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Ethiopia at Risk: Radical Islam Harbored in Ethnic Extremism – Part II

20 Nov

Posted by The Ethiopia Observatory (TEO)

by Mathewos Filipos, M.D.

This is a follow-up of my first article entitled ‘Ethiopia at Risk: Radical Islam Harbored in Ethnic Extremism’  In that article I showed how the radical Islamist Jawar Mohammed undermined  Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed and his democratization process and put Ethiopia at risk.  Jawar and his team members carefully orchestrated a plan to implement the demise of Ethiopia.  It was in 2016 Jawar and his team gathered and declared in what they called “Oromia National Charter” that Oromia is colonized by Ethiopia. The atrocities we see now in Ethiopia did not start now, it is carefully planned.

The piece ‘Toxic Propaganda Targeted at Ethiopia and Ethiopian Unity: the Divisive Strategies’  written in 2017 clearly shows these strategies employed to destabilize Ethiopia and establish Islamic State in Ethiopia under the cover of ethnic Oromo state.  According to the article and as it has become evident through time, the following are some of the strategies Jawar and his team executing:

  1. Creating a political movement on the basis of Islam and ethnic lines;
  2. Fighting Ethiopian Orthodox Christianity;
  3. Attacking Ethiopian unity, Ethiopian history, and everything that symbolizes Ethiopia;
  4. Using pseudo-academic discourse and misinforming and misleading the regular people; and
  5. Opposing any movement that leads to unity among Ethiopians of various backgrounds.

Since the article was written which of these strategies were not implemented?  None.

In the previous article, I tried to show how Jawar, OMN, and his team harbored their goal of establishing a radical Islamic state in Oromia and the enormous devastation they caused in Ethiopia.

Despite his rhetoric to safeguard Ethiopian unity, Prime Minister Abiy could not honor his words.  As John P. Kotter put it, “Communication comes in both words and deeds, and the latter are often the most powerful form.  Nothing undermines change more than behavior by important individuals that is inconsistent with their words.”

Prime Minister Abiy’s timidity and inaction regarding Jawar’s crimes was the major reason for his supporters to lose confidence in his leadership.  Jawar created division within the Oromo Democratic Party (ODP) itself.   Can the Prime Minister restore the public trust after the merger of the EPRDF fronts?  Time will tell.

Until Jawar felt that he significantly alienated the Prime Minister from his pro-Ethiopian- unity ardent supporters, Jawar was stating that he did not have ambition for political power.  Now he did not only prove that many Ethiopians lost faith in Prime Minister Abiy’s leadership, but also he tested that he can move his clandestinely organized Quero ( Oromo youth group) any time  and block roads, mayhem innocent people  and burn churches, behead clergies, pastors, and women; dismember fathers, burn down businesses and houses.  To polarize Ethiopia’s politics further and to cause further bloodshed, Jawar announced he would give up his US citizenship and run in the 2020 election.

Jawar, at different times, on his OMN, announced to his rampaging Quero to get ready and wait for his call to take any action.  He publicly stated he could order Quero and overthrow the Abiy’s government in two days if he wanted.  Now he called for action of violence and caused the murder of 86 people in two days.

His Oromia Media Network (OMN) which is established as a not-for-profit organization in Saint Paul, MN,  is now seen in Ethiopia as Radio Télévision Libre des Mille Collines (RTLM) of Rwanda that fanned the genocide in Rwanda.  Oct 22, the Prime Minister had warned against media owners fomenting unrest.  Jawar immediately replied on his Facebook that he had gotten ready for it.  (እኛም አዉቀናል ጉድጓድ ምሰናል።) Then Jawar sent messages to his Quro and supporters stating that his security detail would be removed and his life would be endangered.  An hour later, hundreds of rioting young people surrounded his home in Addis Ababa.  Roads including major highways were blocked by Quero in many areas in Oromia and including the outskirts of Addis Ababa.

Following jawar’s call, the Prime Minister reported, in about two days, 86 people were killed.   From these 76 of them were heinously murdered with machete and stone by terrorizing youth.   The barbaric Quero carried out what cannot be imagined with a normal mind. Many of the atrocities are too graphic to mention them here.  They killed and dismembered a father, killed clergies, burned churches, beheaded pastors.  Then Jawar sent a message in public to Quero to open roads and they somewhat complied with his order. Doing so he was proving to the public what he said earlier “In Ethiopia, there are two governments– one is that of Quero and the other that of Abiy Ahmed.”  All this murder happened less than two weeks after Abiy Ahmed won the Nobel Peace Prize.

Following the killing of two university students at Woldya University, which should be condemned unequivocally, Jawar’s team members, Dr. Ezekiel Gebissa of Kettering University in Michigan and Dr. Etana Habte appeared on what they recently established Kush Media Network instigated ethnic violence.  They had seemingly scholarly discussion but incited further violence.  The pompous Dr. Ezekiel Gebissa repeatedly lies on the media and fabricate numbers. He is the shame of his students and the employer.   He stated 50% of Ethiopia’s population is Oromo.  Cannot Dr. Gabissa research simple facts that Oromo is 34.4% of Ethiopia’s population.  Please prove me wrong if you have alternative facts.  This is unethical and deliberate misinformation to deepen ethnic conflicts in Ethiopia.   This is what he gives back to Ethiopia his country of origin, one of the poorest nations in the world – inciting ethnic strife.  They called for action of violence against non-Oromos and Orthodox churches.  Ethiopians are deeply religious societies when Christians including university students persecuted they sought shelter in Churches.  Dr.  Gabissa labeled the Orthodox church as a hiding place for criminals and encouraged Quero to attack Orthodox Christians and those who shelter there.  Then the Quero murdered a helpless nursing mother in front of her newborn infant, burned Churches and university students singled by their ethnicity and killed.  One university student is thrown out from a dormitory through the window.  Many more people killed in the last few weeks.  These instigators and criminals like Dr. Ezekiel Gebissa,  Dr. Habte, Tsegaye Ararssa, and Jawar Mohammed have been given shelter and live comfortably in the US, Australia, and Europe. This group has also launched campaign working with foreign radical Islamists to wage war against ethnic Amhara and Ethiopian Orthodox Christians.  A case in point is their network with Farah Maalim, who used to serve as  Deputy Speaker of Kenya National Assembly.

Many Ethiopians were shocked thus far that Prime Minister Abiy and his government did not take any legal action on Jawar and these other masterminds.   Can Jawar get away with his crimes both in Ethiopia and the US?  What is terrorism if encouraging people to behead Christians is not? What is the number of the death toll that qualifies a person to be a terrorist?  In his speech which is available on YouTube, Jawar identified Ethiopian Oromos with Islam and encouraged Oromo Muslims to behead Christians and control political power. His Quero lynched young man.  His gruesome atrocities continued day after day. The Ethiopian patriarch was shedding his tears in public that became hapless and the Abiy’s government was not helping.  Ethiopia is at risk of becoming another Rwanda. The world community should take action.

According to the US law, ‘Renouncing U.S. citizenship does not allow persons to avoid possible prosecution for crimes which they may have committed or may commit in the future which violate United States law, or escape the repayment of financial obligations including child support payments, previously incurred in the United States or incurred as United States citizens abroad.”

Jawar Mohammed and Dr. Ezekiel Gebissa are enjoying a safe haven in the US while their actions and OMN are causing hundreds of deaths.  Should not the US government investigate and try Jawar Mohammed for the crimes he committed?   This is what peace-loving Ethiopians around the world demand.

Related:

Ethiopia at Risk: Radical Islam Harbored in Ethnic Extremism’

 

 

Divisive strategy targeting Ethiopia and its unity *

20 Nov

Posted by The Ethiopia Observatory (TEO)

by Matebu Benti

The political crisis in Ethiopia is getting various dimensions.  The Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) has divided the country along ethnic lines.  With its infamous Article 39 of the constitution, TPLF has made secession of ethnic groups a constitutional right.  In its 25 years of brutal rule, TPLF-led EPRDF has been inculcating toxic propaganda and hate into young Ethiopians to pit one ethnic group against the other.  The cruel ruling of TPLF being with its divisive and hate-filled strategy has brought the country to the current state of political crisis.  TPLF has been setting Ethiopia for destruction.  The current most pressing problem in Ethiopia is the systemic and multidimensional human right abuse by the TPLF-led regime.

Such threat to the people of Ethiopia and the unity of the country can be averted when Ethiopians stand united, find a common ground and fight tyranny, brutality, and get rid of the TPLF dictatorial regime and the system it established.  On the contrary, some self-proclaimed Oromo political leaders, who present themselves as academics, are repeating the very thing they claim to oppose and worsening the suffering of Ethiopians.  They are echoing the TPLF strategies that are being used to divide and rule Ethiopia.

These individuals are harboring under their academic rank and engaging in fighting Ethiopia and Ethiopian unity through their noxious and hate-mongering propaganda that they disseminate on the Oromo Media Network (OMN).  These individuals’ political platform is just hate to Ethiopia and Ethiopian unity.  Among these bad actors are Dr. Tsegaye Ararsa, University of Melbourne; Dr. Abbas Haji Ganamo, Ryerson University; and Jawar Mohammed, OMN; and  Etana Habte.  These individuals are using OMN and targeting the young Ethiopians from Oromia region who are suffering under the oppressive and brutal power of TPLF.

While it is clear that thousands of Ethiopians are being heinously killed, tortured and imprisoned by the TPLF-led EPRDF, these OMN groups, are exploiting the current dire situations in Ethiopia, manipulating the psychology of the victims, waging a propaganda war on what they call Amhara, Ethiopia and Ethiopian unity.  It would be a big mistake to let these individuals and OMN unabated and to let them continue their hate movement that could lead to ethnic strife in Ethiopia and destroy the country and the future of the young generation.

Should we give a free pass to these individuals who poison the whole political discourse in Ethiopia and who ethicize every grievance?  Blind acceptance of this toxic propaganda or being aloof of this negative campaign is tantamount to contributing to their destructive agenda.  It is akin to letting our house being destroyed by fire.  We should not let the divisive fabrication thrive and our country lead into ethnic conflict.  Ethiopians from different corners of the country should speak out when such individuals impose their evil views on the already suffering Ethiopians.

OMN and these individuals apply the following strategies to disseminate hate and mobilize people in Oromia areas towards their sinister goal, which is separation of the Oromigna-speaking Ethiopians from the rest of Ethiopia.  It is not clear who is behind this hate movement, however, from their practice, we can see this hate group, and OMN uses the following strategies:

  1. Creating a political movement on the basis of Islam and ethnic linesJawar Mohammed, the current Executive Director of OMN appealed to Muslims and tried to mobilize Oromos on the basis of Islam.  In his words, this what he said:   “እኔ ባለሁበት 99 በመቶ ሙስሊም ነው። ደፍሮ ቀና የሚል የለም አንገታቸውን ነው በሜንጫ የምንለው።  …. ኦሮሞ በተነካ ቁጥር እስልምና ይነካል። እስልምና በተነካ ቁጥር ኦሮሞ ይነካል። የኦሮሞ ህዝብ መጠናከር የእስልምና መጠናከር ነው።   አክሱም ላይ መስጊድ የምትሰሩት ኦሮሞ ሲጠናከር ነው።” This translated as, “Where I live[d] 99% is Muslim.  No one can have the courage to stay upright.  If they [referring to Christians or Amharas] have the courage to do so, we will hit their neck with sword.  Whenever Oromo is affected, Islam is affected.  The strength of the Oromo people is the strength of Islam.  You can build mosque at Axum when Oromo get stronger.”  This is an obvious campaign to create a political Islam, which is extremely dangerous move.  Political movement around radical Islam is destroying a number of countries.  Radicalizing the Muslim Oromos in Ethiopia will be catastrophe not only for Ethiopia where Christians and Muslims have peacefully lived together for centuries, but also for the entire geographic region.
  2. Fighting Ethiopian Orthodox Christianity. This is a recent one being pushed by Dr. Tsegaye Ararsa.  This is what Tsegaye Ararsa put on his Facebook: “ If Alithad or its third generation offspring (Alshabab) was a political Islam in Somalia, Ethiopian orthodox church would be the exact opposite of that, i.e., a political ..but even older than the former by thousands of years. Why should the world fight only political Islamists while sparing their dumpiest counter part in the horn of Africa or elsewhere??”  By attacking Ethiopian Orthodox Church, this group attempts to attack the long-standing history and the unity of the country.
  3. Attacking Ethiopian unity, Ethiopian history, and everything that symbolizes Ethiopia. Tsegaye Ararsa, who was a teacher at the TPLF cadres’ college (Civil Service University) and who is the Dr. Joseph Goebbels of this movement, repeatedly stated, “Ethiopians do not have national identity.”  He further tried to elaborate his point saying that Ethiopian identity is for Amhara and Tigre only.  Dr. Tsegay Ararsa also wrote, “Emperor Menelik II of Ethiopia did deny his being black.  This is to smear the name of one of the greatest black African leader.  Emperor Menelik II led the Battle of Adwa, defeated the fascist Italian invaders, and inspired black Africans in their struggle for independence.  Emperor Menelik II symbolizes Ethiopia and Ethiopian unity.  By discrediting his immense contribution that the world witnessed, the hate groups are attacking Ethiopia.  Attacking Emperor Menelik II has become the day-to-day activity of OMN.  This is done by design to fabricate hate-ridden story and to disintegrate Ethiopia.
  4. Using pseudo-academic discourse and misinforming and misleading the regular people- One of the deliberate deception constantly broadcast by OMN, Aljazeera, Asafa Jalata and Dr. Abbas Haji Ganamo, is that  “between 1868 and 1900, half of all Oromo were killed, around 5 million people.”  A rational person first asks whether there were 10 million Oromos during that period. This is a white lie by the so-called Professor Abbas Haji Ganamo and Asafa Jalata.  An academic should always be skeptic and should question its sources and verify its accuracy.  One needs not to be a genius to refute their claim.  In 1950, the population of Ethiopia was 18 million.  In the last sixty-five years, the Ethiopian population has grown on average by about 2.7% every year.  Given this population trend, in 1887, the total Ethiopian population was estimated to be between three to four million.  Abbas Haji Ganamo and Asafa Jaleta have been deliberately echoing this poisonous lie to create havoc in Ethiopia.  This is a shameful and unethical act in the academic world.

Recently, Dr. Abbas Haji Ganamo, Etana Habte and had Dr. Ezekiel Gabissa apeared on OMN. This discussion clearly shows the severity of hate campaign that this group is propagating.  The discussion was very irresponsible, very graphic, and violence inciting in its presentation.  May almighty God save Ethiopia.  These individuals are setting stage for ethnic war in Ethiopia.  These are some of the things what Professor Abbas Haji Ganamo said:   “Someone in Bale told me that his father had told him that he had seen when the Minelik’s army had brought a piece of cloth immersed with disease and killed all the members of some of the tribes except one person.“ Professor Ganamo also said that, “the blood of the Oromos killed flew like a flood and joined a river.”  Why does a university professor irresponsibly say this on the media without even trying to check the reliability of the information?  Was Emperor Menelik’s army of the 1880s so sophisticated to create and handle biological weapons?  How could a professor teaching in civilized world believe this and speak on a media?  How could a person, with his bare eyes, see and identify a disease-carrying cloth?  How many people should be killed at one place for the blood to flow like a flood and join a river?  Ethiopians should not let such dangerous white lie unchallenged.  The discussion on OMN is reminiscent of the hate propaganda that led to the Arbagugu and Bedeno genocide of the Amharas, whoever was the perpetrator.

  1. Opposing any movement that leads to unity among Ethiopians of various backgrounds: Using seemingly academic discourse, the OMN group ethicizes everything.  Any organization that is not organized on the basis of ethnicity or religion is opposed by these hate mongering individuals.  They even call those Ethiopians who are not organized on ethnic lines as “homeless politicians”.  For this hate group, Ethiopian identity is a hoax.  They even went even further and encouraged others to be organized based on ethnicity to destroy the values that glued Ethiopians together irrespective of ethnic differences.  This is one of their approaches to dismantle Ethiopian unity.

The most important question here is, why attacking Ethiopia and Ethiopian unity and broadcasting of hate become the top priority of this OMN group while Ethiopians are suffering under the ruthless TPLF.  Since November 2015, about 1000 Ethiopians were killed by TPLF-EPRDF.  Thousands are imprisoned and being tortured.  Thousands are fleeing the country and dying in ocean.  The political leaders like Bekele Gerba, Dr. Merara Gudina, Andualem Arage; and journalists like Eskinder Nega and Temesgen Desalign are languishing in the TPLF dungeon.

Defenseless Ethiopians are crying for help.  Those who committed the crime are walking freely and making the victims laughingstock.  Those who killed the young man and forced his mother to sit on her son’s dead body did not face justice.  Instead of emancipating Ethiopians who are under the yoke of the brutal TPLF, the OMN group is giving a propaganda opportunity to TPLF and pushing Ethiopia into a civil war.  This is a period for the current generation; and this is the foundation for the coming generation.  We cannot stay trapped in our past mishaps.  We all have a moral obligation to do soul-searching and work together to bring positive changes Ethiopia.  By disseminating hate, no one will benefit.  When we have differences, we should disagree constructively not to destroy one another.  Hate can never ever be a solution.

 

 

ፖለቲካ ይሉት ተግባር እስከዚህ ድረስ ቁሻሻ ነው!

17 Nov

Posted by The Ethiopia Observatory (TEO)

 

 

አዲስ አበባ የኢትዮጵያዊነት ልብ:       ለውጡ ከጭለማ ወደ ጭለማ?

13 Nov

Posted by The Ethiopia Observatory (TEO)

 

 

* የዘር ፖለቲካ

* ፀረ-ሽብር ሕግ በኢትዮጵያ ተፈጻሚነት

* የመሬት ዘረፋ

* የመንግሥት ሰብዓዊ መብቶች ረገጣ

* የአዲስ አበባን ዲሞግራፊ የመቀየር ሥራ

 

 

Why Ethiopians are losing faith in Abiy’s promises for peace

10 Nov

Posted by The Ethiopia Observatory (TEO)

by Yohannes Gedamu

When Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed came to power in 2018, the political reforms and initiatives he promised were met with much hope and optimism. He promised to address Ethiopia’s deteriorating ethnic relations, to build national unity, and reignite the stalled democratic process.

And his efforts to end the 20-year conflict with Eritrea won him the 2019 Nobel Peace Prize. Despite this accolade, Abiy’s Ethiopia continues to witness recurring incidents of violence within its borders. As a result, the tide of enthusiasm for the premier’s reforms is waning. The reforms, from the promise to release political prisoners, to the opening of the media space, now seem distant memories.

Abiy’s administration has failed to adequately address the political wrangling within the federal government and recurring ethnic conflict. These two factors are putting the country on the path to destruction. The federal government has failed to assert itself as the top authority. This has created space for regional actors to violently oppose the state.

Spiralling instability

The ethnic federal government, which has divided the country along tribal lines, and the legacy of Ethiopia’s authoritarian system, are structural challenges that cannot be underestimated. These challenges have not been addressed by Abiy’s administration. It is understood that reform takes time, but the premier’s flip flopping on some of the issues has caused uneasiness with his leadership. One such issue is the creation of a non-ethnic federation.



His muted response to the rising ethnic violence is worsening peace and security. Today, Ethiopia’s ethnic violence is costing thousands of lives and millions have been displaced. The situation is also weakening the country’s economy.

To make matters worse, the political leadership within the governing Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) is divided. Over the past few months in particular, the political parties that make up the ruling coalition have been blaming each other for Ethiopia’s political dysfunction.

As the wrangling continues, EPRDF’s constituent parties from the Oromia, Amhara and Tigray regions are asserting themselves more than ever. Some of the parties are known for advocating the politics of ethno-nationalism which has historically polarised Ethiopia’s ethnic federation. Ethno-nationalism is an ideology that defines national identity based on ethnicity.

Today, ethno-nationalists are seizing the opportunity to gain the political upper hand. Abiy’s regime’s failure to stabilise the nation, and declining public trust in his administration, have given them fresh political momentum.

His position has also been weakened by forces like the Tigray Peoples Liberation Front, the dominant political force in pre-Abiy Ethiopia, which is throwing its support behind the ethno-nationalist movements that are opposed to his leadership.

The premier’s dilemma

Abiy seems to be the prisoner of Ethiopia’s federal government, the very system that propped him up. This federal system draws its legitimacy from citizens maintaining a strong ethnic identity at the regional level. In light of this the new premier has two options.



One is to actively pursue the unifying agenda that made him popular, which would alienate his ethnic Oromo constituency. The other is to align with the interests of the Oromo ethno-nationalist movement. This would secure the electoral support of his political base in Oromia. But choosing the latter could deprive him of the non-Oromo support he has been enjoying.

Indeed, since Abiy was elected the nation has gone down a renewed path of violence. It is not only the Ethiopian people who are divided, it is also the political elites who had previously shown support for Abiy’s leadership. Ethiopia’s two majority groups – the Amharas and the Oromos – have been particularly critical of the prime minister’s perceived inability to address the country’s political tumult.

This follows a coup attempt in the Amhara region that left its president Ambachew Mekonnen, the country’s military chief-of-staff Seare Mekonnen, and three others dead. The Oromia region has also been the scene of recurrent violence where rallies against Abiy have recently erupted after Oromo activist Jawar Mohammed accused security forces of trying to orchestrate an attack against him.

Abiy has also been criticised for the reemergence of ethnic bias in the federal government’s political decision making.

Abiy’s response

Abiy has so far defended his administration’s response to the violence and called on Ethiopians to shun those who try to divide them. However, he has not distanced himself from front-line Oromo ethno-nationalist activists. This has led to the perception there is a pro-Oromo bias in his administration.

There are signs of a burgeoning political dysfunction, from the way in which the administration attempted to resettle internally displaced Ethiopians based on their ethnicity to the complacency in addressing the violence.



Abiy’s promise to foster national reconciliation through the new national reconciliation commission seems to be forgotten. The political space that opened up with Abiy’s election is closing. And the notorious torture chambers that were closed have been replaced by new jails that operate like the old ones. This throws the promise of a fair justice system into question.

All things considered, it would appear that the EPRDF old guard is an obstacle to Abiy’s reform process. It could also be that the new premier is no longer fully committed to the promise of a new Ethiopia. Fortunately for the prime minister a section of the public still has faith that the newly minted Nobel Laureate can deliver on his promises.

But if Abiy doesn’t take decisive steps to stabilise the country, chances are high that the Ethiopian state could crumble. To prevent this, the premier must assert the federal government’s power to ensure peace and security. He must negotiate with his adversaries and allies on the direction the country is taking, and find a way to tame powerful ethno-nationalist activists. Importantly, unless he genuinely attempts to reinvigorate ties between the parties in the ruling coalition, the country’s violent trajectory might not be reversed.

 

/The Conversation

 

 

Chief Commissioner Daniel Bekele has his eyes firmly set on state accountability. The question isn’t if he can do the job, but if he lasts!

9 Nov

Posted by The Ethiopia Observatory (TEO)

“Ensuring accountability is key to ending culture of impunity and cycle of human rights abuses… It is now for police and the Attorney General’s office to undertake full investigation, gather evidences and hold all perpetrators of these heinous crimes to account.”

Daniel Bekele (PhD) is the newly-minted Chief Commissioner of the Ethiopian Human Rights Commission. A lawyer, he was previously with Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, Action Aid and was the Senior Director for Africa Advocacy, based in New York City, where he also served one time as its Executive Director of its African Division. He earned his PhD from Oxford University in International law last year. A former prisoner-of-conscious, he reflects with Samuel Getachew of The Reporter on human rights in Ethiopia, on the recent civil unrest, on how the commission is ever evolving and becoming independent and finally reflects on the role it intends to play in the upcoming national election happening next year. Excerpts:

The Reporter: For the last several weeks, we have seen many lives being lost, properties damaged and thousands of people displaced and hurt. We have read the statement that came out of your commission recently. Is there any plan to bring accountability to what has happened by way of an independent investigation or public inquiry?

Chief High Commissioner Daniel Bekele (Credit: The Reporter)Daniel Bekele (PhD): Ensuring accountability is key to ending culture of impunity and cycle of human rights abuses. EHRC has already called for full accountability of all offenders and the federal government has stated its commitment to ensure accountability. It is now for police and the Attorney General’s office to undertake full investigation, gather evidences and hold all perpetrators of these heinous crimes to account. But any such investigation and the judicial process requires time. We should now let the police and prosecutors do their job but it is also critical to ensure that innocent people are not further victimized in the name of criminal investigation. EHRC will also continue to monitor the process.

Do you think the actions of the government so far are adequate? 

We are still at very early stages of the criminal investigation process and hence it would be rather premature to comment on the adequacy of the process at this stage. But the government clearly is stating its unwavering commitment to hold all perpetrators to account is the first step in the right direction. This statement should now be followed by concrete actions.

Highlighted by the Ethiopian Human Rights Commission, there have been widespread complaints on delayed justice for suspects under police custody as well as due process, including their Miranda rights, denied to them during the investigation process. Since you have taken over the commission, there has been a push to make it more transparent and earn the commission public confidence. How far do you think you have you come in achieving that?

There is still a long way to go in improving administration of criminal justice in Ethiopia. There are notable advances on many levels but there are lots of areas yet to be improved including extended remand custody, denial of bail rights and ensuring speedy trials. The various law enforcement agencies are working with very limited resources.

One of the long-running accusations against the commission was its lack of independence and the uniform like accusation was that government cadres run it. How independent is the commission now do you think?

The Commission is now fully independent in a sense that no government authority gives direction on the work of the Commission but there are certain structural limitations affecting its operational independence and fundamental reforms are yet to be accomplished to ensure both the operational and financial autonomy of the institution. We are working towards an amendment of the establishment proclamation to ensure the full autonomy of the Commission.

The last few years, we have seen a uniform-like unrest across the nation – from Benishangul, Gedeo to Guji and Qimant. Some say, the commission has been silent. Why the silence?

It has only been just few months since the Commission got a new Chief Commissioner and we started a process of reform and restructuring. The reform is key to make the institution fit for purpose. Although the Commission is not yet at full capacity, there is good effort underway, among other things, to handle wide range of complaints, monitoring of prisons and detainees, and responding to emergency human rights situations.

We are almost a year away from a national election and fear of unrest and violence is almost certain to occur. What is the commission doing to ensure those who instigate such violence are held accountable and that the rights of citizens would be respected? 

We hope the Commission will make progress on the reform and restricting work sooner than later and be ready to design and implement a proper human rights strategy around the elections. This will help to contribute towards a peaceful and credible electoral process and ensuring the respect and protection of all human rights before, during and in the post-election period.

Share with me about the status of the implementation of the National Human Rights Action Plan.

I would like to see a new human rights action plan that clearly sets out the priority human rights issues in the country with a robust action plan.

Is the commission working closely with federal and regional police commissions?

We seek to coordinate our work with all relevant stakeholders including police and all law enforcement agencies both at regional and federal level. Just the last couple of months, police commissions have been helpful in facilitating our visits to detention centers.

How well-versed do you think are security officers and the police when it comes to ensuring the rights of citizens?

All law enforcement agencies and their officers could benefit from a regular and sustained training and capacity development on international human rights standards and other relevant professional skills for their work. Capacity building is not just a one-time intervention. You need to institutionalize a system of continuing professional education program for all law enforcement officers.

 

/The Reporter’s Samuel Getachew

Photo credit: The Reporter

 

ወንጀለኞችን ለመያዝ ሥርዓት የፌዴራል ፖሊስ ኮሚሽን መዘርጋቱን ገለጸ

7 Nov

Posted by The Ethiopia Observatory (TEO)

የዓመቱ በጣም አስቂኝ ምርጥ ቀልዶች

 “ነፃ ሆነን እንድንሰራ አድርጉን፣ ልቀቁን፣ ተውን!”

—የፌዴራል ፖሊስ ኮሚሽነር እንዳሻው ጣሰው

የሰላም ሚኒስትሯ ወይዘሮ ሙፈሪሃት ካሚል በበኩላቸው፣አሁን የሚታዩ ችግሮች ምንጭና አባባሽ ምክንያቶች መለየታቸውን ገልጸው፤ በቀጣይ ወደ ትግበራ እንደሚገባ ተናግረዋል!

 

አዲስ አበባ (ኢፐኤ)  ሕገ መንግሥታዊ ሥርዓቱንና ሕዝባዊ አንድነትን የሚፈታተን፣ አገሪቱ እንዳትረጋጋ የሚሰራ የተደራጀ ኃይል ከ2008 ዓ.ም ጀምሮ መኖሩን በመገንዘቡ፤ የሰላም ሚኒስቴር ተጠሪ ተቋማት አደጋውን ለመከላከል ኃይላቸውን አስተባብረው እንዲሰሩ በህዝብ ተወካዮች ምክር ቤት የውጭ ግንኙነትና የሰላም ጉዳዮች ቋሚ ኮሚቴ አሳሰበ፡፡

ክልሎች ወንጀለኞችን አሳልፈው እንዲሰጡ፣ በየከተሞች የመሸጉ ወንጀለኞች ካሉ አሳድዶ ለመያዝና ውጭ አገር ያሉ ወንጀለኞች ካሉም በኢንተርፖል አማካኝነት ወደ አገራቸው እንዲገቡ እየሰራ እንደሚገኝ የፌዴራል ፖሊስ ኮሚሽን ገለጸ፡፡

የቋሚ ኮሚቴው ሰብሳቢ አቶ ተስፋዬ ዳባ የሰላም ሚኒስትሯ ወይዘሮ ሙፈሪያት ካሚል ትናንት የተቋማቸውን የ2012 ዓ.ም ዕቅድና የአንደኛ ሩብ ዓመት እቅድ አፈጻጸም ለምክር ቤቱ ሲያቀርቡ እንደገለጹት፤ ሚኒስቴሩ ለአገራዊ ደህንነትና ለሰላም ወሳኝ ድርሻ ያላቸው ተቋማትን የያዘ እንደመሆኑ ኅብረተሰቡ ውስጥ ያሉ ችግሮችንና የመልካም አስተዳደር ጥያቄዎችን ሊያዳምጥ ይገባዋል፡፡ ለሃገራዊ አንድነትና ለህገ መንግስታዊ ስርዓቱ አደጋ የሆኑ ሃይሎችን መከላከል የሚያስችል ስራ እንዲሰራም አሳስበዋል፡፡

ሚኒስትሩና ተጠሪ ተቋማቱ ከለውጡ አኳያ መቃኘት ያለባቸው ሕጎች ካሉ እንዲመለከቷቸው አሳስበዋል፡፡ ያልተፈቱ የፖለቲካ ችግሮች ምክር ቤቱ ሊያግዝ የሚችልበትን አቅጣጫ እንዲያመለክትም ጠቁመዋል፡፡

የሰላም ሚኒስትሯ ወይዘሮ ሙፈሪሃት ካሚል በበኩላቸው፣አሁን የሚታዩ ችግሮች ምንጭና አባባሽ ምክንያቶች መለየታቸውን ገልጸው፤ በቀጣይ ወደ ትግበራ እንደሚገባ ተናግረዋል፡፡ ተጠሪ ተቋማቱ በሚኒስትሩ ስር መደራጀታቸው ችግሩን ለመፍታት ተስፋ እንደሚሰጥና ጥሩ ዕድል መሆኑንም ተናግረዋል፡፡

የችግሩ ምንጭ ብሔር አይደለም ያሉት ሚኒስትሯ፤ በእዚህ እንጠቀማለን ያሉ ግንባር ፈጥረው የሚንቀሳቀሱ ኃይሎች የችግሩ ምንጭ መሆናቸውን አብራርተዋል፡፡ ፖለቲከኞች ሰከን ብለው ከራስና ከቡድን ፍላጎት በላይ አገርን ሊያስቀድሙ እንደሚገባም አሳስበዋል፡፡

የፖለቲካ መድረኩ ችግርን የሚፈታ መሆን እንደሚገባውም አመልክተዋል፡፡ እርስ በእርስ ለማጋጨት የሚንቀሳቀሱ አካላትን ኅብረተሰቡ ራሱ እንዲለይ የማንቃትና ግንዛቤ የመፍጠር ሥራው ተጠናክሮ እንደሚቀጥልም ገልጸዋል፡፡ ሕገወጥነትን ለመከላከል ምንጩን መሠረት በማድረግ እንደሚሰራ ጠቁመው፤ ቅንጅታዊ ሥራ ይተገበራልም ብለዋል፡፡

የፌዴራል ፖሊስ ኮሚሽነር እንዳሻው ጣሰው በየአካባቢው ያልተፈቱ የፖለቲካ ችግሮች ቁልፍ ችግሮች እንደሆኑበትና መፈታት እንዳለባቸው ገልጸዋል፡፡ ችግሩ ሄዶ ሄዶ ወደ ጸጥታ ኃይሉ እንዳታስገቡብን ሲሉም ስጋታቸውን ገልጸዋል፡፡

ኮሚሽኑ ችግሩን ለማስተካከል በየአካባቢው የሚሰራ ሥራ መኖሩንና ከአመራሩ አልፎ ወደ ጸጥታ መዋቅሩ ሰርጎ እንዳይገባ እየተከታተለ መሆኑንም አብራርተዋል፡፡

«ነፃ ሆነን እንድንሰራ አድርጉን፣ ልቀቁን፣ ተውን» ሲሉም ተናግረዋል፡፡ የእኛ ተልዕኮ የሕዝቡን ደህንነትና ሕገ መንግሥት መጠበቅ ነው እስካልተለወጠ ድረስ በሕገ መንግሥቱ የተመለከቱትን መሠረት አድርገን እንሰራለን ብለዋል፡፡ ኮሚሽነር እንዳሻው የትኛውም ኅብረተሰብ ምንም ዓይነት አመለካከት ቢኖረውም አያገባንም እንጠብቃለን ብለዋል ለቋሚ ኮሚቴው፡፡

ቁልፍ ችግሩ ከምክር ቤቱ ጀምሮ በተለያየ ደረጃ ያለው የአስተዳደር ወይም የፖለቲካው ክንፍ መሆኑን ጠቁመዋል፡፡ ሂደቱ ሰላምን፣ ልማትንና የዴሞክራሲ ግንባታውንም እያወከ መሆኑን አመልክተዋል፡፡

ሰላም የማረጋገጥ ሥራው ሄድ መለስ የሚሉ ነገሮች ይታዩበታል ያሉት ኮሚሽነሩ፤ «ጠብ ሲል ስንደፍን፣ ጠብ ሲል ስንደፍ» እየሆነብን ነው ብለዋል፡፡ ዘላቂ ሰላም እንዲሰፍን የሚያሳስበው ሁሉ ማገዝ አለበት ሲሉም አሳስበዋል፡፡

ኮሚሽኑ ወንጀለኞችን የመለየት ችግር እንደሌለበት የተናገሩት ኮሚሽነሩ፤ ወንጀለኞች መያዝ ላይ ግን ችግር እንዳለ ተናግረዋል፡፡ ወንጀለኞች በአዲስ አበባ ከተማና በክልሎች የተደበቁ እንዲሁም ከአገር ውጪ የሸሹ መኖራቸውንም አብራርተዋል፡፡ በአዲስ አበባ ከተማና በክልሎች የሚገኙትን ወንጀለኞች የሚደብቀው አመራሩና ኅብረተሰቡ እንደሆነ ነው የገለጹት፡፡

ከክልሎች ጋር ተነጋግረናል፡፡ ክልሎች አሳልፈው መስጠት ያለባቸው ወንጀለኞች ካሉ አሳልፈው እንዲሰጡ፣ በየከተሞች የመሸጉ ወንጀለኞች ካሉ አሳድዶ ለመያዝ ይሰራል ብለዋል፡፡ ውጭ አገር ያሉ ወንጀለኞች ካሉም ከብዙ አገራት ጋር እየተጻጻፍን ነው በኢንተርፖል አማካኝነት ወደ አገራቸው እንዲገቡ እየሰራን ነው፣ ሥራው እገዛ ይፈልጋል፡፡ ሥርዓቱ ተዘርግቷል ብለዋል፡፡

ወንጀል እንዳይፈጸም አስቀድሞ የመከታተል ሥራ እየተሰራ መሆኑን ተናግረው፤ አንዳንዶች ወንጀል ከሰሩ በኋላ ብሔር ጋር እየተመሸጉ ይገኛሉ፣ ችግር ከተፈጠረ በኋላም መደበቂያው ሃይማኖት አካባቢ እየሆነ ነው ብለዋል፡፡ ብዙሃን መገናኛና ማህበራዊ ሚዲያው ለኅብረተሰቡ ሳይመዝን መረጃዎችን እየለቀቀ እንደሚገኝ ይህም መታረም እንዳለበትም ገልጸዋል፡፡

/አዲስ ዘመን ጥቅምት 27/2012

 

 

ከባድ የጥቃት መሣሪያዎች አዲስ አበባ ኢርፖርት ግምሩክ ተገኘ! ለምን? እነማን?

6 Nov

Posted by The Ethiopia Observatory (TEO)

ጋዜጠኛ ኤልያስ መሠረት እንደዘገበው ባለፉት አራት ሰዓት ጊዜ ውስጥ እንደዘገበው

“ትናንት በአዲስ አበባ ኤርፖርት ጉምሩክ የግል መገልገያ ዕቃዎችን ሽፋን በማድረግ በአረቢያን መጅሊስ ውስጥ በሕገወጥ መንገድ ተደብቆ በግለሰብ ስም የመጡ የተለያዩ የስናይፐር የጦር መሣሪያ አክሰሰሪዎች በኤክስሬይና በዕቃ ፍተሻ ኦፊሰሮች ሊያዝ እንደተቻለ በገቢዎች ሚኒስቴር ተልፆ ነበር።

ጉዳዩ አዲስ ብቻ ሳይሆን ለምን ጥቅም ሊውል ታስቦ እንደነበር ሲገመት አሳሳቢ ይመስላል።

እዚህ ላይ ዋናው ጥያቄ የመሰለኝ መሳርያው ከየት ሃገር፣ በምን አየር መንገድ እንዲሁም በእነማን ወደ ሃገር ውስጥ እንደገባ ነበር። ጥያቄውን ለገቢዎች ሚኒስትር ዛሬ አቅርቤ ነበር። የተሰጠኝ መልስ እንዲህ ይላል:

“እነዚህ ያነሳሀቸው ነጥቦችን ለግዜው ይፋ ያላረግናቸው ምርመራውን ስላልጨረስን ነው። ጉዳዩ ከሌሎች ወንጀሎች ጋር ሊገናኝ ስለሚችል ለግዜው ትተነዋል። በሁለት ወይም ሶስት ቀን ውስጥ ግን ለሕዝብ ይገለፃል።”

 

 

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