The Home of Oromo Views & headline News from the Horn of Africa

Gabcast! Gotoota Oromo Haa Yaadannu. #17 - Wallee.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

What’s Really Behind Ethiopia’s Invasion of Somalia?

New America Media, News Analysis, Donal Brown -
Editor’s Note: Ethiopia’s invasion of Somalia may be guided less by the waragainst Islamist terrorism and more by narrow territorial goals of the AddisAbaba government, writes Donal Brown, an asssociate editor at New AmericaMedia.january 1, 2007 NAM) - Ethiopia’s invasion of Somalia may have more sinister goals than meet the eye,Keith Harmon Snow, a leading investigator of genocide in Africa, who worked for UNICEF, says that Ethiopia itself is a terrorist nation that is using the invasion to gain legitimacy with its own people and the international community. By fighting a patriotic war, the government seeksto mute opposition at home and criticisms of human rights violations and political repression.It also wants to divert criticism for its failure to comply with the World Court’s ruling to return disputed territory to Eritrea as well as consolidate its position in its land dispute with Eritrea.Prime Minister Meles Zenawi claims the invasion aims to restore the United Nations-sanctioned government in Somalia and prevent Islamist forces from establishing a terrorist stronghold in the horn of Africa.But those familiar with the situation in Somalia doubt it could ever provide a haven for Al Qaeda let alone jihadists coming from all over the Middle East. Most jihadists do not speak Somali and few speak Arabic. They would stand out too much with their different eating habits andclothing. It would be difficult for a bone-poor country like Somalia to support an influx of foreigners.The Somalians, who just want to end the constant fighting, are once again facing an uncertain future. The Islamists have faded away, discredited for shutting down schools and sending children to their deaths against the superior Ethiopian army. Never extremely religious anyway,Somalians now will have to contend with clans--more corrupt than the Islamists and prone to infighting—that have been restored to power,.In Addis Ababa, meanwhile, President Meles is facing big problems. He is losing the support of the Oromo people, backing that he needs to retain power. After the May 2005 elections, initially praised by the international community for the unprecedented participation of the opposition, Meles stifled inquiries into the legitimacy of the results. He reacted to public protests by jailing protesters, journalists, human rights workers and opposition leaders including the newly elected mayor of Addis Ababa. An independent inquiry revealed that Ethiopian security forces killed 193 unarmed protesters in 2005.Ethiopia’s human rights record in the provinces is even more heinous, says Obang Metho of the Saskatchewan, Canada-based Anuak Justice Council, a human rights group seeking to protect the Anuak minority in Ethiopia. Metho says few people in Europe and the West realize what isgoing on in the shadow of Darfur.“He [Meles] has been an agent of terror in Sidana, Ogalen, Oromo, Anhar, Tigray, Gambella [Anuak region] and continues to perpetuate brutality, oppression and suppression to his people throughout all of Ethiopia,” Metho says.Metho claims that besides killing off the Anuaks, the Ethiopian national Defense Forces (ENDF) since December 15 had conscripted 600 to 700 young Anuak men and taken them to northern Ethiopia to train as soldiers. Many young men fled to the bush to escape conscription.Metho and Snow agree that the Anuaks are facing genocide. Snow says Anuak rebels were allies of Meles in throwing out the hated Durgue government in 1991, but soon afterward, Meles turned against them.Unable to conduct aid operations in Gambella, UNICEF commissioned Snow to do a report on the situation. In this poor and remote region, Snow found that, the ENDF was going into villages, destroying mud and straw dwellings and forcing the people to leave, under the pretext ofweeding out terrorists.“In August the military forcibly displaced all Anuak people from some 13 to 15 Anuak villages in the remote and already devastated regions,” Snow notes. Left with no options many Anuaks are going to larger towns or to southern Sudan and refugee camps in Kenya. People are restrained from moving about so it is difficult to attend school, gather firewood, travel to sources of water or conduct trade.For an Anuak civilian, there is a “daily risk of being shot, raped, beaten, tortured or harassed,” according to the Harvard Law School’s International Human Right Clinic (IHRC) report on the situation in Gambella.The Ethiopian government has been accused of trying to remove Anuak rebels from Gambella so that oil wells can be drilled. Snow says there are Chinese and Malaysian interests already setting up camps with electricity and clean water (amenities not available to Anuaks) and enticinglocal women into prostitution.Metho says, “The Bush administration has never done anything [to recognize the atrocities in Gambella].” Metho wants the U.S. to put pressure on the Ethiopian government to ease up on the Anuaks and to investigate the killings.Snow says all forms of support to the Meles government should be withdrawn. AngelinaJolie and others, he urged should stop adopting children from Ethiopia and stand up for the ordinary Ethiopians under threat of death from the government. He discourages African Americans from traveling to Ethiopia, their second most popular destination after Ghana. All aid organizations, he said, should pull out of Ethiopia.“They [the aid workers] need to start talking about what they are seeing, that Ethiopia is a terrorist country,” says Snow.

Sunday, December 31, 2006

Resolution of the OLF National Council

December 28, 2006 - The National Council of the Oromo Liberation Front held its 2nd regular meeting from December 23 –28, 2006. After conducting a thorough deliberation on all pertinent issues facing the organization and the just struggle of the Oromo as well as all other people in Ethiopia and the region, it concluded its meeting by passing the following resolution. 1. The Council noted the conspicuous and qualitative improvements in the performance of the organization witnessed over the last two years. It finds that our struggle has entered a new and decisive phase. The Council adopted new action plans to overcome discernable challenges that remain in a few key areas. 2. The peaceful resolution of the Oromo question has been our long-standing policy and the desire of our people. However, our genuine effort for peace has been blocked by the continuing intransigence of the TPLF regime. Rather than seeking a political solution to the just demands of the Oromo people and the worsening political crisis, the regime declared war on OLF and the Oromo people through its rubber stamp Parliament on its session of December, 2006. The OLF and the Oromo people are therefore left with no option but to defend against the TPLF aggression. Consequently, the Council calls on its members, supporters and the entire Oromo people to redouble their efforts and work tirelessly to mobilize and rally all material and human resources for their just struggle for freedom. In this regard, the Council would like to remind all concerned that the TPLF regime and it alone is responsible for the consequences.3. For more than a century the Oromo people have been subjected to political domination, social subjugation and economic exploitation by succeeding repressive Ethiopian regimes. For decades our people have been engaged in a protracted struggle against these injustices. The ongoing peaceful resistance all over Oromia have shaken the political basis of the TPLF regime and further demonstrated the unshakable commitment of our people to free itself from the tyranny. The Council noted the selfless and vanguard role of students, teachers, youth, farmers and business people in spearheading the nation-wide peaceful uprising. We call upon our people at home and abroad to stand in unison and rally behind the OLF and intensify the struggle in a coordinated and efficient manner until the right of the Oromo people for self-determination is realized.4. The TPLF regime is perpetrating gross violations of political and civil rights in Ethiopia today. Thousands are languishing in the prisons. Many have been detained for a long period of time without charge or trial. Some have been summarily executed. The rule of law and due process of law are routinely undermined. In sum, arbitrary and repressive rule have become the norm. The Council condemns these cruel and inhuman acts and calls on all the people in Ethiopia to intensify their struggle to win freedom for all political prisoners.5. In addition, the TPLF regime is instigating inter-communal and inter-religious conflict in Ethiopia and the Horn of Africa. The Council calls up on the Oromo people and other peoples in Ethiopia and the region to continue to demonstrate peaceful co-existence and tolerance and not to be drawn into this malicious TPLF-instigated discord.6. Due to the worsening human rights situation and the suppression of political, civil and social rights, many judges, parliamentarians, diplomats and other high-ranking officials, have taken the bold step of dissociating themselves from the regime and joining the camp of the struggle for freedom after realizing the impossibility of advancing and guarding the interest of the people within the system. In particular the courageous action taken by hundreds of Oromos in the Ethiopian army organized under the heroic leadership of senior military officers to abandon the regime and join the Oromo Liberation Army (OLA) is historic and unparalleled in the tortuous history of our people. Whilst applauding this historical undertaking, the Council calls upon Oromos who are serving in the TPLF regime to join the just struggle and defend their people.7. Since the collapse of the central Somali government in 1991, several attempts at national reconciliation have been made. However, these efforts to reconstruct the Somali state have yet to bear fruit. The continuous interference of the TPLF regime remains the major obstacle for reconciliation of the Somali people and the restoration of the Somali state. The Council believes the way out of the current deadlock is dialogue between Somali forces and the cessation of foreign interference in Somali affairs. 8. The Council commends the effort of the OLF leadership in forming a broad-based Alliance that coordinates and expedites the struggle for freedom and democracy in Ethiopia. It is the belief of the Council that the formation of the Alliance for Freedom and Democracy (AFD) is a milestone in the political developments in Ethiopia. The Alliance provides a viable alternative to the failed and disastrous policies of the TPLF regime that is taking the country and the region on a course of destruction. Accordingly while instructing the OLF Executive Committee to persevere in its commendable efforts in implementing the Founding Agreement and the action plans of the Alliance, we call on all political forces in Ethiopia to join the Alliance and bring about a speedy end to the suffering of the people in Ethiopia and the worsening political crisis. Victory to the Oromo People!National CouncilOromo Liberation FrontDecember 28, 2006

Map of oromia

Map of oromia