Archive for the ‘Ethiopian News’ Category

Woyanne mercenaries captured in Libya (video)

Thursday, February 24th, 2011

Libya opposition forces continue to capture mercenaries who have arrived by planes from other African countries to carry out Gaddafi’s threat of bloodshed. Some of the mercenaries were sent to Libya by Gaddafi’s long time friend and aid recipient Meles Zenawi, who himself is a genocidal dictator. The following video shows some of the soldiers along with their Ethiopian passports.

Exporting Ethiopian girls: The story of Trungo (video)

Thursday, February 24th, 2011

Ethiopians in the Diaspora have become the largest source of hard currency for the brutal dictatorship in Ethiopia bringing over $3 billion annualy. To keep the revenue flowing, companies that are affiliated with the ruling party are busy exporting poor Ethiopian girls to Arab countries to work as maids in slavery-like conditions. These girls face constant abuse and mistreatment in the hands of their employers. We Ethiopians as a society should be terribly ashamed of ourselves for letting our defenseless girls to be exploited and abused in foreign countries. The girls should be at school and able to find jobs in their own country. The following is a gut-wrenching story of Trungo by a German TV, WDR. It’s in German language, but not difficult to follow the story, which is about a young girl named “Trungo” who comes from a remote area in the northern Ethiopia and traveled to Dubai to work as a maid. The film recounts that Trungo decided to leave her village so that she can support her family. The film also shows the dubious cooperation of the brokers in Addis Ababa and in Dubai and the savage and inhuman behavior of Arab employers who are abusing Ethiopian women. Watch below:

UK rejects call by France to impose no-fly zone over Libya

Wednesday, February 23rd, 2011

The U.K. government is notorious for its anti-human rights foreign policy. Rejecting the call by France to impose no-fly zone over Libya so that Gaddafi would not commit genocide should not come as a surprise. No wonder people around the world despise the morally bankrupt government of the U.K. that sells weapons to genocidal dictators like Gaddafi of Libya and Meles Zenawi of Ethiopia.

(Guardian) — Nicolas Sarkozy is leading the calls for a NATO-imposed no-fly zone to be enforced over Libya to “prevent the use of that country’s warplanes against [its] population”.

Sarkozy, the current president of the G8 and G20 economic forums, has also called for the European Union to impose sanctions against Libya and suggested that the assets of the family of the Libyan leader, Muammar Gaddafi, should be frozen.

William Hague, the British foreign secretary, did not join the calls for a no-fly zone, but David Cameron held out the prospect of imposing sanctions on Libya if Gaddafi continued to respond to the protests with violence. The government is wary of antagonizing the Libyan leadership while it attempts to repatriate British citizens.

In an interview with al-Jazeera television in Doha, the prime minister said: “Sanctions are always an option for the future if what we are seeing in Libya continues. Of course, if Libya continues down this path, there will be a very strong argument [for sanctions].”

Cameron’s remarks appeared to be a hardening of his position from earlier in the day, when he sidestepped questions about whether he would endorse the French president’s call for sanctions.

But the prime minister moved to play down the prospect of military action against Libya, saying: “I do not think we are at that stage yet. We are at the stage of condemning the actions Colonel Gaddafi has taken against his own people.”

It is likely the British attitude towards a no-fly zone will toughen if and when its citizens are evacuated.

The government is also concerned that Russia and China could veto a no-fly zone at the United Nations security council, leaving the international community weakened.

Demands for a ban on flights over Libya have been made by Ibrahim al-Dabashi, the country’s deputy ambassador to the UN, who is among diplomats who have abandoned Gaddafi.

He said the measure would prevent mercenaries, weapons and other supplies from reaching Gaddafi and his security forces. There have also been fears that Gaddafi could resort to bombing his own people.

Hague said he was canceling a planned trip to Washington to handle the crisis from London, adding that it would be difficult to get a security council resolution. The council has, though, made a statement condemning Libya’s actions.

Hague stressed he wanted an international inquiry into possible war crimes, saying this represented the best chance to stop murder and atrocities by the regime. “They will be held to account. They should hear that message loud and clear,” he said.

Speaking on BBC Radio 4′s Today programme, the former foreign secretary Lord Owen became the first British politician to call for a no-fly zone, adding that the west should be concerned about the possibility that Gaddafi would unleash chemical weapons.

“We know that this is a person who could unleash either chemical or biological weapons, which he possibly still has. He is one of the worst despots we have seen for many a century. He is deeply unstable, and has been for 42 years,” Owen said.

He called for a UN charter chapter 7 intervention – meaning the authorization of military and non-military means to “restore international peace and security” – to be enforced by Nato air forces with Egyptian military support to demonstrate regional backing for the effort.

He argued a no-fly zone similar to the one imposed on Saddam Hussein’s Iraq in 1991 was feasible and wholly desirable. He said he believed the US would already have put its planes on alert.

Sarkozy went further than any other leading EU politician in calling for military action. “The continuing brutal and bloody repression against the Libyan civilian population is revolting,” he said. ” The international community cannot remain a spectator to these massive violations of human rights.”

The scale of the threat to world security was underlined by reports suggesting Gaddafi had ordered the destruction of oilfields, as well as the growing likelihood that he was willing to see a massive death toll rather than relinquish power.

Legitimacy of Political Power

Wednesday, February 23rd, 2011

By Dejenie A. Lakew

The Temporal Sign and Demand of Society: Legitimacy of Political Power

A leader exercises power of leadership and service on a particular society. The power he/she has can be legitimate or otherwise. The legitimacy of the power of a leader comes from the people. If not from the people then the power is illegitimate.

A legitimate leader therefore has to be a person amongst the people not somebody who is outside of them, who has a better vision, established and derivable wisdom and virtues and an intrinsic courage that analyzes and understands problems of the society ahead and deliver solutions in an optimal time-shortest time possible. He/she leads the people by providing convincing methods and delivering solutions to problems the society faces in the right and progressive direction. No legal citizen should live in pain and die for a survival of an illegal leader but instead a leader has to live in pain and die for the survival of a legal individual citizen. The immediate concerns and jobs of a leader is to serve the society, not be served by society. He/she is an employee of the society not employing the society and make the society live under his/her mercy. Their power to lead the country is legitimate when it is given by the society. By the time they defy the society, develop contempt to the people and rule by their own will, then they changed the country into their real estate and the society into their own workers. That is the beginning of dictatorship, timocracy, oligarchy, etc, any form of illegal government. Once relations get sour and reach to that stage, leaders lose the legitimacy of their power and receive the rant of the society and ultimately lose their political achievements they have done in their legitimate times. The consequences are catastrophic to them to their family members and great descendants- they all be in the eternal fire of history. Therefore, a leader has to be wise enough to know and listen the society and its will as to when he/she should finish a tenure of service so that they end their power as legitimate and the good things they have done during their legitimate times remain as an eternal candle of history to the society.

Good leaders create administrative structures so that the people get conditions/or resources of life, happiness and freedom in minimal obstacles by providing effective leadership on all levels of their government structures . In order these things to be implemented, there has to be a common space of understanding between the people and the leaders. The people should give time to elected leaders as to when and how they have to come up with solutions to the common social, economic and political problems that they have promised to do so. But at the same time leaders should know that life is short and ephemeral and solutions they promised have to be delivered on time and if that does not happen, then they have to give a path way and in fact invite and solicit the people to elect other new leaders who are capable of understanding the scope and magnitude of the problems and promise to address the issues in a better and short time frame. After all governments are highest forms of social gatherings or structures of a particular society, established to take care of common welfare of the people and therefore cannot behave as an outside power but appended to the people from above for all time.

The protests that are happening in Tunisia, Egypt, Yemen and across the middle east are clear indicators of society running out of patience in living and carrying problems indefinitely, where society expresses outcry in multitudes to the extent of willing to die of their suffering by the hands common people who happened to be on the pinnacle of power and place of the leadership but unable to deliver anything for the society. Inability is not a sin by itself but not willing to give the place for others who are capable is the political sin. In times where society express suffrage and anger , governments should behave as part of the society and ask an apology from the society and express their willingness to leave office by arranging conditions in order problems be addressed.

Leaders should know and it is to their benefit that they feel and remain part of the society when they were in power and when they are out of power. They have to do their utmost effort to live within the society and contribute more when they are out of power but taking care of their family. It is always possible for them to be listened, heard and contribute more to their people as long as they are alive and as long as they finish legally. That is the right way to stay in politics for life long—not by hanging on power for life. These problems of appetite for hanging on power for life time are common in what are called developing or underdeveloped countries , where leaders take counties as their real estates and the society as employees in their firms — while it is non-existent in developed countries.

The consequences are sever and catastrophic not only for such bad leaders but to their all family members. There is no dictator who left power by will and allow his family members live in peace instead they make all their lifelong happiness and achievements be destroyed forever by angry society and unforgiving history. It is amazing why leaders cannot see that and make their immediate family members, children and grand children pay a price for their selfish and ill advised desire of power for life. All dictators disappear along with their descendants for ever from their society while wise leaders remain political advisors and important figures to their own society. Their descendants remain beloved society members living a good life within their own society, proud of the political works their parents have done and the recognition received by the society and history.

It is therefore the sign and demand of the time that leaders of countries irrespective of under-developed/developing, should be willing to do exactly what politically developed world leaders do:

* Put time frame for a political life-tenure in their constitution.

* Make sure their political power is legitimate.

* Know the difference between a country and real estate. It is only in real estate that individual citizens have lifelong rights to own it and live in it.

* Leave office when people demand and cry of their ineffectiveness.

* Leave office when problems remain unsolved on time and beyond.

* During turmoil times within society ( governments unwilling to yield their power from demand of society), then the police force and army should not always play as killing inanimate partners of illegitimate governments that run amuck and put their very own citizens, who give legitimacy to their power beneath their foot, but instead to carry out their responsibility by keeping the security and safety of the society in general and the rights of the people untouched.

It is only when this happens that the old style of removing governments by guns will stop and a modern and civilized political life begins which is a building block of stability, growth and social development.

(Dejenie A. Lakew, Ph.D., can be reached at dejenieal@gmail.com)

Libya opposition forces take control of more towns

Wednesday, February 23rd, 2011

Libyan opposition forces, with the help of troops who joined the protesters, are tightening the noose around Gaddafi by taking more town today. Gulf News reports that the opposition is now controlling 90 percent of the country. Meanwhile, Algeria, Bahrain, Jordan and Saudi Arabia have decided to take a different course by releasing political prisoners, calling for dialogue, and other positive measures to prevent uprising. In Algeria, the regime has lifted the 19-year-old state of emergency yesterday and announced greater freedom and reform. Bahrain has released 250 prisoners of conscience today.

(Gulf News) — Early yesterday, security forces loyal to Sa’edi, Gaddafi’s son, encircled Sirte, blocking the coastal highway and another highway linking Libya’s eastern and western regions. “Tanks and manned armoured vehicles have cut the coastal and the inside road linking east with the west. Sirte is the last stronghold of the man since his tribe lives in the city,” Fateh Al Talhouni, member of the revolutionary committee in Misurata told Gulf News. So far, protesters have claimed control of 90 per cent of Libya, including most of the capital Tripoli and major cities such as Benghazi, Baida, Tobruk, Misurata, Zawiya and Zantan. Guards loyal to Gaddafi have fled from checkposts on the Egyptian border and tribal elders have formed local committees to take their place.

(CBS) — CBS News’ Mandy Clark describes the scene in Libya after entering the country through Egypt: I’m across the border in Libya. We’re heading to Tobruk. Right now there’s a man passing me holding two old Libyan flags, which are pre-Qaddafi era. And he’s giving the sign of victory, and that’s what we’re seeing all over since we’ve got into Libya – people welcoming us to a free Libya. We’ve been offered rides to anywhere we want to go. People want news crews in here to report what’s happening. They’re offering as many people as they can lift to get to where they need to go. Entering here was quite difficult – going through on the Egyptian side, there were layers upon layers of security. And they certainly made you feel that you weren’t going to get into Libya. But, after you had passed the last Egyptian checkpoint, you headed to the Libyan one. There was kind of a rag-tag militia with mismatching uniforms. They were deeply friendly; they kept on saying “welcome, welcome.” When they asked who we were with, we said “CBS America.”
They said, “Welcome CBS. Welcome all international media.” And they drove us. They’re offering free lifts. The people and the mood certainly is jubilant. It’s not a new liberation flag, it’s actually the Libyan flag before Qaddafi. It’s the old Libyan flag, and people are waving it as a sign to show that the old Libya is back and that Qaddafi is gone.

Botswana joins Peru in breaking diplomatic ties with Libya

Wednesday, February 23rd, 2011

Botswana is the only African country with a freely elected decent government. Their action against Libya is an example of their moral decency.

(CNN) — Botswana’s foreign affairs ministry said in a statement, “In light of the massive and disproportionate force visited upon peaceful protesters by the Libyan security forces, the government of Botswana summoned the Libyan Representative in Gaborone and expressed its revulsion at the Libyan government’s response to peaceful protesters and called for restraint in dealing with the situation.”

Peru and Botswana both announced they were breaking diplomatic ties with Libya. Peruvian President Alan Garcia said his country suspended diplomatic relations after condemning “the repression unleashed by Gadhafi.”

The statement added that Botswana was joining “the international community which is calling for action to be taken against those persons who have committed crimes against humanity in the continuing conflict in Libya and hopes that such persons shall be referred to the International Criminal Court to account for their deeds.”

ICC Prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo noted that Libya is not a party to the Rome Statute, which set up the court. “Intervention by the ICC on the alleged crimes committed in Libya can occur only if the Libyan authorities accept the jurisdiction of the Court,” his statement said. “In the absence of such step, the United Nations Security Council can decide to refer the situation to the Court. The Office of the Prosecutor will act only after either decision is taken.”

French President Nicolas Sarkozy called for prompt European Union sanctions against Libya on Wednesday, such as “a ban on access to EU territory and financial monitoring.”

(Bloomberg) — German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Nicolas Sarkozy led calls for European Union sanctions against Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi as political unrest continued in the North African nation.

Merkel said that Qaddafi’s televised speech yesterday in which he threatened his own people with civil war was “alarming.” Sarkozy said today that France may suspend economic and commercial relations with Libya, according to an e- mailed statement in Paris.

The European Union in Brussels is suspending negotiations with the Libyan government on an EU-Libya Framework Agreement and said the 27-nation bloc “is ready to take further measures.” EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton said “those responsible for the brutal aggression and violence against civilians will be held to account.”

(VOA) — The U.S. State Department says it is considering sanctions against Libya in response to the government’s violent crackdown on protesters.

Spokesman P.J. Crowley said Wednesday the United States has a number of options for taking action against Libya including bilateral or multilateral sanctions. He said it is important that any steps the U.S. takes should be coordinated with the international community.

Protests called in Zimbabwe, Gabon, Cameroon, Mauritania

Wednesday, February 23rd, 2011

The Washington Post and New York Times are reporting that anti-dictatorship protests in north Africa are spreading south.

* Anti-government demonstrations, which have spread across Northern Africa, seem to have moved across the rest of the continent to Cameroon, Gabon, Zimbabwe and Mauritania. In Cameroon, protests have been called for Wednesday to demand the ouster of President Paul Biya, CNN reports. Biya has ruled the country for 28 years. The main opposition leader, Kah Walla, told CNN that his group wants to see free and fair elections. – Melissa Bell, Washington Post

* The democracy uprising is spreading to new parts of Africa: Cameroon, Gabon, Zimbabwe, Mauritania. Nicholas Kristo, New York Times

* Activists meet in Zimbabwe to discuss the implications of Egypt and Tunisia and end up arrested. Mugabe did not learn the right lessons. – Philip J. Crowley, U.S. Department of State

* Opposition groups gain ground in Libya. They are claiming victory in Misurata, a provincial center 130 miles east of the capital, in another indication that the rebellion was encroaching on cities closer to Colonel Qaddafi’s stronghold of Tripoli. In the southern city of Sabha, considered a Qaddafi stronghold, large protests were also reported. – New York Times

Meeting with Berhanu Nega, Neamin Zeleke in Texas

Wednesday, February 23rd, 2011

On February 12 and 13, 2011, Ethiopians in Houston and Dallas, Texas, held public meetings with Dr. Birhanu Nega of Ginbot 7 Movement and Ato Neamin Zeleke of the Alliance for Freedom, Democracy and Justice. The meetings were held at Houston Baptist University, Houston and at Double Tree Hotel, Richardson, TX.

Ato Neamin spoke on the need for the Diaspora to come together and act in unison to help the
Ethiopian people join in the emerging uprisings to oust dictators like Meles and replace them with
people’s power. In his speech, he made specific calls for action to the Diaspora to

* Organize itself world-wide under a single umbrella

* Engage in economic fight with the TPLF through mechanisms such as non-official remittance transfer and through effective boycott of the TPLF and so called EPDRF affiliated companies

* Refrain from getting sucked into being political hostage of the TPLF by participating in its official sham investment schemes

* Support for ESAT and other similar measures.

Dr. Birhanu addressed the audience on the timely topic of the people’s uprising in the Middle East and North Africa and its implication to us Ethiopians. The speech dealt with an analysis of the significance and causes of the revolution that is sweeping our region. He emphasized the fact that the drivers of this revolution exist in Ethiopia in an even more pronounced fashion than in Egypt or Tunisia. His speech also acknowledged and identified some of the negative barriers for people’s uprising that exist uniquely in Ethiopia. Finally, he enumerated the steps that must be taken by the opposition groups, the youth and the people of Ethiopia to enable the revolution in the Ethiopian condition.

We believe the speeches by Dr Birhanu and Ato Neamin are must-listen speeches for all Ethiopians. Watch below:

After the public meeting, the participants of the meeting had an extended informal conversation over dinner with the guests about the present condition in Ethiopia. In Houston, the focus of the discussion revolved around the implication of the absence of a large middle and educated class in Ethiopia for carrying a revolution like we witnessed in Egypt. Dr. Birhanu insisted that this fact is irrelevant for the fight against dictatorship in Ethiopia. He said, “everybody including peasants can and will fight for their freedom and self government”.

In Dallas, the focus of the dinner-conversation was instigated by the provocative question from Dr. Birhanu. He asked the dinner participants on why there were only 200+ participants in the meeting in a city where there are over 20, 0000 Ethiopians. These led to a very productive exchange of ideas in what we all have to do to broaden the participation of the larger community in such event in the future.

Meeting Organizers

Peru breaks diplomatic ties with Libya

Wednesday, February 23rd, 2011

Here is a small nation with a big heart standing up for justice. Thank you Peru.

(AP) — Peru’s government has announced it is suspending diplomatic relations with Libya to protest the violence unleashed by its leader Muammar Gaddafi against his people.

A statement released Tuesday evening by President Alan Garcia’s office on its website said Peru would ask the UN Security Council to establish an exclusion zone in Libyan airspace “to prevent the use of that country’s warplanes against (its) population.”

Other developments

* The Arab League has suspended Libya from its sessions in light of violent crackdowns on anti-government protests, said media reports citing regional news network Al Jazeera. Earlier on Tuesday, Arab League Secretary-General Amr Moussa spoke of ‘Arab anger about what is happening to civilians in Libya,’ the report added. A League statement read out by Secretary-General Arm Moussa strongly condemned what it called crimes against civilians, the recruiting of foreign mercenaries and the use of live ammunition and heavy weapons by Libyan forces.

* Witnesses have reported that Benghazi has essentially been taken over by the opposition. – CNN

* On Sunday, Maj. Gen. Suleiman Mahmoud, the commander of the Tobruk Garrison, took off his shoes and entered a mosque, he said. Inside he hailed the martyrs of the revolution and told the people he was with them. Hundreds gathered around him and wept. Mahmoud said that he had participated in Gaddafi’s 1969 revolution but that his family had persuaded him in recent days to turn against the government. His daughter, who holds a doctorate, sobbed into the phone, telling him of the hundreds who had been killed in their home town of Benghazi. Many were teenage boys, and some were the neighbors’ children. “I decided to withdraw from the revolutionary army and join the people,” Mahmoud said, still in his uniform Tuesday night. – Washington Post

Conditions in Ethiopia justify revolution

Wednesday, February 23rd, 2011

By Shimekit Debalke

Over the last couple of weeks or months, I have been carefully listening to, watching, and reading conflicting messages about the importance and timeliness of a popular uprising in Ethiopia to topple the TPLF-led regime.

Some people argue that the “Jasmine‖” and “Nile Revolutions” that successfully took place in Tunisia and Egypt, respectively, will not be applicable to Ethiopia. Their argument centers on the fact that Tunisians and Egyptians are more literate. But, literacy is only one factor for successful revolution. There are other important ingredients of a successful revolution – unison, patriotism, resoluteness, vision, and a common goal. If literacy is even given undue emphasis, we Ethiopians have enlightened and experienced individuals in the academia, public service, civil society organizations and other walks of life who are courageous and gallant.

Others argue that the military in the Arab World is more enlightened and neutral. I strongly believe that the army in Ethiopia will draw an important lesson that if it continues to support this regime in suppressing the inevitable peoples’ revolution, its fate will be endangered in the aftermath of the successful revolution and Ethiopia will no more consider it as a national army. So the army must be for us, not against us. I understand that the military officials at all levels are from Tigray. But, the rank-and-file of the army are recruited from all ethnic groups and will never shoot their own people down. The rank-and-file of the army are tired of their racist bosses.

Others argue that the Ethiopian youth might not be able to have sufficient access to social media (such as Facebook and Twitter) since all communications are controlled by TPLF. Probably more than social media, revolution requires organization and commitment. Popular uprisings in Georgia, Ukraine, and other nations have been successful well before the advent of any social media and even of the internet. There was no internet when gallant Ethiopians such as Walleligne Mekonnen and Tilahun Gizaw were shaking the Haileselassie regime during the 1960s. There is no need to be obsessed with the importance of social media and neglect other techniques and strategies. I am not downplaying the importance of social media for the uprising. It is a necessary, but not a sufficient, condition.

Others argue that if a popular uprising is called upon, Zenawi’s police, security forces and the military will respond with brute force. I want to remind TPLF officials about John F. Kennedy’s quote ((if at all they read it):

Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable.”

For the last 20 years, we have been arrested, marginalized, dehumanized, and murdered by the regime. What are we waiting for? Can we express ourselves freely? Are we equally treated before the court? Aren’t we in continuous frustration of extra-judicial arrests? Generally speaking, we are in mass detention center under TPLF. The detention center is Ethiopia itself and the prison guards are TPLF thugs and gangs.

Others still argue that if a regime change takes place, some ethnic groups will claim secession. In its 20-years stay, TPLF has been successful only in one thing – that is, creating a misunderstanding among different ethnic groups, encouraging one ethnic group to take vengeance against the other ethnic group – a “divide-and-conquer” principle which the British used during the colonial period. Nonetheless, be cognizant that after this regime is dismantled, Article 39 of the TPLF/EPRDF “constitution” will no longer be in effect to be used by some ethnic groups as a pretext to raise the question of self-determination up to secession. The current”constitution” does not represent Ethiopian national interest and it is TPLF’s political programme solely designed to support “Eritrean independence” and create the Tigray Republic (though they have not sufficient and necessary resources to secede and are still busy amassing resources to make their nightmare a reality). Don’t’ worry! There will be national reconciliation to address both individual and group/ethnic rights – no fear for disintegration after the revolution. If we tolerate TPLF administration any more, we will disintegrate.

Thus, we Ethiopians have strong justification to ignite a revolution probably more than any other nation in the world – leave alone the Arab World.

Needless to say, we are in abject poverty and are fed up with Zenawi’s development/growth propaganda. The economy has fallen victim to Meles’ insatiable families and loyal groups. Probably incomparable to other countries, we Ethiopians are deprived of the indivisible and inalienable human rights — civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights. All the draconian legislations passed by the most unpopular “Parliament” in the world, including the NGO Legislation, the Press Law, and the  “Anti-Terrorism” Law are all meant to suppress any opposition and plural thoughts. Recently, the government has frozen the assets of the two indigenous human rights organizations – Ethiopian Women Lawyers’ Association (EWLA) and the Ethiopian Human Rights Council (EHRC). Meles has narrowed the political space to the extent possible and declared a one-man rule. The deprivations in Ethiopia are countless both in depth and width.

Let me bring here Ernesto Che’Guevera’s quote about revolution: “It is not necessary to wait until all conditions for making revolution exist: the insurrection can create them.” The upsurge should be as peaceful as possible. Let me, however, remind you of Fidel Castor’s quote: “A revolution is not a bed of roses. A revolution is a struggle to death between the future and the past.” However, we should devise a mechanism to achieve our goals with no or minimum blood and sacrifice. We have no moral justification to be scared by the Woyanne cliques. They will immediately be inundated and engulfed by gallant Ethiopians storming from all walks of life. This regime does not have a public base. It is solely based on thugs and gangs who are good to endanger our national interest.

Finally, Let me pinpoint some strategies for our struggle (you can improve them since the list is not exhaustive):

1. Share our overall plans to prominent international media, social media professionals and owners, prominent human rights groups, the UN, the US, the UK, and other freedom-loving nations.

2. Disseminate brochures, leaflets, and posters at hotspot areas. (In Addis Ababa: Piazza, Stadium, Sidist Kilo, Arat Kilo, Amist Kilo, Anbessa Bus Stops, regional bus stations, high schools, and universities. In regional cities: high schools, universities, and bus stations). This can effectively be done at nighttime recruiting street adults – be, however, cautious that some of these street adults might be Woyanee informers!

3. Move underground as the EPRP (Ethiopian Peoples’ Revolutionary Party) did 30 years back to ignite the revolution. Hold underground consultative meetings with high school and university teachers in very small groups and exchange information through email, SMS, or call by using code names.

4. Launch the uprising in major towns such as in Addis Ababa, Adama, Hawassa, Bahir Dar, Dessie, and other perceived opposition strongholds. This may then be spread to Addis Ababa.

5. Assure the police and the army that it will not be dismantled when regime change takes place as a result of the popular uprising by any means available, especially during the revolt.

6. Once the uprising is ignited, let us stay together at the streets, churches and mosques. If we go back home in the night, the Woyanne security forces will come to our homes and take us to jails.

7. Refrain from any ethnic and religious insult throughout the period of the uprising. Woyane thugs will incite this to abort the revolution – be cautious!

The Moral Economy of A New Ethiopia in the Horizon

Tuesday, February 22nd, 2011

By Teodros Kiros

We Ethiopians know what we do not want, but some of us know what we do not want,  as well us what we want and could want.  When we ask for regime change, we do so with a firm vision of a new Ethiopia. We have a well thought out possibility for change, ready to be converted into a new reality by our able and underused intelligencia.  We have a blue print of a future Ethiopia, and we are ready to share it with the Ethiopian public for their considered judgment. From now on nothing is going to be practiced without the scrutiny of the Ethiopian people’s public reason. Our role is merely to suggest what we think is viable, and our people’s  public reason judges our proposals. Together, we practice radical democracy, the peoples’ democracy.

A sharp twitter recently observed:

But as food prices continue to rise and economic hardship tightens its grip on the region, it is plausible to imagine Africans revolting and using means other than the often meaningless ballot box to remove their leaders.

“What people want is the democratization of society, of production, of the economy, and indeed all aspects of life,” says Manji. “What they are being offered instead is the ballot box.”

But, Manji adds: “Elections don’t address the fundamental problems that people face. Elections on their own do nothing to enable ordinary people to be able to determine their own destiny. “

This, according to Kisiangani, is because “the process of democratization in many African countries seems more illusory than fundamental”.

Gabon, Zimbabwe, even Ethiopia may never have the online reach enjoyed by Egyptians, and the scale of solidarity through linguistic and cultural symmetry may not allow their calls to reach the same number of internet users. But this does not mean that a similar desire for change is not brewing, nor that the traditional media and online community are justified in ignoring it.

Screens were put up in Tahrir Square broadcasting Al Jazeera’s coverage of the protests back to the protesters. It is difficult to qualify the role of social media in the popular uprisings gaining momentum across the Arab world, but it is even more difficult to quantify the effect of the perception of being ignored, of not being watched, discussed and, well, retweeted to the throngs of others needing to be heard.

Ignoring the developments in Africa is to miss the half the story.

“The protests have created the ‘hope’ that ordinary people can define their political destiny,” says Kisiangani. “The uprisings … are making people on the continent become conscious about their abilities to define their political destinies.”

Follow @azadessa on Twitter.

What follows is an outline of a vision for the New Ethiopia that we will march for peacefully and confidently.

The new Moral Economy, which I propose, can democratize the entire nation.

MAAT was to ancient Egypt as Wisdom was to ancient Greece. Wisdom was to Plato’s aristocratic regime as Maat was to Egypt ’s social and political life. The concept of Maat insinuated itself with every aspect of Classical Egypt. Pharaohs and the majestic slaves who erected the pyramids swore by Maat. Rich and poor, men and women, slaves and free citizens worshipped the magic of Maat. Matt was the moral organizer of everyday life in classical Egypt.  Every facet of Egyptian life was organized by the expansive principle of Matt. Maat framed every facet of Egyptian life. Why did Matt have such a presence in Egyptian life? What was its magical spell? I should now like to address these questions. The human self required an organizing

moral principle. Moral life cannot function without a moral frame, a frame that furnishes the self with boundaries and limiting conditions of social action. It is precisely this lacuna that was lacking in Egyptian morality until the self-creating Egyptian gods originated the expansive concept of Maat. Matt, was symbolized by the feminine principle of “truth, balance, order and justice”. Maat was harmony, righteousness, patience and vision, born out of the feminine principle of patient labor. For the ancient Egyptians, the order of the universe was also the ideal order for the human world.

Logos ordered the universe, by the rational word. It is this order that Plato used in his Republic, when he constructed an ideal city out of Logos. This principle was later translated into, “In the beginning was Logos”, and was with God and the Logos was God (John1:1). Jesus himself was Logos, in marked contrast, for the ancient Egyptians, the organizing principle of Logos was replaced by the organizing principle of Maat. Kings who personified Maat ruled the Egyptian city. The human heart, which was worshipped by the Egyptians, and which was the seat of thinking, was also the seat of Maat. The pharaohs were expected to rule with Maat, and not without it. The pharaoh’s greatness was measured by the quality and quantity of Maat that he or she internalized. After death, the scale of Maat, the scale of Justice, would weigh their hearts.

When famines occurred and deep inequalities became a way of life, it was the duty of the rulers to uphold Maat and measure the depth and extent of the suffering. Not that this ideal was perfectly upheld, particularly when nature overwhelmed the rulers ideals, but there was at least an absolute and objective standard by which social/ political life was judged and measured.

Maat as a moral form requires an appropriate economic form, which has yet to be how elastic and flexible the dominant capitalist economic form, and however generously it is stretched, the capitalist economic form is plainly speaking morally vacuous to accommodate the greatness of Maat as a moral form. The most fitting moral form that could work in tandem with Maat is an economic form that is anchored on a solid moral foundation. Maat is precisely that moral foundation, which is yearning

for an economic form, particularly relevant for the African condition.

A moral form requires a supportive economic form. Classical Egypt had the right moral form but not the right economic form. Whereas Maat singled out the self as capable of stepping out of its ego shell and embracing other egos outside of it, the corresponding famine and hunger situations forced the actual Egyptian motto embrace the other, but to destroy other selves. It is these particular moments of despair and anguish that killed the enabling moments of patience, justice and love, Maat’s feminized principles. The Egyptian self was thus denuded of its potential grandeur, which would make many Afrocentrists, intent on proving the moral superiority of the African self, cry in despair. To say that material deprivation produced moral deprivation is not to argue that at no point, did the African self ever present itself as moral. The idealized attempts by Egypt’s leaders that led to internalize the limiting conditions of Maat proves the Afrocentric hypotheses that there was a particularly Egyptianized/Africanized effort at internalizing moral greatness, but it was not institutionalized in Egyptian life, the way that the capitalist form did in the 17th century and beyond.

The moral form of life that Maat promised remained on paper, as nothing more than an ideal. The ideals were not institutionalized as ideas, which can be lived, which can be practiced. African thinkers did not take the time to embody these ideals in the lifeblood of institutions. In short the moral form did not produce a corresponding economic form, in the precise way that the capitalist form produced a corresponding moral form, and institutionalized the latter in far reaching institutions of the state and its civil society. That is the task that I should like to impose on myself. The celebrated moral features of Maat are generosity, justice, uprightness, tolerance and loving patience. Indeed, these are demanding virtues that capitalism as the dominant economic form cannot support, no matter how diligently it tries.

Adam Smith, the world-famous economist, but who was also a moral philosopher, argued that unless capitalism is restrained by morality, as a limiting condition of greed and superfluity, it would eat itself up. To that effect, he developed an elaborate moral theory comprising of what he called “moral sentiments” to control the excesses of the market. He proposed compassion and sociality as two powerful moral sentiments that could regulate the excesses of the market. The moral sentiment, he thought, could counter the purely instrumental features of the capitalist economic form. Of course, to this day, his warning of an inevitable doom has yet to be heeded, and capitalism itself continues to marvel of its resiliency to create crises and immediately correct them, thereby proving its “naturalness” and making it easy for its proponents to present it to the world as a God-chosen economic form. Any attempt to counter it with something like Maat is dismissed as a pipe dream. No one in his or her right mind is expected to take Maat seriously. And the fact that the geographical origin of Maat is an African civilization conveniently results in dismissing Maat as irrelevant and wishful thinking.

Maat as a moral form is considerably deeper than the passing moral sentiments that the Scottish moral philosopher, David Hume, proposed. Generosity, justice, uprightness, tolerance, wisdom and loving patience go directly against our natural proclivity of injustice, dishonesty, intolerance, closedmindness, ignorance and hate. These vices seem to fit the ready-to-hand tapestry of our makeup, which by now has become so second nature that no Maat is going to dissemble these powerful vices, which were effectively used to build empires and economic forms that support the visions of the rich and powerful. In contemporary life revitalizing the features of Maat requires nothing less than manufacturing a new human being.

We must create new Ethiopians, who have to be willing and capable of acting generously, patiently, tolerantly and lovingly. We do not have such  Ethiopians in sufficient numbers that matter to construct an economic \form that values justice, uprightness, wisdom, tolerance and loving patience. Taking the virtues singly, the following picture emerges. Let us begin with generosity.

Generosity is a virtue. It is a virtue that is willing to give without receiving, or is willing to give without the deliberate intent of receiving anything, or that the receiving is only an accident, and not an intentional act. The generous person then gives a particular good A to person B; and person B does not simply receive A as a matter of course. B receives A with a profound respect of the giver, and even plans, if she can, to one day reciprocate not in the same way, but in someway. The reciprocity need not be of equal goods. A and B need not be two equal goods, in which equality is measured by money. What makes the act morally compelling is the desire to reciprocate, and not the quantity of the reciprocity.

One of the economic forms of Maat, as illustrated above, is a vision of the self as generous, and generosity itself does not require a calculated practice of reciprocity but simply the desire and the commitment to give when one can, and sometimes to give A to B, although A has to sacrifice good C for the sake of giving A to B, even when one cannot, and perhaps should not, and yet the generous gives nevertheless. One of the central pillars of Maat as an economic form is the cultivation of a human self willing and capable of acting generously in the relational moral regime of giving and receiving, or simply giving without receiving, or receiving with a profound sense of gratitude and respect. The celebrated moral features of Maat are generosity, justice, uprightness, tolerance and loving patience. Indeed, these are demanding virtues that capitalism as the dominant economic form cannot support, no matter how diligently it tries.

Justice is one of the features of Maat and it is also a potential source of a Moral Economy, appropriate for the African condition.

As Aristotle taught, one does not become just merely by abstractly knowing what Justice is; rather, one becomes just by doing just things. The puzzling question is this: if one does not know what justice is then how can she know what just things are, so that she could choose only just things and not others? The question is not easy to answer. But an example might give us a sense of what Aristotle means, and then proceed to discuss the matter at hand, justice as one of the economic forms of Maat.

It is Christmas evening and a family is gathering for a dinner and the table has been set for ten people. Among the popular dishes are five pies, and shortly before the guests arrive, one of the family members has been asked to cut  ambashas into exact sizes, such that no single person would feel that he has mistakenly picked one of the smallest pies, in the event that a person picked a piece and it turned out to be the smallest.

The task of the pie cutter is to observe that justice is served and that all the pies are cut evenly and fairly. This is of course an exceedingly difficult task, but justice demands it, and the just cutter must prove the worthiness of her moral action. What must this person do? That is the moral question. Well, at the minimum the person herself must be just in order to perform just action, and in this instance, justice means nothing more than cutting the pieces equally to ones best ability, and that she must do so fairly.

She must cut the pies with a moral imagination and an intuitive mathematical precision, and must pray to the transcendent to make her see justly, and that she is enabled to measure precisely. There is a spiritual dimension to the science of measurement, which could have been simply done with a measuring tape. That possibility, however convenient, is not elegant. She is not going to stand there with to make an effort to be precise, because her intention is to be just and (2) that her eyes are just, or that she prays that they would be. (1) and (2) are the requirements; the rest is left to moral imagination.

She cuts the ambashas, and it turns out that all the pieces appear to be equal, and when the guests arrived, they randomly pick the pieces, and appear to be clearly satisfied. What we have here is a display of justice in the Aristotelian sense, in which justice is defined as an activity that is guided by a measure of equality, and equality itself is manifest in the attempt at being fair to everyone, and in this example, an attempt to be fair to the guests, without their ever knowing that they are being worked on. They judge the event as illuminated by justice, and the event as uplifting. They eat, drink, converse, dance and leave.

Justice presents itself in this event, through the presence of those delicious pies, each of which was a duplicate of the other. Generalizing this to a higher level, what we can say is that any economic form must be guided with justice as an event of doing things fairly and that all the commodities that human beings should want must be distributed with such a standard, the standard of justice as fairness. Given justice as fairness, commodity A can be distributed between persons B and C  in such an equitable way that B and C share commodity A by getting the same amount at any time, any place and for a good reason.

Compassion is another feature of Maat; indeed, it is one of the cardinal moral forms for the new moral economy that I am theorizing here. Compassion is to moral economy as greed is to capitalism. One cannot imagine capitalism without the salient principle of greed, and similarly, one cannot imagine moral economy without the originary principle of compassion. Class, race, gender, ethnicity and groups divide the modern world. Out of these divisions it is class division that is the most decisive, as it is also the one that seems to be so natural that we cannot surmount the pain and agony that it produces. In a class-divided world, compassion is the least present because there is no compelling reason that persuades individuals to be compassionate if they are not naturally compassionate, or are inclined toward it. Of course, where compassion is not naturally present, it could be taught either by example or directly through teaching.

An example should elucidate the place of compassion in moral economy. It’s summer, and exhaustingly hot. People that you encounter are hot tempered too. Everybody is on edge, including you. You happen to be a coffee lover, so there you are standing behind a long line of people to get your fix. The heat has made you really impatient, and you are ready to explode on anything around you. You are also naturally generous but not this day. Soon, before you leave the coffee shop, a homeless person smiles at you and tries to engage you in a conversation, hoping that you will understand the purpose of the conversation. Of course you understand, but you ignore him and walk by. But then something bothers you, and you come back to the coffeshop and generously give the man what he wanted. You are proud of yourself, because you have done what generosity demands, that

you control your temper and perform the morally correct action. Surely, you say to yourself it was not easy, but you did it.

Now you wonder what all this means, and why you did it. It is obvious to you why you did the action. Indeed, it is because you are really a compassionate human being but also a religious person. You really have no obligation topay attention to that person. He is not related to you, he is not an ex friend that fortune turned against, nor did you do it so as to be a hero by the media.

Your action is morally worthy only because you have internalized compassion. To you compassion comes quite naturally. It is part of your moral frame. Any repeated action becomes a habit. So compassionate action comes habitually to you. You rarely fight it. Rather, you exuberantly let it lead your way, as it eventually did on that hot and difficult day. But even on that day you conquered the temptation of doubt, and excessive self-love, by the moral force of compassion. That is why you corrected yourself, when you were briefly but powerfully tempted by forgetfulness on that hot day and returned to do the morally right thing.

Compassion is morally compelling when it is extended to a total other, which has nothing to do with our lives, other than the silent duty we have toward those who await our moral attention. It is much easier to be compassionate toward a loved one, a friend, a relative and even an acquaintance; harder is the task when the subject is a real other, such as that homeless person by the coffee shop. In order for any action to be morally worthy the motive must be pure, and the purity is measured by the quality and quantity of the compassion that is extended to any needy human being, uncontaminated by external motives, such as love, friendship, acquaintance and relation.

It is in this particular way that I am arguing that compassion serves Maat.

Tolerance is a crucial feature of moral economy. In fact, it could easily be argued that it is an indispensable organizing principle, which works in tandem with loving kindness. Just as we cannot love a person without respecting her, except delusorily, we cannot live with one another without tolerating each other’s needs, habits, likes and dislikes.

In the economic sphere tolerance is subtly pertinent. We cannot readily sense its inner working unless we pay attention to its musings at the work place, as we interact with one another as bosses and employees.

Consider the following example to underscore the point. There is this employee who does things in ways that many people find annoying. She customarily comes late to work; she procrastinates; she spreads papers, cans and food stuffs all around her sometimes she cannot even find herself amid the dirt, the pile and the dust. Yet, and this is the point, whatever she does is done flawlessly, as flawless as human products could be. Her boss has agonized over what to do with her; he has contemplated firing her numerous times. Lulled by the elegance of her work and his loving-kindness toward her, he decides to keep her. He has promised himself to erase those occasional thoughts of getting rid of her. As he told one of his friends, he has learned, and not very easily, the ways of tolerance as a principle of management, of managing employees who will not and cannot change their habits for the rest of their lives.

I consider this manager very wise and skilled at the art of management. He

decided, obviously because he could change himself as hard as it was, rather than expect his employee to change. The structure of his thoughts could be put syllogistically. Y can change his way / X cannot change easily / Therefore Y must change for the sake of Z.

Y is the manager. X is the annoying employee. Z is the organization where Y and X work. In this situation Z is saved precisely because the manager internalizes tolerance and loving-kindness as the organizing principles of the organization. Y controls his ego and chooses to advance the interests of Z over and against his own private needs. He did not fire X because his ego demands it. Nor does he ever insist that X must change. He has intuitively and empirically concluded that it is not pointless to expect X to change, nor would it benefit Z to lose X, since X is an intelligent and skilled worker.

Where tolerance is habitually practiced at workplaces it becomes an indispensable good that could save many employers the unnecessary cost that is incurred on hiring and firing employees and ease the distress of the families and loved ones of employers and employees. Tolerance can easily remedy the situation. If it is much easier for managers to change than it is for excellent employees with annoying habits, and then it is those who can change their ways who must change for the sake of a functional and democratic moral economy.

Patience is a feature of Maat. The ideal leader as well as the ideal citizen must patiently wait to witness the appearance of the Transcendent. Nothing great is accomplished without a transcendental intervention, the seal of completeness, of Generosity and Justice, two other features of moral economy, as I have argued in previous essays.

Rarely is patience, however, associated with economic forms. Economic forms are founded on seizing the opportunity before it vanishes. The activity is everything but patient. Patience and quick money making are the virtues of capitalism. In that worldview, success is measured by shrewdness, quickness, impatience and opportunism. Whereas patience is undermined by capitalism, the economic form for Maat reveres it. The economic form for the African condition demands it. Without this virtue the disadvantaged citizen of the African continent is doomed, fated to starve and die.

A moral economy, in contrast, when founded on Maat, shares with Maat an ardent belief in-patient waiting, and this is particularly true during times of famine, poverty and loss. Patient waiting is the much-needed virtue that both generosity and justice demand. An example might illuminate the abstraction.

African Economy in country A has been blooming, and the Western world has been hailing it as a model for the future. Country A gets spoiled and its inhabitants shop madly. No commodity is beyond their reach, so they think. Suddenly, all things, with the exception of the Transcendent change, since no condition is permanent. The oil fields drain. The spoils of the economy are distributed unevenly.

The citizens become impatient with country A, which had introduced them to the pangs of luxury, which have now become the pangs of hunger. Friends turn against friends. The shopping frenzy slows down. Their lovers do not love the men anymore. The rate of divorce increases, since the men’s ability to maintain expensive lifestyles are no more.

Patient waiting for better days is not a norm. Loves and friendships founded on comfort, wealth and excessive wealth are not permanent. They flounder as easily as they initially sprawled. Things that last must be built slowly, in the furnace of time, and be sculpted in accordance with the laws of beauty.

Country A is no longer a model of hope, but a model of despair. Uneconomic form that does not institutionalize patient waiting as a way of life digs its grave when conditions change. That is why patient waiting also must be systematically insinuated in the African citizen’s psyche, as an ethics of living, and a stylistics of what I have previously called-existential seriousness. A responsible economic form must inculcate the virtue of patience among its citizens, from early on. This complicated and demanding virtue must be taught at all levels of school. It must be part of economic principles, and be taught as such, and not be pushed to the sidelines, as part of religion and theology, which does not have much to do with morals, and has nothing to do with economics. It is this dogma of capitalist economics that must change.

My argument here is a modest contribution to challenge one of the foundational dogmas of bourgeois economics. The morals must guide economics and a new moral economy that works in concert with moral philosophy and religion is precisely what the African condition requires. More morality, with a distinct religious voice, such as the notion of patient waiting, will strengthen and expand our horizons as we struggle with poverty, famine and other sorrows of modern life.

We need more people who can patiently wait as everything changes, hopeful that no condition is permanent, including the conditions of nations, when their economies get distorted and the citizens are hardened and become cruel towards one another, and that the notion of helping your fellow citizens sounds indeed very

strange, to those who are comfortable. Instead, during trying times, citizens do not patiently wait for things to change; instead, they give up altogether, or become irreligious and immoral.  It is in this way that patient waiting, I argue, becomes one of the pillars of moral economy, one of the features of Maat, along with generosity and justice, which I examined in previous essays.

Justice is one of the features of Maat and it is also a potential source of a Moral Economy, appropriate for the African condition.  As Aristotle taught, one does not become just merely by abstractly knowing what Justice is; rather, one becomes just by doing just things. The puzzling question is this: if one does not know what justice is then how can she know what just things are, so that she could choose only just things and not others? The question is not easy to answer. But an example might give us a sense of what Aristotle means, and then proceed to discuss the matter at hand, justice as one of the economic forms of Maat.

It is Christmas evening and a family is gathering for a dinner and the table had been set for ten people. Among the popular dishes are five ambashas, and shortly before the guests arrive, one of the family members has been asked to cut the Ambashas (bread) into exact sizes, such that no single person would feel that he has mistakenly picked one of the smallest pies, in the event that a person picked a piece and it turned out to be the smallest.

The task of the  ambasha cutter was to observe that justice is served and that all the ambashas are cut evenly and fairly. This is of course an exceedingly difficult task, but justice demands it, and the just cutter must prove the worthiness of her moral action. What must this person do? That is the moral question. Well, at the minimum the person herself must be just in order to perform just action, and in this instance, justice means nothing more than cutting the pieces equally to ones best ability.

She must cut the pies with a moral imagination and an intuitive mathematical precision, and must pray to the transcendent to make her see justly, and that she is enabled to measure precisely. There is a spiritual dimension to the science of measurement, which could have been simply done with a measuring rope. That possibility, however, convenient, is not elegant. She is not going to stand there with a ruler to cut pies. Rather, the expectations are two, that (1) She is going to make an effort to be precise, because her intention is to be just and (2) that her eyes are just, or that she prays that they would be. (1) and (2) are the

requirements; the rest is left to moral imagination.

She cut the pies, and it turned out that, all the pieces appeared to be equal, and when the guests arrived, they randomly picked the pieces, and appeared to be clearly satisfied. What we have here is a display of justice in the Aristotelian sense, in which justice is defined as an activity that is guided by a measure of equality, and equality itself is manifest in the attempt at being fair to everyone, and in this example, an attempt to be fair to the guests, without they ever knowing that they are being worked on. They judge the event as illuminated by justice, and the event as uplifting. They ate, drunk, conversed, danced and left.

Justice presented itself in this event, through the presence of those delicious pies, each of which was a duplicate of the other.

Generalizing this to a higher level, what we can say is that any economic form must be guided with justice as an event of doing things fairly and that all the commodities that human beings should want must be distributed with such a standard, the standard of justice as fairness. Given justice as fairness, commodity A can be distributed between persons B and C, in such an equitable way, that B and C share commodity A by getting the same amount at any time, any place and for a good reason.

The celebrated moral features of Maat are generosity, justice, uprightness,

tolerance and loving patience. Indeed, these are demanding virtues that capitalism , as the dominant economic form cannot support, no matter how diligently it tries. Adam Smith, the world famous economist, but who was also a moral philosopher, did argue that unless capitalism is restrained by morality, as a limiting condition of greed and superfluity, it would eat itself up. To that effect, he developed an elaborate moral theory comprising of what he called “moral sentiments” to control the excesses of the market. He proposed compassion and sociality as two powerful moral sentiments that could regulate the excesses of the market. The moral sentiment, he thought, could counter the purely instrumental features of the capitalist economic form. Of course, to this day, his warning of an inevitable doom has yet to be heeded, and capitalism itself continues to marvel its resiliency to create crises and immediately correct them, thereby proving its “naturalness” and making it easy for its proponents to present it to the world as a God chosen economic form. Any attempt to counter it with something like Maat is dismissed as a pipe dream. No body in her right mind is expected to take Maat seriously. And the fact the geographical origin of Maat is an African civilization, conveniently results in dismissing Maat as irrelevant and wishful thinking.

Maat as a moral form is considerably deeper than the passing moral sentiments that the Scottish moral philosopher proposed. Generosity, justice, uprightness, tolerance, wisdom and loving patience go directly against our natural proclivity of injustice, dishonesty, intolerance, closedmindness, ignorance and hate. These vices seem to fit the ready to hand tapestry of our makeup, which by now has become, so second nature that no Maat is going to dissemble these powerful vices which were effectively used to build empires and economic forms that support the visions of the rich and powerful. In contemporary life revitalizing the features of Maat requires nothing less than manufacturing a new human being.

We must create new human beings, human beings who have to be willing and capable of acting generously, patiently, tolerantly and lovingly. We do not have such human beings in sufficient numbers that matter to construct an economic form that values justice, uprightness, wisdom, tolerance and loving patience.

Taking the virtues singly, the following picture emerges. Let us begin with

generosity. Generosity is a virtue. It is a virtue that is willing to give without

receiving, or is willing to give without the deliberate intent of receiving anything, or that the receiving is only an accident, and not an intentional act. The generous person then gives a particular good A to person B; and person B does not simply receive A as a matter of course. B receives A with a profound respec to of the giver, and even plans, if she can, to one day reciprocate not in the same way, but in some way. The reciprocity need not be of equal goods. A and B need not be two equal goods, in which equality is measured by money. What makes the act morally compelling is the desire to reciprocate, and not the quantity of the reciprocity.

One of the economic forms of Maat, as illustrated above, is a vision of the self as generous, and generosity itself does not require a calculated practice of reciprocity but simply the desire and the commitment to give when one can, and sometimes, to give A to B, although A has to sacrifice good C for the sake of giving A to B, even when one cannot, and perhaps should not, and yet the generous gives nevertheless. One of the central pillars of Maat as an economic form is the cultivation of a human self willing and capable of acting generously in the relational moral regime of giving and receiving, or simply giving without receiving, or receiving with a profound sense of gratitude and respect .

Individuals who embody maat’s principles must lead the new Ethiopia.  All our infrastructures must be infused by these principles. Our schools and work places must nurture Ethiopians who can practice the above features.  While we are fighting for regime change , we must in our private lives and public spaces embark on this foundational cultural transformation, as I have repeatedly argued in the pages of all our websites.

I am calling for again, an act of the practice of the self and the activation of the collective Ethiopian soul. Nothing short of the originary change can give us the radical democratic change, which we are yearning.

Regime change must correspond to cultural change, otherwise the New Ethiopia will not be any different  from the one, which we are despairing to change.

The  new regime has to  be a cultural transformer and system builder. Every facet of Ethiopian life has to be guided by matt, a cultural transformer and vision giver. We have to make  maat our  very own and appropriate her principles of justice.

US Republican Congress to cut foreign aid by 41%! Bravo!

Tuesday, February 22nd, 2011

There is a good news coming out of the Republican-controlled U.S. Congress. Doug Bandow of Forbes Magazine reports that Congress is cutting foreign “aid” by 41 percent this year. This a great news for the people of Ethiopia and other countries who are suffering under U.S.-financed brutal dictators. For the dictators themselves, however, it is a major blow. The good people of United States are allowing their government to hand out money to other countries out of kindness, but Americans need to understand that their hard earned money is being used by the U.S. diplomats to prop up blood thirsty dictators who are using the money to brutalize their people. See here what the U.S-backed regime in Ethiopia is doing to women and children [click here]. There are tens of thousands of similar cases of atrocities that have been committed by the U.S. puppet in Africa, Meles Zenawi. Thank You, Republicans! Shame on you, Obama and Hillary Clinton for proposing $580 million in assistance for Ethiopia’s genocidal tyrant in 2011!

Foreign Aid, Or Foreign Hindrance

By Doug Bandow | Forbes.com

The federal budget deficit will run a record $1.65 trillion in 2011.  So why does Washington continue to subsidize foreign governments?

The House Republicans appear determined to reduce spending, and one of their targets is foreign “aid.”  This year the State Department would lose 16% of its budget; humanitarian aid would drop by 41 percent.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton warns of catastrophe:  “Cuts of this magnitude will be devastating to our national security, will render us unable to respond to unanticipated disasters and will damage our leadership around the world.”

She cited the recent political upheaval in Egypt:  “We need the resources to do the job; otherwise we will pay a higher price later in crises that are allowed to simmer and boil over into conflicts.”  She also pointed to work in Afghanistan and Iraq to argue that the proposed reductions would be “detrimental to America’s security.”

Even some conservatives stand with Secretary Clinton on this issue.  For instance, Jennifer Rubin, the Washington Post’s in-house blogger on the right, termed Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) a “neo-isolationist” for proposing to cut what amounts to international welfare.

But despite Secretary Clinton’s extravagant claims, there is little evidence that foreign assistance advances U.S. interests. After all, if America writing checks — more than a trillion dollars worth since the end of World War II — made the world a better place, the globe should be at peace, the poor should be fed, and the Second Coming should be history.

Consider Egypt.  Secretary Clinton argued that events in Egypt require Americans to subsidize the new military rulers.  For what purpose?  The U.S. provided some $30 billion to Egypt over the last three decades but the country remains poor and undemocratic.   Indeed, underwriting the corrupt Mubarak dictatorship helped turn Egypt into popular volcano.

The Obama administration has proposed spending $8.7 billion in Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Iraq next year.  Yet the results of assistance programs in these three nations are no better than in Egypt.

Pakistan has been on the U.S. dole for decades.  Tom Wright of the Wall Street Journal reported last month:  “The ambitious civilian aid program is intended in part to bolster support for the U.S. in the volatile and strategically vital nation.  But a host of problems on the ground are hampering the initiative.”

The problems run deep.  Alejandro Quiro Flores and Alastair Smith of New York University charged that “The aid dynamic is similar to that of Pakistan’s war against insurgents:  as long as the United States is willing to pay Pakistan ever more to eradicate extremists, Pakistan will not decisively defeat them; the graft that counterterrorism aid brings outweighs the political cost of some continuing violence.”

The waste, inefficiency, and corruption surrounding humanitarian projects in Afghanistan and Iraq are legendary.  It doesn’t matter if these conflicts are perceived as getting better or worse.  Aid officials will always advocate an increase in funding because the situation is getting better or worse.

At least there is a security argument for trying to buttress allied governments in war.  What of the $27 billion in so-called development assistance requested for next year?  Since the end of World War II the U.S. and other wealthy nations have spent trillions of dollars trying to raise poor nations out of poverty.  These outlays have had no discernible impact on Third World economic growth.

No doubt some projects in some countries have provided some benefits.  But the detritus of failed development projects litter the globe.  Detailed cross-national studies find neither correlation nor causation between aid and growth.  Indeed, generous financial transfers to corrupt dictators often have impeded necessary reforms.  Political elites in foreign countries disagree on many things, but all want to preserve their power and position.  Observed Flores and Smith:  “Autocratic governments’ disregard for public welfare is exacerbated by international relief assistance.”

After decades of failure aid advocates claim they now are doing better.  President George W. Bush created the Millennium Challenge Corporation to reward governments with good policies.  The MCC currently is running $7.2 billion worth of multi-year programs in 20 countries.  Yet, reported the Washington Times last August, the agency:  “is giving billions of dollars to nations upbraided by the State Department for corruption in government.”

Of Senegal, observed J.P. Pham of the National Committee on American Foreign Policy:  “We have a government that did everything right, up until they got themselves into the queue to get a grant from MCC.  They know the metrics [on corruption] will lag by a few years.”  Senegal once was considered a democratic and economic “leader in West Africa,” said former deputy assistant secretary of state Todd Moss, but “What we’ve seen is a very steep and worrying decline in the last couple of years.”

The World Bank also has emphasized better governance.  Yet, reported Mary Anastasia O’Grady of the Wall Street Journal:  “In the midst of the financial turmoil that rocked the international capital markets …, the World Bank proudly announced a new $250 million ‘assistance package’ for [El Salvador].  A few months later a scandal erupted over why a similar amount of money was never accounted for on the government’s books.”

Aid incentives are all wrong.  Observed Tate Watkins of the Mercatus Center:  “Systematic foreign aid creates opportunities for corruption, cultures of dependency, and disincentives to development.  The aid faucet misaligns incentives between donors and recipients, making it extremely difficult to turn off the flow.”

Even money targeted at humanitarian needs has a disappointing record.  Disasters like the earthquake in Haiti typically open the aid spigots.  To what result?  Six months later in Haiti, reported the Wall Street Journal, “the process of reconstruction appears to have come to a halt.”

Aid groups acknowledge that progress has been limited at best.  Reported the Washington Post:  “The effectiveness of the NGOs is now being questioned, by the groups themselves, and especially by Haitian leaders who complain that NGOs have become a parallel government hobbled by poor coordination, high turnover and a lack of transparency.”

At times assistance programs have been perversely harmful.  U.S. “Food for Peace” shipments, used to dump farmers’ domestic surpluses, is notorious for ruining local farmers and thus undermining local production.  This problem continues in Haiti.  On returning from a private aid mission, Don Slesnick, the mayor of Coral Gables, Florida, complained:  “We were saddened to see rice bags travel no more than 20 yards from the gates of the distribution site before ending up in the back of a pickup truck presumably headed for the black market.  To our further dismay, we returned home to read news stories that those very same donations were undercutting Haitian rice farmers who needed income to support their own families.”

Ethiopia is the largest aid recipient in Africa.  Unfortunately, reported Tom Porteous, the London Director of Human Rights Watch:  “multi-billion dollar programs funded by the World Bank and others have been politicized and manipulated by the Ethiopian government and are used as a powerful tool of political control and repression.”

Worse is Somalia.  Even the United Nations gives aid in this tragic nation a failing grade.  Reported the New York Times last year:  “As much as half the food aid sent to Somalia is diverted from needy people to a web of corrupt contractors, radical Islamist militants and local United Nations staff members, according to a new Security Council report.”

It’s déjà vu all over again, as Yogi Berra observed.  Two decades ago President George H. W. Bush intervened in Somalia to help deliver food.  Michael Maren worked with private organizations and later concluded:  “Separately we’d arrived at the conclusion that the relief program was probably killing as many people as it was saving, and the net result was that Somali soldiers were supplementing their income by selling food, while the [insurgent force] — often indistinguishable from the army — was using the food as rations to fuel their attacks into Ethiopia.”

Government should get out of the aid business.  There are limited instances when financial transfers might supplement or even substitute for defense expenditures, but the Cold War is over.  The U.S. is the sole superpower and faces no global rival.

Most of America’s allies, including regional powers Israel and Turkey, should have graduated from U.S. assistance years ago.  Most Third World nations are tangential at best to American security.  The more than $5 billion annually to support foreign arms sales is largely a subsidy for U.S. weapons producers.

While it’s hard to criticize humanitarian aid properly delivered, private money spent by private organizations is the best way to help those in need around the world.  Any assistance from Washington should be focused on temporary disasters where the U.S. government has unique logistical advantages—such as using an otherwise unemployed aircraft carrier to assist tsunami victims.

As for development assistance, American officials should focus on accelerating economic growth in America and easing access of other nations to the international marketplace.  That means reducing trade barriers.

For instance, the U.S. limits sugar imports from Caribbean.  Pakistanis would benefit far more from lower textile tariffs than from additional subsidies to their ineffective government.  One of the most important roadblocks to international trade liberalization is American and European agricultural subsidies.

Despite this abysmal record, the Obama administration is resisting cuts in domestic “foreign aid” programs, has contributed to increased World Bank outlays, and joined other industrialized nations in calling for more International Monetary Fund lending.

Secretary Clinton should listen to her own rhetoric:  “It’s time for a new mindset for a new century.  Time to retire old debates and replace dogmatic attitudes with clear reasoning and common sense.”

One of those dogmatic attitudes is assuming that foreign “aid” really acts as assistance rather than hindrance.  For too long aid advocates have camouflaged program failures with platitudes:  aid is used to “maintain American leadership around the globe,” “invest in global development,” and demonstrate that America is “paying attention” to other countries.  However, leadership means husbanding resources, setting priorities, and acknowledging limitations.  Development requires good policies, not international welfare.  Attention is worth paying for only if it yields positive results.

Washington should stop throwing good money after bad even if we were living in bountiful economic times.  With the country drowning in red ink, Washington must cut every unnecessary program.  Misnamed foreign aid is a good place to start.

Meles and Gaddafi – partners in crime

Tuesday, February 22nd, 2011

By Yilma Bekele

They say ‘in any relationship, if one party wants a change, that party needs to instigate change.’ The Tunisian people felt change was necessary. The Egyptian people agreed. The Libyans, Yemenis, Algerians, Bahrinians and the Iranians are in the process of adapting the Tunisian model.

They wanted change because hopelessness and apathy were becoming the hallmark of the society their crude leaders were building. Today is like yesterday and tomorrow will be more of the same. They felt that is no way to build a country. They felt change was in order.

Ben Ali of Tunisia abused his people for over twenty years while Mubarak lingered around for thirty years. They both used the formidable power of the state for coercion. Both have no qualms about killing, jailing, bankrupting, exiling those they deemed a threat. As usual the difference between one dictator and another is in the degrees of their insanity and selfishness. If you notice both did not have any problem about sacrificing their close friends when the going got tough.

The Tunisians got the ball rolling. They had a lot of help. The rich experience of the Serbian youth movement called ‘Otpor’ with contribution from the ‘Academy of Change’ from Egypt was instrumental in the Tunisian victory. Their elegant design was based on the teachings of Gandhi, MLK and a generous dose of Gene Sharp.

The Egyptians were relentless in their pursuit of freedom. The chaotic situation we witnessed on television was a well-choreographed play directed behind the scene. The youth leaders were simple and clear on their demands. The ouster of the dictator was the core of their demands. As usual the dictator tried to pacify by promising to loosen his grip. Too little too late should be inscribed on his gravestone. He tried every trick in the book to deflect attention away from his failures. No stone was left unturned to find a way out of this calamity. He dusted old tricks from the attic, borrowed some from fellow tyrants, went along with enablers advice, invented a few himself but nothing seems to work this time.

Two lessons stand out when we look at the ‘uprising’ in both countries. Galvanizing the ‘youth’ was key. Their perseverance when faced by supposedly formidable coercive state power was vital. The fact that the leaders of the movement were those in their thirties was refreshing and a game changer. Both Ben Ali and Mubarak are incapable of understanding the fury of the youth. They were confused and unable to process the information that their subjects were rejecting them and have learnt the language of saying ‘No’ and ‘Enough’.

As an Ethiopian I was awe struck. I laughed at the obstinate Mubarak acting belligerent as he was un robed in public, I cried for those that lost their life for their country, I was filled with joy when I witnessed the raw hunger for freedom and dignity and I fantasized about the tsunami hitting my home land. The last two months have stirred our passion for freedom and self-determination.

So when is ‘people power’ scheduled to arrive in East Africa is a good question. The short answer is now. The freedom train is now boarding. It is up to each individual to board or not. The train will leave soon with or without any one of us. This train requires no fossil fuel. This train runs on raw human energy. It is the ultimate ‘green energy’ train. It is renewable, sustainable and abundant. Our freedom train is equipped with a large sweep in front of it. It sweeps tyrants, dictators and bullies out of sight.

Freedom train is coming to Ethiopia. This is the third appearance of the train in our country. We allowed some undesirable elements to board the last two times. They were able to contaminate the train with their toxic presence and hijack our precious cargo. Our train was derailed.

The Tunisians and Egyptians developed a new vaccine to overcome Fear. Fear is what paralyzes us. Fear is our number one enemy. We spend too much time trying to design a perfect plan. Fear compels us to fret about the little details even before we take the firs step. We worry about the so-called lack of unity, we stress regarding the absence of a strong leader, we exaggerate the might of the enemy and we freeze with a sack full of uncertainty. Fear is our number one enemy.

Did you notice how centralized power was in both Tunisia and Egypt? Did you see both were one man shows? Does this kind of arrangement ring a bell? When we said Meles’s Ethiopia was a one man show people doubted us. Tunisia and Egypt proved dictatorship is a solo affair. You slay the head and the body flails around. The yes people, the sycophants and the spineless around the tyrant burn away like the morning dew.

Today we got a reversal of circumstances. Ato Meles is the one in FEAR. He is the one unable to sleep. The last two months have been a time of round the clock meetings with his fellow criminals. Like Ben Ali and Mubarak he has been pouring over plans on how to instill more fear on his people. He has been working over time to transfer his overwhelming and paralyzing fear on to us. He has sent his Kebele tugs to warn mothers about the fate of their children if they dare to emulate Tunisia or Egypt and now Libya. He has indicated that snipers are stationed on top of every building and his Agazi force is deployed in every intersection. He has promised salary increases. He has invested on more technology to block our ESAT transmission, switched off the Internet and directed his agents in the Diaspora to shout louder and create confusion. He is a picture of a cornered rat.

What is clear is that internally weak regimes like Woyane do not become passive and tolerant when confronted but rather turn to proven method of belligerency. Notice Ben Ali killed a few, Mubarak sent hired tugs and the Monarchs of Bahrain went to the extreme to preserve their lifestyle and ultimately their neck and today tyrant Gaddafi has upped the ante by using helicopters and fighter jets against his own people.

Our tyrant who is in the same league as Gaddafi will not leave silently. Our little tyrant got lots of issues hanging around his neck. Our tyrant has spilled blood. His 2005 murder was duly noted by judge Woldemichael Meshesha. His ruthless act in the Ogaden has been complied and preserved by Human Right Watch. His massacre in Gambella will never be forgotten thanks to my friend Obang.

So one might ask what next? How do we get out of this nightmare? Let us just agree our leader for life does not have any incentive to leave gracefully. On the other hand the society he has built is not sustainable nor is it desirable. Twenty years have proven he is not capable of building a just and free society. No matter what yardstick one uses to measure progress his attempt has been an abject failure. Twenty years into his leadership we are still confronted with over two million in imminent starvation, double digits of unemployment and runaway inflation. The only accomplishment the TPLF regime boasts of is real estate development, even that is the result of Diaspora investment not home grown achievement.

What is needed today is a day, a week, and a month of ‘rage’ against Woyane brutality. Who better to do that than our young ones? Who better to lead us than our young and smart children? Our young people have a glorious history to fall back on. The young people of Ethiopia have always been instruments of change. I know the shoes left behind by the University and high school students of the 60’s and 70’s is hard to fill.

Despite the over forty years of anarchy and destruction our youth have stayed focused. Their strength is displayed all around us. The fact they have survived against all odds despite Woyane bullying is testimonial to their resiliency. All you have to do is look at those that have stayed at home. They wake up everyday in that hostile and hopeless Woyane environment but still manage to eek out a living. They leave no stone unturned in their attempt to make sense of a life that shows no promise of a better tomorrow.

We should also celebrate the determination of those that leave their family and their country to find a better life. How could we forget those that cross the shark infested waters to reach Yemen or those that drown in the process? We will always remember those that cross our frontiers in their trek to unknown destinations. They cross the jungles of Africa, find a miraculous way to fly to South America and cross the US borders by foot, containers trucks and any means to find a better life. Our young ones have been tested by Woyane caused calamity and emerged stronger and wiser.

It is part of Woyane strategy to marginalize the youth by subscribing and encouraging a culture of apathy. The rise in consumption of Khat, a known narcotic and importation of degenerate culture is part of Woyane’s plan to contaminate our culture and identity. The Ethiopian youth have to overcome that. Rest assured our young ones are strong. Twenty years of organized propaganda to belittle our history, revise our glorious past, turn one ethnic against another have fallen on deaf ears.

Those of us in the Diaspora will continue our cry on behalf of our people that are silenced by the illegal regime. We will march, sign petitions, contribute money and work with Senators and Representatives to force the terrorist regime to relinquish power peacefully.

We urge the opposition to refrain from unilateral negotiations with the illegal regime. We want to put the opposition on notice that listening to the foreign diplomats and sitting down with the murderer regime is not part of our strategy to get rid of this cancer imposed on us. If the opposition wants to be included in this journey of liberation we are embarking, we hope they will read the heartbeat of our people and include the young people in their delebrations. If the opposition party’s want respect from us then we expect that they will keep in mind that our respect is earned. It is not a right but a privilege. We hope the debacle of unilateral action like the recent election will not be repeated.

We are certain Ato Meles will follow the footsteps of Gaddafi and unleash unprecedented terror on our people. He will use ethnic divide, religious divide any and all divisive issues to confuse and set us up against each other. We are hopeful that we have learned a lesson from our mistakes in the past and refrain from cannibalizing each other but rather aim our collective fury at the evil regime.

Yes we can, yes we will Ethiopia will be free, that no one can change.

Desperation time for Meles and his thugs

Tuesday, February 22nd, 2011

Listen to the death threat in the audio clip below to understand how members and supporters of the genocidal tyrant in Ethiopia are filled with fear of an imminent uprising. Nothing has started yet but they are already having a meltdown.

Meles Zenawi's troops shoot at Libyan protesters

Monday, February 21st, 2011

A South African news site, Business Day, is reporting that among the mercenaries who are shooting at Libyan protesters are troops who have been sent to Libya by Ethiopia’s tyrant Meles Zenawi for training.

Meles Zenawi has a mercenary force known as “Agazi” that is trained to indiscriminately shoot at civilians, as witnessed in June and November 2005.

Tekeda Alemu, prepare your speech

Monday, February 21st, 2011

Several members of Libya’s mission to the United Nation, including the deputy ambassador, have today called on Gaddafi to resign. They also appealed to the U.N. to take action to prevent genocide by Gaddafi’s mercenary forces. When the imminent uprising in Ethiopia starts, will the Meles regime’s top diplomat at the U.N., Tekeda Alemu, take a similar action. He has no choice if he wishes to redeem himself. Otherwise, he will have the blood of Ethiopians on his hand and he will be hunted down for the rest of his life. The same message goes to all ambassadors around the world who are representing the ethnic apartheid regime in Ethiopia.

* Libya’s ambassadors at the United Nations are calling for leader Moammar Gaddafi to step down as the country’s ruler. Deputy Ambassador Ibrahim Dabbashi said on Monday that if Gaddafi does not relinquish power, “the Libyan people will get rid of him.” Dabbashi urged the international community to impose a no-fly zone over Libya to prevent mercenaries, weapons and other supplies from reaching Gaddafi and his security forces. – NDTV

* Two high-ranking Libyan air force pilots have who fled to Malta in their aircraft are reported to have told officials they escaped rather than carry out orders to bomb civilians. The officers defected as Libyan diplomats in several countries and international organisations resigned in protest at the regime’s violent response to the deepening crisis. They included Muammar Gaddafi’s ambassadors to China, India, Indonesia and Poland, as well as Libya’s representative to the Arab League and most, if not all, of its mission at the United Nations. – Guardian.com.uk

* Libyan city of Misratah, east of Tripoli, is latest to be attacked by airstrikes. Heavy artillery fire devastates buildings as tanks roll into the city, witnesses say. – Al Jazeera

Military planes fire at civilian protesters in Libya

Monday, February 21st, 2011

Al Jazeera TV is reporting that military aircraft fired live ammunition at crowds of anti-government protesters in Libya’s capital Tripoli today. Some Libyan air force pilot landed their fighter jets in Malta and told authorities that they are defecting because they are not willing to fire at their own people.

Other developments:

* Hundreds of Libyans stormed a South Korean-operated construction site near the Libyan capital Tripoli on Monday, wounding 17 and causing a stand-off between police and rioters, the South Korean Foreign Ministry said. About 500 rioters raided the site 30 kilometers (18 miles) from Tripoli, the ministry said. – CNN

* Members of a Libyan Army unit told Benghazi residents on Sunday they had defected and “liberated” Libya’s second city from troops supporting veteran leader Muammar Qaddafi.

* Output at one of Libya’s oil fields was reported to have been stopped by a workers’ strike and some European oil companies withdrew expatriate workers and suspended operations. Most of Libya’s oil fields are in the east, south of Benghazi. – Reuters

* In signs of disagreement inside Libya’s ruling elite, the justice minister resigned in protest at the “excessive use of violence” against protesters. In India, Libya’s ambassador said he was resigning in protest at the violent crackdown.

* An international coalition of 70 rights groups today urged world powers and UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to suspend Libya from its membership on the UN Human Rights Council, and to convene the UN Security Council to protect Libyan civilians from “crimes against humanity.” (See full text below)

Signatories include UN Watch, a Geneva human rights organization, the U.S.-based National Endowment for Democracy, and Physicians for Human Rights, as well as 67 other groups from South Africa, Switzerland, India, Liberia, Italy, Mali, Nigeria, Germany, Pakistan, Sudan, Venezuela, Somalia, Thailand, the United Kingdom and elsewhere.

The joint statement says that the widespread atrocities committed by Libya against its own people are “particularly odious” actions that amount to “crimes against humanity,” requiring member states to take action through the Security Council under the responsibility to protect doctrine. The letter was sent today to UN chief Ban Ki-moon; EU foreign minister Catherine Ashton; the Security Council representatives from the US, France, and the UK; and to the Human Rights Council delegates from the US and Hungary, which chairs the European Union.

The appeal calls for an emergency session of the Human Rights Council to suspend Libya’s membership, and to dispatch an urgent fact-finding team to the country.

“The muted response of the US and the EU to the Libyan atrocities is not only a let-down to the many Libyans risking their lives for freedom, but a shirking of their obligations, as members of the Security Council and the Human Rights Council, to protect peace and human rights, and to prevent war crimes,” said Hillel Neuer, executive director of UN Watch, and an international lawyer who represents Libyan torture victims.

“Baroness Ashton’s call for Libyan forces to exercise ‘restraint’ is entirely inappropriate. We’re dealing with the deliberate murder and massacre of hundreds of peaceful protesters. By signaling diplomatic caution in the face of a bloodbath — instead of urgency and action — the EU is failing the victims. It’s time for basic human rights to come before oil,” said Neuer.

“The EU should also urge the UN and the International Committee of the Red Cross to send urgently-needed medical supplies into Libya, particularly for hospitals in Benghazi. Ashton should attempt to visit Libya after her trip to Cairo tomorrow.” Attempts were made from Egypt to send urgent medical supplies to Libya, but the international community needs to step in, said Neuer.

In addition to the 70 NGOs, the letter was endorsed by Dr. Frene Ginwala, former Speaker of the South African National Assembly, philosopher Francis Fukuyama, and Mohamed Eljahmi, a Libyan human rights activist.

######

Urgent Appeal to Stop Atrocities in Libya

Sent by 70 NGOs to the US, EU, and UN, 21 February 2011

We, the undersigned non-governmental, human rights, and humanitarian organizations, urge you to mobilize the United Nations and the international community and take immediate action to halt the mass atrocities now being perpetrated by the Libyan government against its own people. The inexcusable silence cannot continue.

As you know, in the past several days, Colonel Moammar Gadhafi’s forces are estimated to have deliberately killed hundreds of peaceful protesters and innocent bystanders across the country. In the city of Benghazi alone, one doctor reported seeing at least 200 dead bodies. Witnesses report that a mixture of special commandos, foreign mercenaries and regime loyalists have attacked demonstrators with knives, assault rifles and heavy-caliber weapons.

Snipers are shooting peaceful protesters. Artillery and helicopter gunships have been used against crowds of demonstrators. Thugs armed with hammers and swords attacked families in their homes. Hospital officials report numerous victims shot in the head and chest, and one struck on the head by an anti-aircraft missile. Tanks are reported to be on the streets and crushing innocent bystanders. Witnesses report that mercenaries are shooting indiscriminately from helicopters and from the top of roofs. Women and children were seen jumping off Giuliana Bridge in Benghazi to escape. Many of them were killed by the impact of hitting the water, while others were drowned. The Libyan regime is seeking to hide all of these crimes by shutting off contact with the outside world. Foreign journalists have been refused entry. Internet and phone lines have been cut or disrupted.

There is no question here about intent. The government media has published open threats, promising that demonstrators would meet a “violent and thunderous response.”

Accordingly, the government of Libya is committing gross and systematic violations of the right to life as guaranteed by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. Citizens seeking to exercise their rights to freedom of expression and freedom of assembly are being massacred by the government.

Moreover, the government of Libya is committing crimes against humanity, as defined by the Explanatory Memorandum to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court. The Libyan government’s mass killing of innocent civilians amount to particularly odious offences which constitute a serious attack on human dignity. As confirmed by numerous oral and video testimonies gathered by human rights organizations and news agencies, the Libyan government’s assault on its civilian population are not isolated or sporadic events. Rather, these actions constitute a widespread and systematic policy and practice of atrocities, intentionally committed, including murder, political persecution and other inhumane acts which reach the threshold of crimes against humanity.

Responsibility to Protect

Under the 2005 World Summit Outcome Document, you have a clear and unambiguous responsibility to protect the people of Libya. The international community, through the United Nations, has the responsibility to use appropriate diplomatic, humanitarian and other peaceful means, in accordance with Chapters VI and VIII of the Charter, to help to protect the Libyan population. Because the Libyan national authorities are manifestly failing to protect their population from crimes against humanity, should peaceful means be inadequate, member states are obliged to take collective action, in a timely and decisive manner, through the Security Council, in accordance with the UN Charter, including Chapter VII.

In addition, we urge you to convene an emergency Special Session of the UN Human Rights Council, whose members have a duty, under UNGA Resolution 60/251, to address situations of gross and systematic violations of violations of human rights. The session should:

Call for the General Assembly to suspend Libya’s Council membership, pursuant to Article 8 of Resolution 60/251, which applies to member states that commit gross and systematic violations of human rights.

Strongly condemn, and demand an immediate end to, Libya’s massacre of its own citizens.
Dispatch immediately an international mission of independent experts to collect relevant facts and document violations of international human rights law and crimes against humanity, in order to end the impunity of the Libyan government. The mission should include an independent medical investigation into the deaths, and an investigation of the unlawful interference by the Libyan government with the access to and treatment of wounded.
Call on the UN High Commissioner of Human Rights and the Council’s relevant Special Procedures to closely monitor the situation and take action as needed.
Call on the Council to remain seized of the matter and address the Libyan situation at its upcoming 16th regular session in March.
Member states and high officials of the United Nations have a responsibility to protect the people of Libya from what are preventable crimes. We urge you to use all available measures and levers to end atrocities throughout the country.

We urge you to send a clear message that, collectively, the international community, the Security Council and the Human Rights Council will not be bystanders to these mass atrocities. The credibility of the United Nations — and many innocent lives — are at stake.

Sincerely,

1. Hillel C. Neuer, United Nations Watch, Switzerland
2. Dr. Sliman Bouchuiguir, Libyan League for Human Rights, Switzerland
3. Mary Kay Stratis, Victims of Pan Am Flight 103, Inc., USA
4. Carl Gershman, President, The National Endowment for Democracy, USA
5. Yang Jianli, Initiatives for China, USA – Former prisoner of conscience and survivor of Tiananmen Square massacre
6. Yang Kuanxing, YIbao – Chinese writer, original signatory to Charter 08, the manifesto calling for political reform in China
7. Matteo Mecacci, MP, Nonviolent Radical Party, Italy
8. Frank Donaghue, Physicians for Human Rights, USA
9. Nazanin Afshin-Jam, President and Co Founder of Stop Child Executions, Canada
10. Bhawani Shanker Kusum, Gram Bharati Samiti, India
11. G. Jasper Cummeh, III, Actions for Genuine Democratic Alternatives, Liberia
12. Michel Monod, International Fellowship of Reconciliation, Switzerland
13. Esohe Aghatise, Associazione Iroko Onlus, Italy
14. Harris O. Schoenberg, UN Reform Advocates, USA
15. Myrna Lachenal, World Federation for Mental Health, Switzerland
16. Nguyên Lê Nhân Quyên, Vietnamese League for Human Rights, Switzerland
17. Sylvia G. Iriondo, Mothers and Women against Repression (M.A.R. Por Cuba), USA
18. David Littman, World Union for Progressive Judaism, Switzerland
19. Barrister Festus Okoye, Executive Director, Human Rights Monitor, Nigeria
20. Theodor Rathgeber, Forum Human Rights, Germany
21. Derik Uya Alfred, Kwoto Cultural Center, Juba – Southern Sudan
22. Carlos E Tinoco, Consorcio Desarrollo y Justicia, A.C., Venezuela
23. Abdurashid Abdulle Abikar, Center for Youth and Democracy, Somalia
24. Dr. Vanee Meisinger, Pan Pacific and South East Asia Women’s Association, Thailand
25. Simone Abel, René Cassin, United Kingdom
26. Dr. Francois Ullmann, Ingenieurs du Monde, Switzerland
27. Sr Catherine Waters, Catholic International Education Office, USA
28. Gibreil Hamid, Darfur Peace and Development Centre, Switzerland
29. Nino Sergi, INTERSOS – Humanitarian Aid Organization, Italy
30. Daniel Feng, Foundation for China in the 21st Century
31. Ann Buwalda, Executive Director, Jubilee Campaign, USA
32. Leo Igwe, Nigerian Humanist Movement, Nigeria
33. Chandika Gautam, Member, Nepal International Consumers Union, Nepal
34. Zohra Yusuf, Council Member, Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, Pakistan
35. Sekou Doumbia, Femmes & Droits Humains, Mali
36. Cyrille Rolande Bechon, Executive Directror, Nouveaux Droits de l’Homme, Cameroon
37. Dr Frene Ginwala, Former Speaker, South Africa’s First democratically elected National Assembly
38. Valnora Edwin, National Coordinator, Campaign for Good Governance, Sierra Leone
39. Patrick Mpedzisi, African Democracy Forum, South Africa
40. Phil ya Nangoloh, NamRights, Namibia
41. Jaime Vintimilla, Centro Sobre Derecho y Sociedad (CIDES), Ecuador
42. Tilder Kumichii Ndichia, Gender Empowerment and Development, Cameroon
43. Amina Bouayach, Moroccan Organisation for Human Rights, Morocco
44. Abdullahi Mohamoud Nur, CEPID-Horn Africa, Somalia
45. Delly Mawazo Sesete, Resarch Center on Environment, Democracy & Human Rights, DR Congo
46. Joseph Rahall, Green Scenery, Sierra Leone
47. Arnold Djuma, Solidarité pour la Promotion Sociale et la Paix, Rwanda
48. Panayote Dimitras, Greek Helsinki Monitor, Greece
49. Carlos E. Ponce, Latina American and Caribbean Network for Democracy, Venezuela
50. Fr. Paul Lansu, Pax Christi International, Belgium
51. Tharsika Pakeerathan, Swiss Council of Eelam Tamils, Switzerland
52. Ibrahima Niang, Commission des Droits Humains du Mouvement Citoyen, Senegal
53. Virginia Swain, Center for Global Community and World Law, USA
54. Dr Yael Danieli, International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies, USA
55. Savita Gokhale, Loksadhana, India
56. Hasan Dheeree, Biland Awdal Organization, Somalia
57. Pacifique Nininahazwe, Forum pour le Renforcement de la Société Civile, Burundi
58. Derik Uya Alfred, Kwoto Cultural Center, Southern Sudan
59. Michel Golubnichy, International Association of Peace Foundations, Russia
60. Edward Ladu Terso, Multi Media Training Center, South Sudan
61. Hafiz Mohammed, Justice Africa Sudan, Sudan
62. Sammy Eppel, B’nai B’rith Human Rights Commission, Venezuela
63. Jack Jeffery, International Humanist and Ethical Union, United Kingdom
64. Duy Hoang, Viet Tan, Vietnam
65. Promotion de la Democratie et Protection des Droits Humains, DR Congo
66. Radwan A. Masmoudi, Center for the Study of Islam & Democracy, USA
67. María José Zamora Solórzano, Movimiento por Nicaragua, Nicaragua
68. John Suarez, Cuban Democratic Directorate, USA
69. Mohamed Abdul Malek, Libya Watch, United Kingdom
70. Journalists Union of Russia, Russia

Gaddafi has left Libya – Press TV, Al Arabiya reporting

Monday, February 21st, 2011

Al Arabyia, Press TV, and a representative of Libyan opposition group have reported that Muammar Gaddafi has left Libya. Germany’s news web site TT.com also reports, quoting opposition groups, that Gaddafi has fled.

On Monday, Gaddafi’s son, Seif al-Eslam, denied the report that his father left the country.

Other developments

(Guardian.co.uk) — In fast-moving developments after midnight, demonstrators were reported to be in Tripoli’s Green Square and preparing to march on Gaddafi’s compound as rumours spread that the leader had fled to Venezuela. Other reports described protesters in the streets of Tripoli throwing stones at billboards of Muammar Gaddafi while police used teargas to try to disperse them.

BBC Arabic reported automatic gunfire and teargas in the capital for the first time since the unrest began.

But the regime went on the attack when Muammar Gaddafi’s son, Saif al-Islam, appeared on state TV to say it was a “tragedy” that Libyans had died but warned of “civil war” unless order was restored.

Wagging a finger at the camera, he blamed Libyan exiles for fomenting the violence but also promised dialogue on the country’s constitution, saying that the general people’s congress, Libya’s equivalent of a parliament, would convene to discuss a “clear” reform agenda, while the government would also raise wages.

“There is a plot against Libya,” said Saif, blaming “an Islamic group with a military agenda” for the bloodshed in Benghazi.

Libya would see “rivers of blood”, an exodus of foreign oil companies and occupation by “imperialists” if the violence continued, he said.

In reality, there has been little sign of Islamist involvement in Libya’s unprecedented unrest. Nor was there in the uprisings in Tunisia or Egypt.

In a rambling speech Saif al-Islam repeatedly said Libya was “not Egypt or Tunisia”, neighbouring countries whose leaders were swept from power in recent weeks.

“Muammar Gaddafi, our leader, is leading the battle in Tripoli, and we are with him,” Saif al-Islam said. “The armed forces are with him. Tens of thousands are heading here to be with him. We will fight until the last man, the last woman, the last bullet.”

“People are in the street chanting ‘Allahu Akbar’ (God is great) and throwing stones at photos of Gaddafi,”an expatriate worker told Reuters by telephone from Tripoli. “The police are firing teargas everywhere, it’s even getting into the houses.”

According to a Reuters report, Libyan soldiers said they had defected and were joining the protests.

An intelligence source reported that 150 soldiers and officers who disobeyed orders and refused to shoot at protesters would be executed.

Estimates of the total number of fatalities over six days of unprecedented unrest ranged from 233 – the latest figure given by Human Rights Watch – to 285. But some opposition sources gave figures as high as 500.

Two of Gaddafi’s other sons, Khamis and Saadi, and intelligence chief Abdullah Sanussi were reportedly commanding efforts to crush the protests in Benghazi, where buildings were ransacked and troops and police forced to retreat to a compound to pick off demonstrators with sniper and artillery fire.

As-Sharq al-Awsat, the Saudi newspaper, quoted sources close to the Gaddafi family as saying they would “die on Libyan soil” rather than give up power like the presidents of Egypt and Tunisia.

Facts were hard to pin down in the face of a news blackout that included jamming of the signal of the al-Jazeera TV network and interference with telephone and internet connections.

The Libya al-Yawm news website quoted one local doctor as saying that 285 people had died in Benghazi alone.

“Now people are dying we’ve got nothing else to live for,” a student blogger told the Guardian. “It’s like a pressure cooker. People are boiling up inside. I’m not even afraid any more. Once I wouldn’t have spoken at all by phone. Now I don’t care.”

In other signs of mounting domestic anger at Gaddafi, Libya’s representative to the Arab League, Abdel Monein al-Honi, announced that he was resigning in protest at the suppression of the unrest. Libya’s ambassador to China, Hussein Sadiq al-Musrati, resigned on air while on al-Jazeera Arabic, calling on the army to intervene, and urged all diplomatic staff to resign. In another striking development, the leader of a powerful tribe in eastern Libya warned that oil exports to the west – vital for the country’s economy – would be halted within 24 hours unless the authorities stopped the “oppression of protesters”.

Protesters attack Libya TV station – AFP

Monday, February 21st, 2011

(AFP) — Protesters in the Libyan capital Tripoli sacked state broadcast offices and set branches of the People’s Committees that are the mainstay of the regime ablaze overnight, witnesses told AFP on Monday.

“The headquarters of Al-Jamahiriya Two television and Al-Shababia radio have been sacked,” one witness told AFP by telephone on condition of anonymity.

Broadcasts on both channels were interrupted on Sunday evening but resumed on Monday morning.

A number of witnesses said protesters had torched public buildings in the capital overnight, not only People’s Committee offices but also police stations.

(Reuters) – BP has suspended preparations for exploratory drilling for oil and gas in western Libya due to growing unrest in the north African country, a spokesman for the British energy giant said on Monday.

The company does not produce any oil or gas in Libya but has been readying an onshore rig to start drilling for fuel in the west of the country.

“We are looking at evacuating some people from Libya, so those preparations are being suspended but we haven’t started drilling and we are years away from any production,” the spokesman said.

Why is the Obama administration tongue-tied on Libya?

Monday, February 21st, 2011

Maybe it is fear of coming down on the wrong side of a coup that has left the Obama administration reluctant to criticize Qaddafi’s crackdown. When asked by a reporter if Qaddafi is a dictator, “State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley remained silent and looked for another question to answer,” Fox News reports. Nonetheless, the journalist persisted, finally prompting an answer from Crowley: “I don’t think he came to office through a democratic process.”

This afternoon the State Department released a brief statement — “The United States is gravely concerned with disturbing reports and images coming out of Libya,” etc.—but so far there is nothing from the White House. This is especially bizarre since an administration that in the course of a month has witnessed two Arab uprisings should presumably have some sort of working script by now to apply to events unfolding in Libya. So why is the Obama administration tongue-tied? After all, this is not a U.S. ally, but a regime that in 2009 won, and celebrated, the release of an intelligence officer responsible for the deaths of 190 American citizens over the skies of Lockerbie, Scotland. Merely giving up a nuclear weapons program, as Qaddafi did in 2003, does not make a regime friendly to U.S. interests. Through his silence, Obama is giving the impression that the White House is standing with Qaddafi. – The Weekly Standard

Libya special forces started to support the people

Sunday, February 20th, 2011

* In Benghazi, the starting point of the revolt, three witnesses said that special military forces called in as reinforcements had instead helped the protesters take over the local army barracks. “The gunshots you hear are the gunshots of celebration,” said Abdel Latif al-Hadi, a 54-year-old Benghazi resident whose five sons were out protesting.

* In the Libyan capital Tripoli witnesses interviewed by telephone on Sunday night said protesters were converging on the capital’s central Green Square and clashing with the heavily armed riot police. Young men armed themselves with chains around their knuckles, steel pipes and machetes. The police had retreated from some neighborhoods, and protesters were seen armed with police batons, helmets and rifles commandeered from riot squads.

* Under Colonel Qaddafi’s idiosyncratic rule, tribal bonds remain primary even within the ranks of the military, and both protesters and the security forces have reason to believe that backing down will likely mean their ultimate death or imprisonment. – New York Times- The New York Times

* Libya’s ambassador to India has resigned in protest at his government’s violent crackdown on demonstrators calling for the ouster of Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) reported on Monday. The BBC, on its Arabic service website, said Ambassador Ali al-Essawi also accused the government of deploying foreign mercenaries against the protesters. The BBC confirmed to Reuters it had spoken to Essawi. – Reuters

* Among other unconfirmed reports out of Libya right now, one is that Qaddafi’s sons, Muatassem and Saif al-Islam, fought each other, with the former shooting the latter. It’s hard to know much right now, since media coverage out of Libya has gone virtually black. Al Jazeera explains that its signal was disrupted from a building in southern Libya, which seems to be something of a niche industry for Qaddafi’s regime—for a few years the Libyans were found to be blocking a channel owned by exiled Syrian opposition figures, presumably at the request of the government in Damascus. – Weekly Standard

* Members of a Libyan Army unit told Benghazi residents on Sunday they had defected and “liberated” Libya’s second city from troops supporting veteran leader Muammar Qaddafi. Habib Al-Obaidi, who heads the intensive care unit at the main Al-Jalae hospital, and lawyer Mohamed Al-Mana, told Reuters members of the “Thunderbolt” squad had arrived at the hospital with soldiers wounded in clashes with Qaddafi’s personal guard. “They are now saying that they have overpowered the Praetorian Guard and that they have joined the people’s revolt,” Al-Mana said by telephone.

Al Jazeera jammed in Ethiopia

Sunday, February 20th, 2011

Ethiopia’s tyrant Meles Zenawi has jammed Al Jazeera today, according to residents in Addis Ababa. Meles has also been jamming Ethiopian Satellite TV (ESAT). In an anticipation of imminent revolt in Ethiopia, the Meles regime has been taking preemptive measures, such as warning parents to prevent their children from taking part in any anti-government activity, deploying heavy weapons on major streets, and blocking internet sites.

US embassy in Addis to host discussion with the opposition

Saturday, February 19th, 2011

The American embassy in Ethiopia’s capital Addis Ababa has invited opposition groups for discussion on current developments in the region, Addis Neger reports:

The embassy says that public uprisings, originating in Tunisia and Egypt, are expanding throughout the region to countries such as Bahrain, Jordan, Libya, Yemen and lately to neighboring Djibouti. According to embassy sources, the US government has expressed concern that similar uprisings may begin in Ethiopia, and that symptoms of such uprisings are already being revealed.

The opposition groups in Ethiopia will be ill-advised to start any kind of negotiation with Meles Zenawi other than demanding his immediate and unconditional resignation.

Bahrain: Troops withdraw from Square; Protesters celebrate

Saturday, February 19th, 2011

Manama, Bahrain (Los Angeles Times) — Protesters celebrated Saturday in Bahrain when police and soldiers withdrew from Manama’s symbolic Pearl Square, allowing young Shiite Muslims eager for a larger role in Bahraini society to take back their central stage.

“The police backed down when they saw thousands of people coming from four directions,” said one demonstrator.

Confrontations gave way to a massive party as protesters chanted, hugged and waved yellow and red plastic flowers. Hundreds of Bahraini flags fluttered in the wind.

Soldiers had fired tear gas and bullets at demonstrators a day earlier and brutally cleared Pearl Square before dawn on Thursday, rousting sleeping protesters camped in the traffic roundabout.

Crown Prince Salman ibn Hamed Khalifa, told by by Bahrain’s king to open a dialogue with all opposition forces, said in an interview with CNN that he had ordered the removal of the military from the square. He said the protesters would be allowed to gather and voice their concerns without fear.

The crown prince indicated he was deeply sorry for the deaths of protesters, CNN reported.

At least four people died in the confrontations in and around Pearl Square, and dozens were injured, according to hospital sources. At least two people were wounded earlier Saturday when violence erupted for a third straight day at the square. An angry crowd of men and women sang, “Down, down Hamed!” referring to the king, and “Bring down the government!”

An angry woman impatient to march on Pearl Square shouted: “Every day! We need to be on the street!” Protesters wore bandannas over their faces to protect against tear gas.

But when the police left, the mood turned happy.

A protester who gave his name only as Riyad said: “We will stay. It will not end until the government listens to the people. We will not give up until the government collapses.”

Protesters take over Aden, Yemen's second largest city

Saturday, February 19th, 2011

SANAA, Yemen (AP) — Residents of Yemen’s second largest city say after 10 days constant protests, security forces have disappeared from the streets, threatening to plunge Aden into chaos.

Residents of thbe port city say groups of men are attacking, looting and burning government buildings and there is no sign of police or armed forces.

In the capital Sanaa, hundreds of Yemenis began demonstrating early in the morning Saturday outside the university demanding the ouster of the country’s longtime ruler as they marched towards the Justice Ministry.

“The people want the ouster of the regime,” they chanted.

Over the past nine days of protests, six people have been killed and more than 150 wounded as police fire tear gas and gunshots.

Massacre in Bahrain

Saturday, February 19th, 2011

By Robert Fisk

Rumours burned like petrol in Bahrain yesterday and many medical staff were insisting that up to 60 corpses had been taken from Pearl Square on Thursday morning and that police were seen by crowds loading bodies into three refrigerated trucks. One man showed me a mobile phone snapshot in which the three trucks could be seen clearly, parked behind several army armoured personnel carriers. According to other demonstrators, the vehicles, which bore Saudi registration plates, were later seen on the highway to Saudi Arabia. It is easy to dismiss such ghoulish stories, but I found one man – another male nurse at the hospital who works under the umbrella of the United Nations – who told me that an American colleague, he gave his name as “Jarrod”, had videotaped the bodies being put into the trucks but was then arrested by the police and had not been seen since.

Why has the royal family of Bahrain allowed its soldiers to open fire at peaceful demonstrators? To turn on Bahraini civilians with live fire within 24 hours of the earlier killings seems like an act of lunacy.

But the heavy hand of Saudi Arabia may not be far away. The Saudis are fearful that the demonstrations in Manama and the towns of Bahrain will light equally provocative fires in the east of their kingdom, where a substantial Shia minority lives around Dhahran and other towns close to the Kuwaiti border. Their desire to see the Shia of Bahrain crushed as quickly as possible was made very clear at Thursday’s Gulf summit here, with all the sheikhs and princes agreeing that there would be no Egyptian-style revolution in a kingdom which has a Shia majority of perhaps 70 per cent and a small Sunni minority which includes the royal family. … [Read more]

Ethiopia censors Mideast protests – CPJ

Friday, February 18th, 2011

By Mohamed Keita | CPJ

As news of Middle Eastern and North African protests swirl around the globe, satellite television and the Internet prove vital sources of information for Africans as governments fearful of an informed citizenry and a free press such as in Eritrea, Equatorial Guinea, and Zimbabwe impose total news blackouts on the developments.

Nowhere is the news blackout more extreme than in Eritrea, where the government has banned independent media since 2001. Typing “Egypt” in the search field of the government news website Shabait returns about 50 results, the most recent and relevant of which is a December 3, 2010, item titled: “Presidents Isaias and Mubarak conduct discussion in Cairo.” Eritrean sources told CPJ, however, that satellite dishes in the capital Asmara’s rooftops allowed people to follow the unfolding events.

Earlier this month, Equatorial Guinea’s information minister, Jerónimo Osa Osa Ecoro, issued a statement accusing those who criticize the 32-year authoritarian ruler Teodoro Obiang’s election as the new president of the African Union of failing to “acknowledge the enormous steps” taken by Obiang toward democratization and human rights. Notwithstanding that Obiang won his last national election with 97 percent of the vote amid allegations of poll-rigging, it didn’t take long for his claim to be contradicted by a news blackout by the government-controlled national broadcaster RTVGE on protests in North Africa since February 11, according to news reports. Nevertheless, satellite dishes in Malabo allowed most people to access news and information, according to a local source. The same day the blackout started, Juan Tomás Ávila Laurel, editor of cultural magazine Atanga and a blogger with Spain-based online magazine Frontera Digital began a hunger strike that he vowed not to stop until a transitional government ushering democratic reforms was not put in place in Equatorial Guinea.

Flipping the pages of Zimbabwe’s government-controlled daily The Herald, Vincent Kahiya, editor-in-chief of the private Harare-based daily Newsday said to me on Thursday: “There is nothing on the international page on what’s happening in Bahrain, Libya, and so on.” Instead, he noted, “What we have seen is commentary on what they’re not reporting.” In fact, the ruling Zanu-PF-controlled state media has, among other things, accused the United States, which maintains sanctions restricting travel, financial, and business assets of President Robert Mugabe and members of the ruling Zanu-PF elite, of interfering in Egypt’s “rebellion.” Another journalist, whose name I have withheld for fear of government reprisals, shared in an e-mail: “I have DSTV [South Africa-based Digital Satellite Television] and I hardly watch Zimbabwean TV or read The Herald.” In fact, “CNN etc. is God-sent on these protests,” wrote another journalist. “Zimbabweans are talking about it, and there’s a lot of interest on those issues,” Kahiya said, adding that private newspapers reporting the North African developments were selling quickly.

In Ethiopia, a local journalist who spoke on condition of anonymity for fear of government reprisals used the term “silent report” to describe the coverage of the government-controlled Ethiopian Television and Radio Agency, explaining that the station limited newscasters to reading two or three paragraphs without further reporting. Nevertheless, “much of the public is well aware of the issues,” the source said, adding that even rural area people had access to satellite TV.

Ethiopian police became apparently angered by persecuted journalist Eskinder Nega’s coverage of the protests. Nega, whose weekly columns appear on U.S.-based news forum EthioMedia, was picked up on February 11 as he walked out of a café in the capital, Addis Ababa. He later reported that the Ethiopian deputy commissioner of police allegedly delivered to him a warning from the government for his alleged “to incite an Egyptian and Tunisian like protests in Ethiopia,” with his Internet writings. Nega’s columns compared and contrasted Egypt and Ethiopia in terms of the military’s role in politics, and pro-democracy movements, according to CPJ research.

In Djibouti, where a series of protests have erupted since last month, government-controlled state broadcaster Radio Télévision de Djibouti was also censoring news of the North African protests, a local journalist told CPJ on condition of anonymity for fear of government reprisals. However, few Djiboutians watch the channel and most people passionately follow developments through their satellite dishes, the journalist said.

In Gabon, where supporters of opposition supporters have been protesting since André Mba Obame claimed fraud had robbed him of victory in the August 2009 presidential elections and declared himself president, state media’s coverage of the North African protests has also been minimal, said independent editor Norbert Goua Mezuï. “I don’t even watch the national channels, I do when I stumble on them,” he said, “but we rely on France 24, Africa 24, TV5, TF1, and France 2 to tell us what is really happening elsewhere.”

(Mohamed Keita is advocacy coordinator for CPJ’s Africa Program. He regularly gives interviews in French and English to international news media on press freedom issues in Africa and has participated in several panels. Follow him on Twitter: @africamedia_CPJ.)

40,000 Awasa residents to lose their homes

Friday, February 18th, 2011

Deutsche Welle Amharic Service reports that 40,000 residents of Ethiopia’s southern town of Awassa have been asked to vacate their homes. The Woyanne ruling junta’s local puppet administration issued the order saying that the houses the residents own have been built without proper permits. It’s reported that several residents who have voiced opposition to the measure are being rounded up and arrested. Listen the report below [Amharic].

 

Dictators in sub-Saharan Africa take preemptive actions

Friday, February 18th, 2011

By Alex Thurston

As protests continue across the Arab world, rumblings of political discontent have sounded in sub-Saharan Africa as well. These rumblings range from serious protests in Gabon and Sudan to pro-revolution newspaper columns in countries like Nigeria. Revolution will likely not spread through sub-Saharan Africa, but leaders in Ethiopia and Uganda moved this week to block even the possibility of uprisings. These moves show that the Arab protests are making some African leaders quite nervous, particularly as their countries navigate political transitions.

In Ethiopia, journalist Eskinder Nega has compared his country to Egypt and speculated about the possibility of an Egypt-style mobilization in Ethiopia. Eskinder’s remarks online and on the radio drew the attention, he says, of the Ethiopian government:

Eskinder Nega says six heavily-armed policemen jumped from a truck on a busy central Addis Ababa street last week, grabbed him and whisked him away to federal police headquarters. He says during a two-hour detention, he was brought before a deputy police commissioner who did not identify himself, but who warned him his activities were considered seditious.

“He said, ‘You’ve been trying to incite Egyptian and Tunisian-like protests in Ethiopia through writings you do on the Internet,” Eskinder recounted. “And the interviews you give to various news outlets. And he said, ‘Nothing similar is going to happen in this country.’”

Eskinder was jailed during the 2005 government crackdown in Ethiopia, which followed fiercely contested elections. Last year’s elections in Ethiopia did not produce the same levels of dissent – or violence – that 2005′s elections did, but Eskinder’s latest detention suggests that Ethiopian authorities are keen to shut down any voices who say that the government lacks legitimacy and is vulnerable to the wave of uprisings.

In Uganda, which holds presidential elections today, there seems to be little chance that President Yoweri Museveni will lose, and little chance that mass demonstrations could drive him from power. Still, Ugandan opposition leaders have talked about launching protests if Museveni wins. This threat was enough to worry the government, which “ordered phone companies to intercept text messages with words or phrases including ‘Egypt’, ‘bullet,’ and ‘people power’ ahead of [today]‘s elections that some fear may turn violent.” This preemptive maneuver seems to presage a greater crackdown to come, if the opposition does indeed take to the streets.

Government crackdowns could end up being the decisive factor in stopping sub-Saharan African protest movements before they really get off the ground. Northern Sudan’s repression appears to have stymied protesters there for the most part. And the words of an Ethiopian opposition member that Eskinder interviewed are revealing as to the political realities there:

Could the legal Ethiopian opposition leaders try to replicate what the legal opposition triggered in Egypt? “No,” firmly answered an opposition official I queried. “There will be a massacre, and it will also be the end of us,” he said. I could have been mistaken, but I thought I had sensed alarm in his tone.

There is another important issue also: If government repression did occur, would media outlets cover it? Given how little coverage Gabon has received in comparison with Arab countries, I think it unlikely that international media would devote substantial attention to a short – but merciless – crackdown in a country like Ethiopia. Some people paid attention in 2005, of course, but not on the scale that we’re seeing with Egypt and elsewhere.

In some places, then, African activists’ realistic fears of death and failure are already discouraging potential protesters. Nevertheless, as I said Wednesday, everyone is well aware of the events in Egypt – including governments who are taking steps to signal policies of zero tolerance for dissent.

(Alex Thurston is a PhD student studying Islam in Africa at Northwestern University and blogs at Sahel Blog.)

Massive protest in Djibouti, Police fire at protesters

Friday, February 18th, 2011

Tens of thousands of people held a massive protest rally in Djibouti against the regime of President Ismail Guelleh. Opposition leaders say that the police fired live bullets at peaceful protesters yesterday.

(Bloomberg) — Djibouti opposition groups will meet today to decide what step to take next after police allegedly fired on demonstrators yesterday, injuring at least two of them, an opposition leader said.

“The situation is very bad,” Ismail Guedi Hared, president of the Union for a Democratic Alternative, said by phone late yesterday. The police “used tear gas and they shot in every direction. I know two people are in hospital.”

In Djibouti, the Horn of Africa nation that hosts the only U.S. military base on the continent, President Ismail Guelleh’s People’s Rally for Progress party has ruled since independence in 1977. The 63- year-old leader, who was first elected in 1999, amended the constitution in March to allow him to extend his rule by two more six-year terms.

Yesterday’s protest turned violent near the Hassan Guled stadium in the capital, Djibouti, Hared said. Live ammunition was used by both sides and a crowd of about 100 demonstrators threw stones at the police after leaders of the protest were escorted away, according to the Djibouti-based website Djibouti24.

“The police are confronting demonstrators,” Mohamed Daoud Chehem, head of the Djibouti Party for Development, said by phone from the protest yesterday. “They have opened fire,” he said, without being able to specify if anyone was injured or what type of ammunition was used.

Chehem said that as many as 20,000 people had joined the protest against Guelleh. The country has a population of about 860,000.

Exiled Djiboutian opposition leader Abdourahman Boreh, who is currently in London, said the demonstrations may continue.

“We will see how it goes,” Boreh said yesterday. “This is the first day. We will see how the government reacts.”

Last month, Boreh called for elections scheduled for April to be delayed by as much as a year and for international monitors to oversee an electoral roll that includes 130,000 to 140,000 of the population of about 865,000.

Djibouti ranks 148th out of 169 countries in the United Nations Development Program’s Human Development Index, which measures life expectancy, education and living standards.
U.S. Concerns

“We’re closely monitoring, keeping an eye on developments, especially as they relate to any forces we may have in the region,” Pentagon spokesman, Marine Corps Colonel David Lapin, told reporters yesterday.

The U.S has had a base in Djibouti since 2001, while former colonial power France also has 3,000 troops stationed in the country, which is smaller than the U.S. state of Massachusetts. The republic borders the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden and is seen as a strategic location in the U.S.-led fight against terrorism and piracy.

Protesters take over Libya's Benghazi Airport – BBC

Friday, February 18th, 2011

Libya, one of the most repressive regimes in Africa, is unable to stop the wave of popular uprisings against dictators that is sweeping through northern Africa and the Middle East. The Libya pro-democracy protesters are taking their activities outside of the capital city to avoid direct clashes with the security forces that have been firing live bullets on unarmed civilians causing 23 deaths. BBC reports that the protesters today have taken control of an airport in the eastern Libyan town of Benghazi. Protesters also set fire to police stations and government buildings. Ghadafi’s brutal measures that are intended to instill fear seem to be having a reverse effect.

(BBC) — Libya’s dictator Col. Muammar Gaddafi has taken a series of measures, including blocking internet sites and shutting off electricity to protest areas, to try to quell rising unrest.

Gaddafi’s regime has also reportedly offered to replace some top officials in a conciliatory move.

Media outlets loyal to Col Gaddafi have threatened retaliation against protesters who criticize the leader.

Emerging reports suggest a mounting death toll from days of clashes between security forces and protesters.

The mainstay of the unrest is in regional towns and cities, where many people live in poverty.

Foreign journalists operate under restrictions in Libya, so it has been impossible to independently verify much of the information coming out of the country.

But the BBC has confirmed that several websites – including Facebook and al-Jazeera Arabic – have been blocked.

And the airport in Benghazi, the country’s second largest city, has been closed, amid reports that protesters have taken it over.

Unrest spreads

Residents in Benghazi told the BBC that electricity has been cut off, and tanks are posted outside the court building.

Benghazi protesters have told international media they have learnt from Tunisia and Egypt, and are determined to depose Col Gaddafi.

Media outlets loyal to Col Gaddafi had earlier conceded that security forces had killed 14 protesters in Benghazi on Thursday, though other accounts put the death toll much higher.

Gamal Bandour, a judge in the city, told AP news agency that the mourners set fire to government buildings and police stations on the way back from the funerals on Friday.

Witnesses said 15 people had been killed during Friday’s clashes.

Meanwhile, dissidents based outside Libya claimed that protesters were now battling security forces for control of another eastern city, al-Bayda.

Video footage from al-Bayda showed bloodstained bodies in a mortuary, and protesters torching a municipal building and demolishing a statue of the so-called “green book” – the collection of principles by which Col Gaddafi rules.

The Oea newspaper, owned by one of Col Gaddafi’s sons, earlier reported that demonstrators had lynched two policemen in al-Bayda.

Oea also reported outbreaks of violence in Darnah, east of Benghazi, where it described residents as living in fear.

It said all police stations in Darnah had been evacuated after protesters were killed on Thursday, and rumors were circulating that elite military units were closing in on the city.

Amid the crackdown, the semi-independent Quryna newspaper reported that the government would replace many state executives and decentralize and restructure the government.

It was unclear whether the political move was in response to growing unrest.

Earlier, the pro-government Al-Zahf Al-Akhdar newspaper threatened to “violently and thunderously respond” to the protests.

“The people’s power, the Jamahiriya [system of rule], the revolution, and Colonel Gaddafi are all red lines and those who try to cross or come near these lines are suicidal and playing with fire.”

Col Gaddafi is the Arab world’s longest-serving leader, having ruled oil-rich Libya since a coup in 1969.

Bahrain's military largely made up of foreign recruits

Friday, February 18th, 2011

Middle Eastern correspondent for CSM, Dan Murphy, reports that Bahrain’s small military is made up of foreign mercenary recruits. No wonder they are willing to gun down unarmed civilians. in Ethiopia we face the same situation. The regime in power rules and behaves like a foreign entity. The ruling junta hates the people of Ethiopia. For Meles and gang Ethiopia is a country to loot and plunder. It’s therefore necessary for opposition groups to adjust their strategy accordingly.

(CSM) — Bahrain, where a US-backed Sunni monarchy rules over a populace that’s about 70 percent Shiite, massive force has been unleashed on peaceful democracy protesters both today and yesterday as well. The Western-looking kingdom plays host to America’s Fifth Fleet, leaving President Barack Obama with even fewer levers of influence in Bahrain than he had in the case of Egypt.

It’s one thing to threaten withholding military aid from Egypt, a card the Obama administration probably played during the height of Egypt’s uprising. It’s quite another to say, “Stop shooting your people, or we’ll remove our naval base.”

Some foreign observers like the influential New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof appear to be shocked that a “moderate” regime (his word) like Bahrain’s would kill its own people. They shouldn’t be. The ruling Khalifa family, like Qaddafi, is engaged in the sort of existential struggle that Egypt and Tunisia’s power brokers didn’t face; while Egypt’s Mubarak and Tunisia’s Ben Ali may be out of power, the officers and political architecture that support their rules remain intact, at least for now.

But the odds that the Khalifas will preserve a powerful role for themselves in Bahrain in the face of true democracy are small. They appear to be acting accordingly. In the early morning Thursday, riot police stormed a democracy encampment at Pearl Square in Manama, Bahrain’s capital – an encampment set up in emulation of Cairo’s Tahrir Square. The police fired shot guns and rubber bullets, killing five and dispersing protesters.

Today, it was the Bahrain Defense Force’s turn to get in on the action. The kingdom’s tiny military, largely made up of foreign mercenary recruits, they assaulted groups of mourners who were burying the previous day’s dead and trying to push protests forward. Reports from Manama said gunfire lashed crowds from helicopters and that dozens, at least, were injured. Al Jazeera quoted a doctor in a Manama hospital as saying the emergency room was “overwhelmed” with casualties. The death toll, if any, is still unclear.

Bahrain’s population is about 1.2 million. While the five confirmed killed on Thursday seems small relative to the 300 or so who died in Egypt’s uprising, it’s already a greater percentage of the population than in Egypt, and that number seems likely to have grown today.

Will force work? Or will it spur on Bahrain’s Shiites to greater cycles of mourning and protest?

Bahrain leaders must face crimes against humanity charges

Friday, February 18th, 2011

The Bahrain military has open fired on thousands of protesters on Friday, according to AP. The number of dead and injured is unknown yet. The international community must not tolerate this atrocity. The Bahrain leaders and military commanders must face charges of crimes against humanity at the International Criminal Court. If such barbaric act goes unpunished, dictators in other countries, including in Ethiopia, will continue to commit similar atrocities. Ethiopia’s tyrant Meles Zenawi must be smiling today.

MANAMA, Bahrain (Associated Press) — Soldiers opened fire Friday on thousands of protesters defying a government ban and streaming toward the landmark square that had been the symbolic center of the uprising to break the political grip of the Gulf nation’s leaders.

Officials at the main Salmaniya hospital said at least 50 people were injured, some with gunshot wounds. Some doctors and medics on emergency medical teams were in tears as they tended to the wounded. X-rays showed bullets still lodged inside victims.

“This is a war,” said Dr. Bassem Deif, an orthopedic surgeon examining people with bullet-shattered bones.

Protesters described a chaotic scene of tear gas clouds, bullets coming from many directions and people slipping in pools of blood as they sought cover. Some claimed the gunfire came from either helicopters or sniper nests, a day after riot police swept through the protest encampment in Pearl Square, killing at least five people and razing the tents and makeshift shelters that were inspired by the demonstrators in Cairo’s Tahrir Square.

An Associated Press cameraman saw army units shooting anti-aircraft weapons, fitted on top of armored personnel carriers, above the protesters, in apparent warning shots and attempts to drive them back from security cordons about 200 yards (200 meters) from the square.

Then the soldiers turned firearms on the crowd, one marcher said.

“People started running in all directions and bullets were flying,” said Ali al-Haji, a 27-year-old bank clerk. “I saw people getting shot in the legs, chest, and one man was bleeding from his head.”

“My eyes were full of tear gas, there was shooting and there was a lot of panic,” said Mohammed Abdullah, a 37-year-old businessman taking part in the protest.

condemns violence in Bahrain, Libya and Yemen

US President Barack Obama is condemning reports of violence in response to protests in Bahrain, Libya and Yemen. He is calling on the governments of those countries to show restraint.

Obama said the governments of the three countries should respect the rights of citizens demonstrating peacefully in the aftermath of Egypt’s uprising. He expressed condolences to the families of those killed.

The president’s statement was read aloud by White House press secretary Jay Carney to reporters traveling with the president on Air Force One from California to Oregon.

Crown Prince Al Khalifa promises a national dialogue

(BBC) — Witnesses said the army fired live rounds and tear gas, and officials said at least 25 people had been hurt.

Many of the protesters are calling for the overthrow of the royal family.

Crown Prince Sheikh Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa appeared on state TV on Friday to promise a national dialogue once calm has returned.

The prince, who is also deputy supreme commander of the army, called for everyone to withdraw from the streets.

The BBC’s Caroline Hawley, in Manama, says the funeral procession of one of the dead protesters turned into another anti-government demonstration.

The mourners were trying to make their way to the Salmaniya Hospital, where their injured colleagues are being treated.

But they came under fire as they passed close to Pearl Square, which has been sealed off by the army for the past day to prevent further large-scale demonstrations.

An eyewitness told al-Jazeera TV that the authorities gave no warning.

“They just started shooting us. Now there is more than 20 injured in the hospital. One guy has already passed away because he got shot in his head,” said the witness.

Ethiopian native owns half of DC's gas stations

Friday, February 18th, 2011

Joe MamoTo hear him tell it, Joe Mamo’s move from Ethiopia to North Dakota in 1981 was accidental. Mamo’s father, Yenberber Mamo, was a public transit mogul who manufactured buses and ran the first fleet to provide service across Ethiopia. The operation made his father’s Mamo Kacha bus line a household name in the East African country. It provided a nice life for his family. But it rendered him distinctly unpopular with the Marxist junta that ruled Ethiopia between 1974 and 1991. The elder Mamo was jailed two or three times by the regime. Some of his property was confiscated. As his son approached draft age, the patriarch looked for ways to send him overseas.

That’s how Joe, at the age of 13, found himself attending Catholic boarding school in North Dakota. “He didn’t know the difference between North Dakota and New York City. We didn’t know until we got there,” says Joe Mamo, whose given name is Eyob. But he got used to the cold winters and moved to Chicago after graduation. While he attended community college there, he got a job pumping gas.

By 1987, Mamo had moved to Washington, where an old friend had settled among the region’s large Ethiopian community. This too was “an accidental move,” he says. “I didn’t know Washington that well but I liked it here because it was much more diverse than Chicago. There’s a lot of Ethiopians, a lot of different cultures.” And while Mamo remained far from home, it turned out that his entrepreneurial DNA was still intact in North America. “I always wanted to be a businessman like my father. The only business I knew was a gas station, so I decided to lease a gas station,” Mamo says. … [READ MORE]

The destruction of Gambella's "Hidden Treasure" (video)

Friday, February 18th, 2011

Every thing in Ethiopia is being pillaged, plundered, looted and destroyed by the gang of thugs that is currently ruling Ethiopia. After carrying out a genocidal war in Gambela [read here], the Meles regime is now preparing to destroy the region’s natural resources by leasing large tracts of forest land to foreign investors at bargain prices to grow tea for export. Below is a video about Gambella’s stunning natural resources.

Land grab in Ethiopia – Discussion with Dr Fikre Tolossa

Thursday, February 17th, 2011

Northern California Peace Corps Association (NorCal PCA), in partnership with the Commonwealth Club of California, will hold a discussion on:

LAND GRAB IN AFRICA: THE CASE OF ETHIOPIA
presented by Fikre Tolossa, PhD, Playwright/Author

Though Africa is no longer threatened by armed colonizers, foreign exploiters are threatening Ethiopian farmers by obtaining fertile land from African leaders. The governments of many African countries are benefiting from these land transactions, but the people are left impoverished and hungry. Tolossa will suggest ways to improve the desperate situation for Ethiopian farmers.

Date: March 1, 2011
Time: 5:30 p.m. networking reception, 6:00 p.m. program

For more information visit: NorCalPca.org

Guide to removing dictators

Thursday, February 17th, 2011

Ethiopian activists who are organizing an uprising against the ethnic apartheid dictatorship in Ethiopia don’t have to invent new methods. There are strategies and methods that are proven to be effective against some of the most brutal dictators around the world. One of the pioneers in this field is Gene Sharp. The New York Times writer Sheryl Gay Stolberg has written the following about him:

If people are not afraid of the dictatorship, that dictatorship is in big trouble.” – Gene Sharp

Shy U.S. Intellectual Created Playbook Used in a Revolution

BOSTON (New York Times) – Halfway around the world from Tahrir Square in Cairo, an aging American intellectual shuffles about his cluttered brick row house in a working-class neighborhood here. His name is Gene Sharp. Stoop-shouldered and white-haired at 83, he grows orchids, has yet to master the Internet and hardly seems like a dangerous man.

But for the world’s despots, his ideas can be fatal.

Few Americans have heard of Mr. Sharp. But for decades, his practical writings on nonviolent revolution —  most notably “From Dictatorship to Democracy [click here to download],” a 93-page guide to toppling autocrats, available for download in 24 languages — have inspired dissidents around the world, including in Burma, Bosnia, Estonia and Zimbabwe, and now Tunisia and Egypt.

When Egypt’s April 6 Youth Movement was struggling to recover from a failed effort in 2005, its leaders tossed around “crazy ideas” about bringing down the government, said Ahmed Maher, a leading strategist. They stumbled on Mr. Sharp while examining the Serbian movement Otpor, which he had influenced.

When the nonpartisan International Center on Nonviolent Conflict, which trains democracy activists, slipped into Cairo several years ago to conduct a workshop, among the papers it distributed was Mr. Sharp’s “198 Methods of Nonviolent Action,” a list of tactics that range from hunger strikes to “protest disrobing” to “disclosing identities of secret agents.”

Dalia Ziada, an Egyptian blogger and activist who attended the workshop and later organized similar sessions on her own, said trainees were active in both the Tunisia and Egypt revolts. She said that some activists translated excerpts of Mr. Sharp’s work into Arabic, and that his message of “attacking weaknesses of dictators” stuck with them.

Peter Ackerman, a onetime student of Mr. Sharp who founded the nonviolence center and ran the Cairo workshop, cites his former mentor as proof that “ideas have power.”

Mr. Sharp, hard-nosed yet exceedingly shy, is careful not to take credit. He is more thinker than revolutionary, though as a young man he participated in lunch-counter sit-ins and spent nine months in a federal prison in Danbury, Conn., as a conscientious objector during the Korean War. He has had no contact with the Egyptian protesters, he said, although he recently learned that the Muslim Brotherhood had “From Dictatorship to Democracy” posted on its Web site.

While seeing the revolution that ousted Hosni Mubarak as a sign of “encouragement,” Mr. Sharp said, “The people of Egypt did that — not me.”

He has been watching events in Cairo unfold on CNN from his modest house in East Boston, which he bought in 1968 for $150 plus back taxes.

It doubles as the headquarters of the Albert Einstein Institution, an organization Mr. Sharp founded in 1983 while running seminars at Harvard and teaching political science at what is now the University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth. It consists of him; his assistant, Jamila Raquib, whose family fled Soviet oppression in Afghanistan when she was 5; a part-time office manager and a Golden Retriever mix named Sally. Their office wall sports a bumper sticker that reads “Gotov Je!” — Serbian for “He is finished!”

In this era of Twitter revolutionaries, the Internet holds little allure for Mr. Sharp. He is not on Facebook and does not venture onto the Einstein Web site. (“I should,” he said apologetically.) If he must send e-mail, he consults a handwritten note Ms. Raquib has taped to the doorjamb near his state-of-the-art Macintosh computer in a study overflowing with books and papers. “To open a blank e-mail,” it reads, “click once on icon that says ‘new’ at top of window.”

Some people suspect Mr. Sharp of being a closet peacenik and a lefty — in the 1950s, he wrote for a publication called “Peace News” and he once worked as personal secretary to A. J. Muste, a noted labor union activist and pacifist — but he insists that he outgrew his own early pacifism and describes himself as “trans-partisan.”

Based on studies of revolutionaries like Gandhi, nonviolent uprisings, civil rights struggles, economic boycotts and the like, he has concluded that advancing freedom takes careful strategy and meticulous planning, advice that Ms. Ziada said resonated among youth leaders in Egypt. Peaceful protest is best, he says — not for any moral reason, but because violence provokes autocrats to crack down. “If you fight with violence,” Mr. Sharp said, “you are fighting with your enemy’s best weapon, and you may be a brave but dead hero.”

Autocrats abhor Mr. Sharp. In 2007, President Hugo Chávez of Venezuela denounced him, and officials in Myanmar, according to diplomatic cables obtained by the anti-secrecy group WikiLeaks, accused him of being part of a conspiracy to set off demonstrations intended “to bring down the government.” (A year earlier, a cable from the United States Embassy in Damascus noted that Syrian dissidents had trained in nonviolence by reading Mr. Sharp’s writings.)

In 2008, Iran featured Mr. Sharp, along with Senator John McCain of Arizona and the Democratic financier George Soros, in an animated propaganda video that accused Mr. Sharp of being the C.I.A. agent “in charge of America’s infiltration into other countries,” an assertion his fellow scholars find ludicrous.

“He is generally considered the father of the whole field of the study of strategic nonviolent action,” said Stephen Zunes, an expert in that field at the University of San Francisco. “Some of these exaggerated stories of him going around the world and starting revolutions and leading mobs, what a joke. He’s much more into doing the research and the theoretical work than he is in disseminating it.”

That is not to say Mr. Sharp has not seen any action. In 1989, he flew to China to witness the uprising in Tiananmen Square. In the early 1990s, he sneaked into a rebel camp in Myanmar at the invitation of Robert L. Helvey, a retired Army colonel who advised the opposition there. They met when Colonel Helvey was on a fellowship at Harvard; the military man thought the professor had ideas that could avoid war. “Here we were in this jungle, reading Gene Sharp’s work by candlelight,” Colonel Helvey recalled. “This guy has tremendous insight into society and the dynamics of social power.”

Not everyone is so impressed. As’ad AbuKhalil, a Lebanese political scientist and founder of the Angry Arab News Service blog, was outraged by a passing mention of Mr. Sharp in The New York Times on Monday. He complained that Western journalists were looking for a “Lawrence of Arabia” to explain Egyptians’ success, in a colonialist attempt to deny credit to Egyptians.

Still, just as Mr. Sharp’s profile seems to be expanding, his institute is contracting.

Mr. Ackerman, who became wealthy as an investment banker after studying under Mr. Sharp, contributed millions of dollars and kept it afloat for years. But about a decade ago, Mr. Ackerman wanted to disseminate Mr. Sharp’s ideas more aggressively, as well as his own. He put his money into his own center, which also produces movies and even a video game to train dissidents. An annuity he purchased still helps pay Mr. Sharp’s salary.

In the twilight of his career, Mr. Sharp, who never married, is slowing down. His voice trembles and his blue eyes grow watery when he is tired; he gave up driving after a recent accident. He does his own grocery shopping; his assistant, Ms. Raquib, tries to follow him when it is icy. He does not like it.

He says his work is far from done. He has just submitted a manuscript for a new book, “Sharp’s Dictionary of Power and Struggle: Terminology of Civil Resistance in Conflicts,”  to be published this fall by Oxford University Press. He would like readers to know he did not pick the title. “It’s a little immodest,”  he said. He has another manuscript in the works about Einstein, whose own concerns about totalitarianism prompted Mr. Sharp to adopt the scientist’s name for his institution. (Einstein wrote the foreword to Mr. Sharp’s first book, about Gandhi.)

In the meantime, he is keeping a close eye on the Middle East. He was struck by the Egyptian protesters’ discipline in remaining peaceful, and especially by their lack of fear. “That is straight out of Gandhi,” Mr. Sharp said. “If people are not afraid of the dictatorship, that dictatorship is in big trouble.”

Andrew W. Lehren contributed reporting from New York, and David D. Kirkpatrick from Cairo.

Prof. Stiglitz, reconsider your support for Ethiopia's tyrant

Wednesday, February 16th, 2011

Open Letter to Professor Stiglitz

Professor Joseph Stiglitz
Economics Department, Columbia University
814 Uris Hall, MC 3308, 420 West 118th Street
New York, NY 10027

Dear Professor Stiglitz,

First, we Ethiopian economists and scholars express our sincere admiration for and recognition of your distinguished work in advancing the frontiers of economic thinking and your world renowned contributions to the theory of information which earned you and your colleague (Professor Grossman) the highest esteem, the award of the Nobel Prize in economics.

In light of your stature, it will not come as a surprise to you that those of us who hail from developing countries follow what you say very closely. In this regard, we kept a keen eye and learned a great deal of your interest and involvement in matters of development in the Third World over the past few years. You will agree with us that all people—irrespective of race, religion, age or other attribute– aspire to be free of oppression, poverty and corruption. The monumental changes that are taking place in Tunisia and Egypt which are now raging in the rest of North Africa and the Middle East are illustrative of the human passion for freedom and dignity. Given this emerging trend, we were astonished by your recent interview with Bloomberg (2. February 2011, “Real Risk of Spillover from Egypt Unrest”), in which you discussed the situation in Egypt. When the journalist asked what advice you would provide to the Egyptian Government you said that, “at this point they have to open up and democratize; I think there’s just no choice; I think they’ve been very slow at doing this […] they ought to follow what’sgoing on in Tunisia”. We would like to inform you how elated we were to hear your unconditional support of the democratic aspirations of the Egyptian people. The first important step toward democratization took place on February 11 when a peoples’ led popular revolutionforced President Hosni Mubarak to step down from power after ruling Egypt with an iron fist for30 years.

What we find baffling is the contradictory signals you voice. Your appreciation of the importance of democratization in Egypt clashes with your long-held posture with regard to the application of the same principles in Africa in general and Ethiopia in particular. On a closer look, your critical approach to repressive governance does not appear to be applicable to Africa. We say this with justification and with the hope that you will reconsider your stand. In the past two decades you lent incalculable support, through your words and your actions, to Ethiopia’s minority dictator, Meles Zenawi, who has ruled Ethiopia for 20 years. We would like to draw your attention to Peter Gill’s book Famine and Foreigners. This insightful analysis provides the world with a detailed account of how you developed a warm and intimate friendship with the ruler of Ethiopia, and how you and Mr. Meles became brothers-in-arms against the operations of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in the country. Our concern is not about personal friendship but about the policy implications the friendship implies. We are talking about the legitimacy that your warm friendship and endorsements gave to the head of one of the most repressive regimes in Africa today.

Video of Stiglitz Interview on Egypt Turmoil

The Ethiopian ruler to whom you lent your undivided attention and support is the same person who has inflicted untold brutality and pain on innocent civilians, communities and the country through acts of alleged genocide, crimes against humanity and human rights violations. Mr.Meles Zenawi has stolen elections repeatedly; massacred hundreds and mass-detained over 40,000 citizens in Addis Ababa and other cities in 2005/06. Genocide Watch, Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, the New York Times, the State Department’s annual human rights reports and many other media, public, and human rights agencies have given careful account of these and other atrocities. The independent Global Financial Integrity group has documented billions of dollars of illicit outflow of funds under his watch.

You will agree with us that there are real consequences when internationally known intellectuals with power and influence provide legitimacy to dictators such as Mr. Meles Zenawi. On the ground, the lives of ordinary Ethiopians who are denied livelihoods, suffer from unemployment, live with hunger and face the indignities of living under a repressive system each and every day tell the real story. These Ethiopians have been caught up between your policy/ideological preference on the one hand, and your delight in finding an African ruler who is happy to play the African anti-neoliberal Robin to your Batman. Don’t you think this is unfair and unjust? We regret to say that, in your ideological and intellectual battles with the IMF in collaboration with Mr. Meles, you gave a dictator the benefits of your global status as a leading economist. He has used this to polish his international image. The cost to the Ethiopian people has been high.

African intellectuals, academics and fair minded leaders find this kind of affinity with African dictators regrettable and unbecoming of leading economist like you. What saddens and amazes us is your endorsement of Mr. Meles Zenawi’s knowledge of economics and his intellectual acumen. This, we find utterly irresponsible and intellectually dishonest. Ethiopia has many intellectual leaders scattered around the globe. Mr. Meles Zenawi is not one of them. This disservice to the Ethiopian people and to the rest of Africans is contained in your book, Globalization and its Discontents, in which you state that Mr. Zenawi “demonstrated knowledge of economics—and indeed a creativity—that would have put him at the head of any of my university classes”. You speak highly of the way he rules the country, saying “Meles combined these intellectual attributes with personal integrity: no one doubted his honesty and there were few accusations of corruption within his government.”

How do we reconcile your assessments and conclusions with other experts and global institutions such Human Rights Watch, Transparency International, Global Financial Integrity, Mo Ibrahim, Oxford University and even the World Bank? . As far as we are concerned he has several times failed his economics tests miserably. His economic policies and programs have brought untold suffering to the Ethiopian people. In the event you are not aware of his many failures, we would like to identify a most recent one. Recently he imposed price caps on a dozen or so goods. When imposing his ill-fated price caps measure, Mr. Zenawi told us that he was doing it in order to curb the month-to-month double-digit inflation that the country was experiencing. As any student who has taken principles of economics course would have predicted, the colossal failure of the price cap measure has not only backfired on his regime; it has also brought untold suffering to the Ethiopian people. As we predicted, every negative and secondary effect of price caps that any economist would theorize has been realized in Ethiopia. Mr. Zenawi’s price caps measures qualify to be cited as lessons in how to mismanage an economy. As if this is not enough, Mr. Zenawi tried to shift the blame on the Ethiopian entrepreneurs and merchants. A few days before imposing the ill-fated price caps measure, he gathered about 584 businesspersons and accused them of price gauging, hoarding and engaging in unhealthy competition. He told them that he would “cut their fingers” unless they cooperate with him. For anyone who watched the entire taunting process (and the ones before it) and Mr. Zenawi’s rants and the stunned faces and silence of the 584 businessmen and women, it was clear that the attendees were scared and did not know what to say. He met with and freighted the business community despite the fact that he had been informed (see here, for example, ) that the root causes of the price hikes and runaway inflation were the supply rigidities brought about by the opaque system that he imposed on the country. These include the creation and support of party-owned conglomerates which have dominated the vital sectors of the country’s economy, expansionary monetary policy (accompanied by negative real interest rates) and government spending- both of which have played their part in injecting liquidity into the system; lack of productivity; continuous devaluation of the birr – the latest one being the 20% devaluation announced on September 1st, 2010. To make matters worse, the latest information we have indicates that Mr. Zenawi’s government is contemplating to expand the price caps. The piling of mistakes continues unabatedly despite the fact that some of us had illustrated the negative ramifications of price caps (see hereahead of time so that lessons could be learned.

The world knows Mr. Zenawi as articulate when speaking with foreigners. Ethiopians know him as sinister and cunning, brutal and repressive. For these reasons, we are puzzled by your unreserved praise of his economics. It is a disservice to the majority of Ethiopians for you to give legitimacy to a leader whose family, party and endowments control the economy with an iron fist. He runs a party owned and controlled business empire through his wife, decimates the private sector, and instills fear into farmers of losing their land, and access to inputs. Worse, if they complain about unfairness in rural service provision they will be punished. Like us, the Economist magazine strongly differs with your assessment about Mr. Zenawi’s economics acumen, stating that the Ethiopian Government is “one of the most economically illiterate in the modern world.” A Wikileaked cable from the US Embassy to Berlin also stated: “Germany reported addressing Ethiopia’s economic situation, namely hard currency and the poor investment climate, with Meles directly and being struck by what they described as Meles’ poor understanding of economics.”

In no small part to your contribution, Mr. Zenawi’s appearance at Columbia University on 22 September, 2010, shocked the Ethiopian community in the Diaspora and in the country. His speech, the essence of which was the condemnation of neo-liberalism, was preceded by your warm welcome and introduction. You invited Mr. Zenawi to speak at World Leaders Forum at Columbia despite the fact that you were amply informed of his regime’s atrocities by many people of Ethiopian origin. Letters were sent to your institution via Lee C Bollinger, President of Colombia University, the student paper at Columbia, Columbia Spectator, and through several faculty members at Columbia.

Your University’s website initially carried the following scandalous statement about the visit. We presume that you were not unaware of the statement.

Under the seasoned governmental leadership of Prime Minister Meles Zenawi, now in hisfourth term, and vision of the Tigrai Peoples Liberation Front (TPLF) and Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF), Ethiopia has made and continues to make progresses in many areas including in education, transportation, health and energy.”

Mr. Meles Zenawi is hardly a “seasoned leader.” Ethiopians and most objective observers know him as a brutal dictator and his regime is one of the most repressive and corrupt regimes in the world today. We would like to draw your attention to the latest Freedom House report which downgraded Ethiopia’s position from “Partly Free” to “Not Free.” Using the newly installed “Anti-Terrorism Proclamation” and “Charities and Societies Proclamation” law (CSO law), the regime has muzzled freedom of expression and criminalized human rights activities. Yes, progress has been made in infrastructure projects but at the expense of quality and fairness. For example, some of our own research and the researches of others indicate that, thanks to the huge sums of donor funds, student enrolment ratios have improved but quality has deteriorated. This fact has been acknowledged on August 26, 2010, when the Ministry of Education issued a directive that categorically banned all public and private higher learning institutions from running distance education programs, and all private higher learning institutions from offering on-campus law and teachers’ education programs.

In light of the above and the ample reliable documentation of repression, gross human rights abuses, alleged genocide, single party and endowment command and control of the national economy, massive unemployment, land grab and mismanagement of the national economy, we urge you to no longer give legitimacy to the dictatorial regime led by Mr. Meles Zenawi. We believe that your past support and endorsement may have overlooked the real facts on the ground. As a Nobel Prize winner and a reputed leading economist you have provided Mr.

Zenawi status and legitimacy he and his regime do not deserve. He is universally identified as one of the worst dictators in Africa today. The democratic wave that brought down dictators in Tunisia and Egypt is not likely to stop there. Foreign Policy magazine reported that the Tunisian and Egyptian ex-presidents are not alone. It provided a line-up of the eight worst dictators that fall into this category. Meles Zenawi makes this membership. (“America’s Other

Most Embarrassing Allies”.) Your video of February 2, 2011 has shown that you are able to see the downfall of autocratic rulers who choke their country and economy.

We urge you to be part of a legacy of prominent voices around the globe who believe in human freedom and possibilities. At the end of the day, economic development is about people. You will agree with us that the nexus between economic development and good governance is so compelling that any form of dictatorship can’t be acceptable in North Africa, the Middle East or Sub-Saharan Africa.

We thank you in advance for your attention.

Sincerely,

On behalf of Ethiopian Development Policy Focus Group

  1. Getachew Begashaw, Ph.D. Professor of Economics, W.R. Harper College, Chicago, IL(Member).
  • Aklog Birara, Ph.D. Senior Advisor (recent retiree, World Bank) and Adjunct Professor, Trinity University of Washington D.C. (Member).
  • Seid Hassan, Ph.D. Murray State University, Murray, KY (Member).
  • 5,000 hectares of ancient Ethiopian forest to be destroyed

    Wednesday, February 16th, 2011

    By Obang Metho

    The Ethiopian Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development (MoARD) is ignoring objections from Ethiopian President Girma Wolde-Giorgis, from the Environmental Protection Authority of Ethiopia (EPA) and from the indigenous Mazenger people of Gambella, to the clearing of 5,000 hectares of ancient forests in the Godere District, located at the headwaters of five critical rivers in the Nile Basin that are major tributaries to the White Nile.

    Gambella, EthiopiaDespite the fact that the Mazenger and other indigenous people have depended on these forest-covered lands for their livelihood for generations and despite well-founded fears that the deforestation of the area could have serious and potentially irreversible effects on the people, habitat, wildlife and water, the Minister of Agriculture has authorized a fifty year lease of the land to the Indian company, Verdanta Harvests (VH), who plan to use the land for a tea and spice plantation; destined for export. The absolutely cavalier attitude of the MoARD towards anyone else’s authority, rights or concerns gives evidence of how frenzied and money and/or power-centered these land deals have become in Ethiopia. In Godere, the clearing of the trees has already begun; blatantly disregarding all warnings, protests or claims to the land.

    As objections fall on deaf ears, it appears that compliance with publicized protocols is non-existent with decisions being made at the whim of a few Meles-regime cronies at the top. The failure to consider the short and long term environmental risks associated with these land grabs; not even including the impact to the lives of the people, could have extremely dangerous consequences as millions of hectares of choice Ethiopian agricultural land are leased throughout the country. It gives the impression that Meles and his cronies are trying to make “fast money” before the regime collapses; then abandoning these investors to the mercy of a new government who might not be willing to sell out on the people.

    Here is a more sequential explanation of what happened in Godere; with more details available through a recently leaked eighteen-page document (see here) in Amharic that we in the Solidarity Movement for a New Ethiopia (SMNE) acquired regarding the above-mentioned deal. The letters reads like a drama; showing a game of double-talk, manipulation and intimidation being played by this regime with the land, lives and future of the people.

    Summary of the Document

    Sometime last spring (2010), the local Mazenger and other indigenous people in the villages of Gomare and Bako (Godere district) discovered that their homes and forest-covered land they depended on for everything; including hunting, gathering and beekeeping, were soon to be leased to an Indian company who would be clearing the forests to make way for a tea and spice plantation. As a result, they were targeted for displacement. After hearing about this, the local people in both villages organized and sent a team of representatives to Addis Ababa. The team included: Tamiru Ambelo; Chairman of Gomare village, Ameya Kesito; secretary of Gomare village and Kasahun Kekilo; an elder from Bako village.

    While in Addis Ababa, they met with the President of Ethiopia, Girma Wolde-Giorgis, supposedly the Head of State in the administration, and explained to him what was happening. They told him that this land should not be given away to investors; telling him that it belonged to them as indigenous people who had lived there for generations, that without it their livelihood would be destroyed, that they considered the forests sacred and that the environment would be greatly impacted through the deforestation of the region. Much to his credit, President Girma listened to them and supported their position.

    In response he wrote a letter to the Environmental Protection Authority of Ethiopia (EPAE); saying that the EPAE should tell the MoARD to suspend this project. Again, much to the credit of the EPAE and in an effort to follow their established mission of protecting the environment, the EPAE also listened and supported the peoples’ position. On May 6, 2010, the EPAE wrote a letter to the MoARD, with copies to Gambella Regional Governor, Omot Obang Olum and President Girma, saying that the short term benefit of leasing this land (including clearing it of its forests) would not outweigh the long-term costs to the country and that the lease should not proceed. They added that there were local environmental NGO’s present in the district who had been very involved in teaching the locals how to protect these valuable forests for the future and that they had done a very good job.

    On November 19, 2010, Governor Omot responded indirectly to this EPAE position; not to them, but by writing a letter to Godere District authorities; telling them that this land (5000 hc) had already been given to an investor, Verdanta Harvests (VH) and that the agreement could not be altered at this time. He explained that VH had already paid the government $19,000 US for 3,012 hc of the land; towards an agreement that would give them 5,000 hectares for fifty years at $6 US per hectare. He told them that the project was to proceed without interference.

    His letter was backed up by the MoARD, who on November 25, 2010, sent their own team to meet with the local people in the villages. However, when they met, they excluded those officials who had opposed it; including the chairman of the village, Tamiru Ambelo. Instead, they only invited the village vice chairman, a man more “sympathetic” to their own point of view—as well as other select people—to meet with the general public. When they met, they heavily lobbied the people for their support of the project. They labeled any who disagreed with it as being “anti-development;” saying that such people opposed the very development and investment that would bring roads, employment and income to the people.

    In response to this meeting, on December 9, 2010, Tamiru, Ameya and Kasahun wrote another letter to President Girma; updating him and asking him to intervene once again because despite his letter and the directive from the EPA, Gambella Governor Omot Obang Olum and the MoARD were proceeding with the clearing of the land. This time President Girma wrote a letter directly to the Minister of Agriculture on December 10, 2010; literally telling him to stop this project from going any further because this land, with its abundant rain forests, should be protected; explaining how the headwaters of these critical rivers could be affected and how the people depended on the forests for their livelihood. He copied the letter to Omot Obang Olum, the EPA, the local authorities, local residents and even to Prime Minister Meles Zenawi himself.

    No formal response to his letter is recorded in the 18-page document we acquired; however, on January 25, 2011, the administrator of the Godere district wrote a letter to the two kebele villages of Gomare and Bako; directing them to immediately fire Tamiru from his job as chairman of the village and in his place, to immediately appoint the vice chair as chairman of the village. As mentioned previously, this vice chair had been in favor of the land investment project. Tamiru was accused of working with “anti-development” people in trying to kill the project and of working against the interests of the local people. He was also accused of opposing literacy, job creation and other kinds of development. Currently, the project is moving forward and the forests are being cleared.

    In conclusion:

    What is happening in Godere is only one example of what is going on throughout Ethiopia as the legitimate concerns of the people are manipulated or suppressed and as those who speak out are harassed, intimidated, punished (losing jobs, property, etc), beaten, arrested or killed. This case is only exceptional in that both President Girma and the EPAE took the side of the people; yet, even then, no one listened to them. We hope this government will not take any actions against Tamiru, Ameya and Kasahun; but if any punitive actions result, we will report on it.

    Where is the accountability and rule of law in this government that portrays itself as being democratic, environmentally conscious; even representing all of Africa in the climate talks and as a progressive crusader for economic development? The Meles regime is being run like a mafia; a kleptocracy of Meles, his family and his cronies. Regardless of its elaborate laws and grandiose rhetoric, every decision in Ethiopia is at the whim of someone at the top who might profit in some way. Punitive measures; including human rights violations, are the predictable outcome for any who dare resist by getting in their way. From the prospective of the Meles regime, all indigenous land is for sale; regardless of the impact on the people, the environment and the country.

    As one local Anuak man said, “Ethiopia has never been colonized, but now it has been colonized by the tiny minority of people who run the country. It is not only the outsiders who are complicit with them in robbing the country, but also the opportunistic Ethiopians; including some in the Diaspora.”

    Information has been leaked to the SMNE regarding names of Ethiopians both within and outside of the country who are colluding with the Meles regime in the land grab schemes.

    The SMNE continues to receive leaked information from conscientious Ethiopians who are secretly outraged by this injustice and morally convicted to not cooperate any longer with the Meles regime in their corrupt and illegal practices which have been going on for nearly twenty years now. These courageous Ethiopians have provided other information to us as well and we expect continued leaks of such documents and information to still come forth from Ethiopians who can no longer ignore this.

    One of those documents is a list of some of the Ethiopians who have capitalized on investing in these land grabs; knowingly leasing the land under situations where the people are not consulted, where the environmental impacts have not been studied or heeded and where people are being forced off their land with no compensation or provision for their needs. This displacement is not only being carried out in the rural communities; but also is going on within the city limits of Addis Ababa. The people are promised “development,” but almost none has been seen. Some see this as an opportunity to make quick money; taking advantage of the great vulnerability of the people as they rush in to exploit the moment. However, even though no one seems to be watching; the eyes of those God-fearing Ethiopians—scattered among the villages, offices and departments throughout the country—are watching carefully and are quietly acting on it. Here is our recent example.

    The SMNE has been given a list of more than a hundred names, phone numbers and locations of Ethiopian investors in Gambella, Benishangul-Gumuz, Afar, Amhara region, Southern Nations and Oromiya who have taken advantage of the opportunity; buying 1,000 to 5,000 hectares of land in cooperation with this repressive government who is now starting to forcibly remove the people from their homes to resettlement villages. Many are refusing to go, but others, fearing reprisals, have left. We intend to release these names; including those who live in the Diaspora so Ethiopians can know who is helping rob the country. When this government falls, any agreement that has been signed regarding the land will not be binding. These agreements are illegal; completed without consulting the people, under the threat of retaliation and by a government who has stolen an election and kept citizens captive. Actions that have displaced the people through forced villagization projects will be reversed.

    New Ethiopia

    In a “New Ethiopia,” whether in Godere, Addis Ababa, Abobo, Arba Minch, Adwa, Asosa, Awasa, Babille, Bonga, Debre Dawa, Dessie, Debre Tabor, Dimma, Dembidolo, Debre Berhan, Gambella, Gondar, Gorgora, Gog, Harar, Humera, Jimma, Jijiga, Kombolcha, Kulubi, Mek’ele, Mizan Teferi, Metu, Moyale, Negele Boran, Nekemte, Sodore, Sodu Welmal, Tullu Milki, Turmi, Woldia, Wolleka, Abelo, Yeha; and above all; in the north, south, east and west of New Ethiopia, no matter what ethnicity, political view, language, religion or any other differences, this injustice should outrage all of us as citizens of a country where “humanity comes before ethnicity” and where “no one is free until all are free.” This is what the SMNE is all about.

    President Girma and the EPAE have tried to do what was right and just for the people, but were ignored! Regardless, we commend them highly for what they have done in trying to implement the law in a country where there is no rule of law. They are examples of some of the good Ethiopians trying to operate with integrity; yet who are totally compromised by a corrupt and lawless few who hold the country hostage. We also give much credit to the representatives and the people of Gomare and Bako for their remarkable work, persistence and courage; particularly the leadership.

    All of these people are heroes. May God help increasingly more Ethiopians to follow their conscience; rising up to do what is good, right and just. Eventually, with God’s help and with each other, we will reach the “tipping point;” unbalancing this regime away from evil, ethnic hatred and oppression and towards a New Ethiopia where the God-given rights of all Ethiopians are respected. Be ready for that tipping point may come at any moment! May God free our souls with His presence; lifting up the curtain of fear and apathy that binds us to our past; replacing it with love, truth, courage and the moral conviction necessary to lead us rightly into a new future!

    (Please do not hesitate to e-mail your comments to Mr. Obang Metho, Executive Director of the SMNE, at: obang@solidaritymovement.org)

    Wikileaks: U.S. perspective on Ogaden counter-insurgency

    Wednesday, February 16th, 2011

    By Peter Chrichton

    The latest Wikileaks cable details the US Government’s 2007 position on the ongoing conflict in the Ogaden region, following the ONLF’s attack on an oil installation. The cable considers the Ethiopian Government’s rationale for such a “brutal and excessive counter insurgency operation” and provides a fascinating insight into US perceptions about the EPRDF, about US-Ethiopian relations, and the extent that the US is involved in Ethiopian affairs. Anyone who has any doubt about the role that the USG plays in Ethiopian affairs should read this document. It is originally from November 28, 2007, and was released by Wikileaks on February 3, 2011. It is available in full here.

    The cable suggests that the underlying reasons for “such an extreme, visceral GoE and Ethiopian National Defense Force (ENDF) response” was because it threatened the EPRDF’s vision for economic development (close links with China and oil exploitation), posed a “fundamental threat to the GoE’s authority”, and “embarrassed the Defense Forces, making it appear to the outside world as unable to control and secure its own territory.” The cable also suggests that the USG is of the opinion that the EPRDF views the ONLF as a “long term threat to the survival of the EPRDF government”. The cable discusses the parallels with the TPLF, who similarly to the ONLF, with just 6% of the population were able to overthrow the Derg. The United States Government (USG) sees the ONLF issue as a “domestic issue” and they are not seen as a “terrorist organization” “though elements of the ONLF may very well support extremist operations.” The cable further explains that the problem is “not the ONLF as an organization, but individuals within the group.” The USG also suggests that there is no “explicit evidence” of Eritrean support for the ONLF outside of evidence provided by the EPRDF.

    The cable also suggests that the EPRDF’s vision includes a “heavy government role in promoting & accelerated capitalist development”. It also underscores the strong links between China and Ethiopia suggesting that in China, Ethiopia has found “a cheap, eager, and reliable partner to implement infrastructural expansion without nagging about human rights, social equity, or environmental concerns.”

    The cable concludes with three USG recommendations regarding the Ogaden situation. These include:

    1. That the USG have a “frank discussion with the GOE” about the fact that “military action alone will not bring a lasting resolution [in the Ogaden]“

    2. Sustain a more comprehensive approach with includes an “emphasis on unrestricted humanitarian aid deliveries and on commercial food and livestock trade”

    3. Political dialogue with the ONLF could be the key to resolving problems and opening political space with the people of the Ogaden.

    It is interesting to note that all meetings with EPRDF officials about counter-insurgency efforts in this cable (and others) include the participation of USAID representatives.

    USAID has often been accused of being a front for US intelligence gathering operations in Africa, and their ongoing participation in meetings that have nothing to do with aid and development further raise the suspicion of the close links between US humanitarian assitance and intelligence gathering operations in Ethiopia.

    As mainstream reporting on Wikileaks revelations seem to have dried up in the recent months, we fully encourage you to continue to view cables emanating from the US Embassy in Addis Ababa. There are currently 6 cables and new cables are released on an ongoing basis providing an increased and uncensored understanding of the role that the United States Government plays in Ethiopian affairs. Thus far cables have focused on land grabbing in Ethiopia, humanitarian assistance in the Ogaden, US perspectives on Ethiopian government “hardliners”, and briefings on meetings between USG and Meles Zenawi. All cables emanating from the US Embassy in Addis Ababa are available on an ongoing basis at here.

    (Peter Chrichton can be contacted at Peter.Chrichton@gmail.com)

    Information hungry Ethiopians rent newspaper to read

    Wednesday, February 16th, 2011

    Information hungry Ethiopians who are too poor to buy newspapers are resorting to renting them per half hour basis, according to a report that is published by South Africa’s Mail & Guardian. One of the places where newspapers are being rented is the Arat Kilo neighborhood of Addis Ababa where Meles Zenawi and wife Azeb Mesfin are currently building an extravagant residential villa at the cost of 82 million birr.

    Ethiopia’s newspaper landlords

    By Mohammed Selam

    Despite an abundance of national and international newsmakers, Addis Ababa has relatively little in the way of newspapers — no dailies of note — or even newsstands to offer news consumers. But don’t be fooled. This is a city of voracious readers where even the poor are indulged.

    In fact, some corners of Addis are reserved for newspaper passions, Arat Kilo being one legendary neighbourhood. And by persisting, there you may stumble upon the city’s secret: consumers too poor to buy a copy of a newspaper but able to rent a read.

    Newspaper for rent in EthiopiaArat Kilo is not only the home of Prime Minister Meles Zenawi’s spacious palace and the country’s Parliament building but also of flat-broke citizens with rich news-reading addictions.

    “Paper landlords” offer “news seats” to readers who gather on the edge of a road, in a nearby alleyway, even inside a traffic circle. And for years, these “paper tenants” have happily hunkered down, reading a copy of a newspaper quickly and then returning it to watchful owners nearby. And even today’s deteriorating economy and “press-phobic” government has not significantly slowed this frenzied exchange.

    In a country without a substantive daily Saturday is distribution day for the country’s weeklies. That also makes it the toughest day to find an empty news seat in Arat Kilo, or anywhere on the streets of Addis.

    Luckily, Birhanina Selam, the nation’s oldest and largest publishing house, where 99% of newspapers get published, is in Arat Kilo. So readers there can get news hot off the press while the rest of the city gets the paper later that day.

    Cliché of journalism

    Major cities elsewhere in the country receive newspapers a day or two later and for readers there the cliché of journalism as the first rough draft of history seems senseless. The story is already history by the time it reaches their streets.

    Unlike newspaper readers in the countryside, the poor of Arat Kilo must deal with noise. Cars blow horns hysterically. Street children shout for money in the name of God. Lottery vendors call out for customers. Taxi conductors shriek names of destinations. Yet the “renters” tune out the city’s hustle as they run up against rental deadlines. Paper landlords vigilantly act as timekeepers.

    Readers dare not hold copies for more than a half hour or they will be charged more birr. One copy of a newspaper may quickly pass through a hundred readers before, late in the day, it is finally recycled as toilet tissue or bread wrap.

    Now, as a rising number of unemployed people hunt for jobs through newspapers and a growing population of pensioners distract themselves with news, news seats are popular pastimes.

    And this is true despite prices for newspapers doubling as a result of the rising costs of newsprint and the country’s latest round of inflation and devaluation. Addis — dubbed the political capital of Africa because it hosts the headquarters of the African Union — is not as safe a haven for journalists as it is for journalism readers. Some international patron saints of media call the current government one of the world’s most journalist-unfriendly regimes.

    As more and more local journalists face threats, the number of newspapers dwindles as diminutive media houses close. Over the past few years, some two dozen journalists have fled to neighbouring countries. They’ve left behind a country hurtling towards a “no free press” zone, with few media houses willing to publish private political newspapers.

    Less variety for the poor

    Just last year, two journalists in Ethiopia collected two prestigious awards — the Committee to Protect Journalists’ International Press Freedom Award and the Pen American Centre’s Freedom to Write Award for their fortitude and courage working in Ethiopia as political journalists. These honours witness the way the country handles the free press.

    At present only a handful of local newspapers and two handsful of local magazines circulate in Ethiopia, with a total weekly circulation that barely equals that of one day of Kenya’s Daily Nation’s 50 000 print run.

    By comparison, Fortune, reportedly the leading English weekly in Ethiopia, publishes 7 000 copies a week at most. So, unfortunately, the poor — and everyone else — in Addis have fewer copies and less variety. And a nation with the second-largest population in Africa — some 80-million potential readers — registers among the fewest number of newspapers on the continent.

    Ironically, in Addis you do not often see readers riding in taxis, waiting at bus stops or sitting in cafés for hours. Few Ethiopians read newspapers, magazines or books alone in public but they do banter in groups. Only a few cafés allow their verandahs to be news seats to attract more customers. On the contrary, many street-side cafés post No Reading signs next to No Smoking signs. The Jolly Bar, friendly to newspaper renters for more than a decade, now forbids customers to read newspapers inside or outside.

    In Arat Kilo, however, no one expects, or can afford, to read their papers in a comfortable seat or on a café verandah. “Here citizens may stand for a while on a zebra crossing and read the headline and pass,” says Boche Bochera, a prominent “paper lord” in the neighbourhood, exaggerating how his place is overrun by newspaper tenants.

    Here, stones are aids to reading as are lampposts and pedestrian right-of-ways. And readers lean against notice boards or idle taxis, transforming themselves into “newspaper warms”. The streets of Addis, like Arat Kilo, get warmer with newspapers and newspaper readers lying on them.

    Newspaper vendors and peddlers

    Nowadays, traditional newspaper vendors and peddlers find themselves challenged by newspaper lords such as Boche. From a flat stone in Arat Kilo, Boche earns bread for his family of six by renting newspapers and magazines from sunrise to sunset.

    Wearing worn overalls, he spreads the day’s newspapers around him and passes copies to paper brokers, mostly kids; his “paper constituencies” may reach 300 people a day. His attachment to this task is legendary. “I have a beautiful daughter called Kalkidan,” he says. “I named her after a magazine I lease weekly.”

    And he seldom bribes community police to let him sit comfortably. “That is how I survived for the last 15 years,” he says.

    When papers start to wear out with over-use, Boche splices them with Scotch tape. Then he affixes his signature so everyone knows which copies belong to him. This, he reasons, is his protection. But, he says: “Some disloyal paper tenants steal my copy and sell it somewhere else to quench their hunger.” As the hub of street newspaper reading, Arat Kilo entertains more than a thousand people a day. Other spots are rising to the challenge.

    Merkato, dubbed the largest open market in Africa, now has a place for newspaper addicts around the Mearab Hotel. When daylight wanes, newspapers rented there will be collected and resold in kiosks nearby to wrap chat, a local leafy stimulant.

    Other Addis neighbourhoods, like Piassa, Legehar, Megenagna and Kazanchis have also created newspaper circles for paper tenants. Yohannes Tekle (29) has been a regular reader of street papers for seven years. These days, especially, when a newspaper costs up to six birr (75 US cents), he rents one for 25 Ethiopian cents (which is less than one US cent).

    For Tekle, a day without newspapers is unthinkable. “It is like an addiction,” he says. “Sometimes, I regret it after renting a paper when it is full of mumbo-jumbo news. I could have used that cent for buying a loaf of bread.” Still, he’s reluctant to set aside the habit.

    “If I miss a day without renting, however, I feel like I missed some significant news about my county — like a coup in progress.”

    (Mohammed Selman, a lecturer in journalism, is a freelance writer. He lives in Ethiopia. In 2009 he won the Excellence in Journalism award for print from the Foreign Press Association in Addis Ababa.)

    Azeb Mesfin builds new house at the cost of 82 million birr

    Tuesday, February 15th, 2011

    Azeb Mesfin mother of corruptionAzeb Mesfin, the wife of Ethiopia’s tyrant Meles Zenawi, is building a new residence inside the Menelik Palace compound at the cost of 82 million birr, FORTUNE, an Addis Ababa-based business journal reports.

    Azeb, who is known in Ethiopia as the mother of corruption, is building the residence with public funds, while according to the U.N. 2 million Ethiopian are in need of emergency food assistance.

    FORTUNE is reporting that taxpayers are paying for the construction of the extremely lavish residence for the Prime Minister and his wife inside the Menelik Palace compound at Arat Kilo. The regime will be spending close to 82 million Birr on this residence, which will incorporate a swimming pool and tennis court as well as guest houses.

    A committee of three has been established to follow the construction of the residence. It comprises Azeb Mesfin, an MP and resident of the compound for close to 20 years now; Muktar Khadir, head of the Office of the Prime Minister and secretary of the cabinet; and an individual who is currently following up the landscape work inside the palace.

    Please also read this: Who stole 10,000 tons of Ethiopian coffee? It shows the level of corruption on the part of the Meles crime family.

    African Union lagging in defense of press freedom – CPJ

    Tuesday, February 15th, 2011

    The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) has issued a report today stating that the African Union (AU) is lagging in defense of press freedom and that African governments are criminalizing investigative reporting. What the CPJ forgot to add is that AU is a union of thugs, thieves, and mass murderers like Ethiopia’s Meles Zenawi, Sudan’s Al Bashir, Zimbabwe’s Robert Mugabe, to name a few. It is an organization that is created to protect the interest of African dictators, not the suffering people of Africa.

    New York (CPJ) — Global and regional institutions with a responsibility to guard press freedom are largely failing to fulfill their mandate as journalists worldwide continue to face threats, imprisonment, intimidation, and killings, according to Attacks on the Press, a yearly survey released today by the Committee to Protect Journalists.

    “While international law guarantees the right to free expression, journalists cannot count on a robust defense of those rights,” said CPJ Executive Director Joel Simon. “The recent unprecedented repression and persecution of journalists in Egypt, for example, provides an important opportunity for global and regional institutions to speak and act forcefully in defense of a free press.”

    Attacks on the Press is the world’s most comprehensive guide to international press freedom, with thorough analyses of the key factors that obstruct a free press by CPJ’s regional experts. It includes a special feature on the invisible nature of online attacks meant to curb journalists, including online surveillance, malicious software, and the elimination of news sites from the Internet.

    CPJ found that a halfhearted, inconsistent approach to defending press freedom plagues institutions like the United Nations, the African Union, the Organization of American States, and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, among others. “While valiant special rapporteurs at various institutions battle anti-media violence, their efforts are stymied by a halting political will to guarantee press freedom,” said Simon.

    With a preface by Al-Jazeera English anchor Riz Khan, the book provides an overview of media conditions in more than 100 countries along with data on journalists killed (44) and imprisoned (145) in 2010. Regional trends identified by CPJ include:

    Africa:

    A rise in investigative journalism has led governments in the region to crack down on journalists, particularly those reporting on the provision of basic services and the use of public money. From Cameroon to South Africa, authorities are moving aggressively to unmask confidential news sources, criminalize possession of government documents, and retaliate against probing journalists—all while governments across the continent, under pressure from donor countries, are pledging more transparency and accountability.

    Americas:

    Decades since democratization took hold in the region, a rise in censorship can be seen throughout Latin America, caused by government repression, judicial interference, and intimidation from criminal groups. In some countries, a climate of impunity perpetuates a cycle of violence and self-censorship. In others, governments abuse state resources to silence critical reporting, and powerful figures routinely utilize politicized courts to override constitutional guarantees of free expression.

    Asia:

    With a mixture of violence and official repression, censorship in Asia takes many forms. China’s anti-media policies are becoming ever more entrenched, even as local journalists test the daily guidelines flowing from the Central Propaganda Department. Asian democracies like Thailand, the Philippines, and Indonesia appear incapable of reversing the impunity with which journalists are being killed, while Sri Lanka’s peace dividend never materialized for journalists. Pakistan was the world’s deadliest country for journalists in 2010.

    Europe and Central Asia:

    Newer and subtler forms of censorship are taking hold across the region to counter the rise of electronic journalism, particularly in Russia and the former Soviet republics. These include the targeted use of technological attacks and the untraceable disabling of independent media websites. The physical violence already employed in several countries to harass and intimidate journalists working in traditional media now extends to bloggers. Meanwhile, journalists face restrictions and potential punishment from defamation laws and anti-extremism statutes.

    Middle East and North Africa:

    Throughout the region, governments are conflating critical coverage of counterterrorism with terrorism itself, claiming national security grounds to suppress news and views considered unfavorable. From Egypt to Turkey, sweeping national security legislation has been enacted, criminalizing the coverage of terrorism and politically sensitive topics. Iran leads the region in its abuse of anti-state charges, and from Sudan to Bahrain, authorities resort to threats, harassment, and restriction of movement to limit coverage and conceal controversial activities and flawed policies.

    Revolution and reformation in Ethiopia

    Tuesday, February 15th, 2011

    By Natnael F. Alemayehu

    For those who hope to see a thriving and united Ethiopia, I say to you: “If home is where the heart is, and the heart is more powerful than the mind”. If we have Ethiopia in our hearts, and no fear in our minds, it is the enemy who should fear us; for the power of “we” is more influential than the logic of “I”. Change is coming! The question is, what are we prepared to do with and for the new and free Ethiopia?

    Revolution and reformation? It is always easier to begin an article with a critique of the past because it helps to comfort one’s soul and mind in the face of the coming unknown, after questioning the status quo. In the evolution of mankind, the majority always wanted change when they were robbed, oppressed and stripped of their dignity by a powerful few. In the end, the power of the people and the unity of the oppressed ignited the flame of change, starting a new chapter. Today, we find ourselves at the end of a chapter in Ethiopia’s lustrous history. So, how should we begin the new chapter? What comes after the revolution? How do we reform our country to actually become a nation of the people?

    We must first revolutionize our thinking and reform our attitudes towards one another as Ethiopians. Before we question social issues, economical flaws, and lack of law, we must question the “single person’s” understanding of democracy and freedom. Without law, there could be no freedom, and without freedom, there is no democracy. Our plan must not be to create a utopian society, but rather an Ethiopia where the people, first and foremost, are free—free to express their individual identity, free to speak, free to respect, free disagree, free to debate, free to share, free to change, free to exchange, free to remain as they are, free to argue and free to free their minds. The poor of the country must be the beginning and the end of the next chapter for Ethiopia.

    We must believe in constructing a government that is by the people, for the people, and we must become a people who understand and believe in that government. Our government and system of governance must also begin with the people. We cannot invite the people to be part of the development and growth of the nation, if they were never included in the constructing plans. Respect and appreciation of the individual must also become part of communal social interaction. Simply, we must view every individual and tribe as part of the “we” of tomorrow.

    Our reformation must not be about erasing the past, rewriting what has been done but rather by learn from the past to build a prosperous future. Let us not forget, it took the current administration fifteen years to destroy what previous governments had put in place and five years to destroy what little normalcy was left in their method of governance. As a result, by their own admission, we are fifteen years behind in the transformation development plan, which took them twenty years to manifest.

    Most of all, the people must influence political, financial, and economic development, as well as social policy. For too long, the leaders of most African countries have neglected the people of their nations for their own personal short-term, money-driven agendas. The people have to be the nations driving force. A nation is nothing without a strong economy, and an economy is ineffectual without a contributing workforce. Innovators, thinkers, idealists, builders, farmers, laborers, shop owners, merchants are some of the contributors to a strong economy. People should be free to work and financially flourish without direct involvement from the government, but government must continuously monitor the system.

    The elected representatives of the people must believe in the separation of government and military along with the separation of government and economics. Political leaders must not be intimidated by educated leaders of the community; rather, they should embrace them, to listen to the people through them, and build a cooperative solution to the troubles of the nation. Government must not be above the uneducated, the educated, or the majority. Government must be of the people and for the people. Politics and politicians must not be above social servants and/or intellectuals, but rather be supporters of innovation and internal social evolution. They must strengthen the country’s economy and development by providing the necessary tools for those individuals and groups to flourish.

    Rule of Law and Political Process …

    Without rule of law and political process for all citizens, we will go back to the same past we have struggled through. All citizens must be subject to rules; no individual, group, or tribe can be excluded. Instituting a governing law and a transparent political system will allow for the public sector to flourish under new inventions, creations, and a variety of new businesses. It is not inventors or thinkers that Ethiopia lacks. The issue is lack of opportunity and freedom of expression. Under a new process, the wealthy and the politicians must be subjected to the laws of the nation to the same extent as everyone else.

    Ideological Reform and Social Reform

    In order to reform our thinking for the new chapter, we must analyze four elements of the current system that I feel are critical to opening up dialogue and encouraging action-backed change. We must first ask what democracy is and what it means to have a transparent government. What is a government for the people? What is the role of government? What must government do for the average person? And how must it all relate to, influence and be well understood by the people of Ethiopia to be effective.

    The next chapter of Ethiopian politics has to begin with the people. The growth and development must be intertwined in culture, religion, economy, social and political institutions. Elected government officials should not have direct personal influence on the economics of the nation. As long as we continue to have elected officials control political policy and financial regulations, it is only to their best interest, not the countries economy and people, that these policies and regulations will be geared towards. Government has to leave businesses in the hands of the owners to succeed or fail. Government must regulate according to market conditions, but must not control the economy.

    Democracy: Understanding Democracy

    The basic element of democracy is OPPOSITION, from which is expected a united and improved outcome. Democracy is the “rule of the people”, not “to be ruled by a few”. The result of a revolution must be social equality for all Ethiopians. The widespread people of the country must be a political force in each and every election. Elected representatives must govern the people, under a system in which multi-party ideology can flourish with the interests of Ethiopia at the fore. Democracy, in relation to political representation, is a government vested in the people, to change periodically at the choosing of the people through elections.

    In a parliament, championed by individuals who only pretend to represent the people, if one individual preaches to the converted, it is not political or social democracy, it is as simple as that. This type of system does not have a democratic foundation, and cannot claim to practice the theories of democracy because quite simply, the people are not actually represented by the representatives. We have become accustomed to witnessing one leader in every political system to be tried in our country; we must begin a system of governance reliant on collective ideas and participation.

    Transparency: Government and the People; Law of the Land

    There are two synonymous questions asked after the departure of almost every African leader “How much money did they take?” and “How many people did they kill before fleeing the country?” Corrupt individuals, their families, and selfish human hyenas who listen to them have robbed us for far too long. We must take our Ethiopia back! In order to do so we must begin to respect one another, listen to one other, and help our weakened and psychologically wounded brothers and sisters in Ethiopia.

    The flaw in the current African model of governance (which is backed by the West) is “rule with an iron fist, and the people will love you in time.” NO THEY WON’T! That is a lie. As evidenced by Africa’s bloody history students will revolt, people will become angry and in some cases civil war will ensue. If you educate people, give them the freedom to ask questions and be heard by the system, they will be part of Africa’s solution going forward. It is easier to convince the uneducated and the poor to resort to violence and extremism because they are unable to ask questions and convene intellectually. An educated society will use democratic means to take back their freedom. Look no farther than Egypt. The outcome of the revolution again must remain in the hands of the people.

    Government must take the lead and give every citizen the opportunity to participate, either conceptually or physically, in the development process through trade and education in social, infrastructural, and financial policies. We must construct a social and political system respectful of people, human rights and values. The future of the world depends on the sovereignty of the individual state, and we must begin constructing Ethiopia as one nation of many groups. Our difference in subculture and religion will bring us together and strengthen us in a united Ethiopia.

    Role of Government

    The old question of “who will police the police?” is as African as our dark skin. The quote also applies to the continent’s individual state leaders. They believe that by dividing the country through various existing social differences, they will rule longer, most of all become stronger. That’s where they fail, and where we will succeed. People are the strength of a government. That’s why when the majorities rise up and ask questions, leaders flee the country. They never had support!

    Protecting the rights of the people and installing constitutional mandates is not enough. The people must understand and know who their representatives are and what they are doing. We must endorse an action-backed, result-oriented system. Merely sitting people in a big room to discuss issues of a political nature does not make a democracy. In a true democracy, it is the needs of the people, and their ability to elect and remove whomever they choose at any given time, that is the foundation and the effect of a national rule of law.

    Ideology: Understanding Ethiopia, Ethiopians/Ourselves

    Change must ignite within each and every one of us before we can have social change.

    The political state of our nation is not the focus of the next chapter in Ethiopia, but rather the social change result of the individual change we must ask of all Ethiopians. What are the everyday needs of the average individual? From their wants and needs, can we construct a system able to grow concurrently with the minds of the educated and a productive workforce?

    Yes, this will take time and effort, but we do not lack the resources or the minds to create an adoptable social and political structure designed for Ethiopia. To date, all forms of Western-shaped governance have led Ethiopia into an oligarchy (a structure of power where a few people control everything). Western political ideals will never work in Ethiopia, unless altered to work for Ethiopia. All political and social structures must be constructed according to the current social conditions of the nation. The ideals must also allow for adaptability, for progress and change, which will certainly come with future generations.

    Our People Must Understand…

    We must teach ourselves that our politicians are elected officials, representatives of the people in a place of liberty and freedom for all under the same constitution. The role and responsibilities of elected officials are to those of the people whom elected them. The majority has to be part of the movement and change. Every individual’s contribution must be recognized and respected regardless of tribe; religion or any other divisive means that other use to divide us. Our diversity will become the foundation of our strength to unite Ethiopia!

    Most of all, we must protect the country from outside influence. The new political system must be mandated and implemented with full Ethiopian interests, so that the rights of all Ethiopians will be protected and defended from both domestic and foreign forces who stand to destroy the sovereignty of Ethiopia.

    If history ever forgives us for what we have done to this country, God will not!

    (The writer can be reached at mail@eskemeche.com or visit his web site: eskemeche.com)

    The Meles regime in danger of falling – U.S. journalist

    Tuesday, February 15th, 2011

    A U.S. investigative journalist, Wayne Madsen, tells RT TV that Meles Zenawi’s regime in Ethiopia is in danger of falling. Watch below

    Algeria decides to end state emergency

    Tuesday, February 15th, 2011

    The Algerian government announced today that it is lifting the state of emergency that has been imposed since 1992 as opposition groups plan more protests. The regime of President Abdelaziz Bouteflika is also considering additional measures such as wage increases, importation of more food and major reforms in order to appear responsive to the public demands.

    Foreign Minister Mourad Medelci told Europe 1 radio Monday morning that Algeria’s 19-year state-of-emergency laws would be revoked within days, ending tight censorship and lifting a ban on political demonstrations. “In the coming days,” Medelci said, the emergency regulations would be “a thing of the past,” giving way to “complete freedom of expression within the limits of the law.” He then added, “Algeria is not Tunisia or Egypt.”

    Algerian regime’s actions are contrary to the normal mode of operation for most dictators who resort to more repressive measures in the face of popular uprisings that usually lead to a disgraceful end for them.

    In Ethiopia’s case, Meles Zenawi’s hands are socked with so much blood that his end will be terribly ugly. If he is smart as he claims to be, he would disappear right now and enjoy his loot with his Chinese friends.

    More Algeria update

    (Deutsche Welle) — After the popular overthrow of the authoritarian regimes in Tunisia and Egypt, President Abdelaziz Bouteflika announced that he would lift the 20-year-old emergency law that restricts freedoms in Algeria.

    Despite the promise, some 30,000 security forces prevented protests by the National Coordination for Change Democracy (CNCD) from taking place in the capital of Algiers last Saturday. CNCD is an umbrella group that represents numerous opposition factions.

    In defiance of the still active emergency law, the CNCD announced subsequent to Saturday’s aborted demonstration that it would hold protests every week until Bouteflika steps down. However, it is unlikely that the Algerian regime will witness a fate similar to that of Ben Ali in Tunisia and Mubarak in Egypt. While in those cases the military either sided with the opposition or remained neutral, in Algeria the armed forces are deeply invested in the survival of Bouteflika’s regime.

    Power of the military

    Similar to Tunisia and Egypt, Algeria’s young population – 60 percent of the country is under 30 – struggles with a staggering 30-percent unemployment rate and little hope for the future. Protests in January over rising food prices and lack of economic opportunity turned violent, resulting in several casualties.

    “If you go on the street and ask young Algerians what they want to do, most have exactly one idea and that’s a visa for France,” Oliver Schlumberger, an expert on democratic reform in the Mideast with the University of Tuebingen, told Deutsche Welle.

    And though the opposition groups have taken to the streets ostensibly against Bouteflika, the real power in Algeria lies with the military. Respectfully called “le pouvoir” – the power – virtually every facet of life in North Africa’s largest nation is dependent on the military, from politics to the resource-rich economy. Regime change in Algeria would ultimately impact the interests of the military itself.

    “In Algeria, the president is actually a consensus figure for the military which stays behind the scenes,” Schlumberger said. “The president himself doesn’t come from the military, but instead is a diplomat who was a minister during the 1970s. A group of 10 to 15 generals is the real power behind the scenes.”

    Yet the opposition has – up to this point – tried to avoid confrontation with the armed forces. They remember what happened when free elections were held in 1991. The Islamic Salvation Front (FIS) won and the military intervened to annul the results. A brutal six-year civil war ensued which claimed 100,000 lives.

    War weary

    The now polarizing President Bouteflika originally came to power – undoubtedly with the support of the military – on a platform of national reconciliation. He promised amnesty for anyone who laid down their arms. The situation slowly calmed down, but peace never totally returned. The hardcore Islamic fighters vowed to fight on, some declaring their allegiance to al-Qaeda. They roam the vast expanse of the Sahel Desert, kidnapping Westerners and demanding ransoms and carry out bomb attacks from time to time.

    Schlumberger visited Algeria just as the civil war came to an end in 2001. He told Deutsche Welle that the conflict makes Algerians different from Egyptians in a very important way.

    “They’re war weary,” Schlumberger said. “There was such an extreme, palpable need to return to normalcy. That people could go to work in the morning and return at night without fear or worry and maybe drink a coffee on the street.”

    As a consequence, most of the population supported the reconciliation program. War-weary enemies became neighbors once again, despite the fact that most people know exactly who killed whom. But political reconciliation has not resolved the economic and social problems that originally contributed to the Islamist victory in the 1991 elections. And the Algerians currently taking to the streets say that their situation is getting worse every day, despite the fact that the national economy is doing fairly well. However, it remains to be seen whether the opposition movement can win the war-weary population to their cause.

    “Repression and lack of modernity surely exists in Algeria,” Schlumberger said. “But I’m not so sure that this will lead to a similarly large number of people taking great risks and going onto the streets and protesting.”

    National security petrostate

    Algeria has large oil and gas reserves and profits from economic relations with the West. However, wealth from energy exports has done little to alleviate the plight of the population at large. Approximately 60 percent of state income comes from the energy industry while 95 percent of Algeria’s export revenue comes from oil and gas. And according to Schlumberger, the military has a major stake in the country’s energy-dependent economy.

    “The military is of course a security actor on the one hand, but also an actor with very important economic interests on the other hand,” he said. “A model dominates there in which you need the consent of a general in order to be economically successful. That means there’s someone from the military behind the scenes who takes a percent of the earnings.”

    The military, the real power behind Bouteflika, is invested in and profits from the status quo. So while the armed forces either sided with the opposition or remained neutral in Tunisia and Egypt, which ultimately gave the protesters a window of political opportunity, in Algeria the generals have – at the moment – little interest in political change.

    “The military has a lot to lose in terms of privileges,” Schlumberger said. “And in that respect, I don’t really see the military agreeing to meaningful reforms without a fight.”

    Iran pro-democracy movement is reignited

    Tuesday, February 15th, 2011

    Iran pro-democracy movement is the latest to join the revolution against dictators in northern Africa and the Middle East as thousands of protesters clashed with the police on Monday and though out the night.

    (Al Jazeera) — Clashes between pro-reformists and security forces in Tehran have left several people injured, with one person reported killed.

    Thousands of anti-government protesters marched on Monday on Enghelab and Azadi streets [which connect and create a straight path through the city centre], with a heavy presence in Enghelab Square and Vali-Asr Street.

    Quoting witnesses, the AP news wire reported that at least three protesters injured by bullets were taken to a hospital in central Tehran, while dozens more were hospitalized because of severe wounds as a result of being beaten.

    The semi-official Fars news agency said one person had been shot dead and several wounded by protesters.

    “One person was shot dead and several were wounded by seditionists (opposition supporters) who staged a rally in Tehran,” Fars said, without giving further details.

    Tear gas

    Al Jazeera’s Dorsa Jabbari, reporting from Tehran, confirmed reports that security forces used tear gas, pepper spray and batons against the protesters.

    As with other foreign media, she was prohibited by government order to witness the demonstrations.

    Jabbari said that she had received reports that up to 10,000 security personnel had been deployed to prevent protesters from gathering at Azadi Square, where the marches, originating from various points in Tehran, were expected to converge.

    The AFP news agency reported that police fired paintball bullets on protesters.

    One video, posted on Youtube (claiming to be from Monday’s protests) shows people chanting, “political prisoners must be freed.” A woman then cries that tear gas has been deployed, dispersing the crowd.

    On the Facebook page used to organize the marches, there were also reports of shooting in or around Enghelab Square, as well as demonstrations in the cities of Mashhad, Shiraz and Kermanshah.

    Cashes between police and demonstrators — resulting in dozens of arrests — took place in Isfahan, the country’s third largest city.

    Twitter and Facebook posts said Mir Hossein Mousavi, the opposition leader and former presidential candidate, and his wife, Zahrah Rahnavard, had joined one of the marches.

    Mehdi Karroubi, the other prominent opposition leader, is still under house arrest.

    Al Jazeera was unable to confirm whether Mousavi and Rahnavard had joined the protest, and at last report, Kaleme.com, a pro-reformist website, said that security forces had prevented the couple from leaving their home.

    Next move

    As night fell in Iran, the BBC reported that city lights were being turned off and that security forces were attacking protesters in the dark.

    While many of the protesters reflected on the day’s marches on Twitter and Facebook, Youtube videos show that hundreds were still on the streets after dark, setting fire to rubbish bins and barricades, chanting anti-government slogans.

    Monday’s marches were organized as a one-day event and it is unclear if further protests will take place overnight or tomorrow.

    A message on posted by the organizers of the demonstrations posted on the 25 Bahman Facebook site — the site’s title reflecting today’s date on the Iranian calendar — seemed to indicate that there might be more protests.

    “The 25 Bahman group will try to announce the programme for of protests for tonight and tomorrow shortly,” it read.

    “Please stand by via any means of communication you have. We are victorious.”

    The current security clampdown is reminiscent of the one that crushed a wave of protests after the disputed re-election of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the Iranian president, in June 2009.

    Opposition supporters revived a tactic from the 2009 protests, shouting “Allahu Akbar” or God is Great, and “Death to the dictator”, from rooftops and balconies on Monday in a sign of defiance towards Iran’s leadership.

    Several opposition activists and aides to Mousavi and Karroubi have been arrested in recent days.

    Hillary Clinton, the US secretary of state, hailed the “courage” of the protesters, and pressed Tehran to follow Egypt’s example and “open up” its political system.

    Our correspondent in the capital said that as far as Iran’s leaders are concerned, Monday’s protests “are not a reflection of what people actually want”.

    They believe these are small groups of individuals who have ulterior motives, they are a threat to national security and therefore the security forces are necessary to prevent them from becoming a threat inside the country,” said Jabbari.

    Amnesty International, the London-based human rights group, criticised Iranian authorities for opposing Monday’s protests and making dozens of arrests, saying the crackdown was aimed at blocking the work of activists and stifling dissent.

    “Iranians have a right to gather to peacefully express their support for the people of Egypt and Tunisia,” said Hassiba Hadj-Sahraoui, Amnesty International’s Middle East and North Africa deputy director.

    “While the authorities have a responsibility to maintain public order, this should be no excuse to ban and disperse protests by those who choose to exercise that right.”

    There was no mention of Monday’s demonstrations on state-run television stations or websites.

    Instead, one station replayed interviews it did with those who attended the march celebrating the 32nd anniversary of the Islamic revolution on Friday.

    (BBC) — In Washington DC, the U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton told reporters that the US administration “very clearly and directly” supports the protesters.

    “What we see happening in Iran today is a testament to the courage of the Iranian people, and an indictment of the hypocrisy of the Iranian regime – a regime which over the last three weeks has constantly hailed what went on in Egypt,” she said.

    Mrs Clinton said the US had the same message for the Iranian authorities as it did for those in Egypt, where President Hosni Mubarak was forced to step down after 29 years in power by nationwide mass protests.

    “We are against violence and we would call to account the Iranian government that is once again using its security forces and resorting to violence to prevent the free expression of ideas from their own people,” she said.

    “We think that there needs to be a commitment to open up the political system in Iran, to hear the voices of the opposition and civil society,” she added.

    Indian farmers head to Ethiopia

    Monday, February 14th, 2011

    The United Nations is currently asking the international community to donate food for 2.8 million Ethiopians, and yet the so-called “Ethiopian government” sells fertile land to foreign investors to grow oil seeds and sugarcane for export.

    Chandigarh, INDIA (PTI) — A group of Indian farmers in Punjab today said that they are going to grow pulses and oilseeds on 5,000 hectares of land in Ethiopia and import their farm produce to India.

    “We will start cultivating 5,000 hectares of land in Ethiopia from September this year and plan to cultivate pulses, oil seeds, sugarcane and maize which are always in short supply (in India),” Confederation of Potato Seed Farmers (POSCON) secretary general Jang Bahadur Singh Sangha said here today.

    Additionally, the group wants the government to exempt their farm produce in Ethiopia from duty when imported to India in order to curtail country’s dependence on import of such farm products.

    “By bringing crops like pulses, oilseeds to India, we will help the country in making it self sufficient in these crops and ensure food security,” Sangha asserted.

    They also want either the Union minister of agriculture or ministry of external affairs to support them in this endeavour by patronising the farming agreements.

    Citing farming in Ethiopia as a ‘workable’ venture, 15 members of POSCON, the representative body of the state’s potato growers, have shown keen interest in cultivating land there he added.

    Sangha said, “I have already visited Ethiopia twice along with other members of our association and found huge tracts of land available in there. Farming conditions (in Ethiopia) are also similar to what we have in India.”

    Also, availability of land in Ethopia at much cheaper cost than in India encouraged farmers to cultivate the land in Ethiopia.

    “Land is available for farming on lease of 25 to 45 years period. Moreover, in Ethiopia, the cost of land on lease is Rs500 per hectare, while in Punjab the cost varies between Rs25,000-30,000 per hectare,” he added.

    Farmers have zeroed in on a few African areas, including Gambela and Oromia, for cultivating land.

    Moreover, the Ethiopian government has promised to support farming by Indian farmers in every manner.

    Last year, ministry of external affairs had arranged a meeting of representatives of several African countries, including Ethiopia, Uganada, Zambia, and Tanzania with Punjab farmers and these countries invited them to develop land and invest in agriculture.

    Africa's Youths United Can Never be Defeated

    Monday, February 14th, 2011

    Alemayehu G. Mariam

    Mubarak, Irhal!

    A specter is haunting Africa and the Middle East – the specter of an awesome army of youths on the move, in revolt, marching for freedom, chanting for democracy and dying for human rights and human dignity. Millions of youths are standing up and demanding dictators to stand down and leave town. They are fed up with despotism, totalitarianism, absolutism, authoritarianism, monarchism, fascism and terrorism. They are sick and tired of being told to wait and wait and wait as their future fades into nothingness. They are sick and tired of being sick and tired. Youths rose up like the morning sun to brighten the long dark night of dictatorship in Tunisia and Egypt. They dictated to the great dictators: “Mubarak, irhal (go away).” “Degage, Ben Ali!” (Get out, Ben Ali!). When Mubarak refused to budge like a bloodsucking tick on a milk cow, they brandished their shoes and cried out, “Mubarak, you are a shoe!” (a stinging insult in Arab culture). Mubarak finally got the point. He saw 85 million pairs of shoes pointed at his rear end. In a 30-second announcement, the House of Mubarak dissolved into the dust bin of history.

    The Beautiful Egyptian Youth Revolution

    What makes the Egyptian youth revolution so beautiful, wonderful, absorbing, hypnotizing and inspiring is that they did it with moral courage, steadfast determination and without resorting to violence even when violence was visited upon them by Mubarak’s thugs. They did not fire a single shot, as Mubarak’s thugs massacred 300 of their own and jailed several thousands more. Egypt’s youths fought their battles in the streets of Cairo, Alexandria and elsewhere, but they won their war against dictatorship and for freedom, democracy and human rights in the hearts and minds of their people. How they went about winning their revolution is a testament to a people whose civilization is the cradle of human civilization. They transformed their oppression-seared nation into a molten steel of freedom-loving humanity: Muslims and Christians prayed together in Tahrir Square for the end of the dark days of dictatorship and the beginning of a new dawn of freedom. Civilians held hands with soldiers who were sent out to shoot them. Religious revivalists locked arms with secularists, socialists and others to demand change. Rich and poor embraced each other in common cause. Young and old marched together day and night; and men and women of all ages raised their arms in defiance chanting, “Mubarak, irhal.”

    Victory of Courage Over Fear

    For 30 years, Mubarak ruled with fear and an iron fist under a State of Emergency. He established a vast network of secret police, spies, informants and honor guards to make sure he stayed in power and his opposition decimated. Under an emergency law (Law No. 162 of 1958), Mubarak exercised unlimited powers. He banned any real opposition political activity and unapproved political organizations, prohibited street demonstrations, arrested critics and dissidents and clamped down on all he thought posed a threat to his rule. Mubarak had the power to imprison anyone for any reason, at any time and for any period of time without trial. Some he tried in kangaroo military courts and sentenced them to long prison terms. Mubarak held an estimated 20,000 persons under the emergency law and the number of political prisoners in Egypt is estimated at 30,000. Mubarak’s brutal (secret) police are responsible for the disappearance, torture, rape and killing of thousands of pro-democracy campaigners and innocent people. A cable sent to Washington by the US ambassador to Cairo in 2009 revealed: “Torture and police brutality in Egypt are endemic and widespread. The police use brutal methods mostly against common criminals to extract confessions, but also against demonstrators, certain political prisoners and unfortunate bystanders.” When Egyptian youth overcame their fears and stood up to the notorious secret police, spies, informants and bloodthirsty thugs, it was all over for Mubarak and his kleptocratic regime. In less than three weeks, Mubarak’s empire of fear, terror and torture crumbled like an Egyptian ghorayebah cookie left out in the Sahara sun.

    All Dictators End Up in the Dustbin of History

    These must be days of worry and panic for African and Middle Eastern dictators. No doubt, some are in a state of total depression having sleepless nights and nightmares when they catch a wink. They brood over the questions: “What if IT (the “unspeakable”) happens to me? What am I going to do? How many can I kill to suppress an uprising and get away with it? A thousand, ten thousand?”

    African and Middle Eastern dictators who have abused their power must know that sooner or later their turn will come. When it does, they will have only three choices: justice before their national or international tribunals, the dustbin of history, or if they can make it to the airport fast enough to Dictators’ “home away from home”, Saudi Arabia (at least until their turn comes). There will be no place for them to run and hide. Let them learn from the fates of their brothers: Al Bashir of Sudan has an arrest warrant issued by the International Criminal Court hanging over his head. Old Charley Taylor of Liberia is awaiting his verdict at the ICC. Hissien Habre of Chad will soon be moving into Taylor’s cell at the ICC. A gang of Kenyan state ministers which instigated the violence following the 2007 presidential elections should be trading their designer suits for prison jumpsuits at the ICC in the not too distant future. Mengistu, Ben Ali, Mubarak, Al Bashir and others will be on the lam for a while and evade the long arm of justice. Justice may be delayed but it will always arrive as it did a couple of days for Pervez Musharraf who has warrant out for his arrest in connection with the assassination of Benazir Bhutto.

    All dictators are doomed to an ignominious downfall. No African dictator has ever left office with dignity, honor, respect and the adulation of his people. They have all left office in shame, disgrace and infamy. History shows that dictators live out their last days like abandoned vicious dogs– lonely, godforsaken and tormented. Such has been the destiny of Mobutu of Zaire, Bokassa of the Central African Republic, Idi Amin of Uganda, Barre of Somalia, El-Nimery of the Sudan, Saddam of Iraq, Pol Pot of Cambodia, Marcos of the Philippines, the Shah of Iran, Ceausescu of Romania, Pincohet of Chile, Somoza of Nicaragua, Hoxha of Albania, Suharto of Indonesia, Stroessner of Paraguay, Ne Win of Mynamar, Hitler, Stalin, Mussollini and all the rest. History testifies that these names will forever be synonymous with evil, cruelty, atrocity, depravity and inhumanity. It is ironic that Mubarak (which in Arabic means “blessed one”) was born to live as the blessed one; but he will forever be remembered in Egyptian history as the “cursed one”.

    The Power of Nonviolence Resistance

    As Gandhi said, “Strength does not come from physical capacity”, nor does it come from guns, tanks and planes. “It comes from an indomitable will.” Winston Churchill must have learned something from Gandhi when he said, “Never give in–never, never, never, never, in nothing great or small, large or petty, never give in except to convictions of honour and good sense. Never yield to force; never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy.”

    As odd as it seems, violence is the weapon of the weak. To shoot and kill and maim unarmed protesters in the streets is not a sign of strength, it is a sign of fear and cowardice. To jail wholesale opposition leaders, journalists, critics and dissidents is not a demonstration of control but the ultimate manifestation of lack of control. One speaks the language of violence because one cannot speak the language of reason. Violence is the language of the angry, the hateful, the vengeful, the ignorant and the fearful. Dictators speak to their victims in the language of violence because their raison d’etre (reason for existing) is to hate and spread hate. Their very soul stirs with hatred often damaged by childhood experiences and feelings of inferiority. Hitler and Stalin exhibited strong hatred towards Jews from childhood, and because they felt woefully inadequate, they did things to try and show everybody that they have power. Violence never resolves the issues that triggered the violence; and as Gandhi said, “An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind.” Dr. Martn Luther King explained it further: “The ultimate weakness of violence is that it is a descending spiral, begetting the very thing it seeks to destroy. Instead of diminishing evil, it multiplies it. Returning hate for hate multiplies hate…” To reciprocate in violence is to become one with the perpetrators of violence. “Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.”

    But the nonviolent resistor is strong, very strong. S/he is willing to sit down and reason with the one brutalizing her/him. Gandhi, Martin King, Nelson Mandela, Desmond Tutu, Vaclav Havel, Lech Walesa, Rosa Parks and many others have proven to be stronger than those whose heartbeats stroked to the metronome of hate. Gandhi drove the British colonialists out of India without firing a single shot. They mocked him as the “little lawyer in a diaper.” In the end, the British saluted the Indian flag and left. More recently, Eastern Europe shed its totalitarian burden through nonviolent resistance. Now we have seen it happen in Tunisia and Egypt.

    But there are some who believe that nonviolent resistance will not work in the face of a morally depraved, conscienceless and barbaric adversary who will mow down in cold blood children, men and women. Others say nonviolence resistance takes too long to produce results. Such views have been articulated since the time of Gandhi, but the historical evidence refutes them. As we have recently seen in Tunisia and Egypt, two of the most brutal and entrenched dictatorships in the world unraveled in less than a month through nonviolent resistance.

    As to a long-term nonviolent struggle, there are many instructive experiences. Let’s take Poland as an example. In 1981, the Soviets put General Wojciech Jaruzelski in charge to crackdown on Solidarity, a non-communist controlled trade union established a year earlier. Jaruzelski immediately declared martial law and arrested thousands of Solidarity members, often in in the middle of the night, including union leader Lech Walesa. Jaruzelski flooded the streets of Warsaw, Gdansk and elsewhere in Poland with police who shot, beat and jailed strikers and protesters by the tens of thousands. By the beginning of 1982, the crackdown seemed successful and most of Solidarity top leaders were behind bars. But Jaruzelski’s campaign of violence and repression did not end the nonviolent resistance in Poland. It only drove it underground. Where the jailed union leaders left off, others took over including priests, students, dissidents and journalists. Unable to meet in the streets, the people gathered in their churches, in the restaurants and bars, offices, schools and associations. A proliferation of underground institutions emerged including Solidarity Radio; hundreds of underground publications served as the medium of communication for the people. Solidarity leaders who had evaded arrest managed to generate huge international support. The U.S. and other countries imposed sanctions on Poland, which inflicted significant hardship on Jaruzelski’s government. By 1988, Poland’s economy was in shambles as prices for basic staples rose sharply and inflation soared. In August of that year, Jaruzelski was ready to negotiate with Solidarity and met Walesa. Following the “Polish Roundtable Talks”, communism was doomed in Poland. In December 1990, Lech Walesa became the first popularly elected president of Poland. It took nearly a decade to complete the Polish nonviolent revolution. History shows that nonviolent change seems impossible to many until people act to bring it about. Who would have thought two months ago that two of the world’s worst dictators would be toppled and consigned to the dust bin of history in a nonviolent struggle by youths?

    The Wrath of Ethiopian Youth

    In June 2010, I wrote:

    The wretched conditions of Ethiopia’s youth point to the fact that they are a ticking demographic time bomb. The evidence of youth frustration, discontent, disillusionment and discouragement by the protracted economic crisis, lack of economic opportunities and political repression is manifest, overwhelming and irrefutable. The yearning of youth for freedom and change is self-evident. The only question is whether the country’s youth will seek change through increased militancy or by other peaceful means.

    Youths always inspire each other. Ethiopia’s youths seek the same things as their Tunisian and Egyptian counterparts: a livelihood, adequate food, decent housing and education and basic health care. They want free access to information – radio, newspaper, magazines, satellite and internet — as they are absolutely and unconditionally guaranteed in their constitution. Above all, they want to live in a society that upholds the rule of law, protects human rights and respects the votes of the people. They do not want corruption, nepotism, cronyism, criminality and inhumanity. That is not too much to ask.

    When the uprising took place in Tunisia and Egypt, it was not the “leaders” that led it. Youth power became the catalyzing force for a democratic revolution in both countries. Africa’s dictators should understand that people do not rise up because it is in style or fashionable, but because their conditions of existence are subhuman, inhuman and intolerable. It is possible to stop the satellite transmissions, jam the radio broadcasts, shutter the newspapers, close the internet cafes, grab a young journalist and human rights advocate as he walks out of an internet café and interrogate, threaten, intimidate and terrorize him, but it is far more difficult to quiet the hungry stomachs, mend the broken hearts, heal the wounded spirits and calm the angry minds of the young people. Youths united in Ethiopia and elsewhere on the African continent can never be defeated.

    Power to Africa’s Youths!

    Zenawi, irhal! Bashir, degage! Mugabe, irhal! Gbagbo, degage! Ghaddafi, irhal! African dictators, irhal!…. degage!

    Yemen protest intensifies despite brutal police attacks

    Monday, February 14th, 2011

    Savage attacks by Yemen police have so far been unable to stifle the intensifying pro-democracy protests across the country. On Sunday, thousands of students who joined the demonstration came under attacks by security forces and pro-government thugs. The protesters are demanding reform and the resignation of President Ali Abdullah Saleh.

    (Al Jazeera) — Several thousand protesters, many of them university students, tried to reach the central square in the capital Sanaa on Sunday, but were pushed back by police using clubs. Witnesses said several protesters were injured and 23 people were detained by police.

    VIDEO

    Human Rights Watch (HRW) said that the security forces had used electroshock tasers and batons against the demonstrators.

    The US-based organisation called on the Yemeni government to cease all attacks against the demonstrators and investigate and prosecute those responsible for the violence.

    “Without provocation, government security forces brutally beat and tasered peaceful demonstrators on the streets of Sanaa,” Sarah Leah Whitson, the Middle East and North Africa director at HRW, said. “The government needs to take full responsibility for this abuse.”

    On Saturday, clashes broke out in Sanaa between groups supporting and opposing the government after men armed with knives and sticks forced around 300 anti-government protesters to end a rally, the Reuters news agency quoted witnesses as saying.

    In Algeria the opposition regroups for more protest

    (AP) — The organizers of a pro-reform protest that brought thousands of Algerians onto the streets of the capital over the weekend called Sunday for another rally next week.

    The Coordination for Democratic Change in Algeria — an umbrella group for human rights activists, unionists, lawyers and others — has called for the Feb. 19 demonstrations to take place throughout the country.

    Saturday’s rally — which came a day after an uprising in Egypt toppled that country’s autocratic ruler — took place only in the capital, Algiers.

    Organizers said around 10,000 took part in the gathering, though officials put turnout at 1,500. Many protesters held signs reading “Bouteflika out,” in reference to President Abdelaziz Bouteflika, in power in the impoverished but gas-rich North African nation since 1999.

    Under the country’s long-standing state of emergency, public protests are banned in Algiers, and an estimated 26,000 riot police set up barriers throughout the city in a failed bid to quash Saturday’s gathering, organizers said.

    A human rights campaigner said police briefly detained around 400 people. No injuries were reported.

    The hours-long rally dissolved peacefully Saturday afternoon, and Sunday was calm in the capital, though youth clashed with riot police in the eastern coastal city of Annaba.

    The skirmish broke out after thousands of people responded Sunday to an ad in the local paper announcing job vacancies at Annaba’s city hall. When it turned out no jobs were on offer, members of the angry mob started throwing stones at police.

    Annaba is 375 miles (600 kilometers) east of Algiers, near the border with Tunisia.

    Tensions have been high in Algeria since a spate of riots over high food prices early last month that left three dead. and recent uprisings in Tunisia and Egypt that deposed those country’s leaders.

    The success of those uprisings is fueling activists’ hope for change in Algeria, although many in this conflict-scarred nation of 35 million people fear any prospect of a return to violence. The country lived through a brutal Islamist insurgency in the 1990s that left an estimated 200,000 people dead.

    In Washington, U.S. State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley called on the security services to exercise restraint.

    “In addition, we reaffirm our support for the universal rights of the Algerian people, including assembly and expression,” Crowley said. “These rights apply on the Internet. Moreover, these rights must be respected. We will continue to follow the situation closely in the days ahead.”

    Bahrain opposition groups call for protest rally

    Monday, February 14th, 2011

    (Al Jazeera) — Bahrain’s security forces have set up checkpoints to monitor people’s movements as opposition groups blanketed social media sites with calls to stage the first major anti-government protests in the Gulf since the uprising in Egypt.

    Units patrolled shopping centers and other key spots in a clear warning against holding Monday’s rally, which has been the focus of social media appeals and text messages for more than a week.

    One cartoon posted on a Bahraini blog showed three arms holding aloft a mobile phone and the symbols of Facebook and Twitter.

    The decision by Shia-led opposition groups and others to call for demonstrations on February 14 is symbolic as it is the anniversary of Bahrain’s 2002 constitution, which brought some pro-democracy reforms such as an elected parliament.

    A Facebook page calling for a revolution in Bahrain on Monday has nearly 14,000 followers, and an emailed schedule of protests and demonstrations is also being circulated.

    The developments came as riot police clashed with a small group of youths who staged a march following a wedding ceremony in Karzakan, a Shia village in the west.

    An AP photographer said he had seen several people injured and others gasping from tear gas.

    Shia discontent

    Sunday’s wide-ranging clampdown appeared directed toward Bahrain’s Shia majority, which has led the drive for Monday’s rallies.

    Bahrain’s Sunni rulers have already given out cash and promised greater media reforms in an effort to quell discontent.

    In an open letter to the king, the Bahrain Centre for Human Rights has called for wide-ranging reforms to avoid a “worst-case scenario”, including the dismantling of the security forces, the prosecution of state officials for abuses and the release of 450 jailed activists, religious leaders and others.

    The tiny kingdom is among the most politically volatile in the Gulf and holds important strategic value for the West as the home to the US Navy’s 5th Fleet.

    Bahrain’s Shias , which account for nearly 70 per cent of the total popualtion, have long complained of systematic discrimination by the ruling Sunni dynasty, whose crackdown on dissent last year touched off riots and clashes.

    Concessions

    Bahrain’s leaders have stepped in with some concessions to try to defuse tension.

    Government media monitors began talks on Sunday with newspaper publishers and others to draft new rules to limit state controls.

    The official Bahrain News Agency has also launched a new multimedia service that includes social media applications to seek more outreach.

    Activists and rights groups have often had to contend with widespread blocks on websites and blogs.

    On Friday, hundreds of Bahrainis and Egyptian nationals went out in the streets chanting and dancing near the Egyptian Embassy in Manama moments after Hosni Mubarak stepped down as Egypt’s president.

    Bahraini authorities quickly set up roadblocks to contain the crowds.

    The chances for confrontation in Bahrain have been further elevated by the ongoing trial of 25 Shia activists – including two charged in absentia – accused of plotting against the state.

    The detainees have alleged police torture and being made to sign forced confessions, but the court has moved ahead with the proceedings. The next session is scheduled for February 24.

    Free internet access! More bad news for dictators

    Monday, February 14th, 2011

    Dictators try as much as they can to restrict the free flow of information. Ethiopia’s beggar dictator pays China tens of millions of dollars to block web sites, radio programs, and satellite TVs. By some estimate, the Woyanne ruling junta has spent over $250 million for such technology while millions of children in Ethiopia go hungry.

    Unfortunately for dictators, technology is out pacing them. One of the reasons Egypt’s revolution succeeded with minimal bloodshed (unlike the uprising in Ethiopia following the 2005 elections where Meles Zenawi’s troops gunned down hundreds of civilians, and China’s Tiananmen Squre protests in 1989 where the Chinese government slaughtered over 3,000 civilians) is that satellite TVs and the internet have helped draw international attention to the legitimate demands of the protesters and the criminal acts of the Mubarak regime. Egyptian army would have been an international pariah and the generals would have been hunted down as criminals had they attacked the peaceful civilians.

    To overcome blockade of the internet and restriction of information by dictators, a group named A Human Right is attempting to provide free internet access to every one in the world. It is an exciting project that can expedite the elimination of dictatorships from the face of the earth. The following is a report by Eric W. Dolan at RawStory.com:

    Group plans to beam free Internet across the globe from space

    The charity group A Human Right said it was planning to purchase a satellite that would provide free basic Internet access to developing countries around the world.

    The group, which was founded by 25-year-old Kosta Grammatis, is currently raising money to buy the TerreStar-1, the largest commercial communications satellite ever built. TerreStar, the company that owns the satellite, filed for chapter-11 bankruptcy protection in October 2010, opening the possibility that the satellite may be up for sale.

    The group hopes to raise $150,000 to finalize a business plan, investigate the legal and business aspects of submitting a bid for the satellite, and hire engineers to turn the plan into a reality. After this initial phase, the group plans to develop an open source low cost modem that could be used to connect to the satellite and finalize plans with partner governments.

    “We believe that Internet access is a tool that allows people to help themselves – a tool so vital that it should be considered a universal human right,” the website for Buy This Satellite stated. “Imagine your digital life disconnected. Without access to the 100 million man-hours that have been put into Wikipedia, how much do you actually know?”

    Nearly 5 billion out of the world’s 6.9 billion people don’t have access to the Internet.

    A Human Right plans to finance their satellite by allowing telecommunication companies to purchase bandwidth, while providing basic service for free to everyone. “Our goal is to not only get everyone online, but also facilitate the growth of an industry,” their website said.

    The group has already managed to raise $44,781.

    “The idea for global connectivity was born in Berlin, Germany in an innovation ‘Do-Tank’ called Palomar 5,” according to the group. “Thirty people under the age of thirty came together to innovate on what the future might look like, and how to address some of the worlds problems.”

    “In Egypt we’ve watched as the government, in an unprecedented way, shutoff Internet access for the entire country,” Grammatis told TIME. “We’re building a system that can’t be shutoff–it’s as decentralized as possible. You could jam the signal somewhat, but to do that at the scale of a country is a very very difficult task.”

    “Big ideas, that can improve our society as a whole, are worth doing, and this one will be done,” he added. “It’s the logical next step in communications: a network available to anyone everywhere for minimal cost.”

    Similarly, President Obama announced Thursday his plan to get 98 percent of the United States connected to the Internet in five years.

    Ethiopia's dictator gives warning to parents

    Sunday, February 13th, 2011

    As the revolution clock is ticking in Ethiopia, the Meles regime is acting and behaving like any other dictatorship — intensify its repressive measures. This week, the ruling party’s security agents have started to gather parents and give them stern warnings to prevent their children from participating in any anti-government activities.

    Two days ago, prominent Ethiopian journalist Eskinder Nega was taken to the Federal Police Headquarters where he was warned not to write any thing that may incite uprising.

    The regime has tried to once again force Ethiopian Satellite TV (ESAT) off the air. But ESAT came back on air within 24 hours on a more secure satellite.

    EthiopianReview.com and all other independent news web sites remain blocked in Ethiopia.

    During the past few days, eyewitnesses at Woreda 23 told Ethiopian Review that officials from the Woreda police and Kebele 11 summoned some parents to the police station and threatened them that they will be sorry if their children participate in any protest. The Woyanne security agents warned the parents that Ethiopia is not Egypt and that there is a serious consequence for any one who engages in anti-government activities.

    It’s true that Ethiopia is not Egypt because although Mubarak is a dictator he is not the enemy of the people of Egypt and the army is a national army. The Meles regime is an anti-Ethiopia entity and his ruling junta is a gang of blood thirsty thugs who have been committing atrocities through out the country for the past 20 years while receiving billions of dollars in assistance and loans from the U.S. and EU.

    No matter how savage and barbaric Woyannes are, they cannot stop the people of Ethiopia from asserting their freedom.

    Yemen police beat up pro-democracy protesters

    Saturday, February 12th, 2011

    SANA’A — Yemen security forces with clashed with Yemeni pro-democracy protesters on Friday and Saturday. The protesters were celebrating resignation of Egypt’s dictator Hosni Mubarak. They are also demanding President Ali Abdullah Saleh of Yemen to step down.

    Princeton University Yemen scholar Gregory Johnsen told the VOA that some of the protests within the last 24 hours took place “outside the umbrella of the opposition JMP movement” indicating that public discontent could be spreading.

    Eyewitnesses say that rallies took place spontaneously in parts of Sana’a, with demonstrators trying to rally in front of the Egyptian Embassy.

    The Yemen Post newspaper editor-in-chief Hakim Almasmari says that government security forces skirmished with the crowds. A number of demonstrators were reportedly injured in the clashes. Almasmari adds that several people were also arrested.

    Buses ferried ruling party members, equipped with tents, food and water, to the city’s main square to help prevent attempts by protesters to gather there, Fox News reported.

    There were about 5,000 security agents and government supporters in the Sanaa square named Tahrir, or Liberation.

    (Reuters) — Some 300 anti-government student demonstrators assembled at Sanaa University in Yemen on Saturday morning. As numbers swelled into the thousands, they began marching towards the Egyptian embassy.

    “The people want the fall of the government,” protesters chanted. “A Yemeni revolution after the Egyptian revolution.”

    But a group of government supporters armed with knives and sticks confronted the protesters at the central Tahrir Square. Scuffles broke out and the pro-government activists used traditional knives and batons to force the anti-government protesters to flee.

    Two people were lightly injured, witnesses said.

    The clash came after armed men forced around 300 anti-government protesters to quit an impromptu demonstration in the Yemeni capital on Friday night.

    Yemeni authorities detained at least 10 people after anti-government protesters in Sanaa celebrated Mubarak’s downfall on Friday, U.S.-based Human Rights Watch said.

    The group said the celebrations turned to clashes when hundreds of men armed with assault rifles, knives and sticks attacked the protesters while security forces stood by.

    “The Yemeni security forces have a duty to protect peaceful protesters,” said Sarah Leah Whitson, Middle East director at Human Rights Watch. “In this case, security forces seem to have organised armed men to attack the protesters.”

    Yemen’s ruling party set up tents in Sanaa’s central Tahrir Square last week to occupy the space and prevent people from gathering in large numbers.

    Party officials handed out small amounts of money to reward pro-government protesters on Saturday. Some used the cash to buy food or Qat, a mild green stimulant leaf that more than half of Yemen’s 23 million people chew daily and which has been cited as a deterrent to protest.

    Algeria's regime shuts down internet sites

    Saturday, February 12th, 2011

    Algeria RevolutionFollowing the successful revolutions in Tunisia and Egypt that overthrew entrenched dictators, a new revolution has started in Algeria on Saturday, February 12, 2001. Instead of learning from Hosni Mubarak of Egypt and Ben Ali of Tunisia, Algeria’s dictator Abdelaziz Boutifleka is taking similar actions against pro-democracy protesters. Today he sent out on the streets of Algiers over 30,000 of his police to block protesters from staging demonstrations. And in the afternoon he disconnected the internet. His security forces are also rounding up journalists, and thugs hired by the regime are beating up protesters. Too predictable.

    Today is named Day 1 of the Algerian Revolution. We wish the freedom hungry people of Algeria success in their fight against the dictatorship.

    Ethiopia’s corrupt dictator Meles Zenawi is nervously awaiting his turn. The clock is ticking.

    Latest developments in Algeria

    (Telegraph.co.uk) — Mostafa Boshashi, head of the Algerian League for Human Rights, said: “Algerians want their voices to be heard too. They want democratic change. “At the moment people are being prevented from travelling to demonstrations. The entrances to cities like Algeria have been blocked.”

    On Saturday at least 500 had been arrested by early evening in Algiers alone, with hundreds more in Annaba, Constantine and Oran taking part in the so-called February 12 Revolution.

    “The police station cells are overflowing,” said Sofiane Hamidouche, a demonstrator in Annaba.

    “There are running battles taking place all over the city. It’s chaos. As night falls the situation will get worse.”

    Algeria police arrest hundreds of protesters

    Saturday, February 12th, 2011

    Algeria police arrested hundreds of protesters who are demanding reforms at a rally on Saturday. Thousands of police in riot gear stopped the protesters from entering May 1 Square where the demonstration was called by a coalition of civic and political groups. However, a Small number of protesters succeeded in entering the square, shouting “Bouteflika out!”

    (Reuters) — “It is a state of siege,” said Abdeslam Ali Rachedi, a university lecturer and government opponent. After about three hours, hundreds of people left the square quietly, with police opening up gaps in their cordon to let them through. Some 200 young men from a poor neighborhood nearby stayed on the square. Some threw objects at police.

    “I am sorry to say the government has deployed a huge force to prevent a peaceful march. This is not good for Algeria’s image,” said Mustafa Bouchachi, a leader of the League for Human Rights which helped organize the protest.

    The protest was not backed by the main trade unions or the biggest opposition parties. Nearly all members of Algeria’s radical Islamist groups, which were banned in the 1990s but still have grassroots influence, stayed away.

    Officials with the opposition RCD party, which helped organize the protest, told Reuters the demonstrators totaled between 7,000 and 10,000 and that 1,000 people were arrested.

    (CNN) — The demonstrations were mostly peaceful, with police rounding up protesters in small groups to break up the crowds, and anti-riot police gathered at the scene.

    Khalil AbdulMouminm, the general secretary for the Algerian league, called the situation “very tense on the ground” and said police were preventing protesters from assembling, with authorities blocking all entrances to the capital.

    Algeria Revolution Day 1

    Saturday, February 12th, 2011

    Pro-democracy activists have declared Saturday, Feb. 12, “Day 1″ of the Algerian Revolution against the regime of President Abdelaziz Bouteflika. The ctivists have defied a ban against public political gatherings and called a march in Algiers today in which thousands are expected to participate.

    In response, the regime has brought 30,000 police officers into Algiers. Hundreds of armored vehicles are parked at key intersections of the capital.

    (Bloomberg) — The Coordination for Democratic Change in Algeria, an umbrella group of human rights activists, unionists, lawyers and others, insists the march will take place despite numerous warnings by authorities to stay out of the streets. Buses and vans filled with armed police were posted at strategic points along the march route and around Algiers, including at the “Maison de la Presse,” a small village in Algiers where newspapers have their headquarters.

    (Al Jazeera) — Protesters are demanding greater democratic freedoms, a change of government, and more jobs. The demonstration was set to begin at 11:00 am local time.

    “We are ready for the march,” said Mohsen Belabes, a spokesman for the Rally for Culture and Democracy (RCD) opposition party, which is one of the organisers of the protest. “It’s going to be a great day for democracy in Algeria.”

    Mubarak’s resignation on Friday, and last month’s overthrow of Tunisian leader, Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, have electrified the Arab world.

    The rally is being organised by the National Co-ordination for Change and Democracy (CNCD), a three-week-old umbrella group of opposition parties, civil society movements and unofficial unions inspired by the mass protests in Tunisia and Egypt.

    (BBC) — Widespread unrest in Algeria could have implications for the world economy because it is a major oil and gas exporter, but many analysts say an Egypt-style revolt is unlikely because the government can use its energy wealth to placate most grievances.

    Protest organizers in Algeria — who say they draw some of their inspiration from events in Egypt and Tunisia — say police may turn people away before they can reach the march in the capital, or parallel protests planned for other cities.

    “Algerians must be allowed to express themselves freely and hold peaceful protests in Algiers and elsewhere,” rights group Amnesty International said in a statement. “We urge the Algerian authorities not to respond to these demands by using excessive force.”

    In an attempt to head of anti-government unrest, the authorities have cut prices for sugar and cooking oil, bought huge quantities of grain to ensure bread supplies and promised to lift a 19-year-old state of emergency.

    I salute Al Jazeera

    Friday, February 11th, 2011

    By Elias Kifle

    Many seem to give credit to the social media (Facebook, Twitter and blogs) for helping the Egyptian and Tunisian youths who brought down the entrenched dictatorships in their country, but there is not enough mention about the contributions made by Al Jazeera, except by the dictators themselves.

    I used to dislike Al Jazeera for some of the anti-American vitriol that it some times broadcasts. It’s fine to criticize the U.S. for its often misguided foreign policy by some of its corrupt State Department officials who are propping up dictators such us Ethiopia’s Meles Zenawi. However, the U.S. is a force for good in this world and doesn’t deserve to be demonized.

    Having said that, Al Jazeera is becoming a respected and powerful news organization that is transforming the Middle East for the better. For the past few weeks I have been streaming its live video broadcast on the front page of EthiopianReview.com. I myself was glued to one my my computer screens that streams Al Jazeera Live 24/7. Its coverage of the revolutions in Tunisia and Egypt is by far the best and the most thorough. I also think that one of the reasons the revolutions in these countries were not as bloody as they could have been is that the live TV coverage of every incident may have made the military leaders aware that they will be held personally responsible for any bloodshed. The international community would be too sickened by televised massacre of civilians and would bring those responsible for the atrocities to the International Criminal Court, like the Liberian dictator Charles Taylor, Sudan’s Al Bashir, and Bosnia’s Radovan Karadzic.

    A few years ago, Ethiopia’s vampire tyrant has kicked out Al Jazeera from Ethiopia, but it is still being watched by hundreds of thousands of Ethiopians.

    We need to strengthen our own satellite TV, ESAT, if we want to minimize the bloodshed the Woyanne ruling junta is preparing to cause in the next Ethiopian revolution. ESAT, along with all the Ethiopian radio programs, web sites, and social media will play a critical role in not only facilitating and helping coordinate the struggle, but they also could help prevent massive atrocities in Ethiopia.

    On behalf of Ethiopian Review, I extend my congratulations and well wishes to the people of Egypt.

    Hosni Mubarak resigns! Congratulations Egypt!

    Friday, February 11th, 2011

    (BBC) — Hosni Mubarak has decided to step down as president of Egypt. In an announcement on state TV, Vice-President Omar Suleiman said Mr Mubarak had handed power to the military.

    It came as thousands massed in Cairo and other Egyptian cities for an 18th day of protest to demand Mr Mubarak’s resignation.

    Protesters responded by cheering, waving flags, embracing and sounding car horns. “The people have brought down the regime,” they chanted.

    Mr Suleiman said Mr Mubarak had handed power to the high command of the armed forces.

    “In the name of God the merciful, the compassionate, citizens, during these very difficult circumstances Egypt is going through, President Hosni Mubarak has decided to step down from the office of president of the republic and has charged the high council of the armed forces to administer the affairs of the country,” he said.

    “May God help everybody.”

    The military high command is headed by Defence Minister Mohamed Hussein Tantawi.

    Mr Mubarak has already left Cairo and is in the Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh where he has a residence, officials say.

    Constitution breached

    In Cairo, thousands of people are gathered outside the presidential palace, in Tahrir Square and at state TV.

    They came out in anger following an address by Mr Mubarak on Thursday. He had been expected to announce his resignation but instead stopped short of stepping down, transferring most powers to Mr Suleiman.

    The BBC’s Jon Leyne in Cairo said the announcement caught everyone by surprise, and all over the city drivers honked their horns and people fired guns into the air.

    But the army takeover looks very much like a military coup, our correspondent adds.

    The constitution has been breached, he says, because officially it should be the speaker of parliament who takes over, not the army leadership.

    Oil price falls after Egypt’s President Mubarak resigns

    (The Telegraph) — Oil fell in late trading after Egypt’s President Mubarak resigned, bringing an end to weeks of protests that have spooked the energy market.

    The price of Brent crude rose sharply early on Friday when it appeared that the Egyptian leader would cling to power, raising fears about the key Suez canal transport route. Brent, the key London oil contract, has risen more than the US benchmark WTI – at one point trading at a $16 premium – as it is more exposed to the region.

    Sudan cuts off fuel supply to Ethiopia

    Friday, February 11th, 2011

    By Desalegn Sisay

    ADDIS ABABA (Afrik-news.com) — Fuel prices in Ethiopia will be raised next month following a recent decision by its Sudanese suppliers could also affect fuel availability in Ethiopia. The Horn of Africa country spends an average annual 20 billion birr on the importation of petroleum products.

    Ethiopia’s projected budget of 1.42 billion US dollars for fuel importation for the current fiscal year is expected to cover 2,176,188 tonnes of fuel including benzene. An amount that, according to reports, exceeds by 30 percent the 72.2 billion birr annual budget approved for this fiscal year. Despite the Ethiopian government’s decision in 2008 to introduce the blending of ethanol following an increased demand in fuel, the increasing trend has continued.

    And the ever increasing local consumption of benzene coupled with the fluctuation of prices on the international market has resulted in an extra 500,000 tonne import of fuel as against the projected imports set for the current fiscal year, according data obtained from Ethiopian Petroleum Enterprise (EPE), an entity in charge of petroleum importation and distribution.

    Recently, the country signed an agreement with Sudan Petroleum Company (SPC) to import 80 percent of its benzene demand from the neighboring Sudan. This agreement was to enable the government cut the huge transportation costs, which would in consequence lower the price of benzene on the local market. The agreement with SPC has however been suspended following a three month closure of the Sudanese company’s refinery beginning February 1. And although this is not expected to impact the petroleum deal between Ethiopia and The Sudan, the three-month break coupled with Ethiopia’s inadequate storage capacities may lead to a fuel shortage.

    As a result, Ethiopia has designed a contingency plan by raising the percentage of blended ethanol in Addis Ababa, the capital, to 10 per cent from March 7. This follows the success of a similar move in 2008 when the introduction E5 helped the country to reduce the volume of benzene imports by over a million dollars annually.

    Having acquired the technology to produce a considerable volume of Ethanol to buttress fuel imports following its various expansion projects, mainly of its sugar factories, including the state owned company Fincha, which has been producing up to eight million liters of Ethanol, and Metehara, which has also embarked on an annual production of 10.5 million liters as of the current year, Ethiopia could handle the arrest of oil imports… to an extent.

    ESAT is back on air after a 24-hour interruption

    Friday, February 11th, 2011

    Ethiopian Satellite TV (ESAT) is back online today after being off air for 24 hours, according to the station’s management. ESAT is now transmitted on the following frequency:

    C-BAND Intelsat 10 at 68.5E
    TRANSPONDER 14
    DOWN LINK 3808 V
    SYMBOL 10340 FEC 3/4

    Mubarak refuses to step down

    Thursday, February 10th, 2011

    EGYPTIAN President Hosni Mubarak has reiterated his intention to stand down in September, igniting the wrath of thousands of protesters in Cairo’s Tharir Square.

    His comments in a national TV address confounded earlier reports that he was preparing to stand down immediately.

    The 82 year old dictator said he had passed on some of his authority to his vice president and former intelligence chief Omar Suleiman as he addressed the Egyptian people on state television and announced that the transition of power will take place from today until September.

    Mubarak also said that errors can happen in any political system, and he wants to continue the national dialogue that has begun to get through this crisis.

    He apologized to the families of protesters killed in clashes with the security forces in recent weeks, and said those responsible for their deaths would be punished.

    “I express a commitment to carry on and protect the constitution and the people and transfer power to whomever is elected next September in free and transparent elections,” Mr Mubarak said.

    Ethiopia's regime most illiterate – Brian Stewart

    Thursday, February 10th, 2011

    Brian Stewart, a journalist for CBC and one of Canada’s most experienced foreign correspondents, writes that Ethiopia’s regime has a blasé attitude about food shortage in the country and that he supports The Economist’s description of the regime as one of the most economically illiterate in the world. The following except is taken from Brian’s 2009 article, but still applies today as the U.N. is making yet another call for emergency food aid alert on behalf of 2.8 million Ethiopians.

    Ethiopian regime’s blasé attitude about food shortage

    The Ethiopian government has said it doesn’t expect this year to be much worse than last, and it is “confident it has done everything it can to feed its hungry people.”

    This almost blasé attitude in Addis, gives no comfort at all to aid officials who tend to agree with an Economist magazine’s characterization of Ethiopia’s government as well-meaning but “one of the most economically illiterate in the modern world.”

    President Meles Zenawi is unlikely to be reckless enough to downplay a real emergency, but there is always concern that regional officials might dismiss rising malnutrition figures to protect their own political hides.

    From what I have seen, Ethiopians hate their nation’s image as a perpetual victim of disasters. And donor nations have clearly grown weary of annual calls for aid.

    One can sympathize with both views. But such sentiments cannot be allowed to obscure facts.

    Yes, development efforts on the ground are indeed starting to yield progress (and I intend to write about these another time).

    But Ethiopia, the 12th poorest nation on Earth, will simply not be able to fully feed itself for many years, likely a generation at least.

    The abject poverty of land and population are simply too stark, too intractable to offer a quick end to this recurring nightmare, no matter what economic or market reforms are tried.

    Back when I was covering the famine in 1984, I never imagined — or perhaps let myself fear — that Ethiopia would be such a difficult problem for the world to fix.

    I underestimated what a grinding, unrelenting effort would be needed to confront its timeless poverty. This time back, I fear we underestimate it still.

    Calling on Tigreans to rise up against Meles Zenawi

    Thursday, February 10th, 2011

    Former finance head of the Tigrean People Liberation Front (Woyanne), Ato Gebremedhin Araya, has called on the people of Tigray to rise up against Ethiopia’s tyrant Meles Zenawi. Ato Gebremedhin, who accuses Meles Zenawi of crimes against humanity and looting Ethiopia’s treasury, made the call to Tigreans in an interview with Yewarkaw. Listen to the 3-part interview below:

     
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    8 Ethiopian refugees died from suffocation in Mozambique

    Wednesday, February 9th, 2011

    MAPUTO, MOZAMBIQUE — The UNHCR said it has learned that 8 Ethiopian asylum seekers died on February 2 from suffocation aboard a closed container truck in Mozambique. The UNHCR reported the men were among a group of 26 young Ethiopians trying to reach South Africa.

    The UN refugee agency said the Ethiopian asylum seekers had been living in the Maratane refugee camp in northern Mozambique, from where they embarked on their ill-fated journey.

    The driver of the truck in which they were traveling reportedly only realized the eight had suffocated when he made a stop at Mocuba, after seven hours of driving from the camp.

    UNHCR spokesman, Andrej Mahecic, said the truck also was loaded with oil. He said three other men in the group had to be hospitalized and later were discharged.

    He said desperate people from the Horn of Africa increasingly are taking this dangerous overland route in search of safety.

    “They are fleeing the situation of the violence and conflict in Somalia and in the Horn of Africa and, of course, some of them are also fleeing poverty and lack of opportunities in their countries,” said Mahecic. “As far as we know, and the information on this is very sketchy, it is not easily available, many of these people have no other option but to embark on a risky journey and this is a service that is often provided by people with a financial interest in it.”

    Mahecic said asylum seekers pay smugglers on average about $2,000 to be transported to safety. He said a lot of them head for South Africa, which is the most popular country of destination. South Africa received more than 222,000 asylum seekers in 2009, he said. That is about one-quarter of the global figure.

    “Just to give you the idea of the size of the asylum applications in South Africa, if you combine all the 27 countries of the European Union, they do not match up to the numbers that South Africa is receiving,” said Mahecic. “So, there is definitely a flow in that direction.”

    Mahecic noted the Maratane refugee camp is a stopping-off point for many asylum seekers whose ultimate destination is South Africa. He said the camp is becoming congested under the weight of new arrivals. He said the UNHCR is working closely with the Mozambique authorities to improve conditions in the camp.

    (Source: IndepthAfrica.com)

    Al Amoudi's Sheraton Hotel to be closed down

    Monday, February 7th, 2011

    Sheraton AddisGeneral Manager of Al Amoudi’s Sheraton Addis told department managers last week that the hotel will be closed down soon and will stop taking reservations starting February 15 unless the management is unable to reach an agreement with the union, according to The Reporter. Sheraton Addis, built 13 years ago, is the largest hotel in Ethiopia. Read more in Amharic here.

    This is a good news. Sheraton Addis is a whorehouse for Al Amoudi and his Saudi millionaire friends as well as the ruling party elite. Other Woyanne-affiliated businesses will soon follow suit.

    Ethiopians in DC, Munich, Seattle demand Meles to resign

    Monday, February 7th, 2011

    Ethiopians residing in Munich, Seattle and Washington DC held protest rallies today and over the weekend demanding the resignation of Ethiopia’s corrupt and brutal dictatory Meles Zenawi.

    In Washington DC, the protest took place today at the Woyanne-controlled Ethiopian embassy. The protesters held chanted ENOUGH! Meles has to go! 20 Years of Dictatorship Must End!

    Ethiopian protest in Washington DC

    On Saturday, Ethiopians in Seattle joined Egyptians at a protest rally at Westlake Park in downtown in a show of solidarity to pro-democracy protesters in Egypt, and to also demand Ethiopia’s dictator to step down.

    And in Munich, Germany, Sunday, over one thousand Ethiopians went out to confront Meles Zenawi who was attending the 47th Conference of Global Security.

    Ethiopians in Germany confront Meles Zenawi

    Land grabbing and its dire consequences in Ethiopia

    Monday, February 7th, 2011

    By Hundee Dhugaasaa

    The suffering of farmers in Ethiopia, especially in Oromia, Benishangul, Somali and Gambella regions is going from worse to the worst in Ethiopia as a result of inequitable land acquisitions, better called “neo-colonial land grabbing,” by foreign investors in the name of lease by the Ethiopian regime. This act is worsening the already broken food security situation in Ethiopia. The peasants are losing their farming and grazing land they owned for centuries in a matter of months. The draconian proclamations and the brutal police force behind the mess is a point to be noted. This new form of agrarian neo-colonialism is launched under the pretext of utilizing “Wastelands” while the reality and reason behind is completely different.

    The Ethiopian regime officials already acknowledged that 8420 foreign investors have received licenses for commercial farms. Even if the problems started when contemporary Ethiopia assumed its current territorial definition at the end of the nineteenth century, the danger posed by this regime — even if it looks it is going under the pretext of law and the cover of investment — is extremely huge. The regime change in 1991 and the subsequent ratification of the Constitution (1995) failed to restore any tangible land ownership right. Articles of the new Constitution complicated the problems of alienation and powerlessness experienced by the people for so long. In the FDRE Constitution, the rights of citizens to possess farming land are maintained (Art.40.4). Proclamation no.89/1997 (Art.2.3) provides for the right to lease one’s holding. In line with the provisions of the decree, the Oromia State issued a Directive (no.3/1995) which states that any farmer may rent a maximum of half of his holding to anyone at any rate for a maximum of three years (Art.23.2). But contrary to all these pillars and precedents, proclamation 455/2005 gives authority to the Woreda and urban administration, not to defend and protect but to confiscate and expropriate land for any purpose the higher authorities believes are for ‘public purpose and/or investment.’ The farmers are expected to evacuate from their ancestral land with a short notice of 30 days, as per Article 4(4) of the same proclamation in discussion. Failure to comply with this short notice will entitle authorities to use police force to forcefully evict farmers from their land. This very proclamation clearly marked the end of land right of Ethiopian farmers and opened big door for land grabbers.

    Looking at the controversial and self contradictory part of the constitution itself, the FDRE constitution Article 52(2) d that relate to the powers of Regional States are defective as they tie the latter’s power to administer land and the use of other natural resources to the provisions in the Federal Laws. Put it another way, the provisions give only nominal power to the Regional States, because the latter are not free to exercise full freedom to administer land and other natural resources in their respective regions. In effect it is the Federal State that decides how the land and other natural resources of Regional States should be administered and used. They maintain that the Federal State deliberately shaped the constitution in such a way that Regional States do not enjoy real autonomy, because if they did, the former could not manipulate the laws to fit its interests. The constitution and federal laws are designed to empower the Federal State to influence the decisions made at the level of the Regional States. This is particularly so when it comes to the use of land and other natural resources. State monopoly of land under the guise of ‘public ownership’ reduced land to a marketable commodity contrary to what had been the case before the state formation when land was seen not only as a vital source of life but also, if not more, as a symbol of identity since ‘people relate to land not just as individuals, but also as members of groups, networks, and categories’. What is more, even if the laws are perfect and states are autonomous on land issue, the regional state authorities are not there to protect the interest of the nation they claim to represent but that of the TPLF top decision makers. They are picked from their region just to show up and boost with empty federal structure. This can be well understood by looking at the formation and the last 20 years functioning of OPDO and others surrogate regional authorities.

    Very recently, the Ethiopian government has offered a huge land for a long term lease to private and government backed investors such as Karuturi Global Ltd of India which has acquired 1.8 million hectares, Saudi Star Agricultural Development Plc of Sheikh Mohammed Al-Amoudi, Saudi Arabia 100,000 hectares, German company Flora EcoPower 13,000 hectare, Djibouti’s first lady and president about 10,000 hectares and a group of Egyptian investors who have acquired 500 hectares. Ethiopia has already committed to hand over 1.7 million of the 2.7 million hectares of arable land to foreign investors. Prime Minster Meles has offered the land grabbers a “tax holiday” in which he exempted them from paying taxes and lease fees up to the first five years of production and allowed them to export all their production.

    The federal government of Ethiopia has taken over millions of hectares of farmland from the States of Benishangul, Gambella and Oromia to distribute it to the so-called investors. By his speech of December 1, 2009 on World Economic Forum, Meles Zenawi claimed that his government’s policy will bring new ‘technology’ and ‘development’ into Ethiopia. However, as witnessed in many places of Oromia and Gambella, the mega-farms use rudimentary methods of farming similar to the typical Ethiopian farming. The new thing is that, the farmers turned labourers and have lost their dignity, ownership right and become slaves in their own country and land. Shamelessly, Mr. Zenawi said that this land giving policy works only in the south, revealing its racist policy of governance. He said the northern part of the Country is out of discussion as far as land selling is concerned.

    After all, this is the same government that has closed down multi million hectares of mechanized state farms in few years after it seized a power in almost all part of Ethiopia, mainly in Wollega, Arsi and Bale. These farms used to employ high tech-machines including airplanes. The tractors, the combiners, and all the multibillion dollar investment of the farms properties were ignored as if it serves nothing and forced to collapse with its thousands of employees. In Wollega only, 65,000 head of families were thrown on the streets, exposing them and their extended families to starvation and humiliation. This will remain to be one of the dozens of crimes for which the EPRDF government headed by Meles Zenawi is going to answer sooner or later. The land and the property were neither privatized nor allowed to continue in corporation. Today these farms could have feed at least millions of Ethiopians looking for western hand outs, if not able to generate foreign currency. It looks as if this government is deliberately subjecting the people to a systematic impoverishment and shame.

    Yet, in Gambella, the other fertile south-western region of Ethiopia, most of the land is forcibly taken from the indigenous subsistence farmers; not for the development of a needed infrastructure, but for lease to private foreign companies mostly from India, where neither the profits nor the majority of the produce will be shared with the communities. In all cases, the farmers and indigenous people receive little or no compensation for their land.

    Currently millions are believed to be in need of food aid. But the government in Ethiopia is offering at least 3m hectares of its most fertile land to rich countries and some of the world’s most wealthy individuals to export food for their own populations. This fact clearly indicates that the minority PM Meles regime has neither a consideration nor accountability to the Ethiopian people but only to its corrupted will and interests.

    A closer look at how this government handling of the land issue shows that the reason behind its decision to lease and sell fertile farm lands to foreign investors for an indefinite or century old contract. It is neither a quest for technology nor utilizing the excess land. The reality is, the TPLF dominated EPRDF officials are busy building their personal business empire for the last 20 years they are in power. TPLF officials own more than ¾ of the total business in the country, majority of them in decisive government positions and military ranks. As popular discontent grows, the TPLF leaders are getting worried about the future of their personal and group wealth and their Business Empire, which stretched to all corners of Ethiopia and dominates from small biscuits to large truck industry. The idea they came up with is that, to call up on foreign investors to cover them in this big scam they are involved. That is precisely the reason why land confiscation is so heated, foreign hands are lined up and the name of investors rather than native farmers is flown full over the air of Ethiopia.

    Several governments have come and gone in Ethiopia. However, the land issue has never been addressed satisfactorily to redress the injustices committed. Neither the existing laws nor resources are utilized so as to serve the interest of its citizens. In a country where 85% of its population rely as a means of subsistence on what is obtained from agriculture, the relation of land to man is crucial in a manner similar to the need of air to breath, sunshine and water to live. To deprive anyone of any of these vital resources is equal to rendering a death sentence on him or her and to their extended family members. Consequently the current land grabbing will fuel conflict, create political instability, uproots the indigenous peoples and results in food insecurity.

    The land question in Ethiopia is a potential time bombs waiting to explode. The land issue was the major factor for the demise of all Meles’s predecessor in the history and has also already consumed a government in Madagascar. However the impact on health, Soil, water, food security, ownership right and the environment will remain an expensive price for the next generation to pay.

    Hence, it is very important for the international community to stand in unison against brutal regime of Ethiopia and uphold the right of the peoples to land ownership, which is exploited, left defenseless and currently are running out of means to protect their right. The land grabbers (investors) should also understand the complicated reality they are involving in and need to calculate their risk on time before it is too late. Any land deal that has not been agreed to by the Ethiopian nations and nationalities will not be honored and will bring neither lasting peace nor development in the country and for the investors too.

    It is also a high time for the UN and its concerned stake holders to call special investigation on this serious matter and issues immediate resolution against the continued suffering of farmers due to eviction and the serious poverty that followed. It is also very important to exert the at most possible pressure to undo the unfair law with regards of land issues.

    (The writer can be reached via jajjabee430@gmail.com or visit http://jajjabee.wordpress.com)

    Egypt’s super-rich take their money out of the country

    Saturday, February 5th, 2011

    Business partners of Egypt’s ruling party have started to take their money out of the country, according to Bloomberg. Ethiopia’s super rich who are looting the country in partnership with the Woyanne ruling junta have been doing that for a while now. We have previously reported (read here) about one of them, Samuel Tafesse, who has recently built a $5-million mansion in a suburb of Washington DC. Most of the Woyanne leaders are currently on a property buying frenzy in the U.S. and Europe.

    Egypt’s Super-Rich Begin Moving Their Money To Switzerland

    (Bloomberg) — Egypt’s rich are considering taking money out of the country as violent protests against President Hosni Mubarak enter a 10th day, and Switzerland is a popular destination, a Swiss-based Arab banker said today.

    “We’ve been getting inquiries about moving money” from Egypt to the Alpine nation, said Karim al-Korey, an associate director at Arab Bank (Switzerland) Ltd. “I have two or three clients who could transfer 10 to 15 million dollars each.”

    Two Arab Bank (Switzerland) executives sent an emailed statement disputing al-Korey’s comments after they were published, saying he was not authorized to speak publicly for the firm.

    His comments as published do “not represent the official position of the bank,” wrote Alain Dargham, the head of investment advisory, and Jean Kamitsis, head of wealth management. “We formally deny the content.”

    Protests against Mubarak have left about 300 people dead and hundreds more injured in the past two weeks. Egypt’s ruler has replaced ministers and promised free elections before stepping down in September. That hasn’t calmed protesters who say his 30-year presidency must end immediately.

    “Everything in Egypt is now closed but we think banks could start to reopen on Sunday. If this is the case, we expect funds to come in,” al-Korey told Bloomberg by telephone from his Geneva office. If Mubarak goes, “people all over the region will get scared and start transferring money.”

    Frozen Assets

    Switzerland on Jan. 19 froze any assets belonging to Tunisia’s ousted President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali and his entourage. Ben Ali fled to Saudi Arabia after a popular revolt ended his 23-year rule.

    Most Egyptians close to Mubarak aren’t worried that their funds will be seized abroad and still see Switzerland as the safest haven, al-Korey said.

    “There is a fear but only for a very few people,” the banker said. “You are talking about Mubarak, his sons, and Ahmed Ezz, the richest man in Egypt, as well as maybe 10 or 15 of the top businessmen.”

    Ezz, chairman of Ezz Steel, was among the businessmen ousted from cabinet and ruling party positions yesterday. UBS AG and Credit Suisse Group AG, Switzerland’s biggest banks, declined to comment on possible movements of funds from Egypt.

    Egypt's super-rich take their money out of the country

    Saturday, February 5th, 2011

    Business partners of Egypt’s ruling party have started to take their money out of the country, according to Bloomberg. Ethiopia’s super rich who are looting the country in partnership with the Woyanne ruling junta have been doing that for a while now. We have previously reported (read here) about one of them, Samuel Tafesse, who has recently built a $5-million mansion in a suburb of Washington DC. Most of the Woyanne leaders are currently on a property buying frenzy in the U.S. and Europe.

    Egypt’s Super-Rich Begin Moving Their Money To Switzerland

    (Bloomberg) — Egypt’s rich are considering taking money out of the country as violent protests against President Hosni Mubarak enter a 10th day, and Switzerland is a popular destination, a Swiss-based Arab banker said today.

    “We’ve been getting inquiries about moving money” from Egypt to the Alpine nation, said Karim al-Korey, an associate director at Arab Bank (Switzerland) Ltd. “I have two or three clients who could transfer 10 to 15 million dollars each.”

    Two Arab Bank (Switzerland) executives sent an emailed statement disputing al-Korey’s comments after they were published, saying he was not authorized to speak publicly for the firm.

    His comments as published do “not represent the official position of the bank,” wrote Alain Dargham, the head of investment advisory, and Jean Kamitsis, head of wealth management. “We formally deny the content.”

    Protests against Mubarak have left about 300 people dead and hundreds more injured in the past two weeks. Egypt’s ruler has replaced ministers and promised free elections before stepping down in September. That hasn’t calmed protesters who say his 30-year presidency must end immediately.

    “Everything in Egypt is now closed but we think banks could start to reopen on Sunday. If this is the case, we expect funds to come in,” al-Korey told Bloomberg by telephone from his Geneva office. If Mubarak goes, “people all over the region will get scared and start transferring money.”

    Frozen Assets

    Switzerland on Jan. 19 froze any assets belonging to Tunisia’s ousted President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali and his entourage. Ben Ali fled to Saudi Arabia after a popular revolt ended his 23-year rule.

    Most Egyptians close to Mubarak aren’t worried that their funds will be seized abroad and still see Switzerland as the safest haven, al-Korey said.

    “There is a fear but only for a very few people,” the banker said. “You are talking about Mubarak, his sons, and Ahmed Ezz, the richest man in Egypt, as well as maybe 10 or 15 of the top businessmen.”

    Ezz, chairman of Ezz Steel, was among the businessmen ousted from cabinet and ruling party positions yesterday. UBS AG and Credit Suisse Group AG, Switzerland’s biggest banks, declined to comment on possible movements of funds from Egypt.

    Sudan protesters persist despite savage police attacks

    Friday, February 4th, 2011

    Protesters in Sudan regrouped and launch another protest today after the security forces savagely attacked and dispersed them last week. The following is by Reuters:

    (Reuters) — Police beat and teargassed students protesting in Sudan’s Sennar state, the latest in a series of short-lived demonstrations partly inspired by uprisings in Tunisia and Egypt, witnesses said.

    Sudan police attack protestersAround 200 students, protesting against price rises and calling for change, tried to rally outside Sennar university on Thursday afternoon, before officers moved in with batons and then surrounded the compound, witnesses told Reuters.

    Sudan has used armed riot police to disperse a series of demonstrations by young Sudanese across the north of the country in recent weeks.

    Protests earlier last month focused on food prices and human rights abuses and broadened to include calls for political change after images of massed protests in Cairo, Tunis and other cities were broadcast across the world.

    The protests, many around universities, have so far not been supported by wider parts of the population and have failed to gain momentum.

    Also on Thursday police arrested dozens of people near the scene of a planned protest in the capital’s Khartoum North suburb, said witnesses. The demonstration, which had been publicized on the internet, did not take place.

    Police set up road blocks in and around Khartoum to search cars and lorries overnight. A Reuters witness saw officers even checking inside bags of vegetables in one vehicle on the road from Khartoum to the town of Kosti.

    No one was immediately available to comment from Sudan’s police on Friday, the start of the weekend in Sudan.

    Sudan is facing an economic crisis marked by soaring inflation. It is also vulnerable politically after the south of the country — the source of most of its oil — voted overwhelmingly to secede last month.

    An Ethiopian heritage group in N. America formed

    Friday, February 4th, 2011

    PRESS RELEASE

    Introducing the ETHIOPIAN HERITAGE SOCIETY OF NORTH AMERICA

    Ethiopian Heritage FestivalThe Ethiopian Heritage Society of North America “EHSNA” Board is proud to announce the formation of the Ethiopian Heritage Society of North America a 501(c)(3) organization. EHSNA’s primary mission and vision is to promote, and preserve the rich heritage and traditions of our Ethiopian ancestors. EHSNA seeks to develop a strong link among the new generation of Ethiopians born and raised in the Diaspora, and to introduce our historical and cultural heritage to the Larger Community in our adopted country.

    EHSNA plans to execute its stated mission and goal, among other measures, by holding an annual Ethiopian heritage week in Washington DC every summer that will attract Ethiopians and friends of Ethiopia from over the world. Accordingly, EHSNA will host “Ethiopian Heritage Festival” to be celebrated annually on the first week of July. The festival will showcase the historical, cultural, artistic, athletic and culinary treasures, creativity and talent of our community at large. This will be achieved through the sponsorship of lecture series, stage productions, art exhibits, sporting events and the recognition of past and new achievements within the Ethiopian community both in the Diaspora & Ethiopia. EHSNA aims to bring together Ethiopians from all walks of life residing in North America and connect various Ethiopian organizations annually to amplify our rich culture.

    EHSNA embraces values and celebrates Ethiopia’s wealth of cultural and philosophical diversities. EHSNA believes our common goals can only be accomplished through working together as individuals and groups. EHSNA encourages amicable, honest and respectful dialogue as the best way of addressing seemingly complex issues facing our society. EHSNA aspires to build open and trusting relationships within our community to advance excellence as a means of building a strong and viable community with a United Voice to become the master of our own destiny and to leave our footprints as we Celebrate and Discover Ethiopia. Furthermore, EHSNA strives to create role models for the new generation of Ethiopian youth.

    We are aware our mission and goals are vast, our aspirations are high, and we accept our limitation to execute our stated objectives without the active involvement of our community. Therefore, we request the assistance, expertise, resources and support from members of our community to make this new organization a success. We call upon, and invite all Ethiopians and friends of Ethiopia to join us in making the upcoming Ethiopian Heritage Festival in Washington D.C. a success and reflective of our stated mission and goals.

    If you are interested in knowing more about EHSNA, volunteering, or joining us, you are invited to visit our website: ethiopianheritagesociety.org. Please direct your inquiries through our interactive website.

    Obama Administration’s dealing with Mubarak ‘cowardly’

    Friday, February 4th, 2011

    Renowned Middle East journalist Robert Fisk speaks from Cairo on the historic uprising and how U.S. President Barack Obama has lost an opportunity to back a democratic movement in the Middle East. “One of the blights of history will now involve a U.S. president who held out his hand to the Islamic world and then clenched his fist when it fought a dictatorship and demanded democracy,” Fisk said. Watch he video below:

    U.S. Senate passed resolution asking Mubarak to resign

    Friday, February 4th, 2011

    The United States Senate has passed a resolution by unanimous vote on Thursday calling on Egypt President Hosni Mubarak to transfer power to a caretaker government. The resolution was authored by Senators John McCain and John Kerry. Read the full text below.

    IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

    RESOLUTION

    Mr. KERRY (for himself and Mr. MCCAIN) submitted the following resolution:

    Supporting democracy, universal rights, and the peaceful transition to a representative government in Egypt.

    Whereas the United States and Egypt have long shared a strong bilateral relationship;

    Whereas Egypt plays an important role in global and regional politics as well as in the broader Middle East and North Africa;

    Whereas Egypt has been, and continues to be, an intellectual and cultural center of the Arab world;

    Whereas on January 25, 2011, demonstrations began across Egypt with thousands of protesters peacefully calling for a new government, free and fair elections, significant constitutional and political reforms, greater economic opportunity, and an end to government corruption;

    Whereas on January 28, 2011, the Government of Egypt shut down Internet and mobile phone networks almost entirely and blocked social networking websites;

    Whereas on January 29, 2011, President Hosni Mubarak appointed Omar Suleiman, former head of the Egyptian General Intelligence Directorate, as Vice President and Ahmed Shafik, former Minister for Civil Aviation, as Prime Minister;

    Whereas the demonstrations have continued, making this the longest protest in modern Egyptian history, and on February 1, 2011, millions of protesters took to the streets across the country;

    Whereas hundreds of Egyptians have been killed and injured since the protests began;

    Whereas on February 1, 2011, President Hosni Mubarak announced that he would not run for reelection later this year, but widespread protests against his government continue;

    Whereas on February 1, 2011, President Barack Obama called for an orderly transition, stating that it “must be meaningful, it must be peaceful, and it must begin now.” He also affirmed that: “The process must include a broad spectrum of Egyptian voices and opposition parties. It should lead to elections that are free and fair. And it should result in a government that’s not only grounded in democratic principles, but is also responsive to the aspirations of the Egyptian people.”;

    Whereas despite President Hosni Mubarak’s pledge in 2005 that Egypt’s controversial emergency law would be used only to fight terrorism and that he planned to abolish the state of emergency and adopt new antiterrorism legislation as an alternative, in May 2010, the Government of Egypt again extended the emergency law, which has been in place continuously since 1981, for another 2 years, giving police broad powers of arrest and allowing indefinite detention without charge;

    Whereas the Department of State’s 2009 Human Rights Report notes with respect to Egypt, ”[t]he government’s respect for human rights remained poor, and serious abuses continued in many areas. The government limited citizens’ right to change their government and continued a state of emergency that has been in place almost continuously since 1967.”;

    Whereas past elections in Egypt, including the most recent November 2010 parliamentary elections, have seen serious irregularities at polling and counting stations, security force intimidation and coercion of voters, and obstruction of peaceful political rallies and demonstrations;

    and

    Whereas any election must be honest and open to all legitimate candidates and conducted without interference from the military or security apparatus and under the oversight of international monitors: Now, therefore, be it

    Resolved, That the Senate–

    (1) acknowledges the central and historic importance of the United States-Egyptian strategic partnership in advancing the common interests of both countries, including peace and security in the broader Middle East and North Africa;

    (2) reaffirms the United States’ commitment to the universal rights of freedom of assembly, freedom of speech, and freedom of access to information, including the Internet, and expresses strong support for the people of Egypt in their peaceful calls for a representative and responsive democratic government that respects these rights;

    (3) condemns any efforts to provoke or instigate violence, and calls upon all parties to refrain from all violent and criminal acts;

    (4) supports freedom of the press and strongly condemns the intimidation, targeting or detention of journalists;

    (5) urges the Egyptian military to demonstrate maximum professionalism and restraint, and emphasizes the importance of working to peacefully restore calm and order while allowing for free and non-violent freedom of expression;

    (6) calls on President Mubarak to immediately begin an orderly and peaceful transition to a democratic political system, including the transfer of power to an inclusive interim caretaker government, in coordination with leaders from Egypt’s opposition, civil society, and military, to enact the necessary reforms to hold free, fair, and internationally credible elections this year;

    (7) affirms that a real transition to a legitimate representative democracy in Egypt requires concrete steps to be taken as soon as possible, including lifting the state of emergency, allowing Egyptians to organize independent political parties without interference, enhancing the transparency of governmental institutions, restoring judicial supervision of elections, allowing credible international monitors to observe the preparation and conduct of elections, and amending the laws and Constitution of Egypt as necessary to implement these and other critical reforms;

    (8) pledges full support for Egypt’s transition to a representative democracy that is responsive to the needs of the Egyptian people, and calls on all nations to support the people of Egypt as they work to conduct a successful transition to democracy;

    (9) expresses deep concern over any organization that espouses an extremist ideology, including the Muslim Brotherhood, and calls upon all political movements and parties in Egypt, including an interim government, to affirm their commitment to non-violence and the rule of law, the equal rights of all individuals, accountable institutions of justice, religious tolerance, peaceful relations with Egypt’s neighbors, and the fundamental principles and practices of democracy, including the regular conduct of free and fair elections;

    (10) underscores the vital importance of any Egyptian Government continuing to fulfill its international obligations, including its commitment under the Egypt-Israel Peace Treaty signed on March 26, 1979, and the freedom of navigation through the Suez Canal; and

    (11) ensures that United States assistance to the Egyptian Government, military, and people will advance the goal of ensuring respect for the universal rights of the Egyptian people and will further the national security interests of the United States in the region.

    Ethiopians in Seattle to join Egyptians in a day of protest

    Friday, February 4th, 2011

    By Kirubeal Bekele

    SEATTLE — Most of us Ethiopians are simply watching it like a movie. As if we were free people. When revolution is spreading like wild fire in Tunisia, Egypt and all over against brutal dictators, we Ethiopians are just watching. Stop it. We have work to do. We have a killer dictator terrorizing our people. We have a historical obligation to help topple a dictator in Ethiopia now so that he joins his friends Ben Ali of Tunisia and Mubarak of Egypt. This is the moment we have been waiting for. Let us ride this storm of revolution that swept North Africa and the Middle East.

    On Saturday, Egyptians will hold a protest rally against Mubarak in downtown Seattle. Let us come out and join our Egyptian friends in solidarity. I was told that TV, radio, and print media will be there to cover this demonstration. This is a golden opportunity to expose Meles Zenawi together with Mubarak in front of the Seattle and international media.

    Please show up this Saturday at noon at Westlake Park in downtown Seattle.

    (For more information I can be reached at kbekele@uw.edu)

    Obama Administration's dealing with Mubarak 'cowardly'

    Friday, February 4th, 2011

    Renowned Middle East journalist Robert Fisk speaks from Cairo on the historic uprising and how U.S. President Barack Obama has lost an opportunity to back a democratic movement in the Middle East. “One of the blights of history will now involve a U.S. president who held out his hand to the Islamic world and then clenched his fist when it fought a dictatorship and demanded democracy,” Fisk said. Watch he video below:

    Friday is set as D-Day for Egypt’s dictator

    Thursday, February 3rd, 2011

    Egypt’s pro-democracy protesters, who have so far rejected the idea of storming the presidential palace, are now planning to force Mubarak out of power on Friday.

    The declaration was made by Dr Mohamed El Baradei, whom the protesters and opposition groups designated as their spokesperson.

    Egyptians have marked Friday as “Departure Day,” El Baradei told the media last night after thugs hired by Mubarak savagely attacked peaceful protesters while the army looked on without any attempt to intervene.

    In a hand-to-hand combat the lasted several hours, the protesters succeeded in chasing away Mubarak’s thugs.

    On Thursday morning, as Mubarak’s thugs regrouped and returned, the army moved for the first time to stop the fighting.

    The protesters, hundreds of thousands of them, are now planning to head for Mubarak residence following prayer on Friday morning. It is not clear whether the army will try to stop them. If they army remains neutral, the protesters can easily overwhelm the presidential guards.

    First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win.” – Gandhi.

    Friday is set as D-Day for Egypt's dictator

    Thursday, February 3rd, 2011

    Egypt’s pro-democracy protesters, who have so far rejected the idea of storming the presidential palace, are now planning to force Mubarak out of power on Friday.

    The declaration was made by Dr Mohamed El Baradei, whom the protesters and opposition groups designated as their spokesperson.

    Egyptians have marked Friday as “Departure Day,” El Baradei told the media last night after thugs hired by Mubarak savagely attacked peaceful protesters while the army looked on without any attempt to intervene.

    In a hand-to-hand combat the lasted several hours, the protesters succeeded in chasing away Mubarak’s thugs.

    On Thursday morning, as Mubarak’s thugs regrouped and returned, the army moved for the first time to stop the fighting.

    The protesters, hundreds of thousands of them, are now planning to head for Mubarak residence following prayer on Friday morning. It is not clear whether the army will try to stop them. If they army remains neutral, the protesters can easily overwhelm the presidential guards.

    First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win.” – Gandhi.

    Meles Zenawi, America’s other most embarrassing ally

    Wednesday, February 2nd, 2011

    BY JOSHUA E. KEATING | ForeignPolicy.com

    Maintaining good relations with autocrats is an unfortunate but often necessary component of the delicate balancing act that is U.S. foreign policy. But as Washington learned once again this week, supporting an strongman for the sake of stability can present risks of its own. Here are eight more alliances that could prove embarrassing.

    Meles Zenawi

    Record: The 2010 election, in which Prime Minister Meles Zenawi’s party won a remarkable 99.6 percent of the vote, was the culmination of what Human Rights Watch called “the government’s five-year strategy of systematically closing down space for political dissent and independent criticism.” This included attacks and arrests of prominent opposition figures, the shutting down of newspapers and assaults on journalists critical of the government, and doling out international food aid as an incentive to get poor Ethiopians to join the ruling party.

    In addition to attacks on domestic media and NGOs, the government also jammed broadcasts by Voice of America and Deutsche Welle in the run-up to the elections. The U.S. NGO Freedom House downgraded Ethiopia to “Not Free” for the first time in its annual Freedom in the World survey this year.

    U.S. support: Bordered by Sudan and Somalia, Ethiopia benefits from being an at least nominally pro-American government in a very dangerous neighborhood. In 1998, U.S. President Bill Clinton described Zenawi as the leader of an “African Renaissance.” Washington’s strong support for Addis Ababa continued under President George W. Bush, who saw Zenawi’s primarily Christian government as a bulwark against Islamic extremism in East Africa, and poured in millions in military aid. Bush opposed legislation linking military aid for Ethiopia to human rights and gave tacit support for the country’s 2007 invasion of Somalia.

    The rhetoric is somewhat less enthusiastic under the Obama administration — the State Department strongly criticized the 2010 election, for instance — but the U.S. will continue to fund Ethiopia to the tune of $583.5 million this year, despite evidence that the government is directly using this aid to suppress dissent. … [Read More]

    Chronicle of Addis Ababa’s extreme makeover

    Wednesday, February 2nd, 2011

    By Getachew Belaineh

    Every city in the world has its own unique personality. Each represents a unique blend of history, natural settings, cultural patterns, and lifestyles. Some are old-fashioned yet attractive, others modern but boring. Likewise, Addis Ababa has its own unique personality. It is inherently a socially mixed city housing traditional and modern urban people.

    Preserving this unique characteristic while moving the city into the 21st century is not only important for maintaining the city’s historical significance but also exemplifies the administration’s awareness toward the citizens. Relocating traditional and poor people to the city periphery away from socio-economic opportunities predictably has caused irreversible damage to the unique social makeup of the city. This is the main subject of this commentary. Other perturbing trends in the city such as the soaring food prices, liquidation of public parks, and the people’s unsanitary living conditions are also themes of this article. For a heads-up, public recreational and park areas in the city are on the verge of extinction. The high food prices compounded with joblessness and relocations is severely affecting the poor, as they are net consumers. People who are already poor are falling deeper into poverty. Especially the children, who represent the next generation, are suffering grave and irremediable damage to their health and education due to malnutrition and dropping out of school to look for work.

    I was inspired to write this commentary by a personal experience I had during my recent visit to Addis. I felt compelled to write this commentary not to be critical of the city administration or the government, but rather to instigate awareness and dialogues leading to viable solutions. By no means is my intention to reveal anyone’s misdeeds.

    I am starting with the endangered unique social blend of the city. Addis Ababa is experiencing growth and modernity in terms of buildings and roads, yet it is on the verge of losing its century-old unique social blend. Modern and traditional as well as rich and poor people have lived side by side throughout the history of the city. However, the present trend is to demolish traditional housing and housing for poor people within the city and relocate the inhabitants to a remote location, as they are deemed a hindrance to modernity. It is true that traditional people live by a stable age-old tradition and most poor families live in slums around the city that are characterized by the most deplorable living conditions. There has to be a better way of handling the situation than demolishing the houses haphazardly and relocating the dwellers to the city’s periphery away from socio-economic opportunities and mostly without fair compensation. In some cases, the relocation and the demolition take place with unrealistically short notice to the inhabitants.

    Many traditional houses in primarily residential areas are being demolished because the city can make more revenue by leasing the land to investors, and the inhabitants are traditional people who do not belong there anymore. The demolition of traditional housing and relocation of the inhabitants away from the city is a matter of meaningful concern. Traditional people have been an integral part of the community since the inception of the city around 1880. If these buildings were in dilapidated condition, it would be better if the owners were assisted in renovating them rather than the city removing them from the face of the city. These buildings are not only historical but are also physical symbols of Ethiopian cultural heritage. There is nothing wrong with upholding these houses with their century-old traditions.

    The slums are known for their awful environmental sanitation, non-existent waste disposal arrangements, overcrowded and dilapidated habitation, insufficient water supply, and vulnerability to serious health risks. These slums have to go. The city administration is rightly demolishing slums in phases. Currently, the demolition of the slums is underway in the Arat Killo area, while around the Lideta area, construction of massive multistoried residential and commercial buildings is in full swing once the slums are demolished. The slum dwellers obviously cannot afford any of the condominiums that are being built in the city and are relocated in areas that are economically isolated, have a higher costs of living, and provide fewer choices of where people can spend their limited resources. The relocated families are often “captive consumers,” paying higher prices for inferior basic goods and services compared to when they lived in their former neighborhoods. Getting to work (if they have any) or anywhere is disproportionately costly and time consuming. All of the above drives them deeper into the hole of poverty.

    I like to mention what was brought up in an international conference that took place in Durban (South Africa). During the Durban Conference, in which the unfair treatment of one group compared to another was discussed, Jacob Zuma of South Africa said the existence of shack inhabitants and slum settlements on the continent remained a constant reminder that we have not fully achieved the goal of restoring the right of human dignity to all our peoples. He went on to say, “We cannot ignore the indignity suffered by families living in shacks with no ablution facilities and no sanitation, no water, electricity or any other basic services we take for granted ourselves.” I am quoting Mr. Zuma here to signify the role governments should play in restoring and protecting their citizens from substandard life.

    One of the preferred alternatives to improving the shanty living conditions is to restore their human dignity by giving them the opportunity to improve their living conditions through the Assisted Self-Building Approach (ASA). Assisted Self-Building Approach is not only a compassionate and responsible intervention, but it also minimizes disturbance to the people and the economic life of the community. At times, it is also cheaper than relocating the dwellers. In ASA, the administration or government improves the environmental conditions by removing unsanitary human waste and polluted water and upgrading the infrastructure to a satisfactory standard to provide adequate clean water, sanitation, and storm drainage. The city administration need not worry about the shanty living conditions. The dwellers can do this mostly by themselves if they are assisted in improving their incomes and offered optional home improvement loans. ASA works if the area is earmarked on the land use map as residential. If the area is earmarked for commercial or something else, then relocation of dwellers is a must.

    As one final remark on the land use plan, the modernization of Addis Ababa has been questioned leading to a growing emphasis on the human rights aspect and calling for a better-balanced approach with a concern for social issues and equity for the traditional and poor. The problem began when the community was ignored in the process of the development of the city land use plan. City planning is a professional practice aiming at optimally utilizing resources. Involving local community members is an important aspect of development. Consultation allows people interested in, or affected by the new plan, to offer their point of view before a decision is made. The critical steps for city administrators are to (1) recognize the right of traditional and poor people to live in the city and share in the benefits of urban life and (2) allow meaningful public involvement in the development of the land use plan. This can help the city administration achieve better and balanced outcomes.

    The soaring price of basic food items is the second issue that attracted my attention during my stay in Addis. It was a good thing that the government recently attempted to impose price caps on some food items. Interestingly, some of the price caps have already been revised shortly after the price control announcement. Actually, in the views of many people, this jeopardizes the credibility of the price caps. For instance, the retail price of palm oil was bir 40 before the price capping. The initial price cap reduced the price of oil to bir 16 which few days later changed to bir 24.50. Not knowing the basis on which the price caps were determined, this writer’s fear is that it may result in a shortage of commodities. Basic economics says that the law of supply and demand determines prices. What is happening in Addis Ababa is that the supply is down, while demand is growing with the population growth. Agricultural food products are in short supply in the domestic market because they are being exported to foreign markets.

    This may come as a surprise to some, as it was to this writer. Living in Addis Ababa is not as costly for foreigners as it is for its own citizens. According to the latest cost of living survey from Mercer, Addis Ababa is the cheapest African city for foreigners to live in. Luanda of Angola is the world’s most expensive city for expatriates. It is not a bad idea to make living in Addis cheap for foreigners in order to attract international workers, but it should not cost its citizens more.

    For a long-term solution, the government must move its focus from export to domestic consumption. Again, considering oil seeds as an example, Ethiopia produces a large quantity of oilseeds and pulses that are known for their flavor and nutritional value, as they are mostly grown organically. However, nearly all oilseeds produced in the country are sent abroad to foreign markets. Actually, oilseeds are the second-largest export item in the country next to coffee. Because of the oil seed shortage in the domestic market, food oil producers stopped producing which created shortage of food oil. This is the real cause of the price jump for food oil. Palm oil imported from Middle Eastern countries was made available in an attempt to ease the shortage. Actually, biomedical research indicates that palm oil, which is high in saturated fat and low in polyunsaturated fat, is a major cause of heart disease. This writer is not sure if the consumers are aware of the health issue associated with palm oil. Think about it. Ethiopia exports good quality oil seeds to the Middle East and imports unhealthy palm oil. The right of the people to utilize their agricultural and food products at the domestic level must be respected prior to exporting all the good quality products to foreign countries. The government must protect the country’s food sovereignty.

    The last, but certainly not the least issue, in my diary is the structural transformation of the city. Certainly, the new buildings and roads continue to fascinate most visitors. Indeed, they are fascinating. However, the predicament with the structural transformation of the city is that no adequate attention is paid to the basic infrastructures and public facilities. The city continues to face one of the worst sanitation problems in the entire world. Garbage is everywhere and sewage flows freely in open ditches. With the exception of some privileged areas such as the Bole area, the garbage collection services are nearly non-existent. Even in the privileged areas, it accumulates for weeks if not months. In sum, the sanitation problem is overwhelming.

    Public facilities such as parks and sport fields are on the verge of extinction. Even existing facilities are either already taken or reserved for future construction. I remember there was a sizable field in my neighborhood where we used to play soccer or engage in other athletic activities. However, two 4-story buildings now take that space. The small soccer field adjacent to Addis Ababa Stadium and the one near the municipality in Piazza are gone. Itege Mesk, once popular neighborhood soccer field near Filwiha, is gone too. None of the newly built schools have sport fields—not even small playgrounds. No wonder the city does not have good soccer players anymore. During my three-week stay, I haven’t seen any open space for kids to play. My prediction is that in the near future kids will have to travel to Debere Birhan or farther to find open space to play and have fun.

    In addition, it appears the city administration is contemplating converting Peacock Park into Zoological Park. Peacock Park, popular as a wedding park, is located on the Bole road behind Peacock Café. This is good news. It would be even better if Peacock Park was left alone and the Zoological Park was established somewhere else. On the other hand, the lion park near Sidist Killo is chronically underfunded which puts it on life support. Africa Park is no longer functional. Africa Park, which is stretched along the road from Menelik Palace to the Economic Commission for Africa Building, was established in 1963 to mark the formation of the Organization of African Unity and was functional and accessible to the public since then. Reportedly, the business tycoon Sheik Al Amoudi renovated the park only for it to be closed after its completion.

    Parks are not civic frills but urban necessities. Access to parks increases people’s physical activities. It brings the community together for outdoor activities. Addis Ababa is a park poor city. The city administration ought to consider the development of new parks and green spaces and maintain the existing ones as an integral part of the modernization effort.

    In conclusion, I like to use a phrase somebody used for Washington D.C a while back. Addis Ababa is a living, breathing city that changes all the time. On that regard, the effort to modernize the city is praiseworthy. However, that effort would be more meaningful if accomplished with the awareness that the citizens’ right to continue living in the city should be protected and space should be preserved for environmental and public use. If modernizing the city is not intended to make a better place for its citizens…then it misses the major target.

    (The author can be reached at gbelaineh@yahoo.com)

    Woyanne agriculture minister dismisses president’s request

    Wednesday, February 2nd, 2011

    Woyanne minister of agriculture in Ethiopia, Tafera Derbew, has dismissed a request by figurehead President Girma Woldegirogis (see here)  not to sell western Ethiopian land to Indian companies and went to India yesterday to approve a $4.4 billion investment deal. The Indian companies must be made aware in advance that the deal is illegitimate and that the new government that will soon be replacing the Woyanne junta will not have to honor any such deal. The following is a press release by the Government of India.

    PRESS RELEASE (Government of India) — Ethiopia has invited Indian farmers for commercial farming in view of high skill and experience of Indian farmers in commercial crops. Calling on Minister of State for Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution, Prof. K.V.Thomas here today, Ethiopian Minister of Agriculture, Mr. Tafera Derbew said that Indian farmers can avail the opportunity of vast farming land set aside by his country for commercial farming and grow pulses and edible oil crops for export to India.

    The visiting Agriculture Minister of Ethiopia said that his country would like to take advantage of Indian experience not only in the area of mechanized farming but also in food security system. He discussed other issues of bilateral cooperation with Prof. K.V. Thomas.

    Welcoming the offer of Ethiopian government, Prof. K.V. Thomas requested the Ethiopian minister to set up single window system for various clearances to Indian entrepreneurs for taking up commercial farming in Ethiopia. He said that India can provide technical expertise in the area of watershed development and standardization of various food products. The Bureau of Indian Standards and ICAR are already providing training to experts from Ethiopia. Areas for such trainings and cooperation will be explored further, he said.

    India is the largest foreign investor in Ethiopia with approved investment of US $ 4.4 billion, out of which 40 per cent investment is in the field of commercial agriculture. Ethiopia will also hold Indian Africa Forum Summit in May 2011 to strengthen cooperation with India.

    Chronicle of Addis Ababa's extreme makeover

    Wednesday, February 2nd, 2011

    By Getachew Belaineh

    Every city in the world has its own unique personality. Each represents a unique blend of history, natural settings, cultural patterns, and lifestyles. Some are old-fashioned yet attractive, others modern but boring. Likewise, Addis Ababa has its own unique personality. It is inherently a socially mixed city housing traditional and modern urban people.

    Preserving this unique characteristic while moving the city into the 21st century is not only important for maintaining the city’s historical significance but also exemplifies the administration’s awareness toward the citizens. Relocating traditional and poor people to the city periphery away from socio-economic opportunities predictably has caused irreversible damage to the unique social makeup of the city. This is the main subject of this commentary. Other perturbing trends in the city such as the soaring food prices, liquidation of public parks, and the people’s unsanitary living conditions are also themes of this article. For a heads-up, public recreational and park areas in the city are on the verge of extinction. The high food prices compounded with joblessness and relocations is severely affecting the poor, as they are net consumers. People who are already poor are falling deeper into poverty. Especially the children, who represent the next generation, are suffering grave and irremediable damage to their health and education due to malnutrition and dropping out of school to look for work.

    I was inspired to write this commentary by a personal experience I had during my recent visit to Addis. I felt compelled to write this commentary not to be critical of the city administration or the government, but rather to instigate awareness and dialogues leading to viable solutions. By no means is my intention to reveal anyone’s misdeeds.

    I am starting with the endangered unique social blend of the city. Addis Ababa is experiencing growth and modernity in terms of buildings and roads, yet it is on the verge of losing its century-old unique social blend. Modern and traditional as well as rich and poor people have lived side by side throughout the history of the city. However, the present trend is to demolish traditional housing and housing for poor people within the city and relocate the inhabitants to a remote location, as they are deemed a hindrance to modernity. It is true that traditional people live by a stable age-old tradition and most poor families live in slums around the city that are characterized by the most deplorable living conditions. There has to be a better way of handling the situation than demolishing the houses haphazardly and relocating the dwellers to the city’s periphery away from socio-economic opportunities and mostly without fair compensation. In some cases, the relocation and the demolition take place with unrealistically short notice to the inhabitants.

    Many traditional houses in primarily residential areas are being demolished because the city can make more revenue by leasing the land to investors, and the inhabitants are traditional people who do not belong there anymore. The demolition of traditional housing and relocation of the inhabitants away from the city is a matter of meaningful concern. Traditional people have been an integral part of the community since the inception of the city around 1880. If these buildings were in dilapidated condition, it would be better if the owners were assisted in renovating them rather than the city removing them from the face of the city. These buildings are not only historical but are also physical symbols of Ethiopian cultural heritage. There is nothing wrong with upholding these houses with their century-old traditions.

    The slums are known for their awful environmental sanitation, non-existent waste disposal arrangements, overcrowded and dilapidated habitation, insufficient water supply, and vulnerability to serious health risks. These slums have to go. The city administration is rightly demolishing slums in phases. Currently, the demolition of the slums is underway in the Arat Killo area, while around the Lideta area, construction of massive multistoried residential and commercial buildings is in full swing once the slums are demolished. The slum dwellers obviously cannot afford any of the condominiums that are being built in the city and are relocated in areas that are economically isolated, have a higher costs of living, and provide fewer choices of where people can spend their limited resources. The relocated families are often “captive consumers,” paying higher prices for inferior basic goods and services compared to when they lived in their former neighborhoods. Getting to work (if they have any) or anywhere is disproportionately costly and time consuming. All of the above drives them deeper into the hole of poverty.

    I like to mention what was brought up in an international conference that took place in Durban (South Africa). During the Durban Conference, in which the unfair treatment of one group compared to another was discussed, Jacob Zuma of South Africa said the existence of shack inhabitants and slum settlements on the continent remained a constant reminder that we have not fully achieved the goal of restoring the right of human dignity to all our peoples. He went on to say, “We cannot ignore the indignity suffered by families living in shacks with no ablution facilities and no sanitation, no water, electricity or any other basic services we take for granted ourselves.” I am quoting Mr. Zuma here to signify the role governments should play in restoring and protecting their citizens from substandard life.

    One of the preferred alternatives to improving the shanty living conditions is to restore their human dignity by giving them the opportunity to improve their living conditions through the Assisted Self-Building Approach (ASA). Assisted Self-Building Approach is not only a compassionate and responsible intervention, but it also minimizes disturbance to the people and the economic life of the community. At times, it is also cheaper than relocating the dwellers. In ASA, the administration or government improves the environmental conditions by removing unsanitary human waste and polluted water and upgrading the infrastructure to a satisfactory standard to provide adequate clean water, sanitation, and storm drainage. The city administration need not worry about the shanty living conditions. The dwellers can do this mostly by themselves if they are assisted in improving their incomes and offered optional home improvement loans. ASA works if the area is earmarked on the land use map as residential. If the area is earmarked for commercial or something else, then relocation of dwellers is a must.

    As one final remark on the land use plan, the modernization of Addis Ababa has been questioned leading to a growing emphasis on the human rights aspect and calling for a better-balanced approach with a concern for social issues and equity for the traditional and poor. The problem began when the community was ignored in the process of the development of the city land use plan. City planning is a professional practice aiming at optimally utilizing resources. Involving local community members is an important aspect of development. Consultation allows people interested in, or affected by the new plan, to offer their point of view before a decision is made. The critical steps for city administrators are to (1) recognize the right of traditional and poor people to live in the city and share in the benefits of urban life and (2) allow meaningful public involvement in the development of the land use plan. This can help the city administration achieve better and balanced outcomes.

    The soaring price of basic food items is the second issue that attracted my attention during my stay in Addis. It was a good thing that the government recently attempted to impose price caps on some food items. Interestingly, some of the price caps have already been revised shortly after the price control announcement. Actually, in the views of many people, this jeopardizes the credibility of the price caps. For instance, the retail price of palm oil was bir 40 before the price capping. The initial price cap reduced the price of oil to bir 16 which few days later changed to bir 24.50. Not knowing the basis on which the price caps were determined, this writer’s fear is that it may result in a shortage of commodities. Basic economics says that the law of supply and demand determines prices. What is happening in Addis Ababa is that the supply is down, while demand is growing with the population growth. Agricultural food products are in short supply in the domestic market because they are being exported to foreign markets.

    This may come as a surprise to some, as it was to this writer. Living in Addis Ababa is not as costly for foreigners as it is for its own citizens. According to the latest cost of living survey from Mercer, Addis Ababa is the cheapest African city for foreigners to live in. Luanda of Angola is the world’s most expensive city for expatriates. It is not a bad idea to make living in Addis cheap for foreigners in order to attract international workers, but it should not cost its citizens more.

    For a long-term solution, the government must move its focus from export to domestic consumption. Again, considering oil seeds as an example, Ethiopia produces a large quantity of oilseeds and pulses that are known for their flavor and nutritional value, as they are mostly grown organically. However, nearly all oilseeds produced in the country are sent abroad to foreign markets. Actually, oilseeds are the second-largest export item in the country next to coffee. Because of the oil seed shortage in the domestic market, food oil producers stopped producing which created shortage of food oil. This is the real cause of the price jump for food oil. Palm oil imported from Middle Eastern countries was made available in an attempt to ease the shortage. Actually, biomedical research indicates that palm oil, which is high in saturated fat and low in polyunsaturated fat, is a major cause of heart disease. This writer is not sure if the consumers are aware of the health issue associated with palm oil. Think about it. Ethiopia exports good quality oil seeds to the Middle East and imports unhealthy palm oil. The right of the people to utilize their agricultural and food products at the domestic level must be respected prior to exporting all the good quality products to foreign countries. The government must protect the country’s food sovereignty.

    The last, but certainly not the least issue, in my diary is the structural transformation of the city. Certainly, the new buildings and roads continue to fascinate most visitors. Indeed, they are fascinating. However, the predicament with the structural transformation of the city is that no adequate attention is paid to the basic infrastructures and public facilities. The city continues to face one of the worst sanitation problems in the entire world. Garbage is everywhere and sewage flows freely in open ditches. With the exception of some privileged areas such as the Bole area, the garbage collection services are nearly non-existent. Even in the privileged areas, it accumulates for weeks if not months. In sum, the sanitation problem is overwhelming.

    Public facilities such as parks and sport fields are on the verge of extinction. Even existing facilities are either already taken or reserved for future construction. I remember there was a sizable field in my neighborhood where we used to play soccer or engage in other athletic activities. However, two 4-story buildings now take that space. The small soccer field adjacent to Addis Ababa Stadium and the one near the municipality in Piazza are gone. Itege Mesk, once popular neighborhood soccer field near Filwiha, is gone too. None of the newly built schools have sport fields—not even small playgrounds. No wonder the city does not have good soccer players anymore. During my three-week stay, I haven’t seen any open space for kids to play. My prediction is that in the near future kids will have to travel to Debere Birhan or farther to find open space to play and have fun.

    In addition, it appears the city administration is contemplating converting Peacock Park into Zoological Park. Peacock Park, popular as a wedding park, is located on the Bole road behind Peacock Café. This is good news. It would be even better if Peacock Park was left alone and the Zoological Park was established somewhere else. On the other hand, the lion park near Sidist Killo is chronically underfunded which puts it on life support. Africa Park is no longer functional. Africa Park, which is stretched along the road from Menelik Palace to the Economic Commission for Africa Building, was established in 1963 to mark the formation of the Organization of African Unity and was functional and accessible to the public since then. Reportedly, the business tycoon Sheik Al Amoudi renovated the park only for it to be closed after its completion.

    Parks are not civic frills but urban necessities. Access to parks increases people’s physical activities. It brings the community together for outdoor activities. Addis Ababa is a park poor city. The city administration ought to consider the development of new parks and green spaces and maintain the existing ones as an integral part of the modernization effort.

    In conclusion, I like to use a phrase somebody used for Washington D.C a while back. Addis Ababa is a living, breathing city that changes all the time. On that regard, the effort to modernize the city is praiseworthy. However, that effort would be more meaningful if accomplished with the awareness that the citizens’ right to continue living in the city should be protected and space should be preserved for environmental and public use. If modernizing the city is not intended to make a better place for its citizens…then it misses the major target.

    (The author can be reached at gbelaineh@yahoo.com)

    Woyanne agriculture minister dismisses president's request

    Wednesday, February 2nd, 2011

    Woyanne minister of agriculture in Ethiopia, Tafera Derbew, has dismissed a request by figurehead President Girma Woldegirogis (see here)  not to sell western Ethiopian land to Indian companies and went to India yesterday to approve a $4.4 billion investment deal. The Indian companies must be made aware in advance that the deal is illegitimate and that the new government that will soon be replacing the Woyanne junta will not have to honor any such deal. The following is a press release by the Government of India.

    PRESS RELEASE (Government of India) — Ethiopia has invited Indian farmers for commercial farming in view of high skill and experience of Indian farmers in commercial crops. Calling on Minister of State for Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution, Prof. K.V.Thomas here today, Ethiopian Minister of Agriculture, Mr. Tafera Derbew said that Indian farmers can avail the opportunity of vast farming land set aside by his country for commercial farming and grow pulses and edible oil crops for export to India.

    The visiting Agriculture Minister of Ethiopia said that his country would like to take advantage of Indian experience not only in the area of mechanized farming but also in food security system. He discussed other issues of bilateral cooperation with Prof. K.V. Thomas.

    Welcoming the offer of Ethiopian government, Prof. K.V. Thomas requested the Ethiopian minister to set up single window system for various clearances to Indian entrepreneurs for taking up commercial farming in Ethiopia. He said that India can provide technical expertise in the area of watershed development and standardization of various food products. The Bureau of Indian Standards and ICAR are already providing training to experts from Ethiopia. Areas for such trainings and cooperation will be explored further, he said.

    India is the largest foreign investor in Ethiopia with approved investment of US $ 4.4 billion, out of which 40 per cent investment is in the field of commercial agriculture. Ethiopia will also hold Indian Africa Forum Summit in May 2011 to strengthen cooperation with India.

    Jordan’s king fires the prime minister

    Tuesday, February 1st, 2011

    By Jamal Halaby | Associated Press

    AMMAN — Jordan’s King Abdullah II fired his government Tuesday in the wake of street protests and asked an ex-prime minister to form a new Cabinet, ordering him to launch immediate political reforms.

    King Abdullah II of Jordan

    The dismissal follows several large protests across Jordan— inspired by similar demonstrations in Tunisia and Egypt — calling for the resignation of Prime Minister Samir Rifai, who is blamed for a rise in fuel and food prices and slowed political reforms.

    A Royal Palace statement said Abdullah accepted Rifai’s resignation tendered earlier Tuesday.

    The king named Marouf al-Bakhit as his prime minister-designate, instructing him to “undertake quick and tangible steps for real political reforms, which reflect our vision for comprehensive modernization and development in Jordan,” the palace statement said.

    Al-Bakhit previously served as Jordan’s premier from 2005-2007.

    The king also stressed that economic reform was a “necessity to provide a better life for our people, but we won’t be able to attain that without real political reforms, which must increase popular participation in the decision-making.”

    He asked al-Bakhit for a “comprehensive assessment … to correct the mistakes of the past.” He did not elaborate. The statement said Abdullah also demanded an “immediate revision” of laws governing politics and public freedoms.

    When he ascended to the throne in 1999, King Abdullah vowed to press ahead with political reforms initiated by his late father, King Hussein. Those reforms paved the way for the first parliamentary election in 1989 after a 22-year gap, the revival of a multiparty system and the suspension of martial law in effect since the 1948 Arab-Israeli war.

    But little has been done since. Although laws were enacted to ensure greater press freedom, journalists are still prosecuted for expressing their opinion or for comments considered slanderous of the king and the royal family.

    Some gains been made in women’s rights, but many say they have not gone far enough. Abdullah has pressed for stiffer penalties for perpetrators of “honor killings,” but courts often hand down lenient sentences.

    Still, Jordan’s human rights record is generally considered a notch above that of Tunisia and Egypt. Although some critics of the king are prosecuted, they frequently are pardoned and some are even rewarded with government posts.

    It was not immediately clear when al-Bakhit will name his Cabinet.

    Al-Bakhit is a moderate politician, who served as Jordan’s ambassador to Israel earlier this decade.

    He holds similar views to Abdullah in keeping close ties with Israel under a peace treaty signed in 1994 and strong relations with the United States, Jordan’s largest aid donor and longtime ally.

    In 2005, Abdullah named al-Bakhit as his prime minister days after a triple bombing on Amman hotels claimed by the al-Qaida in Iraq leader, Jordanian-born Abu Musab al-Zarqawi.

    During his 2005-2007 tenure, al-Bakhit — an ex-army major general and top intelligence adviser — was credited with maintaining security and stability following the attack, which killed 60 people and labeled as the worst in Jordan’s modern history.

    Jordan's king fires the prime minister

    Tuesday, February 1st, 2011

    By Jamal Halaby | Associated Press

    AMMAN — Jordan’s King Abdullah II fired his government Tuesday in the wake of street protests and asked an ex-prime minister to form a new Cabinet, ordering him to launch immediate political reforms.

    King Abdullah II of Jordan

    The dismissal follows several large protests across Jordan— inspired by similar demonstrations in Tunisia and Egypt — calling for the resignation of Prime Minister Samir Rifai, who is blamed for a rise in fuel and food prices and slowed political reforms.

    A Royal Palace statement said Abdullah accepted Rifai’s resignation tendered earlier Tuesday.

    The king named Marouf al-Bakhit as his prime minister-designate, instructing him to “undertake quick and tangible steps for real political reforms, which reflect our vision for comprehensive modernization and development in Jordan,” the palace statement said.

    Al-Bakhit previously served as Jordan’s premier from 2005-2007.

    The king also stressed that economic reform was a “necessity to provide a better life for our people, but we won’t be able to attain that without real political reforms, which must increase popular participation in the decision-making.”

    He asked al-Bakhit for a “comprehensive assessment … to correct the mistakes of the past.” He did not elaborate. The statement said Abdullah also demanded an “immediate revision” of laws governing politics and public freedoms.

    When he ascended to the throne in 1999, King Abdullah vowed to press ahead with political reforms initiated by his late father, King Hussein. Those reforms paved the way for the first parliamentary election in 1989 after a 22-year gap, the revival of a multiparty system and the suspension of martial law in effect since the 1948 Arab-Israeli war.

    But little has been done since. Although laws were enacted to ensure greater press freedom, journalists are still prosecuted for expressing their opinion or for comments considered slanderous of the king and the royal family.

    Some gains been made in women’s rights, but many say they have not gone far enough. Abdullah has pressed for stiffer penalties for perpetrators of “honor killings,” but courts often hand down lenient sentences.

    Still, Jordan’s human rights record is generally considered a notch above that of Tunisia and Egypt. Although some critics of the king are prosecuted, they frequently are pardoned and some are even rewarded with government posts.

    It was not immediately clear when al-Bakhit will name his Cabinet.

    Al-Bakhit is a moderate politician, who served as Jordan’s ambassador to Israel earlier this decade.

    He holds similar views to Abdullah in keeping close ties with Israel under a peace treaty signed in 1994 and strong relations with the United States, Jordan’s largest aid donor and longtime ally.

    In 2005, Abdullah named al-Bakhit as his prime minister days after a triple bombing on Amman hotels claimed by the al-Qaida in Iraq leader, Jordanian-born Abu Musab al-Zarqawi.

    During his 2005-2007 tenure, al-Bakhit — an ex-army major general and top intelligence adviser — was credited with maintaining security and stability following the attack, which killed 60 people and labeled as the worst in Jordan’s modern history.

    DLA Piper’s blood money at work

    Tuesday, February 1st, 2011

    The Washington DC and London-based DLA Piper law and PR firm that is trying to shut down Ethiopian Review is receiving $50,000 per month from Ethiopia’s tyrant Meles Zenawi and partner in crime Al Amoudi. The following is a list of some of the activities DLA Piper has carried out on their behalf Meles since 2007 (Source: ForeignLobbying.org):

    Date Lobbyist Firm Country Method Level Contact Office Issues
    2007-09-25 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Javier de la Luz (Legislative Counsel) Fortuno, Luis H.R. 2003
    2007-09-25 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Ryan Hamilton (Legislative Assistant) Inglis, Bob H.R. 2003
    2007-09-25 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Nicole Schouten (Legislative Assistant) Poe, Ted H.R. 2003
    2007-09-25 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Ari Stein (Jr. Legislative Assistant) McCaul, Michael H.R. 2003
    2007-09-25 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Diana Tasnadi (Sr. Legis. Assistant) Fortenberry, Jeff H.R. 2003
    2007-09-25 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Francis Gibbs (Legislative Dir.) Mack, Connie H.R. 2003
    2007-09-25 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Carla Campbell (Legislative Assistant) Barrett, Gresham H.R. 2003
    2007-09-25 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Beau Walker (Legislative Assistant) Boozman, John H.R. 2003
    2007-09-25 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Paul Callahan (Sr. Legis. Assistant) Wilson, Joe H.R. 2003
    2007-09-25 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Paul Blocher (Legislative Assistant) McCotter, Thad H.R. 2003
    2007-09-25 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff LeAnne Holdman (Legislative Dir.) Pence, Mike H.R. 2003
    2007-09-25 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Chandler Morse (Sr. Legis. Assistant) Flake, Jeff H.R. 2003
    2007-09-25 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Daniel McAdams (Legislative Assistant) Paul, Ron H.R. 2003
    2007-09-25 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Mac Zimmerman (Legis. Director) Tancredo, Tom H.R. 2003
    2007-09-25 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Szu-Nien Su (Prof. Staff MemberHouse Foreign Affairs Committee) H.R. 2003
    2007-09-25 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Keri Sikich (Foreign Policy Legislative Assistant) Chabot, Steve H.R. 2003
    2007-09-25 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Thomas Sheehy (Subcommittee Staff Director, House Foreign Affairs Committee) H.R. 2003
    2007-09-25 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Paul Berkowitz (Legislative Assistant) Chabot, Steve H.R. 2003
    2007-09-25 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Yleem Poblete (Republican Staff Director, House Foreign Affairs Committee) H.R. 2003
    2007-09-25 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Richard Mereu (Prof. Staff Member, House Foreign Affairs Committee) H.R. 2003
    2007-09-25 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Brian Fauls (Prof. Staff Member, House Foreign Affairs Committee) Burton, Dan H.R. 2003
    2007-09-25 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Mark Milosch (Senior Advisor) Smith, Chris H.R. 2003
    2007-09-25 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Sheri Rickert (Prof. Staff Member House Foreign Affairs on Africa and Global Health) H.R. 2003
    2007-09-25 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Mary Noonan (Chief of Staff) Smith, Chris H.R. 2003
    2007-09-24 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Phone Staff Terry Lierman (Chief of Staff) Hoyer, Steny H.R. 2003
    2007-09-24 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Javier de la Luz (Legislative Counsel) Fortuno, Luis H.R. 2003
    2007-09-24 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Ryan Hamilton (Legislative Assistant) Inglis, Bob H.R. 2003
    2007-09-24 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Nicole Schouten (Legislative Assistant) Poe, Ted H.R. 2003
    2007-09-24 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Ari Stein (Jr. Legislative Assistant) McCaul, Michael H.R. 2003
    2007-09-24 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Diana Tasnadi (Sr. Legis. Assistant) Fortenberry, Jeff H.R. 2003
    2007-09-24 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Francis Gibbs (Legislative Dir.) Mack, Connie H.R. 2003
    2007-09-24 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Carla Campbell (Legislative Assistant) Barrett, Gresham H.R. 2003
    2007-09-24 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Beau Walker (Legislative Assistant) Boozman, John H.R. 2003
    2007-09-24 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Paul Callahan (Sr. Legis. Assistant) Wilson, Joe H.R. 2003
    2007-09-24 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Paul Blocher (Legislative Assistant) McCotter, Thad H.R. 2003
    2007-09-24 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Leanne Holdman (Legislative Dir.) Pence, Mike H.R. 2003
    2007-09-24 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Chandler Morse (Sr. Legis. Assistant) Flake, Jeff H.R. 2003
    2007-09-24 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Daniel McAdams (Legislative Assistant) Paul, Ron H.R. 2003
    2007-09-24 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Mac Zimmerman (Legis. Director) Tancredo, Tom H.R. 2003
    2007-09-24 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Szu-Nien Su (Prof. Staff Member, House Foreign Affairs Committee ) H.R. 2003
    2007-09-24 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Keri Sikich (Foreign Policy Legislative Assistant) Chabot, Steve H.R. 2003
    2007-09-24 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Thomas Sheehy (Subcommittee Staff Director, House Foreign Affairs Committee) H.R. 2003
    2007-09-24 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Paul Berkowitz (Legislative Assistant) Rohrabacher, Dana H.R. 2003
    2007-09-24 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Yleem Poblete (Republican Staff Director, House Foreign Affairs Committee) H.R. 2003
    2007-09-24 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Richard Mereu (Prof. Staff Member, House Foreign Affairs Committee) H.R. 2003
    2007-09-24 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Brian Fauls (Prof. Staff Member) Burton, Dan H.R. 2003
    2007-09-24 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Mark Milosch (Senior Advisor) Smith, Chris H.R. 2003
    2007-09-24 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Sheri Rickert (Professional Staff Member, House Foreign Affairs Commitee on Africa and Global Health) H.R. 2003
    2007-09-24 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Mary Noonan (Chief of Staff) Smith, Chris H.R. 2003
    2007-09-18 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Meeting Member Chabot, Steve (Member of Congress) Chabot, Steve U.S. – Ethiopia relations
    2007-09-18 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Meeting Member Chabot, Steve (Member of Congress) Chabot, Steve U.S. – Ethiopia relations
    2007-09-05 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Angela Weaver (Scheduler) Chabot, Steve Preparation for meeting with Amb. Assefa and Rep. Chabot
    2008-02-20 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Rachel Bohlander (Dep. Chief of Staff) Vitter, David UN mission in Eritrea and Ethiopia
    2008-02-20 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Catherine Henson (Legislative Assistant) Isakson, Johnny UN mission in Eritrea and Ethiopia
    2008-02-20 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Chris Socha (Sr. Policy Advisor) DeMint, James UN mission in Eritrea and Ethiopia
    2008-02-20 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Stacie Oliver (Legislative Assistant) Corker, Bob UN mission in Eritrea and Ethiopia
    2008-02-20 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Isaac Edwards (Legislative Dir.) Murkowski, Lisa UN mission in Eritrea and Ethiopia
    2008-02-20 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Martin Bayr (Legislative Aide) Sununu, John UN mission in Eritrea and Ethiopia
    2008-02-20 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Jean Siskovic (Legislative Assistant) Voinovich, George UN mission in Eritrea and Ethiopia
    2008-02-20 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Ana Navarro (Legislative Assistant) Coleman, Norm UN mission in Eritrea and Ethiopia
    2008-02-20 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Rexon Ryu (Sr. Foreign Policy Advisor) Hagel, Chuck UN mission in Eritrea and Ethiopia
    2008-02-20 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Chris Ann Keehner (Deputy Chief Counsel, Senate Foreign Relations Committee) UN mission in Eritrea and Ethiopia
    2008-02-20 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Paul Clayman (Chief Counsel, Senate Foreign Relations Committee) UN mission in Eritrea and Ethiopia
    2008-02-20 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Dan Diller (Deputy Staff Director, Senate Foreign Relations Committee) UN mission in Eritrea and Ethiopia
    2008-05-14 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Robert R King (Staff Director, House Foreign Affairs Committee) Washington Times Op-ed
    2008-05-14 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Peter Yeo (Deputy Staff Director, House Foreign Affairs Committee) Washington Times Op-ed
    2008-05-14 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff David Abramowitz (Chief Counsel, House Foreign Affairs Committee) Washington Times Op-ed
    2008-05-14 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Kristin Wells (Deputy Chief Counsel, House Foreign Affairs Committee) Washington Times Op-ed
    2008-05-14 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Doug Campbell (Senior Professional Staff, House Foreign Affairs Committee) Berman, Howard Washington Times Op-ed
    2008-05-14 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff David S. Adams (Subcommittee Staff Director, House Foreign Affairs Committee) Washington Times Op-ed
    2008-05-14 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Lisa M. Williams (Subcommittee Staff Director, House Foreign Affairs Committee) Washington Times Op-ed
    2008-05-14 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Noelle LuSane (Subcommittee Staff Director, House Foreign Affairs Committee) Washington Times Op-ed
    2008-05-14 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Don MacDonald (Subcommittee Staff Director, House Foreign Affairs Committee) Washington Times Op-ed
    2008-05-14 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Jesper Pedersen (Legislative Assistant) Wexler, Robert Washington Times Op-ed
    2008-05-14 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Jason Steinbaum (Subcommittee Staff Director, House Foreign Affairs Committee) Washington Times Op-ed
    2008-05-14 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Brian Forni (Congressional Aide) Delahunt, Bill Washington Times Op-ed
    2007-11-02 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Melissa Johnson (Defense Fellow) Kyl, Jon War on Terror / H.R. 2003
    2007-11-02 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Tim Morrison (Legislative Assistant) Kyl, Jon War on Terror / H.R. 2003
    2007-11-02 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Rachel Bohlander (Dep. Chief of Staff) Vitter, David War on Terror / H.R. 2003
    2007-11-02 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Catherine Henson (Legislative Assistant) Isakson, Johnny War on Terror / H.R. 2003
    2007-11-02 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Chris Socha (Sr. Policy Advisor) DeMint, James War on Terror / H.R. 2003
    2007-11-02 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Stacie Oliver (Legislative Assistant) Corker, Bob War on Terror / H.R. 2003
    2008-01-10 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Lisa Y. Williams (Ofc. Manager) Murphy, Patrick USAID in Ogaden
    2008-01-10 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff David S. Adams (Subcommittee Staff Director, House Foreign Affairs Committee) USAID in Ogaden
    2008-01-10 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Doug Campbell (Legislative Director) Berman, Howard USAID in Ogaden
    2008-01-10 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Kristin Wells (Deputy Chief Counsel, House Foreign Affairs Committee) USAID in Ogaden
    2008-01-10 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff David Abramowitz (Chief Counsel, House Foreign Affairs Committee) USAID in Ogaden
    2008-01-10 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Peter Yeo (Deputy Staff Director, House Foreign Affairs Committee) USAID in Ogaden
    2008-01-10 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Pearl Alice Marsh (Senior Professional Staff, House Foreign Affairs Committee) USAID in Ogaden
    2008-01-08 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Derrick Landwehr-Brown (Legislative Correspondent) Voinovich, George USAID in Ogaden
    2008-01-08 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Sarah Klotz (Staff Assistant) Inhofe, James USAID in Ogaden
    2008-01-08 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Maggie Fleming (Legis. Corresp.) Brownback, Sam USAID in Ogaden
    2008-01-08 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Ariel Wolf (Legislative Assistant) Brownback, Sam USAID in Ogaden
    2008-01-08 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Rachel Bohlander (Dep. Chief of Staff) Vitter, David USAID in Ogaden
    2008-01-08 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Catherine Henson (Legislative Assistant) Isakson, Johnny USAID in Ogaden
    2008-01-08 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Chris Socha (Sr. Policy Advisor) DeMint, James USAID in Ogaden
    2007-11-02 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Ana Navarro (Legislative Assistant) Coleman, Norm War on Terror / H.R. 2003
    2007-11-02 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Rexon Ryu (Sr. Foreign Policy Advisor) Hagel, Chuck War on Terror / H.R. 2003
    2007-11-02 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Chris Ann Keehner (Deputy Chief Counsel, Senate Foreign Relations Committee) War on Terror / H.R. 2003
    2007-11-02 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Paul Clayman (Chief Counsel, Senate Foreign Relations Committee) War on Terror / H.R. 2003
    2007-11-02 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Dan Diller (Deputy Staff Director, Senate Foreign Relations Committee) War on Terror / H.R. 2003
    2007-11-02 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Kenneth Myers III (Professional Staff Member, Senate Foreign Relations Committee) War on Terror / H.R. 2003
    2007-11-02 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Michael Phelan (Professional Staff Member, Senate Foreign Relations Committee) War on Terror / H.R. 2003
    2007-10-29 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Phone Staff Jill Larrabee (Scheduler) Kyl, Jon Meeting request on behalf of Amb. Assefa
    2007-10-29 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Phone Staff Tim Morrison (Legislative Assistant) Kyl, Jon Meeting request on behalf of Amb. Assefa
    2007-10-26 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Meeting Staff A. Smith (Professional Staff Member) Biden, Joe H.R. 2003 and U.S.-Ethiopia Relations
    2008-01-10 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Jessica Lawrence (Legislative Aide) Sires, Albio USAID in Ogaden
    2008-01-10 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Bret Rumbeck (Legislative Assistant) Costa, Jim USAID in Ogaden
    2008-01-10 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Gary Woodward (Legislative Director) Scott, David USAID in Ogaden
    2008-01-10 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Jose Delgado (Legislative Assistant) Sanchez, Linda USAID in Ogaden
    2008-01-10 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Ashley Orr (Legislative Assistant) Miller, Brad USAID in Ogaden
    2008-01-10 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Scott Olson (Legislative Assistant) Wu, David USAID in Ogaden
    2008-01-10 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Andrew Jones (Legislative Counsel) Hinojosa, Ruben USAID in Ogaden
    2008-01-10 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Nina Besser (Legislative Assistant) Jackson Lee, Sheila USAID in Ogaden
    2008-01-10 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Yohannes Tsehai (Deputy Chief Of Staff/Sr. Legislative Counsel) Jackson Lee, Sheila USAID in Ogaden
    2008-01-10 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Jennifer Goedke (Legislative Director) Woolsey, Lynn USAID in Ogaden
    2008-01-10 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Carling Dinkler (Legislative Director) Tanner, John USAID in Ogaden
    2008-01-10 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Jeremy Haldeman (Legislative Director) Carnahan, Russ USAID in Ogaden
    2008-01-10 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Valerie Van Buren (Sr. Legislative Assistant) Watson, Diane USAID in Ogaden
    2008-01-10 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Sharvin Hodjati (Legislative Assistant) Crowley, Joseph USAID in Ogaden
    2008-01-10 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Sophia King (Legislative Director) Meeks, Gregory USAID in Ogaden
    2008-01-10 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Brian Forni (Legislative Assistant) Delahunt, Bill USAID in Ogaden
    2008-01-10 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Jason Steinbaum (Prof. Staff Member, House Foreign Affairs Committee) USAID in Ogaden
    2008-01-10 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Jesper Pedersen (Foreign Policy Advisor to Rep. Wexler) Wexler, Robert USAID in Ogaden
    2008-01-10 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Don MacDonald (Subcommittee Staff Director, House Foreign Affairs Committee) USAID in Ogaden
    2008-01-10 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Noelle LuSane (Subcommittee Staff Director, House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Africa and Global Health) USAID in Ogaden
    2008-05-14 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Sophia King (Chief of Staff) Meeks, Gregory Washington Times Op-ed
    2008-05-14 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Sharvin Hodjati (Legislative Aide) Crowley, Joseph Washington Times Op-ed
    2008-05-14 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Valerie Van Buren (Legislative Assistant) Watson, Diane Washington Times Op-ed
    2008-05-14 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Jeremy Haldeman (Legislative Counsel) Carnahan, Russ Washington Times Op-ed
    2008-05-14 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Carling Dinkler (Legislative Assistant) Tanner, John Washington Times Op-ed
    2008-05-14 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Jennifer Goedke (Legislative Director) Woolsey, Lynn Washington Times Op-ed
    2008-05-14 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Yohannes Tsehai (Deputy Chief of Staff/Legislative Counsel) Jackson Lee, Sheila Washington Times Op-ed
    2008-05-14 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Nina Besser (Legislative Assistant) Jackson Lee, Sheila Washington Times Op-ed
    2008-05-14 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Andrew Jones (Legislative Counsel) Hinojosa, Ruben Washington Times Op-ed
    2008-05-14 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Scott Olson (Legislative Assistant) Wu, David Washington Times Op-ed
    2007-11-02 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Isaac Edwards (Legislative Dir.) Murkowski, Lisa War on Terror / H.R. 2003
    2007-11-02 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Martin Bayr (Legislative Aide) Sununu, John War on Terror / H.R. 2003
    2007-11-02 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Jean Siskovic (Legislative Assistant) Voinovich, George War on Terror / H.R. 2003
    2007-11-30 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Brad Sellers (Legislative Assistant) Corker, Bob Ogaden Humanitarian Developments
    2007-11-30 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Isaac Edwards (Legislative Dir.) Murkowski, Lisa Ogaden Humanitarian Developments
    2007-11-30 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Martin Bayr (Legislative Aide) Sununu, John Ogaden Humanitarian Developments
    2007-11-30 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Jean Siskovic (Legislative Assistant) Voinovich, George Ogaden Humanitarian Developments
    2007-11-30 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Ana Navarro (Legislative Assistant) Coleman, Norm Ogaden Humanitarian Developments
    2007-11-30 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Rexon Ryu (Sr. Foreign Policy Advisor) Hagel, Chuck Ogaden Humanitarian Developments
    2007-11-30 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Chris Ann Keehner (Deputy Chief Counsel, Senate Foreign Relations Committee) Ogaden Humanitarian Developments
    2007-11-30 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Paul Clayman (Chief Counsel, Senate Foreign Relations Committee) Ogaden Humanitarian Developments
    2007-11-30 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Dan Diller (Deputy Staff Director, Senate Foreign Relations Committee) Ogaden Humanitarian Developments
    2007-11-30 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Kenneth Myers III (Professional Staff Member, Senate Foreign Relations Committee) Ogaden Humanitarian Developments
    2007-11-30 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Michael Phelan (Professional Staff Member, Senate Foreign Relations Committee) Ogaden Humanitarian Developments
    2007-11-27 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Phone Staff Ariel Wolf (Legislative Assistant) Brownback, Sam Senator Brownback Op-Ed
    2007-11-26 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Phone Staff Tim Glazewski (Chief of Staff) Kyl, Jon Meeting request on behalf of Amb. Assefa
    2007-11-19 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Phone Staff Tim Morrison (Chief of Staff) Kyl, Jon Meeting request on behalf of Amb. Assefa
    2007-11-19 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Phone Staff Jill Larrabee (Scheduler) Kyl, Jon Meeting request on behalf of Amb. Assefa
    2007-11-15 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Phone Staff Tim Morrison (Chief of Staff) Kyl, Jon Meeting request on behalf of Amb. Assefa
    2007-11-15 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Phone Staff Jill Larrabee (Scheduler) Kyl, Jon Meeting request on behalf of Amb. Assefa
    2007-11-08 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Meeting Staff Savannah Lengsfelder (Legislative Assistant) Feingold, Russ U.S. – Ethiopia relations
    2007-11-08 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Meeting Staff Sarah Margon (Legislative Assistant) Feingold, Russ U.S. – Ethiopia relations
    2007-11-08 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Ariel Wolf (Legislative Assistant) Brownback, Sam Op-Ed
    2007-11-02 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Derrick Landwehr-Brown (Legislative Correspondent) Voinovich, George War on Terror / H.R. 2003
    2007-11-02 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Sarah Klotz (Staff Assistant) Inhofe, James War on Terror / H.R. 2003
    2007-11-02 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Maggie Fleming (Legis. Corresp.) Brownback, Sam War on Terror / H.R. 2003
    2007-11-02 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Ariel Wolf (Legislative Assistant) Brownback, Sam War on Terror / H.R. 2003
    2007-09-05 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Gary Lindgren (Chief of Staff) Chabot, Steve Meeting request on behalf of Amb. Assefa
    2007-09-04 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Angela Weaver (Scheduler) Chabot, Steve Meeting request on behalf of Amb. Assefa
    2007-09-04 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Gary Lindgren (Chief of Staff) Chabot, Steve Meeting request on behalf of Amb. Assefa
    2007-12-19 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Tim Glazewski (Chief of Staff) Kyl, Jon Send information on Amb. Assefa in preparation for meeting
    2007-12-19 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Tim Morrison (Legislative Assistant) Kyl, Jon Meeting request on behalf of Amb. Assefa
    2007-12-18 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Phone Staff Jill Larrabee (Scheduler) Kyl, Jon Meeting request on behalf of Amb. Assefa
    2007-12-18 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Phone Staff Tim Morrison (Legislative Assistant) Kyl, Jon Meeting request on behalf of Amb. Assefa
    2007-12-14 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Phone Staff Jill Larrabee (Scheduler) Kyl, Jon Meeting request on behalf of Amb. Assefa
    2008-02-20 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Sarah Kiko (Republican Clerk, House Foreign Affairs Committee) UN mission in Eritrea and Ethiopia
    2008-02-20 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Javier de la Luz (Legislative Counsel) Fortuno, Luis UN mission in Eritrea and Ethiopia
    2008-02-20 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Ryan Hamilton (Legislative Assistant) Inglis, Bob UN mission in Eritrea and Ethiopia
    2008-02-20 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Nicole Schouten (Legislative Assistant) Poe, Ted UN mission in Eritrea and Ethiopia
    2008-02-20 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Ari Stein (Jr. Legislative Assistant) McCaul, Michael UN mission in Eritrea and Ethiopia
    2008-02-20 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Diana Tasnadi (Sr. Legis. Assistant) Fortenberry, Jeff UN mission in Eritrea and Ethiopia
    2008-04-24 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Antony Blinken (Staff Director, Senate Foreign Relations Committee) Somalia
    2008-04-24 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Brian McKeon (Dep. Staff Director, Chief Counsel, Senate Foreign Relations Committee) Somalia
    2008-04-24 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Josh Blumenfeld (Legislative Assistant) Dodd, Chris Somalia
    2008-04-24 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Frank Lowenstein (Legislative Assistant) Kerry, John Somalia
    2008-02-22 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Alice Holmes-McKoy (Scheduler) Watson, Diane Invitation to Black History Month event at Ethiopian Embassy
    2008-02-22 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Kathren Coleman (Scheduler) Smith, Adam Invitation to Black History Month event at Ethiopian Embassy
    2008-02-22 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Anna Rose (Scheduler) Miller, Brad Invitation to Black History Month event at Ethiopian Embassy
    2008-02-25 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Katy Quinn (Legislative Assistant) Smith, Adam Invitation to Black History Month event at Ethiopian Embassy
    2008-02-21 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Sarah Kiko (Republican Clerk, House Foreign Affairs Committee) Invitation to Black History Month event at Ethiopian Embassy
    2008-02-21 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Javier de la Luz (Legislative Counsel) Fortuno, Luis Invitation to Black History Month event at Ethiopian Embassy
    2008-02-21 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Ryan Hamilton (Legislative Assistant) Inglis, Bob Invitation to Black History Month event at Ethiopian Embassy
    2008-02-21 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Ari Stein (Jr. Legislative Assistant) McCaul, Michael Invitation to Black History Month event at Ethiopian Embassy
    2008-02-21 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Nicole Schouten (Legislative Assistant) Poe, Ted Invitation to Black History Month event at Ethiopian Embassy
    2007-09-27 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Brian Fauls (Prof. Staff Member) Burton, Dan Update on House Foreign Affairs Committee action
    2007-09-27 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Mark Milosch (Senior Advisor) Smith, Chris Update on House Foreign Affairs Committee action
    2007-09-27 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Sheri Rickert (Prof. Staff Member, House Foreign Affairs Subcommitee on African and Global Health) Update on House Foreign Affairs Committee action
    2007-09-27 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Mary Noonan (Chief of Staff) Smith, Chris Update on House Foreign Affairs Committee action
    2007-09-27 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Derrick Landwehr-Brown (Legislative Correspondent) Voinovich, George Update on House Foreign Affairs Committee action
    2007-09-27 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Sarah Klotz (Staff Assistant) Inhofe, James Update on House Foreign Affairs Committee action
    2007-09-27 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Maggie Fleming (Legis. Corresp.) Brownback, Sam Update on House Foreign Affairs Committee action
    2007-09-27 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Ariel Wolf (Legislative Assistant) Brownback, Sam Update on House Foreign Affairs Committee action
    2007-09-27 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Melissa Johnson (Defense Fellow) Kyl, Jon Update on House Foreign Affairs Committee action
    2007-09-27 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Tim Morrison (Legislative Assistant) Kyl, Jon Update on House Foreign Affairs Committee action
    2007-09-27 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Rachel Bohlander (Dep. Chief of Staff) Vitter, David Update on House Foreign Affairs Committee action
    2007-09-27 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Catherine Henson (Legislative Assistant) Isakson, Johnny Update on House Foreign Affairs Committee action
    2007-09-27 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Chris Socha (Sr. Policy Advisor) DeMint, James Update on House Foreign Affairs Committee action
    2007-09-27 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Stacie Oliver (Legislative Assistant) Corker, Bob Update on House Foreign Affairs Committee action
    2007-09-27 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Isaac Edwards (Legislative Dir.) Murkowski, Lisa Update on House Foreign Affairs Committee action
    2007-09-27 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Martin Bayr (Legislative Aide) Sununu, John Update on House Foreign Affairs Committee action
    2007-09-27 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Jean Siskovic (Legislative Assistant) Voinovich, George Update on House Foreign Affairs Committee action
    2007-09-27 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Ana Navarro (Legislative Assistant) Coleman, Norm Update on House Foreign Affairs Committee action
    2007-09-27 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Rexon Ryu (Sr. Foreign Policy Advisor) Hagel, Chuck Update on House Foreign Affairs Committee action
    2007-09-27 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Chris Ann Keehner (Deputy Chief Counsel, Senate Foreign Relations Committee) Update on House Foreign Affairs Committee action
    2007-09-27 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Paul Clayman (Chief Counsel, Senate Foreign Relations Committee) Update on House Foreign Affairs Committee action
    2007-09-27 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Dan Diller (Deputy Staff Director, Senate Foreign Relations Committee) Update on House Foreign Affairs Committee action
    2007-09-27 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Kenneth Myers III (Professional Staff Member, Senate Foreign Relations Committee) Update on House Foreign Affairs Committee action
    2007-09-27 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Michael Phelan (Professional Staff Member, Senate Foreign Relations Committee) Update on House Foreign Affairs Committee action
    2007-09-25 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Katy Quinn (Legislative Assistant) Smith, Adam H.R. 2003
    2007-09-25 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Mira Kogen (Legislative Assistant) Klein, Ron H.R. 2003
    2007-09-25 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Caryn Schenewerk (Ways and Means Counsel) Doggett, Lloyd H.R. 2003
    2007-09-25 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Jessica Lawrence (Legislative Aide) Sires, Albio H.R. 2003
    2007-09-25 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Bret Rumbeck (Legislative Assistant) Costa, Jim H.R. 2003
    2007-09-25 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Gary Woodward (Legislative Director) Scott, David H.R. 2003
    2007-09-25 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Jose Delgado (Legislative Assistant) Sanchez, Linda H.R. 2003
    2007-09-25 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Ashley Orr (Legislative Assistant) Miller, Brad H.R. 2003
    2007-09-25 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Scott Olson (Legislative Assistant) Wu, David H.R. 2003
    2007-09-25 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Andrew Jones (Legislative Counsel) Hinojosa, Ruben H.R. 2003
    2007-09-25 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Nina Besser (Legislative Assistant) Jackson Lee, Sheila H.R. 2003
    2007-09-25 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Yohannes Tsehai (Deputy Chief Of Staff/Sr. Legislative Counsel) Jackson Lee, Sheila H.R. 2003
    2007-09-25 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Jennifer Goedke (Legislative Director) Woolsey, Lynn H.R. 2003
    2007-09-25 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Carling Dinkler (Legislative Director) Tanner, John H.R. 2003
    2007-09-25 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Jeremy Haldeman (Legislative Director) Carnahan, Russ H.R. 2003
    2007-09-25 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Valerie Van Buren (Sr. Legislative Assistant) Watson, Diane H.R. 2003
    2007-09-25 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Sharvin Hodjati (Legislative Assistant) Crowley, Joseph H.R. 2003
    2007-09-25 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Sophia King (Legislative Director) Meeks, Gregory H.R. 2003
    2007-09-25 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Brian Forni (Legislative Assistant) Delahunt, Bill H.R. 2003
    2007-09-25 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Jason Steinbaum (Prof. Staff Member, , House Foreign relations Committee) H.R. 2003
    2007-09-25 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Jesper Pedersen (Foreign Policy Advisor) Wexler, Robert H.R. 2003
    2007-09-25 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Don MacDonald (Subcommittee Staff Director, House Foreign Affairs Subcommitee on Africa and Global Health) H.R. 2003
    2007-09-25 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Noelle LuSane (Subcommittee Staff Director, House Foreign Affairs Subcommitee on Africa and Global Health) H.R. 2003
    2007-09-25 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Lisa Y. Williams (Ofc. Manager ) Murphy, Patrick H.R. 2003
    2007-09-25 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff David S. Adams (Subcommittee Staff Director, House Foreign relations Committee) H.R. 2003
    2007-09-25 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Doug Campbell (Legislative Director, House Foreign relations Committee) Berman, Howard H.R. 2003
    2007-09-25 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Kristin Wells (Deputy Chief Counsel, House Foreign relations Committee) H.R. 2003
    2007-09-25 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff David Abramowitz (Chief Counsel, House Foreign relations Committee, House Foreign relations Committee) H.R. 2003
    2007-09-25 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Peter Yeo (Deputy Staff Director, House Foreign relations Committee) H.R. 2003
    2007-09-25 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Robert R King (Staff Director, House Foreign relations Committee) H.R. 2003
    2007-09-25 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Pearl Alice Marsh (Senior Professional Staff, House Foreign relations Committee) H.R. 2003
    2007-10-25 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Meeting Staff Tim Rieser (Clerk, State, Foreign Operations and Related Programs Subcommittee on Appropriations) H.R. 2003 and U.S.-Ethiopia Relations
    2007-10-25 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Meeting Member Cardin, Benjamin L. (Senator) Cardin, Benjamin H.R. 2003 and U.S.-Ethiopia Relations
    2007-10-25 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Meeting Member Inhofe, James M. (Senator) Inhofe, James H.R. 2003 and U.S.-Ethiopia Relations
    2007-10-24 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Phone Staff Tim Rieser (Clerk, State, Foreign Operations and Related Programs Subcommittee on Appropriations) Meeting request
    2007-10-23 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Meeting Staff Debbie Yamada (Administrative Director) Cardin, Benjamin Meeting request
    2007-10-23 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Meeting Staff Martin Bayr (Legislative Aide) Sununu, John H.R. 2003
    2007-10-23 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Phone Staff Ariel Wolf (Legislative Assistant) Brownback, Sam Op-ed
    2007-10-16 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Meeting Staff Janice O’Connell (Foreign Policy Advisor) Dodd, Chris U.S. – Ethiopia relations; H.R. 2003
    2007-10-16 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Meeting Staff Janice O’Connell (Foreign Policy Advisor) Dodd, Chris U.S. – Ethiopia relations; H.R. 2003
    2007-10-16 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Phone Staff Ariel Wolf (Legislative Assistant) Brownback, Sam H.R. 2003
    2007-10-11 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Meeting Staff Martin Bayr (Legislative Aide) Sununu, John U.S. – Ethiopia relations
    2007-10-11 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Meeting Staff Savannah Lengsfelder (Legislative Assistant) Feingold, Russ U.S. – Ethiopia relations
    2007-10-11 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Meeting Staff Sarah Margon (Legislative Assistant) Feingold, Russ U.S. – Ethiopia relations
    2007-10-11 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Meeting Staff Ana Navarro (Legislative Assistant) Coleman, Norm U.S. – Ethiopia relations
    2007-10-10 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Phone Staff Mark Clack (Senior Legislative Assistant) Cardin, Benjamin U.S. – Ethiopia relations
    2007-10-05 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Phone Staff Peter Mitchell (Chief of Staff) Nelson, Bill Meeting with Amb. Assefa
    2007-10-05 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Phone Staff Pat Walsh (Personal Assistant) Dodd, Chris Meeting with Amb. Assefa
    2007-10-05 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Phone Staff Debbie Yamada (Administrative Director) Cardin, Benjamin Meeting with Amb. Assefa
    2007-10-05 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Senate staff Meeting with Amb. Assefa
    2007-10-04 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Phone Member Ros-Lehtinen, Ileana (Member of Congress) Ros-Lehtinen, Ileana U.S. – Ethiopia relations; H.R. 2003
    2007-10-02 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Phone Staff Antony Blinken (Staff Director) H.R. 2003
    2007-10-01 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Phone Staff Antony Blinken (Staff Director) U.S. – Ethiopia relations; H.R. 2003
    2007-10-01 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Javier de la Luz (Legislative Counsel) Fortuno, Luis H.R. 2003
    2007-10-01 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Ryan Hamilton (Legislative Assistant) Inglis, Bob H.R. 2003
    2007-10-01 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Nicole Schouten (Legislative Assistant) Poe, Ted H.R. 2003
    2007-10-01 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Ari Stein (Jr. Legislative Assistant) McCaul, Michael H.R. 2003
    2007-10-01 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Diana Tasnadi (Sr. Legis. Assistant) Fortenberry, Jeff H.R. 2003
    2007-10-01 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Francis Gibbs (Legislative Dir.) Mack, Connie H.R. 2003
    2007-10-01 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Carla Campbell (Legislative Assistant) Barrett, Gresham H.R. 2003
    2007-10-01 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Beau Walker (Legislative Assistant) Boozman, John H.R. 2003
    2007-10-01 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Paul Callahan (Sr. Legis. Assistant) Wilson, Joe H.R. 2003
    2007-10-01 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Paul Blocher (Legislative Assistant) McCotter, Thad H.R. 2003
    2007-10-01 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff LeAnne Holdman (Legislative Dir.) Pence, Mike H.R. 2003
    2007-10-01 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Chandler Morse (Sr. Legis. Assistant) Flake, Jeff H.R. 2003
    2007-10-01 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Daniel McAdams (Legislative Assistant) Paul, Ron H.R. 2003
    2007-10-01 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Mac Zimmerman (Legis. Director) Tancredo, Tom H.R. 2003
    2007-10-01 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Szu-Nien Su (Prof. Staff Member) H.R. 2003
    2007-10-01 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Keri Sikich (Foreign Policy Legislative Assistant) Chabot, Steve H.R. 2003
    2007-10-01 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Thomas Sheehy (Subcommittee Staff Director) H.R. 2003
    2007-10-01 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Paul Berkowitz (Legislative Assistant) Rohrabacher, Dana H.R. 2003
    2007-10-01 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Yleem Poblete (Republican Staff Director) H.R. 2003
    2007-10-01 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Richard Mereu (Prof. Staff Member) H.R. 2003
    2007-10-01 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Brian Fauls (Prof. Staff Member) Burton, Dan H.R. 2003
    2007-10-01 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Mark Milosch (Senior Advisor) Smith, Chris H.R. 2003
    2007-10-01 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Sheri Rickert (Prof. Staff Member) H.R. 2003
    2007-10-01 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Phone Staff David Silverman (Legislative Assistant) Cantor, Eric H.R. 2003
    2007-10-01 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Phone Staff Savannah Lengsfelder (Legislative Assistant) Feingold, Russ H.R. 2003
    2007-10-01 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Phone Staff Sarah Margon (Legislative Assistant) Feingold, Russ H.R. 2003
    2007-09-27 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Phone Staff Terry Lierman (Chief of Staff) Hoyer, Steny Update on House Foreign Affairs Committee action
    2007-09-27 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Javier de la Luz (Legislative Counsel) Fortuno, Luis Update on House Foreign Affairs Committee action
    2007-09-27 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Ryan Hamilton (Legislative Assistant) Inglis, Bob Update on House Foreign Affairs Committee action
    2007-09-27 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Nicole Schouten (Legislative Assistant) Poe, Ted Update on House Foreign Affairs Committee action
    2007-09-27 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Ari Stein (Jr. Legislative Assistant) McCaul, Michael Update on House Foreign Affairs Committee action
    2007-09-27 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Diana Tasnadi (Sr. Legis. Assistant) Fortenberry, Jeff Update on House Foreign Affairs Committee action
    2007-09-27 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Francis Gibbs (Legislative Dir.) Mack, Connie Update on House Foreign Affairs Committee action
    2007-09-27 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Carla Campbell (Legislative Assistant) Barrett, Gresham Update on House Foreign Affairs Committee action
    2007-09-27 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Beau Walker (Legislative Assistant) Boozman, John Update on House Foreign Affairs Committee action
    2007-09-27 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Paul Callahan (Sr. Legis. Assistant) Wilson, Joe Update on House Foreign Affairs Committee action
    2007-09-27 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Paul Blocher (Legislative Assistant) McCotter, Thad Update on House Foreign Affairs Committee action
    2007-09-27 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff LeAnne Holdman (Legislative Dir.) Pence, Mike Update on House Foreign Affairs Committee action
    2007-09-27 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Chandler Morse (Sr. Legis. Assistant) Flake, Jeff Update on House Foreign Affairs Committee action
    2007-09-27 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Daniel McAdams (Legislative Assistant) Paul, Ron Update on House Foreign Affairs Committee action
    2007-09-27 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Mac Zimmerman (Legis. Director) Tancredo, Tom Update on House Foreign Affairs Committee action
    2007-09-27 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Szu-Nien Su (Prof. Staff Member, House Foreign Affairs Committee) Update on House Foreign Affairs Committee action
    2007-09-27 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Keri Sikich (Foreign Policy Legislative Assistant) Chabot, Steve Update on House Foreign Affairs Committee action
    2007-09-27 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Richard Mereu (Prof. Staff Member, House Foreign Affairs Committee) Update on House Foreign Affairs Committee action
    2007-09-27 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Yleem Poblete (Republican Staff Director, House Foreign Affairs Committee) Update on House Foreign Affairs Committee action
    2007-09-27 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Paul Berkowitz (Legislative Assistant) Rohrabacher, Dana Update on House Foreign Affairs Committee action
    2007-09-27 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Thomas Sheehy (Subcommittee Staff Director, House Foreign Affairs Committee) Update on House Foreign Affairs Committee action
    2007-12-14 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Phone Staff Tim Morrison (Legislative Assistant) Kyl, Jon Meeting request on behalf of Amb. Assefa
    2007-12-13 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Meeting Staff Sarah Margon (Legislative Assistant) Feingold, Russ Subcommittee action
    2007-12-13 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Meeting Staff Savannah Lengsfelder (Legislative Assistant) Feingold, Russ Subcommittee action
    2007-12-13 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Phone Staff Martin Bayr (Legislative Aide) Sununu, John Sununu floor statement re: U.S.-Ethiopian relations
    2007-12-12 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Phone Staff Sarah Margon (Legislative Assistant) Feingold, Russ Subcommittee action
    2007-12-12 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Phone Staff Savannah Lengsfelder (Legislative Assistant) Feingold, Russ Subcommittee action
    2007-12-10 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Phone Staff Jill Larrabee (Scheduler) Kyl, Jon Meeting request on behalf of Amb. Assefa
    2007-12-10 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Phone Staff Tim Morrison (Legislative Assistant) Kyl, Jon Meeting request on behalf of Amb. Assefa
    2007-12-07 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Savannah Lengsfelder (Legislative Assistant) Feingold, Russ Hearing schedule
    2007-12-07 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Sarah Margon (Legislative Assistant) Feingold, Russ Hearing schedule
    2007-12-06 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Savannah Lengsfelder (Legislative Assistant) Feingold, Russ Hearing schedule
    2007-12-06 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Sarah Margon (Legislative Assistant) Feingold, Russ Hearing schedule
    2007-12-06 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Phone Staff Ariel Wolf (Legislative Assistant) Brownback, Sam Appropriations
    2007-12-04 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Phone Staff Tim Morrison (Legislative Assistant) Kyl, Jon Meeting request on behalf of Amb. Assefa
    2007-12-04 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Phone Staff Jill Larrabee (Scheduler) Kyl, Jon Meeting request on behalf of Amb. Assefa
    2007-11-30 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Rachel Bohlander (Dep. Chief of Staff) Vitter, David Ogaden Humanitarian Developments
    2007-11-30 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Catherine Henson (Legislative Assistant) Isakson, Johnny Ogaden Humanitarian Developments
    2007-11-30 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Chris Socha (Sr. Policy Advisor) DeMint, James Ogaden Humanitarian Developments
    2008-01-08 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Brad Sellers (Legislative Assistant) Corker, Bob USAID in Ogaden
    2008-01-08 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Isaac Edwards (Legislative Dir.) Murkowski, Lisa USAID in Ogaden
    2008-01-08 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Martin Bayr (Legislative Aide) Sununu, John USAID in Ogaden
    2008-01-08 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Jean Siskovic (Legislative Assistant) Voinovich, George USAID in Ogaden
    2008-01-08 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Ana Navarro (Legislative Assistant) Coleman, Norm USAID in Ogaden
    2008-01-08 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Rexon Ryu (Sr. Foreign Policy Advisor) Hagel, Chuck USAID in Ogaden
    2008-01-08 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Manisha Singh (Republican Deputy Chief Counsel, Senate Foreign Relations Committee) USAID in Ogaden
    2008-01-08 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Chris Ann Keehner (Deputy Chief Counsel, Senate Foreign Relations Committee) USAID in Ogaden
    2008-01-08 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Paul Clayman (Chief Counsel, Senate Foreign Relations Committee) USAID in Ogaden
    2008-01-08 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Kristen Armitage (Republican Administrative Director, Senate Foreign Relations Committee) USAID in Ogaden
    2008-01-08 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Dan Diller (Deputy Staff Director, Senate Foreign Relations Committee) USAID in Ogaden
    2008-01-08 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Kenneth Myers III (Professional Staff Member, Senate Foreign Relations Committee) USAID in Ogaden
    2008-01-08 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Michael Phelan (Professional Staff Member, Senate Foreign Relations Committee) USAID in Ogaden
    2008-01-07 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Ana Navarro (Legislative Assistant) Coleman, Norm Legislation on region
    2008-01-07 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Sarah Margon (Legislative Assistant) Feingold, Russ Legislation on region
    2008-01-07 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Savannah Lengsfelder (Legislative Assistant) Feingold, Russ Legislation on region
    2008-01-07 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Martin Bayr (Legislative Aide) Sununu, John Legislation on region
    2007-12-21 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Phone Staff Tim Morrison (Military Legislative Assistant) Kyl, Jon U.S. – Ethiopia relations
    2007-12-20 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Phone Staff Tim Morrison (Military Legislative Assistant) Kyl, Jon U.S. – Ethiopia relations
    2007-12-20 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Meeting Staff Tim Morrison (Military Legislative Assistant) Kyl, Jon U.S. – Ethiopia relations
    2008-04-24 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Thomas Sheehy (Subcommittee Staff Director, House Foreign Affairs Committee) Somalia
    2008-04-24 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Keri Sikich (Foreign Policy Legislative Assistant) Chabot, Steve Somalia
    2008-04-24 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Szu-Nien Su (Prof. Staff Member, House Foreign Affairs Committee) Somalia
    2008-04-24 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Mac Zimmerman (Legislative Director) Tancredo, Tom Somalia
    2008-04-24 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Daniel McAdams (Legislative Assistant) Paul, Ron Somalia
    2008-04-24 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Chandler Morse (Sr. Legislative Assistant) Flake, Jeff Somalia
    2008-04-24 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Jamie Miller (Legislative Assistant) Wittman, Rob Somalia
    2008-04-24 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Leanne Gibbs (Legislative Director) Pence, Mike Somalia
    2008-04-24 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Paul Blocher (Legislative Assistant) McCotter, Thad Somalia
    2008-04-24 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Paul Callahan (Sr. Legislative Assistant) Wilson, Joe Somalia
    2008-04-24 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Beau Walker (Legislative Assistant) Boozman, John Somalia
    2008-04-24 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Carla Campbell (Legislative Assistant) Barrett, Gresham Somalia
    2008-04-24 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Francis Gibbs (Legislative Director) Mack, Connie Somalia
    2008-04-24 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Diana Tasnadi (Sr. Legislative Assistant) Fortenberry, Jeff Somalia
    2008-04-24 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Ari Stein (Jr. Legislative Assistant) McCaul, Michael Somalia
    2008-04-24 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Nicole Hunt (Legislative Assistant) Poe, Ted Somalia
    2008-04-24 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Ryan Hamilton (Legislative Assistant) Inglis, Bob Somalia
    2008-04-24 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Javier de la Luz (Legislative Counsel) Fortuno, Luis Somalia
    2008-04-24 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Shannon Smith (Professional Staff Member, Senate Foreign Relations Committee) Somalia
    2008-04-24 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Phone Staff Kyle Ruckert (Chief of Staff) Vitter, David Meeting request
    2008-04-30 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Rachel Bohlander (Legislative Counsel) Vitter, David Somalia
    2008-05-06 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Meeting Staff Rachel Bohlander (Legislative Counsel) Vitter, David S. Res. 521
    2008-05-07 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Meeting Staff Catherine Henson (Legislative Assistant) Isakson, Johnny Somalia
    2008-05-09 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Phone Staff Antony Blinken (Staff Director, Senate Foreign Relations Committee) General legislative issues
    2008-05-12 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Michael Phelan (Professional Staff Member, Senate Foreign Relations Committee) Washington Times Op-ed
    2008-05-12 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Kenneth Myers III (Professional Staff Member, Senate Foreign Relations Committee) Washington Times Op-ed
    2008-05-12 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Dan Diller (Deputy Staff Director, Senate Foreign Relations Committee) Washington Times Op-ed
    2008-05-12 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Rexon Ryu (Sr. Foreign Policy Advisor) Hagel, Chuck Washington Times Op-ed
    2008-05-12 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Ana Navarro (Legislative Assistant) Coleman, Norm Washington Times Op-ed
    2008-05-12 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Jean Siskovic (Legislative Assistant) Voinovich, George Washington Times Op-ed
    2008-04-24 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Savannah Lengsfelder (Junior Legislative Assistant) Feingold, Russ Somalia
    2008-04-24 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Ann Norris (Senior Legislative Assistant) Boxer, Barbara Somalia
    2008-04-24 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Robert Gatehouse (Legislative Counsel) Nelson, Bill Somalia
    2008-04-24 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Mark Lippert (Foreign Policy Adviser) Obama, Barack Somalia
    2008-04-24 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Keith Huffman (Legislative Correspondent) Menendez, Robert Somalia
    2008-04-24 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Mark Clack (Senior Legislative Assistant) Cardin, Benjamin Somalia
    2008-04-24 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Jofi Joseph (Legislative Assistant) Casey, Bob Somalia
    2008-04-24 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Jennifer Park (Legislative Assistant) Webb, Jim Somalia
    2008-04-24 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Pearl Alice Marsh (Senior Professional Staff, House Foreign Affairs Committee) Somalia
    2008-04-24 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Robert R King (Staff Director, House Foreign Affairs Committee) Somalia
    2008-04-24 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Peter Yeo (Deputy Staff Director, House Foreign Affairs Committee) Somalia
    2008-04-24 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff David Abramowitz (Chief Counsel, House Foreign Affairs Committee) Somalia
    2008-04-24 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Kristin Wells (Deputy Chief Counsel, House Foreign Affairs Committee) Somalia
    2008-04-24 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Doug Campbell (Senior Professional Staff, House Foreign Affairs Committee) Berman, Howard Somalia
    2008-04-24 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff David S. Adams (Subcommittee Staff Director, House Foreign Affairs Committee) Somalia
    2008-04-24 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Lisa M. Williams (Subcommittee Staff Director, House Foreign Affairs Committee) Somalia
    2008-04-24 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Noelle LuSane (Subcommittee Staff Director, House Foreign Affairs Committee) Somalia
    2008-04-24 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Don MacDonald (Subcommittee Staff Director, House Foreign Affairs Committee) Somalia
    2008-04-24 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Jesper Pedersen (Legislative Assistant) Wexler, Robert Somalia
    2008-04-24 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Jason Steinbaum (Subcommittee Staff Director, House Foreign Affairs Committee) Somalia
    2008-04-24 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Brian Forni (Congressional Aide) Delahunt, Bill Somalia
    2008-04-24 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Sophia King (Chief of Staff) Meeks, Gregory Somalia
    2008-04-24 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Sharvin Hodjati (Legislative Aide) Crowley, Joseph Somalia
    2008-04-24 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Valerie Van Buren (Legislative Assistant) Watson, Diane Somalia
    2008-04-24 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Jeremy Haldeman (Legislative Counsel) Carnahan, Russ Somalia
    2008-04-24 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Carling Dinkler (Legislative Assistant) Tanner, John Somalia
    2008-04-24 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Jennifer Goedke (Legislative Director) Woolsey, Lynn Somalia
    2008-04-24 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Yohannes Tsehai (Deputy Chief of Staff/Legislative Counsel) Jackson Lee, Sheila Somalia
    2008-04-24 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Nina Besser (Legislative Assistant) Jackson Lee, Sheila Somalia
    2008-04-24 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Andrew Jones (Legislative Counsel) Hinojosa, Ruben Somalia
    2008-04-24 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Scott Olson (Legislative Assistant) Wu, David Somalia
    2008-04-24 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Ashley Orr (Legislative Assistant) Miller, Brad Somalia
    2008-04-24 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Jose Delgado (Legislative Assistant) Sanchez, Linda Somalia
    2008-04-24 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Gary Woodward (Legislative Director) Scott, David Somalia
    2008-04-24 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Bret Rumbeck (Legislative Assistant) Costa, Jim Somalia
    2008-04-24 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Jessica Lawrence (Legislative Assistant) Sires, Albio Somalia
    2008-04-24 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Caryn Schenewerk (Legislative Director) Giffords, Gabrielle Somalia
    2008-04-24 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Mira Kogen (Legislative Assistant) Klein, Ron Somalia
    2008-04-24 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Katy Quinn (Legislative Assistant) Smith, Adam Somalia
    2008-04-24 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Phone Staff Rachel Bohlander (Legislative Counsel) Vitter, David Meeting request
    2008-02-20 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Francis Gibbs (Legislative Dir.) Mack, Connie UN mission in Eritrea and Ethiopia
    2008-02-20 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Carla Campbell (Legislative Assistant) Barrett, Gresham UN mission in Eritrea and Ethiopia
    2008-02-20 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Beau Walker (Legislative Assistant) Boozman, John UN mission in Eritrea and Ethiopia
    2008-02-20 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Paul Callahan (Sr. Legis. Assistant) Wilson, Joe UN mission in Eritrea and Ethiopia
    2008-02-20 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Paul Blocher (Legislative Assistant) McCotter, Thad UN mission in Eritrea and Ethiopia
    2008-02-20 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff LeAnne Holdman (Legislative Dir.) Pence, Mike UN mission in Eritrea and Ethiopia
    2008-02-20 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Chandler Morse (Sr. Legis. Assistant) Flake, Jeff UN mission in Eritrea and Ethiopia
    2008-02-20 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Daniel McAdams (Legislative Assistant) Paul, Ron UN mission in Eritrea and Ethiopia
    2008-02-20 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Mac Zimmerman (Legis. Director) Tancredo, Tom UN mission in Eritrea and Ethiopia
    2008-02-20 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Szu-Nien Su (Prof. Staff Member, House Foreign Affairs Committee) UN mission in Eritrea and Ethiopia
    2008-02-20 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Keri Sikich (Foreign Policy Legislative Assistant) Chabot, Steve UN mission in Eritrea and Ethiopia
    2008-02-20 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Thomas Sheehy (Subcommittee Staff Director, House Foreign Affairs Committee) UN mission in Eritrea and Ethiopia
    2008-02-20 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Paul Berkowitz (Legislative Assistant) Rohrabacher, Dana UN mission in Eritrea and Ethiopia
    2008-02-20 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Yleem Poblete (Republican Staff Director, House Foreign Affairs Committee) UN mission in Eritrea and Ethiopia
    2008-02-20 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Richard Mereu (Prof. Staff Member, House Foreign Affairs Committee) UN mission in Eritrea and Ethiopia
    2008-02-20 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Brian Fauls (Prof. Staff Member) Burton, Dan UN mission in Eritrea and Ethiopia
    2008-02-20 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Mark Milosch (Senior Advisor) Smith, Chris UN mission in Eritrea and Ethiopia
    2008-02-20 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Derrick Landwehr-Brown (Legislative Correspondent) Voinovich, George UN mission in Eritrea and Ethiopia
    2008-02-20 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Sarah Klotz (Staff Assistant) Inhofe, James UN mission in Eritrea and Ethiopia
    2008-02-20 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Maggie Fleming (Legis. Corresp.) Brownback, Sam UN mission in Eritrea and Ethiopia
    2008-02-20 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Ariel Wolf (Legislative Assistant) Brownback, Sam UN mission in Eritrea and Ethiopia
    2008-02-20 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Melissa Johnson (Defense Fellow) Kyl, Jon UN mission in Eritrea and Ethiopia
    2008-02-20 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Tim Morrison (Legislative Assistant) Kyl, Jon UN mission in Eritrea and Ethiopia
    2008-02-20 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Kenneth Myers III (Professional Staff Member, Senate Foreign Relations Committee) UN mission in Eritrea and Ethiopia
    2008-02-20 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Michael Phelan (Professional Staff Member, Senate Foreign Relations Committee) UN mission in Eritrea and Ethiopia
    2008-02-19 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Phone Staff Jennifer Park (Legislative Assistant) Webb, Jim U.S. – Ethiopia relations
    2008-02-15 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Phone Staff Elizabeth King (Counsel / Sr. Policy Advisor) Reed, Jack U.S. – Ethiopia relations
    2008-02-15 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Phone Staff Jennifer Park (Legislative Assistant) Webb, Jim U.S. – Ethiopia relations
    2008-02-15 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Phone Staff Frank Lowenstein (Legislative Assistant) Kerry, John U.S. – Ethiopia relations
    2008-01-28 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Martin Bayr (Legislative Aide) Sununu, John Subcommittee action
    2008-01-28 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Savannah Lengsfelder (Legislative Assistant) Feingold, Russ Subcommittee action
    2008-01-28 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Sarah Margon (Legislative Assistant) Feingold, Russ Subcommittee action
    2008-01-10 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Katy Quinn (Legislative Assistant) Smith, Adam USAID in Ogaden
    2008-01-10 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Caryn Schenewerk (Ways and Means Counsel) Giffords, Gabrielle USAID in Ogaden
    2008-01-10 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Mira Kogen (Legislative Assistant) Klein, Ron USAID in Ogaden
    2008-02-21 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Diana Tasnadi (Sr. Legis. Assistant) Fortenberry, Jeff Invitation to Black History Month event at Ethiopian Embassy
    2008-02-21 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Francis Gibbs (Legislative Dir.) Mack, Connie Invitation to Black History Month event at Ethiopian Embassy
    2008-02-21 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Carla Campbell (Legislative Assistant) Barrett, Gresham Invitation to Black History Month event at Ethiopian Embassy
    2008-02-21 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Beau Walker (Legislative Assistant) Boozman, John Invitation to Black History Month event at Ethiopian Embassy
    2008-02-21 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Paul Callahan (Sr. Legis. Assistant) Wilson, Joe Invitation to Black History Month event at Ethiopian Embassy
    2008-02-21 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Paul Blocher (Legislative Assistant) McCotter, Thad Invitation to Black History Month event at Ethiopian Embassy
    2008-02-21 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff LeAnne Holdman (Legislative Dir.) Pence, Mike Invitation to Black History Month event at Ethiopian Embassy
    2008-02-21 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Chandler Morse (Sr. Legis. Assistant) Flake, Jeff Invitation to Black History Month event at Ethiopian Embassy
    2008-02-21 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Daniel McAdams (Legislative Assistant) Paul, Ron Invitation to Black History Month event at Ethiopian Embassy
    2008-02-21 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Mac Zimmerman (Legis. Director) Tancredo, Tom Invitation to Black History Month event at Ethiopian Embassy
    2008-02-21 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Szu-Nien Su (Prof. Staff Member,House Foreign Affairs Committee) Invitation to Black History Month event at Ethiopian Embassy
    2008-02-21 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Keri Sikich (Foreign Policy Legislative Assistant) Chabot, Steve Invitation to Black History Month event at Ethiopian Embassy
    2008-02-21 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Thomas Sheehy (Subcommittee Staff Director, House Foreign Affairs Committee) Invitation to Black History Month event at Ethiopian Embassy
    2008-02-21 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Paul Berkowitz (Legislative Assistant) Rohrabacher, Dana Invitation to Black History Month event at Ethiopian Embassy
    2008-02-21 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Yleem Poblete (Republican Staff Director, House Foreign Affairs Committee) Invitation to Black History Month event at Ethiopian Embassy
    2008-02-21 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Richard Mereu (Prof. Staff Member, House Foreign Affairs Committee) Invitation to Black History Month event at Ethiopian Embassy
    2008-02-21 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Brian Fauls (Prof. Staff Member) Burton, Dan Invitation to Black History Month event at Ethiopian Embassy
    2008-02-21 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Mark Milosch (Senior Advisor) Smith, Chris Invitation to Black History Month event at Ethiopian Embassy
    2008-02-21 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Derrick Landwehr-Brown (Legislative Correspondent) Voinovich, George Invitation to Black History Month event at Ethiopian Embassy
    2008-02-21 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Sarah Klotz (Staff Assistant) Inhofe, James Invitation to Black History Month event at Ethiopian Embassy
    2008-02-21 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Maggie Fleming (Legis. Corresp.) Brownback, Sam Invitation to Black History Month event at Ethiopian Embassy
    2008-02-21 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Ariel Wolf (Legislative Assistant) Brownback, Sam Invitation to Black History Month event at Ethiopian Embassy
    2008-02-21 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Melissa Johnson (Defense Fellow) Kyl, Jon Invitation to Black History Month event at Ethiopian Embassy
    2008-02-21 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Tim Morrison (Legislative Assistant) Kyl, Jon Invitation to Black History Month event at Ethiopian Embassy
    2008-02-21 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Rachel Bohlander (Dep. Chief of Staff) Vitter, David Invitation to Black History Month event at Ethiopian Embassy
    2008-02-21 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Catherine Henson (Legislative Assistant) Isakson, Johnny Invitation to Black History Month event at Ethiopian Embassy
    2008-02-21 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Chris Socha (Sr. Policy Advisor) DeMint, James Invitation to Black History Month event at Ethiopian Embassy
    2008-02-21 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Stacie Oliver (Legislative Assistant) Corker, Bob Invitation to Black History Month event at Ethiopian Embassy
    2008-02-21 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Isaac Edwards (Legislative Dir.) Murkowski, Lisa Invitation to Black History Month event at Ethiopian Embassy
    2008-02-21 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Martin Bayr (Legislative Aide) Sununu, John Invitation to Black History Month event at Ethiopian Embassy
    2008-02-21 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Jean Siskovic (Legislative Assistant) Voinovich, George Invitation to Black History Month event at Ethiopian Embassy
    2008-02-21 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Ana Navarro (Legislative Assistant) Coleman, Norm Invitation to Black History Month event at Ethiopian Embassy
    2008-02-21 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Rexon Ryu (Sr. Foreign Policy Advisor) Hagel, Chuck Invitation to Black History Month event at Ethiopian Embassy
    2008-02-21 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Chris Ann Keehner (Deputy Chief Counsel, Senate Foreign Relations Committee) Invitation to Black History Month event at Ethiopian Embassy
    2008-02-21 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Paul Clayman (Chief Counsel, Senate Foreign Relations Committee) Invitation to Black History Month event at Ethiopian Embassy
    2008-02-21 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Dan Diller (Deputy Staff Director, Senate Foreign Relations Committee) Invitation to Black History Month event at Ethiopian Embassy
    2008-02-21 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Kenneth Myers III (Professional Staff Member, Senate Foreign Relations Committee) Invitation to Black History Month event at Ethiopian Embassy
    2008-02-21 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Michael Phelan (Professional Staff Member, Senate Foreign Relations Committee) Invitation to Black History Month event at Ethiopian Embassy
    2008-02-22 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Amy Norris (Staff Assistant) Smith, Chris Invitation to Black History Month event at Ethiopian Embassy
    2008-02-22 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Ashling Thurmond (Executive Assistant) Tancredo, Tom Invitation to Black History Month event at Ethiopian Embassy
    2008-02-22 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Lesley Parker (Scheduler) Boozman, John Invitation to Black History Month event at Ethiopian Embassy
    2008-02-22 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Katie Parsley (Scheduler) Fortenberry, Jeff Invitation to Black History Month event at Ethiopian Embassy
    2008-02-22 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Mary Elen Williams (Scheduler) McCaul, Michael Invitation to Black History Month event at Ethiopian Embassy
    2008-02-22 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Lindsey Plumley (Scheduler, House Foreign Affairs Committee) Invitation to Black History Month event at Ethiopian Embassy
    2008-02-22 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Jeana Plas (Scheduler) Woolsey, Lynn Invitation to Black History Month event at Ethiopian Embassy
    2008-03-04 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Sarah Margon (Legislative Assistant) Feingold, Russ Sen. Feingold statement on Ethiopia
    2008-03-04 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Savannah Lengsfelder (Legislative Assistant) Feingold, Russ Sen. Feingold statement on Ethiopia
    2008-03-04 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Mariah Moncecchi (Legislative Aide) Barrasso, John Sen. Feingold statement on Ethiopia
    2008-03-04 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Ana Navarro (Legislative Assistant) Coleman, Norm Sen. Feingold statement on Ethiopia
    2008-03-06 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Meeting Member Feingold, Russ (Senator) Feingold, Russ Upcoming Senate hearing
    2008-03-06 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Meeting Staff Mark Clack (Senior Legislative Assistant) Cardin, Benjamin General legislative issues
    2008-03-07 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Meeting Staff Greta Lundeberg (Legislative Assistant) Nelson, Bill Upcoming Senate hearing
    2008-03-10 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Meeting Staff Robert Gatehouse (Legislative Assistant) Nelson, Bill Upcoming Senate hearing
    2008-07-30 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Paul Blocher (Legislative Assistant) McCotter, Thad UNMEE
    2008-07-30 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Leanne Gibbs (Legislative Director) Pence, Mike UNMEE
    2008-07-30 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Jamie Miller (Legislative Assistant) Wittman, Rob UNMEE
    2008-07-30 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Chandler Morse (Sr. Legislative Assistant) Flake, Jeff UNMEE
    2008-07-30 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Daniel McAdams (Legislative Assistant) Paul, Ron UNMEE
    2008-07-30 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Mac Zimmerman (Legislative Director) Tancredo, Tom UNMEE
    2008-07-30 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Szu-Nien Su (Prof. Staff Member, House Foreign Affairs Committe) UNMEE
    2008-07-30 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Keri Sikich (Foreign Policy Legislative Assistant) Chabot, Steve UNMEE
    2008-07-30 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Thomas Sheehy (Subcommittee Staff Director, House Foreign Affairs Committe) UNMEE
    2008-07-30 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Sarah Kiko (Republican Policy Analyst, House Foreign Affairs Committe) UNMEE
    2008-07-30 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Paul Berkowitz (Legislative Assistant) Rohrabacher, Dana UNMEE
    2008-07-30 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Yleem Poblete (Republican Staff Director, House Foreign Affairs Committe) UNMEE
    2008-07-30 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Richard Mereu (Prof. Staff Member, House Foreign Affairs Committe) UNMEE
    2008-07-30 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Brian Fauls (Prof. Staff Member) Burton, Dan UNMEE
    2008-07-30 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Mark Milosch (Senior Advisor) Smith, Chris UNMEE
    2008-07-30 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Peter Martin (Prof. Staff Member, House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Africa and Global Health) UNMEE
    2008-07-30 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Sheri Rickert (Prof. Staff Member, House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Africa and Global Health) UNMEE
    2008-07-30 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Rachel Bohlander (Dep. Chief of Staff) Vitter, David UNMEE
    2008-07-30 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Catherine Henson (Legislative Assistant) Isakson, Johnny UNMEE
    2008-07-30 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Chris Socha (Sr. Policy Advisor) DeMint, James UNMEE
    2008-07-30 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Stacie Oliver (Legislative Assistant) Corker, Bob UNMEE
    2008-07-30 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Isaac Edwards (Legislative Director) Murkowski, Lisa UNMEE
    2008-07-30 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Martin Bayr (Legislative Aide) Sununu, John UNMEE
    2008-07-30 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Derrick Landwehr-Brown (Legislative Correspondent) Voinovich, George UNMEE
    2008-07-30 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Jean Siskovic (Legislative Assistant) Voinovich, George UNMEE
    2008-07-30 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Ana Navarro (Legislative Assistant) Coleman, Norm UNMEE
    2008-07-30 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Rexon Ryu (Sr. Foreign Policy Advisor) Hagel, Chuck UNMEE
    2008-07-30 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Dan Diller (Deputy Staff Director, Senate Foreign Relations Committee) UNMEE
    2008-07-30 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Kenneth Myers III (Professional Staff Member, Senate Foreign Relations Committee) UNMEE
    2008-07-30 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Michael Phelan (Professional Staff Member, Senate Foreign Relations Committee) UNMEE
    2008-07-30 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Phone Member Inhofe, James M. (Senator) Inhofe, James US-Ethiopia relationship
    2008-07-28 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Meeting John Wysham (Ethiopian Desk Officer) Broad discussions on Ethiopia issues
    2008-07-23 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Yohannes Tsehai (Deputy Chief of Staff) Jackson Lee, Sheila Somalia
    2008-07-23 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Phone Staff Ariel Wolf (Legislative Assistant) Brownback, Sam Appropriations Process
    2008-03-25 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Phone Staff Ariel Wolf (Legislative Assistant) Brownback, Sam Appropriations
    2008-03-27 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Phone Staff Ariel Wolf (Legislative Assistant) Brownback, Sam Appropriations
    2008-03-28 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Phone Staff Ariel Wolf (Legislative Assistant) Brownback, Sam Appropriations
    2008-04-07 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Phone Staff Sarah Margon (Legislative Assistant) Feingold, Russ Follow up on Senate Hearing
    2008-04-07 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Phone Staff Jessica Lengsfelder (Junior Legislative Assistant) Feingold, Russ Follow up on Senate Hearing
    2008-04-16 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Christopher Bradish (Legislative Assistant) Specter, Arlen S. 2700
    2008-04-24 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Meeting Staff Catherine Henson (Legislative Assistant) Isakson, Johnny US-Ethiopia relationship
    2008-04-24 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Michael Phelan (Professional Staff Member, Senate Foreign Relations Committee) Somalia
    2008-04-24 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Kenneth Myers III (Professional Staff Member, Senate Foreign Relations Committee) Somalia
    2008-04-24 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Dan Diller (Deputy Staff Director, Senate Foreign Relations Committee) Somalia
    2008-04-24 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Rexon Ryu (Sr. Foreign Policy Advisor) Hagel, Chuck Somalia
    2008-04-24 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Ana Navarro (Legislative Assistant) Coleman, Norm Somalia
    2008-04-24 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Jean Siskovic (Legislative Assistant) Voinovich, George Somalia
    2008-04-24 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Derrick Landwehr-Brown (Legislative Correspondent) Voinovich, George Somalia
    2008-04-24 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Martin Bayr (Legislative Aide) Sununu, John Somalia
    2008-04-24 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Isaac Edwards (Legislative Director) Murkowski, Lisa Somalia
    2008-04-24 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Stacie Oliver (Legislative Assistant) Corker, Bob Somalia
    2008-04-24 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Chris Socha (Sr. Policy Advisor) DeMint, James Somalia
    2008-04-24 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Catherine Henson (Legislative Assistant) Isakson, Johnny Somalia
    2008-04-24 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Rachel Bohlander (Dep. Chief of Staff) Vitter, David Somalia
    2008-04-24 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Sheri Rickert (Prof. Staff Member, House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Africa and Global Health) Somalia
    2008-04-24 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Peter Martin (Prof. Staff Member, House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Africa and Global Health) Somalia
    2008-04-24 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Mark Milosch (Senior Advisor) Smith, Chris Somalia
    2008-04-24 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Brian Fauls (Prof. Staff Member) Burton, Dan Somalia
    2008-04-24 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Richard Mereu (Prof. Staff Member, House Foreign Affairs Committee) Somalia
    2008-04-24 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Yleem Poblete (Republican Staff Director, House Foreign Affairs Committee) Somalia
    2008-04-24 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Sarah Kiko (Republican Policy Analyst, House Foreign Affairs Committee) Somalia
    2008-04-24 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Paul Berkowitz (Legislative Assistant) Rohrabacher, Dana Somalia
    2008-05-12 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Stacie Oliver (Legislative Assistant) Corker, Bob Washington Times Op-ed
    2008-05-12 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Chris Socha (Sr. Policy Advisor) DeMint, James Washington Times Op-ed
    2008-07-30 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Javier de la Luz (Legislative Counsel) Fortuno, Luis UNMEE
    2008-07-30 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Ryan Hamilton (Legislative Assistant) Inglis, Bob UNMEE
    2008-07-30 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Nicole Hunt (Legislative Assistant) Poe, Ted UNMEE
    2008-07-30 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Ari Stein (Jr. Legislative Assistant) McCaul, Michael UNMEE
    2008-07-30 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Diana Tasnadi (Sr. Legislative Assistant) Fortenberry, Jeff UNMEE
    2008-07-30 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Francis Gibbs (Legislative Director) Mack, Connie UNMEE
    2008-07-30 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Carla Campbell (Legislative Assistant) Barrett, Gresham UNMEE
    2008-07-30 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Beau Walker (Legislative Assistant) Boozman, John UNMEE
    2008-07-30 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Paul Callahan (Sr. Legislative Assistant) Wilson, Joe UNMEE
    2008-07-21 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Yohannes Tsehai (Deputy Chief of Staff) Jackson Lee, Sheila Somalia
    2008-07-16 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Phone John Wysham (Ethiopian Desk Officer) Broad discussions on Ethiopia issues
    2008-06-24 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Phone Staff Ariel Wolf (Legislative Assistant) Brownback, Sam Somalia
    2008-06-10 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Phone Staff Ariel Wolf (Legislative Assistant) Brownback, Sam Somalia
    2008-06-04 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Ariel Wolf (Legislative Assistant) Brownback, Sam Somalia
    2008-06-04 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Phone Henrietta Fore (US AID Administrator, US AID) Food shortage in Ethiopia
    2008-05-30 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Phone Staff Ariel Wolf (Legislative Assistant) Brownback, Sam Somalia
    2008-05-30 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Sarah Klotz (Legislative Correspondent) Inhofe, James Somalia
    2008-05-21 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Meeting Member Isakson, Johnny (Senator) Isakson, Johnny US-Ethiopia relationship
    2008-05-14 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Katy Quinn (Legislative Assistant) Smith, Adam Washington Times Op-ed
    2008-05-14 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Mira Kogen (Legislative Assistant) Klein, Ron Washington Times Op-ed
    2008-05-14 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Caryn Schenewerk (Legislative Director) Giffords, Gabrielle Washington Times Op-ed
    2008-05-14 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Jessica Lawrence (Legislative Assistant) Sires, Albio Washington Times Op-ed
    2008-05-14 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Bret Rumbeck (Legislative Assistant) Costa, Jim Washington Times Op-ed
    2008-05-14 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Gary Woodward (Legislative Director) Scott, David Washington Times Op-ed
    2008-05-14 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Ashley Orr (Legislative Assistant) Miller, Brad Washington Times Op-ed
    2008-05-14 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Jose Delgado (Legislative Assistant) Sanchez, Linda Washington Times Op-ed
    2008-05-14 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Pearl Alice Marsh (Senior Professional Staff, House Foreign Affairs Committee) Washington Times Op-ed
    2008-05-14 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Jennifer Park (Legislative Assistant) Webb, Jim Washington Times Op-ed
    2008-05-14 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Jofi Joseph (Legislative Assistant) Casey, Bob Washington Times Op-ed
    2008-05-14 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Mark Clack (Senior Legislative Assistant) Cardin, Benjamin Washington Times Op-ed
    2008-05-14 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Keith Huffman (Legislative Correspondent) Menendez, Robert Washington Times Op-ed
    2008-05-14 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Mark Lippert (Foreign Policy Adviser) Obama, Barack Washington Times Op-ed
    2008-05-14 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Robert Gatehouse (Legislative Counsel) Nelson, Bill Washington Times Op-ed
    2008-05-14 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Ann Norris (Senior Legislative Assistant) Boxer, Barbara Washington Times Op-ed
    2008-05-14 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Savannah Lengsfelder (Junior Legislative Assistant) Feingold, Russ Washington Times Op-ed
    2008-05-14 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Frank Lowenstein (Legislative Assistant) Kerry, John Washington Times Op-ed
    2008-05-14 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Josh Blumenfeld (Legislative Assistant) Dodd, Chris Washington Times Op-ed
    2008-05-14 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Brian McKeon (Dep. Staff Director, Chief Counsel, Senate Foreign Relations Committee) Washington Times Op-ed
    2008-05-14 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Antony Blinken (Staff Director, Chief Counsel, Senate Foreign Relations Committee) Washington Times Op-ed
    2008-05-14 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Shannon Smith (Professional Staff Member, Senate Foreign Relations Committee) Washington Times Op-ed
    2008-05-12 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Javier de la Luz (Legislative Counsel) Fortuno, Luis Washington Times Op-ed
    2008-05-12 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Ryan Hamilton (Legislative Assistant) Inglis, Bob Washington Times Op-ed
    2008-05-12 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Nicole Hunt (Legislative Assistant) Poe, Ted Washington Times Op-ed
    2008-05-12 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Ari Stein (Jr. Legislative Assistant) McCaul, Michael Washington Times Op-ed
    2008-05-12 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Diana Tasnadi (Sr. Legislative Assistant) Fortenberry, Jeff Washington Times Op-ed
    2008-05-12 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Francis Gibbs (Legislative Director) Mack, Connie Washington Times Op-ed
    2008-05-12 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Carla Campbell (Legislative Assistant) Barrett, Gresham Washington Times Op-ed
    2008-05-12 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Beau Walker (Legislative Assistant) Boozman, John Washington Times Op-ed
    2008-05-12 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Paul Callahan (Sr. Legislative Assistant) Wilson, Joe Washington Times Op-ed
    2008-05-12 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Paul Blocher (Legislative Assistant) McCotter, Thad Washington Times Op-ed
    2008-05-12 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Leanne Gibbs (Legislative Director) Pence, Mike Washington Times Op-ed
    2008-05-12 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Jamie Miller (Legislative Assistant) Wittman, Rob Washington Times Op-ed
    2008-05-12 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Chandler Morse (Sr. Legislative Assistant) Flake, Jeff Washington Times Op-ed
    2008-05-12 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Daniel McAdams (Legislative Assistant) Paul, Ron Washington Times Op-ed
    2008-05-12 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Mac Zimmerman (Legislative Director) Tancredo, Tom Washington Times Op-ed
    2008-05-12 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Szu-Nien Su (Prof. Staff Member, House Foreign Affairs Committee) Washington Times Op-ed
    2008-05-12 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Keri Sikich (Foreign Policy Legislative Assistant) Chabot, Steve Washington Times Op-ed
    2008-05-12 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Thomas Sheehy (Subcommittee Staff Director, House Foreign Affairs Committee) Washington Times Op-ed
    2008-05-12 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Paul Berkowitz (Legislative Assistant) Rohrabacher, Dana Washington Times Op-ed
    2008-05-12 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Sarah Kiko (Republican Policy Analyst, House Foreign Affairs Committee) Washington Times Op-ed
    2008-05-12 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Yleem Poblete (Republican Staff Director, House Foreign Affairs Committee) Washington Times Op-ed
    2008-05-12 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Richard Mereu (Prof. Staff Member, House Foreign Affairs Committee) Washington Times Op-ed
    2008-05-12 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Brian Fauls (Prof. Staff Member) Burton, Dan Washington Times Op-ed
    2008-05-12 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Mark Milosch (Senior Advisor) Smith, Chris Washington Times Op-ed
    2008-05-12 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Peter Martin (Prof. Staff Member, House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Africa and Global Health) Washington Times Op-ed
    2008-05-12 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Sheri Rickert (Prof. Staff Member, House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Africa and Global Health) Washington Times Op-ed
    2008-05-12 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Rachel Bohlander (Dep. Chief of Staff) Vitter, David Washington Times Op-ed
    2008-05-12 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Catherine Henson (Legislative Assistant) Isakson, Johnny Washington Times Op-ed
    2008-05-12 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Derrick Landwehr-Brown (Legislative Correspondent) Voinovich, George Washington Times Op-ed
    2008-05-12 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Martin Bayr (Legislative Aide) Sununu, John Washington Times Op-ed
    2008-05-12 None DLA Piper US Ethiopia Email Staff Isaac Edwards (Legislative Director) Murkowski, Lisa Washington Times Op-ed

    Ethiopians are ready to rise up

    Tuesday, February 1st, 2011

    By Teodros Kiros

    The people Ethiopia are ready to spontaneously rise as their brothers and sisters are doing in Tunisia, Egypt, Yemen and many more. Spontaneous uprisings are the necessary engines of social movements. They are infact the necessary conditions for the possibility of organized and disciplined revolutions.

    Spontaneity has its strengths but also its weaknesses. We must positively exploit the strengths and protect the people’s movement against its weaknesses. The strengths of the Ethiopian people, particularly the country people, are their generosity, patience, and loyalty. They will respond to our call in record numbers. They will join the struggle body and soul; and we in return must be ready with an alternative vision of Ethiopianity freed from the DDT of Ethnicity and the corrosive effects of cultural decadence through acts of cultural transformation… [Continue reading here]

    The call for an Educated Revolution

    Tuesday, February 1st, 2011

    By Natnael F. Alemayehu

    The Deadly Sins of the Educated Ethiopian

    Before you begin reading the article, I urge you to think of not only what is happening today but also the steps after the inevitable revolution. I ask you to question your commitment and what you are prepared to sacrifice for your country. The next critical steps of our nation must be planned, calculated and executed with deliberation. Let us lean from the past and craft a feature inclusive of everything Ethiopia.

    The question of: “Who to call in Ethiopia?” or rather, “Whom can Ethiopia call on?” in times of chaos and tyranny has not been answered in recent history. Despite the context of the question, or to whom it might have been directed to, it is imperative that someone capable should answer. If the specific question was ever answered, it was by a few daring individuals who were capable, but not strong enough to withstand the lateral damage caused by those who stood alongside them. Those groups/individuals were educated and capable to answer Ethiopia’s call but not strong enough to unite. I believe we all agree that the educated and those with a voice have to stand up and fight for those who are unable. Throughout the evolution of mankind, at the heart of a country’s economy, development, rise or decline stand those who educated themselves or those who were institutionally educated. Ethiopia is no different, aside from our continued decline, with no return in the hands of the educated/intellectuals. Anyone who keeps in silence is as guilty as those who are causing the problem. Ethiopia is not their country; Ethiopia is OUR country.

    This article is not a religious calling of the wrongdoings of our educated or a spiritual teaching of the afterlife. It is an assessment and a crucial observation of the actions by which a person is judged, and to a large degree judges oneself. Ironically, these seven acts occur simultaneously with the deterioration of our nation, enclosed into one deadly human virus and sin, which has plagued our community for far too long. An educated person can be judged unsympathetically if the knowledge he/she attained was wasted on greed and selfish interests. Ironically, Ethiopia has given birth to many of us who have lost our self-worth in pursuit of Westernized “to the top at all costs” education. Her call of “save me” has fallen on deaf ears. Education is as simple as “acquiring knowledge” if we have not educated our selves and those around us to improve on the condition of the past.

    We have been trapped in the Western capitalist illusion of greed. It is not money that is the root of evil for us; it is the pursuit of money. We are emotionally unstable, still trapped in the cultural teachings of our ancestors, while living in the west; in pursuance of the almighty dollar. Our inability to work together, listen to differing opinions, express our true selves, share ideas, help the less fortunate, or see the horrors of tomorrow comes from our blindness in wanting what everyone else has. The educated few in our community are guilty of feeding the fire of ignorance that plagues our nation. And so, when asking why Ethiopia’s hopes have been silent, it can be summed up in one answer: GREED. Now, think of those around you. Think far and think long; think of the current and the two previous governments, and think of the individuals who held power. I do realize the traitorous trail we have all left behind and the dangers of going back. But I ask you to look back. What has become of our country and its people?

    Institutionalized education has become the decline of our people. In pursuit of written knowledge, we have neglected the ideals and teachings of our people, to which we are more ethically connected. The first lesson to our less educated (who lack global knowledge) is, “a man is born free,” and no one can take that away from you unless you choose to give it up. It is the ability to be free that our people seek, not democracy, socialism, or capitalism. Yet we are blindly stumbling through a fast-changing world, claiming we understand the needs of our people. When have we, as Ethiopians, asked another Ethiopian who is less fortunate, “How can we work together so you are able to help yourself?” We have taken enough from Ethiopia; she is naked and bare because we have not given back what she has sacrificed for us. The more we continue psychologically and physically constructing Ethiopia to be like North America and Europe, the further we dig the grave of her eternal demise. What is it we can do as sons and daughters of Ethiopia to prevent this.

    This article is not intended to offend our educated minds, but if you are angry? Good, get mad.

    “It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.” Aristotle

    I assure you, however, that it is not all doom and gloom. There is hope at the end of that long tunnel we have journeyed for over fifty years. Before we begin to walk towards a new self-realization, we must first rid ourselves of our envy and hate of one another. We must look to our neighbors, in North Africa, to see the impact of the educated minds influencing a nation into change and new beginnings. We must cleanse ourselves of GREED. It is the root and cause of all our national sins. As a country is a representation of its people, the people are a reflection of that nation. As Ethiopians, how have we represented ourselves, and therefore our country?

    PRIDE: If curiosity did kill the cat, pride is what has us Ethiopians pondering the afterlife. We are quick to cling to the achievements of our forefathers, and slow to adapt to anything new. We are truly proud people, and that is not all bad, except that in our pride, we have forgotten to actually contribute to the achievement of those who came before us. We are proud to have not been colonized, and yet today, we, more than any other African nation, rely on Western government in the form of foreign aid, famine relief, and debt. As a nation, we are more in debt and behind almost 90% of the countries in Africa in most measurable categories of development. Yet, more aid money goes to our government than to that of any other African Nation. GREED.

    ENVY: Those of us in the diaspora, we magnify envy. We are unhappy when someone does something. We are unhappy when someone doesn’t do something. If someone stands up and says something or does something of note, the response from the majority is, “What is he or she trying to prove?” We have programmed ourselves not to be satisfied with anything so we can be envious of everything and everyone.

    WRATH: A question I still ask myself: “What is it that we are so mad at each other about?” Hate is a disease. Hate without true cause is a plague. We bully one another, we are power hungry, and worst of all, we steal from the weak. GREED.

    SLOTH: Since the majority of us attack those who are doing something, it’s only natural that the same majority would not do anything. Aside from the few who continue their education and try to survive in the West, most of us find easy (lazy) jobs, steal from our workplaces, and live in public housing while cheating government benefits. GREED.

    GLUTTONY: In some ways, gluttony is a problem in our community; it is not overeating alone that makes us fat. If we hog resources, if enslave our own people for our personal gain, and we ignore their cry, what have we become? Here is where we have failed to understand our wrongdoing. If you are eating alone after stealing from Ethiopia, you are stealing from your brother and sister. GREED.

    LUST: Money has become our secret lust, our “lady in red”. Some have been blinded to the point of no return. They sleep with blood money while they watch children living in sewers, farmers losing their fertile land, and innocent people fleeing the country on foot. GREED.

    AVARICE: We have become self-loving, wealth-obsessed Neanderthals. It is this primitive lust of materialistic wealth that has hindered our national development and our individual growth. Need I say more… GREED.

    Contrary to poplar believe in our community [“going to school does not necessarily make a person educated, as being poor does not make you uneducated”.]

    Despite all of that, all is not doomed. There is hope in the mind of every young child who grows up oppressed and brainwashed that they will one day be educated so that they can recognize the wrong being done to them. Let us be critical when analyzing the educated from the intellectuals; the knowledge of change, new beginning for our nation, must begin with a combination of old and new teaching. It is the intellectuals of their profession who can speak out and evolve the current state of affairs in Ethiopia. Change must be a combination of ideas and actions, crafted from the minds of educated intellectuals, who understand the subject well enough to build a plan capable of surviving the current living and ideological conditions of all Ethiopians in Ethiopia.

    The introductory pages of any manifest of Ethiopia’s future must begin with the lives of the poor. Those who are educated must theoretically and in their physical actions view the majority of the country as the heart of both the problem and the solution. Our actions forward must equally involve the views and opinions of those with and without modern institutionalized education. Our financially poor have no formal education; furthermore, their education of honesty, hard work, community sharing, patience and patriotism is being crushed by those of us who seek to teach them our Western ideals, which we view as being superior. A nation is judged by the conditions of the frail and poor, but the answer to the problems facing the same people is the responsibility and duty of those who have been educated.

    Institutional education does not make you an intellect; being able to think freely and for yourself makes you an intellect. The source of individual truth is self-education, not the words written by those who choose to educate everyone with the same information, to produce human machines unable to think for themselves. We have institutionally educated ourselves to be ignorant. For one to claim he or she is free, one has to be willing and free to learn and change. We must begin to educate ourselves now!

    Let us stop the political rhetoric and tribal idealism. We must educate the poor about current social truths and not political agendas. Knowledge is a gift; let us use it to better the community and ourselves. Without us, there will not be a nation of Ethiopia that is free from global influences. Ethiopia’s next chapter must not be written in political manifestos but in an all-inclusive national ideology. It lies not in democracy and capitalism, but in the underlying freedom of our people.

    Even Plato stated in the “Republic”, democracy as a favorite for an unreasonable regime and an ideal means of rule for politicians who could lead by confusing the citizens of a state. In addition he states the rich will remain rich while the poor continue to grow in numbers. Sound like Ethiopia? Let us curb our political ideology and start opening our minds to freethinking.

    We must not only wait for civil war to revolutionize our county, or support only armed movements to see social uprising and change. Each and every one of us is responsible and has a place in the change that will come to our nation. Our knowledge is more powerful than a gun. Our love of Ethiopia and all Ethiopians is much more lethal than a bullet.

    I am not out to change the world, but I will not sit in silence while my people are being lead to social and economical slaughter. I beg you to ask yourself, “What can I do to constructively change my people?” Question yourself to better understand your purpose and pledge to your country and people. If you are educated, especially in Ethiopia, you have, not only the national but the moral responsibility to speak. Our problem is that many of us attain higher education certificates, but very few of us are truly educated. To use one’s craft to speak and to be heard: that is sacrifice! That is love of one’s country.

    If history ever forgives us for what we have done to this country, God will not!

    (The writer can be reached at n.alemayehu@eskemeche.com)

    Mubarak dictatorship on death watch

    Tuesday, February 1st, 2011

    A commentator for British newspaper The Independent laments about the Obama Administration’s hypocritical stand on the Egypt popular uprising in his latest report from Cairo. We heard that some in the Obama administration, such as Vice President Joe Biden, saying that Mubarak should not step aside. Joe Biden went so far as saying that Mubarak is not a dictator (read here). Secretary of State Hillary Clinton appears to be the only high level official in the U.S. who is having the moral fortitude to speak out in defense of the people of Egypt.

    Death throes of a dictatorship in Egypt

    The Independent newspaper writer Robert Fisk joins protesters atop a Cairo tank as the army shows signs of backing the people against Mubarak’s regime

    By Robert Fisk

    CAIRO — The Egyptian tanks, the delirious protesters sitting atop them, the flags, the 40,000 protesters weeping and crying and cheering in Freedom Square and praying around them, the Muslim Brotherhood official sitting amid the tank passengers. Should this be compared to the liberation of Bucharest? Climbing on to an American-made battle tank myself, I could only remember those wonderful films of the liberation of Paris. A few hundred metres away, Hosni Mubarak’s black-uniformed security police were still firing at demonstrators near the interior ministry. It was a wild, historical victory celebration, Mubarak’s own tanks freeing his capital from his own dictatorship.

    In the pantomime world of Mubarak himself – and of Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton in Washington – the man who still claims to be president of Egypt swore in the most preposterous choice of vice-president in an attempt to soften the fury of the protesters – Omar Suleiman, Egypt’s chief negotiator with Israel and his senior intelligence officer, a 75-year-old with years of visits to Tel Aviv and Jerusalem and four heart attacks to his credit. How this elderly apparatchik might be expected to deal with the anger and joy of liberation of 80 million Egyptians is beyond imagination. When I told the demonstrators on the tank around me the news of Suleiman’s appointment, they burst into laughter.

    Their crews, in battledress and smiling and in some cases clapping their hands, made no attempt to wipe off the graffiti that the crowds had spray-painted on their tanks. “Mubarak Out – Get Out”, and “Your regime is over, Mubarak” have now been plastered on almost every Egyptian tank on the streets of Cairo. On one of the tanks circling Freedom Square was a senior member of the Muslim Brotherhood, Mohamed Beltagi. Earlier, I had walked beside a convoy of tanks near the suburb of Garden City as crowds scrambled on to the machines to hand oranges to the crews, applauding them as Egyptian patriots. However crazed Mubarak’s choice of vice-president and his gradual appointment of a powerless new government of cronies, the streets of Cairo proved what the United States and EU leaders have simply failed to grasp. It is over.

    Mubarak’s feeble attempts to claim that he must end violence on behalf of the Egyptian people – when his own security police have been responsible for most of the cruelty of the past five days – has elicited even further fury from those who have spent 30 years under his sometimes vicious dictatorship. For there are growing suspicions that much of the looting and arson was carried out by plainclothes cops – including the murder of 11 men in a rural village in the past 24 hours – in an attempt to destroy the integrity of the protesters campaigning to throw Mubarak out of power. The destruction of a number of communications centres by masked men – which must have been co-ordinated by some form of institution – has also raised suspicions that the plainclothes thugs who beat many of the demonstrators were to blame.

    But the torching of police stations across Cairo and in Alexandria and Suez and other cities was obviously not carried out by plainclothes cops. Late on Friday, driving to Cairo 40 miles down the Alexandria highway, crowds of young men had lit fires across the highway and, when cars slowed down, demanded hundreds of dollars in cash. Yesterday morning, armed men were stealing cars from their owners in the centre of Cairo.

    Infinitely more terrible was the vandalism at the Egyptian National Museum. After police abandoned this greatest of ancient treasuries, looters broke into the red-painted building and smashed 4,000-year-old pharaonic statues, Egyptian mummies and magnificent wooden boats, originally carved – complete with their miniature crews – to accompany kings to their graves. Glass cases containing priceless figurines were bashed in, the black-painted soldiers inside pushed over. Again, it must be added that there were rumours before the discovery that police caused this vandalism before they fled the museum on Friday night. Ghastly shades of the Baghdad museum in 2003. It wasn’t as bad as that looting, but it was a most awful archeological disaster.

    In my night journey from 6th October City to the capital, I had to slow down when darkened vehicles loomed out of the darkness. They were smashed, glass scattered across the road, slovenly policemen pointing rifles at my headlights. One jeep was half burned out. They were the wreckage of the anti-riot police force which the protesters forced out of Cairo on Friday. Those same demonstrators last night formed a massive circle around Freedom Square to pray, “Allah Alakbar” thundering into the night air over the city.

    And there are also calls for revenge. An al-Jazeera television crew found 23 bodies in the Alexandria mortuary, apparently shot by the police. Several had horrifically mutilated faces. Eleven more bodies were discovered in a Cairo mortuary, relatives gathering around their bloody remains and screaming for retaliation against the police.

    Cairo now changes from joy to sullen anger within minutes. Yesterday morning, I walked across the Nile river bridge to watch the ruins of Mubarak’s 15-storey party headquarters burn. In front stood a vast poster advertising the benefits of the party – pictures of successful graduates, doctors and full employment, the promises which Mubarak’s party had failed to deliver in 30 years – outlined by the golden fires curling from the blackened windows of the party headquarters. Thousands of Egyptians stood on the river bridge and on the motorway flyovers to take pictures of the fiercely burning building – and of the middle-aged looters still stealing chairs and desks from inside.

    Yet the moment a Danish television team arrived to film exactly the same scenes, they were berated by scores of people who said that they had no right to film the fires, insisting that Egyptians were proud people who would never steal or commit arson. This was to become a theme during the day: that reporters had no right to report anything about this “liberation” that might reflect badly upon it. Yet they were still remarkably friendly and – despite Obama’s pusillanimous statements on Friday night – there was not the slightest manifestation of hostility against the United States. “All we want – all – is Mubarak’s departure and new elections and our freedom and honour,” a 30-year-old psychiatrist told me. Behind her, crowds of young men were clearing up broken crash barriers and road intersection fences from the street – an ironic reflection on the well-known Cairo adage that Egyptians will never, ever clean their roads.

    Mubarak’s allegation that these demonstrations and arson – this combination was a theme of his speech refusing to leave Egypt – were part of a “sinister plan” is clearly at the centre of his claim to continued world recognition. Indeed, Obama’s own response – about the need for reforms and an end to such violence – was an exact copy of all the lies Mubarak has been using to defend his regime for three decades. It was deeply amusing to Egyptians that Obama – in Cairo itself, after his election – had urged Arabs to grasp freedom and democracy. These aspirations disappeared entirely when he gave his tacit if uncomfortable support to the Egyptian president on Friday. The problem is the usual one: the lines of power and the lines of morality in Washington fail to intersect when US presidents have to deal with the Middle East. Moral leadership in America ceases to exist when the Arab and Israeli worlds have to be confronted.

    And the Egyptian army is, needless to say, part of this equation. It receives much of the $1.3bn of annual aid from Washington. The commander of that army, General Tantawi – who just happened to be in Washington when the police tried to crush the demonstrators – has always been a very close personal friend of Mubarak. Not a good omen, perhaps, for the immediate future.

    So the “liberation” of Cairo – where, grimly, there came news last night of the looting of the Qasr al-Aini hospital – has yet to run its full course. The end may be clear. The tragedy is not over.

    DLA Piper's blood money at work

    Tuesday, February 1st, 2011

    Ethiopia ranks 202nd out of 213 countries in Facebook usage

    Monday, January 31st, 2011

    Ethiopia under the 20-year-old brutal dictatorship ranks at the bottom on every thing, including in the number of social media usage. A statistics by Socialbakers.com shows (see below) that Facebook penetration in Ethiopia is only 0.28 percent, which is one of the lowest in Africa. Poor African nations such as Rwanda, Malwi and Togo have more Facebook penetration than Ethiopia. Meles Zenawi’s vampire regime is restricting Internet growth in Ethiopia to deny the people access to information, which is a key ingredient for building a free and democratic society. EthiopianReview.com and all other Ethiopian independent news web sites and blogs have been blocked in Ethiopia by Meles. .

    List of countries on Facebook

    # Country Users Growth Pen.
    1. Falkland Islands 1 840 0 0.00 72.27%
    2. Monaco 21 000 0 0.00 68.66%
    3. Iceland 193 180 0 0.00 62.54%
    4. Faroe Islands 26 960 0 0.00 54.96%
    5. Gibraltar 15 660 0 0.00 54.23%
    6. Hong Kong 3 713 880 0 0.00 52.38%
    7. Norway 2 405 820 0 0.00 51.45%
    8. Canada 16 887 320 0 0.00 50.02%
    9. Taiwan 11 448 260 0 0.00 49.72%
    10. Turks and Caicos Islands 11 460 0 0.00 48.71%
    11. United States 148 216 200 0 0.00 47.78%
    12. Brunei 186 260 0 0.00 47.15%
    13. Singapore 2 214 140 0 0.00 47.10%
    14. Cayman Islands 23 280 0 0.00 46.37%
    15. Denmark 2 533 280 0 0.00 45.93%
    16. The Bahamas 141 580 0 0.00 45.61%
    17. Chile 7 585 500 0 0.00 45.30%
    18. United Kingdom 27 917 760 0 0.00 44.78%
    19. Australia 9 357 740 0 0.00 44.01%
    20. Sweden 3 967 700 0 0.00 43.73%
    21. Israel 3 115 300 0 0.00 42.36%
    22. Malta 170 740 0 0.00 41.97%
    23. New Zealand 1 754 120 0 0.00 41.63%
    24. Aruba 41 920 0 0.00 40.08%
    25. Macedonia 815 160 0 0.00 39.34%
    26. Saint Kitts and Nevis 19 440 0 0.00 38.96%
    27. Seychelles 33 740 0 0.00 38.19%
    28. Ireland 1 763 020 0 0.00 38.14%
    29. Bermuda 25 900 0 0.00 37.94%
    30. Malaysia 9 899 460 0 0.00 37.84%
    31. Isle of Man 31 320 0 0.00 37.35%
    32. Barbados 105 560 0 0.00 36.95%
    33. United Arab Emirates 1 836 120 0 0.00 36.90%
    34. Belgium 3 783 880 0 0.00 36.30%
    35. Puerto Rico 1 436 940 0 0.00 36.12%
    36. Netherlands Antilles 81 640 0 0.00 35.70%
    37. Qatar 295 340 0 0.00 35.12%
    38. British Virgin Islands 8 740 0 0.00 35.05%
    39. Albania 1 044 080 0 0.00 34.95%
    40. Cyprus 385 080 0 0.00 34.92%
    41. Finland 1 821 000 0 0.00 34.65%
    42. Antigua 29 440 0 0.00 33.94%
    43. Bahrain 248 660 0 0.00 33.69%
    44. Serbia 2 461 760 0 0.00 33.52%
    45. Anguilla 4 940 0 0.00 33.46%
    46. Greenland 19 140 0 0.00 33.21%
    47. Macau 187 560 0 0.00 33.02%
    48. Turkey 25 127 700 0 0.00 32.30%
    49. Trinidad and Tobago 387 580 0 0.00 31.54%
    50. France 20 378 620 0 0.00 31.46%
    51. Luxembourg 155 980 0 0.00 31.35%
    52. Uruguay 1 077 060 0 0.00 30.68%
    53. Italy 17 792 580 0 0.00 30.63%
    54. Argentina 12 649 760 0 0.00 30.60%
    55. Switzerland 2 322 000 0 0.00 30.46%
    56. Slovenia 609 200 0 0.00 30.41%
    57. Slovakia 1 658 460 0 0.00 30.32%
    58. Montenegro 199 300 0 0.00 29.89%
    59. St. Lucia 48 000 0 0.00 29.83%
    60. Portugal 3 189 180 0 0.00 29.71%
    61. Lebanon 1 218 820 0 0.00 29.55%
    62. Andorra 24 580 0 0.00 29.08%
    63. Czech Republic 2 966 220 0 0.00 29.08%
    64. Croatia 1 302 160 0 0.00 29.02%
    65. Saint Vincent and the Grenadines 30 240 0 0.00 29.02%
    66. Grenada 31 080 0 0.00 28.83%
    67. Venezuela 7 610 760 0 0.00 27.96%
    68. Greece 2 994 480 0 0.00 27.86%
    69. New Caledonia 63 160 0 0.00 27.77%
    70. Austria 2 250 620 0 0.00 27.40%
    71. Colombia 11 885 780 0 0.00 26.89%
    72. Estonia 346 480 0 0.00 26.83%
    73. Bulgaria 1 909 560 0 0.00 26.71%
    74. Guadeloupe 116 880 0 0.00 26.32%
    75. Spain 12 111 420 0 0.00 26.04%
    76. Hungary 2 600 680 0 0.00 26.03%
    77. Liechtenstein 8 840 0 0.00 25.26%
    78. Costa Rica 1 139 060 0 0.00 25.22%
    79. Martinique 100 980 0 0.00 24.87%
    80. Dominica 17 700 0 0.00 24.31%
    81. Maldives 94 240 0 0.00 23.82%
    82. Lithuania 842 900 0 0.00 23.78%
    83. Bosnia and Herzegovina 1 007 020 0 0.00 21.79%
    84. Philippines 21 759 280 0 0.00 21.78%
    85. San Marino 6 700 0 0.00 21.29%
    86. Netherlands 3 489 380 0 0.00 20.79%
    87. Kuwait 578 260 0 0.00 20.73%
    88. Palestine 509 960 0 0.00 20.28%
    89. Panama 677 280 0 0.00 19.86%
    90. Tunisia 2 021 920 0 0.00 19.09%
    91. French Polynesia 53 560 0 0.00 18.66%
    92. Jordan 1 195 460 0 0.00 18.66%
    93. Mauritius 241 220 0 0.00 18.64%
    94. Germany 14 720 840 0 0.00 17.89%
    95. Jamaica 500 520 0 0.00 17.58%
    96. Mexico 19 744 200 0 0.00 17.56%
    97. Dominican Republic 1 670 580 0 0.00 17.01%
    98. French Guiana 38 720 0 0.00 16.43%
    99. Ecuador 2 280 260 0 0.00 15.42%
    100. Peru 4 338 700 0 0.00 14.51%
    101. Indonesia 34 319 040 -9 960 -0.03% 14.12%
    102. Poland 5 163 200 0 0.00 13.42%
    103. Belize 42 040 0 0.00 13.37%
    104. Tuvalu 1 600 0 0.00 12.93%
    105. Fiji 113 660 0 0.00 12.03%
    106. Romania 2 590 400 0 0.00 11.80%
    107. Saudi Arabia 3 028 320 0 0.00 11.77%
    108. Palau 2 420 0 0.00 11.64%
    109. Suriname 56 580 0 0.00 11.63%
    110. El Salvador 702 560 0 0.00 11.61%
    111. Thailand 7 645 200 0 0.00 11.51%
    112. Northern Mariana Islands 5 660 0 0.00 10.99%
    113. Latvia 242 000 0 0.00 10.91%
    114. Guyana 78 900 0 0.00 10.54%
    115. Georgia 479 880 0 0.00 10.43%
    116. Bolivia 914 720 0 0.00 9.20%
    117. Honduras 701 680 0 0.00 8.78%
    118. Morocco 2 729 780 0 0.00 8.63%
    119. South Korea 3 831 680 0 0.00 7.88%
    120. Cape Verde 38 320 0 0.00 7.53%
    121. Guatemala 997 480 0 0.00 7.36%
    122. Paraguay 451 720 0 0.00 7.08%
    123. South Africa 3 423 480 0 0.00 6.97%
    124. Oman 201 180 0 0.00 6.78%
    125. Guam 12 080 0 0.00 6.77%
    126. Egypt 5 097 940 0 0.00 6.34%
    127. Djibouti 45 400 0 0.00 6.13%
    128. Nicaragua 364 720 0 0.00 6.08%
    129. Bhutan 40 620 0 0.00 5.80%
    130. Brazil 10 875 340 0 0.00 5.41%
    131. Namibia 107 080 0 0.00 5.03%
    132. Botswana 93 700 0 0.00 4.62%
    133. Jersey 4 200 0 0.00 4.50%
    134. Algeria 1 494 900 0 0.00 4.32%
    135. US Virgin Islands 4 620 0 0.00 4.21%
    136. Sri Lanka 878 460 0 0.00 4.08%
    137. Armenia 120 600 0 0.00 4.07%
    138. Libya 262 520 0 0.00 4.06%
    139. Tonga 4 820 0 0.00 3.99%
    140. Azerbaijan 312 720 0 0.00 3.77%
    141. Moldova 161 920 0 0.00 3.75%
    142. Mongolia 115 760 0 0.00 3.75%
    143. Gabon 54 220 0 0.00 3.51%
    144. Ghana 839 160 0 0.00 3.45%
    145. Guernsey 1 980 0 0.00 3.06%
    146. Federated States of Micronesia 3 240 0 0.00 3.02%
    147. Nepal 870 300 0 0.00 3.01%
    148. Senegal 417 720 0 0.00 2.97%
    149. The Gambia 52 080 0 0.00 2.86%
    150. Marshall Islands 1 760 0 0.00 2.73%
    151. Russia 3 663 900 0 0.00 2.63%
    152. Kenya 999 700 0 0.00 2.50%
    153. Vatican City 20 0 0.00 2.41%
    154. Mayotte 5 500 0 0.00 2.38%
    155. Ukraine 1 068 780 0 0.00 2.35%
    156. Samoa 5 080 0 0.00 2.31%
    157. Belarus 219 200 0 0.00 2.28%
    158. Vietnam 1 923 520 0 0.00 2.15%
    159. Pakistan 3 607 860 0 0.00 2.04%
    160. Solomon Islands 11 820 0 0.00 1.98%
    161. Vanuatu 4 320 0 0.00 1.98%
    162. Kiribati 2 180 0 0.00 1.93%
    163. Iraq 562 400 0 0.00 1.90%
    164. Swaziland 25 240 0 0.00 1.86%
    165. Nigeria 2 777 440 0 0.00 1.82%
    166. Åland Islands 480 0 0.00 1.73%
    167. India 19 895 420 0 0.00 1.70%
    168. Japan 2 016 340 0 0.00 1.59%
    169. Cambodia 227 280 0 0.00 1.54%
    170. Mauritania 49 060 0 0.00 1.53%
    171. Cameroon 292 240 0 0.00 1.51%
    172. Kazakhstan 228 620 0 0.00 1.48%
    173. Haiti 137 320 0 0.00 1.42%
    174. Zambia 124 340 0 0.00 1.03%
    175. Angola 133 660 0 0.00 1.02%
    176. Yemen 223 140 0 0.00 0.95%
    177. American Samoa 620 0 0.00 0.94%
    178. Bangladesh 1 405 720 0 0.00 0.89%
    179. Equatorial Guinea 5 640 0 0.00 0.87%
    180. Lesotho 16 620 0 0.00 0.87%
    181. Togo 51 460 0 0.00 0.83%
    182. Central African Republic 40 200 0 0.00 0.83%
    183. Benin 69 980 0 0.00 0.77%
    184. Uganda 257 420 0 0.00 0.77%
    185. Republic of the Congo 30 740 0 0.00 0.75%
    186. Nauru 100 0 0.00 0.71%
    187. Rwanda 76 600 0 0.00 0.69%
    188. Madagascar 138 640 0 0.00 0.65%
    189. Kyrgyzstan 34 380 0 0.00 0.62%
    190. São Tomé and Príncipe 980 0 0.00 0.56%
    191. Laos 38 920 0 0.00 0.56%
    192. Tanzania 229 420 0 0.00 0.55%
    193. Comoros 4 020 0 0.00 0.52%
    194. Mali 71 100 0 0.00 0.52%
    195. Sierra Leone 25 760 0 0.00 0.49%
    196. Afghanistan 137 580 0 0.00 0.47%
    197. Papua New Guinea 27 080 0 0.00 0.46%
    198. Malawi 69 800 0 0.00 0.45%
    199. Mozambique 79 620 0 0.00 0.36%
    200. Burkina Faso 58 060 0 0.00 0.36%
    201. Democratic Republic of Congo 212 800 0 0.00 0.30%
    202. Ethiopia 246 360 0 0.00 0.28%
    203. Turkmenistan 12 860 0 0.00 0.26%
    204. Eritrea 13 560 0 0.00 0.23%
    205. Guinea 19 140 0 0.00 0.19%
    206. Uzbekistan 51 340 0 0.00 0.18%
    207. Burundi 16 520 0 0.00 0.17%
    208. Tajikistan 12 460 0 0.00 0.17%
    209. Niger 25 280 0 0.00 0.16%
    210. Somalia 14 400 0 0.00 0.14%
    211. Chad 11 340 0 0.00 0.11%
    212. China 505 380 0 0.00 0.04%
    213. Réunion 135 980 0 0.00 0.00%

    Socialbakers.com [logo]

    Protest to be launched in Syria

    Monday, January 31st, 2011

    Al Arabiya News Channel is reporting that Syrians are getting organized to launch protests against the regime of Bashar al-Assad. Meanwhile, in Egypt the army ruled out use of force against civilians as a million people march and general strike are called for tomorrow by opposition groups, according to the BBC.

    DUBAI (Al Arabiya) — Thousands of Syrians have joined a Facebook group to call for a protest against their president on Friday, February 4, echoing Tunisia’s Jasmine Revolution and Egypt’s Day of Rage on January 25.

    The group named “the Syria Revolution 2011,” is planning rallying young people in a march to protest against the Ba’thist regime led by Bashar al-Assad after Friday’s prayer.

    The group described al-Assad’s rule as dictatorship and showed torture YouTube videos of political dissident in the country.

    The group also called for civil disobedience, and encouraged “all of the brave Syrian youth, from all factions and social classes and from all provinces” to “not be silent about oppression.”
    Against ‘revolution’

    To counter the group and its plans, a another group was recently formed to support Assad and his regime.

    “We love you” said a caption in bold red on the group’s profile which includes a picture of al-Assad.

    The pro-Syrian president group called “The Syria Revolution 2011” group as “backward”.

    The number of people joining both groups is constantly increasing and includes 6,586 people for “The Syria Revolution 2011” and 6,466 with pro-the Syrian president and his regime.

    “One nation, one blood, one leader, one god,” said the pro al-Assad group.

    Syria’s late President Hafiz al-Assad initially groomed his elder son Basil al-Assad to be the country’s future president, but Basil died in a car accident

    Bashar al-Assad who had few political aspirations and was an ophthalmology graduate, inherited Syria’s presidency after his father’s death in 2000.

    In 2007 Bashar was approved president for another seven-year term after he won a vote, in which had no challenger, by 97.6 of the votes, according to official figures.

    A far cry from his father’s socialist rule, Bashar opened the country’s market but quashing political dissidents is still taking place.

    Dictatorship 101

    Monday, January 31st, 2011

    By Yilma Bekele

    According to Wiki “in contemporary usage, dictatorship refers to an autocratic form of absolute rule by leadership unrestricted by law, constitutions, or other social and political factors within the state.” That is what we have in Ethiopia. That is what we are used to in Ethiopia. We have never known any other type of system.

    Emperor Menilik is considered the father of modern day Ethiopia. He was crowned in 1889 and reined till 1910. His title was Neguse Negest or king of kings. He was followed by Haile Sellasie who acted as a regent from 1916 to 1930 and Emperor of Ethiopia from 1930 to 1074. His title was “His Imperial Majesty Haile Selassie I, King of Kings, Lord of Lords, Conquering Lion of the Tribe of Judah, and Elect of God” (Ge’ez ግርማዊ፡ ቀዳማዊ፡ አፄ፡ ኃይለ፡ ሥላሴ፡ ሞዓ፡ አንበሳ፡ ዘእምነገደ፡ ይሁዳ፡ ንጉሠ፡ ነገሥት፡ ዘኢትዮጵያ፡ ሰዩመ፡ እግዚአብሔር; girmāwī ḳadāmāwī ‘aṣē ḫaile śelassie, mō’ā ‘ambassā ze’imneggede yehūda negus negast ze’ītyōṗṗyā, tsehume ‘igzī’a’bihēr)

    The French absolute Monarch Louis the XIV of France defined the term when he said L’État, c’est moi (the state, it is me). All power was vested on the individual and the citizen is referred to as a subject.

    Colonel Mengistu Haile Mariam was the next de facto Emperor. His ascension to power was, as far as I am concerned definitely a freak accident. He was cunning enough to use ruthlessness as a calling card. We witnessed his purges. We became part of his convoluted worldview. We did a lot of harm to each other. Everybody carries a scar. Indifference carries its own baggage too. Colonel Mengistu and his minions abused us till his departure in 1991. If you are keeping count Mengistu precedes Ben Ali of Tunisia as the original deportee from his own country. He was thrown out. Hosni Mubarak of Egypt is scheduled to join us the next few days. Frankly I am tired of welcoming tyrants. Hosni rest assured we are in no mood to furl the welcome mat. You are on your own.

    Our current leader tormentor Meles Zenawi became President of the Transitional Government from 1991 to 1995 and has been the Prime Minister and kingmaker since 1996. He controls the army, banking thus the economy, the judiciary and the parliament (legislative body). He is the new emperor in a different guise. That is the condensed version of our history of the last one hundred twenty two years.

    It looks like we are conditioned to accept the rule of a single individual. We are bred to follow power and authority. Subservient to someone because of age, wealth, education, heredity is part of our DNA. We invite what is known as ‘strong leader.’ We insist on it. The more abusive those leaders are the more our appreciation and respect out of fear.

    This abusive relationship is not confined to the political realm alone. It permeates our social and family life too. We allow unscrupulous individuals to climb into position of leadership even in our civic and religious organizations. We know they are up to nothing good but we pretend, ignore and deny. We just wait for the crap to hit the fan and we come out of our hiding place and feign surprise. Our women tolerate their abusive partners; our children suffer under a suffocating and irrational family life.

    This ugly trait we cultivate is carried over to the highest office in the land. Our leaders whether Emperors, solders or ordinary garden variety criminals are our own products. We gave birth to them. We coddled them, nurtured them and let them loose on ourselves. It looks like it is not them alone that have to change. We have to change too. We have to learn to respect our selves. We have to believe we deserve the best. How could we demand change when we ourselves are not willing to change? How could we respect strangers when we don’t respect those around us?

    Our current Emperor is in a dilemma? We have allowed him to mistreat, abuse and kick us around for the last thirty years or more. He fine-tuned his style of bullying way back when he was an ordinary member of a study group. Now it has gone to his head and I am afraid he does not know the difference between right and wrong. There is no point in psychoanalysis. It is right in front of us for all to see. His habit of resorting to force at the drop of a hat, his tendency to be little others and his show of contempt for those that disagree with him is a glaring example of an individual with no moral compass. You cannot reason with such person.

    Let us be clear that any show of good will and compromise is seen as a weakness by such individuals and will be dealt with harshly. Such people are not interested in just wining but require the absolute destruction of their perceived enemy. They get a jolt of adrenalin rush from delivering such a devastating blow. Do we need examples of such behavior? If you insist.

    The utter humiliation of comrade in arms Tamrat Laine, the public flogging of Abate Kisho, the imprisonment of the whole clan of Seye Abraha and confiscation of their ill gotten wealth, the harsh treatment of Kinijit leaders and the over forty thousand young people in the aftermath of the 2005 elections and the re imprisonment of Bertukan are symptoms of a sick mind at work. The fact that the ‘leader’ was even keeping tab of Bertukan’s diet and weight is an indication of a very disturbed mind at work.

    I dealt with dictatorship because of the current trend of emerging from the yoke of abuse and humiliation in our neighborhood. The example set by Tunisia knows no sign of slowing down. It took Tunisians twenty eight days to topple a twenty-three years old dictatorship. It looks like the Egyptians might do it in less than fifteen days. They were exactly in the same boat like us. Some pundits are trying to show how different we are. I disagree. Our similarities are more than our differences. All three dictators used fear as their potent weapon. All three used excessive force for minor offenses. Murdering, imprisoning or exiling opponents is common to all three. All three economies were on the verge of collapse.

    Trying to compare who is the most autocratic between the three misfits is a useless exercise. All three would not blink when it comes to killing to stay in power. Ours is a little primitive due to the backward economic condition of our country. Using ethnic divide, economic disparity or education level is the hallmark of a dictatorship. Nothing-new there.

    We learned from Tunisia that the yearning for freedom is a universal wish. We also found out that the people united speak with one loud voice. There was no lamentation regarding the lack of a viable opposition party or leader. No one except Ben Ali and company was worried what would come after the demise of the rotten system. There was no sign of lawless ness because there was a ‘void’. The dictator was sent packing and Tunisians are slowly trying to undo years of mismanagement.

    We are learning additional lessons from our Egyptians brothers and sisters. We are beginning to witness the correct approach to dealing with the military. We are finding out the average solder is committed to protecting his country and flag not the tyrant. We are also watching closely the emergence of an independent individual to coordinate the various actors in this drama. Notice that he is someone that is not associated with the dictator or the opposition. It is a very interesting development.

    It is a very important and timely lesson for our country. Some would like to scare us with the specter of a military dictatorship upon the demise of TPLF. Egypt is a good example of not looking at the military as a simple tool of the ruling class. It is a living organism with different independent parts not always controlled from the center. When it comes to our country what we see is a beautiful picture. Our job is to build on that discontent and appeal to the good in all of us. We know the Generals and officers are from the ruling ethnic group. Fortunately the ordinary foot solders are just like us. A rainbow of nations and nationalities.

    Let us resolve to approach this situation with hope and anticipation of a better tomorrow. Let us ignore the naysayers, the scaremongers and the negative merchants. Our country is ripe for change. Our people are ready for change. Our situation cries out for change. We are going to bring about positive change. We are going to use every available means to help our people and ourselves to emerge as a shining light in East Africa. That is our destiny.

    We are in the process of organizing a ‘peaceful occupation’ of Ethiopian Embassy’s all over the world. We are going to use ESAT, Facebook, our independent websites and Ginbot7 short wave radio to gather our forces. Our intention is to show the lack of democracy and civil rights in our ancient land. Our hope is those who are clinging to power will realize change is inevitable and they will see the writing on the wall and go wherever dictators go without a futile attempt to deny reality. We are not into revenge but are committed never to allow the rule of a single individual. We also realize those who still stand with abusers even at the last hour will not receive mercy from us. It is time all decide where they stand at this hour of change. Enough is enough.

    Washington Should Take Proactive Measures in Ethiopia

    Monday, January 31st, 2011

    The events in Tunisia and Egypt have unveiled Washington’s foreign policy flaws in Africa. In both cases, Washington tolerated despotic regimes because they served a particular purpose. However, in the wake of the upheavals in both countries, Washington is now scrambling to devise strategies to control events and to formulate policies to reflect the new political reality. But the crisis seems to be spreading through the region like a wildfire, since the people of Sudan also have joined the bandwagon.

    Those of us in the Ethiopian Americans Council (EAC), believe that it is a matter of time before the simmering public anger also erupt in Ethiopia. As the case is always with repressive regimes, there are gross and persistent human rights violations, government corruption and a very shaky economy. The youth that comprise almost two-thirds of the population are unemployed, trapped in poverty, and isolated from the political process. This dismal political, economic and social conditions, is definitely a recipe for riot and violent uprising. Clandestine armed struggles abound in the country, and life for rural Ethiopia is a nightmare.

    Washington is presented with a unique opportunity to revaluate its dealings with the Zenawi regime in Ethiopia. In response to the unrest in Egypt, President Obama eloquently said, “What’s needed right now are concrete steps that advance the rights of the Egyptian people; a meaningful dialogue between the government and citizens; and a path of political change that leads to a future of greater freedom and greater opportunity and justice for the Egyptian people.” The President should send similar message to Ethiopia since the situation mirrors that of Egypt.

    Ethiopians are yearning for political and economic freedom. Because Washington controls the purse, it has the unfettered power to pressure the regime to implement specific political reforms to open up the political system to the opposition groups. The Ethiopian Americans Council hope the Obama administration will take proactive measures to facilitate the much needed political reforms in order to prevent similar social unrest in Ethiopia.

    Ethiopian Americans Council (EAC)
    www.eacouncil.org

    Revolution at the seat of the African Union headquarters

    Monday, January 31st, 2011

    By Kiflu Hussain

    African thieves at the AU meeting in Addis AbabaRight at this time, most of our African commanders-in-thug have assembled in my hometown, Addis Ababa. Imagine how these thugs would panic if Ethiopians suddenly rise up in unison like the Tunisians and Egyptians. The thugs would automatically abandon their comrade-in-thug, Meles Zenawi. By the way, Ethiopians are not new to making an earth shaking revolution. Had it not been hijacked by the military, in 1974 Ethiopians nearly made history. In 2005, Ethiopians again manifested their civility and maturity to embrace genuine democracy. Unfortunately, due to the egocentricity of the opposition leadership combined with the ever hegemonic geopolitical interest of the West, Ethiopians aspiration faced a temporary setback. Meanwhile, commensurate with the worsening repression by the Zenawi regime, Ethiopian’s anger is also simmering. It’s only waiting for the proverbial last straw or a tiny spark to galvanize it into a huge revolutionary ball of fire.

    Just like I get exasperated at the apparent submission of our people to tyranny, a Ugandan journalist friend of mine texted me:

    While Tunisians and Egyptians bring their governments down by protests, Ugandans protest by keeping quiet and Ethiopians and Eritreans protest by fleeing their country in thousands!”

    To which I replied by concurring fully. On second thought, however, I changed my mind at least on Uganda and Ethiopia. Both in Uganda and Ethiopia, the public had shown its readiness for change and anger against tyranny. In 2007, I witnessed the Mabira demonstration in Uganda. In September 2009, I was in the thick of the Buganda uprising. It’s always the intellectual elite that lag behind the ordinary people’s aspiration for mere crumbs from the establishment. With the pervasive abject poverty vis-à-vis the obscene riches of the few, raging anger is everywhere.

    Tolstoy warned long ago by pointing out:

    Insurrection is a machine that makes no noise.”

    How true! Even CIA and Mossad couldn’t detect the raging contagious revolution in North Africa. So imagining a revolution in Addis Ababa at this time is not that much of a wishful thinking.

    (The writer can be reached at kiflukam@yahoo.com)

    After the Fall of African Dictatorships

    Monday, January 31st, 2011

    By Alemayehu G. Mariam

    After the Fall from the Wall

    What happens to Africa after the mud walls of dictatorship come tumbling down and the palaces of illusion behind those walls vanish? Will Africa be like Humpty Dumpty who “had a great fall” and could not be put back together by “all the king’s horses and all the king’s men”? What happens to the dictators?

    When the people begin to beat their drums and circle the mud walls, Africa’s dictators will pack their bags and fly off like bats out of hell. Some will go to Dictators’ Heaven in Saudi Arabia where they will be received with open arms and kisses on the cheeks (Ben Ali of Tunisia, Idi Amin of Uganda, Nawaz Sharif of Pakistan found sanctuary in Saudi Arabia, as will Hosni Mubarak of Egypt and Omar al-Bashir of the Sudan and soon.) Others will hide out in the backyards of their brother dictators (Mengistu Haile Mariam of Ethiopia has been holed up in Zimbabwe for the last 20 years; Hissen Habre of Chad remains a fugitive from justice sheltered in Senegal; Mohammed Siad Barre of Somalia lived out his last days in Nigeria as did Zaire’s Mobutu Sese Seko in Morocco). The rest will fade away into the sunset to quietly enjoy their stolen millions. But few will meet the fate of Jean-Bedel Bokassa, the self-proclaimed Emperor of the Central African Republic (CAR) who found sanctuary in France only to return to CAR, face trial and be convicted of murder; or Charles Taylor of Liberia who found refuge in Nigeria before he was handed over to the International Criminal Court and is now standing trial for crimes against humanity and war crimes.

    The fact is that the morning after the fall of Africa’s dictators, the people will be stuck with a ransacked economy, emptied national banks, empty store shelves, torture chambers full of political prisoners and dithering and power-hungry opposition leaders jockeying for position in the middle of political chaos.

    Who Could Put Africa Together After the Fall?

    Where are the “king’s men and the king’s horses” who will put Africa together after the mud walls come tumbling down? Who are Africa’s Knights in Shining Armor who will ride to the rescue? Unfortunately, there have been few African knights and a lot of armor with one general or self-proclaimed rebel leader replacing another to lord over the people. Africa has been a victim of a recurrent case of old dictator out, new dictator in. In 1991, after the fall of the military dictatorship (Derg) in Ethiopia led by Mengistu Hailemariam, a malignant dictatorship replaced it with Meles Zenawi at the helm. Zenawi and his crew came to power promising democracy and ended up establishing a kakistorcatic kleptocracy (a government of incompetents whose mission is to use the state apparatus to steal from the people and enrich themselves and their cronies). Two decades later, the country’s economy is in shambles with galloping inflation and jails full of businessmen and merchants who are made the fall guys for the country’s economic problems.

    Laurent Gbagbo succeeded Ivory Coast’s military dictator Robert Guei in a democratic election in 2000. After losing a democratic election by a 9-point margin to Alassane Ouattara recently, Gbagbo refuses to step down and continues to cling to power despite pleas by his own election commission, the African Union, the U.N., the U.S. and the European Union. In 1997, rebel leader Laurent-Désiré Kabila overthrew Mobutu Sese Seko in Zaire, named himself president the day after Mobutu fled, suspended the constitution, renamed the country to the Democratic Republic of the Congo, moved into Mobutu’s palace and continued Mobutu’s ongoing enterprise of massive human rights abuses and corruption without skipping a beat. A week after Kabila was assassinated by his own body guard in 2001, his 30 year-old son Joseph was anointed president. Lansana Conté replaced dictator Ahmed Sékou Touré in Guinea in 1984, until he was overthrown by another military dictator in December 2008. Omar al-Bashir seized power in the Sudan in 1989, immediately suspended political parties and introduced Sharia law on a national level, a major factor which contributed to the recent breakup of the Sudan. In 1999, he disbanded the parliament, suspended the constitution, declared a state of national emergency and began ruling by presidential decree. Today al-Bashir is a fugitive from justice sought by the International Criminal Court for crimes against humanity and war crimes. When Siad Barre’s military dictatorship fell in Somalia in 1991, the warlord Mohamed Farrah Aidid and his rebel group took over Mogadishu but were unable to consolidate their power throughout the country, triggering bloody clan wars that have left Somalia as the ultimate completely failed state.

    Learning From History: Preparing for Change

    It is said that “those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it”; but there is much to be learned from the history of African dictatorships. Africa’s dictators have methodically and systematically wiped out their strongest opposition by demonizing, jailing, intimidating, torturing and outlawing them. They have neutralized rivals even with their own ranks. Zenawi jailed the entire leadership of the opposition, journalists, civil society leaders and human rights advocates in one fell swoop in 2005. The dictators have created their own political institutions and doctored their constitutions to allow for change to come only through the auspices of their own parties and allies. Both Ben Ali and Mubarak amended their constitutions so that no opposition leader or party could run for the presidency or other national office and have a chance to win in a fair and free election. Because African dictators live in an echo chamber they are self-delusional. They convince themselves that they have popular support. Mubarak believes he has the full support of the people, and by reshuffling his cabinet and appointing his army buddies to top posts he could continue his 30 year-old dictatorial rule. Zenawi declared that his 99.6 percent victory in the parliamentary election in May 2010 represented a “mandate” from the people to his party in gratitude for his great leadership and the “double digit” economic growth he had brought the country. African dictators are so arrogant that they believe they can save the day by making a few superficial concessions and grandstanding promises of democratization, reorganization and reconciliation. Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe and Mwai Kibaki of Kenya agreed to a make-believe “unity government” to prolong their dictatorships. Without the support of the West, no dictatorship in Africa could survive even a single day. That is why Mubarak, Zenawi, Kibaki, Musevini and rest of them shake in their boots when the West angles their collective boots towards their rear ends. The West will throw them under a steamroller at the first sign of unrest. President Obama was quick to “applaud” the Tunisian people for overthrowing Ben Ali. He warned Mubarak that unless he takes “concrete steps that advance the rights of the Egyptian people”, there will be cuts in the billions of dollars of U.S. handouts to Egypt.

    On the other hand, many opposition leaders and parties opposing dictatorships in Africa have been disorganized, fractious, confused, haphazard, self-righteous and duplicitous. Regrettably, there are far too many opposition leaders in Africa who are driven by the singular desire to grab power than are interested in bringing about real change. Truth be told, many African opposition leaders have little faith in the courage and resourcefulness of the people; and the people prove them wrong every time. As Egypt’s Mohamed El Baradei recently observed on the Egyptian popular uprising: “It was the young people who took the initiative and set the date [for the uprising] and decided to go. Frankly, I didn’t think the people were ready… [but what the youth have done] will give them the self-confidence they needed.” Once opposition leaders seat themselves in the saddles of power, they become the mirror images of the dictators they fought to remove. In the eyes of the people, many of these leaders have proven to be wolves in sheep’s clothing; they want to grab power to make sure “it is their turn to eat, their turn at the trough”. That is the reason why people in many parts of Africa have little faith in the opposition leaders or their parties. Laurent Gbago, who fought dictator Félix Houphouët-Boigny and years later led his supporters into the streets toppling General Robert Guei is today the reincarnation of Houphouët-Boigny-Guei. Yoweri Museveni of Uganda and Paul Kagame of Rwanda are no different. Further evidence in support of the assertion that many opposition leaders are driven by a hunger for power is their inability to present to the people concrete and comprehensive proposals to address the structural problems of poverty, unemployment, inflation, corruption, oppression and human rights violation in their countries. In short, many opposition leaders have no plans to clean up the mess the dictatorships always leave behind, and have failed to become beacons of hope to guide their people out of despair. That is what we seem to be witnessing today in Tunisia, Egypt, Jordan and elsewhere.

    An African Charter Against Dictatorship (Charter 2011)

    The history of the human struggle for freedom offers many lessons. One of the great lessons of the past two decades is that political changes that ensure lasting peace and guarantee freedom and human rights do not come as a result of military or palace coups, rebel victories or the efforts of opposition parties and leaders, but through simple acts of civil disobedience, passive resistance and the spontaneous actions of ordinary people and youth in the streets fed up with corruption, poverty, unemployment and human rights abuses. Who could have imagined that the match young Mohamed Bouazizi lit to burn himself protesting dictatorship in Tunisia would now be torching decades-old dictatorships in Egypt, Yemen, Algeria, Jordan? Could one reasonably doubt that the winds of change will not carry the embers of freedom from Tunisia and Egypt to other countries in the region?

    In the current context of civil disobedience and mass resistance and the absence of organized parties and leaders to lead peaceful popular uprisings in many African dictatorships, it seems that there is a great role to be played by individuals, small groups, civic society and other informal institutions dedicated to the defense and protection of human rights and the rule of law in Africa. Africans must look to civil society institutions and grassroots organizations to spearhead real change and take charge of their destiny. The first step towards that end is for ordinary Africans committed to nonviolent peaceful change to take a stand against dictatorship openly and defiantly. It has been done before successfully a number of times. The struggle of the Czechoslovakian dissidents who signed the Charter 77 petition is one instructive example of how individuals without political partisanship, affiliation or ideology — but committed to human rights and freedom — were able to change history by simply standing up for their beliefs and defying dictatorships.

    In November 1989, riot police violently suppressed student demonstrations in Prague, which in turn triggered a massive popular uprising and a general strike against the communist regime. As a result, Czech president Gustav Husak resigned in early December; and by the end of 1989 a non-communist government was in place. Within a few months, the much vaunted communist system in Czechoslovakia was dismantled completely. The “Velvet Revolution”, as it came to be known, had roots in the tireless efforts of a few hundred Czech dissidents committed to the principles of “Charter 77”, a human rights document prepared in the from a petition demanding respect for basic human rights guaranteed to Czech citizens in their Constitution and other international human rights conventions. The Charter demanded the right to freedom of expression, freedom of association, a stop to politically-motivated prosecutions, humane treatment of political prisoners and other basic rights. Charter 77 was not an organization nor did it have any formal membership. Those who signed it consisted of “a loose, informal and open association of people of various shades of opinion, faiths and professions united by the will to strive individually and collectively for the respecting of civic and human rights in our own country and throughout the world.” Anyone who agreed with the ideas of the Charter and was willing to propagate and participate in its pursuit could take ownership. When the Charter was finalized in 1977, approximately 300 individuals had the courage to sign it. Many avoided openly endorsing the document or showing support for it fearing retaliation, harassment and persecution by the communist regime. When communism fell in 1989, fewer than two thousand Czechs had signed the Charter. Most importantly, during the turbulent days of the “Velvet Revolution”, it was the members of Charter 77 who played a pivotal and decisive role in the transition of Czechoslovakia from totalitarianism to democracy. Member of Charter 77 ensured not only the dismantlement of communism but also became the bulwarks against the rise of another dictatorship. An African Charter Against Dictatorship is long overdue!

    Palace of Illusions and Fortress of Freedom

    When the mud walls of African dictatorships come tumbling down, the palaces of illusion behind those walls will vanish without a trace. If Africans are to have hope of a better future and fulfill their destiny to become one with all free peoples in the world, they will need to build a fortress of freedom impregnable to the slings and arrows of civilians dictators and the savage musketry of military juntas. African dictators should heed these words: “Those who make peaceful change impossible, make a violent revolution inevitable.”

    Sudan people rise up against the al Bashir dictatorship

    Monday, January 31st, 2011

    The domino effect of the Tunisia jasmine revolution reaches Ethiopia’s neighbor Sudan today where protesters who demanded the resignation of the al Bashir dictatorship clashed with police, according to Al Jazeera.

    (Al Jazeera) — Sudanese police have beaten and arrested students as protests broke out throughout Khartoum demanding the government resign, inspired by a popular uprising in neighbouring Egypt.

    Hundreds of armed riot police on Sunday broke up groups of young Sudanese demonstrating in central Khartoum and surrounded the entrances of four universities in the capital, firing teargas and beating students at three of them.

    Sudan protest

    Police beat students with batons as they chanted anti-government slogans such as “we are ready to die for Sudan” and “revolution, revolution until victory”.

    There were further protests in North Kordofan capital el-Obeid in Sudan’s west, where around 500 protesters engulfed the market before police used tear gas to disperse them, three witnesses said.

    “They were shouting against the government and demanding change,” said witness Ahmed who declined to give his full name.

    Sudan has a close affinity with Egypt – the two countries were united under British colonial rule. The unprecedented scenes there inspired calls for similar action in Sudan, where protests without permission, which is rarely given, are illegal.

    Before Tunisia’s popular revolt, Sudan was the last Arab country to overthrow a leader with popular protests, ousting Jaafar Nimeiri in 1985.

    Galvanised by social networks

    Groups have emerged on social networking sites calling themselves “Youth for Change” and “The Spark”, since the uprisings in nearby Tunisia and close ally Egypt this month.

    “Youth for Change” has attracted more than 15,000 members.

    “The people of Sudan will not remain silent any more,” its Facebook page said. “It is about time we demand our rights and take what’s ours in a peaceful demonstration that will not involve any acts of sabotage.”

    The pro-democracy group Girifna (“We’re fed up”) said nine members were detained the night before the protest and opposition party officials listed almost 40 names of protesters arrested on Sunday. Five were injured, they added.

    Opposition leader Mubarak al-Fadil told Reuters two of his sons were arrested on their way to the central protest.

    Editor-in-chief of the al-Wan daily paper Hussein Khogali said his daughter had been detained by security forces since 0500 GMT accused of organising the Facebook-led protest.

    Pro-government newspapers carried front page warnings against protests which they said would cause chaos and turmoil.

    The Sudan Vision daily’s editorial blamed the opposition.

    “Our message to those opposition dinosaurs is to unite their ideas and objectives for the benefit of the citizens if they are really looking for the welfare of the Sudanese people,” it read.

    Prices, frustration rising

    Sudan is in deep economic crisis which analysts blame on government overspending and misguided policies.

    A bloated import bill caused foreign currency shortages and forced an effective devaluation of the Sudanese pound last year, sparking soaring inflation.

    Early this month the government cut subsidies on petroleum products and key commodity sugar, triggering smaller protests throughout the north.

    Sunday’s protests coincided with the first official announcement of results for a referendum on the oil-producing south’s secession from the north showing an overwhelming vote for independence, which many in the north oppose

    Police spokesman Ahmed al-Tuhami told Reuters the police did not have figures for any injured or arrested.

    “We did not use more violence than necessary – we did not want anyone to spoil this day with the referendum results.”

    Cry Ethiopia, cry my beloved country

    Sunday, January 30th, 2011

    By Msmaku Asrat

    This is a tribute and in memoriam to the millions of Ethiopians who have been murdered; disposed; driven out of their country and refused reentry on pain of death; subjected to grinding poverty, drought, and famine by two rouge, murderous and dictatorial governments that have been the beasts that devoured Ethiopia in the last 40 years.

    Ethiopia became noted around the world as a fallen country that could not take care of its own children, the most prized possessions of any country, or for that matter, humanity as a whole can have. Ethiopia has sold its children in the hundreds of thousands to rich countries through a process called ‘adoption’ to mask the harsh and cruel reality of selling them. Cry, My Beloved Country.

    Many Ethiopian young women have been humiliated in their country to become prostitutes (estimated to be 300,000 in Addis Ababa alone).  Those   with means use their money to pay Weyane agents to leave their country with a lure of employment. These agents sell them cheap to oil rich but primitive Arab countries. There they are engaged in back breaking slave labor in a 12-14 hour day and used as sexual toys at night. They are brutally beaten, burned, murdered by the hundreds. They also commit suicide everyday throughout the Arab world. The Weyane representatives in these Arab countries never take note or care. When the war in Beirut erupted, Ethiopians were the only foreigners who did not get any sanctuary. Some were sheltered by other sympathetic maids who were being assisted by their respective embassies. The vast majority of the 60,000 or so Ethiopian maids sold as slaves were left in the rubble of bombed out buildings of Beirut until the war stopped.  Their masters had earlier fled their homes with their dogs leaving the Ethiopian girls behind. Cry My Beloved Country.

    Hundreds of thousands of Ethiopian refugees have funneled through southern Ethiopia and are stretched out from Nairobi to Cape Town. In the slum of Nairobi, Eastline, Ethiopian girls are dragged from the street and/or their homes by the notoriously corrupt Kenyan police and are repeatedly raped and then passed along to their bosses or any Kenyan who wants to have sex with them. The Ethiopian men in turn are continuously asked to pay bribes or bring Ethiopian girls. Similar things happen to them until they reach South Africa. By that time most have lost their sanity, or have become sterile, or had abandoned their unwanted babies, or are infected with HIV AIDS or other sexually transmitted diseases. Ethiopian men are hunted like stray dogs and killed at will all along the way. This is especially severe in South Africa where they are beaten, robbed and killed by roving savage and xenophobic South African Blacks spoiling for a fight. This happens in a country for whose independence Ethiopia has fought so persistently, and for a long time, a matter acknowledged by Nelson Mandela.

    By all international standards Ethiopia remains the poorest country in the world. In Human Development Index (HDI) it is at the very bottom. If we only take the needs of children and families, the statistics is quite staggering. Ethiopia is listed in the top 10 countries for the worst human development index worldwide. Five million or 16% of all children in Ethiopia are orphans. One in every 13 children dies before his/her first birthday. One in 14 women will die from complications during pregnancy or childbirth. More than 1/3 of children under age 5 are malnourished. Four out of 5 families live on less than $2 a day. In rural areas, less than 1 in 3 families have access to a clean water source.

    The phenomenon of Internet Social Networking such as: twitter, facebook, MySpace, paltalk, Skype and other instant communication is unavailable to Ethiopians. With 80 million population Ethiopia Is probably the most closed society in the world. Please look at Fig. 1 and Fig. 2.

    Meanwhile, the absolute potentate and dictator-in-chief Meles Zenawi, continually berates insults and humiliates non-Tigrean Ethiopians and spews his poisonous venom on them. His speeches are filled with filth and garbage deliberately meant to shock and terrorize. Just to touch the tip of the iceberg: He says that he is proud to belong to the Golden Tribe; and glad not to be a piece of rag like the rest. He surely believes, like Hitler believed about the Aryans, that his Tigrean tribe is the “Master Race”.  The entire Tigrean elite are on his side believing that “now it is our time to eat”. Even when their tribal ship is about to sink not even one የድል አጥቢያ አርበኛ (patriots on the eve of victory). He openly wonders what Axum is for the Welayta or others; he has said that he can do whatever he likes with anybody even if he does not like the color of his or her eyes. He has said that his Tigreans will not join the others in the mud and roll with them. He has recently warned hundreds of businessmen that he will cut their fingers and pull their nails. At one time while addressing his “parliament” he said that he would “cut the tongues” of whatever group he was referring to at that time. His vulgar language is inexhaustible. I have always maintained that Meles is a cross between Idi Amin and Mobutu. In kleptocracy he has surpassed Mobutu. But Idi Amin has wit and intelligence and is a paragon of virtue by comparison. Just watch the French Documentary “Idi Amin Dada” if one has doubts.

    Meles surely suffers from megalomania and psychiatrists would have a field day analyzing him. He wears $7,000 tailor made suits fitted by the world renowned Savile Raw Tailors of London, who had been the dress makers of European kings and princes and present day multi-billionaires. His $300 a piece shirts are also custom made as well as his padded shoes. A tailor from Savile Raw regularly travels between London and Addis to take measurements of Meles and deliver finished ones. Even Emperor Haile Selassie with all his glory and charisma was employing the services of a local tailor. London has now begun selling single flats in an exclusive area for $220 million dollars. Russian oligarchs and Middle Eastern Billionaires are buying it fast. Maybe Meles has bought one already. With his propensity of not caring for expenses on himself he will be among the most sought after candidate.

    It is said that the wife of the Tunisian dictator has raided the national bank and fled with gold bars. Our guys have upstaged her by many years. The vault of the Ethiopian National bank was raided and its gold stolen. A couple of Gurage retail traders were said to be the culprits and then the trail gets dead. Everybody, even the most loyal Tigrean supporter, knows who stole this gold. The hapless Gurages probably do not even know where the National Bank is located let alone its massive vault.  While we salute the valiant youth of Tunisia who started it all and salute the youth of Egypt, Yemen, and more to follow, we say Cry My Beloved Country!

    Meles has now embarked on one of his often reformulated trickster games. This time it is price control. The Derg had tried it once and failed. The people said about the Derg then: ደርግ ያስካካል እንጅ እንቁላል አይጥልም (the Derg will cuckoo but does not lay eggs).  The Weyane now want EFFORT to devour the hen with her eggs. A lot has been speculated on whether the people’s victory in Tunisia could be repeated in Ethiopia. There is every likelihood that it may happen since the Weyane is sitting on top of a tinderbox which could explode any day. We have also to realize that Ethiopians are the most oppressed and the most isolated people on the face of the earth. The top brass of the military is entirely composed of Tigreans. The security forces are entirely from the Tigrean tribe as well as the majority of the police force. The police have been trained by that arch enemy of the Ethiopian people, the BRITISH.  We must remember that the Master Plan of the entire Weyane governing structure down to the Kebele level was drawn up by the British. To prop up the regime they installed, they have cynically given away 600 free MBA’s from Open University of London to be distributed among illiterate Weyane cadres. They were told to frame their fake MBA’s and hung it in their offices. Meles has availed himself of two of them – so low has the prestige of British education fallen that it has been used to buttress an illegitimate dictatorship. 

    How about education at home. The management of the oldest and most respected higher education establishment has been given to Endreas Eshete. This quintessential “Hodam Amara” who has self –styled himself as “Professor” while in actual fact he is an assistant professor. He never had a steady job in the US, occasionally freelancing as a shoo-in a semester adjunct lecturer at a time, courtesy of some friends.  A recent article by concerned professors of the A.A. University have posted their grievances on how Endreas is systematically destroying this august institution of higher learning, which I urge everyone to read. He was put there by Meles just to do that. University education in Ethiopia except in Mekele (MIT) is a joke. To humor Ethiopians Weyane says it has opened dozens of universities all over the country. These are single structure buildings with obsolete textbooks donated by Western countries, books that have been thrown away and shipped free to Ethiopia, like the familiar second hand cloth. These books form what is called libraries. The method of instruction is ተምሮ ማስተማር – the barely educated “graduates” employed as ‘professors’ to teach the new arrivals at a “university”. Beyond qualified professors, a university needs a good library; a reliable internet connection with other centers of learning throughout the world, in order to access their research data base; sophisticated photo copying facilities; and number of pages/semester must be allocated to each student for free so that they can download and print out up to date learning materials. These “universities” are now in the process of ‘the blind leading the blind’ and issuing absolutely useless degrees.   And this is deliberate. Endreas knows that.   BTW, he is the custodian of the “famous Weyane donkey” or its sibling. His donkey brays in the middle of the night disturbing his neighbors in the upscale neighborhood where he is given a villa by the Weyane. If in doubt, check it out.

    What about the Diaspora. It is a reflection of the country. It is fragmented and works at cross purposes most of the time. But it is determined to assist the subjugated Ethiopians in every way possible.  The truth of the matter is that the youth have to take the leadership. The Brave New World awaits their leadership. Nobody can give it to them, they have to snatch it just like the valiant and exemplary youth of Tunisia have done! They have to snatch it from the Old Guard.  The older generation should know that their time is up. Their role, however, is useful during the transition period. That is to warn, to guide, and to advice. During the Derg time Ethiopians were called “the people who forgot to smile or laugh” – so much and so devastating was the oppression.  The butcher Mengistu is singing his swan song “I never even hurt a fly” from his comfortable exile. One of his closest ideological advisors was the Eastern European educated Dr. Ashagre Yigletu, considered by those high Derg officials who have worked closely with him as the embodiment of evil. They interplay with his first name and call him አሻጥሬ (the conspirator) He was to Mengistu as Ribbentrop was to Hitler.  He is hiding somewhere in Southern US. His place, like his boss, is to face the World Court in The Hague. It has always been said that people who forget their past are condemned to repeat it in the future. We have to follow the example of Chile.

    What can we say about Diaspora “tourists” or euphemistically called “investors” who descend to Ethiopia every year.  Most are in fact “sex tourists”. They may have been sex starved and have worked as a mule in their Western abodes. They go to Ethiopia to flout their hard earned money among poor prostitutes, have their way with the benefits that their cash give them, and return to their harsh reality, some with STD or HIV AIDS. The foreign tourists are mostly from rich Arab countries, Europe and America. They are sexual tourists. The Americans in particular are known to have destroyed the culture of countries they have dominated. Look at the sexual tourist havens in Vietnam, Cambodia, Philippines, Thailand and now Ethiopia.  It is said that homosexual prostitutes have begun to emerge. An unheard abomination in the past.  One of US NGO’s was running an orphanage in Wello for the sole purpose of using the orphans as sexual slaves. He was apprehended. But how many are out there. Ethiopia has 4,600 NGO’s the second largest in the world (the first is Haiti with 10,000 NGO’s and look where it is now)

    The Ethiopian Orthodox Church whose followers are the absolute majority of the country has a “Patriarch” who is derelict in his duties and has eyes wandering in taboo places. When the famous pop star Beyonce went to Ethiopia, the Patriarch they say was smitten.  A popular joke attributed to him. It was said that he composed this couplet:

    በአምስት አቦ ናችው በሰባት ቢዮንሴ
    እኔ አንቺን ስወድሽ ትወጣለች ነፍሴ

    Byonce is considered the most beautiful woman in the world (and I agree). But Abba GebreMedhin is a cleric who has vowed to celibacy and to turn away from worldly things. What brought him into the business of entertaining Byonce? He was criticized by the timid Synod for this. Another strange case concerns a certain woman who is rumored to be of ill repute and of loose morals who frequents his private living quarters and rides with him in his Hummer. She was once physically forbidden by a wall of Bishops from entering the Patriarch’s private quarters!! A small statuette of him was erected at a corner of a church and the Synod wanted it dismantled. The “Patriarch” refused saying that it was “this woman” who built it for him out of “pure love”. Things are getting stranger and stranger. This is what “rolling in mud” means, Meles. And who is  there in the mud, your Patriarch.

    Dictators, they say, have feet of clay. Weyane has reached the tipping point and is on the verge of collapse. Its tribal structure will collapse with it. The world is changing and changing very fast. In this era of globalization even the immutable Caste System of India which has endured for thousands of years is falling apart.  The Tigrean supporters of the Weyane as well as the other Hodams should abandon their sinking flagship, the Weyane Mafia, before it is too late. Otherwise they will sink with it.

    In Ethiopia when the revolution occurs s it may be called the “adey Abeba Revolution”. Until  freedom comes, we will continue to repeat  aloud the battle cry  of those valiant freedom fighters of Angola and Mozambique- who fought for so long and so hard, the most entrenched colonial power in Africa -the Portuguese – until final victory.

    A Lutta Continua! -the Struggle Continues!

    (Cry My Beloved Country is the title of a book written by Alan Patton, the patriotic South African lamenting about Apartheid. The book was translated into Amharic with the apt title እሪ በዪ አገሪ. The author, Msmaku Asrat, Ph.D., can be reached at msmaku@comcast.net)

    EAST AFRICA

    (Fig. 1)
    Computer Usage
    Rescaled scores 0-100 where 100=best
    Sorted by 2008/9 score
    Rank Score Change
    2008/9 2008/9 from 2007/8
    1 Seychelles 90.2 -
    2 Sudan 44.7 -
    3 Djibouti 17.8 +2.1
    4 Uganda 7.0 -
    5 Kenya 5.7 -
    6 Eritrea 4.2 +0.9
    7 Tanzania 3.8 -
    8 Somalia 3.7 -
    9 Comoros 3.6 -
    10 Burundi 3.5 -
    11 Ethiopia 2.8 -
    12 Rwanda 1.2 -

    (Fig. 2)
    Mobile Phone Subscribers
    Rescaled scores 0-100 where 100=best
    Sorted by 2008/9 score
    Rank Score Change
    2008/9 2008/9 from 2007/8
    1 Seychelles 98.3 -1.7
    2 Kenya 43.6 +5.9
    3 Tanzania 35.8 +8.4
    4 Sudan 32.5 +6.5
    5 Uganda 25.7 +1.5
    6 Rwanda 21.8 +9.6
    7 Djibouti 13.4 +1.4
    8 Comoros 13.3 -0.1
    9 Burundi 9.1 +3.7
    10 Somalia 6.3 -
    11 Ethiopia 4.4 +2.2
    12 Eritrea 2.5 +0.5

    Why isn’t Egyptian army shooting?!

    Saturday, January 29th, 2011

    Unlike the notorious Egyptian police, the restraint shown so far by the Egyptian army in the face of a nation wide popular uprising is becoming no doubt worrisome to Ethiopia’s tyrant Meles Zenawi who himself is sitting on a ticking time bomb. Meles and his blood thirsty army chief, General Samora Yenus, may have called Hosni Mubarak to ask why the army is not shooting. When Ethiopians held rally following the 2005 fraudulent elections, Meles Zenawi had unleashed his death squads who gunned down civilians indiscriminately, including children and women.

    In memory of those Ethiopians who fought for change, and to remind us that positive change is still possible in Ethiopia, Tamagn Beyene has produced the following video.

    Sarkozy urged to speak out on abuses in Ethiopia

    Saturday, January 29th, 2011

    President of France Nicolas Sarkozy will travel to Ethiopia on January 30. The Human Right Watch (HRW) has issued a statement today urging Sarkozy to speaking out against human rights abuses in Ethiopia by the regime of brutal dictator Meles Zenawi. Read the statement below:

    HRW (Paris) — The French president, Nicolas Sarkozy, is scheduled to arrive in Addis Ababa on January 30, 2011, for an official visit to Ethiopia. Human rights concerns, including the misuse of development aid to repress dissent, should be high on Sarkozy’s agenda, Human Rights Watch said.

    The ruling party of Prime Minister Meles Zenawi, the Ethiopian Revolutionary People’s Democratic Front (EPRDF), won 99.6 percent of parliamentary seats in the May 2010 general election. Space for independent civil society and media has diminished sharply over the past five years, but particularly since 2009 when Ethiopia passed a restrictive law regulating civil society activity. Most independent human rights groups and media outlets have been forced to close, and the ruling party operates a system of cell structures in the country that monitor the political activity of every household.

    While repression in Ethiopia has increased, so has development assistance to Ethiopia from the European Union, the United States, and other major donors.

    In October 2010, Human Rights Watch published a report, “Development without Freedom,” which described how international development aid is used by the Ethiopian government to discriminate against political opponents and dissenters. Government services, funded by the European Union and other donors, are administered in a partisan way so that essential agricultural inputs, land, and even food for work programs are used as tools to reward loyal supporters and punish the families of members of the opposition, with serious humanitarian consequences.

    International donors, especially the European Union and its member states, are aware of this partisan discrimination in some areas but have not conducted an independent investigation into the serious allegations contained in the report. President Sarkozy has the authority and the responsibility to demand that Ethiopia allow donors to assess independently how their money is being used, Human Rights Watch said.

    “President Sarkozy should make clear that Ethiopia’s worsening human rights situation is a major concern not just in France, but throughout Europe,” said Jean-Marie Fardeau, Paris director at Human Rights Watch. “He should stress that Ethiopia’s crackdown on independent civil society and the media is unacceptable, and needs to be reversed.”