Video: The shocking reality of today's Ethiopian economy

Join award winning photographer Jason Lanier for a heart wrenching and uplifting documentary about the kids who live, eat, and survive from the scraps they find at the dump in Addis Ababa in the capitol of Ethiopia.

Jason and his team follow the Out of the Ashes Organization that finds sponsors for these children that enables the kids to be taken out of the trash dump and sent to school where they are cared for and educated.

Columbus, Ohio: Body of missing Ethiopian teen found in a pond


By dispatch

Foul play is not suspected in the death of a 14-year-old girl whose body was found on Tuesday in a North Side pond not far from her apartment complex.

Nebiat Aregay had been reported missing by her family on Monday night, Columbus police Sgt. Rich Weiner said. She was last seen getting off her school bus about 3:30 p.m.

“At this time, we’re not looking for anybody” in connection with her death, Weiner said. Police, he said, will continue to investigate how or why the girl ended up in the water.

Police began searching for Nebiat on Monday night in the area around her Abbey Lane apartment complex, which is east of Cleveland Avenue and south of Morse Road. Family had found some of the girl’s belongings in a wooded area just south of the complex.

A search resumed this morning with tracking dogs and a helicopter, and the discovery of other items prompted police to focus on a small pond in the woods, Weiner said. Guided from above by officers in a helicopter who spotted something unusual in the water, divers found the girl’s body about 2:45 p.m.

The pond is about 500 feet behind the parking lots of two churches in the 4200 block of Cleveland Avenue, Christ International Community Church and Christ Presbyterian Church.

With the help of an interpreter, family members who gathered there were notified of the discovery and broke down in grief. Weiner said the family is Ethiopian but that some relatives have lived in the Columbus area for 20 years.

Nebiat was a seventh-grader at Walnut Springs Middle School in the Westerville school district.

District spokesman Greg Viebranz said counselors will be on hand today for students who need them.

“We are deeply saddened by this loss and extend our sincerest condolences to Nebiat’s family, friends and loved ones,” the district said in a statement.


Ethiopian Airlines expands Asian offering



By ANNA

Ethiopian Airlines expanded its Asian offering on 21 April, with the addition of thrice-weekly flights from its Addis Ababa (ADD) base to Tokyo Narita (NRT), operated via existing Hong Kong service. The 11,064-kilometre route, which is not served directly by any other operator, will be operated by the Star Alliance member’s 269-seat 787-8s.

Ethiopia: The Election That Isn’t




Ethiopia: The Election That Isn’t

April 28, 2015

By Yoseph Badwaza

Ethiopia’s upcoming national elections on May 24 are the first to be held since the 2012 death of longtime Prime Minister Meles Zenawi, who presided over a highly repressive political system that decimated the country’s independent media and civil society. Initially, there was a guarded hope that the ruling party—the Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF)—might ease restrictions and allow some level of competition, in order to appease growing discontent with its authoritarian rule and maintain stability within its own ranks.

However, this hope has been dashed over the past year, as EPRDF has cracked down on dissent and used its thorough control over state institutions to cripple the opposition and block any threat to its 24 years of entrenched political dominance.

Control of the media and public discussion

The space for public dissent has long been constrained by a host of draconian laws, media censorship, and aggressive prosecutions. But the government signaled its intent to silence any remaining criticism ahead of the 2015 elections in April 2014, when it arrested six members of the Zone 9 blogging collective along with three journalists and charged them with terrorism-related offenses. (Later that year, security forces detained and raided the homes and offices of four prominent young opposition leaders who had just begun holding leadership positions in their parties and gaining popularity on the national stage. They too are facing terrorism charges.) The attack on independent media continued throughout 2014, leading more than 30 journalists to flee the country as several of the publications they worked for were shut down amid criminal prosecutions.

Meanwhile, EPRDF exercises absolute control over state media and numerous party-affiliated outlets, allowing it to dominate public discussion. As voters head to the polls on May 24, they will not be informed by any national debate on competing policy platforms. Instead, the extent and scope of the political discourse has been framed months in advance, presenting EPRDF’s “developmental democracy” model as a panacea for the economic and social woes facing the country.

Marginalization of opposition parties

EPRDF blatantly uses institutions of the state to block and undermine the activities of opposition parties. Its near-total control of the federal and regional legislatures has for years denied opposition parties a prominent role in lawmaking and government oversight that would allow them to build public support. Even local councils have been rendered effectively out of reach for the opposition since 2008, when EPRDF changed electoral rules to increase the size of each kebele (the lowest-level administrative unit) council from 100 to 300 seats. As a result, during the latest local and municipal elections in April 2013, the well-resourced EPRDF fielded more than 3.5 million candidates, winning a similar number of seats throughout the country, while some beleaguered opposition parties managed to field only one candidate.

It is worth emphasizing that such local administrative structures are the primary tools for maintaining EPRDF’s dominance, as they are linked to a network of operatives that reaches down to the household level in both urban and rural settings. Moreover, municipal officials across the country routinely deny permission for opposition rallies, and police forcibly disband and arrest peaceful protesters, playing a crucial part in suppressing dissent.

Given this virtually uniform control of federal, regional, and local government bodies, the stage is set for a repeat of the 2010 elections, in which EPRDF claimed to have won 99.6 percent of legislative seats nationwide.

Manipulation of the electoral system

As part of its preparations for the May 24 elections, EPRDF coordinated a massive voter registration effort with local government operatives, essentially ruling party officials, who went house to house urging citizens to register to vote during the 50-day registration period. Local officials employ a mix of threats and promises to woo largely apathetic voters, particularly in urban centers. Less than three weeks into the registration period, the National Electoral Board of Ethiopia (NEBE) reported a 127 percent rate of voter registration in the Somali region, where an active counterinsurgency operation is being conducted and past elections have been delayed due to security concerns, casting further doubt on the credibility of the entire process.

EPRDF also mobilized its extensive network of state and party operatives to make sure that opposition efforts to reach constituencies met with a multitude of administrative barriers and politically motivated red tape. In February, the NEBE went out of its way to delegitimize popular leaders of the opposition Unity for Democracy and Justice (UDJ) party by exploiting its internal disputes. As a result, prominent UDJ leaders, including a sitting member of parliament, lost their platforms to run as candidates. Instead, the EPRDF-controlled election board promoted a hitherto unknown faction within UDJ and installed them as the new leadership of the party.

With independent civil society crippled as a result of restrictions imposed by the Charities and Societies Proclamation (CSP), voter-education and election-observation activities have also become the exclusive domain of the NEBE and EPRDF-affiliated “mass associations.” Ethiopian “civil society” election observers deployed under the auspices of the NEBE in 2010 quickly declared those elections “free, fair, and democratic,” even as an EU Election Observation Mission concluded that they were “marred by a narrowing of political space and an uneven playing field” and fell short of international commitments for a free and fair election. In what appears to be an attempt to forestall similar criticism in this election cycle, EPRDF has started downplaying the role of international observers very early, repeating the mantra that the elections need to be credible only to the Ethiopian people.

An orderly formality

The May elections are set to be held against the backdrop of multiple terrorism trials of dissidents who were thrown in jail for expressing their views, a divided and persecuted opposition that must simultaneously campaign and struggle for its very survival, a muted international response to EPRDF’s growing repressive measures, and the absence of credible international election observers.

All technical aspects of the elections, from voter registration through casting ballots on election day, may proceed without any major flaws. But the election environment is nowhere near conducive to a free and democratic expression of the will of the Ethiopian people. Instead of providing Ethiopians with the opportunity to freely engage in political discourse and nurture a genuine multiparty democracy, the elections have been reduced to a mere formality for extending EPRDF’s iron grip on power for another five years.

Analyses and recommendations offered by the authors do not necessarily reflect those of Freedom House.

Ethiopia to scapegoat Samayawi Party & local Muslims for ISIS killings


By EthiopianReview

According to Aigaforum, a website-closely affiliated with Ethiopia’s spy services, a crackdown on local opposition forces will be launched soon.  It will likely target the popular Samayawi Party and local Muslim populations under the guise of fighting terrorism and avenging the brutal killing of Ethiopian nationals by ISIS.

In an April 27, 2015 article entitled  “Update on ISIL Killings of Innocent Ethiopians and Current Events,” Aigaforum predicts a serious crackdown is about to take place.  “According to our reliable source Ethiopia is preparing to take a significant action against those forces who collaborated in this heinous crime in the near future. Our source told us that it is a matter of choosing the right time! ”

According to Aigaforum, the crackdown will target “those political organization(s)that have one way or the other helped extremist in the Diaspora to cause disturbance and mayhem in the name of the killings.”

Aigaforum conveniently fails to mention that young Ethiopians who lost their lives in Libya, South Africa, Yemen and the Mediterranean are running away from a brutal dictatorship that has denied them freedom and employment opportunities.

It is not clear if the crackdown will take before or after the upcoming elections.

Video: Cops beat Ethiopian IDF soldier in alleged racist attack



Cops beat Ethiopian IDF soldier in alleged racist attack

By Times of Israel

Two policemen have been suspended after video footage emerged on Monday showing them pummeling an Ethiopian-born IDF soldier, Damas Pakada, who alleged he was the target of a racist attack.

The incident took place in Holon, south of Tel Aviv, on Sunday evening, where police were cordoning off a street due to a suspicious object.

“I feel terrible, and humiliated. This is a disgrace to the State of Israel,” Pakada told Channel 2 Monday. “It’s because of [my] skin color,” he said.

After the footage was obtained by Pakada’s family, he was released from custody, with police promising to investigate the matter.

Pakada told Channel 10 that he was riding his bicycle when he noticed the two officers.

He said that he asked them what they were up to and one of them confronted him and pushed him off his bike, saying, “I can do whatever I want.”

 He said that the officer threatened to shoot him in the head, and that they only let up only after he backed away and lifted a rock.

 “The cop told me, ‘I’m doing my job and if I need to put a bullet in your head, I would do it. I am proud of my job,'” he told Ynet.

Several police then detained the soldier for alleged assault, although the footage showed that Pakada did not attack them with the rock in his hand.

 Pakada is a 21-year-old orphan who emigrated from Ethiopia with his four siblings seven years ago.

He said he couldn’t remove the blood stains from his army uniform.

“It doesn’t matter if this is a soldier in uniform or a normal citizen, this is not how an officer is expected to behave,” a police source told Channel 2.

 “Policemen work hard to serve the public and a rare event like this will not pass in silence,” the source said.

 Another officer termed the incident “shameful.”

 “When I saw the clip, I couldn’t believe I was in Israel,” Pakada’s brother told Channel 2. “I was sure it was a prank, that this is a clip from the US of white cops beating black citizens for no reason. Only by the army uniform, could I see that it was my brother.”


Damas Pakada, an Ethiopian-born IDF soldier who was assaulted by police in Holon on Sunday, April 27, 2015 (screen capture: Channel 2) Damas Pakada, an Ethiopian-born IDF soldier who was assaulted by police in Holon on Sunday, April 27, 2015 (screen capture: Channel 2) 

Ethiopia: ETTE to Construct New Duty-Free Mall



The Ethiopian Tourism Trading Enterprise (ETTE) is to construct new duty-free mall near Bole International Airport to expand its duty-free retail business, Capital reported.

“We decided to expand our duty-free businesses in relation with the massive expansion project of the airport terminal”, Assefa Guya, General Manager of ETTE told Capital.

The enterprise will provide a new line of duty-free items for its customers upon the completion of the expansion project. The enterprise also has plans to introduce heavy duty furniture, electronics equipments and vehicles at the duty-free mall.

The Privatization and Public Enterprises Supervising Agency, administers ETTE.

The enterprise has already began construction of a training center in the north eastern peripheries of Addis Ababa to train local people with hand crafts.

The enterprise earns USD one million every month from the sale of duty-free items. Over the past years, as the general manager said its profit has increased by three folds.

The enterprise has celebrated its Golden Jubilee last week by organizing a paintings exhibition at the National Theatre and with other series of events.

The Ethiopian Tourism Trading Enterprise has ten duty-free shops across Addis Ababa, with notable outlets at Bole International Airport, AU and ECA. 

ETTE is one of the oldest duty-free service providers in Africa and it has business relations with 60 international companies.

A Letter From Obang Metho to Ethiopian Religious Leaders: An Urgent Call for Prayer for our Nation

Mr. Obang Metho, Executive Director of the SMNE



A Letter From Obang Metho to Ethiopian Religious Leaders: An Urgent Call for Prayer for our Nation

April 26, 2015

Dear Ethiopian religious leaders and members of the Ethiopian faith community,

I am coming to you as a human being and also as a believer in Jesus Christ. My appeal is not only for fellow Christians, even though it is a call for Christians to pray, but I also want it to apply to others for when we truly seek God, he will reward us.

Some religious leaders and people of faith will come as Christian believers, others as Muslims, still others as Jews. We may differ in our beliefs, but we share the truth that there is one God who created all human beings in His image. He gave each of us value and the free will to choose to love him with all our hearts, souls and strength. God told the people of Israel through Moses the following before entering the Promised Land. It gave the people a choice and we are faced with a similar choice today. He said: “… I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live and that you may love the LORD your God, listen to his voice, and hold fast to him. ” (Deuteronomy 30:19b-20a)

Can life exist in our beloved country of Ethiopia? There are many Ethiopian migrants and refugees all over the world who will answer “no” to this question as well as many Ethiopians within the country. The devastating events of the past week have shaken Ethiopians to more closely examine why so many of our people take the risk to leave their homes only to find themselves in harm’s way. These questions fill our minds as grief and sadness surrounding the horrible deaths of our young Ethiopians continues to overwhelm us. Because of this, I am also coming to you in my personal grief to share my pain with yours.

Ethiopia is a poor country in the world despite the fact we have abundant resources. Billions of dollars of aid money have flowed into the country; but yet, the outpouring of our people continues unabated. The image of our country is now closely intertwined with that of seeing our young men burned alive in South Africa, the 48 Ethiopians who died after being caught in the civil conflict in Yemen, those who died in containers in Tanzania, those found dead in Lake Malawi, our young girls hanging themselves in the Middle East, the dead and rotting body of a young Ethiopian, lying in the streets of Saudi Arabia for lack of someone to bury her, Ethiopian bodies floating on the Red Sea or the Mediterranean Sea after the boats carrying them capsized, the skeletons of Ethiopians in the Sinai Desert after their organs had been removed, our young boys and girls selling their bodies on the streets of Addis with no one to protect them; our elders within Ethiopia searching for food in the heaps of trash, Ethiopian men and women of courage, fleeing the country under threat of arrests because they spoke the truth and demanded change, and now our 30 young men beheaded or shot in the head in Libya because they were Christians.

Our emotions are stirred to new depths; realizing that so many of our people put themselves at risk only because they feared or despaired of life inside Ethiopia more than they feared the hardships and dangers awaiting them on their journeys abroad. We have to honestly acknowledge what is happening and why, if we are to stop it. Unless all of us Ethiopians declare ourselves to be part of the problem as well as part of the solution, it will continue.

I CALL ON RELIGIOUS LEADERS AND PEOPLE OF FAITH TO CALL FOR PRAYER IN THE WEEKS AHEAD

Let us dedicate the next weeks ahead to prayer, starting Sunday, April 26th. In our prayers, let us seek God’s deliverance from whatever it is that is wrong or evil with our country—both individually and as a society. I also call for prayer for those Ethiopians who remain at risk of harm, death, suffering, injustice or hunger whether they are abroad or remain in the country. I am also concerned because rumors have surfaced regarding other Ethiopians who may be captured by the Islamic State (ISIS). I call on our Ethiopian religious leaders and people of faith to pray for the protection of these people, for our nation, and for a lasting solution to the problems we face.

TO RELIGIOUS LEADERS:

“Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.” (Joshua 1:9)

You are in a position to guide, inspire and direct the people, especially because we the people, along with the system under which we live, are part of the problem. Pretending otherwise, will not solve our dilemma and it will certainly not be solved by itself. It will require proclaiming what is genuinely wrong or evil, calling people to repent and to correct the wrongs being done. We are to meditate on God’s word and its instructions for life. We should also pray for TPLF leaders and those in the EPRDF that they might repent of their ways and please God, not self. You are spokespeople for God, not for a political party. That means not compromising God’s truth and principles so as to please an immoral regime, regardless of the consequences.

For example, at some recent candlelight vigils, religious leaders told the people to avoid any talk about politics, but instead, to leave it all to God. Does that mean that religious leaders cannot speak out against the killing, corruption, robbing of the poor, ethnic-based favoritism, the repression of human rights, the rape or abuse of women and children, the lies, deception or torture of our people—all because it is connected to a political group in power? In the New Testament parable on the Good Samaritan where Jesus explained who one’s neighbor was and how to love one’s neighbor as oneself; did Jesus not hold the religious leaders accountable for failing to help the wounded man on the side of the road?

In the Biblical book of Ezekiel, [Ez. 33], God made the prophet Ezekiel a watchman, who was told by God to warn the people when they were doing wrong. In fact, God told him that if he did not speak out to dissuade a person from doing wrong; not only would that person suffer the consequences of his or her wrongdoing, but so would the one who failed to warn him. God’s prophets, teachers, disciples and followers were to stand in the gap for people, warning them of wrong, but seeking to encourage them to do right so the person might truly live. These men and women of God and disciples of Jesus stood before judges, kings, rulers, mobs and people. Some did not want to listen, but others responded when their hearts were pierced by what was right, true, just and good.
If we are to bring life-giving change to Ethiopia, our religious leaders have an extremely important role to play in calling a nation to repentance, including leaders of the TPLF/EPRDF. Many consider them our enemies, but Jesus told us to pray for our enemies and to speak the truth in love.

Muslim leaders called for national prayers in all Ethiopian mosques this past Friday for the families of Ethiopian Christians harmed by ISIS. Now, we call on Christian leaders to call their people to do the same on Sunday and for Jewish leaders to do the same this coming Friday.

In the future, I call on all Ethiopian religious leaders to begin organizing a national reconciliation effort to help bring healing, forgiveness, justice and reconciliation to our wounded country. On behalf of the SMNE, we will be ready to stand with you, making a similar effort to call on civil society to do the same. This effort is for all our diverse people for we are one family, the family of Ethiopia—the beautiful garden of our nation.

The blood of those Ethiopians who were killed included not one ethnic group, but many—Amhara, Oromo, Gurage, Tigrayan, and others. Although IS targeted Ethiopian Christians, a young Muslim man who was among them, refused to leave his Christian brothers, saying he was one with them and gave his life along with the others. The death of these people signifies the death of all of us. This is who we are as Ethiopians and we should not forget it. As I always say, we do not only share land, we also share blood which is inseparable.

These Ethiopian Christian believers were barbarically executed in the name of Jesus. So let us pray and work to find a solution to the root causes of the problem, being willing to look at ourselves as well. The TPLF/EPRDF regime must admit that its ethnic-apartheid policies, brutality, corruption, violation of human rights, repression of freedoms, and the denial of opportunity to the majority are all closely linked to the mass exodus of Ethiopians out of the country; making these deaths and the suffering of our people a direct result of the failure of the government to care for its citizens. Ethiopia is no place to live or flourish.

Those with power and say must come to their senses for otherwise our future looks grim, but not impossible. One of the slogans during the 100,000 person mourning protest in Addis Ababa was a verse from which we should take heart: “Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the LORD our God.” (Proverbs 20:7)

May we humble ourselves, repent of our own wrongdoing, forgive others, and follow God-given principles of right and wrong. The future looks grim unless we seek God’s help, but when we do, He may call us to be his watchmen and watchwomen to stand up for what is right.

No one expects Ethiopians to rise to the challenge of such change; it is unthinkable and seems impossible in this day of age, but we may surprise them if we turn our hearts to God so as to find a meaningful way to resolve our crises without destroying ourselves. Let us call on God to deliver us and our fellow brothers and sisters.

When each of us declares ourselves responsible for the change we seek; willing to contribute and to sacrifice for the well being of our nation and for those coming next; this shame and embarrassment of our image in the world can be ended. God has gifted Ethiopia with abundant resources, but we have not managed them well.

Ethiopia could be the fountain of Africa in terms of the water, the fertile land, resources, and nearly 100 million people. Many Ethiopians have been educated abroad, but because we do not have a system that values humanity before ethnicity; or fails to see how the freedom of others enhances our own, we live impoverished lives, both figuratively and literally. Let us pray for the TPLF/EPRDF that those who cling to power by committing wrong towards God and others will begin to see the bigger picture; seeking cleansing from the intoxicating thinking of self over God, release from greed and deception over morality, and a renewed focus that turns us from temporary goals to more eternal goals as our faith traditions teach. We have a choice; let us choose God’s way. Let us choose life.

“See, I set before you today life and prosperity, death and destruction. For I command you today to love the LORD your God, to walk in his ways, and to keep his commands, decrees and laws; then you will live and increase, and the LORD your God will bless you in the land…[he has given us.]”

In hope and trust,
Your brother,
Obang Metho,
Executive Director of the SMNE
910- 17th St. NW, Suite 419
Washington, DC 20006
Email:Obang@solidaritymovement.org
Website:www.solidaritymovement.org

Afar Human Rights Organisation: Statement on the Situation of Ethiopians in South Africa, Libya and Yemen

April 26, 2015


The Afar Human Rights Organization would like to express our deep sorrow and pain on the gruesome crime committed on Ethiopians in Libya, South Africa and Yemen. These latest shocking inhuman killings of
innocent Ethiopians in South Africa, Libya and Yemen is very painful, in a successive suffering of Ethiopians. Ethiopian people are oppressed, arrested and killed at home by the dictatorial EPRDF regime. EPRDF continued to antagonize, torture and kill Ethiopians from all ethnic background and religion. Our grave sufferings as nation and people continued and just the past weeks we had very dark and shocking news. We express our deep condolences to the victim families and the Ethiopian people.

Afar Human Rights Organization would like to express the following points:

To the Ethiopian people and victim families:

We express our deep condolences to the victim families and the Ethiopian people. This very dark moments will surely change. We as people and nation has overcome many challenges- it will not be different now and surely we will overcome it. More than ever we have to unite and stand strong in the face of such grave threats. Our unity is essential in overcoming all our challenges. Let us stand united!

To Ethiopian opposition political parties:

Ethiopian people are going through despicable sufferings. In the face of such realities, political parties must unite to bring freedom and democracy for the entire Ethiopian people. Opposition parties either directly or indirectly have been contributing to the continuation of sufferings through divided politics. In the face of such brutal crimes on Ethiopians not only at home but also in Libya, Yemen and South Africa, Opposition parties must work together and unite. The Afar Human Rights Organization urges opposition parties to unite for genuine democratic change. This is the utmost important requirement of Ethiopian people!

To the Government of South Africa:

The barbaric brutal criminal killing of innocent Ethiopians and Africans cannot be justified. The horrific crimes seen in South Africa have shocked the African continent and the world. We request the government of South Africa to end these horrendous attacks immediately and ensure the safety of innocent Ethiopians. We condemn the brutal attacks made on innocent people with the utmost possible words.

Brutal killing and beheading of innocent Ethiopians in Libya by ISIS international Terrorist organization

Ethiopia is a land of peaceful coexistence where Islam and Christianity has lived side by side for more than one thousand years. We are proud that Ethiopia has welcomed our Prophet Mohamed and his family when he was troubled in Mecca. It is also clearly stated in the Holy Quran do not trouble Ethiopians. The attack made on innocent Christian Ethiopian migrants is an attack on the entire 90 Million Ethiopian people. We denounce it unequivocally with one voice. The death of Ethiopian Muslim martyrs, Jemal Rahman along with his innocent Christian friends symbolizes that Islam stands for peace, justice and humanity.

ISIS does not represent Muslims nor Islam, the faith of peace. ISIS is terrorist organization that massacre Muslims and Christians. The barbaric attack will never divide Ethiopia nor weaken us. As always Ethiopians are united in the face of such imminent danger and brutal barbaric terrorist organization that is enemy to the entire human kind. We would like to clarify to ISIS that the killing of innocent Ethiopians and any act of terrorism can never advance any political agenda. Terrorism will never succeeded and Ethiopians are united against such terrorist enemy!

Afar Human Rights Organization would like to express our deep condolences to Ethiopian eople and call for continued unity in the face of such crimes and dark moments.

Afar Human Rights Organisation
ahro2006@hotmail.com

“ETHIOPIA, A COUNTRY WITHOUT A GOVERNMENT”


Ethiopian demonstrators in Addis Ababa


“ETHIOPIA, A COUNTRY WITHOUT A GOVERNMENT”

April 21, 2015

“Ethiopia, a country without a government!” The protest slogan shouted out by Ethiopan mourners in the streets of Addis Ababa yesterday following the massacre of Ethiopian Christians in Libya

SMNE Press Release

On Sunday, April 19th, the Islamic State (IS) released a video depicting the gruesome killing of Ethiopian Christians in Libya. It is said to have been carried out at two separate locations; one where they were shot in the head and the other where they were decapitated. It has been upsetting for anyone to see; however, it has been especially heart-rending to the people of Ethiopia.

Mr. Obang Metho, the Executive Director of the Solidarity Movement for a New Ethiopia (SMNE), is calling onProtest in Addis Ababa against the killing of Ethiopians in Libya Ethiopians from every ethnicity, religion, region and political viewpoint to come together in unity to mourn for these Ethiopians who have lost their lives and to find ways to protect the many others who remain in dangerous situations.

The SMNE is a non-violent, non-political social justice movement of diverse Ethiopians whose work has largely focused on the widespread human rights crimes and systemic injustices perpetrated by the current regime of Ethiopia against its own people. Due to massive outflows of Ethiopians to other countries, the SMNE has also advocated for the countless refugees and migrant workers throughout the world. The SMNE is located outside of Ethiopia due to extreme restrictions on such work within the country.

Mr. Metho states:

Ethiopians all over the world are grieving the loss of these brave Ethiopians, who were willing to stand up for their faith as Christians despite the threat of death from people who despise their own God-given humanity—for who else could commit such evil?

No words can describe the shock, grief, and compassion so many of us feel at this time for the families and friends of those so coldly murdered. We give our heartfelt condolences and wholly condemn these acts. We stand strong together as one Ethiopian family, no matter whether or not we share the same religion, ethnicity, political view, age, gender or any other characteristics; for, we are first and foremost human beings, created with intrinsic worth and dignity by an Almighty God. The pain of this tragedy should never let us forget our shared humanity simply because some have descended into such moral depravity. God calls us to be above this.

In the last weeks and month, Ethiopians fleeing their homes due to the threat of arrest, persecution, human rights abuses, land evictions, repression, ethnic apartheid policies, endemic poverty and those who are desperately seeking a better life, have encountered terrifying situations where their vulnerability has been exploited, leading to injury, danger, and death at the hands of others.

Just last week, on April 16th, mobs of South Africans in Durban attacked, beat, and murdered Ethiopian immigrants in their country. Three Ethiopians died, including two young men who were set on fire and burned alive. Reportedly, many of those threatening them are neighbors who see the influx of foreign migrants and refugees as competitors for jobs and opportunities due to high unemployment in the country. On Sunday, these foreign nationals were warned that any persons possessing a foreign passport or without a South African identification card, would be assaulted. Many fled their homes out of fear.

In another location, also occurring on Sunday, an overcrowded boat carrying between 700 and 950 migrants from Libya to Italy capsized in the Mediterranean Sea. Only a small number of them survived. It is believed that many were Ethiopians.

Last month in Yemen, many Ethiopians were trapped in the fighting going on between the rebels that overthrew the government of Yemen and those defending it. It is believed that numbers of Ethiopians were killed in the bombing by Saudi Arabia as well as by the fighting going on within the country. Ethiopians have been desperately trying to find a means to leave the country, but few wanted to return to Ethiopia. It is believed that close to 100,000 Ethiopians are still stranded there and remain in imminent danger.

The timing of all of these incidents makes the massacre in Libya all the worse. As Ethiopians, the shared sorrow we feel at the loss of our people is overwhelming. From the news reports we hear that thirty Ethiopian Christians lost their lives in Libya. Those murdering them claimed they were taking revenge on these Christians for Muslim blood and called Ethiopia “a nation of the cross.” However, Ethiopia has been a nation that has demonstrated how Christians, Jews and Muslims have been able to peacefully live side by side for hundreds of years, often intermarrying. As a result, they are related by blood, not only by the nation they share.

In fact, Ethiopian Muslims have publically come out with one of the strongest statements seen in regards to their total condemnation of these killings by IS. They are standing together with their fellow Ethiopians against the murder of innocent civilians, calling it “immoral, illegal, barbaric, and in direct contravention” of their beliefs. They state: “We therefore, condemn in the strongest terms the killings of our fellow Ethiopian brethren in Libya and asking justice be served to the perpetrators of these crimes.”

In other words, this act by IS is not about religion, but instead is about power, ambition, greed, hatred, self-interest and self-worship; claiming to be carrying out God’s work while actually violating God-given principles.

To outsiders, these thirty victims may be numbers, but to us they have names, ages, life stories and relationships with the people they have left behind. Some families are only now finding out that their son, husband, father, brother, cousin, or friend is among the victims; with others it may take longer. Some may remain unnamed; however, they died for their faith and are now gone from this world of greed, guns, barbarism, and selfish interest. Christians strongly believe that when a Christian believer is gone from this world, each will be welcomed by name, one by one, to their heavenly home. As it says in the Bible, “…absent from the body, present with the LORD.” [2 Corinthians 5:8] This is comforting to many of us.

Most of these were young men with dreams for a better life that will never be realized now. Although they knew it would be a dangerous journey, they risked it for many reasons—threat of arrest, persecution, or lack of freedom, but also because they may have wanted jobs and an education so as to help their families back home. They may have wanted to make the way for others to follow later—wives, children, parents, sisters and brothers. They are gone now and it has left a big hole in our hearts and souls.

In Ethiopia, the reaction from the government to these tragedies has been reprehensible and shameful. The current one-party government of the Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) has been in power since 1991. It is a coalition of four ethnic-based parties representing four of the eighty or more ethnic groups in Ethiopia and four out of nine of its regions. Worse yet, the EPRDF is controlled by one ethnic-based party, the Tigrayan People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), which represents one region and one ethnic group made up of 6% of the total population. A minority of Tigrayans, making up the Central Committee make all the decisions in the land. They control every sector of society and have exploited the opportunities, the resources and the economy for their own benefit, leaving out the majority. This is why people of Ethiopia regard the regime’s system as being ethnic apartheid. This is apparent in the wide disparity between those within the TPLF and those not included.

For example, while regime cronies have accumulated great wealth, the majority of Ethiopians remain impoverished, despite claims of double-digit economic growth. No wonder people are leaving the country in such large numbers. Therefore, the inadequate response to these crises is not surprising. This is not a regime that cares about its own people, only its own survival and international public image.

The regime’s first response to the massacre of Ethiopian Christians was to distance themselves from the emotions or any responsibility surrounding this brutal event until the victims were positively identified as truly being Ethiopians despite the fact that the killers had already named them as such. This angered many Ethiopians. Once there was proof of the nationality of the victims, the TPLF/EPRDF made a public statement on April 20 claiming their government had been on the “frontlines against terrorists for a number of years and [had] been a leader in the fight against terrorism and violent extremism”, self-righteously saying: “There could never be any excuse for such deliberate crimes against humanity…. The Government of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia strongly condemns the brutal murder of innocent people.”

However, this regime is well- known for its extra-judicial killings, massacres of innocent civilians, torture, the arrest of journalists, religious leaders and activists and human rights reports that document their own crimes against humanity. This includes the US State Department’s Annual Human Rights Report on Ethiopia.
Mr. Metho explains why such claims upset so many Ethiopians:

To outsiders who are wondering why Ethiopians are suffering all over the world—in Saudi Arabia, Dubai, Lebanon, Yemen, Kenya, Libya, Malta, South Africa, Egypt, Sudan, South Sudan, Uganda, and in other places—you should know that it is not by accident. Some people may even be tired of hearing about the trials and hardships of Ethiopians, believing it is about poverty rather than oppression because Ethiopia is so often portrayed as a democratic government as recently as this past week by the Undersecretary of the US State Department, Wendy Sherman, the fourth highest-ranking official there. As these accounts of the killing of Ethiopian Christians in Libya and South Africa come out, Ethiopians will tell you that this is not the first time they have witnessed this kind of thing.

Look at the silent genocide in the Ogaden region of Ethiopia—still ongoing, the massacre in the Amhara region in the nineties, the massacre of 424 civilian leaders in the Gambella region in 2003, the killing of 197 student protestors following the flawed 2005 election, the killing and mass arrests of the Oromo, the ongoing assault on the Afar people, and the ongoing human rights crimes in every region of the country. One of those killed by IS was a student leader who protested the regime’s eviction of Oromo from their homes in Addis Ababa and was going to be arrested, forcing him to flee the country. If you ask the people, the ruling ethnic-apartheid regime in Ethiopia is the IS or terrorist of Ethiopians, despite portraying themselves to outsiders as a government of the people.
On April 20, the TPLF/EPRDF declared that there would be three days of mourning for the victims and that flags would be at half-mast. The Ethiopian Parliament was to convene to discuss the situation; however, only 56% of the parliament’s 547 members showed up on April 21 to participate. Why? How much do they care?

The regime is also making decisions as to how Ethiopians can grieve, but they are denying Ethiopians their cultural way of grieving for the loss of loved ones, which is always done by gathering people together. Instead people are to remain in their homes to grieve alone. They are not to come out in the streets or to set up tents for people to congregate. This is outrageous. This regime should allow people to freely grieve the way they want. If they want to cry out in the streets as they sometimes do; they should be allowed to do so. When the former prime minister, Meles Zenawi, died, mourning in the streets was orchestrated and went on for days.

Allegedly, the TPLF/EPRDF has now called on religious leaders to tell Ethiopians not to leave the country for other places. In doing this, they essentially blamed the victims for putting themselves in harm’s way. They fail to acknowledge their own responsibility in it—that the mass exodus of Ethiopians had nothing to do with their own brutal, ethnic-apartheid policies they followed.

Religious leaders should be genuine and stand with the families in distress. They should also be free to speak the truth—that the source of the problem is the lack of good governance, the lack of opportunity for the people, and the favoritism of one ethnic minority over all others—more specifically, TPLF regime cronies, over everyone else, including other Tigrayans. The minority controls everything while the majority continues to leave the country. Regardless of any warning from the regime or from religious leaders, danger will not prevent the majority from leaving due to the terrible conditions within the country. Only genuine change will reduce the flow of Ethiopians to other places.

The regime is also putting the blame on human traffickers for what is happening. Mr. Metho challenges this thinking as another effort to avoid accountability. He says:

Yes, traffickers take advantage of the vulnerable and the desperate, but what is at the root of the problem? Why are so many continuing to leave the country regardless of the risk? The TPLF/EPRDF must look at themselves first. In fact, some allege that there is evidence that regime cronies are closely linked to the traffickers, those in international employment agencies, those giving working visas and passports, and others along the way.
Ethiopians have taken to the streets:

On April 21, with heavy emotions, the people of Ethiopia have come out in large numbers on the streets of Addis Ababa to grieve together for their fellow Ethiopians. Mr. Metho states:

Like the Biblical Good Samaritan, who did not ask the religion, ethnicity, or political view of the wounded man on the side of the road before helping him, we call on Ethiopians to do the same. Show compassion towards the hurting, putting humanity before ethnicity, religion or any other of our human differences. This is a basic principle of the SMNE. This is a time to stand for God-given values of life, liberty and loving one’s neighbor as oneself for no one will be free to live or worship freely without caring about the freedom, justice, religious freedom, and well being of others—another primary principle of the SMNE.

The death of our people should unify us as one people regardless of our differences. If we had a government that respected the value and dignity of all of its people, and if we as people honored God by following what is right, true, and good; the root cause for our people being scattered throughout the world may be reversed. If Ethiopia were a home where we could actually live and thrive, we would not be hearing of such tragic and horrific acts against our people.

Instead, when these problems happen, the current regime has repeatedly demonstrated a desire to minimize the problem in order to protect their own interests, fearing a backlash. This means blocking media coverage, blaming the victims, putting pressure on religious leaders to cover for them, inciting ethnic and religious divisions, polarizing groups and people, and denying their own injustices and human rights crimes against the innocent people of Ethiopia. Mr. Metho goes on to say:

These Ethiopians in Libya, South Africa, in Yemen and in the Mediterranean Sea have died senseless deaths; but let Ethiopians come together to mourn, repent of our wrongs and pray that God will bring good out of what was intended for evil so these precious people have not died in vain.
It is God who condemns the bloodshed of the innocent as something that pollutes the land and the soul of those involved. Yet, it is the same faith of these victims in Libya that calls for forgiveness and reconciliation between God and humankind and between our fellow brothers and sisters.

May Ethiopians of every faith cry out to God for our deliverance, mourning our failures and seeking the moral transformation of ourselves, our people, our society, and this regime.

May our religious leaders be strengthened to resist human manipulation; and to instead, be courageous, standing true to the One who has called them to Him—their Creator.

May we all become reconcilers, defenders, and peacemakers in our beloved country—excluding no ethnic group, no religious group or anyone else, because no one is free until we all are free! Even if we are imperfect and flawed in carrying it out; because of that, with God’s help, let us be ready to forgive, to restore, and to live rightly to the best of our ability.

May God protect those still in danger or difficulty, both within Ethiopia and in places all over the world.

LONG LIVE ETHIOPIA!

For more information, contact Mr. Obang Metho, Executive Director of the SMNE. Email: Obang@solidaritymovement.org

Swelling Ethiopian Migration Casts Doubt on its Economic Miracle


Ethiopian refugees entering Eritrea


By Chalachew Tadesse


ADDIS ABABA, Apr 25 2015 (IPS) - The 28 Ethiopian migrants of Christian faith murdered by the Islamic State (IS) on Apr. 19 in Libya had planned to cross the Mediterranean Sea in search of work in Europe.

Commenting on the killings to Fana Broadcasting Corporation (FBC), Ethiopian government spokesperson Redwan Hussien urged potential migrants not to risk their lives by using dangerous exit routes.

Hussein’s call sparked anger among hundreds of Ethiopian youths and relatives of the deceased, who took to the streets in the capital Addis Ababa this week before the demonstration was disbanded by the police, local media reported.

Protestors cited the government’s lukewarm response to the massacre of Orthodox Christians for their outrage, the Addis Standard reported. Later in the week, during a public rally organised by the government in the capital, violence again broke out between security forces and protesters resulting in injuries and the detention of over a hundred protesters, local and international media reported.

“Pervasive repression and denial of fundamental freedoms has led to frustration, alienation and disillusionment among most Ethiopian youth” – Yared Hailemariam, former senior researcher for the Ethiopian Human Rights Council (now Human Rights Council)

Almost two-thirds of Ethiopians are Christians, the majority of those Orthodox Copts – who say that they have been in the Horn of Africa nation since the first century AD — as well as large numbers of Protestants.

In the widely-reported incident in Libya, IS militants beheaded 16 Ethiopian migrants in one group on a beach and shot 12 in the head in another group in a desert area. Eyasu Yikunoamilak and Balcha Belete, residents of the impoverished Cherkos neighbourhood in Addis Ababa, were among the victims, it was learnt, along with three other victims from Cherkos.

Seyoum Yikunoamilak, elder brother of Eyasu Yikunoamilak, told FBC that Eyasu and Balcha left their country for Sudan two months ago en route to reach the United Kingdom for work to help themselves and their families, but this was not meant to be.

“I used to talk to them on phone while they were in the Sudan,” Seyoum said in grief. “But I never heard from them since they entered Libya one month ago.” Eyasu had previously been a migrant worker in Qatar and had covered his friend’s expenses with his savings to reach Europe, said Seyoum.

In defiance of the warning of the government spokesperson, Meshesa Mitiku, a long-time friend of Eyasu and Balcha living in Cherkos, told the Associated Press on Apr. 20: “I will try my luck too but not through Libya. Here there is no chance to improve yourself.” Meshesha’s intentions came even after learning about the fate of his friends.

Ethiopian lawmakers declared a three-day national mourning on Apr. 21. The government also expressed its readiness to repatriate all migrants in dangerous foreign countries, the Washington-based VOA Amharic radio reported.

The rally earlier in the week came one month before Ethiopia holds parliamentary elections, the first since the death of long-time leader Meles Zenawi, and current prime minister Hailemariam Desalegn is expected to face little if any opposition challenge.

“We will redouble efforts to fight terrorism,” foreign ministry spokesman Tewolde Mulugeta said in response to demands for action from protesters.

Ethiopia is trying to create jobs so that people do not feel the need to leave to find work, he added. “We’re trying to create opportunities here for our young people. We encourage them to exploit those opportunities at home.”

Nevertheless, disenchantment marked by asserted claims of repression, inequality and unemployment has spurred a series of protests against the regime over the last few years.

These and other issues have prompted the exodus of Ethiopian migrants to Europe, according to several observers. “The idea that the majority of Ethiopian migrants relocate due to economic reasons appears flawed,” contends Tom Rhodes, East Africa Representative of the Committee to Protect Journalists, in an email interview with IPS. Rhodes also maintained that the violation of fundamental freedoms is closely tied with poverty and economic inequality.

In an email interview with IPS, Yared Hailemariam, a former senior researcher for the Ethiopian Human Rights Council, agreed. “Pervasive repression and denial of fundamental freedoms has led to frustration, alienation and disillusionment among most Ethiopian youth.”

“Citizens have the right to peacefully protest,” said Felix Horne, East Africa researcher with Human Rights Watch. “It’s no surprise given the steps government takes to restrict peaceful protests that disenfranchised youth would use the rare opportunity of an officially sanctioned public demonstration to express their frustrations. That’s the inevitable outcome when there are no other means for them to express their opinions.”

The main opposition parties say that the government has failed to create job opportunities, making migration inevitable. The regime, they charge, favours members of the ruling Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front and creates economic inequality.

Recently dubbed an “African tiger”, Ethiopia is one of Africa’s most populous nations with 94 million people (Nigeria has 173.6 million). It has been celebrated for its modest economic growth over the last years. But the average unemployment rate (the number of people actively looking for a job as a percentage of the labour force) was stuck at 20.26 percent from 1999 to 2014.

“The regime allocates state resources and job opportunities to members of the ruling party who are organised in small-scale and micro enterprises,” noted Horne. The CPJ representative agreed. “Ethiopian government authorities tend to reward their political supporters and ethnic relations with lucrative political and business positions” at the expense of ingenuity in the business sector.

In its 2015 report, the World Bank shared this discouraging view. Some 37 million Ethiopians – one-third of the country’s population – are still “either poor or vulnerable to falling into poverty”, the World Bank said, adding that the “very poorest in Ethiopia have become even poorer” over the last decade or so.

The U.N. Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO) has estimated that about 29 percent of the population lives below the national poverty line. This explains Ethiopia’s rank at 174 out of 187 countries on the U.N. Development Programme (UNDP) Human Development Index.

The Oakland Institute, a U.S.-based non-governmental organisation that spotlights land grabs, was recently denounced by Ethiopian officials for its latest report ‘We Say the Land is Not Yours’. According to the government, the institute used “unverified and unverifiable information”.

In a reply to the Ethiopian Embassy in the United Kingdom on Apr. 22, Oakland Institute challenged the government’s claim that ongoing development was improving life standards in the country.

The institute maintained that the government’s development endeavours are “destroying the lives, culture, traditions, and livelihoods” of many indigenous and pastoralist populations, further warning that the strategy was “unsustainable and creating a fertile breeding ground for conflict.”

More than half of Ethiopia’s farmers are cultivating plots so small as to barely provide sustenance. These one hectare or less plots are further affected by drought, an ineffective and inefficient agricultural marketing system and underdeveloped production technologies, says FAO. Several studies indicate that this phenomenon has induced massive rural-urban migration.

According to Yared Hailemariam, state ownership of land has contributed to poverty and inequality. “People don’t have full rights over their properties so that they lack the motivation to invest,” he stressed. The ruling regime insists that land will remain in the hands of the state, and selling and buying land is prohibited in Ethiopia.

Yared also pointed out that the ruling party owns several huge businesses which has created unfair competition in the economy. “The party’s huge conglomerates have weakened other public and private businesses” he told IPS. “Only the ruling party’s political elites and their business cronies are benefitting at the expense of the majority of the people.”

The tragic news of the massacre in Libya came amid news of xenophobic attacks against Ethiopian migrants in South Africa last week including looting and burning of properties. Unknown numbers of Ethiopian economic migrants are also trapped in the Yemeni conflict, according to state media.

I beg your pardon… closet cavemen apologists of Woyane



I beg your pardon… closet cavemen apologists of Woyane

April 25, 2015

by Teshome Debalke

The war for freedom and democracy in Ethiopia is a war on cavemen in vile that stumbled in the modern age. Instead of crying for help out of their caves they might as well join civilization soon. Noting cavemen say or do will prevent the surrender of cavemen’s colony, noting.The war for freedom and democracy in Ethiopia

In the days of our deep sorrow in the death of our people on the hand of coward medieval savages that slaughtered them like sheep in the desert of Libya, my anger isn’t on the barbarian cavemen that showed their true color to the world. After all, we don’t expect goodwill and respect for humanity from mentally crazed Arab savages that veil their identity in the name of Islam. Only sub humans hide their identities and insult a religion for their savage behavior. The medieval thugs haven’t read the Holy Book nor know Islam is Ethiopian before their perverted minds misuse it for cold blood murder.

It isn’t uncommon criminals to use religion, ethnicity and race… as hiding places for their savagery. A large crowed is where they prefer to hide not to take responsibility for their crimes. For decades we witnessed their capability gabble up power and inflict pain and suffering the innocents.

If we think about it, the worst thing that happened to Ethiopians isn’t the savages in Libya, Saudi or South Africa killing our people but the barbarian Woyanes at home that hide behind ethnicity as ISs does behind religion. All have the same behavior, to kill and robe humanity in a cover of something. Take that veil away they are crazed cavemen civilization dealt with in many places. But, make no mistake, they have closet sympathizers that make them feel what they do is worth to advance their own twisted and primitive cause to fuel the fire to keep them alive.

Take the Woyane regime’s sympathizers and apologists that sustain medieval Apartheid regime. The cavemen did many worst things to our people than what the veiled barbarians did in the desert of Libya and Middle East. The Dedebit cavemen killed and continue to kill more Ethiopians behind ethnic veil than any barbaric Arab terrorists would ever imagined. They don’t deny that fact either — empowered by their closet cavemen sympathizers and apologists helping cover for them and fueling their act. Engrossed in their little cage Woyane locked them in; they go in-and-out of their caves acting like modern men in public and crazed cavemen in private — holding the latest technology on one hand and wielding hatchet on the other.

Confused what era they belong to, they go back-and-forth between Stone Age to Modern Age to justify their behavior. They are journalist in modern age and assassins in Stone Age, peacemakers in one but, assassins in another, businessmen in one but, raiders in another. They are PhDs in one but weapon of mass distraction in another… on and on; all going in-and-out their caves.

I discovered one closet caveman apologist of Woyane I knew for two decades. His public persona in the community was exceptional to qualify him as modern man. Educated and well dressed with good manners, I had so much respect for him it never crossed my mind he could ever be a caveman dressed up as modern man that live in the free world let alone a closet apologist of Woyane. Apparently I was embarrassingly wrong and apologized to those that warned me he is a caveman in a veil all along. I should have known better to identify the caveman early on.

Overtime, I learn; anyone that doesn’t have opinion or pretend ignorance on the ongoing crises Woyane cavemen brought to our country is a caveman in a veil himself. Having the opportunity to interrogate him, he, not only a closet caveman in a veil but, an extraordinary one to conceal it. I learned (better late than never) ethnic Apartheid colony exists because of cavemen like him. Ever since I have been catching one after another I never suspected in my wildest dream to find many. Surprisingly, I found out most live in the free world in their cave.

Tormented to live double-life in contradiction to modern civilization they live in, they go back-and-forth in their cave to sooth their pain and justify their behavior — covering up for the crimes of the cavemen regime. They don’t come out in public to show their faces only when they write something we read on their ‘Medias’ to detract the public or to spy on their targets. Looking carefully behind their veil you find a shallow cavemen that stumble in the modern world by accident. Cross-reference their public identity they use in the cyberspace they are nowhere to be found as if they left behind their identity in their caves.

What is interesting about the finding is the number of cavemen with untraceable identity. It is as if they live in caves in the middle of modern world out of the grid going in-and-out at night with no one noticing. It would be a good story title ‘cavemen colony in the mist of the modern world’. It gets better; there are practically no women that come out of the cave from the cavemen’s colony. Surprised by the finding, I went back two decades to see if my finding is valid. I was taken back to find out it is all men colony as if no women are allowed to come out.

It gets worse, in preparation for a separate article regarding the abuse our people face in the Arab world and beyond I was searching for the Diplomats that represent our country to see why none of them come out in public to speak or seek help from the Diaspora and the world the dire need of our people suffering, but, none can be found. The embassies don’t have websites to figure out who is in charge. Nor there is any information on the cyberspace to identify them except phone numbers and, a few unofficial e-mails. Not their names, pictures, and backgrounds; even to find out if they are Ethiopians. The official Foreign Ministry’s website lists them as follows: Beirut Lebanon: Consul General Asaminew Debele Bonssa. United Arab Emirates: Ambassador Abdulkadir Rizku. Saudi Arabia, Jeddah: Consul General Merwan Bedri. Riyadh: Ambassador Mohammad Hassan. Yemen Sana: Ambassador Hassan Abdella. Djibouti: Ambassador Suleiman Dedefo. Egypt: Ambassador Mohammed Derir. Kuwait: Mohammed Gudeta. UAE Dubai: Misganu Arga, Consul General. Somali Hargessa: Brig/Gen Berhe Tesfay. Garowe, Putland: Consul General Co. Asmelash W/Mehiret . North Sudan: Hailekiros Gessese. Uganda: Ambassador Degife Bula. Kenya: Shemsedin Ahmed. South Africa: Ambassador Dr. Yehsimebrat Mersha.

The Only Consulates with websites found are UAE www.ethcodu.com registered by Mohammed Ahmed and created in 2010 with Dubai address. It says; “Our website isn’t quite ready, but you can still…” and leaves a number. The other embassy with website is in Kenya www.ethioembnairobi.org registered by Monshasha Monshasha with P.O. Box address in Nairobi. The websites has nothing worthy that resemble an official Embassy of a nation run by individuals. But, the caveman turn Foreign Minister Dr. Tewdros Andualm is out on social Media rumbling in-and- out of caveman colony dressed up as modern man.

Imagine, what kind of regime that lasted over two decades doesn’t revile the identity of its Ambassadors and the service it provides to its citizens in the respective countries where our people are sent as indenture servants or driven out as refugees considered a government, better yet ‘democratic’ one?

Isn’t that alone enough proof to say the Apartheid colony run by ethnic cavemen that sell our people as slaves and chase them out of their country on the hands of ISs, human traffickers, pimps and human organ dealers to call it for what it is?

Have no illusion my people, there is no government in Ethiopia but cavemen colony with the help of foreigners and its apologists and we all know it. But, this article isn’t about the cavemen colony, enough is said before about it but, the cavemen apologists here in the free world in their own cave that hold the latest technology on one hand and hatchet on the other to sustain the Medieval ethnic Apartheid colony at home.

I still don’t understand why we Ethiopians spent too much time talking about the cavemen regime and too little about the cavemen apologists among us here in the free world. In fact, they are the primary reason why we are disfranchised not to do something about the suffering of our people all over the world including at home. Look them up at the usual Medias and cross-reference their fake name and credential in the cyberspace. They operate out of caves in the free world and nowhere to be found. If there is one thing Ethiopians must do; it is to setup a taskforce to find them wherever they are hiding and expose them to the world.

Occasionally they are forced to come out to sell whatever spoil they get their hands on or showing off what they accomplished robbing our people. Some of their front men show their faces to mislead — everything is hunky-dory to lure the gullibles. Behind their veil are cavemen out of their caves for their kill dressed up as contemporary men with the latest technology that comes handy.

It should be clear we failed to protect our people and defend our country from Midvale cavemen that sustain Apartheid colony’s divide-and-distract methods. Blaming each other is not going to change the reality until we change. Change means not looking for an excuse but find the cavemen from their hiding. That is why cavemen operate out of caves like ISs because they know they are committing crimes. That is why they undermine the freedom movements, the free press … that out them from their hidings. Take them out of their cave and strip them out their dresses they are cavemen with hitches.

It isn’t a mystery they look for cavemen like them to hide behind too. That is where many Ethiopians went wrong lured and trapped in the cave they put them in, particularly those from the Diaspora. Ethiopians can understand what it feels to be fooled by cavemen in modern world. Pure human greed has something to do with it. Stone Age mentality and moral bankruptcy plays even bigger roles but, whatever it is, it isn’t pretty. The solution is not to remain in a cave but breakout of it fast before the cave gives in.

Don’t get me wrong, if people want to remain cavemen it is their rights but, to expect, let alone force Ethiopians to live under cavemen colony is what Woyane and ISSs do, not modern humans. It is not going to happen. That is why Woyane cavemen have problem with Ethiopians. That is why their apologists not showing their faces hiding in their caves in shame.

My advice for cavemen apologist of Woyane is either remains in your cave by choice or break out fast. You can’t go in-and-out of your cave in the modern age and expect to have it both ways. You are either cavemen or modern men, there is nothing in between.

That said, the Woyane cavemen ruling Ethiopia showed their true color again denying recognize Ethiopians they drove out to be slaughtered by Arab cavemen in Libya. They have been doing it over-and-over again hiding in their caves. Ethiopians should be prepared to hear more horror story the cavemen regime’s apologists have been hiding to preserve the Midlevel Apartheid colony. Until we identify them and make them accountable our people will never be safe anywhere.

To illustrate what a cavemen apologist do best Awramba Times headline say it all, it says;

“Ethiopia should adopt a legislation that would ban disturbances on grieving mourners and memorial services”

Put a modern technology on the hands of cavemen you get the crises besieging our people, the Arab world and beyond.

The war for freedom and democracy in Ethiopia is a war on cavemen in vile that stumbled in the modern age. Instead of crying for help out of their caves they might as well join civilization soon. Noting cavemen say and do will prevent the surrender of cavemen’s colony, noting.

The article is dedicated to our fallen people on the hand of cavemen at home and abroad. Your sacrifices will remain the driving force for freedom and democracy to our people from modern day cavemen’s colony.

Ethiopia Denied Airspace Flight Clearance to President Kenyatta

Flight Clearance Protocols Forced President Kenyatta Back, Sources


By CitzensNews

Could failure to adhere to standard flight clearance protocols have been the reason behind President Uhuru Kenyatta’s aborted trip to the United States?

Aviation experts familiar with international travel procedures have dismissed State House claims that the President was forced to make a u-turn due to fighting in Yemen.

Instead, they blame the Air Force for failing to obtain in advance essential air space clearance.

An advance team from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs went to Los Angeles, US ahead of the President.

Cabinet met on Wednesday instead of the norm, Thursdays, and preparations for his departure to arrival in the United States were done in advance.

Sources told Citizen TV that the Air Force department of flight planning and logistics should have sought and obtained diplomatic clearance for the President’s flight path way before the expected date of the trip.

The flight plan maps out countries to be crossed through and clearance is done through diplomatic links.

Questions on route taken by plane

And so, did someone sleep on the job and expose the Head of State to the embarrassment of having to abruptly turn back and eventually cancel his trip?

The official position given from State House read; “following reports of increased military activity in Yemen, there was a challenge on the routing leading to a decision to turn back.”

But that was a red herring. Harambee One, the Kenya Airforce Fokker 70 carrying the Head of State, is said not to have been cleared on Ethiopian airspace over clearance issues.

However, there is the route taken that comes into question as well.

Long standing hostilities between Eritrea and Ethiopia mean that one cannot access Eritrea through Ethiopia, unless they would pass through airspace in between.

The plane carrying the President was warned to turn back but that did not happen until another warning, sources say, came with a threat to bring the plane down if the captain did not comply.

Friday morning, National Intelligence Service Director General Philip Kameru and Air Force Commander Maj. Gen Samuel Thuita were summoned to State House, and all indications point to a likelihood of serious disciplinary action being taken on individuals behind the apparent lapse and aborted trip.

Kenya’s Ambassador to Ethiopia Catherine Mwangi was summoned to Nairobi as well, and how this saga plays out in the greater Ethiopia-Kenya diplomatic relations is to be watched in coming days.

Ethiopian Christians, Muslims Come Together To Honor ISIS Victims

Hundreds came out to honor Ethiopians killed by ISIS in Libya.


By WABE

Thursday night, the Ethiopian community in held a candlelight vigil Clarkston, Georgia. The event was in remembrance of Ethiopian Christians killed by ISIS in Libya over the weekend.

Safi Ahmed is Muslim. He’s speaking to the crowd of 200 to 300 people gathered for the vigil. You don’t have to understand Amharic, the official language of Ethiopia, to hear the passion in his voice.

Afterwards, he loosely translated his words.

“I was mentioning the way they [were] killed,” he said. “I also mentioned Libya and also, finally, I mentioned South Africa.”

Ahmed is talking about recent violence toward immigrants in South Africa which resulted in several deaths. That bothers a lot of people here — as much as the Libya killings.

But they’re also bothered by the stereotype that Christians and Muslims can’t live harmoniously.

Abdella Ahmed is also Muslim. He says ISIS, or the self-named “Islamic State,” has hijacked his faith.

“Islam is not about killing,” he says. “It’s about loving, and in Ethiopia for centuries, 3,000 years before, we’ve been living together side by side with our Christian brothers and sisters.”

Solomon Gizaw agrees. He’s a Christian, and he chairs the board of the Ethiopian Community Association in Atlanta. Gizaw says in Ethiopians of different faiths do more than just tolerate each other.

“For instance, if somebody’s going to give his daughter in marriage for another person, and he happens to be a Muslim, he prepares a special dish for Christians coming to that feast,” he says. “And vice-versa.”

That kind of mutual respect seems to exist in Clarkston, a small city in DeKalb County where refugees from all over the world have resettled.

“If Clarkston can do it, where you have so many different Muslim faiths, from 10 different countries, and you have Ethiopians that have Muslims and Christians, and all these other faiths and here we are able to co-exist in one square mile,” says Clarkston Mayor Ted Terry. “That gives me a little bit of hope for the future.”

Despite religious differences, Clarkston’s Ethiopian community is embracing each other as one big family during this time of grief.

The Tragic Death of 28 Ethiopians and U. S. Ethiopia Policy

Ethiopian protesters hold image of Eyasu Yikunoamlak (left) and Balcha Belete (right), who were two of the 28 victims of ISIS in Libya. 


By Daniel Teferra

On April 19, 2015, a violent, extremist group disclosed its video of the gruesome killing of 28 innocent young Ethiopians on the Mediterranean beach along the Libyan Coast. This senseless act has caused a huge resentment among Ethiopians towards the current Regime and the U. S. Ethiopia policy.

The present U. S. Policy toward Ethiopia is rooted in the London Meeting of May 27-28, 1991, whereby rebel decisions were imposed on the Ethiopian people, sanctioned by the United States Government. This was a violation of the fundamental principle of democracy, representation and playing by fair rules. For the last 24 years, the people of Ethiopia have been forced to live under a divisive and repressive regime.

American financial and diplomatic assistance has emboldened Ethiopia’s rulers to be more repressive and callous in the treatment of the Ethiopian people. As a result, poor and desperate young Ethiopians are braving the scorching heat of desert lands and the violent waves of the Mediterranean Sea to reach the shores of Europe in search of freedom and economic opportunities. Yet, the U. S. Government officials want us to believe that Ethiopia is a democracy and one of the fastest growing economies in the world. If this were true, so many young Ethiopians would not risk their lives to flee their country.

The people of Ethiopia, just like those in democratic countries, have the right to enjoy the blessings of freedom and democracy. However, the people of Ethiopia have never had such an opportunity. While the Ethiopian people are still suffering, the U. S. Government unfortunately continues to support a repressive regime in Ethiopia at the expense of the legitimate aspiration of the Ethiopian people for freedom and democracy.

The U. S Government is capable of fostering a genuine transition to freedom and democracy in Ethiopia for mutual benefit of the two peoples of America and Ethiopia. BUT this capability can only be realized through a unified voice of Ethiopian Americans (including this Writer) to represent before the U. S. Congress the genuine aspiration of the Ethiopian people for freedom and democracy.

The 28 brave sons of Ethiopia did not die in vain. May they rest in peace.

*Emeritus Professor of Economics at Ferris State University; teferrad@uww.edu; UW-Whitewater.

Beyond Anger and Grief—A Call for Global Action



Beyond Anger and Grief—A Call for Global Action

April 24, 2015

The Global Alliance for the Rights of Ethiopians, (GARE) joins the hundreds of thousands of Ethiopians at home and in the Diaspora who were shocked and saddened by the savage beheading and heinous murder of 30 Ethiopian Christians in Libya. We are encouraged by the outpouring of indignation and condemnation of these atrocities by global institutions such as the UN and the Vatican and governments including the United States, Egypt and numerous others.Global Alliance for the Rights of Ethiopians (GARE)

GARE condemns in the strongest words possible the unspeakable atrocities committed by the extremist terrorist group-ISIS- against our Ethiopian brothers in Libya and other murders of Ethiopians in the rest of the world firmly and unequivocally. The barbaric groups depiction in the video justifying the slaying of Ethiopian Christians to avenge “The Muslim blood that was shed under the hands of your religion is not cheap” is intended to incite religious war in Ethiopia between Christians and Muslims who have peacefully lived side by side for thousands of years. The extremist group made no distinction of Ethiopians along ethnic lines. Ethiopian Muslims have expressed their outrage at the heinous crimes and categorically reject their faith being used by the nihilistic terror group that purports to represent Islam. We urge this sentiment of solidarity and common cause to continue. This tragic event should transform us in profound ways and motivate us to work together for justice, freedom and democracy in Ethiopia.

The multi-fold tragedy and collective humiliation facing Ethiopians around the world defies the imagination and is unlikely to stop any time soon. The boat that sank on the Mediterranean carrying more than 900 people had an estimated “400” Ethiopians on board. On April 22, Reuters reported that two boats, one “containing 250 Ethiopians, Ghanaians and Senegalese, and another containing only Ethiopians and Eritreans were stopped on the Libyan coast” for unexplained reasons.

What is the Fundamental Reason for This Unprecedented Mass Exodus?

An overwhelming (2/3) majority of the Ethiopian population is young. Most were born after the current regime came to power in 1991. For most of their young lives, the youth have been robbed of their dignity in two ways: they are not free to demand justice or to find sustainable employment at home; they face uncertain and degrading conditions when they leave their homes in search of opportunities abroad. The beheading and wholesale massacre of 30 Ethiopian Christians and the deaths of hundreds on their way to Europe is a systemic and suffocating governance policy issue.

In the aftermath of the slayings in Libya, hundreds of thousands of Ethiopians across the globe grieved and prayed for the dead and questioned the legitimacy of their own government accusing it that it does not defend their rights, that it is incapable of creating jobs and that it denies them freedom, justice and opportunities. Protesters carried slogans that questions, “Do we have a government that cares? Where is it and what does it stand for?”

Reuters reported on April 22, 2015, at the government sponsored protest that “Demonstrators hurled stones and police tear gas as emotions ran high.” Protestors demanded government responsibility and accountability for joblessness that forces thousands of Ethiopian youth to travel through death traps such as Libya and Yemen in the hope of crossing to Europe. They chastised the leaders of the governing party as thieves (leba in Amharic).

Beyond the empty rhetoric, shedding crocodile tears, and politically motivated calls for three days of national mourning, the governing party shows no sign of letting up its repressive deeds against peaceful protestors. Federal police and security forces savagely beat up and clubbed innocent people. Even at a time of national humiliation and mourning the Ethiopian government is using its draconian anti-terrorism law to criminalize peaceful dissent. People are clubbed and beaten in broad day light whether they demand freedom of expression or accountability for the unprecedented exodus and the horrific impact on the lives of the thousands of Ethiopians fleeing the stifling political and economic situation in their country.

The tragedy is that the repressive and oppressive one party state is at the same time one of the most corrupt in the world. Ethnic-based nepotism in hiring, embezzlement of funds, bribery, corruption and illicit outflow of billions of dollars is bleeding Ethiopian society, leaving little capital to open and expand opportunities for millions of unemployed and underemployed youth creating an impossible choice of “death or flight.” Tragically, the degrading human trafficking that afflicts hundreds of thousands each year and the unprecedented number of young girls and boys who leave Ethiopia at a rate unheard of in the country’s history will persist as long as the current ethnic-minority led dictatorship continues to govern.

In light of this, The Global Alliance for the Rights of Ethiopians calls on all Ethiopians and people of good will across the globe to make their voices heard for good governance, the rule of law, equitable access to social and economic opportunities, advancement of civil society, independent and free media, political pluralism and respect for human rights in Ethiopia. We urge our supporters to collaborate with human rights and spiritual communities and leaders and hold vigils, protests and campaigns wherever they reside. The Global Alliance will do its level best to facilitate these events in the coming weeks and months.

Global Alliance For the Rights of Ethiopians expresses its deepest condolences to the families of the most recent victims in Libya as well as to the families of the thousands of young people that have perished fleeing persecution and poverty.

US State Dept. on Anniversary of Arrest of Ethiopia’s Journalists




US State Dept. on Anniversary of Arrest of Ethiopia’s Journalists
April 24, 2015

STATEMENT BY MARIE HARF, ACTING SPOKESPERSON

Anniversary of the Arrest of Ethiopia’s Zone 9 Bloggers and Three JournalistsAnniversary of the Arrest of Ethiopia’s Zone 9 Bloggers and Three Journalists

Tomorrow, April 25, marks one year since Ethiopia arrested six Zone 9 bloggers and three other journalists. These nine individuals—Befekadu Hailu, Zelalem Kibret, Atnaf Berhane, Natnael Feleke, Mahlet Fantahun, Abel Wabella, Asmamaw Hailegiorgis, Edom Kassaye, and Tesfalem Waldeyes—joined 10 other journalists already imprisoned in Ethiopia, bringing the total number of jailed journalists in Ethiopia to 19, including two Eritrean nationals. This is more than any other country in Africa. In July 2014, Ethiopian authorities charged the six bloggers and three journalists with terrorism under its Anti-Terrorism Proclamation. Their trial is ongoing. Ethiopia also charged one other Zone 9 blogger—Soliyana Shimelis—who was out of the country when her colleagues were arrested, with terrorism, in absentia. Soliyana has been unable to return to Ethiopia and, along with dozens of other Ethiopian journalists, now lives in exile.

Restrictions on press freedoms are inconsistent with the rights outlined in the Ethiopian constitution. Space for media, civil society organizations, and independent voices and views are crucial for democratic progress, development, and economic growth. While we recognize a judicial process is underway, we urge the Ethiopian Government to release journalists and other individuals imprisoned for exercising their right to freedom of expression, particularly those imprisoned who may merit humanitarian release on medical grounds. We urge Ethiopia to refrain from using its Anti-Terrorism Proclamation as a mechanism to curb the free exchange of ideas.

Why TPLF devised ethnic federalism proved to be the main crisis escalator rather than a crisis damper in Ethiopia?

By: Asress Mulugeta

Ethiopia is the only country in the world that uses ethnicity as the fundamental organizing principle of a federal system of government. Among about the 200 world countries, only around 20 countries implement federal system of government but none of them use ethnicity as the fundamental organizing principle of their federal system of government like Ethiopia. Many political leaders in Africa at present are not willing to implement ethnic federalism perceiving it as the continuation of “divide and rule” policy implemented during colonial time and also fearing that it reinforces tribalism.

In 1994, the Tigrayan People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) implemented in Ethiopia a federal system based on ethno-linguistically defined regions and a strict “ethnicization” policy. Since then, there has been growing discontent with the TPLF’s ethnically defined state and rigid grip on power and fears of continued inter-ethnic conflict. Many Ethiopians fear the ethnic awareness and tensions created by the regionalization policy and their potentially explosive consequences.

TPLF claimed its “ethnic federalism” system will empower tribes without dividing Ethiopians. But today, Ethiopia is the most ethnically divided country in the world. Ethnic hatred, propaganda and tensions today are the highest ever in history. Just like the 1990s Rwanda, tribalism has destroyed Ethiopian nationalism and humanity. No single Ethiopian, whether rich or poor, educated or not, feel that he has a country to live together in peace and harmony with others. There is serious rivalry among the ethnic groups over issues such as fair share of the nation’s resources and political power.

When it came to power in 1991, TPLF has lied to Ethiopians that it will achieve the following top five policies such as creating good relations with Eritrea, avoiding drought and famine, Improving Ethiopian economy, creating political reform and democratization. But after 23 years of time, none of the above policies are achieved. In fact it is the TPLF’s disastrous policy which made Ethiopia the largest landlocked country in the world. Every year, Ethiopia has been paying over a billion dollar to the tiny neighboring Djibouti to import and export its goods. This sum of money could have created a job and saved the lives of thousands of Ethiopians who lost their precious lives while crossing the Mediterranean and Red Sea in search of better life and freedom.

It is clear that the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) continuous torture, killing, ethnic cleansing, incarceration, blocking of the free press, jailing journalists and political activists, has reached a point where it is irreversible. All the peaceful ways of struggle for freedom in Ethiopia are closed. The recent attacks on the anti-ISIL protestors in Addis Ababa, the Blue Party, the Unity for Democracy party (UDJ), All Ethiopian Unity Party (AEUP) and the imprisonment of the peaceful zone-9 bloggers and many others are manifestations of the totalitarianism of the TPLF junta that has controlled Ethiopia for the last two decades. The political, economy and military control by a TPLF ethnic minority, the unprecedented increase in human rights violations against the Ethiopian people, especially of the youth, have made them choose mass exodus to be their ultimate choice. Since 1991, hundreds of thousands have fled Ethiopia. Ethiopia is also amongst the worst hit in a brain-drain, seeing mass migration of its skilled professional.

TPLF is leading the country into an era of darkness.  A country with a broken justice system, a rubber stamp parliament, a military that doesn’t stand for the people, a press controlled by dictators is soon or later be a failed state. The Ethiopian people are aware of this. And TPLF’s hopeless measures are indications that the struggle for saving this country from a free fall is at its climax. The Ethiopian youth is now more politically active than before. Thanks for independent medias like the Ethiopian Satellite Television (ESAT) and other social medias, Ethiopians are now aware of the systematic ethnic cleansing of the Amhara by evicting them from their lands, the indiscriminate killing of the Annuak, the unprecedented torture of the Ogaden people, the day light shooting of peaceful Oromo students protesters. Ethiopians are now aware that out of the 63 generals in the military, 61 are from an ethnic minority. Ethiopians are aware of the desperate acts of gross human rights violations of the TPLF regime. Ethiopians are aware of the imprisonment of journalists such as Eskinder Nega, Riot Alemu, Temesgen Desalegn and many others for expressing their views. Ethiopians are aware of the monopolization of the economy by TPLF owned Endowment Fund for Rehabilitation of Tigray (EFORT). While TPLF knows the Ethiopian youth is aware of what is going on in their country, they are taking desperate steps. The recent illegal arrest and extradition of Andargachew Tsige (the secretary general of Ginbot 7 for freedom and justice) from Yemen to Ethiopia was against the Vienna Convention.

All these injustice made by the TPLF have bred an Ethiopian youth that wants to struggle for their freedom and for freedom of their people. The recent defection of two MI-35 air force pilots with their helicopter to Eritrea, Hailemedhin Abera’s (co-pilot of Boeing 767) decision to reroute the Ethiopian airline to Switzerland and asked asylum in Geneva and other air force pilots that defect to Kenya are some of the symptoms of the Ethiopian youths’ determination to fight for freedom in Ethiopia. Upon observing all the options, fellow Ethiopians at home and in the Diaspora have shown strong interest to rise up in unison against this brutal regime and fight for freedom of all political prisoners, journalists and Ethiopian people who are inhumanly suffering in Ethiopia.

The international community should take Ethiopia’s governance problems much more seriously and adopt a more principled position towards the government. Without genuine multi-party democracy and sense of unity among citizens, the tensions and pressures in Ethiopia’s polities will only grow, greatly increasing the possibility of a violent eruption that would destabilize the country and region.