Friday, February 2, 2018

Dr Abiy Ahmed comments on various socio-political issues

One Nation One Ethiopia : Ethiopia's Amhara state arrests civilians after de...

One Nation One Ethiopia : Ethiopia's Amhara state arrests civilians after de...: By Abdurahman Shaban, AfricaNews February 2, 2018 The Amhara regional state in Ethiopia says a number of civilians have been arrested for...

Ethiopia's Amhara state arrests civilians after deadly clashes with army

By Abdurahman Shaban, AfricaNews
February 2, 2018

The Amhara regional state in Ethiopia says a number of civilians have been arrested for their role in deadly violence that killed over 20 people in the state through last week.

The state-run FBC and privately owned Addis Standard news portals said the party governing the region, the Amhara National Democratic Movement (ANDM), disclosed the measure after a central committee meeting.

The region, the second largest in the country, is located in the north and was riled by anti-government sentiments in three town – Woldiya, Kobo and most recently in Mersa. The Woldiya incident sparked off what is seen as solidarity protests in Kobo and Mersa.

Even though the exact number of arrest is not known, political watchers are wondering why no security forces have been arrested over their use of undue force on unarmed civilians.

According to the United Nations, security forces deployed during the Epiphany celebrations in the region used gunfire to prevent young people from chanting anti-government slogans during the celebrations. Their action led to more protests and the burning of private and public properties.

The official casualty figures for Woldiya was put at seven whiles in Kodo activists mentioned three. The Addis Standard said: “at least eleven people possibly more were killed in the town of Mersa.”

Gedu Andargachew, leader of ANDM and president of the Amhara region in a televised address last Thursday admitted the death of civilians and property damages both in Weldiya and Kobo.

Amhara along with Oromia region were the main centers of anti-government protest that shook the country in 2015 and through the better part of 2016.

To quell the violent protests, Addis Ababa imposed a nationwide state-of-emergency in October 2016. The measure was lifted in August 2017. Parts of the country have been rocked by deadly protests since the measure was lifted.

Friday, September 22, 2017

Ethiopian pop star Teddy Afro's album launch stopped by police

Though Teddy Afro songs promote love and unity among the people, the government sees him as a threat because it is a government whose stay in power is based on promoting 'hate and division'
Authorities in Ethiopia have stopped singer Tewodros Kassahun, popularly known as Teddy Afro, from launching his much-acclaimed album, Ethiopia.
A BBC reporter says federal police showed up at the hotel in Addis Ababa hours before the party and stopped Teddy's sound team from setting up.
His manager told the BBC that they are yet to get official reasons why the launch party was cancelled.
Teddy's 15-track album is the fastest-selling album in the country's history.

Following its release in May this year the album topped the Billboard World Albums chart for weeks.
On his Facebook Page, Teddy Afro has termed the police demand for a permit as ridiculous.
His concert scheduled for the eve of Ethiopian New Year, which falls on 11 September, has also been cancelled in unclear circumstances.

Who is Teddy Afro?
By Emmanuel Igunza, BBC News, Addis Ababa
Teddy Afro is a huge figure in Ethiopia
He enjoys an almost cult-like following and his latest album - his fifth - has elevated him to legendary status.
The album is like a history lesson, with references to Emperor Tewodros II, seen as the father of modern-day Ethiopia, and it also calls for unity among Ethiopians.
Teddy is no stranger to controversy though.
In 2008, he was jailed for a hit-and-run accident. He has always maintained that the case against him was politically motivated.
He raised the ire of the authorities in 2005 when he released an album that was seen as critical of the authorities in the wake of disputed elections, but Teddy has tried to distance himself from politics.
He still enjoys a massive following among Ethiopians who adore and revere him.
Months after his album was released, his music is still being blasted out on public transport, in bars, local shops and homes.

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Olympian Feyisa Lilesa listed in FP's 2016 Top 100 global thinkers

WASHINGTON, DC - Ethiopian Olympic medalist Feyisa Lilesa has been listed as one of the 100 global thinkers in 2016.
The following story was released by the Foreign Policy:
"Given the fact that the Olympic Charter bans political propaganda, demonstrations are a rarity at the games. Nevertheless, Ethiopian runner Feyisa Lilesa snubbed the rulebook in order to call attention to the brutal actions of his country&rsquo;s security forces. As the marathoner approached the finish line in second place, he crossed his arms over his head - an attention-grabbing gesture to show solidarity with his Oromo tribe. In the weeks before the race, the Ethiopian government had cracked down on protests by the embattled indigenous group and killed dozens. &ldquo;If I would&rsquo;ve taken my medal and went back to Ethiopia, that would&rsquo;ve been the biggest regret of my life,&rdquo; Lilesa, who hasn&rsquo;t yet returned home, told the Associated Press. &ldquo;I wanted to be a voice for a story that wasn&rsquo;t getting any coverage.&rdquo;</p>

CBC RADIO: What was reported then

On the final day of the Rio Olympics, Ethiopian marathoner Feyisa Lilesabecame a silver medalist. Lilesa crossed the finish line with arms raised above his head, and crossed over each other, as in an "X" — a political gesture instantly recognized in Ethiopia.
Lilesa says the symbol of defiance was a peaceful protest against how the Oromo people of Ethiopia have been treated by the government. Close to 100 people were slaughtered in a protest just weeks before the Olympics.
Since his protest on the world's stage, Lilesa tells The Current's Anna Maria Tremonti through a translator that he's worried about his safety if he were to return home.
"Having done this, going back to Ethiopia means suicide. They will kill me. If not killing, they will imprison me and torture me," says Lilesa who is still in Rio.
Lilesa feels it is important to stand up publicly and expose the repression of the Oromo people by the Ethiopian government. He tells Tremonti that "people are dying, being killed, being sent to refugee camps… many thousands were in the red sea running away from the country. People were having peaceful demonstrations but being killed."

Ethiopia: detained journalist missing, denied access to family and medical care

EHRI News Release
December 13, 2016

Ethiopian authorities should immediately disclose the location of Temesgen Desalegn, who was jailed on spurious charges two years ago, and give him access to medical care, said the Association for Human Rights in Ethiopia (AHRE) and DefendDefenders (East and Horn of Africa Human Rights Defenders Project) today.

Temesgen Desalegn is serving a three-year sentence in Ziway prison on charges of defamation, incitement, and false publication. However, relatives have attempted to visit him for seven consecutive days, and been told by Ziway prison administration officials that his location is unknown. His relatives reported that they had not seen him since 7 November.
On 12 December, a Ziway prison official speaking on the condition of anonymity told a journalist from Deutsche Welle’s Amharic service that Temesgen was at the prison.

 However, one relative who attempted to visit him today was told by prison officials that he was not there, and that they do not know his whereabouts.

One of Temesgen’s relatives told AHRE that they have been travelling 160km from the capital Addis Ababa to Ziway prison to visit him, and that since the State of Emergency was declared on October 8 their visiting time has been reduced from 40 to 8 minutes.

“It is unacceptable that after two years of detention in Ethiopia’s insalubrious and overcrowded prison system, authorities are unable or unwilling to provide Temesgen’s relatives with information on his whereabouts,” said Yared Hailemariam, Executive Director of AHRE.

 “We are extremely concerned about Temesgen’s poor health and urge the Ethiopian authorities to immediately disclose his location and give him access to medical care.”

The Information Minister at the time of his conviction, Redwan Hussien, told CPJ that the case was related to news articles discussing the peaceful struggle of Ethiopian youth movements and expressing criticism of the government.

“The situation of human rights defenders in Ethiopia has dramatically worsened since the protests broke out one year ago, and has been compounded by overarching restrictions imposed by the State of Emergency directives,” said Hassan Shire, Executive Director of DefendDefenders.

“The government’s extreme sensitivity to criticism has led to a ruthless and persistent crackdown on protesters, journalists, activists and ordinary citizens who attempt to express legitimate concerns and grievances.”

These include Abebe Wube, general manager of Ye Qelem Qend newspaper, who was arrested in Addis Ababa by security forces on 18 October and Befekadu Hailu, co-founder and member of the Zone 9 bloggers collective, who was arrested on 11 November 2016 at his home in Addis Ababa. Both are still currently detained