Ethiopia: Government of Regional National State of Tigrai – Election 2020 Observation Invitation Letter (August 2020)

Ethiopia: A crackdown on protesters in Wolaita zone [and fatalities on the rise]

On the 9th August 2020 in Wolayita zone, 28 leaders was arrested. After that there been running demonstrations. The Wolaita National Movement (WNM) wants an autonomous state in the Federation, just like Sidama got recently.

Certainly, the Prosperity Party and the Prime Minister Ahmed Ali Abiy have not taken this wish kindly. The PM tried to block Sidama as a state. Therefore, doing it here too, would make sense and be a pattern for the Head of State. Also, the erupting violence and the escalation of soldiers killing civilians. While the authorities are saying its the victims fault and the WNM who are working with TPLF and Querro/OLF. Another pattern of the state. While they are sending trucks of soldiers to Sodo and using violence against civilians. This is becoming a repeating story under PM Abiy.

Where people are standing up against injustice and wants recognition, but the Federal Government answers with guns and arrests of its leaders. The same happen in Oromia, as its happening in Wolayita. This is another zone, but the same results. The same innocent civilians ending up as fatalities in the hands of law enforcement and soldiers.

Recent violence in the region:

In another news, Public Relations of the Walayita National Movement (WNM) Andualem Tadesse said government security forces killed 21 civilians and wounded 105 others amid in the Walayita zone of southern Ethiopia. The Ethiopian Human Rights Commission said the police used excessive force to disperse the protestors who demanded the release of the zone’s officials. The commission confirmed the death of five people and arrest of 178 people including 26 officials of the zone” (Ezega News – ‘National Army is United, Not Divided, Says Chief of Staff’ 11.08.2020).

Nuso Times today reports that military forces have killed a number of citizens in Sodo, Wolayta and among the dead is a pregnant mother. The death toll has currently risen to 30 with over 179 injured and 56 critically injured” (Ethiopia HRC, 12.08.2020).

TPLF condemns the killing:

Once again, the answer to the people’s questions is kidnapping, arresting leaders who have risen in public demand, persecuting, arresting, and killing forces that believe in legitimate and peaceful politics. The actions taken by the Wolayita people a few days ago, claiming that they will suppress the constitutional demand for self-determination, also stem from this oppressive, unitary dictatorship. He reaffirmed in response to public inquiries that he had been killed, persecuted and arrested” (…) “On this occasion, the TPLF would like to reaffirm our solidarity with the Wolayita and other oppressed peoples in order to immediately put an end to this unconstitutional, anti-democratic and unitary dictatorship’s actions against the Ethiopian people” (TPLF, 11.08.2020).

We are seeing the numbers are rising. This means the possible amounts might run even higher. They are already grim, as the demonstrations came quickly after the arrests of the leaders on the 9th August 2020. Within 3 days there are reports of 30 dead. That is 10 people a day on the watch of the government and with the orders of the same authorities.

This is grim… worrying and should concern people. As the same state killed hundreds during the protests in Oromia during the protests there. Now, the same tactic is used in Wolayita zone, which also wants to become a Federal State too. This is the cost for becoming autonomous, apparently. A deadly wish and the costly protest against the state.

The state have two answers to the ones defying it:

– Arrests, fatalities and injuries

– Blame the victims and hope nobody questions it.

Ethiopia is burning, one zone at the time, apparently. Peace.

Ethiopia: PM Abiy removes his Oromo backers

The rise of Prime Minister Abiy Ali Ahmed are continuing his consolidation of power, which he started with the creation of Prosperity Party (PP) out of the Party Coalition Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Defence Force (EPRDF). Now, his continuing it with taking out the people who supported him and backed him while he rose to power.

Now he gone after his side-kick and backer from the Oromo People’s Democratic Organization (OPDO) to Oromo Democratic Party (ODP) and all the way to PP. He has already politically arrested all main opposition in Oromia. They are all charged and in prison. While others who defy the PP and the Central Government will be forced to silence or detained. Just like the recent arrests of leaders from Wolayata Zone.

Today, there are reports that these are dismissed and removed from the PP:

Lemma Megersa, Minister of Defence

Tayiba Hassen, Deputy president of the Oromia regional state,

– Dr Milkesa Mideksa, Representative of Oromia regional state

This is all a clear sign of that there are only one man to listen too and the others has to keep their traps shut. Because, the man on the top, the Prime Minister will demote or get rid of the ones who are in his way. There is no other way to see it now. His making political prisoners out of the opposition, making fake-coups towards the ones who doesn’t support him and appoint leaders who are his allies. He get rid of the ones who are facing him and wants glory for all his work.

The Prime Minister is playing a dangerous game here. The consolidation of power can only take you so far. At one point, paranoia and despair will be on his mind. The PM will cause conflict and warn people. He will talk of danger, but when he is the one who orders the guns.

Now, he went for the ones who was behind his rise to become PM. The ones who was close and supported him. When he can do this to them. What can he do to a real opposition? People who are fighting for liberty, freedom and justice? They will suffer, these people lost their titles and been removed. However, this only shows what sort of fella the PM is.

We can wonder what he does next, but he does not run on reforms anymore. The PM runs on control and by any means. He doesn’t care of the costs, as long as his supreme. Peace.

Ethiopia: Global Oromo Advocacy Group (GOAG) – The safety and well-being of the Oromo political prisoners including Mr. Dawud Ibsa, chairman of the Oromo Liberation Front, are in grave danger (29.07.2020)

Ethiopia: International Oromo Lawyers Association (IOLA) – Re: PM Mr. Abiy Ahmed (19.07.2020)

My letter to Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed Ali: Is this what you aimed for?

16th July 2020 Oslo, Norway

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

I am writing to you today, because this is something I need to release out of my chest. I personally think this will never reach you. To be honest, you will never read this, but hopefully some of your supporters to get a outsider perspective.

All the devastation, destruction and violence happen of late … has been on your watch Prime Minister. All the fatalities, arrests and police brutality has been all on your clock. This is for you take account for and stand behind.

The deaths of innocent civilians in the hands of the authorities. All the fatalities and destroyed properties by the use of force from the army. This is all on you, Prime Minister. You can try to shift the blame, try to talk of outside forces attacking the Federal Republic. As A Prime Minister using the victims as the perpetrators. Only reflects a bad light and show your trying to spin the assaults, arbitrary arrests and charges on Oromo leaders.

That the state, your lackeys are supportive of making inaccurate messages. While viral clips, proof of usage of force against civilians are leaking. Even killing family members of Hacaalu Hubdeessaa at his funeral after his assassination. That shouldn’t be possible, but it shows to what extent your government does to prove a point. Your killing family members of a man your government was making a plaque for; and at the same time murdering his kin. That shouldn’t be a thing, Mr. Prime Minister.

As a Prime Minister, kin shouldn’t face the consequences of their parents actions. The parents are the leaders who is adjourned in courts awaiting more investigation. While the state army is still present and the broadband is still not 100% active. This is something you know. You are keeping political prisoners from all the Oromo groups. In a way silencing all your critics.

What you as Prime Minister need to address and be honest about your origin. Because, I heard in the past, that you had one parent, which was Amhara and the other Oromo. However, now you claim both is Oromo. So, you have changed your story there and your own parents, which is a gift us usual mortals cannot do.

Nevertheless, the important matter is the violence. The state sponsored murder of people. The arrests on political grounds and not on criminal conspiracy. The use of the state to silence its critics and intimidate its citizens. Mr. Prime Minister there should never be any use of Command Post against citizens. You are taking away people liberties and freedoms on the alter of your will to cling to power.

You came in with promise of reform, pledge to change the system, but in the end your regress to tyranny. Is that what your heart aspire too? To be a tyrant? To be a dictator? A technocrat with a gun? Is that all your good for?

You will not remembered in good faith, you will not be remembered for delivering hope or prosperity. You are only delivering hurt and despair. Mr. Prime Minister, the blood is on your hands. The souls of the deceased are on your spreadsheet. That is the results of your labour. You shall answer for the victims, the families who has lost their loved ones and the ones who got caught in the cross-fire. That is the ones that is on your tab.

Mr. Prime Minister, before I repeat myself too much. Let me be clear. The fatalities, the victims and the ones scorned is all on you. No one else to blame but you. He buck stops with you. You have the power to order the military, the police and the judiciary to hunt people. You can burn shops, villages and farms across the Oromia region. You can destroy and put false claim on its leaders.

However, you cannot hide the truth for to long. The victims will talk, the people will show what you did and their stories will be told. Mr. Prime Minister, by then reports and statements will condemn and launch campaigns against you. You are losing, but what you have already is the trust and hope.

You have shattered the faith that you would make a difference. The only thing for you is to seal your future. The only thing left is for you to save your title. You don’t have the love or care for your own. You can take easily life and blame the victims. That is who you are.

Your a disgrace of a leader. Who selfishly uses the power to undermine own citizens and their rights for own benefits. This is your legacy. Who would have thought that you ended up here?

It seemed so good, but it was too good to be true.

Best Regards

Writer of Minbane

Ethiopia: International Ethiopians Solidarity Forum letter to International Criminal Court (15.07.2020)

Ethiopia: Internet back on after 15 days – Now its the time for the leaks

The authorities have finally after 15 days of internet blockade and jamming of the phone lines. Opened both up in the Federal Republic. There are some signs of more usage on the networks. We can now get people back to access and deliver all their stories since 29th June 2020, when singer Haacaaluu Hundeessaa was assassinated and the authorities answered with arresting the leaders of OMN, OLF and OFC. Also, their family members as well. That is why the numbers of arrest is up to 3500 officially and 5000 unofficially. Also reported that 260 killed and unofficial numbers are around 1,000.

We know about the big-men, about some stories, but most have been kept in the dark. There been ploys for conspiracies. As the government wants to pin blame on the victims and the former oppressors. They been pre-occupied with writing this narrative. Even blame outside forces for this. While putting the whole Republic into black. Ensuring that no news comes out. Arrest journalists, silence there Media Houses and so on. It is a deliberate action. In the meantime also drop a context bid and a press release. Just to soften the stance and steer the conversation.

While, we now need the Oromia region to leak information. They need to drop footage, pictures and stories from the last two weeks. There is a dire need for clarifications and setting the record straight. About the abuses, the destruction and the collective rage of the armed forces. As the soldiers and police officers have attacked, killed and detained thousands.

That is why to get the whole picture. Not just the narrative the Prime Minister and his Prosperity Party wants to portray. As he has arrested all of his enemies in Oromia. He have arrested all opposition there and the leaders of the region. His Yes-Men and loyal public officials are in-charge, but they speaking to please. They will not dare to question the Emperor of Addis Ababa. The leader in Finfinne.

We have only seen footage from Tom Gardner filming of the destruction of Shashamane or Shashamannee in West Arsi Region in Oromia. It looks like a war-zone and total devastation. It looks like a long civil war with depleted houses and businesses in a town at the size of 122,000 citizens.

That is just one clip and leak from what have occurred off late. It seems like government want to go full out war against their citizens. God knows how much more damage they have done. What that has happen in the villages and smaller towns. We got no idea what sort of stories that might be revealed from there. If the government can practically destroy a town to prove a point. God knows what else they would do to its own.

There are also reports that Mohammad Jawar, the founder of OMN and opposition leader have been moved from Ma’ekelawi Prison to an undisclosed location (aka a dungeon). Who knows who of the others have been moved like this. The other leaders of OFC and OLF. They could easily have joined Jawar in this. As their lawyers and families cannot see or hear from the prisoners.

The are reports from Adama city (Nazret) that the youth have been arbitrary arrested and put in concentration camps by the authorities. Where they are kept and not fed food for days.

All of this is why, we need steady leaks. Drops of information and release of what happen. Not to undermine the Prime Minister, but to tell the truth. To show the reality on the ground and report on the actual acts, which was made these last two weeks. There is a need to know and show. So, that the unverified reports become real. It is a dire need to get this out and air out the grievances. Peace.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Opinion: Lord Mayoral candidate Chameleone [want to act green and red, but smells yellow]

Dr Jose Chameleone aka Joseph Mayanja are officially nominating himself as the candidate for Lord Mayor of Kampala on a People Power ticket. Surely combined with the Democratic Party, where his a member and been a National Mobilizer.

I don’t know if I can trust Chameleone. His been loyal to the President and campaigned for the National Resistance Movement (NRM) for years. Yes, a man can switch and change his allegiance. That is all natural, but don’t expect it to not follow him blindly either.

He wants to act all opposition, even picking the safe bet of being both part of the Democratic Party under the guidance of Mao and ticket on People Power Movement with the boost of Bobi Wine. It seems like a positive political bingo. Getting both the facade of a political party and support of the growing movement around Bobi Wine.

Chameleone might be able to trick a few as an entertainer, but I have hard time seeing him as a trusted candidate. He cannot even pay taxes on his cars. The man has plenty of times forgotten or deliberately not paid taxes on his SUVs. That has been an issue since 2012. If it is a Cadillac or Toyota. The musician have struggled to pay for it.

His possibly a legend in the field of music. A pop star and a man with many top singles. Chameleone have conquered that field, but as a politician his a start-up. With his past love and association with the NRM. I have question his sudden character of the opposition.

That his both with Mao and Bobi Wine shows that he wants to finesse this game. I don’t doubt him. Last campaign and after the General Election in 2016. The man defended the President, the whole “Tubonga Naawe” song and sends his congratulatory message after the rigged enterprise.

It is like the man now wants to forget all this. That the drive for campaign-money and support of the State House.

It is weird how quickly he went from being Yellow to Red or Green for that matter. That it was that simple. Chameleone just switched camps all over night. It is hard to figure out.

Now he wants to become the Lord Mayor of Kampala. Challenge the two term incumbent Erias Lukwago who went from DP to create his own party. Chameleone is overtaking the slot of Lukwago in the DP. Also, making himself more relevant by joining the PP. There is no other way to look at it. If he had done this for 2016, Jose would have used the TDA for his benefit.

I have little faith in Chameleone. Until he proves me otherwise, but I don’t want to be naive. Believe his words and “sudden” change of heart. It just seems like his put there to make the race harder for Lukwago. As the NRM cannot field any sensible candidate in Kampala. Peace.