Archive for the ‘Ethiopian News’ Category

PM Hailemariam Desalegn heads to Kenya

Wednesday, November 21st, 2012

AFRICA REVIEW — Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn is expected to arrive in Kenya on November 21, for a two day state visit.

The Ethiopian leader is expected to engage his Kenyan counterpart President Mwai Kibaki on ways to enhance their bilateral relationship.

This is his first visit to Kenya since being sworn in two months ago.

Mr Hailemariam was elected as the country’s head after the death of Prime Minister Meles Zenawi in September 2012.

Kenya had in March 2012 signed a power deal with Ethiopia to import 400 megawatts of electricity annually.

Meanwhile, the chairperson of the African Union Commission, Dr Nkosozana Dlamini-Zuma, is expected to hold a high profile meeting with stakeholders to discuss the continent’s food situation.

The meeting is scheduled to take place at the AUC headquarters in Addis Ababa and will include personalities like Mr Graziano da Silva, the Director-General of the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) and Mr LuizInácio Lula da Silva, the Honorary President of the Instituto Lula.

The talks will centre on the renewed partnership to fight hunger and under nutrition in Africa.

Despite the recent increase in per capita food production in the continent, along with the implementation of programmes to eradicate hunger and poverty, millions still struggle with food insecurity.

The 2012 state of food insecurity in the world notes that the number of undernourished people increased by 64 million in the last decade to 239 million people by 2012. … index.html

Seyoum Mesfin receiving medical treatment at a Washington hospital

Tuesday, November 20th, 2012

Seyoum MesfinFormer 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.

This is some text!

[Source: Ethiopian Review]

ESAT transmission temporarily down

Tuesday, November 20th, 2012

… and other news. Listen below:


Journalism is Not Terrorism: EFF

Tuesday, November 20th, 2012

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.

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.


Follow EFF

Journalism is not terrorism. Join @PenAmerican and @EFF in fighting to free #EskinderNega

[Source: Ethiopian Review]

Ethiopian Review’s 2012 Top 5 Political Turkeys

Tuesday, November 20th, 2012

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.

Your comments are welcomed.

[Source: Ethiopian Review]

A new research tries to mitigate Egyptian concern over the Nile dam project

Tuesday, November 20th, 2012

Egypt, Ethiopia Tiff Over Nile Dam Continues

Posted on November 19, 2012 01:18 pm under Business, Strategies & Solutions

VENTURES AFRICA – New research has suggested there is sufficient water in the Nile to support all 10 countries it flows through.

This emerged on Monday as Ethiopia’s massive dam-building plans continued to cause disquiet in downstream Egypt.

Simon Langan, the head of East Africa and Nile Basin Office of the International Water Management Institute, said: “”We would argue that physically there is enough water in the Nile for all the riparian countries.”

He made this statement as Ethiopia and Egypt are at each other’s throats over the former’s actions along the Nile River.

Top Ethiopia government officials have reportedly said they are looking at jumpstarting the massive Renaissance Dam project along the Nile River in an effort to increase water resources and energy for the East African country.

Political analysts have said this could threaten regional stability. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has also called on Addis Ababa to push the dam project to the backburner in order to focus on other economic initiatives.

While Cairo has denied any intention of attacking the dam, as reported by whistleblower website Wikileaks, the country’s Water Resources and Irrigation Minister Mohamed Bahaa el-Din has reportedly said that Egypt was maintaining its concerns about the construction of the Renaissance Dam in Ethiopia.

“What we really need to do is make sure that there is access to this water… Poverty rates are about 17 percent in Egypt but for five of the upstream riparian countries it is more like 50 percent. So, this access to water is very important,” Langan said, speaking at the Addis Ababa launch of the River Nile Basin. … continues/

Memorial service for Yenesew Gebre at St. Gebriel Church in Washington DC – Nov. 25

Tuesday, November 20th, 2012

Memorial service for Yenesew Gebre at St. Gebriel Church in Washington DC – Nov. 25, 2012

What is the purpose of a government?

Tuesday, November 20th, 2012

The purpose of government is to provide a system in which individuals give portion of their freedom in order to pursue needs and wants without the fears that are inherent in a state of anarchy.

In an anarchic system, individuals must protect and provide completely for themselves, and those with greater power are able to offend those with lesser power without consequence. In a system of government, the freedom to acquire and offend at will is subjugated to the will of the governed; and, in return, the governed are better able to produce without fear of loss.
Therefore, at its most basic level, the purpose of government is to protect the people from threats, both within and out.

Government also ensures justice within the nation. Meaning, the law must be fair, unbiased, and logical, provides a basic system of defense against enemies of the state, and provides education, infrastructure, and health facilities. The most fundamental of human needs which includes education, food, health facilities are satisfied through the policy of governance. Government provides infrastructure so that these needs are met.

Some naïve Ethiopians are foolishly praising the Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) for providing education, infrastructure, and health facilities. The EPRDF is expected to provide all these services to Ethiopians. In fact, EPRDF is required to provide more services than it has provided thus far. I, personally, do not see the logic of praising a government when it is minimally doing only what it is supposed to do. Instead of congratulating a dictatorial government, we, Ethiopians, should be asking about human right issues. Where are our freedom, equality, and liberty?

In 21 years, the EPRDF not only failed to move Ethiopians toward self sufficiency, it has managed to effectively reduce Ethiopians to nothing, but recipients of foreign donations. For the past 21 years, the EPRDF did not only block us from realizing our dreams of freedom, equal rights and self-determination for all, it also subjected us to decades of subjugation and exploitation.

Over the years, I have also heard some EPRDF officials and their supporters say that "Ethiopians are not yet ripe for democracy/freedom." They say that it will take more time to prepare them or to get them ripped.

If one accepts this assumption, democracy/freedom will never be achieved in Ethiopia; for one cannot arrive at the maturity for democracy/freedom without having already acquired it; one must be free to learn how to make use of one’s powers freely and usefully. One can achieve reason only through one’s own experiences, and one must be free to undertake them. To accept the principle that freedom is worthless for those under one’s control and that one has to sit idle to let his rulers rule forever, is an infringement on the right of God himself, who has created man to be free.

All men have rights to be free and equal, and governments are instituted among men to secure these rights. The government in Ethiopia has become illegitimate for it continues to block Ethiopians from achieving their freedom and equality. Thus, when a government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right, it is the duty of the people to abolish it and institute new government.

Magn Nyang can be reached at

The Curious Case Of Journalists Martin Schibbye And Johan Persson

Tuesday, November 20th, 2012

By Alemayehu Fentaw Weldemariam

Martin Schibbye and Johan Persson, two Swedish journalists, were detained on 1 July 2011 after they were captured in Ethiopia during a fight between rebels from the Ogaden National Liberation Front (ONLF) and a contingent of the Ethiopian National Defence Forces (ENDF) in Ogaden. The two journalists were charged with violations of the Ethiopia anti-terrorism law and both acknowledged during their trial that they had entered Ethiopia illegally via Somalia accompanied by rebels from ONLF. However, they argued that their contacts with the ONLF were intended to help them enter a region the Ethiopian authorities would not allow journalists to enter. They alleged their purpose was to report on the activities of a Swedish oil company, Lundin Petroleum AB, in the Ogaden as well as allegations of human rights violations. Both of them denied terrorism charges, including claims that they had been given weapons training. They were, however, sentenced in December 2011 by the Third Criminal Bench of the Federal High Court to seven years in prison on the charge of abetting terrorism, which they denied, and another three years and 3 months for entering Ethiopia illegally, a charge to which they pleaded guilty. They were pardoned by the Ethiopian Government on 10 September 2012 and released the next day after serving nine months of their sentences.

Dr. Sisay Alemahu is an Ethiopian legal scholar at Åbo Akademi University in Finland. He posted on Facebook, “I have been asked about a hundred times about the imprisonment of the 2 Swedish journalists – with an undertone of ‘how did the government of your country dare to do so?’. The funny thing is that almost all those who asked me do not have any idea about the situation of journalists in Ethiopia. For many, it is the ‘Swedish brand’ that made the whole thing ridiculous. Nobody, including the journalists after their release, talks about their illegal entry into the country, etc. What I found more appalling is their allegation that they would have been ‘shot dead anytime along the period of their detention’ and their ‘degrading treatment’ without referring at all to how other Ethiopian prisoners in their situation were treated. I would never condone the imprisonment and mistreatment of any journalist as such, but the whole story about the SWEDISH journalists has been curiously funny. They are now vowing ‘to give back’ – help Ethiopia realize freedom of the press – I wish them luck.”

I replied to Sisay in the same Facebook thread, writing that “I think what makes the case of the Swedish journalists curious is not so much their national origin as the charge of terrorism. I beg to differ with your assertions. Getting indicted with charges of terrorism and aiding and abetting terrorism is fundamentally different from that of entering without a visa. How often do you think journalists cross borders in order to carry out their professional duties in conflict zones? How do you think journalists manage to get the news that we watch on a cable TV sitting comfortably in our couches or that we read in the papers sipping coffee almost every day?”

The surest way for a journalist to get the news is to be there, but gaining access to what can be described as a conflict zone is not easy. In order to do their jobs in a conflict zone, foreign journalists essentially have two options: either obtain a visa or enter illegally. Even large media outlets and wire news services such as Reuters, CNN, AFP, AP, and Bloomberg get us the news by maintaining correspondents on the ground at a great personal risk. Sisay may be unclear about this professional hazard as well as, for example, the many foreign journalists who entered Tigray via the Sudan in the company of the Tigrayan People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) to cover the humanitarian crisis that followed the civil war and drought in Tigray in the recent past.

Now the issue is whether sovereign states have to hold foreign journalists criminally liable for entering its territory without a visa. Any state has the right to control its borders and to establish entry requirements for foreign nationals, including making illegal entry a criminal offense. But that specific offense is different from the offense of terrorism. The Ogaden region has not been freely accessible to foreign journalists since December 2006 and, according to human rights watchdogs, the region has experienced terrible humanitarian crises since then, in great measure caused by the use of scorched-earth tactics by the ENDF in its operations against the ONLF, as well as to chronic drought.

At the risk of being called unpatriotic, I stand with Schibbye and Persson and don’t flinch in defending them. You can call them many things, but they are not terrorists. They are journalists exercising the internationally recognized freedom of the press. As the phrase goes, “they gots to do what they gots to do.”

Dr. Firew Kebede, an Ethiopian legal scholar at Deakin University School of Law, Melbourne, Australia, joined the debate. He wrote, “I think both of you are highlighting different aspects of the issue. Sisay, I hear you when you say that the matter received so much attention because it involved foreign nationals, particularly from the west, while numerous Ethiopians are being sent to prison on the ill-conceived “terrorism charges”. But even among Ethiopians, we only tend to talk of some high profile victims of these “terrorism” charges, while there are several hundreds being sent to prisons not only in Addis but also in so many small towns around the country. Elsewhere I stated that it is ridiculous for TPLF to accuse foreign journalists of terrorism while they fully know how western journalists were visiting them in Tigray mountains during the armed struggle without getting visas or papers from the government. They are being disingenuous. Another point, which is mute now, is that weren’t the Swedish journalists on a mission to make a documentary on corrupt Swedish politicians connected to a shoddy oil exploration contract in Ogaden? It seemed to me that their goal primarily was not to report on the war itself but on the oil deals? Did this contribute? What do you guys know about this?”

In the Ethiopia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ official weekly publication, A Week in the Horn, the Ministry claims, “In fact, Schibbye and Persson were very fortunate in being acquitted of terrorism charges after the court found they had not actually been involved in carrying out any terrorist activity. In fact, luckily for them, as the group they accompanied was clearly on an active mission, they were caught before any such activity took place.” An Ethiopian-American attorney, Bereket Tesfu, asserts also in the same vein that the two Swedish journalists were lucky to “(l)et alone be imprisoned, they should be counting their blessings that they survived a military confrontation between the Ethiopian army and ONLF and are already back home with their families.” What’s so disturbing about this line of thinking is its tendency to reduce the rule of law to good luck or fortune.

It would not be a mistake to think that the two Swedish journalists entered Ethiopia via Somalia knowing full well the legal risks of their actions. They were not ignorant nor did they miscalculate. They were aware that if arrested, they ran the risk of being convicted of illegally entering Ethiopia and sentenced to the maximum penalty for that the offense. But it is ridiculous to think that Schibbye and Persson were aiding and abetting terrorism. The Ethiopian Government declares that the ONLF is a terrorist organization and that being affiliated with it is by itself criminal. Well, my response to that assertion is: “One person’s terrorist is another’s freedom fighter.” The Ethiopian Government’s terrorism designation of the ONLF could easily have been applied to the TPLF if it had not succeeded in winning the civil war. What say you?

The Ethiopian Foreign Ministry also claims by way of a refutation that these two Swedish journalists did not enter Ethiopia to cover the activities of a Swedish oil company as they alleged, because there was no Swedish oil company operating in the region by the time Schibbye and Persson entered Ethiopia. Rather, according to the Foreign Ministry, they were in Ethiopia “to produce ‘evidence’ of atrocities” committed by the Ethiopian National Defence Forces against the Somali people of Ethiopia’s Ogaden region and to derail ongoing peace negotiations between a faction of the ONLF and the government.

In refuting the allegation that they were in Ethiopia to cover the business activities of a Swedish oil company, the Foreign Ministry makes a bold statement to the effect that “Lundin in fact sold its Ethiopian oil concessions to Africa Oil Corporation over three years ago, and Lundin now has nothing to do with any activities by Africa Oil in the Somali Regional State. Africa Oil itself is quite open about its activities and is in fact on record as noting that it hasn’t seen any of the violence claimed by the ONLF in the areas in which it operates.” The most surprising element of this statement is not so much the affirmation of the cessation of Lundin Petroleum AB’s activities in Ethiopia resulting from the transfer by sale of its oil concessions, but the use of Africa Oil Corporation as a witness to the Ethiopia Government’s impeccable human rights records in the Ogaden region. Whatever the merits of Africa Oil Corporation’s testimonials as to the state of human rights in Ethiopia, the truth of the matter is that Africa Oil Corporation is a subsidiary of the Lundin Group of Companies, which are under the overall management and guidance of Lukas H. Lundin and Ian H. Lundin. Africa Oil Corporation is an oil and gas company with assets in Kenya, Puntland, Ethiopia, and Mali as well as through its 45% equity interest in Horn Petroleum Corporation. The Company’s shares are listed on the TSX Venture Exchange under the symbol “AOI” and on the NASDAQ OMX First North Exchange under the symbol “AOI”. What emerges from the Foreign Ministry’s audaciously never-before-heard defense of Lundin Petroleum and Africa Oil Corporation is the whiff of something suspicious about the award of the concessions and its impact on the security of the region. In this regard, I can’t help but agree with Dr. Firew Kebede’s suggestion that the atrocities were not the only issue that Schibbye and Persson wanted to cover. It seems that they also wanted to cover the oil concessions concluded with Lundin Petroleum, its probably unseemly corporate behavior, and the subtle manner it tried to exit from the scene by transferring its Ethiopian oil concessions to what initially seemed a completely different company. It now seems that the Swedish journalists entered Ethiopia with the double purpose of exposing the atrocities committed by the ENDF and the activities of Africa Oil Corporation, a Canadian company belonging to the Swedish Lundin family. Looming shades of the Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest?

On an absurd note, however, what Ethiopian authorities did in response to Schibbye and Persson’s media appearance once they returned to Sweden was to block domestic Ethiopian access to the website of the Swedish state broadcaster Sveriges Television (SVT). If these journalists had been Ethiopians, their fate would have been same as Judge Birtukan Mideksa’s – revocation of their pardon and reincarceration. It was the speech that Judge Mideksa gave to her supporters in Sweden that got her into trouble again in Ethiopia.

What lessons did Schibbye and Persson learn from the Ethiopian legal system? One thing that is too important to ignore, which is that in Ethiopia journalists who investigate the government or criticize its policies and practices, whether home-grown or foreign, are presumed to be terrorists until they enter a plea for a pardon. This is currently the only way to secure a release from imprisonment and the larger prison called Ethiopia, because the Ethiopian authorities make no distinction between journalism and terrorism. Every dissenting journalist is presumed to be guilty until proven innocent. And innocence is only proven by pardon pleading.

Sisay’s observation can’t be downplayed none the less, given that Ethiopia’s own sons and daughters such as Woubshet Taye, Eskinder Nega, and Reeyot Alemu are still languishing in jail for no fault of theirs. The late Prime Minister Meles Zenawi once remarked, “If that is journalism, I don’t know what terrorism is.” But, all I need to do now is to turn it around, “If that is terrorism, I don’t know what journalism is.”

Alemayehu Fentaw Weldemariam is a visiting scholar at the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas at Austin and specializes in the Horn of Africa. The views expressed are his own.

በቶሮንቶ ካናዳ የተሰራው የኢትዮጵያ ኦርቶዶስ ቤተክርስቲያን ቅዱስ ፓትሪያርኩ በተገኙበት ተመረቀ

Tuesday, November 20th, 2012

ኢሳት ዜና:-ከስድስት ሚሊዮን ዶላር በላይ ወጪ ተደርጎበት በቶሮንቶ ከተማ ላይ የተሰራው ዘመናዊው የመንበረ ብርሃን ቅድስት ማርያም ካቴድራል በብፁ አቡነ መርቆርዮስ ቅዳሜ ኖቬምበር 17 ቀን 2012 ዓም ተመርቆ ሥራውን ጀመረ።

ከተለያዩ ክፍላተ ዓለም የመጡ ጳጳሳት፣ ቀሳውስት በብዙ ሺህ የሚቆጠሩ ምዕመናንና ካናዳውያን ባለስልጣናት በተገኙበት እሁድ ኖቬምበር 18 ቀን 2012 ዓ ም በሰፊው ቀጥሎ በዋለው የምረቃ ስነስርዓት ላይ ሊቀ ካህናት ምሳሌ እንግዳ በካናዳ የኢትዮጵያ ኦርቶዶክስ ተዋህዶ ቤተክርስቲያን ዋና አስተዳዳሪ ባደረጉት ንግግር የመንበረ ብርሃን ቅድስት ማርያም ካቴድራል ካህናትና ምዕመናን ተባብረው የሰሩት ይህ ድንቅ ካቴድራል “ኢትዮጵያውያን አብሮ መብላት እንጅ አብሮ መስራት ኣይችሉም” የሚለውን የተሳሳተ አጉል ትችት የሰበረው መሆኑን ጠቅሰው አበው አባቶቻችንም ይህንን ድንቅ ታሪክ ሲሰሩ እንዲኖሩ አስረድተዋል። አያይዘውም ይህች ቤተክርስቲያን የምነት ቤታችን ብቻ ሳትሆን የባህላችን፣ የቋንቋችን፣ የማንነታችን መግለጫ በመሆኗ ይህ ትውልድ ተረክቦ ሊንከባከባት እንደሚገባ አሳስበዋል።

ከሃያ ስምንት ዓመት በፊት ብቸኛው ኢትዮጵያዊ ካህን ሁነው የቤተክርስቲያን አገልግሎት በካናዳ የጀመሩት ሊቀካህናት ምሳሌ እንግዳ ኢትዮጵያውያንን በማስተባበር ለዚህ ትልቅ ውጤት ማብቃታቸውና ዘጠኝ ለሚሆኑ በካናዳ ለተቋቋሙ አብያተ ክርስቲያናት ግንባር ቀደም ድጋፍ ሲሰጡ መኖራቸው በተለያዩ ተናጋሪዎችና ምዕመናን ምስጋናና አድናቆት ተችሯቸዋል።

በዕለቱ በክብር እንግድነት የተገኙት ካናዳውያን ባለስልጣናትና የፓርላማ አባላት የካናዳው ጠቅላይ ሚኒስትር ስቲቨን ሃርፐር እንዲሁም የኦንቴርዮ ጠቅላይ ሚኒስትር ዶልተን ማጊንቲ የደስታ መግላጫ መላካቸውን አሳውቀው ኢትዮጵያውያን ይህን የመሰለ ድንቅ ስራ በመሥራት ለካናዳ ጊዜ የማይሽረው ታሪካዊ ስጦታ ማበርከታቸውን አድንቀው ይህን ለሠራችሁ ኢትዮጵያውያን ይህ ድንቅና ውብ ካቴድራል ምን ያህል እንደሚያኮራችሁ ቢታወቅም ባለ ብዙ ባህል ለሆነችው ካናዳ ደግሞ ውበትና ታሪክ ይጨምርላታል ብለዋል።

የቶሮንቶና ያካባቢው ምዕመናን በሁለት ዓመት ውስጥ ወጪውን የሚሸፍን ገንዘብ ከማዋጣት በላይ ኢንጂነሮች ፣የኤሌትሪክ ባለሙያዎች ፣የህንጻ ስራ ተቋራጮች፣ የኮምፒዩተር ቴክኒሻኖች፣ ሰዓሊዎች፣ የቅርጻ ቅርጽ ባለሙያዎችና በጎ ፈቃደኞች ደከመን ሳይሉ ከአንድ ነጥብ አምስት ሚሊዮን ዶላር በላይ የሚያወጣ የቁሳቁስና የጉልበት አስተዋጾ ማድረጋቸውን አቶ አቤል አድማሱ የሰበካ ጉባኤው ሊቀመንበር አስረድተዋል።

በስነ ስርዓቱ ላይ ብፁዕ ወ ቅዱስ አቡነ መርቆርዮስ ፣ በውጭ የሚገኘው የቅዱስ ሲኖዶስ ዋና ጸሃፊ አቡነ መልከ ጼዴቅ ፣ የኣውሮፓና የምስራቅ አፍሪካ ሊቀጳጳስ አቡነ ኤልያስ ፣ የኦንታርዮ ሊቀጳጳስ አቡነ ዲሜጥሮስ በካልጋሪ የምዕራብ ካናዳ ሊቀጳጳስ ፣አቡነ ሚካኤል ፣ አቡነ መቃርዮስ የአውስትራልያና በካናዳ የኩቤክ ሊቀጳጳስ በሁለቱም ቀናት በቡራኬው፣ በማህሌቱና፣ በቅዳሴው የተሳተፉ ሲሆን ከተለያዩ የአሜሪካና የካናዳአ ብያተክርስቲያናት የመጡ መዘምራን እንዲሁም እውቁ ኢትዮጵያዊ በገና ደርዳሪ አቶ ዓለሙ አጋ ልዩ ልዩ ዜማ በማሰማት ለበዓሉ ድምቀት ሰጥተዋል።

Trekking in Ethiopia’s Semien Mountains

Monday, November 19th, 2012

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:

[Source: Ethiopian Review]

የሕወሃትና ኦሕዴድ ስብሰባዎች መቋጫ አላገኙም

Monday, November 19th, 2012

ኢሳት ዜና:-የሕዝባዊ ወያኔ ሐርነት ትግራይ (ሕወሃት) ማዕከላዊ ኮሚቴ እንደገና ስብሰባ መቀሌ ላይ መቀመጡ የታወቀ ሲሆን መንግስታዊ መገናኛ ብዙሃን ስብሰባው መጠናቀቁን አስታውቀዋል።

ከቀድሞው ጠ/ሚኒስትር መለስ ዜናዊ ሕልፈት ወዲህ ሳምንታት እየቆጠረ የቀጠለው የኢሕአዲግ አባል ፓርቲዎች በተለይም የሕወሃትና ኦሕዴድ ሥብሰባ መቋጫ አለማግኘቱንም የውስጥ ምንጮች ገልጸዋል።

የሕዝባዊ ወያኔ ሐርነት ትግራይ(ሕወሃት) ማዕከላዊ ኮሚቴ ከሕዳር ፭ እስከ ፯ ባካሄደው ስብሰባ አብዛኞቹ የማዕከላዊ ኮሚቴ አባላት መገኘታቸው ታውቋል ሆኖም በሕመም ሣቢያ በሲያትል አሜሪካ ሕክምና ላይ የሚገኙት አቶ ስዩም መስፍን በስብሰባው ላይ ሣይገኙ ቀርተዋል።

የቀድሞው ጠ/ሚኒስተር መለስ ዜናዊ ሕልፈት ወዲህ አንድ ሆኖ መቆም እንደተሳነው የሚነገረው የሕወሃት ቡድን በቅርቡ የተደረጉ ይስልጣን ሽግሽጎችን የሚቃወም ክፍል ከውስጥ በመውጣቱ አንዳንድ ጉዳዮች መቋጫ ሣያገኙ ቀርተዋል የአየር ሃይል አዛዥ ጀነራል ሞላ ኋ/ማሪያም መነሳታቸውንና በሌላ የሕወሃት ጀነራል መሃሪ ዘውዴ መተካታቸውን በሚቃወም የሕወሃት ቡድን በመነሳቱ የአዛዥነት ወንበር በመዋለል ላይ መሆኑ እየተገለጸ ነው በቅርቡ አንድ የሕወሃት ማእከላዊ ኮሚቴ አባል በፈቃዳቸው ከፓርቲው ኋላፊነታቸው ራሳቸውን ማግለላቸው ይታወሳል ሌላው የሕወሃት ማዕከላዊ ኮሚቴ አባል አቶ ጌታቸው በላይ ከሥረአቱ ተለይተው አሜሪካ መግባታቸውን መዘገባችን አይዘነጋም።

Is Rice Cooked?

Monday, November 19th, 2012

Published: November 17, 2012

OUR Rice is better than your Rice.

That’s the argument Democrats are aggressively making against Republicans.

And it’s true. Condi Rice sold her soul. Susan Rice merely rented hers on the talk shows one Sunday in September.

Ambitious to be secretary of state, Condi jilted her mentor, Brent Scowcroft, who publicly opposed the Iraq invasion. In 2002, she bolted to the winning, warmongering side with W., Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld, helping them twist intelligence and getting Foggy Bottom in return.

Ambitious to be secretary of state, Susan Rice wanted to prove she had the gravitas for the job and help out the White House. So the ambassador to the United Nations agreed to a National Security Council request to go on all five Sunday shows to talk about the attack on the American consulate in Libya.

“She saw this as a great opportunity to go out and close the stature gap,” said one administration official. “She was focused on the performance, not the content. People said, ‘It’s sad because it was one of her best performances.’ But it’s not a movie, it’s the news. Everyone in politics thinks, you just get your good talking points and learn them and reiterate them on camera. But what if they’re not good talking points? What if what you’re saying isn’t true, even if you’re saying it well?”

Testifying on Capitol Hill on Friday, the beheaded Head Spook David Petraeus said the C.I.A. knew quickly that the Benghazi raid was a terrorist attack.

“It was such a no-brainer,” one intelligence official told me.

Intelligence officials suspected affiliates of Al Qaeda and named them in their original talking points for Rice, but that information was deemed classified and was softened to “extremists” as the talking points were cycled past Justice, State, the National Security Council and other intelligence analysts.

As The Times’s Eric Schmitt wrote, some analysts worried that identifying the groups “could reveal that American spy services were eavesdropping on the militants — a fact most insurgents are already aware of.”

Rice was given the toned-down talking points, but she has access to classified information. Though she told Bob Schieffer on CBS’s “Face the Nation” that the extremist elements could have included Qaeda affiliates or Al Qaeda itself, she mostly used her appearances to emphasize the story line of the spontaneous demonstration over an anti-Muslim video. She disputed the contention of the president of Libya’s General National Congress, who called the attack “preplanned” when he talked to Schieffer just before Rice.

Some have wondered if Rice, who has a bull-in-a-china-shop reputation, is diplomatic enough for the top diplomatic job. But she would have been wise to be more bull-in-a-china-shop and vet her talking points, given that members of the intelligence and diplomatic communities and sources in news accounts considered it a terrorist attack days before Rice went on the shows. (The president and his spokesman also clung to the video story for too long.)

Rice should have been wary of a White House staff with a tendency to gild the lily, with her pal Valerie Jarrett and other staffers zealous about casting the president in a more flattering light, like national security officials filigreeing the story of the raid on Osama to say Bin Laden fought back. Did administration officials foolishly assume that if affiliates of Al Qaeda were to blame, it would dilute the credit the president got for decimating Al Qaeda? Were aides overeager to keep Mitt Romney, who had stumbled after the Benghazi attack by accusing the president of appeasing Islamic extremists, on the defensive?

Writing in a 2002 book about President Clinton’s failure to intervene in the genocide in Rwanda, Samantha Power, now a National Security Council official, suggested that Rice was swayed by domestic politics when, as a rising star at the N.S.C. who would soon become Clinton’s director for African affairs, she mused about the ’94 midterms, “If we use the word ‘genocide’ and are seen as doing nothing, what will be the effect on the November election?”

An Africa expert, Rice should have realized that when a gang showed up with R.P.G.’s and mortars in a place known as a hotbed of Qaeda sympathizers and Islamic extremist training camps, it was not anger over a movie. She should have been savvy enough to wonder why the wily Hillary was avoiding the talk shows.

The president’s fierce defense of Rice had virile flare. But he might have been better off leaving it to aides, so he did not end up going mano a mano with his nemesis John McCain on an appointment he hasn’t even made (though now Obama might feel compelled to, just to prove that he can’t be pushed around), and so he could focus on fiscal cliff bipartisanship.

His argument that Rice “had nothing to do with Benghazi,” raises the question: Then why was she the point person?

The president’s protecting a diplomatic damsel in distress made Rice look more vulnerable, when her reason for doing those shows in the first place was to look more venerable.

The New York Times

(BBC) UK Cuts Aid to Ugandan Government, Citing Corruption

Sunday, November 18th, 2012

UK cuts aid to Ugandan government
Prime Minister of the Republic of Uganda Amama Mbabazi denies all wrongdoing

16 November 2012

The UK has announced it is cutting all aid to the Ugandan government after an investigation into corruption.

The Ugandan auditor reported last month that millions of dollars had been transferred from Prime Minister Amama Mbabazi’s office into private accounts.

A Ugandan official told the BBC he was "not happy" with the UK’s decision because it would affect poor people.

Mr Mbabazi has acknowledged that money has been stolen from his office, but denies any involvement.

Other European donors have also recently cut aid to the Ugandan government.
‘Extremely concerned’

A spokesman for the UK’s Department for International Development said about £11m ($18m) in aid had been suspended with immediate effect because of "initial evidence" emerging from a forensic audit that it had ordered.

"We are extremely concerned by these preliminary findings and we will assess the decision further when we have considered the full findings of the report," the spokesman said.

"Unless the government of Uganda can show that UK taxpayers’ money is going towards helping the poorest people lift themselves out of poverty, this aid will remain frozen and we will expect repayment and administrative and criminal sanctions."

Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni’s adviser John Nagenda said the government was determined to ensure that those responsible for the alleged corruption were brought to justice.

All Ugandans – including Mr Museveni – were "absolutely fed up" with corruption, he said.

However, he was not happy with the UK’s decision, as poor Ugandans would be "hardest hit", Mr Nagenda said.

It would have been better for the UK to give the money to non-governmental organisations to spend on poor people, he said.

Ireland, Norway and Denmark have also suspended aid to the Ugandan government following the findings of the Ugandan auditor-general.

Mr Mbabazi has denied wrongdoing, but acknowledges there has been "massive theft" from his office.

Ugandan taxpayers’ money had also been stolen, he has said.

The UK’s total aid budget for Uganda this financial year is about £99m ($151m).

Ethiopia: I Remember!

Sunday, November 18th, 2012

Never Again!

MA2On June 6-8 and November 1-4, 2005, following the Ethiopian parliamentary elections in May of that year, hundreds of citizens who protested the theft of that election were killed or seriously wounded by police and security personnel under the exclusive command and control of the late Meles Zenawi. An official Inquiry Commission established jointly by Meles Zenawi and the Ethiopian parliament documented that 193 unarmed men, women and children demonstrating in the streets and scores of other detainees held in a high security prison were intentionally shot and killed by police and security officials. An additional 763 were wounded.

The Commission completely exonerated the victims and pinned the entire blame on the police and paramilitary forces.  The Commission concluded, “There was no property destroyed [by protesters]. There was not a single protester who was armed with a gun or a hand grenade as reported by the government-controlled media that some of the protesters were armed with guns and bombs. [The shots fired by government forces] were not intended to disperse the crowd but to kill by targeting the head and chest of the protesters.”

[Important Note: The Commission's list of 193 victims includes only those deaths that occured on June 6-8 and November 1-4, 2005, the specific dates the Commission was authorized to investigate. It is believed the Commission has an additional list of victims of extra-judicial killings by government security forces which it did not publicly report because the killings occured outside the dates the Commission was authorized to investigate.]

I remember…

Rebuma E. Ergata, 34, mason; Melesachew D. Alemnew, 16, student; Hadra S. Osman, 22, occup. unknown; Jafar S.  Ibrahim,28,  sm. business; Mekonnen, 17, occup. unknown; Woldesemayat, 27, unemployed; Beharu M. Demlew, occup. unknown; Fekade Negash, 25, mechanic; Abraham Yilma, 17, taxi; Yared B. Eshete, 23, sm. business; Kebede W. G. Hiwot, 17, student; Matios G. Filfilu, 14, student;Getnet A. Wedajo, 48, Sm. business; Endalkachew M. Hunde, 18, occup. unknown; Kasim A. Rashid, 21, mechanic; Imam A. Shewmoli, 22,  sm. business; Alye Y. Issa, 20, laborer; Samson N. Yakob, 23, pub. trspt.; Alebalew A. Abebe, 18, student; Beleyu B. Za, 18, trspt. asst.; Yusuf A. Jamal, 23, occup. student; Abraham S. W.  Agenehu, 23, trspt. asst.; Mohammed H. Beka, 45, farmer; Redela K. Awel, 19, taxi Assit., Habtamu A. Urgaa, 30, sm. Business.  

Dawit F. Tsegaye, 19, mechanic; Gezahegne M. Geremew, 15, student; Yonas A. Abera, 24, occup. unknown; Girma A. Wolde, 38, driver; W/o Desta U. Birru, 37, sm. business; Legese T. Feyisa, 60, mason; Tesfaye D. Bushra, 19, shoe repairman; Binyam D. Degefa, 18, unemployed; Million K. Robi, 32, trspt. asst.; Derege D. Dene, 24,  student; Nebiyu A. Haile, 16, student; Mitiku U. Mwalenda, 24, domestic worker; Anwar K. Surur, 22, sm. business; Niguse Wabegn, 36, domestic worker; Zulfa S. Hasen, 50, housewife; Washun Kebede, 16, student; Ermia F. Ketema, 20, student; 00428, 25, occup. unknown; 00429, 26, occup. unknown; 00430, 30, occup. unknown; Adissu Belachew, 25, occup. unknown; Demeke K. Abebe,uk, occup. unknown; 00432, 22, occup. unknown; 00450, 20, occup. unknown; 13903, 25, occup. unknown; 00435, 30, occup. unknown. 

13906, 25, occup. unknown; Temam Muktar, 25, occup. unknown; Beyne N. Beza, 25, occup. unknown; Wesen Asefa, 25, occup. unknown; Abebe Anteneh, 30, occup. unknow; Fekadu Haile, 25, occup. unknow; Elias Golte, uk, occup. unknown; Berhanu A. Werqa, uk, occup. unknown; Asehber A. Mekuria, uk, occup. unknown; Dawit F. Sema, uk, occup. unknown, Merhatsedk Sirak, 22, occup. unknown; Belete Gashawtena, uk, occup. unknown;  Behailu Tesfaye, 20, occup. unknown; 21760, 18, occup. unknown; 21523, 25, occup. unknown; 11657, 24, occup. unknown; 21520, 25, occup. unknown; 21781, 60, occup. unknown; Getachew Azeze, 45, occup. unknown; 21762, 75, occup. unknown; 11662,45, occup. unknown; 21763, 25, occup. unknown; 13087, 30, occup. unknown; 21571, 25, occup. unknown; 21761, 21, occup. unknown; 21569, 25, occup. unknown; 13088, 30,  occup. unknown; Endalkachew W. Gabriel, 27, occup. unknown.

Hailemariam Ambaye, 20, occup. unknown; Mebratu W. Zaudu,27, occup. unknown; Sintayehu E. Beyene, 14, occup. unknown; Tamiru Hailemichael, uk, occup. unknown; Admasu T. Abebe, 45, occup. unknown; Etenesh Yimam, 50, occup. unknown; Werqe Abebe, 19, occup. unknown; Fekadu Degefe, 27, occup. unknown Shemsu Kalid, 25, occup. unknown; Abduwahib Ahmedin, 30, occup. unknown; Takele Debele, 20, occup. unknown, Tadesse Feyisa,38,  occup. unknown; Solomon Tesfaye, 25, occup. unknown; Kitaw Werqu, 25, occup. unknown; Endalkachew Worqu, 25, occup. unknow; Desta A. Negash, 30, occup. unknown; Yilef Nega, 15, occup. unknown; Yohannes Haile, 20, occup. unknown; Behailu T. Berhanu, 30, occup. unknown; Mulu K. Soresa, 50, housewife, Teodros Gidey Hailu, 23, shoe salesman; Dejene Yilma Gebre, 18, store worker; Ougahun Woldegebriel, 18, student; Dereje Mamo Hasen, 27, carpenter; Regassa G. Feyisa, 55, laundry worker; Teodros Gebrewold, 28, private business. 

Mekonne D. G.Egziaber, 20, mechanic; Elias G. Giorgis, 23, student; Abram A. Mekonnen, 21, laborer; Tiruwerq G.Tsadik, 41, housewife; Henok H. Mekonnen; 28, occup. unknown; Getu S. Mereta, 24, occup. unknown;W/o Kibnesh Meke Tadesse, 52, occup. unknown; Messay A. Sitotaw, 29, private business; Mulualem N. Weyisa, 15, Ayalsew Mamo, 23, occup. unknown; Sintayehu Melese, 24, laborer;  W/o Tsedale A. Birra, 50, housewife; Abayneh Sara Sede, 35, tailor; Fikremariam K. Telila, 18, chauffer; Alemayehu Gerba, 26, occup. unknown; George G. Abebe,36, private trspt.; Habtamu Zegeye Tola, 16, student; Mitiku Z. G. Selassie, 24, student; Tezazu W. Mekruia, 24, private business; Fikadu A. Dalige, 36,  tailor; Shewaga B. W.Giorgis, 38, laborer; Alemayehu E. Zewde, 32, textile worker; Zelalem K. G.Tsadik, 31, taxi driver; Mekoya M. Tadesse, 19, student; Hayleye G. Hussien, 19, student; W/o Fiseha T. G.Tsadik, 23, police employee; Wegayehu Z. Argaw, 26, unemployed.  

Melaku M. Kebede, 19, occup. unknown; Abayneh D. Orra, 25, tailor; W/o Abebch B. Holetu, 50, housewife;  Demeke A. Jenbere, 30, farmer; Kinde M. Weresu, 22, unemployed; Endale A. G.Medhin, 23, private business; Alemayehu T. Wolde,24, teacher; Bisrat T. Demisse, 24, car importer; Mesfin H. Giorgis, 23, private business, Welio H. Dari, 18, private business, Behailu G. G.Medhin, 20, private business; Siraj Nuri Sayed, 18, student; Iyob G.Medhin, 25, student; Daniel W. Mulugeta,25, laborer; Teodros K. Degefa,25, shoe factory worker; Gashaw T. Mulugeta, 24, student; Kebede B. Orke, 22, student; Lechisa K. Fatasa, 21, student; Jagama B. Besha,20, student; Debela O. Guta, 15, student; Melaku T. Feyisa, 16, student; W/o Elfnesh Tekle, 45, occup. unknown; Hassen Dula, 64, occup. unknown; Hussien Hassen Dula, 25, occup. unknown; Dejene Demisse,15, occup. unknown; Name unknown; Name unknown;  Name unknown; Zemedkun Agdew, 18, occup. unknown;  Getachew A. Terefe, 16, occup. unknown; Delelegn K. Alemu, 20, occup. unknown; Yusef M. Oumer,20, occup. unknown.

Mekruria T. Tebedge, 22, occup. unknown; Bademe M. Teshamahu, 20, occup. unknown; Ambaw Getahun,38, occup. unknown; Teshome A. Kidane, 65, health worker; Yosef M. Regassa, uk, occup. unknown; Abiyu Negussie, uk, occup. uk; Tadele S. Behaga,uk, occup. unknown; Efrem T. Shafi,uk, occup. unknown; Abebe H. Hama, uk, occup. unknown; Gebre Molla, uk, occup. unknown; Seydeen Nurudeen, uk, occup. unknown; Eneyew G. Tsegaye, 32, trspt. asst; Abdurahman H. Ferej, 32, wood worker; Ambaw L. Bitul, 60, leather factory worker; Abdulmenan Hussien, 28, private business; Jigsa T. Setegn, 18, student; Asefa A. Negassa, 33, carpenter; Ketema K. Unko, 23, tailor; Kibret E. Elfneh, 48, private guard; Iyob G. Zemedkun, 24, private business; Tesfaye B. Megesha,15, private business; Capt. Debesa S. Tolosa, 58, private business;Tinsae M. Zegeye,14,  tailor;Kidana G. Shukrow,25, laborer;Andualem Shibelew, 16, student; Adissu D. Tesfahun, 19, private business; Kassa Beyene Yror,28, clothes sales; Yitagesu Sisay,22, occup. unknown; Unknown, 22, occup. unknown.

Government security officers killed by friendly fire (security officers killed in crossfire):  Nega Gebre, Jebena Desalegn,  Mulita Irko, Yohannes Solomon, Ashenafi Desalegn, Feyia Gebremenfes.

List of prisoners massacred while trapped in their cells at Kaliti Prison on November 2, 2005:

1. Teyib Shemsu Mohammed, age unknown, male, charged with instigating armed insurrection. 2. Sali Kebede, age unknown, male, no charges indicated. 3. Sefiw Endrias Tafesse Woreda, age unknown, male, charged with rape. 4. Zegeye Tenkolu Belay, age unknown, male, charged with robbery. 5. Biyadgligne Tamene, age unknown, male, charges unknown. 6. Gebre Mesfin Dagne, age unknown, male, charges unknown. 7. Bekele Abraham Taye, age unknown, male, charged with hooliganism. 8. Abesha Guta Mola, age unknown, male, charges unknown. 9. Kurfa Melka Telila, convicted of making threats.

10.Begashaw Terefe Gudeta, age unknown, male, charged with brawling [breach of peace]. 11. Abdulwehab Ahmedin, age unknown, male, charged with robbery. 12. Tesfaye Abiy Mulugeta, age unknown, male, charged with instigating armed insurrection. 13. Adane Bireda, age unknown, male, charged with murder. 14. Yirdaw Kersema, age unknown, male, no charges indicated. 15. Balcha Alemu Regassa, age unknown, male, charged with robbery. 16. Abush Belew Wodajo, age unknown, male, no charges indicated. 17. Waleligne Tamire Belay, age unknown, male, charged with rape. 18. Cherinet Haile Tolla, age unknown, male, convicted of robbery. 19. Temam Shemsu Gole, age unknown, male, no charges indicated.

20. Gebeyehu Bekele Alene, age unknown, male, no charges indicated. 21. Daniel Taye Leku, age unknown, male, no charges indicated. 22. Mohammed Tuji Kene, age unknown, male, no charges indicated. 23. Abdu Nejib Nur, age unknown, male, no charges indicated. 24. Yemataw Serbelo, charged with rape. 25. Fikru Natna’el Sewneh, age unknown, male, charged with making threats. 26. Munir Kelil Adem, age unknown, male, charged with hooliganism. 27. Haimanot Bedlu Teshome, age unknown, male, convicted of infringement. 28. Tesfaye Kibrom Tekne, age unknown, male, charged with robbery. 29. Workneh Teferra Hunde, age unknown, male, no charges indicated.

30. Sisay Mitiku Hunegne, charged with fraud. 31. Muluneh Aynalem Mamo, age unknown, male, no charges indicated. 32. Taddese Rufe Yeneneh, charged with making threats. 33. Anteneh Beyecha Qebeta, age unknown, male, charged with instigating armed insurrection. 34. Zerihun Meresa, age unknown, male, convicted of damage to property. 35. Wogayehu Zerihun Argaw, charged with robbery. 36. Bekelkay Tamiru,  age unknown, male, no charges indicated. 37. Yeraswork Anteneh, age unknown, male, charged with fraud. 38. Bazezew Berhanu, age unknown, male, charged with engaging in homosexual act. 39. Solomon Iyob Guta, age unknown, male, charged with rape.

40. Asayu Mitiku Arage, age unknown, male, charged with making threats. 41. Game Hailu Zeye, age unknown, male, charged with brawling [public disorder] 42. Maru Enawgaw Dinbere, age unknown, male, charged with rape. 43. Ejigu Minale, age unknown, male, charged with attempted murder. 44. Hailu Bosne Habib, age unknown, male, convicted of providing sanctuary. 45. Tilahun Meseret, age unknown, male, no charges indicated. 46. Negusse Belayneh, age unknown, male, charged with robbery. 47. Ashenafi Abebaw, age unknown, male, no charges indicated. 48. Feleke Dinke, age unknown, male, no charges indicated. 49. Jenbere Dinkineh Bilew, age unknown, male, charged with brawling [public disorder].

50. Tolesa Worku Debebe, age unknown, male, charged with robbery. 51. Mekasha Belayneh Tamiru, age unknown, male, charged with hooliganism. 52. Yifru Aderaw, age unknown, male, no charges indicated. 53. Fantahun Dagne, age unknown, male, no charges indicated. 54. Tibebe Wakene Tufa, age unknown, male, charged with instigating armed insurrection. 55. Solomon Gebre Amlak, age unknown, male, charged with hooliganism. 56. Banjaw Chuchu Kassahun, age unknown, male, charged with robbery. 57. Demeke Abeje, age unknown, male, charged with attempted murder. 58. Endale Ewnetu Mengiste, age unknown, male, no charges indicated. 59. Alemayehu Garba, age unknown, male, detained in connection with Addis Ababa University student  demonstration in 2004.  60. Morkota Edosa, age unknown, male, no charges indicated.

For the RecordThere is a certified list of at least 237 police and security officers known to be directly involved in these massacres. They should all be brought to justice immediately!

I remember Yenesew Gebre 

yeOn 11/11/11, Yenesew Gebre, a 29 year-old Ethiopian school teacher and human rights activist set himself ablaze outside a public meeting hall in the town of Tarcha located in Dawro Zone in Southern Ethiopia. He died three days later from his injuries.  Before torching himself, Yenesew told a gathered  crowd outside of a meeting hall, “In a country where there is no justice and no fair administration, where human rights are not respected, I will sacrifice myself so that these young people will be set free.”

I remember…

“I remember the killers, I remember the victims, even as I struggle to invent a thousand and one reasons to hope.  Because I remember, I despair. Because I remember, I have the duty to reject despair. Hope is possible beyond despair.”

Elie Wiesel, Holocaust Survivor and Nobel Peace Laureate



For a complete list of victims released by the official Inquiry Commission investigating the post-2005 election violence, see: 


[Source: Ethiopian Review]

Dr. Meseret Chekol passed away

Sunday, November 18th, 2012


By De Birhan
Nov 17, 2012

Dr. Mesert Chekol Reta, one of the few most distinguished Ethiopian Professors of Journalism and Communications, has passed away, De Birhan has learnt.

He taught at Ashland University in Ohio and University of Michigan-Flint from 2000 to 2005 and recently at the University of Wisconsin – River Falls, U.S.A. He had also been the President of the Ethiopian Biographical Resource Center (EBRC) founded by a group of Ethiopians residing in the United States and is engaged in archiving biographical and historic records of Ethiopia and Ethiopians.

In the 1980s, after graduating from the Addis Ababa University in English, he joined Voice of Ethiopia where he was a broadcaster. In 1990 coming to the United States, he pursued his graduate studies at the University of Minnesota where he earned a Ph.D. in mass communication as well as a second master’s degree in political science.

He was popular for his critical and educative commentaries and analysis of Ethiopian politics and media. He appeared on most Ethiopian and international media outlets. He has written various acadmic papers on press freedom in Ethiopia including this book titled The Quest for Press Freedom: One Hundred Years of History of the Media in Ethiopia .

Dr. Meseret was recently diagnosed with liver cancer. This life-threatening illness required aggressive treatment, and families were seeking help to save his life.

He died in Minnesota early this morning. He is survived by his son and wife.

De Birhan passes its condolence to the families of Dr. Mesert and the Ethiopian audience who benefited from his intellectual analysis and teachings.

De Birhan

Susan Rice made an array of powerful enemies – Washington Post writer

Sunday, November 18th, 2012

The following piece by a prominent Washington Post writer is another blow to Susan Rice’s possible nomination as Secretary of State. Washington Post is one of the major newspapers that have endorsed Obama. Among those who dislike Susan Rice and think that she is unqualified are the current Secretary of State Hilary Clinton herself, according to Dana Milbank. As for Ethiopians, who forgets her idiotic remarks about the late dictator Meles Zenawi.

Susan Rice’s tarnished resume

By Dana Milbank | Washington Post

President Obama had a rare “bring-it-on” moment when ABC News’s Jonathan Karl asked him about threats by Republican Sens. John McCain and Lindsey Graham to block the confirmation of Susan Rice, should he nominate her for secretary of state.

“If Senator McCain and Senator Graham and others want to go after somebody, they should go after me,” Obama said Wednesday at his East Room news conference, defending his U.N. ambassador from charges that she misled the public about attacks on Americans in Libya.

“For them to go after the U.N. ambassador . . . and to besmirch her reputation, is outrageous. And, you know, we’re after an election now.”

It was reminiscent of his put-down of McCain in early 2010, when at a health-care forum he reminded his former opponent: “The election’s over.”

Obama’s over-the-top defense of Rice was surprising, particularly in contrast to the president’s relative indifference in accepting the resignation of CIA chief David Petraeus, one of the most capable public servants. And it was disappointing, because McCain, even if wrong on the particulars, is right about Rice. She is ill-equipped to be the nation’s top diplomat for reasons that have little to do with Libya.

Even in a town that rewards sharp elbows and brusque personalities, Rice has managed to make an impressive array of enemies — on Capitol Hill, in Foggy Bottom and abroad. Particularly in comparison with the other person often mentioned for the job, Sen. John Kerry, she can be a most undiplomatic diplomat, and there likely aren’t enough Republican or Democratic votes in the Senate to confirm her.

Back when she was an assistant secretary of state during the Clinton administration, she appalled colleagues by flipping her middle finger at Richard Holbrooke during a meeting with senior staff at the State Department, according to witnesses. Colleagues talk of shouting matches and insults.

Among those she has insulted is the woman she would replace at State. Rice was one of the first former Clinton administration officials to defect to Obama’s primary campaign against Hillary Clinton. Rice condemned Clinton’s Iraq and Iran positions, asking for an “explanation of how and why she got those critical judgments wrong.”

Clinton got a measure of revenge in 2010 after she worked out a deal with the Russian foreign minister on a package of Iran sanctions to be adopted by the U.N. Security Council. The White House wanted Rice to make the announcement (part of a campaign to increase her profile that included high-visibility foreign trips and TV appearances), but a Clinton aide got Kerry to ask Clinton about the matter during an unrelated Senate hearing.

Rice’s put-down of Clinton was tame compared with her portrayal of McCain during 2008, which no doubt contributes to McCain’s hostility toward her today. She mocked McCain’s trip to Iraq (“strolling around the market in a flak jacket”), called his policies “reckless” and said “his tendency is to shoot first and ask questions later. It’s dangerous.”

It was Rice’s own shoot-first tendency that caused her to be benched as a spokesman for the Obama campaign for a time in 2008. She unnerved European allies when she denounced as “counterproductive” and “self-defeating” the U.N. policy that Iran suspend its nuclear program before talks can begin. She criticized President George W. Bush and McCain because they “insisted” on it. But, as The Post’s Glenn Kessler pointed out at the time, European diplomats were rattled by such remarks because the precondition was their idea.

Rice’s pugilism provoked the Russians to weigh in this week in opposition to her nomination as secretary of state. The Russian business daily Kommersant quoted an anonymous Russian foreign ministry official as saying that Rice, who quarreled with Russia over Syria, is “too ambitious and aggressive,” and her appointment would make it “more difficult for Moscow to work with Washington.”

Compared with this, the flap over Libya is relatively minor — but revealing. It’s true that, in her much-criticized TV performance, she was reciting talking points given to her by the intelligence agencies. But that’s the trouble. Rice stuck with her points even though they had been contradicted by the president of the Libyan National Assembly, who, on CBS’s “Face the Nation” just before Rice, said there was “no doubt” that the attack on Americans in Benghazi “was preplanned.” Rice rebutted the Libyan official, arguing — falsely, it turned out — that there was no evidence of such planning.

True, Rice was following orders from the White House, which she does well. But the nation’s top diplomat needs to show more sensitivity and independence — traits Clinton has demonstrated in abundance. Obama can do better at State than Susan Rice.

Several Ethiopian Muslim websites blocked as tension escalates

Sunday, November 18th, 2012

Currently the EPRDF government has blocked almost all Ethiopian muslim websites.

Ethiopian-Americans protest persecution of Muslims in Ethiopia

Saturday, November 17th, 2012

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.

Click here for a video of the demonstrations


[Source: Ethiopian Review]

Survival guide resources

Saturday, November 17th, 2012

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.

  1. Preserving Fruits And Vegetables
  2. Wound Closure Manual
  3. Survival Medicine
  4. Canning Fermented Foods and Pickled Vegetables
  5. Practical Guide to Free Energy Devices
  6. Survival In Cold Weather Areas
  7. CIA Lock Picking Training Manual
  8. Boyscout cookbook
  9. Food-Storage-for-Survival
  10. Small Scale-Food-Drying-Technologies
  11. Navy-Seal-Physical-Fitness-Guide
  12. How to make fertilizers
  13. US-Marines-Close-Quarters-Combat-Manual
  14. US-Marine-Corps-Hand-to-Hand-Combat
  15. US Army-Combatives-handtohand-combat
  16. Military-Hand-to-Hand-Combat-Guide
  17. Practical-Unarmed-Combat
  18. Marine-Martial-Arts-Training
  19. Military-Hand-to-Hand-Combat-Guide
  20. Aikido (Hand to Hand: Martial Arts)
  21. Combat-Conditioning-Manual (JiuJitsu)
  22. Bushcraft leather work
  23. Flintknapping manual
  24. Shelters, Shacks, and Shanties
  25. Foxfire-One
  26. Foxfire-Two
  27. Foxfire-Three
  28. Woodsman-Ship
  29. Vegetable-Garden-Encyclopedia
  30. Preparing and Canning Poultry, Red Meats, and Seafood
  31. MacGyver-How To Handbook
  32. The Making of Leather
  33. The Jerky Chef
  34. Guide to home carpentry
  35. Baby-Food
  36. Solar Dehydrator
  37. Secret-Hiding-Places
  38. Radio Monitoring Guide
  39. Native-Berry-Recipes
  40. Metal-Forming
  41. Making Desiccant Packs for long-term firearm storage
  42. Jerky-Recipes
  43. Hunting-With-a-Bow-and-Arrow
  44. How to make common things
  45. How-to-Make-a-Plastic-Covered-Solar-Still
  46. How-to-Build-a-Solar-Food-Dryer
  47. How-to-Build-a-Solar-Crop-Dryer
  48. How-to-Be-Invisible
  49. Homemade-Tracer-Ammo
  50. Herbal-Manual
  51. Healing-Pets-With-Alternative-Medicine
  52. Getaway-Driving-Techniques
  53. Food-Storage-Recipes
  54. Food Storage Cooking School
  55. FEMA Emergency Gassifer
  56. Every Step in Canning
  57. Essentials of Archery
  58. Electro-Motors
  59. Drying-Fruits-and-Vegetables
  60. Electromagnetic Pulse Protection Manual
  61. Dictionary of Food
  62. Declination diagram
  63. Cultivation, Harvesting, Curing, and Uses of Herbs
  64. CIA-Simple-Sabatoge-Field-Manual
  65. Canning-Processing-Charts
  66. Canning Principles
  67. Canning Meat Safely
  68. Canadian-Scout-Manual
  69. Build Classic-Crossbow
  70. Homemade-Weapons
  71. Beverage Plants
  72. Knotting-knots
  73. Hunting-and-Fishing
  74. Guide-to-Wilderness-Living
  75. Raw-Foods Guide
  76. Poultry
  77. Dry-Farming
  78. Home-Dried-Food
  79. Urban Preparation Kit
  80. Traps
  81. Wilderness Survival Skills
  82. Surviving-Terrorism
  83. Wilderness-Survival
  84. Water-Purification
  85. Nuclear War Survival Skills
  86. How to build a debris hut
  87. HHS Pandemic Influenza Plan
  88. Combat-Survival-Evasion
  89. Cold Weather_Survival – 1
  90. Cold Weather  Survival – 2
  91. Camp Life in the Woods and Trap Making
  92. Aids to survival
  93. Adventurer-Woodstravel-Module
  94. Evasion and recovery
  95. USMC Individual Terrorism Survival
  96. USMC-Winter-Survival-Course
  97. Wilderness-Evasion-a-Guide
  98. USMC-Summer-Survival-Course
  99. USMC-Pistol-Markmanship
  100. How-to-Kill-Tanks
  101. Combat-Training With Pistols
  102. Guerrila Warfare
  103. Map-Reading-and-Land-Navigation
  104. Topographic-Operations
  105. Terrain-Analysis
  106. Special Forces Caching Techniques
  107. Rifle-Marksmanship
  108. Rappelling
  109. Ranger-Unit-Operations
  110. Mountain-Operations
  111. Marine-Land-Navigation
  112. How-to-Start-and-Train-a-Militia-Unit
  113. How-to-Find-Your-Way
  114. Combat Survival Guerrila Skills Handbook
  115. Combat Skills
  116. Combat Guerrilla Survival Skills
  117. US Army Field Manual, Civil Disturbance Operations
  118. Basic food preparation
  119. Soldiers-Manual-of-Common-Tasks-Level-1
  120. Soldiers-Manual-of-Common-Tasks-Level-2-3-and-4
  121. Army Basic-Cold-Weather-Manual
  122. Army Camouflage-Concealment-and-Decoys
  123. Army Concrete-and-Masonry
  124. Carpentry
  125. Army Urban-Operations
  126. Where There is No Dentist
  127. Where-There-Is-No-Doctor
  128. Personal-wilderness-medical-kit
  129. Full-First-Aid-Manual-FM-2111
  130. Emergency War Surgery
  131. Ditch-Medicine-Advanced-Field-Procedures-For-Emergencies
  132. WHO-Monographs-on-Selected-Medicinal-Plants
  133. WHO-Monographs-on-Selected-Medicinal-Plants-Vol-2
  134. WHO-Monographs-on-Selected-Medicinal-Plants-Vol-3
  135. WHO-Monographs-on-Selected-Medicinal-Plants-Volume-4
  136. Useful-Wild-Plants-of-the-United-States-and-Canada
  137. How-to-make-herbal-preparations
  138. Survival Edible Medicinal-Plants
  139. Healing-Pets-With-Alternative-Medicine
  140. Edible-Wild-Plants
  141. Common Edible Mushrooms
  142. Anticancer Therapeutics
  143. Nature Cure
  144. Survival knots
  145. Ropes, Knots, Ladders, Lashings and Anchorages
  146. Knots, Splices and Rope Work
  147. Knots-for-Mountaineering, Camping, Climbing, Rescue
  148. Essential-Fishing-knots
  149. Encyclopedia of Knots
  150. Edible and medicinal plants

[Source: Ethiopian Review]

ጥቁሩ ሰው

Saturday, November 17th, 2012

“ጥቁሩ ሰው” ይናገራል!

የ አቶ ኦባንግ ሜቶ ቃለ ምልልስ ከ ጎልጉል ድረ ገጽ ጋር

November 16, 2012

Obang Metho

“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) ( 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!

ጎልጉል፦ደስተኛ ነህ?

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። (

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፡፡

[Source: Ethiopian Review]

Some of the poor in Addis Ababa survive on restaurant leftovers

Saturday, November 17th, 2012

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.

[Source: Ethiopian Review]

Division of Responsibilities for Self Liberation

Saturday, November 17th, 2012

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]

[Source: Ethiopian Review]

Ethiopian authorities manufacturing Muslim threat to stifle dissent: expert

Friday, November 16th, 2012

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.

[Source: Ethiopian Review]

ፌዴራል ፖሊሶች ህፃን በናትዋ ጀርባ ላይ እንዳለች በዱላ መተው ገደሏት

Friday, November 16th, 2012

ህዳር ፯ (ሰባት) ቀን ፳፻፭ ዓ/ም

ኢሳት ዜና:- በሀና ማሪያም አካባቢ መንግስት የሚያደርገውን መኖሪያ ቤቶችን የማፍረስ ዘመቻ አስፈፃሚ የሆኑ የፌድራል ፖሊሶች ህፃን በናትዋ ጀርባ ላይ እንዳለች በዱላ መተው መግደላቸው ተዘገበ።

ከ30.000 ሺህ በላይ አባ ወራ በተፈናቀለበት የንፋስልክ ላፍቶ ክፍለ ከተማ ወረዳ 01 መኖሪያ ቤቶችን የማፍረስ ዘመቻ ትላንት በናትዋ ጀርባ እንዳለች በፌድራል ፖሊስ ተመታ ከሞተችው ህፃን ጋር የሞቱት ቁጥር አራት ደርሰዋል።

መጠለያም ሆነ ተለዋጭ ቤት ሳያገኙ ቤታቸውን ከነንብረታቸው በግሬደር እየተደረመሰ ያለው የወረዳ 01 ነዋሪዎች ለብርድና ለሀሩር ከመዳረጋችን አልፎ በፌድራል ፖሊሶች የሚደርስባቸው ድብደባ ፣ እስራትና ግድያ ባስቸኮይ እንዲቆምላቸው ጥሪ አድርገዋል ።

በፌድራል ፖሊስ ወደ ተገደለችው ህፃን መጠለያ ለቅሶ ለመድረስ እንኮን አልተፈቀደልንም ያሉ ነዋሪዎች መንግስት የበደል በደል እየፈፀመብን ነው ሲሉ ምሬታቸውን ገልፀዋል።

በንፋስልክ ላፍቶ ክፍለ ከተማ ወረዳ 01 ከሳምንት በላይ በዘለቀው ቤቶችን የማፍረስ ዘመቻ ከ30 ሺህ በላይ ቤቶች ፈርሰው ከ100 ሺህ በላይ ሰዎች ከቤት ንብረታቸው ተፈናቅለው በሜዳ ላይ ወድቀው እንደሚገኙ ካአካባቢው ሰዎች የሚደርሰን መረጃ ያመለክታል።

በዚህ የማፍረስ ዘመቻ ቤተክርስቲያንና መስኪድ ሳይቀር መፍረሳቸውንም መዘገባችን ይታወሳል።

German’s Heinrich Böll Foundation leaves Ethiopia in protest

Thursday, November 15th, 2012

(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.

[Source: Ethiopian Review]

ፕሬዜዳንት ኦባማ በሁለተኛው ዙር ምርጫ ምን ይጠበቅባቸዋል

Thursday, November 15th, 2012

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::)

Controversy over Susan Rice nomination heats up

Thursday, November 15th, 2012

Republican Senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham told the president they will not allow him to name Ambassador Susan Rice as his new secretary of state.

VIDEO: … video.html

Susan Rice’s miserable record at the UN

By Richard Grenell

Most reporters haven’t been following Ambassador Susan Rice’s performance at the United Nations since her appointment in January 2009. To many journalists, Rice’s misleading interviews on the five Sunday Shows the weekend after the 9/11/12 terrorist attacks that killed U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens and three others were one of the first times they had heard from her. To veteran foreign policy observers, Rice’s shameful performance that Sunday was one of many blunders over the last four years.

Rice’s refusal to answer questions about why she blamed the Benghazi violence on a YouTube video was met Wednesday with a feisty defense from President Obama saying don’t blame Rice because the White House sent her out to do the Sunday shows. The “stop picking on Susan” retort from the president looked like a big brother defending his little sister on the playground. It was an odd moment for a woman wanting to be America’s top diplomat.

Obama’s spirited warnings to Republicans to leave Rice alone appeared to be a sign that the White House is shielding Rice from answering further questions about her performance.

The case against Susan Rice has been building for years with little fanfare. Not surprising, the mainstream media reporters based at the UN have either ignored her mistakes or strategically covered them up.

The Washington Post’s UN reporter Colum Lynch even wrote a glowing profile of Rice on September 23 – a week after her Sunday shows debacle – where he didn’t mention the Libya controversy until the 13th paragraph (a Washington Post staffer told me that editors had to add language about the Libya controversy to the piece).

Rice’s diplomatic failures and silence in the face of outrageous UN antics have given the United States pathetic representation among the 193 members of the world body. UN members, not surprisingly, prefer a weak opponent. Rice is therefore popular with her colleagues. It may explain why she ignored Syria’s growing problems for months.

Speaking out and challenging the status quo is seldom cheered at the UN. Her slow and timid response left the United States at the mercy of Russia and China, who ultimately vetoed a watered down resolution an unprecedented three times.

Ironically, Rice was very critical of the US’s performance at the UN under President George W. Bush and vowed to build better relationships with every country. In her current stump speech Rice claims with a straight face that her goal has been accomplished, “We’ve repaired frayed relations with countries around the world. We’ve ended needless American isolation on a wide range of issues. And as a consequence, we’ve gotten strong cooperation on things that matter most to our national security interest.”

Rice has been consistently silent on other important issues and ineffective when she does engage. She skipped Security Council meetings when Israel needed defending and even failed to show up for the emergency session on the Gaza Flotilla incident.

Rice didn’t even show up for the first two emergency Security Council meetings on the unfolding Arab Spring revolution last year. Rice stayed silent when Iran was elected to the U.N. women’s committee, she didn’t call out Libya when it was elected to the Human Rights Council, she was absent from the Haiti crisis meeting and was a no-show for the last open meeting scheduled before the planned UN vote to recognize Palestinian statehood. When she actually does show up, she is a miserable failure.

Take the crucial issue of Iran. Rice spent the last several years undermining and grumbling about the Bush administration’s increasingly tough measures but has only been able to pass one resolution of her own – compared with the Bush team’s five.

Rice’s one and only Iran resolution was almost 30 months ago. And it passed with just 12 votes of support – the least support we have ever seen for a Security Council sanctions resolution on Iran. In fact, Rice lost more support with her one resolution than the previous five Iran resolutions combined. She may claim she has repaired relationships with other countries but the evidence shows she’s gotten less support than the team she ridicules.

Whether the issue is Sudan, Egypt, North Korea, Israel or Rwanda, Rice has been either missing in action or unable to deliver a quick and effective resolution.

The Rice record at the UN speaks for itself. Anyone looking objectively at what she has or hasn’t accomplished during her tenure will deduce she has failed to convince UN members to support US priority issues. Nominating Susan Rice for Secretary of State is a mistake not just because of her Sunday show deceptions but because her tenure as America’s representative to the UN has been unworthy of a promotion.

Richard Grenell served as the spokesman for 4 U.S. Ambassadors to the U.N. including John Negroponte, John Danforth, John Bolton and Zalmay Khalilzad.

Source: … z2CJUPPUzs

Ethiopian Muslim protests show no signs of abating

Thursday, November 15th, 2012

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.

[Source: Ethiopian Review]

Ethiopian professor receives Fulbright Specialists Award

Thursday, November 15th, 2012

University Park, ILLINOIS — Gebeyehu Ejigu, executive vice president and chief of staff at Governors State University, has been selected for a Fulbright Specialists project in China at South China Normal University during the fall semester, according to the United States Department of State and the J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board.

Ejigu will present lectures and workshops designed to cover the structure, governance, financing, organization and management of the United States educational system at all levels — K-12 and postsecondary institutions at the two-and four-year levels, both public and private.

“I am delighted that the Fulbright Program has recognized Dr. Ejigu’s numerous contributions to higher education with the award of this highly competitive grant,” said GSU President Elaine P. Maimon. “Students, faculty members, and staff at South China Normal University will benefit from the wisdom Dr. Ejigu has attained from decades of creative achievements at U. S. universities. He will also strengthen Governors State University’s alliance with South China Normal and with other Chinese universities.

“As a scholar, Dr. Ejigu will also learn a great deal from his hosts — insights that will strengthen GSU’s commitment to prepare students for success in a global society. All of us at GSU are thrilled that the Fulbright Program has recognized Dr. Ejigu’s contributions and capabilities.”

Ejigu is one of more than 400 U.S. faculty and professionals who will travel abroad this year through the Fulbright Specialists Program. The Fulbright Specialists Program, created in 2000 to complement the traditional Fulbright Scholar Program, provides short-term academic opportunities (two to six weeks) to prominent U.S. faculty and professionals to support curricular and faculty development and institutional planning at post-secondary, academic institutions around the world.

Ejigu has been the executive vice president and chief of staff at Governors State University since 2007. As the chief financial and administrative officer and treasurer for the board of trustees, he is responsible for four major functional areas of the university including administration and finance, enrollment management and marketing, information technology. and human resources. Prior to coming to GSU, Ejigu was executive vice chancellor for Administrative Services and chief of staff for the University of Alaska – Anchorage and held key administrative positions at Arizona State University – West and in the University of Missouri System. Born in Ethiopia, Ejigu earned his BBA from Haile Selassie I University, his MBA from Syracuse University, his Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin – Madison, and an MLE Certificate from the Harvard Institute of Higher Education.

The Fulbright Program, America’s flagship international educational exchange activity, is sponsored by the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. Over its 60 years of existence, thousands of U.S. faculty and professionals have taught, studied, or conducted research abroad, and thousands of their counterparts from other countries have engaged in similar activities in the United States. More than 285,000 emerging leaders in their professional fields have received Fulbright awards, including individuals who later became heads of government, Nobel Prize winners, and leaders in education, business, journalism, the arts and other fields.

Recipients of Fulbright Scholar awards are selected on the basis of academic or professional achievement. Among thousands of prominent Fulbright Scholar alumni are Milton Friedman, Nobel Prize-winning economist; Alan Leshner, CEO of the American Association for the Advancement of Science; Rita Dove, Pulitzer Prize-winning poet; and Craig Barrett, chairman of the board of Intel Corp. Distinguished Fulbright Specialist participants include Mahmoud Ayoub, professor of religion at Temple University; Heidi Hartmann, president and CEO, Institute for Women’s Policy Research; Percy R. Luney Jr., dean and professor, College of Law, Florida A&M University; and Emily Vargas-Barone, founder and executive director of the RISE Institute. … 9d575.html

Obama’s adviser on human rights accuses Susan Rice of being a bystander to genocide

Thursday, November 15th, 2012

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.

[Source: Ethiopian Review]

My Republican dad’s wisdom

Thursday, November 15th, 2012

I am sure many Ethiopians who come from hard working families can identify with this article.


In 13 wards in Philadelphia, reports the Inquirer, President Barack Obama received 99 percent of the vote! A local Democratic ward leader outlined the strategy: “In this election, you had to point out to people what was at stake. And in many cases, they felt that the Romney doctrine was not going to favor the working man.”

Obama appears to have held on to most of his percentage of the black vote from 2008 – even though the black unemployment rate in October reached 14.3 percent. Emmanuel Cleaver, the head of the Congressional Black Caucus, admitted: “If (former President) Bill Clinton had been in the White House and had failed to address this problem, we probably would be marching on the White House.”

Lower taxes, less government spending on domestic programs and fewer regulations mean a better economy for everybody. These were the policies of the ’80s under Reagan. The results for minorities? In late 1982, Reagan’s second year in office, the unemployment rate for blacks was 20.4 percent. By 1989, his last year, the black unemployment rate had fallen to 11.4 percent – a 9 percent drop. In late 1982, the unemployment rate for Hispanics was 15.3 percent. By 1989, it had fallen to 8 percent – a drop of over 7 percentage points. White unemployment, by contrast, fell “only” 4 percentage points.

Still, as one prominent black businessman once told me, “Voting Republican would be like voting for the Klan.” When I informed him that Democrats started the Klan, he replied, “That was then.”

In my latest book, “Dear Father, Dear Son,” I write about my Republican father. “No poor person ever gave me a job,” he would tell my Democratic mom in opposing tax hikes “on the rich folks who can afford it.”

John F. Kennedy, an icon of the Democratic Party who pushed for deep tax cuts, argued, “A rising tide lifts all boats.” Urging a tax rate cut, Kennedy said: “It is a paradoxical truth that tax rates are too high today and tax revenues are too low – and the soundest way to raise revenues in the long run is to cut rates now. The experience of a number of European countries has borne this out. This country’s own experience with tax reductions in 1954 has borne this out, and the reason is that only full employment can balance the budget – and tax reduction can pave the way to full employment. The purpose of cutting taxes now is not to incur a budgetary deficit but to achieve the more prosperous expanding economy which will bring a budgetary surplus.”

President Barack Obama calls getting a “world class” education the “civil rights issue” of the 21st century. Yet the Democratic Party – and the teachers’ unions – fight against parental choice that allows one to opt-out of an underperforming government schools. This disproportionately hurts black parents who, according to polls, want the right to reject a bad government school.

And then there is the issue of what the welfare state has done to the family. My Democratic mom and Republican father did agree one thing: that government welfare made it “too easy” for the able-bodied “get on the county.” And my dad always said, “If you try to get something for nothing, you end up with nothing for something.”

In 1965, Daniel P. Moynihan wrote a book called: “The Negro Family Case for National Action.” At the time, 25 percent of black kids were born out of wedlock. Today, that number is 70 percent. Now 26 percent of white kids are born to unwed mothers. This is an indictment of the welfare state and a direct link to crime, drop-out rates and poverty. This is a crisis – but not a death sentence.

As I write in “Dear Father, Dear Son,” my “illegitimate” Republican father never knew his biological father. Raised by an irresponsible mother during the Great Depression in the Jim Crow south, my father was on his own from the age of 13. He worked two jobs as a janitor and saved enough to open up a small restaurant in his late 40s, which he ran until his 80s.

My dad’s wisdom was simple. Don’t play the victim: “Hard work wins. Nobody owes you a living. You get out of life what you put into it. And no matter how you hard work or how good you are, bad things will happen. How you react will tell if me and your mom raised a man.”

Larry Elder is a best-selling author and radio talk-show host. He can be reached at

Unity the path to change in Ethiopia: Researcher

Wednesday, November 14th, 2012

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.


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[Source: Ethiopian Review]

በአቡዳቢ አንድ ኢትዮጵያዊት ተደብደባና የፈላ ውሃ ተደፍቶባት ተገደለች

Wednesday, November 14th, 2012

(ESAT) — ለአስር ቀናት በሽቦ ታስራ በአሰሪዋ ስትደበደብ የቆየችው ኢትዮጲያዊ የቤት ሰራተኛ ስቃዩማ መከራው በዝቶባት ግርፋትና ጭካኔው ጠንክሮባት በታሰረችበት መሞቷን የተመለከተው ያሰሪዋ ልጅ ለፕሊስ ጥቆማ መስጠቱና ሞቷ መታወቁን ዘገባው አመልክቷል።

የአቡዳቢ ፍርድ ቤትን ዋቢ ያደረገው ይህ ዘገባ ጉዳዩ ፍ/ቤት ቀርባ ኢትዩጲያዊቷን ሰራተኛ አስራ መግረፏን ያመነች ሲሆን የፈላ ሲሆን የፈላ ውሃ እላዩ ላይ መድፋቷን ግን ክዳለች።

ለፖሊስ ቃላቸውን የሰጡትን የሰጡት የገዳዩ ልጆች እናታቸው ሰራተኛዋን ኢትዮጲያዊ በየቀኑ ታሰቃያትና ትገርፋት እንደነበር ተናግረዋል።

ለፍርድ ቤቱ የቀረበ የሃኪም ማሰረጃ እንዳመለከተው የኢትዮጲያዊቷ ሞት በደረሰባት ከፍተኛ ድብደባ በአጠቃላይ በሰውነቷ ላይ ያስከተለው ቁሰለት መመርቀዝ በማስከተሉ መሆኑን ከማብራራቱ በላይ በአይኗ ላይ የደረሰ ድብደባም አይኗ ውስጥ መድማትን ማስከተሉን አመልክቷል።

ኢትዮጵያዊቷ ሰነፍ በመሆኗ ደበደብኳት የምትለው ተከሳሽ ሆን ብዬ ለመግደል ያደረኩት አልነበረም ስትል ለፍርድ ቤቱ ገልጻለች።

የሟች ኢትዮጲያዊ ተከላካይ ጠበቃ ልጆቹ መጥተው የምስክርነት ቃላቸውን እንዲሰጡ ፍ/ቤት ለጠየቀው ጥያቄ የገዳዩ አውንታና እንቢታ ባይሰማም ጠበቃው ለፖሊስ የሰጡት ምስክርነት በቂ መሆኑን በመግለጽ እንደማይፈልጓቸው ገልፀዋል።

Africom commander Gen. Ham retires

Monday, November 12th, 2012

General at center of Benghazi-gate controversy retiring

By James S. Robbins – The Washington Times

October 29, 2012, 03:30PM

General Carter F. Ham, the Combatant Commander of Africa Command (AFRICOM) and a key figure in the Benghazi-gate controversy, is leaving the Army. On October 18, Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta had announced that General Ham would be succeeded at AFRICOM by General David Rodriguez. Later speculation tied this decision to the fallout from the September 11, 2012 attack in Benghazi that killed four Americans, including U.S. Ambassador to Libya Christopher Stevens. However on Monday October 29 a defense official told The Washington Times that "the decision [to leave AFRICOM] was made by General Ham. He ably served the nation for nearly forty years and retires after a distinguished career." Previously all that was known was that General Ham would be rotating out of AFRICOM at some future date, but not that he was leaving the service. General Ham is a few years short of the mandatory retirement age of 64, but it is not unusual for someone of that rank to retire after serving in such a significant command.

The questions concerning General Ham’s role in the September 11 events continue to percolate. Congressman Jason Chaffetz, Utah Republican, said that General Ham told him during a visit to Libya that he had never been asked to provide military support for the Americans under attack in Benghazi. Former United States Ambassador to the U.N. John R, Bolton also mentioned Mr. Chaffetz’s account, and contrasted it with Mr. Panetta’s statement that General Ham had been part of the team that made the decision not to send in forces. "General Ham has now been characterized in two obviously conflicting ways," Mr. Bolton concluded. "Somebody ought to find out what he actually was saying on September the eleventh."

No word yet on when General Ham’s rotation or retirement take effect. … ing/print/

Let’s Get Real and Conduct Strategic Struggle

Monday, November 12th, 2012

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]

[Source: Ethiopian Review]

Arabica coffee beans face extinction – Ethiopian researchers

Monday, November 12th, 2012

(CBS) — A cup of morning coffee could be much harder to find, and much more expensive, before the century is out thanks to climate change and the possible extinction of wild Arabica beans.

That’s the warning behind a new study by U.K. and Ethiopian researchers who say the beans that go into 70 per cent of the world’s coffee could be wiped out by 2080.

Researchers at the Royal Botanic Gardens in Kew and the Environment and Coffee Forest Forum in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia looked at how climate change might make some land unsuitable for Arabica plants, which are highly vulnerable to temperature change and other dangers including pests and disease.

They came up with a best-case scenario that predicts a 38 per cent reduction in land capable of yielding Arabica by 2080. The worst-case scenario puts the loss at between 90 per cent and 100 per cent.

There is a “high risk of extinction” says the study, which was published this week in the academic journal Plos One.

That would be bad news for both coffee drinkers and coffee-producing countries such as Ethiopia, Brazil and Colombia, which in 2009/2010 shipped some 93 million bags of coffee around the world, worth an estimated $15.4 billion.

Most coffee is made from Arabica beans. They are prized for their genetic diversity and grow best at between 18 C and 21 C. Above that, the plants ripen too quickly — which affects taste — or grow too slowly. Other coffee stems from Robusta beans.

The study goes on to note that its results are “conservative” because it did not take into account the large-scale deforestation of the Arabica-suitable highland forests of Ethiopia and South Sudan.

"The models assume intact natural vegetation, whereas the highland forests of Ethiopia and South Sudan are highly fragmented due to deforestation," the researchers wrote. Pests, disease and other factors were also not considered.

The authors of the report say certain "core sites" capable of yielding Arabica until at least 2080 should be set aside for conservation.

What Should Ethiopians Expect in a Second Obama Term?

Sunday, November 11th, 2012

obIt 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:

[Source: Ethiopian Review]

China’s new leadership faces growing number of crises

Sunday, November 11th, 2012

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]

[Source: Ethiopian Review]

በጅጅጋ የሚታየው የሰብአዊ መብት ጥሰት አሳሳቢ ደረጃ ላይ ደርሷል

Saturday, November 10th, 2012

ህዳር ፩ (አንድ) ቀን ፳፻፭ ዓ/ም ኢሳት ዜና:-ኢሳት ያነጋገራቸው ነዋሪዎች፣ ሰራተኞችና ጎብኝዎች እንደገለጹት በኢትዮጵያ የሶማሊ ክልል ዋና ከተማ በሆነው ጅጅጋም ሆነ ከጅጅጋ ከተማ ራቅ ባሉ ቦታዎች ከፍተኛ የሆነ የሰብአዊ መብት ጥሰቶች በተወላጅ የኦጋዴንና የሌሎችም ጎሳዎች አባላት እንዲሁም በክልሉ ውስጥ በሚኖሩ የሌሎች አካባቢዎች ተወላጆች ላይ እየተፈጸመ ነው። አንድ ስማቸው እንዳይጠቀስ የፈለጉ የመንግስት ሰራተኛ በመቶዎች የሚቆጠሩ ከሌሎች [...]

በሚዛን ተፈሪ አቅራቢያ አንድ ወር ያስቈጠረ ግጭት ሊቆም አልቻለም

Saturday, November 10th, 2012

ህዳር ፩ (አንድ) ቀን ፳፻፭ ዓ/ም ኢሳት ዜና:-ከሚዛን ተፈሪ 90 ኪሎ ሜትር ርቀት  ላይ በምትገኘውና  ልዩ ስሟ <<ዲማ>> ተብሎ በሚጠራው ቦታ በሱርማ እና በዲዙ ብሔረሰብ መካከል በተፈጠረ ግጭት በርካታ የአካባቢው ነዋሪዎች መጎዳታቸው ተሰማ። ጉዳዩን አስመልክተው ለኢሳት  ቃለ-ምልልስ የሰጡ የአካባቢው ነዋሪዎች እንዳሉት፤ግጭቱ ከተከሰተ አንድ ወር ያስቆጠረ ቢሆንም፤ እስካሁን ሊበርድ አልቻለም። የፌዴራል የመከላከያ ሠራዊት ወደ ስፋራው ቢላክም [...]

የሱዳን አማፅያን ጥቃት ሊፈጽምባቸው የሄደን የመንግስት የጦር አውሮፕላን መተው መጣላቸውን ገለፁ

Saturday, November 10th, 2012

ህዳር ፩ (አንድ) ቀን ፳፻፭ ዓ/ም ኢሳት ዜና:-የሱዳን ህዝቦች የነፃነት ንቅናቄ እንዳለው፤ አማጽያኑ የመንግስትን  አንቶኖቭ ቦምብ ጣይ አውሮፕላን  በደቡብ ኮርዶፋ ግዛት ጃው በተባለ አካባቢ ከአፈር ጋር ቀላቅለውታል። ጉዳዩን አስመልክቶ የአልበሽር አስተዳደር እስካሁን የሰጠው አስተያዬት የለም። በ አማጽያኑ እና በመንግስት  ሠራዊት መካከል እየተካሄደ ባለው ጦርነት ሳቢያ ከደቡባዊ ኮርዶቻና ከጥቁር አባይ ግዛቶች ብቻ በ አስር ሽዎች የሚቆጠሩ [...]

A U.S. panel accused Ethiopia’s regime of abusing religious freedom of Muslims

Saturday, November 10th, 2012

(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.

[Source: Ethiopian Review]

High-ranking Ethiopian regime official seeks asylum in Canada

Saturday, November 10th, 2012

(ESAT) — The Director of Ethiopia’s Federal Civil Service Agency has reportedly sought asylum in Canada. The longtime TPLF loyalist Atakliti Hagos reportedly left Ethiopia for good with his family, which is seen as a sign of frustration and division within the ruling elite after the death of former Prime Minister Meles Zenawi.

ESAT learnt that Atakliti has been absent from work for over two months but reportedly arrived in Canada a over month ago.

ESAT effort to get a statement in relation to the director’s defection from the Federal Civil Service Agency did not bear any fruits.

Another high ranking TPLF official, Getachew Belay, former deputy Chief Executive Officer of the Endowment Fund for the Rehabilitation of Tigray (EFFORT) and Minister of Revenue reportedly fled to the United States. He was said to have disputes with Azeb Mesfin over money.

According to informed sources, Getachew, a close relative of Sebhat Nega is said to have siphoned off millions of dollars.

TPLF’s business conglomerate EFFORT is known to have been rife with corruption. It neither pays income tax nor allows external auditors to look at its books.

CIA Director David Petraeus resigns citing extramarital affair

Friday, November 9th, 2012

By Andrea Mitchell and Robert Windrem, NBC News

CIA Director David Petraeus resigned Friday, citing an extramarital affair he had.

Multiple sources tell NBC News that Mike Morrell, the deputy CIA director and a longtime CIA officer, would likely be offered the job as acting director but with the understanding that he may be elevated to the job permanently at some point.

That’s how George Tenet got the job, first as deputy director in July 1995, then acting director following the resignation of John Deutch in December 1996 and finally as director in July 1997, staying on in the Bush Administration.

Morrell is a longtime CIA analyst and was an eyewitness to two of the most momentous events in recent U.S. history. He was traveling with President George W. Bush on Sept. 11, 2001, as the president’s briefer, and was in the Situation Room on May 1, 2011, as deputy CIA Director, when Navy SEALs killed Osama bin Laden.
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Here is Petraeus’ resignation letter:

HEADQUARTERS Central Intelligence Agency

9 November 2012
Yesterday afternoon, I went to the White House and asked the President to be allowed, for personal reasons, to resign from my position as D/CIA. After being married for over 37 years, I showed extremely poor judgment by engaging in an extramarital affair. Such behavior is unacceptable, both as a husband and as the leader of an organization such as ours. This afternoon, the President graciously accepted my resignation.

As I depart Langley, I want you to know that it has been the greatest of privileges to have served with you, the officers of our Nation’s Silent Service, a work force that is truly exceptional in every regard. Indeed, you did extraordinary work on a host of critical missions during my time as director, and I am deeply grateful to you for that.

Teddy Roosevelt once observed that life’s greatest gift is the opportunity to work hard at work worth doing. I will always treasure my opportunity to have done that with you and I will always regret the circumstances that brought that work with you to an end.
Thank you for your extraordinary service to our country, and best wishes for continued success in the important endeavors that lie ahead for our country and our Agency.

With admiration and appreciation,
David H. Petraeus … ffair?lite

Naming Isaias Afwerki as ‘person of the year’

Friday, November 9th, 2012

The reaction of Woyanne maggots has convinced me more than ever that naming Isaias Afwerki as "person of the year" in 2008 was one of the best editorial decisions I made in my 21 years as editor of Ethiopian Review. Four years later it is still burning them. They consistently bring it in almost every conversation. Amazing

Cloud of uncertainty over Ethiopia after Meles: UK Institute

Friday, November 9th, 2012

After Meles: Implications for Ethiopia’s Development

BY  Handino, M., Lind, J. and Mesfin, B |UK Institute of Development Studies

October 2012

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?

The late Ethiopian dictator

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.

[Source: Ethiopian Review]

Ethiopian wolves face extinction; only 500 remain

Thursday, November 8th, 2012

Last 500 Ethiopian Wolves Endangered by Lack of Genetic Diversity
By John R. Platt November 8, 2012
The last wolves in Africa face a difficult road if they are going to survive. Just 500 Ethiopian wolves (Canis simensis) remain in the mountains of the country for which they are named. The animals now live in six fragmented populations located hundreds of kilometers apart from one another; three of these populations have fewer than 25 wolves each. According to a study published last month in Animal Conservation, the Ethiopian wolf now suffers from low genetic diversity and a weak flow of genes between packs. As we have seen with other rare species such as Florida panthers, Tasmanian devils and great Indian bustards, low genetic diversity can result in inbreeding, impaired birth rates and the inability to adapt to diseases or other ecological threats. The danger for Ethiopian wolves is not theoretical—rabies outbreaks in 1991–92 and 2003 each killed several hundred wolves.

Read more details at this link: … diversity/

How to Bankrupt EFFORT (TPLF) Companies

Wednesday, November 7th, 2012

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]

[Source: Ethiopian Review]

Election results – Obama wins reelection

Tuesday, November 6th, 2012

Final election results according to Foxnews and CNN

Kentucky – Romney
Indiana – Romney
Vermont – Obama

Electoral College Votes (272 needed to win)

Obama – 3
Romney – 19

The first presidential election results are in from New Hampshire – it’s a tie

Tuesday, November 6th, 2012

(CNN) – The first presidential election results are in – and it’s a tie.

President Barack Obama and his Republican rival, Mitt Romney, each received five votes in Dixville Notch, New Hampshire.

The town in the state’s northeast corner has opened its polls shortly after midnight each election day since 1968 – but today’s tie was the first in its history.

The result was unexpected, said town clerk Dick Erwin. The town has two registered Democrats, three Republicans and five independents.

"Considering the way things are polling around the country, we may have been the first tie of the day," said town clerk Dick Erwin, noting the national polls showing a virtual dead heat in the race. "Keep your eyes on the news reports, because it’s going to be a wild ride."

The town, home to about a dozen residents, has drawn national media attention for being the first place in the country to make its presidential preferences known.

However, since 1996, another small New Hampshire town – Hart’s Location – reinstated its practice from the 1940s and also began opening its polls at midnight.

The result there? Obama 23; Romney 9

The result in Dixville Notch is hardly a reliable bellwether for the eventual winner of the White House – or even the result statewide.

Although the community typically leans Republican, residents went for Obama in 2008 – the first time the majority of folks in Dixville Notch went for a Democrat in 40 years.

Why I Will Not Vote for Obama Again

Monday, November 5th, 2012

In 2008, Obama got an almost unanimous support from Ethiopians in the Unites States who are numbered at least 500,000. Ethiopians in Ethiopia were also jubilant to see the first black American president.

When Obama first ran for president, I got a call from a good friend of mine who was then an active member of the 2008 Obama Campaign. List of names were provided to me so that I can make phone calls and encourage voters to register and vote for Obama. I called many undecided voters in Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Florida and played my small share to get Obama elected.

I spent more than two weekends on the road, knocking doors in Lake County Indiana, and distributing pamphlets to promote the election of Obama. I was a passionate Obama supporter.

I remember in one of the debate he had with Senator McCain, foreign aid to Colombia was raised as an issue. McCain accused Obama of not willing to support an ally of the US. Obama responded that the US must not coddle with leaders that oppress their people.

I remember in an interview Obama had at Pastor Rick Warren’s Church. He stressed that he is a Christian, believing in the teaching of the Bible. He stated that marriage is between a man and a woman.

It is true, Obama inherited a bad economy. However the seriousness of the economic situation then was well known to him at that time. He campaigned to fix it. He promised he would cut the national debt in half and create jobs. He made a case for a comprehensive immigration law. He portrayed himself as the man that would bring Americans together.

I believed him, as did the majority of American voters. Not only we made him President, we gave him a filibuster-proof Democratic Senate and a House of representative controlled by Democrats. Few presidents before him were given this much power.

Obama may look like me in his color of the skin. I may have emotional attachment to him. However, do I not need to measure him by what he did, what he said for the last 4 years and the content of his character?

I applaud President Obama for what he did in Abbot Abad (Pakistan) and Michigan. He saved GM and killed Bin Laden. I say “good work”. However, as I pay closer attention to his other records of the last 4 years, other than betrayal and disappointment, there isn’t much.


In May 2012, President Obama publicly stated that his views had evolved and that he now believes that same sex marriage must be allowed in America. He basically made a complete U-turn on what he said 4 years ago, a complete betrayal of trust, many men and women of faith had in him.

Is this a value of Ethiopian-Americans? Using his bully pulpit, if the President of the United States, continues to be the unofficial spokesperson of the organized attack against traditional marriage, wouldn’t a vote for him be considered as a vote against traditional marriage? I believe Ethiopian- Americans will place their God-fearing heritages, values and traditions first and reject the gross attack against traditional marriage, which President Obama and the Democratic Party are part of. Let us not vote against our values. Let us not vote for Obama. Let us not vote to destroy the natural and God-created social fabrics of marriage.

Many of us expected the Obama administration to take strong stands against dictators and take meaningful action to promote democracy and human right in Africa.

“No person wants to live in a society where the rule of law gives way to the rule of brutality and bribery. That is not democracy that is tyranny, and now is the time for it to end. In the 21st century, capable, reliable and transparent institutions are the key to success – strong parliaments and honest police forces; independent judges and journalists; a vibrant private sector and civil society. Those are the things that give life to democracy, because that is what matters in peoples’ lives. He said in his speech in Ghana, the first and last African trip of his presidency.

However, the Obama Administration record when it comes to human right, free press, good governance is the exact opposite to its rhetoric and very disappointing. Obama has turned his back to the suffering of the people.

To take Ethiopia as an example, the arrest and incarceration of political leaders, reporters and human right activists, the rigged and shameful election of 2002 that gave 99.6% of the parliament seat to the ruling party, the closure of independent newspaper, the jamming of independent radios like the VOA, the systemic blockage of independent websites, the killings of innocent civilians by security forces, the use of foreign aid to silence dissident voices by the late dictator Meles Zenawi were completely ignored by the Obama Administration. Obama had the chance to meet with Zenawi on many occasions. His officials are often in contact with Ethiopian government authorities. Through IMF and World Bank, the US played instrumental role in providing aids to Zenawi. Had there been willingness and genuine commitment to democracy and human right, the Obama administration would have some strong leverage to pressure Zenawi. However, to the disappointment of many, Obama refused to take any action. What we got from Obama and his officials are only words and empty promises. One of Obama’s cabinet members, UN Ambassador Susan Rice, went even further to call the oppositions “idiots and fools”.

What we got for our support in 2008 is to be characterized as fools and idiots. What we witnessed is not an Obama that refused to coddle with dictators, but an Obama who is a friend and accomplice of dictators.

Ethiopian-Americans want a president that respects humanity, the rule of law, tolerance and democracy. They reject tyranny and dictatorship. Therefore, is it right to vote for a president who coddle with dictators? Is this our value? Let us not vote against our values. Let us not vote against dictatorship. Let us not vote for Obama.


Many of my readers may not know South Side Chicago. It is sad to see how deep and crushing poverty has become in that area. If you look at Detroit, it has become a ghost town. Unemployment among African Americans, Latinos is more than 15%. One out of three students does not finish high school. People on food stamps have grown from 30 million to 49 million under Obama. One out Five Americans is on food stamp. Does this not make President Obama the Food stamp president?

Condition of schools, in the inner cities, is disturbing. Many who managed to buy properties due to better economic condition under Clinton, have lost their jobs and properties and found themselves in the wilderness. One third of college graduates are forced to return back to their parents.

Under the Obama administration, in the name of fixing the economy, hundreds of billions of dollars were wasted. The mainstream, middle class and poor Americans, have gotten nothing when big banks, Wall Street people were bailed out and gotten help. The majority of us were left in the cold. Wealthy people continued to be wealthy. Jobs continued to be shipped out to China and India. No major policies were proposed, seen and implemented by the Obama administration to address poverty in inner cities.

At the end of the Bush second term, the national debt was $10.6 trillion. In eight years, after waging two major wars, Bush added $4.8 trillion to the debt. Obama promised to cut the debt by half and make it around $5 trillion. However, in just one term, with the war in Iraq ended and the war in Afghanistan winding down, the national debt has alarmingly become more than $16 trillion. These numbers may look abstract to many; but it means that America is heading to an economic disaster that we are seeing now in Greece.


When it comes to Immigration, no actions were taken the first three years. But in the fourth election year, some executive actions were taken to temporarily grant work permit to children of illegal immigrants. This is a cheap and deceptive political gamesmanship to deceive mostly the Latino community. This is an insult to immigrants.

Obama could have gotten comprehensive immigration reform. He had a filibuster Senate and House at his disposal. Democrats controlled the legislative and executive branches of the government. He could have shown leadership and do the right thing; but he failed. Now to cover his failures and get Latinos’ vote, he came up with this cheap temporary scheme.

Speaking of Immigration, it needs to be noted that Obama deported more immigrants than any prior president did.

I believe it is important that we vote this year and vote our values and our interests. Let us not be deceived by the talk of color. Let us not be misled by silly excuses.

Because the problem he inherited was deep, some argue that Obama needs another four years to finish his job. I would have agreed with such call. However, I do not see any job that has started. Other than bringing small issues to attack his opponent, no serious proposal has been put forward by Obama.

I respect those who still support Obama. But I call for people to follow their mind but not their heart. I call for a pause and complete assessment of the last 4 years.

In this close election, it is believed that the vote of tens of thousands Ethiopian-Americans in Virginia may indeed decide the outcome of the election. Virginia is a very important swing state. Virginia may decide the election.

In other battle ground states like Ohio, Colorado and Pennsylvania, though not like Virginia, Ethiopian-Americans, Orthodox Coptic and evangelical churches are flourishing. It is vital and important we Ethiopian-Americans register and vote.

President Obama had 4 years. He failed. It is time for a change.

Obama failed to stand for the cause of freedom

Monday, November 5th, 2012

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.

[Source: Ethiopian Review]

ኢትዮጵያዊያን አሜሪካውያን በ2012 ምርጫ መሳተፍ ይገባቸዋል

Monday, November 5th, 2012

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 2012የመራጮች 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::

Statement from the Holy Synod of Ethiopian Orthodox Church

Monday, November 5th, 2012

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.

[Source: Ethiopian Review]

Ethiopian Americans Gotta Vote in 2012!

Sunday, November 4th, 2012
 It’s Not Just About an Election  

v3In 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.


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: and

Previous commentaries by the author are available at:  and

[Source: Ethiopian Review]

The 66 TPLF Parasitic Companies Under EFFORT

Sunday, November 4th, 2012

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]

[Source: Ethiopian Review]

Obama, Romney tied at 47 in Pennsylvania

Sunday, November 4th, 2012

By Eliana Johnson

Campaigning in Mentor, Ohio today, President Obama drew a crowd of 4,000. RNC research director Joe Pounder notes that, four years ago, John McCain drew a bigger ground to the same venue.

This appears to be something of a trend. Last night, Mitt Romney drew 30,000 to a Cincinnati rally, while 2,800 people showed up to see President Obama at the Franklin County fairgrounds. … na-johnson

TPLF army branching out into banking

Saturday, November 3rd, 2012

Defense Ministry set to establish Army Bank

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”.

TPLF to start own 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.

[Source: Ethiopian Review]

Illiterate Ethiopian children hacked Motorola Xoom tablets

Saturday, November 3rd, 2012

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?”

በመከላከያ ሚኒስቴር የተፈጠረው ሽኩቻ እየበረታ ሄዷል

Saturday, November 3rd, 2012

(እየሩሳሌም አርአያ)

በመከላከያ ያለው ሽኩቻ እየበረታ ሄዶዋል። በጄ/ል ሳሞራ ትዕዛዝ የአየር ሓይል አዛዥ የነበሩት ጄ/ል ሞላ ሃ/ማሪያም ከሃላፊነት እንዲነሱ ተደርጎዋል። በምትካቸው ደግሞ ጄ/ል መሃሪ ዘውዴ እንደሚቀመጡ ታውቓል። በቅርቡ የሜ/ጄኔራልነት ሹመት ያገኙት እና ወዲ ዘውዴ በሚል የሚጠሩት ጄ/ል መሃሪ ዘውዴ ከበረሃ አንስቶ ከሳሞራ ጋር የጠበቀ ወዳጅነት እንዳላቸው ከዚህ ቀደም ጠቁሜ ነበር። የሹመታቸው ምስጢሩ ሳሞራ ናቸው። ካኤርትራ የሚወለዱት ወዲ ዘውዴ ከሳሞራ ባለፈ ለመለስ ታማኝ አገልጋይ የነበሩ ናችው። በኢትዮ-ኤርትራ ጦርነት « ፈሪ» ተብለው እንደተገመገሙ ታማኝ ምንጮች አስታውሰዋል።

በአንጻሩ ጄ/ል ሞላ ወደ አየር ሃይል አዛዥነት ከመምጣታቸው በፊት የላቀ ጀብዱ እንደፈጸሙ ምንጮች ጠቁመዋል። በሻእቢያ ጦርነት ወቅት ኰ/ል ማእረግ የነበራቸው ሞላ በባድመ፡ አስመራ፡ ተሰኔ….በመሳሰሉ ከባድ ውጊያዎች ላይ የጦር ጄቶችን በማብረር ሻእቢያን ድባቅ የመቱ ኢትዮጵያዊ ጀግና ናቸው።

ጄ/ል ሞላ ለአቶ መለስና ለሳሞራ ከፍተኛ ተቃውሞ እንደነበራቸው ሲታወቅ በተለይ በጦርነቱ የተፈጥጸመው ሴራ፡ አሰብ ወደብን ለመያዝ የተነደፈው ፕላን መኮላሽትን ጨምሮ ባድመን እንስጥ የሚለውን ባለ 5 ነጥብ የክህደት አጀንዳና ሌሎች የነመለስ – ሳሞራ ሕገ ወጥ አካሔዶችን አጥብቀው ያወግዙ እንደነበረ ተጠቁሞል። «በራሱ እምነት የሚጉዝ ጠንካራ ሰው» ተብለው በባልደረቦቻቸው የሚሞካሹት ጄ/ል ሞላ ያራምዱት በነበረው አቁዋም በነመለስ- በረከት ጥርስ ተነክሶባቸው ቆይቶዋል። ከዚያም ባለፈ « የአንጃ ደጋፊ» በሚል ተገምግመዋል። ቢሆንም ግን ከአቖማቸው ዝንፍ ሳይሉ ቖይተዋል።

ከጄ/ል ሞላ ጋር የቅርብ ወዳጅ የነበሩትና የአየር ሃይል ባልደረባ የነበሩት ኰ/ል ክብሮም በ1996ዓ.ም የመለስን – ባድመን አሳልፎ የመስጠት አጀንዳ በመቃወም ሰራዊቱን ሰብስበው እንዲያወግዝ የማነሳሳት ጥሪ በማድረጋቸው አንዲባረሩ ተደርጎዋል። በ1999 ዓ.ም ማእረጋቸው ተገፎ እንዲባረሩ የተደረጉት የቀድሞ የአየር ሃይል አዛዥ ጄ/ል አለምሽት ደግፌ ፡ መጀመሪያ ያራምዱት የነበረውን – መለስን የመደገፍ አቁዋም በመተው መቃወም በመጀመራቸው ውሳኔው ሊተላለፍባቸው ችሎዋል። ጄ/ል አለምሽት ከስልጣን ከመነሳታቸው በፊት አንድ አስገራሚ ነገር ሰርተዋል፤ በ1993 ዓ.ም የአቶ መለስን ተሃድሶ በማውገዝ ጥለው የወጡት ጄ/ል ታደሰ በርሄ (ጋውና) እና ዶ/ር ነጋሶ ጊዳዳ « መታሰር አለባቸው » ሲሉ በወቅቱ የተከራከሩት ጄ/ል አለምሽት ከጊዜ በሁዋላ ለሁለቱም የቀድሞ ባለስልጣናት ስልክ ደውለው ይቅርታ መጠየቃቸው ነበር። « በናንተ ላይ ሳራምድ የነበረው ተግባር አሳዝኖኛል፤ የመለስን አካሄድ ያወቅኩት ዘግይቶ ነው። ይቅርታ አድርጉልኝ።» እንዳሉዋቸው ታማኝ ምንጮች አረጋግጠዋል። በነገራችን ላይ አለምሽት ቦሌ አካባቢ በየእለቱ መጠጥ ሲጎነጩና
ሲበሳጩ ይታያሉ።

በአለምሽት ቦታ የተተኩት ጄ/ል ሞላ ለ4 አመት አየር ሃይልን ሲመሩ ከቆዩ በሁላ መነሳታቸው ከጀርባ ያለውን ከባድ የፖለቲካ ሽኩቻ ወደከፋ ጫፍ እንደሚያሽጋግረው የቅርብ ምንጮች ስጋታቸውን አስቀምጠዋል። ጄ/ል ሞላ በአየር ሃይልና በመከላከያ በርካታ ደጋፊዎች እንዳላቸው ምንጮቹ ጠቁመዋል።

በሌላም በኩል ጄ/ል መሃሪ ዘውዴ በአንድ የአየር ሃይል አንጋፋ መኮንን ላይ የፈጸሙት አሳዛኝ ድርጊት ይገኛል። መ/አ ለማ ይባላሉ፤ የኦሮሞ ተወላጅ ናቸው። ለ25 አመታት በአየር ሃይል አገልግለዋል። በኢትዮጵያ በግራውንድ ስኩል እንዲሁም በሩሲያ ከፍተኛ ስልጠና ወስደዋል። ኤል-39 የመለማመጃ አውሮፕላን ሴፍቲ ሃላፊ ነበሩ። ከተግባርድ ጀርባ ኪራይ ቤቶች በሰጣቸው መኖሪያ ተከራይተው ይኖሩ ነበር። በ1996ዓ.ም ለውሽማቸው ቤቱን መስጠት የፈለጉት ጄ/ል መሃሪ መ/አ ለማን ቤቱን ይጠይቃቸዋል፤ «ለምን እለቃለው?» በማለት እምቢ ይላሉ። ጄ/ል ወዲ ዘውዴ ለማስፈራራት ይሞክራሉ። ለማ ግን አልተበገሩም። ጄኔራሉ የአየር ሃይል ኤር-ፖሊሶችን በማሰማራት መ/አ ለማ በመኖሪያ ቤታቸው በምሽት ያስደበድባሉ። በአጋጣሚ ፓትሮል የሚዞሩ ፌደራል ፖሊሶች ደርሰው ያስጥሉኣቸዋል።

መ/አ ለማ ለደታ ፍ/ቤት ይከሳሉ፤ ደብዳቢዎቹ ፍ/ቤት ቀርበው ሲጠየቁ « ወዲ ዘውዴ ነው የላከን» ይላሉ። ከዚያም ጄ/ሉ ተከሰሱ፤ በአስገራሚ ሁኔታ ፍ/ቤቱ ክሱን በማቓረጥ «ጉዳዪ በወታደራዊ ፍ/ቤት ነው መታየት ያለበት» አለ። መ/አ ለማ በደረሰባቸው ከባድ ድብደባ አንድ ጆሮቸው አይሰማም፤ኩላሊታቸውና እግራቸው ክፉኛ ተጎድቶ ስለነበረ፤ የሃኪሞች ቦርድ «መስራት እንደማይችሉ በመግለጽ ቦርድ እንዲወጡ ወሰነ።

ይህን ተከትሎ ጄ/ል ወዲ ዘውዴ ባሳለፉት ቀጭን ትእዛዝ መ/አ ለማ እስር ቤት ተወረወሩ፤በየቀኑ ከፍተኛ ድብደባ ይፈጸምባቸው ነበር። ክእስር ቤት በተደጋጋሚ ደብዳቤ ጽፈዋል፤ በወቅቱ የመከላከያ ሚ/ር ለነበሩት አባዱላ ገመዳ ጭምር የአቤቱታ ጥሪ አሰምተዋል። ሰሚ ግን አላገኙም።

መጀመሪያ በአየር ሃይል ከዛም በታጠቅና ናዝሬት እስርቤቶች የታሰሩትና ከፍተኛ ግፍና ሰቆቃ የተፈራረቀባቸው መ/አ ለማ መጨረሻቸው ምን እንደሆነ አይታወቅም።

Ethiopian authorities abusing Muslim population: Amnesty International

Saturday, November 3rd, 2012

Ethiopia: Government continues to target peaceful Muslim protest movement

Amnesty International

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.


[Source: Ethiopian Review]

Ethiopian journalist honored in Beverly Hills

Saturday, November 3rd, 2012

(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.

Reeyot AlemuThe 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.

[Source: Ethiopian Review]

Ethiopia Muslims stage peaceful protest after Friday prayer

Saturday, November 3rd, 2012

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.

[Source: Ethiopian Review]

EPRDF corrupt from top to bottom: pro-government paper

Thursday, November 1st, 2012

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 (

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!

[Source: Ethiopian Review]

72 Ethiopian refugees drowned in the Gulf of Aden

Thursday, November 1st, 2012

Tragedy in the Gulf of Aden: Even the "Golden Race" Are Not Spared!


At least 72 Ethiopian refugees drowned in the Gulf of Aden

Bodies of Ethiopian drowning victims in Yemen

October 27, 2012 — At least 72 Ethiopian migrants are reported to have drowned yesterday while attempting to cross from Bossaso, Somalia to Yemen, authorities there reported.

The migrants were traveling in two boats which were hit by strong winds and waves that capsized them miles off the Yemeni shore, state officials disclosed.

Fleeing political oppression and economic hardship, Yemen is seen as a gateway for other parts of Middle East due to its proximity to more prosperous gulf states.

Despite the risks of the voyage, some 75,000 thousand Ethiopian migrants cross the Gulf of Aden annually, according to the United Nation’s refugee agency.

Yemen says it will implement measures in the immediate future that could reduce the rising number of Ethiopian migrants entering the country, according to Interior Minister Abdul-Qader Qahtan … owned.html

Assessing Meles Zenawi’s Rule

Thursday, November 1st, 2012

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://

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

[Source: Ethiopian Review]

Who would you vote for? Obama or Romney? (poll)

Thursday, November 1st, 2012

Who would you vote for to be president? Obama or Romney? Vote please.

ጠቅላይ ሚኒስትር ኃይለማሪያም ደሣለኝ ቤተመንግሥት ገቡ (VOA)

Wednesday, October 31st, 2012

አቶ መለስ ዜናዊን በመተካት ከአምስት ሣምንታት በፊት ቃለ መሃላ የፈፀሙት ጠቅላይ ሚኒስትር ኃይለማሪያም ደሣለኝ ወደ አራት ኪሎ ቤተ መንግሥት የታዘወሩት ከትላንትና በስቲያ ዕሁድ ነው።

አቶ ኃይለማሪያም ሥራቸውን ወዲያው የጀመሩት በጠቅላይ ሚኒስትሩ ፅ/ቤት ቅጥር ግቢ ውስጥ በተዘጋጀላቸው ጊዜአዊ ቢሮ እንደነበር ምንጮች ለአሜሪካ ድምፅ ራዲዮ ገልፀዋል።

ከሁሉም በላይ ትኩረት ስቦ የቆየው ግን ላለፉት አምስት ሣምንታት ጠቅላይ ሚኒስትሩ ከመኖሪያ ቤታቸው እየተመላለሱ ለመሥራት መገደዳቸው ነው።

ለዚህም ምክንያቱ የቀድሞዋ ቀዳሚት እመቤት አዜብ መስፍን ቤተመንግሥቱን ለቅቀው አለመውጣት እንደነበረ አንዳንድ መገናኛ ብዙኃን ጠቅሰዋል።

አንድ የኢትዮጵያ መሪ ከቤተመንግሥት ውጭ ሲኖር አቶ ኃይለማሪያም የመጀመሪያው እንደሆኑ በመግለፅ የተቹም ነበሩ።
ዝርዝሩን ከእስክንድር ፍሬው ዘገባ ያድምጡ። … 91bb97.mp3

Romney leading Obama 52 to 45 percent in early voting (Boston Herald)

Wednesday, October 31st, 2012

By Michael Graham, Boston Herald

One week from today, the Boston Herald’s front page will either read “Obama Pulls Out Victory” Or “Romney Wins.” (Actually, given that this is the Herald the headline will be something clever like, “He’s Barack In Charge!” or “Sweet Mitt-ory!”)

I predict the latter. One week from today, Mitt wins.

I’ll even go a step farther. I’ll ask the question poll watchers across America are thinking but afraid to ask: Is this election over?

If your source of news is MSNBC or the Boston Globe-Democrat, obviously not. If anything, you think President Obama is on the verge of a massive sweep from North Carolina to Nevada.

But if you’ve been watching the polls and the campaigns at all objectively, you’re starting to see a picture develop. One where Romney’s the winner well before bedtime.

I believe we’re on the verge of a solid Romney win for two reasons. One is the objective evidence. The other is the ugly desperation of the Obama campaign in its final days.

First the numbers. And let’s start with the big one: Before Gallup suspended polling due to Hurricane Sandy, Mitt Romney was at or above 50 percent among likely voters for 14 consecutive days. No candidate above 50 percent at this point has ever lost the presidential race.


The president, on the other hand, has peaked at 47 percent. The Battleground Poll model shows Obama losing 52 percent to 47 percent. Rasmussen daily tracking has Obama losing 49 percent to 47 percent. Pew has him tied: 47 percent to 47 percent. But more important, all the polls show Obama sliding or stuck. None show any upward movement.

Obama supporters are quick to tell you “the only poll that matters is the one on Election Day.” Two things: a) that’s what candidates who are behind always say; b) this is election day.

Thanks to early voting, millions of votes have already been cast. Four years ago on this day — Halloweek — Gallup released a poll of folks who’d already voted and found Obama was beating John McCain by 15 points.

This year? He’s losing to Mitt Romney 52 percent to 45 percent — a set swing of 22 points. The wrong way.

But who cares if Obama loses the popular vote (and he will, by the way)? All that matters is winning the Electoral College vote in the “swing states!” That’s Obama’s path to victory!

OK. But what is a swing state? Forget Virginia and Ohio. Obama’s lost so much ground he’s been forced to send Joe Biden to Pennsylvania and Bill Clinton to Minnesota — a state so blue Ronald Reagan never carried it.

The president, on the other hand, is only up by 6 among the loony-left granola-crunchers of Oregon.

Those are the numbers. The campaign Obama’s running looks even worse.

Between desperate, last-second proposals for a “Secretary of Business” and embarrassing ads comparing voting for Obama to a girl losing her virginity, you can smell the desperation from the Obama camp.

These are the juvenile stunts of a second-tier congressional race, not the campaign of an incumbent president. Then again, has any other president posted a picture of his opponent in a dunce cap? Or called his opponent a “bullsh***er” on the record? Obama’s done both.

The Obama campaign is angry, it’s negative and it acts like — to quote Bill Clinton — its feelings are hurt. In a word: Losing.

More and more people sense it. Ben Domenech wrote at RealClearPoli about an “undertow” that seems to be pulling Obama’s support away. It’s not that Obama’s supporters have turned on him. They’ve just abandoned him. They’ve drifted away. Like so many of us, they’re just done with Obama.

If I’m wrong, I’m counting on you to mock me for it mercilessly next Wednesday. But I’m not wrong.

And isn’t it interesting how many people already seem to know it. … ormat=text

ENTC asks Israel to free Ethiopian refugees

Tuesday, October 30th, 2012

The Ethiopian National Transitional Council (ENTC) sent a letter to the Prime Minister of Israel asking his government to free unjustly detained Ethiopian refugees. The letter states: “ENTC urges the Israeli government to immediately halt the use of the Anti-Infiltrator Law against asylum seekers from Ethiopia, release those Ethiopians that have been held in jail for a long time, and adjudicate the cases of these asylum-seekers in a fair and just way.” Read the full text here.

Al Amoudi’s cement factory refused to pay for coal that it purchased

Tuesday, October 30th, 2012

(ADDIS FORTUNE) — The Ethiopian Petroleum Enterprise (EPE) is threatening to sue Mohammed Al Amoudi’s Derba MIDROC cement factory alleging that it has not paid around 200 million birr after acquiring around 80,000 tonnes of coal it had imported, sources disclosed to Addis Fortune.

The enterprise, which also imports petroleum, claims that its working capital is tied up and hence is eying the court as an alternative means of getting its money back.

The enterprise has been delegated by the Ethiopian government to import coal since December 2011 when the government, decided to replace the Heavy Furnace Oil (HFO), a source of energy that cement factories use, aiming at reducing their production cost and hence make them competitive.

The enterprise thus made a deal with the large-scale factories such as Mossobo, Derba and National Cement factories owned respectively by the Endowment Fund for the Rehabilitation of Tigray (EFFORT), Mohammed Hussien Al-Amoudi (sheikh) and East Africa Industrial Group as a major shareholder.

Accordingly, based on their reported demand, the EPE inked multimillion dollars contract with Hyton Inc, an international coal supplier company for the supply of 600,000 tonnes of steam coal for these factories in December 2011.

Out of these, Derba which has the capacity to producing 2.5 million tonnes of cement on annual basis has the highest demand and takes the largest share, which is estimated at 50,000 tonnes on a monthly basis.

The EPE so far has imported and distributed 144,000 tonnes of coal to the three factories. However, all did not pay on time. Mossobo and National Cement also owe the enterprise 52 million birr and 30 million birr, respectively, according to sources at the Ministry of Industry (MoI).

Nonetheless, Derba did not effect any payment so far while it has been taking the coal from the enterprise that made it eying the court as alternative to get its money back, according to these sources.

This had drawn the attention of the MoI, which called three cement factories, and the enterprise for a meeting led by Tadesse Haile, state minister for MOI, last week.

Tadesse told Addis Fortune that a consensus has been reached between the factories and the enterprise. “Since the coal is imported to reduce the costs of the factories, they should share a loss in case there is any.”

Baso Assefa, CEO of National Cement, told Fortune that the company will pay its debts in installments negotiating with the enterprise.

Haile Assegdie, CEO of Derba, also claims that the company is doing its best to pay back its debts.

Derba, which enters into the market with the lowest ever price of 170Br for a bag of cement is to come up with additional cuts in its price next week, according to Haile.

The factory will also make the cement available for those who can buy 200ql reducing its requirement from 400ql that it currently is selling at.

“This all is to raise the demand,” Haile said. We see no other way than this to sell our cement that we are producing and hence pay our debt.

The demand for cement indeed has dropped a year ago and never rise up for unexplained reasons, which left many in the industry wonder.

“We all are operating under capacity as the demand is low and adding to the pain we are not able to sell the small amount that we produced,” Haile said.

However, State Minister Tadesse still hopes that the demand will be improved starting from January 2013 when large government projects kicks off.

“We might even talk about shortage after a little while,” Tadesse told Fortune.

Cement factories on the other hand argue that the government is the one who aggravates the problem by importing the cement from abroad while there is surplus cement locally.

The government is still shipping the 400,000tns of cement that the Public Procurement & Disposal Agency (PPDA) had bought for 34.6 million dollars in August 2011 for housing projects that the government is undertaking.

Even though the said large projects got started, the government will not buy cement from us while it has stock and hence will not bring that much of a change, according to the anonymous managers of cement factory.

Although the enterprise’s deal with Hyton was to get the delivery of the entire order in monthly installments until December 2012, it has only imported 144,000tns so far as the factories are backing out of the deal. It is also expecting a shipment of around 100,000tns of coal until the coming November.

As a solution the ministry and the enterprise agreed last week to hold the coal import until March 2013 so that the factories utilize the already imported coal effectively.

Two Ethiopian friends’ suicide pact

Tuesday, October 30th, 2012

By Paul Schwartzman, Washington Post

The two men were close friends, dancing at nightclubs, listening to reggae music, talking about their aspirations and, sometimes, their worst fears. If one suffered a life-threatening injury, they promised each other, the other would make sure to disconnect him from any machine keeping him alive.

Neither man would allow the other to suffer.

In 2006, the year after Mesfin Nega and Shimelis Yegazu made their pact, a group of men attacked Nega outside an Adams Morgan nightclub, breaking his neck and damaging his spinal cord. When he awoke from an induced coma, his breathing made possible by a ventilator, Nega learned that he was a quadriplegic.

For six years, Nega and Yegazu did nothing. Then, three months ago, on Aug. 14, Yegazu fulfilled his promise, D.C. police announced Wednesday. He administered a lethal dose of phenobarbital to his friend in the Columbia Heights rowhouse that Nega, 38, shared with his sister, police said.

Yegazu, 38, who was visiting from his home in Colorado, then took the drug himself. He died five days later. Police have classified the case as a murder-suicide.

A police official with knowledge of the investigation said detectives think the two men carried out a long-planned suicide pact, in which one would help the other die and then take his own life. The police official said the men probably swallowed pills that caused their deaths.

Mamie Mesfin, Nega’s sister, a nurse at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, said yesterday that her brother had long been despondent over his physical state and had told her numerous times that he wanted to commit suicide. But she had not believed that he would because he had no use of his hands.

“How would he do it?” Mamie Mesfin asked. “He couldn’t scratch his nose. You had to move his arm for him.”

It had not occurred to her, she said, that Yegazu, the father of a 3-year-old daughter, would assist her brother with his suicide. She said she knew nothing of a suicide pact and did not realize that her brother’s friend, who went by the nickname “Shime,” was in despair.

“The mystery is how and why Shime was that down,” she said.

Lydia Tabesse, 34, a friend to both men, said she was aware that Nega and Yegazu had talked of helping each other if either suffered a critical injury after which he was kept alive by a ventilator.

She said she was present when the two men discussed the idea seven years ago.

Nega told Yegazu, she said: “ ‘If anything were to happen to me, I hope you got my back. I hope you advocate on my side not to keep me on a machine.’ ”

After doctors put Nega on a ventilator to keep him alive, Tabesse said, Yegazu “had a lot of guilt. Mesfin was on the machine, and he was saying he felt guilty for not doing anything about it or pulling the plug. He was like, ‘I made a promise to him.’ ”

Instead, Yegazu led a fundraising drive to cover Nega’s medical costs.

The men were friends for about a decade, Tabesse said, having become close at a reggae festival in California. She described them as “very tight. They were like kindred spirits, very brave about taking challenges.”

Before suffering his injuries, Nega, who emigrated from Ethi­o­pia when he was 12, was a free spirit, working construction and other jobs to help subsidize his appetite for dancing at nightclubs. In his free time, he also liked to play golf and basketball, lift weights and listen to Bob Marley’s music.

In May 2006, Nega went to a club on 18th Street NW in Adams Morgan. It was 2:30 a.m., closing time, and the security guard would not let him in. As Nega persisted, four men who were passing by intervened. They lifted Nega up and threw him against a metal grating. They punched and stomped him on the sidewalk.

Several ran away, but police arrested Miguel Angel Avalos, then 22, who was later sentenced to eight years for the attack.

At George Washington University Hospital, a vigil was kept for Nega, his relatives flying in from across the country and from Ethi­o­pia. Eventually, he was moved to a rehabilitation ward and then to Mamie Mesfin’s rowhouse. A construction company, reading an account of Nega’s injuries in The Washington Post, transformed Mamie Mesfin’s home to accommodate her brother.

Nearly two years after her brother’s attack, Mamie Mesfin’s husband, Edwin Preston, a surgeon at Providence Hospital, was killed in a car crash. The couple had just celebrated the birth of their son, Paulos.

Despite losing her husband, Mamie Mesfin said Wednesday, she could not afford to allow herself to be overcome by sorrow.

Her brother and her newborn, she said, “gave me a reason to live.”

Nega spent his days in bed watching movies and, with the help of a device, navigating the Internet. His sister said he was in constant physical agony.

“I was there with him for six years, but I could never feel the pain he went through,” she said. “It was like putting his hand in hot oil.”

Still, she said, he never lost his irreverant sense of humor.

A religious woman, Mamie Mesfin sometimes asked her brother to pray with her.

“Yeah,” he would reply, “that funny God you believe in.”

Her brother would joke that his relatives and friends were “selfish” for keeping him alive after he was attacked.

“Why would you want to keep me around like this?” he would ask.

More than a year ago, Tabesse said, Nega told her that he had “found a drug in China” that would allow him to commit suicide.

“He told me it’s supposed to be very easy as long as he has someone to administer it,” she recalled. “I asked, ‘Who is crazy enough to do that for you?’ He said, ‘I found someone.’ ”

At first, she recalled, he refused to identify the person. Then he told her it was Yegazu. He swore her to secrecy, she said.

In July, she said, she confronted Yegazu about the idea of suicide, asking: “Can you see yourself ending your life? And he said, ‘Not at this moment.’ ”

She never imagined that Yegazu would help Nega kill himself, if only because he was a father and he could be charged with homicide.

In mid-August, Yegazu flew in to visit Nega. On the night of Aug. 13, the two men were up late watching movies. Nega’s nurse, Omowumi Dairo, left them alone in Nega’s room. Nothing, she said, seemed out of the ordinary.

When she came down the next morning, Dairo recalled, Nega did not respond when she tried to talk to him. Yeguza was on the couch. She thought that he was asleep. It was only after shaking Nega that she became alarmed and called 911.

Later, Mamie Mesfin found an exchange of e-mails between her brother and Yegazu, a conversation that occurred several days before Yegazu arrived for his visit.

“I will be there Friday,” Yegazu wrote, she recalled Wednesday.

“Are you sure?” her brother responded.

Yegazu repeated that he would be there.

Yegazu asked, “Did you get enough for two?”

Days later, the two men were buried side by side.

Source: … story.html

የኢትዮጵያዋ፡ ርእዮት ‹‹የጥንካሬዬ ዋጋ››

Tuesday, October 30th, 2012

ከፕሮፌሰር  ዓለማየሁ  ገብረማርያም

ትርጉም  ከነጻነት ለሃገሬ

ስለስልጣን ብልግና አለያም ስለ ስልጣንን በማንአለብኘነት አለ አግባብ ስለ ከመጠቀም ከመናገር ይበልጥ አስቸጋሪ የሆኑ bezu ነገሮች yelum፡፡ ለ31 ዓመቷ ወጣት ኢትዮጵያዊት አይበገሬ ርዕዮት ዓለሙ ግን፤ የመጻፍ ነጻነት፤ የመናገር ነጻነት፤ ሃሳብን በነጻ የማንሸራሸር ነጻነትን ድምጻቸው በመሳርያና በስለላ መዋቅር ለታፈነባቸው ድምጽ ከመሆን ምንም አይነት ጋሬጣ ቢደረደር ሊያደናቅፋት ጨርሶ አይችልም፡፡  አሁንም ቢሆን ባለችበት ክፉ ሁኔታም ሆና ስለግፍ ስልጣን ቁልጭ ያለ ሃቅን ትናገራለች፤ ‹‹ለጥንካሬዬ ዋጋ እንደምከፍል ብገነዘብም የሚቃጣብኝን ለመቋቋም ዝግጁ ነኝ››፡በማለት ካለችበት ገሃነማዊ የቃሊቲ ጉረኖ ባመለጠው የእጅ ጽሁፏ መልእክቷን  ለአለም አስተላልፋለች፡፡

“ጥንካሬ ለሁሉም ድርጊት ታላቅ ዋጋ አለው፡፡ ጥንካሬ ከሌለ ማንኛውንም አይነት ዋጋ ያለው ተግባር ማከናወንም ሆነ ማቀድ አይቻልም” ያለችው ታላቋ የአሜሪካ የሰብአዊ መብት ተሟጋችና ጸሃፊ ማያ አንጀሉ ናት፡፡ ባለፈው ሳምንት የዓለም አቀፉ ሜዲያ ፋውንዴሽን (IWMF) የ2012ን  ታላቁን “የጋዜጠኝነት ጀግንነት” ሽልማቱን  ለአይበገሬዋ ርዕዮት ዓለሙ ሸልሟል፡፡ ባለፈው ሜይ ርዕዮትን ወደ ወህኒ ለመወርወርና ዝም ለማሰኘት ስለተከናወነው ሂደት ጽፌ ነበር፡፡

ለዚያ ማፈርያ ፍርድ ቤት ማስረጃ ተብሎም በርዕዮት ላይ የቀረበው ሰነድ፤ከሌሎች የሙያ ባልደረቦች ጋር በህገወጥነት የተሰበሰበ የኢሜይል ልውውጥ፤በስለላ መዋቅሩ የተጠለፈ የቴሌፎን ንግግር፤ሲሆን ከሁሉም ጋር ያደረገችው ልውውጥ ግን ሰላማዊ ትግልና ለማጠናከር ሊደረግ የሚገባውን የሚያመላክት ብቻ ነበር፡፡ ርዕዮት በፍትሕ ጋዜጣና በኢትዮጵያን ሪቪዩ ድህረገጽ ላይ ያወጣችው ጽሁፍም በማስረጃነት ቀርቧል፡፡ ከፍርድ ቤት መቅረብ አስቀድሞ ርዕዮትና ውብሸት ታዬ (የአውራምባ ጋዜጣ አዘጋጅ) ከጠበቃ ጋር የመገናኘት መብታቸው ታግዶባቸው ነበርና ጠበቃ ማነጋገር አልቻሉም፡፡ ቃለ መጠይቅም የሚባለው ስርአት ያጣ ሂደትም በሚካሄድበት ወቅት የጠበቃቸው ውክልና መብት እንደታገደ ነበር፡፡ በምርመራ ወቅት የደረሰባቸውን ወከባና ስቃይ፤ የህክምና መከልከልን አቤቱታቸውን፤ ያ አሳፋሪ ፍርድ ቤት ለመስማት እንኳ ፈቃደኛ አልነበረም፡፡

ዛሬ ግን ርዕዮት ይህን ታላቅ እውቅናና ሽልማት ስትሰጥ ለማየት በመብቃቴ እጅጉን እኮራለሁ፡፡ በ2007ም ይህንኑ ሽልማት ሰርክዓለም ፋሲል ስትሞሸርበት ደስታዬ ወሰን አልነበረውም፡፡ ወጣት ኢትዮጵያዊያን ጀግኖች እጅጉን አስከፊ በሆነ ገዢ ባለስልጣን መንግስት ላይ እውነትን በመናገርና የሕዝብን ጥቅም ለማስጠበቅ ቆርጠው በመነሳታቸው ሰበብ  ለእስርና ለግፍ ስቃይ የተዳረጉት ዓለም አቀፍ እውቅና፤ ክብርና ሞገስ ሲቸራቸው ከማየት የበለጠ ምን የሚያስደስት ነገርአለና!?

ርዕዮትና ሰርክዓለምን ለዚህ ክብር ያበቃቸው “ጥንካሬያቸው” ምነድን ነው? ጥንካሬ በተለያየ መልኩ ይከሰታል፡፡ እራሱን ለመስዋእትነት ለማሳለፍ ቆርጦ በጦር ግንባር የተሰለፈ ተዋጊ አደጋው ከፊትለፊቱ እንዳለ ቢያውቅም በጥንካሬው ይጋፈጠዋል፡፡ ወጣት የሆነች ሴት ‹‹ጭቆናና ድምጻቸው የታፈነባቸው ምትክ ለመሆንና ጩኸታቸውን ለመጮህ፤ እሮሯቸውን ለማሰማት፤ ለሕዝብ በመወገን፤ አቆማለሁ›› ለማለት መቁረጥ የሚጠይቀውን ዋጋም ለመክፈል ቆርጦ መነሳት ጥንካሬን ያሳያል፡፡ “ጥንካሬ” በራሱ ግን ምንድን ነው? ታላቁ ፈላስፋ እንደሚለው ‹‹ጥንካሬ  በውስጥ በህሊናችን በመንፈሳችን የሚገኝ ግፊት ነው፡፡ በመረረው አደጋ ውስጥ እንድንጋፈጠውና ገትረን እንድንቋቋመው ያስችለናል፡፡›› ሌሎች እንደሚሉት ደግሞ ጥንካሬ በፍርሃትና በጅልነት መሃል የሚገኝ ነው፡፡ ምናልባትም ጥንካሬ ሌሎችንም ዋጋዎችን ቆራጥነትን፤የዓላማ ጽናትን፤ፈቃደኝነትን፤ትእግስትን፤አሳቢነትን አመኔታን ያካተተ፤ ሊሆን ይችላል፡፡ ጥንካሬን ዓላማቸው ያደረጉ ርዕዮትና ሌሎችም መስሎቿ  በግል ለሚደርስባቸው ችግር፤መከራ ስቃይ ወይም እስርና እንግልት ጨርሶ አያስቡም አያስፈራቸውም፡፡ ስለዚህም እንደ ርዕዮትና ሰርክ ዓለም ያሉ ጠንካሮች እህቶችና እስክንድር ነጋንና ውብሸት ታዬን የመሰሉ ቆራጦች ስላሉን በእጅጉ ልንኮራ ይገባናል፡፡ እንደ ሰብአዊ ፍጡር  ከፍተኛውን የጥናካሬ ደረጃ ያመላከቱንን ኢትዮጵያዊያን ጋዜጠኞች በእስር በመማቀቅ ላይ ቢሆኑም መከራና ችግሩ፤ ግፉና ጭካኔው ግን ጨርሶ ከዓላማቸው ዝንፍ ጥንካሬያቸውንም ሸብረክ አላደረገውም፡፡

በኦክቶበር 24/2012 በሽልማቱ ስነ ስርአት ላይ የተነበበው የርዕዮት የእጅ ጽሁፍ መልእክት ለመጪው ትውልድ የጥንካሬ ማረጋገጫ ነው፡፡የታሪክ ነጻነት፤የፕሬስ ነጻነት፤በኢትዮጵያ በሚጻፍበት ጊዜ መጪው ትውልድ ይህን የርዕዮትንና ሌሎችንም እውነታዊ መልዕክቶች ያነባል፡፡ ጊዜያዊ ግፈኛ ገዢዎች  ሕዝቡን ለስቃይና ሚዛን ላጣው ግፍ በዳረገበት መራር ወቅት ርዕዮትና መሰሎቿ ሃሰትን በማጋለጥና ለግፍ እምቢታን በመምረጣቸው ለእስራት ቢበቁም ቀኑ ሲመጣ ግን በድርጊታቸው የሚኮሩ ይሆናሉ፡፡ ከዓላማዋ ሳታፈገፍግ፤ በዓለም ካሉት ወህኒዎች ሁሉ ያዘቀጠና ግፍ የበዛበት ቦታ ሆና( ወህኒው በኢትዮጵያ የገዢው መንግስት በከፍተኛ ገንዘብ የቀጠረው ኤክስፐርት እንደገለጸው) ለዓላማዋ በመቆም፤ በተራ መጻፊያና በብጭቅጫቂ ወረቀት ላይ በማቃሰት ላይ ያለውን አምባገነን መንግሥት ከወህኒ ቤት ሆና እየሞገተችውናእየሞጨረች እየተዋጋች ነው፡፡

በኢትዮጵያችን የተሻለ ሁኔታ እንዲመጣ ለማገዝ የበኩሌን አስተዋጽኦ ማድረግ አለብኝ፡፡ በርካታ ፍትሕ አልባነት፤ጭቆናዎች፤በኢትዮጵያ ውስጥ በየቀኑ በየሰአቱ በየደቂቃው በመፈጸም ላይ ናቸውና በጽሁፌ እንዚህን ሁኔታዎች እያነሳሁና እያጋለጥኩ መኮነን ይኖርብኛል፡፡ ንጹሃን ነጻነትንና ዴሞክራሲን ለመጠየቅ ባዶ እጃቸውን አለ የሚባለውን ሕገ መንግስት ላይ የሰፈረውን በማመን ሰልፍ በመውጣታቸው  መረሸናቸው፤የተቃዋሚ ፓርቲዎችን አመራሮች ማሸነፋቸው ወንጀል ሆኖባቸው፤ የነጻው ፕሬስ አባላት አመለካከታቸውና አቋማቸው ከጨቋኙ አገዛዝ የተለየ በመሆኑ፤ ስለመብት መነፈግ በመሟገታቸው፤ ብክንትን፤በተመለከተ ሁኔታዎች መለወጥ እንዳለባቸው በመናገራቸው ለወህኒ መዳረጋቸውን ቀድሞም የጻፍኩበት ነው፡፡ ያንን ሳደርግም ይህን ለማድረግ በረዳኝ ጥንካሬዬ የተነሳ ዋጋ እንደምከፍልበት ተረድቼ ነው፡፡ ሆኖም ግን ጋዜጠኝነት እኔ እራሴን የምሰዋለት ሙያ መሆኑን አውቃለሁ፡፡ በሌላ አንጸር ደግሞ የኢህአዴግ ጋዜጠኞች የፕሮፓጋንዳና ቆርጦ ቀጥል አገልጋይ፤ የታዘዙትን እንጂ የታዘቡትን የማይጽፉ ጋዜጠኛ ናችሁ የተባሉ ግን ያልሆኑ የገዢው መደብ አገልጋዮች እንደሆኑም እረዳለሁ፡፡ለኔ ግን ጋዜጠኞች ድምጽ ላጡ ድምጽ ሆነው የሚሰዉ ቆራጥና ጥንካሬያቸው የማይገበር መሆናቸውን አውቃለሁ፡፡

ስለዚህም ነው በጭቆና መከራ ውስጥ ስላሉት እውነታውን በተመለከተ በርካታ ጽሁፎች ያቀረብኩት፡፡በዚህ ሳቢያ በርካታ ችግሮች ቢያጋጥሙኝም፤ እኔ ግን ለእምነቴ፤ ዓላማዬና ሙያዬ  በጥንካሬ እቆማለሁ፡፡በመጨረሻም ዓለም አቀፉ ሕብረተሰብ ስለ እውነቷ ኢትዮጵያ እንዲራደ አበክሬ እጠይቃለሁ፡፡እውነተኛዋ ኢትዮጵያ በኢትዮጵያ ቴሌቪዥን እንደምታይዋት አለያም የገዢው መደብ ባለስልጣናት ፈጥረውና የሌለውን እንዳለ፤ ያልተሞከረውን እንደተከናወነ፤ ያልታሰበውን እንደተፈጸመ አድርገው እንደሚያወሩላችሁም አይደለም፡፡በእውነተኛዋ ኢትዮጵያ ውስጥ ከመጠን ያለፈ ጭቆና እየተካሄደ ነው፡፡በነጻ በማሰባቸው ምክንያት ለእስር የተዳረጉት ኢትዮጵያውያን እኔ የምተርክላችሁ እውነት መሆኑን ያረጋግጡላችኋል፡፡እባካችሁ አቅማችሁ በፈቀደ መጠን ይህን ሁኔታ ለመለወጥ ሞክሩ፡፡

ማንም የጥንካሬን እውነተኛ ትርጓሜ ማወቅ ቢያሻው፤በፍልስፍና ጽሁፎችና አተረጓጎም ውስጥ አለያም በወታደራዊ ታሪኮች ውስጥ ለማግኘት አይሞክር፡፡ ከዚህ የርዕዮት ጽሁፍ በመማር ወደ ተግባር ይቀይሩት፡፡

ሌሎቻችን ጥቂት አለያም ጨርሶ ምንም ሳናደርግ እየኖርን ባለንበት እንደ ርዕዮት ያሉትን ግለሰቦች ጥንካሬን ተላብሰው ይህን እንዲያደርጉ የሚያተጋቸው ምንድን ነው እያልኩ ብዙ ጊዜ እገረማለሁ፡፡ ከጥንካሬና ከዓላማ ቁርጠኝነት ጋር አብረው ተወልደው ነው ወይስ በኋላ ያገኙት፤ከሆነስ የትና እንዴት ነው ያገኙት? ይህ ጥንካሬ በአጋጣሚ የተቀላቀላቸው ነው? ለርዕዮትና ለመሰሎቿ የሞራል ግዴታ የሆነባቸው ስልምንድን ነው? ይህ ሊሆን የሚገባው ሳይሆን በመቅረቱ ለምን? ብለው ሌሎቻችን ግን እንደሆነው ስንቀበል እነሱ ለምንን ዋነኛ መልስ ፈላጊ መብት አድርገው ማየት የቻሉት? ርዕዮትስ ሌሎችችን ከወህኒ ውጪ ሆነን በድሎት መኖርን ስንመርጥ ከዚያ የግፍ መጋዘን ከሆነው ወህኒ ቤት ‹‹በኢትዮጵያ ውስጥ የተሸለ ሁኔታን ለማምጣት የበኩሌን አስተዋጽኦ ማድረግ አለብኝ ብዬ አምናለሁ›› ብላ ለምን መልእክቷን አስተላለፈች? ‹‹መቼም ቢሆን ለዓላማዬና ለሙያዬ በጥንካሬ እቆማለሁ››  በማለት በቆራጥነት ምን አናገራት? ‹‹ እባካችሁ አቅማችሁ በፈቀደ መጠን በኢትዮጵያ ይህን ሁኔታ ለመለወጥ ሞክሩ››፡፡ በማለትስ ለምን ተምጽኖ አሰማች? አብዛኛዎቻችን ለሃሞተቢስነታችን በበርካታው እንዲከፈለን ስንስማማ ርዕዮትን በተለይ ሁኔታው የሞራል ግዴታዋ እንዲሆን ምን አስገደዳት?

እንደ ርዕዮት ላሉት ወጣቶች እጅጉን ልዩ በሆነ መልኩ ብርታትንና ጥንካሬን ያላበሳቸው ምን እንደሆነ ማሰብ እንኳን መጀመር ያስቸግረኛል፡፡ምንልባትም ይህን መሰሉ ጥንካሬ ለተለዩ የዘመኑ ወጣቶች የተሰጠ ጸጋ ሊሆን ይችላል፡፡ ምናልባትም እኛ የዕድሜ ባለጸጎቹ ይህን የሚያላብሰን የደም ስራችን፤ ወኔያችን፤የአመለካከት ሚዛናችን ተዳክሞብን ይሆናል፡፡ ምናልባትም ለአንዳንዶቻችን ጥንካሬ ሽንፈት፤ ቅሌት ደግሞ ክብር፤ፍርሃትም ጀግንነት፤ መቀሳፈት እውነተኛነት ይመስለን እንደሁ አላውቅም፡፡ ነገር ግን ስንቶቹ በዚህ ‹‹በነጻው ዓለም ዋና ከተማ›› የሚኖሩ በብእር ስም፤ በስውር ስምና በሌላም መልኩ በርካታ ጦማሮችን መጠሪያ ስማቸውን በመደበቅ እንደሚከትቡ አውቃለሁ፡፡ ሌሎችም የራሳቸውን ጥቅም ለማስጠበቅና፤ ችሮታ ፍለጋና ቤተሰብነትን ለማግኘት በማለት የአምገነኑን ገዢ ስርአትና አገልጋዮቹን ለማስደሰት ያለውን እውነታ በመካድም እንደሚጽፉ አውቃለሁ፡፡ እንዲሁም በሃገር ውስጥ ስላለው መከራና ግፍ፤ የኑሮ ውድነትና ሌሎችም መብቶች ስለመገፈፋቸውና ሕዝቡ ለስቃይ መዳረጉን በዝምታ ማለፍን ምርጫቸው ያደረጉም አውቃለሁ፡፡ በግል ጨዋታ ግን ተቃውሟቸውን ያዥጎደጉዱታል፡፡ በሌላ በኩል ደግሞ እንደርዕዮት ያሉት ጠንካሮች ለምን ለጥንካሬያቸው የሚፈለገውን ያህል ዋጋ ለመክፈል ፈቃደኛ እንደሆኑና ሌሎቻችን ደግሞ ይህን ጥንካሬ እንዳጣነው ያስገርመኛል፡፡በአጭሩ ከጥንካሬ ጋር የተለያየነው ሃሞታችን ስለፈሰሰና ለጊዜው በሚገኝ ሽርፍራፊ ጥቅም ስንል ጥንካሬያችንን ጠቅልለን ለሃሰትና ለመስሎ መኖርነት በመሸጣችን ነው ልበል?

እኔ ርዕዮትን አላውቃትም:: የሞራል ብቃቷንና ጥንካሬዋን ግን በአድናቆት አከብራለሁ፡፡ርዕዮትና መሰሎቿ የሚኖሩት በሃሳባቸው ጸንተው፤በእምነታቸው ተማምነው  እነዚህ እሴቶቻቸው በሚፈጥሩላቸው ሁኔታ ነው፡፡ በዓላማቸው ጸንተው በሞራል ግዴታቸው ተማምነው ያላቸውንና መደረግ አለበት ብለው ለሚያምኑበት ሁሉ ችሮታቸውን ሳያጓድሉ ለዚያ ለቆሙለት እውነታ በማድረግ ነው፡፡ ምንግዜም በውስጠ ህሊናቸው ውስጥ የሞራል ግዴታቸውን የሚያነቃቃና የሚያስተገብራቸው ሃይል አላቸው፡፡ የተሸለ ዓለም፤ ሚዛናዊ የሆነ፤ሰዎች ሁሉ ያላንዳች ችግርና በደል ሊኖሩበት የሚችሉ ለማድረግ፤ ሊቆጣጠሩት የማይችሉት ፍላጎትና የተግባር ጽናት በውስጣቸው አለ፡፡ ዘወትር ጭንቀታቸውና ፍላጎታቸው የሰው ልጅ ደስታና የተደላደለ ሰላማዊ ኑሮ እንዲኖረው ማድረግ ነው፡፡ ፍትሕ ሲዛባ፤ሥልጣን አለአግባብ መጠቀሚያ ሲሆን፤አድልዎ ሲፈጸም ህሊናቸው በጣሙን ይጎዳና እረፍት ይነሳቸዋል:: ስለዚህም ያንን ተቋቁሞ እንዲስተካከል መታገልን ተቀዳሚ ግዴታቸው ያደርጋሉ፡፡ እንደ ርዕዮት ያሉ ዜጎች ለግል ፍላ ጎታቸውና ድሎታቸው ጨርሶ አይጨነቁም፡፡ እኔ የሚባል እራስን የማስቀደም በሽታ ሊይዛቸው ቀርቶ ባጠገባቸውም ደርሶ አያውቅም፡፡ እነሱ ለራሳቸው ሳይሆን ለሰብአዊ ፍጡራን መብትና ጥቅም ብቻ የቆሙ ናቸውና፡፡ ሌሎች ሰዎች ክንዋኔያቸውን እንዲያመሰግኑላቸው አለያም እንዲፈቅዱላቸው አይጠብቁም፡፡ የስብስብ አርቲ ቡርቲና የስብስብ ዋጋ ቢስ አስተሳሰብ ያማቸዋል፡፡ ለራሳቸው የጥንካሬ ብርታት ሊከፈል የሚገባው ዋጋ እንዳለና ያም የሚያስከትለውን እኩይ ሁኔታ ቢያውቁትም ያንን ሁሉ  ለመክፈል ፈቃደኛ ናቸው፡፡  የጥንካሬ ዋጋገው በመንፈሳቸው ጉዳት የሚከፈል መሆኑን ቢረዱም ያንንም ተቀብለውታል፡፡ እንዲህ ነው የአልበገሬዎች ሕይወትና ታሪካቸው!

ርዕዮት ከዚያ የጭቆናና የግፍ ማጎርያ ወህኒ በማንኛውም ጊዜ ልትወጣ ትችላለች፡፡ ለዚህም ማድረግ ያለባት በጉልበቷ ተንበርክካ እራሷን ዝቅ አድርጋ ከአሳሪዎቿ ይቅርታን መለመን ነው፡፡ ርዕዮት አንዳችም በደል አልፈጸመችም ስለዚህ ምንም በደል ባለመፈጸሟ ላልሰራችው ጥፋት ጨርሶ ይቅርታ መጠየቅ የሷ ስብእና አይደለም፡፡ በዚያ ማፈርያ ፍርድ ቤት ተብዬ መጋዘን ውስጥ በተላለፈው ፍትህ አልባ ፍርዳቸው ጋዜጠኛ አባቷን ልጃቸው ይቅርታ እንድትጠይቅ ይመክሯት እንደሆን ሲጠይቃቸው መልሳቸው፡-

ይህ ምናልባት አንድ ወላጅ ሊደርስበት የሚችል ግን አስቸጋሪ ጥያቄ ነው፡፡ ሁላችንም ወላጆች ሳናውቀው ከልጆቻችን ጋር የሚያስተሳስረን የደም ትስስር የሃሳብ ክር አለ፡፡ ሁል ጊዜ ለልጆቻችን መልካሙን ብቻ እንመኛለን፡፡ ከማንኛውም ጉዳት ፈጣሪ እንዲታደጋቸው እንጸልያለን፡፡ ያም ሆኖ ግን ይቅርታ መጠየቁን በተመለከተ ያ የራሷ የርዕዮት ውሳኔ ነው፤ እኔም ውሳኔዋ ምንም ይሁን ምን ያን አከብርላታለሁ፡፡ መሰረታዊ ጥያቄህን ለመመለስ፤እኔ አባቷ እንደመሆኔ ስለውሳኔዋ ያለኝና የሚኖረኝም አቋም አንዳችም ጎጂ ምግባር ያልፈጸመች ንጡህ በመሆኗ ይቅርታ ያውም ያለ ጥፋቷ እንድትጠይቅ አልፈልግም አልመክራትምም፡፡ ምንም ወንጀል አልፈጸመችምና፡፡

ስለሞራል ጥንካሬ በአንድ ወቅት ሮበርት ኬነዲ ሲናገሩ፤‹‹ይህን በመከራ የተጨናነቀ ዓለምን ለመለወጥ የሚፈቅዱ ሁሉ ያላቸው ልዩ ብቃት የሞራል ጥንካሬ ብቻ ነው፡፡ አንድ ሰው ለአዲስ ሃሳብ ሲነሳሳ ወይም የብዙዎችን ሃሳብ ሲመዝን፤ አለያም ፍትህ መዛባቱን ሲሞግት፤ እያንዳንዱ በየራሱ ትንንሽ አስተዋጽኦ በሚያደርግበት ወቅት እነዚህ ትንንሽ አስተዋጽኦዎች ተጠራቅመው ጠንካራ ጉልበት በመሆን ተኩራርቶና ማን ደፍሮኝ በሚል ከንቱ እምነት የተወጠረውን ያንን የመከራና የስቃይ ፋብሪካ የሆነውን ኃያል ነኝ ባይ ያኮራምተዋል::››  እህታችን ርዕዮትም በኢትዮጵያ የሚካሄደውን ጭቆናና የፈላጭ ቆራጭ ገዢዎች እኩይ ምግባር ለመዋጋትና በሰላማዊ መንገድ ታግሎ ማሸነፍ መቻሉን የሚያመላክት ትንሽ ግን ወሳኝና ጠንካራ መልእክቷን ለ90 ሚሊዮን ደጋፊዎቿ አስተላልፋለች፡፡

በዚህ አጋጣሚ እኔም ርዕዮትን የጥንካሬን ትክክለኛ ገጽታ ስላስተማረችን አክብሮት የተመላበት ምስጋናዬን አቀርብላታለሁ፡፡(ምንም እንኳን የኔ ትውልድ ያንን ጠንካራና ግን ትንሽ መልእክቷን ማዳመጥ ቢሳነውም) እኔ ርዕዮት ለእራሷ ትውልድ ለላከቻት መልእክት አሁንም አመሰግናታለሁ፡፡ በብዕሯ ድጋፍና መሳርያነት ጭቆናን ለሕዝብ ለማልበስ በመጣር ላይ ያለውን ስርአት የጭቆናን ግርግዳ በብእሯና በብጫቂ ወረቀቷ ለመቦጫጨቅ በመነሳቷም አመሰግናታለሁ፡፡ እኛ ገሃድ የሆነውን የጭቆና ጫና አንሰማም አናይም ስለ እሱም አንናገርም ማለትን ስንመርጥ ርዕዮትና መሰሎቿ ግን በዚያ በአሰቃቂው ወህኒ ይማቅቃሉ፡፡ በጨቋኞችና በእኩይ አሳቢዎችና ፈጻሚዎች አመለካከት ላይ ሶስት ምርጫዎች አሉን፡፡ሃቁን ሸሽተነው በሃፍረት ሸማ ተሸፍነን መኖር፡፡ ምንም ጭቆና የለም በማለት ያለውን ክደን መኖር፡፡ አለያም ልክ እንደርዕዮት ሁሉ ያንን እኩይ ምግባር በጥንካሬ በመጋፈጥ ድምጻቸውን ለታፈኑ ድምጽ ለመሆንና ሰብአዊ ክብር ለመላበስ መወሰን፡፡ ድምጻቸው ለታፈነባቸው ድምጽ መሆንን ባንደፈርውም፤ ድምጻቸው ለታፈነባቸው ድምጽ በመሆናቸው ለእስር ለተዳረጉትስ ድምጽ መሆን ምርጫችን ሊሆን አይገባም?

እንደ ርዕዮት፤ሰርክዓለም፤እስክንድር ነጋ፤ውብሸት ታዬ፤ዳዊት ከበደ የመሳሰሉት ጀግኖቻችን በዓለም አቀፉ ሕብረተሰብ ሲከበሩና ለጥንካሬያቸው የሚገባቸውን ክብርና ሞገስ በያዓመቱ ሲሰጣቸው፤ እኛም ተግባራቸውን በቅርብ እያየንና እያወቅንም ዝምታችንን ብቻ መለገሳችን የሚያም: የሚያሳፍር የሚያሳዝን ሁኔታ ነው፡፡ ለምንድን ነው የማናከብራቸው? ማንነታቸውን የማናደንቅላቸው? የሚገባቸውን ክብርና ሞገስ በአደባባይ የማናውጅላቸው ለምን ይሆን? ለርዕዮቶቻችን፤ ለሰርካለሞቻችን፤ ለእስክንድሮቻችን፤……የዓለም ሕብረተሰብ ለምን ያከብራቸዋል?

‹‹በኢትዮጵያ የተሻለ ነገ እንዲመጣ የበኩሌን አስተዋጽኦ ማድረግ እንዳለብኝ አምናለሁ::›› ርዕዮት ዓለሙ

የተቶረገመው ጽሁፍ (translated from): Ethiopia’s Reeyot: “The Price for My Courage”

Ethiopia lost $3.4 billion through capital flight in 2010 – University of Massachusetts

Monday, October 29th, 2012

In a new report released this month, the University of Massachusetts at Amherst revealed that Ethiopia loses over a billion dollar every year through capital flight and in 2010 alone, USD $3.4 billion have vanished. It is not secret who the thieves are. Number one among them is Azeb Mesfin, wife of the late dictator Meles Zenawi. One brazen theft that Meles himself talked about is the disappearance of 10,000 tonnes of coffee. Other well-known thieves who are looting Ethiopia’s treasure are Mohammed Al Amoudi (TPLF), Berhane Gebre-Kristos (TPLF), and Sebhat Nega (TPLF), just to name some of them. Read the full report here.

ከኢትዮጵያ ተዘርፎ ወደ ውጭ አገራት ባንኮች የተሻገረው ገንዘብ 450 ቢሊዮን ብር ደረሰ

Monday, October 29th, 2012

ኢሳት ዜና:- አሜሪካ የሚገኘው የማሳቹሴትስ ዩኒቨርስቲ (University of Massachusetts) በያዝነው ወር ባወጣው አዲስ ጥናት ከኢትዮጵያ እየተዘረፈ ወደ ውጭ አገራት ባንኮች የተሻገረው ገንዘብ ባለፉት 40 አመታት ውስጥ 25 ቢሊዮን ዶላር ወይም 450 ቢሊዮን ብር መድረሱን ይፋ አድርጓል። ይህ አሀዝ አገሪቱ ካላት አጠቃላይ ገቢ ውስጥ 84 በመቶ የሚሆነውን የሚሸፍን ነው።

ኢትዮጵያ ከሌሎች የአፍሪካ አገሮች ጋር ሲተያይ የ8ኛ ደረጃነት ብትይዝም ነዳጅ ከማያመርቱ አፍሪካ አገሮች ጋር ስትወዳደር ደግሞ ቀዳሚ ሆናለች።

አብዛኛው ገንዘብ የሚዘረፈው ወደ ውጭ አገራት ከሚላኩና ከውጭ አገራት ከሚገቡ እቃዎች እንዲሁም በውጭ አገራት የሚኖሩ ኢትዮጵያውያን ወደ አገራቸው ከሚልኩት ገንዘብ ነው፡፡

በተባበሩት መንግስታት ድርጅት የልማት ፕሮግራም ስፖንሰርነት ጥናቱን ያካሄደው ፋይናንሻል ኢንተግሪቲ ባለፉት 7 አመታት ከኢትዮጵያ ከ 11 ቢሊዮን ዶላር ወይም ከ200 ቢሊዮን ብር በላይ መዘረፉን ይፋ ባደረገ አመት ባልሞላው ጊዜ ውስጥ ነው ማሳቹሴትስ ዩኒቨርስቲ አዲሱን አስደንጋጭ ሪፖርት ይፋ ያደረገው።

ከቻይናና ህንድ የተገኘውን ብድር ጨምሮ ኢትዮጵያ ከ200 ቢሊዮን ብር በላይ የውጭ እዳ እንዳለባት መዘገባችን ይታወሳል።

ከኢትዮጵያ በሙስና እና በተለያዩ የንግድ ወንጀሎች ወደ ውጭ አገር የሚወጣው ገንዘብ በአገር ውስጥ ባንኮች ቢጠራቀም ኖሮ 3 የአባይን ግድቦችን፣ በመቶዎች የሚቆጠሩ ዩኒቨርስቲዎችን፣ ሆስፒታሎችንና የሁለተኛ ደረጃ ትምህርት ቤቶችን መስራት ይቻል ነበር።

በአጠቃላይ ከሰሀራ በታች ካሉ አገራት ከ800 ቢሊዮን ዶላር በላይ ተዘርፎ በውጭ አገራት ባንኮች መቀመጡ ተመልከቷል።

በአቶ መለስ የቀድሞው አስተዳዳር በኢትዮጵያ ታሪክ ተስምቶ የማይታወቅ ከፍተኛ ገንዘብ ተዘርፎ በውጭ አገራት ባንኮች ተቀምጧል።

The state of psychiatry in Ethiopia today

Monday, October 29th, 2012

By Julia Belluz

On a recent visit to Debre Libanos, a 13th-century monastery outside Addis Ababa, one of Ethiopia’s few psychiatrists found 17 people in chains. Suffering from serious mental health issues ranging from schizophrenia to bipolar disorder, they’d somehow ended up at the monastery with other sick Ethiopians, seeking blessings from the Christian priests.

But the chains were not meant as a deliberately cruel measure, explains psychiatrist Dawit Wondimagegn; the monks were attempting to ensure the mentally ill didn’t “end up on the street,” where they would be in danger, a harm to themselves and others. The chains are a desperate, stop-gap effort to keep patients safe, says Yonas Baheretibeb, a professor at Addis Ababa University. In a way, they are emblematic of the state of psychiatry in Ethiopia today—there are only 44 psychiatrists in the mostly rural Horn of Africa country, where the population tops 85 million. Due to the shortage of health workers, and a centuries-old belief that possession by evil spirits or supernatural forces are to blame for afflictions of the mind, priests often end up on the front lines of mental health, treating the sick with prayers and holy water.

Yonas and Dawit know there is another model of mental health-care delivery. They’d both studied psychiatry with a team of Canadian physicians thanks to the Toronto Addis Ababa Academic Collaboration (TACC), a nine-year-old partnership between the University of Toronto and Addis Ababa University. They recognized that the patients simply needed antipsychotic medication.

After months of back-and-forth meetings with the priests, where the doctors gently suggested that psychiatry could supplement—but not replace—religious healing, Dawit and Yonas talked the priests into a pilot project; priests still provide spiritual guidance, but medical staff are now allowed to visit the monastery every two weeks, where they administer medications and practise psychotherapy.

“Now no patient is chained,” says Dawit. Indeed, they now help with the day-to-day running of the monastery—“fetching water, doing gardening.”

The Addis Ababa-based doctors are working to extend this model throughout the Ethiopian capital, where a network of thousands of religious healers now treat the mentally ill. Eventually, the program could be expanded elsewhere in Africa, where mental health care is rudimentary or non-existent. Last week Grand Challenges Canada, a government-funded non-profit, provided a $1-million grant to assist TACC, part of a $20-million investment in 15 mental health projects in the developing world. The reason for the push? According to the World Health Organization, more than 75 per cent of the world’s mentally ill live in developing countries—and fewer than one-fifth of the sickest patients receive any care at all. “It’s better to go where patients are and try to help them,” says Dawit. Even if that’s in the church.

Source: … ir-chains/

OBEDIENCE to Tyrants due to Hopelessness (video)

Sunday, October 28th, 2012

After seeing the resistance efforts of others fail or after living under harsh repression, many people develop feelings of helplessness and hopelessness. Thus, people collectively obey because they believe things cannot change and they feel there is no hope for the future… [read more]

Ethiopia’s Reeyot: “The Price for My Courage”

Sunday, October 28th, 2012

reeThere are few things more difficult or dangerous than speaking truth to abusers of power. But for Reeyot Alemu, the 31 year-old young Ethiopian heroine of press freedom, no price is high enough to keep her from being “the voice of the voiceless”. She will speak truth to power even when she is muzzled and gagged and in prison: “I knew that I would pay the price for my courage and I was ready to accept that price,” said Reeyot in her moving handwritten letter covertly taken out of prison.

“Courage is the most important of all the virtues, because without courage you can’t practice any other virtue consistently,” said Maya Angelou, the great African American civil rights advocate and literary figure. Last week, the International Women’s Media Foundation (IWMF) awarded Reeyot Alemu its prestigious “2012 Courage in Journalism Award”. Last May, I wrote a column on Reeyot  (Young Heroine of Ethiopian Press Freedom), expressing my outrage over the “legal” process used to railroad her to prison:

The so-called evidence of “conspiracy” against Reeyot in kangaroo court consisted of intercepted emails and wiretapped telephone conversations she had about peaceful protests and change with other journalists. Reeyot’s articles in Feteh and other publications on the Ethiopian Review website on the activities of opposition groups were also introduced as evidence. Reeyot and Woubshet Taye [editor of Awramba Times] had no access to legal counsel  during their three months in pretrial detention. Both were denied counsel during interrogations. The kangaroo court refused to investigate their allegations of torture,  mistreatment and denial of medical care in detention…

Reeyot200Today, I am ecstatically proud to see Reeyot as a recipient of the IWMF award for 2012. When Serkalem Fasil won the same award in 2007, I was overjoyed. What can be more awesome than having young imprisoned  Ethiopian journalists standing up for the truth and against tyranny and lies being recognized, honored and celebrated for their heroic efforts by the world?

But what is the “courage” for which Reeyot and Serkalem were honored? Courage comes in many forms. The soldier who fights on the battlefield despite immediate danger to his life is driven by courage. A young woman who stands up to tyranny and defiantly declares, “I will be a voice for the voiceless and am prepared to pay the price”, is equally driven by courage. But what is courage itself? The great philosophers tell us that courage is a virtue that is manifested in the endurance of our body, mind and spirit. It enables us to “stand immovable in the midst of dangers”.  Others say courage is found between cowardice and rashness. Perhaps courage is a vessel that contains other virtues including perseverance, tenacity, determination, patience, compassion and moral conviction in one’s beliefs. Those who practice courage in their lives, like Reeyot and others, do so despite personal sorrow and hardship, popular opposition, condemnation or commendation or official persecution and prosecution. We should be proud to have young women like Reeyot and Serkalem and young men like Eskinder Nega and Woubshet Taye and so many other  jailed and exiled Ethiopian journalists who exemplify the highest standards of courage as human beings, citizens and journalists.

Reeyot’s handwritten statement read at the IWMF award ceremony in N.Y. on October 24, 2012 is a testament to courage for the ages. When the history of freedom — press freedom– in Ethiopia is written, future generations of Ethiopians will read the words of Reeyot and others like her and take pride in the fact that when the chips were down and the heavy boots of dictatorship crushed the people and trampled over their rights, there were few who stood for truth and against falsehood; for truth and against tyranny; and for truth, honor and country. It is truly inspiring to see a young woman who is confined in one of the worst prisons in the world (a prison described as barbaric and primitive by none other than a world renowned expert hired by the ruling regime in Ethiopia) standing up defiantly and fighting a ruthless dictatorship from prison with a ballpoint pen and scraps of paper:

I believe that I must contribute something to bring a better future [in Ethiopia]. Since there are a lot of injustices and oppressions in Ethiopia, I must reveal and oppose them in my articles.

Shooting the people who march through the streets demanding freedom and democracy, jailing the opposition party leaders and journalists because of only they have different looking from the ruling party, preventing freedom of speech, association and the press, corruption and domination of one tribe are some of the bad doings of our government. As a journalist who feels responsibility to change these bad facts, I was preparing articles that oppose the injustices I explained before. When I did it, I know that I would pay the price for my courage and I was ready to accept that price. Because journalism is a profession that I am willing to devote myself.  I know for EPRDF, journalists must be only propaganda machines for the ruling party. But for me, journalists are the voices of the voiceless. That’s why I wrote many articles which reveal the truth of the oppressed ones. Even if I am facing a lot of problems because of it, I always stand firmly for my principle and profession. Lastly, I want to ask the international community to understand about the real Ethiopia. The real Ethiopia isn’t like that you watch in Ethiopia television or as you listen to the government officials talk about it. In real Ethiopia, a lot of repressions are being done. My story can show you the story of many Ethiopians who are in prison because of their independent thinking. Please, try your best to change this bad reality.

If anyone should seek the real definition of courage, let them not look for it in philosophical discourses or the annals of military history. Let them read these words from Reeyot and apply them to their cause.

But I often wonder: What makes individuals like Reeyot do what they do while the rest of us do very little or nothing? Were they born with courage or did they acquire it; and if so how and where? Was courage thrust upon them by circumstances? Why is it a moral imperative for Reeyot and others like her to “dream of things that never were, and ask why not” when many of us “look at things the way they are, and ask why?”. Why did Reeyot defiantly declare from prison, “I believe that I must contribute something to bring a better future [in Ethiopia]” while many of us sit comfortably in freedom and are only concerned about contributions to bettering ourselves? Why did she resolutely proclaim, “I always stand firmly for my principle and profession.”? Why would she plead with the world, “Please, try your best to change this bad reality [in Ethiopia].” Why is it a moral imperative for Reeyot to pay a price for her courage while most of us expect to be paid handsomely for our cowardice?

I cannot even begin to fathom the extraordinary courage of young people like Reeyot. Perhaps courage is a virtue reserved for some very special young people. Perhaps many of us in the older generation have lost our nerve, our mettle, our consciences. Perhaps some of us believe courage is cowardice, shame is honor, fear is valor and falsehood is truth. I don’t know. But I do know many who live in the “capital of the free world” write lofty opinions using pen names, pseudonyms and noms de guerre. They will boldly profess the “truth” while hiding their identity in anonymity. I know many who shade, decorate and nuance the ugly truth about dictatorship with eloquent words of ambiguity, evasiveness and equivocation just to serve their personal interests. I know many who are willing to testify the whole truth about tyranny in private but not a word in public. I have heard many speak the language of silence against tyranny. I have seen many pretend to be deaf, mute and blind to crimes against humanity. I have also wondered why Reeyot and others like her are willing to pay the price for their courage and many of us lack courage.  Could it be that we are unwilling to pay the price for the courage of our convictions because we have neither courage nor convictions?

I do not know Reeyot, but I know and deeply honor the courage of her moral convictions. People like Reeyot live according to ideas and beliefs that originate in higher moral, spiritual and patriotic purposes. They take a moral stand and give everything they have got for what they believe ought or should be done. They have moral concerns which reside deep in their consciences. They are driven by irrepressible impulses to help create a better world, a more just, equal and compassionate society. They are deeply concerned about their fellow human beings and the human condition. They are outraged and disgusted by injustice, abuse of power and arbitrariness because it offends their basic sense of morality. Citizens like Reeyot are neither bound nor motivated by personal gain. They do not seek the approval of others. They reject herd mentality and groupthink.  They know there is a personal price to be paid for their courage and are willing to pay pay it come what may. They know the price for their courage is the price of their soul. Such is the life story of heroes and heroines!

Reeyot can walk out of that “barbaric” prison at any time. All she has to do is get down on her knees, bow down her head and beg to be “pardoned”. But Reeyot does not want a pardon because she has done nothing wrong for which she needs to be pardoned. Following her sentence in kangaroo court, Reeyot’s father, responding to a reporter’s question on whether he would advise his daughter to apologize and beg for a pardon, replied:

This is perhaps one of the most difficult questions a parent can face. As any one of us who are parents would readily admit, there is an innate biological chord that attaches us to our kids. We wish nothing but the best for them. We try as much as  humanly possible to keep them from harm…. Whether or not to beg for clemency is her right and her decision. I would honor and  respect whatever decision she makes… To answer your specific question  regarding my position on the issue by the fact of being her father, I would rather have her not plead for clemency, for she has not committed any crime.

Robert F. Kennedy once said, “moral courage is … the one essential, vital quality for those who seek to change a world that yields most painfully to change. Each time a person stands up for an idea, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, (s)he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope, and crossing each other from a million different centers of energy and daring, those ripples build a current that can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance.” Because our sister Reeyot stood up and exposed the injustices of Ethiopia’s tyrants, she has sent a tiny ripple of hope to 90 million of her compatriots.

I want to thank and honor Reeyot for teaching us the real meaning of courage. I thank her for sending a tiny ripple of hope to her generation (though I strongly doubt my generation could feel the tiny ripples); for standing up against tyrants and clawing at the mightiest walls of oppression with a ballpoint pen and scraps of paper. Reeyot and so many others languish in prison while the rest of close our eyes, seal our lips and plug our ears so we hear no evil, see no evil and speak no evil about evil. I believe we all have three choices in the face of the evil of tyranny. We can evade and avoid it behind a badge of shame. We can pretend there is no evil behind a badge of indifference. Or we can, like Reeyot, face evil wearing the red badge of courage and become the voice for the voiceless. If we can’t be a voice for the voiceless, could we at least be a voice for those imprisoned voices of the voiceless?

Postscript:  It is painful and embarassing for me to see many Ethiopian heroes and heroines like Reeyot, Serkalem, Eskinder Nega, Woubshet Taye, Dawit Kebede and others recognized, honored and celebrated by international human and press rights organizations year after year while we seem oblivious to their extraordinary plight and personal sacrifices. Why can’t we honor them? Celebrate them?  Pay tribute to them? If we don’t show love, honor and respect to our Reeyots, Serkalems, Eskinders and …, why should others?

“I believe that I must contribute something to bring a better future in Ethiopia.” Reeyot Alemu

Sapere Aude!!

Amharic translations of recent commentaries by the author may be found at: and

Previous commentaries by the author are available at:  and


Israeli company focuses on Ogaden and Afar lands

Sunday, October 28th, 2012

Some say Somali and Afar regions are deserts, Israelis dub it a “bread basket”

By Yonas Abiye |

October 27, 2012

Looking at a wide portion of Somali or Afar regions, one might be tempted to call it as an unproductive or non-loam soil because of the hottest temperature and the acacia trees as well as thorny prosopis juliflora (derogatorily otherwise known as Woyane tree).
Meanwhile, in the eye of anyone from Israel, this is a funny view. For them, Somali or Afar areas are like a virgin and fertile land.

For Ethiopian pastoralists, whose livelihood depends on animal husbandry, agriculture had almost ‘zero position’. For them livestock are everything. Most of them have a belief that there is no life without livestock.

Though the Ethiopian government, as a national development strategy, had attempted to introduce the agriculture system to pastoralist areas, most of them seem hardly manageable to accept agriculture as an alternative means to their livelihood. Their life is always mobile.

Within these prevailing facts and challenges an Israel company, Agropeace, came to Ethiopia two years ago to engage in the country’s large-scale agriculture mainly focusing in the mass production of biofuel plants and floricultures as well as crops, unlike most local as well as oversees investors who do not dare to engage in such ventures in the region. This is obviously seem that many of the investors, if not all, prefer putting their money near fertile lands of the country around Addis Ababa and in the nearest and relatively modest towns.

Meanwhile, Agropeace looks determined to grow more in one of the country’s hottest and remote areas of Somali region such as Shinile and Gad districts.

In fact, for a longtime, ploughing lands or having agriculture practice has been an unusual, or unpreferable business in Shinile and Gad localities which are not very far from the town of Dire Dawa.

Having secured nearly 2000 hectares from the Somali region four years ago, Agropeace launched its first pilot project by producing maize and caster seeds. Since such kind of agri-business has not been common in the pastoralist’s areas, for Agropeace it was a challenging mission to gain the support of the local residents.

According to the existing tradition of most pastoralists, every plot of land belongs to their communal property where they feed their cattle no matter the title deed given to them as is common in other parts of Ethiopia. As a result, the Israel company had not received positive welcome from the resident pastoralist communities from Shinile as well as Gad.

So, the company had to work hard to get the goodwill of the pastoralists. Eventually since water shortage is the serious problem of the, Agropeace first built around six wells and delivered water to the community for their livelihood and to their livestock. Next, in its first year the company produced tomato, green pepper and maize and distributed it to the community. This was also coupled by teaching them a new trend of agricultural production on how to produce it and create employment opportunities.

Recently, the company organized a two-days field trip where its major shareholders from the US and the UK, along with the Israeli Ambassador to Ethiopia, as well as local officials visited the project sites in Shinile and Gad.

Briefing on the progress of the project, the founder of the company, Zir Brosh, told visitors that “the project is very promising. So far, from this pilot project, we have learnt that the area is very fertile and suitable for castor, any crops and vegetables so that we are able to grow year round. “

Yohash Zohar, the general manager of Agropeace Ethiopia, said that despite some challenges the company faces as an initial development cost the company is profitable in a short period of time.

“This project, I believe, will be a benchmark for Ethiopia and will attract many other foreign investors,” he told The Reporter.

“We truly believe that the drier regions of Ethiopia such as Somali and Afar regions can actually be the bread-basket of Ethiopia,” he said, adding that with the right development and usage of underground water they (Afar and Somali regions) can produce more cash crops probably for all other parts of Ethiopia together.

He also explained that the advantage of investing in the Somali region is also advantageous, logistically citing its proximity to the Port of Djibouti.
“It makes a lot of sense to invest in such areas,” Zohar said.

According to the general manager, the company is investing a total amount of 20 million dollars for its 2000 hectare project, out of which 70 percent of the investment loan is acquired from Development Bank of Ethiopia (DBE) while the rest is partly financed from Agropeace, development partners as well as from the income generated from the project itself.

He told The Reporter that the company aims to start exporting in 2013 for the first time, starting with some 2000 tons of castor seed that is estimated to be roughly worth about 2.5 million dollars.

So far, over 350 hectares of land has been cleared for castor production.

“In Israel we have a lot of experiences in developing deserts and turn it into productive agricultural farm. Once you have enough water and use it with kid gloves, it will be advantageous because being very dry is an advantage. When you have water for irrigation, you can absolutely control how much water you can use for your farm.”
For the company, infrastructure development is a bottleneck challenge that has already forced it to incur core investment costs.

Anteneh Gelaye, chief operation manager of the project, explained that such a kind of investment is the first project in the area.

Anteneh told The Reporter that at that demonstration site, Agropeace has carried out pilot project and has seen satisfactory results particularly in castor seed, soya bean, groundnut as well as maize.

“Though this areas is semi-desert, for example, last year using Israeli technology we grew an American maize seed. And we have harvested about 80 quintals from a hectare while is 30 quintals in normal case.”

The Israeli Ambassador to Ethiopia, Belaynesh Zevadia, hailed the company’s project saying, “I’m happy about this promising achievement. They did a great job.”

She also told the company, “I hope in a couple of years, you would reap good production.

“There is a jewish saying that goes “If you save one life, you will save the world”, Belaynesh said after she saw the water wells the company provided for the local residents “I was born in Gondar and grew up in Addis Ababa before leaving for Israel when I was 17. I didn’t know we have such kind of place. Now I’m proud of being Jewish. I’m proud of Ethiopia. Please keep saving more lives.”

Similarly, the vice president of development DBE, Tadesse Oge’e, praised the company for its project.

“Your commitment to invest in such kind of area is very fantastic while most investors prefer to invest in Addis Ababa and surrounding areas. We are ready to support this project and continue to support it.

Issayas Kebede, from Ministry of Agriculture, on his part said, “This is the kind of development that Ethiopia seeks. When you lose, we lose, when your gain we gain.
For a long time the area was known as one of the country’s smuggling corridor and black market zones.


The powerful story of Lemn Sissay

Sunday, October 28th, 2012

Lemn Sissay:  A child of the state

Click below for a video of Lemn’s story

The powerful story of Lemn Sissay

U.S. presidential election – Latest polls and update

Sunday, October 28th, 2012

Oct. 27, 2012

Philadelphia Inquirer Susquehanna Bank
Barack Obama 49%; Mitt Romney 43%; Undecided/refused 7%

Washington Post
Barack Obama 51%; Mitt Romney 47%

Oct. 25, 2012


Public Policy Polling

Barack Obama 49% Mitt Romney: 48%


Mitt Romney 50% Barack Obama: 47%

Rasmussen Reports

Mitt Romney 50% Barack Obama: 47%

Washington Post-ABC News

Mitt Romney 50% Barack Obama: 47%

Sudan threatens to take ‘decisive steps against’ Israel for bombing missile factory

Saturday, October 27th, 2012

Khartoum threatens Israel after Iranian generals examine missile factory rubble

DEBKAfile Exclusive Report October 27, 2012, 5:34 PM (GMT+02:00)

Sudanese President Omar Bashir pledged decisive steps against “Israeli interests which are now legitimate targets.” He spoke Saturday, Oct. 27 after a team of Iranian generals completed a secret examination of the rubble left of the Khartoum Shehab ballistic missile factory after an air attack on Oct. 24.

Israeli officials have refused to comment on the attack. However, Sudanese Information Minister Ahmed Belal Othman said “military experts" who surveyed what was left of the Yarmouk Industrial Complex had determined that it was destroyed by Israel-made missiles.

The minister added that no country in the region besides Israel owns the sophisticated weapons used in the attack.

He also confirmed that Khartoum international airport’s radar system was disabled during the raid, confirming the claim made by Iranian sources the next day.

Othman did not identity the “military experts” who examined the residue at the bomb site or explain how they were able to identify the weapons used. However, debkafile’s military sources disclose that those experts were Iranian military chiefs of the highest ranks: Iranian Air Force Chief Brig. Gen. Hassan Shah-Safi; Commander of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) Aerospace Forces Brig. Gen. Amir Ali Hajizadeh; Deputy Air Force Commander Brig. Gen. Aziz Nasirzadeh; and Commander of Iran’s Khatam al-Anbiya Air Defense Base Brig. Gen. Farzad Esmaili.

The exalted ranks of these officers, sent secretly and post haste to Khartoum after the incident, attested to the extreme consternation caused in Tehran by the missile factory’s destruction and its importance to Iran’s regional military organization for a potential US or Israeli attack.

The generals were instructed to conduct a professional and detailed analysis to determine the capabilities of the air force which sent the four bombers to level the Shehab factory and how those capabilities were applicable to a potential long-distance Israeli aerial strike against Iran.

The team of investigators, which arrived in Khartoum by an Iranian military plane hours after the attack, was collected and escorted by the Sudanese chief of staff, Gen. Ismat Abdel Rahman in a tightly-secured convoy of armored vehicles with helicopter cover straight to the wrecked factory for their inquiry.
They also examined Sudan’s radar system to find out how it was jammed.

Our military sources add: This was the second time in three weeks that Iranian air force, air defense and cyber war experts have had the chance to study Israel’s air force and electronic capabilities – while also exposing many facets of their own. Just three weeks ago, on Oct. 6, an Iranian stealth drone penetrated
Israeli air space. Iranian cyber exports, operating from Hizballah’s security service bunkers in South Beirut, conducted cyber duel with Israeli experts before the IAF downed the interloper.

In Sudan, the Iranian generals tried to learn what they could about the methods and equipment Israel used to jam Sudan’s radar systems which, like those in Iranian use, are made in Russia. … ory-rubble

Africom steps up secret operations in Horn of Africa

Friday, October 26th, 2012

U.S. Expands Secretive Drone Base for African Shadow War

By David Axe |

October 26, 2012

A US Air Force Predator drone

The Pentagon’s secretive drone and commando base in the Horn of Africa is getting a lot bigger and a lot busier as the U.S. doubles down on its shadowy campaign of air strikes, robot surveillance and Special Operation Forces raids in the terror havens of Yemen and Somalia.

Camp Lemonnier, originally a French colonial outpost in Djibouti, a tiny, impoverished nation just north of Somalia, has been the epicenter of America’s Indian Ocean shadow war since just after 9/11. What was once little more than a run-down compound adjacent to Djibouti city’s single-runway international airport is now a sprawling complex of hangars and air-conditioned buildings housing eight Predator drones and eight F-15E fighter-bombers plus other warplanes, as well as around 300 Special Operations Forces and more than 2,000 other U.S. troops and civilians.

According to an investigation by The Washington Post, the Pentagon is spending $1.4 billion to expand the base’s airplane parking and living facilities. The extra housing could accommodate another 800 commandos, the Post reports. The military is also adding new lighting to a emergency landing strip a few miles from Camp Lemonnier — an urgent precaution as more and more planes and drones pack onto the main base’s sole runway.

The Djibouti base is just one of a constellation of hush-hush U.S. drone, commando or intelligence facilities in East Africa. Others are located in Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia and the island nation of the Seychelles. But “those operations pale in comparison to what is unfolding in Djibouti,” the Post’s Craig Whitlock notes.

As previously reported by Danger Room, the scale and intensity of covert U.S. operations in Djibouti has increased steadily since 2001. Navy SEALs, Army Delta Force commandos and other Special Operations Forces stage from Djibouti on surveillance infiltrations, counter-terrorism raids, hostage rescues and pirate take-downs. And those are just the operations we know about.

The CIA’s armed Predator drones operated from Camp Lemonnier as early as 2002. In November of that year, an Agency Predator crew, following tips from the NSA, tracked al-Qaida operative Qaed Salim Sinan Al Harethi, one of the men who had organized the October 2000 attack on the U.S. Navy destroyer Cole, to a car in Yemen. The drone launched a single Hellfire missile, killing Al Harethi and several other men.

Drones came and went at Camp Lemonnier on a temporary basis between 2002 and 2010, joining a little-mentioned force of F-15 fighter-bombers deployed to the desert base for high-speed bombing runs over Yemen. In 2007 a Predator apparently flying from Djibouti struck a convoy near the southern Somali town of Ras Kamboni, killing Aden Hashi Farah, one of Somalia’s top al-Qaida operatives.

In 2010, the Pentagon made the drone presence at Lemonnier full-time, with eight Predators permanently assigned. In September last year, a Djibouti-based Predator took out Anwar Al Awlaki, an American-born cleric and top al-Qaida member.

As the pace of drone and other warplane flights increased, so too did the number of flying accidents. A Special Operations Command U-28 spy plane crashed in February, killing four airmen. The Post details five Predator crashes at or near Lemonnier since January 2011. Besides providing evidence of a ramp-up in the U.S. shadow war, the crashes represent a window into the little-discussed methods of America’s commando forces. One Air Force drone accident report from last year mentions a commando officer, identified only as “Frog,” whose job it was to alert the Air Force crews to launch their drones on covert missions.

“Who is Frog?” one investigator asked, according to a transcript obtained by the Post. “He’s a Pred guy,” an airman responded. “I actually don’t know his last name.”

That level of secrecy is typical of Pentagon activities in Djibouti. Thanks to the Post’s excellent reporting, we now know just a tiny bit more about America’s expanding shadow war in East Africa.

Why Mitt Romney will win the popular vote

Friday, October 26th, 2012

This is the best analysis I have read on why Mit Romney will win the election.

Barring Some Sudden Change, Romney Will Win the Popular Vote

By Jim Geraghty, National Review

Barring some dramatic change in the final ten days or so, Mitt Romney will win the popular vote in the 2012 presidential election.

In the 22 national head-to-head polls with Romney conducted in the month of October, Obama has hit 50 percent once, 49 percent four times, 48 percent three times, 47 percent eight times, 46 percent once, and 45 percent five times. (He hasn’t hit 48 percent in a national poll since October 20.) Mind you, in most of these polls Obama has trailed narrowly, with Romney at 48 to 50 percent, and in a few, he’s led Romney, with the GOP challenger at 45 percent or so. But the polling this month points to a strikingly consistent percentage of support for an incumbent president.

Not only is Obama’s percentage in the RealClearPolitics average 47 percent, he’s at 47 percent in four tracking polls: Rasmussen, ABC News/Washington Post, Gallup, and IBD/TIPP. It is not merely significant that Obama is likely at 47 percent at this moment, it’s that he’s been around 47 percent for most of the month — with debates, new attack-ad barrages on both sides, etc. He’s around 47 percent in polls with many remaining undecideds and few remaining undecideds.

We can debate whether those remaining undecideds, ranging from 3 to 8 percent in most of these polls, will break heavily for the challenger. In 2004, George W. Bush and John Kerry split the remaining undecideds roughly evenly. But the one scenario that political scientists deem virtually impossible is one where undecideds who have declined to support the incumbent all year suddenly break heavily in favor of him. For most of the remaining undecideds, the choice is between voting for the challenger and staying home.

The polling currently suggests President Obama has a hard ceiling of about 47 percent, perhaps 48 percent. Let’s take the 50–47 split found currently in the Rasmussen, Washington Post, and Gallup tracking polls. Presume that most of the remaining undecideds stay home, and that the vote for third-party candidates amounts to about a percentage point. Under that scenario, we would see a 51 percent to 47.9 percent popular-vote win for Romney.

There are two other little-discussed indicators pointing to a Romney popular-vote win — the GOP challenger’s level of support in the uncontested blue states and in the uncontested red states.

There are a bunch of heavily populated states in the Northeast and on the West Coast that remain frustratingly uncompetitive for Republicans. But last cycle, the bottom really fell out for the GOP, due to several factors: the Obama campaign’s serious financial advantages, enormous grassroots enthusiasm among Democrats, the John McCain–Sarah Palin ticket’s lack of appeal to these regions, and of course, the economic meltdown. The bad news for Republicans is that the Romney–Ryan ticket is unlikely to put any of these in play. The good news is that Romney appears likely to dramatically overperform the low bar of McCain’s level from 2008, owing to GOP grassroots enthusiasm even in uncompetitive states.

In New Jersey on Election Day 2008, Obama won 57 percent to 42 percent for McCain. Five polls have been conducted in the Garden State in October, and Obama’s support is at 54 percent, 53 percent, 48 percent, 51 percent and 51 percent. None of the polls have Obama ahead by less than 7 points, but it seems a safe bet that Romney will finish better in this state than McCain did.

In California last cycle, Obama won 61 percent to 37 percent. Three polls conducted in this state in October put Obama’s level of support at 53 percent. Again, no one doubts Obama will win; his smallest lead is 12 points. But again, Obama is very likely to come out of the Golden State with a smaller margin of victory, probably hundreds of thousands of votes fewer than in 2008.

In Connecticut, Obama won in 2012 by 61 percent to 38 percent. In this state, there’s been quite a bit of polling because of the state’s surprisingly competitive Senate race between Linda McMahon and Chris Murphy. Obama’s level of support, measured by percentage, has been 52, 55, 53, 49, 51, 53.

In the red states it’s a different story. In state after state, Romney is polling higher than McCain’s percentage in the final vote, or Obama is polling significantly lower than his percentage in the final tally of 2008, or both.

John McCain won North Dakota in 2008 by a 53 percent to 45 percent margin. In the three polls in this state in October, Romney’s lowest level of support has been 54 percent and Obama’s highest level of support has been 40 percent.

In 2008, John McCain won Arkansas 59 percent to 39 percent. Obama’s highest level in any poll conducted in Arkansas this year is 35 percent and he was at 31 percent in mid-October.

Obama failed to win a single county in Oklahoma in 2008, losing to McCain, 34 percent to 66 percent. Only two polls have been conducted in Oklahoma this year, but both had Obama below 30 percent.

Indiana was Obama’s most unexpected victory in 2008, winning 50 percent to 49 percent. Polling has been sparse much of this year, but the two polls conducted this fall put Romney up by 12 and 13 percentage points.

Add up these factors — a consistent national polling lead for Romney, a seemingly hard ceiling of 47–48 percent for Obama support in these national polls, a narrower margin of victory for Obama in blue states and a wider margin of victory in red states — and you have an electoral map where the red states of 2008 turn crimson and the blue states are at least a bit more purple.

Now, as Al Gore will tell you, a popular-vote win and a couple of bucks will get you a cup of coffee at Starbucks. But it’s also relatively rare for a candidate to win the popular vote and lose the Electoral College. And if Obama is running a few percentage points behind his 2008 levels of support in red states and blue states . . . just how much can advertising and get-out-the-vote efforts stem that tide in the purple states?

Massive protests by Ethiopian Muslims following Eid prayers on Friday

Friday, October 26th, 2012

Muslims defied threats by Ethiopia’s TPLF regime as hundreds of thousands marched following Eid prayers on Friday. Protests engulfed not only Addis Ababa, but also other major Ethiopian cities as well.  They asked the government to stop interference in religious affairs.

Watch video of the protest below.


Misguided health care policy contributes to the migration of Ethiopian physicians

Friday, October 26th, 2012

By Gelane Gemechisa

Since the advent of “organized medical practice” in 1896, when the Russian Red Cross built the first hospital, Ethiopia has experienced a rapid expansion of the delivery of healthcare that lasted well into the 20th century. The establishment of the Ministry of Health in 1948 played pivotal role in centralizing healthcare and leading a concerted effort that resulted in the construction of 93 hospitals (public and private), and a sizable increase in the number of physicians in the public sector.

But, even with donor-funded and much celebrated projects such as the community-based health extension program,the trends in the past twenty years tell a different story. A population boom, with a record rate of growth averaging 2.1 percent over the last five years according to a World Bank report, coupled with minimal infrastructural development has taken a heavy toll on every aspect of the country’s livelihood, especially on the healthcare sector.

In a 2005 strategy report, the World Health Organization, found Ethiopia’s population per primary healthcare facility to be 24,513, a ratio triple the rest of sub-Saharan Africa. With only 13,469 hospital beds in the entire country, the figure comes to one hospital bed per 5,276 people and exceeds the average ratio for the rest of sub-Saharan Africa five-fold. As bewildering as these figures may seem, facilities and material resources are only a fraction of the complex problems that weigh on healthcare in Ethiopia.

This brings me back to a topic that I began to tackle while I was back home and promised to share regarding healthcare in the country. I wrote a blog about the state of healthcare delivery in Ethiopia but decided not to publish it while I was actually in the country. Taking the extra time to ponder my statements, however, proved to be an eye opening experience and I hope that translates into what I share here.

In one blog entry during my trip, I wrote about a humanitarian project that is taking aim at remedying the symptoms of a broken system. While such efforts are dire and help thousands of patients every year, they cannot solve the problem at its root. The issues are complicated and involve many facets of healthcare. One obvious problem is the overall lack of medical resources in the country, which could easily be attributed to the still fledgling economy however a growing issue has become the lack of medical personnel, especially physicians, to handle the expanding healthcare burden. How is it that a country with more medical schools than Ghana and South Africa has significantly lower ratio of physicians to population than most of sub-Saharan Africa?

In a conversation with medical faculty at one of Ethiopia’s premier medical schools, I learned that the incoming class size for first year medical students has grown to 400 every year. These are the best and brightest, so let’s indulge and say only 75 percent graduate (even though it is much higher), we’re still talking about 300 new doctors generated from one medical school in one class. A very conservative extrapolation of this data could suggest an average of anywhere from 1000 to 1500 new physicians graduating every year from Ethiopia’s 12 medical programs. Compare that to the most recent census data from the CIA Fact Book, which estimates Ethiopia’s population at 94 million and the problems seem to take shape before our eyes.

The fact that physician shortage exists in Ethiopia may not be groundbreaking news but the evidence shows that the problem is only getting worse. One promising fact, however, is that the majority of Ethiopia’s medical schools are only a few years old and have yet to really impact the numbers in a positive way. This will be an interesting trend to watch as these programs gradually begin adding to the physician pool.

While the of total number of physicians in the country may represent a steady ebb and flow state, the number of physicians who practice in the public sector has been dwindling. Most doctors opt for better-paying jobs with NGOs and private hospitals where the average citizen cannot afford to access their care. This adds to the physicians who are physically leaving the country for a chance at a more financially rewarding future in economically developed nations.

How did the problem get to this point? Well the simple answer is that it’s brewing for quite some time now. A 1988 article in the New England Journal of Medicine estimated the physician to population ratio to be one to 57,876. The journal’s report, however, precedes a period of widespread physician attrition (1990-2006) where the total number of physicians in the public sector reached an all-time low of 638 in 2006.

These figures are even more alarming at the regional level. For instance, in December 2006, a physician to population ratio in the Oromia region was one to 220,000. A field report the following year by WHO noted that the Oromia region contains 29 hospitals, 192 health centers, 895 health stations and 1070 health posts. These include facilities owned by government, private sector, and NGOs. According to the report, there were about 8,172 health professionals serving the Oromia region,an estimated 40 million people. The numbers indicate potential health service coverage for 70.5 percent but health service utilization remains at mere 27 percent.

These statistics beg the question; is anything being done to stop the outflow of physicians or increase the number of available providers?

The answer is yes but the consequences may be even more complicating than helpful in the long run. In an effort to increase the number of healthcare providers, the Ministry of Health has employed two major initiatives to address these issues.

1) Physicians are now required to serve in the public sector for a number of years or pay a sum of 450,000 birr (that’s $26,300) before they receive their diplomas. (Public education is free in Ethiopia.) Since the average physician salary is far less than a fraction of that cost, this is not even an option. Thus, they remain in the public sector a few years longer before making the move to the private sector or leaving the country.

2) The Ministry has also created a relatively new breed of health professionals called health officers. Under this promising plan, health officers receive training from doctors and function as physician extenders (like nurse practitioners) who can also perform general surgery. The idea of creating such a profession is that they function as doctors, but have no credentials to do so anywhere else in the world, so they too are bound to practice in Ethiopia.

The necessity for measures to counteract the loss of healthcare providers is not in question. But the government initiatives, while a good starting point to steer the system in the right direction, may have negative consequences. In the next installment, I will continue with other factors weighing in the balance as well as suggestions for the Diaspora-based health professional interested in influencing the direction of healthcare in that country. As always thank you for reading and stay tuned.

Gelane Gemechisa is a fourth year medical student at University of Maryland. Last year, she spent four months doing clinical research and clerkships at Black Lion Hospital in Addis Ababa and Dembi Dollo Hospital.

Ethiopian Airlines in trouble under an incompetent CEO

Friday, October 26th, 2012

By Berhane Kidane

Since its inception, the Ethiopian Air Lines has been the pride of all Ethiopians. The Ethiopian Airlines is one of the best Air Lines in the world. Its employees do not just consider their job as a place where they only get paychecks. They take enormous pride and consider the airlines as their own. This has been the long history of the Ethiopian Airlines. In 1991, when the TPLF took power, there were speculations about the future of the airlines. In fact, some suggested that the TPLF was thinking of handing over the airlines to the EPLF; it was also speculated that the regime was going to merge the airlines with Djibouti, Sudan, and Eritrean airlines. During that period, Eritrea did not have its own airlines. Regardless however, the speculation continued. When Seye Abraha was the chairman of the Board, he took measures that angered several employees at the airlines. When the employees complained about the change that was taking place at the airlines, he reportedly said that “I will be happy to fire every one of you and replace you with foreign workers.” As the foremer employee of the airlines, I can tell you that I have never witnessed any one as bully as Seye Abraha in the airlines. That was then.

Since the TPLF took power, the major change in the Ethiopian airlines was the logo. The Lion that gave the plane its grace has been removed and we only have the Ethiopian flag on our planes; in addition, the written word where it said Ethiopian Air Lines is removed and replaced by “Ethiopian”. These are may be cosmetic changes that did not affect the operation of the airlines. Since I was a former employee, I still consider the airlines as part of my family. I take pride not only as a citizen but also as someone who contributed something for its growth. Because of my attachment with the airlines, I always seek to know what is going on in the airlines. I have good friends who are still working there. By measuring their “temperature,” I know the health of the airlines. When Mr. Girma Wakie was the CEO, I seldom hear complaints. Mr. Girma was appreciated by labor as well as the management. The former Ethiopian Airlines Trade Union Chairman described Mr. Girma as the “modern father” of the airlines. Mr. Girma cared only about the employees’ ability to perform. He never cared about anyone’s ethnicity or political affiliations. I believe it was the “Reporter” newspaper that wrote few years ago stating the only government institution that has not become the political wing of the ruling party was the Ethiopian Airlines. That was true then, but that truth does not hold water today.

After Mr. Girma retired from the airlines in 2011, the Chief Operating Officer (COO) became the CEO. Whether it was by merit or by political affiliation that the former COO is elevated to be the CEO, this writer can’t say. What is apparent however is that Mr. Girma was brought to the Ethiopian Airlines in 2003 from the Gulf Air; he was an outsider, and he was not affiliated with any political entity. He was given a free hand to do as he liked in conducting the airlines’ business. He was well respected by the former Chairman of the Board, Mr. Seyoum Mesfin, as well as by Mr. Meles Zenawi. No one interfered in Mr. Girma’s decision. Mr. Girma got down to business as soon as he took office. He worked with labor and management as a team. He did not alienate employees. He took his job at heart. He charted a new and bold plan. He hired the locally based Ernst and Young team to be his advisors. He devised a five year strategic plan which he followed to the letter: the strategy that he dubbed “Vision 2010” was launched in 2005. He listened to the complaint of his employees and raised their salary by 40/%.

Even before Vision 2010 was implemented, the airlines grew by about 20/% in 2004 alone. This was an impressive start, and a spring board for the five year plan that Mr. Girma devised. Although the initial deal was for Mr. Girma to work as the CEO of the airlines for five years, his contract was extended and he led the airlines for more than seven years. By the time he retired from the Ethiopian airlines, the Ethiopian airlines became the second largest airlines in Africa. The airlines profit grew from 269 million Birr to more than 1.3 billion Birr. The number of passengers has tripled under Mr. Girma. He changed the dynamic between labor and management, the employees and the country took enormous pride. Under Mr. Girma, the Ethiopian Airlines began flying to North America. I believe, one of the advantages for the success of Mr. Girma was that he was a professional and cared little about politics. Any one at the Ethiopian airlines would tell you, Mr. Girma did not tolerate any attempt to make the airlines a political hub by any party. Although some TPLF leaders like Sibhat Nega were not happy, politics had no place at the airlines during the tenure of Mr. Girma.

This however is not true now. The political and management culture at the airlines has changed. When Mr. Tewolde took office, instead of building on what Mr. Girma left him, he picked a fight with the airlines trade union. He angered employees by violating the collective agreement; threats and intimidation became mode of operands in the airlines. Within a month after taking his position, Mr. Tewolde prevented Technicians from leaving the country, he angered the cabin crew by changing their pays. Leaders of the Trade Union were threatened. In fact, the chairman of the trade union fled the country fearing for his life six month after Mr. Tewolde became the CEO. The new chairman and the leaders of the trade union were threatened by the CEO and forced to sign a collective agreement that harmed the employees. TPLF/EPRDF cadres found an open filed to recruit members from the airlines with threats and intimidations. Mr. Tewolde demanded that employees work one day a week for free. Employees will tell you that you are not even allowed to stand in a group in the airlines compound. Witnesses have been seen employees taken by security officers from cafeteria, employees lounge room, and employees club. Ethiopian Airlines employees are leaving the institution in alarming rates. Some are leaving not only the airlines also the country fearing for their lives.

Recently, an employee who fled to Kenya told me that the former first lady, Azeb Mesfin, is playing a significant role in the airlines. By law, the cargo and ground operation in Ethiopia has to be conducted only by the Ethiopian Airlines. Recently however, a company called International Cargo Service (ICAS) has taken the ground handing and cargo service at Ethiopian airports. The employees who saw the business shift from the Ethiopian airlines to ICAS complained to the CEO. Instead of investigating how that was possible and stopping ICAS’s operation, the CEO lambasted the employees. Some reports indicate ICAS is owned by Sheik Mohammed Alamudi and that Azeb Mesfin is a partner in this operation. It is not clear whether Azeb is a partner as an individual or as a Chairwoman of EFFORT. In Less than two years since taking over the airlines, Mr. Tewolde has managed to alienate the union, none union employees, and some in the management. Employees will tell you that moral is low; and employees are frustrated with the management style of the CEO. It is not by accident that Addisu Legesse was appointed to be the Chairman of the Ethiopian Airlines Board when Mr. Tewolde became the CEO. Addisu cannot challenge the TPLF in any capacity.

It is not clear what the future of the Ethiopian Airlines is going to be. What is clear however, the CEO’s political affiliation with the ruling party is having a profound effect in the operation of the airlines. Employees who do not support the ruling party and who refused to join the EPRDF are living in fear. Any statement an employee makes could be interpreted as anti government statement and could be used against the employee. No one knows how the power of Azeb Mesfin is going to be curtailed or contained as a result of Meles Zenawi’s death. Like most Ethiopian civil servants, the Ethiopian Airlines employees are under assault. The pressure either to be a member of the ruling party or to quit their jobs is mounting. Is there a plan to control the Ethiopian Airlines by the ruling party? The answer seem to be yes. Anyone would tell you that the face of the airlines is changing fast. Instead of merit, ethnic or political affiliation is the one that get you a job at the Ethiopian airlines under Mr. Tewolde. I hate to inject ethnic politics, but the fact is the airlines is hiring more Tigryans now than at any time in its history; not just Tigryans, but Tigryans loyal to the ruling party. As one employee said to me, it seems the TPLF shadow is hovering everywhere over every aspect of the Ethiopian airlines operation.

What is sad is, the Ethiopian airlines spends thousands of Birr to train an employee. It is after months of rigorous training and well designed education that one becomes a permanent employee of the airlines. In fact, the expense to train and educate an employee is so outrageous, if you quit your job from the airlines, you are required to pay the money for your training and education. Now, the well trained employees are leaving the airlines because the airlines management implicitly or explicitly has made it difficult to do their jobs. It seems that unless you become a loyal member or supporter of the ruling party, you have no place in Ethiopia now days. Is the trend going to change because of the new prime minister? It is unlikely. So far, the new PM has shown he will stay the course. I hope that the management at the Ethiopian airlines will open its eyes and see the damage that it is doing not only to the airlines but also to the country. The CEO has laid out his vision as we all have read on various news accounts; the Ethiopian Airlines has purchased new cargo and passenger planes. This is all good; however, the CEO vision will not materialize unless he relied on professionals to do the job. Unless the CEO changes his hat from TPLF operative to the one that makes him the CEO of the airlines, the saga of the Ethiopian airlines would be a sad one instead of pride. It is time for the Chairman of the Board, the PM, and other responsible parties to see what is going on in the Ethiopian airlines and rectify the problem.

Bombed Sudanese factory produced Iranian surface-to-surface missiles

Thursday, October 25th, 2012

The bombed Sudanese factory produced Iranian Shehab missiles

DEBKAfile Exclusive Report October 24, 2012, 11:03 PM (GMT+02:00)

The Yarmouk Complex of military plants near Khartoum, whicht was bombed five minutes after midnight Wednesday, Oct. 24, by four fighter-bombers, recently went into manufacturing Iranian ballistic surface-to-surface Shehab missiles under license from Tehran, debkafile’s military and intelligence sources disclose. Western intelligence sources have not revealed what types of Shehab were being turned out in Sudan but they believe the Yarmouk’s output was intended to serve as Tehran’s strategic reserve stock in case Iran’s ballistic arsenal was hit by Israeli bombers.
The Israeli Air Force has a long record of pre-emptive attacks for destroying an enemy’s long-range missiles in the early stages of a conflict. In June 2006, for instance, the IAF destroyed 90 percent of Hizballah’s long-range missiles in the first hours of the Lebanon war.
Videos of the explosions caused in the air raid over Sudan showed large quantities of phosphorus flares in the sky suggesting that a large stockpile was demolished along with the manufacturing equipment.
Western sources did not divulge information about the comings and goings of Iranian missile specialists or whether the Bashir government had given Tehran permission to stage attacks from Sudan against Middle East targets, in return for the allotment of a number of missiles to the Sudanese army. All they would say is that the complex’s structures had been completely leveled by the aerial bombardment and subsequent fire.
Sudan accused Israel of the attack and stated it reserved the right to respond at a time and circumstances of its choosing. Israeli officials declined to comment in answer to questions.
If Indeed Israel was responsible for the bombing raid, it is possible to postulate the following objectives:
1. Its air force flew 1,800-1,900 kilometers to reach the Sudanese arms factory, a distance longer than the 1,600 kilometers to the Iranian underground enrichment site of Fordo. This operation may have been intended to show Tehran that distance presents no obstacles to an Israeli strike on its nuclear program.
2. The IAF has an efficient in-flight refueling capability.
3. The raid would have degraded Iran’s ability to retaliate for a potential Israel or US attack.
If it was conducted by Israel, it would add a third item to the list of backdoor assaults in which Iran and Israel appear to be engaged in the past three months.
On August 17, the power lines to Fordo were sabotaged, interrupting the work of enrichment taking place there and causing some of the advanced centrifuges to catch fire.
On Oct. 6, an Iranian stealth drone was launched from Lebanon into Israeli air space and photographed its most sensitive military sites as well as the Dimona nuclear reactor before Israel brought it down. … b-missiles

Egypt receives one million square meters of land in Ethiopia

Thursday, October 25th, 2012

Egypt: Ethiopia Grants Egypt 1 Million Cubic Meters to Establish Industrial Zone

25 October 201

Industry and Foreign Trade Minister Hatem Saleh said on Wednesday 24/10/2012 that Ethiopia granted one million cubic meters to establish an Egyptian industrial zone to boost trade, economic and investment activity between Egypt and the Nile Basin countries.

The Minister noted that Egypt is keen on offering all facilities needed to Egyptian investors to provide promising job opportunities to the African markets, adding new facilities will be available including all utilities required, usufruct for each investors fifty piasters per meter annually and Ethiopian Banks will finance Egyptian investors of 50-70 per cent of the project.

He pointed out that Egypt supports all producers who seek to establish projects in that industrial zone and holding investment partnerships with their Ethiopian counterparts that led to develop and extend the bilateral relations.

Al Amoudi fails to pay for the 4 companies he bought from the government

Thursday, October 25th, 2012

ኢሳት ዜና:- ሼክ አል አሙዲ ከሸሪኮቻቸው ጋር በመሆን በጨረታ ላሸነፉዋቸው ድርጅቶች የ1 ነጥብ 3 ቢሊዮን ብር ክፍያ ሊፈጽሙ አለመቻላቸው ተዘገበ።

ከ1.3 ቢሊዮን ብር በላይ አራት የመንግሥት የልማት ድርጅቶችን ለመግዛት የጨረታ አሸናፊነታቸው የተገለጸላቸው የሼክ መሐመድ አል አሙዲና ሸሪኮቻቸው ኩባንያዎች የቅድሚያ ክፍያ ጊዜ ቢራዘምላቸውም፣ በተፈቀደላቸው ቀነ ገደብ ሊከፍሉ አልቻሉም።

ሪፖርተር ምንጮች ጠቅሶ እንደዘገበው፣ ለአራቱ የልማት ድርጅቶች ግዥ መከፈል የነበረበት የቅድሚያ ክፍያ እስከ መስከረም 30 ቀን 2005 ዓ.ም. እንዲራዘም ተጠይቆ የነበረው በሼክ አል አሙዲ በተፈረመ ደብዳቤ ቢሆንም፣ እስከተጠቀሰው ቀን ድረስ ክፍያው አልተፈጸመም፡፡

የሼህ አል-አሙዲንን የክፍያ ማራዘሚያ ጥያቄ ተቀብሎ የመክፈያ ጊዜው እንዲራዘምላቸው የፈቀደው የፕራይቬታይዜሽንና የመንግሥት የልማት ድርጅቶች ተቆጣጣሪ ኤጀንሲ ቦርድ ከዚህ በኋላ ሊወስድ የሚችለው ዕርምጃ ጨረታውን መሰረዝ ሊሆን እንደሚችል ተገምቷል፡፡
ሼክ አል አሙዲና ሸሪኮቻቸው በየካቲት 2004 ዓ.ም. በተከናወነ ጨረታ በግዥ እንዲተላለፉላቸው የተወሰኑላቸው የልማት ድርጅቶች፦ የላይኛው አዋሽ አግሮ ኢንዱስትሪ፣ አበቦ እርሻ ልማት፣ ቡና ማደራጃና ማከማቻ ፣ጐጀብ እርሻ ልማትና የኢትዮጵያ እምነበረድ ኢንተርፕራይዝ ናቸው፡፡

ሆኖም እስካሁን ለኢትዮጵያ እምነበረድ ኢንተርፕራይዝ ከተከፈለው ክፍያ ውጭ ለቀሪዎቹ የልማት ድርጅቶች የመሸጫ ዋጋ መከፈል የነበረበት ከ 30 እስከ 35 በመቶ ቅድሚያ ክፍያ አልተከፈለም፡፡

በኤጀንሲው የጨረታ አሠራር መሠረት አንድ ተጫራች አሸናፊነቱ ከተገለጸ በኋላ በአንድ ወር ጊዜ ውስጥ ክፍያውን መፈጸም የሚገባው ቢሆንም፣ የሼክ አል አሙዲና የሸሪኮቻቸው ኩባንያዎች ክፍያውን ሳይፈጽሙ ከሰባት ወራት በላይ ዘግይተዋል፡፡

ከሰሪኮቻቸው ጋር በመሆን በጨረታ ላሸነፉባቸው ድርጅቶች ሊከፈል የሚገባውን የቅድሚያ ክፍያ ለሰባት ወራት ያዘገዩት ሼሕ አል አሙዲ ለአፍሪካ ዋንጫ ላለፈው ብሔራዊ ቡድናችን አምስት ሚሊዮን ብር ለመሸለም ቃል ገብተዋል።

ዋልያዎች ከ 31 ዓመት በሁዋላ ላገኙት ታላቅ ድል ከዚህም በላይ ሊደረግላቸው እንደሚገባ እናምናለን ያሉ አስተያዬት ሰጪዎች፤ ግለሰቦች የሚያደርጓቸው የዚህ ዓይነት ሽልማቶች ግን ታላቁን ስህተት መሸፈኛ ሊሆኑ አይገባም ብለዋል።

አንድ ባለሀብት አገርንም ሆነ ህዝብን ሊጠቅም የሚችለው በ አገሪቱ ህግ መሰረት የሚጠበቅበትን እያሟላ ሲሰራና ሲሸልም ነው ያሉት እነዚሁ ወገኖች፤ ህብረተሰቡ ትኩረት በሚያደርግባቸው በኪነ ጥበብ፣ በስፖርትና በሌሎችም ዘርፎች የሚደረጉ ማበረታቻዎች ሁሉ እንደ ግብርና ዕዳ ክፍያ የመሳሰሉ የትላልቅ ስህተት መሸፈኛዎች እንዳይሆኑ ጥንቃቄ ሊደረግ ይገባል ሲሉ መክረዋል።

ይህ በእንዲህ እንዳለ የፕራይቬታይዜሽንና የመንግሥት የልማት ድርጅቶች ተቆጣጣሪ ኤጀንሲ በመንግሥት እጅ የሚገኘውን የወርቅ ማምረቻ የሆነውን አዶላ ወርቅን ጨምሮ፣ አሥራ አንድ የመንግሥት የልማት ድርጅቶችን በሚቀጥለው ወር ለጨረታ እንደሚያቀርብ አስታውቋል።

አዶላ ወርቅ በደቡብ ክልል ኦዶላ አካባቢ በወርቅ ማምረት ሥራ ላይ የተሰማራ ኢንተርፕራይዝ ነው፡፡

መንግስት በፕራይቬታይዜሽን ስም ለግል ባለሀብቶች የሚያስተላልፋቸው የህዝብ ንብረቶች፣ ከፍተኛ የሆነ ሙስና የሚፈጸምባቸው መሆኑ በተደጋጋሚ መዘገቡ ይታወቃል።

Eritrea’s government arming civilians

Wednesday, October 24th, 2012


update 24/10/2012

The Eritrean government has launched a comprehensive program of distribution of machine guns and ammunition to the population, especially in the cities. A measure that sows fear and confusion among Eritreans inside and in the diaspora.


Since Spring 2012, with the usual silent paranoia that characterizes the government of Eritrea has been forcing ordinary citizens to be enlisted in neighborhood militias, according to the testimony of many Eritreans in the country and abroad.

The distribution of AK-47 machine guns to the civilian population raises questions and worries about an outbreak of a civil war. Others saw it as a sign of the gradual collapse of the secretive dictatorship in Eritrea.

Convened by the administration

At Asmara and Keren (3rd largest city of the country, north of Asmara), families received a summons from the regional administrations. Citizens gathered at kebele, the seat of the district administration, and handed receipts for AK-47s and several cartridges, and are told to "defend the homeland against the infiltrators."

"They have to fill out a form and they are given a plastic card, which must henceforth be their identity," says a resident of Asmara wishing to remain anonymous and whose father was armed by the government in August 2012 .

Or, in the workplace, supervisors convene employees and, after a short patriotic speech, distribute a firearm in older men and women in more than fifty years.

"My father was sixty-five years," Negash alarm (the names have been changed for security reasons, Editor’s note), an Eritrean living in exile in Canada .

"When his boss began distributing weapons under the pretext of fighting against enemies, all his colleagues were too shocked and scared to ask for an explanation."

Mandatory training

Training in weapons is mandatory. It is available every weekend by soldiers from the city Sawa military in the west, or Wi’a the barrack located near the Red Sea.

"After being summoned my father, who lost his job as a civil engineer ten years ago when the government has closed the private construction companies, initially refused to carry a weapon," said Filmon. Officials party have threatened to deprive him of the right of rationing that allow him to buy food in the Dukan Hidri, state stores where prices are subsidized. "

Arbitrary detention or refusal to provide administration services to the recalcitrant are common in Eritrea .

Michael’s parents, who live in May Temenai near Asmara, are extremely concerned.

"My father is a veteran of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Eritrea (separatist guerrillas who ripped the country’s independence in Ethiopia, Editor’s note), says he. He knows how to use a gun but not my mother. And yet, she is forced to hold on and move with it. "

Neither recipients nor their families Kalashnikov understand the government’s intentions, while shortages and inflation weigh heavily on the lives of Eritreans inside and signs of nervousness of the regime concerned more.

"I do not know what they want to do, laments Berhane, whose elderly parents stayed in Asmara in June 2012 received their arsenal hands of a local leader of the party., But it is extremely dangerous and terribly perverse. "

Strategy atomization

Launched shortly after the violent incursions in March 2012 by commandos Ethiopian Afar region in and around the village of Badme played this campaign arming of the population continues today.

Since the clashes, during which many prisoners were taken by the Ethiopians, the tension is high border of Eritrea.

The death of Brother enemy Meles Zenawi (the night of August 20 to 21, 2012), Prime Minister of Ethiopia hated, came to revive the atmosphere of fear in the small isolated country where there are shortages of everything and prisons are full.

"Last Thursday (October 18), employees of the Ministry of Health were merged Expo center in Asmara for general distribution, says the head of Asmara. The next day it was the turn of the employees of the Department Education and Saturday, those of the Ministry of Agriculture had not yet got their weapon kebele. "

For the Swiss anthropologist David Bozzini , Eritrea specialist attached to the Centre of African Studies, Leiden (Netherlands), the Government is committed to a "strategy of atomization of society."

"The distribution of arms to civilians is not new in Eritrea, says he. During the years of guerrilla warfare, clandestine cells in the country were equipped with Kalashnikovs rebels. What is new is the arming of the population in cities, primarily Asmara and Keren. "

To him, President Isaias Afewerki and his clan tend to focus on "building a climate of emergency and power," while, in the wake of the Arab revolutions , the Eritrean youth began to organize outside the country to destabilize the government through campaigns agitprop.

This would be a way for the regime, strangled financially and politically by international sanctions by the UN because of Eritrean support for Somali Al-Shabaab, "creating artificial tension in the population," to better hold in respect.

It is true qu’Issayas Afeworki lost with the fall of Hosni Mubarak and Muammar Gaddafi , two valuable allies who provided him with such strong political support in the international arena and gasoline, whose lack is sorely felt Eritrea.

"This systematic approach to social atomization is simply a mode of governance Issayas Afeworki and his government," says David Bozzini.

Civil patrols

Besides the fact that the Eritrean government is convinced that Ethiopia is ready at any moment to launch his army to attack the small Eritrea, create a paranoia state, maintain the suspicions and fears of the neighbor would a clever way to deter those who might be tempted to organize to overthrow the regime by force.

The latest information from Asmara also indicate a new step was taken in this mysterious weapons program population.

Now, people would be forced to patrol their neighborhoods, Kalashnikov slung, according to several witnesses and photographs distributed on the Internet by the youth movement of Eritrean Youth Solidarity for Change (EYSC).

Important giffa – these raids neighborhood regularly organized by the army conscript who have escaped the summons of military service, would take place in Asmara, with the participation of armed civilian neighborhoods.

Meanwhile, the Government does not, or through district administrators who merely frightened civilians say that it is "to defend against the enemy."

On the antenna of the television channel state Eri-TV, President Isaias Afewerki is shown at work, during a tour by 4×4 in the agricultural region of Mendefera in the south.

Thin but smiling, and he silenced the rumors that regularly give to dying in a hospital in Qatar where it is treated in the utmost secrecy his diseased liver.

Léonard Vincent is a journalist specializing in Eritrea and Eritreans author of the book (ed. Shores).


Widow of Ethiopia’s late dictator stalls ‘smooth transition’ of power

Wednesday, October 24th, 2012

By SIMON ALLISON, Daily Maverick

Meles Zenawi’s widow become quite fond of the prime minister’s official residence during the 21 years she spent there. But she’s not the first lady any more, and Ethiopia’s new leader and his family are waiting to move in. Only one problem: the widow won’t budge.

Source: … transition

It is has been a little more than two months since the death of Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi. Since then, the country that he ruled over for 21 years has effected a remarkably smooth transition. His deputy, Hailemariam Desalegn, has taken over as both party leader and prime minister. There have been no major reshuffles. Policy changes, where they have happened, have been encouraging. Any threats to Desalegn’s succession were muted and, evidently, unsuccessful.

There is one problem, however. It’s minor in the grand scheme of things, perhaps, but raises a few nagging questions that Meles’ successor could do without. It’s also rather tricky to handle, even with the best of intentions.

Journalist Argaw Ashine explained the sensitive situation for Daily Nation: “The powerful widow of former Prime Minister Meles Zenawi is reportedly stalling on vacating Ethiopia’s national palace for the country’s new leader and his family. According to government sources, Mrs Azeb Mesfin has ignored instructions to move to a new residence that would also be accorded full security detail. The government has given Mrs Azeb and her children the option of three residential villas in Addis Ababa but she is said to have refused to even visit any out of her own security concerns.”

Meanwhile, Desalegn and his family remain in their relatively small villa in a suburban area in the west of the capital. This is not particularly convenient for Ethiopia’s new head of state, although it does reveal his considerate side; he leaves for work very early in the morning and returns late at night in order to spare the already jam-packed Addis Ababa streets the further chaos that accompanies the passage of his convoy.

At a human level, it is easy to sympathise with the widow. Meles Zenawi was just 57 when he died, and her grief is real; the pair had been married for a quarter of a century. For most of that time, the couple lived in the prime minister’s residence in the national palace, as was their right. With Meles showing no signs of relinquishing power before his death, Azeb Mesfin would have envisaged many more years in what had become, in effect, their personal home. But losing her husband also means losing her home, a double blow which Azeb is probably not yet ready to face.

“For Azeb to leave a house she lived in for 21 years takes a lot longer than one might possibly imagine. Especially the properties of her late husband including his memorabilia, books, several of his precious possessions and other things might require time to be arranged and moved out of the house,” said Seble Teweldebirhan, an Addis Ababa-based reporter.

At a political level, things are a little more complicated (as they always are). Azeb Mesfin was no mere ornament to her husband’s immense power. She is a successful politician in her own right, and chairs an influential multi-billion dollar government fund for the rehabilitation of the Tigray region. Not coincidentally, most of Ethiopia’s political power is concentrated in the hands of people from this region (although not the new prime minister, it should be noted; he is from a southern province).

In her own way, she was just as powerful as her late husband. “She is not just Meles Zenawi’s wife, but practically second-in-command of her husband’s tyranny. In fact, those who know her well say that she is very mean and more dictatorial than her husband,” wrote Abebe Gellaw, an analyst on an anti-government website. His view is jaundiced, but it contains an element of truth: Azeb and Meles were a team.

In fact, right after Meles’ death, speculation began that his widow would manoeuvre herself into power. If true, she obviously failed, but perhaps this explains the strange delays in confirming Desalegn, the official successor, to the position. It also explains why she’s so reluctant to leave the official residence, the last vestige of executive power remaining to her.

For Desalegn, the issue is fraught. If he pushes too hard to get her out of the palace, he risks coming across as uncaring, potentially losing the support of Meles’ supporters. If he does nothing, however, he might come across as soft, and not in control – qualities that Ethiopians have not seen a leader for many decades.

Romney opening up wider lead against Obama – Rasmussen

Wednesday, October 24th, 2012

This is the second straight day with Romney enjoying a 4-point advantage, according to the Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll. Prior to that, with the exception of the convention bounces, neither candidate had led by more than three points for months. However, it is not clear whether this represents a lasting change in the race or is merely statistical noise. In Ohio, the race is now tied at 48%.

Sudan accuses Israel of air strike on arms factory

Wednesday, October 24th, 2012

ስለጡት ካንሰር ለኢትዮጵያኖች የጥሞና ማሳሰቢያና ማስገንዘቢያ

Wednesday, October 24th, 2012

ከፕሮፌሰር ዓለማየሁ ገብረማርያም

ትርጉም ከነጻነት ለሃገሬ

ወርሃ ኦክቶበር (ጥቅምት)በአለም የጡት ካንሰር ማሳሰቢያና ማስገንዘቢያ ወቅት ነው፡፡ ወሩን በሙሉ በዓለም ላይ ሕዝባዊና የግል ድርጅቶች የፕሮግራሞቻቸውና የእንቅስቃሴዎቻቸው ትኩረት ሁሉ በጡት ካንሰር መንስኤ ላይ በማትኮር፤ አደጋውን ለመቀነስ፤ ቅድመ ጥንቃቄ ስለማድረግ፤ ህክምናና ምርምር በማከናወን ላይ ይገኛሉ፡፡ በእርግጠኝነት በተረጋገጠው መሰረት በአብላጫ በዓለም ላይ ሴቶችን በማጥቃት ላይ ያለው የጡት ካንሰር ነው፡፡ በሚሊዮን የሚቆጠሩ ሴቶች በበሽታው በየዓመቱ ሲለከፉ ከነዚህም መሃል በሢ የሚቆጠሩት ለሞት ይዳረጋሉ፡፡ኮመን ፎር ዘ ኪዩር የተባለው የአሜሪካ ድርጅት እንደአስቀመጠው በአሜሪካን የሚገኙ አብላጫዎቹ አፍሮ አሜሪካውያን መሃል ሁለተኛው ገዳይ በሽታ የጡት ካንሰር እንደሆነ ያረጋግጣል፡፡ በአፍሪካ ስለዚህ ገዳይ በሽታ የታማሚ መጠንና ስለሚያደርሰውም አደጋ አያም ስለሚሰጠው ትኩረትና ህክምና በትክክል እንዲህ ነው ለማለት ዘገባም ሆነ መግለጫ ስለሌለ ብዙ ማለት ያስቸግራል፡፡ በአፍሪካ የበሽታው ሁኔታ ሊታወቅ የሚችለው ታማሚው በበሽታው ተይዞ ለህክምና ወይም ለመመርመር ወደ ጤና ጣቢያ አለያም ህክምና ማእከል ሲሄድ ብቻ ነው፡፡ አብላጫው የሴቶች ቁጥር በሚኖርበት የገጠሩ ክፍል ስለበሽታው ሁኔታ መዝግቦ መያዝና ማስረጃዎችን ማሰባሰቡ በብዙም የተለመደ ወይም ሁኔታ የተፈጠረለትም አይደለም፡፡ ስለበሽታው ሁኔታ ክትትልና ዘገባም ሆነ ስለበሽተኞቹ ሁኔታ ጥናት ማካሄድን ከምር ይዘው በማስኬድ ላይ የሚገኙት ጥቂት የአፍሪካ ሃገራት ናቸው፡፡

የጡት ካንሰርና የሕክምና አገልግሎት በኢትዮጵያ

በኢትዮጵያ የጤና ባለስላጣናት በሚያወጡት ሪፖርት ላይ የጡት ካንሰር ቅድሚያ የሚሰጠው በሽታ ሆኖ አይታይም፡፡ በሃገሪቱ ካለው የጤና ላዕላይ መዋቅር ደካማና ያልተመጣጠነ መሆን፤ የጤና ማእከል እጥረት፤ለጤና ካለው ደካማ ትኩረት አኳያ፤ ይህ አዲስ ነገር ሆኖ ባይታይም ይቅር የሚባል ጉዳይ ግን ጨርሶ ሊሆን አይችልም፡ ፡ በኢትዮጵያ ጤና አጠባበቅ ላይ የሚታየው ስታትስቲክስ የጨለመና ልብ የሚሰብር ጉዳይ ነው፡፡

እንደ 2006ቱ የዓለም ጤና ድርጅት(WHO) ዘገባ መሰረት፤ የኢትዮጵያ ሕዝብ ቁጥር 77 ሚሊዮን ተብሎ ተገምቷል፡፡ ይህን ታላቅ የሕዝብ መጠን የህክምና አገልግሎት ለመስጠትም 1,936 ሃኪሞች አሉ (1 ዶክተር ለ 39,772 ሰዎች)፥ 93 የጥርስ ሀኪሞች (1 ለ 828,000 ሰዎች)፥ 15,544 ነርሶችና የልምድ አዋላጆች (1 ለ 4,985 ሰዎች)፥ 1,343 ፋርማሲስቶች (1 ለ 57,334 ሰዎች)፥ እና 18,652 የጤና ባለሙያዎች (1 ለ 4,128 ሰዎች) አሉ:: የሃገር ውስጥ ጠቀሜታ በመቶ ሲሰላ ለጤና ይሚወጣው 5.9 በመቶ ነው፡፡ አጠቃላይ የመንግስት የገንዘብ ፍሰት ድርሻን በጤና ላይ በተመለከተም 58.4 በመቶ ሲሆን ተራፊውን 41.6ቱን የሚሸፍኑት የግል ባለሃብቶችና ድርጂቶች ናቸው፡፡ የህክምና መኝታ አልጋዎች መጠን ለ10,000 ሰዎች ከ25 አላጋ ያነሰ ነው፡፡ የሕክምና የመንግስት ወጭ በግለ ሰብ ሲተመን ከ3 የአሜሪካ ብርን አያልፍም፡፡የዓለም የጤና ድርጅት አነስተኛው መጠን ለ 100,000 ሰዎች 25 ዶክተሮች ያስፈለጋሉ ይላል፡፡ በማርች 2007 ዓም፤ ሙት ወቃሽ አያድርገንና፤ ያለፉት ጠቅላይ ሚኒስትር መለስ ዜናዊ ስለ ሃኪሞች ሲናገሩ እንዳሉት፤ ‹‹በኢትዮጵያ ዶክተሮች አያስፈልጉንም……. ሃኪሞቹ ወደያሻቸው ቦታ ሊሄዱ ይችላሉ፡፡ በፍጹም የተለያ አመለካከት ሊደርግላቸው አይችልም›› በማለታቸው በኮንፍራንሱ ላይ የነበሩትን ሁሉ ያስደነገጠና ያሳዘነ አባባል ነበር፡፡ እንደ ፎሪን ፖሊሲ መጽሔት አባባል፤ ‹‹በአፍሪካ ሁለተኛዋ ታላቅ የሕዝብ ቁጥር ባላት ኢትዮጵያ (80 ሚሊዮን) ካሉት ሃኪሞች የበለጠ ቁጥር በቺካጎ የሚሰሩት የኢትዮጵያውያን ዶክተሮች ቁጥር የበለጠ ነው፡፡”

በ ኦክቶበር 2010 በአምስት ተከታታይ ጽሁፍ ‹‹የኢትዮጵያ እናቶች›› በሚለው ዘጋቢ የጋዜጣ ጽሁፏ ሃና ኢንግበር ዊን ዝቅተኛ ደረጃ ላይ ስላለው የአፍሪካን የውልደትና የጤና አሳሳቢና አስደንጋጭ ጉዳይ ስዕላዊ ድርሰቷን አቅርባ ነበር፡፡ ‹‹በኢትዮጵያ የወላጆችን የጤና ሁኔታና የወሊድ ስርአትን በተመለከተ ተሃድሶ የሚያስፈለግው ጉዳይ ነው›› ብላ ዊን ጽፋ ነበር፡፡ ከስድስት በመቶ የሚያንሱት ኢትዮጵያዊያት እናቶች በወሊዳቸው ወቅት የህክምና እርዳታ እንደሚያገኙ የ2005ቱ የጤና ጥናት ያሳያል፡፡ በወሊድ የሚሞቱት ቁጥር በዓለም እጅጉን አስከፊ የሆነ ነው፡፡ በጥናቱ መሰረት ከ 100,000 ወላዶች መሃል 673 እናቶች በወሊድ ሰበብ ለሞት ይዳረጋሉ፡፡››

በዚህ አስደንጋጭ ዘገባና የጡት ካንሰርን ሁኔታ ማስጠንቀቂያና ማሳሰቢያ የግልም ሆነ መንግስታዊ ተቋም በሌለበት፤ ይህ የጡት ካንሰር በኢትዮጵያ ምን ደረጃ ላይ እንዳለ፤ መወሰድ ስለሚገባው ጥንቃቄ፤ ሰለአጠቃላይ ሁኔታው እንዲህ ነው ብሎ ማስቀመጡ አስቸጋሪ ነው፡፡ ዘመን አመጣሹን ቅድመ ምርመራ ለማድረግ የሚያስችለው “ማሞግራም” የተባለው መሳርያ በአብዛኛዎቹ ኢትዮጵያውያን ሴቶች ጨርሶ አይታወቅም በእርግጠኛነትም ልመርመር ለምትል እናትም ዋጋው የሚደፈር አይደለም፡፡ በሽታው ስር ሰዶ የከፋ ደረጃ በሚደርስበትም ጊዜ ቢሆን ኢትዮጵያዊያን እናቶች አማራጭና አቅማቸው የሚፈቅድላቸው የባሕል መድሃኒትና የመሳሰሉትን ነው፡፡ ኪሞና ራዲዩቴራፒ ከጥቂት የተረፋቸውና ያላቸው ወደ ውጪ ሄደው ለመታከም ከታደሉት ባሻገር ለብዙሃኑ ኢትዮጵያዊያት እናቶች በሃሳብ ደረጃ እንኳ የማይታወቅ ነው፡፡

ስለካንሰር ኤች አይ ቪ /ኤይድስ የሚስጥራዊነትና የዝምታ ባሕል

ስለአንዳንድ በሽታዎች ሚስጥር ማድረግና ዝምታን መምረጥ በኢትዮጵያም ሆነ በዲያስፖራው የሚገኙ እትዮጵያዊያን መሃል እጅጉን የሚያስገርምና የሚያሳዝን ባሕል አለን፡፡ ሁለቱ የማይደፈሩትና በድብቅ የሚያዙት በሽታዎች ደግሞ ኤድስና ካነሰር ናቸው:: የዚህም ዝምታና ሚስጥራዊነቱ ህጉ እስከ እለተ ሞት ድረስና ከዚያም በኋላ ሚስጥረነቱን ማክበር ነው፡፡ ይህንንም አሳዛኝና አሳፋሪ የሚስጥራዊነት ባህል በቅርቡ ለህልፈት በተዳረጉት በመለስ ዜናዊ ሁኔታ አይተነዋል፡፡ የመለስ ሕመምና የሞቱ መንስኤ ምንነትና ሰበቡ ከፍተኛ ጥብቅ ሃገራዊ ሚስጥር ሆኖ ይኖራል፡፡ በስፋት እንደሚነገረውና እንደሚታመነውም የመለስ ሞት ሰበቡ የአንጎል ካንሰር ነው፡፡ የኒው ዮርክ ታይምስ የውጪ ዲፕሎማቶችን ጠቅሶ እንደዘገበው ‹‹መለስ በጉበት ካንሰር ይሰቃይ ነበር፡፡›› ጋዜጠኞችን ለመጠበቅ የተሰለፈው ድርጅት (ዘ ኮሚቴ ቱ ፕሮቴክት ጆርናሊስት) እንደዘገበው መለስ በብራስልስ ሆስፒታል በጉበት ነቀርሳ ሳቢያ ሞቷል ብልዎል፡፡ በአጠቃላይ ካንሰር በተለይም የጡት ካንሰር በብዙ ኢትዮጵያዊያን በተማሩትም መሃልና ውጪውን ዓለምም ባዩት መሃልም ቢሆን የማይነገር የማይነሳ የሚደበቅ ሚስጥር ነው፡፡

ይህ የሚስጥራዊነትና የዝምታ ባህል ለብዙ ሺህ ኢትዮጵያውያን ሞት ምክንያት ሆኗል፡፡ ለምሳሌ በርካታ ኢትዮጵያዊያን ሴቶች በዲያስፖራው ለሞት የተዳረጉበት መነሾ አስቀድመው ስለበሽታው ምርመራን ባለማደረጋቸውና የፍርሃታቸውም ምክንያት የምርመራው ውጤት የበሽታው ተጠቂነታችንን ያሳውቀናል በሚል መሆኑ ይታወቃል፡፡ በበሽታው የተያዙት እነዚህ ሴቶች ጉዳዩን ከዘመድም ከወዳጅም ደብቀው በማቆየት እስከመጨረሻው ድረስ ሳያወጡት ኖረው በሽታው ስር ከሰደደና ሕክምናም ምንም ሊያደረግ ወደማይችልበት ደረጃ እስኪደርስ በሚስጥር ይይዙትና መደምደሚያው የሞት መቅሰፍትን መጠበቅ ይሆናል፡፡

የግልጽነትን ባሕል በማዳበር የጡት ካንሰርንም ሆነ ሌሎችን በሽታዎች በነጻ መወያየት

ለብዙ ዓመታት ስለ ጡት ካንሰር ምንም ግንዛቤ አልነበረኝም፡፡ ስለቅድመ ምርመራው በቂ እውቀት ሳይኖረኝ በሬን እስኪያንኳኳ ቆይቼ ነበር፡፡ቆይቼ ግን ብዙ ተማርኩ፡፡ አወቅሁ፡፡ ያም የሚከተለው ነው፡-

…….አስቀድሞ ከተደረሰበትና አስፈላጊው ቅድመ ምርመራ ከተደረገ፤ ዘመን በፈጠራቸው የሕክምና መሳርያዎች እርዳታ የጡት ካንሰር ሊታከም የሚችል በሽታ ነው፡፡ የጡት ካንሰር እንዳለባት ለአንዲት ሴት መንገር ማለት የሌት ተቀን ቅዠቷን ማስታጠቅ ማለት ነው፡፡ ሴቶች ሁኔታውን ሲሰሙ ወዲያው ወደ መደናገጥና ፍርሃት ውስጥ ይገባሉ፡፡ በአሜሪካ የሚኖሩ በርካታ ኢትዮጵያዊያን ሴቶች ወቅታዊውን የሚሞግራፍ ምርመራቸውን ቸል ብለው ይተዉታል፡፡ ለአንዳንዶቹ እንደ ሰበብ የመመርመሪያውን ሂሳብ የመክፈል አቅም ማጣት አድርገው ይሸሹታል፡፡ ኢንሹራንስ ከሌለ በስተቀር በአሜሪካ ሕክምናን ማድረግ እጅጉን አስቸጋሪ ጉዳይ ነው፡፡ ሆኖም ለምርመራውም ሆነ ለህክምናው አቅሙና መንገዱ ያላቸውም ቢሆኑ አያደርጉትም፡፡ ለዚህ አደገኛ በሽታም አቅም እያለ ክትትልና ህክምና አለማድረግ ሰበብ አለው፡፡ ከሰበቦቹ ዋነኛ ተብሎ ሊጠቀስ የሚችለውም፤ ስለ ጡት ካንሰር ጉዳት በቂ ግንዛቤ አለመኖር ነው፡፡ አንዳንዶች ደግሞ ጨርሶ ስለዚህ ጉዳይ ማንሳትም ሆነ መወያየት አይፈቅዱም፡፡ በጠና ካልታመሙ በስተቀር ወደሃኪም አይሄዱም፡፡በዚህም እራሳቸውን ለማዳን መንገድ አይኖራቸውም፡፡

የጡት ካንሰር ማንኛዋም ሴት ልትደብቀው አለያም ችላ ልትለው የማትችለው በሽታ ነው፡፡ የጡት ካንሰርን ችላ ማለት በደን ውስጥ መቀጣጠል የጀመረን እሳት ችላ እንደማለት ነው፡፡ በደን መሃል ችላ የተባለ እሳት ደኑን እንደሚያጠፋው አያጠያይቅም፡፡ የጡት ካንሰርም መኖሩ ተጠርጥሮ ከታወቀ በኋላ ችላ ከተባለና አስፈላጊው ክትትል ካልተደረገ በቀር ስር እየሰደደና በሰውነት ውስጥ በመሰራጨት ተጠቂውን ለሞት መዳረጉ አይቀሬ ነው፡፡ ለብዙዎቹ ሴቶች በጡት ላይ የሚሰማን መጎርበጥ አለያም የሚታይን እብጠትም ሆነ አዲስ ስሜት፤ ሕመም እስካላስከተለ ብሎ ችላ በማለት ተዘናግቶ መቆየት የተለመደ ቢሆንም ግን አግባብ አይደለም፡፡ምንም አይነት በጡት አካባቢ የሚታይ እብጠት አስጊነቱ ቅድሚያ ተሰጥቶ ወደ ዶክር ሄዶ መታየቱ እጅጉን አስፈላጊ ው፡፡

እነዚህ ከላይ የተጠቀሱት ቃላቶች ከሁለት ዓመታት በፊት በባለቤቴ ‹‹ለኢትዮጵያዊያት እህቶቼ የተጻፈ ደብዳቤ›› በሚል ርዕስ የተጻፉ ናቸው፡፡ የጡት ካንሰርን በማሸነፍ ታሪኳንም ከኢትዮጵያዊያት እህቶቿ ጋር ተካፍላለች፡፡ ‹‹በርካታ ኢትዮጵያዊያን ስለ ጡት ካንሰር ምርመራና ህክምና ያላቸው እምነት ከአፈ ታሪክነት የማያልፍ ነው፡፡ ለምሳሌ አንዳንድ ኢትዮጵያዊያት ወቅታዊ የማሞግራፍ ክትትላቸውን የሚያቋርጡት ከመመርመርያው መሳርያ የጡት ካንሰር ይይዘናል ብለው ያምናሉ፡፡ ማሞግራፍ ግን የጡት ካንሰር አያሲዝም፡፡ ልክ ራጂ እንደመነሳት ቀላልና ህመምም የሌለው ነው፡፡›› በፅሁፏ ላይ ትኩረት ሰጥታ ያስገነዘበችው ‹‹አንዳንድ ኢትዮጵያዊያት በካንሰር መያዝን እንደ አሳፋሪ ተግባር አድርገው ይመለከቱታል፡፡ ጓደኞቻቸውም ሆኑ ቤተሰቦቻቸው እንዲያውቁባቸው አይፈልጉምና በሚስጢር ይዘውት አስጊ ደረጃ ላይ ደርሶ ህክምናም ምንም ሊያደርግ በማይችልበት ወቅት ወደ ሆስፒታል መሄዳቸው ግድ ይሆናል፡፡ የጡት ካንሳር በምንም መለኪያ አሳፋሪ አይደለም፡፡በሽታው ድሃና ሃብታም ሳይልና ልዩነት ሳያደርግ፤ጥቁር ነጭ ብሎ ቀለም ሳይለይ፤ የትም ዓለም ላይ በምትኖር ሴት ላይ የሚደርስ ነው፡፡››

አንዳንድ ኢትዮጵያዊያት ሴቶች ትኩረት ሊሠጧቸውና ሊገነዘቡት ስለሚገቡ ሁኔታዎች አበክራ ትናገራለች፡፡ ‹‹ከምንም በላይ ላተኮርበት የምፈልገው ጉዳይ ኢትዮጵያዊያት ሴቶች ወቅታዊ የሆነ የሃኪም ክትትል ማድረግና፤ በማሞግራፍም መመርመርንና የሚከሰተውን አላስፈላጊ ስሜት ምንነት መረዳት አስፈላጊነትን ነው፡፡ የጡት ካንሰር እንደ ኢንፍሉዌንዛ አይደለምና በጥቂት ቀናት የአልጋ ላይ እረፍት አይጠፋም፡፡ ችላ ከተባለ ህይዎትን ከባድ አደጋ ላይ ይጥላል፡፡ ከዚህ አስጊ ሁኔታ ለመዳን መፍትሔው ወቅታዊ ክትትል ማድረግ ብቻ ነው፡፡›› ባለቤቴም ስታስረዳ ‹‹ኢትዮጵያዊያት ሴቶች መሰረታዊ የሆነውን ነገር ለማድረግ ቸል በማለት፤ በጅምሩ ሊቆምና ሊገታ የሚችለውን በሽታ በመዘንጋትና በሌላም ሰበብ በርካታ ጓደኞቿን፤ ወዳጆቿን የስራ ባልደረቦቿን፤እና የቤተሰቦቿን አባላት በዚህ በሽታ አጥታለች፡፡›› በዚህም እጅጉን ታዝናለች ትጸጸታለች፡፡

ለኢትዮጵያዊያት ሴቶች የጡት ካንሰር ማስገንዘቢያ ወር ፡ – ለኢትዮጵያዊያን ወንድሞቼ የተጻፈ ‹‹ደብዳቤ››

በ‹‹ደብዳቤዋ›› ላይ ባለቤቴ ስለ ውይይት ማካሄድና የአካባቢም የተግባር እንቅስቃሴ ፤ ትኩረት አስፈላጊነትን አበክራ ትናገራለች፡፡

‹‹በአሜሪካ ለሚኖሩ በርካታ ኢትዮጵያዊያት የቋንቋ የባሕል፤የገንዘብ ጥያቄ ወቅታዊ ክትትልና የማሞግራፍ ምርመራ ለማደረግ ችግር ፈጣሪ እንደሆኑ እረዳለሁ፡፡ ይህን ችግር ለማሰወገድ ደግሞ ኢትዮጵያዊያት እህቶች እርስ በርስ በመረዳዳት፤ በአብያተ ክርስቲያናት በመነጋገር፤ በማህበረስብ ግንኙነቶች በመመካከር፤ ስለ ጡ ካንሰር በግልጽ በመወያየት፤ የአስቀድሞ ጥናቃቄን በማጎልበት ይህን ሀኔታ ሊወጡት እንደሚችሉም እምነት አለኝ፡፡ በዚህም ስለ ደም ግፊታችን እንደምንመካከረው ሁሉ ስለጡት ካንሰርም በመነጋገር በጊዜው እርዳታ ማግኘት እንችላለን፡፡››

ጥሪዋንና ተማጽኖዋን በተለይም ለኢትዮጵያዊያት ሴተ ዶክተሮች ስታስተላልፍ፤ ‹‹ሴቶች እህቶቻችንን የማስተማር ቀደምት ሚና እንዲጫወቱና፤ስለበሽታው በማስተማር፤ቅድመ ምርመራውንም በማድረግ በበሽታው የተያዙትንም አስፈላጊውን የክትትል ህክምና እንዲያደርጉ በመምከርና በመርዳት እንዲተባበሩ ትጠይቃለች፡፡›› በአሜሪካ ነጻ የጡት ካንሰር ምርመራ ለማድረግ አቅም ለሌላቸው ነጻ ምርመራ የሚያደርጉ በርካታ የአካባቢ ሆስፒታሎችና ክሊኒኮች አሉ፡፡›› ተስፋዋም ‹‹ሴቶች እህቶቿ በየአካባቢያቸው ተሰባስበው በመደራጀት በመላው አሜሪካ የመተጋገዝ ቡድን ለማቋቋምና ለመረዳዳት ይችላሉ፡፡›› የሃይማኖት ተቋማትንም ‹‹የሙያው እውቀት ያላቸውን በመጋበዝና ሴቶችንም በማስተባበር አስፈላጊውን ትምህርት እንዲያገኙ በማድረጉ ረገድ ቅድመ ምርመራን፤ የማሞግራፍ ምርመራ፤ለማድረግም ለማያውቁት መንገዱን በማሳየትና በማበረታታት ከፍተኛ እንቅስቃሴ በማድረግ እንዲተባበሩ ታሳስባለች….በበርካታ የአሜሪካ ከተሞች ኢትዮጵያውያንን ለማገልገል የተቋቋሙ በርካታ የሬዲዮ ጣቢያዎች አሉ፡፡ እነዚህ ጣቢያዎችም የጡት ካንሰርን አስመልክተው በጣቢያቸው ላይ ጥቂት ደቂቃዎች በመመደብ ስለበሽታውን ቅድመ ምርመራው፤ ስለክትትል ህክምናውና ነጻ ሆስፒታሎችና ከሊኒኮች የሚገኙበትን መንገድ በመጠቆም ከፍተኛ ሚና ሊጫወቱ ይገባል፡፡ ከዚሁ ባልተናነሰ መልኩ በድህረ ገጾችም ላይ ይሄው እንቅስቃሴ ሊደረግ ተገቢ ነው፡፡ ተስፋዬም በሚቀጥለው ዓመት በሚከበረው የሴቶች የጡት ካንሰር ማሳወቂያና መሳሰቢያ ወር ላይ ብሔራዊ ፕሮጋራሞችም እንደሚቀናጁና እንቅስቃሴውም በሃገር አቀፍ ደረጃ ጎልብቶ ማየትን ነው፡፡››

በዚህ የማስጠንቀቂያና ማሳሰቢያ ወር፤ይህንን መሰሉን ጉዳይ ማካፈሉ በእጅጉ አስፈላጊ ነው ብለን እናምናለን፡፡ በቅድሚያ ይህንን ገዳይና ቀሳፊ በሽታ ደጋግሞ ማጥፋት ወሳኝ ነው፡፡ ምናልባትም ሌሎች የበሽታውን ቀሳፊነት የተገነዘቡና በበሽታውም የተጠቁ ፊት ፊት በመውጣት ልምዳቸውንና ያደረጉትን ምርመራና ቅድመ ጥነቃቄ በተመለከተ በዓለም ላይ ባሉ ኢትዮጵያዊያት መሃል ጠቃሚ የመነጋገርያና የመረዳጃ ቡድኖች ይቋቋማሉ የሚል ተስፋ አለን፡፡ የጡት ካንሰርን የማሸነፊያው መንገድ ስለበሽታው በቂ እውቀት ማግኘትና ቅድመ ምርመራንና ክትትልን ሳያስተጓጉሉ በማድረግ ብቻ ነው፡፡ ሁለተኛም ለእህቶቻችንና ለወንድሞቻችን ልናረጋግጥ የምንፈልገው፤ በጡት ካንሰርና በማንኛውም የካንሰር አይነት መያዝ፤ አንዳችም የሚያሳፍር፤ የሚያሸማቅቅ፤ ጨርሶ በሌላ ስም የሚያስጠራ፤ ፈጽሞ አጸያፊም ያልሆነ፤ እንዳልሆነ ነው፡፡ ይልቅስ የሚያሳፍረውና የሚያሳስበው፤ አጉል ተብሎም ሊጠቀስና ሌላም ስም ሊያሰጥ የሚችለው፤ አስፈላጊው አገልግሎት ሁሉ በተሟላበት ሃገር ተቀምጦ ቅድመ ምርመራውንን ክትትሉን በአግባቡ አለመወሰዱና በአጉል አፈ ታሪክና ባሕል ተሸብቦ፤ መገለል ይደርስብኛል በሚል ወሬና ተረት ለሞት መዳረግን መምረጥ ነው፡፡››

እንደ እውነቱ ከሆነማ ከጡት ካንሰርም ሆነ ከሌላውም የካንሰር ህመምተኝነት ድኖ መገኘት የትም ቢኬዱ የሚያኮራና የሚያስከብር ተግባር ነው:: ከጡት ካንሰር ጋር ገጥሞ በሽታውን ድል ማድረግ ልክ አንድ የጦር ተዋጊ ዘምቶ ጠላቶቹን ድል በማድረጉ ሂደት ከፍተኛውን ሚና በመጫወትና ለድሉም ጀግንነቱ ብቃት ያለው ተግባር በመፈጸሙ ለሜዳልያ ሽልማት እንደሚበቃው ጀግና መቆጠር ማለት ነው፡፡ ማለቴም የጡት ክንሰርን ተቋቁመው ድል ያደረጉና ከበሽታው የተፈወሱትን እህቶች ጥንካሬ፤ ቆራጥነት፤ አልበገር ባይነት፤ ጀግንነት፤ ድል አድራጊነት፤ተመልክቼ መስክሬያለሁና ነው፡፡ እንዲሁም ከበሽታው ጋር ትንቅንቅ ተያይዘው ፤ ሲሰቃዩ፤መከራ ሲበሉ፤ አቅም ሲያጡ፤ በሽታው ስር እየሰደደ ሲጨርሳቸውና ለሕልፈተ ሞት ሲዳርጋቸውም መስክሬያለሁ፡፡ ኢትዮጵያዊያን ወንዶች: ወንድሞች ስለጡት ካንሰር በሚደረገው ማንቂያ ከፍተኛ ሚና እንደሚጫወቱ አምናለሁ፡፡ አንዳንድ ጥቃቅን ተግባራትን በቅድመ ምርመራውና ክትትሉ ዘርፍ በመውሰድ እንደሚረዱ እርግጠኛ ነኝ፡፡ለዚህም በቅድሚያ ራሳችንን ማስተማርና ማወቅ ይገባናል፡፡ የሁላችንም እህቶች፤ እናቶች፤ ሚስቶቻችን ባህላዊ ተጽኖና አለማወቅ ስላለባቸው ስለበሽታው ቅድመ ምርመራም ሆነ ክትትሉን በበሽታው ክፉኛ እስኪጠቁና መንገዱ እስከጠብ ድረስ በሚስጥር መያዝ ስለሚመርጡ መደረግ ያለበትን ሳያደርጉ ይቀራሉ፡፡ እነዚህ እናቶቻችን: እህቶቻችን፤ ሚስቶቻችንና ወዳጆቻችን ስለ ጡት ካንሰር አስፈላጊው እውቀት እንዲኖራቸውና ቅድመ ምርመራውንም ሆነ ማሞግራፍ ምርመራውን፤ ክትትሉንማ ማደረግ እንዳለባቸው ሳንሰለችና ሳንደክም በይሉኝታም ሳንታሰር በመንገርና በመጎትጎት አቅጣጫውን ማስያዝና ሂደቱንም ማገዝ ይገባናል፡፡ በዚህ ሁሉም ነገር ባለበት ሃገር ተቀምጠን በበሽታው ተይዘን ግን ምንም ሳናደርግ በሚስጥር ይዘን ለሞት መዳረግ ከማሳፈርም ያለፈ ጉዳይ ነው፡፡ ሁላችንም ተባብረን በዚህ የጡት ካንሰር ማስጠንቀቂያና ማሳሰቢያ ወር (የወሩን ሶስተኛውን አርብ) ልዩ እንቅስቃሴ በማድረግና ሴቶች እህቶቻችንን በማስተባበር ብሔራዊ ማሞግራም ቀን በማለት ሰይመን ለምርመራ ማስተባበር ይጠበቅብናል፡፡

ለጡት ካንሰር ማስጠንቀቂያና ማሳሰቢያ ወር በርካታ የእግር ጉዞዎችና ሌሎችም ተግባራት እየተዘጋጁ በመሆኑ፤ይህንንም በመጠቀም ማስተባበራችንን ማከናወን ይጠበቅብናል፡፡ በርካታ ኢትዮጵያዊያት ተሰባስበው በሚኖሩባቸው መንደሮች በነዚህ እንቅስቃሴዎች መሳተፍን ተግባራዊ ማድረግ ጠቀሜታው ከፍተኛ ነውና ለዚህም መትጋትና መተግበር ያስፈልጋል፡፡ ተስፋ በመቁረጥ በዚህ ሕመም መሰቃየትና በግል መጨነቅ ለኢትዮጵያዊያት ሴቶች አዲስ ልምድ አይደለም፡፡ ድጋፍ ሰጪ ቡድኖች በተለይም የጡት ካንሰርን በመዋጋት ላይ ላሉት እጅጉን አስፈላጊ ነው፡፡ ስለ ጡት ካነሰር የሚያስረዱ ማንኛቸውም ነገሮች፤ (ነጻ የማሞግራም አገልግሎት፤የግልና የመንግስት ህክምና ቦታዎች) በጥንቃቄ ተሰባስበው ለኢትዮጵያዊያት ሴቶች ሊደርሱ ይገባል፡፡ በተለይም ወንዶች ይህን ጎታችና አስቀያሚ የሆነውን የሚስጥራዊነት፤ድብቅነትን፤ ጎጂ ባህል በተለይም የጡት ካንሰርን በተመለከተ የማጥፋቱ ሃላፊነትና በአደባባይ ስለጡት ካንሰር መነጋገርንና መወያየትን ባህል ማድረጉ እንዲለመድ ሃላፊነቱ የወንዶች ነው፡፡

በዚህ ወር በሽታውን ተቋቁመውና አስፈላጊውን ክትትል በማድረግ ለድል የበቁትን እህቶቻችንን የምናከብርበት ወር እናድርገው፡፡ ከጡት ካንሰር ጋር ተዋግተው ድል ካደረጉ በላይ ጀግና የለምና፡፡ በጡት ካንሰርም ሕይወታቸው ያለፈውንም እናስባቸው እናስታውሳቸው፡፡ በትምህርትና በማሳወቅ ረግድ በሰፊው ማህበረሰብ ውስጥ የጡት ካንሰርን ለማሸነፍ የሚደረገውን እንቅስቃሴ በማጠናከር እንስራ፡፡ የክትትል ምርመራና ቅድመ ጥንቃቄ ትክ የማይገኝላቸው የጡት ካንሰርን ማሸነፊያ ሃይለኛ መሳርያ ናቸው፡፡ እጅ ለእጅ በመያያዝ አንድ ባንድ ሴቶቻችንን ከጡት ካንሰር ተጠቂነት ነጻ እናድርጋቸው!

‹‹በሽታውን ያልተናገረ መድሐኒት አይገኝለትም፡፡›› እንዲሉ!

የተቶረገመው ጽሁፍ (translated from):

(ይህን ጦማር ለሌሎችም ያካፍሉ::)

Ethiopian embassy in Kuwait closes its doors on Ethiopian women

Wednesday, October 24th, 2012

Ethiopians have no government that speaks for them. Very sad!

KUWAIT CITY (Arab Times) — Owners of offices, which recruit housemaids from Ethiopia, have complained about the Ethiopian Embassy’s alleged failure to solve several issues concerning the housemaids, reports Al-Anba daily quoting sources.

Sources revealed the embassy has closed its doors on housemaids who escaped from their sponsors; giving them no option but to roam around the streets. Sources said several domestic labor offices have expressed disappointment over the embassy’s inability to play its role efficiently; thereby, making the housemaids, sponsors and offices lose their rights. Sources added the owners of domestic labor offices and the Kuwaiti sponsors often engage in heated arguments due to their failure to determine the whereabouts of absconding housemaids.

Sources said the absconding Ethiopian housemaids are often seen roaming around the streets in different parts of the country because their embassy does not provide them with a suitable shelter. Sources revealed more than 700 Ethiopian housemaids are said to be roaming around — a phenomenon which might spread contagious diseases and lead to dire consequences especially if some of them decide to return to their sponsors.

The owners of domestic labor offices called for the intervention of the embassy to address the problem and to protect the rights of all parties. They warned the embassy must take into consideration the rising rate of crimes committed against housemaids, in addition to the human rights issues raised against Kuwait due to this phenomenon which has tarnished the image of the country in the international community.

They argued the problem has worsened due to the absence of proper administration procedures in the embassy and its failure to abide by the stipulations of the contracts they signed with the domestic labor offices. They also urged the embassy to immediately take the necessary measures to protect the rights of all parties involved — the housemaids, their sponsors and the domestic labor offices.

An appeal to PM Netanyahu on behalf of Ethiopians suffering in Israel

Wednesday, October 24th, 2012

Obang Metho’s letter to Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu regarding the deplorable condition of Ethiopian asylum seekers in Israel.

Solidarity Movement for a New Ethiopia (SMNE)

October 22, 2012

Open letter to:

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
and Israeli Ministry of the Interior Eli Yishai;

Regarding the serious concerns involving the status, detentions and living conditions of the Ethiopian refugees now living in Israel.

Prime Minister’s Office 3 Kaplan St.
P.O.B. 187
Kiryat Ben-Gurion Jerusalem 91919


“Once I have witnessed the redemption of the Jews, my people, I wish to assist in the redemption of the Africans.” Written in 1902 by Theodor Herzl, the father of modern political Zionism

Dear Prime Minister Netanyahu,


We are writing you regarding our serious concerns involving the status, detentions and living conditions of the 2,500 to 3,000 Ethiopian refugees now living in Israel.  As you know, both the government of Israel and the African refugee living within Israel have reached a complicated and difficult impasse with no simple solutions to a growing refugee problem; yet, we believe that Israel’s newly instituted solution to cope with these refugees is not only short-sighted and harsh, but also ethically and morally wrong. Instead, we hold that a more humane policy could be found to address the very real challenges of both refugees who are genuinely seeking a temporary safe haven and the state of Israel which is not ready to meet the real needs of so many persons.


Contrary to the general tone of the law, in most cases, Ethiopians refugees living in Israel have legitimate asylum cases and are there legally as the Ministry of the Interior has reportedly issued most asylum seekers a conditional release visa. This means they are not simply “work infiltrators.” According to the 2012 report from Freedom House,[1] Ethiopia was second on the list of all countries for experiencing the greatest decline in freedom over the past two years. The 2011 Legatum Prosperity Index showed Ethiopia to at the very bottom of their list as the most “un-free” country among the 110 countries studied.[1]


Moreover, we believe the proposed enactment of stringent detention or deportation policies, under the Anti-Infiltration Law and its amendments, which includes asylum seekers, is unjustifiable in view of the widespread human rights violations in many neighboring countries, including Ethiopia, and will undoubtedly place many of these refugees in harm’s way. Some, if not many, will not survive. Furthermore, according to UNHCR, only 1% of asylum requests are finally accepted. Acceptance does not mean permanent residence or citizenship in Israel. What many of these refugees need is temporary shelter until safety and security are restored in their countries; not draconian policies that would criminalize asylum seeking, leading to long-term detention. 


We contend that the enactment of the Anti-Infiltrator law and its amendments fail to fulfill the obligations of the international Refugee Convention, of which Israel is a signatory, and may violate the soul and conscience of a nation of people who in the past and present have experienced their own persecution, threats to their survival and the need to seek the goodwill of other nations in providing safe refuge to them.


In light of this, and on behalf of these Ethiopian refugees, the SMNE respectfully calls on the Government of Israel, the Ministry of the Interior, the Knesset and other people and bodies associated with the implementation of the Anti-Infiltration Law and its amendments, to consider its revision. In particular, we would for the protection of asylum seekers from the application of this law. We also respectfully call on you to cease disclaiming the cases of these asylum-seekers as being without cause until there is a well-developed asylum process in place, free of bias, with all deficiencies corrected and until authorities possess accurate and up-to-date facts about the state of repression in Ethiopia, so as to fairly evaluate the claims of these African Refugees without discrimination. The present acceptance of only 1% of all asylum claims[i] calls into question the entire process; something that is very disturbing in light of the very real threats many of these refugees will face at home.


According to Hotline for Migrant Workers, an advocacy group located in Tel Aviv, they write in their August 2012 publication, “Legislation Targeting Asylum Seekers in Israel 2012”, “These measures reflect the false claims that the African asylum seekers are not refugees running for their lives and freedom, but rather ‘work infiltrators’, as repeatedly stated by Israeli government officials.” [ii] Amendments to the law will criminalize Israeli citizens who employ asylum seekers, but will eventually will also criminalize both Israelis – with fines and imprisonment in some cases—who shelter or transport asylum seekers or who assist them in sending money to family or others abroad. Africans, who are certainly a more easily identified group within Israel, will be easily targeted


Few Ethiopians, if any, have received asylum in Israel or have been able to go through a thorough process of determination to separate true asylum seekers from illicit workers and the bias is that none of them are refugees, an absurd assumption in light of the rampant human rights violations in Ethiopia and the lack of freedom, justice and freedom of expression. This is backed up with data. According to the United Nations High Commissioner of Refugees (UNHCR), in the entire year of 2011, Israel only approved one out of 46,000 or more requests for asylum and only 190 since Israel signed the 1951 Convention in 1954, [iii] leaving the majority of asylum seekers without work permits and forced to seek illegal work if they are to survive.[iv] 


According to UNHCR’s July 2012 report on Israel, they also express concerns that this law will be enacted before there is an adequate asylum process. They indicate in their report: UNHCR is also concerned regarding the current functioning of the asylum system in Israel. With a recognition rate below 1%, eligibility practices appear to be too restrictive… it is clear that further efforts are required to develop capacity and to consolidate the procedural framework guiding this important process. The lack of adequate capacity makes it difficult, for example, to promptly and fairly process asylum claims. A significant number of applicants have to wait several months or longer, some while in detention, to have their claims reviewed. Moreover, the accelerated processing model in use in Israel lacks necessary procedural safeguards, including adequate access to the appeal process. In UNHCR’s opinion, such deficiencies are likely to impact the quality and fairness of decisions rendered for such claims.”[v] 


The UNHCR also notes that persons of African descent will be more vulnerable than others. “UNHCR has expressed serious concern prior to and with the approval of the Law for the Prevention of Infiltration. Applied to asylum-seekers, it could constitute a breach of the rights and obligations of the Government, as stipulated in the 1951 Convention, of which Israel was a founding signatory. Of particular concern is the long term detention to which asylum seekers are subjected; a minimum of 3 years according to the law. The application of the law could be considered discriminatory, in contravention of other international obligations under the ICCPR and ICERD6, as it will apply almost solely to persons of African descent in practice. Additionally, UNHCR is concerned that the law also applies to children and other persons with specific protection needs.[vi]

Ethiopian Refugees in Detention Centers

Unofficial sources estimate that there are between four and five hundred Ethiopians in various detention centers within Israel; some for over three years. This number includes minor children. Here are some facts:


In Givon Prison, located near the city of Ramla are the following:

  • There are 8 male and 13 female prisoners as well as 2 who are reported as being Eritrean. Out of these 23 prisoners, 10 are underage (13 – 16 years).
  • Among these prisoners are women who have been detained there for more than a year and six months; among the male prisoners it is reported that the maximum prison time is 3 years and 2 months. The average prison time of those underage prisoners (13 – 18 years) is 7 months.


In Saharonim Detention Centre (also “Saaronim”) close to the border with Egypt there are approximately:

  • 200 – 300 male prisoners; among these male prisoners, the longest prison time is 2 years and 2 months
  • Among the 123 female prisoners, the longest prison time is 2 years. There is some credible information about infant prisoners with their mothers.


In Matan, a juvenile detention facility, located near Hadera

  • We have been unable to get information about countless prisoners.


In seeking meaningful answers to this current dilemma, no one expects Israel to “go it alone,” but yet, Israel, a nation called to be “repairers, healers and restorers,” – “tikkun olam”— might be in a position to play an important role in working together with Africans themselves and other concerned nations and organizations in finding humane, effective and durable solutions which could be mutually beneficial in the long-run if not much sooner. 


“For the Sake of the World” (mip’nei tikkun ha-olam)

We in the SMNE are working to create a “New Ethiopia” where diverse Ethiopians will find a home where they can live and flourish, where streams of refugees out of the country will cease and where those scattered among the nations will want to return, without deportation, like the Jews to their homeland of Israel.  Because of your own suffering, you may better understand the present-day world of many of these refugees who are unwanted in their own homeland, driving them to seek a temporary place of safety, but find they are also unwanted there. 


The people of Israel know about the great suffering that comes from being unwanted in foreign lands, even those in which they had been born and raised. It led to the Holocaust, an evil that became the darkest of stains on humanity; however, many do not realize that Ethiopians were also the innocent victims of the same evil system that dehumanized them along with many others. One man typifies the common thread between what happened to the Jews and what happened to Ethiopians. That man is Rodolfo Graziano, the defense minister under Mussolin’s fascist regime.


In 1937, Rodolfo Graziano carried out a massacre of Ethiopians, killing 30,000 persons in three days and 1,000,000 other Ethiopians throughout the duration of their invasion of Ethiopia, earning him the nickname as the “Butcher of Ethiopia.”[vii] One of his officials incited the killing saying, Comrades, today is the day when we should show our devotion to our Viceroy by reacting and destroying the Ethiopians for three days. For three days I give you carte blanche to destroy and kill and do what you want to the Ethiopians.”  In 1938, Graziano signed anti-Semitic laws leading to the deportation of 7,000 Italian Jews to German concentration camps where nearly 6,000 of them died.


The world is ashamed of what was done to the Jew during the Holocaust. The Germans have apologized and given compensation and the Vatican has apologized, but in terms of Ethiopia, few even know of the systematic mass extermination campaign where chemical warfare and poisonous gases were used to kill great numbers of people. World leaders could have stopped the rise of Hitler Mussolini early on, like could have been done with Hitler, but another great stain on history was when the League of Nations caved in to self-interest and betrayed one of its co-signers it pledged to protect—Ethiopia—when Mussolini invaded Ethiopia.


Ethiopians suffered so much but it has never acknowledged. Now their grandchildren are the ones suffering at the hands of their own government but they are finding nowhere to go to escape it. This is not about infiltrators or illicit workers but it is about human beings—our sons, daughters, sisters, fathers and mothers.   


We do not blame Israel for reacting to what has become an overwhelming and seemingly insurmountable challenge of absorbing such a large influx of refugees in such a small country; however, what we ask for is a temporary arrangement until refugees can return. Use your diplomatic efforts to support those Ethiopians who are working to create a government where there is freedom and democracy. It will bring greater stability to the region. We know the real way out is not with Israel or some other country of refuge but instead it is to build a country where there is a government that respects the rights of its people; where its leaders our accountable to its citizens; and a homeland where the people can live and flourish.


To read the entire letter, please open the attachment or click the link


For those who speaks Amharic, please listen to the attached audio of an Ethiopian refugee who lives in Israel

I am appealing to all my friends and colleagues to forward the litter to your friends. If you do, you will not just be giving a voice to our beautiful people, but you would be doing justice to our humanity. Knowing the truth is overcoming the first obstacle to freedom! 


Thanks so much for your never-ending support. Don’t give up. Keep your focus on the bigger picture and reach out to others and listen! Care about those who are suffering. Think about our family of Ethiopians and humanity throughout the world—they are YOU! There is no “us” or “them.” This is at the heart of the SMNE.


Sincerely yours,


Obang Metho

Executive Director of the SMNE




~ There lies before us, if we choose, continual progress in happiness, knowledge and wisdom. Shall we instead choose death, because we cannot forget our quarrels? I appeal as a human being to human beings; remember your humanity, and forget the rest ~ Bertrand Russell

Open letter to Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu

አማረ አረጋዊ ጩቤ ጨበጠ (ተስፋዬ ገብረአብ)

Wednesday, October 24th, 2012

(ተስፋዬ ገብረአብ)

አማረ አረጋዊ ከልብ የሚያደርሱ ቃላትን በመጠቀም ኢህአዴግን የሚገለባብጥበት ጊዜ አለው። የረቡእ ርዕሰ አንቀፅ የዚህ ምሳሌ ነው። ኢህአዴግን በሁለት ከፍሎ ያየዋል። ሙሰኛ ያልሆኑ፣ ለአገር አሳቢ የሚላቸው አሉት። እንዲህ ማለቱ ሚዛን ለመጠበቅ ይሆናል። ርግጥ ነው፣ እኔ ጨምቄ ያቀረብኩት የርእሰ አንቀፁን ቁንፅል አሳብ ነው። አማረ በርእስ አንቀፁ ኢህአዴግ በመጪው ጉባኤ ራሱን እንዲያፀዳ መክሮአል። የአማረ ምክሮችና የኢህአዴግ ጠንካራ ጎን ሆነው የቀረቡት አጃቢዎች ገለል ሲሉ የኢህአዴግን እውነተኛ ምስል የሚገልፀው ክፍል የሚከተለውን ይመስላል።

• (የኢህአዴግ አመራር አባላት)… ከሕዝባዊ መስመር እየራቁና እየሸሹ ለግል ገንዘብ፣ ንብረት፣ ክብርና ኔትዎርክ የሚሯሯጡ፣ በጉቦ የተጨማለቁና በሙስና የተነከሩ አሉ፡፡ እነዚህ በውስጥ ትግል፣ በደፋርና በቆራጥ ትግል ካልተገለሉና ድርጅቱ ካልፀዳ ድርጅቱን እያበሰበሱ የሚገድሉት ናቸው፡፡

• (ባለስልጣናትን) …በብቃት መመደብ እየቀረ፣ ‘ደጋፊ እስከሆነ ችግር የለም’ እየተባለ የተሾመው ሁሉ የድርጅቱን ዓላማ ማራመድ አልቻለም፡፡ ሕዝቡንም ማገልገል አልቻለም፡፡ ባለአቅም እየጠፋ ባለምላስ በዛ፡፡ ተንዛዛ በጣም በዙ፡፡ ሕዝብ ይህንን እያየና እያስተዋለ ‘ምንድን ነው ነገሩ?’ እያለ ነው፡፡ አይወስኑም፣ ቢሮ አይገቡም፣ አያሳምኑም፡፡ አንዳንዶቹም ይህን እያወቁ ሀቅን ከመጋፈጥ ይልቅ ሽሽትና ድብብቆሽ እየመረጡ ናቸው፡፡ ሕዝብ በድርጅቱ ላይ አመኔታ እንዲያጣ እያደረጉ ናቸው፡፡

• (የኢህአዴግ አመራር አባላት) ….ራሳችንን አናታልል፤ የዓለም ሁኔታ ከሚጠይቀው አንድነትና መጠናከር ከሚጠይቀው መመዘኛ አንፃር ሲታይ ያለው አንድነት ጠንካራ አይደለም፡፡ ተደፋፍሮ መገማገም፣ ቆራጥና ደፋር ትግል አካሂዶ አንድነትን እውን የማድረግ ሁኔታ በአጠቃላይ በኢሕአዴግ፣ በተናጠልም በእያንዳንዱ ድርጅት እየታየ አይደለም፡፡

• ጠንካራ አንድነት በሕወሓት ውስጥ አይታይም፣ ጠንካራ አንድነት በብአዴን ውስጥ አይታይም፣ ጠንካራ አንድነት በኦሕዴድ ውስጥ አይታይም፡፡ ጠንካራ አንድነት በደኢሕዴን ውስጥም አይታይም፡፡ እርስ በርስም ጠንካራ አንድነት እየታየ አይደለም፡፡ (ይህ ወደ አማርኛ ሲተረጎም – ህወሃት ውስጥ መካፋፈል አለ። ብአዴን ጎራ ለይቶአል። ኦህዴድ በቡድን ተለያይቶአል። ደኢህዴን ሲዳማና ወላይታ ብሎ እየተናቆረ ነው። በጥቅሉ የኢህአዴግ ጃንጥላ ተቀዶአል።)

• ልማት እየቆመ ነው፡፡ የፍትሕ ሥርዓት እየተደረመሰ ነው፡፡ መንግሥት በቂ ገንዘብ ማሰባሰብ እያቃተው ነው፡፡ በብዙ ቦታዎች ንብረትና ገንዘብ እየባከነ ነው፡፡ የሕዝብ ጉጉትና ምኞት በተፈለገው ፍጥነት እውን እየሆነ አይደለም፡፡

• ሕዝብ መንግሥትን ለመደገፍ ጨዋነቱንና ኢትዮጵያዊነቱን ለማሳየትና ለማረጋገጥ በእጅጉ ዝግጁ ነው፡፡ በሐዘን ጊዜም በጋራ እንደ አንድ ሰው አልቅሷል፤ አዝኗል፡፡ ጨዋነቱንና ኢትዮጵያዊነቱን በግልጽ ለዓለም አሳይቷል፡፡ በእግር ኳስ ደስታም ማንነቱን በየጎዳናው አሳይቷል፡፡ ያኮራል፣ እውነትም ወርቅ ሕዝብ፡፡ ግን… ነገር ግን እንደ ኢትዮጵያዊያን ተንቀሳቀሱና ማንነታቸውን አሳዩ ማለት ከመሪው ፓርቲ ጋር ያላቸውን ግንኙነት በአዎንታ አንፀባረቁ ማለት አይደለም፡፡ ፍትሕ ሲጠፋ አቤት የምንልበት ጠፋ፡፡ ወደ ሕዝብ ቀርቦ፣ ወደ ሕዝብ ወርዶ የሚያነጋግረን ሹም ጠፋ እያሉ ነው፡፡ ይህ ማለት ሕዝቡ የሚፈልገውን ግንኙነትና ትስስር እያገኘ አይደለም፡፡

Massive explosion in Sudan’s capital Khartoum

Tuesday, October 23rd, 2012

massive explosion