Archive | September 2016

ጎህ መጽሄት ለንባብ በቃች መስከረም 2009 ዓ.ም

ጎህ መጽሄት በኢትዮጵያ ህዝብ አርበኞች ግንባር ዘብ እየተዘጋጀ በየ 3 ወሩ የምትታተም መጽሄት ናት::

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ጎህ መጽሄት ሶስተኛ አመት ቁጥር 13 2009 ዓ.ም

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Defiant marathoner Feyisa Lilesa has taken Ethiopia’s protests to the United States

(Quartz AfricaEthiopian marathoner Feyisa Lilesa took his defiance on the running field to Washington DC on Tuesday (Sept. 13), calling the United States and world’s attention to the wave of violent protests that has engulfed his home country.

In his first press conference, almost a week since he came to the United States, the Olympic silver medalist painted a gloomy picture of a country in distress and warned of a looming “ethnic conflict” in Ethiopia. The government, he said, was using the “power of the gun” to silence Oromo protesters, who have been demanding economic, political and land reforms since November last year.

When he crossed his arms at the finish line at the Rio Olympics, he said he wanted the world to “finally see and hear the cry of my people.” More than 500 people, mostly from the Oromo and Amhara communities, have been killed in largely peaceful protests, according to human rights organizations.

 “My legs were running but my mind was preoccupied by all the suffering that was going on around me.” The news conference was also attended by some members of the US Congress, who said they were “concerned” about the protests in Ethiopia. Congressman Chris Smith from New Jersey’s 4th congressional district also announced the introduction of a House Resolution supporting respect for human rights and encouraging inclusive governance in Ethiopia. Smith said that once passed, the resolution will be a “strong statement of policy” that will see funding to the Ethiopian government conditioned to the respect for the rule of law and human rights.

In a separate news conference at the Phoenix Park Hotel in Washington, Lilesa highlighted the psychological and personal toll of the current protests. The government’s violent response to the demonstrations, he said, affected him, his family and close friends. He also spoke about his friend Kebede Fayissa, who was killed when the Qilinto prison, located at the outskirts of Addis Ababa, caught fire.

“My legs were running but my mind was preoccupied by all the suffering that was going on around me,” Lilesa said, adding that more athletes are likely to follow in his footsteps in opposing the government.

Yet, despite everything, the 26-year-old said he wasn’t seeking asylumin the United States. The US government has granted him a temporary visa for people with extraordinary skills or abilities. He says he wants to get back to running and is exploring spaces in New Mexico or Arizona for training.

Asked if he would run for the US as an athlete given the chance, Lilesa responded in the negative. “I love my country,” he said. “What I am asking for is freedom and I look back to going to my country once there’s freedom.”

Feyisa said that he regularly communicates with his family, but refused to acknowledge that they faced dangers that were any different from what other Ethiopians were confronting.

“I don’t want to look at my children any different from the children of other people in my country who are being killed,” Lilesa said of his two children, a five-year-old daughter, and a three-year-old son. “They face the same fate and the same destiny like all other children in Ethiopia.”

In an op-ed in the Washington Post on Tuesday, Lilesa said he had received no contact from the Ethiopian government and had no plans to initiate any with them. He conditioned the government to release all prisoners before he can have any talks with them.

Since his arrival in the country last week, Lilesa hasn’t met members of the Ethiopian community in the DC area. He’s set to receive a hero’s welcome at a reception organized by the community on Tuesday (Sept. 3), where songs written in his honor will be performed.

At the end of the press conference, Lilesa, speaking with a soft tone, emphasized why the protest was symbolic for and amongst all Ethiopians. “People are saying from now on we want to live in peace, we are tired of getting killed, we don’t want to be in prison, we don’t want to be forced into exile, we want to decide on our resources and shape the destiny of our country,” he said. “We’ve had enough.”

Defiant marathoner Feyisa Lilesa has taken Ethiopia’s protests to the United States

No Emergency Trust Fund money goes to Ethiopian government, Commission stresses

The ETF was set up last year, at the Valleta migration summit, in an attempt to mitigate the ‘pull’ factors behind uncontrolled migration from sub-Saharan Africa to Europe, in the wake of the migration crisis.

Ethiopia, with a stable and West-friendly government in the Horn of Africa, is one of the major recipients of the trust fund, which aims to improve life chances and livelihoods in some of the world’s poorest countries.

However, the authoritarian government in Addis Ababa has long been the butt of accusations over its treatment of the Oromia people and their region – which surrounds the capital.

Since November 2015 – when Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker signed the ETF – some 400 people have been killed by Ethiopian government security forces during protests, according to New York-based Human Rights Watch.

Thousands more have been detained.

Credit: Human Rights Watch

Amnesty International says over 100 people were killed at a demonstration in early August.

This week, the situation deteriorated further, with the deaths of at least 23 inmates in a fire at a prison believed to be holding detained protestors.

Pictures showed smoke billowing from the jail, but the BBC cited local media reporting the sound of gunfire from the Qilinto prison.

Pressed by EurActiv.com on whether the Commission had a view on the unrest in one of its key partners in sub-Saharan Africa, and whether the ETF contained a mechanism for either reviewing or even suspending payments through the Emergency Trust Fund, a spokesman was quick to point out that no monies were channelled directly through the government in Addis Ababa, or any government agencies.

In an emailed statement later, it added, “As far as the Emergency Trust Fund for Africa is concerned, it is important to know that no funding are decentralised to, or channelled through, the beneficiary countries’ government structures.

“This of course also applies to Ethiopia.”

EU: SUPPORTING THE ETHIOPIAN PEOPLE NOW, AND OVER THE LONG TERM

Ethiopia is being hit hard by one the most severe El Niño phenomenon on record. Numbers speak for themselves – in the past year, the number of food insecure people has increased from 2.9 million to over 10 million at present, write Neven Mimica and Christos Stylianides.

EurActiv.com

Ethiopia, which is a close ally of Washington, is surrounded by failed states in the Horn of Africa, such as South Sudan, Somalia and Eritrea. This year it has had to deal with one of its worst droughts in 50 years, worse even than that of the famine of 1984-85, exacerbated by the El Niño weather phenomenon.

However, it has a difficult relationship with major aid agencies and NGOs, some of whom complain privately that operating in the country is dependent on not criticising the government in Addis Ababa.

The government in Addis Ababa, led by Prime Minister Hailemariam Dessalegn, has angrily dismissed the numbers cited by HRW, although admitting people have died in the protests, and blamed “illegal demonstrations and criminal attacks on property” for the unrest.

Desssalegn gave a press briefing on 30th August in which he made it clear that the government had a “responsibility to deal carry out its mandate to maintain law and order.”

“The government would never abrogate its responsibility to maintain peace, law and order. It would not allow the illegal demonstrations, violent clashes or criminal attacks on property that have been disturbing the country to continue,” he added.

Dessalegn stressed that peaceful demonstrations were allowed under the Ethiopian constitution – but must be agreed in time and in advance over location, be peaceful and “avoid disrupting day-to-day public activities or civic engagement.”

The PM also criticised the New York Times and the Financial Times, at length, for recent articles which he claimed romanticised the opposition or downplayed the country’s economic strengths, respectively.

Although no single event seems to have triggered the 10 months of demonstrations in Ethiopia, the Oromo people complained of a plan to expand the capital, Addis Ababa, into their lands, and that they are disenfranchised by a government largely led by the Tigray grouping, from northern Ethiopia.

MIMICA: EMERGENCY TRUST FUND FOR AFRICA ‘MIGHT NOT BE A GAME-CHANGER’

In a wide-ranging interview, Commissioner Neven Mimica tells EurActiv.com’s Matthew Tempest about the executive’s master plan for legal migration, as well as the limits of development aid to African states in the rough.

EurActiv.com

The cause of the Oromo people hit the headlines worldwide this summer, as Ethiopian runner Feyisa Lilesa crossed the finishing line at the Rio Olympics with his arms crossed in protest, before seeking political asylum abroad.

A spokesman for the Commission said, “The EU follows the human rights situation in Ethiopia very closely.

“Through high-level political contacts, the EU consistently raises concerns with the Ethiopian government.

“The EU also provides specific assistance to support human rights in the country, notably through the EU Civil Society Fund. We firmly believe that the combination of constructive dialogue and targeted development assistance will lead to positive changes in the human rights situation in Ethiopia and in the region.

“Key areas of concern are human rights, peace and stability in the country, as well as irregular migration and displacement.

Recently, the Ethiopian government began a big drive to increase its attraction as a high-end international tourism destination.

Source :- No Emergency Trust Fund money goes to Ethiopian government, Commission stresses

DEATH TOLL, TENSION RISE FOLLOWING PM HAILEMARIAM’S ORDERS FOR MILITARY TO TAKE MEASURES IN AMHARA REGION

/ / Several people are reported to have been killed in various parts of the Amhara regional state in Northern Ethiopia, where an ongoing protest by the people is intensifying. The VOA Amharic service quoted a resident in Debarq yesterday that four people were when security officers fired live bullets at protesting civilians.

Over the last few days several reports on social media indicated a rising death toll following security crackdown against a stay-at-home protests in Bahir Dar and Gonder, the region’s capital and a historic city visited by thousands of tourists respectively.  Pictures coming from many cities and towns in the region also show protesting citizens, burning tyres and roadblocks.  Reports also indicate that up to 50 civilians were killed in the past one week only.

Tensions are on the rise following a statement given to state owned media by Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn in which he announced that he has ordered the Ethiopian National Defense Force (ENDF) to intervene to control the situation in the region, home to the second largest ethnic group in the country. In his speech PM Hailemariam blamed Ethiopia’s “outside enemies” for being the instigators to disrupt the country by providing “radicals with sacks full of money.” He further stated that the government will use “its full forces to bring the rule of law” into the region.

A day prior to PM Hailemariam’s statement, Sheger FM, a private radio based in Addis Abeba, reported that the regional state has requested a military intervention by the Federal government. Talking to the station, Nigusu Tilahun, the regional government’s Chief spokesperson, conceded that lives were lost in the recent protests but declined to give numbers. As a result of intensifying protests, the regional government requested the intervention of the federal army, Sheger FM quoted the spokesperson.

Accordingly reports indicate that the region is now divided into five zones and is placed under a military command.

Pictures circulating around social media show heavy artillery moving towards the state capital Bahir Dar, 550 North of Addis Abeba, and the nearby town of Gondar where the recent wave of #Amharaprotests originated late last month. Addis Standard could not independently verify the authenticity of those pictures. Internet is shut off in the whole region while locals fear government sanctioned phone call monitoring.

The #Amharaprotests began in late July when security forces tried to arrest leaders of the Wolkayit committee, a committee formed by the people of Wokayit to find solutions related to the border and identity questions of the Wolkayit community.

In the last few days tens of thousands of citizens in several cities and towns in Gojam and Gonder areas of the region have come out to the streets to protest the government. In what many see as the ultimate test of the ruling EPRDF protesters are also showing solidarity with the #Oromoprotests which began in Nov. 2015.

In the weekend of 6-7 August region wide protests both in Amhara and Oromia regions were met by violent crackdown by security forces. It’s reported that more than 100 civilians were killed in that weekend only, according to Amnesty International. In Bahir Dar only, more than 30 people were killed when a security guard opened fire at protesters. The government disputes that number. The stay-at-home protests in Bahir and Gonder followed the deadliest weekend, however in the last few days that too turned violent when security forces began breaking into houses in an attempt to force citizens and businesses to stop the stay-at-home protests.

Bahir DarRoadblock in Bahir Dar. Photo: Social Media 

Some reports claim that attacks against government institutions and party owned and affiliated businesses were witnessed in some cities and towns. There are also reports that young men and women are being arrested en mass by security forces.