By Betre Yacob | Assaman.info (Italy)
February 7, 2013
The Ethiopia’s tyrannical government demolished more than 7 thousand houses in Addis Ababa in the districts named Bole and Nifas Silk, and left more than 30 thousand poor people without a roof over their heads. In addition to the houses, a mosque and a school were demolished, and the security officials involved also kicked and beat the residents who tried to refuse. The demolition was taking place without notice to the inhabitants and compensation.
After this noxious demolition, the government officials repeatedly claimed in different state owned and government-loyal private medias that the houses had been built on illegally occupied land and had no certificate. According to them all such kinds of illegal settlements and buildings should not be supported by any means. However, many of the evacuated families said that although they had no certificate of ownership, they had been paying land-tax. According to victims, as a result of this sudden demolition of houses many families are broken up and children have dropped out of school and forced to live on the streets. Old enough people and pregnant women are also forced to live in open, and the dynamic weather of the city is causing them to different health problems.
Mr. Hailu, 55, lives with his wife and 5 children. Since he becamephysically disable because of a nerve problem, he has managed only domestic income generating activities like poultry production and sheep fattening to subsidise the family. When I met him last week, he was crying looking at an inclined wall which had been escaped from the bulldozers which turned the rest part of the house in to dust. He had built the house at a cost of 20,000 ETB or 1,111$ three years ago.
“I built the house having received a financial support from my daughter working as a housemaid in a middle east country”, Mr. Hailu said while wiping away his tear. “The house was everything for me. Besides being home for my family, it was my ‘business’ as well.” Mr. Hailu is now living in temporary huts on the same place where his demolished house lays. “Where can I go?”, he said. “I can’t afford the price of a renting room; I don’t have a person who can host me.”
Many argue that the houses have been demolished just because the government can make more money by leasing the land to investors. “Land has become the main source of income for the regime”, Markose Woldue, a dwelling of Addis Ababa, said. “It earns a huge amount of money from this busness. This is why it is taking back the land owned by the poor by the name of legality.”
Etaferahu, 45, is a mother of 2. She raises her children without a father. She had bought the land from a farmer and built the house 6 years ago. She is now living in temporary huts on the same place where her demolished house lays. “Throwing citizens into the street is not expected from a government”, Etaferahu said. “The government have the responsibility of protecting its citizens. At least the government had to give us compensation with temporary sheltering.”
Human right activists say that what the Ethiopia’s government done is illegal and unconstitutional, and is against all international conventions and agreements to which Ethiopia is a party. They say that all of the legal conditions and requirements for the forceful evictions of these families have not been met.
The Ethiopian Human Right Council claims that the absence of legal certificate of ownership is not a right criteria to say a house “illegal”. “Otherwise”, it says, “this leads to the conclusion that all houses belonging to Ethiopian farmers are illegal.” “The individuals evicted from their homes are the legal owners of the land they bought from farmers. Thus, the demolishing action is illegal and the owners have the constitutional right to receive compensation.”
The International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural rights (ICESCR) states that everyone has a right to an existence worthy of human dignity for himself and his family including adequate food, clothing and shelter. The Covenant also states governments have an obligation to ensure this basic right. The FDRE constitution also provides “every Ethiopian has the right to liberty of movement and freedom to choose his residence…” Article 40 of the Constitution on the other hand state that every Ethiopian has the full right to the immovable property he builds and the government may expropriate private property for public purposes upon payment in advance of compensation commensurate to the value of the property.
According to the data obtained from the Addis Ababa City Administration, there are more than 50,000 houses identified to have been illegal by the Administration across the city. And the city Administration has a plan to demolish all these houses. This is likely to affect hundered thousands of other families. Here, many advice the government that instead of demolishing the houses it should concentrate on legalizing them, and use them as part of the solution to the housing problem of the city. Studies under the City Administration show that there is a deficit of almost 700,000 houses in the city. Otherwise, according to these people, the housing problem of the city would be aggravated. Mr. Worku Tesfa, an economist and a residence of Addis Abeba, also says that the outcome of the demolition would not be only housing problem to the city but also more complicated socio-economic problems that could be challenging for the government to overcome.
Guraandhala 13, 2013 (Oromo Liberation Front) – Mootummaan Wayyaanee gaaffii haqaa hawaasni Muslimaa karaa nagaan waggaa tokkoo oliif dhiheessaa jirutti qoosuu fi doorsisaan callisiisuu yaaluu itti fufuun isaa beekamaa dha. Dhihoo kana mata duree ‘Jihaadaawii Harekaat’ jedhuun diraamaan kijibaa mootummichaan qindaawee dhihaates qaamuma doorsisaa fi ukkaamsaa sirnichaa kan yeroo dheeraaf baratamee ti. Mootummaan kun diraamaa vidiyoo bakka addaa walitti suphuun maqa-balleessii akkasii hawaasa Muslimaa ittiin yakkuuf kan qindeessee dhiheessu kun kan duraa miti. Gaafa aangootti dhufee qabee masgiida guddicha Anwaar, akkasumas, masgiidota Harar, Jimma fi magaalaalee biroo keessattis shira fakkaataa shiree hordoftoota amantii Islaamaa yakkee callisiisuuf tattaafachaa ture. Isa ammaa kana wanni adda godhu garuu gaaffii hawaasichaa kan ‘hogganoota keenya ofii keenyaaf haa filannu, mootummaan dhimma amantii keenyaa keessaa harka haa fudhattu’ jedhu dura dhaabbachuuf jecha cubbuu seenaan hin daganne raaw’achaa jiraachuu isaa ti.
Sirni TPLF gaaffii ummataa dura dhaabbachuuf jecha diraamaa sobaa qindeessee dhiheessuun aadaa isaa ti. Yeroo aangootti dhufee kaasee kanuma shaakalaa yoona gahe. Keessumattuu Adda Bilisummaa Oromoo sobaan yakkee ‘shororkeessaa’ jechisiisuu fi soba kanas hawaasa addunyaa fudhachiisuuf jireenya isaa guutuu dhama’aa akka jiru hin haalamu. Sabboontota Oromoo kumoota hedduu maqaa kanaan yakkee hidheera, ajjeeseera, qaama hir’iseera, mana irratti gubeera, gariis biyyaa baasee jira. Kijibaa fi cubbuu nuffisisaa yeroo dheeraa kanaan garuu eessayyuu hin geenye. Qaama harkaa fudhatus hin arganne. Qabsichas akka hawwetti dhabamsiisuu hin dandeenye. Daranuu ummata Oromoo xiiqessee sirnicha lagachiise malee doorsisaan harka hin kennachiifne.
Kana malees ji’oota muraasa dura gaazexessitoota Sweden Johan Persson fi Martin Schibbiye jedhaman maquma ‘goolessitoota’ jedhu kanaan yakkee hanga fedhu eega hidhee booda diraamaa isaa sobaa irratti qindeessee hawaasa addunyaa fudhachiisuuf yaalee salphate. Gaazexessitoonni sun gaafa hidhaa irraa bahanii biyya isaanii seenan kijiba diraamaa sirna Wayyaanee qullaatti baasanii hawaasa addunyaatti isa saaxiluun hin dagatamu.
Wanni amma hawaasa Muslimaa irratti raaw’tamaa jirus diraamaa moofaa fi nuffisiisaa akkasii kan yeroo dheeraaf shaakalamee gatii malee hafeen wal fakkaata. Tarii wanni adda godhu yoo jiraate haleellaa fi doorsifni sirnichi amma taasisaa jiru kun dhimma siyaasaa osoo hin taane amantii hawaasni bal’aan tokko hordofu irratti kan xiyyeeffate tahuu isaa ti. Hordoftoota amantichaa kan dhimma amantii isaanii keessa harki Wayyaanee seenuu balaaleffatan rukutee callisiisuuf jecha haala wal hin fakkaanneen gurmuu shororkeessitoota idil addunyaatti hidhuuf tattaafatamaa jira. Hawaasa karaa nagaa qofaan mirga isaa gaafataa jiru dallansiisuu fi aarsuudhaan tarkaanfii biraa keessa galchuuf beekaa irratti hojjetamaa jiraachuun egeree naannoof yaaddessaa dha.
Sirni Wayyaanee ummatoota biyyattii, akkasumas, hawaasota amantii bulchaan jira ofiin jedhu gidduutti ibiddi qabatee akka hin dhaamne barbaada. Sirni kun lakkuma jibbaan ummataa irratti jabaatuu fi kanaanis aangoo irraa arbamuutti dhihaatuun ibidda hin dhaamne ummatoota, akkasumas, hawaasota amantii gidduutti qabsiisee ofii keessaa baqachuuf ykn ammo gubee gubatuuf waan karoora qabu fakkaata. Hawaasni amantii tokkoo hawaasa amantii kan biraa waliin akka jaalalaan waliin hin jiraanne wal gidduu isaaniitti summii shakkii fi jibbinsaa facaasa. Saboonni biyyattii akka jaalalaa fi wal kabajaan egeree siyaasaa isaanii hin tolfanne walirratti kakaasa. Wayyaaneen makmaaksa beeylada ‘An duunaan margi hin margin’ jettee sanitti kan amanu tahuu dalagaan isaa shiraan guutame hanga har’aa irra deeddeebiin dalagu ragaa gahaa dha. Kun ammoo akka sirnichi mootummaa ummataa kan gaafatamni itti dhagahamu hin tahinii fi fedhii saamichaa guuttachuuf qofa murna gateettii ummataa yaabbatee jiru tahuu isaa mirkaneessa. Hawaasonni amantii kamuu fi saboonni hundi shira balleessanii baduu mootummaa Wayyaanee kana dammaqiinsaan hubatanii fashalsuuf waloon irratti hojjechuun fardii taha. Amantoonni amantii kamuu olola sobaa Wayyaaneen hawaasa Muslimaa irratti oofaa jiru kana amananii fudhachuu irraa of qusatanii, kaayyoon sirnichi olola akkasii kana yeroo kanatti oofuuf maali jedhanii wal gaafachuun barbaachisaa taha. Kaayyoon Wayyaanee kunis kaayyoo qoqoodanii bituu baratame waan taheef kaayyoo hammeenyaa kana fashalsuun ammoo dirmannaa waloo barbaachisa.
Addi Bilisummaa Oromoo gochaa hammeenyaan guutame kan Wayyaaneen hawaasa Muslimaa hawaasota amantii biroo biratti jibbamsiisuu fi ija shakkiin laalchisuuf raaw’ataa jiru gad jabeessee balaaleffata. Gochaan akkasii hawaasa amantii kamuu irratti akka raaw’atamus hin eyyamu. Hawaasni amantii kamuu hogganoota isaa ofii isaaf akka filatu, hogganootni hawaasa Muslimaa cubbuudhaan yakkamanii hidhamanis akka hiikaman gaafata. Addi Bilisummaa Oromoo dhaaba amantiilee hundumaa ija tokkoon laalu waan taheef cubbuu amantii tokko sobaan yakkanii dhiibuuf beekaa hojjetamu akkasii callisee laaluu hin danda’u. Ummatoonni garaagarummaa amantii isaanii wal dandeessifatanii bara dheeraaf wal jaalalaa fi wal kabajaan akka jiraataa turan hunda, egereefis olola summaawaa sirnichaaf osoo gurra hin eergifne aadaa gaarii kana akka gabbifatan fedhii ABO ti. Mootummoonnii fi hawaasni idil addunyaas olola sobaa Wayyaanee nuffisiisaa kana dhagahaa callisuun sirna kana caalaatti goobsaa fi badii dabalataaf qopheessaa akka jiru beekanii sagalee balaaleffannaa isaanii yeroodhaan akka dhageessisan gaafanna.
Injifannoo Ummata Oromoof!
Adda Bilisummaa Oromoo
February 8, 2013 (Gadaa) — The Oromo Dialogue Forum (ODF), also known as Waltajii Marii Oromoo (WMO) in its Afan Oromo name, held a meeting in Footscray, near Melbourne, Australia, on February 3, 2013 with keynote speeches by ODF leadership.
The Footscray/Melbourne ODF meeting didn’t go well as planned by the organizers as the following videos show(watch below). Heckling had interrupted the meeting several times. It is safuu (i.e. against the Oromo moral codes) to resolve political or other differences in the Oromo nation using heckling even though minor heckling is a form of protest protected by free speech in Western countries. The reason why the Oromo Gadaa system has no room for heckling is for the fact that the Gadaa parliamentary rules (Gumii Gaayoo rules) allow every opinion maker to have enough time to speak their mind.
Oromo liberation nationalists belonging to the Oromo Liberation Front’s camp accuse the Oromo Dialogue Forum (ODF/WMO) of advancing an unrealizable Ethiopianist agenda to democratize and federalize the Ethiopian empireat the expense of derailing the OLF’s national struggle to have an independent Oromo state through national self-determination to protect the interests of the Oromo nation in the conflict-ridden Horn of African region. ODF was initially set up to mediate among the OLF factions in 2012; however, it has shown its interest to undertake more than just mediating since then – in fact, it’s becoming a political movement in its own right, according media reports citing observers.
Thousands of Ethiopians are being relocated or have already fled as their land is sold off to foreign investors without their consent
Ethiopia‘s leasing of 600,000 hectares (1.5m acres) of prime farmland to Indian companies has led to intimidation, repression, detentions, rapes, beatings, environmental destruction, and the imprisonment of journalists and political objectors, according to a new report.
Research by the US-based Oakland Institute suggests many thousands of Ethiopians are in the process of being relocated or have fled to neighbouring countries after their traditional land has been handed to foreign investors without their consent. The situation is likely to deteriorate further as companies start to gear up their operations and the government persues plans to lease as much as 15% of the land in some regions, says Oakland.
In a flurry of new reports about global “landgrabbing” this week, Oxfam said on Thursday that investors were deliberately targeting the weakest-governed countries to buy cheap land. The 23 least-developed countries of the world account for more than half the thousands of recorded deals completed between 2000 and 2011, it said. Deals involving approximately 200m ha of land are believed to have been negotiated, mostly to the advantage of speculators and often to the detriment of communities, in the last few years.
In what is thought to be one of the first “south-south” demonstrations of concern over land deals, this week Ethiopian activists came to Delhi to urge Indian investors and corporations to stop buying land and to actively prevent human rights abuses being committed by the Ethiopian authorities.
“The Indian government and corporations cannot hide behind the Ethiopian government, which is clearly in violation of human rights laws,” said Anuradha Mittal, director of the Oakland Institute. “Foreign investors must conduct impact assessments to avoid the adverse impacts of their activities.”
Ethiopian activists based in UK and Canada warned Indian investors that their money was at risk. “Foreign investors cannot close their eyes. When people are pushed to the edge they will fight back. No group knows this better than the Indians”, said Obang Metho, head of grassroots social justice movement Solidarity Movement for a New Ethiopia (SMNE), which claims 130,000 supporters in Ethiopia and elsewhere.
Speaking in Delhi, Metho said: “Working with African dictators who are stealing from the people is risky, unsustainable and wrong. We welcome Indian investment but not [this] daylight robbery. These companies should be accountable under Indian law.”
Nyikaw Ochalla, director of the London-based Anywaa Survival Organisation, said: “People are being turned into day labourers doing backbreaking work while living in extreme poverty. The government’s plans … depend on tactics of displacement, increased food insecurity, destitution and destruction of the environment.”
Ochall, who said he was in daily direct contact with communities affected by “landgrabbing” across Ethiopia, said that the relocations would only add to hunger and conflict.
“Communities that have survived by fishing and moving to higher ground to grow maize are being relocated and say they are now becoming dependent on government for food aid. They are saying they will never leave and that the government will have to kill them. I call on the Indian authorities and the public to stop this pillage.”
Karuturi Global, the Indian farm conglomerate and one of the world’s largest rose growers, which has leased 350,000 ha in Gambella province to grow palm oil, cereals maize and biofuel crops for under $1.10 per hectare per year, declined to comment. A spokesman said: “This has nothing to do with us.”
Ethiopia has leased an area the size of France to foreign investors since 2008. Of this, 600,000 ha has been handed on 99-year leases to 10 large Indian companies. Many smaller companies are believed to have also taken long leases. Indian companies are said to be investing about $5bn in Ethiopian farmland, but little is expected to benefit Ethiopia directly. According to Oakland, the companies have been handed generous tax breaks and incentives as well as some of the cheapest land in the world.
The Ethiopian government defended its policies. “Ethiopia needs to develop to fight poverty, increase food supplies and improve livelihoods and is doing so in a sustainable way,” said a spokeswoman for the government in london. She pointed out that 45% of Ethiopia’s 1.14m sq miles of land is arable and only 15% is in use.
The phenomenon of Indian companies “grabbing” land in Africa is an extension of what has happened in the last 30 years in India itself, said Ashish Kothari, author of a new book on the growing reach of Indian businesses.
“In recent years the country has seen a massive transfer of land and natural resources from the rural poor to the wealthy. Around 60m people have been displaced in India by large scale industrial developments. Around 40% of the people affected have been indigenous peoples“, he said.
These include dams, mines, tourist developments, ports, steel plants and massive irrigation schemes.
According to Oakland, the Ethiopian “land rush” is part of a global phenomenon that has seen around 200m ha of land leased or sold to foreign investors in the last three years.
The sales in Africa, Latin America and Asia have been led by farm conglomerates, but are backed by western hedge and pension funds, speculators and universities. Many Middle Eastern governments have backed them with loans and guarantees.
Barbara Stocking, the chief executive of Oxfam, which is holding a day of action against landgrabs on Thursday, called on the World Bank to temporarily freeze all land investments in large scale agriculture to ensure its policies did not encourage landgrabs.
“Poor governance allows investors to secure land quickly and cheaply for profit. Investors seem to be cherry-picking countries with weak rules and regulations because they are easy targets. This can spell disaster for communities if these deals result in their homes and livelihoods being grabbed.”
Oxfam will be placing huge “Sold” signs on the Sydney harbour bridge, the Lincoln memorial in Washington and the Colosseum in Rome to mark its action day.