"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, 10 May 2013

German Radio on the May 23 – 25 protest actions in Addis Ababa (audio)

Eskinder Nega’s letter from Kaliti prison – “I SHALL PERSEVERE!!”

Here is Eskinder Nega’s 2 pages of letter from Kality Prison, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
I shall persevere!

So that I may do the deed

that my soul has to itself decreed


Individuals can be penalised, made to suffer [oh, how I miss my child] and even killed. But democracy is a destiny of humanity which can not be averted. It can be delayed but not defeated.
No less significant, absent trials and tribulations, democracy would be devoid of the soul that endows it with character and vitality. I accept my fate, even embrace it as serendipitous. I sleep in peace, even if only in the company of lice, behind bars. The same could not be said of my incarcerator though they sleep in warm beds, next to their wives, in their home.
The government has been able to lie in a court of law effortlessly as a function of the moral paucity of our politics. All the great crimes of history, lest we forget, have their genesis in the moral wilderness of their times.
The mundane details of the case offer nothing substantive but what Christopher Hitchens once described as “a vortex of irrationality and nastiness.” Suffice to say, that this is Ethiopia’s Dreyfus affair. Only this time, the despondency of withering tyranny, not smutty bigotry, is at play.

Abune Petros in our heart By Yilma Bekele

On July 29th. 1936 Abune Petros was executed by the Italian fascist that were trying to colonize our country for his refusal to submit. On May 2nd. 2013 the monument that was built to commemorate our Holy Father was removed by the order of the TPLF party that is currently ruling our country. Our Holy Father died for the first time. The murder by a firing squad was an honor and showed his deep love for his people and country. The fascist killed his body but he made his home in every Ethiopian soul for ever and ever. We all carry Abune Petros in our heart. ‘Abune Petros Adebabaye’, ‘Abune Petros Hawelt’ is not just a location but the symbol of our pride and the true meaning of sacrifice for a higher cause.
The order to Kill Abune Petros was given by the fascist Viceroy Graziani but the trigger was pulled by solders from the North that were faithfully serving the fascist invader. The order to remove our monument to our beloved father was given by the TPLF party but the backhoe and flatbed truck was driven by modern day Banda’s.
They claim the removal is temporary. That is not the issue. Was it necessary is our question. Could it have been avoided is our point. Aren’t there some things considered priceless is our contention. The same people that moved heaven and earth to bring back our stolen Obelisk and erect it in its rightful place felt no qualms about dispatching daily laborers to bring our hero down and place him in a warehouse. We rejoiced when our obelisk was returned because it is the symbol of our glorious past. Although their leader dismissed our joy and happiness and tried to claim it as his peoples private history we bit our tongue and dismissed his rudeness for immaturity.

Egypt Threatens To Think About Invading, strategy page

strategy page :May 7, 2013: This week Ethiopia freed 74 members of the Benshangul Peoples Liberation Movement (BPLM). The release of prisoners was part of a peace deal with the BPLM. The agreement, signed in August 2012, ended a 17 year-long insurgency. Ethiopia’s Benishangul region (Benishangul-Gumuz) borders on northern Sudan. BPLM guerrillas operated from camps in Sudan, though Sudan denied it supported the BPLM.  Nile River water politics played a role in the peace deal. The BPLM had threatened to attack Ethiopia’s Grand Renaissance Dam project on the Blue Nile River. The dam site is in Benishangul-Gumuz. After the peace deal was signed, a BPLM faction claimed that it rejected the peace agreement. The Benishangul people are also called the Berta and about 180,000 live in Ethiopia.
May 4, 2013: Ethiopia promised Somaliland (separatist enclave in Somalia) that it will help Somaliland defend itself against Al Shabaab fighters who are seeking sanctuary from AMISOM peacekeeping units.
April 25, 2013: Ethiopia said it intends to withdraw its military forces from Somalia as soon as possible.  However, after Ethiopian forces withdrew from the town of Hudur (Somalia) in early March, Al Shabaab fighters re-occupied the town. Ethiopia has assured the Somali national government that it will only withdraw its forces when African Union peacekeepers in AMISOM are able to secure Ethiopian positions.

Monday, 6 May 2013

Arbitrary arrests, torture and killings common in Ethiopia – US State Department

U.S. State Department 2012 Report


Ethiopia is a federal republic. On August 20, Prime Minister Meles Zenawi died. The ruling Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) elected then deputy prime minister Hailemariam Desalegn to take Meles’s place as chairman of the party. The EPRDF subsequently nominated him for the post of prime minister. On September 21, parliament elected Hailemariam as prime minister. In national parliamentary elections in 2010, the EPRDF and affiliated parties won 545 of 547 seats to remain in power for a fourth consecutive five-year term. Although the relatively few international officials allowed to observe the elections concluded technical aspects of the vote were handled competently, some also noted that an environment conducive to free and fair elections was not in place prior to the election.
Security forces generally reported to civilian authorities; however, there were instances in which special police and local militias acted independently of civilian control.
The most significant human rights problems included restrictions on freedom of expression and association through politically motivated trials and convictions of opposition political figures, activists, journalists, and bloggers, as well as increased restrictions on print media. In July security forces used force against and arrested Muslims who protested against alleged government interference in religious affairs. The government continued restrictions on civil society and nongovernmental organization (NGO) activities imposed by the Charities and Societies Proclamation (CSO).

Shadowboxing Smoke and Mirrors By Prof. Al Mariam

 Meles Zenawi when he was alive and his apostles today (“Melesistas”) keep playing us in the Diaspora like a cheap fiddle. They make us screech, shriek, scream and shout by simply showing their mugs in our cities. How do they do it? Every now and then, the Melesistas suit up a few of their bumbling and bungling zombies from central casting and unleash them into the Ethiopian Diaspora to “sell bonds” for the “Grand Meles Dam” to be built over the Blue Nile. Anytime these zombies show up to panhandle chump change from their supporters, a welcoming committee of defiant and patriotic Ethiopian activists show up to chase them out of town like campers at a national park chasing coyotes scrounging at the trash bin. For the past several weeks, Diaspora activists have been routing these imposters across European and American cities; but incredibly, these brazen con artists show up in the next city like snake oil salesmen at a carnival. That really piqued my curiosity. Why do these scammers show up in city after city knowing that they will be confronted and chased out by young patriotic Ethiopians? Are they really fundraising by “selling bonds” in the Diaspora or are they using “fundraising” as a cover for something altogether different? Ummm!!!

Sunday, 5 May 2013

Solidarity with Amharas seeking justice By Robele Ababya

03 May 2013
At first I thought I was going to state the obvious in expressing my solidarity with the Amharas given my background. And then I convinced myself that I have a lot to say in view of the special breed of cruel traitors in our midst bent on destroying the birth right of Amharas – the indisputable pillars of the Ethiopian civilization including the glorious era of the Akumite Kingdom, which replaced the Kushite Kingdom (1500 BC – 500 BC).
To the TPLF warlords that are grandchildren of loyal servants of Mussolini, the Amharas and the Oromos are targets to be systematically uprooted from the field of politics to remove bad apples – just as planned by Italian Fascists in Rome for execution by Marshall Graziani in Ethiopia. The warlords have added the Guraghes to their blacklist; I bet Kambattas and others will follow, the former for the gallant role of their ancestors in the war with the Fascists at Maichew. Tigreans will be served carrot and stick to enforce their loyalty, but in vain.
This short piece is meant to expound my rationale for solidarity with the plight of the Amharas and its consequences on our multicultural society in the following paragraphs.
Historical and anecdotal evidence
I recall having studied in my history class in my boyhood that Amharic was the official language of communication in Ethiopia and with foreign governments during the reign of Emperor Yohannes IV from His Palace in Makelle. Asked by some of His disgruntled influential supporters why the Emperor was not using His own Tigrean language, the Monarch responded by reminding them that Amharic was the official language of Akumite Emperors and therefore it is unnecessary and inappropriate to change it.

Ethiopia: Terrorism Law Decimates Media

Prisoners of Conscience(Nairobi, May 3, 2013) – The Ethiopian government should mark World Press Freedom Day, on May 3, 2013, by immediately releasing all journalists jailed under the country’s deeply flawed anti-terrorism law, Human Rights Watch said today. On May 2, 2013, the Supreme Court upheld an 18-year sentence under the anti-terrorism law for Eskinder Nega Fenta, a journalist and blogger who received the 2012 PEN Freedom to Write Award.

Eleven journalists have been convicted and sentenced since 2011 under Ethiopia’s repressive anti-terrorism law, including six in absentia. Three of the eleven are currently in prison. Two other journalists are currently on trial under the anti-terrorism law. Another journalist, Temesgen Desalegn, the editor of the now defunct independent magazine Feteh, is on trial for three offenses under the criminal code.
“Ethiopia’s journalists shouldn’t be spending World Press Freedom Day in jail on trumped-up terrorism charges,” said Leslie Lefkow, deputy Africa director at Human Rights Watch. “Freeing these journalists would be an important step toward improving Ethiopia’s deteriorating record on press freedom.”