Archive for the ‘Ethiopian News’ Category

Mortgage crisis to hit Ethiopia

Friday, January 29th, 2010

Ethiopian families grieve

Thursday, January 28th, 2010

Ethiopian, Lebanese relations sour

Thursday, January 28th, 2010

Crashed Ethiopian Airlines black boxes have been found, not yet recovered

Thursday, January 28th, 2010

EPPF in London holds historic meetings

Thursday, January 28th, 2010

Meles writes Obama

Thursday, January 28th, 2010

U.S. Navy locates Ethiopian flight 409 black boxes

Thursday, January 28th, 2010

The truth must be told about Ethiopian Flight 409

Thursday, January 28th, 2010

AI calls on Ethiopia's dictator not to execute Melaku Tefera

Thursday, January 28th, 2010

The kidnapping of Awassa University students

Wednesday, January 27th, 2010

Ethiopian Flight 409 black box found

Wednesday, January 27th, 2010

Correction: Captain originally assigned to fly ET-409 escapes crash

Wednesday, January 27th, 2010

Lebanon's mistreatment of grief-stricken Ethiopians

Wednesday, January 27th, 2010

Lightning reported in the path of crashed Ethiopian plane

Wednesday, January 27th, 2010

Ethiopian billionaire’s daughter faces stoning in Saudi

Wednesday, January 27th, 2010

Flight 409 pilot flew into violent storms

Tuesday, January 26th, 2010

China's massive investment in Ethiopia at what cost?

Tuesday, January 26th, 2010

The mystery of Ethiopian Airlines Flight 409

Tuesday, January 26th, 2010

Names of Ethiopian Airlines Flight 409 passengers

Tuesday, January 26th, 2010

No survivors found in Ethiopian Airlines plane crash (video)

Tuesday, January 26th, 2010

Notice to Ethiopians: You are Being Evicted from Ethiopia

Monday, January 25th, 2010

construction machinery

Look at these few pictures from Gambella, showing some of the 200 pieces of construction and agricultural equipment which have recently arrived in Gambella town, purchased by Mohammed Ali Al-Amoudi’s company, Saudi Star Agricultural Company, which now leases 10,000 hectares of land—just a start since he supposedly wants some 250,000 hc in total. Five hundred trucks are said to be arriving in February, just a portion of an additional 1500 to 2000 trucks said to be in the plans.

In the Abobo area of the Gambella region, Al-Amoudi has already started clearing the ground. The location he is now clearing was land held by the Federal government as a natural reserve for wild life. The local people have been told to not speak to outsiders. We also have reports that Al-Amoudi had a meeting with the governor, Omod Obang Olom, where he told him he wanted the Anuak in the Diaspora to be silenced; saying he was willing to hire (bribe) people from the Diaspora who could counter any claims of exploitation with claims that this was going to benefit the people.

Al-Amoudi is now also destroying forests in the Mazengir area, located in the area of Gomerra on the border between Gambella and the Southern Nations.

In Ilea, 35 K east of Gambella town, where the East Indian company, Karuturi Global, is clearing thousands of hectares of some of the most fertile Anuak indigenous land, he is in the process, cutting down the valuable Shea trees, which are a rich source of high quality cooking oil, lotions and food.

construction machinery

Gambella is one of the few remaining areas where Shea trees can still be found in Africa, trees that take twenty years to reach maturity. These trees were the focus of study at Addis Ababa University, where researchers recommended that this area become a protected reserve, but now Karuturi has fourteen tractors working daily to destroy this precious and endangered natural resource.

Even more upsetting to the Anuak is the clearing and destruction of Anuak burial ground. However, they are afraid to speak up in protest because if they do, the government will arrest them. The company has joined with the government in also warning the people to not talk about all of this at risk of being arrested and losing their jobs. Instead, they have been told,  if a reporter approached them with such questions as to whether they would be receiving any compensation for their land, they were to say that the company was planning to do something in the future. However, no contracts or agreements have been signed and no details given.

The Meles government has now requested 90,000 hectares of land close to Gambella town, for their own use. In fact, what they are doing is claiming this land for EPRDF government supporters. Now, people from anywhere in the country, as well as those living in the Diaspora, can go to the Ethiopian Embassy, pay $500 and receive a yellow identification card, giving him or her, the right to invest in Ethiopia.

Now, many of these people are coming into Gambella and making formal requests for this land. In other words, someone from the EPRDF can say they want a certain amount of land, but do not have to pay for it. Instead, they are given a certificate that they now own this land, giving them “the capital” to now borrow money from the Ethiopian bank to pay off the land loan and even invest in another business.

At the same time, the indigenous people of Gambella are being displaced from their land, get no compensation for it and no opportunity to obtain such loans; particularly if they are not EPRDF members—members who will of course, later be expected to vote for the ruling party in the upcoming election!

While this is all going on, for the first time in memory, the self-sufficient people of Gambella are experiencing a drought and many are threatened with hunger and starvation just as their lands are being taken over by outsiders. Meles alleges that the Gambella regional government gave him the green light to assume control over the leasing of the land because the people of Gambella are too uneducated to do it. However, when you ask the people, even those in some positions of authority in Gambella, they will tell you that the government simply took over the land without ever consulting them.

But by now, you know, everything done by the government of Ethiopia is based on deceit. When Meles calls the people of Gambella uneducated, he fails to mention the fact that there is not a single university or college in the entire region; despite the building of many universities in his own Tigrean region and other regions since he came to power twenty years ago. He also fails to explain why his government troops targeted the most educated leaders in the Anuak massacre of December 13-15, 2003. Marginalization of the people in coveted sections of the country can mean “exploitive opportunity” for shrewdly manipulative leaders like Meles; yet, it leaves the silenced people, victims of an apartheid system, similar to South Africa.

The people of Gambella will say that this land was not given to us by Meles, by Meles’ father or by his mother, but by God.  As one Anuak summed it up, “Our pain is internal. We are bleeding from the inside from everything we see around us daily. How long before it explodes, I don’t know, but when it does, I don’t know what price any of us will pay—we the owners of the land or those who are exploiting us. Time will tell.”

This discrimination is immoral and shameful and only creates more simmering tensions among the people that could erupt someday. We have heard that the same thing has been going on for even longer in Welkayit Tegede, a very fertile part of the Amhara region. Victims of these land grabs are forced to stand by while their ancestral land is given away and their children pushed aside. Now, in the Welkayit Tegede area, formerly the Amhara region, but in the process of being acquired by the Tigrean region, everyone, for the first time, is required to speak Tigrean. If they refuse or are unable to comply, they are told to leave the area and go to the Amhara region. Most of the people in Welkayit Tegede have already lost their ancestral land this way.

In the southeastern part of Ethiopia, a recent conflict erupted between civilians and militias, loyal to the ruling party. It occurred in the Ogadeni province of Shiniile following a protest over the government’s confiscation of 60,000 hectares of the most fertile land, allegedly sold—or leased—to a Chinese consortium or to highlanders, migrating to the region.

These are just a few reports, but the same thing is going on in the Afar region, in Beninshangul-Gumuz, in Oromia, in Southern Nations and wherever there is desirable land or resources. Reports have included allegations by the new Ethiopian laborers that they are not being treated with respect.

I was told about a man working on a farm in Bako outside of Addis Ababa who demanded better treatment for the local people from their East Indian company, Karuturi Global, employer. The East Indian man accused him of having an attitude and asked him about what tribe he belonged to, accusing him of being an Amhara. He said, “We were told that the Amhara are the stubborn, control-freaks and that this is not your time.” He fired the man. Who told this man such prejudicial opinions about the ethnicity of Ethiopians?

construction machinery

Ethiopia—the land, the water, the resources and the people—are now being sold to the highest bidder by none other than their own government under the dictatorial leadership of Prime Minister Meles Zenawi—a “neo-slave trader” of the 21st century. Human beings have been sold since the beginning of time; often by those closest to them, but as a society, most of us hoped this was in the past.

Jesus was betrayed by Judas who “turned on him” for thirty pieces of silver. Joseph, one of the patriarchs of the Bible, respected by Jews, Muslims and Christians, was sold by his own brothers for twenty shekels of silver to slave traders going to Egypt.

During the years of African slavery, it was usually not the western slave traders who captured the Africans to be sold; but instead, it was opportunistic Africans who preyed on other “tribes” they devalued or with whom they competed, making profitable deals for themselves at the expense of these other human lives. We know the rest of that tragic story that only came to an end when people of moral and political will stood up against this structural evil.

During the invasion of Ethiopia by Mussolini’s Italy in 1934-1941, there were Ethiopians who took bribes from the Italians and betrayed Ethiopia for a price. None of this is new, but unfortunately, we now have new turncoats and slavers in our midst and it is the EPRDF government of Meles. The inherent reason for government is to protect its people and to enhance their well being; however, in Ethiopia, the opposite is true.  The people need protection from this oppressive government that uses force, lies and a perversion of justice to confiscate anything they want. If the people get in the way, they are expendable.

If we, the people of Ethiopia do not quickly take action, Ethiopians living on their ancestral land will soon be considered trespassing and the laws of a corrupted land will evict them. Ethiopia will no longer be owned by Ethiopians, but will be under the control of outsiders and a handful of elite. We will either have to leave the country or become the neo-slaves of the 21st century. This is intolerable and unacceptable. What would possess a leader of a country to do this?

Everything he is doing is a contradiction between talk and action. A month ago Meles was in Copenhagen begging for billions of dollars to protect the African forests, but here he is in Ethiopia, destroying our forests and giving the land away for nothing rather than feeding Ethiopians. It is immoral. It is time for all Ethiopians to stand together to stop this craziness. This should unify all, including the many people fighting in liberation fronts: the Gambella Liberation Front, Ogaden National Liberation Front, the Oromo Liberation Front, the Afar Liberation Front, the Sidamo Liberation Front and the Benishangul Liberation Front. If we do not act together now, you may not have a region to liberate for by the time you do, it may already have been sold to the Chinese, India, Saudi Arabia or some other country.
This is the time for all of us to come together and to stand up as one people to save the country. Let us save our people from being sold into slavery. The land belongs to all of us and is where our ancestors are buried. This should unify us.

This savage attitude of Meles must be stopped so for those who are in liberation fronts and for those who are not; let us liberate our thinking from tribalism and free the country! Fighting alone is what gives Meles the green light to do what may quickly become irreversible damage.

We do not have the luxury of remaining separate anymore for if we do, we will be finished. Then we will share in defeat. Instead, let us reconcile and stand together as one nation of people who will value each other, passing on a blessing rather than a curse to our descendents. May God help us and save Ethiopia from destruction!

(Please do not hesitate to email me if you have comments: Obang@solidaritymovement.org)

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Ethiopian Airline flight crashes, no word on survivors

Monday, January 25th, 2010

U.S. Part of Lebanon Search

Monday, January 25th, 2010

Rescue teams search for survivors in Ethiopian plane crash (video)

Monday, January 25th, 2010

Worries growing about Ethiopia elections – The Economist

Monday, January 25th, 2010

Storm appears to have caused the crash of Ethiopian Airlines jet

Monday, January 25th, 2010

Ethiopian plane crash should not sully success story

Monday, January 25th, 2010

Ethiopian Airlines jet crashes after taking off from Beirut

Sunday, January 24th, 2010

Ethiopia on a deteriorating human rights trajectory

Friday, January 22nd, 2010

Ogaden civilians fight back Woyanne death squads

Friday, January 22nd, 2010

How will Chinese culture influence Africa?

Friday, January 22nd, 2010

Others democratic senators join Jim Webb in calling for a moratorium

Thursday, January 21st, 2010

Scott Brown's truck

Wednesday, January 20th, 2010

Controls on military assistance to Somalia must be tightened

Wednesday, January 20th, 2010

Google Vs China – lessons for Ethiopia

Tuesday, January 19th, 2010

Poll shows Berhanu Nega is the undisputed front runner

Monday, January 18th, 2010

Conveying Ethiopia's horror (Book Review)

Sunday, January 17th, 2010

Earthquake risks in Ethiopia

Saturday, January 16th, 2010

A clear winner is emerging – Vote for the President of Ethiopia

Saturday, January 16th, 2010

Ethiopians in Washington to honor Pastor Daniel Mekonnen

Friday, January 15th, 2010

Africa-Asia ties flying high

Friday, January 15th, 2010

U.S. policy on Ethiopia does not reflect American values

Friday, January 15th, 2010

Forum on Ethiopian Politics Beyond Ethnicity – Washington DC

Friday, January 15th, 2010

Ethiopia launches new power plant

Thursday, January 14th, 2010 The plant gets its water through an underground channel from the first Gilgel Gibe hydroelectric project, which is fed by the Omo River.

This is the second plant to be inaugurated in almost as many months.

And a few more projects are in the pipeline to ensure that the power shortages of last year never recur.

The next stage, Gilgel Gibe III, is expected to generate about 1,800MW of power.

Ethiopia’s government wants the country to generate its own electricity and export it to the region.

The BBC’s Uduak Amimo in Addis Ababa says Djibouti, Kenya and Sudan have already agreed to buy power from Ethiopia.

She says if all goes according to plan, electricity will overtake coffee as Ethiopia’s biggest export within the next decade.

(Source: BBC News)

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Tigrean Nationalism: A Weapon of Repression

Tuesday, January 12th, 2010

Ethiopians turn to EPPF for leadership

Tuesday, January 12th, 2010

President Isaias Afwerki's new year message (video)

Monday, January 11th, 2010

Reflection Brings Questions

Monday, January 11th, 2010

EPPF public meeting in London (Jan 24, 2010)

Sunday, January 10th, 2010

The Massawa Epic Battle (Book Review)

Saturday, January 9th, 2010

US suspect in Pakistan defends 'jihad' plans

Saturday, January 9th, 2010

Political leanings of the different Ethiopian media

Friday, January 8th, 2010

VOA reports on Woyanne propaganda against EPPF (audio)

Friday, January 8th, 2010

In defense of Prof. Ephraim Isaac

Friday, January 8th, 2010

Vote for Ethiopa's next president

Friday, January 8th, 2010

Support EPPF, Our Liberation Fighters

Thursday, January 7th, 2010

Woyanne claims it arrested EPPF fighters in Gonder (video)

Thursday, January 7th, 2010

Bloomberg News reporter detained in Ethiopia

Wednesday, January 6th, 2010

Melkam Gena Weizero Birtukan

Wednesday, January 6th, 2010

EPPF chapters affirm solidarity with Eritrea

Wednesday, January 6th, 2010

President Isaias Afwerki's Christmas message for Ethiopians (video)

Tuesday, January 5th, 2010

The scramble for land in Ethiopia

Tuesday, January 5th, 2010

Woyanne troops crossed Eritrean border, 10 killed

Saturday, January 2nd, 2010

Greetings from Prof. Ephraim Isaac

Saturday, January 2nd, 2010

Gebrselassie wins the Trier Corrida

Friday, January 1st, 2010

2009 Person of the Year

Thursday, December 31st, 2009

The case for war

Thursday, December 31st, 2009

Eric Gates of TV show "Mythbusters" killed in an accident

Wednesday, December 30th, 2009

Ethiopia's ruling junta gives Egypt 20,000 hectares of land

Wednesday, December 30th, 2009

Why did Copenhagen fail to deliver a climate deal?

Tuesday, December 29th, 2009

Woyanne prepares to attack Eritrea

Tuesday, December 29th, 2009

Ethiopian art exhibition in Atlanta (Saturday, Jan 2)

Tuesday, December 29th, 2009

Tadias Magazine's List of Top 10 Ethiopian Web Sites

Saturday, December 26th, 2009

EPPF chapters worldwide teleconference (Sunday)

Friday, December 25th, 2009

Yemen to deport 2,000 Ethiopians

Friday, December 25th, 2009

Visiting freedom fighters in the field (video)

Thursday, December 24th, 2009

Ethiopia's Top 25 Most Popular Media of 2009

Thursday, December 24th, 2009

Short list of Ethiopian Review's "Person of the Year"

Thursday, December 24th, 2009

Eritrean Government's reaction to U.N. sanction

Thursday, December 24th, 2009

Why Meles Zenawi Betrayed Africa in Copenhagen

Thursday, December 24th, 2009

Siphoning off Ethiopian Airlines' profit (video)

Thursday, December 24th, 2009

Worldwide EPPF fund raising campaign launched

Wednesday, December 23rd, 2009

80-year old father of Ethiopia opposition official gets life in prison

Wednesday, December 23rd, 2009

Dutch resident sentenced to death in Ethiopia

Wednesday, December 23rd, 2009

ER "2009 Person of the Year" to be announced

Wednesday, December 23rd, 2009

Interview with OLF chairman Mr. Dawud Ebsa

Tuesday, December 22nd, 2009

Ato Melaku, Dr Berhanu, 3 others sentenced to death

Tuesday, December 22nd, 2009

Prostitution plagues Ethiopia's capital

Tuesday, December 22nd, 2009

What now for Ethiopia's "Aung San Suu Kyi"?

Monday, December 21st, 2009

Yemen accused of abusing Ethiopians

Monday, December 21st, 2009

Will the real Meles stand up?

Saturday, December 19th, 2009

Ethiopian Review trip to Humera, Ethiopia (video)

Friday, December 18th, 2009

Eritreans and Ethiopians: What Next?

Friday, December 18th, 2009

EPPF holds meeting in Washington DC with former soldiers

Thursday, December 17th, 2009

There’s light, but it’s not the end of the tunnel yet…

Thursday, December 17th, 2009

$100 bn is half the amount poor countries need – Oxfam

Thursday, December 17th, 2009

Somalia threatens to degenerate

Thursday, December 17th, 2009

Tell President Obama: Don't turn a blind eye to Ethiopia

Thursday, December 17th, 2009

President Obama: Personal Plea from Your Supporter

Thursday, December 17th, 2009

U.S. official for human rights ignores questions about Ethiopia

Wednesday, December 16th, 2009