Tag Archives: ethiopia

Nobel laureate Abiy Ahmed accused of presiding over disarmed and insecure Omo Valley population

16 Oct

Posted by The Ethiopia Observatory (TEO)

Editor’s Note:

TEO is sympathetic to the case this article makes and rejects the  practice that denies the Omo Valley Ethiopians of their human rights and dignity as human beings. Partly thanks to them on this part of Ethiopia, there has not been violation of our borders on the southern or any other frontiers of our country. Last thousand kilometers march into the heartlands was in 1978, via the Ogaden invasion. It has costed our nation enormous sacrifices, which compelled it to mete out effective punishment on the aggressor.

In keeping with Ethiopian tradition, border people are allies of the central government, especially when there is awareness of the need as now. Otherwise, government has irresponsibly left them out to their own devices. Under the imperial government they used to be given weapons for self-defence.

However, when the return from land grab became most attractive to the TPLF, it began to disarm them. We recall when Metec did evil to the Omo Valley population, about which many Ethiopians read and engaged in the campaigns bloggers such as TEO had condemned called international attention.

After all, Ethiopia through the ages has been protected not by a regular army from the center. Rather it was those armed Ethiopians who used their personal weapons to protect themselves and their families, including from ‘adventurers’ walking into the country to rod and corrupt its cultures and traditions. From mid-19th century onwards, border population were encouraged, in some parts to the present, to protect the contributions of border peoples in protecting and defending the nation cannot be ignored. Was it not the border farming population that stopped Sudanese aggression?

If the government had not irresponsibly ignored this practice, could Afar have been attacked —be it either Al-shabaab (as some politicians try to make it, or Somali/Isa marauders trying to create trouble—if the local population remained with its weaponry?

Commonsense informs negating this history of the country by a government that cannot defend the population is irresponsible. Even the explanation by the Defense Ministry is inconsistent with the reality, in which its defenses of the attacker was not Djibouti was the sole point whereas an attack had occurred, which had proving right the claim of the local security officials. Afar stood on facts, showing they have evidence the invaders came from Somaliland (car plates, ID cards seized, etc)!  It being the age of contraband trade of all categories, standing with the border peoples and villages is an imperative for protection our national sovereignty and defense of our people

That’s why on hearing news of the attack by Djibouti (as presumed then), or later brigandage by a certain group or Al Shabaab, TEO reacted, below, with anger, wondering why the Defense Ministry should be on such a long, long holiday, as follows:

Take it from this current signal, there is eminent danger and, as the law also requires of the government, citizens need to be protected. And explanations offered without any excuses or delay! The federal police too are busy, engaging in persistent human rights violations, as we had especially witnessed since Mesqel, during Ireecha, etc.

The Defence Ministry that has proved total failure in this situation, must be held to account! We understand the economics is tough to call the defense forces line up every inch of our border.

For that, the remedy is the legacy our history has offered us, that is to encourage the border population to protect our country, unlike the self-serving TPLF. This Omo Valley disarming was also started and exacerbated by none other than the corrupt TPLF.

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“As of early October, the disarmament of the Bodi was “90-percent finished”,

Lore Kakuta, an adviser to the chief administrator in Jinka said.”

Lower Omo Valley (Ethiopia) (AFP) – For decades, herders in Ethiopia’s Lower Omo Valley have relied on guns to fend off rivals as well as hyenas and lions roaming the forests and plains.

But over the past month, security forces have embarked on a campaign of forced disarmament that pastoralist leaders say has been accompanied by shooting of civilians, mass detentions and beatings.

Witness accounts from the Lower Omo Valley bolster critics who contend that Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed — named the winner of this year’s Nobel Peace Prize — is presiding over a deteriorating security situation, worsened by the actions of the military and police.

The violence is unfolding ahead of elections next year in one of the country’s most volatile and ethnically diverse areas: the Southern Nations, Nationalities, and Peoples’ Region.

Elders from the Bodi community, the main group earmarked for disarmament in the Lower Omo Valley, told AFP nearly 40 people had been killed as of mid-October but the toll could be far higher.

Officials deny this account and defend the disarmament campaign as crucial for peace in this sensitive region.

“They are killing without any reason,” said Shegedin, a Bodi elder who was detained for several days and asked that his full name not be used because he feared reprisals.

“They just go to the villages, and if you run they start shooting.”

 

A government campaign to disarm Ethiopia’s Lower Omo Valley has led to indiscriminate shootings, jailings and beatings, say ethnic leaders. Credit: AFP

Government and security officials in Jinka, the administrative centre for the South Omo zone, said the disarmament campaign was necessary to secure state development projects including sugar plantations in the area.

But as reports of abuses multiply, human rights groups and researchers who work in the region are calling for investigations.

“The accounts I have seen are sufficiently shocking and come from sufficiently reliable sources to make it imperative that they are investigated by an internationally respected human rights organisation,” said David Turton, an anthropologist at the University of Oxford who has worked in the region for 50 years.

Failure to investigate “will only add to suspicions that the accounts we’ve heard are in fact accurate”, he said.

-A major escalation-

Tensions between the Bodi and the government are long-running, fuelled by Bodi anger at what they describe as the loss of their land to Ethiopians resettled from other regions and to development projects like the Gibe III dam and sugar plantations.

But the elders said the latest violence represents a major escalation.

They said Bodi men and women detained in the town of Hana had been deprived of food and forced to stand for hours in the sun.

They accused security forces of digging up the buried remains of a Bodi spiritual leader and shooting them.

And they said security forces shaved off the hair of one man who had grown it long following the death of his brother — a traditional Bodi mourning custom — and forced him to eat it.

“We’ve never seen anything like this,” said Shegedin, one of three Bodi elders who spoke with AFP.

– Southern unrest –

Federal security forces assumed control of the Southern Nations, Nationalities, and Peoples’ Region back in July.

The move followed weeks of unrest resulting from a bid by the Sidama ethnic group to form a new regional state.

Ten other groups are pursuing similar statehood bids, and it is unclear how the government plans to respond to them.

Security in the ethnic patchwork of the Lower Omo Valley is crucial to the government in light of plans to install 100,000 hectares (250,000 acres) of sugar plantations there along with processing factories.

Troops and federal police are among those participating in the disarmament operation, said Lore Kakuta, an adviser to the chief administrator in Jinka.

Seized weapons include AK-47s assault rifles bought from traders shifting arms from conflict-ridden South Sudan.

Lore said disarmament was the only option following unprovoked shootings by the Bodi targeting sugar plant workers — allegations that the Bodi elders denied.

Lore said he could not comment on reports of human rights abuses.

“We don’t know what the security forces are doing,” he said. “Actually, that’s not our job.”

A senior police official in Jinka, who spoke to AFP on condition of anonymity because he was not authorised to discuss disarmament, disputed claims that Bodi people had been killed.

“The allegations that dozens of Bodi have been killed is false,” he said.

-Other groups on edge-

As of early October, the disarmament of the Bodi was “90-percent finished”, Lore said.

He added that the operation could be expanded to include the Mursi, another agro-pastoralist community based in the area.

A Mursi leader, who spoke on condition of anonymity for safety reasons, said he was concerned that tactics used against the Bodi would be repeated against his people.

“Now the Mursi are all worried because maybe the police will come and kill us,” he said.

Laetitia Bader of Human Rights Watch said the Ethiopian government had a history of using violence and intimidation to force vulnerable communities from their land.

“The federal government should take measures to ensure that any disarmament efforts are not perceived as a continuation of this heavy-handed approach,” she said.

The authorities should also consult with local communities and ensure that alleged abuses by its forces “are immediately investigated,” Bader said.

Ethiopia and Egypt on collision course over the Nile waters

10 Oct

By Keffyalew Gebremedhin, The Ethiopia Observatory (TEO)

Hard times scarcely befriend optimism. Nor do they easily facilitate solutions to hardened problems. This is true for individual circumstances as well as of states.

With the changes of government in Ethiopia and the Sudan, the politics of the Horn of Africa may have changed somewhat, albeit the negatives outweighing the positive in Ethiopia in terms of the human conditions.

Of this, in his July 1, 2019 parliamentary address, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed admitted “internal displacement as one of the challenges his administration has had to contend with” in almost all regions of the country, according to national and international data.

In Ethiopia, these have been exacerbated by a dangerously divisive form of ethnic politics and strifes in the largest of the Horn states. This in turn may have whetted some appetites—both internal and external—encouraging them to satisfy old unyielding ambitions under all sorts of guises.

Therefore, in the three riparian states of the Nile River, i.e., Ethiopia, Egypt and Sudan, Ethiopia is the most affected and that Egypt has seen a hole to exploit those vulnerabilities. At the official level, there are indications to this effect.

For example, Egypt’s temporary silence after the murder of the chief of Engineer Simegnew Bekele of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) and subsequent to Ethiopia’s temporary failure to continue work on the dam project during 2018 and part of 2019, Cairo has felt encouraged, as its pronouncements show,  it is time to attain its long-term dream of controlling the Nile waters. 

Blame the enemy is the game in such situations. Accordingly on Wednesday Egyptian Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly in what sounded theatrical in his national parliament accused Ethiopia of taking  “a unilateral decision in 2011 to build its Grand Ethiopia Renaissance Dam (GERD).” What I cannot understand is why is Egypt is in denial—by such action—Ethiopia is a sovereign nation. With that denial, Egypt ridiculously  is implying Ethiopia lacks the right to build the dam, even when with every passing day it is becoming the reality it so much hates.

I strongly believe, as could tell you any student of international law, Ethiopia has the sovereign right to build the dam so long as, in keeping with the terms of the May 1997 United  Convention on the Law of the Non-navigational Uses of International Watercourses, no harm is done to downstream states’ interests. From the Ethiopian Permanent Mission in New York, I was present with my national delegation in the General Assembly Hall all of us guarding our nation’s interests up until this first international water law was adopted. It was both a moment of relief and historic.

We were all tense and still I recall my Egyptian colleague seeking clarifications about trans-navigational issues. I have enormous respect for this first international water law, whose elaboration took about thirty years of experts’ efforts and came into force only on August 14, 2014. Bear in mind, following negotiations since 2012 on this matter with Egypt, Ethiopia has done what any state in the circumstances would do: guard its jewels at all times from those wishing to claim it as theirs!

And yet, the prime minister of Egypt in his national parliament Wednesday did not only see it fit to question the sovereign right of Ethiopia to have a damn.  But by implication, he ignored Egypt negotiating with Ethiopia and Sudan from the moment the dam idea was conceived, made known to the world and project started. At the same time, contradicting an earlier position, the prime minister recalls engaging Ethiopia and the Sudan in the many consultations and negotiations up until the declaration was born. Still referring to GERD as “a unilateral Ethiopian project”. I hope you would agree with me, Sir, the baby could have only one father. That is my response to what you stated in parliament:  

“This unilateral decision was in violation of international agreements, and despite this fact we choose dialogue to reach agreement with Ethiopia…. “Ethiopia’s radical positions represent a violation of the declaration of principles reached by the presidents of Egypt, Sudan and the prime minister of Ethiopia in Khartoum on 23 March 2015.”

Egypt’s is a bit of a stretch. In reading that, I was reminded of Cairo’s strategy to wrestle the waters of the Nile River, by any means, I repeat, by any means, is troubling. This would only make future cooperation between the two countries increasingly difficult. 

Again the question is why does Egypt take this lane and react about this now as something out of the blues. Recall that Egypt has been in negotiations along with  Ethiopia and the Sudan on many aspects of the dam in the trilateral forum. Recall also it is this forum that on March 23, 2015 had given birth to the Khartoum Declaration into which Egypt had put its volition  and commitment with its signature to work toward the future under the terms of the agreement.

At the same time, Ethiopia cannot miss the necessity for Egypt of internal stability, which is a primary consideration in that country especially at present. That in mind, Foreign Minister  Sameh Shoukry went into the duty of assuring Egyptians “Egypt will never allow Ethiopia to impose the status quo and that Egypt has the power not only to protect its rights to the Nile water but also to resort to international law in this respect.”

Excellency, I hope, you are not suggesting violence against Ethiopia, when your country has become the most strident in condemning Turkey’s operation in Syria. You make it public that your are also contemplating military operation against Turkey in Syria, in collaboration with Iraq.

As far as Ethiopian interests are concerned, the strategy of Egyptian leaders at the moment aims to reach everything and touch everyone. We hear of Foreign Minister Shoukry proposing the World Bank to be approached to act as a mediator with Ethiopia. Furthermore, now we see he has also been instructed to raise the GERD question in all concerned international organisations, according to Ahram Online.

Due to this misguided Egyptian strategy, of late we read in the international media that the three Nile riparian states, especially Ethiopia and Egypt, are once again on a collision course over the utilisation of the waters of the Nile River.

Why now is a good question. It is because, while intended to serve the ambition Egypt has long-harboured, it deliberately makes its acts to look like that of a person who has  suddenly woken up from a long slumber. As usual, genuine or false sleep, its first temptation would be to look around and exploit the situation to address new and existing ambitions of Egypt. That knowledge has been with Ethiopia since 1875, and let it be known, Ethiopia would not close its eyes.

As Egypt woke up, it saw a weakened and disorganized Ethiopia, which in those circumstances looked it was to fall apart, among others, a new government in office and the rise of ethnic tensions that has been raging especially since 2018-and continuing.

On signing the Khartoum Declaration on March 23, 2015, while somewhat skeptical, still I was one of the many individuals who entertained some hope about future prospects of the cooperation between the three riparian states. As a matter of fact, despite my deep distrust of the TPLF and its walking into the Egyptian trap that was intended “to limit  Ethiopia’s Nile water uses”, I strongly believe the future between Ethiopia and Egypt would be better off with cooperation, instead of confrontation and sabotages, facilitating the secret flow of weapons into Ethiopia.

I recall the guarded optimism many entertained on March 23, 2015, when the three states signed the Agreement on Declaration on Principles between the three on utilisation of the Nile in post-Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam Project (GERDP) completion period.

Summing up the day’s discussion in the Egyptian Parliament, Speaker Ali Abdel-Aal, while urging Ethiopia to exercise wisdom and to show respect for Egypt’s rights, he called on parliamentarians “…not to jump to hasty conclusions, we still have a lot of diplomatic and peaceful channels, but in the end, there is a red line that none should cross, and Egypt will never allow the loss of any drop of Nile water.”

Ethiopia releases Oromo journalists arrested on unsubstantiated terrorism charges

4 Oct

Posted by The Ethiopia Observatory (TEO)

Five Ethiopian journalists arrested one month ago and arraigned in court on 3 October on charges of “incitement to terrorism” must be released immediately and unconditionally, after the police failed to produce any shred of evidence for their alleged crimes, Amnesty International said today.

Says Seif Magango, Amnesty International’s Deputy Director for East Africa, the Horn and the Great Lakes:

“It is shocking that after a whole month of arbitrarily detaining the journalists incommunicado, all the Ethiopian police could produce in court was a file containing a letter they sent to the National Intelligence and Security Services asking for assistance in investigating the matter. The absence of credible evidence points to the fact that there is nothing to investigate. The Ethiopian authorities must immediately and unconditionally release these journalists and let them get on with their lives. “

The five journalists, all men, are Bikila Amenu, Abdisa Gutata; Firomsa Bekele, Gadaa Bulti and Adugna Keso. They were arraigned in court on 3 October for a pre-trial hearing after being arrested at one of their homes in the Gerji neighbourhood of Addis Ababa on 5 September 2019.



The journalists who are part of the Sagalee Qeerroo Bilisumaa, or the Voice of Youth for Freedom, have been prolific reporters on human rights violations and political developments in Ethiopia since 2011. They were a key source of information on the sustained protests that erupted in Oromia in 2015, protests that sparked the events that ultimately resulted in a change of leadership in the country.

“The use of Ethiopia’s anti-terrorism proclamation to arbitrarily arrest journalists is completely out of step with reforms witnessed in the country. This law must be revised to align with international standards and must no longer be used to harass journalists,” said Seif Magango.

 

 

Abiy’s reform agenda neither homegrown nor pathway to prosperity

3 Oct

Posted by The Ethiopia Observatory (TEO)

by Zinabu Samaro (PhD)

The economic reform plan the government unveiled recently shares an eerie resemblance to the infamous and disastrous reform package known as structural adjustment programmes (SAPs), argues Zinabu Samaro (PhD) (zinabu.samaro@gmail.com) a development economist whose research has appeared in peer-reviewed academic journals such as Cambridge Journal of Economics and Structural Change and Economic Dynamics.

“The plan looks like a repackaged and rebranded version of the debunked and disastrous neoliberal “Washington Consensus” agenda aimed mainly to attract foreign investment, credit and approval from the major donors and multilateral creditors and to temporarily relax the forex shortage on the import-hungry economy rather than to forge a path toward broad-based and sustainable prosperity.”

The administration of Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed (PhD) inherited an economy with many serious problems. These included high levels of unemployment, high rates of inflation, stagnant, declining export earnings and shortages of forex.

It is only natural that his administration took office with promises of economic reform alongside political reforms. However, it had been criticised for not issuing a comprehensive reform package – a road map outlining what the administration intends to do to address economic challenges.

For keen observers of economic ideology and policy, the direction of the economic reform was very clear from the outset based on the statements and priorities that were declared – even in the absence of an official road map. The road taken has been unmistakably neoliberal through and through.

Soon after taking office, major economic reforms were announced in areas that were previously considered “off limits” by the EPRDF regime including telecoms, electricity and banking, marking a landmark shift in the country’s development model. Terms and concepts such as “austerity,” “tightening the belt,” “living within one’s means,” “balancing the budget” and “managing macroeconomic imbalances” have been commonplace in the statements of the Prime Minister, his subordinates and advisors.

They are drawn from the dictionary of a right-wing economic ideology, which confuses the management of public finances with that of household finances. It justifies inequality in society as just and necessary. It readily sacrifices long-term economic prospects for short-term efficiency; glorifies the market and abhors the role of the state in the economy (unless the role is to promote and protect the interest of the haves against the have nots).  Most of all, it puts the interest of finance capital – particularly foreign capital – above the interest of everyone else.

The administration has announced details of its economic road map and baptised it as, “A Homegrown Economic Reform Agenda: A Pathway to Prosperity”. However, the reform agenda is neither homegrown nor a pathway to broad-based prosperity.

The reform plan shares an eerie resemblance to the infamous and disastrous reform packages known as structural adjustment programmes (SAP). These were neoliberal economic packages imposed in the early 1980s on most African countries by international economic institutions such as the World Bank and IMF and their Western backers as a precondition for lightening the weight of external debt and financial support to address economic malaises that were affecting the economies. The SAPs had five key components: fiscal austerity; liberalisation of external trade, investment and finance; deregulation; devaluation and privatisation of state-owned enterprises.

The consensus of critical literature on the impacts of SAP-induced reforms in Africa is that the most liberalised, “adjusted’’ and “reformed” economies ended up with economic stagnation, premature de-industrialisation and agricultural decline. Poverty, inequality and balance of payments problems got worse. The technological, productivity and skill-structure of the economies went backwards.

Like its Sub-Saharan African peers, the post-Dergue government of Ethiopia was also forced by circumstances to adopt a strong dose of SAP in the early 1990s imposed on it by the same global forces. The package contained the standard fare: trade liberalisation, devaluation of the Birr, privatisation of state-owned enterprises and deregulation of prices.

The privatisation initiative was extensive even if most of the state enterprises did not attract the interest of foreign investors. Where there have been strong and persistent external pushes and interest from foreign companies and governments is in the areas of finance and telecoms, which the EPRDF government had, until recently, considered strategic and reserved for government or the domestic private sector. Therefore, the current drive to liberalise these sectors for foreign competition is a thinly disguised attempt to complete the “reform” and “adjustment” programme that was initiated decades ago but stalled due to the resistance of the late Prime Minister Meles Zenawi’s administration. In this sense, the “new” economic reform package is not new. Nor is it homegrown.

Two features of the recently released economic reform package strengthen this argument. The first is the similarity of both the language and approach to that advocated by the World Bank and the IMF for many years. The World Bank has published numerous reports which acknowledge the past success of the Ethiopian government in achieving high rates of GDP growth and improvements in social sectors such as education and then go on to advocate more liberal, private sector-oriented models. The recently released economic reform package follows the same approach.

Secondly, the government and the US Embassy in Addis Abeba announced a flagship initiative aimed at supporting Ethiopia’s economic reform. Tellingly, the initiative is spearheaded by Ricardo Hausmann (Prof.) who was the leader of a right-wing team that designed and oversaw one of the most regressive and devastating economic reforms in Venezuela between 1989-1992.

The new reform plan laments that past economic success has not led to structural transformation. But it does not relate this to the unbalanced focus of the EPRDF government on social sectors like education at the expense of structural transformation, development of industry and other modern economic activities. Until a few years ago, modern urban economic activities and industry have been overshadowed by the obsessive focus of the EPRDF government on rural development, poverty reduction and global agendas such as the Millennium Development Goals, which treat symptoms of underdevelopment rather than its root causes.

When discussing the external debt of the country, the reform plan does not mention the fact that one-third of the debt consists of loans by the World Bank Group (IDA). This includes loans extended toward food security, the safety net and public sector reform programmes – programmes that are never meant to address issues of structural transformation and programmes that could have been easily financed by making use of “the power of the public purse” if necessary.

The reform plan glosses over some important issues to arrive at ideologically motivated conclusions. For instance, it is a well-known fact that episodes of high inflation in Ethiopia have been highly correlated with external factors like global petroleum price hikes and major currency devaluations. However, the plan resorts to simple average to gloss over the inflationary spikes to arrive at conclusions such as high inflation leading to real exchange rate appreciation which purportedly erodes competitiveness. This is the same overly simplistic and faulty economic logic that was used by the Ethiopian government when it devalued the Birr by 15pc in 2017 arguing that it would discourage imports and encourage exports thereby improving hard currency reserves of the country. Instead, it had a significant inflationary impact without achieving its goals, because the structure and trends of imports and exports have deep-rooted structural and technological determinants. There are no shortcuts via devaluation to achieve external competitiveness without addressing the structural and technological bottlenecks in the economy.

The plan’s underlying analysis of the perennial problem of forex shortages and external imbalances is shallow and misdiagnoses the problem. While it argues that high demand for imports and poor export performance resulted in large current account deficits and significant forex shortages, the plan does not delve into how rapid liberalisation of external trade in the early 1990s under the original liberal reform programme directly led to a rapid and persistent expansion of Ethiopia’s trade deficits, which have been amplified during episodes of rapid GDP growth.

The plan fails to consider the demand side of the forex equation. There is no discussion about what the hard-earned dollars are being spent on. A simple look at the import statistics would have shown how the economy has been throwing away precious forex left and right for non-essential products, which can be domestically substituted easily with a well-executed “carrot-and-stick” approach.

While it also jumps into an ideologically motivated conclusion that forex regulations are one of the constraints to doing business in the country, it does not look at why non-value adding businesses such as second-hand car importers have much easier access to forex, while value-adding and employment creating businesses such as factories face a dire shortage. For instance, it makes sense under the current Ethiopian context to propose strategies aimed at easing access to forex for the import of apple seedlings, which produce ten times the locally available varieties and easily available in Holland compared to those who import apple fruits from New Zealand and California. Instead, one of the proposals aimed at improving agricultural production in the current reform plan is to increase private sector investment in agricultural research and development, as if this is needed and relevant to the Ethiopian context.

It also fails to consider how and why the past focus of the government on micro-enterprises – an approach which has never worked anywhere in the world – has failed and fails to stress the need for shifting focus and resources toward small and medium local enterprises that have much better potential for growth, creation of employment and adding value.

A truly homegrown privatisation agenda would draw lessons from what went right and what went wrong in the previous efforts to privatise state-owned enterprises. For instance, it would assess why domestic consumption-oriented enterprises such as breweries attracted significant foreign investment while most others did not.

Instead of rushing to sell-off state monopolies such as Ethio telecom to foreign capital, a truly homegrown reform agenda would first assess the causes of any inefficiencies in such companies and try to address them. If the assessment concludes that private ownership and competition are the best way forward, the first reasonable proposal should have been to look at ways of privatisation to domestic investors and liberalisation of the telecom market for domestic competition rather than to a foreign one.

A truly homegrown economic reform agenda would also try to learn lessons from other countries that privatised public utilities such as electricity generation and distribution before rushing to partially or wholly sell off state utilities. Unless the plan is intentionally blind to evidence, recent years have witnessed a rising tide across the world against privatisation of public utilities and toward renationalisation.

Moreover, if the reform plan were truly meant to serve as a pathway to prosperity, it would have done an in-depth stocktaking exercise on the previous development models, approaches, strategies, policies and programmes of the EPRDF government.

The plan looks like a repackaged and rebranded version of the debunked and disastrous neoliberal “Washington Consensus” agenda aimed mainly to attract foreign investment, credit and approval from the major donors and multilateral creditors and to temporarily relax the forex shortage on the import-hungry economy rather than to forge a path toward broad-based and sustainable prosperity.

If it were to usher in long-term prosperity, the reform plan would have focused on addressing the obvious weaknesses, mistakes and shortcomings of the previous development models – such as Agricultural Development-led Industrialization and the so-called developmental state model. It would also prioritise addressing issues such as state capture, rampant corruption, an unholy union between state and party and destruction of meritocracy in public service and public enterprises.

 

/Addis Fortune

 

 

 

Three-year monitoring identifies Ethiopia’s engagement in disinformation

30 Sep

Posted by The Ethiopia Observatory (TEO)

After three years of monitoring states’ disinformation activities on the social media, the Oxford University has just published its peer-reviewed findings as The Global Disinformation Order: 2019 Global Inventory of Organised Social Media Manipulation.

In this 23-page report, Ethiopia is mentioned 14 times, in a pack of 69 others. It endeavors to explain the country’s disinformation activities, which innocuously is defined as attempt to influence the media and public thinking.

The report has gone under the hood to establish reasons why and for what purpose states use the social media. Its heaviest utilizers, mostly authoritarian states, are identified to have three reasons in making use of the social media:

a.  to suppress fundamental human rights;

b.  to discredit political opposition; and

c.  to drown out political dissent. :

The report sums up these activities by states—70 of them it has identified by name —that also are co-opting the available social media technologies, as follows:

“The co-option of social media technologies provides authoritarian regimes with a powerful tool to shape public discussions and spread propaganda online, while simultaneously surveilling, censoring, and restricting digital public spaces.”

Twitter and Facebook, according to the Oxford University’s monitoring report, are the prominent social media platforms of manipulation, followed by WhatsApp, YouTube and Instagram. As per the report, the Ethiopian regime is also said to solely rely on Facebook. On this, however, known to me too are government-hired twitter users in both Amharic and English.

In Africa, besides Ethiopia, Eritrea, Angola, Egypt, Kenya, Nigeria, Rwanda (mentioned only on Table 2 and 4), South Africa, Sudan, Tunisia and Zimbabwe engage in disinformation activities along with their communication strategies, according to the monitoring report.

Magnify

In respect of skills and knowledge diffusion, Ethiopia is categorized as engaging in ‘medium cyber troop capacity’.  What it means is that, its disinformation activities “involves teams that have a much more consistent form and strategy, involving full-time staff members who are employed year-round to control the information space. These medium-capacity teams often coordinate with multiple actor types, and experiment with a wide variety of tools and strategies for social media manipulation. Some medium-capacity teams conduct influence operations abroad.”

In other words, the Ethiopian government largely utilizes ‘cyber troops’ both at home and abroad, to supplement its utilization of government agencies in its efforts to leverage those benefits of the social media for purposes it has in mind—to shore up its politics. Two competing interests of the government in utilizing the social media are: (i) getting as many supporters, and (ii) discrediting its opponents.

In Ethiopia, the legal opposition and Ethiopian diaspora have for a long time been painted as either being mutually support interest group, sympathetic to the opposition, or outright enemies of ’the state’. After the 2018 change in the country, the opposition was no longer monolithic, nor totally in the opposition camp (who and whatever it is).

After the change in the country, however, as if on a graduating cylinder, both the state and the diaspora have started to see one another with growing suspicion. Beset by ongoing ethnic tensions and conflicts, no sooner than it came the Abiy Ahmed reform has begun to feel itself in the like of an abandoned ship on troubled sea.

Why not when, according to this latest report, the Abiy Administration “…using online and offline sources of data about users, and paying for advertisements on popular social media platforms, some cyber troops target specific communities with disinformation or manipulated media.” Even the TPLF out of power, its cadres, to name one, is found getting access on Forbes, as per Elias Meseret, to publicize Penresa in Ethiopia, what and for whom has not come out! Did he use the old way he knows, or there is telling us something we do not know? The usually well-informed Elias Meseret too asks who owns Penresa in Ethiopia?

Incidentally, I lean from an unofficial source, distributed in PDF around the world, the Abiy Admin has 2,210 paid social media troops. Of these, those ‘cyber troops’ abroad are paid monthly $1,000, while those at home receive through their bank accounts from birr 10,000 to 20,000, depending individual’s quality of service or effectiveness!

Regarding Ethiopia’s ‘cyber troops’, I recall writing on my blog The Ethiopia Observatory (TEO) about Yonatan Tesfaye’s imprisonment Part I, who was charged with terrorism crime in July 2017. I was trying to litigate whether it was the Ethiopian government that should be questioned and crucified, including owing to its use of China-trained cadres as its cyber troops’ on Facebook that were the backbone of the horror and subversion within our society.

That was my conclusion in the past. Nonetheless, it pains me to state here that it is likely to be my conclusion about the present too.

We now read between the lines of this Oxford University monitoring report since it covers full 2018, as shown in Fig 1, Ethiopia has already continued what the TPLF has started, with the result it being identified as one of the 70 states engaged in shaping the Global Disinformation Order. In those times—exactly as the report has put it—its purposes were undermining its internal opponents and drowning out political dissent within Ethiopia and the worldwide Ethiopian diaspora communities.

As history was being made in the country in the past year and a half, which encouraged citizens to think and believe the repressive system was being dismantled, to our shock and dismay, we are now learning the leaders of the change have anointed it to get slowly get going along the same discredited path. Take the number of people that are fast filling the prisons. Ask about those that are being apprehended and suffer beatings by police. The fact that this has been sanctioned to continue, i.e., has brought its own trap — disguise the revived serial violations of fundamental human rights of Ethiopians. This is painful.

In our own very eyes, terribly being flogged both openly and secretly are the trust between citizens and those we enthusiastically embraced as emergent forces of democracy. Unfortunately, they are seen allowing respect for fundamental human rights to be violated in unmistakeable ways.

Yesterday I noticed on the occasion of Demera, the faithful of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church being attacked by state agents and vigilantes they reportedly utilize from time to time, I felt there is sufficient reason to be preoccupied with in Ethiopia!

All I understand now is that the Abiy Administration has become reliant, among others, on its social media troops—China trained hired hands both at home and abroad—and cadres they have coopeted. Therefore, it goes without saying, no sooner than its arrival on the political scene, this young administration has chosen to throw away the affection and trust citizens have reposed on it —along the way endangering Ethiopia’s future.

Having seen what they have, the Oxford researchers’ conclusion rightly and wistfully underlines:

” Social media, which was once heralded as a force for freedom and democracy, has come under increasing scrutiny for its role in amplifying disinformation, inciting violence, and lowering levels of trust in media and democratic institutions.”

 

በትኩረት ሊታይ የሚገባው የጠቅላይ ሚኒስትር ዐብይ የመስቀል በዓል መልዕክት!

28 Sep

Posted by The Ethiopia Observatory (TEO)

“ኢትዮጵያን ታላቅ፣ የበለጸገችና ለሁላችንም እንድትሆን ለማስቻል የያዝነው ዓላማ መሳካቱ የማይቀር እውነት ነው፡፡ ይህን ዕውነት የሚገዳደሩ ኃያላን ይኖራሉ፡፡

ለጊዜው ዝናራቸውን እስኪጨርሱ፣ ጉልበታቸውንም እስኪያፈሱ ድረስ ያሸነፉ ይመስላሉ፡፡ ድምፃቸው እንደ ነጎድጓድ፣ ጩኸታቸውም እንደ ብዙ ፏፏቴዎች የወል ጩኸት ጎልቶ ይሰማ ይሆናል፡፡ እውነታችንን የቀበሩት መስሏቸው ለጊዜው ይደሰታሉ፡፡”

 

አዲስ አበባ፣ መስከረም 16፣ 2012 (ኤፍ.ቢ.ሲ) ማን ያውቃል?

የመስቀል ወፍና የአደይ አበባ ቀጠሮ እንዳላቸው መስከረም ሲጠባ፡፡
ማን ያውቃል?

እንዲል ኢትዮጵያዊው ባለቅኔ – እኛና መስከረም፤ እኛና መስቀልም ዓመት ጠብቀን የምንገናኝ ተነፋፋቂ ባለ ቀጠሮ ነን፡፡

እናም ናፍቆታችንን እንወጣጣ- ፍቅራችንንም እንቀባበል ዘንድ ዓመት ጠብቀን አደባባይ እንወጣለን – ያኔ ደመራ ነው፡፡

የመስቀል በዓል በአደባባይ ከሚከበሩ የኢትዮጵያውያን በዓላት መካከል አንዱ ነው፡፡

ቀደምት አባቶቻችንና እናቶቻችን ይህንን ታላቅ በዓል በዐደባባይ እንድናከብረው ሥርዓት ሲሠሩ ያለ ምክንያት አልነበረም፡፡

ከበዓሉ ጋር የተያያዙ ሦስት ታላላቅ ሐሳቦችን ሁላችንም እንድንመራባቸው ፈልገው ሳይሆን አይቀርም፡፡

እውነትን ቀብሮ መኖር እንደማይቻል፤ ታሪክ የሚለወጠው በቆራጥነትና በአንድነት መሆኑን፣ አንድ ታላቅ ሐሣብ ኢትዮጵያውያንን እንዲጠቅም ከፈለግን ሐሣቡን ኢትዮጵያዊ ማድረግ እንዳለብን በዓሉ በደመራው ብርሃን ወገግ አድርጎ ያሳየናል፡፡

የክርስቶስን መስቀል የቀበሩት ሰዎች እውነትን ለዘለዓለም ቀብረው ማስቀረት የሚችሉ መስሏቸው ነበር፡፡

ለጊዜው መስቀሉ ከአፈር ሥር ሲቀበር ዓላማቸው የተሳካላቸው መስሏቸው ነበር፡፡

በመስቀሉ ላይ የቆሻሻ ክምር እንዲከመር ሲያደርጉ መስቀሉን ከታሪክ ገጽ ያጠፉት መስሏቸው ነበር፡፡

ይህ ግን የመሰላቸውን መስሎ መቆየት የቻለውና የዋሆችም መስቀሉ ተቀብሮ፣ ተረስቶ፣ ትቢያ ሆኖ ጠፍቷል ብለው እንዲረሱት ያስቻላቸው ዕሌኒ የምትባል ብርቱ እንስት ከተለየ ብርታት፣ ጽናትና የይቻላል መንፈስ ጋር እስክትከሠት ድረስ ብቻ ነበር፡፡

በየዘመናቱ እውነትን ለመቅበር የሞከሩ ነበሩ፡፡ በተንኮል፣ በሤራ፣ በግጭት፣ በክፍፍል፣ በጦርነት፣ በጉልበትና በኃይል እውነትን ለመቅበር ብዙዎች ሞክረዋል፡፡

እውነተኞችን በማጥፋትና በመግደል፣ በማሠርና በማስፈራራት እውነት የምትጠፋ መስሏቸው ብዙ ደክመዋል፡፡

መጻሕፍትን አቃጥለዋል፤ የዕውቀት ቦታዎችን አውድመዋል፡፡

እውነት ግን ብትቀጥንም አትበጠስም፡፡ እውነተኞችን በመግደልና በመቅበር በፍጹም እውነትን ማጥፋት አይቻልም፡፡ እውነትና ተስፋ አብረው የሚሄዱ ናቸው፡፡

እውነተኞች ተስፈኞች ናቸው፡፡

ውሸተኞች ጨለምተኞች ናቸው፡፡

ከእውነት ጋር ያልቆመ ሰው ተስፋ ሊኖረው አይችልም፡፡

ተስፋ እውነተኛ ሰው ብቻ የሚያደርገው መነጽር ነውና፡፡

ተስፋ ባለበት ሁሉ እውነት ትኖራለች — እውነት ባለችበትም እንዲሁ ተስፋ አለ፡፡

መስቀሉን የቀበሩት ሰዎች ሐሰተኞች ስለነበሩ ወደፊት የሚወጣ አልመሰላቸውም፡፡

የመስቀሉ ወዳጆች ግን እውነተኞች ስለነበሩ አንድ ቀን እንደሚገለጥ ያምኑ ነበር፡፡

ለዚህ ነው መስቀሉ የት እንደተቀበረ ከልጅ ልጅ በሚተላለፍ የቃል ትውፊት መረጃውን ለዘመናት አቆይተው ለመስቀሉ አስተርዕዮት ዘላለማዊ ገድል የፈጸሙት፡፡

ኢትዮጵያን ታላቅ፣ የበለጸገችና ለሁላችንም እንድትሆን ለማስቻል የያዝነው ዓላማ መሳካቱ የማይቀር ዕውነት ነው፡፡

ይህን ዕውነት የሚገዳደሩ ኃያላን ይኖራሉ፡፡

ለጊዜው ዝናራቸውን እስኪጨርሱ፣ ጉልበታቸውንም እስኪያፈሱ ድረስ ያሸነፉ ይመስላሉ፡፡ ድምፃቸው እንደ ነጎድጓድ፣ ጩኸታቸውም እንደ ብዙ ፏፏቴዎች የወል ጩኸት ጎልቶ ይሰማ ይሆናል፡፡ እውነታችንን የቀበሩት መስሏቸው ለጊዜው ይደሰታሉ፡፡

በዙሪያችን ያሉትም እውነታችን የተቀበረ መስሏቸው ተስፋ ይቆርጣሉ፡፡

ይህ ግን የእውነትን ባሕሪይ ካለመረዳት የሚመጣ ነው፡ ፡

እውነትን መገዳደር እንጂ ማሸነፍ፣ መቃወም እንጂ ማጥፋት ፈጽሞ አይቻልም፡፡

የብዙዎች ጩኸት- የሰነፎች ተረትና የአላዋቂዎች ትምክህት ዕውነትን ሊያጠፋት እንደማይችል በጽኑ እናምናለን፡፡

ዕውነት የተቀበረችበትን አመድ እንደ ፍግ እሳት አሙቃ እንደ ገሞራ ትፈነዳለች፤ የተሸፈነችበትን አቧራና የክፋት ቁልል ቅርፊቱን እንደሚሰብር ጫጩት ፈንቅላ ትነሣለች፡፡ ነገ ከእውነተኞች ጋር ናት፡፡

እውነተኞች ዛሬ ጥቂቶች ቢመስሉም ነገ እየበዙ ይሄዳሉ፤ ሐሳውያን ዛሬ ብዙዎች ቢመስሉም ነገ እንደ ስንቅ እያነሡ ይሄዳሉ፡ ፡

====00000=====

 

እውነቱን ለመናገር፣ ሐሙስ ማምሻውን መስቀልን በበዓልነት የመጠበቅ ስሜቴ ደብዝዞ ነበር።

ለዚህም ዋነኛው ምክንያት ስለበዓሉ አከባበር ፌዴራል ፖሊስ ያወጣው ረጋጭና ደፍጣጭ መገለጫው ነው።

ውስጤ በአንድ በኩል ግርግር ይኖራል፣ የፎከረ መንግሥትም እንዳለፉት ወራት ወደ ማሠር ይሂዳል። ሌላው ሥጋቴ ባንዲራ ይዘው የወጡ እልኸኛ ወጣቶች ይገደላሉ የሚል ፍርሃት ነበር!

ይህም የሃገራችንን ፖለቲካ፡ ወደ ጉልበተኝነት —አሁንም እንደምናየው፣ እንደው እንደው እየሆነ ስለሆነ ከለውጡ ወዲህ በዜጎችና ለውጡን በሚራምዱት ወገኖች መካከል የተገባው ቃል ላልቶ—የዜጎችን ሰብዓዊ መብቶችን በምክንያታዊነት  መጣሱ ይባባሳል የሚል ፍራቻ ነው ውስጤን ሲገዘግዝ የነበረው!

በመሆኑም ከመተኛቴ በፊት ስሜቴንና ሃገራችን ያለችበትን ሁኔታ ያንጸባርቃል ያልኩትን ሐሙስ ማታ ባለሁበት በፊንላንድ አቆጣጠር 23 ሰዓት ላይ የሚከተለውን ትዊት አድርጌ ቀኔን ዘጋሁ።

 

የደመራ በዓል

እግዚአብሔር ይመሥገን እስካሁን ስማሁት —ከእሥር ውጭ— አንድም ዜጋ  የእምነቱን ምልክት ይዞ በመውጣቱ በፖሊስ አልተገደለም!

ለዚህም የሕዝቡን ጠንቃቃነትና ጨዋነት አደንቃለሁ!

ኢትዮጵያ እስካሁን ቁጥር ሥፍር ልጆቿን ገብራለችና በነዚያው ይብቃችሁ ይበለን! 

አርብ ወደምሽት አካባቢ ዉ ምን እያሉ ነው ብዬ ትዊተሮችን ስፈትሽ ይህንን 👇ተመለከትኩ!  

ዳዊት (አላውቀውም) ያለፈበት ሁኔታ በነበረኝ ስሜት ስቆቃውን ተካፈልኩት! መልዕክቱ ገጼ ሄዶ እንዲሠፍር አደረግሁት!

ከዚህ ባሻገር—በእኔ ዕይታ—የደመራ ምሽት ትልቁ ብርሃን ጠቅላይ ሚኒስትር ዐቢይ አሕመድ ያስተላለፉት መልዕክት ይዘት ነው።

ከማን ጋር እንደሆነ ገሃድ ባያደርጉም፣ መንግሥታቸው ትልቅ ትንቅንቅ ውስጥ እንደሆነ ዛሬ ይፋ አድርገዋል።

 

አምነውበት ይሁን ወይንም ሕዝቡን ለማረጋጋት፡ ጠቅላይ ሚኒስትሩ እንዲህ ይላሉ፦

“ኢትዮጵያን ታላቅ፣ የበለጸገችና ለሁላችንም እንድትሆን ለማስቻል የያዝነው ዓላማ መሳካቱ የማይቀር እውነት ነው፡፡

ይህን እውነት የሚገዳደሩ ኃያላን ይኖራሉ፡፡

ለጊዜው ዝናራቸውን እስኪጨርሱ፣ ጉልበታቸውንም እስኪያፈሱ ድረስ ያሸነፉ ይመስላሉ፡፡ ድምፃቸው እንደ ነጎድጓድ፣ ጩኸታቸውም እንደ ብዙ ፏፏቴዎች የወል ጩኸት ጎልቶ ይሰማ ይሆናል፡፡ እውነታችንን የቀበሩት መስሏቸው ለጊዜው ይደሰታሉ፡፡”

በተለይም መንግሥታቸው ያጋጠሙትን ችግሮች በመደመር፡ እውነትና ትዕግሥት መወጣት እንደሚያስፈልግ ያሠምሩበታል።

ለመሆኑ እነማን ናቸው እነዚህ አደናቃፊዎቻቸው?

በመስቀሉ ፍለጋ የትርክታቸው ማዕከል ያደረጓት ንግሥት ዕሌኒን ነው። ዕሌኒ ጠላቶቿ ከዓላማዋ እንዳያዛቧት ኃይሏን በእነርሱ መዝቀጥ ላይ አለማባከኗን ነው። ለዚህም እንዲህ ያብራሩታል፦

“[ዕሌኒ] በዚያ የመስቀል ፍለጋ ጉዞዋ፣ ክርስቲያኖችንም፣ አይሁድንም፣ ሌላ እምነት ያምኑ የነበሩትንም አስተባብራለች፡፡

መንገዷ የጥበብ እንጂ የመጥበብ አልነበረም፡፡

ጉዞዋ ሁሉንም ለእውነት ለማንበርከክ እንጂ አንዱን ለሌላው ለማንበርከክ አልነበረም፡፡”

በኢትዮጵያ ፖለቲካ ኤኮኖሚ ውስጥ አስቸጋሪውና ገና ብዙ መፍታት የሚሻው የመደመር ትርጉም ነው! በፖለቲካም ሆነ በኤኮኖሚው መስክ የመደመር ችግር ምንም ተጨባጭ ነገር አለማበርከቱ ነው። ለምሣሌም ያህል በኤኮኖሚው በአሁኑ ወቅት ኢትዮጵያ ቅርሶቿን ወደ ግል ባለሃብቶች ለማሸጋገር ፈጣን ዝግጅት በምታደርግበት ወቅት፣ ምንድነው የመደመር ኤኮኖሚክ ፖሊሲ ምሪት? መልሱ የለኝም!

ጠቅላይ ሚኒስትሩም በዛሬው መልዕክታቸው፥ “አንዴ ከምዕራብ፣ ሌላ ጊዜ ከምሥራቅ አምጥተን፣ ምሥራቁንና ምዕራቡን ለመሆን ጥረን ነበር፡፡ እየቀዳን የምናመጣው ዘር ግን በኢትዮጵያ ምድር ሊያፈራ አልቻለም፡፡” ይላሉ!

መልሳው የሚወስዱን እንደሚከተለው ወደ መደመር ነው፦

“ከምዕራብም ከምሥራቅም አየን፤ በጎ በጎው ወሰድን፤ የራሳችንን ሐሳብ አዋለድን፤ ከኢትዮጵያ ባህልና ታሪክ፣ ፍላጎትና አቅም ጋር አዋህድን – ኢትዮጵያዊ የሆነ የመደመር መንገድንም ጀመርን፡፡”

በተጨባጩ እንደምናየው ከሆነ፡ ኢትዮቴሌን ለችርቻሮ የሚያበቃ አማካሪ ቡድን ኅዳር 1/2019 ለመቅጠር ማስታወቂያ አውጥተዋል!

ከዚህ ጽሁፍ በፊት ይህ ቅርሶቻችንን ግልጽ ባልሆነ መንገድ ለውጭም ሆነ ለሃገር ውስጥ ባለሃብት የሜተላለፉበት ሁኔታ ቢፈጠር፡ ሃገሪቱ ምን ያህል ተጠቃሚ ትሆናለች ለሚለው አወደ መደመር ጥጋቢ ማብራሪያና አቅጣጫ አይሠጥም። ለምሣሌ አርብ በገንዘብ ሚኒስቴር በተሠጠው መግለጫ ላይ አንድ ጥያቄ ስላለኝ በትዊተር እንደሚከተለው ይፋ አድርጌዋለሁ፦

እውነትን መያዝ፣ ትዕግሥትና ማቀፍ መልካም መርሆች ቢሆኑም፣ በአሁኑ ወቅት ሃገሪቱ በተጨባጭ በተለይም ኤኮኖሚክ ፖሊሲዋን መሬት የረገጠ ማድረግ ያስፈልጋል! ይህ በሚደረግበት ወቅት መደመርም በተጨባጭ መሠረት ላይ የሚያርፍበት ሁኔታ መፍጠር ያስፈልጋል!

 

 

ኢንተርኔት በሚቋረጥበት ሃገር የኢንተርኔት ነፃነት ጉባኤ?

26 Sep

Posted by The Ethiopia Observatory (TEO)

(BBC News አማርኛ)  የኢንተርኔት ነፃነትን የተመለከተ ‘ፎረም ኦን ኢንተርኔት ፍሪደም ኢን አፍሪካ’ የተሰኘ አህጉራዊ ጉባኤ በአዲስ አበባ እየተካሄደ ነው። ከተለያዩ አገራት የተውጣጡ ተሳታፊዎች በመዲናዋ ተሰባስበው ጉባኤውን እየተካፈሉ ነው።

ለቀናት የኢንተርኔት አገልግሎት በሚዘጋበት አልያም በሚቆራረጥባት አገር፤ የኢንተርኔት ነፃነት ቀንን የማክበር ተቃርኖ ያልተዋጠላቸው ብዙዎች ናቸው።

በአንድ በኩል ጉባኤው ኢትዮጵያ ውስጥ መካሄዱ፤ የኢንተርኔት አገልግሎት መቋረጥ የሚያሳድረው ተጽዕኖ ላይ ውይይት እንዲካሄድ መንገድ እንደሚጠርግ የሚያምኑ አካላት አሉ። በሌላ በኩል ደግሞ የኢንተርኔት አገልግሎትን በማቋረጥ የንግግር ነፃነት የሚገደብበት አገር ላይ ጉባኤው መካሄዱን የሚተቹም ብዙ ናቸው።

• የኢንተርኔቱን ባልቦላ ማን አጠፋው?

• በሞባይል ኢንተርኔት መቋረጥ የተገደቡ እንቅስቃሴዎች

• መንግሥት በምን የሕግ አግባብ ኢንተርኔት ይዘጋል?

ከወራት በፊት የሁለተኛ ደረጃ መልቀቂያ ፈተና እየተካሄደ ሳለ የኢንተርኔት አገልግሎት ተቋርጦ እንደነበር ይታወሳል። በአማራ ክልል “የመፈንቅለ መንግሥት” ሙከራ ተደርጓል መባሉን ተከትሎም ለቀናት ኢንተርኔት ተዘግቶ ነበር።

በመላው ዓለም የኢንተርኔት አገልግሎትን የሚቃኘው ‘ኔትብሎክስ’ ባወጣው መግለጫ፤ ኢትዮጵያ ኢንተርኔት ስታቋርጥ በየዕለቱ ወደ 4.5 ሚሊዮን ዶላር ገደማ እንደምትከስር አስታውቋል።

ጉባኤውን ኢትዮጵያ ውስጥ ማዘጋጀት ለምን አስፈለገ?

ኢትዮጵያ ውስጥ ኢንተርኔት ሲቋረጥ የሰብዓዊ መብት ተሟጋቾች፣ ጦማሪያን፣ የሕግ ባለሙያዎችና ሌሎችም መንግሥትን ይተቻሉ።

በብሔራዊ ደረጃ ከ15 በመቶ የማይዘለው የኢንተርኔት ዝርጋታ ሲቋረጥ ማኅበረሰቡም እሮሮ ማሰማቱ አይቀረም። ከኢትዮጵያ ውጪ ያሉ የመብት ተቆርቋሪዎች መንግሥትን ከሚነቅፉበት ምክንያት አንዱም የኢንተርኔት መቋረጥ ነው።

እነዚህን ነጥቦች በማስረጃነት በማንሳት ኮንፍረንሱን ለምን ኢትዮጵያ ውስጥ ለማካሄድ እንደተወሰነ አዘጋጆችን ጠይቀን ነበር።

የ ‘ፎረም ኦን ኢንተርኔት ፍሪደም ኢን አፍሪካ’ የፕሮግራም ኃላፊ አስናህ ካልሜራ እንደሚሉት፤ ኢትዮጵያ የዜጎችን ኢንተርኔት የማግኘት መብት በመግፈፍ ከአፍሪካ ቀዳሚ አገር በመሆን ትታወቅ የነበረ ቢሆንም፤ ባለፈው አንድ ዓመት አንጻራዊ ለውጥ መጥቷል።

ተቀናቃኝ ፖለቲከኞች፣ የመብት ተሟጋቾችና ጦማሪያን ከእሥር መለቀቃቸው፣ ኢትዮጵያ ውስጥ መረጃ እንዳያሰራጩ ተደርገው ከነበሩ ድረ-ገጾች ላይ እገዳው መነሳቱ እንዲሁም ለወራት ኢንተርኔት ተቋርጦባቸው የነበሩ አካባቢዎች አገልግሎቱን እንዲያገኙ መደረጉን ያጣቅሳሉ።

ሆኖም ግን ከ “መፈንቅለ መንግሥት” ሙከራው ጋር በተያያዘ ኢንተርኔት ተቋርጦ እንደነበርና ከዚሁ የ “መፈንቅለ መንግሥት” ሙከራ ጋር ይገናኛል በተባለ ክስ ጋዜጠኞችና የመብት ተሟጋቾች መታሠራቸውን ይናገራሉ።



“ቢሆንም ኢትዮጵያ ለለውጥ ቁርጠኛ አገር መሆኗን አይተናል። በኢንተርኔት ነፃነት ረገድና በሌችም ጉዳዮች ላይ ከሚሠሩ የመብት ተሟጋቾች ጋር በጋራ የመሥራት እንቅስቃሴም አስተውለናል” ሲሉ ያስረዳሉ።

ኢትዮጵያ ውስጥ የታየው አንጻራዊ ለውጥ ለሌሎች የአፍሪካ አገሮች ተምሳሌት ቢሆንም፤ የኢንተርኔት ተደራሽነትን በማስፋትና መረጃ የማግኘት ነፃነትን በማክበር ረገድ ብዙ የሚቀሩ ነገሮች እንዳሉ ይናገራሉ።

የኢትዮጵያ መንግሥት የዜጎችን በኢንተርኔት መረጃ የማግኘት መብት እንዲያከብር የሚያሳስብ የጋራ ስምምነት ሰነድ ለመፈራረም መወጠናቸውንም አስናህ ለቢቢሲ ገልጸዋል።

የኢትዮጵያ መንግሥት ተወካዮች በሚገኙበት ኮንፍረንስ ስለ ዴሞክራሲ መስፈን እና የሰብአዊ መብት መከበር በመነጋገር፤ የመብት ተሟጋቾችን ደህንነት ለማስጠበቅ የሚያደርጉትን ጥረት እንደሚገፉበትም አክለዋል።

‘ፎረም ኦን ኢንተርኔት ፍሪደም ኢን አፍሪካ’ ከዚህ ቀደም በኡጋንዳ፣ በደቡብ አፍሪካ፣ በጋና እና ሌሎችም የአፍሪካ አገሮች ተካሂዷል። ኮንፍረሱ አፍሪካ ውስጥ የኢንተርኔት የመረጃ ስርጭት እንዳይገደብ እንዲሁም የመናገር ነፃነት እንዲከበር ንቅናቄ በማድረግ ይታወቃል።

ምሕረት ዩሃንስ
አጭር የምስል መግለጫምሕረት ዩሃንስ

የኢንተርኔት መቋረጥ በነጋዴዎች ላይ የሚያሳድረው ጫና

በመላው ዓለም የኢንተርኔት አገልግሎትን የሚቃኘው ‘ኔትብሎክስ’ እንደሚለው፤ ኢትዮጵያ ውስጥ ኢንተርኔት ሲቋረጥ በየዕለቱ 4.5 ሚሊዮን ዶላር ገደማ ታጣለች።

የኢንተርኔት መቋረጥ በአገር ደረጃ የሚያደርሰውን ቀውስ በግል ከሚንቀሳቀሱ ነጋዴዎች አንጻር ለመመልከት ያነጋገርናት ምሕረት ዮሐንስ አዲስ አበባ ውስጥ ጉርድ ሾላ አካባቢ በሚገኝ የኢንተርኔት ካፌ ውስጥ ትሠራለች። ካፌው ሥራ ላይ በቆየባቸው ባለፉት ሁለት ዓመታት የኢንተርኔት አገልገሎት መቆራረጥና ሲከፋም ተዘግቶ መቆየት ፈተና እንደሆነባት ትናገራለች። በከፍተኛ ሁለተኛ ደረጃ ትምህርት የመልቀቂያ ፈተና ምክንያትም ሆነ ከተለያዩ ፖለቲካዊ ክስተቶች ጋር በተያያዘ የኢንተርኔት ግልጋሎት መቋረጥ ሲያጋጥም አብሮ የሚዘጋው ሥራችንም ነው ትላለች። በእነዚህ ጊዜያት “ሥራ የለም ማለት ይቻላል። እስኪከፈት ከመጠበቅ ውጭ ምንም ማድረግ የምንችለው ነገር የለም” ስትል ለቢቢሲ ታስረዳለች።”ኢንተርኔት ባይቆራረጥ፣ መዘጋቱ ቢቀር ጥሩ ነው” የምትለው ምሕረት የምትሠራበት ካፌ ከኢንተርኔት አገልግሎት ውጪ የጽሕፈት መሣሪያዎችን በጎን የሚሸጥ ሲሆን፤ ከእነዚሀ ሽያጮች በሚያገኘው ገቢ ወጪዎቹን ለመሽፈን ይጥራል። “እኛ ሌላ ሌላ ገቢ ስላለን ነው እንጅ [ኢንተርኔት በማስጠቀም] የምናገኘው ገቢ በጣም ዝቅ ያለ ነው” ትላለች።

• ኢትዮጵያ ኢንተርኔትን በመዝጋቷ ከ130 ሚሊዮን ዶላር በላይ አጣች

• ኢትዮቴሌኮም ኢንተርኔት ለምን እንደተቋረጠ መግለፅ እንደማይችል አስታወቀ የመደብር ኪራይን ከመሳሰሉ ወጪዎች በተጨማሪ ለኢንተርኔት አገልግሎት አቅራቢው ኢትዮ-ቴሌኮም መፈፀም ያለባቸው ክፍያዎች አገልግሎቱ በሚቋረጥባቸው ጊዜያትም እንደሚቀጥሉ ምሕረት ትናገራለች።”የምንከፍለው በወር ነው፤ አገልግሎቱ ቢኖርም ባይኖርም መክፈላችንን እንቀጥላለን” ትላለች ምሕረት ከቢቢሲ ጋር በነበራት

 

ተያያዥ ርዕሶች:

የመረጃ መረብ / ኢንተርኔት

አፍሪካ

ኢትዮጵያ

 

 

ዐቢይ አሕመድ ዲፕሎማቶችን በስድብ ያጥረገረጉበት ዝጉ የቤተ መንግሥት ስብሰባ—ለታሪክ!

24 Sep

Posed by The Ethiopia Observatory (TEO)

 

 

 

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