Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Ethiopia: fire destroys UNESCO-registered coffee forest | Horn of Africa | News

(OPride) – A recent massive brush fire in the Illu Abba Boora zone of Oromia region, Ethiopia has wiped out a sizable portion of the UNESCO-registered Yayu Coffee Forest Biosphere Reserve, reports said. The cause of the blaze, which has spread around the Yayu forest over the last several weeks, remains unknown.
According to eyewitness accounts, the blaze has scorched an estimated 50 to 80 acres of the thick coffee forest. “Such fire has never happened before in the history of the Yayu forest and the knowledge of the people living in the area,” one Yayu resident, who asked not to be named, told OPride. “It has been burning for several weeks without any intervention from the government except that of the local community to contain it to protect its advancement to their side.” The internationally recognized Yayu forest is home to the last remaining species of wild coffee Arabica and some of Ethiopia’s rare flora and bird species.
Several diaspora-based activists have accused the government for setting the forest ablaze to make a way for its development projects. The state-run media ignored the fire, and instead reported on a new fertilizer factory being built near the area. Citing several “journalists working for the government TV and radio stations,” New York-based political analyst Jawar Mohammed said, Ethiopian authorities have once again imposed a media blackout warning local reporters, including those working for state-run media houses, not to cover the story.
EPRDF, Ethiopia’s ruling party, now in power for 22 years, has been accused of setting forest reserves on fire in the past. For example, in 1999 and early 2000, a similar forest fire in Bale and Borana, also in the Oromia region, led to Oromia-wide student protests and the government's slow response caused a strong public outcry. At the time, instead of putting out the fire, the government resorted to cracking down on students.
As was the case in 2000, eyewitnesses said the government is blaming the current fire on locals amid reports of some arrests. “The Ethiopian regime is known for playing the blame game on others for its own crimes,” another Yayu native told OPride last week. “The government doesn’t want the image of the coal mining and fertilizer factory projects to be associated with such environmental destructions,” the source said. Eyewitness reports indicate that the government alleges, “The fire was lit by people doing forest honey collection, a process associated with the life of the local people.” The OPride source noted, the locals lived collecting honey for generations, “but never witnessed such incidents of disaster.”
According to a new research by Plos One, a peer-reviewed online international publication, while there is some wild coffee in the Bale mountains range, the Yayu forest has “the largest and most diverse populations of indigenous (wild) Arabica” anywhere in the world.
Ethiopia’s overall forest reserves have dwindled in the last two decades due to growing population, land scarcity, and uncontrolled deforestation in the name of development. In 2010, the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) estimated Ethiopia’s forest cover at 12.2 million hectare or 11 percent of the total landmass. The study noted a decline from 15.11 million hectare in 1990 (a year before the current regime took office). While statistics on forest fire is rare, the FAO study said, “in 2008 fire affected 16 163 hectare of land in the autonomous region of Oromiya.”
UNESCO Biosphere Reserves are meant as sustainable development test cases in efforts “to reconcile conservation of biological and cultural diversity and economic and social development through partnerships between people and nature.” The Yayu forest reserve is one such effort by the international body to find sustainable ways for the forest to be preserved. But as another Yayu native, who asked not to be identified due to fear of repercussions told OPride, little has been done besides symbolic UNESCO designation as the initiative crosses the “the political border of national development interest.”
The source added, the federal “government never really supported the designation of the Yayu afromontane forest area as a UNESCO reserve.” “Rather, a team of scientists at Addis Ababa University led by Dr. Tadesse Woldemariam, which used the forest as a research base for several advanced studies supported by German based institutions affiliated to the interest in the forest coffee put a great deal of effort into this.”
Evidently, the federal government has struggled with how to proceed with its development agenda in the area. According to our source, more than ten years ago, local youth raised concerns that the development objectives didn’t offer benefits for the local people. To “address” this local discontent and lend the projects some legitimacy, the federal government turned to few elites who grew up in the area but whose parents were relocated from Tigray during the infamous 1985 famine. Speaking about the government’s efforts to assuage local grievances, the source gave an example of certain Getachew Atsbeha, a graduate of the local high school, who flew in with an Ethiopian Defense Forces helicopter last year leading a team of visiting researchers of the new project.
While the recent Yayu forest fire has been contained, in large part thanks to heavy rain and community involvement, the lingering issues over planned projects remain. “The government seems intent to sell the land,” said the ESAT Radio caller. “People have been displaced to make ways for the factories...government officials and state-owned enterprises are moving in...even the daily laborers are coming from Tigray.”
According to sources familiar with the ongoing projects, the main project under construction is a multi-purpose fertilizer factory. “The project became a cause for developing the area such as the road in Yayu town and constructing houses for the staff in the project,” the source said. “This has direct links to other national projects such as the sugar industry...the fertilizer will be used to support the sugarcane production, while other mechanized farming in Gambella and Benishangul regions [are expected to] become immediate consumers.” As fertilizer prices continue to soar worldwide, the building of a local manufacturer would reduce the import of fertilizer. In addition, the sugar factories around the country would operate on coal that would be produced in Yayu alongside the fertilizer. The alternative energy source will then reduce over reliance on hydroelectric power.
Last January, local newspaper Capital Ethiopia reported, the state-owned engineering company, Metal and Engineering Corporation, “is on the right track to produce fertilizer for the next cropping season.”
By the end of the much-publicized Growth and Transformation Plan, which ends in 2015, “Ethiopia envisions building eight fertilizer companies in the Oromia Regional state as per its governing five-year economic plan,” the report said. “The construction of Yayu fertilizer factory number one and two will reach 65 percent and 33 percent completion rate, respectively, this year. The design work for the Dap factory is already completed, while civil work and equipment production is underway.”
The Ethiopian government has commissioned several feasibility studies on the Yayu coal reserves for many years. Most recentlya Chinese firm called COMPLANT did a study with a price of 12 million birr. The study found the Yayu area has over “100 million tons of coal”, which could “produce 300,000 tons of Urea [used in the manufacture of fertilizer], 250,000 tons of Dap, 20,000 tons of ethanol and 90MW of electric power annually for decades.” Following the feasibility study, “in March 2012, METEC awarded the construction of the first fertilizer factory in the country to Tekleberhan Ambaye Construction Plc at a cost of 792 million birr,” according to Capital Ethiopia.
The government turned to COMPLANT, after a 2005 study by a European consultancy firm, Fichiner, deemed the project not environmentally responsible temporarily forcing the government to reconsider the project, according to Addis Fortune.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

ዝምታ ወያኔን ሲያባልግ! አስጨናቂ ድረስ (ከጉለሌ)

በዓባይ ግድብ ዙሪያ ትንሽ ማስታወሻ ከወር በፊት አቅርቤ ነበር፣ ምን ያህል ግንዛቤ እንደተስጠው መገመት ባልችልም፣ ጥቂት የማይባሉ አገር ወዳድ ኢትዮጵያውያን ግን ትኩረት እንደስጡት ከመልዕክታቸው ተረድቻለሁ፣ይህም ፅሁፍ ከዚያው ጋር ተያያዥነት አለው፣የዓባይ ግድብ ዓላማውና ጦሱ፣ በዚህ መጥፎ ዘመን መጀመሩም በግልፅ አለመታወቁ፣ ሻቢያና መለስ ዜናዊ ግን ኢትዮጵያን የመበታተን አጀንዳ ዘላለማዊ ህልማቸው ስለመሆኑ፣ ግብፅና ሱዳን በቸልታ እንደማይመለከቱት የህልውናቸው መስረት በመሆኑ፣ የሃይል ሚዛንን በተመለከተና ወደዚያው ካመራ ውጤቱ ምን ሊሆን እንደሚችል ባጭሩ ለማሳየት ሞክሬ ነበር፣እርግጥ ነው ለግብፅና ሱዳን ህይወታቻው እንደመሆኑ መጠን ኢትዮጵያም የባለቤትነት ድርሻ እንዳላት አያጠያይቅም፣እንዲያውም አቅም እንጂ ማዘዝስ ማን ከልክሏት፣ቱርክ ቲግሪስና ዩፍሬትስ ወንዞችን ስትገድብ የታች ሃገራት የዚያን ግዜ ጠንካራዎቹ የሳዳም ሁሴን ኢራቅና የአሳድ ሶሪያ ለተባበሩት መንግስታት አቤቱታ ከማሰማት ውጪ ምንም ያደረጉት ነገር አልነበረም፣ ጉልቤ መሆን ለዚህ ይጠቅማል፣ ታድያ መገደብ አሁን ግዜው ነው? በዲፕሎማሲና በጦር ሃይል የተዳከማቺው የመለስ ዜናዊ ኢትዮጵያ የሃይል ሚዛን ምን እንደሚመስልና ለሃገር ዕድገትና ብልፅግና አስቦ እንዳልሆነም ባለፈው ፅሁፍ አሳይቻለሁ፣
የሻቢያ ጥልቅ ወዳጅ የሆነው መለስ ዜናዊ የትግራይን ህዝብ በማጭበርበርና በማስገደድ፣ የሱን ዓላማ ይማይከተሉትንም በማስወገድ መንግስት ሆነ፣  በአምስቱ ዓመት የአርበኝነት ተጋድሎ ወቅት ፋሺስት ጣልያን ይዘጋጅውና ስላም በማጣቱ መተግበር ያቃተውን የኢትዮጵያ ክልል ካርታ መለስ ዜናዊ ከኣያቱ ሻንጣ ውስጥ ተቆልፎ ከተቀመጠበት አንስቶ በድፍረት ስራ ላይ አዋለ፣ አብረውት ያሉት ወያኔዎችና ዕቃ ተሽካሚዎች እንኩዋን ነገ የሚያስከትለውን ችግር  የመረዳት እውቀቱ ስላልነበራቸው  መዘዙ ምን ሊሆን እንደሚችል አልተገነዘቡም፣ ይቅርታ የሌለው አገር የማጥፋት ወንጀል ተባባሪነታቸውንና አገር አልባ የሚያድርግ ስነድ መሆኑን ያኔ አላወቁም፣ የህገ መንግስት አርቃቂ ኮሚሽን ሊቀመንበር በሁዋላም ለዚሁ አገር አጥፊ ስነድ የፕሬዚደንትነት ሹመት ያስገኘላቸው ነጋሶ ጊዳዳ፣ ስነዱን ለመለስ ዜናዊ በኩራት ሲያስረክቡ ፊታቸው ላይ ይታይባቸው የነበረው ኩራትና ደስታ እንዲሁም አዳራሹን የሞላው የወያኔ ካድሬ በሙሉ ያሳይ የነበረው ጭፈራና ዕልልታ አይረሳንም፣ ይህ አፍራሽ  ስነድ ወያኔና ትክታዮቹን ሲያስጨፍር የኢትዮጵያ ህዝብ በሃዘን ድባብና ትካዜ ይመለከት ነበር፣ በዚህ ግዜ የነመለስን ሽፍጥና ተንኮል ቀድመው በመረዳት ተቃውሟቸውን ያስሙት ሻለቃ አድማሴ ዘለቀ ብቻ ነበሩ፣ ያ ሁሉ ካድሬ አዳራሹ ውስጥ ሲጮህና ሲጨፍር አንድ ለናቱ ብቻቸውን የተቃውሞ ድምፃቸውን እያስሙ አዳራሹን ጥለው ወጡ፣ ይገርማል! ያ ሁሉ ካድሬ አሁን የት ይሆን ያለው? እርግጠኛ ነኝ አብዛኛው በተለያየ ግዜ ከአገር ተባሯል፣ ታስሯል፣ ተገድሏል፣ ጥቂቶችም እንደምንም እየተርመጠመጡ በውሽት ስልጣንና ሃብት የመለስ ታማኝ አገልጋይ ሆነዋል፣ የናጠጡ ነጋዴ የሆኑም አሉ፣ እንደገና ሌሎች ጥቂቶችም  የመለስ ታማኝ ተቃዋሚ ፓርቲ አባላት ሆነው አሁንም አገርና ህዝብን እየበደሉ ይገኛሉ፣
ባለፉት ሃያ ዓመታት በሃገሪቱ ዜጎች በተለይ አማርኛ ተናጋሪዎች ኢትዮጵያውያን ላይ የደረስውና አሁን ድርስ ሊቆም ያልቻለው ህዝብን የማስቃይት፣ የማንገላታትና ስላም የመንሳት ተግባር በመለስ ዜናዊ ልቦና ዉስጥ ያደረ የመሽበርና በራስ አለመተማመን የፈጠረው የግል ባህሪ ችግር ነው ማለት ይቻላል፣ በደቡብ ክልል በርካታ ብሄረስቦች ተጨፍልቀው ደብዛቸው ጠፍቷል፣በኣጋዴን፣በአፋር፣በደቡብ ክልሎች አማርኛ ቓንቓ እንዳይነገር ስፊ ዘመቻ ተደርጉዋል በመደረግም ላይ ይገኛል፣ ስሞኑን በጎጃም ክፍለ ሃገር መተከልና አሶሳ አውራጃዎች  ኗሪ ወገኖቻችን ላይ እየደረስ ያለው ግፍና መከራ የዚሁ አማርኛ የሚነገርባቸውን አካባቢዎች የማጥበብና የአገር ሽያጭ ተከታታይ አጀንዳ አካል ነው፣(በነገራችን ላይ የፋሽስት ወያኔን ካርታና ስያሜ መቀበልና መጥራት በራሱ ወያኔ መሆን ነው) ከቀያቸው መፈናቀላቸው  የወያኔ ሃላፊዎች አላየንም አልስማንም፣ ሲያሰኛቸውም ይህ የክልሉ ጉዳይ ነው፣ እዚያው ጠይቁ፣ በማለት በዜና ማስራጫዎች እንኩዋን እንዳይዘገብ አድርገዋል፣ እንመራዋለን በሚሉት ህዝብ ላይ ግፍና በደል እያደረሱ ይህን መስል ቅጥፈትና ዉሽት  ዓለምን ግራ አጋብቷል፣ መልካም አስተዳደር ትርጉም አጥቷል፣ በጣም ያሳዝናል ያሳፍራልም፣ ሰሞኑን በፈረንሳይ ስትራስበርግ ከተማ የወያኔን መለዕክት ሊያደርስ የተገኘው ሃይለማርያም ደሳለኝ በብልሹ አስተዳደር፣በስብዓዊ መብት አለማክበር፣በህዝብ ማፈናቀል፣በዘር ማጥፋት፣ሌላም ሌላ በዋናዎቹ የአውሮፓ ህብረት ስዎች በጥያቄ ሲዋከብ፣ቃላት ሲያጥረው  መልስ ሲያጣና ሲጨነቅ ተመልክተናል፣ ሚስቱና ልጆቹ ምን ያህል ይሽማቀቁ፣ መለስ እኮ ወጣሪ ጥያቄ ሲገጥመው በነሱ መስመር ገብቶ ሃሳቡን ቀይሮ ውሳኔም ይስጥ ነበር፣ እንደልቡ ማንን ፈርቶ ስጋት የለበት፣ ምስኪን ሃይሌ ግን በአእምሮው ሳይሆን በመለስ ራዕይ ስለሚመራ ይህን ማድረግ አልቻለም፣ የማይመችና እንደመለስ ጮሌ ለማኝ ሊሆን አልቻለም፣

በመሬት ሽያጭ ምክንያት የህዝብ መፈናቀል፣በደልና  ስቃይ በዝቷል ለሚለው ጥያቄ የወያኔ መሪዎች በሙሉ ድምፃቸውን አጥፍተዋል፣ በተቻለ መጠን ከሚዲያም እይሽሹ ይገኛሉ፣ የሚቀርቡትም አላወቅንም አልስማንም ከማለት ውጪ እውነትን መናግር፣ ሃቁን መጋፈጥና መመስከር  አልቻሉም፣ የኢትዮጵያ አምላክ በዓለም አደባባይ እያዋረዳቸው ነው፣
ይህ ሁሉ ግፍና ውሽት እርስ በርስ መናበብ አለመቻል፣ አላየንም አልስማንም ማለት ከፍተኛ ቀውስ ውስጥ መሆናቸውን ያመለክታል፣ ከሻቢያ ንኪኪ የወያኔ ሹመኞች በቀር አብዛኛው ካድሬ የመለስ ራዕይ ማለት ይኸው መከረኛ አባይ ግድብ ነው፣ ከጎንደር ሁመራና ወልቃይት ጠገዴ ከወሎ አላማጣና ቆቦ አውራጃ ወደ ትግራይ በሃይል ወደ ትግራይ ወስዶ አስተዳደሩን ቀይሮ ህዝቡን ሲበድል በወቅቱ ቀጣይነት ያለው ድምፅ ባለመደረጉ በሁሉም ክፍለሃገር በየተራ ህዝብን ማፈናቀልና ማንገላታት ቀጥሎ ላሁኑ ሁኔታ ተጋልጠናል፣ በማን አለብኝንትና በድፍረት ዜጎችን በማፈናቀል የሚደረገው የመሬት ሽያጭ አገሪቱን አሳልፎ ከመስጠት ነጥሎ ማየት አይቻልም፣ ይህ ደጋፊዎቹንም ሊያስደነግጥ ይገባል፣ አሳፋሪም ነው፣ ከዚህ በላይ ቤተስብን፣ አካባቢንና አገርን መካድ፣ ማጥፋት ምን ማለት ነው? መሬቴን አለቅም ያለውን በመግደል ፈርቶ የሽሽውም እንደወጣ በዚያው ተስዶ እንዲቀር በማድረግ፣ቀሪውም የአረብ፣የህንድና ቻይና በገዛ አገሩ በዚህ ዘመን አገልጋይ ባርያ እንዲሆን ማድረግ ምንድነው?፣ የሚያቃጥል የሚያሳርር ይቅርታ የማይደረግለት ጭካኔ በዓለም ታሪክ በየትኛውም አካባቢ ተስምቶ ተነግሮም የማያውቅ ክስተት ነው፣
አሁን ኢትዮጵያዊ በሙሉ እነዚህን ተምቾች በመንደሩ በቀበሌው በማንኝውም ስፍራ ባገኘበት ቦታ ሁሉ ማግለልና ነጥሎ ማጥቃት እነሱ ስላም እንደነሱን ስላም መንሳት እንዴት መጥፎ እንደሆነ ማሳየት ተገቢ ነው፣ ስላማዊዉንና የእግዚኣብሄርን ህዝብ ሽብርተኛ ብለው ህግ ካወጡለት ሽብርተኝነት የኢትዮጵያዊ ባህሪ ባይሆንም በየመንደሩ የተስገስገውን የወያኔ ደህንነትና ፖሊስ ስርዓት እንዲይዝ ማድረግ ያስፈልጋል፣ ለዚህም መደራጀትና ባጭር ግዜ ውስጥ ደህንነት፣ በፖሊስና በመከላከያው ውስጥ ስርጎ መግባትና የመደብ ልዩነታቸውን እንዲረዱ ማድረግ፣ ለማን እንደተስለፉ ህዝቡ ይህ ሁሉ ግፍ ሲፈፀም ተባባሪነታቸው የሚያስከትለውን ችግር ግንዛቤ እንዲወስዱ ማድረግ፣
ይህ ስርዓት በዛፍ ይመስላል፣ከታች ሆኖ ወጥሮ ተሽክሞ ይዞ የነበረው መለስ ዜናዊ ሞተ፣ ግንዱና ቅርንጫፎቹ አየር ላይ ተንሳፈዋል፣ ውቅያኖስ ላይ ሞተር እንደተበላሽባት መርከብ ምን እንደሚያደርጉ ተቸግረዋል በመሆኑም አቅጣጫ ስትዋል፣ መንገዱን አጡት፣ ወዴት? እንዴት? እንደሚሄዱ አለማወቃቸውን በየዕለቱ ክሚስሩትና ከሚያደርጉት እያየን ነው፣ እስካሁን እንደሚታየው አብዛኛው ህዝብ ኢትዮጵያ ውስጥ የስልክ አጠቃቀም ችግር አለ፣ ቴሌ ራሱ አገልግሎት ባግባቡ እየስጠ አይደለም፣ ወደፊትም ሊስጥ አይችልም፣ ስልክ ተደውሎ የተፈለገው ስው ሳይገኝ ሂሳብ ይቆርጣል፣ ሲፈልግ ያገናኛል ሳይፈልግ የለም ብሎ ይዘጋል፣ በህግና ስርዓት አይመራም፣ ስልክ ይጠለፋል፣ ቴሌ ዓለም አቀፍ ደረጃውን ባለመጠበቁ ሊወገዝ ይገባል፣ ስለዚህ ይህ ስርዓት እስኪወገድ ድረስ ህዝቡ በቴሌ ላይ የአገልግሎት ካርድና ሲም ካርድ እንዲሁም የስልክ ቀፎ ላለመግዛት በራሱ ላይ ቃል ይግባ፣ ይህ ከፍተኛ ጉዳት በወያኔ አገዛዝ ላይ እንደሚያደርስ ውጤቱም በቅፅበት የሚታይ ይሆናል፣ ይህም አየር ላይ የተንሳፈፈው ዛፍ በቀላሉና በራሱ ግዜ ባፋጣኝ ይገነደሳል፣     

Friday, April 26, 2013


(Terrence Lyons)

The death of Prime Minister Meles Zenawi in August 2012 marked the end of an era in contemporary Ethiopian politics. After defeating the brutal Derg regime in 1991, Meles headed the powerful ruling party that led the country of more than 80 million through a massive transformation. But it is a mistake to think of his tenure as a period of one-man rule or his death as creating either a political vacuum or an opportunity for liberal Publish Postreform, as power, authority and resources never rested in Meles' hands alone.

Meles' Ethiopian Peoples Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) created an Ethiopia based around ethnically defined regions and political parties, state control over land and other key economic assets and a strong authoritarian political party. Meles' aim was to create a developmental state through revolutionary democracy, a project that more closely resembled the Chinese model than Western notions of liberalism. Levels of economic growth have been high and the expansion of health care impressive. At the same time, however, Ethiopia has effectively criminalized dissent and made it virtually impossible for civil society organizations to engage in human rightsmonitoring or democratization initiatives.

Many reflections on Meles' leadership have pointed to his personal qualities and his complicated and often quite contentious legacies. U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Susan Rice gave a laudatory speech at his funeral, calling him "an uncommon leader, a rare visionary and a true friend to me and many." But Meles left behind a larger set of interlinked interests that include key figures in each of the ethnic parties that make up the EPRDF coalition; powerful economic institutions and mass organizations controlled by leading members of the ruling party; and, most importantly, the large and disciplined military and security services. This old order remains fundamentally in place even after Meles' passing. While formal authority has shifted to Hailemariam Dessalegn, a former deputy prime minister who has now ascended to the top post, it is clear that power remains embedded within this network of party, economic and military institutions, at least for now.

The EPRDF is the quintessential authoritarian party. In 2010 the ruling coalition and its allies won 99.6 percent of the seats in the national parliament, and by 2012 an estimated 6 million people had joined the party. Many sign up to gain access to government goods or to have a realistic chance of obtaining a position in the civil service. From the most remote village to the center of power, the EPRDF controls all political and economic space, with few distinctions between party and government. Meles' death did not provide opportunities for the shattered, repressed and increasingly ineffectual opposition to engage in politics effectively. There are no public signs of a dissidentnetwork within the military or ruling party, and it is nearly impossible to mobilize outside of those institutions.

Still, while the networks of power have proved robust, the EPRDF has undergone a remarkable transition of party leaders in recent years. A number of senior figures stepped down from the coalition's executive committee in 2010, notably Foreign Minister Seyoum Mesfin and Trade Minister Girma Biru, who were sent to embassies some distance from the political action. The EPRDF Congress last month saw the rise of a younger generation that did not participate in the armed struggle but rather had moved up party ranks on the basis of technocratic capabilities and loyalty.

The EPRDF remains, however, a coalition of ethnically based parties that differ sharply in terms of size, experience in the liberation struggle and ability to administer their respective regions. The inherent tension between centralized power and ethnic- and region-based parties remains strong. If a cabinet member from the ethnic Amhara party, for example, is replaced by someone from the ethnic Oromo party, it is perceived as a shift in the relative power of the two ethnic groups, even if the EPRDF as a whole remains in charge. This underlying ethnic positioning was evident when Hailemariam, from the southern wing of the party, appointed representatives of the Tigray, Amhara and Oromo wings as deputy prime ministers so that each constituent party retained a seat at the table.

Such tensions could be exacerbated by economic factors. Ethiopia experienced double-digit growth between 2004 and 2008, and the building boom in Addis Ababa and the construction of roads and regional universities is impressive. Hailemariam remains committed to Meles' ambitious Growth and Transformation Plan (GTP) for 2010-2015, which projected GDP growth of 10-15 percent and massive public sector investment in infrastructure, mining and energy. The Millennium Dam on the Blue Nile is the symbolic centerpiece of the plan and will be the largest hydroelectric power plant in sub-Saharan Africa when completed. It is not clear, however, whether Ethiopia will be able to finance all of its proposals. Actual economic growth is forecast to be closer to 7 percent from 2013-2017 — quite good, but not enough to meet the GTP's targets. Ethiopia's stability depends upon a rapidly growing economy, and a decline will create enormous political pressures.

Many strong, authoritarian parties shatter when succession crises create intraparty conflicts. While the EPRDF regime has held together despite the death of its longtime leader, it will be an extraordinary accomplishment if the EPRDF can manage the larger generational transition in which the distribution of power among different ethnic-based factions is in flux and many ambitious actors now see a once-in-a-lifetime chance to make it to the top. The period leading up to the 2015 elections will test Hailemariam's political skills. If one or another faction perceives that it has a better chance of gaining or retaining power by making an alternative coalition and challenging the old guard, then the EPRDF may prove brittle and shatter. Such a scenario, while by no means inevitable, has the potential to become violent and to have significant spillover effects throughout the war-torn Horn of Africa.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Ethiopia’s genocidal minority junta verging on madness? Horn Times

Human rights institutions urged to assist in

stopping the illegal transfer of political prisoners to
Zeway death camp.

By Getahune Bekele, South Africa

Located 170 kms south-east of Addis Ababa on the outskirt of Zeway

town, the Zeway death camp has been
in the news recently after the ruling
minority junta began sending political
prisoners to the camp since early March

Chillingly dubbed “the Auschwitz of

Africa” the prison was established by
former TPLF strong man Tamrat Laine
Warlord turned Pastor Tamrat Laine
(pictured) in 1993 as forced labor camp
to provide cheap slave labor force for his massive sunflower and
vegetable farms in the area which he co-owned with the
uncontestable black billionaire Sheik Alamoudi Mohammed.

However, after the 2005 nationwide anti-TPLF insurrection, the walled

in ghetto with high death rate than any other prison in Ethiopia was
transformed into death camp by the late evil tyrant Meles Zenawi.

The high death rate is attributed to malaria infestation, cholera

outbreak, tuberculosis, severe malnutrition and unbearable

overcrowding; and to widespread torture and extrajudicial killings

committed by carefully selected corrupt Tigre camp guards.

In the camp synonymous with poor sanitation, prisoners drink

untreated water drawn from the nearby Lake Zeway. The stench
of human waste and raw sewerage hangs in the air and gets worse
during rainy season.

According to investigation done by the Horn Times and vital

information obtained from former inmates, suicide is rampant at the
country’s most brutal facility where the minority Tigre junta enslaves
Ethiopians forcing them to live with rats and lice inside concrete cells
in unspeakable squalor.

“Zeway concentration camp is the most frightening place to be

at specially if you are a political prisoner. To survive there you
need malaria tablet, the most sought after item in the camp. The
brutal Tigre guards sell two tablets of proguanil Hydrochloride and
chloroquine phosphate for up to 3 USD to those who afford it,
and the smuggled medication costs double that amount.” A former
political prisoner who spent 8 years in the facility without ever given a
trial date told the Horn Times.

“But for Amhara and Oromo political prisoners things are very

different. Even when they produce money to buy medication the
genocidal TPLF camp guards would tell them ‘keep your money, you
are here to die.’ All guard towers inside Zeway are mini-enterprises
for the Tigres who are making extra cash by selling medications, insect
repellants, cigarettes and other basic goods at inflated price. Your life
in Zeway camp as political prisoner is at the complete mercy of the
sadist guards. I am wondering what will happen the day this junta

collapses and the entire wronged army of political prisoners attain

freedom. Surely there will be a reckoning…” the ex- inmate from the
Rift valley city of Awassa warned.

Currently families who are unable to visit their incarcerated loved

ones are pinning their hope on the international human rights
organizations and Amnesty international to stop this madness of the
genocidal junta which is continuing with the erratic, tyrannical and
increasingly bloody course pursued by the late despot Meles Zenawi
for more than two decades.

“Please appeal on our behalf to amnesty international to make

unannounced visit to the death camp.” A depressed mother of two
kids whose father is languishing in Zeway said stressing that only
the international community has the power to stop the systematic
genocide of exposing political prisoners to deadly malaria epidemic.

Furthermore, according to very reliable source within the junta’s

hierarchy, in a recent high level TPLF secret meeting attended by
supreme ruler Debretsion Gebremikael, security chief Getachew Asefa
and the most feared man, federal police boss Workeneh Gebyehu a
plan has been approved to send political prisoners the junta considers
a threat to the heavily guarded Diredawa prison in eastern desert city
of Diredawa which houses thousands of captured OGNLF, OLF and
Alshabab fighters.

However, the names of the so called high security risk political

prisoners weren’t mentioned at the meeting.


Thursday, April 18, 2013

Kerry to attend AU summit in Ethiopia - Africa | IOL News | IOL.co.za

Washington - US Secretary of State John Kerry on Thursday revealed he will attend an African Union summit in Ethiopia next month, and said Washington had be more engaged with Africa.
The May 19-27 summit in Addis Ababa will mark the 50th anniversary of the founding of the Organization of African Unity, the predecessor to the AU.
IOL pic apr5 usa john kerry charity
Associated Press
American Secretary of State John Kerry will attend an African Union summit in Ethiopia in May.

Kerry told US lawmakers he was concerned by China's growing influence in Africa, and viewed a recent tour of three African nations by Iranian leader Mahmoud Ahmadinejad as a “negative development.”
“China is now out-investing the United States significantly in Africa,” Kerry told his former colleagues on the Senate foreign relations committee.
Although China was principally focused on resources which did not pose direct competition to the United States, Kerry said he was worried about possible negative consequences.
“Between Iran, China, other countries... they're having an impact on the business practices and on the choices... some of the governments there are facing. And it's not been a positive one in some regards.”
Without naming names, the top US diplomat said some people were “engaged in bad business practices, in bribery” which was impacting the stability of some governments.
“So we're going to have to be more engaged in Africa,” Kerry said, adding the State Department, along with the White House, was “rushing” to fill vacant positions such as a pointman for Sudan and a special envoy for the Democratic Republic of Congo.
“Also I'm going to be at the 50th anniversary in Ethiopia in May,” Kerry told senators, adding “there are some other engagements that we're looking at with respect to sort of trying to be front and present.” - 

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

ETHIOPIAN EXPRESSIONS: Portraits Of A People | A Niche World

Posted on 

Ethiopian Priest
Ethiopian Priest

Ethiopian man under his 'sunhat' at Blue NIle Falls
Ethiopian man under his ‘sunhat’ at Blue NIle Falls
Beautiful little Ethiopian girl
Beautiful little Ethiopian girl
My private Simien Mountains ranger armed with Kalashnikov, North Ethiopia
My private Simien Mountains ranger armed with Kalashnikov, North Ethiopia
Elaborate Ethiopian head-dresses seen at village markets
Elaborate Ethiopian head-dresses seen at village markets
Ethiopian woman's neighbourhood / clan origins are clearly identified by her tattoos & markings
Ethiopian woman’s neighbourhood / clan origins are clearly identified by her tattoos & markings
Beautiful Ethiopian women's hairstyles change from town to town and tribe to tribe
Beautiful Ethiopian women’s hairstyles change from town to town and tribe to tribe
Elderly Ethiopian woman at church
Elderly Ethiopian woman at church
Christian Orthodox priest at a rock-hewn church in Lalibela
Christian Orthodox priest at a rock-hewn church in Lalibela
Praying with beads on the steps of Lalibela's UNESCO World Heritage rock-hewn churches
Praying with beads on the steps of Lalibela’s UNESCO World Heritage rock-hewn churches
Sudanese Ethiopian
Sudanese Ethiopian
Deep in prayer at a church in North Ethiopia
Deep in prayer at a church in North Ethiopia
Little girl at market in Mek'ele, North Ethiopia
Little girl at market in Mek’ele, North Ethiopia
Ethiopian man at market
Ethiopian man at market
Ethiopian village girl
Ethiopian village girl
Guarding the entrance to Blue Nile Falls
Guarding the entrance to Blue Nile Falls
Children perform tricks along rural village roads, South Ethiopia
Children perform tricks along rural village roads, South Ethiopia
Taking shelter inside a Church, North Ethiopia
Taking shelter inside a Church, North Ethiopia
Outside one of the oldest churches & monasteries in Ethiopia
Outside one of the oldest churches & monasteries in Ethiopia
Original frescoes & paintings found at rock-hewn Lalibela churches
Original frescoes & paintings found at rock-hewn Lalibela churches
Schoolchildren in North Ethiopia
Schoolchildren in North Ethiopia
Visiting a remote village school in Northern Ethiopia
Visiting a remote village school in Northern Ethiopia
Ethiopian Pied Piper
Ethiopian Pied Piper
Ethiopian children are all beautiful smiles
Ethiopian children are all beautiful smiles

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Prof. Muse Tegegne has lectured sociology Change &  Liberation  in Europe, Africa and Americas. He has obtained  Doctorat es Science from the University of Geneva.   A PhD in Developmental Studies & ND in Natural Therapies.  He wrote on the  problematic of  the Horn of  Africa extensively. He Speaks Amharic, Tigergna, Hebrew, English, French. He has a good comprehension of Arabic, Spanish and Italian.