(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…
Posts Tagged ‘ethiopia’
By Tom Rhodes/CPJ East Africa Representative
Five independent magazines and a weekly newspaper have been charged by Ethiopia’s Justice Ministry, a move that may add to the long lists of shuttered publications and Ethiopian journalists in exile. In a press release issued August 4, the ministry accused the journals of publishing false information, inciting violence, and undermining public confidence in the government, news reports said.
The ministry said it pressed charges after running out of patience with the publications for "encouraging radicalism and terrorism." The state broadcaster aired the ministry’s announcement, but none of the publications received the charge sheet, local journalists told me. The six independent publications are Afro Times, a weekly newspaper, and magazines Addis Guday, Enku, Fact, Jano, and Lomi. All are popular alternatives to the state-run press, which espouses an increasingly positive narrative. Local journalists and news reports said the charges could be a way for the ruling party to silence critics ahead of elections expected in May 2015.
Repeated calls to the Justice Ministry and a government spokesman went unanswered.
The ministry’s charges are not unexpected. In February, the pro-government Ethiopian Press Agency, a state-controlled news wire, conducted a study analyzing the content of the publications and concluded they were responsible for inciting violence and upholding opposition viewpoints, according to local news reports. Many local journalists at the time said they feared the study would be used as a pretext to target the publications later. "It’s a strategy the government uses when they want to stop a newspaper," Habtamu Seyoum, an editor at popular magazine Addis Guday, told me by phone. "They will prepare an article claiming that a journalist or media house should be closed. The next step is to jail or close the media house; it’s done as a sort of formality."
The Justice Ministry’s charges reflect a trend of authorities silencing critical media. Since 2009, the government has banned or suspended at least one critical independent publication per year, according to CPJ research.
Addis Guday stopped publishing on August 9. Several staff went into exile shortly after the government announcement, fearing imminent arrest. CPJ research shows their fears are likely justified. "We had police surrounding our offices, insults printed by the government press, constant phone threats–and now [these charges]. It was just too much," Addis Guday Deputy Editor Ibrahim Shafi told CPJ. A week before the staff members fled, police raided their offices twice in one week, ostensibly to investigate financial records, he said.
The country’s politicized justice system coupled with the ruling party’s near zero-tolerance approach to criticism has led a steady flow of journalists to flee the country. CPJ has directly assisted at least 41 journalists fleeing Ethiopia since 2009, and the total number of exiles is likely higher. Those who have fallen out of favor with authorities, whether from independent or state media, feel exile or imprisonment are their only options.
Authorities arrested another Addis Guday editor, Asmamaw Hailegeorgis, in April on terrorism charges, and arrested photojournalist Aziza Mohamed in July on vague accusations of incitement. Ethiopian authorities have a penchant for sentencing journalists to jail after presenting charges, no matter how spurious the charges may be. Data collected from the registrar of Ethiopia’s Federal High Court suggest 95 percent of journalists accused by authorities are found guilty, according to TrialTrackerBlog.org, which publishes news about detained journalists in Ethiopia.
Lomi ("Lemon") failed to print on August 8 and is unlikely to do so again, local journalists told me, because printers fear publishing anything that has fallen out of the ruling party’s favor. Last month, police searched Lomi’s offices and accused the staff of working without a license, a charge they denied, local journalists said.
According to the state-run Addis Admas, all but one of the magazines failed to publish recently.
A court in the capital, Addis Ababa, summoned the general managers of three publications–Fact, Addis Guday, and Lomi–on August 13, but only the general manager of Lomi appeared, according to news reports. Local journalists told CPJ they expect the other three publications to be summoned to court soon.
CPJ was not able to reach journalists from Afro Times, Enku, Fact, or Jano.
If these publications close down due to this latest government challenge, Ethiopia’s meager circulation of weekly independent publications–roughly 60,000 for a population of 90 million people–will decrease further. There is only one television station, run by the state, and out of five radio stations, three are staunchly pro-government. The state-run telecommunications company is the sole Internet service provider for a country with the second lowest Internet penetration rates in sub-Saharan Africa, according to the International Telecommunication Union. With limited independent voices, voters’ access to critical news sources and informed debate ahead of Ethiopia’s May 2015 elections may be negligible. The ruling party would probably not want it any other way.
[Reporting from Nairobi]
http://www.cpj.org/blog/2014/08/new-cha … urther.php
International 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
The rule of law must prevail over the law of the Dedeb’it jungle
EFF to Ethiopia: Illegal Wiretapping Is Illegal, Even for Governments
August 19, 2014 | By Nate Cardozo
Here’s the US court’s document (PDF)
https://www.eff.org/files/2014/08/19/ki … sition.pdf
Earlier this week, EFF told the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia that Ethiopia must be held accountable for its illegal wiretapping of an American citizen. Foreign governments simply do not have a get-out-of-court-free card when they commit serious felonies in America against Americans. This case is the centerpiece of our U.S. legal efforts to combat state sponsored malware.
In February 2014, EFF filed suit against the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia on behalf of our client, Mr. Kidane, an Ethiopian by birth who has been a U.S. citizen over a decade. Mr. Kidane discovered traces of Gamma International’s FinSpy, a sophisticated spyware product which its maker claims is sold exclusively to governments and law enforcement, on his laptop at his home in suburban Maryland. A forensic examination of his computer showed that the Ethiopian government had been recording Mr. Kidane’s Skype calls, as well as monitoring his web and email usage. The monitoring, which violates both the federal Wiretap Act and Maryland state law, was accomplished using spyware that captured his activities and then reported them back to a command and control server in Ethiopia controlled by the government. The infection was active from October 2012, through March 2013, and was stopped just days after researchers at the University of Toronto’s Citizen Lab released a report exposing Ethiopia’s use of use of FinSpy. The report specifically referenced the very IP address of the Ethiopian government server responsible for the command and control of the spyware on Mr. Kidane’s laptop.
The Ethiopian government responded to the suit with the troubling claim that it—and every other foreign government—should be completely immune from suit for wiretapping American citizens on American soil. Ethiopia’s filing rests on several logic-challenged premises. Ethiopia claims that the recording of Mr. Kidane’s Skype calls and Internet activity at his home in Maryland actually took place in Ethiopia, and is therefore beyond the reach of any U.S. court. Worse still, Ethiopia claims that it had the "discretion" to violate U.S. law, reducing the Wiretap Act to something more like a traffic violation than a serious felony. Interestingly, Ethiopia does not actually deny that it wiretapped Mr. Kidane.
Yesterday, EFF and its co-counsel at Robins, Kaplan, Miller & Ciresi, filed a response knocking down each of Ethiopia’s arguments, noting that not even the U.S. government is allowed to do what Ethiopia claims it had the right to do here: wiretap Americans in America with no legal process whatsoever. We argue that Ethiopia must be held accountable for wiretapping Mr. Kidane, just as any other actor would be. Neither its status as a government nor the fact that it launched its attack on Mr. Kidane from Ethiopia gives it carte blanche to ignore the law. If Ethiopia legitimately needed to collect information about Americans for an investigation, it could negotiate a deal with the U.S., called a Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty, which would allow it to seek U.S. assistance for something like a wiretap. Otherwise, there simply is no “international spying” exception to the law for foreign governments, nor should there be. When sovereign governments act, especially when they invade the privacy of ordinary people, they must do so within the bounds of the law. And when foreign governments break U.S. law, U.S. courts have the power to hold them accountable.
This is the next step in what we hope will set an important precedent in the U.S., fighting back against the growing problem of state-sponsored malware. No matter what one thinks about the NSA spying on Americans inside the U.S. (of course EFF believes that this has gone way far too), it should be easy to see that foreign governments—be they Ethiopia, China, or as EFF itself experienced Vietnam—do not and should not have that right.
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
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 areasTuesday, 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.
Listen to ENTC radio program – August 18 News, Interviews, entertainment, etc Listen here (mp3) To listen by phone – 213-992-4363
A few drops of rain paralyzes poorly constructed flood-prone Addis Ababa road. This video was taken yesterday.
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:
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 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.
The Guardian, Sunday 17 August 2014
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.
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
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.
Click on the four arrows at the right top corner for full screen
Relatives in Keren and Asmara have told me that the Eritrean military is on the move. Large convoys of military vehicles have been observed in southern and western Eritrea over the past few days. Automatic rifles are also being distributed to the population. Actually this started about two years ago, but now it is being done now with more urgency.
Hailemariam Desalegn’s threat and reaction of Eritreans on the social media:
https://www.facebook.com/21898788162714 … 6863551915
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: http://www.npr.org/blogs/goatsandsoda/2 … p-hospital
Listen to ENTC radio program – August 13 News, Interviews, entertainment, etc Listen here (mp3) To listen by phone – 213-992-4363
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 is "PRI’s The World’s" Africa Correspondent, based in Cape Town, South Africa.
By Adam Bemma
A cursory glance at the headlines shows that Ethiopia has one of Africa’s fastest growing economies. But the noise generated by the hyperbolic international media is drowning out the critical voices.
Political opposition is being strangled by the authorities as activists and journalists are arrested and thrown into jail at a dizzying pace.
On April 25 of this year, the Ethiopian government made news by arresting six bloggers and three freelance journalists. Setting a dangerous precedent for other governments in the region and beyond, authorities are now targeting youth online.
The nine writers are facing terrorism-related charges, standing accused of inciting violence through social media. The six bloggers are members of the online collective known as Zone 9. The moniker was chosen to represent the inalienable right to freedom of expression: journalists are often held in the section of Addis Ababa’s Kality prison known as Zone 8.
"The government claims [those detained] are conspiring with foreign non-governmental organizations, human rights groups," said journalist Araya Getachew. "It also claims that they are also working for banned terrorist organizations trying to overthrow the state. This is totally false." READ MORE … http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/adam-bemma … 74061.html
The east African region has been set on its toes following the revelation of an outbreak of Ebola infections in west Africa this March.
Chinese road construction project in Tigray using child labor
Shire to Aksum road, northern Ethiopia:
Gezhouba Corporation construction depot in Axum
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 […]
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, […]
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.
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
While President Barack Obama, the most powerful person in the world, keeps silent…
ISIS troops massacre Shiites and Christians
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 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.
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 – videoThursday, 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!
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.
Football players from an American university travel to Ethiopia; shocked by the extreme poverty (video)Thursday, August 7th, 2014
LAtimes.com: President Obama’s troubling dinner party
The guest list at this week’s U.S.-Africa summit featured some real tyrants
Why did President Obama entertain African dictators at the White House?
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
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.
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, […]
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 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፡
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
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 joined other Africans in front of the White House to protest Obama’s support for dictators – August 5, 2014
Africans residing in Washington DC protest outside the White House where President Obama was hosting diner for African dictators – August 5, 2014
Listen to ENTC radio program – August 5 News, Interviews, entertainment, etc Listen here (mp3) To listen by phone – 213-992-4363
Why this week’s Africa Summit needs to pay more than just lip service to human rights and good governance.
Originally posted on foreignpolicy.com
[O]verer a dozen African countries which will be represented at the summit boast disturbing human rights records of ruthlessly suppressing freedom of expression and freedom of association through harassment, arrest, torture, and trumped up charges and killings.
[Look at] Ethiopia, where only weeks ago, three journalists and seven bloggers were charged with "terrorism" for allegedly conspiring to overthrow the government. They are simply the latest victims of a decade-long crackdown on political opponents, nongovernmental groups, peaceful protesters, and media that dare to even mildly criticize the policies of the ruling party. Meanwhile, the U.S. administration focuses on its security alliance with Ethiopia for its fight against terrorism in Somalia. READ MORE >>> http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2 … ?page=full
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 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
Ethiopian protesters steal the show at U.S.-Africa Summit (ABC News)
Evicted Amhara farmers in southern Ethiopia cry for justice
VOA report on Ethiopian protest at the US Africa Summit in Washington DC
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.
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) […]
State tuned for more videos and photos
August 4, 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 governmentMonday, August 4th, 2014
ATLANTA (August 4, 2014) – A U.S.-based blogger who operates a popular Ethiopian news and opinion website has filed a $120 million counter…
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 […]
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.
Patriotic Ethiopians in Los Angeles confront Chigaram Woyannes
European children sing Ethiopian Orthodox Church song
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 […]
By 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 1Thursday, July 31st, 2014
Join the brave Ethiopians in Los Angeles tomorrow. Repeat the Houston victory.
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 […]
Thousands of Federal Police troops were seen swarming through the crowd during the Eid al-Fitr celebration in Addis Ababa on Monday.
Listen to ENTC radio program – July 29 News, Interviews, entertainment, etc Listen here (mp3) To listen by phone – 213-992-4363
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.
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 >> http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wor … e-worried/
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: >> http://rohrabacher.house.gov/media-cent … 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
Originally aired on Al Jazeera
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.”
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 backgroundSunday, July 27th, 2014
TPLF releases another propaganda video on Andargachew Tsige; sound of torture is heard in the backgr
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.
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 MandelaFriday, 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
41 Local and International Organizations Call for Release of Detained Ethiopian Journalists and BloggersFriday, July 25th, 2014
Freedom Now joined 40 other human rights and civil society organizations in a letter to Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn expressing grave concern at the continued targeting of journalists and bloggers on terrorism charges. The letter, also joined by organizations such as Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, the PEN American Center, and the Committee to Protect Journalists, highlighted the recent terror charges laid against seven bloggers associated with the Zone 9 website (one in absentia) and three independent journalists in Ethiopia.
In calling on the Prime Minister to facilitate the immediate release of those writers detained under the widely-criticized 2009 Anti-Terrorism Proclamation, the letter (below) noted that previous prosecutions under the same law have been found by international institutions, such as the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention, to violate Ethiopia’s obligations under international law. In closing, the regional and international organizations urge the Prime Minister to facilitate the immediate release all Ethiopians wrongly detained on terrorism charges and amend the law so that it complies with international human rights standards.
Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn
Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia
Office of the Prime Minister
P.O. Box 1031
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
24 July 2014
Re: Detained Journalists and Bloggers
Dear Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn,
We write to you to express our grave concern regarding the terrorism charges laid against seven bloggers associated with the “Zone 9” website and three independent journalists in Ethiopia. Ethiopia is a party to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights—which both expressly protect the right to freedom of expression. We therefore urge your government to fulfill its obligations under international law and release all individuals who have been arbitrarily detained in violation of their fundamental rights.
As you may be aware, six of the bloggers (Zelalem Kibret, Atnaf Berahane, Natnael Feleke, Mahlet Fantahun, Befeqadu Hailu, and Abel Wabela) and the three journalists (Tesfalem Waldyes, Asmamaw Hailegeorgis, and Edom Kassaye) were arrested in late April, shortly after it was announced that the Zone 9 website would resume its activities after suspending operations because of increasing harassment and surveillance. All nine detainees were subsequently held for nearly three months before any specific allegations were presented or formal charges filed against them. Most concerning, however, are reports that some of the detainees have complained of serious mistreatment by investigators and that defense lawyers and their clients have been excluded from some of the proceedings.
Recent reports now indicate that the detained bloggers and journalists have been charged under the widely-criticized 2009 Anti-Terrorism Proclamation, including provisions that provide for the death penalty, in addition to charges of committing “outrages against the constitution.” A seventh blogger, Soleyana Shimeles, was also charged in absentia. In accordance with the requirements of both Ethiopian and international law, we call on you to ensure that all allegations of torture or other forms of ill-treatment are promptly investigated and that no statements obtained through such means are admitted in court. Further, we call on you to ensure that the detainees have full access to the assistance of legal counsel and that the proceedings related to this case are open to the public, the media, and members of the diplomatic community.
Unfortunately, these prosecutions are only the most recent example of a worrying pattern. Outspoken Ethiopian journalists Eskinder Nega, Reeyot Alemu, and Woubshet Taye have all received long prison terms under the 2009 Anti-Terrorism Proclamation, in trials marred by procedural flaws. Similarly, opposition activists including Andualem Arage have received sentences of up to life imprisonment on such grounds.
While your office has asserted that the prosecution of these individuals is unrelated to their work as journalists, independent inquiries have found that this is not the case. For example, the United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention held that the imprisonment of Mr. Nega violated Ethiopia’s obligations under international law and requested his immediate release. In addition to procedural violations, the Working Group found that the detention of Mr. Nega resulted directly from his exercise of free expression and that the overly broad offenses established by the 2009 Anti-Terrorism Proclamation constituted “an unjustified restriction on expression rights and on fair trial rights.” Despite such a finding, however, Mr. Nega remains in prison.
Other international bodies have similarly criticized your country’s Anti-Terrorism Proclamation for being overly broad and a tool through which freedom of expression is limited. The African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights adopted a resolution in 2012 stating that it was “gravely alarmed by the arrests and prosecutions of journalists and political opposition members, charged with terrorism and other offences, including treason, for exercising their peaceful and legitimate rights to freedom of expression and freedom of association.” This message reinforced an earlier statement by five United Nations special procedure mandate holders, including the Special Rapporteur on Counter-Terrorism and Human Rights, which expressed their “dismay at the continuing abuse of anti-terrorism legislation to curb freedom of expression in Ethiopia.” During Ethiopia’s Universal Periodic Review earlier this year, similar concerns were raised by a number of countries, including security allies of Ethiopia such as the United States of America.
Despite these clear findings that the targeting of writers under the 2009 Anti-Terrorism Proclamation is inconsistent with Ethiopia’s international obligations, prosecutors have now charged the seven Zone 9 bloggers and three independent journalists under that very law. As a result, they face exceedingly long prison sentences or even death. Such a practice violates international law and threatens to undermine the legitimacy of international security efforts in the region.
In light of these serious concerns, we urge you to facilitate the immediate release of all journalists and bloggers imprisoned under the 2009 Anti-Terrorism Proclamation and to revise the Proclamation to comply with regional and international human rights standards.
1. Amnesty International
2. ARTICLE 19 Eastern Africa
3. Central Africa Human Rights Defenders Network (REDHAC), Central Africa
4. CIVICUS: World Alliance for Citizen Participation
5. Civil Rights Defenders, Sweden
6. Coalition pour le Développement et la Réhabilitation Sociale (CODR UBUNTU), Burundi
7. Committee to Protect Journalists
8. Community Empowerment for Progress Organization (CEPO), South Sudan
9. Conscience International (CI), The Gambia
10. East and Horn of Africa Human Rights Defenders Project
11. Egyptian Democratic Association, Egypt
12. Electronic Frontier Foundation
13. Ethiopian Human Rights Project (EHRP)
14. Elma7rosa Network, Egypt
15. English PEN
16. Freedom Now
17. Front Line Defenders, Dublin
18. Human Rights Watch
19. International Women’s Media Foundation (IWMF)
20. Ligue des Droits de la personne dans la region des Grands Lacs (LDGL), Great Lakes
21. Ligue Iteka, Burundi
22. Maranatha Hope, Nigeria
23. Media Legal Defence Initiative
24. National Civic Forum, Sudan
25. National Coalition of Human Rights Defenders, Kenya
26. Niger Delta Women’s movement for Peace and Development, Nigeria
27. Nigeria Network of NGOs, Nigeria
28. Paradigm Initiative Nigeria, Nigeria
29. PEN American Center
30. PEN International
31. Réseau africain des journalistes sur la sécurité humaine et la paix (Rajosep), Togo
32. Sexual Minorities Uganda (SMUG), Uganda
33. South Sudan Human Rights Defenders Network (SSHRDN), South Sudan
34. South Sudan Law Society, South Sudan
35. Tanzania Human Rights Defenders Coalition, Tanzania
36. Twerwaneho Listeners Club (TLC), Uganda
37. Union de Jeunes pour la Paix et le Développement, Burundi
38. WAN-IFRA (The World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers)
39. West African Human Rights Defenders Network (ROADDH/ WAHRDN), West Africa
40. Zambia Council for Social Development (ZCSD), Zambia
41. Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum, Zimbabwe
Ethiopians residing in Texas, Oklahoma, and Louisiana will head to Houston on July 29 to confront PM Hailemariam Desalegn, Ambassador Girma Biru and other representatives of the ethnic apartheid regime in Ethiopia that has abducted Ethiopian opposition leader Andargachew Tsige last month, recently massacred Oromo students, savagely attacked peaceful Muslim protesters, thrown in jail journalists and opposition leaders, committed genocide in Ogaden and Gambella, conducted ethnic cleansing against Amhara farmers in southern Ethiopia, to mention just a few of their recent atrocities. Come join us and give voice to the voiceless.
Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn faced a stinging humiliation as Azusa Pacific University (APU), whose motto is “God First”, has withdrawn an honor it had already bestowed on him. The university administration had to reverse its decision to honor Mr. Desalegn in light of gross human rights violations in Ethiopia being perpetrated by the regime he serves.
The administration of the American evangelical university made the decision in an emergency meeting last Friday after this reporter raised a number of critical questions on whether honoring a human rights violator was consistent with APU’s core values and motto. The Global Alliance for the Rights of Ethiopians (GARE) also wrote a letter highlighting gross human rights violations being perpetrated by Mr. Desalegn and the TPLF-led regime he is serving.
The honoring ceremony, which was slated for July 31 at the university’s Los Angeles campus, was expected to be attended by the PM and his family, foreign diplomats, the university faculty, senior U.S. and Ethiopian government officials including Foreign Minister Tedros Adhanom and other ministers.
Rachel White, APU’s Assistant Director of External Relations, confirmed exclusively to this reporter that the university has withdrawn the honor and cancelled the ceremony which was planned to honor him at APU’s Los Angeles campus.
“I can confirm that the event has been cancelled. The university evaluated current developments in Ethiopia including the latest U.S State Department Human Rights Report,” she said. She also indicated that the recent high court decision to file terrorism charges against Zone9 bloggers and journalists was also one of the factors considered for the cancellation of the event to honor Mr. Desalegn.
“Nothing is as important as our motto God First. Any decisions we make have to be consistent with our motto and core values,” White noted. She also pointed out that respect for human rights is very important for the university. It is now confirmed that he cancelled his trip to Los Angeles after the university communicated to him its decision to cancel the honoring ceremony.
According to a university source, who spoke on condition of anonymity as he was not authorized to give a statement on behalf of the university, APU’s administration unanimously agreed to withdraw the honor for Mr.Desalegn, whom it found to be an unsuitable honoree after evaluating not only the disturbing human rights situation in Ethiopia but also the potential negative publicity that the event was likely to generate. “It was a wise and timely decision, as the university was likely to face backlash if it publicly honored a human rights violator,” the source said.
Exiled journalist Serkalem Fasil, who was forced to give birth in jail, commended the university for correcting its mistake in good time. “I think this university did not know who Hailemariam Desalegn was. They should have known that Ethiopian government officials like him do not deserve honor but facing justice for the crimes they are committing against humanity.
Serkalem said Azusa Pacific corrected its mistake in an exemplary manner. “I am glad the university listened to the truth and its God First motto,” she said. Her husband, the award-winning journalist Eskinder Nega, is serving an 18-year sentence in Ethiopia after he and a number of journalists and activists were labelled “terrorists” by a Kangaroo court.
Abebe Belew, a Washington D.C.-based activist and community radio broadcaster, who was also convicted of “terrorism” offenses because of his critical views towards the repressive policies of the Ethiopian government, also praised the university for its decisive measure.
“This university is a truly Christian university. It made a bad decision but realized soon enough that honoring an ungodly human rights violator contradicted its Christian values. I appreciate the university’s administration for taking such a strong stand based on its God First motto,” he said.
“Hailemariam should also learn from the humiliating experience. He pretends to be a protestant Christian but what he is doing completely contradicts all the tenets of the bible.
“As APU has clearly demonstrated, he doesn’t deserve any honor as a human rights violator destroying the lives of so many people. I hope he and and members of this oppressive tyranny will face trial sooner rather than later. That is the kind of honor they really deserve,” Abebe added.
By Kevin Hamlin, Ilya Gridneff and William Davison
Ethiopian workers strolling through the parking lot of Huajian Shoes’ factory outside Addis Ababa last month chose the wrong day to leave their shirts untucked.
Company President Zhang Huarong, just arrived on a visit from China, spotted them through the window, sprang up and ran outside. The former People’s Liberation Army soldier harangued them loudly in Chinese, tugging at one man’s aqua polo shirt and forcing another’s shirt into his pants. Nonplussed, the workers stood silently until the eruption subsided.
Shaping up a handful of employees is one small part of Zhang’s quest to profit from Huajian’s factory wages of about $40 a month -– less than 10 percent the level in China.
“Ethiopia is exactly like China 30 years ago,” said Zhang, 55, who quit the military in 1982 to make shoes from his home in Jiangxi province with three sewing machines and now supplies such brands as Nine West and Guess?. “The poor transportation infrastructure, lots of jobless people.”
Almost three years after Zhang began his Ethiopian adventure at the invitation of the late Prime Minister Meles Zenawi, he says he’s unhappy with profits at the Dongguan Huajian Shoes Industry Co. unit, frustrated by “widespread inefficiency” in the local bureaucracy and struggling to raise factory productivity from a level he says is about a third of China’s.
Transportation and logistics that cost as much as four times those in China are prompting Huajian to set up its own trucking company. And the use of four languages in the plant — Ethiopia’s national language, Amharic; the local tongue, Oromo; English and Chinese — further complicates operations, Zhang says.
It takes two hours to drive 30 kilometers (18 miles) to the Huajian factory from the capital along the country’s main artery, illustrating the challenges. Oil tankers and trucks scream along the bumpy, potholed and, at times, unpaved road. Goats, donkeys and cows wander along the roadside and occasionally into bumper-to-bumper traffic. Minibuses and dented taxis, mostly blueLadas from the country’s past as a Soviet ally, weave through oncoming traffic coughing a smoggy exhaust.
Huajian is nonetheless becoming a case study of Ethiopia’s emerging potential as a production center for labor-intensive products from shoes to T-shirts to handbags. In a country where 80 percent of the labor force is in agriculture, manufacturers don’t have to worry about finding new workers. Its population of about 96 million is Africa’s second-largest after Nigeria’s.
A combination of cheap labor and electricity and a government striving to attract foreign investment makes Ethiopia more attractive than many other African nations, said Deborah Brautigam, author of “The Dragon’s Gift: The Real Story of China in Africa” and a professor of international development and comparative politics at Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies in Washington.
“They are trying to establish conditions for transformation,” Brautigam said in a telephone interview. “It could become the China of Africa.”
Huajian’s 3,500 workers in Ethiopia produced 2 million pairs of shoes last year. Located in one of the country’s first government-supported industrial zones, the factory began operating in January 2012, only three months after Zhang decided to invest. It became profitable in its first year and now earns $100,000 to $200,000 a month, he said, calling it an insufficient return that will rise as workers become better trained.
Under bright fluorescent lights, amid the drone of machines, workers cut, glue, stitch and sew Marc Fisher brown leather boots bound for the U.S. Meanwhile, supervisors monitor quotas on whiteboards, giving small cash rewards to winning teams and criticism to those falling short.
China, Africa and global retailers all have stakes in whether Ethiopia and such countries as Tanzania, Rwanda and Senegal become viable production bases for labor-intensive products. Promoting trade, boosting employment and spurring investment are among the topics that will be discussed on August 4-6 at the first White House U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit in Washington.
African nations have a compelling opportunity to seize a share of the about 80 million jobs that China will export as its manufacturers lose competitiveness, according to Justin Lin, a former World Bank chief economist who now is a professor of economics at Peking University.
Chinese Premier Li Keqiang and Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn, who met on May 4, backed the move of Chinese industries to Ethiopia. China is “supporting Ethiopia’s great vision to become Africa’s manufacturing powerhouse,” Hailemariam told reporters at a joint press conference in Addis Ababa.
Weaker consumer spending in the U.S. and Europe after the financial crisis prompted global retailers to hasten their search for lower-cost producers, said Helen Hai, head of China Africa Consulting Ltd. in Addis Ababa. She ran Huajian’s Ethiopia factory until July of last year.
While China’s inland regions offered manufacturers a cheaper alternative to the export-linked coastal areas, rising costs and a limited pool of available workers now are undermining that appeal.
Average factory pay in Henan, about 800 kilometers from the coast, rose 103 percent in the five years ended in September and 80 percent in Chongqing, 1,700 kilometers up the Yangtze River. In the same period, salaries rose 82.5 percent inGuangdong, where Huajian has its base in the city of Dongguan.
Cost inflation in countries including China has prompted Hennes & Mauritz AB, Europe’s second-biggest clothing retailer, to work with three suppliers in Ethiopia. The nation has “great potential” for production, H&M head of sustainability Helma Helmersson said in an April interview.
China’s average manufacturing wage is 3,469 yuan ($560) per month. Pay at the Huajian factory ranges from the basic after-tax minimum of $30 a month to about twice that for supervisors. By contrast, average manufacturing wages in South Africa, Africa’s biggest manufacturer, are about $1,200.
The duty-free and quota-free access that Sub-Saharan Africa enjoys for the U.S. and EU markets gives additional savings thanks to the African Growth and Opportunity Act for the U.S. and the EU’s Everything But Arms accord for the poorest countries. Import tariffs on shoes made in China range from 6 percent to as much as 36 percent, Zhang said.
A spokeswoman for Guess? confirmed that a licensee has done business with the Huajian Ethiopia factory in the past and may do so in the future.
A spokesman for Sycamore Partners, which owns Nine West, declined to comment on its business relationships and whether it has a relationship with Dongguan Huajian Shoes Industry Co. Marc Fisher Footwear is making shoes in the Ethiopia factory, Jaclyn Weissman, a spokeswoman for the company, wrote in an e-mail.
Signs of Ethiopia’s allure include factories outside Addis Ababa set up by leather goods maker Pittards Plc of the U.K. and Turkish textile manufacturer Ayka Tekstil. Foreign direct investment in the nation surged almost 250 percent to $953 million last year from the year before, according to estimates by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development.
Zhang spends about half his time in Ethiopia, he says. During the visit last month, he spoke to about 200 uniformed Huajian supervisors, a mix of Ethiopians and Chinese, gathered in the parking lot. A giant plasma screen mirrored the crowd as Zhang hurried onto the stage.
He berated those assembled for a lack of efficiency, then praised them for their loyalty to Huajian, his words translated into Amharic and Oromo. He ordered them to march on the spot, to turn left and to turn right, all chanting together in Chinese.
“One two one,” they chanted. “One two three four,” as they marched in step. Slogans followed: “Unite as one.” “Improvement together.” “Civilized and efficient.”
They sang the “Song of Huajian,” whose words urged “We Huajian people” to bravely move forward, to hold the banner of Huajian high and to “keep our business forever.” Chinese supervisors led the song, their Ethiopian colleagues stumbling over some words and struggling to keep up.
Later, Zhang explained that he can’t be as tough on the staff as he would like.
“Here the management cannot be too strong as there will be a problem with the culture,” he said via a translator. “In China you can be strong, but not here. The conditions here mean we have to show respect. On one hand we have to have strict requirements; on the other hand we have to take care of them. They have their own dignity. They may be poor but we have to respect their dignity.”
About 200 of the workers rebelled in early 2013, going on strike for two days after demanding a share of profits following a period in which Huajian’s orders surged, said Hai. The incident was resolved with the help of Ethiopian labor officials, she said.
Five workers interviewed at the factory on July 10 described a workplace of strict standards, with rewards for good results and penalties such as docked pay for ruined shoes.
Taddelech Teshome, 24, said her day starts at 7:20 a.m. after her Chinese employers provide employees with a breakfast of bread and tea. When her morning shift ferrying shoes from the factory floor to the warehouse is over, she gets fed the national staple, sour bread, for lunch. After work, a Huajian bus takes her to nearby Debre Zeit, a town where she rents a room with her sister for $18 a month.
She came to Huajian just over a year ago from her home 165 kilometers away in Arsi region after her sister started at the factory.
“The work is good because I pay my rent and I can look after myself,” she said, wearing an aqua Huajian polo shirt. “It’s transformed my life.” Taddelech said she wants to work for two more years at the plant and become a supervisor. She eventually aspires to build her own house.
With inflation at 8 percent — down from 40 percent in July 2011 -– saving cash is tough. Mohammed al-Jaber, who earns $30 a month for gluing shoe linings eight hours a day six days a week, said he can add to his pay with perfect attendance each month — a $7.50 bonus — and overtime. Any extra gets sent home to his family in the Arsi region.
Once famine-plagued Ethiopia, run by former rebels since they overthrew a socialist military junta in 1991, is seeking investment to support a growth rate that’s expected to fall to 7.5 percent this year from 9.7 percent in 2013. The population is expanding annually by 2.9 percent, at a time when the urban unemployment rate is 17.5 percent.
Ethiopia aims “to transform the economy” via industrialization by attracting foreign investors to zones where key public services will be concentrated, State Minister Of Finance Ahmed Shide said in an interview in Addis Ababa.
One appeal for China: Ethiopia follows a similar tightly controlled, state-heavy economic model. Opposition parties won only one out of 547 parliamentary seats at the last election in 2010.
Ties are strong between the Communist Party of China and the Ethiopian Peoples’ Revolutionary Democratic Front: On July 10, Central Committee Political Bureau member Guo Jinlong visited Ethiopia and met with Prime Minister Hailemariam. The two pledged to enhance cooperation, the official Xinhua news agency said.
Ethiopia’s heavy public investment in infrastructure using credit from Chinese state banks promises to relieve some key bottlenecks. The Export-Import Bank of China is funding a railway from Addis Ababa to landlocked Ethiopia’s main port in neighboring Djibouti. Ethiopia lost its coastline when Eritrea became independent in 1993.
The Chinese and Ethiopian governments also are investing in hydroelectric plants — including what will be Africa’s largest, the domestically funded Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam on the Blue Nile — that should increase Ethiopia’s power supply five-fold by 2020.
That may help overcome obstacles including the supply of electricity and cumbersome customs and tax procedures. In May, a World Bank team went to visit a textile factory in the Eastern Industrial Zone, where the Huajian plant is located, and found they are faced with daily power outages lasting for hours, Ethiopia country director Guang Zhe Chen said.
“There’s a big issue if you can’t ensure sustainable power supply for industrial zones,” he said.
While countries like Ethiopia have the potential to host Asian manufacturers, a “surge” hasn’t occurred, in part because of trade logistics constraints. “Getting things in and out of Ethiopia is very expensive and time consuming.”
Ethiopia slipped one place to 125th in the World Bank’s 2014 Doing Business rankings for 189 economies. It was behind China, at 96th, and ahead of competitor Bangladesh, which ranked 130th, the Washington-based lender said on its website.
It’s easy to forget that China’s infrastructure also was rudimentary at a similar stage of development, said Lin. He recalls that the first time he made the 96-mile trip between Shenzhen and Guangzhou in southern China in the early 1980s it took more than 12 hours, including long waits for ferries to cross rivers. The same trip now can be done in two hours.
“There were no bridges,” Lin said in an interview.
Nor were workers accustomed to modern production techniques. When auto-parts maker Asimco Technologies Ltd. began manufacturing in China in the 1990s, workers weren’t responsive to training, said Tim Clissold, former president of the Beijing-based company and author of a memoir, “Mr. China.”
“It was very difficult to deliver improvements at individual factories,” he said. “You could do training, and everyone smiles politely and then continues doing what they were doing before.”
Now, rising Chinese wages that Zhang calls “an inevitable trend” are pushing Huajian to try to increase its workforce in Ethiopia to as many as 50,000 within eight years.
A model of a planned new plant at the edge of Addis Ababa is displayed at the factory. The 126-hectare (341-acre) complex, partly financed by more than $300 million from Huajian, will include apartments for workers, a “forest resort” district and a technical university.
At the gathering in the parking lot, after supervisors sang Huajian’s company song, Zhang dismissed the Ethiopian contingent. Then he continued haranguing the Chinese managers. To make his point that structure was needed to keep employees in focus, he thrust a broomstick toward them repeatedly, then toward the remote camera that was feeding to the plasma screen, the image blurring with each prod.
Then he left the stage, laughing and raising a triumphant fist.
William Davison, Bloomberg News
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
An Ethiopian was sentenced to seven months in jail for trafficking khat to China, marking the first such case in the country, which classed the plant as an illegal drug this year.
The verdict was handed down earlier this month by the Intermediate People’s Court of Hangzhou, capital of east China’s Zhejiang province.
The defendant, Ibrahim Abdulsemed Abdosh, was also fined 30,000 yuan (about $4,878), the judge in the case, Liu Yun, told Xinhua Tuesday.
Chinese customs officers at the Hangzhou International Airport found0.63 kilograms of khat carried by the man, who had flown there from Ethiopia’s capital, Addis Ababa, on January 13, Liu said.
She said the man was aware of China’s ban on khat, a leafy plant chewed as a stimulant, but attempted to escape the immigration inspection.
The plant is widely consumed in Africa but uncommon in China, she said.
The World Health Organization has listed khat as a drug of abuse that can create psychological dependence.
Listen to ENTC radio program – July 21 News, Interviews, entertainment, etc Listen here (mp3) To listen by phone – 213-992-4363
TPLF Federal Police opened fire on the residents Alem Ketema, a town located 140 kms north of Ethiopia’s capital Addis Ababa, during a disagreement over an electric transformer. An eyewitness told Ethiopian Review that several people were rushed to a clinic after they were hit with bullets.
During the past few days, Alem Ketema residents and representatives of the TPLF junta were arguing over one of the two electric transformers that are powering the town. When the town representatives prevented EELPA workers to remove the transformer to another town, the TPLF junta brought in heavily armed Federal Police troops, turning a simple disagreement into a bloody clash.
One of the wounded residents in Alem Ketema receiving treatment at a local clinic:
Alem Ketema (file photo)
This piece is prompted by the recent unlawful arrest of an Ethiopian born British citizen in Sanaa, capital of Yemen while on a transit flight from Dubai to Asmara, capital of Eritrea. The arrested person named Andaragachew Tsige was handed over by Yemeni officials to the security agents of the Ethiopian regime who whisked him away to his country of origin in order to subject him to a grueling torture.
Andargachew was one of the founder and top leader of a group called Ginbot 7 named after the May 15, 2005 polling day that saw unprecedented voter turnout. The results of that election were blatantly rigged by the ruling party which subsequently gunned down hundreds of civilians in broad daylight. Thousands were rounded up throughout the country and were confined in various detention centers and concentration like camps. A considerable number of them were subjected to torture and inhumane treatment. Among the victims, was Andargachew Tsige who had been beaten up badly to the extent of losing one of his eye sights.
Like the majority of Ethiopians, Andargachew too became disillusioned with the idea of contesting the repressive regime through a ballot box. Unlike the majority of his fellow countrymen,however,he not only remained disillusioned.Thus,he chose a different path to make a difference in Ethiopia whereby he founded Ginbot 7 that embraced all means available to dislodge the current rulers who hailed from a minority ethnic group called Tigre under the guise of liberating it.
Although, Andargachew’s Ginbot 7 never achieved a level of posing a mortal dread to the regime in Ethiopia, the rulers know very well how determined and committed Andargachew is to bring Ginbot 7 to that level no matter how long it takes.Hence, to them he was not an individual but an institution to be demolished at all costs.They even arrested his octogenarian father who suffers from a serious cardiac condition in 2009 to make Andargachew desist from the activism he carries out from abroad.
That is Andargachew Tsige, the high profile activist whom apparently the Ethiopian regime goes to great length to incarcerate and even eliminate.
Is the Ethiopian regime, however, only confined to targeting high profile dissidents wherever they are? Is it only preoccupied with those who claimed to have espoused armed struggle to unseat it from the throne the regime itself occupied and sought to sustain by gun?
For answer to this question, I refer you to regional and global human rights watchdogs’ incessant reports wherein the unabated human rights violations and growing culture of impunity is documented ever since this regime took the mantle of power in 1991.
Assassination, deportation & rendition; to be grateful to Uganda or not
Up until the fateful 2005 election, the Ethiopian regime’s target of repression focused only on dissidents living in Ethiopia. Except badmouthing Ethiopians living abroad, for their criticism of its divisive ethnic politics and tyranny in the name of democracy, the regime had never dared to harm Ethiopians living abroad.
That changed drastically and officially with the advent of trumped up charges leveled against Ethiopian/Americans working for Voice of America and some individuals who run critical websites from abroad. They were charged in absentia alongside Coalition for Unity and Democracy (CUD) opposition party leaders who won the 2005 election. The trumped up charge called for death penalty. The regime also found an opportune moment globally to extend its instrument of repression abroad with impunity. It did so by ingratiating itself with Washington and the entire West as an ally in the so-called war on terror. Its monopoly on the country’s natural resources and key economic sectors also enabled it to cut deals with regional greedy powers who do not hesitate to hand over Ethiopian asylum seekers and refugees in violation of the international law.Djibouti,Sudan,Yemen and Kenya are notorious in this.
In July 2005, the government of Djibouti handed over two Ethiopian Air force pilots named Behailu Gebre and Abiyot Mangudai.They defected with the assault helicopter they were flying as conscientious objectors against the regime that uses lethal weapon on civilians. Last time I checked, these asylum seekers who were unlawfully returned were kept incommunicado at the Air force Headquarter and had been subjected to torture that might have caused their death. Taking advantage of the rotten Police Force in Kenya, the Ethiopian regime has been using the Kenyan territory as its backyard to abduct and assassinate Ethiopian dissidents who sought asylum. Notable among the Ethiopian refugees who were arrested by Kenyan authorities and handed over to the Ethiopian regime around 2009 were two young Engineers named Mesfin Abebe Abdissa and Tesfahun Chemeda Gurmessa.At the time the duo sought asylum, they were sentenced by a Kangaroo court in absentia to life imprisonment and death. As a result of their forcible repatriation, they were subjected to severe torture which ultimately caused the death of Tesfahun while Mesfin is still languishing in death row. He was the one who had been sentenced to death.
In a bid to give unlawful repatriation of asylum seekers and refugees as well as extraordinary rendition of other individuals a legal cloak, these banana republics of Horn of Africa and Great Lakes region later signed a sort of extradition treaty under the auspices of IGAD.Since the Ethiopian regime is almost the sole beneficiary of that extradition treaty, it was initiated by its diabolic architects of repression.
Despite hosting a considerable number of Ethiopian refugees since the early 1990s, Uganda by contrast had never exposed Ethiopian exiles to the regime they fled from. On top of having reliable information as to how Ugandan officials resisted and even rejected requests of deportation of certain Ethiopian refugees, I myself, as a former refugee in Uganda until recently survived a deportation request alongside two fellow refugees.
In November 2013, my exiled journalist friend and I received a strange summon by phone from the Internal Affairs and Immigration Office of Uganda. To cut a long story short, both my friend and I went to the office. After being received politely, we were asked questions, separately, about our exile life such as how we came to Uganda, what we do and used to do for a living, etc.Both of us find it very odd, that we were summoned to the Immigration office to be asked for these information which we already availed when we lodged our asylum requests. We also couldn’t accept the fact that four officials, out of whom three, came from another office outside of the Immigration compound, to simply waste their valuable time on information already obtained and available on the public domain.
Refusing to believe the cock and bull story they gave us for our summons and the line of questioning; as well as refusing to be lulled by the polite and civilized way they talked to us, we contacted our source to find out the meaning of the summons.
Surprise! Surprise! Our source revealed to us that the Ethiopian regime requested for our hand despite our being the most insignificant and ineffectual exiled dissidents. But the biggest element of surprise came from the reason the Ethiopian security agents requested their Ugandan counterparts for our hand. They accused us of being attached with Oromo Liberation Front (OLF) which made me doubt the accuracy of our source. While I came from a diverse background, ethnically and religiously and was born and grew up in Addis Ababa as a cosmopolitan Ethiopian with little knowledge of Oromiffa, Girma Tesfaw, my friend who were summoned with me and who was Addis Neger’s deputy editor came from what you call a predominantly Amharic speaking ethnic background.Yet, we’ve been informed that the “logic” of the Ethiopian regime illogically linked us with OLF. A few days after this unusual encounter which we reported to all human rights groups and agencies working on refugee issues, I received a call from another fellow refugee from Ethiopia. He told me that he received a call from the same gentleman who summoned us to Internal Affairs and Immigration Office. Unlike us this refugee named Mulatu Aberra is from Oromo ethnic group. He was arrested twice and severely tortured by the Ethiopian régime. I translated his harrowing testimony for the benefit of Amnesty International and UNHCR.Mulatu’s traumatic experience of torture had been published by Amnesty International in 2009.Now that the Ethiopian regime leveled one of its most farfetched trumped up charge against Zone9 Bloggers as OLF among other things, I regret for doubting the reliability of our Ugandan source.
On the other hand, despite being shielded by Ugandan officials from deportation, I found myself in a dilemma as to whether be grateful to the government of Uganda or not. Because I know fully well if and when Uganda finds it “geopolitically” compelling to hand over Ethiopian refugees like it does Rwandan refugees, it will not blink an eye over a higher principle of “non-refoulment”meant to protect pathetic refugees like me from forcible repatriation.Already, some elements from the Ugandan regime had started making life very hard for Ethiopian refugees who wanted to form a refugee association. I have reliable information that Ugandan Police guided by Ethiopian security agents in Kampala prevented the refugees from holding their meeting in hotels. And so it’s a matter of time for Ethiopian refugees to meet the same fate like Rwandan refugees who run the risk of mass deportation to targeted forcible repatriation and even assassination like Charles Ingabire, a Rwandan exiled journalist who was gunned down in Kampala in 2011.Of course, Ugandan officials can cynically defend their inability to protect the Rwandan journalist by equating it with the assassination of Alexander Litvinenko, a Russian dissident who turned a British citizen.
Meanwhile, rogue regimes like the Ethiopian one continue to expand their impunity beyond their borders like they demonstrated recently in Yemen with the abduction of the Ethiopian born British national, Andargachew Tsige.That carrying impunity to an international level is the motto of the Ethiopian regime is also evidenced in Alexander Betts excellent book “Survival Migration; Failed Governance and the Crisis of Displacement.” In a chapter sub titled “Yemen” on page 166, Alex, the author, tells us that when he puts allegations of kidnappings and even assassinations of Ethiopian migrants to Minelik Alemu, Attorney-General for International Law and Consular Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, he was simply told that “we reserve the right to pursue people we deem to be criminals, both within and beyond the boundaries of the state.”And so, with devil advocates like this, the regime will not only confine itself to targeting poor asylum seekers, refugees and migrants. It also goes for those Ethiopians who adopted foreign nationality like it did on Mr.Okello Akoy the Ethiopian born Norwegian citizen and others to be followed.
In order to show why banana republics such as Ethiopia dare to taunt the First World that props it up, by jailing citizens of Sweden, Norway, Canada, Britain, USA etc, Prof. Alemeyahu Gebremariam asked a simple question “war on terror or war on international law?” Thereby demonstrating how United States and its Western cohort’s double standard on international law emboldened regimes like Ethiopia not only to do the same but to take advantage of the situation and stamp out all legitimate dissent. Recently in an interview on BBC, even Hailemariam Desalegn made a mockery of Britain by claiming that Ethiopia sends dissidents to jail according to anti-terror bill copied from Britain. He also threatened the BBC journalist with imprisonment if he doesn’t stop questioning about jailed dissidents.
A case of unequal concern for citizens of the First World whose safety is jeopardized at the hands of rogue states such as Ethiopia is also clearly being seen. One seriously doubt that a British government who went out of its way to have Alan Johnston, the BBC journalist, released from his captivity in Gaza by meeting a Hamas member for the first time, will do the same for Andargachew Tsige, a naturalized British citizen.
Also when one expects that the United States government will express outrage against the Ethiopian regime upon receiving information on the latter’s plan to “stop, arrest and detain “all Somali origin American citizens traveling to Ethiopia for “an extended period of time with no charges” by saying “you mess with my citizens, you mess with my sovereignty “or “you disrespect my citizen, you disrespect me as a nation, “the United States merely released a statement of warning to its “citizens” who originated from Somalia. So such is the state of the world where the so-called big democracies and outright dictatorships colluded to trample on human rights and international law.
Kiflu Hussain, an Ethiopian Social & Political Commentator stretching in exile from Uganda to United States
(Author’s note: In this commentary, I take a literary approach to reflect on the counter-productive and self-defeating actions the regime in Ethiopia has taken recently to punish its perceived opponents and critics. I am both amused and perplexed by the regime’s comedy of errors (bungling and incompetence) and tragedy of commons (scrapping the greater good […]
Ethiopians in Houston prepare to confront Hailemariam Desalegn at US-Ethiopia Investment Summit on July 29Sunday, July 20th, 2014
Patriotic Ethiopians in Houston, Texas, are preparing to confront a TPLF regime delegation led by Hailemariam Desalegn on July 29, 2014. The following is an invitation that was sent out to Woyanne supporters:
Private Reception for Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn
July 29, 2014
You are cordially invited to join the Greater Houston Partnership and His Excellency Girma Birru, Ambassador of the Federal Democratic of Ethiopia, and The Honorable Gezahgen Kebede, Honorary Consul of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, to a private reception to welcome His Excellency Hailemariam Desalegn, Prime Minister of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, and the Ethiopian delegation to Houston.
WHEN: Tuesday, July 29 | 6:00 to 8:00 p.m.
WHERE: The Houstonian Hotel, Club and Spa | 111 North Post Oak Lane, Houston, Texas 77024
COST: Attendance is complimentary.
RSVP: Victoria Faz, firstname.lastname@example.org, 713-844-3692
Tigray People Liberation Front (TPLF) police gun down peaceful Muslim protesters on Friday and yesterday.
Woynishet Molla is a young Ethiopian and a human rights activists in Addis Ababa. Yesterday, when the Tigray People Liberation Front (TPLF) police attacked peaceful Ethiopian Muslim protesters, she was observing the situation from a distance. Suddenly, a TPLF intelligence officer grabbed her and started punching her and hitting her with a stick. Her friend observed helplessly as she was being beaten up mercilessly for no good reason. Guns from other TPLF police were pointed at her friend. Woynishet was then taken away and when she showed up today in court, she was covered with bandages. Woynishet was armed with only her mobile phone.
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, July 18, 2014
The TPLF junta police have savagely attacked Ethiopian Muslims who were peacefully praying at Anwar Mesgid in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, this morning. The attack is continuing.
Ethiopian Review has received additional reports from Addis Ababa, Ambo and other towns that the number of Oromo high-school and college students who have been arrested and sent to concentration camps now exceeds 40,000. The students have been rounded up following the recent riots where TPLF-controlled banks and stores were set on fire.
To cover up the campaign of suppression against the Oromo youth, earlier this month TPLF fired from state media 20 Oromo journalists who are suspected of leaking information to websites and social media.
TPLF is sending the Oromo students to Afar region and other remote and extremely inhospitable areas of Ethiopia claiming that they are homeless. Even if they are homeless, it is not necessary to send them to areas of the country that are known for their extreme weather conditions.
But the above photo that was leaked to Ethiopian Review and social media (despite the TPLF propaganda machine’s attempt to create a false story around it) tells a different story. It clearly indicates that the 3,000 young Ethiopians shown are high-school and college students. Most of the homeless in Addis Ababa are teenagers and elderly people, as the photos below show:
ኢትዮጵያውያን የኦሮሞ ተወላጆች በአፋር ማጎሪያ ካምፕ እንደገቡ ከአፋር ባለስልጣናት ማረጋገጫ ተገኘ።
የወያኔ ቴሌቭዥንና አጋር ሚዲያዎቹ ጎዳና ተዳዳሪ ለማስመሰል አፋር ክልል በመሔድ ፊልም አቀናብረዋል።
በቅርቡ 3000 የሚሆኑ ኢትዮጵያውያን የኦሮሞ ተወላጆች ከተለያዩ ዩንቨርስቲዎች ትምህርት ቤቶች እንዲሁም ከመንገድ ታፍሰው ጸጉራቸውን በመላጨት አፋር ክልል በሚገኘው የማጎሪያ ካምፕ ውስጥ መግባታቸው ከአፋር ባለስልጣናት የተገኘ መረጃ አመልክቷል። በሙሉ የኦሮሚኛን ቋንቋን አቀላጥፈው የሚናገሩ እን የተማሩ ናቸው ያሉት የአፋር ባለስልጣናት የጎዳና ተዳዳሪዎች ወደ ክልላችን አልመጡም ሃሰት ነው ሲሉ በመንግስት የሚደገፉ ጋዜጦች የነዙት ሃሰት ፕሮፓጋንዳ ነው ሲሉ በተለቀቀው ምስል ዙሪያ ማስረጃዎችን አጣቅሰው ተናግረዋል።
በዚህ ሰሞን በወያኔው ጁንታ የሚደገፉ ጋዜጦች እና የሚዲያ ሰዎች የለቀቁትን ምስል አስመልክቶ ከፍተኛ ውዝግብ ውስጥ ህዝቡ ገብቶ የነበረ መሆኑን የገለጹት የአፋር ባለስልጣናት እውንታው ግን የታሰሩት የኦሮሞ ክልል ተውላጆች ናቸው በማለት በገሃድ ወያኔን አጋልጠውታል።የወያኒ ቴሌቭዝን እና አጋር ሚዲያዎቹ በአንድ አውቶብስ የተጫኑ እና ጸጉራቸውን የተላጩ ካድሬዎችን ይዘው አፋር ክልል በመድረስ አስፍላጊውን ቀረጻ አድርገው ታሳሪዎችን የጎዳና ተዳዳሪ ሙያ ተማሪዎች ለማሰኘት ፊልም ሰርተው መሄዳቸውን ባለስልታናቱ አልሸሸጉም።
እነዚህ ክታች ምስላቸው የሚታየው 3000 የኦሮሞ ወጣቶች የጎዳና ተዳዳሪዎች ናቸው በማለት ወያኔ የለመደውን ውሸት ለማደናበር ቢጠቀምበት ሁኔታውን በአንክሮ ለማጣራት በተደረገው ጥረት ጸጉራቸውን ተላጭተው ወደ አፋር ክልል የተላኩት ያለፈውን ተቃውሞ ተከትሎ የታፈሱ የኦሮሞ ተማሪዎች መሆናቸው ታውቋል። በተለያዩ የማጎሪያ ካምፖች ይበተናሉ ተብለው የሚገመቱ ከ25 ሺህ በላይ የኦሮሞ ተወላጆች በየ እስር ቤቱ ታስረው ይገኛሉ።
Woyanne rounded up 3,000 Oromo students in Addis Ababa, shaved their heads and sent them to a concentration camp in Afar region (photo)Wednesday, July 16th, 2014
The Woyanne junta claims that the 3000 shaved young Ethiopians shown in the photo below are street children, but according to Ethiopian Review sources, they are actually Oromo students who were rounded up from Addis Ababa University and other schools following the recent protests. The number of Oromo students who have been rounded up from Ambo and other towns and currently detained in concentration camps exceeds 30,000, witnesses say.
This month marks the second year of Meles Zenawi’s death and the attempted blatant cover up by the TPLF junta. When we reported about his terminal sickness in May and June 2012, and his death a few weeks later, the Woyanne junta had lied to the people of Ethiopia that the tyrant was on vacation and that he will return to work after the Ethiopian new year. The Woyanne robots were hurling insults against us for reporting the truth. Those Woyanne robots, instead of disappearing in shame, are still here and continue to fabricate lies on a daily basis. Ethiopian Review, on the other hand, deserves Pulitzer Prize for the accuracy of its investigative reporting.
The following is the timeline of the khat-addicted dictator’s sickness and death as reported here:
Dictator Meles Zenawi receives treatment for blood cancer | July 8th, 2012
Treatment takes its toll on Meles Zenawi’s body | July 17th, 2012
Meles Zenawi is said to be dead | July 19th, 2012
Meles Zenawi’s 21-year tyrannical rule comes to a screeching halt (Abebe Gellaw) | July 31st, 2012
Day 58 since Ethiopia’s dictator Meles Zenawi disappeared | August 18th, 2012
Day 60 of Ethiopian dictator Meles Zenawi’s disappearance | August 20th, 2012
Ethiopia’s dictator Meles Zenawi is dead – ETV | August 21st, 2012
The illegal abduction of Andargachew Tsigie by Yemeni officials in Sana’a airport has triggered a grim situation for Ethiopian opposition figures holding American or other Western nation passport as they could be next victims during their travel — specially passing through neighboring Arab and IGAD member countries.
The statement issued by British government after the abduction is a glaring indication that Andargachew was abducted with full knowledge of the British government operatives. How on earth would a country ask another country that abducted its citizen that you could detain him as long as you will not carry out the death penalty?
Here it has to be clear that at the time of his transit through Yemen, Mr. Andargachew Tsegie was a British citizen with good standing. The British government reaction to the abduction should have been stated "immediate and unconditional release" of its citizen and also threaten to take the issue to international court if Ethiopia didn’t positively respond to its request. However, to the dismay of all, the British government just added insult to the injury by asking the Ethiopian government to do anything it pleases with him as long as it doesn’t carry out the death penalty passed on him in abstentia.
Now due to the furious reaction from Ethiopians worldwide, the British government placed itself in scandalous and embarrassing situation as it is part of the illegal abduction of its own citizen by Yemeni and Ethiopian security agencies!
Given the looming danger of further abductions, Eritrean government is issuing Eritrean diplomatic passports to principal Ethiopian opposition figures as abducting any one holding Eritrean diplomatic passport by Yemen, Sudan or Kenya would put those nations in direct diplomatic collision course with Eritrean government.
The problem holding US and other Western passport is becoming less safe as US and Western nations are giving a green light for the arrest of Africans and Middle Eastern origins holding their passports.
The UK and US governments have been getting away with those types actions mainly on Somalians and others with middle eastern origins who were accused of “terrorist” activities. However, this time they made a wrong move because they touched a loved Ethiopian opposition icon and now the Britons are regretting their irresponsible actions. If the Ethiopians keep their demonstrations in tandem of waging formidable legal fight, the British government will shoulder all the responsibility of any harm inflicted on Andargachew Tsegie. Diaspora Ethiopians should continue their demonstrations with no let up!