Wednesday, March 30, 2016

The Coming War: Egypt, Ethiopia, and the Nile

Malcolm Dash March 29, 2016
Egypt-Israel War
When Egypt’s then-president Mohamed Morsi said in June 2013 that “all options” including military intervention, were on the table if Ethiopia continued to develop dams on the Nile River, many dismissed it as posturing. But experts claim Cairo is deadly serious about defending its

historic water allotment, and if Ethiopia proceeds with construction of what is set to become Africa’s largest hydroelectric dam, a military strike cannot be discounted.

Egypt fears the new dam, slated to begin operation in 2017, that it will reduce the downstream flow of the Nile, which 85 million Egyptians rely on for almost all of their water needs. Officials in the Ministry of Irrigation claim Egypt will lose 20 to 30 percent of its share of Nile water and nearly a third of the electricity generated by its Aswan High Dam.

“One reason for the high level of anxiety is that nobody really knows how this dam is going to affect Egypt’s water share,” Richard Tutwiler, a specialist in water resource management at the American University in Cairo (AUC), tells Institute of Policy Studies. He added “Egypt is totally dependent on the Nile. Without it, there is no Egypt.”

Ethiopia, on margins of international attention largely for many decades by the international community has suddenly become a focus of interest. The country, source of 80% of the Nile’s waters, and now intends to impose its own vision for the river and a different division of its waters. Egypt, having been the dominant power in the region for 200 years, is still reeling from recent political upheavals, economic weakness and the drastic diminution of its development — all of which reduce it to the status of one Nile state among many, without the capacity for action.

Egypt is entirely dependent on other states for its water, almost all of which comes from the Nile. Its four principal sources rise several hundred kilometers beyond Egypt’s southern border: the Blue Nile, Sobat and Atbara and its tributaries located in Ethiopia, which provide around 80%, and the White Nile in Uganda, which provides the rest.

Egypt’s share of Nile water has until now been regulated by a 1959 agreement with Sudan, under which Egypt gets 55.5bn cubic meters a year and Sudan 18.5bn. (The annual flow averages 84bn cubic meters, 10bn of which evaporate from Lake Nasser, created by the construction of the Aswan Dam, which came into operation in 1964.) This agreement allotted nothing to Ethiopia and other upstream states.

In 2010 Ethiopia secured a treaty reorganizing water-management and construction projects, the New Nile Cooperative Framework Agreement. Burundi, Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda and Tanzania are signatories. Under this treaty, a commission representing all the signatories will approve (or reject) large-scale hydraulic projects, dams, canals and anything else that has an impact on the course, volume or quality of the Nile’s waters.

This alliance between six of the nine members of the Nile Basin Initiative — the forum in which Nile states try to find practical solutions and formulate joint projects (1) — has shaken things up in the region. Egypt refused to sign without an undertaking from the signatories not to alter the current division of the water and to recognize the “historical rights” of downstream nations (Sudan and Egypt). It now finds itself without any right of inspection in the Renaissance Dam project — a source of discord — and, for the first time in its history, without a right of veto, which it had thought innate.

Ethiopia’s renaissance as a regional power is under way, strengthened by assets it has hitherto lacked. We are witnessing the emergence of a strong Ethiopia capable of playing a key geopolitical role in its zones of influence: the Nile basin and East Africa.

Egypt has appealed to international bodies to force Ethiopia to halt construction of the dam until its downstream impact can be determined. And while officials here hope for a diplomatic solution to diffuse the crisis, security sources say Egypt’s military leadership is prepared to use force to protect its stake in the river.

Former president Hosni Mubarak floated plans for an air strike on any dam that Ethiopia built on the Nile, and in 2010 established an airbase in southeastern Sudan as a staging point for just such an operation, according to leaked emails from the global intelligence organization Stratfor posted on WikiLeaks.

A long-simmering water conflict between Ethiopia and Egypt has moved a step closer to resolution, after the countries’ foreign ministers announced that they had reached a preliminary agreement on sharing Nile waters.

The deal, which still needs to be approved by the heads of state of Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan, appears to be an important breakthrough, observers say – although details of the agreement have not yet been made public.

“This is significant in my view,” Mwangi Kimenyi, a Brookings Institute fellow who co-authored a book on the need for a new legal regime on sharing Nile water, he told Al Jazeera. “Any development in the sharing of Nile water that is based on negotiations between the stakeholders is a positive development.”

The prospective deal is important because it marks a move away from Egypt’s historical insistence on maintaining colonial-era agreements on water rights. However without some mechanism for significantly increasing the overall supply of water it is unlikely to resolve the core issue of total demand exceeding available supply—and head off the grave consequences that it will inevitably precipitate.


World Bank Reinvents Tainted Aid Program for Ethiopia

by Elizabeth Fraser (Oakland)Tuesday, March 29, 2016
Inter Press Service
OAKLAND, Mar 29 (IPS) - I was taught that responsibility means admitting your mistakes and being accountable when you make a mistake. I still believe this to be true for individuals and institutions. So when a powerful group like the World Bank makes a mistake, I expect it to be accountable for its wrong-doings, and to do everything possible to make sure those mistakes don't happen again.

The issue I'm referring to is last year's launch of the World Bank's "new" program in Ethiopia, Enhancing Shared Prosperity through Equitable Services (ESPES). On the surface, ESPES looks reasonable. Its main goal is to send money to local-level authorities across the country to make sure all citizens have access to basic services like water, roads, education, healthcare and more. But once you start peeling the layers back, the program stops looking so rosy.

The biggest issue is that ESPES is replacing the almost decade-long, World Bank-funded Promoting Basic Services (PBS) program. PBS started in 2006 with almost identical goals to the ESPES program. The snag is that for years, there were extremely serious allegations that PBS had become entwined with the Ethiopian Government's program, "villagization," which has forcibly relocated indigenous communities and made their land available for large-scale land grabs.

In 2012, members of the Anuak community – an indigenous group that has borne the brunt of these forced relocations and abuses – filed a formal complaint with the World Bank's independent Inspection Panel. In early 2015, the Panel released its final report and it was scathing:the Bank's finances couldn't be properly tracked, important safeguards had not been applied, and there was poor monitoring and oversight.

The Panel shied away from making rulings about whether the Bank should be responsible for the human rights abuses that the Anuak faced – they claimed it was outside of the scope of their investigation, a point worthy of analysis itself – but they did rule that the PBS program had become enmeshed with the villagization program, with far-reaching consequences.

When the Panel report came out, one expected the Bank to admit that mistakes had been made and to take every possible action to both address the situation and ensure that it never happens again. But the Bank did no such thing. Instead, they quietly ended the PBS program early, and a few months later announced a new program – which will run until 2019 with 600 million dollars behind it – called ESPES.

ESPES looks almost identical to PBS, and most shockingly takes very few of the hard recommendations from the Inspection Panel report into consideration. Two aspects of the program are particularly appalling. First, instead of applying important social safeguards to the new program, ESPES uses Ethiopia's own institutions to address possible social and environmental harm. A cornerstone for addressing social harm is increased community engagement and a "Grievance Redress Mechanism" (GRM). This system relies on marginalized communities to self-report when things go wrong. It's ludicrous in any situation to put the onus on the marginalized to report social harm, but it's even more ridiculous in a country like Ethiopia, where the government routinely arrests critics of its government as terrorists. To add fuel to the fire, the Bank's own internal assessment of the GRM admitted that there is a lack of confidence in the GRM with many vulnerable groups feeling uncomfortable using it, demonstrating that they knowingly launched this mechanisms despite its serious weaknesses.

Second, in order to ensure that ESPES doesn't get mixed up with problematic programs of the Ethiopian government in the future, the Bank has proposed on-going high-level dialogues with government officials. The chance that government officials – the masterminds of the villagization program who have pinned their country's development on leasing indigenous land to large-scale investors –will accurately and appropriately have - these kinds of conversations with the Bank is preposterous.

If this isn't enough to get riled up, we turn now to the US. As the biggest donor to the World Bank, the US Treasury gets to vote on World Bank projects like ESPES. Congress has taken a vital stand on the issue of forced relocations in Ethiopia, including language in numerous Appropriations Bills forbidding the Treasury to vote in favor of World Bank programs that could – directly or indirectly – lead to forced evictions in Ethiopia. Yet somehow, despite these rulings, the US Treasury voted in support of ESPES.

How can the US and the World Bank get away with this? It's hard to know whether these institutions are completely dysfunctional or morally bankrupt. Either way, they both appear to be extremely irresponsible, and need to finally wake up or be accountable for their mistakes.


© Inter Press Service (2016) — All Rights Reserved
Original source: Inter Press Service

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Asafa Jalata (Prof.):- Macha-Tulama Association’s Enduring Visions And a National Call For All Oromo in the Diaspora

Asafa Jalata (Prof.):- Macha-Tulama Association’s Enduring Visions And a National Call For All Oromo in the Diaspora

Asafa Jalata
Chair, Board of Directors of the MTA

On behalf of the Board of Directors of the Macha-Tulama Cooperative and Development Association (MTA) USA, I extend warm greetings and heart-felt thanks to all of you for attending this benefit concert to raise funds and to support Oromo victims of Tigrayan state terrorism and other forms of violence. The dispossessed, impoverished, terrorized, and repressed Oromo people only have us, the Oromo Diaspora, who have the right to work, to express, and to organize ourselves freely, to stand with and support them during these times of darkness and horror.

The Oromo people are being criminalized and terrorized for peacefully demonstrating to maintain their rights to their indigenous land, to freely express themselves, and to have freedom of organization in order to determine their political destiny as a nation. Brothers and sisters, in the 21st century, our people are being beaten, tortured, hunted, and massacred by the Tigrayan army, police, militia, and security networks that have been financed by global powers and international institutions.

Currently, the Oromo people are rewriting their glorious history by their suffering and their blood. They are paying heavy sacrifices to liberate themselves and their country from the yoke of Tigrayan colonialism and its domestic and global supporters. Our people have gradually realized the barbarism of Tigrayan colonial state elites, and the actions of their Oromo servants and their global masters. They are continuously crying and sending their revolutionary messages to us to request us to support them by all means. Today you are here accepting and honoring their call, and you deserve the honor, recognition, and respect of the leadership and members of the MTA. Taking this opportunity, I would like to briefly introduce to you or remind you of the enduring visions of the MTA that all Oromo who are concerned about their people and struggle must recognize.

Enduring Visions of the MTA

In this brief overview of enduring visions of the MTA, I will answer the following questions: (1) What were the four grand visions of the MTA? (2) How are our people translating these visions into action in Oromia? (3) Are we positively responding to the cries and messages of our people? (4) What are our historical, national and moral responsibilities in the Diaspora when our people are facing state terrorism and genocide from the Tigrayan-led Ethiopian state? (5) What should we do to strengthen our institutional and organizational muscles to support our Qubee generation in particular and the Oromo people in general? (6) What roles can the MTA USA play in these times of horror and darkness today and in the future?

The prophetic leaders and members of the MTA developed four visions to overcome the barbarism of Ethiopian colonialism and its ignorance, misery, and poverty. The first vision was to organize and unite the Oromo people, which were divided by the Ethiopian colonial state based on the criteria of religion, descent groups, colonial regions, and division of labor. The restoration of Oromo peoplehood and unity was necessary to overcome the inferiority complex and self-hatred that developed as a result of Ethiopian colonialism.

The colonial strategies of divide and conquer had been continuing and working, but in November 2015, Oromo youth of the Qubee generation ignited their first revolutionary flame at Ginchi, near Ambo. It spread like wild fire all over Oromia through social media and other networks that we do not yet know of. This historical event marked the first rebirth of our glorious gadaa tradition and the restoration of our patriotism and bravery to fight against oppression.

The second vision was developing basic Oromummaa (Oromoness) and national Oromummaa (national culture, identity and ideology) based on the Oromo democratic tradition. The efforts to develop Afaan Oromoo and Oromo history and the use of the odaa tree (sycamore) as the symbol of the MTA demonstrates this reality. The leaders and members of this association recognized that without rebuilding basic Oromummaa, and by extension national Oromummaa, the reorganization and reunification of the Oromo people were impossible. While Ethiopian colonialists tried to bury Oromo identity and Oromummaa, the MTA struggled to resurrect them. The developing of national Oromumma as the nationalist ideology was absolutely necessary.

This nationalism became the basis of the revolutionary Oromo flame and would eventually ignite across Oromia, although it would take decades to reach its current level. The current peaceful Oromo protests all over Oromia and beyond indicate the maturation of national Oromummaa, which must be translated into strong civic institutions and political and military organizations that can defend the Oromo nation from internal and external enemies.

The third vision was intended to enable the Oromo people to release their cultural and basic capabilities to solve their social, economic, cultural and political problems by rebuilding their independent institutions and organization. The leaders of the MTA realized that the complex problems the Oromo faced could not be solved without reorganizing and reuniting the Oromo nation. There are Oromo individuals who criticize the name of this association for taking the names of the two branches of the Oromo, Tulama and Macha, without knowing why the two names were given to the association. The prophetic leaders named the association by Macha-Tulama because the Haile Selassie government prevented them from calling it by the Oromo national name. By rejecting the names that were given to the Oromo people by the colonialists, the leaders of the association initiated the processes of national self-definition. All social changes and revolutions begin by self-definition and self-discovery.

The process of self-definition was an initial revolutionary step in the early 1960s for psychological liberation, Oromo unity, and self-determination. During the era of African nationalism, the leaders of the MTA struggled to inculcate the revolutionary flame amongst the population. Furthermore, in order to dismantle the historical and cultural ignorance that was imposed on the Oromo by the Ethiopian colonial state, the MTA tried its best to educate and sharpen Oromo minds by developing the knowledge for liberation, which challenged the false of knowledge of Ethiopian colonialism and global imperialism.

The fourth vision was to rebuild Oromo national power on the grave of the Ethiopian colonial state. This vision was not well articulated because of two main reasons. First, the Oromo people were not ready politically because of their low political consciousness at that period. Second, they did not have many educated people because education was intentionally denied to the Oromo people. This fourth vision was further developed by the Oromo Liberation Front that emerged in the early 1970s because of the banning of the MTA by the Haile Selassie government in order to enable the Oromo to determine their national destiny as a free people.

Currently, Oromo students, farmers, teachers and other sectors of Oromo society are translating all of these visions into political action. The Oromo revolutionary flame that is galvanizing the entire Oromo nation is dismantling all external and internal reactionary forces that are against Oromo democracy. The restoration of Oromo democratic tradition is becoming the corner stone of Oromo national power. As the first and major Oromo civic institution, the MTA is the history, the body and the foundation of the Oromo movement for statehood, sovereignty, and sustainable development.

Engaging in Practical actions to support our People

Realizing that without heavy sacrifices the Oromo cannot solve their national problems, in 2015 and 2016 the Oromo people decided to die while fighting rather than live under Ethiopian political slavery, ignorance, and poverty. We, the Oromo Diaspora, have moral, historical, and national obligations to support our people who are sacrificing their lives to liberate themselves and us from Ethiopian colonial barbarism.

Our revolution needs ideological and political clarity to avoid past mistakes. Oromo activist intellectuals have emerged that have experimented with the so-called socialist and democratic projects that promoted neo-colonialism, exploitation and gross human rights violations. After these projects failed in the Ethiopian Empire and after the Oromo rejected these unjust systems, Oromo elites started to give lip service to the gadaa system.

The Oromo national movement will face more dangerous obstacles from internal and external reactionary forces in the near future. Oromo nationalists are going to be exposed to more state terrorism and gross human rights violations. Before our victory will be achieved, millions of Oromo may be imprisoned, killed and displaced. We need to be ready for these challenges by better organizing ourselves. Without strong civic institutions and political organizations, we cannot defend our people from Tigrayan state terrorism, which is financed and supported by global powers. Only people who are effectively organized can develop their strategies based on liberation knowledge and take appropriate actions in order to survive and thrive.


I extend my invitation and the invitation of our suffering people to you to join the MTA in order to help the Oromo victims Tigrayan fascism. Brother and sisters, how can we keep quiet when our children, students, pregnant women, and elderly and sick are being humiliated, beaten, massacred, imprisoned, and tortured for peacefully demonstrating to demand their human rights? How can we enjoy our lives when the corpses of our heroes and heroines are kicked around by Tigrayan soldiers or thrown into caves? How can we be quiet when our entire nation is suffering from genocide?

During these times of horror and suffering, our commitment, patriotism, humanity, and courage must be manifested by financially, morally and diplomatically supporting our revolutionary people. All of us must be members of this pioneering and great institution of the MTA to support the mission of helping Oromo victims of Ethiopian terrorism, and to also support the mission of building our future and a free nation. When our heroines and heroes give their lives for freedom, how can we hesitate to join the MTA, the civic institution for which Haile Mariam Gamada, Mamo Mazamir, Taddasa Biru, and others lost their lives?

People who are not organized and united cannot survive the onslaught of modern civilization that preaches human rights and democracy while engaging in state terrorism and genocide. Whether we are followers of Waqqeffata, Islam, and Christianity or non-religious, we must recover our moral and ethical values and humanity to take immediate and practical actions to stand with our revolutionary people who are restoring our pride, humanity and unit.

Finally, on behalf of the Board Directors of MTA USA, I would like to express my deep appreciation to the fundraising committee, namely, Abarraa Tafarraa, Berhane Kebede, Abdi Nuressa, Bontu Itana, Wondaye Deressa, Dula Gudina, Bontu Tolera, Dagim Tessema, Kiya Segnii, Merertu Kitila, Bilise Gutema, Qumbi Boro, Janet Adem, and Gechoo Negash, for organizing this benefit concert, and for our artists, namely, Hacaalu Hundess, Jambo Jote, Abdi Nuressa, Tuuji Muude and Dawite Mekonnen, who are providing their talents, energy and time to support their brothers and sisters. We must pay our respect to these and other Oromo nationalist artists. We must recognize how our music and culture also play a role in developing Oromummaa and pushing the Oromo national movement forward.


Sunday, March 20, 2016

Ethiopians in Norwey protested against Deportation of political asylum seekers

ኖርዌይ ኢትዮጵያውያን የፓለቲካ ጥገኝነት ጠያቂዎችን በግዳጅ ወደ ሀገራቸው ለመመሰስ ከኢትዮጵያው ጠቅላይ ሚኒስትር ጋር ያደረገችውን ስምምነት የሚቃወም ታላቅ ሰልፍ በታላላቅ የኖርዌይ ከተሞች ተካሄደ!!

ኢትዮጵያውያን በስደት ከሚኖሩባቸው የተለያዩ የአውሮፓና ስካንዴኔቪያን ሀገሮች አንዷ የሆነችው ኖርዌይ ስትሆን በኖርዌይ ሃገር ቁጥራቸው አነስተኛ የማይባል ኢትዮጵያውያን የፓለቲካ ስደተኞች ይገኛሉ። እነዚህ ስደተኞች ከሌላው ሀገር ለየት የሚያደርግ ጠንካራ የፓለቲካ አቋም ያላቸው መሆኑም ይታወቃል። ስደተኞቹ በተለያየ ጊዜያት የገዢውን ፓርቲ ብልሹ አስተዳደር የሚያጋልጡ የፓለቲካ ስራዎችን ሲሰሩ መቆየታቸው ይታወሳል።
ሆኖም ግን የኖርዌ መንግስት እ.ኤ.አ በ2012 ከቀድሞው የኢትዮጵያ ጠቅላይ ሚኒስቴር አቶ መለስ ዜናዊ ጋር በኖርዌይ የሚኖሩ ጥገኝነት ጠያቂዎችን አስገድዶ ወደ ሃገር ለመመለስ የሚያስችል ስምምነት መፈረሙ ይታወሳል። ሆኖም ግን ይህ ስምምነት በተለያዩ ምክንያቶች ተግባር ላይ ሳይውል ቀርቷል። ኖርዌይ በድጋሚ አሁን በያዝነው አመት በፌብርዋሪ ወር እንደገና ስደተኞችን አስገድዶ ወደ ሀገር የመመለሱ ስምምነት ተግባራዊ እንዲሆን ከውጪ ጉዳይ ሚኒስትሩ አቶ ቴዎድሮስ አደሃኖም ጋር ስምምነት ላይ መድረሳቸውን በኖርዌይ የሚገኙ ታላላቅ የዜና አውታሮች ሰሞኑን ሲዘግቡ ሰንብተዋል።
ይህንኑ ስምምነት አስመልክቶ በኖርዌይ የሚገኘው የኢትዮጵያውያን ስደተኞች ማህበር ስምምነቱ ትክክል እንዳልሆነ ተቃውሞውን ለመግለፅ በማርች 15፣ 2016 ሰልፍ አዘጋጅቶ ነበር። ይህ የተቃውሞ ሰልፍ በሶስት ታላላቅ የኖርዌይ ከተሞች፦ በኦስሎ፤ በበርገን እና እስታቫንገር ላይ በርካታ ኢትዮጵያውያን በተገኙበት በታላቅ ተቃውሞ ተካሂዷል። ስደተኞቹ በኢትዮጵያ ውስጥ እየተከናወኑ ያሉ የሰብአዊ መብት ጥሰቶችን በተለይ በቅርቡ በሀገራችን በአደባባይ እየተገደሉ ያሉ ወገኖቻችንን የያዙ ምስሎችንና የኖርዌይ ዜግነት ያላቸውና ከደቡብ ሱዳን ታፍነው በኢትዮጵያ እስር ቤት እየማቀቁ ያሉንት የአቶ ኦኬሎ አኳይ ፎቶግራፍ እንዲሁም የአቶ አንዳርጋቸው ፅጌን ፎቶግራፎች በመያዝ ስለነሱም አያይዞ ለኖርዌይ ፓርላማ ተወካይ ጥያቄ አቅርበዋል።
ኢትዮጵያ አሁን ያለችበት ሁኔታ እየታወቀ ሰዎች በየሰከንዱ እየተገደሉ ባለበት ወቅት ሀገሪቱ በብዙ አቅጣጫ የህዝብ አመፅ ባለበትና ገዢው ፓርቲም ከመቼውም ጊዜ በከፋ ሁኔታ ሰዎችን እየገደለና እያሰረ ባለበት ጊዜ ስደተኞችን አስገድዶ ለመመሰል ስምምነት ማድረጉ ለምን እንዳስፈለገ፤ እንዲሁም የኖርዌይ መንግስት ለኖርዌጅያን ዜጎች በኢትዮጵያ በተለያዩ አካባቢዎች መዘዋወር አደገኛ መሆኑን መግለጫ እየሰጠ ባለበት ሁኔታ የፓለቲካ ስደተኞችን አሳልፎ መስጠት ሰብአዊነት የጎደለውና የስደተኛ መብት ህግን የሚጥስ መሆኑን ኢትዮጵያውያኑ በሰልፉ ላይ ተናግረዋል።
በሰልፉ ላይ ከተለያዩ ድርጅቶች የተወከሉ ተወካዮች ንግግር ያደረጉ ሲሆን በኖርዌ የስደተኛ መብት ተከራካሪ የሆኑ የኖርዌጅያን ድርጅቶችም በሰልፉ ላይ ተገኝተው በኢትዮጵያ ውስጥ ያለውን የሰብአዊ መብት ጥሰት እንደሚያውቁና ስምምነቱንም እንደማይደግፉ አቋማቸውን ገልፀዋል። በመጨረሻም የስደተኛ ማህበሩ ሊቀመንበር የስደተኛውን የአቋም መግለጫ በማንበብ ሰልፉ በተያዘለት ሰአት በተሳካ ሁኔታ ተጠናቋል።
ኢትጵያ ለዘላለም ትኑር
የኢትዮጵያ ስደተኞች ማህበር በኖርዌ!!

Broken Window By Kebour Ghenna

Governing the state of Ethiopia used to be uncomplicated. Citizens were, and still are, generally docile, or rather kept docile.
But in the past months things have become more tumultuous. In many parts of Oromya local leaders and activists are threading identity politics to contest the lacuna of political representation. Their inability to pressure the government to make decision in their favor is posing a direct threat to the integrity of the Ethiopian state. Remember TPLF forty years back!
Yes, such events can be circular if not addressed properly.
The problem with identity (or ethnic) politics is that it is one-sided and undialectical. It treats identities as static entities; such politics, even when “successful,” necessarily ends at the limits of identity itself. And once set, it remains a trap from which no one escapes.
Obviously the issue of identity is a rather complex one. It has, and continues to occupy the global minds of academics and policy makers alike. Let me say at the outset I know no more about identity politics than I do about my neighbor’s Bajaj. But these days I have spent some time thinking about it. I know how important identity is for many of us. I know it’s also part of the problem and not part of the solution.
Our current model of identity, for example, comprises a list of overlapping identities. You are from Addis Ababa, or Oromya, or Welayta, or Dire Dawa…but you also are from Ethiopia, Africa, Planet Earth. The question we all leave unanswered is which of the identities, if any, has priority. By which identity do we want to be identified by others? Which identity might we be entitled to betray in order to save the others. Here we certainly don’t have any answer.
I don’t know about you, I like to identify myself as an Ethiopian who speaks Amharic. I know a friend who likes to say ‘I am Afar by nation, but Ethiopian by citizenship’, and another who insists ‘I am an Oromo. Period.’
Question: is there a unifying Ethiopian Culture?
I doubt it. But the variety of nationalities that express their culture in Ethiopia allow for the toleration and acceptance of what makes us different, and because of those differences, our society is enhanced.
In the old days, the story goes, people would ask a stranger: ‘Where do you come from’…and he or she will answer from Sekota, or Urso, or Shahemene. Today people are more often asked who they are – an overloaded question… and it looks that they are increasingly becoming closed, insular, and conservative, uninterested in building unity in our diverse societies. We probably are far from living through an identity (or ethnic) crisis, but the confusion is there, and it makes people insecure and unsure of their future.
It is fair to say, and many observers come to the same conclusion, the current union of Ethiopia’s nations and nationalities is moving along in gradual steps. It is not tidy or symmetrical in its progress. It’s best expressed in the idea of an imposed compact between nine nations (plus many other groupings,) and should therefore be no surprise if confusion exists over identity. The least we can do then is to strive to ensure for all respect for human rights, equity and responsibility.
Today’s grand experiment of Ethiopia’s polity encourages nation and nationalities to maintain the multiple identities which are natural to most of us, with autonomy for self direction and development (at least on paper). The early signs of this experiment have not been atrocious, as many had predicted. To a large extent the system has delivered peace, unity, and development. Yet in spite of what seems like encouraging results, today the common folk in Oromya is frustrated – unemployment, underemployment, peewee wages, unfair distribution of wealth… So they run to the streets to break and build a ‘fire wall’ around resource rich Oromya.
Will they succeed? On breaking things: YES; on building a ‘fire wall’: we don’t know. What we know, however, is that many in Oromya feel alienated. They feel left out in the cold by such policies favoring those smart people close to the “bank cartels” or with “political connections”. They feel angered by practices that enrich a small layer of ‘outsiders’ who are good at using government to get wealth and power for themselves. Their complaints is about not being full partners in the government, and not fully sharing in the spoils of power. Now that they have understood how the system works, they don’t want to be taken for fools any more.
So what is the government doing about it? So far it’s using force to quell the disturbances. We doubt this will prevent the next eruption.
N.B. Kebour Ghenna, an entrepreneur has been the Chairman of the Addis Abeba Chamber of Commerce, founder of Capital Ethiopia Newspaper, Executive Director of Initiative Africa and currently the Executive Director of  the Pan African Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PACCI). The article has been copied from the author’s (Kebour Ghenna Desta) Facebook page.

Monday, March 7, 2016

Man seeks asylum after surviving flight in plane hold

Staff at Stockholm's Arlanda airport found the 27-year-old man on board a plane arriving from Ethiopia, with police later confirming that he had asked for asylum in the Nordic country.

Emergency services were called to Sweden's largest airport on Monday morning after the plane touched down in the Swedish capital from Addis Ababa and the stowaway was discovered on board.

"He was exhausted but alive," Albin Näverberg, a press spokesperson for Stockholm police told the TT news agency.

"We know that he has travelled in the container from the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa without any stops. It's a pretty long journey," added his colleague Carina Skagerlind.

The flight time for journeys between Addis Ababa and Stockholm is typically around eight hours.

Asked if police were looking into the possibility that the man had been smuggled to Sweden, Skagerlind said: "We have not come so far in the investigation. First we need to find out how this happened".

The spokesperson added that the man had been able to access oxygen during the trip, but she would not comment on the goods or materials that were supposed to have been stored in the container he travelled in.

Arlanda is Sweden's largest and busiest airport, with flights to more than 180 destinations.

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It is not the first time that an asylum seeker has been discovered hiding inside freight arriving at the Scandinavian travel hub.

Last August another man in his 20's was also found alive after making the same journey from Ethiopia to Sweden.

Asylum applications from Ethiopians boomed in 2015, shooting up by 140 percent during the first seven months, compared to the same period during the previous year.


Sunday, March 6, 2016

#‎OromoProtests‬ 5 Oromo students from Wollo University were suspended

#‎OromoProtests‬ Wollo University suspended the following Oromo students under the guise that "they disturbed peace and security" for the mere fact that they were wearing black clothes.The University ascribed wearing of black clothes to acts of provocation of Oromo student protest.
Note that this repressive and despotic regime goes to the extent of prescribing the kind of clothes Oromo should wear. Further, it has been customary of this tyrannical government for past 20 years to accuse Oromo of terrorism for wearing the RED -GREEN -RED colored strips. However,one cannot possibly imagine how wearing black clothes instigate student to disturb peace and security of the university. The names of the suspended students are the following:
1-Mohammed Umar: 5th year Law student suspended for 3 years.
2-Leencoo Gemmechu: 4th year theater and arts student suspended for 3 year,
3-Ahmmed Hssien: 3rd year Geography student suspended for 1 year.
4-Taressa Edosa: 5th year Law student suspended for 1year
5-Jabir Mohammed: 3rd year Agro-economics student suspended for one year.
Via Mohammed Abdella

Thursday, March 3, 2016

#OromoProtests this student is Ibda Ahmad Siraj. He is being completely pralysed after being subjected to torture for 10 days

#OromoProtests this student is Ibda Ahmad Siraj. He is being completely pralysed after being subjected to torture for 10...
Posted by Jawar Mohammed on Thursday, March 3, 2016

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

#OromoProtests this was Boja Qabata with his young family. He was killed by Agazi soldiers in Shukute

#OromoProtests this was Boja Qabata with his young family. He was killed by Agazi soldiers in Shukute, West Shawa on...
Posted by Jawar Mohammed on Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

#OromoProtests this is Alemayehu Borana. He was shot by Agazi in Gatama town, Leqa Dullacha, East Walaga two days ago...

#OromoProtests this is Alemayehu Borana. He was shot by Agazi in Gatama town, Leqa Dullacha, East Walaga two days ago...
Posted by Jawar Mohammed on Tuesday, March 1, 2016

#OromoProtests Highschool and Vocational School students in Amuru, walked out of school and marched to the town

#OromoProtests Highschool and Vocational School students in Amuru, walked out of school and marched to the town, Horro...
Posted by Jawar Mohammed on Tuesday, March 1, 2016

OromoProtests in Ambo Village, Kombolcha district, East Hararge March 1, 2016

#OromoProtests in Ambo Village, Kombolcha district, East Hararge March 1, 2016==========Mormii Harargee Bahaa Aanaa Aanaa Kombolchaa magaalaa Awwaalleetti araddaa Amboo
Posted by Jawar Mohammed on Tuesday, March 1, 2016

#OromoProtests In Qarsa town, East Hararge Agazi soldiers fired on these peaceful students killing two of them.

#OromoProtests In Qarsa town, East Hararge Agazi soldiers fired on these peaceful students killing two of them. The...
Posted by Jawar Mohammed on Tuesday, March 1, 2016

#OromoProtests: The first 3 victim when the protests started in Nov 12, 2015

#OromoProtests these are bodies of Karrasa Chala and Gutu Abara, the first two victims of the protests ( the 2015...
Posted by Jawar Mohammed on Tuesday, March 1, 2016