His Excellency Jacob G Zuma
Republic of South Africa
Dear Mr. President:
It is with feelings of great sorrow that we in the Oromo Liberation Front and the Oromo people at large learned the passing of Mr. Nelson Mandela, the first elected President of South Africa and a true freedom -fighting icon. On behalf of the Oromo Liberation Front (OLF) and the Oromo people, I wish to convey my deepest condolences and sympathies to you and the people of South Africa during this time of national mourning. The passing of Former President Mandela is a tremendous loss not only to South Africa and Africa alone but to the whole world. Read more…
December 8, 2013
The Oromo Studies Association is profoundly saddened by the death of Nelson Mandela. Mandela was a father, a husband, a statesman, a global hero, an anti-apartheid symbol, an advocate of human rights, and a fearless fighter of discrimination. He fought for the equal right of the black people in Apartheid South Africa, and paid a heavy price for the freedom of his people. He was condemned to a 27 years’ imprisonment. Despite the prison ordeals, he defended his dignity, civility, discipline, principle, and emerged a better human being. Eventually, he led a pariah state to a new chapter of peace with itself and the world. A passionate and forgiving man, he built a common home for blacks and white races- making animosity between the once sworn enemies a matter of history. Today, a rainbow nation is a model for a racial equality and tolerance. Added to his popularity and grace was his decision to limit his presidency to one term, in the continent often incumbents die in the office or removed by coup. Read more…
By Jacey Fortin
December 6, 2013 (IBTimes) — ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia — Flags are flying at half-staff outside the African Union headquarters on Friday in honor of Nelson Mandela, whose death Thursday has the entire continent, and the world, in mourning. The activist, politician, scholar, husband, father and Nobel Peace Prize laureate fought against apartheid, a system of formalized segregation that saw black South Africans treated as third-class citizens, and helped to heal a fractured nation in the aftermath of minority rule.
“Nelson Mandela will be remembered as a symbol for wisdom, for the ability to change and the power of reconciliation,” AU Deputy Chairman Erasmus Mwencha told reporters here in Ethiopia’s capital city on Friday morning. “His life and legacy is the biggest lesson, motivation, inspiration and commitment any African can give to Africa.”
But Madiba, as Mandela was affectionately known, was not always a man of peace. Before he capped his career as South Africa’s first black president in 1994, before he spent 27 years imprisoned for his anti-apartheid activism, Mandela came to believe that violence was sometimes necessary in the fight for freedom. And it was in Ethiopia that the young Mandela received his first formal training in the art of guerrilla warfare. Read more…
November 27, 2013 (Survival International) – The African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (ACHPR), the region’s top human rights body, has called for the forced relocation of thousands of tribal people in Ethiopia to be halted, and has raised concerns over the denial of rights of Botswana’s Bushmen.
The Commission urged Ethiopia to stop the forced resettlement of the Lower Omo Valley tribes to make way for vast plantations, while it investigates allegations of human rights violations.
Ethiopia’s policy of ‘villagization’ is enforced by the military, and numerous reports of killings, beating, rapes, and imprisonment of local tribal people have surfaced – which both Ethiopia’s largest single donors, the UK Department for International Development (DFID) and USAID, are aware of. Read more…
November 16, 2013 (BBC Sport) — Continental champions Nigeria became the first African side to qualify for the 2014 World Cup after beating Ethiopia 2-0 in Calabar on Saturday.
Goals from Victor Moses and Victor Obinna sealed a comfortable victory and a 4-1 aggregate win.
Moses converted from the penalty spot after Aynalem Hailu was harshly adjudged to have handled in the area.
Substitute Obinna cemented a place in Brazil when his free-kick deceived Sisay Bancha in the Ethiopia goal.
Nigeria are through to their fifth finals, having previously qualified in 1994, 1998, 2002 and 2010, and they will travel to Brazil with their eye on reaching the knock-out stages for the first time since France 1998. Read more…
November 9, 2013, ADDIS ABABA (VOA) — African media leaders concluded a three-day conference in Ethiopia Friday, where press freedom was not on top of the conference agenda, even though many journalists on the continent face restrictions and repression.
Conference organizers said their core focus was on business development, technology innovation, and leadership and ethics. They believe discussions on the business side of media will automatically result in debates on press freedom.
Alison Bethel of the International Press Institute finds it worrisome that the African Media Leaders Forum did not prioritize the issue of press freedom.
“There needs to be more time dedicated to the issue,” she said, “because besides from business models and licensing and other things that are crucial to the media here, press freedom also is a very, very important part of doing business.” Read more…
Comment: Ethiopia today is reminiscent of apartheid South Africa, where anyone who questions the state is a terrorist.
Nov 5, 2013 (The Guardian) — The award-winning Ethiopian journalist Eskinder Nega will turn 45 this month in Kaliti prison outside Addis Ababa whilst serving an 18-year sentence as a convicted terrorist. The government in Addis would have the world believe he is a reckless, even racist, agitator bent on violent revolution. Yet, a review of the evidence against him and his writings reveals a thoughtful and principled man whose only crime has been to urge, peacefully and publicly, Ethiopia‘s rulers to deliver on their long broken promise of peaceful, democratic reform.
“Democracy is so important to Ethiopia, because we need it to moderate the differences between civilization and civilization,” Eskinder said in a 2010 interview. “I hope the EPRDF (the ruling party) will be pragmatic enough to realise reform would be the better option, even for itself,” he added. “I believe in forgiving… that we shouldn’t have any grudge against the EPRDF, despite what it has done. I believe that the best thing for the country is reconciliation. I believe in the South African experience, that model.” Read more…
SET BY BAILE DERSEH MIHRETE | October 29, 2013
They, the so called Africans are plotting here in Addis Ababa to get a licence to oppress African people and exploit the continent`s resources without any consequences. Allowing with drawl from ICC is undermining justice and reinforcing violence and violation of Human Rights.
AU is nothing but a shield for dictators to abuse the power. They were given by the people, through their greed, Africa will continue to be exploited for resources while the children of Africa starve and slaughter each other for crumbs. Africans who try to rise for change are killed and intimated. The images of Africans continue to deteriorate not because of history of colonialism but because the leaders suppress the people to be independent or the government that delivers more poverty while selling Africa wealth to highest bidders. Read more…
Mo Ibrahim Foundation’s annual governance appraisal calls for greater focus on justice and safety to avoid social unrest
October 23, 2013 (The Guardian) — African countries have experienced widespread human development and improved economic opportunities since 2000, but the rule of law has deteriorated in a number of countries, according to the Ibrahim index of African governance (IIAG).
The 2013 edition found that 94% of people in 52 countries – Sudan and South Sudan have been excluded for a second successive year due to lack of available data – lived in a country that had demonstrated improved overall governance since the turn of the century. However, average scores in the category looking specifically at safety and the rule of law showed a marked decline. Read more…
October 17, 2013, ROME (NBC News) - A U.S. Navy ship rescued 128 men from a raft after it was spotted in the Mediterranean Sea by a Maltese patrol aircraft, U.S. authorities said, the latest incident in the growing migrant crisis.
The USS San Antonio came to the rescue of 128 men men adrift in an inflatable raft in the Mediterranean Sea on Wednesday.
The USS San Antonio, an amphibious transport dock ship, was called to the scene in the central Mediterranean late on Tuesday as high winds and seas were rocking the boat, U.S. Navy authorities in Italy said in a statement.
The men were offered food, water and medical assistance and are due to be transferred to Maltese vessels later in the day, authorities in Malta said. Read more…
Index says 10 countries, including India, China, and Pakistan, account for 76 percent of the people living in slavery. Estimated 680,000 citizens are enslaved in Ethiopia.October 17, 2013 (Aljazeera) — Nearly 30 million people are living in slavery across the globe, many of them men, women and children trafficked by gangs for sex work and unskilled labour, according to a global slavery index.
The index, released on Thursday by anti-slavery charity Walk Free Foundation, ranked 162 countries on the number living in slavery, the risk of enslavement, and the strength of government responses to combating the illegal activity.
It found that 10 countries accounted for 76 percent of the 29.8 million people living in slavery – India, China, Pakistan, Nigeria, Ethiopia, Russia, Thailand, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Myanmar and Bangladesh. Read more…
October 14, 2013
Madame Fatou Bensouda,
Chief Prosecutor, Office of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC/OTP)
The Hague, Netherlands
Humanity has a duty to defend the ICC against African vicious tyrants
13 October 2013 (UN News Centre) – Following reports of a second ship capsizing off the coast of the Italian island of Lampedusa, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today called on the international community to protect the rights of migrants and take action to prevent such tragic incidents.
“The Secretary-General is deeply saddened to hear reports of the loss of lives as another boat carrying migrants capsized yesterday off the coast of Italy, only a few days after the tragic incident near Lampedusa which had already claimed more than 300 lives,” Mr. Ban’s spokesperson said in a statement.
According to media reports, at least 27 people died and 221 were saved on Friday after their boat capsized near Lampedusa. Read more…
Yaadasaa Dafa | October 12, 2013
Can a Democracy trickle down the pipe line of the African states’ governmental apparatus when the dictators of African nations declare to follow the Democratic governing system? I wish it could be that simple, but practical experiences after experiences had proved to the contrary. This could be fundamentally due to their undemocratic nature and means they contrived and captured their respective country’s central governments. Once they succeed to overthrow the previous regimes with power of the gun, they often declare to be a better, and the only democratically oriented governing system, as opposed to the previous regimes. But in reality, it will be the beginning of yet another subjugation and government corruption system for the people of that nation under the tribal self proclaimed supremacy, or hegemony of the dictator’s tribe who happen to climb unto the power of the country. It is true that when they just appear on power, such dictators will swear in all the preludes of the Democracy so as to gain the internal as well as the international agencies support for their governments. Read more…