Archive for the ‘Ethiopian News’ Category

Ethiopian Heritage Festival in DC attracts thousands

Monday, July 30th, 2012

Ethiopian Heritage Society in North America

The Ethiopian Heritage Society in North America (EHSNA) held its 2nd annual festival in Washington DC at Georgetown University from June 27 – 29. The festival drew thousands of Ethiopians, American-Ethiopians and friends of Ethiopia. Some came from as far as Seattle, Atlanta, and Canada.

The program was opened on Friday, June 27, by EHSNA President Dr Shakespeare Feyissa, and brief remarks by Prof. Maurice Jackson, Department of History, Georgetown University.

Prof. Maurice Jackson, Department of History, Georgetown University, speaks at the opening ceremony of Ethiopian Heritage Society North America's 2nd annual festival in Washington DC, July 27 - 29, 2012.

Friday’s program included reception, an art show and discussion on Ethiopian culture.

On Saturday, the main part of the Festival started with cultural shows at the Georgetown University Stadium. Families with their children came in thousands to enjoy the festival, educate their children about Ethiopian culture, meet old friends, sample Ethiopian food, and buy books and Ethiopian cultural items.

On Sunday, the main event was the cultural shows by various artists who performed songs from several Ethiopian ethnic groups, and introducing the guest of honor.

This year’s EHSNA Guest of Honor was His Grace Abune Meletsedik. EHSNA honored him for his life-time achievement, for his contribution to the preservation of Ethiopian heritage, and for strongly speaking out in defense of the human rights of all Ethiopians. His recent call on all Christians to come to the defense of Ethiopian Muslims who are being brutalized by the ruling Woyanne junta is a demonstration of his greatness as a religious father and an elder statesman.

His Grace Abune Melketsedik

Abune Melketsedik was received with a standing ovation and cheers when he entered the stadium accompanied by several priests and EHSNA officials. Secretary General of EHSNA, Ato Yeshitila Araya, read a brief biography of Abune Melketsedik, and Dr Shakespear Feyissa presented him with a plaque.

With highly successful events for the second year in a row, EHSNA has established itself as a great Ethiopian cultural institution that promotes Ethiopia’s 3000 years old heritage.

Ethiopian National Transitional Council

Ethiopian National Transitional Council officials Dr Fisseha Eshetu, Wz. Fifi Derso, Ato Dereje Demissie, and Ato Abebayehu Alula were present in person at the festival to explain the Council’s mission and answer questions.

Representatives of Ethiopian Review, ESAT and Addis Dimts Radio were also present to meet their audiences and readers in person, get feedback, and answer questions.

Congratulations for a job well done to EHSNA’s executive committee, board members, and volunteers who worked tirelessly to make the event successful. Special thanks to Georgetown University for making its facility available to the festival, and to the United States of America and the City of Washington DC for making Ethiopians feel welcomed.

Ethiopia in Constitutional Crises?

Sunday, July 29th, 2012

Alemayehu G Mariam

Flag2In an interview I gave to the Voice of America Amharic program last week, I was asked to comment on the nature of constitutional succession in the event of death, disability, resignation, illness, incapacity or removal from power of the prime minster (PM) in Ethiopia. The answer I gave seems to have surprised, shocked, dismayed and appalled many. The Ethiopian Constitution makes no provisions for the orderly transfer of power in the event of a vacancy in the PM’s office. Simply stated, there is no constitutional process for succession of executive power in Ethiopia!

The issue of succession has become critical in light of the prolonged and mysterious absence of the current holder of PM’s office and the garbled official explanation for his complete disappearance from public view. Some Ethiopian opposition leaders have apparently argued for the installation of the deputy prime mister (DPM) as a constitutional successor to the PM or at least serve as acting PM until the final health status of the current holder of the PM’s office is established. Their argument is neither textually nor inferentially supported by any reasonable reading of the relevant provisions of the Ethiopian Constitution.

The office of the DPM is mentioned 4 times in the Ethiopian Constitution, three of which occur in Art. 75; and once in Article 76 in which the DPM is mentioned as a member of the Council of Ministers. Article 75 defines the totality of powers, duties and roles of the DPM:

1. The Deputy Prime Minister shall: (a) perform the duties assigned to him by the Prime Minister; (b) represent the Prime Minister in his absence. 2. The Deputy Prime Minister is accountable to the Prime Minister.

Under Article 75, the DPM is a political creature of the PM’s making, and not an actual constitutional officer with prescribed duties and functions. Unlike the PM (art. 73), the DPM is not “elected”, rather s/he is a mere political appointee who is selected by the PM. Whatever powers the DPM has comes directly and exclusively from the PM, and not the Constitution. The DPM   “performs duties assigned by the prime minister” and has no independent or residual statutory or constitutional duties or powers. The PM directs the activities, functions and roles of the DPM as the PM sees fit. The DPM can be dismissed or replaced by the PM at any time. In short, the  DPM’s office is in reality an empty constitutional shell –  a make-believe office — devoid of any constitutional or statutory responsibilities.

It is important to examine the constitutional nature of the DPM’s office more closely to understand the enormity of the constitutional crisis facing Ethiopia today regardless of whether the current holder of the PM’s office returns to office. The DPM is constitutionally designated as the “representative” of the PM. The term “representative” in Article 75 does not have the same meaning as the term “representative” in the “Council of Representatives” whose members are “elected for a term of five years” with full authority to “represent” their constituencies (Article 58).  The DPM as the PM’s “representative” is not a “PM in waiting or in the wings”. The DPM could stand in or appear on behalf of the PM as directed and assigned, or possibly “represent” the PM as an agent or proxy if specifically authorized. But the DPM  has no independent constitutional powers to “represent” the PM or perform the PM’s duties and responsibilities as the PM’s “representative”.

To be sure, there is no textual basis in Article 75 or in any other part of the Constitution to infer that the DPM can exercise any of the PM’s powers under Article 74. For instance, the DPM has no constitutional authority to function as “the head of government, chairman of the Council of Ministers and the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces” under any circumstances. Nor does s/he have the power to act as “acting prime minster” or perform in any other similar capacity in the event of a vacancy in the PM’s office or in the absence of the PM. The DPM does not have the constitutional power or authority to “direct, coordinate and represent the Council of Ministers,” or to “appoint all high government officials.” The DPM cannot “perform other duties assigned to him by this Constitution and other laws” because neither the Constitution nor other “laws” give the DPM any “duties” whatsoever to perform. Whatever the DPM does, s/he does at the direction, supervision and pleasure of the PM.  Practically speaking, the DPM is the PM’s “gofer” (errand runner) and factotutm (handy person), and not a true constitutional officer.

Analysis of Articles 72-75 (“Executive Power”) demonstrates that the DPM’s office was structurally designed as a shadow, symbolic or make-believe office with the manifest aim of giving the public impression that there is a deputy PM who could take over in the event of a vacancy in the PM’s office in the same sense as a vice president would  succeed a president. It is an office created with constitutional smoke and mirrors with the  intention of creating the illusion of a constitutional plan of executive succession without actually creating one. Article 75 could be an amazing constitutional sleight of hand or an egregious omission in constitutional design!

Is Ethiopia in Constitutional Crises?

It is manifest that Ethiopia is now facing not only a leadership and power vacuum but also a monumental constitutional crises in the absence of a constitutional plan or procedure for succession.  A constitution without a clear plan of succession is an invitation to political chaos, conflict and instability. In the United States, the Presidential Succession Act of 1947 (which supersedes other prior succession Acts) establishes the line of succession to the powers and duties of the office of President of the United States in the event that neither a President nor Vice President is able to “discharge the powers and duties of the office.” The Twenty-fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution establishes procedures for filling a vacancy in the office of the Vice President and responding to Presidential disability.

Article 60 of Ghana’s Constitution also provides clear provisions on presidential succession: “(6) Whenever the President dies, resigns or is removed from office, the Vice-President shall assume office as President for the unexpired term of office of the President… (8) Whenever the President is absent from Ghana or is for any other reason unable to perform the functions of his office, the Vice-President shall perform the function of the President until the President returns or is able to perform…” Even North Korea has a plan of succession though the process is a dynastic family affair in which power is passed from grandfather to son to grandson as we have witnessed recently.

Why is there no plan or clear statement or language on succession of executive power in the Ethiopian Constitution? I noted above that the particular design of the office of the DPM could be an amazing constitutional sleight of hand or an egregious omission and irremediable defect in constitutional design. If the drafters of the 1995 Ethiopian Constitution never anticipated, imagined, calculated or believed the person who becomes PM of Ethiopia will ever be removed from office by any means and for any reason and thus designed the DPM’s office as it is, then their omission could be regarded as a grossly negligent act of incompetence for which they should collectively suffer public condemnation and castigation. But it is unlikely that the DPM’s office was designed with such obvious oversight or inadvertence. It is not an act of omission; it is an act of commission.

A reasonable analysis of Article 75 suggests that the drafters intentionally and with great foresight designed the DPM’s office the way they did (toothless, powerless, duty-less) out of an abundance of caution to guard against any potential future loss of the PM’s office (and with it control of the state, armed forces, economy, etc.,) from the hands of those elements who have had a chokehold on the office for the past 21 years.  Given the ethnically tangled nature of Ethiopian politics, the individuals who controlled the drafting of the Constitution understood that the PM’s and DPM’s office could not be in the hands of members of the same ethnic group. That is to say, if the PM is a member of one ethnic group, the deputy prime ministership must necessarily be given to a person from another ethnic group to maintain the illusion of power sharing and play a clever political balancing game. If there is a real possibility of succession under this “power sharing” arrangement, the outcome could be potentially catastrophic to the power brokers controlling the PM’s office in the remote and unlikely event the PM is unable to discharge his/her duties and must leave office.

Under Article 75, the DPM could prove to be a Frankensteinian creation of the PM capable of destroying its own creator. If the DPM succeeds the PM, then the power brokers and structure that supported the PM could collapse with the supporters of the DPM as PM gaining power. As a result, there is high likelihood that the power brokers and supporters of the PM who vacated office could potentially lose power and influence and be marginalized under the new PM. However, the power brokers and supporters of the PM who vacated office could still maintain their power and influence by installing a DPM from one of the minority ethnic groups in the country. By making such an appointment, the PM and supporters effectively create the illusion that members of the country’s ethnic minorities are gaining recognition, power and  status hitherto unavailable or denied to them while immunizing themselves from the criticisms of other major ethnic group contenders who may be making claims to the DPM’s office.

The appointment of a DPM from a minority group ensures that  power remains in the hands of the power brokers and supporters of the PM whether the PM stays in office or vacates for any reason. The only way a DPM from an ethnic minority could survive politically as a PM is with the support of those who supported the PM who vacated office. The DPM as PM simply will not have  a sufficient support base in the party structure, bureaucracy, military, civic society, economic structure, etc. to be able to act independently. The DPM as PM could only survive as a mere puppet in the hands of the power brokers and supporters of the PM who vacated office.

Facing such a daunting constitutional dilemma, the power brokers and supporters of the current holder of the PM’s office will have no viable option but to ram through by unconstitutional means the installation of the holder of the DPM as PM. If such was the design, Article 75 could be regarded as a masterful stroke of political genius unrivalled in modern African constitutional history. The downside is that given the manifest constitutional problems of succession, other power contenders are unlikely to accept such an outcome which is patently unconstitutional and undemocratic. They may insist on a new election for a PM within a reasonable period of time if it comes to pass that the current holder of the PM’s office could no longer perform the duties of that office.

To dodge this enormous constitutional dilemma and avoid an election for a new PM at any cost, the  power brokers and supporters of the holder of the PM’s office could create various distractions and diversions. It is very likely that they could fabricate an emergency (internal by claiming insurrection or external by triggering conflict) and declare martial law.   They could engage in dilatory tactics by refusing to make firm and clear announcements on the status of the current holder of the PM’s office. They could seek the intervention or mediation of outside powers to help resolve the crisis by proposing a short-term transitional solution until a permanent solution is found either by constitutional amendment or new elections. They are likely to use the “constitutional court” under Article 83 to obtain an interpretation of Article 75 which is manifestly contrary to the plain meaning of the constitutional text. No doubt, they will have many tricks up their sleeves to get themselves out of the constitutional jam, buy time and cling to power.

The smart move for the power brokers and supporters of the holder of the PM’s office now would be to take this fantastic opportunity and offer an olive branch to the opposition and invite them to a dialogue on power sharing and other matters. There is no shame, defeat or harm in making a peace offering to the opposition. It has been done in Kenya and even Zimbabwe. It was done in South Africa under the most difficult of circumstances. It has been tried with different outcomes in Burundi, Guinea, Madagascar and the Ivory Coast.

In 2009, Kenya formed a “grand coalition government” among bitter political enemies. They were able to write a new constitution which was approved by an overwhelming 67 percent of Kenyans in 2011. In 2008, President Robert Mugabe and opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai signed a power-sharing deal. Last week, Zimbabwe Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai pushed for approval of a draft constitution prepared by the Select Committee of Parliament on the New Constitution (COPAC). Both countries have a long way to go on the road to full democratization but they are certainly on the right track. The only sensible way out of this constitutional predicament is to follow Nelson Mandela’s prescription: “If you want to make peace with your enemy, you have to work with your enemy. Then he becomes your partner.” It’s the perfect time now for all to bury the hatchet, shake hands and get their shoulders to the grindstone and build a new Ethiopia.

Constitutional Transition From Dictatorship to Democracy

The DPM issue is only the tip of the iceberg of the enormous constitutional crises to face Ethiopia. Those of us in the business of constitutional law and analysis have known of the structural flaw in the design of the DPM’s office, the expansive nature of executive power as well as numerous other flaws in the current Constitution for a long time. Truth be told, our characterization of the current holder of the PM’s office as “dictator” over the years was not mere rhetorical flair but an accurate and precise description based on a careful and penetrating analysis of the Ethiopian Constitution and the way power is concentrated in one office and one person.

A dictator is a person “who has absolute power or authority.” That is what the 1995 Ethiopian Constitution created in Articles 72-75. Article 74 created a PM whose powers are total, unbridled and unlimited and without any plan of succession. The PM and his hand-selected Council of Ministers are the “highest executive authority” in the country. The “Prime Minister” is the “head of government, chairman of the Council of Ministers and the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces.” The PM is only nominally accountable to the Council of Deputies and the judiciary. S/he is not accountable to the Council of Ministers. In fact, the PM has total and absolute dominance over these institutions. The PM has the power to “dissolve the Council [of Representatives] before the expiry of its term so as to conduct new elections”, dismiss or replace any member of the Council of Ministers at will and nominate and dismiss judges. Under the Constitution, the PM is accountable to no one. The PM’s word is the constitution and the law. The PM is an absolute constitutional dictator though that sounds oxymoronic!

The Life and Death of African Dictators

All dictators believe they can live forever. But only the evil they have done during their lifetimes lives forever. Sitting in the saddle of power, African dictators fear no one, not the people or even God. They have convinced themselves they are heroes and “gods” in their own right. They try to project the image of invincibility and immortality. But they are neither; they are mere mortals. They get sick, they suffer pain and they die like the people they oppressed, jailed, tortured and killed. They hold their people in total contempt and treat them like dumb children. They try to convince their people that they are healthy when they are sick and alive when they are dead.

In the past 7 years, the story we hear in Ethiopia today has been told many times in Africa. In 2005, President Gnassingbé Eyadéma of Togo, at the time Africa’s longest-ruling dictator, died of a “heart attack” as he was being rushed to Europe for treatment. Though he had heart and other serious health problems for years, those facts were hidden from the public until it was suddenly announced that he had passed away. In 2009, Gabon’s long reigning dictator, Omar Bongo Ondimba, died in a hospital in Spain. Government officials in Gabon had long denied he was sick or had any serious health problems. But Bongo had cancer. In 2009, President Umaru Yar’Adua of Nigeria reportedly left the country for what was described as “routine medical check up” in Saudi Arabia. After months of prolonged absence, he returned to Nigeria and died of lung cancer. Earlier this year, President Malam Bacai Sanhá of Guinea-Bissau died at a Paris hospital from what was officially described as “advanced diabetes” and a hemoglobin problem (possibly leukemia). Sanha denied that he had health problems and said his situation “was not as serious as people want to make out”.  President Bingu wa Mutharika of Malawi also died earlier this year from what was described officially as a heart attack after being transported to South Africa in a comatose state.

In all of these cases, the serious health issues were underplayed by the leaders themselves and their officials. They often blamed the cynical opposition for exaggerating news and information of their health condition. The officials in Ethiopia have a constitutional duty under Article 12 to perform their responsibilities “in a manner which is open and transparent to the public”. That transparency includes the duty to divulge full information to the public on the prolonged absence of the holder of the office of PM.

The life and death of President John Atta Mills of Ghana last week stands in stark contrast to the other African dictators. For the past several months, the Ghanaian public was aware that President Mills was having serious health problems.  He was making few public appearances and had retreated from public view, leaving his vice president, John Dramani Mahama, to attend public functions. Though he won the presidency by a razor-thin margin in 2009, Mills soon gained the love, respect and appreciation of his people. In its online editorial, The Nation,  Nigeria’s top circulation publication observed: “The open affection Ghanaians showed President Mills and the Ghana Parliament’s fidelity to constitutional provisions are areas Nigeria can learn from. President Mills respected his office and honoured his people by working hard for them. Little wonder, the people reciprocated by treating him as a rare hero in death.” Africa needs rare heroes. The alternative for Africa’s villains has been prophesied by Gandhi long ago: “There have been tyrants and murderers and for a time they seem invincible but in the end, they always fall — think of it, ALWAYS.”

There is a way out of the constitutional crises and dead end Ethiopian is facing today. Nelson Mandela paved that two way road in South Africa and called it “Forgiveness and Goodness.” We should all prepare ourselves and the people to travel that two-way road. It is time for national dialogue!

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

Previous commentaries by the author are available at:  and


38th day since Ethiopia’s dictator disappeared

Sunday, July 29th, 2012

Today is the 38th day since Meles Zenawi, head of the ruling junta in Ethiopia disappeared from public view. The regime says he is taking break on doctors advise in an unnamed country after getting treatment for an unspecified illness, but many believe he is either dead or incapacitated. The central committee of the ruling party, Tigrean People Liberation Front (TPLF), has been holding secretive meetings for the past 10 days. It is not clear who is currently running the government, but definitely it is not the deputy prime minister Hailemariam Desallegn, who is a puppet figure for this masters, Woyannes.

Will Ethiopian crackdown stir Muslim backlash?

Saturday, July 28th, 2012

By William Davison | Christian Science Monitor

July 27, 2012

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

Peaceful protests continue in Addis Ababa this week among Muslims angry over what they see as Ethiopian government interference. The government sees foreign extremist threat.

With arms raised and wrists crossed, silent Muslim worshippers surrounding the largest mosque in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia’s capital, again today peacefully protested what they call a violent government response to legitimate demands.

The act of civil disobedience from Muslims, who constitute at least one-third of the population, is a rare sign of instability in a country seen by US policymakers as a bulwark against radical Islam in the volatile Horn of Africa region.

Last month, members of a committee mediating the dispute over perceived unconstitutional state interference in Islamic affairs were taken into custody, while unrest broke out on two occasions around separate mosques in the city of around 5 million people.

“We are showing solidarity with leaders who have been arrested but who are strong,” says a demonstrator named Mohammed, referring to the vigil latched onto the end of midday prayers at Anwar Mosque. “They should be released; they were arrested for nothing.” Moments later, nervous friends ushered him away.

Through military interventions in neighboring Somalia, crackdowns against a separatist movement in its Muslim-majority Ogaden region, and now the detention of Muslim activists in its capital, Ethiopia has taken on a role as front-line defense against the spread of political Islam in East Africa. It’s a stance that broadly enjoys support from the West and neighboring countries, but some observers argue that Ethiopia’s hard line may be creating a backlash, strengthening the appeal of insurgents whom it is battling to suppress.

Human rights group Amnesty International called on the Ethiopian government this week to either formally charge or to release those currently in detention. Amnesty also called on the Ethiopian government to investigate allegations of torture of detainees, to allow peaceful protest, and to use “proportionality in the use of force” against demonstrators who turn violent.

For its part, the Ethiopian government justifies its actions by saying that the real troublemakers are a tiny minority of foreign-influence Salafi extremists.

“This group actually deals day and night to create an Islamic state,” says Shiferaw Teklemariam, the minister responsible for religious affairs. “This in the Ethiopian context is totally forbidden and against the constitution.”

Activists scoff at the accusations. Ethiopia is a secular, multi-ethnic state, where Orthodox Christians predominate, they say. How could any Islamist group hope to create an Islamic state in such a country? The dismissal is seconded by Terje Østebø, an academic at the Center for African Studies and Department of Religion, University of Florida, who studies Islam in the Horn of Africa. He says that Ethiopia’s historically oppressed Muslims are enthusiastic backers of the current secular system.

“Islamic reformists in Ethiopia have been very little concerned with politics, and certainly not advocated ideas in the direction of an Islamic state,” he says. “In my numerous conversations with Muslims in Ethiopia, I never came across anyone favoring such ideas.”

Other regional experts lean toward the official line that there are some externally-supported radicals that have hijacked the language of democratic rights to covertly pursue fundamentalism.

Protester demands

The committee’s stated demands are for Islamic council elections to be held at mosques rather than at local government offices; for the government to stop its unconstitutional promotion of the moderate al-Ahbash sect popular in Lebanon; and for the Awalia Mosque in Addis Ababa to be returned to the community from a corrupted Islamic council.

The committee and its followers accuse Ethiopia’s Islamic Affairs Supreme Council of being an undemocratic body packed with government stooges. Shiferaw, the Minister for Federal Affairs, denies any state meddling, saying there has been no promotion of al-Ahbash, and elections that begin on August 26 for two weeks are overseen solely by the Ulema Council of scholars, which he describes as Ethiopian Islam’s highest authority.

On July 13, violence broke out for the first time in the capital since the nine month dispute began, after Muslims at the Awalia Mosque compound ignored warnings from the government to not hold a sadaqa (charity) gathering on the day that African heads of states were in town for an African Union meeting. The real purpose of the event, which was shut down before it began through a police raid, was to plot the Islamic takeover, Shiferaw claims, and the timing was “deliberately provocative.”

“It’s about killing the image of the country and trying to destroy the trust of African leaders in their own capital,” he says. “I don’t think you quarrel with your wife when guests are at the door, if you’re really genuine enough for your wife.”

The government said 74 arrests were made, which was followed a week later by the detainment of the leadership committee based at Awalia. The crackdown, however, did not prevent a huge number of worshippers at Anwar Mosque in the Mercato area on the first day of the holy month of Ramadan a week later, showing solidarity with those arrested. Ahmedin Jebel, a now-detained spokesman for the 17-man committee, said the government’s attitude betrayed its authoritarianism. “Even if Muslims come to the AU summit to protest, if it’s peaceful, it shows Ethiopia is democratic,” he says. “Preventing and attacking shows Ethiopia is undemocratic.”

Unrest followed the next day, instigated by masked extremists penning in worshippers, according to the government. On a Saturday afternoon at one of Africa’s largest markets, all shops were shuttered and riot police patrolled normally heaving streets.

‘They want to label us’

“They want to put our questions aside and label us, saying we have a political agenda, saying we are extremists,” says Ahmedin.

Shiferaw is confident that the incidents have, in his view, unmasked Ahmedin’s group in the eyes of Ethiopian Muslims, draining any support they had. “Heavy education” campaigns are also being conducted on state television to show a strategic alliance between the movement and forces including Somalia’s al-Qaeda-affiliated al-Shabab militia and secular Ethiopian insurgents, he says. “We would like to clear any confusion and grey areas for people who joined them without knowing who they are,” he says. “We will educate them a little bit and they will go home.”

Mr. Østebø says he believes the government has misconstrued the rise in Salafism, which he says is largely a religious movement seeking to purify Islam.  “This is not to downplay the potential of such movement becoming a threat to political security and stability, but one should not overlook the fact that representations of Salafism mostly take nonviolent forms,” he says.

Salafists are welcome in Ethiopia as long as they don’t coerce others to join their sect, says Shiferaw. But, at “hotspots” around the country, extremists “bring people to the mosque, they put them to the point of the gun and they request them if you’re not converting yourself to the Wahabi, Salafi sect, you’re gone, you’re subject to be killed,” he argues. Activists say such “wild allegations are the government’s ploy to scare Ethiopians about a rise in extremism, and also score points with international backers.”

While Salafism’s rise has raised tensions there have been “hardly any reports of violent confrontations between so-called Sufis and Salafis,” says Østebø.

“We are Muslims, nobody can divide us,” says Ahmedin.

Bad response to real threat

Medhane Tadesse, an analyst of conflicts in the region, believes the government is making a belated and heavy-handed response to a genuine threat. Ethiopia has historically been a crucible for Islam’s battle with Christianity, and foreign Wahabbist forces have been – and currently are – at work trying to control mosques and now the Islamic council to ensure ascendance, he believes.

“Ethiopia is important because of historical significance, and because of demography, it has more Muslims than Saudi Arabia, it’s a big stake,” he says.

The government needs to make a measured response by empowering Muslims while distinguishing foreign-influenced radicals from those with “genuine concerns,” Medhane says.

“I think it’s a significant event and unless it’s managed in sober and legitimate way through democratic means then it may aggravate,” he says. “The problem of the Ethiopian state historically is rather than playing the role of an arbiter between different interests and social classes it tries to decide, which is counter-productive.”

37th day: Where is Ethiopia’s dictator Meles Zenawi?

Saturday, July 28th, 2012

Today is the 37th day since Ethiopia’s brutal dictator Meles Zenawi disappeared. Only the top echelon of the ruling TPLF junta and some foreign governments know what happened to him. The people of Ethiopia, and even rank-and-file members of the ruling party, are in the dark.

To make matters worse for the regime, the ruling party, Tigrean People Liberation Front (TPLF), broke up its 8-day long meeting Friday because it is unable to come to an agreement on the future of the party.

Ethiopian Heritage or Hear Us Age

Saturday, July 28th, 2012

Our heritage is our 88 beautiful tribes who are bonded not by federalism but above all Ethiopiawinet::

by Teddy Fikre  dated: Friday, Juy 27th, 2012

Do you know the sound of age? It does not sound like tic, tic, tic; age is more like a tick that sucks the blood from your soul and leaves you in senior citizen amongst the denizen of the soon to be lifeless bodies.  I know, a bit graphic right but it is the blunt truth.  We are all bonded and bound to the rest that came before us.  We will in due time disappear into the ether and be buried in graves. The only thing that will remain when we are nothing more than memories are our legacies.  Our legacy is our heritage.

So this s the crux of the matter before us, our legacy is our heritage.  Our heritage is timeless and endless.  Long after our time on this earth is finished, what will stay behind and be written in the stars is the history of our culture, our tradition, and our common aspirations—the only thing that will remain is our heritage. Heritage is the core of a people; we are defined not by our existence but by the very essence of our history and our culture.  Our heritage is our inheritance, we are nothing more and nothing less than the history of Ethiopia passed down to us one generation the next.

Our heritage is Adwa.  Our heritage is undefeated.  Our heritage is buna.  Our heritage is 13 months of Sunshine.  Our heritage is our enat (mother) Ethiopia.  Our heritage got Obama elected! In our hearts beats the heritage of ten thousand Adwa Jegnas and forty million emamas.  Our heritage is our genes and our menfes, we breathe and live our history through our stories and our fables.  Irrespective of our philosophy, our ideology, our God, or our preferences, we are all in the end tied and wedded to our heritage and our intertwined interdependence.

Our heritage is our flag without a symbol on it. Our heritage is found in our names; Desta, Tesfaye, Fikre, Haile, Emnet, Luladey, Aster, Makeda, Meron—in these names you will find a folklore of our heritage and our oneness to the ones before us.  We are the manifestation of our parents’ aspirations and the dreams of our forefathers.  We are heritage through our eskista and our injera, each shoulder shake and every gursha is the continuation of our heritage by other means.  Our heritage is found in the smiles of innocent children and in the grasp and slow walk of old men.  Our heritage is in our musika and our getems, our heritage is timeless and classic.

Our heritage is not acronyms because liberation fronts are a front that murder people instead of liberating them.  Our heritage is not found in… (Continued)…



Ethiopian Heritage Festival Weekend

[click to visit ESHNA and find out about this weekend's event]

This weekend, July 27th – July 29th, The Ethiopian Heritage Society of North America (EHSNA) is sponsoring the second annual Ethiopian Heritage Festival at Georgetown University. The event will be a cultural extravaganza featuring some of Ethiopia’s most famous singers, food, culture, history, and activities for children.

The Ethiopian Heritage Society of North America (EHSNA) was founded to preserve and retell the story and history of Ethiopians by Ethiopians for all people who ove Ethiopia. Ethiopia is a land of blessings and a history unparalleled in human civilization. Ethiopia was the first African country to defeated a Western Colonial power (Italy) in the battle of Adwa. Ethiopia is where coffee was discovered. Ethiopia is mentioned in the Bible 13 times, only Israel surpasses Ethiopia’s name in the bible.


Teddy Fikre

[click to view profile and follow on twitter @teddyfikre]


ፍትህ ጋዜጣን የሚያትም ማተሚያ ቤት መጥፋቱን ምንጮቼ ነገሩኝ

Friday, July 27th, 2012

አቤ ቶኪቻው

ይህ ወሬ “ዜና ብጤ” ተብሎ የቀረበው ድሮም የሚጠበቅ በመሆኑ የተነሳ ነው!

ፍትህ ጋዜጣ በትላንትናው እለት ብርሃንና ሰላም ማተሚያ ድርጅት፤ “ፍትህ ሚኒስቴር እንዳታትም ብሎኛል” በሚል ክልከላ እንዳደረገባት አውርተን ነበር። የጋዜጣው አዘጋጅ ተመስገን ደሳለኝ ከባልደረቦቹ ጋር በመሆን ወደ ፍትህ ሚኒስቴር ቢያመሩም ፍትህ ሚኒስቴር ደግሞ “እኔ አልከለከልኩም ማሳተም ትችላላችሁ!” ብሏቸው ነበር። ነገር ግን ወደ ብርሃንና ሰላም ማተሚያ ቤት ሲሄድ ከስራ በመወጣታቸው የተነሳ ትላንት ሳትታተም ቀርታለች።

በዛሬው እለት ሌላ ሙከራ ያደረጉት የፍትህ ጋዜጣ ባልደረቦች ብርሃንና ሰላም ማተሚያ ቤት በአቋሙ ቢፀናባቸው በድጋሚ ፍትህ ሚኒስቴር ሄደው አቤት ቢሉም “ማተሚያ ቤቱ ራሱን የቻለ ተቋም ነው እንጂ በኛ የሚታዘዝ አይደለም” በሚል አሰናብተዋቸዋል። አሁንም ፍትሆች በታጋሽነት ወደ ብርሃንና ሰላም ማተሚያ ቤት ሄደው ደጅ ቢጠኑም የማተሚያ ቤቱ ሃላፊዎች “ቢላ በአንገቴ” ብለዋቸዋል። (ቢላ በዚህ ጊዜ ከየት ይመጣል…!?)

የጋዜጣው ባልደረቦች አሁንም ተስፋ አልቆረጡም ወደ ቦሌ ማተሚያ ቤት ሄደው “እስቲ እናንተ አትሙልን!?” ብለው ጠየቁ። ነገር ግን ቦሌዎች “የደንበኞቻችንን ብቻ ነው የምናትመው” ብለው እምቢኝ አሉ። ፍትሆችም በሆዳቸው “እኛስ ደበኛችሁ ነን እንዴ?” ብለው በአንደበታቸው ግን፤ “አረ እባካችሁ ወደፊት ደንበኛ እንሆናለን!?” ብለው ቢያግባቡም እሺ ብሎ የሚያትምላቸው አላገኙም።

በነገራችን ላይ ፍትህ የሚያሳትመውን ከሰላሳ ሺህ በላይ ኮፒ ጋዜጣ ማተም ብቃት ያለው ሌላ ማተሚያ ቤት በኢትዮጵያ የለም።

ስለዚህ አሁንም ፍትህ በኢትዮጵያ ምድር የለችም! የሰዎቻችን ፀብ ከስሟ ከሆነ ምናልባት ስሟን ቀይሮ መሞከር ይሻል ይሆን!? እንጃ….!

United Nations alarmed by intimidation of journalists in Ethiopia

Friday, July 27th, 2012

[High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay. UN Photo/JC McIlwaine]

(UN News Center) — The top United Nations human rights official today said she is “seriously alarmed” by the current climate of intimidation against journalists and human rights defenders in Ethiopia due to an overly broad interpretation of laws concerning terrorism and civil society in the country.“The recent sentencing of 20 Ethiopians, including prominent blogger Eskinder Nega, journalists and opposition figures, under the vague anti-terrorism law has brought into stark focus the precarious situation of journalists, human rights defenders and Government critics in the country,” the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay, said in a news release.Charging journalists and political opposition members with terrorism and treason charges is seriously limiting their legitimate rights to freedom of expression and association, Ms. Pillay noted, and urged the Government to review its legislation, as well as its interpretation and application by the courts.

“The overly broad definitions in the July 2009 anti-terrorism law of Ethiopia result in criminalizing the exercise of fundamental human rights,” Ms. Pillay said. “Taken together, such laws have created a climate of intimidation.”

The human rights chief emphasized that the harsh sentences handed down to journalists and the excessive restrictions placed on human rights and non-governmental organizations are stifling dissent and undermining the freedom of opinion in Ethiopia.

She also noted that, since 2009, there has been a dramatic reduction in the number of organizations working on human rights issues, particularly on civil and political rights, which she referred to as “deeply disturbing.”

“Laws to combat terrorism must be consistent with the Government’s human rights obligations under international conventions as well as the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights and other regional instruments to which Ethiopia is party,” Pillay said, reiterating that the United Nations is ready to help Ethiopia review its legislation.

Seye Abraha: Ethiopia Faces political Crisis

Friday, July 27th, 2012 … 47250.html


Ethiopia does not have a firm leadership succession plan if Prime Minister Meles Zenawi is no longer able to head the government, according to a former defense minister.

Seeye Abraha, who worked with Meles on the ruling party’s executive committee but who is now a member of the political opposition, said Tuesday that uncertainty and anxiety is growing over the nation’s leadership during the prime minister’s so-far unexplained absence. He blamed it on the country’s one-party electoral system and Meles’ one-man-rule style of governing over the past 12 years.

​​“They don’t have a system" [of leadership succession], Seeye said. “This is a crisis situation and the dust has not settled.”

He said leaders of the ruling Tigrai People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) and larger Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) parties had discussed a succession plan, but postponed any decisions until prior to a scheduled 2015 national election.

Meles has not been seen in public for about three weeks, even missing the African Union conference in Addis Ababa that was attended by 29 other heads of state or government. Some reports in the international press have speculated he is suffering from a serious illness and has been receiving treatment since June 26 in a Brussels hospital.

Information Minister Bereket Simon told reporters in Addis Ababa last week that a doctor has prescribed sick leave for the prime minister. Bereket assured the public that Meles is in “good and stable condition” and will return to work when he has recuperated.

Bereket, however, would not identify the illness or say where the prime minister was receiving treatment.

Reliable news about the prime minister’s health has been hard to come by in Ethiopia. According to the Committee to Protect Journalists, the most recent edition of the independent weekly newspaper, Feteh, contained a report on the prime minister’s health, but that issue of the publication was confiscated by the government printing house.

Ethiopia ‘approaching the end of the one-party system’

Seeye Abraha said he does not know where the prime minister is or the nature of his illness.

“I have serious political differences with the prime minister and his party,” Seeye said of Meles and the TPLF. But he said that now is the time for Ethiopia’s political and military leaders to work with the nation to plot a peaceful way forward.

“We are approaching the end of the one-party system,” Seeye said.

Seeye was commander of the TPLF’s rebel forces and a member of the small leadership team of TPLF fighters who ousted Mengistu Haile Mariam’s Derg leadership in 1991. They then created the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia. Seeye was defense minister for five years and later led planning strategy for Ethiopia’s border war with neighboring Eritrea.

The former defense minister said he and Meles finally parted ways over continuation of the costly two-year war with Eritrea. Meles expelled Seeye and three others from the TPLF executive committee.

Then, Seeye was thrown in jail for six years on corruption charges he says were bogus. When he got out of prison, Seeye joined the opposition Unity for Democracy and Justice Party along with a former president, Negaso Gidada.

He left Ethiopia for the United States in 2011. Seeye, 59, now lives in Boston where he recently completed graduate studies in public administration at Harvard University.

If Meles cannot lead, who will?

A member of the TPLF’s old guard, Sebhat Nega, told a VOA correspondent last week in Ethiopia that the government is functioning normally despite Meles’ absence.

“The system does not depend on one person,” Sebhat said, adding that whatever Meles’ medical issues are, the government is secure.

David Shinn, a former U.S. ambassador the Ethiopia in the 1980s, speculated last week that if Meles was aware of the need to plan for a successor, he would have had such a plan in place. He added, however, that if Meles’ health problem came on suddenly, the political fallout could be more serious.

“If this is a more abrupt situation, then it could be far more difficult,” Shinn said.

Opposition leader Seeye also warned of possible trouble, saying, any leadership transition would be difficult without Meles taking part. For the time being, Seeye said he believed a form of collective leadership was acting during Meles’ absence.

Sebhat of the TPLF said such opposition speculation was the product of “wishful thinkers” hoping to take advantage of the current situation. He also denied that Meles ruled with an iron fist, noting the prime minister’s efforts to de-centralize government rule in ethnically diverse Ethiopia over the past two decades.

“He doesn’t have any hand in the affairs of the Oromo, of the Amhara, of the Tigre, or of the Afar, et cetera,” said Sebhat. “He cannot have an iron hand. He can never be a despot.”

Does Meles rule by consensus or by fiat?

Seeye disagreed, saying that Meles has been consolidating power for years.

“Meles is not just the chief executive officer of the administration, he is the law of the courts,” said Seeye. “He could make his wishes the law of the land in a matter of hours. That’s how he has been working.”

Despite his political differences with Meles, Seeye said he hopes the prime minister will recover soon.

“I don’t celebrate the pain of another human being or the passing of another human being,” Seeye said. “I wish him recovery and I wish that he ends his political exit with a positive and constructive and historic note

36th day: No sign of the dictator; foreign leaders say he is dead

Friday, July 27th, 2012

Today is the 36th day since Ethiopia’s dictator Meles Zenawi has disappeared from the public view. The ruling Woyanne tribal junta says Meles is recovering from a minor illness, but there is a growing belief that he is dead.

A pilot who was flying top officials of a certain African country has informed Ethiopian Review Intelligence Unit today that the officials have told him Meles Zenawi is dead. (Names are withheld for the pilot’s safety.)

Also today, one foreign journalist who is based in Addis Ababa told Ethiopian Review that she has received warning from Woyanne propaganda chief Bereket Simon not to write any thing about Meles Zenawi’s condition, or else face expulsion from the country.

The highly secretive TPLF meeting is continuing for the 8th day today. A major announcement is expected by early next week, according to Ethiopian Review sources.

Ethiopian cultural festival in DC opens Friday

Thursday, July 26th, 2012

Ethiopian Heritage Society in North America’s annual Ethiopian cultural festival will open Friday, July 26, 2012, at Georgetown University. Click here for more info.

Opening Ceremony: Friday, July 27, 2012 at 5:00 PM
Place: Georgetown University, 3700 O St NW, Georgetown University, Washington, DC 20007

  • Welcome to the 2nd EHSNA Annual Celebration: by Dr. Shakespeare Fayissa, President, EHSNA
  • Welcome to Georgetown University: by Prof. Maurice Jackson, Department of History, Georgetown University
  • Official opening of the Art Gallery
  • Reception (with Ethiopian music)
  • Poem Reading
  • Presentation of Brief Ethiopian History
  • Art presentation at the gallery
  • Book Reading and Signing: Ambassador Zewde Retta

Ethiopian Heritage Society North America

Honoring His Holiness Abune Melketsedik

Thursday, July 26th, 2012

Abune Melketsedik will be honored by the Ethiopian Heritage Society in North America this weekend at the annual Ethiopian festival for his life time contribution for the betterment of Ethiopia.

By Yilma Bekele

I have the good fortune of residing in Oakland, California where His Holiness Abune Melketsedek, Secretary of Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church in exile and head of Mekane Selam Medhane Alem Cathedral resides. Writing about his Eminence is not easy. Most famous people are attracted to the limelight. Being the story is part of their psychological makeup. Their motto ‘It is all about me’ is what attracts people towards them. Politicians, actors, athletes are perfect examples of the self-centered among us. Here in the US even religious leaders are not immune from this disease of me first philosophy.

Our Orthodox Tewahedo experience is different. Pictures of our church leaders are not the main attraction. Their name is not written in big letters outside the church or lit in neon for all passers by to see. The emphasis is where it should be, mans relationship to his/her God. Our father dearly refereed to as Abatachen by all exemplifies that doctrine. His holiness is no more than a simple servant of God doing his work to serve his beloved Church and his dear country. There is nothing complicated about him. For such a giant of a person in the life of our Church and Country, for a person with decades of unsurpassed service to both he surprises us all by the simplicity in his interactions with all and his sunny disposition under all circumstances.

These values did not just happen. They are the result of his devotion and strong belief that has sustained him ever since he embarked on the road of serving God. He has traveled many happy and not so happy roads. He has reached the apex of his Tewahedo Church as well us being imprisoned like a common criminal. He has humbly advised Emperor Haile Selassie on spiritual matters, as well as the Deanship of Trinity Cathedral the largest Orthodox Church In Addis Abeba. He has also experienced the life of an exile, a common refugee in a place he never dreamt he would find himself. When you see Abatachen you will never read all the trials and tribulation he has gone thru. What you see is a kind smiling face always worried about the comfort and well being of others. When you meet him personally his eyes twinkle with all the love and his face brightens like the mid day sun to welcome you.

Our holy father has this ability to make you feel safe and comfortable around him. He speaks simply and clearly. He listens intensely and makes his points direct and easy to understand. As a young one he has fulfilled the requirements of his church as deacon, priest, and studied Zema, Quine among others. Abatachen was one of the first chosen to go abroad and study the modern workings of religion, philosophy and how the outside world functions. He received his degree in theology from Halky Greek Theological College in Istanbul, Turkey. He speaks Geez, Amharic, Greek, and English fluently and understands Tigregna, Arabic, Hebrew, Turkish and Italian. He has found the time to write several books both in Amharic and English on spiritual matters to help his people understand this ancient religion he is a leader of.

Upon exile from his beloved homeland he did not land into an established Church and a functioning congregation. He started from scratch and was able to build a home away from home for all his children. When he came to Oakland he found a congregation that was being tossed around from Greek Orthodox to Serbian Orthodox Churches with no place of its won. In 1993 at long last an old abandoned Catholic Church was acquired and the process of rebuilding started with earnest. The inside was filled with stray animals and discarded items while the outside has turned into a weed garden. Here is a story as told to me by my friend Asrat one of the founders of the church. Abatachen ordered ten brooms and gathered all the young people in the Church. When they got there Abatachen after blessing the place got the brooms to the side of the room while all eyes were looking to see what was going to happen. Most were assuming locals would be hired to do the cleaning while they supervise. To their surprise Abatachen picked one broom fore himself at which point everybody run towards him to take the broom away to stop him from such menial labor. To their surprise he handed them each their own individual broom and started to clean without wasting a second. How could anyone walk away from this act of leadership by example?

The fact that his room did not have adequate heating, even had broken glass in the window did not deter Abatachen from making the Church a place where all felt welcome and proud. It was a lesson in humility to see Abatachen prepare meals for the young deacons that have to go to adult school. Today Oakland Medhane Alem Tewahedo Cathedral is located in a modern building with a large Kitchen, meeting facility that also serves as a school for the young ones, office space and a parking lot. That is not all Abatachen helped increase the number of Churches in North America from five to over forty with the number of members estimated over fifty thousand. The modernizing influence he started in Ethiopia has continued in attracting and promoting a bigger role for women in church matters. There is no question his vision has resulted in strengthening the church beyond anyone’s expectations. If Oakland is a clue to that assertion it is easy to see the important and key role our mothers, sisters and daughters are playing in making the congregation strong and vibrant.

At the ripe age of ninety his Holiness has become a globetrotting ambassador traveling as far away as Australia and South Africa not counting all of North America his home base. Abatachen is both a peacemaker and a combatant. He was forced to flee his homeland because he would not accept wrong deeds no matter where they come from. Exile has not been easy. The illegal regime that has circumvented our Tewahedo Church at home is always waging a relentless war abroad too. Abatachen due to the central role he plays in keeping his flock together has been the target they would like to destroy. Our Holy father has dealt with this unequal struggle against a State with patience, wisdom from long experience and guidance from God and been able to steer his flock in the path of steadfastness, focused and unyielding to being bullied by cowards.

It is with deep satisfaction we witnessed the resolution by the Holy Synod in Exile standing on the side of our Moslem brethren in their bitter conflict with the dictatorial regime currently in power in Ethiopia. That is what love for country and religion is all about. Our two religions have lived side by side since time immemorial and the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church’s firm stand on this matter is in the tradition of our ancient religion and its adherence to preserving peace and tranquility in our country. This act alone is proof that our Holy Father’s presence in North America at this critical time in our history our God is always looking after our ancient land, that he will not abandon his children where ever they might be scattered.

This year it is a proud and joyous moment in North America. His spiritual children are celebrating and honoring Abatachen at the annual Ethiopian Heritage Society celebration in Washington DC on July 27th. His Holiness is the guest of honor and what a deserving leader they picked. No one exemplifies lifetime dedication and service to country and people. Ethiopians in Oakland are blessed to have such a shepherd who has managed to keep his flock together in peace and love in this time of turbulence in our homeland and places of exile. We are proud that our people in North America are cognizant of his tireless work on behalf of his people and country and are paying due respect for decades of service. We all wish him a long life; we pray that our God allows him to return to his native land in peace and health. God be with Abatachen.

If you live in the DC Metro area please go to Ethiopian Heritage Society festival at George Town University, Harbin field Multi sports facility from July 27 to 29th. As we made our country proud during the recent ESFNA event in Dallas let us show our unity in diversity to all those that preach our demise. Our love for each other and our ancient land is what keeps us going when all else seem to fail.

መለስ ዜናዊ ሥልጣን ላይ ያለመኖር አንድምታ ዙሪያ ትንታኔ (VOA)

Thursday, July 26th, 2012

የተለያዩ ምንጮች የጤና ይዞታቸውን አስመልክተው የሚያቀርቧቸው መረጃዎች መለያየትና ይፋ ተጨባጭ መረጃ ያለመኖር የአቶ መለስን ወደ አገር መሪነት መንበር መመለስም ሆነ የአገሪቱን አመራርና ቀጣይ ሁኔታ ይበልጥ አነጋጋሪ አድርጎታል።

ይሄንኑ ወቅታዊ ሁኔታ አስመልክቶ ተንታኝ ጋብዘናል። ፕሮፌሰር ዓለማየሁ ገ/ማርያም በካሊፎርኒያ ዩኒቨርሲቲ ክፍለ ግዛት የካሊፎርኒያ ዩኒቨርሲቲ የፖለቲካ ሳይንስ መምህርና የኅግ ባለ ሞያ ናቸው።

ፕሮግራሙን ለማዳመጥ እዚህ ይጫኑ፡

Where is Meles Zenawi? (Tom Rhodes, CPJ)

Thursday, July 26th, 2012

By Tom Rhodes | CPJ East Africa Consultant

If you search for the name of Ethiopia’s prime minister, Meles Zenawi, on Twitter these days, you’ll see a flurry of incongruent postings: Meles is hospitalized in critical condition; he’s fine and returning to work; he died two weeks ago; he’s on holiday. Journalists for international news outlets have tried to sort out fact from rumor, but they’ve gotten no help from Ethiopian government officials who offered only vague assurances that the country’s longtime leader was ill but recovering. In Ethiopia, where the government has imposed increasingly repressive measures on the domestic press corps, news coverage has been minimal and contradictory. … [read more]

Amnesty protests beatings and abuse of Ethiopians Muslims

Thursday, July 26th, 2012

Ethiopia: Widespread violations feared in clampdown on Muslim protests


25 July 2012

Ethiopia: Widespread violations feared in clampdown on Muslim protests Amnesty International is concerned over the fate of scores of Muslim protestors arrested in Ethiopia during July. The arrests took place in the context of ongoing protests against alleged government restrictions on freedom of religion in the country. The detainees are at risk of torture and other ill-treatment, and there have been numerous reports of beatings in detention against those arrested. Some detainees have been held in incommunicado detention since their arrest without access to family members, often in unknown locations. Amnesty International is further concerned at widespread reports of the beating of protestors during demonstrations, and other examples of excessive use of force by the police during the arrests and the dispersal of protests, resulting in many injuries to protestors. Those arrested in July include members of a committee of representatives selected by the Muslim community to represent their grievances to the government and at least one journalist. Amnesty International fears that the arrests of community leaders, protestors and others in the Muslim community, and the pending charges against certain individuals, are based on their lawful exercise of the right to freedom of expression and the right to organize and participate in peaceful protests. Addis Ababa’s Muslim community has staged regular peaceful protests throughout 2012 over grievances including an alleged government-backed effort to impose the teachings of the minority Al Ahbash sect of Islam on the majority community, and government interference in elections for the Supreme Council of Islamic Affairs. Ethiopia’s Constitution prohibits state involvement in religious affairs. The protests have regularly attracted large numbers of people over the last six months.

On 13 July a police operation targeted a gathering at the Awalia Mosque and Islamic school compound, in north-west Addis Ababa. The gathering was reportedly discussing further protests and also planning and preparing for a Sadaqah (charity) event two days later, to distribute food to people living in poverty. On entering the compound, police are alleged to have used excessive force against those present, beating many men and women in the compound and made numerous arrests.

The same evening, in response to news spreading about the events at Awalia, large numbers of people headed towards Awalia. Witnesses estimate several thousand tried to reach the compound. But the roads were blocked by police and violence flared between police and protestors. Protestors allege that police again used excessive force including beating protestors. Several sources say that police fired live ammunition, resulting in some serious injuries among the protestors.

Large numbers of those on their way to Awalia were arrested. The government confirmed that over 70 people had been detained on 13 July. Protestors and witnesses reported numbers of between 100 and 1,000 people arrested. Those detained were taken away in large military- style trucks. Detainees were first transported to Kolfe Keranyo police station, and later transferred to police stations closer to their respective homes, according to reports. Many of those detained have alleged widespread beating of detainees inside the police stations. One woman reported that she had been subjected to sexual violence by a police officer during the night of 13 July.



A large proportion of the detainees were released without charge after one or two days’ detention. However, many continue to be detained. Several members of the Awalia student council are reported to be detained in Maikelawi federal police detention centre in Addis Ababa, notorious for the use of torture against detainees during interrogation, as documented on numerous occasions by Amnesty International. Whilst the family of one detainee has been able to have contact with their relative, the families of the other members of the student council say they have not been permitted to contact or visit their relatives, in violation of the right of all detainees to have access to family members.

Other detainees arrested at Awalia on 13 July are reportedly being held in incommunicado detention without access to family members, in unknown locations. Ethiopia’s Criminal Procedure Code demands that all arrested persons are brought before a court within 48 hours to challenge the legality of the detention. Further, incommunicado detention, without access to family members and legal representatives increases detainees’ risk of being subjected to torture or other forms of ill-treatment.

Between 19 and 21 July, members of the committee of chosen representatives of the Muslim community were arrested, including Chairman Abubakar Ahmed, Spokesperson Ahmedin Jebel and committee members Kamil Shemsu, Sultan Aman, Adem Kamil, Jemal Yasim and Meket Muhe. The Committee members are reported to be detained in Maikelawi and are therefore at risk of torture or other forms of ill-treatment.

On 21 July thousands of Muslims gathered at Anwar Mosque, the largest Mosque in Addis Ababa, to protest against the events at Awalia and the arrests of members of the committee. The event became violent as protestors clashed with police. The government states that protestors threw stones and broke the windows of nearby buildings. Protesters allege that the police fired tear gas and that scores of protestors were beaten by the police. An unknown number of further arrests were made.

Other representatives of the Muslim community have been arrested at different points over the last two weeks, including at least one journalist – Yusuf Getachew of the magazine ‘Ye’muslimoch Guday’ (Muslim Affairs). Getachew is also reported to be detained in Maikelawi, and family members are currently denied access to visit him. Another person told Amnesty International that their sister was arrested and continues to be detained, after police caught her carrying a pamphlet entitled ‘Let our voice be heard.’ One woman reported that she and a group of other women had been temporarily detained by the police and threatened ‘not to go to the Mosque making demands.’ Religious scholars, artists, and other journalists are also reported to have been arrested.

Members of Addis Ababa’s Muslim community have told Amnesty International that they now feel targeted and unsafe. Significant police presence has been reported around Mosques.

The government has confirmed to Amnesty International that those members of the committee of community representatives arrested will be charged with criminal offences based on attempting to undermine the Constitutional order. However, Amnesty International is concerned that the men may have been arrested solely because of their legitimate roles as representatives of the community and their organization and participation in a largely peaceful protest movement over the last six month period.

Crimes against the Constitution are included in both the Criminal Code and the Anti Terrorism Proclamation. For many years, hundreds of members of opposition parties have been charged with such offences under the Criminal Code. More recently journalists and opposition members have been charged with similar offences under the Anti Terror law, including in prosecutions related to peaceful protests. The Anti Terrorism Proclamation contains provisions that are excessively broad and can be used to criminalize the exercise of freedom of expression, freedom of association and freedom of peaceful assembly, including organizing or participating



in peaceful protests. In recent prosecutions under the Anti Terrorism law the government has equated calls for peaceful protests with terrorist activities, and several journalists and opposition members have been sentenced to lengthy prison terms on that basis.

The Ethiopian government regularly exhibits intolerance of any form of dissent. Journalistic reporting on the Muslim protests has been restricted over the last six months. In May, the Voice of America correspondent was arrested while attempting to report on a rally of the protest movement at Awalia, and was detained overnight in Maikelawi and beaten by police officers. In late July the distribution of the newspaper Feteh, one of the very few remaining independent publications in Ethiopia, was blocked by the government reportedly because its front cover, featuring stories about the Muslim protests and the health of Prime Minister Meles Zenawi, posed a threat to national security.

Amnesty International calls on the Ethiopian government to immediately and unconditionally release any individuals who have been arrested solely on the basis of their legitimate exercise of their right to freedom of expression, association or peaceful assembly, including by representing the Muslim community and engaging in peaceful protests.

All allegations of torture and other ill-treatment in detention and excessive use of force by police against demonstrators should be subject to immediate, impartial and effective investigations, and where enough admissible evidence of crimes is found, suspected perpetrators should be prosecuted.

Anyone currently held in detention must be brought immediately before a court to challenge the legality of their detention, and subsequently must be promptly charged with a lawful criminal offence consistent with international standards or released. Family members of detainees must be informed of their whereabouts and permitted access to visit them in detention. All detainees must be informed promptly of their right to consult a lawyer.

While some protestors are alleged to have used violence during recent incidents, including by throwing stones at security forces, the use of force, including lethal force, by security forces must comply with human rights standards at all times in order to protect the right to life. Amnesty International urges that any police response to further protests must comply with international requirements of necessity and proportionality in the use of force, in line with the UN Basic Principles on the Use of Force and Firearms by Law Enforcement Officials. These principles state that in the case of violent assemblies, security forces must only use firearms when less dangerous means are not practicable, and only to the minimum extent necessary. They can only be used in very limited circumstances, such as where there is imminent threat of death or serious injury and when strictly unavoidable to protect life. The use of “less than lethal” weapons including tear gas should be carefully controlled to minimise the risk of endangering people not involved in the incident. Amnesty International urges that only those law enforcement officials who are trained in the use of equipment that involves use of force such as tear gas should be authorized to handle such equipment.

Finally, Amnesty International urges the Ethiopian government to respect all Ethiopians’ right to peacefully protest, as guaranteed under the Ethiopian Constitution and in accordance with Ethiopia’s international legal obligations.

Power vacuum in post-Meles Zenawi Ethiopia

Thursday, July 26th, 2012

By Messay Kebede

The trouble with tyranny and personalized power is that institutional mechanisms of power transfer do not work. In most cases, such mechanisms exist and are enshrined in written and exalted constitutions. Nonetheless, to the extent that tyranny and the exercise of arbitrary power irreparably tarnish them, institutions do not command any respect or legitimacy. Instead, the need to pass on power unleashes a bitter struggle among various contenders. The proliferation of contenders is a natural effect of the arbitrary exercise of power: when power is exercised without the aura of legitimacy, it sends the message that it is up for grab, thereby fostering contenders. Another effect of the demise of arbitrary power is the tendency to stimulate popular uprisings. People who so far had accepted tyranny without protest suddenly feel an impetus to rebel because they sense the weakening of the repressive power of the state: both power struggle among the ruling elite and the orphan condition of repressive forces (police and armed forces), which repressive forces were shaped by an exclusive loyalty to the now disabled or dead dictator, give the picture of a disintegrating power system.

The above description exactly defines Ethiopia’s present condition. Whether Meles is already dead, incapacitated by disease, or has no much time left, one thing is sure: there is now a power vacuum and a struggle among contenders for his position has already started. The bare fact that the government has so far refused to provide any reliable information about his condition is indication enough that Meles’s time is over. The assurance that he is now receiving treatment or resting and that he will soon resume his work is just a lie destined to prevent a popular uprising and conceal the on-going power struggle until the emergence of a winning faction. On top of economic disasters, the failure to establish any firm institution demonstrates that the two decades of TPLF rule have been nothing but a colossal waste for Ethiopia and Ethiopians.

What concerns Ethiopians most is neither the fate of Meles nor of his cronies, but what developments are likely in post-Meles Ethiopia. My intention here is not to predict the future. Personally, I do not believe that the future is simply unfolding from past conditions. The direction of history depends on unpredictable variables and, mostly, on decisions that people and individuals make. The future is the outcome of a creative process and as such bound to be unpredictable in its novelty. The best that analysis can do is to present possible scenarios, which are then possibilities, potentialities, not predictions.

As previously indicated, Meles’s death or incapacitation has created a situation of power struggle. This power struggle is essentially occurring within the EPRDF, but more importantly, within the TPLF, which is the decisive force. It is translated by the appearance of factions, often around individuals supposed to be influential. We already know the names of the individuals. However, there is no guarantee that said individuals are really or remain the main players. In a fluid situation of power vacuum, little known individuals often emerge, just as new factions can appear, while the old ones disappear or are integrated into the new factions. In other words, we must expect some form of restructuration within the TPLF, a different alignment of competing forces.

Most probably, the winning faction will be the one that secures the support of the armed forces. In this raw situation of power struggle, no individual or faction can impose its will without the support of repressive forces. Since the TPLF alone is able to claim (at least at this stage) the loyalty of the armed forces, it follows that it is likely to stay in control after an internal redistribution, which can even take a violent form. Even if the deputy Prime Minister, Hailemariam Desalegn, stays as head of the government, he would simply be a figurehead. My guess is that, given the complete impotence of Hailemariam, the winning faction may find it wise to promote him to prime minister, at least until things settle down.

What factors could possibly alter this scenario? One important factor could be that the army ends up by developing its own political ambition to the detriment of the civilian power of the TPLF. This possibility is not farfetched: experience shows that each time a faction appeals to the army to prevail over other factions, it incites the ambition of the army. Why would the army work for somebody else when it could have it all for itself? But this scenario depends on the unity of the army: conflicts among or between senior and junior officers or dissenting voices from the rank and file can incapacitate the army and force it to accept the civilian leadership.

Another important factor that can jeopardize the continuation of the rule of the TPLF is popular uprising. Given the bubbling general discontent, the rule of the TPLF cannot continue without the support of a strong and loyal repressive force. Any sign of weakening cannot but encourage uprisings. The occurrence of a generalized uprising will greatly complicate the situation. It will further divide the ruling party, including the army, as the start of a bloody confrontation is necessarily fraught with dangerous and uncontrollable developments. One uncontrollable development is, of course, the ethnic reaction. Two decades of misrule and ethnicization of Ethiopia direct animosity, not only to state power, but also to ethnic groups. Some such confrontation will break up the EPRDF and will force people to align around ethnic lines rather than class or national unity.

There are also other complicating factors. For instance, the Eritrean element: in the face of a serious unrest, Eritrea may again resort to military action both to recover the territories that it claims and punish the TPLF for its 2000 military victory. One other factor that is difficult to measure is the possible role of the opposition. If the opposition presents a united face, and this is a big if, it can have some role in avoiding the worst scenario, namely, ethnic confrontations. It can even present itself as an alternative course if a popular uprising occurs. At any rate, its ability to displace the TPLF is congenitally dependent on the occurrence of a popular uprising. Even then, it will not have much impact if it remains divided. I note that Medrek has finally upgraded itself to a front, which is good news. But this is not enough: to appear as a real alternative to the TPLF, the union must be credible and reach out to other opposition parties as well as to the bureaucracy and military apparatus.

Lastly, the direct intervention and real pressure of Western powers can have a serious impact in the direction of facilitating the creation of a government representative of all contending forces. Their pressure can thwart the scenario of military coup or of a refurbishing rule of the TPLF; it can even prevent the start of a popular uprising. The two basic conditions for Western pressure to be effective are: (1) Western powers themselves must show a united front and act as honest brokers; (2) the opposition must speak with one voice and credibly argue in favor of a transitional inclusive government. This last possibility is by far the best course, for it alone promises a peaceful transition.

(The writer can be reached at

Ethiopian refugees thrown on Yemeni streets

Thursday, July 26th, 2012

Ethiopian refugees in Yemen

Ahlam Mohsen (writer), Nicholas Linn (photographer) | Yemen Times

Ethiopian refugees and asylum seekers demonstrated outside the Human Rights Ministry in Hadda on Monday morning, protesting excessive force used by Yemeni security forces to remove them from the country’s immigration prison the previous evening.

According to the former prisoners, security forces forcibly removed them from the prison.

Security forces used tear gas and rubber bullets, the former prisoners said, throwing tear gas canisters into cells to disorient them, before dragging them out and beating them with steel rods.

Ethiopian, Eritrean and Somali refugees who were in the prison now live on the streets.

Following last year’s 11-month demonstration, refugees set up tents outside UNHCR’s Sana’a office before being removed by Yemeni security forces. UNHCR said it offered the refugees a one-time payment to end demonstrations outside the office. Refugees said they were offered $400 per family, though those who accepted UNHCR’s offer said they only received $200 of the promised $400.

During the height of the political uprising, refugees—facing increased violence from Yemeni security forces—demanded a durable and permanent solution to their situations.

“Many of us have been here for 10, 15, 20 years,” said one Oromo-Ethiopian woman. “We asked for Yemeni citizenship or repatriation elsewhere. They rejected all of our demands, and after being removed, we agreed we would go to Al Kharaz refugee camp. They took three buses to Al Kharaz; the rest of us were taken to prison.”

UNHCR estimates 400 refugees were initially taken from outside the UNHCR building and placed in immigration prison. Prior to Sunday’s removal of refugees from the prison, UNHCR estimated there were 120 men, children and women inside. Prisoners said there were 114 refugees—102 Ethiopians, seven Eritreans and five Somalis, including 40 women and 54 children. The youngest of the imprisoned was 3 months old.

“They threw tear gas canisters into the men’s cells,” Makya Ahmed, 25, said. “The gas drifted over, women and children were crying and vomiting. After they removed us from our cell, they hit me in the back with a steel rod and then picked me up and threw me into a van.”

Refugees at Monday’s protest, now living on the streets with no food or water, sounded increasingly desperate.

“We aren’t allowed any dignity,” Ahmed said. “We can’t live like this; take back your IDs. They’re of no use to us,” she said about her Refugee Status identification card.

Desperate for justice

Some refugees threatened to harm themselves if their situations didn’t improve. Several mentioned self-immolation as an option.

“We have no work, no one treats us well, we’ve contacted all the human rights groups,” Yousef Aman, an Oromo-Ethiopian, said. “At this point, we are just tired. I don’t know if there are human beings anywhere else on the planet who live like this. It’s been 10 years for me. I can’t go on; I’d rather destroy myself.”

Ramadan difficulties

The majority of the refugees are Muslim and spend the month of Ramadan fasting, praying and thinking of God. Refugees reported that immigration prison authorities did not provide food or water during their last three weeks in prison. They instead relied on friends or community members to bring food and water once a week from outside.

Today, the refugees, who have no blankets, mattresses or clothes other than what they are wearing, sleep on cement pavements, unprotected from the elements. It is Ramadan, but they have no Suhoor or Iftar—one woman wondered aloud if God will accept her fast.

Yemen’s obligations

According to the U.N.’s 1951 Refugee Convention, to which Yemen is a signatory, the state has obligations to refugees. These include protecting a refugee’s right to non-refoulement—protection against forcible return. While the Yemeni government grants prima-facie refugee status to Somalis fleeing two decades of war, it does not recognize the refugee status of Ethiopians and Eritreans. Yemeni policy is to arrest and deport them, behavior that is contradictory to international law, according to Human Rights Watch.

35th day since Ethiopia’s dictator has been missing

Thursday, July 26th, 2012

Except for very few individuals in the ruling TPLF junta, no body knows exactly where Ethiopia’s khat-addicted dictator currently is. Today is the 35th day since he disappeared from the public view. Rumor is surfacing again this morning that he — or his dead body — is hiding or placed in a refrigerator at Berhane GebreKristos’ house in Brussels, Belgium.

Western diplomats — who can easily get such information from the intelligence services of their countries — are keeping mum or they just don’t care. The international media is not asking questions. If Al Bashir, Mugabe or another dictator disappears for this long, every major international news media would have assigned several reporters to investigate. This shows how inconsequential Ethiopia under the Woyanne junta has become to the international community.

In the mean time, it is not clear who is in charge of the “government,” in Ethiopia currently. The TPLF Central Committee is holding another secret meeting today, and the security apparatus Meles has put in place seems to be running the show for now.

Missing Ethiopian man in Philadelphia found on I-95 Freeway

Wednesday, July 25th, 2012

By Bonnie Cook |

(Philadelphia) — An Ethiopian man who had become separated from family members Monday during a visit to Center City was found safe by police wandering along the northbound lanes of Rte. I-95.

Kifleyohannes TessemaA Pennsylvania State Trooper on routine patrol found KifleYohanesse Tessema, 62, walking along the highway at 7 a.m. Tuesday and took him to Episcopal Hospital. From there, he was transferred to a shelter for the homeless.

Towamencin Township police had circulated a news release Tuesday describing Tessema as missing. They were notified Tuesday night that he had been located. Tessema’s family lives in the township.

Once Tessema was positively identified as the missing person, he was transported by State Police to SEPTA police headquarters and turned over to a family member.

When he vanished Monday, Tessema had no money and no identification on him. He does not speak English. Tessema disappeared near the Market Street East Station after he and his family rode the regional rail line into Center City.

TPLF leadership holds meetings under extremely tight security

Wednesday, July 25th, 2012

While the Woyanne propaganda machine is sending out conflicting information about dictator Meles Zenawi’s condition, there has been a series of meetings in Addis Ababa at Arat Kilo over the past five days involving Central Committee members of the ruling Tigrean People Liberation Front (TPLF). Bereket Simon, Hailemariam Desalegn and other non-Tigrean members of the Woyanne junta have not been participating in any of the meetings, which are being held under extremely tight security. Azeb Mesfin is also absent, even though she is a central committee member, our sources added.

Tension is running high as some of the TPLF old-guards such as Sebhat Nega are being bullied by Meles Zenawi’s personal recruits who are controlling the meetings, including the security. The meetings are co-chaired by Berhane Gebrekristos and Getachew Assefa, according to Ethiopian Review sources. It is all Tigrean affairs. The other puppet groups such as OPDO and ANDM are excluded from the discussion on the future of the Woyanne tribal junta… stay tune for more update

Meanwhile, The Reporter, whose editor is close to the ruling party, reported today that Meles is in a foreign country getting rest. It seems Amare Aregawi is once again “circling the wagon” to protect his beloved TPLF.

አቶ መለስ ሃኪም ይረፉ አላቸው፤ ህዝቡ ግን “ይረፉ” ካለ ቆይቷል

Wednesday, July 25th, 2012

አቤ ቶክቻው
ባለፈው ሳምንት አቶ በረከት ስምኦን መግለጫ
ሰጥተው ነበር። በመግለጫቸውም የጠቅላይ
ሚኒሰትሩን ህመመም በይፋ አምነዋል።
በነገራችን ላይ ጋዜጣዊ መግለጫው እየተሰጠ
ድንገት ወደ አዳራሹ የመግባት እድል ቢያገኙ አቶ
በረከት ስምኦን መሀል ላይ ቁጭ ብለው በግራ
እና በቀኝ ጋዜጠኞች ከበዋቸው፤ ከጀርባቸው
የአቶ መለስ እና የአቶ ግርማ ፎቶ ተሰቅሎ
ሲመለከቱ ሃዘን ቤት የመጡ ነው የሚመስልዎ!
ከሁለቱም ፎቶ ስር የሆነች ብልጭልጭ ነገር
ቢሰቀልማ ፎቶግራፋቸውን እያዩ እንባዎ እርግፍ
እርግፍ ሊል ይችል ነበር። የምር ግን ይሄ ፎቶ
ሰቀላ ለማሟረት እንጂ ለወዳጅነት አይመስልም!
እኔ የምለው አቶ ግርማንስ በቃ ረሳናቸው ማለት
በነገራችን ላይ አቶ ሽመልስ ከማል
ባለፈው ጊዜ ስለ ጠቅላይ ሚኒስትሩ መታመም
ከጋዜጠኞች ለቀረበላቸው ጥያቄ ሲመልሱ “ይሄ
የኢሳት ወሬ ነው!” ብለው ነበር። ያን ግዜ
ብዙ ሰው አልገባውም ነበር። ይሄ የኢሳት ወሬ
ምንድነው? የሚለውን ጥያቄ የአቶ ሽመለስ
አለቆች አቦይ ስብሐት እና አቶ በረከት ስሞንን
መጠየቅ በቂ ነው። እነርሱ እንዳረጋገጡት ታድያ
“የኢሳት ወሬ” ማለት ታማኝ ምንጭ ማለት ሆኖ
እኔ የምለው አቶ ሽመልስን ግን መንግስታችን
እንዲህ መጫወቻ ያደረጋቸው በምን ጥፋታቸው
ይሆን!? የሆነ ጊዜ “የአሜሪካን ድምፅን እኛ
አላፈንም ኢህአዴግ እንዲህ አይነት አፈና ማድረግ
ባህሪው አይደለም።” ብለው መግለጫ በሰጡ
በስንተኛው ቀን አቶ መለስ “እሱን ዝም በሉት
የአሜሪካን ድምፅን አፍነናል!” ሲሉ ተናገሩ።
አሁን በቅርቡም “ስካይፕ ይከለከላል የተባለው
ውሸት ነው።” አሉ አቶ በረከት ደግሞ ተነስተው
“እሱ ምን ያውቃል ስካይፕንም ሆነ ሌሎች
የኢንተርኔት ቴክኖሎጂዎችን እንቆጣጠራለን!”
ሲሉ መግለጫቸውን ውድቅ አደረጉባቸው።
ደግመው፤ “ጠቅላይ ሚኒስትሩ አልታመሙም!”
አሉን ነገሩ ግን ወዲህ ሆነ… በጥቅሉ እርሳቸው
የሚሰጡት መግለጫ ማላገጫ እንዲሆን ስለምን
እንደተፈረደባቸው ግራ ያጋባል!
የሆነ ሆኖ መለስ አሁን ተይዘዋል።
ከወዳጅነታችን የተነሳ “ተይዘዋል” አልን እንጂ
እንደ አንዳንድ ወገኖች ብንሆን ኖሮ በቁጥጥር
ስር ውለዋል” እንል ነበር። የህመማቸው መንስኤ
ረጅም ጊዜ ያለ እረፍት መስራት መሆኑን ሀኪም
ነገሯቸዋል። “ይረፉ” ሲልም አሳስቧቸዋል።
አሁንም ሌላ በነገራችን ላይ ህዝቡ መለስን
“ይረፉ” ካላቸው ቆይቷል። በተለይ ደግሞ
በምርጫ 97 “ብዙ ደከሙ ብዙ ለፉ! እስቲ ደግሞ
ይረፉ” ብሎ ሊያሳርፋቸው ሞክሮ ነበር እርሳቸው
ግን ምን ሲደረግ ብለው ይረፉ ያላቸውን ህዝብ
ከዛ በኋላም አለም አቀፍ ተሸላሚው ጋዜጠኛ
እስክንድር ነጋ፤ “ሌላ ምንም ምክንያት ሳያስፈልግ
አቶ መለስ ያለ ምንም እረፍት ይሄንን ያህል ጊዜ
መስራታቸው ብቻ ለኢህአዴግም፣ ለእርሳቸውም
ሆነ ለህዝቡ በጎ ባለመሆኑ በቃዎ ሊባሉ
ይገባል!” ብሎ ተናግሮ ነበር። ነገር ግን ይህንን
ባለ በነጋታው የፖሊስ ኮሚሽነሩ ጠርተው “ምን
ሲደረግ እንዲህ ትላለህ… በዚህ የምትቀጥል
ከሆነ ወዮልህ…! እኛ አንተን ማሰር ሰልችቶናል
እስከዛሬ የደሃ ልጅ ነበር የምንደፋው አሁን ግን
የመጀመሪያው አንተ ነህ!” አሉት። ልብ አድርጉ
መለስ “ይረፉ” ባለ ነው ይሄ ሁሉ ዛቻ!
እዚህ ላይ የአሽሟጣጮች ስጋት ትመጣለች
እነዚህ ሰዎች ሃኪሞችን በሙሉ “እንዴት
ይረፉ ይሏቸዋል!?” ብለው እንዳይዘምቱባቸው
ያሰጋል። ብለው የሚጠረጥሩ ሽሙጠኞች
የምር ግን ወዳጄ ህዝቡ በዘጠና ሰባት በቀልድ
አድርጎ የተናገራትን እኮ ነው ዛሬ የቤልጄም
ሃኪሞች እየነገሯቸው ያሉት። ባለፈው ጊዜ እነ
ውብሸት ታዬ በተከሰሱበት መዝገብ ራሱ ዋና
የክስ ማስረጃ የነበረው “መለስ በቃ” ብላችኋል
የሚል ነበር። ዛሬ እነ ውብሸት “መለስ በቃ
ይረፉ” ማለታቸው ስለተረጋገጠ ሽብርተኛ
ናቸው ተብለው ታስረዋል።
ይኸው ዛሬም ሐኪሞቹ እያሉ ያሉት ይህንኑ
ነው። “መለስ ሆይ ደክሞዎታልና በቃዎ!”
ብለዋቸዋል ልዩነቱ በእንግሊዘኛ መሆኑ ብቻ
ነው። እንጂ የቤልጄም ሃኪሞች “21 ዓመት
ያለማቋረጥ መምራትዎ ነው ለዚህ የዳረገዎት
እና ይረፉ” ማለታቸውን ራሳቸው ጓደናቸው አቶ
በረከት ነግረውናል።
ይሄን ጊዜ አቃቤ ህግ ሀኪሞቹን
በሽብርተኝነት ለመክሰስ እየተሰናዳ ይሆናል!
ብለን እናላግጥ ይሆን!?
ያለ እረፍት መስራት አዎ ያሳምማል።
መለስ ባለማረፋቸው በቃኝ ባለማለታቸው ይኸው
አጓጉል ሆነዋል። በቀጣይም ራሱ ኢህአዴግ
እረፍት እንዲያደርግ እመክራለሁ። አለበለዛ
በእረፍት እጦት ሳቢያ የአልጋ ቁራኛ ቢሆን
የማን ያለህ ይባላል!? ጎበዝ የግድ ሐኪም
እስኪነግረንማ አንጠብቅ እንጂ!

የሠላም ራዕይ ለኢትዮጵያ

Wednesday, July 25th, 2012

ከፕሮፌሰር ዓለማየሁ ገብረማርያም

ትርጉም ከነጻነት ለሃገሬ

ፕሬዜዳንት ኔልሰን ማንዴላ ባለፈው ሳምንት 94 ዓመታቸውን አከበሩ፡፡እግዚአብሔር ረጂም ዕድሜንና ጤናን ይስጣቸው፡፡

ፕሬዜዳንት ማንዴላን የሚያከብሩና የሚያፈቅሩ ሰዎች ‹‹ማዲባ››ብለው ይጠሩዋቸዋል፡፡እሳቸውም የሰብአዊ ፍቅር ተስፋ፤ ትእግስት፤ራዕይ ናቸው፡፡ ደቡብ አፍሪካ በጭለማው ሰአት ማዲባ ከጭለማ እስር ሲወጡ ፈገግታ ለብሰው፤ በእጃቸው ሻማ ይዘው ሕዝባቸውን አፓርታይድ ከሚባል እስር ቤት ለማውጣት ተዘጋጅተው ነበር፡፡ደቡብ አፍሪካ ሕዝቦቿ ጦር አስልተው ለመጋደል ሲዘጋጁ፤ማዴባ ነሃል ገብተው ‹‹አንተም ተው አንተም ተው›› ብለው እጅ ለእጅ አያይዘው፤ አጨባብጠው፤ ጦራቸውን፤ቀስታቸውን፤ጎራዱያቸውን፤አቅልጠው አዲሲቷን ደብብ አፍሪካ መገንቢያ ብረት እንዲሆን አድርገዋል፡፡ይሄንንም ሲያደርጉ ያሉት ‹‹መቼም፤መቼም ፤መቼም ቢሆን፤ሃገራችን ውስጥ አንዱ አንዱን ቀጥቅጦ ሊገዛ፤ ካሁን በኋላ አይችልም›› ነበር፡፡ የዓለም ሕዝብ በስራቸው ተደንቆ ሲመለከት ማዴባያሉት ‹‹ እኔ እኮ መልአክ አይደለሁም ምናልባት ሙከራ የሚያደርግ ሃጢአተኛ መልአክ ነው ብላችሁ ካላመናችሁ፤በስተቀር፤መላክ ለመሆን የምሞክሩ ሃጥአን የአፍሪካ መሪዎች ብናገኝ እንዴት ደስ ባለን ነበር::››

እኔ ከማዴባ ጋር ሃሳባዊ ንግግር ብዙ ጊዜ አደርጋለሁ፡፡በግንቦት 2011 ላይ በሳምናታዊ ጦማሬ ላይ ስለአንደኛው ንግግሬ ለአንባቢዎቼ አቅርቤ ነበር፡፡ በችኮላ መንፈስ፤ማዴባን እንዲህብዬ ጠየቅኋቸው ‹‹የአፍሪካ ፈላጭ ቆራጮች ለምን ይሆን የሚደነፉት?›› መልሳቸውም በደቡብ አፍሪካ ላይ የተወሰነ ነበር፡፡ እንዲህ ነበር ያሉት ‹‹ፈጽሞ ፈጽሞ ፈፅሞ፤ ይህች ውበት የሞላት ሃገራችን፤አንዱ ሌላውን ቀጥቅጦ የሚገዛባት ሃገር አትሆንም›› ነበር ያሉት፡፡ቀጥለውም ‹‹ግን›› አሉ፤‹‹የውቧ ሃገራችን ህልማችን የምትደርስበት ቦታ በይቅርታ ባይነትና በጥሩ ልቦና ስንሄድ ብቻ ነው፡፡››

ሕልምና ቅዠት ስለ ውቧ ኢትዮጵያ

የሰብአዊ ተሟጋችና የምሁር  ለሰሚ መናገር እውነትን ለስልጣን ያዦች መከሰትና ወደፊት ካለፈው ይሻላል የሚለውን ተስፋ ይዞ መጓዝ ነው፡፡ እውነተኛ የሰብአዊ መብት ተሟጋች የፖለቲካ ስልጣን ፍላጎት የለውም፡፡ የሰብአዊ መብት ፖለቲካ፤ የሰው ልጅ ክብርና ሞገስ መጠበቅ ፖለቲካ ነው፡፡ ስለ አይዲዎሎጂ አለያም ወገናዊነት ፖለቲካ ወይም የሥልጣን ሽሚያ አይደለም፡፡የሰብአዊ መብት ተሟጋች ስለወደፊት ተስፋ ነው የሚያተኩረው፡፡ ቫክላክ ሃቬል የቼክ ፕሬዜዳንትና ሰብአዊ መብት ተሟጋች ሲናገሩ ‹‹ተስፋ የአእምሮ ግንዛቤ ነው፡፡ በጥልቀት ስናየው ተስፋ የአእምሮ ግንዛቤ ነው፡፡ጠልቀን ስናየው ደግሞ ተስፋ መደሰት ማለት አይደለም፤ተስፋ አንድ ጥሩ ነገርን ማድረግ ነው ብለዋል፡፡አንድ የሰብአዊ መብት ተሟጋች፤በሚያደርገው ድርጊት ለሚያገኘው ለጥቅም ወይም የገነነ ስም አይደለም፡፡ የፈጠነ የፖለቲካ ለውጥም ይመጣል ብሎ አይደለም፡፡ ሃቫል እንዳሉት አንድ ጥሩ ነገርን ማድረግ፤ ያ ነገር በርግጥ ሁኔተኛ ይሆናል በማለት አይደለም፡፡ ባለፉት ዘመናት ስለ ሰብአዊ መብት በኢትዮጵያ ስጮህ ፈላጭ ቆራጮቹን ስቃወም፤የማደርገው ድርጊት ፈጣን ውጤት ያመጣል ብዬ አይደለም፡፡ወይም በአንድ ሌሊት መዋቅሩ ይለወጣል በማለት አይደለም፡፡ለረጂም ጊዜ ስለ ሰብአዊ መብት የተናገርኩት፤ የጻፍኩት፤የተሟገትኩት መልካም ጥሩ ነገር በመሆኑ ነው፡፡

በቅርብ ጊዜ ኢትዮጵያ ውስጥ ይሆናሉ አይሆኑም የሚሉ ቅዠቶች እየተከሰቱ ነው፡፡ውቢቷ ኢትዮጵያ የት ትደርሳለች የሚል ሕልም በብዛትም አይሰማም፡፡ ሹክሹክታውም ኢትዮጵያ ከመለስ በኋላ ወደ የርስ በርስ ጦርነት ውስጥ ልትወድቅ ትችላለች የሚሉ አሉ፡፡ ግን በእግዜር አይንም ሆነ በሰው የኢትዮጵያ እድል ከአንድ ሰው እጣ ጋር የታሰረ ሊሆን አይችልም፡፡ ሌሎች ደሞ ስለ መአት እያወሩ፤በንዴትና በማማረር ይበሳጫሉ፡፡ ግን የሚታያቸው ጀንበር የሚጠልቅበትን ስርአት እንጂ ጸሃይ የምትፈነጥቅበትን አዲሱን ቀን፤ለማየት አልተቻላቸውም፡፡እንዲሁም ሌሎች ስለመከፋፈል፤ መበታተን፤መቃቃር፤ሲረበሹ ይደመጣሉ ይታያሉ፡፡ ቤተሰብ በቋንቋ፤በባህልና በሃይማኖት መተሳሰራችንን የዘነጉት ይመስላል፡፡ ሌሊች የሚያስጨንቃቸው፤በአንድ ሰው ጀርባ ላይ የተመሰረተ መንግስት ምን እንደሚደርስበት ነው፡፡ ሁሉም ግን ለሚገምተው፤ ለሚያስበው፤ ለሚመኘው፤ ለሚጨነቀው መልሱ “አረ አለሁ በነፍስ፤ እኔ መለስ” ሊሆን ያችላል፡፡ ግን ይህን ያህል አንድ ሐሙስ ለቀረው መንግስት አስፈላጊና አሳሳቢ ነው?

ይህ ዓመት ሲጀመር ‹‹ኢትዮጵያ ከፈላጭ ቆራጭ አገዛዝ ወደ ዴሞክራሲ›› በሚል ርእስ አንድ መጣጥፍ እያቀረብኩ ነበር፡፡ አንዱ ጦማሬ ላይ፤ እንዳልኩት በፈላጭ ቆራጭና ዴሞክራሲያዊ ሽግግር ድልድል ላይ ብዙ አታላዮች፤ ወንበዴዎች ሥልጣን ለመስረቅ ይዘጋጃሉና ከባድ ጥንቃቄ ያስፈልጋል ብዬ ነበር፡፡ ባለፈው ወር ደግሞ ቀደም ያለ ሕገመንግስታዊ ንግግር እንጀምር ምክንያቱም የለውጥ ጊዜ እየተከሰተ ነው ብዬ ነበር፡፡በቅርብ ጊዜ የሚታዩ እውነታዎች ከፍተኛ ለውጥ በኢትዮጵያ እንደሚከሰት ነው ሁኔታው የሚያመላክተው፡፡ አንዳንዶች ኢትዮጵያ የምትወድቅበት ሁኔታ ቢያቃዣቸውም እኔን ደግሞ ከባድ ሃሳብ ላይ የጣለኝ የተቃዋሚው ቡድን፤ አንድ ሰው ስለ ኖረና ስላልኖረ የሚያደርጉት ነገር ነው፡፡

ኢትዮጵያ ውስጥ የስርአት ለውጥና ሽግግር ሁሌም ክፉኛ አስቸጋሪ እንደሆነ ይታወቃል፡፡ ታሪክ ይህን ይመሰክራል፡፡ ከንጉሳዊ አገዛዝ ወደ ሶሻሊዝም የነበረው ሽግግር በጣም አስከፊ ነበር፡፡ በሶሻሊዝም ስም በሚሊዮን የሚሆኑ ኢትዮጵያውያን ህይወታቸው አልፏል፡፡ ከሶሻሊዝም ወደ ሪቮሊውሽናሪ ዴሞክራሲ ደግሞ አናቂና ሰላቢ መንግስት ይሄው በአፍሪካ ታይቶ የማይታወቅ ፈላጭ ቆራጭ ግፈኛ መንግስት ለ21 ዓመታት ተቀምጧል፡፡ በ1977 የታየው የዴሞክራሲ ብርሃን በአንድ አፍታ ጠፍቷል፡፡ አሁን ሕዝብን እስረኛ ያደረገው ስርአት፤ ጸሃይ እየጠለቀችበት ነው፡፡ የእስረኞቹም ዋና ሹም መጋረጃ ወደ መከናነብ እያመራ ይመስላል፡፡

ሆኖም በሃገሪቱ የእሳተ ገሞራ ፍንዳታ እየተከሰተ ነው፡፡አነስተኛ ፍንዳታዎች በየቦታው ይታያሉ፡፡ ያለው ሁኔታ ሕዝቡን አስከፍቶታል፡፡ ሙስናው፤ስልጣን አለአግባብ መጠቀም፤ ያስተዳደር ጉድለት በገሃድ ይታያሉ፡፡  ይህን በአረብ ሃገሮች የሚደረገውን ለውጥ ስንመለከት ያሉት ገዢዎች ከፍ ያለ የሃሳብ ስጋት ሳይደርስባቸው የሚቀር አይመስለኝም፡፡ ሆኖም ቅሉ የጨቋኞቹ ስርአት ምን ይድረስበት አይድረስበት ብዙም አያስጨንቀኝም፡፡ የሚያስጨንቀኝ የተቃዋሚ ቡድኖች ምን እንደሚያደርጉ ነው፡፡እንደተለመደው የተገኘውን እድል ለማጣት ይጥሩ ይሆን? እኔ ብቻ ላሸንፍ ሌላው ይውደቅ ይሉ ይሆን? አንዱ ሌላውን እኔ ከሱ ልብለጥ የሚል ሂደት ይከተሉ ይሆን? ወይስ አንዱ ሌላውን፤ በብልጠት፤ ባሻጥር፤በዘዴ ለማሸነፍ ይሞክሩ ይሆን?

አለዚያስ ከፍ ብለው ይነሱስ ይሆን? አንዱ ሌላውን ይቅርታ ይጠይቅ ይሆን? አብረን ለሃገራችን እንስራ ይሉ ይሆን? ከሁሉም በላይ በወንድምነትና እህትነት እጅ ለእጅ ተጨባብጠው የያዙትን ጦርና ቀስት ወርውረው ኢትዮጵያን ለመገንባት ይዘጋጃሉ ይሆን?፡፡ማዴባ ያሉትን ተቀብለው በስራ ላይ ያውሉ ይሆን? ይሄ ነው የሚያሳስበኝ፡፡ ‹‹ነጻነት ጎህ ቀዳ ስትወጣ ስራችንን በበለጠ አጠናክረን መስራት አለብን፡፡ነጮችንም ያገራችንንም ልጆች አስገብተን ደቡብ አፍሪካን እንዲገነቡ ማድረግ አለብን፡፡ይህ የነጻነት ንቅናቄ የናንተም ነው ልንላቸው ይገባል፡፡›› እናዳሉት ማዴባ!

ሃጢአቱን እንጂ ሃጢአተኛውን አንጥላ

ጋንዲ ሲጽፍ፤የሰው ልጅ ሁለት ባህሪ አለው፡፡ ጥሩ ሲሰራ ማመስገንና ክፉ ሲሰራ ደግሞ መንቀፍ ነው፡፡ ያም ሆኖ የሰውን መጥፎ ስራውን መጥላት እንጂ ሰውዬውን መጥላት ተገቢ አይደለም፡፡ አንዱ ሌላውን በዘሩ፤ በቀለሙ፤በቋንቋው፤በሃይማኖቱ፤ቢጠላው ትርፉ ብዙ ጥላቻ ብቻ ነው፡፡ ማዴባ ሲናገሩ፤‹‹ማናቸውም የሰው ልጅ ሲወለድ ጥላቻ ይዞ አይደለም፡፡ ሰው ጥላቻን ተምሮ ነው ያገኘው፡፡የሰው ልጅ በተመሳሳይ መንገድ ፍቅርንም ሊማር ይችላል፤ ምክንያቱም ፍቅር ከተፈጥሮ ጋር የሚመጣ ጸጋ ነውና!፡፡” ይህም ከሆነ የጥላቻ ትምህርትን አለመማር ይቻላል በቦታው ፍቅርንም በሃገር ማስተማር ይቻላል፡፡

የጋንዲን ትምህርት መማር ተገቢ ነው፡፡ በጥላቻና በክፋት የተሰሩ ነገሮች ስሪታቸው ከመቃብር በላይ ለረጂም ጊዜ ይኖራል፡፡ ክፋትን ተከትለን ክፋትንም ከሰራን ቅዱስ ወንጌል እንደሚለው ‹‹ቤቱን የሚያውክ ሰው ነፋስን ይወርሳል፤ ሰነፍም ለጠቢብ ተገዢ ይሆናል››ይላል፡፡ ጥፋትንና ተንኮልን ተንኮለኞችንና አጥፊዎችን ከተከተልን እኛም ነፋስን እንወርሳለን፡፡ ነፋሱም ያገራችን መዋቅር ሊገነጣጠል ይችላል ሆኖም ሃጢአቱ ላይ አተኩረን አብረን ኤሎሄ ኤሎሄ ብንል የምንወርሰው ከፈላጭ ቆርጭነት አገዛዝ ዴሞክራሲ፤ ከሰብአዊ መብት ጥሰት፤ሰብአዊ መብት ክብረት፤ከጥላቻ ፍቅርን፤ ከንትርክ ይቅርታን እንወርሳለን፡፡ በስልጣን ቁንጮ የተቀመጡትም ማወቅ ያለባቸው ለውጥ መውጣቱ እንደማይቀር ነው፡፡ ሰላማዊ ለውጥ ሊመጣ ይችላል፤ ብልህ ከሆንን የምንተሳሰብ ከሆንን:: ግን ለውጡ መምጣቱ አይቀሬ ነው፡፡

በኢትዮጵያ አሁን ስንት ሰአት ነው

ቅዱስ ወንጌል እንደሚለው ‹‹ለሁሉም ጊዜ አለው›› ለፍቅር ጊዜ አለው፤ ለጥላቻ ጊዜ አለው፤ለጦርነትም ሆነ ለሰላም ጊዜ አለው፡፡ አሁን ለኢትዮጵያስ ጊዜው ምንድን ነው? …ጊዜው የሰላም ነው፤ጊዜው ከመራራነት ወደ መግባባት የሚለወጥበት ሁነኛው ወቅት ነው፡፡ጥላቻን ጥሎ መፈቃቀርያ ጊዜ ነው፡፡የተስፋ የእምነት የእውነት የመተሳሰብ የመተማመን የእውቀትና የብልጽግና ጊዜ ነው፡፡

ማዴባ ሲናገሩ ‹‹ለአፍሪካ ሕልም አለኝ ይሄውም በሰላም እንድትኖር ነው፡፡ብዙዎቹ አስተዳዳሪዎች አዋቂና ብልሆች ናቸው፡፡ተባብረው ችግርዋን ለፈቱላት ይችላሉ፡፡›› ብለው ሲቀጥሉም‹‹ይህች ዓለም የዴሞክራሲ የሰብአዊ መብት የሚከበርባት መሆን አለባት፡፡ አለም ከችጋር ከድንቁርና፤ የእርስ በርስ ጦርነት ተወግዶ በሚሊዮን የሚቆጠሩ፤በስቃይ ላይ የሚኖሩ ሰዎች ከስደት መትረፍ አለባቸው፡፡”

ማዴባ ሁል ጊዜ የመንፈስ ጥንካሬና፤ተስፋ ያሰጡኛል፡፡በ2011 መስከረም ጦማሬ ላይ ስጽፍ እንዳሰፈርኩት ‹‹ኢትዮጵያ በተዘበራረቀ ሁኔታ ላይ ትገኛለች፡፡ በፈላጭ ቆራጭ መዳፍ ስር ነው ያለችው፡፡ መለስ አንዴዬ ሲናገር እንዳለው፤‹‹እኛን የሚቀናቀን ካለ እናደቀዋለን፤ እንደዱቄት!፡፡” ማናቸውም ዜጋ፤ ማንም ሰው፤እንደዚህ ዓይነት አሰቃቂ አነጋገር የሚነገርባት ቦታ፤ ኢትዮጵያ መሆን የለባትም፡፡ ማናቸውም ዜጋ አለፍርሃት፤ረሃብ ጭቆና ለመኖር የሚቻልባት ሃገር መሆን አለባት፡፡ ይሄንንም ስል በረጂም መንገድ ማዴባ ባጭሩ ደቡብ አፍሪካ በማናቸውም አይነት ካሁን በኋላ አንዱ ወገን ሌላውን በጭቆና ቀጥቅጦ የሚገዛባት ሃገር ልትሆን አትችልም እንዳሉት ነው፡፡

የኢትዮጵያን ሰላም የምመኘው ኢትዮጵያዊያኖች በጎ አሳቢዎች ናቸው በሚለረ እምነት ነው፡፡ ማዴባ በዓለም ላይ ካሉት በጎ አሳቢዎች ሁሉ ግምባር ቀደም ናቸው፡፡ እሳቸውም አንድ ወቅት ላይ ሲናገሩ፤‹‹በህይወቴ የነጭ ጭቆናን ተቃውሜያለሁ፤ የጥቁር ጭቆናን ተቃውሜያለሁ:: ዘወትር የምመኘው ደቡብ አፍሪካ ነጻና በዴሞክራሲ ስርአት እንድትተዳደር ነው፡፡ ለዚህም ምኞቴ በስፋት እታገላለሁ፡፡አስፈላጊ ከሆነም ይህ ተግባራዊ እንዲሆን እራሴን አሳልፌ እሰጣለሁ››ብለው ነበር፡፡ ሆኖም ግን ምኞታቸው ከፍ ያለ ቢሆንም ሁኔታውንም ይገነዘባሉና፤ ችግራችንን በሰላምና በምክር መፍታት ካልቻልን ቀሪው ምርጫ ሕዝብን ማስጨፍጨፍ አስከፊ ሁኔታ ይሆናል፡፡ ማዴባ ሲናገሩ: “ባሁኑ ጊዜ ችግርን በሰላም ለመፍታት  ከአምባ ገነን መንግስት ጋር መጯጯህ ፍሬ ከርስኪ ጉዳይ ነው የሚሉ ወገኖች አሉ፡ምናልባት ይህን አስተያየት ተመልሰን ልንመለከተው ይገባል፡፡ለመሆኑ በቂ ጥረት አርገናል ወይ?” በዚሁ መልክ በኢትዮጵያ ንግግር መጀመር፤ ከንቱ ውዳሴ ይሆን? ደጋግሞስ መነጋገር፤ከጨፍጫፊወች ጋር የሰላማዊ መፍትሄ መንገድ መሻት ከንቱ ነው? ………አይመስለኝም፡፡

እንደምናየው ሁሉ የአንድ ሰው አንድ ፓርቲ፤ አንድ ሁሉ ነገር፤የሚባል ዓምልኮ በወደፊቷ ኢትዮጵያ ተስፋ ያለው ነገር አይደለም፡፡ ከታሪክ መማር ተገቢ ነው፡፡በሶርያ በሊቢያ፤የሆኑ አሳዛኝ ነገሮች ከዚህ መዘዝ የመነጩ ናቸው፡፡

ማዴባ ከአፓርታይድ ጭቆና ወደ ዴሞክራሲ ስርአት መሸጋገር ምን እንደሚያስፈልገው ተናግረዋል፡፡‹‹ሕዝቡ መጠየቅ መሳተፍ አለበት፡፡ድርድርም ሲደረግ ፊት ለፊት መሆን አለበት፡፡ “የወደፊቷ ደቡብ አፍሪካ፤የምትተዳደረው፤ዘረኝነት በሌለበት መንገድ ነው፡፡ነጮች የሥላጣን ማነቆ ይዘው ያለበት የረጀ ያፈጀ ሁኔታ መጥፋት አለበት” ማዴባ ብለዋል::

በዚህ መሰረት በኢትዮጵያም ቢሆን ሕዝቡ መሳተፍ አለበት፤ የሃገሪቷም የወደፊት ዕጣ ፈንታ በዴሞክራሲያዊ ስርአት በተመረጠ ጎሳና ዘር በማይል መሰረት ላይ መጣል አለበት፡፡ብልጦች አፈጮሌዎችና አወናባጆች ቦታ አይኖራቸውም፡፡

ሥራው ከባድና ፈታኝ ቢሆንም ሁላችንም ልንሳተፍበት የግድ ነው፡፡

ማዴባ ከእስር የወጡ የመጀመርያው እለት የተናገሩት፤ ስለ ሕብረትና መግባባትና መደማመጥ እንጂ፤ በደቡብ አፍሪካ ባለፉት ረጂም ዘመናት ስለተከናወኑት ሂደቶች አልነበረም፡፡‹‹ሕዝባችንን ማስተባበር በአሁኑ ጊዜ ታላቁ ስራችን ነው፡፡ማናቸውም መሪ በግሉ ሊሰራው የሚችለው ጉዳይ አይደለም፡፡ የመሪዎቻችንና የድርጅታችን ምግባር ዴሞክራሲያዊ በሆነ ስርአት፤ ወደፊት መቀጠልን ነው፡፡መረጋገጥ ያለበት ጉዳይ የእንቅስቃሴውን መሪ ሕዝቡ መምረጥ እንዳለበት ነው፡፡›› ነበር ያሉት:: በኢትዮጵያም ቢሆን፤አንድ መሪም ሆነ ድርጅት ማንም፤የሕዝብን አንድነት ሊፈጥር አይችልም፡፡ ስለዚህ የፖለቲካ ፓርቲ መሪዎች፤በስቪክ፤ በሃይማኖት፤ በወጣቶች፤ በሴቶች እንዲሁም ሌሎች ድርጅቶችና መሪዎች ሊፈጥሩ ይችላሉ፡፡

ማዴባን እንኳን ለ94ኛው የልደታቸው በዓል አደረሳቸው፡፡

ባለፈው ሳምንት አርክ ቢሾፕ ዴዝሞንድ ቱቱ ሲናገሩ፤‹‹ለማዴባ ከምንሰጣቸው ታላቅ ስጦታ ምሳሌያቸውን ስንከተልላቸው ነው›› ብለው ነበር:: ስለዚህ ለማዴባ የማበረክትላቸው ታላቅ ስጦታ ከአሁን በኋላ በእሳቸው ጫማ ፈለግ እንደምከተል ማረጋገጥ ነው፡፡ ማዴባ በቃላቸውም በሥራቸውም በጣም ብርታት ሰጥተውኛል፡፡ እስከ አሁንም ዕውነትን ሥልጣን ለጨበጡ እንድናገር ለኢትዮጵያም መልካም ሕልም እንዳልም ያደረጉኝ እሳቸው ናቸው፡፡ ከአሁን በኋላም በሳቸው ምሳሌ ለማስተማር፤ ለማሳወቅ ወደፊት በጥንካሬ የሚቀጥል ነው፡፡የጉዞዬም አቅጣጫ መልካምነትንና እርቀ ሰላምን የሚዬዝ ነው፡፡የማዴባ መንገድ ጉዞ ወደምንሄድበት ቦታ ያለጥርጥር ያደርሰናል ማለት አይደለም፤ሆኖም ግን ባሁኑ ጊዜ እሳቸው ከቀየሱት መንገድ ውጪ ወደ እርቅና መልካምነት የሚያደርሰን ሌላ መንገድ አይታየኝም፡፡

ምናልባት በዚህ አባባሌ እንደአላዋቂና ተላላ ሊመለከተኝ ይችል ይሆናል፤ ግን በተረጋጋ መሬት ላይ እንደቆምኩ አውቃለሁ፡፡ ከኔም ጋር የሚቆሙ ተመልካቾች ሊኖሩ ይችላሉ፡፡ የማዴባንም መንገድ መከተሌን የሚደግፉ ይኖራሉ፡፡ ቢቻልም ከኔ ጋር የማዴባን ጎዳና አብረው ለመሄድ ፍላጎት ያላቸው ሊኖሩ ይችላሉ ብዬ አምናለሁ፡፡ ካልሆነም ብቻዬንም ቢሆን ጉዞውን ለመቀጠል መርጫለሁ፡፡ የብቻ ጉዞ ቢደክመኝም በሚሊዮን የሚቆጠሩ ኢትዮጵያዊያኖች በሚያዘግሙበት ጎዳና ነጻነታቸውን ክብራቸውን ለማግኘት ከነሱ ኋላ ሆኜ እያነከስኩም ቢሆን እከተላለሁ፡፡ ለማደርገው ጉዞ ግን ከማውገዝም ሆነ ከማወደስ መዘንጋት የሌለበት በጎ አሳቢ ኢትዮጵያዊ መሆኔን ነው፡፡ እንደተባለው ሁሉ ‹‹አንዳንድ ሰዎች ነገር ተመልክተው ለምን ይላሉ፤ እኔ ግን ስላልነበሩ ጉዳዮች እያለምኩ ለምን እላለሁ፡፡›› ስለዚህም የማዴባን የጫማ ፈለግ ተከትለን አንሄድም? ለምን ኢትዮጵያ በሰላም ሆና አናልምም? የአንዳችን ሕልም ከሌላችን ሕልም ስለኢትዮጵያ ሠላምና ብልጽግና ለምንስ አይሆንም? በጎ አሳቢ ኢትዮጵያዊያኖች እንሁን! ለምንስ መሆን ያዳግተናል?

(ይህን ጦማር ለሌሎችም ያካፍሉ::)

ካሁን በፊት የቀረቡ የጸሃፊው ጦማሮችን  ለማግኘት እዚህ ይጫኑ::

34th day since Ethiopia’s dictator disappeared

Wednesday, July 25th, 2012

Ethiopia’s dictator Meles Zenawi’s last public appearance was 34 days ago on June 21. At that time he looked terribly sick and when Ethiopian Review and other media reported about his illness, the Woyanne junta propaganda machinery vigorously disputed the report. Two weeks later, the junta’s liar-in-chief Bereket Simon was forced to admit the dictator’s illness, but claimed that he is recovering and will return to office shortly. That was 5 days ago and Meles is not to be seen any where. Instead, it is reported that the TPLF junta’s leadership is holding a series of closed-door meetings to try to come to a consensus on who will replace Meles. The power struggle among at least 4 different TPLF factions is reportedly so intense that the TPLF junta is at risk of splintering.

Can the Ethiopian change his skin or leopard its spots?

Wednesday, July 25th, 2012

By Yilma Bekele

Is Meles Zenawi dead or alive has become the burning question of the day. It is sad even in death or near death the tyrant does not get any respect. You would think after dominating the Ethiopian scene for over twenty years the individual is entitled to some love. I am afraid all he has harvested in this short life is a lot of hate and loathing. He lived a violent life and his current condition whatever it is has turned up to be more violent than most of us dreamt of. Tumor in the brain is not a simple matter. Blood cancer is terminal. Chemotherapy treatment is a painful process. He came suddenly into our life and he is leaving us before sundown afraid of what the night might bring. It would have been better if he was made to answer for his crimes. That would have brought closure. As usual the coward is trying to slip away without accountability. Good riddance!

It is a sad ending and we all feel the pain. The situation creates all kinds of conflict in each of us. No one relishes pain and suffering on a fellow human being. But Meles Zenawi is not an ordinary human being. I have been reading all kinds of obituaries written both by foreigners and fellow Ethiopians the last few days. The analysis written by our foreign experts verges on the border of incoherence, are mostly disjointed and full of what I consider to be a sloppy cocktail of cultural bigotries.

The article by The Atlantic magazine and the attempt by AFP to do analysis are both poorly researched shameful works that will never be presented regarding events in any European country. It is Africa and all westerners are considered experts. What is surprising in both instances is their constant use of the term ‘intellectual, technocrat, sharp witted’ to explain Meles. If you notice no one calls Mr. Obama an intellectual or explain any of the Western leaders by the number of degrees they hold. In fact leaders like Mr. Obama or David Cameron go out of their way to present themselves as ordinary citizens. African leaders on the other hand are judged by the diplomas they hold and the size of their library rather than their work in the service of their people. It seems to shout ‘see he has a degree from one of our Universities thus he is not just another African savage, but an educated baboon’

The best Obituary is written on Aiga by someone named Aesop. Of course after the customary lauding of Meles as an intellectual, voracious reader etc. Aesop wrote the following: “Some of the “past leaders” managed to identify “some” problems but failed in action. But most have failed to even identify the problem and waited until the problem (or natural causes) consume them. Haile Selassie knew what the youth wanted and what the military was conspiring upon. However, he failed to reform- hence, was toppled. Tewodros identified “backwardness” but failed in action. Mengistu’s failures were in both fronts-a schizophrenic “little Tewodros” who left for Zimbabwe when reality hit on May 1991.” See what I mean, they have to knock all others down to lift their midget. I have no idea why he is not judged by his own deeds with out making those who came before him bad and unworthy?

This is the beginning of Woyane style of revision of history. Good try but that won’t happen. This time all his victims are present and accounted for. Today we write our own history. Twenty-one years ago most of Ethiopia was not aware of Meles Zenawi. We knew more about his mentor Isaiyas Afewerki. Meles and his TPLF group were a footnote. An after thought in the separatist war that has been going on forever in the northern part of our country. The emergence of the ill prepared junta leader Shaleka Mengistu created an opportune moment for the northern warriors to flourish. The demise of the Soviet Union, enabler of the Derg assured even for Meles to shine.

With the help of the US Woyane marched into Addis victorious. Some could consider that day the start of the degradation of our motherland. Woyane did not come to build but to destroy, not to plant the seeds of love and harmony but ready to harvest hate and animosity. During the dark days of living in caves and tunnels Meles and company were not dreaming of building a prosperous Ethiopia upon victory but rather were burning the midnight oil designing maps of separation and drawing flags of a different kind. For over twenty years they have been implementing the destruction of the country that nurtured them.

Meles Zenawi and his Woyane accomplices are responsible for the death and destruction of over one hundred thousand Ethiopians. I did not weave that figure from thin air or imagined it to hate on a dying or dead person but my assertion can be proved without much digging. In fact I believe I erred on the conservative side. The figure is much, much higher. I did not include those dead during the war with the Derg. I believe that was a legitimate form of uprising against a ruthless regime. I hold Meles and his Woyane friends responsible on what they did after they assumed power. Gambella, Hawasa and the Ogaden are the places we are aware of where Meles sent his Agazi forces to massacre citizens that were only asking for their god given right to live free. I am not going to argue the numbers but I believe the death of one Ethiopian is one too many. A sane and responsible government does not resort to using lethal force to silence its critics. Our Somali citizens in Ogaden have paid and are paying a heavy price for no other reason other than Meles’s desire to curry favor with the US.

The unnecessary war with Eritrea brought about by the behind the scene dealings between the two mad leaders has resulted in the death of over eighty thousand Ethiopians and Eritreans. Meles Zenawi and his Woyane party were not even respectful of the death of our solders to give them a decent burial nor gave recognition for their sacrifices. They were left to be eaten by wild animals and rot in the mountain and valleys of the Semen plateau. In early 2001, a concerned Ethiopian woman asked Meles as to the whereabouts of her son who did not return from his war with Eritrea. Irritated by the tone of her question, he said: “Lady, if your son does not return in 6 months time, then you’ll have your answer!”

We are not even told how many of our people died in the desert of Somalia fighting a phantom army conjured up by the US and Meles Zenawi. In addition to the death of our young people our country harvested hate and animosity with our brothers across the border for generations to come and money that could have been used to build schools, hospitals and infrastructure was wasted by Meles and his Woyane enablers.

I am not even going to mention what the mad criminal did when he lost the election in 2005. The whole world was a witness to that naked use of force to murder, intimidate and bully eighty million people to submission. Meles Zenawi was not a good human being. He was curse on our country and people. Building shoddy roads using borrowed money that we have to pay, building useless condominiums that look good on the outside but liable to deteriorate before the year is up using hard earned Diaspora money is not a sustainable economic development to crow about. Meles Zenawi spends more money on his personal security than all budget allocated to two of his Kilils.

The title of this article came from the Holy Bible. It goes “can the Ethiopian change his skin or the Leopard its spots? Neither can you do good who are accustomed to doing evil.” Jeremiah 13:27
It struck me as the best lesson to describe our current situation. So the prince of evil is on his way to receive the ultimate judgment. Who do you think is scrambling to inherit the crown? It is no other than the same Woyane thugs that have been part of the criminal empire as lieutenants or enablers. It should be obvious that they are going to continue the process of marginalizing, bullying, exiling and killing of those that do not see eye to eye with them.

Again I am not just making this up. Why you doubt me in the first place is not clear to me but I will give you evidence. The tyrant has not been seen or heard the last four weeks and nothing has changed in the land of the Habeshas. The rubber stamp Parliament was called into session and dutifully approved what was explained to them as the budget. The Moslems cry for justice was answered by jailing of their leaders and harsh beating of all those that dared not to disperse when told do so. The one and only independent newspaper Feteh’s edition dealing with matters not approved by the Communication department was confiscated. It looks like things are going to stay the same. This is what is known as ‘meet the new boss same as the old boss’ situation.

I believe it as about time we stop this game of good Woyane and bad Woyane, Woyane with an ounce of Eritrean blood and pure Woyane nonsense. We have to stop this insane discussion of the Constitution and the rules of succession of the mafia outfit. It is imperative that we define exactly what we want and stick to our demands until all are addressed. Compromise on certain principled issues is not the way to achieve success. Key issues are not open to negotiation and give and take. There is nothing wrong with standing firm on issues that are vital for survival and are the foundation stone for building a strong, free and democratic society. This half baked idea of accepting a piece of the pie has not taken us anywhere except see our country sink lower and lower in any index that measures human achievement. What exactly do we want? I am glad you asked.

First thing that is key and vital is a Constitution that is drawn by all Ethiopians and that reflects our dream and wishes for a united, strong and prosperous Ethiopia. A house without a solid foundation how pretty it looks is not a viable structure. A foundation with cracks, fissures and sub-par concrete mix or recycled metal will not be able to carry the weight of the building for long. The current Constitution was drawn by the dictator and his friends to serve the needs of the TPLF Party and his ethnic group. It has been revised time and again to serve particular situations that arose during his reign. Case in point is the amendment during his tiff with Ato Seye Abreha, his paranoia of Ginbot 7 that brought us terrorism and his attempt to outlaw the free press with the communication amendment.

The demise of the current Constitution is not a negotiable item. The new Constitution to be drawn after a lengthy discussion in the absence of coercion and open transparent debate will go along way to correct the many imperfection built in to Meles’s evil scheme. True Federalism that respects our diversity without creating a Chinese wall between us will put the concept of Kilil on the right path. As the concept of Apartheid as conceived by the White South African was smashed by Nelson Mandela our new document will place Kilil in the trash bin of history.

Again learning from the experience of South Africa under Mandela that prohibited establishment of political parties based on ethnicity, we in Ethiopia will put this toxic idea to rest once and for all. The TPLF party that has been one of the most evil organizations that has caused so much misery to all Ethiopians including the Tigrai people will not be allowed to ever raise its head in our ancient land. As the Germans got rid of the Nazi Party, as the South Africans marginalized the National Party so would Ethiopians will the TPLF out of existence. Doing away with Kilil and ethnic based parties is non-negotiable item.

I believe the opposition has to clearly present its wishes for the future Ethiopia to be built on the ashes of the current rotten system. There is no room for equivocation, sophistry and dead end short cuts. There is no room for generalized statements and debate on peripheral issues. Any opposition worthy of its organization has to tell the current legitimate wanna bees that are trying to build a new structure on the old, cracked foundation in no uncertain terms that the fate of Mubarak, Gadaffi, Ben Ali awaits them around the corner. No one predicted Meles would be faced with terminal illness at the young age of fifty-seven. No one can predict what the Ethiopian people will do when their anger boils over. No amount of arms, sharp shooters on every corner, spies in every household will contain the wrath of the people when they declare ‘Beka’ ‘Gaye’ ‘Bass’ ‘Yiakel’!

Ethiopian man visiting Philadelphia is missing – police asking your help

Tuesday, July 24th, 2012

(CBS) – Towamencin Township police in Pennsylvania are searching for a 62-year old Ethiopian man who was separated from his family in Philadelphia. Kifleyohanesse Tessema was visiting family.

Kifleyohannes TessemaAuthorities report that the family traveled to Philadelphia from Towamencin Township on SEPTA’s regional railway on June 23, 2012. At about 10 a.m., the family became separated from Tessema near Market East Station.

Tessema’s family has not seen or heard from him since the time of their separation.

Police say Tessema does not speak English, has no identification on him, has no means of support, and needs medication for high blood pressure.

Tessema is described as a black male, 62, with a medium complexion. He is about 5’6” and 150 lbs with gray hair. He was wearing gray pants, a white shirt, and a red and white ball cap.

Police are asking anyone with information to call 215-368-7600 or 7606.

President of Ghana John Atta Mills died

Tuesday, July 24th, 2012

Ethiopian Review extends condolences to the family of President Mills and the people of Ghana.

President John Atta Mills was seating next to Meles Zenawi last May in Washington DC when Ethiopian journalist Abebe Gelaw gave Meles a heart attack. The difference between President Mills and Dictator Zenawi is that Mills is a democratically elected leader while Zenawi is a brutal tyrant whose hands are soaked with the blood of tens of thousands of Ethiopians.

(RT) — Ghanaian President John Atta Mills has died at the age of 68, a statement from the president’s office says. He has been serving as the west African nation’s president since 2009.

“It is with a heavy heart…that we announce the sudden and untimely death of the president of the Republic of Ghana,” the statement reads, as quoted by Reuters.

The statement also said the president passed away at a military hospital in the country’s capital Accra, within a few hours of being taken ill.

Chief of Staff John Henry Martey Newman addressed the nation in a televised broadcast, confirming news of the president’s death. State-run television channels GTV and TV3 broke into regular programing for the announcement.

Meanwhile, a presidential aide said Mills died on Tuesday afternoon after complaining of pains on Monday.

Vice President John Dramani Mahama is to be sworn as the country’s new president at 1800 GMT, a parliament official said.

Mills celebrated his 68th birthday on Saturday.

Last month, Mills visited the United States for what he described as a “routine medical check-up.” He, [along with Ethiopia's dictator Meles Zenawi,] also met with US President Barack Obama. Prior to his trip, he dismissed rumors regarding the state of his health.

A Western-educated university professor specializing in taxation, Mills served as the country’s vice president from 1996 to 2000. He was the leftist National Democratic Congress nominee for the presidency on three occasions: in 2000, 2004 and 2008.

In 2008, Mills won a closely contested election on a platform of change and greater economic equality.

As president, Mills oversaw the start of oil production in the country. He was planning to run for a second term in December.

33 days since Ethiopia’s drug junkie dictator disappeared

Tuesday, July 24th, 2012

Meles Zenawi
[The above photo is a simulation]

It’s been 33 days now since Ethiopia’s khat-addicted dictator Meles Zenawi disappeared from the public view. There are strong indications that he has expired, but the ruling Woyanne junta insists that he is alive and recovering from a minor illness. If the regime is telling the truth, why did they go to the extent of blocking the distribution of newspaper last Friday in Addis Ababa that reported about the seriousness of his health? The reason the regime gave for shutting down the newspaper is “national security.”

This is just another evidence that Ethiopia is being ruled by a North Korea-type secretive regime where a report about whose leader is considered a crime. Sadly, it is this regime that the U.S. and E.U. are supporting to the tune of over $1 billion per year. It is this drug junkie dictator that President Obama invited to discuss about food security in Africa last May.

What is even more sad is that the Ethiopian opposition parties are not able to come together and topple the decayed regime that is led by a dictator who is lying in a morgue or an ICU. The Ethiopian opposition can bring down the Woyanne junta with economic boycott alone.

This is the most opportune time to liberate Ethiopia from the tribal junta that has been brutalizing the people of Ethiopia during the past 20 years. It can be done without firing a single bullet. Let’s wage an all out economic boycott campaign, as called by over 12 Ethiopian media organizations a couple of months ago, and starve the Woyanne beast to death.

ENTC requests diplomatic relations with Australian government

Tuesday, July 24th, 2012

23 JULY 2012

ENTC requests diplomatic relations with Australian government

The Ethiopian National Transitional Council (ENTC) has sent a communique to Mr. Bob Carr, Foreign Affairs Minister of Australia, requesting a diplomatic recognition. The letter was submitted to Mr. Carr by ENTC’s diplomatic representative in Australia, Ms. Minisha Girma.

The letter Ms. Minisha Girma submitted explains ENTC’s mission, and discusses the worsening political, economic and security crises in Ethiopia, as well as the need for the Australian government to help with a peaceful transition to democracy.

The Australian Government is among the first countries that the Transitional Council has asked for diplomatic recognition since it was founded at a 3-day conference in Dallas, Texas, that was convened from July 1 – 3, 2012, with the participation of representatives from over 30 cities and countries.

The Transitional Council plans to submit similar requests to several countries through its diplomatic representatives in the coming few weeks.


For more info:
ENTC Foreign Relations
85 S. Bragg St. Alexandria VA, 22312 USA
Tel: 202-735-4262

Joint Communiqué of ALEJE and OLF

Tuesday, July 24th, 2012

July 21, 2012

It is to be noted that the alliance of the Ethiopian opposition political forces has been the persistent demand of the Ethiopian people ever since the TPLF dictatorial regime of the Tigrayan People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) has ascended to power some 21 years ago. Thus far, this important but very demanding effort of united struggle of the opposition forces has been frustrated by several factors. However, given the stages of the contradictions in the country and the difficult circumstances our people are facing daily, there are some encouraging efforts and prospects on the horizon. The much demanded united struggle of the opposition may soon come to fruition. Evidently, it has now become more than obvious that scattered and fragmented struggles of the opposition forces are never to bring about the desired changes. One such positive development in this direction is the initiation of an alliance formation between ALEJE and OLF.

Leaders of ALEJE and OLF led by General Kemal Gelchu in several of the joint meetings they have been conducting for the last few months, have agreed on the following two major issues in order to remove the political system instituted by the TPLF and to establish a just and an all inclusive democratic order.

  1. ALEJE and OLF have agreed to facilitate a speedy formation of a broader and all inclusive united front of all willing opposition political forces that have the objective of united struggle in order to launch a resolute struggle and movement in any possible form.
  2. In the meantime, until the desired broad united front is established, ALEJE and OLF have resolved that they will coordinate and collaborate on all activities including matters of foreign relations, political, public relations, and organizational issues inside and outside of Ethiopia.

As we have always been expressing our commitment to the main and cardinal principles of the struggle of the Ethiopian people without any equivocation in the past, ALEJE and OLF have reaffirmed their sincere commitment and pledge to continue on the same path until the TPLF rule is removed and replaced by democratic order. To this effect, they have agreed that:

  1. The source of all political powers, at local, at regional or Federal levels, shall be fair and free elections.
  2. The federal system to be established shall be real and genuine.
  3. They shall use all forms of struggle that are timely and possible to remove the TPLF rule.
  4. A transitional provisional government that will be established shall be composed of all political and civic organizations.
  5. All the aforementioned activities shall be conducted in a country that is known as sovereign Ethiopia.

Victory to the struggling people of Ethiopia!

Terrorizing Ethiopians in the name of counter-terrorism

Monday, July 23rd, 2012

By Jillian C. York | EFF

Last week, EFF was dismayed to learn that Ethiopian journalist and blogger Eskinder Nega had been sentenced to eighteen years in prison under a sweeping and overbroad Anti-Terrorism Proclamation.  More than one hundred other Ethiopians, including nine journalists, have been sentenced under the vague law.  In December 2011, two Swedish journalists were convicted on charges of supporting terrorism.

Nega’s sentence has been roundly condemned by both the United States government and the United Nations, as well as a bevy of human rights organizations including Human Rights Watch.  We join these groups in condemning the sentences handed to Nega as well as five other bloggers, all of whom are living in exile.

A Dangerous Precedent

Back in June, we highlighted Ethiopia’s censorship and surveillance practices. from the blocking of websites to the Telecom Service Infringement Law that, in addition to protecting the state service provider from the competition of VOiP services, also aims to harshly punish citizens for using or having in their possession any telecommunications equipment without prior permission from the government.

The latest convictions demonstrate the Ethiopian government’s determination to restrict freedom of expression and association.  The use of anti-terrorism legislation to silence writers is a tactic seen elsewhere, including Turkey and Burundi, where just last month a journalist was sentenced to life under such legislation.

In Ethiopia’s 2009 Anti-Terrorism Proclamation, terrorist acts are broadly defined by a person or group “intending to advance a political, religious, or ideological cause by coercing the government, intimidating the public or section of the public, or destabilizing or destroying the fundamental political, constitutional or, economic or social institutions of the country” by a number of actions.  Furthermore, and not unlike material support laws in the United States, the definition of “rendering support for terrorism” includes the act of providing a “skill, expertise or moral support or advice.”  ”Encouragement for terrorism”—which includes the publication of statements “likely to be understood as encouraging terrorist acts”—is also prohibited.  It is this section of the law that has been used most consistently against journalists.

When Counter-Terrorism Becomes Anti-Freedom

While Ethiopia has reason to be concerned about terrorism, it is abundantly clear at this point that the government is taking advantage of foreign support for its counterterrorism measures.  The United States alone provided $847 million in assistance to Ethiopia in 2011, some of which went to fund non-lethal military training.  Between 2002 and 2007, however, Ethiopia received nearly $20 million in military assistance from the U.S., which included arms aid.  In addition to providing financial aid, the U.S. has been outwardly supportive of Ethiopia’s counter-terrorism measures against al-Shabaab.

At the same time, as a cable released by WikiLeaks reveals, the U.S. ambassador to Ethiopia expressed concerns about the then-draft Anti-Terrorism Proclamation, writing in a comment entitled “Opposition Beware”:

Ethiopia is a U.S. partner in a rough neighborhood, and, with the turmoil in Somalia, faces an ever rising threat stream from Somalia and the Arabian peninsula. Though the ATP gives the GoE legal authorities to confront these threats meaningfully, the draft statute’s overbroad nature, the lack of legal safeguards for persons accused of terrorism, as well as the ruling party’s tendency to brand mainstream domestic opposition members as terrorists, presents the potential for abuse. Post will raise these concerns with GoE officials at the earliest opportunity.

It would appear that any efforts to “raise concerns” with the Ethiopian government fell on deaf ears.  Sadly, the weak condemnation expressed in those previous cases is still more than has been expressed toward Nega.  In 2011, following the conviction of the two Swedish journalists, Deputy Spokesperson Mark C. Toner stated that the U.S. “[recognizes] the authority of the judicial process in Ethiopia and [respects] the Ethiopian Government’s legitimate concerns about terrorism” before noting that “a free press is an important element of democratic society.”

Even the Department of State’s comments on Nega’s conviction do not go as far as condemnation, instead merely expressing “deep concern.”

Human Rights Watch has called on Ethiopia’s international partners to immediately call for the release of Nega and the many journalists and opposition supporters who have been unlawfully prosecuted, as well as the revision of the law that put them behind bars. As Charlayne Hunter-Gault—a board member at the Committee to Protect Journalists—writes in an opinion piece for the New Yorker, the U.S. has recently made democracy promotion a top priority; referring to Nega, Hunter-Gault remarks: “Here is a great test case.”

Indeed, the new “U.S. Strategy Toward Sub-Saharan Africa” includes both democracy promotion and advancement of peace and security through the countering of terrorist groups. The U.S. government must be extremely cautious and ensure that its efforts to counter terrorism in the region don’t result in any more journalists behind bars.

Ethiopian newspaper blocked on “grounds of national security”

Monday, July 23rd, 2012

(CPJ) — Ethiopian authorities blocked the publication of a prominent independent newspaper over the weekend in connection with its stories on the health of Prime Minister Meles Zenawi, according to local journalists.

The state-run printing company Barhanena Selam told the weekly Feteh on early Sunday morning that the government had ordered that week’s edition of the paper, about 30,000 copies, to be blocked on grounds of inciting national insecurity and endangering the government and the public, local journalists said. The paper had prepared pieces citing reports from the BBC and the exiled opposition group, Ethiopian National Transitional Council, local journalists said. A government spokesman did not return CPJ calls seeking comment.

News accounts have reported that Meles has been hospitalized in Brussels with an undisclosed condition.

“The ban on Feteh’s latest issue illustrates the depth of repression in Ethiopia today, and authorities’ determination to suppress independent coverage of the prime minister,” CPJ East Africa Consultant Tom Rhodes said. “Every citizen has a right to be informed about the well-being of their leader and the conduct of their government. Authorities should reverse their decision and allow the publication of Feteh’s weekend edition to proceed.” … [read more]

Ethiopian Review on a backup system

Monday, July 23rd, 2012

We have activated Ethiopian Review’s backup site because the current high volume of traffic, on top of the DoS attack by the Woyanne thugs, is causing the main server to crash repeatedly. We have multiple backup (mirror) sites to make sure that Ethiopian Review is online with minimum interruption. We appreciate the concerns many of you expressed. Thank you for your support.

To increase our system capacity and also expand our sources of information inside Ethiopia, we have launched a sponsorship program. We urge all Ethiopian Review readers to support our effort by signing up as supporters/sponsors. Click here for more information.

የመለስ ዜናዊ መሰወር (ጀርመን ራዲዮ)

Monday, July 23rd, 2012

የኢትዮጵያ ፀጥታ አስከባሪዎች፣ ቤተ እምነቶችን ለማርከሰም ሆነ የእምነት ነፃነት ጠየቅን ያሉ ሙስሊሞችን በአስለቃሽ ጢስ እያፈኑ፣ በዱላ እየቀጠቀጡ ፥ለማሰር የሐገሪቱን ጠቅላይ ሚንስትር ቀጥተኛ ትዕዛዝ መጠበቅ አላስፈለጋቸዉም።አዲስ አበባ የአፍሪቃ መሪዎችን ጉባኤያ ለማተናገድ የትልቅ መሪዋ አለመኖር አላጎላትም።ኢትዮጵያ በደቡብ ሱዳን የነፃነት በአልና በአፍሪቃ ሕብረት ጉባኤ ላይ በአዲሰ ምክትል ጠቅላይ ሚንስትሯና በዉጪ ጉዳይ ሚንስትሯመወከሏ ክብሯን አልቀነሰባትም።የአንጋፋ ዋና መሪዋ ግራ-አጋቢ ጤንነት የዉር ድንብር እያዳፋት፣ እሳቸዉ በሌሉበት ባለችበት መቀጠሏን-ካለመቀጥሏ ቃርጮሽ መሸጎጡ ነዉ ፈተናዉ።እንዴት ላፍታ አብረን እንጠይቅ።

በኢትዮጵያ የቀድሞዉ የዩናይትድ ስቴትስ አምባሳደር ዴቪድ ሺንና የቀድሞዉ የሕዝባዊ ወያኔ ሐርነት ትግራይ ጦር አዛዥ ዶክተር አረጋዊ በርሔ በአካል መተዋወቅ አለመተዋወቃቸዉን እኛ አናዉቅም።ጠቅላይ ሚንስትር መለስ ዜናዉን ግን ሥልጣን፣ ጊዜና ሥፍራዉ ይራራቅ እንጂ ሁሉቱም በቅርብ ያዉቋቸዋል።

የመለስን መታመም የሰሙት፣ ሥለ ሕመማቸዉና በኢትዮጵያ ፖለቲካ ላይ ሥለሚያደርሰዉ ተፅዕኖ አስተያየት የሰጡትም ከቋንቋ፣ ቦታ፣ ሠዓታት ልዩነት ባለፍ እኩል ነዉ።«መለስ» አሉ የኢትዮጵያዉን መሪ መጀመሪያ እንደ ፕሬዝዳንት ኋላ እንደ ጠቅላይ ሚንስትር በቅርብ የሚያዉቋቸዉ የቀድሞዉ አሜሪካዊ ዲፕሎማት «መለስ አስቀድመዉ የሚያቅዱ አይነት መሪ ናቸዉ።»

ሺን መለስን በቅርብ ከማወቃቸዉ ከብዙ አመታት በፊት አረጋዊ በርሔ መለስን እንደ አለቃ እያዘዙ፣ እንደ የበላይ እየመሩ፣ እንደ ቀዳማዊ ታጋይ እየመከሩ የነፍጥ ትግልን አብረዋቸዉ ኖረዉበታል።#
ዶክተር አረጋዊ በዚሕ ሁሉ ዘመን በጣም በቅርብ የሚያዉቋቸዉ መለስ ግን ሺን ከገለጧቸዉ መለስ ተቃራኒ ናቸዉ።

የኢትዮጵያ የሕዝብ ተወካዮች ምክር ቤት ዘንድሮ ለእረፍት የሚዘጋበት ቀን ተላልፎ ነበር።በልማዱ፣ በምክር ቤቱ ሕግም ምክር ቤቱ የሚዘጋዉ በሚዘጋበት ጊዜ የምክር ቤቱ አባላት በሥራ ዘመናቸዉ ያከናወኑትን ለየመረጣቸዉ ሕዝብ እንዲያስረዱና የሕዝቡን አስተያየት ሰብስበዉ እንዲመለሱ ነዉ። የምክር ቤቱ የእረፍት ጊዜ ሲራዘም እንደራሴዎቹ ከየመረጣቸዉ ሕዝብ ጋር ለመወያየት የያዙት ቀጠሮ ይታጎላል።ጊዜዉም ያጥራል።

እንደራሴዉ በሕዝብ ከተመረጠ ከመራጩ ጋር የሚገናኝበት ቀጠሮ የታጎለ ወይም ጊዜዉ ያጠረበትን ምክንያት ለመረጠዉ ሕዝብ ማስረዳት ሥላለበት የእረፍት ጊዜዉ የተራዘመበትን ትክክለኛ ምክንያት ማወቅ ግድ በሆነበት ነበር።ምክር ቤቱ በተራዘመዉ የእረፍት ጊዜዉ የቴሌኮም ረቂቅ ሕግንና የመጪዉን ዘመን በጀት አፅድቋል።

የበጀቱን መጠን፣ ምንጩን፣ የሚዉልበን መስክ፣ ማቅረብና ማስረዳት የነበረባቸዉ የሐገሪቱ ጠቅላይ ሚንስትር መሆን ነበረባቸዉ።እንደሚባለዉ በሕዝብ የተመረጡት ጠቅላይ ሚንስትር ከሕዝብ አሰብስበዉ ለሕዝብ የሚያዉሉት በጀት በሕዝብ ተወካዮች ሲፀድቅ አልነበሩም።ጠቅላይ ሚንስትሩ ያልነበሩበት ምክንያት፥ ብቸኛዉ ተቃዋሚ የምክር ቤት አባል አቶ ግርማ ሠይፉ እንደሚሉት አልተነገረም።

የሕዝብ ተወካይ የሚባሉት እንደራሴዎችም-አልጠየቁም።አሜሪካዊዉ የቀድሞ ዲፕሎማት እንዳሉት አስቀድመዉ የሚያቅዱት ጠቅላይ ሚንስትር መለስ ዜናዊ ምክር ቤቱም ሆነ መንግሥታቸዉ የሚፈፅመዉን አስቀድመዉ ያቀዱት ኢሕአዴግን የዘጠና-ዘጠኝ.ሥድስት ከመቶ የድምፅ ድል ሲያጎናፅፉት ሊሆን ይችላል።

ለመለስና በመለስ የረጅም ጊዜ ዕቅድ ምክር ቤት የገቡት ሰዎች ከፓርቲያቸዉ ሌላ የሚያስረዱትም፣ የሚፈርቱም፣ የሚያከብሩትም፣ የሚጠይቃቸዉም ሕዝብ የለም።እነሱም አልጠየቁም።መለስም አልነበሩም።የመለስን መታመም የተለያዩ መገናኛ ዘዴዎች ዘግበዉበት፥የሕመማቸዉን አይነት፥ ደረጃና የሚታከሙበትን ሥፍራ ሁሉም እንዳሻዉ ተናግሮት ሲያገባድድ ባለፈዉ ሳምንት ሐሙስ የመጀመሪያዉ የመንግሥት ይፋ መግለጫ ከአዲስ አበባ ተሰማ።

#አቶ በረከት ሥምኦን የኢትዮጵያ መንግሥት ቃል አቀባይ።የመለስ መንግሥት ሥለ መለስ ጤና ለመናገር የዘገየዉ ሺን እንዳሉት መለስ አስቀድመዉ ሥላላቀዱት ይሆን።አቶ ግርማ እንደሚሉት ደግሞ የመንግሥት ባለሥልጣናት ሥለ ጠቅላይ ሚንስትሩ ጤና ለመናገር መዘግየት ብቻ ሳይሆን የሰጡት መረጃም የተሳሳተ ነዉ።

ዶክተር አረጋዊ በርሔም ከመዘግየቱ መሳከሩ ይላሉ።

ዶቸ ቬለ እንደማንኛዉም መገናኛ ዘዴ ሁሉ ሥለመለስ ጤንነት የኢትዮጵያ ባለሥልጣናትና ጉዳዩ የሚመለከታቸዉን ሐገራት ሹማምንት ማብራሪያ እንዲሰጡት በተደጋጋሚ፥ በተለያየ መንገድ ጠይቆ ነበር።ከሚንስትር በረከት መግለጫ ካንድ ቀን በፊት ጠቅላይ ሚንስትሩ ይታከሙበታል የሚባለዉ በብራስልስ-ቤልጂግ የኢትዮጵያ ኤምባሲ በኢሜይል የሠጠን መለስ ግን ጠቅላይ ሚንስትሩ ሕክምና ላይ ናቸዉ መባሉን «ሐሰትና ስሕተት» ብሎ ነበር።

ዛሬስ-ሐሰት-ስሕተቱ የትና የማን ነዉ? እዉነቱ ግን መለስ ያኔም-ዛሬም መደበኛ ሥራቸዉ ላይ የሉም።ይሕን በርግጥ ሺን እንደሚሉት አቅደዉት ሊሆን አይችልም።የኢትዮጵያ ከፍተኛ ፍርድ ቤት ባለፈዉ አርብ ሐምሌ ስድስት ጋዜጠኛ እስክንድር ነጋንና የተቃዋሚዉን የአንድነት ለዲሞክራሲና ለፍትሕ ፓርቲ ከፍተኛ ባለሥልጣንን ጨምሮ ሃያ-አራት ጋዜጠኛና ፖለቲከኞችን በአሸባሪነት ወንጀል-ከሰባት እስከ እድሜ ልክ በሚደርስ እስራት ቀጥቷቸዋል።

የዚያኑ ዕለት ማታ ፖሊስ የአወሊያንና የሌሎች ቢያንስ ሰወስት የአዲስ አበባ መሳጂዶችን እየረመረመ በየመስጊዶ የነበሩ በሺ የሚቆጠሩ ምዕመናን በአስለቃሽ ጢስ እያፈነ፣ በዱላ እየቀጠቀጠ በየዕሥር ቤቱ አጉሯል።ፓሊስ ባለፈዉ ቅዳሜ ደግሞ ቤተ-እምነቶችን ደፍሮ በርካታ ሙስሊሞችን በጢስ ጋዝ አፍኗል፥ ደብድቧል፥ አስሯልም።

ይሕ ሁሉ አስቀድሞ የማቀድ የመሪነት ልምድና ችሎታ ያላቸዉ ጠቅላይ ሚንስትር መለስ ዜናዊ አስቀድሞዉ አቅደዉ አዘዉም ሊሆን ላይሆንም ይችላል።በዚሕ ሁሉ ጊዜ ግን መለስ መደበኛ ሥራቸዉ ላይ አለመኖሯቸዉ እርግጥ ነዉ።

ዶክተር አረጋዊ በርሔ እንደሚሉት ደግሞ መለስ ለኢትዮጵያ መንግሥት ብቻ ሳይሆን ለታገሉለት ፓርቲም ሁሉም ናቸዉ።

መለስ የሉም ማለት ለኢትዮጵያ ሁሉም የለም ማለት ይሆን? አቶ ግርማ።

በሥልጣን ላይ ላለዉ ገዢ ፓርቲ ለኢሕአዲግ ግን መለስ ሁሉም ናቸዉ በሚለዉ ሐሳብ አቶ ግርማ ይስማማሉ።

የኢትዮጵያ መንግሥት የመለስን መታተመም በይፋ ካመነ-ካለፈዉ ሐሙስ ወዲሕ አንዳድ የሐገሪቱ ባለሥልጣናት የመለስ አለመኖር የመንግሥትን የዕለት ከዕለት ሥራ አያጉልም ባይ ናቸዉ።የገዢዉ ፓርቲ አሠራር-አወቀቃቀርም በነበረበት ይቀጥላል።ዶክተር አረጋዊ በርሔ ይሕን አይቀበሉትም።

ባለፉት ሃያ-አንድ አመታት ኢትዮጵያን የመሩት ጠቅላይ ሚንስትር መለስ ዜናዊ ለረጅም ጊዜ ከመደበኛ ሥራቸዉ ከተለዩ በሐገሪቱ ፖለቲካዊ ሒደት ላይ የሚያደርሰዉ ተፅዕኖ አይኖርም ማለት ያሳስታል።የኢትዮጵያ ፖለቲካ ማለት የተቃዋሚ ፓርቲዎችም እንቅስቃሴ ማለት ነዉ።

ዶክተር አረጋዊ በርሔ፥በይፋ እንደሚታወቀዉ፥ የሐገሪቱ ሕግ እንደሚያዘዉም የሐገሪቱ ምክትል ጠቅላይ ሚንስትርና ዉጪ ጉዳይ ሚንስትር ሐይለ ማርያም ደሳለኝ ጠቅላይ ሚንስትሩን ተክተዉ ይሠራሉ።እስከ መቼ-አይታወቅም።ነጋሽ መሐመድ ነኝ ቸር ያሰማን።

የሙስሊሞች ተቃውሞና የፖሊስ እርምጃ

Monday, July 23rd, 2012

መንግሥት በሃይማኖት ጉዳዮች ጣልቃ አይግባ የሚል መልእክት የሚያሰሙ ሙስሊሞች አደባባይ እየወጡ፣ በሰላማዊ መንገድ ጥያቄዎቻቸውን ሲያቀርቡ ወራት ማለፋቸውን የተለያዩ መገናኛ ብዙኀን የዘገቡበት ጉዳይ ነው። ከሰሞኑ፣ ግን ለየት ያለ ሁኔታ ማጋጠሙን ፤ ጌታቸው ተድላ ኃ/ጊዮርጊስ የላከልን ዘገባ ያስረዳል።

Where is dictator Meles Zenawi?

Monday, July 23rd, 2012

Today is the 32nd day since Ethiopia’s khat-addicted dictator Meles Zenawi disappeared from the public view, and except for very few trusted associates, no body knows where he is currently. Over the weekend, Ethiopian Review Intelligence Unit has looked for him at all the morgues and hospitals in Brussels, where he was reported to have been receiving medical treatment, and there is no sign of him. His bodyguards have left St. Luc Hospital.

One thing there is no doubt about is the seriousness of the dictator’s illness. His health was deteriorating fast, and according to U.S. diplomatic sources, when he was in Washington DC on the invitation of President Obama last May, he collapsed at least once and forced to skip a dinner reception at the Woyanne embassy.

It is also not clear who is currently running the regime in Ethiopia, although it is rumored that Berhane GebreKristos is in charge. Certainly it is not the puppet “deputy prime minister” who was dispatched to China last week by his TPLF masters, while former foreign affairs minister Seyoum Mesfin returned to Addis Ababa from China.

While strongly stating that Meles is alive and recovering, senior members of the TPLF junta are sending their close family members out of the country with loads of foreign currency. Seats on most Ethiopian Airlines flights are currently being completely filled with families of the ruling junta.


Dreams of an Ethiopia in Peace

Sunday, July 22nd, 2012

Madiba-003President Nelson Mandela turned 94 on July 18, 2012. May he live long with gladness and good health!

All who love and revere President Mandela call him Madiba. He is the ultimate symbol of human love, hope,  courage, charity, endurance, patience and perseverance. He is the personification of good will, tolerance, generosity, forgiveness and reconciliation.

In South Africa’s darkest hours, Madiba emerged from the darkest dungeons of Pollsmoor Prison wearing a big smile on his face and carrying a torch light in his hand to free all his people from a wretched prison called Apartheid. When South Africa’s fate dangled between the forces of good and evil, Madiba stepped in the middle and said, “Never, never and never again shall it be that this beautiful land will again experience the oppression of one by another.” He convinced those armed for war to disarm for peace, to bury the hatchet, dagger and arrow and to beat their swords into ploughshares, shake hands, hold hands and put their shoulders to the grindstone to build a new South Africa. When the world stood in awe of what he had done, he humbly reminded us: “I am not a saint, unless you think of a saint as a sinner who keeps on trying.” Don’t we all wish we had more sinners in high places in Africa who just keep on trying?

I have had many imaginary conversations with Madiba, but only one that I have dared to make public. In one of my weekly commentaries in May 2011, I reported on one such imaginary conversation. The topic was the triumphalism of African dictators. Somewhat impatiently, I asked Madiba: “What the hell is wrong with African dictators?!?” Madiba did not want to generalize, but he was very clear about Apartheid dictatorship and what needed to be done to restore South Africa to its timeless beauty. He said, “Never, never and never again shall it be that this beautiful land will again experience the oppression of one by another. If there are dreams about a beautiful South Africa, there are also roads that lead to their goal. Two of these roads could be named Goodness and Forgiveness.”

Nightmares and Dreams of a Beautiful Ethiopia

Among the few privileges of being a human rights advocate and an academic are telling the unvarnished truth to anyone who cares to listen, speaking truth to power and defiantly hoping (even against hope) for a future that is much better than the past. That privilege comes from the special nature of human rights advocacy. A true human rights advocate has no political ambition. The politics of human rights is the politics of human dignity, not ideology, political partisanship or the pursuit of political office. The committed human rights advocate thrives on hopes and dreams of a better future, not the lust for political power or craving for status, position or privilege. As Vaclav Havel, the late Czech Republic and human rights advocate put it, “Hope is a state of mind, not of the world. Hope, in this deep and powerful sense, is not the same as joy that things are going well,…  but rather an ability to work for something because it is good.” Defense and advocacy of human rights is something one does because it is good. As Havel said, “Work for something because it is good, not just because it stands a chance to succeed.” I have been relentlessly “sermonizing” (as some affectionately refer to my weekly commentaries) on human rights in Ethiopia and against dictatorship for many years now. I have done so not because I believed my efforts will produce immediate political results or expected structural changes overnight. I stayed in for the long haul because I believe defending, advocating and writing about human rights and righting government wrongs is right, good and the moral thing to do.

Lately, there has been much talk about nightmare scenarios and very little about dreams of a beautiful Ethiopia and the two roads that could take her to that place and moment in time where she “will not experience the oppression of one by another”. Some whisper of the nightmare of civil war if one man goes or stays? Is Ethiopia so insignificant in the eyes of man and God that her destiny is tied to or determined by what happens or does not happen to one man? Others bemoan the horrors of the past and seethe with anger and bitterness. They can only see the twilight of a vanishing order and are blinded to the sparkling new day dawning over the horizon.  Far too many exercise themselves with things that are divisive, disruptive and discordant. They seem to forget that we have strong bonds of family, history, culture, language and religion that bind us in a beautiful mosaic called Ethiopia.

There are some  who seem obsessed with speculation and rumors about the fate of a state built on the shoulders of one man. Would it not make more sense to be concerned about the plight and state of suffering of the other 90 million? Louis XIV, the absolute monarch of France who reigned for 72 years is reported to have said, “L’etat, c’est moi” (“I am the state”). Must we subject ourselves to the Sturm und Drang of  what could happen to Ethiopia after the fall of a one-man, one-party state that has been in power for 21 years? For all the speculation, guestimation and supposition on the part of the Ethiopian opposition and the secrecy, mystery, fudging, hedging and dodging by discombobulated regime officials, the answer may be the same as Mark Twain’s who upon reading his premature obituary quipped: “The reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated.” Should we really be concerned about a moribund regime?

Truth be told, we should be concerned about a nation that has been in intensive care and on life support for the past 21 years and beyond. We should pray for the healing, speedy recovery and and well-being of Ethiopia. We should be searching high and low in our hearts, minds and souls for the best medication to heal Ethiopia from the cancer of tyranny and dictatorship and the pathology of hate and narrow-mindedness. We should work tirelessly to detoxify the Ethiopian body politic from the poison of ethnic domination,  sectarianism and bigotry.

To restore Ethiopia to good health, we must begin national dialogue, not only in the halls of power, the corridors of the bureaucracy and the military barracks but also in the remotest villages, the church and masjid meeting halls and other places of worship,  the schools and colleges, the neighborhood associations and in the taverns, the streets and markets and wherever two or more people congregate.  We have no choice but to begin talking to each other with good will and in good faith.

Since the beginning of 2012, I have been penning special commentaries in a series I called “Ethiopia’s transition from dictatorship and democracy”. These commentaries were fragments of my dream that Ethiopia will soon make a transition from dictatorship to democracy. Of course, dreams could easily change into nightmares.  In one such commentary, I shared my nightmares about what could happen “on the bridge from dictatorship to democracy.” I wrote, “there is often a collision between individuals and groups doggedly pursuing power, the common people tired of those who abuse and misuse power and the dictators who want to cling to power.  The chaos that occurs on the transitional bridge from dictatorship to democracy creates the ideal conditions for the hijacking of political power, theft of democracy and the reinstitution of dictatorship in the name of democracy.” In another commentary last month, I pleaded for constitutional “pre-dialogue” (preparatory conversations) in anticipation of some potential roadblocks on Ethiopia’s inexorable march to a constitutional democracy.

Recent events seem to signal the imminence of a sea change in Ethiopia. While some are preoccupied with the nightmare of what could happen in Ethiopia if one man or one party stays or goes, my nightmares have been about what those opposed to the one man will do whether he stays or goes. History shows that political transitions in Ethiopia have been nightmares, a race to the bottom. The transition from monarchy to military socialism proved to be a colossal disaster. In the name of socialism, millions perished from famine and political violence. The transition from military “socialism” to “revolutionary democracy” led to the creation of a police state in Ethiopia unrivalled in the modern history of Africa. The flicker of democracy that was seen in 2005 was snuffed out in the blink of an eye. Now, the sun seems to be setting on the police state; and it could be curtain time for the chief of police. There is volcanic pressure building up slowly but surely in Ethiopia. We see small precursor eruptions here and there.  Public dissatisfaction with the status quo has turned to utter public desperation. People cannot afford the basic necessities of life as inflation and cost of living soar to new heights. Corruption, abuse of power, massive repression and poor governance are about to blast the dome on the grumbling volcano. The situation is deteriorating by the day. One has to assume that against the backdrop of the “Arab Spring”, Ethiopia’s iron-fisted rulers must be a little worried about the winter of discontent of the Ethiopian people being made glorious by a democratic Summer.

What the managers of the police state will do or not do concern me less than what those who profess to stand for democracy, freedom and human rights will do or not do. Will they do what they have always done in the past: Never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity? Continue to play the same old zero sum game (that is, they win and everybody else loses) of politics? Play games of one-upmanship trying to outdo,  outwit, outthink, outsmart, outplay, outfox, outmaneuver and outbully each other, while those in the saddle of power laugh at them? Play the blame game, finger pointing game and demonization game to show how bad everybody is and how good  they are? Will they invent new games?

Or will the opposition collectively be able to soar to new heights of greatness? Will they forgive each other for the injuries of the past and pledge to work for a secure and just future for all Ethiopians? Will they be able to forge a partnership to deal with the multiplicity of problems facing the people? Will they lead the people to consensus by prioritizing and focusing on things for which there is broad agreement, or will they nitpick their way into a stalemate over minutiae? Above all, will they have the courage to reach out to each other in the spirit of brotherhood and sisterhood, shake hands, bury the hatchet and put their shoulders to the grindstone to work together in the cause of  freedom, democracy and human rights in Ethiopia? Will they have the courage to walk in Madiba’s footprints?:

The sight of freedom looming on the horizon should encourage us to redouble our efforts. It is only through disciplined mass action that our victory can be assured. We call on our white compatriots to join us in the shaping of a new South Africa. The freedom movement is a political home for you too…

As freedom looms over the horizon in Ethiopia, do we all have the courage, humility and foresight to say to  those in power and out of power,  “If you want to make peace with your enemy, you have to work with your enemy. Then he becomes your partner.” Is it possible to create a broad partnership of justice, equality, freedom, democracy and human rights in Ethiopia today? Could we say now to those who have a tight grip on power what Madiba said to his white compatriots then, “The freedom movement is a political home for you too…”

Hate the Sin, Not the Sinner

In his autobiography, Gandhi wrote, “Man and his deed are two distinct things.  Whereas a good deed should call forth approbation and a wicked deed disapprobation, the doer of the deed, whether good or wicked, always deserves respect or pity as the case may be. ‘Hate the sin and not the sinner’ is a precept which, though easy enough to understand, is rarely practiced, and that is why the poison of hatred spreads in the world….” If one hates another because of race, color, religion, ethnicity or other factors, the result is more hate. Madiba said, “No one is born hating another person because of the colour of his skin, or his background, or his religion. People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite.” If hate is learned, it can also be unlearned. If love can be taught, it can be spread across the land.

We must follow Gandhi’s precept that if we must hate, we “hate the sin and not the sinner.” It is a tough precept to follow and live by. We have all been part of the problem and part of the solution at one time or another. If this is not true, then “He who is without sin should cast the first stone.” But now all of us have an opportunity  to become part of the grand solution to the political problems facing Ethiopia. It is a rare chance that comes once in generations. Let’s not squander it.

In William Shakespeare’s play Julius Caesar, Mark Antony as part of his funeral oration following the death of Caesar said, “The evil that men do lives after them; the good is oft interred with their bones…” Scripture teaches that “He that troubleth his own house shall inherit the wind: and the fool shall be servant to the wise of heart.” Those who have lived in hate and done evil in their lifetimes will have a testament in history for their deeds which will live long after they are dead and gone. If we obsess with the sinners, we will surely inherit the wind of those who have troubled their houses. We will inherit a tornadic wind that will tear the basic fabric and foundation of the Ethiopian nation. But if we focus our attention on the sin and together  atone for it, we stand to inherit democracy from the ashes of dictatorship; human rights from the depths of human wrongs; freedom from oppression, love from hate; reconciliation from animosity and forgiveness from rancor. Such are the wages of good. Those who hold the reign of power should realize that things cannot continue the way they are now. They have a simple choice to make; and in the words of  Robert Kennedy: “A revolution is coming — a revolution which will be peaceful if we are wise enough; compassionate if we care enough; successful if we are fortunate enough — But a revolution which is coming whether we will it or not. We can affect its character; we cannot alter its inevitability.” Why is it not possible to have a revolution in Ethiopia where we can all win because we are all on the side of freedom, democracy and human rights?

So, What Time Is It In Ethiopia Now?

Scripture teaches that there is “A time to love and a time to hate; a time for war and a time for peace.” So, what time is it in Ethiopia now? I say it is time for peace–high time to dream for peace. It is time to replace bitterness with reconciliation; hate with love that heals the community; revenge with forgiveness; despair with hope; hurt with healing; fear with courage; division with unity; doubt with faith; shame with honor;  deceit with candor and sincerity; anger with reason; cruelty with kindness and caring; enmity with friendship; duplicity with openness; complacency with action; indifference with passion; incivility with gracefulness; suspicion with trust; selfishness with altruism; dishonesty with integrity; convenience with virtue; cunning  with scruples; ignorance with knowledge; benightedness with imagination; acrimony with civility, desire with fulfillment and sniping and carping with with broad national dialogue. The time to talk and act is now!

Dreams of an Ethiopia at Peace: Roads to Goodness and Forgiveness

Madiba had a great dream for Africa. He said, “I dream of an Africa which is in peace with itself. I dream of the realization of unity of Africa whereby its leaders, some of whom are highly competent and experienced, can unite in their efforts to improve and to solve the problems of Africa.” Madiba said, “This must be a world of democracy and respect for human rights, a world freed from the horrors of poverty, hunger, deprivation and ignorance, relieved of the threat and the scourge of civil wars and external aggression and unburdened of the great tragedy of millions forced to become refugees.”

Madiba has always inspired me to have dreams of an Ethiopia at peace freed from the horrors of poverty, hunger, deprivation and ignorance and the scourge of civil wars. In September 2011, in one of my weekly commentaries I tried to pull together the pieces of my dream:

Ethiopia is today a dystopia–  a society that writhes under a dictatorship that trashes human rights and decimates all opposition ruthlessly. Last year, Zenawi told two high level U.S. Government officials what he will do to his opposition: “We will crush them with our full force.” All Ethiopians, regardless of ethnicity, language, religion, class or region must be able to imagine an Ethiopia where no petty tyrant will ever have the power or even the audacity to say he will “crush” another fellow citizen, or has the ability to use “full force” against any person just because he can. Ethiopians must be able to dream of a future free of ethnic strife, famine and oppression; and strive to work together for a little utopia in Ethiopia where might is NOT right but the rule of law shields the defenseless poor and voiceless against the slings and arrows of the criminally rich and powerful. It is true that Utopians aspire for the perfect society, but Ethiopians should aspire and work collectively for a society in which human rights are respected, the voice of the people are heard and accepted (not stolen), those to whom power is entrusted perform their duties with transparency and are held accountable to the law and people.

In my long-winded way, what I was trying to say was this: “Never, never and never again shall it be that this beautiful land will again experience the oppression of one by another.”

This past January, I spoke of the paradox of being a utopian Ethiopian:

Even utopian Ethiopians know that as we work for unity, they will be working double overtime for disunity. For every act done to create trust, they will fabricate ten acts to create suspicion and distrust. It is said that a thousand mile journey begins with the first step. In making its declaration, the OLF has taken a giant leap for all Ethiopians. Each one of us must now take our own small steps for our Ethiopianity (humanity before ethnicity or nationality).

My dream of Ethiopia at peace is a dream based on the idea that all Ethiopians need to be a little bit utopian. Madiba is the greatest utopian in living memory. He was utopian enough to say, “I have fought against white domination and I have fought against black domination. I have cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all persons live together in harmony and — and with equal opportunities. It is an ideal which I hope to live for and to achieve. But if needs be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die.” Yet, he was realistic  enough to warn that if discussions and negotiations fail to resolve issues, there could be alternatives dreadful to contemplate: “There are many people who feel that it is useless and futile for us to continue talking peace and non-violence – against a government whose only reply is savage attacks on an unarmed and defenceless people. And I think the time has come for us to consider, in the light of our experiences at this day at home, whether the methods which we have applied so far are adequate.” Is it futile to begin talking in Ethiopia now? To continue talking? To choose the path of nonviolence in the face of “savage attacks on an unarmed and defenceless people”? I think not.

It is plain to all that the present system of one-man, one-party, one-everything has no future in Ethiopia. It will come to an end peacefully or otherwise, sooner or later.  But we must learn from recent history. “Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable.” That is what happened in Libya not long ago, and is happening in Syria today. There is no need to make the mistakes made in Libya or Syria.

Madiba understood that the transition from Apartheid dictatorship to majority democratic rule must involve all South Africans, not just the elites and others whose aim is to become power contenders. Madiba said:

The people need to be consulted on who will negotiate and on the content of such negotiations. Negotiations cannot take place — Negotiations cannot take place above the heads or behind the backs of our people. It is our belief that the future of our country can only be determined by a body which is democratically elected on a non-racial basis. Negotiations on the dismantling of apartheid will have to address the overwhelming demands of our people for a democratic, non-racial and unitary South Africa. There must be an end to white monopoly on political power and a fundamental restructuring of our political and economic systems to ensure that the inequalities of apartheid are addressed and our society thoroughly democratized.

All Ethiopian political and civic leaders must understand that “the people need to be consulted” and the future of our country can only be determined by a body which is democratically elected on a non-ethnic basis. It is delusional to think that the one-man, one-party model will continue unchanged. It is dumb to think that the  clever, cunning and shrewd could outwit and out power play the rest and seize political power and continue the same old game of one-man, one-party, one-everything rule. It is wise to remember the saying that “you can fool all of the people some of the time and some of the people ofall of the time; but you cannot fool all of the people all of the time.” These days it is hard to fooll anybody. Those who may be scheming to play this game should give it up and not waste their time.  It is foolhardy to think that anything other than genuine multiparty democracy fortified by the rule of law, reinforced by respect for human rights and sustained by the good will of the people could bring peace to Ethiopia. Regardless, the one-man, one-party party that has been going on for the past 21 years is now over!

It is a Tough Job, But All of Us Have to Do it!

When Madiba was released from Pollsmoor Prison in 1990, his first public words were about the unity of all South Africans, not the evils of Apartheid or the crimes and inhuman acts committed by one race over the other. Madiba said uniting the people is job one on day one:

The need to unite the people of our country is as important a task now as it always has been. No individual leader is able to take on this enormous task on his own. It is our task as leaders to place our views before our organization and to allow the democratic structures to decide on the way forward. On the question of democratic practice, I feel duty-bound to make the point that a leader of the movement is a person who has been democratically elected at a national conference. This is a principle which must be upheld without any exceptions.”

No individual leader or single organization in Ethiopia can take on the enormous task of uniting the people. It is the task of all leaders of political organizations, faith institutions, civic associations, youth and women’s groups and others to inspire the people to come together, to unite and to dream together about a new Ethiopia where no one shall again experience the oppression of one by another. It is impossible to unite the people without  detoxifying the conversation and abandoning the obsession about one man. To do what Madiba did in South Africa, we must commit to the important task now, and that is “uniting the people of our country.”

My Birthday Present to Madiba

Last week Archbishop Desmond Tutu said that “the  greatest gift we can give Madiba is to follow his  example.” So I shall give him Madiba his birthday gift by pledging to walk in his footsteps. I am eternally grateful to Madiba for what he has done for all humanity. His words and deeds have inspired me not only to speak truth to power and dream about a bright future for Ethiopia and Africa, but also to begin teaching, preaching and reaching out to all to begin a journey on the road to forgiveness and goodness. I understand Madiba’s way does not come with an iron clad guarantee of success, but I have yet to find another way that could lead to a durable peace in Ethiopia but the ways of forgiveness and goodness. I could be wrong, but I would rather take the wrong turn on Madiba’s road than take the road to nowhere because that is the alternative. Some may think I am just a naïve and gullible lawyer whose head swoons in the clouds of the ivory tower. I should like to think I have my feet firmly planted in the ground.

I do hope that there will be people who will agree with me that I am right in following Madiba’s example. Perhaps they may even consider joining me on that long and hard road despite their fears of being sneered and jeered along the way. But I shall travel that road in Madiba’s footsteps alone if I must. Henry David Thoreau said, “If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away.” And if I should get tired walking alone, I will just limp along behind the millions of Ethiopians who will be marching on Madiba’s way lockstep to the drumbeat of freedom, democracy, dignity and peace. But before rushing to judge me harshly or kindly, forget not that I am just a utopian Ethiopian. “Some men see things and say, ‘Why?’ But I dream things that never were; and I say, ‘Why not?’”.  Why not walk in Madiba’s footsteps? Why not dream of Ethiopia with her children at peace? Why not outdream each other about what is possible, viable and attainable in beautiful Ethiopia? Let us all become utopian Ethiopians! Why not?

Happy 94th Madiba! Long Live Madiba!  Long Live Nelson Mandela! Long Live Ethiopia!

የስልጣን ሽግግር በተመለከተ የወያኔ ሕገ መንግሥት አንቀጽ ክፍተት አለበት ተባለ

Sunday, July 22nd, 2012

አቶ ዮሐንስ ወልደ ገብርኤል፣ የሕግ ባለሙያ
አቶ ዮሐንስ ወልደ ገብርኤል አዲስ አበባ በቅሎ ቤት አካባቢ ነው የተወለዱት፡፡  የመጀመርያ ደረጃና ሁለተኛ ደ

“ጉልቻ ቢለውጥ ወጥ አያጣፍጥም” (የኢትዮጵያን ሪቪው ወቅታዊ ርዕሰ አንቀጽ)

Sunday, July 22nd, 2012

 “ጉልቻ ቢለውጥ ወጥ አያጣፍጥም” የኢትዮጵያን ሪቪው ወቅታዊ ርዕሰ አንቀጽ   በፒ.ዲ.ኤፍ. ለማንበብ እዚህ ላይ ይጫኑ በኢትዮጵያ ላይ እንደ አልቅት ተጣብቆ የህዝቡን ደም እየመጠጠ፣ እየገደለ፣ እያሰቃየና የፈለገውን እያደረገ ለሃያ አንድ ዓመታት በሥልጣን ላይ የቆየው ቅጥረኛው፣ ጎሰኛው፣ አምባገነኑና ዘራፊው የህወሃት አገዘዝ ቁንጮ መለስ ዜናዊ በስልጣን ላይ ቢቆይም ወይም በትረ ስልጣኑን ለሌላ ወያኔ ቢያስተላልፈው፣ አጠቃላዩ የአፈናውና የግፈኛው ሥርዓት [...]

ፍትህ ጋዜጣ እንዳትሰራጭ ታገደች

Sunday, July 22nd, 2012

Tweet(ፍትህ – ተመስገን ደሳለኝ) በትላ ንትናው ዕለት ለስርጭት መብቃት የነበረባት ፍትህ የጠቅላይ ሚንስትሩን መታተም ተከትሎ በተፈጠረው የስልጣን ትግል እያሸነፈ በመጣው አክራሪ ሀይል ተስተጓጉላ የነበረ ቢሆንም በማግስቱ እንድትታተም ተፈቅዷል ተብሎ ታተመች፡፡ ትላንት ከምሽቱ 2 ሰዓት ላይም ሙሉ በሙሉ ታትማም አለቀች፡፡ ነገር ግን አንባቢያን እጅ ልትደርስ አልቻለችም፡፡ ምክንያቱ ደግሞ (በዛው ኃይል ትዕዛዛ ይመስለኛል) በአቃቢ ህግ ብርሃኑ ወንድምአገኝ [...]

From an Ethiopian Muslim to Ethiopian Christians

Sunday, July 22nd, 2012

By Bilal Mohammed

By now most of you have most probably heard of the peaceful questions that we Ethiopian Muslims are raising. In simple terms we are asking for independent religious representatives (known us Mejlis) to be elect by us in the mosques . The seventeen committee members elected as representatives in this quest have tried to persuade the government to solve this easy problem. In the process, we have strongly supported them by signing petitions from cities and villages from all over Ethiopia and abroad.

The committee and the protestors have made it clear that our questions are religious and religious only. We never asked anything that can threaten or even can be in the disadvantage of the Ethiopian non-Muslims. In fact, our wise committee members and the protestors at large have made sure that even in the very outrageous situation, we keep peaceful methods as our only means of struggle. Like any other citizens, we are citizens, hence no other group, including the government itself has a basis to claim that they are better concerned about our country’s peace and stability.

Despite this, the protestors had to endure deliberate false accusations from the unelected Mejlis and the government. They call the protestors “a few terrorist individuals who want to overthrow the constitution by force”. The imaginary “terrorist” word does not need explanation, we have recently witnessed journalists being called “terrorists”. As you might have seen the videos of last Friday, the more than a million protestors cannot be considered “a few”. And at this moment who is unconstitutional: the people who are going to the mosque and showing their disapproval of the Mejlis in a peaceful manner or the people in power who authorize brutal means including using teargas and lethal weapons against innocent citizens in the mosque? How do you feel if your young child, helpless old mother or father was a victim of such an attack?

No political party taught us Ethiopian Muslims and Christians how to be tolerant amongst one another. Our parents and grand parents did not have ETV and Federal police as a peace-keeping force. What they had was the beautiful culture that we inherited, exercise today and proudly talk about.

The divide and rule method is an old strategy that colonial powers applied against the citizens of their colonies. Sadly, we see this method being applied by people who claim to protect the constitution against their people. There is no need to explain the damage of the divide and rule strategy if we were not the people we are. But they seem relentless and they keep on trying.

No one is immune from being part of history, it is only a matter of how good or bad. The question is: are we going to persist in our unity, or fall for the lies of politicians and disintegrate. We have the opportunity to make a shiny history, to join hands and root out dictatorship once and for all.

Dear Christian Ethiopians,

I would like to call upon you to independently seek for information on the matter. It is my strong belief that you will easily understand our peaceful question and can contribute to change it from an Ethiopian Muslims only question to an Ethiopian question. After all, we are part of the motherland who share its joy and pain.

At this historic moment, please let us discuss the manners and the means to express support. An example is to create awareness to strengthen unity, influence relatives who are part of security forces not to cooperate in illegal and brutal suppression, spread the word so that the outside world hears it.

(The writer can be reached at

ቃሌ የመወያያ ክፍል 5 የፖለቲካ ፓርቲዎችን ጁላይ 28 ቀን ለውይይት ጋበዘ

Sunday, July 22nd, 2012

Tweet(ዘ-ሐበሻ) በፓልቶክ ውስጥ ካሉት በርከት ያሉት የመወያያ ክፍሎች መካከል አንዱና ግንባር ቀደሙ የሆነው ቃሌ የመወያያ ክፍል 5 የተቃዋሚ የፖለቲካ ፓርቲዎችን በጁላይ 28 ቀን 2012 በወቅታዊ ጉዳዮች ላይ ለማወያየት መጋበዙን ለዘ-ሐበሻ በላኩት ጥሪ አስታወቁ። የጥሪውን ሙሉ ቃል እንደሚከተለው አቅርበናል። July 21, 2012 ለተከበራችሁ፡ የጥምረት ለነጻነት ለእኩልነትና ለፍትህ በኢትዮጵያ የኦሮሞ ነጻነት ግንባር የኢትዮጵያ ሕዝብ የጋራ ትግል ሸንጎ [...]

Woyanne police clash with Ethiopian Muslim protesters (Reuters)

Saturday, July 21st, 2012

(Reuters) – Ethiopian Woyanne junta police clashed on Saturday with scores of Muslims protesters complaining that the state is interfering in their religion, witnesses and officials said.

The protesters, some wearing masks, blocked the entrance of the Anwar Mosque in the west of the capital Addis Ababa and hurled stones at riot police who had surrounded the compound after noon prayers.

“Police broke inside the mosque and arrested many people, including several members of the (protest organising) committee. They also fired teargas at protesters outside,” said an activist who declined to be named for fear of reprisals.

Another witness said he had seen empty tear gas canisters strewn on the ground. It was not immediately possible to verify these reports.

Thousands of Muslims have staged sporadic street protests in the capital since late last year, arguing that the government is promoting an alien branch of Islam, the Al Ahbash sect, which is avowedly apolitical and has numerous adherents in the United States.

The government denies promoting Al Ahbash, but is determined to prevent Islamic militancy spilling over from neighbouring Sudan or lawless Somalia.

Around 60 percent of Ethiopians are Christian and 30 percent Muslim, mostly of the moderate, pragmatic Sufi tradition.

Diplomats and analysts say there could be potential for any militant groups to exploit sectarian divisions and trigger violence.

The government accuses “extremist elements” of sparking violence at the protests.

Government spokesman Shimeles Kemal said police had arrested ‘several’ people on Saturday but denied that police had used teargas.

“These were masked assailants from extremist groups that prevented mosque attendants from leaving the compound after the completion of noon prayers,” he said.

“They tried to incite violence, they threw stones and damaged property.”

Activists have reported several deaths during previous clashes, but no casualties were reported on Saturday.

Al Ahbash, also known as the Association of Islamic Charitable Projects, was founded in the early 1980s by Sheikh Abdullah al Harrari, an Ethiopian cleric who was forced to leave his country for Lebanon in 1950.

The protesters say the government is promoting the ideas of the group through Ethiopia’s highest Muslim body, the Supreme Council on Islamic Affairs, and preventing overdue elections that could bring alternative views onto the Council.

Shimeles denied that the government was trying to influence Muslim affairs. “Our constitution bans any government interference in religion,” he said.

Shocking beatings of Ethiopian Muslims by TPLF goons (video)

Saturday, July 21st, 2012

The Woyanne junta security forces on Saturday savagely attacked unarmed peaceful Ethiopian Muslims who were protesting the regime’s intervention in their religion. Watch the video below:

በፍጥነት እንሰብሰብ (አክሎግ ቢራራ)

Saturday, July 21st, 2012

ዶ/ር አክሎግ ቢራራ በቁጥር ሰባት የደመደምኩት፤ አገርን ከአስከፊ አደጋ ለመከላከል ከተፈለገ፤ መላውን የኢትዮጵያ ሕዝብ ለሰው ርህራሄ ከሌለው፤ ዘርፎ ለዘራፊ ዳራጊ ከሆነ የዘረኛ ስርአት አላቆ ለፍትሃዊ አማራጭ የሚቨጁ አገር አቀፍ ተቋሞችን መገንባት ያስፈልጋል። አለበለዚያ፤ አገራችን ሁልጊዜ ያልተረጋጋ ች ሆና ትቆያለች፤ ህዝቧም በድህነት አለንጋ ሲገረፍ፤ ወጣቱ ሲስደድ ይኖራል። መፍትሄው በእጃችን ነው። ይህን አስፈላጊ ለውጥ ለማድረግ የባህል፤ በመጀመሪያ፤ [...]

Eyewitness account of savage beatings in Addis Ababa

Saturday, July 21st, 2012

An eyewitness tells Ethiopian Review about the savage beatings of Ethiopian Muslims in Addis Ababa today.

July 21, 10 AM PM EST
The Woyanne junta security forces are savagely beating and rounding up young Muslims in the streets of Addis Ababa. Muslim leaders are also being rounded up. Anwar Mosque is under siege.  Shops are being closed… [read more]
July 20, 8:00 PM EST
The Woyanne junta has charged Ethiopian Muslim leaders with terrorism today in court… [read more]

July 20, 6:00 PM EST
At the Anwar Mosque in Ethiopia’s capital Addis Ababa today over 1.5 million Ethiopian Muslims protested silently and peacefully against the Woyanne junta’s intervention in their religion. The regime has arrested several Mulsim leaders, but its action caused even more anger from Muslim Ethiopians… follow updates here

[Source: Ethiopian Review]

ESAT: Azeb Mesfin driver defects

Saturday, July 21st, 2012

Azeb Mesfin arrives in Rome; Sebhat Nega back on the TPLF saddle

Friday, July 20th, 2012

Ethiopian Review has received information that Ethiopian dictator Meles Zenawi’s wife, Azeb Mesfin, went to Rome, Italy, last night. Two days ago, we had reported that she received an Italian visa.

It is believed that Azeb left the country to escape from Sebhat Nega whom she forced out of the ruling party’s top leadership in 2009 [read here]. She also kicked him out of his chairmanship of the multibillion-dollar conglomerate named Endowment Fund for the Rehabilitation of Tigray (EFFORT) around the same time.

Ever since Meles Zenawi’s absence in the past two weeks, Sebhat Nega has been trying to come back as the TPLF kingmaker. It was Sebhat who engineered Meles Zenawi’s rise to power and he was the second most powerful figure in the ruling party until he was humiliated and kicked out by Azeb.

Sebhat is said to have the support of key TPLF leaders, including Tsegaye Berhe, Abay Woldu, Gen. Se’are Mekonnen, and Getachew Assefa, among others.

Sebhat Nega has no interest to replace Meles Zenawi, according to observers, but he wants to restore his honor and reclaim his status as the kingmaker.

Although Meles’s choice as the next TPLF chief is Berhane Gebrekiristos, Sebhat is vehemently against it, our sources said.

In the midst of all this power struggle inside the ruling party, the regime currently has no leader. The so-called “deputy prime minister,” Hailemariam Desallegn, is a puppet with no power. He is currently in China to attend some meeting. That could be an excuse for him NOT to get caught in the middle of a potentially bloody power struggle among his TPLF masters.


ENTC seeks diplomatic recognition from the U.S. government

Friday, July 20th, 2012

20 JULY 2012

Ethiopian National Transitional Council asks for diplomatic recognition from the U.S. government

The newly formed Ethiopian National Transitional Council (ENTC) has submitted a formal letter to U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton requesting a de jure diplomatic recognition from the U.S. Government.

The letter was submitted to Secretary Clinton by the ENTC’s diplomatic representative in the U.S., Ato Solomon Ephrem.

In the letter, the ENTC states its mission, explains the worsening political, economic and security crisis in Ethiopia, and urges the U.S. Government to help with a peaceful transition to democracy.

The U.S. Government is the first country that the Transitional Council has asked for a diplomatic recognition since it was founded at a 3-day conference in Dallas, Texas, that was convened from July 1 – 3, 2012 with the participation of representatives from over 30 cities and countries.

The Transitional Council plans to submit similar requests to several countries through its diplomatic representatives in the coming few weeks.


For more info:
ENTC Foreign Relations
85 S. Bragg St. Alexandria VA, 22312 USA
Tel: 202-735-4262

Woyanne arrests Muslim leaders ahead of Friday prayer

Friday, July 20th, 2012

The Woyanne junta has been arresting Ethiopian Muslims leaders ahead of the Friday prayer today. The detainees yesterday include Imam Sayd Ali… state tuned for more updates

[Some of the detained Ethiopian Muslim leaders]

Meles Zenawi is said to be dead – multiple sources

Friday, July 20th, 2012

An Ethiopian Airlines employee, who wants to remain anonymous, informed Ethiopian Review this afternoon that Ethiopia’s dictator Meles Zenawi has died 4 days ago. But according to our sources, his bodyguards are still at St. Luc Hospital in Belgium. If Meles is dead, what are they doing in Belgium? Is it a diversionary tactic?

When asked how he found out the information, the EAL employee said that he overheard it by accident on Monday from senior airline officials who are members of the ruling party. He added that he receives Ethiopian Review email updates regularly and decided to contact us with this information after hearing Bereket Simon’s interview this morning and was offended by what he heard.

Coupled with similar information we have been receiving since Sunday from several credible sources, the story about the dictator’s death is gaining more credence by the day.

Woyanne propaganda chief Bereket Simon’s press conference this morning (watch below) raised more questions than answers. Observers speculate that the Woyanne junta could be keeping the dictator’s death secret because there is a growing dissatisfaction with Meles Zenawi’s choice of Berhane Gebrekristos as his successor.

Western money keeps Ethiopians poor, oppressed

Friday, July 20th, 2012

Donor Dollars aiding political repression in Ethiopia

By Graham Peebles |

July 16, 2012

An ideological poison is polluting all life within Ethiopia, flowing into every area of civil society. Local governance, urban and rural neighbourhoods, farming, education and the judiciary all are washed in Revolutionary Democracy’, the doctrine of the ruling party. Human Rights Watch (HRW) in their detailed report ‘Development without Freedom’ (DWF) quote Ethiopia’s Prime Minister for the last twenty years Meles Zenawi explaining that “when Revolutionary Democracy permeates the entire society, individuals will start to think alike and all persons will cease having their own independent outlook. In this order, individual thinking becomes simply part of collective thinking because the individual will not be in a position to reflect on concepts that have not been prescribed by Revolutionary Democracy.” A society of automatons is the EPRDF vision, The Borg Collective in the Horn of Africa, men women and children of the seventy or so tribal groups of Ethiopia all dancing to one repressive tune sung by the ruling EPRDF.

Dollars and nonsense

Ethiopia receives around $3 billion dollars in long-term development aid each year (second only to Indonesia); this is more than a third of the country’s total annual budget. Funds and resources donated to support the needy, in the hands of the Zenawi regime are being employed as a means of manipulating the Ethiopian people along partisan ideological lines. HRW states in DWF, “the Ethiopian government is using development aid as a tool of political repression by conditioning access to essential government services on support for the ruling party.”

The EPRDF has complete control of funds donated to Ethiopia by the Development Assistance Group (DAG), a consortium of the main donors, including the World Bank, USA, the European Commission and Britain. The government holds the purse strings of every dollar and cent allocated for the four major areas of development work: Protection of Basic Services (PBS), the Productive Safety Net Programme, Public Sector Capacity Building and the General Education Quality Improvement.

The largest single donor is the USA, which in 2011 according to US state department figures “provided $847 million in assistance, including more than $323 million in food aid.” The European Commission gives 400 million and Britain, via the Department Foreign Investment and Development (DFID) has committed £331million ($516million) per year until 2015. The British taxpayers’ pounds according to DFID “will meet the needs of the very poorest and support proven results-driven programmes that will bring healthcare, education and water to millions of people.” Well intentioned perhaps, however in attempting to ‘meet the needs of the very poorest’, as DFID claim, HRW research found that all international development aid, “flows through, and directly supports, a virtual one-party state with a deplorable human rights record, [whose] practices include jailing and silencing critics and media, enacting laws to undermine human rights activity, and hobbling the political opposition.” Facts well known to donors, who are content it seems to allow, indeed support the politicization of aid, a catalogue of human rights violations and the widespread suppression of the people,forced to live in an ideological straight jacket fastened tight by agents of the Zenawi government, at national, regional and community level.

Conditional support

The EPRDF government controls all areas of government and civil society in Ethiopia, from the judiciary to the classroom, the media to the farm, telecommunication and the banks.

The EPRDF controls all areas of government and civil society in Ethiopia, from the judiciary to the classroom, the media to the farm, telecommunication and the banks. Its reach into urban neighborhoods and rural communities was greatly increased before the 2008 elections, when the number of seats in the woreda and kebele were expanded from 15 to 300. Only the EPRDF was able to field candidates in all councils and with opposition parties largely boycotting the unfair elections, the EPRDF ‘won’ over 99.9% of the seats, meaning as HRW state “the ruling party had total control of the rural majority of the Ethiopian population.”

Through the regional offices of the woreda and kebele the government exercises its ability to control ordinary rural and urban Ethiopians; it is here that the administration of daily life takes place. Local offices approve or reject, applications from farmers for seeds and fertilizer, decide on micro credit support, distribute food to the needy (10 – 20 million rely on food aid), allocate education and employment opportunities, issue business permits and ID cards. The result, as HRW state is “state/party officials have significant influence over the livelihoods of citizens.” An understatement, in fact they govern all aspects of life, within the city or the village, for the teacher or the judge, the women seeking to start a small business, or the Mother desperate to feed her family. All are at the mercy of government officials.

Emergency food relief is given as part of the PBS program, a highly expensive complex development scheme, which assigns around $1 billion a year reports HRW, in a “block grant to the federal government,” they disperse the funds through their kebele’s and woreda offices. Distribution is based not on need, but on political association, support the opposition groups in Ethiopia and find your name scratched from the food aid list and go hungry, HRW found “the partisan allocation of food aid, [is] a problem that has been anecdotally reported in many areas and over many years in Ethiopia, especially in recent years in Somali region.” Such political discrimination of food aid distribution is not only immoral; it is in violation of international law. Farmers who Express dissent towards the government have the agricultural seeds and fertilizer needed to grow crops for their family and community withheld, voice concern over local governance as a teacher and find your career destroyed and your job taken away. HRW found “the EPRDF controls every woreda in the country, and can discriminate against any household or kebele within these administrative areas.” Given such repressive illegal actions it is inexplicable that the DFID in its Plan For Ethiopia (PFE) state the government shows “a strong commitment to fight corruption.” What the EPRDF shows is a strong commitment to suppress dissent, silence all critical voices and control the people utterly.

Big Ethiopian brother

Ethiopia is a one party state, with no freedom of speech, or assembly nor freedom of the media and where opposition forces critical of the government are silenced in the most brutal fashion. It is puzzling then, that the DFID (PFE) states, “Ethiopia has also made some progress toward establishing a functioning democracy,” It is certainly not an image of democracy recognizable to anyone who holds human rights and freedom of expression central to such an ideal and is contradicted by USAID’s statement in its Strategy Plan for Ethiopia where they acknowledge the“$13 million+ that USAID/Ethiopia invested between 2006 and 2010 specifically to promote democratic transition produced little in the way of tangible results, and specific programs have been the subject of stalling and even outright hostility.” The DFID however, go on to compound the misrepresentation asserting, “Ethiopia has achieved a strong degree of political stability through decentralized regional government.” If by ‘stability’ the DFID mean lack of popular resistance to imposed governance, through the fearful subjugation of the people, then yes this the EPRDF has succeeded in doing.

Opposition to the government is not tolerated nor is there decentralized governance, as Thomas Staal, USAID Mission Director to Ethiopia recently stated, and “the [Ethiopian] government wants to be able to control political space very carefully The kebele, woreda and sub kebele’s are extensions of central government, carrying out the divisive partisan policies of the EPRDF, the sole expression of democratic principles in Ethiopia are those found within constitutional articles, that sit neatly filed upon ministerial shelves, collecting dust, as HRW make clear “democracy [is] a hollow concept in a country steered by a powerful party-driven government in which the distinction between party and state is almost impossible to define.” And In their report “One Hundred Ways of Putting Pressure Violations of Freedom of Expression and Association in Ethiopia“ HRW echo USAID’s comment, observing that “despite the lip service given to democracy and human rights, respect for core civil and political rights such as freedom of expression and association in Ethiopia is deteriorating.” DFID officials it seems have been duped by a plethora of conformist federal laws and signatures to multiple international treatises, into accepting the word of a government that terrifies its people and tramples on international human rights law.

Partisan monitoring

Not only are all key development programs implemented by the EPRDF, but also monitoring is also undertaken in partnership with government agencies. Objective accurate monitoring is essential in determining the effectiveness of development programs; it is difficult to see how unbiased data can be collected under such highly restrictive circumstances.  HRW makes the point that “donors should recognize that Ethiopia’s own accountability systems are moribund, and that the principal barrier to detecting distortion is the Ethiopian government.” Their view that independent monitoring “is needed (without the participation of the Ethiopian Government)” is clearly correct and the bare minimum donors should insist on.

In its wisdom however, the DFID – a key donor, whilst recognizing the importance of monitoring appears happy to rely on the Ethiopian government, in which they naively invest such trust. They plan to “continue to monitor progress using national data drawn from administrative and survey sources,” i.e. the Ethiopian government. This demonstration of neglect by the DFID is an abdication of duty not only to British taxpayers, but also to the people of Ethiopia, who the EPRDF, with the help of international donors, continue to suppress and intimidate. They cannot and should not be trusted, HRW Deputy Director Jan England’s Open Letter to DFID Secretary of State Andrew Mitchell makes this plain, “the Ethiopian government is extremely resistant to scrutiny the British government and other donors to Ethiopia should not allow the Ethiopian government to dictate the terms on which British public money is monitored, and every effort should be made to prevent British development aid from strengthening authoritarian rule and repression.”

Ideological imposition

At the core of the EPRDF’s suppression and disregard for human rights is an ideological obsession. Revolutionary Democracy. Evangelical party political indoctrination takes place in within schools, teacher training institutions, the civil service and the judiciary. All contrary to international law, the Ethiopian constitution and federal laws, composed to conform to universal legal standards, conveniently cited by politician and diplomats, ignored and unenforced they mean nothing to the people.

School children above grade 10 (aged 15/16 years) are required to attend training sessions in the party ideology, policies on economic development, land sales and education. Admission to university, although not legally the case is implicitly dependent upon membership of the party, HRW found “students were under the impression that they needed party membership cards to gain admission to university.” The EPRDF stamp is also required to secure government jobs after graduation. All teachers, civil servants and judges are under pressure to tow the party line, to join the EPRDF and follow its doctrine, failure to do so impacts on employment and career prospects. Ethiopia’s largest donor, the USA, in the State Department human rights country report for 2011 notes, “Students in schools and universities were indoctrinated in the core precepts of the ruling EPDRF party’s concept of “revolutionary democracy…. the ruling party “stacks” student enrolment at Addis Ababa University… Authorities did not permit teachers at any level to deviate from official lesson plans and actively prohibited partisan political activity and association of any kind.”

Educational brainwashing of course contravenes the Ethiopian constitution, which clearly states in Article 90/2 “Education shall be provided in a manner that is free from any religious influence, political partisanship or cultural prejudice.” Words, righteous and legally binding are of no concern to Zenawi, his ministers, foreign diplomats and the cadres or spies who patrol the city neighbourhoods, university campus and civil service offices, infiltrate villages and towns of rural Ethiopia intimidating and blackmailing the people. International donors however, should be deeply concerned and take urgent actions to stop such violations of national and international law and the politicisation of aid distribution including emergency food relief.

Mixed Motives distorted action

Western governments reasons for providing development aid to Ethiopia are both humanitarian and strategic, USAID in its country plan, calls Ethiopia “the most strategically important partner in the region,” and the DFID states, “Ethiopia matters to the UK for a range of development, foreign policy and security reasons.”

Regional stability and the ‘fight against terrorism’ is cited as justification for continuing to support the EPRDF, in spite of extensive human rights abuses, the partisan distribution of aid and state terrorism. In fact, far from bringing stability to the area, the Zenawi regime is a cause of instability, this Anna Gomez makes plain “the Al-Shabab militia [Islamist group in Somalia] have only grown stronger [emphasis mine] and survival has been made more difficult since Ethiopian troops invaded in 2006, at the behest of George W. Bush.”

With conflicting interests, some might say corrupt and corrupting, donor countries find themselves funding a deeply repressive violent regime, enabling a coordinated policy of ideological indoctrination to take place, as HRW found “the government has used donor-supported programs, salaries, and training opportunities as political weapons to control the population, punish dissent, and undermine political opponents” Western donors silence and complicity in the face of such violations of international law is as Anna Gomez rightly says in the Bureau of Investigative Journalism 4th August 2011 “letting down all those who fight for justice and democracy and increasing the potential for conflict in Ethiopia and in Africa.”

The politicization and manipulation of aid distribution by the EPRDF violates international law and all standards of moral decency. Those providing aid must take urgent action to ensure this illegal practice comes to an end. Donors are well aware of the human rights abuses taking place, but have turned a blind eye to the repression of civil and political rights and a deaf ear to the cries of the many for justice and freedom. Western governments silence amounts to collusion; it is a gross misuse of taxpayer’s money and a betrayal, of international human rights laws and the Ethiopian people.

Graham is Director of The Create Trust, a UK registered charity, supporting fundamental social change and the human rights of individuals in acute need.

የመለስ ዜናዊ የጤና ሁኔታ ውዥንብር

Thursday, July 19th, 2012

በጥሩ የጤና ሁኔታ ላይ እንደሚገኙ ማስታወቁን የሃገር ውስጥና የውጭ የዚና ወኪሎች ዘግበዋል ። ስለ ጠቅላይ ሚኒስትር መለስ የጤና ሁኔታ ለማጣራት ዶቼቬለ የኢትዮጵያ መንግሥት ባለሥልጣናትንም ሆነ የቤልጂግ የውጭ ጉዳይ ሚኒስቴርን ሃላፊዎችን ለማነጋገር ያደረገው ሙከራ አልተሳካም።

የኢትዮጵያ ጠቅላይ ሚኒስትር አቶ መለስ ዜናዊ መታመማቸውና ህክምና ላይ የመሆናቸው ጭምጭምታ መሰማት ከጀመረ ጥቂት ወራት ተቆጥረዋል ። የጤናቸው ሁኔታ አነጋጋሪነት ተጠናክሮ የቀጠለው ግን መለስ ሰኔ መጨረሻ ላይ በኢትዮጵያ የህዝብ ተወካዮች ምክር ቤት ስበሰባ ላይ ሳያገኙና በኃላም ባለፈው ሳምንት እሁድና ሠኞ በተካሄደው የአፍሪቃ ህብረት የመሪዎች ጉባኤ ላይ ሳይካፈሉ ከቀሩ በኋላ ነው ። ባላፈው ሳምንት መጨረሻ ላይ ደገሞ ብራስልስ ቤልጅየም ውስጥ በሚገኝ ሉክ በተባለ ሆስፒታል ታከሙ የተባሉት አቶ መለስ ሳያርፉ አልቀረም የሚሉ መላምቶችም መሰንዘር ጀምረው ነበር ። እነዚህን የመሳሰሉ የተለያዩ አስተያየቶች ከተለያዩ ምንጮች ሲሰሙ ከኢትዮጵያ መንግሥት በኩል ስለ ጠቅላይ ሚኒስትር መለስ የጤና ሁኔታ ምንም ነገር ሳይባል መታመማቸው በአፍሪቃ ህብረት ጉባኤ ወቅት ነበር በይፋ የተነገረው። በአዲሱ የአፍሪቃ የልማት አጋርነት ወይም ኔፓድ ስበሰባ መክፈቻ ላይ የሴኔጋሉ ፕሬዝዳንት ማክ ሳሊ መለስ በጤና እክል ምክንያት አለመገኘታቸውን ካሳወቁ በኋላ የኢትዮጵያ ምክትል ጠቅላይ ሚኒስትር ኃይለ ማርያም ደሳለኝ ብሉምበርግ ለተባለው የመገናኛ ብዙሃን በሰጡት ቃለ ምልልስ አቶ መለስ ከባድ ሳይሆን ቀላል ህመም እንዳጋጠማቸው ፣ እንደማንኛውም ስው ህክምና እንደሚያስፈልጋቸውና በቅርቡም እንደሚመለሱ ተናግረዋል ። የፈረንሳይ ዜና አገልግሎት ኤ.ኤፍ.ፒ ትንንት ባሰራጨው ዜና ግን የኢትዮጵያ ጠቅላይ ሚኒስትር አቶ መለስ ዜናዊ በጠና ታመው ብራሰልስ ቤልጅየም ውስጥ በሚገኝ ሆስፒታል ህክምና እንድተደረገላቸው አንዳንድ ዲፕሎማቶች መናገራቸውን አስታውቋል። በዚሁ ዘገባ የ 57 ዓመቱ የአቶ መለስ የጤና ሁኔታ አስጊ መሆኑ ተጠቁሟል ። ሆኖም የኢትዮጵያ መንግሥት ቃል አቀባይ አቶ በረከት ስምኦን፦ አቶ መለስ «በጠና አልታመሙም፤ ጤናቸውም በጥሩ ሁኔታ ላይ ይገኛል» ማለታቸዉን ኤ.ኤፍ.ፒ. በዘገባው ጠቅሷል።

አቶ መለስ ብራሰልስ ውስጥ ህክምና እየተደረገላቸው ስለመሆን አለመሆኑ በብራሰልስ የኢትዮጵያ ኤምባሲ ማብራሪያ እንዲሰጠን ከዶቼቬለ የአማርኛዉ ክፍል ከትናንት በስተያ ላቀረብነዉ ጥያቄ፦- ኤምባሲዉ በኢሜይል በላከልን መልስ፤ አቶ መለስ በህክምና ላይ ናቸው መባሉን «ሃሰትና ስህተት» በማለት ገልፆ ታመሙ የሚለዉን ዜና «የሃሰት ታሪኮችን በማሰራጨት በተጠመዱና በተወሰኑ ወገኖች የተፈጠረ» በማለት አጣጥሎታል። ኤምባሲው ይህን ቢልም የፈረንሳይ ዜና አገልግሎት ግን አቶ መለስ ለተወሰኑ ቀናት ብራሰልስ ከሚገኙት ዋና ዋና ሆስፒታሎች በአንዱ በግል መደበኛ ህክምና እንደተደረገላቸው ብራሰልስ የሚገኙ አንዳንድ ዲፕሎማቶች መናገራቸውን አስታውቋል።

ዶቼቬለ ስለ መለስ የጤና ሁኔታ ከኢትዮጵያ መንግሥት ባለሥልጣናት መረጃ ለማግኘት ከዚህ ሳምንት መጀመሪያ አንስቶ በተደጋጋሚ ያደረገው ሙከራ አልተሳካም ። አቶ መለስ ብራሰልስ መታከም አለመታከማቸውን እንዲያረጋግጥ ዶቼቬለ ለቤልጂግ ውጭ ጉዳይ ሚኒስቴር መስሪያ ቤት ጥያቄ ቢያቀርብም የመስሪያ ቤቱ ምክትል ቃል አቃባይ በዚህ ጉዳይ ላይ ምንም ዓይነት መግለጫ ሆነ ማስተባበያም እንደማይሰጡን ነው በስልክ የነገሩን ። ሆኖም ሪፖርተር ጋዜጣ ጠቅላይ ሚኒስትሩ በመጪዎቹ ጥቂት ቀናት ውስጥ የውጭ ሕክምና ክትትላቸውን ጨርሰው ወደኢትዮጵያ እንደሚመለሱ የምንጮቹን ማንነት ሳይገልፅ ዘግቧል። በዚሁ ዘገባ እንደተጠቆመው መለስ፣ ወደአገራቸው ሲመለሱ ወዲያውኑ ሥራ እንደማይጀምሩና ለተወሰኑ ጊዜያት ካለባቸው ከባድ ኃላፊነት ርቀው ዕረፍት እንዲያደርጉ በሐኪሞቻቸው መመከራቸውን ማንነታቸውን ካልጠቀሳቸው ምንጮች መስማቱን ሪፖርተር አስታውቋል። የሕመማቸውም ምክንያትም የሥራጫና መሆኑ ነው የተመለከተው ።ይህን መረጃ ግን ከመንግሥት ባለሥልጣናት ማረጋገጥ አልቻልንም።

ጠቅላይ ሚኒስትሩ ሕክምናቸውን ሲከታተሉበት የቆዩበት አገር ለደኅንነታቸው ሲባል እንዳይገለጽ ጠይቀዋል ያላቸው ምንጮቹ፣ ከፍተኛ የመንግሥት ባለሥልጣናት መለስን ያሉበት ድረስ ሄደው እንደጎበኙዋቸውም ዘግቧል። ላለፉት 21 ዓመታት ኢትዮጵያን በፕሬዝዳትነት እንዲሁም በጠቅላይ ሚኒስትርነት የመሩት አቶ መለስ ዜናዊ 20 ዓመት ሳይሞላቸው ነበር የህክምና ትምህርታቸውን አቋርጠው የደርግ መንግሥትን ለመውጋት የትግራይ ህዝብ ነፃ አውጭ ግንባር ህወሀትን የተቀላቀሉት። በ1981 ዓም የግንባሩን መሪነት የተረከቡት መለስ ከዓመታት በኋላ ግንባሩ ከሌሎች ድርጅቶች ጋር ተዋህዶ የመሰረተው፣ የአሁኑ ገዥ ፓርቲ የኢትዮጵያ ህዝቦች አብዮታዊ ዲሞክራሲያዊ ግንባር ኢህአዲግ ሊቀመንበርም ናቸው። በተቃዋሚዎችና በሰበዓዊ መብት ተሟጋቾች ሰብዓዊ መብትን በመጣስ የፕሬስ ነፃነትን በመጨቆንና ተቃዋሚዎችን በማዋከብ የሚወገዙት መለስ በደጋፊዎቻቸው ደግሞ ባለራዕይ መሪ ተደረገው ይወደሳሉ። ለጊዜው የመለስ ህመም ምንነትም ሆነ ለምን ያህል ጊዜ ከህዝብ እይታ ተሰውረው እንደሚቆዩ ግልፅ አይደለም። በአፍሪቃ ህብረት የመሪዎች ጉባኤ ላይ እርሳቸውን ተክተው የተገኙት ምክትል ጠቅላይ ሚኒስትር ኃይለማርያም ደሳለኝ ናቸው። አቶ ኃይለ ማርያም እስከ መቼ የእሳቸውን ቦታ ሸፍነው እንደሚሰሩም በግልፅ የታወቀ ነገር የለም።


Meles Ashebari Zenawi and death

Thursday, July 19th, 2012

By Yilma Bekele

It has been two weeks now since our conversation has been revolving around the dictator. We know for sure he is not well but beyond that no one has come up with any credible explanation for his absence. Rumors, counter rumors, news updates, breaking news have become so ubiquitous Meles Ashebari Zenawi has taken over all the news. His illness has managed to show our psychological make up and our current level of interpreting the news and how we act on it.

As usual what we present in public and what we say in private are two aspects of our forever split personality. Privately we are filled with glee and can’t wait to show our unsurpassed pleasure at his demise while officially we are pictures of reserved behavior and civilized pleasantries. Our reporters did not fare any better. Their updates are based on rumors; unvetted news and personal wishes bundled as current information. We have plenty of work to do.

It is a shame that our media can’t even send someone to St. Luc University Hospital in Brussels and report the news. They might not be able to get his charts but I am sure it is possible to confirm he is there and is receiving medical care. I am also sure there are sympathetic Ethiopians, fellow refugees and well meaning Belgians who work there and that are willing and forthcoming with his condition anonymously. It is the job of the reporter to search and look under the stone to uncover news of interest. I am also sure with a little legwork it is possible to confirm the comings and goings of the dictator from Bole airport with all the details that make the story credible. This idea of using the ‘National inquirer’ method of reporting is not what we deserve.

The failure of our media has become the cause of this tsunami of mis information, dis information and Woyane lies that has made our understanding of the situation very shameful and ugly. It has added unnecessary aspect to the event and made us digress from the point at hand that is discussing the repercussions of the incapacitation or death of the dictator.

It is very disconcerting to see that we have become uninvolved spectators of our own story. Instead of the foreign media coming to us for explanation and analysis we the subjects are reduced to quoting AFP and Bloomberg to tell us about our own affair. I would have found it a lot better and interesting if our reporters paid attention to the people that would be affected by the unfolding event and given us different perspective from our own point of view. Plastering our websites with what some ferenji said sitting in his London, New York or Nairobi office does not make the news any credible. Interviewing people in Ethiopia, Washington DC, Cape Town or Beirut on how they feel about the news, how it will affect them and what their worries are is a better way of gauging the pulse of the public. As usual we validate ourselves by what others say about us.

As it stands now this unhealthy emphasis on the health or illness of an individual has managed to dominate the conversation instead of using the opportunity to blaze new trails and focus on what should be done to bring freedom and democracy to our suffering ancient land. That is where I want to gear this conversation since our ever-loving God has presented us with a good opportunity to bring a new dawn and a bright future to mother Ethiopia.

We have to stop reading the tealeaves or in our case the coffee cup and telling our people who is up, who is in or who is out. In the scheme of the on going situation it really don’t matter and this obsession with idiot personalities does not do our situation any good. What we got here is as follows. Meles Ashebari Zenawi is not well. What ailment he is suffering from is not really important. If we know whether he will make it or not will be good to know, but even that is not that important to the conversation we should be having. We know there are no rules of succession in cases like we are confronted with now. He was the person in charge and he determines who comes after him due to the fact that he controls the economy thru control of the Banks and Party affiliated businesses. He controls the military thru appointment of all high-ranking officials from his Tigreans ethnic group; He controls the Security, Federal Police and the Judiciary. He controls body politics by the creation of all the satellite ethnic parties and the Parliament. Control of all these vital organs of government enables him to control the civil service and bureaucracies thus achieving a total strangle hold on our country.

This is the situation in a nutshell. His incapacitation or sudden death leaves a big void. That is the void we should be discussing on how to fill so we avoid the situation that created the problem we find our selves in at the moment. Spending our time and energy on gossip, Mamo kilo stories and idiotic fantasies is not going to help. What are the forces that are arrayed in front of us to sabotage transforming our nation on the path of democracy and freedom? The one and only stumbling block facing us no other than the TPLF party. It is the only entity that will work overtime and pay any sacrifice to keep the status quo. The current arrangement of forces has been very kind to TPLF and the Tigrai ethnic group asscociated with it. Denying this fact is willful ignorance. This does not mean others have not benefited from the way things are today but the fact of the matter is that like little puppies they are satisfied by sniffing and picking up crumbs thrown their way. I doubt any one will claim to have sat on the same table as the TPLF and gotten a fair share of the Injera on the Meseob. Claiming otherwise is denial of reality.

Our job is to find a way to use the current confusion in the ruling junta and confronting them, intensifying contradiction among them and creating the conditions for inheritors of this broken system to think twice before embarking on costly repair of a rotten system that is currently on life support. This is not done thru talk or this current love affair of peaceful revolution. This fantasy has to be laid to rest. It is a smoke screen and utterly useless scenario advocated by none other than TPLF and the educated but ignorant among us. Talk unless transformed into action is nothing other than a complete waste of time. I am not even going to dignify such concept by giving a rational answer. You can keep talking but please leave me out of it.

‘Non violent resistance’ or ‘Peaceful resistance’ is one of those terms that is being bastardized by us brave Ethiopians. It has become the answer by those who are afraid to get their fingers dirty by actually doing something unpleasant as following talk with action. The truth of the matter is peaceful resistance by the oppressed does not mean their plea for freedom will not be answered by violence by the regime that feels threatened by any kind of change. That is how the situation in Syria started by ordinary people demanding a breathing room. The regime has not stopped the killing but at least now they are getting their own medicine back. I am sure all sane Syrians would prefer for the violence to stop but that is not going to happen. Assad and his Alawit tribesmen are not willing to share power and the people are not willing to be treated like second-class citizens in their own country. Check counter check is in play.

In Ethiopia the regime is in the process of trying to buy time to resolve the contradiction created by the dictator in deathbed. The system worked when one person was in charge but now they have to come to some kind of understanding to be able to keep their criminally gotten power and wealth. As is the case always thieves find themselves in a state of contradiction not during the robbery but during the sharing of the loot. It is important we stop being spectators in this drama but find a way to force ourselves on the stage so we can be part of the play. The Ethiopian people and all opposition have to dig deep into their resources and devise ways to sabotage this deal-making going on. You can call it anything you want whether non-violent resistance, civil disobedience, sabotage or anything as long as it is geared to create havoc on the current illegal structure that has been destabilizing the health and well being of our people. It can assume the South African way where they burned tires and apartheid dogs and closed the streets, the Libyan way of taking one village at a time, the Syrian way we saw today of vaporizing those that conspire together to kill their own people, the Egyptian way of convincing the Military to refuse illegal orders to shoot or the EPRP way of dealing with enemies of the people to set example to others waiting in line.

I can see the empty cry from well meaning people, the condemnation by pretentious friends and the crocodile tears by the peaceful resistance advocates. Please spare me your civilized ways. Some will say ‘hey, you are not over there so it is easy to advocate all this’ my response is where have you been the last twenty years when Woyane has been carrying out violence against our people. Where were you 2005 when Meles murdered all those young people and imprisoned over forty thousand of our citizens? I live in good old USA. The violence done against me is mental the violence done against my people is physical. Unless they decide to rise up and confront Woyane the violence will continue unabated. With or without Meles the TPLF violent rule will continue. Our people will live in misery and our children will die in the jungles of Africa, the seas of Arabia and our daughters will be slaves of unsympathetic and degenerate Arabs. Like the brave Egyptians, the resourceful Libyans the gallant Syrians our people have to find that ‘enough’ moment and take the struggle to a higher level. Pleading has not worked. Relying on ethnic identity has not born fruits. Silence is not the answer. Resolute confrontation of evil is the only way. Like the road charted by our Muslim brothers and sisters the only thing that evil is afraid of is unity and resolve.

Let us stop creating useless news and headlines that does not move our struggle forward. Let us not dwell on the machinations of the evil system and its inheritors but focus on our strength and our dreams for our future. Let us stop quoting every ferenji to tell us about ourselves but make our own news and our own analysis. Let us try to do the job ourselves instead of waiting or blaming those that have a completely different vision for our beautiful homeland. Who else can do the job better than us?

Power of Reconciliation by Teshale Sebro

Thursday, July 19th, 2012

ይህች ምድር የሁላችንም ናትና በኢትዮጵያ ጉዳዮች ላይ የጋራ መግባባት መፍጠር አለብን::

By Haile Mulu  Dated: Sunday, 08 July 2012 00:00

አቶ ተሻለ ሰብሮ፣ የኢራፓ ፕሬዚዳንት

ምርጫ 97ን ተከትሎ በኅብረተሰቡ ዘንድ የተፈጠረውን ከፖለቲካ የመሸሽ ሁኔታ ለማስተካከልና ተስፋ የቆረጠውን ሕዝብ ተስፋ የማለምለም ራዕይ ሰንቆ መቋቋሙን የሚናገረው የኢትዮጵያ ራዕይ ፓርቲ (ኢራፓ)፣ የተመሠረተበትን ሦስተኛ ዓመት በቅርቡ አክብሯል፡፡

የፓርቲዎች የጋራ ምክር ቤት አባል የሆነው ኢራፓ ሰሞኑን ለገዢው ፓርቲና ለተለያዩ ባለድርሻ አካላት የብሔራዊ መግባባት ጥሪ አቅርቧል፡፡ አቶ ተሻለ ሰብሮ የፓርቲው ፕሬዚዳንት ናቸው፡፡ ፓርቲው ባቀረበው የብሔራዊ መግባባት ጥሪና በሌሎች ተያያዥ አገራዊ ጉዳዮች ኃይሌ ሙሉ አነጋግሯቸዋል፡፡

ሪፖርተር፡- ኢራፓ ብሔራዊ መግባባት ያስፈልጋል የሚል ሐሳብ ይዞ መጥቷል፡፡ ብሔራዊ መግባባት ማለት ምን ማለት ነው? እንዴት ነው የሚገለጸው?

አቶ ተሻለ፡- በእንግሊዝኛው ብዙ ስያሜዎች አሉት፡፡ ‹‹National Reconciliation›› ይባላል፡፡ ‹‹National Dialogue›› ይባላል፡፡ ‹‹National Debate›› ይባላል፡፡ ብዙ ስሞች አሉት፡፡ የዚያን ቀጥተኛ ትርጉም ለመናገር ፈልገን አይደለም፡፡ በመሠረቱ ዓላማችን በሰላማዊ ትግል የተሻለችና የተሻሻለች ጠንካራ ኢትዮጵያን መመሥረት ከሆነ ከብሔራዊ መግባባት የተሻለ አማራጭ የለም፡፡ ወደድንም ጠላንም ወቅቱ የሚጠይቀን ይህንን ብቻ ነው፡፡

ብሔራዊ መግባባት ስንል ተራ እርቅ አይደለም፡፡ ተራ ሽምግልና አይደለም፡፡
ከዚህ ቀደም ብዙ ፓርቲዎች፣ ብዙ ግለሰቦችና ብዙ ጋዜጠኞች ብሔራዊ እርቅ ይደረግ ሲሉ ሰምተናል፡፡ ትክክል ናቸው፡፡ ነገር ግን ያ የመጨረሻ ምዕራፍ ነው፡፡ ከብሔራዊ እርቅ አስቀድሞ የኢትዮጵያ አጀንዳ በሚመለከታቸው አካላት መካከል ብሔራዊ ውይይት መጀመር አለበት፡፡ ብሔራዊ ውይይት ወደ ብሔራዊ መግባባት፣ ብሔራዊ መግባባት ደግሞ ወደ ብሔራዊ እርቅ ይመራንና ይደመደማል፡፡ የፖለቲካ ሰዎች፣ መሪዎች፣ ጉዳዩ የሚመለከታቸው ግለሰቦችና የፕሬስ ሰዎች አንዱ በሌላው ላይ ሳይጠቁም፣ ጠርዝና ጠርዝ ይዞ የቃላት የጥላቻ ፖለቲካ ከማራመድ ባለፈ ተቀራርበው በአገሪቱ ዋና ዋና አጀንዳዎች ላይ ውይይት ማካሄድ አለባቸው፡፡ ክርክር ማካሄድ አለባቸው፡፡ ያ ወደ ብሔራዊ መግባባት ይወስደንና በሁሉም በአገሪቱ ጉዳዮች ላይ ሰፋ ያለ አካል ተፈጥሮ ብሔራዊ እርቅ የሚቀርጽ ሥራ ይሠራል፡፡

ሪፖርተር፡- ብሔራዊ መግባባትን አልፎ በቀጥታ ወደ ብሔራዊ እርቅ መግባት አይቻልም?

አቶ ተሻለ፡- አሁን ኢትዮጵያ ውስጥ ለብሔራዊ መግባባትም ሆነ ለብሔራዊ እርቅ የሚመች ሁኔታ አለ ወይ? ብለን መጠየቅ ይገባናል፡፡ ጊዜው እያለፈብን ነው፡፡ እንዲያውም የእኛ ስጋት 11ኛው ሰዓት ላይ ደርሰናል የሚል ነው፡፡ ዕድሎች እያመለጡን ነው፡፡

ሪፖርተር፡- አሥራ አንደኛው ሰዓት ላይ ደርሰናል ለማለት ያስደፈረዎት ምክንያት ምንድን ነው?

አቶ ተሻለ፡- አሥራ አንደኛው ሰዓት ላይ ምን ሊመጣ እንደሚችል ማየት አለብን፡፡ የአገራችን ነባራዊ ሁኔታዎች ምን ይመስላሉ ብሎ ማየት ያስፈልጋል፡፡ የፖለቲካ ቋንቋ አለ፡፡ ለምሳሌ ገዥው ፓርቲ አባላቱን ይገመግማቸዋል፡፡ በመስመር ውስጥ ናቸው አይደሉም? ተልዕኳቸውን ይወጣሉ አይወጡም? ብሎ ይገመግማል፡፡ እኛ ደግሞ በአገራችን ጉዳይ ላይ ኢሕአዴግ እንደ አንድ ባለቤትና ባለጉዳይ ሆኖ ሌሎች የፖለቲካ ሽኩቻዎችን ትተን ዜጐች፣ ምሁራን፣ የፕሬስ ሰዎች ሁሉም ኢትዮጵያ ውስጥ ያለውን የውስጥ ተጨባጭ ሁኔታ መገምገም አለብን፡፡ ለምሳሌ በሃይማኖት ጥያቄዎች፣ በሰብዓዊ መብት አጠባበቅ፣ በዲሞክራሲ ጥያቄዎች፣ በኢንቨስትመንትና በአገር ልማት አካሄድና በመሳሰሉት አንኳር አገራዊ ጉዳዮች ላይ ተወያይቶ ሁሉም ኢትዮጵያዊ ወደ አንድ መግባባት መድረስ እንዳለበት የሚያሳዩ ጠቋሚ ምልክቶች አሉ፡፡ አዎ ልማት ይካሄዳል፡፡ ግን ልማቱ የሌሎችን ዜጐች ዲሞክራሲያዊ መብት የሚነካ ነው ወይስ አይደለም? ብለን መነጋገር አለብን፡፡ ልማቱን እንደግፋለን፡፡ ይህንን ልማት አብዛኛው ዜጋ የእኔ ነው ብሎ መቀበል አለበት፡፡ ዜጋው ዲሞክራሲያዊ መብቱና ተሳትፎው ሲረጋገጥለት ነው ልማቱ የእኔ ነው ብሎ የሚጠብቀውና የሚንከባከበው፡፡ ደርግ አንዳንድ ቦታዎች ላይ ግድቦች ገድቦ ነበር፡፡ ደርግ በወደቀ በሰዓታት ልዩነት እነኛ ግድቦች ፈርሰዋል፡፡ ለምሳሌ ሀዲያ ውስጥ አንድ ቦታ ላይ ለምንም አገልግሎት በማይውል መሬት ላይ ልማት ይካሄድ ሲባል ሕዝቡ አልሳተፍም አለ፡፡ ደርግ ሲወድቅ በብዙ ሚሊዮኖች ወጪ የተገነባው ግድብ ፈረሰ፡፡ ጨለምተኛ ሆኜ ክፉ ነገር   … (CONTINUED)


EDITORS NOTE:  The information from this point forward is not in any way affiliated with Teshale Sebro.  The information below is the view of the Brown Condor staff and editorial board and should not be taken as a continuation of Teshale Sebros’ message of the “Power of Reconciliation”. 


Petition Obama to Stop Supporting Meles Zenawi & TPLF

[click logo to sign petition]

Those of you who are comfortable with putting your name behind the cause of seeing Meles Government fall, please sign the petition. This is not just to attempt to make a change. This is about standing together with your fellow Ethiopians in Solidarity. If we can’t sign a petition that takes a minute, what other change do we expect to make in our country or in our lives. If you believe that Meles TPLF regime should remain in power, please disregard this message.



Selam Ashenafi Mentire

[click to view profile]

Tsion Tesfaye

[click to view profile]

Click on either picture above and ask Selam or Tsion about their petition drive.  We as Ethiopians cannot get things to change if we do not organize and petition the US government for relief and justice for our home Ethiopia.

[Source: Ethiopian Review]

Meles Zenawi “may not survive” — The UK Telegraph

Wednesday, July 18th, 2012

Meles Zenawi, the Ethiopian prime minister, is in a “critical” condition in hospital in Brussels and may not survive, according to diplomatic sources.

ByAislinn Laing, Johannesburg and Bruno Waterfield in Brussels | The Telegraph

The 57-year-old premier dictator has not been seen publicly for several weeks and missed a crunch African Union summit his country was hosting at the weekend at which a new chair was elected.

The Ethiopian government Woyanne junta has confirmed that he is unwell but repeated promises of updates on his condition have been delayed.

On Wednesday, a Western diplomatic source in Brussels told the Telegraph that he is now “critically ill”.

“He is being treated as a private person and the information is confidential but it is understood that he is critically ill,” the diplomat said.

Mr Zenawi is thought to be receiving treatment for an unspecified condition at the Saint Luc University Hospital in Brussels. The hospital is a centre for the treatment of blood or “haematological” cancers.

Other diplomats told the AFP that Mr Zenawi might not survive his illness.

“He is in a critical state, his life is in danger,” said one.

“He is in a critical state but is alive,” another added.

Ethiopia’s ambassador in Brussels and the hospital authorities refused to comment on the reports.

In Addis Ababa, however, Bereket Simon, a government spokesman, insisted that Mr Zenawi, who has held power in the populous Horn of Africa nation for over two decades, was recovering. “He is not in a critical state. He is in good condition,” he told AFP.

Questions surfaced about Mr Meles’s health when he missed a two-day African Union summit Sunday and Monday in Addis Ababa, apparently for the first time since 1991. He was last seen looking thin and pale at the G20 summit in Mexico in June.

Whatever Mr Zenawi’s condition, anger is growing among Ethiopians at the refusal of his government to provide clarity on the situation and speculation has begun to swirl about possible successors.

The one-time Marxist, who toppled the brutal dictatorship of Mengistu Haile Mariam in 1991, has run Ethiopia through strongly centralised control for two decades and analysts struggle to envisage how the country would be operate without him.

Adjoa Anyimadu, Chatham House’s Horn of Africa expert, said that Mr Zenawi’s force of personality meant that few other Ethiopian politicians were well-known.

“He is the face of the Ethiopian ruling class so it’s difficult to see who would take over from him,” she said.


Berhane GebreKristos becomes the de facto TPLF chief

Wednesday, July 18th, 2012

Meles Zenawi The top leadership of the ruling Tigray Peoples Liberation Front (TPLF) is honoring, for now, Meles Zenawi’s wish to select Berhane GebreKristos as the next party chief and prime minister, Ethiopian Review Intelligence Unit sources reported today. However, the appointment of Berhane, who is a close personal friend of Meles and currently Foreign Minister of State, is expected to face serious challenges from the other TPLF leaders once Meles is out for good, our sources added.

Despite Woyanne propaganda chief Bereket Simon’s blatant lie, Meles is currently in Brussels at St. Luc University Hospital’s Intensive Care Unit (ICU) on the second floor, an eyewitness told Ethiopian Review. Even if he feels better enough to return to Ethiopia, he is done as a leader.

There is also a strong suspicion that Meles in fact has been dead since Sunday, and that the TPLF regime is not announcing his death because they want to buy time until there is an agreement on a new leader.

Meanwhile, yesterday, Meles Zenawi’s wife Azeb Mesfin has obtained an Italian visa, a source in the Italian embassy informed Ethiopian Review. While Bereket Simon, Berhane GebreKristos, Teodros Adhanom and other friends are at Meles’s bedside, why is his wife Azeb traveling to Italy?

Ethiopian opposition must unite to be an alternative to EPRDF rule

Wednesday, July 18th, 2012

By David Steinman

News of Meles’ illness highlights the general unreadiness of the opposition to assume power upon his departure.

Presently, the most likely scenario that would unfold upon Meles’ death or resignation would be his replacement by a Tigrayan EPRDF successor, with the military enforcing this unpopular choice. When this happens, tragically, due to its disorganization, the opposition will be unable to do more than weakly protest. The situation grows worse by the day as more people, especially the youth and potential military defectors, drift away, disappointed and alienated, from the older opposition groups.

This state of affairs is because no one– whether it’s the EPRDF, the military, the international community or even Ethiopia’s people themselves, takes seriously a divided opposition. But a united opposition will create a coalition sufficiently large and broad as to create an undeniable alternative to EPRDF rule.

There is no shortage of well-known historic examples, and even simple fables, reflecting the truth of the power of unity. Yet, despite these unassailable facts, the opposition has failed to unite. Opposition leadership may cite various reasons for this, but the imperative is so great that no excuse can be sufficient and the opposition leadership collectively bears responsibility for this grave strategic error. Now, more than ever, it faces a stark choice: unify now, urgently, or allow itself, once again, to be passed over and miss this historic opportunity.

There are real policy differences among the various opposition groups. But the opposition is already united on one, overarching goal– the end of undemocratic EPRDF rule and its replacement with genuine democracy. It can achieve this if its leaders meet on an emergency basis and, for the good of the nation, subordinate all other differences to form a unified action front under a coordinated command for the purpose of this single objective. Once the dictatorship is gone, they can submit their differences to a democratic process.

Unification will require agreeing on a common leadership. The existing leaders, whether they are currently talking to each other or not, can collectively succeed if they all get into the same room immediately and not leave until this is resolved.

If they cannot agree on common leadership, they can, alternatively, elect one or more neutral figures to lead. This can be a non-political person, such as a respected academic, businessman, journalist, religious leaders, NGO administrator, royalty, athlete, technocrat or some combination. Almost anybody is better than nobody.

If the opposition leaders are unwilling to do this quickly, Ethiopia’s long-suffering people will benefit by demanding they do so. The Diaspora can guide the way, if necessary, by uniting its various factions here in a similar manner and conditioning further support on the in-country leadership doing the same.

A rare chance for the opposition to move into the coming political vacuum is emerging, but the opposition so far shows every sign of blowing it by failing to unify. Opposition leaders will be foolish to continue on this track and, if they do, they’ll have no one to blame but themselves.

When overthrowing a dictatorship, opposition unification must come above all else. Now is Ethiopia’s time to do it.

The author, an American, was involved with anti-Mengistu activity in the 1980′s, advocated for Ethiopia’s opposition to the US Congress starting in 1992, was an adviser to AAPO and CUD, published the first major media expose of Meles Zenawi’s human rights abuses and was a senior strategic consultant to Kinijit during the 2004-2005 civil disobedience and election campaign.

[Source: Ethiopian Review]

Ethiopian dictator’s life in danger – BBC

Wednesday, July 18th, 2012

(BBC) — Ethiopia’s government The Woyanne junta in Ethiopia has denied Prime Minister dictator Meles Zenawi is critically ill but says he has been in hospital.

“He is not in a critical state. He is in good condition,” spokesman Bereket Simon told the AFP news agency.

A spokesperson for the Ethiopian embassy in London told the BBC the 57 year old was in a stable condition after hospital treatment.

Speculation about his health began when he missed last weekend’s African Union summit in Addis Ababa.

There were reports that Mr Meles was in hospital in Belgium, suffering from a stomach complaint.

The Ethiopian Woyanne embassy spokesperson in London said the prime minister khat-addicted dictator had been visited by high-level officials, but did not say where he was being treated.

Diplomatic sources in Brussels told AFP that the Ethiopian leader dictator was in a hospital in the Belgian capital.

“He is in a critical state, his life is in danger,” the agency was told by a diplomat who asked not to be named.

An Ethiopian government press conference about the rumours scheduled for Wednesday morning has been postponed until later this week.

Correspondents say it is believed Mr Meles’s last public appearance was at the G20 talks in Mexico last month.

Mr Meles took power as the leader of a rebel movement which ousted the communist government of Mengistu Haile Mariam in 1991.

He has won stolen several elections since then, but his political opponents have accused him of using repression to retain power.

[Source: Ethiopian Review]

TPLF to unleash massive violence against Muslims: SMNE

Wednesday, July 18th, 2012

Solidarity Movement for a New Ethiopia (SMNE) Calls on TPLF/EPRDF to Halt Plans for Massive Arrests and Crackdown on Muslim Leaders Following AU Meeting

SMNE Condemns Killings, Arrests and TPLF/EPRDF Inference in Religious Freedom; Calling Ethiopian Leaders and Public to Stand Together

 July 18, 2012

lost eye

Religious leaders, political leaders, international donors, the African Union and others, including the Ethiopian public—whether Muslim or not—should condemn the recent TPLF/EPRDF attack on Muslims, who have been peacefully rallying for freedom from government interference in their internal religious affairs for over eight months. Now, word has leaked out from sources within the country, that the TPLF/ERPDF is planning massive arrests of Muslim activists and leaders, including members of the Independent Islamic Arbitration Committee, an elected group which has been leading the cry for religious independence. Allegedly, none of this will take place until African Union meetings end, later this week.

In the last month the numbers of protestors have risen to include hundreds of thousands of Ethiopians in various locations in Addis Ababa as well as outside the capital city of Ethiopia. Six civilian protestors, one only six years of age, were killed a month ago and this past weekend, security forces killed four more after entering the Awalia Mosque in Addis, in an attempt to interfere with plans being made for a protest the following day. In addition to those shot and killed by security forces, a number of others were wounded and over 160 persons were arrested and remain in detention.

Forty additional arrests were made of women who had gone to the prison, only to take food and water to their family members. Reports from the ground indicate that the TPLF/EPRDF has been trying to force the women to confess to criminal activity they never committed in order to be freed. Among those arrested were women as old as 80 and as young as 12, as well as pregnant women. Thirty-three of these women have now been released, according to the latest figures from our sources. 

As the regime cracks down on the Muslims, these fellow Ethiopians are only more determined to continue to rally for freedoms guaranteed in the Ethiopian Constitution, but as they do, tensions are dramatically increasing between Muslims and the TPLF/EPRDF and we call on all Ethiopians, of any background or religion, to stand side by side with our fellow Ethiopians as they demand religious freedom.

We, in the Solidarity Movement for a New Ethiopia (SMNE), condemn this unjust treatment of our Ethiopian Muslim brothers and sisters and offer our deep condolences to the families of the victims. We cannot afford to be indifferent to the pain of any of our fellow Ethiopians, ignoring their need at such a time as this; for “no one will be free until all are free!” We also pledge our support in their struggle for truth, justice and freedom for it is our shared struggle. Are they not fighting the same fight for justice, liberty and freedom of worship, thought and belief as are we and other Ethiopians? 

A short time ago, our Ethiopian Muslims and Ethiopian Evangelical Christians stood with leaders and members of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church in Toronto in condemning the planned destruction of the fourth century Waldeba Monastery and the eighteen churches in the surrounding area by the TPLF/EPRDF in order to make way for a government-controlled sugar plantation. This should be a proud moment in our recent history.

Shortly after that, Ethiopian Orthodox leaders came out with a strong statement of support towards Ethiopian Muslims, agreeing with their demand for freedom from religious interference by the TPLF/EPRDF, which they and others have also experienced as a church body. This was an excellent demonstration of what religious leaders can do for a nation! Now, there is another critical opportunity for those in positions of leadership to take in continuing to support this call.

Some from the grassroots are hoping those in leadership will say it for them, fearing their own voices will not be heard above the clamor and fearing that without it, others will assume a lack of support from people of different ethnic, political and faith backgrounds. One Ethiopian woman from Los Angeles, who was highly concerned about the need to publically condemn the recent attacks on Muslims, summed it up very well. She asked:

“Why are our [political and religious] leaders not saying or doing more to support the Muslims right now? I’m an Ethiopian Orthodox believer [and an Amhara], but who will hear me? If our leaders do not speak out, Muslims will put us all in a box and will think we Christians do not care, but we do!”

As we in the SMNE have said before, the only way we can “live well” as a society is when we are willing to defend and to protect the God-given rights of others; especially when they cannot do it for themselves or when by joining together, we can better overcome injustice or wrongdoing. Ignoring it when we can do something will hurt us as a whole.

For example, when a pain inflicts a part of our body—even our little finger—it affects the rest. This applies to a nation. Right now, pain is being inflicted on part of the body of Ethiopia. This part of our body is our Muslim brothers and sisters. They are not just one tribe, but they are made up of people of different ethnicities, different political views, different ages, different genders, different socio-economic groups and different regions. The whole body, which is the Ethiopian people, should react when something is done to one of the parts of their body—the Ethiopian Muslims. We cannot ignore it!

In the past, a small ethnic group could be massacred in one corner of Ethiopia and no one would even notice, let alone come out in its defense; however, when a few are killed in Addis, there is an outpouring of crying, grief and sympathy from people throughout the world. The same thing happens when a freedom fighter from a small group is arrested—no one says anything—but when someone else is arrested from Addis, the amount of outrage both inside and outside of the country is overflowing. This kind of indifference towards some of us occurs most easily where groups of people have been devalued. This kind of devaluation of our people is what we in the SMNE are fighting against. 

Right now, our fellow Ethiopians of Muslim faith are being denied religious freedom. It is excellent that the Ethiopian Orthodox came out to stand with Ethiopians of Muslim faith and vice versa. Such solidarity was big step but it is not the end of what must be done, not only by them but by others. The voices of leaders and people of other faith backgrounds, supporting principles of justice, compassion and freedom for all Ethiopians, would bring great healing to our country.

This applies to the rest of Ethiopians who should not sit by, watching and doing nothing, thinking that the freedom these people are fighting for maybe is not the same freedom as what “I” or “we” non-Muslims are fighting for. However, like cattle, the butcher comes to take one of “them” away and the rest do not react because it is not yet “us.” We should know by now, this regime targets one group at a time, whether in places like Gambella, Afar, the Ogaden or in Southern Nations or whether it is a church in the Amhara region, a mosque in Oromia or a cemetery in Addis.

Ethiopians of faith, especially the leadership, should make it very clear that all of us—including TPLF/EPRDF members in churches and mosques throughout the country—should be fighting for the mutual religious freedom and defense of the God-given rights of all of us. Right now, we have victims, bystanders, beneficiaries and perpetrators, all standing alongside of each other in many of our houses of faith. The leadership has often been silent in the past or even, at times, aligned with the perpetrators rather than with the victims, perhaps out of fear or even opportunism. At such a time as this, Ethiopians need the religious leaders to visibly lead the way in confronting what is evil and immoral, while also bringing to its members—and to Ethiopian society—a path to reconciliation and the restoration of justice.

Some, or even many within the faith community, will want to go further, making public statements, even confessions, of its silence, its fear, its apathy, its ethnic prejudices and its neglect in standing up for the justice and rights of those within their communities as well as those in communities of different faiths and ethnicities. Can you imagine how such an example could lead the way for others to do the same and in doing so, bring about healthy change?

Some people may feel suspicious that “the Muslims are here— right now—to take over and they want Shari’ah law.” However, “the Muslims are not coming;” they have been here in Ethiopia for a thousand years and have repeatedly said that they are not for Shari’ah law but want religious tolerance for all Ethiopians! This should not surprise us because it reinforces our own past experience as Ethiopians of differing faiths who have been living together and getting along with each other for as long as any of us can remember. 

What the TPLF/EPRDF wants is to isolate the Muslims from other Ethiopians; using fear-mongering not only in the West, but also among Ethiopians in order to isolate the Muslims from other Ethiopians. By demonizing and dehumanizing all Muslims or by putting them in a box called “Islamic radicals” has earned the TPLF/EPRDF significant revenue from the West. We must refuse to support this thinking or the violent actions now being carried out by the TPLF/EPRDF in response to it. If non-Muslim Ethiopians fall victim to this anti-Muslim campaign; not only will they be making a big mistake, creating division when unity is so needed, but they will also be prolonging the TPLF.

In the last few days, the TPLF/EPRDF may have targeted “Muslims,” but they killed our fellow human beings, given intrinsic value by our Creator, the same God who gave life to each of us. Those who died could be a mother, a brother, a sister or a son. They each have a name and have someone who loves and cares about them. They may be from Ethiopia and come from a certain tribe or region, but they are “us.” They are members of our Ethiopian family so the pain of their loss should not only be left to the mother who brought them into this world, but should be felt by every one of us as we put humanity before ethnicity. Their pain is our pain. When they are not free, we are not free. When they have a loss, we have a loss.

Our conscience should be our invitation to be part of the struggle. Today it is the Muslim in need of defense, but tomorrow it could be the Orthodox, the Evangelical, the Catholic or the non-believer from any of the countless tribes of Ethiopia. We should look at the bigger picture and call on Ethiopians to condemn these actions by the TPLF/EPRDF against our brothers and sisters and their plans to arrest their leaders for peaceful protest, guaranteed under the Ethiopian Constitution that has become meaningless.

For outsiders, including donors who are listening to Meles’ claims that the “radical Muslims” are coming to Ethiopia, we can counter by saying, “we know them,” for they did not arrive just yesterday or when the War on Terror started in 2001 or twenty years ago when the TPLF came into power, for we have lived together for long enough to know. 

As the previously mentioned woman from LA, concluded, “The poor Muslims are expecting the leaders to say and do more to support them. I feel it [the outrage for what has happened] and now the leaders should say it!” This woman speaks the language of the New Ethiopia. Can we Ethiopians join together to build it? I think so but let us show it! 

Before concluding here is a special word to the African Union:

As the shooting, killing and arrests were being carried out in Addis Ababa, members of the African Union were meeting close by on the matter of human rights, security and stability in Africa—focusing on the Democratic Republic of Congo, Mali, the Republic of South Sudan and Somalia—with no mention of Ethiopia.

Now, as soon as you leave this impressive building, the new headquarters of the African Union, the TPLF/EPRDF will be cracking down on Muslim leaders and activists. If reports prove to be accurate, massive arrests will be made of those simply calling for freedom to practice their religion without government interference in their internal affairs. Will you speak out? Will you condemn the killing of innocent people that took place at the front door of your meeting? The need for improved security existed only a few kilometers from where you were discussing the subject. 

For the AU to have significance on changing the suffering, poverty and conflict on this continent, its members must speak for the people! Yet, for Ethiopia to truly change it cannot come from the outside, we Ethiopians must say it ourselves! 

So, on behalf of the SMNE, our Ethiopian Muslims and the justice-SEEKING people of Ethiopia, I want to speak directly to every member of the TPLF/ERPDF. 

Do not kill, wound or arrest these Ethiopian Muslims or any people of faith who are only claiming their human rights under God’s universal law, international human rights laws and the Ethiopian Constitution! Become part of a New Ethiopia where you will have a place! We cannot go on like this any longer! It will only get worse! How much blood will it take before enough has been shed? For how long will the blood of the slain cry out for justice? What you are doing is wrong and immoral. It will require its own penalty from those who refuse to change their ways. Know that opportunity for repentance, forgiveness and transformation can suddenly elude us without warning. Do now what is right!

Seek God’s way and correct what you have done wrong so that “righteousness and peace kiss each other.” (Isaiah 85:10b)

“The good action and the bad are not alike. Repel the evil one by one which is better! And behold! He between whom and you there was enmity, shall be as if he were a fervent friend. (Sura 41:34)

May God bless all our people and bring us peace, love and mutual respect as we repent of our ways and struggle together to create a New Ethiopia where there will be room for all of us.  

==============================   ==============================

Please do not hesitate to e-mail your comments to Mr. Obang Metho, Executive Director of the SMNE at:  You can find more about us through our website at:


[Source: Ethiopian Review]

Meles Zenawi in critical condition – diplomatic sources

Wednesday, July 18th, 2012

Agence France Presse (AFP) confirms Ethiopian Review’s report on Meles Zenawi’s health from several diplomatic sources.

BRUSSELS (AFP) – Ethiopian Prime Minister khat-addicted dictator Meles Zenawi was in a Brussels hospital in a “critical” state Wednesday, several diplomatic sources told AFP, but the Ethiopian government Woyanne regime denied he was unwell.

“He is in a critical state, his life is in danger,” said a diplomat who asked not to be named.

In Addis Ababa, however, government spokesman Bereket Simon denied reports that the 57-year-old premier was ill. “He is not in a critical state. He is in good condition,” the spokesman told AFP.

In Brussels, the Ethiopian embassy refused comment.

Questions were raised about Meles’ health when he missed a two-day African Union summit Sunday and Monday.

Diplomats in Brussels said he had been undergoing regular treatment on a private basis at one of the city’s major hospitals and had been in hospital for some days.

[Source: Ethiopian Review]

Woyanne cancels Press conference on Meles Zenawi's health

Wednesday, July 18th, 2012

The press conference on the health of Ethiopia’s dictator that was scheduled today by the Woyanne junta has been canceled, but AFP has has been able to confirm from from several diplomats that the dictator is gravely ill.

BRUSSELS (AF) — Ethiopian Prime Minister dictator Meles Zenawi was in a Brussels hospital in a “critical” state on Wednesday, several diplomatic sources told AFP, but the Ethiopian government Woyanne regime denied he was unwell.

“He is in a critical state, his life is in danger,” said a diplomat who asked not to be named.

In Addis Ababa, however, government spokesperson Bereket Simon denied reports that the 57-year-old premier was ill. “He is not in a critical state. He is in good condition,” the spokesperson told AFP.

In Brussels, the Ethiopian embassy refused to comment. It had said earlier this week that reports he was being treated at a hospital were “false and wrong”, and were a rumour created by “an interest group which has preoccupied itself in disseminating such untrue stories”.

But several diplomats in Brussels said he had been undergoing regular treatment on a private basis at one of the city’s major hospitals and had been in hospital for a few days.

No information was available on his illness.

Questions surfaced about Meles’s health when he missed a two-day African Union summit on Sunday and Monday, apparently for the first time.

Meles’s wife, herself a lawmaker, had declined to talk to reporters about her husband, who has been at the helm of the Horn of Africa nation since 1991.

One of last times Meles was seen in public was at the G20 meeting in Mexico on June 19.

Dozens of African heads of state visited Ethiopia for the summit, including newly elected Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi, the first to do so since an assassination attempt in Ethiopia on former president Hosni Mubarak in 1995.

Ethiopia at Crossroads: What has to be done

Wednesday, July 18th, 2012

By Neamin Zeleke

News of Meles Zenawi’s deteriorating health offer an opportunity for reflection on his legacy and preparation for the day after his eventual demise. Whether Meles Zenawi passes away in the coming days or at some times in the future, we need to grapple with some serious vexing questions on where we are and where we are heading as a people and nation.

First, on the past two decades: What is Meles’ legacy? How will he be remembered? How was he able to squander unique opportunity to bring about an enduring democratic process and freedom in Ethiopia? What should we learn from the process that resulted in replacing one dictator with another? In particular his successors who are said to be locked in power struggle over succession should pause for a moment and reflect, if at all endowed with an iota of wisdom?

What factors enabled Meles to institute dictatorship and misrule for so long? What are the over-arching results of his policies? Did Meles’ policies brought Ethiopia closer to the goal of building a society bound by common purpose and united in building a strong and prosperous democratic nation or did it succeed in fracturing the society along ethnic and religious lines? We have to look back to go forward.

The future holds limitless possibilities and enormous potentials. Yet again, like all possibilities we can use it or lose it. Lack of vision and preparation will guarantee that we lose again. To acquire the right vision, we need to answer some of these questions: What are the tasks awaiting the future leadership in rebuilding the nation and the national spirit? What are the challenges?

Assuming Meles’ is gone tomorrow, is the opposition ready to play any role? What should the role be inside and outside Ethiopia? Who should the opposition engage? On what terms? What preconditions? Should it engage without preconditions? What is the goal? The goal must be building the framework of enduring, true democracy, protection of human rights and individual freedom. Who are the players? What is their record on these principles? What about the army? Will it stay neutral? Will it take sides? With whom and why?

What should the role of western democracies and the US in working with groups committed to these principles. How can the opposition begin to strengthen and prepare itself to present a formidable power block? What are the lessons from previous coalitions and alliances? What type of coalition or collaboration should be formed? Should it be based on broad principles or specifics? Should it strive to be overly inclusive or selective? Is there a benefit to forming competing power blocks that loosely cooperate with one another where differences cannot be bridged among opposition groups? What are the metrix? These are but some of the questions that need speedy responses and actions.

Indeed Ethiopia is at a crossroads. We find ourselves, once again, at a moment of anxiety and uncertainly with the aforementioned and plethoras of other questions instead of clear answers leading towards the path of freedom, democracy and prosperity. A reflection and sober assessment of the balance sheet of Meles Zenawi regime’s as well as a reexamination of the very principles and vision we have espoused for the past decades are in order. Such very moments test our resolve, our backbone, and most importantly, our character to make reality many have struggled for and paid the ultimate sacrifice.

We need vision, principle and courage! We need individuals and groups to come together with common purpose and wedded to no other interest than to enshrine in our nation freedom, justice, and democracy for all citizens.

Make no mistake about it, whether we learn of Meles’s demise tomorrow or not, we have reached a watershed moment. The beginning of the end of the dictatorship demands from all forces of freedom and democracy the vision and courage to speak and act in unison. We should take stoke of lessons of past divisions. They did not get us anywhere. Past machinations, past power struggle, egos, and posturing have weakened us while strengthening Meles Zenawi’s position. The task is bigger than one person, one party, or one ethnic group. Individual ego and group loyalty, the Achilles Hill of the opposition forces, must give way to humility, common goal, and dedication to the common good. Let’s take positions not because they are our positions, but because they are the right positions. Let’s be open to change course if it becomes rational, logical and reasonable to do so. The time demands more pragmatism and less dogmatism. It is high time and the right time to do that right thing for the right reasons in the right way.

At this crucial juncture, it is imperative that all forces that aspire to bring freedom, democracy, and justice in Ethiopia, whether political or civic, armed or unarmed, ethnic or multi-ethnic, etc– create an alternative center and a unified voice. We don’t have to create a coalition or union. But we need to fight for a common goal. We need to support each other, find common ground and build positive relationships. This could be done based on a very bare minimum shared objective, a unity of purpose and political course of action. We can unite under an overarching principle to bring about a transition to a genuine and enduring democratic order in Ethiopia. We can agree that all stakeholders will participate in an all-inclusive transitional process.

The Western powers including the US can play a positive and constructive role as well. The western nations can help by becoming honest brokers towards a transition to a genuine democracy in Ethiopia instead of pursuing a continuation of the current cynical policy of providing support to yet another dictatorship, a post Meles status qou of his TPLF/EPRDF successors in the name of regional stability like they have been doing for the past two decades.

Ultimately it is we , Ethiopians, who should come to an agreement and work for the following for now a) a speedy agreement by all stakeholders within the ranks of freedom and democracy forces to speak with a unified voice , b) a call to the various sectors of the Ethiopian society that have been carrying the brunt of the regime’s repression. The call for vigilance and united action should also be made to the various ranks among the armed forces under the TPLF as these elements have been victims of ethnic and other forms of discrimination and favoritism.

And the role of opinion leaders and Ethiopian scholars is very important in shaping public opinion and putting pressure on all civic and political forces to close ranks. To speak as one, to act as one, to give that confidence and assurance to our people back home that we are there for them, fully on their side, in this times of anxiety and uncertainty. The average Ethiopian is in the dark, perturbed as regard to the uncertain future of Ethiopia. Ever ridden with anxiety instead of hopes, exasperation in place of inspiration, our unified voice will offer a glimpse of the bright future we can bring to our multiethnic and mulitreligious nation.

The Ethiopian people should not settle for anything less. Nothing short of liberty and justice, dignity and freedom for all people of Ethiopia can fulfill our mission. The dying and decaying TPLF must not get the chance to consolidate itself and continue the minority ethnic hegemony it has instituted for far too long. It must end, not only in its most important persona, Meles Zenawi, but the foundational body politic, i.e. the ethnic apartheid regime must be replaced with an all inclusive transitional process that would take Ethiopia to a constitutionally liberal and pluralistic democratic and free political order.

The successors of Meles Zenawi have a choice to make too. They can choose to steer away from the destructive legacy he will be leaving for generations to come. They can choose to be part of an all inclusive transition to a genuine democracy. The other alternative is to continue the status qou ante to eventually, sooner or later, face their unceremonious demise like all dictatorships.

The only and sole alternative for Ethiopia and all stake holders is to agree on a new political configuration for the country. An all inclusive transional process that will take Ethiopia towards the path of a truly democratic system in place of the sham repressive and minority ethnic hegemonic political order that has been in place for the past two decades. A democratic system where all Ethiopians can live in liberty and where, irrespective of their ethnic and other differences, all Ethiopians are treated justly and equally.

For this to materialize, all freedom and democratic forces and the public at large longing and demanding for a real change in Ethiopia need to cease the discordant chatter and cacophony and act in harmony and unison. Let us cooperate, listen, and be willing to lead as well as follow, win arguments as well as lose. Let us move along this path. Let us do our share, let us drop our egos and preoccupation of self, narrow organizational and other nefarious interests. Let us put Ethiopia and our suffering people beyond and above all sectarian interests. Let us be the generation that history will absolve, not condemn for failing. By commission and omission, for failing and thereby condemning our people to suffer under an inferno of misery and serfdom instead of freedom and dignity.

We need to speak and act as one. Let us all rise to the momentous occasion. This is the moment and this is the occasion. There are times that put the human soul on trial. This indeed is the very time will put each of us on trial. It is the time that each of us shall be tested whether we are for democracy and freedom or we are for capitulation and servitude under yet another round of tyranny by a minority ethnic junta ad infinitum, in perpetuity.

This is a moment for a grand vision and a moment to act for national salvation, once and for all. Together we can. In unity we can move mountains of horror and injustice, and clear it for a bright new era of liberty and justice for all Ethiopians. Dignity and freedom for all. To be or not to be. Let us seize the Moment!!

Treatment takes its toll on Meles Zenawi's body

Tuesday, July 17th, 2012

Ethiopian Review sources reported that Ethiopia’s khat-addicted dictator Meles Zenawi is too weak to receive further medical treatment. Our sources said he is in Belgium, but may return to Ethiopia any time. Several of his body guards have been observed at the hospital on Monday.

Western diplomats today have confirmed Ethiopian Review’s report that Meles is at St. Luc Hospital in Belgium. However, they denied that he is dead, according to the UK Telegraph.

Meles Zenawi’s cause of illness is said to be blood cancer, but there is a growing talk among the ruling party members and supporters that he may have been poisoned. The aggressive treatment he has been receiving has degraded his body and that he is in an almost vegetative condition.

Meanwhile, the dictator’s much hated wife, Azeb Mesfin, has received an Italian visa today, according to our source at Italian embassy. However, she may not be able to leave the country because of a travel ban imposed on her by Woyanne security chief Getachew Assefa.

This afternoon, the Woyanne officials told VOA that the regime will give a press conference regarding Meles Zenawi’s condition.

Zenawi's Police State: The Economist

Tuesday, July 17th, 2012

Ethiopia and human rights

Jailed for doing his job

The Economist

July 17, 2012

ETHIOPIA’S prime minister, Meles Zenawi, likes to present himself to the world as a peacemaker and a paragon of development. At a recent summit of African leaders in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia’s capital, which is also the headquarters of the African Union, he sought to mediate between the two Sudans. He also made much of a huge loan to help connect Ethiopia’s mega-dam projects to a regional power grid.

The bad side of Mr Meles was on show before the African grandees arrived, when a prominent journalist, Eskinder Nega, was sentenced to 18 years in prison—for doing his job. He had persistently criticised the government for stifling dissent. After his newspaper had been shut down by the authorities, he had been publishing online.

Mr Nega, who won a major award in May from PEN America, a writers’ club that promotes press freedom, fell the victim to the same anti-terrorism laws he had tried to question. Shortly before his arrest in September last year, he had written a column criticising the government for jailing several of his colleagues, as well as two Swedish journalists, under vague anti-terror statutes passed in 2009. Along with 23 others, including opposition activists and fellow journalists, he was convicted of links to a banned opposition group based in the United States.

Mr Nega has been in and out of prison in his homeland since first opening a newspaper in 1999. His reports of violence by security forces that followed a disputed election in 2005 got him and his wife jailed for 17 months. Not everyone is as dogged as the 43-year-old blogger: the government’s willingness to jail critics has driven many journalists into exile. Many of those convicted alongside him had already fled abroad.

On a recent visit to Addis Ababa, Baobab attempted to set up a round table with local journalists to talk about challenges to freedom of expression. All but one of the participants withdrew at the last minute, several admitting that they were afraid of arrest. A veteran human-rights activist, Mesfin Woldemariam, did turn up to express his frustration at how Western governments friendly to Mr Meles are prepared to ignore his government’s human-rights abuses.

The American chapter of PEN is among many groups that have denounced Mr Nega’s sentence, calling on governments to reflect on their relations with Ethiopia. Many diplomats in Addis Ababa hoped that their polite lobbying and their presence at Mr Nega’s trial would soften the outcome. It did not.

Ethiopia's dictatorship shaken up by massive Muslim protests

Tuesday, July 17th, 2012

By Simon Allison | The Daily Maverick

Hundreds of thousands of irate Ethiopian Muslims took to the streets of Addis Ababa this weekend – Africa’s biggest protests since Tahrir Square. They want the government to stop meddling in their religious affairs, and acknowledge that Muslims can’t remain a marginalised minority. Ethiopia’s Christian-led government better make some concessions quickly, or risk finding out exactly how many irate Muslims there really are.

You would be forgiven for thinking that the tense, dramatic African Union elections were the most exciting thing to happen in Addis Ababa this weekend – but you would be wrong. While the diplomats were squabbling about procedure and protocol, in another part of the capital an altogether more serious situation was developing, at least as far as hosts Ethiopia are concerned.

While reports are hard to confirm, participants claimed that somewhere between 500,000 and one million Muslims gathered in and around one of the city’s main mosques in a blatant show of defiance against the Christian-led government, while smaller marches took place in other cities across the country. If these numbers are true, then the government of Meles Zenawi – who is currently in Brussels receiving medical treatment, adding to the uncertainty – should be gravely concerned. To put them in perspective, the marches on Tahrir Square which precipitated the Egyptian Revolution were of a similar size; demonstrations of this scale have not been seen in Africa since.

Sunday was the third consecutive day of protests and mosque sit-ins, and already hundreds are reported arrested or injured by the government response, which has definitely included the liberal use of tear gas and – again according to participant claims – live rounds.

Ethiopia is a historically Christian country, one of the oldest Christian countries in the world. But Islam too has deep roots there; it was the first place that persecuted Muslims sought refuge, fleeing Mecca to the kingdom of Axum where the Prophet Muhammad had told them they would be safe. The Axumite king, recognising that his Christianity and the exiles’ Islam shared the same Abrahamic roots, welcomed them. “Go to your homes and live in peace. I shall never give you up to your enemies,” he said.

Ever since, there has been a Muslim community in Ethiopia, and the two religions have co-existed relatively peacefully; both the Christian majority and Muslim minority generally treated with similar disdain by whatever emperor or government was in power, even though Ethiopia’s leaders have always been Christian.

Meles Zenawi’s government, however, is having to contend with a new threat. According to official statistics, Muslims make up 34% of the population; Ethiopian Orthodox Christians 44%; and various Protestant groupings another 17%. But the Muslim population is growing so quickly that, even taking these numbers at face value, Muslims are projected to become the majority in Ethiopia by 2050.

But Ethiopia’s Muslims say these figures have been twisted, and that they are already the majority. This is part of the rhetoric which underpins the current protests, and it’s not the first time I have heard this claim. Three years ago, in Addis Ababa, a diplomat who asked to remain anonymous told me that the results of the 2007 census had been delayed for months as the government struggled to deal with what that census revealed: that, in fact, there were more Muslims than Christians in the country. This posed an existential threat to Zenawi’s government, eroding its traditional support base, and the numbers were fixed – or so the story goes.

A more recent spark for the unrest has been the government’s perceived meddling in religious affairs by encouraging and supporting one minority Muslim sect over the more mainstream others. Terrified of the potential emergence of Al Shabaab-style fundamentalist Islam, Zenawi’s administration has promoted one particular sect of Islam, the Al Ahbash, which opposes ultra-conservative ideology and rejects violence. This has included appointing Al Ahbash clerics to lead the Supreme Council of Islamic Affairs, despite the fact that the Al Ahbash are pretty far from mainstream Islam – in Ethiopia and anywhere else. “It (Al Ahbash) has the right to exist in Ethiopia, but it is unacceptable that the Council tries to impose it on all members of the Muslim community,” Abubeker Ahmed, head of an independent Islamic arbitration committee, told Reuters.

All this takes place against the backdrop of a highly autocratic state. Meles Zenawi would describe it as a benevolent autocracy, but human rights watchdogs would beg to differ. “Ethiopian authorities continued to severely restrict basic rights of freedom of expression, association, and assembly. Hundreds of Ethiopians in 2011 were arbitrarily arrested and detained and remain at risk of torture and ill-treatment,” wrote Human Rights Watch in their World Report 2012.

Restrictions on journalists are particularly tight, making it very difficult to gauge accurately what’s going on in the country. Nonetheless, it’s a story that needs to be covered; it’s clear that the tinderbox of religious divisions, strong-arm responses from the state, historical inequalities and modern demographic shifts has the potential to turn ugly. A media source in Addis Ababa told the Daily Maverick that tensions were so high that the smallest spark could cause a conflagration. And with Zenawi out of action in Brussels, who is around to put out the fire?

Hailemariam Desalegn confirms Meles Zenawi's illness

Monday, July 16th, 2012

By William Davison | Bloomberg

Ethiopia’s government ruling junta said that Prime Minister khat-addicted dictator Meles Zenawi is ill after he failed to attend an African Union summit, and an opposition group reported he may have died in a European hospital.

“There is no serious illness at all. It’s minor only,” Deputy Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn said today in an interview in Addis Ababa, the capital. “As any human being, he has to get medication and he’ll be coming back soon.”

The 57-year-old leader wasn’t at the opening of the African Union summit in Addis Ababa yesterday. He also skipped a meeting of the New Partnership for Africa’s Development in the city on July 14 for “health reasons,” Senegalese President Macky Sall was quoted as saying by the Addis Ababa-based Reporter newspaper.

Meles is head of the ruling Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front Woyanne and has held power in Ethiopia for more than two decades, after helping lead allied rebel groups to oust Mengistu HaileMariam’s Marxist military junta in 1991. The EPRDF and its allies in 2010 won all but two of the 547 seats in parliament in an election the European Union said was “heavily” balanced in favor of the ruling party.

The Ethiopian National Transitional Council, a Dallas, Texas-based Washington DC-based opposition group, said in an e-mailed statement yesterday that Meles may have died in a Belgian hospital.

The Ethiopian Review, an anti-government website, reported that Meles was in the Saint-Luc University hospital in Brussels.

Géraldine Fontaine, a spokeswoman for the hospital, wasn’t immediately available for comment when called today.

“ENTC on behalf of the Ethiopian people demands that the government has the responsibility to disclose the truth to its citizens,” the council said.

Ethiopia: Unfree to Speak or Write?

Monday, July 16th, 2012

Alemayehu G Mariam Free to Speak To paraphrase an old expression, “There are two things that are quintessentially important in any society. The first is free speech and I can’t remember the second one.” Free speech is the bedrock of all human freedoms. In my view, the value a society gives to freedom of expression [...]

[Source: Ethiopian Review]

Is Aiga Forum writing Meles’ obituary?

Monday, July 16th, 2012

Bye, Bye Meles? July 15, 2012 Aiga Forum, the website closely associated with Ethiopia’s intelligence services, just posted an emotional, tear-soaked, braggadocio-filled piece that appears to be the obituary of Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi. The article titled “Meles ad Infinitum” was penned by someone using the pseudonym “Aesop.”  Aesop, incidentally, is the same author [...]

[Source: Ethiopian Review]

Ethiopia's dictator in a coma

Sunday, July 15th, 2012

Reliable sources have informed Ethiopian Review that Ethiopia’s long time dictator Meles Zenawi is in a coma and may have died earlier today.

Meles was transported to Belgium 3 days ago and has been receiving treatment at Saint-Luc University Hospital in Brussels.

Tonight, Ethiopian National Transitional Council (ENTC) has reported that sources close to the ruling party have confirmed the dictator’s death.

Is Aiga Forum writing Meles' obituary?

Sunday, July 15th, 2012

Bye, Bye Meles?

July 15, 2012

Aiga Forum, the website closely associated with Ethiopia’s intelligence services, just posted an emotional, tear-soaked, braggadocio-filled piece that appears to be the obituary of Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi.

The article titled “Meles ad Infinitum” was penned by someone using the pseudonym “Aesop.”  Aesop, incidentally, is the same author who wrote another piece a week ago calling Ethiopian Muslims mosquitoes.  That article was a prelude to the government crackdown on Ethiopian Muslims this past Friday.

In a thinly-veiled farewell to the best known son of Adwa who went on to terrorize  the nation of 90-million for the last twenty-one years, the author argues that Zenawi should be remembered for what he accomplished in “praxis” as as well as his one-time promise to step down peacefully.

You can read the full article at the following link.

Is national dialogue the answer? Obang Metho

Sunday, July 15th, 2012

Ethiopia in Danger! Is There a Way Out Without Our Mutual Destruction? By Obang Metho | Solidarity Movement for a New Ethiopia A bumblebee, if dropped into an open tumbler, will be there until it dies, unless it is taken out. It never sees the means of escape at the top, but persists in trying [...]

[Source: Ethiopian Review]

Inshalla Ethiopia? Sharia Law in Ethiopia? Is Meles Right After All?

Sunday, July 15th, 2012

What kind of people worship a God that would lay waste to a people and refuses to forgive people who do evil things? by Teddy Fikre  dated: Sunday, July 15th, 2012 “If a man still prophesies, his parents, father and mother, shall say to him, “You shall not live, because you have spoken a lie [...]

[Source: Ethiopian Review]

Ethiopia’s dictator a no-show at African Union summit – AP

Sunday, July 15th, 2012

ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia (Associated Press) — Ethiopia’s longtime ruler and most powerful figure, Prime Minister Meles Zenawi, is not attending an African Union summit that opened Sunday in Ethiopia, which further fueled speculation that he might be seriously ill. About three dozen African heads of state and government gathered in Addis Ababa on Sunday, but [...]

[Source: Ethiopian Review]

Woyanne fails to stop Muslim unity gathering in Addis Ababa

Sunday, July 15th, 2012

Despite the ruling Woyanne junta’s grave warning, tens of thousands of Ethiopian Muslims gathered in Addis Ababa today in what they called “Sadaqa and Unity Program.” The unity gathering took place at the Anwar Mosque in Addis Ababa without any major incident. The reason that there was no violent confrontation today is because the Woyanne [...]

[Source: Ethiopian Review]

Ethiopian Review server under DDoS attack

Sunday, July 15th, 2012

Ethiopian Review’s server was once again under DDoS attack this morning and both the main and backup server crashed several times. It took us longer time to bring the site back online because the attack was coming from servers in multiple countries. We will keep monitoring the situation closely. We appreciate the emails and phone [...]

[Source: Ethiopian Review]

Ethiopia's dictator a no-show at African Union summit – AP

Sunday, July 15th, 2012

ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia (Associated Press) — Ethiopia’s longtime ruler and most powerful figure, Prime Minister Meles Zenawi, is not attending an African Union summit that opened Sunday in Ethiopia, which further fueled speculation that he might be seriously ill.

About three dozen African heads of state and government gathered in Addis Ababa on Sunday, but Meles did not attend the meeting — a first since he assumed office in 1991.

Meles was expected to open the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) meeting on Saturday. But Senegalese President Macky Sall opened the gathering instead, telling participants that Meles was unable to be present due “to health conditions.” Sall wished Meles “good health.”

The most recent images of Meles aired by state-run Ethiopian Television showed him noticeably thinner. Opposition websites are claiming that Meles is being treated for a serious illness.

The government declined to comment on the matter.

Ethiopia’s parliament was set to hear from Meles last week when the country’s lawmakers were scheduled to approve Ethiopia’s current fiscal budget, which began July 8, but Meles did not address parliament.

Meles in 2010 promised to step down by 2015. Hailemariam Desalegn was named deputy prime minister. He is also the country’s foreign minister.

ENTC press release on the massacre of Muslims in Addis Ababa

Saturday, July 14th, 2012

Ethiopian National Transitional Council Press Release The dictatorship in Ethiopia must be held accountable for its atrocities against Ethiopian Muslims On Friday, July 13, Meles Zenawi’s dictatorship in Ethiopia launched a bloody crackdown against peaceful Muslim worshippers who gathered at Awolia Mosque in Addis Ababa. The security forces opened fire on the unarmed Muslims causing [...]

[Source: Ethiopian Review]

Ethiopian Muslim leaders consider general strike

Saturday, July 14th, 2012

Tens of thousands of Ethiopian Muslims forced Woyanne security forces to retreat after a violent confrontation broke out Friday evening. It is reported that earlier Friday, the Woyanne Federal police used teargas to try to disperse Muslims who were gathering at the Awolia Mosque, and when that failed, they opened fire directly at the crowd [...]

[Source: Ethiopian Review]

Woyanne Federal police open fire on Muslim worshipers

Friday, July 13th, 2012

UPDATE There is no light in several parts of Addis Ababa right now. Anwar area in Merkato is filled with tens of thousands of people. Federal Police started to retreat after being overwhelmed by defiant crowd. UPDATE: Woyanne Federal police forcibly entered Awolia Mosque and arrested some individuals. People are in the streets facing live [...]

[Source: Ethiopian Review]

Meles Zenawi, Corruption, Blood Money, and USAID

Friday, July 13th, 2012

We ask you as Ethiopians and Americans please stop supporting tyranny in Ethiopia and corruption in America by Ethiopians. by Teddy Fikre  dated: Friday, July 13th, 2012 September 11th did not occur on September 11th 2001.  Rather, the day of monumental mourning and the death of thousands of Americans was decades in the making.  September [...]

[Source: Ethiopian Review]

TPLF and Addis Abeba

Friday, July 13th, 2012

By Yilma Bekele Dictator Meles Zenawi has not been seen for over three weeks or so. We know he is not in good health after we saw his picture with the Chinese Prime Minister in Mexico. Some are claiming we did Photoshop on his picture to make him look sicker than what he was. As [...]

[Source: Ethiopian Review]

The Danger of EXTERNAL “saviors” for INTERNAL ‘problems’

Friday, July 13th, 2012

The guidance provided by outsiders can on occasion be primarily motivated by the desire to achieve the objectives of the outside group giving the advice, instead of the objectives of the population facing the oppression. At times, asking outsiders for guidance on what resisters should do can even result in a loss of control of [...]

[Source: Ethiopian Review]

Saudi police drag Ethiopian woman as she cries for help (video)

Wednesday, July 11th, 2012

Another Ethiopian woman was video-tapped as she cries for help when Saudi Arabia police dragged and forced her into a police van. We don’t know the identity and fate of the woman yet, but her case seems to be similar to that of Alem Dechassa. [Source: Ethiopian Review]

[Source: Ethiopian Review]

USA-EU’s strange pact with Ethiopia’s dictator (New York Times)

Wednesday, July 11th, 2012

By TOBIAS HAGMANN | New York Times BERKELEY, CALIFORNIA — Next time I travel to Ethiopia, I may be arrested as a terrorist. Why? Because I have published articles about Ethiopian politics. I wrote a policy report on Ethiopia’s difficulties with federalism. I gave a talk in which I questioned Ethiopia’s May 2010 elections, in [...]

[Source: Ethiopian Review]

Makeda Debebe: The One in AESA One

Wednesday, July 11th, 2012

Makeda it seems is one of the tiny majorities of Habeshas who actually embraces and lives out the meaning of her first name:: by Teddy Fikre  dated: Wednesday, July 11th, 2012 In times of war, it is vital to understand that all on the other side are not evil and some are taking part and [...]

[Source: Ethiopian Review]

USA-EU's strange pact with Ethiopia's dictator (New York Times)

Wednesday, July 11th, 2012

By TOBIAS HAGMANN | New York Times

BERKELEY, CALIFORNIA — Next time I travel to Ethiopia, I may be arrested as a terrorist. Why? Because I have published articles about Ethiopian politics.

I wrote a policy report on Ethiopia’s difficulties with federalism. I gave a talk in which I questioned Ethiopia’s May 2010 elections, in which the ruling EPRDF party (Ethiopian Peoples’ Revolutionary Democratic Front) won 545 out of 547 seats in the Parliament. As part of my ongoing research on mass violence in the Somali territories, I interviewed members of the Ogaden National Liberation Front, a separatist rebel group in eastern Ethiopia that the government has designated as a terrorist organization.

In the eyes of the government of Prime Minister Meles Zenawi, my work is tantamount to subversion. Not only do his officials have zero tolerance for criticism, they consider people who either talk to or write about the opposition as abetting terrorists.

In recent years the government has effectively silenced opposition parties, human rights organizations, journalists and researchers. On June 27 a federal court convicted the journalist Eskinder Nega and 23 opposition politicians for “participation in a terrorist organization.” More than 10 other journalists have been charged under an anti-terrorism law introduced in 2009. Among them are two Swedes, Martin Schibbye and Johan Persson, who are serving an 11-year prison sentence in Ethiopia. Hundreds of opposition supporters languish in prisons for exercising the very democratic rights that the Ethiopian Constitution nominally protects.

Most people outside Ethiopia associate the country with famine and poverty. They know little about the country’s history and politics — for example that Ethiopia was never colonized, or that it has Africa’s second biggest population. Nor are they aware that Ethiopia is a darling of the donor community, receiving more aid than any other African country. Over the past year alone, the U.S. Agency for International Development has given Ethiopia $675 million in aid. The United States closely collaborates with Ethiopia in covert missions against radical Islamists in neighboring Somalia.

Much of this support comes from the portrayal of Ethiopia as a strong and stable government in a region riddled with political upheaval. The problem, however, is that Ethiopia is plagued by too much state control.

When EPRDF came to power in 1991, it promised to democratize the country. Two decades later the party has a tight grip on all public institutions, from the capital to remote villages. Formally a federal democracy, Ethiopia is a highly centralized one-party state. No independent media, judiciary, opposition parties or civil society to speak of exist in today’s Ethiopia. Many of the country’s businesses are affiliated with the ruling party. Most Ethiopians do not dare to discuss politics for fear of harassment by local officials.

As I found out in dozens of interviews with Ethiopian Somalis, security forces indiscriminately kill, imprison and torture civilians whom they suspect of aiding Ogaden rebels.

How have donors who fund about one third of Ethiopia’s budget and many humanitarian programs reacted to this? They haven’t. They not only continue to support the Ethiopian government but in recent years have increased their aid. The West, most prominently the United States and the European Union, have concluded a strange pact with Meles Zenawi: So long as his government produces statistics that evince economic growth, they are willing to fund his regime — whatever its human rights abuses.

This policy is wrong, shortsighted and counterproductive. It is wrong because billions in Western tax money are spent to support an authoritarian regime. It is shortsighted because it ignores the fact that the absence of basic rights and freedoms is one of the reasons Ethiopians are so poor. It is counterproductive because many Ethiopians resent the unconditional aid and recognition given to their rulers. In Ethiopia — and also in Rwanda and Uganda — the West is once again making the mistake of rewarding stability and growth while closing its eyes to repression.

({www:Tobias Hagmann specializes in East African politics. He is a visiting scholar at the Department of Political Science at the University of California at Berkeley}.)

Rumors about Meles Zenawi's health engulf Addis

Tuesday, July 10th, 2012

The health and whereabouts of Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi have become a subject of  much speculation.  The situation appears to border on panic, especially among regime loyalists. Addis Fortune, an otherwise compliant pro-government  business publication chimes in with its own concerns.

Addis Fortune, July 8, 2012

Not surprisingly, and for obvious reasons, the health and well-being of Prime Minister Meles Zenawi have been the subject of intense discussion among members of the public. This came following photos released recently while he was in Mexico, where he was attending a summit by leaders of the group of 20 major economies (G20), and subsequent TV footage showing him receiving Sharif Sheikh Ahmed of Somalia’s transitional government.

In both images that the public was exposed to, it was clear that the Prime Minister had lost weight and visibly. With speculations wide and persistent, the source of his weight loss was thought by many to be due to failing health.

Such a public perception was only fed by his absence from the public’s view over the past two weeks and was intensified because Parliament has still not gone on recess for the summer, even although the country’s official fiscal year came to an end on Saturday, July 8, 2012. What Parliament was, rather, scheduled to discuss on this day was issues such as approving the minutes from its 43rd session, ratifying a bill on national IDs, and giving recognition to a team of surgeons who successfully conducted an unusual surgery on a child.

MPs have yet to accomplish two of the most important tasks in the year. Listening to the Prime Minister’s address to Parliament on the state of the federation during the just-concluded fiscal year and voting on his report as well as ratifying the federal budget’s bill for the fiscal year that just began, which was approved by the Council of Ministers four weeks ago. Gossip sees that neither of these can take place in the absence of the Prime Minister, indeed, unless, of course, there is a situation that dictates otherwise.

At the heart of all of this lies the issue of whether there is a health challenge that Meles is facing that prohibits him from conducting his official duties. The administration, through its spokesperson, Shimelis Kemal, state minister for the Government Communications Affairs Office, vehemently denied rumours that the Prime Minister has been ill. Some close to the Prime Minister have similar views and attribute his recent loss of weight to a diet that he might have started lately.

Coincidentally, it was at a time of such uncertainty that senior officials at the Ministry of Finance & Economic Development (MoFED) instructed, last week, a recall of letters copied to various federal offices in relation to settling medical bills paid on behalf of the Prime Minister, gossip claims. Meles was in London last year for an official visit, where he had a routine check-up, claims gossip.

The way that such bills get settled through the bureaucratic paper trail is for the Prime Minister’s Office to write a letter of request to the MoFED, upon which the latter transfers the funds to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA), which actually undertakes the payment, according to gossip. Such was what the Prime Minister’s Office did to see that the medical bills for the London check-up were settled almost a year after, gossip claims. Accordingly, the guys at the MoFED have already transferred the money to the foreign office, disclosed gossip.

Nonetheless, for reasons not explained, the paper trails circulating within the various federal agencies in order to process the request have been recalled, claims gossip. A couple of days last week were spent on such an effort, fueling a new cycle of speculations on the well-being of the Prime Minister, according to gossip.

It looks like there is a lot more that the administration’s spin-doctors need to do on the public relations front to reassure an otherwise alarmed bureaucracy and public, before the grapevine spins things out of control, those at the gossip corridors agree.

No doubt that he has been outside of the country much of last week; whether that was for recovery due to exhaustion  -  and for skipping a couple of checkups last year – or something else, gossip disclosed. Nonetheless, some at the diplomatic corridor claim that he is now in a very good health, expected to have been back to Addis Abeba on Saturday night.

If, indeed, the Prime Minister was sick and is now recovering, there should be no reason to keep the public in the dark about the health of their leader, many at the gossip corridor agree.

TPLF's anti-Muslim campaign (analysis)

Monday, July 9th, 2012

Former TPLF regime official Abdellah Adem Teki provides an in-depth analysis on why dictator Meles Zenawi has launched an anti-Muslim campaign in Ethiopia. [Read here: Amharic - PDF]

AESA One: Ye Dem Genzeb Men Geza?

Monday, July 9th, 2012

You can sleep with the pharaoh or you can stand for the people—I will not let you do both! by Teddy (revolutionary) Fikre  dated: Monday, July 9th, 2012 It is done!  A war I started a week ago has been complete and I am now standing on top of a smoldering ash that is AESA [...]

[Source: Ethiopian Review]

Ethiopia in BondAid?

Monday, July 9th, 2012

Alemayehu G. Mariam “Bondage” is the state of being bound by or subjected to some external power or control. When people are bound by debt, they are in “debt bondage”. When they are held in involuntary servitude, they are in “bondage slavery”. Before much of Africa became “independent” in the 1960s, Africans were held under [...]

[Source: Ethiopian Review]

AESA One: Ye Dem Genzeb Men Geza? – (VIDEO)

Monday, July 9th, 2012

This tiyake for all the AESA One bandas from Abinet Gebremeskel, Al Amoudi, Meles Zenawi on down to each and every promoter, DJ, singer, dancer, businesses and people who attended the AESA One Cultural genocide at RFK.  Ye dem Genzeb Men Geza? PLEASE CLICK ON PICTURE TO WATCH PLEASE CLICK ON PICTURE TO WATCH Please [...]

[Source: Ethiopian Review]

Dictator Meles Zenawi receives treatment for blood cancer

Sunday, July 8th, 2012

Ethiopia’s khat-addicted dictator Meles Zenawi has been diagnosed with blood cancer and is receiving treatment at a Belgium hospital, according to Ethiopian Review Intelligence Unit sources. Berhane Gebrekiristos and Teodros Adhanom, both close confidants of Meles Zenawi and senior members of the ruling party Woyanne, are currently functioning as acting prime-ministers. ESAT has reported that [...]

[Source: Ethiopian Review]

ESFNA GRAND FINALE Live on the Internet TODAY!!

Saturday, July 7th, 2012

ESFNA GRAND FINALE LIVE ON THE INTERNET STARTING AT 6:30 PM EST TODAY [click to watch ESFNA Finale LIVE on Brown Condor Radio] Watch the ESFNA grand finale LIVE on Brown Condor TV starting at 6:30 PM EST by going to ~ or click on the picture above Wait wait, there is MORE…forget watching [...]

[Source: Ethiopian Review]

Mahamoud Ahmed brings down the house in Dallas

Saturday, July 7th, 2012

Ethiopian culture and music icon Mahamoud Ahmed and another Ethiopian music legend Tsehaye Yohannes were among some of the many artistes who participated in the Ethiopian Sports Federation North America’s (ESFNA) Ethiopian Day program Friday night in Dallas. The video below shows Mahamoud Ahmed playing “Ethiopia Hagerachin” (Ethiopia our country) to the mostly young crowd. [...]

[Source: Ethiopian Review]

Meles Zenawi and his health

Saturday, July 7th, 2012

Ethiopia, Ato Meles and his health. By Yilma Bekele Ato Meles Zenawi, Chairman of Tigrai People Liberation Front (TPLF) and Prime Minster of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia is not in good health. I became aware of that fact after watching the video of a news clip made during his meeting with the President [...]

[Source: Ethiopian Review]

Al Amoudi’s Woyanne festival update (video)

Friday, July 6th, 2012

UPDATE (6 July 2012, 04:00 PM EST): Today was promoted to be the biggest day in the week-long AESAONE festival in Washington DC that is funded by the beggar Woyanne junta in Ethiopia. As the video below shows, the very few people who went to the 45,000-seat RFK Stadium, were hiding themselves in shame as [...]

[Source: Ethiopian Review]

Feeding Ethiopia to Lyons

Friday, July 6th, 2012

Feeding Ethiopia to Lyons Challenge duplicity where you see it and speak up against people like Professor Lyons who stand in league with tyrants and pygmy dictators like Meles Zenawi. by Teddy Fikre  dated: Friday, July 6th, 2012 Colonialism.  Did you really think it disappeared a half century ago? Did you really think that Ethiopia [...]

[Source: Ethiopian Review]

Jeezy performs at Al Amoudi festival

Friday, July 6th, 2012

Jeezy is one of the the well-known American rappers who are paid close to a million dollars to perform at AESAONE event in Washington DC this week. The event, that is fully funded by Al Amoudi and the Woyanne junta in Ethiopia, promoted AESAONE as an Ethiopian cultural and sports group, but read below what [...]

[Source: Ethiopian Review]

የታሪክ ተጠያቂወች ሁነናል፤ እኛስ ለነጻነት ምን እንሰራለን? ክፍል ሰቫት

Friday, July 6th, 2012

አክሎግ ቢራራ (ዶር) በቁጥር ስድስት ለማስረዳት የሞከርኩት፤ የህወሓትን ተደጋጋሚ መራራ በደል በሚገባ ለማሳየት፤ ስርአቱ በቀጥታ፤ ጠባብ ዘረኝነትን፤ የገዥ ፓርቲን፤ መንግስትንና ጠቅላላ የመንግስት አስተዳደርን ከአንድ ላይ ቆላልፎ፤ (Total merger of ethnicity, political party, government and state) ወገናዊና አድሏዊ በሆነ መንገድ፤ የበላይነት ፍጹምነት መቀዳጀቱን ነው።በመሆኑም፤ ለይስሙላ ዳኛና ፍርድ ቤት፤ ህገ መንግስትና አስተዳደር አለ ቢባልም፤ ግለሰቦችና ተቋሞች የሚያስፈጽሙት [...]

[Source: Ethiopian Review]

Al Amoudi's Woyanne festival update (video)

Friday, July 6th, 2012

UPDATE (6 July 2012, 04:00 PM EST): Today was promoted to be the biggest day in the week-long AESAONE festival in Washington DC that is funded by the beggar Woyanne junta in Ethiopia. As the video below shows, the very few people who went to the 45,000-seat RFK Stadium, were hiding themselves in shame as they made their entry. Out of the 300,000 Ethiopians who reside in the Washington DC area, less than 500 showed up.
more video and updates later

UPDATE (5 July 2012, 01:34 PM EST): Patriotic Ethiopians in the Washington DC area are organizing another big demonstration against the Al Amoudi Woyanne festival at the RFK Stadium Friday starting at 3 PM. The purpose of the demonstration is simple: To derail the festival that is being funded by money stolen from the people of Ethiopia.

* * *

UPDATE (4 July 2012, 06:45 PM EST): As expected, no more than 100 Ethiopians showed up at the Al Amoudi festival on Wednesday in the RFK Stadium that has 45,000 seats. Desperate for attendees, the organizers were handing out free and discounted tickets to Americans in DC to watch famous American rappers. Some of the rappers did not even show up after finding out who is behind the concert. On Friday, they have a concert by several Ethiopian musicians who are flown from Addis Ababa for the occasion. Patriotic Ethiopians in the Washington DC area are mobilizing to confront them outside the RFK Stadium. The protest start at 3 PM. Be there and give voice to the voiceless Ethiopians back home.

* * *

Al Amoudi and his thugs will face another disaster today when no body shows up to participate in their Woyanne festival in Washington DC’s RFK Stadium. They spent close to a million dollars to pay well-known American rappers to sing this evening (July 4). We have received information that some of the rappers, such as T.I. canceled their appearance after learning that the money they are being paid was stolen from the people of Ethiopia. Among the Ethiopian singers, Kuri was fired by her Ethiopian employers after they found out that she is planning to sing for Woyanne… stay tuned for more update