Posts Tagged ‘ethio’
I have often contended that the ruling regime in Ethiopia controlled by the Tigrean Liberation Front (TPLF) is a thugtatorship, the highest stage of African dictatorship. If democracy is government of the people, by the people and for the people, a thugocracy is a government of thugs, for thugs, by thugs. My concern in this commentary is […]
can any one tell me the difference between ሰ ሠ ጸ ፀ using examples?
what is the history of ሰ and ሠ ?
ፀ – is it the same as th in think, (dental)?
if ጸ = ts, (usually interpreted is this way),
is it the same as ts in bats, cats?
Ethiopian Telecom sucks! It completely sucks in the Haud region in eastern Hararghe more than it sucks in Shoa and other regions. Every time I call my cousins with their camels in the great Haud plateau, they have to climb a tall tree just to get a reception. But if they cross the border by 900 meters to Somaliland side, the conversation is like as if they live in the same city as me.
I hope this pretty lady is not the one that talks every time saying phone is switched off.
So how can an unrecognized state of 3 million have better telecommunication than a nation of 3,000 years old with 90 million consumers?
Something is not right. Ethiopian Telecom (ETC) is monopolist by few Adwa Tigrais and they have no idea how to stay competitive, innovative and expand the network beyond what Haile Selassie laid out more than 50 years ago. Very lagging and primitive system. The few Tigrais who run the system reply on poor services and products from China while the rest of the region have either produced their own domestic solutions or combined many systems such as those of the West and East.
ETHIOPIA has Africa’s last big telecoms monopoly. The absence of competition has seen a country of more than 80m lag badly behind the rest of the continent in an industry that has generally burgeoned alongside economic growth. Mobile-phone penetration, which averages 70% of the population elsewhere in Africa, is closer to 25% in Ethiopia. A paltry 2.5% of Ethiopians have access to the internet, compared with 40% in neighbouring Kenya.
Ethiopia’s authoritarian leaders are as keen as any on the economic benefits of modern telecoms but fear the political ramifications; pesky dissidents become even more irritating when wired. That explains a $1.6 billion agreement with China’s two leading telecoms-equipment companies to upgrade its network. The deal with Huawei and ZTE will preserve Ethiopia’s state dominance and further put off the opening up of one of Africa’s largest economies.
An Ethiopian woman in Hararghe struggles to hear the person on the other end.
The picture is different just across the border in unrecognized Somaliland. Much of the technology there is linked to the US and EU technology.
Somalilanders proudly share their 4g coverage and smart phone capabilities including free call apps such as Viber.
Kinfe Michael Yilma, a scholar at Brunel University London UK, discusses Ethiopia’s internet policies and participation in internet governance forums.
Ethiopia is among those countries with the lowest level of internet penetration and use. A 2014 World Internet Stats report, for instance, claims that Ethiopia has had only 1.9% internet penetration. Similarly, the World Economic Forum also rated the number of internet users in Ethiopia at 1.1%, ranking the country 142 out of 144 countries surveyed in 2012/13. As of December 31, 2013, that number had only risen to 5.5%, according to a report released by the Ethiopian government. Indeed, it was only in 1997 that Ethiopia introduced the internet, and not until 2005 that the first four thousand kilometers of fiber optic backbone were laid in Addis Ababa. This delay in the proliferation of the internet has played a role in delaying the development of internet policies including legislative measures surrounding the internet.
Ethiopia’s internet policies are part of the country’s broader information and communication technology (ICT) policy. The first Ethiopian ICT policy was drafted and submitted to the Council of Ministers (CoM) in 2002. The policy envisioned, among other developments, the improvement of the social and economic well-being of the Ethiopian people through the exploitation of opportunities created by ICTs. Only a few measures based on the ICT policy of 2002were implemented, most notably the promulgation of the first set of cybercrime rules as part of the Criminal Code of the 2004. The CoM, however, replaced the 2002 policy with a more comprehensive policy in August 2009.
This more elaborate version of national ICT policy and strategy gears its strategic focus towards seven major areas: ICT infrastructure, human resource development, ICT legal systems and security, ICT for government administration and services, ICT industry and private sector development, and research and technology transfer. The national ICT policy and strategy is executed through specific ICT strategic documents. One example of such a document is the Ethiopian e-government strategy. The strategy envisions the implementation of several government electronic services, including informational and transactional services. The government has made significant achievements in rolling out various e-government services, such as WoredaNet – used to network various remotely located administrative divisions of the government, SchoolNet – used to network various schools sharing resources such as a digital library and video lessons, and EthERNet – used to network all public universities in the country.
The 2009 ICT policy makes it clear that the current legal framework is insufficient for coping with the challenges of the fast-developing national and global ICT sectors. The ICT policy even outlines the legislative instruments that are needed to govern cyber-related activities, such as data protection laws, cybercrime laws, and intellectual property laws. Only a couple of these legal instruments have thus far been enacted to implement the national 2009 ICT policy. Among them is the telecom fraud legislation, a major piece of Ethiopian internet law adopted in 2012. This legislation not only prevents frauds on telecom networks and services, but also deals with matters such as obscenity on the internet. Another piece of internet legislation is the national payment services proclamation, which governs, among other services, online payment services such as internet banking. There are also a handful of legislations currently under deliberation among legislators. For example, a modern and comprehensive cybercrime legislation is set to replace the existing cybercrime rules when the Ethiopian parliament returns from recess in October. The e-commerce, electronic signature, and data protection proclamations, which were initially crafted in 2010, are also in the pipeline.
Regarding the institutional framework, two entities play major roles in shaping internet policies in Ethiopia. The Ethiopian Ministry of Communication and Information Technology (MoCIT) is the principal government organ in charge of ICTs in general. It has the power and duty to initiate policies and laws in ICT areas . MoCIT also sets and implements standards to ensure provision of quality, reliable, and safe ICT services. Each regional state has its own Communications and Information Technology Agency entrusted with implementing on-the-ground laws, policies, and standards on ICTs adopted at the federal level, making MoCIT the principle internet policy organ in Ethiopia. The Information Network Security Agency (INSA) is an institution parallel to MoCIT that has statutory powers to formulate and enforce national policies, laws, and standards to ensure key information and computer-based infrastructure .While MoCIT is bestowed with a broad mandate for general ICT regulation, INSA is specifically dedicated to dealing with information security. In terms of cyber-related legislation, MoCIT has thus far written the e-commerce, e-signature, and data protection proclamations (all of which are still drafts), whereas INSA drafted the cybercrime legislation (still a draft) and the already adopted telecom fraud offense proclamation and Ethiopian Information Security Policy of 2011.
The Ethiopian government is completely absent from the global internet governance ecosystem, especially in regards to internet governance forums. Despite being the sole institution for critical internet resource administration in the country, the Ethiopian government does not attend the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) meetings, the Internet Governance Forum (IGF), or sub-regional IGF forums such as the African Internet Governance Forum (AfIGF) and the East African Internet Governance Forum (EAfIGF). The Ethiopian government has never been represented at the Government Advisory Committee (GAC) or the Country Code Names Supporting Organization (ccNSO) of ICANN, despite the fact that the Ethiopian government, through MCIT, manages the .et domain name . Ethiopia also did not have a seat at the much-talked-about World Conference on International Telecommunications (WCIT) held in December 2012 in Dubai, UAE despite the country being one of the early members of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU).
It is also rare to see notable participation from Ethiopian civil society, industry, or academia in the internet governance ecosystem. Potential stakeholders have also not been keen on holding the government accountable for its statutory obligation to coordinate all stakeholders in the management of the country code top level domains . That said, it is important to mention the remarkable participation, if not decisive roles, of some individual Ethiopians in the internet governance ecosystem. Noteworthy examples include Ms. Sophia Bekele, who spearheaded a widely known – and controversial – bid to run the dotafrica top level domain, and Dr. Dawit Bekele, regional director of the internet society (ISOC). ICANN’s fellowship program has also recently enabled a handful of young academics to attend its public meetings held across the globe, which has in turn opened doors for them to join stakeholders groups within ICANN, mainly the Non Commercial Stakeholders Group of the GNSO.
There is much progress to be made regarding the state of internet policy making in Ethiopia. Internet policies and legislation are increasingly being outpaced by developments in the ICT field. There remain many areas of internet policy, such as government surveillance, that are presently untouched by the current legal and policy framework. For example, a number of emerging government electronic surveillance practices were recently unveiled by Human Rights Watch. These reports document a range of surveillance tools actively being used by the government without any clear policy framework or oversight mechanisms.
This state of affairs makes clear the need to lay out a requisite legal and policy framework that respects the rights of citizens while ensuring transparency and accountability within government processes for all internet activities. This need is more urgent than ever due to developments at the regional level in Africa. Recently, the African Union (AU) adopted a broad cyber convention that covers three major areas of internet law and policy: cybercrime, personal data protection and electronic commerce. Ethiopia, as an important member of the AU, will most likely adopt the convention in due time, which makes it an opportune time for Ethiopian policy makers to gear up to the real task of internet policy making. Adopting the convention will have to be preceded or accompanied by the requisite leveling of the internet policy and legal landscape so that rules of the convention can be harmoniously integrated. Readiness is also desirable at this stage, particularly in terms of implementing laws, policies, and institutions, as well as readiness for professionals who will have to put these rules and policies into effect.
1. Proclamation to Provide for the Definition of Powers and Duties of the Executive Organs of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, Federal Negarit Gazeta, Proclamation No. 691/2010, Art 10 (1(a)) [deleted] Art 24.
2. Information Network Security Agency Re-establishment Proclamation, Federal Negarit Gazeta, Proclamation No. 808/2013, Art 6(2).
3. Note that MCIT is obliged under Art 24(1(h)) of Proclamation No. 691/2010 to coordinate all stakeholders for the creation and proper implementation of country code top level domains.
Kinfe Michael Yilma was formerly a lecturer-in-law at Hawassa University Law School in Ethiopia. He received his Bachelor of Laws (LLB) degree from Addis Ababa University with great distinction in July 2009 and his Master of Laws (LLM) degree in Internet Law from the University of Oslo in December 2012. He also studied Internet privacy at the University of Oxford, Oxford Internet Institute in 2012. His earlier research and teachings focused on the Ethiopian tax law regime on which he produced a number of articles published in reputable journals. He recently devotes his time on researching and writing on the intersections of human rights and technology. He particularly writes on the interplay between privacy and the Internet.
Prominent Ethiopian-American Professor Mohammed Tahiro has filed all necessary paperwork with Texas Secretary of State to run for US Senate as a write-in candidate in…
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh PA) – A member of the Allegheny County Children, Youth and Families advisory board is organizing an event Friday to protest what she considers a lenient sentence for a former Franklin Park couple accused of abusing their adopted Ethiopian children.
“My personal calling is advocating for the most vulnerable children,” said Joanna Huss, who runs a public relations firm.
She is angry about the sentences received by Douglas and Kristen Barbour, who prosecutors said withheld food from the 6-year-old boy they adopted and forced him to lie in his own urine, and allowed the 1-year-old girl, who ultimately sustained a brain injury, to remain untreated for fractures she suffered.
The couple pleaded no contest to endangering the welfare of children. Douglas Barbour pleaded to two misdemeanor counts, with an agreement with prosecutors for a sentence of probation. Kristen Barbour pleaded to two felony counts, and her sentence was left up to the court.
Allegheny County Common Pleas Judge Jeffrey A. Manning ordered Douglas Barbour to serve five years’ probation and sentenced his wife in the standard recommended guideline range — originally setting the penalty at six to 12 months alternative housing. But her attorney, Robert E. Stewart, filed a motion for reconsideration, saying that if she were forced to serve that sentence there would be no one at home to care for the couple’s two biological children because her husband works.
On Friday, the judge modified the sentence, requiring Kristen Barbour to serve her sentence at the Mercer County jail, but with work release. She will be allowed to leave the jail five days a week to go home and care for her children but report back each night.
Ms. Huss said she felt sickened by the sentence imposed. The protest at noon on Friday in the Allegheny County Courthouse courtyard is designed to bring attention to sentencing guidelines in Pennsylvania for crimes against children, generally, and to what she feels is an “injustice” in the Barbours’ case, specifically.
Amie Downs, a spokeswoman for county CYF, had no comment.
The protest is being conducted in Huss’ role as a private citizen, she said.
“I want people who have read about this to stand up,” Ms. Huss said. “Children who are abused — if there is a light sentence for the perpetrator, it’s no deterrent.
“It sends a message that we as a society don’t care.”
Message for U.S. Citizens: Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) Update – Information and Resources
Oct. 15, 2014
The U.S. Embassy would like to provide an update to our August 12, 2014 Information Message for U.S. Citizens regarding the Ebola Virus Disease (EVD).
Ethiopia continues to have no confirmed or suspected cases of Ebola.
The Embassy is aware of erroneous media reporting regarding suspected or confirmed cases of Ebola in Ethiopia. Ethiopian government officials have also recently dismissed such rumors. U.S. Embassy officials, including the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), continue to maintain a close working relationship with the Ethiopian Federal Ministry of Health and the Ethiopian Public Health Institute in both preparation and prevention of EVD.
The U.S. Embassy would like to again point U.S. Citizens traveling or residing in Ethiopia to consult online resources to best educate themselves about EVD. Visit both the CDC and World Health Organization (WHO) websites for this specific information via the links below:
CDC Ebola Website – http://www.cdc.gov/vhf/ebola/
16 staff members of Doctors Without Borders infected with Ebola; Liberia’s transport minister quarantined after her driver diedThursday, October 16th, 2014
SIERRA LEONE (ASSOCIATED PRESS) — A Sierra Leone soldier has tested positive for Ebola but he is not a member of, and had no contact…
By Yilma Bekele The honorable Ato Gebru Asrat has written a very fat book that is five hundred pages long. I am assuming that the purpose of the book was to present himself as a person of vision and to show us his leadership ability to show us the road to the future. Unfortunately, he […]
Pro-democracy forces should prepare the society in advance for an orderly transition to democracy. The dictatorial structures — the TPLF junta’s economic, political and social infrastructure — will need to be dismantled through a coordinated civil resistance campaign. The constitutional and legal bases and standards of behavior of a durable democracy will need to be built urgently, now, today.
Prepared by Ethiopian Review Research Center
After a few days of delay SoleRebels opened its first US store in the Valley Fair Mall, in Silicon Valley, California this month. Shoes that are proudly made in Ethiopia are now displayed at this high end mall.
This is the first of its kind for an African footwear company to open it’s store in the Silicon Valley.
I urge all Ethiopians to support this home grown Ethiopian jewel by visiting the store.
I stopped over the weekend and bought 2 pairs. The shoes are very trendy, very light and comfortable. I guess that’s why they call it, Walk Naked.
I would be going for more.
Let us all walk naked on SoleRebels shoes.
How practical is civil resistance and disobedience in a poor country like Ethiopia that is ruled by a repressive regime? The regime owns or controls the majority of the economic sectors leaving no other alternative for the mass.
On one of the narrative I read in Ermias legesse’s book, he pointed out that Meles clearly understood that the people of addis ababa can not and will not mount a disobedience that can last more than 2 weeks since they don’t have enough money or food stockpiled for such events. He was right on the money.
Also, a synchronized and determined disobedience require quite a lot of strong and learnt men. In a country where everyone dies to sit on one chair (leadership), how is it possible to produce hundreds of thousands selfless men?
In my view, civil disobedience can not be applied to overthrow a government in Ethiopia. It can assist those who are fighting the regime, but cannot guarantee an overthrow and a peaceful transition afterwards
Jimmy the conquistador
By William Davison
An Ethiopian editor is facing as many as 10 years in prison after being convicted of inciting the public against the government…
Listen to ENTC radio program – October 14 News, Interviews, entertainment, etc Listen here (mp3) To listen by phone – 213-992-4363
Each month between 3000 and 4000 young Eritreans flee Eritrea and many of them fall into the hands of evil human traffickers and organ traders, according to the Special Rapporteur of the United Nations for Eritrea, Sheila B. Keetharuth. The following is trailer of a shocking documentary film produced by a French TV, Public Sénat. It will air starting this coming Saturday, Oct. 18. Source: Le Monde
ቴዲ አፍሮ እስር ቤት ገባ – ከ8 ዓመት በፊት የገዛት እና ሰው ገድሎባታል ተብላ የነበረችው መኪና አሁን ደግሞ ቀረጥ ሳይከፈልባት ነው ቴዲ የገዛት በሚል ምክንያት በገቢዎች እና ጉምሩክ ባለስልጣን ተከሶ መታሰሩ ተዘግቧል ለበለጠ መረጃ ይህን ተጭነው ያድምጡ
Ethiopian journalist and columnist Temesgen Desalegn has been arrested today after a kangaroo court in Addis Ababa convicted him terrorism charges.
ጋዜጠኛ ተመስገን ደሳለኝን ወደ ወህኒ ቤት ተወሰደ ::
#Ethiopia #EPRDF #FreeJournalists @pressfreedom #miniliksalsawi @cpj
Minilik Salsawi በቀድሞው “ፍትህ” ጋዜጣ ላይ “መጅሊሱ፣ ሲኖዶሱና የአብዮታዊ ዲሞክራሲያዊ ማጥመቂያዎች”፣ “የፈራ ይመለስ” እና “የብሄረሰቦች መብት እስከ መጨፈር” በሚሉ ርእሶች በተለያዩ ጊዜያት በወጡት ፅሁፎች፤ መንግስትን በአመፅ ለመናድ ቀስቅሷል፣ የመንግስትን ስም አጥፍቷል፣ የህዝብን አስተሳሰብ ለማናወጥ ሰርቷል፤ በሚሉ ክሶች ለሁለት ዓመታት የቆየው ክስ ፍርድ ቤት በዛሬው ዕለት ተመስገን ደሳለኝን የጥፋተኝነት ውሳኔ በማሳለፍ ወደ ወህኒ ቤት የተወሰደ ሲሆን ለቅጣት ውሳኔ ለጥቅምት 17 ተቀጥሯል፡፡
The rise of the “baksheesh state” in Ethiopia My long time readers by now know that I mint my own words and phrases whenever I find it necessary to convey my ideas and arguments with greater clarity, precision and creativity. In this commentary I introduce the concept of the “baksheesh state” (beggar state) to examine […]
The chairman of Union for Democracy and Justice Party in Ethiopia (UDJ), Ato Gizachew Shiferraw, has resigned today at the party’s central committee meeting that was held in Addis Ababa. The central committed expressed its admiration for Ato Gizachew and appreciated the sacrifices he made for the causes that the party is advancing.
Ato Gizachew has demonstrated that he is not only a patriotic Ethiopian, but he is also an honorable man by keeping his word to pass the torch to the younger generation of UDJ leaders.
The UDJ central committee elected Ato Belay Fekadu as the new chairman.
An exhibition and conference highlight rare images of the contribution of Africans to Indian society.
Almost a hundred years before Shivaji began to consolidate his empire, Malik Ambar of Bijapur led an army of 50,000 soldiers, many of whom were Marathi cavalry soldiers, against the Mughals. Malik Ambar, who was born in Ethiopia and brought as a slave to India around 1570, was one member of India’s once-thriving community of African immigrants.
Like other Africans in India, he is now only rarely remembered. But a new exhibition and conference in New Delhi, Africans in India: A Rediscovery, seeks to change that.
Dr Sylviane Diouf, director of the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, has been working on this exhibition, for some years now, in association with Ken Robbins, who co-wrote a book on African elites in India. The first iteration of the exhibition was in February 2013 in New York.
“We thought it was time for us to look at African diaspora in the Indian Ocean world, which in the Western world, nobody knows about,” said Diouf, whose work as a historian focuses on Africans along the Atlantic. “Our mission was to cover the entire African diaspora.”
One of the most fascinating stories that emerged from the Indian Ocean region, which included Oman, Yemen, Saudi Arabia, India and Pakistan, was that India had African rulers, notables and chief ministers. This was not the case with African diaspora in any other place, she said.
Africans from countries such as Ethiopia, Eritrea, Sudan and Somalia began arriving in India as early as the 1300s. Many African women came to India as domestic servants or as concubines. Due to an established trade between India and east Africa, some men arrived as traders and sailors, but an overwhelming majority came to India as slave soldiers. This eventually enabled them to reverse equations and to work their up the social ladder.
“When armies arrived, they needed people to actually manage, if you will, the territories they had conquered,” said Diouf. “Usually what happens in many cases is that when you’re a newcomer, you don’t trust the people who were there before. You think people from outside will be more loyal because they won’t have any family links.”
Instead, some Africans seized power for themselves and turned against those who brought them in, resulting in figures like Malik Ambar, or even the Sidi Nawabs of Sachin and Janjira, the last of whom joined the Indian union only in 1948.
This, however, was not the story of Africans who arrived later in the 19th and 20th centuries, brought in mostly by the Portuguese slave trade from Kenya and Tanzania. Their situation resembled that of their American counterparts far more.
This exhibition revolves around those who were descended from the earlier arrivals. The earliest painting is of an African woman dated around 1600. The prints themselves span various painters and styles across eras around India.
What stands out, said Diouf, is that Africans are represented very realistically. They are not ridiculed or stereotyped, but appeared just as they were.
“In early Europe, we see paintings of African ambassadors, some of whom visited Europe in the 16th century,” she said. “Those are represented in a dignified manner. It is only when we get to slavery in the Americas that Africans begin to be depicted as stereotypes.”
Africans in India: A Rediscovery will run from October 9 to November 4 at the Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts.
By Sarah Knapton, Science Editor5:00PM BST 09 Oct 2014
Harvard University has produced the vast quantities of insulin-producing cells needed for transplants
A cure for diabetes could be imminent after scientists discovered how to make huge quantities of insulin-producing cells, in a breakthrough hailed as significant as antibiotics.
Harvard University has, for the first time, managed to manufacture the millions of beta cells required for transplantation.
It could mean the end of daily insulin injections for the 400,000 people in Britain living with Type 1 diabetes.
And it marks the culmination of 23-years of research for Harvard professor Doug Melton who has been trying to find a cure for the disease since his son Sam was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes as a baby.
“We are now just one pre-clinical step away from the finish line,” said Prof Melton.
Asked about his children’s reaction he said: "I think like all kids, they always assumed that if I said I’d do this, I’d do it,
"It was gratifying to know that we can do something that we always thought was possible.”
The stem cell-derived beta cells are presently undergoing trials in animal models, including non-human primates, where they are still producing insulin after several months, Prof Melton said.
Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune condition that causes the pancreas to stop producing insulin – the hormone that regulates blood glucose levels.
If the amount of glucose in the blood is too high it can seriously damage the body’s organs over time.
While diabetics can keep their glucose levels under general control by injecting insulin, that does not provide the fine tuning necessary to properly control metabolism, which can lead to devastating complications such as blindness or loss of limbs.
Around 10 per cent of all diabetes is Type 1, but it is the most common type of childhood diabetes. 29,000 youngsters suffer in Britain.
The team at Harvard used embryonic stem cells to produce human insulin-producing cells equivalent in almost every way to normally functioning cells in vast quantities.
Chris Mason, Professor of Regenerative Medicine, University College London, said it was ‘potentially a major medical breakthrough.’
“If this scalable technology is proven to work in both the clinic and in the manufacturing facility, the impact on the treatment of diabetes will be a medical game-changer on a par with antibiotics and bacterial infections,” he said.
Professor Anthony Hollander, Head of Institute of Integrative Biology at the University of Liverpool, added:“This is very exciting fundamental research that solves a major roadblock in the development of a stem cell treatment for diabetes.
“The study provides a very elegant and convincing method for generating functional insulin-producing cells in large numbers.”
Professor Mark Dunne, at Manchester University, added: Overall this is an important advance for the field of diabetes and people with Type 1 diabetes.”
Professor Elaine Fuchs, of Rockefeller University, described the findings as "one of the most important advances to date in the stem cell field".
"For decades, researchers have tried to generate human pancreatic beta cells that could be cultured and passaged long term under conditions where they produce insulin.”
A report on the work is published in the journal Cell.
I, Ali Abdu Ahmed, of C04/415 Brunswick Road, Brunswick West, in the state of Victoria, ex-Minister for Information in Eritrea, make the following declaration under the Statutory Declaration Act 1959;
1. Until very recently I was the Minister of Information, the official Spokesperson of my country, and a special advisor to the President of the State of Eritrea. I joined the Ministry in 2000, and prior to that I was the Ambassador to Germany and also the Vatican, Austria and Belgium in 1999. I was also the Vice-President of the National Union of Eritrean Youth and Students from 1995 until 1999.
2. My political differences with the Eritrean regime date back to the year 2007 and they are centered around its policy towards Somalia; its endless conscription of Eritrean youth into a form of modern slavery; its creation of a two-tier system of privileged and dispossessed citizens; its arming of civilians including elderly men and women; the illegal extortion of 2% tax on Eritrean Diaspora; and the fact that I was being told by the Eritrean people, particularly those young Eritreans, that I was the “next in line”, the “next President of Eritrea” – this aroused deep suspicion of me in the mind of the President.
Continue reading here.
Marriage proposal to Mighty Awash and HMD comes to the US. By Yilma Bekele Our elders know how to tell a story. The way they do it could be compared to like pealing an onion, you have to go thru so many layers to get to the heart of the matter. Even then it requires […]
The Ethiopian Civil Resistance Campaign’s vision is to build a truly democratic system in Ethiopia and to guarantee that the country is firmly founded on the freedom of all of its citizens and on the equality of its peoples, where respect for justice and human rights prevail. In support of this vision, the Ethiopian Civil Resistance Campaign strategy has two parallel commitments:
1. Removing tyranny through a coordinated nation-wide civil resistance campaign, and
2. Bringing democracy through all-inclusive transitional government established in exile to prepare the ground work, before the regime is overthrown and avoid chaos in the country.
The following exhibit articulates these two commitments.
Prepared by Ethiopian Review Research Center
Speaking at MRG’s London office as part of a nationwide tour, Executive Director of the Solidarity Movement for a New Ethiopia, Obang Metho, sheds light on the systematic violation of indigenous land rights by Ethiopia’s autocratic regime, resulting in the alleged torture and imprisonment of those who resist. And although this is happening in a […]
DALLAS, TX – Family members are still searching for any clues to the whereabouts of Almaz Gebremedhin, 42, a Collin County, Texas, woman who has been missing since last week.
The local Ethiopian community is also rallying support and has raised money for a reward, which will be offered to anyone offering a significant tip to police that brings Gebremedhin home.
The Wylie Police Department said Gebremedhin has not been seen since Thursday at 5 a.m. as she left her home in the 1500 block of Windward Lane in Wylie to head to her job at a nursing home.
“Four days, no sign of her car — we are in the dark. I am in the dark,” Gebremedhin’s husband Sisay Zelelew said Monday.
The two have been married for 16 years and have two children, ages 10 and 8.
Zelelew says he’s known his wife since she was 16 when the two were living in their native Ethiopia.
“She’s a near perfect person,” he added.
Zelelew said he knew something was very wrong when his children’s school called him, informing him his wife had not picked up the children.
When he called the nursing home to see if she was busy at work, co-workers told him she’d never shown up for her shift.
She is 5 feet tall, 134 pounds, and has black hair and brown eyes. She was wearing scrubs when she disappeared.
Her vehicle — a silver 2004 Chevrolet Ventura van with the license plate CVZ-8041 — is also still missing, according to Wylie police.
Anyone with information should call Wylie Police Department at 972-442-8171.
A missionary couple with Kansas ties is recovering in a south African hospital after they were attacked by a group of armed bandits in Ethiopia this week.
John and Gwenyth Haspels are second generation missionaries. Though both were raised primarily in Africa, the two met and attended school at Sterling College in Kansas and to this day, call Halstead Presbyterian Church in Halstead, Kansas their church home in the states.
For the past 40 years, the Haspels have been on a lifelong mission to start up new churches in a number of African nations – most recently, Ethiopia. But on Wednesday, Oct. 1, that work was cut short when they were attacked by a group of armed bandits while on the road to a new service location.
It’s believed the attackers were after the Haspels vehicle and it’s not believed this attack was targeted in any way, but instead a random act of violence. Shots were fired and a bullet struck Gwen in the jaw and several bullets hit John in the chest.
The pair was able to keep the vehicle moving and drove to a rural medication station for preliminary help. Presbyterian mission workers and World Mission staff were able to give them medical care until they could be flown to another hospital in south African for better treatment. Latest updates showed both were in stable condition but will still have a long road to recovery.
John is a member of the Southern Kansas Presbytery and another member of the group spoke to Eyewitness News on Sunday telling us he believed the Haspels would return to Kansas for continued medical care and then would most likely go back to south Africa to continue their work.
"They understand that God has given them this calling and are very pleased to do it," said Rev. James Ayers with the Southern Kansas Presbytery. "Recognizing that the world is in general a very dangerous place."
This is not the first time the Haspels have encountered troubles while serving in Africa. About 15 years ago, John was kidnapped while working in Sudan and held captive for three weeks before being rescued. But even then, Rev. Ayers said the couple was determined to continue serving the Lord.
"They did not give up on mission work at that point but simply said we’re missionaries and we’re going to continue to be missionaries because that’s the calling that we’ve received from God," he said.
As they Haspels continue to recover and make decisions about their future in the mission field, those at home continue to ask for prayer and support through this time.
"Certainly we’d be very happy for people to join in prayer for John and Gwen," said Rev. Ayers. "They need to recover from their injuries."
One of the couple’s daughters released a statement about the attack saying, "The Haspels family would like to say that we choose to forgive the men who did this and pray that they meet Jesus. We are also very thankful that both of our parents are stable, and we praise the Lord for this miracle of life."
Listen to ENTC radio program – October 6 News, Interviews, entertainment, etc Listen here (mp3) To listen by phone – 213-992-4363
The Immigration Department in Nakonde, Zambia, has arrested 26 Ethiopians for alleged unlawful entry into Zambia.
This brings to 141 the number of Ethiopians intercepted by the Immigration Department in less than a fortnight through Nakonde border.
Immigration Department public relations officer Namati Nshinka said in a statement issued yesterday that the immigrants were apprehended on Sunday around 01:00 hours about 60 kilometres away from Isoka.
The Ethiopians were travelling in two Zambian-registered vehicles, a Toyota Noah and Nissan Elgrand, but that the drivers managed to escape. One of the immigrants revealed that they had paid some unnamed agent in order to be smuggled through Zambia to South Africa,” Mr Nshinka said.
What does President Obama “know” about the 2015 “election” in Ethiopia? Last week, President Barack Obama met with a delegation of the regime in Ethiopia and said, “… the Prime Minister [Hailemariam Desalegn] and the government is going to be organizing elections in Ethiopia this year. I know something about that… And so we’ll have an opportunity to talk […]
When Ato Gizachew Shiferraw was nominated to chair the Unity for Democracy and Justice Party (UDJ) in Ethiopia, he promised that he will lead the party only for 6 months in order to pave the way for younger leaders to emerge. That was in December 2013, ten months ago. For several months before he became UDJ chairman, he talked about the need to bring new faces and younger people to the party’s leadership. Now many in the party believe that UDJ has strong candidates who are young and can provide strong leadership, but Ato Gizachew has refused to honor his own words by refusing to resign. Since he took over UDJ’s leadership, the party has become stagnant; the Millions of Voices nationwide campaign has been stopped; and little effort is being made to secure the release of UDJ leaders and members who are languishing in jail as political prisoners. Ato Gizachew is an honorable man. He has made significant sacrifices to the Ethiopian people’s struggle for freedom. It is a terrible mistake for him to renege on his promise and refuse to make way for younger Ethiopians to come to UDJ’s top leadership.
Diplomat who opened fire at Ethiopian protesters left the United States to avoid prosecution, a US official saidThursday, October 2nd, 2014
AFP – An Ethiopian diplomat who opened fire to quell a protest outside his country’s embassy in Washington has left the United States to avoid prosecution, a US official said Thursday.
Secret Service agents arrested the man on Monday after shots were fired in the air in the embassy’s outside compound in the US capital.
Video shown by Ethiopian television ESAT showed a man brandishing and firing a handgun as a small crowd of protesters took down the Ethiopian national flag.
State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said her bureau had requested that Addis Ababa lift the man’s diplomatic immunity "to permit prosecution of the individual involved in that incident."
The "request was declined" and in line with State Department regulations "the individual involved has now left the country."
Psaki gave no further details about the shooting or the person involved.
Source: Agence France-Presse
so long wedi weynie !
Listen to ENTC radio program – October 1 News, Interviews, entertainment, etc Listen here (mp3) To listen by phone – 213-992-4363
First, ER Research Center wishes to congratulate the brave Ethiopians in Washington DC who took part in the peaceful civil disobedience campaign at the TPLF embassy yesterday. The action has drawn the attention of several international media and exposed the barbaric nature of the regime that opens fire at unarmed civilians, even in the U.S.
The Ethiopian Diaspora plays important roles in the campaign to remove the TPLF apartheid tyranny in Ethiopia through peaceful civil resistance and replace it with an all inclusive transitional government:
1. Act as the voice of conscience to the world.
2. Lobby diplomats for international support and cooperation.
3. Mobilize activists for grassrooots involvement both inside and outside the country.
4. Provide psychological and financial support to the civil resistance campaign.
5. Establish a transitional government in exile, which helps reduce or eliminate the divisive party politics that has plagued the Ethiopian struggle for freedom.
In building a partnership with the international community, Ethiopians in the Diaspora can call for:
1. Protecting human rights.
2. Spreading democracy.
3. Building of civil society.
Actions are also needed from foreign diplomats. These include:
1. Promoting the cause within one’s own government.
2. Sending a unifying message regarding human rights and democracy.
3. Exert pressure against human rights violations.
4. Engage democratic groups.
5. Support grassroots independent organizations.
Low-profile activists in the Diaspora need to make trips to Ethiopia on a regular basis to work side by side with counterparts in the country.
Activists need to try to make friends with the right people in key department of other governments.
To sum it up, the Diaspora needs to be the voice of conscience both outside the country and also within the country.
The Afar Rift in eastern Ethiopia is marked by enormous gashes that signal the breakup of the African continent and the beginnings of a new…
WASHINGTON (WJLA – ABC7) – U.S. Secret Service has one person in custody after receiving a report of gunshots at the Ethiopian Embassy, located at 3506 International There have been no reported injuries as a result of the incident, Secret Service said. A protest was reportedly taking place outside the embassy at the time of the incident.
Additional report by ESAT
How I used to be proud of President Barack Obama First, I am never proud of politicians. Second, I am never ashamed of politicians. I am often dismayed and even angry over things they did (said) or did not do (say). Mostly, I am critical of politicians on some issue of accountability or lack of […]
Reconciliation should be an integral part of the campaign to remove the TPLF apartheid junta in Ethiopia and replace it with a transitional government that will organize a free and fair election. Because reconciliation paves the way for unity.
The “Kilil” politics by the ruling party in Ethiopia has kept the people residentally, occupationally, and culturally apart. A body of shared values did not emerge to weld the disparate people into any sort of coherent community. Indeed, the ethnic elements grew to distrust each other and were systematically manipulated by the ruling party into antagonistic relationships.
The best way to deal with aggravated ethnic tensions is to build inter-ethnic coalitions through reconciliation to recognize the legitimate concerns of each ethnic group. This approach removes the fear that after the fall of the current regime, change would result in another form of ethnic domination.
Inter-ethnic coalitions are better established through people-to-people reconciliation. When tyrannical and brutal regimes fall, societies need to re-establish the rule of law fairly administered and see justice done.
The following image shows the proposed key elements of reconciliation for the development of Unified National Goals (UNG).
Prepared by Ethiopian Review Research Center
Looking at this people – I feel the TPLF leaders are criminals.How can you steal money from those poor people. Shame on you – you coward and illiterate leaders. If this can happen in Tigrai, I cannot imagine what the situation in the other part of Ethiopia IS.
Obama’s foreign policy ignorance in shocking display; heaps praise on Ethiopia’s fascist dictatorship (video)Friday, September 26th, 2014
The Ethiopian civil resistance campaign has two parallel objectives:
1. Remove the TPLF fascist junta through a coordinated nation-wide peaceful civil resistance campaign, and
2. Replace the fascist junta with a transitional government. The all-inclusive transitional government must be established in exile before the junta is overthrown in order to avoid chaos in the country.
Highly publicized loss or black-out of high-value targets would be expected to seriously degrade, destabilize and disintegrate the TPLF junta’s pillars of support.
Forms of Active Sabotage
* Cutting power and the regime’s communication lines
* Use of natural resources for obstacles
* Damaging tires of the regime’s vehicles
Types of Targets
* Munitions and fuel (both depots and manufacturing facilities)
* Supply depots/ warehouses
* Repair facilities
The regimes repressive utilities as targets of sabotage
* Communications (lines above and below ground, radar installations, radio facilities)
* Electrical facilities
Prepared by Ethiopian Review Research Center
SHARJAH, UAE – The family of a teenage girl who was brutally raped and murdered in 2009 by four Emirati men – one of whom had been pardoned 12 years ago for killing a 13-year-old girl – have refused a blood money settlement.
The Ethiopian girl’s family insisted that the accused be executed and said that they would press ahead with litigation procedures, reported Al Ittihad, the Arabic-language sister paper of The National.
According to police, the incident in Al Dhaid was one of the worst cases of rape and murder the country has seen, shaking the Emirati community.
Members of the public found the body of the teenager in Seeh Al Mahab, near a deserted labour camp. Her skull had been crushed, the body had multiple stab wounds and there was evidence of attempted strangulation.
Four Emirati men were arrested and charged with collaborating to plan and commit the crimes against the girl – who had been in the country for three months working as a maid for a family in Khor Fakkan.
One of the four men was had been involved in a similar crime, 12 years ago, when a 13-year-old Pakistani girl was killed. He was sentenced to death, along with two accomplices, but received a pardon from the victim’s family.
During the 2009 case A A M, admitted to abusing and murdering the Ethiopian teenager with the help of the three other men.
After kidnapping the victim outside her employer’s home, the men drove to a deserted area before raping her. Shortly after they drove to Al Dhaid where they raped her again.
When she tried to escape she was caught and killed.
Three of the four were found guilty of murder, rape, kidnap, alcohol abuse and covering up a crime. The fourth was found guilty of three of the five charges.
The Criminal Department at Sharjah Sharia Court of First Instance sentenced all four men to death in April 2012.
The latest case court was postponed until October 27 to allow time for consultation with the victim’s family’s lawyer and the defence lawyer.
The allegation that Shabia is abusing Ethiopian opposition members in Eritrea is without merit – Yilma BekeleThursday, September 25th, 2014
"In my humble opinion ER failed to make a solid case and relied on half-truth, innuendos and second hand stories that seem to serve the speakers interest rather than the group. The so called ‘audio’ presentations being doled out in small clips are nothing but a marketing ploy to increase google ads. It is a sad day for professional Journalism when even if true the musings of disgruntled individuals is taken as factual truth and presented as news. Hate and negativity has some times the effect being the cause of what is called the inability not to see the forest for the trees. That is what is afflicting the ER editors." – Yilma Bekele
By Yilma Bekele
This issue of Eritrea has been with us for more than I can remember. In fact it is fair to say like most of you I have lived all my life being affected by the problem with our relatives to the North. Considering the life expectancy in our ancient land it would not be farfetched to conclude for the vast majority of our people the Eritrean question has been like an albatross hanging our neck stopping us from thinking in a straight and rational manner.
I am not a historian by training thus I would not attempt to explain what exactly happened a thousand years back not even as recent as a hundred year ago. Today I felt we should strive to be equipped with some knowledge however rudimentary so we could have a little appreciation of a problem that has vexed our people and country for quite a while. My attempt is not to go on some intellectual fishing expedition but rather to put the current issue in perspective for us ordinary people to come to grips with.
I beg my esteemed reader’s forgiveness if I have broached a subject which most of us seem to be expert in and have no qualms throwing opinions left and right no matter the merit. Mine might be considered as one but I felt I have to say it and let you be the judge. I will by no means consider it the last word on the subject. I normally try to present my case in two pages or less. I am afraid this time that task became impossible due to the very importance of the subject matter. I have done all I could to edit a very long article to what it is now. I again ask for your patience and implore you to read it all with care. I worked very hard at it.
Anyway I wanted to present another aspect of the issue due to the successive articles being presented by my good friend the editor of Ethiopian Review News and Information Web site impacting our current relationship with Eritrea. My intention is not to prove or disprove my colleague’s argument but rather to give a different perspective on the subject.
Going back to my point, I apologize it took long but one has to create a starting point to tell a story and that is what I was trying to do. I have chosen 1951- the aftermath of World War II as day one of my analysis (the Europeans are the ones that fought most but what the heck they include all of us as usual). The British defeated the Italians in 1942 and Eritrea was placed under their military administration until 1951. In 1952 the UN voted for Eritrea to be federated with Ethiopia. In 1962 Emperor Haile Selassie dissolved the Eritrean Parliament making it a province of Ethiopia.
The Eritreans did not appreciate being another province under Imperial rule thus organized under the ELF (Eritrean Liberation Front) and started their long struggle for self-determination. The ELF gave way to EPLF with the Isaias Afwerki as the new leader in the 1970’s and the Liberation movement entered a new phase. The fall of the Derg in 1991 was the culmination of almost forty years of war and destruction. Eritrea became an independent nation on May 24 1993.
There is no question that the referendum that was carried out in April of 1993 that led to the declaration of independence was a hastily arranged divorce that contained lots of ambiguities, left many questions an answered and ignored plenty of vital issues that have come to haunt both nations years after the resolution of the issue. This was definitely a perfect example of ‘haste makes waste’ syndrome. (ሲሮጡ የታጠቁት ሲሮጡ ይፈታል) Here we are twenty years later and it is clear that we Ethiopians have not been able to reconcile our objections and accept the new situation staring us in our face. The love hate relationship with our cousins is something that is eating us from the inside and a cause of many heated arguments including fist fights that clouds our thinking and creates a stressful situations between family, friends and acquaintances.
It is not unreasonable to expect twenty years to be enough time to come to terms with a situation that for all practical reason could not be reversed. The fact of the matter is that there is a country called Eritrea with an internationally recognized borders and a membership in all International institutions as an independent Nation State. That fact cannot be changed without the consent of the people Eritrea or some out of the world calamity that no one wishes nor likely to happen at all.
The problem most definitely lies with us Ethiopians that are refusing to let go, accept reality and move on. There are many reasons for our dilemma but having an excuse is not considered a valid point for our sometimes irrational and overboard behavior. The main cause of this unfortunate situation that is causing untold problems is the TPLF regime that holds absolute power in Ethiopia and is so adept at knowing where to poke our inner feeling to stoke fear and hate.
Although the EPLF was the primary organizer, cultivator, trainer and all around baby sitter of the TPLF (ሕዝባዊ ወያኔ ሓርነት ትግራይ) the love affair came to an end not long after the TPLF was able to get its feet firmly planted in Addis Abeba. True to their nature the Woyane’s showed no qualms betraying their close friend and sponsor. Like any dictatorial regimes that survives by creating division and dissent they found Eritrea a convenient target to use as an enemy that is poised to destabilize and dead set in trying to control Ethiopia. Like their predecessors the Imperial regime and the Derg it was not hard to for Woyane to fan the flames of war and destruction that is always poised to strike from the north.
Eritrea is a country with six million people limited resources and is one of the youngest nations in the process of rebuilding its economy after years of war. Ethiopia is a country with ninety million people with plenty of resources but due to the succession of autocratic and military regime has failed to use its God given potential to escape recurring famine and poverty. Thus it was the most absurd moment in history when the two nations went back to war between May of 1998 to June of 2000 using modern airplanes and tanks. The conflict caused the death of over seventy thousand lives and millions of dollars – a resources both poor nations are ill equipped to handle.
Today there are thousands of soldiers on both sides of the boarder waiting for an excuse to start the conflict over again. The Woyane regime in Ethiopia spends millions of dollars to maintain one of the largest armed forces in Africa, uses scarce foreign exchange to purchase military hardware from East Europe and large sums of money on propaganda to keep the level of anxiety high, use it as a wedge issue to divide the population and is constantly beating the drums of war to create fear and uncertainty.
We Ethiopians welcomed Woyane into our capital without a single shot being fired in anger. The Derg was despised by all sector of society and its downfall was celebrated and a cause for hope and a new beginning. Except for a few remnants of Derg and its Party members no one mourned the demise of Megistu and his comrades. Unbeknown to us and most unfortunate for our nation the new liberators did not come equipped with open heart, hope for the future and love for anything Ethiopia. We should have known at the outset that things do not bode well for our people and country when the midget warlord first words of wisdom was to trample our flag and question our unity. We are harvesting this evil and petty mentality for the last twenty one years and the death of the evil kingpin does not seem to have made any difference.
Where we stand today is what this paper is all about and not to hash ancient history, shift blame and find a scapegoat for our failure to build a just and democratic Ethiopia. By all indications it has become clear the Woyane warlords in power are not interested in peace, harmony and respect for fellow citizens to be involved in the rebuilding of our country.
Independent parties are demonized to no end and abused to the extent that being elected a leader of the opposition is the most dangerous job in our country. The media is controlled by the party and there is not even the semblance of a fine line between the State and the TPLF party. The Woyane group has made it clear on many occasions and dared the opposition to pick up arms if they really want to share power. Anybody that is advocating a peaceful means to get rid of Woyane is only either burying their head in the sand or completely overtaken by delusion and wishful thinking.
We are forced to fight to be free and regain a sense of dignity to be able build a peaceful and harmonious society where our children could live in peace, our people can taste liberty and our mountains and streams can be utilized to sustain our growing population. No one chooses war over peace but there comes a time when one has to stand up stiffen the spine and do what is necessary to protect life and liberty. We have produced many groups that have resolved to do just that.
Like everything in life the only way to prove ones theory is to put it to practice. There is no guarantee success will be achieved fast, harmony will reign at a drop of a hat and the road will be easy. Experience have shown it to be a tortuous journey with plenty of pitfalls. Our country has sacrificed many sons and daughters that have stood for what they believe and given their life to bring freedom and dignity to all of the children of Ethiopia. Every one of us have lost a loved one, a close friend a relative or a neighbor in one of the many patriotic organizations such as EPRP, OLF, TPDM, ONLF, ALF, Kinijit, Andenet, Semayawi and plenty other beautiful freedom loving groupings that dared to stand up on our behalf.
Today the geopolitical situation in our neighborhood has become very complicated for one easy answer. The rise of Islamic militarism, the breakdown of Somalia the international isolation of Sudan, the demonizing of Eritrea by the West have created a very difficult and a challenging state of affairs to traverse for our political leaders. Compared to the situation we are in today fighting the Imperial regime and the Derg can be considered a walk in the park. There were many places to catch ones breath and regroup to fight another day.
Where do we Ethiopians prepare, get the training and organize to confront the ethnic thugs lording it over us is a very important and vital question. Fortunate for us there is Eritrea that due to circumstances we have come to forge a common ground. Today fate and our God have forced us to help each other overcome adversity. One can say we are very lucky. The job has to be done with or without Eritrea but the cooperation with our cousins has the benefit of reducing our sacrifice and hasten the day of our liberation.
This is exactly the reason we find all Ethiopian liberation fronts and opposition groups welcomed in Eritrea. To be sure the Eritrean government have its own interest in mind for helping us get rid of Woyane warlords. As they say all nations act out of selfish interest. There is no such animal called selfless act. The Eritreans have their own axe to grind when it comes to their old Woyane friends. We Ethiopians have our own interest in mind when we impose on our family from the north to accommodate us while working for our freedom. Both of us have come to realize that we have a confluence of interest at this particular point in time. It is no different than the US working with its arch enemy Iran to destroy and degrade what is called the ISIS threat. Conflict creates strange bed fellows and that is the nature of geo politics.
What we have at the moment is various Ethiopian organizations using setting up offices and training centers in Eritrea to confront degrade and destroy the cancerous growth called Woyane. It is not a simple task by any stretch of the imagination. TPLF controls a country with unlimited resources that can be used to preserve the power of a few at the expense of the many. We are fighting an enemy that is using our own people and financed by our own money. Furthermore due to narrow interest and mistaken policy the rich west and China have aligned themselves with our enemy making our task a little bit more difficult.
More difficult does not mean impossible. We just have to work harder and smarter. We have to show Woyane that we are capable of defending ourselves, prove to their enablers that their long term is better served allying with us and convince our people the future will be darker and more bleak if Woyane is allowed to stay around one more day than necessary. It is a tall order but no one said achieving independence and determining ones future is an easy matter. We witnessed the sacrifice paid by the Eritreans to reach the goal of standing tall on ones two feet. Yes we do not have to go far to site an example.
To quote President Kennedy we Ethiopians ‘..shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe to assure the survival and success of liberty.’ That is what our combatants are doing from the deserts of Eritrea. They are paying the price so our children will live in peace. We honor, celebrate and are proud of those that have decided to pay the ultimate price in the quest for liberty. We are most grateful to the government and people of Eritrea that have under difficult circumstances opened their doors and wallets so we can do the job that could only be done by us the stake holders. We have a debt to pay if not today but hopefully by our children tomorrow whose life would be made easier due to the good will of our family from the north.
I am sure some of you would think that I have gone overboard with my praise of Eritrea. A few would object that I have not raised the issue of Democracy and good governance in Eritrea. I plead guilty on both points. I really believe both objections are not valid at all. When someone invites you to their home and share the limited resource of the family to finish the job you set up to do I do not think it is good manners not to thank your host and show appreciation. As for the second issue I felt it should be left to the Eritreans to work on whatever problem they currently have. For a tenacious people that sacrificed so much in pursuit of Independence and self- determination I believe they are up to the job of righting what they believe wrong.
My hands are currently full dealing with a varmint that is sucking my blood and causing me untold misery and pain. I have no inclination not do I have the moral authority to rant about other people’s business. I do not stress about Sudan, I never stay up nights thinking about Somalia nor do I make Kenya a Starbucks discussion why as an Ethiopian I would want to editorialize regarding the Eritrean condition is not clear at all.
Finally I would not attempt to try answer the questions raised by Ethiopian Review. It would not solve the problem we are having and unfortunately there is not an alternative being offered to offset what is alleged to be Eritrea’s attempt to muzzle the Fronts operating from their country. I find the charges leveled to be without merit and go against all logic. I would consider it to be self-destructive policy for the Eritrean Government that has not shown any love to the Woyane regime. Why they would kill, torture and abuse the forces that are attempting to overthrow their common enemy does not seem to make sense for a rational thinking mind. Why would they allow them to set camp in their country and turn around weaken them is not a logical argument nor a sound and reasonable proposition.
In my humble opinion ER failed to make a solid case and relied on half-truth, innuendos and second hand stories that seem to serve the speakers interest rather than the group. The so called ‘audio’ presentations being doled out in small clips are nothing but a marketing ploy to increase google ads. It is a sad day for professional Journalism when even if true the musings of disgruntled individuals is taken as factual truth and presented as news. Hate and negativity has some times the effect being the cause of what is called the inability not to see the forest for the trees. That is what is afflicting the ER editors.
There is one more issue I would like to raise in tandem with this question we are trying to come to terms with. It is an important lesson that we should be familiar with since we now have a negative experience we went thru to learn from. The issue is self-determination and the most appropriate way to handle such an important concept. The late Woyane warlord has left us with a time bomb ticking.
In order to govern for a short time and amass money using criminal means TPLF have used what is called Nations and Nationalities concept to divide and conquer. For twenty years TPLF has managed to distort, [deleted] and define it to suit their nihilistic purpose. Today how we deal with this burning issue is a very important matter and have to be careful not to drop the ball like the last time around and leave our children with another vexing problem.
May I suggest we closely study the manner the issue was discussed and the civilized way the opposing sides presented their case in the recent referendum carried out in Scotland. I urge you my friends to see how no one was demonized, old history dug from the grave and used to attack the integrity of one’s opponent. We owe our people that much. I am also aware the issue I have raised would invite Woyane supporters and their minority but loud puppies to cry foul, call me names and try to confuse the issue. Settle down and present your argument in a rational manner, we are capable of listing to both sides and making up our mind with the interest of all of Ethiopia in our heart. I say to all cadres -Amor Vincit Omnia-Love Conquers All!
It is estimated that over 100,000 Ethiopians are currently held in the jails of Kenya, Tanzania, Malawi, Mozambique and South Africa.
Ethiopian immigrants await trial outside the Karonga Court, Malawi, Sept. 24, 2014. (Tiwonge Kumwenda | VOA)
Ethiopian immigrants who were rounded up by the police, at an immigration office, in the northern district of Karonga, Malawi, Sept. 24, 2014. (Tiwonge Kumwenda | VOA)
Ethiopian refugees at Al Bedha beach in Yemen
Ethiopians lined up at the immigration office in Addis Ababa to leave their country
95 Ethiopians in a Kenya court
ግዜ መልኩን ሳይቀይር አሁን ባላችሁ ዕድል ተጠቀሙ! … ቀናነት ነጻ ያወጣችኋሌ! አባይ ወሌደ የህወሃት ሉቀመንበር መቀሌ፤ ትግራይ አቶ አባይና መላው የህወሃት ማዕከላዊ ኮሚቴ አባላት፤ ይህንን ደብዲቤ የምጽፍላችሁ ከተለያዩ ኢትዮጵያውያን በተውጣጣው የማኅበራዊ ፍትሕ እንቅስቃሴ ከሚመራው በአዲሲቷ ኢትዮጵያ የጋራ ንቅናቄ (አኢጋን) ስም ቢሆንም በተለይ ግን ሁላችንም የኢትዮጵያ ልጆች እንደመሆናችን እኔም እንደ አንደ ኢትዮጵያዊ ቤተሰብ አባል የላኩላችሁ […]
Listen to ENTC radio program – September 24 News, Interviews, entertainment, etc Listen here (mp3) To listen by phone – 213-992-4363
Dr Rachel Nega’s story demonstrates how the Israeli-Ethiopian community is overcoming significant hurdlesWednesday, September 24th, 2014
Wearing a white coat, name badge and stethoscope, Dr. Rachel Nega strides through the halls of New York’s Mount Sinai Hospital. To patients and visitors, she looks like any other doctor on duty — slightly preoccupied, with a deliberate air to her step. Yet her dark skin and almond eyes hint at her unique background.
Nega, 29, is the first Israeli-Ethiopian doctor to intern at Mount Sinai in Manhattan, New York, an opportunity that came through the joint efforts of an Israeli nonprofit and an Israeli-American philanthropist. During the summer internship, she worked under the guidance of Dr. Martin Goldman, a leading cardiologist who heads the echocardiography lab at Mount Sinai.
“This experience will shape my future,” says Nega over coffee in the Mount Sinai lobby.
Nega, who is in her third year of medical school at Tel Aviv University, hopes to practice medicine in Israel’s “peripheries,” the parts of the country where specialized medical professionals are sparse. Her goal is to work with immigrants and those from impoverished backgrounds.
Though Nega didn’t enter the internship knowing what medical specialty she wanted to pursue, she now is seriously considering cardiology. “The potential for innovation is huge,” she said.
Nega’s story is just one of many demonstrating how the Israeli-Ethiopian community has overcome significant hurdles in the past few decades. A first-generation Israeli, Nega’s parents emigrated from Ethiopia to Israel in November 1984 during Operation Moses, the mass migration of Ethiopian Jews out of Sudan.
“There have been some amazing successes,” said Barbara Ribakove Gordon, founder and executive director of North American Conference on Ethiopian Jewry, a nonprofit committed to helping in the absorption of Ethiopian Jews into Israeli society. “Thousands of Ethiopian Jews who came to Israel as teenagers are now in Israeli colleges and getting higher degrees,” she said.
But despite the progress, the Ethiopian community is still battling poverty, deep cultural divides and discrimination. According to recent study by the Myers-JDC Brookdale Institute for Applied Social Research, only 65 percent of Ethiopian Israelis were employed in 2010, compared to 74 among the general Jewish population. Fifty-percent of Ethiopians live below the poverty line, compared to 14 percent of the general population. The average monthly net income of Ethiopian-Israelis was far below the national average (NIS 1,994 — $545 — versus NIS 4,000 — $1100 — in 2005), and there is still a wide education gap between Ethiopians and other Israelis, with a 12 percent dropout rate among 17-year-olds in the Ethiopian-Israeli population compared to 7.5 percent among the general Israeli population.
“Many problems still exist,” said Gordon, mentioning the “overloaded, underfunded” school system, a paucity of well-paying jobs and a persevering discrimination.
“There’s racism,” for sure, she said, noting that the generation of Ethiopian Jews born in Israel resent the prejudice even more because they see themselves as Israelis.
“I consider myself first and foremost a Jew, then an Israeli, and then an Ethiopian,” says Nega, who referred to her Ethiopian heritage as a “forced identity.” Though she never felt different from her neighbors and friends growing up in the ethnically diverse city of Yavne, in Israel’s south, she says she has experienced racism in her life, but stresses that for her, such incidents were the exception, not the norm. Today she lives with her husband in Ashdod, which has a sizeable Ethiopian community.
“Israel is a very complex place, and the gaps between different communities are huge. There’s a lot of fear of those who are different,” she says. In her work as a doctor, she hopes to bridge some of those gaps.
Though prejudices towards Ethiopian Jews persist, Gordon noted that there’s a significant difference between a racist country, and a country that has some racists.
“Racism is a reality — here, in Israel, everywhere,” she said. “But Israel is not a racist county, and has done a tremendous amount to ensure the Ethiopian community is not isolated.” She mentioned housing regulations made by the Israeli government in the ’90s prohibiting Ethiopian immigrants from living in consecutive buildings. “Israel worked very hard not to create a ghetto,” she said, adding that those efforts proved futile because Ethiopian families like to live together.
The way out of isolation and poverty, Gordon finished, is education.
Nega, who served in the army for six years as an officer, is the first one in her family to graduate from college and pursue an advanced degree. After making aliyah, Nega’s father worked as an electrician and her mother as a janitor. Referring to her father as her “educational role model,” Nega vividly recalls her father staying up until the wee hours of the morning, preparing for the Psychometric Entrance Test, the Israeli equivalent to the SATs, with hopes of going to college in order to secure a higher-paying job.
“He never did well, but he never gave up,” she says, attributing his repeated failure to the language barrier.
The oldest of seven siblings, Nega hopes her younger siblings will follow in her footsteps and pursue higher levels of education.
Fentahun Assefa-Dawit, executive director of Tebeka, an Israeli organization that provides legal aid and assistance to Israel’s Ethiopian population, believes that empowerment is the true remedy to racism. Though the organization began in 2000 to help Ethiopian Jews gain access to legal services, it has expanded to include a leadership and empowerment arm that helps young Ethiopians “break the glass ceiling” by providing them with enrichment and mentoring programs. One such program matches up Ethiopian students with retired government intelligence workers who provide guidance and support.
“Unfortunately, racism won’t get better on its own,” said Assefa-Dawit, who is himself an Ethiopian Jew — he made aliyah in 1994. “We figured out that fighting discrimination through legal means might address one symptom of the problem, but it doesn’t address the root of the problem,” he said. “Empowerment from within — standing up for ourselves, is the only long-term solution.”
Joey Low, the philanthropist who arranged Nega’s internship, is the founder of Israel at Heart, a non-profit that aids Israeli youth. A firm believer that self-empowerment is the best way to break stereotypes, Low personally sponsored Nega’s internship at Mount Sinai, including round-trip flights for both Nega and her husband, all accommodations, and a stipend. For the past seven years, Low has sponsored Ethiopian students to come to America and serve in high-powered internships. His students have worked everywhere from Hilary Clinton’s office to Kenneth Cole’s advertising department.
This, however, was the first year he sponsored two medical students. One of them was Nega, who was referred to him through the ISEF Foundation, a nonprofit dedicated to providing scholarships to gifted Israeli students from disadvantaged backgrounds.
Medicine, Low feels, is the ultimate way to break down remaining barriers.
“When you’re a patient, you’re dependent on your doctor for help and attention,” said Low. “If someone is taken care of by an Ethiopian doctor, the equality between the two of them is apparent,” he said. “If the patient held any prejudices beforehand, he will have no choice but to reevaluate his thinking.”
Ginbot 7′s head of political affairs in Eritrea, Zemene Kasse, was forced to give interview on ESAT on Sept. 16 to disprove Ethiopian Review’s report that he is under arrest. We have gathered additional information that Ato Zemene is still under arrest and we also found out that all Ginbot 7 members in Eritrea who do not have Western passports are prisoners. Those who have Western passports have all left Eritrea. The remaining are those who were recruited from Ethiopia, Kenya and South Africa. They are all forced to stay in Eritrea against their will. Shockingly, their request to leave Eritrea was denied not by Shabia, but by the Ginbot 7 leadership, according to our sources. Our sources confirmed to us that Col. Fitsum told Zemene and his friends that they are free to go if they bring written permission from the Ginbot 7 leadership.
A close relative of Zemene has informed us that Zemene has so far submitted 5 requests to be freed and be allowed to leave Eritrea.
Ginbot 7 leadership must answer why young patriotic Ethiopians who went to Eritrea to fight to liberate Ethiopia from tyranny are being held as hostages.
If Ginbot 7′s leadership continues to refuse giving permission to all its members who wish to live Eritrea, Ethiopian Review is prepared to filed a lawsuit on their behalf in the United States courts. Every Ginbot 7 leadership will be held responsible for the crime of hostage taking in the lawsuit. We will also consider other steps.
In preparation for a united front and begin Civil Resistance, all patriotic Ethiopians need to answer what their common goals are. Their primary goal that binds every one in the country is Ethiopiawinet, i.e., to belong to one nation called Ethiopia. This can be achieved through removing tyranny and building lasting democracy.
TPLF’s impractical constitution, Article 39, the Right to Secede and the ongoing Kilil experimentation are distractions to the Region’s stability. It is nothing more than a version of the time honored traditional divide-and-conquer ploy of tyrants’s administration of their government, by keeping the people divided.
Hope some of our ethnic groups stop falling to this ploy, and focus on accelerating our march to genuine democratic society.
The following image explains the justification that Ethiopia is a model nation of minorities that is a composite fabric of more than 77 ethnic groups.
The only solution that guarantees that Ethiopia will be functional and stable is Removing Tyranny & Building Democracy.
The initial step for Civil Resistance to bring about change, is Dialogue for UNITY through Reconciliation among all patriotic forces independent of foreign influence.
Prepared by Ethiopian Review Research Center
POLICE in Garissa, Kenya, have arrested 105 illegal immigrants from Ethiopia who sneaked in the country through the Moyale boarder.
North Eastern regional CID coordinator Musa Yego said that the immigrants were arrested on Monday aboard a lorry with Kenyan registration numbers.
Speaking to the press in Garissa town, Yego said the driver and the suspected trafficker were also arrested.
"We want to know the people involved in this illegal business since they are the ones compromising our security," he said.
Yego aid the suspects will be arraigned in court next Monday once investigations are completed.
This is the second time in less than a month that police have arrested Ethiopian immigrants in the county.
Two weeks ago, another 73 illegal immigrants were arrested in Balambala after the lorry they were travelling in was involved in an accident.
Ginbot 7 members in Eritrea are suffering from debilitating illnesses; all of them are held against their willMonday, September 22nd, 2014
Ginbot 7′s former head of training in Eritrea, Ato Masresha Badenga, says that the organization has less than 20 members in the field and most of them were suffering from malnutrition and easily preventable illnesses. Listen to Masresha below:
PILLARS OF SUPPORT
The state’s power is heavily dependent on the cooperation of certain key institutions and organizations. We call these supporting organizations pillars of support because they support the power structure in society.
By themselves, tyrants cannot collect taxes, enforce repressive laws and regulations, keep trains running on time, prepare national budgets, direct traffic, manage ports, print money, repair roads, train the police and army, issue postage stamps or even milk a cow. People provide these services to the ruler through a variety of organizations and institutions.
Civil resistance strategists should remember that it will be exceptionally difficult, or impossible, to disintegrate the dictatorship if the police, bureaucrats, and military forces remain fully supportive of the dictatorship and obedient in carrying out its commands.
Strategies aimed at subverting the loyalty of the tyrant’s forces should therefore be given a high priority by resistance strategists.
If these organizations and institutions begin to withdraw their support from the dictator (and some may even start actively supporting your movement), the dictator will no longer be able to maintain control.
Find more material about civil resistance here
SURREY, ENGLAND – A group of suspected illegal immigrants were stopped on Highway M25′s hard shoulder on Monday morning after getting out of the back of a lorry.
The 13 people, believed to be from Ethiopia, were seen jumping out with luggage near Chertsey at around 9am, before the HGV was driven away.
Police were called to the scene and the group were found walking alongside the busy motorway.
Motorists saw them being arrested and searched, and the incident caused traffic tailbacks in both directions of the M25 between junctions 12 and 13.
The lorry involved was believed to have come from mainland Europe.
A Surrey Police spokesman said: “We received a number of calls around 8.50am from members of the public reporting that they had seen a large group of people getting out of the back of a lorry which had stopped on the hard shoulder between junctions 11 (Chertsey) and 12 (the M3).
“The lorry was driven off prior to officers attending the scene. However, the 13 people, including men and women, were located walking along the M25 and were arrested on suspicion of immigration offences.
“They are currently in custody and the UK Border Agency has been informed. It is believed the group is from Ethiopia.”
LUSAKA – Zambia immigration police arrested 67 illegal immigrants of Ethiopian origin have been arrested by Immigration Officers in Kapiri Mposhi district after they attempted to enter Zambia without valid documents.
The illegal immigrants were arrested on Saturday at around 19:00 hours aboard a containerized goods truck at the newly installed Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA) Customs Enforcement Scanner check point which is scheduled to be launched in Kapiri Mposhi today.
This brings to 115 the total number of illegal immigrants of Ethiopian origin arrested under seven days in the district.
Last week a combined team of Immigration and police officers in the district arrested 48 illegal immigrants in similar circumstances.
ZRA Cooperate Communications Manager, Mumbuna Kufekisa confirmed the development to ZANIS saying the immigrants were discovered hiding in a containerised trailer of a truck en route from Dar-es-salaam in Tanzania.
Mr Mumbuna said the driver of the vehicle registration number T 462 AHY who bolted and abandoned the truck during the incident.
The driver of the lorry declared that the vehicle was carrying groceries when in fact not.
“As you know we are launching the scanner at Kapiri Mposhi on Monday so on Saturday last week we were testing it and this led to the arrest of 67 Ethiopian Illegal immigrants who were being transported in a containerised goods truck,” Mr Mumbuna said.
“The driver lied to the ZRA officers that the truck was carrying goods but after we scanned the vehicle we discovered human beings packed in the containers of the truck,” Mr. Mumbuna said.
Mr Mumbuna said the ZRA has put up a scanner at Kapiri Mposhi in order to curb illegal trade and undervaluing of goods entering the country.
He said the authority is committed to seeing to it that government collects all revenue entitled to it.
The immigrants have since been detained at Mpima Prison in Kabwe awaiting court appearance and possible deportation to their country of origin.
ENTC released a statement today denouncing the barbaric killings in Ogaden. Read the statement here (pdf)
The truth is stranger than fiction In my September 7 commentary, DIFRET: The Abduction of a Film in Ethiopia, I expressed my outrage over the aborted Ethiopian premiere of the film DIFRET. That film, based on a “true story” of Aberash Bekele, tells the dramatic story of a teenage victim of the inhuman and barbaric practice […]
Eritrean organ harvesting victims
You may wonder where many young Eritreans who escaped their destitute country disappear. The answer is organ traders cut out their organs and dump them in graves some where in the desert. Eritrean human smugglers also demand organs as payment from those desperate Eritreans who are fleeing their sh*t-hole country. The organs are exported to Saudi Arabia and other oil rich states. The Eritrean military gets a cut of the profit. As a result, Eritrea’s biggest export these days is human organs. The Italian police just recently arrested for Eritreans who are engaged in organ trade and human smuggling. "Michael Berhane, who operated in Rome, was arrested earlier this year along with four other men – Haile Seifu, Russom Gebrem Michael Henok, and Tesfay Bahta – who allegedly worked as money collectors…" More info about Eritrean organ harvesting: http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/mediterranean- … nt-1466148
Ato Masresha, head of training for Ginbot 7 Popular Force talks about how he escaped from Eritrea. The interview was recorded while the head of finance Shitaw Shiferaw was still in Shabia labor camp. Masresha was interviewed by former Ginbot 7 members. We will have more update about Zemene Kasse shortly. Listen to Masresha below:
September 19, 2014 6:51 PM
Leapfrogging the Democrats’ Tech Advantage
Azarias Reda, a 28-year-old data evangelist, on giving the Republican voter operation a radical upgrade for the midterms
By KIMBERLEY A. STRASSEL
No evidence exists that Francis Bacon made it to Ethiopia, but in a back room of the Republican National Committee building there is a lot of evidence that Azarias Reda absorbed one of the English philosopher’s more famous observations: scientia potentia est. The 28-year-old data evangelist is helping lead the effort to transform the GOP’s knowledge of voters into the power to win elections.
Republicans got thumped in the 2012 elections in no small part because of a voter-data failure. The Obama team crushed the Romney campaign and the RNC: on turnout, on targeting and in social media. Democrats are betting heavily that their operation will once again save the day—turning out enough voters in key states to save their Senate majority in November.
Mr. Reda, Ethiopian by birth, American by choice, was recruited by the RNC in November as its chief data officer. He and the nearly 50 data scientists and engineers he has recruited to an in-house tech incubator—Para Bellum Labs—are a mind-blowing sight at RNC headquarters. Hipsters in T-shirts and jeans wade through besuited politicians toward a digital room that sports rows of computers and dry-erase walls.
This room is where I met Mr. Reda last week and pointed out that Democrats are already ridiculing the Republicans’ big-data effort, claiming that there’s no way the GOP can catch the Obama turnout machine.
The comment causes the otherwise serious young engineer to break out in a mischievous grin. "I don’t want to catch up to a presidential campaign from 2012," he says, making 2012 sound like so last century. "What we’re doing here is what a tech startup would do in 2014. Data science has traveled a lot in just the past few years."
The RNC line is that it intends to leapfrog Democrats in the technology of turnout, and a lot is riding on the claim. Twenty years ago the GOP created the first voter "file" on millions of Americans. Democrats spent years catching up, only to get outpaced again in 2004 by the Republican innovation of microtargeting, which allowed campaigns to contact and turn out subgroups of voters.
The left then jumped forward in the run-up to 2008, creating a private outfit, Catalist, to serve as a data hub for the Democratic universe, harnessing the info of labor unions, activists, donors, campaigns. In 2012 the Obama campaign built on this by empowering its universe of volunteers with tools that let them use social media (Twitter, Facebook) to leverage this vast data store.
The GOP didn’t keep up. After 20 years and $150 million, the RNC by 2008 was sitting on the richest voter file on the planet but couldn’t mesh the information with its grass-roots network. In 2011 the party created its own outside entity, Data Trust, to serve as a movement-wide data clearing house. But the party failed to embrace the technology that would allow campaigns and volunteers to use the database. "It does nothing to have a big database with information just sitting there," says Mr. Reda. "You need to get it out to people, present it in a way they can use it, derive insights from it."
That’s Mr. Reda’s job. He moved to the U.S. from Ethiopia while in college, graduating from Sterling College in Kansas with degrees in computer science, applied mathematics and business. He followed that up by completing a Ph.D. in computer-science engineering from the University of Michigan in 2012. He did a tour at LinkedIn, and then moved to the startup world.
On a trip to Washington, he heard about the RNC’s data overhaul and was intrigued. "In Ethiopia, if you want to stay out of trouble, you don’t get involved in politics.
But I’ve always been surprised by how well it works in the States," he says. Technology is everywhere, he notes, yet "it hasn’t made it as much as it should in our political process. This was my way to work on something with real impact, and give something back to my country." He’s one of a trio of tech gurus leading the RNC’s new data shop, including Chief Digital Officer Chuck DeFeo, and Chief Technology Officer (and former senior Facebook engineer) Andy Barkett.
Mr. Reda is charged with making the vast conservative voter file "actionable" and "accessible." Actionable data, in Mr. Reda’s view, provides campaigns with knowledge of every voter. His team has focused on enriching its data—filling in thousands of data points on individual voters, from their age and geography and past election history, to what cars they buy, what services they subscribe to, what kind of house they live in.
Sophisticated data science and analytics will enable a campaign, says Mr. Reda, to determine individuals’ "political behavior, and what they are going to do."
Voters are categorized and sorted on all manner of attributes, thereby allowing campaigns to define specific "universes" of voters to target, and to apply the best techniques to persuade them. (Example: women between the ages of 35 and 50 who sat out the 2012 election but who are now worried about ObamaCare.) The files also assign scores to voters on such measures as party allegiance, propensity to vote and more.
The ultimate goal, says Mr. Reda, is to bank reliable voters in early and absentee voting, and then to quickly and continuously refocus resources on the next most persuadable set of voters.
Mr. Reda’s team takes measurements weekly in 22 states, calling tens of thousands of voters carefully selected as representative of the population. The team uses voters’ answers to specific questions to test its voter scores and models. The measurements have the added value of "tracking movement in voters’ views before they show up in the polls," he says. This information is fed back to campaigns, allowing them to adjust their voter targets based on shifts in voter sentiment.
All this knowledge is useful, but the real power comes from "accessibility"—where the RNC thinks it is breaking the most new ground. In olden days—say, two years ago—the RNC data team fielded calls from campaigns and outside groups with specific requests for specific voter data sets. Fulfilling these requests took huge amounts of time, even as the info became quickly outdated.
The RNC innovation is what Mr. Reda calls a "political app store." The tech team spent a year designing a common interface (think Apple platform) that allows any outside partner to design its own apps to utilize the RNC voter data. "We have to support a bunch of Republican candidates across the country, and each campaign is different—each with different sets of problems to solve. And we have partners that are focused on yet entirely different things"—such as fundraising, or surveys, or voter engagement. "Our infrastructure allows them to be creative, to build their own technology that lets them use our data in the best way for them."
Mr. Reda’s team developed the first app to demonstrate how it could work, but already the "people in our ecosystem are going far and beyond what we here would be able to build on the applications side." Dozens of outsiders are working on or have already developed apps, and two were innovative enough that the RNC purchased and distributed them to all state campaigns.
Both are "walk" apps. Campaign volunteers load the app on their phone and use it to pull up a real-time list of targeted voters, complete with a GPS map, and details and scores about each target. Door-knockers use this information. "Hello, I know we agree on this set of issues," Mr. Reda says, imitating an opening pitch.
Volunteers feed data that they get about the voter—answers to questions, or noting whether they’ve already voted—back into their phones, which immediately updates and enriches the RNC’s main voter file. Campaigns use that real-time data to update their targets, hone their messages and refine their Election Day get-out-the-vote strategy.
This real-time updating is meanwhile zipping across the conservative universe. Data Trust is legally allowed to work with any conservative organization as well as with the RNC. So the details that campaign volunteers collect on prospective voters are flowing through the RNC to Data Trust and to grass-roots canvassers—and vice versa. That data became immensely richer in August when Data Trust signed an info-sharing agreement with i360, the Koch brothers’ voter-data project.
The data are also flowing to Chuck DeFeo’s digital team, which is using voter information to refine its email and donation campaigns, and craft its social-media efforts. The Obama campaign’s use of social media to drive its base to the 2012 polls has become the stuff of legend.
But will the GOP be able to as effectively use social media as Democrats, given that many Republican base voters are older, and less tech-driven? Mr. Reda dismisses the point: "If you can reach someone on Twitter, reach someone on Facebook—great. The only thing that really matters is that you reach them." His team has put a particular focus on collecting data on how best to contact each voter—Facebook, email, cellphone, text, home phone, home visit, work phone.
He also argues that "it has been shown time and again in politics that the best contact is a personal one." The RNC’s walk apps are geared toward enabling the GOP’s extensive volunteer and grass-roots networks to turn real contact into votes.
Republicans know that the Obama team retains its extensive voter-data file and techniques. The GOP’s big bet is that the Democratic data remain geared toward the party’s presidential nominee in 2012, while the GOP’s emphasis on flexibility and innovation will give it the midterm advantage.
Mr. Reda’s broader goal is creating a new "culture" at the RNC, a startup mentality that keeps the data shop nimble, flexible and constantly innovating. That’s the idea behind the open-source approach and Mr. Reda’s extensive recruitment. "I don’t view our competition" as an Obama campaign "that doesn’t even exist anymore," he says. Instead the competition "is a startup desk in Austin, or in Silicon Valley, or here in D.C."
Outsiders give the RNC credit for boldness, though complaints remain that the organization didn’t kick this project into high gear soon enough. The RNC wishes that the effort were further along but argues that its infrastructure—enhanced data, pinpoint targeting, voter scores, the walk app—was already good enough to win the Florida special election in Tampa in March, when David Jolly won in a congressional district that had voted for President Obama twice. "We were able to predict turnout. We were doing the absentee and early voter analysis, and firing off the right set of emails to the right set of contacts," Mr. Reda says. "And it worked. It also gave us a chance to figure out how to scale this up to 22 states, and make it more secure, for this midterm."
So is he confident enough to predict what will happen in the Senate? He flashes another smile: "Let’s just say I think the Senate is going our way. We’ll see Nov. 4."
Ms. Strassel writes the Journal’s Potomac Watch column.
EDINBURGH (NEW YORK TIMES) — Voters in Scotland rejected independence from Britain in a referendum that had threatened to break up the 307-year union between them, according to projections by the BBC and Sky News early Friday.
Before dawn after a night of counting that showed a steady trend in favor of maintaining the union, Nicola Sturgeon, the deputy head of the pro-independence Scottish National Party, effectively conceded defeat for the “yes” campaign that had pressed for secession.
“Like thousands of others across the country I’ve put my heart and soul into this campaign and there is a real sense of disappointment that we’ve fallen narrowly short of securing a yes vote,” Ms. Sturgeon told BBC television.
With 26 of 32 voting districts reporting, there were 1,397,077 votes, or 54.2 percent, against independence, and 1,176,952, or 45.7 percent, in favor.
Source: The New York Times
As I arrived in Asmara to interview President Isaias Afwerki in May 2009, there were many questions in my mind about what is going on in Eritrea in regards to Ethiopian opposition groups. The trip was an opportunity to get first hand information and "hear from the horse’s mouth." The idea of cooperating with Shabia to liberate Ethiopia from the TPLF ethnic apartheid junta was clouded with doubts and too many ‘what ifs.’ I was hearing from various individuals about the arrest, torture and killing of several Ethiopian opposition members in Eritrea by Shabia. And there was the news of TPDM chairman Fisseha Hailemariam’s death a few months ago that continued to deafeningly reverberate in the Ethiopian opposition camp.
Fisseha was a high caliber individuals. He was a young, dynamic leader admired and respected by TPDM members and every Ethiopian who came to know him.
[Photo of Fisseha Hailemariam] >>>
Since most individuals I spoke with were pointing their fingers at Shabia officer Col. Fitsum Yissehak for the killing of Fisseha and other members of Ethiopian opposition groups, I decided to ask himself how Fisseha died. We were alone driving from Keren to Barentu in his Toyota SUV. It seems he didn’t expect that I would ask him such a question and he laughed a nervous laugh. Then he started telling me his version of the story.
Col. Fitsum told me that one day he was having a conversation with Fisseha in his field office and right after Fisseha stepped out he heard a gun shot. When he ran out to see what is going on, he found Fisseha lying on the ground. Standing next to him with a gun was an Eritrea soldier. Col. Fitsum said he asked the soldier why he shot him. The soldier said because he found out that Fisseha is a Woyanne agent. Col. Fistum said he handed over the Eritrean soldier to TPDM and they punished him — i.e. executed him.
I was more than incredulous. I felt insulted by Col. Fitsum’s explanation, which even a 10-year-old child would not buy. Later on, I found out that he told different people different stories.
Right after I heard Col. Fistum’s story about Fisseha’s death, I should have quit my effort to work with Shabia. But often when one is desperate for some thing, it is easy to be blind to reality. I was hoping against all of the reality that the invitation extended by Isaias Afwerki to work together was genuine. I spent a total of 10 hours with Isaias and he sounded sincere about forging a strong, mutually beneficial alliance with Ethiopian opposition groups. He was particularly enthusiastic about supporting and funding our plan to hold a constitutional convention in Asmara that could pave the way for establishing a transitional government in exile. Isaias promised to provide all the necessary logistical support for the project. We asked for help with reorganizing EPPF and bring back disgruntled members who left or were forced out by Col Fitsum. He agreed to all of our requests. I said to myself, seeking justice for Fisseha and others who were killed by Col. Fitsum will come after we succeed. My hope was that the Eritrean government will take our concern seriously and conduct investigations into Col. Fitsum’s crimes if we manage to come up with a viable political entity.
However, not more than two weeks after President Isaias gave us hope, his own intelligence agent brought me back to the real word. In fact, I crash landed. The first thing Col. Fitsum did was to accuse me and my colleagues of trying to cause hostilities between EPPF and the Eritrean government. Then he overturned the EPPF general assembly’s decisions and arbitrarily arrested several members who participated in the assembly.
A few months later, I heard the shocking news that he executed 17 EPPF general assembly representatives who were in the same meeting with me.
That is when the meaning of Fisseha Hailemariam’s assassination really skunk in my mind. I told myself that Eritrea today is being ruled by savages — where a colonel wantonly slaughters Ethiopians with no accountability. That was a deal breaker for me and decided never to return to Eritrea unless the Eritrean government takes steps to do justice and to right the wrong.
My colleagues and I made concerted efforts to get the jailed EPPF members released by making Isaias Afwerki and others aware and explain to them the damage already caused by Col. Fitsum’s actions to the relations we are trying to build. After waiting for several months and getting no answer, I decided to go public with the report in December 2010.
When Ginbot 7 General Secretary Andargachew Tsige came to Washington DC, we discussed about the executed and jailed EPPF members. I asked him to help us secure the release of Col. Tadesse Muluneh and others who were still alive. I also told him about the wisdom of continuing to working with Shabia under such circumstances.
Andargachew’s answer was that Shabia is a difficult organization to work with. When Shabia was working with Woyanne, they used to arrest, torture and kill their members at will without the consent of the Woyanne leadership. After Woyanne came to power, Shabia was the de facto ruler of Ethiopia until 1998. Woyanne leaders kept silent until they solidified their power and then went after Shabia with a vengeance. Had Meles Zenawi not stopped the 1998-2000 war, Seye Abraha and others were determined to annihilate Shabia for all the horrible things that was done to them. Andargachew advised me that we, too, must be patient until our time comes.
Andargachew had a good point, but the difference between Woyanne and us is that Woyanne was tolerant of Shabia’s abuse because they were getting some where. They were actually fighting the Derg and making progress. We, on the other hand, are not making any progress after 14 years of all out effort by numerous groups. Ginbot 7 itself has been in Eritrea for the past 5 years with no result what so ever. The reason for our failure is that Shabia is purposely undermining our organizations to make sure that none of them gain ground. Ginbot 7′s current chief spokesperson explained the reason this way: "If we believe that Esayas is willing to raise a lion that may ultimately devour him, we’re not just lying through our teeth, but we are also simplifying very complex national issues." – Ephrem Madebo (Read here ).
Young Ethiopians have become fodders to the sadistic Shabia prison guards and intelligence officers who torture, sodomize and murder them. EPPF executive committee member Tesfaye Getachew was tied to a tree and beaten for several days until he died. We have recently heard what happened to Ginbot 7 head of finance Shitaw Shiferraw who spent several months in Shabia labor camp while being subjected to the kind of extreme cruelty that for most people only lies in the deep, dark recess of the mind.
Four years after my discussion with Andargachew, he himself has fallen victim to Shabia’s treachery when they lured him from London and drove him into a trap that they and Woyanne prepared with the help of Yemen.
After 14 years of trying, most of the leaders of Ethiopian opposition groups who are "sheltered" in Eritrea are convinced beyond the shadow of the doubt that Shabia has no intention of allowing an Ethiopian organization with independent leadership to become a viable force in Eritrea. It is time to stop misinforming and giving false hope to our people.
Unless and until Shabia releases all Ethiopians who are languishing in its jails and holds those who are responsible for the murder of Fesseha Hailemariam and other patriotic Ethiopians accountable, all Ethiopian organization are morally obligated to stop encouraging young Ethiopians to go to Eritrea to be enslaved or killed for no good reason.
In the coming weeks and months, I will continue to expose the crimes that have been and continue to be perpetrated against Ethiopians in Eritrea and will continue to urge Ethiopian opposition groups to break off their relations with Shabia.
A partial list of members in the Ethiopian opposition leadership who were murdered by Shabia during the past 6 years:
Fisseha Hailemariam – TPDM chairman
Shambel Fanaye – ADMF head of finance
Tesfaye Getachew – EPPF executive committee member
Shibabaw Abebe – EPPF commander
Adane Mekuannent – EPPF general assembly delegate
Alemu Melkamu – EPPF general assembly delegate
Desie Abera – EPPF general assembly delegate
Gashaw Babel – EPPF general assembly delegate
Melaku Abera – EPPF general assembly delegate
Alemseged Tekest – EPPF general assembly delegate
Fekade Endalew – EPPF general assembly delegate
Shumet Sisay – EPPF general assembly delegate
Asmare Zewde – EPPF general assembly delegate
Getnnet Fesha – EPPF general assembly delegate
Tekle Gebru – EPPF general assembly delegate
Esubelew Hailu – EPPF general assembly delegate
Bishae Dube – EPPF general assembly delegate
Yaregal Asmare – EPPF general assembly delegate
Mohamed Molla – EPPF general assembly delegate
Adem Getahun – EPPF general assembly delegate
Fentahun Alemeshet – EPPF general assembly delegate
Kassahun Hunde – EPPF general assembly delegate
By Yilma Bekele The Bay Area that currently is home away from home for thousands of Ethiopians is nothing like any other place that I have known. I was born in a small village on the southern part of Ethiopia and have resided in Addis Abeba, Oregon and Seattle Washington before moving here. The Bay […]
Those in Washington DC, Maryland, Virginia. Please don’t miss “STOP AFRICA LAND GRAB CONCERT” on September 21, 2014 at WARNER THEATER in Washington, D.C. from 6PM to 10PM. Major African Music Artists from 6 countries, including our sister Hanisha Solomon is to Perform Live@Warner Theatre-DC – Washington, DC. Hanisha is a rising-star, an Ethiopian […]
On Tuesday, ESAT has interviewed Zemene Kasse, head of political affairs for Ginbot 7 Popular Force in Eritrea, to prove that Ethiopian Review’s report last week about his arrest was incorrect. We stand by the report that Zemene is under arrest. We believe that his interview on ESAT was coerced.
This is not the first time that the Eritrean regime forced Ethiopian prisoners to give interviews to disprove Ethiopian Review’s reports. In Feb. 2013, when we reported about the house arrest of Gen. Kemal Gelchu, he was forced to appear on ESAT to say that he is not arrested. But now, a year later, our report has been proven correct. Gen. Kemal is still under house arrest. His movement is restricted and he is prevented from leaving Eritrea. In 2011, when we reported about the arrest of EPPF commander Shibabaw Abebe, the Eritrean regime forced him to give an interview and a week later they killed him.
[CAPTION: Shibabaw Abebe, one of EPPF's best commanders, was arrested by Shabia in 2010, and after being forced to give an interview, one week later, they killed him. Col. Fitsum Yissehak's agents took him inside Ethiopia and shot him in the back, our sources in EPPF told us. Col. Fitsum now claims that Shibabaw was killed in action. Shibabaw went to Eritrea in 2008 after listening to President Isaias Afwerki's call for cooperation with Ethiopian opposition groups. Before that, he was a well-known anti-Woyanne rebel leader in Wolkait, northern Gonder.]
Similarly, now they have forced Ginbot 7′s Zemene Kasse to give an interview on ESAT and expect us to believe them. If Zemene Kasse is free, prove it by allowing him to travel out of Eritrea. That will never happen because Zemene knows too much. They may, however, kill him and tell us that he was killed while fighting Woyanne.
According to ER’s investigation, Zemene is not the only Ginbot 7 Popular Force member in Eritrea who is under arrest. Ginbot 7 has more members in Shabia prison than out of prison. The 10 or so Ginbot 7 members in Eritrea who are not in prison spend their time doing farm work for Shabia, not receiving military training.
About 4 months ago, Zemene submitted his resignation and asked the Eritrean regime to let him leave, our sources informed us. He was denied exit. Then, when he started to complain about his detained friends who are held in a labor camp, Shabia brought him to Asmara and put him under arrest. Since Zemene is a high profile member of Ginbot 7, so far he has not been subjected to slave-like labor or torture by Shabia unlike the other Ginbot 7 members.
The ongoing cover up of Shabia’s crime against Ethiopians who went there believing that they will fight to liberate Ethiopia from TPLF is shameful and must stop. The call to Ethiopians to come to Eritrea to join opposition forces must also stop. It is all a sham. There is no genuine, independent Ethiopian opposition group in Eritrea that is fighting against Woyanne.
Listen to Zemene Kasse’s Sept. 16 interview with ESAT:
ESAT’s Feb. 2013 interview with Kemal Gelchu who is still under house arrest in Eritrea
Ginbot 7′s head of finance in Eritrea talks about what happened to him when he was there
Listen to ENTC radio program – September 16 News, Interviews, entertainment, etc Listen here (mp3) To listen by phone – 213-992-4363
The recently intensified land grabbing in the Gambela region in southwestern Ethiopia is causing deadly clashes and the displacement of thousands of people.
Thousands of people from Mezhenger Zone in Gambela, western Ethiopia, are currently fleeing to Tepi following deadly clashes with Federal Police. The above photos were sent to ER by an eyewitness.
The political indoctrination in Addis Ababa University was being conducted by TPLF/EPRDF spokesperson Redwan Hussien. The training or indoctrination involved accusations against popular Ethiopian personalities including Emperor Menilik, Teddy Afro and others, and fomenting hostilities between ethnic groups, particularly Amharas and Oromos. The AAU students have had enough of listening to Redwan Hussein’s crap and walked out.
I wish all of my weekly Ethiopian readers throughout the world a happy and prosperous Ethiopian New Year*. I join you joyfully in ringing in 2007 and ringing out 2006. For many of my Ethiopian readers in the United States, September 11 (Ethiopian New Year’s Day, Meskerem 1) is a festive day of celebration as […]
Kuwait is no more open to Ethiopians – male or female workers cannot enter the country. Such a decision is like labeling a nation with the mark of being killers and crazies that need to be banned in order to keep Kuwait safe and secure from possible threats.
The Ministry of Interior suspended the entry of all male and female Ethiopians workers since February because of the crime rate recorded among this nationality in terms of murder and theft.
Personally, I think such a decision is unfair and cruel. For example, if someone claims that all Muslims are terrorists because IS and bin Laden are Muslims or Jews are bad people because they are occupying Palestine and calling it the land of Israel, will that make sense to you? Because then all Muslims and Jewish will be no better than the Ethiopians, who have been labeled with similar allegations because some of their people committed crimes here and there.
If a Western country took a decision to prevent all Muslims from entering its land, wouldn’t that seem like discrimination? If these general opinions seem unbearable, then why do we treat others similarly? Most of these decisions are like undergoing surgery to avoid medications – a short cut but not necessarily the right one.
When an Ethiopian worker commits a crime, we treat this incident with fear and emotions. Yes, we feel sorry for the victims, but do not ponder if this is the whole story and on the truth behind this crime. No one seems to wonder if there was any kind of verbal abuse or maltreatment or harassment. Or if the accused person was given the opportunity to tell his/her side of the story.
When a crime occurs, most people tend to stand up like judges and make opinions in favor of the victims without knowing the whole truth! When someone labels a nation with the mistakes of some of its people, it becomes hard for them to live normally.
Verbal abuse is the worst here and widespread. Ethiopians are also humans. There is a cultural issue here because we bring maids from different cultures without realizing that it could be hard for them to accept the new culture easily.
I have lived long to believe that most new female workers are under pressure of homesickness, so an extra pressure – especially if it is a physical one – would surely turn them into a bomb ready to explode or make them fragile and desperate so they may harm others and kill themselves afterwards.
Another issue here that may lead to depression among maids, especially females, is that they are not given the right to have a day off or personal freedom to meet their friends. These matters seem trivial but not to these workers. If Kuwait is not welcoming them, they will still get welcomed in other parts of the world.
By Muna Al-Fuzai
Ato Shitaw Shiferraw was a successful businessman in South Africa. He was also an executive committee member of the Ethiopian community. Two years ago, he was recruited by Ginbot 7 to go to Eritrea and help with creating an armed force that would fight to liberate Ethiopia from the TPLF junta. Shitaw, who is a patriotic Ethiopian to his core, left his family and successful career, and traveled to Eritrea. Because of his high-level education and work ethics, he was selected to be the head of finance and administration for the now defunct "Ginbot 7 Popular Force" (it now exists only in name) that was being created in Eritrea. Because he insisted that the financial management of the organization be conducted according to the rules, he was sent to a Shabia prison, tortured and made to work like a slave for several months. Then he was taken to a Sudanese border town and dropped like a piece of trash. The Ethiopians he found there saved him, and he lived to tell his story. Shitaw survived because his friends in South Africa started to ask questions. Otherwise, he would have been murdered like many others who have no one to speak for them. How many more patriotic Ethiopians are we going to sacrifice in Eritrea for no good reason before we say enough? Listen below Shitaw Shiferraw’s horrific ordeal from his own mouth:
When Ethiopian Review reported about the arrest of General Kemal Gelchu of OLF in Feb. 2013, the same day ESAT interviewed him to show that he is not detained. Where is General Kemal now? He is still under house arrest. He is prevented from freely communicating with Ginbot 7 and other Ethiopian organizations except for propaganda purpose. The 700 soldiers under his command are wasting away in Asseb doing nothing. These days the demoralized and dispirited Gen. Kemal spends his days in a small house in Asmara. He is prevented from going more than 2 kilometers away from his house. Ginbot 7 wasted enormous resources, time and energy to forge an alliance with the Kemal faction of OLF. Shabia did not like such potentially powerful alliance between two Ethiopian groups and nipped it in the bud by placing Gen. Kemal under house arrest. Now we do not hear any talk of partnership between OLF and Ginbot 7 any more. The new drama is merger between Ginbot 7, TPDM and other groups that are hostages to the Eritrean regime. Next year, it will be another alliance or merger.
ESAT interview with Kemal Gelchu
Discussion about the much-touted but now failed OLF-Ginbot 7 alliance
Ginbot 7 – Kemal’s OLF joint meeting in Virginia
We have been informed this morning that Ginbot 7′s head of political affairs in Eritrea Zemene Kasse has been moved from Asmara to a military camp in Teseney today. He is ordered not to leave the camp.
An intense effort has been underway to get him released since the report of his arrest was released yesterday.
We will continue to update the report as we receive more information.
KEY NONVIOLENT WEAPONS
“If People do not Obey, Rulers cannot Rule; – thus Disobedience”
Destabilize the Regime through the Shrewd Use of:
1.0 Nonviolent Protest and Persuasion
2.0 Non Cooperation
2.1- Social Non cooperation
2.2- Economic Non cooperation: Economic Boycotts
2.3- Economic Boycotts : The Strike
2.4- Political Non cooperation
3.0 Nonviolent Intervention and Sabotage
KEY RULES OF ENGAGEMENT
Rule #1. Thou Shalt Not Commit Violence Against the General Public.
“Criminal acts intended or calculated to provoke a state of terror in the general public, a group of persons or particular persons for political purposes are in any circumstance unjustifiable.”The largest risk for a failure of discipline in a nonviolent movement is that some members may become violent. Therefore, nonviolent discipline—the ability of people to remain nonviolent, even in the face of provocations—is often continually instilled in participants. There are practical reasons for this. Violent incidents by members of a movement can dramatically reduce its legitimacy while giving the movement’s opponent an excuse to use repression. Furthermore, a movement that is consistently nonviolent has a far greater chance of appealing to a broad range of potential allies. Everyday citizens who are sitting on the sidelines are reluctant to participate in the violence.
Rule #2. Thou Shalt Not Commit Violence Against the Supporters of the Regime. (Pillars of Support)
Successful movements continually reach out to the tyrant’s supporters, understanding that one of the strengths of sustained civil resistance in the service of a unifying vision is the ability to induce loyalty shifts and defections among its opponent’s ranks. Instead of allowing your primitive “fight” response to take over, the most difficult obstacle is overcoming your negative emotions to be able to show them the right path forward for the country. A movement that is consistently nonviolent has a far greater chance of appealing to a broad range of regime’s pillars of support – through the course of its struggle.
Acts of civil disobedience, by individuals or groups, will gain more support if the behavior of the protestors is exemplary. The justification for non-violence i.e, avoiding crime, chaos and vandalism is not moral but strategic.
Learn more about eruption against repression here: http://www.tegbar.org/research/5083
Ato Zemene Kasse, the field representative of Ginbot 7 in Eritrea and head of political affairs, has been arrested by Shabia, according to Ethiopian Review sources.
It has been several days since Zemene had disappeared after having an argument with Eritrean intelligence agents about the detention of some young Ethiopians under his command who were recruited by Ato Andargachew Tsige and brought from Uganda and South Africa to Eritrea. Repeated request by him to get an answer for their arrest were ignored by Shabia. Then Zemene himself disappeared and one of his friends who is currently in Sudan confirmed to Ethiopian Review today that he is arrested.
Zemene is arrested simply for asking about the well-being of his comrades.
Shabia’s Eritrea has turned out to be a Bermuda Triangle for Ethiopian heroes such as Zemene, Andargachew, Tadesse, Fisseha, Getachew, Yoseph, Adane, Kassahun, and so many others.
2007-A year of decision by Yilma Bekele Happy New Year Ethiopia (መልካም እንቁጣጣሸ) Meskerem is a special month. We love and honor Meskerem so much that we name our children by it signifying a new beginning for the long journey ahead. Meskerem is the end of the rainy season and our high mountains and valleys […]
Backed by foreign aid, the TPLF junta is seizing land, demolishing homes, and cracking down on activists in a bid to expand the capital cityWednesday, September 10th, 2014
By Hilary Matfess | Foreign Policy In Focus
Yehun and Miriam have little hope for the future. “We didn’t do anything and they destroyed our house,” Miriam told me. “We are appealing to the mayor but there have been no answers. The government does not know where we live now, so it is not possible for them to compensate us even if they wanted.”
Like the other residents of Legetafo—a small, rural town about 20 kilometers from Addis Ababa—Yehun and Miriam are subsistence farmers. Or rather, they were, before government bulldozers demolished their home and the authorities confiscated their land. The government demolished 15 houses in Legetafo last July.
The farmers in the community stood in the streets, attempting to prevent the demolitions, but the protests were met with swift and harsh government repression. Many other Oromo families on the outskirts of Ethiopia’s bustling capital are now wondering whether their communities could be next.
These homes were demolished in order to implement what’s being called Ethiopia’s “Integrated Master Plan,” or IMP. The IMP has been heralded by its advocates as a bold modernization plan for the “Capital of Africa.”
The plan intends to integrate Addis Ababa with the surrounding towns in Oromia, one of the largest states in Ethiopia and home to the Oromo ethnic group—which, with about a third of the country’s population, is its largest single ethnic community. While the plan’s proponents consider the territorial expansion of the capital to be another example of what U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has called the country’s “terrific efforts” towards development, others argue that the plan favors a narrow group of ethnic elites while repressing the citizens of Oromia.
“At least two people were shot and injured,” according to Miriam, a 28-year-old Legetafo farmer whose home was demolished that day. “The situation is very upsetting. We asked to get our property before the demolition, but they refused. Some people were shot. Many were beaten and arrested. My husband was beaten repeatedly with a stick by the police while in jail.”
Yehun, a 20-year-old farmer from the town, says that the community was given no warning about the demolitions. “I didn’t even have time to change my clothes,” he says sheepishly. Yehun and his family walked 20 kilometers barefoot to Sendafa, where his extended family could take them in.
The Price of Resistance
Opponents of the plan have been met with fierce repression. “The Integrated Master Plan is a threat to Oromia as a nation and as a people,” Fasil states as a matter of fact, leaning forward in a scuffed hotel armchair. Reading from notes scribbled on a sheet of loose-leaf notebook paper, the hardened student activist continues: “The plan would take away territory from Oromia,” depriving the region of tax revenue and political representation, “and is a cultural threat to the Oromo people living there.”
A small scar above Fasil’s eye, his deafness in one ear, and a lingering gastrointestinal disease picked up in prison testify to Fasil’s commitment to the cause. His injuries come courtesy of the police brutality he encountered during the four-year prison sentence he served after he was arrested for protesting for Oromo rights in high school and, more recently, against the Integrated Master Plan at Addis Ababa University.
Fasil is just one of the estimated thousands of students that were detained during university protests against the Integrated Master Plan. Though Fasil was beaten, electrocuted, and harassed while he was imprisoned last May, he considers himself lucky. “We know that 62 students were killed and 125 are still missing,” he confides in a low voice.
The students ground their protests in Ethiopia’s federal constitution. “We are merely asking that the government abide by the constitution,” Fasil explains, arguing that the plan violates at least eight constitutional provisions. In particular, the students claim that the plan violates Article 49(5), which protects “the special interest of the State of Oromia in Addis Ababa” and gives the district the right to resist federal incursions into “administrative manners.”
Moreover, the plan presents a tangible threat to the people living in Oromia. Fasil and other student protestors claimed that the Integrated Master Plan “would allow the city to expand to a size that would completely cut off West Oromia from East Oromia.” When the plan is fully implemented, an estimated 2 million farmers will be displaced. “These farmers will have no other opportunities,” Fasil tells me. “We have seen this before when the city grew. When they lose their land, the farmers will become day laborers or beggars.”
Winners and Losers
The controversy highlights the disruptive and often violent processes that can accompany economic growth. “What is development, after all?” Fasil asks me.
Ethiopia’s growth statistics are some of the most impressive in the region. Backed by aid from the U.S. government, the Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF), the country’s ruling coalition, is committed to modernizing agricultural production and upgrading the country’s economy. Yet there is a lack of consensus about which processes should be considered developmental.
Oromo activists allege that their community has borne a disproportionate share of the costs of development. Advocates like Fasil argue that the “development” programs of the EPRDF are simply a means of marginalizing the Oromo people to consolidate political power within the ruling coalition.
“Ethiopia has a federalism based on identity and language,” a political science professor that works on human rights explains. Nine distinct regions are divided along ethnic lines and are theoretically granted significant autonomy from the central government under the 1994 constitution. In practice, however, the regions are highly dependent upon the central government for revenue transfers and food security, development, and health programs. Since the inception of Ethiopia’s ethno-regional federalism, the Oromo have been resistant to incorporation in the broader Ethiopian state and suspicious of the intentions of the Tigray ethnic group—the country’s second-largest—which dominates the EPRDF.
As the 2015 elections approach, the Integrated Master Plan may provide a significant source of political mobilization. “The IMP is part of a broader conflict in Ethiopia,” the professor explains, “over identity, power, and political freedoms.”
Standing in Gullele Botanic Park last May, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry was effusive about the partnership between the United States and Ethiopia, praising the Ethiopian government’s “terrific support in efforts not just with our development challenges and the challenges of Ethiopia itself, but also…the challenges of leadership on the continent and beyond.”
Kerry’s rhetoric is matched by a significant amount of American financial support. In 2013, the United States allocated over $619 million in foreign assistance in the country, making it one of the largest recipients of U.S. aid on the continent. According to USAID, Ethiopia is “the linchpin to stability in the Horn of Africa and the Global War on Terrorism.”
Kerry asserted that “the United States could be a vital catalyst in this continent’s continued transformation.” Yet if “transformation” entails land seizures, home demolitions, and political repression, then it’s worth questioning just what kind of development American taxpayers are subsidizing.
The American people must wrestle with the implications of U.S. “development assistance” programs and the thin line between modernization and marginalization in countries like Ethiopia. Though the U.S. government has occasionally expressed concern about the oppressive tendencies of the Ethiopian regime, few demands for reform have accompanied the aid levied.
For the EPRDF, the process of expanding Addis Ababa is integral to the modernization of Ethiopia and the opportunities inherent to development. For the Oromo people, the Integrated Master Plan represents a political and cultural threat. For the residents of Legetafo, the demolition of their homes demonstrates the uncertainty of life in a rapidly changing country.
Hilary Matfess is a graduate student at the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies in Washington, DC, where she focuses on politics, development, and security in Sub-Saharan Africa.
Ethiopia’s active mobile phone penetration rate remains well below Sub-Saharan Africa’s average – researchWednesday, September 10th, 2014
Mobile communications markets in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and Ethiopia face challenges due to lack of competition, poor economic conditions and limited infrastructure availability, says a new report from Frost & Sullivan.
Additionally, mobile operators in these markets are largely focusing on subscriber acquisition and network expansion for voice services. This causes delay in the rollout of advanced networks such as Long Term Evolution (LTE) compared to other developed market, the report said.
The two markets earned revenues of $1.78 billion in 2013 which is expected to reach $3.27 billion by 2018, says a new report from Frost & Sullivan.
While population densities of both countries are among the highest in Sub-Saharan Africa, their active mobile penetration rates in 2013 were 36.4 percent and 24.1 percent respectively, well below Sub-Saharan Africa’s average of 61 percent, the research said.
The markets will see substantial growth in the next three to five years, mainly driven by the growing infrastructure investment in the region.
Data services and mobile money solutions are the key drivers of the market. Data revenue will be driven by the proliferation of low-cost mobile devices and the growing popularity of social media platforms. Mobile money will gain prominence as the number of Ethiopia and DRC’s unbanked populations have prompted their respective governments to place financial inclusion at the forefront of their socio-economic plans.
“While voice is still by far the dominant contributor to service revenue, data services and mobile money solutions are expected to fuel growth in the long term,” said Frost & Sullivan Information & Communication Technologies Research Analyst Lehlohonolo Mokenela.
Frost & Sullivan also finds that the growth of Ethiopia’s mobile communications market has been mostly been limited by a lack of competition; state-owned Ethio Telecoms is still the only provider in the market owing to tight regulatory protection.
Upon the completion of the country’s Growth and Transformation Plan (GTP), it is expected that the regulator will gradually open the market to competitors, Mokenela added.
In order to grow customer base in rural areas, mobile operators need to consider cost-effective network expansion strategies in the DRC, added Mokenela. “Leveraging infrastructure-sharing models and using hybrid base stations can help operators lower their operational site costs and mitigate the country’s intermittent electricity supply.”
Commonsense advise with a twist of humor on how to deal with American police – Comedian Chris Rock (video)Wednesday, September 10th, 2014
Ethiopian Review’s explosive article on Monday about the abduction of Andargachew Tsige had prompted me to dig for more information, instead of just asking questions. While I was doing keyword searches, I stumbled upon some thing that took me by total surprise. The following statement about Eritrea was made in 2008 by none other than the current head of Ginbot 7′s Public Relations Department:
I wonder what in the “Hell” Asmara has to do with the likely outcome of political events in Ethiopia. Isn’t Asmara the home of Esayas Afewerke, a man who never sleeps before he makes sure that Ethiopia is reduced to multiple mini states?Had there been an inch thick of a heart that worries for Ethiopia under the chest of Essays, Asmara wouldn’t have opened its door for separatist elements that fight to dismantle Ethiopia…
This is Ginbot 7′s chief spokesperson talking! Wow!
The chief spokesperson goes on to say this:
If there is anything that the opposition gets from Asmara today, it will definitely be paid back at an exorbitantly high price tomorrow. The question of Assab, Bademe, Tsorena, and other border areas that I can’t even name are issues that face the current opposition in the future when it assumes power. If we believe that Esayas is willing to raise a lion that may ultimately devour him, we’re not just lying through our teeth, but we are also simplifying very complex national issues.
I am shocked. I can’t believe such things came out of the mouth of Ginbot 7′s spokesperson. How could the same person turn around and become the chief defender of the Eritrean government now?
You may read the full article here on Ethiomedia: http://www.ethiomedia.com/all/6113.html