Eritrea: Statement of the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights situaton in Eritrea, Mr Mohamed Abdelsalam Babiker – 50th Session of the Human Rights Council – Ineractive Dialogue on Eritrea – 13 June 2022 (13.06.2022)
I write what I like.
“Even before the economic issue became important, however, in July 1997, Ethiopian forces occupied part of the Badda District, a small, remote, but more fertile area close to the Danakil depression, and replaced the Eritrean administration in the village of Adi Murug. The claim was on historical grounds, and based on the “inaccuracy” of current maps. The most widely used map of Eritrea, published in 1995 by the Eritrean Government in cooperation with the University of Berne, shows only Eritrean territory; neighbouring countries are simply marked in grey. Unhelpfully, this map shows neither Adi Murug nor Badme nor places just across the Ethiopian border, such as Zalambessa. Despite its claims, the map presented by the Ethiopian government to representatives of the international community in Addis Ababa in May 1998 showed the border in the same way as in all current atlases. A month later, however, the provincial authorities in Mekelle (Tigray) produced a different map – funded, in their case, in cooperation with the German government which showed several areas hitherto considered part of Eritrea coming within the Ethiopian border” (Margaret Fielding – ‘BAD TIMES IN BADME: BITTER WARFARE CONTINUES ALONG THE ERITREA-ETHIOPIA BORDER’ – IBRU Boundary and Security Bulletin Spring 1999).
The Tripartite Alliance are still very active and there is reports of furthering the war in the Tigray Region. The reports that the Eritrean Defence Force has been stationed and vital in the warfare in the Tigrayan war of late is an understatement. The EDF has been one of the reasons why the Tigray region was invaded and they occupied it whole for some time. That was a retaliation of old grudges and wanted to settle old grievances. Therefore… that Shabait brings back the Badme Triangle.
Shows that the Eritrean government planned all along to annex and get the territory, which has been contested. The Ethiopian government has also claimed this land and the Badme Territory. Now, the Eritrean government claims it theirs and that the recent peace agreement of 2018 is stating so. This means the Tigray Regional Government have to give up this territory and let the demarcation of the border continue. That is evident and the Eritrean government does this… as they have allies in Addis Ababa and wants Mekelle to know that.
Here is the most interesting parts of the Shabait piece published today:
“When TPLF’s military campaigns was thwarted by a costly defeat at the Assab Front in June 2000, it was finally forced to accept cessation of hostilities and later the entire Algiers Peace Agreement on December 12, 2000. The Algiers Agreement created a court of arbitration, the EEBC. The Algiers Agreement also stipulated, in categorical terms, that “the parties agree that the delimitation and demarcation determinations of the Commission shall be final and binding”. But notwithstanding the unequivocal provisions of the Algiers Agreement, the EEBC decision was not enforced by the UN Security Council because principal sponsors – especially the US and the EU – failed to honour their obligations for their own narrow geopolitical considerations. When the EEBC decision was announced, Seyoum Mesfin, Ethiopia’s Foreign Minister at the time falsely claimed that “Badme was awarded to Ethiopia”. He urged the international community to use punitive sanctions if necessary, to secure Eritrea’s full and immediate compliance with the provisions of the EEBC Award. The Foreign Minister and his government were soon to make a u-turn, sing a different song and reject the EEBC Award. Subsequent sessions of the EEBC were marked by Ethiopia’s dilatory tactics. Thus, in its 16th Report to the UN in 2006, the Commission was compelled to write: “Ethiopia is not prepared to allow demarcation to continue in the manner laid down in the demarcation directions and in accordance with the timeline set by the Commission.” (…) “The course of events changed when Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed declared Ethiopia’s readiness to accept and implement in full the Decision of the Boundary Commission. Following his visit to Asmara, a Joint Declaration on Peace and Friendship was signed between Eritrea and Ethiopia on July 9, 2018. The Declaration brought to an end eighteen years of ‘no war no peace’ between Ethiopia and Eritrea and opened a new era of peace and friendship. Article four of the Joint Agreement stipulates that “The two countries will implement the Eritrea-Ethiopia Boundary Commission decision.” (Shabait – ‘We do Not Relinquish What is ours; Nor do We Covet What Belongs to Others: (Natna Aynhbn Zeynatna Ayndeln)’ 13.04.2022).
We know these ideals of Badme is old by now. As it has been part of the independence of Eritrea from Ethiopia. The Eritrean government is willing to use Italian colonial maps to prove it too. That the land and territory belongs to them.
That’s why Eritrea Daily wrote this in 2005: “At worst, the status of Badme is unclear, at best, Badme is part of Eritrea and never Ethiopian. Regardless, if there is any one left that believes Ethiopia has accepted the border ruling, here is the proof to the contrary: In a clear demonstration of its defiance of the border ruling, Ethiopia today reported that it has started registering voters in the village of Eritrean Badme for the upcoming “elections.” The international community cannot remain indifferent to this Ethiopia’s provocative action?” (EDNews, 22.01.2005).
So, the Eritrean claims are old and they are pursuing them still. What is striking is the Tripartite Alliance way of violating, war-crimes and weaponizing humanitarian assistance isn’t helping the cause of Asmara. Even if the Badme triangle or parts of Badda district is belonging to Eritrea. Their forces and the acts done in Tigray region will not help them legitimizing it. Instead, there will no goodwill and no wishes of recognizing the border between the two nations. They will rather ensure the investigations into the warfare, the violations of the Geneva convention and crimes against humanity.
The Eritrean government could be within their rights and have historical basis for the territory. However, when they are known for their actions and use of force against unarmed civilians within the Tigray region. Very few to none will give them a bouquet of flowers and give the Republic more territory.
The WikiLeaks cable says this: “Legwaila, who has served as UNMEE SRSG for five years, detailed how both Ethiopia and Eritrea had initially committed to accept any decision by the EEBC, at December 2000 cease-fire talks in Algiers. Upon the announcement of the EEBC’s decision in April 2002, Ethiopia’s foreign minister hosted a celebration and issued a statement hailing the decision as a victory for both parties; however, Ethiopia had not realized that Badame had been awarded to Eritrea. The reason for this is the EEBC did not identify Badame so it took sometime for the experts to determine to whom Badame had been given. Legwaila observed that delimitation of the border (i.e., determining where it lies) was complete, whereas demarcation (i.e., placing physical markers) was stalemated. Delimitation of the border had been conducted professionally and impartially, Legwaila said, through an Asmara-based chief surveyor armed with GPS equipment and assistance from New Zealand experts, and with aerial mapping conducted by a Swedish company. Demarcation would reflect the boundaries determined by delimiation — there would be very little change, e.g. Badame would remain in Eritrea” (WikiLeaks – ‘UNITED NATIONS REQUESTS USG ASSISTANCE TO MONITOR AND RESOLVE ERITREA-ETHIOPIA CRISIS’ 28.10.2008).
Time will tell if Prime Minister Abiy will honour his peace agreement with Asmara. Which is what Shabait hopes it does. The Tripartite Alliance has been favourable for the PM and his reign. That has helped his causes and he couldn’t continue or hold on so long with warfare in Ethiopia. He needs the EDF and he knows that. Therefore, if the Tripartite Alliance is able to silence and annihilate the Tigray region. That’s what the alliance wants to achieve.
Alas, the Eritrean government is clearly saying by publishing this on Shabait. That they want it legitimized and recognized. This is the what it is initially saying. While we can wonder how Mekelle is thinking about this. Since, this is taking away territory it had occupied for a few decades now. While the current federal government of Ethiopia might offer it and do it, because Abiy has a good relations with Afewerki. Peace.
The late Prime Minster Meles Zenawi’s daughter, Semhal Meles Zenawi, & late Major General Hayelom Araya’s son, Birhanemeskel Hayelom have both been arrested in Mekelle in Tigray state. This is a revenge act of the Federal Government. Even going after the sons of the previous Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Defence Force (EPRDF) leadership, which was controlled by Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF).
This is a civilian arrest without any precaution. They are only arrested because of their association and not for what they have done. This is the “reforms” of the Prosperity Party and the guided leadership of Prime Minister Ahmed Ali Abiy. It shows the vengeance and revenge by the government in Addis Ababa.
Maybe, Meles Zenawi can distort the vision and the ideas of change that Abiy is supposed to do. As Zenawi wanted to be known as a statesman and a visionary leader. The former PM also wanted to be known for “the new Ethiopia” but also “the African renaissance”.
This must hurt the pride and ego of the current PM. He doesn’t wanted to be reminded of whatever accomplishments that Zenawi did. Even the legacy he left behind. Yes, the EPRDF and the TPLF under Zenawi was an dictatorship, but still it has some reflections of hope for a brighter future. Right now its a field day on anyone opposing or could be associated with the opposition in the Republic. In a manner, which is insane. Where daughters and sons of the previous generation can be arrested. Just because they were born and raised by their parents. That’s the extent of PM Abiy at this current moment.
PM Abiy must be so proud to live up to the idea that the children can be punished for the possible sins of their parents. That is such a Biblical and retaliation means. This cannot be constitutional or justified through law. However, this is only showing the ugly side of the regime today.
The 2020 Prosperity Party wants to go down as a One-Party dictatorship under the unelected PM. A man who is willing to bury, destroy and arbitrary arrest people. It is willing to muffle the media and citizens. Restrict and block people from speaking out. While they are even arresting people fro the possible sins of their fathers or mothers. Children of the previous generation can be arrested because of their name and not for what they did.
Citizens who happens to be related to previous EPRDF or TPLF leaders can be detained. Just because… apparently. That is how oppressive the authorities are at this moment. You cannot make this up. This shouldn’t be a thing, but sadly it is. Peace.
Isn’t this strange how the Ethiopian government get accolades and honors, the latest was this week in Niamey in Niger. What is special is that this one is about perception and about the profession of media. A profession that is dangerous to have in Ethiopia. In a country where journalists who writes articles are detained, editors detained and bloggers jailed. Two TV-Channels banned in 2016 during the ‘State of Emergency’ and other acts against the freedom of expression in Ethiopia. With this in mind, all of the detained journalists and bloggers in Ethiopia, the knowledge of this should been known by leadership and committee of Council of African Political Parties (CAPP). But they doesn’t seem to care, because if they did. The CAPP would know of the countless innocent citizens writing and spelling out the oppressive behavior of their government. Would see the light of day and not be incommunicado. The amounts of journalists who has been trialed and taken to serve time in prison. Also, the modern day bloggers who has gotten same ill-treatment. That is why this news of getting the lead in the Media Forum of CAPP. Just take a look!
Press Statement from ENA on CAPP:
“Addis Ababa July 13/2017 The Constitutive Meeting of the Media Forum of the Council of African Political Parties (CAPP) held in Niamey, Niger, has elected the Ethiopian Peoples’ Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) to lead the Media Forum. Council of African Political Parties (CAPP) is a non-governmental organization established by 47 African political parties representing 35 African countries in the constitutive conference held in Khartoum, Sudan, in April 2013. According to a press statement issued by EPRDF, the party’s representative at the meeting, Kebede Kassa, commended the confidence the political parties have shown on Ethiopia and its ruling party” (…) “The Media Forum is an organization for the media cadres of the African Political Parties to advance their profession through updated technologies, discussions on issues of interest and exchange of experiences, it was learned. On the occasion, Secretary General of Council of African Political Parties (CAPP), Dr. Nafie Ali Nafie explained the need for the establishment of the Media Forum to realize the objectives of the council. According to him, “the Media Forum should play to correctly introduce Africa instead of the negative perception regularly viewed in particular by the western media.” (ENA, 2017).
The government in Ethiopia cracks down on the media and wants it’s fist on it. They are repressive against uprisings and freedom of expressions. Therefore, the Ethiopian government and the EPRDF is not fit to lead the Party. The Media Forum of CAPP will not help the troubles and the ones in need in jail. That the Council of African Political Parties (CAPP) are not considering the implications of their leaders and heads of their Forums, since they have elected one that can easily silence and oppress its own. So it is like having tobacco producers to run cancer studies and efforts for better health, when everyone knows the causes of the extensive use of tobacco.
Like reports in mid-July the Government wrote to all media and ordered them if they we’re to mention the deceased Prime Minister Meles Zenawi in a sentence either as “Great/Visionary”. So this is a state who orders the news and controls the messages. If it doesn’t fit the EPRDF it will be silenced or detained. Therefore, how come these sort of people shall introduce the world to Africa, which is just wrong. CAPP should had the possibility to pick someone with a little less oppressive track-record on the media among their member parties. Peace.
Ethiopian News Agency (ENA) – ‘EPRDF Elected President of CAPP Media Forum’ (13.07.2017) link:http://www.ena.gov.et/en/index.php/politics/item/3483-eprdf-elected-president-of-capp-media-forum
We can all question the Clinton Foundation and the CHAI works in Ethiopia, especially after the reason for the visits in Ethiopia. By the memo of 2011 with Sheik Mommad of Midme in Ethiopia, if Bill Clinton would visit Ethiopia than the CF would get $2US Million from him; that doesn’t sound like a donor aid, but greased politician for their foundation. Not something that you should expect from a man of the Stature of Clinton’s. This is insulting, and the next levels of how the continue, when you look into it isn’t what it it’s all perceives.
“CHAI would like to request that President Clinton call Sheik Mohammed to thank him for offering his plane to the conference in Ethiopia and expressing regrets that President Clinton’s schedule does not permit him to attend the conference. Ed Wood has prepared a briefing memo for President Clinton about the call which is attached. Please contact either Ed or me if you have any questions or if you need anything else from us” [Ira Magaziner to John Podesta – ‘Subject: FW: Talking points for President Clinton and the Sheik’ 22.11.2011].
After that one fellow staffer answers it with:
“Unless Sheikh Mo has sent us a $6 million check, this sounds crazy to do” [Adesai to a group of Clinton Foundation Mails – ‘Subject: FW: Talking points for President Clinton and the Sheik’ 22nd November 2011].
So after the agreement between the Sheik, that he sends money every-time Bill Clinton travels to Ethiopia. With that kind of suction to the Midme leader, he is still not allowed to travel to their Conference months after the agreement between Bill and the Sheik. Proves that only “Pay to Play” if the Sheik had paid another fortune of $6 US Million to the CF, than he be included at the Conference, which is not how it is supposed to be, but the CF Staff acts like its normal to ask for this kind of bribe.
Proven results of Work in Ethiopia and beyond:
“I’m sensitive to that (which is why I’m asking) but those CHAI Stats are on nearly every public listing of CF accomplishment. I’m want to make people think twice about calls for dropping grants to CF or return the money and the HIV/AIDS work hits home in a way that other stats don’t. Plus it’s international work. I’m concerned about saying we used money to fund healthy schools (because we didn’t use the funding for that)” [Craig Minassian to Tina Flournoy – ‘Subject: Re: WaPo – Draft Quote’ 25th February 2015].
This here just shows that the importance of the projects in Ethiopia wasn’t on building resilience towards HIV-AIDS or healthy schools as the Clinton Foundation and staffs doesn’t feel secure of showing the numbers that they have delivered to the numbers they have professed to change before. That is a worrying Foundation, Humanitarian Organization or even Aid Organization that should deliver some results; the results seem to be more important that the Foundation secure funding from the Sheik, than delivering results. Peace
ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia, April 19, 2016 – Former UN secretary-general Kofi Annan has urged African leaders to leave when their mandated time is up and to avoid excluding opposing voices if elections are to cease contributing to conflicts on the continent.
The renowned international diplomat said that while unconstitutional changes to government on the continent had reduced, exclusionary politics threatened to reverse the gains made.
“I think Africa has done well, by and large the coups have more or less ended, generals are remaining in their barracks, but we are creating situations which may bring them back,” the Nobel laureate said in an interview at the 5th Tana High-Level Forum on Security in Africa (TanaForum.org).
“If a leader doesn’t want to leave office, if a leader stays on for too long, and elections are seen as being gamed to suit a leader and he stays term after term after term, the tendency may be the only way to get him out is through a coup or people taking to the streets”.
“Neither approach can be seen as an alternative to democracy, to elections or to parliamentary rule. Constitutions and the rules of the game have to be respected.”
Annan, the keynote speaker at the forum this year, said winner-take-all approaches to elections on the continent had the effect of leaving out citizens for holding an opposing view, raising tensions around elections.
Annan, who chairs the Africa Progress Panel and the Nelson Mandela-founded The Elders grouping, said he had been the first to tell the African Union not to accept coup leaders among their midst [during an OAU heads of state summit in Lusaka in 2001].
Annan also said that solutions to the problems the continent has must come from within. However, the continent must build up its ability to do so, including in financing its institutions.
“We cannot always pass a hat around and insist we want to be sovereign, we want to be independent. We should lead and get others to support us—that support will be much more forthcoming when they see how serious and committed we are.”
If a leader doesn’t want to leave office, if a leader stays on for too long, and elections are seen as being gamed to suit a leader
The African Union has struggled to get members to pay their dues to allow it run its operations and programmes efficiently, a recurrent theme addressed by leaders at the forum in the Ethiopian city of Bahir Dar.
Annan said such budgetary concerns were constraining the work of the continent in strengthening stability and required creative ways of resourcing.
“I was happy to hear them [African leaders] say ‘we must be prepared to pay for what we want; we must be prepared to put out our own money on the table and fund issues that are of great importance to us.’”
The forum, now in its fifth year, is an inspiration of the late Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi and is organised by the Institute for Peace and Security Studies (IPSS) of Addis Ababa University.
An invitation-only event, it is chaired by former Nigeria president Olusegun Obasanjo and seeks to provide a platform for current and former leaders to interact with key stakeholders in an informal setting to tackle contemporary issues facing the continent.
It does not make decisions but is becoming an African ‘brand’ of note where local solutions are innovatively explored as the region seeks to carve out its place in a global security architecture dominated by western and emerging powers.
Leaders and experts at the Tana Forum also noted that the continent was not isolated.
“As Africa faces increasing security challenges, so does the rest of the world. The continent is well placed to provide innovative solutions to these security challenges,” Obasanjo said.
Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn, Togo’s Faure Gnassingbe, Somalia’s Hassan Sheikh Mohamoud and Sudan’s Omar al Bashir were among the heads of state and government present.
Former leaders Thabo Mbeki of South Africa, Festus Mogae of Botswana, Joaquim Chissano of Mozambique, Pierre Buyoya of Burundi and Joyce Banda of Malawi were also in attendance.
“I think it is a very good idea that ex-leaders come together with current leaders to share experience and try to talk very frankly about the challenges facing the continent and also about our relations with the international community,” Annan, who was attending the annual forum for the first time, said.
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).
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.
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).
“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).
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).
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).
“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).
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.
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).
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
Nå som UPDF suspenderer sin jakt etter Kony og LRA i den Sentral Afrikanske Republikk(CAR) som ligger på Human Rights Index: 180. I landet som har igjen blitt utsatt for kupp – Bozize som selv tok makten ved kupp i 2003 fikk oppleve den samme skjebnen som siden forgjenger. Djotodia som er den nye president har også gjort seg til minister for militæret. Samtidig som dette skjer, så skjer det nye krigføring og terrorisering i Sudan i Darfur. Sør-Sudan har heldigvis begynt å produsere olje igjen etter en ny akkord med Khartoum. På grunn av flyktningstrømmen skaper dette problemer i Chad. Der president Deby var valgt inn for fjerde term i 2011. Ikke akkurat på HRI på 184 plass. Sør-Sudan er enda ikke på listen sammen med Nord-Korea.
Dette viser hvor innflukt området er. Snart skriker Invisibel Children organisasjonen igjen. Lure på om påstanden kommer til å være den samme. Regjeringer som mest kontroll rundt hovedstaden. Slik som i CAR. Djotodia og juntaen Seleka(oversatt: Alliansen) hadde en skjør fredsavtale med disse etter forrige valg. Denne så Djotida som ubrukelig og dermed tok til våpen og gikk hele veien til Bangui. Derfor fordi har Alliansen satt kampen mot LRA på pause. UPDF vil sikkeret finne andre gjøremål enn så lenge. Siden nordlige Uganda er blitt fredlig. Men om LRA forsatt er sterk nok til å komme tilbake til DRC. Da vil veien være kort tilbake til Gulu og Lira.
Sør-Sudan og SPLM har sikret ny-dannelsen av staten. Selv om den har vært trøblete. Ikke minst fordi alle har visst at Omar Al-Bashir aldri ønsket å splittet riket som gikk fra Egypt til Etiopia og Uganda. Akkurat som avdøde Meles Zenawi aldri hadde ønske om å splitte Etiopia i sin tid og frigjøre Eritrea.
Nå er det en flyktningstrøm på vei fra Darfur til Chad. Som ikke har ressurser. FN er der og driver arbeid. Der de lengter hjem. Noen flykter hele veien igjennom Niger og Mali til Libya for å komme til Europa. Når man vet hvordan situasjonen er i Mali med Franske styrker og kamper. Kan man bare tenke og sukke for en kamp og reise for å få en anelse av friheten vi tar som selvsagt.
Vi kan lure på om disse hendelser skal skje en dag med oss. Om våres kyster og samfunn skal rystes av militære. CAR er det usikkerhet, deler av Sudan er det usikkerhet. Den store flyktningstrømmen til Chad. Som må være stor, selv om de har det jevnt siden før vestlig media og Angelina Jolie ble UNICEF ambasadør i 2004 og poserte med tv-kamerane foran en flyktningleir i Chad. Noe som forsatt holder på og flere flykter. Ingen bryr seg, det er ikke like kult som for ti år siden.
Akkurat som det eneste som regjeringene verden rundt har gjort med myndighetene i CAR. Er den ene tingen å ikke anerkjenne den. Ingen anerkjennelse. Frankrike vurderte å forsvar Bozize som var deres alliert, men hadde nok med krigføringen i Mali. Siste årene har de også vært inne i Elfenbenkysten og Libya. Disse var nok viktigere for Françafrique og franske interesser på kontinentet.
Så jeg venter i spenning i hvordan situasjonen vil utvikle seg, om LRA vil angripe. Når UPDF vil gå til angrep på rebellene. Lure på om SPLM kommer til å gå med på videre kamper mot dem senere. Vil verden godta den nye presidenten Djotodia i CAR. Ikke minst om verden vil la Omar Al-Bashir holde på med galskapen i Darfur og om verden vil vende blikket vekk fra Chad. Ørkengrensene i mellom vil forsatt være åpne og dermed skape usikkerhet. Å om regjeringene vil bli sterke nok eller om de blir holdt svake fordi de skal være avhengig av lederen vil gi betydning til framtiden i regionen. Akkurat som alle andre plasser. Bare i en helt annen situasjon. Måtte det bli ro og fred i regionen. Noe det ikke har vært på en lang stund.
(Har sikkert en del feil i min vurdering, noe som bare skulle mangle. Vil bare kommentere fordi jeg ser sjelden noen andre som villig kommenterer og redgjør skikkelig for situasjonen).
Hva vil skje med ett land når en leder faller bort. Spesielt når det er i land med autoritær ledelse hvor all makt er bygd rundt personen. Noe som blir mer og mer aktuelt! Fordi de som var den nye ledere på 70-80 tallet har eldet. De kom til makt med våpen og tok vekk forferdelige autoritære regimer. Samme lederne ble legitimt godtatt av vestlige makter. Som ble forsikret at disse skulle ta steg mot ekte demokrati. Hva er ett eventuelt demokrati? I en slik situasjon sier selvfølgelig den fremtidige autoritære aktøren ja til tilbudet. Noe som likegyldig blir godtatt av vestlige makter som får enkel adgang til markedene i disse landene. Derfor får de beholde makten så lenge markedene er åpne. Eller at FN sikkerhetsråd blir stoppet av Veto retten til visse faste medlemmer. Istedenfor å ta en avgjørelse og gi det som egentlig skal være en selvsagt rett – en hvis frihet under ansvar. Ikke ansvar uten frihet. Eller har jeg misforstått. Her jeg sitter i biblioteket til Universitet mitt.
Så hva er det som skjer når en leder som er kjent som autoritær og udemokratisk faller. Uten en reel «heir» eller en som er blitt klargjort til å ta over! Det var spennende å se hva som skjedde i Malawi. Bingu wa Mutharika som var inne i sin andre periode som president. Døde av hjertestopp. Deretter har Joyce Banda tatt over. Bingu var en eksentrisk person som ikke bare ledet AU i ett år i siste periode. Han stoppet også og tok valg som fikk givere til å kutte støtte til Malawi. Også de samme stoppet viktig handel med Malawi samtidig som råvare prisene har falt. Slik at utgangspunktet med handelsoverskudd økte i siste perioden til Mutharika. Noe som Banda har å jobbe med, en jobb som ikke være lett. La oss håpe at det vil bli forbedring!
Andre plasser det har vært stress når fallende ledere og usikkerhet. Libya som var en del av Midtøstens revolusjons vår. Som forsetter i Syria og Yemen. Det som skjedde når deres autoritære leder Gadaffi falt. Så falt også alle hans kontakter og kontrakter. Noen av disse er sikkert gjenopptatt. Slik som eksporten av oljen fra riket. Det som derimot er en usikkerhet. Er lederskapet og hvem som virkelig regjerer. Hvem tar valget? Var valget korrekt? Vil de som var lagt under grus i så mange år komme med harde skyts mot dem som levde rikt? Vil disse nye allierte være det lenge. Med å rive ned Gadaffi og hans styre. Har det ikke bare forandret Libya. Leiesoldatene fra Mali, har revolusjonert landet. Som nå mer ser ut CAR enn Mali. Med hovedstat med regjering. Noe som er langt unna Timbuktu og det nye landet Azawad. Så disse to hendelser har egen historie. I Libya kom Gadaffi og tok vekk et gammelt kongedømme. Å gjorde seg selv til det. Mali har det vært ledere som ikke har respektert Tourager. Som ikke taklet dette lengre. Noen andre sier at det bare en evig makt kamp og ikke handler om etnisitet! Det kan stemme, når du blir oversett og får masse våpen og trening. Kommer hjem og ikke får respekt. Er det lett å komme tilbake til AK47 og ta det du ikke hadde fått. Er det korrekt? Men var det andre korrekt? Vil vesten gjøre noe, eller skal Frankrike forsette med sitt Françafrique, slik de gjorde i Elfenbenkysten når Ggabo ikke ville gå av etter å tapt forrige valg til Ouattara. Så Frankrike bare holdt seg til sin stolte historie.
Ikke at de to siste fall bare var.. dødelig fall. Det siste som har fått meg til å tenke på dette. Er at Meles Zenawi av Etiopia. Har gått bort. Han tok makten for 21 år siden. Da tok han makten fra kommunister og det velkjente DERG. Siden den gang har han regjert med jernhånd. Kalt slik som Museveni og Kagame, kalt for fremtidens ledere. Han fikk holdt Etiopia i sjakk mot flere opprørstyrker. Da tenker jeg på kampene mot Oromo Federal Army(OFA), Ogaden og i Gambela. Ikke minst også sin kamp om å beholde Eritrea som en del av Etiopia. Noe som sikkert ikke er siste Etiopiske statsminister kommer til å kjempe for akkurat dette. Det andre kontroversielle er hans involvering i Somalia som en del av intern politikk og for å ha ryddige grenser i delen av Etiopia som også heter Region Somalia. Som også skaffet Etiopia allierte i krigen mot teror! USA var velvillige med å stille med midler og utstyr når de gikk inn i Somalia. I senere tid har AU gjort tiltak og har styrker i Somalia. Som en del AMISOM, disse er Burundi og Uganda som har flest soldater. Så Meles Zenawi fikk en god hånd etter sin avgjørelse å gå inn i Somalia!
Utenom dette har Meles Zenawi skaffet en buffer økonomisk. Eksporten av kaffe og andre råvarer har økt. Turismen har vært i vekst i sin tid. Også med tanke på at i hans levetid har AU fått hovedbase i Addis Adeba. Nå sist med hypermoderne kontorlokale bygd av Kinesiske selskaper. Det andre store prosjektet som nesten er ferdig, da tenker jeg på Gibe3, demningen som vil dekke Omo-elven og produsere 1470mw! Som vil være ferdig juni i 2013 hvis alt er etter planen.
Så nå som han er vekke, hvem vil ta over? Hvem er han som har lovlig tatt over? Hva står han for? Vil han være mann nok til oppgaven? Vil han gjøre som sin foregjengere å dvele og kvele all opisjon? Etiopia har nok av interne konflikter og konflikter rundt seg til å gi hodebry for enhver leder. Det må være en sterk leder. En som virkelig må kjempe å være sterk. En svak leder vil bare svekke Etiopias rolle i hornet av Afrika. Ikke minst også i konfliktene de har og er del av.
Siste fallende leder som ligger meg på hjerte er John Atta-Mills i Ghana. Som vant valget for NDC i 2008. Professoren og partilederen som fikk støtte av Jerry Rawlings ex president og leder for NDC. Respekt og anerkjent var Atta-Mills. Det han fikk til i sin korte periode som president i Ghana var å lede arbeidet med å finne Olje i gulfen på utsiden av landet. Der hvor Jubilee feltet ligger. Ikke minst også å styrke samarbeidet om handel med Kina. Begge deler vil ha enorm betydning for framtiden til Ghana. Økonomisk vil landet bli styrket. Håper bare at den som lovlig har tatt over stillingen har like respekt for lovene til Ghana. Ikke minst også ønske om å beholde demokratiet og den velutviklete posisjonen som Ghana har skaffet seg. Det som er viktig for meg å si var at John Atta-Milss var ikke en autoritær leder. Bare en leder, president som døde og i ett land i enorm utvikling. Som tredje president. Som har kommet ut av systemet til Jerry Rawlings som tok til våpen for å bli president. Senere gitt det videre til Kufour som tapte valget for Atta-Mills. Derfor er skikkelig spent på denne situasjonen.
Så jeg er bare sykt spent på hvordan dette vil innvirke på situasjonen i Etiopia og Ghana. Noe som jeg føler er naturlig. Med både frykt og masse håp. Uten håp har man intet. Likevel kan man jo se tegn i tiden og vite om de som er med en vil likedan den forrige å av og til.. dessverre verre. Hva er det som virkelig skjer i tomrommet til en autoritær leder? Noen plasser blir det helt dyttet vekk slik som etter Franco i Spania. Der har de fortsatt nesten ikke tatt oppgjør med diktaturet! Er det slik som fungerer. Eller finnes det andre veier? Vil opplysning og fredelig overtaking slik som Sør-Afrika og ANC være løsningen? Slik som deres Sannhets og tilgivelses kommisjon etter Apartheid? Jeg har ikke svarene. Dette er bare tanker jeg må få ut. Hvis ikke blir jeg gal! Hva er det som skaper og fyller tomrommet til en autoritær leder som har levd hele livet sitt uten å vite at han har fulgt ord for ord av Machiavellis Frysten! Kan noen fylle dette med rettferdig og vis leder? Eller er det et Metropolis eller Utopia? En drømmetilstand som vi mennesker ikke er gode nok til. For grådig til å innse og gjøre om de system som våre forfedre la til rette? Fordi å revolusjonere og omgjøre system koster så mye. Både tankekraft og penger. At det er lettere å falle til ondskap en til system som skaper en positiv utvikling. Alt dette er bare spørsmål som ligger meg på hjertet. Derfor blogger jeg dette! Om du blir klokere. Så er jeg takknemlig. Hvis ikke så skjønner jeg dette også. Uansett. Ha en god dag.