Since November 2015, Ethiopia has been experiencing a wave of anti-government protests unleashed by fears by the Oromo people that the government was planning to seize their land. Hundreds of people have been killed. Continue reading
By Alemayehu G, Mariam
Last July, Barack Obama visited Ethiopia and declared the ruling Thugtatoship of the Tigrean People’s Liberation Front (T-TPLF) regime a “democratic government.”
The T-TPLF claimed with a straight face that it had won the 2015 “election” by 100 percent or all 547 seats in “parliament”.
The New York Times called it a “sham”.
Human Rights Watch called Obama’s statement “shocking”.
I called it a low down dirty shame.
On April 20, 2016, Senators Ben Cardin (D-Maryland), Maria Cantwell (D-WA), Patty Murry (D-WA), Ed Markey (D-MA), Chris Coons (D-DE), Bob Menendez (D-NJ), Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Al Franken (D-MN), Dick Durbin (D-IL), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Marco Rubio (R-FL) sponsored a Resolution condemning the crimes against humanity being committed by the T-TPLF in Ethiopia today. Continue reading
The arrest came several months after Omot, a respected activist from Ethiopia’s Gambella region, served as translator for the World Bank Inspection Panel. The panel investigated the Anuak indigenous people’s allegation that the Ethiopian government was committing widespread forced displacement and other serious human rights violations in relation to a World Bank project in Gambella.
The authorities eventually released four of the seven, but Omot, Ashine Astin, and Jamal Oumar Hojele were charged on September 7, under Ethiopia’s draconian counterterrorism law. The seven had been on their way to a food security workshop in Nairobi, Kenya, organized by international groups. It was described in the charge sheet as a “terrorist group meeting.”
Omot faces 20 years to life in prison, accused of being a co-founder and leader of the Gambella People’s Liberation Movement (GPLM), a long inactive group that has not been designated a terrorist organization by the Ethiopian parliament. Ashine is accused of preparing a presentation titled, “Deforestation, Dispossession and Displacement of Gambela in General and Majang People in Particular.”
Sadly, their plight is a familiar story in Ethiopia. Those who criticize government policies – including development programs – are routinely arrested and accused of supporting armed opposition groups. Sometimes they are charged under the counterterrorism law. Sometimes they are not charged but are detained for lengthy periods. Sometimes they are tortured. The courts almost never investigate detainees’ allegations that they were tortured to confess. Acquittals are rare and those accused are routinely convicted without any meaningful evidence presented by the prosecution.
In recent years, Ethiopia’s government has produced economic and development progress, but accurately assessing the extent of that progress is impossible when people must risk detention or worse to express their views. As with the Oromo protesters who have been risking their lives to demonstrate over the past months, the arrest of Omot and his colleagues reminds us that the government only tolerates one view of government policies. Those who want to voice a different perspective, or who represent communities that bear the brunt of Ethiopia’s top-down, repressive policies, are silenced and sometimes accused of terrorism.
As an orchestra of mosquitoes and crickets greet the dusk, Bedlu Abera looks out over fields of rice stretching across the Ethiopian lowlands.
A flicker of contentment crosses his face. “It’s satisfying,” he says. “We are making progress.”
Bedlu is overseeing Saudi Star Agricultural Development’s first substantial harvest, and there is an urgency to his work. The land must be cleared and planted swiftly before the rains return. Continue reading
By Messay Kebede
February 25, 2016 Logically, one would hope that the Oromo uprising and the undeniable general discontent and frustration in the country call for a serious movement toward a reformist dissent within the TPLF and perhaps the army. In whichever way the present situation is analyzed, it cannot avoid the conclusionthat the path so far followed is an impasse and that a change of course is a must. In case someTPLFelites are confused about the situation, I remind them that the new occurrence is that the Oromo people have finally overcome their fear. History repeatedly shows that people who have defeated fear cannot be stopped, with the added fact that the recovery of courage is a contagious phenomenon. Such a movement can be temporarily blocked, but it cannot be crushed. Continue reading
Are there any issues that the people of Ethiopia and the region have failed to discuss regarding the minority Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF/EPRDF) regime and its crimes, genocides, transgressions, misdeeds, lies, corruption, nepotism etc…? Continue reading
January 11, 2015
Okello Akway Ochalla, has been held as a political prisoner in Ethiopia since March 2014 after he was kidnapped by Ethiopian Intelligence forces from South Sudan, where he had traveled from his refugee in Norway to “visit friends and families”. Continue reading
By Deutsche Welle
December 24, 2015
In an interview with DW, a spokesman of the Ethiopian Federal Democratic Unity Forum accused the government of abusing the country’s constitution with its plans to expand the capital Addis Ababa. Continue reading
By Elias Meseret, AP
December 24, 2015
ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia (AP) — Ethiopian government forces have killed more than 80 people in the past four weeks in protests in the country’s Oromia region, an Ethiopian opposition party charged Wednesday. Continue reading