Ethiopia: Prime Minister’s Spin Episode Two – The Press Release

The assassination of singer and activist Haacaaluu Hundeessaa on the 29th June 2020. The authorities have used violence, arbitrary arrests and extra-judicial-killings. With this in mind, the Republic and its leadership needs to fix and spin the narrative. Because, the government doesn’t want to be looking like blood hounds and atrocities towards own citizens.

The Prosperity Party and the Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed Ali wants to look golden. The Prime Minister wants to look the like the future, the promising and the reformer. Abiy doesn’t want a stain on his record. However, the arrests of both the Tigray and Oromo leadership shows what he does. Not to forget the deaths of 260 people and 3500 arrested. While the unofficial numbers are 1,000 killed and 5,000 arrested.

That is why the man wants to look wonderful, but the reality is sinister. That’s why the government blame either outside forces or the TPLF. The government cannot be to blame, even if they have all the arms, bullets and orders to oppress the public. That is why the state uses Command Post in Addis Ababa and the Oromia Region. With the knowledge of this, it is outrageous that they are trying to spin it.

Like they did in the most recent press release by saying this:

Ethiopia’s transition from an autocratic state to a nascent democracy is underway and is inevitable. The government recognizes that this journey is tumultuous and filled with many obstacles as structures, systems and networks that remained under the grip of authoritarianism are slowly being chiseled away. The critical reform milestones enabled in the past two and half years will continue taking root as the administration remains committed to staying the course. This political will at the highest level is anchored in establishing a just and democratic order that pays heed to equality and respect of fundamental rights and dignity of every citizen. It is anchored in respecting and upholding the Constitution, which guarantees fundamental rights and freedoms, including the right to life and security of person. It is anchored in ensuring and maintaining the rule of law, as no one is above the law of the land” (OPM, 10.07.2020).

Using the reforms as a shield to enforce injustice and impunity. That is what the Prime Minister and the government does. They claim to stop authoritarianism, but using the means of that to arrest and kill citizens without proper cause. It is really dubious at best. A method of using the law against the public and protestors, but not taking accountability for own actions.

It is hard to see how the Federal Government is respecting the rule of law or constitution, as it so easily can take life and arrest people. It seems like the Prosperity Party is above the law, when they can order these sort of orders on the citizens. While the opposition leaders in Oromo and Tigray is behind bars. The burning of houses and other vicious acts of the government should be addressed. Instead, the state only looks into the citizens who doesn’t have a voice or a outlet to let out grievances. If they do, then they will suffer. Peace.

Ethiopia: Prime Minister’s “Context” statement is a unjustified defence of injustice

I don’t know who advices the Prime Minister of Ethiopia. However, eleven days after the assassination Haacaaluu Hundeessaa. It seems like the Prosperity Party and the PM is feeling the heat. That’s why he published the “Context and Updates on Current Issues in Ethiopia”. A 6 pages piece trying to address what has happen lately. That’s why the Office of the Prime Minister has dropped this online for the world.

I will digest the parts, which makes sense to me. As there unverified numbers of 5,000 people arrested lately and close to a 1,000 killed. While the official numbers are 3,500 arrested and 260 killed. Therefore, within a short window of time, there been all this happening. The state ordered arrests of opposition leaders, Oromo leadership and set fourth the Command Post in Addis Ababa and the Oromia region. While sowing mistrust to other regions and blaming outside forces.

So, now the state says this about it: “It should be clear to friends and foes alike that the current Ethiopian government led by Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed has a strong desire, commitment and capacity to build a democratic order based on equality and respect of fundamental rights and dignity of every citizen” (OPM, 09.07.2020).

The wording here is inspiring, but the actions made on the round isn’t what anyone desire. As I write, I read that more of the Oromo leadership get arrested. It is hard to see democratic order, when one groups leadership is political prisoners. It is redundant to speak of democracy and dignity for all citizens. When some citizens are dying in the streets and the state trying to justify it.

So, when the state continues to say this : “This action of the government, however, was not positively welcomed and utilized by everyone. Some opposition parties and political figures began to misuse it. Some others began to throw offensive slurs against members of other ethnic groups. Some others engaged in defamation and finger-pointing without reference to established facts” (OPM, 09.07.2020).

It is really striking the wording here. It shows that the Prosperity Party and the government had a line of acceptable actions by the opposition. If they didn’t follow that line, they would be out of order. It is ironic that the government pulls the ethnicity card, when the government blame the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) for everything. The state are using them and saying they are inciting all violence, if not its outside enemies doing it. Seemingly, while the government are the ones with the soldiers in the streets and police officers ruffling feathers in the Oromia region.

They continue saying this: “Following the death of Hachalu Hundesa, the government has undertaken legal measures in order to maintain peace and security in the country and to safeguard the constitutional order. One of the actions undertaken by the government was to arrest those suspected of involvement in the killing of Hachalu as well as those involved in illegally hijacking his remains and inciting violence through media. The government also arrested certain political leaders suspected of attempting to undermine the constitutional order” (OPM, 09.07.2020).

It is weird calling it constitutional order and legal means to kill civilians, arrest all opposition leaders and pin other crimes on them. This seems like a political hit-job on the ones who cannot defend themselves. The OPM have an advantage to create a narrative, which it tries to do here. Pinning the blame on the ones arrested, opening up old prisons, which was promised to close. Dungeons, which is mentioned synonymous torture like Maekelawi Prison has inmates again. So, the new constitutional order is to kill civilians protesting and burning houses in Oromia? Is that the reforms the PM stands for?

The OPM continues saying: “The government of Ethiopia is no less committed today to democracy, rule of law and respect for human rights than it was when it started a new journey of reforms two years ago” (OPM, 09.07.2020).

This is just disrespectful, this is spitting in the face of the all victims of late. All the family members of the ones who has lost their loved ones. How can you talk of respect of human rights, rule of law and democracy, when you do all this. Sparking direct violence against citizens in this manner. While justifying saying it like this.

Also saying this: “Media entities are also encouraged to continue their work in accordance with the laws of the land and the ethics required in dispensing their information sharing responsibilities to the public” (OPM, 09.07.2020).

Closing Media Houses, stopping radios from their broadcast and arresting journalists. It is clear the state doesn’t want the public to get information. Neither want the information spread. The violence is supposed to happen in darkness and be written in the manner the state wants it out. Not say anything else.

I don’t feel the need to address more. The Prime Minister wants to peddle another story to make him look good. Use the tactic of rule of law and constitutional order over the heads of the public. Also, use it at as a shield to defend the arrests, destruction and silencing of the dissidents. That is very clear.

Enough nonsense. Peace.

Ethiopia: The Government of Regional National State of Tigrai – Press Release (07.09.2020)

Ethiopia: PM Abiy have given the Oromo freedom [to die in the street for their liberty]

I don’t believe the Oromo people need an armed political struggle, as someone who spent all his life for Oromo. The people of Oromo are free, what we need now is development. There is no shame in being Oromo in Ethiopia, what we need is prosperity” – Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed Ali in Parliament (07.07.2020).

Within the last 24 hours alone, there is reports of 10 more dead in Haramaya (Alem Maya). The authorities killed them and buried them in the night without the families of the deceased present. This is the sort news and stories, the Prime Minister and his allies doesn’t want out.

The verified numbers of killed protester across the Federal Republic is still at 160. While unverified numbers is at 320. It is hard to know the truth, as the internet is blocked. Phone lines is jammed. Command Post in Addis Ababa and Oromia.

While the media houses friendly to the Prime Minister is spreading his message and their propaganda at this point. The PM isn’t caring about the deceased at this point. He just want to be king and want people to listen to his orders. The peasants are just peasants anyway, why listening to them?

That is how it seems, as the assassination of Haacaaluu Hundeessaa on the 29th June 2020. The protests has continued. The deaths have spiralled, while the government working to defend itself. The state sponsored violence is going to another level. Innocent civilians are dying in the hands of soldiers and police officers across Oromia and in Addis Ababa.

It is just like Prime Minister enjoys the pains and suffering of his citizens. He says in the midst of the bloodshed, that they have freedom? What sort of freedom is it do die a blunt death at the hand of law enforcement? What sort of death is it knowing the last thing you did, you battled injustice and more of your brothers dies of the same. Endless blood on the streets, because you as a Prime Minister calls this freedom.

You call it freedom, while leaders of the Oromo gets arrested. There are so many leaders within the Oromo Liberation Front and Oromo Federal Congress detained. Radios are closed, Media Houses closed and the Prime Minister speaks of freedom.

The Prime Minister speaks of freedom, while his propaganda peddlers are spewing out allegations of direct violence of Oromo against their own. While using the former oppressors as scapegoats in the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF). Claiming they are also peddling dangerous content in sowing diversion between Muslim and Christian Oromo.

This while they want Amhara, Tigrai and Oromo all to fight each other. So, they will all look away from the Command Post, Army who attacks the citizens and people are dying.

For me its insane to write this. There is even some speculation that the PM did all of this to please, the ones who defies him all the way. The Tigray Nafxanya (TN) to beat the Oromo, arrest the leadership, kill their voice and spew hatred between the Oromo and Amhara. Which is just bonkers considering the TPLF is working alone in their region and not following the PM. The PM is just hurt they are not his allies and working with him.

The internet is down, so a lot of information is not coming out. Hopefully, more of that will return when the authorities are opening the airways, the internet and telephone-lines.

Abiy is sowing hope. Abiy is not sowing prosperity. He is enraging the public. Instead of healing wounds. Trying to listen to grievances. His trying to provoke and anger parts of the public. For a man of supposed “peace”. This is just the wrong way of handling it. Unless, he wants to be king, the emperor, who rules by decree, but not popularity. A man who rules by the gun, but not by consensus. That is the sort of man he is now. Peace.

Ethiopia: Protest continues [fatalities rising] and Defence Minister Megersa arrested!

The assassination of Haacaaluu Hundeessaa sparked outright outrage and protest in Addis Ababa, Ambo and in the Oromia region. It is now reported that a total of 160 civilians has died as a result of their protest. While there is report of Command Post both in Oromia and in Addis. Means, that not only police is on the streets, but soldiers against its own citizens.

The Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed Ali and his team is directly attacking own citizens with weapons, arresting the leaders of the opposition. Media and journalists are also getting arrested. Today, the report of the Minister of Defence Lemma Megersa is also detained. The man that opened the doors to the PM is now arrested. Shows that he touch anyone he wants and doesn’t care.

The state is clearly taken away any voices who speaks up against the Prime Minister. They are not accepting that people are dissidents. The dissidents dies. They are either detained or killed. While the state is blaming outside forces, they are blaming the former oppressors of the TPLF. The party that didn’t join the new party Prosperity Party. So, the narrative is clear. It is also blaming the ones behind bars for inciting it. Which is clearly impossible, as they are behind bars and cannot communicate.

The Prime Minister can speak of rule of law, but uses oppressive means to silence his opposition. He first gave way to them and smiled in their comfort when he took power. The man promised them heaven, but is now serving the same hell as before. The only difference is that he has had time to consolidate power. Get his allies behind and now uses forces against the ones speaking against him. There is no other way to see this now.

When a singer and activist of Hundeessaa calibre gets gunned down. The Querro see one of their heroes die. The Oromo see one of their own dies. Just like the ones who wouldn’t bend to Abiy in Amhara, also died and the supposed “coup” have never been proven. It is just more injustice.

So, if you aim at Abiy, the cell or 6 fix under is the end-game. You better praise the king, the glory and the hallelujah to the risen star from above. Prime Minister Abiy commands so. Don’t you dare insult him or his ways. You will be punished. One way or another. Peace.

Society Against Genocide in Ethiopia (SAGE): Statement of SAGE on The Looming Human Catastrophe in Ethiopia in the Aftermath of Artist Hachalu Hundesa’s Assassination (03.07.2020)

Ethiopia: PM Abiy’s speech stink of Machiavelli

During this legal process, like in the past, we will not pull nails, we will not put people in the dark or we will not torture to investigate. [But] we have to show that no one is above the law; we have to show that no one, outside of peaceful and democratic means, can make us kneel. We have to show what war is to those who know nothing about war [but] want to show us what urban warfare is. It is important to show to those empty dreamers who don’t know how to win but spread their dreams through Facebook that winning through such means is impossible; we have to show them that they can only dream and not read their dreams” – Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed Ali TV Speech (03.07.2020).

Why don’t I trust the Prime Minister of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia now? Well, he says this is about rule of law and says foreign forces are involved, even a militia who is doing this. While his government has put up Command Post in Oromia and around Addis Ababa. While the government have used weapons and killed civilians during the last few days. Direct injustice towards the own citizens who used their feet on the streets voice up their grievances towards the government. A government that is behind the assassination Haacaaluu Hundeessaa.

It is really striking that the government are going against foreign forces and opposition as the trouble makers. When the army and police is all out violent against own citizens. The state is behind the killings and the civilians dying. That is why the state is so mum about details. Just like it have never found the missing link to the “Amhara Coup” either, but was able to install Abiy friendly people there.

No one loud critic was taken out with singer Hundeessaa. Also with the Oromo leadership behind bars indefinitely. They will be blamed together wit the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), the party and the people who didn’t join the consoldited Prosperity Party. It is just so fitting to do so, as the whole narrative is controlled and set by the state. A state that has an blackout on the internet and jammed the phone lines in Oromia too.

This is all done deliberately together with the speech today to fix it for the state. It is to make arguments and reasoning to validate the violence, the brutality and the killings of civilians. This has been happening all week. The numbers have varied but is no stagnated around a 100 people who died in association with the demonstrations and state sponsored violence. Then its hard not to speak out. The injustice is deliberate and done with a purpose.

The state could get away with a fake “Amhara Coup” and they hope now to get away with a Oromo Protest getting bloody too. The Prime Minister and team has learned from previous oppressors. They know the techniques and uses the same means. Only under the banner of PP instead of the EPRDF or the Derg. They are using the state machine to be brutal and fatal to own population. While blaming “outside” forces and “opposition”. They are scarecrows and scapegoats for the destruction and violence made from the authorities.

He speaks of not putting people in the dark, but that is what it does. They want to control the situation, both mentally and physically. Trying to manufacturing consent and intimidate the voices of dissidents in the region of Oromia. One hero taken down and arrested the leadership of vital political groups at the same time. Creating political prisoners and blaming them for the violence at the same time. Like they can coordinate that from behind bars.

Like Machiavelli said in the Prince:

“… above all things, a prince ought to live amongst his people in such a way that no unexpected circumstances, whether of good or evil, shall make him change; because if the necessity for this comes in troubled times, you are too late for harsh measures; and mild ones will not help you, for they will be considered as forced from you, and no one will be under any obligation to you for them”Niccolò Machiavelli – (‘The Prince’ from the Chapter VIII, 1532)

The Prime Minister and team isn’t thinking this through. However, they just rejuvenating old theatrics and means to oppress the public. I cannot see anything else. Only that it used the flag of reforms and prosperity in a “medemer” dogma, which is just a tool to trick the world. I have a hard time seeing difference between what’s happening now and what happened not long ago during the “State of Emergency”. The only difference is who the “enemy” is and “good guy” is. The rest is a similar fashion and the ones dying is still the citizens. That is the dire reality of this.

Also a man of supposed peace has clearly no issues making war towards his own. The Prime Minister declaring war on his own and signalling “outsiders” as trouble-makers. It is as old as Machiavelli the Prince:

“ …a prince ought to have two fears, one from within, on account of his subjects, the other from without, on account of external powers. From the latter he is defended by being well armed and having good allies, and if he is well armed he will have good friends, and affairs will always remain quiet within when they are quiet without, unless they should have been already disturbed by conspiracy…”Niccolò Machiavelli – (‘The Prince’ from the Chapter XIX, 1532).

Seems like he got the lesson from Machiavelli. He is following it and to a T. Peace.

My letter to Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed Ali: Is this your legacy?

2nd July 2020 Oslo

Dear Prime Minister of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, His Excellency Abiy Ahmed Ali.

I am writing to you with concern of your citizens. The ones your representing and being the head of state off. It is weird that an outsider has to write this to you, but maybe you would listen, if this coming from an outsider. However, I doubt you would skim the passages and words I put down. Still, I write to you, because I need to do it.

It is in haste and in need, as the military are putting up Command Post in the Oromia Region. As there violent attacks on citizens in Addis Ababa. Gunshots are heard and there is fear, intimidation and death. This is all happening on your watch, Prime Minister Abiy.

Prime Minister Abiy you came in with promise and with flex into your role as the Head of State. However, that promise have withered and the brutality of your rule is now evident. Citizens are dying. Activist and singer Hacaalu Hubdeessaa was assassinated only four days ago. The Oromo leaders are behind bars.

You know how this works. Prime Minister you have seen this darkness before. This sort of oppression, brutality and state sponsored violence against citizens. We know there is injustice going on, when you block the internet and telephone. That is because your worried of the leaks of the vile acts made by the state.

Prime Minister Abiy, do you want to be remembered as a bloody tyrant?

Prime Minister Abiy, do you want to be remembered as a dictator?

Is that what you are looking for? If so, then continue with your ill attempt of misrule. Where you only know how to order the army and police on your own citizens.

I would think you were better, but apparently … you are just like the rest of them. However, Mr. Prime Minster you came in on a lie. You came in on a pledge and breached it. You pocketed goodwill and now your letting it burn.

Mr. Prime Minister your squandering all your earlier efforts. Burning the bridges and only leaving skeletons left on the streets. These being your citizens, the citizens who you are supposed to defend and represent. It is like you have forgotten why you are there.

The deaths, the murders and vicious attempts to get rid enemies are now in the open. You are doing the same as the old oppressors. You are trying to peddle propaganda to cover it up, but you will not win with that. It is only showing that you as an emperor is naked. There is no redemption here, unless you carry the weight of the tormented people. The people that is violently brutalized on your command.

Prime Minister, I hate to say it. Your name isn’t with hope anymore. It’s no pride in your name. There is no trust in progress or in reforms. It is only devastation and destruction. You had your moment and you have already blown it.

Man up, buckle up and know that you have a light a fire, you most likely don’t have the ability to extinguish it.

You could have done so much better Prime Minster Abiy, but you choose differently.

Best Regards

Writer of Minbane

Ethiopia: The protests continues… [Fatalities on the rise]

It is now reported that up to 80 people have lost their lives in the demonstrations against the state after the assassination Hachalu Hundessa. There are also added speculations, which isn’t verified but online that the uncle and father of the deceased singer has been shot by the authorities. After discussions with Querro, Authorities and the Family about where the singer should be buried. The initial state plan was in Ambo, but the Querro and family wanted it to be in Finfinne. However, that is yet to be verified.

What we do know is that the authorities continues to crackdown on the opposition. Use them as tools for oppression and excuses for the uprising after the assassination of Hundessa. Today, the high ranking arrest was Eskinder Nega, the journalist and opposition politician. His now being blamed too for “illegal activity” and held at unknown place. The Oromo Leadership and close knitted family is kept in secret locations too and the organizations behind them haven’t been able to contact them after the arrests.

AIGA Forum Update today states this:

Update 07-01-20 #2- The regime has arrested Eskinder Nega and has accused him of organizing a youth group that was planning to carry illegal activities. The regime has also accused Jawar and Bekele Gerba as key organizers behind the current Oromo protest and many prior killings and disturbances. The looting is still ongoing in Addis Ababa and ethnically motivated killings are on the rise. According to a source many people are being killed daily in Addis.

Stay tuned. Aigaforum Jul 1st, 2020”.

This here says it all about the situation, as dire and bleak it is. While some cry havoc over the government buildings burning and statutes butchered. The same ones aren’t in tears over the loss of lives. Innocent civilians dying, because they speak out in the streets. The ones who dares to walk out and do their civic duty. While the authorities are using their monopoly of violence, police brutality and bullets to silence the public.

Still, with the hardships, the pain and the suffering. The amounts of rising deaths. The uncertainty, the leadership behind bars for the Oromo. The public is still protesting and showing their resilience. They are not accepting the state’s excuses and “alleged conspirators”. Because, the public knows how comes with guns, arrests and assaults them. It is government sanctioned violence against them on their own soil. The ones that supposed to protect them.

We know it’s messed up, when the former oppressors of the TPLF and leaders of the EPRDF says the truth in a Press Release from their Central Committee, which states this:

WHEREAS, everyone, especially our people, are aware that the regime and its followers, who have found out that a head-on collision with our people and their ruling party is like a head-on collision with iron, have turned to a coordinated campaign mainly by spreading false information through the media and by dispatching mercenaries in order to destroy our internal peace and stop our developmental efforts thereby throwing us to extreme darkness” (TPLF Central Committee, 30.06.2020):

When you see that in the midst of the darkest hour. As you see the bloodshed and hear the news, the dire need for change. The deaths, the use of force and state sanctioned killings. The blind violence against citizens. As they are demonstrating, since they lost one of their heroes and their leaders are behind bars for unknown reasons.

There is also reports that Military Command Post is enforced in Addis Ababa and Finfinne. We just know what that means, as the Command Post under the EPRDF meant blood and terror. This is not new. Show’s how depressing the state of affairs is right now.

We know the Prime Minister is wrong. We know his naked and the truth is dark, grim and despicable. There is no spin to change this. Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed Ali, this is all on your watch and with your blessing. This blood is on your hands. Peace.

Opinion: Abiy’s Anti-‘Medemer’ Law Approved

There are sometimes ironies in life. Today that comes from Addis Ababa and Ethiopia. Where Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed Ali was supposed to reform things. However, with time that isn’t sincere and today the nail in coffin of that was with a disingenuous law. Laws like these aren’t to save the nations from certain speech, but to muffle critics and opposition.

The Prosperity Party and the Prime Minister are really showing that there is no difference in them compared to the previous regimes, which it came from. This is happening in the months ahead of elections. So, expect the leadership of opposition and journalists to be arrested because of this law. As there are easy steps to be hit by this sort of law. Because of this, I am first dropping the key news about the law, before a simple explanation of the “Medemer” and after that breaking it quickly down.

The State own report on it:
“Addis Ababa, February 13, 2020 (FBC) –Ethiopian parliament today approved a hate speech and disinformation prevention and suppression law. The law was approved with a majority vote, 23 against and 2 abstentions” (…) “It is also intended to control and suppress the dissemination and proliferation of hate speech, disinformation and other related false and misleading information.
The law prohibits disseminating hate speech by means of broadcasting, print or social media using text, image, audio or video” (Fana Broadcasting Company – ‘House approves hate speech and disinformation prevention law’ 13.02.2020).

What is Medemer:

Since reformist Prime Minister Dr. Abiy Ahmed came into office, his concept ‘Medemer’ has become a phrase of common currency within Ethiopia’s political landscape. ‘Medemer’ literally means ‘adding’ or ‘being added’ based on how its read, and contextually means to come together. According to the Prime Minister, ‘Medemer’ is a homegrown approach that aims to solve the country’s challenges by bringing together polar views, and finding compromise” (Ethiopian Press Agency – ‘Inside ‘Medemer’’ 13.01.2020).

This law is clearly aimed at the ones not speaking their language or their rhetoric, as they can charge and make their expression illegal. As they will control the media, the public online and elsewhere. That is why this is totally opposite of the ideals of ‘Medemer’, as that was to bring together polar views and find compromises.

Now, the state is instead made way to stifle the voices, instead of listening they can ban and make voices illegal. Even if there are ethnic hate-speech, if there is tribal sentiment growing. This law will be most likely hit the dissidents and opposition.

This is the opposite of finding compromise and it’s actually silencing them. If this would target Mohammad Jawar’s Oromo Media Network or Eskinder Nega for that matter. I wouldn’t shocked, if they got into trouble for something they wrote or stated online. Neither, if some media forums like Tigrai Online or Aiga Forum for that matter. Don’t be shocked, if these would be banned or seen as illegal by the authorities ahead of the elections. Because, they just need to write or state something online, which is deemed as disinformation, hate-speech and you got it cracking.

This wasn’t a move of reform, but of going back. They might renamed themselves the Prosperity Party, but this is the old-EPRDF oppressive style of move. Peace.