Dear President Obama:
I came to America fleeing political persecution many years ago. I still carry the wounds that successive Ethiopian regimes inflicted on me personally and my family. I will spare you the tragic details. My crime was being an Oromo by birth and spirit.
I volunteered for your campaign when you first ran for office, inspired by your resume (beautifully told in your first book) and uplifting message. I understand you were hired to protect the interests of these United States, under increasingly unpredictable, arguably more dangerous and complex global conditions, making conducting an optimal foreign policy a difficult undertaking. Therefore, I did not have the illusion that the burden of the voiceless and persecuted millions around the globe would necessarily be lighter just because you ascended to the highest position of political power. Read more…
Categories: Oromia Tags:
By William Davison
June 3, 2012 (Bloomberg) — Ethiopia’s opposition Oromo People’s Congress accused the government of making up charges against one of its former lawmakers as part of a broader case against 69 defendants, party leader Merera Gudina said.
“All the charges are trumped up,” Merera said in a phone interview today from the capital, Addis Ababa, after appearing at the Federal High Court as a witness in the trial.
The defendants, all ethnic Oromos, were charged under Ethiopia’s criminal code in May last year with attacking the “integrity” of the country’s government or territory, London-based Amnesty International, a rights advocacy group, said in a January report. The trial is part of a crackdown against dissent by the government, Amnesty said in the report.
The 69 are accused of having links with the banned Oromo Liberation Front, or OLF, Merera said.The OLF has been fighting for the autonomy of the Oromos, Ethiopia’s most populous ethnicity, since 1973, according to its website. The rebel group and the Oromo People’s Congress are opposed to each other, according to Merera.“Their major strategy is armed struggle, we are a registered political party,” he said. Read more…
Categories: Ethiopia Tags:
Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor
2011 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices
May 24, 2012
Ethiopia is a federal republic led by Prime Minister Meles Zenawi and the Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF). In national parliamentary elections in May 2010, the EPRDF and affiliated parties won 545 of 547 seats to remain in power for a fourth consecutive five-year term. The EPRDF is made up of four ethnically based political organizations: the Tigrayan People’s Liberation Front, Amhara National Democratic Movement, Oromo People’s Democratic Organization, and Southern Ethiopian People’s Democratic Movement. Although the relatively few international officials allowed to observe the elections concluded that 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 election day. Several laws, regulations, and procedures implemented since the 2005 national elections created a clear advantage for the EPRDF throughout the electoral process. Security forces generally reported to civilian authorities; however, there were instances in which special police and local militias acted independently of civilian control. Read more…
Categories: Ethiopia Tags:
A crackdown on freedom of expression saw scores of journalists and political opposition members arrested and charged with terrorism, treason and other offences. Repressive legislation effectively prevented human rights organizations from functioning. Large tracts of land were leased to foreign companies, leading to large-scale displacement of local populations. Construction continued on a dam which could affect the lives of half a million people. Read more…
Categories: HOA News Tags: