Readout of the Secretary-General’s meeting with H.E. Mr. Hailemariam Desalegn, Prime Minister of Ethiopia (15.06.2016)

Ethiopia Eritrea 12.06.2016

NEW YORK, United States of America, June 15, 2016 – Today the Secretary-General met with H.E. Mr. Hailemariam Desalegn, Prime Minister of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia. The Secretary-General expressed his concern about the recent reports of heavy fighting on the border between Eritrea and Ethiopia, urging the continued application of restraint and a peaceful resolution through political means.

The Secretary-General expressed gratitude for the continued bravery of the Ethiopian troops of the AU Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) and highlighted the critical importance of staying committed to AMISOM’s efforts, particularly ahead of the 2016 federal elections. The Secretary-General also emphasised the importance of encouraging the sustained implementation of the peace agreement in South Sudan.

Brussels, 15 June 2016

Eritea-Ethiopian rumors – Border skirmishes, again?

ethio-eritrea-boundry-map

There been rumors and reports, not yet verified from either governments of Eritrea or Ethiopia. This happens just days after the United Nations came with a staggering report of human rights violations and as the flames of Omoro continues. There are no clear indications, though some pictures of war and neither PM of Ethiopia or President of Eritrea have confirmed their violent intent towards each other.

So these reports are many from different sources. There are reported that the activity of military skirmishes have happen on both side of the border that follows river Gena Belesa, so even say this fights are also to let the mining interest of Ethiopia to go down close to the border, as the closing in of allies for the Eritrean nation is dwindling, but none of these rumors are confirmed, as much as the silence from the Governments are really making the uncertainty of actions.

Here take a look!

“Best to be cautious when receiving unsubstantiated reports of escalation of hostilities between Eritrea & Ethiopia” (Eritrean Movement for Democracy Human Rights – EMDHR, 12.06.2016).

What Eritrea answers with:

“#COIE ignored z voice of 45K+ #Eritrean all over z world but accepted nameless, faceless individuals.Repeating 1952“ (EPLF, 12.06.2016).

1952 Eritrea Foreign Affairs

First Report:

There are reports of fierce batteling between Ethiopia and Eritrea, as the skirmishes are at the river of Gena Belesa; This is between the Gerhu Sernay and Tserona towns like Egri Mekal, Kuba Weyba and Kulo Brdo (Addis Gazetta, 12.06.2016).

Second report:

Unverified SOCMINT and OSINT intelligence reports show Eritrean army has conducted a large scale ground attack against the Ethiopian National Defense Forces (ENDF)” (…) ”If verified, it’s likely Ethiopia will retaliate through both mobilization of military resources and heavy deployment of the resources at the affected area” (Goldman, 2016).

Ethiopia Eritrea 12.06.2016

Third Report:

“The isolated regime in Eritrea has launched a full-scale attack in northern Ethiopia last night, following the recent report by UN Commission of Inquiry, in which it says the regime has committed crimes against humanity, reliable sources confirmed to Awramba times” (…)”Isais Afeworki, who is now isolated both politically and diplomatically from the international community, has now chosen full-scale war out of frustration” (Awramba Times, 2016).

Fourth report:

“Eritrea army has moved its ground forces inside northern Ethiopia” (Aligato Africa, 12-06-2016).

Fifth Report:

“Arab Sunny Ethnic in the west have to be careful of rich Eritreans and their messengers. “Thanks to the Sugar daddies of Middle East, North Korea of Africa, Eritrea is provoking the south, Ethiopia at all fronts to abort the ongoing crime against humanity proceedings of Eritrean leaders in Geneva. Eritrean cross border surprises assault killed hundreds of Ethiopian forces at their bases in Zalambessa area east. Heavy artillery fires on Badme to the West, Tserona central and Bure from UAE base under expansion which was supposed for bombing Yemen “According to Eritrean sources. There is no doubt that Eritrea is getting arms from Saudi, UAE and Qatar because it is under UN arms embargo which is violation of UN Charter” (Meles Tekle, 12.06.2016).

Sixth Report: 

“The fighting is still going on around the town of Tserona. The Ethiopian army has successfully repulsed the Eritrean attack and is reportedly pushing towards Eritrean mainland.  TOL has credible information from residents in the area the town of Tserona might fall or already is under Ethiopian troops. The heaviest fighting was in the villages of Akran, Adi Mesgen, Kunnikunto, and other strategic positions. The fighting was supported with heavy artilleries, tanks, and RPGs. Small scale skirmish has been reported all along the border   The Eritrean army is reportedly moving mechanized units from a place called Mai Wurai to the heavy fighting area and Ethiopia might have mobilized some of its mechanized divisions towards the skirmish area. Some civilians around Egella are moving back from the reach of Eritrea heavy shelling” (Tigrai Online, 12.06.2016).

This is what I could collect of wisdom from now, but there are more to come, but none is verified from either government sources of either Eritrea or Ethiopia, Asmara and Addis Ababa have not yet said anything. Peace.

Reference:

Awramba Times – ‘[Breaking News] Isaias Afeworki Launches Full-scale Ground Invasion of Ethiopia, in retaliation to recent UN report’ (12.06.2016) link: http://www.awrambatimes.com/?p=14938

Goldman, David – ‘Reports Eritrea Army Attack Ethiopia; Large-Scale Ground Attack Reported By INT Assets’ (12.06.2016) link: http://intelligencebriefs.com/reports-eritrea-army-attack-ethiopia-large-scale-ground-attack-reported-by-int-assets/

Tigrai Online – ‘Heavy fighting erupted between Eritrea and Ethiopa’ (12.06.2016) link: http://www.tigraionline.com/articles/ethio-eritrea-war-erupted.html 

#OromoProtests: countless protesters in Masala, West Hararge #Ethiopia (Youtube-Clip)

Chinese-built road to boost development in Kenya (Youtube-Clip)

“The tarmacking of the 130km Turbi-Moyale road by a Chinese firm, which connects Kenya and Ethiopia, is poised to unlock economic opportunities in Kenya’s northern county of Marsabit, and the country as a whole.  The road, which is set to be completed by June, is being constructed by the Chinese firm Wuyi. The road has opened up the towns in the Upper Eastern part of Kenya to trade, and helped boost trade amongst locals and people from other parts of the country” (New China TV, 2016)

#AddisTaxiStrike 2016: Taxi-Drivers today strikes for similar reasons as in 1998! Ethiopian Gov. Acts like business as usual.

Addis Taxi Strike 2016

Here is quick look into the new Taxi-Strike in Addis Ababa; that is escalating today into more towns in Ethiopia. That is interesting as the country has massive history. When it comes to strikes and had a giant demonstration that has toppled governments in the past. This might just be about a law, but this law comes from Federal Transport Authority. Seems like the Taxi Drivers is not interested in a new regulations and that opens the possibility of taking their licenses away.

I will bring some historic Taxi Strikes from Addis Ababa. The ones I will mention is the one in 1998 seemed to be for the same reasons actually. The other I will mention is in 1974 we’re because of the high oil-prices and also directly against the government. From the strikes of the past there are certainly things we can learn from and at the same time; see the similarities between 2016 and 1998. Just take a brief look.

The Taxi Strike of 1974:

“The second conjuncture was the steep rise in oil prices following OPEC embargo of 1973, which hit the Ethiopian economy hard. The inevitable result was galloping inflation that left a large hole in the pockets of urban wage-earners. Taxi drivers came out on strike over pump prices in February 1974 and teachers followed suit” (Nugent, 2012).”The Taxi drivers were going to go on strike as of 18 February, of Teachers’ Association decided to join them and bring the country’s educational system to a standstill on the same day” (…)”The Students, who since the late 1960s, had deliberately abandoned pursuing corporatist interests in favor of advocating a fundamental change through class boycotts, demonstrations and the distribution of anti-government leaflets, found in the taxi drivers and teachers long sought-after allies and, on 18 February, poured out onto the streets of Addis Ababa chanting revolutionary slogans and agitating resistance against the government” (Andargachew, 2009).

Lesser known Taxi Strike in 1998:

“Addis Ababa — Taxi drivers in Addis Ababa went on strike on Wednesday, July 8, 1998 in protest against new traffic regulations put into operation by the Transport and Communications Bureau of the Addis Ababa Administration as of the same date” (…)”The regulations identify several categories of traffic offences, matching them with their respective fines. The offences and their respective penalties are as follows (“Addis Zemen”, Sene 27, 1990 E.C.)”(AllAfrica.com, 1998).

More on the strike in 1998:
“Stiff new traffic safety regulations introduced: Stringent new traffic regulations have been introduced in Addis Ababa to stem a rising trend of traffic accidents in the city. According to officials, Addis Ababa currently suffers the highest rate of traffic accidents in the world with a total of 9,714 incidents recorded in the past 12 months with 300 deaths, 2,340 injuries, and a loss of property worth 11.6 million birr (approx. U.S. $1.7 million). The death toll represented a 17 per cent increase from the previous year. Announcing the move on July 3, the Transport and Communications Bureau announced the regulations put traffic offences into six categories entailing penalties raging from 40 to 140 birr, with the most serious resulting in court proceedings and the disqualification of drivers. Taxi owners, who described the new rules as “punitive rather than preventive”, held a one day strike on July 8 to protest the regulations. (The monitor, July 4-5)” (UNDP, 1998).

Taxi Strike Addis 2016 P1

This Year’s Strike:

On the 29th February different parts of the City the strike started. Quickly reached all part of the city and the taxis was not to be seen. The Areas with no taxi services was verified early at Saris, Megenegna, Kassanchis, Abnet, Shiro,Meda and Jemmo. The reports early were also that workers and students from the Southern parts of Addis Ababa could not get to town. The Addis Standard told earlier in the day that buses took people from Asko, Plassa, Arat Killo and Mercato R areas. Government tried to get people to take buses as the taxis was already striking. People were stranded at Sandafa, Laga Tafo and Burayu. There was even some taxis trying to avoid being a apart of the strike, instead they ended with violent reactions as they countered the solidarity between the drivers. The strike also led to the ordinary commuters to and owners of cars taking them to gas stations and long ques at the gas stations. After some hours even Bajaj drivers joined the taxi drivers in their strike in Holota. Special Eyewitness statement during the day was one: “Taxi strike Addis and Oromia Special Zone are in a mess situation as there was strikes by public transport providers. All taxes, minibus, higers and lonchins were in strike. In response this serious transportation problem there was conflict between police and public at Burayu (Keta district) around 8.00 am”.

On the 30th February the strike continued in Addis Ababa and there were no signs of them in the streets. The government had by this time deployed 380 public buses to get people moving in the city. There outcome is longer ques and traffic jams than normally.

ETV Taxi Strike 01.03.2016

During the 1st March while still the strike was going on. On the ETV the newscaster had the balls to call the taxi-strikers was calling them “terrorist”. Surely the walking is going to his head as he need to walk it seems.

On the 2nd March the strike continues and at some taxi stations around towns there are more donkey carts than ever and still no taxis. As the Taxi Drivers really means business when it comes to this law and matter!

Government Should Cancel the new traffic regulation – Taxi Drivers: 

Another news report after an hour after the start of the strike said this:

“As we have reported an hour ago, #addistaxistrike has continued. They are protesting a new Ethiopian law that has ignored them” (…)”BREAKING: Taxis in Addis Ababa go on strike against a new driving rule” (SiTube, 29.02.2016).

Background:

“Following the announcement of a new decree to execute Regulation Number 208/2010 that the Federal Transport Authority is said to implement on drivers, taxi drivers in the city of Addis Ababa have called for and started a strike that will last for two days. As the news of strike started circulating, Transport Authority announced its plan to postpone the implementation of the decree for three months to ‘create awareness’ in advance” (…)”Fana Broadcasting Corporate, on its news feed, has interviewed people from the Associations of Taxi Owners where they claimed the strike was called without their consent and urged the drivers to end their strike and start serving the public immediately” (Zone 9, 29.02.2016).

“Taxis stopped operating on Monday morning, leaving the Addis Ababa city short of taxis. Long queues were observed throughout the city as passengers lined up for taxis this morning” (…)”Meanwhile, the Federal Transport Authority said it is putting on hold of the traffic bill for three months. The Authority will “postpone consideration of the bill until there is wider agreement on a solution,” it said in a written statement to the state owned radio” (Fantahun, 29.02.2016).

Addis Taxi Strike 2016. Gas Quejpg

The Law that the Taxi Drivers strike about:

“Taxi drivers in Addis Abeba and its surroundings are striking as of this morning against a new traffic regulation which started to be implemented as of Monday 22 February” (…)”In 2009 the Addis Abeba City Council favorably voted to ratify the new traffic regulation, Road Transport and Traffic Control Regulation. Following the 2009 ratification of the amended regulation, the Addis Abeba Transport Bureau (AATB) claims to have had discussions with taxi and city mid-bus owners’ associations as well as the society at large before reaching at the recent decision to implement to regulation, seen by many as too strict and unpractical” (…)”The Regulation stipulates a six month suspension of driving licenses and additional driving lessons for drivers who lost 14 -16 points due to previous offenses. A driver who has 17 -19 points deducted from his/her records will get his/her driving license suspended for a year; and any driver who gets 20 and above points deducted will have his/her driving license permanently revoked and can only re-apply for a fresh driving lessons after a gap of two years” (…)”AATB estimates that Addis Abeba is home to close to more than 4, 000 white minibuses, 8,000 blue minibuses and more than 500 mid-buses (known as Higer buses), all providing the much needed transport within the city and its environs. It is estimated that the blue and white minibuses together provide transport services to about 1.1 million commuters every day, while the 500 mid-buses transport no less than 700, 000 commuters. The Addis Abeba city bus enterprise operates more than 800 city busses that transport an estimated 1.2 – 1.3 million passengers per day” (Mahlet, 2016).

Some reasons why the strike happens:

“The latest strikes by taxi drivers is one among a growing opposition by Ethiopians against an oppressive minority government that’s facing resistance from all corners of the country. Regime’s forces on Monday reportedly detained several students who were showing their solidarity with the taxi drivers. The students were staging a protest in the sub divisions of the city called Ayer Tena and Awtobis Tera. Their whereabouts is not yet know” (ECADF Ethiopian News, 01.03.2016).

Addis Taxi Strike 02.03. 2016

More strikes not only Addis:

“Taxis and other vehicles of public transportation in several towns in the Oromia region surrounding the capital Addis Ababa went on a strike on Tuesday. Holeta, Burayu, Ginchi, Ambo, Woliso, Asela, Bale and Robe were some of the towns hit by a massive transportation crisis. Some of the towns began the strike on Monday, on the first day of strike by taxi drivers in the capital Addis Ababa that brought the city to a halt. Even the scooters, the widely used form of transport in the smaller towns, locally known as “bajaj” were not to be seen in the streets” (…)”The government announced that the new regulations has been suspended for three months but the drivers want it scrapped altogether” (ESTA News, 01.03.2016).

Ripple effect:

“Though many taxi drivers that talked to the Voice of America (VOA) Amharic Service correspondent Eskinder Frew were skeptical that the government would scrap the directive, they said they were obeying the orders passed by their union leaders” (…)”The EPRDF government, which is facing a stiff opposition in Oromia region, is facing numerous challenges, including violent clashes in Gonder, as well as in eastern and southeastern regions such as in Gambella. When news broke that the taxis were boycotting in Addis, many mistook as the last straw that broke the camel’s back” (VOA, 02.03.2016).

Taxi Strike Addis 2016 P2

This Taxi Strike is about a certain regulation and law that will make it harder for the Taxi driver and also more expensive. Also make a system where many will lose the license quick and take away the livelihood of the Taxi Drivers. This here proves that there is discontent between the professional drivers and the authorities; seems also to be based on old grudges as I am impressed to see the similarities between the 1998 strikes and the ones now. Not the ones in 1974 even if they are more “famous” and had a greater historical impact on Ethiopia. This one here is regulation and monetary matters, as it also was in 1974 when the oil-prices was high because of OPEC blockade; the issue know may also be because of high oil-prices in Ethiopia, but also because of the new law, and that was the same in 1998. There is not harmony between the government/authorities and the Taxi Drivers, as the strike seem to continue, it has been on the third day and I wonder how long they will continue. Especially since it now is also happening in other towns than in Addis Ababa. The interesting thing is to see how little international response it has gotten or in media in general on the outside of Ethiopia. Don’t you think?

Hope that was interesting, because it was for me! Peace.

Reference:

AllAfrica – ‘Ethiopia: New Traffic Regulations Trigger Taxi Drivers’ Strike’ (10.07.1998) link: http://allafrica.com/stories/199807100058.html

Andargachew, Tiruneh – ‘The Ethiopian Revolution 1974-1987: A Tranformation from an Aristocratic to a Totalitarian Autocracy” – (03.12.2009) Cambridge University Press

ESTA News – ‘Taxi strike in Oromia towns following a two day strike in the capital, cabs in Addis resume work Tuesday afternoon’ (01.03.2016) link: http://ethsat.com/taxi-strike-in-oromia-towns-following-a-two-day-strike-in-the-capital-cabs-in-addis-resume-work-tuesday-afternoon/

Fantahun, Arefayne – ‘Taxi drivers go on strike protesting traffic bill’ (29.02.2016) link: http://www.ethiopiaobserver.com/2016/02/taxi-drivers-go-on-strike-protesting-traffic-bill/

Mahlet, Fasil – ‘NEWS: ADDIS ABEBA AND ITS SURROUNDINGS HIT BY MASSIVE TAXI DRIVERS’ STRIKE’ (29.02.2016) link: http://addisstandard.com/news-addis-abeba-and-its-surroundings-hit-by-massive-taxi-drivers-strike/

Nugent, Paul – ‘Africa Since Independence’ (13.06.2012) – Palgrave Macmillan; 2nd edition edition

UNDP Emergency Unit for Ethiopia – ‘Monthly Situation Report for Ethiopia – July 1998’ (11.08.1998) link: http://reliefweb.int/report/eritrea/monthly-situation-report-ethiopia-july-1998

VOA/EthioMedia – ‘Taxis in Addis end strike after directive’s implementation postponed’ (02.03.2016) link: http://www.ethiomedia.com/1010ideas/5093.html

Zone 9 –‘Taxi Drivers of Addis Ababa on Strike’ (29.02.2016).

PLO Lumumba – “We are Co-Authors of our misfortune”

Interesting, right? Enlightenment, right?

Peace!

The Republic of South Sudan – The Reservations of the Government of the Republic of South Sudan on the “Compromise Peace Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in South Sudan”, Juba 26th August 2015

GoSS Peace Reservation 2608P1GoSS Peace Reservation 2608P2GoSS Peace Reservation 2608P3GoSS Peace Reservation 2608P4GoSS Peace Reservation 2608P5GoSS Peace Reservation 2608P6GoSS Peace Reservation 2608P7GoSS Peace Reservation 2608P8GoSS Peace Reservation 2608P9GoSS Peace Reservation 2608P10GoSS Peace Reservation 2608P11GoSS Peace Reservation 2608P12

Press Freedom in the East African nations with ratings of the environment in 2014 (+ reports that the Ugandan regime turned off the transmitter of the Radio Baba in Jinja yesterday)

Dr. Kizza Besigye Jinja Iganga-Jinja Rallies 21.07.2015

Yesterday on the 21.07.2015 the NRM regime cut off the radio transmitter for the “Baba Radio” or as it’s really named 87.7 Basogo Baino FM in Jinja after Dr. Kizza Besigye had a great rally earlier in the day in Iganga and Jinja. Therefore it made me go through the report on ‘Press Freedom in 2014 – Harsh Laws and Violence Drive Global Decline’ that is coming from the NGO Freedom house. Today on 22.07.2015 Mr. Innocent Anyole is sacked from his job after trying to interview Dr. Kizza Besigye this sacking happen by Radio Director Hon. Moses Grace Balyeku, the NRM Chairman of Jinja and MP for Jinja West Constituency. He sure followed party line and broke the wing of the man who introduced FDC man Dr. Kizza Besigye. Well, let me introduce the Press Freedom in East Africa according to the global rankings of the Freedom House and their report on how it was in 2014.

This report has three important levels of how the media is and which place in society it has:

  1. Free
  2. Partly Free
  3. Not Free

The difference between them comes to how great power the countries government controls the media or let them be. How the laws and treatment of journalist and media institutions is and how the events surrounding them have been in the recent year.

I will focus on the East African Countries and those in the “area” around how the quote and place this countries in the report. Because I write about the South Sudan, Ethiopia, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Burundi, Rwanda, Tanzania, Kenya, Somalia and Uganda. These are the countries that will be taken. Not the whole world but the basic places that I usually cover in my blog somehow. So it shouldn’t be surprise to anyone.

Before addressing the numbers and rankings of the nations, let me take the quotes on some of the nations from the report as well:

“Ethiopian authorities stepped up arrests of independent journalists, including the Zone 9 bloggers, leading more than 30 to flee the country during the year, according to CPJ” (…) “In Kenya contained several vaguely worded clauses curtailing press freedom, including the threat of three years in prison for journalists who fail to obtain police permission before reporting on terrorism investigations or operations, or for coverage “likely to cause public alarm, incitement to violence, or disturb public peace” (…) “Somalia’s score improved from 82 to 79 due to the increased ability of private actors to open media outlets and the greater distribution of media, especially radio, throughout the south-central part of the country” (…) “South Sudan’s score declined from 62 to 68 due to the government’s near-complete disregard for constitutional and legal protections for freedom of the press in 2014, as well as the lack of such protections in rebel-held areas; a marked increase in restrictions imposed on journalists by the security forces; and heightened censorship, self-censorship, and retaliatory attacks on journalists”.

From here I will address the rankings of the East African nations coming when it comes to press freedom and the numbers that they have gotten from the expert committees that gone through reports and the International Freedom of Expression Exchange (IFEX). The stories this numbers are telling and the situation that the media has on the ground is staggering. Therefore it’s a story that has to be told. Now will explain the criteria of the global ranking that is made of scoring process, the value of the levels and what they mean for each country and last the main groups of questions that the researchers and analyst in cooperation with IFEX. That has crunched the numbers with the questions and reports from sources from the whole world.

Criteria:

Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights states:

Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive, and impart information and ideas through any media regardless of frontiers”

Scoring Process:

“The research and scoring process involves more than 90 analysts—including outside consultants and members of the core research team headquartered in New York—who prepare the draft ratings and country reports” (…) “the other members of the International Freedom of Expression Exchange (IFEX) network for providing detailed and timely analyses of press freedom violations in a variety of countries worldwide, on which we rely to make our judgments”.

Scale Point for the levels:

“A country’s final score (from 0 to 100) represents the total of the scores allotted for each question. A total score of 0 to 30 results in a press freedom status of Free; 31 to 60 a status of Partly Free; and 61 to 100 a status of Not Free”.

Questions that makes the score:

The scores are put into three categories: Legal Environment (0-30points), Political Environment (0-40points) and Economical Environment (0-30points).

daily-nation-east-african-newspapers

Placing of the East African nations: 

Rank Country Score Status
164 Burundi 74 Not Free
172 Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) 79 Not Free
180 Ethiopia 83 Not Free
124 Kenya 57 Partly Free
172 Rwanda 79 Not Free
172 Somalia* 79 Not Free
152 South Sudan 68 Not Free
115 Tanzania 54 Partly Free
123 Uganda 56 Partly Free

*Somaliland got ranked 115 – Score of 54 and was set to be ‘Partly Free’

What this means:

This tells something about the environment that the press in the East African nations goes through. Of the eight nations three is ‘Partly Free’: Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda. This means that certain levels of freedom is on the media, but has certain levels of strings on the press. It’s worse in the rest of the nations because they are on the level of ‘Not Free’: Burundi, DRC, Rwanda, Somalia and South Sudan. And they did make Somalialand as a separate territory as a ‘Party Free’ whiles the country as a whole is set as ‘Not Free’. Therefore in that setting certain areas of Somalia federation has more freedom then the rest.

What that is shocking for me is how low scores countries of Uganda has compared to Ethiopia. Ethiopia has been strict on media and journalist. Especially to those who are abiding opposition in the country. Uganda has many outlets, still the big ones has over time been disorganized by the regime like the Daily Monitor. That has not happen with similar media in Kenya. Though the laws for media there is isn’t similar reports on shut downs of radio station and papers when the regime disagrees. Rwanda I am sure that the government is strict on the media, because the news from there is usually in the mood of the regime. Burundi if it wasn’t for protests and deflectors, there would be less news and information on the regime of Pierre Nkuruziza. DRC and Kabila haven’t put this into motions after all the issues that have been in the last decades. The regime has control and want to be sure of the information that is put out. Therefore when you hear something negative it’s from the UN bodies or MONUSCO but not the press of the DRC or journalists. Tanzania has its freedom but also strangles on the media. The party has been running the country since independence so the feelings is that their intertwined and feel like they are together, instead of actually being critical of the politicians and society. But it should be worried that the different countries and how big the difference between the top and bottom of the scale in the East African. From Tanzania who got 54 points and the worst was Ethiopia got 83 points – the close competition was Rwanda, Somalia and Democratic Republic of Congo got all 79 points on the scale. 60 Points scale is the max for the ‘Partly Fee’ media nations. So that the environment is on a far level from partly and even longer way to being free. The thing that is worrying is that it’s less than 5 points from ‘Partly Free’ to ‘Not Free’ with Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania. It’s just small tweaks and harassment of the media and in 2016 report will degrade this nations and how the media has a place in these countries. Though it doesn’t look to good, but hopefully I and others can be surprised. Until then let hope that the media get into a place where they can actually monitor their areas and speak their minds without fear or legal repercussions. Peace.

Reference:

Dunham, Jennifer, Nelson, Bret & Ahekyan, Elen – ‘Press Freedom in 2014 – Harsh Laws and Violence Drive Global Decline’ – April 2015 – Freedom House

Press release: The Ethiopian sham election serves only the dictatorial government (23.05.2015)

MelesElection3f

The Tigray dictatorial ruling class was built on excessive military power. The regime indulged the country into extreme poverty. The corruption of the ruling class was one of the main machinery that put the country into the highest level of economic inequalities where the few members of the ruling class became the richest and the majority of the citizens are unable to even earn their daily bread. This high level of inequality resulted into absolute poverty, migration and loss of lives of hundreds of thousands of people. Today hundreds of thousands of Ethiopian people are living in hunger and insecurity in their own country. Some are cherished in Sahara desert and Mediterranean Sea while they were trying to escape from unfair and abusive government.

For the last 24 years, since the Tigray ruling class came to power, the corruption, displacement of people and human rights abuses have increased with the tremendous speed. This misery darken the political space and eradicated people’s hope for democracy. The Ethiopian people have been denied political freedom and rights of expression of their opinions. In this current regime, it is a crime to have different political opinion rather than supporting the Tigray ruling class’s party. The Ethiopian regime recorded highest level of Human rights abuses, killings, and intimidations not only in African continent but also in the world.

The Tigray ruling class came to power with military force; it has built its dictatorial regime on military power and will continue to do so. One party dictatorship rule was the vision they had from the very beginning. They proved their vision within the last 24 years. In the future, they want to rule Ethiopia under one party dictatorship rule. The Tigray ruling class never listened to the Ethiopian people, nor willing to listen in the future. The responses to peoples’ questions were imprisonments, tortures and killings.

The main priority for the Tigray ruling class is to stay on power. One of the strategy they designed to stay on power is to carry out fake election every five years. The last four elections proved that the ruling class is the most dictatorial regime on the planet. This 5th election that will take place on May 24, 2015 is not different from the previous elections. This election will not make any change to the political system and democracy in the country but it is only to renew the power of the ruling class for the next 5 years. This election is not democratic and not expected to fulfil the interest of the Ethiopian people. The election board is established by the current ruling class; the so called participating political parties are not treated fairly; the members of the opposition parties are arrested, harassed and beaten; the election process do not follow the democratic principle. Therefore, one can easily to judge the outcome of such unfair and sham election.

The Ethiopian people was struggling for peace and democracy for several years. Among the people struggling for their rights the Oromo people was on the forefront. The Oromo people was struggling for many years and made huge sacrifices to regain their freedom and democracy. The Oromo people is not struggling to gain nominal seats in dictatorial government system but to become free from a century long political, economic and social domination. This objective cannot be achieved through participating in the election organised by the dictatorial ruling class.

Particularly to the Oromo youngsters and students, you have made significant sacrifices to move the Oromo struggle forward. In order to make your sacrifices yield a fruit, you must continue your struggle for freedom and democracy. Participating in this fake election means that you forget the sacrifices your brothers and sisters made. Participating in this election means that you’re building the power of your perpetrators. From many years’ experience, the OLF knows the plan and behaviour the Tigray ruling class. The OLF knows that this regime is not prepared to leave its position even if they lose the election, which is unlikely within the current election process.

Therefore, the OLF wants to inform the Ethiopian people in general and the Oromo people in particular, that this election stands only to serve the Tigray ruling class and to keep them in power for the next 5 years. This election does not fulfils the interest the Ethiopian people and do not lead to peace, stability and economic development of the country. The OLF wants to remind the Oromo and other people in Ethiopia that it should not mislead by this sham election.

Particularly to the Oromo people, you are the first target of the Tigray ruling class. The power and strength of this regime works against you. So the OLF remind you to stay away from any activity, including the current election that build the Tigray regime and keep them in power.

Victory to the Oromo people!

Oromo Liberation Front

May 23rd 2015