Posts Tagged ‘ethio’

Difficult to walk through beggar-filled Addis Ababa streets – USAID Intern Meredith Maulsby

Tuesday, September 2nd, 2014

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By Meredith Maulsby
September 1st, 2014

Poverty on the Streets of Addis Ababa

Poverty can easily be seen throughout the capital of Ethiopia, but nowhere is it more evident than when you pass a beggar on the street. Beggars are everywhere in Addis Ababa, and they represent a vast range of demographics. There are men, women, children of all ages and conditions– some with their mothers, some without, and the severely disabled.

Older children, rather than begging, try to sell you gum or clean your shoes, while the younger children walk in front of you asking for money or food, not leaving you until they spot another person to ask. The women are often with young children, sometimes babies, and usually with more than one. I was once walking down the street and a young child no older than 2 or 3 who was being held by his mother made the signal they all make to ask for food or money while calling me sister. I thought this child probably learned this signal before he even learned how to speak. Women are often seen grilling corn on the sidewalk on a small grill to sell to people passing by.

I have been told the severely disabled have most likely suffered from stunting, polio or the war. I have seen men with disfigured legs so mangled that they can not walk but instead drag themselves down the sidewalk. Others are in wheelchairs and unable to walk. And this city is not easy for the disabled. The sidewalks, where they exist, are not always flat and not always paved. There are also often giant holes in the middle of the sidewalk or loose concrete slabs covering gutters. On the main roads, near where I’m staying there are tarps and blankets off to the side of the road where where the beggars must sleep or live.

It is a very difficult scene to walk through. You want to help them all and give everyone a little bit of money or food. But there are so many it would be nearly impossible to give to them all. We have been told to not give to beggars because once you give to one you will be surrounded by others. When people do give money to beggars it is often very small bills or coins that will not go very far.

I have often wondered how much money they actually receive. Perhaps it would be beneficial to do more in depth look at why these people became beggars and where they come from. After a cursory search for research and reports on beggars in Addis Ababa, I found very little. There is a study on the disabled beggars and a report focusing on children. There is a documentary that follows two women who come to the capital from a rural town and become beggars in order to raise money for their family when climate change creates a food shortage.

Both the government of Ethiopia and large NGO’s, like USAID and the UN, are working to stop the “cycle of poverty.” There are major health and nutrition projects being implemented all over the country, but these are long-term projectsn that do not address the immediate needs of people on the streets. Short term solutions such as creating shelters or centers for the disabled and homeless could allow beggars more opportunities for housing but could also generate income potential through workshops and other skill development programs.

Meredith Maulsby Currently interning with USAID in Ethiopia
Source: http://www.bainesreport.org/2014/09/pov … dis-ababa/

Transitional government in exile helps Ethiopia avoid Libya-like chaos

Tuesday, September 2nd, 2014

Libya is currently engulfed in chaos as different factions fight for control of the government. The elected government was forced to flee the capital. Foreign embassies have evacuated. The airport is taken over by an anti-government militia. All this is happening because change came to Libya suddenly and the country did not have civil institutions to help with a smooth transition from Gaddafi’s 40-year dictatorship. He ruled Libya by dividing the country along ethnic and tribal lines. In Ethiopia, TPLF has been doing the same thing for the past 20 years, and when change comes, it could bring chaos with it — unless Ethiopians come together and find a solution now. The solution is to create a transitional government in exile as soon as possible. Doing nothing is condemning Ethiopia to chaos and bloodshed.

Effort underway to save Amharic in Israel

Tuesday, September 2nd, 2014

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By Roy (Chicky) Arad | HAARETZ

In the yard of Petah Tikva’s Fidel Youth Center, girls shout while playing soccer and boys grill hot dogs for a birthday party. The children, most of whose parents immigrated to Israel from Ethiopia, sing along to a Hebrew song and gossip in Hebrew. But on the center’s second floor, the atmosphere is more serious. Under portraits of Theodor Herzl and Nelson Mandela, 10 adults around the age of 40 are studying Amharic.

Most of the students are of Ethiopian origin; they grew up speaking the language at home, but never learned to read or write it. The class also includes Andrei Ilin, a musician who immigrated to Israel from Moscow five years ago and became interested in Ethiopian culture, which he says is “the most traditional in Israel,” and Ronen Dib, a contractor of Yemenite origin.

At first I sit next to Ron Habani, a Dan bus driver, who is preparing for a visit to Ethiopia, where he was born. He says he wants to be able to read signs while exploring his African roots. “Almost almost all of my friends are from the [Ethiopian] community,” says Dib, who adds that his favorite word in Amharic is cherika, or moon.

The driving force behind the Enemar Center is Avraham Esres, one of its founders. He enters the classroom every 15 minutes, makes sure there’s coffee and croissants, and in between goes out to the street to try to persuade passersby to join the class. Esres drives a truck for a paper factory, but he feels his life’s purpose is to save Amharic from extinction in Israel.

Russian immigrants were his inspiration for starting the center, Esres says. “We saw how the Russians manage to keep their language in Israel while with us, it’s disappearing,” he says, adding: “What’s happening with Amharic hurts me, it’s a central part of our identity. The Enemar Center is the last stop before the language dies out here. “ Esres says that when he was at boarding school in Bnei Brak he studied Hebrew all day long. “Nobody suggested I study my language. I want to make a revolution, so children will learn Amharic in the schools.” [...] READ MORE: http://www.haaretz.com/news/national/.premium-1.613602

Emir of Riyadh participates in the arrest of 469 Ethiopians

Monday, September 1st, 2014

http://www.alarabiya.net/ar/saudi-today/

بمشاركة أمير الرياض.. القبض على 469 اثيوبياً

A day in the life of a taxi woyala in Addis Ababa (video)

Sunday, August 31st, 2014

Produced by Natnael Araya in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

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Enough: By Hanisha Solomon

Sunday, August 31st, 2014

Hanisha’s New Song on Why Africans Must Stand Together for Freedom August 26, 2014 Click Here to Listen to Hanisha’s song    

The Game of Thrones in Ethiopia

Sunday, August 31st, 2014

In the “Game of Thrones”, (the book from which the internationally popular television series of the same name is adapted), rival lords among the ruling families clash violently to take over the kingdom of the Iron Throne. The internecine warfare rages on as the kingdom faces threats from otherworldly creatures. One of the battling lords in […]

Establishing the Commonwealth of Ethiopia

Saturday, August 30th, 2014

There are different ideas on how to bring about peace in the war-ravaged eastern African region and put the countries on the path of development and prosperity. The following is one them.

The first order of business is to root out dictatorships in the region. Once we are able to achieve that, my suggestion is to bring all the countries under a big tent named the "Commonwealth of Ethiopia."

The Commonwealth of Ethiopia will include Ethiopia, Eritrea, Djibouti, Somalia, Somaliland, both Sudans, Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda and Burundi. Other African countries are also free to join.

The Commonwealth’s power will be limited to providing for common security, protecting the civil rights of all citizens equally, establishing common currency, and enacting uniform commercial laws. Every thing else, such as civil and criminal laws that do not encroach on civil rights, is left to the member nations.

The Commonwealth will have a parliamentary system similar to the one in the U.K.

Dissatisfied member nations can withdraw from the Commonwealth after holding a referendum by a simple 51% majority vote.

This is a long-term vision. The immediate required action is to eliminate the Woyanne cancer that is eating away at the region. Ethiopians can remove Woyanne by: 1) establishing an interim government in exile, and 2) waging a coordinated peaceful civil resistance campaign.

I welcome constructive ideas and suggestions. Frivolous, off-topic, or disruptive posts will be removed. This discussion will be archived for future reference, so try to present a well-considered and well-articulated argument.

Civil resistance has an entire arsenal of “nonviolent weapons” at its disposal

Saturday, August 30th, 2014

For Mass Uprising Struggle follow strategy, avoid chaos; anarchism, and avoid terrorism [ሽብርተኛ (terrorism) ማለት የሕዝቡን መብትና ንብረት የሚጥስ ብቻ ነው]. Even the regime’s supporters are to be wooed, not attacked. Civil resistance has an entire arsenal of “nonviolent weapons” at its disposal. They are classified into three broad categories: 1. Nonviolent protest and persuasion, 2. Non-cooperation (social, economic, and political), and 3. Nonviolent intervention. TO VIEW SOME OF THE KEY WEAPONS CLICK HERE

Getting to know me better.

Friday, August 29th, 2014

Getting to know me better. By Yilma Bekele I am in the process of weaning myself from my daily dose of reading about the madness of Woyane. It is not easy. After over two decades of being visually, mentally and spiritually assaulted regarding the evil nature of the Tigray peoples liberation front I am desperately […]

The perilous job of body collection at the Ebola epicenter – video

Friday, August 29th, 2014

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The retarding role of foreign aid in Ethiopia

Friday, August 29th, 2014

“Not even shooting and jailing the opposition, manipulating aid to starve the opposition, seizing the lands of villagers (Gambella, the Omo Valley, etc.) and relocating them (Villagization) against their will, and perpetrating violence against villagers who protest has been enough to shake the technocratic faith that autocrats (and dictators) can be trusted to be implementers of technical solutions.” – William Easterly

Ever since the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) and the Ethiopian Peoples’ Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) that it dominates took political power 23 years ago with the pretense of establishing a democratic state, Ethiopia has become the darling of the donor community. It is the largest recipient of aid in Africa and one of the top four in the world. Aid is a business and as such it serves a strategic purpose for donors. It is a vital part of globalization that serves as a mover of capital, technology, knowledge, trade, people, EBOLA etc. In this sense, it is transformative. I suggest that aid and globalization are beneficial to the extent that countries are endowed with nationalist, inclusive, competent, merit-oriented and empowering governments. Otherwise, as we see in the case of Africa, both facilitate a new form and rather insidious form of colonialism with new actors at play. These players go after the most precious resources such as farmlands and water basins. The global financial, trade and investment regime does not operate on a level playing field. The “big fish eats the little fish.” The scramble for African natural resources, investment opportunities and trade is more intense today than it has ever been. For all practical purposes the “last frontier” with its immense natural resources is being carved into new spheres of influence—the old colonial powers are back; and newly emerging economies such as Brazil, China, India, the Gulf State and Saudi Arabia as well as the world’s mover and shaker, the United States are all scrambling for the same pie. Land grab and investments in mineral and other resources is part of this scramble. Ethiopia is at the center of the scramble. It has a facilitating and welcoming single-party government.

In an outstanding and timely piece on the new scramble for African resources, especially precious farmlands and waters, Frederick Kaufman, contributing editor of Harper’s Magazine highlighted the dark side of globalization and the price Ethiopia (ባለቤት የሌላት ሃገር) is paying. “The Man Who Stole the Nile: an Ethiopian billionaire’s outrageous land grab” July 2014 presents a compelling piece concerning the deliberate and massive scale transfer of swaths of land by the TPLF/EPRDF government to foreign investors—Chinese, Indian, Saudi, etc. and the disenfranchisement of millions of Ethiopians. In a country that is disintegrating before our eyes (with Article 39 being used to formalize secession in some cases), Ethiopia is left to fend for itself, alone. Its resources are being plundered. My book, “The Great Land Giveaway” 2011 had forewarned Ethiopians and the world community that land grab will impoverish the country and cause it to disintegrate. Little recognized and appreciated by Ethiopia’s divided civic and political society, intellectuals and others is the fact the TPLF/EPRDF has transferred millions of hectares of farmlands and rivers that support large scale irrigated farming to foreign and a limited number of loyal domestic investors, 75 percent Tigrean nationals. It is the largest transfer of natural resources assets in Ethiopia’s history. It will have adverse effects on succeeding generations of Ethiopians. Kaufman put it succinctly and starkly. “Forget about diamond heists, bank robberies, and drilling into the golden intestines of Fort Knox. In this precarious world-historic moment, food has become the most valuable asset of them all—and a billionaire from Ethiopia named Mohammed Hussein Al Amoudi is getting his hands on as much of it as possible, flying it over the heads of his starving countrymen, and selling the treasure to Saudi Arabia,” his sponsor and financier. ”Last year, Al Amoudi, whom most Ethiopians call the Sheikh, exported a million tons of rice, about seventy pounds for every Saudi citizen. The scene of the great grain robbery was Gambella, a bog (marshland) the size of Belgium.” In the same year, Ethiopia imported $1.1 billion worth of food to feed Al Amoudi’s “starving countrymen.” Ironically, Saudi Star diverts and uses more water than all Ethiopian owned irrigated farms. Talking of adverse consequences in using Nile waters by the Saudi sponsored and financed farms, the author notes “The hydrological consequences would be astonishing. Each acre of rice requires a million gallons of water a season, which means the Sheikh’s project could eventually [deleted] more than a trillion gallons from the Nile. From November to February, the farm would extract more than 10 percent of the White Nile’s total flow. In a dry year, even more.” The Egyptians have focused on the wrong problem. The Renaissance Dam does not divert the amount of water that the Saudi Star Conglomerate in Gambella does.

More detrimental to Ethiopia and its growing population is massive transfer of hundreds of thousands of hectares of Ethiopian farmlands and waters to the Saudis, the Indians and others. It is a travesty. Land and other natural resources ownership by Ethiopians for Ethiopians will determine reduction of poverty, food self-sufficiency and security, employment opportunity, identity, stability, national security and territorial integrity and more. There is absolutely no economic, social or political justification for the Ethiopian government to transfer Ethiopia’s sources of food and wellbeing at an immense and lasting cost to the Ethiopian people. This transfer shows clearly that Ethiopia’s Foreign Direct Investment regulatory framework is opaque, non-participatory and intended for plunder. It reinforces my contention that Ethiopians suffer from two hurdles: a repressive regime that does not value justice, fairness, equity and national security; and globalization that is utterly undemocratic.

In light of the above, globalization is corrosive and destructive with regard to Africa. As Joseph Stieglitz, the Nobel Laureate in Economics and others suggest, the rules of the game must be changed radically for Africa to have a fighting chance. The system must be democratized in order to serve the needs of poor and middle income countries. To level the playing field, poor countries need to protect their interests. To do this, they need nationalist governments, robust and empowered societies and a free press that can mitigate globalization’s undesired effects. African countries ought to take a unified position on the governance of the new order. They need to grasp the reality that weak societies lose their identity, culture and assets because they do not dictate the terms of engagement. As Ethiopia’s case illustrates, weak societies and communities run by dictatorships cannot protect their infant industries and domestic capitalists. They are practically at the mercy of multinational corporations and governments that sponsor them. The imbalances are reflected in numerous areas. Unfair trade practices, loss of control over intellectual, proprietary and property rights (for example, indigenous seeds such as Teff and Ethiopian barley), domination of domestic markets, displacement of indigenous people, adverse environmental degradation in the exploitation of farmlands, mistreatment of migrant workers, unfair advantages over the domestic economy, corruption and massive illicit outflow are some of the major social and economic impacts of unfettered globalization. These are all manifested in Ethiopia.

The premier institution that tracks graft, theft, mispricing, corruption and illicit outflow is Global Financial Integrity (GFI). Its paints a dark and alarming picture that the August 2014 US-Africa Summit in Washington failed to address. It also failed to address the most critical determinant of sustainable and equitable development namely, good and democratic governance. Why? These are too sensitive; they affect most African leaders. GFI estimates that at least $1.8 trillion was stolen out of Africa over 39 years. This is a minimum. Africans lose $10 for every $1 they retain. The loss is estimated at 5-7 percent of GDP. How does Africa catch-up with the rest of the world if unfettered exploitation of its riches, theft, graft, mispricing, bribery, corruption and illicit outflow continue unaddressed? How does Africa thrive if there is no rule of law? How does Africa compete in a system of globalization that is patently corruption prone? Those who move capital illicitly use connections and global networks who benefit. They use Africans to punish Africans. In its seminal report in 2010, GFI put it starkly.

"This massive flow of illicit money out of Africa is facilitated by a global shadow financial system comprising tax havens, secrecy jurisdictions, disguised corporations, anonymous trust accounts, fake foundations, trade mis-pricing and money laundering techniques." Alarmed by the report, the Guardian reported quoting findings that “This capital loss has a devastating effect on development and attempts to alleviate poverty. Even by a more conservative estimate, using accepted economic models from the World Bank and the IMF, Africa has lost $854bn in cumulative capital flight between 1970 and 2008… This would be enough to not only wipe out its 2008 external debt of $250bn but potentially leave $600bn for poverty alleviation and economic growth.” What happened after this report is stunning. It is identical to the Ethiopian case. “Instead, cumulative illicit flows from the continent increased from about $57bn in the decade of the 1970s to $437bn over the nine years 2000-2008."

The Guardian noted that “Africa lost around $29bn a year between 1970 and 2008, of which the Sub-Saharan region accounted for $22bn. On average, fuel exporters including Nigeria lost capital at the rate of nearly $10bn a year.” GFI reflected on the devastating impact of the outflow. "The impact of this structure and the funds it shifts out of Africa is staggering. It drains hard currency reserves, heightens inflation, reduces tax collection, cancels investment, and undermines free trade. It has its greatest impact on those at the bottom of income scales in their countries, removing resources that could otherwise be used for poverty alleviation and” and economic development.

In its report on the Ethiopian case 2011/2012, GFI painted this bleak and real picture. “The people of Ethiopia are being bled dry. No matter how hard they try to fight their way out of absolute destitution and poverty, they will be swimming against the current of illicit capital leakage” estimated minimally at $11.7 billion between 2000-2009; $3.26 billion in 2009 alone. Subsequently, the University of Massachusetts confirmed this figure and estimated the annual leakage at $3.4 billion. We can extrapolate from this and suggest that Ethiopia has thus far lost $29 billion. This amount would build would build about 6 Renaissance Dams. In net terms, all of Ethiopia’s export earnings and aid transfers are wiped out through illicit outflow. The bulk of these monies are deposited in Western, East Asian and Caribbean banks. Most recently, Nigeria retrieved some of the stolen billions by going after one of its dictators and his family. In August, 2014 the U.S. Department of Justice announced that a D.C. District Court had made a ruling against the Nigerian dictator, Sani Abacha and his family stating that “Rather than serve his country, General Abacha used his public office in Nigeria to loot millions of dollars in brazen acts of kleptocracy.” Earlier in June this year, Nigeria recovered $228 million from the small county of Lichtenstein; and $1.3 billion from Abacha’s assets in other parts of Europe—offshore banks in France and the UK; accounts in Ireland and so on. I should like to suggest that retrieving stolen capital is possible. It can’t happen until and unless the government that leads the victim country is nationalist; or unless concerned nationals form a strong consortium and take their case to courts in recipient countries. This requires unreserved commitment and dedication to do the right thing for Ethiopia and the Ethiopian people. ደጋግሜ እንዳሳሰብኩት፤ ባለቤት የሌለው ሃገርና ሕብረተሰብ የተሰረቀውን ለማስመለስ አይችልም። Unity and solidarity determine the capacity to take action. What would it take to make Ethiopians wake-up and do this?

An essential question we Africans who care ought to ask is this. Why do Western and other countries allow looted money to enter their banks and other financial institutions in the first place? Don’t expect an easy answer. Whether the US, the UK, Switzerland, Singapore, the Cayman Islands or Lichtenstein, self-interest dictates public policy. The key point is that caring and nationalist governments and organized and committed citizens can go after the thieves no matter how hard it may seem and no matter how long it may take. Theft and illicit outflow should not have a safe-haven anywhere in the world; especially in Western countries that profess that financial integrity is key to sustainability, peace and anti-terrorism. However, someone or a group must do the hard work to uncover and go after the thieves. No one will do it for us.

It is clear to this commentator that, similar to the rest of Africa, Ethiopia is bedeviled by institutionalized greed, theft and the squandering of precious natural resources such as farmlands, waters and minerals. Consequently, the system that created graft and corruption can’t be expected to go after itself. The one party state that allows Al Amoudi to sell more than one million tons of rice to Saudi Arabia while Ethiopians starve cannot correct itself. Readers should appreciate the notion that the country’s poor are deprived of more capital and natural resources than Ethiopia receives in benefits or retains in the form of monies. For every dollar retained Ethiopia loses ten dollars. I often wonder how much donors receive or return to their homelands or through payments to their own nationals out of the aid monies they give to Ethiopia and other poor nations. What we can say safely is that, in the same way that the rest of Africa “bleeds” from hegemony and plunder by multinational corporations, land grabbers and new elites that collaborate with them; Ethiopia faces an identical or worst case scenario of perpetual “bleeding.” This “bleeding” is a form of cancer and manifests itself in the form of nepotism, ethnic-based favoritism, graft, bribery, corruption, illicit outflow and the transfer of precious resources to the Saudis and others that is system driven. Tragically for Ethiopia’s poor and youth, the travesty and injustices are ignored and in some cases condoned by the donor community. In his highly acclaimed book, “The Global Power Elite and the World they are making,” David Rothkope put the injustices of globalization as follows. “The current global system seems, to many people, to be fundamentally unjust. The richer get much richer and the great majority of others (most are in Africa) struggle to remain in place.” The Saudi are richer; they use their riches to buy Ethiopian lands and waters and secure food for their own citizens while millions of Ethiopians go hungry each day. The system is patently unjust and unfair.

What we can do
Non one in his/her right mind expects the TPLF to honor the rule of law and allow the Ethiopian people to express their will through the ballot box. This doesn’t mean that, as another form of struggle, free and fair elections should not be tried. However, this does not negate the cardinal truth that we—those who wish to see a rule of law based, equitable, just and democratic Ethiopia– are our own enemies. We bark at the wrong thing all the time while the TPLF and its sponsors diminish our worth. For example, we fight one another on strategy to unseat the TPLF defining and bickering constantly that this option is better and correct than that option while Ethiopia is disintegrating before our eyes. Whether armed or peaceful resistance, there is ample room for mutual understanding and acceptance of one another as long as the purpose and destination are the same. The key is to force the TPLF/EPRDF to submit to the will of the Ethiopian people before the country Balkanizes even further. Only principled partnership, mutual cooperation and trust, formation of consortiums across ethnic, religious and demographic boundaries and solidarity among political, civic, faith and professional groups and intellectuals would save the country and pose enough risk to the TPLF. My personal preference is a country-wide peoples’ resistance including sit-ins, boycotts, demonstrations, silences and withholdings of remittances, aid and travel etc. on a sustainable basis regardless of the cost. I acknowledge the notion that others have a democratic right to choose their means of struggle to achieve the same objective. Regardless of the options, those who desire a transition towards a democratic government must decide to make the country ungovernable. And they should try to do this in unison. In the long-run, peoples’ resistance is a prudent basis in establishing durable democratic institutions. In the meantime, it is vital that we all refrain from demeaning, degrading, bad mouthing one another. We should not expect donors and foreign governments to save Ethiopia and to stand-up for Ethiopians. Ethiopia and Ethiopians have always been on their own. It is the same today.

The bottom line is this. Silence is no longer excusable. We can’t remain helpless and hopeless. At minimum, the rest of us who live in freedom, care and should care can acknowledge that the current system of globalization and its derivative FDI are skewed in favor of rich and developed countries, foreign investors, domestic elite collaborators and their allies who run most African states. At minimum we should acknowledge the fact that the TPLF has broken the bonds of the Ethiopian people and triggered an unstoppable trend of balkanization. We should acknowledge the fact that the country is bleeding from corruption and disenfranchisement of millions. The clearest exception to this tragedy of repressive government in Africa is Botswana. This country shows that a clean and democratic government advances welfare to the maximum; and reduces corruption to the lowest level. Botswana uses its natural resources to boost domestic capabilities and to improve life for its citizens.

As a feature of globalization, aid is not a free good. It is not non-partisan. In Ethiopia where there is absolutely no rule of law and where constitutional and democratic rights are suppressed as a matter of government policy, foreign aid serves as a tool of the single party state that is entrenched. Experts that have vested interests in the system tend to downplay the injurious aspects of aid, FDI and other features of globalization. For example, Ethiopia’s unique cultural degeneration—lack of respect for elders and mutual respect and acceptance of one another, lack of honesty, integrity, sharing, self-reliance, lack of recognition and appreciation for the sanctity of human life and Ethiopian identity, absence of love of country and its diverse people, the dangers of dispossession and forcible evictions etc. are among the worst feature of the patronage state and the global community that supports it. If aid and or FDI were successful, millions of Ethiopians won’t go hungry each night. The cultural values Ethiopians lose are irreplaceable and invaluable; as are resource transfers. Aid and FDI should not diminish these values; they should enrich them.

How aid is channeled makes a difference
I do not suggest that aid is altogether bad. It has lifted other countries such as war torn Germany and Korea into prosperity. But it needs guardians in the form of caring and responsible governments. Remember, aid is channeled through the federal government; and even when channeled through regional governments, the federal government controls it. The federal government means the TPLF. It is “their government” and not the government of all of the Ethiopian people. For this reason, aid operates within a “black hole” and is susceptible to misallocation, mis-distribution and corruption. There is no transparency, accountability or scrutiny on how, where and what it is used for. What we know is that it bankrolls the TPLF single party state and emboldens it to be more repressive and oppressive. What we know is that Ethiopians are suffering or “bleeding” from institutionalized misallocation of funds and illicit outflow. What we know is that Ethiopian farmlands and waters are being leased at the lowest possible prices possible for up to 99 years and without tangible social or economic benefits for Ethiopians. What we know is that there are no checks and balances in the system. What we know is that the donor community does not apply rigorous monitoring and does not call on the Ethiopia government to be accountable for results. In effect, the system is self-protective. It enriches a few who are well connected to the one party state. It recruits, entertains and pays handsome fees to foreign experts and converts them into cheerleaders. It has global and local cheerleaders because cheerleading has value. Cheerleaders benefit. It is not because there are no foreign or Ethiopian experts who see the reality on the ground. In fact, foreign experts are part of the problem in Africa and Ethiopia is no expectation. Kaufman confirms this. “I turned and saw Ivy League Africanists, European aid workers, politicians, prostitutes, gunrunners, helicopter pilots, diplomats from South Sudan, and careerists from WFP, UNHCR, and USAID–all of them well-fed, drunk, and dancing close to the water’s edge (in Gambella).” These and the thousands of other experts whose profession it is to “reduce poverty” and advance the welfare of Ethiopians do not see anything wrong with graft and theft, nepotism, corruption and illicit outflow, massive brain-drain and land grab by the Saudis and others.

Experts as cheerleaders
One cheerleader illustrates this point. On August 5, 2014, the former ambassador of the U.S. to Ethiopia, Tibor Nagy—like many of us an immigrant from communist dictatorship who should know better— complemented Ethiopia’s dictatorship and dismissed the opposition as “not serious. It is fractious, petty, selfish and generally irrelevant.” He did not pay Ethiopians the respect they deserve. The TPLF is the leading factor to the fractured, inept and “petty” opposition and for the imprisonment and expulsion of Ethiopia’s young generation of leaders. He did not say that the TPLF will never allow democracy to take roots in Ethiopia. The TPLF arrests young leaders and or forces them to flee the country. Ethiopia is left without leaders and economic movers not because it does not have educated and trained human capital. It has legions. This vacuum is filled by so-called experts whose primary preoccupation is their own welfare. The TPLF makes it inhospitable for Ethiopians to work for their country. It is quicker to issue a passport than issue a driver’s license.

Ambassador Nagy talks about Ethiopia’s “dynamic, young people experiencing unparalleled growth and incredible infrastructure, with a realistic shot at becoming a middle income country by 2025.” He fails to tell us that Ethiopia suffers from one of the worst cases of brain-drain and financial capital leakage in the world. It can’t feed itself. But it feeds Saudi Arabia. Its per capita income is a third of the Sub-Saharan African average. It is the worst jailer of journalists and so on. I agree with him that “Ethiopia is an ancient nation—and the only Sub-Saharan one to have developed through history and geography rather than by having colonizers drawing lines on a map that, in most cases, made little sense.” Does it make sense then to replace Ethiopians with foreign experts at a scale never seen in Ethiopian history? He says nothing about the budding of new and separate nations; or the new forms of colonialism that come under the pretext of globalization, FDI and aid and the war against terror. He says nothing about the human toll emanating from land grab. He belittles assaults on human dignity and freedoms by emboldening and endorsing the repressive state. He says practically nothing about ethnic federalism that is tearing this ancient country apart. He sees no distinction between the American form of federalism that is synergistic and the Ethiopian one that is polarizing. He says absolutely nothing about TPLF’s Apartheid system. Apology to the TPLF and belittling the root causes of instability and civil conflict won’t advance Ethiopia’s national interest; nor would it advance the interests of the U.S. Such a narrative and similar narratives by other foreign experts simply justify the unjustifiable. “Incredible infrastructure” does not feed the hungry or help the dispossessed in Gambella; nor would it hold together this ancient country that is falling apart. It isn’t unthinkable to imagine that some foreign powers would want small states to emerge out of Ethiopia’s fragmentation as long as their interests are protected.

A highly flawed aid narrative
The contention in this commentary is that Ethiopia’s famed aid narrative is completely flawed, partisan, self-serving, misguided and serves repression. It is not anchored in the welfare of the majority. Massive Official Development aid estimated at $40 billion to date has not enabled Ethiopian producers to achieve food security and self-sufficiency. This massive inflow grew from a low of $605 million in 1997 to a staggering $4 billion at the end of 2012. Knowledgeable sources say that the single most important trigger of the increase was “9/11.” America’s war against terror required friends and Meles’ government became a willing partner. Essentially, America’s war for which the TPLF is rewarded handsomely became Ethiopia’s war. Easterly put this succinctly, “Like historic examples of backing an autocrat (Mubarak, Pinochet, Mobutu, Moi, and Museveni) for foreign policy reasons, it was politically convenient for the U.S. and the U.K. to support Meles Zenawi as a reliable ally in the War on Terror.” British Department for International Development (DFID), USAID and the World Bank carried out their lead responsibilities for their constituencies by sending experts who articulated concepts and projects; and by funding projects and programs through the Ethiopian government. They bought Meles’ articulation that he is benevolent and cares for all Ethiopians. In Easterly’s view, “The idea of a benevolent autocrat (Meles) implementing expert advice to achieve great results in Ethiopia was already in place in 2005,” Ethiopia’s most democratic election. The assumption made then and now is that somehow the benefits of aid will trickle down to the poorest of the poor. That Saudi Star will feed Ethiopians. Ethiopia would then achieve “the East Asia miracle” without the participation of its population. Predictably, this did not happen. Why? Simply put, the development narrative is not people-based. It is essentially ethnic-elite based. People are in fact peripheral to this narrative.

Human Rights Watch (HRW) has done more thorough and groundbreaking research on the reasons for exclusion and marginalization than anyone else. In “Development without Freedom,” October 9, 2010, HRW reported that the TPLF/EPRDF used donor monies to “intimidate, harass, blackmail and buy loyalty” from peasant farmers. It quotes affected individuals in vivid terms. “Every tool at their disposal—fertilizers, loans, safety net payments (a massive World Bank initiated program to protect the poor) including food—is being used to crush the opposition.” Ethiopians know that aid is used routinely and systematically to strengthen the ethnic-based federal state and its collection of beneficiaries to control, repress and plunder at a level not seen in the country’s history. The more aid flow the more repressive the TPLF/EPRDF regime has become. Repression entails enormous costs for the repressed, the society and the country. Repression, oppression and disempowerment suffocate human potential, deter productive capacity and inhibit Ethiopia from achieving sustainable and equitable development for all stakeholders. There is no way that Ambassador Nagy’s projection of middle income status can be achieved by 2025. This doesn’t mean there won’t be growth and or more millionaires.

In Easterly’s assessment, this self-serving system “Promotes lack of trust that in turn inhibits trade (mobility of capital and property rights) and facilitates more oppression. It entrenches a hereditary political and economic elite that blocks creative destruction (meaning constant structural reform) necessary for development.” This observation is backed by others, notably by HRW. Its 2010 report “How Aid Underwrites Repression in Ethiopia” provides compelling documentary evidence that Meles Zenawi and his team used “donor food relief” to punish the opposition and to buy loyalty. Similar to ODA monies, food aid is granted to the federal and regional governments on behalf of the Ethiopian people without any oversight from donors or independent third party institutions. “World Bank aid, British aid and U.S. aid not only fund forced relocation, they help pay the salaries of the brutal jailers of Eskinder Nega (Andualem Aragie and thousands of others). We can choose not to let our own governments and our own development agencies forget democracy; not to let them forget rights; not to let them forget Eskinder Nega (and thousands of others like him.” This is what we can do; we can advocate change much more vigorously than we have ever done before together.

It is tragic for Ethiopia that the institutions that in other countries advance sustainable and equitable development are the very ones that justify the current TPLF model of the developmental state. Dr. Jim Kim, the new President of the World Bank sees no harm that the TPLF state has crowded out and suffocated Ethiopia’s nascent domestic private sector. This sector is not even empowered to dominate Ethiopia’s modern commercial agriculture. Dr. Kim sees no harm that Ethiopia suffers from massive brain drain; corruption that the World Bank has surveyed twice in less than two years; illicit outflow of capital from food aid dependent Ethiopia, etc. He says, “Ethiopia’s transformation is due to a stable government that “pursues prudent economic policies and takes a long-term perspective.” I wonder if the World Bank is now saying that the repressive Ethiopian government that evicts indigenous people in Gambella and the Omo Valley; that permits its security forces to “kill, maim, rape, jail and expel citizens in the Ogaden;” that prompts ethnic cleansing in numerous parts of the country; and that transfers the country’s food supply to the Saudis; that closes political space etc. is “stable.” You can maintain temporary stability through repression. By this definition, Mubarak’s Egypt; Gadhafi’s Libya and others were stable when popular revolutions swept them away. I wonder if he is saying that transfer of Ethiopian ownership of lands to foreign land grabbers and massive flight of Ethiopia’s youth is a measure of farsightedness. I wonder if he is saying that state and party monopoly of more than 51 percent of the modern economy is an acceptable “long-term perspective.” I wonder if massive deficit financing that causes inflation and a heavy domestic public debt that would be unacceptable in Korea is acceptable in Africa etc. Whatever happened to the Bank’s mantra of equitable development, civic engagement, empowerment, accountability and transparency? Are Africans being treated as second class compared to East Asia and the Pacific, Eastern Europe and Latin America?

Democracy is inevitable
Easterly is right. “We understand that the autocrats have offered a false bargain to meet the material needs of the poor while we overlook their suppression of rights. The rights of the poor is needed than ever before” and that the donor community especially the World Bank, DFID and USAID should not continue to adhere to a flawed policy of development without rights. “Despite the trampling of rights by Western governments and development agencies, there are plenty of grounds for hope when we see how much the global change in freedom is positive anyway.” In much of the rest of the world “Both political and economic freedom are much more widespread than they were at the beginning of official development, or even than they were two decades ago.” This advancement in rights and freedom does not come freely. It is earned by people through civil or other resistance rather than through the positive contributions of donors and development agencies. It is clear that in Ethiopia and other parts of Africa donors prefer stability over rights. Democratic gains in Egypt, Libya, Yemen and the rest of the Arab world have been squashed by reactionary forces. “The trampling of rights by Western Governments and their development agencies” manifests itself in a pronounced way in African countries most prominently in Ethiopia. Some parts of Africa are making progress; while Ethiopia retrogresses.

In 2012, Freedom House reported that the number of African democracies increased from 2 in 1988 to 11 in 2012. It notes that “Ethiopia is ruled by a ruthless dictatorship;” yet receives the largest aid in Africa. The lesson of history is this. Tyranny is doomed to fail. The worry I have is that, unless civil and political opposition, professional groups, faith institutions, intellectuals and the rest create a sense of solidarity, the country may also fail. If this happens, the collateral damage for the Horn and for the West will be huge. The Ethiopian one party state is now our adductor, our tormentor and our disintegrator. It deploys “unrestrained” power not so much because it is omnipotent; but because the rest of us live in fear and let it “divide and rule us.” It gets away with impunity to suppress because the donor and diplomatic community bankrolls it; condone or tolerate it; and the rest of us became numb. The opposition gives this logic a reason because it is unable to set aside differences and present a compelling vision and a positive alternative for all Ethiopian stakeholders. This fracturing and ineptness aside, the donor and diplomatic community is now part of the problem Ethiopians face. Among other things it fails to appreciate that the dictatorial regime in Ethiopia is and will remain to be “the enemy” of sustainable and equitable development. It bears lead responsibility for Ethiopia’s disintegration.

Why not back words with deeds?
I agree with President Obama’s statement in Ghana in 2009 that “Africa needs strong institutions and not strong men” and with his plea to African leaders at the U.S.-Africa Summit in August 2014 that “even though leaders don’t like it, the media plays a crucial role in assuring people that they have the proper information to evaluate the policies that their leaders are pursing and that nations that uphold these rights and principles will ultimately be more prosperous and more economically successful.” I am sure the President for whom thousands of Ethiopian-Americans voted knows that Ethiopians are deprived of “strong institutions” and press freedom that will provide the public unbiased and unfiltered information. Access to information is a fundamental human right. It is a powerful tool in advancing the rule of law, human rights and the democratization process. In the long-term, freedom of the press and civic engagements are more critical than the aid Americans provide to Ethiopia. The President could have taken the opportunity to inform Prime Minister Hailemariam Dessalegn that future American aid will be conditioned on human rights and the rule of law. He could have informed him in a private setting that Hailemariam’s government must respect rights and press freedom; open political space to avert civil unrest and advance the democratization process; that he should release journalists and other political prisoners from prison; and that he should desist from using the Anti-Terrorism Proclamation to ‘terrorize’ innocent people who demand justice and the rule of law. The Government of the United States knows full well that Ethiopia faces an imminent danger of collapse and civil conflict. The vast majority of the population does not trust or respect the TPLF/EPRDF leadership to do the right thing for the right reason. Its definition of right and wrong is ethnicized and politicized. It is thus narrow and self-serving.

Secretary of State John Kerry says the right thing too; but has not provided teeth to U.S. policy with regard to Ethiopia. At the Summit he said this. “When people can trust their government and rely on its accountability and transparency, that society flourishes and is more prosperous and more stable than others.” Our government (I am referring to myself as an American citizen; the TPLF refused to renew my passport and or return the old one), is the largest bilateral donor to Ethiopia. Secretary of State Kerry knows that U.S. food aid has done nothing to make Ethiopia self-sufficient and food secure. Whether one looks at it from the rights side or the social side, the vast majority of Ethiopians are losing. Ethiopian farmers produce 90 percent of the country’s food needs; the gap is 10 percent. It is this gap that donors, especially the U.S. fills each and every year. The FAO estimates that the Amhara region produces 20 percent more than it consumes. The Oromo region produces 600,000 tons of surplus food. Yet, millions of Ethiopians in both regions starve. Why wouldn’t the U.S. buy this surplus and pressure the Ethiopian government to distribute it to those who need it instead of buying and shipping U.S. farm surplus to Ethiopia? In effect, Ethiopia and the rest of Africa are still treated “as dustbins of the world.” In 1999-2000, USAID sent 500,000 tons of untested maize to Ethiopia. OXFAM America reported numerous times that “The emergency programs are not the “solution” to Ethiopia’s recurrent food crisis but the cause of famine in Ethiopia.”

In his well-researched book, “Globalization of Poverty and the New World Order” Michel Chossudovsky of Canada tells us that food aid dumping and “food aid (in general) is sometimes used to capture markets” and not to solve the structural and policy roots that cause hunger. I have argued in the past and suggest again that hunger is not caused by weather conditions. Ethiopia enjoys varied climate and good weather, rains and ample water. Therefore, hunger is caused primarily by poor policies and programs. Food aid masks the problem for reasons that have to do with U.S. and other donor and investor interests and access to markets. In “Food Aid: a critical program, ripe for reform,” March 5, 2014, OXFAM America reports that “Our current food aid program requires the purchase and shipment of U.S. sourced food to locations around the world and is both outdated and inefficient.” Clearly, food aid helps American farmers while keeping Ethiopians dependent. It is no secret that other famine-stricken countries such as China and India have overcome famine by investing heavily into modernized smallholder farming. The report says that “Food handouts are not the long-term answer to Ethiopia.” In 2001, OXFAM reported that “91 percent of humanitarian aid to Ethiopia has been food; and only 0.14 percent of aid was used to avert future food shortages.” This policy should have been reversed in order to remove the policy and structural causes of famine and hunger.

If the same policy of food aid was used in India, the country would have not survived. The U.S. Government and foundations such as Ford invested heavily in India’s Green Revolution. Africa and especially food aid dependent Ethiopia need their own green revolution. America can help to make this happen. While I acknowledge that food aid to famine-stricken Ethiopians has saved lives, the current moral argument of feeding the hungry instead of making them self-reliant does no longer hold 23 years after the U.S. begun pumping billions of dollars of humanitarian and development aid to the ruling party. It has in fact made Ethiopia more dependent than ever before. Ethiopia’s smallholders should not be hostages to a repressive regime; and to a donor community that shows no genuine commitment for the urgent need of unleashing the productive capacity of Ethiopians by Ethiopians. Indians, Chinese, Vietnamese and others have done it; Ethiopians can too. “Band Aide and beyond: 25 years after the great famine, what have we learned” by OXFAM tells us this. “In 1984, one million Ethiopians died during a catastrophic famine. But drought still costs Ethiopia roughly $1.1 billion a year—almost eclipsing the total overseas assistance (net inflow) to the country that year.” What is required on the part of the Ethiopian government and donors, especially the U.S., the largest bilateral donor, is the political will to change. It is unlikely that the Ethiopian government will change willingly. It controls the rural population and has forced the population to serve its political longevity. It is the rest of us who should push with vigor together.
So, it is not enough for the President of the U.S. and the Secretary of State to tell us what we know—that democratic countries prosper and dictatorships do not. It is hypocritical. Ethiopians have been fighting for democratic governance for more than 40 years. One dictatorship has replaced another. What donors and governments who care about Ethiopia’s future need to do is not offer platitudes any more. It is to provide teeth to what they say. For example, they can condition all aid on the Ethiopian government’s willingness to respect human rights, freedoms and the rule of law now. They can channel their monies directly to the beneficiaries and usher in a new era of Ethiopian smallholder-led green revolution. If it was good for India; it should be good for Africa too. Ethiopians and other Africans deserve it. Africans can and should claim the 21st century not under the terms of old and new colonial powers but on their own terms. For this to occur, Africans need to speak with the one voice—freedom to choose their leaders. Africans should demand accountability from their respective governments, the donor and NGO community and governments that sponsor them. Can we Ethiopians take the lead?

Donors can’t afford to dismiss social justice if they expect stability and peace
Africans can contain and defeat terrorism. But not if they continue to be poor and dependent on aid and FDI over which they have no control. Not if dictators continue to rule them. In my estimation, social justice, political, religious, social and economic freedom are quintessential for sustainability, equity, stability and harmony in Ethiopia and the rest of Africa. A governing party that politicizes emergency food aid and terrorizes its own people under the guise of anti-terrorism can’t be just or fair or equitable. We have seen over and over again in Ethiopia that even food aid has lost its social and humanitarian meaning and purpose. It is highly politicized. If food aid cannot serve its primary objective of saving lives; it cannot be expected to achieve its secondary objective of reducing poverty and boosting the capabilities of the poor.

To summarize, this fundamental flaw in the provision of funds in the form of all sorts of aid to a dictatorship shows that the donor community has lost the moral courage to live up to its own values of fairness, justice, equity and improving the lives of the poor. It has in fact become part of the problem and the social effects are immense. They will have multigenerational effects.

Enormous social costs
Ethiopia’s impressive infrastructural growth aside, per capita income is a third of the Sub-Saharan African average. Ethiopia has one of the worst cases of income inequality in the world. Ironically, the Guardian reported in April, 2014 that the number of Ethiopian millionaires rose from 1,300 in 2007 to 2,700 in 2013. Millionaires are growing faster than the middle class. This statistical fact reinforces Meles’ notion that there is no “connection between democracy and development.” How is it possible or justifiable for donors to buy into this development thesis that is not people-based and that will cause disintegration of ancient Ethiopia? At minimum, donors and governments ought to recognize and defend the notion that democratic governance enables the society to grow its middle class. People with rights can negotiate; but people who are suppressed can’t. The model of growth engineered by Meles, accepted as a successor story by donors and investors; and followed by Prime Minister Hailemariam is so detached from the real hopes and needs of the vast majority that it has become a norm in Ethiopia for generals to become wealthy while millions go hungry each day. The developmental state does not really care. Generals ensure longevity. It does not care if millions more Ethiopians leave the country. The TPLF mantra of “power or death” justifies the merger of ethnic elite politics, government, state and institutions such as defense, federal police, intelligence and security, the judiciary and so on into a seamless machine. This merger is essential for the system to survive. This is the reason why the military is not detached from politics. The gains that accrue for top generals are substantial. The cost to the society are enormous. The appropriate response to a seamless dictatorship that suppresses the vast majority is to create an equally strong solidarity among the opposition and the people. William Adam of Battlestar Galactica put the danger of not separating and defining the respective roles of institutions of any country this way. “There’s a reason you separate the military and the police. One fights the enemies of the state; the other serves and protects the people. When the military becomes both, then the enemies of the state tend to become the people.” In Ethiopia, both the federal police and the military serve the ruling party, often against the people they are supposed to help.

High officials in the military, federal police, intelligence and security command high unofficial income and perks; own high-rises and villas that they rent; and are largely tax exempt. A poor and food aid dependent Ethiopia has 150 generals, more than 90 percent Tigrean. The Development Bank of Ethiopia provides hundreds of millions of loans to generals and other high officials to build “lavish rental high-rises and buildings and palatial homes.” Recently, the “army command decided that it cannot be audited. Against this staggering social injustice and income inequality that the seamless state runs Oxfam reports that “Ethiopia ranks 123rd of 125 worst fed countries in the world.” The UN World Food Program estimates that “14 million Ethiopians are at risk and 10 million in constant need of emergency food aid. Ethiopia continues to score low in human development. It ranks 5th of 10 countries with the highest adult illiteracy rate; and only 30 percent of females in rural areas can read and write.” The educational system is among the most mediocre in Africa.
This is among the most compelling reasons why I contend that aid, FDI and other aspects of globalization are part of the problem. Donors and governments that sponsor them must decide to be part of the solution by siding with the vast majority of Ethiopians who want freedom, the rule of law and democracy more than alms.

ENTC Weekly Radio – August 28

Thursday, August 28th, 2014

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Addis Ababa has only 63 public toilets for its 3 million residents

Thursday, August 28th, 2014

Image
By David Smith in Addis Ababa
The Guardian, Thursday 28 August 2014 10.40 EDT

Addis Ababa, the capital of Ethiopia, has more than 3 million people, but there are just 63 public toilets. At one, in the oldest part of the city, there is constant activity and bustle as people queue to pay varying prices for a urinal, full cubicle or shower in the white-tiled facility inside a circular yellow building. For many, this is the only option because of the lack of provision in their own homes.

Nine in 10 households use "non-improved" toilet facilities, according to the Wash Ethiopia Movement. The most common type of non-improved toilet is an open pit latrine or pit latrine without slabs, used by 57% of households in rural areas and 43% in urban. Only one in 25 households has access to improved toilet facilities which are not shared with other households.

Mesay Berhanu, a spokesman for the movement, said: "Many people have shared toilet facilities which they would not find very comfortable. They might have to line up for some time to make use of the facilities. As a result, you may find people doing it here or there along the street."

Government figures show that diarrhoeal diseases are among the 10 most prolific in the country. "These are one way or another linked to an unhygienic environment," Berhanu added.

Waste can accumulate because service providers are stretched. "There is a huge problem in liquid waste management. The number of vehicles they have to collect it is limited. People might have to wait two or three months. We have a very small number of private operators in liquid waste collection." Progress has stalled, Berhanu said, because of bureaucracy. "A year ago there was a plan to create more than 1,000 public toilets, but there is a lack of co-ordination between different departments of government. …" READ MORE >>> http://www.theguardian.com/global-devel … ddis-ababa

ከቅርብ ጊዜያት ወዲህ እየወጡ ያሉ ስሞች

Thursday, August 28th, 2014

1. ልማቱ ፈጠነ
2. ቦንድነህ አባይ
3. ሊግ ይበልጣል
4. አኬልዳማ ታዬ
5. ኑሮ ውድነህ
6. ፌደራል እርገጤ
7. ስልጣኑ በዛብህ
8. ኮንዶሚኒየም ለማ
9. ግምገማ ከበደ
10. ተሳለጭ ሃገሬ
11. መተካካት ተሻለ
12. ባድመ ይበቃል
13. አሰብ ተስፋዬ
14. ቻይና ፍቅሩ
15. መብራት ይታገሱ
16. ቴሌነሽ በዝብዝ
17. አክስዮን ሰብስቤ
18. ቫቱ በዛብህ
19. ግብሩ ጫንያለው
20. ህገመንግስት ጣሴ
21. ነጠፈ ብሩ
22. ፌስቡክ ተመስገን
23. ሀያልነሽ መንግስቴ
24. አምስትለአንድ አደራጀው
25. ግንቦት ሃያ ገብረማርያም

(ምንጭ: Ethio-Sunshine ፌስቡክ)

በአንባቢያን የተጨመሩ:

Gulilat Kasahun የጨመሩት

1. ምርጫዬ ደረሰ
2. ደሞዝ ስሜነህ
3. ይበቃል ገዛኸኝ
4. ብርቅይሁን ምሳዬ
5.ሞላልኝ ጎርፉ
6. ብሩ ባይከዳኝ
http://www.goolgule.com/new-names/

On this day: 39 years ago Emperor HaileSelassie passed away

Wednesday, August 27th, 2014

HaileSelassie I, the last emperor in the 3,000-year-old Ethiopian monarchy, who ruled for half a century before he was deposed by military coup last September, died on August 27, 1975, in a small apartment in his former palace. He was 83 years old.

[Click here to see the Emperor Haileselassie photo gallery]

His death was played down by the military rulers who succeeded him in Addis Ababa, who announced it in a normally scheduled radio newscast there at 7 A.M. They said that he had been found dead in his bed by a servant, and that the cause of death was probably related to the effects of a prostate operation Haile Selassie underwent two months ago.

The broadcast said that the once-revered "Lion of Judah’s" only surviving daughter, Princess Tenagne-Work, visited the former Emperor Tuesday at his request, after he had determined that his health was rapidly deteriorating.

But in London, Crown Prince Afsa Wossen Haile Selassie, who has been living abroad since the leftist government in Ethiopia formally declared an end to the monarchy last March, said his father had been in "excellent health."

In a written statement issued in London, it was said that "the Crown Prince demands that independent doctors and the International Red Cross be allowed to carry out an autopsy to ascertain the cause of death of Ethiopia’s and Africa’s father."

Official sources said that burial of the former Emperor would be "in the strictest privacy." According to Ethiopian custom, burial must take place within 24 hours after death.

As a symbol of regal power, His Imperial Majesty the Conquering Lion of the Tribe of Judah, Haile Selassie I, Elect of God, Emperor of Ethiopia, had ruled his ancient realm as a medieval autocrat.

Seized in a military coup after almost a year of festering discontent with his regime, Haile Selassie, who was accustomed to Rolls-Royces, was hustled from his spacious palace to an army officer’s bungalow in the back seat of a blue Volkswagen. The final confrontation between the aged and frail Emperor and the young and robust army men was like a scene from a Verdi opera. Haile Selassie scolded and insulted the officers as insolent, and they, with mounting ire, decided on the spot to take him to a military camp rather than to another palace. And on the way, he was jeered by crowds yelling: "Thief! Thief!"

Haile Selassie’s troubles began in 1973 with disquiet in the countryside and in the peasant-based army over Government attempts to hush up a drought that eventually took 100,000 lives in two northern provinces. The unrest was compounded in February, 1974, when mutinies broke out in the military over low pay; and a secessionist guerrilla war in Eritrea complicated the Emperor’s problems. In the spring and summer, after riots in Addis Ababa, the capital, his absolute power was gradually circumscribed.

Lost Touch With Subjects

Ironically, Haile Selassie initiated the changes that led to his downfall–the military training program that exposed Ethiopian officers to representative institutions in the United States, and Haile Selassie I University, where students learned to think about political economy. The Emperor, however, could not seem to adapt to new concepts, and he lost touch with his subjects in recent years, showing more affection for his pet cheetahs and dogs, diplomats said, than for his human entourage.

In the working out of Haile Selassie’s cautious reforms, a thin layer of technocrats and intellectuals was created, a group that perceived the country far differently from the tradition-bound Emperor. The reform process, moreover, created a dependency on the United States, which equipped the army and which drew Ethiopia into the periphery of superpower politics.

This came about because of the country’s strategic position on the Red Sea. The Soviet Union, likewise alert to geopolitics, equipped the military forces of Somalia, which also lies on the Red Sea and abuts Ethiopia on the southeast. For years the two countries quarreled over their border, adding to tensions inside both nations.

‘Preserving’ Progress

The combination of circumstances that led to Haile Selassie’s downfall tended to obscure his accomplishments in leading a largely illiterate, rural and feudal country with 2,000 languages and dialects into the 19th, if not the 20th, century. And it also shadowed his contributions to African unity. An African who met the Emperor at the United Nations Security Council session in Addis Ababa in 1972 summed up a widespread feeling when he said:

"Haile Selassie is one of the world’s great men. He did a lot for his country and early became a respected voice for Africa and for the third world."

If the pace of change was snailish under the Emperor, it was deliberately so. "We must make progress slowly so as to preserve the progress we have already made," he said frequently of his reign, in which slavery was legally abolished and limited democratic structures instituted.

But he was also regarded as one who ruled too strictly by prerogative for the benefit of his family and friends. And at his ouster he was popularly accused as an exploiter who had secretly sent billions of dollars to private bank accounts abroad.

The drama of his departure from power and the intrigues that preceded it were kin to the events of his long life.

Coming to power in a palace coup and, later, discomfiting his enemies in battle, Haile Selassie was driven into exile by the troops of Fascist Italy after the civilized world had spurned his eloquent and poignant appeals for help.

Restored to his capital in World War II, he obtained for Ethiopia a coastline on the Red Sea, skillfully courted foreign economic aid, strove to improve education, squashed an attempted coup and, despite the anachronisms of his person and the archaicisms of his country, emerged as an elder statesman of African anticolonialism.

The prestige and power of Haile Selassie, waxing over more than a half century, made of him a personage larger than life. With a splendid sense of theater, he lived up to, and even surpassed, the role in which he was cast.

Once the Emperor was distributing gifts to men who served the Ethiopian cause in World War II. After he had finished, one man approached him and complained that he had been overlooked.

"You lie," Haile Selassie replied, calling the petitioner by name and citing the exact place, day and hour that he had been rewarded for obtaining a string of mules for the army.

The man flushed and trembled, for he had never suspected that the Emperor would remember, since scores of others had been honored at the same time. He started to inch away, but the Emperor summoned him back and tossed him a bundle of banknotes anyway.

Such magnificent and munificent gestures tended to obscure the fact that the Emperor looked emaciated, and was only 5 feet 4 inches tall. But he managed to convey an imposing presence and an air of cold command whether he was seated at his desk in military uniform with a blazing array of decorations across his chest; or whether he was standing, caped, on the rostrum of the League of Nations; or whether, seated bolt upright in his green or maroon Rolls-Royce, he was motoring through the dusty streets of Addis Ababa as his subjects lay prostrate while he passed.

What helped to make Haile Selassie so physically imposing was his bearded and dark- complexioned face, his aquiline nose over full lips and his steady, penetrating black eyes. It was a mien both melancholy and fearsome, the visage of one who ruled by the precepts of John Stuart Mill as well as by those of Niccolo Machiavelli, by compassion as well as cruelty; for he could be generous to loyal subordinates, or he could hang the rebellious, or he could keep a rival imprisoned in golden chains.

The limit of his emotional expression was a sad smile, so enigmatic that his true feelings seemed deeply mysterious.

To many in the West, especially in the United States, Haile Selassie was a storied figure. He was the 225th Emperor of Ethiopia in a line that he traced to Menelik I, who was credited with being the child of King Solomon and the Queen of Sheba, identified in Ethiopia as Queen Makeda. (The constitution of 1955 specified Haile Selassie’s direct descent from Menelik I.)

Unbending on protocol and punctilio, the Emperor, in his public appearances, recalled the splendor and opulence of Suleiman the Magnificent or Louis XIV, with the difference that he lived and worked in a modern atmosphere and journeyed abroad in a commandeered Ethiopian Airlines plane. He once had three palaces; but after he transformed the Gueneteleul Palace into the Haile Selassie I University in 1960, he was reduced to a palace to live in–the Jubilee–and one to work in–the Ghibi.

Guarded by Lions

Around the clock, he was guarded by lions and cheetahs, protected by Imperial Bodyguards, trailed by his pet papillon dogs, flanked by a multitude of chamberlains and flunkies and sustained by a tradition of reverence for his person. He took seriously the doctrine of the divine right of kings, and he never allowed his subjects to forget that he considered himself the Elect of God. Indeed, he combined in his person the temporal sovereignty of the state and the leadership of the Ethiopian Orthodox church, the country’s established church.

In moments of relaxation–and these were few, for he was an extraordinarily hard- working monarch–Haile Selassie displayed considerable charm. He spoke softly (in halting English if necessary), and he had a mind well furnished with small talk derived from his daily scrutiny of the world press and from viewing films and newsreels. He also absorbed information from his extensive travels about the world. His talk, though light, was not likely to be [deleted] or mirth-providing or quotable. He referred to himself always with the imperial "we."

In his latter years he was a lonely man beneath the panoply of office. He had outlived his wife of 50 years, who died in 1962, and four of his six children. He had, though, more than a dozen grandchildren and some great-grandchildren, with whom he liked to surround himself at dinner.

Leader in Africa

In African affairs, Haile Selassie’s courage and his tenacity as a nationalist gave him a position of leadership among such anticolonialist statesmen as Jomo Kenyatta of Kenya, Sekou Toure of Guinea and Kenneth Kaunda of Zambia. Despite his autocratic rule, the Emperor represented independence from overt foreign domination as well as the artful acquisition of foreign economic aid. It was Haile Selassie who convoked the first meeting of the Organization of African Unity in 1963 and devised the charter for the 38- nation bloc. Its headquarters are in Addis Ababa.

Moreover, at Haile Selassie’s suggestion a United Nations Economic Commission for Africa was set up. Its secretariat is also in Addis Ababa, in a lavish $1.75-million building erected at the Emperor’s bidding.

In Ethiopia, he was an object of veneration to the masses of people until his overthrow, but to the new urban elite the centralization of authority in his person and the tepidity of reform had been unpalatable for some time. The two constitutions the Emperor granted, one in 1931 and the other in 1955, were both criticized because the Cabinet was responsible to Haile Selassie and because there was no provision for political parties.

Economic reform, especially changes in the age-old system of land tenure, was far too slow, critics said, with the result that the country’s agriculture and animal husbandry–the mainstays of its economy–were operated on a primitive level. Coffee, cereals and beans were the main cash crops; meat and animal products also contributed heavily to the Gross National Product. Manufacturing and power, on the other hand, accounted for only 3 per cent of the G.N.P.

Haile Selassie’s kingdom was a wild and sprawling country of 455,000 spare miles (about the size of Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas and Oklahoma combined) and 26 million people (an accepted guess in the absence of any census). There were a score of tribes, at least one so primitive that its men castrated their enemies to win favor with an intended bride. There were many languages, but Amharic, the official tongue, was spoken in some degree by only 50 per cent of the people.

Although the state religion was a Monophysite Christianity, a substantial portion of the population, perhaps 40 per cent, was Moslem. In addition, there were Animists and Judaists. The multiplicity of religions and customs accented Ethiopia’s lack of [deleted] and its general backwardness, for it was a country without a developed highway or rail system and without organized health and social services. The bulk of the people lived in mud and straw huts, even in Addis Ababa.

In the capital, the contrast between the old and the new was especially striking, for its few modern buildings cast their shadow on the far more numerous ancient structures that included, until a few years ago, the Imperial Brothel and the square in which public hangings were carried out.

Of the dominant Amhara tribe, Haile Selassie was born in Ejarsa Gora, in a mud and wattle house, on July 23, 1892. He was named Lij Tafari Makonnen and he was the only legitimate son of Ras Makonnen, Governor of Harar, to survive infancy.

The boy’s father was a cousin and close ally of Emperor Menelik II, who was without a legitimate direct male heir. When Ras Makonnen died in 1906, his son, who already had a rudimentary education and spoke French, was summoned to the Court at Addis Ababa, where he was further schooled both in book learning and in the devious intrigues of Menelik’s household.

Tafari was passed over on the death of Menelik II in 1913 in favor of the Emperor’s grandson Lij Yasu, a handsome, dissolute and athletic young man. Tafari, meantime, had married Lij Yasu’s niece, Waizero Menen, after her divorce, and had attained practical experience in government as governor of a province.

Lij Yasu, who was never formally crowned, was converted to Islam and excommunicated by the Ethiopian church. And in the palace coup that followed, Tafari made himself the heir presumptive to the throne and Regent for Zauditu, a daughter of Menelik, who was proclaimed Empress.

‘Jaws of a Lion’

Emerging as the strong man, Tafari got rid of the husband of the Empress, putting her under his control, and, capturing Lij Yasu, imprisoned him for the rest of the life. The golden chains in which he was held were not so confining, however, as to prevent him from enjoying the variety of women with whom Tafari plied him.

With his other warlord enemies among the nobles Tafari was less indulgent. "He creeps like a mouse, but he has the jaws of a lion," one of them said. By force of arms and executions he brought an end to the chaos that threatened to envelop Ethiopia and turned his country’s eyes ever so slightly toward the outside world.

In 1923 Tafari had the kingdom accepted as a member of the League of Nations. He acted in the hope that league membership would exempt Ethiopia from the colonial ambitions of other countries.

In the following year Tafari, having bulwarked his power at home, undertook an extensive foreign tour. "We need European progress," he explained, "only because we are surrounded by it."

Everywhere he went in Europe, Tafari, with his six lions and four zebras and 30 attendants, created a lasting impression. His modern outlook won him friends; so did his assertions that Ethiopia required innovation and development.

One fruit of his trip was the Tafari Makonnen School, which he founded and staffed with European teachers. (Education was one of the chief interests of Tafari when he became Emperor, and he established primary and secondary schools throughout the country as well as the Haile Selassie I University. Even so, at the end of his reign, only 500,000 school-age children of a potential 3.2 million were enrolled.)

Coup Thwarted

Friction between the Empress and her Regent grew in the late nineteen-twenties. Believing in 1928 that she had the upper hand, the Empress attempted a coup, but she was thwarted by the cunning and alertness of Tafari, who forced her to crown him King of Ethiopia. Two years later, after her mysterious death, Tafari was crowned Emperor and took the name of Haile Selassie, which means "Power of the Holy Trinity."

The coronation on Nov. 2, 1930, was an event of unparalleled sumptuousness in a city that, one observer said, "resembled a shanty town with wedding-cake trimmings." There were only one or two buildings of more than one story, the rest being a tumbled mass of mud huts. Distinguished foreign delegations mingled with the city’s 20,000 prostitutes. Describing the coronation, Leonard Mosley wrote in his book, "Haile Selassie: The Conquering Lion":

"Shortly before dawn on the morning of Nov. 2, before the world press, the foreign guests and a great concourse of rases [nobles] in their lion’s manes and most resplendent robes, Abuna Kyril [the Archbishop] anointed the head of Haile Selassie and placed on it the triple crown of Ethiopia.

"Simultaneously, the rases put on their coronets, then made their obeisances to him, after which the celebratory shooting, shouting, loolooing, feasting, dancing and drinking broke out all over the city."

The Emperor’s initial ventures into reform, in which he changed the status of his people from chattels of the nobles into subjects of the state, culminated in a constitution in 1931. Although its limits on the royal prerogative were negligible, it was a step away from feudalism.

At the same time, administrative changes improved the civil service, and a tax system was introduced. Road-building and other public works were undertaken. Moreover, several edicts against slavery were promulgated, if not enforced. Virtually total abolition was not accomplished until 1964.

In 1934 Benito Mussolini, the dictator of Fascist Italy, moved against Ethiopia in a border incident. His pretense, that of bringing civilization to a backward country, concealed Italian imperial ambitions for an African colony to supplement Italian Somaliland and Eritrea. In the diplomatic footwork that followed the border clash, the Emperor referred the dispute to the League of Nations for mediation; but Britain and France gave Mussolini to understand that he could expect a free hand in Ethiopia.

"Could we not have called Musso’s bluff and at least postponed this war?" Winston Churchill asked later. "The answer I’m sure is yes. We built Musso into a great power."

Deserted by Britain and France, Ethiopia fell to Italian arms shortly after the Fascist invasion began on Oct. 2, 1935. By April, 1936, the conflict ("This isn’t a war, it isn’t even a slaughter," a British eyewitness said. "It’s the torture of tens of thousands of men, women and children with bombs and poison gas") was over. On May 2 Haile Selassie went into exile.

The Emperor went first to Jerusalem to pray and then to Britain as a private guest. Still convinced that the League could be rallied to his cause, he appealed to it and its members not to recognize the Italian conquest. Shamed, the League permitted him to state his case, and his appearance before the delegates assembled in Geneva on June 30, 1936, was a moment in history that few who witnessed it ever forgot.

‘Morality at Stake’

Aloof, dignified, gazing in contempt at the Fascist journalists who shouted at him, and looking directly at the uneasy, shuffling delegates, he began his speech in Amharic by saying:

"I, Haile Selassie I, Emperor of Ethiopia, am here today to claim that justice that is due to my people and the assistance promised to it eight months ago by 52 nations who asserted that an act of aggression had been committed in violation of international treaties."

After reciting the principal events of the war and his betrayal by the big powers, he continued:

"I assert that the issue before the Assembly today is not merely a question of the settlement in the matter of Italian aggression. It is a question of collective security; of the very existence of the League, of the trust placed by states in international treaties; of the value of promises made to small states that their integrity and independence shall be respected and assured. . . .

"In a word, it is international morality that is at stake. . . .

"Outside of the Kingdom of God, there is not on this earth any nation that is higher than any other. If a strong government finds that it can, with impunity, destroy a weak people, then the hour has struck for that weak people to appeal to the League of Nations to give its judgment in all freedom. God and history will remember your judgment.

"Placed by the aggressor face to face with the accomplished fact, are states going to set up the terrible precedent of bowing before force?

"I ask the great powers, who have promised the guarantee of collective security to small states–those small states over whom hangs the threat that they may one day suffer the fate of Ethiopia: What measures do they intend to take? . . . What answer am I to take back to my people?"

As Haile Selassie concluded what was certainly his saddest (and greatest) hour and moved from the tribunal to a scatter of embarrassed applause, he murmured:

"It is us today. It will be you tomorrow."

In practical terms the Emperor’s speech was a magnificent but futile gesture, for one by one the powers recognized the Italian regime in East Africa. Haile Selassie, meantime, went to live as an unwanted guest in Bath, England; he was so broke that the local bookshop stopped his credit.

From this seedy oblivion the Emperor was rescued on May 10, 1940, when Italy entered World War II as an enemy of Britain. Churchill, long a friend, had him flown incognito, as Mr. Strong, to Africa. Landing at Alexandria, he spent the night in the men’s room of the Italian Yacht Club before going on to Khartoum in the Sudan. There he helped to organize an army of liberation with the aid of Orde Wingate, one of the most picturesque British officers in the war.

The result of these exertions was that Haile Selassie returned to his country on Jan. 20, 1941, and made his state entry into Addis Ababa on May 5 in the back of an Alfa Romeo motor car. It was five years to the day since the Italians had entered the city. The country remained under British administration, however, until Jan. 31, 1942, when London recognized Ethiopia as a sovereign state.

In the years that followed the restoration, Haile Selassie enhanced his personal power while acting slowly to solve the country’s grave economic and social problems. Some advance in education was also made, for 200 school buildings were put up between 1942 and 1952. In this period, too, a new force was reaching manhood in the kingdom–the educated elite whose travels and schooling abroad made them restive over their nation’s introversions.

Partly as the result of pressure from this group and partly because of the rising tide of anticolonialism in Africa, Haile Selassie granted a new constitution in 1955. It promised his subjects equal rights under the law, plus a vote; but it also retained his traditional prerogatives. One clause read:

"By virtue of His Imperial Blood as well as by the anointing which He has received, the person of the Emperor is sacred. His dignity is inviolable and His Power indisputable. He is, consequently, entitled to all the honors due Him in accordance with tradition and the present Constitution. Anyone so bold as to seek to injure the Emperor will be punished."

Mutiny During Absence

The surface placidity of Ethiopia was shattered in 1960, when Haile Selassie was absent on a state trip to Brazil. The Imperial Bodyguard mutinied and some members of the royal family, including Crown Prince Asfa Wossen, joined an attempt to dethrone the Emperor and promote faster social and economic progress. The Emperor returnedto Addis Ababa, crushed the revolt and had the commander of the bodyguard publicly hanged for treason. The Crown Prince was put out of favor, from which he finally emerged, but slowly.

The attempted coup led the Emperor to try to communicate more directly with his subjects in radio talks and to indicated what he was doing for them in his paternal fashion.

One such advance was foreign aid. In the final years of his reign he contrived to obtain help from diverse sources without creating crosscurrents among the donors. Italy and Yugoslavia build dams for him; the Addis Ababa airport was constructed by the United States; the Soviet Union put up a polytechnic institute on the shores of Lake Tana, source of the Blue Nile.

The Emperor much enjoyed state visits–to Marshal Tito of Yugoslavia, to Queen Elizabeth II of Britain, to the United States, where he was the guest of the last five Presidents before Gerald R. Ford. In all, he traveled to more than 60 countries, including China, where he was received in 1971 by Mao Tse-tung.

Source: http://www.nytimes.com/learning/general … /0723.html

Khat, Ethiopia’s 4th largest export, suffers after European ban

Wednesday, August 27th, 2014

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AFP – For a town seen as a key trading centre for khat, a drug that is banned in many countries, Ethiopia’s Awaday can seem pretty drowsy and laid-back.

As the sun sets on the small eastern town, farmers and brokers of the amphetamine shrub rouse from an afternoon slumber to cut deals in the bustling market, one of the busiest centres of international trade for the leaves.

Khat, a multi-million dollar business for countries across the Horn of Africa and in Yemen, consists of the succulent purple-stemmed leaves and shoots of a bush whose scientific name is Catha edulis.
Chewing it for hours produces a mild buzz.

But Britain in June classified khat as an illegal drug, closing the last market in Europe in the wake of a similar ban by The Netherlands in January.

For the thousands of farmers and traders here in Awaday, 525 kilometres (325 miles) east of the Ethiopian capital, the ban has already had a severe impact.
Previously the plant was Ethiopia’s fourth largest export, earning more than $270 million (205 million euros) in 2012-13.
"All of the people, they are in big trouble, even the man who brings from the farm to the market, and the guy who buys from here to export," said exporter Mustafa Yuye.

"For most of the people here, their living is by khat, they don’t have other jobs," he added, speaking after an early morning shift at the manic market, where several tonnes of the herb change hands each day.

- ‘In trouble without work’ -

For first-time chewers, the bitter leaves — stuffed in a squash ball-sized bulge in the cheek for several hours — offer little more than a sour taste, a sore jaw and the sensation that one has drunk several pots of coffee.

The UN World Health Organization says the plant causes irritability, insomnia and lethargy.
More experienced chewers describe a meditative, almost trance-like state, where one’s sense of time slips away. The user may sit still for hours, yet remain alert to conversation or reading matter.

While debates about khat’s effects on health go on, around 20 million people across the Horn of Africa and the Arabian Peninsula chew the plant every day.

In Ethiopia, where khat is intertwined with ancient traditions — Muslim clerics chewed it to help them study the Koran — the shrub is legal.

Crops are now sold to neighbouring nations, especially Somalia and across the Red Sea to Yemen.
Khat must be chewed fresh because its potency fades within hours.

After frantic trading, drivers pile bundles into airplanes or pickup trucks, dashing along dirt tracks at breakneck speeds for wider distribution.

Before the ban, Mustafa sent more than three tonnes a month to the Horn of Africa diaspora in Britain, but he is now restricted to supplying domestic and regional markets.

Prices have tumbled. "Our money is getting less," Mustafa said, and farmers in Kenya share similar concerns.

Brokers like Mustafa can earn up to $30 (22 euros) per kilo (2.2 pounds) in the top markets, but as little as $5 (three euros) for the same quantity of low-grade khat in regional markets, according to local traders.

Redundant khat broker Tofiq Mohammed said the whole town of Awaday will be hit by the ban. He used to sell two tonnes to Britain a month but has now stopped working.

"From the farmer to the traders, we are in trouble without work," he said.

- ‘Social addiction’ -

Some farmers had switched to khat from crops like coffee or maize, because khat can be harvested year-round and previously fetched stable prices at the market.

Kadija Yusuf, surrounded by her chest-high bushes, says she preferred khat farming since it needs less water than coffee.

"There was not enough water, so I started growing khat," Kadija said. "If they don’t allow us to export… we will stop this and return to coffee."

Her earnings were low — about $38 (28 euros) in a good month — and she worries that her income will now drop further.

With prices falling it is cheaper to chew, but critics say that for those hooked on the leaves, the habit squanders their cash and time.

"When you chew khat you focus, you read a lot," said Adil Ahemmed, sitting on the floor surrounded by friends and piles of khat stalks, while coffee beans roasted over a flame.

But he calls chewing a "social addiction", and admits it is draining his money.

He spends about six euros a day on the plant, about 90 percent of his earnings as a computer technician.

"Economically it damages us," Adil said, his cheek packed with leaves, swollen like a hamster. "That’s the biggest problem, especially for youth."

Almaz Gebremedhin’s heart-warming story (video)

Wednesday, August 27th, 2014
phpBB [video]

Disengaging from the False Dilemma of Armed or Peaceful Struggle – Messay Kebede To Andargachew Tsege

Tuesday, August 26th, 2014

The consecutive rise of two dictatorial and sectarian regimes has convinced a great number of Ethiopians that peaceful rather than armed struggle gives the best opportunity for the democratization of Ethiopia. The experience of armed insurgents instituting sectarian and repressive regimes in Ethiopia as well as in other numerous countries, despite their often widely publicized […]

Addis Ababa commercial sex workers – a photographer’s diary

Monday, August 25th, 2014

A photoblog of "commercial sex workers" who live in Sebategna, a busy neighborhood in Addis Abeba, Ethiopia, close to the central bus station and Merkato. It is shocking how young many of them are. Photos by Michael Tsegaye

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Michael Tsegaye’s other photography works can be seen here: http://www.michaeltsegaye.com/

Kenyan police discover Getachew and Debretsion behind the killing of Ethiopians in Kenya

Monday, August 25th, 2014

Kenyan police have discovered that the Ethiopian ruling party’s secret police headed by Getachew Assefa and Debretsion Gebremichael is behind the serial killing of Ethiopians in Kenya, according to the following report by Standard Digital.

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[TPLF intelligence chief Debretsion Gebremichael]

Ethiopian clashes blamed for spate of killings in the Kenyan town of Garissa

BY KIPCHUMBA SOME | STANDARD DIGITAL

On the afternoon of June 9, an unlikely incident in Garrissa helped to reveal the faces and reasons behind a spate of mysterious killings that have rocked the county. That afternoon, a man approached Hassan Yusuf Intabur in his shop on Guled Street in Garissa Town, pulled out a gun concealed in his right hip, and shot him in the head. The gunman then pumped seven more rounds into Intabur’s body until his gun jammed. When this happened, members of the public who had taken cover spotted an opportunity to apprehend the suspect. But the attacker had another weapon. From a plastic paper bag he was carrying, he fished out a grenade, removed the pin and hurled it towards the crowd that was surging towards him. However, his backup failed him, too. The grenade landed softly in the soil, and failed to detonate. With nothing left to thwart the mob, the attacker took off on foot, with wananchi hot on his heels. There was pandemonium in the town as the crowd pursued the attacker who, though fleet-footed, seemed a stranger to the town since he did not know seem to know where to escape to. They eventually caught up with him, tackled him to the ground, and gave him a thorough beating before the police arrived to save him from imminent death.

With his capture, the police achieved a rare breakthrough in solving a string of killings that had rocked Garrisa since June. Furthermore, the breakthrough uncovered a vicious war of attrition being fought by the Ethiopian government against one of its secessionist movements.

Garissa, a small sand-swept town 350 kilometres east of Nairobi, had become the unlikely hunting ground for Addis Ababa’s special forces against the separatists. When questioned by the police, the attacker, who neither spoke English nor Kiswahili, identified himself through an interpreter as Abdirahman Mohammed Hajir, a chief inspector of police in the Somali regional government of Ethiopia. This is a southern part of Ethiopia dominated by ethnic Somalis. A rebel movement from the area has been fighting to secede from Ethiopia since 1984. The region is also alternately known as Ogaden, or Western Somalia, and the main rebel group is the Ogaden National Liberation Front ( ONLF).

For years, Addis Ababa has sought to destroy the group through brutal repression, resulting in the scattering of the movement’s members to neighbouring countries and beyond. Hajir told the Kenyan police that he was a member of the Special Police Force, or the Liyu in Amharic, a feared paramilitary unit mainly dedicated to fighting the separatists. This force was once headed by Abdi Mohamoud Omar, the current president of the Somali Regional Government, and who is staunchly against ONLF. Also known as Abdi Ilay, he is a prominent member of Ethiopian Somali People Democratic Party (ESPD), and longtime close ally of former Prime Minister Meles Zenawi.

Although he never implicated any of his superiors, Hajir said he had been given orders to carry out a revenge mission for the killing of one of their supporters in Garissa.

“It was an incredible tale, almost too difficult to believe,” said Musa Yego, the North Eastern regional director of the Criminal Investigations Department. “For a long time, we were at a loss on what was happening. We thought it was Al Shabab, but the killings seemed targeted, and it was unlike the group to carry out attacks in broad daylight.” The pressure from the Government to find an answer to the killings was mounting with each attack in the county.

Garissa has been the worst hit by a spate of terrorist attacks and unexplained killings that have claimed tens of lives. “We have already done much to battle insecurity here. But because these attacks happened almost at the same time as the ones in Lamu, we were under great pressure to bring the culprits to book,” Yego said.

The genesis of the situation they were trying to resolve goes back to the evening of June 1, when an unknown gunman shot Sheikh Abdi Rashid in Garissa. The elderly furniture businessman was coming from evening prayers when his life was snuffed out by five bullets to the chest. He was among the well-known scholars of Muslim sacred law and theology in the county, and he sometimes preached at Jamia Mosque in Garissa during Ramadan. But Rashid was something else besides being a preacher and a businessman; he was a staunch supporter of the pro-Addis Ababa regional government in Ogaden. He was a founding member of the Union of Western Somali Liberation Front (UWSLF), which supports the Ogaden government, and is said to have moved to Garissa in 1996. Furthermore, he was a distant relative and a close friend of Ogaden’s President Abdi Mohamud Omar. Rashid apparently never cut ties with his original home.

The ONLF leadership accuses him of being behind the arrest and harassment of their members and sympathizers in Garissa and other parts of the former North Eastern Province. “He was responsible for inciting the Kenyan police to arrest many of our members in Garissa in 2011,” said Ahmed Farah Mohamud, a member of ONLF and the president of the Ogaden Refugee Council based in Nairobi. “He was a hardliner who took much joy in harassing our members and betraying them to the Ethiopian forces just to please his paymasters,” said Mohamud.

In 2012, Rashid survived an attack outside Guled Hotel in Garissa, which claimed the lives of two men. He escaped with a gunshot wound. Despite their obvious hatred of him, Mohammud said ONLF did not kill Rashid. Instead he accused the Ethiopian government of taking him out to justify a renewed reprisal against rebels in the diaspora.

“The government drew up a list of 27 ONLF members it wanted eliminated. I am among those listed for elimination. The government needed an excuse to roll off its plan and it got one through the death of Sheikh Abdi Rashid,” claimed Mohamoud.

Whatever the truth might be, the fact is that Rashid’s death unleashed a wave of counter-attacks that briefly confounded security officials and scared the people of Garissa.

On the hot afternoon of June 17, another bizarre incident took place at Tawfiq Hotel, opposite Midnimo Supermarket on Guled Street. Midnimo means ‘unity’ in Somali. An ONLF sympathizer, Abdirashid Ali Bashir alias Gelkat, a taxi driver in Garissa, was having his meal at the hotel when three people walked in. One of them was Mohammed Dek, a first cousin of the slain Sheikh Abdi Rashid.

Gelkat did not know the other two people and quickly became suspicious. On an impulse, he grabbed Dek as gunshots broke the noontime calm. One of the two unidentified men was shooting at them while Gelkat used Dek as a human shield. At the end of the incident, Gelkat had been shot eight times in the abdomen while Dek, had been shot in the [deleted] several times. Their attacker took off into the town’s alleyways but not before accidentally dropping personal documents that identified him as Idriss Ali Qoys, a Liyu officer from Ogaden.

The two injured men were taken to Garrisa General Hospital then airlifted by police helicopter to Nairobi for specialised treatment at Kenyatta National Hospital.

Fearing further attacks on their man despite the heavy police presence, ONLF leaders in Nairobi moved Gelkat to the Aga Khan Hospital. Both men survived to tell their tales. Dek told the police he was alone, contrary to claims made by Gelkat, while the latter said when he saw his ‘enemy’ with strangers, he concluded that they were up to no good.

On the evening of the day of the attack, Khader Ismail Mohammed Guhad, also a taxi driver and ONLF sympathiser, was arrested after members of the public spotted blood in his car. He told detectives that he was the one who took the two injured men to hospital. The police remanded him for further investigations until July 1, when he was released on bond.

Guhad was shot dead by an unknown assailant that same evening outside Gateway Hotel, along Kismayo Road in Garissa. Investigators believe that two separate parties from the Liyu police carried out the attacks. The first one was a three-man team led by Idriss Ali Qoys. However, no one in this group was ever captured.

Dek was in Ethiopia when his cousin Sheikh Abdi Rashid was killed, and he is believed to have come to Garissa with the hitmen. The Qoys group is said to have been behind the botched attempt to kill Gelkat. It is believed that they went underground after the botched operation and waited to ‘redeem’ themselves. They did so on July 1, by killing Guhad, and then left the town. Hajir told investigators that he traveled from Ethiopia through the Kenyan border at Moyale on June 28, with two other colleagues from the Liyu unit. He told CID officers in Garissa that he arrived in Eastleigh, Nairobi, on July 1, before proceeding to Garissa for the mission. He said he was hired in Ethiopia to execute the revenge mission for $800 (about Sh70,000) by people he said he did not know. He had been paid $200 (Sh18,000) for food and travel expenses. He was to be paid in full in Garissa after the hit, at one of the informal Somali money transfer shops known as hawala. Police officers later raided the shop and closed it down.

For the better part of the last two weeks, detectives have been tracking down a man who is said to have traveled from Ethiopia for another attack. He is said to have entered the country through Moyale, like Hajir, and was in constant communication with four other men in Eastleigh. But investigators said that they lost trail of the suspect after laying an ambush for a week. “Somebody seems to have tipped him off on the fact that we were monitoring his calls,” said Yego.

On August 3, at around 1:30am, the Kenya police arrested a chief of inspector of police with the Liyu unit called Abdi Abdullahi at a hotel in Eastleigh. ONLF members accuse him of killing one of their top officials, Abdirazak Mohammed Abdi, at the Dadaab refugee camp in August 2011. He was released the next day. Although the police have a total of five people in custody over the attacks, they say they can only charge Hajir with murder and the rest as accessories.

The Ethiopian embassy in Nairobi has not responded to requests for a comment.

Source: http://www.standardmedia.co.ke/thecount … in-garissa

Tanzania police arrests 48 Ethiopians hiding in a forest

Monday, August 25th, 2014

CHALINZE, TANZANIA – Police in Coast region in collaboration with the Immigration Department have apprehended 48 immigrants of Ethiopia on Friday night at around 8.00 pm, at Ubena forest, Chalinze division in Bagamoyo district.

Confirming the report, Acting Regional Police Commander SSP Athumani Mwambalaswa told reporters on Saturday that the Ethiopians were deserted by agents who had promised to take them to their destination, but failed to keep to their promise leaving the immigrants wandering in the forest for a total of 15 days, without food or water.

Regional Immigration Officer, Mr Ndelema Mwakipesile said that the immigrants were found in really bad health due to hunger, thirst and fatigue. “When we rounded them up in the forest, we gave them glucose and food as they were very weak,” he said. According to Mr Mwakipesile, the immigrants are expected to appear in court next week.

Source: http://dailynews.co.tz/index.php/local- … nze-forest

The Long, Long Way to a More Perfect Union in America

Monday, August 25th, 2014

On April 10, 1957, 28 year-old Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. (MLK) gave a speech at the St. Louis Freedom Rally in St. Louis, MO entitled, “A Realistic Look at the Question of Progress in the Area of Race Relations”. In his speech, MLK commended St. Louis for  integrating its schools in a “quiet and […]

UK scientists to launch a 5-year programme to study the volcanoes of Ethiopia’s Great Rift Valley

Sunday, August 24th, 2014

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In September 2014, the UK-based Natural Environment Research Council will launch a major five-year programme to study the volcanoes of Ethiopia’s Great Rift Valley. The project team contains core investigators from seven UK institutions and several international partners, as well as a network of local collaborators including Addis Ababa University and the Geological Survey of Ethiopia. The main goals of project RiftVolc are to establish the eruption history, understand the current activity, and assess the potential threat of an eruption. The volcanoes have enormous potential for geothermal energy. Reykjavik Geothermal plans to invest $4 billion investment in power plants at two of the volcanoes in Ethiopia – Alutu and Corbetti. READ MORE >>> http://theconversation.com/scientists-a … noes-30292

Hard truth about Ferguson, Missouri (video)

Sunday, August 24th, 2014

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Can forming a ‘government in exile’ be the solution for uniting the Ethiopian democratic forces?

Sunday, August 24th, 2014

ENTC has put out a press release expressing that the only way moving forward with the struggle against the TPLF regime is, by forming a unified force. An alternative suggested by ENTC to accomplish this is forming a ‘government in exile’ that has an all inclusive centralized leadership (political and civic organizations, prominent Ethiopians & […]

The perils of outsourcing the fight for freedom

Sunday, August 24th, 2014

By Yilma Bekele I could have titled this piece ‘Obama and his Africa peace keepers’ but that would not be fair. Anybody with half a brain can see that I am trying to make my issue to be his problem. Excuse me just because fighting for my right is beneath my dignity there is no […]

Saudi Arabia police chase Ethiopians through the streets of Riyadh (video)

Saturday, August 23rd, 2014

The story of Ethiopian neonatologist Dr. Mulualem Gessesse (video)

Saturday, August 23rd, 2014

Addis Ababa’s Koshe trash dump as Ethiopia’s center for redistribution of wealth

Friday, August 22nd, 2014

British journalist Caroline Knowles writes that Addis Ababa’s city dump (aka Koshe) is the only source of survival for many Ethiopians. Koshe Dump is where Ethiopia’s ruling class, the Woyanne, shares its wealth with the poor. She, however, fails to mention that her government is partially responsible for Ethiopia’s obscene poverty by financing and arming the corrupt apartheid regime that is sucking the life blood of the country. Let me give her one example: Saudi billionaire Al Amoudi transports Ethiopia’s gold and other natural resources with his private aircraft directly to London (bypassing Ethiopia’s Ministry of Mining), after which he shares his loot with senior members of the ruling party. To talk about Ethiopia’s poverty without its cause is useless. Let’s hope that Caroline will look into and write about the daylight looting of Ethiopia.

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Inside Addis Ababa’s Koshe rubbish tip: where hundreds literally scratch a living

By Caroline Knowles
theguardian.com, Friday 22 August 2014

My first sight of Koshe, Addis Ababa’s giant 50-year-old landfill site, is from the highway. It runs alongside it, and away from the road as far as the eye can see: a giant, murky, grey-brown raised area of partially decomposed rubbish, with occasional bright specks of colour. As my hopes rise from having found it, my heart sinks as I try to take it in.

The interpreter I have engaged for this mission through my contacts, a junior academic at Addis Ababa University, is not keen on going ahead. Leaving the taxi and crossing the highway by the bridge, I try to absorb the panoramic view afforded by this elevated viewpoint over the highway.

This 36-hectare site – shrinking as the city attempts to regulate it – is patrolled from the air by large vultures, diving into the rubbish. Motley crews of wild dogs gambolling and snatching at the soft ground patrol it at ground level. Smoke rises in several places, adding a layer of haze to the murky colour scheme. Yellow bulldozers nose the heap and shift and level it; municipal rubbish trucks and flatbed trucks with skips arrive from all over the city and discharge their contents.

Between the dogs, the birds and the machines there was something else, something I could only slowly take in: 200 to 300 people, dressed in the same murky hues as the rubbish dump, backs bent, hooks in hand, were working on its surface.

Feeling queasy I walk towards the end of the bridge. In order to reach the steps and the rubbish, I must walk past three young men who are using the vantage point of the bridge for surveillance and information gathering. In an unspoken negotiation I don’t understand, they take in my camera, and my shoulder bag containing digital recorders and money, and let me pass. This silent confrontation, between the comforts of my world and the difficulties of theirs, only further develops my anxieties.

Descending the steps, I walk to the edge of the dump where I am met by the site supervisor and his aides. They want a stamped authorisation of my visit from the relevant municipal department. What looks like a vast area, open to the surrounding countryside, is as closed to me as a Korean petrochemical plant. I turn back and head into the city to secure the relevant authorisation.

The city dump is an inventory, of a kind, of its material life. Addis in rubbish is not London or Moscow in rubbish. Rubbish provides a crude and deeply flawed account of cities and their social, political and economic contexts. Rubbish displays social, material and income differences.

Indeed, some people’s rubbish provides others with the fabric of their everyday life. Maybe this is the best way to think about Koshe – as a redistribution centre which indexes the differences between people’s life-journeys, refracted through material cultures at their point of disposal.

Not just the content, the handling of rubbish displays cities too. How cities deal with their rubbish reveals them. It is a major challenge for municipal authorities in Addis, who are only able to deal with two-thirds of the rubbish, distributed in collection points all over a city that is fast expanding – leaving the rest to private contractors and the age-old informal dumping practices on streets and in rivers. Thus rubbish provides a visual commentary on urban citizens’ behaviour as well as the efficacy of municipal governance… Click here to continue reading.

The first Afaan Oromo dictionary by Memhir HabteSelassie

Friday, August 22nd, 2014

This seems to be the first and earliest dictionary of the Oromo langauge. It was compiled by Memhir Habte-Silassie who studied the meaning and grammar of the neighboring Oromos of the Mecca tribe who lived to the south of the Abbay river inhabiting today’s Western Shewa and Wollega. He Translated then compiled Mecca Oromo words into Amharic.

It was published much later in 1904(European calander), when Italian scholar Conti Rosini came across the work. Rosini thought and explained that Habte-Silassie to be either a Shewan or Gojjame man. But he thought Habte-Silassie to be a Gojjame because the Amharic he translated the words into was of the Gojjam dialect. For example Habte Silassie used "ጸ" whereas if he was from Shewa he would’ve used "ጠ" in place of "ጸ". Plus, if he was Shewan, he would most likely have studied the Tulama Oromo language who are closer to the Shewa Amharas than the Mecca Oromos.

Interesting things to note in this historical document is that, Habte-silassie called the Oromigna langauge, Afan Orma, instead of Afan Oromo. Which suggests back then, the Meccas may have called themselves Ormas instead of Oromo based on the suggestion of Johann Krapf for the oromo to be named Orma and the area they inhabit Ormania.

Anyways, here is the the first Oromo-Amharic dictionary, it starts @ page 309

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/a … %88%9B.pdf

How did Ethiopia’s ruling party almost lost the 2005 election yet wins in 2010 with 99.6% of the vote? – Elise Dufief

Friday, August 22nd, 2014

In this article, Elise Dufief argues that in the 2005 and 2010 elections, the Ethiopian government repeatedly made empty gestures towards democratic practice so that it could strengthen the state and secure its incumbency without risking international condemnation. We should expect that similar tactics will be used in May 2015 and, despite the political and economic challenges that Ethiopia is facing, if international actors do not change their approach, we should expect the government to succeed. Elise Dufief is a PhD candidate at the University of Northwestern and the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales.

Power and electoral politics in Ethiopia

By Elise Dufief

Despite the rise of specific instruments such as election monitoring, international democracy promotion is challenged by the global retreat of democracy. The case of Ethiopia demonstrates how political space can be narrowed, a dominant regime strengthened, and election observer missions constricted in their capacity to influence outcomes. Election monitoring can deepen the contradictions between regime practices and the ideals of external democracy promoters.

Why does the Ethiopian government regularly organize elections and invite election observers only to reject their findings? How did the governing party come close to losing the 2005 election yet triumph in 2010 with 99.6% of the vote? Why do international actors such as the EU Observer Mission continue to participate in these processes where their credibility is tarnished? In short, how are democracy promotion instruments strategically used to benefit a non-democratic regime?

Since the overthrow of the communist regime of Mengistu in May 1991, Ethiopia has organized regular elections in which an increasing number of international actors, especially election observers, have been involved. During this period, one political organization, the Ethiopian Peoples Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF), has dominated the political landscape. As the organisation’s leader, Meles Zenawi served continuously as head of government until his death in August 2012. He was succeeded by his vice-Prime Minister, Haile Mariam Dessalegn.

The tensions and contradictions between the work of external democracy promoters and the practices and ideals of the Ethiopian leadership were brought into sharp focus after the 2005 and 2010 elections. Both elections led to a diplomatic crisis, especially between the regime and EU observers. Paradoxically, the EPRDF emerged stronger and more determined out of these crises, while EU observers and their supporters were made weaker. [...] READ MORE >>> http://democracyinafrica.org/power-elec … -ethiopia/

Teddy Afro new single – Be Seba Dereja (video)

Friday, August 22nd, 2014

teddy afro

Privatization and its challenges in Ethiopia

Friday, August 22nd, 2014

The purpose of privatization is to limit the involvement of government in the productive sector of the economy so that it makes public sector reforms to relieve scarce resources and re-deploy them to higher priority poverty reduction programs. In the case of Ethiopia the government has undertaken privatization programs. However, the Ethiopian program of privatization runs the risk of consolidating the state owned enterprises in the hand of few oligarchs.

Early in 1994, Ethiopian Privatization Agency (EPA) was established by proclamation No. 87/1994 to ensure an orderly implementation of the privatization program. As recently as December 2013, the EPA re-organized and become the Privatization & Public Enterprise Supervision Agency (PPESA). Currently, PPESA is chaired by the deputy prime minster Aster Mammo and is intended to sell 11 more public companies to the highest bidders.

The PPESA has so far implemented asset sales for retail outlets and restaurants and mining enterprise, as well as implemented employment management buy-outs, joint venture, management contract, competitive sale and restrictive tender. The agency have earned up to USD 1 billion to date.

The African Development Bank (AFDB) reports that during the first phase of privatization in Ethiopia the EPA privatized 176 small enterprises using in house expertise and government resources. For the implementation of the second phase of privatization for more complex government enterprises, the Government of Ethiopian (GoE) had asked assistance from the African Development Fund, German Development Agency (GTZ) and the World Bank. GoE has been awarded a grant of 3 million (Units of account) equivalent of 4 million USD.

However, the AFDB according to its “Project Completion Report”, state that the main advisory in Ethiopia’s privatization program, GTZ, has pulled out due to budgetary constraints. But most importantly, the same report does not mention how the stated owned enterprises were valued to be sold to the highest bidder.

According to a WikiLeaks US Embassy Cable on 01/11/2008 to the US Treasury, “While the vast majority of enterprises in terms of numbers– 233 of 254 — have been either sold to employees in a Management/Employee Buyout (MEBO) arrangement or purchased by individual Ethiopians, these are mostly small shops and hotels. In dollar terms, nearly 60 percent of enterprises have been awarded to Al Amoudi-related companies.” https://www.wikileaks.org/plusd/cables/ … A82_a.html

During the years1999-2001 Washington institutions have been pushing for the privatization of the banking sector in Ethiopia and opening of the financial sector to foreign banks, particularly interested in the sale or break up Commercial Bank of Ethiopia (CBE). Considering CBE is ranked the 46th largest bank in African based on asset size, the pressure for the break-up of the government bank at the time did not make sense.

Having a large efficient indigenous large bank for Ethiopia is important, especially if the GoE decides to open the banking sector to foreign competition. But this does not mean the government owned banks in Ethiopia should abuse public money by lending freely to the Ethiopian-Oligarchy.

One issue amongst others that the International Monetary Fund (IMF) had with Ethiopian authorities were they were not allowing a market determined interest rates. The second reason was making an early payments of Ethiopia airlines debt using the National Bank of Ethiopia reserve, without consulting with the IMF, the IMF felt Ethiopian authorities were not serious about reform. In which the IMF temporarily suspended the Enhanced Structural Adjustment Facility to Ethiopia on the ground that the country had failed to meet some of the agreed upon conditions (BBC News).

Eventually, IMF reinstated Ethiopia back into the program and withdrew the demand for the breakup of the CBE into three parts to allow competition. Thus rather than breaking up the government owned banks and opening the financial sector to foreign investors, GoE allowed the opening of local private banks i.e., Awash, Bank of Abyssinia, Dashen Bank to mention the few. For IMF’s change of heart Professor Jospeh Stiglitz, the former member of the Council of Economic Advisers under President Clinton, and at the time the World Bank chief economist, takes full credit for the IMF’s change of heart in his book “Globalization and Its Discontent”.

Some of the other structural adjustment programs pursued included the establishment of guidelines to sell a minority stake in Ethio-Telcom with the help of the World Bank by April 1999; bringing ten state farms and two large enterprises (brewery and cement) factory to point of sale by December 1998; Initiate privatization of the Construction Business Bank by September 1998, again with the help of the World Bank; and to bring at least 80 other enterprises to point of sale by June 2001.

The EPA determined the transfer of these companies to the highest bidder or to compatible companies that could bring in technology and knowledge transfer as it saw fit. However, attempting to privatize the state owned companies without proper valuation of the assets, such as future cash flows, proper disclosure of financial statement to the public is a misguided policy.

Offering these enterprises in a stock market will give a much broader engagement in the privatization process by the public. The establishment of a stock market will not only address initial public offering, but enhance transparency, accountability, proper valuation of government owed enterprises and tax collection process. The government should therefore focus on much broader implications instead of minimal gain in sale of the government enterprise.

As long as there are proper regulatory requirements in place, such as capital structure, firm specific credit risk exposure, capital adequacy and transparency there is no harm in privatizing large government owned banks such as CBE. In fact, the privatization of government owned banks in Ethiopia would lower “crony capitalism”.

Although it is not as visible as it was in early 2000, the pressure by special interest groups to open Ethiopia’s banking and telecom sector to foreign investors continues.

Even though, opening the banking sector to foreign investors is outside the scoop of the privatization issue. Surprisingly major foreign financial media outlets are also fixated on commenting that the banking and telephone sectors in Ethiopia are not open to foreign investors. The same interest groups, have failed in reporting on the privatization of land from the state to the people of Ethiopia, that would capitalize agriculture, “Ethiopia’s salvation lies on the formation of a middle class and the privatization of land and tenure security.” http://www.ethiomedia.com/17file/6026.html, states an Ethiopian economic professor at Ferris State University, in the United States.

Indigenous Addis Ababa based transaction advisory group have also gone as far as entertaining the sale of the Big-5 (also the cash cow for government coffer), namely Ethiopian Airlines, CBE, Ethio-Telecom, Ethio-Insurance and Shipping Lines, to raise $7.7 billion to meet the government’s Growth and Transformation Plan (GTP). This was reported in Bloomberg, Reuters and Access Capital 2011/12 Macro Economic Hand book. One of the arguments made by Access Capital is to privatize these enterprises to curve the massive debt/ratio and external borrowing.

The Big 5, in the eye of the public are considered national treasures. Especially privatizing fully to meet the Growth Transformation Plan (GTP) to finance untested mega projects is an unwise measure. It would be like “killing the Goose that laid the golden eggs.” The government should privatize these large companies, if only it identifies operational inefficiencies, to have a better management, technology transfer and transparency. Even then, it could privatize a portion of these public firms only to add value, and not to be sold to single investor, but to the general public.

A good example is the controversial privatization of the Lega Dembi Gold mine in August 1998 that landed with a single investor and was sold for $172 million to MIDROC Gold Co. which is 98% owned by Al-Amoudi. The government of Ethiopia owns a minority stake of 2 percent. Since MIDROC acquired the Sidamo province mine in 1998, to date the price of 1 troy ounce of gold has increased by 36.4 % . US government geological survey estimates the remaining life of the gold mines to be at 13 years. According World Bulletin, last fiscal year Ethiopia earned over $456 million from gold export. http://www.worldbulletin.net/todays-new … ld-exports

Privatization, if carefully implemented would improve the performance of state-owned enterprise. An impact and popular technique to privatize state owned enterprise is an initial public offering (IPO) or a distribution of ownership voucher.

In conclusion, privatization is a slow process, but Ethiopia should avoid the failure of the Russian privatization experience where large state owned companies end up in the hand of few oligarchs. In Russia through the distribution of ownership voucher, managers and employee gain control of two-third of the privatized firms.

The GoE can limit the number of shares sold to single investors, whereas management, insiders and single investors are not allowed to own more than 5 percent of the initial offering. That way the proportional stake of the privatized asset are widely distributed to local investors or the Ethiopian-Diaspora to come up with pooled growth-capital or a collective strategy to purchase the government owned enterprises.

Note:
2014 Special Drawing Right of ADB 1 Unit of Account = 1.34 USD

The author is graduate student at John Hopkins University.

REFERENCE:
Access Capital S.E http://www.portaldecomert.ro/Files/01.1 … pia%20.pdf

Bloomberg News http://www.businessweek.com/news/2012-0 … llion.html

BBC News: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/business/3198767.stm

The Reporter http://www.thereporterethiopia.com/inde … n-from-cbe

Commercial Bank of Ethiopia http://www.combanketh.com/loansadvancesDom.php

ETHIOPIA: African Development Bank: PRIVATIZATION TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE PROJECT
http://www.afdb.org/fileadmin/uploads/a … .A.DOC.PDF
COMPLETION REPORT

http://www.afdb.org/en/documents/docume … ort-20157/

IMF- Ethiopia—Enhanced Structural Adjustment Facility
https://www.imf.org/external/np/pfp/eth/etpta.htm

Privatization Database: http://web.worldbank.org/WBSITE/EXTERNA … 85,00.html

Reuters, Ethiopia, Saudi firm sign gold extraction deal: http://www.reuters.com/article/2009/11/ … L520091124

Institution of Developing Economies Johan External Organization http://www.ide.go.jp/English/Data/Afric … pia05.html

XAU/USD Historical Data
http://www.myfxbook.com/forex-market/cu … rical-data

US Embassy- Addis Ababa: http://www.geocities.com/~dagmawi/NewsO … ation.html

United States Geological Survey
http://minerals.usgs.gov/minerals/pubs/ … 011-et.pdf

Wikileaks US Embassy Cable
https://www.wikileaks.org/plusd/cables/ … A82_a.html

http://wikileaks.org/cable/2010/02/10ADDISABABA370.html

Malawi worried about Ebola virus being carried by Ethiopians; police arrested 52 Ethiopians

Thursday, August 21st, 2014

Illegal lags at Karonga court on Monday.-Photo by Nyasa Times(Malawi Nyasa Times) – Traditional leaders in Malawi’s boarder district of Karonga are appealing to government authorities to devise safety measures that would protect their…

New charges against Ethiopian publications further diminish critical voices – CPJ

Thursday, August 21st, 2014

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By Tom Rhodes/CPJ East Africa Representative

Five independent magazines and a weekly newspaper have been charged by Ethiopia’s Justice Ministry, a move that may add to the long lists of shuttered publications and Ethiopian journalists in exile. In a press release issued August 4, the ministry accused the journals of publishing false information, inciting violence, and undermining public confidence in the government, news reports said.

The ministry said it pressed charges after running out of patience with the publications for "encouraging radicalism and terrorism." The state broadcaster aired the ministry’s announcement, but none of the publications received the charge sheet, local journalists told me. The six independent publications are Afro Times, a weekly newspaper, and magazines Addis Guday, Enku, Fact, Jano, and Lomi. All are popular alternatives to the state-run press, which espouses an increasingly positive narrative. Local journalists and news reports said the charges could be a way for the ruling party to silence critics ahead of elections expected in May 2015.

Repeated calls to the Justice Ministry and a government spokesman went unanswered.

The ministry’s charges are not unexpected. In February, the pro-government Ethiopian Press Agency, a state-controlled news wire, conducted a study analyzing the content of the publications and concluded they were responsible for inciting violence and upholding opposition viewpoints, according to local news reports. Many local journalists at the time said they feared the study would be used as a pretext to target the publications later. "It’s a strategy the government uses when they want to stop a newspaper," Habtamu Seyoum, an editor at popular magazine Addis Guday, told me by phone. "They will prepare an article claiming that a journalist or media house should be closed. The next step is to jail or close the media house; it’s done as a sort of formality."

The Justice Ministry’s charges reflect a trend of authorities silencing critical media. Since 2009, the government has banned or suspended at least one critical independent publication per year, according to CPJ research.

Addis Guday stopped publishing on August 9. Several staff went into exile shortly after the government announcement, fearing imminent arrest. CPJ research shows their fears are likely justified. "We had police surrounding our offices, insults printed by the government press, constant phone threats–and now [these charges]. It was just too much," Addis Guday Deputy Editor Ibrahim Shafi told CPJ. A week before the staff members fled, police raided their offices twice in one week, ostensibly to investigate financial records, he said.

The country’s politicized justice system coupled with the ruling party’s near zero-tolerance approach to criticism has led a steady flow of journalists to flee the country. CPJ has directly assisted at least 41 journalists fleeing Ethiopia since 2009, and the total number of exiles is likely higher. Those who have fallen out of favor with authorities, whether from independent or state media, feel exile or imprisonment are their only options.

Authorities arrested another Addis Guday editor, Asmamaw Hailegeorgis, in April on terrorism charges, and arrested photojournalist Aziza Mohamed in July on vague accusations of incitement. Ethiopian authorities have a penchant for sentencing journalists to jail after presenting charges, no matter how spurious the charges may be. Data collected from the registrar of Ethiopia’s Federal High Court suggest 95 percent of journalists accused by authorities are found guilty, according to TrialTrackerBlog.org, which publishes news about detained journalists in Ethiopia.

Lomi ("Lemon") failed to print on August 8 and is unlikely to do so again, local journalists told me, because printers fear publishing anything that has fallen out of the ruling party’s favor. Last month, police searched Lomi’s offices and accused the staff of working without a license, a charge they denied, local journalists said.

According to the state-run Addis Admas, all but one of the magazines failed to publish recently.

A court in the capital, Addis Ababa, summoned the general managers of three publications–Fact, Addis Guday, and Lomi–on August 13, but only the general manager of Lomi appeared, according to news reports. Local journalists told CPJ they expect the other three publications to be summoned to court soon.

CPJ was not able to reach journalists from Afro Times, Enku, Fact, or Jano.

If these publications close down due to this latest government challenge, Ethiopia’s meager circulation of weekly independent publications–roughly 60,000 for a population of 90 million people–will decrease further. There is only one television station, run by the state, and out of five radio stations, three are staunchly pro-government. The state-run telecommunications company is the sole Internet service provider for a country with the second lowest Internet penetration rates in sub-Saharan Africa, according to the International Telecommunication Union. With limited independent voices, voters’ access to critical news sources and informed debate ahead of Ethiopia’s May 2015 elections may be negligible. The ruling party would probably not want it any other way.

[Reporting from Nairobi]
http://www.cpj.org/blog/2014/08/new-cha … urther.php

Map of Countries With Patients Tested For Ebola

Thursday, August 21st, 2014

ImageInternational Association For Medical Assistance to Travellers

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The map indicates that Kenya and Ethiopia have people tested for Ebola, yet there are no confirmed cases.
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Here are the 35 countries one flight away from Ebola-affected countries
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http://qz.com/242388/here-are-all-the-3 … countries/

The Woyanne junta is sued in U.S. court for illegal wiretapping

Wednesday, August 20th, 2014


The rule of law must prevail over the law of the Dedeb’it jungle

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EFF to Ethiopia: Illegal Wiretapping Is Illegal, Even for Governments

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EFF Team

August 19, 2014 | By Nate Cardozo

Here’s the US court’s document (PDF)
https://www.eff.org/files/2014/08/19/ki … sition.pdf

Earlier this week, EFF told the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia that Ethiopia must be held accountable for its illegal wiretapping of an American citizen. Foreign governments simply do not have a get-out-of-court-free card when they commit serious felonies in America against Americans. This case is the centerpiece of our U.S. legal efforts to combat state sponsored malware.

In February 2014, EFF filed suit against the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia on behalf of our client, Mr. Kidane, an Ethiopian by birth who has been a U.S. citizen over a decade. Mr. Kidane discovered traces of Gamma International’s FinSpy, a sophisticated spyware product which its maker claims is sold exclusively to governments and law enforcement, on his laptop at his home in suburban Maryland. A forensic examination of his computer showed that the Ethiopian government had been recording Mr. Kidane’s Skype calls, as well as monitoring his web and email usage. The monitoring, which violates both the federal Wiretap Act and Maryland state law, was accomplished using spyware that captured his activities and then reported them back to a command and control server in Ethiopia controlled by the government. The infection was active from October 2012, through March 2013, and was stopped just days after researchers at the University of Toronto’s Citizen Lab released a report exposing Ethiopia’s use of use of FinSpy. The report specifically referenced the very IP address of the Ethiopian government server responsible for the command and control of the spyware on Mr. Kidane’s laptop.

The Ethiopian government responded to the suit with the troubling claim that it—and every other foreign government—should be completely immune from suit for wiretapping American citizens on American soil. Ethiopia’s filing rests on several logic-challenged premises. Ethiopia claims that the recording of Mr. Kidane’s Skype calls and Internet activity at his home in Maryland actually took place in Ethiopia, and is therefore beyond the reach of any U.S. court. Worse still, Ethiopia claims that it had the "discretion" to violate U.S. law, reducing the Wiretap Act to something more like a traffic violation than a serious felony. Interestingly, Ethiopia does not actually deny that it wiretapped Mr. Kidane.

Yesterday, EFF and its co-counsel at Robins, Kaplan, Miller & Ciresi, filed a response knocking down each of Ethiopia’s arguments, noting that not even the U.S. government is allowed to do what Ethiopia claims it had the right to do here: wiretap Americans in America with no legal process whatsoever. We argue that Ethiopia must be held accountable for wiretapping Mr. Kidane, just as any other actor would be. Neither its status as a government nor the fact that it launched its attack on Mr. Kidane from Ethiopia gives it carte blanche to ignore the law. If Ethiopia legitimately needed to collect information about Americans for an investigation, it could negotiate a deal with the U.S., called a Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty, which would allow it to seek U.S. assistance for something like a wiretap. Otherwise, there simply is no “international spying” exception to the law for foreign governments, nor should there be. When sovereign governments act, especially when they invade the privacy of ordinary people, they must do so within the bounds of the law. And when foreign governments break U.S. law, U.S. courts have the power to hold them accountable.

This is the next step in what we hope will set an important precedent in the U.S., fighting back against the growing problem of state-sponsored malware. No matter what one thinks about the NSA spying on Americans inside the U.S. (of course EFF believes that this has gone way far too), it should be easy to see that foreign governments—be they Ethiopia, China, or as EFF itself experienced Vietnam—do not and should not have that right.

https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2014/08/e … overnments

In celebration of Emperor Menelik II’s 180th Birthday

Tuesday, August 19th, 2014

Emperor Menelik II (Ge’ez ምኒልክ) (17 August 1844 – 12 December 1913), was Negus of Shewa (King) (1866–89), then Nəgusä Nägäst (Emperor) of Ethiopia from 1889 to his death. At the height of his internal power and external prestige, the process of territorial expansion and creation of the modern empire-state had been completed by 1898. Ethiopia was transformed under Nəgusä Nägäst Menelik: the major signposts of modernization were put in place. Externally, his victory over the Italian invaders had earned him great fame: following Adwa, recognition of Ethiopia’s independence by external powers was expressed in terms of diplomatic representation at the court of Menelik and delineation of Ethiopia’s boundaries with the adjacent colonies. Source: Wikipedia

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Melkam Buhe – Hoya hoye (video)

Tuesday, August 19th, 2014

Why surveillance companies hate the iPhone: Wash Post

Tuesday, August 19th, 2014

By Craig Timberg – Washington Post August 11, 2014     The secrets of one of the world’s most prominent surveillance companies, Gamma Group, spilled onto the Internet last week, courtesy of an anonymous leaker who appears to have gained access to sensitive corporate documents. And while they provide illuminating details about the capabilities of […]

Secretly recorded audio of Bereket Simon and Addisu Legesse about growing opposition in Bahr Dar and other areas

Tuesday, August 19th, 2014

starting from 1:07:00 you will find the secret audio recording
The rest is mostly Ermias Legesse exposing the inner workings of woyane tigrays. This guy with his interviews and his book left woyane tigrays exposed like no one else. Om my god.

http://ethsat.com/video/esat-bezih-sami … 14-part-2/

ENTC weekly radio program – August 18

Monday, August 18th, 2014

Listen to ENTC radio program – August 18 News, Interviews, entertainment, etc Listen here (mp3) To listen by phone – 213-992-4363

Flood paralyzes poorly constructed Addis Ababa roads (video)

Monday, August 18th, 2014

A few drops of rain paralyzes poorly constructed flood-prone Addis Ababa road. This video was taken yesterday.

From an Ethiopian village to Deputy Mayor of Tel Aviv

Monday, August 18th, 2014

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Mehereta Baruch-Ron is Deputy Mayor of the Tel Aviv municipality. Originally from Ethiopia, she embarked on a long journey to Israel via Sudan with two of her sisters when she was just 10 years old. Her parents bought her first pair of shoes for her in preparation for the trip to Israel.

She joins Rogel Alpher to share stories from her incredible transformation: From a child growing up in an African village with no electricity or running water, to a successful theatre-actress-turned-politician in Israel. Listen:

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Source: http://tlv1.fm/arts-culture/journeys/20 … -journeys/

My Commentary on My Commentaries

Sunday, August 17th, 2014

Confessions of an Ethiopian-American blogger or notes of a native son on tyranny? This commentary, perhaps confession is a better descriptor, has been long in coming. Why have I written lengthy weekly Monday commentaries for hundreds of weeks without missing a single week? Why are my “commentaries so long”? Why am I so critical of […]

አእምሮ – The first modern newspaper in an African language

Sunday, August 17th, 2014

አእምሮ newspaper was established during Emperor Menelik’s reign. The first ever issue was distributed in and around 1889 and was written in the Amharic language. The newspaper was weekly and the first ever issue had 24 copies. After Amharic, the second earliest modern style newspaper in an African langauge was in Swahili. See a picture of one of the later issues of አእምሮ below, issue no 11.

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Kenya bans contact with Ebola-affected countries

Sunday, August 17th, 2014

The Guardian, Sunday 17 August 2014
Mark Tran

he World Health Organisation has urged governments not to impose blanket bans on trade and travel on Ebola-affected countries after Kenya joined a growing number of countries and airlines severing links to three west African states.

The WHO has already said that the risk of Ebola transmission from air travel is low, but the level of fear is so high that several airlines have disregarded the UN agency’s advice. The disease has already killed at least 1,145 people across west Africa this year.

"The scale of the outbreak is much larger than anything ever seen before," said Gregory Hartl, a WHO spokesman. "It is an obvious source of concern and it is not to be underestimated, but we must take measures commensurate with the risk. What you don’t want to do is to take blanket measures to cut off travel and trade."

Despite such advice, Kenya is the latest country to jump on the bandwagon by declaring a travel ban on Saturday. From midnight on Tuesday, people travelling from or through Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia will not be allowed to enter the east African country, said Kenya’s health ministry.

Nigeria, which allows entry to health professionals and Kenyans returning from those countries, was not included in the ban. The outbreak began in the forested zone on the borders of Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia earlier this year, and spread to Nigeria last month.

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/a … irus-fears

Ethiopia’s capital flight is estimated at US$24.9 billion or 83.8% of the country’s GDP

Saturday, August 16th, 2014

Ethiopia’s capital flight is estimated at about US$24.9 billion which is 83.8% of the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Ethiopia is ranked 8th in the group of 33 countries for which data are available but it stands first when compared to non-oil and/or mineral exporting countries. Source: Political Economy Research Institute, the University of Massachusetts
Read the full report here: SS Africa Capital Flight

PM Hailemariam Desalegn enrolls daughter at Columbia University in New York

Saturday, August 16th, 2014

Ethiopia’s Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn came to the U.S.-Africa Summit early this month with one of his daughters, and right after the meeting he left for New York. It is now known that he went to New York to enroll his daughter, Bitsit Hailemariam, at Columbia University. Bitsit graduated from the International Community School of Addis Ababa last May 2014. Unlike her older daughter Joanna, Bitsit keeps a low profile and is rarely seen in public.

Breathtaking panoramic view of Ethiopia’s Semien Mountains

Saturday, August 16th, 2014

Click on the four arrows at the right top corner for full screen

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Is Eritrean government taking Hailemariam Desalegn’s latest threat seriously?

Thursday, August 14th, 2014

Relatives in Keren and Asmara have told me that the Eritrean military is on the move. Large convoys of military vehicles have been observed in southern and western Eritrea over the past few days. Automatic rifles are also being distributed to the population. Actually this started about two years ago, but now it is being done now with more urgency.

Hailemariam Desalegn’s threat and reaction of Eritreans on the social media:
https://www.facebook.com/21898788162714 … 6863551915

My visit to Tikur Anbessa Hospital in Addis Ababa

Thursday, August 14th, 2014

By Amy Walters, NPR

I’d heard about the hospital before. The Ethiopian press reported a blackout in 2005 that left seven patients in intensive care dead; in 2013 there was a seven-hour outage. It didn’t sound good. Then there’s the name, conjuring a massive feral beast that chews people up limb by limb.

Ethiopians have a different perspective. For them, the hospital is pretty much the most important in the country. Whatever you come down with, wherever you come down with it, if doctors can’t treat your ailment where you are, they send you to Black Lion. There are fancy private clinics that cost more money, and some can provide better care. But for most Ethiopians, the Black Lion is as good as it gets.

I visited in the morning on a typical day. I was greeted by a broken front window, a hand-painted directory and crowds of people. Whole families were camped out under the trees outside the main building, and a thick stream of people were trying to move through the halls, some with bandages and crutches, others just trying to get by.

I was immediately aware of one problem: cleanliness. There are people whose job it is to keep the hospital clean. They do their job, but they’re no match for the people getting it dirty. What’s more, windows are open, doors are open. It’s very open-air. That’s great for a market, bad for a hospital. The Ministry of Health doesn’t collect statistics on hospital-acquired infections, but several isolated studies have been done and the number hovers around a 20 percent infection rate. In the U.S., the rate is 4 percent.

The first place I visited was the neonatal unit on the sixth floor of the eight-story building. With 40 patients and 40 beds, the place was full. Well, I thought it was full, but head nurse Berhena Mulat said they could usually treat many more. Three to a bed was capacity.

Mulat was the first person I met at Black Lion. She’d seen a lot of patients — and a lot of journalists, visiting to report on the state of Ethiopia’s health care. I asked her one of the questions we journalists ask when we want to know what’s wrong. "What are you missing?" I asked. "What do you need here to do your job?"

"You’re a journalist," she said. It was true. Mulat had a pretty good idea what journalists do — and what they don’t do. They don’t hand out money and supplies to hospitals. "If you don’t help me, why do you ask me?"

Ouch.

Once I recovered from the punch in the gut, I realized what she was saying. Other journalists had been here before. They hung around, asked some questions and then left, never to be heard from — at least by her — again. And Black Lion stayed the same. … Read the full article here: http://www.npr.org/blogs/goatsandsoda/2 … p-hospital

ENTC weekly radio program – August 13

Thursday, August 14th, 2014

  Listen to ENTC radio program – August 13 News, Interviews, entertainment, etc Listen here (mp3) To listen by phone – 213-992-4363

85 percent of Ethiopians never see a doctor (video)

Wednesday, August 13th, 2014
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By Anders Kelto

The pediatrics wing of St. Paul’s Hospital in Addis Ababa is a busy place. Nervous parents move in and out, waiting for their kids to be seen.

There aren’t a lot of doctors here, but there is one group of people that seems to be everywhere: young, white-coated medical students.

Until recently, Ethiopia had just one physician for every 100,000 people, but now the country is dramatically increasing the number of doctors it produces.

This year, the government opened 13 new medical schools, which more than doubled the number in the country. Ethiopia has also been increasing enrollment at existing schools.

“This year, for the first time, we enrolled 3,100 medical students, which is almost tenfold compared to what we used to enroll five, six years ago,” said Dr. Tedros Adhanom, Ethiopia’s foreign minister, who until recently served as minister of health.

Tedros says Ethiopia’s severe physician shortage is one of the country’s most pressing concerns.

Many doctors leave Ethiopia for higher-paying jobs overseas, and those who stay tend to work in the cities and in the private sector. That means the 85 percent of Ethiopians who live in rural villages may never see a doctor.

Tedros says the government’s solution is to deliberately overproduce doctors and flood the country with new physicians.

“Even if you lose 100 or 200, everybody doesn’t migrate,” he said.

But some say this huge increase in the quantity of doctors is compromising quality.

Dame Endalew, a medical student at St. Paul’s, says the sharp increase in enrollment has made it difficult to learn.

“There’s a scarcity of resources,” Endalew said. “We don’t have books, computer labs, lecturers. Every time the number of students increases, these things become worsened.”

He says he often can’t complete assignments because all of the books and computers are in use. He had to share a cadaver with 30 peers. And he often interviews patients who have already seen 10 or 15 other medical students.

“When you try to work with them, they are really fed up with the students asking the same question again and again,” he said.

But perhaps the biggest problem at Ethiopian medical schools is a shortage of instructors.

There are very few incentives for senior doctors to teach at medical schools. That means young doctors like Daniel Hailemariam, a professor of public health at the University of Addis Ababa, are asked to step in.

“I just graduated in July, and I’m currently enrolled as a faculty there,” he said, though he has never worked in the public health sector.

At Ethiopia’s 13 new medical schools there is also a shortage of professors, so recent graduates are often asked to teach. Some say that could cause big problems down the road.

One foreign doctor, who has worked in Ethiopia for more than 20 years, but asked not to be identified, said these new schools are producing a generation of doctors who don’t know what they’re doing, and they could do more harm than good.

Adhanom, Ethiopia’s former minister of health, agrees that physician quality is a concern, but he insists that Ethiopian schools will meet a minimum standard for medical education. And he says that’s good enough for now.

“I don’t think we will change this country by waiting until we get something perfect to start something,” Tedros said. “It cannot be perfect. We have to start with what we have.”
Anders Kelto

Anders Kelto is "PRI’s The World’s" Africa Correspondent, based in Cape Town, South Africa.

Source: http://www.pri.org/stories/2012-12-21/e … -being-cut

Ethiopia’s “Terrorist” Bloggers

Wednesday, August 13th, 2014

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By Adam Bemma

A cursory glance at the headlines shows that Ethiopia has one of Africa’s fastest growing economies. But the noise generated by the hyperbolic international media is drowning out the critical voices.

Political opposition is being strangled by the authorities as activists and journalists are arrested and thrown into jail at a dizzying pace.

On April 25 of this year, the Ethiopian government made news by arresting six bloggers and three freelance journalists. Setting a dangerous precedent for other governments in the region and beyond, authorities are now targeting youth online.

The nine writers are facing terrorism-related charges, standing accused of inciting violence through social media. The six bloggers are members of the online collective known as Zone 9. The moniker was chosen to represent the inalienable right to freedom of expression: journalists are often held in the section of Addis Ababa’s Kality prison known as Zone 8.

"The government claims [those detained] are conspiring with foreign non-governmental organizations, human rights groups," said journalist Araya Getachew. "It also claims that they are also working for banned terrorist organizations trying to overthrow the state. This is totally false." READ MORE … http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/adam-bemma … 74061.html

Ethiopian Airlines continues to fly to Ebola countries

Monday, August 11th, 2014

The east African region has been set on its toes following the revelation of an outbreak of Ebola infections in west Africa this March.
This…

China using children on construction projects in Ethiopia (photos)

Monday, August 11th, 2014

Addis Ababa
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Chinese road construction project in Tigray using child labor
Shire to Aksum road, northern Ethiopia:
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Gezhouba Corporation construction depot in Axum
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Debunking the Myth of Development and Investment in Africa

Sunday, August 10th, 2014

   The myth of American investments in Africa: “Investing in the Next Generation” It was a hyperbole fest (“hypefest”) at the U.S.-Africa Leadership Summit in Washington, D.C. last week. It was all about the “fastest-growing continent with the youngest population and highest level of investment”.   President Obama and other top U.S. officials sang what is […]

Black-on-black apartheid in Ethiopia

Sunday, August 10th, 2014

Evidence shows how a tiny minority of Tigrians lords it over 90 million Ethiopians. Research by Solidarity Movement for a New Ethiopia (SMNE) names names; shows clear domination by the Tigrai People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) August 10, 2014   Institutions are to be independent of political control in a healthy, just and inclusive society; however, […]

UDJ and AEUP acting foolish

Sunday, August 10th, 2014

The leaderships of two Ethiopian opposition groups, Union for Democracy and Justice (UDJ) and All Ethiopian Unity Party (AEUP), have been wasting enormous amount of time and resources over the past two years trying to merge. They have signed numerous memoranda of understanding and held countless meetings. Finally, a couple of months ago, they had reached an agreement on all outstanding issues except the chairmanship. Two weeks ago, they agreed that a joint general assembly of both parties will elect the chairman of the newly merged party from two candidates — one from each. The general election was scheduled to take place yesterday.

But the TPLF-led Ethiopian National Election Board has stepped in and told the parties that their merger would not be legal because when AEUP held its general assembly a year ago, it didn’t have quorum, i.e., only 285 of the 600 members attended, when the required quorum was at least 301. AEUP says that there was a quorum because 390 members attended the assembly, which they properly notified the election commission. We all know who is telling the truth.

My question is, why waste all this time and resources on merger? Why not focus on getting their members and leaders released from the Woyanne dungeons instead? Why not spend time speaking out on the problems facing average Ethiopians? Why not organize the people Ethiopia to stand up for their rights? Why are they wasting their meager resources on merger that the TPLF will not allow to take place?

The UDJ – AEUP merger is not helpful to the struggle. We need more organizations who work together, not one single organization that can easily be infiltrated by TPLF. Keep your yourself structurally separate, and instead coordinate your actions. Stop the merger fiasco.

Ethiopians hunting Teodros Adhanom in DC to make citizen arrest (video)

Saturday, August 9th, 2014

An assistant to Ethiopian ruling junta’s deputy prime minister Teodros Adhanom was caught trying to sneak out his boss who was hiding in a Washington DC hotel during the 2014 U.S.Africa-Summit

Inspiring speech by Ethiopian student Rahel Bogale at AVID Philadelphia Summer Institute 2014 (video)

Saturday, August 9th, 2014

 

 

 

Obama’s genocide [warning: graphic images]

Saturday, August 9th, 2014

While President Barack Obama, the most powerful person in the world, keeps silent…

ISIS troops massacre Shiites and Christians
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Tale of Ethiopia’s two minister d’états

Friday, August 8th, 2014

This is not a narrative presented as a way of telling a story. It is rather mean to give a broader message to anyone who aspires to free themselves and follow their heart in doing the right thing by breaking the shackles of deception and discrimination. It is then, only then, one can really be free and party to sanity and humanity by becoming a force for the truth. Although the title focuses on two rather complete different personalities it has a broader appeal to a lot more others who find themselves in this similar situation these two d’états represent.

My inspiration to write this article is not motivated by any personal hatred I held to anyone, not even the one I portrayed in a negative way. What inspires me has something to do with the recent information we all came across with when a person in the name of Mr. Ermias Legesse, who came forward glittering like a shooting star with a lesson for every mindful, not mindless, to learn. The former minister d’etat of communication under the Tigray People Liberation Front led Ethiopian government who abandoned the regime for all the right reasons as we saw it in his interviews strike me to put my fingers on my key board and come up with this idea of comparing him with another TPLF minister d’état who stands in contrast to this young minister d’état. So goes the title ‘The Tale of Two Minister d’états’.

As I have stated one of the d’état you might wonder who the other would be. So, I call upon Dr. Tekeda Alemu since he best explains the point I am trying to make in this short article. As much as I saw passion for doing the right thing and conviction for the truth I see limitless deception and shameless determination to serve a regime on the side of the latter. It doesn’t matter what you good at, good or bad, your name will be raised everywhere for all the wrong or right reasons depending on your deeds. So, these two people represent those kinds of people who deserve mentioning in light with their own character, personality and other relevant matters addressed below. The two minister d’états have nothing in common, even if you search it with a spot light. So, I skip to dealing with the issue head on with no further introduction and avoiding all well-known information to avoid wasting everyone’s time.

The two personalities have unimaginable differences in age, education, experience, exposure and party affiliation. Dr. Tekeda is a PHD as the name indicates. He has served under the Monarchy, the Derg and now under the TPLF led government since the very day they came to power. He has been in the for front of Ethiopian/TPLF/ diplomacy which, failed the nation its access to the sea; cost the nation the Badme area following thousands of Ethiopians sons were slaughtered to free it; gave the western Gondar areas to the Sudan; engaged in covering up the human rights violation in the country and the brutal crackdown on journalists and activists from the international community. In the last twenty three years, in the name of ‘ I am not a member’ children game the Minister d’etat has been more ardent defender of the deeds and atrocities of TPLF more than any EPRDF member. Keeping aside his relatively older blunders, other than the one I stated above ,you all recall that after he was sent to the UN as ambassador he continue to serve as a Trojan horse to the TPLF minority junta with no reservation and shame. His effort to make the TPLF government member of the UN human rights commission speaks volumes as to what Tekeda stood for and his conviction, serving TPLF what they want, when they want and where they want with no questions asked and reservation. This is a story of a PHD.

Other former diplomatic personalities of Ethiopia who were younger in age and education than Tekeda, Aklilu Habtewold and Mr. Ketema Yefru to mention a few, were instrumental in making Eritrea united with Ethiopian and forming the OAU/AU and making the seat in Addis respectively. But what Tekeda does is nothing but serving and defending tyranny which ever form it comes, military junta or ethnic apartheid. What do we call such level of opportunism exhibited by such an individual with so much diplomatic experience almost the age of the next minister I am moving on to? Honestly speaking, Tekeda is a good example that shows the root cause of the vicious cycle of poverty, war and human rights violation in Ethiopia. Because, people like him either they don’t make their opinion heard and change the wrong path the regime takes or they abandon it so it chokes with absence of the technocrat. They sit there and dance with the beat TPLF plays!

I begin by expressing my heartfelt appreciation and regard to the young, 37 years of age as I am, minister d’état Ermias Legesse who defected from the TPLF propaganda machine refusing to serve the white lies and deceptive and destructive policies. Not only that he deserve commending for abandoning the brutal regime his passion and conviction to come forward with his free will to share his experience and bring to light all the atrocities and government led looting of the nation to the benefit of one group is so courageous. Who did we see before him with his status coming out from the TPLF system with that kind of citizen responsibility by opposing the atrocities committed on targeted population? Who did we see before him telling the world that TPLF as a government is engaged in looting the nation and undertaking a massive wealth transfer to TPLF cadres and their affiliates? Who did we see before him with his stature telling everybody that in TPLF Ethiopia you can serve TPLF but you can’t serve Ethiopia as an Ethiopian? With his decency, eloquence and brilliance he puts everything out. It is not age, PHD or other when measured in moral character, deeds and maturity I think he got a lot to teach Tekeda and Tekeda likes.

The point that matters is not Ermias has been an EPRDF member and Tekeda not. The point is, disregarding having a paper claiming someone is a member or not, we have to measure it in terms of their effort to make what was wrong right. While we see it in these criteria it is easy to categorize Tekeda in the hard core members group for his quarter of a century service and counting on. Ermias determination to break from the cell he found himself in calling on the regime to reform and change makes him nothing but a true and patriotic Ethiopian who other, including Tekeda Alemu, has to emulate.

While wrapping up this short article I would say the following. Ermias Legesse is Ethiopian as Tekeda Alemu claims to be. Is Ethiopia of Ermias different to that of Tekeda? Didn’t Ethiopia carry Tekeda on her back more than she carries Ermias by investing her meager resources? But the story of the old man is stabbing the country being accessory to those leaders who envision dismantling it from the beginning so as to install their Republic on the grave of the great nation. When does Tekeda and the likes come to their senses and realize they are in the dark. Does his wife Almaz Goytom being from the Tigre group that formed TPLF blind a man’s conscience to this extent? If it goes to that level it would make the person even less worthy of all this talk I am talking and I would assume that I wasted my time.

So, as Ermias did, I call upon all non-TPLF Ethiopian officials, diplomats, civil servants and others serving in Ethiopia and under the current Ethiopian government to abandon the one party and one ethnic group controlled dictatorship in the country and be part of sanity by any means possible. In so doing, not only will it make TPLF cease to flourish it would cease it to exist ultimately.

Ethiopia’s spectacular lava lake in high definition video

Friday, August 8th, 2014

Ethiopia’s Erta Ale Lava Lake is 613 metres (2,011 ft) high, with one or sometimes two active lava lakes at the summit which occasionally overflow on the south side of the volcano. 

Where is Hailemariam Desalegn hiding?

Friday, August 8th, 2014

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This week, more than 90 US companies attended the U.S-African Summit in Washington, DC. During the meeting, President Obama announced that American companies — many with trade assistance from the US Export-Import Bank — are declaring new deals across Africa in clean energy, aviation, banking, and construction. These deals are estimated to be worth more than $14 billion. US Companies such as Black Rock, Coca Cola, GE, and Marriott Hotels are a few of the companies that publicized their interest in the African investments. According to Bloomberg News, there is a five-year, $7 billion Power Africa initiative for six countries — pending approval for US congress based on good governance. Ethiopia is supposed to get a piece of this action.

Obama also announced additional commitment by the private sector. Organizations like The World Bank, and countries like Sweden, pitched in to come up with a combined total of $26 billion to the Power Africa initiative.

But Ethiopia’s prime minister was no where to be found.

The bad news started for Hailemariam when Azusa Pacfic University in California withdrew an even honoring him, after a protest was lodged to the university’s administration by Abebe Gelaw and Global Alliance for the Rights of Ethiopians.

Like most the other 40 African leaders, Prime Minster Hailemariam Desalegn Boshe and the first Lady Roman Tesfaye flew into Andrews Air Force base. However, the big mystery this week among the Ethiopians in the Washington DC area is the location of the prime minster of Ethiopia.

Ethiopian activists in DC Metro Area have been searching for him. They even set up a hotline for any one to report his whereabouts to them. Unlike the other African embassies, there was no official dinner party held so far in the honor of the Prime Minster at the Ethiopian Embassy in Washington DC.

According to a State Department source, the US government had anticipated a major demonstration against Hailemariam and made preparations with local law enforcement agencies expecting thousands of protestors. While other African nations are flying their flags at various hotels they are staying, no Washington area hotel is flying the Ethiopian flag. There is a speculation that he is hiding at a US government guest house, or the Inter-Continental.

On the opening day of the U.S.-Africa Summit, over 1,500 Ethiopians staged a demonstration outside the meeting. Outside the World Bank, they were joined by protesters from Congo, Burundi and other countries.

Two years ago, on May 18, 2012, there was similar protest against the Prime Minster from Ethiopia. The “Arrest Meles Zenawi” demonstration was held outside the Washington Ronald Reagan Center where an Ethiopian activists Abebe Gelaw shouted “Freedom” in room full of US official and three African leaders. On the other side of the street, there were a small group of individuals who show support for Meles. This time there were no pro-government demonstrators for Hailemariam.

Ethiopians activists have forced the government officials who came from Ethiopia to attend the U.S.-Africa Summit into hiding or keep a low profile. A week before the U.S.-Africa Summit was opened, Ethiopians had confronted ruling party officials in Houston and Los Angeles where they tried to hold meetings with potential investors. Hailemariam had canceled his scheduled appearances in both cities. A few days ago, the Minister of Commerce, Kebede Chane, was chased out of Laliebela Ethiopian Restaurant in Washington DC. On Thursday, the Minster of Information, Redwan Hussien, has been confronted by Ethiopian activists at a shopping center in Arlington, Virginia.

Since the abduction of Ethiopian opposition leader Adargachew Tsega, who travels with a British passport, by Ethiopian security agents at Sanna’a International airport in Yemen, the anger against regime has re-intensified.

It was not only the Ethiopia government officials who are trying to keep under the radar. Mohammed Al Amoudi, who is in town for the Summit, did not show his face any where. The Diaspora Investment Forum planned by Zemedneh Negatu of Ernest & Young in Washington DC was also canceled.

As the state terror intensifies against journalists, bloggers, and opposition leaders in Ethiopia, angry and frustrated Ethiopians around the world are hunting down and confronting Ethiopian regime officials who are responsible for the repression.

Redwan Hussein, TPLF chief spokesman, confronted by brave Ethiopians in Arlington, Virginia shopping mall – video

Thursday, August 7th, 2014

A shopping center in Arlington, Virginia – August 7, 2014

Patriotic Ethiopians confront TPLF chief spokesman in Virginia (peaceful civil resistance in action)

Thursday, August 7th, 2014

TPLF chief spokesman Redwan Hussein is confronted at a Virginia store by patriotic Ethiopians – August 7, 2014

Bravo Ethiopians! This is what chigaram Woyannes deserve!

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The noose tightens on Ethiopian press – The Economist

Thursday, August 7th, 2014

THE ECONOMIST – A ranking that countries do not aspire to ascend is the one compiled by the Committee to Protect Journalists, a New York-based group. It reckons that Ethiopia is Africa’s second-worst jailer of journalists, ahead only of its ultra-repressive neighbour and bitter enemy, Eritrea. Cementing its lamentable reputation, on August 4th Ethiopia briefly resumed the trial of ten journalists and bloggers, nine of whom it has kept in prison since April; one is being tried in absentia. The court proceedings are to start again in earnest on August 20th.

The ten are accused of several offences, including breaches of the country’s controversial anti-terrorism laws. These include having links to banned opposition groups and trying to cause instability via social media. The government says the journalists and bloggers are connected to two groups that it deems terrorist organisations: the Oromo Liberation Front, a rebel outfit that seeks a better deal for Ethiopia’s largest ethnic group, which predominates in the south; and Ginbot 7, a leading opposition movement formed after widespread protests following Ethiopia’s general election in 2005.

The arrests are part of a broader clampdown on the opposition and the media. In June Andargachew Tsigie, Ginbot 7’s exiled secretary-general, was detained in transit through Yemen and flown to Ethiopia. He had previously been sentenced to death in absentia in two separate trials.

On August 4th Ethiopia’s ministry of justice upped the ante by filing fresh charges against five magazines, a newspaper and their publishers, alleging that they were “engaging in incitements that could undermine national security” and promote discord. Readers view the five popular magazines, which have criticised government policies, as an alternative to the rosy narratives of state media. With a general election due next year, this seems to be making the ruling party twitchy.

Source: http://www.economist.com/news/middle-ea … cosh-noose

Football players from an American university travel to Ethiopia; shocked by the extreme poverty (video)

Thursday, August 7th, 2014
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President Obama’s troubling dinner party – Los Angeles Times

Thursday, August 7th, 2014

LAtimes.com: President Obama’s troubling dinner party

The guest list at this week’s U.S.-Africa summit featured some real tyrants

Why did President Obama entertain African dictators at the White House?

06/08/2014

The Obama administration erred on the side of inclusion in deciding which
leaders to invite to its ambitious U.S.-Africa summit this week – at least
in the view of human rights advocates.

The guest list featured some of Africa’s nastiest tyrants, including
autocrats such as Angola’s Jose Eduardo dos Santos and Equatorial Guinea’s
Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo, who traveled to Washington for the summit,
which included an official dinner at the White House.

Usually, leaders with such dismal records on democracy and human rights
aren’t welcomed at White House galas. This time, however, Obama excluded
only four of the continent’s leaders (Zimbabwe’s Robert Mugabe along with
the leaders of Eritrea, Sudan and the Central African Republic).

That left some of Africa’s most admirable democratic presidents, such as
Ghana’s John Dramani Mahama and Tanzania’s Jakaya Kikwete, having to compete
for attention with some of its most authoritarian. Obiang, for example, who
recently celebrated the 35th anniversary of the military coup that brought
him to power in 1979, has jailed or killed virtually all of his political
opponents.

But the three-day summit wasn’t primarily about democracy and human rights.
It was about ways the U.S. government and private enterprise can form
partnerships in Africa to promote the continent’s promising economies.

To be sure, the challenges of building the institutions of "civil society"
were on the agenda too, but only as a sideshow. "It’s not possible to
succeed for your people unless they have a chance to shape the policies of
their government," Vice President Joe Biden told an audience of African
civic leaders Monday. "Democracy has taken root, and now it’s trying to
grow; it’s trying to flourish in places where it’s very difficult."

But few of the African leaders were in the room at the time. And if there
was any blunt talk about human rights in places such as Angola and
Equatorial Guinea, it happened in private.

The theory, U.S. officials say, is that lecturing African countries about
the virtues of democracy – or even helping them build civil institutions
such as an independent judiciary – isn’t always an effective way to nudge
them toward more open political systems.

Instead, the underlying theme of the summit was that security against
terrorism and economic development must come first, and that – if all goes
well – political progress will naturally follow.

But that message has dismayed traditional advocates of human rights.

"It’s been enormously disappointing," Kenneth Roth of Human Rights Watch
told me. "Promotion of human rights and democracy is very important to this
administration, but only after it gets done promoting security issues and
business."

In Egypt, Ethiopia and Nigeria, he charged, the United States has gone easy
on human rights violations because it counts those governments as allies in
the struggle against Islamist extremists. And throughout Africa, U.S.
government funding for democracy promotion has been cut while economic aid
has grown.

Administration officials bristle at the suggestion they’ve relegated human
rights to second place. "We’re committed to supporting strong democratic
institutions in Africa," Ben Rhodes, Obama’s deputy national security
advisor, told reporters before the summit.

But other officials acknowledge that human rights can’t always come first.
"Let’s be honest: At times . we do business with governments that do not
respect the rights we hold most dear," national security advisor Susan Rice
said last year. "Still, over time, we know that our core interests are
inseparable from our core values, that our commitment to democracy and human
rights roundly reinforces our national security."

In Africa, the picture has been complicated by a new factor: the rapidly
growing economic presence of China. China’s trade with Africa has far
outpaced U.S. commerce there in recent years, and China’s investment in the
continent has been growing fast.

The problem, officials say, is that Chinese investment flows into African
countries without pressure for democratic governance or demands that
countries crack down on corruption.

Obama’s announcement Tuesday of $14 billion in new investments by U.S.
companies – many of them in a program called Power Africa aimed at bringing
electricity to the continent’s underdeveloped interior – was intended to
help close the U.S.-China investment gap.

"These projects are a way we can compete with the Chinese for influence,"
one official said. "We need to be on the playing field, even if we don’t
play the same way."

Obama was even more pointed in an interview with the Economist last week.
"My advice to African leaders is to make sure that if, in fact, China is
putting in roads and bridges, number one, that they’re hiring African
workers; number two, that the roads don’t just lead from the mine to the
port to Shanghai."

For autocratic leaders in Africa, dealing with Beijing may be easier. But
the administration will have work to do to ensure that U.S. economic
investments also contribute to progress for human rights and democratic
values.

The advocates of civil society in Africa have a good product to sell. Power
Africa and other U.S. investments should be used to help them get that
necessary foot in the door.

doyle.mcmanus_at_latimes.com

Meeting in Washington of African Leaders Opens to Protests: NY Times

Thursday, August 7th, 2014

By ANDREW SIDDONSAUG. August 4, 2014 WASHINGTON — Hundreds of protesters gathered outside the State Department on Monday, the start of a summit meeting here of more than 40 African heads of state, to denounce some of the leaders as “torturers” and “killers.” The protesters, who were mostly from Ethiopia and the Democratic Republic of Congo, […]

Are African Strongmen Being Chosen Over African Civil Society?

Wednesday, August 6th, 2014

US Africa Summit 2014:   Where is the Voice of Africans?     FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE August 3, 2014, Washington, DC–. Mr. Obang Metho, the Executive Director of the Solidarity Movement for a New Ethiopia (SMNE), a non-violent, non-political, grassroots social justice movement of diverse Ethiopians; committed to bringing truth, justice, freedom, equality, reconciliation, accountability and respect […]

Ethiopian opposition leaders herded to court under heavy security (photo)

Wednesday, August 6th, 2014

Ethiopian opposition party UDJ leaders Habtamu Ayalew (head of public relations), Daniel Shibeshi and Yeshiwas Assefa appeared in court today in Addis Ababa under heavy security, while their tormentors dined and wined with President Barack Obama at the While House.

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አራዳ ፍርድ ቤት ዛሬ እንዲህ ሆነ

ዛሬ ከቀኑ 8፡00 በአራዳ ምድብ ችሎት ሐብታሙ አያሌው ዳንኤል ሺበሺና የሺዋስ አሰፋ እንደሚቀርቡ በመነገሩ ብዛት ያላቸው ሰዎች ቀደም ብለው በፍርድ ቤቱ ቅጥር ግቢ ተገኝተው ነበር፡፡ፖሊስ በፍርድ ቤቱ የተሰጠውን የቀጠሮ ሰዓት አክብሮ እስረኞቹን ማቅረብ በመቻሉ ላይ ብዙዎች ስጋት የነበራቸው ቢሆንም አልተሳሳቱም፡፡

መደበኛው የስራ ሰዓት ከተጠናቀቀ በኋላ ከፍተኛ ታጣቂ ሃይል የፍርድ ቤቱን ቅጥረ ግቢ ተቆጣጠረው ከደቂቃዎች በኋላም አንድ ማንነቱን ቀደም ብለን ለማወቅ ያልቻልነው ቀጠን ያለ ወጣት እጆቹን ታስሮ ወደ ችሎት ገባ፡፡በኋላ ላይ ማረጋገጥ እንደቻልኩት ወጣቱ ዘላለም የሚባል ሲሆን በአዲስ አበባ ዩኒቨርስቲ የማስተርስ መርሀ ግብር ተማሪ ነበር፡፡ፖሊስ በተመሳሳይ መልኩ እነ ሐብታሙን በያዘበት ዕለት በቁጥጥር ስር መዋሉን ለማወቅ ተችሏል፡፡

በመለጠቅም ዳንኤል ሺበሺ ሁለት እጆቹ በካቴና ታስረው ነጠላ ጫማ ፣ጥቁር ሱሪና ቱታ ጃኬት ተላብሶ ወደ ውስጥ ዘለቀ፡፡

ከጺሙ ማደግ በስተቀር ዳንኤል ፊትና አካል ላይ ምንም አይነት ለውጥ አይታይም፡፡ስሙን እየጠሩና በእጆቻቸው እያጨበጨቡ አድናቆታቸውን ለሚገልጹለት ሰዎች ጥርሱን ብልጭ እያደረገ አጸፌታውን ከመመለስ ውጪ ምንም አልተናገረም፡፡

የዳንኤልን ችሎት ለመከታተል ጋዜጠኞችና ቤተሰቦቹ ጥያቄ አቅርበው አይቻልም የሚል ተሰጥቷቸው የነበረ ቢሆንም ጉዳዩን የተመለከቱት ሴት ዳኛ ቤተሰቡ እንዲገባ በማዘዛቸው ባለቤቱ ችሎቱን ተከታትላለች፡፡

የዳንኤል ጉዳይ እየታየ በነበረበት ሰዓት የሺዋስ አሰፋን የያዘችው መኪና ፍርድ ቤት ቅጥር ግቢ ደረሰች፡፡ለደቂቃዎች ያህልም የሺዋስ በመኪናው ውስጥ እንዲቆይ ተደረገ፡፡ዳንኤልና ዘላለም እንደጨረሱና ግቢውን እንዲለቁ ከተደረጉ በኋላ የሺዋስ እንዲገባ ተደረገ፡፡ሙሉ ነጣ ያለ ቱታ ያጠለቀው የሺዋስ ግቢው ውስጥ እንደገባ ደመቅ ያለ ጭብጨባና በርታ የሚሉ መልእክቶች ጎረፉለት፡፡ፖሊሶች በጭብጨባውና በመልእክቶቹ ደስተኞች አለመሆናቸውን ቢገልጹም ከውስጥ ፈንቅለው የሚወጡ ስሜቶችን በቁጣና ማስፈራሪያ ሊያስቆሙ እንደማይችሉ የተረዱ ይመስሉ ነበር፡፡

የሺዋስ እንደሁልገዜው ዘና ያለና የተረጋጋ ነው፡፡ፈገግታውን በመርጨትና ሰላምታ በመለገስ የታሰሩ እጆቹን እያወዛዘወዘ ችሎት ገባ፡፡የሺዋስ የውስጥ ጉዳዩን ከውኖ እንደጨረሰም በተመሳሳይ የወዳጆቹና የትግል አጋሮቹ ጭብጨባና አድናቆት ታጅቦ ግቢውን ለቀቀ፡፡
በመጨረሻም ሐብታሙ አያሌው ወደ ውስጥ እንዲገባ ተደረገ፣ ሐብታሙ እግሮቹ ግቢውን እንደረገጡ ተሰብስበው ለጠበቁት ሰዎች ጥልቅ ፈገግታውን በመለገስ ሰላምታ አቅርቧል፡፡‹‹እንወድሃለን፣አይዞን››የሚሉ ቃላት ከደማቅ ጭብጨባ ጋር በግቢው አስተጋቡ፣ አጃቢዎቹም ፈጠን እንዲል እየወተወቱት ችሎት አስገቡት፡፡

ከወጣት ዘላለም በስተቀር በዕለቱ ችሎት ጠበቃ ተማምና ገበየሁ ታሳሪዎቹን ወክለው ቀርበዋል፡፡ሀብታሙ በመጣበት አጀብ ግቢውን እንዲለቅ ከተደረገ በኋላ ሁለቱ ጠበቆች ‹‹ተለዋጭ ቀጠሮ ለነሀሴ 26/2006 መሰጠቱን አውስተዋል፡፡ፖሊስ በዛሬው ችሎት በተጠርጣሪዎቹ ላይ ምንም አይነት ማስረጃ አለማቅረቡን መረጃ ለማሰባሰብ እንዲረዳው የጠየቀው ቀን እንደተሰጠውም አብራርተዋል፡

Poorly constructed Addis Ababa roads falling apart

Wednesday, August 6th, 2014

Financed with borrowed money, poorly constructed Addis Ababa roads are falling apart and causing too many accidents.

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No safety mesh for pedestrians
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Main roads flooded frequently
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Barack Obama is bafflingly late to the Africa party

Wednesday, August 6th, 2014

Barack Obama is bafflingly late to the Africa party

By Peter Foster World Last updated: August 6th, 2014

Barack Obama is having a big "jawl" at the White House for 45 African heads of state this week, as well as hosting three-day summit designed to kick-start a more fruitful relationship between American and African businesses, but questions are already being asked whether this unprecedented get-together will create more than a lot of Washington DC traffic jams.

It might seem churlish to criticise any effort to create a "win-win relationship for Africa, where US technology and finance helps release the latent potential of a continent which is home to six of the world’s fastest-growing economies. But if it’s such a great idea, and if Mr Obama is really dedicated to this cause, the question being whispered on the sidelines of this summit is: why did it take this long?

Mo Ibrahim, the Sudanese-born telecoms tycoon, put his finger on it when he used the platform to ask why American businessmen had to be told about the opportunities in Africa when businessmen from China, Brazil and Europe seem to have sussed that out for themselves already.

"None of us went to Brazil, or to Asia or to China to tell them, look, come and invest in Africa. They found out themselves and they come and invest. That’s how basic business people behave," he said, "Why do we need to come and inform these misinformed American businesses? You know, you guys invented Google. Use it please."

It’s the tone of this that is telling, and it reflects a detectable sense of frustration and distrust which seems to percolate through the broader US-Africa relationship. It creates a minefield for Mr Obama, as he treads the line between lecturing on human rights and encouraging on development, all without sounding somehow patronising.

A delegate at the conference, who is a lawyer with lots of experience of financing and contracts on African infrastructure projects and who has meetings with several African leaders this week, fears that the big ambitions for the conference risk remaining unrealised because of two mistakes by the Obama administration.

The first is relatively trivial: Mr Obama didn’t grant any of the leaders a bilateral meeting, despite lobbying by some of the larger countries like Nigeria, South Africa and Kenya, which has meant that some of the big players have arrived with noses already out of joint. The intention, say officials, was to avoid accusations of favouritism, but that missed a golden opportunity to stroke the egos of some of the big players.

Much more fundamental, is the unspoken uncertainty that clouds the gathering which is happening in the sixth year of the Obama presidency. That’s six years too late. And bafflingly so.

"This is a great event, but how much greater would it have been if had happened in the first or second year of Obama’s term in office, not the sixth? If Obama is so keen on Africa, why did it take this long?" asks the delegate, who can’t be named since he doesn’t have authorisation to speak for his employer.

So while the shindig might well be a sincere attempt to get the Africa investment ball rolling, it is unavoidably shot-through with uncertainties about whether the next US administration will be as Africa-forward as Obama’s suddenly is now. The business fundamentals will remain, but the politics is much more difficult to predict.

This note of frustration with America being late to the party, and then behaving like the guest of honour, also creeps into the deals that are being made – and the Obama administration’s habit of over-selling their own achievements in the field in order to press its case.

An example? Last June the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (Opic), the US government development finance arm, announced it had pledged $250m to a massive wind-farm project in Lake Turkana in Northern Kenya.

The press release talks of it being a "pledge", but look around and it soon gets reported as "fact", when my source says that, in reality, that amount of Opic money is actually very unlikely to materialise and the press release was put out before the documentation on the funding package had even been signed.

"For fellow EU and African lenders who have spent years on getting this deal together, this just puts their noses out of joint, particularly when they have already completed three or four African power projects without any US support," he says.

"In my book it’s always better to let others sing your praises. After all, you don’t hold a housewarming party the day you sign the mortgage deed to your new house – only after you move in."

For America’s relationship to really flourish, it would seen that there is a need for less (belated) talk, and more concrete action.

We shall have to check back in five years to see whether or not this summit marked a real turning point in America’s attitudes to Africa, and a lasting legacy…or just another example of short-termism and window-dressing from Mr Obama.

Ethiopians and other Africans chant “Obama, Shame on You!” outside the White House (video)

Wednesday, August 6th, 2014

Ethiopians joined other Africans in front of the White House to protest Obama’s support for dictators – August 5, 2014

President Obama dining with killers! – protesters chant outside White House (video)

Wednesday, August 6th, 2014

Africans residing in Washington DC protest outside the White House where President Obama was hosting diner for African dictators – August 5, 2014

ENTC Weekly Radio Program – August 5

Wednesday, August 6th, 2014

Listen to ENTC radio program – August 5 News, Interviews, entertainment, etc Listen here (mp3) To listen by phone – 213-992-4363

U.S.-Africa Mass Murderers Summit

Tuesday, August 5th, 2014

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Murderer’s Row
Why this week’s Africa Summit needs to pay more than just lip service to human rights and good governance.

Originally posted on foreignpolicy.com

[O]verer a dozen African countries which will be represented at the summit boast disturbing human rights records of ruthlessly suppressing freedom of expression and freedom of association through harassment, arrest, torture, and trumped up charges and killings.

[Look at] Ethiopia, where only weeks ago, three journalists and seven bloggers were charged with "terrorism" for allegedly conspiring to overthrow the government. They are simply the latest victims of a decade-long crackdown on political opponents, nongovernmental groups, peaceful protesters, and media that dare to even mildly criticize the policies of the ruling party. Meanwhile, the U.S. administration focuses on its security alliance with Ethiopia for its fight against terrorism in Somalia. READ MORE >>> http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2 … ?page=full

ENTC’s clear cut solution for Ethiopia’s crisis

Tuesday, August 5th, 2014

Ethiopia’s future is at a crossroads. Each day it is becoming clear that, we opposition groups have to unite our struggle and form a unified force in order to fight the apartheid regime in Ethiopia. Attached is the proposal that ENTC drafted to form this unified force. In the coming days, ENTC is prepared to […]

Obama skips the opening day of U.S.-Africa Summit – video

Monday, August 4th, 2014

Obama summoned all African looters and murderers to discuss cooperation, and yet did not take them seriously enough to show up for the opening meeting. He was celebrating his 53rd birthday today did not want to spend the day with a bunch of thieves, goons and thugs from Africa.

This is how the U.S.-Africa Summit started on Monday.
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Ethiopian protesters steal the show at U.S.-Africa Summit (ABC News – video)

Monday, August 4th, 2014

Ethiopian protesters steal the show at U.S.-Africa Summit (ABC News)

The cry of evicted Amhara farmers in southern Ethiopia (video)

Monday, August 4th, 2014

Evicted Amhara farmers in southern Ethiopia cry for justice

VOA report on Ethiopian protest at the US Africa Summit in Washington DC

Monday, August 4th, 2014

VOA report on Ethiopian protest at the US Africa Summit in Washington DC

UK summoned Woyanne ambassdor over detention of British national

Monday, August 4th, 2014

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Minister for Africa summoned Ethiopian Chargé d’Affaires to raise concerns about arrest of a Briton

The Chargé d’Affaires at the Ethiopian Embassy in the UK, Mr Demeke Atnafu, was summoned to the Foreign Office this afternoon to meet the UK’s Minister for Africa, Mark Simmonds MP.

Mr Simmonds expressed deep concern that the Ethiopian authorities had not allowed consular access to Mr Andargachew Tsege, a British national who has now been detained in Ethiopia for six weeks after being removed from Yemen.

Mr Simmonds asked the Chargé to urge his government to deliver on previous commitments to provide consular access without further delay, and to provide assurances that they do not intend to carry out the death penalty imposed in absentia.

Source: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/ethi … h-national

The Ethiopians and their leaders

Monday, August 4th, 2014

By Yilma Bekele Ato Andualem Aragie Andenet Party (2011) Ato Bekele Giriba – (OFDM) Oromo Federalist Democratic Movement (August 2011) Ato Olbana Lelissa – (OPC) Oromo People Congress Party (August 2011) Ato Yeshiwas Assefa – National council Blue Party (2014) Ato Daniel Shibeshi – Organizational Affairs UDJ Ato Habtamu Ayalew – PR UDJ Party (2014) […]

Ethiopian protest at Washington DC U.S.-Africa Summit today – video

Monday, August 4th, 2014

State tuned for more videos and photos

August 4, 2014

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What is the Value of American Values in Africa?

Monday, August 4th, 2014

“We did a whole lot of things that were right, but we tortured some folks; we did some things that were  contrary to our values. When we engaged in some of these enhanced interrogation techniques, techniques that I believe and I think any fair-minded person would believe were torture, we crossed a line. And that needs to […]

Ethiopian blogger files $120 million countersuit against a U.S. law firm, a Saudi billionaire, and Ethiopia’s government

Monday, August 4th, 2014

Ethiopian-ReviewPRESS RELEASE
ATLANTA (August 4, 2014) – A U.S.-based blogger who operates a popular Ethiopian news and opinion website has filed a $120 million counter…

Obang Metho’s Letter to the Chairman of the TPLF

Sunday, August 3rd, 2014

Open letter to Ethiopia’s ruling Tigrai People’s  Liberation Front (TPLF) August 2, 2014 Abay Woldu, The Chairman of the TPLF Addis Ababa, Ethiopia   Dear Abay Woldu and Members of the TPLF Central Committee, I am writing this to you on behalf of the Solidarity Movement for a New Ethiopia (SMNE), a social justice movement […]

Obama orders Hailemariam and other African leaders attending US Summit to be screened for Ebola

Saturday, August 2nd, 2014

http://mashable.com/2014/08/01/ebola-sc … Zsa3g2diJ9

President Obama announced Friday that African leaders attending a summit in Washington, D.C., next week will be screened for Ebola.

At least 729 people have died and more than 1,300 people have fallen ill from the viral disease in the worst outbreak ever, primarily affecting Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone.

SEE ALSO: Here’s Why It’s Safe to Bring Ebola Patients to the U.S.

"We’re making sure we’re doing screening as [they leave from their home airports] and some additional screening here," Obama said. Attendees who had "even a marginal risk … of having been exposed" to Ebola could be screened after arriving in the U.S, he added.

The U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit, held from Aug. 4 – 6, will welcome about 50 representatives from nations across Africa to Washington, D.C.

The summit is intended to "build on the progress made since the President’s trip to Africa last summer, advance the Administration’s focus on trade and investment in Africa, and highlight America’s commitment to Africa’s security, its democratic development, and its people," according to the White House. It is the largest event any U.S. president has held to welcome African leaders.

Attendees will visit the White House, the State Department, the World Bank and Capitol Hill.

The Ebola outbreak is keeping leaders from Liberia and Sierra Leone from attending.

"If all of the infectious individuals come from the same geographic region, passenger screening and quarantine procedures are usually the first measures implemented to prevent against the spread of infectious diseases," said Nicholas Yager, a biochemist who has studied disease propagation through airport networks.

The risk of spreading the pathogen at airports is low, and with proper precautions, health officials are not concerned about the disease spreading in the U.S. A medically-outfitted private jet will bring two American aid workers who are ill with the disease from West Africa to Atlanta in the next week. The aid workers will receive treatment at Emory University Hospital, which has one of the best isolation units for highly infectious diseases in the U.S.

European Union lip-service on atrocities in Ethiopia – shameful

Saturday, August 2nd, 2014

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Confrontation between Ethiopians and Woyannes in Los Angeles today – photos, videos

Friday, August 1st, 2014

Patriotic Ethiopians in Los Angeles confront Chigaram Woyannes

Video #1

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Video 2
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European children sing Ethiopian Orthodox Church song (video)

Friday, August 1st, 2014

European children sing Ethiopian Orthodox Church song

The Devaluation of Birr: A Layman’s Guide – Part 2

Friday, August 1st, 2014

By Seid Hassan, Murray State University Hitherto, I have been reluctant to post a commentary regarding the World Bank’s suggested birr devaluation measure which is still being debated as we speak. I was reluctant partly because my highly received 2010 commentary addressed many of the issues that seem new today and partly because I did […]

UK court’s orders judicial review of aid given to Ethiopia’s regime

Friday, August 1st, 2014

courtBy William Davison  | Bloomberg News
A British court’s decision to allow a judicial review of aid given to Ethiopia is based on “fabrications” about…

Ethiopians in Los Angeles prepare to confront visiting TPLF junta leaders and their puppet Hailemariam Desalegn tomorrow, August 1

Thursday, July 31st, 2014

Join the brave Ethiopians in Los Angeles tomorrow. Repeat the Houston victory.
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What Will Ethiopians of Tomorrow Inherit from Us?

Wednesday, July 30th, 2014

Mr. Obang Metho’s Keynote Speech at the 4th Annual Ethiopian Heritage Society of North America (EHSNA), Washington, D.C.     July 26, 2014 “…..  This is my main point today: when we make decisions based on God-given moral values and principles, we will pass on a legacy that will bless those who come after us. If […]