The Ever-increasing Crime of TPLF/EPRDF Brutal regime

By Getinet Dinkayehu | Januray 27, 2014

kalittiThe continuous arrests, detention, torture and disappearance of people in Oromia should indeed be a cause for concern to every Oromo people living in the country and abroad. The past 22 years have been the most painful period in Oromia. A week hardly passes without someone being picked up and detained by the TPLF security agents for one unexplained reason or another. The Last couple of weeks I have received a lot of messages from Oromo nationalists residing in western parts of Oromia through my emails, which I preferred not to mention their names here because of their security. Here is the message I received from one friend in “Afaan Oromo” and I wanted to put it in English as follows; “I am in deep tensions and annoyed because of the case associated with my family. My father was a respected businessman in our local area. Now about two weeks are passed since my father left his home and his whereabouts still unknown. Following his disappearance the TPLF Trojan horse better known as OPDO imprisoned one of my family members and coercing to reveal where my father is. What I knows about my father is, after he openly started criticizing the evil doings of the TPLF led Ethiopian regime and the Puppet OPDOs on different public meetings; he was continually harassed and even received several death threats including the family. He was arrested at different times suspected of OLF member without due legal process and without family visitations, tortured and interrogated at gunpoint to reveal the agents he was working with for OLF. The reason why he was mainly targeted as criminal and went to jail at different times is not because he was a criminal or have done anything wrong against anybody, but only because he protested that why his Oromo brothers and sisters were cold-bloodedly killed by TPLF securities without any reasons and because he protested against the widespread injustices being committed by the regime agents in Oromia. When my father was in woyanes secret detention center, the inhuman treatments he experienced at the hand of the torturers were horrible and even some part of his face was disfigured because of the massive tortures”.

Indeed this is a daily practice of the regime against many Oromo in wider scale. I personally know many Oromo; outstanding students, teachers, business men who were unlawfully detained by woyane securities or disappeared and their families are not informed of their whereabouts.

The most worrisome situation still going in various parts of western Oromia is that, people always branded as criminals and unlawfully detained only for being an Oromo and alleged association with the OLF or sympathizing with Oromo opposition political organizations. Despite a lack of any evidence against those people, the security agents continuously torture them in secret detention centers. Also other friends from the same area said that, to pick up peoples at night and take to prison is still a daily practice of woyane securities. Imagine sitting with your family waiting to have the dinner only to receive a knock on your door that you are wanted for questioning. You are then whisked away from your beloved family without anyone knowing your whereabouts, condition of detention or what crime you might have committed. This is exactly what peoples in many parts of Oromia still going through. Many people disappeared or been killed in a very systematic way simply because they exercised their fundamental rights. Diverting the mobile phone to their security forces and internet censorships are being practical on many people. The current human rights situation in western Oromia is terrible and repugnant. There is woyanes rule that does not tolerate any form of criticism in the area at all. Even the very slightest criticism of the government in the area could land a person in jail and charge with terrorism or “shororkeessumma”(in puppet OPDOs definition). Now this situation is highly forcing people to live under great fear and uncertainties than ever. It has become normal for the people in western Oromia to simply disappear into thin air; especially those who dare to criticize the government or who are reported by their adversaries to the regime securities.

It is very annoying when the TPLF minority led regime blatantly continues through its security forces to unlawfully arrest and detain anybody they perceive as an opponent. To add insult to injury, Most of the detainees are seldom informed of their rights and/or reason for their arrest or detention and are often held beyond the time limit without charge contrary to the edicts of the so called constitution. Several productive youths are running away to escape the difficult life that controlled the area. Activism for democracy, human rights and justice are being met with secret killings, torture, arbitrary arrests and detention. The name TPLF security or “Dehninet” has brought a great fear to every Oromo hearth, whenever someone is picked up. Some remain silence because they are afraid to speak up against what is going on.

We have seen that On the beginning of this year January 2014, when people on the world joyfully celebrated the New Year and wished peace, security improvements and prosperity to their own people, in contrary the Ethiopian Federal Court gave a prison sentence to 45 people, Most of them are Oromo nationalist political prisoners sentenced to three to twelve years in prison. Without committing any crime against anybody, they were unlawfully arrested in 2010 and were accused of being members or sympathizers of the Oromo Liberation Front (OLF). This alone can publically tell that TPLF/EPRDF regime has totally cracked down on political freedoms and continued committing widespread human rights violations with total impunity. Ethiopia today is ;the only country where the government publically labeled genuine dissents as terrorists and criminals, the worst kept secret killing field and the most politically intolerant regime in Africa. It is the country where the rule of law, good governance and the sanctity of human life are alien concepts. It is the country where torture, enforced disappearances, extra-judicial executions, detention without trial, statutory murder and extra-judicial convictions has become officially rooted as normal governance practices and intensifies its containment of democracy each day, and rules strictly through the instrument of paralyzing fear and the practice of brutality against ordinary citizens.

We have seen that when told the reality of Oromo, they call it anti-national or terrorism. For long we have seen that the TPLF owned Media distort the truth of Oromo for their own cause. For long we have seen that their Media created false and fabricated stories on Oromo nationalists. For long we have seen that several Oromo nationalists who were unlawfully detained And languishing in prison have been denied justice by TPLF court judges who were hired by a regime whose sole aim is to brutalize, torture and silence anybody against their tyrannical style of governance. For long we have seen that many innocent people unjustly sentenced to life term and death.

The TPLF minorities are all the leaders of the executive the legislative, judiciary and military branch, their words are final and anyone who goes against their authority is doomed. They are all the lawmen’s, the judges, the jury and the executives. They act as the ‘Creators’ of the people in Ethiopia, They decides who walks freely or shackled in jail, live, work and/or die. Judges are hired and fired by the TPLF cadres without any explanation. They owe their entire livelihoods to them and they determine who comes before these judges and the sentences they receive. Now, getting justice for Oromo in Ethiopia under TPLF is compared to hunting for a dinosaur in this day and age. It is very dangerous for the people when a single party members from one minority group has all such powers and even more dangerous if there is no accountability and no limit. No single party or leaders should have absolute power to run a nations single handily and with iron fist.

What is the future for Oromo?  Will there be any conductive environment where all Oromo people will be free from such kinds of fear, intimidation, torture, arrest and humiliation to express their legitimate rights and fundamental human rights which remains Unthinkable under TPLF gangs?  No family, groups and businesses should count themselves safe from persecution, arrest, humiliation, detention without trial and torture under this brutal regime. We Oromo should be brave enough to come out from every corner and fight against the ever worsening injustices that continue to bedevil our motherland. Everyone, irrespective of party or group, is duty bound to act. In our journey to Demand our freedom, we must be ready to use every Avenue.  The injustices meted on us are enough.

We should not  expect the westerners to bring about the change we are seeking for in our Land, it’s we” Oromians ” who has to come together under one umbrella  with a sole purpose of eradicating Dictators and liberating our people. We might not be united in the same political party but we should be united in the same course in fighting dictatorship. Look at the likes of Tunisia, Libya and Egypt. It’s the voices of the people that brought about change from the streets of Tunis to Tripoli to Benghazi and from the Cairo to Alexandria. It has come to a point in which we also need to do anything to get our freedom. For any meaningful political change to take place, the people must take it upon themselves to effect the change. As a result, we must not expect that an angel will descend from heaven and liberate us from Dictators. But the onus of liberating Oromia from oppression is every Oromians obligation.

Fellow Oromians, Let us ask ourselves these simple questions. With logic, we understand how our people are dying in silence.

Why TPLF led Ethiopian regime mainly targets Oromo people; intellectuals, Businessmen, teachers, university students, artists and entrepreneurs?

Why many Oromo on a daily basis are being arrested and detained without genuine reasons?

Why many Oromo are missing and their whereabouts remain unknown by their family and love   ones?

Why many Oromo are still languishing in jail without trial or have had their trials delayed?

Why many Oromo Nationalists were shot dead in their home and in public by TPLF securities?

Why many people have been fired from their jobs and schools for no apparent reasons?

Why many lands and properties have seized and looted from Oromo under this regime?

Why many Oromo on daily basis are fleeing TPLF/EPRDF persecution and suffering in neighboring countries and dying in deserts?

How on earth one can be sentenced to life term or death penalty only for demanding his Freedom without committing any crime against anybody?

Tsunamis of Human right violations of the above are well documented and are available online.

Do we as a people only have to speak the truth and or condemn injustice only when it affects us directly and or personally? This is a question that I am posing to some people who are in a position of this regime today. To those dummy OPDO leaders who continue to carry out TPLFs dirty works be warn that you will all be going down with them. The world is now a global village and war crimes and crimes against humanity committed by any person or party will never go free. The choice is yours.

To those who think they have no say or voice on the atrocities committed against our people, Martin Luther King Jr. In the end, we will not remember the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends. Oromia is under silenced bleeding by this evil regime. If we see injustice and remain silent, we have sided with evil. We have seen that Killing Oromo is the trade mark of this regime. These killings are not spontaneous or accidental they are done intentionally to silence the whole people.

Therefore, to prevent further injustice and sufferings there needs to be a collective response to the giant atrocities in Oromia. We all have a duty to ensure that we free our land from TPLF/EPRDF dictatorship.  This should be done with united front and sincere commitments. I hope the sooner we all look at freedom as an inherent human right that is a prerequisite for any society to progress, and not as a “gift” to be given to only to the deserving, the sooner we will face this challenge as one nation UNITED in the destruction on tyranny!  Oppression cannot stand forever, and it shall be replaced with freedom.

So, Fellow Oromians at home and Diaspora, Let us all rise up in unison and demonstrate against this brutal regime and fight for our freedom and for the freedom of all political prisoners who are inhumanly suffering in Ethiopia.

 

Ethiopia Abducts two key-ONLF senior leaders and negotiators in Nairobi, Kenya By Ahmed Abdi

ONLFJanuary 28, 2014 (ONLF) — Two high-ranking members of the ONLF, who were peace negotiators between ONLF-and- Ethiopia have been abducted in Kenya by the Ethiopian security agents on Sunday afternoon(26/01/2014).

The Group issued yesterday a press release saying that “The Ethiopian security abducted Mr Sulub Ahmed and Ali Hussein, two senior ONLF leaders from Nairobi yesterday afternoon. The leaders, who were members of the ONLF negotiation team, were in Nairobi for a proposed third round of talks.”http://onlf.org/?p=578

Amharic fluent speaker-Sulub Ahmed ,a former ONLF-head-quarter’s commander and a member of Central Committee and Ali Hussein aka Ali-dhere ,a member of the 74 ONLF central Committee have been in Nairobi waiting to resume a peace-talk between Ethiopian government -and-ONLF which stalled 17 October last year.

The two men had no guards with them during their stay in Nairobi. and they went missing yesterday afternoon after going to the town centre. Their cell phones went dead in the early afternoon. Early reports indicate that the Ethiopian security who armed with pistols drugged them and took  them to Moyale through Isiolo Route, crossing through the gaint Ogaden border .

Waiting the news of these two ONLF-negotiators ,it was cleared on Monday morning that they have fallen into the hands of the Ethiopian agents that operate outside of the Ethiopian borders.

ONLF stated in its press release that “In 1998, the Ethiopian Army killed three members of an ONLF delegation team and abducted two members, who were coming back to ONLF base after participating in bilateral negotiations with the Ethiopian government inside the Ogaden. Two years ago, the Ethiopia government assassins killed another senior leader in Nairobi too”. The group mentioned further that  ”This is not the first time that the Ethiopian government has acted in an unethical and uncivilized manner by killing or abducting ONLF delegates engaged in peace talks”.

Although ,Kenya accepted to broker  the previous ONLF-Ethiopia peace talks, still for the last 3 years, Kenya territory has been a place for Ethiopian agents to kill, abduct and intimidate at will any one suspected of being ONLF-Sympathizer or a refugee who fled from Ogaden Region.

In its twitter account (@ONLFJWXO), the Liberation Front stated that “Last year an abduction attempt of #ONLF leaders by #Ethiopian Security from #Nairobi was thwarted by #Kenyan Police”.

The abducting of the two-key negotiators is a blow to efforts to negotiate a political solution to the 3 decades-long war between Ethiopia and Ogaden region.

“This heinous act constitutes a breach of confidence in dealing with Ethiopia and will gravely hamper any further talks with Ethiopia. This cowardly act, will further invigorate the quest of the Somalis in Ogaden for freedom”,said Monday’s ONLF-foreign press Release.

Although the website-run by Ethiopian-appointed Ogaden administration already claimed the responsibility for the abduction of ONLF-negotiators ,the Ethiopian government remains tight lipped over the “abduction” of 2 negotiators and the Kenyan government did not comment on this fresh abduction.

“It was Kenya’s responsibility as a facilitator of the peace talks it should have the moral responsibility to protect at least these officials or allow them to carry weapons with them to protect themselves respectively.It is also Ethiopia’s violation over the Kenya’s sovereignty”,said Mohammed Farah, a journalist and a human rights activist.

Regional commentators believe that  this indicates as it was  mentioned earlier that some of the Ethiopian government members are unwilling to continue the peace-talks between ONLF and Ethiopia and this incident will jeopardize the peace again.

Oromo Studies Association’s (OSA’s) Letter to U.S. Secretary of State on the Killings of 59 and Wounding of 42 Oromos in Eastern

19 January 2014 at 03:57

Amajjii/January 19, 2014 · Finfinne Tribune | Gadaa.com

 

*** The following letter to the U.S. Secretary of State, Mr. John F. Kerry, is from the Oromo Studies Association (OSA), a scholarly, multidisciplinary, non-profit international organization, established to promote studies on issues relevant to the Oromo people. ***

 

 

————————–

 

January 17, 2014

 

 

The Honorable John F. Kerry

Secretary of State

U.S. Department of State

2201 C Street N.W.

Washington, DC20520

 

Subject: The killings of 59 Oromo men, women and children, the wounding of 42 others, the confiscation of property and the forcible removal of people from their ancestral land in eastern Ethiopia

 

Dear Mr. Secretary,

 

I am writing this letter on behalf of the Oromo Studies Association, an independent scholarly, multi-disciplinary, non-profit organization based in North American.  My purpose is to bring to your attention and to protest on behalf of the members of OSA a crime committed against the Oromo in Eastern Ethiopia, that is, the killings of 59 Oromo men, women and children, the wounding of 42 others and the confiscation/destruction of property with an estimated value of Eth$14,726,000 in the eastern Oromia zone of Ethiopia. These acts of extreme and unprovoked violence, killings, violent wounding, burning of houses and confiscation of cattle and other property of the Oromo citizens in eastern Oromia zone, were committed by Ethiopian government-trained special Somali militia forces known as “Liyu Police” (translation: Special Police Force).  The Ethiopian regime arms Somali in that region while disarming Oromo farmers. These actions of deliberately arming one people while equally deliberately disarming the other and, thus, by creating conflict between formerly closely related people – groups who have lived peacefully as neighbors for centuries – goes beyond abdicating governmental responsibility. It is a heinous crime that this government commits against peoples within its jurisdictional borders. The world regards these victims as citizens of Ethiopia, but they are being seriously mistreated with no proper defense available.

 

In the past several months, there has been a new wave of killing of Oromo nationals in particular who reside in the eastern Oromia zone of Ethiopia. Targeted Oromo victims suffer also the confiscation of their property and removal by the thousand of residents from their ancestral lands. This is a miserable new policy which constitutes nothing less than a strategy for creating a blood feud between the two culturally related people, namely, the Oromo and Somali in eastern Oromia zone of Ethiopia. In the sacred land of their birth, Oromo children, women and unarmed men are killed systematically by Ethiopian government Special Police forces. Once the slaughter is completed, these government-equipped forces then callously deny their victims even decent burial, which, in itself, is a crime against humanity.

 

The Ethiopian government is responsible for inflicting a great deal of harm and damage on defenseless Oromo peasants through this practice of arming Somali against disarmed Oromo farmers by building special police force comprised of Somalis. This appears to be a continuation of the callously inhuman policy of the Ethiopian regime that led to the removal of Oromo peasants from seven major ancestral regions covering extensive territories in the eastern Oromia zone of Ethiopia. Most OSA members are Oromo Americans, who closely follow events in the region and whose findings are confirmed by the reports of pain and suffering of their families – mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, relatives and friends – who were killed, wounded and displaced, and whose livelihood was destroyed by Ethiopian government Special Police forces made up of Somali armed by the regime.

 

The Oromo Studies Association, OSA, was established 26 years ago by international scholars from around the globe to promote studies related and relevant to the Oromo and other peoples in the Horn of Africa. In its attempt to create academic forums where ideas and research findings about the Oromo and other people of Ethiopia and the Horn of Africa are freely discussed, OSA has established a peer-reviewed Journal of Oromo Studies, other periodic publications, as well as organizing regular mid-year and annual conferences. OSA has been involved in building a knowledge base for creating a democratic future for the peoples of Ethiopia and the Horn of Africa. In our scholarly organization Somali and Oromo scholars work together. The Journal of Oromo Studies publishes research papers on Somali studies. Our goal is to strengthen historical relations between the two related peoples.

 

You may be surprised to learn that Oromia, the Oromo regional state in Ethiopia, is the largest, the richest and the most densely populated regional state in Ethiopia. Because the Oromo constitute the single largest national group in Ethiopia – and in the entire region – they are regarded as the greatest threat to the ruling minority group, dominated by members historically affiliated with the Tigrayan Liberation Front (TPLF). The current government is dominated by Tigrayans persons whose ethnicity represents less than seven percent of the population of Ethiopia. Current Ethiopian government policies, which target populations on the basis of ethnicity, are best understood in light of a history of ethnic politics and ethnic discrimination. Arming Somalis to destroy Oromo in order to confiscate their lands and other resources continues ethnic politics in its most brutal form.

 

Oromo do not have powerful friends in the western world who bring the injustices that they suffer to the attention of international community. The Oromo Studies Association requests that you respond to our voice as a voice of conscience uttered to the international community. We urge that you immediately put pressure on the Ethiopian regime to desist from driving Oromo out their ancestral land in eastern Oromia zone of Ethiopia. We request that the State Department under your able leadership look into this critical matter take effective action while there is time to reverse a criminal policy and save the lives and livelihood of vulnerable populations in Eastern Ethiopia.

 

In the light of the issue raised which is only the most recent of an ongoing series of violent attacks on Oromo farmers in eastern Oromia zone during 2013, the Oromo Studies Association (OSA) urgently requests that the State Department utilize its good offices to seek justice by putting pressure on the Ethiopian government to:

 

• Stop immediately the Liyu Police attacks on Oromo farmers in the eastern Oromia zone of Ethiopia.

 

• Return, without delay, those who were forcibly driven from their ancestral lands in eastern Oromia zone of Ethiopia.

 

• Bring to speedy trial those who ordered the Liyu Police force to attack, killing 59 defenseless Oromo children, men and women and wounding 42 others while confiscating or destroying property estimated at Eth$14,726,000.

 

• Pay compensation for the lives lost and the property confiscated from those defenseless Oromo farmers in eastern Oromia zone of Ethiopia.

 

• Urge the Ethiopian government officials to stop the forcible removal of thousands of Oromo farmers from their ancestral lands in eastern Oromia zone of Ethiopia and make sure that such measures will never be repeated in Oromia or other parts of Ethiopia.

 

• Advise the leaders of the Ethiopian government to abandon the cruel and crude policy of disarming Oromo while unleashing the special police force on defenseless children, men and women.

 

• Strongly urge the leaders of the Ethiopian government to respect and implement the provisions in their own Constitution, which officially guarantees respect for human rights and democratic governance.

 

The Oromo Studies Association requests that the State Department, under your leadership, set an example by taking the above measures in a timely fashion.

 

You have an extraordinary opportunity to make a difference in the lives of millions of Oromo and other people in Ethiopia. Our scholarly association appreciates your good efforts in this regard.

 

Sincerely,

 

Ibrahim Elemo, President

Oromo Studies Association

P.O.Box: 6541

Minneapolis, MN 55406-0541

E-mail: ielemo@weisshospital.com

 

 

CC:

Ambassador Girma Birru

Embassy of FDRE, Washington, D.C.

3506 International Drive, N.W.

Washington, D.C. 20008

 

 

Mr. Ban Ki-moon,

Secretary-General

Office of the Secretary General of United Nations

885 Second Avenue

New York, NY 10017, USA

 

 

Mr. David Cameron,

Prime Minister of UK

10 Downing Street, London, UK

 

 

The Hon. Tony Abbott, MP

Prime Minister

Parliament House

CANBERRA ACT 2600

 

Oromo Ethiopians celebrate #BoycottBedele beer victory

Heineken-owned beer company drops sponsorship of Ethiopian pop star Teddy Afro amid protests from country’s largest ethnic group.

 


Ethiopian beers, with Bedele beer in the centre. Photo via Flickr user stefangeens [Creative Commons]

Members of Ethiopia’s largest ethnic group are celebrating online after the Heineken beer companyannounced that its Ethiopian franchise would cancel sponsorship of pop star Teddy Afro.

The Bedele beer company dropped its support for Teddy Afro’s upcoming national tour on Thursday, though it did not give a reason. Ethiopian Oromos have been campaigning to boycott the beer over controversial statements allegedly made by the entertainer.
Oromos were outraged after he allegedly praised Emperor Menelik II, a 19th-century ruler who some see as a unifier and who placed territories belonging to Oromo and other groups under centralised rule. The magazine quoted Teddy Afro as saying, “For me, Menelik’s unification campaign was a holy war”. The artist’s most recent album also has a song dedicated to the emperor, among other popular historical leaders.
Teddy Afro says the quote was falsely attributed to him, writing on Facebook, “Under circumstances unbeknownst to me and due to the error of the magazine, my photo was printed along side a different quote which is not in line with my belief or journey…. The magazine has issued a correction and apologized to us for its error.” Some expressed doubt that the comment was an error.