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

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Oromia Support Group in Australia - 2/18 Forster St Noble Park, Vic. 3174Ph: (03) 9547 4525 e-mail: humrightosga@yahoo.com ABN: 95 941 300 944

November 22, 2007

H. E. Ambassador
Embassy of the Republic of Sudan3 Cleveland Row, St James London SW1A 1DD Telephone : 44 (0) 20 7839 8080 Facsimile : 44 (0) 20 7839 7560

Dear Ambassador:

Foremost, we wish to express our appreciation to the people of the Republic of Sudan for their generosity and kindness towards thousands of Oromo refugees who have escaped severe government persecutions in Ethiopia and now living in Sudan. From under successive Ethiopian regimes –Haile Sellassie, Dergue and now TPLF - thousands of our compatriots have run away from arbitrary detentions, degrading tortures, violent killings in Ethiopia to seek refuge in relative peace of Sudan.

Oromia Support Group in Australia and, in fact, Oromos everywhere are alarmed by the report we received on the handing over of 15 Ethiopian refugees, the majority if not all of them were Oromo by the Sudanese authorities against their will to the Ethiopian regime. Most of these refugees were refugees who were legal resident in Sudan for a number of years and some carried UNCHR IDs. In July this year several Oromo refugees living in Khartoum and El Damazin were arrest and detained in Kobor prison in Khartoum. When Kobor prison became over crowded they were transferred to unknown destination to friends, most probably to the prison around Shendi. Around September 25, 2007, they were taken from their prison cells and transported to the border town of Metama and handed over in shackles to Ethiopian security and military forces on September 26, 2007. These facts have been documents by UNCHR in document in which they condemned the Sudanese authorities’ action.
The Sudanese authorities deported the Oromo refugees without going through the due process of law. The refugees were never taken to a court of law. Thus, the authorities have failed to respect their own constitution on this matter. The dreadful action of deportation taken by the Sudanese government constitutes violation of basic human rights and the fundamental principles of the 1951 UN’s Convention on refugees. Under the 1951 UN Refugee Convention, refoulement - or forcibly returning individuals to their country of origin where they could face persecution - is prohibited. Also, the Sudanese authorities broke Sudan’s longstanding tradition of providing protection to those who flee persecution and victimization.

Your Excellency,

The Oromia Support Group in Australia and Oromo living other parts of the Australia are disheartened by the Sudanese government action. By this action the lives of outstanding young men were put in a considerable danger. These individuals will face certain torture and death in the hands of the Ethiopian regime. We appeal to the Sudanese government and all human rights organizations to demand the Ethiopian government to safe the lives of these Oromo brothers and to set them free. We also appeal to the Sudanese authorities to assure Oromo refugees in Sudan, who are obviously frightened, that such action will not be repeated in the future.

M. Qufi
Public Relation Officer
Oromia Support Group in Australia
UNHCR- Geneva and local Offices
Amnesty International – London
Human Rights Watch – New York
Sudan Commission for Refugees
Refugee Council of Australia
UNHCR – Khartoum, Sudan Branch
Oromo Community in Sudan
Unrepresented Nations and People Organizations
Sudan Commission for Refugees (SCOR)
Office of the Commissioner for Refugees,
PO Box 1929, Khartoum 780201

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

The Fascist Meles Zenawi Regime of Ethiopia Should be denounced by all on International Freedom of Press Day

On September 28, 2007, the world celebrates International Freedom of Press. September 28 is celebrated every year by all countries of the world as the International Freedom of Press Day or The Right to Information Day. This day is the day where countries and governments of the world pledge to respect the rights of their citizens of speaking and writing and of getting and exchanging information in general. On this day governments investigate those who violate these rights based on international laws and the law and constitution of their respective countries. It is a day where those governments who respect freedom of press are commended and those who violate those rights be condemned.

The current TPLF/EPRDF regime of Meles Zenawi is known for suppressing freedom of press and journalism in its 16 years of holding power. The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) reports every year that this regime considers freedom of press and free media as number one enemy of its tyrannical rule and existence. In today’s Ethiopia all free media such as radio, TV, newspapers, websites…etc. are non-existent and/or closed except for those who are affiliated with the TPLF regime and its members. Websites of opposition parties such as that of OLF, ONLF, SLF and many others are blocked by Meles’ tyrannical regime and cannot be accessed in Ethiopia. Currently the government is sabotaging and/or attempting to jam the functioning of radio programs such as VOL (Voice of Oromo Liberation), Radio Huriya (ONLF), Tinsae (CUDP), including the independent and internationally known radio programs such as SUBE, VOA, and DW.

There are reliable reports that the regime is investing billions of dollars for jamming the above radio stations in collaboration with a super power in Asia. In addition to this the regime is engaged in a campaign and sabotage for the closure of opposition media by lobbying and bribing international companies renting radio airtimes and websites in order for the government to rule over 70 million people under subjugation by depriving the people the right to information. Furthermore, the Woyane regime is promoting the same policy of silencing the media in Somalia. In collaboration with the current puppet TFG of Somalia the Woyane soldiers are engaged in harassing, arresting and murdering free press journalists, and closed free radios and websites.

The dictatorial regime of Meles Zenawi is probably the number one enemy of free press and media in the world. The objective of this regime is clear: to tyrannically rule the people by putting them in darkness where the people cannot raise any questions to the atrocities perpetrated by the regime. Such an evil policy of depriving the people freedom of information pursues by the terrorist regime of TPLF/EPRDF should be strongly condemned by all on September 28, 2007. -

Editorial Statement of OLF
September 23, 2007

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Millennium for Whom?

Kallacha DubbiSeptember - 3, 2007 of the Gregorian calendar -

Historically, there are two main versions of Christian calendars - Julian and Gregorian. Both are religious by origin. According to the Julian calendar, it will soon be 2000 years since the birth of Christ. On the other hand, followers of the Gregorian calendar calculate that it has been 2007 years since Christ was born. Other religions and civilizations have their own calendars. For instance, in Islamic calendar, the Higira, today is Sha'ban 20, 1828. As another example, I will briefly introduce the Oromo calendar below.
In an eerie twist of irony, in just over a week, on the same day when USA commemorates the 9-11 victims, Ethiopia will celebrate a Julian millennium. This celebration comes about seven years after the rest of the world celebrated Y2K. Prime Minister Meles Zenawi's government has already invested more cash on this single event than the Derg, annually celebrating its own rise to power, or Haile Sellasie celebrating his infamous birthdays while the people starved to death, literally. In this country, there is fondness to self-celebration without backing it with success of any sort. There is also a short memory to history; those who condemned the lavish birthday parties of Haile Sellasie and used this impropriety to rise to power later started more lavishly celebrating their own rise to power. And those who condemned the Derg for celebrating its murderous rise to power are now doing their own celebrations with even more glamour and cost. 16 giant LED screens have arrived from China and I also read that artist Beyonce will lead the New Year's concert with pop-star Janet Jackson and rapper 50 Cent. Lavish indeed for a country that ranks 170 out of 177 in the United Nation's Human Development Index. However, whether or not this millennium is a travesty or worthy event, whether or not this indeed is a good investment of the poor taxpayer's money should generate an interesting debate which I am sure will be instructive. For now, let us focus more on the use of the calendar.
As stated above, Ethiopia uses a calendar which was introduced by Julius Caesar in 46 BC and enforced a year later - hence the name Julian calendar. The Julian calendar uses a solar year with a regular year of 365 days divided into 12 months, and a leap day added every four years. In the case of Ethiopia, each month has 30 days; the extra 5 or 6 days mark an additional 13th month, a nightmare for civic and administrative calculations and international interactions. There are numerous stories of missed appointments and miscalculated birthdays. The calendar has other serious shortcomings.
The average Julian calendar year is longer than Gregorian, causing an error that forces it to slowly drift backwards in the calendar year and move out of alignment with the solar year. As a result, the real astronomical annual cycle advances by about 11 minutes per year against the Julian year. This error is accumulated significantly over time.
Also, the addition of leap days to the months every four years is inaccurate and ultimately confusing. In contrast, the Gregorian leap year rule is accurate. For Orthodox Christians, Julian has another problem. All Christian churches have a rule to compute the date of Easter by defining 21 March as a reference point. This date is known as vernal equinox. Since Julian uses the lunar calendar to compute the date of Easter, which must always be on Sunday, the error resulting from the incompatibility with natural solar cycle moves Easter far off its point in the calendar cycle.
So, Julian does not produce a precise match to the solar year. The Gregorian was invented to correct this erroneous scheme. This modern calendar was first proposed by Aloysius Lilius and decreed by Pope Gregory XIII, for whom it was named in 1582. Because of its recognized accuracy in time reckoning, it was soon adopted by most advanced countries of those days, mainly catholic, but Protestant countries also followed soon. However, Russia, dominated by a conservative Orthodox church, remained Julian until 1917. It adopted Gregorian after the Russian Revolution, which is also known as the October Revolution. Interestingly, the revolution took place in November in Gregorian, not October, but kept its wrong date even after Gregorian was adopted. Greece continued to use Julian until 1923. Clearly, countries with Orthodox Church domination resisted the more modern calendar much longer. But eventually all countries appreciated the accuracy and superiority of Gregorian, and adopted it even for church uses. So, by 1927, most of the Julian countries have switched to Gregorian even though some of the Orthodox churches have retained Julian for internal church uses. Ethiopia is the only country that still officially uses the outdated Julian calendar: it adopted what it clearly didn't own, and refused to drop it even when the entire world found the calendar to be faulty. Clearly, the Gregorian calendar has become the internationally accepted civil calendar. Here, for the record, the reader may be interested to know about the Oromo calendar, one that must be a source of pride to all Africans.
The Oromo calendar is based on astronomical observations of the moon in conjunction with seven or eight particular stars or star groups called Urjii Dhahaa (guiding stars). Each lunar day has a name, (Areeri Duraa, Areeri Ballo, Aduula Duraa, Aduula Ballo, Garba Duraa, Garba Ballo, Garba Dulacha, Bitaa Duraa, Bitaa Ballo, Sorsa, Algaajima, Arba, Walle, Basaa Duraa, Basaa Ballo, Maganatti Carraa, Maganatti Jaarraa, Maganatti Briifi, Salbaan Duraa, Salbaan Ballaa, Salbaan Dullachaa, Gardaaduma, Soonse, Uurruma, Lumaasa, Gidaada, and Ruuda). These 27 days of the month are permutated through the twelve months, in such a way that the 11 degree shift is accounted for in the solar cycle. Since the week (7 days) is strictly a religious definition with no astronomical connotation, the Oromo calendar has no formal definition for the days of the week. The 12 months are, with some regional variations, Cikawa, Sadaasa, Afraasa, Amaji, Guraandhala, Bitoteessa, Caamsa, Bufa, Waxabaji, Obora Gudda, Obora xiqqaa, and Birraa, which are integrated over a solar year.
Although the more accurate Gregorian calendar may be suitable in some societies, it also isolates the non-Christian populations of the country where such religious diversity exists. Certainly the Moslems and the Waqefatas of Ethiopia have no reason to celebrate this millennium. The Oromo calendar, a solar year with lunar months, has been recognized as scientific since it avoids religious influences, and would therefore be compatible with the Higira and the Gregorian calendars.
Controversies and legitimacy issues surrounding the extravagance of this Orthodox calendar's millennium celebration in Ethiopia, while the country is still registered as one of the poorest in the world are abound. But there must also be a serious question about keeping a dead and obsolete system in this 21st century, a system proven and unanimously accepted to be erroneous. In spending millions of dollars to celebrate a miscalculated millennium of essentially the Orthodox Church with public fund, the Ethiopian regime also demonstrates its insensitivity to the religious diversity and mood of its non-Orthodox majority population.


Monday, September 03, 2007

OLF Stand on the UN decision on Ogaden

Oromo Liberation Front (OLF) is confident that the humanely decision and step taken by the United Nations (UN) to investigate the terror and extermination facing Ogadenian people will encompass all issues that will result in a lasting solution to the region.

The UN decision to send its higher delegates to have first hand information on the barbaric actions of the Ethiopian government, Tegrian Peoples Liberation Front (TPLF), against innocent people of Ogaden is applauded and expected from any peace loving group. At the time when TPLF government’s harassment of civilian is continuously exposed by independent media outlets, the intervention of UN is both historically and legally a requirement.

The step taken by UN to send about twenty of its experts from WFP, WHO, UNHCR, UNDP and legal professionals to gather information on the extent of damage on the region by the dictatorial regime of Melles Zenawi will be a big hope for the powerless people of Ogaden. It is also needless to mention that this investigation requires a very high courtesy. The ever increasing protest of Ogaden people and the reaction of different international bodies on the action of Ethiopian government indicate the importance of the issue. Specially, eliminating Ogaden National Liberation Front (ONLF) has been used as a pretext by TPLF (Woyyane) soldiers to kill and torture civilians.

Generally the investigation of UN delegates should focus on the act of Ethiopian government that target to abate the economic and social infrastructure of the Ogaden people so that they will live with horror and fear. To materialize this Melles Zenawi government is using its military force to indiscriminately killing villagers; destroying their settlement; burning families with their house; group raping of girls and women; forcefully resettling people to control their movement; denying access to transportation and communication; indiscriminately imprisoning, torturing and harassing the people without any guilt are the main complaints presented by the Ogaden people.

At the moment the TPLF government is running here and there to defend its barbaric deed. No wonder if dictatorial government like TPLF that does not have any feeling for human lives would not apologize for its action. This is of course the main reason that UN is convinced to appoint its delegates to investigate the issue.

However, the decision of UN which authorizes the delegates to investigate and report their finding on the ongoing problems of Ogaden people alone will not solve the fundamental problem of the region. At this point OLF would like to inform UN and its delegates that based on the outcome of the investigation it is important to include a remedial action where by Meles Zenawi will be held accountable for the problems.

These is due to the fact that the minority TPLF government has been doing similar inhuman actions mentioned above on the people of Oromo, Sidama, Amhara, Gambella, Southern Nations, Affar and Tigray. This is evident through continual protest of all peoples living both in Ethiopia and abroad. Therefore, a thorough investigation of such similar problems will help to find a fundamental solution for the whole people in the region. For example similar to Ogaden People the government cadres are carrying out extrajudicial killing, torture, disappearance, and imprisonment on Oromo people with a pretext of destroying OLF.

As a result, it is OLF’s stand that the decision of UN to study the situation of Ogaden people should be extended to investigate those problems facing all people living in Ethiopia and neighboring regions. The dictatorial government of Melles Zenawi is legally and historically held responsible for all instability of the region. Without a complete and full scale investigation, information from only one region will not help to bring a lasting solution and this will later indicate a weakness in the UN approach to the problems.

Oromo Libration Front
August 30, 2007

Commemorating Ethiopian Millennium as a Day of Sorrow for the Oromo People

A statement by Oromo Parliamentarians Council -

The TPLF/EPRDF regime who boasts to have brought good governance to the peoples of Ethiopia has discriminately left Oromo prisoners in jail and arresting many more while many non-Oromo prisoners are being released. What is more disturbing is that the regime is constantly harassing the rest of the Oromo people by the name of celebrating the so called Ethiopian millennium to be celebrated on September 1, 2000 Ethiopian Calendar.

The year 2007 however, is a year of sorrow and grief for the Oromo people because it is the year where:

• Over 40, 000 Oromos are suffering of torture in Ethiopian prisons such as Kaliti, Maikelawi, Zeway, Nekemte, Dhidheessaa, Harar Jaarsoo, Mekele, Adwa, Bure, Zaraba Gidaf, Gimbi, Robe;
• Several Oromos are killed in prisons and their bodies are thrown to the jungles such as Gaara Suufii and eaten by wild animals;
• Oromo students have been dismissed from schools and became a burden to their families for the sole reason of expressing their concern for their suffering people;
• many Oromo parliamentarians who tried to speak for the people they represent were continuously intimidated by the government security forces and are forced to leave the country, while many more are under arrest and even brutally murdered;
• Many Oromo military officers, judges, diplomats, journalists, and other government officials defected to several countries opposing the suffering of their people;
• The TPLF/EPRDF government created and fuelled conflict among various Oromo clans such as Borana and Guji, Borana and Garri, resulting in enormous loss of life and property;
• The TPLF/EPRDF concocted conflict between Islam and Christian faith and made them fight each other for the first time in the history of our country;
• The killing, arrest, and harassments are more intensified in all corners of Oromia at this moment when the celebration of the millennium is already underway.

The Oromo people have nothing to do with the so called Ethiopian millennium. It is neither our heritage nor our culture. For the Habeshas attempting to force the Oromo people to celebrate their own festival amounts to insulting us, Oromos. We do not share anything together. While they are dancing, we are in jail, in refugee camps, and in the Oromian jungle in search of our freedom.

Therefore, the Oromo Parliamentarians Council has decided to commemorate the Habesha September 1 as a day of grief in which the Oromo people are subjected to the Habesha prison every year starting from the year 2000. We call up on all the Oromo people to remember this day every year by the following activities:

• Visiting the prisoners and their families by taking gifts as much as possible.
• Helping those who have been released from jail morally, financially, and materially.
• Signing petition for the release of all Oromo prisoners and for the evoking of the death penalty passed on some Oromo prisoners.
• Since this day is a day of grief and sorrow we ask all Oromo people that they should not go to any festival or recreation. Everyone should surpass this day in grief and by visiting prisoners and their families.

Freedom for the Oromo people!

The Oromo Parliamentarians Council
August 27, 2007

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Why the Pit is a Bull: the threat of Tigreean nationalism

Kallacha Dubbi (August 14, 2007) - In my previous writing entitled “TPLF and Tigrean Identity Politics” dated May 25, 2007, I expressed a view that Tigrean nationalism is overtly discriminatory, and it is therefore distinguished by negative manifestations of the Ethiopian integrative power. Instead of uniting multi-ethnic Ethiopia, the Tigrean Peoples Liberation Front (TPLF) leadership has antagonized them, and as such, it has excluded even Tigreans from mainstream Ethiopian political discourse. In this follow up, necessitated by email feedbacks I received, I intend to provide some evidence without encumbering the reader with too much detail that such data would otherwise require.

My previous argument leads to a conclusion that the negative identity formation in which a group (TPLF) defines itself and also others in terms of what it is not, according to a famous sociologist, tends to lead into a "pathological situation of internal violence." This has occurred on a large scale in the Balkans, Sri Lanka, or the Middle East. The situation in Ethiopia is an even more fitting example with acutely rising consequences. Tigrean discrimination ignores individual merits based on the victim’s ethnic background, and this serves as a stifling factor for development, killing ideas in a poor country that requires mobilizing all its brain capacities to get rid of the ravaging poverty.

My previous view also suggests that Tigrean discrimination has paradoxically played a very important role of coalescing the discriminated people, pulling together victims who share the same abuse to a united powerhouse capable of undermining or perhaps even toppling the discriminator. Oromos, Somalis, Sidamas, and Amharas, etc. are united in wanting to dethrone the TPLF. In other words, even a negative integration, integration that is achieved for a reason of shared abuse - threats, hatred, tortures, arrests, and killings is integration of some sort. This natural coalition of the oppressed is as strong as it can effectively resist political opportunism as well as TPLF’s corruptive infiltration. There is tangible evidence, that creation of a country-wide united national opposition front to this Tigrean domination is targeted by infiltrators from the TPLF dominated regime. But the creation of a broad-based unity has its own weak points that expose it to such manipulations.

The weakest link
The Ethiopian political intolerance, exceptionally violent and intense in its makeup, is nourished by delusional tradition that borders with compulsive disorder. By and large, it assumes that every human being with opposing opinion, every political group with a dissenting view, is an enemy. This intolerance characterizes the individual activist’s manner so profoundly, that one can observe its manifestations in coffee bar debates, at community gatherings, and even at scholarly meetings. This is in major part the legacy of the Ethiopian Peoples Revolutionary Party (EPRP), the weakest link in the creation of a broad-based opposition against Tigrean domination, i.e., a hazard for political progress in the country.

In a familiarly condescending tone whose authorship must have a thing or two to do with EPRP mentality, one wrote, “The theory of the nation which decomposes Ethiopia by weaving the myths (emphasis mine) of Tigreanism, Eritreanism, Oromoism and so on goes counter to the core experience of the people, …” After reclaiming Eritrea, an independent country and replacing the well established Ethiopian myth with his own, the author attempts to guard the mythical “framework” by delivering another punch to its contents: “There can be no compromise on the Ethiopian and African framework for citizen expression and engagement.” The author forces all the Ethiopian cultural and ethnic diversities to either become Ethiopians or Africans of his personal definition of certainly chauvinistic preeminence, or face a wrath of his verdict and imagination – no compromise, we are told in no uncertain terms.

So, vaguely articulated malice of EPRP’s ideology still permeates through the deeds and words of the now senior or middle-aged activists who commenced politics in the 70s as infantile children. Their politics never stopped growing, but it grew crook! In the 70s, in a bizarre combination of feudal tradition with Marxism, the EPRP offered nothing else to the Ethiopian political roundtable other than winning by killing or dying, even when in its opposition stood a well-armed national army pronouncing its sure demise. There was no compromise then as now. Blinded by emotional ambition, traits of which are still glaring among its rank and file, the children were too young to fathom the essence of a military balance and too confused to comprehend the impact of a generation’s death. The military junta was driven insane by their obnoxious and unflinching ambition, and as a result, the junta passed a collective death verdict on the generation. This in part allowed the military to keep political power for one more decade, leaving behind a scar of historical magnitude. In this sense, the EPRP and the TPLF have little to distinguish them from Khmer Rouge, except that the TPLF, also a teen army that grew to power without growing to the society, is now terrorizing Ethiopia whereas the EPRP resides in old Diaspora minds as a political paranoia. They do share concealed hate and love for each other; they can’t go against each other, that can’t go for each other either. It is sad to see that neither the politics nor the social evolution of the last thirty years offered any cure to the survivors of the lost generation of Ethiopia that continue diffusing discord throughout all the political establishments of the region. There is little doubt that most of the destructive vectors and inward fighters in all political fronts and organizations can be traced to this futile ideology in a resistive or adaptive form. Their relentless propaganda for the unity of Ethiopia on one hand, and equally relentless objection to the unity of Oromos, Amharas, Somalis etc. when not on their own sadistic terms on the other, their objection to the very idea of the Alliance for Freedom and Democracy (AFD), is a synopsis of their fixation on winning, with extremely poor judgment of their capacity that would enable them to win. By betraying its own mission and stated goals, the EPRP is acclaimed to be the weakest link of the Ethiopian political opposition against Tigrean domination, and therefore the creation of a better tomorrow for the region.

TPLF’s Strength

Facing a disgruntled Ethiopian opposition forces is the TPLF, an organization that has an exceptional talent in further disgruntling opposition forces. The TPLF has two strong virtues that link it to the Ethiopian political power and shape its capacity to destabilize the opposition. They are its a) military, and b) economy.

a) The military: Strictly speaking, the Ethiopia armed forces are Tigrean no less than the TPLF is Tigrean. The following list makes this argument abundantly clear.

Ministry of Defense
l Commander of Ethiopian armed forces - Melles Zenawi (Tigrean)
l Defense Minister is a non-Tigrean, but this position is constitutionally manned by a civilian, not a military person
l Chief of Staff - Samora (Mohamed) Yunis (Tigrean)
l Department of Training - Major General Taddese Wored- (Tigrean)
l Department of Logistics and Administration - Major General Gezahi Abera - (Tigrean)
l Department of Operations - Brigadier General Gebrzgiabher Mebrhatu (Tigrean)
l Department of Military Intelligence- Brigadier General Yohannes (John) Gebre Meskel - (Tigrean) …. Recently appointed as Deputy Commander of Central Command. This Department will also be commanded by head of operations Brigadier General Gebrezgiabher Mebrhatu (Tigrean).
l Commander of the Air Force - Brigadier Molla H. Mariam (Tigirean)

Under the Ministry of Defense there are 5 Ethiopian Army Commanders.
l Northern Command (HQ Mekele) - Major General Seare Mekonnen (Tigrean)
l North Western Command (HQ Baher Dar) - Brigadier General Abraham Gebre Mariam (Tigrean)
l Special Army Command (HQ Dessie-Bure Front) - Birgadier General Teklai Ashebir (Tigrean)
l South Eastern Army Command (HQ Harar) - Brigadier General Seyum Hagos (Tigrean)
l Central Army Command (HQ Shire Indasilassie) - Major General Taddese Wored (Tigirean - Agaw). Recently, Brigadier General Yohannes G. Meskel also Tigrean.

The Ministry of Defense has 28 Division Commanders.
l All but one are Tigreans

Division Commands have 106 Regiments.
l 98% of the Regiment Commanders are Tigireans

It can be safely argued therefore, that there is no Ethiopian national army but Tigrean.

b) The economy: The Ethiopian economy is controlled by two large conglomerates:
l The Endowment Fund for the Rehabilitation of Tigray (EFFORT)
l The Ethio-Saudi AI-Amudi-family - Midroc Ethiopia
Of interest to my ongoing argument is EFFORT. We will return to Midroc at another opportune time.

In 1978, the TPLF created the Relief Society of Tigray (REST), a financial umbrella organization of the TPLF, which acted as an NGO despite, headed by a TPLF Central Committee member. It collected donations from the international community and channeled it to the TPLF, playing a key role in the survival and ultimate victory of TPLF over the Derg.

After the rise of the TPLF to power in 1991, REST was formally registered with the governmental Relief & Rehabilitation Commission in Ethiopia as an NGO. As the TPLF’s financial backbone, it continued enjoying the state protection, and the restructured organization emerged as the richest “NGO” in the continent. In the summer of 1995, about four years after it took control of central power in Ethiopia, the TPLF established a stronger peer for REST - the Endowment Fund for the Rehabilitation of Tigray (EFFORT). Sources suggest that EFFORT started its business venture with a lofty investment volume of about 2.7 billion birr, - then just under US $1 billion (currently $1 US is about 9 birr).

Through EFFORT, the TPLF has considerably diversified its economic activities and expanded its outreach even to foreign countries. The European financial maneuver of the TPLF is based in UK where family members are trained and placed in key areas of Ethiopia’s financial institutions. In some cases, they are assigned to a now growing number of internationalized affiliates co-owned or owned by EFFORT, such as the Tower Trading Company (TTC) – a London-based TPLF owned company mandated with money laundering.

New companies continue to emerge, fully or partly owned by EFFORT through an intricate system of shares and investments. By controlling key growth areas, EFFORT has become the soul of the country's economy: agriculture (Hiwot Mechanized Agriculture), industry (Almeda Textiles Manufacturing Sc., Mesfin Industrial Engineering SC.), import-export (Guna Trading House), transport (Trans-Ethiopia SC.), insurance (Africa Insurance SC.), mining (Meskerem Investment SC.), communications (Mega-Net Corporation), banking (Wegagen Bank), just to mention some. Clearly, TPLF’s business enterprises cover numerous activities including textile, chemicals, pharmaceutical, and food industries. They also cover major service industries such as banking, insurance, transportation, printing, advertising, land developing, import/export, construction, mining, leather products, and farming.

EFFORT is divided into several sectors directed by members of the TPLF Central Committee, like Abadi Zemo for industrial activities, Arkebe Oqubay Mitiku for construction and transportation, and Tewodros Hagos for mining. The individuals may be moved around, but no non-Tigrean is appointed to EFFORT. In fact, no non-TPLF Tigrean is appointed to the ranks of EFFORT. Strategic positions of the Federal government that generate large amounts of cash are also led by Tigreans of EFFORT who hold multiple offices. For example, Foreign Minister Seyoum Mesfin is chairman of Ethiopian Air Lines, chairman of the Mugher Cement Factory, chairman of the Ambo Water Factory, chairman of EFFORT, and deputy-chairman of the TPLF at the same time. The more trusted individuals are usually offered the more strategic positions.

Although EFFORT is strictly controlled by the TPLF, it is not the only entity owned or controlled by high-ranking TPLF officials or favored Tigrean citizens. For example, although EFFORT controls WEGAGEN Bank, the TPLF encouraged the creation of DEDEBIT Credit and Savings Institution, headquartered in Meqele and administered by the local government of Tigray. The bank has numerous financial links with other TPLF controlled businesses of the country. DEDEBIT, as an extension of Rural Credit Program, acquired a near total monopoly over credit to rural areas, mostly farmers. The financial monopoly over rural Ethiopia has serious political ramifications. In the early 2000s, the main source of the bank was interest from fertilizer. Farmers were identified, registered, and forced to make a down payment of 25% on the price for the amount of fertilizer. The Bank estimated the amount of fertilizer the farmer supposedly needed. A credit agreement was written with each farmer, and after six months, the bank collected the debt from the farmers with 15% interest.

Business in Tigray is completely closed to non-Tigreans, and all walks of Tigrean businesses are exclusively owned by EFFORT or the local Tigrean government. For example, the trading company GUNA has a near monopoly in sesame and incense wholesale in Tigray whereas TRANS Ethiopia carries all goods designated as relief.

The TPLF also benefits EFFORT by ordering free transfer of funds from government accounts, often under a bogus claim of services that TPLF institutions offered to the public. It allows free flow of goods in the name of EFFORT, without customs and taxes, but EFFORT is allowed to compete with for-profit businesses of the country through its tentacle bureaus. Thus, Moseb Cement factory was built with public expenditure at a cost of 1.5 billion birr, and a Textile factory in Adwa at 1.2 billion. However, the incomes from these public investments are fully controlled by the TPLF through EFFORT.

EFFORT also makes extensive use of the credit opportunities offered by the state-owned Commercial Bank of Ethiopia (CBE) and other financial institutions controlled by the government. The generous provision of credits by CBE to EFFORT is clearly politically influenced and based upon directives issued by the TPLF controlled government of Ethiopia. When EFFORT defaults in the payment of loans CBE provides relieving credit, obviously upon directives from the Ethiopian government. In some cases, millions of birr loans obtained by EFFORT are unlawfully delayed or even cancelled. In a widely publicized case a few years ago, the Vice-Governor of CBE overruled an earlier decision by the credit department of CBE not to grant 40 million birr credit to SUR Construction, a subsidiary of EFFORT. There is no way escaping the conclusion that the loan was made possible by political intervention from the TPLF regime.

As an almost sole beneficiary of state contracts, EFFORT’s income continues to grow exponentially. For example, during the Ethio-Eritrean war, EFFORT became the financial wing of the war. MESFIN Engineering supplied water, fuel, and vehicles. TRANS-Ethiopia supplied trucks, and SELAM Bus was in charge of transporting militia. The income from the war propelled these companies to powerful monopolies of the country in their respective business domains.

EFFORT has now become a self-contained economic state operating on the call of the official government, formally serving the personal appetite of state officials, a phenomena witnessed nowhere in the world. Its assets are protected federally, and its under-the-table contracts are enforced by TPLF’s iron fisted militias. It has a favored access to government as well as to foreign aid contracts with profitable niches, dominating joint ventures with domestic and foreign investors. One of the strategic alliances is with Amoudi’s Midroc, which supplies the TPLF with billions of birr through investments. Midroc buys natural resources of the South including gold and other precious stones from the TPLF with cash, and service contracts at these sites go back to EFFORT.

At a policy level, the Financial Sector Steering Committee (FSSC) serves as an umbrella institute for justification of fund transfers, creating the legal framework for supporting even poorly performing EFFORT auxiliaries, or channeling funds to the Ethiopian Peoples Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) cash institutes. EPRDF is a bogus amalgam of Fronts populated with non-Tigrean renegades, created and dominated by the TPLF. FSSC defines policies and strategies for banks, appoints board of directors and executives for the banks, and routinely monitors their operations. Thus, the FSSC oversees all government banks, and has full power over their activities. Prime Minister Meles Zenawi chairs this committee. It is a public knowledge that he personally mandated EPRDF companies: Guna, Ambassael, Dinsho, and Wando to take over the sugar company when the plant was privatized. Interestingly Ato Sebhat who owns Guna, Ato Bereket who owns Ambassel, Ato Girma who owns Dinsho, and Ato Kassu who owns Wando are members of FSSC, and some of these same individuals seat on the Board of CBE that financed these companies. As a result, all privately owned enterprises competing for the privatization of the plant, Star, Abeba co. etc. were shut out of the competition.

The EFFORT companies are reported to owe billions of birr to Ethiopian banks. In fact, most of the EFFORT companies would not survive without government protection. In one case, CBE, the Construction and Business Bank, and the Ethiopian Development Bank collectively loaned 1.7 billion birr to EFFORT. According to insiders, the loan has not been paid to date. The 1.7 billion birr was distributed to Adigrat Pharmaceutical Factory, Adwa Textile Factory, Dashen Brewery, and Mesebo Cement Factory. These and other EFFORT or EPRDF affiliates including TESCO, Tikure Abay, Dansho Transport are constantly in deep financial crisis.

Although the main focus of this paper is private business ventures of the TPLF, it must be noted that Tigray, the TPLF’s home region has inequitably benefited from federal funds. For example, a recently published paper presents comparative welfare analysis of four Ethiopian regions: Oromia, Amhara, Southern States, and Tigray. A 2001/2002 data of these regions shows that 42% of children in Tigray are fully vaccinated, where as the percentage is - 10% for Oromia, 15% for Amhara, and 11% for Southern States. Population to physician ratio is 28,600 for Tigray. This jumps to 60,800 for Oromia, 60,700 for Amhara, and 44,000 for Southern States. Secondary education enrollment for Tigray is about 25% (a six-fold increase in just a decade), but Oromia has 11.6%, Amhara 9%, and Southern States 11%. According to World Bank report “Ethiopia Public Expenditure review” the Federal government never transferred more than 6% of the country’s cash revenue to the states, which leaves more than 94% of the federal budget at the discretion of the TPLF, appropriation of which is apparent from the above numbers.

In conclusion, the TPLF has clearly violated international business rules and practices, and as a ruling political party, it not only owns large amounts of properties and engages in commercial and trading activities whereby it places competing private sectors in a hopeless situation, but it also uses this economic dominance to incarcerate, harass, dominate, and control political opposition forces to stay in power. This injustice justifies continued armed struggle of the people against the TPLF domination, and rejection of foreign expeditions to exploit natural resources of the country on behalf of the TPLF.


Thursday, August 09, 2007

A Bogus Victory Declaration of TPLF/EPRDF Tyrannical Regime

The Oromo Liberation Front's Statement regarding the August 7, 2007, TPLF/EPRDF's Claim of Victory

In our recent statement the OLF correctly stated that, "the TPLF regime has shown itself to be the mother and father of all lies". Indeed since the time of Nazi Germany, there has never been a regime like that of the TPLF, which has developed lies and deception into an art of governance. The regime has fabricated so much lies to confuse and victimize the Oromo and other peoples of Ethiopia. In the process the regime's survival has totally depended on manufacturing lies and hate propaganda on those it believes threat to its multiple agendas.

The regime has been fabricating such baseless lies primarily for the consumption of its international financiers. Thus, over the years the regime has perfected the art ofmanufacturing lies for the purpose of obtaining financial and military support from its international backers."

Continuing with tradition of fabrication of lies, on August 7, 2007, The TPLF/EPRDF's regime's Defense Ministry asserted that his forces killed several "rebels" and "captured hundreds in two months." The Ministry further asserted, "All the elements belonged to the ONLF (Ogaden National Liberation Front), OLF (Oromio Liberation Front), and Al-Ittihad." The latter organization added to the list, because it serves the TPLF regime as its cash cow.

However, The TPLF/EPRD's Defense Ministry's victory declaration is a bogus claim. During the last two months despite the Ministry's statement claim, the OLF did not operate in the Ogden. The joint operation of the OLF and OLNF took place in January and February 2007. In that joint operation the gallant Oromo Liberation Army and the ONLF Army caused heavy damage to the TPLF army. In their historic joint operation and victory over the enemy, the OLF and ONLF liberation armies captured military personnel, weapons and ammunitions. The OLF and ONLF successful joint operation was a military and political blow that shocked the TPLF army and leadership. The Oromo Liberation Front has no contact with Al-Ittihad and has never had a joint military operation with it. The TPLF's regime's implication that the OLF Army has jointly operated with the Al-Ittihad is a habitual malicious false accusation.

The Oromo Liberation Army has continued its operation in all corners of Oromia. The Oromo Liberation Army's recent successful operations in Burqaa, Babile, etc. of Eastern Oromia have made many TPLF soldiers out of action and captured weapons and ammunitions.

The TPLF army did not and cannot defeat the Oromo Liberation Army. Contrary to the TPLF regime's false assertions, the Oromo Liberation struggle is growing stronger and gathering momentum on each passing day. On the other side, the tyrannical TPLF regime is fast losing ground and being rejected by its international backers on each passing day, not to mention the internal legitimacy it never had. Had the TPLF victory propaganda of the last sixteen years been true, there would not have been a talk about the OLF now. A bogus victory declaration does not save the TPLF/EPRDF tyrannical regime from its inevitable downfall. This is the verdict of history from which the TPLF regime will never escape.

Finally, we would like to reiterate that the Oromo Liberation Army targets the TPLF army, its military installation and assets. The Oromo Liberation Army never targets the civilian population and property.

Victory to the Oromo People!

Oromo Liberation Front
August 8, 2007

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

The making of a second Darfur in Ogaden

The morally bankrupt Ethiopian regime has in all sense and purposes decided to carryout operations that can be described as nothing less than a planned ethnic cleansing and genocide in Ogaden. In most of all the major Ogaden cities and towns, reports of mass detentions of civilians have been commonplace in the past month. Sensing failure to shake the Ogaden citizenry's conviction with mass civilian detentions, the Addis autocracy has since resorted to carpet-bombing campaigns against civilian targets throughout Ogaden. Forced mass civilian evictions with the mistaken belief that such evictions from towns and hamlets will reduce the mounting Ethiopian military battle losses and casualties has taken place in places such Qamuuda, Lehelow, and Jalelo. Access in and out of entire cities and towns were and are still blocked. This has put entire populations on fast track to mass starvation. The meager food supplies in cities and towns such as Wabiyar, Fooljeex, and Gaba Gabo were destroyed to expedite mass civilian famishment. The latest, reported Ethiopian military brutality against the defenseless Ogaden citizenry is the severe torture, and the extra judicial killings of children whose mutilated bodies are then put on display in city and town centers. In Qabri Dahar, several children were reported killed in this manner two days ago. The children's lifeless and mutilated bodies were brought to the city center as if to warn civilians that the same fate awaits them. What is taking place in Ogaden fits to the letter both the moral and legal definition of genocide. It is what took place in Rwanda thirteen years ago under the silent gaze of the world community. It is what is reported to have taken place in Darfur. Ogaden is another Rwanda and a second Darfur in the making. The world community should NOT fail to yet again put the brakes to another African tragedy such as Ogaden. The Ogaden civilians who are carpet-bombed, detained on mass, mass starved to death, and whose children have been mutilated and put on display by the Ethiopian military under the leadership of the Addis autocracy need the moral and military support of the world community. Another Rwanda and Darfur is not what we need to see so let us help the defenseless Ogaden civilians now and not a minute LATER. We, the Ogaden Editorial Board, ask the world community to come to the aid of the defenseless Ogaden civilians under the mercy of an Ethiopian dictator propped by foreign powers with selfish agendas. Let the world community know that history will not be kind to those who failed humanity in Rwanda, Darfur, and are on the brink of failing Ogaden. editorial@ogaden.com Ogaden Online Editorial June 25, 2007

Monday, June 11, 2007

OLF Statement on VOA's Unfounded and Fabricated News

It was surprising and utterly confusing for the Oromo Liberation Front (OLF) to hear to be part of a coalition formed by Somalia's oppositions in "Asmara "; which Voice of America (VOA) broadcasted on June 8, 2007. According to the VOA, Somalia's oppositions held a meeting in Asmara and formed a coalition that the OLF not only attended but also became part of the so-called coalition. This is totally incredible for the OLF to hear such news being broadcasted by an accredited media like the VOA. The radio station should have and could have verified the authenticity of the news from the OLF before it went on air. We consider this as a misuse of the media to disseminate disinformation to confuse the general public based on unverified piece of news.The Oromo Liberation Front is an organization that is struggling in Ethiopia for the rights to self-determination of the Oromo people. OLF has clearly stated political program and well-defined internal and external policies. Also the OLF has made its stance clear on the politics of Somalia in particular and other neighboring countries in general. OLF does not meddle in the internal affairs of neighboring countries. This makes the news broadcasted by VOA totally out the sphere of OLF politics and makes it fabricated and unfounded.Hence, the OLF categorically denies having any knowledge of the said Somalia's opposition meeting and formation of a coalition. OLF seriously asks the VOA to make clarification on this news it broadcasted and take necessary steps to mend this false information broadcasted on this issue. We hope VOA will continue to be accredited media, which has great acceptance and respect from its listeners especially from the Oromo people.Victory to the Oromo PeopleOromo Liberation FrontJune 9, 2007

Saturday, May 19, 2007

EPRDF MP defects

18 May 2007 (EMF) -- Fikru Jeldessa Nikuss, former member of Benishangul Gumuz Front (BGPDUF) and an MP (EPRDF) applied asylum in The Netherlands escaping the ever growing persecutions, it was revealed today.
"The political persecutions are very severing in the regional states, if one is against the will of the ruling party." Fikru said.
"One faces torture, imprisonment and death unless he complies with the interests of the ruling elites. More than 300 political dissents including former vice president of the region, Mr. Abdul Mohamed Ibrahim, are languishing in prison. Hundreds, including president of the regional Supreme Court, Ms. Zeneba Mohammed, are also forced to exile in Sudan." he added.
Having lost almost all seats in the May 2005 general election, the regime has panicked and vowed vengeance against the people. Fikru says there has been increasing discontent among MPs, officer corps and dissent in Ethiopia. He also said the Meles Zenawi's regime became more irresponsible after the May 2005 election, complaining that the regime has appointed Mr. Al Bedri, a Sudanese citizen, as head of Education to the region. Mr. Bedri escaped to Sudan stealing Millions of birr allocated to the region. Mr. Fikru, whose responsibilities include head of auditor general in the region, was twice locked up at tatek military camp for exposing the severe corruptions of the authorities. Commenting on Ethiopia's ethnic federalism, Fikru says, Benishangul Gumuz region is not different from other local states. All key positions are controlled by the Tigrian People's Liberation Front (TPLF) in all the regions. In practice, Mr. Zeray Asgedom, who is TPLF Central Committee Members and a close ally of Meles Zenawi, is administering the region. The president of the region, Mr. Yaregal Aysheshum is simply a puppet similar to many other regional states. His representation is only symbolic and aimed to deceive the people in the region. "During my stay in house, I have become increasingly frustrated with the conduct of the TPLF-led government." Fikru said. "More than 400 people were killed as a result of ethnic clash between Benishangul Gumuz and Shinasha, which was caused by the regime as its strategy to divide and rule." He added.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Warning: Another bloodbath in the coming

Kallacha Dubbi - Serious observers of the Ethiopian political panorama, especially the homegrown who can also do better reading of the Abyssinian psychic, are unanimous in that Prime Minister Meles is concocting ‘good’ reasons to wage another war against Eritrea. Movement of ground troops and political debates in the doomed Ethiopian parliament suggest that this war is very likely to follow the coming winter which also comes conveniently after the Ethiopian millennium, which has captured serious attention of the Prime Minister. It is unlikely Meles will go to war before such a big party although the millennium could be left for honeymoon of the postwar victory, if the victory can be assured. A number of reproach strategies have been adopted by Meles paving the ground for attack and grooming “logical” justifications for the possibility of a war.

Blame 1: Afar

In 2003, a group associated with the Afar Revolutionary Democratic Unity Front, (ARDUF) issued a warning to foreigners not to enter the Afar region. In early March of 2007, ARDUF kidnapped a group of five Europeans and 13 Ethiopians in the Danakil depression, a remote region of the Afar people. The ARDUF indubitably admitted that it and no one else is responsible for the kidnapping.

And yet, few days later, Reuter reported that “an Ethiopian administrator accused Eritrean forces of kidnapping” the group. A British newspaper followed quoting Ethiopian sources that the kidnapped tourists were taken “to a military camp near the Eritrean border.” Another reputed newsletter wrote that “five British citizens who were kidnapped in northern Ethiopia have been spotted at a military camp across the border in Eritrea, a senior Ethiopian official said.” By the end of the week it was common to read about “hostages held in Eritrean rebel camp.” In twisted propaganda notch, one newsletter went as far as telling its readers, that the Afars are almost all Sunni Muslims, as if this piece has to matter to rescue the victims. All of a sudden, the Eritreans were more at the center of the kidnapping news than the ARDUF, by design of the official Ethiopian media. Few cared to know the relevant, for example, that the ARDUF had kidnapped some Italian tourists as far back as in 1995, later releasing them, unharmed. Or the fact that it seeks freedom and liberty for the Afar people and that an earlier Afar rebel group, the Afar Liberation Front (ALF), fought against the Derg for 17 years. The thrust of the news ended with accusing Eritrea more than about liberating the Afar.

Blame 2: Ogaden

On December 23, 2006, the Ogaden National Liberation Front, (ONLF) claimed to have attacked an Ethiopian column near Baraajisale heading to Somalia, destroying 4 of 20 vehicles, inflicting casualties and driving the convoy back. It also claimed another attack on Ethiopian soldiers on January 15, 2007 in Qabri-Dahar, Garbo, and Fiiq. Five Ethiopian soldiers and one ONLF rebel were reported killed. Many ONLF attacks have taken place on Ethiopian convoys, but the attack which included Chinese citizens is the only one the Western medias were interested in, inadvertently asking more attacks of worthy news. The attack on the Chinese camp took place in April, about seven weeks after the Danakil kidnap. A shoot-out occurred between Ethiopian soldiers guarding the Chinese exploratory group and the ONLF. Nine Chinese oil workers and 65 Ethiopians were killed. The front claimed full responsibility for the “rescue”, not an attack, but stated that the death of the Chinese or Ethiopians was not intentional.

More of the same complains and charges ensued by the Ethiopian government as in the Danakil case. A serious Europe-based news media reported: “Ethiopia accuses neighbors of supporting an ethnic Somali rebel group that attacked a Chinese-run oil installation this week, killing 74 people.” Then, in a surprising reverse of the vector, the Christian Science Monitor suggested “there is a growing realization that Somalia's increasingly brutal insurgency is starting to seep across the Horn of Africa”. This offered an impression, that the Somali insurgency against Ethiopia gave rise to the Ogaden movement. And yet the ONLF, created in 1984, surely predates the 2006 Ethiopian occupation of Mogadishu.

AFP added the psychological score for Ethiopia reporting “Ethiopia on Wednesday accused arch-foe Eritrea of supporting the rebels behind an attack on a remote Chinese-run oil field that killed 74 people, including nine Chinese workers.” More uninformed commentary followed: “Ethiopian analysts say the unprecedented scale of the attack, claimed by the ONLF, suggested it could only have been carried out with support from Islamists in neighboring Somalia, who were routed by Ethiopian forces in a two-week, Christmas-time invasion. Some analysts see this as an indication that the battle for control of Somalia's capital, Mogadishu is becoming a regional conflict.” One starts getting the impression that the ONLF is a result of Meles’ struggle against terrorism. What sophistication does it require to overwhelm badly trained and poorly armed of Ethiopian guards protecting unarmed Chinese, only the Christian Monitor knows. So again, even though ONLF seemed to have received more attention than the ARDUF, after all the West should not terribly dislike an attack against China, but Ethiopia is still compiling blames against Eritrea.

I just saw a report on the Ogaden online, that the ONLF has captured Qalafe town in the Godey province of Ogaden. I am certain Meles will blame Eritrea once again.

Blame 3: Somalia

On April, 24 2007, Jendayi Frazer, the assistant secretary of state for African affairs, said that “Eritrea was the largest foreign backer of guerrillas who are fiercely resisting attempts by Ethiopia and the Somali government to pacify Mogadishu.” This paraphrased Ethiopia’s propaganda, that “Eritrea is fuelling the insurgency in Somalia in order to wage a proxy war against Ethiopia”. VOA and AFNEWS also reported that “Addis Ababa quickly accused Eritrea of starting a proxy war by backing both the ONLF and insurgents in Mogadishu. The government of Eritrea angrily denied the Ethiopian and U.S. accusations. By then Prime Minister Meles has transferred the ‘debate’ to the Ethiopian Parliament where a resolution was assured by the EPRDF majority, accusing Eritrea and OTHER groups for supporting Somali insurgents and ‘undermining’ Ethiopia’s peace mission in Somalia.

The opposition in the doomed parliament debated long to remove the word “other” from the resolution, a reference to the banned Ethiopian opposition groups with connections to Eritrea. This is the first test of Meles to the Ethiopian parliament gauging the reaction to his war plan, and one can bet, that the vote in the parliament to declare open war against Eritrea would follow the same vote ratios – those who opposed the inclusion of “others” will also oppose the war, those who supported will also support the war, so a majority is guaranteed by the very birth of EPRDF. The test of the parliament was completed successfully, but then it was sham to start with.

Blame 4: Oromia

During a series of debates in the parliament preceding the Ethiopian army attack of Somalia, Prime Minister Meles listed his justifications for the attack. One of these justifications was the famous “third point”, the presence of “other” unfriendly forces in Somalia, a term used to refer to opposition forces including the OLF. Meles’ has repeatedly proven his willingness to cross a border hunting for opposition forces, the OLF in particular. He has crossed to Kenya, to Somalia, and - Eritrea as his next plan.

On Tuesday this week, the Voice of Oromo Liberation announced that the OLF army entered and controlled for 3 hrs a small town of Bati in north eastern Ethiopia. This suggests that there is a growing pressure on the Tigrean domination of Oromia, a pressure that is sure to culminate on the shoulders of Meles. Indeed the report also said the OLF chased the regime’s representatives out of town and gave warnings to corrupted administrators. I have little doubt that Meles will once again blame Eritrea for the success of the OLF, even though the OLF’s official media has taken full credit of the small town mutiny. Alternately, Meles could simply keep quiet about it, it will not be the business of the international media after all - no foreigner is involved.

Blame 5: Eritrea

It is to be recalled that the Boundary Commission delivered a final report on 21 March 2003 reaffirming its previous decisions, that “the delimitation decision was final and binding,” and that having made its determination it “could not receive further representations from the parties, that demarcation could only proceed on the basis of that decision”. This was precisely in line with Eritrea’s position and places the fault for the continued border tension on Ethiopia’s side. And yet the Ethiopian army still occupies the territory it lost by the Algier’s mediation which it went in to agreement willfully, signing to abide by the outcome. About 14 years later, the border is not demarcated, and Ethiopia continues to blame Eritrea for its own failure to abide by the international law. The Eritrean border is held hostage to submit Eritrea to Tigrean supremacy, and this alone provides Meles with his rational for a war against Eritrea, a war that is in the making.

Prime ally for the war: USA

In a recent Foreign Affairs article, John Prendergast and Colin Thomas-Jensen of the International Crisis Group argue that “Washington’s obsession with counterterrorism in Africa’s Horn is undermining efforts to bring stability to the region.” And Meles, a man with one of the worst human rights records, is now America’s ally in fighting terrorism. Ethiopia is investing heavily to swing on the “unti-terror” pendulum.

On March 26, 2002, O'Dwyer's PR Daily reported that "Ethiopia spent a whopping $5.6 million in lobbying fees/expenses at Verner, Liipfert, Bernhard, McPherson & Hand during the firm's recent six-month reporting period". Just recently, Dick Armey, the Texas Republican and former House majority leader now works for a lobbying firm DLA Piper. Armey and DLA Piper registered with the Justice Department in June 2006 as lobbyists for the government of Ethiopia, at a price tag of $50,000 a month. In a sudden rise to African politics, a little known university professor named Peter Pham surprises Africanists and Ethiopiansts with a bold testimony in support of the Ethiopian regime as an expert, arguing in favor of Meles, on the grounds that the alternative would awash the Horn with terrorism. Alas, the extravagant reward for lobbyists paid off in a fashion paid on behalf of corporate America, scores a point for Ethiopia on the new DC front. The O'Dwyer's PR Daily report specifically mentions that the group’s area of lobbying includes the conflict with Eritrea.

Gathering diplomacy for the war: Middle East and the Sudan

In the middle of May, 2007 Prime Minister Meles visited Kuwait. Durig his visit, he and his Kuwaiti counterparts, Amir Sheikh Al Ahmed Al Jaber Al Sabah and the Prime Minister Sheikh Naser Mohammed Al Sabah “called for the unity and independence of Somalia and an end to violence.” The two leaders also “emphasized the need to resolve disputes between African nations through peaceful means.” The must be a calculated effort to neutralize the Arab support for Eritrea. Meles knows full well, that the same countries that supported and sustained the Eritrean struggle for over 3 decades may not allow it to fall under Ethiopia’s arms after independence. Sudan’s full or tacit support, a country that hosted the head-quarters of the Eritrean movements and transited all supports for the liberation struggle for those decades, must be critical. So, upon return, Prime Minister Meles also met with Sudanese Defense Minister, Lieutenant General Abdelrahim Mohamed Hussein, and jointly declared that “multifarious cooperation between the governments of Ethiopia and Sudan has been growing.” I have a sense that the above complains were presented to the Sudan who has its own Darfur ax to grind, and need not be pressed much to submit.


The writing on the wall is clear and in bold. A war is in the making in the Horn, and it will be a brutal one, a vicious one, in which more than the previous 70,000 are to be killed. This war in the making in front of the worlds eyes, including the United States, a country that for now seems to stand by Ethiopia. US and Ethiopian relationships, especially when such relationship is sure to cause pain for the millions, should be revisted for the sake of innocent lives, if not sincere politics. This would be consistent with the humaniterean obligations of this great country. US has no business in interrogating “terror suspects in secret Ethiopian prisons”, when its own country reports reveal gross human rights abuses of Meles. As the New York Times objectively stated, the US should not look the other way when Ethiopia violats UN sanctions by purchasing arms from North Korea in prepartion for agression. Meles must be stopped from making another stupid and sadistic war.

May 17, 2007

Saturday, May 12, 2007

You can't use kerosene to put off sparks

Kallacha Dubbi - I read an article by Peter Pham which appeared in World Defense Review, under Strategic Interests, entitled "Additional Sparks Fly in the Horn of Africa", also distributed by the Sudan Tribune. I too see sparks dangerously flying all over east Africa, but I don't see them the way Mr. Pham saw. His solutions are precariously short-sited despite they appear under "strategic interest", and inescapably one-sided. For this and more reasons, I saw his very paper as a piece of another ember, a blatant disfavor for a region that deserves more and better.

For Mr. Pham's record, I shall start with a disclaimer that I am not a member of al-Itihad or the Ogaden National Liberation Front (ONLF). In fact, I am not a Somali by nationality or ethnicity, not even a Moslem. This, I hope helps the reader's confidence including Mr. Pham's in giving me the benefit of the doubt, especially since I am a native of east Africa and a country Mr. Pham may only have visited as a guest of honor.

Mr. Pham claims that the Somali Islamists were more of a threat than some of his colleagues averred because, in their previous incarnation as al-Itihaad al-Islamiya ("Islamic Union") - they had "enjoyed longstanding ties with dissident groups which had carried out terrorist and other violent actions within Ethiopia." For this reasons, Mr. Pham believes the US State Department should classify the Somali Islamists, ONLF in particular, as a terrorist group because, "the ONLF seeks to split their region from the rest of Ethiopia with the goal of joining it to an eventual 'Greater Somalia', which proponents envision embracing all their ethno-linguistic kinfolk in Djibouti, Ethiopia, and Kenya as well as the former Somalia and the Republic of Somaliland." So, based on Mr. Pham's logic, the US must declare all opposition political groups in friendly regimes as terrorists even if these regimes are so tyrannical that the people do not see any other hope for achieving their just quest for freedom than armed struggle. This logic is troublesome, it refutes all history books. In fact, it is very alarming to read defense or policy analyses of this sort from a source of this caliber.

Mr. Pham seems deeply incensed because the ONLF was not listed as a terrorist group by the US Secretary of State in its 2005 or 2006 Country Reports on Terrorism, not mentioned in the list of forty-two groups formally designated as being a foreign terrorist organization, not in the summary of terrorist activities in Ethiopia, not even among the forty-two "other groups of concern". This is as at least pleasing as Mr. Pham's parochial view is displeasing. The State Department is obviously smarter than an individual lobbyist wants it to be.

Mr. Pham admits that an ONLF representative in North America attempted to contact him a while ago, called him and sent him a fax, "with unexpected politeness" and informed him that he begged to differ with his interpretation if not his facts. The ONLF representative apparently wrote him that "while his group was engaged in an armed struggle to free their nation from occupation, it did not utilize terror against any entity except bona fide military targets or the repressive apparatus of the (Ethiopian) regime." In a surprising lack of interest for knowledge and a depressing predisposition for journalistic or scholarly curiosity, Mr. Pham refuses to have any communication with the person even from the safety of his north American office or a Washington DC confinement, - to listen to someone who openly approaches him from an organization Mr. Pham admits "does not pose a direct threat to the United States". And yet Mr. Pham suggests that the US State Department should join him in declaring the ONLF guilty as charged, without talking to the charged who willing places himself in the witness stand ready to talk, solely through his tourist testimony gathered from a single source - the Ethiopian state-owned mass media which is known for incriminating innocent bystanders. If he is so unwilling to even listen, how can he go so extreme in his analyses and assertions? It sure is discerning.

Ethiopia has been in a virtual civil war for almost a century and the various ethnic groups are still fighting for equality and self determination. The now dominating group from the Tigray ethnic group has attempted to classify all other ethnic groups that have raised arms to fight the Tigrean domination of the Ethiopian political panorama as terrorist groups. On the other hand, the same regime has outlawed all opposition forces and hundreds of activists from the OLF, Kinigit, etc who are facing trial for treason, simply because the ruling Tigrean party lost elections. By denying the Ogaden Somalis the right to struggle for equality and for their basic human rights, Mr. Pham is indirectly telling us that these freedom fighters are terrorists because they do not accept a Tigrean domination. Nonsense!

Mr. Pham seems motivated to contribute this version of his policy analyses by a recent event in Ogaden - on April 24, the ONLF launched a massive attack on an oilfield in Obala inside Ethiopia. This is acknowledged by the ONLF shortly after the attack. The ONLF communiqué reads that it has stated on numerous occasions that it will not allow the mineral resources in Ogaden to be exploited by "this regime or any firm that it enters into an illegal contract with so long as the people of Ogaden are denied their rights to self-determination." Any genuine democrat would appreciate this; it effectively stops corruption, obstructs dictatorship, and attempts to transfer ownership of natural resources to the people. There is nothing wrong with expecting a Tigrean who comes thousands of miles South to Ogaden with employees from China to ask for permission of the Ogadenis before digging a big cavity in the grazing grounds of their ancestors or in their playgrounds; it would be right to make some consultation with the local people - both morally and legally.

Mr. Pham on the other hand audaciously writes "despite this open admission of its role in the most spectacular attack within Ethiopia since the fall of the Marxist dictatorship in 1991 - to say nothing of the toll of thousands of lives which ONLF ambushes and raids against Ethiopian military and civilians have exacted since 1984 - the Ogadeni militants amazingly do not figure in official U.S. terror lists." This argument is so bizarre that it leads to classifying all the population of Ethiopia, except those who are party to the domination of the TPLF, as terrorists.

The question is, should an armed struggle against viciously dictatorial regimes such as that of Ethiopia be considered terror? Should the State Department categorically and thoughtlessly classify all armed struggles as terror? How would this new and bizarre definition reconcile the US's strategic interest with the legit wish of the people in Africa to live in peace as equals? How would any liberation movement be tolerated, and what would happen to history? Should we now redefine even the Second World War as terror against Hitler? Mr. Pham can have a favorable view of the Ethiopian regime. But to extend this view to categorically classifying struggles against a dictatorial regime as terrorism simply is unjust and it is not a serious analyses.

Mr. Pham seems concerned of being perceived "as exclusively concerned with groups which might impact us while ignoring the real challenges faced by our allies." The ally in this case is the Ethiopian regime. For Mr. Pham, the blood of the thousands of Oromos, Amharas, Somalis, Sidamas, etc., often including young school kids, is less relevant to the real challenge of the his dictator allies. He either naively of shrewdly sees siding with a brutal dictator and alienating the entire population as beneficial to the US interest. I do not.

I agree, "nothing prevents international terrorist groups from making alliances of convenience with non-international terrorist groups." But I know no "non-international terrorist group" more rampant than the Meles' regime. The people, whether Oromos or Somalis . all they want is equality and self determination. Suffocating such a demand is more of a terror than fighting such a genuine demand. To know the brutality of Meles, one only needs to read reports of Africa Watch, Amnesty International, US country report, Oromia Support Group, etc.

Finally, the bombing of two hotels and the attempted assassination of a cabinet minister in Addis Ababa, etc., are terrorist actions that should be condemned. I do not know who perpetuated them. I thrust the ONLF no less than I trust EPRDF or TPLF. In fact, I thrust the ONLG better because the TPLF outlawed the Macca Tulama Association for "storing bombs" in its office. Macca Tulama is a civic organization that I know for sure didn't store even enough pens and papers in its open door offices, leave alone explosives. The ONLF attack on the Chinese explorers is reminder of how dry the savannas of the Horn are, and how easily they can catch fire. The flying embers, from Mr. Pham or anyone else do not help diffuse the ethnic tension which is mostly fueled by the dominating group, the Tigreans in this case. Al Qaeda or any other terrorist group could join in throwing embers. But Africans are smart enough to know that terrorism or religious extremism will not promote equality and democracy. They are also aware that not all smart and crafty writers have Africa's best interests in their minds, especially in the lobbyist-infested politics of DC. Ironically, poor countries like Ethiopia can still afford hiring lobbyists for millions of dollars. Short-sited interest should not condemn east Africa to political turbulence more fertile to lobbyism than terrorism. This underscores the need for the US to forge strong ties with local representatives of the people as recently initiated in Iraq, and bypass despots like Meles. To achieve these strategic objectives, the US needs to support popular resistances as a long-term useful strategy. Why support a regime built from straws, whose days are numbered, and has no mass base at all?


Friday, May 04, 2007

Monitoring Group on Somalia and the Associated Press; they have it wrong

October 2006 the UN Monitoring Group on Somalia reported to the Security Council Committee on Somalia that that the OLF was fighting on the side of the Islamic Courts Union. At the time the OLF rejected this baseless Ethiopian propaganda that turned into UN news stating as a matter of policy the OLF does not interference in neighboring states internal affairs, and that Somalia is no exception. The UN Monitoring Group on Somalia simplyCopied Ethiopian propaganda without any legitimate substantiation and converted it to "news". The occupying forces of Ethiopia in Somalia have captured thousands of Ethiopian refugees who lived in Somalia for years, killed many of them, and tortured even more to submission and admission of guilt. These individuals are then used through state owned Ethiopia massmedia as evidence of OLF armed presence in Somalia. Because of the track record of the Ethiopian regime, this propaganda should not have been trusted. For example, in a letter dated March 22, 2007, the Human Rights Watch, in its letter to Kenyan Director of Political Affairs, Mr. Thomas Amolo, wrote the following:"Human Rights Watch fears that many of the detainees will face mistreatment and possibly torture or execution in Ethiopian custody. Human Rights Watch has previously documented that Ethiopian forces routinely engage in torture of criminal, political and military detainees, and in its recent human rights country report on Ethiopia, the US State Department noted that inEthiopia "There were numerous credible reports that security officials often beat or mistreated detainees. Opposition political parties reported frequent and systematic abuse of their supporters by police and regional militias. . . . in detention centers police often physically abuseddetainees... Ethiopian security services may suspect some individuals of having connections to Ethiopian insurgency movements, in which case they may face torture or even summary execution if delivered into Ethiopian custody."The OLF is an Oromo secular political organization rooted inside Oromia, and has no military objectives in any other country than Oromia. It boasts diplomatic presence around the world, including the USA. The OLF abides by international laws and standards, and rejects targeting civilians and terror as a means of achieving its objectives.In a more recent incident, the Associated Press has attempted to connect an Ethiopian-born U.S. citizen named Sisaye Dinssa, recently convicted of currency smuggling as an "OLF financier". The said culprit is neither a member of the OLF; neither do we have any record of his financial support to the OLF. We regret that AP sensationalized such news item to the extent oflabeling and defaming a legitimate political organization. The OLF channels all its business in North America, financial included, legally, through its bureau in Washington DC. We see no reason to resort to illegal smuggling or use of one.
Ma y 5, 2007 -

Oromo Liberation Front - Division of External Information - P.O.BOX - 73247Washington DC 20056 - Tel. (202) 462-5477 - Ext. 202Fax. (202) 332-7011- olfinfodesk@earthlink.net - www.oromoliberationfront.org

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Fabricated Propaganda Against the OLF - OLF Statement

It has been a fashion for the TPLF controlled Ethiopian regime to falsely label the Oromo Liberation Front (OLF) with anything that might give the OLF a bad image. In recent past there has been a consorted propaganda effort to falsely associate the OLF with the ongoing movements in Somalia not only by the Ethiopian tyrannical regime but also by some ill-informed individuals and organizations. Indeed it is inexplicable why some so called experts on the region and a few news outlets in the West act as a mouth piece for Ethiopian regime’s malicious propaganda against the OLF.

The UN Monitoring Group on Somalia, in its October 2006 report to the Security Council Committee on Somalia, falsely alleged that the OLF was fighting on the side of the Islamic Courts Union (ICU). The OLF totally rejects this baseless accusation. OLF’s policy is that of non-interference in neighboring states internal affairs and Somalia is no exception. At the time of the release of the above report we had categorically denied the allegation. However the false information created by the Monitoring Group on Somalia continues to spread unabated (see Reuters April 25, 2007). The Monitoring Group or its source, which we suspect to be the Ethiopian regime, had purposely concocted this story to taint the OLF’s reputation and image.

The OLF is a secular political organization that endeavors to empower the Oromo people to freely exercise their inalienable rights to national self-determination, a right guaranteed by international law to all people seeking to freely choose their own future. The OLF doesn’t employ terror as a means to achieve this political goal. In fact, the OLF has a longstanding anti-terrorism policy. The OLF clearly sees terrorism as a danger and menace to peace and joins the international community in fighting against extremism and terrorism.

It is devious to falsely implicate the OLF in activities of other forces in the region or elsewhere. Such false accusation of the OLF doesn’t serve the cause of peace. The OLF has a long history of fighting all forms of religious extremism in the region. Besides, in the Oromo society, people of all religious faith and background live in peace and harmony.

On the other hand, it should be clear that the real culprit for the problems in the Horn of Africa is the Tigrean led minority Ethiopian government. This autocratic regime has frequently violated international boundaries of neighboring states like Somalia, Eritrea, and Kenya. Currently the Ethiopian army is occupying Somalia illegally. It should be abundantly clear that as long as Ethiopia’s internal perennial political problems are not rectified; Somalia’s and other regional problems could not easily find a resolution. Those who desire peace for the region should be aware of this and cooperate with the OLF in remedying Ethiopia’s internal political crisis.

It appears that the goals of the oppressive Ethiopian regime and its supporters are to isolate the Oromo people’s genuine national liberation struggle and also create impediments to the Ethiopian peoples’ desire for peace and harmony. In these they should not be allowed to succeed.

Oromo Liberation Front
May 2, 2007

Ban Ki Moon proposal must be defeated

By Salim Lone-This is the most lawless war of our generation. All wars of aggression lack legitimacy, but no conflict in recent memory has witnessed such mounting layers of illegality as the current one in Somalia. Violations of the UN Charter and of international humanitarian law are regrettably commonplace in our age, and they abound in the carnage that the world is allowing to unfold in Mogadishu, but this war in addition has explicitly violated two Security Council resolutions. To complete the picture, one of these resolutions contravenes the Charter itself. The complete impunity with which Ethiopia and the transitional Somali government have been allowed to violate these resolutions explains the ruthlessness of the military assaults that have been underway for six weeks now. The details of the atrocities being committed were formally acknowledged by a western government for the first time when Germany, which holds the current EU presidency, had its ambassador to Somalia Walter Lindner write a tough letter, made public Wednesday, to Somali President Abdullahi Yusuf. The letter condemned the indiscriminate use of air strikes and heavy artillery in Mogadishu’s densely populated areas, the raping of women, the deliberate blocking of urgently-needed food and humanitarian supplies and the bombing of even hospitals. This is a relentless drive to terrify and intimidate civilians belonging to clans from whose ranks fighters are challenging the occupation There was a time when Security Council resolutions were hallowed for most of the world, as for example Resolution 242 demanding the return of occupied Palestine territory in exchange for peace. But in our new world order, the powerful decide which UN resolutions are passed, and then determine whether they need to be honoured. So the United States, which was violating the UN arms embargo on Somalia, rushed through another resolution in December that it thought would better serve its goals – and then proceeded to violate that one as well. The new resolution specifically forbade neighbouring countries from being part of the regional peace-keeping force the Security Council authorized for Somalia, but Ethiopia went much further than even that and unilaterally invaded, with the full covert assistance of the US, which also openly joined the war by bombing Somalia. This December resolution actually contravened the Charter itself, because it made the Security Council the aggressor and turned a clearly peaceful situation to war. The resolution linked the Islamic Courts to international terrorism and mandated a Chapter VII peace-keeping force to address the “threat to international peace and security” that Somalia posed - when by every independent account, including Chatham House’s on Wednesday, indicated that the country was experiencing its first peace and security since 1991 under the Islamic Courts Union. The resolution paved the way for the Ethiopian invasion which led to the bitter conflict that many independent analysts, including at a high-level meeting in Addis Ababa organized by Ethiopia’s Inter Africa Group, had warned would be the inevitable result. A government put in place by for force by archenemy Ethiopia was never going to hold sway. The long silence, and the refusal even now to announce measures that might arrest this civilian slaughter, marks the lowest point in the big powers’ abdication of the Responsibility to Protect mandate that was adopted, with British leadership, at a summit-level meeting of the Security Council two years ago. The world’s most impoverished people are now being ripped to shreds with no effort whatsoever to get the perpetrators to desist. A huge campaign must be launched to press western governments to end this slaughter, which is almost entirely the work of those in control of the country. The European Union warned a month ago that war crimes might have been committed in an earlier assault on the capital last month, in which the EU could be complicit because of its large-scale support for those accused of the crimes. Human Rights Watch has documented how Kenya and Ethiopia had turned this region into Africa’s own version of Guantanamo Bay, replete with of kidnappings, extraordinary renditions, secret prisons and large numbers of “disappeared,” a project that carries the “Made in America” label. Allowing free rein to such comprehensive lawlessness is a stain on all those who might have at a minimum curtailed it. Subsequently, work must begin to derail the astounding proposal by United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon to be discussed by the Security Council in mid-June. Mr. Ban would like then to mount a UN-sanctioned “coalition of the willing” peace-enforcement force to restore order in Somalia – in other words, the UN would help Ethiopia and the United States achieve what their own illegal military interventions have failed in accomplishing, the entrenchment of a client regime which lacks any popular support. Such an operation would not succeed in any event, and could further threaten the turbulent Horn of Africa, which is already teetering on the brink. The Somali government is busy crying “Al Qaeda” at every turn, and offering lucrative deals to oil companies, in a bid to entice greater western support. But this war was lost long ago. In turning to Ethiopia, an arch enemy, the transitional government’s fate was sealed: the nation will not abide an Ethiopian-US occupation. Only a political solution will resolve this crisis. Africa must step up to the plate and show spine and leadership in a drive to protect its civilians, and work with Europe and the United Nations to convince the US to swiftly terminate its latest destabilizing adventure. By Salim LoneSalimlone@yahoo..com

Salim Lone, who was the spokesman for the UN mission in Iraq immediately after the 2003 invasion, is a columnist for the Daily Nation in Kenya.

Friday, April 27, 2007

International Oromo Youth Association

Press Release - The Unethical Acts of Hospital Authorities against Oromo Student is an insult to humanity
On April 23, 2007 an Oromo student Muhammad Abdurahman, a third-year pharmacy student, was found dead of an "unknown" cause at Finfinnee (Addis Ababa) University. The university sent his corpse to Menelik II Hospital for autopsy. When the corpse was handed over to his family in a coffin, they learned that Muhammad's body had been disfigured, his internal organs; including his eyes, kidneys, heart, liver, and lungs had been stolen. His skull was opened and his brain removed. This all was done without consent from his parents. This despicable, immoral and illegal act had been done without any regard to the religious beliefs and cultural values the Oromo people have for their deceased. This not only puts the professionalism and ethics of the medical institution in question, but also shows the lack of respect for the greater Oromo mass. It is further evidence of total disregard and hatred by the genocidal Ethiopian regime and its institutions towards the Oromo people.
Shocked by this incident, the parents of the deceased and the Oromo students demanded an explanation for these atrocious acts. However, instead of responding to the legitimate demand, the president of the University Dr Endrias Eshete, made a derogatory, demoralizing and dehumanizing comment to the student representatives and the father of the deceased. It is to be recalled that this is the very president who dismissed 350 Oromo students in 2004 which led to wide-spread unrest in the country.
Rejected and insulted by the president, the Oromo Students at Addis Ababa University began an intensely heated demonstration this week demanding the government to intervene and investigate these racist acts conducted by the Hospital with full awareness of the University. To add an insult to injury, rather than answering the questions of the students, the government special forces, the Agazi commandos, known for committing a street massacre after the 2005 election that left over 193 people dead, took over the campus to forcefully disperse the peaceful rally. As a result, an unknown number of students have been injured, jailed and disappeared. In addition, over 90 students have been admitted to Black Lion Hospital as a result of a supposed case of food poisoning.

The International Oromo Youth Association is extremely appalled by this inhumane act of the university and the hospital in particular, and by the worsening security concern of Oromo students in various educational institutions in the country at large. This current tragedy against Oromo students is in fact not an isolated incident. Just last week alone the dormitories of Oromo students at Jimmaa and Gondor Universities were set on fire, completely destroying the property of the students. In this country, Ethiopia, where being born Oromo is seen as a crime, the atrocities continue to be censored/ignored by international media, human rights groups, and particularly states that sponsor the genocidal machinery of the Ethiopian regime.

Unless this institutionally orchestrated act of the Ethiopian regime is stopped, it will certainly lead to another round of massacre and bloodshed worse than that of 2004. To settle this issue without bloodshed, Ethiopian authorities must unconditionally;
Bring those institutions and personnel who committed the unethical and illegal crime to justice
Reinstate all Oromo students to their normal academic life immediately
Guarantee the security of Oromo students at all institutions and improve the quality, and guarantee the safety of food served at campus cafeteria.
Offer a public apology to the family of the deceased and the Oromo public at large for the disrespectful, unethical and immoral act committed against their deceased one.
Failure to comply with the above demands effectively and promptly will lead to yet another civil unrest when lends a pretext for the government to unleash its massacre and expel Oromo students from academic institutions.

Justice for Oromo People, Justice for All!
International Oromo Youth Association
Freedom for all !!

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Why is Ethiopia not accountable?

April 19, 2007 — It has been five years since the Eritrean-Ethiopian Border Commission (EEBC) ruled its final and binding decision, to solve the border conflict of the two neighboring countries. Unfortunately due to Ethiopia’s objection and United States involvement negatively the delineation has not yet implemented. The hope for lasting peace dashed when the minority regime in Ethiopia changed its mind to reject the ruling from its prior stand accepting the decision calling upon the world community to pressure Eritrea to adhere to the rule of law. The so-called guarantors of the Algiers peace agreement are mainly working to contravene the accord. There are countless reasons to suggest United States is behind the stand of the regime in Ethiopia.
But why is Ethiopia exempted from abiding by the rule of law?
Here are few analysis argued by the sympathizers of the Ethiopian minority regime:
· Families will be divided, a residence of individuals will be on one side and the farm will be on the other side of the country, and even single resident houses will split in to two, not to mention families.
This seems a very reasonable argument. However, Eritrea is more sensitively concerned than Ethiopia when it comes to its citizen, therefore it will not allow its own citizen suffer from what it seems Ethiopia’s concern. Nonetheless Eritrea’s insistence to stick to the rule of law is the only solution for lasting peace.
· Ethiopian government is weak to handle the consequences of public disobedience if the highly publicized town of “ Badme” is handed over to Eritrea. If that is the reasoning to their argumentative suggestion, the whole world will crumble. Lawlessness will flourish. If it is possible to deviate a law to accommodate certain part of society without taking into consideration the consequences it is suicidal mistake. Nigeria handed over oil rich Bakassi peninsula that belongs to neighboring Cameron despite reservations from some Nigerian citizens. It is Ethiopian governments duty to clarify and bring its citizens in line with the world community that the rule of law is supreme. Nothing could be done, once it is decided. It should be very clear that lands, which are still occupied by Ethiopia, cannot and will not be Ethiopian territory.
· Eritrea must stop sympathizing, training and supporting Ethiopia’s opposition movements.
Avoiding opposition movement(s) should not be an issue. It is in the hands of the regime in Ethiopia. If Ethiopia is able to accommodate its citizens with dignity, equality, respect, and provide them full and equal right in participating their right on governing themselves, there will be no military opposition that rely to military struggle. The regime in Ethiopia is well aware more than any other in the world. The TPLF struggle was a result of suppressive, and brutal administration of Ethiopia to Tigrai province and its people. Consequently, it is up to Ethiopia itself to accommodate its own people than blame neighboring country(ies).
· Ethiopia being land locked, some kind of agreement must be reached.
It is true Ethiopia is land locked nation. Ethiopia is not the sole land locked country in our world and especially in Africa. There are so many sovereign nations that are land locked, but sea access never been a case for animosity. Sea outlet is purely economic matter. It is one of the factors of nations they have to conclude a mutually agreeable accord. It should not be done under pressure of one to the other. It is to be remembered that Ethiopia have utilized both sea ports of Eritrea, after independence, with a minimal service fees that is paid in Ethiopian local currency “Birr.”
There is no legal or logic ground for Ethiopia’s refusal to comply with EEBC ruling. Sympathizing or encouraging Ethiopia’s violation of the rule of law is only accelerating the unwanted destruction of both peoples of Eritrea and Ethiopia.
If the sympathizers intention is to help Ethiopia, then let have the regime in Ethiopia swallow the bitter pills of reality. Unless the intention is to secures war and destruction for the benefit of other nations. There will be no way out but abide by the rule of LAW.
* The author is the Former Bank of Eritrea Administrator currently resides in United States of America. He can be reached at Ibrahim_Ibrahim@experienceworks.org

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Latest fabrication of lies by the TPLF government

For the past 16 years, the TPLF regime has shown itself to be the mother and father of all mendacity. The regime has fabricated a great deal lies to confuse and victimize the Oromo and other peoples in Ethiopia. In the process the regime’s survival has totally depended on manufacturing lies and hate propaganda on those it believes threat to its multiple agendas. The regime has been fabricating such baseless lies primarily for the consumption of its international financiers. Thus, over the years the regime has perfected the art of deception for the purpose of obtaining financial and military support from its international backers. Recently as usual, the regime is concocting and spreading a series of false propaganda about the circumstances of the abduction of Kumsaa Gadaa and other and Oromo compatriots.

The goal of the latest fabrication is of twofold. The first is to intensively continue to confuse international community about the OLF, the Oromo people and their legitimate struggle for self-determination, justice, and the rule of law, economic development and peace. The second is to cover the crime it is committing daily against the Oromo people, other people in Ethiopia including the Ogaden Somalis, and the people of Somalia. A few days ago, the propaganda machine of the regime claimed that it has captured in combat a member of OLF leadership and other OLF fighters in Somalia. Contrary to TPLF regime’s fabrication, Kumsaa Gadaa and the other Oromo compatriots were not captured in combat. They were abducted in Mogadishu on January 13, 2007, during the TPLF regime’s illegal aggression and occupation of Somalia. The Kenyan Government, in violation of the Geneva Refugee Convention, has also handed over several non-armed Oromo compatriots, who arecurrently in secret detention center in Ethiopia with other Mogadishu abductees.

The OLF did not engage in combat in Somalia and has no reason to do so. The OLF has been engaged in war of liberation and resistance in Oromia against the tyrannical minority ruleof the TPLF regime. It is the TPLF regime that declared war on the OLF and the Oromo people to perpetuate its illegitimate rule. The struggle that the OLF has engaged in is for just cause and the Oromo war against the TPLF rule is a war of resistance justified under international law. Oromo compatriots who were abducted; and illegally detained are political prisons and prisoners of conscience. The OLF has all reasons to believe that Oromo compatriots are subjected to torture in violation of the Geneva Convention on the Treatment of Prisoners and the UN Convention against Torture. The statements that the TPLF tormenters obtained from Kumas Gada and the other Oromo compatriots were given under duress, torture and in situation of inhuman and degrading treatments and they should be taken in these contexts. It will not be surprising if the regime goes beyond that and use these prisoners of conscience for other degrading purposes to continue its rule. The relationship of the OLF with the Eritrean people, EPLF and the Eritrean Government goes back for decades and it is a relationship based on mutual interests and common goal of searching for justice, peace and progress. The OLF has similar relationship with other peoples, governments and other regional and worldwide organizations that are in quest for justice peace and progress. The OLF and the Oromo people have all the rights to get help from all the people or Governments that sympathize with their just struggle. It is abominable for the TPLF regime to use the Oromo cause to wage its war mongering propaganda against the Eritrean people and the Eritrean Government. The OLF has nothing but appreciation for all who support the just cause of the Oromo struggle for self-determination. The OLF vehemently condemns the continuation of TLPF’s inhuman and degrading treatment of Oromo prisoners. The OLF Calls upon all human rights and humanitarian organizations and concerned Governments to intervene and save the liberty of all Oromo political and war prisoners languishing in secret prisons.
Finally, we end this statement with an Oromo proverb, which says: “a person being washed away by cresting river tries to cling to life by hanging on the fluff”. The TPLF regime’s sinister fabrication about the illegally abducted Oromo nationals will not save it from facing its inevitable demise. Like all tyrannical regimes, the fate of the TPLF regime is already sealed. Meles Zenawi’s regime will soon pass into the dustbin of history.. Victory to the Oromo people!The Oromo Liberation Front
April 17, 2007

Map of oromia

Map of oromia