"The thing that lies at the foundation of positive change, the way I see it, is service to a fellow human being." - Lech Walesa

Friday, 3 May 2013

US slams Ethiopia’s ‘political persecution’ of critics

Andualem Aragie
The United States Thursday slammed “harsh” sentences handed down to an Ethiopian blogger and an opposition leader, voicing concerns about the “politicized prosecution” of government critics.
An Ethiopian court dismissed the appeals of blogger Eskinder Nega and opposition leader Andualem Arage, jailed last year for terror-related offenses.
Eskinder was given an 18-year sentence, while Andualem was jailed for life.
The US was “deeply disappointed” that Ethiopia’s federal supreme court upheld the men’s “conviction and harsh sentencing,” acting deputy State Department spokesman Patrick Ventrell said.
“Today’s decision further reinforces our serious concern about Ethiopia’s politicized prosecution of those critical of the government and ruling party, including under the anti-terrorism proclamation.”
Ventrell stressed the Universal Declaration of Human Rights gives everyone “a right to freedom of opinion and expression, and that this right includes the freedom to hold opinions without interference.”

Outrage as Ethiopia lays down jail term for Eskinder Nega

Andualem Aragie
ADDIS ABABA: Anger and frustration are taking center stage here in Ethiopia’s capital, Addis Ababa, after blogger Eskinder Nega saw his appeal fail and will head to jail. The court dismissed the appeal from the blogger and opposition leader Andualem Arage, who were imprisoned last year on what supporters say are trumped-up terrorism charges.
“The sentencing is still correct so there is no reduction,” said Supreme Court judge Dagne Melaku, confirming the blogger’s jail term of 18 years and Arage’s life sentence.
One of the charges – serving as a leader of a terrorist organization – was dropped, but had no affect on sentencing.
After the ruling, Nega made an emotional appeal to the court which was crowded with family, friends and diplomats.
“The truth will set us free,” he said. “We want the Ethiopian public to know that the truth will reveal itself, it’s only a matter of time.” Both men are accused of links to the outlawed opposition group Ginbot 7.

Wednesday, 1 May 2013

Protest in City Heights of Controversial Ethiopian Consulate Meeting

ethiopian golden hall

Protest in City Heights of Controversial Ethiopian Consulate Meeting

by  on APRIL 29, 2013 · 28 COMMENTS

Local Ethiopian Community Invited to Attend Meeting,  Allege They Were Kicked Out for Protesting Ethiopian Government’s Human Rights Abuses

By Anna Daniels
Lines of taxicabs were parked along Fairmount Avenue in City Heights yesterday afternoon–Sunday April 28.  Police cars were parked in front of the Golden Hall East African Community and Cultural Center where approximately sixty people were holding a protest that spilled into the adjacent parking lot. 

Ethiopians successfully demonstrated again – Oslo

Police said eleven people were arrested
(AP) Police come out with great force to gain control of a demonstration against the Ethiopian authorities outside the Radisson Blu Scandinavia Hotel, Oslo.
Sunday afternoon promoted major police forces out to stop a group of Ethiopians to take into Radisson Blu Scandinavia Hotel, Oslo.

Police said eleven people were arrested
Police said the demonstration was illegal and eleven people were arrested for public nuisance.
- The pressure on the door was intense.
- It was originally announced a lawful demonstration outside Galleri Oslo, where the Ethiopian ambassador in Stockholm to participate in a meeting. At last, the meeting was canceled while the demonstration held outside the hotel, says operations manager Sven-Martin Ege VG.

Chewing Khat Increasingly Popular Among Ethiopians – VOA

Chewing Khat Increasingly Popular Among Ethiopians – VOA
Martha van der Wolf -
April 30, 2013 -
ADDIS ABABA — The cultural tradition of chewing khat, a leaf that is a mild narcotic, is on the rise in Ethiopia. The East African nation is one of the world’s chief exporters of the crop, earning hundreds of millions of dollars a year.
Khat’s popularity is growing as more members of the middle and upper classes are chewing the leaf. The natural stimulant is considered to be mildly addictive and the leaf has become the country’s number-two export behind coffee.

Ethiopia affirms readiness for dialogue with Eritrea

By Tesfa-Alem Tekle
April 30 2013 (ADDIS ABABA) – The Ethiopian government on Monday has reiterated its readiness to hold peace talks with Eritrea to resolve their decades-long border dispute.
United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon (right) meets with Ethiopian foreign minister Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus at UN headquarters in New York April 25, 2013 (UN Photo)
During his meeting with the United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in New York, the Ethiopian Minister of foreign Affairs Tedros Adhanom accused the Eritrean government of refusing to engage in peace talks.

Adhanom said his country is ready to sit down for direct negotiations with Eritrea without any preconditions regarding to level, time or venue.
But the Ethiopian top diplomat stressed “the belligerent party opposed to these talks has always been the Eritrean side”.
According to the ministry of foreign Affairs, Tedros expressed solidarity with the people of Eritrea whom he said are continuously suffering due the regime’s “brutality and obstinacy to peace”.

Ethiopia: fire destroys UNESCO-registered coffee forest

(OPride) – A recent massive brush fire in the Illu Abba Boora zone of Oromia region, Ethiopia has wiped out a sizable portion of the UNESCO-registered Yayu Coffee Forest Biosphere Reserve, reports said. The cause of the blaze, which has spread around the Yayu forest over the last several weeks, remains unknown.
According to eyewitness accounts, the blaze has scorched an estimated 50 to 80 acres of the thick coffee forest. “Such fire has never happened before in the history of the Yayu forest and the knowledge of the people living in the area,” one Yayu resident, who asked not to be named, told OPride. “It has been burning for several weeks without any intervention from the government except that of the local community to contain it to protect its advancement to their side.” The internationally recognized Yayu forest is home to the last remaining species of wild coffee Arabica and some of Ethiopia’s rare flora and bird species.

Monday, 29 April 2013

Watching American Diplocrisy in Ethiopia By Prof. Al Mariam

America is Watching!?

Watching American Diplocrisy in Ethiopia By Prof. Al Mariam
Diplomacy by hypocrisy is “diplocrisy”.
Edmund Burke, the British statesman and philosopher, said “Hypocrisy can afford to be magnificent in its promises, for never intending to go beyond promise, it costs nothing.” We’ve heard many promises on human rights in Africa from President Obama and his Administration over the past four years.  “We will work diligently with Ethiopia to ensure that strengthened democratic institutions and open political dialogue become a reality for the Ethiopian people… We will work for the release of jailed scholars, activists, and opposition party leaders… We align ourselves with men and women around the world who struggle for the right to speak their minds, to choose their leaders, and to be treated with dignity and respect…. Africa’s future belongs to its young people… We’re going to keep helping empower African youth… Africa doesn’t need strongmen, it needs strong institutions. We support strong and sustainable democratic governments…. America will be more responsible in extending our hand. Aid is not an end in itself… [Dictatorship] is not democracy, [it] is tyranny, and now is the time for it to end… America is watching…” All empty promises and cheap talk.

Oslo - Protesters force cancellation of TPLF fundraising event