(Video) TPLF police killed two men, many arrested in Addis Ababa

Two men killed, many arrested and more than 74,000 displaced residents of Addis Ababa are on the run. Meanwhile authorities are continue demolishing houses in Addis Ababa, Nifas Silk – Lafto Sub City. (ESAT News)

Ethiopia: Non-Tigrayan members of the intelligence and security detained

By ESAT News

The TPLF regime is reportedly detaining non-Tigrayan members of the intelligence and security after unknown assailants killed 9 intelligence operatives in the last four months, according to sources close to ESAT.

The spies being rounded up by the regime were suspected of involvement in the killing of the operatives that include three intelligence operation coordinators for the Ethiopian regime in Somalia. Most of the detained were ethnic Oromos and include security guards of the late dictator, Meles Zenawi.

According to the sources, commandos who played a role in securing the release of a French intelligence and TPLF soldiers who were taken hostage by the Al Shabaab were also among those detained by the regime. The commandos were offered a lump sum for that operation by the US and EU. The sources said the commandos were also previously put behind bars after confrontations with army commanders who reportedly pocketed most of the payments.

The result of the investigations by a committee tasked to probe into the killing of the spies has been inconclusive but leans more towards the postulation that the killings were an inside job rather than an act by foreign elements. The source also revealed that following the killing of the operatives in Somalia, the safety of TPLF soldiers in that country has been in great peril.

The arrest and sacking of spies targeting non-Tigrayan members of the intelligence would worsen the already tense environment within the regime’s intelligence and security, according to the sources.

(ESAT Video) Latest News in Ethiopia (June 30)

Latest News in Ethiopia (June 30)

-The killings of residents who opposed their houses to be demolished without compensation continued into Thursday (June 30, 2016) by the brutal regime's armed state terrorists in Addis Ababa city- Ethiopia.
- TPLF-led regime puts investment first and citizens' lives second... and continued the demolish of more than 30,000 residents without proper compensation, and even continued killing residents who opposed the move. The fact is that the TPLF-led regime has confused Civil Rules of Law with rules of law of the jungle-- the latter was what they had been familiar with prior to holding power.
-The TPLF-led regime's armed state terrorists- Agazi agents- resumed the killings and torture of young people in Ginchi town in Oromia regional state. The report said that the state terrorists broke into their house in the night and abducted two young boys, and no one knows where about they were since yesterday
- The regime is in preparation to wage war with Eritrea-- moving heavy weapons and military hardware to the border says the report.

Ethiopia: Dr Tedros forget WHO, care first for your own people

Dr Tedros care first for your own people - GK

By Habtamu Yigzaw

His name is Dr. Tedros Adanom. He is the Foreign Minister of Ethiopia and one of the top leader of the TPLF, the dominant party with the governing EPRDF. He is running to be the head of WHO ( The United Nations World Health Organization).

In normal circumstances, it would have been an honor to see an Ethiopian run for such office. However we are not talking about an ordinary Ethiopian; we are talking about a person who is part of a criminal gang that has been terrorizing the Ethiopian people for 25 years and in all regions of the country.

A prominent opposition leader Habtamu Ayalew was jailed by Dr. Tedros Adanom and his friends, for loving his country. They tortured him. He got into prison healthy but came out very sick. As a result of his sickness, he is currently in a coma.

Dr. Tedros who claimed to be caring for the health of human beings and his friends refused Habtamu to travel abroad so that he can get life-saving medical treatment abroad.

Therefore is it right to have this man, as a WHO director, a man who caused great suffering and pain on his own people ? How can a man help the whole humanity in our entire globe when he is heartless and cruel towards his own people like Habtamu Ayalew ? What good would Dr. Tedros be to the world if he threw away health professional ethics for the sole reason to keep power with an iron fist ?

HRW: Ethiopia Unfit for UNSC Temporary Chair

By Felix Horne | HRw

Ethiopia has a horrendous human rights record – but that didn’t stop its election this week to the United Nations Security Council as a non-permanent member. It’s worth noting too that Ethiopia – implicated in the deaths of hundreds of peaceful protesters in recent months – is also a member of the UN Human Rights Council.

Ethiopia, among Africa’s leading jailors of journalists, has decimated independent civil society and misused its counterterrorism law to stifle peaceful dissent. Arbitrary arrests and torture continue to be major concerns. The ruling coalition won 100 percent of parliamentary seats at federal and regional levels in the 2015 elections, after years of restrictions on opposition parties and supporters.

Two weeks ago, Human Rights Watch published a report into the government’s handling of the largely peaceful Oromo protests, where security forces killed an estimated 400 people, many of them students. Thousands have been arrested. The use of excessive force to stifle peaceful protest has occurred frequently, but Ethiopians have few outlets to criticize the government that won’t get them arrested. This has created a volatile internal security situation. The investigation by Ethiopia’s national Human Rights Commission fell short of international standards and concluded that security forces used “proportionate force” against protesters. A credible, independent investigation with international support is needed into these killings.

Despite the dire human rights situation, Ethiopia is a now a member of both the Security Council and the Human Rights Council. Its track record on the rights council has been poor: it has consistently blocked cooperation with UN special mechanisms, not permitted access to a single special rapporteur since 2007 – other than the special rapporteur on Eritrea, unsurprising given the ongoing “cold war” between the two countries. UN special rapporteurs on torture, freedom of opinion and expression, peaceful assembly, the right of food, and the independent expert on human rights and international solidarity all have outstanding requests for visits.

Ethiopia should stop hiding its own human rights record from international scrutiny, and as a member of both the Human Rights Council and the Security Council, cooperate fully with UN special mechanisms, in particular the rapporteurs on peaceful assembly and torture to further investigate the human rights situation. Moreover, Ethiopia’s international partners should be supporting a credible, independent investigation into abuses during the Oromo protests.

Our Ethiopian struggle is more than just removing TPLF

By Abel Joseph

Of course our struggle is not only removing TPLF and replace them with someone else, but also to create a society which value human right and life.

Our struggle should also be to create a society which would respect and help each other’s as one family, instead of being a tool of those who are profiting from our disharmony.

Those of us who are on the position of helping others should not hesitate to help those who needed the most, as there is no better thing to all of us more than helping our own kinds.

Corruption and ignorance is our problems, however corruption has the biggest and deep roots, which has spread everywhere including among the common man.

Not only among government officials, but also in every corner and interaction, corruption seems the rule instead of an exception.

I was in Ethiopia two years ago and had seen what is going on. The most shaking thing I heard was from one of the physician who runs his own clinic. We met in Addis and had some conversation about what was going on in the country.

Surprisingly, he asked me to stay in Ethiopia, and my answer was that I was little bit concerned by what the TPLF has been doing. Later, he said as long as you would not involve in politics and oppose what they are doing they would not touch you.

He also added that working as a physician in Ethiopia is as the same as printing money. I was surprised by his statement and asked him what he meant when he said printing money. He said whenever patient comes to see you would order every kind of diagnostic study and charge them as much as you can, which would be illegal in USA and perhaps other countries.

Based on his saying it seems that the doctors are exploiting the ignorance of our people and order unnecessary test and charge them.

Such kind of crime in medicine is not les evil than what the TPLF are doing.

Even in stores, costumers would not get fair treatment, but everyone is trying to exploit the corruption epidemic and charge them the maximum.

It seems that every one is affected by corruption epidemic, and working to destroy the country as well as each other’s.

It is not appropriate to use the government corruption to justify ours.

Our integrity is not measured by what others are doing, but what we are doing.

What makes us different or prudent is not what we are doing based on what the masses are doing, but doing the right thing no matter what and no matter where and in what condition we are.

Let’s try to be moral despite the corrupt and unscrupulous people are submerging themselves into corruption and eat like a pig, as if eating and drinking too much would extend their lifespan.

The Myth of a Strong Ethiopian Armed Force

The Myth of a Strong Ethiopian Armed Force

By Neamin Zeleke | Part I

A myth underlying Western relations with Ethiopia regards that country’s military as a reliable and stable partner in the Horn of Africa and has dominated U.S. and European policy for more than two decades. This narrative has of late been increasing in influence and impact as foreign allies have grown increasingly dependent on Ethiopia to help defeat the extremist Al Shabaab insurgency in Somalia. Ethiopian support for other African peacekeeping missions is needed from time to time as well. Yet, to quote a Feb. 2016 Stratfor analysis, “…so far, the Islamist militants are clearly succeeding. Not only are they hitting AMISOM [African Union Mission in Somalia] at will, they are also specifically targeting aid shipments and personnel as a way to disrupt the counterinsurgency effort.”

The International Crisis Group’s June 2016 report asserts that, “Al-Shabaab continued to launch regular attacks.” This complaint is echoed in its preceding reports as well: “Al-Shabaab kept up urban attacks and made limited territorial gains” [May 2016], “Al-Shabaab upped terrorist attacks and recaptured locations across south-central Somalia: attacked and recaptured several towns in Lower Shabelle, Bay and Jubaland regions, including 8 Feb temporary occupation of Marka and 16 Feb attack on Afgoye…”, [March 2016), etc.

Inasmuch as Ethiopia comprises a major component of AMISOM and, more generally, is considered the West’s most powerful and stable partner in Africa’s Horn, we shall examine some salient features of Ethiopia’s much-touted “strong army” and its future prospects for meeting the goals of major donors, such as the United States and Britain.

Clausewitz argued that, in order to be effective in war generally, and in military operations in particular, sufficient equilibrium must exist between the people, the army, and the government or the state as to overcome conflicting tensions, contradictions, and the ever-present “friction,” i.e., inefficiency and obstacles. Some 2000 years earlier, Sun Tzu described a state of congruence between the aim of the government and the people as the Tao, or, “The Way,” a prerequisite to victory in war. When leadership and the army share the same purpose, he taught, this, too, is Tao. On the other hand, substantial divergence between government, people, and army, spells disaster for the nation.
In today’s Ethiopia, such a disaster has been in the making for years. A deep and widening fault line divides the unpopular regime, the people of Ethiopia, and the military’s higher and lower ranks. These schisms afflict Ethiopia’s armed forces with intractable contradictions that render them highly vulnerable to external and internal pressures.

It could be argued that the armed forces under the current regime are repeating similar blunders as the of the previous Communist regime that they replaced. Unlike the current armed forces under the TPLF/EPRDF regime, the armed forces under Col. Mengistu’s regime found itself simultaneously fighting on multiple fronts, staving off Somali aggression while embroiled in protracted counter insurgency campaigns in all four corners of the country.

The historian Gebru Tareke argued in his book, “The Ethiopian Revolution: War in the Horn of Africa,” that the main cause of the previous army’s defeat was a “lack of imagination” that manifested as strategic and tactical rigidity. The Marxist-Leninist ideology the regime espoused, economic and other attendant policies it pursued, its repressive measures, and the multiple fronts throughout the country alienated the people from the regime. These factors cost that government its critical civilian base of support needed to wage counterinsurgency war in many corners of the country, including the now-dominant Tigray and independent Eritrea.

The loss of popular backing, comprising the rear of the armed forces and representing one of Clausewitz’s Trinitarian elements, combined with the low morale of the army due to the lengthy wars in Eritrea and Tigray to the north, betrayed the appearance of superiority of the Ethiopian defense forces under Col. Mengistu regime presented. The failed coup of 1989 that wiped out the armed forces’ best strategic commanders and leaders, symptomatic of the contradictions besetting both Ethiopian society and the army, signaled the deteriorating conditions and failure to prosecute the war. Along with the will of the public to carry the burden of the war, argued Gebru and others scholars who studied that era’s political and military developments, the repressive political system itself plummeted.[1]

The current TPLF/EPRDF regime, even though spared so far the multiple threats that the previous regime’s armed forces managed to contain for many years, deploys armed forces that are also very vulnerable. To reuse the terms employed by Professor Terrence Lyons, scholar of conflict resolution, in his study, “Ethiopia: Assessing Risks to Stability,” commissioned by the U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM) in 2011, both the political system and the army are “brittle,” i.e., fragile, although in the short term seemingly strong and stable. But mid- and long-term prospects, the professor projected, are a different story. Indeed, Ethiopia’s armed forces are under increasing pressure from popular resistance and armed rebellions that are gaining strength every year. [2]

Policymakers relying on Ethiopia as a dependable military ally may find it difficult to grasp that this army is at serious risk of collapse, but similar conditions, even worse conditions, to those that undermined its predecessor are evident. In fact, abysmal conditions afflicting the armed forces under the current regime are numerous and structural. Intelligence, both open source and covert, collected in the past few years confirms the internal crisis within the armed forces. These include testimony, both written and oral, from defecting ground forces’ officers of various ranks and specializations, NCOs, privates, Airforce pilots, and technicians. All attest that Ethiopia’s ground and air forces are dispirited and demoralized institutions.

The spike in defections has become so high, according to reliable sources that include one recently broadcast on Ethiopian satellite TV and Radio (ESAT), that it’s become a recurring topic in internal Ministry of Defense meetings of such significance as to require the attendance of the Minister of Defense, Siraj Fergessa, and Samora Yunis, the Armed Forces Chief of Staff. Indeed, chronic defections of significant proportions have afflicted all divisions, including army divisions under the Northern command deployed along the border with Eritrea.[3]

These losses translate directly into operational weakness. The Airforce, for example, already lacks institutional memory and pride in a tradition-based military culture due to the large number pilots and officers dismissed en mass after the fall of d the previous regime. But compounding this deficiency are the scores of pilots and technicians who have defected since 2005, including dozens who were sent for advanced training to Belarus and Israel in 2006 and 2007, respectively. Such defections have not subsided, but continue to date, including two pilots and a senior technician who flew a fighter helicopter out of Ethiopia into a neighboring country in 2014. Most such defectors promptly join opposition movements such as Patriotic Ginbot 7 and others.

The visible increase in defections can generally be ascribed to marginalization and abuse of soldiers and airman by cadres and officers of the government. But there are several other reasons for this trend as well. An analysis must begin with the stark fact that Ethiopia’s senior leadership is stealing approximately 2 billion dollars every year. This statistic is based on the amount of illicit financial outflows documented by a UN panel chaired by former South African president Thabo Mbeki and the fact that the means of embezzlement, over and under-invoicing of exports and imports, are controlled by a small circle of top officials.

Protecting such a source of wealth, especially in the face of extreme poverty suffered by the nation generally, requires tight control of the security forces. But the Tigrayan ethnic composition of those managing Ethiopia’s corruption has such small representation within the general population at six percent that it’s impossible to fill the ranks only with loyal fellow Tigrayans. This has resulted in a two-tier system in which the rank-and-file come from the majority ethnic groups, such as the Oromo and Amhara , while their leadership is comprised almost exclusively of Tigrayans, claiming to represent only a 6% of the population in Ethiopia.

As with any unrepresentative system requiring repression for its survival, injustice in Ethiopia’s military is rife. Minority ethnic domination of the command structure and the corresponding pervasive corruption, favoritism, and promotions on the basis of ethnic origin instead of merit have resulted in poor morale and widespread, festering resentment within the senior military leadership. These conditions have created the dangerous divisions that today threaten the military’s efficiency, and even survival.

In this installment, the structural weaknesses in Ethiopia’s Armed Forces are examined. The following section will provide a more qualitative description of the problem, based on testimonials obtained from defectors and from intelligence obtained by opposition groups.

Several practices in particular undermine morale within the lower and middle ranks of the Armed Forces, including:

  • Compulsory “donations” deducted from already-meager monthly salaries for The Meles Foundation, for the Abay Renaissance Dam, a notorious nexus of corruption, and various ersatz Tehadiso causes, national anniversaries and holidays. Politically-appointed Tigray and unit commanders decide the percentage to be deducted from the soldier’s salary without consultation.
  • Members of the army are told by their commanders that they have a right not to contribute. But, in practice, those who refuse to cooperate are blacklisted. Offenders are refused important
  • Benefits, such as the opportunity to be sent on peacekeeping missions, educational and advancement training programs. Those who opt out from donating are accused by their Tigrayan commanders of harboring a hidden political agenda.
  • Perceptions within the Armed Forces’ rank and file, junior officers, and NCOs for the most part, are that, while Ethiopia’s people are starving (Ethiopia is currently suffering the largest famine in its history), senior military leadership are enriching themselves through massive corruption. There is no transparency or accountability for the donations while the construction of large, luxury mansions by the generals is well known.
  • Members of the army are subjected to the infamous gimgema, in which people are made to confess, and one testifies against his comrade in the presence of several people. This process, according to defector debriefings, dispirits and humiliates those who undergo this process.
  • Those who refuse to cooperate in the shakedowns are often subjected to military discipline, ranging from solitary confinement to torture.
  • Verbal attacks by government cadres at performance assessment meetings, including abuse of senior non-Tigrayan personnel by nominally-subordinate Tigrayans. Organizational efficiency is severely weakened by this practice, as it discourages asking questions about day-to-day operations. It is well known that a low-level cadre can make a non-Tigrayan, even one superior in rank, disappear for simply forwarding a challenging question or constructive criticism.
  • Despite claims by senior military leadership that the defense forces are committed in their allegiance to the regime, testimony from officers, the rank and file and air force pilots confirms the existence of a broad, underlying attitude that preserving the corrupt status quo is not worth the sacrifice of their lives. Thus, the army is not prepared to defend the country from any threat. Exasperation and fatigue are the common reaction to the regime’s persistent and unconvincing propaganda.
  • The average Ethiopian soldier, generally from a non-Tigrayan ethnic groups, believes his leaders consider him cannon fodder while Tigrayan cadres and generals are protected from danger and exempt from hazardous duty.
  • While the rank-and-file is fighting and dying in Somalia and on the border with Eritrea, TPLF cadres and generals pursue conspicuously lavish lifestyles in the capital’s posh suburbs. This was widely observed during the 1998-2000 Ethio-Eritrean war. Soldiers risking their lives and limbs fighting extremists in Somalia are painfully aware that their generals and commanders are busy dealing contraband goods, selling petrol and other supplies from the Somalia operation in the open markets of Mogadishu. Many question why they must risk their lives fighting an Al Shabaab with which their commanders are trading and profiting. Rumors abound that Ethiopia’s military leadership would secretly like the war there to continue for business reasons. Accusations circulate that Ethiopia’s generals pay Al Shabaab under the table to limit its operations to the Somali side of the shared border.
  • Resentment is widespread within the rank-and-file members at being made to pay for their uniforms and shoes while their families back home are destitute. Housing is often of intolerably poor quality. On the other hand, their generals have built skyscrapers, enriched themselves on the black market, and are paid thousands of dollars– as much as twenty five thousand dollars per month in the case of force commanders of the various peacekeeping missions.
  • The deliberate mixing of politicized and fabricated intelligence with the genuine as a method of impressing foreign military partners.

Such conditions are feeding the flow of military talent and loyalty from the regime to Patriotic Ginbot 7 and other opposition armed groups.

It is now 25 years that a small ethnic minority, representing only 6% of the population, has dominated Ethiopia’s military, security services, bureaucracy and economy. They remain at the helm of the command-and-control structure, from the Defense Chief of Staff down to Commands, Divisions, regiments, and even platoon leadership. Despite the need to maintain control over a much larger restive and resentful population and prosecute successfully a difficult counter-insurgency at the same time, the defense forces are not led by competent generals well-schooled in military science, nor do they exhibit leadership qualities. Academically, the TPLF generals tend to be grade school dropouts and the rank-and-file are well aware of this fact, engendering a lack of respect for their superiors. [4]

As well-known contemporary Counter insurgency theorists, who have studied both successful and unsuccessful counterinsurgencies argued in their studies applying brute force alone cannot possible win over the population. Counter insurgency is not about military force alone but winning the minds and hearts of the people, one of the three elements of Clausewitz’s trinity, which the previous regime’s blundered and the current minority regime continues on the path. Knowledge of guerrilla warfare, its methods and tactics which these TPLF generals, representing over 80% of the army and air force command, possess from their rebel days does not easily translate into skills at the strategic and theater levels, nor the ability to direct effectively conventional modern warfare requiring joint and combined warfare by infantry, mechanized and air forces.

One might expect such experienced guerilla warriors to understand counterinsurgency, but these ostensibly grizzled veterans appear to have forgotten the lessons of their own early experience: that it’s less about military force than winning hearts and minds. And that atrocities manufacture more enemies than they kill (of course, a lot of training and civil operations fly out the window with each year’s stolen two billion dollars). For the regime’s counterinsurgency track record in the Ogaden in the East, Gondar in the Northwest, and Gambella region in Ethiopia’s southwest is stained by horrific, internationally-condemned episodes of brutal persecution of the civilian population. It is no coincidence that these same areas have become fertile recruiting grounds for the armed freedom and democracy forces opposing the regime. [5]

The TPLF generals’ 25 years’ tenure as strategic commanders is a pale reflection of what Ethiopia enjoyed at these levels of leadership during the Emperor’s, and even during the regime of Col. Mengistu .

From the many illustrative accounts of this phenomenon, we can take, for example, this description of an Ethiopian army colonel, translated by Bereket Kidane, from Tesfaye Gebreab’s published memoir of the 1998-2000 Ethiopia – Eritrea border war titled The Writer’s Memoir “የደራሲው ማስታወሻ:”

…… Weyane took 10 divisions to the war front against Eritrea. Of those ten divisions, one was a fully mechanized division. There was also one brigade of commandos among them. When war broke out in 1998, Weyane’s armed forces were ready to attack on four fronts, namely Burre, Zalambessa, Tsorona and Badme. The first round of the 1998 war was extremely screwed-up and gruesome. Looking back on it as a commander and a military professional, it was an extremely inept and embarrassingly flawed war plan from the beginning. It was badly planned. It is very sad that no one to date has been held accountable for the wasted treasure in blood and national resources that was expended on the war effort.”

“… we had anywhere from 250,000 to 300,000 of our soldiers killed on the war effort in Eritrea during the Haile Selassie and Dergue era. But if we compare that to the Weyane era, in just one year we had 98,700 of our soldiers killed and 194,300 wounded. These are figures I got from our Ministry of Defense in Ethiopia. The figures I retrieved from the records of Ordinance Command is that two-thirds of our heavy weaponry was destroyed during the first round of Ethio-Eritrean border war. The field generals of this nihilistic and meaningless war were Seare Mekonen, Samora Younis, Yohannes Gebremeskel, Tadesse Werede, Abraha , Quarter…”

Most of these generals remain the most senior of the armed forces, including, Samora, the current chief of staff.

“……After the 1-week battle plan failed miserably and concluded with great military losses, the general who was in charge of the war, Tsadkan Gebretensae, called a meeting at Infara, the place that was serving as the Command and Control Center. General Tsadkan tried to call the meeting to order but he could not hide his emotions and broke down crying. All of the meeting participants cried with him. Infara was like a funeral home. Once Tsadkan regained his composure, he tried to comfort the meeting’s participants. Everyone was crying. General Tsadkan said the following to them: “I have led many battles in my career. I have fought in many wars. I have seen a lot. I have never experienced this kind of utter failure. It is bad.” The reason the meeting was called was to assess the situation and find solutions to the problems. Meeting participants agreed that there were two basic problems: the challenging landscape and defective battle plans were equally to blame. The landscape is favorable to the enemy; the enemy is in a defensive position. Also, there was no adequate preparation on our part. We didn’t size up the enemy and its strength correctly. We underestimated the enemy’s capabilities. The enemy is using the landscape to his advantage and rotating forces and battle plans as he wishes. Without going into much detail, we concluded the meeting. Using that as a starting point, we collectively decided to discard the offensive battle plans for Zalambessa and Burre. In order to beef up our fighting capability, it was decided that a committee led by General Abebe Teklehaymanot would go on a shopping spree for the air and ground forces. Bereket Simon was to lead the conscription of massive number of troops. Aba Dula was to supervise the training of the conscripts. The number of divisions was to increase from 12 to 30 in a short period of time. Until then, the troops would stay in a defensive position…”[6]

Additionally, during the Ethio-Eritrea war of 1998-20000, the TPLF leadership had to swallow the bitter pill of admitting that its top leadership of the armed forces was nowhere up to the standard needed to lead conventional forces at the strategic and theater levels, and to wage wars requiring knowledge and experience in the science and art of warfare other than the guerilla methods and tactics the TPLF generals are said to understand due to their guerrilla days as platoon and company commanders. Therefore, the best surviving Generals of the previous regime– Generals Tesfaye Habetemarim, Airborne, General Behailu Kinde, infantry, General Negussie Adugna, artillery (later to die in battle during the Ethio-Eritrea war), and Gen. Techane Mesfin, Airforce, and thousands of heavy weaponry experts, combat engineers, air force pilots, and many high ranking and line officers who had been humiliated and reduced to being paupers for “serving the Derg Army” after the demise of the former regime in 1991 were called upon once again, almost begged by then-Chief of staff Tsadkan Gebretensay himself, to join preparations for the next round of war the TPLF was preparing against the Eritreans. This was done over the objections of TPLF generals, such as Samora Yunus, the current chief of staff, who did not like the idea of including former generals more educated, trained, and experienced in conventional warfare than he and all of his colleagues were and still are.

Another specific demoralizing issue is that soldiers who have paid the ultimate sacrifice in Ethiopia’s recent wars are not being buried, let alone with the honor and dignity such situations demand. Many corpses are left to rot and fall prey to carrion, disturbing and dispiriting not only their surviving comrades, but their families and local populations witnessing this degrading abandonment. The regime has refused to disclose the number of its soldiers killed during the war with Eritrea, as well as the ongoing fight in Somalia. One of the major resentments by the people of Ethiopia, and especially by members of the defense forces, of leaders of the government, the ethnic minority generals and high ranking officers is this indifference and disrespect exhibited to the fallen soldiers.[7]

These facts have been corroborated by testimony obtained from former members of the defense forces who have defected and joined armed opposition groups like Patriotic Ginbot 7, and from civilian witnesses, open sources and other channels of information.

Based on the preceding facts, it is possible to make the following assertions:

  • The lower ranks of Ethiopia’s military, like the rest of the Ethiopian people, want to be free from tyranny and ethnic based marginalization. They are willing to serve in an environment where there is no ethnic favoritism, that’s free of corruption and where justice, including military justice, prevails. They are not, contrary to Western stereotype, content to live on food handouts alone.
  • “The military is a dictatorship, not a democracy.” But it still needs benevolent, yet strict, leadership displaying values of honor, sacrifice, wisdom, etc. An army needs a leadership that is perceived by the lower ranks as courageous and just, strict yet, professional. The military desires to be led by commanders and generals with the discipline and knowledge of military science expected of such positions.
  • The military wants promotions, salary increments and other perks to be based on merit, not ethnicity.
  • The military wants appropriate and sufficient logistical support, including, but not limited to, armaments, better food and uniforms that would help it carry out its duty as a national defense force.
  • A military with eroded morale, disunited and led by incompetent generals who constitute a tiny minority, yet command and control 80% of the both the ground and air forces, will not be a protector of an extremely corrupt, ethnic oligarchy determined to exploit in flagrant fashion every aspect of the Ethiopian state and economy. Rather, it will undoubtedly mutiny and turn its guns on its oppressors when the time is ripe for a popular revolution.
  • The ethnic based minority regime is neither capable nor willing to heed the demands of the military’s lower ranks because this would spell the end of its senior leadership’s control of the corruption.
  • Ethiopia’s senior political and military leadership lacks the popular support cited by Clausewitz as needed to sustain a successful counterinsurgency, especially on multiple fronts.


The armed forces under the present regime is seriously deficient in the requisite morale, esprit de corps, cohesion, confidence and trust in its inept and extremely corrupt commanders. Such an army cannot be a cohesive and effective fighting force. It cannot sustain a drawn-out war with internal liberation movements and face a formidable external threats.

“Morale is three times the materiel,” Napoleon said, stressing the importance of will in any war. That genius of military strategy and tactics would later refer to the guerrilla warfare waged by the Spaniards on the Iberian Peninsula that pinned down some 300,000 members of his “Grande Armee’” as his undoing.[8] Like Napoleon and so many other conventional armies down to the Ethiopian Army under the Derg which the present regime toppled, the current armed forces under the minority regime will be unable to contain the determined guerilla resistance movement across the county which the people of Ethiopia have begun to unleash in the countryside and is poised to spread to the cities. Moreover, the dirty war such a defense will require will elevate international scrutiny of the regime’s excesses to an unsupportable level. This leaves Ethiopia’s present government, like most conventional armies besieged by the “Spanish ulcer,” vulnerable and susceptible to disintegration if confronted by any of several possible combinations of threats, as seems increasingly likely.

The conditions for this likely outcome are being created and exacerbated by Tigrayan generals and the minority regime’s brutality, cruelty, unbridled plunder and illicit extraction of public resources at the expense of the soldier and the civilian population. Such practices, along with the mistreatment and humiliation of both constituencies as second class citizens has led to widespread alienation and represents a significant detachment of elements in the Clausewitzian trinity. The people of Ethiopia have long grown impatient and are highly likely to rise up in the near to moderate term, as already witnessed in the Oromo region and elsewhere, in smaller scales in various parts of Amhara region in particular Gonder. Indeed, this process clearly has already begun.

The next installment in this series will highlight the multifarious fault lines within the regime itself and the larger population at greatest risk of eruption in the putatively “stable” and “reliable” partner, Ethiopia.

[1] Gebru Tareke, the Ethiopian Revolution: War in the Horn of Africa
[2] https://csis-prod.s3.amazonaws.com/s3fs-public/legacy_files/files/publication/110623_Lyons_Ethiopia_Web.pdf
[3] Worsening defections in the Ethiopian army
ESAT News (April 12, 2016)
[4] http://www.ginbot7.org/the-total-domination-of-the-ethiopian-army-by-ethnic-tigrean-officers/
[5] https://www.hrw.org/news/2008/06/12/ethiopia-army-commits-executions-torture-and-rape-ogaden
[6] http://www.tesfanews.net/general-tsadkan-cried-1998-2000-eritrea-border-war/
[7] http://ethsat.com/tplf-abandoning-bodies-of-its-soldiers-everywhere-causing-psychological-trauma-on-people-in-somali-region-of-ethiopia/
[8] General Rupert Smith, The Utility of Force: The Art of war in the Modern World

Ethiopia: it is time to stop the reign of terror of the Liyu Police

By Ali Mohamed

A U.S. financed para-military force known as the Liyu police are terrorizing the civilian population in the eastern Ethiopian Somali region without impunity. Three weeks ago, out of the gaze of the international media, the Liyu (Amharic for “First”) police slaughtered more than 40 villagers including women and children in Jama Dubad, a remote hamlet in the eastern Ethiopian Somali region, according to Somali news websites. The Liyu police were retaliating, after a group of armed men attacked customs police for confiscating a vehicle transporting Khat(a leafy plant, which acts as stimulant when chewed), belonging to a local dealer, for failing to pay taxes.

Since 2008, the Liyu police had committed similar massacres in the villages near Ethiopia’s porous border with Somalia and the unrecognizedRepublic of Somaliland: For instance, in June 2015,the Liyu police attacked local ethnic Somali livestock herders, on Ethiopia’s border with central Somalia, which left 50 people dead. Video footage showing the aftermath of the gruesome killings shot on a cell phone went viral on Somali news websites: In the video, groups of the thuggish Liyu police with camouflage uniforms were desecrating dozens of dead bodies, including young children, who were shot in the head. Their atrocities constitute crimes against humanity and war crimes.

The Liyu police have no formal training or discipline, yet it has the full support of the Tigrean people’s liberation front (TPLF) government in Addis Ababa. The TPLF initially set up the Liyu police as a counter insurgency force against the Ogaden national Liberation Front (ONLF), a group fighting for self determination for the Somali region. The un-elected governor of the Somali region, Abdi Omar also known as “Iley”, commands and controls the Liyu police. Most of the units of the Liyu police are recruited from his own clan.

Since the Liyu police was instituted, Mr. Iley has been using that force to bully and intimidate the civilian Somali population in the region. The Liyu police’s “scorched-earth” tactics include: “Mass killing, kidnappings, rape, looting livestock, destroying wells, and razing villages to the ground,” according to the Human Rights Watch.

The victims of the Jama Dubad terror have kinship with the 4 million Somaliland people, especially those in the town of Burao.The relatives of the victims and people throughout Somaliland felt sorrow and grieve because of the horrific crimes and deaths caused by the Liyu police.

Unfortunately, the massive human rights abuses are not only unique in the Somali region. For example, this past November, the Ethiopia security forces mowed down more than 400 people, after the Oromo ethnic group protested over the government’s plan to expand the zoning of the Addis Ababa, Ethiopia’s capital. “Ethiopian security forces have fired on and killed hundreds of students, farmers, and other peaceful protesters with blatant disregard for human life,” said Leslie Lefkow, Human Rights Watch Deputy Africa Director.

The leaders of the United States, Britain and EU, who provide billions of aid to Ethiopia, should publicly condemn the Ethiopian government’s security forces when they are abusing their own people and culture of impunity that prevails there. The west should use all means necessary including aid cuts, travel restriction, and asset freezes to punish countries that perpetrate crimes against humanity not only in Ethiopia but throughout Africa.

The west and the United Nations should hold accountable, the belligerent, thuggish commander of the Liyu police, Mr. Iley, the Al Capone of Jigjiga, the regions capital, and his enablers in the Ethiopian army, who are behind these heinous acts.

More importantly, The United State should also argue the Ethiopian government to invite a UN rapporteur and human rights experts to investigate the atrocities in Jama Dubad village and the Oromo region, and to let the media cover the Ethiopian Somali region.

Keeping a blind eye on the human rights violations in Ethiopia would only foment combustible tribal or clan driven violence and extremism spreading into the despotic country and the region. The very disaster the United States is expending vast resources trying to eliminate in Somalia.

Enough is enough. I strongly believe it is time to stop the reign of terror of the Liyu police. This paramilitary force is not going to change its behavior or reform itself because they are not a professional police force operating under the rule of law. They are neither protecting nor serving the people in the region. They are not accountable for their own actions.

In fact, it is time to disband the Liyu police and replace it with an inclusive force from all Somali clans in the region trained by the United Nations or EU. What the beleaguered civilian populations in the region desperately need is a professional police force that would respect human rights, protect the people, and keep the peace.

Ethiopia: Tells from 'Chambers of torture' Living the present

Abel Wabela

By Addis Standard

On April 25 2014, the day Abel Wabela was taken to his cell at Ma’ekelawi, he was overcome by a feeling of confusion and physical exhaustion. Once inside the center, “they took my belt, my shoe; they opened the door of the cell and [pushed] me inside,” he remembers. The room was pitch-dark; he couldn’t make head or tail out of it. Other inmates who had already been inside gave him blankets and “I fell asleep right away”. It was only the next morning when he woke up that Abel was able to fully grasp his new reality.

Abel was no stranger to tales about Ma’ekelawi. Since he started following Ethiopian politics, he had been aware of the horrible stories coming out of the shady institution and he had read some of the human rights reports with strong allegations. But now he had to come face to face and get a taste of it himself.

The cell was very cold, Abel says. Inside there were seven other detainees. All he could see are plastic bags and buckets. The mattresses to sleep on were not thick enough to resist the cold coming from the cement floors. His cellmates (some of whom had been there for quite a long time) explained to him that the mats used to be even thinner. They also told him that twice a day, in the early morning and late afternoon, they’d have bathroom breaks; and they would go outside for sunlight for fifteen minutes. Besides that, the rooms were locked all the time.

He didn’t see his lawyer or family for three weeks. “And after they allowed me to contact them, once a week that is, on Fridays, it went on very irregularly. There were days when I didn’t get to see them,” he confides to this magazine.

Sleep deprivation was commonplace as he was often called in the middle of the night for interrogation.

The interrogation predominantly focused on the origin, direction and purpose of Zone9, a blogging collective of which Abel was a founding member. “I told them we were just a bunch of young people concerned about our country and people,” he says, “and our aim was to make a platform for public discourse in which ideas can run free. They were not happy with that. They kept on asking what will happen after ideas ran free.”

The interrogation went sour after Abel dared to confront one of his interrogators. “I asked him boldly why [the ruling] EPRDF was afraid of ideas. He went totally mad. He started kicking me like a crazy person,” he says struggling to control his emotions. “Before I was jailed I already have a problem in my left ear. So when he started kicking me I asked him not to hit me on my left ear. But he did exactly that.” After being made to return to his cell, Abel cried all night long. “My ear was echoing all night.” The next morning he explained his situation to the person in charge and asked for a physician. “But he said it was not a big deal.”

It was not the first time that Abel was tortured. Nor was it the last until he was set free a year and half later.

“I was first hit by the interrogators after they asked me about my ethnicity and I told them I prefer to be identified simply as Ethiopian,” he says. He brought this incident at the court when his case was being seen. “The judge didn’t do anything. In fact when I returned back to Ma’ekelawi my interrogators told me that there was nothing I’d bring by reporting them to the court.”

The most horrible torture came later though, when “I refused to sign a statement of confession they brought. I told them that that was not my word and if they wanted me to sign it they had to make some amendments.” But they resorted to force instead. “They stroke the soles on my feet with a stick and computer power cable. When I still refused to sign they took me, still handcuffed, to a dark room and tortured me more. They even let me lay down and stumped on me, including my face,” he says. Eventually he signed the paper but only after they made the amendments he demanded.

It’s been six months now since Abel left prison. But the 84 days he spent at Ma’ekelawi before he was transferred to Qilinto, a prison in the outskirt south of the city, do still have a profound impact on him. “I used to be more conservative and used to want to control everything in my life. Now I am not like that. I tried to live smoothly but all of a sudden some unexpected details trigger a memory,” he says. He particularly cites an incident in which he was attending a court case and saw his abusive interrogator standing by casually. “He was there like nothing happened, like nothing happens. He was just another man like everybody else. But he was allowed to abuse me.”

Before being jailed, Abel worked as a tools engineer at Ethiopian Airlines. “But they terminated my contract even though I have papers from the court declaring my innocence,” he says. He is now in two court cases with his former employer; he has sued Ethiopian “for their unconstitutional and illegal act” and they on the other hand have sued him for breach of contract. “When I was hired, I took a training and singed a contract to commit for seven years. Otherwise I had to pay seventy thousand ETB. Now after terminating my job they want their money back,” he says with a tinge of ironic smile of a man whose life is hanging in the balance after his experience at Ma’ekelawi.

Eritrea-Ethiopia Relations: Pedaling a Stationary Object?

The June 12, 2016 clash between Eritrean and Ethiopian forces has ignited a new debate. It is one of the major interruptions of the “no war no peace” situation. However, there are fewer and fewer reasons that justify conflict between the two countries. The clash complicates the rapidly changing geopolitical (dis) order in the Greater Horn of Africa region and, is almost certain to bring external players in the conflict. In addition the recent decision of the United Nations Human Rights Commission on Eritrea must be seen in a regional context, and may not be a manifestation of a diplomatic tension that is likely to disappear quickly. Though the decision has excited some and appears that the odds have assembled against the ruling regime in Eritrea, such a view however is simplistic.

In October 2015 there was a one day long panel discussion that focused on the future relations between the two countries. The conference was organized by Vision Ethiopia in collaboration with ESAT, and the sole purpose of the conference was to prevent conflict between the two countries and open political space in each country. I had the privilege of moderating one of the panel discussions. Present at that panel were distinguished academics like Emeritus Professor Mesfin Wolde Mariam and seasoned American diplomats like Ambassador Herman Cohen (Former Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs), and Ambassador David Shinn (Former Ambassador to Ethiopia and now Adjunct Professor at the George Washington University’s Elliott School of International Affairs). In the other panels there were also knowledgeable people. Ambassador Kassa Kebede was one of the important officials in the Government of Colonel Mengistu Haile Mariam. Ato Ermias Legesse was the Deputy Minister of Communication in the Government of the late Prime Minister Meles Zenawi. From opposition political parties there were Dr. Mesfin Abdi of the Oromo Democratic Forum and Ato Neamin Zeleke of Arbegnoch Ginbot 7. The full videos of the conference are available at several addresses (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cvGaNdzo8-Y).

There were several sticky problems. However no new issues were identified as casus belli (an act or event that provokes or is used to justify war). The new casus belli could be the one disclosed by the pro TPLF website http://aigaforum.com/article2016/demand-for-isaias-to-leave-eritrea.htm where it claimed that Ethiopia is preparing to demand the removal of Isayas Afeworki from power. Another casus belli could be Eritrea’s support to various Ethiopian armed groups. Some trace their history to the 2005 election crisis and hence are serious rivals to the TPLF regime. The United Nations Human Rights Commission’s damaging report must be examined against the backdrop of potential factors that provoke war (http://www.ethiomedia.com/1012pieces/5689.html).

While investigation of human rights violations in principle should be welcome, the decision to refer the matter to the Security Council appears to be a selective application of international conventions and devoid of understanding the tensions between the two countries, and the rapid changes in the Greater Horn of Africa region. The move is unlikely to be supported by many African countries especially at a time when public opinion about the International Criminal Court is divided and the countries are threatening to cancel their membership. Furthermore, the decision is also vulnerable to criticism in that those who handle the matter at the Security Council are the same individuals who refused to lift the sanctions against Eritrea. More importantly, if the decision is more than likely to complicate matters in the region (http://www.ethiomedia.com/1012pieces /5689.html) and in fact may drag Ethiopia into another prolonged conflict. Hence, policy makers and commentators need to take caution and refrain from escalating the situation. It is also important to note that regime changes are not as easy as they sound. The voids left by dictators are not easy to fill.

For the Government of Prime Minister Haile Mariam it is important to realize that the instruments of peace are not found in the threats and military buildups or in living under the shadow of the military or listening to the extreme wing of the TPLF. It is in taking a calculated risk of political liberalization. It is not by waiting another five years as some half-hearted critics of TPLF/EPRDF are arguing. It is in invoking the relevant clauses of the constitution or whatever is left of it, and holding referendum so that reformers are freed from the shackles of hard core TPLF, and be able to start a credible transition program that meaningfully involve both the armed and peaceful opposition. This opens the door for an orderly transition in Ethiopia and puts Eritrea at bay. It encourages reform within Eritrea and opens the opportunity for building mutual trust. Blaming Eritrea for the disorder in various parts of the country and making noise about corruption when the institutions of the State are captured is like pedaling a stationary vehicle and expecting it to move across space and time.

International justice has increasingly become hard to realize. It is not difficult to observe that the United Nations applies double standards. It is also powerless and had inflicted harm to both Eritrea and Ethiopia as it did to other countries. First, the United Nations federated Eritrea with Ethiopia. In other words it neither anticipated the conflict in the marriage nor did it restrain the countries that were helping secessionists. Second, it failed to advise the Imperial Government about the consequences of abolishing the Eritrean parliament. Third, between 1962 and 1991 the United Nations had no role in resolving the conflict. In 1993 the global body reversed its earlier decision and allowed a rebel group to decide the future of the two countries. It recognized Eritrea as an independent state. It observed the referendum, approved the 99 plus % vote for separation, and participated in the creation of one of the most densely populated landlocked countries in the world. Furthermore, the United Nations neither anticipated nor made serious attempt to prevent the 1998-2000 war. The world body recognized the defective Algiers agreement that created the Eritrea-Ethiopia Boundary Commission but failed to enforce the decision. Worse it withdrew its peace keeping force prematurely. In 2009 the United Nation imposed sanctions against Eritrea for its alleged role in Somalia. In 2015 it declined to lift the punishment that hurts the people more than the regime; perhaps inadvertently escalating the push factors for the mass outmigration. In June 2016 its human rights commission decided to bring the rulers of Eritrea to the International Criminal Court. Only better minds can explain how the latest decision is contributing to peace and the advancement of democracy in Eritrea.

Kidnapped Brit Enters 3rd Year on Ethiopia's Death Row

By Reprieve

A British father of three who was kidnapped and rendered to Ethiopia will this week enter his third year of illegal detention in the country, where he is held under sentence of death.

Andargachew ‘Andy’ Tsege, from London, was kidnapped by Ethiopian forces on the 23rd of June 2014 as he transited through an airport in Yemen. He was forcibly taken to Ethiopia, and has been held in the country ever since. Mr Tsege is a prominent figure in Ethiopian opposition politics, and he has previously spoken out about human rights abuses in Ethiopia, including at the US Congress and European Parliament. He is held under a sentence of death that was imposed in absentia in 2009, whilst he was living in London.

Throughout the first two years of his detention, the Ethiopian authorities have limited Mr Tsege’s access to his family and UK consular officials. Last week, UK Foreign Office documents relating to the case were made public, showing how throughout 2015, Ethiopian officials repeatedly refused to answer British requests on Mr Tsege’s case. In a record of one conversation between Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond MP and his Ethiopian counterpart, Dr Tedros Adanhom, one year after Mr Tsege’s kidnap, Mr Hammond complained about Ethiopia’s “repeated failure to deliver on our basic requests”, saying “people were asking why we had a substantial bilateral relationship but were not able to resolve this”.

The documents also show that Ethiopian officials have repeatedly told UK diplomats that there is no possibility of a legal process for Mr Tsege in Ethiopia – raising serious doubts over an announcement by Mr Hammond, made earlier this month, that Ethiopia’s government had promised ‘legal access’ for Mr Tsege.

Reprieve has urged the Foreign Office to request Mr Tsege’s release, and his return to the UK – a call that has already been made by the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention, the European Parliament, and several MPs.

Torture of political prisoners is common in Ethiopia, and there are fears for Mr Tsege's mental and physical wellbeing.

Commenting, Maya Foa, director of the death penalty team at human rights organization Reprieve – which is assisting Mr Tsege's family –said: “It is heart-breaking that Andy Tsege, and his young family in London, are today forced to mark the third year of his illegal detention in Ethiopia. If the last two years have shown anything in his case, it’s that there is no chance of justice for Andy while the Ethiopian government has him in their clutches. Enough is enough – the Foreign Secretary must demand Andy’s immediate return to the UK.”

Reprieve is a UK-based human rights organization that uses the law to enforce the human rights of prisoners, from death row to Guantánamo Bay.

People’s Alliance for Freedom and Democracy (PAFD): The Long Anticipated Alliance

PAFD Public seminar, Frankfurt

By Ali Yare

The creation of the People’s Alliance for Freedom and Democracy is remarkably going to change the Horn of Africa’s politic prospective. The PAFD which represents 70% of the Ethiopian’s population has done what was needed to be done long time ago, and that was the formation of this heavy weight organization.

The agreement reached by the PAFD members to unite their efforts and energy against the barbaric Woyane regime in Addis Ababa was and is, in my opinion, the most important thing that the people of Ogaden, the Oromo, the Sidamo, the Benshigul and the Gambella have done so far. I believe that the establishment of this alliance has been long overdue, having said that though the alliance missed an opportunity for not forming a united front alliance long time ago, but no time is more important than today. It is never too late to execute an important task and I am glad that this is what the PADF organization is doing now.

It is true that the people that this group represents have been isolated from the world for so long. Even among them, the Woyane regime created artificial barriers so that they cannot communicate to each other even though they are living side by side in the same country. Woyane kept them apart because they feared that people would talk to one other and get to know their problems. However, as we entered in an information age where the world has become like one village, many barriers have been broken by the free information flow. With the help of social media and many other communication methods, the Ogaden, the Oromo, the Beninshigul, the Sidamo and the Gambella people have become well informed about their surroundings. The restrictions that were imposed upon them by the deceitful Woyane regime has been removed by today’s technology such as news, newspapers, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and many other sources.

Finally, the people from these groups came to know that they have not been enemies to each other, but they were made to think that they are enemies to one and other. Now these groups have found out about the reality that the seed of hatred was sown between them by the same enemy that is brutalizing them. Today, most of the Ethiopian people recognize their problem. They have good understanding of whom their enemy is and what it takes to deal with it. They are also certain that the solution of their problem depends on themselves. It is clear for them, without doubt, that unless they do something about their situation, the hardship that they have been going through for so many years would never be changed.

The enemy can only win when it creates hatred among its victims and the victimized ones fail to understand that. Ethiopia has been ruled by minority groups for so long and not because they have had supernatural power or have been more educated than the rest of the people, but because they took advantage of the weakness of their victims. Disunity of the oppressed people serves the regime well giving them more time to survive, and this is the main reason why this minority enjoyed the power without challenge. From now on, the good old days of being on the top of the food chain is going to be over for Woyane regime. The abused people will stand up for rights and for their destiny and abusers will be thrown out of the power.

All that the PADF needs now is to finish the work they started. They should spread their message not only to the outside of the country but also to the inside of the country. Their action should be beyond the rhetoric and sweet talks in conferences. They should be committed to waging a real war against this ugly regime in order to eliminate their power and influences by any means necessary. The PADF represents the majority of the population and there is no way they should allow the minority group to rule them. It happened before because of lack of unity among the oppressed people, but today there is no excuse for not showing the woyane regime (the minority in power) the exit and where they belong.

All eyes are on the leaders of the People’s Alliance for Freedom and Democracy. They looked at by not only the people that they represent but also the international community especially the western world. There are a lot of anxieties over the establishment of this organization. Some countries take it as a threat to Ethiopian security and for those who are concerned about the Ethiopian security are the friends of this regime. They don’t care about the Ethiopian people in general; however, they are afraid to lose their interest. Nevertheless, the majority of the western world knows Ethiopian situation better than anybody else and most of them believe that Ethiopia as it is today is unsustainable but they don’t know what to do. They have also had mixed feeling reaction to the PAFD as an organization because it is too early for them to understand its agenda. In a way, their perception is to see and wait because even though they know it represents 2/3 of the Ethiopian population, they have to make sure this organization means business. No one wants to come on board right away whether they are western countries or horn of Africa countries, but the support of this organization internally and externally will be determined by its goals. When PADF is seen as a serious organization with clear vision and mission, everybody will align with it. The PAFD will be judged by its achievement and how it conducts its task.

The PADF’s first job is to get rid of this brutal regime in Addis Ababa. Secondly, after when they clean the mess and dismantle the Woyane’s apparatus, they should ask the people of that country what they want to do and how they will decide their future. Thirdly, any ethnic group or community that decides to secede from Ethiopia should be allowed to do so without objection. Fourthly, the leadership of the PAFD should start building bridges between the people’s alliances for freedom and democracy and international community ensuring them that they are serious about restoring democracy and rule of law in that land (Ethiopia).

US and Eritrea reached behind door deal to water down COI recommendations

Dr. Shannon Lee Smith in Asmara

By Tazabi-1

Understanding the gravity and magnitude of the COI recommendations to refer Eritrea to international court for the alleged crimes against humanity, Eritrean government has finally granted a visa to assistant secretary to African Affairs to visit Asmara and meet the president himself. The behind door deal is for eritrea to enter into a constructive engagement with United States and in return, US will not push for COI recommendations to refer the matter to international court, instead a watered down version will be prepared which will allow periodic evaluations of Eritrea's human rights conditions. The watered down version is expected to garner an unanimous vote and it is expected to be endorsed by Eritrea.

The reason for keeping US secretary visit to Eritrean undeclared is to not hurt TPLF led government's feelings, however US seems to be interested to bring in eritrea to its fold and also have eritrea play a positive role in helping ethiopia to go through a peaceful transition!US diplomats are quietly telling TPLF government that the way it is leading Ethiopia is unsustainable and it has to form an all inclusive government in Ethiopia and US is convinced that Eritrea due to its hosting more than a dozen armed Ethiopian rebels,it would play pivotal role toward this goal. US administration has reached to the point that TPLF's days are over!

The watered down version which will be prepared by human rights council on Eritrea will come as a major blow to tplf led government as it was expecting the US to push in full force that COI recommendations applied on Eritrea in letter and spirit. ERITREA BY AGREEING TO ENGAGE US HAS MADE A U-TURN IN ITS FOREIGN POLICY AND PULL THE CARPET FROM UNDERNEATH OF THE TPLF LED ETHIOPIAN GOVERNMENT's FEET!

(video) Why Ethiopia Attacked Eritrea; Ethiopia Kills 400 Protesters

This week on KIRWA, find out why Ethiopia clashes with Eritrea at the boarder two weeks ago, leaving at least 200 dead.

Also, the Human Rights Watch revealed 400 Oromo protesters were killed in Ethiopia.

(ESAT Video) Latest News in Ethiopia (June 26)

Latest News in Ethiopia (June 26)

Corruption: TPLF spends 73,000,000 Birr on dirt airport

Look at the state where International civil aviation organization rules has been collapsed. Eg. ICAO Annex 14 clearly states the standards of a given airport should have to be fulfilled before operation.for instance, The pavement standard of runway that is capable for takeoff, landing,
and for taxi. even the marking visibility around the runways.

But, Dambi dolloo Airport lacked to have the proper and standardised equipments and infrastructure.

Deceiving the community continues from TPLF side.

Ethiopia: TPLF/EPRDF has become like a mafia-style gang of thugs

By Obang Metho

The ethnic apartheid regime of the TPLF/EPRDF has become like a mafia-style gang of thugs.

Instead of feeding hungry Ethiopians, educating Ethiopians and protecting the people, they are killing the country while draining its resources.

Ethiopian people, one by one, are being hurt. When one Ethiopian is wounded, let us all feel the pain and stand up in their defence.

We need to change from an Ethiopia, when someone is imprisoned, killed or persecuted from outside our own political group, ethnic group, region or religion, we turned away because they were not considered to be “part of us” or “part of our group.” This is the Ethiopia that is killing us. No more!

It is also time for Ethiopians in the Diaspora to stop complaining, accusing and attacking regarding the division of our political leaders.

It is time to put aside the old and come forward believing in the principles of humanity before ethnicity and that no one is free until we all are free.

Despite TPLF’ intimidation and arrests, it will not stop us if we come together to uphold truth, morality and the value of each member of our society.

All of us must stand up against the arrest of those who took a brave stand for truth, the arrest of musicians whose strong and soothing songs have brought tears of joy in a land where most tears are tears of pain and misery, the arrests of our Oromo brothers and sisters who were unjustly rounded up only a few months ago, the attacks against the Ogadeni who are severely suffering in our southeastern region and the continued imprisonment of many thousands of Ethiopian prisoners of conscience from the east to the west from the north to the south. Until all of these people are free, we will not be free!

We know that TPLF is bringing death to Ethiopia, but we should know that the killers are few and that we, the revivers, are many.

May our God help us to rise up and to stand, side by side, as humans first, and as Ethiopians second.

Let us trust in God for his help as we come together in action. Let us also pray for the protection and strengthening of those who have defied the darkness with the light of truth.

As we Ethiopians stand up together in solidarity with one voice we can show that we are ready to free our country and to create a true government of the people. May God bless Ethiopia!

(Video) Ethiopian protesters forced cancellation of TPLF's meeting in Rotterdam, Netherlands

Ethiopian protesters forced cancellation of TPLF's meeting in Rotterdam, Netherlands

Armed Ethiopian man killed 6 TPLF police officers


An armed individual in Libo Kemkem, Dengolo, has killed 6 regime police officers who went to arrest him and seized a sniper rifle from the police.

The person identified by only his first name, Arega, was prepared to fight the forces based on tips he had gotten from residents in the area.

Authorities have made repeated attempt to arrest Mr. Arega, but residents of Dengolo refused to hand over one of their own to the authorities.

Mr. Arega has reportedly went hiding after inflicting deadly attack on the police.

He is known for carrying out similar attack against authorities but the killing of six regime police officers was the deadliest so far.

(ESAT Video) Latest News in Ethiopia (June 25)

Latest News in Ethiopia (June 25)

(Video) Mogadishu Explosion: Al-Shabab Militants storm Naso Hablod hotel. kill 15

Reports from Somalia indicate that gunmen have taken an unknown number of hostages in an attack on a hotel in Mogadishu. The attack began with a huge explosion after a suicide bomber detonated an explosives-laden vehicle at the gate of the Naso Hablod hotel near the capital's busy KM-4 junction. Gunmen then stormed their way inside. Heavy gunfire could be heard as security guards tried to fight off the militants. There has been no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack, but fingers point at al-Shabaab group who has been waging a deadly insurgency across Somalia. They are also known to intensify their attacks during this month of fasting.

S.Sudan will not celebrate Independence Day

South Sudan has announced not to celebrate its Independence Day this year due to economic crisis which has prevented preparations as there is no money to do so.

The 5-year old world’s youngest nation used to commemorate the day every year on 9 July when it gained its independence from the neighbouring Sudan. This will be the first time the nation will fail to celebrate its independence due to shortage of money.

The cabinet on Friday in its sitting chaired by President Salva Kiir passed a resolution, cancelling the celebrations this year.

Information and broadcasting minister, Michael Makuei Lueth, in a televised statement he issued to reporters shortly after the council of ministers meeting revealed that the country could not afford to pay for the expensive celebratory event which used to spend millions of South Sudanese pounds across the country.

He said the day will only be observed in silence, adding that the President will however issue a statement on that day, reminding the nation about its independence.

Lueth however added that those who will afford to do their celebrations in their own way can do so.

He also said the cabinet resolved to suspend the plan to buy vehicles for the newly appointed ministers, blaming the decision also on the economic crisis.

The official spokesperson of the government further said former ministers who were relieved during the formation of the transitional government of national unity in late April should vacate houses in which they had been accommodated so that the new ministers will be accommodated in them.

The measures came as economic situation seems to further deteriorate, with senior bank officials warning that the remaining currency reserve in the central bank may last for only one month.

Ethiopian Film Industry Booming in Quantity, Not in Quality: Study

The wide expansion of cinemas, job creation potential and the availability of huge audience are some of the factors for the growth of the Ethiopian film industry in quantity, not in quality.

By Fanuel Lakew |

Study reveals that Ethiopian film industry is booming in terms of number not quality. Establishing strong training institutions would help make the industry more competitive and attractive.

The Ministry of Culture and Tourism co-organized a consultative forum Tuesday with the Ethiopian Film Professionals Association with the theme: “Films with Cultural Values for Renaissance.”

Presenting a paper on Ethiopian Films Prospects and Challenges, Wossenyeleh Tilahun noted that currently over 100 movies have been produced in a year thanks to the technology and the economic growth the country registered. The wide expansion of cinemas, job creation potential and the availability of huge audience are some of the factors for the growth of the industry, he added.

However, the films are produced without detail research, casting system, professional filmmakers and conducting feasible and risk assessment. Lack of attention and viable support from the government is also the other major hindrance, according to Wossenyeleh.

According to the study, some 60% of the respondents believe that the film industry has been growing in quantity but not in quality. Some 20% on the other hand say the industry is growing and the remaining have an opposite view.

Almost half of the films made this year are waiting to be released for long period of time due to lack of cinema houses and alleged corruption by managers. Some films have been released instead of the quality ones for some officials are allegedly receiving bribes.

“Ethiopian filmmakers have been invited to take part in various international film festivals but they fail to do so as they could not meet the international criteria,” he noted.

He recommended that government need to enact laws and establish special government institution that directly governs and supports the industry. The association must be strong in providing support to professionals in the sector.

According to the study, forums need to be organized to have discussion between the government and pertinent bodies to identify challenges and address them. Filmmakers are also expected fulfill their responsibility.

Currently, there are about 300 filmmaker enterprises and 39 cinema houses in Addis Ababa with the number of films showing 10 per cent growth..

Thorough discussion was held with participants on ways of improving Ethiopian film industry and overcoming the challenges and fulfilling responsibilities for a better future. The event was attended by various film professionals, directors, senior government officials and other pertinent bodies.

Source: The Ethiopian Herald

Ethiopia: Revisiting Prof. Berhanu's armed struggle: whose Constitution is It?

By Teshome M. Borago
June 24, 2016

The current border conflict between Ethiopia and Eritrea has reignited discussions about which side of the war we should support. This question is directly related to whether peaceful or armed struggle is the right path to end tyranny in Ethiopia. We have a tough choice. Should we support the Eritrean regime that took our Asab port and divided our Ethio brothers & sisters on both sides of Mareb river? Or should we support the TPLF regime that institutionalized tribalism, rigged elections and killed thousands of pro-democracy Ethiopians? Unfortunately, we are forced to choose the lesser of two evils.

One major factor that should influence our decision is the current "Ethiopian" constitution.

Whose constitution is it exactly? Which groups does it benefit?

The answers to these vital questions can be found by analyzing who are its supporters. Who wrote it? Who wants to keep it? A careful look into this matter shows us that the current TPLF-run constitution is fully supported by tribal opposition political organizations inside and outside Ethiopia. For example, top OLF and Oromo opposition leaders like Negasso Gidada, Ibsa Gutema, Lencho Lata and others contributed to the creation of our current constitution. Therefore, they agree with TPLF in principle "on paper" (they disagree only on the implementation.) For instance, tribal opposition leaders like OFC chairman Dr. Merera Gudina said his party fully supports ethnic-federalism, and Bulcha Demeksa once said he prefers "communal ownership" of land; not privatization. So In essence, the TPLF, OFC, OPDO,UEDF, OLF etc are all one and the same. In fact, the whole "Oromo protests" tribal movement earlier this year was actually a demand for TPLF to respect its own constitution. The Oromo-protests opposed the ''Addis Ababa master plan" because they view "Oromia state" as a tribal enclave to be settled exclusively by ethnic Oromos. Imagine how crazy it would be if the states in America were divided and renamed "German land," "Jewish land," "Irish land," "Asian land," "Black land" etc. Unfortunately, this is the sad reality in Ethiopia today and the new generation of our children have been brainwashed & indoctrinated to think this way.

As the result, the current constitution exists to benefit the TPLF and to satisfy tribal and ethnocentric opposition groups. It was no surprise that most of the OLF leadership changed their name to ODF with a hope to work together with TPLF. It was no surprise that Dr. Gudina and Dr. Beyene Petros (tribal opposition leaders) decided to stay inside TPLF parliament while Dr. Berhanu & Judge Birtukan Mideksa (nationalist opposition) was imprisoned in 2005. It is clear: the tribal opposition groups want minor and incremental changes in Ethiopia. In contrast, our nationalist opposition groups (like CUD & Ginbot 7) want major and radical changes. So the current constitution is not created by us or for us. The constitution is NOT ours.

In summary, the TPLF constitution and its ethnic-federalism system rejects the fundamental human rights of at least two large populations in Ethiopia.

1) the millions of mixed Ethiopians whose parents or great-grandparents are each the byproduct of more than one ethnic group.
2) the millions of non-mixed Ethiopians who are tagged ethnic labels by TPLF without their will.

Both these two groups identify themselves as Ethiopians and Ethiopians ONLY. Both these two population groups have rejected the TPLF constitution since the first day. We rejected ethnic-federalism and our CUD party won the 2005 national election with that platform. That 2005 election was actually a referendum on ethnic-federalism. The TPLF learned a tough lesson: that "Ethiopiawinet" itself is an ethnic identity for most Ethiopians...That we are NOT a collection of hyphenated Ethiopians. We proved that we are the silent majority. After that 2005 election embarrassment, the TPLF government said no more free elections, no more free media and the OLF also attacked our CUD party by insulting it as "neo-nafxanya."

Here are the facts…Interethnic intermarriages have been occurring in Ethiopia for many centuries, long before Emperor Menelik (the person TPLF & OLF hate) and long before Karl Marx (the person TPLF & OLF worship) was born. In fact, the Oromo historian and authorMohammed Hassan published a new book in 2015 that showed how current Oromo speakers have lived alongside other Ethiopians since the 13th century. His book is another evidence that the current ethnic lines and divisions created by TPLF/OPDO & OLF are artificial and impractical.

Here is another fact… Ethiopiawinet and the millions of Ethiopians born from multiple ethnicities are the glue holding our society together. They are the real reason why there is relative peace in Ethiopia despite all the ethnic hatred and provocations of the TPLF and OLF. If it was not for mixed Ethiopians, we would already have many Rwanda-like genocides occurring every month. No past or future agreement or paper can ever protect the social, historical, cultural and political bonds of Ethiopia's diverse population more than the endless interethnic intermarriages that happened for many centuries.

Despite all of these facts and history, the current government and its constitution have waged war on our multiethnic identity.

The bottomline is We have a sociopolitical crisis in Ethiopia. For TPLF/OPDO/OLF, language is everything. So They do not understand that identity is more than language. (i.e. there are millions who speak Amharic but belong to non-Amhara tribe or millions who speak Oromiffa today but used to be non-Oromo tribe centuries ago) The TPLF/OPDO/OLF do not comprehend that identity is fluid and complex. So one of the radical changes we need to make in Ethiopia is to completely reverse the indoctrination campaign executed by TPLF the last 25 years. It will take a lot of years and effort but we must do it. We have to use social media, websites and television stations like ESAT to dispute the TPLF & OLF propaganda about our identities. We have to refuse the simplified Oromo, Amhara and other hyphenated labels imposed on us; and embrace our multi-ethnic Ethiopian identity. We are Ethiopians, period! For most of us, Ethiopia is not just our country or our nationality; it is also our ethnic identity. For us, Ethiopia is almost like an ethnic name because it is the only cultural, political, psychological and social identity we ever had. The current TPLF constitution supported by all these tribal "opposition" groups does not recognize our identity.

The current constitution views all Ethiopians only as hyphenated Ethiopians. In 1915, former US President Theodore Roosevelt said,

"There is no room in this country for hyphenated Americanism. The one sure way of bringing this nation (America) to ruin, of preventing all possibility of its continuing to be a nation at all, would be to permit it to become a tangle of squabbling nationalities"

President Roosevelt was correct, and the same way, I warn that hyphenated Ethiopianism will also destroy our country. In Ethiopia, I believe we have to create a new constitution that respects the will of both hyphenated Ethiopians and non-hyphenated Ethiopians. The so-called "right to self-determination" is not reserved exclusively for hyphenated Ethiopians. Tens of millions of our people who are mixed or choose to self-identify as ethnic Ethiopians have equal human rights.

The only way forward is for the current ethnic-federalism system to be scraped completely and replaced by another all-inclusive federalism. TPLF and the tribal opposition parties want to maintain the status quo and make minor tweaks or small changes. For us, we need to make big changes.

The dilemma is that "peaceful struggle" will not produce big radical changes in Ethiopia. We need a reset button with a transitional government to redraw Ethiopia so that we create a NEW ETHIOPIA. We need a new Ethiopia that still recognizes the rights of Oromos, Amaras, Tigres etc as well as the rights of mixed Ethiopians and other Ethiopians who do NOT want narrow hyphenated identities.

This is where we come full circle to the current Ethio-Eritrea conflict. We have to exploit every opportunity and we can not put all our eggs in one basket. Therefore, Dr. Berhanu's plan to use all options necessary, including armed struggle, will gain widespread support. Pro-democracy Ethiopians, activist and donors should ask, what other neighboring countries is Ginbot 7 investing at? What about internally infiltrating the TPLF army from all directions? We have to put all options on the table and put pressure on the government. Our movement should also be at the grassroots level so we should support anti-tribalism civic groups like the Solidarity Movement for a New Ethiopia (SMNE) and the Gosaye Ethiopia Movement (GEM), among others. We have to combine Dr. Berhanu's military strategy with a more comprehensive political, social media, economic and diplomatic offensive. Just as President Roosevelt nipped "Hyphenated Americanism" in the bud a hundred years ago, we must stop & contain hyphenated Ethiopianism and tribalism before it destroys our country and spreads through out Africa like a cancer. We can achieve this goal by creating awareness in our society and by establishing a new all-inclusive Ethiopian government for all people and by the people; not just for the select few.