"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, 31 July 2015

The evolution and devolution of Barack Obama

President Barack Obama speaks at the La Moneda Cultural Center in Santiago, Chile, Monday, March 21, 2011. (AP / Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
President Barack Obama speaks
at the La Moneda Cultural Center
 in Santiago, Chile, Monday,
March 21, 2011. (AP / Pablo
 Martinez Monsivais)

July 31, 2015

by Yilma Bekele
President Obama is not new to oppression. He started his political life as a community worker. As a grassroots organizer, he helped the disadvantaged stand up for their Constitutional Rights so they could enjoy life and liberty as free citizens. His constituents elected him three times to the Illinois Senate, and once to the US Senate, and finally to the Presidency.
His election in 2008 is considered a historical moment in the Republic’s history. His campaign to win the nomination, and his tussle with Senator Clinton was bare fisted, and his demolition of Senator McCain was viewed as just phenomenal.

Thursday, 30 July 2015

Ethiopia’s top opposition figure turns down invitation to Obama State Dinner

Mr. Yilkal Getnet, chairperson of the rising Ethiopian opposition Semayawi Party
Yilikal Getnet, chairman
of the Blue Party

July 30, 2015

(Reuters) ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia — A leading Ethiopian opposition figure on Monday turned down an invitation to a state dinner in honor of US President Barack Obama, Reuters reported.Yilikal Getnet, chairman of the Blue Party, turned down an invitation to attend the state dinner with Obama, saying it would amount to taking part in a “luxurious dinner while millions suffer in Ethiopia.”
Yilikal told the local paper Negere Ethiopia that he also made the decision “after watching President Obama saying that the ruling party in Ethiopia is elected democratically.”
The country’s ruling coalition won a sweeping victory in parliamentary elections in May that Western nations criticized as unfair.

Tuesday, 28 July 2015

Human rights in Ethiopia

Deportation of Ethiopian Refugees from Norway

July 28, 2015
by Elisa Massimino | The Washington Post
In “ Obama’s Ethiopia stop irks human rights leaders ” [news, July 23], Girma Birru, Ethiopia’s ambassador to the United States, claimed that journalists imprisoned under the country’s notorious “anti-terrorism law ” support groups that “instigate violence.” He did not say that any activist who refuses to join the ruling party can be jailed and tortured.
One of us, Merga Nebiyu Gelgelo, was a biomedical engineering student who founded an organization to support economic development in Ethiopia’s Oromia region. Though he did not belong to a political party, he was detained under the anti-terrorism law and brutally tortured. Prison guards tied him to a cross, lit a fire under the cross and slid his body close to the fire. Mr. Gelgelo thought he would burn to death.

Monday, 27 July 2015

Obama juggles security and rights concerns in Ethiopia visit

Obama in Addis AbabaJuly 27, 2015

Addis Ababa (AFP) – US President Barack Obama heads to Ethiopia Sunday, the first American president to visit Africa’s second most populous nation and a key but much maligned ally in the fight against terrorism.

Obama, who arrived in neighbouring Kenya on Friday, is expected to leave for Ethiopia’s capital Addis Ababa late Sunday for a two-day visit, where he will also be the first US leader address the African Union, the 54-member continental bloc.
“This is the first time a sitting (US) president is visiting Ethiopia,” Ethiopian foreign ministry spokesman Tewolde Mulugeta said. “This will bring the relationship between our two countries to a new high.”

Sunday, 26 July 2015

Ethiopian Opposition Group Threatens Armed Resistance

Dr. Berhanu NegaJuly 26, 2015 

(VOA News) Ethiopia’s opposition Ginbot 7 Movement for Unity and Democracy has decided to use armed resistance in addition to peaceful resistance against the government in Addis Ababa. This follows the move of the group’s leader from the United States to Eritrea.

Berhanu Nega travelled to Ethiopia’s northern neighbor following the merger of his Ginbot 7 with the Ethiopian People’s Patriotic Front. “It’s true he travelled to Eritrea, he went on July 17, 2015,” said the spokesman for the group, Dr. Tadesse Biru.
“He is the leader of an organization that strives to bring about democratic order in Ethiopia, and he went to fulfil his leadership role,” he explained in reference to Dr. Berhanu, who was sentenced to death in absentia while living in the US.