The Funding is needed to implement a 90-day plan to give farmers and pastoralsts the means to improve their livelihood
March 31, 2012 (Horn of Africa News) – The UN food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) on Friday appealed for 50 million U.S. dollars to help alleviate food crisis in the Horn of Africa.
FAO said the money will cover the shortfall in funding for priority agricultural and pastoral activities that must be carried out in the Horn of Africa before and during the next planting season, which coincides with the rainy season from April to June.
FAO’s Subregional Coordinator for Eastern Africa Castro Camarada said the international community needs to continue supporting the most vulnerable households in Somalia and other arid and semi-arid lands in the Horn of Africa to cope with another possible dry spell. Read more…
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March 30, 2012, Kenya – Ninety-five Ethiopians were arrested on Wednesday morning near the Namanga border as they tried to cross to neighbouring Tanzania.
The middle-aged men were in a lorry, which they had abandoned in favour of walking as they tried to escape detection by border officials.
When questioned by police, they revealed they were headed to South Africa for ‘greener pastures’.
Kajiado deputy OCPD David Mburugua said the men were nabbed by police and Kenya Wildlife Service officials on patrol at the Amboseli National Park.
“They wanted to use a different route through the park into Tanzania when they were arrested. They do not have documents to legalise their presence in Kenya,” said Mburugua. Read more…
March 30, 2012
Ethiopian Facebook users have reacted to a mobile phone recorded YouTube video which shows a little girl constantly being abused by her mother. Shortly after the upload of the video, netizens on Facebook organized an online campaign for justice by starting a Facebook group called “Ethiopians Against Child Abuse”:
One local radio station has offered a 10,000 Ethiopian Birr (about US$ 600) reward for any one with information leading to the arrest of the abusive “mother”. The girl laughing in the background who recorded the video has finally gave her side of the story. Read more…
A report into the deaths of Africans in the Mediterranean highlights a reluctance to help those fleeing danger
March 30, 2012 (The Guardian) – The Council of Europe’s damning report into the horrific deaths of 61 people in the Mediterranean last year is a wake-up call to European states – people fleeing atrocities are putting their lives at risk to reach safety on the continent.
Details of the unnecessary suffering of those who died are extremely distressing. The majority, including two babies, died from thirst and starvation over a two-week period. It is a disgrace that Europe and Nato’s failure to act meant “many opportunities for saving the lives of the persons on board the boat were lost”.
We don’t know the personal circumstances of all of these people, but we know about the atrocities taking place in Libya at the time, that forced many people to flee their homes. We know some were refugees from sub-Saharan African countries, such as Eritrea and Ethiopia, where we know human rights abuses, including torture and sexual violence, consistently take place. Some of the nine survivors on the boat have since been recognised as refugees by the UN, suggesting many on board were fleeing individual persecution. Whatever they were fleeing from, they were desperate to reach a place of safety, but instead were left to die by the people they thought would help them. Read more…
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Somalia: Pro-Government Militias Executing Civilians – Ethiopian Soldiers Beating Suspects – Al-Shabaab Targeting Alleged Government Supporters
PRESS RELEASE | March 29, 2012
(All Africa)- Pro-government militias in Somalia have committed summary executions and torture in the towns of Beletweyne and Baidoa since occupying them with Ethiopian forces earlier in 2012, Human Rights Watch said today. The authorities should take immediate steps to stop the abuses and hold those responsible to account, Human Rights Watch said.
On December 31, 2011, the Ethiopian National Defense Force (ENDF) and two Somali militia groups – Ahlu Sunna Wal Jama’a (ASWJ) and Shabelle Valley State (SVS) – ousted the militant Islamist group al-Shabaab from Beletweyne, the capital of the Hiraan region, which borders Ethiopia. Ethiopian troops and militias allied with the Transitional Federal Government (TFG) of Somalia took over Baidoa, the capital of the Bay region, on February 22, 2012.
Civilians told Human Rights Watch that since the transition, security has become worse in both towns due to abusive security operations by allied forces and, in the case of Beletweyne, rising tensions between militias vying for control. Although al-Shabaab no longer controls either town, its forces continue to attack the Ethiopian and other forces and target civilians perceived to support them. Read more…
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Finote Netsanet – Amharic weekly (March 27) Unity for Democracy and Justice Party (UDJ) criticizes Norwegian government on its decision to forcibly return Ethiopian refugees. UDJ executive member indicated that his party held discussion with Norwegian ambassador here in Addis and send letters to high ranking officials expressing concern for safety of political refugees. In a related development, UDJ express deep condolences on the death of Alem Dechasa, Ethiopian migrant domestic worker in Lebanon. The party condemns Ethiopian government for failure to protect rights of migrant citizens.
Ayyaantuu, Bitootessa, 29, 2012, Finfinnee: Sochii fi moormii uummata Oromoo fi Qeerrootiin raafamaa kan jirtu mootummaan bichuu Tigree tarkaanfii ishee sodaa irraa madde itti fufuudhaan WBOtu Finfinnee gale jechuudhaan humna waraanaa heeddumnaan bakkoota adda-addaatti qubachiisaa akka jirtu maddi oduu Ayyaantuu Finfinnee irraa gabaasee jira. Qala’inni jireenyaa, gidiraan dhala Oromoo irra gahaa jiru caalaatti itti fufuu, Oromoon qe’ee abbaa isaa irraa gaaffi fi beenyaa tokko malee buqqa’uu, hidhamuu, reebamuu, ajjeefamuu fi kkf uummata garaa kutachiisaa fi ‘kana caalaa maal taana?’ jedhee yeroo gaafachaa jirutti, humna ishee uummata keessa qubachiisuudhaan rakkinaa fi gidiraa uummataa hiikuurra jabaatee akka itti fufuu fi umrii aangoo irra turuu ishee dheereffachuuf carraaqaa akka jirtu ifatti kan mul’isaa jirudha.
Keessattu yeroo ammaa kana humna waraanaa heeduminaan bakki itti qubachiifte: gama Kaaba Finfinnetiin karaa Salaalee adeemu, gama Kibba bahaa naannoo CMC fi baadiyyaa, gama lixaa, gama bahaa fi kibba bahaatiin humna guddaa qubachiisuu fi sosochoosuudhan WBOtu Finfinnee seenee jira oduu jedhuun sodaa guddaa keessa galtee cinqamaa akka jirtuu fi tarkaanfii uummata nagaa irrati fudhattuuf sababa ka’aa akka jirtu maddi odeeffannoo kun ifa godhee jira. Haa ta’u malee, uummati Oromoo tarkaanfii fi sochii humni addaa WBO nannoolee Finfinnee adda addaatti fudhachaa jiru garaa guutuun akka deggeranii fi itti boonan illee beekamee jira.
ADDIS ABABA, March 29, 2012 (Reuters) – Ethiopia has accepted bids worth 2.1 billion birr ($121 million) for seven state-owned firms, part of a plan to privatise dozens of corporations in the next three years, it said on Thursday.
The Horn of Africa nation, whose state-dominated economy ranks among the fastest growing in the world, aims to sell around 40 enterprises, including several large farms, a winery and a big hotel.
The Privatisation and Public Enterprise Supervising Agency accepted an 860 million birr bid from MIDROC Ethiopia for one of the country’s biggest farms, Upper Awash Agro-Industry Enterprise, said agency spokesman Wondafrash Asefa.
MIDROC Ethiopia is owned by Saudi-Ethiopian billionaire Mohammed Al Amoudi, who is one of the world’s richest men according to Forbes magazine.
Al Amoudi’s other companies Horizon Plantation PLC, National Mining Corporation and Saudi Star Agricultural Development won bids for four other firms for a combined 463 million birr ($26.7 million), Wondafrash said. Read more…
March 29, 2012 (VOA News) – A dissident Ethiopian journalist on trial for terrorism has categorically denied the charges and warned the court that history would judge its verdict.
A three-judge panel listened Wednesday as journalist Eskinder Nega described himself as a prisoner of conscience and rejected accusations that he had conspired to overthrow the government through violence.
Eskinder is one of 24 defendants, including opposition politicians and several exiled journalists, charged with supporting Ginbot Seven, a political party the government has labelled a terrorist group. Lawyers say they could face the death penalty if convicted.
In a 20-minute presentation, Eskinder challenged the prosecution’s case. He admitted writing and speaking about whether an Arab Spring-like movement might take root in Ethiopia, and calling for peaceful protests, but denied advocating violence or unconstitutional change. Read more…
March 29, 2012, Sanaa, (Reuters) – Yemeni police have freed 21 Ethiopian illegal migrants who were tortured by armed men to force their relatives in Saudi Arabia to send ransom money, the government said on Thursday.
The group, which included 14 women, were held in a house in Hajja province near the border with Saudi Arabia, the Interior Ministry said in a statement.
“Security forces stormed the building, arresting three of the kidnappers, including two who were torturing the Ethiopians with electric cables and iron chains,” it said.
“The Ethiopians said during investigations that their kidnappers wanted to force them to contact their families who are in Saudi Arabia to send money to secure their release.” Read more…
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Press Release of Afar Revolutionary DemocraticUnity Front (ARDUF) | March 29, 2012
ARDUF does not have any training camps in the neighbouring State of Eritrea to be targeted. It does not receive any military training and support from it. Similarly, ARDUF leaders do not stay in luxurious five star hotels in the capital city of neighbouring country to answer email correspondences it receives. It is true our organization is little -known. It is also true that our organization small. Simply it operates only in Afar territory and among its own people, the Afars. So our training camps were not targeted on 15/03/2012 in places called Galacbiyyi, Ramood and Ginxi as they simply do not exist.
But our forces engaged the TPLF led Ethiopian dictatorial regime forces on Saturday 17th March 2012, and carried out a series of a well coordinated attacks on TPLF Ethiopian forces in Siibu localities of zone 4 of Afar region, while they were sleeping in their mobile tents in the night at 3:00am, at least 6 soldiers were killed and many others were wounded. Read more…
March 28, 2012
We in the Solidarity Movement for a New Ethiopia (SMNE) call on human rights organizations, civic groups, media groups and donor countries to focus their attention on the Gambella region as the number of human rights violations—assaults, arrests, torture and disappearances—in the region are soaring due to an intense crackdown on the local people by TPLF/EPRDF troops.
According to witnesses from Gambella, in the last few weeks, two to three thousand TPLF/EPRDF defense troops have been sent to the area following the ambush of a passenger bus on March 4, 2012 where 19 innocent people—mostly young students returning from school—were killed. Despite an absence of evidence, the Anuak rebels in the bush have been blamed and with them, the Anuak in general, especially men and older boys who all “look” suspicious in the eyes of this regime. It has resulted in a spiraling number of incidents of violence and arrests of Anuak by the military, creating an atmosphere reminiscent of the Anuak massacre of December 13-15, 2003 and the two or more years of human rights abuses that followed. Read more…
VOA Afaan Oromo | Bitootessa 27, 2012
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March 28, 2012
Professor John Markakis is and was an Oromo friend. He presented papers at many Oromo gatherings during 1970s and 1980s. Please listen to this interview and have your say.
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March 28, 2012 (Survival International) – New photographic evidence proves Ethiopia’s controversial plantations scheme is killing the Lower Omo River, a lifeline for 100,000 tribal people.
The Omo River downstream from the notorious Gibe III dam is now being diverted into a newly-dug irrigation canal, one of several which will feed a massively ambitious plantations scheme for state and private investors.
These manmade canals are key to Ethiopia’s plantations plan, which is already having a hugely negative impact on UNESCO’s Lower Omo World Heritage site.
The government has revealed virtually nothing about the plantations program, but an official map obtained by Survival shows the enormous scope of the project. Read more…