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October 08, 2007

Ethiopia accuses Eritrea of instigating war


Ethiopia accuses Eritrea of instigating war

Mon Oct 8, 2007

ADDIS ABABA, Oct 8 (Reuters) - Outgoing Ethiopian President Girma Wolde-Giorgise accused Eritrea on Monday of disregarding attempts to peacefully resolve a border impasse and putting the Horn of Africa neighbours on the path to war.

"Our government has persistently expressed its unwavering desire to engage in a relationship with Eritrea based on the principles of peace and non-interference," the president said in a speech to parliament.

"However, the incumbent government of Eritrea does not appear to be ready for peace and good neighbourliness."

After a 1998-2000 border war that killed 70,000 people, an independent commission ruled on their boundary in 2002.

But Ethiopia has called for new dialogue on that ruling, leading to an impasse many fear could spark new conflict. Addis Ababa says Eritrea is breaking the peace agreement by deploying troops in a U.N.-patrolled security zone.

Girma Wolde-Giorgise, whose six-year term expires this month, said Eritrea was training and deploying terrorists to destabilise Ethiopia, forcing Addis Ababa to take pre-emptive steps and make ready their defences.

"Instead of focusing on improving its own worsening domestic situation, (Eritrea) has consistently expressed its intention to instigate war with Ethiopia," he said.

Eritrea denies it supports armed groups inside Ethiopia, or that it is provoking a new conflict.

Asmara says Addis Ababa should accept the 2002 ruling, and accuses the international community of unfairly siding with Ethiopia for geo-political reasons.

Analysts and diplomats say neither country really wants to go to war, in spite of the inflammatory rhetoric on both sides. But they worry an unplanned skirmish could trigger conflict.

October 07, 2007

Ethiopia to exchange famine for food

By Barney Jopson

Published: October 7 2007

The government of Ethiopia, which has one of Africa’s most state-dominated economies, is stepping into uncharted territory by launching a commodity exchange to help alleviate food shortages and encourage the commercialisation of agriculture.

The Ethiopia Commodity Exchange (ECEX), which is due to open in December, will sit at the hub of new price dissemination and quality control systems designed to improve liquidity and transparency and reduce transaction risk.

The plan shows how a buzz around fast-growing commodity exchanges has reached Africa from Asia – particularly India and China – which is now home to six of the world’s top 10 commodities futures markets by volume.

But given the myriad weaknesses of Ethiopia’s agriculture sector and the government’s insistence on maintaining a tight grip on ECEX, there are doubts about how much and how quickly it will make a difference.

It was food shortages in 2002 – not the famous famine of 1984-85 – that led in government circles to the idea of a commodity exchange. The 1980s’ famine was caused in part by the Derg regime’s denial of food to areas loyal to anti-government rebels, who toppled it in 1991 and remain in power today.

Eleni Gabre-Madhin, who is leading the exchange project, said the 2002 shortages were purely the result of “market failure”.

The country had consecutive bumper maize harvests in 2001 and 2002. However, they triggered an 80 per cent price collapse and led to 300,000 tonnes of grain being left to rot in fields because it was not profitable to harvest. In July 2002 Ethiopia made an international appeal for emergency food aid for millions of people.

At the time Ms Gabre-Madhin was studying how to use the expected surplus. “It was like: ‘What happened?’ You can’t have huge surpluses, prices collapsing, then the grain disappearing,” she says.

ECEX and the nationwide infrastructure to be built around it, she says, should prevent a repeat of 2002 for maize as well as wheat and teff – two other staples – for which the combined domestic market is estimated at $1bn (€715m, £500m).

The exchange will create a pool of liquidity and reference prices that reflect the amalgamation of demand from across the country, thereby reducing the price volatility caused by the existence of multiple fragmented markets.

Price tickers at 200 rural sites will give farmers independent access to price information from Addis Ababa, enabling them to negotiate a fairer deal with middle-men and giving them incentives to produce.

Traders, meanwhile, will be able to profit from arbitrage opportunities by buying cheap grain in areas of surplus and selling it at higher prices closer to areas where there are shortages, which will itself facilitate food distribution.

Ms Gabre-Madhin hopes the exchange will drive a belated surge in productivity by creating a more stable environment where farmers will be able to invest in fertiliser, machinery, irrigation and new crop varieties.

In turn that should provide a more solid foundation for exports, as will a network of 10 exchange-run warehouses where produce will be independently weighed, graded and certified. The exchange will trade three cash crops: coffee, sesame seeds and haricot beans.

The government’s close involvement in ECEX is part of its agriculture-led development strategy, well-suited to a country where farming accounts for 47 per cent of gross domestic product and has helped lift economic growth by close to or beyond 10 per cent in each of the past four years.

But just as the government is suspicious of unfettered markets – it took Ms Gabre-Madhin a year to persuade ministers to allow futures contracts – traders are likely to be suspicious of the government’s 100 per cent ownership of the exchange.

“It’s a very government-driven project,” says Assefa Admassie, director of the Ethiopian Economic Association. “The private sector has to internalise the whole idea.”

Market participants who profit from price opacity will have other incentives to keep trading off the exchange. And the success of the network of price tickers will depend on the country’s telecoms infrastructure – which is unusually bad, even for Africa, and run by a state-owned monopoly.

Adam Gross, of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development in Geneva, says that while commodity exchanges should not be seen as a panacea for agriculture, the Asian successes have “enlarged the bounds of the possible”.

October 06, 2007

Enduring Disagreement in TPLF (ION Newsletter)

The Tigrayan Officers Clear the Tables

Indian Ocean Newsletter N° 1223 06/10/2007
The recent promotion of a number of officers to top ranks went largely to Tigrayans.

Four of the six generals promoted to the rank of major general and ten of the seventeen colonels promoted to brigadier general at the end of September are Tigrayans, members of the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF, hard core of the governing coalition). Their promotion strengthens still further the control Prime Minister Meles Zenawi and the TPLF have on the armed forces. All the more so since on the same occasion, 400 officers in the Northern Command, overwhelmingly Tigrayans, were also promoted during a ceremony at Mekelle, the capital of the Tigray Regional State. The Ethiopian Army Chief of Staff, Samora Yunis, also a Tigrayan, was promoted to the rank of general even though he has not even had a modern military training.

One notable exception is Abebaw Tadesse Asres, an Amhara, who was raised to the rank of lieutenant general, no doubt to please the Amhara National Democratic Movement (ANDM, a component in the ruling coalition). Meanwhile, just two Oromo officers, General Birhanu Julla Gellelcha and Colonel Getachew Shiferaw Feyissa and one officer from the south of the country, Colonel Negussie Lemma Dibaro, benefitted from this wave of promotions.

These measures will aggravate tension between Tigrayan non-commissioned officers and their Oromo and Amhara colleagues. Such tension already put in an appearance in an officers’ meeting of the 4th infantry division last week. Particularly as the Ethiopian army is still bogged down in Somalia where operations are led by the Tigrayan General Seyoum Hagos (one of those just promoted) and a resumption of fighting in Eritrea is still a possibility.

Enduring Disagreement in TPLF

Indian Ocean Newsletter N° 1223 06/10/2007
The Ethiopian opposition is not alone in being riddled with rivalry. Rumours of conflict within the government coalition are beginning to leak out from the screened walls of the Ethiopian Prime Ministerial residence. According to information obtained in Addis Ababa by The Indian Ocean Newsletter, this disagreement pits on one side Meles Zenawi, supported by his Minister for Foreign Affairs Seyoum Mesfin, against on the other side the regime’s grey eminence, Sebhat Nega, backed notably by Bereket Simeon and Tefera Walma. Their rivalry was revived in the run-up to the adoption on 2 October of the Ethiopia Democracy and Accountability Act of 2007 in the United States. But it has its roots in the rejection by Sebhat Nega and his partisans of the Prime Minister’s “soft” policy on the leaders of the Coalition for Unity and Democracy Party (CUDP, opposition). Meles Zenawi is having a hard time selling his colleagues his policy of appeasing the reformist wing of the opposition, even though this policy has the support of Washington. Indeed, this should lead to opening negotiations with the most moderate faction of recently freed CUDP former political prisoners. The latter would return to the political scene and possibly to Parliament (in the case of those elected in 2005) and even to the post of mayor of Addis Ababa in the case of Berhanu Nega. Various groups are active in the wings in the United States to pave the way for possible negotiations between the Ethiopian Prime Minister and the moderates in the opposition. The Carter Center founded by former US President Jimmy Carter could act as mediator for these discussions. However Sebhat Nega and Bereket Simeon are staunchly opposed to this idea of negotiating with the opposition.

OPDO’s Mohammed Ali for President?

Indian Ocean Newsletter N° 1223 06/10/2007

An ambassador currently on vacation in the United States is tipped to become the next President of Ethiopia. However, Mohamed Ali has ties with the Oromo People’s Democratic Organisation (OPDO), a member of the governing coalition. His nomination to replace the current President Girma Woldegiorgis could therefore contravene the legislation passed by the Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF, the governing coalition) after the presidency of Negasso Gidada. This measure stipulates that no member of a political organisation can be appointed to the post of President of Ethiopia.

African Intelligence

Ethiopia rebels back U.S. pressure on government

Ethiopia rebels back U.S. pressure on government

Sat 6 Oct 2007

By Jeremy Clarke

NAIROBI, Oct 6 (Reuters) - An Ethiopian rebel group applauded on Saturday a bill passed by the U.S House of Representatives that would force their government to make democratic reforms or else lose security aid.

The group, the Oromo Liberation Front (OLF), are armed rebels fighting for greater autonomy in ethnically Oromo parts of the vast Horn of Africa nation.

"We believe the Oromo people would have everything to gain and nothing to lose from the advancement of human rights, democracy, independence of the judiciary and the supremacy of the rule of law and freedom of the press, which (the bill) calls for," the OLF statement said.

"The bill...(highlights) the Ethiopian government's large-scale human rights violations," the OLF added, calling for the U.S. Senate and president to sign the bill into law.

The bill also backs the release of Ethiopian political prisoners, of whom more than 80 percent are ethnic Oromo detained under false charges, the OLF said.

The bill, passed this week by the House of Representatives, threatens to deny U.S. entry visas to officials deemed involved in human rights violations.

Another rebel group, the Ogaden National Liberation Front (ONLF), has also welcomed the bill.

But the Ethiopian government has reacted angrily, saying that if it passes into law, it will threaten regional stability and Addis Ababa's close ties with Washington.

Ethiopia is the U.S. government's main security partner in the region, and as such, the bill exempts counter-terrorism operations from any funding restrictions.

The bill has surfaced nearly two years after violent protests over May 2005 election results killed nearly 200 when protesters claiming vote-rigging clashed with security forces.

That, and a subsequent trial of opposition members including those who won seats in parliament and other positions, led to rights criticism and the withholding of some Western aid.

Once a darling of the West, former guerrilla leader Prime Minister Meles Zenawi's reputation has suffered badly from rights concerns in recent years, including his prosecution of a military campaign against the ONLF this year.

October 04, 2007

REPORT ON IREECHA FESTIVAL


REPORT ON IREECHA FESTIVAL
Finfinne, Oromia


The Oromo, the largest population in Ethiopia with about 40 million populations have their own distinct cultural ceremony. Irrecha is one such ceremony which takes place every year, after the big rain in the month of September just before the beginning of the harvest season. It is a combination of New Year and thanks giving festival
The Oromo people from the time of immemorial had recognized Waaqa as the only supreme reality, the creator of everything. They could be one among the earliest peoples of the world to develop the doctrine of monotheism. Waaqeffannaa is Oromo traditional religion and manifested by Oromummaa as part of the cultural domain of the Gadaa Oromo Society. Since the emergence of Waaqeffannaa as public religious affairs, the Oromos have been organizing the Irreecha ceremony near a body of water (lake, spring or stream) every year.
The Irrecha ceremony is conducted by offering thanks and greeneries to Waaqa Who helped them pass through the 'dark' rainy winter season to the bright sunny season which begins to shine in the month of Birraa(September), the time crops and plants are furnishing colorful flowers.
Although most Oromo’s celebrate Irrecha in their localities, the main event takes place in Bishoftu, Oromia. Like always, the 2007 Irreecha ceremony was colorfully celebrated near Har-Arsadii Lake of Bishoftu on September 30. In spite of the problems confronting them in the Ethiopian empire, Oromo’s from far and near poured into the area like abundant rain.
The Irreecha festival remains the only occasion that bring all Oromo’s together as the TPLF has banned Oromo’s from meeting and discussing their affairs. Ever since the Matcha-Tulama association was banned, the intolerable TPLF regime tried in vain to take over the Irrecha festival and make it an OPDO event instead of Oromo national holiday.
Days before the Irrecha celebration, hundreds of TPLF armed forces were deployed to Bishoftu town to deter Oromo’s from attending. On the actual day of the Irrecha ceremony, these armed forces were searching each and every car and individuals entering Bishoftu town. They were confiscating OLF flag, other cultural artifacts and also were detaining some Oromo pilgrims. These malicious behaviors of TPLF towards the Oromo people created a great deal of havoc.
Although thousands of people arrived late, they have made it and showed nothing could stop them from celebrating their national holiday. The number of people who attended the ceremony is estimated to at least two million! It was a day of joyous celebration and a day of pride. The shores of the Har-Arsadii Lake were covered with green grasses and spring flowers with their sweet smell. The traditional costumes from different parts of Oromia, made it more attractive and ceremonial reflecting the beauty and richness of Oromo culture. Traditional Irreecha songs were sung and the elders blessed every one from young to old all day according to Oromo festive custom. They celebrated and gave thanks to Waaqa who created them as peace-loving people of Africa .
Moreover, the Oromo’s expressed their hunger for true freedom via any means they could. Most of the songs were about liberation of Oromia and many youngsters proudly waived Oromo Liberation Front flag, girls decorated their clothes and cultural ornaments with OLF flag. They demonstrated to the world the continuity of their stiff resistance to
repressive TPLF regime and promised they will not turn back until Oromia is free and Nagaa Oromo is fully restored.
As I was preparing this report, I heard a report on VOA Afaan Oromo that Diaspora Oromo’s also colorfully celebrated Irrecha in major US cities and Europe . Alerted by VOA report, I tuned to my friends abroad for feedback. Although I believe my list might not be a complete, I learned from my friend’s response that the famous Irracha was colorfully celebrated in Bergen Norway , Seattle Washington , Minneapolis Minnesota , Pickering Ontario , Atlanta Georgia , Düsseldorf Germany and Washington , DC . I also learned that Oromoo’s around the glob who could not join in flesh and blood joined in spirit to celebrate Irrecha. Amen!
Out of all the diaspora reports I received the only disheartening response I got was from Washington , DC and I am tempted to share with my readers in an attempt to create an opportunity to fix it for the common good. Blow, please read the response I got.
Quote “….In Washington , DC Guba/Irrecha is confined to the backyard of narrow minded and divisive individual. You probably know him, he now goes by the name Lube Birru (I don’t know his formal name, he was Ethiopian Ambassador to Gahanna during the transitional government).This person condemns Islam, Christianity and just about anybody who is not born in his locality. He is self appointed Waqefata leader around here. He is out of touch and knows nothing about the present reality of Oromia. As you and I know, both Christianity and Islam plays a very important role in the lives of our people today. 96% of the Oromo’s are followers of these two religions. And one needs to
seriously take into account the positive roles these religions has been playing in protecting Oromuummaa before jumping to any form of hasty generalizations. Like I told you before, this individual lives in the world of dream. He is not a member of Oromo community and continues to nurture social conflicts, instead of social harmonies among the Oromo’s. He is recognized by making anti-Oromo community remarks and is best known by his divisive and conflict-ridden writings. Having said this much about this anti-Oromo unity guy, I will come back to the actual Irrecha ceremony around here. To start with a positive piece of info, Yes! Irrecha was celebrated in DC, but only with Lube and company! It was celebrated only with Lube’s inner circle. 99% of the Oromo’s did not attend the ceremony. Which is not surprising taking into account the nature of this individual who monopolize the event. Who in his/her right mind would follow this person? Most Oromo’s choose to stay home while some resorted to celebrating Irrecha in Oromo Church . While some think its one step forward for the Oromo church to celebrate Irrecha as a national holiday, one should not forget the negative consequences too. The whole thing made me depressed! Remember we all could have celebrated our national holiday Irrecha had it not been hijacked by Lube and company!” Unquote
Okay! I would like to make couple of points before I wind up my report.
First of all, Waaqeffannaa advocates honesty, truth, purity, humanity and peace as the inherent identities of the Gadaa Oromo Society. It gives remarkable contributions in conflict resolutions, in making peace and maintaining social harmony. Above all Oromo’s today need social harmony not division. We need Gadaa based moral qualities instilled in every Oromo, not just talking the talk but actually walking the walk! It’s high time that Oromo’s start practicing what they preach.
Anti Oromo unity person disrupts nagaa Oromo and violates Seera Waaq and Safuu Oromoo. A person who violets sera Waaq can not be a leader of Waqeffata and can not certainly lead the Irrecha ceremony. My God! This is the holiest and sacred ceremony and cannot be mudded by weak, failed and delinquent individuals. A person who interrupts Nagaa Oromo should be condemned by all means!
No localist with divisive mindset can represent the Oromo’s or their religion Waqefanna in any form or shape no matter how nationalist they seem. Anybody who is not for Oromo-unity should go via the back door!
It is clear that the leaders of Oromo Community in Washington DC need to step up and do something about this. This is our national holyday and should not be monopolized by anyone or group. And my message to these leaders is to please tell Lube and company to cherish and appreciate our diversity, join the crowd and be useful, see the glass half full instead of halfempty!

All Oromo’s regardless of his/her religious background should be able to cherish our life long cultural heritage. Irrecha is our identity and a national holiday.
Waaq Oromoo abbaa malkaa, abbaa biyyaa nu haa taasisu!
Kan-Barnaa - Kan Bara-Hegere!

The writer can be reached at dilbii@yahoo.com

October 03, 2007

Irreessa 2007 irratti uummatnni maal jedhe?

Suuuraa Irreessa Bergen 2007, Norway


Irreessa 2007 irraatti uummatnni maal jedhe?

"Irreecha baranaa wayyaaneen harkatti galfachuuf kan yaalte yoo ta'u, garuu hin milkoofneef. Yaaliin Abbaan Duulaa ganticha (Naggasaa Nagawoo) qabatee waltajjiitti
olbahuuf taasise guutummaatti fashaleera. Ummatni balbala malkaa isa guddaa A/Duulaaf jecha waan dhorkameef Iddoo dhiphoorratti walirra yaa'ee namni
lama du'ee baayyeen miidhameera. Karaa biraa sakataan torban dursee jalqabame itti
cimuudhaan namni karaa Bishooftuu seenu hundarrtti hanga guyaatti (sa'aa 7_8 pm) sakataaf dhaabbachaa turan. Namni baayyeen itti galgaloofnaan uyuu malkaa hin ga'in deebi'anii galan. Namni hedduunis uffata ABO uffatan jedhamanii hidhamaniiru. Isaan keessaa kan Bisho. (Sisaay Bulbulaa(amma hiikame)Badhaasa,Abdii Gaarii, Gammachuu Baqqalaa, ....) "


"Wa'ee Irreechaa baay'ee kan sidhibuu deemeen osoon hin irreeffatiin gale. Jireenya kootittii baay'ina namaa haga kana argees dhaga'ees hin beku. Osoon deemaa jiruu karaa ga'een lafan dhaabadhu dhabee afuurri nacitee kaniin ukkaamamee du'uu ga'een akkuma hin ta'initti keessaa ba'een duubattii deebi'ee gara finfinettii debi'e. Akkaa kaleessaa guyyaan itti gadde hin jiru. kan dhiphinaa kana uume immoo abbaa duulaati. innii waan deemeef poolisiin laakkofsi isaanii dabalee ummataa asii fi achii jeeqaa waan turaniif akka ta'ee ijolleen galgala naaf bilbilaanii turaan. namotni harkii 40mni yoo xiqattee achii ossoo hin ga'iin kan debi'aan dha."
No LAW as beautiful GADAA
No word as beautiful as OROMOO
No Adminstrationas Democratic as SIRNA GADAA
No Religion as original as WAAQEFFANNAA
No diet asdilicious as DHANGAA
No rythem as melody as WEEDDUU
No CELEBRATION as attractive as IRREECHAA.
It Is perfect that OROMOO is perfect than perfect.
YOU ARE INVITED TO ...HORRA ARSADE
Please forward this msg to as many as u can.
May WAAQAA bless you.


Suuraa: Seena (TMM)

Irreessi 2007 (Bishooftuu, Bergen, MN, ...) Haala Gaariin Ayyaanefatamee Oolee

BAGA AYYAANA IRREECHAAN ISIN GA'E !!!!!!!

Irreessi Magaala Bergen, Norway keessatti gaafa fulbaana 29 2007 ayyaaneffaameera.

Dilbata Fulbaana 30, 2007 magaalaa Bishooftuu Hora Arsadiitti isa kabajamee oole ayyaana Irreechaa irratti kanan ija koon argee, gurra koon dhaga’e fi hubadhe, baay’ee gaggabaabsee akka armaan gadiittan dhiyeessa.

Suuraa 1: Irreessa Bergen 2007, Norway

1. Uummati ayyaana irreechaa kabajachuuf dhufe baroota darban irra caalaa baay’ee baay’ee ture. Ani tilmaamaan kaahuu waan hin beekneef malee inni kaleessaa isan yeroo dheeraaf waggaa waggaan argaa ture irra baay’ee caala. Bara baraan baay’inni namaa dabalaa akka deemes sirriitti hubadheera.

Suuraa 2: Irreessa Bergen 2007, Norway

2. Abbootiin gadaa fi manguddootiin godinaalee Oromiyaa adda addaatii dhufan hanga danda’an sirna isaa ho’isuuf yaalaniiru, garuu kaleessa ayyaancha irratti kan argame ergamtuu fi Minsteerri wayyaanee Girmaa Birruu isaan faana waan tureef polisii humna darbatamaa Oromiyaan (“Oromia police rapid force”) lakkoofsi isaanii baay’een marfamanii waan turaniif yeroo irreefatanis ta’e, deeman isaan itti siquun rakkisaa ture. Ayyaanichas fiixaan ba’uufii baatus ayyaana uummataa osoo hin taane ayyana OPDO gochuuf yaalaniiru. Baandiin isaan fidatan karaa isa gara malkaa irreechaatti geessu bira waan dhaabbateef nomootii maalummaa isaanii hin bariin dawwachaa turaniin waan cufameef salphaatti gara malkaa irreechaa ga’uun hin danda’amu ture. Keesumaa kaleessa isaaniif kan sirbaa ture sirbituu Taaddelee Gammachuu yeroo dhufe baay’ina namaa akkas ture keessatti konkolaataa malee hin deemu jedhee konkolaataan tokkittii isa qabattee turte yeroo uummata gidduu seentu rakkina guddaatu uumame. Dhiibbaa sababa kanaanis ijoollee durbaa miidhaman ijaan argeera. Sirbituun kun konkolaataa irraa bu’ees “body guard”n marfamee deemaa ture. Sirbitooti bandii Gadaa fi Bilisummaa keessa kan turan baa’een bakka irreechaa ummata duukaa ayyaaneffachaa mishaa dhabanis sirbaa turan. Gabaabaatti isa ani lakkoofsa 2 kana keessaati ibsuu yaalee rakkina adda addaa kanatti, namootiin ququlluu ayyaanicha irratti argaman aaraniiru.

Suuraa 3: Irreessa Bergen 2007, Norway

3. Qindaa’ina sagantaan yoo ilaallu waggaa sadan kanaa asitti rakkina guddaatu mul’ata. Hunduu garee mataa isaan tocho’aa waan tureef gidduu galeessaatti iddoo tokkotti sagantaan akka durii beektotaan barunsi kennamnes, inni dur godhamaa tures hin jiru. Kunis wayyaaneen amantoota Waaqeffataa fi waldaa Maccaa fi Tuulamaa irratti gochaa diinummaa isheen raawwateen kan uumamedha.

4. Uummati godina adda addaa irraa dhufe sirba aadaa fi qabsoo sirbaa tureera. Kan aadaa akkuma jirutti ta’ee sirba qabsoo sirbamaa ture ani yaadadhu keessaa:

4.1 WBO koo luuccaa filuu

ABO koo luuccaa filuu

Mallas Zeenaa mataan irra hin jiru.

4.2 (Siifan lolaa Oromoo narra hin gortuu ) *2

Akkaa Goobanaafaa hin gadoomuuree

Hin gadoomanii

Halagaaf hin garboomanii

4.3 Ohoo hoo baala tuufoo

ABO nuuf wayya nuufoo

Daawwit nuuf wayya nuufoo

Leencoo nuuf wayya nuufoo

4.4 Ajjeesee dibata WBOn baranammoo (guutuu isaa hin yaadadhu)

4.5 (Ohoo hoo yaa heehee) *2

(Deemmiin ga’ee) *2

Amma deemmiin ga’ee

Mallas Zeenaa soogidda bishaan lixxe ta’e.

4.6 Ohoo hoo yaa baallashee

Mallas Zeenaa diqaalaa nurratti dhalchee fi KKF birootu ture.

Suuraa 4: Irreessa 2007, Bishoofttuu, Oromia

5. Geejjibi Finfinneetii - Bishooftuu akkasumas Bishooftuutii – Finfinnee rakkina guddaatu ture. Gatiin kaffaltii taarifaa qarshii 5.00 ture kaleessaa qarshii 10.00 godhan. Nomootiin Atoobisii lama guutuu turan walii galanii qarshii 5.00 (shan) malee hin kaffallu keessaas hin buunu jedhanii shofeeronni gara buufata Polsii magaalaa Bishooftuu geessaniiimaltoonni keessa turan dhaqanii haala jiru itti himan, polsoonnis gabaan gabaa walabaa waan ta’eef konkolaataa namaa keessaa hin buunu jechuuf mirga hin qabdani isinii hin taane yoo ta’e kan biraa barbaaddadhaa jedhanii imaltoota dirqamaan keessaa buusan. Imaltootis qana’anii tajaajilli polsii uummataaf akka gargaarsa gochuuf fedhii hin qabne gutummaatti hubatee adda faca’ee gara filannoo biraa deeme.

6. Polsootiin ganama tilmaamaan magaalaa Bishooftuu irraa gara kiiloo meetira shan irra dhaabbatanii konkolaataa fi nama Finfinneettii dhufu sakatta’aa turan. Dabaree sakatta’amuu argachuuf sa’aatii dheeraa dhaabbachuun dirqama ture.Sababa kanaanis imaltooti akka itti hin barffanneef gara sa’aatii tokkoo millaan deemaanii sagantaa hirmaataniiru, manguddootii fi walakkaan namaa millaan deemuu waan hin danddeenyeef itti barfatee jira.

7. Hirmaatota ayyaana irreechaa keessaa darggagoota umuriin isaanii 18 fi 20 ta’an lama Tii Shertii kaartaa Oromiyaa fi alabaa ABO qabu waan dhuffataniif, magaalaa keessatti polisii magaalaan qabamanii yeroo gara mana hidhaa deeman argeera. Isa booda attam akka ta’an odeeffanoo argachuu hin dandeenye.

Gadaan gadaa Bilsummaati !!!!

Falmataa Dhugaa


Suuraawwan Irreessa Bergen 2007f Aaddee TMM maqaa OromiaTimes iin hedduu galateeffanna!

The Los Angeles Times' Interview with President Isaias Afwerki

Q & A with President Isaias Afwerki


By Edmund Sanders, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
October 2, 2007
The Eritrean president sat down recently with the Los Angeles Times to share his views about U.S. relations, a long-simmering border dispute with Ethiopia and progress in Africa toward democracy and human rights.

U.S.-Eritrea relations are at an all-time low. Four years ago, the U.S. was considering putting a military base on the Eritrean coast and Eritrea joined the U.S.-led coalition supporting the Iraq invasion. Now there's a diplomatic tit-for-tat and the U.S. is threatening to put Eritrea on a list of state sponsors of terrorism. How did the relationship sour?

That leads us to one of the major issues, and that is the border. [A 1998-2000 border war between Ethiopia and Eritrea killed at least 70,000.] We know there was a heavy-handed involvement by the U.S. in the conflict. The U.S. has come out to openly say that they were on the side of Ethiopia against Eritrea. . . . We believe the U.S. deliberately complicated the process [to demarcate the border in accordance with a 2002 independent ruling that gave the disputed Badme region to Eritrea] to delay it and find some opportune moment for reversal. These five years of complications have not come from the regime in Addis. It's come from Washington.

Why would the U.S. want to do that?

That's the question. Why do they have to support Ethiopia? Wouldn't it be better for the U.S. to work with countries of this region for a safe and stable environment? It's evident that the U.S. wants to manage sub-regions everywhere in the world, particularly in Africa, by proxy. I call it an agent who promotes the U.S. interest at the expense of the collective interest of that region.

The U.S. State Department accuses Eritrea of supporting terrorism by arming Somalia's Islamic Courts Union, which was ousted last year from Mogadishu amid U.S. claims that it has links to Al Qaeda.

It's a deliberate distortion of fact. Why would one categorize the courts as terrorists? The Islamic courts are a product of the political process in Somalia for the last 15 years. A product of 15 years of chaos, 15 years of warlords, 15 years of neglect by the international community. Despite our disagreement with their ideology, it was the beginning of a process that could have led Somalia to be more stable and sovereign.

Did Eritrea support the courts with weapons, as alleged recently by the U.S. and the U.N. Monitoring Group?

I still would like to know what is behind this allegation. Nobody is convinced. What are the accusations?

That there were about 13 flights over a one-month period, leaving from Asmara and Massawa and arriving in Mogadishu. Most of the flights were in November and December of 2006.

Before the occupation of Somalia?

Yes.

What does that mean to the situation now and the issue of terrorism or the support of terrorism? We were told after the invasion of Somalia that the Islamic courts were finished. If anything went to the Islamic courts before their ousting, why would it be an issue? This is history. We recognized the Islamic courts as part and parcel of the political process in Somalia. We believe the courts have to be recognized.

I haven't heard you deny the allegation. Is your position that if you did send arms last year, that it would not have been improper because the courts were legitimate?

There are no facts or evidence. For me to deny or not deny, first I'd have to ask about the evidence. The main objective of this accusation is misleading by distorting the facts.

Are you worried about ending up on the U.S. list of state sponsors of terrorism?

The message might have missed its target. Was it meant to intimidate us and prevent us from playing a role in some sort of political process in Somalia that could contribute to peace? Would we be intimidated and refrain from doing our duty in the region? It was mainly aimed at intimidating us.

Eritrea has become increasingly isolated over the past 10 years. Why?

It's a perception of those who would like to see Eritrea isolated. Facts on the ground will tell you that we are more and more joining the region and friends all over the world.

But there's very little foreign trade or importing/exporting. Diplomatic relations are strained with several countries. Many foreign aid groups have left or been kicked out.

It's a matter of how you see it. This is a very young country. You can go and see the social services we offer, the quality of life, the improvements that have occurred in the past 10-15 years, and objectively compare that to older countries who have not achieved what we have [in] a very short time. If you take that as a measure, it definitely tells you that we are not isolated.

We believe we are part of a regional and global economy and would like to survive and strive within that process by developing an economy that can grow and be sustained. But to be part of it, we have to be able to produce something and sell something, so we can buy something. We need to do things that enable this country to stand on its two feet and do business with other countries. We have to be able to produce enough to feed ourselves and then go beyond that to sell in the market. Do we live on food aid? Do we live on handouts?

Eritrea in recent years has rejected hundreds of millions of dollars in foreign aid. Why?

It's not a matter of rejecting support from outside. It has to be seen in light of what I mentioned. How can we buy and sell in the marketplace if we depend on food aid? Isn't it wise for people to think they need to produce what they are eating? What's wrong with that? To be part of the region and trade with others, we need to work hard and produce, and depend upon our toil. . . . Self-reliance is perceived as isolationist. But self-reliance is a means, not an end. It's a means of taking you to the bigger market and the biggest markets. How can I do that with handouts?

Do the people share that commitment? Many fought hard for independence and expected prosperity. Now you're telling them they have to continue to sacrifice.

Ordinary people understand it more than myself. Change in living standards and quality of life is what matters to them. And they see it. Ask anyone in a very remote area and he can tell you the changes that have occurred in terms of clean water, health services, education and even the quality of food. They may not have reached their ultimate aspirations, but ordinary people appreciate what has transpired.

Eritrea has one of Africa's most progressive constitutions, but it hasn't been ratified. Why?

Everything has been hijacked in this country. We have not been left to do it in a manner and process that would take us somewhere.

Hijacked by whom?

All the evils we have seen in the past 10 years.

The border?

It's everything. It's not only the border. We have not been left alone to push the process ahead in our own way. It's not about ratifying the constitution. It's not a question of allowing multiple political parties. People may talk about democracy, but even those who pretend to be democratic are not democratic.

How has any of that prevented you from ratifying the constitution?

The constitution is a paper.

An important paper.

It's only a paper. I don't want to cheat everyone with this paper. I don't want to mislead everyone that this paper is a panacea. We have to create a conducive environment for a viable political process in this country.

Why isn't it conducive now?

There is a process of transformation in any society. The political process is part of that social and economic transformation. You may tell me there is a constitutional monarchy here, or elections there, or multiple political parties over there. It's a mockery. It's become fashionable to pretend to be democratic, to pretend to have a constitution and multiparty-system. But those systems undermine all the processes that would lead to participation of the population. It's a matter of providing equal opportunities, not a political document, that guarantees your rights. It's not putting your vote in a ballot box that will guarantee you good living standards.

Isn't the essence of a democracy having the right to vote once in a while?

You can see today how this concept of democracy is abused. It's very sad. Democracy in its real essence should provide people with equal opportunity.

Do you think Eritrea isn't ready for democracy?

Eritrea could be more ready than those other countries that are labeled as democracies. What we see evolving are not democracies. We see tyrannies, corrupt governments and people deprived of any form of participation, in spite of the ballot box and constitutions that are publicized. . . . We can't do it with prescriptions coming from the wrong doctors. We say, leave us alone. Let us do our own work and arrive at a heavenly sort of democracy, if we can call it that.
You once chastised African statesmen for failing people on human rights. Now you are facing similar complaints over the 2001 crackdown against political opponents, restrictions of religious groups and closure of the free press.

There is no independent press anywhere. Who guides the so-called independent media? Who finances these organizations? Unfortunately, the independent media are being manipulated by those who can afford to buy them.

Why restrict religions other than the four major faiths officially sanctioned by the government?

There is no restriction on religion. What's new about the Bible that you want to teach me? What is new about the Koran? I say there is nothing new. Extremists who want to use Islam as a political end for their ambitions should be asked that simple question. What do you want to do with this ideology? I say it's a pretense of using religion for ulterior aims. Religion is by default restricted because you have nothing new to teach me. You do not have the right to impose your beliefs on another person. That creates discord and confusion in the society. Government is there to guarantee everyone is respected. I don't believe that's a restriction.

What about the status of the jailed political leaders and journalists, including two Eritrean nationals who worked for the U.S. embassy? Will they ever be put on trial or released?

They are not politicians. They are crooks who have been bought. They provided themselves to serve something contrary to the national interest of this country. They are degenerates. I don't take it [as] a serious matter.

Given the bad blood in recent years, do you think you could even normalize relations with Ethiopia? Economically, they're a key partner.

We can live together. There is nothing to prevent us from developing a relationship. Imagine how much we could have achieved in terms of economic cooperation, working together on the stability of this region, working together to fend off threats. Because of the border, I'm not discouraged. We know we can live in peace and live by cooperating and probably integrating our economies gradually and doing trade. This border issue should not be. We have to remove it somehow.

How much longer will you stay in power? Do you think about stepping down?

It's become a habit for me not to discuss this issue. I believe in a political process that will take this country from one level to a higher level. I see myself . . . in this process. I think I'm moving in the right direction. It's a long process under normal circumstances. It can't happen under abnormal circumstances. Unfortunately, we have entered into a situation we call abnormal because of external interferences that are blocking our progress.

The Los Angeles Times

Ethiopia bill faces Bush backlash

By Barney Jopson in Nairobi and Daniel Dombey in Washington

Published: October 3 2007

The US House of Representatives has set itself at loggerheads with the Bush administration by backing a bill that would force Ethiopia, a US military ally, to improve its record on democracy and human rights or risk losing substantial aid.

The bill, passed on Tuesday, underscores unease among lawmakers over the US’s close ties with Ethiopia, which have grown since a violent crackdown on opposition supporters followed a disputed election in 2005.

But the Bush administration is unhappy about the bill, which it sees as an encroachment on the administration’s powers and misguided in some of its policies, and the legislation’s fate in the US Senate – which would also need to give its approval – is uncertain.

At the end of last year, the US gave implicit backing to Ethiopia’s invasion of Somalia, which Washington feared had become a haven for Islamist militants.

In testimony this week to the House subcommittee on Africa, Jendayi Frazer, the state department’s top official on African affairs, hailed what she called “unprecedented” agreements between the Ethiopian opposition and government, which she said were “a monumental advancement in the political environment”.

Examples she gave included reform of the National Electoral Board and a new code of conduct for the press. But she added that the US had raised “strong concerns” about human rights violations in the Ogaden region.

Known as the Ethiopia Democracy and Accountability Act, the bill would ban “non essential US assistance” if Ethiopia obstructed US efforts to further human rights, democracy, independence of the judiciary and freedom of the press. It would restrict security assistance and impose travel restrictions on Ethiopian officials accused of human rights violations unless Ethiopia met the conditions – although the legislation would give the president a waiver to prevent such measures from taking force.

The US will provide around $300m of aid to Ethiopia this year but it is unclear how much would be affected by the bill, which also exempts humanitarian, healthcare and emergency food assistance.

The text also exempts counter-terrorism, peacekeeping operations and international military training from any funding restrictions, a reflection of Ethiopia’s military capabilities and its perceived role as a source of stability in the volatile Horn of Africa.

Samuel Assefa, Ethiopia’s ambassador to the US, described the bill as “unconscionable and irresponsible”.

The Financial Times Limited

Ethiopia Democracy and Accountability Act of 2007 (Engrossed as Agreed to or Passed by House)

Ethiopia Democracy and Accountability Act of 2007 (Engrossed as Agreed to or Passed by House)

HR 2003 EH

110th CONGRESS
1st Session

H. R. 2003


AN ACT

To encourage and facilitate the consolidation of peace and security, respect for human rights, democracy, and economic freedom in Ethiopia .

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

    This Act may be cited as the `Ethiopia Democracy and Accountability Act of 2007'.

SEC. 2. STATEMENT OF POLICY.

    It is the policy of the United States to--
      (1) support the advancement of human rights, democracy, independence of the judiciary, freedom of the press, peacekeeping capacity building, and economic development in the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia ;
      (2) seek the unconditional release of all political prisoners and prisoners of conscience in Ethiopia ;
      (3) foster stability, democracy, and economic development in the region;
      (4) support humanitarian assistance efforts, especially in the Ogaden region;
      (5) collaborate with Ethiopia in the Global War on Terror; and
      (6) strengthen United States-Ethiopian relations based on the policy objectives specified in paragraphs (1) through (5).

SEC. 3. SUPPORT FOR HUMAN RIGHTS IN ETHIOPIA .

    The Secretary of State shall--
      (1) provide financial support to local and national human rights groups and other relevant civil society organizations to help strengthen human rights monitoring and regular reporting on human rights conditions in Ethiopia ;
      (2) provide legal support, as needed, for political prisoners and prisoners of conscience in Ethiopia and assist local, national, and international groups that are active in monitoring the status of political prisoners and prisoners of conscience in Ethiopia ;
      (3) seek to promote and bolster the independence of the Ethiopian judiciary through--
        (A) facilitation of joint discussions between court personnel, officials from the Ethiopian Ministry of Justice, relevant members of the legislature, and civil society representatives on international human rights standards; and
        (B) encouraging exchanges between Ethiopian and United States jurists, law schools, law professors, and law students, especially in legal fields such as constitutional law, role of the judiciary, due process, political and voting rights, criminal law and procedure, and discrimination;
      (4) establish a program, in consultation with Ethiopian civil society, to provide for a judicial monitoring process, consisting of indigenous organizations, international organizations, or both, to monitor judicial proceedings throughout Ethiopia , with special focus on unwarranted government intervention on matters that are strictly judicial in nature, and to report on actions needed to strengthen an independent judiciary;
      (5) establish a program, in consultation with Ethiopian civil society, and provide support to other programs, to strengthen independent media in Ethiopia , including training, and technical support;
      (6) expand the Voice of America's Ethiopia program;
      (7) support efforts of the international community to gain full and unfettered access to the Ogaden region for--
        (A) humanitarian assistance organizations; and
        (B) independent human rights experts; and
      (8) work with appropriate departments and agencies of the Government of the United States and appropriate officials of foreign governments--
        (A) to identify members of the Mengistu Haile Mariam regime and officials of the current Government of Ethiopia who were engaged in gross human rights violations, including those individuals who may be residing in the United States; and
        (B) to support and encourage the prosecution of individuals identified under subparagraph (A) in the United States or Ethiopia .

SEC. 4. SUPPORT FOR DEMOCRATIZATION IN ETHIOPIA .

    (a) Strengthening Local, Regional, and National Democratic Processes- The Secretary of State shall--
      (1) provide assistance to strengthen local, regional, and national parliaments and governments in Ethiopia , as needed;
      (2) establish a program focused on reconciliation efforts between the Government of Ethiopia and political parties, including in minority communities, in preparation for negotiation and for participation in the political process; and
      (3) provide training for civil society groups in election monitoring in Ethiopia .
    (b) Democracy Enhancement-
      (1) ASSISTANCE- United States technical assistance for democracy promotion in Ethiopia should be made available to all political parties and civil society groups in Ethiopia .
      (2) RESTRICTION-
        (A) IN GENERAL- Nonessential United States assistance shall not be made available to the Government of Ethiopia if the Government of Ethiopia acts to obstruct United States technical assistance to advance human rights, democracy, independence of the judiciary, freedom of the press, economic development, and economic freedom in Ethiopia .
        (B) DEFINITION- In this paragraph, the term `nonessential United States assistance' means assistance authorized under any provision of law, other than humanitarian assistance, food aid programs, assistance to combat HIV/AIDS and other health care assistance, peacekeeping assistance, and counter-terrorism assistance.

SEC. 5. ENSURING GOVERNMENT SUPPORT FOR HUMAN RIGHTS, DEMOCRACY, AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT IN ETHIOPIA .

    (a) Limitation on Security Assistance; Travel Restrictions-
      (1) LIMITATION ON SECURITY ASSISTANCE-
        (A) IN GENERAL- Except as provided in subparagraph (B), security assistance shall not be provided to Ethiopia until such time as the certification described in paragraph (3) is made in accordance with such paragraph.
        (B) EXCEPTION- Subparagraph (A) shall not apply with respect to peacekeeping assistance, counter-terrorism assistance, or international military education and training for civilian personnel under section 541 of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 (commonly referred to as `Expanded IMET'). Peacekeeping or counter-terrorism assistance provided to Ethiopia shall not be used for any other security-related purpose or to provide training to security personnel or units against whom there is credible evidence of gross human rights abuses or violations.
      (2) TRAVEL RESTRICTIONS- Beginning on the date that is 60 days after the date of the enactment of this Act and until such time as the certification described in paragraph (3) is made in accordance with such paragraph, the President shall deny a visa and entry into the United States to--
        (A) any official of the Government of Ethiopia --
          (i) who has been involved in giving orders to use lethal force against peaceful demonstrators or police officers in Ethiopia ; or
          (ii) against whom there is credible evidence of gross human rights abuses or violations;
        (B) security personnel of the Government of Ethiopia who were involved in the June or November 2005 shootings of demonstrators;
        (C) security personnel responsible for murdering Etenesh Yemam; and
        (D) security personnel responsible for murdering prisoners at Kaliti prison in the aftermath of the election violence in 2005.
      (3) CERTIFICATION- The certification described in this paragraph is a certification by the President to Congress that the Government of Ethiopia is making credible, quantifiable efforts to ensure that--
        (A) all political prisoners and prisoners of conscience in Ethiopia have been released, their civil and political rights restored, and their property returned;
        (B) prisoners held without charge or kept in detention without fair trial in violation of the Constitution of Ethiopia are released or receive a fair and speedy trial, and prisoners whose charges have been dismissed or acquitted and are still being held are released without delay;
        (C) the Ethiopian judiciary is able to function independently and allowed to uphold the Ethiopian Constitution and international human rights standards;
        (D) security personnel involved in the unlawful killings of demonstrators and others, including Etenesh Yemam, and Kaliti prisoners are held accountable;
        (E) family members, friends, legal counsel, medical personnel, human rights advocates, and others have access, consistent with international law, to visit detainees in Ethiopian prisons;
        (F) print and broadcast media in Ethiopia are able to operate free from undue interference and laws restricting media freedom, including sections of the Ethiopian Federal Criminal Code, are revised;
        (G) licensing of independent radio and television in Ethiopia is open and transparent;
        (H) Internet access is not restricted by the government and the ability of citizens to freely send and receive electronic mail and otherwise obtain information is guaranteed;
        (I) the National Election Board (NEB) includes representatives of political parties with seats in the Ethiopian Parliament and the NEB functions independently in its decision-making;
        (J) representatives of international human rights organizations engaged in human rights monitoring work, humanitarian aid work, or investigations into human rights abuses in Ethiopia are admitted to Ethiopia and allowed to undertake their work in all regions of the country without undue restriction; and
        (K) Ethiopian human rights organizations are able to operate in an environment free of harassment, intimidation, and persecution.
      (4) WAIVER-
        (A) IN GENERAL- The President may waive the application of paragraph (1) or (2) on a case-by-case basis if the President determines that such a waiver is in the national security interests of the United States.
        (B) NOTIFICATION- Prior to granting a waiver under the authority of subparagraph (A), the President shall transmit to Congress a notification that includes the reasons for the waiver.
    (b) Treatment of Political Prisoners and Prisoners of Conscience-
      (1) IN GENERAL- The President, the Secretary of State, and other relevant officials of the Government of the United States shall call upon the Government of Ethiopia to immediately--
        (A) release any and all remaining political prisoners and prisoners of conscience, especially prisoners held without charge; and
        (B) allow full and unfettered access to the Ogaden region by humanitarian aid organizations and international human rights investigators.
      (2) TORTURE VICTIM RELIEF- While it is the responsibility of the Government of Ethiopia to compensate the victims of unlawful imprisonment and torture and their families for their suffering and losses, the President shall provide assistance for the rehabilitation of victims of torture in Ethiopia at centers established for such purposes pursuant to section 130 of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 (22 U.S.C. 2152).
    (c) Sense of Congress- It is the sense of Congress that the Government of the United States should--
      (1) encourage the Government of Ethiopia to enter into discussions with opposition political groups interested in reconciliation in order to bring such groups into full participation in the political and economic affairs of Ethiopia , including their legalization as political parties, and provide such assistance as is warranted and necessary to help achieve the goal described in this paragraph; and
      (2) provide assistance to promote the privatization of government owned or controlled industries and properties in Ethiopia .

SEC. 6. SUPPORT FOR ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT IN ETHIOPIA .

    (a) Resource Policy Assistance- The President, acting through the Administrator of the United States Agency for International Development and in cooperation with the World Bank and other donors, shall provide assistance, as needed, for sustainable development of Ethiopia's Nile and Awash River resources, including assistance to help Ethiopia with the technology necessary for the construction of irrigation systems and hydroelectric power that might prevent future famine.
    (b) Health Care Assistance- The President, acting through the Administrator of the United States Agency for International Development, shall provide material support to hospitals, clinics, and health care centers in Ethiopia , especially hospitals, clinics, and health care centers in rural areas.

SEC. 7. REPORT.

    Not later than 180 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, the President shall transmit to Congress a report on the implementation of this Act, including a description of a comprehensive plan to address issues of security, human rights, including in the Ogaden region, democratization, and economic freedom that potentially threaten the stability of Ethiopia .

SEC. 8. AUTHORIZATION OF APPROPRIATIONS.

    (a) In General- There are authorized to be appropriated to carry out this Act $20,000,000 for each of the fiscal years 2008 and 2009.
    (b) Availability- Amounts appropriated pursuant to the authorization of appropriations under subsection (a) are authorized to remain available until expended.

Passed the House of Representatives October 2, 2007.

Attest:

Clerk.

110th CONGRESS
1st Session

H. R. 2003

AN ACT

To encourage and facilitate the consolidation of peace and security, respect for human rights, democracy, and economic freedom in Ethiopia .

US legislators tell Ethiopia to reform or lose aid

US legislators tell Ethiopia to reform or lose aid

Wed 3 Oct 2007

NAIROBI, Oct 3 (Reuters) - The U.S. House of Representatives has passed a bill that would force Ethiopia, one of Washington's strongest military partners in Africa, to make democratic reforms or else lose security aid.

The bill, passed on Tuesday, would also deny U.S. entry visas to Ethiopian government officials involved in what it calls human rights violations, unless the president authorises a waiver, according to a copy obtained from a congressional Web site.

But the bill exempts counter-terrorism and peacekeeping operations from any funding restrictions, both roles that Ethiopia is playing in the aftermath of a war to install a U.S.-backed government in neighbouring Somalia.

The vote came nearly two years after two violent protests over May 2005 election results left nearly 200 dead when protesters claiming vote-rigging clashed with security forces.

That, and a subsequent trial of opposition members including those who won seats in parliament and other positions, led to criticism from rights groups and the withholding of certain aid by the European Union and Britain.

The bill would withhold aid unless Ethiopia accepts outside human rights monitoring, fosters an independent judiciary and media, and permits U.S.-funded assistance to those ends.

The bill passed on Tuesday in Washington, D.C., still needs U.S. Senate approval and a presidential signature before it becomes a law.

Refugee in sanctuary will be allowed to stay

Ethiopian man has been staying at All Saints Lutheran

By NELLY ELAYOUBI, Sun Media

An Ethiopian refugee who has been living in sanctuary in an Ottawa church for almost two years, has been granted status to stay.

Moti Nano’s application for protection on humanitarian and compassionate grounds, allowing him to apply for permanent resident status in Canada has been accepted by citizenship and immigration.

His deportation notice has also been stayed.

“I was a person who should have deserved a Convention Refugee status as soon as I arrived in this country, let alone waiting for years and be given a deportation order,” Nano previously told the Sun.

The human rights worker came to Ottawa to attend a human rights conference in 2001 and applied for refugee status.

He fled his African home after criticizing the government’s human rights record.

In February 2004, he was ordered deported after a lone adjudicator rejected his bid for refugee status.

He feared torture and death if returned to Ethiopia. There, Nano says he was repeatedly arrested and beaten by Ethiopian security forces for being a member of the Oromo ethnic group, which accounts for about 40% of the country’s population. He also had his hair cut with beer bottles and was forced to run barefoot on gravel, he said.

Nano’s brother was killed by the Tigreans, Nano said, for being associated with the Oromo Liberation Front.

When the deportation order was handed down on Jan. 10, 2005, Nano found sanctuary in All Saints Lutheran Church on Pinecrest Rd., where he’s remained.

“The fundamental reason we supported him was that he was a member of our congregation of very good standing and was in desperate trouble,” said Paul Merkley, a member of the All Saints Sanctuary Committee.

He’ll continue his stay at the church until he finds an apartment, which he hopes will be in a few days. He’s expected to find work with previous employers.

Ottawa Sun

October 01, 2007

Congress Should Condition Military Aid to Ethiopia on Human Rights


This week, a vote is expected in the House on H.R. 2003, the "Ethiopia Democracy and Accountability Act," introduced by Rep. Donald Payne. If you think that the U.S. shouldn't be green-lighting human rights abuses in Ethiopia, why not drop your Representative a line.

Supporters of democracy in Ethiopia have faced repression from the ruling party since 2005. Residents of the eastern Ogaden region are now at serious risk of starvation because the government has withheld food and other humanitarian aid, the New York Times reports.

Unfortunately, the Bush Administration has accepted these abuses, and continues to provide military aid unconditionally to the Ethiopian government, because - they claim - the Ethiopian government is promoting U.S. interests in the region. The U.S.-backed Ethiopian invasion of Somalia last December, which was condemned by human rights organizations, is cited as an example of how the Ethiopian government is a useful ally, despite the fact that the Ethiopian invasion and occupation have greatly increased the violence and suffering in Somalia.

This week we have a chance to change U.S. policy. The House of Representatives is scheduled to vote as early as tomorrow on H.R. 2003, which would make military aid to Ethiopia conditional on democratic and human rights reforms.

Our government's support for abuses by the Ethiopian government has not received prominent media attention. But advocates for democracy and human rights in Ethiopia have been lobbying Congress. Now we have a chance to change course from a destructive policy in Africa based on the "global war on terror" towards a policy based on democracy and human rights.

Act now.

www.huffingtonpost.com

September 30, 2007

Coffee, Colonialism and Capitalism; Introduction to ‘Ethiopian’ Tyranny

Coffee, Colonialism and Capitalism; Introduction to ‘Ethiopian’ Tyranny

The Sidama Intellectual Side Goodo amalyzes the reasons of poverty in the occupied - by the alien Amhara invaders - Sidama Land and highlights the methods employed by the Amhara / Tigray rulers in Abyssinia's most appalling business: the illegitimate exploitation of the Sidama Coffee.

In an earlier article under the title ‘Coffee, Colonialism and Capitalism; Introduction to African Crisis’, we published the first part of the Sidama Intellectual Side Goodo’s article on ‘Sidama Land – Coffee Economics, Politics and Poverty’.

It was an introduction to the economic crisis that has permanently characterized Africa since the beginning of the Colonial Times, and to the purely colonial structures of modern Abyssinia, fallaciously re-baptized ‘Ethiopia’, which is the result of the Amhara barbaric kingdom invasions and the totalitarian rule of the cruel and inhuman Amhara and Tigray dictators.

The article was mainly articulated around two parts, namely Part 1. Poverty, Hunger and Underdevelopment in Africa, and Part 2. Poverty and Underdevelopment in ‘Ethiopia’. In the present article, we will publish Mr. Side Goodo’s main parts of analysis.

Sidama Land – Coffee Economics, Politics and Poverty

By Side Goodo, Sidama Intellectual

Part 3. Poverty in Sidama Region

The Sidama region with estimated total population of 5 million which makes Sidama the 5th largest ethnic group in ‘Ethiopia’ after Oromo, Amhara, Ogaden and Tigray, is one of the least developed regions in the country already at the bottom of the fourth world.

Only about 8% of the inhabitants of Sidama have access to electricity. The average rural household has only 0.3 hectare of land (compared to the national average of 1.01 hectare of land) and the equivalent of 0.5 heads of livestock. Most cattle in Sidama particularly in the low lands died due to tsetse fly infestations in the early 1980s.

Only 15.4% of the population is in non-farm related jobs, compared to the national average of 25% and a southern average of 32%. Primary school enrollment has improved since recently to reach about 68% of all eligible children while enrollment in secondary school is one of the lowest (18%).

These figures are inflated because of highly deflated population figure for Sidama of 3 million. Continued changes in climatic conditions due to global warming increased land areas in Sidama exposed to malaria to about 72% (World Bank, Country Memorandum, 2004).

All indictors reflect the glaring poverty in Sidama region. Sidama is predominantly rural society. 91 % of the total pupation in Sidama lives in rural areas. Thus it is primarily the peasant farmers who languish in poverty in the Sidama region. Fragmented land holdings, less than 0.3 hectares per household, coupled with very high population density of over 430 persons per sq km, implies a huge reservoirs of redundant labour force that needs to be employed out side of the subsistence farming. And yet the proportion of the total population engaged in non-farm related jobs in the Sidama region is only about 15%.

Sidama is endowed with various natural resources. Rivers such as Ganale that form Wabeshebelle river in Somalia originates in Sidama high lands of Harbagona. Lakes Awassa in the northwest, and Abaya in the south west, offer great tourism potentials for the region.

On top of all these, Sidama is endowed with the resources that make the Sidama name a global household name- that is, its black gold- coffee. Sidama produces abundant high quality organic (speciality) Sidama (Sidamo is a bastardised name given by the Amhara rulers) coffee that fetches the highest international retail prices for food chain multinationals such as Starbucks.

Part 4. Sidama: Coffee and Poverty

Coffee, believed to have been discovered a 1000 years ago by a Kaffa goatherd, in the Kaffa region of the country, is one of the most important cash crops in the Sidama region. In the year 2005, Sidama and Gedeo alone produced over 63,562 tons of coffee (Central Statistical Agency, 2005). This is 1/3 of the total coffee output for the country during the year.

Sidama is very well known for its production of garden coffee. Speciality Coffee is grown in many villages. Sidama has ideal soil type and climatic conditions-including altitude, rainfall and temperature for the production of Arabica coffee. Coffee is predominantly produced in villages organized in 39 primary coffee cooperatives in Shabadino, Dalle, Aleta Wondo, Darra and Bansa districts.

However, almost every household in rural Sidama outside of extremely hot lowlands of Awassa, Shabadino and Dalle and very cold highlands of Hula and Harbagona produces coffee. Over half of the total population in Sidama directly or indirectly depend on coffee for livelihoods.

Over 60% coffee produced in Sidama region is washed coffee and ready for export while half of the country’s coffee output of about 200,000 tones is consumed domestically. There are over 89 coffee washing stations in Sidama alone. Thus, over 40% of washed coffee destined to the export market comes directly from the Sidama region.

Coffee is the single most important export commodity for ‘Ethiopia’ providing about 65% of the country’s foreign exchange earnings. ‘Ethiopian’ coffee exports currently account for about $400 million in export income. More than 20 million people in the country (about 25% of the population) derive their livelihoods from the coffee sector. Coffee contributes over 10% of the ‘Ethiopian’ GDP.

Coffee is the most important agricultural commodity in the world, and is worth up to $14 billion annually. In fact coffee is the second most widely traded commodity in the world next to petroleum. More than 80 countries, including ‘Ethiopia’, cultivate coffee, which is exported as the raw, roasted or soluble product to more than 165 countries worldwide. More than 121 countries export and /or re-export coffee. More than 50 developing countries, 25 of them in Africa, depend on coffee as an export, with 17 countries earning 25 per cent of their foreign exchange from coffee.

Coffee classification and grading systems in ‘Ethiopia’ were developed and licensed for the first time in 1952 and then modified in 1955. ‘Ethiopian’ coffee certification began after the establishment of the National Coffee Board of ‘Ethiopia’ in 1957. Licensed and graded coffee export from Ethiopia has the history of over half a century.

However, half a century of progressive coffee export did not at all translate to poverty reduction and increased access to livelihoods in Sidama. Instead, as specialty coffee production, processing and exports increased from Sidama, poverty, hunger and famine also increased. This is a symptom of fundamental economic and political problems in the country.

Why did massive high quality coffee production fail to reduce poverty in the Sidama region and in other coffee producing regions in ‘Ethiopia’? There are various factors that explain why coffee failed to contribute to poverty alleviation in these regions and in Sidama in particular.

Among others these include
a) inimical macroeconomic policies,
b) systematic exploitation of producers by parastatals,
c) unfair allocation of retail returns, and
d) international price volatility.

I will deal with each of these in the following sections.

a) Inimical macroeconomic policies

Successive dictatorial regimes in the country followed inimical macroeconomic policies. One of such policies is the exchange rate policy. ‘Ethiopia’ followed fixed exchange regime during both the feudal and socialist regimes. The national currency, birr, was exchanged for highly overvalued rate of about 2 birr for 1 US dollar for over two decades. Both economic theory and practice shows that currency overvaluation has serious negative effects on the export performance and export earnings.

Since coffee is the country’s major export, currency over valuation has the most undesired effects on the coffee export performance and earnings in the country.

Thus, prolonged currency overvaluation in the country during both the feudal and socialist regimes meant that coffee producers were denied of most of their coffee incomes.

Since the government was the primary exporter during these periods, it was able to artificially set the farm gate prices at a very low level so that it retains most of the returns generated from the coffee export.

Thus, the peasant farmers continued to earn negligent income from their coffee produces. This perpetuated rural poverty and under development in major coffee producing regions such as Sidama.

However, the macroeconomics alone does not explain why coffee failed to alleviate poverty in Sidama. Systematic exploitation of coffee farmers through parastatals was another reason why the benefit of coffee could not trickle down to the legitimate producers. I will review this in the next section.

Note
Pucture: Around the shores of Lake Awassa
By Prof. Dr. Muhammad Shamsaddin Megalommatis
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