FREEDOM 4 ALL ETHIOPIANS

FREEDOM,DEMOCRACY.JUSTICE.AND UNITY FOR ALL ETHIOPIANS …by DANIEL TESFAYE

Archive for the month “November, 2015”

Ethiopia and the World Bank of Lies, Damned Lies and Statislies

Nov 30,2015

World Bank of Lies

John Milton wrote in Paradise Lost: “For no falsehood can endure/ Touch of celestial temper.”

Of course, Milton was writing about Satan and his “devilish art”  of  “forging illusions”.

I am seething in temporal temper over the World Bank’s “devilish art” of economic numerology, Mephistophelian cunning in making deals with corrupt African thugtators and the infinite ability of  its experts to forge illusions, lies , damned lies and statislies to ensure their own job security.

The World Bank has once again stoked my temper in its latest report on Ethiopia. For the third time in 2015.

Last week, the World Bank issued its 166-page report on Ethiopia entitled, “Ethiopia’s Great Run”.

That report is the biggest hogwash, whitewash and brainwash I have ever read.

In 2010, Meles Zenawi, the late leader of the Thugtatorship of the Tigrean Peoples Liberation Front (T-TPLF),  described the European Union Election Observer Mission’s  report documenting his daylight robbery of the 2010 election as “useless trash that deserves to be thrown in the garbage”.

If one wants to read a report in 2015 that is a 24-carat piece of useless trash that deserves to be thrown in the garbage, one need go no further than the World Bank’s “Ethiopia’s Great Run”.

By God! Is there no limit to how low those doggone liars at the World Bank will stoop to hatch out lies, fabricate damned lies and manufacture statistics just to kiss up to a corrupt-to-the-bone thug regime and bend over backwards to cover up the truth?

Well! They stooped lower than a snake’s belly  in “Ethiopia’s Great Run”.

I hate liars.

Especially hired liars. Liars who lie for a few pieces of silver. Liars who would prostitute their professional expertise and skills for a buck or two. Liars who are hypocrites. Boldfaced liars.

Educated and trained liars who would use fancy lingo to make corruption respectable; fraud honorable and theft, waste and abuse of  a nation’s treasury virtuous.

The  World Bank liars will torture the truth to extract lies; they will massage the statistics to bury the truth six feet under; and they will concoct  truth out of whole cloth lies.

The so-called international experts, consultants and international poverty pimps at the World Bank cranking out bogus economic reports on Ethiopia make me sick. I want to throw up every time I read their garbage reports.

I ask myself: Why the hell do I force myself to read the crock of s**t the World Bank cranks out on Ethiopia when my shelves are stacked full with literary masterpieces?

I answer myself: Could it be because I have a secret fascination for fables, fantasy, mythology, fairy tales and fiction written by international poverty pimps?

It has been said that “there are two ways of lying. One, not telling the truth and the other, making up statistics.”

The World Bank’s “Ethiopia’s Great Run” does both.

The lies, damned lies and “statislies” (a word I coined to describe the use of statistics by international poverty pimps to dignify lies and damned lies) of the World Bank begins with a bold-faced lie in the first sentence of the Executive Summary (p.4):

Ethiopia’s economic growth has been remarkably rapid and stable over the past decade. Real GDP growth averaged 10.9 percent in 2004-2014, according to official data.

The footnote to this statement (they are hoping no one will read it) explains:

The IMF (2013b) has argued that official real GDP growth rates may have been overestimated by as much as 3 percentage points in recent years. Even by this more conservative estimate, a growth acceleration is beyond dispute. (Emphasis added.)

The first sentence of the Executive Summary is a statislie ( a statistical lie) with a disingenuous disclaimer in the accompanying footnote.

The simple translation of the statislie is this: Ethiopia’s real GDP growth is really not 10.9 percent (it could be 6.5, 7 or 8.9 percent), but who is counting? Who cares!?

Regardless, the reader should believe Ethiopia’s GDP growth to be 10.9 percent (not 11 percent, of course!)

After all, the World Bank’s data collection and analysis is so accurate and precise, they can assert with fractional certainty that it is 10.9 and not 11 percent.

The first sentence of the Executive Report is intended to captivate the readers’ attention and wow them from the get go. It is intended to be a statistical shock and awe!

Once the “10.9 percent annual growth over the past decade” is firmly and subliminally planted in the reader’s mind  and the reader concioulsy or subliminally accepts  this “official data” as true and accurate, the rest of the 165-pages is a propaganda narrative and fantasy tale which merely explains how this fantastic “growth acceleration beyond dispute” has been achieved.

But whoa! whoa! whoa! World Bank! Not so fast!

There is a hell of a lot of dispute about the “growth acceleration [that is] beyond dispute”.

So let’s back up and ask some simple questions of the World Bank’s experts.

Is a statistical difference between 8.9 percent and 11.9 percent statistically significant?

For instance, according to a report released last week on the growth of the U.S. economy, “for all of 2015, the rate of economic growth is expected to be about 2.5 percent, not much different from the 2.4 percent rate in 2014.”

If we accept the World Bank’s statistical logic of a 3 percent “margin of error” (?) and applied it to the U.S., it would appear the U.S. experienced negative growth, possibly heading inexorably to a deep recession or depression.

Is the “official Ethiopian government” figure of 10.9 (why not round it off to 11 percent?) or the International Monetary Fund’s (IMF)  figure of 7 (?) 8(?) percent accurate?

In 2013, for instance, the IMF reported Ethiopia’s “GDP growth seen slowing to 6.5 pct in 2012/13 from 8.5 pct.”

Is the official self-serving data provided by the “government” intrinsically more reliable than the IMF’s estimate such that the World Bank would give the “official data” greater accuracy and primacy by citing it in the first line of its  Executive Summary as intrinsically more reliable and authoritative? (The World Bank knows most reasonable people would not bother to read their hogwash and among the daring few who would read it, nearly all of them will only read the Executive Summary (that’s because they don’t want to throw up).  Only “unreasonable” people like myself will waste their time trudging in a 166-page statistical sewer.

Is the “government’s” data any more reliable than the IMF’s “estimates”?

Is the difference in data between the “official” figures and the IMF estimates the same difference between the data and estimates provided by Tweddle Dee and Tweddle Dum?

Is any official data generated by the T-TPLF regime, the IMF or World Bank or any of the other loaners and donors have any credibility?

If the World Bank, the IMF and the other loaners and donors are being spoon-fed their data by “Ethiopian officials”, how credible could that figure be?

Will the T-TPLF actually tell the truth about economic growth rate or is it highly likely to dress up the figures to make themselves look good?

Why do the World Bank, the IMF and the other loaners and donors rely on patently false “official figures” to base their analysis of the growth of the Ethiopian economy?

After all, these international poverty pimps have their own enlightened self-interest to protect by writing fictional stories of GDP growth under the T-TPLF as they bury that poor country in debt while being wined, dined and schmoozed over fine cognac and caviar in posh hotels in Addis Ababa.

Stop!

Can any data provided by a regime that claimed to have won elections by 99.6 percent in 2010 and by 100 percent in 2015 possibly be credible in the least?

The Central Statistics Agency (CSA) and the “National Accounts Department of the Ministry Finance and Economic Development” are the two official institutions in Ethiopia under the control of the T-TPLF that are responsible for keeping track of the statistical data which is cited proudly and authoritatively by the World Bank.

But neither organization has the institutional capability to collect reliable and accurate economic data, let alone assemble complete and comprehensive data sets which could serve as empirical bases for economic prognostications.

That fact was emphatically stated on March 24, 2010 in the official statement of Paul Mathieu, the IMF team leader who, after conducting an evaluation of the current half fiscal year economic performance of Ethiopia,said: “Statistics collection of the country requires transformations, and we advised the government to do that.”

Translated from “diplomatese” into ordinary language, Mathieu’s statement makes it plain that the statistics and data generated and used by the T-TPLF to describe Ethiopia’s economic performance and make predictions are basically “cooked up” and garbage in, garbage out data.

It took the World Bank 4 years to even begin to address the issue of T-TPLF data collection.

In a “Project Appraisal Document” dated May 28, 2014, the World Bank declared it would commit USD$10 million  “to enhance the capacity of the Central Statistical Agency (CSA) at the organizational, human, and physical levels in order to produce and disseminate reliable, accessible, and timely statistics.”

On September 4, 2014,  “a team of 15 IBM  experts presented its recommendations to Ethiopian leaders” on a variety of statistical data collection methodologies and processes including “text-based communications”,  “integrated IT system”, “collection and analysis of key labor market data”, “mobile and analytics technologies to gather and analyze data about nutrition, water, sanitation, and hygiene”.

In its September 2015 report on Ethiopia (IMF Country Report No. 15/300; see e.g. footnotes on pp.4-6; 22-29), the IMF, in willful ignorance, continued to use  the same worthless and totally discredited statistical data published by the T-TPLF in its report:

Historical GDP data published by the IMF are those issued by Ethiopia’s Central Statistical Agency. Staff projections for GDP are based on an underlying growth rate that is lower than that of the authorities, and that reflect identified weaknesses in national accounts data (see paragraph 45).

In its assessment of “data adequacy“ of official T-TPLF sources, IMF Report No, 15/300 stated “as of August 26, 2015” (p.8):

General: Data provision has shortcomings that hamper surveillance…

Government finance statistics: Despite recent improvements, government fiscal statistics continue to be affected by shortcomings in terms of coverage…

Monetary statistics: Monetary survey data for commercial banks are subject to substantial revisions…

Financial statistics: Information gaps about the financial sector have implications for conducting an in-depth assessment of financial sector health…

Balance of payments: Balance of payments data require improvements in coverage, valuation, timing, and classification of current account transactions…  An exploratory survey needs to be conducted to verify the actual investment made in Ethiopia and to establish the universe of the enterprises with private cross border capital.

Why the hell are the IMF and World Bank in 2015 using “fiscal statistics [that] continue to be affected by shortcomings”, data with “information gaps” that “have implications for conducting an in-depth assessment of financial sector,” and “monetary survey data subject to substantial revisions”, etc.?

Could it be that they are trying to con-vince us about things that exist only in the computer codes of their economic models?  (I did not say con us.)

The simple and incontrovertible fact of the matter is that the statistics used by the World Bank, the IMF and all of the other international poverty pimps to support their claims of exaggerated claims and projections of Ethiopia’s stratospheric “accelerated economic growth” and red-hot performance of key economic sectors are based exclusively (with the exception of a few estimates)on data collected, chopped, diced, sautéed, braised, grilled, roasted, stewed and seasoned in the kitchens of the Central Statistical Agency under the direction and supervision of the Executive Chefs of the T-TPLF.

Just as a brief retrospective!

Back in 2008, the IMF gave “tongue-in-cheek” endorsement to the unreliable and worthless data generated by the T-TPLF statistical office to praise the economic prowess of the T-TPLF.

IMF Country Report (Ethiopia) No. 08/264 (July 2008), stated:

Growth has averaged 11 percent since 2003/04, far exceeding the minimum target of 7 percent in the Program for Accelerated and Sustainable Development (PASDEP), that is estimated to be consistent with keeping the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) within reach.

In the footnotes of that Report on pp. 20-24, the origin of the data indicating an 11 percent growth is not the IMF or some other independent data collection and analysis source but the very same Central Statistics Office of the T-TPLF:   “Sources: Ethiopian authorities; and IMF staff estimates and projections.”

Similarly, the data source for “Financial Soundness Indicators for Banking” is identified as the “National Bank of Ethiopia; and IMF calculations.”

The IMF’s 2013 report (IMF Country Report No. 13/308) is no different.

The data used in the 2013 report also comes from “Ethiopian authorities and IMF staff estimates.” (See e.g. pp. 9-10; 17, 32-39.)

In 2013, the IMF reported Ethiopia’s “GDP growth seen slowing to 6.5 pct in 2012/13 from 8.5 pct.”

In 2012, the IMF reported, “While inflation remains high (21 percent at end-2011/12), real GDP growth, which is estimated at around 7 percent in 2011/12 and is projected to decline to 6.5 percent in subsequent years under the continuation of current policies.

The T-TPLF policies did not change; therefore we should reasonably expect a decline to 6.5 percent in subsequent years.

Not according to the World Bank!

In its November 2015 “Ethiopia’s Great Run” report, the World Bank insistsEthiopia under T-TPLF rule has posted an annual growth rate of 11 percent (sorry, I meant 10.9 percent) for the preceding decade.

What a con job by the World Bank!

My long time readers know that I have been fighting the World Bank’s lies, damned lies and statislies for some time now. (Please don’t ask me where the Ethiopian economists are in fighting the World Bank’s world of lies?)

In January 2015, I posted a commentary entitled, “World Bank-ruptcy in Ethiopia” challenging the World Bank’s lies about the success of the T-TPLF’s “Growth and Transformation Plan” about the World Bank’s “Deception Games” of displacement, deracination, forced resettlement and a kinder and gentler form of ethnic cleansing  in the Gambella region of Western Ethiopia.

On February 2, 2015, I posted a commentary entitled, “The World Bank and Ethiopia’s ‘Growth and Transformation’” debunking the World Bank’s clever narrative aimed at extolling the skillful management of the Ethiopian economy by the  T-TPLF and its own self-glorification that it and the other donors and loaners have played a central and decisive role in lifting out of poverty and transforming a once famine-stricken country into a shining example of loan- and aid-based development (an oxymoronic claim on its face).

On February 8, 2015, I posted a commentary entitled, “Ethiopia’s “Odious Debt” to the Odious World Bank”.  “Odious debt” is “illegitimate national debt incurred by a regime for purposes that do not serve the best interests of the nation and therefore should not be enforceable against the people of the debtor nation.”

In that commentary, I asked the question: “Are the people of Ethiopia responsible for the World Bank’s “odious debt” accumulated by the T-TPLF?”

I also answered it: HELL, NO!

I won’t go through the other commentaries I have written exposing the lies, damned lies and statislies of the World Bank. They are all on my website at almariam.com.

I have been outing the lies of not just the World bank but also their panhandling minions, the T-TPLF.

In June 2010, I wrote a commentary entitled, “The Voodoo Economics of Meles Zenawi” challenging the late Meles Zenawi’s claims of 12 percent annual growth which was reminiscent of the proverbial Ethiopian bull that gave birth to a calf (or in Amharic “bere welede”). (I did not say Meles’ bull s**t about economic growth.)

In June 2011, I wrote a commentary entitled, “Ethiopia: The Fakeonomics of Meles Zenawi” debunking Meles Zenawi’s “Growth and Transformation Plan” (GTP) and demonstrating that it was an ‘economic plan’ which floated on a sea catchphrases, clichés, slogans, buzzwords, platitudes, truisms and bombast. (I did not say a bull s**t economic plan.)

In March 2009, Meles Zenawi  bragged that he expected the Ethiopian economy to grow by 12.8 percent.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) disagreed in the same month stating that given the global economic crises Ethiopia could expect only about 6% economic growth.

Meles Zenawi dismissively countered IMF experts who pointed out the discrepancies:

We have differences with the international financial institutions when we predict our economic growth, but we usually agree on the economic growth statistics at the end of each year.

The question remains: Did the Ethiopian economy grow by 10.9 percent  (not 11 percent) over the past decade?

“Ethiopia’s Great Run”: Garbage in, Garbage Out

The World Bank’s latest report  “Ethiopia’s Great Run” is simply a “garbage data in, garbage data out” report that is “useless trash that deserves to be thrown in the garbage”,  to borrow a phrase from the late Meles Zenawi.

“Ethiopia’s Great Run” is metaphor swiped from the annual run in Addis Ababa.

On November 29, 2009, exactly 6 years ago today, I wrote a commentary entitled, “The Great Ethiopian Run to Freedom” on the occasion of the annual “Great Ethiopian Run” that year.

In that piece, I argued that the “Great Ethiopian Run” was the Great Ethiopian Run to Freedom.

I said that “Run” was fundamentally an act of mass civil disobedience thinly disguised as a running event. The multitudes were not just running for freedom, they were also running away from tyranny and dictatorship, despair and hopelessness, and from their daily life of indignity and humiliation under the ruthless dictatorship of the T-TPLF.

The World Bank with its “Great Run” metaphor wants to suggest the T-TPLF is winning the marathon for economic growth.

The report purports to “address two questions: What explains Ethiopia’s growth acceleration? How can it be sustained?”

So the World Bank claims:

Ethiopia’s economic growth has been remarkably rapid and stable over the past decade.

Accelerated economic progress started in 1992 with a shift to an even higher gear in 2004.

The recent growth acceleration was part of a broader and very successful development experience.

Growth was concentrated in services and agriculture on the supply side, and, private consumption and investment on the demand side.

Growth decompositions reveal relatively high contributions from total factor productivity and structural change.

Ethiopia stands out in many ways, including in the economic strategy that paved the way to success.

Heterodox financing arrangements supported one of the highest public investment rates in the world.

Ethiopia’s economic strategy was unique.

Economic growth was driven primarily by structural improvements.

Public infrastructure investment, facilitated partly by restrained government consumption, was the key structural driver of growth.

The strong contribution of infrastructure investment arises from a substantial physical infrastructure expansion combined with their high returns.

Ethiopia’s growth acceleration was also supported by positive demographic effects.

Agricultural output increases were driven by strong yield growth and increases in area cultivated.

The factors associated with agricultural production growth include extension services, remoteness and farmer’s education.

Recent agricultural growth is largely explained by high government spending on extension services, roads, education as well as favourable price incentives.

The report concludes:

Following a decade-long spell of double digit growth on the back of a strategy and performance that seemingly emulates the East Asian developmental states, including China, one might assume that such high growth rates can be sustained in the future on the back of the same strategy that worked so well in the past.

What a crock of s**t!!!

Let me just say a word or two about “agricultural growth” in the World Bank report.

In 2010, the late Meles declared that he would consider his government a success if Ethiopians were able to eat three meals a day.

Meals, if I am not mistaken, usually come from agricultural production.

Excuse me! I meant from international panhandling.

In November 2015, the U.N. issued a warning that 15 million Ethiopians could starve to death unless international food aid is delivered to them soon.

In February 2014, it was reported that “Ethiopia finds itself in critical need of donors’ assistance, in order to feed 2.7 million people.”  In 2014, “No fewer than 2.7 million Ethiopians may need food assistance in spite of the reported bumper harvest of 231 million quintals of grains in the 2013 fiscal year.”

In 2013, Ethiopia received nearly $700m in humanitarian aid to feed over 4 million people.

In September 2012, “The Ethiopian government announced last month that 3.7 million of its citizens will require humanitarian assistance between August and December of this year, up from 3.2 million in January.”

In 2011, international humanitarian food aid to Ethiopia, the bulk of it US aid, amounted to nearly $500 million.

In August 2010, UN FAO reported, “An estimated 5.2 million [Ethiopians] still depend on emergency food assistance and agencies agree on a severe situation of high hunger in the long term.”

In August 2009, it was reported that  “Millions of impoverished Ethiopians face the threat of malnutrition and possibly starvation this winter in what is shaping up to be the country’s worst food crisis for decades. Estimates of the number of people who need emergency food aid have risen steadily this year from 4.9 million in January to 5.3 million in May and 6.2 million in June.”

The World Bank raves about Ethiopia’s agricultural growth under the T-TPLF.

Does the world Bank know more than 15 million people in Ethiopia TODAY are in need of food aid by the beginning of 2016, accordingto the U.N.?

Need I say more?

For the World Bank, the IMF and all the other international poverty pimps who pimp the T-TPLF, the death of one person is tragic. But the deaths of 15 million Ethiopians in a preventable and needless famine is just a statistic.

I get it! I know what the international poverty pimps are trying to do for the T-TPLF.

The international poverty pimps want to keep the T-TPLF in power because the T-TPLF makes business in Ethiopia good for them.

The international poverty pimps want to tell Ethiopians and the world that they are doing good in Ethiopia; they are lifting the poor and improving their lives and saving millions of famine-stricken Ethiopians from mass starvation.

The fact remains that despite the incredible claims of economic growth attested by the World Bank and the other international poverty pimps, tens of millions of Ethiopians are starving to death under T-TPLF rule.

The fact remains millions of young Ethiopians today remain unemployed and trapped in hopelessness. “There is no official unemployment rate, but youth unemployment, some experts reckon, may be as high as 70%.” That was truein 2007; it is true today.

The fact remains there is no rule of law and human rights violations are widespread in Ethiopia TODAY!

I don’t doubt the World Bank has a right to its opinion about the stratospheric “accelerated economic growth” in Ethiopia managed by the T-TPLF.

But the World Bank does not have the right to invent its own facts; it does not have the right to use facts invented for it by liars who claim with a straight face they won the national election by 100 percent; it does not have the right to collude with others to invent and concoct (I think they call it “estimates”)  facts; and it does not have the right to dress up lies in the robes of institutional respectability and vomit it on a fed-up Ethiopian public.

Whether or not the T-TPLF has accomplished “double-digit” economic growth over the past decade is not a matter of wishful thinking, public relations or statislies by the international poverty pimps.

It is a matter of evidence: accurate, complete, reliable and comprehensive statistical evidence that is systematically and carefully collected, analyzed and verified.

Such evidence cannot be invented, fabricated, manufactured, contrived, concocted or cut from whole cloth by the T-TPLF, the IMF, the World Bank or any other unholy conclave of international poverty pimps.

“Ethiopia is stuck thanks to its paranoid elite.” The Economist Magazine

In May 2015, The Economist magazine in an article entitled, “Neither a sprint nor a marathon”,  wrote:

When a new Chinese ambassador arrived in Addis Ababa in February, he presented an unexpectedly awkward message to his hosts. La Yifan told the ruling elite—behind firmly closed doors—that it must discard the isolationism of the past and open up an economy in which the flow of money and information is still restricted. Banking and telecoms are almost antediluvian (see chart). Investors are frustrated. Trade lags expectations. After years of praising the government, the Chinese are now singing from the same hymn sheet as Ethiopia’s Western critics.

… The problem is a lack of courage [by]  many in the Ethiopian government, ruling party and security apparatus… The fear of being overthrown looms behind the elite’s reluctance to reform.

The situation has become worse not better since the death in 2012 of Meles Zenawi…  By force of personality, intellect and ties forged in battle he could on occasion shift the system forward. Admittedly, he hated the private sector and civil society. But at least he removed logjams…

The prime minister [Hailemariam] is no Meles… Before ministers make decisions now they often need to seek the consent of the old guard. And ethnic Tigrayans, of whom Meles was one, still control the army, security services, telecoms and foreign affairs. It will take at least another decade for them to retire or die…

The new prime minister[Hailemariam] is a reasonable and, to some extent, reform-minded man. But he is a relatively weak figure…

One senior member of the Chinese community in Ethiopia describes, with some frustration, what he sees as the country’s big problem: that in China the central government dominates the regions but in Ethiopia everything is federal… Overall, many Chinese see a country that is dotted with too many powerful barons.

What the Chinese won’t say but many Western observers do is that political repression also weakens the system. Young people are angry and jobless. Outlets for their frustration are quickly shut off. Sensible opposition leaders are pushed into exile or prison, ceding the field to hotheads. Universities have grown more than tenfold but there are insufficient jobs for all these bright new graduates.

Ethiopia is stuck thanks to its paranoid elite.

So, the international poverty pimps at the World Bank, the IMF and elsewhere should know, “Ethiopia’s Great Run” is “neither a sprint nor a marathon”.

“Ethiopia’s Great Run” is a lie, a damned lie and a statislie! It is a “forged illusion”.

Just one last question for the World Bank: If Ethiopia is such shining example of economic growth, “Why is Ethiopia the Second Poorest Country on the Planet? (For the answer, read my June 2014 commentary by the same title.)

18 U.S. Code § 1001 – “Knowingly and willfully using any false writing or document knowing the same to contain any materially false, fictitious, or fraudulent statement or entry”

It is a crime for agencies and institutions under the “jurisdiction” of the United States Government to engage in official publication of materially false, misleading and deceptive statements or information.

18 U.S. Code § 1001 provides,

[W]hoever… in any matter within the jurisdiction of the executive, legislative, or judicial branch of the Government of the United States, knowingly and willfully— (1) falsifies, conceals, or covers up by any trick, scheme, or device a material fact; (2) makes any materially false, fictitious, or fraudulent statement or representation; or (3) makes or uses any false writing or document knowing the same to contain any materially false, fictitious, or fraudulent statement or entry; shall be fined under this title, imprisoned…

I have heard rumors that the United States Government is the “largest shareholder” in the World Bank Group.

Is the World Bank Group “within the jurisdiction of the executive” branch of the U.S. Government?

I will make the World Bank an offer it can’t refuse!

If the World Bank stops telling lies, damned lies and statislies about the T-TPLF-led economic growth in Ethiopia, I will stop telling the truth about the World Bank’s lies, damned lies and statislies to the world.

posted by Daniel tesfaye

Advertisements

Famine in Ethiopia: Due to bad weather or policy Failure?

NOV25,2015

Twenty four years ago Meles Zenawi, the late Prime Minister of EPRDF was asked about his vision for Ethiopia and its people when he assumed power as head of the state after seventeen years of civil war. Meles declared that if his government remains in power, in ten years every Ethiopians will have at least three meals a day. He also anticipated that if his government remains in power from then onwards for twenty years, Ethiopians not only have three meals a day but also will have the luxury of choosing what to eat. More recently in 2011, the same Meles Zenawi said that “We have devised a plan which will enable us to produce surplus and be able to feed ourselves by 2015 without the need for food aid.”

A young boy waiting in front of his tukul for his mother as she arrives with a body of his 4-year old dead sister who died of malnutrition in Shashemene, Ethiopia: Source: NBC: & .Creeping famine-is-back-to-Ethiopia

Here we are now, after twenty four years of power monopoly by the EPRDF regime and five years later after the implementation of the so-called Growth and Transformation Plan, more than 11.3 million Ethiopians have nothing to eat let alone to choose what to eat. Arsi, Hararghe, Afar, Borena and Somali are the hardest hit areas of the latest famine in the country. Children are dying in the hands of their parents and suffering from famine related diseases. Nevertheless, the EPRDF regime has been blaming on bad weather particularly the El Niño for the recent brutal famine.

Even if the El Niño is partly attributed for drought in general, the famine we are witnessing toady, in Ethiopia is not the result of seasonal crop failure due to bad weather or natural calamity as the EPRDF regime would like us to believe. As a matter of fact, drought, climate variability and other natural calamities occur not only in Ethiopia, but also in any part of the world. However, drought does not necessarily result in famine. This implies that droughts are a normal component of Ethiopian life making famines inevitable unless the proper preventive measures are adopted. Hence, in examining the current famine in Ethiopia, I will stress the structural links between food shortage and the lack of good governance in general and the failure of policies and strategies in particular.

Fifty years ago, famine was simply understood as the result of food shortage due to seasonal crop failure or natural disasters. At that time, it was not difficult to understand the reasons for famine when poor technology and static economic systems hampered human beings from getting access to food, especially in the face of regional natural disasters. But today, natural forces and other climatic conditions cannot be responsible for famine causation as was the dominant mode of thinking five decades ago. So that it is logical to ask why famine is persist in Ethiopia in the ear of global surplus, high-technology early warning systems and “vibrant economic growth” in the country. Answering this question requires looking beyond technical factors, towards political explanations. This means that the real causes of famine in Ethiopia deeply rooted in the country’s history of civil war and repression. Therefore, analysis of the past and present famines in Ethiopia should focus on root causes of the problem, instead of seasonal symptoms.

Currently, Ethiopia has faced the world’s gravest hunger problems and these problems are getting worse in the coming few months. As it was mentioned above, more than 11.3 million people are in need of urgent food aid. There is no doubt the failure of policies and strategies are causes of the recent famine. For instance, the Agricultural Development Led Industrialization (ADLI) strategy of the EPRDF regime was formulated to keep 84 percent of the population in Ethiopia to live in rural areas and heavily depend on the natural environment for food production, animal husbandry, forestry, water and fuel. Keeping people in rural areas in which land belongs to the state and can’t be sold is one of the mechanisms of the regime to marginalize the majority of the population from political involvement and to prevent urban unrest. Consequently, the sizes of agricultural lands are diminishing from 0.5 hectare to 0.2 hectare per house hold due to high population pressure. This means that too small farmlands are passed down to the generations, which can’t provide enough food for the families that work on it even with normal rainfall conditions.

In addition to the population pressure put on farmlands, there is a large-scale land acquisition for floriculture and biofuel production. According to the Ministry of Water and Energy (MoWE2014), the Ethiopian government has allocated 23.3 million hectares of land (equivalent to 20 percent of the whole country), for biofuel production alone. These ambitions were intended to position Ethiopia as a leader in Africa, in the emerging push for biofuels to provide energy security for the rest of the world. However, the growing demand and support for biofuels in the United States and the European Union, has increased the competition for land that impacted food security in the country. A study conducted by Lester R. Brown in 2013 reported that between 1980 and 2005, the amount of grain used to produce fuel ethanol in the United States gradually expanded from 1 million to 41 million tons. This is an alarming call not only for Ethiopia but also for the rest of the world to stop the crime against humanity.

To add further insult to injury, all agricultural inputs and outputs in Ethiopia are highly regulated and manipulated by the party-associated enterprises called EFFORT. EFFORT stands for the Endowment Found for the Rehabitation of Tigray and established in 1995 by the TPLF. Their activities ranged from agriculture to trade, textile, livestock, mining, transport and to the financial sector. Members of the party manage the fund. This dominancy in the private sector especially party-owned enterprise has made the emergency of new private entrepreneur close to impossible. Furthermore, the Midroc business empire owned by Sheik Mohammed Alamoudi accounted for 70 percent of the so-called foreign investment and displaced millions of small farmers from their livelihood to leave them hungry.

Therefore, attributing the current famine directly to climate change is impossible. Because, extreme climate events such as El Nino may be an immediate trigger of famine but cannot be a root cause for it. In the Ethiopian context, famine is a prolonged and preventable geographical phenomenon caused by the lack of good governance in general and failure of policies and strategies in particular. Among the many coping mechanisms, mobility from region to region or from one sector to another sector is crucial to prevent persistent famine in Ethiopia. A number of scholars agreed that genuine democracy and political institutions are the critical factors in the struggle against famine. A free and independent media on which freedom of expression might depend on also plays another crucial informative role by providing information on the symptoms of the crisis both to individuals and to political parties. Furthermore, news media can put direct pressure on the government and other actors in charge of taking action. But sadly enough, the regime in Ethiopia don’t have the political willingness for such kind of genuine democracy. So that, we must stand together to struggle for total regime change from top to bottom. We must eliminate officials of the dictatorial and corrupted regime of EPRDF and make them accountable for the crime they have committed against humanity in the name of development. Down with dictators! Ethiopia shall be free!by Asnake Demena

POSTEDBY DANIEL TESFAYE

ፖለቲካ በደም አይጋባም – አርበኞች ግንቦት7 (ኢዲቶርያል)

Patriotic Ginbot 7 logoNOV 21,2015

ህዝባዊ ተቀባይነቱን ያጣው ወያኔ በሽፍትነት ዘመኑ ትግራይ ውስጥ ሲያደርግ እንደረነበረው ሁሉ፣ መንግስታዊ ስልጣኑን ከያዘም በሁዋላ መሰልጠን አቅቶትና እንደመንግስት ማሰብ ተስኖት፣ አገዛዜን ይቃወማሉ ብሎ የሚጠረጥራቸውን ዜጎች የቅርብ ቤተሰቦችና የሩቅ ዘመዶች ሳይቀር ማሰቃየት መጀመሩን ከአራቱም የአገራችን ማዕዘናት በየቀኑ የሚደርሱን ሪፖርቶች ያመለክታሉ።

በቅርቡ በአርባ ምንጭ ከተማ ለአገራቸው ነጻነት በገዛ ፈቃዳቸው ተነሳስተው ታሪካዊ ግዴታቸውን ለመወጣት በሞከሩ ወጣቶች ላይ የስርዓቱ ታማኝ ጥቂት የደህንነት ሃይሎች የወሰዱት እርምጃ ዘግናኝና ልብ የሚያቆስል ነው። ይህም አልበቃ ብሎ የተፈላጊ ወጣቶች መኖሪያ ቤቶች በታጠቁ የደህንነት ሃይሎች ተወረው ፍተሻ ተካሂዶባቸዋል:: እናቶች ህጻናት ልጆቻቸው ፊት “የተደበቁ ልጆቻችሁን አምጡ ” ተብለው መሳሪያ ተደቅኖባቸው፣ ኢ-ሰብአዊ ድርጊት ተፈጽሞባቸዋል።

በአገዛዙ ዘረኛና የተጨማለቀ ፖሊሲ ተማረው ተቃውሞአቸውን ለመግለጽ እርምጃ መውሰድ የጀመሩ የቴፒ ወጣቶችን ለማደን የተደረገው ሙከራ መክሸፉን ተከትሎ የፈደራል ፖሊስና መከላኪያ ሠራዊት በወላጆች ላይ ተመሳሳይ እርምጃ ወስደዋል። ወጣት ሴቶች እና እናቶች ርህራሄ በጎደላቸው የስርዓቱ ታማኝ ወታደሮች ተደብድበዋል፣ ተደፍረዋል፣ ታስረዋል። በሰሜን ጎንደርም እንዲሁ መብታችን ይከበር ብለው በተነሱ ወጣት ቤተሰቦች ላይ የገዢው ሃይል ታማኞች ፣ ግድያና አስገድዶ መድፈር ፈጽመዋል። እህትማማች ሴቶች መኖሪያ ቤታቸው ውስጥ እንዳሉ ተገድለዋል። በወታደሮች የተደፈሩ ሴቶች ቅስማቸው ተሰብሮ ወደ አደባባይ ለመውጣት እንኳ የማይችሉበት ደረጃ ደርሰዋል።

በመርአዊ ከተማ መኳንንት ጸጋዬ የተባሉ በሰላማዊ ትግል ስርዓቱን የሚቃወሙ ግለሰብ፣ በልጆቻቸውና በባለቤታቸው ፊት አሰቃቂ በሆነ ሁኔታ ተደብድበዋል፤ የልጆችን ስነልቦና በሚነካ መልኩም ሰዋዊ ክብራቸው እንዲዋረድ ተደርጓል።

በኢትዮጵያ ህዝብ ላይ እየተፈጸመ ያለው ግፍ ድንበር የለውም፤ የወያኔን የበቀል ዱላ ያልቀመሰ፣ ማንነቱና ክብሩ ያልተዋረደ ህዝብ ማግኘት አይቻልም። በገዳዩ ስርዓት እየደረሰ ያለው ግፍ አንድ ጊዜ በሰሜን፣ ሌላ ጊዜ በደቡብ፣ ሌላ ጊዜ በምስራቅ እያለ ቀጥሎአል። የዚህ ፍጹማዊ የአፈና አገዛዝ ህልውና እንዲቀጥል እስከተፈቀደለት ድረስ ጭቆናው፣ መዋረዱ፣ መታሰሩና መሞቱ አይቆምም። የአገዛዙ ባህሪ እነዚህን ሰይጣናዊ ድርጊቶች ለመፈጸም እንጅ መልካም ነገር ለመፈጸም አያስችለውም።

ለነጻነት የሚደረገው ትግል በመሬት ላይ አድማሱን እያሰፋ በመጣ ቁጥር የጥቃቱ አይነትና መጠንም እየጨመረ እንደሚመጣ ስናስብ፣ ይህን ጥቃት የምናስቆምበት ወይም የምንቀንስበትን መንገድም መሻት ተገቢ ነው። ወያኔ በነጻነት ታጋይ ቤተሰቦች ላይ ጥቃቱን ሲፈጽም ከሚጠቅሳቸው ምክንያቶች መካከል አንዱ “ልጅህ ወይም ወንድምህ መንግሥታችንን ለመናድ ሌት ተቀን እየሰራ አንተ በሠላም ልትኖር አትችልም” የሚል ነው። ይህ ሁዋላ ቀር አስተሳሰብ ወያኔን ከሚመሩ ሰዎች የሚጠበቅ ቢሆንም፣ ፖለቲካ ወይም የነጻነት ጉዳይ በደም የሚወረስ ሳይሆን ከግለሰቦች ማንነት ጋር ተያያዞ የሚመጣ መሆኑን፣ ቀድም ብለው በሁለት ጎራ ለይተው ሲፋለሙ የነበሩ ወጣቶችን ታሪክ ማስታወስ በቂ ነው። ከአንድ ማህጸን የወጡ የአንድ እናት ልጆች የተለያዬ የፖለቲካ አመለካከት እንደሚይዙ ታሪካችን ብቻ ሳይሆን፣ የወያኔ ታሪክ ራሱ ምስክር ነው።

እውነታው ይህ ሆኖ ሳለ፣ በጅምላ በቤተሰብ ላይ የሚደርሰው ጥቃት፣ ከሁዋላ ቀርነትና ከግንዛቤ ማነስ የመጣ ነው ተብሎ የሚመጣ ብቻ ሳይሆን፣ ድርጊቱን ከሚፈጽሙት ሰዎች ስነልቦና ቀውስና የሁዋላ ታሪክ ጋር የሚያያዝ ነው። በንጹህ ዜጎች ላይ ጭካኔና ግፍ የሚፈጽሙ ሰዎች፣ የሰው ማንነት የሌላቸው፣ ከአስተዳደጋቸው ጀምሮ የተበላሹና ማህበረሰቡ “አይመጥኑም” ብሎ የተፋቸው ናቸው። አሁን በስልጣን ላይ ያሉና በህዝባችን ላይ የጭካኔ ዱላቸውን የሚያሳርፉ ገዢዎች የሁዋላ ታሪክ ቢጠና ከዚህ የተለየ እውነታ አይኖረውም።

ሌላው የወያኔ ስልት ደግሞ በአገር ውስጥ ያሉትን ብቻ ሳይሆን ከአገር ውጭ የሚንቀሳቀሱ የነጻነት ታጋዮችን ቤተሰቦችና ዘመዶች እየተከታተሉ ” እባካችሁ ዘመዶቻችሁ ከፖለቲካው እንዲርቁ አድርጉ፣ እንዲህ ካደረጋችሁ የምትፈልጉትን ነገር እናድርግላችሁዋለን፣ ለእነሱም የፈለጉትን ነገር እናደርግላችሁዋለን” በማለት ለመደለል መሞከራቸው ነው።

ለወያኔ ነጻነት ማለት ገንዘብ ነው፤ ቤት ነው፤ ሆድ ነው፤ ነጻነት የህሊናና የማንነት ጉዳይ መሆኑን ገና አላወቀም። ሁሉም ሰዎች ነጻነታቸውን በገንዘብ፣ በቤት፣ በሆድ ወይም በብልጭልጭ ምድራዊ ነገር ይሸጣሉ ብሎ ያስባል፤ በርግጥ በእነዚህ አላፊና ጠፊ ነገሮች ተታለው ነጻነታቸውን የሸጡ ቢኖሩም፣ ሁሉም ሰው ግን እንደዛ አይደለም። የወያኔን የግፍ አገዛዝ ተቃውመው ለነጻነት የሚታገሉ ሃይሎች ሁሉ፣ ቁሳዊ ፍላጎታቸውን ትተው፣ ህሊናዊና ማንነታዊ ፍላጎትን ለራሳቸውም ለህዝባቸውም ለማምጣት የሚታገሉ ናቸው። በወያኔና በእነዚህ ታጋዮች መካከል ያለው ልዩነትም ይህ ነው፤ ወያኔ ለአላፊ ጠፊው ምድራዊ ህይወት ሲጨነቅ፣ እነዚህ ተጋዮች፣ ዘላለማዊ ለሆነው ለነጻነትና ለማንነት ክብር ይጨነቃሉ። ስለዚህ ወያኔ ለህሊናቸውና ለማንነታቸው የሚታገሉ ሃይሎችን በቁሳዊ ፍላጎት ለመደለል የሚያደርገው ጥረት መቼውንም ፍሬ አያፈራምና ቤተሰቦችን እየጠራ ባያንገላታቸው ይመረጣል።

የአገዛዝ ዕድሜን ለማራዘም ሲባል በነጻነት ታጋይ ቤተሰቦች ላይ እየተወሰደ ያለው ጥቃት ከዚህ ቀደም በነበሩ ሁለት መንግሥታት ዘመን እንኳ ታይቶ የማይታወቅ ለመሆኑ ማስረጃ ማቅረብ አያስፈልግም:: መለስ ዜናዊ ከዚህ አለም በሞት በተለየበት ሰሞን የአገዛዙ ጋዜጠኞች አደዋ የሚገኘውን የወላጆቹን መኖርያ ቤት በቴለቪዥን ለህዝብ ዕይታ አቅርበው ፣ መለስ ዜናዊ ከጫካ እየሾለከ መጥቶ ያርፍ እንደነበር በገዛ ወንድሙ አፍ እንዲነገር አድርገዋል::

በአጭሩ ፓለቲካ በደም አይተላለፍም፤ ደምን ቆጥሮ በፖለቲካ ታጋይ ቤተሰቦች ላይ የሚደርስ ጥቃትም፣ ቂምና በቀልን ከመውለድ ውጭ የሚያመጣው ለውጥ አይኖርም። ህዝባዊ የነጻነትን ትግልን፣ የታጋዮችን ቤተሰቦች በማሰቃየት ወይም በመደለል ማስቆም አይቻልም። አፈናና ሰቆቃ ባለበት ቦታ ሁሉ ፣ የጊዜ ጉዳይ ካልሆነ በቀር፣ አመጽ የማይቀር ማህበራዊ ክስተት ነው :: በተለይ “የህዝብ ብሶት ወለደኝ” በማለት መሣሪያ አንስቶ 17 አመት ታገልኩ ለሚለው ወያኔ ይህ ግልጽ እውነታ ምርምር የሚጠይቅ ውስብስብ ፍልስፋና ሊሆንበት ባልቻለ ነበር :: ዳሩ ከተጣመመ አፈጣጠሩ፣ ከመሪዎቹ ምንነትና ማንነት እንዲሁም ስልጣን ከተያዘም በሁዋላ በዘረፋ የተሰበሰበው ሃብት የፈጠረው የኑሮ ምቾትና የተከማቸው የጦር መሳሪያ ያቀዳጀው እብሪት አይነ ልቦናውን ጋርዶታልና ለወያኔ ይህ ሃቅ ሊገባው አይችልም።

አርበኞች ግንቦት 7 የወያኔ የአፈና ክንዶች ሺ ጊዜ ቢፈረጥሙም ፤ በተቃዋሚዎችና የነጻነት ታጋዮች ቤተሰብ ላይ የሚወሰደው እርምጃ የህይወት መስዋትነት እያስከፈለ ቢመጣም እንኳ ለነጻነት የሚያደረገው ትግል ይበልጥ አጠናክሮ ይቀጥላል እንጂ ለአፍታም ቢሆን አይዘናጋም። የታጋይ ቤተሰቦችና ዘመዶችም፣ አሁን በወያኔ የሚደርስባችሁ ግፍና በደል፣ ለመላው አገራችን ነጻነት ሲባል የሚከፈል ዋጋ በመሆኑ ልትኮሩ እንጅ ልለትሸማቀቁ አይገባም ። በህዝብ ፊት የነጠሉዋችሁና ከማህበራዊ ህይወታችሁ እንድትገለሉ ያደረጉዋችሁ ቢመስላችሁ፣ እውነታው ተቃራኒው ነው፤ ከህዝብ የተገለሉት እነሱ ናቸው፤ የሚዋረዱትና የሚያፍሩት እነሱ ናቸው።

በዘረኛው የወያኔ አገዛዝ ሥር የሚማቅቅ እያንዳንዱ ዜጋ አርበኞች ግንቦት 7 የለኮሰውን የነጻነት ትግል ችቦ አንግቦ በወያኔ ከርሰ መቃብር ላይ የታፈረች የተከበረችና የዜጎቿን መብት በእኩልነት የምታስከብር አገር ለመገንባት በሚደረገው ትግል እንዲቀላቀል አርበኞች ግንቦት 7 ጥሪውን ያቀርባል:: የወያኔ የጥቃት እጆች የሚያጥሩትና ዜጎች በአገራቸው ተከብረው የሚኖሩት ወያኔ ሲወገድ ብቻ ነው!

ድል ለኢትዮጵያ ህዝብ !!!

POSTED BY DANIEL TESFAYE

ጥቂት ስለ ሸዋሮቢት እስር ቤት (ናትናኤል ያለምዘውድ ከሸዋሮቢት እስር ቤት)

Nov 20,2015

ሰላምታየን አቀርባለሁ!

ናትናኤል ያለምዘውድ (ከሸዋሮቢት እስር ቤት)

ይቺን ፅሁፍ የምጽፈው ዛፍ ጥላ ስር ተወሽቄ ሙቀቱን ለመከላከል ከታጠቅኋት ቁምጣ ሱሪ ላይ ደብተሬን አስደግፌ፣ ሀሳቤን ለመሰብሰብ ስሞክር አንዱ ተፈንክቶ ደም እያዘራ ሲያልፍ፣ ሌላው ስምንት ቁጥር ታስሮ አሰቃቂ የዱላ መዓት ሲወርድበት፣ ጨለማ ቤት የታሰሩት የጣዕር ድምፅና፣ በሚዝገመገመው የድርቀት ወላፈን ክፉኛ ከሀሳቤ እያናጠበኝ የምቸገር፣ ሁለት ፍራሽ ላይ ለሰባት ተጠቅጥቄ የምተኛ፣ ለጊዜው የተለያዩ ዛቻና ማስፈራሪያዎች የሚደርሱብኝ……ሸዋ ሮቢት ‹‹ልማታዊ›› ማረሚያ ቤት ላይ በአስቸጋሪው ሁኔታ ደረቴን ነፍቼ የምታሰር የሰማያዊ ፓርቲ አባል ነኝ፡፡ Natnael from Shewa Robit

መቼም መንግስታት ማረሚያ ቤት ብለው ሰይመው ሲያግዙበት ኖረዋልና ስሙ ስለወጣለት ማረሚያ ቤት ልበለው! ..ምንም በሉት ብቻ ሮቢት ውስጥ ከ350 በላይ ደባሎች ጋር እንዳድር ካስገደደኝ ግቢ ሆኜ ሰላምታዬን አቀርባለሁ፡፡

ሸዋሮቢት ላይ መታሰር እጅጉን ከባድ ቢሆንም እነ እስክንድር፣ ተመስገን፣ አንዱዓለም፣ እና ሌሎችንም ሳስብ እበረታለሁ፡፡ የእነሱ መንፈሰ ጠንካራነት ለእኔም ወኔና ጥንካሬ ይሰጠኛል፡፡ ራሴን በጠቀስኳቸው ሰዎች ቁመና እየለካሁ እንዳልሆነ ልብ ይባላልኝ፡፡ ግን እውነት እላችኋለሁ መታሰሬን የሚነግረኝ ስሜት ሞቷል! መፈታቴን የምፈልገው ለተለየ (ላቅ ላለ) ተግባር እንጂ ራዕይ፣ ቁጭቴ፣ ተስፋዬ…..ቆጠራ እየተባለ ስለ ደሙና ስለወደሙ አይደለም፡፡

በእርግጥ መጀመሪያ ተቃውሞዬን ሳሰማ ፍትህ እንዲመጣ፣ የሰብአዊ መብት ጥሰት እንዲቆም ቢሆንም መታሰር እንዳለም ግን አውቅ ነበር፡፡ እናም በዚህ ጨካኝ ስርዓት ስር ብኖርም እኔም ፓርቲዬም ወደ ኋላ ልንልበት የምንችል ምንም ምክንያት ሊኖር አይችልምና ገና አንገት ለአንገት እየተናነቅን ትግሉን እናስቀጥለዋለን፡፡ ምኑ ተጀመረና!

የትግል አላማውም፣ ግቡም፣ ስሜቱም ህዝብ ነው፡፡ ህዝብን ስናስብ ደግሞ ጎዳና ላይ የወደቀው፣ አጥንትና ደሙ ተቆጥሮ የሚጋዘውና የሚሰደደው፣ የዕለት ጉርሱ ህብስተ መና የሆነበትን ሁሉ እናስባለን፡፡ ስርዓቱ በችግርና በአፈና የተሞላ ነው፡፡ ይህ የሥርዓቱ ባህሪ ነው እልፎችን እንዲቆጡ ያደረጋቸው፡፡ የእኔ ድምፅ ከዚህ የህምታ ማዕከል የድምቢጥም ብትሆን ጭው፣ ጭው ብላለች፡፡ ቢሆንም ጥያቄየም፣ አላማየም አልተመለሰምና እንደ ሸቀጥ ከተደረደርኩበት ፍራሽ ላይ ሆኜ የብዙሃንን የእሮሮ ድምፅ ማቀናበሪያ ብልሃት ሳውጠነጥንና ስሻ አድራለሁ፡፡

አቤት ደስ ሲል! ለዓላማ እየኖርክ፣ በስርዓቱ እየተፈተንክ፣ በአግቦ እየሳክ፣ በሆድህ ጥርስ እየነከስክ፣ አብዲሳ፣ ባልቻ፣ አበበ፣ በላይ፣….የተዋደቁበትን ሰንደቅ አላማ በህሊናህ ጠፈር ቀስተ ዳመና አሰርተህ፣ የአቤ ጉበኛን፣ የበዓሉ ግርማን፣ የጀ/መንግስቱ ንዋይን፣ የአንዳርጋቸው ፅጌን፣… የምንሞትለትን ህዝብ የፍትህ ጥማት በድል ለመቋጨት ዘወትር ነቅቶ መኖር፡፡

ሰማያዊ አላማችን ከምድር አሸዋ የብዙ ከዋከብት ተረጭተውበት፣ ጨረቃዋ እያብረቀረቀች በፀሀይ ድምቀትና ሙቀት ታግዞ በቃል የማይገለፅ ምሉዕነት እንዲፈጠር፣ ጥንካሬውና ውበታችን እንዲፀና እንበረታና ዓይናችን የጋረደውን ዳመና፣ በቀስተ ዳመናው ጥለት ተቋጭቶ፣ ማለፊያ ሸማ ይሰራ፡፡ የአንድነት ሸማ፡፡ ዘር ተዘራ እንጂ ሞተ፣ በሰበሰ አይባልም፡፡ ሳሙኤል አወቀ በራዕዩ ራዕያችን በቅሎ እንዲያንሰራራ፣ በርቱ! የሺዋስና መሰል ጓዶቻችን አልታበዩም አራት ዓይናማው ገጣሚ፣

‹‹አይዞህ የእኔ ጌታ ነገርክን አትርሳ፣
አለስልሰህ ዝራ የስንዴውን ማሳ፣
የተዘራችው ዘር ፈርሳና በስብሳ፣
ትበቅላለች ነገ ሞታ ስትነሳ፡፡›› ያለው ለዚህ ነው፡፡

ከግፍ በላይ ግፍ እየሰሩ ከህሊናቸው ተኳርፈው እየኖሩ በቁም እስር ለሚማቅቁ መጥኔውን እንጅ፣ እኔና ጓደኞቼ እንደ ወይን ጠጅ እያደርን ስንዋብ ይታወቀኛል፡፡ ‹‹ዘጠኝ ሞት መጣ ቢሉት…›› የሚለው ብሂል የሞት አንድና ሁለት መኖሩን ለማመልከት ነው፡፡ መራራው ሞት ተረግጦ ኖሮ መሞት ነው፡፡ ይህኛውን ሞት ወጥቼ ግባ አልለውም፡፡ እፋለመዋለሁ እንጅ! ውድ ጓዶች ሆይ! የእኛ ትውልድ ኃላፊነት በእነዚህ ስንኞች እንደተቋጠረው፣

‹‹በዚህ ባዲሱ ቃል ባዲሱ ሩካቤ፣ ተገኝቶ የመጣ፣
ይገኝ ነበር አዲስ ሀይል ትውልድ፣
ህያው ፍች የሚሰጥ ሚስጥር የሚያወጣ፣
የቀለጠ ብረት ሳይሳሳ የሚንጣጣ፡፡››

ነውና በየቀኑ ከቆምንበት ቦታ ወደ ፊት እየተነቃነቅን ህያው ፍች፣ የሚሰጥ የነፃነትና የፍትህ አርማ እንትከል፡፡ ቀጥዬ ሸዋሮቢት እስር ቤትን በጨረፍታ አስተዋውቃችኋለሁ…

በንጉሱ ዘመን እንደተመሰረተ የሚነገርለት የሺዋሮቢት ማረሚያ ቤት ከአ.አ በደብረ ብርሃን ጠመዝማዛውን መንገድ ተከትሎ ከተጓዙ በኋላ ከተራሮች ግርጌ የሚገኝ ረባዳ መሬት ላይ የሰፈረ ማረሚያ ቤት ነው፡፡ በዚህ ማረሚያ ቤት ውስጥ አራት ዞኖች ያሉ ሲሆን የመጀመሪያው ዞን የዐማራ ክልልና የደቡብ ክልል ረዥም ጊዜ ፍርደኞችን ጨምሮ ከ3-5 አመት ፍርደኛ የፌደራል ታራሚዎችን የያዘ ነው፡፡ በዞኑ ውስጥ እድሜያቸው ከ18 አመት በታች የሆኑ ታራሚዎች ለብቻው በቆርቆሮ በተከለለ ስፍራ ከ150 በላይ ሆነው ቀናትን ያሳልፋሉ፡፡ ሁለተኛው እስከ 2 አመት ከ11 ወር ፍርደኞችን፣ ሶስተኛው ከአንድ አመት እስከ አንድ አመት ከአንድ ወር፣ የመጨረሻው ከሌሎች ዞኖች ለመፈታት 3 ወር የቀራቸውንና የአንድ አመት ፍርደኞች ይይዛል፡፡ ይህኛው ዞን ቤቶቹ ቆርቆሮ በቆርቆሮ የተሰሩ ናቸው፡፡

ከሁሉም ዞኖች የመጀመሪያው (ዞን አንድ) በአንፃሩ በህንፃዎቹም ሆነ በግቢው ጥራት የተሻለ በመሆኑ በቅጣት ወደ ሌሎቹ ዞኖች የሚላክ እስረኛ ‹‹ክፍለ ሀገር ገባ!›› ተብሎ ይቀለድበታል፡፡

የእስረኞቹ አኗኗር ሁኔታ በቤትና በዞን የተከፋፈለ ነው፡፡ ከመጨረሻው ዞን አራት ውጭ ሁሉም ዞኖች፣ ከ1400 በላይ ታራሚዎች ይይዛሉ፡፡ እንደየ ቤቶቹ ስፋት ከ160-360 እና ከዛ በላይ ይኖርባቸዋል፡፡ አልጋ ለማግኘት ከ6 ወር እስከ አንድ አመት መጠበቅ የግድ ከመሆኑም በላይ መሬት ላይ ከ2 ፍራሽ ከ5-7 ሰው እንዲተኛ ይገደዳል፡፡ እንደዚህ ተፋፍጎ የሚተኛው ታራሚ ደቦቃ ተብሎ ይጠራል፡፡ ለሽንት የሚነሳ በእነዚህ ደቦቃዎች መካከል መራመድ አለበት፡፡ ከዚህም በተጨማሪ በዚህ መካከል በሰላም ተኝቶ ማንጋት ከባድ ነው፡፡ አንዳንድ ቤቶች እስከ 8 ሰዓት ‹‹መሽናት ክልክል ነው›› የሚል ህግ አውጥተው ሮንድ አቁመው ያድራሉ፡፡ አካባቢው በጣም ሞቃት ከመሆኑ ባሻገር የሰው መተፋፈግ ሲጨመርበት ሁኔታውን እንደ አስፈሪ ቅዠት ያመሰቃቅለዋል፡፡

አንድ እንግዳ ሰው ወደ እስር ቤቱ ጎራ ቢልና ለአዲስ ገብ ታራሚዎች የሚሰጠውን መግለጫ ቢያዳምጥ በህግና በግዴታ ብዛት ግራ ሊጋባ ይችላል፡፡ ስፖርት መስራት ክልክል ነው (ሩጫን አይጨምርም)፡፡ የስልክ አገልግሎት ማግኘት አይቻልም፡፡ ማታ መፀዳዳት፣ መፅሃፍ ማስገባት፣ የውጭ ዜና አውታሮችን መከታተል፣ ከ200 ብር በላይ ማስገባት አይቻልም፡፡ ኢቲቪ (ኢቢሲ) በግዴታ ይከፈታል፡፡ ለነገሩ ወዶ የሚከታተለው ባለመኖሩ ማስገደዱ አዋጭ ‹‹ልማታዊ/አብዮታዊ›› ዘዴ ነው፡፡ አደረጃጀት ስብሰባ ግዴታ ነው፡፡ ግዳጅ (ለእርሻና ፅዳት) ግዴታ ነው፡፡

የማረሚያ ቤቱን አጠቃላይ ሁኔታ መረዳት ያስችል ዘንድ ነጣጥለን እንያቸው፡፡

ማደሪያ ቤቶቹን ስንመለከት ህንፃዎቹ 11 ሜትር በ11 ሜትር ስፋት እና ከዚህም ሰፋ ያሉ ሲሆኑ እንደየስፋታቸው በርካታ ሰዎችን ይይዛሉ፡፡ 11 በ11 ሜትር ስፋት ያላቸው ከ160 በላይ ሲይዙ ትልልቆቹ ከ350 በላይ ይይዛሉ፡፡ ትልልቆቹ ሲባል ግዙፍ ቤት አትጠብቁ፣ ሁለቱ ትልልቅ የሚባሉ ቤቶች በአንድ ላይ ሲታዩ እንኳን 700 በላይ ታራሚዎች ይቅርና 400 ያህል ይይዛሉ ተብሎ ለማሰብ ይከብዳል፡፡ ሁሉም ቤቶች በጎን የተጨመረ ለሽንት ቤት ተብለው የተሰሩ ክፍሎች ሲኖራቸው በህመም ምክንያት የግድ የሆነበት የጤና ኮሚቴንና የቤት አስተዳደርን ማስፈቀድ ይጠበቅበታል፡፡ አብዛኛዎቹ ክፍሎች ‹ኤየር ኮምዲሽነር› የላቸውም፤ ወይንም የተገጠመላቸውም አይሰሩም፡፡ ክፍሎች በኬሻ ኮርኒስ የተሸፈኑ ወይንም ከእነ አካቴው የሌላቸው ናቸው፡፡ ወለላቸው ለመወልወልም አይመችም፡፡ ጠረናቸው ይከረፋል፡፡

የውሃ አቅርቦት ችግር አለ፡፡ ቧንቧ በየቤቱ ሳይሆን ለመላው ዞን ሶስት ቧንቧዎች ብቻ አሉ፡፡ ለሚጠጣና ለንጽህና የሚሆን ውሃን በግል በገዙት ጀሪካን ተራ ጠብቆ መቅዳት ግዴታ ነው፡፡ እዚህ ቦታ ላይ በወረፋ ምክንያት ተደጋጋሚ ጸብ መከሰቱ የተለመደ ነው፡፡

ምግብ በተመለከተ፣ ቁርስ ዳቦ በሻይ ቢሆንም 80 ፐርሰንት ታራሚው ሻይውን ለልብ ድካም አጋላጭ ነው ስለሚባል አይጠቀመውም፡፡ የዳቦው መጠንም ቢሆን ለኬጂ ተማሪ እንጂ ለአንድ ወጣት ቁርስ ተብሎ የሚቀርብ አይደለም፡፡ ምሳና እራት አንድ እንጀራ በሽሮ ይታደላል፡፡ የእንጀራውም የወጡም ጥራት ዝቅተኛ ከመሆኑ በላይ ለጨጓራ በሽታ የሚያጋልጥ ነው፡፡ የምግብ ለውጥ (ዑደት) ባይኖርም ከስንትና ስንት ቀን በኋላ ጥቅል ጎመን፣ ድንችና ውሃ የቀላቀለ ቅጠላቅጠል (አትክልት) ወጥ ይመጣል፡፡ በዚህ ቀን በስፋት ሽርጉዱን፣ ግፊያውን ላስተዋለ ታራሚው ቀናትን ምግብ ባይኑ ያላየ ይመስለዋል፡፡ ስጋ በዓመት 3 ጊዜ (ምሳ ሰዓት ላይ) በዓመት በዓላት ቀን ይቀርባል፤ ለዘመን መለወጫ፣ ለገና እና ለፋሲካ በዓላት፡፡ የምግብ ችግር አሳሳቢ መሆኑን የሚያጎላው ታራሚው ያን ጣዕም የለሽ ምግብ መሰራረቁና በቅርቡ በ16/02/2008 በተካሄደው የ20 መሪዎች ስብሰባ ላይ የተነሳው ጥያቄ ዋነኛ ትኩረት መሆኑ ሲታይ ነው፡፡

ልብስ ማንኛውም ታራሚ የራሱን ልብስ የሚጠቀም ሲሆን ለመስክ ሰራተኞችና ለተማሪዎች ቱታ ይሰጣል፡፡ አልጋ ለደረሳቸው አንድ ብርድ ልብስ ይሰጣል፤ ብርድ ልብሱ አንድና ከዚያ በላይ ታራሚ ያስተናገደ አሮጌ ሊሆን ይችላል፣ ይሄንም እድለኞች ናቸው የሚደርሳቸው፡፡ ታዲያ ብርድ ልብሷ ጸረ-እንቅልፍ ተባይ አለባት፡፡
ለሽንት ቤትና ሻወር በፈረቃ የሚሰሩ ሁለት ህንጻዎች ሲኖሩ አንደኛው ህንጻ ለብቻው የተገነባና በውስጡ 14 መጸዳጃዎችን ሲይዝ ሁለተኛው ከሻወሩ ጋር የተገናኘና በውስጡ 30 መጸዳጃዎችን ይይዛል፡፡ ከመጀመሪያ ህንጻ 3ቱ፣ ከሁለተኛው 6ቱ አገልግሎት የማይሰጡ ናቸው፡፡ መጸዳጃ ክፍሎች 80 ሴ.ሜ ስፋት በ1ሜ ከፍታ ያላቸው ናቸው፡፡ መተላለፊያ ኮሊደሮች በቆሻሻ ፍሳሽ የተሞሉ ናቸው፡፡ አጠቃላይ የሽንት ቤቱ ሁኔታ ከጽዳቱ ችግር በላይ ከዕይታ የተከለለ አለመሆኑ ሰላም ይነሳል፡፡

ሻወሩ ደግሞ 80 ሳ.ሜ በ80 ሳ.ሜ ስፋትና 140 ሳ.ሜ ከፍታ የሚኖራቸው 20 ክፍሎች የያዘ እና ሁሉም በርና የውሃ አቅርቦት የሌላቸው በመሆናቸው ሻወር ከመባል ይልቅ የጅምላ መታጠቢያ ቢባሉ ይቀላል፡፡ እርቃንን ከሰው ፊት መቆም በጣም ደስ የማይል ስሜት ቢፈጥርም መታጠብ ግዴታ በመሆኑ በጀሪካን ያንጠለጠሏትን ውሃ በጣሳ እየቀዳህ መታጠብ የመጨረሻ መፍትሄ ነው፡፡ ልብስ መታጠቢያ እንዲሆኑ የተዘጋጁ ቦታዎችም ውሃ የሌላቸው ሸካራና የተሰባበሩ በመሆናቸው አንድን ጀሪካን በቁመቱ ከሁለት ከፍሎ ሳፋ መስራት ብቸው መፍትሄ ነው፡፡

እስካሁን የተዘረዘሩት በቀጥታም ይሁን በተዘዋዋሪ በስነ-ልቦና ላይ ጫና ማሳደራቸው የሚታበይ ባይሆንም ከአስተዳደራዊ በደሉና ከህገ-ደንቡ አፋኝነት አንጻር ኢምንት ተብለው የሚገለጹ ናቸው፡፡ የአስተዳደራዊ በደሉን ከማየታችን በፊት ግን የህክምናውን ሁኔታ ብናይ መግቢያም ይሆናል፡፡

ህክምና በመደበኛነት በሳምንት 3 ቀናት (ሰኞ፣ ረቡዕ፣ አርብ) ይሰጣል፡፡ አንድ እስረኛ በእነዚህ ቀናት ለመታከም በቀዳሚው ቀን ምሽት መመዝገብ ሲኖርበት ተመዝግቦ ከመቅረቡ በፊት ስክሪን የሚባል ቅድመ ምርመራ በቃል ይሰጠዋል፡፡ ስክሪን ያለፈ ወደ ክሊኒክ ሄዶ ዋና ምርመራ አድርጎ አሞካክስሊን ይዞ ይመለሳል፡፡ አብዛኛው ታካሚ በሽታው ጨጓራ ቢሆንም ‹‹እንጀራ በዳቦ ይቀየርልኝ›› የሚል ጥያቄ ለማንሳት የተፈጠረ ተደርጎ ስለሚታመን በስድብ አሸማቆ ማስመለስ ዋነኛው መድሃኒት ነው፡፡ ቀዶ ጥገና፣ ራጅ፣ አልትራሳውንድ… የሚያስፈልጋቸው ህመሞችን ለመታከም የግድ አዲስ አበባ መሄድ አለበት፤ ይህ ደግሞ እድሉ የሎተሪ ያህል ጠባብ ነው፡፡ በቅርቡ በነሀሴ ወር አንድ የኪንታሮት በሽተኛ የሆነ ወጣት ክፉኛ ታሞ መቀመጥ፣ መጸዳዳት፣ መተኛት ተስኖት እየተሰቃየ ለህክምና ሄዶ ማስታገሻ ኪኒን እንኳ ሳይሰጠው ማባባሻ ግልምጫ ተሰጥቶት ተመልሷል፡፡

ቤቶች ፀረ ተባይ እንዲረጩ፣ ንፅህናውን የጠበቀ ፍራሽ እንዲሰጥ እና መሰል ለንፅህና የሚረዱ ተግባራት እንዲፈፀሙ በማድረግ የመከላከል ፖሊሲውን እውን ለማድረግ የሚታየው ‹‹ቁርጠኝነት›› ከቴሊቪዥን ዘሎ መሬት ላይ ጠብ ብሎ አያውቅም፡፡

አንድ ‹‹ታራሚ›› በሰራው ወንጀል ተፀፅቶ መልካም ዜጋ እንዲሆን ሰብአዊ መብቱ ሊከበርለት ይገባል፡፡ ቤተሰቡን በስልክ ማግኘት ካልቻለ፣ ጠያቂ ሲመጣም ሚስጥሩ ተጠብቆለት ካላወራ፣ ደብዳቤው በትክክል እንዲደርስ ካልተደረገ፣ በእውቀት እንዲታነፅ ካልታገዘ፣…በግቢ ደህንነቶች ክትትል፣ በአደረጃጀት መቀፍደድ፣ የውሸት ግምገማ በማድረግ፣ የኢቲቪን ፕሮፖጋንዳ በመጋት፣ ባዶ ግቢ ውስጥ ባዶ ቀናትን እንዲያሳልፍ በማስገደድ የተሻለ ዜጋ ማፍራት ዘበት ነው፡፡

ቤተ መፅሃፍቱ ባመዛኙ የሴቶች ገመና እና መሰሎቹን አካትቶ፣ አራት የታሪክ መፅሃፍቶችን ብቻ የያዘ ነው፡፡ በእርግጥም ወጣቱ ታሪኩን ሳያውቅ ባዶ ሜዳ ላይ እንዲበቅል የተፈረደበት ይመስላል፡፡ ቤተ መፅሃፍቱ ታዛቢን ፈርተው እንጂ ወጣቱ አንብቦ እንዲለወጥ የተቋቋመ አይመስልም፡፡ መቼም መፅሃፍ ማስገባት ክልክል የሆነበት ግቢ ውስጥ ወጣቱን ለመለወጥ አላማ ይኖራቸዋል ብሎ ለመገመት ይከብዳል፡፡

በግጭት አፈታት ዙሪያ የሚወሰዱ እርምጃዎች እስር ቤት ውስጥ ለሰው የሚሰጠውን ክብር ለመመዘን ይረዱ ይሆናል፡፡ ፀብ ከተፈጠረ የተጣሉ ሰዎች የዱላ መዓት ይወርድባቸውና ጥፋተኛው ይለያል፡፡ ድብደባው የተለያየ ደረጃና አፈፃፀም አለው፡፡ እንዲያኮበኩቡ ያደርጉና በጅዶ፣ በልምጭ፣ በጥፊ፣ በካራቴ፣ እየተራረፉ ይቀጠቅጧቸዋል፡፡ ካስቸገራቸው ሁለት እጁን ወደ ኋላ፣ ሁለት እግሩን ወደፊት አድርገው ይቀጠቅጡታል፡፡ በዱላው ውርጅብኝ መናገርና መቆም ሲያቅተው ድብደባው ይበርድለትና እጁን (አንዳንዴ እግሩም) እንደተሳረ ሹል ድንጋዮች ከተነጠፉበት ጠባብ ጨለማ ክፍል (ቅጣት ቤት) ይገባል፡፡ ይች ቤት አራት ሜትር በአራት ሜትር ስትሆን አንዳንዴ ከ20 በላይ ቅጣተኞች ይገቡበታል፡፡ ብርሃን የሌለባት፣ ትኋን የሚርመሰመስባት፣ ምንም ነገር ማንጠፍ የማይቻልባት፣ ልብስ መቀየር፣ በየጊዜው መታጠብ የሚከለከልባት፣ የእስር ቤቱ እስር ቤት ናት፡፡ ከዚህ እስር ቤት የወጣ ከመቃብር ፈንቅሎ የወጣ ያህል ይሰማዋል፡፡

የሰው ልጅ ክብር ተሟጦ ያለቀ በሚመስለው ግቢ የአእምሮ ህመምተኞች፣ በሰዶም የሚጠረጠሩ ሰዎችም ሲኖሩ የአእምሮ ህመምተኞችን የእንቅልፍ ክኒን (ናርጋቲን) እየወጡ ማስተኛት የተለመደ የየለት ተግባር ነው፡፡ ወጣቱ እስረኛ በግብረ ሰዶም ተጠርጣሪው ጋር መተኛት ስለሚፀየፍ ተጠርጣሪው ብቻውን እንዲተኛ ይፈረድበታል፡፡ ፖሊሶች ግን ድርጊቱን ያወግዙታል፡፡ በእርግጥ ጤነኛው ታሳሪም እስር ቤቱን ከመጥላቱ የተነሳ የሽንት ቤት ቆሻሻ ሰውነቱን ተለቅልቆ እርቃኑን ሆኖ እስረኛውን ማሯሯጥና በበሽተኛ ሂሳብ ወደ አዲስ አበባ ለመዘዋወር ይሞክራል፡፡ ሌሎች እስረኞች ደግሞ አንገት፣ ሆድና ክንዶቻቸውን በምላጭ በመተልተል ደም እያዘሩ በዱላ በማሯሯጥ ወይም ዛፍ ላይ ተሰቅለው (ተንጠልጥለው) የተጓደለብን ፍትህ ካልተመለሰልን አንወርድም በማለት ያንገራግራሉ፡፡ የአስተዳደሮች መልስ ታዲያ ወንድ ከሆንክ ራስክን ፈጥፍጥ ወይንም ጉሮሮህን ቆርጠህ ሙት የሚል ነው፡፡ ለእነሱ የእስረኛው ስነ ልቦና መቃወስ ምናቸውም አይደለም፡፡ በእርግጥ የእየራሳቸው የስነ ልቦና ደረጃ ከታራሚው ቢያንስ እንጂ የሚስተካከል እንኳ አይደለም፡፡ የስነ ልቦና አማካሪዎች ቢኖሩም ጥርሳቸውን ከመፋቅ የዘለለ ተግባር ሲፈፅሙ አይታዩም፡፡ አንድ ሊፈታ የተቃረበን እስረኛ ከድርጊቱ ታቅቦ ጥሩ ዜጋ ይሆን ዘንድ አገልግሎት ለመስጠት ይሞክራሉ፡፡ ወራትን ዓይንህ ለአፈር የተባለ ሰው የሶስት ቀን የምክር አገልግሎት በመስጠት ለመቀየር ወይስ ለማደንቆር! አንዳንዶች ከምክር አገልግሎት ሲመለሱ መለወጥ ይቻላል ካለ ራሱ የማይለወጥ የቁም እስረኛ ሆኖ የሚሰራ ለእኔ ብሎ ነው? እያሉ ያሾፉበታል፡፡ የህግ አማካሪ፣ ቅሬታ ሰሚ፣ በአካል (በስም) ደረጃ ቢኖሩም በራሳቸው ላይ ለቢሯቸው ስያሜ ካወጡት የመፃፊያ ዋጋ የሚበልጥ ተግባር ፈፅመው አያውቁም፡፡ እስር ቤቱ በሚጣሉ ፖሊስ (አባል) በተጋጩ፣ ከቤት አስተዳደር የተነጋገሩ እስረኞች ከጉልበት ቅጣት፣ ከጨለማ ቤት፣ ከዱላ፣ በኋላ ‹‹51›› የሚል ክስ ይመሰረትበታል፡፡

ክሱ የማረሚያ ቤቱን ደንብ መተላለፍ ሲሆን ቅጣቱ የአመክሮ አንድ ሶስተኛ ያስፈርዳል፡፡ አንድ አመት አመክሮ ያለው አራት ወር ይፈረድበታል፡፡ ጥፋቱ ከበድ ካለም ዱላው፣ የጉልበት ቅጣቱ፣ ጨለማ ቤት እስሩም ጨምሮ ክሱ ከበድ ይልበታል፡፡ ሙሉ አመክሮውን እስከማስፈረም ይደርሳል፡፡ በቅጣት ዙሪያ አንድ አይነተኛ ምሳሌ አለ፡፡ ከቤተ መፅሃፍት ተውሶ መፅሀፉ የጠፋበት እስረኛ የጉልበት ቅጣት የመፅሃፉን ዋጋ እስኪከፍል ጨለማ ቤት ከዛ ‹‹51›› ክስ ተመስርቶበት አመክሮውን ይነጠቃል፡፡ ወንጀሉ መፅሃፍት ማጥፋት ነው፡፡ በእርግጥ ይህ ያ የእስረኛ ዳግም መፅሃፍ ስለማያወጣ የአንባቢዎችን ቁጥር ለመቀነስ ጥሩ አማራጭ ነው፡፡ አመክሮ ማለት የፍርድን አንድ ሶስተኛ ማለት ሲሆን መልካም ስነ ምግባር ያሳየ እስረኛ በፍርዱ መጠን አንድ ሶስተኛው ተቀንሶለት እንዲፈታ የሚደረግበት አሰራር ነው፡፡ ይህን እድል ለማግኘት በተለያዩ የስራ መስኮች መሰማራትና በእስር ቤቱ ቆይታ ልክ ማገልገል ግዴታ ነው፡፡ እስረኛው በቤት አስተዳደር፣ በአስርና ሀያ መሪ የቤት ካውንስሊንግ፣ በረኛ (በር ጠባቂዎች) የቤትና ሽንት ቤት ፅዳተኛ፣ ጎለኛ (ለእስረኛ ወጥና እንጀራ የሚያመጡ)፣ መስክ በመስራት እድሉን ለመጠቀም ይሞክራል፡፡ በክስ እስኪነጠቅ ድረስ! መስክ ማለት ማረሚያ ቤቱ የእርሻ ማሳ ስላለው ይህን ማሳ መንከባከብና ከብቶችን መንከባከብ ይጨምራል፡፡ መስክ ሲባል ችግኝ መደብ፣ እሳር አጫጅ፣ ከብት አላቢ፣ ደረቅና ማንጎ የሚባሉ ክፍሎችን ሲይዝ መቆፈር፣ ማጨድ፣ ማረም፣ መቁረጥ፣ መመንጠር፣ እና መሰል ተግባራት ሲኖሩት ስራው እጅግ አድክሚ ነው፡፡ ከስራው በላይ ግን ለጆሮ የሚሰቀጥጠው የክፍያ መጠኑ ነው፡፡ አንድ መስከኛ በቀን 5 ብር ይከፈለዋል፡፡ የመቶ ብር ስራ ሰርቶ 5 ብር ለንጽጽር የማይመች ክፍያ ነው፡፡

ወፍጮ ቤት፣ ሚንስ ቤት በቀን 8 ብር፣ ጉልኛ ለቀን 2 ብር፣ ዘበኛ (በረኛ) 2 ብር፣ የቤት ጽዳተኛ 2 ብር፣ የሽንት ቤት ጽዳተኛ 5 ብር፣ ከፍተኛው ክፍያ 8፣ ዝቅተኛው 2 ብር ነው፡፡

በአጠቃላይ ሸዋሮቢት እስር ቤት 4400 በላይ እስረኛዎችን ይይዛል፡፡ እስር ቤቱ ይህን ያህል ዜጋ ተስፋ በሚያስቆርጥ ሁኔታ አጭቆ ያሳድራል፡፡ በዚህ ሁኔታ ጥፋተኛን ማረም ይከብዳል፡፡ በእርግጥ ስርዓቱ ለችግሮች መፍትሄ መሻት ባይፈልግም ጦሱ ከህብረተሰቡ ጀርባ የማይወርድ በመሆኑ መንግስትን ትተን በየግላችን ተስፈኛ ወጣት የማፍራቱን ተግባር ከፖለቲካዊ፣ ማህበራዊና ኢኮኖሚያዊ ትግሉ ጋር ልናስኬደቀው ይገባል እላለሁ፡፡

አምላክ ሀገራችንን ይባርክ!

posted by Daniel tesfaye

Ethiopia’s Zone9 bloggers says “We are still prisoners”

NOV 19,2015

Zone9 Bloggers & Journalists

Ethiopia's Zone9 bloggers says "thank you"

Evidently six members of the Zone9 & three journalists are released from prison after they spent 14 to 18 months in prison. The three journalists and the two bloggers were released as the charges were ‘withdrawn’ in July. While the other four bloggers were acquitted in October. And one member the blogging collective, Befeqadu, was released on bail and he is yet to defend himself later this year in December on charges related with inciting violence.

However, since we walked free from prison we often are running into difficulties that suggest that we are not completely free and we can also testify that our difficulties are not easing off yet. As a result have decided to issue a brief statement on our situation:

1. The three journalists and the two bloggers who were released in July are still under travel restrictions although they got their seized passports back. For instance, Zelalem Kibret was denied exit and he got his passport confiscated at Bole International on November 15, 2015. He was traveling from Addis Ababa to Strasbourg, France to attend an award ceremony of Reporters Without Borders as Zone9 Bloggers are the recipient of the 2015 Citizen Journalism Award. Due to this complications Zelalem’s chance to travel to New York to attend CPJ Press Freedom Award ceremony is seriously hampered. We do not know why this happened to Zelalem but we want to remind that article 32 of the Ethiopian Constitution protects Ethiopians’ freedom of movement both within Ethiopia as well as to travel abroad.

2. The three bloggers, Abel Wabela, Atnaf Birahane,and Natnael Felek who were acquitted at the beginning of October have not got their seized passports and electronic equipment back. Although they have requested to have their confiscated passports and properties back stating the prosecutor’s ‘appeal’ as a reason, the concerned government agency denied them to get their properties back. But the issue of appeal is still unresolved and four weeks after their release the bloggers are yet to learn their fate

3. Abel Wabela, Edom Kassaye ,Mahlet Fantahun and Zelalem Kibret were employees before their imprisonment. But so far their employers are not willing to rehire them or allow them back to their work. The time they spent in a prison is considered is as the fault of the bloggers and they are being laid off.

4. Recently, BBC reported that Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn insisted that we not real journalists and we had terror links. Likewise, other government officials also routinely give similar unconstitutional opinions which infringes the court’s pronouncement of our innocence.

Leaving these issues unattended is making us to feel as if we are living under a house arrest. The uncertainty coupled with and other issues putting us in an incredible amount of pressure to censor ourselves. Hence, we request the Ethiopian government or the concerned government agency

1. To respect our freedom of movement

2. To return our seized properties and confiscated passports back

3. To respect the court’s pronouncement of our innocence.

Respect the Constitution

Zone9 Bloggers & Journalists

POSTTED BY DANIEL TESFAYE

Remembering the Meles Massacres of 2005 in Ethiopia Ten Years After

NOV 16,2015Ethiopian martyrs of June and November, 2005

We remember the Ethiopian martyrs of June and November, 2005

In keeping silent about evil, in burying it so deep within us that no sign of it appears on the surface, we are implanting it, and it will rise up a thousand fold in the future.

When we neither punish nor reproach evildoers, we are not simply protecting their trivial old age, we are thereby ripping the foundations of justice from beneath new generations.

It is for this reason, and not because of the ”weakness of indoctrinational work’, that they are growing up ‘indifferent.’

Young people are acquiring the conviction that foul deeds are never punished on earth, that they always bring prosperity.

It is going to be uncomfortable, horrible, to live in such a country! Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn,   The Gulag Archipelago, 1918-1956

How time flies!

Tick tock…tick tock…  tick tock…tick tock…

The years fly, but do we remember those who die?

How time stands still! Tick…

The clock stopped.

November 2015 is the 10th year of remembrance for the victims of the Meles Massacres of 2005 in Ethiopia.

I wish there was No-vember!

No Meles.

No TPLF.

No EVIL in No-vember!

Has it really been ten years since November 2005?

Ten years and no justice for the victims of the Meles Massacres?

Ten years and no accountability for those who committed the Meles Massacres?

Ten years and no redress for the victims of the Meles Massacres?

Damn No-vember!

Every November for the last nine years, I have remembered the victims of the Meles Massacres of 2005 by writing a commemorative tribute for their personal sacrifices to establish democracy in Ethiopia.

Meles Zenawi, the late ringleader of a vicious gang of criminal thugs in power in Ethiopia I call the Thugtatorship of the Tigrean People’s Liberation Front (T-TPLF), personally  ordered the massacre of hundreds of unarmed protesters following the 2005 election.

On May 16, 2005, one day after the general election, Meles Zenawi declared a state of emergency, outlawed all public gatherings and placed under his direct personal command and control all police, security and military forces, and replaced the capital’s city police with “federal” police and special forces.

In the coming weeks and months, Meles personally authorized his commanders and police and security forces to use deadly force against any group or individual who showed opposition to his regime.

Between May and November 2005, the Meles Massacres resulted in the slaughter  (by conservative official account) of 193 unarmed protesters and severe gunshot injury to 763 others. (The actual number of victims is much more than the casualties reported by the Inquiry Commission.  See footnote 2 below.)

The unarmed protesters were hunted down and shot in the streets and inside their homes simply because they chose to exercise their right to peaceably protest the outcome of Meles’ rigged election.

Those protesters died as martyrs to Ethiopian democracy.

I have remembered the victims of the Meles Massacres for the last nine years, every single week, in my Monday commentaries, or “sermons” as some would like to affectionately refer to them.

I have preached about the wickedness, viciousness, degeneracy, depravity, villainy, atrocity, contemptibility and abominability of Meles Zenawi, when he was alive and post-mortem, and his gang of thugs in power today, the  T-TPLF.

I am convinced to ultimate moral certainty that no greater EVIL has befallen Ethiopia than the curse, the blight, the scourge of Meles Zenawi and the T-TPLF.

I joined the struggle for human rights in Ethiopia solely because of the Meles Massacres of 2005.

Meles flippantly and heartlessly called the 2005 massacres, “a traumatic event.”

Like Stalin, Meles believed “A single death is a tragedy; a million deaths is a statistic.”

The wanton massacre of hundreds of unarmed protesters is a “traumatic event”?

For whom?

I doubt it was a “traumatic event” for Meles and his TPLF.

Meles coldly reminded the “people [to] distinguish between riot and demonstrations.”

Incredibly, Meles shamelessly threw his entire police and security force under the bus to exonerate himself from any moral and legal responsibility in the massacres.

MelesTPLF1Meles said the “post-election violence” was the result of “lack of professionalism on the part of the police force in terms of managing such events. The government recognized that the police were under-trained for the task and under-equipped for the task. As a result we have worked on this and I believe it is now adequately addressed.”

Simply restated, Meles said, “Blame the ignorant militiamen I authorized to use deadly force against the unarmed protesters, not me.”

Meles, the “commander-in-chief” (massacerer-in-chief) sold his troops, lock, stock and barrel, down river to exonerate himself from charges of crimes against humanity.

But Meles and his underlings are directly responsible for the massacres, not just the “under-trained” and “under-equipped” security forces Meles tried to depict as nothing more than clodhopping militiamen.

Meles security forces would not have fired on unarmed protesters over a period of months culminating in the killings of November 1-4, 2005 unless they were given specific authority to shoot-to-kill.

Those responsible for supervision of the security forces  could have stopped the killings at the very first instance.

But they did not. Not once. Not ever.

They let the security forces make a killing fields of the streets for months on end.

The fact of the matter is that the security forces Meles tried to underplay as militiamen were equipped with high-powered rifles and so well-trained that they were able to target the heads of the protesters and blow their brains out as Meles’ own Inquiry Commission later confirmed in 2006 following  a through investigation.

Those responsible for supervision of the security forces could have brought the killers to justice. They did not because they licensed them to kill innocent demonstrators.

We know the names of the 237 security personnel who pulled the trigger and committed the atrocities in the Meles Massacres.

We also know the names of every single one of the officials from top to bottom involved in executing Meles shoot-to-kill order in 2005.

Let me ask the question again: Why were the killers of the unarmed protesters in 2005 not prosecuted? The T-TPLF regime is swift in prosecuting a few bloggers for writing on social media but is unable to prosecute known criminals against humanity?

The fact of the matter is that the Meles Massacres were part of Meles’ and the T-TPLF’s long-term strategic planning to consolidate power by hook or crook and cling to power indefinitely.

Meles wanted to shock and awe his opponents by massive and indiscriminate use of deadly force.

Meles wanted to communicate the message to friend and foe that he will kill, slaughter and massacre as many people as necessary  to maintain himself and his gang of thugs in power indefinitely.

Meles wanted to send a clear message to friend and foe that he is one ruthless, merciless, vicious, vindictive, unforgiving, brutal, vengeful, pitiless, cold-blooded and meaner-than-a-junkyard-dog S.O.B.!

Meles was all those things and more; ain’t no doubt about it!!!

Meles invaded Somalia in violation of international law in 2006 and delivered the same message.

In December 2006, Meles publicly declared he will kick butt in Somalia and be out in two months.

By August 2007, Meles’ expeditionary troops were bogged down in Somalia.

Meles made Somalia “one of the worst humanitarian situations in Africa.”

The Meles invasion of Somalia resulted in the massacre of tens of thousands of Somali civilians and displacement of over 870,000 Somalis  from Mogadishu alone. That is an undeniable fact!

Who now remembers the victims of the Meles Massacres in Somalia!?

Meles delivered the same message in the Ogaden region in 2007-08.

Human Rights Watch reported, “The government’s attacks on [Ogadeni] civilians, its trade blockade, and restrictions on aid amount to the illegal collective punishment of tens of thousands of people. Ethiopia’s army has subjected civilians to executions, torture, and rape.”

Who now remembers the victims of the Meles Massacres in the Ogaden?

In Gambella Meles delivered the same message.

In so many other places in Ethiopia, Meles delivered the same message.

Who remembers the victims of the Meles/T-TPLF massacres?

I remember the Meles Massacres of 2005.

Meles coldly reminded the “people [to] distinguish between riot and demonstrations.”

He meant the victims of the massacres were raving and thuggish rioters not ordinary demonstrators.

Let the facts speak: 

In 2006, under pressure from his foreign aid quartermasters, Meles established an Inquiry Commission to look into what he euphemistically described as “the post-election disturbances.”

The Inquiry Commission examined 16,990 documents, and received testimony form 1,300 witnesses.

The Inquiry Commission visited prisons and hospitals, and interviewed members of the Meles regime over several months.

The Inquiry Commission by an overwhelming vote concluded Meles Zenawi and his lieutenants are guilty as sin on all counts in the 2005 massacres.

During a Congressional hearing held on November 16, 2006, the Inquiry Commission released its findings.

For the actual video recording of the Inquiry Commission vote on the factual findings  CLICK HERE.

For the extended video of the Commission’s  final vote proceedings, CLICK HERE.

The Inquiry Commission by an 8-2 vote determined:

There was no property destroyed [by the unarmed protesters].

There was not a single protester who was armed with a gun or a hand grenade (as reported by the government-controlled media that some of the protesters were armed with guns and bombs). [parenthesis original]

Shots fired by government forces were not to disperse the crowd of protesters but to kill by targeting the head and chest of the protester. For this reason, it was clear that the law was violated, and government forces had used excessive force.

Police and security officials intentionally shot and killed 193 persons and wounded 763.

On November 3, 2005, during an alleged disturbance in Kality prison that lasted 15 minutes, prison guards fired more than 1500 bullets into inmate housing units leaving 17 dead, and 53 severely wounded.

There was no evidence that any security officers involved in the shootings were attacked or killed by the demonstrators.

Security forces which are alleged to be killed by demonstrators were not taken to autopsy, even there is no evidence of either photograph or death certificate showing the reason of death and couldn’t be produced for police as opposed to that of civilians.

The Inquiry Commission Chairman Judge Frehiwot Samuel noted:

Many people were killed arbitrarily. Old men were killed while in their homes, and children were also victims of the attack while playing in the garden.

During the Meles Massacres over 30,000 civilians were arrested without warrant and held in detention.

There is no evidence whatsoever that the victims of the Meles Massacres were “rioters” or even violent.

Meles and his T-TPLF committed crimes against humanity by massacring unarmed demonstrators.

They say time heals all wounds and you forget.

It does not, if “healing” means forgetting the crimes against humanity committed by Meles and his T-TPLF in the aftermath of the 2005 election.

Every single Monday for the past nine years, without missing a single week, I have written a commentary in remembrance of the innocent victims of the Meles Massacres.

Some people express amazement how I can manage to write every single Monday commentaries in thousands of words.

The answer is simple: I promised the victims of the Meles Massacres that I will be their voice for as long as the Good Lord allows me to speak out for them.

I was once asked why I care so much about people I have never seen, met or heard of. “You have to let it go, man!”

I am tempted to ask, “Would you let it go if the victims were your mother, father, brother, sister, friend…?”

They become silent as the grave.

Of course, none of the victims of the Meles Massacres are related to me. I know none of them.

Does that mean the crimes committed against them must be forgotten? Ignored?

Elie Wiesel said, “There may be times when we are powerless to prevent injustice, but there must never be a time when we fail to protest.”

It is true that I am powerless to prevent injustice or bring to justice those who have committed the ultimate injustice.

But I am not and will never be powerless in speaking  up against injustice and in shrilly protesting crimes against humanity.

There must never be a time when we become indifferent to the suffering of others, no matter their race, nationality, religion…

Socrates said, “The unexamined life is not worth living.”

I say living life in silence without lashing out in outrage against man’s inhumanity to man — brutality, injustice, oppression and abuse — is not worth living.

It is true I do not know any of the victims of the Meles Massacres.

But I know that every one of the victims is the daughter, son, father, mother, uncle, aunt, cousin or friend of someone who is alive today.

I know each one of the victims left behind a father, mother, daughter, son, uncle, aunt, cousin or friend who is brokenhearted and misses them dearly.

I know all of the victims came from humble backgrounds. None of them were fat cats living high on the hog of corruption and predation.

I know no one has stood up, challenged the T-TPLF and sought compensation for the survivors of the victims.

I know no one will even dare to hold the T-TPLF legally accountable for the crimes against humanity committed in the Meles Massacres.

I know the family members and survivors of the Meles Massacres have no one to speak on their behalf consistently and relentlessly inside or outside of the country.

I know the family members and survivors of the Meles Massacres have no one to seek justice for their loved ones.

I know the family members and survivors of the Meles Massacres have no one to stand up for them; to remember them every day and every week and bring those who committed the massacres to justice.

But I have tried to be a voice for the victims of the Meles Massacres.

I take no special credit for what little I have done to plead their cause before the court of international public opinion every single week for the last nine years.

No amount of vainglory could sustain nine years of relentless struggle against EVIL.

I am the voice of the victims of the Meles Massacres but I have no illusions about my bootless cries.

I know mine is voice in the wilderness calling for the way of justice to be made as once prophesied.

Is November doomed to be the cruelest month of all?

As I remember the Meles Massacres of November 2005, I remember the innocent victims of EVIL in Paris.

In April 2015, the apotheosis of EVIL which calls itself “Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant” (ISIL) (also known as Islamic State of Iraq and (Syria) al-Sham (ISIS)) in Libya” beheaded 30 Ethiopian refugees in Libya.

On Friday November 13, 2015, the same ISIL massacred and injured hundreds of innocent people in Paris.

ISIL said it was defending Islam by massacring innocent French citizens and people from 15 countries who happened to be in Paris.

To paraphrase Shakespeare, “The devil can cite the Ko’ran for his purpose.”

I remember and pray for the innocent victims of ISIL in Paris and for the Ethiopian victims beheaded by ISIL in Libya.

I also remember November 1938, the Night of Broken Glass when EVIL showed its ugly face to the world.

On 9-10 November 1938, the Nazis killed nearly 100 innocent Jewish people and arrested and deported 30,000 others.

The Nazis burned thousands of Jewish synagogues and businesses. That was Krystallnacht (Night of Broken Glass). It was the forerunner to the Jewish Holocaust.

Who remembers the victims of Krystallnacht?

The world is a dangerous place to live, not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don’t do anything about it,” cautioned Albert Einstein.

I would say Ethiopia is a dangerous place to live, not because of the evil rulers, but because of Ethiopian inside Ethiopia and the Diaspora don’t do anything about it.

EVIL must never be allowed to prevail in November, December, October, September…

Oh! Cruel is the month of November.

In the melancholy verse of Thomas Hood:

No warmth, no cheerfulness, no healthful ease,
No comfortable feel in any member–
No shade, no shine, no butterflies, no bees,
No fruits, no flowers, no leaves, no birds,
November!

In my own free verse, “No Justice for the Victims of the Meles Massacres of November”:

No justice for the hundreds Meles massacred,
No redress for the countless men, women and children,
No restitution for the survivors or victims’ families.
No reprieve for the tens of thousands illegally jailed,
No trace of those who disappeared,
No atonement for the Meles crimes of September, October, November, December….
No absolution for the Meles slaughter of November…,
No repeat of November,
November is to remember.

I remember because I cannot and will not forget! Never!

I remember the victims of the 2005 Meles Massacres.

I remember each and every one of them.

They are not numbers for me.

For me, each individual Meles and his T-TPLF gang massacred and maimed is special.

I remember the young women who will never get to be mothers.

I remember the young men who will never get to be fathers.

I remember the orphans whose parents were massacred.

I remember the fathers and mothers who will never get to see their children and never have a chance to see their grandchildren because Meles and the TPLF massacred them all.

I do not forget the criminals in the Meles Massacres.

I do not forget the 237 policemen by name who pulled the trigger.

I do not forget the damnable mastermind and the arch criminals who set up the massacres and pulled the fingers of the policemen who pulled the trigger.

I will always remember in November, and in December and in January and in February and in April…

Rebuma E. Ergata, 34, mason; Melesachew D. Alemnew, 16, student; Hadra S. Osman, 22, occup. unknown; Jafar S. Ibrahim, 28, sm. business; Mekonnen, 17, occup. unknown; Woldesemayat, 27, unemployed; Beharu M. Demlew, occup. unknown; Fekade Negash, 25, mechanic; Abraham Yilma, 17, taxi; Yared B. Eshete, 23, sm. business; Kebede W. G. Hiwot, 17, student; Matios G. Filfilu, 14, student;Getnet A. Wedajo, 48, Sm. business; Endalkachew M. Hunde, 18, occup. unknown; Kasim A. Rashid, 21, mechanic; Imam A. Shewmoli, 22, sm. business; Alye Y. Issa, 20, laborer; Samson N. Yakob, 23, pub. trspt.; Alebalew A. Abebe, 18, student; Beleyu B. Za, 18, trspt. asst.; Yusuf A. Jamal, 23, occup. student; Abraham S. W. Agenehu, 23, trspt. asst.; Mohammed H. Beka, 45, farmer; Redela K. Awel, 19, taxi Assit., Habtamu A. Urgaa, 30, sm. Business. Dawit F. Tsegaye, 19, mechanic; Gezahegne M. Geremew, 15, student; Yonas A. Abera, 24, occup. unknown; Girma A. Wolde, 38, driver; W/o Desta U. Birru, 37, sm. business; Legese T. Feyisa, 60, mason; Tesfaye D. Bushra, 19, shoe repairman; Binyam D. Degefa, 18, unemployed.

Million K. Robi, 32, trspt. asst.; Derege D. Dene, 24, student; Nebiyu A. Haile, 16, student; Mitiku U. Mwalenda, 24, domestic worker; Anwar K. Surur, 22, sm. business; Niguse Wabegn, 36, domestic worker; Zulfa S. Hasen, 50, housewife; Washun Kebede, 16, student; Ermia F. Ketema, 20, student; 00428, 25, occup. unknown; 00429, 26, occup. unknown; 00430, 30, occup. unknown; Adissu Belachew, 25, occup. unknown; Demeke K. Abebe,uk, occup. unknown; 00432, 22, occup. unknown; 00450, 20, occup. unknown; 13903, 25, occup. unknown; 00435, 30, occup. unknown. 13906, 25, occup. unknown; Temam Muktar, 25, occup. unknown; Beyne N. Beza, 25, occup. unknown; Wesen Asefa, 25, occup. unknown; Abebe Anteneh, 30, occup. unknow; Fekadu Haile, 25, occup. unknow; Elias Golte, uk, occup. unknown; Berhanu A. Werqa, uk, occup. unknown.

Asehber A. Mekuria, uk, occup. unknown; Dawit F. Sema, uk, occup. unknown, Merhatsedk Sirak, 22, occup. unknown; Belete Gashawtena, uk, occup. unknown; Behailu Tesfaye, 20, occup. unknown; 21760, 18, occup. unknown; 21523, 25, occup. unknown; 11657, 24, occup. unknown; 21520, 25, occup. unknown; 21781, 60, occup. unknown; Getachew Azeze, 45, occup. unknown; 21762, 75, occup. unknown; 11662,45, occup. unknown; 21763, 25, occup. unknown; 13087, 30, occup. unknown; 21571, 25, occup. unknown; 21761, 21, occup. unknown; 21569, 25, occup. unknown; 13088, 30, occup. unknown; Endalkachew W. Gabriel, 27, occup. unknown.

Hailemariam Ambaye, 20, occup. unknown; Mebratu W. Zaudu,27, occup. unknown; Sintayehu E. Beyene, 14, occup. unknown; Tamiru Hailemichael, uk, occup. unknown; Admasu T. Abebe, 45, occup. unknown; Etenesh Yimam, 50, occup. unknown; Werqe Abebe, 19, occup. unknown; Fekadu Degefe, 27, occup. unknown Shemsu Kalid, 25, occup. unknown; Abduwahib Ahmedin, 30, occup. unknown; Takele Debele, 20, occup. unknown, Tadesse Feyisa,38, occup. unknown; Solomon Tesfaye, 25, occup. unknown; Kitaw Werqu, 25, occup. nknown; Endalkachew Worqu, 25, occup. unknow; Desta A. Negash, 30, occup. unknown; Yilef Nega, 15, occup. unknown; Yohannes Haile, 20, occup. unknown; Behailu T. Berhanu, 30, occup. unknown; Mulu K. Soresa, 50, housewife, Teodros Gidey Hailu, 23, shoe salesman; Dejene Yilma Gebre, 18, store worker; Ougahun Woldegebriel, 18, student; Dereje Mamo Hasen, 27, carpenter.

Regassa G. Feyisa, 55, laundry worker; Teodros Gebrewold, 28, private business; Mekonne D. G.Egziaber, 20, mechanic; Elias G. Giorgis, 23, student; Abram A. Mekonnen, 21, laborer; Tiruwerq G.Tsadik, 41, housewife; Henok H. Mekonnen; 28, occup. unknown; Getu S. Mereta, 24, occup. unknown;W/o Kibnesh Meke Tadesse, 52, occup. unknown; Messay A. Sitotaw, 29, private business; Mulualem N. Weyisa, 15, Ayalsew Mamo, 23, occup. unknown; Sintayehu Melese, 24, laborer; W/o Tsedale A. Birra, 50, housewife; Abayneh Sara Sede, 35, tailor; Fikremariam K. Telila, 18, chauffer; Alemayehu Gerba, 26, occup. unknown; George G. Abebe,36, private trspt.; Habtamu Zegeye Tola, 16, student; Mitiku Z. G. Selassie, 24, student; Tezazu W. Mekruia, 24, private business; Fikadu A. Dalige, 36, tailor; Shewaga B. W.Giorgis, 38, laborer; Alemayehu E. Zewde, 32, textile worker; Zelalem K. G.Tsadik, 31, taxi driver; Mekoya M. Tadesse, 19, student; Hayleye G. Hussien, 19, student; W/o Fiseha T. G.Tsadik, 23, police employee; Wegayehu Z. Argaw, 26, unemployed.

Melaku M. Kebede, 19, occup. unknown; Abayneh D. Orra, 25, tailor; W/o Abebch B. Holetu, 50, housewife; Demeke A. Jenbere, 30, farmer; Kinde M. Weresu, 22, unemployed; Endale A. G.Medhin, 23, private business; Alemayehu T. Wolde,24, teacher; Bisrat T. Demisse, 24, car importer; Mesfin H. Giorgis, 23, private business, Welio H. Dari, 18, private business, Behailu G. G.Medhin, 20, private business; Siraj Nuri Sayed, 18, student; Iyob G.Medhin, 25, student; Daniel W. Mulugeta,25, laborer; Teodros K. Degefa,25, shoe factory worker; Gashaw T. Mulugeta, 24, student; Kebede B. Orke, 22, student; Lechisa K. Fatasa, 21, student; Jagama B. Besha,20, student; Debela O. Guta, 15, student; Melaku T. Feyisa, 16, student; W/o Elfnesh Tekle, 45, occup. unknown; Hassen Dula, 64, occup. unknown; Hussien Hassen Dula, 25, occup. unknown; Dejene Demisse,15, occup. unknown; Name unknown; Name unknown; Name unknown; Zemedkun Agdew, 18, occup. unknown; Getachew A. Terefe, 16, occup. unknown; Delelegn K. Alemu, 20, occup. unknown; Yusef M. Oumer,20, occup. unknown.

Mekruria T. Tebedge, 22, occup. unknown; Bademe M. Teshamahu, 20, occup. unknown; Ambaw Getahun,38, occup. unknown; Teshome A. Kidane, 65, health worker; Yosef M. Regassa, uk, occup. unknown; Abiyu Negussie, uk, occup. uk; Tadele S. Behaga,uk, occup. unknown; Efrem T. Shafi,uk, occup. unknown; Abebe H. Hama, uk, occup. unknown; Gebre Molla, uk, occup. unknown; Seydeen Nurudeen, uk, occup. unknown; Eneyew G. Tsegaye, 32, trspt. asst; Abdurahman H. Ferej, 32, wood worker; Ambaw L. Bitul, 60, leather factory worker; Abdulmenan Hussien, 28, private business; Jigsa T. Setegn, 18, student; Asefa A. Negassa, 33, carpenter; Ketema K. Unko, 23, tailor; Kibret E. Elfneh, 48, private guard; Iyob G. Zemedkun, 24, private business; Tesfaye B. Megesha,15, private business; Capt. Debesa S. Tolosa, 58, private business;Tinsae M. Zegeye,14, tailor;Kidana G. Shukrow,25, laborer;Andualem Shibelew, 16, student; Adissu D. Tesfahun, 19, private business; Kassa Beyene Yror,28, clothes sales; Yitagesu Sisay,22, occup. unknown; Unknown, 22, occup. unknown.

Police and security officers killed by friendly fire (security officers killed in each other’s crossfire): Nega Gebre, Jebena Desalegn, Mulita Irko, Yohannes Solomon, Ashenafi Desalegn, Feyisa Gebremenfes.

I remember the massacres inside Kaliti Prison on November 2, 2005: 

Teyib Shemsu Mohammed, age unknown, male, charged with instigating armed insurrection. Sali Kebede, age unknown, male, no charges indicated. Sefiw Endrias Tafesse Woreda, age unknown, male, charged with rape. Zegeye Tenkolu Belay, age unknown, male, charged with robbery. Biyadgligne Tamene, age unknown, male, charges unknown. Gebre Mesfin Dagne, age unknown, male, charges unknown. Bekele Abraham Taye, age unknown, male, charged with hooliganism. Abesha Guta Mola, age unknown, male, charges unknown. Kurfa Melka Telila, convicted of making threats. Begashaw Terefe Gudeta, age unknown, male, charged with brawling [breach of peace]. Abdulwehab Ahmedin, age unknown, male, charged with robbery. Tesfaye Abiy Mulugeta, age unknown, male, charged with instigating armed insurrection. Adane Bireda, age unknown, male, charged with murder. Yirdaw Kersema, age unknown, male, no charges indicated.

Balcha Alemu Regassa, age unknown, male, charged with robbery. Abush Belew Wodajo, age unknown, male, no charges indicated. Waleligne Tamire Belay, age unknown, male, charged with rape. Cherinet Haile Tolla, age unknown, male, convicted of robbery. Temam Shemsu Gole, age unknown, male, no charges indicated. Gebeyehu Bekele Alene, age unknown, male, no charges indicated. Daniel Taye Leku, age unknown, male, no charges indicated. Mohammed Tuji Kene, age unknown, male, no charges indicated. Abdu Nejib Nur, age unknown, male, no charges indicated. Yemataw Serbelo, charged with rape. Fikru Natna’el Sewneh, age unknown, male, charged with making threats. Munir Kelil Adem, age unknown, male, charged with hooliganism. Haimanot Bedlu Teshome, age unknown, male, convicted of infringement. esfaye Kibrom Tekne, age unknown, male, charged with robbery. Workneh Teferra Hunde, age unknown, male, no charges indicated.

Sisay Mitiku Hunegne, charged with fraud. Muluneh Aynalem Mamo, age unknown, male, no charges indicated. Taddese Rufe Yeneneh, charged with making threats. Anteneh Beyecha Qebeta, age unknown, male, charged with instigating armed insurrection. Zerihun Meresa, age unknown, male, convicted of damage to property. Wogayehu Zerihun Argaw, charged with robbery. Bekelkay Tamiru, age unknown, male, no charges indicated. Yeraswork Anteneh, age unknown, male, charged with fraud. Bazezew Berhanu, age unknown, male, charged with engaging in homosexual act. Solomon Iyob Guta, age unknown, male, charged with rape. Asayu Mitiku Arage, age unknown, male, charged with making threats. Game Hailu Zeye, age unknown, male, charged with brawling [public disorder] Maru Enawgaw Dinbere, age unknown, male, charged with rape. Ejigu Minale, age unknown, male, charged with attempted murder. Hailu Bosne Habib, age unknown, male, convicted of providing sanctuary. Tilahun Meseret, age unknown, male, no charges indicated. Negusse Belayneh, age unknown, male, charged with robbery. Ashenafi Abebaw, age unknown, male, no charges indicated. Feleke Dinke, age unknown, male, no charges indicated. Jenbere Dinkineh Bilew, age unknown, male, charged with brawling [public disorder].

Tolesa Worku Debebe, age unknown, male, charged with robbery. Mekasha Belayneh Tamiru, age unknown, male, charged with hooliganism. Yifru Aderaw, age unknown, male, no charges indicated. Fantahun Dagne, age unknown, male, no charges indicated. Tibebe Wakene Tufa, age unknown, male, charged with instigating armed insurrection. Solomon Gebre Amlak, age unknown, male, charged with hooliganism. Banjaw Chuchu Kassahun, age unknown, male, charged with robbery. Demeke Abeje, age unknown, male, charged with attempted murder. 58. Endale Ewnetu Mengiste, age unknown, male, no charges indicated. Alemayehu Garba, age unknown, male, detained in connection with Addis Ababa University student demonstration in 2004. Morkota Edosa, age unknown, male, no charges indicated.

I remember Yenesew Gebre.

On 11/11/11, Yenesew Gebre, a 29 year-old Ethiopian school teacher andYenesewhuman rights activist set himself ablaze outside a public meeting hall in the town of Tarcha located in Dawro Zone in Southern Ethiopia.

Yenesew died three days later from his injuries.

Before torching himself, Yenesew told a gathered  crowd outside of a meeting hall:

“In a country where there is no justice and no fair administration, where human rights are not respected, I will sacrifice myself so that these young people will be set free.”

Hannah Arendt spoke of the “banality of evil”, the evil committed by ordinary people in the name of the state, in the name of religion, ideology…

I am more concerned about the ephemerality of evil that spawns indifference.

In our time, an act of supreme evil in our conscience has the shelf life of an ice cube in the hot sun.

We are desensitized to evil.

We are shocked but for a day; we wait stoically for the next act of evil.

We have become indifferent to evil. Evil has sapped our moral energy. Evil has enervated our souls.

We no longer have the energy to explode in moral outrage.

Indifference has been the death of moral outrage.

On the ashes of moral outrage stands EVIL triumphant.

SPEAK UP! SILENCE IS TO EVIL AS SUGAR IS TO CANCER

Solzhenitsyn is right.

In keeping silent about evil, in burying it so deep within us that no sign of it appears on the surface, we are implanting it, and it will rise up a thousand fold in the future.

When we keep silent about the EVIL of the T-TPLF and its leaders, supporters and cronies, we are implanting it, and it will rise up a thousand fold in the future.

Solzhenitsyn is right.

When we neither punish nor reproach evildoers, we are not simply protecting their trivial old age, we are thereby ripping the foundations of justice from beneath new generations.

When we neither punish nor reproach the T-TPLF evildoers, we are thereby ripping the foundations of justice from beneath new generations.

Solzhenitsyn is right.

Young people are acquiring the conviction that foul deeds are never punished on earth, that they always bring prosperity. They are growing up indifferent.

Many young Ethiopians are acquiring the conviction that the foul deeds of the T-TPLF leaders, supporters and cronies are never punished on earth and following their always bring prosperity. Young Ethiopians are growing up indifferent.

As Soviet Russia was an open air Gulag for its people, I believe Ethiopia under the T-TPLF is an open air Gulag for 100 million Ethiopians.

Like Soviet Russia, under the T-TPLF rule, “it is going to be uncomfortable, horrible, to live in such a country!”

“It is for this reason” that Yenesew Gebre ended his life with the following words: “In a country where there is no justice and no fair administration, where human rights are not respected, I will sacrifice myself so that these young people will be set free.”

May the victims of the Meles Massacres of 2005 rest in peace.

May their murderers live forever looking over their shoulders in fear that the hand of justice will one day grab them by the collar.

DO YOU REMEMBER THE VICITMS OF THE MELES MASSACRES OF 2005? 

 ======================

[1] For additional data on the victims of the Meles Massacres, see Testimony of Yared Hailemariam, Ethiopian Human Rights Defender, “CRIME AGAINST HUMANITY IN ETHIOPIA: THE ADDIS ABABA MASSACRES OF JUNE AND NOVEMBER 2005” before the EXTRAORDINARY JOINT COMMITTEE MEETING THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT COMMITTEES ON DEVELOPMENT AND FOREIGN AFFAIRS, AND SUB-COMMITTEE ON HUMAN RIGHTS May 15, 2006.[2] The Commission’s list of 193 victims includes only those deaths that occurred on June 6-8 and November 1-4, 2005, the specific dates the Commission was authorized to investigate. The Commission has an additional list of victims of extra-judicial killings by regime police and security forces which it did not publicly report because the killings occurred outside the dates the Commission was authorized to investigate.

posted by daniel tesfaye

Thirty years of talking about famine in Ethiopia – why’s nothing changed?

by Amelia Butterly | BBC

Nov 12,2015

“There will not be famine of any sort, let alone anything remotely like the magnitude of that of 1984,” says the Ethiopian Embassy in London.BBC report famine in Ethiopia

For people aged over 30, that sentence, coming from Ethiopian officials, holds a special kind of meaning.

Because those people saw the TV reports in the 1980s showing thousands of children and adults starving to death.

Now, three decades on, the United Nations is warning that 15 million Ethiopians will need food aid by 2016.

This week’s BBC report has been described as “sensational” by the Ethiopian Embassy.

In it, one man who lived through the famines of the 1980s says he expects the same thing will happen to Ethiopia again in the coming months.

First broadcast in October 1984, Michael Buerk’s iconic news report showed the “biblical famine”.

In the years before online videos, social media and internet news, his words still managed to reach around the world, with the footage being shown by more than 400 television stations worldwide.

One of the viewers was singer Bob Geldof.

Within weeks he’d gathered some of the biggest names in music, created Band Aid and recorded Do They Know It’s Christmas?

The single raised millions. Then, in 1985, they put on Live Aid, a concert held in the US and the UK which was watched by an estimated 1.9 billion people.

In Do They Know It’s Christmas? one lyric reads: “Where nothing ever grows, no rain or rivers flow.”

The message is clear; drought caused crops to fail resulting in widespread famine.

But critics of the song say the causes of the crisis were more complex, with the policies of the government in Ethiopia partly to blame.

“Thousands were dying every week, the impact of drought compounded by the Marxist regime being in denial about the famine’s severity and by the region being caught up in civil war,” writes BBC correspondent Mike Wooldridge 30 years later.

The efforts of celebrities, charities, governments and the general public meant that it was only a matter of weeks after the Michael Buerk’s BBC reports before aid started to reach the region.

Death rates still remained high for some time after the aid began arriving – more than a million were killed by the famine overall.

But the years since have still seen famine in that part of Africa.

Many people still rely on foreign food aid, illiteracy is a problem and the late 1990s saw conflict and thousands of deaths over a border dispute with Eritrea.

“The sensational news broadcast by BBC TV, regarding children dying on a daily basis, does not reflect the current broad reality on the ground and the full preparation that has gone into overcoming the problem,” the Ethiopian Embassy said in its statement.

The Ethiopian government has set aside nearly £130m to deal with the crisis.

But the UN says another £330m is needed.

It says drought has already caused problems and a lack of rain has meant that in the worst affected areas there are 10% of the crops farmers would usually expect.

In one region, it says, two babies have been dying every day.

posted by daniel tesfaye

Barbarians in the Headquarters of Voice of America?

Nov 9,2015

The ancient Romans secured their cities with gates and walls against marauding barbarians.Voice of the TPLF or voice of America

The Romans aimed to keep the “barbarians at the gate” out and fend off any attack.

The modern day barbarians of press freedom secretly breached the “gates” of the Voice of America (VOA) headquarters in Washington, D.C. on September 26, 2015.

Teodros Adhanom, the malaria-researcher-turned-instant-foreign-minister of the Thugtatorship of the Tigrean Peoples Liberation Front (T-TPLF) in Ethiopia and his sidekick T-TPLF ambassador to the U.S. Girma Birru, “sneaked” under cover of darkness during the weekend  into the headquarters of the Voice of America for a secret meeting with selected reporters and staff of VOA Amharic Service (AS) and another VOA service.

Like the ancient barbarians who dictated terms and conditions to the Romans they vanquished, Adhanom and Birru entered the hallowed halls of VOA headquarters and dictated terms and conditions on how VOA AS and other reporters and staffers should do their jobs in reporting on the T-TPLF and its policies and administration in Ethiopia.

It was an outrageous and unprecedented act of journalistic tampering by high officials of a foreign regime ever committed against the VOA in the U.S., in the official headquarters of the VOA.

For years, I have been a fierce defender of the VOA against the barbarians of press freedom in Ethiopia.

Whenever the leaders of the T-TPLF mounted  a savage attack on the journalistic independence and integrity of the VOA, I have manned the trenches.

And the T-TPLF has viciously and ferociously attacked the VOA AS on numerous occasions.

In 2006, the late leader of the T-TPLF, Meles Zenawi, charged 5 VOA Horn of Africa broadcasters with various crimes related exclusively to their reporting from the United States.

This unprecedented and outrageous act by Zenawi resulted in the passing of an extraordinary and defiant unanimous resolution by VOA’s Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG) condemning the trumped up charges against the VOA reporters. The Resolution declared:

We consider these charges as nothing more than a blatant attempt to criminalize freedom of the press. We stand unequivocally and unflinchingly by our journalists and the quality of their work. The people of Ethiopia deserve unfettered access to accurate, balanced and comprehensive information. For the past 24 years, the Voice of America has provided them with precisely that, and will continue to do so.

Reading recent reports that Adhanom and his flunkey Birru, had “sneaked” under cover of darkness on a weekend night for a secret meeting  into the headquarters of the Voice of America with selected VOA AS and other reporters and staffers caught me completely off guard.

I was apoplectically outraged when I learned the details of the secret weekend night meeting.

Finding out Adhanom and Birru had been secretly skulking the hallowed halls of America’s “shrine of free press” for the rest of the world to me was  like finding out the Big Bad Wolves of Press Freedom in sheep’s clothing stalking the the lambs.

Better yet, it was like finding out that the Princes of Press Darkness have secretly entered the inner sanctum of the shrine of American press freedom to the rest of the world and defiled it. Desecrated it.

Adhanom’s T-TPLF has pulled a blanket of press and information darkness over Ethiopia for nearly a quarter of a century.

Ethiopia, under the thumb and boots of the T-TPLF, has the second worst record of press freedom in Africa!

According to Committee to Protect Journalists’ 2015 report, Ethiopia is the “4th most censored country in the world”.

In January 2015, Human Rights Watch issued a report entitled, “Ethiopia: Media Being Decimated” and declared, “Ethiopia’s government has systematically assaulted the country’s independent voices, treating the media as a threat rather than a valued source of information and analysis.”

In July 2015, the National Press Club, the “world’s leading professional organization for journalists”  “urged the Ethiopian government to immediately release jailed journalists imprisoned for their work.”

Freedom House in its 2015 report stated, “Press freedom in Ethiopia declined in 2014 as the government launched a crackdown on journalists and bloggers ahead of the May 2015 elections.”

On October 30, 2015, CPJ reported that Adhanom’s regime has denied Temesgen Desalegn, the young Ethiopian journalist imprisoned on trumped up charges of “outrage against the constitution”, medical treatment and family visits:

Temesgen suffers from back pain and has been denied access to medical treatment [and family visits], and he has lost hearing in his left ear, according to the VOA interview which was corroborated by local sources that visited Temesgen before the visitation ban. According to one source that visited him in prison in July, the back pain is so severe the journalist is unable to sit or sleep.

On September 26, 2015, the notorious jail keepers of press freedom in Ethiopia  managed “to sneak into the headquarters of the VOA at night and convened an unauthorized editorial meeting with some staff members.”

The VOA that Adhanom and Birru secretly entered to meet with a select group of VOA AS and other reporters and employees is the same VOA that Adhanom’s T-TPLF has been trying to electronically jam and block from  broadcasting in Ethiopia for nearly a decade.

Why would Adhanom and Birru secretly visit the very organization they have been trying to undermine and destroy for over a decade?

Could it be they are trying to jam up the VOA in its own offices which they could not do over the air?

How is it possible for a “foreign minister” and an “ambassador” of a foreign country to “sneak” into the citadel of America’s voice to the world and conduct a two-hour meeting with selected reporters and staff?

What possible official business could any “foreign minister” and “ambassador” have at VOA headquarters on a weekend night and conduct a secret meeting?

It is well known that when Adhanom’s regime contacts or “visits” independent journalists, its only purpose is to harass, intimidate, arrest and detain them.

Why would the “foreign minister” of a regime (a man who hangs (salivates) in the wings to become prime minister) designated by all major human rights groups as the topmost violator of press freedom go to VOA headquarters secretly and under cover of darkness on a weekend?

Why? Why?

Adhanom and Birru could certainly visit the VOA headquarters on a week day for official business or to do a studio interview.

Why weren’t Adhanom and Birru invited the VOA headquarters on a regular business day, during business hours and with an official record of their visit and purposes?

Why was it necessary for Adhanom and Birru to have a secret night time weekend meeting at VOA headquarters?

Did Adhanom and Birru secretly visit VOA headquarters to take down the names of those uninvited VOA AS and other reporters whom they think are enemies of their state?

Why was there no broadcast or report on VOA AS about the 2-hour meetingbetween the “foreign minister” and “ambassador” with certain VOA AS and other reporters and staffers?

The VOA AS routinely covers events of “less” newsworthiness happening in Washington, D.C. Why wasn’t the secret, weekend night time 2-hour meeting of Adhanom and Birru with VOA reporters reported to the public? could it be because someone is hiding something?

Doesn’t the 2-hour meeting between Adhanom/Birru and certain VOA AS and other reporters meet the test of newsworthiness for reporting under VOA’s own “Journalist Standards & Practices” (“Journalists’ Code”)?

What does this bizarre, secret, weekend night meeting mean for VOA’s journalistic independence and integrity?

How does the appearance of backroom secret meetings and deals between the second highest official of a regime (a foreign minister) and the highest level diplomat abroad (in the most important country in the world) and VOA reporters affect the perceptions of Ethiopian audiences for the journalistic integrity and independence of VOA?

The vast majority of Ethiopians, having no independent media, rely on VOA broadcasts to obtain accurate, truthful and impartially reported news, reports, information and analysis on a whole range of political, social and other issues.

What were the VOA AS reporters and other employees that participated in the Adhanom/Birru meeting thinking when they decided to meet Adhanom and Birru in secret, on a weekend night for 2 hours (and without apparently any written official record that the meeting actually took place)?

Did they ask in a fleeting moment: “How would this secret weekend, night time off the record 2-hour meeting with Adhanom and Birru be perceived by our Ethiopian audience if it is publicly reported?

Were the VOA reporters and employees that attended the Adhanom/Birru meeting even thinking at all?

Or did they negligently commit a colossal error in judgement and a monumental lapse of professionalism?

In either case, they should look for employment in a profession other than world class journalism at the VOA.

On the issue of conflict of interest and avoidance of the appearance of conflict, the VOA Journalists’ Code makes it crystal clear:

Employees shall act impartially and not give preferential treatment to any private organization or individual; and Employees must strive to avoid any action that would create even the appearance that they have lost impartiality or are violating the law or ethical standards. (Italics added.)

The Journalists’ Code further states, “credibility of the Voice of America [is one] our most important assets.”

What does the secret, night time weekend meeting of Adhanom, Birru and selected VOA AS and other reporters and employees mean for the “credibility” of VOA as an “objective source of world, regional and U.S. news and information”?

Has Adhanom or Birru made any other secret, off the record visits to VOA headquarters to speak with any VOA reporters or employees on any previous occasions?

How is it possible for those who invited Adhanom and Birru to the VOA headquarters to actually make it possible for them to make the visit unless they have prior longstanding relationship with Adhanom and Birru?

It makes no sense to believe that the VOA reporters/employees who invited Adhanom and Birru picked up the phone and called: “Yo! Yo! Adhanom, Birru! What y’all doin’ on Saturday night.  Y’all wanna come down to VOA headquarters for a pizza party and jam”. (I did not say jam VOA broadcasts.)

Have any of the selected VOA reporters and employees or others similarly situated visited the T-TPLF embassy in Washington, D.C. for any reason other than their official duties?

Do any VOA reporters have personal or financial relationships with the T-TPLF regime?

Does Birru operate a secret cadre of VOA journalists and employees who take instructions from him to report favorably on his regime?

Do Adhanom and Birru think VOA is EBC (“Ethiopian [T-TPLF] Broadcasting Corporation”)?

When members of Adhanom’s regime visit “EBC” or “EBC” reporters, it is always to bark out commands about what they want reported and what they want suppressed. Adhanom’s regime routinely directs its reporters to broadcast distorted, bogus and misleading news and information to the public.

Did Adhanom and Birru skulk their way into VOA headquarters at night on a weekend to read the riot act to VOA AS and other reporters and employees? Maybe persuade them by other means to tow the T-TPLF party line?

Do any VOA reporters or employees provide covert reports (scoops) to Birru on pending VOA reports, editorial meetings and other activities of the AS program?

What was discussed between Adhanom, Birru and the VOA AS and other reporters and staff during the 2-hour meting on September 26?

Was a record, journal or minutes of the meeting kept for official purposes? If not, why not?

Was a memorandum on the Adhanom/Birru meeting prepared and preserved for the official records after the meeting?

Was the VOA administration aware of the secret night meeting between Adhanom, Birru and the selected reporters and staffers of the Amharic Service?

Did the VOA administration give prior approval for the secret, weekend night time meeting with only selected VOA reporters and employees?

Why did Adhanom and Birru meet only with specific selected VOA AS and other reporters and staff?

Were other VOA reporters and staff informed of the secret weekend night time meeting with Adhanom and Birru or formally or informally invited to attend?

It is well known that Adhanom’s T-TPLF recruits and populates “EBC” with its cadres.

Were Adhanom and Birru on a secret recruiting mission at VOA headquarters on September 26, 2015? Or were they there to give a pep talk to any cadres they may have at the VOA just like at the “EBC”?

What possible business could Adhanom and Birru have with VOA reporters that could last 2-hours on a weekend night?

What good could possibly (even conceptually) come out of a secret, night time weekend meeting between the top representatives of the “fourth worst censor of press freedom in the world” (and second worst in Africa) and any VOA reporters or employees at VOA headquarters?

Did the specific VOA AS and other reporters and staffers violate any federal laws and VOA’s professional and ethical standards by meeting in secret, under cover of darkness on a weekend with Adhanom and Birru?

Details of the Secret Night Meeting between Adhanom, Birru and selected VOA Amharic Service and other reporters and staff

The shocking and disturbing details of the secret 2-hour weekend night meeting between Adhanom, Birru and selected VOA AS and other reporters and staff was divulged by the young Ethiopian investigative journalists and human rights activist Abebe Gellaw on October 26, 2015.

According to Abebe’s investigative report:

On September  26, 2015, Adhanom and Birru managed “to sneak into the headquarters of the VOA located at 330 Independence Avenue, Washington D.C., under cover of darkness for an “unauthorized editorial meeting with some staff members.”

The secret meeting took place “in the editorial meeting room of the Horn of Africa section” and lasted two hours.

The meeting with Adhanom and Birru was reportedly “organized and facilitated by VOA Amharic broadcaster Solomon Abate, along with Betre Siltan from the Tigrigna service” and “a group of seven VOA staff members–including two technicians.”

The purpose of the secret Saturday night meeting was “said to be dictated by the need to build trust and cooperation between VOA journalists and [Adhanom’s] regime”.

During the meeting, Adhanom and Birru  “exerted undue influence  to alter the tone and content of VOA broadcasts to Ethiopia by making pleas and veiled threats.”

Adhanom ordered that no “recording of the intimate discussion” be made.

Adhanom complained to the VOA reporters and staff “off the record that giving platform to critical voices and dissidents including Arbegnoch Ginbot 7 could be tantamount to destabilizing the government. He [also] criticized VOA for focusing on ‘negative’ stories.”

Adhanom lectured the attending VOA AS and other reporters and staff present that they should “focus on promoting positive progress rather than airing ‘negative’ stories and views.”

Adhanom “hinted that the Ethiopian government constantly receives information about VOA’s internal activities.”

Adhanom admonished the VOA reporters and staff “to re-examine themselves and do soul searching.”

Adhanom and Birru informed the VOA reporters and staff that they are prepared to “facilitate any support and assistance the [VOA] journalists may need to bring out positive stories and images” about the T-TPLF regime and its activities.

Adhanom “invited the journalists to go [to Ethiopia] and see the reality for themselves.”

Adhanom and Birru  told “the VOA employees that the doors of the Ethiopian Embassy were wide open to them.

The VOA and I

I do not believe there are too many individuals who have fiercely and unapologetically defended the VOA against T-TPLF harassment, intimidation, defamation and interference over the past decade than myself.

I have written numerous commentaries defending the VOA from direct and indirect harassment, intimidation and interference by the late super-thugtator Meles Zenawi.

On July 4, 2015, I wrote a commentary defending a VOA AS reporter who was attacked by certain individuals in a protest group of Ethiopians opposed to President Obama’s visit to Ethiopia.

I castigated those individuals who threatened and harassed the VOA AS reporter for their ignorance of press freedom in America and for their criminal acts in interfering with that reporter’s work.

I declared that no one has the right to interfere or unduly influence the journalistic work of VOA reporters regardless of one’s perception of their impartiality, integrity or professionalism.

I urged Ethiopian Americans opposed to the T-TPLF regime to use established processes within the VOA to seek relief for any unfair or biased reporting by reporters in the Amharic Service.

What is good for the goose is good for the gander.

If Adhanom and Birru have issues with VOA Amharic Service reports or reporters, they should channel their complaints through the appropriate offices in the U.S. State Department.

They have absolutely no right to invade VOA headquarters on a weekend night, meet secretly with selected VOA reporters and staff and dictate terms and conditions of reporting on their regime!

Let me make it perfectly clear: I have absolutely no problems if Adhanom and Birru went to VOA headquarters for a studio interview.

They have every right to speak to VOA reporters and express their views.

I wholeheartedly agree with Prof. Noam Chomsky observation that “If we don’t believe in freedom of expression for people we despise, we don’t believe in it at all.”

When it comes to free expression, I will just as soon defend the right of those I despise as I would those whose views and expressions I cherish. I make no compromises when it comes to free expression.

My philosophy on free expression is very simple: Let the best idea win!

I demonstrated my commitment to this principle when I defended Meles Zenawi’s right to speak his mind without interference or interruption at Columbia University in September 2010.

Some people could not believe how I can justify defending the right of free expression of a man who had muzzled 90 million people.

If Adhanom and Birru want to go to the VOA headquarters for an interview or official discussion, more power to them.

My problem is secret meetings, night meetings, meetings with selected VOA reporters and employees, unrecorded meeting, unauthorized meetings, meetings without records, minutes or journals and meetings that end with secret handshakes, nods and winks.

I believe in the theory of the press as a watchdog, not a lap dog.

When I use the metaphor of the “watchdog” for the press, I mean a hound dog press that sniffs out and exposes government misconduct, corruption, scandal and abuse and misuse of power.

As a matter of fact, the VOA guarantees audiences “have the right to expect that [VOA] journalists will monitor power and give voice to the voiceless: The press should use its  watchdog  power to uncover things that are important and new and that change community thinking.” (Italics added.)

I don’t believe press watch (guard) dogs have any business lying in bed or secretly meeting in the boardroom with press wolves.

Indeed, that is precisely what the VOA’s “Audiences’ Bill of Journalism Rights” instructs under section 4.

VOA  “journalists’ first loyalty is to audiences” and audiences “should expect journalists to maintain independence from those they cover.”

The job of VOA journalists is to uncover those they cover, not lie comfortably under the bed cover with those they cover.

I believe it is a violation of federal law and VOA professional standards for Adhanom and Birru and the selected VOA AS and other reporters and staff  to conduct secret official or unofficial business at VOA headquarters.

I see no difference between the harassment and physical manhandling of the VOA AS reporter by a few misguided protesters in July 2015 and the secret night meeting of Adhanom and Birru with VOA employees where Adhanom and Birru read selected VOA AS reporters and staff the riot act about their reporting on the T-TPLF regime.

What Adhanom and Birru did in the headquarters of the VOA and what the mob did to the VOA reporter outside the White House in July arequintessentially thuggish acts intended to intimidate and force the VOA AS to broadcast views that are favorably to their side of the issues.

I take great pride in my fierce defense of the VOA over the years.

I defended the VOA not because they have a bias in favor of the opponents of the T-TPLF regime. I did not defend the VOA because they are biased against the T-TPLF.

I defended the VOA every single time it came under attack because I believe the majority of VOA Amharic Service reporters and journalists  do their jobs professionally and with integrity.

Truth be told, there are far too many reports on VOA Amharic Service that I do not agree with.

I understand that the VOA AS reporters do not function according to my highly partisan norms.

I have never criticized VOA AS for doing their jobs consistent with their own professional standards.

Even though I am a highly partisan advocate and an uncompromising defender of my own cause, I respect journalists who do their jobs with integrity.

The VOA Journalists’ Code demands that VOA reporters “adhere to the highest standards of journalistic professionalism and integrity” and “enhance the credibility and effectiveness of the Voice of America.”

I have never criticized VOA AS reporters for doing their jobs according to their own “Journalists’ Code” of ethics and professionalism.

But I have defended the VOA AS when others criticized and harassed them for performing their journalism according to their their own “Code”.

That is precisely what I did in July 2011 when the VOA AS faced the wrath of the late Meles Zenawi, leader of the T-TPLF.

When Meles openly and contemptuously attempted to pressure the VOA Board of Governors to muzzle his critics on VOA AS broadcasts, I rose todefend the VOA.

I defended the VOA AS in 2010 when Meles Zenawi compared VOA to the infamous Radio Mille Collines of Rwanda, which incited the tragic genocide that devastated the nation. Meles outrageously claimed,

We have been convinced for many years that in many respects, the VOA Amharic Service has copied the worst practices of radio stations such as Radio Mille Collines of Rwanda in its wanton disregard of minimum ethics of journalism and engaging in destabilizing propaganda.”

Meles promptly ordered the jamming of VOA broadcasts to Ethiopia.

I fiercely defended the VOA AS in September 2010 when Meles Zenawijustified his jamming of VOA broadcasts “by taking a page from U.S. policy.” Meles said,

Now, I don’t know if you know this but VOA [Voice of America] is not allowed to broadcast to the U.S. by law. It is not allowed to broadcast to the U.S. by law. It is allowed to broadcast to other countries, but not to the U.S. because it is supposed to reflect the policy of the government in power of the day. Now, VOA Amharic service happens to be dominated by people associated with the previous regime who tend to have a particularly jaundiced view of events in Ethiopia for understandable reasons. We took a page from the policy of the United States and said VOA is not welcome to Ethiopia either. (Italics added.)

VOA Response to the Abebe Gellaw’s investigative report

The VOA has refused to respond to the facts alleged in Abebe Gellaw’s report despite repeated requests. Abebe’s investigative report raises some grave issues of administrative and criminal nature.

A proper response to Abebe’s report by the VOA management is obligatory.

Investigative reporter Abebe stated that “despite repeated phone calls and follow-up emails”, the VOA has refused to respond to his requests for answers and clarifications concerning the Adhanom/Birru secret weekend night time meeting at VOA headquarters.

The VOA cannot dismiss Abebe’s report without comment.

Legality of the Adhanom/Birru secret night meeting with selected VOA AS reporters  

Did Adhanom and Birru violate federal law by secretly meeting at night with VOA reporters and staffers on September 26, 2015?

Did the selected VOA reporters and staffers violate federal law and the VOA “Code” by secretly meeting with Adhanom/Birru on a weekend night at VOA headquarters?

Specifically, did the secret night meeting held by VOA reporters and staffers with Adhanom and Birru  violate 22 U.S.C. 6202 (c)?

Did the secret night meeting held by VOA reporters and staffers with Adhanom and Birru  violate VOA’s Journalist Standards & Practices (11-023 and 11-024)?

Did the secret night meeting held by VOA reporters and staffers with Adhanom and Birru  violate the “Standards of Ethical Conduct for Employees of the Executive Branch, Subpart E (Codified in 5 C.F.R. Part 2635 As amended at 76 FR 38547 (July 1, 2011)) and other federal laws?

VOA Charter and governing law

The operation and activities of the VOA are strictly governed by Public Law 94-350, section 206 (codified at 22 USC 6202).

22 U.S.C. 6202 (c) identifies 10 guiding principles and directs:

… VOA reporters and broadcasters must strive for accuracy and objectivity in all their work. They do not speak for the U.S. government. They accept no treatment or assistance from U.S. government officials or agencies that is more favorable or less favorable than that granted to staff of private-sector news agencies. Furthermore, VOA professionals, careful to preserve the integrity of their organization, strive for excellence and avoid imbalance or bias in their broadcasts.

The Voice of America pursues its mission today in a world conflict-ridden and unstable in the post Cold War era. Broadcasting accurate, balanced and complete information to the people of the world, and particularly to those who are denied access to accurate news, serves the national interest and is a powerful source of inspiration and hope for all those who believe in freedom and democracy. (Italics added.)

The Standards of Ethical Conduct for Employees of the Executive Branch, Subpart E (Codified in 5 C.F.R. Part 2635  as amended at 76 FR 38547 (July 1, 2011)) provides specific rules for federal employees on the impartial performance of their duties. It also provides a basis for raising issues on “any matter in which a [federal]  employee’s impartiality is likely to be questioned.”

VOA’s Journalistic Standards and Practices (“The Journalistic Code”)

The VOA Journalists Code imposes a variety of obligations on VOA reporters and employees.

The Code states:

VOA is alert to, and rejects efforts by special interest groups – foreign or domestic – to use its broadcasts as a platform for their own views. This applies to all programs and program segments, including opinion or press roundups, programs discussing letters, listener comments, or call-in shows…

… VOA journalists and all those preparing news and feature programming avoid any action or statement that might convey the appearance of partisanship

… In addition to these journalistic standards and principles, VOA employees recognize that their conduct both on and off the job can reflect on the work of the Voice of America community. They adhere to the highest standards of journalistic professionalism and integrity. They work to foster teamwork, goodwill and civil discourse in the workplace and with their colleagues everywhere in the world, all to enhance the credibility and effectiveness of the Voice of America. (Italics added.)

The Foreign Missions Act (22 U.S.C. 4301-4316) regulates the activities of foreign missions in the United States “in a manner that will protect the foreign policy and national security interests of the United States.”

Did Adhanom and Birru violate any of the federal laws by conducting unauthorized secret night meeting with selected employees of the VOA?

Did the selected reporters and employees of the VOA violate any federal laws and VOA’s “Code” by secretly meeting and discussing yet undisclosed matters at night with Adhanom and Birru?

The 1978 Inspector General Act (OIG), the 1980 Foreign Service Act, and the 1998 Foreign Affairs Reform and Restructuring Act charge the OIG with oversight responsibility for the Department of State and the Broadcasting Board of Governors.

22 U.SC. sec. 3929(b) authorizes the Inspector General of the Department of State and the Foreign Service to exercise jurisdiction over VOA’s Broadcasting Board of Governors and the International Broadcasting Bureau and conduct “systematic review and evaluation of the administration of activities and operations of Foreign Service posts and bureaus and other operating units of the Department of State.”

The Office of Investigations of the State Department’s OIG office “conducts investigations of criminal, civil, and administrative misconduct related to Department and BBG programs and operations by investigating specific allegations, reports, or other information indicating possible violations of law or regulation.”

Is the Adhanom/Birru secret meeting within the purview of the State Department’s OIG investigation?

Asleep at the switch at the VOA?

The VOA broadcasts in nearly four dozen languages.

Since its establishment in 1942, the VOA has been criticized at home and abroad for doing or not doing something.

The VOA has been vociferously criticized as an American propaganda tool by totalitarian regimes throughout its seven-decade history.

The VOA and its reporters continue to be the targets of unending threats and intimidation by African dictators and thugtators, including the T-TPLF.

Criticism of VOA reporting is nothing new to the VOA.

What is new, ABSOLUTELY NEW AND UNPRECEDENTED, is the fact that African dictators and thugtators have mustered the audacity, gumption and contempt to invade the hallowed halls of the VOA and conduct meetings with VOA employees and dictate terms and conditions with absolute impunity.

What next?

Will African dictators and thugtators payoff VOA reporters and employees at secret night meetings to report or not to report on an issue favored or disfavored by African dictators and thugtators?

Is it that if you can’t beat the VOA, identify selected VOA reporters and employees, have them “invite” you to come to VOA headquarters and use the opportunity to dictate terms and conditions?

Or is it, if you can’t beat VOA reporters and employees from Addis, come and brow beat them in Washington, D.C. at their own headquarters?”

What Adhanom and Birru have done in meeting with selected VOA AS reporters and staffers at VOA headquarters on a weekend night in secret sets a very, very bad precedent.

What the selected VOA AS reporters and staffers did in meeting with Adhanom and Birru at VOA headquarters on a weekend night in secret sets a very, very bad precedent.

Federal law requires strict independence of VOA not only from influences by foreign governments but also the U.S. Government itself. That was the “principal reason cited by the Congress for preventing the [VOA] Board and its broadcasting entities from being merged into the State Department [and] provide a “firewall” between the State Department and the BBG journalists to ensure the integrity of the journalism.”

How did Adhanom and Birru manage to breach the the VOA “firewall” long established by Congress so flagrantly on September 26, 2015 when they secretly entered VOA headquarters under cover of night on the weekend and conducted an off- the record 2-hour meeting?

Unless Adhanom, Birru and the other VOA reporters and journalists are held accountable in this case, the floodgates may soon open for all types of African dictators and thugtators to come to VOA headquarters in Washington, D.C. and intimidate VOA reporters and employees into submission.

That must NEVER, NEVER be allowed!

I am deeply offended by the secret meeting between Adhanom/Birru and the particular VOA AS and other reporters and employees.

The very idea of a secret meeting between VOA reporters and the highest representatives of a regime declared the “fourth worst censor press freedom in the world” makes me sick to the stomach.

Such a meeting makes a mockery of the very principles and ideas of press freedom enshrined in the law establishing the VOA over seven decades ago.

I am not ashamed to say I care very much about the Voice of America.

It is an organizations that is imperfect with a lot of flaws.

I disagree with some of the VOA AS’s programming priorities. For example, I believe VOA’s audience in Ethiopia would rather hear news, information and analysis about things happening in Ethiopia than sports events in America in the one-hour or so broadcast everyday.

But the law requires that the VOA provide adequate information on the diversity of cultural and other events in America.

The VOA AS actually does a great job reporting on the diversity of U.S. culture and society to its Ethiopian audience.

I also believe the VOA AS does a good job of reporting and providing a diversity of news, opinions and analysis to their Ethiopian audience.

I will continue to ferociously defend the VOA against intimidation, harassment and corruption of the VOA by dictators and thugs wherever they may be for the same reasons I have defended the VOA over the past several years.

I do not want my readers to be outraged by the Adhanom/Birru affair and condemn the Voice of America.

That would be an unjustified overreaction.

I believe in fair play even when dealing with my opponents.

I  cannot imagine any valid reason why Adhanom and Birru would meet in secret, on a weekend, under cover of darkness for 2 hours off the record with a selected group of VOA reporters and staffers.

Perhaps there is a reason that is incomprehensible to my highly partisan mind? If so, I would like to know.

As I write this piece, I am of the absolute conviction that barbarians of press freedom, where ever they are, must forever be banished from ever setting foot in the headquarters of Voice of America, America’s “shrine to free press to the rest of the world”, under cover of darkness, on a weekend, in secret and with help to cover up their finger- and footprints that they have ever been there.

posted by Daniel Tesfaye

ረሃብ የመንግሰት ፖሊሲ ብልሹነት እንጂ የዝናብ እጥረት ዉጤት አይደለም! (ኤፍሬም ማዴቦ)

Nov 6,2015

Malnutrition hits record high in Ethiopia

ደርግ የቀዳማዊ ኃ/ሥላሤን ስርዐት ከደመሰሰ በኋላ ወሎ፤ ትግራይና ሰሜን ሸዋ ዉስጥ ህዝብ እንደ ቅጠል ሲረግፍ እሳቸዉ የልደት በዐላቸዉን ለማክበር ከዉጭ አገር ኬክ ያስመጣሉ ብሎ ነበር ንጉሰ ነገስቱንና ስርዐታቸዉን የከሰሰዉ። በአስራ ሰባቱ የደርግ ዘመን ሁለት ግዜ ከባድ ረሃብ ተነስቶ በሚሊዮን የሚቆጠሩ ዜጎቻችን አልቀዋል። በተለይ በ1977 ዓም ሰሜን ኢትዮጵያ ዉስጥ የተከሰተዉና የአለምን ህዝብ ያስደነገጠዉ ረሃብ በሚሊዮን የሚቆጠሩ ኢትዮጵያዉያንን እንደ ቅጠል ሲያረግፍ ደርግ የስብሰባ አዳራሽ ለመስራትና የኢሠፓን ምስረታ ለማክበር ብዙ ሚሊዮን ዶላር እንዳባከነ ይታወሳል። ህወሃት የደርግን ስርዐት ሲዋጋ የኢትዮጵያን ህዘብ ከጎኑ ለማሰለፍ ከተጠቀመባቸዉ ዋና ዋና የፕሮፓጋንዳ ስራዎች ዉስጥ አንዱ ይህንኑ ረሃብ በሚሊዮን የሚቆጠሩ ዜጎቻቸንን ሲገድል ደርግና ባለሟሎቹ የፓርቲ ምስረታ ለማክበርና አዳራሽ ለማሰራት በብዙ ሚሊዮን የሚቆጠር ዶላር ያባክናሉ የሚል ፕሮፓጋንዳ ነበር። ከዚህ በተጨማሪ በአገሪቱ ዉስጥ ለደረሰዉ ረሃብ ዋናዉ ምክንያት የዝናብ እጥረት ሳይሆን የደርግ የተበላሸ የኤኮኖሚና የፖለቲካ ፖሊሲ ነዉ ብሎ ደጋግሞ ደርግን መክሰሱ አይረሳም። ህወሃት ኢትዮጵያን በመራባቸዉ ባለፉት ሃያ አራት አመታት ዉስጥ የዘንድሮዉን ጨምሮ የኢትዮጵያ ህዝብ ሦስት ግዜ ለረሃብ አደጋ ተጋልጧል። የዘንድሮዉ ረሃብ ደግሞ ስፋቱና ጥልቀቱ እጅግ በጣም አደገኛ መሆኑ በአለም አቀፍ የመገናኛ አዉታሮች እየተነገረ ነዉ።

ዛሬ ኢትዮጵያ በየአመቱ ከ3 ቢሊዮን ዶላር በላይ የዉጭ ዕርዳታ ታገኛለች፤ በየአመቱ በቢሊዮን የሚቆጠር ዶላር ትበደራለች፤ ከ5 ቢሊዮን ዶላር በላይ የዉጭ ምንዛሪ በዉጭ አገር ከሚገኙ ዜጎቿ ታገኛለች። ኢትዮጵያ ዉስጥ ከፍተኛ የልማት ሰራዎች እንደሚሰሩ ይነገራል። ግድቦች፤ መንገዶች፤ ህንጻዎችና የኃይል ማስተላለፊያ መስመሮች ይገነባሉ እየተባለ ይነገራል። የኢትዮጵያ ኤኮኖሚ በአመት ከ10% በላይ እንደሚያድግ ይነገራል። ይህ ሁሉ ሆኖ ረሃብ በብዙ ሚሊዮን የሚቆጠሩ ኢትዮጵያዉያንን ህይወት አደጋ ላይ ጥሏል። ለምን? ከህወሃት በፊት የነበሩት ሁለት መንግስታት በስልጣን ላይ በነበሩበት ግዜ ኢትዮጵያ ዉስጥ ለደረሰዉ ረሃብና በረሃብ ላለቁ ወገኖቻችን ተጠያቂዎች ነበሩ። ደርግና የቀዳማዊ ኃ/ሥላሤ ስርዐት የተከተሏቸዉ ብልሹ የሆኑ የኤኮኖሚ ፖሊሲዎችና ጎታች የመሬት ይዞታ አስተዳደር በሁለቱ ስርዐቶች ዉስጥ ለደረሰዉ ረሃብ አይነተኛ ምክንያቶች ነበሩ። ዛሬስ የሃያ ሚሊዮን ወገኖቻችንን ህይወት አደጋ ላይ ለጣለዉ ረሃብ ምክንያቱ ምንድነዉ? ተጠያቂዉስ ማነዉ? በነገራችን ላይ ህወሃት ሠላም አነገስኩባት በሚለዉ ኢትዮጵያ ዉስጥ ያለዉ ረሃብተኛ ቁጥር ላለፉት አምስት አመታት በእርስ በርስ ጦርነት በምትታመሰዉ ሦሪያ ዉስጥ ካለዉ ረሃብተኛ ቁጥር ይበልጣል።

የቀድሞዉ የኢትዮጵያ ጠ/ሚኒስቴር አቶ መለስ ዜናዊ የኢትዮጵያ ህዝብ በአጭር ግዜ ዉስጥ በቀን ሦስት ግዜ የመብላት ዋስትና ይኖረዋል ብለዉ ባዶ ተስፋ ከቀለቡን በኋላ የዘንድሮዉን አመት ጨምሮ እኛ ትዮጵያዉያን ሦስት ግዜ የረሃብ አደጋ ላይ ወድቀናል። ለመሆኑ ምን ይሆን ባለ ራዕዩ መሪ ያዩልን ራዕይ? በቀን ሦስት ግዜ መብላታችንን ወይስ ረሃብ ሦስት ግዜ እንደሚጎበኘን? ከአንድ አመት በፊት ክረምቱ መገባደጃ ላይ የተባበሩት መንግስታት ድርጅት ኢትዮጵያ ዉስጥ 6.5 ሚሊዮን ህዝብ የረሃብ አደጋ ይጠብቀዋል ብሎ ባስጠነቀቀ ማግስት ጠ/ሚ ኃ/ማሪያም ደሳለኝ ኢትዮጵያ በምግብ ምርት እራሷን የቻለች አገር ሆናለች ብለዉ ለአለም አወጁ። እንደ ፈረንጆቹ ዘመን አቆጣጠር በሰኔ 2015 ዓም እኚሁ ሰዉ ኢትዮጵያ ረሃብን በግማሽ እንደምትቀንስና በአመቱ ማለቂያ ላይ ኢትዮጵያ ዉስጥ ለረሃብ የሚጋለጠዉ ህዝብ ከ5% በታች እንደሚሆን አረጋገጡ። በተመድና በብዙ ለጋሽ አገሮች ጥናት መሠረት በ2015 ማለቂያ ላይ ከኢትዮጵያ ህዝብ 21% የሚሆነዉ አስቸኳይ የምግብ ዕርዳታ ካላገኘ ከፍተኛ አደጋ ይጠብቀዋል። ለምንድነዉ ኢትዮጵያ ዉስጥ መሪ ነን ተብዬዎች የኢትዮጵያን ህዝብ የማይጨበጥ ባዶ ተስፋ የሚቀልቡት? ለምንድነዉ ፈጣኑና ታዳጊዉ የአፍሪካ ኤኮኖሚ ለዜጎቹ የስራ ዕድል መፍጠር ተስኖት ወጣት ኢትዮጵያዉያን አገራቸዉን እየጣሉ የሚሰደዱት? ለምንድነዉ በቀን ሦስቴ ትበላላችሁ ተብለን አንዱም ያረረብን? ለምንድነዉ በምግብ እህል እራሳችንን ችለናል ተብሎ ተነግሮን መንፈቅ ሳይሞላ ረሃብ የሚጨፈጭፈን? ለምንድነዉ? . . . ለምንድነዉ? . . . ለምንድነዉ?

በቅርቡ CNN እና ኒዮርክ ታይምስን ጨምሮ አያሌ ታዋቂ የአለማችን መገናኛ አዉታሮች ኢትዮጵያ ዉስጥ እየመጣ ያለዉን አስፈሪ የድርቅ አደጋ መዘገብ ሲጀምሩ ጠ/ሚ ኃ/ማርያም ደሳለኝ ድርቅ ኢትዮጵያን ብቻ ሳይሆን አዉስትራሊያንና አሜሪካንን ጭምር እንዳስቸገረ ገልጸዉ ነበር። ይባስ ብለዉም “ኤልኒኖ” የተባለዉን የተፈጥሮ ክስተት ኢትዮጵያ ዉስጥ ለተከሰተዉ ድርቅ ተጠያቂ አድርገዋል። የሚገርመዉ ጠ/ሚ ኃ/ማሪያም ደሳለኝና መንግስታቸዉ ዛሬ ምግብ ካልሰጣችሁን በረሃብ ልናልቅ ነዉ እያሉ የሚወተዉቱት እንደ ኢትዮጵያ እነሱንም ድርቅ መቷቸዋል ያሉትን አሜሪካንና አዉስትራሊያን ነዉ። በነገራችን ላይ ጠ/ሚ ኃ/ማርያም ደሳለኝ ትክክል ናቸዉ – ድርቅ ኢትዮጵያ ዉስጥ እንደገባ ሁሉ አሜሪካና አዉስትራሊያ ዉስጥም ገብቷል፤ ኤልኒኖም ኢትዮጵያ ዉስጥ በተከሰተዉ የአየር ጸባይ መዛባት ላይ ተፅዕኖ ነበረዉ። ሆኖም እሳቸዉ ስራ ስለሚበዛባቸዉ ረስተዉ ሳይጠቅሱት ቀረ እንጂ ድርቅ ጎረቤት አገር ኬንያ፤ ሱዳንና ኤርትራ ዉስጥም ገብቷል። ጠ/ሚኒስትሩ የኮነኑት ኤልኒኖም ቢሆን ኤርትራንና ኬንያን ዘልሎ ኢትዮጵያ ዉስጥ ብቻ አልመጣም። ድርቅ ማለት ደግሞ ሌላ ትርጉም ካልተሰጠዉ በቀር የዝናብ እጥረት ማለት ነዉ። ዝናብ በተከታታይ ካልዘነበ ዬትም አገር ዉስጥ ድርቅ ይከሰታል። ነገር ግን ድርቅ ሁሉም አገር ዉስጥ ወደ ረሃብ አይለወጥም። ድርቅን አስመልክቶ በአገሮች መካከል ያለዉ ትልቁ ልዩነትም እዚህ ላይ ነዉ። አንዳንድ አገሮች ድርቅን በሩቁ ያዩና ዝግጅት አድርገዉ ረሃብን ይከላከላሉ፤ እንደ ኢትዮጵያ አይነቶቹ በልመና የተካኑ አገሮች ደግሞ ድርቁ ወደ ረሃብ እስኪለወጥ እጃቸዉን አጣጥፈዉ ይጠብቁና ህዝቡ ሲራብ አለም አቀፉን ህብረተሰብ “ስለ ማሪያም” ማለት ይጀምራሉ።

በቅርቡ ፕሮፌሰር መስፍን በግልጽ እንደተናገሩት አገራችን ኢትዮጵያ ክብሯንና ኩራቷን ለምዕራባዉያን አሳልፋ የሸጠች አገር ሆናለች። ምዕራባዉያንም በተለይ አሜሪካና ታላቋ ቢሪታኒያ ለዚህ በርካሽ ዋጋ ለገዙት ክብርና ልዕልና ሲሉ ኢትዮጵያን እንደ በኩር ልጃቸዉ በአንቀልባ ታቅፈዉ እሹሩሩ ሲሉ ከርመዋል፤ አሁንም እያሏት ነዉ። የአሜሪካዉ ባራክ ኦባማና የእንግሊዙ ዴቭድ ካምርን ባገኙት አጋጣሚ ሁሉ ኢትዮጵያን ሲጠቅሱ ተአምረኛዉ ኤኮኖሚ፤ በድርብ አኃዝ የሚያድገዉ ኤኮኖሚ ወይም የአፍሪካ ፈጣኑ ኤኮኖሚ እያሉ ነዉ። የህወሃት አገዛዝም ጧትና ማታ ስራዬ ብሎ የሚደክመዉ “ተዳጊዉ ኤኮኖሚ” ለመባል ነዉ እንጂ የ96 ሚሊዮን ኢትዮጵያዉያንን ህይወት ለመለወጥ አይደለም። ለዚህም ነዉ 15 አመት ሙሉ ፈጣን ዕድገት፤ ህዳሴ፤ ትራንስፎርሜሺን እየተባለ በተዘፈነባት አገር ዉስጥ ከ30 ሚሊዮን በላይ ዜጎች (ከጠቅላላዉ ህዝብ 1/3ኛዉ) በቀን የተመድ የድህነት መመዘኛ ከሆነዉ ከ$1.25 በታች እያገኘ በድህነት የሚማቅቀዉ።ግሎባል ፖስት የተባለ የዜና ማዕከል በቅርቡ ኢትዮጵያ በ30 አመት ዉስጥ ታይቶ የማይታወቅ የረሃብ አደጋ ዉስጥ ወድቃለች ካለ በኋላ ለመሆኑ ይንንን አደጋ የኢትዮጵያ መንግስት መቋቋም ይችላል ወይ ሲል ጠይቋል። ይህንን ጥያቄ ለመመለስ የኢትዮጵያ መንግስት ቅድሚያ የሚሰጠዉ ለምንድነዉ የሚለዉን ጥያቄ መመለሱ የሚበቃ ይመስለኛል። የህወሃት አገዛዝ አይን ላወጣ ዘረፋና ለሜዲያ ፍጆታ በሚያመቹ ፕሮጅክቶች ላይ ካማተኮሩ በፊት ቅድሚያ የሚሰጠዉ የኢትዮጵያን ህዝብ ክብር ለመጠበቅ፤ የኢትዮጵያን ህዘብ ልመና ይዞት ከሚመጣዉ ዉርደትና የሂሊና ዝቅጠት ለማዉጣትና ረሃብን ከአገራችን ምድር ለማጥፋት ቢሆን ኖሮ ረሃብ ከኢትዮጵያ የሚጠፋዉ ዛሬ ሳይሆን ህወሃት የኢትዮጵያን በትረ ስልጣን በተቆጣጠረባቸዉ በመጀመሪያዎቹ አምስት አመታት ዉስጥ ይሆን ነበር።

The Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FEWS Net) የተባለ ድርጅት ኢትዮጵያ ዉስጥ የምግብ እህል ምርት ከሚጠበቀዉ በታች መሆኑን ወይም ይመረታል ተብሎ የሚጠበቀዉ ምርት አገሪቱ ከሚያስፈልጋት የምርት መጠን እጅግ በጣም ያነሰ መሆኑን በግዜ አስጠንቅቆ ነበር። ለመሆኑ ለዚህ ማስጠንቀቂያ የኢትዮጵያ መንግስት የሰጠዉ ምላሽ ምን ነበር? እርግጠኛ ነኝ FEWS Net ለኢትዮጵያ ብቻ ሳይሆን በአካባቢዉ ድርቅ ለሚያዘወትርባቸዉ አገሮች መንግስታትም የድርቅ አደጋን አስመልክቶ ማስጠንቀቂያ ይሰጣል። ሌሎች መንግስታት ለዚህ ማስጠንቀቂያ የሰጡት ምላሽ ምን ይሆን? የኢትዮጵያ መንግስትስ በራሱም ቢሆን እንዲህ አይነቱን በዝናብ እጥረትና በአየር ሁኔታ መለዋወጥ የተነሳ ሊከሰት የሚችለዉን የምግብ እጥረት ከግምት ዉስጥ ያስገባ ጥናት በየአመቱ ማካሄድ አይገባዉም ነበር?

በ1977 ዓም በአገራችን ታሪክ ታይቶ የማይታወቅ ረሃብ ትግራይ፤ ወሎና ሰሜን ሸዋ ዉስጥ የሰዉን ልጅ እንደ ቅጠል ሲያረግፍ የዚህ ጸሁፍ ፀሀፊ የሰሜን ኢትዮጵያ ፕላን ቀጣና ጽ/ቤትን ወክሎ ትግራይ ዉስጥ ይሰራ ነበር። በወቅቱ የትግራይ ጎረቤት ክፍለሀገር በነበረችዉ ኤርትራ ዉስጥ ድርቅ ቢኖርም ረሃብ የሚባል ነገር አልነበረም። ዛሬ ኢትዮጵያና ኤርትራ ሁለት የተለያዩ አገሮች ከሆኑ ሩብ ምዕተ አመት ሊሆን በወራት የሚቆጠር ግዜ ነዉ የሚቀረዉ። አንድ ነገር ግን ዛሬም አልተለወጠም። ኢትዮጵያና ኤርትራ ዉስጥ ዛሬም ድርቅ አለ፤ ኢትዮጵያ ዉስጥ ድርቁ ዛሬም ወደ ረሃብ ተለዉጦ የሚሊዮኖችን ህይወት አደጋ ላይ ጥሏል። ኤርትራ ዉስጥ ግን ድርቅ ቢኖርም ድርቁ ወደ ረሃብ አልተለወጠም፤ ወይም የኤርትራ መንግስት እንደ ኢትዮጵያ መንግሰት ለአለም አቀፉ ህብረተሰብ የምግብ ያለህ የሚል የልመና ጥሪ አላቀረበም። ለምን?

ኤርትራ የምዕራቡ አለም በተለይ የአሜሪካ መንግስት የማይገባ ማዕቀብ ጥሎባት ከዉጭ አገር ቤሳ ቤስቲን የማታገኝ አገር ናት። ኢትዮጳያ ግን በጥቁር አለም ዉስጥ ከፍተኛዉን የዉጭ ዕርዳታ የምታገኛ አገር ናት። የኤርትራ ኤኮኖሚ የራሱ በሆነ መንገድ እያደገ ቢሆንም በአሜሪካ የሚመራዉ የምዕራቡ አለም ይህንን ዕድገት መመስከር አይፈልግም። የኤርትራ መንግስትም ቢሆን እንደ ወያኔ በነጋ በጠባ አደግን እያለ ጥሩምባ አይነፋም። ኤርትራ አንድም አመቱን ሙሉ የሚፈስ ወንዝ የሌለባት አገር ናት፤ ኢትዮጵያ የአፍሪካ የወንዞች ማማ ተብላ የምትጠራ አገር ናት። ኤርትራ ዉስጥ አንድም ሐይቅ የለም፤ ኢትዮጵያ ዉስጥ ግን የሀይቁን ብዛት መቁጠር ያዳግታል። ኢትዮጵያ ያላት የእርሻ መሬት ስፋቱ ከጠቅላላዉ ኤርትራ የቆዳ ስፋት እጅግ በጣም ይበልጣል። የቀድሞዉ የወያኔዉ ጠ/ሚኒስቴር በቀን ሦስቴ እንበላለን ብሎ ትንቢት ነግሮን ነበር፤ ይህ ትንቢት ሳይፈጸም ነበር እሱን የተካዉ ሰዉ ከዛሬ ወዲህ በምግብ እህል እራሳችንን ችለናል ብሎ ለአለም ህዝብ ያወጀዉ። የኤርትራ መንግስት በእንደነዚህ አይነት ተራ የሜዲያ ፍጆታዎች ግዜዉን ሲያጠፋ አናይም። ለአገሩ ህዝብ የሚያስፈልገዉን የምግብ ፍጆታ አሟልቶ አገሩን ከረሃብ አደጋ ሲከላከል የምናየዉ ግን የኤርትራ መንግስት ነዉ። እነዚህን በሁለቱ አገሮች መካካል የሚታዩትን ልዩነቶች ያነበበ ሰዉ ሁሉ አንድ ሊገነዘበዉ የሚገባ ትልቅ ሀቅ አለ። እሱም ኢትዮጵያ ዉስጥ በመንግስት ብልሹ የኤኮኖሚና የፖለቲካ ፖሊሲ የተነሳ ድርቁ ወደ ረሃብ ተለዉጦ በብዙ ሚሊዮን የሚቆጠሩ ዜጎችን ህይወት አደጋ ላይ ጥሏል። የኤርትራ መንግስት ግን የድርቁን መምጣት አስቀድሞ ስለተገነዘበ እርምጃ በመዉሰዱ ኤርትራ ዉስጥ የገባዉ ድርቅ ወደ ረሃብ አልተለወጠም። በመሆኑም ዛሬ ኤርትራ ዉስጥ ረሃብ የለም። ኤርትራ ዉስጥ ድርቁ ወደ ረሃብ አለመለወጡ የሚያሳየን ኤርትራዉያን ልዩ ፍጡሮቸ መሆናቸዉን ሳይሆን የሁለቱ አገር መንግስታት ቅድሚያ የሚሰጡት ለምን እንደሆነና በሁለቱ መንግስታት መካክል ያለዉን ከፍተኛ የፖሊሲ ልዩነት ነዉ። ወያኔ የሚያጮኸዉ የድርብ አኃዝ ዕድገትና የህዳሴ ጩኸት ከቅርብም ከሩቅም ይሰማል። በኤርትራና በኢትዮጵያ መንግስታት መካከል በምግብ ራስን መቻልን አስመልክቶ የሚታየዉ ከፍተኛ የፖሊሲ ልዩነት ግን በቀላሉ አይታይም። ኤርትራ ላይ የተጣለዉ ማዕቀብ እንዳይነሳ የሚፈልጉት አሜሪካኖችማ በተለይ እነ ሱዛን ራይስን የመሳሰሉ የአዕምሮ አይነስዉራን ይህንን ልዩነት ቢታይም ማየት አይፈልጉም።

ድርቅ ድንበር አይልም፤የፖለቲካ ስርዐት አይልም፤ ደሃና ሀብታም አይለይም- አገር ከአገር ህዝብ ከህዝብ አይለይም። ድርቅ በዬትም አገር ዉስጥ በማንኛዉም ግዜ ሊከሰት የሚችል የተፈጥሮ ክስተት ነዉ። የሰዉ ልጅ ድርቅ ይዟቸዉ ሊመጣ የሚችለዉን አደጋዎች ነዉ መቆጣጠር የሚችለዉ እንጂ ድርቅን እራሱን መቆጣጠር አይችልም። ዝናብ በተከታታይ ከጠፋ ድርቅ መምጣቱ አይቀሬ ነዉ። በ2007 ዓም ኢትዮጵያ ዉስጥ የገባዉ ድርቅ ኤርትራ ዉስጥም ገብቷል። ሁለቱ አገሮች የዝናቡ እጥረት ወደ ድርቅ ከመለወጡ በፊትና በኋላ የወሰዷቸዉ እርምጃዎች ግን የሰማይና የምድርን ያክል የተራራቁ ናቸዉ። እነዚህ ሁለቱ አገሮች የወሰዷቸዉ የተለያዩ እርምጃዎች ናቸዉ ዛሬ ኢትዮጵያን የምግብ ለማኝ ኤርትራን ደግሞ በራሷ የምትተማመን አገር ያደረገዉ።

የኢትዮጵያ መንግስት ድርቅ እየመጣብህ ነዉ ተብሎ ማስጠንቀቂያ እየተሰጠዉ ትኩረት የሰጠዉ እየመጣ ላለዉ ረሃብ ሳይሆን ለ“እዩኝ እዩኝ” ፕሮጅክቶች ነዉ። ፕሮጀክቶች አያስፈልጉንም ማለቴ አይደለም። ያስፈልጉናል፤ ነገር ግን የኢትዮጵያ ህዝብ በረሃብ እያለቀ ደርግ አዳራሽ ይሰራል ብሎ የወነጀለ አካል የሱም ትኩረት በመጀመሪያ የህዝብን የምግብ ፍላጎት መሟላት እንጂ ህዘብ በረሃብ እያለቀ ሌላ ሌላ ፕሮጀክት ላይ ማተኮር አልነበረበትም። የኤርትራ መንግስት የ2007 ዓም ዝናብ መጠን የእህል አምራች በሆኑ የአገሪቱ አካባቢዎች አስተማማኝ አለመሆኑን ሲረዳ ገና ከጧቱ ነበር ከተለያዩ ምንጮች የምግብ እህል በግዢ በማሰባሰብ የአገሪቱን የምግብ ፍላጎት ማሟላት የጀመረዉ። ዛሬ የኤርትራ ህዝብ ስሙ በረሃብ የማይነሳዉ ኤርትራ ዉስጥ ድርቅ ስላልገባ አይደለም። የኤርትራ መሪዎች ድርቁ ወደ ረሃብ ከመለወጡ በፊት ቀድመዉ የወሰዱት እርምጃ አገራቸዉን ከረሃብ አደጋ ስላዳነዉ ነዉ። የኛ መንግስታት ግን ንጉሱም ሆኑ፤ ደርግ ወይም ወያኔ ድርቅ ወደ ረሃብ ተለዉጦ ህዝብን ሲጨርስ ምግብ መለመን ነዉ እንጂ ዛሬ ትንሿ አገር ኤርትራ እንዳደረገችዉ የድርቅን መምጣት አይተዉ ረሃብን ተከላክለዉ አያዉቁም። ለዚህ ነዉ መሰለኝ ኢትዮጵያ ዉስጥ በድርቅና በረሃብ መካከል ልዩነት ያለም አይመስልም።

እዉነትን ማሞጋገስና በዉሸት አለቆች ሰትደፈጠጥ ደጋግፎ ማቆም እስትንፋሴ እስካለች ድረስ በፍጹም የማልተወዉ ቋሚ ስራዬ ቢሆንም የዚህ ጽሁፍ አላማ ግን የኤርትራን መንግስት ማሞጋገስ አይደለም። እሱ የኤርትራዉያን ስራ ነዉ። የዚህ ጽሁፍ ብቸኛ አላማ ኢትዮጵያ ዉስጥ ዛሬ የ20 ሚሊዮን ዜጎችን ህይወት አደጋ ላይ የጣለዉ ረሃብ መንስኤዉ የዝናብ እጥረት ሳይሆን የኢትዮጵያን ህዝብ ፍላጎት ቅደም ተከተሎች ያላስተዋለ ብልሹ የመንግስት ፖሊሲ ዉጤት መሆኑን ለማሳየት ነዉ። ይህና ይህ ብቻ ነዉ የዚህ ጽሁፍ አላማ። ቸር ይግጠመን።

ኤፍሬም ነኝ ከአርበኞች መንደር
ebini23@yahoo.com

posted by daniel tesfaye

Ethiopia: Can TPLF Survive Its Own War on Terror?

Nov 4,2015

by Christina Goldbaum | OZY

Can Ethiopia Survive Its Own War on Terror?

On April 2, as I waited in a doctor’s office near Nairobi, the anchor of Kenya’s morning news broadcast began reporting what would prove to be a horrific attack on Garissa University by the Somali terrorist group al-Shabab. As the early news trickled in, some people around me looked at the television screen, and others just checked their phones. Most, however, just stared impatiently at the doctor’s door.

In Kenya, another terror attack wasn’t shocking news. Indeed, the number of attacks in Kenya has more than doubled since 2013, and the assault on Garissa, which killed 148, was just the latest in a growing list of al-Shabab outside Somalia. In 2010, a suicide bombing in Uganda killed 74 people; last year, militants carried out the first suicide bombing in Djibouti’s history; and in April, Tanzanian authorities arrested 10 people carrying explosives, bomb detonators and an al-Shabab flag. Meanwhile, in Ethiopia, a country with a longer history of military involvement in Somalia and a much longer border with the country than Kenya, the number of al-Shabab attacks in recent years is … well, zero. The last attempted attack in the country happened two years ago and ended when two would-be suicide bombers blew themselves up in their safe house in the capital of Addis Ababa.

My big concern with Ethiopia is the way they are behaving … is actually going to push people into the arms of extremists.

Bronwyn Bruton, deputy director, Atlantic Council’s Africa Center

Ethiopia’s success at evading attacks might not seem so remarkable, except that even the most developed countries, including the United States, have generally floundered in their counterterrorism efforts. Yet the blueprint Ethiopia is following to thwart al-Shabab attacks — and ultimately to help stall the Islamic State’s inroads into Africa — has its own set of civil rights issues. Indeed, the country sparked its own form of an ends-justify-the-means debate, with critics saying it relies on security and intelligence gathering that is too heavy-handed.

In its defense, the country of 94 million has been focused on the jihadi threat much longer than the rest of the region. Antagonism began in the 1990s, when al-Shabab’s precursor, al-Ittihad al-Islami, or AIAI, launched a number of border region attacks. In 2006, Ethiopia invaded Somalia to oust Islamists who had seized control of large swaths of the country; rights groups accused Ethiopian forces of killing civilians and other atrocities. Ethiopia withdrew its troops in 2009, but last year it joined AMISOM, the African Union’s peacekeeping force in Somalia.

In the years since, Ethiopia has set up a buffer zone along its 1,010-mile border with Somalia. On the Somali side, it has trained local militias; on the Ethiopian side, it has created a militarized zone off-limits to American military or humanitarian aid. Meanwhile, the country’s grassroots “five-to-one” security program provides a safety net: For every five households, one person is designated to report on new faces and any other changes in the status quo.

And despite having one of the world’s lowest rates of mobile phone and Internet penetration, Ethiopia has some of the world’s most high-tech surveillance capabilities. The government has a monopoly on the telecommunications sector, and in 2012 it invested roughly $1 million in hacking software, allowing it to record Skype calls, listen in on phone conversations, and access emails, files and passwords.

Were it monitoring only legitimate terrorist threats, its intelligence system could be a model. But like the U.S., Kenya and so many others, Ethiopia hasn’t escaped the great irony of counterterrorism: undermining human rights as it tries to protect them. According to recent Human Rights Watch reports, the government has monitored journalists, opposition party members and anyone else perceived to be a threat to its grip on power. Recordings of phone calls have been used during abusive interrogations of people whom, under Ethiopia’s vaguely worded 2009 anti-terrorism law, the government labels terrorists, a 2014 HRW report says. “Ethiopia is a police state,” says Bronwyn Bruton, deputy director of the Atlantic Council’s Africa Center, terming it “almost North Korea–esque.”

So far, Ethiopia’s authoritarian regime has been given a relatively free pass by the international community. The U.S., which is Ethiopia’s largest provider of foreign aid, considers it a strategic partner in counterterrorism efforts. In July, President Barack Obama visited Addis Ababa to address the African Union. Some worry the West’s acquiescence sets a dangerous precedent. “The rest of the sub-Saharan countries see this and see that they can pass this kind of legislation,” says Felix Horne, a researcher at Human Rights Watch. The government seems unfazed by criticism. Din Mufti Sid, ambassador to Kenya, laughed off the label “police state.” “If protecting [your people] gives you a bad name,” he tells OZY, “who the hell cares?”

Critics suggest the country’s repressive measures could breed homegrown terrorism. “My big concern with Ethiopia is the way they are behaving … is actually going to push people into the arms of extremists,” Bruton says. For the past several years, thousands of Muslims have marched in protests over government treatment of the Islamic community. Many protests have been violently disrupted.

But with al-Shabab calling for fresh attacks inside the country, even its strict security may not be enough going forward. “If there’s one thing we’ve learned about al-Shabab it’s that it’s highly adaptive and creative,” says Matt Bryden, chairman of Sahan Research, a Nairobi-based think tank. “The measures Ethiopia has in place today may well not be sufficient tomorrow.”

posted by daniel tesfaye

Post Navigation