Archive for February, 2012

UN Security Council authorizes increase in African Union force in Somalia to 17,700

Feb 29, 2012, UNITED NATIONS (AP) — The U.N. Security Council voted unanimously Wednesday to authorize an increase in the African Union force in Somalia from 12,000 to about 17,700 and expand its areas of operation in an effort to intensify pressure on al-Shabab militants who recently joined al-Qaida.

As part of its strategy to weaken al-Shabab, the council also ordered a ban on the export and import of charcoal from Somalia, calling the fuel “a significant revenue source” for the militant group.

The council adopted the resolution on the eve of a conference on Somalia on Thursday in London, where senior representatives from more than 40 governments and international organizations are expected to adopt a new approach to the country’s myriad problems.

“This is an important resolution, an important building block toward tomorrow’s conference,” Britain’s U.N. Ambassador Mark Lyall Grant said.

He said the British-sponsored resolution gives the AU force, known as AMISOM, the troops and resources necessary to capitalize on the gains it made in pushing al-Shabab fighters out of the capital, Mogadishu, and to increase the military pressure.

U.S. Ambassador Susan Rice said the additional resources for AMISOM “could make a decisive difference in weakening terrorism and bringing peace” to Somalia. Read more…

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Posted by admin - 29/02/2012 at 6:01 am

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South Sudan the Wild West of Africa; target of land grab

By Steve Paterno

February 29, 2012 — South Sudan has just made its debut into statehood. However, the country has to start from the scratch, developing from the ashes of devastating decades of war. The country is in a poor state, where basic physical infrastructures, governing institutions, and systematic rules are virtually absent. In an attempt to lure investors into the country, one minister who was on official foreign trip in the USA, set the tone of what would eventually reverberate throughout to describe South Sudan in its pure state of nature in a real sense that the 17th century English philosopher Thomas Hobbes can see it. The minister asked his attentive foreign audience, “what are you waiting for…,” and declared that South Sudan is a “Wild West,” where opportunities are abound to be exploited. The mentioned of the “Wild West” is in a reference to the American western frontier during gold rush era in the later half of 19th century, a period that presented opportunity for riches and characterized by chaos, lawlessness and thuggish attitudes. Read more…

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Posted by admin - 29/02/2012 at 5:56 am

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Petition: Kindly requesting not to implement forced repatriation on Oromo nationals who were denied protection

February 29, 2012

  • Target: His Excellency Mr. Jens Stoltenberg Prime Minister of Norway
  • Sponsored by: Oromo Action Group

Please sign this petition by clicking here

The agreement (memorandum of understanding) signed between the Kingdom of Norway and the dictatorial government of Ethiopia on the 26th of January 2012 provides ground for involuntary repatriation of Oromo nationals who were denied protection or asylum in Norway.

Given the records of human rights abuses of the Ethiopian government and its harsh treatments of Oromo activists, we are strongly concerned for the safety and well-being of these asylum seekers especially in view of the fact that Oromo nationals who were forcefully deported from the neighboring countries in the past have been mistreated, imprisoned, tortured, disappeared, sentenced to death and some executed.

We have no doubt that if Oromo nationals who were denied protection or asylum in Norway (and who have been actively participated in Oromo affaires in Norway as member of Oromo Community, taking part in fundraisings and meetings in support of the Oromo Liberation Front (OLF) and staging demonstrations against Meles Zenawi and his government) are forced to return to Ethiopia, they will be subjected to persecution in the forms of harassment, imprisonment, physical beatings, and psychological torture or could even be killed without any due process of law. Read more…

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Posted by admin - 29/02/2012 at 5:43 am

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JECHOOTA MOGGOYYAALEE KAN AFAAN OROMOO: Kutaa Afraffaa

Taammanaa Bitimaa irraa  | Feb 29, 2012

Barreeffata kana kutaalee sadan dabran akka argattanii dubbiftan abdachuun, kunoo harra kutaa isa afraffaa itti-fufeen jiraa, yoo yeroon isiniif hayyame mee duukaa-bu’aa!

SEENSA

Afaan Oromoo afaan baldhaa, afaan badhaadhinaan gonfamee fi afaan hedduu miidhagaa tahuu isaa, deddeebisee bakka addaddaatti ibseen jira. Ani kana jechuuf, waanan argeetoo qalbeeffaddheefi malee, lafumaa ka’een miti! Mee isan jedhu kana mirkaneeffachuuf, bakkuma jirtan san irraa ka’aatii waa qalbeeffachuuf carraaqaa! “Afaan kiyya nan beekawoo” jedhaniitoo taa’uun, homaa nama hin fayidu. Dhugaa dha; afaan abbaa keessanii ni beektu. Ammoo, kun callaan gayaa hin tahu. Isa beektan san irratti guyyum guyyaan dabalachuutu daran mishaa taha. Isin beekumsa afaan keessanii gabbifachaa yoo deemtan, Oromoota biraatillee waa ida’aa, achumaanis afaan kana irra caalaa gabbisaa, irra caalaas dilbeessaa deemtu jechaa dha. “Kun xiqqashoo dha; kun maal dhimma baasa?“, jettanii dhiisuu hin qabdani. Isuma isin “xiqqashoo dha” jettan san keessaas, waan hedduu barachuu dandeenya. Yeroo ammaa barreeffatoonni addaddaa baay’inaan bawuun, Afaan Oromootii sonaan barbaachisaa dha. Read more…

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Posted by admin - 29/02/2012 at 5:34 am

Categories: Afaan Oromoo   Tags:

Their lives in upheaval, refugee children in Ethiopia find solace in school

A crowd of students arrive at the school in the Tongo refugee camp in Ethiopia. The demand for education among the children, whose families have fled fighting in Sudan, is so great that new classrooms are being built.

TONGO Camp, Ethiopia, February 29 (UNHCR) – In a tent schoolroom near the top of a hill, the refugee children from Sudan sit shoulder-to-shoulder on wooden benches or on the dirt floor. The littlest ones make themselves at home in the front of the class so they can have a clear view of the blackboard.

For the next two and a half hours in classes that range between 150 to 200 students, pupils share precious school notebooks and study English, Arabic, social studies and math. The demand for education is so high and the supply so limited that the teachers decided to divide the student population into two shifts. Even then, the classrooms are overrun with students who race each other to see who could get into class first.

One of the many challenges UNHCR faces in dealing with those who have crossed the Sudan/Ethiopia border fleeing conflict involves providing for the educational needs of children and young adults. In Tongo camp alone, there are some 4,000 children between the ages of 5 and 17 – most are longing to go to school. Of those, approximately half are able to attend. Read more…

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Posted by admin - 29/02/2012 at 5:06 am

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Ethiopia’s Farmer Relocation Plan Raises New Concerns


February 29, 2012 (pbs) – In an effort to clear land for investors and help boost Ethiopia’s economy, the government in the East African nation is relocating farmers from land they’ve used for decades, sometimes against their will. Reporter Cassandra Herrman reports on Tuesday’s NewsHour about how the “villagization” plan is affecting people in one farming community. Read more…

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Posted by admin - 29/02/2012 at 4:56 am

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Ethiopia: “There Is Still So Much to Improve”

An MSF staff member uses a feeding tube to treat a malnourished child in Liben's Hiloweyn camp.

February 28, 2012 (Doctors Without Borders) – In early 2011, there were some 40,000 Somali refugees in Ethiopia. By the end of 2011, that number had more than tripled, to 142,000, following a mass exodus triggered by a terrible drought that killed crops and herds in a country already wracked by 20 years of conflict. The numbers alone, however, do not tell much about the days, or even weeks, Somalis spend walking to reach and cross the borderwith barely any food or water. It does not reveal the dire malnutrition affecting the children in the camps, nor does it express the effort made by humanitarian agencies to fight hunger and exclusion and reduce emergency levels of child mortality. José Luis Dvorzak, a Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) doctor in Liben, reminds us that there is still much work to be done.

You have worked as a doctor at different times in the past two years in the Liben camps.

I first arrived in June 2010. There were three international workers and 35 national employees. We carried out nutritional activities in the two camps, in Bokolmayo and Malkadida (40,000 refugees) and the Dolo Ado health center. The second time I arrived in September 2011, the change had been enormous: we had 50 international workers and over 800 national employees. By then, new camps had been opened, Kobe and Hillaweyn, each sheltering 25,000 new refugees that had arrived from Somalia in the worst of conditions, with very high mortality rates. At one point there had been up to 13,000 people admitted in our feeding program. In September, after months conducting a nutritional intervention, we managed to reduce mortality to levels below the emergency threshold. Read more…

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Posted by admin - 28/02/2012 at 8:40 pm

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Saleh formally steps down; may seek refuge in Ethiopia

Arab News (Feb. 28) Aides to Ali Abdullah Saleh said that the ousted Yemeni president plans to go into exile in Ethiopia, as pressures mounted on him to depart the country for fear of sparking a new cycle of violence. Saleh stepped down yesterday after 33 years at the helm.
Saleh’s presence in Yemen is a major source of discontent, and undermines confidence that his departure from office will lead to lasting political change. Read more…

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Posted by Falmataa - 28/02/2012 at 5:17 pm

Categories: Africa   Tags:

Ethiopia’s Coffee Output to Drop 14% This Year, Ecobank Says

Bloomberg (Feb. 27) Coffee production in Ethiopia, Africa’s biggest grower, will drop 14 percent this year, according to Lome, Togo-based lender Ecobank Transnational Inc. (ETI)
Output will be 500,000 metric tons this year, down from a record 580,000 tons in 2011, Edward George, a soft commodities specialist at the bank, said by-email today.

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Posted by Falmataa - 28/02/2012 at 5:05 pm

Categories: Ethiopia, HOA News   Tags:

Africa Talking to Beijing: Ethiopia

The Africa Report (Feb. 27) Tough governments are able to get the most out of the rise in emerging-market interest in Africa. Here is one example of countries trying to get beyond the ‘win-win’ rhetoric in engagements with their Chinese partners. In Ethiopia, Addis Ababa holds the reigns.
During his August 2011 trip to China, Prime Minister Meles Zenawi visited the Pearl River Delta, where higher production costs are driving manufacturers offshore. Read more…

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Posted by Falmataa - 28/02/2012 at 5:04 pm

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Ethiopia: Assessing Risks to Stability

A Report of the Center for Strategic & International Studies (CSIS) Africa Program

Overview

Ethiopia occupies an important position in the volatile and strategically important Horn of Africa. It has used this location to its advantage, offering its assistance as a security partner to the United States and presenting itself as a bulwark against the terrorist threat in the region. As a result, it has enjoyed abundant foreign assistance. In recent years, the importance of these security interests has been increasingly called into question by critical observers of the Ethiopian governmnet, who have tracked the regime’s descent into more represseive and autheoritarian behavior. The government in Addis Ababa has become adept at neutralizing threats to its rule from both inside and outside the country. Its skill and depth of political experience mean that Ethiopia is most likely to remain stable in the coming decade. Political space will remain firmly closed, and any expression of dissent will be snuffed out. However, in the long term, the narrowly based government in Addis Ababa will find it increasingly difficult to contain the forces of opposition, particularly if they manage to coalesce. The decision as to who should succeed Prime Minister Meles will be a potential lightning rod for oppositon and conflict. Read more…

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Posted by admin - 28/02/2012 at 6:28 am

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A DIKTAT OR A PERSPECTIVE FOR A DEMOCRATIC DISCOURSE?

This article is the product of a brilliant mind. May Waaq bless the writer.

(A REPLY OF A “NATIONAL-NIHILIST” TO A MATURE NEOPATRIOT)

By Dereje Alemayehu, Berlin, August 1993

I want to dedicate this article to the memory of my dear friend Yohannes Mesfin, who was betrayed by a professional opportunist to the Derg in early 1978 and killed two weeks later in prison. These thugs cut short the life of a dynamic young man, whose aversion to intellectual lethargy and political immobility was inspiring. I owe much of my intellectual advancement to the, as we used to refer to it then, “friendly and socialist competition” between us in our intellectual endeavors; and to the interminable disputes on thousands of issues, including the national question, with him. I miss him very much, both as an intimate friend and as an intellectual partner).

My criticisms of your Definitions in the social sciences are usually conventional and have always had something arbitrary in them. What surprises me in your case is your attempt to give concepts convenient definitions of your own, so that they can lend a scientific touch to your political positions. It would take me too long to show the inadequacies of your definitions by referring to works of known authorities on the question, who try to demonstrate the futility of standardized definitions on this issue. But I would like to mention in passing that I found your “this grows into this” theory, in the form of “water boils at the temperature of 100°C” very amusing! At which velocity is the wind blowing in a country, for instance, conducive for the transformation of ethnocentrism into nationalism? At which brain- temperature of its adherents would patriotism pass over to jingoism? Ignorant of the answers to these questions, I ask all compatriots- be they ethno centrists, or nationalists in the post-ethnocentric and pre-patriotic phase or full-fledged patriots- to read the following with a cool head.In this open letter, I am going to dispute you on the following points: a) Starting from arbitrary definitions, you declare Eritrean nationalism to be an evil, and Tigrean or Oromo “ethnocentrism” to be anti-Ethiopian. Read more…

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Posted by admin - 27/02/2012 at 11:08 pm

Categories: Oromia   Tags:

Revitalizing Oromia’s healthcare sector, One Hospital at a Time

by Mohammed Ademo

February 27, 2012 (opride.com) – Ranked the third saddest place in the world after Zimbabwe and Central Africa Republic, by Forbes magazine, Ethiopia

faces many serious challenges in alleviating poverty, access to education, and delivery of health care.

Approximately 4.6 million Ethiopians lack food security. Seventy percent of the country’s 82 million people are uneducated. Its growing youth base faces a 20 percent rate of unemployment.

At 5.4 births per woman, Ethiopia has one of the highest fertility rates in the world. Because 93 percent of all births take place at home, an estimated 20,000 new mothers die each year. Nearly half a million children die from preventable and treatable infectious diseases annually. Undernourishment soars at 40 percent. These are but brief statistics about Ethiopia. Read more…

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Posted by admin - 27/02/2012 at 10:53 pm

Categories: Oromia   Tags:

Kaayyoo qabsaa’otni wareegamaniif galiin gahuun dirqama Sabboontota Oromoo hundaa ti

Abdii Boruutiin  | Februrary 27, 2012

Image, courtesy of Gadaa.com

Amajjii 1, guyyaa Waraana Bilisummaa Oromoo (WBO) akkasumas Ebla 15, guyyaa Gootota Oromoo jennee yoo yaadannu fi kabjinu, walitti dhufnee kan itti waliin haasofnu; dhiichisaa fi ragadaan kan waliin ittiin bashanannu; yoo guyyaaleen kun dabran waayee kana kan hirraanfannu ta’anii hafuu hin qaban. Guyyaalee seena-qabeessi kun, kan qabsaa’ota wareegaman ittiin yaadannu qofaas otuu hin taane, kaayyoo goototni keenya wareegamaniif galii hawwamutti geessuuf, guyyaalee Sabboontonni Oromoo waadaa kana haaromsanii; gumaa gootota keenyaa baasuuf qabsoo kanaaf of qoheessan; wareegama barbaachisu kaffaluuf murteeffatan; jechoota qofaan otuu hin taane kana hojii dhaan agarsiisuuf qophii ta’an, ta’uu qabu. Read more…

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Posted by admin - 27/02/2012 at 2:23 am

Categories: Oromia   Tags:

Persecuted in Ethiopia: Hunted in Hargeisa

Oromia Support Group Report 47 | February 27, 2012

Summary

Refugees from Ethiopia and officials of NGOs and governments were interviewed in Somaliland and Djibouti in November and December 2011. Formal interviews with 43 refugees, including 17 in Hargeisa, confirmed other reports that a high proportion of refugees from Ethiopia give histories of torture. Twenty one of the 43 interviewees (49%), including 13 of the 17 interviewed in Hargeisa (76%), had been tortured. Many instances of killing and rape by Ethiopian government forces were reported. Read more…

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Posted by admin - 27/02/2012 at 1:11 am

Categories: Human Rights   Tags:

Aides: Yemen’s Saleh to Seek Exile in Ethiopia

Saleh wants to watch his country from Ethiopia

February 27, 2012 (AP) – Aides to Ali Abdullah Saleh said Monday that the ousted Yemeni president plans to go into exile in Ethiopia, as pressures mounted on him to depart the country for fear of sparking a new cycle of violence.

Saleh’s presence in Yemen is a major source of discontent, and undermines confidence that his departure from office will lead to lasting political change. Thousands marched against him in the capital Sanaa on Monday.

Many Yemenis will not be satisfied until he actually leaves the country, if then. Saleh has frequently indicated over the past year that he is about to take a step away from power, then backed down at the last moment.

In the latest report, the aides said that the former president will leave Yemen within two days along with some of his family members.

A diplomat in Sanaa confirmed that arrangements had been made for Saleh’s departure for Ethiopia. All officials spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the issue. Read more…

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Posted by admin - 27/02/2012 at 12:04 am

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