In the face of evidence, the UK and US continue to deny systematic human rights abuses are occurring in the Lower Omo as thousands are displaced for an irrigation scheme.
BY DAVID TURTON
November 6, 2913 (Think Africa Press) — The US-based think tank, the Oakland Institute, recentlyaccused the UK and US governments of aiding and abetting the eviction of thousands of people from their land in Ethiopia’s Lower Omo Valley.
The accusation was not new – it had been made before bySurvival International and Human Rights Watch amongst others. What was new about this report was that it made use of transcripts of interviews conducted by officials from the UK Department for International Development (DfID) and the US Agency for International Development (USAID), during a field visit to the lower Omo in January 2012.
The interviews were recorded by the report’s author, Will Hurd, who accompanied the officials and acted as their interpreter. The recordings contain vivid first-hand accounts of the abuses suffered by local people at the hands of the government, the police and the army. Read more…
All land in Ethiopia belongs to the state, giving the government unusual leverage in its dealings with local communities
Nov 5, 2013, India (The Hindu) — A violent attack on a tea plantation leased by Indian-owned Verdanta Harvest Plc, a subsidiary of the Noida-based Lucky Group, has renewed concerns over Ethiopia’s policy of leasing out large tracts of land to international investors.
On October 20, unidentified individuals destroyed buildings and machinery worth approximately $140,000, according to Verdanta officials.
Media reported that locals set the plantation on fire “on account of destroying the rich forest resources”, a claim denied by the company.
Community leaders in Gambella did not comment on the attack, but rights groups have warned that a policy of leasing out 42 per cent of Gambella’s land and resettling over 30,000 agro-pastoral communities is the likely cause of the unrest. Read more…
Addis Ababa, Nov 4 (First Post) — An Indian scholar in Ethiopia has so far published over a dozen books specially designed for foreigners to learn Ethiopia’s languages, particularly Amharic.
His story reads like a journey in reverse to the one made centuries earlier by the Siddis – Indians of East African descent brought to India mostly as slaves, who live mostly in Gujarat and have embraced the local language and culture.
Apart from ‘Amharic for Foreigners’, K. Sekhar from the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh, who teaches business management at Mizan Tepi University in southwestern Ethiopia, has also written language primers in Tigrigna, Oromifa, Nuer, Kafi Noono and Hadiya. The last two are the first to be written by an expatriate.
“Languages have a trait of similarity at some point and finding out these traits is the way to understanding them,” Sekhar, a self-thought linguist and lexicographer, told IANS in an interview. Read more…
By: Laalo Guduru | Onkoloolessa/October 31, 2013
Two remarkable Oromo episodes dominated the Ethiopian diaspora blogosphere and social media over the last few months: the episode of Jawar Mohammed and the Tesfaye Gebre-ab phenomenon. Here, I will only focus on Tesfaye Gebre-ab.
Lest Tesfaye’s newest book, the YeSidetegnaw Mastawesha, see the light of the day, the most vicious campaign of mediaeval inquisitorial proportion was launched against Tesfaye, ironically utilizing the most modern instrument, the Internet. If truth to be told, the purpose of the campaign was not so much as to attack Tesfaye, as to combat a heresy of talking in open about the trials and tribulation the Oromos endured in the hands of the successive Ethiopian governments. Thus, a retrograde movement was born to kill a book from being published in this the 21st century. The would-be publisher was pressured, threatened and cajoled not to publish the book. In turn, succumbing to pressure, the publisher tried to pressurize Tesfaye to at least expunge one section, Chaltu as Helen, from the book. Rumor has it that Tesfaye was as mad as hell for being asked this. He found this to be degrading. Rather than taking a single leaf of the book to appease these backward chauvinist gangs, who were trying to use the ax of censorship to silence him at this day and age, he preferred forfeiting any monetary value he may have procured out of it. Read more…
October 31, 2013 (Reuters) – An Ethiopian opposition group accused police and security officials of beating, illegally detaining and abducting more than 150 of its members between July and September this year.
The Horn of Africa country has won international plaudits for delivering double-digit growth for much of the past decade, but rights groups often accuse the government of using state institutions to stifle dissent and silence political opposition.
Addis Ababa, long seen by the West as a bulwark against militant Islam in the Horn of Africa, denies charges that it is quashing dissent. Read more…
October 28, 2013 (The Global Gender Report) — For five years in a row, Iceland has been rated the country with the world’s smallest gender gap by the World Economic Forum (WEF).
The rating means Iceland is the country where women enjoy the most equal access to education and healthcare. It is also where women are most likely to be able to participate fully in the country’s political and economic life.
Iceland is joined at the top of the The Global Gender Gap Report, 2013 by its Nordic neighbours Finland, Norway and Sweden. Read more…
By Alexandra Rucki
October 17, 2013 (Your Local Guardian) — Violence erupted at the re-consecration of a church as a long-running rift between rival worshippers saw a protest turn ugly.
Police arrested five people as the protest, which had begun on Saturday escalated to all out combat on Sunday outside the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church, in St Philip Street, Battersea
It is believed the dispute, ongoing for 10 months, is over the election of trustees to run the church.
The church closed in April this year to clear the air and was reconsecrated on the weekend by two bishops who flew over from Ethiopia. Read more…
Judge Woldemechael Meshesha’s Recent Judgement on Tesfaye Gebreab’s writings: Desperate Out of Touch Outcry
By Abbaa Malkaa | October 16, 2013
Having read the long story written by Judge Woldemicheal, about Tesfaye’s work, past and present, I came to the conclusion that it is worth replying in brief terms. I am forced to do this firstly because I am an Oromo person whose pain is addressed in the very eloquent terms of this marvellous author, Tesfaye Gebreab. So I feel obliged to write this response. I will try to tell facts and ask relevant questions all of which shall be meant to help us understand some facts as to who these authors are. In fact it would be a misnomer to call Judge Wolde an author, because what he wrote this time around is more of a loud shout, it didn’t convey any coherent message even couldn’t make sensible meaning. It looks a child’s painting, which is disorderly, messy but full of colour. So in this short message to him and his co-authors I would like to say that I am treating Judge Woldemichael as a judge though he chose to delve in to an area that doesn’t belong to him as a judge. I mean there was no point for him to mix literature with legal argument and legal theories with story telling. In fact the legal theories, which he used to beautify his story, reflected how poor level of understanding of how those theories should be applied in real life. Read more…
October 14, 2013 (Jconline) – A distinguished Purdue University agronomy professor and World Food Prize laureate has achieved another international honor.
Gebisa Ejeta was appointed to the U.N. secretary-general’s new Scientific Advisory Board, which will give advice on science, technology and innovation regarding sustainable development to United Nations organizations.
The board, which is comprised of 26 members representing natural, social, human and agricultural sciences, aims to make sure that scientific findings are reflected in policy decisions made throughout the U.N. Ejeta is the agricultural scientist on the board, according to Purdue.
“It is a great honor and responsibility to have the chance to work at the highest level of global science policy and diplomacy,” Ejeta said. “I will try to be a good ambassador of agricultural sciences to uphold the indispensability of food and agriculture, and to impart that feeding humanity sustainably in the foreseeable and unforeseeable future is the ultimate responsibility of all nations. I hope to make a difference.” Read more…
By Hawi Chala | October 12, 2013
The Ethiopian higher education system has shown a remarkable expansion in the last decade since Ethiopia has built over ten new universities, escalating the total number of the country’s universities to 21, and along side has emerged various private colleges and universities. Never in its history could Ethiopian universities enroll thousands of students annually as it is enrolling these days. The presence of these higher institutions has a significant role to the intellectual, social, political, economic and moral life of Ethiopia. The more a country has educated professionals, the easier can we tackle social, economic and political problems the country mired in for centuries.
Beyond its main role as educational mission (teaching & research), universities are also places where students create social network, involved in different socio-political movements and develop critical thinking. Naturally students go to university with various ideas in mind like enjoying the student life, meeting new people and perhaps getting a good degree. Read more…
by Thomas C. Mountain
October 10, 2013 (For what we are they will be) — Most of the millions of Ethiopians forced into the global limbo of displacement are Oromo or ethnic Somali from the Ogaden, victims of the Ethiopian regime’s genocidal policies. During the recent devastating drought, “all of Oromia and the Ogaden affected by this catastrophe were prevented from receiving food and medical aid by the Ethiopian regime” – one of Washington’s closest allies in Africa.
October 7, 2013, ADDIS ABABA – Ethiopia’s rubber parliament elected, Chinese educated, Dr. Mulatu Teshome Wirtuu to be the country’s new president Monday, for a six-year term in a largely symbolic and ceremonial post.
“Following the opening of the new parliament, a joint session of the House of Representatives and House of Federation elected Ambassador Dr. Mulatu Teshome as the President of Ethiopia,” the foreign ministry said in a statement.
While the real power rests in the hands of a group of Tigreans embedded within the network of EPRDF party, the ‘Prime Minister’ Hailemariam Desalegn remains a press secretary. Read more…
WONCHI, Ethiopia (DPA) – Laptops and tablets are in everyday use as much in Addis Ababa as elsewhere on the African continent, with the city’s cafes crammed with people working, updating their Facebook profiles or simply surfing the web.
However, the technology is now also being used in one of Ethiopia’s more remote rural areas.
As part of a radical new system, it is hoped will improve literacy amongst children.
The village of Wonchi is reached from the Ethiopian capital by a two-and-a-half hour westward drive followed by a lengthy trek on foot. Read more…
October 4, 2013 (BBC News) — The death of more than 300 African migrants after their boat sank in the Mediterranean Sea has comes as no surprise to many. Two years ago, Ethiopian migrant Abu Kurke tried to make a similar journey. He describes the appalling conditions on board and how most of his fellow travellers died.
I was in Tripoli, in Libya, in 2011 – it was very dangerous with all the fighting and I couldn’t stay there.
My friends and I were looking for a way to leave and we found a boat to take us to Lampedusa. I paid $1,200 (£800), but sometimes people pay much more than that. Read more…