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Oromia Today

Independent Voice of Oromia



29 May 2020, Index number: AFR 25/2358/2020

The political reforms introduced in Ethiopia by the incumbent government in 2018 presented the country with an opportunity to break with its abysmal human rights record marred by extrajudicial killings, torture and other ill-treatment and enforced disappearance among other serious human rights violations. While initial first steps have been taken towards improving the human rights environment in the country, a persistence of old-style patterns of violence perpetrated by the security forces threatens to derail sustained long-term gain.

To read full report: https://www.amnesty.org/download/Documents/AFR2523582020ENGLISH.PDF [More]

Ethiopia: Security forces 'must face justice for horrific human rights violations' - New Report

Amnesty International UK
Press releases
29 May 2020 10:8am

At least 10,000 people were arbitrarily arrested and detained last year as part of the government’s crackdown on armed attacks and violence in Oromia Region

Forces have burned homes to the ground, committed rape and extrajudicial execution in response to inter-communal violence

‘With elections on the horizon, these violations and abuses could escalate out of control unless the government takes urgent measures’ - Deprose Muchena [More]

Ethiopian army gunned down man because his phone rang during meeting, Amnesty says

By Greg Norman | Fox News 29 May 2020

An Ethiopian soldier gunned down a 32-year-old businessman during a security crackdown last year because his phone went off during a public meeting, Amnesty International revealed Friday.

The shocking killing was carried out as Ethiopia was trying to suppress an armed uprising by the Oromo Liberation Army, which formed in a region where members of an ethnic group had been complaining they were being marginalized from political and economic power, the BBC reports.

“During the meeting, one of the phones collected rang and the soldiers asked who the owner of the phone was,” Amnesty International wrote in a report about the August 2019 incident in the Oromia regional state, citing testimony from a witness. “Ariti Shununde responded saying that the phone belonged to him.”

“The EDF soldier ordered him to come to the front and he obeyed. Then the soldier told Ariti to turn around,” it continued. “As soon as Ariti’s back turned towards the soldiers, the soldier shot him in his back with two bullets. They killed him in front of the crowd.”

Amnesty says Shununde’s family and friends then started wailing and soldiers broke up the gathering.

“They then ordered some people to pick up the body and bury it immediately,” the report said. “As ordered, they instantly buried him at the cemetery of the locality.”

Local government officials later told Shununde’s family that he was killed by mistake.

Amnesty says the killing was never investigated and the soldier behind it, to this day, is still roaming free.
Source: https://www.foxnews.com/world/ethiopian-army-killed-man-over-phone-amnesty-says [More]

Ethiopian Security Forces Accused of 39 Extrajudicial Killings

By Reuters

May 29, 2020Updated 3:47 p.m. ET

"The report is further proof that the new administration has not parted ways with the practice of forcefully stifling dissent, committing egregious human rights violations and carrying out extrajudicial killings," the Oromo Liberation Front and the Oromo Federalist Congress, an opposition party, said in a joint statement.

Based on interviews with 80 victims or direct witnesses of violence, Amnesty's report said the Ethiopian army and regional security forces in Amhara and Oromiya were involved in inter-ethnic killings, mass arbitrary detentions and rape. [More]

To Heal, Ethiopia Needs to Confront its Violent Past

Laetitia Bader
Senior Researcher, Africa Division

And yet, over the last two years, Ethiopia has experienced growing unrest and communal violence. The rise in violence, has led to deaths, displacement, and property destruction.

The government’s response to some of these challenges already show signs of backsliding. There are many credible reports of killings, torture, and arbitrary arrests by security forces. We have also documented shutdowns of phone and internet services in Oromia, and the arrests of journalists and opposition leaders and their supporters. A return to abusive practices is a painful reminder of the longstanding failure to effectively reform the security sector and address its culture of impunity. [More]

Ethiopia's security forces accused of torture, evictions and killings – report


Prime minister Abiy Ahmed has been lauded for his democratic reforms. But Amnesty International are now urging him to investigate allegations of serious human rights abuses

Tom Gardner in Addis Ababa

Fri 29 May 2020 15.15 AEST

In Oromia, security forces are waging a counter-insurgency campaign against rebels from the Oromo Liberation Army (OLA), an armed guerrilla movement demanding more autonomy for Oromos, which returned from exile in 2018 after Abiy removed it from Ethiopia’s list of terrorist organisations. [More]


addisstandard / May 26, 2020 / https://addisstandard.com/analysis-the-role-of-the-qeerroo-in-future-oromo-politics/

The Nature Of The Qeerroo As A Movement
This brings us to the question of what kind of movement the Qeerroo actually is. Foreign observers, Ethiopian political analysts, and many ordinary Ethiopians have struggled to define it and to identify its internal structures. The Qeerroo is said to be formally organized as the National Oromian Youth Movement, which had its own homepage. It is, however, doubtful that this is the main representative body of the movement. Some claim that it emerged in the 1990s as part of the Oromo Liberation Front (OLF), while others argue that the Qeerroo started around 2005, as an underground network called “Qeerroo Blisumma Oromia” (Qeerroo for the Freedom of Oromia). Recently Qarree has appeared as the female counterpart to the male Qeerroo, and some even claim that the Qarree “recently has been formalized.” [More]

Why are Africa's coronavirus successes being overlooked?

Source: https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/may/21/africa-coronavirus-successes-innovation-europe-us

Examples of innovation aren’t getting the fanfare they would do if they emerged from Europe or the US

Remember, early on in the Covid-19 pandemic, the speculation as to how apocalyptic it would be if this disease hit the African continent? I do. There was deep anxiety about what it would mean for countries with lower income populations, dominant but harder-to-regulate informal economies and far fewer healthcare facilities than the UK or Italy. [More]



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
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]




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]


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


Middle East and Africa Mar 19th 2020 edition


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
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]