Study suggests irrigation projects linked to Gibe III dam could devastate Lake Turkana’s fisheries and affect livelihoods
March 5, 2014 (The Guardian) — Africa’s fourth-largest lake could drop by 20 metres, causing an ecological and human disaster to rival the shrinking of the Aral Sea in central Asia, if Ethiopia goes ahead with massive irrigation projects linked to a giant dam, according to a university paper.
Lake Turkana, located almost entirely in Kenya but fed by the river Omo, which rises in Ethiopia, will be severely impacted by the 243 metre-high Gibe III dam, which is due to be completed this year, says the study, published by the University of Oxford’s African Studies Centre. It suggests water levels could drop by half, devastating the lake’s fisheries and affecting the livelihoods of 170,000 agro-pastoralists. Read more…
by Rundassa Asheetee Hundee | March 2, 2014
Convincingly, the Amharas had been the elites of empire Ethiopia, particularly, hateful men like Getachew Haile and the like were considered as senior civil servants who retained much power and influence well into the 1970s. Now this insane thug promotes unequivocally racist ideology targeting specifically the Oromo people by labeling them as uncivilized bad people not understanding that framing the nation state by having his tribe above every ethnic group in empire Ethiopia adds to the political turmoil that is engulfing the already sick empire.
To deny the existence of the Oromo people, Getacho Haile, a fluent afaan Oromo speaker and the citizen of Oromia, intentionally avoided the mention of name “Oromo” while listing the names of the Oromo tribes and clans whom he called the “Oromo speaking people.” By using term “Oromo speaking people” Getacho has tried to do what his friend Dr. Asrat, who denied the existence of the Amhara people in 1991 did. All these efforts are made to justify their claim that the Ethiopians are ONE people who share Amharic and the Amhara culture. Read more…
March 1, 2014 (Politico) — Ethiopia is a democracy at least in name and has had Western (and Chinese) companies salivating at its recent double-digit GDP growth. But longtime strongman Meles Zenawi, who died in 2012, and his successor, Hailemariam Desalegn, have leaned on a sweeping anti-terrorism law to stamp out opposition, imprisoning journalists, activists and politicians who dare speak out against the government. Ethiopia has made itself useful to the United States, though, invading Somalia in 2006 at Washington’s behest and disastrously fueling a rise in terrorism that prompted another intervention in late 2011. Read more…
The case of racist Getachew Haile
Rundassa Asheetee | February 28, 2014
There is no doubt that all ethnic groups of empire Ethiopia are victims of the political catastrophe that the Abyssinian kings and clergy men have created.
Thought such catastrophe can and should be left behind as history, the Abyssinians who interpret this catastrophe as a Nobel work based on their narrow perspective have opened unhealthy conversations between them and their victims. Interestingly, this situation allowed the minority Tigre tribe to rule the country for 23 years with iron fist and the tribe is going to stay in power as long as past continues to occupy, disturb and divide the people of empire Ethiopia, particularly the Oromo and the Amhara. Read more…
BUREAU OF DEMOCRACY, HUMAN RIGHTS, AND LABOR
2013 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices
February 27, 2014
Ethiopia is a federal republic. The ruling Ethiopian Peoples’ Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF), a coalition of four ethnically based parties, controls the government. In September 2012, following the death of former Prime Minister Meles Zenawi, parliament elected Hailemariam Desalegn as prime minister. In national parliamentary elections in 2010, the EPRDF and affiliated parties won 545 of 547 seats to remain in power for a fourth consecutive five-year term. 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 the election. Authorities generally maintained control over the security forces, although Somali Region Special Police and local militias sometimes acted independently. Security forces committed human rights abuses. Read more…
February 27, 2014 (World Bulletin) — A long drawn out patent row between Ethiopia and the Netherlands concerning teff – a highly nutritious ancient grain variety – has made headlines in Ethiopia, but a local official is worried that not only teff is in danger of being “looted.”
“A great many genetic resources of Ethiopia are in perpetual danger of being looted,” Aweke Shiferraw, communication director at the Ethiopian Intellectual Property Office, told Anadolu Agency in an exclusive interview.
Shiferraw has been ringing the alarm for months, calling for due attention to protect Ethiopia’s unique flora and make good use of its genetic resources.
Teff is indigenous to Ethiopia, where it accounts for one quarter of total cereal production. It is believed that teff originated in Ethiopia between 4000 BC and 1000 BC. Read more…
USAID, UC Davis, and EIAR collaborate on international research program to benefit farmers
For Immediate Release
February 25, 2014, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia (USAID)—The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the University of California Davis (UC Davis) launched the Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Climate Resilient Chickpeas housed at the Ethiopian Institute of Agricultural Research (EIAR). The 5-year, $4 million genetic research program will create more and stronger varieties of chickpea to increase smallholder farmer productivity. Read more…
February 23, 2014 – UDJ and AEUP held a large protest rally this morning in the city of Bahir Dar. One of the messages the protesters voice is their outrage over the recent ethnic slur against the Amhara people by Alemnew Mekonnen, a senior official of the ruling EPRDF/TPLF junta.
UDJ Suspension from MEDREK
Another interesting development is that MEDREK on its 9th Congress held in Finfinnee yesterday, February 22, 2014, unanimously suspended UDJ (Unity for Democracy and Justice) for undermining the activities of MEDREK and unanimously accepted the Sidama Liberation Front as a new member.
February 22, 2014 (BBC News) — Urban hyenas are becoming a dangerous problem in the Ethiopian capital, where they attack rough sleepers.
It is late evening in Addis Ababa. Stephen Brend, a zoologist with the Born Free Foundation, is driving me to the airport to catch a flight back to London.
“Have you got time for a ten-minute detour?” he asks, as we passed the British embassy. “Of course,” I reply.
So he turns off the road and up a dirt track between some rough shacks and a collection of battered old jalopies that passes for a taxi rank in Ethiopia’s capital. Read more…
February 22, 2014 (The Reporter, Pro Ethiopian government website) — This week the hijacking of an Ethiopian Airlines plane, flight number ET-702, and the first officer behind the hijacking, Hailemedhin Abera, have dominated the news.
After it was revealed the mainstream and social media have been speculating as to why he did it. Reasons include doubts about his mental health up to resilience against injustice and oppression. Some compared him with the former Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Party (EPRP) leader, Berhanemeskel Redda, who hijacked an airplane, while others said that he was a troubled individual. Family members have responded on social media, like Facebook and Twitter, that their brother is a good man and not a criminal. Regarding these speculations and other pertinent issues, Tibebeselassie Tigabu of The Reporter spoke with Endalamaw Abera (MD), the oldest brother of Hailemedhin. Excerpts: Read more…
Sidama National Regional State | February 20, 2014
Kukkissa, Our Reporter from Sidama Capital, Hawassa
‘Imprisoning the weakest groups of criminals leaving key players makes no change in Sidama land and beyond’
The unsettling situation unfolding in Sidama region is becoming worse than it’s even been since TPLF led regime assumed power in June 1991. The discontents between the regime’s regional/Sidama Zone authorities who are labouring day and night to implement their and their federal bosses’ anti-Sidama policy on federalising Sidama capital city which has been vigorously rejected by the Sidama people of all walk of life on one hand; ongoing Sidama nation’s constitutional quest for regional self-administration on the other- makes the situation so complicated and profoundly difficult. To date the regime’s illegal and non-representative cadres are plotting against the rights of the Sidama nation -seriously undermining their own constitution which states otherwise. Read more…
February 19, 2014 (World Politics Review) — When Meles Zenawi, Ethiopia’s leader of more than 20 years, died in August 2012, many anticipated significant and potentially destabilizing change. Past political transitions in Addis Ababa had been violent and settled at the barrel of the gun, so the precedents were worrisome. Meles’ eulogies emphasized his individual brilliance and his personal role in bringing development to the modern Ethiopian state. What would happen with the strongman gone? Could the strong and effective authoritarian developmental party-state engineered under Meles’ leadership sustain itself without him?
Instead of instability, the ruling Ethiopian Peoples’ Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) quickly moved Deputy Prime Minister Hailemariam Dessalegn into the leadership spot without public drama or fuss. Meles’ Growth and Transformation Plan (GTP) remains the party’s guiding policy document, and key initiatives such as the Grand Renaissance Dam are moving forward steadily. Ethiopia was never a one-man dictatorship, but was characterized by a strong authoritarian ruling party with deep links among the security forces, regional administrations, mass organizations and party-affiliated enterprises. The EPRDF is key to understanding Ethiopia’s stability and the regime’s ability to remain in control of a diverse country of some 90 million, divided into a complex set of ethnic groups, in a poor region that suffers terrible levels of conflict. Read more…
February 14, 2014 (Voice of Russia) — The Ethiopian government used a new Italian surveillance program to hack into computers of their own journalists located in the US and Europe. A new report by Citizen Lab have confirmed the speculations regarding the Ethiopian government hacking into the computers of Ethiopian journalists in the US and Europe.
According to the report, all journalists belonged to the Ethiopian Satellite Television (ESAT). Read more…
By Michael Roddy
February 14, 2014 (Reuters) – “Angelina Jolie presents” is the first thing on screen in the Ethiopian movie “Difret”, but the true story of a 14-year-old girl’s abduction, rape and trial for killing her abductor speaks for itself.
Shown at the Berlin film festival, it features Hirut, a bright, studious girl who dreams of going to university but whose life becomes a nightmare when she is abducted, as is the custom in rural Ethiopia, by a young man to be his bride.
He beats, rapes and imprisons her in a hut, but she manages to grab his rifle, runs away and while being pursued, shoots him dead.
The twist that will jar Western audiences in this Sundance festival audience award winner based on events that took place in 1996 is that she is charged with murder. From the minute of her arrest the men of her village demand she be killed. Read more…