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Ethiopia: The New State of Emergency Directives -“It’s now more draconian and more aggressive towards dissidents!”

The Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) and the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) are not moving softly, but swift. Just like in the past and previous State of Emergency, the TPLF junta, the TPLF controlled government plans to silence the Oromo and Amhara protest, even as they have finally released many of their leaders and known voices of oppression. This being all from Oromo leaders to bloggers and journalists. Who has lingered in jail for years, without proper charges or evidence of their crimes. Still, there are thousands of political prisoners who hasn’t been freed by the government.

So in Amhara, the last few days in Baha Dir and Gondar, the towns has been shutdown and the shops closed. Sitting home protest to the newly decreed State of Emergency, that was done by the Council of Ministers. Today the State Owned and Controlled Media House Fana put out an explanation of the new rules, they are specific and proves that they are not tolerating anymore demonstrations and political rallies, which is not sponsored by the TPLF junta in Addis Ababa.

“In his press briefing today, Secretariat of the Command Post and Minister of Defense, Siraj Fegessa, announced details of prohibited actions and measures to be taken against anyone if found violating the directives” (…) “It also prohibits obstructing transport services, carrying out attacks on infrastructures and development institutions, hampering activities of law enforcement bodies, and staging unauthorized demonstrations and meetings. It also forbids hindering teaching learning process at schools, strike at sport fields, violence inciting actions, hindering distributions of basic goods as well as obstructing cultural, public and religious festivals. It also forbids promoting political agendas. Possessing firearm at public areas or transferring firearms to third party as well as providing support to activities which affect the peace and wellbeing of the people are also prohibited by the State of Emergency. The decree also prohibits issuing statement on security matters without the permission of the Command Post, distributing erroneous and information which contradict with the law and the directives issued by the Command Post” (Fana BC, Amare Asrat – ‘Command Post issues details of State of Emergency’ 21.02.2018).

So again, the TPLF infused state are taking hold of the public sphere, as the soldiers and agazi squad is in the streets and on their posts. This months roadblocks and stopping of transports of goods to Addis has clearly hit the pride of the EPRDF and the TPLF. They cannot manage the public outcry and the momentum of the demonstrations. Since they have been gaining support and strength with the prolonged control of the state.

Now all demonstrations, all promotion of political agenda, meaning only the one message from the Council of Ministers are okay and the state officials like Siraj Fegessa are allowed. The rest are to bow to the masters of EPRDF as the SoE continues. What a narrative and oppressive regime from the get-go. They are stopping all sort of sharing of information, that meaning we could soon be seeing blocked internet, blocked social media, stopping of phone-lines and others measures to stop demonstrations.

If you thought the leadership and Council of Ministers came in peace, your wrong, they are taking away all freedoms and doing it with impunity. Because they cannot manage to understand or reflect on why the Oromo and Amhara people are tired. They just want to rule and silence the opposition. They want to use force and harass these regions. Detain, destroy and spread fear, but clearly, it isn’t working as anticipated. Since, they are continuing and the aggression from the government should be forfeited. Instead, this measures and this pressure from the state, might dissolve it.

Who knows, but they cannot stop the momentum and neither the public uprising, which has already shown force in Oromia and Amhara. It is just a matter of time before they say: “enough”. When they do, the military and the police can be there, but they cannot arrest them all or kill them all. Then they have nothing to earn and no citizens to gain profits from, it would be suicide of the government to do that.

Not the TPLF and EPRDF is bright, since they instead of reconciling with the protesters, they started another SoE. They could have gone the route of peace and negotiations, instead they are using force, they might think they are winning, but they are not. They are slowly losing, but not knowing it. Peace.

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Opinion: Does the EU know how the EPRDF/TPLF uses the force during a State of Emergency? – Doesn’t look like it.

Just as the State of Emergency is setting effect. The Amhara Region has started their new protests against the regime. They are now having city wide demonstration and stay home one, where people stayed home instead of going out or opening shops in Gonder and Bahir Dar. That is the proof of the word of mouth and tiredness of the Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF ) and also the dominant party of the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF). Those are the ones who most likely put the force in the State of the Emergency at the “Council of Ministers” during the weekend. After the Prime Minister resigned.

So its a setback and proves the lack of proper mentality or even understanding the tiredness, that the European Union, doesn’t see the hour of need, the strength of the public will and the demonstrations in Amhara and Oromia. That they could offer moral support, if any. Since, they are supposed to be on the barricades for democracy and for human rights. Instead, they are now limiting their statement and making less progress. In the view of stability over the democracy and over justice for the Ethiopian people and the groups who has been neglected by the EPRDF.

European Union Spokesperson on Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Catherine Ray in a statement today said this:

The announced reinstatement of the State of Emergency risks undermining this very objective. It is therefore of the outmost importance that it should be as limited in time as possible and respectful of human rights and fundamental freedoms, notably those enshrined in the Ethiopian Constitution. Violence should also be avoided. As a committed partner of Ethiopia and of the Ethiopian people, the EU will continue to encourage all actors to work constructively towards a democratic and stable Ethiopia” (EEAS – Catherine Ray – ‘ Statement on the situation in Ethiopia’ 19.02.2018).

The Oromo Party in the coalition the Oromo People’s Democratic Organizatino (OPDO) has today elected new leadership. They have elected or selected Ahmed Abiye, instead of the one everyone though would win and might become PM, that being Lemma Megersa. So, this also changes the battle and the question of who will be appointed the next PM. That can be the saving grace or create even more hostile atmosphere. Since the TPLF might put enough stones on the scale to crash the whole regime. There are even reported that Lemma Mergesa are today put under house-arrest. That is from credible sources within the EPRDF and TPLF. This could be reason for why Abiye became the new leader of OPDO.

While in the party of the former PM, there has been election where now Defense Minister and the one who announced the State of Emergency Siraj Fegessa has become the party chairman of the Southern Ethiopian People’s Democratic Movement (SEPDM). Therefore, he might be a front-runner to, unless the TPLF are weighing the scale to get someone from the regions, which the EPDRF has used force in. That being the Amhara and Oromia regions, that the state has used the army, detained and killed.

That is why, its like the EU are looking the other way, asking the EPDRF to act nicely, when they have a reputation and has a history of open violence, actual takeover and invasions of armies into the public sphere and against civilians to quell the uprisings of the citizens there. It is like the EU doesn’t want to know about the destruction and the killings in the provinces. Like please be nice, but not hurt the Ethiopians, the Amhara people or the Oromo people either.

Today as the EU wrote about peace and non-violence, there are report in the midst of the stay-home demonstrations as Col. Demeke Zewde came home to Gonder, the Aghazi Squad shot live bullets at the crowds. Clearly, the TPLF and EPRDF are continuing their oppression and has no plans of doing otherwise.

We can wonder if the EU gets it, but don’t expect it too. They are now showing compliance and not understanding the situation and the dire need for change. That the society and the state, needs a new leadership who actually listens not only to the protesting regions, but the whole amount of citizens. Not only the Tigray and their hunger for power. If Brussels cannot understand that, then they are blindly looking the other way.

It’s a terrible look if the EU is serious about human rights, working for democratic institutions and actually caring about more than stability. They should support the rising uprising, the defiance of the state and the protest, which has lasted for years. Because their tolerance of oppression is over. It is just the TPLF and EPRDF who cannot muster change, since they want it by any means. Peace.

Ethiopia: The Draconian rules of the previous State of Emergency is back in full effect!

The Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) and Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) are still doing whatever they can to quell and silence the provinces. This is just a few brief months since last State of Emergency. Clearly, the Oromo and Amhara provinces are a handful, but instead of listening and actually taking it into account. They are planning a hostile takeover and actually being an occupying force in its own nation. That is what the Aghazi Squad and mercenaries are doing in these regions, will not hit afar or even Tigray, it will be Oromo and Amhara, where the demonstrations, the shutdowns and the protests has been lit.

The Addis Ababa Central Government and the Council of Ministers are doing a fatal mistake, the demonstrations has shown effect already. They have gotten many of their leaders and people of impact in the community back again. These has been the voices of the opposition. Now they are tried again to be silenced by the leadership. With a force that will be bloody and will be direct countering the recent measures and trying to soften the approach. Instead, the Council of Ministers are now going into warfare in the regions instead of trying reconciliation.

Addis Ababa, February 17, 2018 (FBC) –The State of Emergency declared yesterday will remain in effect for six months, said Ethiopia’s Defense Minister Siraj Fegessa. In his press briefing today, the Minister said the the decree will be tabled to the House of People’s Representatives with 15 days. According to the Minister, the State of Emergency was needed to protect the constitution and constitutional order. He also dismissed as false rumors of military takeover of the government. Siraj said a Command Post has already been set up following the declaration of the State of Emergency by the Council of Ministers yesterday. The decree prohibits preparing, printing and circulating via media writings that could cause disturbance and suspicion among people as well as displaying or publicizing signs which could stir up violence. The decree allows law enforcement bodies to detain without court warrant any individual who orchestrated, led and organized as well as took part and suspected of taking part in criminal acts against the constitution and constitutional order. The individual will face justice after necessary investigation. In order to seize materials which were utilized or could be used to commit crimes, they could search any houses, areas and vehicles as well as stop, ask and search a person without a court warrant, the Minister noted” (Fana Broadcasting Company – ‘State of Emergency remains in effect for six months, says Defense Minister’ 17.02.2018).

So expect that the regions of Amhara and Oromia to be like warzones, where the police and military will look for the ones behind the protests. Be there and act like foreign mercenaries, not respecting and spreading fear. Being there arresting, detaining and flogging people on the street. They have already killed kids during religious festivals in the regions. I expect killings in Bahir Dar, Gondar/Gonder, Dire Dawa and Awasa. That the expected ones where the government forces will go all out, as they have done in the past.

They will look into civilians houses, does random raids and stop people on the street. As they are passing through, that is how they made many political prisoners. That is why there are already lingering 20,000 prisoners because of the latest State of Emergency from 2016 to 2017.

So when I saw what the Defence Minister Fegessa said what he ordered today, it was much more of the same of the previous ones. Taking away all freedoms, this will effect the regions where the protests been in. Not like the Council of Ministers will kill civilians in Aksum or Mek’ele. Neither directly in Gambela, unless Kenyan or South Sudanese Cattle Rustling between the porous borders there.

So now the state and the mercenaries will be back, their violations of the freedoms, liberty and personal rights will be on hold. Because the state fears their voices in the streets, they fear their feet bouncing on the roads and shutting down all the businesses. Their wise closing of the main roads and stopping transports into Addis Ababa. That has been efficient demonstrations by the protesters who has hurt EPRDF and the pride of TPLF.

However, let’s hope the TPLF will not get away with the violence, the desperation and the inception of possible destruction of themselves. Since they are not able to see, they are shooting themselves in the foot. Last time around, the arrests and the violence, ignited the demonstrations and protests. Therefore, it might grow even more and no amount of soldiers, mercenaries and hired guns cannot kill them all. They cannot detain them all.

The Ministers of the Council, the EPRDF and TPLF has really forgotten their place, now ushering more violence, instead of serving the regions. That is proven by this. Therefore, don’t expect the Oromo and Amhara to silence themselves over this. Last time there was burning foreign investments in the region. To hurt the buttom-line of the wealthy in Addis. That might happen again, while also prison unrest and big demos at Universities. There might roadblocks and other public display that show the force of the public. Even if the army will try to settle the score.

Let’s hope the EPRDF get some sense, though they are instead digging their own grave, while the protesters are already gaining momentum. Doesn’t seem like they are getting it. Peace.

Ethiopia: The Declared State of Emergency of 2018 isn’t the needed remedy, but a hostile TPLF takeover of the provinces!

After yesterdays abrupt resignation of Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn and the release of several prominent political prisoners, as even more were released today. The thoughts that the State and the Ethiopian People’s Democratic Revolutionary Force (EPRDF) and the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) would counter the demonstrations with draconian laws seemed a bit foolish. This after three days of shutdown and off open in the streets demonstrations. Still, the TPLF, was already in the inner-works working on changes and making sure they can continue to muster force against dissidents.

That is why earlier today, this was reported:

The Tigray Central Committee has today announced a 43rd anniversary of the Battle of the Tigers. As a result of the weakness of the declaration of the TPLF leadership, we will renew our commitment to create a state of complete restoration of the problems and inconvenience of the people of the region. In a letter to a sister organization, he said: “We must jointly condemn enemy attacks on our organization and our country with the sole purpose of resolving the problem.” In a message sent to Ethiopians, the current wave of destruction against our people and our people will be eliminated in the EPRDF Rule” (Addis Gazetta, 16.02.2018).

So for the ones saying it was possible for a State of Emergency being reissued seemed likely after the TCC, as they wanted to send a message. Which would be stronger to take away again all sorts of ordinary activity, stop meetings and demonstrations, stop funerals and close shops. Because that is what the previous State of Emergency did to the public. They stopped people in roadblocks and made check-points, militarized Amhara and Oromia region. Clearly, the Tigray plans to do that again. Even as the demonstrations and the people are tired of being muffled with.

There it is with sadness, the Ethiopian Broadcasting Company (EBC) said this:

The state broadcaster said the Council declared the #StateofEmergency because it has become impossible to control violence including ethnic-related and lawlessness that is spreading wide throughout the country in various forms. But nothing is mentioned how for long” (Addis Standard, 16.02.2018).

Clearly, they are thinking of the actions done by the citizens in Oromo and Amhara, where the people have seen their relatives die on the streets or being detained in the thousands. This has been done on a scale that was insane during the previous State of Emergency. Proves that another one isn’t to create peace or genuine leadership. Its just for the TPLF to continue to control.

The State Controlled Media House Fana Broadcasting Company said this:

Addis Ababa, February 16, 2018 (FBC) –The Council of Ministers has declared a state of emergency effective from Friday, 16 February 2018 by adopting the decree providing for the emergency ruling. The Council of Ministers said the emergency rule is aimed at protecting the constitution and constitutional order, as well as ensuring security and stability of the country. Protecting freedom of movement and the rights of citizens to live wherever they choose as well as build assets, are also among the motives for the ruling. The Council in its press briefing noted that the violence that have been going on in some areas are undermining the security and stability of the country as well as the value of the people that promote peaceful coexistence. The violent activities have also led to ethnic based attacks which led to the displacement, death and injury of people, damage on property, and hindered investment. These violent activities are hurting the economy and put the peaceful and free movement of citizens under question. The Council said it is important to adopt the decree, as the public has requested the government for protection and the dangerous activities have continued to expand and extend in time” (Fana BC – ‘Ethiopia Declares State of Emergency’ 16.02.2018).

So the FANA is using the same rhetoric as the Tigray, the seemingly problematic affairs of the demonstrations, as they are blocking key roads and also shutting down business. This is hurting the economy and the life-line of the regime. That is why the definitions of them are practically the same. The TPLF and EPRDF thinks they can subdue and silence them through force, by either detaining even more now or use the military like last time. Occupy and destroy in 2018, like they did in parts of 2016 and 2017. It is not like they have stopped killing and not stopped arresting civilians who demonstrate against them. That is why there are numbers up to about 20,000 political prisoners from the previous State of Emergency. That is common folk and not the prestigious ones, which has been released during this week.

If you didn’t know, but now you do, as they proven time and time again. That the Tigray deserves more and has more say than the rest. There was even sources saying that this the parties of Oromo Peoples’ Democratic Organization (OPDO) and the Amhara National Democratic Movement (ANDM), who are members of the EPRDF. Where against the move of State of Emergency, not that it mattered. The TPLF had the final say and they we’re terrified of the surge of demonstrations and possible blockades of Addis Ababa. They cannot manage the possible resistance and movements on the rise, who are not fearing the Central Government, but actually and openly standing against it.

So if the EPRDF and TPLF are wise, they would do it differently, try another approach and actually listen to the grievances and actually patch the wounds. Instead they are pouring more salt in the wounds and hoping the citizens will give in. They are actually doing an unnecessary move and will trigger more of the dissidents to act upon the unwillingness of the state. It is like it cannot learn and understand the efforts being made to matter and to get their voice heard. Addis Ababa has acted provincial for so long and acted with colonization of the regions. That is why they are tired of being muffled with.

Now they have seen that the demonstrations has resulted in getting their leaders back. Their voices too, that is why the State should reconcile, not go back to the barricades; however that seems like the only thing they know how to do. Peace.

Ethiopia: Possible Ways Forward – “New State of Emergency VS National Reconciliation”

There is expected to be conflicting views and different ones, since there are many people and groups who feels left out. That is especially expected since the total control of Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) in the Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Defence Force (EPRDF) are well-known. So the Central Government and the Addis Ababa has used all sort of tricks of oppression against the Oromo and Amhara regions. This has been done during the years of Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn, that is well-known, not that he had the power or be the mouthpiece of the oppression. So we can expect that the next few days and weeks will be rocky. There is talk by Addis Standard that there is a new order of State of Emergency in the works. Last time it created curfew and stopped most of all movement in the regions. It was a real draconian law in 2016 and it really showed the levels of oppression possible, as the arrests and detaining of opposition persisted. Even as several high-ranking individuals are released, there are still thousands of political prisoners who are kept by the government.

Therefore, these ideas that are out from Tigrai and Jawar, are important. Take a look.

The idea of TPLF:

The federal government keeps doing the same thing, putting out fire following the ruinous movements. The government never took any proactive actions to prevent these devastating actions from happening. When the state of emergency was in place the country was becoming peaceful, then the government lifted the state of emergency prematurely and we are back to square one. If the government is serious about maintaining peace and security in Ethiopia, they should reinstate the state of emergency throughout the country for three years. Meanwhile they should work to address all the issues raised by citizens and implement the so called deep renewal ideas announced after the meeting” (Tigrai Online, 2018).

The President’s view:

Short-note on Roadmap for Transition in Ethiopia

– Appoint Lemma Megersa Chairman of EPRDF and ( acting) PM immediately – Lemma should start immediately, I mean within days, negotiation with opposition groups i to establish agreeable roadmap and timetable towards election. While negotiation could take place behind close doors, regular updates should be given to public to boost moral and avoid further bloodshed. The roadmap and time table should include ways of bringing about national reconciliation and developing rules of the game for free, fair and competitive election. In this process avoid dealing with the usual fake opposition, religious and cultural leaders. Work with real and independent leaders with authentic support in their constituency. This negotiation and roadmap paving should be done alongside taking positive action that builds public confidence on seriousness of the process such us releasing all political prisoners. – This crisis presents with great opportunity and greater danger. While maintaining pressure on the regime every one of us in the public should exercise maximum constraint in our approach not to blow this thing up” (Jawar Mohammed, 15.02.2018).

I will say that Tigrai seems like a defense and apologetic for the dictatorship. They are more thinking of their values, than seeing the suffering of the regions they are occupying. That is an occupation when you send in the army and Aghazi squad to assassinate demonstrators and also try to kill the demonstrations. They haven’t been able to it, when the Oromo and Amhara opposition groups has gone together to silence their regions and put up roadblocks. That has hurt the economy and also been able to block the delivery of produce and products to Addis Ababa and Tigray.

Therefore, the Tigray page is really in defense mode, while Jawar who is the President. Shows more character and wish for change. The vitality of if the EPRDF and TPLF are putting forward a puppet Prime Minister and also a State of Emergency. Expect nationwide demonstrations. Expect that the people will access it as final blow to their acts impunity and injustice towards them.

The TPLF and EPRDF are really showing their blatant misunderstanding of the people, if they are trying to force themselves again. Like they did with the previous State of Emergency. If you think that will make it better, meaning that you are earning fortunes on the state paranoia and the total control of the public. The government who owns the people and they just have to submit to the orders of the state. That is how the Ethiopian government and Central Regime has acted for ages. Therefore, people has grown tired of that and the little group owning it all.

Let it be known, that it matters that Bekele Gerba and all the other big names who was freed this week after years in prison after fraudulent charges made by the state. That Jawar speaks of Lemma Mergesha can be different look, but will it be enough? I don’t know, but there been also speculated about Demeke Mekonnen Hassen and Michael-Gerbe Debretson, especially Demeke that he could be the next PM. That is since he is the Deputy today and if the TPLF would pick him. Then its a sign of another stooge, another mouthpiece and not strong leader to embrace all parts of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia.

I am not sure, but if the TPLF and EPRDF are putting forward a State of Emergency and appointing a puppet. Know that the shutdowns, the demonstrations will escalate and re-arresting the big-names will fire the people more up. Jawar and Gerba will ignite the Oromia even more, the Amhara will be a blaze. The Tigray will regret doing it, since they will shoot themselves in the foot. Instead of trying to fix the troubles they have created and the lingering injustice they have made.

The state can act wise, but also foolish. Their next move will be revealing. If they will listen to the minds of Jawar and try to reconcile… if they listen to Tigray, the state and the TPLF will loose it all. So we have to see if they are trying to go draconian or if they will try to give way for the demonstrators and actually listening to the people. Peace.

Reference:

Tigrai Online – ‘EPRDF has no choice but to declare state of emergency in Ethiopia’ (14.02.2018) link: http://www.tigraionline.com/articles/ethiopia-going-downhill.html

Ethiopia: The sudden resignation of PM Hailemariam Desalegn, opens up the question for – “Who becomes the next PM?”

Just as the Zone 9, journalist Esikinder Nega and Oromo Federal Congress leader Bekele Gerba has finally been released from prison. Just as this is happening and the three day shutdown of Oromia. As the dozens of political prisoners are still lingering in jail and the TPLF infused government under Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn resigned on national TV today.

We can wonder what is happening and what is the motivation for the change, since the TPLF and the EPRDF under Meles Zenawi was relentless and oppressive, it has been so under this PM too. No denying that and therefore, the civil unrest, that even led to the State of Emergency last year. With all the arrests, detentions and illegal activity from the state to control the regions, where the people are rising up against the minority government in Addis Ababa.

That the Aghazi Squad and the military offensive in the regions hasn’t hurt the drive to demonstrate. Shows the encouragement and the tiredness of the Central Government. That they have taken it too far over time and not been servicing the area. Which is why the roadblocks and closing the delivery of produce to Addis Ababa has hurt the bottom-line for the regime.

I am starting to wonder who will follow the PM and get both his position, but also the chairmanship of TPLF. Because both are important leadership roles in Ethiopia. We can wonder what sort of negotiations and ambition, which is within the Executive Committee of the EPRDF and TPLF. Also, who wants to come from the Central Committee as well.

Seyoum Mesfin might have his ideas, but the bridges are burning, while the Oromo and Amhara protests are bearing fruits. They are hurting the Central Government and their leverage. They cannot just punish and pursuit violence to silence them. The protests and closing of business, the roadblocks and the University uprisings shows the government who are in charge. This is something they cannot deny.

However, I wonder who will take charge and become the next leader. Since PM Hailemariam Desalegn has now suddenly stepped down. We can wonder who pulls the strings and why it happens now after three excessive days of demonstrations and big political prisoners freed. This is all good news, but how good. What is the next move and when will the thousands of prisoners become free from the shacles they are in?

We have to ask and wonder. It is important and proves the power of the Oromia province and Amhara, as they have used their protest to show Addis that they matter. In addition, they do. No one can say otherwise. Demeke Mekonnen Hassen are expected to follow him, but that is surely depending on the CC and EC decisions in the coming days. Also, Michael-Gerbe Debretson, who also possible take his place, even if the odds are bigger on Demeke, then on Michael-Gebre.

So who knows, it is just speculations, but there will be changes and we can wonder how different the new leadership will be compared to the old. Will it be positive reforms or even more oppressive? Will the TPLF listen to other voices or will they be behind the barricades throwing grenades?

We can wonder, but we do know that the PM is important for how the leadership will act towards its citizens. We have seen the change from Zenawi to Hailemariam. It hasn’t been the same, therefore, the next one will be vital for either more protest or more reforms. Peace.

Ethiopia: Qeerroo Oromiyaa Press Release (13.02.2018)

The Oromo protest movement that is on its fourth year now is at the position where it can see the inevitable end of a dying regime. One of the success of this Qeerroo led movement was creating a real crack between the parties that make up the ruling coalition that was dominated by the Tigray People Liberation Front called EPRDF, to which OPDO is also a party. The OPDO along with the newly emerged personalities in the government of Oromia regional state felt the fever of the Qeerroo led movement and indicated an interest of joining the movement to be at the side of the Oromo people.

The movement listened to plea of the new OPDO leaders and paused its active forms of resistance to differ the tasks of presenting Oromos grievances and demands to the government of Oromia region (GOR).

However, after some visible activities that excited many Oromos, the GOR put a brake on the movement and became a unidirectional messenger of the TPLF.

Especially since TPLF started to conduct series of meetings starting with TPLF CC and EC and followed by EPRDF EC meetings, it seemed a clear mission was given to GOR to weaken and dampen the movement. TPLF being sure that GOR took the instructions seriously, started to show defiance and went on an opposite direction in dealing with the movement. That is evident from the serious of killings in Caalanqo, Ambo, Gabragurhacha, Waldiya and just recently in a refugee camp of Hamaraessa.

The fact that the GOR showing weakness in the faces of TPLF’s defiance and that leading to a fear that the movement might go in different direction, created a heightened tension in the spirits of the movement and its Qeeroo leadership. The regime was asked to stop the killings and continued jailing of Oromos for so long, in addition to releasing all political prisoners including the leaders of opposition parties like Bekele Garba and so many others.

The regime that was encouraged by weakness of GOR, wanted to show defiance that it hoped to be understood as intimidation refused to release the prisoners and even denied medical attention to Bekeel Gerba who was on the at the medically verified risk of losing his eye vision as a result of hypertensive complications that warrant emergency healthcare.

It was at this point that the Qeerroo movement decided to be reconnected to its brand form of the struggle that shook one of the strongest dictators in the world to its core.

This week, Qeerroo decided to call one of the most disciplined form of resistance on which millions in Oromia participated. The market boycott strikes called by Qeerroo was started on Monday February 12th, 2018 and aimed to be applied in the entire Oromia.

In this boycott:

1. The regime which knew this peaceful resistance could shake it to the core decided to listen to the demand of the boycott as the boycott plans were underway and being promoted days back, and decided to release Bekele Garba and other political leaders in return to the cancellation of the boycotts. Right at this point, before the Qeerroo did decide on how to respond to the offer for the cancellation, the TPLF soldiers massacred Oromos displaced from Somali region and sheltered at Hameressa camp. This changed the prospects of considering any offer from the regime as something positive, angered the whole Oromo nation and fueled the momentum of the planned strikes.

2. Oromos from coast to coast planned and executed a resistance that is highly disciplined and organized in the absence of the internet that the regime blocked to prevent this type of resistance.

3. The regime suffered a huge economic fallout from the boycott that crippled the entire import export and local markets. This was a huge blow to a regime that monopolized the entire economy. Today, it forcibly released Bekelle Gerba and his six co-defendants.

This happened because Qeerroo decided to be reconnected to its original form of resistance that put forward clear and unambiguous question for the regime to answer.

After securing the release of the said political prisoners, the Qeerroo and Qarree have evaluated on how to go about the remaining one day of the strike and boycott. It has therefore been decided to call off tomorrow’s boycotts and strikes throughout Oromia and use the day’s schedules to welcome the released political prisoners, to unblock the roads and do the clean up in cities and town where the protests went over last two days.

The Qeerroo coordinators would like to extend at most appreciations and respect to the heroic and desciplined actions of everyone who took part on these strikes and boycotts throughout Oromia.

Freedom for the Oromo people, Freedom for all people of Ethiopia!

Qeerroo Oromiyaa

Feb. 13, 2018
Oromiyaa

African Union Open-Ended Committee of Ministers of Foreign Affairs on the International Criminal Court Convened its 6th Meeting on the Sidelines of the 32nd Ordinary Session of the Executive Council of the African Union (27.01.2018)

Did Ethiopia officially recognize Somaliland today?

Today, we can question if the Ethiopian People’s Democratic Revolutionary Front (EPDRF) and Prime Minister Hailamariam Desalegn has officially recognized Somaliland as their own state. We I do that, is because of the official visit of Somaliland in Addis Ababa and the way the Ethiopian state has addressed it. Seemingly, like Somaliland is an equal partner. Clearly the leadership and government in Mogadishu must be horrified today. If President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed Faramaajo and also Prime Minister Hassan Ali Khaire, who both should be shocked by this.

This was the first statement the Ministry of Foreign Affairs put out today, 16.01.2018.

Ethiopia, welcome the President of Somaliland (Second statement):

Foreign Minister Dr. Workneh Gebeyehu today (16 January 2018) welcomed the President of Somaliland HE Musa Bihi Abdi.. The President has expressed his gratitude for the warm welcome accorded to him by Dr. Workneh. Upon welcoming the President, Dr. Workneh has expressed his appreciation for the cooperative role the Somaliland plays in the maintenance of peace and stability in its adjacent regions. Dr. Workneh also further added that, Ethiopia and Somaliland have strong cooperative ties in the economic sphere” (Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 2018).

We can wonder if the Ethiopian Government would do the same favor for Puntland, Galmuudug, South-West State or Jubaland. Since they have done this now for Somaliland. The ones asking for independence from the federation has shown partner to vouch for them. This in the midst that the Central Government has initiated changes in State Governments all around the Federation.

Will the Ethiopians recognize Puntland and Galmuudug as separate entities as well and give all sorts of diplomatic ties with them outside of the Federal Government in Mogadishu. What will President Faramaajo and PM Khaire think of this and the visit of President Musa Bihi Abdi in Ethiopia.

We can wonder if this is a sign or token of playful ignorance from Addis. We can questions the motives for this and if they have done this on purpose. If it is to get more out the relationship with Mogadishu or not. Time will tell. Peace.

Reference:

Ethiopia – Ministry of Foreign Affairs – ‘He Dr. Workneh Gebeyehu Welcome the President of Somaliland’ (16.01.2018) link: http://www.mfa.gov.et/web/guest/-/foreign-minister-dr-workneh-gebeyehu-today-16-january-2018-welcomed-the-president-of-republic-of-somaliland-he-musa-bihi-abdi-the-president-has-expres

Ethiopian troops enters Somalia to reinforce offensive against the Al-Shabaab!

The Ethiopian Armed Forces has returned and arrived again on Somali soil. This after a call between EPRDF and the Transitional Government in Mogadishu. Clearly, the Al-Shabaab insurgency is out of control with the two recent bombings in the Republic. That the Somali President Faramaajo has to call on Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn to send troops into Somalia. This is after even the mandate of AMISOM is strong and Kenyan presence is there. Certainly, the Somali government has weaken their position and the strengthen of own troops must be hurt by this. As the Ethiopian government sends 1000 troops into Somali territory.

The AMISOM apparently needs the support of Ethiopia and Kenya to achieve their goals of stopping Al-Shabaab, they cannot do it without, as the government haven’t the trained soldiers or the bullets to do so themselves. That is evident as the Ethiopian soldiers are pouring into Somalia. You can wonder who are paying the salaries and fixing the equipment of the armed combatants there. They are usually not fighting wars for free. Especially not from a broke state and with massive demonstrations as Ethiopia. At this moment, this must be giving funding to a broke state and also help them with diplomatic support to facilitate and help the Federation of Somalia. Clearly, it cannot be keep the horn peaceful, as the soldiers themselves has been used in Amhara and Oromia to quell demonstrators over the recent years, killing civilians and tormenting them. We will see what they will achieve and when the conference call for the operations is launched.

ESAT News (November 2, 2017) Hundreds of Ethiopian troops have crossed into Somalia help new offensive by the Somali government against Al-Shabaab militants. The VOA report quoted residents in the border town of Dolow, in Somalia’s Gedo region, as saying that they saw at least 30 vehicles carrying Ethiopian troops crossing into Somalia late Tuesday. The locals estimate that about 1000 Ethiopian troops have entered Somalia on Tuesday” (ESAT, 02.11.2017).

Regional authorities contacted by VOA on Wednesday confirmed the new Ethiopian military movements.“The Ethiopian troops as a part of AMISOM have already been in the region, and their current movement is part of the response to the Somali president’s call for a massive attack on al-Shabab militants,” said Mohamed Husein al-Qadi, the deputy governor of Gedo region” (DireTube, 02.11.2017).

MOGADISHU, Somalia – Border residents say thousands of Ethiopian troops have crossed into Somalia to accompany a large-scale offensive against al-Shabab extremists. The offensive comes after a truck bombing in Somalia’s capital last month killed more than 350 people. Somalia’s president has visited countries in the expanse to seek more military sustain. Abdullahi Yusuf, an elder in Luq town, says Ethiopian troops in tanks and armored vehicles passed by Thursday morning toward southwestern Somalia” (Uxcnc.com, 02.11.2017).

We can wonder if the United States or any other sponsor of AMISOM asked the President of Somalia to this call, to again call upon the Ethiopian troops to clear the streets as they have done in the past. As they did for instance in 2006, 2011 and 2016, and so on. This to get rid of Somali problems, but leaving power-vacuum and opening up for more violence. As long as they have come in either as invading force, supported by Americans like in 2006 or other times. They have not left Somalia better, but more wounded ready to taken by other warlords or other leaders who has had their selfishness instead of building government.

We can wonder if this will bring any hope or be used for greater Ethiopian pride, if he EPRDF are using this or the TPLF are using this as a deflection from the problems in their state. The Ethiopian state is not a great stage right now. The demonstrations and the killings of civilians continue as well as activists are detained together with opposition leaders. The Ethiopian leadership needs this conflict with Al-Shabaab to look good and also possibly make people forget their own actions against their own citizens.

We can wonder what the Somali President are considering and his motives behind getting Ethiopian forces as well, as the AMISOM and Kenyan forces on his soil. There are lots of foreign forces protecting the Somali life, they are there paid by foreign donors, therefore their loyalty isn’t to the Transitional Government, but to the donors. When the donors stop, they will leave and fight conflicts elsewhere. While the Somali government are also trying to change the regional leadership in the federation to make sure they are more Mogadishu friendly and not as independent to make agreement with foreign nations without the permission of Mogadishu, as the DP World contract is evident off.

We can just wonder how long the Ethiopian forces will be on Somali soil and to what extent their mandate is, as the AMISOM and the Al-Shabaab vows is not over. Peace.

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