Friday, December 31, 2010

Baga Waggaa haaraan isin ga'e.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Disappearance of factions’ leader in Eritrea:

As well known, Eritrean government has organised and stationed Ethiopian People’s Patriotic Front (EPPF) for the past ten years. According to Ethiopian review, one of the founders of EPPF, Tadesse Muluneh is disappeared in Eritrea.

There are also some others Ethiopian opposition and Liberation front obscured in Eritrea. OLF faction lead by Mr. Daud Ibsa and defected TPLF General Kamal Galchu are some of the groups stationed in Eritrea. It is unclear for how long and for what purpose they are staying over there, in such comportment.

Now according to the Ethiopian review EPPF is not the only group that is currently facing problem in Eritrea. Defected Mr. Kamal Galchu TPLF General has also been placed under a virtual house arrest. Hundreds of his followers that are stationed in Eritrea have been immobilized.

According to some analysts Mr. Esayas is not interested to help those oppositions stationed in Asmara. But he is only to use them as a tool to enforce TPLF to bring them to the negotiation table. It is also with ambition of forming puppet leaders under the title called “One Ethiopia” that could keep the old and weak Empire to exploit as the previous years.

In an interview he gave to Eritrean media on June 10, 2007 and published in “One Ethiopia” magazine, Isaias declared “It is our persistent stands to strive for a united Ethiopia.” He dreams about good relationship with good leader of that he is going to build in the future.

As of this point indicates, on a magazine produced and distributed by Mr Esayas and Co.ilustrates, map of the Ethiopian empire was adorned with green, yellow and red colour.

So could Mr. Esayas Afewerik‘s action gives us a good lesson?

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Friday, December 17, 2010

"Assistance to Ethiopia's government has increased while its human rights record has deteriorated," HRW

Donors Should Investigate Misuse of Aid Money! HRW
Source: Human Rights Watch (HRW)

Date: 17 Dec 2010

National Parliaments and Audit Institutions Should Demand Accountability

(New York, December 17, 2010) – Ethiopia's international donors should independently investigate allegations that its government is using development aid for state repression, Human Rights Watch said today in a letter to the Development Assistance Group, a coordinating body of 26 foreign donor institutions for Ethiopia.

In interviews with 200 people across Ethiopia, Human Rights Watch documented in a report released in October 2010 how Ethiopian government officials routinely discriminate against people viewed as political opposition supporters. The report demonstrated how the government uses state resources, including programs financed by large international donors, to suppress political dissent by conditioning access to essential services on support for the ruling party.

"Donor governments should open an independent investigation of the Ethiopian government's manipulation of aid," said Rona Peligal, Africa director at Human Rights Watch. "Donor governments have a responsibility to taxpayers at home – as well as to Ethiopians in need – to ensure their aid is not contributing to human rights violations."

The Development Assistance Group (DAG) released a joint statement on October 21 responding to Human Rights Watch's 105-page report, "Development without Freedom: How Aid Underwrites Repression in Ethiopia." The donors' group denied that political manipulation of aid was widespread, stating: "We do not concur with the conclusions of the recent HRW report regarding widespread, systematic abuse of development aid in Ethiopia. Our study did not generate any evidence of systematic or widespread distortion."

Human Rights Watch said that the Development Assistance Group provided insufficient basis for its disagreement with the report's findings. The donors have not begun an independent investigation of the abuses. The study referred to in their statement, a desk-based analysis of the monitoring mechanisms of four aid programs commissioned in early 2010, was an "exploratory" assessment, which noted that field research would be needed to verify how the monitoring works in practice.

"Donors can't know the extent of abuses if they haven't properly investigated," Peligal said. "National parliaments should demand a credible, comprehensive investigation and, ultimately, a thorough review of aid policy toward Ethiopia."

Human Rights Watch has not called for the suspension of all development programs, but instead urged donors to suspend certain governance programs until critical benchmarks – like the repeal of repressive laws – are met. These include the Democratic Institutions Program, which provides funding and technical support to government institutions, such as the parliament, in an effort to build domestic accountability. Donors should not continue to finance these programs in the absence of the independent institutions, media, and civil society that are critical for accountability, Human Rights Watch said.

"Assistance to Ethiopia's government has increased while its human rights record has deteriorated," Peligal said. "Donors are contradicting their own principles on human rights and good governance by increasing funding without adequate safeguards."

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Thursday, December 16, 2010

OLF Letter to the President of Kenya



Date: 07/12/2010

His Excellency The Honourable Mwai Kibaki, C.G.H., M.P.
President of the Republic of Kenya
Office of the President
Harambee House
Harambee Avenue
P.O.Box 62345 - 00200

Your Excellency,

We the Oromo Liberation Front (OLF) are alarmed to learn the recent full-fledged military campaign by Kenyan armed forces against our organisation. We are particularly concerned that Kenyan forces joined the occupying Ethiopian forces fighting against the OLF.

Whilst we recognise that Kenya has the right to enforce peace and security within its territory, we are unable to understand the reasons why Kenyan armed forces are engaged in a military campaign against our forces. Although Kenyan authorities have been repeatedly quoted by the media, saying the objective of their military campaign is “flashing the OLF from the country”, as a justification for their aggression against us, we would like to reassure you that we have no bases on Kenyan soil and fully respect the territorial integrity of Kenya.

We believe that military confrontation between Kenya and the OLF is not in the best interest of either of our countries. In fact, the actions of the Kenyan forces are uncalled for and can destabilise the region that is already troubled by a number of long standing conflicts. We do not understand why Kenya should involve itself in the struggle between Oromia and Ethiopia and we hope that this is not your policy. We hope that your government will respect the rights of the Oromo people to free themselves from the brutal Ethiopian colonial system. The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to which your country is a signatory, reaffirms the right to self-determination.

The peoples of Oromia and Kenya share a longstanding cordial relationship. In particular, Kenya, as a democratic and stable country, continues providing safety for a significant number of Oromo refugees fleeing from persecution by the Ethiopian state. However, we are also gravely concerned that recently a large number of Oromo refugees have been handed over to the Ethiopian authorities by the Kenyan authorities. These refugees are sent back to inhumane torture and certain death in the hands of the Ethiopian security agents.

We believe Kenya could play a positive and constructive role in supporting a peaceful resolution of the conflict between Oromia and Ethiopia and that would make Kenya a legitimate player in the international arena.

We respectfully urge you to appraise the situation and reconsider your policy and assure supporting the just cause of the oppressed Oromo people rather than assisting the bloodthirsty regime in Ethiopia.

Yours respectfully,

Mulugeta Mosissa
Head of Diplomatic Division of the OLF

cc: Hon. Raila Amollo Odinga, E.G.H., M.P. Prime Minster of the Republic of Kenya
P.O.Box 21762, Washington DC, 20009, USA Tel: (202)-521-5653


Saturday, December 11, 2010

Kenya: Human Rights League of the Horn of Africa/HRLHA Urgent Action and Appeal

Police Crackdown on Refugees in Nairobi, Kenya

Fear of Deportations and Tortures

The Human Rights League of the Horn of Africa (HRLHA) has learnt through its correspondents that, in a severe crackdown that has been going on in Nairobi Kenya since the 4th of December, the Kenyan police have arrested more than 700 refugees who are originally from neighbouring Horn of African countries and have been in Nairobi for varying lengths of time.

The crackdown that has discriminately targeted refugees is taking place following two separate grenade attacks that happened a week ago in Nairobi in which three police officers were killed. It has also been claimed that the crackdown is a part of measures being taken to make the upcoming holiday celebrations and festivities free of violence and attacks. The big question is, be it due to the said grenade attacks or the upcoming holidays, why the crackdown specifically targeted the homeless and defenseless refugees only.

The Kenyan Police have admitted that they have arrested 346 people whom they describe as foreigners. HRLHA has confirmed that 52 of those arrestees are refugees from Ethiopia, while the majority of the rest are Somali refugees. The refugees where picked up from on the streets, restaurants, hotels, and from their temporary shelters, and then were forced on to police trucks, according to HRLHA correspondent in Nairobi.

Among the many Ethiopian Oromos who have been taken into custody from the Capital, Nairobi, HRLHA has managed to obtain the names of the following:

1 .Ifa jireenyaa
2. Tofik Aliyi
3. Dr Bishaan member of ormo community committee
4. Haji abduraman member of ormo community committee
5. Kadir member of ormo community committee
6. Guyyo Biqaa
7. Edin Waaqoo
8.Areero Meegaa
10.Ashrafu Ali
11.Mariya Abdalla
12.Abdulaxif Amiyuu and many other whose names are not yet Known

Background Information

Previously, the Kenyan Government deported many refugees of Ethiopian Oromo and Somali origin at different times to their respective homelands in breaching the international refugees’ rights agreements. Some of those deportees have been subjected to severe punishment including death sentence and life in prison.

Besides, the Ethiopian government has a well-documented record of gross and flagrant violations of human rights, including the torturing of its own citizens who were involuntarily returned to the country. The government of Ethiopia routinely imprisons such persons and in some cases sentences them to long terms in prison. Some face the harshest punishment including death penalty. Ethiopia currently has two former refugees, Engineer Mesifn Abebe and Mr. Tesfahun Chemeda, who were given death sentences and awaiting execution after being arrested similarly by the Kenyan police in Nairobi, Kenya and deported to Ethiopia in 2008. There have been credible reports of physical and psychological abuses committed against individuals in Ethiopian prisons and other secret places of detention.

HRLHA has a profound belief that the two countries – Kenya and Ethiopia – are acting jointly in hunting, arresting and punishing alleged members and/or supporters of opposition political organizations and human rights activists. The obligation that a country should not return a refuge to the country they have fled, which is also a principle of customary international law, applies to both asylum seekers and refugees, as affirmed by UNHCR’s Executive Committee and the United Nations General Assembly.

By handing over the Ethiopian and Somali refugees to their respective governments, the Kenyan Government is breaching its obligations under international treaties as well as customary laws.

Under the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (1465 U.N.T.S. 185), the Kenyan Government has the obligation not to return a person to a place where they are likely to face torture or ill-treatment. Article 3 of the Convention against Torture provides that:
1. No state party shall expel, return (“refouler”) or extradite a person to another state where there are substantial grounds to believe that they would be in danger of being subjected to torture.

2. For the purpose of determining whether there are such grounds, the competent authorities shall take into account all relevant considerations including, where applicable, the existence in the state concerned of a consistent pattern of gross, flagrant or mass violations of human rights.

Due to these and other similar facts, HRLHA is highly concerned about the fate of those arrested refugees. Therefore, HRLHA calls upon regional and international humanitarian and diplomatic communities and agencies to approach and pressurize the Kenyan Government to disclose the whereabouts and the current situations of those refugees, and also refrain from deporting them. HRLHA also calls upon those same agencies and communities to exert pressure on the Horn of African countries to refrain from becoming tools of authoritarian regimes and instead respect the rights of refugees to safety and protection according the regional and international refugees rights agreements.

RECOMMENDED ACTION: Please send appeals to the Kenyan Government and its concerned officials as swiftly as possible, in English, Kiswahili, or your own language expressing:

concern at the apprehension and fear of deportation of the refugees who are being held in detention since December 4, 2010, and calling for their immediate and unconditional release;
urging the authorities to ensure that these detainees are treated in accordance with regional and international standards on the treatment of prisoners.


Ministry of States for Provincial Adminstration and Internal Security
Hon. Pof. George Saitoti, E.G.H., M.P.,
Harambee House, Harambee Avenue
P.O. Box 30510, Nairobi
Tel. 02 227411
Telegrams: “RAIS”

Commissioner of Police
Mr. Mathew Kirai Iteere MGH,CBS
Kenya Police Headquarters,
Vigilance House, Harambee Avenue,
PO Box 30083, Nairobi Kenya.
Tel;- 02 341411/6/8

President and Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces
His Excellency the Hon. Mwai Kibaki C.G.H., M.P
Harambee House, Harambee Avenue
P.O. Box 30510, Nairobi
Tel. 02 227411
Telegrams: “RAIS”

Prime Minister
Hon. Raila Amollo Odinga., M.P
This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights
United Nations Office at Geneva
1211 Geneva 10, Switzerland
Fax: + 41 22 917 9022
(particularly for urgent matters)
E-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots.

UNHCR main office Geneva, Switzerland.
United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees
Case Postale 2500
CH-1211 Genève 2 Dépôt
Suisse. telephone number: +41 22 739 8111 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting +41 22 739 8111 end_of_the_skype_highlighting
African Commission on Human and Peoples‘ Rights (ACHPR)

48 Kairaba Avenue, P.O.Box 673, Banjul,
The Gambia.
Tel: (220) 4392 962 , 4372070, 4377721 – 23
Fax: (220) 4390 764
U.S. Department of State

Tom Fcansky – Foreign Affairs Officer
Washington, D.C. 20037
Tel: +1-202-261-8009 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting +1-202-261-8009 end_of_the_skype_highlighting
Fax: +1-202-261-8197
Amnesty International – London

Tom Gibson
Telephone: +44-20-74135500 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting +44-20-74135500 end_of_the_skype_highlighting
Fax number: +44-20-79561157
Email;- TGibson@amnesty.orgThis e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

• Human Rights Watch – New York, Tel: +1-212-290-4700 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting +1-212-290-4700 end_of_the_skype_highlighting

Thursday, December 09, 2010

ORA appeals to international and local human rights to investigate the ongoing renditon of Oromo refugees from Kenya to Ethiopia against Inter. laws

Mr. Terfa Dibaba, head of the Oromo Relief Association (ORA), appeals to international and local human rights agents to investigate the ongoing rendition of Oromo refugees from Kenya to Ethiopia against international laws.


In the recent past, the rendition of Oromo refugees has been in the news. Kenyan authorities have been accused of illegal rendition of Oromo refugees to Ethiopia under the pretext of cracking down on the Oromo Liberation Front (OLF) militias. While in Ethiopia, the individuals are allegedly arraigned before special courts where they are handed heavy jail sentences ranging from death to life in prison.

The fundamental objective of the Oromo liberation movement is to exercise the Oromo peoples' right to national self-determination and end centuries of oppression and exploitation. The OLF believes the Oromo people are still being denied their fundamental rights by Ethiopian colonialism. According to Terfa Dibaba, head of the Oromo Relief Association (ORA)based in Germany, 21 Oromo refugees have been adducted in Nairobi and Moyale and illegally shipped to Addis Ababa where they have been locked in custody.

Kenya, the host state to the refugees has been accused of violating the 1951 UN Convention and 1967 Protocol on the status of the refugees. According to the Convention, refugees are people who have fled their homes and crossed an international border to escape persecution or conflict.

The Kenya government officials however maintain that those arrested were Oromo Liberation Front militias. According to Francis Kimemia, Internal Security Permanent Secretary, OLF is a gang proscribed in Kenya. However, only a section of refugees have been targeted for illegal repatriation.

“We are demanding that the due process of extradition be put through a court of law,” cautions Dibaba, who blames the entire operation to a section of individuals within the Kenyan government who are operating in cahoots with Ethiopian spy agents. According to the Association, two Nairobi based civil engineers Mesfir Ababa and Tesfahun Camada, were adducted in Nairobi and flown to Ethiopia where they were sentenced to death and to life in prison respectively.

The accusation comes in the wake of a similar backlash after the Kenyan government came under heavy criticism by human rights organization for illegally handing over Kenyans to Ugandan authorities over a bomb blast in Kampala during the recent FIFA World Cup games. The Kenyans were linked to the incident but shipped to Uganda without the due extradition process.

The ORA accuses the Ethiopian government and some elements within the Kenyan government of gross violation of the basic human rights of the Oromo refugees and Kenyans shipped to Ethiopia. Some of the people abducted in Nairobi and Moyale and clandestinely whisked to Ethiopia nad languishing in jail include: Jatani Kuuno, Liban Wario and Milki Doyo. These, ORA alleges, were abducted in a friend’s house in Moyale on August 23 by kenyans enlisted by the Ethiopia authorities and ferried in two Kenya government’s Land Rovers to Ethiopia. Dabaso Kutu, Libani Jatani and Deban Wario were arrested on November 2. They are currently on trial in Ethiopia. Impeccable source have confided that a Kenyan, Abrhim Dambi, the head of the head of Ethiopian Spy network detailed to track down political dissidents has now fled to Addis Ababa where he is hosted by the government after he was exposed.

Accusing both governments of violating the fundamental rights of its citizens, ORA has appealed to local and international human rights agents to investigate the incarceration Mrs Kalla Dakate, 80 years old, with her daughter and 19 other Kenyans being held in Sololo Prison for ostensibly being sympathizers of the Oromo Liberation Front (OLF). They have been tortured and beaten in prison.

The Oromo Liberation Front (OLF) was established in 1973 by Oromo nationalists to promote the right to self-determination for the Oromo people against what they call "Ethiopia colonial rule." It has been outlawed and labeled as a terrorist organization by the Ethiopian government.

However, some observers claim that the OLF has not committed any terrorist act so far. There are reports that the OLF has increased its activity following the general elections of 2005. The OLF has offices in Washington, D.C. and Berlin. Pundits question how OLF could be declared gang while at the same time the Kenya government has embraced the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) till a peace deal was brokered. It is clear that the Oromo row is now the longest liberation war in the region, which appears to have been forgotten.

There is a contradiction in what the government officials say. If indeed, those arrested are criminal gangs, why are they not being arraigned in a court of law instead of being clandestinely smuggled out and handed over to the Addis Ababa government? It is worth noting that in 1991 then President Daniel Moi invited the OLF rank and file in Nairobi. After the parley, the OLF has had a friendly relationship with the Kenyan government. This brings to the fore the question of who the Oromo people and their vanguard political organization the OLF are.

Oromo people are the largest Kushitic group and the second largest nation in Africa. Their population is more than half of the population of the Ethiopian empire. Today, the population of Oromo people is more than 40 million. Oromo people have distinct cultural and linguistic identity of their own. They have inhabited a separate and well defined territory in the Horn of Africa for many centuries.

Their country is called Oromia. It is 600,000 square km in size in Ethiopia. It is larger than France, Italy, Switzerland, Belgium and Netherlands combined together. The Oromo predominately follow three major religions: Islam, Christianity and Indigenous Oromo religion. Before the occupation of their land by Ethiopian empire toward the last quarter of the 19th century, Oromo people lived under democratic political system called Gadaa.

After resisting a military campaign of Ethiopian empire led by Menelik for many years, the Oromo were defeated and made part of Ethiopia not by their consent but by force. It is widely believed that Oromo people’s democratic tradition under Gadaa system has contributed a lot to modern democracy. Oromia borders the Republic of Kenya in the South, Somalia in the South East, in the North Ethiopia and Sudan in the West.

The birth of OLF

Oromia is the richest part of Ethiopian empire. Eighty per cent of Ethiopian coffee export is from Oromia. Oromia contributes 65 per cent of the national revenue of Ethiopia. Majority of gold and other mineral mining in Ethiopia is in Oromia. Oromian Rivers supply all hydro electric power of Ethiopia. Yet today, Oromia is synonymous with abject poverty and because of their political opinion, over thousands of Oromo people are languishing in Ethiopian prison. At the same time thousands are dying from curable diseases such as malaria. Because of fear of persecution, thousands of Oromo fled their country and are living in excruciating conditions. Today, prison centers in Oromia are 10 times the number of schools, hospitals and health centers.

Oromo people’s resistance and demand to regain the independence they lost to Ethiopian empire gave birth to Oromo Liberation Front in 1973. As it is clear from its name; OLF was only established with the fundamental objective of liberating Oromia and establishing Independent Democratic Republic of Oromia. OLF fights for independence of Oromia from the Addis Abba government.

OLF and Transition Government of Ethiopia

After Derg was dislodged from power, a transitional charter was signed between OLF and the party of Mallas by which Transitional Government was established in 1991. The major objective of the Charter and the Transitional Government was to allow referendum by, which Oromo people would freely decide whether they want to be independent or part of Ethiopia.

As almost all Oromo people embraced OLF and it’s objective, TPLF ( Malles Zenawi’s party) started violating terms of the charter and banned OLF’s peaceful political campaign. Finally, Ethiopia's Transitional Government led by Melles declared war on OLF. This left OLF with no option but to defend itself. “As the former President of South Africa, Nelson Mandela said, oppressors determine the mode of the struggle. Ethiopian colonial government determined the mode of Oromo people’s struggle for their right to complete independence. This is why Oromo people’s struggle is the struggle for self defense,” says Dibaba.

It is important to note that there are some Oromo members of parliament in Ethiopia. They serve the political and economic interest of Ethiopia in Oromia. “They are like “home guards” that were fighting alongside the British forces against Mau fighters during Kenyan people’s struggle for independence from British. As “home guards” never represented Kenyan people during British occupation of Kenya, these Oromos with seats in Ethiopian parliament do not represent Oromo and Oromia,” Dibaba observes.

The way forward

From the onset, OLF has respected territorial integrity of Kenya and all its neighbouring countries including their international boundaries. According to the ORA, these countries went through the same colonial history as Oromo people. “Oromo people have the legitimate right to defend and liberate themselves to join the free people of the world.”

In as far as there is no peaceful and democratic means through which Oromo people can decide their political status, the only option left for this people is an armed struggle. According to the OLF rank and file, in its fight for independence, Oromo people do observe all rules of war and therefore, abhors any act of terrorism that targets innocent civilians. As the recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world, the realization of the right to independence of Oromo people is the foundation for peace in the Horn of Africa.

By Kasembeli Albert.

The author is Editor of Business Journal Africa, a business and Finance Magazine