የጸረ ሽብርተኝነት ህጉ ይሻሻል ብለዋል
ከዚህ በፊት በሽብርተኝነት የተፈረደባቸው እንዲፈቱ ጠይቀዋል
41 የሰብዓዊ መብት ተሟጋቾች፣ የፕሬስ ነጻነት አቀንቃኞች፣ አለማቀፍና ክልላዊ የሲቪል ማህበረሰብ ተቋማትና የሙያ ማህበራት መንግስት በቅርቡ የሽብርተኝነት ክስ የመሰረተባቸውን ጋዜጠኞችና የዞን 9 ጦማርያን በአፋጣኝ እንዲፈታ ለጠቅላይ ሚኒስትር ሃይለማርያም ደሳለኝ ከትናንት በስቲያ በላኩት ደብዳቤ መጠየቃቸውን ብሉምበርግ ኒውስ ዘገበ፡፡
ሂዩማን ራይትስ ዎች፣ አምነስቲ ኢንተርናሽናል፣ አርቲክል 19 ምስራቅ አፍሪካ፣ ሲቪል ራይትስ ዲፌንደርስ፣ ወርልድ አሊያንስ ፎር ሲቲዝን ፓርቲሲፔሽን፣ ፔን አሜሪካና የመሳሰሉት አለማቀፍ ድርጅቶች በጋራ በጻፉት ደብዳቤ፣ መንግስት ጋዜጠኞችንና ጦማርያንን በሽብርተኝነት እየከሰሰ ለእስር መዳረጉን መቀጠሉ ያሳስበናል፣ እየተወሰደ ያለው እርምጃ ተገቢነት የሌለው በመሆኑ መገታት ይኖርበታል ብለዋል፡፡
ሶስቱ ጋዜጠኞችና ስድስቱ ጦማርያን ሶስት ወራት ለሚሆን ጊዜ ይህ ነው የሚባል ክስ ሳይመሰረትባቸው ያለአግባብ በእስር ላይ መቆየታቸውንና አንዳንዶቹም በምርመራ ወቅት እንግልት እንደደረሰባቸው መናገራቸውን የጠቀሰው ደብዳቤው፣ ይህም አግባብ አለመሆኑን ገልጿል፡፡
ጋዜጠኞቹና ጦማርያኑ በተመሰረተባቸው የሽብርተኝነት ክስ በረጅም አመታት እስር ብሎም በሞት ሊቀጡ እንደሚችሉ ስጋታቸውን የገለጹት ድርጅቶቹ፤ ይህም አለማቀፍ ህጎችን የሚጥስና በቀጠናው የተረጋጋ ሰላምና ደህንነት ለመፍጠር የሚደረገውን አለማቀፍ ጥረት ዋጋ የሚያሳጣ እርምጃ ይሆናል ብለዋል፡፡
መንግስት አግባብነት በሌለው የጸረ ሽብርተኝነት ህግ በቁጥጥር ውስጥ አውሎ ክስ የመሰረተባቸውን ጋዜጠኞችና ጦማርያን በአፋጣኝ ከእስር እንዲለቅ አስፈላጊውን ሁኔታ እንዲያመቻቹ ለጠቅላይ ሚኒስትር ሃይለማርያም ጥያቄ ያቀረቡት እነዚህ ድርጅቶች፤ ከዚህ በፊት በተመሳሳይ ሁኔታ በጸረ ሽብር ህጉ ተከሰው የተፈረደባቸው ዜጎች ጉዳይ አግባብ አለመሆኑን የተባበሩት መንግስታት ድርጅት ሳይቀር እንዳመነበትና እንዳወገዘው አስታውሰዋል፡፡
ከጋዜጠኞቹና ከጦማርያኑ በተጨማሪም፣ ከዚህ በፊት በሽብርተኝነት ተከሰውና ተፈርዶባቸው ያለአግባብ በእስር ላይ የሚገኙ ኢትዮጵያውያንን በሙሉ መንግስት በአፋጣኝ እንዲፈታና የጸረ ሽብርተኝነት ህጉንም አለማቀፍ የሰብዓዊ መብቶች መስፈርቶችን በሚያሟላ መልኩ እንደገና አሻሽሎ እንዲያጸድቅ ጠይቀዋል፡፡ኢትዮጵያ የአለማቀፉ የሲቪልና የፖለቲካ መብቶች ስምምነትና የአፍሪካን የሰብዓዊና የህዝብ መብቶች ኮንቬንሽን ፈርማ የተቀበለች ሃገር እንደመሆኗ፣ መንግስት አለማቀፍ ህጎች የጣሉበትን ግዴታ በማክበር መሰረታዊ መብቶቻቸው ተጥሰው ለእስር የተዳረጉ ዜጎችን በሙሉ ከእስር እንዲለቅ ጠይቀዋል፡፡
ደብዳቤውን የጻፉት ድርጅቶች የሚከተሉት ናቸው፡፡
1. Amnesty International
2. ARTICLE 19 Eastern Africa
3. Central Africa Human Rights Defenders Network (REDHAC), Central Africa
4. CIVICUS: World Alliance for Citizen Participation
5. Civil Rights Defenders, Sweden
6. Coalition pour le Développement et la Réhabilitation Sociale (CODR UBUNTU), Burundi
7. Committee to Protect Journalists
8. Community Empowerment for Progress Organization (CEPO), South Sudan
9. Conscience International (CI), The Gambia
10. East and Horn of Africa Human Rights Defenders Project
11. Egyptian Democratic Association, Egypt
12. Electronic Frontier Foundation
13. Ethiopian Human Rights Project (EHRP)
14. Elma7rosa Network, Egypt 15. English PEN
16. Freedom Now
17. Front Line Defenders, Dublin 18. Human Rights Watch
19. International Women’s Media Foundation (IWMF)
20. Ligue des Droits de la personne dans la region des Grands Lacs (LDGL), Great Lakes
21. Ligue Iteka, Burundi
22. Maranatha Hope, Nigeria
23. Media Legal Defence Initiative
24. National Civic Forum, Sudan
25. National Coalition of Human Rights Defenders, Kenya
26. Niger Delta Women’s movement for Peace and Development, Nigeria
27. Nigeria Network of NGOs, Nigeria
28. Paradigm Initiative Nigeria, Nigeria
29. PEN American Center 30. PEN International
31. Réseau africain des journalistes sur la sécurité humaine et la paix (Rajosep), Togo
32. Sexual Minorities Uganda (SMUG), Uganda
33. South Sudan Human Rights Defenders Network (SSHRDN), South Sudan
34. South Sudan Law Society, South Sudan
35. Tanzania Human Rights Defenders Coalition, Tanzania
36. Twerwaneho Listeners Club (TLC), Uganda
37. Union de Jeunes pour la Paix et le Développement, Burundi
38. WAN-IFRA (The World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers)
39. West African Human Rights Defenders Network (ROADDH/ WAHRDN), West Africa
40. Zambia Council for Social Development (ZCSD), Zambia
41. Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum, Zimbabwe
posted by Daniel tesfaye
Cirque d’Afrique: 2014 U.S-Africa Leaders Summit By Alemayehu G Mariam <!–
The African Circus is coming to town. It is officially called “U.S-Africa Leadership Summit” (not Ringling African Brothers). It is scheduled to be held on August 5-6 in Washington D.C. The theme of the “Summit” is “Investing in the Next Generation”.
According to the pre-Summit hype, in the first ever “U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit, African leaders will have an opportunity to engage with President Obama, his Cabinet members, and other key leaders, including business executives from the U.S. and Africa, Members of Congress, and members of civil society.” It is expected to be a 5-ring circus with stages for “expanding trade and investment ties, engaging young African leaders, promoting inclusive sustainable development, expanding cooperation on peace and security, and gaining a better future for Africa’s next generation.”
Human rights is definitely not on the menu. So, I must speak up! That is, speak truth to those in power who are indifferent to the powerless, those who abuse and misuse power and those who are “deaf to the voice of justice and consanguinity”, as Thomas Jefferson might have said.
President Obama proclaimed on the Whitehouse web page, “I do not see the countries and peoples of Africa as a world apart; I see Africa as a fundamental part of our interconnected world – partners with America on behalf of the future we want for all of our children…” Is this some kind of “lawyerese” doubletalk? He specifically referred to “countries and peoples of Africa”. How about “leaders of Africa”? Are they a “world apart”? From a different world? “Partners” with America?
Of course, the “countries and peoples of Africa” are not coming to Washington, D.C. African “leaders” are. That’s where President Obama and I part ways. Maybe not. I do not see “leaders and partners” in the African “leaders”; I see the proverbial pig in lipstick, to borrow a campaign metaphor from President Obama. “You know, you can put lipstick on a pig, but it’s still a pig. You can wrap an old fish in a piece of paper called ‘change.’ It’s still gonna stink after eight years,” declared candidate Obama on his way to the White House.
I say you can assemble a whole bunch of African criminals against humanity, genociders, torturers and mass murderers in the White House and call them “leaders”, but after the lipstick wears off at the end of the day, they are who they are. You can wrap a whole bunch African dictators and thugtators in a fancy label and call them “partners”, but after rotting in power for decades, they stink to high heavens.
I don’t want to rain on the African Leaders Circus parade. I can almost hear my critics bellyaching, “Here he goes again bashin’ and ribbin’ African leaders. He just never cuts them no slack.” In my defense, I interpose paraphrased wisdom from W.C. Fields. “Never give a dictator an even break”. The point is I have to tell it like I see it. The so-called African leaders meeting in the White House, in my view, are a breed apart who crawled from a planet where the rule of law is anathema and government wrongs are dolled up as human rights.
Guess who’s coming to dinner at the White House?
The guest list of African “leaders” and “partners” includes the names of some of the 21st Century’s worst criminals against humanity, killers, torturers, con men and scammers in designer suits and sunshades. Here is a partial list:
Uhuru Kenyatta of Kenya: In office since 2013, Kenyatta is on trial at the International Criminal Court on various counts of crimes against humanity in connection with the communal post-election violence in 2008. The U.N. estimated some 1,200 people died in Kenya in weeks of unrest between December 2007 and February 2008, and 600,000 people were forcibly displaced. I predict the case against Kenyatta will be dismissed for “lack of evidence” in October, unless it is continued again for the umpteenth time. (See my commentary, “Saving African Dictators from the ICC.)
Paul Biya of Cameroon: In power since 1982, the 80-year old Biya is Cameroon’s second president since independence in 1960. Biya has decades-long record of gross human rights violations including torture, extrajudicial killings and brutal crackdown on journalists, authors and protesting students.
Blaise Compaore of Burkina Faso: After seizing power in a bloody coup in 1987, Compaore turned Burkina Faso into a private estate for himself and his cronies. His record of human rights violations include excessive use of force against civilians and detainees, maintenance of harsh and life-threatening prison conditions and massive corruption.
Paul Kagame of Rwanda: In power since 1994 (first as vice president and defense minister), a recent UN report accused Kagame of “stoking a rebellion in eastern Congo, across Rwanda’s border, that has led to the displacement of 300,000 people and the arrest, exile or killing of many political opponents and rivals.” Theogene Rudasingwa, Kagame’s former Ambassador to the U.S. reported hearing “Mr Kagame boast in 1994 that he ordered the shooting down of the plane carrying President Juvenal Habyarimana.” Kagame told BBC’s HardTalk programme in 2007 that he did not give a damn one way or the other. “I am not responsible for Habyarimana’s death and I don’t care, I wasn’t responsible for his security and he wasn’t responsible for mine either. He wouldn’t have cared if I had died and I don’t care that it happened to him.”
Yoweri Museveni of Uganda: In power since 1986, Museveni has a long record of human rights violations. Human Rights Watch in 2012 reported, “President Museveni’s government has steadily tightened a noose around the media, civil society, the political opposition, and anyone else who might criticise his governance style. Over a dozen members of parliament have faced police interrogations and in some cases criminal charges for speaking out or participating in demonstrations against government policy.”
Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo of Equatorial Guinea: After seizing power in a bloody coup in 1979, Obiang has rigged every election to stay in office with more than 95% of the vote. Obiang’s son and “crown prince” Teodorin Obiang was the subject of a 46-page civil forfeiture action filed by the U.S. Justice Department in California and the District of Columbia. The allegations included “extortion”, “money laundering” and the “misappropriation, theft or embezzlement of public funds by or for the benefit of a public official” of a foreign government. (See my commentary, “To Catch Africa’s Biggest Thieves Hiding in America!”)
José Eduardo dos Santos of Angola: In power since 1979, dos Santos has been running his government like a family business (more like a crime syndicate). His daughter, Isabel Dos Santos is the richest woman in Africa (even richer than the widow of the late Meles Zenawi); and according to Forbes Magazine Africa’s only female billionaire. Nearly 70 percent of the Angolan population lives below the poverty line of $USD1.7 a day, while 28% live on less than 30 cents. dos Santos paid nearly USD$4 bn to the Chinese to build mixed residential development of 750 eight-storey apartment buildings, a dozen schools and more than 100 retail units. Nova Cidade de Kilamba is today a ghost town!
Idriss Deby of Chad: In power since 1990, Deby has an atrocious human rights record. According to the 2013 U.S. State Department human rights report, “the most significant human rights problems [in Chad] were security force abuse, including torture; arbitrary arrests and lengthy pretrial detentions harsh prison conditions, denial of fair public trial, executive influence on the judiciary, and property seizures.”
Joseph Kabila of the Democratic Republic of the Congo: Inherited the presidency from his father at age 30 in 2001. Kabila is said to be “the highest-paid politician in the world, pulling in an astonishing $75 million between July 2012 and July 2013, a nearly $40 million lead over his closest competition.” His estimated net worth in 2013 was $215 million.
Jacob Zuma of South Africa: Reelected in May 2014, he is currently facing a corruption investigation. The South African public prosecutor accused Zuma of improperly spending nearly USD$7 million to improve his private estate, calling the expenditure, “unconscionable, excessive, and caused a misappropriation of public funds.” Chump change on the titanic scale of African corruption, but it says something about South Africa’s anti-corruption efforts.
Goodluck Jonathan of Nigeria: He finally met the families of the abducted girls 100 days after the event. The terrorist group Boko Haram continues to massacre, maim and abduct thousands of innocent Nigerians every year as Johnathan dithers on whether to crush them, bribe them or amnesty them. According to the annual U.S. human rights report, “massive, widespread, and pervasive corruption affects all levels of government and the security forces” in Nigeria.
Yahya Jammeh of The Gambia: In power since 1994 when he was 29 years old following a military coup, the buffoonish Gambian leader shocked the world in 2007 by claiming that he is able to cure HIV/AIDS with concoctions of natural herbs and urged patients to abandon their retroviral medications. According to a 2014 Amnesty International report, Jammeh’s “government tolerates no dissent and commits serious human rights violations. Human rights defenders, journalists, political opponents and other Gambians who are critical of government policies continue to face intimidation, harassment, arbitrary arrest, detention, torture, ill-treatment, death threats and enforced disappearance.”
Hailemariam Desalegn, the ceremonial prime minster of Ethiopia is expected to attend, though his puppet masters will remain in the shadows and within earshot as he hobnobs with the other African “leaders”.
There are some African “leaders” who apparently were not invited to dinner. Old Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe and International Criminal Court war crimes suspect Omar al-Bashir will not be there. It seems the invitations sent out to the “leaders” of Eritrea, Guinea Bissau and the Central African Republic were lost in the mail.
To be perfectly frank, the thought of being in the same room (city) with these criminals and con men gives me the willies.
African beggars making a beeline at the White House?
President Obama is optimistic that these African “leaders” can “partner with America on behalf of the future we want for all of our children.” I do not see it that way. I see them as beggars in America who strike a bad example of beggary for future African children.
The culture of beggary among African leaders is not something I discovered. It was foretold decades ago by the famed Nigerian nationalist, author and statesman Chief Obafemi Awolowo. In 1967, at the 4th Summit meeting of the Organization of African Unity, Chief Awo spoke prophetically: “Today, Africa is a Continent of COMPETING BEGGAR NATIONS. We vie with one another for favours from our former colonial masters; and we deliberately fall over one another to invite neocolonialists to come to our different territories to preside over our economic fortunes.”
African leaders, despite the millions and billions they have stolen and stashed away and Africa’s fabled wealth, are quintessentially beggars in the way they think and act. When they are not pulling out their guns and knives to rob, cheat and steal from their people, they are holding out their begging bowls for alms from the international community. Their motto is, “Ask what America, Europe, China… can do for Africa… Always.” They never ask what they can do for Africa by themselves without alms, charity and handouts from America, Europe or China.
Who paid for the new African Union (AU) headquarters inaugurated in 2012 in Addis Ababa? That was “China’s gift to Africa.” China picked the entire USD$200 million tab for the building, fixtures and furniture. The China State Construction Engineering Corporation constructed the building using nearly all Chinese workers. Could “China’s gift to Africa” be China’s Trojan Horse in Africa?
The late Meles Zenawi waxed poetic as he blessed the new building and consecrated the “continuing prosperous partnership” between Africa and China. Meles was the beggar-in-chief for Africa. He was the “step and fetch it” guy at all of the G-something and climate change summits. I hang my head in shame whenever I think of Africa’s wealth and resources and the supposed inability of African “leaders” to collectively come up with the chump change needed to build the most symbolic and iconic structure for the continent. They just had to beg!!! (See my commentary, “African Beggars Hall”.)
Africa has long been a bottomless pit for alms and handouts. Dambissa Moyo argues, “In the past fifty years, more than $1 trillion in development-related aid has been transferred from rich countries to Africa. Has this assistance improved the lives of Africans? No. In fact, across the continent, the recipients of this aid are not better off as a result of it, but worse—much worse.” In 2013, bilateral aid (from single donor country to a single recipient country) to sub-Saharan Africa was USD 26.2 billion. Total bilateral U.S. development assistance from the USAID and the U.S. State Department to sub-Saharan Africa was over $7.08 billion in FY 2012.
Is the Dragon eating the Eagle’s lunch in Africa?
Is the U.S. finally playing catch-up with China, the European Union and Japan who have been running African leadership summits (some say scams)? There is no question that China is today Africa’s largest bilateral trade partner. Could it be that the U.S. is finally realizing China is eating its lunch in Africa? ( See my commentary, “The Dragon Eating the Eagle’s Lunch in Africa?”.)
The Obama Administration has been talking about investments, trade, infrastructure development and stuff like that for a few years. Last year, President Obama announced his “Power Africa Initiative” which was supposed to increase American energy company investments with a $7 billion aid package to back it up. The only kind of power I see in Africa today is abuse and misuse of power by African “leaders”. (See my commentary, “Power Africa? Empower Africans!)
In 2012, President Obama invited a number of African leaders to a “Food Summit” and declared, “The New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition is a shared commitment to achieve sustained and inclusive agricultural growth and raise 50 million people out of poverty over the next 10 years by aligning the commitments of Africa’s leadership to drive effective country plans and policies for food security.” To implement the “New Alliance” and spark a Green Revolution in Africa, dozens of global food companies, including multinational giants Cargill, Dupont, Monsanto, Kraft, Unilever, Syngenta AG signed a “Private Sector Declaration of Support for African Agricultural Development”. Are Africans more food secure today than they were 20 or 30 years ago? (See my commentary, “Food for Famine and Thought!”)
President Obama launched the Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI) in 2010 as a signature initiative to support upcoming young African leaders. How many young Africans are being trained in the U.S. today to strengthen democratic governance, and enhance peace and security across the continent? It seems the most capable young Africans who could strengthen democracy in Africa — young journalists, bloggers, opposition leaders and peaceful dissenters — are being prosecuted, persecuted and jailed in large numbers. I wonder how many of the young leaders will actually return to Africa after tasting the good life in America! (See my commentary, “Will the U.S. Stand by the Side of Brave Africans?”
The “Awolowo Paradox”: How to kick the begging habit and beat the handout addiction
African “leaders” must heed the prophetic and paradoxical words of Chief Awolowo if they are to save Africa and themselves. In his 1967 speech, Chief Awolowo cautioned African leaders:
We may continue and indeed we will be right to continue to use the power and influence which sovereignty confers, as well as the tactics and manoeuvres which international diplomacy legitimatises, to extract more and more alms from our benefactors. But the inherent evil remains—and it remains with us and with no one else: unless a beggar shakes off and irrevocably turns his back on, his begging habit, he will forever remain a beggar. For, the more he begs the more he develops the beggar characteristics of lack of initiative, courage, drive and self-reliance.’”
I believe African leaders are rich beggars. When they look in the mirror, they do not see millionaires, billionaires and a continent brimming with wealth and resources. They see a reflection of themselves and a continent wallowing in an ocean of poverty and drowining in privation made opaque by corruption and human rights violation. They prove the proposition that poverty is not only a physical and economic state but also a state of mind. Because they are morally bankrupt, they must always beg and endlessly seek to engorge themselves with alms, handouts and charity. It makes them feel better. The “begging habit” and the handout addiction is in their blood stream and the only question is whether they “will forever remain beggars” as Chief Awo wondered so long ago.
As a human rights advocate, I would only remind President Obama of his own words when he visited Accra, Ghana in 2009. “…Make no mistake: history is on the side of these brave Africans, and not with those who use coups or change Constitutions to stay in power. Africa doesn’t need strongmen, it needs strong institutions…” I wonder if President Obama is making a big mistake by standing on the side of Africa’s “strongmen”.
I get the heebie geebies just imaging President Obama standing on the side of Africa’s “strongmen” and wining and dining them in the White House. Eeek!
My only question to President Obama is this: How can African “leaders” invest in the next generation when they are divesting and wasting the current generation?
Professor Alemayehu G. Mariam teaches political science at California State University, San Bernardino and is a practicing defense lawyer.
posted by Daniel tesfaye
Ethiopians in Greater Houston of Texas
The Ethiopian community in Houston is outraged to learn that the City of Houston and thee Greater Houston Partnership are hosting the Ethiopian dictator, Hailemariam Desalegn next week.
Ethiopia is a gross human rights violator, a totalitarian state, where people are deprived of their liberty and property rights by the regime. There is no freedom of the press, consequently most journalists are in prison or fled the country.
Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, the UN, the U.S. Department of State, and Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) have documented gross human rights violations committed by the incumbent criminal regime in Ethiopia.
The Ethiopian people have been subjected to a vestige of abuse for generations. Just Last Friday, government forces attacked peaceful gathering of Muslims in Addis Abeba mosque killing a number of them. Last Month close to 40 university students at Ambo University were also killed for protesting government confiscation of land without compensation in Oromia region. The pathetic situation continues where 90 million Ethiopians have no freedom and no hope for improvement. The regime uses any tactics or measures necessary to stay in power including intimidation, patronage, kidnapping, open murder and political assassination.
Through its cronies and paramilitary forces, as well as party members it controls the economy and the political space in Ethiopia. Using the Federal Police regularly intimidates and kills at will on streets, schools, churches and mosques.
In Ethiopia besides the political oppression and ethnic tensions created by the regime, the government owns all land, Internet, food distribution, banking, telecommunication, and other industries causing massive inefficiency in production which in turn brings about massive starvation and unemployment.
According to Professor Mesfin, a leading human rights activist, “The government has placed itself above the law, rules the country by force, and exonerates itself from any crimes it commits against defenseless citizens and this makes up the saddest reality prevailing in present-day Ethiopia.” According to Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vermont, “paramilitary units continue to use random searches, beatings, mass arrests and lethal force against peaceful protesters.”
The Daily Telegraph calls the current situation “a systematic onslaught against the majority of the Ethiopian people,”. The Chairman of the Sub-Committee on Africa, Chris Smith, and R- New Jersey referred, Meles, the late Prime Minister as the “vicious dictator” of Ethiopia. Given these facts, the Ethiopian community will protest and urge those freedom- loving citizens of Houston to refrain from appearing or honoring Mr. Deslalegn or give credence to his local collaborators in Houston. We also urge the U.S. government to stop supporting African dictators who rule by the barrel of the gun instead of with the support of the masses.
Where: The Houstonian Hotel, Club and Spa | 111 North Post Oak Lane, Houston, Texas 77024 When: Tuesday, July 29 | 6:00 to 8:00 p.m
posted by Daniel tesfaye
July 24, 2014
The long and bitter struggle has now transitioned to a new chapter designated as “We are all Andargchew Tsege”. This communiqué briefly describes what this new chapter is about and what it constitutes. The tasks outlined here are not to be read and set aside rather a series of concrete plans to be put into action.
What does it mean to be Andargachew Tsege? Andargachew Tsege is our leader who stands for justice, freedom, democracy and equality, who has been paying and still paying the immeasurable sacrifices that the struggle requires. To be like Andargachew Tsege means to be humble but determined, patient but persistent, visionary and wise and always ready for action. What it means to be an Andargachew Tsege is to be that person ready to take the necessary measures to get rid of the brutal regime systematically destroying our country. To become an Andargachew Tsege means to be the salvation for our beloved country and our generation.
One of the reasons why the minority regime of the Tigrai People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) has targeted Andargachew Tsege is because he is a leader who has managed to establish close ties between the armed Oromo, Afar, Ogaden, Gambella and other ethnic based organizations and Ginbot 7, our movement in a manner that renders ineffective the tribal junta’s propaganda. Above all what has become a thorn on the side of the TPLF is the strong working relations that he has created with The Tigrai People’s Democratic Movement (TPDM). By collaborating with TPDM, Andargachew has made TPLF unable to ride on the backs of the people of Tigrai. Therefore, to be an Andargachew Tsege also means to be free from ethnic hatred. What it means to be an Andargachew Tsege is to whole heartedly believe in the struggle and work with strong conviction for equal rights for all Ethiopians.
To be an Andargachew Tsege does not necessarily require being a member of Ginbot 7. To be an Andargachew Tsege only demands readiness to pay the price for the success of worthy objectives, irrespective of which organization one belongs to. To be like Andargachew Tsege is to comprehend fully that a resolute struggle needs to be backed by a strong organization.
Finally, to be like Andargshew Tsege means to be Okilo Aquagne, Andualem Arage, Reeyot Alemu, Eskinder Nega, Bekelle Gerba, Olbana Lelisa and the countless other heroes and heroines of the struggle.
While we will frequently update the focus of the “We Are All Andargachew Tsege” campaign, the focus of the initial stage of the global campaign that will be implemented immediately is presented in three stages.
The Focus of the First Stage of the Campaign
This first stage will focus on three areas: – Yemen, UK and the TPLF regime
The Government of Yemen has, in contravention of international law, illegally abducted and extradited our leader to suffer at the hands of the monstrous regime. The appeals made to the Yemen Government right from the beginning were not given due attention. To date, the Government of Yemen has not officially admitted the fact that they have abducted Andargachew Tsege and handed him over to the brutal regime in Ethiopia. According to the evidence / information we have it is the Yemeni spy agency which is directly accountable to the President of Yemen which has carried out this act of banditry from detention to illegally rendering him on a special flight to Ethiopia. As a result of this criminal action the Government of Yemen has committed a grave historical mistake which can neither be forgiven nor easily forgotten. The Government and people of Yemen have to understand that their ill-advised and illegal actions will have major consequences.
The objective of our campaign is to express our outrage not only to the President and Government of Yemen but to the Yemeni population as well. The following activities are stated below as examples.
This is a major task that should be performed by Ethiopians within as well as those outside Ethiopia.
5. To single out Yemeni businesses in Ethiopia and boycott their products and services. Products (cookies or cigarettes made with Yemeni investment or imported from Yemen ) are considered to be goods tainted with the blood of our compatriots.
We do not believe that the Government of the UK has done all that it could have done and should have done. The measures taken so far or are being taken were not prompt and speedy.
Therefore, our campaign objective as regards to the UK is to accuse the British Government of not giving serious attention to the matter and badger them so that hereafter they will give the matter immediate attention and follow up in order to have our leader released. The following activities are listed as examples.
III- TPLF Regime
The struggles against the TPLF regime must be aimed at throwing them out of power. It is the action oriented movement of those Ethiopian compatriots and popular forces who, instead of being humiliated and enslaved, have decided to give their lives as well as chosen to fall while strangling and being strangled by the brutal regime for the sake of freedom and justice, that will contribute the biggest share in the downfall of the tyrannical minority regime. Let us join them.
Compatriots who for various reasons cannot join the decisive struggle should organize themselves, while protecting themselves from the spy network of the TPLF underlings and prepare themselves to support activities which help this effort. It should be noted that the contribution of such activities is significant in terms of naming and shaming the TPLF cadres and supporters wherever they are found, denying them relief, exposing the crimes that they have committed to the public, depriving them of friends by exposing their identities to their partners or co-workers, weakening their financial strength and bankrupting their companies. The following activities should be undertaken from this perspective.
Finally, we believe that other methods not found in this list but which are, nevertheless, effective ways of expressing protest, will emerge from the infinite creative capacity of the youth. Therefore, it is imperative to strengthen the campaign with ideas and creativity in each specific situation. This campaign should be launched with the understanding that it will intensify as time goes by and until the brutal TPLF regime is thrown out of power. Therefore, we will, from time to time, add new topics and strategies for the struggle.
We call upon the Ethiopian people, the global Ethiopian diaspora and all Ethiopian democratic forces to rise up armed with a unity of purpose and to get ready to work shoulder to shoulder for an action oriented struggle.
This campaign will bring about the desired results only when coordinated with the long and arduous struggle on the ground to get rid of the tyrannical regime of the TPLF. Ginbot 7 Movement for Justice, Freedom and Democracy makes a global call to all those who care about their freedom, dignity, and the dangers facing Ethiopia under the Fascistic rule of the TPLF to renew their commitment to the struggle to bring about the downfall of the TPLF regime to participate in this all around campaign of civil , disobedience, non-cooperation, and popular resistance to the full extent of their ability. Our struggle will succeed if we all stand together and pay the necessary sacrifice for the common good.
Victory to the Ethiopian People!
posted by Daniel tesfaye
The US says it is ‘deeply concerned’ over prosecution of young social media activists. But Ethiopia is a key US ally on the Horn of Africa and any censure may remain rhetorical.
By William Davison, Correspondent
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia — Ethiopia has charged 10 reform-minded bloggers and journalists with terrorism offenses – marking the latest in a long line of repressive acts against civil society by a key US partner in the Horn of Africa.
Seven of the 10 bloggers are part of a social media group called Zone 9. The group are mostly young urban professionals known for a fresh and reasoned approach to peaceful change — and who are increasingly well-respected – in an authoritarian nation known for a history of stifling free expression. With elections coming, some say the charges are an easy way for the government to link dissidents to terrorist groups and undermine them.
Six of the bloggers and the three journalists have been held since April, and are now charged under a 2009 terror law that has broad and loose terms. Analysts say these individuals may receive the same long prison sentences as opposition politicians and journalists recently sentenced on similar charges.
One Zone 9 blogger resides in the US and is being tried in absentia.
Government prosecutors say the bloggers are linked to a US-based Ethiopian opposition group called Ginbot 7 and were allegedly planning to overthrow the Ethiopian government.
The US, a major donor to Ethiopia as well as a security partner, frequently criticizes Ethiopia’s human-rights record; yet no aid cuts or formal censure have followed.
State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki said the US is “deeply concerned” about the charges and urged a fair trial. “The arrest of journalists and bloggers, and their prosecution under terrorism laws, has a chilling effect on the media and all Ethiopians’ right to freedom of expression,” Ms. Psaki said after the charges were announced Friday.
The West views Ethiopia as an important broker in ending a vicious civil war now underway in South Sudan. It is also a key ally in Somalia, where its military has for several years been fighting Al Qaeda-linked groups like Al Shabab, in that clan-riven nation.
Boston University Africa specialist Michael Woldemariam says Ethiopia’s strategic significance means the US is “unlikely” to condition aid to what is Africa’s second most populous nation. “I think quiet, behind-the-scenes diplomacy is the most likely way forward in ensuring the outcome of the trial is not particularly egregious,” Mr. Woldemariam says.
In a press conference hours after the first hearing Friday, Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn was unrepentant. He said those charged were part of a terrorist network centered around Ethiopia’s arch-rival Eritrea. He alleged that the network extends to Somalia, Kenya, and South Sudan.
“Whatever you see can be put into this equation,” the prime minister said about the network. “Be it a doctor, or a teacher, or a journalist.” While Somalia and Kenya have seen numerous terrorist attacks in the past year, Ethiopia has not experienced any attacks at home.
The subject of Eritrea is sensitive in Addis Ababa. Eritrea seceded from Ethiopia in 1993 after a 30-year insurgency. Elites in the two nations fell out, leading to war from 1998 to 2000. Both sides have remained at loggerheads.
Ginbot 7, formed in exile by opposition figures, led a successful campaign against the ruling party in 2005 elections, which turned violent. (Security forces in Ethiopia killed hundreds of demonstrators and imprisoned opponents en masse.) That history led Ginbot 7 members to team up with Eritrea against the Ethiopian regime.
Open criticism of terror
The Zone 9 bloggers charged with terror are regarded as diligent and bold critics of the Ethiopian government. Yet those familiar with the group seriously balk at the terror links claimed by prosecutors.
Zone 9 bloggers, for example, openly criticized Ginbot 7 for its belief that armed struggle is justified in order to remove a dictatorship, says Zone 9 co-founder Endalkachew Hailemichael, currently a graduate student at the University of Oregon. The Zone 9 social media activists believe the only way democracy can be achieved in Ethiopia is through peaceful opposition, Mr. Hailemichael says.
In Addis Ababa, observers say that with elections upcoming, the bloggers were too outspoken. Accusing them of links to Ginbot 7 ties them to Eritrea and also to Somalia’s Islamic extremists that the Eritrean regime is accused of funding.
“This is part of a deliberate strategy by the government to marginalize its most dangerous critics in the run up to the 2015 elections,” says Woldemariam. “The existence of armed opposition, and Ginbot 7 links to Asmara, provide a useful bogeyman the government can invoke to tar and marginalize the real threat to its power: young activists that seek to operate non-violently within the system in an attempt to push political change.”
Source: The Christian Monitor
posted by Daniel tesfaye