በክሊንተን አስተዳደር ወቅት የሃገር አስተዳደር የአፍሪካ ጉዳይ ምክትል ጸሃፊ የነበረች ከፍ ያለች ባለስልጣን እኮ ናት፡፡ በሃገር የውጭ ግንኙነት የበርካታ ዓመታትልምድ ያላት ሰው ናት፡፡ያም ሆኖ አደጋው ከተፈጸመ ከአምስት ቀናት በኋላ ራይስ ከአንዱ ቴሌቪዥን ፕሮግራም ወደ ሌላው እየከነፈች፤ ለአሜሪካን ሕዝብ የቤንጋዚው ፍንዳት የአስሸባሪዎች (ቴሬሪስቶች) ጥቃት አይደለም በማለት ታስተጋባ ጀመር፡፡ ታዲያ ይሄ የአውቆ ደደብነት ነው ወይስ የጅል መልካም አስተሳብ? ፍንዳታው በሴፕቴምበር 11 መፈጸሙ፤ጥቃቱን የፈጸሙት መታወቂያቸው የሆነውን (ራይስ እንደአለችው) የሽብር መፈጸሚያቸውን ‹‹ከባድ መሳርያዎች›› የተተቀሙ፤ ……..በመኪና ላይ የተደገነ መትረየስ፤ ኤኬ-47ቶች (ካላሽ)፤ አርፒጂዎች የእጅ ቦምቦች፤ ሞርታሮች፤ ይሄ ሁሉ የጥፋት ቁሳቁስ ለራይስ ምንም ነገር መስሎ አልታያትም፡፡ ከጋዳፊ ከስልጣን መወገድ ቀደም ብሎ፤ብዙ ዓይነት ሚሊሺያዎች አመጸኞች፤ በርካታ የሽብር ድርጅቶች (ሴሎች) በቤንጋዚ መኖራቸው ለራይስ የሽብር ጥቀቱን ሊያመጣ እንደሚችል ሊያስገምታት አልቻለም:: ጋዳፊ ሊቢያን ለብዙ ዓመታት ለሽብርተኞች ሃገራዊ እርዳታ ለጋሽ አድርጓት እንደነበር ለራይስ ምንም አይነት ታሪካዊ እንድምታ ሊያስገነዝባት አልቻለም፡፡ በቀላሉ አነጋገር ለራይስ ጉዳዩ እንደ ወፍ መስሎ እንደ ወፍ ተራምዶ ቢታያትም እሷ ግን ግመል ነው ብላ ደመደመች፡፡
የእሽቅድድሙ አባሎችና የሩጫው አራጋቢዎች የራይስን የችሎታ ማነስ ሊያስተባብሉ ከያሉበት ተጠራርተው የጦር ልብሳቸውን ተላብሰው ተሰባሰቡ፡፡ የዴሞክራት ምከር ቤት መሪ ጂም ክላይበርን የመጀመርያው ተከላካይ ነበር፡፡‹‹አያችሁ እነዚህ እኮ የሚስጥር አነጋገር ቃላቶች ናቸው፡፡ እኛ እነዚህን አባባሎች በተለይም እኛ በደቡብ ተወልደን ያደግነው፤ህይወታችንን ሙሉ እነዚህን ቃላት (የስራ ችሎታ የላቸዉም) ስነባል ስንሰደብ ነው የኖርነው:: ሱዛን ራይስ ከማንም የማታንስ አዋቂ ናት:›› ብለው ተናገሩ:: ሌሎች ዴሞክራቶችም ጉዳዩን ‹‹የጾታና የዘር›› አድርገው መኮነን ጀመሩ፡፡ ምን አይነት እሳቤ ማጣት ነው? ሆኖም: ራይስን ‹‹ችሎታ ቢስ ማለት?›› ስም ማጥፋት አይደለም:: እውነት ነው እንጂ::
ጥረቱ ማኬይንንና ግራሃምን ለማዋረድ ተብሎ የተቃጣና የራይስን ችሎታ ቢስነት ለማድበስበስ ተብሎ የታቀደ ነው፡፡ መልክቱ ለሪፕቡሊካኖች ግልጥ ነው። ፕሬዝደንት ኦባማ ራይስን ዉጭ ጉዳይ መሪ እንድትሆን ይፈለጋሉ። ተቃዋሚ ረፑብሊካኖች ከወጡ እንደ ዘርኛና ሴቶችን እንደሚጠሉ ሆነው በብዙሃን ይቀርባሉ። ራይስ ቩመቱን ታገኛለች፥ ረፑብሊካንስ ይከሽፋሉ የሚል ዝየዳ ነው ደሞክራቶች የያዙት። ሊሰራላችው ይችላል።
ዕውነቱ ግን ራይስ የትም ቢጓዙ የማትገኝ ችሎታ ቢስ ፍጡር ናት፡፡ የአንድ ታላቅ ሃገር ብቃት ያለው ዲፕሎማት ለመሆን መሰረታዊ የሞራል ብቃት ዋነኛ ተፈላጊው ጉዳይ ነው፡፡ራይስ ሃቁን ከውሸቱ ለይታ ለማወቅ የሞራል የፍርድ ሚዛን የጎደላት በመሆኗ ብቻ ሳይሆን፤ ሁለት ውሸቶችን ለመለየትም ቢሆን ችሎታው እጅጉን ይጎድላታል፡፡ በማርች 2012፤ ራይስ በጭፍኗ ኢራንን፤ ሰሜን ኮርያን፤ሲሪያን ስለሚያካሂዱት የሰብአዊ መብት ጥሰት እስከመጨረሻ ድረስ ኮነነቻቸው፡፡ በሴፕቴምበር 2, 2012 በአሁኑ የአፍሪካ ታሪክ ተወዳዳሪ የማይገኝለት ፈላጭ ቆራጭ በሆነው መሪ ቀብር ላይ ተገኝታ በሙገሳ መላክ የሚያስመስል የተካበ ንግግሯን አሰማች፡፡ ራይስ የመለስን የሕይወት ታሪክ ከማቅረቧ አስራ ሁለት ቀናት ቀደም ብሎ፤ሁመን ራይትስ ዎች የተባለው ዓለም አቀፍ የሰብአዊ መብት ጠባቂ ድርጅት‹‹በኢትዮጵያ የሲቪልና የፖለቲካ መብት ሂደት እያሽቆለቆለ በመሄድ ላይ ነው፡፡ ሃሳብን በነጻ መግለጽ፤በማህበርመደራጀት፤ መሰብሰብ፤ ሁሉ እገዳ እየተደረገባቸው ነው፡፡ ገዢው ፓርቲ የጉልበት ስልጣኑን በመቆጣጠር፤ የፍትሕ አካላትን ፤የመገናኛ ብዙሃንን ነጻነት ለሕግ የበላይነት በእጅጉ አስፈላጊ የሆኑትን በመቆጣጠር በደል መፈጸሙእየባሰበት ነው›› በማለት መግለጫ አውቷል፡፡
ብቃት ያለው ዲፕሎማት ስለወታደራዊ ተቋም በቂ እውቀት ሊኖረው ይገባል፡፡ በውጭ ጉዳይ ተግባር ላይ በቂ ልምድና ትምህርት ቢኖራትም: ራይስ የስልጣን መጨበጫውን መንገድ በጭፍን የፖለቲካ ምኞቷ ሸቅጣዋለች፡፡ ዕውነትን ከመቀላመድ ለመለየት ችሎታ ያነሳት ትመስላለች፡፡ ራይስ የራሷን የፖለቲካ ምኞት እስካሳካላት ድረስ አውነት ይሁን ሃሰትጉዳይዋ አይደለምና ምንም ነገር ከማለት ወደኋላ አትልም፡፡ ሴኔተር ማኬይን እንደታዘቡትና እንዳሰቀመጡት ‹‹ሴትዮዋ ወይም ምንም አይገባትም፤ አለያም ማስረጃን ከነማስረጃው ሲቀርብ መቀበል አትፈቅድም›› ብለዋል:: ከዚያም አልፎእንደ አንድ በሷ ደረጃ ያለ ከፍተኛ ሕዝባዊ ባለስልጣን በሕዝብ ፊት ቀርቦ ያገጠጠ ውሸትን ከማቅረብ በፊት እውነቱንና ሃሰቱን አጥርቶ ማወቅ ይጠበቅበታል፡፡
ብቃት ያለው ዲፕሎማት፤የሷን/የሱን የፖለቲካ ምኞት ከሱ/ከሷ ብሔራዊ ግዳጅ ጋር ማዛመድ ጠበቅበታል፡፡ የራሷንየፖለቲካ ምኞትና ጠቀሜታ ለፓርቲዋ መገልገያ አድርጋ በማስቀደም፤ ብሔራዊ ሃላፊነቷን ስለምትተወው ራይስ ችሎታ ይጎድላታል ብሔራዊ ተአመኒነትም የላትም፡፡ ራይስ የፖለቲካ ጥቅም እና ጥቅም አሳዳጅነት፤ ከምንም በላይቅድሚያ የምትሰጣቸው መመሪያዎቿ ናቸው፡፡ በጭፍኗ የፓርቲዋን መስመር በመከተል ምንም አይነት ፖሊሲ ቢሆን ያለምንም ዓላማና ግንዛቤ የምታራምድ ናት፡፡ የራሷን የፖለቲካ ምኞት እስካሳካለት ድረስ ምንም ይሁን ምንም የአለምንም ይሉኝታ ተግባራዊ ከማድረግ የማትመለስ፤የሞራል ግዴታዋን ጠቅልላ የጣለች አደራ በላ ናት፡፡ በአጭሩ የፓርቲ አናፋሽ ሆና የራሷን የፖለቲካ ምኞት ብቻ ለማሳካት የምትኖር ግለ ሰብ ናት፡፡
ብቃት ያለው ዲፕሎማት የችሎታ ጥንካሬ ሊኖረው ግድ ነው፡፡ የችሎታ ጥንካሬና ሃለፊነት ስለሚጎላት ራይስ ችሎታ ያንሳታል፡፡ በ2006 ባቀረበችው ምሁራዊ ጽሁፏ፤ ራይስ ማሊ እንደ መልካም አስተዳደር ያላት ሃገር በችሎታ ማነስ የምትሰቃይ ሃገርና አክራሪዎች ሲመዘብሯት የኖረች ሀጋር ናት በማለት ጽፋ ነበር፡፡ ማሊ በጸረሽብርተኝነት ከአሜሪካ መንግስት ጋር የጠበቀ ትስስር ያላት ናት፡፡ በኤፕሪል 2012 አክራሪ የሙስሊም አፈንጋጮች ሰሜናዊ ማሊን በመያዝ ሃገሪቱን ለሁለት በከፈሉበት ወቅት ግን፤ራይስ ያደረሰችው ዕርዳታ ‹‹በማሊ ያሉት ፓርቲዎች ሁሉ አግባብነት ባለው የፖለቲካ ውይይት ሰላማዊ ኑሮን ሊቀጥሉ ይገባል›› የሚል የቃላት ድርደራ ብቻ ነበር፡፡ ያቺ‹‹የመልካም አስተዳደር›› ሃገር የነበረች ማሊ የተከፋፈለችና ለመከራ የተዳረገች፤ የሽብርተኞች መናሃርያ ስትሆን በትንሹ ለአራት ዓመታት ራይስ ቃላት ከመደርደር ባሻገር እርምጃውን መራመድ ግን አልቻለችም፡፡
ብቃት ያለው ዲፕሎማት በቃላት አጠቃቀሙና በምግባሩ ሁሉ የታረመ ሊሆን ተገቢ ነው፡፡ የዲፕሎማቲክ አስተሳሰብ ስለሚጎድላት፤ዘወትር ነገር ጫሪ ሆና ስለምትገኝ፤ አብረዋት ለሚሰሩትና ለሌሎች ዲፕሎማቶች አክብሮት ስለሌላት፤ጉረኛና ደንፊ በመሆኗ ራይስ የችሎታ ማነስ ችግር አለባትና ብቃት የላትም፡፡ ሱዛን ራይስን ‹‹ጅል››አለያም ‹‹ግሳንግስ››ብዬ ዝቅ ለማለት አልፈልግም፡፡ ለነገሩ፤ ሁለቱንም እንዳይደለች አምናለሁ:: ይልቁንስ፤የራሷን የፖለቲካ ምኞት ለማሳክት ስትል እሷነቷን ለሽያጭ የምታቀርብ፤ አስሊ፤ሸፍጠኛ፤ተንኮለኛ፤ሰሪ፤ ሃሳብ ሰላቢ፤ራስ ወዳድ፤ የሆነች ፖለቲከኛ ናት፡፡ ሃሰትን ለመሸፋፈን በሚደረግ ሴራ ውስጥ ፈቃደኛ ሽፋን ሆና የምታገለግል እኩይ ባህሪ ያላት ናት፡፡ በዚህም በመሸፋፈን ተግባሯ ስለሽብርተኞቹ ሁኔታ በማለባበስ በድርጊቱ ሕይወታቸው ያለፉትን አራት አሜሪካዊያን አርበኞች የግድያ መንስኤ ምንነት አሳንሳ አቅርባ የአሜሪካንንና የዓለምን ሕብረተሰብ ለማታለል ከንቱ ጥረት አሳየች፡፡
‹‹ውዳቂ እንደውዳቂው ሁኔታ ነው›› እንደሚባለው ‹‹የችሎታ ማነስም እንደችሎታው አናሳነት ነው››፡፡ ፕሬዜዳንትኦባማ ራይስ ክሊንተንን እንድትተካ አይመርጧትም የሚል ተስፋ አለኝ፡፡ ከመረጧትም ከባድና ትልቅ ሼክስፒራዊ ችግር ይገጥማታል፡፡ (የሃገር አስተዳደር) ‹‹መሆን ወይም አለመሆን›› ያ ነው ጥያቄው፡፡‹‹ከሕሊና ጭንቀት መላቀቅ ያ ነው ክብር የሞላው›› (ለቀላመደቻቸው እብለቶች ሁሉ) ላልታሰበው ሽንቆጣና ቀስቶች ፍላጻ ላልታሰበው መጻኢ እድል ውሳኔ (በሴኔቱ ዘንድ ለሚደረገው እሰጥ አገባ) አለያም በባሀሩ ላይ ላለው ሞገድ መሳርያ መምዘዝ፤ (ዕውነትን በመናገርን ጸህናን ማስመስከር) ራይስ በምርጫው ቀንቷት ወደ ሴኔት ውሳኔ ከደረሰች፤እውነተኛ እሷነቷ፤ እውነትን ለፖለቲካ መጠቀሚያነትና የራሷን ምኞት ለማሳካት ስትል የምትዳክር ሃቅ አልባ መሆኗ ይጋለጣል፡፡ በ1994 የክሊንተን አስተዳደር በሩዋንዳ በመካሄድ ላይ የነበረውን እልቂትና የዘር ማጥፋት ጭፍጨፋ እንደማያውቅ አስመስሎ በቸልታ ሊያልፈው ሲሞክር የሞቱ ቁጥር በሺዎች እየጨመረ ሄዶ ጭፍጨፋውንና የዘር እልቂቱን ለማቆም አፋጣኝ እርምጃ በመውሰድ ሕወት ማትረፍሲቻል፤የራሷን ስልጣን ላለማጣትና የሷንና የመሰል የፓርቲ ባለስልጣናትን ስምና ሁኔታ ለመጠበቅ ስትል ብቻ ሰው አስጨረሰች፡፡ ስትናገርም “የዘር ማጥፋት የሚለውን ቃል የተጠቀምን እንደሆነና ምንም ሳናደርግ ብንቀር፤ የኖቬምበሩ የምክር ብት ምርጫ ምን ሊያጋጥው ይችላል?” አለች:: የሱዛን ራይስ ችሎታ ይህ እውንታዊ ምስክር ነው::
አሁንም: ራይስ በቤንጋዚ የተፈጸመውን ድርጊት ሽብር ብላ ለመጥራት ያስፈራትና ያሳሰባት በኖቬምበር በሚካሄደው ፕሬዜዳንታዊ ምርጫ ላይ ሊያስከትል የሚችለው ችግር አስጨንቋት ነውን?
እመት: ሱዛን ራይስ ሆይ! ‹‹ጅሉስ›› ማነው? ‹‹ደደቡስ›› ማነው አሁን?
የተቶረገመው ጽሁፍ (translated from):
ካሁን በፊት የቀረቡ የጸሃፊው ጦማሮችን ለማግኘት እዚህ ይጫኑ::
Ethiopian National Transitional Council (ENTC) has continued to work on expanding its organizational reach throughout the world. This effort includes strengthening the chapters that are already established as well as forming new ones. In line with this effort, it has announced that it completed the successful formation of the South African chapter with dedicated Ethiopians.
email: firstname.lastname@example.org tel: 27-745768381
November 22, 2012
The Ethiopian National Transitional Council (ENTC) has sent a communiqué to the Royal Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Norway and the State Minister of International Development Heikki Holmas, requesting a diplomatic recognition. The letter was submitted to the to the Ministry by Dr. Girum Zeleke, ENTC’s diplomatic representative in Norway.
The letter explains ENTC’s mission, and discusses the worsening political, economic and security crises in Ethiopia, as well as the need for the Sweden government to help with a peaceful transition to democracy.
The Transitional Council was founded at a 3-day conference in Dallas, Texas, that was convened from July 1 – 3, 2012, with the participation of representatives from all over the world.
Diplomacy is one of the primary tasks that the ENTC general assembly assigned to the leadership at the July 2012 conference in Dallas.
For more info:
ENTC Foreign Relations Committee
85 S. Bragg St. Alexandria VA, 22312 USA
By Aklog Birara, PhD
This paper is third of a series on Ethiopian fascinations concerning the “Arab Spring.” Beyond these current fascinations, there are strategic economic and diplomatic dimensions that require deeper analysis and understanding with regard to relations between Ethiopia on the one hand, and Egypt on the other. I refer to the future development and use of the waters of the Nile River. I know of no other topic in the 21st century that evokes strong emotions and national sentiments in Egypt and Ethiopia than the development and use of the River Nile and its tributaries. These sentiments emanate from the fact that water is among the most precious natural resource assets in the world. It is the source of life, identity, civilization, food self-sufficiency and security, industrialization, potential wealth and security for those who possess it and a source of jealousy for those who do not. People need water to survive. They need fertile or irrigable land to procreate and to produce food. Water meets basic needs. As populations increase and infrastructural and economic demand intensify, governments are obliged to respond to the needs of their societies as a matter of urgency. They have little choice but to harness their water resources for the betterment of their respective societies. Understandably, government officials, experts, academics, and members of civil society from both sides express views that reflect competing national interests. Elementary school children in both countries find themselves growing up with the belief that their respective perception- that is single country-focused – is the most critical; and it is. Ethiopian history, resistances to foreign aggression, honor, and identity emanate largely from its coveted position as the source of the Blue Nile or Abay. When viewed regionally and multilaterally, perceptions on both sides often underestimate the interdependence of riparian nations in general, Ethiopia, and Egypt in particular. For peace to prevail, mutuality must govern relations and the future.
Seifu Metaferia Firew, a well-known Ethiopian poet, expresses the widely held view among Ethiopians that, as the “origin of the Nile, Ethiopia, continues to suffer from water scarcity” and from recurring famine. He suggests that this “shameful” condition continues not because Ethiopia does not possess water; but because its government is unable to “develop, harness, and use” the country’s “vast water resources and silt to dam, irrigate, produce and feed its large and growing population. Ethiopia, he says, loses two ways: “The waters of the massive Abay River (the Blue Nile) flow into the Greater Nile; and that this river takes away millions of tons of fertile soils from the Ethiopian highlands” year after year and provides the material foundation for Egyptian agriculture. At the same time, Ethiopia faces chronic drought, famine, skyrocketing food prices, and hunger. Today, more than 4.5 million Ethiopians endure the worst famine since the 1980s. In light of this, the author suggests that “Someday, I (meaning government), will be held accountable for gross negligence to develop the Abay River” so that Ethiopians will no longer go through the humiliation of hunger, destitution and international food aid dependency. The lack of prioritization in the agricultural sector in general and irrigated farming in particular is now a “national crisis.” The thesis of this chapter is that no current or future government in Ethiopia will survive unless it addresses this fundamental national crisis. To-date, successive Egyptian governments have managed to marginalize Ethiopia and bar it from exploiting its major rivers including the Abay. The fact that Ethiopia is “the water tower of Africa” has meant practically nothing when measured against the food self-sufficiency and security and modernization needs of the country. In contrast, Nile-centered and dependent Egypt has succeeded to meet domestic food demand and to create a strong agric-based industry that employs millions. Egypt has done this by invoking the principle of acquired or “historic rights” while denying Ethiopia fair and equitable share of the Nile. 1/
These two seemingly irreconcilable perspectives and principles lead me to the second thesis of the article. On the Egyptian side is the principle of acquired or “historic rights,” a principle inherited from the colonial era that gives Egypt total hegemony over the Nile. This hegemony clashes with the principles of equitable and fair share, principles that most Sub-Saharan African riparian states now embrace. On the Ethiopian side is the history-based and growing recognition that “historic rights” claimed by Egypt and to some extent Northern Sudan are unjust and unfair, and that colonial and foreign interference-based treaties and legal arrangements are no longer viable or acceptable. One cannot appreciate the depth and breadth of these two contending views unless and until one goes back and examines history. Ethiopia’s claim for fair and equitable allocation is not new at all, and predates pre- Aksumite Empire and the height of Egyptian civilization. The country’s history shows that King Lalibela wanted to build a dam long before dams had become an economic necessity. Emperors such as Zara Yaqob, Yohannes, Teodros, Menelik, Haile Selassie, and leaders such as Mengistu Haile Mariam and Meles Zenawi manifest visions and perspectives that defend Ethiopia’s national interests over its water resources. Emperor Yohannes IV died defending this sacrosanct principle, as did Emperor Teodros. Regardless of regime, Ethiopia and Egypt will remain adversaries over the use of the Nile. At best, they will remain keen competitors in the decades ahead.
Demography may now be destiny
The Nile River has been a major source of contention, rivalry, and animosity between Egypt and Ethiopia since time immemorial. The fundamental role of the Nile in shaping Egyptian life is incontestable. Egyptian civilization is a gift of the Nile six sevenths of the waters of which originate from the Ethiopian highlands. The battle for control and for influence of countries around it predates Egypt’s Pharos. From time to time, it has involved powers beyond riparian states for more than 7,000 years. This tradition to exercise monopoly continued under British imperial rule that imposed binding agreements on riparian nations on behalf of Egypt, a British colony at the time. Egypt signed a Nile Agreement in 1929 that offered it natural and exclusive rights over the Nile. This arrangement begun to unravel only after Sub-Saharan African states gained independence. Until then, Ethiopia stood as the sole voice in defense of the principle of fair and equitable share without success. This Egyptian inherited “historic right” and preponderance has virtually undermined Ethiopia’s legitimate rights to advance its national development by building hydroelectric and irrigation dams. Ethiopian and other independent experts contend that Egypt does not contribute a drop of rain or water to the Nile. Ethiopia contributes 86 percent of the water and uses only 1 percent for irrigation. Thirty percent of Ethiopia’s land mass that covers 385,400 square kilometers is within the Abay River Basin and its tributaries. This provides potential of 3,500,000 hectares of irrigable land, more than sufficient to meet Ethiopia’s food demand for decades. From 1990 to present, the country used only 90,000 hectares of the available potential within this land mass. Given geographic spread, population, and size, Ethiopia possesses geopolitical and demographic advantage unmatched by other riparian states. This enormous potential suggests urgency. Ethiopia’s population of 90 million–the second largest in Africa– will reach 278 million by 2050, the tenth largest in the world. This dramatic demographic shift will have profound economic and political impact not only in the Horn but also in the rest of Africa and the Middle East. This in itself foretells the need for change in the governance of Nile waters. Ethiopia’s legitimacy is firmer than ever before. There is no doubt in my mind that Ethiopia will emerge as a leading economy over the coming 25 to 50 years; if it resolves its current political crisis and establishes inclusive and participatory governance.
Colonial powers and especially Britain tried to tie Ethiopia’s hands at a time when the country was relatively weak. The May 15 1902 Treaty between Britain and so-called “Abyssinia” regulated the frontier between Ethiopia and the Sudan, a British colony. Article III of this treaty states that “The Emperor Menelik engages not to construct or to allow being constructed any work across the Blue Nile, Lake Tana or the Sobat which would arrest the flow of their waters into the Nile, except in agreement with the governments of Great Britain and the Sudan. “ This and the 1929 agreement weakened Ethiopia’s position in that both set a precedent used by Egypt subsequently to justify unfair and unjust arrangements. The Nile Waters Agreement of 1959 between the Republic of the Sudan and the United Arab Republic of Egypt benefitted from colonial precedents to which Ethiopia is not a party. At the center of all these agreements, the economic principles that the River “needs projects for its full control and for increasing its yield for the full utilization of its waters” are under-scored. It is unthinkable to realize development without a project or program. This same principle of project applies to Ethiopia. “Acquired or historic rights” trace their origins to these types of arrangements that conferred on Egypt and the Sudan exclusive rights to develop and use the Nile. Both countries continue to adhere to these outdated agreements as if the world remains static. “The absurdity of the land of the Blue Nile dying of thirst (during the Great Famine of the 1980s in which 1 million lives were lost; and today in which close to five million Ethiopians face death) was combined with fact that Egypt at that time (l980s) was about to face a similar catastrophe,” had rains not started in Ethiopia. This nature-driven interdependence between Egypt and Ethiopia virtually defines the acrimonious links between two competing societies that depend on the same river to achieve the same goals. “The intensive Egyptian-Ethiopian efforts to reach understanding that resumed in the early 1990s have not been facilitated by old legacies of mutual suspicion…Egypt was not only born of the Nile, it also lives by it, and its dependence increases with the pace of modernization and population growth.” The same forces that deepen Egypt’s dependence on the Nile are shaping Ethiopian society at speeds that no one had anticipated in the last century. I am not referring only to demographic change. Ethiopians aspire to achieve rapid and inclusive modernization, and possess the requisite talent pool and material resources to achieve these goals over the coming decades. The various dams built and proposed reflect this achievable goal. 2/
Ethiopian interest in harnessing and developing its water resources for development are not new. Successive Ethiopian governments tried to persuade the Egyptian and Sudanese governments of Ethiopia’s right to invest in its waters to meet changing needs. In 1960, the Imperial government under Emperor Haile Selassie sponsored a hydroelectric and irrigation feasibility study led by the US Bureau of Reclamation. In July 1964, the group identified 71 locations, 31 water, and 19 specific hydroelectric sites on the Abay River. It recommended the construction of hydroelectric dams that would produce 87 billion kilowatt electricity per year, more than sufficient to meet domestic demand. Irrigation dams of varied sizes would irrigate 430, 000 hectares of land and would meet the food security needs of the country for decades. Breakdowns of the proposals suggest the seriousness of the thinking and the sizes of the projects. One such hydroelectric dam would have been bigger than the Aswan Dam that contains 51 million cubic meters of water; and would generate more electricity than the Aswan Dam. The primary locations identified included Lake Tana, Mendassa near the Sudanese border and Makile. The government was able to realize only the Fincha Dam. The newly proposed Millennium Dam is not radically different in dimension or in location from earlier proposals.3/
Why did the other projects fail to come to fruition? The primary reason is Egyptian intransigence and rejection of any move by Ethiopia to develop its waters. The Tana Beles hydroelectric and irrigation project involving five dams near Lake Tana proposed in 1958–that would have benefitted 200,000 farmers under financing from the African Development Bank– was rejected outright by Egypt. The feasibility study conducted by the US Bureau of Reclamation and the Tana Beles project would have effectively transformed the Abay Gorge and Lake Tana into the “primary all-Nile reservoir to supply electricity and irrigation for Ethiopia while significantly enlarging and regulating the amount of water flowing into the Sudan and Egypt. “ The scheme would have benefited Egypt too. Egypt rejected all of the projects and persuaded multilateral financial institutions not to support Ethiopia’s ambitions. This rejection curtailed Ethiopia’s potential in developing its water resources to meet its food demands and to reduce poverty. In 1977, a World Bank study of the Nile concluded that the “Waters of the Nile probably constitute Ethiopia’s greatest natural asset for development. The development of the River Nile in Ethiopia has the potential to contribute significantly to poverty reduction, meet domestic power and food demands, and become a cornerstone of a future export strategy.” 4/
How do riparian states move from intransigence to commonality?
In my view, and as the World Bank study suggests, past arrangements are no longer viable and or acceptable to changing Ethiopian development needs. Governments must recognize the importance of averting the inevitability of war over the Nile. As a step forward, there must be willingness and readiness on all sides to build mutual confidence and trust. Ethiopians feel that the lead responsibility must come from Egypt. In the past and today, Egypt finances(d) and provides()d armaments and safe harbor to secessionist movements such as the Eritrean Peoples’ Liberation Front, the Oromo Liberation Front, the Ogaden Liberation Front, and the Tigray Peoples’ Liberation Front. These and similar activities must cease. The evolving consensus among riparian states and the world community suggests an urgent need for radical shifts in policy and covenants among all parties. Threats and suspicions must give way to win-win options that would serve all parties fairly and equitably. The alternative could be catastrophic for Egypt and Ethiopia in particular. War will have no boundaries; and no one will emerge victorious. Ethiopia is vast enough to develop its water resources without much danger. Those that tried to encircle and weaken it in the past failed because of the unity and patriotism of the population. The key point is that the threat of war is not a viable option. No one including Egypt can win a war that will engulf the entire region. Egypt and Ethiopia need one another not only to survive but also to thrive. Egypt’s priority is to ensure that it has adequate water flow. Ethiopia’s first priority is to achieve food self-sufficiency and security for its growing population. It cannot cope with demand until and unless it harnesses and develops its water resources as optimally as possible without affecting Egypt adversely. Hydroelectric and irrigation infrastructure at a massive-scale is a prerequisite in achieving this urgent goal for Ethiopia. This is a matter of survival, sovereignty, and national security for Ethiopia and Ethiopians.
In light of the above, Ethiopians within and outside the country agree that fair and equitable allocation and use of the Nile is a necessity. The vast majority of 11 riparian states, including South Sudan, endorse this fundamental principle. The Ethiopian government, other riparian states, and independent experts point out to successful examples in the rest of the world where riparian nations negotiated fair and equitable allocation and use of major rivers such as the Mekong, the Amazon, Indus/Ganges, and Okavango. Ethiopian experts suggest that the Nile Basin Initiative (NBI) of 1999 provides an institutional framework for genuine negotiations and program implementation that will lead to cooperative development of the Nile. Egypt places numerous conditions on NBI to undermine its effectiveness. Professor Majeed Rahman recognizes that Ethiopia has needs too and points out that “Egypt’s defiance of the NBI and its lack of participation in the NBI’s initial attempt to convene such a cooperative agreement is a crucial aspect of the NBI’s objective to consolidate through cooperation in the negotiation for equitable distribution.” This lack of engagement from and inflexibility by Egypt leads Rahman to conclude that Egypt “has denied other riparian countries complete access to water resources along the Nile and for that matter has exercised her hegemonic power over the development and control of water resources in the Nile River Basin for decades.” 5/
Tesfaye Tadesse believes that Egyptian government attitude in maintaining the status quo began to change slightly for three fundamental reasons:
I)”Pressure” from the global community including the World Bank and UNDP;
ii) “Threats” from riparian states that they will go ahead and develop their waters with or without Egyptian consent; and,
iii) “Changes in Egyptian public and political” sentiments. 6/
This turned out to be an optimistic view in that the Egyptian government has dragged its feet with the hope that other riparian states will be willing to wait for decades more patiently. Egypt continues to adhere to its hard-line policy of maintaining the status-quo. Against this, Ethiopia pursues its ambitious water infrastructure project at a pace never witnessed in the country’s history. This includes “the controversial multibillion-dollar Nile River (Millennium) Dam that could supply 5,000 megawatt of electricity for itself and its neighbors including newcomer South Sudan. “ Ethiopia plans to build four additional dams, “together, 20 dams either built or planned– the largest number in Africa.” Concerns include the environment and the political and diplomatic fallout that could ensue. “Egypt and North Sudan have expressed concern that the mega dam project could seriously reduce the downstream water flow of the Nile River to their countries. “ As worrisome is the lack of a proper environmental and social assessment by the Ethiopian government. In my mind, the Ethiopian government did not consider smaller irrigation and hydroelectric dams that are more cost effective and less costly to maintain. Further, the government initiated these mammoth projects at a time when it is granting millions of hectares of irrigable farmlands to foreign investors from 36 foreign countries. 7/
Is there a way out?
In my view, the most sensible way forward is to accommodate the needs and aspirations of all riparian nations in a fair, equitable and balanced manner. The World Bank, the Canadian Development Agency (CIDA) and the UNDP tried to promote shared, fair and equitable use of the Nile through the auspices of the Nile Basin Initiative (NBI). It is clear that no single state should have monopoly over the Nile. Article 5 of the UN General Assembly Convention A/51/869, 1997 on the Law of Non-navigational uses of International watercourses recognizes the need for “equitable and reasonable utilization and participation” explicitly. “Watercourse states shall in their respective territories utilize an international watercourse in an equitable and reasonable manner,” with the intent of serving their social, economic, hydraulic, ecological, conservation, and development needs. NBI is consistent with this UN mandate. This first multilateral initiative provides a solid framework for the 11 riparian states: Burundi, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, North Sudan, South Sudan, Tanzania, and Uganda representing more than 300 million people that depend on the Nile to pursue a shared vision and set of programs along the following lines:
• “Develop the Nile in a sustainable and equitable manner to ensure prosperity, security, and peace for all its peoples;
• “Ensure cooperation and joint action between riparian countries seeking win-win gains;
• “Target poverty eradication and promote economic integration; and
• “Ensure the program results in a move from planning to action.” 8/
These objectives are noble but require political will. Many years after NBI, there are yet no clear commitments and or political will to advance a cooperative approach. The current impasse on the Cooperative Framework Agreement (CFA) curtailed by Egypt and North Sudan has not been helpful in moving from rhetoric to action. My own view is that it is tantamount to madness for anyone to use force or the threat of force against any African state that assets its right to use its waters to dam, irrigate and feed its starving population. The Egyptian position “We want historical use of the Nile water to be recognized by other Nile Basin countries because this is the only source of water we have,” before it would sign the agreement is irresponsible and restrains MBI. Egypt insists on the three preconditions:
1) Maintain its share of 55.5 billion m3 of water” per the 1959 Treaty;
2) Prior notification by upstream states before they can construct hydroelectric and other projects; and
3) Basin decisions to be mad by consensus not majority vote” giving Egypt veto power. 9/
These three preconditions prevent an otherwise promising agreement from bearing fruit. The spring 2011 high level Egyptian delegation to Ethiopia mirrors the emerging reality on the Nile that requires compromise rather than confrontation. All sides must recognize that fair and equitable allocation of the waters of the Nile is here to stay. Although controversial, the proposed Millennium Dam has galvanized a cross-section of the Ethiopian population. Ethiopia is going ahead with this mammoth project without prior notification thereby reinforcing its sovereignty over waters within its own borders. This is a position many Ethiopian experts defend. Ethiopians may disagree on many political and ideological issues. Disagreement concerning the legitimate right of Ethiopia to use its water resources for the betterment of its people and for its national security should not be among them. 10/
I should like to conclude this article with an optimistic note that riparian nations can derive substantial benefits from a cooperative rather than from unilateral approaches in the use of the Nile River. I am convinced that meaningful dialogue, negotiation and confidence-building rather than destructive and costly confrontation should usher in a new era of cooperative development and shared benefits for the populations of member countries. Within this spirit, governments have an obligation to their respective people to draw upon the state of the art technical, hydraulic, environmental and water resource knowledge and experience that will ensure sustainability and peace, avail waters, protect long-term security, reduce un-necessary sedimentation and loss and promote greater regional economic integration. This is the only legacy that makes sense. It is natural that Ethiopians admire the Egyptian people’s revolution on its own merit. They cannot afford to ignore the adversarial and contentious relations between the two countries that predate Egypt’s Pharos and the Aksumite Empire.
1/ Firew, M. Seifu, Abay: Fengie yekebere wuha. Daraku Publishing Inc. Boston, 2009. The author presents a penetrating notion that, left unaddressed, the Abay River contains the ingredients of a massive “bomb buried in water” and waiting to explode. The Amharic symbolism is not academic. The current famine in the Ogaden and persistent hunger among the Ethiopian population suggest that the demand on the government to respond will be far greater in the future, than it has been over the past 3,000 years of Ethiopian history.
2/ Haggai, Erlic, the Cross-and the River: Ethiopia, Egypt, and the Nile. Lynne Rienner Publishers, Boulder. 2012. Haggai brings to the debate on the Nile a feature often ignored by most experts on the Nile, namely, the broader cultural, historical, religious, and other relationships between Egypt and Ethiopia that reveal commonalities. One commonality is the Coptic faith. Ethiopia is predominantly a Christian country with strong links to the Egyptian population that belongs to the Coptic faith. This long tradition in the evolution of this faith and Ethiopia’s capacity to accommodate all three major faiths: Christianity, Judaism, and Islam portend potential for mutuality that both sides must explore and strengthen.
3/ US Bureau of Reclamation, Land and Water Resources of the Blue Nile. Addis Ababa. July 1964. The Bureau identified that Ethiopia possessed ample irrigable land to meet food self-sufficiency and security for decades to come. Ethiopia would have avoided hunger and would have managed famines on its own if it translated these projects into action.
4/ The World Bank, “The World Bank, Ethiopia and the Nile: a strategy for Ethiopia.” Washington, DC. 1998. Internal draft document. While the Bank endorses Ethiopia’s fundamental rights in the development of the Nile to meet growing demand, it has refrained from financing major hydroelectric and irrigation dam projects. In fact, it role in agricultural development has been disappointing. The Bank continues to present analytical and policy pieces without backing them with real resources.
5/ Rahman, A. Majeed, the Geopolitics of Water in the Nile Basin. Global Research. July 24, 2011. Rahman points out the danger of war in the event that a win-win solution that will serve all parties cannot be reached. In my view, the NBI provides a good framework for further negotiator.
6/ Tafesse, Tesfaye. Water conflict resolution and institution building in the Nile Basin. Monograph 178. Institute for Security Studies.
7/ Than, Ken. Ethiopia: why a massive dam on Nile? National Geography News. July 14, 2011.
8/ International Roundtable: the Nile: sharing experiences, sharing visions. Berlin. 2002
Nine/ Wolde Giorgis, Hailu. Le Abay Wuha Mugit. Addis Ababa University Press. 2001.
Tikur Sew Concert, Atlanta, Nov. 21, 2012
አስታውሳለሁ! እንዴት እረሳለሁ!!
ከፕሮፌሰር ዓለማየሁ ገብረማርያም
ትርጉም ከነጻነት ለሃገሬ
በ ሰኔ 6-8 እና በ ህዳር 1-4 2005 (እንዳሮፓ አቆጣጠር) በ በግንቦት 2005 የተካሄደውን ምርጫ ተከትሎ ኢህአዴግ ያወጣውን ሕገ መንግሥት በማመን ባዶ እጃቸውን ወደ አደባባይ የወጡ ንጹሃን ወንዶች፤ሴቶች፤ሕጻናት ኢትዮጵያዊያን በቅርቡ ሕይወታቸው ባለፈው በመለስ ዜናዊ ቀጥተኛ ትእዛዝና ቁጥጥር ሕይወታቸው በአሰቃቂ ሁኔታ በጥይት ተደብድበው ተገድለዋል። በአቶ መለስ ዜናዊና በፓርላማው ሕጋዊ ሆኖ የተዋቀረው የአጣሪ ኮሚሽን አጣርቶ እንደዘገበው እውነታ፤ “ባዶ እጃቸውን በሕገ መንግሥቱ ላይ በጸደቀው መብታቸው መሰረት ወደ አደባባይ ከወጡትና ሰላማዊ ሰልፍ በማካሄድ ላይ ከነበሩት መሃል 193ቱ፤ እና እንዲሁም በመንግሥት ወህኒ ቤት ታስረው ባሉት በርካታዎች ላይ ከፖሊስ በተተኮሰ ጥይት ሕይወታቸው አልፏል 763ም ቁስለኛ ሆነዋል፡፡ አጣሪ ኮሚሽኑ ሁኔታውን በአግባቡና ከወገንተኛነት ነጻ በሆነ መንፈስ በማጣራት የንጹሃኑ ደም አለ አግባብ መፍሰሱን ሕይወታቸውም መቀጠፉን ዘግቧል፡፡ ገዢው መንግሥትና የገዢው መንግሥት መገናኛ ብዙሃን፤ እንዲሁም ወንጀሉን የፈጸሙት ፖሊሶችና ሌሎች የጦሩ አባላት የሰነዘሩትን ክስ ኮሚሽኑ በማጣራት ሂደቱ ጨርሶ ተአማኒነት የሌለው ፈጠራ ነው ብሎ አጣጥሎታል፡፡ በአጣሪው ዘገባ መሰረት “በሰላማዊ ሰልፈኞቹ በንብረት ላይ የደረሰ አንዳችም ጥፋት አለመኖሩን አረጋግጧል፡፡ አንድም ሰልፈኛ ሽጉጥም ሆነ ቦምብና ሌላም መሳርያ የያዘ አልነበረም፡፡ ከመንግሥት ታጣቂ ሃይሎችም የተተኮሱት ጥይቶች ሰልፈኛውን አስፈራርቶ ለመበተን የተቃጡ ሳይሆኑ በማነጣጠር ለመግደል ሆን ተብለው መተኮሳቸውን የሚያሳየው ሟቾችና ቁስለኞች የተመቱት ደረታቸውንና ጭንቅላታቸውን መሆኑ ነው፡፡”
(ጠቃሚ መረጃ፡- የኮሚሽኑ የ193 የሟች ዜጎች ዘገባ የሚያጠቃልለው ሰኔ 6-8 እና በ ህዳር 1-4 2005 (እንዳሮፓ አቆጣጠር) ያለውን ግድያ ብቻ ነው፡፡ የ2005ቱን ምርጫ ተከትሎ በግልጽ ከተመዘገበው ግድያ ውጪ በመንግስት የጦር ሃይሎች ለሞት የተዳረጉት ቁጥራቸው እጅጉን የናረ ሲሆን ይህም የግድያዎቹ ዘገባ ኮሚሽኑ ዘገባውን ከሚያቀርበበት ከተወሰነው ወቅት ካለፈ በኋላ በመታወቃቸው ነው፡፡)
አስታውሳለሁ: እንዴትስ ይረሳል!
ረቡማ እሸቴ እርጋታ 34 ግንበኛ፡፡ መልሳቸው ደምሴ አላምነው 16 ተማሪ፡፡ ሀድራ ሹክራ ኡስማን 22፤ ስራዋ ያልታወቀ፡፡ ጃፈር ሰይድ ኢብራሂም 2፤8 አነስተኛ ነጋዴ፡፡መኮንን 17 ስራው ያልታወቀ፡፡ ወልደሰማያት: ስራ አጥ፡፡ ባሕሩ ምን ላርግህ ደምለው ስራው ያልታወቀ፡፡ፈቃደ ነጋሽ፤ 25 ሜካኒክ፡፡ አብራሃም ይልማ፤ 17 ታክሲ ረዳት፡፡ ያሬድ በላቸው እሸቴ፤23 አነስተኛ ነጋዴ፡፡ ከበደ ወ/ጊ/ሕይወት፤17 ተማሪ፡፡ ማቲያስ ግርማ ፍልፍሉ 14 ተማሪ፡፡ ጌትነት አያሌው ወዳጆ፤ 48 አነስተኛ ንግድ፡፡ እንዳልካቸው መገርሳ ሁንዴ፤18፤ ስራው ያልታወቀ፡፡ አልዩ ጠዩሱፍ ኢሳ 20 የቀን ሰራተኛ፡፡ ሳምሶን ንጉሴ ያዕቆብ 23 የህዝብ ትራንስፖርት፡፡ አለበለው አሸናፊ አበበ፤18 ተማሪ፡፡ በልዩ ባዩ ዘአ፤ የትራንስፖርት ረዳት፡፡ ዩሱፍ አብደላ ጀማል፤23 ተማሪ፡፡ አብርሃም ስሜ ወ/አገኘሁ፤23 የትራንስፖርት ረዳት፡፡ ሞሃመድ ሁሴን ቤካ፤ 45 ገበሬ፡፡ ረደላ ክንባዱ አደል፤19 የታክሲ ረዳት፡፡ ሃብታሙ አመንሲሳ ኡርጌሳ፤ አነስተኛ ንግድ፡፡ ዳዊት ፈቃዱ ጸጋዬ፤ 19 ሜካኒክ፡፡ ገዛኸኝ መንገሻ ገረመው፤ 15 ተማሪ፡፡ ዮናስ አሰፋ አበራ፤24 ስራው አልታወቀም:: ግርማ ዓለሙ ወልዴ፤38 ሾፌር፡፡ ወ/ሮ ደስታ ኡማ ብሩ፤38 አነስተኛ ንግድ፡፡ ለገሰ ቱሉ ፈይሳ፤ 60 ግንበኛ፡፡ ተስፋዬ ድልገባ ቡሽራ፤ 19 ጫማ አዳሽ፡፡ ቢኒያም ደንበላ ደገፋ፤ 18፤ ሥራ አጥ፡፡ ሚሊዪን ከበደ ሮቢ፤32 የትራነስፖርት ረዳት፡፡ ደረጀ ዳመና ደኒ፤24 ተማሪ፡፡ ነቢዩ ዓለማየሁ ሃይሌ፤ 16 ተማሪ፡፡ ምትኩ ኡድማ ሚሶንዳ፤ 24 የቤት ሰራተኛ፡፡ አንዋር ኪያር ሱሩር፤ 22 አነስተኛ ንግድ፡፡ ንጉሴ ዋበኝ፤36 የቤት ሰራተኛ፡፡ ዙልፋ ሱሩር ሃሰን 50 የቤት እመቤት፡፡
ዋሲሁን ከበደ፤ 16 ተማሪ፡፡ ኤርሚያስ ፈቃዱ ከተማ፤ 20 ተማሪ፡፡ 00428፤ 25 ስራው ያልታወቀ፡፡ 00429፤26 ስራው ያልታወቀ፡፡00430 30 ስራው ያልታወቀ፡፡ አዲሱ በላቸው፤ 25 ስራው ያልታወቀ፡፡ ደመቀ ካሳ አበበ፤ ስራው ያልታወቀ፡፡00432፤ 22፤ ስራው ያልታወቀ፡፡00450፤20፤ ስራው ያልታወቀ፡፡ 13903፤25፤ ስራው ያልታወቀ፡፡ 00435 30፤ ስራው ያልታወቀ፡፡13906፤25፤ ስራው ያልታወቀ፡፡ ተማም ሙክታር፤ 25 ስራው ያልታወቀ፡፡በየነ ኑር ቤዛ፤ 25፤ስራው ያልታወቀ፡፡ ወሰን አሰፋ፤ 25፤ ስራው ያልታወቀ፡፡ አበበ አንተነህ፤ 30 ስራው ያልታወቀ፡፡ ፈቃዱ ሃይሌ፤ 25፤ ስራው ያልታወቀ፡፡ ኤልያስ ጉልቴ፤ ስራው ያልታወቀ፡፡ብርሃኑ አሸሞ ወረቃ፤ ስራው ያልታወቀ፡፡ አሸብር ዓየለ መኩሪያ፤ ስራው ያልታወቀ፡፡ ዳዊት ፈቃዱ ሰማ፤ ስራው ያልታወቀ፡፡ መርሃ ጽድቅ ሲራክ፤ 22፤ ስራው ያልታወቀ፡፡ በለጠ ጋሻው ጠና፤ ስራው ያልታወቀ፡፡ በሃይሉ ተስፋዬ፤ ስራው ያልታወቀ፡፡ 21760፤18፤ ስራው ያልታወቀ፡፡ 21523, 25፤ ስራው ያልታወቀ፡፡11657, 24, ስራው ያልታወቀ፡፡21520, 25 ስራው ያልታወቀ፡፡ ; 21781, 60 ስራው ያልታወቀ፡፡ጌታቸው አዘዘ፤ 45 ስራው ያልታወቀ፡፡; 21762, 75 ስራው ያልታወቀ፡፡ 11662,45, ስራው ያልታወቀ፡፡21763, 25, ስራው ያልታወቀ፡፡ 13087, 30, ስራው ያልታወቀ፡፡ 21571, 25, ስራው ያልታወቀ፡፡ 21761, 21, ስራው ያልታወቀ፡፡ እንዳልካቸው ወ/ ገብርኤል፤ 27 ስራው ያልታወቀ፡፡
ሃይለማርያም አምባዬ፤ 20 ስራው ያልታወቀ፡፡ መብራቱ ውብሸት ዘውዱ 27 ስራው ያልታወቀ፡፡ ስንታዬሁ እስጢፋኖስ በየነ፤ 14 ስራው ያልታወቀ፡፡ ታምሩ ሃይለሚካኤል፤ ስራው ያልታወቀ፡፡ አድማሱ ተገኝ አበበ፤ 45 ስራው ያልታወቀ፡፡ እቴነሽ ይማም፤50፤ስራ ያልታወቀ፡፡ ወርቄ አበበ፤ 19፤ስራ ያልታወቀ፡፡ፍቃዱ ደግፌ 27 ስራ ያልታወቀ፡፡ ሸምሱ ካሊድ፤25፤ስራ ያልታወቀ፡፡አብዱዋሂድ አህመዲነ፤30፤ ስራ ያልታወቀ፡፡ ተክሌ ደበሌ፤ 20 ስራ ያልታወቀ፡፡ ታደሰ ፈይሳ 38፤ ስራ ያልታወቀ፡፡ ሰሎሞን ተስፋዬ 25፤ ስራ ያልታወቀ፡፡ ቅጣው ወርቁ፤25፤ ስራ ያልታወቀ፡፡ እንዳልካቸው ወርቁ፤ 25፤ ስራ ያልታወቀ፡፡ ደስታ አያሌው ነጋሽ፤ 30፤ስራ ያልታወቀ፡፡ ይለፍ ነጋ፤ 15፤ ስራ ያልታወቀ፡፡ዮሐንስ ሃይሌ፤20፤ ስራ ያልታወቀ፡፡ በሃይሉ ተሸመ ብርሃኑ፤30፤ ስራ ያልታወቀ፡፡ሙሉ ኩምሳ ሶሬሳ፤50፤ የቤት እመቤት፡፡ ቴዎድሮስ ግደይ ሃይሉ፤ 23 ጫማ አሻሻጭ፡፡ ደጀኔ ይልማ ገብሬ፤18 ሱቅ ሰራተኛ፡፡ፀጋ ሁን ወልደ ገብርኤል፤18፤ተማሪ፡፡ ደረጃ ማሞ ሃሰን፤27፤ አናጢ፡፡ ረጋሳ ጉቱታ ፈይሳ፤55፤ ላወንድሪ ሰራተኛ፡፡ቴዎድሮስ ገብረወልድ፤28 የግል ስራ፡፡
መኮንን ደስታ ገ/ እግዚአብሔር፤20፤ ሜካኒክ፡፡ ኤልያስ ገ;ጊዮርጊስ23 ተማሪ፡፡ አብርሃም አሰፋ መኮንን፤ 21፤ የቀን ሰራተኛ፡፡ጥሩወርቅ ገ/ ጻድቅ፤ 41፤ የቤት እመቤት፡፡ሄኖክ ቀጸላ መኮንን፤ 28፤ ስራ ያልታወቀ፡፡ ጌቱ ሸዋንጉስ መረታ፤ 24፤ ስራ ያልታወቀ፡፡ ወ/ሮ ክብነሽ መልኬ ታደሰ፤ 52፤ ስራ ያልታወቀ፡፡ መሳይ አዲሱ ስጦታው፤ 29፤ የግል ስራ፡፡ ሙሉዓለም ንገሤ ወየሳ፤ 15፡፡ አያል ሰው ማሞ፤23፤ ስራ ያልታወቀ፡፡ ስንታየሁ መለሰ፤ 24፤ የቀን ሰራተኝ፡፡ ወ/ሮ ጸዳለ ዓለሙ ቢራ፤50፤ የቤት እመቤት፡፡ አባይነህ ሳራ ሰዴ፤ 35፤ ልብስ ሰፊ፡፡ ፍቅረማርያም ቁምቢ ተሊላ፤ 18፤ ሾፌር፡፡ ዓለማየሁ ገርባ፤ 26፤ ስራ ያልታወቀ፡፡ ጆርጅ ጌትዬ አበበ፤ 36፤ የግል ትራንስፖርት፡፡ ሃብታሙ ዘገየ ቶላ፤ 16፤ ተማሪ፡፡ ምትኩ ዘለቀ ገ/ሥላሴ፤24፤ ተማሪ፡፡ ምትኩ ዘለቀ ገ/ ስላሴ፤ 24 ፤ ተማሪ፡፡ ትእዛዙ ወግል ሰራተኛ፡፡ ፍቃዱ አመላ ዳልጌ፤ 36፤ ልብስ ሰፊ፡፡ ሸዋጋ በቀለ ወ/ ጊዮርጊስ፤ 38፤ የቀን ሰራተኛ፡፡ ዓለማየሁ ኢፋ ዘውዴ፤ 32፤ ጨርቃ ጨርቅ ሰራተኛ፡፡ ዘልዓለም ቀጸላ ገ/ጻድቅ፤ 31፤ ታክሲ ነጂ፡፡ መቆያ መብራቱ ታደሰ፤ 19 ተማሪ፡፡ ሃይልዬ ግርማ ሁሴን፤ 19፤ ተማሪ፡፡ ወ/ሮ ፍስሐ ጣሰው ውሩፋ፤ 23፤ ፖሊስ፡፡ ወጋየሁ ዘርይሁን አርጋው፤ 26 ሥራ አጥ፡፡
መላኩ መኮንን ከበደ፤ 19፤ ስራ ያልታወቀ፡፡ አባይነህ ደዴ ኦራ፤ 25፤ ልብስ ሰፊ፡፡ ወ/ሮ አበበች በቀለ ሁለቱ፤ 50፤ የቤት እመቤት፡፡ ደመቀ አበጀ ጀምበሬ፤ 30፤ ገበሬ፡፡ ክንዴ መለሰ ወረሱ፤ 22፤ ስራ አጥ፡፡ እንዳለ እውነቱ ገብረመድህን፤ 23፤ የግል ሰራተኛ፡፡ ዓለማየሁ ተሸመ ወልዴ፤ 24፤ መምህር፡፡ ብስራት ተስፋዬ ደምሴ፤ 24፤ መኪና አስመጪ፡፡ መስፍን ገ/ወልድ ሃብተ ጊዮርጊስ፤ 23 የግል ስራ፡፡ ወሊዮ ሁሴን ዳሪ፤ 18፤ የግል ስራ፡፡ በሃይሉ ግርማ ገብረ መድህን፤ 20፤ በግል ስራ፡፡ ሲራጅ ኑሪ ሰኢድ፤ 18፤ ተማሪ፡፡ ኢዮብ ገብረ መድህን፤ 25፤ ተማሪ፡፡ ዳንኤል ወርቁ ሙሉጌታ፤ 25፤ የቀን ሰራተኛ፡፡ ቴዎድሮስ ከበደ ደገፋ፤ 25፤ ጫማ ፋብሪካ ሰራተኛታ፡፡ ጋሻው ታደሰ ሙሉጌታ፤ 24፤ ተማሪ፡፡ ከበደ በዳሶ ኢርኮ፤ 22፤ ተማሪ፡፡ ለቻሳ ከፈና ለታሳ፤ 21፤ ተማሪ፡፡ ጃገማ በዳኔ በሻህ፤ 20፤ ተማሪ፡፡ ደበላ አኦለታ ጉታ፤ 15፤ ተማሪ፡፡ መላኩ፤ተረፈ ፈይሳ፤ 16፤ ተማሪ፡፡ ወ/ሮ እልፍነሽ ተክሌ፤ 45፤ ስራው ያልታወቀ፡፡ ሃሰን ዱላ፤ 64፤ ስራ ያልታወቀ፡፡ ሁሴን ሃሰን ዱላ፤ 25፤ ስራ ያልታወቀ፡፡ ጸሃይ ደጀኔ ደምሴ፤ 15፤ ስራ ያልታወቀ፡፡ ስሙ ያልታወቀ፡፡ ስሙ ያልታወቀ፡፡ ስሙ ያልታወቀ፡፡ አግደው ፤ 18፤ ስራ ያልታወቀ፡፡ ጌታቸው አፈወርቅ ተረፈ፤ 16፤ ስራ ያልታወቀ፡፡ ደለለኝ ክንዴ ዓለሙ፤ 20፤ ስራ ያልታወቀ፡፡ ዩሱፍ ሞሃመድ ኡመር፤ 20፤ ስራ ያልታወቀ፡፡
መኩርያ ተፈራ ተበጀ፤ 22፤ ስራ ያልታወቀ፡፡ ባድሜ ሞገስ ተሻማሁ፤ 20፤ ስራ ያልታወቀ፡፡ አምባው ጌታሁን፤ 38፤ ስራ ያልታወቀ፡፡ ተሾመ አዲስ ኪዳኔ፤ 65፤ የጤና ተቋም ሰራተኛ፡፡ ዮሴፍ ሙሉጌታ ረጋሣ፤ ስራ ያልታወቀ፡፡ አቢዩ ንጉሴ፤ ስራ ያልታወቀ፡፡ ታደሰ ሻሬ በሃጋ፤ ስራ ያልታወቀ፡፡ ኤፍሬም ጥላሁን ሻፊ፤ ስራ ያልታወቀ፡፡ አበበ ሐርቆ ሃማ፤ ስራ ያልታወቀ፡፡ ገበሬ ሞላ፤ ስራ ያልታወቀ፡፡ ሰይዲን ኑረዲን፤ ስራ ያልታወቀ፡፡ እንየው ጌታቸው ጸጋዬ 32፤ ትራንስፖርት ረዳት፡፡ አብዱራህማን ሁሴን ፈረጀ፤ 32፤ አናጢ፡፡ አብዱል መናን ሁሴን፤ 28፤ በግል ሰራተኛ፡፡ ጂግሳ ቶላ ሰጠኝ፤ 18፤ ተማሪ፡፡ አሰፋ አብሽሮ ነጋሳ፤ 33፤ አናጢ፡፡ ከተማ ኩቦ ኢንኮ 23፤ ልብስ ሰፊ፡፡ ክብረት ዕድሉ እልፍነህ፤ 48፤ ጥበቃ ሰራተኛ፡፡ ኢዮብ ገዛኸኝ ዘመድኩን፤ 24፤ ግል ሰራተኛ፡፡ ተስፋዬ ብርሃኔ መነገሻ፤ 15፤ በግል፡፡ ሻምበል ደበሳ ሰርቤሳ ቶሎሳ፤ 58፤ በግል ስራ፡፡ ትንሳኤ መንግስቱ ዘገየ፤ 14 ልብስ ሰፊ፡፡ ኪዳኔ ገብሬ ሽኩሮው፤ 25፤ የቀን ሰራተኛ፡፡ አንዱዓለም ሽበላው፤ 16፤ ተማሪ፡፡ አዲሱ ዳኜ ተስፋሀን፤ 19፤ በግል፡፡ ካሳ በየነ፤ 28፤ ባለ ልብስ ሱቅ፡፡ ይታገሱ ሲሳይ፤ 22፤ ስራ ያልታወቀ፡፡ ያልታወቀ፡፡ ያልታወቀ፤ 22፤ ስራ ያልታወቀ፡፡
የመንግስት ደህንነት ሰራተኞች ከቡድናቸው በተተኮሰ ጥይት የተገደሉ፤(እርስ በርስ የተገዳደሉ) ነጋ ገብሬ፤ ጀበና ደሳለኝ፤ ሙሊቶ ኢርኮ፤ ዮሐንስ ሰሎሞን፤ አሸናፊ ደሳለኝ፤ ፌያ ገብረመንፈስ፡፡
ኖቬምበር 2/2005 (እንዳሮፓ አቆጣጠር) በቃሊቲ ወህኒ ቤት ተዘግቶባቸው እያሉ የተጨፈጨፉ ፍርደኞችና ፍርድ በመጠበቅ ላይ የነበሩ፡፡
1. ጠይብ ሸምሱ ሞሃመድ፤ ዕድሜው ያልታወቀ፤የመሳርያ ትግል ሲያነሳሳ ተብሎ ክስ የቀረበበት፡፡2. ሳሊ ከበደ፤ዕድሜው ያልታወቀ፤ክስ ያልተመሰረተበት፡፡3. ሰፊው እንድሪስ፤ታፈሰ ወረዳ፤ ዕድሜያቸው ያልታወቀ በአሰገድዶ መድፈር የተከሰሱ፡፡ 4. ዘገየ ተንኮሉ በላይ፤ ዕድሜ ያልታወቀ፤በስርቆት የተከሰሰ፡፡ 5. ቢያድግልኝ ተማም፤ ዕድሜው ያልታወቀ፤ክሱ ያልታወቀ፡፡ 6. ገብሬ መስፍን ዳኜ፤ ዕድሜው ያልታወቀ፤ወንድ፤ ክሱ ያልታወቀ፡፡ 7. በቀለ አብርሃም ታዬ፤ዕድሜ ያልታወቀ፤ወንድ፤ 8. አበሻ ጉታ ሞላ፤ ዕድሜ ያልታወቀ፤ ወንድ ክሱ ያልታወቀ፡፡ 9. ኩርፋ መልካ ተሊላ፤ በማስፈራራት የተከሰሰ፡፡
10. በጋሻው ተረፈ ጉደታ፤ ዕድሜው ያልታወቀ፤ ወንድ፤ በሰላም ማደፍረስ የተከሰሰ፡፡ 11. አብዱዋሂብ አህመዲን፤ ዕድሜ ያልታወቀ፤በስርቆት የተከሰሰ፡፡ 12. ተስፋዬ አቢይ ሙሉጌታ፤ ዕድሜው ያልታወቀ፤ በመሳርያ ትግል ማነሳሳት የተከሰሰ፡፡ 13. አዳኔ ቢረዳ፤ዕድሜው ያልታወቀ፤ወንድ፤ በግድያ የተከሰሰ፡፡ 14. ይርዳው ከርሴማ፤ ዕድሜው ያልታወቀ፤ወንድ፤ ክስ ያልተመሰረተበት፡፡ 15. ባልቻ ዓለሙ ረጋሳ፤ ዕድሜው ያልታወቀ፤ወንድ፤ በስርቆት የተከሰሰ፡፡ 16. አቡሽ በለው ወዳጆ፤ ዕድሜው ያልታወቀ፤ ወንድ ክስ ያልተመሰረተበት፡፡ 17. ዋለልኝ ታምሬ በላይ፤ ዕድሜ ያልታወቀ፤ወንድ፤ በአስገድዶ መድፈር የተከሰሰ፡፡ 18. ቸርነት ሃይሌ ቶላ፤ዕድሜ ያልታወቀ፤ ወንድ፤ በስርቆት የተከሰሰ፡፡ 19. ተማም ሸምሱ ጎሌ፤ ዕድሜው ያልታወቀ፤ ክስ ያልተመሰረተበት፡፡
20. ገበየሁ በቀለ አለነ፤ ዕድሜው ያልታወቀ፤ ወንድ፤ ክስ ያልተመሰረተበት፡፡ 21. ዳኔኤል ታዬ ለኩ፤ ዕድሜ ያልታወቀ፤ ወንድ፤ ክስ ያልተመሰረተበት፡፡ 22. ሞሃመድ ቱጂ ከኔ፤ ዕድሜ ያልታወቀ፤ ክስ ያልተመሰረተበት፡፡ 23. አብዱ ነጂብ ኑር፤ ዕድሜ ያልታወቀ፤ ወንድ፤ ክስ ያልተመሰረተበት፡፡ 24. የማታው ሰርቤሎ፤ በአስገድዶ መድፈር የተከሰሰ፡፡ 25. ፍቅሩ ናትናኤል ሰው ነህ፤ ዕድሜው ያልታወቀ ወንድ፤ በማስፈራራት የተከሰሰ፡፡ 26. ሙኒር ከሊል አደም፤ ዕድሜው ያልታወቀ፤ ወንድ፤ በዋለጌነት የተከሰሰ፡፡ 27. ሃይማኖት በድሉ ተሸመ፤ ዕድሜው ያልታወቀ፤በማጭበርበር የተከሰሰ፡፡ 28. ተስፋዬ ክብሮም ተክኔ፤ ዕድሜው ያልታወቀ፤ ወንድ፤ በስርቆት የተከሰሰ፡፡ 29. ወርቅነህ ተፈራ ሁንዴ፤ ዕድሜ ያልታወቀ፤ ወንድ፤ ክስ ያልተመሰረተበት፡፡
30. ሲሳይ ምትኩ፤ በማጭበርበር የተከሰሰ፤ 31. ሙሉነህ አይናለም ማሞ፤ ዕድሜው ያልታወቀ፤ ወንድ፤ ክስ ያልተመሰረተበት፡፡ 32. ታደሰ ሩፌ የኔነህ፤ በማስፈራራት የተከሰሰ፡፡ 33. አንተነህ በዬቻ ቀበቻ፤ ዕድሜው ያልታወቀ፤ ወንድ፤ የመሳርያ ትግል በማነሳሳት የተከሰሰ፡፡ 34. ዘርይሁን መሬሳ፤ ዕድሜ ያልታወቀ፤ ወንድ፤ ንብረት በማውደም የተከሰሰ፡፡ 35. ወጋየሁ ዘርይሁን አርጋው፤ በስርቆት የተከሰሰ፡፡ 36. በከልካይ ታምሩ፤ ዕድሜ ያልታወቀ፤ወንድ፤ ክስ ያልተመሰረተበት፡፡ 37. የራስወርቅ አንተነህ፤ዕድሜ ያልታወቀ፤ በማጭበርበር የተከሰሰ፡፡ 38. ባዘዘው ብርሀኑ፤ ዕድሜ ያልታወቀ፤ በሶዶማዊ ተግባር ማነሳሳት የተከሰሰ፡፡39. ሰሎሞን ኢዮብ ጉታ፤ዕድሜ ያልታወቀ፤ በአስገድዶ መድፈር የተከሰሰ፡፡
40. አሳዩ ምትኩ አራጌ.ዕድሜ ያልታወቀ፤ወንድ፤ በማስፈራራት የተከሰሰ፡፡ 41. ጋሜ ሃይሉ ዘዬ፤ዕድሜ ያልታወቀ፤ ወንድ፤ ጸጥታ በመንሳት የተከሰሰ፡፡ 42. ማሩ እናውጋው ድንበሬ፤ዕድሜ ያልታወቀ፤በአስገድዶ መድፈር የተከሰሰ፡፡ 43. እጅጉ ምናሌ፤ ዕድሜ ያልታወቀ፤ ወንድ፤ በመግደል ሙከራ የተከሰሰ፡፡ 44. ሃይሉ ቦስና ሃቢብ፤ዕድሜ ያልታወቀ፤ ወንድ፤ መደበቂያ በመስጠት የተከሰሰ፡፡45. ጥላሁን መሰረት፤ዕድሜ ያልታወቀ፤ ክስ ያልተመሰረተበት፡፡46. ንጉሴ በላይነህ፤ ዕድሜ ያልታወቀ፤ ወንድ፤ በስርቆት የተከሰሰ፡፡ 47. አሸናፊ አበባው፤ ዕድሜ ያልታወቀ፤ወንድ፤ ክስ ያልተመሰረተበት፡፡ 48. ፈለቀ ድንቄ፤ ዕድሜ ያልታወቀ፤ወንድ፤ ክስ ያልተመሰረተበት፡፡49. ጀንበሬ ድንቅነህ ቢለው፤ዕድሜ ያልታወቀ፤ጸጥታ በማወክ የተከሰሰ፡፡
50. ቶሎሳ ወርቁ ደበበ፤ዕድሜ ያልታወቀ፤ወንድ፤ በስርቆት የተከሰሰ፡፡ 51. መካሻ በላይነህ ታምሩ፤ዕድሜ ያልታወቀ፤ ወንድ፤ በዱር አዳሪነት የተከሰሰ፡፡ 52. ይፍሩ አደራው፤ ዕድሜ ያልታወቀ፤ ወንድ፤ ክስ ያለተመሰረተበት፡፡ 53. ፋንታሁን ዳኜ፤ ዕድሜ ያልታወቀ፤ ወንድ፤ ክስ ያልተመሰረተበት፡፡ 54. ጥበበ ዋኬኔ ቱፋ፤ ዕድሜ ያልታወቀ፤ወንድ፤ የመሳርያ ትግል በመቀስቀስ የተከሰሰ፡፡ 55. ሰሎሞን ገብረዓምላክ፤ ዕድሜ ያልታወቀ፤ ወንድ፤ ቡር አዳሪነት የተከሰሰ፡፡56. ባንጃው ቹቹ ካሳሁን፤ ዕድሜ ያልታወቀ፤ወንድ፤በስርቆት የተከሰሰ፡፡ 57. ደመቀ አበጀ፤ ዕድሜ ያልታወቀ፤ ወንድ፤ በመግደል ሙከራ የተከሰሰ፡፡.58. እንዳለ እውነቱ መንግስቴ፤ወንድ፤ክስ ያልተመሰረተበት፡፡ 59. ዓለማየሁ ገረባ፤ ዕድሜ ያልታወቀ፤ወንድ፤በ2004 በተካሄደው የዩኒቨርሲቲ ተማሪዎች እንቅስቃሴ በማነሳሳት የተከሰሰ፡፡60. ሞርኮታ ኢዶሳ፤ ዕድሜ ያልታወቀ፤ ወንድ፤ ክስ ያልተመሰረተበት፡፡
[ለታሪክ መዝገብ፡- ቢያንስ የ237 በዚህ ግድያና ጭፍጨፋ በቀጥታ ተሳትፈው የነበሩት የተረጋገጠ የፖሊስና የደህንነት አባልት ስም ዝርዝር በመዝገብ አለ፡፡ በአስቸኳይ ወደ ፍርድ ሊቀርቡ ይገባል፡፡
የሰባዊ መብት ተምዋጋች የኔ ሰው ገብሬን አስታውሳለሁ
በ 11/11/11 (እንዳሮፓ አቆጣጠር) መምህርና የሰብአዊ መብት ተሟጋች የነበረው የ 29 ዓመቱ የኔ ሰው ገብሬ በዳውሮ ዞን፤ተርቻ ቀበሌ በደቡብ ኢትዮጵያ በሕዝብ መሰብሰቢያ ቦታ እራሱን በእሳት አቃጥሎ ተሰዋ፡፡ በቃጠሎው በደረሰበት ጉደት የተነሳ በ3ኛው ቀን ሕይቱ አለፈ፡፡ የኔ ሰው እራሱን በእሳት ከማያያዙ በፊት፤ በቦታው ለተሰበሰቡት ሰዎች ‹‹ሕግና መልካም አስተዳደር በሌለበት፤ ሰብአዊ መብት በሚጣስበት ሃገር፤ እነዚህ ወጣቶች በነጻ እንዲለቀቁ ስል እራሴን እሰዋለሁ›› በማለት ተናገረ፡፡ የኔ ሰው ገብሬን አስታውሳለሁ::
አስታውሳለሁ! እንዴት እረሳለሁ!!
‹‹ ተስፋን ላለማጣት አንድ ሺህ አንድ ሰበቦች ለመፍጠር እየታገልኩም፤ ገዳዮቹን አስታውሳለሁ፤ ሟቾቹን አስታውሳለሁ፡፡ ምክንያቱም እያስታወስኩ ፤እሰቃያለሁ፡፡ስለማስታዉስም ተስፋ አደርጋለሁ::›› ኤሊ ዌይሴል: ከሆሎኮስት የተረፈና የኖቤል የሰላም ሽልማት ተቀባይ::
ሁሌም ተስፋ አደርጋለሁ!!!
ሁላችንም ልናስታውስ እንጂ መርሳት አንችልም፡፡
የተቶረገመው ጽሁፍ (translated from):
(ይህን ጦማር ለሌሎችም ያካፍሉ::)
ካሁን በፊት የቀረቡ የጸሃፊው ጦማሮችን ለማግኘት እዚህ ይጫኑ::
ENTC has sent an open letter to UN Secretery General Mr. Ban Ki-moon regarding the recent election of Ethiopia to the Human Rights Council. ENTC in its letter expressed its disappointment that the election contradicts the fact that Ethiopia currently is being ruled by dictatorial regime that violates human rights of its citizens and cracks down on any form of dissent.
By Robert Wilonsky | The Dallas Morning News
It’s been three months since 40-year-old Yayehyirad “Yared” Lemma and 31-year-old Yenenesh “Yenni” Desta were shot to death in front of their Lower Greenville home. The couple was returning home from Desta, the Ethiopian restaurant they ran on Greenville Avenue near Forest Lane, when a man accosted them on their front porch. Police would later say Abey Belette Girma was the shooter, and that he’d followed the couple home from the restaurant because they’d “disrespected him.”
Dallas police issued a capital murder arrest warrant for Girma, who’d left the state: A witness told police the 37-year-old Girma showed him the pistol he used to shoot the couple, then forced him to drive to Goodland, Kansas. Eventually, Girma showed up in Aurora, Colorado, where he was taken into custody and booked into the Arapahoe County jail.
And that’s where he sat till last week. But Dallas County records show that Girma is now being held in the Dallas County jail. He’s being held on a $1 million bond, charged with capital murder.
Sources familiar with the case say it took so long to get Girma back to Dallas because he fought extradition.
Girma is due in court Monday to approve Juan Sanchez as his court-appointed attorney. Sanchez says a pre-trial hearing will follow soon after.
If you are thinking about starting your own Home Based Business, the available options can be overwhelming. However, there are many tried and true home-based businesses that may be just what you are looking for.
Here are the top 25 home based business ideas, in no particular order:
1. Translator. In a multi-ethnic society such as the United State, translation service is in big demand. American Translators Association can be a good source of information on how to establish a home-based translation service.
2. Tutoring. You can start a business tutoring students by advertising at schools, the local YMCA, and other places frequented by families. If you have children, talk to their teachers and determine the needs of your school district.
3. Consulting. If you are an expert in your industry, such as finance, marketing, or mediation, consider beginning your own consulting business.
4. Medical and legal transcription. If you have transcription skills and the necessary equipment, you can easily work from home for a variety of different companies. Check local community colleges or online for transcription training courses. Medical transcription involves picking up dictation via tape, voice file and digital system using foot pedal for “start-stop” control, ear phones and a “word processing program”. You can either choose to conduct medical transcription as an independent worker or an employee with benefits.
5. Medical claims billing. This industry is one of the most popular work-from-home businesses — so much so that suspect companies have been popping up on the Internet and in classified advertisements. ELearners.com can help you locate transcription training courses online. Home based medical transcription is one of the most popular choices for a home business. Medical transcription provides flexibility, ease of training and the ability to be your own boss without the high cost of getting started. Medical transcriptionists quickly and accurately interpret through doctor’s dictation, the medical records of patients into medically and grammatically precise reports. The interactions between the patient and his physician require transcription. Some of these include: Surgical procedures, Medical consultations, Diagnoses, Prognoses, Prescriptions, Radiological or other laboratory results, Dissemination of the patients “medical history”, Autopsy reports
6. Accounting. There are many franchises and opportunities available for certified public accountants. If you are interested in getting certified, take a look at the Web site of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants for information on specific state requirements.
7. Web design. If you can design quality Web sites, consider turning your skills into a home-based business. Although the software and hardware costs can be steep, good Web designers tend to be well-compensated for their efforts.
8. Desktop publishing. Do you have a creative flair for putting together brochures and newsletters? You can offer your own desktop publishing services to other small businesses. Software can be expensive, so make sure to give applications a trial run or take a course before investing in one.
9. Photography. If you are skilled with a camera, you can open your own photography studio in your home. Keep in mind that you will need space to shoot the pictures as well as a light-free space for a darkroom if you decide to process your film and print your photographs yourself.
10. Home inspection. The National Association of Certified Home Inspectors Web site provides information on becoming certified to inspect homes.
11. Remodeling. If you are a gifted carpenter or contractor, you can turn your passion into your own business. The SBA provides loans to experienced contractors looking to renovate homes or businesses in order to sell them.
12. Interior design. If you have a flair for the creative, consider interior design. The American Society of Interior Designers Web site provides resources for aspiring interior designers, including a list of each state’s requirements for licensing.
13. Catering or personal chef. Consider starting your own catering or personal chef business from your own kitchen. You can set yourself apart from competitors by providing specialized services such as low-carb or vegetarian menus.
14. Gift baskets. Gift basket creation is a popular and creative home-based business. Target both individuals and businesses to increase potential sales.
15. Wedding planner. If you are an ace at organizing important events and have a Rolodex full of contacts, consider becoming a wedding planner. There are numerous online certification courses online, including one from Weddings Beautiful.
16. Personal shopper. If you are a great shopper with an eye for people’s personal styles, you can offer your services to those less inclined. In addition, consider providing a gift shopping service for those too busy to shop themselves.
17. Concierge. If you have a lot of energy, a love for the mundane, and the ability to juggle multiple tasks, consider providing a personal concierge to busy business people or parents.
18. Computer repair. Are you the person everyone calls when they have a computer problem? Turn this into a business and start getting paid for fixing fatal errors. Check out Geeks on Call America and Rescuecom if you are interested in franchise opportunities.
19. Cleaning service. If you are good at cleaning, consider offering your services to others. One way to go is with a franchise. CleanNet-USA and JaniKing are two of the largest franchisers in the cleaning market.
20. Carpet cleaning service. There are many popular franchises that allow you to start your own carpet cleaning business and receive the equipment and training you need. ServiceMaster Clean and ChemDry are two of the bigger ones.
Source: Home Business Opportunity
Please share your own home-based business ideas with us.
Ethiopian National Transitional Council (ENTC) has continued to work on expanding its organizational reach throughout the world. This effort includes strengthening the chapters that are already established as well as forming new ones. In line with this effort, it has announced that it completed the successful formation of the Belgium chapter with dedicated Ethiopians.
Ethiopian Review has been informed by a credible source in Asmara that Eritrea’s president Isaias Afwerki is planning to step down within a year along with most of the senior leadership and transfer power to younger leaders.
Asked about possible successors, the source said he can throw out some names but it would be pure speculation on his part. Isaias is keeping the decision close to the vest.
Another source and an attentive observer of Eritrean politics has told Ethiopian Review that Isaias’ decision to step down is not surprising and that he has been quietly preparing for transfer of power because of his declining health as well as growing discontent in the military. Isaias doesn’t want to die in office like his late nemesis Meles Zenawi, our source said, adding: He wants to be a Mandela- or George Washington-like figure to his country by overseeing a smooth transfer of power on his own term.
After Eritrean military officers have started to openly complain about poor living conditions with no improvement in sight, earlier this year Isaias promised that there will be changes, including a new constitution. But no one expected he will hand over power while alive.
The Eritrean opposition media are reporting that the regime is unraveling and senior officials are contemplating defections. Earlier this week, there was a rumor that Information Minister Ali Abdu has sought asylum in Canada.
Ethiopian Review’s sources have denied the rumor and that Ali Abdu is still at the Ministry of Information. As a matter fact, according to our source, Ali, who is like a son to Isaias, is one of the younger leader whose prominence in the Eritrean government will reach new heights in the post-Isaias era if the transition of power goes smoothly.
Regarding war with Ethiopia’s regime, Ethiopian Review’s source said that no one among the senior leadership expects full scale military clash because both countries have neither the will nor the economic resources to fight. Both regimes talk about possible war to divert the attention of their people from domestic problems.
Former TPLF regime foreign minister and current ambassador to China, Seyoum Mesfin, is said to be receiving medical treatment at a hospital in Bellevue, Washington, according to an Ethiopian Review source.
Ethiopian Review has been informed that Seyoum was admitted to Overlake Medical Center in Bellevue, about 10 miles east of Seattle, last week but the hospital itself would neither confirm nor deny that he is there. We made a phone call to the hospital again this afternoon, and we are told that he could be an outpatient but was not willing to give us further information.
Seyoum was conspicuously absent from the TPLF meeting that took place in Mekele last week, ESAT reported.
The secretive and paranoid nature of TPLF officials make it difficult to get such information that could easily be obtained in most other countries. The regime admitted that dictator Meles Zenawi died two months after Ethiopian Review and other media reported his death.
Seyoum is reportedly suffering from AIDS. When Meles died in July this year, many observers predicted that he would take over as chairman of the ruling TPLF and EPRDF.
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Electronic Freedom Foundation Calling on Ethiopia to Free Eskinder Nega
By Rainey Reitman | Electronic Freedom Foundation
November 19, 2012
Eskinder Nega, an award-winning journalist who has been imprisoned for over a year, appeared briefly in court to appeal the terrorism charges levied against him. Eskinder has unwaveringly denied the charges, maintaining that blogging about human rights abuses and democracy is not a form of terrorism. In July, Eskinder was sentenced to 18 years in prison for his reporting. In court this week, his appeal was cut short: according to one report EFF received from partners working on his case, Eskinder was not allowed to read his defense statement and the appeal was rescheduled to November 22. We are continuing to seek confirmation about the status of the trial. For now, we’re asking concerned individuals to join us in calling on the Ethiopian government to live up to the promises in their own Constitution and free Eskinder Nega.
While many journalists have either fled Ethiopia or been silenced by repressive policies, Eskinder Nega has become a national symbol for press freedom. Educated in the United States in the 1980s, Nega studied political science and economics at American University. He subsequently returned to Ethiopia where he has worked as a journalist for over twenty years. Nega founded 4 newspapers –all of which were shut down by the Ethiopian government –and has been jailed 9 times in the last two decades for his outspoken articles.
Upon his release from prison in 2007, Nega’s journalism license was revoked and he was banned from working on newspapers. He immediately turned to the Internet and began using blogs to speak out. Some of his work has been published on Ethiomedia, a blog that is inaccessible from inside Ethiopia.
Four years later in 2011, Nega was the recipient of the PEN/Barbara Goldsmith Freedom to Write Award. Peter Godwin, President on the PEN American Center, noted that Eskinder understood the risks of continuing to speak out publicly:
He went back into the breach knowing full well what the risks were for doing so. He had a number of other options. He grew up in the DC area. He could have left the country, but he chose to stay. He’d been arrested 6 or 7 times before, he’s had newspapers closed down. He’s really been hounded by the Ethiopian regime.
Birtukan Midekssa, a former federal judge and opposition leader in Ethiopia, says Nega has been unwavering even in the face of death threats from the police. Midekssa said: “At some point, they told him that, you know, they are tired of arresting him. And they said, this time around, we are not going to arrest you, we are going to kill you. Better stop it. But he can’t, you know. He can’t stop. That’s him.”
Already targeted by police, Eskinder Nega drew even more ire from the Ethiopian government when he continued to blog about the Arab Spring uprisings. Through articles like As Egypt and Yemen protest, wither Ethiopia’s opposition? and Egypt’s and General Tsadkan’s lesson to Ethiopian Generals, Nega discussed the implications of the pro-democracy movements in North Africa and the Middle East on Ethiopia. Nega was picked up by the police in February 2011. According to a harrowing account Nega wrote afterwards, he was interrogated at length about his journalism, and the police threatened to seek retribution against him if protests broke out in Ethiopia.
A few months later, he was arrested again. This time, Eskinder Nega was charged with terrorism.
Where are all the Newspapers? The Plight of Independent Press and Ethiopia’s Internet Access
To understand the risk –and importance—of Nega’s work, one must first understand the status of independent media in Ethiopia. The Ethiopian Constitution promises to uphold freedom of expression, stating: “Everyone has the right to freedom of expression without any interference. This right shall include freedom to seek, receive and impart information and ideas of all kinds, regardless of frontiers, either orally, in writing or in print, in the form of art, or through any media of his choice.” But Ethiopia has a dark history of shutting down newspapers and imprisoning journalists.
Immediately prior to the 1990s, there was no independent media to speak of in Ethiopia as the country struggled under a Communist regime and devastating famines. The early 1990s saw major political change in the country. Communism was ousted, a bicameral legislature and judicial system were created, and a new Constitution was written and enacted. Meles Zenawi, who would prove himself deeply aligned with U.S. interests, governed—initially as President, then as Prime Minister. While in some way Zenawi helped Ethiopia to recover after many difficult years of conflict and depravation, his government was marked by an intractable disrespect for human rights and press freedom.
In 1992, Ethiopia issued a Press Proclamation that, in addition to other restrictions on free expression, gave the government the ability to shut down publications that printed “false” information. Ethiopia became one of the leading countries in imprisoning journalists during the 1990s, trailing only Cuba and China.
In the lead up to the 2005 election, there was a brief period of improved journalistic freedom in Ethiopia. However, the aftermath of the controversial election brought a severe crack down on independent media. Even as clashes between government troops and protesters left dozens of civilians dead, law enforcement began a witch-hunt for journalists. Dozens of journalists were arrested and charged with serious crimes such as treason and even genocide. Some of these journalists faced decades in prison or even the death sentence.
The Committee to Protect Journalists described the crackdown:
Along with issuing its “wanted lists,” the government raided newsrooms, blocked newspapers from publishing, and expelled two foreign reporters, including a long-serving Associated Press correspondent. About a dozen exiled Ethiopian journalists were charged in absentia with treason. The U.S. government-funded Voice of America and Germany’s Deutsche Welle, which broadcast radio programs into Ethiopia in local languages, were targeted by smear campaigns in state media, endangering their local correspondents…Eight newspapers were shut as a result of criminal indictments and the jailing of their top journalists.
Many of the journalists who were not arrested fled the country or stopped reporting. The few newspapers that survived the purge increased their self-censorship.
Eskinder and his then-pregnant wife, Serkalem Fasil, a newspaper publisher, were both arrested during the 2005 crackdown on dissent. They each spent over a year in prison.
In Ethiopia today, journalism is still a dangerous occupation. In July 2009, the Ethiopian parliament passed the Anti-Terror Proclamation, a sweeping piece of “anti-terrorism” legislation that’s been used to imprison journalists and political dissidents. Amnesty International researcher Claire Beston, who was expelled from Ethiopia in August of last year, has criticized the application of the law, noting: “Since the law has been introduced, it’s been used more to prosecute opposition members and journalists than persons who might be committing so-called terrorist activities.”
Eskinder Nega criticized the anti-terrorism law just before he was arrested for violating it. In the article, Eskinder pointed to Debebe Eshetu, a famous actor, whose imprisonment under the anti-terrorism law Eskinder said “defies logic.”
The problems with press freedom in Ethiopia are compounded because the majority of the population can’t get to the open Internet, which might otherwise give them access to international news outlets.
Part of this is due to difficulties in accessing the Internet at all. Internet penetration in Ethiopia is among the lowest in all of sub-Saharan Africa. According to Open Net Initiative’s 2009 report, the majority of Internet access in the country occurs in Internet café, most of which are in the capital city. These cafes provide slow and unreliable service. As Nega noted in 2011, Internet access in Ethiopia is slow and cumbersome to use: “It is hard to sign in and out of a simple email window. Fast broadband Internet gave birth to the North African revolution, and now the revolution-phobic EPRDF-led Ethiopian government [Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front] is struggling against fast internet access.”
But even Ethiopians who can get online often can’t reach independent, international news. The only telecommunications service provider for all of Ethiopia is the state-owned Ethiopian Telecommunications Corporation (Ethio-Telecom), which heavily censors access to the open Internet. Tests conducted by the Open Net Initiative in September 2012 showed that online political and news sites are heavily blocked within the country.
In June, EFF reported on recent increases in the censorship and surveillance practices in Ethiopia. Ethio-Telecom began deep packet inspection of all Internet traffic in the country, which engineers at the Tor Project discovered when Tor stopped working there in May of this year.
In the same month, the government of Ethiopia ratified the new Telecom Service Infringement Law. This law criminalizes online speech that may be construed as defamatory or terrorist, and holds the website or account owner liable even if the speech is posted as a comment by someone else on their website. Endalk, a prominent Ethiopian blogger, has wondered if this law could be “the most creative way of copying SOPA and PIPA.” The law also tries to squash competition of VOiP services and harshly punishes citizens for using or having in their possession any telecommunications equipment without prior permission from the government.
Through law and practice, through intimidation and arrest, the Ethiopian government has looked to choke off free expression at every corner. It is no wonder than Eskinder Nega is one of the few outspoken journalists still operating inside Ethiopia.
Eskinder’s Current Conditions
While we are unable to receive direct reports from Eskinder about his current physical conditions, our knowledge of the prison system in Ethiopia leaves us gravely concerned.
A country report about Ethiopia produced by the U.S. Department of State, noted:
Prison and pretrial detention center conditions remained harsh and in some cases life threatening. Severe overcrowding was common, especially in sleeping quarters. The government provided approximately eight birr ($0.46) per prisoner per day for food, water, and health care…Medical care was unreliable in federal prisons and almost nonexistent in regional prisons. Water shortages caused unhygienic conditions, and most prisons lacked appropriate sanitary facilities.
Wikileaks published a diplomatic cable that was called “Inside Ethiopia’s jails” that is far more graphic than the State Department’s annual report. The cable, based on reports from several recently released prisoners, detailed extreme deprivation, including:
“Abuses reported include being blindfolded and hung by the wrists for several hours, bound by chains and beaten, held in solitary confinement for several days to weeks or months, subjected to mental torture such as harassment and humiliation, forced to stand for over 16 hours, and having heavy objects hung from one’s genitalia (males).”
Even though the cables noted that much of the torture occurred in police station detentions, the threat of torture in the Kaliti Prison (where Eskinder is being held) is still possible. We are deeply concerned about the physical condition of Eskinder.
Freeing Eskinder Nega (and Helping All of Ethiopia’s Imprisoned Journalists)
Freeing Eskinder Nega will help preserve a vital voice for independent journalism in a country that hungers for access to truthful news coverage. It will also serve as inspiration for activists working to free other imprisoned journalists in this country.
The Ethiopian government has released journalists in the past—including Eskinder, several times. Earlier this year, it released and pardoned Swedish journalists Johan Persson and Martin Schibbye after substantial international pressure. And in August, Temesghen Desalegn, editor of a leading independent weekly newspaper in Ethiopia, was released and cleared of the criminal charges against him. So we know that activist efforts – including international pressure – can be persuasive to the Ethiopian government. If nothing else, continued international attention can help ensure Eskinder Nega’s safety as he continues to appeal his case.
Here’s how you can get involved:
• Sign PEN American Center’s petition, which automatically an email to Prime Minister Meles Zenawi and Minister of Justice Berhanu Hailu.
• Send appeals by mail to Ethiopian officials and their local Ethiopian Embassy or Consulate.
• Tell your friends on Facebook and Twitter. Suggested Tweet:
Journalism is not terrorism. Join @PenAmerican and @EFF in fighting to #FreeEskinder Nega. http://www.pen.org/page.php/prmID/2226
We’re also going to be changing the EFF Twitter profile image to show a #FreeEskinder banner leading up to Eskinder’s next appeal. We hope you’ll do the same to your own online accounts by using the image located here.
The United States has deep ties with Ethiopia, which is a major military alley for our country in sub-Saharan Africa. EFF is writing an open letter to the US State Department to urge them to speak out on Eskinder’s case to Hailemariam Desalegn, Ethiopia’s new Prime Minister. As the Washington Post stated, Eskinder’s case is “a source of tension and embarrassment to the Obama administration,” whose new Africa strategy makes democracy promotion the number one priority.
We’ll be watching Eskinder’s case closely in the coming months. Follow us on social media and sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date on the campaign.
Journalism is not terrorism. Join @PenAmerican and @EFF in fighting to free #EskinderNega https://eff.org/r.a7qY
Thanksgiving Holiday is this week and here is Ethiopian Review’s 2012 Top 5 Political Turkeys, as a warm up to the much anticipated Ethiopian Review’s 2012 Person of the Year, which will be announced around the end of December.
5. Aba Gebremedhin (formerly Abune Paulos) – accompanied his boss to hell.
4. Barack Obama – gives $3 billion to Ethiopia’s corrupt dictator while his country is burdened with a $17-trillion debt.
3. Mit Romney – couldn’t defeat the most incompetent president since Jimmy Carter.
2. Susan Rice – her lies and hubris finally caught up to her.
1. Meles Zenawi & Azeb Mesfin – good riddance finally. He died running scared and without enjoying his loot.
By Kraig Becker
Ethiopia is home to one of the more spectacular, yet lesser known, classic treks of the world. The Semien Mountains, found in the northern part of the country, offer amazing scenery, dizzying heights, and unique wildlife, with treks that can range anywhere from one to two weeks in length. Best of all, the trails tend to be remote and generally empty, providing solitude to travelers throughout the breathtaking landscapes.
The Semien range is quite rugged, with plenty of altitude. Many of the peaks rise above 11,000 feet, with the tallest, Ras Dashen, reaching 15,159 feet in height. The trails and campsites remain primitive, and there are few amenities to be had out in the Ethiopian wilds, but the mostly untouched backcountry offers deep gorges and unique rock formations, delivering stunning views to trekkers at every turn.
One of the more unique aspects of a Semien trek is that the trails wander through remote villages on a regular basis. This allows hikers the opportunity to visit with locals who live in the region and still maintain a simple lifestyle that has remained mostly unchanged for generations. The presence of these villages allows for cultural immersion, which is something that is often missing on similar treks in other parts of the world.
There is also plenty of wildlife to see on the trail as well, with Gelada Baboons being one of the highlights. The baboons make their homes amongst the rocky outcroppings of the Semien Mountains and rarely stray far from those protective spaces. Other animals in the area include the walia ibex, a species of mountain goats unique to the region, and the Ethiopian wolf, which resembles a red fox in most physical aspects.
For trekkers who have already covered the more well known treks of the world, such as the Inca Trail or the Annapurna Circuit, the Semien Mountains offer an isolated, little known escape that remains off the radar for many travelers. The incredible views, unique mountain villages, and interesting wildlife set it apart from just about any other hike, and will leave a lasting impression on anyone who makes the journey. (Source: Gadling.com)
Washington, DC, July 16, 2012.
Muslims and Christians of Ethiopian origin came out in large numbers to protest against the Ethiopian authorities’ harassment, arrest, torture and killing of Ethiopian Muslims. The event was organized by the Washington-based First Hijrah Foundation.
The following is a valuable collection of survival guides for natural and man-made disasters. It is a good idea to download and keep them on your computer’s hard drive or memory sticks.
- Preserving Fruits And Vegetables
- Wound Closure Manual
- Survival Medicine
- Canning Fermented Foods and Pickled Vegetables
- Practical Guide to Free Energy Devices
- Survival In Cold Weather Areas
- CIA Lock Picking Training Manual
- Boyscout cookbook
- Small Scale-Food-Drying-Technologies
- How to make fertilizers
- US Army-Combatives-handtohand-combat
- Aikido (Hand to Hand: Martial Arts)
- Combat-Conditioning-Manual (JiuJitsu)
- Bushcraft leather work
- Flintknapping manual
- Shelters, Shacks, and Shanties
- Preparing and Canning Poultry, Red Meats, and Seafood
- MacGyver-How To Handbook
- The Making of Leather
- The Jerky Chef
- Guide to home carpentry
- Solar Dehydrator
- Radio Monitoring Guide
- Making Desiccant Packs for long-term firearm storage
- How to make common things
- Food Storage Cooking School
- FEMA Emergency Gassifer
- Every Step in Canning
- Essentials of Archery
- Electromagnetic Pulse Protection Manual
- Dictionary of Food
- Declination diagram
- Cultivation, Harvesting, Curing, and Uses of Herbs
- Canning Principles
- Canning Meat Safely
- Build Classic-Crossbow
- Beverage Plants
- Raw-Foods Guide
- Urban Preparation Kit
- Wilderness Survival Skills
- Nuclear War Survival Skills
- How to build a debris hut
- HHS Pandemic Influenza Plan
- Cold Weather_Survival – 1
- Cold Weather Survival – 2
- Camp Life in the Woods and Trap Making
- Aids to survival
- Evasion and recovery
- USMC Individual Terrorism Survival
- Combat-Training With Pistols
- Guerrila Warfare
- Special Forces Caching Techniques
- Combat Survival Guerrila Skills Handbook
- Combat Skills
- Combat Guerrilla Survival Skills
- US Army Field Manual, Civil Disturbance Operations
- Basic food preparation
- Army Basic-Cold-Weather-Manual
- Army Camouflage-Concealment-and-Decoys
- Army Concrete-and-Masonry
- Army Urban-Operations
- Where There is No Dentist
- Emergency War Surgery
- Survival Edible Medicinal-Plants
- Common Edible Mushrooms
- Anticancer Therapeutics
- Nature Cure
- Survival knots
- Ropes, Knots, Ladders, Lashings and Anchorages
- Knots, Splices and Rope Work
- Knots-for-Mountaineering, Camping, Climbing, Rescue
- Encyclopedia of Knots
- Edible and medicinal plants
“ጥቁሩ ሰው” ይናገራል!
የ አቶ ኦባንግ ሜቶ ቃለ ምልልስ ከ ጎልጉል ድረ ገጽ ጋር
November 16, 2012
“ጥቁሩ ሰው” ይሉታል። ኢትዮጵያዊያን ለሚያሽከረከራት አስፈሪ ፈተና መፍትሄው ሰብአዊነትን ማስቀደም ብቻ ነው የሚል የጸና እምነት አለው። “ከጎሳ በፊት ሰብዓዊነት” በሚል መሪ ዓላማ ከሚመስሉት ጋር በመሆን ድርጅት አቋቁሞ መሥራት ከጀመረበት ጊዜ አንስቶ ባከናወናቸው ሥራዎች ከፍተኛ እርካታ እንደሚሰማው ያምናል። ኢትዮጵያዊያን ችግር ደርሶባቸዋል በሚባልበት ሁሉ ቀድሞ ደራሽ እንደሆነ ብዙዎች ይመሰክሩለታል። በዚህና በሰብዓዊ መብት ጉዳይ በሰራቸው ስራዎቹ ቁጥራቸው ቀላል የማይባሉ ደጋፊዎችና አድናቂዎች ለማፍራት ቢችልም “ከጀርባው ድብቅ ዓላማና አጀንዳ አለው፣ ብቻውን ይሮጣል” የሚሉትን ጨምሮ በግል አቋሞቹ ዙሪያ ነቀፌታ የሚሰነዝሩበትም አሉ።
የወደፊት ዕቅዱና የሚነቅፉት እንደሚሉት መቼ ፖለቲካ ፓርቲ መስርቶ ይፋ ያደርጋል? በሚሉትና በተመሳሳይ ጉዳዮች ዙሪያ ኦባንግ ሜቶ ከጎልጉል የድረገጽ ጋዜጣ ጋር ቃለ ምልልስ አድርጓል። ኦባንግ ሜቶ (ጥቁሩ ሰው) የአንደኛ ደረጃ ትምህርቱን ጋምቤላ ተማረ። ከዚያም ሁለተኛና የዩኒቨርሲቲ ትምህርቱን ካናዳ ተከታትሎዋል። በመጀመሪያ የጋምቤላ ልማት ኤጀንሲ (GDA) የሚባል ድርጅት አቋቁሞ በርካታ ተግባራትን እያከናወነ ነበር፡፡ በኋላም በጋምቤላ የዛሬ 9ዓመት አካባቢ ከ400 በላይ አኙዋኮች ሲጨፈጨፉ ህይወቱ ተቀየረ፡፡ ሁኔታው በአመለካከቱ ላይ ብቻ ሳይሆን በግል ህይወቱ ላይ ከፍተኛ ለውጥ አመጣ፡፡ ሁሉንም ትቶ ድምጽ አልባ ለሆኑት ድምጽ ለመሆን የአኙዋክ የፍትሕ ምክርቤትን በማቋቋምና በኃላፊነት በመሥራት የመለስ አገዛዝን እና የወንጀሉን ተዋናዮች በዓለምአቀፍ ፍርድርቤት ሊያስከስስ የሚችል ተግባር አከናወነ፡፡ ሆኖም ችግሩ የአኙዋክ ብቻ ሳይሆን የመላው ኢትዮጵያ መሆኑን በጥልቅ ከተረዳ በኋላ ኢትዮጵያ ነጻ ሳትወጣ አኙዋክ ብቻ ወይም ሌላው እንዲሁ በግሉ ነጻ ቢወጣ ችግሩ ፈጽሞ ሊቃለል እንደማይችል በተረዳበት ጊዜ ትግሉን ቀየረ፡፡ አዲሲቷ ኢትዮጵያ ብትመሠረት የሁላችንም ችግር መፍትሔ እንደሚያገኝ በማስተዋል ከበርካታ ኢትዮጵያውያን ጋር በመሆን ለአዲሲቷ ኢትዮጵያ የጋራ ንቅናቄን (አኢጋን) (http://www.solidaritymovement.org/) በማቋቋም የትግሉን መስመር አሰፋው፡፡ “ሁላችንም ነጻ ካልወጣን ማንም ብቻውን ነጻ መሆን አይችልም” የሚለውን መሪ መፈክር በማንገብ “ከጎሣ ይልቅ ለሰብዓዊነት ቅድሚያ” እንዲሰጥ በመታገል ዓመታትን አስቆጥሯል – ኦባንግ ሜቶ ለአዲሲቷ ኢትዮጵያ የጋራ ንቅናቄ ዋና ዳይሬክተር!
ኦባንግ፦ዘወትር የምመለከተው ወደፊት ነው። የማምንበትን አደርጋለሁ። የማደርገው ሁሉ ለኅሊናዬ ስል ነው። ኅሊናዬን እረፍት የሚነሳ ነገር አላደርግም። ግልጽ ነኝ።ዕቅዴ፣ ሃሳቤ፣ እምነቴ፣ ቀናነትና መደጋገፍ ላይ የተመሰረተ በመሆኑ ዘወትር ደስተኛ ነኝ። በየቀኑ በርካታ በረከቶች አሉኝ። ይህንን ስል ሃዘን አይሰማኝም ማለት ግን አይደለም። በርካታ ጉዳዮች እረፍት ይነሱኛል። ማንም ለራሱ ብቻ መኖር የለበትም …
ጎልጉል፦በተለይ የሚያስደስትህ ምንድር ነው?
ኦባንግ፦የወገኖቼን ችግር ለመቅረፍ የማደርገው ጥረት ልዩ እርካታ ይሰጠኛል። ሰዎችን ለመርዳት ተንቀሳቅሼ ምላሹ መልካም ዜና ሲሆን ደስታዬ ልዩ ነው። የልፋቴን ዋጋ ስመለከት ቀኑን ሙሉ በደስታ እንዳለቅስ ያደርገኛል። እንዲህ ያለውን እርካታ በሌላ በምንም መንገድ ላገኘው አልችልም። እንዲህ ያለው ደስታ ቀኑ ሁሉ የተባረከ እንዲሆን ያደርግልኛል። በሌላ በኩል ደግሞ …
ጎልጉል፦በተለይ የምትጠላው ምንድነው? ይህንን ጥያቄ የማነሳው …
ኦባንግ፦(…አቋርጦ በመግባት) ተንኮል። ጥላቻ። ድንቁርና፡፡ ውሸት …
ጎልጉል፦የፖለቲካ ፓርቲ የማቋቋም ድብቅ አጀንዳ አለው የሚል አስተያየት ይደመጣል፤
ኦባንግ፦ለጊዜው አላሰብኩም። ባቋቁምስ? ምንድነው ችግሩ? ማንስ ያገባዋል? ምንም ነገር የማድረግ መብቱ እኮ የኔ የግሌ ነው፤
ጎልጉል፦በየጊዜው የሚነሳ ጉዳይ ስለሆነ ግልጽ እንዲሆን ነው የጠየኩህ፤
ኦባንግ፦ከዚህ በፊት ያስታወቅኩኝ ይመስለኛል። የፖለቲካ ፓርቲ የማቋቋም ወይም በተቋቋሙት የፖለቲካ ድርጅቶች ውስጥ የመሳተፍ ባለመብቱ እኔ ብቻ ነኝ። ማንም አያገባውም። እንዲህ ዓይነት ሌሎችን የመቆጣጠር አዝማሚያ ሊገባኝ አይችልም።በተወለድኩበት ጋምቤላ በመቶሺህ የሚቆጠሩ ሰዎች በአንድ ሃኪም ብቻ ሲመረመሩ ሳይ አመመኝ። ይህ ሳይበቃቸው ጭፍጨፋ ተከተለ። ይህኔ ማንም ሳይቀሰቅሰኝ የተገፉና የሚረገጡ ወገኖችን ለመታደግ ማንም ሳይቀሰቅሰኝ ወሰንኩ። ችግራቸውን ይፋ ለማድረግ አደባባይ ወጣሁ። ድርጅት አቋቋምኩ። በህይወት እያሉ የሚያጣጥሩ ሰዎችን መንገድ ላይ እያዩ ጥሎ መሔድ ይቻላል? ሰብዓዊነት ነው? እየሞቱ ያሉ ዜጎችን ለመርዳት፣ የነሱ ስቃይ ይመለከተኛል ብሎ መነሳት ምን ድብቅ አጀንዳ ይኖረዋል? እንዲህ አይነቱን ኋላ ቀርና የቀረ አስተሳሰብ አልወደውም። አጠላዋለሁ። ከየት እንደመጣሁ የኢትዮጵያ ህዝብ ያውቃል። እኔ የመጣሁት ፍትህ ለተጠሙ ድምጽ ለመሆን እንጂ ለተንኮል አይደለም። ተንኮል ምን እንደሆነም አላውቅም። ድብቅ ነገርም የለኝም። ከማንስ ነው የሚደበቀው?
ጎልጉል፦ስለዚህ የፖለቲካ ፓርቲ የማቋቋም ሃሳብ የለህም ማለት ነው?
ኦባንግ፦በራሴ ጊዜ ሁሉንም አደርገዋለሁ። ማንም ለኔ ሃሳብና እቅድ ጊዜ አያወጣልኝም። ማድረግ በምፈልግበት ጊዜ ባደባባይ ልክ አሁን እንደምሰራው አደርገዋለሁ። ለሁሉም ነገር የራሴ የጊዜ ምርጫ አለኝ። እኔ በራሴ ሳንባ የምተነፍስ ሰው ነኝ። እኔን በተመለከተ ምን እያደረኩ እንደሆነ በማሰብ የሚጨነቁ የራሳቸውን ስራ እንዲሰሩ እመክራቸዋለሁ። እኔ የራሴን እቅድ ይዤ እየሰራሁ ነው። ሌሎችም የራሳቸውን፣ ያዋጣናል ያሉትን ይስሩ። በቃ!! ተመለሰልህ?
ጎልጉል፦”ለሁሉም ጊዜ አለው” ብለኸኛል፤
ኦባንግ፦አዎ! ለሁሉም ጊዜ አለው። ፍትህ ለጠማቸው ወገኖች በሚቻለው ሁሉ መድረስ ግድ ነው። የሌሎችን ኑሮና ስቃይ መካፈል ሰው የመሆናችን አንዱ መግለጫ ነው።በእውነት፣ በቀጥተኛው መንገድ፣ የተከታዮችን ልብ ሳንሰብር ማገልገል ለማንም የሚተው ሥራ አይደለም፡፡ ሁላችንም ያገባናል። ባገራቸው ጉዳይ ከሚያገባቸው ዜጎች መካከል አንዱ ነኝ።
ጎልጉል፦ብቻህን ትሮጣለህ ይሉሃል?
ኦባንግ፦እንዲህ ያለው ኢትዮጵያን አሁን ካለችበትም ደረጃ እንደገና ወደ ባሰ ኋላ ቀርነት ለሚመልሳት አመለካከትና አስተሳሰብ እንግዳ ነኝ። በነጻነት የማምን ነጻ ሰው ነኝ። ወዳጆቼን ቅር ያሰኛል እንጂ በርካታ ጉዳዮችን ማንሳትና መናገር የምችልበት አጋጣሚዎች ነበሩ። ራሳችንን ችለን ከመስራት ይልቅ ሌላው ላይ መንጠልጠል ምን ጥቅም እንዳለ ሊገባኝ አይችልም። እኔ የምመራው ድርጅት የራሱ መዋቅር ያለው፣የሚሰራውን የሚያውቅ፣ በሙያቸውና በዜግነታቸው ዓላማውን ተቀብለው ያለ አንዳች ጥቅም የሚያገለግሉት ቦርድና ስራ አመራር ያለው ነው። አባላቶቹም በፍቅር ድርጅታቸውን አምነው የሚሰሩ ናቸው። እኔን ብቻውን ይሮጣል የሚሉ ወገኖች የሚያስቀይሙት እንግዲህ እንዲህ ያሉትን፣ የማያውቋቸውን ሰዎች ነው። እኔ እስከማውቀው ድረስ ብቻዬን አይደለሁም። አብረውኝ የሚሮጡና በነጻ ከፍቅር ብዛት ከጎኔ ያሉት ወገኖች እጅግ ብዙ ናቸው። ችግሩ እነዚህ አብረውኝ ያሉ ሰዎች በየቦታው መታየት የሚፈልጉ ስላልሆኑ ለአንዳንድ ሰዎች ብቻዬን ያለሁ ይመስላቸዋል፡፡ እና ብቻውን ይሮጣል ይሉኛል፡፡
ጎልጉል፦ድርጅትህ የተለየ መስፈርት አለው?
ኦባንግ፦ በመጀመሪያ “ድርጅትህ” ያልከውን አልቀበልም፡፡ እኔ መሪ ብሆንም ለአዲሲቷ ኢትዮጵያ የጋራ ንቅናቄ “የኦባንግ ድርጅት አይደለም”፡፡ የጋራ ንቅናቄያችን ምንም መስፈርት የለውም፤ በፍጹም። እንደሚታወቀው ሥራችን ሁሉ ህጋዊ ነው፡፡ የጥንካሬያችን መሠረትም ይኸው ነው፡፡ ድርጅታችን በአሜሪካ አገር በሕግ የተመዘገበና የመክሰስም ሆነ የመከሰስ መብት ያለው ነው፡፡ ገቢና ወጪያችንንም በየጊዜው በህጋዊ መልኩ ለመንግሥት መ/ቤቶች ሪፖርት እናደርጋለን፡፡ የወያኔን ሕገወጥነት የምንቃወመው ራሳችን ሕገወጥ በመሆን አይደለም፡፡ እናም ስለዚህ በሕጋዊነት ላይ የጸና አቋም አለን፡፡ ከዚህ ሌላ ግን የጋራ ንቅናቄያችን አገራቸውን የሚወዱ፣ ሰብዓዊነትን የሚያከብሩ፣ የወደፊት ልጅ ልጆቻቸው ህይወት የሚያሳዝኗቸው፣ እነሱ ያለፉበት መንገድ ስህተትና ኋላ ቀር እንደሆነ የተረዱ በነጻነት የሚምኑ፣ በበጎ ፈቃድ፣ በቀናነት፣ በፍቅርና በርህራሄ የሚያምኑ ነጻ ሰዎች የሚቀላቀሉት ድርጅት ነው። (http://www.solidaritymovement.org/)
የጋራ ንቅናቄያችን የያዘው ራዕይ ብቻውን ታላቁ ሃብቱ ነው። ግን ከግብ የሚያደርሱት ሰዎች ይፈልጋል። እነዚህ ሰዎች ጎሳና የደም ግንኙነት የማያግዳቸው የአዲሲቷ ኢትዮጵያ መስራቾች ናቸው። እኔን ውሰደኝ። ከጋምቤላ ነው የተገኘሁት። ይህ ታላቅ ሃብት ነው ያልኩት ታላቅ ዓላማ ስለገዛኝ እንጂ ከጋምቤላ ጉዳይ ጋር መሮጥ እችል ነበር። የጋምቤላን ጉዳይ ብቻ አንጠልጥዬ ብሮጥ መስበክ የምጀምረው የቀድሞውን ስህተት ይሆናል። ስህተት መድገም ታጋይ ወይም የሰብአዊ መብት ተሟጋች አያሰኝም።
ጎልጉል፦ላቋርጥህና “የቀድሞውን ስህተት መስበክ” ስትል ምን ማለት ነው?
ኦባንግ፦ነብሱን ይማረውና አቶ መለስ ይሰብከው የነበረው ሁሉ ጥላቻ ነበር። ኢትዮጵያ ውስጥ ባለው እውነት መሠረት ሁሉም የተረገጠ ህዝብ ነው። ሁሉም የተገፋ ህዝብ ነው። የቱን ጠልተህ፣ የቱን ትወዳለህ? መለስ አማራውን ነፍጠኛና የሌላው ህዝብ ሁሉ ጠላት አድርጎ ሰበከ። ኦሮሞውን ጠባብ እያለ ከሌላው ጋር አጣላው። የተጨቆኑ በሚል ብሄር ብሄረሰቦችን ጥላቻ አስታጠቃቸው። በጥላቻ ላይ መሰረት ያደረገው ስብከት ህይወት ቀጠፈ፡፡ አሁንም ሰው እየሞተ ነው። መፈናቀል አስከተለ። አሁንም አልቆመም። ከሰውነት ባህርይ የወጣና ዘግናኝ ጭፍጨፋ ተካሄደ … ብዙ ማለት ይቻላል። ከጥላቻ የሚገኘው ትርፍ እንግዲህ ይህ ነው። ቀደም ባሉት ስርዓቶችም ቢሆን ከዘመን ጋር አብሮ ባለመሄድ ምክንያት በርካታ ችግሮችን ለማሳለፍ ተገደናል። እናም ይህ አስነዋሪና ኋላ ቀር ፖለቲካ አንድ ቦታ ላይ መቆም ይገባዋል። የምናስቀረው ደግሞ እኛ የዚህ ዘመን ሰዎች ነን። ጥላቻን መስበክ መቆም አለበት። ይህንን ለመረዳት የሚያስፈልገው ቀና መሆን ብቻ ነው። በቀናነት ብቻ ብዙ መራመድ ይቻላል። ቀና ስንሆን ብዙ ነገር ይገለጥልናል። በሁሉም መንገድ ተሞክሮ አልሆነም። ቀና በመሆን ግን ይቻላል።
ጎልጉል፦አቶ መለስ በህይወት እያሉ ስለተጨቆኑና ስለተረገጡ ህዝቦች ሲሉ መታገላቸውን በተደጋጋሚ ይናገሩ ነበር። ባንተ አመለካከት ዋናው ስህተታቸው ምኑ ላይ ነው?
ኦባንግ፦አቶ መለስ ህወሓትን ከፊት አድርገው አዲስ አበባ ሲገቡ እውነተኛ ብሔራዊ እርቅ አድርገው ቢሆን ኖሮ ዛሬ ተገፍተን በስደት ያለን ሁላችን በየሙያችን አገራችንና ወገኖቻችንን እናግዝ ነበር። የሆነው ግን የተለየ ነው። መለስ “እነሱ” ብሎ ሌሎችን በመወንጀል ጥላቻን ማወጅ ጀመረ። ትውልድን የሚያንጽ ብሄራዊ ሚዲያ ሳይቀር የጥላቻና የቂም ስብከት እንዲያስተጋባ ተደረገ። የዚህ መዘዝ ዛሬ ላይ ጣለን። የጋራ ንቅናቄያችን “እነሱ” የሚል ቋንቋ የለውም። ስንጀምር “እኛ” ብለን ነው። ይህ ልዩ ያደርገናል። የሰው ልጆች ጥላቻን ለመሸከም አይመጥኑም። ጥላቻ የሚዘራብን እንደሰው ስለማንታይ ነው። እንደ ሰው ስላልተከበርን ነው። ሰው መልካም ነገር እንዲያደርግ ከፈጣሪ የተሰጠው ልዩ ስጦታ አለው፡፡ መለስ ግን ይህንን ረስቷል። በብሄር ብሄረሰብ ስም ሲምል ሁላችንንም ሳያሳፍር ነው። ብቻውን ወይም ጥቂት ሰዎች ይዞ ወደ ጥፋት ሄደ፤
ጎልጉል፦ “መሳፈር” ብታብራራልኝ?
ኦባንግ፦በምሳሌ ልግለጸው። ምሳሌው ለመለስ ብቻ አይደለም። ለሁላችንም የሚሆን ነው። አውሮፓና አሜሪካ ወይም ባደጉት አገሮች ተማሪዎች የጉብኝት ጉዞ አላቸው። ለጉብኝት ሲነሱ አውቶቡስ ይቀርባል። አወቶቡሱ እንደቀረበ ቀድመው የሚገቡት ተማሪዎች ናቸው። ተማሪዎች ገብተው ሲያልቁ አስተማሪዎቹ ይቆጥሯቸዋል። ሁሉም መግባታቸውን ካረጋገጡ በኋላ አስተማሪዎቹ ተሳፍረው ሾፌሩን አውቶቡሱን እንዲያንቀሳቀስ ይነግሩታል። አስተማሪዎቹ ተማሪዎቹን ቅድሚያ ሰጥተው ማስገባትና የተባለው ቦታ ድረስ የማድረስ ሃላፊነት አለባቸው። ጉብኝቱም ካለቀ በኋላ ሁሉም ተማሪዎች አውቶቡስ ውስጥ ተመልሰው ሳይገቡ አውቶቡሱ ዝም ብሎ አይነሳም። ሁሉም ተማሪዎች መኖራቸውና ማንም እንዳልቀረ ደግመው ደጋግመው ያረጋግጣሉ። እንደመጀመሪያው ሁሉም ተማሪዎች መሳፈራቸው ሲረጋገጥ አውቶቡሱ እንዲንቀሳቀስ ለሾፌሩ ያስታውቃሉ።
ጎለጉል፡- ታዲያ ከዚህ ምሳሌ የምንማረው ምንድነው?
ኦባንግ፡- የምንማረውማ አውቶቡሱ አገር ነው። ተማሪዎቹ ህዝብ ናቸው። እንግዲህ መለስ አገር ሲመራ ሁላችንንም ቆጥሮና መሳፈራችንን አረጋግጦ መሆን ሲጋባው ብቻውን ተሳፍሮ ሌሎች የሚፈልጋቸውን ጨምሮ ቆለፈብንና ብቻውን ነጎደ። አንዳንድ የሚጠቅሙትን ከጎኑ አደረገ። በመሪያችን ያልተቆጠርን በዛን። አታስፈልጉም የተባልነው በለጥን። የተቆለፈብንና የጉዞው ተመልካች የሆን ከልክ በላይ ሆንን። መለስ ካለፉት ስርዓቶች ትምህርት ተምሮ ጉዞውን አንድ ላይ በእርቅና በፍቅር ሊያደርገው ይችል ነበር። መለስ ተገፍቻለሁ ብሎ በረሃ ገባ። ከበረሃ ሲመለስና መሪ ሲሆን እኔንና እኔን መሰል ወገኖችን ገፋንና ከአውቶቡሱ ውጪ አደረገን። ሳንቆጠር የቀረን በሙሉ ሌላ አውቶቡስ ፍለጋ ተሰደድን፤ አሁንም እየተሰደድን እንገኛለን፡፡ በመለስ አውቶቡስ የሚቆጥረን ስላልነበረ ሌላ የሚቆጥረን እንፈልጋለን፡፡ ዛሬም ተመልሰን ይህንን ለመድገም መስራት ያለብን አይመስለኝም። አንዱ ሌላውን እየገፋ በበቀል ታሪክ መሄድ መቆም አለበት። ይህ የእኛ ትውልድ ቢያንስ ቢያንስ ይህንን ማድረግ አለበት። መለስ አልቆጠረንም ብለን የራሳችንን አውቶቡስ ይዘን ከመሄድ ይልቅ መጀመሪያ ወገናችንን እንሰብስብ፤ እንቁጠር፡፡ በተራ ብልጣብልጥነትና በተንኮል ሳይሆን በቀናነት!! ቀናነት!! ቀናነት!! …
ጎልጉል፦እዚህ ላይ አቶ መለስን ብቻ ተጠያቂ እያደረክ ነው?
ኦባንግ፦እሳቸው ይህንን የጥላቻ ታሪክ መቀየር ይችሉ ነበር። መገፋትና መጨቆን አግባብ አይደለም ብለው የታገሉትን ወንድሞችና እህቶች ሞት ሊያከብሩት ይገባ ነበር። “በጠላቶቻችን መቃብር ላይ” ብለው ባይነሱ ኖሮ የኢትዮጵያ መከራ ያቆም ነበር። በየመን፣ በመካከለኛው ምስራቅ፣ በአውሮፓ፣ በአሜሪካ፣ በኬኒያ፣ በደቡብ አፍሪካና በተለያዩ አገራት በስደት የሚማቅቁ ወገኖች የመለስ ስርዓት ውጤቶች ናቸው። ድህነት ከፍቶ ቆሻሻ መብላት የጀመሩ ትውልዶች የታዩት፣ በባህር ላይ ሲሰደዱ የሚያልቁ ወገኖች፣ በሲና በረሃ የሰውነት ክፍላቸው እየተወሰደ የውሻ ሞት የሚሞቱት ወገኖች፣ የድርጅት አባል ካልሆናችሁ ስራ አታገኙም ተብለው በረሃብ የሚጠበሱ አካሎቻችን የመለስ ስርዓት ውጤቶች ናቸው። መለስ መነጋገሪያ ይዞ የተናገራቸው የጥላቻና እርስ በርስ የሚያባላ ቅስቀሳ እኔ መድገም አልፈልግም።ማናችንም ልንደግመው አይገባም። በነገራችን ላይ ኢህአዴግ ራሱ የሁሉም ነገር መሃንዲስ መለስ እንደሆነ አሁን እያረጋገጠ ነው። እኔ የምለው ግን በቀል የሌለባትን አገር ለመመስረት እናተኩር ነው እንጂ መለስን በመውቀስና በመደብደብ ለውጥ አይመጣም። ጥላቻውን ማስተጋባት ከቀጠልን የቀድሞው ስህተት ምሩቃን እንሆንና ምንም በማያውቀው በመጪው ትውልድ፣ በልጅ ልጆቻችን ላይ የምንፈርድ እንሆናለን።ይህንን ካደረግን ከነመለስና ከሌሎች በምን እንሻላለን ለሚለው ጥያቄ መልስ የለም። አርቆ መመልከት አግባብ የሚሆነው እዚህ ላይ ነው።
ጎልጉል፦ስጋት አለህ ማለት ነው?
ኦባንግ፦እኔ ብቻ ሳልሆን አብዛኛው ህዝብ፣ በተለይም ወደ የትኛው አቅጣጫ እንደሚሄድ መወሰን ያልቻለው ህዝብ ጭንቀት ውስጥ ስለመሆኑ ጥርጥር የለኝም። ጎጆ ቤት ስትገባ ጎንበስ ማለት አለብህ። ኢትዮጵያችን ዙሪያውን ምስጥ በበላው እንጨት የቆመ ጎጆ ተደርጋለች። የከፋቸው ብዙ ናቸው። ተገደው ሳይወዱ በሃይል የሚመሩ የጥላቻ ፖለቲካ ውጤት የሆኑ ጥቂት አይደሉም። በእንዲህ አይነት ጎጆ ውስጥ ለመግባት በጣም ጎንበስ ማለት ግድ ነው። አለበለዚያ አንዱ እንጨት ከተነካ ጎጆዋ ጎጆ መሆኗ ይቀራል። ይህ አርቀህ ስታይ የምትመለከተው ገጽታ ነው። ይህቺ ጎጆ ጎጆ መሆኗ ከቀረ ቢሮጥም መድረሻ የለም። ጎጆዋን የበላት ምስጥ ጥላቻ ነው። ይህንን ጥላቻ ስናስወግድና በሰብዓዊነት መሰረት ላይ ተተክለን መንቀሳቀስ ስንችል ጎንበስ ሳንል ደረታችንን ገልብጠን ብንገባም የማይነቃነቅ ቤት ይኖረናል። ያቺኑ በቋፍ ላይ ያለች ጎጆ በመጠጋገን ለመኖር ማሰብ በኔ እምነት ኋላ ቀርነት ነው። ራዕይ አልባ መሆን ነው። የአውሬ አስተሳሰብ ነው። ተራ የእሳት አደጋ ወይም የአምቡላንስ አገልግሎት አይነት ነው። እና …
ጎልጉል፡- ምሳሌዎች ሁሉ ይገርማሉ፤ ቅድም ስለ አውቶቡስ ስትናገር ነበር አሁን ደግሞ ጎጆ …
ኦባንግ፡- (በማቋረጥ) ልክ ነህ ለኔ ትልቅ ትርጉም ስላላቸው ነው፡፡ … እና ወደ ጀመርኩት ሃሳቤ ስመለስ … ራሴን በርካታ ጥያቄዎች እጠይቃለሁ። የማገኘው መልስ ይገርመኛል። የኢትዮጵያ ልጆች ደንቆሮዎች ነን እንዳልል፣ በመላው ዓለም ታላላቅ ባለሙያዎች አሉ። ደሃ ነን እንዳልል፣ ሃብት አለን። ታሪክ አልባ ነን እንዳልል፣ የታላላቅ ታሪክ ባለቤት ነን። ባህል አልባ ነን እንዳልል፣ አስገራሚ ባህሎች ባለቤት እንደሆን እረዳለሁ። ታዲያ ችግራችን ምንድነው? እስራኤል ታናሽ ህዝብ ነው። ግን የት ደርሰዋል? እኛ ለምን? ምንድነው የጎደለን? መሪ የሚባሉት ሰዎች በልተው ሌላው ጦሙን ሲያድር ምን እርካታ ይሰማቸዋል? አገር እየሳሳች ስትሄድ በጋራ መፍትሄ እንፈልግ፣ በጋራ እንስራ፣ አንድነታችንን እናጠናክር፣ እጅ ለእጅ እንያያዝ፣ በግሌ የማገኘው ነገር ይቅርና ቅድሚያ አገሬን ለማለት ያልቻልነው ለምንድነው? ይህ ስጋት የኔ ብቻ አይሆንም። ሁሉም ራሱን መጠየቅና ለህሊናው ታምኖ አቅጣጫውን ማስተካከል አለበት። በግልጽ የአመለካከት ለውጥ ማካሄድ አስፈላጊ ነው። የጋራ ንቅናቄያችን ይህንን ጥሪ ማስታላለፍ ይፈልጋል። ማስተዋልና አመዛዝኖ መጓዝ፣ የራስን ስራና የራስን ድርሻ መስራት፣ ሌላውን አለመረበሽ፣ አለመተንኮስ፣ ተንኮል አለመስራት፣ ከሁሉም በላይ ራስን ማክበርና ለሌላው ስቃይ መታመም ያስፈልጋል።
ጎልጉል፦መሪ የመሆን እቅድ አለህ?
ኦባንግ፦ጥሩ መሪ ሊኖረን እንደሚገባ አምናለሁ። ጥሩ መሪ ያስፈልገናል። የራሱን ጎሣ ወይም ወገን ብቻ ሳይሆን ሁላችንም አውቶቡሱን መሳፈራችንን፣ ሁላችንም መቆጠራችንን ካረጋገጠ በኋላ አውቶቡሱ ውስጥ ገብቶ በሩን የሚዘጋ መሪ ያስፈልጋል። እንዲህ አይነት መሪ ሲኖረን (ስንመርጥ) ሲና በረሃ መታረድ ይቆማል። በባህር የሚጠፋው ነብስ ባገሩ አምራች ይሆናል። የተሻለች አገር ለመፍጠር ግን ዝምታ፣ አያገባኝም፣ የለሁበትም ማለት አይሰራም። ጥላቻን መስበክ ፈጽሞ ወደዛ አያደርስምና ሊታሰብበት ይገባል። አገራችን ከያቅጣጫው እስካሁን የተዘራባት ጥላቻ ይበቃል። አስተሳሰባችንን ቀይረን ከሰራን አገር ቤት ውስጥ ትክክለኛ መሪ እናገኛለን። ስለመቀመጫና ስለ መሪነት ያለን አስተሳሰብ ይህ ነው። የመሪ ችግር አለብን። ጦሟን አድራ ልጆቿን እንደምትመግብ እናት ለሚመራው ህዝብ የሚጨንቀው መሪ ለማየት ደግሞ ሳልሰለች የወደፊቱን እያየሁ እሰራለሁ። እንሰራለን።
ጎልጉል፦እናት ስትል ስለ አያትህ እያነሳህ የምትናገረውን አስታወሰኝ …
ኦባንግ፦(አሰበ፤ ከቆይታ በኋላ) አያቴ በህይወቴ ውስጥ ትልቅ ቦታ አላት። መቼም ቢሆን የማልረሳው ዘር ዘርታብኛለች። በሷ ዘመን ሳትማር ስለትምህርት አስፈላጊነት መክራኛለች። አሳስባኛለች። በቃል ብቻ አይደለም ቢጫ እርሳስና 32 ሉክ (ገጽ) ያለው ደብተር ገዝታ ወደ ትምህርት ቤት እንድሄድ አድርጋለች። ህጻን በነበርኩበት ወቅት ሌሎችን ስለማክበር፣ ስለመውደድ፣ ስለመንከባከብ፣ ከጨለማ ውስጥ በመውጣት ለራሳችን ብርሃን ማብራት እንዳለብን ደጋግማ ትነግረኝ ነበር። አሁን ሳስበው የአያቴ ምክርና ተግባራዊ ድጋፍ እዚህ እንዳደረሰኝ ይሰማኛል። ሳስባት በረከት ይሞላኛል።
ጎልጉል፦የምክራቸው መነሻ ምን ነበር? የትምህርትን አስፈላጊነት ለመረዳት የረዳቸው የተለየ አጋጣሚ ነበር?
ኦባንግ፦ቤተ ክርስቲያን ታዘወትር ነበር። በተፈጥሮ ብልህና አዋቂ ናት። ለማወቅ የግድ ዶክተርና ተመራማሪ ወይም መሃንዲስ መሆን አያስፈልግም። ደጋግሜ የምናገረው አንድ ነገር አለ። ሰው ቅን ሲሆን፣ ቅን ሆኖ ለመኖር ሲወስን ብዙ ነገሮች ይታዩታል። በቀናነት የሚገለጽና የሚገኝ ግንዛቤ የሚፈራርስ አይደለም። ቀና ስትሆን ማንንም ለማስደሰት አትኖርም፤ ምክንያቱም ትክክለኛ የሆነ ነገር ብቻ ነው የምታደርገው። ቀና ሰው ባመነበት ሳያስመስል አክብሮና ተከብሮ ይኖራል። ይህ የአያቴ ውርስ ረዳኝ። ከሺዎች ዓመታት በፊት የነበሩትን ኢትዮጵያዊያንና ታሪካቸውን ስንመለከት ከየትኛውም ኮሌጅ አልተመረቁም። ግን አዋቂነታቸው አሁን ድረስ እኛ ልንቀጥልበት ያልቻልነው ነው። የጸዳ ህሊናና ስብዕና ስላላቸው ወገኖች ሳስብ ደስ ይለኛል። አሁን እኔ የማደርገው አያቴ አድርግ ያለችኝን ነው። ነገሮች ተስተካክለው ቢሆኑ ኖሮ እኔ የጸረ ድንቁርናን ዘመቻ አርበኛና አዝማች እሆን ነበር። ድንቁርና ባህላችን እንዳልሆነ አስተምር ነበር። ካገራቸውና ከምድራቸው ሌላ መሄጃ የሌላቸውን ህዝቦችን እንዲገለሉ የሚያደርገውን ቅዠት የሆነና በጣም አስደንጋጭ የሆነ አመለካከት ለማስወገድ እደክም ነበር። ራቁታቸውን የሚሄዱ፣ ጎዳናና ዱር ውስጥ የሚተኙ፣ “ልዩነታችን ውበታችን ነው” እያሉ ለፍቅርና ለአክብሮት ሳይሆን ለቱሪዝም አግልግሎት ገንዘብ መሰብሰቢያ የሚውሉትን አካሎቻችንን የማዳን ስራ እሰራ ነበር። ያ በአገር መስዬ ባስቀመጥኩት አውቶቡስ ውስጥ ከሌሎች ወገኖቻቸው ጋር ባንድነት ተቆጥረው መሳፈራቸውን የሚያረጋግጥላቸው ስርዓት እንዲገነባ እታገል ነበር። አገር ማለት ህዝብ ነው። በእውነት መምራት ከመሪ ብቻ ሳይሆን አምኖ መመራትም ከተመሪው ህዝብ ይጠበቃል። ሁሉም ኢትዮጵያዊ አግባብነት ያለው ኑሮ ለመኖር ይመጥናል። ሁላችንም የዚህ አለም ስደተኞች ነን። ነጮቹም፣ ሃብታሞቹም፣ ድሃዎቹም፣ ጥቁሮቹም … ህይወታችን ዘላለማዊ አይደለንም። የኮንትራት ህይወት የምንመራ ነን። በዚህ ውስን የኮንትራት ህይወታችን ምንም በማያውቁና ለችግር መንስዔ ላልሆኑ ልጆቻችን የተስተካከለ ዘመን ማውረስ የኛ ግዴታ ነው። ጨለማና ከድንቁርና ውስጥ መውጣት አማራጭ የለውም። አያቴ በዛን ወቅት ይህንን ታስብ ነበር። ይህንን እንዳደርግም ዘርና ጎሳ ሳትለይ ታስጠነቅቀኝ ነበር። በቀናነት!!
ጎልጉል፦የአዲሲቷ ኢትዮጵያ የጋራ ንቅናቄም ሆነ አንተ ራስህ ባብዛኛው ስለ “ድርሻ” ትናገራላችሁ። ምን ለማለት ነው?
ኦባንግ፦አዎ! ድርሻ እንላለን። ድርሻ፣ ድርሻ፣ ድርሻ፣ ድርሻ፣ … ድርሻ በማለት ዛሬም ወደፊትም እንጮሃለን። እጅ፣ እግር፣ አፍንጫ፣ ዓይን፣ ምላስ፣ አፍ፣ … ሁሉም ባግባቡ ድርሻቸውን ሲወጡ ሁሉንም የተሸከመው አካል የተሳካ ስራ ይሰራል። ጤነኛም ይሆናል። እግር የዓይን ስራ ልስራ ካለ ችግር ነው። አፍንጫ ምላስ ልሁን ሲል አካል ሙሉ እንቅስቃሴው ይበላሻል። እኛም እንዲሁ ነን። ሁላችንም ድርሻ አለን፤ ድርሻ የሌለው የለም፤ ድርሻችንን ማወቅ አለብን። ድርሻችንን መወጣት አለብን ስንል የማንችለውን ከመስራት በመቆጠብ የምንችለውን ማድረግ ማለት ነው። ሁሉንም ባቅም በእውቀት ማድረግ ማለት ነው። መተማመንና መግባባትን ማስፈን። ለጥቅምና ለጊዜያዊ ደስታ በሚል ሌሎችን በመምሰል ከራስ እውነተኛ ማንነት ጋር አለመጣላት በራሱ የድርሻን መወጣት ነው።
ጎልጉል፦የድርሻን ከመወጣት ጋር በተያያዘ በድርጅትዎ ያስተዋሉት ወይም በሌሎች ድርጅቶች ውስጥ ሊቀየር ይገባዋል የሚሉት ደካማ ጎን አለ?
ኦባንግ፦ስለ ማንኛውም ድርጅት ለይቼ አስተያየት መስጠት አልፈልግም። የምናገረው በጥቅል ለሁላችንም ይሆናል ብዬ የማምንበትን ነው። ወደ ጋራ ንቅናቄያችን ስመለስ ግን ብዙ አስገራሚ ገጠመኞች አሉኝ። በሺህ የሚቆጠሩ ወገኖችን ከስደት ችግር እንዲወጡ አድርገናል። በያሉበት አገርም ህጋዊነት እንዲያገኙ ድርጅታችን ካለው ታዋቂነትና ሕጋዊነት አኳያ ያለአንዳች ክፍያ በነጻ የረዳናቸው እጅግ በርካታ ናቸው፡፡ በዚህ ስራችን ብዙ መናገር ባንፈልግም የሚያውቁ ያውቁናል። እንዳንዶች ርዳታ ካገኙና ከችግር ከተላቀቁ በኋላ ተመልሰው እኛው ላይ ዘመቻ የሚያካሂዱ አሉ። ጥላቻን ስለማወግዝና በክፋት አንድ ርምጃ መራመድ እንደማይቻል ስለማምን ወደኋላ ተመልሼ ማሰብና መናገር የማልፈልጋቸው ጉዳዮች አሉ። ዋናው መናገር የምፈልገው ከራስ ጋር የመታረቅና ቀና የመሆን አስፈላጊነት ላይ ነው። በተንኮል ደስተኛ ሆነን አንኖርም። በቀላሉ ተንኮል ባሰብን ቁጥር እያነስን፣ እየቀጨጭን፣ ጭንቀት እየጨመርን እንሄዳለን። ለፖለቲካ ብቻ ሳይሆን ይህ ለጤናም ጥሩ አይደለም። ጥሩ እንቅልፍ እንኳን መተኛት አንችልም፡፡ ከሁሉም በላይ ሌሎች ከኛ ብዙ የሚጠብቁ ወገኖችን እናሳዝናለን። ትውልድን እናከስራለን። መከራችንን ራሳችን እናረዝመዋለን።
ጎልጉል፦መናገር እየፈለክ የምትጠነቀቅ ይመስላል። ለምን ግልጽ አታደርገውም?
ኦባንግ፦እኔ ነጻ ሰው ነኝ። ማስመሰልና ማድበስበስ፣ ተንኮል፣ ከበስተጀርባ ምናምን የሚባል ነገር አላውቅበትም። እንዲህ ያለውን ባህልም አልደረስኩበትም። ስለማይጠቅም ሞክሬውም አላውቅም። የጋራ ንቅናቄያችን በጀርመን፣ በሜክሲኮ፣ ካናዳ፣ እስራኤል፣ ስፔን፣ ስዊድን፣ እንግሊዝ፣ ማልታ፣ ሊቢያ፣ ሳዑዲ አረቢያ፣ የመን፣ ዱባይ፣ ኬኒያ፣ ደቡብ አፍሪካ፣ ዩጋንዳ … አገርቤት በወያኔ ስርዓት ተገፍተው የተሰደዱ፤ ተቸገርን ብለው ሲጠሩን ካበት ቦታ ጎሳ፣ ብሄር፣ ዘር፣ ክልል፣ ጾታ፣ ማንነት፣ ቀለም ሳንጠይቅ ደርሰናል። የምንችለውን እጅግ ውስን በሆነ አቅም ያለ በቂ ርዳታ አድርገናል። ከሺህ በላይ ወገኖች ከስቃይ እንዲገላገሉ ጊዜያዊ መፍትሄ እንዲያገኙ አድርገናል። ምንም እንኳ ስደት የሚያስደስት ነገር ወይም ማዕረግ ባይሆንም ከችግር በመላቀቃቸው ደስተኞች ነን። በስደት ካምፕ ውስጥና እስር ቤት ከመማቀቅ መገላገለቸው የበረከት ያህል ያረካናል። የሚያሳዝነው ግን እነዚህ ወገኖች እነሱ ባለፉበት ችግር ውስጥ ሆነው ለዓመታት ለሚማቅቁ ሌሎች ወገኖቻቸው አለማሰባቸው ነው። ያለፉበትን መርሳታቸው ነው። መጀመሪያ እንድረዳቸው ሲጠይቁንና ስናገኛቸው “የጋራ ንቅናቄው የሚያደርገውን አንተም የምትሠራውን እናደንቃለን፤ አባል መሆን እንፈልጋለን፤ አብረን እንሰራለን” ይላሉ። ችግራቸው ሲቃለል ሁሉንም ይረሱታል። ለራሳቸው እንኳን መታመን አይችሉም። በችግራቸው ወቅትና ከችግራቸው በኋላ የማስተውለው ተለዋዋጭ ገጽታቸው ያሳዝነኛል። ቅድም ያልኩት የድርሻ ጉዳይ የሚነሳው እዚህ ላይ ነው። በመከራ ውስጥ ያሉትን ለመርዳት፣ ለስደት መሰረታዊ መፍትሄ ለማምጣት የድርሻን መወጣት አስፋላጊ የሚሆነው እዚህ ላይ ነው። እኛ ሳንረዳዳ ሌሎች አልረዱንም ብንል በጣም ትክክል አይሆንም፤ ከቀልድ አያልፍም።
ጎልጉል፦በአብዛኛው ለአዲሲቷ ኢትዮጵያ የጋራ ንቅናቄ የሚያወጣቸው ጽሁፎች እና መግለጫዎች ወደ ሕዝቡ በተገቢው ሁኔታ እንደማይደርስ በአንድ ወቅት ተናግረህ ነበር፡፡ ምክንያቱ ምንድርነው? ችግሩ ያለው የት ላይ ነው?
ኦባንግ፦የጋራ ንቅናቄያችን ማንኛውንም ጽሁፍ ከማውጣቱ በፊት በቂ የሆነ ጥናት ያደርጋል፡፡ በተጠያቂነት የምናምን ስለሆነ ለምናወጣቸው ጽሁፎች ማስረጃ እንሰበስባለን፡፡ ከዚያም ጽሁፉ አስፈላጊ ከሆነ በእንግሊዝኛ ብቻ ወይም በአማርኛ ብቻ ወይም በሁለቱም ቋንቋዎች እናወጣለን፡፡ በዚህ አጋጣሚ በሌላ ቋንቋ ለመርዳት የሚፈልጉ ካሉ በራችን ክፍት ነው – ድርሻ የሚለው ነገር በዚህ መልኩ ሊወሰድም ይችላል፡፡ እናም ጽሁፎችን ካዘጋጀን በኋላ ባለን የኢሜይል ሊስት መሠረት በዓለም ዙሪያ እጅግ በርካታ ለሆኑ ግለሰቦች፣ በዳያስፖራም ሆነ አገርቤት ለሚገኙ ለሁሉም የኢትዮጵያ ድረገጾች፣ የሬዲዮ ጣቢያዎች፣ የሚዲያዎች (ዋና ዋና ለሚባሉት የምዕራብ ሚዲያዎችን ጨምሮ)፣ የፖለቲካ ድርጅቶች፣ የአርነት ንቅናቄዎች፣ የሲቪክ ማኅበራት፣ አገር ቤት ለሚገኙ የመንግሥት መ/ቤቶች፣ ባለሥልጣናት እና ቁጥራቸው እጅግ ብዙ ለሆነ ግለሰቦች እንበትነዋለን፡፡ ድርጅቶችንና ሚዲያን በተመለከተ አይደርሰኝም የሚል ይኖራል ብዬ አልገምትም፡፡ ይህ ከሆነ በኋላ ጽሁፎቻችን በኢሜይል የማይደርሳቸውና ከሚዲያ መረጃ የሚያገኙ በሙሉ ድረገጾች ላይ ያነባሉ ብለን ስንጠብቅ በርካታዎቹ ጽሁፎቻችን አይለጥፉም፡፡ በፌስቡክ ወይም በኢሜይል ጽሁፋችንን አንብበው በኢትዮጵያውያን ድረገጽ ላይ ሳይለጠፍ በመቅረቱ ግራ ተጋብተው በየጊዜው የሚደውሉልን (ከኢትዮጵያ ድረስ)፣ የሚጽፉልን፣ ምክንያቱን የሚጠይቁ … እጅግ በርካታ ናቸው፡፡ የሚያሳዝነው በጣም እርግጠኛ የሆንባቸውና ወሳኝ የሆኑ ጽሁፎችም ሳይለጠፉ ቀርተዋል፡፡ ምክንያቱን በጭራሽ በማናውቀው ሁኔታ ለረጅም ጊዜ መለጠፍ ያቆሙ ድረገጾችም አሉ፡፡ እስካሁን የነገሩን ነገር የለም፡፡ እኛ ሥራችን ስለሆነ ለታሪክም ስለሚያስፈልግ የምንልከውን ጽሁፍ ማን እንደደረሰውና ማን በማሰራጨቱ እንደተባበረ መረጃ እናስቀምጣለን፡፡ ሳያቋርጡ የሚተባበሩንና ጊዜው ሲደርስ ስም ጠቅሰን የምናመሰግናቸው ድረገጾችና ሚዲያዎች አሉ፡፡ እና ለማለት የምፈልገው ከእኛ በኩል ምንም ችግር እንደሌለ ነው፡፡ ካለ ግን ለመስማትና ለማስተካከል ዝግጁ ነን፡፡
ጎልጉል፦በቅርቡ እስራኤል አገር በእስር ላሉ ወገኖች የጀመራችሁት እንቅስቃሴ በምን ተቋጨ?
ኦባንግ፦የሚቋጭ ነገር የለም። ከእስር የተፈቱ አሉ። ህጻናት ከተማ እንዲገቡ ተደርጓል። ወደፊት በተከታታይ ከሌሎች አካላት ጋር በመሆን እንሰራለን። በቅርቡ ዝርዝር ሪፖርት የሚኖረኝ ይመስለኛል። እዚህ ላይ ግን አንድ አስገራሚ ነገር መናገር እፈልጋለሁ። እስራኤል ወገኖቻችን መታሰራቸውን የሰማነው በሚያስደነግጥ ሁኔታ ነበር። በሲና በረሃ የደረሰባቸው ግፍ ማንም ኅሊና ያለውን ወገን ያስደነግጣል።እረፍትም ይነሳል። በማያውቁት የሲና በረሃ ውስጥ አካላቸው በገንዘብ እዳ ሲሰረቅና ሲወሰድ ከመስማት በላይ የወገንን ልብ የሚያደማ ምንም ጉዳይ የለም። ከዚህ መከራ የተረፉትንና በመከራ ላይ ያሉትን ለመታደግ ወስነን ርዳታ ያደርጉልን ዘንድ ሶስት ሺህ የኢሜል መልዕክት በአብዛኛው ለኢትዮጵያውያን አሰራጨን። ምላሽ ያገኘነው ከሰባት ሰው ብቻ ነው። ይህ ያስደነግጣል። ምን ሆነናል? ያሰኛል። በዚህ ላይ ብዙ መናገር አልፈልግም፤ ወደ ሌላ ጉዳይ እንሂድ፤ …
ጎልጉል፦በቅርቡ በኖርዌይ ከኢትዮጵያ ጥገኝነት ጠያቂዎች ማህበር አመራሮች ጋር እንዲሁም ከተለያዩ አካላት ጋር ተወያይተህ ነበር፤
ኦባንግ፦የስደት ማመልከቻ ተቀብሎ ከሚወስነው፣ የመጀመሪያ ማመልከቻ ውድቅ ሲደረግ ይግባኝ ሰሚ ሆኖ ብይን ከሚሰጠው፣ ለስደት ማመልከቻ ግብአት ይሆን ዘንድ ውሳኔ መረጃ ከሚያዘጋጀው ላንድ ኢንፎ (Land Info) ከሚባለው ወሳኝ መ/ቤትና በጣም በዝቅተኛ ዋጋ እየሰሩ ጉልበታቸውን ለሚበዘበዙ ተከራካሪ ለመሆን ከሚሰራ ተቋም ጋር ተነጋግረን ነበር። ከሁሉም ጋር ጥሩ የተባለ መግባባት የሰፈነበት ውይይት አድርገን ስለነበር አንድ ለውጥ እጠብቅ ነበር። በግልም መረጃ ልኬላቸዋለሁ። ከውይይታችን አንድ ሳምንት በኋላ ላንድ ኢንፎ ያወጣው አዲስ ሪፖርት የዚሁ ከማህበሩ ጋር በመሆን ያደረግነው ውይይት ውጤት ይመስለኛል። ስራው ተጀመረ እንጂ አላለቀም። ላንድ ኢንፎ በራሱ ድረገጽ፣ በኖርዌጂያን ቋንቋ ይፋ ያደረገው መረጃ በግልጽ እንደሚያሳየው፣ እኛም በተደጋጋሚ ስንናገረው እንደነበርነው የኖርዌይ መንግስት ዲፖርት ለማድረግ የተስማማው ወገኖቻችን የት እንደሚያርፉ ሪፖርቱ ቁልጭ አድርጎ ያሳያል። በራሳቸው ባለሙያና በራሳቸው ቋንቋ የተሰራ በመሆኑ መቀበል የግዳቸው ነው የሚሆነው። በዚህ አጋጣሚ በውይይታችን ወቅት በገቡት ቃል መሰረት ላደረጉት ምስጋና ይገባቸዋል።
ጎልጉል፦በቀጣይ ምን ታስቧል? ምንስ መደረግ አለበት ትላለህ?
ኦባንግ፦በየካምፑ ያሉትን ወገኖቻችንን ሙሉ በሙሉም ባይሆን ከኖርዌይ ጠንካራ አጋሮቻችን፣ ከማህበሩና ከድርጅታችን አባላት ጋር በመሆን ለመጎብኘት ዝግጅት አለን። ሌሎችም ጠንከር ያሉ ስራዎች ይሰራሉ። ቅድም ለማለት እንደፈለኩት ሁላችንም ድርሻ አለን። ማንም አያገባኝም ማለት አይችልም። በኖርዌይ ያሉ ወገኖች አሁን በጀመሩት መንገድ ቢደራጁ ከኖርዌይ አልፈው ሌሎች አገራት ያሉ ወገኖቻቸውን የመጎብኘትና የመርዳት አቅም መፍጠር ይችላሉ። ማህበራቸውን አጠናክረው ቢሰሩ በኖርዌይ እንደማንኛውም ማህበራት የገንዘብ ድጋፍ ማግኘትና ከተረጂነት መላቀቅ ይቻላቸዋል። መደራጀት ወሳኝ ነው። ይህንን ስል አልሞከሩም ለማለት አይደለም። አባላቶች ሙሉ ድጋፍ እንዲያደርጉላቸው ለማሳሰብ ስለፈለኩ ነው። እያንዳንዱ አባል ህግና ደንብ በሚፈቅደው መስራት መብቱን ለማስከበር መስራት ይገባዋል። እጁና እግሩን አጣጥፎ አስቀምጦ ሌሎችን መውቀስ አግባብ አይደለም። የመኖሪያ ፈቃድ ያገኙ ወገኖችም ወንድምና እህቶቻቸውን ለመርዳት፣ ለማገዝ፣ ለመተባበር፣ ለመጎብኘት፣ ችግራቸውን ለመካፈል መነሳሳት አለባቸው። ወረቀት ማግኘት ብቻውን የመኖር ምስጢር አይደለም። የሰው ልጅ ከወረቀት በላይ ነው፡፡ በመረዳዳትና የተቸገሩ ወገኖችን በማገዝ ውስጥ የሚገኘው የህይወት ትርጉምና ምስጢር ይበልጣልና!!
ጎልጉል፡- የዕለት ቀንህ ምን ይመስላል?
ኦባንግ፡- በጋራ ንቅናቄያችን የምንሠራው ሥራ ሁሉ ምንም ድብቅ ነገር ስለሌለ ስልኬም ሆነ የኢሜይል አድራሻዬ የስካይፕና የፌስቡክ አካውንቴ ክፍት ነው፡፡ ማንም ሰው በፈለገው ጊዜ ማግኘት ይችላል፡፡ ከዓለም ዙሪያ አለ በሚባለው መገናኛ ሁሉ መልዕክት ይመጣልኛል፡፡ ምስጋና፣ ድጋፍ፣ ዕርዳታ፣ ነቀፋ፣ ስድብ (ወያኔ ከሆኑም ካልሆኑ)፣ የስብሰባ ጥሪ፣ ለምን ይህንን አትሠራም የሚል ትዕዛዝ፣ አስተያየት፣ የፍቅር መልዕክት፣ … ሁሉም ዓይነት ይደርሰኛል፡፡ አብረውኝ ከሚሠሩት ጋር እየተጋራን እናነበዋለን፣ እንሰማዋለን፣ … ይህንን ብቻ መከታተል በራሱ የአንድ ቀን ጊዜ ይፈልጋል፡፡ ከበርካታ ሰዎች ጋር እገናኛለሁ፤ በየቀኑ የጋራ ንቅናቄያችንን የቤተሰብ መጠን ይሰፋል፤ “ከጎሣ ይልቅ ሰብዓዊነት ይቅደም” የሚለውን በተግባር አይበታለሁ፡፡ በጣም ያስደስተኛል፡፡ ስለዚህ ሁሉንም ነገር ፕላን እያወጣሁ አከናውነዋሁ፡፡ በየቀኑ የማደርገውን በዕቅድ አደርጋለሁ፡፡ ነገር ግን በጣም ጊዜ የሚያስፈልገው ነገር መሥራት ካለብኝ ስልኬንም ሁሉንም ነገር ዘግቼ ጊዜዬን ለብቻዬ አሳልፋለሁ፡፡ ያኔ ደውለው ያጡኝንም ሆነ ፈልገውኝ ያላገኙን በሙሉ ይቅርታ እላለሁ፡፡
ጎልጉል፦“ጥቁሩ ሰው” የሚሉህ ለምንድነው? ስሙ ተስማምቶሃል? ወይስ ……
ኦባንግ፦(ሳቀ!!) ቀለሜ ጥቁር ነው። ጥቁር ሰው ነኝ። በትክክለኛው ቀለሜ ተጠራሁ። ቀናህ እንዴ … !? (በፈገግታ ድምጽ)
ማሳሰቢያ፡ – አቶ ኦባንግ ሜቶ ቃለመጠይቁ ያደረገው በአማርኛ ሲሆን አንዳንድ ጊዜ ሃሳቡን ለመግለጽ እንግሊዝኛ የተጠቀመበትን ቦታ የቃለምልልሱ ፍሰት ለመጠበቅ ስንል በአማርኛ መልሰን አቅርበነዋል፡፡
While members of the ruling Woyanne junta and their families plunder the country and buy properties in Western capitals, over one million people in Ethiopia’s capital Addis Ababa are left homeless and many of them depend on restaurant leftovers to survive. Addis Fortune reports the following:
(ADDIS FORTUNE) — Fekadu Petros, 24, moved to Addis Abeba from his native Wolayta, 390km south of the capital following the death of his father, who was survived by seven children and his wife. The short and skinny young man has worked in the city for the past four years, sending whatever money he can save to his mother and siblings.
He is attached to a scrap metal store in Menallesh Terra, Merkato, which pays him 250 Br a month. But, he also carries stuff for a lot of people visiting Merkato to do their shopping. On good days he can make as much as 60 Br from these people, he says.
The money may seem significant, but living on a day-to-day basis, people like Fekadu hardly think of their incomes on a monthly basis. They pay 10 Br just for a sleeping space on a mat. For 300 Br a month, they could get a better place, but they do not have enough money at any given time to pay for it upfront. They live on a daily basis.
A proper meal costs about 15 Br in that part of Merkato. Many of these people, including day labourers, shoeshine boys, snack vendors, and beggars, eat gursha, handfuls of restaurant leftovers served from plastic bags.
Gursha, under normal circumstances, is a small roll of enjera and stew that one person puts into the mouth of another as an act of intimacy or hospitality, a tradition in Ethiopia.
However, in Merkato, daily labourers buy their meals in gurshas, and these gurshas are so big that one cannot help but be amazed at seeing that much food finding enough space in one person’s mouth.
Gursha has become a business for people with access to restaurant leftovers, serving people who cannot afford a proper meal. A veteran gursha vendor, a middle-aged woman who declined to give her name, as well as her friends first came up with the idea of selling gursha in 1989 in Teklehaimnot area, she said. They later moved into Menallesh Terra in 1992. Another group of young people started such a business near Ras Theatre in Merkato, and they called the place where they settled Fews Terra, translated remedy area.
The unemployment rate in Addis Abeba is 19pc, but that has not deterred the 55,000 additional people who migrate from other regions each year in search of job and better life, the Central Statistical Agency (CSA) reports. Fekadu had to drop out of high school to join this flood of poorly educated people who mostly end up as day labourers.
Now, twice a day, he lines up at Fews Terra for a trio of giant gurshas, which costs three Birr in all and fills his stomach, leaving him happy and satisfied. Although they used to pay only 50 cents for the same amount just a few years back, they do not complain. He often tries to get to Fews Terra early, when the line is short, in order to get the better food. Besides, as the hands of the sellers get tired, the size of their gurshas get smaller.
One of these culinary businessmen is Mehreteab Tewelde, a young man from the Abenet area in his early 20s, who quit school after eighth grade. He has been selling gursha for about a year now. He buys four large plastic bags full of leftover food, known as bulle, left over in the local vernacular, from restaurant employees for 30 Br each. When all of his customers have had their gurshas, his profit might be 70 Br to 90 Br per day. His mother only knows that he is a plumber. If she discovered his real job, she would be embarrassed, he says, even though he gives her all the money he makes from it.
Another such person works as a cleaner at a restaurant, which gives him bags of food to give away for free. But he sells it at Fews Terra, instead.
These gurshas do not only save money but also time for people who need to rush back to look for more work.
‘‘The only thing that matters is to save some money from what I earn, no matter what I eat or where I sleep,’’ Fekadu said, echoing the opinions of many of the people in the line.
In the competitive business of supplying gursha, having water for hand washing and drinking is an advantage. The Fews Terra sellers benefit from the local Total gas station, whose owner, Bereka Delil, has given free access to water for the beggars, shoe shiners, day labourers, and anyone else who needs a drink or wash.
This business has recently spread to many areas of Addis Abeba. Merkato has at least three places. There are others in Piazza and Sidist Kilo areas. The Sidist Kilo sellers get their leftovers from Addis Abeba University’s campus for free. ‘‘I am so happy that I get to eat and sleep everyday,’’ Tariku Kebede, 30, one of the sellers there says.
This is the sentiment shared by almost all of the vendors and customers of the gursha markets. These youngsters only think about how to get through their daily hustle and bustle.
Officials of Addis Ketema District, of which Merkato is a part, has followed neither the market nor the health risks involved in eating leftover food, according to Hussien Kelifa, expert at the Wereda 18 Health Office, which monitors Menallesh Terra.
The way the food is carried, served, and eaten looks very unhygienic, says Abenet Tekle, a researcher in food science and nutrition at the Pasteur Institute.
“I have never fallen ill because of a meal I have eaten from bulle,” Fekadu says.
His family, he says, are happy with the money he regularly sends to them, thinking that he is working in a good place and eating good food.
Nonviolent struggle has nothing to do with passivity, submissiveness, or cowardice. Just as in violent action, these must first be rejected and overcome before the struggle can proceed… [read more]
Ethiopia: Govt Increasingly Intolerant of Islam Risks Radicalizing Muslims
By Alemayehu Feantauw| LBJ School of Public Affairs
November 16, 2012
The Ethiopian constitution provides for freedom of religion and requires the separation of state and religion. However, the Muslim community in Ethiopia has, for more than a year now, been holding protests at mosques around the country against what is perceived as government interference in religious affairs.
The protesters are demanding that the current members of the Islamic Affairs Supreme Council (Majlis) be replaced by elected representatives and that elections for Majlis representatives be held in mosques rather than in the Kebeles. Some members of the Muslim community accuse the Ethiopian Government of controlling the Majlis and sponsoring the propagation of Al-Ahbash, a little known sect of Islam.
The Ethiopian Government accuses the protesters of being led by extremists who want to establish an Islamic state in place of the current secular federation. The Ethiopian Government responded against some protests in 2012 with deadly force, most recently in Assassa in April and Gerba in October, resulting in the death of at least seven protesters, a large number of injuries, and the imprisonment of a number of protesters on terrorism charges.
The protests were triggered by the suspension of the Awoliyah Muslim Mission School and the dismissal of 50 Arabic teachers via a letter issued by the Majlis. The Awoliyah Muslim Mission School has been a member since 1993 of the Islamic charitable agency known as International Islamic Relief Organization (IIRO), and has been linked to the Saudi Arabia controlled World Muslim League.
The Ethiopian authorities consider Awoliyah to be a breeding ground for a new generation of radical Muslims, which they refer to as “Salafi-Jihadists” or “Wahabi-Salafists”. However, the Muslim protesters have consistently adhered to nonviolent demonstrations, leaving the Ethiopian Government with little to no evidence of behavior or action that could be described as terrorism.
It is clear to date that the Ethiopian Government is manufacturing a security problem where none actually exists. Concerns about ‘terrorism’ in Ethiopia (and the wider world) have degenerated into an irrational suspicion of Muslims, which will continue unabated until Ethiopia and its Western partners reflect more critically on their own perceptions.
ከፕሮፌሰር ዓለማየሁ ገብረማርያም
ትርጉም ከነጻነት ለሃገሬ
ፕሬዜዳንት ኦባማ ሁለተኛውን ዙር የፕሬዜዳንትነት ምርጫ በማሸነፋቸው እንኳን ደስ ያለዎት ማለቱ አግባብ ነው፡፡ የአሜሪካንን መራጮች አብላጫ ድምጽ አግኝቶ ለማሸነፍ ብቃት ባለው አካሄድ ለድል በቅተዋል፡፡ ሚት ሮምኒም ለማይናቀው የምርጫ ግብግባቸው ሊመሰገኑ ተገቢ ነው፡፡ በማጠቃለያው የመለያያ ንግግራቸው ላይ ሚት ሩምኒ ግሩም የሆነ መልእክት አስተላልፈዋል፡፡ ‹‹በእንደዚህ አይነቱ ወቅት የደጋፊዎቻችንን ስሜታዊ ጫጫታ ማዳመጥ፤የፖለቲካ አካኪ ዘራፍ ባይነትን ለማስተናገድ ጊዜው አይደለም፡፡ መሪዎቻችን የሕዝቡን ፍላጎትና ምኞት ለማሳካት መንቀሳቀስ ሲኖርባቸው እኛ ሕዝቦች ደግሞ ለዚህ ሂደት አስፈላጊውን ድጋፍና ትብብር ለማድረግ በቀናነት መነሳሳት ይገባናል” ብለዋል::
ባለፈው ሳምንት በተከናወነው የምርጫ ሂደት ወቅት አንዳንድ ኢትዮጵያዊያን አሜሪካውያን በቁጭትና በምሬት ጣቶቻቸው እየጠቆሙ ሮሮ ምሬታቸውን አሰምተዋል:: ጥርሳቸውን በማቀጫቀጭ ንዴታቸውን አሳይተዋል:: ፤አይናቸው በቁጭት ቀልቷል፡፡ከፊሎቹ በፕሬዜዳንት ኦባማ ተግባር አዝነው ለተቃዋሚዋው አቻቸው ቅስቀሳ ሲያደርጉ ነበር፡፡ በአፍሪካና በኢትዮጵያ ስለሰብአዊ መብት ቀደም ሲሉ የተናገሩትን አጓጊና ተስፋ ያዘለ ዲስኩራቸውን ወደ ተግባር ለውጥው አንዳች ለውጥ ባለማምጣታቸው በኢትዮ አሜሪካውያን ዘንድ ክህደት አለያም ድክመት ሆኖ ታይቶባቸዋል፡፡ ከፊሎች ደግሞ ፕሬዜዳንቱ በአፍሪካ ላሉ ፈላጭ ቆራጭ ገዢዎች ደጋፊና ረዳት በመሆናቸው ተቀይመዋል፡፡ ሌሎች ደግሞ ፕሬዜዳንቱ ስላጋጠማቸው ሃገራዊ ችግርና ስለነበረባቸው ውጥረት አዝነውላቸዋል፡፡ የአሜሪካንን ዓለም አቀፋዊ ጥቅም ለማስጠበቅ የሚያስችለውን የአሜሪካንን የውጭ ፖሊሲ ማስተካከልና መቅረጽ ነበረባቸው፡፡ ለአሜሪካ በአፍሪካ ቀንድ አካባቢ የተከሰተው ሽብርተኛነት አሳሳቢ ነበርና ኦባማ ደግሞ ሽብርተኝነትን ለማክሰም ሰብአዊ መብትን ከጸረ ሽብርተኝነት ዓለም አቀፍ እንቅስቃሴ ጋር ማቀናጀት ነበረባቸው፡፡
እኔም ፕሬዜዳንቱ በመጠኑም ቢሆን ሰብአዊ መብትን በተመለከተ አጀንዳ ለመቅረጽ ባለመቻላቸው በምር ቅር ተሰኝቼባቸዋለሁ፡፡ ከዚሁ ጋር ደግሞ በአሜሪካ ውስጥ ስለአለው የኤኮኖሚ ችግር፤አንዳንድ አጣዳፊ የሆኑ ሶሻል ፖሊሲዎችን መንደፍ፤ስለነበረባቸው ሁለት ጦርነቶችን በማካሄድና በዓለም ዙርያ የተነሱና የተካረሩ ግጭቶችን ጦዘው ችግር ከማባባሳቸው አስቀድሞ ማስታገስ ስለነበረባቸው ነው በሚል አልፋቸዋለሁ፡፡ በደቡብ ሱዳን ሬፈረንደም ላይ ስለወሰዱት አቋምና ስለተገኘውም ድል አንድ ሌላ አፍሪካዊ ሃገር እንዲፈጠር በመቻላቸው አደንቃቸዋለሁ፡፡
ፕሬዜዳንት ኦባማ ጥቂት የአሜሪካ ወታደሮች ሃይል እንዲዘምትና ያን የደም ጥማት አራራው አናቱ ላይ የወጣበትን ጆሴፍ ኮኒንና የደም ጥማት ጓደኞቹን እንዲይዟቸው ካልተቻለም እንዲገሏቸው ማዘዛቸው ታላቅ ድርጊት ነው፡፡ እንደኔ እምንት በጣም ትልቅ የሚባል ክሌፕቶክራሲ ፕሮጄክት ፕሮጄክት (ወሮበላአገር በዝባዞች) ተግባራዊ ማድረጋቸውም ታላቅ ተግባር ነው፡፡ ‹‹አፍሪካ ሙሳዊነት ብክነት›› (Africorruption, Inc.”,) በሚለው መጣጥፌ ላይ እንዳቀረብኩት፤ዋነኛው የአፍሪካ መሪዎች ተግባራቸው ሙስና ነው ብዬ ነበር፡፡ አብላጫዎቹ የአፍሪካ ገዢዎች ዋነኛ መመርያቸውና ተግባራቸው የራሳቸውን ሃገር ብሔራዊ የገንዘብ ተቋማትና ሪሶረሱን በመበዝበዝና በመስረቅ፤እጅጉን የተወሳሰበ የግድያና የወንጀል ኢንተርፕራይዝ መፍጠር ነው፡፡ እንደ ግሎባል ፋይናንሻል ኢንተግሪቲ ዘገባ በስውርና በሰበብ አስባቡ ከኢትዮጵያ ወደ አሜሪካ የፈረጠጠው የሃገሪቱ ሃብት ከ2000-2009 ባለው ጊዜ $11.7 ቢሊዮን ዶላር ነው፡፡ በሊቢያ ሕዝብ ላይ ላለፉት 41 ዓመታት ተንሰራፍቶ ፍዳቸውን ሲያበላቸው የነበረውን የሊቢያውን ጋዳፊን ከስር መሰረቱ ነቅሎ ለመጣልና ለሊቢያውያን የእፎይታ ዘመን ለማምጣት በተባበሩት መንግስታት መመርያ ላይ በመንተራስ የተባበሩት መንግስታት የ1973ን ውሳኔ ሬዞሉውሽን እንዲያልፍ በማድረጋቸውና አብላጫውን የጦሩን ሂደት የኔቶ አባል ሃገራት ሃላፊነት እንዲሆን በማድረጋቸው እጅጉን አደንቃቸዋለሁ፡፡ ከዚህም ባለፈ በጠነከረ አመራር የሚስጥር የነበሩትን የሲ አይ ኤ ወህኒ ቤቶች እንዲዘጉና የነበረውም ስቃይና የመከራ አመራመር እንዲያበቃ አድርገው የጓንታኔሞ ቤዝም ተዘግቶ የፍርድ ሂደቶች ሁሉ አግባብነት ወዳለው የሲቪል ፍርድ ቤቶች እንዲዛወር በማድረጋቸው የዓለም አቀፍ ሰብአዊ መብት ድንጋጌዎች እንዲከበሩ በወሰዱት እርምጃ አከብራቸዋለሁ፡፡ በኢትዮጵያ ብሎም በጠቅላላው አፍሪካ አህጉር ስለ ሰብአዊ መብት ብዙ ሊያደርጉ ሲችሉ አላደረጉትም፡፡ ባለፉት ሁለ፤ት ዓመታት ስለአሜሪካ ፖሊሲ ድክመት በርካታ ጦማሮችን ጽፌያለሁ፡፡ በአፍሪካ የአሜሪካ ፖሊሲ ድክመት አሜሪካም ሆነ ሌሎች አውሮፓ ሃገሮች በአፍሪካ ያለውን ዴሞክራሲና ሰብአዊ መብት ሁኔታ ፍላጎታቸውን እምነታቸው በስልጣን ለመቆየትና የሃገሪቱንና የሕዝቡን ነንብረትና ሃብት በመበዝበዝ ራሳቸውንና አሽቃባጮቻቸውን ለማቶጀር የሚንደፋደፉትን የአፍሪካን ፈላጭ ቆረጭ ገዢዎች በመንከባከብ ለውለታ ሰሪነት ሊገዙበት እንደማይገባ አሳስቤያለሁ፡፡
“ሰግታቶርሺፕ (የወሮበላ መንግስት)፡‹‹ በአፍሪካ ከፍተኛው የጦዘ የፈላጭ ቆራጭነት አገዛዝ ደረጃ›› በሚለው አምዴም ላይ እነዚህ የአፍሪካ የቀን ጅቦች ገዢዎች የዘለቀና በጥቅም ላይ የተመሰረተ የወዳጅነት ግንኙነት አላቸው በማለት ሞጋቻቸዋለሁ፡፡ በእርዳታና በንግድ ስም የምዕራቡ ዓለም በተለይም አሜሪካ እነዚህ ሰውበላ ገዢዎች በአፍሪካ ውስጥ እንዲበራከቱ ብርታት ሆነዋቸዋል፡፡ ከጥቂት ወራት በፊት ‹‹ኢትዮጵያ በቦንድ ኤይድ ውስጥ›› በሚለው ጽሁፌ ላይ ዓለም አቀፉ እርዳታ አፍሪካን በአፍራሽ ጎኑ እየጎዳት እንደሆነ አሳስቤ ነበር፡፡ በ1960ዎቹ አብዛኛው የአፍሪካ ሃገራት ነጻ ከመውጣታቸው አስቀድሞ አፍሪካውያን በኮሎኒያል ማነቆ ተወጥረው ነበር በማለት ጥፌ ነበር፡፡ በቅርቡ ባሰፈርኩት ማሳሰቢያ ጽሁፌም ኢትዮጵያ ‹‹ምግብ ለችጋር፤እና አስተሳሰብ›› በሚለው አምድ በቅርቡ በዋሽንግቶን የተደረገውን የጂ 8 ስብሰባን አስመልክቼ ስብሰባውና የሚያስተላልፈው ውሳኔ ያለፈውን ለአፍሪካ ሲደረግ የነበረውን የቅኝ ገዢዎች መቀራመት የተካ ነው በማለት አስተያየቴን አስፍሬ ነበር፡፡ የጂ 8 አባላት አዲሱ ጥምረታቸው፤ አፍሪካን ከችጋር ለማላቀቅ፤ ርሃብንና ድርቅን ለማሰወገድ በአፍሪካ ውስጥ የያሉትን ምርጥና ለም ቦታዎች ለጠገቡት የዓለም የናጠቱ ሃብታሞች በመስጠት ማቀዳቸውንም አሳውቄያለሁ፡፡
በኢትዮጵያ አልፎም በመላው አፍሪካ ውስጥ የኦባማ አስተዳደር ሊያደርግ ሲችልላ ባላደረጋቸው የአፍሪካውያን ፍላጎትና ራዕይ ላይ አንዳችም ጉዳይ ባለማድረጉ ካለኝ ቅሬታ ባሻገር ፕሬዜዳንት ኦባማን በዳግም ምርጫው ወቅት ደግፌያቸዋለሁ፡፡ ከነስህተታቸው ተስፋ የሚጣልባቸው መሪነታቸውን አሳይተውኛልና፡፡ በ2004 ሴነተር ኦባማ ባደረጉት መሪ ንግግራቸው፤ ‹‹ጥቁር አሜሪካውያን፤ነጭ አሜሪካውያን፤ላቲና አሜሪካ፤ኤሽያ አሜሪካ ብሎ ዜጋ የለም፡፡ያለው አንድ የተባበሩት አሜሪካ ብቻ ነው፡፡›› እነዚህ ቃላቶች ምንግዜም እያነቃቁኝና ተስፋዬንም እያለመለሙት ወጣቱ የኢትዮጵያዊያን ትውልድ ወንድ ሴት ሳይል በአንድነት ተሰባስበው በመግባባትና በመፈቃቀር ‹‹ኦሮሞ ኢትዮጵያ፤አማራ ኢትዮጵያ፤ትግራይ ኢትዮጵያ፤ጉራጌ ኢትዮጵያ፤ኦጋዴን ኢትዮጵያ፤ አኝዋክ ኢትዮጵያ…… ብሎ ዜጋ የለም ያለው ፤ ፍትሕ እንደውሃ እኩል የሚፈስባት ህብትና ልማትም እንደታላቅ ምንጭ የሚፈልቅባት አንድ የተባበረች ኢትዮጵያ እንጂ›› የሚልበት ወቅት እንደሚመጣ ቁልጭ ብሎ ይታየኛል፡፡
ሰብአዊ መብት 2003ን ረቂቀ ህግ (“Ethiopia Democracy and Accountability Act of 2007”) ሲካሄድ በነበረው የውይይት መድረክ ላይ በወቅቱ የሴኔተር ኦባማ የሥራ ባልደረቦች ጋር በቢሯቸውና ለበርካታ ጊዜያት ተገናኝተን ነበር፡፡ በዚያን ወቅት ቢሉ በምክር ቤቱ አልፎ ወደ ሴኔት ሲደርስ ኦባማ ሙሉ ድጋፋቸውን እንደሚሰጡ ምንም ጥርጣሬ አልነበረም፡፡ በፌብሪዋሪ 2008 የምክክር ስብስባችን የባሮክ ኦባማን የፕሬዜዳንትነት ውድድርን ተመራጭነት ሙሉ በሙሉ ድጋፉን ሰጥቷል፡፡ በዚህም ጊዜ አሜሪካ በአፍሪካ ላሉት ፈላጭ ቆራጭ መሰሪ ገዢዎች ድጋፍ ሙሉ በሙሉ እንደሚያቋርጥ ተስፋችን ብሩህ ሆኖ ፖሊሲውም የአፍሪካውያንን ራዕይ የሚያጠናክር ተስፋቸውንም የሚያጎላ እንሚሆን አምነን ነበር፡፡ ወቅቱም የአሜሪካ ፕሬዜዳንት በኢትዮጵያ ያለውን የሰብአዊ መብት ረገጣ በማጥፋት ይህንንም ሲያደርጉ የነበሩትን ሰው በላዎች ከስልጣናቸው እንደሚያወርዳቸው የላቀ ራዕይ ሰንቀን ነበር፡፡
አፍሪካ በአሜሪካኑ የአጀንዳ ፖሊሲ አወቃቀር ላይ አንሶ በመገኘቱ፤ ባለፉት አራት ዓመታት ፕሬዜዳንቱ በሌሎች ስራዎች በመጠመድና ለሃገራቸው ቅድሚያ በመስጠት በመየያዝ አፍሪካ ከነበረችበት ለባሰ ፈላጭ ቆራጭ የቀን ጅቦች መፈንጫ ሆነች እንጂ ተስፋው አልተተገበረም፡፡ በቅርቡ በተካሄደው ‹‹የውጭ ፖሊሲ ክርክር ላይ› አፍሪካ ለይስሙላ ያህል ነው የተጠቀሰችው፡፡ በዓለም በድህነት በሶስተኛ ደረጃ ላይ ባለች ማሊ አልቃይዳ ስለመኖሩ እግረመንገድ ገለጻ ነበር የተደረገው፡፡ (እንደ ኢኮኖሚስት መጽሔት ገለጻ፤ ኢትዮጵያ በዓለማችን የመጨረሻዋ ድሃ ሀገር ናት ናት) ለማቻቻል ሳይሆን እርግጥ ነው ፕሬዜዳንቱ በአጀንዳቸው ላይ በርካታ ፈታኝ ጉዳዮች ነበሩባቸው፤የአረቦች መነሳሳት እንደሰደድ እሳት እየተቀጣጠለ ዘመን ያስቆጠሩ ፈላጭ ቆራጭ ገዢዎች እየመነጠረ ነበር፤ በመካከለኛው ምስራቅም የኒውክሊየር ጉዳይ አሳሳቢ ሆኖ መጥቷል:: ፤ በአውሮፓም የተከሰተው የኤኮኖሚ ውድቀት አውሮፓን ሊሽመደምድ እየዳዳው ነው፡፡
ተስፋ በኢትዮጵያ ብሎም በአፍሪካ ምን ግዜም ዘልዓለማዊ ነው፡፡
በዚህ የፕሬዜዳንት ኦባማ ዳግም የፕሬዜዳንትነት የሥራ ዘመን በአፍሪካ ያለው የሰብአዊ መብት ጉዳይ በፕሬዜዳንት ኦባማ የውጭ ፖሊሲ አጀንዳ ላይ ትኩረት የሚሰጠው ጉዳይ እንደሚሆን የላቀ ተስፋ አለኝ፡፡ ለዚህም አመላካች የሚሆነው በምርጫው ማግስት ፕሬዜዳቱ ማይነማርን (በርማ) ከሁለት ሳምንት በኋላ ለመጎብኘት ማቀዳቸው ነው፡፡ ፋይዳ በሌለው ከአሃምሳ ምስት አመት ወታደራዊ አገዛዝ ዘመን በኋላ ማይነማር ቀስ በቀስ ወደ ዴሞክራሲያዎ ስርአት እያመራች ነው፡፡ ፕሬዜዳንት ቲየን ሲየን የፖለቲካ እስረኞችን ሁሉ እየለቀቁ ነው፡፡ የዜና ማሰራጫዎችን ሁሉ ማዕቀቡና ቁጥጥሩ እየተነሳላቸው:: ፤ የፖለቲካና የኢኮኖሚ ለውጥሪፎርም እየተካሄደ ነው፡፡ከሃያሁለት ዓመታት የግፍ የቤት አስር ወጥተው አውንግ ሳን ሱዊ ኪ በፓርላማው እውቅና የተሰጣቸው ሕጋዊ ተቃዋሚ ሆነዋል፡፡እንደ አሜሪካ ድምጽ ሬዲዮ ዘገባም፤የስቴት ዲፓርትመንት አፈ ጉባኤም በኢትዮጵያ ስለሚታየው የሰብአዊ መብት ጉዳይ አጽንኦት እንደተሰጠው ተደምጸዋል፡፡ የኦባማ አስተዳደር በአፍሪካ ስላለው ጉዳይ ቆራጥ አቋም ይዞ ሰብአዊ መብትን ለሕዝቡ እንደሚያስገኝ አንዳንድ ምልክቶች እየታዩ ነው፡፡
ፕሬዜዳንት ኦባማ ለአፍሪካ ዘልዓለማዊና የማይነጥፍ የዴሞክራሲ ልዕልና የመመስረት ዓላማ አላቸው
በተለምዶ ዳግም ምርጫ በአሜርካ አብዛኛው ትኩረቱ በውጪ ፖሊሴ ላይ ያነጣጠረ ነው፡፡ በዚህ ወቅትም በይበልጥ የሚያስቡበትና ሊተገብሩም የሚሹት፤ከአግልግሎታቸው ፍጻሜ በኋላ የሚተዉትንና ዘመን ሊያስታውሰው የሚችለውን መልካምና ዘላቂ ድርጊታቸውን ነው፡፡ፕሬዜዳንት ኦባም ለአፍሪካ የማይዘነጋና በቅርስነት የሚታሰብ የሰብአዊ መብት መከበር ስጦታ ትተው ማለፍ ነው ዓላማቸው፡፡በእርግጠኝነትም እሳቸው ወደ ሥልጣን ከመጡበት ጊዜ በባሰ ሁኔታ ውስጥ አፍሪካን ጥለው መሄድ አይፈልጉም ብዬ አስባለሁ፡፡ ፕሬዜዳንት ኦባማ ወደስልጣን በመጡበት ጊዜ ጦር ሰብቀው አለያም ምርጫን አጭበርብረው፤ወደስልጣን የወጡ የአፍሪካ ገዢዎች የበረከቱበት ነበር፡፡ በአሁኑ ወቅት ደግሞ አፍሪካ ውስጥ በአብዛኛው ያሉት ገዢዎች የሕግ የበላይነት ጨረሶ የጠፋበትና ሕግ ማለት እነዚሁ ፈላጭ ቆራጭ ገዢዎችና ሆድ አደር አገልጋዮቻቸው የሆኑበት፤ በመሆናቸው ሁኔታው ለአእምሮ የሚሰቀጥጥ ነው፡፡ የሰብአዊ መብት ገፈፋ የዕለት ተዕለት ተግባራቸው ነው፡፡በኢትዮጵያ ውስጥ ጋዜጠኞች፤ የሰብአዊ መብት ተሟጋቾች፤የተቃዋሚዎ ፓርቲ መሪዎች፤ሰላማዊ መብት ጠያቂዎች፤ይታሰራሉ፤አለፍርድ በየዕለቱ በገዢዎቹ በየስለላ ድርጅቶች አባላት ስቃያቸውን ያያሉ፡፡
ምንም እንኳን በአሜሪካ ተወልደው ቢያድጉም ለፕሬዜዳንት ኦባማ አፍሪካ የአባታቸው ሃገር ነው፡፡እንደማንኛውም ኢትዮጵያዊ አሜሪካ ኦባማም አሁጉሩን ከድህነት ማውጣት ብቻ ሳይሆን፤ በአፍሪካ ውስጥ የሰብአዊ መብት ተከብሮ፤ነጻና ፍትሐዊ ምርጫም እንዲካሄድበት፤ የሕግ የበላይነትም የሚጠበቅበት እንዲሆን ምኞት እንዳላቸው አልጠራጠርም፡፡‹‹ከአባቴ ሕልሞች ›› በተባለው መጽሃፋቸው “….በአባቴ ገጽታ ውስጥ ነበር፤ከዚያ ጥቁር ሰው፤ከአፍሪካው ልጅ፤በኔ ውስጥ የተጠራቀመውን መልካም ዋጋ ሁሉ፤የማርቲንን፤ የዱቧንና የማንዴላን ብርታት የተቸርኩት››፡፡ እነዚህ ሰዎች ባሳለፉት የትግል ጥንካሬያቸውና ብርታታቸው እንደራሴ በማየት፤ ባከብራቸውም ያ የአባቴ ድምጽ ግን ምንገግዜም ሳይለየኝ የማደርገውን ሁሉ እየፈቀደልኝና እየመራኝ አብሮኝ አለ፡፡ፕሬዜዳንት ኦባም በዚሀ የሁለተኛው ዘመን አመራራቸው አፍሪካውያን ለሰብአዊ ክብራቸው በሚያደርጉት ትገል አፍሪካውያንን እንደሚያግዙና ለድልም እንደሚያበቋቸው አልጠራጠርም፡፡
በአረብ የመነሳሳት ወቅት የአሜሪካ የውጭ ፖሊሲ ሁኔታ
በአረቦች መነሳሳት ወቅት የአሜሪካን መንግስት የነበረውን የሰብአዊ መብት ፖሊሲሰ ከ ደህንነትና የኤኮኖሚ ጠቀሜታ ጋር ማዋሃዱን ሂደት ከ እብሪተኞች ፈላጭ ቆራጭ መሪዎች ከሚያደርገው አመለካከት ጋር በድጋሚ ማጥናት፤ ሁኔታዎችን ማገናዘብ፤ መመርመር ማስተካከልም እንዳለበት ተገነዘበ፡፡ የአካባቢውን የደህንነትና የመረጋጋት ሁኔታና ዋስትና በዲክታተር መሪዎች አመኔታ ላይ በማድረግ የአረብ ዓለሙን ሕዝቦች ስቃይና መከራ፤ የሚፈጸምባቸውን ግፍ በቸልታ ማሳለፉን ታሪክ ያሳያል፡፡የአረቡ ዓለም የበቃኝ ሂደት ሲፈነዳና ሕዝቡ በእምቢታ ለነጻነት ለሰብአዊ መብት መከበር ለዴሞክራሲ እውነታ ሲነሳሳ የአሜሪካ አስተዳደርም በመደናገጥና ግራ በመጋባት የሚያደርገው ተዘበራረቀበት፡፡
የአሜሪካ መንግስት ከአፍሪካ የፈላጭ ቆራጭ ገዢዎች ጋር ያለውን ሁኔታ አያይዞ የሚመለከተው በአካባቢው ካለው ደህንነትና መረጋጋት ጋር ስለነበር፤የሰብአዊ መብትንና ሌሎችንም ሕዝባዊ መብቶች ማንሳቱ ከእነዚህ አረመኔ ፈላጭ ቆራጭ ገዢዎች ጋር ስለሚያጋጨው ትብብራቸውን ላለማጣት ፍርሃት አለው፡፡ከዚህም በመነሳት ሁኔታዎቹ ሲታዩ የአሜሪካን መንግስት ከዝምታ የዲፕሎማቲክ ፖሊሲና የቃላት ባዶ ተስፋ ከመቸር ያለፈ ተግባር በአፍሪካ ውስጥ አላከናወነም፡፡ ፕሬዜዳንት ኦባማ የአሜሪካ ዘላቂ ዓለም አቀፍ ፍላጎት የሞራል ማስታገሻ ድጎማ ቃላትና ድርጊትን በማውገዝ ብቻ አንዳችም እርምጃ እንደማያስኬድ እንደሚያውቁ አልጠራጠርም፡፡ የፕሬዜዳንቱ አካሄድ በቅድሚያ የዲፕሎማቲክ አካሄዱን በሚገባ ማስኬድና ውጤቱን ተመልክቶ ካልሆነ አስቀድመው ወደመጨረሻው አማራጫቸው እንደማይገቡ የታየ ነው፡፡እንዳሉትም ‹‹የሰብአዊ መብትን ተግባራዊ ማድረግ የሚቻለው በቃላት በሚሰነዘሩ ሂደቶች ብቻ ሊሆን አይችልም፡፡ አንዳንድ ጊዜም እጅጉን በጠነከረ የዲፕሎማሲ ግንኙነትና ድርድር መሞከር አለበት፡፡ እርግጥ የሰብአዊ መብት ሂደትን በተመለከተ ከግፈኛ መሪዎች ጋር የሚደረግ መግባባት በጣሙን አስቸጋሪና በእምቢታና በጀብደኝነት ላይ የተመሰረተ እንደሆነ እገነዘባለሁ፡፡ ማንኛውም ጨቋኝ መንግስት መውጫ መንገድ እስካላገኘ ድረስ ከነበረበት ዝቅ ብሎ መውረድን አይቀበልም፡፡ ባለፉት ጥቂት ዓመታት ጥቂት የአፍሪካ መሪዎች በተከፈተላቸው በር በመውጣት የዴሞክራሲንና የሰብአዊ መብትን መከበር ተቀብለዋል፡፡ አብዛኛዎቹ ደግሞ የተከፈተላቸውን የሠላም በር በአጉል ንቀትና በማያዋጣቸው ማንአለብኝነት በርግጫ መልሰው ዘግተውታል፡፡ በጣም እርግጠኛ ነኝ ፕሬዜዳንቱ በሁለተኛው የአስተዳደር ዘመናቸው ከቃላትና ከማስታመም አልፈው የአፍሪካን መሪዎች የእርዳታና የችሮታ ከረጢት በእጃቸው ስለያዙ ሸምቀቆውን በማጥበቅና በማላላት አካሄዳቸውን ሊያስለውጡና በአፍሪካ የተናፈቀውን የነጻነት መንገድ እንደሚያስተካክሉት እምነቴ ነው፡፡
ፕሬዜዳንት ኦባማ ፕሬዜዳንት ብቻ ሳይሆኑ የሕገመንግስታዊ ጠበቃም ናቸውና……..
ፕሬዜዳንት ኦባማ መሪ ከመሆናቸው በፊት ያካበቱት ልምድ አሁንም በአስተሳሰባቸውና በድርጊታቸው ላይ ጫና እንደሚፈጥርባቸው አምናለሁ:: እንደ ኮኒስቲቲዩሻናልና የሲቪል የሕግ ባለሙያነታቸው፤ ስለሕግ መዛባትና ስለሞራል ድክመት፤ ስለሰብአዊ ክብር መደፈርና ሌሎችም ተመሳሳይ ጉዳዮች የጠነከረ ልምድና እምነት አላቸው፡፡ ለረጂም ዓመታት በሰብአዊ አገልግሎት፤ በሕብረተሰብ ፍላጎትና ጥቃትን በመከላከል ዘርፍ ብዙ ሰርተው በርካታ ልማድ ያላቸው ናቸው፡፡ የተቸገሩትናና አቅመ ደካሞችን፤ በቤተክርስቲያናት በኩል በማደራጀትና በመርዳት ብዙ ከውነዋል፡፡ የኮሙኒቲ ተግባራቸው የታመቀ ልምድ አስጨብጧቸዋልና ያወውቁቅታል፡፡ ፕሬዜዳንት ኦባማ የሕግን የበላይነት ጥቅሙን ይረዱታል የሚል ጠንካራ እምነት አለኝ፡፡የሕግ ምሁርና የተቸገሩ ምስኪኖች ተሟጋች እንደመሆናቸውም ማንኛቸውም የችግር ምንነት በአግባቡ የገባቸው ናቸው፡፡ስለዚህም ለሕብረተሰብና ለአካባቢ ሰዎች ያላቸው ተሟጋችነት በዚህ የሁለተኛው አስተዳደር ዘመናቸው ጎልቶ ይወጣል እላለሁ፡፡
አንዳንዶቻችን ፕሬዜዳንት ኦባማ ምን ሊያደረጉልን ይችላሉ በሚለው ጥያቄ እንታለላለን፡፡ ትክክለኛው ጥያቄ ግን እኛስ በመደራጀት፤የኦባማን አስተዳደር በእውነተኛው ሁኔታ ላይ በማግባባት፤ጠንካራ የሰብአዊ መብት አጀንዳ እንዲቀርጽ ለማድረግ ምን እያደረግን ነው የሚለው መሆን አለበት፡፡ፕሬዜዳንት ኦባማ ምርጫውን ባሸነፉበት ማታ ባደረጉት ንግግር ‹‹በእኛ ዴሞክራሲ የዜጎች ሚና በሰጣችሁት ድምጽ ብቻ የሚገታ አይደለም፡፡ አሜሪካ ፈጽሞ ለኛስ ምን ይደረግልናል ሃገር ሆኖ አያውቅም፡፡ይልቅስ በእኛስ በኩል ሊደረግ የሚገባው ምንድን ነው፤በዚህ አስቸጋሪና ፈታኝ ወቅት ግን አስፈላጊና የራሳችን በሆነው መንግስት ምን ይጠበቅብናል የሚለው ነው›› ገቨርነር ሮምኒ በመጨረሻው የማክተሚያ ንግግራቸው እንዳሉት ‹‹ በእንዲህ አይነቱ ወቅት እርስ በርስ መነቃቋርና ባለፈው ጥርስ በመንከስ መለያየት የለብንም፡፡ መሪዎቻችን ባሻገር ተጉዘው የሕዝቡን ፍላጎት ማሟላት ሲገባቸው እኛ ሕዝቦች ደግሞ ጊዜው የሚጠይቀውን ማድርግ ግዴታችን ነው፡፡››……. ይህ ነው የኢትዮጵያዊያን አሜሪካውያን እምነት ሊሆን የሚገባው፡፡ በዲያስፖራውም በሃገራችንም ውስጥ፡፡ ይህንን ነው አምነን በመቀበል መተግበር ያለብን፡፡ካለፈው ስህተታችንና ድክመታችን በመማር እራሳችንን አስተካክለንና ሂደታችንን አርመን የኦባማ አስተዳደር ተገቢውን እንዲያደርግ መጎትጎት ያለብን፡፡ የአረብ አሜሪካኖች፤ኢራንያን አሜሪካኖች፤አርሚኒያን አሜሪካኖች፤ማሲዶንያን አሜሪካኖች፤ሰርቢያን አሜሪካኖችና ሌሎችም ከአስተዳደሩ ጋር በጥንካሬያቸው በመሞገት ተግባራቸው ውጤታማ ሆኗል፡፡ እንደሰብአዊ መብት ተሟጋቾችና ጠበቆች፤የአሜሪካ ቀዳሚ ባለስልጣናት ጋር በመቀራረብና በመነጋገር በመግባባት ስለሰብአዊ መብት የሃገራችን ሁኔታ በማስረዳት ውጤታማ መሆን ይጠበቅብናል፡፡
የአሜሪካን መንግስት ዲክታተሮች የሆኑ አመራሩ ላይ የተቀመጡት ወዳጆቹን ማንበርከኩን ያወቅበታል፡፡በ1980 የአሜሪካን መንግስት በፊሊፒንስ፤በቺሊ በታይዋን እና በምእራብ ኮሪያ ውስጥ በተካሄደው የዴሞክራሲ ሽግግር ቁልፍ ቦታ እንደተጫወተ ይታወሳል፡፡ በሶቭየት ዩኒየንና በሌሎቹ የሶቭየት ክልል በነበሩት ሃገራት የዴሞክራሲ ሂደትም አሜሪካ ድርድሩን በመምራት ውጤታማ እንዳደረገ ይታወሳል፡፡ጥያቄው አሜሪካ በኢትዮጵያ ወይም በአፍሪካ ውስጥ የሰብአዊ መብት አጀንዳን ያራምዳል ወይ ሳይሆን፤ ይህን ሁኔታ ተግባራዊ ለማድረግ የፖለቲካ ፈቃደኝነቱ አለው ወይ ነው፡፡ በፕሬዜዳንት ኦባማ ሁለተኛ የአስተዳደር ዘመን ፈቃደኝነቱ ይታያል የሚልጠንካራ እምነት አለኝ፡፡
የተቶረገመው ጽሁፍ (translated from):
(ይህን ጦማር ለሌሎችም ያካፍሉ::)
ካሁን በፊት የቀረቡ የጸሃፊው ጦማሮችን ለማግኘት እዚህ ይጫኑ::
(DW) — Named after the German Nobel Prize winner for Literature, the Heinrich Böll Foundation is an NGO promoting democracy and human rights. It is leaving Ethiopia in protest against restrictions on its activities.
“The closure of the office in Ethiopia is a sign of protest by the foundation against the ongoing restrictions on civil rights and freedom of speech” said a statement released by the Heinrich Böll Foundation explaining why they had closed their office in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa.
The organization’s chairwoman Barbara Unmüßig and the country director Patrick Berg said it had become impossible for the organization to work for democracy, gender equality and sustainable development under existing circumstances. They were referring to the law on NGOs passed in 2009 which is known as the “Charities and Societies Proclamation” and restricts freedom of press, expression and assembly.
The law that worsens human rights
This “NGO law” severely curtails the activities of non governmental organizations and human rights groups. It is targets not just foreign groups, but also Ethiopia’s two largest human rights organizations.
According to the rights group Amnesty international, the Ethiopian Human Rights Council (HRCO), which has been active since 1991, had its bank account frozen under this law. Nine of its twelve offices have been closed and 85 percent of its staff laid off.
The women’s rights organization Ethiopian Women Lawyers Organization (EWLA) was forced to lay off 75 percent of its staff and assets worth $595,000 (468,000 euros) were frozen. Previously, the organization was able to give free legal assistance to some 20,000 women, nowadays it is barely able to function, says Amnesty international.
Germany’s Heinrich Böll Foundation, which is affiliated to the Greens Party, had been trying for three years to get a bilateral agreement signed with the Ethiopian government which have would granted it more room for manoeuvre than it would have been accorded under the NGO law. But such efforts were in vain.
Appeal at ministerial level in vain
They even tried to raise the issue with the Ethiopian government through the offices of German Development minister Dirk Niebel while he was on a visit to Addis Ababa, but that also yielded no results.
“We realized that we cannot pursue our mission and we can no longer support our local partners of several years,” Patrick Berg told DW.
Berg said “NGO law” was part of a system of repression and symbolic of a deterioration in human rights that had spread through the country since the elections in 2005. 200 people were killed in demonstrations against ballot-rigging in that poll.
Official Ethiopian government spokesman Bereket Simon was quoted by German’s news agency DPA as saying the government would be “delighted if the Heinrich Böll Foundation would continue its work in Ethiopia.”
The departure of the Heinrich Böll Foundation leaves the Friedrich Ebert Foundation as the only remaining German think tank in Ethiopia.
ADDIS ABABA (IRIN) – Tensions have been simmering over several months between Muslims and the government, with thousands holding demonstrations in protest at the government’s alleged interference in religious affairs; the government has blamed the protests on a small group of extremists.
Around 60 percent of Ethiopia’s 84 million people are Christians; Muslims make up about one-third of the population, according to official figures. Religion-related clashes have been rare in the country, but unrest over the past several months has led to several deaths and dozens of arrests. IRIN looks at the causes of, and fallout from, the protests.
What sparked the protests?
The leaders of the protests, which began in December 2011, accuse the Ethiopian government of trying to impose the al-Ahbash Islamic sect on the country’s Muslim community, which traditionally practices the Sufi form of Islam. Al-Ahbash beliefs are an interpretation of Islam combining elements of Sunni Islam and Sufism; its teachings are popular in Lebanon. Said to be first taught by Ethiopian scholar Abdullah al-Harari, the Ethiopian Al-Ahbash teachings are moderate, advocating Islamic pluralism, while opposing political activism.
In December 2011, the state moved to dismiss the administration of the Awoliya religious school in Addis Ababa. In July, police dispersed an overnight meeting at the school on the eve of an African Union heads of state summit, and arrested several protesters and organizers of the meeting, which police officials said did not have a permit.
Those behind the meeting, an “Arbitration Committee” of 17 led by prominent religious scholars, said they wanted to dialogue with the government but insisted they would continue legitimate protests to oppose its continued interference in the administration of the religious school and the election of members of the country’s supreme Islamic Council.
They accuse the government of dictating elections to the council, which concluded on 5 November, and favour the Al-Ahbash Muslim sect.
Temam Ababulga, a lawyer representing activists who led the protests – some of them are currently behind bars – says they are appealing to a federal court to cancel the election and its outcome, on the grounds that the elections were not conducted in accordance with the council’s by-laws.
“The opposition to Ahbash at this time is not theological… the protesters oppose… that the regime is sponsoring the movement, providing finance, logistical support and allowing it to use both the Islamic Council and the state institution in its proselytization,” said Jawar Mohammed, an Ethiopian analyst now studying at Columbia University in the USA.
“Ahbash has been in Ethiopia since the 1990s and has peacefully coexisted with the rest of Islamic revival movements,” he added. “The confrontation came only after the government invited the leading figures from Lebanon and started aggressive re-indoctrination campaign.”
What is the government’s response?
The government denies that it is violating the country’s constitution by meddling in religious affairs. Addressing parliament on 16 October, Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn said: “The government is not and would not interfere in the affairs of any religion in the country.”
At the height of the protests in mid-April, then Prime Minister Meles Zenawi, who died in August, told parliament that “a few extremists are working to erode the age-old tradition of tolerance between traditional Sufi Muslims and Christians in Ethiopia,” and stressed that they would not be tolerated by the government.
“The government… has made a number of efforts to encourage engagement with the protesters and has, for example, also done all it can to support the matter of elections for the Islamic Council,” said a statement by the government in response to Amnesty International’s allegations.
“It is true that some members of a `protesters committee’ have been arrested following violent protests, but it is completely misleading to suggest that this `committee’ had been `chosen to represent the Muslim community’s grievances to the government’. This `committee’ was not chosen nor elected by anyone… It was, in sum, a small, self-appointed committee of protesters whose support in the community at large, as the recent election clearly demonstrated, was minimal.”
Increasing Islamic militancy in the region – Kenya, Somalia and Tanzania have all witnessed increased Islamist activity – is of concern to the Ethiopian authorities, who say they are facing growing threats evident from the discovery of the first Al-Qaeda cell in the country; 11 people have been in an on-going trial, suspected of being members of an Al-Qaeda cell and accused of planning terrorist attacks.
What are rights groups saying?
The USA has added its voice to accusations that Ethiopia has been interfering in the religious affairs of its Islamic population and wrongfully arresting people. Addis Ababa has on several occasions rejected these charges.
“Since July 2011, the Ethiopian government has sought to force a change in the sect of Islam practiced nationwide and has punished clergy and laity who have resisted,” an 8 November press statement by the US Commission on International Religious Freedom – a bipartisan federal government body – said. “Muslims throughout Ethiopia have been arrested during peaceful protests.”
Amnesty International has also accused the Ethiopian authorities of “committing human rights violations in response to the ongoing Muslim protest movement in the country”. The organization said the police was using “excessive force” against peaceful demonstrators.
Human Rights Watch says it is deeply concerned that Ethiopia’s government has repeatedly used terrorism-related prosecutions to clamp down on lawful freedom of speech and assembly.
“Many of these trials have been politically motivated and marred by serious due process violations,” Laetitia Bader, a Human Rights Watch researcher on Ethiopia, told IRIN via email. “The Muslim leaders and others, should be immediately released unless the government can produce credible evidence of unlawful activity. The fact that many of the detainees have been in detention for over three months without charge does raise questions about the existence of such evidence.”
Rights groups also say journalists covering the protests are being increasingly harassed. In October, police briefly detained Marthe Van Der Wolf, a reporter with the Voice of America as she was covering one of the protests at the Anwar Mosque, and according to the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), told to erase her recorded interviews.
“Ethiopian authorities should halt their harassment of journalists covering the country’s Muslim community and their intimidation of citizens who have tried to speak to reporters about sensitive religious, ethnic, and political issues,” CPJ said in an October statement.
The government denies violently suppressing the protests, and says “one or two of the protests were extremely violent (with police killed).”
Activists and rights groups are concerned about references to “terrorism” in the charges. “The charges contain similar allegations used to prosecute dissident journalists and opposition leaders in the past few years… the leaders of the Muslim protest are just the latest victims of the regime’s war against dissenting voices,” said Jawar Mohammed.
“In fact, many of the Muslim scholars and spiritual leaders being accused of such conspiracy to create an Islamic state have written and publicly spoken advocating against any form of extremism, emphasizing that Ethiopia is a multi-faith country where secular state is indispensable for co-existence,” he added. “The irony is that these Muslim leaders, many of them, are followers of the Sufi tradition and have a proven track record of actively fighting against infiltration of the community by extremist elements.”
What is the extent of the protests and violence?
The demonstrations have continued for close to a year, and show no signs of abating. During Eid Al Adha celebrations in late October, tens of thousands of Muslims took to the streets to celebrate the holiday; after the prayers, they staged protests. “We have nothing to kill for… but we have Islam to die for,” read some of the protesters’ banners.
The arrest of an Imam in the Oromia region back in April led to clashes that left four dead, while the country’s federal police clashed with protesters at Addis Ababa’s Grand Anwar mosque on 21 July.
In October, in the Amhara Region, three civilians and one police officer were killed when protesters stormed a police station where a religious leader was jailed, said Communication Affairs State Minister Shimeles Kemal. On 29 October, federal prosecutors charged the jailed activists and others with terrorism; a group of 29 people are accused of aiming to establish an Islamic state, undermining the country’s secular constitution.
How might resentments play out?
In a report released shortly after Meles’s death, the think tank International Crisis Group warned that the new government would find it difficult to deal with grievances in the absence of “any meaningful domestic political opposition”.
“Resentments would likely continue to be turned into ethnic and religious channels, thus undermining stability and, in the worst case of civil war, even survival of a multi-ethnic, multi-faith state,” the authors said.
In a 2001 article, Samantha Power, currently a Special Assistant to President Barack Obama, referred to Ambassador Susan Rice and her colleagues as “Bystanders to Genocide” for failing to intervene and try to stop the Rwanda genocide. Samantha writes:
At an interagency teleconference in late April, Susan Rice, a rising star on the National Security Council (NSC) who worked under Richard Clarke, stunned a few of the officials present when she asked, “If we use the word ‘genocide’ and are seen as doing nothing, what will be the effect on the November [congressional] election?”
This one sentence crystallizes the nature of Susan Rice as a morally bankrupt person bereft of human decency. Therefore, when she heaps praise on Meles Zenawi, a genocidal dictator who burned entire villages in Ogaden and slaughtered the Anuak ethnic group in western Ethiopia, to mention just two of his countless crimes, no body should be surprised.
Samantha goes on to write:
Susan Rice… feels that she has a debt to repay. “There was such a huge disconnect between the logic of each of the decisions we took along the way during the genocide and the moral consequences of the decisions taken collectively,” Rice says. “I swore to myself that if I ever faced such a crisis again, I would come down on the side of dramatic action, going down in flames if that was required.” Rice was subsequently appointed NSC Africa director and, later, assistant secretary of state for African affairs…
Susan is repaying a debt by sharing a stage with an ICC-indicted war criminal, Al Bashir, in calling a mass murderer, Meles Zenawi, a wise man with a world class mind.
Susan Rice was a bystander to genocide during the Clinton Administration, and currently in the Obama Administration, she is a cheerleader to genocide. If Obama is elected for another term and she becomes a secretary of state, who knows what she will become.
Watch Susan Rice’s speech below. Read the full text of Samantha’s article here.
The King is dead long live the King
By Graham Peebles
November 14, 2012
It is a new-year in Ethiopia, (belated) happy 2005 one and all. With it comes a new prime minister, Hailemariam Desalegn, deputy PM under Meles Zenawi who died some time in August or was it July. A fog of misinformation and uncertainty surrounds the final months of Meles life, ingrained secrecy being both a political and national characteristic that works against social and ethnic cohesion, strengthening mistrust and division.
It is unclear what route the deputy PM, a Protestant from humble beginnings in the small, desperately poor Wolayta community, took to step into the prime ministerial shoes. Some believe the US administration through its powerful military machine Africom, engineered the sympathetic replacement. The US is Ethiopia’s main donor, giving around $3 billion a year, Ethiopia for it’s part and in exchange for such generosity perhaps, allows the US military to station and launch drones from it’s sacred soil into Somalia, or indeed anywhere the Pentagon hacks choose and the deadly drones can reach.
New Prime Minister same old regime story
The new Prime Minister has worryingly vowed, the BBC 21/09/12 report, to continue Mr. Meles “legacy without any change,” a legacy littered with human rights violations and injustices, which has little to recommend it. Meles ruled over a single party State in all but name, for, as the International Crisis Group (ICG) make clear, “Meles engineered one-party rule in effect for the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) and his Tigrayan inner circle, with the complicity of other ethnic elites that were co-opted into the ruling alliance, the Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF).” A dictatorship in fact and form and as is consistent with such regimes, brutal, controlling and intolerant. No matter the accolades expressed on Meles death by senior politicians and diplomats around the world, who like nothing more it seems than a friendly tyrant.
Hailemariam was chosen, it is alleged, simply to give the appearance of an ethnically balanced leadership, that he will have little independence, and dutifully tow the ideologically driven line of Revolutionary Democracy. Whatever the method and no doubt it was constitutionally correct, Hailemariam and deputy Demeke Mekonnen, are now enthroned, let us wish them well for there is much work to be done within Ethiopia.
Old injustices urgent issues
Human rights issues cry out to be dealt with, starting with the immediate unconditional release of all so called ‘political prisoners’, tried and Imprisoned under the internationally condemned, unjust Anti Terrorist Proclamation, for the heinous crime of publicly disagreeing with the TPLF dominated government. The Ethiopian government should, HRW demand, “amend the law’s most pernicious provisions, which are being used to criminalize free expression and peaceful dissent.” Journalists, mainly working outside of Ethiopia and supporters of opposition political parties are the common targets, tried in absentia in Ethiopian courts by a judiciary that functions as little more than a sentencing body for the government and thinks nothing of handing down life sentences to dissenting voices, based on fabricated charges. Human Rights Watch (HRW) make this illegal pattern clear, stating “the use of draconian laws and trumped-up charges to crack down on free speech and peaceful dissent makes a mockery of the rule of law,” both Federal and International.
The government, immersed in paranoia and determined to control all forms of debate and platforms of expression, fire off accusations of terrorist activity to anyone seen to disagree with their disagreeable policies. The ambiguous provision of ‘conspiracy to commit terrorist acts’ is usually cited as criminal activity, or the even more foggy crime of offering ‘moral support’, which has little or no specific meaning and as HRW assert, “is contrary to the principle of legality.” Such ill-defined terms are employed to criminalize dissent and justify the unjust.
Each urgently required reform flows into and out of the other, connected, as they are by the fundamental need to observe basic human rights, at the heart of which sits freedom and justice. Constitutional law provides for the statutory observation of all freedoms of expression that are nevertheless denied in practice or at best grossly restricted. The press, TV and radio is almost exclusively State owned, television is firmly under government control and with literacy resting at around 48% of the adult population is the arm with the greatest reach and influence. Control of the World wide-web is also in the hands of the EPRDF, the sole telecommunications company being listed in the extensive business portfolio of the government, who control and restrict both Internet expansion and use. Over 80% live in rural areas and currently a mere 0.5% (400,000) of the population have Internet access, the second lowest in Sub-Saharan Africa.
Unity in diversity
With between 70 and 80 tribal sets within the seven major ethnic groups and a 45/35% Christian, Muslim split, cooperation tolerance and unity are essential factors in the countries wellbeing and strength, as well as its internal security. As imperial nations have long known a united civilian population is a threat; divide the factions, separate the ethnic groups, fragment the people make them compete, even fight among themselves and maintain dominion. This, contrary to the EPRDF’s policy of Ethnic Federalism devised in 1991 when they took power, has consistently been the regimes approach. All political authority rests firmly within the party controlled by the TPLF, as the ICG report makes clear, “behind the façade of devolution, [the EPRDF] adopted a highly centralized system that has exacerbated identity-based conflicts.”
Self-determination and self-rule for the major regional groups was, on paper, a central component of Ethnic Federalism, however, as The international human rights group Advocates for Human Rights (AHR) in its report on ethnic groups in Ethiopia found, the government, “actively impedes the rights of disadvantaged ethnic groups to self determination.” Far from building partnerships and cultivating cooperation and tolerance, policies flowing from the TPLF/EPRDF’s desire to maximize control in all areas of society, including the powerful religious groups work to encourage fragmentation, create religious dissonance, strengthen ethnic divisions and deny much needed social unity.
Ethiopia has the third largest population of Muslims in Africa and is thought to be the birthplace of Islam in the continent as well as the cradle of African Christianity. The government has for long controlled Muslim affairs via The Ethiopian Islamic Affairs Supreme Council, which is simply a mouthpiece for the ruling party. There has, as Crescent International reports, “been no election in the council for the last 13 years. The council has remained against the rights of Muslims including wearing hijab and congregational prayer in universities.” Muslims have been calling with increasing intensity for the removal of the unelected council and the State sponsored imposition of Al-Ahbash (The Abyssinian) Islam, a movement that blends elements of Sunni Islam with Sufism. Protests against government meddling are now a regular extension to Friday prayers in Addis Ababa. The Washington Post 2nd November reports the new PM speaking to parliament on 16th October, stating, surprisingly given the EPRDF’s involvement in all things religious, that “the government fully respects freedom of religion and “would not interfere in the affairs of religion just as religion would not interfere in matters of politics.” It does indeed seem he is determined to follow in word and deed in the dictatorial duplicitous footsteps of his predecessor.
The Government with predictable consistency has labeled these legitimate demands the actions of ‘religious extremists’ and In July this year resorted to violent means in an attempt to settle the issue, killing four Muslims at prayer and arresting scores more. HRW reported “Ethiopian police and security services have harassed, assaulted, and arbitrarily arrested hundreds of Muslims at Addis Ababa’s Awalia and Anwar mosques who were protesting government interference in religious affairs.“ Religious extremists as we all know means terrorists, the US Army definition of terrorism is worth relating at this point. It is, they say “the calculated use of violence or threat of violence to attain goals that are political, religious, or ideological in nature…through intimidation, coercion, or instilling fear.” Accordingly if name-calling is the name of the game, the EPRDF’s policies qualify them unconditionally for the terrorist label, prefixed with the title, ‘State’
It’s worth noting that Orthodox Christian leaders have spoken out in support of their Muslim brothers and aired their own concerns at government interference in all things religious. The head Christian is also a regime appointee. The richness of the countries culture lies in its ancient ethnic diversity and a deeply religious nature that infuses all areas of cultural life, expressed by both orthodox Christians and Muslims who, despite the governments best effort have lived peacefully side-by-side as it were for generations.
Ethnic division centralized discriminatory rule
Regional divisions are being strengthened as ethnic groups are forced to compete for life saving handouts administered by the EPRDF through their network of regional councils. The Kebeles and Woreda’s reach into every village and household, stomach and mind in the country, distributing a range of development support from international donors, including emergency food relief determined by allegiance to the ruling party. Along with this illegal immoral act that needs the urgent attention of donors, whose silence and apathy makes them complicit in the regimes criminality, AHR found the EPRDF use discriminatory tactics to “interfere with the rights of disadvantaged ethnic groups” in all areas of civil society.
Employment is all too often conditional on party affiliation, teachers thought to be supporters of opposition parties are harassed, trade unions, supported within the liberal constitution, if not affiliated with the regime party face dismantling, the members and leaders intimidated and threatened. And Oromo business people, AHR discovered, “are denied business licenses without explanation and face police harassment targeted at customers, suppliers, and employees.”
In schools and colleges both teachers and students are exposed to political indoctrination and ‘encouraged’ to join the ruling party; continued employment and studies being a carrot, unemployment and expulsion the regime stick, membership of the Oromo Liberation Front a guarantee of both. In areas relating to culture, AHR found ”Oromo’s e.g. do not feel free to speak Oromiffa in public or to use distinctively Oromo names,” leading Oromo cultural figures have been persecuted and the Charities and Societies Proclamation – another poisonous piece of legislation that needs revising or scrapping, restricts the development of cultural relationships with members of the diaspora.
Forced from village to Villagization
Ethnic groups forced into villagization programs by the government as they sell off large tracts of land to foreign corporations, make easy targets for a regime pursuing the fragmentation of society and the exploitation of the people. Large numbers have been forcibly re-located, in Gambella alone HRW report, “approximately 70,000 people were slated to be moved by the end of 2011,” into settlements that provide no health services or clean water and often lack schools. Quick to capitalize on the child’s plight Government officials, AHR report “force schoolchildren in these villages to abandon their studies to provide labor for constructing shelters.” An illegal action adding further, to the catalogue of State criminality or to give it its US army title, State terrorism.
It is projected that if the herding of indigenous people continues at the present rate, all rural dwellers, that’s 80% of the population, will be living in one or other of these government created villagization centers by the next decade, without any consultation with those affected, no matter the party line on participation and voluntary movement. It’s hard to discuss social engineering and ancestral land rights with armed solders whilst your home is demolished. Violent coercion is widespread, HRW again ‘security forces enforcing the population transfers have been implicated in at least 20 rapes in the past year. Fear and intimidation are widespread among affected populations.”
Divide and rule extends into the very heart of ethnic communities, families are routinely broken up when driven into the villagization settlements, making women and children particularly vulnerable, as AHR found “in rural areas typically populated by disadvantaged ethnic groups are often victims of human trafficking. The Government has taken no meaningful measures to prevent such trafficking or to provide assistance or support to victims.” Trafficking of women within Ethiopia and overseas, often to the Gulf States almost always equates to prostitution or forced domestic labor, where sexual abuse, violence and degrading treatment is the common experience.
United in purpose
The EPRDF has divided, inhibited and controlled the people of Ethiopia. Fear and intimidation their weapons of choice, wielded without recrimination, compassion or regret, the ‘international community’, who supply a third of the national budget uninterested in their brutality act not in support of the people. The opportunity presented to and by the change of Prime Minister has (to date) proven to be nothing more than a hollow hope. The cry of the people ignored once more, their voices cast into the darkness and dismissed.
The political opposition, fragmented and dysfunctional, offers no vision of change, however there is a powerful alternative responsible group; It is the worlds ‘second superpower’, it is the rich diversity of the people and the strength inherent in their potential unity, standing together in peaceful defense of social justice, freedom and human dignity. The people of Oromo and Amahra, Tigray and Somali, Sidama, Gurage, Wolaita and Afar, look to each other and fear not, look to your neighbors and friends, share your concerns, your hopes, and fear not; for fear is the weapon of the bully the enemy of the good. Look to the next village, communicate and organize, fear not, for fear inhibits and controls. Look to the adjoining street and neighborhood where live others, who too shiver in fear of the police and armed forces, the Kebeles and Woredas who in the full light of day distribute food, jobs, education opportunities and health care based on illegal partisan discrimination.
Unity of the people, rich in diversity united in purpose, is the need and song of the time, for Ethiopia and indeed for the world. Together there is safety and strength beyond measure, “when there is no enemy within, the enemies outside cannot hurt you,” proclaims an African proverb. This truth applies to the individual, the family the people of a nation. Brothers and sisters of one humanity we are, our pains are shared, so too our joys and hopes. No government can withstand the unified strength of a people held together by a common and just cause, acting peacefully in honor of freedom and justice. Such is the need within the wonderful land of Ethiopia, the people of which have suffered much and for far, far too long.
[i] [i] http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-19672302
Participants in nonviolent movements sometimes, because of a particular act by the dictatorship has so enraged the populace that they have launched into action without having any idea how the rising might end. While spontaneity has some positive qualities, it has often had disadvantages. Frequently, the democratic resisters have not anticipated the brutalities of the dictatorship, so that they suffered gravely and the resistance has collapsed. At times the lack of planning by democrats has left crucial decisions to chance, with disastrous results… [read more]
It is proper to congratulate President Obama on his re-election to a second term. He put up a masterful campaign to earn the votes of the majority of American voters. Mitt Romney also deserves commendation for a hard fought campaign. In his concession speech Romney was supremely gracious: “At a time like this we can’t risk partisan bickering and political posturing. Our leaders have to reach across the aisle to do the people’s work, and we citizens also have to rise to occasion.”
There has been a bit of finger-wagging, teeth-gnashing, eye-rolling and bellyaching among some Ethiopian Americans in the run up to the U.S. presidential election held last week. Some were angry at President Obama and actively campaigned in support of his opponent. They felt betrayed by the President’s inability or unwillingness to give effect to his lofty rhetoric on human rights in Africa and Ethiopia. Others were disappointed by what they believed to be active support for and aid to brutal African dictators. Many tried to be empathetic of the President’s difficult circumstances. He had to formulate American foreign policy to maximize achievement of American global national interests. Terrorism in the Horn of Africa was a critical issue for the U.S. and Obama had to necessarily subordinate human rights to global counter-terrorism issues.
I was quite disappointed by the President’s failure to implement even a rudimentary human rights agenda in Ethiopia and the rest of Africa. But I also understood that he had some fierce battles to fight domestically trying to shore up the American economy, pushing some basic social policies, fighting two wars and putting out brushfires in a conflict-ridden world. I gave the President credit for a major diplomatic achievement in the South Sudan referendum which led to the creation of Africa’s newest state. President Obama authorized the deployment of a small contingent of U.S. troops to capture or kill the bloodthirsty thug Joseph Kony and his criminal partners. He launched the kleptocracy project which I thought was a great idea. As I argued in my column “Africorruption, Inc.“, the “business of African governments in the main is corruption. The majority of African ‘leaders’ seize political power to operate sophisticated criminal enterprises to loot their national treasuries and resources.” I felt the kleptocracy project could effectively prevent illicit money transfer from Ethiopia to the U.S. According to Global Financial Integrity, Ethiopia lost US$11.7 billion to illicit financial outflows between 2000 and 2009. I gave the president high marks for working through the U.N. to pass U.N. Resolution 1973 which endorsed the effort to protect Libyan civilians and his use of NATO partners to shoulder much of the military responsibility to rid Gadhafi from Libya after 41 years of brutal dictatorship. More broadly, I give him credit for closing secret C.I.A. prisons, ending extraordinary renditions and enhanced interrogations (torture), trying to close down the detention camp in Guantánamo Bay and move trials from military tribunals into civilian courts and abide by international laws of human rights. No doubt, he has much more to do in the area of global human rights.
I believe he could have done a lot more in Africa and Ethiopia to promote human rights, but did not. I have written numerous columns over the past couple of years that have been very critical of U.S. policy. In the “The Moral Hazard of U.S. Policy in Africa“, I argued that neither the U.S. nor the West could afford to sacrifice democracy and human rights in Africa to curry favor with incorrigible African dictators whose sole interest is in clinging to power to enrich themselves and their cronies. In my column, “Thugtatorship: The Highest Stage of African Dictatorship”, I argued Africa’s thugtatorships have longstanding and profitable partnerships with the West. Through aid and trade, the West and particularly the U.S. has enabled these thugocracies to flourish in Africa. A few months ago, in my column “Ethiopia in Bond Aid,” I argued that international aid is negatively affecting Africa’s development. “Before much of Africa became ‘independent’ in the 1960s, Africans were held under the yoke of “colonial bondage”. ‘International aid’ addiction has transformed Africa’s colonial bondage into neo-colonial bondaid.” In another recent column “Ethiopia: Food for Famine and Thought!”, I criticized the G8 Food Security Summit held in Washington, D.C. this past June as a reinvention of the old colonialism: “The G-8’s ‘New Alliance’ smacks of the old Scramble for Africa. The G-8 wants to liberate Africa from hunger, famine and starvation by facilitating the handover of millions of hectares of Africa’s best land to global multinationals…”
But despite disappointments, misgivings, apprehensions and concern over the Obama Administration’s failure to actively promote human rights in Ethiopia and Africa, I have supported President Obama. For all his faults, he has been an inspiring leader to me. Like many Americans, I was awed by state Senator Obama’s keynote speech at the Democratic national Convention in 2004 when he unapologetically declared: “There’s not a black America and white America and Latino America and Asian America; there’s the United States of America. There is not a liberal America. There is not a conservative America. There is a United States of America.” These words continue to inspire me to dream of the day when young Ethiopian men and women shall come together from all parts of the country and shout out and sing the words, “There is not an Oromo Ethiopia, Amhara Ethiopia, Tigrai Ethiopia, Gurage Ethiopia, Ogadeni Ethiopia, Anuak Ethiopia… There is only a united Ethiopia where ‘justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.’”
During the advocacy effort to pass H.R. 2003 (“Ethiopia Democracy and Accountability Act of 2007”), we had opportunities to meet with U.S. Senator Obama’s staffers in his district office and on the Hill on a number of occasions. Our meetings were encouraging and there was little doubt that Senator Obama would support H.R. 2003 if the bill had made it to the Senate floor after it passed the House of Representatives in October 2007. In February 2008, our advocacy group, the Coalition for H.R. 2003, formally endorsed Barack Obama’s presidential bid. We declared that “it is time for the U.S. to abandon its support of African dictators, and pursue policies that uplift and advance the people of Africa. It is time for an American president who will stand up for human rights in Ethiopia, and demand of those who violate human rights to stand down!”
Over the last four years, our enthusiasm and support for the President flagged and waned significantly as Africa remained on the fringes of U.S. foreign policy agenda. During the recent presidential “foreign policy debate” Africa was barely mentioned. There was only passing reference to Al Qaeda’s presence in Mali, the third poorest country on the planet. (According to the Economist Magazine, Ethiopia is the poorest country on the planet.) But not to make excuses, the President had a lot on his foreign policy plate. The Arab Spring was spreading like wildfire sweeping out longtime dictators. Nuclear proliferation in the Middle East remains a critical issue. The global economic meltdown threatens certain European countries with total economic collapse.
Hope Springs Eternal in Ethiopia and the Rest of Africa
I am hopeful that human rights in Africa will occupy a prominent role in the foreign policy agenda of President Obama’s second term. An indication of such a trend may be evident in the announcement two days after President Obama’s reelection that he will be visiting Myanmar (Burma) in a couple of weeks. After five decades of ruthless military dictatorship, Myanmar is gradually transforming itself into a democracy. President Thein Sein has released political prisoners, lifted media bans and implemented economic and political reforms. Amazingly, pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi is the acknowledged opposition leader in parliament after two decades of house arrest. Last week, a State Department spokesperson underscored the need for human rights improvement in Ethiopia according to a Voice of America report. There are favorable signs the Obama Administration will pursue a more aggressive human rights agenda in Africa.
President Obama Would Like to Leave a Legacy of Democracy and Freedom in Africa
Historically, second-term presidents become increasingly focused on foreign policy. They also become acutely aware of the legacy they would like to leave after they complete their second term. I believe President Obama would like to leave a memorable and monumental legacy of human rights in Africa. I cannot believe that he is so indifferent to Africa that he would leave it in worse condition than he found it. When he became president, much of Africa was dominated by dictators who shot their way to power or rigged elections to get into power. In much of Africa today, the absence of the rule of law is shocking to the conscience. Massive human rights violations are commonplace. In Ethiopia, journalists, dissidents, opposition leaders, peaceful demonstrators, civil society and human rights advocates are jailed, harassed and persecuted every day.
Needless to say, for President Obama Africa is the land of his father even though he was born and raised in America. I believe President Obama, like most immigrant Ethiopian Americans, would like to help the continent not only escape poverty but also achieve better governance and greater respect for the rule of law. He would like to see Africa having free and fair elections and improved human rights conditions. In his book Dreams From My Father, he wrote, “… It was into my father’s image, the black man, son of Africa, that I’d packed all the attributes I sought in myself, the attributes of Martin and Malcolm, DuBois and Mandela. And if later I saw that the black men I knew – Frank or Ray or Will or Rafiq – fell short of such lofty standards; if I had learned to respect these men for the struggles they went through, recognizing them as my own – my father’s voice had nevertheless remained untainted, inspiring, rebuking, granting or withholding approval. You do not work hard enough, Barry. You must help in your people’s struggle. Wake up, black man!” A man whose life’s inspiration comes from Martin Luther King, Malcolm X, W.E. B. DuBois and Nelson Mandela cannot ignore or remain indifferent to the suffering of African peoples. I think he will help Africans in their struggle for dignity in his second term.
U.S. Human Rights Policy in the Post Arab Spring Period
In the post-Arab Spring world, the U.S. has come to realize that its formula of subordinating its human rights policy to security and economic interests in dealing with dictators needs reexamination, recalibration and reformulation. By relying on dictators to maintain domestic and regional stability, the U.S. has historically ignored and remained indifferent to the needs, aspirations and suffering of the Arab masses. When the Arab masses exploded in anger, the U.S. was perplexed and did not know what to do.
The U.S. has been timid in raising human rights issues with Africa’s dictators fearing lack of cooperation in the war on terror and other strategic objectives. The U.S. effort has been limited to issuing empty verbal exhortations and practicing “quite diplomacy” which has produced very little to advance an American human rights agenda. I believe the President understands that America’s long term global interests cannot be advanced or achieved merely through moral exhortations and condemnations. We know that the President’s style is to exhaust diplomacy before taking more drastic measures. As he explained, “The promotion of human rights cannot be about exhortation alone. At times, it must be coupled with painstaking diplomacy. I know that engagement with repressive regimes lacks the satisfying purity of indignation. But I also know that sanctions without outreach–and condemnation without discussion–can carry forward a crippling status quo. No repressive regime can move down a new path unless it has the choice of an open door.” For the past four years, few African dictators have walked through the door that leads to democracy and human rights. Many of them have kicked it shut. I am hopeful that in the second term, the President will go beyond “exhortation” to concrete action in dealing with African dictators since he holds their aid purse strings.
President Obama is Not Just a President But Also a Constitutional Lawyer and…
I believe President Obama’s experiences before he became a national leader continue to have great influence on his thinking and actions. As a constitutional and civil rights lawyer, I believe he has an innate sense of moral distaste and repugnance for injustice and arbitrariness. President Obama cut his teeth as a lawyer representing individuals in civil and voting rights litigation and wrongful terminations in employment though he could have joined any one of the most prestigious law firms in America. He spent his early years doing grassroots organizing and advocacy working with churches and community groups to help the poor and disadvantaged. To be sure, he has spent more time doing community work than serving on the national political stage. As a constitutional and civil rights lawyer, law professor and advocate for the poor, I believe President Obama understands the immense importance of the rule of law, protection of civil liberties and human rights and the need to restrain those who abuse their powers and sneer at the rule of law. I think the community activist side of him will be more visible in his second term.
Ask Not What Obama Can Do for Ethiopia, But…
Some of us make the mistake of asking what President Obama can do for us. The right question is what we can do for Ethiopia by organizing, mobilizing and lobbying the Obama Administration to establish and pursue a firm human rights agenda. In his victory speech on election night President Obama said, “The role of citizen in our democracy does not end with your vote. America’s never been about what can be done for us. It’s about what can be done by us together through the hard and frustrating, but necessary work of self-government.” Governor Romney in his concession speech said, “At a time like this we can’t risk partisan bickering and political posturing. Our leaders have to reach across the aisle to do the people’s work, and we citizens also have to rise to occasion.” These are the principles Ethiopian Americans, and others in the Diaspora and at home, should embrace and practice. It should be time for a fresh start. We should learn from past mistakes and begin to organize and reach out in earnest to the Obama Administration. Many groups have had success with the Administration in advancing their causes including Arab Americans, Iranian Americans, Armenian Americans, Macedonian Americans, Serbian Americans and many others. As human rights activists and advocates, we should demand engagement by senior U.S. officials and diplomats on human rights issues.
The U.S. knows how to apply pressure on dictators who have been “friends”. In the 1980s, the U.S. played a central role in the transition of the Philippines, Chile, Taiwan, and South Korea from dictatorship to democracy. The United States also kept human rights agenda front and center when it conducted negotiations with the Soviet Union and other Soviet-bloc countries. The question is not whether the U.S. can advance a vigorous human rights agenda in Ethiopia or Africa, but if it has the political will to do so. I am hopeful that will will manifest itself in President Obama’s second term.
Amharic translations of recent commentaries by the author may be found at:
Previous commentaries by the author are available at:
By Jillian Kay Melchior
As China holds its 18th National Congress this week, with the Communist Party preparing for a once-in-a-decade transition of power, the nation looks superficially exultant. Ethnic-minority delegates clad in their cultural garb smile and wave to photographers; pretty girls throng paramilitary policemen in immaculate green suits; red and yellow plastic flowers abound. Meanwhile, in the provinces, chubby-cheeked kindergartners dress up in Red Army uniforms and sing old Communist songs, and university students line up to form the Communist hammer and sickle. All very good photo ops.
But China’s blogosphere tells a different story, describing a jittery, paranoid Chinese leadership. The Mandarin word for “18th Party Congress” — shrr-ba-da — sounds a lot like “Sparta,” some Chinese netizens have quipped, and that’s roughly the mood in Beijing this week.
There, cab drivers have been instructed to child-lock their rear doors and remove the window handles altogether to prevent passengers from throwing out subversive pamphlets. (In a city where impoverished drivers often work, sleep, and eat in their taxis, many passengers are now complaining about strong odors in cabs.) Meanwhile, balloons, pet pigeons, ping-pong balls, and remote-control airplanes have all been identified as possible security risks. Heavy censorship has frustratingly slowed the Internet, even for those with virtual private networks. And it’s even become hard for Beijingers to buy a kitchen knife or pencil sharpener from local shops.
These security precautions are extreme, even for National Congresses. But they’re also entirely understandable… [continue reading here]
(Reuters) – A U.S. panel on religious freedom accused the Ethiopian government of trying to tighten control of its Muslim minority amid mass protests, saying it is risking greater destabilization of the Horn of Africa region.
Ethiopia, which has long been seen by the West as a bulwark against Muslim rebels in neighboring Somalia, says it fears militant Islam is taking root in the country.
However, the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) accused the government of arresting peaceful Muslim protesters, noting that 29 of them had been charged last month with what the authorities said was “planning to commit terrorist acts”.
Ethiopian Muslims, who make up about a third of the population in the majority Christian country, accuse the government of interfering in the highest Muslim affairs body, the Ethiopia Islamic Affairs Supreme Council (EIASC). Thousands of Muslims have staged weekly mosque sit-ins and street protests in Addis Ababa over the past year.
“The arrests, terrorism charges and takeover of EIASC signify a troubling escalation in the government’s attempts to control Ethiopia’s Muslim community and provide further evidence of a decline in religious freedom in Ethiopia,” the Commission said in a statement issued on Thursday.
Ethiopian officials were unavailable for comment on the statement from the Commission, whose members are appointed by President Barack Obama and senior Congressional Democrats and Republicans.
Commission Chairwoman Katrina Lantos Swett called on the U.S. government to raise the issue with Addis Ababa.
“USCIRF has found that repressing religious communities in the name of countering extremism leads to more extremism, greater instability, and possibly violence,” she said.
“Given Ethiopia’s strategic importance in the Horn of Africa … it is vital that the Ethiopian government end its religious freedom abuses and allow Muslims to practice peacefully their faith as they see fit,” she added. “Otherwise the government’s current policies and practices will lead to greater destabilization of an already volatile region.”
Over the past six years Ethiopia has twice sent troops into Somalia to battle Islamist rebels, including al Shaabab militants, and officials say some of the protesters are bankrolled by Islamist groups in the Middle East.
The Commission backed the protesters’ complaints that the government had been trying since last year to impose the apolitical Al Ahbash sect on Ethiopian Muslims. The government has denied this but dozens of Muslims have been arrested since the demonstrations started in 2011.
Ethiopia is 63 percent Christian and 34 percent Muslim, according to official figures, with the vast majority of Muslims adhering to the moderate, Sufi version of Islam.
After Meles: Implications for Ethiopia’s Development
BY Handino, M., Lind, J. and Mesfin, B |UK Institute of Development Studies
Meles Zenawi, the long-serving Ethiopian Prime Minister since 1995 and leader of the Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) coalition, passed away in August. His death sparked considerable concern and debate internationally. The political stability of Ethiopia – the largest recipient of overseas development assistance in Africa – was put into question. Would the loss of Zenawi upend a decade of staggering official economic growth? Would it halt the transformation of Ethiopia from a famine-plagued country to a regional hegemon in the Horn of Africa?
Meles sought to replicate the Chinese growth ‘miracle’ and to craft a distinctly Ethiopian version of this that has been labelled ‘developmental authoritarianism’ by outsiders. He dismissed human rights critiques from many directions and squeezed the space for opposition and civic society to organise around governance and rights-based concerns – unless part of officially sanctioned institutions.
Foreign donors quietly criticised his policies – more vocally after the post 2005 elections – yet maintained substantial aid commitments to the country in the long term. With his death, some western critics have sought to cast the transition as an opportunity for Ethiopia’s development partners to press governance and human rights concerns yet again. However, the implications of the transition to a new PM and leadership at the top of the EPRDF are far from certain.
The first issue of a new policy briefing series from IDS explores the implications of Meles’ death for Ethiopia’s political stability, geo-political relations and development pathways. The IDS Rapid Response Briefings are published by the Institute of Development Studies and aim to provide high level analysis of rapidly emerging and unexpected global events and their impact on global development policy and practice. The briefings provide expert perspectives, opinions and commentary from around the world drawing on the experience and expertise of IDS’s 1000 alumni and 250 partners.
So, what are the implications of Meles’ death?
Meles’ successor, Hailemariam Dessalegn, Foreign Minister and Vice Premier since 2010, from the EPRDF, became acting PM under party rules in September. Crucially, Hailemariam is from the southern part of the country – Wolaita more specifically – and was not a member of the Tigrayan People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) that holds ultimate power in the coalition.
While Hailemariam’s appointment has been welcomed by Southerners within Ethiopia, representation of SNNPR in the military and federal command structure is minimal or absent altogether. The TPLF maintains control over the National Intelligence and Security Services, as well as the all-powerful federal police. A majority of recent key military appointments were from Meles’ home Tigray region, which has led some to speculate that Hailemariam’s appointment is a calculated political move by and for the TPLF, allowing them to maintain de facto political authority behind a cloak of ethnic pluralism.
Meles’ death exposes the dangers of a state built around one man, but he also leaves behind a formidable political machine. For Hailemariam the challenge is whether and how he can manage the machine. Members of competing elites may fight for control of this machine and ethnic movements on the periphery could be emboldened to exploit a perceived power vacuum. Eritrea might also sense an opportunity to destabilise its neighbour. The question is whether perceived economic development and prosperity will willingly be traded for political instability – even by those at loggerheads with the central state.
Ethiopia’s presence and capacity for global influence may well diminish. Meles courted Chinese largesse and trade and investment deals with other non-conventional donors such as Turkey, Brazil and India. He was an astute political game-player and realised that many more strategic issues could be used to assist western powers and, therefore, ensure their eventual quiescence when human rights abuses were carried out.
Ethiopia is a key strategic ally in counter-terrorism efforts by the US and its allies in the Horn. Meles opened Ethiopia’s doors to U.S. geostrategic interests, through positioning drones at Arba Minch in the south of the country, which enables greater U.S. geostrategic reach in and around Somalia, and providing proxy forces for the U.S.-backed invasion of southern Somalia in 2006.
Meles deftly negotiated the intricacies of regional diplomacy in the Horn, cultivating close ties with both Sudans. He championed regional economic integration and was deeply engaged in the Lamu-South Sudan-Ethiopia Transport project (LAPSSET) as well as several hydroelectric schemes under which Ethiopia sought to position itself as a regional energy exporter.
In spite of significant economic growth over the past decade and important gains in reducing poverty, Hailemariam inherits formidable economic challenges. These are dominated by the need to find secure livelihoods for a large and growing population and the acute vulnerability of its major economic sector – rainfed agriculture which is dominated by small plots that are leased by the government. Two thirds of the economy is controlled by government through nationalised and ‘para-statal’ enterprises, many of which fall under the control of TPLF figures.
The current picture is mixed: economic vibrancy is apparent in Addis Ababa and other major cities as construction booms and the consumption economy grows. Yet unemployment is rising – particularly in urban areas, inequality is widening and inflation has surged in recent years. Balancing the complex interrelations between transformations in agriculture, urbanisation, employment generation and maintaining a reasonable cost of living is the challenge facing the new Prime Minister.
This documentary highlights the abject poverty in Ethiopia’s capital where over 1 million people are homeless and tens of thousands of children survive on trash dump while the khat-addicted dictator spends hundreds of millions of dollars to buy military hardware.
Effective nonviolent UNITY of action has little to do with shouting slogans. It has everything to do with separating tyrants from their means of control… [read more]
ከፕሮፌሰር ዓለማየሁ ገብረማርያም
ትርጉም ከነጻነት ለሃገሬ
ጉዳዩ የምርጫ ብቻ አይደለም እኮ
ባለፈው ሴብቴምበር ስለ ፕሬዜዳንት ባራክ ኦባማ ድጋሚ መመረጥ ድጋፌን ገልጬ ነበር፡፡ ለታዳሚዎቼ እንዳስነበብኩት በ2008 ምርጫ ተወዳዳሪ ባራክ ኦባማን ደግፌ እንደነበርና ከምርጫው በኋላ ግን በታየው በተለይም ኢትዮጵያንና አፍሪካን በተመለከተ ስለተካሄደው አስተዳደራዊ ፖሊሲ ግን በጣሙን ቅሬታ አድሮብኛል፡፡ እንደትጠቀስኩት:-
ፕሬዜዳንት ኦባማ በአፍሪካ ውስጥ ተግባራዊ አደርጋለሁ ያሉትን መልካም አስተዳደርን፤የሰብአዊ መብትን መከበር፤የዴሚክራሲን ተግባራዊነት በተመለከተ ቃላቸውን ጠብቀዋል? በኢትዮጵያ ውስጥ ስላለው የሰብአዊ መብት ገፈፋና ረገጣ ያሉትን አድርገዋል? በጭራሽ! ኢትዮ አሜሪካውያንስ ፕሬዜዳንቱ በአክራ (ጋና) የገቡትን ቃል ስላልጠበቁና የሰነዘሩትን የተስፋ ቃል ባለማክበራቸው ቅር ተሰኝተዋል? አስተዳደራቸውስ በኢትዮጵያ በጉልበት ስልጣን ለያዘው ፈላጭ ቆራጩ ዲክታተራዊ ገዢ ድጋፍ ማድረጋቸውስ ኢትዮ አሜሪካውያንን አሳዝኗል? አዎን በሚገባ እንጂ!
ፕሬዜዳንት ኦባማ ‹‹በአፍሪካ ጠንካራ የሆነ የዴሞክራቲክ ስርአት፤ት የሕግ የበላይ ነት የሚከበርበት፤ለፖለቲካዊ እንቅስቃሴ አድሎ የሌለበትና ሁሉም በእኩል የሚስተናገዱበት መድረክና ሰብአዊ መብትም በእውነተኛ መልኩ የሚተበርበት ኢኒስትቲዩሽን መፍጠር አስፈላጊ ነው›› ማለታቸውን እናስታውሳለን፡፡ ከዚህ ባሻገርም ‹‹አፍሪካ ጡንተኞች አየስፈልጓትም፤ በጉልበት ስልጣን ላይ በመንጠላጠል ማስተዳደርን ወደ መግዛት መለወጥ ባህሪያቸው የሆኑ ሰዎችም አያስፈልጓትም፤ የሚያስፈልጓት ጠንካራ የሆኑ ተቋሞች ነው፡፡›› ልማት ምንግዜም በመልካም አስተዳደር ላይ የተመሰረተ ነው፡፡ ማንም ሃገር መሪ ነን ብለው ስልጣን የተቀመጡት የሕዝቡን ካዝና የሚበዘብዙት ከሆነ ሕዝቡ በምንም መልኩ ሃብት ሊያፈራ ንብረት ሊኖረው አይችልም:: ታዲያ ፕሬዜዳንት ኦባማ እነዚህን አጓጊና የኢትዮጵያ የሌለችም አፍሪካዊያን ናፍቆት የሆኑትን ቃላት ሲናገሯቸው አምነውባቸው ከልባቸው ነው ወይስ ለማለት ብቻ ነው የተነፈሱት?
ባለፈው ጦማሬ ላይ እንዳሰፈርኩት፤ ከአፍ የወደቀ አፋፍ የሆኑ በርካታ ጉዳዮች አሉ፡፡ ፕሬዜዳንት ኦባማ በኢትዮጵያና በአፍሪካ ያላከናወኗቸው ከንቱ ሆነው የቀሩ ተስፋዎችን በማንሳት ፕሬዜዳንቱ ላይ አመልካች ጣቶቻቸውን ሲዘረጉ በእርጋታ ማሰብና መገንዘብ ያለባቸው ሶስቱ ጣቶቻቸው መልሰው ወደ እነሱ ማመለከታቸውን ነው፡፡
ሃቅ መነገር አለበት፡፡ ፕሬዜዳንቱ አድርጋለሁ ብለው ያላደረጓቸውን ጉዳዮች በማስታወስ ለውንጀላ ስንቀርብ እኛም ትውልደ ኢትዮጵያ አሜሪካውያንም ልክ እንደፐፕሬዜዳንቱ ልናደርጋቸው ሲገባን ለኢትዮጵያ ያላደረግናቸው በርካታ ጉዳዮች እንዳሉ ብናስብ ፕሬዜዳንቱ ካላደረጓቸው የማይተናነስ ሆነው እናገኛቸዋለን፡፡ ይሄ ነው መቀበል የሚከብደው እውነታ፡፡ የፕሬዜዳንቱ የገቡትን ቃል አለማከናወን ለኛ መስታወታችን ሆኖ እራሳችንን የምናይበትና የምንታዘብበት ይሆነናል፡፡ ልክ ፕሬዜዳንቱ እንዳሉት እኛም በተለያየ ሰበብና ቦታ አጋጣሚ በኢትዮጵያና በአፍሪካ በአጠቃላይ ስለዴሞክራሲ፤ መልካም አስተዳደር፤ሰብአዊ መብት አለመከበር ቁጭትና እሮሮ እናሰማለን፡፡ ሆኖም ግን እነዚህን ቃላቶች ወደተግባር ለመለወጥ ግን ሽብረክ ብለናል ሃሞታችን ፈሷል፡፡ ፕሬዜዳንት ኦባማ በሃገራቸው የደህንነት ጉዳይና የሃገር ጥቅም ላይ ተወጥረው ነበር፡፡ እኛም በግል ፍላጎታችንና በግል ጥቅማችን ታፍነን፤ ታስረን፤ አቅመቢስ ሆነን ነበር፡፡
እራሳችንን መጠየቅ ያለብን ከዚህ የከረሩ ጥያቄዎች አሉ፡፡ በኦባማ አስተዳደር ላይ ስለሰብአዊ መብት መከበር፤ስለመልካም አስተዳደር፤ስለዴሞክራሲ ባለፉት አራት ዓመታት ውስጥ ምን ተጽእኖ አድርገናል? አስተዳደሩ ላይ ጫና ለመፍጠርና መደመጥም እንድንችል እራሳችንን አደራጅተናል? ሕገመንግስታዊ መብታችንን መሰረት በማድረግ አስተዳደሩን ለተጠያቂነት አብቅተናል?
ፕሬዜዳንት ኦባባማ ባለፉት አራት የስልጣን ዘመናቸው ላከናወኗቸው ተግባራት ከፍተኛ አድናቆት አለኝ፡፡ በእሳቸው ቁጥጥር ከግሉ ክፍል 5 ሚሊዮን ስራዎች እንዲፈጠሩ አድርገዋል፡፡ ምንም እንኳ አንዳንዶች ‹‹ዲትሮይት ኪሳራ ያስመዝግብ›› በማለት ቢወተውቱም ኦባማ ግን፤የአውቶ ኢንዱስትሪው አካኪ ዘራፍ እንዲል አብቅተውታል፡፡ ከዚህ ቀደም አንድም አይነት የጤና ዋስትና የሌላቸው 40 ሚሊዮን አሜርካዊያን በሳቸው ‹‹የሚቻል የጤና ፖሊሲ›› መሰረት የጤና ዋስትና ባለመብቶች ሆነዋል፡፡ የሸማቾች የኤኮኖሚና የጥበቃ ቢሮ መስርተው፤አንዳንድ ራስ ወዳድና ስግብግብ ነጋዴዎች ለዓመታት ህብረተሰቡን ሲመዘብሩት የነበረውን እንዲቆም አድርገዋል፡፡ ለተመሳሳይ ስራ የሴቶች ክፍያ ከወንዶች እኩል እንዲሆን ህጉን ፈርመዋል፡፡ ፕሬዜዳንት የኢራክን ጦርነት ለፍጻሜ አብቅተዋል፡፡ በ2014ም የአፍጋኒስታንን ጦርነት ለማብቃት ቃል ገብተዋል፡፡አልቃይዳን ፈለጉን በመከተልና ሽብርተኛ ተግባሩን ለማምከን እጅጉን ፈታኝ የሆነውን ወታደራዊ እንቅስቃሴ ተግባራዊ አድርገዋል:: ይህ ባይሳካ ኖሮ የፕሬዜዳንቱን ስልጣንና ዳግም ምርጫ ፈተና ውስጥ ያስገባው ነበር፡፡ ባለፈው ሳምንት አጋጥሞ የነበረውን የጎርፍና የአውሎ ነፋስ አደጋ በተመለከተ የሪፓብሊካኑ የኒው ጄርሲ አስተዳዳሪ ክሪስ ክርስቲ ለአደጋው የኦባማን እንቅስቃሴ ‹‹እጅጉን ውጤታማ›› ሲለው አስተዳደራዊ እንቅስቃሴውንም ‹‹በእጅጉ የተዋጣ›› ብሎታል፡፡
ፕሬዜዳንት ኦባማ እንደ ጦር አዘዥነታቸው፤ ግልጽ፤ ዝግጁ፤ ፈቃደኛ፤በትብብር ለመስራት ፈቃደኝነታቸውን በተግባር በማሳየት ያላቸውን ውጤታማና ብቃት ያላቸው መሆኑን አስመስክረዋል፡፡ በየሂደቱ ተቃውሞ እንደጋሬጣ ቢሆንባቸውም አልተበገሩም፡፡ እንቅፋት ሆነውባቸዋል፤አላራምድ ብለዋቸዋል፤ፖሊሲያቸውን ሳይሆን እሳቸውነታቸውን ፈትነዋቸዋል፡፡ የሪፓብሊካን ፓርቲ የበላይ ቁንጮ ባለስልጣን ሚች ማኮነል ‹‹አንድና ብቸኛ ማሸነፍ ያለብን ፕሬዜዳንት ኦባማን የአንድ ጊዜ ብቻ ተመራጭ ማድረግ ነው፡፡ የኔና የሁሉም በሃገሪቱ የሚገኙ ሪፓብሊካን ዋነኛና ብቸኛ የፖለቲካ ዓላማ ይሄው ነው››፡፡ ፕሬዜዳንት ኦባማ ገና ያላለቀ ስራ እንዳላቸውና ኤኮኖሚውንም የመገንባት ሂደት እንዳላበቃ ያውቃሉ፡፡ ይህንንና ሌሎችንም ጅምር ተግባራት ፍጻሜ ለማድረስ ተጨማሪ የአንድ ዘመን ምርጫ ማሸነፍ አለባቸው፡፡ ለዚህም የሁሉንም ኢትዮጵየዊና አሜሪካዊ ድምጽ ይፈልጋሉ፡፡
እንደ እውነት በአሜሪካ ስላለው የምርጫ መብት ጉዳይ ነው
ይህን አምድ የምጽፈው ለፕሬዜዳንት ኦባማ ያለኝን ድጋፍ በማሰልቸት ለመናገር ሳይሆን፤በአሜሪካ ስለአለው ሰፊ የምርጫ መብት ለማሳሰብ ነው፡፡ ስለምርጫ መብት አስፈላጊነት በጠራራ ጸሃይ ሃገራችን ላይ ከተከመረው አረመኔው ገዢ ታማኝ ወታደሮች በመቶ ከሚቆጠሩት ኢትዮጵያዊያን ወንድሞችና እህቶች በ2005 ሕይወታቸው ካለፈውና፤ድምጻቸው በመሰረቁ ምክንያት ያንን ለመቃወም ሕገ መንግስቱን አምነው ባዶ እጃቸውን ለሰላማዊ ተቃውሞ ወጥተው ለእስር ከተዳረጉት በ10 ሺዎች ከሚቆጠሩት የበለጠ የሚገነዘበው የለም፡፡ ኢትዮጵያዊያን አሜሪካውያን ለፐሬዜዳንት ኦባማ ድምጻቸውን እንዲሰጡ ሳሳስብ መብታቸውን በመጠቀምም ለሚፈቅዱት ተወዳዳሪ ድምጽ መስጠትና በመብታቸው መጠቀም እንደሚችሉም በማመን ነው፡፡
የአሜሪካ ፖለቲካ ተማሪዎች አለያም ሕገ መንግስታዊ ህግን ያልተማሩ፤ ይህንን ከሁሉም በላይ የሆነውን መብት ለማስከበር ስለ ትግል ታሪኩ፤ ስለተከፈለው ዋጋ፤ስለጠፋው ሕይወት ብዙም ላይረዱ ይችላሉ፡፡ በ1787 የአሜሪካ ሪፓብሊክ ሲቀየስ ነጮችና ሃብት ያለቸው አሜሪካውያን ወንዶች ብቻ ነበሩ የመምረጥ መብት ያላቸው:: በ1790 የመጀመርያው የመራጮች ቁጥር ሲሰላ፤ በ13ቱም ቅኝ ግዛቶች 3.893.635 ብቻ ነበሩ:: ከነዚህም ውስጥ 807.094 ነጻ ወንዶች ብቻ ሲሆኑ ከነዚህ ውስጥም ከ10-16 በመቶው ብቻ ነበሩ ለምርጫ የሚያበቃ ሃብት የነበራቸው፡፡ 1.541.263 ነጻ ሴቶች ነጮች የምርጫ መብት አልነበራቸውም፡፡ 694.280 አፍሮ አሜሪካውያንም (ባሮች ነበሩና) የምርጫ መብት አልነበራቸውም፡፡791.850 ነጮችም የምርጫ መብት የሚያስፈልገውን ሃብት ስላልነበራቸው መብት አልነበራቸውም፡፡
ቀስ በቀስ ለመምረጥ የሃብት አስፈላጊነት እየቀረ ሄደ እና በ1850 በርካታ አሜሪካዊ ወንዶች አላአንዳች ማዕቀብ መምረጥ ቻሉ፡፡ አንዳንድ ግዛቶች ግን ለማያምኑዋቸውና አነስተኛ ብለው ለሚንቋቸው የመምረጥ መብትን ያግዱ ነበር፡፡ በ1855-57 ማሳቹሰትስና ኮነቲከት የመጻፍና የማንበብ ፈተና የአይሪሽ-ካቶሊክ ስደተኞችን ከምርጫው ለማገድ አስቀመጡ፡፡ በ1865 የአሜሪካ የሲቪል ጦርነት አበቃ፡፡ በዚህም ወቅት ባርነት ተሰረዘና የቀድሞዎቹ ባርያ ይባሉ የነበሩት የምርጫ መብት አገኙ፡፡ ይህም በ1870 አስራ አምስተኛው አሜንድመንት ሲጸድቅ ነበር፡፡ አሜንድመንቱም ‹‹የአሜሪካዊ ዜጋ የምርጫ መብት በዘርም ሆነ፤በቀለም አያም ባለፈው ጊዜ በነበረው የባርያ አገልጋይነት ወይም በሌላ ሰበብ በማንኛውም የአሜሪካ ግዛት ጨርሶ ሊነካ አይገባም›› ይላል፡፡
ሆኖም ግን ግዛቶቹ የቀድሞ ባርያዎቻቸው ከእነሱ ጋር በእኩል ደረጃ ቆመው መምረጥ መፈቀዱን አልወደዱትምና የዜግነት መብታቸውን ሊገፏቸው ሞክረዋል፡፡ በ1889 አስር የአሜሪካ ደቡባዊ ግዛቶች የምርጫ ታክስ የሚሉትን አውጥተው (አንድ ዜጋ መምረጥ ከፈለገ ታክስ መክፈል ይጠበቅበታል) አፍሮ አሜሪካውያንን ከምርጫ ማስቀረት ፈለጉ፡፡ ለአመታት አፍሮ አሜሪካውያንን በሰበብ አስባቡ ከምርጫ ለማስቀረት ብዙ ዘዴዎች ሰበቦችን በመፍጠር ህጎችም ማውጣት ቀጠሉ፡፡ አፍሮ አሜሪካውያንን ከማንኛውም ፓርቲ አባልነት ማስወገድ፤ መክፈል የሚችሉ ብቻ እንዲመርጡ፤ሌላው ግራ የሚያጋበው የመራጮች ምዝገባ ሲሆን ይህም በተደጋጋሚ የሚደረግ ሆኖ፤ ከዚያም አንድ ሰው በሚመርጥበት አካባቢ ለረጂም ዓመታት በነዋሪነት የተመዘገበ፤ አለያም ምርጫ ምዝገባውን በማያመች ቀንና ሰአት በማድረግ አፍሮ አሜርካዊያንን ተስፋ ማስቆረጥ በጣም ይሞከሩ ነበር፡፡ ለምሳሌ በጥጥ ለቀማ ወቅት ምዝገባውን በማድረግ በስራ ላይ በሚጠመዱበት ጊዜና ሰአት እያደረጉ ማግለል፡፡ ከዚህም ባለፈ የምርጫ ካርዶችን ከሳጥኖች በማውጣት ለሚፈልጉት ተወዳዳሪ በማድረግ የአፍሮ አሜሪካውያኑን ተሳትፎ ላልፈለጉት ተመራጭ ማድረግ፤ ቆጠራ ማሳሳት፤ ሳጥኑን ደፍቶ ባዶውን ማስቀመጥና ሌሎችም የምርጫ ሌብነት ተንኮሎች ይካሄዱ ነበር:: አፍሮ አሜሪካውያኑን በተለያየ ጉዳያቸው ይደግፈናል ያሉትን ስለሚመርጡ በነዚህ ዜጎች ላይ ማስፈራራት፤ ጨለማን ተገን አድርጎ ጉዳት በማድረስ፤ እንዳይመርጡ ለመከላከል ይህንና መሳይ ተስፋ ማስቆረጫዎችን ያካሂዱ ነበር፡፡ ሴቶችም በምርጫ እንዳይጃፈሉ ዋጋ የሌላቸው ተደርገው ይታዩ ነበር፡፡
ምንም እንኳን የአፍሮ አሜሪካውያን የምርጫ ተሳትፎ መብት በሚገባ ተደንግጎ ቢጸድቅና ጉዳዩም በአሜሪካ ከፍተኛ የፍትሕ አካል በ1950 እና በ1960 የወጣው የመምረጥ መብት ዋጋ እንዲያጣ ቢደረግም በ1965 በድጋሚ የመምረጥ መብትን ያጸደቀው (በ70-75 እና በ82 የተጠናከረው) ሕግ ነው አፍሮ አሜሪካውያን የመምረጥ መብታቸውን በአግባቡና ሳይሸራረፍ፤ በማንም ሳይታገድና ሳይዛነፍ እንዲጠቀሙበትና መምረጥ እንዲችሉ ያደረጋቸው፡፡ ይህ ሕግ በምንም መልኩ ልዩነትን ሲከለክል እንዲሁም የመጻፍና የማንበብ ፈተናንም አገደ፡፡ እና ይህንንም አለአንዳች መደናቀፍ በስራ ላይ እንዲውል አስፈላጊ የሆኑ ሕጎችና እንዚህንም ሕጎች የሚያጸድቅ አካል ለመላ ሃገሪቱ መመርያ አውጪ አድርጎ በማስቀመጥ የነበረውን ችግር ሁሉ በማስወገድ ሁሉም ዜጋ የምርጫ መብቱ እንዲከበርለት ተደረገ፡፡
ያበቃለት 2012፡ የመራጮች ቁጥጥር ወይም የምርጫ አስፈጻሚዎችን አመኔት መጠበቅ?
ባለፉት ጥቂት ዓመታት የምርጫውን ስርአት ለማጠናከር ሲባል የለውጥ ንፋስ በአንዳንድ ግዛቶች ታይተዋል፡፡ አንዳንዶች እነዚህ ህጎች ‹‹ፎቶግራፍ ያለበት መታወቂያ›› ይጠይቃሉ:: ለመመዝገብም ሆነ ለመምረጥ የዜግነት መታወቂያና ማረጋገጫ ይሆናል፡፡ አንዳንድ ግዛቶች ደግሞ የምርጫ መመዝገቢያ ቀኖችን ያያሳንሳሉ:: ለምሳሌ በምርጫው እለት ምዝገባን ያግዳሉ፡፡ ሌሎች ግዛቶች ደግሞ ቅድመ ወንጀል ሪኮርድ ያለባቸው በምርጫ መብታቸው እንዳይጠቀሙ ያዛሉ፡፡ በተለይም አናሳ ቁጥር ባላቸው ብሄሮች አካባቢ ማንነታቸው የማይታወቁ ሰዎች እነዚህን አናሳ ቁጥር ያላቸውን መራጮች ማስፈራሪያ ምልክት ይሰቅላሉ:: ማስፈራሪያና ዛቻ ያለባቸው ወረቀቶች አባዝተው ይበትናሉ፡፡
ሕጎቹ በደምሳሳው ሲነበቡና ሲታዩ መልካምና ምክንያተዊ መስለው ነው የሚታዩት፡፡ በምርጫ ቦታዎች የግለሰቡን ማንነት የሚገልጸው ባለፎቶግራፍ መታወቂያው ተቃውሞ ማስነሳቱ ተቀባይነት የለውም፡፡ በማንኛውም ሃገር አንድ ሰው ለመምረጥ ወደ ምርጫ ጣቢያ ሄዶ ድምጹን ሲሰጥ ማንነቱን የሚገልጽ መታወቂያ እንዲያሳይ ይገደዳል ይህም ተገቢ ነው፡፡ ከሚቀርበው በረካተ ምክንያት ጋር ሲታይ ግን ይህን ያህል አሳሳቢነቱ የሚያሳምን አይደለም፡፡ በቅርቡ የፔንሲልቫንያ ግዛት ስለመታወቂያ መጠየቅና ማሳየት ደንቡን አጽድቋል፡፡ ግዛቱ ግን ስለምርጫ መጭበርበር አንዳችም ማስረጃ አልነበረውም፡፡ በጭራሽ! የኢንዲያና ግዛትም በ2005 እንዲሁ አንዳችም የምርጫ ማጭበርበር ሳይኖር ውዝግብም ሳይከሰት ደንቡ ጸደቀ፡፡ በ2008 እና በ2010 በቴክሳስ ከ13 ሚሊዮን የምርጫ ድምጾች ውስጥ በሌላ ሰው ስም አመሳስለው የመረጡ የተባሉ የስምንት ድምጾች አቤቱታ ነበር፡፡ እነዚህ ሁሉ አዳዲስ ሕጎች እንዲወጡ የተደረጉት የሪፓብሊካን ባለስልጣኖችና የክልል መንግስታት ሹሞች ነው፡፡
እንደ እውነቱ ከሆነ፤ ይሄ ፎቶግራፍ ያለበት መታወቂያ ጥያቄ የቀድሞው የመጻፍና ማንበብ ችሎታ፤የምርጫ ታክስ፤እና የመሳሰሉት ምርጫ ማጨናገፊያዎች ቅሪት ነው፡፡ አፍሪካን አሜሪካውያንን ጨምሮ በርካቶች ሂስፓኒኮች፤እና ሌሎችም በዚህ ህግ ተጠቂ ይሆናሉ፡፡ ዕድሜ ባለጸጎችና ወጣቶችም በአብዛኛው የዴሞክራቲክ ፓርቲ ደጋፊዎችም ለዚሁ ሰለባ ይዳረጋሉ፡፡ አሁን ወደ መጠናቀቁ የተቃረበውን የ 2012 ምርጫ ይህ ህግ ምን ያህል እንደሚጎዳው አይተወቅም፡፡ በአፍሪካ አሜሪካውያን ሴቶችና በሌሎችም በዘመናት በተካሄደ የደም ብዙ ላብ የፈሰሰበት፤እንባ የተረጨበት ትግል ውጤት የሆነው ህግ ምን ያህል ይጎዳ ይሆን?
እያንዳንዱ የመራጭ ድምጽ ዋጋው ከፍተኛ ነው
በ2000 በተካሄደው ምርጫ አልጎር ቡሽን ያሸነፈው፡- በ50.999.897 የቡሽ ደግሞ 50.456.002 (ወይም 543,895 በሆነ ልዩነት ነው)፡፡በተጣበበ እንዳሁኑ ባለ የምርጫ ሂደት ወቅት እያንዳንዱ ድምጽ የማሸነፊያ ሃይል ነው፡፡ የእያንዳንዱ መራጭ ድምጽ የተመራጩ ሃይል ነው፡፡
በሰሜን ቨርጂኒያ፤ፍሎሪዳ፤ኦሃዮና ኮሎራዶ በአሰርት ሺዎች የሚቆጠሩ ትውልደ ኢትዮጵያዊያን አሜሪካውያን የምርጫ ባለመብቶች ይገኛሉ፡፡እነዚህ ወገኖች የምርጫ ድምጻቸውን ለፕሬዜዳንት ኦባማ ቢሰጡ ለዚህ ከፍ ያለ አክብሮትና ምስጋና ይኖረኛል፡፡ በሌላ ጎኑ ደሞ ምርጫቸው ግላዊ መብታቸው ነውና የፈቀዱትንም ቢመርጡ አክብሮቴና ምስጋናዬ አይቀንስም፡፡ በኢትዮጵያ የታየው የ 99.6 በመቶ የአሸነፍኩ ባይነት አይነት ሁኔታ ያቃጠለውና ያሳዘነው ማንኛውም ኢትዮ አሜሪካዊ ድምጹን በመስጠት በዚያ ባይሆን እዚህ በነጻው አሜሪካ እልሁን ለመወጣት ድምጹን በተገቢው ተመራጭ ሳጥን ማሰማት ይኖርበታል፡፡
የተቶረገመው ጽሁፍ (translated from):
(ይህን ጦማር ለሌሎችም ያካፍሉ::)
ካሁን በፊት የቀረቡ የጸሃፊው ጦማሮችን ለማግኘት እዚህ ይጫኑ::
By Elias Kifle
President Barack Obama has been a terrible disappointment for many Ethiopians and freedom loving people who supported him and voted for him in 2008. It is unforgivable that the Obama Administration had befriended, supported and praised the late Ethiopian dictator, Meles Zenawi, a genocidal tyrant whose hands were soaked with the blood of thousands innocent Ethiopians. Obama’s own State Department accused Meles of gross human rights violations. And yet Obama’s envoy referred to him as a ‘dear friend’ and a wise man. How can any Ethiopian who cares for Ethiopia and stands for freedom supports such an administration that financed and encouraged a genocidal dictator and a thief?
It is said that people deserve their government. In Ethiopia, we do not have the freedom to elect our government. The country is ruled by blood thirsty tyranny that is bankrolled by the Obama Administration and European Union to the tune of $3 billion per year. What excuse do those of us in the U.S. have for supporting Obama, a “dear friend” of the dictator who spilled the blood of so many of our brothers and sisters? By supporting Obama, we are encouraging him and other presidents after him to continue bankrolling tyrants in Ethiopia and other countries around the world.
The Obama foreign policy is one of the many areas where he didn’t keep his promise. He betrayed freedom loving people around the world by keeping in place the U.S. foreign policy that supported some of the most brutal and corrupt tyrants around the world. In fact, Obama took it the next level. Other U.S. presidents before him were holding their noses when they dealt with dictators. Obama made them his ‘dear’ friends. In the case of Ethiopia, dictator Meles Zenawi was accused by international human rights groups of committing genocide and war crimes. Let me ask you this: Would the Jewish community in the U.S. support a president who is friendly toward Nazi Germany. Meles is our Hitler. If we support Obama, we deserve to be ruled by a Hitlerian like Meles.
Another reason not to vote for Obama is not to repeat the mistake of the African-American community. For the past 40 yeas, the overwhelming majority of the African-American community has been supporting the Democratic Party. What have they benefited from such loyalty? Nothing. The African-American community is the most neglected voting group in the United States because of its loyalty to one party, even though the social values of a large majority of African-Americans are contrary to the Democratic Party. When Obama went on a ‘job tour’ in October last ear, he didn’t visit any African-American neighborhood. But the jobless rate among blacks (14.3%) is almost double that of the national rate (7.9%). When Obama won the presidency in 2008, the jobless rate among blacks was 9.1%, according to the Department of Labor.
Unlike the Jewish, Asian and other communities, the African-Americans relegated themselves to irrelevancy in the U.S. elections by blindly supporting one party. If the growing Ethiopian-American community wants to have voice, it must not allow itself to be taken for granted like the African-Americans. Vote for candidates who share your values, and you will see both parties competing for your votes.
Tomorrow, vote for Romney because many of his values are closer to ours, and if we support him, we may have a leverage with him when it comes to the U.S. policy toward Ethiopia. (What we want the U.S. to do is to stop funding murderous dictators.) Right now we have zero leverage because our vote is taken for granted by Obama.
I would like to hear your views. Click here to comment.
The Holly Synod of the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church in exile has issued a statement following its regular meeting last week. Click here to read.
In September, I expressed my support for President Barack Obama’s re-election. I told my readers that I enthusiastically supported candidate Obama in 2008 but was disappointed by his Administration’s policy in Ethiopia and Africa following his election:
Did President Obama deliver on the promises he made for Africa to promote good governance, democracy and human rights? Did he deliver on human rights in Ethiopia? No. Are Ethiopian Americans disappointed over the unfulfilled promises President Obama made in Accra, Ghana in 2009 and his Administration’s support for a dictatorship in Ethiopia? Yes. We remember when President Obama talked about the need to develop robust democratic institutions, uphold the rule of law and the necessity of maintaining open political space and protecting human rights in Africa. We all remember what he said: “Africa does not need strong men but strong institutions.” “Development depends on good governance.” “No nation will create wealth if its leaders exploit the economy.” Was he just saying these words or did he truly believe them?
I also argued that in all fairness there is plenty of blame to go around. I cautioned those of us who are quick to point an accusatory index finger at President Obama for what he has not done in Ethiopia and Africa to beware that three fingers are pointing directly at them.
Truth be told, what the President has done or not done to promote good governance, democracy and human rights in Ethiopia is no different than what we, the vast majority of Ethiopian Americans, have done or not done to promote the same values in Ethiopia. That is the painful truth we must face. The President’s actions or lack of actions mirror our own. Just like the President, we profess our belief in democracy, good governance and human rights in Ethiopia and elsewhere in Africa. But we have also failed to put our values in action. President Obama was constrained in his actions by factors of U.S. national security and national interest. We were constrained by factors of personal interest and personal security…
But there are other hard questions we should ask ourselves: What did we do to bring pressure on the Obama Administration to promote human rights, good governance and democracy in Africa over the past 4 years? Did we organize to have our voices heard by the Administration? Did we exercise our constitutional rights to hold the Administration accountable?
But I also gave President Obama high marks for many accomplishments over the past four years. Under his watch, over 5 million private sector jobs were created. The U.S. auto industry came roaring back even though some had urged, “Let Detroit go bankrupt!”. President Obama put his presidency on the line by spending all of his political capital in enacting the Affordable Health Care Act which offered health insurance to some 40 million Americans who had none. He established a Consumer Financial and Protection Bureau to oversee crooked financial institutions who had been ripping off consumers for years. He signed a law that secured the rights of women to equal pay for equal work. President Obama ended the war in Iraq. He has promised to end the war in Afghanistan in 2014. He has pursued Al Qaeda relentlessly and ended the criminal career of the most infamous terrorist in a risky military operation, which had it failed, could have doomed his presidency. Last week, Republican Governor Chris Christie of New Jersey described President Obama’s response to “Hurricane Sandy’s” devastation of the east coast of the United States as “outstanding” and his Administration’s handling of the relief operation as “excellent”.
President Obama has proven himself to be a resolute commander in chief and a president open, ready, willing and able to engage in bipartisanship, collaboration and cooperation to get the nation’s business done. But the road he has travelled over the past 4 years has been a hard one. He has faced stiff opposition at every turn. He has been obstructed, blocked, thwarted, vilified and demonized by those who loath him personally than disagree with his policies. The top leader of the Republicans in the U.S. Senate, Mitch McConnell, vowed, “The single most important thing we want to achieve is for President Obama to be a one-term president. That’s my single most important political goal, along with every active Republican in the country.” President Obama knows his work is not finished and he has a lot more to do in improving the economy. He needs another term to complete his work. He needs the support and vote of every Ethiopian American.
It is Really About the Right to Vote in America
I write this column not so much to reiterate my support for President Obama but to underscore the enormous importance of the right to vote in America. Perhaps no one knew the importance of the right to vote than the hundreds of our brothers and sisters who were mowed down in cold blood by by troops loyal to the ruling regime in Ethiopia in 2005, and the tens of thousands who were imprisoned for peacefully protesting their stolen votes. While I would urge Ethiopian Americans to vote for President Obama, I believe it is far more important for them to exercise their right to vote for the candidate and issues of their choice.
Those who are not students of American politics and constitutional law may not be aware of the history of struggle and the untold sacrifices and and the high price paid in lost lives to secure, protect and defend this precious of all rights. When the American republic was forged in 1787, only white male property owners had the right to vote. When the first census was taken in 1790, there were 3,893,635 persons in the thirteen colonies and the four other districts and territories which later became states. There were 807,094 free white males, of which 10-16 percent met the property requirement to have the right to vote! The 1,541,263 free white females did not have the right to vote. The 694,280 “persons” (slaves) did not have the right to vote. The 791,850 free white males did not have the right to vote.
The property requirement for the right to vote was gradually dropped; and by 1850 the vast majority of white males could vote without significant obstacles. But some states sought to exclude and suppress the voting rights of disfavored groups. Between 1855-57, Connecticut and Massachusetts adopted a “literacy test” (a test of one’s ability to read and write) to discriminate against Irish-Catholic immigrants. After the American Civil War ended in 1865 and slavery was abolished by the Thirteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and Congressional enactment of various civil rights laws, the former slaves formally gained the right to vote with the ratification of the Fifteenth Amendment in 1870. “The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude.”
But the states were not prepared to allow the former slaves to become their political equals by exercising their ultimate citizenship right. Beginning with Florida in 1889, ten states in southern United States adopted poll taxes (in order to vote, a citizen has to pay a poll tax) to keep African Americans from voting. Large numbers of impoverished African Americans could not afford to pay the poll taxes and were disenfran- chised by this requirement. For decades, many southern states devised various means to keep African Americans from voting. Some used “white primaries” (political parties excluding African Americans from party membership and closing the primaries to everyone except party members). Others complicated the voter registration process by requiring frequent re-registration, long terms of residence in a district before voting, registration at inconvenient times such the planting season, providing inaccurate and misleading information about voting dates, etc. Still others used “gerrymandering” (creating electoral districts by manipulating geographic boundaries to dilute the electoral strength of minority groups and create protected districts) to deny African Americans representatives of their own choosing. Electoral fraud was rampant in the states which sought to restrict African American electoral participation. Ballot box stuffing, throwing out votes for disfavored candidates, deliberately miscounting votes, changing votes from one candidate to another were common. Violence, threats and intimidation of African Americans were also commonly used to keep African Americans from voting despite federal laws against such criminal acts.
Women were not considered worthy of voting rights until 1920 when the Nineteenth Amendment was ratified guaranteeing women’s suffrage. “The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex.” Native Americans did not acquire full citizenship rights including the right to vote in federal elections until Congress passed the Indian Citizenship Act in 1924.
Though many of the laws and practices aimed at preventing African Americans from voting were invalidated by the U.S. Supreme Court in the 1950s and 1960s, it was the passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 (and its expansion in 1970, 1975, and 1982) that enabled African Americans to finally and effectively exercise their right to vote. This law bans racial discrimination in voting and outlaws barriers to voting such as literacy tests. Most importantly, it requires certain state and local governments to “preclear” proposed changes in voting or election procedures with either the U.S. Department of Justice or the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. It also requires that certain state and local jurisdictions provide assistance in languages other than English to voters who are not literate or fluent in English, in addition to granting authority to the U.S. Attorney General to send federal examiners and observers to monitor elections.
Deja Vu 2012: Voter Suppression or Protection of Electoral Integrity?
In the last few years, we have seen a spate of new state laws proposed and enacted to presumably strengthen the integrity of the electoral system. Some of these laws require “photo IDs” and proof of citizenship to register or vote. Other state laws aim to restrict voter registration drives, abolish election day registration, reduce the number of early voting periods and limit absentee voting opportunities. Still other states have sought to make it more difficult for people who move to stay registered and vote and prevent citizens with past criminal convictions from voting. Anonymous private groups have put up billboards and sent out flyers to intimidate, confuse and mislead potential voters, particularly those in the minority communities.
These laws appear to be benign and reasonable on their faces. There is little that is objectionable about requiring some form of official photo identification at the polls. It is customary in many countries to show identification for voters to cast a ballot. But despite lofty claims of protecting the integrity and prevention of fraud, the real reason behind these laws appears to be voter suppression. In a recent court case in Pennsylvania, the State of Pennsylvania admitted in a court stipulation that in passing its voter ID law, the state had no evidence of voter fraud. None! Indiana passed a voter ID law in 2005 even though there was no evidence of a documented or prosecuted case of voter impersonation fraud. Five voter impersonation complaints were filed in Texas in 2008 and 2010 out of some 13 million ballots cast. All of these laws are sponsored and were enacted by Republican state legislators and governors. In five states, Democratic governors vetoed ID laws passed by Republican legislatures. Such laws raise eyebrows in light of the ferocious declaration of the Republican minority leader of the U.S. Senate Mitch McConnell, “The single most important thing we want to achieve is for President Obama to be a one-term president. That’s my single most important political goal, along with every active Republican in the country.”
Truth be told, these photo ID laws seem to be reminiscent of the old practices of voter suppression using literacy tests, poll taxes and the like. With new waves of immigration and diversity in the the electoral population, some may find the demographic trends alarming and threatening to their political power and dominance. Millions are expected to be disproportionately affected by these laws including African Americans, Hispanic and other ethnic voters, the young and elderly and mostly democratic voters. It is not clear how these laws will affect the 2012 presidential elections which are said to be too close to call. But it is clear that there is a looming, imminetn and ominous threat to the right to vote which was gained through two centuries of blood, sweat and tears of African Americans, women and others.
EVERY VOTE REALLY COUNTS!
In the 2000 Presidential Election, Al Gore won the popular vote by 50,999,897 to Bush’s 50,456,002 (or by 543,895 [0.5%]). Bush won Florida 2,912,790 to Gore’s 2,912,253 (by 537 votes!) and got that state’s 25 electoral votes winning the Electoral College by 271-266. It is not difficult to imagine that in a close election such as the current presidential election, every single, solitary vote really counts.
In Northern Virginia, Florida, Ohio and Colorado, there are tens of thousands of Ethiopian Americans eligible to vote. Though I would be very pleased and appreciative if they voted for President Obama, I would be equally happy if they exercised their right to vote for whomever they choose. If the idea of one party winning 99.6 percent of the votes in Ethiopia offends any Ethiopian American, s/he should make sure his/her one vote counts in America!
Amharic translations of recent commentaries by the author may be found at: http://www.ecadforum.com/Amharic/archives/category/al-mariam-amharic and http://ethioforum.org/?cat=24
Previous commentaries by the author are available at: http://open.salon.com/blog/almariam/ and www.huffingtonpost.com/alemayehu-g-mariam/
Nonviolent Resistance (NVR) is the use of NVR weapons (strikes, boycotts, civil disobedience, mass protests, nonviolent sabotage) to disrupt the functioning of the regime and make the country ungovernable. It is to deny the tyrant the compliance, cooperation and submission he requires. The economic hegemony of the TPLF coupled with its gross mismanagement of the nation’s resources and the massive systemic corruption that has infected the body politic of the nation is the ticking time bomb that may very well destroy the fabric of the Ethiopian society… [read more]
By Yohannes Anberbir | The Reporter
In an unprecedented move, the Ethiopian Ministry of Defense (MoD) is set to enter the country’s financial sector establishing what it calls “Army Bank”.
According to the minister of Defense, Siraj Fegessa, MoD is undertaking preparations for the bank to go operational in the current fiscal year.
The plan was announced on Wednesday when Siraj presented the ministry’s quarterly performance report and program for the current fiscal year to the Foreign Defense and Security Standing Committee of the House of Peoples’ Representatives.
He also indicated that a steering committee has been established to discuss the issue with the Central Bank and devise ways on how to establish the Army Bank.
Having recalled that the ministry have been trying to establish a micro finance enterprise last year, he also explained that the main aim of forming the bank is to help military personnel develop the culture of saving and help them be owners of a house.
He also made clear that the establishment of a micro finance enterprises was not realized as the Central Bank did not give the license because of legal issues. He, however, told the standing committee that the ministry has the legal backing to establishing the bank and that the steering committee is currently working on the matter.
According to the Siraj, MoD has established the “Defense Force Foundation” whose primary task is providing basic goods and services to members of the armed forces. For this current year the foundation will be engaged in the construction of houses for army members, Siraj said.
However, the National Bank of Ethiopia (NBE) neither knows about the Army Bank nor has it received any formal request for licensing.
Public Relations head with the NBE, Alemayehu Kebede, told The Reporter that the NBE has the responsibility of delivering the right information for anyone who wants to establish a bank and the Ministry of Defense might have gained this information.
He, however, indicated that the NBE has not received any application from Ministry of Defense and if the MoD submits a formal request the matter will be dealt with based on the legal work procedure.
By David Talbot, MIT Technology Review
With 100 million first-grade-aged children worldwide having no access to schooling, the One Laptop Per Child organization is trying something new in two remote Ethiopian villages—simply dropping off tablet computers with preloaded programs and seeing what happens.
The goal: to see if illiterate kids with no previous exposure to written words can learn how to read all by themselves, by experimenting with the tablet and its preloaded alphabet-training games, e-books, movies, cartoons, paintings, and other programs.
Early observations are encouraging, said Nicholas Negroponte, OLPC’s founder, at MIT Technology Review’s EmTech conference last week.
The devices involved are Motorola Xoom tablets—used together with a solar charging system, which Ethiopian technicians had taught adults in the village to use. Once a week, a technician visits the villages and swaps out memory cards so that researchers can study how the machines were actually used.
After several months, the kids in both villages were still heavily engaged in using and recharging the machines, and had been observed reciting the “alphabet song,” and even spelling words. One boy, exposed to literacy games with animal pictures, opened up a paint program and wrote the word “Lion.”
The experiment is being done in two isolated rural villages with about 20 first-grade-aged children each, about 50 miles from Addis Ababa. One village is called Wonchi, on the rim of a volcanic crater at 11,000 feet; the other is called Wolonchete, in the Great Rift Valley. Children there had never previously seen printed materials, road signs, or even packaging that had words on them, Negroponte said.
Earlier this year, OLPC workers dropped off closed boxes containing the tablets, taped shut, with no instruction. “I thought the kids would play with the boxes. Within four minutes, one kid not only opened the box, found the on-off switch … powered it up. Within five days, they were using 47 apps per child, per day. Within two weeks, they were singing ABC songs in the village, and within five months, they had hacked Android,” Negroponte said. “Some idiot in our organization or in the Media Lab had disabled the camera, and they figured out the camera, and had hacked Android.”
Elaborating later on Negroponte’s hacking comment, Ed McNierney, OLPC’s chief technology officer, said that the kids had gotten around OLPC’s effort to freeze desktop settings. “The kids had completely customized the desktop—so every kids’ tablet looked different. We had installed software to prevent them from doing that,” McNierney said. “And the fact they worked around it was clearly the kind of creativity, the kind of inquiry, the kind of discovery that we think is essential to learning.”
“If they can learn to read, then they can read to learn,” Negroponte said (see “Emtech Preview: Another Way to Think About Learning”).
In an interview after his talk, Negroponte said that while the early results are promising, reaching conclusions about whether children could learn to read this way would require more time. “If it gets funded, it would need to continue for another a year and a half to two years to come to a conclusion that the scientific community would accept,” Negroponte said. “We’d have to start with a new village and make a clean start.”
The idea of dropping off tablets outside of the context of schools is a new paradigm for OLPC. Through the late 2000s, the company was focused on delivering a custom miniaturized and ruggedized laptop, the XO, of which about 3 million have been distributed to kids in 40 countries. Deployments went to schools including ones in Peru (see “Una Laptop por Nino”).
Giving computers directly to poor kids without any instruction is even more ambitious than OLPC’s earlier pushes. “What can we do for these 100 million kids around the world who don’t go to school?” McNierney said. “Can we give them tool to read and learn—without having to provide schools and teachers and textbooks and all that?”
Ethiopia: Government continues to target peaceful Muslim protest movement
2 November 2012
Ethiopia: Government continues to target peaceful Muslim protest movement
The Ethiopian authorities are committing human rights violations in response to the ongoing Muslim protest movement in the country. Large numbers of protestors have been arrested, many of whom remain in detention. There are also numerous reports of police using excessive force against peaceful demonstrators. Key figures within the movement have been charged with terrorism offences. Most of those arrested and charged appear to have been targeted solely because of their participation in a peaceful protest movement.
Tens of thousands of Muslims have participated in regular peaceful protests throughout 2012, opposing alleged government interference in Islamic affairs. Protestors accuse the government of attempting to impose the teachings of the Al Ahbash sect of Islam on the Muslim community and of interference in elections for the Supreme Council of Islamic Affairs.
Ethiopia’s Constitution prohibits state involvement in religious affairs. The Constitution also contains an expansive provision on the right to peacefully protest, which is routinely flouted by the authorities.
Allegations of excessive use of force by police
An incident that occurred in Gerba town, in the South Wollo zone of the Amhara region, on Sunday 21 October -during which police officers fired on civilians, killing at least three people and injuring others – raises serious questions about the use of deadly force against protestors. In speaking about the incident to the media, the government confirmed the three deaths but claimed that protestors had attacked a police station armed with machetes and hand guns to try to secure the release of another protestor who had been arrested earlier in the day. The government also stated that a police officer was killed in the alleged attack. However, the protestors report that they had peacefully demanded and secured the release of the arrested person during the morning of 21 October and the protest had subsequently dispersed. Later in the day federal police, called in as reinforcements, arrived at the mosque in Gerba town and opened fire, targeting people coming out of the mosque as well as others in the vicinity. One man told Amnesty International that he had seen a police officer killed in the ensuing violence. Other witnesses said they could not confirm any police deaths. An unknown number of arrests are reported to have taken place during the incident on 21 October and more arrests reportedly occurred in the aftermath of the incident, including the arrests of people who spoke to the media about events.
Amnesty International has previously reported on similar, incidents of police allegedly using excessive force. In July Amnesty International called for an investigation into two incidents – at Awalia and Anwar mosques in Addis Ababa – in relation to which numerous allegations were made about excessive use of force by police, including firing live ammunition and beating protestors in the street and in detention, resulting in many injuries among protestors. However, no investigation has taken place to Amnesty International’s knowledge.
Amnesty International is also calling for an independent investigation into an incident that took place in Asasa town, Arsi district, Oromia region in April in which the police reportedly shot dead at least four people. Reports about the incident from the government and from those involved differ widely. The violence is reported to have occurred when the police attempted to arrest an Imam from the mosque. In statements to the press after the event, the government stated that supporters of the Imam attacked the police station to try to secure his release. However, local sources told the media that the police had opened fire in the town when supporters tried to prevent the man’s arrest. The government claimed the Imam had been preaching extremist ideology. However the protestors claim that the attempted arrest was because the Imam had refused to undergo ‘training’ in Al Ahbash ideology, which the government had made obligatory for Muslim preachers.
Use of Anti-Terrorism legislation against leaders of peaceful protest movement
On 29 October, 28 men and one woman were formally charged with ‘terrorist acts’ and ‘planning…, incitement and attempt of terrorist acts’ under the Anti-Terrorism Proclamation (2009) in relation to their involvement in the protest movement. Two Muslim organisations were also charged under the same law with ‘rendering support to terrorism.’ Those charged include nine members of the committee selected by the Muslim community to represent their grievances to the government, and one journalist, Yusuf Getachew, who works for the publication Ye’Muslimoch Guday (Muslim Affairs).
These individuals appear to have been arrested and charged solely because they exercised their human rights to freedom of expression and to participate in a peaceful protest movement. Since its introduction in 2009 the excessively broad Anti-Terrorism Proclamation has predominantly been used to prosecute dissenters and critics of the government, including journalists and members of political opposition parties.
At least 24 of those charged on 29 October were arrested in mid-July and have been held on remand under the Anti-Terrorism Proclamation, which allows for up to four months of investigative detention without charge. The defendants were detained illegally for the last five days before the charges were brought, after the police and prosecutors failed to turn up to a hearing on 24 October at which they were required to present charges and evidence, causing the judge to declare the case closed, according to one of the lawyers for the defendants. However, the judge did not order the release of the group, who were then brought to court on 29 October and charged.
A senior representative of the government told Amnesty International that the arrested individuals instigated violence and were trying to undermine the Constitution under the guise of religion. Similar statements from other senior members of the government have also been reported in the media. Amnesty International is concerned that, in a country where the government has significant influence over the courts, these comments may undermine the right of the accused to presumption of innocence.
The government has repeatedly attempted to paint the protest movement as violent and terrorist-related in statements to the media and in parliament. However, the vast majority of the protests are reported to be peaceful, and peaceful tactics have repeatedly been used by the protestors, including silent demonstrations and holding up white material, paper and ribbons as a sign of peaceful intent. While a few isolated incidents of violence have occurred, these have taken place during episodes where excessive police force is alleged. According to the accounts of the protestors, it was the actions of the police that triggered a violent response. Independent investigations are required to establish the course of events during these incidents.
Continued arrests and detention of peaceful protestors
Since July, when large numbers of arrests took place and incidents occurred at Awalia and Anwar mosques in Addis Ababa, protests have continued to take place in several regions, including in the towns of Dessie, Jimma, Harar, Shashemene, Adama, Bati, Kemise, and Robe. In addition to the original grievances of the movement, the protestors also demonstrated against the continued detention of members of the committee chosen to represent the Muslim community’s grievances to the government. Arrests, arbitrary detention and harassment of protestors are reported to have taken place in a number of locations.� Many of these reports have included allegations of police beating protestors, and the use of tear gas against peaceful demonstrations has been alleged in at least two locations.
Many demonstrations occurred in advance of elections for the Supreme Council of Islamic Affairs, which took place on 7 October. Although the long delay in holding the elections was one of the central grievances of the movement, the protestors raised several serious concerns in relation to the elections, including: the fact that the elections took place while their chosen representatives remained in detention; the level of control the government had over the poll; and the rejection of the protestors’ long-standing demand that the elections should be held in mosques instead of in kebele (local administration) offices. Demonstrators also allege that the government was coercing voters in advance of the election, threatening the withdrawal of access to state resources and other repercussions for those who did not vote. In statements made to Amnesty International and to the media, members of the protest movement have reported that a significant proportion of the Muslim community boycotted the poll, although the government declared the elections a success.
It is not known how many protestors are now in detention. Hundreds of arrests have been made over recent months. Of the large numbers who were arrested around the two July incidents, as reported by Amnesty International on 25 July, many were detained for a few days and subsequently released. However, an unknown number remain in detention, in Maikelawi, Ziway and other detention centres.
Efforts to prevent reporting on the government’s response to the protests
The government has sought to prevent reporting on the protest movement. Two colleagues of Yusuf Getachew from Ye’Muslimoch Guday fled the country after Yusuf was arrested and their own houses were searched. Neither Ye’Muslimoch Guday nor two other Muslim publications – weeklies Selefiah and Sewtul Islam – have been published since the July events. A correspondent for Voice of America was temporarily detained on 5 October in Addis Ababa while reporting on protests against the Supreme Council elections, and was told to delete any interviews she had recorded with protestors.
The response of the Ethiopian government to the protest movement has involved widespread violations of human rights. There has been almost no effort on the part of the authorities to engage with the protestors on their grievances or to put in place mechanisms for dialogue.
Amnesty International believes that the majority, if not all of those arrested, have been detained for exercising their right to peaceful protest, as protected under the Ethiopian Constitution and international law. The organization is calling on the Ethiopian authorities to release immediately and unconditionally any individuals who have been detained for their participation in protest actions. All detainees who remain in detention without charge must be brought swiftly before a judicial authority. Where credible evidence of a criminal offence exists people must be charged promptly, or should be immediately and unconditionally released. All detainees must have their rights in detention upheld, be provided with full access to legal representatives, medical care if they require it and to family members.
The reports of police use of excessive force against protestors in Gerba on 21 October, in Addis Ababa in July and in Asasa in April, must be properly investigated through processes that meet international standards in relation to impartiality and credibility. If enough admissible evidence of crimes is found, suspected perpetrators should be prosecuted in effective trial proceedings that meet international standards.
� These incidents have been reported in local and Diaspora media, on social media sites, and in information submitted directly to Amnesty International.
(LOS ANGELES TIMES) — Reeyot Alemu missed an important dinner engagement in Beverly Hills. But she had a good excuse.
The 31-year-old journalist is jailed in the notoriously brutal, rodent-infested Kaliti prison in Addis Ababa, the capital of Ethiopia. She’s two years into a five-year sentence for daring to write about poverty, opposition politics and gender equality.
The dinner she missed Monday was the annual awards ceremony, at the Beverly Hills Hotel, for the International Women’s Media Foundation, which celebrates courageous women journalists.
This year’s honorees included Alemu, whose detention will be reviewed next week by Ethiopia’s highest court, organizers said. There’s only modest reason to be hopeful, although the attention of the award could put pressure on the regime.
Even from prison, Alemu declined to be silent.
“Shooting the people who march through the streets demanding freedom and democracy; jailing the opposition party leaders and journalists… preventing freedom of speech, association and the press; corruption and domination of one tribe are some of the bad doings of our government,” she wrote in accepting one of three courage awards.
“I know that I would pay the price for my courage and I was ready to accept that price,” she wrote.
Another honoree, Khadija Ismayilova of Azerbaijan, was jolted into serious journalism by the death of investigative reporter Elmar Huseynov.
“He was shot — five bullets in the mouth,” Ismayilova said. “Shot dead in front of his door.”
Another colleague survived having his legs run over by a car and then being left for dead, simply for asking how a charity controlled by the president’s wife was funded. She decided that a pervasive silence of self-censorship about corruption had to be broken.
Ismayilova, 36, works for Radio Free Europe, which, as a foreign-based operation, may offer some protection from outright brutality. It didn’t stop powerful forces from installing hidden video equipment in her bedroom.
Blackmailers threatened to post intimate footage of her and her boyfriend unless she backed off.
“I was surprised with my reaction,” she said. “I discovered that anger is bigger than fear.”
She continued her work, and the video was posted online — instantly making her a target for harm in the socially conservative Muslim country.
She kept working, and soon aired a story about how the president’s family benefited financially from an expensive vanity project — building the world’s tallest flagpole. Within six months, another regional autocrat built a pole two meters higher.
“I’m not chasing them,” she said of President Ilham Aliyev and his family, who’ve become the focus of her repeated reports on corruption. “Just whatever you did, their names pop out.”
She added: “I had like bodyguards for a couple of months, but I don’t need it. It doesn’t prevent anything. They are much more powerful than I am and they can do whatever they want. They can kill me if they want.
“So it doesn’t make sense to think about it. I do what I want to do…I will do my work.”
The third honoree, Asmaa al-Ghoul, a journalist/blogger from Gaza, gained widespread attention in 2007 when she published a critical letter to her uncle, a military leader of Hamas, the faction which controls Gaza. It was titled “Dear Uncle, Is This the Homeland We Want?”
The letter criticized him for forcing Islamic views on the population and using the family home to interrogate and beat members of the rival political group Fatah.
She’s been arrested and beaten twice by Hamas — once when she was writing about the Arab spring, and again about her desire for an independent Palestine under a united government.
In an interview, al-Ghoul said that Gaza suffers from three overlapping occupations: by Israeli forces who send helicopters overhead and drop bombs, and also by the oppression of the two main, rival Palestinian factions.
At Monday’s dinner, a lifetime achievement award went to Zubeida Mustafa of Pakistan, who is 70 and nearly blind, but continues to write. She was saluted as a woman who opened the doors of the newsroom to other women in her country.
ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia (AP) — As midday prayers came to an end at the Grand Anwar mosque in Ethiopia’s capital, worshippers continued on to what has become a regular second act on Fridays — shouting anti-government slogans.
The demonstrations this Friday did not turn violent. But tensions are rising between the government in this mostly Christian country and Muslim worshippers. On Monday, federal prosecutors charged a group of 29 Muslims with terrorism and working to establish an Islamic republic.
Not all encounters between police and the protesters have been peaceful. In July, hundreds were arrested after a scuffle in the mosque that injured many and damaged property, including city buses.
Religious violence outside the capital has killed eight and wounded about a dozen this year in two incidents, including one last month when protesters tried to free jailed Muslim leaders in the Amhara region. Protests first erupted in December after the state, wary of Islamist extremists, wanted to change the leadership of a religious school in the capital.
The government also expelled two Arabs in May after the pair flew in from Middle East and disseminated pamphlets at the Anwar mosque. Two-thirds of Ethiopians are Christians; the rest are Muslims.
Ethiopia’s former leader, Meles Zenawi, before he died in August expressed concern over rising fundamentalism he said was evident by the first discovery of an al-Qaida cell in the country. A federal court is scheduled to rule Monday in the case of 11 people charged with being members of al-Qaida. One Kenyan national has already pleaded guilty.
Protesters also accuse the government of unconstitutionally encouraging a moderate teaching of Islam called Al-Ahbash and dictating the election of community leaders to support it at an Addis Ababa religious school.
Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn, speaking to parliament on Oct. 16, said the government fully respects freedom of religion and “would not interfere in the affairs of religion just as religion would not interfere in matters of politics.” He blamed “extremist elements” for the protests. He said some protesters “tried to activate a hidden political agenda under the pretext of religion.”
On Monday, federal prosecutors charged a group of 29 people, including the jailed activists, with terrorism.
The group, including a wife of a senior Cabinet minister, now faces charges including leading a covert movement to undermine the country’s secular constitution and establish an Islamic republic. Prosecutors say the group incited violence and called for jihad against the federal government.
The minister’s wife, Habiba Mohammed, is charged with coordinating finances for the group. Police say she was caught leaving the Saudi Arabian embassy in Addis Ababa with nearly $3,000. Other suspects are also charged with receiving pay from the embassy “to preach extremism.”
Before the charges were filed, the minister defended his wife, saying he had asked the Saudi ambassador for the money to help construct a mosque their family is building.
Rights groups are concerned about the trial and the use of an anti-terrorism law which they say has been used in past trials to silence dissent, not prosecute terrorists.
“Many of these trials have been politically motivated and marred by serious due process violations. The Ethiopian authorities should allow systematic independent trial monitoring, including by human rights organizations, throughout the trial,” said Laetitia Bader of Human Rights Watch.
One protester on Friday said his group is changing the color used in past protests, yellow, to white to underscore that the jailed leaders are peaceful activists, not terrorists.
You are hearing it from the horse’s mouth: the group ruling Ethiopia under the moniker of EPRDF is corrupt head to toe, according to a pro-regime newspaper. The mastermind of the group is the Tigre Peoples Liberation Front (TPLF). The TPLF has engineered the largest transfer of wealth from a much-suffering population to a small tribalist coterie. The pro government paper is bringing up the issue of corruption to facilitate the purge of undesirables, to ensure Tigrian rule and to avoid systemic collapse.
Cleaning up house critical for EPRDF
By Reporter (thereporterethiopia.com)
October 27, 2012
It is not inconceivable for the ruling Ethiopian Peoples’ Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) to enjoy a popular base and support if it has the desire. Of course, this requires that it continually strengthens itself, which, in turn, calls for it to display the courage and determination to clean up its house.
Failure to pursue such a course is bound to polarize it with the public and lead to schisms and its eventual demise.
Why does the EPRDF need to engage in a courageous and determined house cleaning?
1. It is riddled with corrupt ion from top to bottom!
True, there are leaders and members within the ranks of the EPRDF who serve the public with integrity and stand for change and development. On the other end of the spectrum, however, there exist those who have are disinclined to serve the public and are intent on advancing their selfish interests through any means, including corruption. If bold actions are not latter taken to purge the latter, they will eat the Front from inside out and hasten its implosion.
2. Incapable and yet smooth-talking leaders, members abound
The fact that appointments are based not on merit but rather on one’s perceived loyalty is making it difficult for the EPRDF to further its objectives and duly fulfill the public’s demand. Consequently, these leaders and members are causing the public to lose confidence in and respect for the Front.
3. There is lack of a strong bond between member organizations and within
There is no denying that the EPRDF is more united than opposition
parties. Had such unity not been in evidence the smooth power transition that took place recently would not have materialized.
But let’s not delude ourselves. In terms of the level of unity that is required in the face of local and global challenges, there still is a long way to go before the EPRDF can be deemed to be strongly united. There is a clear absence, both within individual member parties and the EPRDF in general, of the will to conduct the necessary critical self-assessment which is vital to ensure that they are solidly united.
4. Plans are not executed effectively and with the requisite alacrity
The government of Ethiopia has adopted the 5-year Growth and Transformation Plan (GTP). Already into its third year, the plan is not being implemented according to schedule. In some places development endeavors have practically ground to a halt. The justice system is breaking down. The government is not collecting the revenue needed to accomplish objectives it has set out to. Properties and monies that the country can ill afford to waste are being squandered. The aspirations and wishes of the government and the public are not being fulfilled at expected pace. And both the federal and regional governments are not making unstinting and resolute efforts. All this makes it incumbent on them to display the courage and the fortitude to get their act together.
5. The EPRDF is not promoting itself effectively
The people of Ethiopia are very much willing to support the government as well as to demonstrate patriotism and civility. The admirable unity and good manners they showed recently both at a time of national mourning following the death of the late Prime Minister Meles Zenawi and national joy in the wake of the qualification of the country for the 2013 African Cup bear testimony to this fact.
Nevertheless, this does not imply that they do not fault the EPRDF no matter what.
For instance, they are unhappy with the sad state of justice in Ethiopia, with the unwillingness of most government and party officials to listen to their grievances. As a result the public is not being engaged in the manner it expects and indeed deserves by the federal, regional and local governments. We can go on and on about the grievances the public has; this is just illustrative of the scores of problems confronting the public has and is sufficient to make our point.
The problems did not begin to surface after the transition of power, however; they have been around for some time now. What we are saying is that if the newly elected prime minister and chairman of the EPRDF, Hailemariam Desalegn, is to steer Ethiopia on the path to a sustainable and sustained development it is imperative that he cleans up the EPRDF for it’s only then that the government and party he heads can provide the required strong leadership.
The constituent parties of the EPRDF and the Front itself are set to hold their respective congresses in a few months’ time. Hence, they have to start preparations for an honest and constructive self-evaluation that is conducted without fear or favor.
Neither Ethiopia nor its people stand to benefit if either the ruling and opposition parties are enfeebled. In the context of the grave challenges both from within and outside, the nation’s interest could be particularly jeopardized if the ruling EPRDF does not emerge stronger until the next elections.
Therefore, given that one of the key factors essential for the building of a strong and democratic nation which enjoys rapid economic growth and brings about prosperity for its citizens is the existence of a stable and people-centered government, it is high time that the EPRDF exerts a courageous and determined effort aimed at cleaning up its house. The sooner the better!
By Messay Kebede
Scholars loyal to the Woyanne regime, often for the sake of ethnic solidarity, but with some scruples left for the objectivity of scholarly studies engage in a risky project when they undertake the assessment of Meles Zenawi’s rule of Ethiopia. While their main intention is to bring out and defend what they consider to be undeniable achievements, their scholarly bent prevents them from simply overlooking or painting in rosy terms his obvious shortcomings and failures. So they adopt an approach that presents the good and the bad sides of Meles with the hope that the positive aspect will significantly outweigh the negative one. Unfortunately for them, even their modicum objectivity ends up by sneaking drawbacks so toxic that the general picture becomes that of a colossal fiasco.
A case in point is Medhane Tadesse’s paper titled “Meles Zenawi and the Ethiopian State,” recently posted, to my surprise, on Aiga website. The paper is a commendable attempt at an objective assessment of Meles’s accomplishments. Medhane first explains the rise of Meles through the defeat of all his opponents, which rise he attributes to his personal qualities, such as quick intelligence, communication skills, impressive erudition, and remarkable aptitudes in political maneuvering. In view of these qualities, his rivals, who often had impressive military records, could do little to stop his rise to absolute power, which became effective in 2001 when he defeated an influential splinter group within the TPLF.
Medhane does not hesitate to say that Meles’s victory was a “serious blow to democratic centralism and collective leadership” and that the consolidation of his absolute power was done at the expense of the TPLF as a ruling party. He rightly argues that Meles marginalized the TPLF by centralizing all power, notably by uniting state power and party leadership in his person, thereby creating a power base independent of the TPLF. Clearly, the assessment is moving decisively toward a critical appraisal of Meles’s rule, and so is in line with the view of the splinter group ascribing the numerous problems that Ethiopia faces today to the missteps of a dictatorial deviation.
With great pain, Medhane manages to find the positive side in the alleged economic success of Meles’s policy. Even so, his assessment falls short of being affirmative: he does speak of the theory of developmental state as a promising orientation, but nowhere indicates that it produced notable results. Instead, his skepticism transpires when he writes: Meles “attempted to reorient Ethiopia’s political economy by carrying out far-reaching reforms, and in particular introducing the fundamentals, for what it’s worth, of an Ethiopian version of a developmental state.” Not only do we not feel any enthusiasm for the “far-reaching reforms,” but also the whole economic orientation of the country is greeted with a marked skeptical tone.
By contrast, Medhane underlines the democratic shortcomings of Meles’s regime and its “wholesale offensive against any form of independent centers of power such as free media, free organization, free business, persecution of critical journalists and enactment of repressive laws.” Thus, if on top of stifling democratic changes in the county, Meles did not score any appreciable gains in the economic field, what is left to say except that his 20 years rule was a total failure? Hence my puzzlement as to the reason why the pro-Meles Aiga website posted the article. Is it because Aiga people did not understand the content of the article? Or is it the beginning of a critical look at Meles’s alleged achievements, especially now that it becomes clear that he left the TPLF in disarray?
But no sooner did I hope for such an evolution than I noticed that the article was removed from the website. Instead, a new paper of 20 pages criticizing the analysis of Medhane was posted, as though Aiga was correcting its mistake and forcefully reaffirming its pro-Meles stand. Written by Habtamu Alebachew and titled “Tadese Madhane and his ‘Post-Meles Reform Agenda’: Quest for Logic and Relevance,” the paper reasserts the customary position of Meles’s supporters. The paper rambles through 20 pages about political reforms and the developmental state with the clear purpose of metamorphosing preconceived ideological positions into serious theoretical insights. It denounces contradictions in Medhane’s article and is completely devoid of any critical appraisal of Meles.
It is really not necessary to go into Habtamu’s arguments because they provide nothing more than a smoke screen destined to confuse readers by tired rhetoric and laudatory exaggerations. To give you an idea, we find such laughable statements as “in clearest terms, Meles Zenawi is both a regime breaker and a regime founder as much prominent as Moa and Lenin were.” Habtamu qualifies the post-2010 government of Meles as “a dynamic and functioning regime or the developmental state in action probably as exactly intended and designed.” He defines the government as a “success story” and entirely dismisses its so-called democratic shortcomings.
Unsurprisingly, in light of the undeniable success of Meles, Habtamu concludes that any talk of reform must assume one direction, which is that it must be “a reform proposal within an undergoing and unfinished reform project.” In other words, reform must deepen and perfect Meles’s project; it cannot be an advocacy of a different path or a return to a previous model of economic and political development. Here the author cannot refrain from sharing his major worry about possible reversals when he writes: “I have every reason to get alarmed about the possible abortion of this reform.”
When one contrasts the two assessments, despite obvious differences, one finds an underlying common belief. Indeed, Medhane’s criticisms presuppose the belief that Meles had a genuine desire to develop Ethiopia but failed. To validate this assumption, Medhane portrays Meles as a leader fascinated by the economic development of East Asian countries and suggests that “the main objective” of his conversion to the ideology of the developmental state “was to secure regional prominence as a stabilizing force, raise the status of the country, and increase its relevance which will in turn would attract international finances.” Thus, to make sense of Medhane’s paper, we have to keep in mind the underlying assumption, to wit, that Meles had the good intention of developing Ethiopia and that his good intention was derailed by a mistaken ideological belief in the phenomenal potential of the developmental state.
For Habtamu, the so-called derailment is actually a prerequisite for the realization of the developmental state so that what is required is not to change course but to relentless pursue the same path until all the fruits materialize, one of which being the progressive democratization of the country. Simply put, Meles had to suspend democratization in order to create the condition of democracy, especially in view of the fact that reactionary forces almost gained political prominence in the 2005 election.
Clearly, the two approaches agree on the good intention of Meles: the one maintains that it was derailed, the other claims that it was unfinished, but both agree in saying that Meles wanted the economic and democratic blossoming of Ethiopia. The fact that they share a basic principle (good intention) and yet end up in conflicting analyses questions nothing less than the feasibility of the basic agreement. Their divergent evaluations indicate that their point of departure is untenable and hence invite a different thesis. Since the truthfulness of the different thesis solely lies in its ability to explain the conflicting interpretations, it distinguishes itself by its coherence, which is the mark of a sound theoretical approach.
Medhane denounces the gap between theory and practice, that is, between the good intention and the actual outcomes. Habtamu retorts by saying that there is no gap; there is simply a misunderstanding of the theory, notably of its requirements. The truth is that, every time that there is a conflict between practice and theory, we should suspect the presence of what Karl Marx diagnosed as false consciousness. Far from theory guiding practice, the reverse works for false conscience in that practice guides theory but in such a way that the gap between the two is legitimized, excused, or masked.
Thus, Medhane posits good intention and interprets the gap of practice as derailment. But what if said derailment is in reality the realization of an intention that was not originally blameless? This means that Meles opted for the developmental state because it enabled him to justify a dictatorial rule, which is then the original intention. Accordingly, Meles was consistent all along: he wanted dictatorship, which he however masked by the discourse on developmental state. In justifying dictatorship as necessary to bring about development, the discourse effected a transmutation, for what serves a good cause can no longer be characterized as evil.
This is exactly how Habtamu argues: he metamorphoses the shortcomings of Meles into prerequisites for the implementation of a good cause. Consequently, there are no shortcomings or deviations since they are necessary steps in the actualization of the project. Above all, there is no dictatorship because it is the progressive actualization of a benevolent cause. The road ahead, it follows, must be the continuation of an unfinished project, and not its criticism in the name of immature concern.
Clearly, only the replacement of the good intention by a malicious one can correct the contradiction between the two approaches. The substitution explains the option for the developmental state and portrays the shortcoming, not as postponed future benefits, but as inherent outcomes of a dictatorial goal. Meles neither missed nor paced an alleged initial good intention: he implemented what he originally wanted, namely, absolute power and control.
In this regard, Meles did not see the 2005 electoral defeat of his party as “a pointless disruption,” as Medhane claims. Nor did he perceive it as a setback caused by “internal failures” and an occasion to deepen “aggressively . . . the reform,” as Habtamu puts it. Rather, he reached the realization that his dictatorial project could not go hand in hand with democratic opening, however small the opening may be. The point is that Meles’s dictatorial project, essentially driven by his narcissistic personality, craved for popular approval, obvious as it is that his hunger for personal grandeur needed popular confirmation through regular democratic elections.
The rise and popularity of Kinijit made him realize that the quest for a democratic approval was no longer achievable. The 2005 election result was therefore an awakening from his illusion about his popularity and underestimation of the opposition. Predictably, profoundly humiliated by the electoral success of the opposition, he reacted violently and since then opted for an attenuated version of the North Korean type of dictatorship in which he would obtain the popularity that he wants by silencing the opposition and subjecting the people to brainwashing and personality cult.
I thus agree with Medhane when he says that the reversal of democratic opening in 2005 was a strategy to “change the national mood and turn the opposition into a fringe movement and the margins of society.” Where I differ is when Medhane assumes that he planned to obtain the change by developing the country economically so that ordinary people will support him as they see improvements in their conditions of life. To say so goes against the general consensus describing Meles as well-read and smart. I do not deny that he had such qualities, but I also raise the question of knowing how a well-read and smart person launches a developmental state while perfectly knowing that he has none of the necessary political conditions, not to mention the fact that he surrounded himself by corrupt and incompetent people (on this issue, see my article Meles Zenawi’s Political Dilemma and the Developmental State: Dead-Ends and Exit, ttp://www.scribd.com/doc/58593218/Debate-on-Developmental-State-Ethiopian-Scholars).
Again, what Meles liked in the developmental state is not the economic prospects but the dictatorial aspect, that is, the centralization of all power in the name of economic development. Otherwise, he would have tried to create the necessary preconditions which, as indicated in the above cited article, include a turn toward a genuine nationalist policy and the championing of leadership competence and integrity in all decision-making apparatuses. The truth is that Meles’s grandiosity could not be content with a petty dictatorship; it needed the appearance of serving a noble cause. Since the decline of the socialist ideology and the prevalence of liberalism, what else is left of forms of dictatorial rule with some usable prestige but the developmental state?
This is so true that his successors, aware of the hollowness of Mele’s legacy, cannot see any other way of protecting their status and interests than by glorifying to the point of ridicule his person and “achievements” and vowing to continue his policy in the hope of acquiring some legitimacy. This is exactly the message of Habtamu’s article: let us not undermine by critical appraisal the form of dictatorship guaranteeing the protection of our positions and interests. The only way forward for us is to canonize Meles and to present ourselves as the disciples eager to continue the crusade for the developmental state.
To sum up, the only consistent evaluation of Meles’s rule is the one centered on his fundamental goal of absolute power. Nothing of what Meles has done is intelligible unless we relate it to absolute power as his driving ethos. Any other working thesis lands nowhere but in the contradictory idea of derailment or the abuse of mystification. It is high time to call a spade a spade, especially for those who are beginning to wake up from the illusions of ethno-nationalist discourses.
(The writer can be reached at email@example.com)