Archive for the month “July, 2017”

Smith Resolution on Ethiopian Human Rights Advances From Committee

Rep. Chris Smith (R-N.J.)

Today, the full House Foreign Affairs Committee voted to advance a resolution, authored by Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ), highlighting the human rights violations of the Ethiopian government, and offering a blueprint to create a government better designed to serve the interests of the Ethiopian people.

The resolution, which passed without objection, also calls on the U.S. government to implement Magnitsky Act sanctions, targeting the individuals within the Ethiopian government who are the cause of the horrific abuses.

The State Department’s current human rights report on Ethiopia notes, “[t]he most significant human rights problems were security forces’ use of excessive force and arbitrary arrest in response to the protests, politically motivated prosecutions, and continued restrictions on activities of civil society and NGOs.”

H. Res. 128, is like a mirror held up to the Government of Ethiopia on how others see them, and it is intended to encourage them to move on the reforms they agree they need to enact,” said Smith, Chair of the House panel on Africa. “For the past 12 years, my staff and I have visited Ethiopia, spoken with Ethiopian officials, talked to a wide variety of members of the Ethiopia Diaspora and discussed the situation in Ethiopia with advocates and victims of government human rights violations.  Our efforts are not a response merely to government critics, but rather a realistic assessment of the urgent need to end very damaging and in some cases inexcusable actions by the government or those who act as their agents.”

H. Res. 128, entitled “Supporting respect for human rights and encouraging inclusive governance in Ethiopia,” condemns the human rights abuses of Ethiopia and calls on the Ethiopian government to:

  • lift the state of emergency;
  • end the use of excessive force by security forces;
  • investigate the killings and excessive use of force that took place as a result of protests in the Oromia and Amhara regions;
  • release dissidents, activists, and journalists who have been imprisoned for exercising constitutional rights;
  • respect the right to peaceful assembly and guarantee freedom of the press;
  • engage in open consultations with citizens regarding its development strategy;
  • allow a United Nations rapporteur to conduct an independent examination of the state of human rights in Ethiopia;
  • address the grievances brought forward by representatives of registered opposition parties;
  • hold accountable those responsible for killing, torturing and detaining innocent civilians who exercised their constitutional rights; and
  • investigate and report on the circumstances surrounding the September 3, 2016, shootings and fire at Qilinto Prison, the deaths of persons in attendance at the annual Irreecha festivities at Lake Hora near Bishoftu on October 2, 2016, and the ongoing killings of civilians over several years in the Somali Regional State by police.

It is important to note that this resolution does not call for sanctions on the Government of Ethiopia, but it does call for the use of existing mechanisms to sanction individuals who torture or otherwise deny their countrymen their human and civil rights,” said Smith.

Smith has chaired three hearings on Ethiopia, the most recent of which looked into the deterioration of the human rights situation in Ethiopia and was titled “Ethiopia After Meles: The Future of Democracy and Human Rights.”


Trump’s Africa policy should end US aid to dictators, rights abusers

Trump's Africa policy

(The Hill) — Earlier this month, President Donald Trump was criticized for letting his “unelected” daughter Ivanka sit in for him during the high-level “Partnership with Africa, Migration and Health” session at the G-20. Ms. Trump was criticized for not making “any major contributions” to the session “during her father’s absence.”

Trump has been accused of ignoring and neglecting Africa. He has been criticized for “having Africa last in his first budget;” and the prophets of doom and gloom predict his “slash-and-burn cuts to the State Department and USAID would deepen the worst humanitarian crises since World War II.” Some have even suggested that aid cutbacks by the Trump administration could drive Africa’s unemployed youth into the hands of terrorists.

Trump has expressed “overall skepticism about the value of foreign aid, and even about American security interests, on the world’s second-largest continent.” And there is in fact substantial evidence that aid “from the rich countries has trapped many African nations in a cycle of corruption, slower economic growth and poverty.”

Additional “evidence” of Trump’s neglect and indifference towards Africa include his “ignorance” of the continent, his selective communication with only a couple of African leaders, his demands for accountability in U.S. Africa policy, the aborted appointment of  Rudolph Atallah “best known for his work on East Africa and counterterrorism issues” as National Security Council Africa director, his nonchalance in filling vacancies for assistant secretary and principal deputy assistant secretary for African affairs at the State Department and his general failure to promote human rights in Africa and elsewhere.

The inference to be drawn from all of the criticism is that the Trump administration simply fails “to realize the importance of Africa to U.S. national security interests, and America’s indispensable role in continuing to shape the democratic evolution of the continent,” and is callously turning its back on “more than 20 million people facing  starvation and famine” in Africa. The solution, apparently, is for Trump to appoint“moderate and experienced Africa experts” and old hands who perambulate through the revolving door of government, think tanks and consultancies.

Ultimately, the criticisms of Trump on his (lack of) Africa policy are dubious, deceptive and self-serving.

It is ironic that those who are criticizing Trump on Africa today seemed to have taken a vow of silence when Barack Obama befriended and wined and dined the most ruthless African dictators and overlooked their deplorable human rights and corruption records in the name of counter-terrorism cooperation. Few Trump critics today spoke out when Obama shamelessly called the regime in Ethiopia, which claimed to have won 100 percent of the seats in parliament in 2015,  “democratically elected.” That regime today rules by a draconian state of emergency decree.


Trump has made his foreign policy position crystal clear. It is “America First.” In April he declared,  “It’s time to shake the rust off America’s foreign policy” and “invite new voices and new visions into the fold.” He said he will follow a “foreign policy (that) will always put the interests of the American people and American security above all else.”

In his official “remarks” to State Department employees in May, Secretary Tillerson said, “our overarching strategic approach” will be to determine our allies and partners on a country-by-country and region-by-region basis. He also declared that U.S. foreign policy will be propelled by “our fundamental values: our values around freedom, human dignity, and the way people are treated.”

In Africa, removing the “rust” from U.S. policy means disentanglement from partnership with African dictators because continuing with business as usual with them will not enhance American security; it only creates an untenable moral hazard.

The concept of “moral hazard” signifies a situation in which a government is insulated and immunized from the consequences of its negligent, reckless and incompetent behavior. African regimes heavily dependent on the safety net of American development and humanitarian aid, sustained infusion of multilateral loans will behave differently if they were left to their own devices to deal with the consequences of their mismanagement of their economies, tolerance of crippling corruption, chronic budget and food deficits, mushrooming poverty and unemployment and bad governance and face the wrath and fury of their citizens.


The moral hazard in U.S. policy in Africa comes also from the rewards of increasing amounts of aid and loans to buffer African dictatorships from a tsunami of democratic popular uprisings.

Many African regimes today avoid the demands of good governance, ignore the rule of law and commit gross violations of human rights in the belief that American taxpayer handouts will be there to bail them out. Since the 1960s, American taxpayers have provided over one trilliondollars which have served to sustain failed or failing African regimes.

There is substantial evidence showing that most African leaders are only interested in clinging to power cushioned by the financial support of American and other Western taxpayers. They are not interested in engaging America on what matters most to Americans — democracy, freedom, human rights, the rule of law, accountability, transparency and the like. More democracy and greater respect for human rights necessarily means less famine and starvation and accelerated  development because a government that is not able, willing and ready to feed its people or effectively address poverty will be swept out of office by a hungry and angry electorate.


Trump needs to take a fresh start by first taking out the moral hazard in U.S. policy in Africa and by “inviting new voices and visions” on how to wean Africa from aid addiction.

Trump should adopt a policy that facilitates partnership with the African people, not their dictators in the name of counter-terrorism.

Ultimately, American handouts and loans will not save Africa. Only Africans can save themselves.

The best way Trump can help Africa is by ending the insidious culture of competitive panhandling on the continent and ensuring that American national security and tax dollars are not entangled with the toils of African dictatorships.

Alemayehu (Al) Mariam is a professor of political science at California State University, San Bernardino, a constitutional lawyer and senior editor of the International Journal of Ethiopian Studies.

ዘረኝነትን ሲያቆላምጧት “ብሔርተኝነት” አሏት

አንዳንድ ሰዎች በአክራሪ ብሔርተኝነትና በዘረኝነት መካከል፣ እንዲሁም በብሔር ልዩነት እና በዘር ልዩነት ላይ የተመሰረተ ፖለቲካዊ ስርዓት የተለያዩ ናቸው ሲሉ ይገርሙኛል። ነገር ግን፣ የብሔርተኝነትና ዘረኝነት ፅንሰ-ሃሳብ ፍፁም ተመሳሳይ ናቸው። የዓለም ታሪክን ስንመለከትም ብሔርተኝነትና ዘረኝነት በጭራሽ ተለያይተው አያውቁም። በዚህ ፅሁፍ የሁለቱን የብሔርተኝትና ዘርኝነት ፅንሰ-ሃሳብን ከታሪክ ጋር አቀናጅተን በዝርዝር እንመለከታለን።

በቅድሚያ “ዘረኛ” የሚለው ቃል “በዘር ምክንያት ለአንዱ የሚያደላ፣ ሌላውን የሚጎዳ፣ የዘረኝነት አስተሳሰብን፥ አመለካከትን የሚያራምድ” የሚል ፍቺ አለው። “ብሔርተኛ” ደግሞ “ለብሔሩ (ጎሳው) ብቻ የሚስብና የሚያደላ፣ በሌላ ላይ ጥላቻ የሚያሳይ” ማለት ነው። “ዘረኝነት” የዘረኛ አቋምን የያዘ አመለካከት ሲሆን፣ “ብሔርተኛ” ደግሞ የብሔርተኛ አቋምን የያዘ አመለካከት ነው። “ብሔር” የሚለው ቃል “አንድ ዓይነት ቋንቋ፣ ባህልና ስነልቦናዊ አመካከት ያለው፣ በታሪክ፣ በኢኮኖሚ፥…የተሳሰረና በተወሰነ ክልል ውስጥ የሚኖር ሕዝብ” የሚል ፍቺ አለው። “ብሔረሰብ” የሚለው ቃል ደግሞ “ከደም አንድነት ይልቅ በክልል፥ በቋንቋና በባህል አንድነት ላይ የተመሰረተ፣ የተለያዩ ነገዶች የተዋሃዱበት ማህብረሰብ” ማለት ነው።

በመሰረቱ፣ ዘረኝነት እና ብሔርተኝነት በአድልዎ ላይ የተመሰረቱ አመለካከቶች ናቸው። ሁለቱም ውስጥ ለራስ ዘር/ብሔር ማድላት፥ መደገፍና ክፍ ክፍ ማድረግ፣ የሌላን ዘር/ብሔር ደግሞ ማግለል፥ መለየትና መጥላት አለ። በዘረኝነትና ብሔርተኝነት ውስጥ ራስን መውደድ ብቻ ሳይሆን ሌሎችን መጥላት፣ ለራስ ማዳላትና መጥቀም ብቻ ሳይሆን ሌሎችን ማግለልና መጉዳት አለ። ስለዚህ ሁለቱም በተመሳሳይ የተሳሳተ አመለካከት ላይ የተመሰረቱ ናቸው።

ከዚህ በተጨማሪ፣ በዘረኝነት ላይ የተመሰረቱ ፖለቲካዊ ስርዓቶችን ታሪካዊ አመጣጥ ስንመለከት ደግሞ ዘረኝነትና ብሔርተኝነት የአንድ ሣንቲም ሁለት ገፅታዎች መሆናቸውን እንገነዘባለን። ምክንያቱም፣ በዘረኝነት ላይ የተመሰረቱ ፖለቲካዊ ስርዓቶች በሙሉ መነሻቸው አሳፋሪ ሽንፈት፣ አክራሪ ብሔርተኝነት እና የጎሳ ፖለቲካ ናቸው። “የጎሳ ፖለቲካ” ማለት ደግሞ “በዘር፥ በጎሳ፥ በብሔረሰብ ላይ የተመሰረተ ፖለቲካዊ እንቅስቃሴ ነው።

በዘረኝነት ታሪካዊ አመጣጥ ዙሪያ ጥልቅ ትንታኔ በመስጠት የሚታወቀው “George M Fredrickson”፣ እስከ መካከለኛው ዘመን ድረስ በአውሮፓ “ዘረኝነት” (Racism) የሚባል ነገር ታይቶ እንደማይታወቅ ይገልፃል። እንደ እሱ አገላለፅ፣ የዘረኝነት ምልክት ለመጀመሪያ ግዜ የታየው በ13ኛውና 14ኛው ክ/ዘመን በስፔን ሲሆን እሱም አይሁዶችን ከሰይጣንና ባዕድ አምልኮ ጋር በማያያዝ ነበር የተከሰተው። ነገር ግን፣ በ16ኛው ክ/ዘመን የስፔን መንግስት ይህን የተሳሳተ አመለካከት በይፋ በማገዱ ተወግዷል። ከዚያ በኋላ፣ ዘረኝነት ማቆጥቆጥ የጀመረው በ17ኛው ክ/ዘመን ሁለተኛ አጋማሽ በአሜሪካ ነው። ለዚህ ደግሞ እ.አ.አ. በ1667 በደቡባዊ አሜሪካ ቨርጅኒያ ግዛት የጥቁር አሜሪካዊያንን ጉልበት ለመበዝበዝ የወጣው ሕግ ተጠቃሽ ነው። ይሁን እንጂ፣ ዘረኝነት ተንሰራፍቶ ከፍተኛ ደረጃ ላይ የደረሰው በ19ኛው ክ/ዘመን ማብቂያ ላይ ነው።

“George M Fredrickson” የ19ኛው ክ/ዘመን በአሜሪካና አውሮፓ የነፃ-መውጣት፣ የብሔርተኝነት እና የኢምፔሪያሊዝም (Emancipation, Nationalism and Imperialism) ዘመን እንደነበር ይገልፃል። በተለይ ከ1870 – 1880 ያሉት ዓመታት በምዕራብ አውሮፓ ሀገራት ለዘረኝነት መነሻ የሆነው የዘውግ ብሔርተኝነት (Ethnic Nationalism) በከፍተኛ ሁኔታ የተስፋፋበት ነበር። በዚህ ወቅት በጀርመን በርሊን የተፈረመው “The scramble of Africa” የተሰኘው አፍሪካን የመቀራመት ስምምነት የምዕራብ ሀገራት የአክራሪ ብሔርተኝነት ውድድርን አጥናክረው የቀጠሉበት እንደነበር፤ “…an assertion of the competitive ethnic nationalism that was existed among European nations” በማለት ግልፆታል።

በመጨረሻም፣ “Fredrickson” ዘረኝነት ጫፍ ደርሶ ጨቋኝ ፖለቲካዊ ስርዓት ለመሆን የበቃው በ20ኛው ክፍለ ዘመን እንደሆነ ይጠቅሳል። በዚህ ወቅት ከተፈጠሩት “በግልፅ ዘረኛ የሆኑ መንግስታት” (Overtly Racist Regimes) የሚባሉት በአሜሪካ፣ በጀርመንና በደቡብ አፍሪካ የነበሩት ናቸው። እነዚህ ዘረኛ መንግስታዊ ስርዓቶች በዘር ላይ የተመሰረቱ ጨቋኝ ሕጎችና መመሪያዎች ከማውጣታቸው በፊት በግልፅ ብሔርተኛ ቡድኖች ነበሩ፡፡ ይህን “Fredrickson” እንዲህ ሲል ገልፆታል፦

“racist principles were not fully codified into laws effectively enforced by the state or made a central concern of public policy until the emergence of what I will call ‘overtly racist regimes’ in the last century.”

ከላይ የተጠቀሱት በዘረኝነት የተመሰከረላቸው ፖለቲካዊ ስርዓቶች ፍጹም ተመሳሳይ የሆነ መሰረት አላቸው። እነሱም፣ አንደኛ፡- አሳፋሪ ሽንፈት (Humiliating defeat)፣ ለሽንፈቱ ሌሎች ብሔሮችን፥ ብሔረሰቦችን ተጠያቂ ማድረግ (Scapegoating) እና የአንድን ብሔር የበላይነትና ተጠቃሚነት ለማረጋገጥ የሌሎችን ብሔሮች መብትና ነፃነት የሚገድቡ ሕጎችን ማውጣትና ተግባራዊ ያደረጉ ናቸው።

እንደ “Fredrickson” አገላለፅ፣ በአሜሪካ የዘረኝነት ስርዓት መዘርጋት የተጀመረው በደቡባዊ የአሜሪካ ግዛቶች ሲሆኑ ዋና መነሻ ምክንያቱ በበደቡባዊ አሜሪካ የሚገኙ ነጮች በአሜሪካ የእርስ-በእርስ ጦርነት ወቅት አሳፋሪ ሽንፈት ስለገጠማቸው እንደሆነ ይጠቅሳል። እነዚህ ነጭ አሜሪካዊያን በጦርነቱ ለደረሰባቸው አሳፋሪ ሽንፈት በጥቁሮች ላይ አሳብበዋል (Scapegoat)። በመጨረሻም፣ በ20ኛው ክ/ዘመን በአሜሪካ የከተሞች መስፋፋት በእርሻ ማሳዎች ላይ የሚውሉ ጥቁሮችን ለመቆጣጠር አመቺ ባለመሆኑና የጥቁሮችን ጉልበት ብዝበዛ ለማስቀጠል በዘረኝነት ላይ የተመሰረተ ሕግና ደንብ በማውጣት ተግባራዊ አደረጉ። በተመሳሳይ፣ ጀርመኖች በአንደኛው የዓለም ጦርነት ለጋጠማቸው አሳፋሪ ሽንፈት አይሁዳዊያንን ተጠያቂ አድርገዋል። ከዚያ በመቀጠል፣ አይሁዶችን በዘር በመለየትና በመነጠል የዘር ማጥፋት ጭፍጨፋ ፈፅመዋል። በመጨረሻም፣ የደቡብ አፍሪካ ነጭ ሰፋሪዎች በእንግሊዝ ጦር ለደረሰባቸው አሳፋሪ ሽንፈት ጥቁር ደቡብ አፍሪካዊያንን ተጠያቂ አድርገዋል። የእንግሊዝ ጦር ከደቡብ አፍሪካ ሲወጣ በዘረኝነት ላይ የተመሰረተ ፖለቲካዊ ስርዓት በመዘርጋት በጥቁሮች ላይ ግፍና በደል ፈፅመዋል።

በዘረኝነት ላይ የተመሰረተ ፖለቲካዊ ስርዓት የሚዘረጋው፣ አንድ ብሔር ወይም ሀገር በታሪክ ካጋጠመው አሳፋሪ ሽንፈትና ፀፀት ራሱን ለማውጣት ሲል በሚያራምደው የጎሳ ፖለቲካ ነው። በዚህ መሰረት፣ አንድ ብሔር፥ ሕዝብ ከዚህ ቀደም ካጋጠመው አሳፋሪ ሽንፈትና ቀውስ ራሱን ለማውጣትና በሌሎች ብሔሮች፥ ብሔረሰቦች ወይም ሕዝቦች ላይ የበላይነቱንና ተጠቃሚነቱን ለማረጋገጥ ጨቋኝ የሆነ ፖለቲካዊ ስርዓት ይዘረጋል። ዘረኝነት እንዲኖር የተለየ ቋንቋ፣ ባህልና ስነልቦናዊ አመካከት ያለው ማህብረሰብ መኖር አለበት።

ብሔርና ብሔርተኝነት በሌለበት ዘረኝነት ሊኖር አይችልም። የዘር ልዩነት ቢኖርም እንኳን በቋንቋ፣ ባህልና ስነልቦናዊ አመለካከት ተመሳሳይ በሆኑ ሕዝቦች መካከል ዘረኝነት ሊኖር አይችልም። ስለዚህ፣ ዘረኝነት እንዲኖር በቅድሚያ የቋንቋ፣ የባህልና የስነልቦናዊ አመለካከት ልዩነት መኖር አለበት። በመሆኑም፣ ዘረኝነት እንዲኖር በቅድሚያ ብሔርና አክራሪ ብሔርተኝነት መኖር አለበት። በዚህ መሰረት፣ ብሔርተኝነት እና ዘረኝነት የአንድ ሳንቲም ሁለት ገፅታዎች ናቸው።

በመጨረሻም፣ አሁን በሀገራችን የተዘረጋው በብሔር ላይ የተመሰረተ ፖለቲካ ስርዓት በዘረኝነት ላይ የተመሰረተ መሆኑንና አለመሆኑን ለማወቅ ከጥንት ጀምሮ በአማራና ትግራይ መካከል የነበረው የዘውግ በሔርተኝነት፣ የአፄ ሚኒሊክ ወደ ስልጣን መምጣት (የትግራይና ሸዋ ዘውዳዊ አገዛዝ)፣ እንዲሁም የሕውሃት የትግል ማኒፌስቶ እና ስለ አማራ ሕዝብ የነበረው አቋምና አመለካከትን በማየት በራሳችሁ መፍረድ ትችላላችሁ። ለዚህ ያግዛችሁ ዘንድ “Fredrickson” የዘረኛ ስርዓት ዋና መለያ ባህሪ ያለውን የመጀመሪያ መስፈርት በመጥቀስ ፅሁፌን እቋጫለሁ፡

ስዩም ተሾመ

ስዩም ተሾመ

በአምቦ ሕዝባዊ ተቃውሞ ፈነዳ | ሁለት የአጋዚና የመንግስት መኪኖች በእሳት ወደሙ | መንገዶች ተዘጋግተዋል

(ዘ-ሐበሻ) በአምቦ ሕዝብ አደባባይ በመውጣት ዛሬ ተቃውሞውን ማቀጣጠሉ ተሰማ:: እንደ ዜና ምንጮች ዘገባ ከሆነ የአምቦ ሕዝብ ከሁለት ቀናት በፊት መንግስትን ባስጠነቀቀው መሰረት ተቃውሞውን በማፈንዳት በሕዝባዊ ወያኔ ሐርነት መንግስት ተሽከርካሪዎች ላይ እርምጃ በመውሰድ በእሳት አንድዷቸዋል::

መንግስት በሕዝብ ላይ አላግባብ በጫነው ግብር የተነሳ የአምቦ ህዝብ ይህን አላግባብ የተጫነበት ግብር እንዲቀነስ አሊያም ተቃውሞውን እንደሚቀጥል በማስጠነቀቀው መሰረት ተቃውሞው ፈንድቶ ከተማዋ ስትናጥ ውላለች::

ከወለጋ ወደ አምቦ ከአዲስ አበባ ወደ አምቦ የሚወስዱ መንገዶች በመዘጋጋታቸው የተነሳ የጭነት መኪኖች በየመንገዱ ለማደር መገደዳቸውንም የዜና ምንጩ ዘግቧል::

እንደ ዜና ምንጩ ዘገባ ከሆነ ይህ ዘገባ እስከተጠናቀረበት ጊዜ ድረስ አምቦ ሰላም የለም; ሆቴሎች ባንኮች እና የንግድ ተቋማት ተዘጋግተዋል:

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