Oromia Today

Independent Voice of Oromia

IN-DEPTH ANALYSIS: TOWARDS TIGRAY STATEHOOD?

KJETIL TRONVOLL @KJETILTRONVOLL

Source: https://addisstandard.com/in-depth-analysis-towards-tigray-statehood/

Addis Abeba, May 14/2020 – The postponement of the elections and Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s proposal on how to solve the upcoming constitutional crisis in Ethiopia, has accentuated Tigrayan nationalism and the process of ensuring de facto Tigray statehood. The current political dynamics in the country, if continued unchecked, may push the Tigrayan discourse even further, as voices advocating for secession and Tigrayan independence are increasingly heard. How come Tigray, the cradle of Ethiopian civilization and the ‘country’s engine’, according to Abiy Ahmed, entertain ideas of statehood and secession? What developments have compelled both the people and some political elites to argue that the perceived best solution may possibly be to leave Ethiopia?

An axiom in conflict resolution is to understand your adversary’s positioning and context, and from that basis interpret her/his argument. What may appear irrational and illegitimate from your point of view, may actually resonance quite well among the followers of your opponent. Knowledge about each other’s positioning and contexts may thus contribute to creating a common frame of communication; i.e. that both sides are equally informed about each other’s views about the issue of contestation at hand they seek to address. This article aims to present how various Tigrayan actors are engaging in the discourse on statehood, to contribute to mitigating continued escalation of the discord. [More]

World Report 2020: Ethiopia | Human Rights Watch

Source: https://www.hrw.org/world-report/2020/country-chapters/ethiopia
Ethiopia
Events of 2019

Human rights reforms implemented by Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed during his first year in office were threatened in 2019 by communal, including ethnic, conflict and breakdowns in law and order.

Lakkaawwiin ummataa kan biyoolessaa wal-falmisiisaa garuu kan yeroon isaa darbe filannoo bara 2020 raawwachuuf karoorfameef haalan akka barbaachisu otoo beekamuu ji’a waxabajjii keessa paarlaamaan biyyattii lakkawwii ummataa kana dabarsuuf murteesseera. [More]

Oromiyaa: The Endless Colonial Conspiracy and Genocide Wars in Ethiopia

By: Itana Gammada
April 14, 2020
A people under colonial occupation have a maximum of two choices, either stand up and fight for their freedom and dignity or accept humiliation, subjugation, victimization and perpetual slavery. Throughout human history, colonialism has never been an option. Rather, oppressed people worldwide make the necessary sacrifices to achieve their national objective and fulfill their destiny. It is important to bear in mind that the colonized and repressed people do not remain here for perceived beliefs or temporary economic, piecemeal material gains, but for a fundamental national freedom. They stand for justice, democracy, and human dignity that guarantees their future existence in peace and progress.

For these fundamental reasons, people who have fallen under colonial occupation or slavery will fight against any colonial hegemony. For the last one hundred fifty years, the Oromo people have been subjected to state terrorism, violent atrocities, physical destruction, humiliation, plundering of their resources and mass uprooting under the successive Abyssinian (Ethiopian) regimes. [More]

Forms of Political Systems: Unitary, Federalism, Confederalism, and the Oromo question

By Leenjiso Horo, April 2020

The great mass of the people are the foundation of the state. People are the basis of all legitimate political authority…..No sovereignty can come into existence, or continue to exist, unless the people consent to and authorize it. The inherent and inalienable sovereignty of the people is therefore assumed as a political principle of incontestable validity, -a premise which could not be assailed.

--Prof. C. Edward Merriam, A History of American Political Theories (1910)

This article mainly focuses on federalism as a constitutional arrangement of government and a little touches on unitary, and confederal forms of governments. Federalism differs from Unitary, in which the regional governments are subordinate to the central government, and from confederalism in which the confederal government is subordinate to the regional governments. [More]

Ethiopia: Murder convicted criminals got pardoned, political prisoners transferred to a notorious prison

Source: Ayyaantuu.org
March 27, 2020

#Ayet Ayetu Baro Tumsa

Ethiopian government has released a statement about pardoning prisoners because of Coronavirus. What might seem commendable is actually concerning. While processing paperwork, prison officials raised concerns about the future safety of our society because the list contains hundreds of dangerous criminals convicted of theft, robbery, assault and attempted murder. Ex-government officials charged with corruption and extortion are also on the list to be released. They are a total of 4089 criminals, mainly from Qilinxo, Qaliti, Dire Dhawa, Zuwaye and Shoa Robit. 200 have been released out of Qilinxo today. [More]

Internet shutdowns 'not justified' in coronavirus outbreak

MARCH 21, 2020

Rina Chandran, Emeline Wuilbercq

Ethiopia’s government also imposed a communications shutdown across much of western Oromia region in January, leading to an information blackout for more than 3 million people.

As of Friday, Ethiopia had nine active coronavirus cases, according to the ministry of health.

“The government should not be gambling with people’s health,” said Laetitia Bader, Horn of Africa director at Human Rights Watch.

“At the very least it should restore phone and internet access and allow families to warn their loved ones about the basic steps to take to prevent infection.”

Rina Chandran, Emeline Wuilbercq

 

BANGKOK / ADDIS ABABA (Thomson Reute [More]

SPECIAL EDITION: FAILED POLITICS AND DECEPTION: BEHIND THE CRISIS IN WESTERN AND SOUTHERN OROMIA

Source:

https://addisstandard.com/special-edition-failed-politics-and-deception-behind-the-crisis-in-western-and-southern-oromia/


On January 31st, another prominent fighter lost his life in equally murky circumstances. Gurache Wato Guyo spent over a decade fighting for the OLF in parts of Southern Ethiopia. His piercing eyes were remembered by many as he was featured in a rare documentary made about the group by a Kenyan journalist, Yassin Juma, back in 2009. The 19, Gurache crouched down clutching his Ak-47; he was tasked with protecting the Kenyan journalist as he slept at night, embedded with the rebels.


Screengrab of Gurache as a teenager as seen in a 2009 documentary on the OLF (Image: NTV)
A decade later, he too decided his time as a fighter had come to an end. Now aged 30, Gurache surrendered his weapon, left the OLA and spent some time at one of the government run rehabilitation camps before settling in the rural Elwayo district of the Borena zone. His death was announced on January 31st via OLF online portals. Addis Standard has viewed images too graphic to publish showing what appear to be his bullet riddled corpse. On social media, Oromos blame the federal government for his death. [More]

OROMO QUESTION NEVER RETIRES WITHOUT RESPONSE

Organized Oromo liberation movement started in the 60s because Habashaarulers that built Nafxanyaa colonial system refused to give attention to peacefully presented Oromo questions. African countries they had fallen with started to be free around the same time after 75 years. Oromo struggle continued until they were listened to in 1991. It has still to continue without tire until they get proper response. The new rulers that replaced the old one recognized the Oromo question and agreed on federal form of government in which the rights of each nations and nationalities to national self-determination is recognized. Habashaa ancestors by historical accident were able to occupy the land of others. Not only their land but also tried to destroy their culture, language and their identity in general and assimilate into their own. They have brainwashed all to the extent that some even started to call themselves Habashaa. Habashaa present generation is born into this situation that they get highly strung by indigenous peoples’ claim of being different from them. [More]

Onslaught in Oromia: A hidden war threatens Ethiopia’s transition to democracy

Abiy Ahmed’s crackdown in Oromia is bloody and lawless

Source: The Economist

https://www.economist.com/middle-east-and-africa/2020/03/19/a-hidden-war-threatens-ethiopias-transition-to-democracy

Middle East and Africa Mar 19th 2020 edition

NEKEMTE

In the corner of a restaurant in Nekemte, a town in western Ethiopia, Fisaha Aberra unfolds a piece of paper on which he has scrawled the names of 11 men he says were shot by soldiers last year. After this came mass arrests. Fisaha and two siblings fled their home in Guliso to Nekemte, leaving one brother behind who was arrested last month, for the second time in a year, and beaten so hard he cannot walk.

Arrests and summary executions have become commonplace in the far-flung reaches of Oromia, Ethiopia’s largest region. The Ethiopian security forces are waging war on armed Oromo separatists. They are also treating civilians brutally. Accounts by witnesses suggest there is indiscriminate repression of local dissent in a country supposedly on the path from one-party rule towards democracy.

This was not what Ethiopians expected from Abiy Ahmed, who became prime minister in 2018. He was a young reformer from Oromia. He promised democracy for all and redress for what Oromos claim is centuries of political and economic marginalisation. Abiy freed thousands of political prisoners and welcomed rebel groups back from exile to contest elections, now scheduled for August.

Abiy made peace with neighbouring Eritrea, for which he won the Nobel Peace Prize, as well as with rebel groups including the Oromo Liberation Front (olf), which is now an opposition party. The group’s armed wing, the Oromo Liberation Army (ola), agreed to put down its guns; in return its soldiers were to join Oromia’s police. Many hoped to see the end of an insurgency that began almost 50 years ago. [More]

The Legacy of the Past on Ethiopia’s Modern Political Life

By John Markakis
12/03/2020
Posted at 00:05h in Blog, Featured by roape1974

The legacy of the past weighs heavily on Ethiopia’s modern political life and is frequently manifested in crises that topple regimes and threaten the state’s survival. ROAPE’s John Markakis seeks to fathom the reasons for the repeated failure to resolve them. In this blogpost he highlights the root causes that need to be confronted if meaningful reform is to be achieved.

Source: http://roape.net/2020/03/12/the-legacy-of-the-past-on-ethiopias-modern-political-life/ [More]

Blood on the Nile is what's coming if Egypt and Ethiopia continue their war of words over water

Source: https://www.independent.co.uk/voices/egypt-nile-war-water-ethiopia-clash-dam-trump-a9390271.html

The Nile, one of the wonders of the natural world, finds itself the subject of an escalating war of words. It could turn the river from a source for civilisation and peace to a source of conflict.

War looms on the horizon after nine years of exhausting negotiations over damming the Nile by Ethiopia.

For thousands of years, Egypt built its ancient civilisation and the basis for its modern economy - not least the nation's identity on the unstoppable flow of the Nile water. But, for the first time, it is threatened by thirst. [More]

Ethiopia's Abiy faces outcry over crackdown on rebels

Source: https://www.france24.com/en/20200229-ethiopia-s-abiy-faces-outcry-over-crackdown-on-rebels

Issued on: 29/02/2020 - 05:10Modified: 29/02/2020 - 05:08

Nekemte (Ethiopia) (AFP)

Desta Garuma, a 27-year-old rickshaw driver, never showed much interest in politics, so his family has no idea how soldiers concluded he was involved in a rebel movement active in Ethiopia's Oromia region.

But one day in January, five truckloads of soldiers followed him home, shouting that they had identified a shifta, or bandit -- a euphemism for rebel.

As his mother and younger sister cowered inside, the soldiers fatally shot Desta three times in the back, according to witnesses. [More]

Ethiopia: Vendor killed, musician injured after police attack opposition supporters in Oromia

Source: https://www.amnesty.org/en/latest/news/2020/02/ethiopia-vendor-killed-musician-injured-after-police-attack-opposition-supporters-in-oromia/

Police in Ethiopia launched an attack on opposition party supporters in the Oromia Region on Saturday, killing one person and arresting and injuring scores more.

Just hours after the date for Ethiopia’s parliamentary elections was announced, the Oromia Liyu police raided the inauguration of an Oromia Liberation Front (OLF) office in Welenchiti, firing live bullets and tear gas, killing one OLF supporter who was a clothes vendor.

These brazen attacks show just how dangerous it is becoming to assemble and express political
stances in Ethiopia.
Seif Magango, Amnesty International’s Deputy Director for East and Southern Africa [More]

Ethiopia’s naive peacemaking could lead to war

by Michael Rubin | February 17, 2020 09:43 AM

Source: https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/opinion/ethiopias-naive-peacemaking-could-lead-to-war

That Abiy would risk such action for a photo-op suggests the Ethiopian prime minister puts ego above common sense and may be descending down the same path of self-destruction that led an earlier generation of African leaders to destroy their countries while glorifying themselves. For the sake of the region, let us hope that regional leaders, European officials, and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will try to talk sense into Ethiopia’s egotistical leader before he makes a move, which can undo decades of progress and cost tens of thousands of lives. [More]

Drivers of ethnic conflict in contemporary Ethiopia

Drivers of ethnic conflict in
contemporary Ethiopia
Semir Yusuf
Source: https://issafrica.s3.amazonaws.com/site/uploads/mono-202-2.pdf


MONOGRAPH 202 | DECEMBER 2019

Executive summary

Over the past two years, Ethiopia has experienced both rapid political liberalisation and a surge in violent conflicts. The surge in violence is largely due to a rise in militant, competing ethnic nationalisms in the context of perceived fragility of state and party institutions. The two forces have been closely and cyclically influencing each other for decades.

Exclusivist and authoritarian political institutions since the imperial (1930–1974) and military (1974–1991) eras have played a role in the emergence and ripening of contending nationalisms in the country. Centralised but federated political institutions during the Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) era have further complicated the nationalist scene by creating multiple lines of ethno-nationalist struggles in Ethiopia.

From mid-2010 onwards, rising competing ethno-nationalisms led to the relative weakening of party and state structures, resulting in the intensification of ethnic mobilisations. The outcome was deadly. At a micro level, security challenges and a concern for group worth have fuelled violence.

With the perceived fragility of the state and ruling party, elites have further exacerbated the conflicts for opportunistic reasons. The economic downturn has played a role both as a source of grievance – facilitating ethnic mobilisation – and also as a factor that makes it easier for some to engage in violence, since they feel they have little to lose.

To sustainably tackle the problem of violence in Ethiopia, the institutional and ideological context of the country must urgently be changed. The ruling party, the main actor in charge of the country’s political processes, needs transformation both within its constituent parties and the coalition as a whole. The constituent parties need to prioritise unity, with a clear negotiated vision and party discipline.

Then they need to strike a balance between their particular interests regarding their constituencies, and responsibility of the coalition as a whole. This is needed to maintain stability and ensure the country’s smooth transition. Reprioritising interests is of critical importance. Candid interparty discussions with a genuine attempt to incorporate the reasonable fears and demands of all parties into the transition process are vital. The EPRDF leadership should prioritise such negotiated deals over rushed party merger.

Moreover, inclusive political dialogue among other political actors is necessary to help detoxify the political environment and pave the way for effective state reconstruction. These forces must focus their efforts on concrete constitutional design options or public policy alternatives that could incorporate the reasonable interests and tackle the fears of all political groups. Contentious issues and agendas over borders, territorial disputes, minority rights and autonomy demands should be part of the wider exercise to restructure the state in an inclusive manner.

Finally, the state should reclaim its autonomy from mob influences; renegotiate and clarify the new intergovernmental power relations; and step up its ability to contain and prevent violent conflicts in a professional and human rights-sensitive manner.



Contents
Executive summary ......................................... [More]

Amnesty International: Ethiopian authorities crack down on opposition supporters with mass arrests

News:

Ethiopia: Authorities crack down on opposition supporters with mass arrests

27 January 2020, 18:52 UTC

Source: https://www.amnesty.org/en/latest/news/2020/01/ethiopia-authorities-crack-down-on-opposition-supporters-with-mass-arrests/

Amnesty International has confirmed that at least 75 supporters of the Oromo Liberation Front (OLF) were arrested over the weekend from various places in different parts of Oromia Regional State, as Ethiopian authorities intensify the crackdown on dissenting political views ahead of the general elections.

The return of mass arrests of opposition activists and supporters is a worrying signal in Ethiopia. [More]

Urgent call to UN and international community: Appeal to stop the killings of innocent civilians in Oromia/Ethiopia

Urgent call to UN and international community
January 20, 2020

To: The United Nations Security Council
Office of the Ombudsperson
Room DC2 2206
United Nations
New York, NY 10017
United States of America
Tel: +1 212 963 2671
E-mail: ombudsperson@un.org

Subject: Urgent Appeal to stop the killings of innocent civilians in Oromia/Ethiopia

We, the undersigned Oromo Civic and Professional Organizations, write this letter to you, because we are seriously concerned about the violence in Oromia/Ethiopia resulting from the government’s deliberate military aggression and occupation under the command post in Wallaga, Gujii, Wollo and Borana zones of Oromia Regional State, and the violence against Oromo students at universities in Amhara Regional State. [More]

OSA: Responding to False Accusations

 
January 12, 2020
Dear Mr. Secretary General,

I am writing this letter to you on behalf of the Oromo Studies Association (OSA) out of grave concern about the false accusations made against the Oromo youth – Qeeroo by Mr. Eskinder Negga and Professor Getachew Haile. OSA is an independent international scholarly organization established thirty-five years ago to advance knowledge about Oromo history, sociology, economy, politics, culture, and public health. The formation of OSA was necessary because, until the 1980s, the Oromo history was written by non-Oromos who had neither adequate knowledge about the Oromo people or respect for their culture and worldviews. OSA was organized to correct the wrong narratives crafted by those authors and foster knowledge that advances the collective and individual rights of the Oromo people. The Oromo Studies Association is alarmed to hear from the media that a group of Ethiopians led by Mr. Eskinder Negga and Professor Getachew Haile have approached the UN, accusing the Oromo youth known as Qeerroo of having committed or are intending to commit genocide on the Amhara, who live in Oromia region and its capital city Finfinnee/Addis Ababa (hereafter Finfinnee) which is also the seat of the Federal Government of the Republic of Ethiopia. [More]

Nobel Peace Prize winner accused: Civilians are murdered and tortured

Source: https://www.expressen.se/nyheter/nobel-peace-prize-winner-accused-civilians-are-murdere

https://www.expressen.se/tv/nyheter/hear-the-mursi-people-tell-of-torture-and-persecution-by-ethopian-military/

SOUTHERN OMO, ETHIOPIA

Ethiopias Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed recieves the Nobel Peace Prize tomorrow in Oslo.

But at the same time the security forces of this year's Nobel Peace laureate are being accused of quietly killing and torturing people from the Mursi, Bodi and Suri tribes in southern Ethiopia.

Expressen's reporter Torbjörn Selander travelled undercover to the region as a tourist and birdwatcher to investigate the accusations of serious crimes.

He met in secret with torture victims from the Mursi people. They testified about murder and beatings by government soldiers, about how they had to spend hours without water in the open under a burning sun, about how they were hung upside down while their feet were beaten with rebars.

– They urinated on me and I was forced to drink my own urin, one elderly victim tells Expressen. [More]