Tag Archives: human rights violations

Abdi Iley’s crimes finally catch up with him. He was led to prison by federal police: ETV news

27 Aug

Posted by The Ethiopia Observatory (TEO)

 

አዲስ አበባ፣ ነሐሴ 21፣ 2010 (ኤፍ.ቢ.ሲ) የቀድሞው የሶማሌ ክልል ርዕሰ መስተዳድር አቶ አብዲ መሐመድ ዑመር አዲስ አበባ ውስጥ በቁጥጥር ስር ዋሉ።

አቶ አብዲ መመድ ዑመር በቁጥጥር ስር የዋሉት በዛሬው እለት አዲስ አበባ አትላስ አካባቢ በሚገኘው መኖሪያ ቤታቸው ውስጥ ነው።

የሶማሌ ክልል ምክር ቤት በትናንትናው እለት ባካሄደው አስቸኳይ ጉባኤ የአቶ አብዲ መሐመድ ዑመርን ያለመከሰስ መብት ማንሳቱ ይታወሳል።

ምክር ቤቱ ከአቶ አብዲ በተጨማሪ የ6 የምክር ቤት አባላትን ያለመከሰስ መብትም አንስቷል።

ያለመከሰስ መብታቸው የተነሳው የምክር ቤት አባላትም፦

  1. አቶ አብዲ ጀማል ቀሎንቢ – የክልሉ ጠቅላይ ዓቃቤ ህግና ፍትህ ቢሮ ኃላፊ
  2. ወይዘሮ ራህማ መሀሙድ – የሴቶችና ህፃናት ጉዳይ ቢሮ ኃላፊ
  3. አቶ አብራሂም መሀመድ – የትምህርት ቢሮ ኃላፊ
  4. አቶ ዴቅ አብዱላሂ – የውሃ ሀብት ልማት ቢሮ ምክትል ኃላፊ
  5. አቶ ኢብራሂም መሀሙድ ሙባሪክ -የጅግጅጋ ከተማ አስተዳደር ከንቲባ እና
  6. አቶ ኡመር አብዲ – የኢሶህዴፓ የፖለቲካ ጉዳዮች ኃላፊ ናቸው።

የፌደራሉ መንግሥት አብዲ ኢሌን ከሥልጣን እንዲያስወግድ የሚፈቅደው የሕግ አዋጅ!

5 Aug

Posted by The Ethiopia Observatory (TEO)

በታደሰ ተክሌ 

የኢፌዲሪ መከላከያ ሰራዊት በዛሬው ዕለት በጅጅጋ ከተማ ገብቶ ስለ ወሰደው እርምጃ ህጋችን ምን ይላል? በክልሎች ጉዳይ የፌዴራሉ መንግስት ጣልቃ-ገብነትስ እስከ ምን ድረስ ነው?

በኢትዮ-ሶማሌ ክልል ከጊዜ ወደ ጊዜ እየተባባሰ የመጣው የሰብአዊ መብት ጥሰትና መፈናቀል በክልሉ አስተደደር በኩል መፍትሔ ተሰጥቶት እንዲስተካከል በፌዴራል መንግሥት በኩል የተለያዩ ጫናዎችና የሽምግልና መድረኮች ላይ የእርቅ ስምምነቶች ሲደረጉ ቆይተዋል፡፡ ሆኖም ግን የሰብዓዊ መብት ጥሰቱ ሲብስበት እንጂ ሲቀንስ አልታየም፡፡ በዚህ ጊዜ ደግሞ የፌዴራል መንግሥት ነገሮችን በቸልታ እንዳያይ የሚያደርገውና ቀጥተኛ እርምጃ ለመውሰድ የሚያስችለው የህግ ማዕቀፍ አው፡፡ ይኸውም የፌዴራል መንግስት በክልሎች ጉዳይ ጣልቃ የሚገባበትን ሁኔታ የሚደነግገው አዋጅ ቁጥር 359/2003(95) ሲሆን በዚህ አዋጅ መሰረት የፌዴራል መንግሥት በክልሎች ጉዳይ ጣልቃ የመግባት ወሰኑ እስከ ምን ድረስ እንደሆነ በግልፅ ይደነግጋል፡፡

የፌደራል መንግሥት በክልሎች የሚፈፀሙ ህገመንግስታዊም ሆነ ሰብአዊ መብት ጥሰተቶች ሲያጋጥሙ ከሚወስዳቸው እርምጃዎች ውስጥ አንዱ ዛሬ ያየነው የመከላከያ ሰራዊት ጣልቃ ገብነት አንዱ ነው፡፡ “ከዚህ ቀጥሎ ሊወሰዱ የሚችሉ ተግባራትስ በምን አግባብ ወደ ህጋዊነት ሊመጡ ይችላሉ?” የሚለው የዚህ ፅሁፍ ዋናውና አንኳሩ ነጥብ ነው፡፡ “የመከላከያ ሰራዊት ጣልቃ ገብቶ ያረጋጋውን ሰላምና ደህንነት ለማን አስረክቦ ይወጣል?” የሚለውም ከላይ በተጠቀሰው አዋጅ የሚዳኝ ይሆናል፡፡ ለክልሉ ፖሊስ ያስረክብ የሚባል ከሆነ ከከዚህ ቀደሙ የከፋ ቀውስ ሊያጋጥመን ይችላል፡፡ እንዲሁም “ክልሉንስ ማን ያስተዳድረው?” የሚለው ሌላው መታየት ያለበት ነጥብ ነው

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በአዋጁ አንቀፅ 14(2)(ለ) ስር እንደተደነገገው የፌዴራሉ መንግሥት የክልሉን ምክር ቤትና የክልሉን ከፍተኛ የህግ አስፈፃሚ አካል በማገድ ለፌዴራል መንግስቱ ተጠሪ የሆነ ጊዜያዊ አስተዳደር እንዲቋቋም የመወሰን ስልጣን አለው፡፡ ጊዜያዊ አስተዳደሩም ክልሉን በበላይነት ከመምራት ጀምሮ በስልጣን ላይ የነበሩ የአስተዳደር አካላትንና የፀጥታ ክፍል ኃላፊዎችን ለፍርድ እስከማቅረብ የሚደርስ ስልጣን የሚኖረው ይሆናል፡፡ ስለሆነም የዛሬው የመከላከያ ሰራዊት ተልዕኮ ግቡን መምታቱ ሲረጋገጥ በቀጣይ የሚደረገው ተግባር ክልሉን ለጊዜያዊ አስተዳደር የማስረከብ ጉዳይ ይሆናል ማለት ነው፡፡

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እነዚህ የሽግግር ሂደቶች ህጋዊነታቸውን ጠብቀው በመሄድ ለክልሉ ሰላም መደፍረስ ዋነኛ ተዋናይ የሆኑ ግለሰቦችን በቁጥጥር ስር በማዋል የክልሉን ሰላምና መረጋጋት የማስቀጠል ኃላፊነት ለፌዴራል መንግስቱ የተሰጠ ስለሆነ በአንዳንድ ወገኖች እየተነሳ ያለው ትችት ህጋዊ መሰረት የለውም፡፡ የፌዴራል መንግሥት የዛሬውን እርምጃ ለመውሰድ በመዘግየቱ ቢወቀስ እንጂ አብዲ ኢሌን ጠምዝዞ ከስልጣን በማውረዱ ተጠያቂ መሆን አይችልም፡፡ የክልሉ ምክር ቤትም ቢሆን ክልሉን የማስተዳደር አቅሙ ከተሽመደመደ ከህዝብ የተሰጠውን ውክልና እስከመነጠቅ የሚደርስ እርምጃ ሊወሰድብት እንደሚችል በተጠቀሰው አዋጅ ተደንግጏል፡፡

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በጋምቤላ ክልል ከአስራ ሶስት አመታት በፊት ተከስቶ የነበረውን የእርስበርስ ግጭት ለማስቆም በማሰብ የወጣው አዋጅ ዛሬ ለሌላ ተግባር ተመዞ የወጣበትን ሁኔታ እያየን ነው፡፡ ይህ በእንዲህ እያለ በፌዴራል መንግስቱ የሶህዴፓን ወክለው የመንግሥት ኮሙኒኬሽን ጉዳዮች ሚኒስትር ክቡር አቶ አህመድ ሺዴ ክልሉን በጊዜያዊነት ሊመሩ የሚችሉበት ዕድል ሰፊ መሆኑን አንዳንድ ሹክሹክታዎች እየተሰሙ ነው፡፡

Ethiopian Think Thank Group

 

ተዛማጅ:

በሶማሌ ክልል ያለውን ውንብድናና ሁከት አስመልክቶ ከኢፌዴሪ መከላከያ ሚኒስቴር የተሰጠ መግለጫ

ሰመጉ በኦሮሚያና የሶማሌ ክልሎች የፀጥታ አካላት የመብት ጥሰቶችን መፈፀማቸውን በሪፖርቱ ገለፀ

የኦሮሚያና የሶማሌ ክልል ግጭት የማያባራው ለምን ይሆን? ግጭቱን የሚያነሳሱትና የሚያባብሱትን ለምን መንግሥት ተጠያቂ አይደርግም?

Human Rights Watch reports:

Sat image of Jail Ogaden

Video: Torture in Somali Region Prison in Ethiopia

“We are Like the Dead”

Interview: Years of Untold Suffering at Jail Ogaden

Torture and Ethiopia’s Culture of Impunity

Ethiopia: Torture in Somali Region Prison

ወንጀል የፈጸሙ በሕግ ይጠየቁ፣ ጉዳተኞች ካሣ እንዲያገኙና አፋኝ ሕጎች እንዲነሱ የሕግ ባለሙያዎች አሳሰቡ

3 Jul

Posted by The Ethiopia Observatory (TEO)

(ኢሳት ዜና ሰኔ 25 ቀን 2010 ዓ/ም) በመላው ኢትዮጵያ ላለፉት 27 ዓመታት ሕግን ተገን በማድረግ ለተፈጸሙ የመብት ጥሰቶች ተጠያቂ የሆኑ ግለሰቦችና ተቋማት በሕግ ሊጠየቁ እንደሚገባ፤ ወንጀሎቹ በገለልተኛ አካል ተጣርተው ለ ሕግ መጠየቅ አለባቸው። ጉዳተኞቹ ለደረሰባቸው ጉዳቶች ተገቢውን የሞራል ካሣ ሊያገኙ እንደሚገባና የሕግ ተቋማት ዳግም በባልሙያና በገለልተኛ አካል ሊዋቅቀሩ ይገባል ሲሉ የሕግ ባለሙያዎች ተናገሩ።

የሕግ ጠበቃና የሰብዓዊ መብት ተሟጋች የሆኑት አቶ ተማም አባቡልጉ እንዳሉት ‘’አፋኝ የሆነው የጸረ ሽብር ህጉና የወንጀለኛ አንቀጽሕጎች መሻር አለባቸው። ይህን ያስፈጸሙ ግለሰቦች በሕግ ሊጠየቁ ይገባል። በፌደራል ፖሊስ ውስጥ የጸረ ሽብር ግብረኃይል መፍረስ አለበት። ከሕግ ውጪ ጉዳት የደረሰባቸው ሰዎች ህክምናን ጨምሮ የሞራል ካሣ ሊከፈላቸው ይገባል። በሰብዓዊነት ላይ ወንጀል የተፈጸሙት ወንጀልለኞች ጉዳይ በገለልተኛ ዓለም አቀፍ አካል ተጣርቶ በህግ መጠየቅ አለባቸው። በዓለም አቀፍ ፍርድ ቤትም ሊቆሙ ይገባቸዋል። አንድ ሽብርተኛ መንግስት ይቅርታ ጠይቆ አገር ሊያስተዳድር አይችልም። ስልጣኑን ለኢትዮጵያ ሕዝብ ማስረከብ አለባቸው።’’ ብለዋል።

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በኢትዮጵያ የተጀመረው የለውጥ እንቅስቃሴን በመጠቀም በውጭ ያሉት የፖለቲካ ፓርቲዎች ወደ አገራቸው መመለሳቸው መልካም ጅምር መሆኑን የሕግ ባለሙያው አስምረውበታል። ይህን አጋጣሚ በመጠቀም የራሳቸውን ሥርዓት መዘርጋት ይገባቸዋልም ብለዋል። ‘’አሁን ያለው አስተዳደር የሞግዚት አስተዳደር ሊያበቃ ይገባዋል። አገዛዙ ኢትዮጵያን ለኢትዮጵያዊያን ማስረከብ አለባቸው። ኢሕአዴግ ማለት የቅኝ ግዛት ሥርዓት ማለት ነው።ሕወሃት የኢትዮጵያን ሕዝብ ለመቆጣጠር የዘረጋው ስርዓት ማብቃት አለበት። የኢትዮጵያ ሕዝብ የራሱን ገለልተኛ ተቋማትና መንግስት ሊያቋቁም ይገባል።’’ ሲሉ አቶ ተማም አባቡልጉ አስተያየታቸውን ደምድመዋል።

የሕግ ባለሙያ የሆኑት ጠበቃ አምሃ መኮንን በበኩላቸው እንዳሉት ‘’ብዙ መስዋእትነት ተከፍሎ አሁን ላለንበት ለውጥ ደርሰናል። አሁን የተጀመረው የጠቅላይ ሚንስትር ዐብይ አሕመድ የለውጥ እንቅሳሴ መልካም ጅምር ነው። ጅምሩ ውጤታማ እንዲሆን በሁሉም የኅብረተሰብ ክፍል ሊታገዙ ይገባቸዋል። ለውጡ ሊቀለበስ በማይችል ደረጃ ተጀምሯል። ከዚህ በኋላ ሁላችንም ዳር ቆመን መመልከትና ጉድለቶችን ብቻ እያጎላን ከመቀመጥ ቀረብ ብለን ለውጡን እየመራ ያለውን ኃይል ማገዝ አለብን። ብዙ የሚቀሩ ነገሮች አሉ። በተጀመረው ለውጥ ግን ደስተኛ ነኝ።’’ ብለዋ።

በመላው ኢትዮጵያ ለተፈጸሙ ኢሰብዓዊ የመብት ጥሰቶች አስመልክቶ ለቀረበላቸው ጥያቄ ጠበቃ አምሃ ሲመልሱ ‘’ዳግመኛ እንደዚህ ዓይነት ወንጀሎች እንዳይደገሙ በማስረጃ ተደግፎ አጣሪ ኮሚሽን በገለልተኛነት ሥራውን እንዲሰራ መፍቀድ ያስፈልጋል። ተጨባጭ ወንጀል የፈጸሙ ግለሰቦች በሕግ ሊጠየቁ ይገባል። ተቋማቱ በባለሙያ ሊመሩ ይገባል። የሰብዓዊ መብት ጥሰት ሲፈጸም አቤቱታ በቀላሉ የሚቀርቡባቸው ተቋማት ሊኖሩ ይገባል።

ፍርድ ቤቶች ሚናቸው በጣም ወሳኝ ስለሆነ እንደገና ሊታዩ ይገባቸዋል። አሁን ባላቸው አደረጃጀት ይህንን ሚና ሊወጡ ይችላሉ ብዬ በኔ በኩል ብዙም እምነት የለኝም።” ሲሉ አቶ አምሃ መኮንን አስተያየታቸውን ሰጥተዋል።

After all these TPLF crimes, is Ethiopia headed towards truth and reconciliation?

26 Jun
Posted by The Ethiopia Observatory (TEO)

by

Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed admits there have been widespread human rights violations by the government during the EPRDF’s tenure. What will be the consequences of this admission of guilt? And, will this lead to a historic change of the culture of impunity in the country?

In a House of People’s Representatives session in Addis Ababa on June 18, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed gave a seminal speech where he outlined his intention to heal the political, historical and ethnic divisions in the Ethiopian populace, and beyond.

The speech represented yet another milestone in his young premiership, as he phrased his vision of a new Ethiopia in language that respects the long-held grievances of the people, stresses the need for individual as well as collective reconciliation, and points towards a future of unprecedented political accountability.

Ethiopians of all walks of life were touched by Abiy’s openness, honesty, and reconciliatory manner. Through his speech and actions, Abiy is establishing a new social contract with the Ethiopian people; a social contract where the government will serve the people, and is accountable to the people.

In the follow-up session, a member of parliament asked Abiy about the constitutionality of pardoning those who had been convicted of terrorist acts; therefore implicitly criticising the direction of his reforms. With an unprecedented manner of rectitude and reflection, Abiy responded:

“What is terrorism, and who is a terrorist? By going this way, what have we profited? It is necessary to look at it thoroughly. Terrorism includes using forces in anti-constitutional manner to stay in power. Terrorism includes using inappropriate ways to grab power. We have to bear in mind that everyone should respect the constitution…..Does the constitution say anyone who was sentenced by a court can be tortured, put in a dark room? It doesn’t. Torturing, putting people in dark rooms, mutilation of prisoners’ body parts is our act of terrorism. These unconstitutional acts have been done in every kebele, woreda and zone. Not only at federal levels, but at every lower level.”

The EPRDF government has over the years been routinely accused by domestic and international observers of gross human rights violations, but has rejected most claims as baseless. When violations were admitted, they were explained away by a lack of knowledge of particular individuals, or as perpetrated by overzealous local administrators.

Despite such excuses, it is now a long time ago that it dawned upon the old cadres of the Tigrayan resistance that the struggle’s core objectives of human rights and democracy have gone astray. However, democratic centralism and the discipline of the Front inhibited a process of accountability from within, and a genuine change of guard was needed to open up this issue.

With his remarks, Abiy not only admits to the violation of human rights by his government, but the way it is described, as being perpetrated at all levels of government throughout Ethiopia, it alludes to a description of ‘widespread and systematic’ human rights violations. If so, Abiy discloses that the EPRDF government may have committed crimes against humanity on their own people.

In a democracy with the rule of law firmly established, such confessions by the head of government would lead to a range of consequences. First of all, criminal investigations against officials believed to have committed human rights violations and against their superiors for issuing orders or knowing about abuses without taking appropriate action. Furthermore, parliament would have held such a government accountable for such violations. However, following up on his ‘full disclosure’ rhetoric, Abiy explained:

“EPRDF has clearly apologised to the public. Saying we have made mistakes, blunders. Including me, thanks to you, when you named me Prime Minister, I have apologized and asked for forgiveness, standing just here. What does that mean?  There were serious mistakes. The compassionate people have forgiven us. We need to seize this opportunity.  As if we have not been doing unconstitutional things ourselves. We as party members undertook self-evaluation and admitted our own failures, as you know. The people also showed their mercy not in words but in act. Not that the people did not have the choice of putting us all into prison. There were reasons enough, the robbery, murder, theft were there. If we go to jail, that would not bring change for Ethiopia.”

Abiy is a strong believer in forgiveness: politically, religiously and scholarly. In the fragile political transition Ethiopia is currently experiencing, it seems impossible for the prime minister to conduct a mass arrest of suspected perpetrators of human rights violations from his own cabinet down to each village and hamlet throughout the country.

Instead he looks set to chart a new course; a forward-looking path for a new Ethiopia where all individuals have the same rights, and no one is above the law. In these parliamentary comments, Abiy has begun redefining the hitherto excluding and exclusive political space monopolised by the EPRDF, thereby setting about establishing an open, just and equal public domain.

History has shown us that individuals may turn around the most entrenched political systems. Abiy follows the best of this tradition by admitting guilt, asking for forgiveness, and promising to rectify mistakes. These were the principles the post-apartheid South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) based their work on. Abiy therefore has big shoes to fill; and so far his approach to transforming the political culture of Ethiopia resembles the language used by Nelson Mandela.

But Mandela also knew that for reconciliation to reach down to the grassroots and out to each village and hamlet throughout the country, not only the top-level government had to change. A bottom-up process of truth seeking, confession and forgiveness was instrumental in a national process of healing and reconciliation; to create a new political culture and a definite breach with the past.

The Ethiopian Red Terror trials established after 1991 never managed to heal the Ethiopian people and abolish impunity for human rights violations. Maybe this is the time to establish an Ethiopian truth and reconciliation commission to reconcile public grievances and finally put an end to the culture of official impunity.

Related:

ሰብዓዊነታቸውን በመጣስ በእሥር ሕወሃት ዜጎቻችን ላይ ለፈጸመባቸው ግፎች ቁንጮዎቹ ተጠያቂ ሊሆኑ ይገባል!

Has TPLF blind-sighted UN to get a controversial general inducted as UNISFA commander, or UNISFA a TPLF agency legitimising its ethnic discrimination agenda & practices?

30 May

By Keffyalew Gebremedhin The Ethiopia Observatory (TEO)

PART Two of two

As the last days of pseudo ‘liberationists’ of the marauding category everywhere await their sinking sun, challenges of all sorts to the United Nations no longer subtle, remain as insidious as ever. Their mission, if at all possible, is subversion of the ideals the Organisation stands for—pure and simple.

These phenomena are daily realities in both the developed world as in the least developed nations. Their driving forces are the hunger of brutes for power and wealths. In thinking of those, many are the moments I have wondered about what the United Nations has done right thus far to ride over many such obstacles and challenges both under normal times and during peak moments of the post-Cold War world.

There is no bette and latest indicator to reach such conclusion than the recent budget cuts by the Trump Administration from United States contributions to the United Nations. Polls show “58 percent of Trump voters agree the UN is still needed today.”

In this environment, it is also refreshing to note that Secretary-General António Guterres should resort to presenting the United Nations as a necessity for our world. He does this, to the extent possible, through continually preparing the Organisation for greater commitment and endeavours to attain its Charter objectives.

Those United Nations goals, as set out in the Preamble to the Charter, aim to enable the post-war world to:

  • “practice tolerance and live together in peace with one another as good neighbours, and
  • unite our strength to maintain international peace and security, and
  • ensure, by the acceptance of principles and the institution of methods, that armed force shall not be used, save in the common interest, and
  • employ international machinery for the promotion of the economic and social advancement of all peoples.”

Accordingly, Secretary-General Guterres observed on the 56th anniversary of Hammarskjold’s wreath laying ceremony on 12 September 2017:

“Dag Hammarskjold not only believed in the United Nations, he inspired so many others to believe in it, too. We need that spirit more than ever today.”

In a fitting tribute on the occasion, the secretary-general honoured his enigmatic predecessor picking a strand from one of his utterances:

“Everything will be all right – you know when? When people, just people, stop thinking of the United Nations as a weird Picasso abstraction and see it as a drawing they made themselves.”

That, Mr. Guterres followed with a pledge befitting the occasion:

“As Secretary-General, I am committed to understanding and interpreting this complex drawing, so it is clear to all people everywhere what it represents. At its root, the United Nations stands for hope – hope for peace, prosperity and dignity for all.”

The Hammarskjold factor

For most international civil servants and United Nations member states, the enormously collected and focused  Dag Hammarskjold, the second United Nations Secretary-General (1953-1961)remains the architect who, with the approval and collaboration of member states, had successfully elevated the Organisation’s Charter at a difficult time on a reliable pedestal to serve as beacon to states, cultures and humanity in general.

Consequently, with lessons learned from the failed League of Nations, among Hammarskjold’s achievements is his success in determining how the secretary-general and his staff should conduct their relations with states to ensure independence of the secretary-general and his staff.  In so doing, he managed to lock everything within key values of excellence, personal integrity, in concert with Article 100 of the Charter, i.e., “… the Secretary-General and the staff shall not seek or receive instructions from any government or from any other authority external to the Organization.”

Hammarskjold had been credited for putting from the ground up most of the United Nations’ present operating manuals, recruitment policy, staff regulations (regularly updated), security, etc., as well as institutionalisation of peacekeeping, its essential policies, politics and procedures — following the onset in 1956 of the Suez Crisis (also see)

Most remembered is his sharp mind, we are told, which he employed to constantly undertake complex negotiations with member states, solely the United Nations Charter as his guiding light.

In his assessment of Hammarskjold’s achievements, I am hardly surprised that Brian Urquhart — one of the most experienced UN officials under the second secretary-general, in retirement still who happens to be our compass especially on the Hammarskjold era —should wonder in his Hammarskjold (1972) whether the person was “ahead of his time”, so “his personality and exceptional skill made an impression on his contemporaries out of all proportion to their lasting political or institutional value?”

He then concludes: “Hammarskjold was certainly a virtuoso of multilateral diplomacy and negotiation.”

At the opening of the first session of the new UN Regional Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) on December 29, 1958. Secretary-General Dag Hammarskjöld greeting His Imperial Majesty, Emperor Haile Selassie I29 December 1958 (UN photo)

At a time when trouble was assailing many parts of the world and demanding the secretary-general’s fullest attention, this writer takes pride that Mr. Hammarskjold should visit my country Ethiopia on December 29, 1958 rather on a more peaceful and hopeful undertaking. Brian Urquhart has documented that the secretary-general needed to travel to Ethiopia, “to open in the presence of Emperor Haile Selassie the first session of the UN Economic Commission for Africa [ECA]” where part of his statement lauded the emperor with the following words:

“In the days when international cooperation was not so well founded as it is today,” he told the Commission, “His Imperial Majesty, in the adversity then experienced, was a symbol to the whole world of the principles of international order. It is certainly a vindication of his faith that now, in happier times…the UN is to make its African home in Addis Abeba.”

The United Nations continues to be represented in Africa, with ECA as its regional coordination programme, focussing on human, economic and social developments as its particular goals. Hammarskjold tragically lost his life in Africa, following a mysterious plane crush over the Congo on September 18, 1961. To this day, the United Nations has continued to investigate the cause(s) of his death, following every lead it puts its hand on.

It is granted that perusal of the above paragraphs may get some into thinking this long piece is about Dag Hammarskjold. Admittedly, it’s hard to argue against such assumption. Instead, I would yield; suffice to leave that to how Alec Russell in a May 13, 2011 article on The Financial Times had described Mr. Hammarskjold as “the benchmark against which his successors have been judged – and most found wanting.”

The preceding, it seems, must have been a widely-shared view in-house too, especially if one dwells on the (above) words of the ninth secretary-general, the current occupant of that office.

Fact: This article is not about Dag Hammarskjold!

UNSG receiving ‘Gen. Gabre’ (UN photo) While Otto von Bismarck’s famous saying “Politics is the art of the possible, the attainable —the art of the next best” may always enjoy validity, I have, nonetheless, found myself incapable of reconciling to Mr. Guterres’ two decisions regarding this

Hammarskjold inspires the search for what is right and proper for the United Nations. In that, while the two decision points hereunder might be Secretary-General Guterres’ considered views, especially in dealing with a large troop contributing nation, this piece essentially is about being forthright. That is to say, I have found it difficult to reconcile myself with two of his following actionsThose are

  • The appointment in the first place of Maj-Gen. Gebre Adhana Woldezgu Commander of the United Nations Interim Security Force for Abyei (UNISFA), announced on April 4, 2018. To the best of my understanding, no vetting of his alleged crimes have been undertaken to protect the Organisation from the implications of such association; and,
  • Tthe secretary-general’s decision to receive and dispatch on May 1, 2018 the major-general to the Abyei mission, i.e., into the contested oil lands between the two Sudans, is taking for granted the concerns of the peoples of Ethiopia and South Sudan who deserve the appropriate responses by the general.

Mr. Guterres’ decisions came only about eight months after his pledge at the Hammarskjold commemoration (above). For me, its loudly-resonating remark underscored the importance of commitment to attain the goals of the United Nations Charter, as he put it at the time, with a view to promoting and protecting “… hope for peace, prosperity and dignity for all.”

Surely, I understand Mr. Guterres may have followed precedence. This wrongheaded decision and practice of entirely relegating UNISFA to the control of the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF 1991- ) and its abuses and misuses thereon of the time-honoured United Nations institution started already in 2011. It is his predecessor Ban Ki-moon’s short-sighted action. Mr. Ban was overwhelmed with delight in the TPLF (Ethiopia’s) generosity to provide every UNISFA-required peacekeeper — including civilian and police force — at a time of diminishing numbers of troop-contributing states.

Inevitably, thus the UN surrendered to the wishes, political and economic benefits of its largest troops contributor’s. Such is the situation, for instance, in Abyei UNSFA has had until March 2018 force strength of 4,841 (uniformed), of which 4,321 or 89.4 percent are offered by Ethiopia.

The troops contributions of the other top nine states trail far behind Ethiopia’s in the following order of insignificance: Siri Lanka 5, Ukraine 4, Ghana 3, Namibia 3, Benin 2, Brazil 2, Burundi 2, Cambodia 2 and Guatemala 2.

For the TPLF, by using the nation’s resources was polishing its sooted image through such machinations and its fake double-digit economic growth fable.

This was the door the United Nations blindly walked in to its present trap. At no time has the UN been inconvenienced in becoming an ally of and agency for TPLF’s shameful ‘policy’ and practices of ethnic discrimination in Ethiopia. In other words, the UN has tolerated this for all these years, when UNIFSA commanders, save two, (as shown in the table below) happened to be all ethnic Tigreans, whereas Ethiopia has been known as a multi-ethnic state.

This TPLF crime, in which the UN became co-conspirator, is committed in the name of only less than six percent of Ethiopia’s 105 million population (2017). This — to put it mildly— is not only horrid and extremely annoying. But also on the part of the United Nations it borders betrayal of Ethiopia’s sacred trust, as one of its first few signatory states at San Francisco of the Charter on 26 June 1945.

Periods of commanders’ service compiled by the author from UN sources, while the ethnicity information is native knowledge from names and Ethiopian media. Click to magnify

The problem today is allowing this bad judgement by Mr. Ban KI-moon to stand now — seven odd years thus far, perhaps many more years to come too! Such monstrous failure by the Organisation brings to mind the 1867 famous remark by Prussia’s Prime Minister Otto von Bismarck: “Politics is the art of the possible, the attainable —the art of the next best”.

I take it that the truism in this saying remains valid, its adherents motivated by practical necessities and considerations, especially when dealing with states’ restraint in contributing troops to the United Nations peacekeeping operations.  

This writer is reminded of Hammarskjold’s personal side, revelatory of his handling of the management of the Organisation. In Markings, his sort-of-private diary, is something that is both informative and instructive. In there, he had written: “We have to gain self-assurance in which we give all criticism its due weight and are humble before praise.”

That’s what the people of Ethiopia look to now in the United Nations. They have had enough of the repression and humiliation by the TPLF, while the United Nations chose to side the former in violation of its creed.

Political artisans at the United Nations made a horrible miscalculation in not waking up in good time to correct, when ethnic discrimination is feathering its nest within the Organisation, even after seven long years of alliance with murderers!

Today is May 29

This is a day that also invokes the name of the second secretary-general, Dag Hammarskjold! This writer too considers himself his devotee, aspiring to remain Hammarskjold’s life-long student, honouring his contributions to mankind and civilisations.

That is why the General Assembly too in its resolution 57/129 of February 29, 2003 has designated 29 May every year as the International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers. 

On this day, the Secretary-General presides over a wreath-laying ceremony annually at the UN Headquarters in New York in honour of all peacekeepers.

This is in keeping with operative paragraph 1 of the resolution, which states: to pay tribute to all the men and women who have served and continue to serve in United Nations peacekeeping operations for their high level of professionalism, dedication and courage, and to honour the memory of those who have lost their lives in the cause of peace.” 

Those slain peacekeepers in the cause of peace and under United Nations flag during the preceding year are posthumously awarded the Dag Hammarskjold Medal.

Already eighteen days ago on May 11, Mr. Guterres had a photo-up with all United Nations force commanders.

I must be frank to state in that connection my disappointment, since it includes someone he last April appointed as force commander —Maj-Gen. Gebre Adhana Woldezgu — the very subject of this article’s Part One . In that article, I had tried to reason out why I disagreed with the secretary-general’s appointment of that soldier, without duly investigating his  widespread alleged crimes of human rights violations.

The photo-up was, it appears, to enable the secretary-general impress on his force commanders and the United Nations of his “zero tolerance policy on sexual exploitation and abuse.” 

No doubt about its timeliness; this action is essential and fundamentally important, since the United Nations is not an organisation of angels. Already many United Nations peacekeepers — from both developed and developing nations — have been implicated in a number of sexual exploitations and abuses of minors. 

And yet, I would have liked the secretary-general also announcing it is United Nations policy and practice to apply suitability test to those he accepts and appoints as commanders of United Nations peacekeeping operations.

This may inconvenience troop contributing states. 

I hope the secretary-general would agree with me that peacekeeping is one of the most vitally important innovations of the Organisation— a hallmark of its relevance to a troubled world we live in. It should not be treated as less relevant of the Organisation’s work, or something worthless, as insinuated by the indifferent emplacement of a butcher of human beings  as force commanders, as has happened on April 4, 2018!

Ethnic conflict:. Renewed weapon in oppressors’s hands

In the post-colonial era and nearly three decades after the Cold War, tensions arising from scarcity of grazing lands and water are no longer the primary causes of ethnic tensions, especially in Africa. Rather it is power mongers exploiting differences based on ethnicity for political or economic reasons that have enabled its return with vengeance at present as the newest weapon to incite conflicts and instability.

In Ethiopia, following the onset of popular protests since 2014, besides TPLF shootings to kill of protestors and peaceful demonstrators, the regime’s greed for power and riches has compelled it to resort to inciting ethnic conflicts. Of late we hear, some leaders in the region, in collaboration with the TPLF army, are openly vowing to start an all out conflict amongst Ethiopians, if the TPLF is to lose power.

By a recent admission of the TPLF’s security institution, the population in this one of the few oldest nations in the world has been facing displacements. In the last three years, different parts of the country have been awash with state killings along the border between Oromia Region and Region 5, otherwise known as the Ethiopian Somali Region, according to the government-operated human rights organisation. Today, May 29, 2018, Dr. Addisu Gebre-Egziabher, head of the TPLF-run human Rights organisation, openly told the media his organisation has compiled names of state officials and regional leaders, who have their hands soiled in killings and or displacements of citizens, according to TPLF’s Fana

There is also ongoing conflict in Amhara Region up north, where the national army is deployed to defend the TPLF’s annexation of surrounding Amhara fertile lands to build its ‘Greater’ Tigray Region, as shown on the map here.

The root cause of the problem is the TPLF top military officers, one of them being the new UNISFA commander, and civilian leaders wanting to protect their monopoly and power of control over the Khat trade and contraband business between eastern Ethiopia (from their headquarters in the Ogaden Region) and other neighbouring states, entities and their delegated agents in the Middle East – especially Yemen, Qatar, United Arab Emirates, etc.

The TPLF pursues two approaches to crush the people’s struggle for the rule of law, freedom and democracy. As stated above, it has been employing typical divide and rule strategy, inciting ethnic conflicts amongst Ethiopians. The objective is to ensure continuity of the ethnic minority regime. The main beneficiaries are TPLF top military commanders, civilian leaders and the entire regional structure, who have been enriching themselves with illegal businesses and looting of state resources.

As a matter of fact, since summer 2017,  the border between Ethiopia’s Somali Region and Oromia Region was turned into a war zone, Abdi Ilay’s notorious Liyu Police, in collusion with the TPLF military commanders, attacking and displacing over a million people.

International Migration Organisation’s Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM) in April reported “In 2017 Ethiopia’s humanitarian needs were aggravated by the outbreak of conflict along the Somali-Oromia borders and another drought affecting large parts of eastern and southern Ethiopia.”

These people have ended up in camps since September 2017, according to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Assistance (OCHA). IOM confirms, in 2017 alone, 700,000 people were displaced with the IOM recording a “significant spike” in September of that year, as per report of Kenya’s Daily Nation.

Right at its onset, horrified by the clear situation of ethnic conflict exploited for political purposes, the US Embassy from Addis Abeba in an official statement  on September 19, 2017 did not hold back in stating:

“We are disturbed by the troubling reports of ethnic violence and the large-scale displacement of people living along the border between the Oromia and Somali regions, particularly in Hararge, although the details of what is occurring remain unclear.

We urge the Ethiopian government to conduct a transparent investigation into all allegations of violence and to hold those responsible accountable.  At the same time, on the local level, communities must be encouraged and given space to seek peaceful resolutions to the underlying conflicts…These recent events underscore the need to make more rapid and concrete progress on reform in these areas.”

Strong as this statement is, given the wildfire of ethnic conflict in Ethiopia could create, as Newsweek’s Connor Gaffey, in asking why the US is worried about Ethiopia has picked aptly the implications. The US also has aired its disappointment with the TPLF regime it has kept as a close ally. It’s the TPLF bloggers that mostly tried to misdirect the strains against the person of US Ambassador Michel Reynor.

The issue

Co-conspirators Gen-Gabre. & Abdi Ilay (from General’s Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/WeiAlfaGabree/)

The issue here is the horrid allegations against the new UNISFA commander, i.e., his crimes of human rights violations in neighbouring Somalia and Ethiopia’s Somali Region. It’s in a mere surface-scratch, this article’s Part One of April 11, 2018 has learnt about. It’s that information that it signalled to all those with responsibilities to vet Maj-Gen. Gebre Adhana Woldezgu.

That article’s suggestion was for the United Nations to delay the general’s assumption of command, until his innocence is established. Without it, this writer strongly believes that Maj-Gen. Gebre Adhana Woldezgu cannot be considered a friend of the United Nations, especially as commander of one of 14 peacekeeping operations presently.

Tell me your friend and I will tell you who you are is an old adage full of wisdom. Maj-Gen. Gebre Adhana Woldezgu is seen here with his buddy Abdi Mohamoud Omar (Abdi Ilay), the infamous president of the regional state, otherwise known as Somali Region, or simply Region 5. He has been responsible for so many deaths and displacements of Ethiopians in that region

Also Abdi Ilay happens to be the lynchpin to corrupt senior TPLF civilian and military leaders.

The sale of military weapons, according to the Somalia Monitoring Group report to the Security Council, became common phenomenon. In fact, the report levels responsibility for this on ‘Ethiopian military commanders and soldiers’.

When Maj-Gen. Gebre Adhana Woldezgu was in command of Ethiopian force in Somalia, the Somalia Monitoring Group reports (S/2008/274):

“According to arms traders, the biggest suppliers of ammunition to the markets are Ethiopian and Transitional Federal Government commanders, who divert boxes officially declared “used during combat”.”

The problem with the major-general is that, for him killing is habitual. In the Monitoring Group’s report of 16 July 2008 (S/2008/466) regarding the situation in Somalia, he commanded 50,000-strong in the US-inspired Somalia invasion by Ethiopia.

The report clearly states that the political process between the Transitional Federal Government and the Alliance for the Re-liberation of Somalia (ARS) could not make any progress any more. The obstacle was the inability to achieve “sustainable peace in Somalia and to recognize the responsibility to deploy a neutral force that would be accepted by Somalis. Opposition leaders also identified the presence of Ethiopian forces in Somalia and ongoing human rights violations as key areas to be addressed by the international community.”

Regarding the 2008 human rights environment, the secretary-general’s report states:

“55. The human rights situation in Somalia continues to be characterized by indiscriminate violence and frequent attacks against civilians, including arbitrary detention of human rights defenders, arbitrary arrests and extrajudicial killings of journalists, as well as sexual and gender-based violence. Since 19 April the renewal of intense violence in Mogadishu between the Ethiopian-backed Transitional Federal Government troops and the insurgent groups has resulted in serious violations of international humanitarian and human rights law.

56. On 19 April, Ethiopian forces allegedly stormed Al Hidaya mosque, in north- eastern Mogadishu, killing numerous clerics belonging to the “Altabligh Group”, including a number of scholars, as well as detaining some 40 minors at an Ethiopian military camp in the north of Mogadishu who had been attending religious classes. Both the Ethiopian-backed Transitional Federal Government troops and the insurgent groups are using heavy artillery in urban areas inhabited by civilians, causing dozens of civilians to be killed or injured.

Already in 2007, shortly after Ethiopia’s invasion of Somalia, according to the report of the Monitoring Group on Somalia (S/2007/436), that country was turned into an inferno for Somalia civilians on account of Ethiopian troops human rights violations:

“Whatever little confidence there was in the ability of the Transitional Federal Government to rule is fast eroding and antagonism against Ethiopia is at a crescendo — clearly not being helped by the Ethiopian Army’s heavy-handed response to insurgent attacks, involving the use of disproportionate force to dislodge insurgents from their suspected hideouts.” 

Why this article

This piece is a follow-up to Part I, explaining why this writer disagrees with UNSG Guterres’ appointment of ‘Gen. Gabre’ UNISFA Force commander. As in the ancient expression all roads lead to Rome, information about the commander this wrier has come across seem to point to the new UNISFA commander being tainted by human rights crimes & corruption in the two troubled nations of the Horn of Africa, Somalia and inside Ethiopia, especially Somali Region!

Co-conspirators (from Gen. Gabre’s FB)

In writing this article, my intention is to humbly ask Secretary-General Guterres to be beholden to his words at Hammarskjold’s commemoration anniversary and enable the United Nations to live up to the expectations and promises its Charter promises have generated and from which he too had drawn the pledge he had uttered, above.

I am not asking the secretary-genera to do the impossible. I am only calling upon him to remove doubts and misgivings, arising from this appointment. It is my sincere view the secretary-general should seize this once-a-life-time-opportunity to give pride of place to the Organisation’s Charter principles by reconsidering his appointment of Maj-Gen. Gebre Adhana Woldezgu at UNISFA, pending investigation of his alleged crimes.

I would like to inform the secretary-general that — as a proud ancient Roman expression has it about all its roads leading to Rome — all available information on the general also point to him being a fatally flawed soldier. We learn form his brief service in Somalia, his hands have been stained with the blood of innocent people.

For me, given the cruelty with which he mistreated ordinary Somalia citizens and also carried out massacres of innocent people, especially those in mosques or weddings is revolting, as Part I of this article of April 11, 2018 had pointed out. I strongly believe this person’s association with the United Nations in UNIFSA, which has troubles of its own, should be avoided at all costs, until he is proven innocent.

Not at all a hero he is. Outside his connection with the leadership in the TPLF, he is not that even to his sender — if at all the Front has any morals.

We have been taught by ancient civilisations heroism is about honour and honesty, loyalty to one’s nation and doing good by fellow human beings. In other words, heroism is hardly measured, as the major-general seems to think and believe, by the number of people a soldier or a general kills.

If the long past were to talk to us today, as the world’s famous mythologist Jospeh Campbell reminds us in his in 1949 A Hero With a Thousand Faces , “A hero ventures forth from the world of common day into a region of supernatural wonder: fabulous forces are there encountered and a decisive victory is won: the hero comes back from this mysterious adventure with the power to bestow boons on his fellow man.”

The key phrase here is “…to bestow boons on his fellow man”, not to rob the poor and private businesses that try to take care of their families and themselves, as the commander had done to build in one of the poorest nations in the world, Ethiopia, first world lifestyle for himself.

Among many instances, Somalia citizens across that country have established ‘Gen. Gabre’ is corrupt through and through. In one instance, only the breakdown of the $2.8 million he reportedly took as bribes and was found by diligent citizens and was reported widely shown in table 18 of the Fartaag Report speaks volumes, including names of forced payers to the general.

Woldezgul’s head is filled with gold, banknotes, cars he seized from Somalia, not integrity and judgement he needs as United Nations commander. Some of the money he received was reported to been turned into all forms of assets such as construction equipment, all of which not possibly in his name, write sources in Somalia. Possibly details of the mystery of his robbery could be unlocked the day some of those allies of his in some of the Middle Eastern states speak out.

Does Abyei deserve a horror?

I don’t think so. Nor do I think the United Nations wants that. However, if the past is any guide, the United Nations responsibilities in Abyei deserve a responsible commandant, unless once again some in the international community feel they give no hoot to what other countries do in Somalia.

This is a question that all along has puzzled the United Nations Monitoring Group on Somalia, as described in its November 2006 report and in compliance with Security Council resolution 751 (1992) concerning Somalia.

His brief stay in Somalia as “Supreme Commander of Ethiopian Forces” was known to have been the period he committed mass massacres during the invasion of Somalia he commanded and in Mogadishu, according to Somalia sources, before he was withdrawn. The TPLF later reassigned him as Senior Political Advisor at the TPLF-operated — in name the eight-nation Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), his target still Somalia — a matter that speaks volumes about the sending state’s intents too.

A thing that should worry Somalia first and foremost and the international community too is the legacy ‘Gen. Gabre’ has left behind. All foreigners and Somalia citizens have always spoken about Al-Shabaab thus far being the excuse for Somalia to continue as a failed state and terrorism its blighter. The UN Monitoring Group in its 2007 report observes:

“117. Whatever little confidence there was in the ability of the Transitional Federal Government to rule is fast eroding and antagonism against Ethiopia is at a crescendo — clearly not being helped by the Ethiopian Army’s heavy-handed response to insurgent attacks, involving the use of disproportionate force to dislodge insurgents from their suspected hideouts.”

However, more than the terrorism of an extremist group, it was “Gen. Gabre” as all Somalia citizens refer to him, who has badly undermined their country. He has needlessly prolonged that country’s prospects of rising out of its crisis to peaceful national existence on Al-Shabaab and other extremists’ graveyard.

Unfortunately, as a divided nation, Somalia has been laden by inability to see itself outside its disorderly present, people like the general corrupting its elites, thereby denying it the trust of and goodwill to live in peace with its neighbours in the Horn of Africa.

Stop for a moment and ask why several African nations inside the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) have for such a long time been paying with their blood, or their foreign allies mostly the United States with treasures. Al-Shabaab’s might is made up to be, possibly by states and their agents who have become beneficiaries in Somalia’s continued imposed no peace no total collapse state!

In my October 27, 2017 article on this matter, I argue:

      “If the TPLF had the discipline to operate as per the

AMISOM mandate, the Horn of Africa could have also been long spared of present and future threats of the Al-Shabaab terrorism and related extremisms. In closer examination, one could sense this situation has prolonged Al-Shabaab’s life instead. With that, the Islamic extremist organisation of terror has utilised the opportunity to improve and develop its destructive capabilities to cause more havoc on innocent people, as witnessed in Somalia including on October 14, 2017 and even subsequently since.”

The secretary-general must see that the soldier I am talking about, he has now appointed to the very post, has miserably proved inadequate elsewhere in the first place. He failed because he lacks principles, the tact and political skills the responsibilities of the post badly require.  

It worries me that his appointment of Maj-Gen. Gebre Adhana Woldezgu to a peacekeeping mission empowered to operate within the Organisation’s Chapter VII mandate may be taken, in his usual way, as mandate to kill in Abyei.

 

 

African Union (AU) summit calls for mass withdrawal from ICC

6 Feb

Posted by The Ethiopia Observatory (TEO)
by Aaron Brooks, The East African Monitor
 
Following a debate at the African Union’s annual heads of state summit in Addis Ababa on Tuesday, the regional bloc voted for all member states to withdraw from the Interational Criminal Court (ICC). However, the resolution is non-binding with Nigeria and Senegal the only countries to oppose a withdrawal.
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‘We fear for our lives’: how rumours over sugar saw Ethiopian troops kill

8 Nov

Posted by The Ethiopia Observatory (TEO)
by Tom Gardner in Ambo, The Guardian
 
It began with a rumour. On 25 October, residents of Ambo, 120km west of the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, heard word on social media that a shipment of smuggled sugar was due to pass through town.

“Sugar is so expensive now, the price has tripled,” explains 18-year-old Israel, a first-year undergraduate at Ambo University. “And they’re exporting it to other parts of the country but the people here don’t have any. It’s not fair.”
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Ethiopia parliament speaker says TPLF ‘disrespect’ made him quit

15 Oct

Posted by The Ethiopia Observatory (TEO)
by AFP
 

“I resigned because my peoples and party were disrespected,” he said. “However, I will struggle to bring the necessary respect and do the best I can for Oromo people to gain their rights.”

The speaker of Ethiopia’s lower house of parliament, who resigned last week, said Saturday that he quit because of “disrespect” of his ethnic group.

Abadula Gemeda, a member of the Oromos, the country’s largest ethnic group, announced last Sunday that he was stepping down after seven years as speaker of the House of People’s Representatives.
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