Ethiopia: Human Rights Day 2013

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December 10, 2013 is Human Rights Day (HRD). Proclaimed in 1950 by the United Nations as a marker for the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and in 1993 as the establishment of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, HRD is a solemn day to remind us of the dire human rights situation in Ethiopia. Thousands of courageous political prisoners languish in the country’s notorious jails without due process as do many prisoners of conscience (such as journalists and religious leaders).

It may be recalled that the Ethiopian people were subjected to unbelievable atrocities by the military (Derg) government as well as groups opposed to it in the 1970s and 1980s. After a partial restoration of the freedoms of speech and association in the 1990s under the ethnicist EPRDF government, the rising demand for a meaningful exercise of citizen rights and political engagement since 2004 has been met with draconian laws, mass arrests, and miscarriage of justice with impunity. Ethiopia annually is ranked with alarming consistency among the worst countries as a routine violator of human and political rights by such international observers as Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, Reporters Without Borders, and the U.S. Department of State.

We need only mention some of the more notable actions in the country over the past five years:

  • On the heels major electoral losses to the opposition parties in the 2005 parliamentary elections, the defacto one-party state summarily arrested opposition politicians and some 2000 demonstrators, and killed 193 peaceful protesters in the streets.
  • This was followed by a massive recruitment of the youth to join the ruling party which swelled ruling-party membership to some 5 million. The recruits are trained and paid to constitute an ever expanding network of control of citizens down to street blocks in the cities and isolated hamlets in the rural areas.
  • The intensification of the suppression of political dissent aimed at incapacitating independent political parties, decimating the independent media, and hamstringing independent NGOs was enshrined in law in 2009. That year, a draconian Charities and Societies Law was passed which, among other things, prohibited local charities from engaging in human rights and voter education activities if they receive more than 10% of their income from foreign sources or from soliciting domestic resources in excess of USD 2,500 before registration as well as engaging in income generating activities that are only incidental to their purposes. This plus the almost unlimited authority of the NGO regulatory agency has had the effect of nullifying their right to free speech, advocacy, and international contact of local NGOs. As if this is not enough, the politically insecure regime enacted in 2009 the universally condemned Anti-Terrorism Law whose broad sweep criminalizes virtually any criticism of government policy. Predictably, this law has been deployed as a thinly disguised excuse for politically-motivated arrests of opposition leaders, bloggers and print journalists, including Andualem Aragie, Eskinder Nega, Reeyot Alemu, Wubshet Taye, and notable leaders of the Muslim Community who resisted serious government interference in their religious affairs.
  • Ethiopians have also been subjected to unprecedented internal displacements and orchestrated labor exports to the Middle East which has opened them to abuse an appalling and inhuman mistreatment we are witnessing in Saudi Arabia. Pastoral communities in the Gambella and Omo Valley regions have been coercively displaced from their ancestral lands to make way for mega farms leased to foreign investors, and mega power or irrigation projects—with little planning or compensation. Furthermore, tens of thousands of young Ethiopians, desperate to escape chronic unemployment and government harassment, are being killed and brazenly subjected to physical and mental abuse in Saudi Arabia, Yemen and several Mediterranean countries while their own government looks the other way.
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Ethnic segregation and fascism of TPLF the woyanes

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Ethnic segregation idea was first sowed in the land of Ethiopia by fascist Italians. The country dividing and hate mongering ideology was defeated with the fascist Italians. Later on in 1991 this Ideology was re-introduced by TPLF the bandits of forest. The re-introduced language based segregation was been used by the regime past 23 years. The neo-fascist woyane successfully divided the country by language, culture and history. More over the hate mongering history lessons propaganda advanced to academic areas which teach completely false, clueless and evidence less lessons to the generation. This has created ethnic based racism aggression among the students, people and ethnics of Ethiopia.

The well-known dictator regime of Ethiopia is the post-messenger and follower of fascist Italians. There are many similarities between the Tigrian liberation front and the invaders of 1936- 1941. The fascist dictator of Italy, during its occupation of Ethiopia, it partitioned the country in to six governorates.

The Neo-fascist TPLF, Partitioned Ethiopia in to nine language based regions and two chartered cities. The regions are mainly based on the language and partially geographical regionalization. Language based includes Amhara, Tigray , Oromia ,Somalia, Benshangoul goumuz and Afar regions. The remaining regions seem to be divided according to their geographical location. Gambella region has more than one language. Anuak, Nuer OPO denka and Mezhengir are the languages of the region. In south Ethiopia there are many ethnicity and languages. So the regionalizers gave them the name SNNP and compressed them in to one region. The regions further divided in to zones, woredas (districts) and kebeles.

To identify the individual’s ethnicity, individuals are registered according to their region, language and ethnicity. Their identity card or any legal documents required to fulfill these standards. This documentation provides strong base for discrimination of individuals during employment and public benefits. For instance an individual from Amhara or Afar region cannot work in public offices in Oromia region or cannot be elected as a public officer. The employment opportunity, owning land and property rights of the individuals are limited to their regions. This method of discriminating citizens based on their ethnicity comes from non-Ethiopian origin.  The technique of limiting the right of individuals to their regions and ethnicity was first devised by the Apartheid leaders of South Africa

During the apartheid segregation of races in South Africa, the ruling white party segregated and tried to eliminate blacks’ from areas where whites live and the parliament. Blacks were deprived South African citizenship and limited to their Ethnic based regions called Bantustans. Blacks were forced to live In the Bantustans and forcibly removed from their homes and property. South Africa’s black population was subjected to a massive program of forced relocation. This brings us to the implementation of Apartheid Bantustans in Ethiopia. The recent eviction of Amharic speaking Ethiopians from south Ethiopia and Benshoungoul gomouz is strategic Bantustan system applied on Amhara’s by TPLF. Ever since, the Ethiopian Bantustan system created, citizens deprived their right to employment, residence, access to common benefits and the associated things. In turn this resulted in a massive flow of young men power out of the country. The ethnic politics, hatred between ethnics, tribalism and chaos between ethnics are the results of Woyane Bantustan system.

During the fascist Italian invasion Ethiopia was regionalized in to six governorates and in reign of TPLF the country is regionalized in to nine regions based on their ethnicity and languages. The chaos mongering regionalization of the country has created hatred between people, made a gap to misunderstand past political history of the country, reduced common sense, common value and caused underestimating unity in diversity.

The TPLFs government main scheme to elongate its life span is destroying the national sense of Ethiopians and the feeling of being Ethiopian from the people. For this purpose ethnic politics based on language has become the target instrument. The national feeling of young generation has decreasing over half percent in compare to the past generation. Now days in the most part of the country the idea of being Ethiopian and Ethiopia considered as a Neftegna system followers, especially in Oromia, Somalia and Afar regions. Followers of ethicized politics often get their history education from the worst writers of history and ethnocentric politicians. They have a mission of making battle grounds between the ethnics of the country. I know the fact that there has always been ethnic marginalization, injustice and inequality in Ethiopia. But what happened in the past should not be used as an excuse to cause division and hatred now.

The ruling regime intentionally reduced national feeling from the generation. The generation taught to not value their country but their ethnicity. The increased hatred stress among different ethnics has doubled many times in recent years that were never known before in the history of Ethiopia. The year 2012, conflict between Gharri and Borena ethnics in south Ethiopia caused over 20,000 people to flee. Several pastoral tribes in south Ethiopia get in to conflict every year. Tribal zone conflict of the Suri and Dizi and others were the fruits of the woyanes language based ethnic policy.

The separation of people is not only in a social and cultural area but also it is further penetrated in to spiritual environments too. Since recent years depending on the church language many different churches were built. Often it’s observed that members of churches with the same religion but different church language quarrel and fight with each other because of their language differences.

So far I have been comparing the ruling regime of Ethiopia with fascist Italians and racist apartheid government of South Africa. It’s obvious that woyane Government copied and implemented the policy of Apartheid and fascists. For these governments their policy was right and honored. The same is true for woyanes, their ethnic centered policy is holy and sanctified for them. The current segregation policy of woyane is daily fueled up to the people through media stating the segregation is for freedom, equality and justice which the people deprived in the former political systems. The repeated false propaganda of woyane brainwashed the people. The woyanes context of freedom, is sustaining its power and eradicating any opponent and Equality is dividing the country in to tribes and creating hatred among these ethnicities.

To continue divide and rule strategy, TPLF every year celebrates “ye bihereseboch qen”. Millions of dollars spent on the occasion and the main goal of the celebration is not to promote the unity in diversity or increase our bond but it’s aimed to pleasure the junta leaders. It’s illogical for woyane to celebrate the nations and nationalities day and make segregation among the people. Also it makes no sense since tens of thousands of our people killed and left on the land of Arab’s but back home the TPLF having party for diversities. Which comes first, saving lives of the abandoned citizens or having fake diversity party?

The confused government of Ethiopia with self-contradicting policy kept on ethnic apartheid leading system. Consequently, I cannot see unified peaceful country as long as TPLF exists. If the situation is left to continue in this manner, there is no doubt that soon or later civil war would occur or Ethiopians would be abandoned and become stateless people. To combat the woyane from act of country destruction, all Ethiopians should become patriots like their forefather who defeated fascists and turned them in to ashes.  As the South African blacks struggle was not a question of political power, our struggle is not an interest of political supremacy but it is a fight for survival of our country, keeping it or losing it forever. Our forefathers did not fight fascist for the sake of political power but it was a question of existence, sovereignty, keeping our land or losing it forever. That was the spirit which gave power to our forefathers and black South Africans to defeat their enemies. Our invincible Ethiopiansim power should come out of us. Our arms should be heavy up on woyane. There should be no more suppression, killing and segregation. We should stand together to build our country’s unity in diversity.