Posts Tagged ‘ethio’

On this day: 39 years ago Emperor HaileSelassie passed away

Wednesday, August 27th, 2014

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

[Click here to see the Emperor Haileselassie photo gallery]

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Lost Touch With Subjects

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

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

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

‘Preserving’ Progress

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Guarded by Lions

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

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

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

Leader in Africa

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

‘Jaws of a Lion’

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

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

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

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

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

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

Coup Thwarted

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

‘Morality at Stake’

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Mutiny During Absence

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

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

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

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

Source: … /0723.html

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

Wednesday, August 27th, 2014


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

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

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

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

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

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

- ‘In trouble without work’ -

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

- ‘Social addiction’ -

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Almaz Gebremedhin’s heart-warming story (video)

Wednesday, August 27th, 2014
phpBB [video]

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

Tuesday, August 26th, 2014

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

Addis Ababa commercial sex workers – a photographer’s diary

Monday, August 25th, 2014

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













Michael Tsegaye’s other photography works can be seen here:

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

Monday, August 25th, 2014

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

[TPLF intelligence chief Debretsion Gebremichael]

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Source: … in-garissa

Tanzania police arrests 48 Ethiopians hiding in a forest

Monday, August 25th, 2014

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

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

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

Source: … nze-forest

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

Monday, August 25th, 2014

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

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

Sunday, August 24th, 2014


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

Hard truth about Ferguson, Missouri (video)

Sunday, August 24th, 2014

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

Sunday, August 24th, 2014

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

The perils of outsourcing the fight for freedom

Sunday, August 24th, 2014

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

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

Saturday, August 23rd, 2014

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

Saturday, August 23rd, 2014

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

Friday, August 22nd, 2014

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


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

By Caroline Knowles, Friday 22 August 2014

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The first Afaan Oromo dictionary by Memhir HabteSelassie

Friday, August 22nd, 2014

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

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

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

Anyways, here is the the first Oromo-Amharic dictionary, it starts @ page 309 … %88%9B.pdf

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

Friday, August 22nd, 2014

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

Power and electoral politics in Ethiopia

By Elise Dufief

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

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

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

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

Teddy Afro new single – Be Seba Dereja (video)

Friday, August 22nd, 2014

teddy afro

Privatization and its challenges in Ethiopia

Friday, August 22nd, 2014

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The author is graduate student at John Hopkins University.

Access Capital S.E … pia%20.pdf

Bloomberg News … llion.html

BBC News:

The Reporter … n-from-cbe

Commercial Bank of Ethiopia


IMF- Ethiopia—Enhanced Structural Adjustment Facility

Privatization Database: … 85,00.html

Reuters, Ethiopia, Saudi firm sign gold extraction deal: … L520091124

Institution of Developing Economies Johan External Organization … pia05.html

XAU/USD Historical Data … rical-data

US Embassy- Addis Ababa: … ation.html

United States Geological Survey … 011-et.pdf

Wikileaks US Embassy Cable … A82_a.html

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

Thursday, August 21st, 2014

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

New charges against Ethiopian publications further diminish critical voices – CPJ

Thursday, August 21st, 2014


By Tom Rhodes/CPJ East Africa Representative

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

[Reporting from Nairobi] … urther.php

Map of Countries With Patients Tested For Ebola

Thursday, August 21st, 2014

ImageInternational Association For Medical Assistance to Travellers


The map indicates that Kenya and Ethiopia have people tested for Ebola, yet there are no confirmed cases.

Here are the 35 countries one flight away from Ebola-affected countries
Image … countries/

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

Wednesday, August 20th, 2014

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


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

EFF Team

August 19, 2014 | By Nate Cardozo

Here’s the US court’s document (PDF) … sition.pdf

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

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

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

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

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

In celebration of Emperor Menelik II’s 180th Birthday

Tuesday, August 19th, 2014

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

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Melkam Buhe – Hoya hoye (video)

Tuesday, August 19th, 2014

Why surveillance companies hate the iPhone: Wash Post

Tuesday, August 19th, 2014

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

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

Tuesday, August 19th, 2014

starting from 1:07:00 you will find the secret audio recording
The rest is mostly Ermias Legesse exposing the inner workings of woyane tigrays. This guy with his interviews and his book left woyane tigrays exposed like no one else. Om my god. … 14-part-2/

ENTC weekly radio program – August 18

Monday, August 18th, 2014

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

Flood paralyzes poorly constructed Addis Ababa roads (video)

Monday, August 18th, 2014

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

From an Ethiopian village to Deputy Mayor of Tel Aviv

Monday, August 18th, 2014


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

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

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Source: … -journeys/

My Commentary on My Commentaries

Sunday, August 17th, 2014

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

አእምሮ – The first modern newspaper in an African language

Sunday, August 17th, 2014

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


Kenya bans contact with Ebola-affected countries

Sunday, August 17th, 2014

The Guardian, Sunday 17 August 2014
Mark Tran

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

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

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

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

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

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

Saturday, August 16th, 2014

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

PM Hailemariam Desalegn enrolls daughter at Columbia University in New York

Saturday, August 16th, 2014

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

Breathtaking panoramic view of Ethiopia’s Semien Mountains

Saturday, August 16th, 2014

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

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

Thursday, August 14th, 2014

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

Hailemariam Desalegn’s threat and reaction of Eritreans on the social media: … 6863551915

My visit to Tikur Anbessa Hospital in Addis Ababa

Thursday, August 14th, 2014

By Amy Walters, NPR

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

ENTC weekly radio program – August 13

Thursday, August 14th, 2014

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

85 percent of Ethiopians never see a doctor (video)

Wednesday, August 13th, 2014
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By Anders Kelto

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Source: … -being-cut

Ethiopia’s “Terrorist” Bloggers

Wednesday, August 13th, 2014


By Adam Bemma

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

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

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

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

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

Ethiopian Airlines continues to fly to Ebola countries

Monday, August 11th, 2014

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

China using children on construction projects in Ethiopia (photos)

Monday, August 11th, 2014

Addis Ababa

Chinese road construction project in Tigray using child labor
Shire to Aksum road, northern Ethiopia:



Gezhouba Corporation construction depot in Axum

Debunking the Myth of Development and Investment in Africa

Sunday, August 10th, 2014

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

Black-on-black apartheid in Ethiopia

Sunday, August 10th, 2014

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

UDJ and AEUP acting foolish

Sunday, August 10th, 2014

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

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

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

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

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

Saturday, August 9th, 2014

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

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

Saturday, August 9th, 2014




Obama’s genocide [warning: graphic images]

Saturday, August 9th, 2014

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

ISIS troops massacre Shiites and Christians





Tale of Ethiopia’s two minister d’états

Friday, August 8th, 2014

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ethiopia’s spectacular lava lake in high definition video

Friday, August 8th, 2014

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

Where is Hailemariam Desalegn hiding?

Friday, August 8th, 2014

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thursday, August 7th, 2014

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

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

Thursday, August 7th, 2014

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

Bravo Ethiopians! This is what chigaram Woyannes deserve!

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The noose tightens on Ethiopian press – The Economist

Thursday, August 7th, 2014

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

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

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

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

Source: … cosh-noose

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

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

Thursday, August 7th, 2014 President Obama’s troubling dinner party

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

But that message has dismayed traditional advocates of human rights.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thursday, August 7th, 2014

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

Are African Strongmen Being Chosen Over African Civil Society?

Wednesday, August 6th, 2014

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

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

Wednesday, August 6th, 2014

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


አራዳ ፍርድ ቤት ዛሬ እንዲህ ሆነ

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Poorly constructed Addis Ababa roads falling apart

Wednesday, August 6th, 2014

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








No safety mesh for pedestrians


Main roads flooded frequently



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Barack Obama is bafflingly late to the Africa party

Wednesday, August 6th, 2014

Barack Obama is bafflingly late to the Africa party

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wednesday, August 6th, 2014

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

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

Wednesday, August 6th, 2014

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

ENTC Weekly Radio Program – August 5

Wednesday, August 6th, 2014

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

U.S.-Africa Mass Murderers Summit

Tuesday, August 5th, 2014


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

Originally posted on

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

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

ENTC’s clear cut solution for Ethiopia’s crisis

Tuesday, August 5th, 2014

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

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

Monday, August 4th, 2014

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

This is how the U.S.-Africa Summit started on Monday.
Forward the video to 1:04:00

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

Monday, August 4th, 2014

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

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

Monday, August 4th, 2014

Evicted Amhara farmers in southern Ethiopia cry for justice

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

Monday, August 4th, 2014

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

UK summoned Woyanne ambassdor over detention of British national

Monday, August 4th, 2014

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

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

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

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

Source: … h-national

The Ethiopians and their leaders

Monday, August 4th, 2014

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

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

Monday, August 4th, 2014

State tuned for more videos and photos

August 4, 2014

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What is the Value of American Values in Africa?

Monday, August 4th, 2014

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

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

Monday, August 4th, 2014

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

Obang Metho’s Letter to the Chairman of the TPLF

Sunday, August 3rd, 2014

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

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

Saturday, August 2nd, 2014 … Zsa3g2diJ9

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

European Union lip-service on atrocities in Ethiopia – shameful

Saturday, August 2nd, 2014


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

Friday, August 1st, 2014

Patriotic Ethiopians in Los Angeles confront Chigaram Woyannes

Video #1

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Video 2

European children sing Ethiopian Orthodox Church song (video)

Friday, August 1st, 2014

European children sing Ethiopian Orthodox Church song

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

Friday, August 1st, 2014

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

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

Friday, August 1st, 2014

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

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

Thursday, July 31st, 2014

Join the brave Ethiopians in Los Angeles tomorrow. Repeat the Houston victory.

What Will Ethiopians of Tomorrow Inherit from Us?

Wednesday, July 30th, 2014

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

Federal Police swarm Eid al-Fitr celebration in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia – photo

Wednesday, July 30th, 2014

Thousands of Federal Police troops were seen swarming through the crowd during the Eid al-Fitr celebration in Addis Ababa on Monday.

ENTC Weekly Radio Program – July 29

Wednesday, July 30th, 2014

Listen to ENTC radio program – July 29 News, Interviews, entertainment, etc Listen here (mp3) To listen by phone – 213-992-4363

Brave Ethiopians confront TPLF puppets in Houston; Hailemariam failed to show up – photos, videos

Tuesday, July 29th, 2014

PM Hailemariam Desalegn failed to show up in Houston. In his place, another TPLF puppet, fake president Mulatu Teshome was scheduled to come, but he is not there yet as of 7:30 PM EST. The protest is just starting. Stay tuned for more updates.




Ebola outbreak put a number of countries in lockdown; Nigeria on “red alert”

Tuesday, July 29th, 2014

The worst Ebola outbreak in history has put a number of countries in West Africa in lockdown, led to the deaths of nearly 700 people since February and brought new reports of doctors, including Americans, contracting the virus they are attempting to contain. The situation is undeniably scary.

How bad is the outbreak?

Bad — very, very bad. It’s concentrated in three small West African states: Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea, where reports of Ebola infections first emerged in February. The outbreak has claimed more than 670 lives and, worryingly, infected medical personnel attempting to stop its spread. A prominent Liberian physician died Sunday.

What’s particularly scary, though, was the recent death of a Liberian man in Lagos, the bustling coastal mega-city in Nigeria, Africa’s most populous country. The man, a consultant for the Liberian government, had traveled from Liberia through an airport in Lome, the capital of Togo, before arriving in Nigeria. The hospital where he died is under lockdown, and the WHO has sent teams to Togo and Nigeria. CONTINUE READING >> … e-worried/

California Congressman demands the release of Andargachew Tsige

Monday, July 28th, 2014

WASHINGTON – Rep. Dana Rohrabacher on Monday urged Ethiopia’s prime minister to release Andargachew Tsige, a native-born opposition leader with British citizenship who last month was extradited to the African nation from Yemen under questionable circumstances.

In a letter to Prime Minister Hailemarian Desalegn, the California Republican wrote: “Mr. Andargachew is a British citizen and a leader for political reform in Ethiopia. He should be released and allowed to return to his family immediately. Any maltreatment or harm to him, or other prodemocracy activists, in your country only serves to widen the gap between our two countries.”

Andargachew was traveling from Dubai to Eritrea on June 23 when, stopping over in Yemen, he was forcibly flown back to Ethiopia, which he fled in 2005 following protests of the nation’s elections. He was granted asylum in Britain, where his wife currently lives. British officials have expressed concerns that his extradition was not properly handled.

The activist was charged with terrorism and sentenced to death in absentia. In his letter to the Ethiopian prime minister, Rohrabacher added concerns from the United States. His letter follows: >> … n-leader-0

The poisoning of Ethiopia’s Lake Koka: One of the many devastating outcomes when a country is run by idiots (Ye Denkoro Mengist)

Monday, July 28th, 2014
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The destruction of Ethiopia’s Lake Koka (video)

Monday, July 28th, 2014

Originally aired on Al Jazeera

Nigerian commentator Adeola accuses Ethiopian regime of terrorizing its people

Monday, July 28th, 2014


4 Ethiopian athletes missing in the U.S.

Monday, July 28th, 2014

Runners from around the world compete at the IAAF World Junior Championships in Eugene (Thomas Boyd/The Oregonian)

In Oregon USA Four members of an Ethiopian track team were reported missing Saturday morning in Eugene where they competed in the IAAF World Junior Championships.

“The individuals left campus ahead of the rest of the team,” said Julie Brown, University of Oregon spokeswoman.

The Ethiopian region is under intense political upheaval, and athletes seeking asylum from unstable areas have historically used athletic tournaments to leave their country. Asked whether that was the case for the Ethiopians, Brown said she did not know why they left and could not confirm they were seeking asylum.

Brown said detectives are looking for the four but are not concerned for their safety. Rather, they want to make direct contact to confirm they are OK.

“At this point we don’t have reason to believe that these individuals are in harm’s way,” she said.

The University of Oregon Police Department is leading a missing persons investigation with assistance from theEugene Police Department, and Brown said law enforcement agencies statewide have been notified.

Portland FBI Spokeswoman Beth Anne Steele said the agency was aware of the situation and was acting in a supporting role, without clarifying.

It is the first time the University of Oregon has hosted the IAAF World Junior Championships, which includes with athletes from 170 countries, Brown said.

The missing runners include a 17-year-old boy and three women believed to be between ages 18 to 20.

Ethiopians at the track meet declined, throughout the team doctor, to speak to a reporter from The Oregonian.

If the four are seeking asylum, the process is a long one that starts with an application available online, said attorney Anna Ciesielski of the Oregon Immigration Group.

“They’re likely to be here lawfully depending on their visa (for the track competition),” Ciesielski said.

After they apply for asylum, they will continue to be in the United States legally until their case is resolved.

“It’s definitely months in the making,” Cielsielski said.

Those seeking asylum must be fingerprinted and go through a criminal background check before the Office of Asylum in San Francisco sends a representative to Portland to interview them, she said.

If a person is denied, they can present their case in federal immigration court for a second assessment.

Asylum seekers are more common on the East Coast than in Oregon, Cielsielski said.

“It’s really hard to get to the U.S., and you can’t file for asylum outside the country,” she said.

As for their chances to be granted asylum, Cielsielski said it’s difficult for people from many countries, but Ethiopians and Somalis “have a pretty decent chance.”

Cirque d’Afrique: 2014 U.S-Africa Leaders Summit

Monday, July 28th, 2014

    The African Circus is coming to town. It is officially called “U.S-Africa Leadership Summit” (not Ringling African Brothers). It is scheduled to be held on August 5-6 in Washington D.C.  The theme of the “Summit” is “Investing in the Next Generation”. According to the pre-Summit hype, in the first ever “U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit, African […]

Bereket Simon is critically ill and receiving treatment at Bugshan Hospital in Saudi Arabia

Sunday, July 27th, 2014

Bereket Simon, a senior member of the ruling party in Ethiopia and an adviser to Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn, has been admitted to Bugshan Hospital in Saudi Arabia. According to Ethiopian Review sources, he is critically ill but in a stable condition. A representative of Bugshan Hospital told Ethiopian Review that Ato Bereket is […]

TPLF releases another propaganda video on Andargachew Tsige; sound of torture is heard in the background

Sunday, July 27th, 2014

TPLF releases another propaganda video on Andargachew Tsige; sound of torture is heard in the backgr

Ethiopian Heritage Festival Kicks off Tonight in Silver Spring, Maryland

Friday, July 25th, 2014

The Ethiopian Heritage Society in North America (EHSNA) 4th annual summer festival will officially start tonight, July 25th, 2014 at 6pm at the Silver Spring Civic Building. The much anticipated 4th Annual Festival is a showcase of a variety of cultural and social activities. Dignitaries, Guests of Honor and community leaders will grace the three-day event which is open for the public.

Mr. Obang Metho will be the keynote speakers at the kick-off ceremony that will be held tonight between 6pm and 10pm at 1 Veterans Pl, Silver Spring, MD 20910.Captain Guta Dinka( also known as “ The Savior of Nelson Mandela” and Captain Mamo Habtewold, an Ethiopian Veteran of the Korean War, and will also be in attendance.

In addition to entertainment, art, music and soccer, the three-day event includes a panel discussion on Ethiopian customs and traditions and kids programs. The Panel Discussion will be held on Saturday, July 26, 2014 from 12:00 pm to 2 pm at The Residence Inn by Marriott in Rosslyn, 1651 Oak Street, Arlington, VA 22209.

Fetawrari Mekonnen Dorie, Mr. Obang Metho and Fekade Shewakena will be the panelists. Dr. Shakespear Feyissa (Esq.) and Yeshitela Araya will facilitate the panel discussion.

On Saturday July 26th, the field show starts at noon (12:00 pm) at Georgetown University (GTU) Multi-Sport Field where free parking is available. We will have sports, entertainment (Ethiopian cultural music), and activities for kids. Our vendors will serve your needs be it with food or dry goods.
On the closing day, Sunday, July 27th, the show starts at noon at GTU Multi-Sport field. We will be featuring full band Reggae and Ethiopian music with prominent singers, such as Tigist Fantahun, Tsegaye Eshetu, Mahari Degefaw, Seyoum Moges and Shambel Belayneh.

For more information and to check our past events, please check our website If you have questions or concerns you can send us an email at

Fighting broke out at an EPRDF security meeting; 2 agents from Amhara region killed

Friday, July 25th, 2014

On Monday this week, the ruling junta in Ethiopia, Tigray People Liberation Front (TPLF), summoned intelligence officers from different regions of the country for a meeting in Addis Ababa. On the second day of the meeting, deputy security chief Isayas Woldegiorgis started berating agents who came from the Amhara region, accusing them of being double agents, leaking state secrets to opposition media, and ignoring orders. He also showered them with insults. He called them "fandiya" (horse dung), "[deleted]" (prostitute), "shintam," "niftam," to mention just a few of the insults he hurled at the agents. Some of the agents have had enough and when they started to talk back to Isayas, the meeting erupted into a shouting match. At this point, Isayas’ bodyguards approached two of the more vocal ones and shot them at point-blank range. Both agents, who came from the Amhara region, died on the scene, according to Ethiopian Review’s source. Isayas left right after the shooting and the TPLF agents, who were the only ones allowed to carry weapons, dispersed the meeting.

TPLF has a slave-master type relationship with the other members of the EPRDF "coalition," but recently OPDO and ANDM are showing some signs of independence.

A Remarkable Story of Fates Intertwined: Ethiopia’s Captain Guta Dinka and South Africa’s Nelson Mandela

Friday, July 25th, 2014

Though it doesn’t happen often, it’s not so rare that the action of one individual changes the course of history. One example would involve an Ethiopian soldier of great character, Captain Guta Dinka, and Nelson Mandela, South Africa’s freedom fighter and most important leader.

The story of these two individuals involves diplomatic intrigue, the support of Emperor Haile Selassie, secret operations, and the strength of an Ethiopian soldier choosing the high love of liberty rather than the low hatefulness of bribes and assassination.

In early 1962, Nelson Mandela had left South Africa and journeyed to Ethiopia. Though Mandela wasn’t widely known to the world at the time, the Ethiopian Emperor Haile Selassie sensed the importance of the young man in the growing cause to throw off the yoke of European colonialism and asserting the right of African nations to govern themselves.

Having slipped silently from South Africa, the young Mandela had no traveling or citizenship documents, so the Emperor Selassie gave him an Ethiopian passport and made it so his credentials indicated that he was a journalist. The passport credentials that the Emperor gave to Mandela offered another degree of safety: the man pictured in the passport was given the name David Motsamayi, an old friend of Mandela. He now had an alias.

Mandela used his Ethiopian passport to journey to other African countries in an effort to drum up money and moral support for African National Congress (ANC), the opposition political party formed to demand equal rights from the white apartheid government in South Africa. That government had also put a bounty on Mandela’s head.

Mr. Mandela did not go to Ethiopia just to gain travel papers from a supportive emperor; he also wanted to learn the skills of being a soldier, especially one honed in the arts of guerrilla warfare. The political situation was growing more tense in his native land and Mandela was considering the thought that the majority people of South Africa would possibly have to physically fight for their freedom and self-governance.

The emperor dispatched Mandela to one of the Ethiopian army’s training units. At the time, Ethiopia had the largest and most skilled army on the African continent. The Ethiopian officer at his training unit did not know the true identity of the new person under their command, but they did know that he was someone special.

In fact, some of the officer had been ordered by the emperor to watch over him, so that no harm would come to him. One member of that officer was Captain Guta Dinka. Captain Dinka was told not to approach Mandela or try to discover his true identity – just to watch him from afar and keep him safe.

During his eight weeks of training, many of those with whom he trained, even his instructors, could not help but recognize Mandela’s strength and charming nature. One of those instructors was Colonel Fekade Wakene. "He was extremely tough, extremely vigilant, intelligent and lovable. So lovable," said Colonel Wakene as he was being interviewed after the recent death of Mandela.

While Mandela was in Ethiopia for military training, somehow two spies, one white and one black, from the white apartheid government in South Africa, had learned of his location. His cover was blown. The spies had been watching the training camp for some time and learned the schedule, the comings and goings, and the mealtimes of the personnel at the camp. They also noted that one of the soldiers had easy access to Mandela, that being Captain Dinka.

The two spies approached the captain. They offered him 2,000 British pounds, a great deal of money for those times, to use a garrote and strangle the young Mandela. He neither agreed nor disagreed to accept their offer, telling them to come back later. The following day, Captain Dinka
reported to his commanding officer and told of the two spies and the offer of the bounty money to kill Mandela.

Soon thereafter the two spies were rounded up and arrested. Then they were hauled before an Ethiopian judge and ultimately thrown out of the country. International law at the time would not allow harsher treatment since no murder had occurred.

Considering the amount of money he had been offered, and because of his access to Mr. Mandela, Captain Dinka probably would have been able to get away with the strangulation and would have made himself a rich man as well. A man of lesser character than Captain Dinka would probably have accepted the money and done the job.

Captain Dinka was at a pivot point in history. The fate of South Africa, Ethiopia, perhaps even the world, were in Captain Dinka’s hands, not to mention the life of Mandela himself. The ripple effect of Mandela’s death at that time would be hard to imagine. Captain Dinka’s act may seem simple, but that is one of the reasons it is so great. His fealty to duty, honor, and integrity changed the course of history.

Though Mandela was supposed to train with the Ethiopian army for six months, after eight weeks he was called back to South Africa by his ANC party. The situation between the apartheid government and the ANC had become explosive and they needed Mandela’s leadership. Mandela was imprisoned soon after his return to South Africa and the rest is history.

Sometimes people can learn history by listening to someone who was actually present during a pivotal time in the past. Captain Guta Dinka, a tall and fit man of good character, will be coming to the Washington D.C. area to share his stories about Mandela and that crucial time in the African past.

Captain Dinka will be one of the featured speakers at the fourth annual Ethiopian Heritage Festival opening Friday July 25th 2014 at 06:00PM at Veterans Plaza in the Silver Spring Civic Building in Maryland. The event is open for public