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  • The Long Arm of Ethiopia Reaches for Those Who Fled

    Ethiopia’s Refugees Unsafe in Kenya and Elsewhere

    Felix Horne

    Senior Researcher, Horn of Africa

    “Wako” fled Ethiopia for Kenya in 2012, after his release from prison. He had been locked up for two years after campaigning for the Oromo People’s Congress, an opposition party that has often been targeted by the government.

    In Kenya, he hoped to be safe. But six months later Ethiopian officials kidnapped him in Nairobi and brought him to Ethiopia’s notorious Ziway prison, where he was mistreated and tortured, before being released. He fled to Kenya a second time.

    When I spoke to him in Kenya, he said he planned to travel overland to South Africa. He hoped for better safety there.

    Human Rights Watch has documented numerous cases of harassment and threats against Ethiopian asylum seekers in Kenya and elsewhere since 2010. In a recent letter to the Kenyan police, to which they have not responded, we describe how asylum seekers were assaulted, detained, and interrogated before Ethiopian officials in Nairobi, and forced to return to Ethiopia. Many also received threatening phone calls and text messages from Kenyan and Ethiopian phone numbers.

    In private, some Kenyan police told us that Ethiopian Embassy officials in Nairobi have offered them cash to arrest Ethiopians. Ethiopian refugees said Ethiopian officials tried to recruit them to inform on others, promising land, protection, money, and resettlement to the US or elsewhere.

    Threats to fleeing Ethiopians are not limited to Kenya. Community leaders, social media activists, opposition politicians, and refugee protection workers have been harassed in other countries. Human Rights Watch has documented abductions of Ethiopian refugees and asylum seekers from Uganda, Sudan, Djibouti, and elsewhere.

    High-profile opposition figures with foreign citizenship have also been handed to Ethiopian authorities without a legal process, including a British citizen detained in Yemen, a Norwegian citizen in South Sudan, and a Somali nationalhanded over last month by Somalia’s government.

    In Somaliland, we recently spoke to 10 asylum seekers who were forced back to Ethiopia during one of the frequent roundups of Oromo in Somaliland. Eight said they were tortured upon their return to Ethiopia. Many described harassment from Ethiopian embassy officials and indifference from the UN refugee agency.

    All this creates a climate of fear and mistrust amongst Ethiopian refugees, preventing them from living normal lives, going to working or even applying for asylum.

    The UN refugee agency and host countries should work harder to ensure Ethiopians fleeing torture and persecution can safely access asylum processes and be safe from the long reach of Ethiopian officials. 

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    Scan the mainstream media for news about Ethiopia and discover headline after headline describing the country’s economic successes: double-digit economic growth, foreign investment and aspirations to become a middle-income country by 2030. Ethiopia, we are told, is a functioning democracy, an African tiger economy and an important ally of Western governments.

    According to such eminent sources as the BBC, CNN, the World Bank and the US State Department, Ethiopia is an African success story; a beacon of stability and growing prosperity in a region of dysfunctional states. Dig a little deeper, speak to Ethiopians inside the country or within the diaspora and a different, darker image surfaces: A violent picture of brutal state suppression, state corruption, widespread human rights violations and increasing levels of hardship as the cost of living escalates.

    For a country to be regarded as broadly democratic a series of foundational pillars and interconnected principles are required to exist and be in operation: the observation of human rights, political pluralism, a flourishing independent media, an autonomous judiciary and police force, a vibrant civil society and a pervasive atmosphere of tolerance, inclusion and freedom. Where these are found to be absent so too is democracy.

    The Ethiopian government – the Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) maintains that it governs in accordance with democratic ideals: a brief overview of their methods however makes clear this is far from the truth. The EPRDF rules in a highly suppressive manner and has created an atmosphere of fear and suspicion throughout the country, employing a largely uneducated security apparatus to keep the increasingly mobilized populace in order, and a state-run judiciary to lock troublemakers away.

    Political dissent is all but outlawed, and should protestors take to the streets they are shot at, beaten and/or arbitrarily arrested; opposition leaders are imprisoned, branded terrorists, intimidated and persecuted; all major media outlets as well as the sole telecommunications company are state owned or controlled — outspoken journalists are routinely jailed, trade unions are controlled by the government, and humanitarian aid, including food and fertilizer, is distributed on a partisan basis, as are employment opportunities and university places. Refuse to pledge allegiance to the EPRDF and see that job offer withdrawn, the seeds, fertilizer and humanitarian support withheld.

    In justification of this tyrannical rule, the government states that Ethiopia is an evolving democracy, that change takes time and that economic growth is their primary concern and not the annoying niceties of universal human rights law, much of which is written into the liberally worded, systematically ignored constitution. And whilst the EPRDF commits wide-ranging human rights violations, and acts of state terrorism, the country’s major donors, America, Britain and the European Union, remain virtually silent. Indeed their irresponsible actions go beyond mere silence — they promote the fictitious image of democracy and stability in Ethiopia, and in some cases conspire with the regime against opposition party activists, as many believe the UK has done in the case of Tadesse Kersmo, a British citizen and leading member of the opposition party Ginbot 7 – Movement for Unity and Democracy in Ethiopia. He was recently arrested at Heathrow on vague terrorism charges, as well as Andargachew Tsege another British citizen. Tsege was kidnapped while transiting through Sanaan airport in Yemen, and rendered to Ethiopia as part of a brutal crackdown on political opponents and civil rights activists. He has been imprisoned inside Ethiopia ever since, and the British government, to their utter shame, has said little and done nothing.

    Development aid from these and other benefactors, including the World Bank, flows through and supports “a virtual one-party state with a deplorable human rights record,” Human Rights Watch (HRW) states in its aptly named report, Development without Freedom. The Ethiopian government’s “practices include jailing and silencing critics and media, enacting laws to undermine human rights activity, and hobbling the political opposition.”

    Who benefits?

    In 1995 the then Prime Minister Meles Zenawi stated that the plan was for Ethiopia to “sustain current double-digit rates of growth for the next 15 years so that by 2025 we become a middle-income country.” And they would achieve this in a manner that would “allow us to have zero net carbon emissions by 2030.” Economic reforms and growth controlled by a highly centralized political system, mirroring, many have suggested, the methodology of China, is the EPRDF’s approach. It is largely Chinese money and organization that has built the new dams, roads and railways. Industrial parks have sprung up offering new jobs at increased wages, and the government plans to build another nine such facilities. But manufacturing is a tiny part of the country’s economy: almost 85% of the workforce is employed in agriculture, which accounts for 41% of GDP, coffee being the main export.

    Certainly there have been some economic achievements over the past 25 years and the country’s carbon emissions during the period 1999 to 2012, have, according to the World Bank, remained static. This is indeed positive, as is the commitment to hydro, geothermal, wind and solar power. Overall unemployment has fallen slightly to 19.8% (from 2009 when it was 20.4%), but 50% of young people remain unemployed, and Gross Domestic Product (GDP), the famous ‘double-digit growth rates’, has been consistently high, averaging 11.35% in the years since 2010, according to Trading Economic, although this dropped to 8% in 2015/16. The UN relates that there has also been substantial progress in the achievement of Millennium Development Goals, particularly relating to those living in extreme poverty. This figure has fallen from 45% in 1995/6 to 30%.

    Whilst these figures and the commitment of sustained investment are encouraging, no level of economic growth, green or otherwise, can justify violent, suppressive governance, as is being perpetrated in Ethiopia, and a nation’s GDP is only one measure of a country’s health, and a narrow one at that. It reveals nothing of the political landscape, the human rights conditions under which people are forced to live, the dire levels of poverty or where any new wealth has settled. Many claim ‘crony capitalism’ abounds in Ethiopia, that the principle beneficiaries of economic growth have been government members and close supporters and people from Tigray, the regional home of the majority of the government and senior members of the armed forces.

    Desperate for change

    With a population of almost 100 million, Ethiopia is the second most populous country in Africa after Nigeria. And with a population growth rate at a tad under 3% it’s growing apace (in the EU e.g. its 0.23%, the US 0.81%), meaning over the coming five years the country will have 60 million more people to feed.

    The median age is a mere 17 years of age (44% are under 14), life expectancy is just 67 years of age (158th out of 198 countries) and the country (according to the US State Department) is still regarded as one of the 10 poorest nations in the world, with some of the lowest per capita income figures on the planet – just $590 (World Bank): it’s hard to live on $49 a month anywhere. The combination of low income, low life expectancy and poor education levels – only 39% of adults are literate and 85% of rural youth don’t complete primary school – means that Ethiopia is ranked 174th (of 198 countries) on the United Nations Human Development Index.

    None of this, plus other stark details of daily life, the inflated cost of living for example, increased taxes, or the lowest level of Internet access in Africa – just 3.7%, is featured in the country’s routinely championed GDP figures. Headline numbers which mean nothing to the majority of people: most can barely feed themselves and their families, are increasingly angry at the level of state suppression and live in fear of government retribution should they dare to express dissent. As HRW correctly states, “visitors and diplomats alike are impressed with the double-digit economic growth, the progress on development indicators, and the apparent political stability. But in many ways, this is a smokescreen: many Ethiopians live in fear.”

    Fear that has kept the people silent and cowering for years, but, encouraged by movements elsewhere, long-held frustration and anger spilled over in 2015 and 2016, when large-scale demonstrations erupted. Unprecedented demonstrations that followed hard on the heel of elections in May 2015, which, despite widespread discontent with the ruling party saw the EPRDF miraculously win 100% of the seats in both the federal and regional parliaments.

    Thousands marched; firstly in the Oromia region than in parts of Amhara (areas that constitute the two largest ethnic groups in the country), until in October, after scores of people were killed in a stampede at Bishoftu in Oromia, a State of Emergency was announced by the ruling regime. Extreme measures of control were contained in the clampdown that lasted for 10 months. Draconian rules, which undermined the rights of free expression and peaceful assembly, and prohibited any association with groups labeled terrorist organizations, such as independent media stations, ESAT TV and Radio and the Oromia Media Network. Break the rules and face up to five years in jail, where torture is commonplace.

    HRW made clear that the Directive, which was lifted in August, went “far beyond what is permissible under international human rights law,” and “signaled a continuation of the militarized response” that characterized the government’s reaction to people’s legitimate grievances, peacefully expressed. Tens of thousands of protestors, including opposition party leaders, were arrested and detained without due process. Hundreds of people killed, many more beaten by security forces that act with total impunity. None of this is contained in the World Bank data, the IMF forecasts or the BBC news headlines, nor is the state terrorism taking place in the Ogaden region and elsewhere, where murder and false imprisonment of pastoralists is routine and women tell of multiple rapes at the hands of soldiers and the quasi Para-military group the Liyu Police.

    Ethiopia desperately needs a renaissance, true development built on a firm foundation of human rights, inclusion and political pluralism. Human development that caters to the needs of all its citizens, not economic growth based on a prescribed outdated, unjust economic model, which inevitably benefits a few, strengthens inequality and fosters corruption.

    Far from building a democratic society in which freedoms are observed and valued, an atmosphere of fear, suspicion, and inhibition has been cultivated by the EPRDF government, a brutal regime that is determined to maintain power, no matter the cost to the people of Ethiopia, the vast majority of whom are desperate for democratic change.

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    By Yigal Chazan

    While the upheavals of 2016 unnerved foreign investors, the economy continues to grow apace.

    Ethiopia appears to have withstood last year’s anti-government protests to become the world’s fastest-growing economy, but political reforms promised in the wake of the violence have been dismissed by international rights campaigners as “largely cosmetic” raising questions over the long-term stability of Africa’s second most populous state.

    Investors were rattled by the turmoil in the Oromia and Amhara regions during which hundreds of protesters died and foreign- and state-owned enterprises were attacked. Foreign direct investment dropped by a fifth to $1.2 billion in the six months to December – the government paying out millions of dollars in compensation and offering tax relief to affected businesses.

    A senior official said in February that while no planned foreign investment projects had been cancelled, the government’s FDI target of $3.5 billion for the year was unlikely to be met, with investors adopting a “wait-and-see attitude”. A state of emergency introduced in October – and extended for four months in March – has stabilized the country, restoring a degree of confidence in the economy. But investors’ faith in the government’s ability to maintain law and order has been shaken.

    Last month, despite the economic disruption, Ethiopia was ranked as the fastest-growing economy in 2017 by the World Bank and has overtaken regional rival Kenya to head East Africa’s GDP league table, thanks largely to high levels of public spending and robust domestic demand. These are significant achievements for a country that not so long ago was synonymous with drought and famine. The recent violence, however, underlines the fragility of Ethiopia’s progress.

     

     

     

    Under the authoritarian leadership of the ruling Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF), which seized power twenty-five years ago, the ethnically diverse country has undergone accelerated, Chinese-style development, averaging double-digit growth over the last decade.  There has been considerable public investment in infrastructure, power generation and education, while foreign investment has increased ten-fold from $265 million in 2005 to $2.16 billion in 2015. The government is focusing on building up the country’s manufacturing base and agribusiness sector in an effort to achieve its goal of middle-income status by 2025. It is an ambitious target, given that most of the population still depends on subsistence farming, and more than a third live below the poverty line.

    Those yet to benefit from the country’s rapid development bridle at corruption, limited job opportunities, the absence of political freedoms and the dominant role in government of the Tigrayan minority. The sparks that triggered last year’s upheaval were plans – later shelved – to expand the capital Addis Ababa into land belonging to the Oromo, the largest ethnic group. Protests, which began in late 2015, quickly escalated and spread north to the Amhara region, morphing into anti-government unrest.

     

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    The authorities cracked down heavily on the demonstrations, imposed a state of emergency and stifled dissent. Thousands of protesters were detained in “rehabilitation camps” and one of the country’s most prominent opposition leaders, Merera Gudina, is facing terrorism charges. He was arrested last December for criticising the state of emergency. In May, opposition politician Yonatan Tesfaye received a six-and-a-half-year prison sentence for encouraging terrorism. He was detained after criticizing the government, just as the protests in Oromia region were gaining momentum.

    In an effort to reduce tensions, the authorities have eased the state of emergency, vowed to both undertake reforms and engage in dialogue with opposition parties to address their grievances. In a government reshuffle in November, nine Oromo representatives were appointed to the cabinet – two given prominent roles – while a more representative electoral system has been promised. Currently, the EPRDF controls all the seats in the 547-member parliament.

    But critics say the government is failing to deliver on its pledges. In March Human Rights Watch dismissed steps taken so far as “largely cosmetic”. It said they “fell dramatically short” of the protesters’ calls for the protection of basic human rights. In May, Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, quoted in the Financial Times, warned that “social pressure will build to a point where dramatic things will happen” unless the country becomes more democratic.

    Western powers have put little pressure on Ethiopia because it is a reliable partner in the war against Islamists in the Horn of Africa and has long been an island of stability in an otherwise volatile region. For now, the government appears to be prioritizing economic development over political reform, forging ahead with efforts to turn the country into a low-cost manufacturing hub. As part of plans to create tens of thousands of jobs a year, it aims to build 16 industrial parks around the country. The plants will benefit from a recently launched Chinese-funded electrified railway line to the port of Djibouti, boosting Ethiopia’s export potential.

    The country clearly hopes to buy social peace through development, but its job-creation efforts may struggle to keep pace with its fast-expanding workforce. The World Bank estimates that about 600,000 Ethiopians enter the labour market every year. In order to give itself a chance of meeting this demand, the government must seek to maintain stability. State- and foreign-owned businesses were deliberately targeted in the recent unrest, and once the state of emergency is lifted they may again be in the firing line if political grievances are not properly addressed.

     

    Yigal Chazan is an Associate at Alaco, a London-based business intelligence consultancy.

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    By Etenesh Abera

    Following days of defiance by small business owners in Oromia regional state and in the capital Addis Abeba against the newly introduced presumptive tax system, Kebede Chane, Director General of the Ethiopian Revenue and Customs Authority (ECRA), said the government was now scraping its implementation.

    The revised presumptive tax system concerns category 'C' tax payers, which consists small businesses with an annual turnover of up to 100,000 Birr. It was conducted by ECRA in collaboration with the Ministry of Finance and Economic Cooperation (MoFEC) and has come into effect as of the end of the fiscal year on July 07, 2017.

    However, the latest presumptive tax system saw disproportional tax amounts levied on small businesses. It was introduced after hundreds of tax assessors visited these businesses and came up with their tax estimates.

    Letters sent from ERCA to small businesses in Addis Abeba, as well as those in Oromia state show that traders of small businesses such as street side coffee vendors, barbers, internet cafes and small kiosks were asked to pay annual taxes as high as 50, 000 birr and in some instances more.

    ~~Kebede Chane of ERCA told the Amharic biweekly The Reporter that micro business owners including barbers/hair dressers, tailors, laborers, and street coffee vendors will be encouraged to pay "what they agree to pay". He further said that authorities were reviewing complaints submitted by these businesses in order to consider scarping the taxes. The government would be happy if those sections of the society were simply self-reliant, the paper paraphrased the head of ERCA.

    The new presumptive tax assessment was met with fury as small business owners in several cities and towns in Oromia regional state, which applied the same technique, and in parts of Addis Abeba, closed their businesses in protest. While majority of these business owners protested the move by simply shutting their shops, a few instances, such as the one in Ambo city, 120 kms west of the capital Addis Abeba, have seen protesters damage two state owned vehicles on Thursday July 13.

    Kebede's statement stands in sharp contrast to that of Nestanet Abera, ERCA deputy director for Addis Abeba tax division, who, on July 05, told journalists that the confusion was rather due to lack of understanding than the amounts levied. "We have not imposed such taxes. The confusion is due to lack of understanding and the tendency of considering daily incomes as taxes," Netsanet said, "our assessments were based on fairness and are appropriate."

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    The Ethiopian Government has established a new Aviation Holding Group with various diversified aviation strategic business units to boost service delivery and increase competitiveness.

    The units include Ethiopian Airports Enterprises, Passenger Airline, Cargo Airline and Logistics Company, Ethiopian Aviation Academy, Ethiopian Inflight Catering Services, Ethiopian MRO Services, Ethiopian Hotel and Tourism Services.

    Accordingly, the Ethiopian Airports Enterprise has joined the new Aviation Group to leverage the strong synergies that naturally exist among the group member companies.

    The new Group Structure will allow all the fully owned companies to pursue shared long term vision and common planning platform while they provide high quality global standard services to their mutual customers. The Ethiopian Airports Company will maintain its internal autonomy, its own brand, and its functions playing an important and central role to integrate the services of all stakeholders such as airlines, immigration services, customs, security services, ground handlers and others to ensure that all provide global standard airport services to the end customer, the passenger.

    The passenger satisfaction will be the most important focus of all service providers and global standard key performance indicators will be given to all stakeholders which will measure the standards. The ultimate aim is to upgrade the customer experience at the airport to meet global standard and thereby making ADD airport the best connecting hub in Africa.

     Ethiopian Airlines Group CEO, Tewolde GebreMariam, said “ We are all delighted that the Ethiopian Government took an important decision in paving the way for the formation of the Ethiopian Aviation Group as a holding company in line with international best practices which will enable to transform all airports in Ethiopia to upgrade their services to global standards by leveraging the synergy with the successful business model and strategy of Ethiopian Airlines which is now the best airline group in Africa.

    Passengers’ overall experience is a combined effect of the services rendered both on-board their flight and the provisions at the airports they pass through. Hence, availability of a seamless customer focused service defines the rule of the game in today’s hyper competitive airline industry. The new formation will create common direction and strong synergy to improve services by eliminating waste and redundant activities.”

    Mr. Tewodros Dawit, CEO Ethiopian Airports Enterprise, said: “The group formation is a step forward to improve the competitiveness of the Ethiopian Airlines Hub by taking advantage of the proven record of fast and sustainable growth strategy. The new structure will help the Ethiopian Airport Enterprise to formulate integrated strategy to provide global standard services to all users allowing Ethiopia to continue its aviation leadership in Africa.”

    Ethiopian Airlines is successfully implementing its fifteen years strategic growth plan, Vision 2025, being fastest growing and profitable airline availing the required infrastructure, fleet, System and Human capital that could complement its long-term strategic plan. With unrivalled efficiency and operational excellence, Ethiopian is currently playing an impeccable role in the nation’s economic development endeavours, export and import activities and foreign exchange earnings.

     Commanding the lion share of the Pan-African passenger and cargo network with the youngest and most modern fleet, Ethiopian flies to more than 100 international passenger and cargo destinations across five continents.

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    ETHIOPIA - The Ethiopian Meat & Dairy Industry Development Institute reported that the country generated 104 million dollars from meat, honey, wax, fodder products, and milk and dairy exports during the recently ended fiscal year.

    Currently, a total of 579 industries, of which 468 are established by local investors, engage in meat and dairy production.

    Out of the total investments, 186 are engaged in meat and fodder processing, 279 industries in milk and dairy processing, 65 in honey and wax processing, and 49 industries in fodder processing.

    According to AllAfrica, during the year, the total export amount was 20,525tn of meat and dairy products.

    In 2016, a total of 19,892tn of meat and dairy products were exported and generated 102 million dollars.

    Ethiopia is known for its huge amount of cattle resources in the world, having 57 million cattle, 29.33 million sheep, 29.11 million goats, 1.16 million camels, and 56.87 million chickens.

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    Painful memoriesItaly and the Addis Ababa massacre

    For Italians, it was a garden-variety colonial atrocity. For Ethiopians it was a modern war crime

    By Ian Campbell. Hurst; 478 pages; £30. To be published in America by Oxford University Press in August.

    NEAR the village of Affile, on a picturesque hillside east of Rome, stands a monument, unveiled in 2012 and built with public funds, to Rodolfo Graziani, one of Mussolini’s most brilliant generals. He was a key figure in Italy’s brutal campaigns in Africa in the decade before the second world war.

    Inside a roundabout in Addis Ababa lies another monument. This giant obelisk, perhaps the Ethiopian capital’s finest piece of public art, was donated by Josip Tito, then president of Yugoslavia, in 1955. Six bronze reliefs depict a massacre, the worst in Ethiopian history, carried out by Italian forces during the occupation of 1936-41 while Graziani was viceroy of Italy’s new colony. According to the Ethiopian government, some 30,000 Ethiopians died during the campaign of terror in February 1937.

    Official Italian estimates usually number between 600 and 2,000, but they are certainly much too low. The most plausible figure, argues Ian Campbell in the first comprehensive account of the massacre, may be 20,000. In Italy Graziani’s great crime is seen as little more than a typical European colonial atrocity—no worse than the British at Amritsar, for instance, where 1,000 people (according to India’s count) were slaughtered in 1919.

    But, as Mr Campbell’s meticulous work makes plain, this was no typical colonial atrocity. After a failed attempt on Graziani’s life, the Italians’ bloody revenge lasted three days. Led by the local “Blackshirts”—Mussolini’s paramilitaries, officially granted carta bianca—regular soldiers, carabinieri and perhaps more than half of Addis Ababa’s Italian civilians took part. In this ghoulish massacre, witnesses reported crushed babies, disembowelled pregnant women and the burning of entire families.

    Mr Campbell argues that this was a methodical effort to wipe out Ethiopian resistance to Italian rule, more like later Nazi war crimes than earlier colonial massacres. He charges both Graziani and the local Fascist Party leader, Guido Cortese, with personal responsibility. Though unconscious when the killing began, Graziani took control of the subsequent reprisal executions, aimed in particular at eliminating the Ethiopian nobility and intelligentsia.

    Graziani was never prosecuted for crimes in Africa, though he was convicted for collaboration with the Nazis and briefly imprisoned. Britain, wary of setting awkward precedents, played an outsized role in sheltering Italians with blood on their hands. Mr Campbell cites a telegram written by Winston Churchill to his ambassador in Rome in 1944, instructing him to protect Marshal Badoglio, Italian commander of the Ethiopian northern front, who used poison gas, and is considered the top war criminal by Ethiopia.

    Italy was never forced to reckon with Fascism as Germany was with Nazism. Few post-war Italian historians ever tackled the massacre. Those that did were often denounced as unpatriotic. Angelo Del Boca, writing in the 1960s, was accused by the Italian army of being a “liar” for his research on Graziani’s crimes. When “Lion of the Desert”—a film depicting his actions in Libya—was released in 1981, it was soon banned, for damaging the honour of the Italian army. To this day Italian schoolchildren are not taught about the Addis Ababa massacre. Graziani is little known; his sins even less so. Mr Campbell’s book will be welcomed by the Ethiopian government, which has long argued that its citizens deserve an apology.

    This article appeared in the Books and arts section of the print edition under the headline "Hearing their cries"

     

    source: .economist.com

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    The Ministry of Foreign Affairs disclosed that over 130,000 undocumented Ethiopians get their final exit visa from Saudi Arabia up to Tuesday 18 July, 2017.

    The Ministry further stated over 60,000 have already been returned to their country in the aforementioned period.

    Foreign Affairs State Minister Dr. Aklilu Hailemichael told The Ethiopian Herald that the government and other stakeholders have been actively engaged for the speedy return of undocumented citizens from Saudi Arabia before the 30-day extended amnesty period expires on July 24,2017.

     

    The State Minister, who is also the Chairperson of the National Task Force for Saudi Returnees, indicated that Saudi Arabian Airlines joins efforts of the Ethiopian flag carrier in the repatriation process.

    Dr. Aklilu called on the remaining undocumented citizens to leave the country during the extended grace period that enables them to be exempted from fines and consequences associated with the deportee fingerprint system that bars their opportunity to return to Saudi Arabia legally.

    It was recalled in response to Prime Minister Hailemariam request, Saudi Arabia's King Salman bin Abdulaziz issued additional 30-days of grace period effective Sunday June 25, 2017.

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    Since 2012, an invasive weed known as the water hyacinth has been subsuming tens of thousands of acreage of the surface of Lake Tana, as well as adjacent wetlands and ranches surrounding the lake.

    About two million Ethiopians directly depend on the lake as well as adjacent wetlands and ranches for their livelihood, according to Nature And Biodiversity Conservation Union (NABU), a German non-governmental organization focused on sustainability and conservation in the region. The steady growth of the water hyacinth has taken a toll, particularly on the western side of the lake, an area populated by fishermen, farmers, and ranchers whose work depends on it.

    The vast, 832-square-mile body of water is Ethiopia's largest lake, and is packed with ecological, cultural and historical charm. It is situated in the highlands of Ethiopia’s second-largest region, Amhara administrative state.

    Ecologically, Lake Tana is home to rare and endangered bird species such as the black-crowned crane and also hosts several migratory birds.

    Lake Tana is also notable for being the headwaters of the Blue Nile river that flows westward before it merges with White Nile at Khartoum, Sudan’s Capital.

    The Blue and White Nile are the two major tributaries of world’s longest river, the Nile. Along the way, the Nile is fed by numerous smaller streams before it flows northward into Egypt, but the Nile gets more than 80 percent of its water from Blue Nile. Describing the eminence of Lake Tana, the renowned adventurer and geophysicist Pasquale Scaturro said, “The riches of Egypt is a gift from Lake Tana.”

    Now, the lake is a very different symbol — of the dire state of Ethiopia’s natural resources at a time when the country’s fast-growing population needs more of everything.

    When first spotted in 2012, the massive water hyacinth blooms were first confined to areas covering about 77 square miles of the shallow water and shores of the lake around its western edges. Since then, the floating weed has grown rapidly, devouring large swatches of the surface of the lake. As a result, the average expanse of the lake in the western province of Dembiya has steadily shrunken, residents told state media.

    According to experts who spoke to government media, the water hyacinth has grown nearly 100 percent from 2012 to about 155 square miles, though a relatively dry winter season in 2016 slowed its expansion.

    The spread of this invasive alien species is the result of human activity around Lake Tana. According to a paper written by two academicians, the rapid growth of the pernicious weed is caused by the inflow of nutrient rich water from urban and agricultural runoff and products of industrial waste, threatening other Ethiopian lakes as well such as Lake Hawasa, and Lake Zeway.

    Since 2015, UNESCO has recognized Lake Tana as a World Heritage site for its unique ecological biosphere reserve, due to NABU's efforts to secure this status as part of its conservation efforts in the region. UNESCO also recognizes the islands’ rich historical, cultural and religious significance with deep ties to the Ethiopian Coptic Orthodox Church.

    The lake is also home to historical monasteries and churches. Their relatively isolated location on islands has aided their preservation, but as the menacing water hyacinth threatens to clog the entire lake, their survival is at stake as well as the livelihoods of all who live near and depend on Lake Tana as a natural resource

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    እስላሟ ከንቲባ ጫልቱ ሳኒና አፍራሽ ፖሊሶቹ
    ለፍርድ እንዲቀርቡ ተጠተቁ
    [ ብፁዕ አቡነ ቀውስጦስ]
    *★★★*

     

    "ምናልባት በእኔ ሐጢአት ይሆናል ይኼ ነገር የተፈጸመው" " [ ብፁዕ አቡነ ቀውስጦስ]

    ★ የግፍ ጽዋው የሞላ ይመስላል.! መናቃችን መዋረዳችን ሊያበቃም ፤ የኢትዮጵያም ትንሣኤም ሊቀርብ ይመስላል ። እንዲህ ያለ መሪ እንዲህ ያለ ዳግማዊ አቡነ ጴጥሮስ ነበር ያጣነው ። ትእግስትም ሲበዛ ይመራል ። አከተመ ።

    ይኽን የብፁዕ አቡነ ቀውስጦስን ልብ የሚነካ ንግግር Share ~~ Share ~ Share በማድረግ በለገጣፎ እስላሟ ከንቲባ ወ/ሮ ጫልቱ ሳኒ እና ሠራዊቷ በ21 ኛው ክፍለ ዘመን የኢትዮጵያን ቤተክርስቲያን አፍርሰው ታቦቱን በኮንቴይነር በማስቀም እንዴት እያላገጡበት እንደሚገኙ ብፁዕነታቸው የሚያስተላልፉትን መልእክት ጉዳዩን ላልሰሙ የተዋሕዶ ልጆች እናሰማ ፣ ላላዩ እናሳይ ፣ ለጥ ብሎ ነገር ዓለሙን ረስቶ የተኛውንም እናንቃው ። Comment ~ Comment ~ በመስጠት የውስጣችንን በማውጣት እንተንፍስ ፣ እንወያይ ፣ እንመካከር ።

    ማሳሰቢያ.!

    ድራማው አስቀድሞ መጨረሻው የታወቀ ስለሆነ ፤ ማንኛውም የተዋሕዶ ልጅ አብሮ ከኖረው ፣ ክፉ ደጉን አብሮ ካሳለፈው ከጎረቤቱ ፣ ከጓደኛውና የሥራ ባልደረባው ከሆነው ሙስሊም ወንድሞቹና እህቶቹ ጋር እንዳይቀያየም አደራ ። ይሄ የመንግሥቱ ሴራና ሥራ እንጂ የሙስሊም ወንድሞቻችን እንዳልሆነ ይታወቅ ። ሙስሊሞቹማ ዛሬ ጥምቀት ዓርብ ውሏልና ክርስቲያን ወንድሞቻችን ታቦቱን በሰላም ይሸኙ ዘንድ መስጊድ እንቀይር የሚሉ ልባሞች ናቸው ። እናም እንንቃ ፣ እንዲያውም በጋራ ለመፍትሄው መንቀሳቀሻ ጊዜው አሁን ይመስለኛል ። ጫልቱ ሙስሊሙን ማኅበረሰብ ፈጽሞ አትወክልም ። አከተመ ።

    ★ ህዝብና መንግሥትን ለማጋጨት ሙስሊማ ከንቲባ ጫሉቱ ሳኒ የፈጸመችውን ግፍ እስከመጨረሻው እንደሚፋረዷት ብፁዕነታቸው ዛሬ በአቡነ ኪሮስ ክብረ በዓል ላይ ለተገኘው በሺዎች ለሚቆጠረው ከአጥቢያውና አዲስ አበባን ጨምሮ ከአጎራባች ከተሞች ለመጡት ምዕመናን ገልጸዋል ።

    ★ ሦስት ሺ ዘመን እኮ ነው እግዚአብሔርን ያመለክንበት ይኽን ታቦት ። አሁን በአልባሌ ሰዎች ፤ የሃይማኖት ልዩነት አድርገው እኛ ባስታጠቅናቸው ጠመንጃ እያስፈራሩ ፤ " ይኼ ነው እንዴ የሚያመልኩበት እያሉ ማሾፊያ አድርገው ሰንብተዋል ፤ የትም ጥለውታል ፤ ይኼን ደግሞ ወደፊት በፍርድ አደባባይ አቁመን ሳናስቀጣ እነሱን የሰጠናቸውን መሳሪያ ሳናስገፍፍ ከእኛ ጋር አይኖሩም ።

    እኔ በበኩሌ እኒያን ለጥቂት ቀናት በዚያ በአባ ፎርጅድ ኃይለማርያም ምክንያት ተጠልፈው የጠፉብኝን አንደበተ ርቱዑን ሰባኬ ወንጌልና የስብከት ወጉንና ባህሉን ጭምር ጠንቅቀው የሚያውቁትንም ሊቅ ፣ መድረክ በመመጠን የሚያህላችው የሌውንም አረጋዊ አባት ዛሬ አቡነ ኪሮስ ተራራ ላይ ዳግም እንደ ንጋት ጮራ ፈንጥቀው አየኋቸው ።

    በክርስቶስ የነገረ ድህነት ትርክት ውስጥ የእናቱን የእመቤታችን የቅድስት ድንግል ማርያምን ሱታፌ የማይሰብክ ሰባኪ ካለ ፣ ስለ እመቤታችን ለስብከት በቆመበት ስፍራ የማይናገር ፣ ተርጉሞም የማያስተምር ሰባኪ ካለ ከመድረክ ጎትታችሁ አውርዱት ፣ ከቤተክርስቲያንም አስወጡት ብለው የዛሬ ሁለት ዓመት በተደረገው የሰበካ ጉባኤ አጠቃለይ ስብሰባ ላይ በተናገሩት ከአእምሮ የማይጠፋ ንግግርም ሲታወሱ የሚኖሩ ናቸው ።

    በ1996 ዓም ተፈራ ዋልዋ የተባለ የስርዓቱ በለሥልጣን ኦርቶዶክሳዊት ተዋህዶ ቤተክርስቲያንን በተመለከተ የተናገረው አሳፋሪ ንግግር ከተሰማ በኋላ ማኅበረ ቅዱሳን በሚያሳትመው ሐመር መጽሔት ላይ ቀርበው ድባቅ በመምታት ባለሥልጣኑ አቶ ተፈራ ዋልዋ ሳይወድ በግዱ ይቅርታ እንዲጠይቅ ያስገደዱም ጀግና አባት ናቸው ። አይፈሩም ደፋር ናቸው ።

    ይግባኝ ለክርስቶስ የሚል መጽሐፍም በመጻፍ በዘመናችን የኢትዮጵያን እና የህዝቧን ብሎም የእናት ቤተክርስቲያንን ሰቆቃ በግልፅ አቅርበው ያስነበቡን ደፋርና ቆራጥ የሃይማኖት አርበኛ መሆናቸው ምስክር አያሻውም ።

    እኚህን አባት ነበር ለጥቂት ጊዜ እኔ ፈልጌ ያጣኋቸው ። ዛሬ ግን በቀደመ መካች ባህሪያቸው ለገጣፎ አባ ኪሮስ ላይ አገኘኋቸው ።

    ቪድዮውን ከፍታችሁ እዩት ። ቪድዮውን በኔትወርክ ምክንያት አልከፍት የሚላችሁ በተለይ በኢትዮጵያ ለምትገኙ የሊቀጳጳሱን መልእክት ቃል በቃል እዚሁ የተናገሩትን በጽሑፍ አዘጋጅቼ አቀርቤላችኋለሁ ። ምልካም ንባብ.!

    ★★★

    ...ማነው ይሄን በደል የፈጸመ.? በኢትዮጵያ ላይ ታይቶ ተሰምቶ የማይታወቅ ድፍረት የፈጸመ ማነው? ደግሞ የራሳቸውን ጥፋት ወደ እኛ ለማዞር ሙከራ ያደርጋሉ ። ያስኬዳል እንዴ.? አያስኬድም አያስኬድም. ።

    የተበደልን እኛ ነን ፣ ታቦታችን የትም የተጣለው እኛ ነን ። ማንን በደለኛ ሊያደርጉ ነው ወደ ሌላ ሊያስጠጉ የሚፈልጉት.? እኛ ታቦታችን የሚነሳው በክብር ነው.! ። ከተጣለበት ቦታ መንግሥት አውቆት ፤ ማን ይኽን እንዳደረገ ፍርድ ተሰጥቶ ፣ በአካባቢው ያሉ ክርስቲያኖች እግዚአብሔርን የሚያመልኩበት ቦታ ተሰጥቶ ፤ ታቦቱ ወደ መንበረ ክብሩ ተመልሶ በአጀብ ህዝብ እያወቀው ፤ በዓለም ዙሪያ ጉዳቱ ቅጣቱ እንደተነገረ ሁሉ ዳግም ሲነሳም መንግሥት አውቆት በአጀብ ነው የሚነሳው ።

    ለምሳሌ ከመቅደላ ተሠርቃ የሄደች የእመቤታችን ታቦት በፓትሪያርኩ ነው የሔደችው ። የቅዱስ ያሬድ መስቀል ከውጪ ሀገር ሲመጣ በፓትሪያርኩ ነው በክብር የተሸኘው ። ይኼም በአልባሌ ሰዎች በመንግሥትና ለቤተክርስቲያን ጠላት በሆኑ ሰዎች አልባሌ ቦታ ላይ ወድቋል ። መንግሥት አውቆት ፤ ሁላችንም ተሰባስበን እግዚአብሔርን እያመሰገንን ነው እንጂ የምናነሳው በድብቅ አይነሳም ።

    አሁን ታቦታችንን አንሱ ይላሉ ። ለምን.? እኛ ጣሉ ብለናል እንዴ.! ተደረግ የማይታወቅ በደል ነው የተፈጸመብን ። እንዲህ ያለ ሥራ መሥራት ህዝብና መንግሥትን ለማጋጨት ጥናት የተወሰደበት መስሎ ነው የታየን እኛ ።

    ከንቲባዋና የበደሉን ሰዎች አሉ.! እኛ ያስታጠቅናቸው ፤ የኢትዮጵያ ህዝበ ክርስቲያን ያስታጠቃቸው ፤ ሰላማዊ ሥራ ይሠራሉ ያልናቸው ፖሊሶች ናቸው በድፍረት የፈጸሙት ። እነሱ ከእኛ ጋር አይኖሩም ። ወደፊት ትምህርት ይሰጥባቸዋል ። ወደ ፍርድ እናቀርባቸዋለን ።

    እኛም አጥፍተን ከሆነ ፤ እግዚአብሔርን በማምለካችን እንቀጣለን ። እስከሞትም እንደርሳለን ። ወደኋላ አንልም ። ቀዳሚው እኔ ነኝ ለዚህ ጉዳይ ።

    ስለዚህ ተረጋግተን ፍርድ መጠበቅ ብቻ ነው ። ታቦታችን እንደወደቀ ነው አሁንም አይነሳም ። እኔም አላነሳም ። የአካባቢው ክርስቲያኖች በለቅሶ ነው ያሉት ። ያንን ቦታ ተረክበን አምልኮተ እግዚአብሔርን እንፈጽምበታለን ባልን ልንከለከል አይቻልም ። እንዴት አድርጎ.???

    እኔ በውጪ ሀገርም ሄጃለሁ ። በአሜሪካም ሰባት ስምንት ጊዜ ተመላልሻለሁ ። በዚያ ያሉ ክርስቲያኖች ሰማይ ጠቀስ ፎቅ ለቤተክርስቲያን እየገዙ ነው ። በውጭ ሀገር እንኳ አልተከለከሉም ። አረብ ሀገር እንሂድ ቦታ እየተመሩ ነው ለቤተክርስቲያን መሥሪያ ፤ በተወለድንባት ኢትዮጵያ ቤተክርስቲያን እንዳንሠራ ልንከለከል??? በጭራሽ.! በጭራሽ.! ወደፊት ታያላችሁ አንከለከልም ። ፍርድ የሚሰጥ ዳኛ አለ ። እኔ ብቻ አይደለሁም ይኼ የኢትዮጵያ ጉዳይ ነውኮ፤ የአንድ ክልል ፣ የአንድ ዞን አይደለም ። የመላ ኢትዮጵያ ችግር ነው ይኼ ።

    ሲኖዶሱም ሰምቷል ። እየመከረበትም ነው ። ቅዱስ ፓትሪያርኩም ለክልሉ መንግሥት ጽፈዋል ። አሁን እየተጠና ነው ። ፍርዱን መጠበቅ አለብን ። ተረጋግተን ተረጋግተን ፍርድ መጠበቅ አለብን ።

    ወዳልሆነ ነገር እኛ አንመራም ። እነሱ የሚገፉን ወደአልሆነ ውስጥ ዘለን እንድንገባ ነው ። እንዴት ተጠቃን ብለን ሌላ ውስጥ እንድንገባ ነው ፍላጎታቸው ። በጭራሽ አናደርገውም ። ታቦታችንም በሥነ ሥርዓት መንግሥት አውቆት በክብር ነው የሚነሳው እንጂ ይህን ውሰዱት ተበሎ ብቻዬን. !!! ይህ የህዝብ ነው ። የህዝበ ክርስቲያን ነው ። የመላው ኢትዮጵያ ነው ።

    3 ሺ ዘመን እኮ ነው እግዚአብሔርን ያመለክንበት ይኽን ታቦት ። አሁን በአልባሌ ሰዎች ፤ የሃይማኖት ልዩነት አድርገው እኛ ባስታጠቅናቸው ጠመንጃ እያስፈራሩ ፤ " ይኼ ነው እንዴ የሚያመልኩበት እያሉ ማሾፊያ አድርገው ሰንብተዋል ፤ የትም ጥለውታል ፤ ይኼን ደግሞ ወደፊት በፍርድ አደባባይ አቁመን ሳናስቀጣ እነሱን የሰጠናቸውን መሳሪያ ሳናስገፍፍ ከእኛ ጋር አይኖሩም ።

    የእኛ ሃሳብ ይኼ ነው ። የምታነበው መጽሐፍ ቅዱስ ምናልባት የእኔ ኃጢአት ይሆናል ይኼ ነገር የተፈጸመው ። በማለት ቃለምዕዳቸውን ፈጽመዋል ።

    ለዛሬ አበቃሁ.!

    " እኔ ግን እላለሁ !!! እምዬ ኦርቶዶክስ አንቺ እናትዓለም ፤ የእነ ቅዱስ ዲዮስቆሮስ ፣ የእነ ቅዱስ አትናቴዎስ እና ቅዱስ ቄርሎስ የእነ ቅዱስ ጊዮርጊስ ፣ የእነ ቅድስት አርሴማ ፣ የእነ አቡነ ተክለሃይማኖት ፣ የእነ አቡነ ገብረመንፈስ ቅዱስ ፣ የአባ ሳሙኤል ዘዋልድባና የአቡነ አረጋዊ ሃይማኖታቸው የሆንሽ ንጽህት ተዋሕዶ ሃይማኖቴ ሆይ ! ብረሳሽና ብከዳሽ ቀኜም ትርሳኝ፣ ትክዳኝም ። ባላስብሽና ባልሞትልሽ ምላሴ ከጉሮሮዬ ይጣበቅ ። ሳለጎበድድ ሳለከዳሽ እንድኖር አምላክሽ ይርዳኝ ። ይህን ባለደርግና ሳልጮህልሽ ዝም ብዬ ብሞት ስሜ ከህይወት መጽሐፍ ይደምሰስ ።

    "ጌታ ሆይ! ከዚህ በፊት በሆነው ፤ አሁንም እየሆነ ባለው ነገር እና ወደፊትም በሚሆነው ነገር ፤ ክብሩን ሁሉ አንተ ውሰድ ።" አሜን. !

    "ድንግል ሆይ እናቴ ! አዛኝቱ ዛሬም እንደትናንቱ ቅደሚ ከፊት ከኋላዬ "

    ይህንንም ራሴው በእጄ ጻፍኩት ። +4915217428134 ደግሞ የቫይበር ፣ የኢሞና የኋትስአፕ መልእክቶችን የምቀበልበት የእጅ ስልኬ ነው ።

    ሻሎም.! ሰላም.!

    ዘመድኩን በቀለ ነኝ።
    ሐምሌ 8/2009 ዓም
    ከራየን ወንዝ ማዶ.!

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