Monthly Archives: September, 2017

How The NSA Built a Secrete Surveillance Network for Ethiopia

Nick Turse

“A WARM FRIENDSHIP connects the Ethiopian and American people,” U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson announced earlier this year. “We remain committed to working with Ethiopia to foster liberty, democracy, economic growth, protection of human rights, and the rule of law.”

Indeed, the website for the U.S. Embassy in Ethiopia is marked by press releases touting U.S. aid for farmers and support for public health infrastructure in that East African nation. “Ethiopia remains among the most effective development partners, particularly in the areas of health care, education, and food security,” says the State Department.

Behind the scenes, however, Ethiopia and the U.S. are bound together by long-standing relationships built on far more than dairy processing equipment or health centers to treat people with HIV. Fifteen years ago, the U.S. began setting up very different centers, filled with technology that is not normally associated with the protection of human rights.

In the aftermath of 9/11, according to classified U.S. documents published Wednesday by The Intercept, the National Security Agency forged a relationship with the Ethiopian government that has expanded exponentially over the years. What began as one small facility soon grew into a network of clandestine eavesdropping outposts designed to listen in on the communications of Ethiopians and their neighbors across the Horn of Africa in the name of counterterrorism.

In exchange for local knowledge and an advantageous location, the NSA provided the East African nation with technology and training integral to electronic surveillance. “Ethiopia’s position provides the partnership unique access to the targets,” a commander of the U.S. spying operation wrote in a classified 2005 report. (The report is one of 294 internal NSA newsletters released today by The Intercept.)

The NSA’s collaboration with Ethiopia is high risk, placing the agency in controversial territory. For more than a decade, Ethiopia has been engaged in a fight against Islamist militant groups, such as Al Qaeda and Shabab. But the country’s security forces have taken a draconian approach to countering the threat posed by jihadis and stand accused of routinely torturing suspects and abusing terrorism powers to target political dissidents.

“The Ethiopian government uses surveillance not only to fight terrorism and crime, but as a key tactic in its abusive efforts to silence dissenting voices in-country,” says Felix Horne, a senior researcher for Human Rights Watch. “Essentially anyone that opposes or expresses dissent against the government is considered to be an ‘anti-peace element’ or a ‘terrorist.’”

The NSA declined to comment for this story.

In February 2002, the NSA set up the Deployed Signals Intelligence Operations Center – also known as “Lion’s Pride” – in Ethiopia’s capital, Addis Ababa, according to secret documents obtained by The Intercept from the whistleblower Edward Snowden. It began as a modest counterterrorism effort involving around 12 Ethiopians performing a single mission at 12 workstations. But by 2005, the operation had evolved into eight U.S. military personnel and 103 Ethiopians, working at “46 multifunctional workstations,” eavesdropping on communications in Somalia, Sudan, and Yemen. By then, the outpost in Addis Ababa had already been joined by “three Lion’s Pride Remote Sites,” including one located in the town of Gondar, in northwestern Ethiopia.

“[The] NSA has an advantage when dealing with the Global War on Terrorism in the Horn of Africa,” reads an NSA document authored in 2005 by Katie Pierce, who was then the officer-in-charge of Lion’s Pride and the commander of the agency’s Signal Exploitation Detachment. “The benefit of this relationship is that the Ethiopians provide the location and linguists and we provide the technology and training,” she wrote. According to Pierce, Lion’s Pride had already produced almost 7,700 transcripts and more than 900 reports based on its regional spying effort.

Pierce, now a lieutenant colonel in the Army Reserve and a lawyer in private practice, had noted her role with the NSA’s Ethiopia unit in an online biography. When contacted by The Intercept, she said little about her time with Lion’s Pride or the work of the NSA detachment. “We provided a sort of security for that region,” she said. The reference to the NSA in Pierce’s online biography has since disappeared.

Reta Alemu Nega, the minister of political affairs at the Ethiopian Embassy in Washington, D.C., told The Intercept that the U.S. and Ethiopia maintained “very close cooperation” on issues related to intelligence and counterterrorism. While he did not address questions about Lion’s Pride, Alemu described regular meetings in which U.S. and Ethiopian defense officials “exchange views” about their partnership and shared activities.

Lion’s Pride does not represent the first time that Ethiopia has played a vital role in U.S. signals surveillance. In 1953, the U.S. signed a 25-year agreement for a base at Kagnew Station in Asmara, Ethiopia (now the capital of Eritrea), according to a declassified NSA report obtained by the nonprofit National Security Archive. Navy and Army communications facilities based there were joined by an NSA outpost just over a decade later.

On April 23, 1965, the Soviet Union launched Molniya-1, its first international communications satellite. The next month, the NSA opened STONEHOUSE, a remote listening post in Asmara. The facility was originally aimed at Soviet deep space probes but, in the end, “[its] main value turned out to be the collection of Soviet MOLNIYA communications satellites,” according to a 2004 NSA document that mentions STONEHOUSE.

STONEHOUSE was closed down in 1975 due to a civil war in Ethiopia. But its modern-day successor, Lion’s Pride, has proved to be “such a lucrative source for SIGINT reports” that a new facility was built in the town of Dire Dawa in early 2006, according to a secret NSA document. “The state of the art antenna field surrounded by camels and donkey-drawn carts is a sight to behold,” reads the NSA file. The effort, code-named “LADON,” was aimed at listening in on communications across a larger swath of Somalia, down to the capital Mogadishu, the Darfur region of Sudan, and parts of eastern Ethiopia.

At a May 2006 planning conference, the Americans and Ethiopians decided on steps to “take the partnership to a new level” through an expanded mission that stretched beyond strictly counterterrorism. Targeting eastern Ethiopia’s Ogaden region and the nearby Somali borderlands, the allied eavesdroppers agreed on a mission of listening in on cordless phones in order to identify not only “suspected al-Qa’ida sympathizers” but also “illicit smugglers.”

“It is very troubling to hear the U.S. is providing surveillance capacities to a government that is committing such egregious human rights abuses in that region.”

From the time Lion’s Pride was set up until predominantly Christian Ethiopia invaded mostly Muslim Somalia in December 2006, the U.S. poured about $20 million in military aid into the former country. As Ethiopian troops attempted to oust a fundamentalist movement called the Council of Islamic Courts, which had defeated several warlords to take power in Somalia, Pentagon spokesperson Lt. Cmdr. Joe Carpenter said the two nations had “a close working relationship” that included sharing intelligence. Within a year, Ethiopian forces were stuck in a military quagmire in Somalia and were facing a growing rebellion in the Ogaden region as well.

“While the exact nature of U.S. support for Ethiopian surveillance efforts in the Ogaden region is not clear, it is very troubling to hear the U.S. is providing surveillance capacities to a government that is committing such egregious human rights abuses in that region,” says Horne, the Human Rights Watch researcher. “Between 2007-2008 the Ethiopian army committed possible war crimes and crimes against humanity against civilians in this region during its conflict with the Ogaden National Liberation Front.”

For the U.S., “the chaos” caused by the invasion “yielded opportunities for progress in the war on terrorism,” stated a top secret NSA document dated February 2007. According to the document, the Council of Islamic Courts was harboring members of an Al Qaeda cell that the NSA’s African Threat Branch had been tracking since 2003. After being flushed from hiding by the Ethiopian invasion, the NSA provided “24-hour support to CIA and U.S. military units in the Horn of Africa,” utilizing various surveillance programs to track Council of Islamic Courts leaders and their Al Qaeda allies. “Intelligence,” says the document, “was also shared with the Ethiopian SIGINT partner to enable their troops to track High Value Individuals.” The NSA deemed the effort a success as the “#1 individual on the list” was “believed killed in early January” 2007, while another target was arrested in Kenya the next month. The identities of the people killed and captured, as well as those responsible, are absent from the document.

As the Council of Islamic Courts crumbled in the face of the invasion, its ally, the militant group Shabab, saw Somalis flock to its resistance effort. Fueled and radicalized by the same chaos exploited by the NSA, Shabab grew in strength. By 2012, the terrorist group had formally become an Al Qaeda affiliate. Today, the U.S. continues to battle Shabab in an escalating conflict in Somalia that shows no sign of abating.

The first batch of Ethiopian troops leav
The first batch of Ethiopian troops leaving the Somali capital Mogadishu hold a departure ceremony Jan. 23, 2007 at Afisiyooni Air Base. Photo: Stringer/AFP/Getty Images

At the time the NSA set up Lion’s Pride, the U.S. State Department had criticized Ethiopia’s security forces for having “infringed on citizens’ privacy rights,” ignoring the law regarding search warrants, beating detainees, and conducting extrajudicial killings. By 2005, with Lion’s Pride markedly expanded, nothing had changed. The State Department found:

The Government’s human rights record remained poor. … Security forces committed a number of unlawful killings, including alleged political killings, and beat, tortured, and mistreated detainees. … The Government infringed on citizens’ privacy rights, and the law regarding search warrants was often ignored. The Government restricted freedom of the press. … The Government at times restricted freedom of assembly, particularly for members of opposition political parties; security forces at times used excessive force to disperse demonstrations. The Government limited freedom of association. …

A separate State Department report on Ethiopia’s counterterrorism and anti-terrorism capabilities, issued in November 2013 and obtained by The Intercept via the Freedom of Information Act, noted that there were “inconsistent efforts to institutionalize” anti-terrorism training within Ethiopian law enforcement and added that while the Ethiopian Federal Police use surveillance and informants, “laws do not allow the interception of telephone or electronic communications.” The readable sections of the redacted report make no mention of the NSA program and state that the U.S. “maintains an important but distant security relationship with Ethiopia.”

A 2010 NSA document offers a far different picture of the bond between the security agencies of the two countries, noting that the “NSA-Ethiopian SIGINT relationship continues to thrive.”

In an after-action report, a trainer from NSA Georgia’s “Sudan/Horn of Africa Division” described teaching a class attended by soldiers from the Ethiopian National Defense Forces and civilians from Ethiopia’s Information Network Security Agency. He praised the Ethiopians for “work[ing] so hard on our behalf” and wrote that his students were “excited and eager to learn.”

According to the documents, analysts from the Army’s 741st Military Intelligence Battalion were still detailed to Lion’s Pride while the Ethiopians they worked beside had increased their skills at analyzing intercepted communications. “More importantly, however,” the American trainer noted, “is the strengthening of the relationship” between NSA and Ethiopian security forces. NSA Georgia, he declared, was eager to continue “developing the relationship between us and our Ethiopian counterparts.”

The NSA refused to comment on whether Lion’s Pride continues to eavesdrop on the region, but no evidence suggests it was ever shut down. There is, however, good reason to believe that U.S. efforts have strengthened the hand of the Ethiopian government. And a decade and a half after it was launched, Ethiopia’s human rights record remains as dismal as ever.

“Governments that provide Ethiopia with surveillance capabilities that are being used to suppress lawful expressions of dissent risk complicity in abuses,” says Horne. “The United States should come clean about its role in surveillance in the Horn of Africa and should have policies in place to ensure Ethiopia is not using information gleaned from surveillance to crack down on legitimate expressions of dissent inside Ethiopia.”

Source: The Intercept.

እውነት የሆኑ ታላላቅ “ውሸቶች”

አፈንዲ ሙተቂ
በዚህ መጣጥፍ የማወጋችሁ “ውሸት” ሲባሉ ቆይተው “እውነት” ሆነው የተገኙ ኩነቶችን ነው፡፡ እነዚህ ኩነቶች በጊዜያቸው በትክክል ተፈጽመዋል፡፡ ሆኖም እኔ ጸሓፊው እነርሱን የሚመለከት መረጃ ያገኘሁት ድርጊቶቹ ከመፈጸማቸው ከሶስትና አራት ወራት በፊት ነበር፡፡ በሚሊዮን የሚቆጠሩ ሰዎችም እንደኔው ድርጊቶቹ ከመፈጸማቸው በፊት መረጃውን አግኝተዋል፤ በዚህ ረገድ ከብዙዎች በፊት መረጃው ነበረኝ ብዬ የምመጻደቅበት ምክንያት የለም፡፡ ይሁንና ከክስተቶቹ መፈጸም በኋላ በድርጊቶቹ ተዋናይነት እጃቸውን ባስገቡ ግለሰቦችና ድርጅቶች ዘንድ የሚታየው እውነታን የመሸምጠጥ አባዜ ዘወትር ስለሚያስገርመኝ ያኔ የነበሩ ሰዎች ሐሳባቸውን ይስጡበት በማለት እንደገና ላስታውሳቸው ወደድኩኝ፡፡

====የኮሎኔል መንግሥቱ ወደ ዚምባብዌ መሰደድ===

ኮሎኔል መንግሥቱ ኃይለማሪያም ወደ ዚምባብዌ የተሰደዱበትን ምክንያት በድንገት በተፈጠረ ግፊት ያመካኙታል፡፡ “ወደ ኬንያ የሄድኩት ከቻይና በ60 ሚሊዮን ዶላር የተገዛውን የጦር መሳሪያ በሞምባሳ ወደብ ለማስገባት ነበር፤ ኬንያ ስደርስ ግን ያልጠበቅኩት ነገር ተከሰተ፡፡ የኔ ባለስልጣኖች በቤተመንግሥት ተሰብስበው ከስልጣን ወርደሃል የሚል መልዕክት ላኩልኝ፤ የኔ ጓዶች ናቸው የከዱኝ እንጂ እኔ ሀገሬን አልከዳኋትም” በማለት ኦፊሴላዊ መግለጫ ሰጥተዋል፡፡ በሬድዮም፣ በጋዜጣም፣ በመጽሐፍም ተመሳሳይ ቃል አሰምተዋል፡፡

የመንጌ ተሿሚ የነበሩ ባለስልጣኖች ደግሞ ከዚህ ትንሽ ለወጥ ያለ ቃል ነው ያሰሙት፡፡ “ፕሬዚዳንቱ ስለ መሳሪያ የተናገረው ውሸት ነው፤ ነገር ግን ይሰደዳል ብለን ፈጽሞ አልጠበቅንም፤ በጦርነቱ ማብቂያ ገደማ አንዳንድ ምልክቶች ብናይም እኛን ከድቶ ይጠፋል የሚል ጥርጣሬ አልነበረንም” ይላሉ፡፡ ነገሩን በጥልቀት ያውቁታል የተባሉት የደህንነት ሚኒስትሩ ኮ/ል ተስፋዬ ወልደስላሴም ይህንኑ ነበር እየደጋገሙ ሲናገሩት የነበረው፡፡

የደርግ ባለስልጣን የነበሩት አቶ ገስጥ ተጫኔ (በብዕር ስማቸው “ዘነበ ፈለቀ”) “ነበር” የሚል ርዕስ በሰጡት መጽሓፋቸው “የውጪ መገናኛ ብዙኃን ጓድ መንግሥቱ የወደፊት ኑሮአቸውን በዚምባብዌ ለማሳለፍ እንዳቀዱ በሰፊው ያትቱ ነበር” ይላሉ፡፡ ከደርጎች ወገን እንዲህ ብለው ለመጻፍ የደፈሩት እሳቸው ብቻ ናቸው፡፡ እሳቸውም ቢሆኑ ግን “የምዕራብ ዜና አውታሮች እንዲህ ብለው ያወሩት ወደዚያ ብትሄድ እንደግፍሃለን ለማለትና የፕሮፓጋንዳ ሽብር ለመንዛት ሊሆን ይችላል” በማለት ነገሩን ይሸፋፍኑታል፡፡
ሐቁ ግን እንዲህ ሽፍንፍን አልነበረም፡፡ ጓድ መንግሥቱ ወደ ዚምባብዌ ሊኮበልሉ እንደተዘጋጁ መወራት የተጀመረው በጥር/የካቲት ወር 1983 ገደማ ነው፡፡ እኔ በግሌ ወሬውን ለመጀመሪያ ጊዜ የሰማሁት ከበረሃ በሚተላለፈው የኢህአዴግ ሬድዮ ጣቢያ ነው፡፡ ከትንሽ ጊዜ በኋላም ከልዩ ልዩ ክፍለ ሀገራት ወደኛ ከተማ የመጡ ዘመዶቻችን ወሬውን ሲያወሩት ነበር፡፡

ዛሬ በርካታ ሰዎች “የመንግሥቱ ስደት አስገርሞናል” ብለው ቢናገሩም ያኔ ተማሪ ነኝ የሚል ሰው (ቢያንስ ከስምንተኛ ክፍል በላይ የደረሰ) ወሬውን በየመንገዱ ያወራው ነበር፡፡ እንዲህ ብዙ የተወራለት ወሬ በትክክል ተፈጽሞ ሲገኝ በእቅድ አልተከናወነም ሊባል ነው? ነገሩ አስቀድሞ በተደረገ ዝግጅት እንደተፈጸመ ምንም ጥርጥር የለውም፡፡ ደ’ሞ እቅድ ብቻ ሳይሆን ማንንም ሰው የሚያስማሙ ተግባራዊ እርምጃዎች ተወስደውበታል፡፡ ለምሳሌ ጓድ መንግሥቱ አጎታቸውን ወደ ዚምባብዌ ልከው ቤተሰባቸውን ሲያደራጁ እንደነበር ማስረጃው ኋላ ላይ ተገኝቷል፡፡ ደርጎች ግን እስከ ዛሬ ድረስ “ዐይኔን ግንባር ያድርገው” እያሉ ነው፡፡ በስተእርጅናም ከህዝብ ጋር አይታረቁም፡፡

የደርጎቹስ ይሁን እሺ! ኢህአዴጎች በረሃ እያሉ ሲያወሩት የነበረውን ያንን ብርቅ የፕሮፓጋንዳ ወሬ ከዚያ በኋላ አልደገሙትም፡፡ እነርሱም እንደ ደርግ ባለስልጣናት “መረጃው የለንም” ማለት ይዳዳቸዋል፡፡ ወሬውን ለመደበቅ የሚፈልጉበትን ምክንያት ባናውቅም የአሜሪካና የካናዳ መንግሥት መንጌን ወደ ዚምባብዌ በሰላም ለማስወጣት ከኢህአዴጎች ጋር በሚስጢር ተስማምተዋል የሚለው ነገር እንዳይነሳ የሚፈልጉ ይመስላሉ፡፡ ከዚህ ሁኔታ እንደምንገነዘበው ደርግ ያለቀለት ከግንቦት 20/1983 በፊት ነው፡፡ ቢያንስ ቢያንስ ከየካቲት እስከ ግንቦት ድረስ ሲካሄድ የነበረው የማስመሰል ጦርነት ሊሆን ይችላል ማለት ነው፡፡ ደርግም “ስልጣን ጥለህ ፈረጠጥክ” እንዳይባል፣ ኢህአዴግም “ያለመስዋእትነት ወንበሩን ተረከብክ” እንዳይባል!! በመሀል ግን የህዝቡ ልጆች አለቁ!! እሳቱ በአስር ሺህ የሚቆጠሩ ወገኖቻችንን በላብን፡፡
የታሪክና የህግ ምሁራን ይህንን ነገር የመመርመር ኃላፊነት አለባቸው፡፡ እውነታው ተጣርቶ ለህዝብ ይፋ መደረግ አለበት፡፡

====የኦነግ ጦር ወደ ካምፕ መግባት===

ይህኛውን ወሬ የሰማሁት በጥቅምት ወር 1984 ይመስለኛል፡፡ በዘመኑ በሀረርጌ ክፍለ ሀገር ሶስት አውራጃዎች በኦነግ ቁጥጥር ስር ነበሩ፡፡ ኢህአዴግና ኦነግ በሽግግር መንግሥቱ ውስጥ ስለነበሩ በመርህ ደረጃ አብረው ይሰሩ ነበር፤ ይከባበሩም ነበር (እንዲህም ሆኖ ከሐምሌ 1983 ጀምሮ ሲጋጩ ቆይተዋል)፡፡ በወቅቱ አሁን ኦህዴድ የሚባለውን ድርጅት የወከሉ አራት ካድሬዎች ቢሮአቸውን በኛ ከተማ ከፈቱ፡፡ እኔና ሶስት ጓደኞቼም ስለዓላማቸው እንዲያስረዱን በማለት ወደ ጽሕፈት ቤታቸው ሄድን፡፡ አንዱ ካድሬ (ስሙ “ዋቅቶሌ” ይመስለኛል) ብዙ ካወራ በኋላ “ወደፊት እኮ ድርጅቶች እንዲህ አይዘልቁም፤ የኦነግ ጦር ካምፕ ይገባና OPDO (ኦህዴድ) ኦሮሚያን ያስተዳድራል” አለን፡፡ እኛም በነገሩ በጣም እየተገረምን ሳቅንና “ይህ የማይመስል ነገር ነው” በማለት ከርሱ ተለየን፡፡

ከሰባት ወር በኋላ (ግንቦት 1984 መጀመሪያ ገደማ) ካድሬው የተናገረው ነገር እውነት ሆነ፡፡ ኦነግ ጦሩን ወደ ካምፕ አስገባ፡፡ ኢህአዴግ በውጊያ ሊይዛቸው ባልቻላቸው አካባቢዎች ሰራዊቱን በሰላም አስከባሪነት አሰማራ፡፡ ከአንድ ወር በኋላ ደግሞ አብዛኛው የኦነግ ጦር ከካምፑ ርቆ ሳይሄድ ተማረከ፡፡
ያንን ድራማ ካየሁ ከጥቂት ዓመታት በኋላ በቢሮው እንደዚያ ያለን የኦህዴድ ካድሬ ትዝ አለኝ፡፡ “ለምን እንደዚያ ብሎ ተናገረን? ኦነጎች ይህንን ኢንፎርሜሽን አያውቁትም ኖሯል? ደግሞ ለእንደኔ ዐይነቱ ታዳጊ እንዲያ ዓይነት ሚስጢር እንዴት ይነገራል?” እያልኩ ተመራመርኩ፡፡ ግን ምንም ሊገባኝ ያልቻለ ጉዳይ ሆኖ አለፈ (በዘመኑ እድሜዬ ከአስራ አራት አይበልጥም፤ ሆኖም እኔ ህጻኑ እድለኛ ነበርኩኝ ማለት እችላለሁ፤ ከኔ የሚበልጡ ብዙ ሰዎች ወሬውን በጭራሽ ሰምተውት አያውቁም ነበርና)፡፡

ያ ዘመን እንዲያ ካለፈ በኋላ ሐሳቤን ይበልጥ ያወሳሰበ መረጃ በቅርብ ጊዜ አግኝቻለሁ፡፡ መረጃው “ኦነግ ራሱ ነው ካምፕ እንግባ ብሎ ጥያቄ ያቀረበው” የሚል ነው፡፡ በጣም ያስገረመኝ ደግሞ ኢህአዴግ “እኔ ካምፕ አልገባም” የሚል ሆኖ ሳለ የኦነግ መሪዎች “የሁላችንም ጦር በፍጥነት ካምፕ መግባት አለበት” እያሉ ያስጨንቁት ነበር መባሉ ነው፡፡ ይህ እውነት ከሆነ እንግዲህ ኦነግ ኢህአዴግን መክሰስ የለበትም ማለት ነው፡፡ ራሱ በቆረጠው ልምጭ ነው ራሱን የገረፈውና! እውነቱ ሌላ ከሆነ ደግሞ የኦነግም ሆነ የኢህአዴግ ሰዎች ሐቁን ይንገሩን እንላቸዋለን፡፡

===የዶ/ር ነጋሶ ፕሬዚዳንት ሆኖ መመረጥና የአቶ መለስ ዜናዊ ጠ/ሚ/ መሆን====
ይህኛውን ብዙ ሰው አስቀድሞ ሰምቷል፡፡ በግል ጋዜጦችም ብዙ ተጽፎበታል፡፡ ዶ/ር ነጋሶ ግን ነገሩን ይሸፋፍኑታል፡፡ እኔ እንደማስታውሰው ወሬው የተወራው በሚያዚያ 29/1987 ምርጫው ከመካሄዱ ቀደም ብሎ ነው፡፡ ይሁንና ዶ/ር ነጋሶ ያልጠበቁትና በአጣዳፊ ሁኔታ የተወሰነ ውሳኔ አድርገው ነው “ዳንዲ” በተሰኘው መጽሐፍ የተረኩልን፡፡

ይገርማል! ከወዲህም ከወዲያም እውነት የለም ማለት ነው፡፡ ዶ/ር ነጋሶ ሐቁን ቢነግሩን ምን አለበት? በህገ-ወጥ ሁኔታ ወንበሩ ላይ ተቀመጡ እንዳንላቸው ነው? እንደዚያ ብንላቸውስ ምን እናመጣለን? ምንም አናመጣም!! እኛ ከመታዘብ ውጪ ምንም የምናመጣው ነገር የለም፡፡ ሽማግሌ ግን እውነቱን ቢያወራ ነው የሚያምርበት፡፡ ለዛሬ ባይሆን ለታሪክ ይጠቅመናልና፡፡

ዶ/ር ነጋሶ በመጽሐፉም ሆነ በልዩ ልዩ መጽሔቶች የሰጧቸው የምስክርነት ቃላት በአብዛኛው እውነት ሆነው ተገኝተዋል፡፡ እስከ አሁን ከኢህአዴግ አፈንግጠው ከወጡት ባለስልጣናት መካከል ለእውነት የቀረበ ነገር ሲናገሩ የተሰሙት እሳቸው ናቸው፡፡ የነ ዮናታን ዲቢሳ እና አልማዝ መኮን ነገር ለጊዜው እንርሳው (ሁለቱም አያስተማምኑም)፤ እነ ስዬ አብርሃ ግን ድፍንፍን ያለና ለሰው የማይገባ ውስጠ-ወይራ ነገር ነው የሚናገሩት፤ አንዳንዴ እንዲያውም በኮድ የሚያወሩ ይመስለኝና “ንግግራቸውን እየበታተነ የሚያስረዳን ውስጠ-አዋቂ እንፈልግ እንዴ?” ያሰኘኛል፡፡

ለዚህ ለዚህ ዶ/ር ነጋሶ በጣም ይሻላሉ፡፡ ሆኖም በርካታ ነገሮችን ያድበሰብሳሉ፡፡ በተለይ የፕሬዚዳንትነቱ ዘመን ሲነሳባቸው “ወገቤን” ይላሉ፡፡ እዚህ ላይ ማስተካከያ እንዲያደርጉልን እንፈልጋለን፡፡

===የኢትዮ-ኤርትራ ጦርነት==

ይህኛው እላይ ከጠቀስኳቸው በሚበልጥ ሁኔታ ብዙ የተባለለትና የተጻፈበት ነው፡፡ የነጻው ፕሬስ አባላት ከ1990 መግቢያ ጀምሮ በሰፊው ሲጽፉበት ቆይተዋል፡፡ ወሬው ከሀገርም አልፎ በውጪ የዜና አቀባዮች በስፋት በመናፈሱ የወቅቱ የሀገሪቱ መሪዎች የማስተባበያ መግለጫ ለመስጠት ላይ ታች ሲሉ ተስተውለዋል፡፡ በተለይም ጠቅላይ ሚ/ር መለስ ዜናዊ ከአንዴም ሁለቴ ወደ መንግሥት የመገናኛ ብዙሃን (ሬድዮና ኢቴቪ)፣ አዲስ ዘመን ጋዜጣና እፎይታ መጽሔት እየቀረቡ ሰፋ ያለ መግለጫ ሰጥተዋል፡፡ በሁለቱ ሀገሮች መካከል ወደ ግጭት ሊያመራ የሚችል ልዩነት ተፈጥሯል እያሉ የሚጽፉ የነጻ ፕሬስ አባላትን “ሟርተኞች” እና “ጦርነት ናፋቂዎች” በማለት ከሰዋቸዋል፡፡ በተለይም ከእፎይታ መጽሔት ጋር ባደረጉት ቃለ-ምልልስ “አንድም ግጭት የለም፤ ግጭት ያለው በትምክህተኞች ጭንቅላት ውስጥ ብቻ ነው” የሚል ሀይለ-ቃል ተናግረዋል፡፡ (እፎይታ፡ ጥር 1990)

የግንቦት ወር ሲደርስ ግን በነጻው ፕሬስ የተወራው ሁሉ እውነት ሆኖ ተገኘ፡፡ ኤርትራ ግዙፍ ሰራዊት አንቀሳቅሳ ባድመ እና ሽራሮን ያዘች፡፡ በማስከተልም ዘላ አንበሳ እና ባዳን ተቆጣጠረች፡፡ ይሄኔ የኢትዮጵያ መንግሥት የተወረርኩኝ ጥሪውን በያቅጣጫው ያሰማ ጀመር፡፡ “ህዝባዊ ግንባርና የኤርትራ መንግሥት ከያዙት መሬት ካልለቀቁ ህጋዊ እርምጃ እንወስዳለን” አለ፡፡

እንዲህ ከተባለ በኋላ ደግሞ አስገራሚው ድራማ ተከተለ፡፡ ባለስልጣናቱ “ኤርትራ ወረራ መፈጸሟ በፍጹም ያልጠበቅነው ነገር ነው” አሉ፡፡ ግጭቱንም በአንድ ጀምበር የተፈጠረ ለማስመሰል ተፍጨረጨሩ፡፡ ህዝቡ ግን በጣም ታዘባቸው፡፡ እውነታውንም በልዩ ልዩ መንገዶች አገኘው፡፡ (የሁለቱ ግጭት ድንገተኛ እንዳልሆነ በትክክል ለማረጋገጥ የተቻለው ፕሬዚዳንት ኢሳያስ እ.ኤ.አ. ነሐሴ 12/1997 የጻፉት ደብዳቤ እና ጠቅላይ ሚኒስትር መለስ ዜናዊ ከሳምንት በኋላ የሰጡት መልስ በኢንተርኔት መስኮት ከተለቀቀ በኋላ ነው፡፡ ደብዳቤዎቹን የለቀቀው ሻዕቢያ ራሱ እንደሆነ ይታመናል፡፡ ይህም “ግጭቱን በቅድሚያ የጀመርኩት እኔ ሳልሆን ወያኔ ነው” የሚለውን ጭብጥ ለማስረዳትና ራሱን ከወራሪነት ነጻ ለማድረግ ታቅዶ የተደረገ ይመስላል፡፡ በደብዳቤው አቶ ኢሳያስ አቶ መለስን “ሰዎችህ በባዳ አካባቢ ዜጎቻችንን ገድለውብናል” ይሏቸዋል)፡፡

ለመሆኑ የኢህአዴግ ባለስልጣናት ግጭቱን ድንገተኛ በማለት ለማድበስበስ የፈለጉት ለምንድነው? ምንም ሚስጢር የለውም፡፡ አንደኛ “ህዝቡ ለወረራው ቅድመ-ዝግጅት አላደረጋችሁም” ብሎ እንዳይከሳቸው ነው፡፡ ሁለተኛው ምክንያት ደግሞ የነጻውን ፕሬስ ተአማኒነት ለማደብዘዝ ባላቸው ፍላጎት የተነሳ ነው፡፡ ህዝቡ “ነጻው ፕሬስ ውሸታም ነው!” ብሎ እንዲያሽቀነጥረው ነበር የሚፈልጉት፡፡ ሁለቱም አልተሳካም፡፡ የተጠያቂነቱ ጥያቄ ከህዝቡ በኩል ባይሆንም ከዚያው ከኢህአዴጎች ዘንድ ተነስቷል፡፡ ነጻው ፕሬስም ተአማኒነቱን አላጣም (እርግጥ ፕሬሱ በጣም ተዳክሟል)፡፡

===እንደ ምርቃት===

ከላይ የጠቀስኳቸው ድርጊቶች ሁሉ በትክክል ተፈጽመዋል፡፡ መረጃው ግን ከኩነቶቹ በፊት ተሰራጭቷል፡፡ በተመሳሳይ ሁኔታ ወሬዎቻቸው በቅድሚያ እየተወራላቸው በእውነታው ዓለም የተከሰቱ ሌሎች ድርጊቶችም አሉ፡፡ አንዳንዶች ደግሞ በቀጥታ ባይወራላቸውም በፖለቲካ ቋንቋ እየተሸሞነሞኑ ሲነገርላቸው ህዝቡ አዳምጧል፡፡ እነዚህን መሰል ኩነቶችን እየለቀምን በስፋት መመርመር እንችላለን፡፡ ሆኖም ያንን ማድረግ ለአሁኑ ብዙም አያስፈልገንም፡፡ ሁለት የማስታውሳቸው ክስተቶች ጥለውብኝ ያለፉትን ትዝታ ልመርቅላችሁና ላብቃ፡፡

የህወሐት ማዕከላዊ ኮሚቴ ለሁለት መከፈል ለሁላችንም ያልተጠበቀ ዱብ እዳ ነው የሆነብን፡፡ አብዛኞቻችን ክስተቱን የሰማነው በዕለተ ረቡዕ መጋቢት 12/1993 ነው፡፡ በዕለቱ ከወጡት ጋዜጦች መካከል “ኢትኦጵ” የተሰኘችው ናት መረጃውን ይፋ ያደረገችው፡፡ ታዲያ ብዙዎችን ያስደነቀው እንዲህ ዓይነት ዜና ለሀገሪቱ የመረጃና ደህንነት መዋቅሮች ቅርብ ነው በሚባለው “ሪፖርተር” ጋዜጣ ላይ አስቀድሞ አለመውጣቱ ነው፡፡

ሆኖም ነገሩ በትክክል ሲጠና “ሪፖርተር” ወሬውን በጨረፍታ የነካካ መሆኑ ታውቆለታል፡፡ ሪፖርተር በየካቲት ወር ማብቂያ ገደማ በርዕሰ አንቀጹ “ኢህአዴግ ከጭነቱ ልክ በላይ የሆነ ችግር ገጥሞታል” ይልና በካርቱን ስዕል አቶ መለስ በጣም ከባድ የሆነ ጭነት ለመሸከም ሲሞክሩ ያሳየናል፡፡ ርዕሰ አንቀጹ ወደታች ሲነበብም “ኢህአዴግ ተቸግሯል፤ አስቸጋሪ ሁኔታ ገጥሞታል፤ ይህንን ችግር በሰከነ መንፈስ ለማሳለፍ መጣር አለበት” ወዘተ እያለ ይቀጥላል፡፡ ይሁንና ስለተፈጠረው ክፍፍል አንድም ነገር አይናገርም፡፡ የሪፖርተርን ርዕስ አንቀጽ በትኩረት የሚከታተሉ አንባቢያን (በተለይ ጋዜጠኞች) “ምን ችግር ተፈጠረ” በማለት ጉዳዩን ማነፍነፍ ጀመሩ፡፡ በአስር ቀናት ውስጥም ጮማ ወሬ ይዘው ብቅ አሉ፡፡ ከዚያ በኋላ ለሶስት ወራት ያህል አገር ምድሩ ጋዜጣ አንባቢ ሆነ፡፡ ለያኔው ወሬ ክሬዲቱ የሚሰጠው ለማን ነው? እኔ እንጃ! በዚህ አጋጣሚ ሪፖርተርን የምንጠይቀው ለወደፊቱም እንዲህ ዐይነት ወሬ ሲገኝ በቆረጣ ማውጋቱን እንዳይረሳ ነው፡፡

ሌላ እንደ ጭማሪ የማወራላችሁ የመቶ አለቃ ግርማ ወልደ ጊዮርጊስ ፕሬዚዳንት ሆኖ መመረጥን የሚመለከት ነው፡፡ ትዕይንቱ እስከ አሁን ድረስ ያስቀኛል፡፡ የኢህአዴግ አባል ከሆኑ የፓርላማ ተመራጭ ጓደኞቼ በፊት ወሬውን የሰማሁት መሆኔ ነው የሚያስቀኝ፡፡ በጊዜው “ፖለቲካ” የምትባል ጋዜጣ መታተም ጀምራ ነበር (ጋዜጣዋ ባልተለመደ መልኩ ሰኞ ሰኞ ነበር የምትወጣው)፡፡ እናም “ፖለቲካ” ጋዜጣ ላይ “ውስጠ አዋቂዎች እንደተናገሩት የ75 ዓመቱ አዛውንት ፕሬዚዳንት ሊሆኑ ነው ይባላል” የሚል ዜና አየሁ፡፡ በወቅቱ የጋዜጣው አዘጋጆች ወሬውን እየተጠራጠሩት እንዳወጡት ተናግረዋል፡፡ እኛ አንባቢያንም ተጠራጥረናል፡፡ ቢሆንም ከጋዜጣው ያገኘሁትን ወሬ ለጓደኛዬ አደረስኩ፡፡ እርሱ ፓርላማ ግቢ ውስጥ ሆኖ በስልክ ያናግረኝ ነበር፡፡ “ይህማ ውሸት ነው፡፡ እንዴት ያንን ሽማግሌ ያስመርጡናል? ደግሞ እኮ መንግሥትን በጣም ይቃወማል” አለኝ፡፡ “ቢሆንም ወሬውን ለምናልባቱ ያዘው” አልኩትና ተለያየን፡፡

ከአንድ ሰዓት በኋላ ከፖለቲካ ጋዜጣ ያገኘሁት ወሬ ልክ ሆኖ ተገኘ፡፡ እውነትም መቶ አለቃ ግርማ የኢፌዴሪ ፕሬዚዳንት ሆነው ተሰየሙ፡፡ ፓርላማ ውስጥ የነበረው ጓደኛዬ ያንን ሁኔታ ካየ በኋላ ወደ ቢሮዬ መጥቶ የተናገረኝን ነገር በፍጹም አልረሳውም፡፡ “ለስሙ እኔ ነኝ የፓርቲው አባል፡፡ መረጃውን በቅድሚያ የምታገኙት ግን አባል ያልሆናችሁት ናችሁ፤ በዚህ ዓይነት አራት ኪሎ ሄጄ ፓርላማ ከመግባቴ በፊት በቀጥታ ጆሊ ባርን ብጎበኘው ይሻለኛል ማለት ነው” አለኝ፡፡ በጣም ሳቅኩኝ፡፡ በወቅቱ ብዙዎቹ የኢህአዴግ አባላት ግምገማ አለ እያሉ ስለሚፈሩ የግል ጋዜጣ ከመግዛት ይቆጠቡ ነበር (እኔም የሳቅኩት ይህንን ስለማውቅ ነው)፡፡

ጆሊ ባር የሚገባ ሰው በርግጥም በርካታ ወሬዎችን በቀላሉ ያገኛል (የአራት ኪሎው ጆሊ ባር አሁን ትክክለኛ የፈረንጅ ጆሊ ባር ሆነ እንጂ)፡፡ ወይንም ጆሊ ባር አጠገብ ጋዜጣና መጽሔት እያነጠፉ የሚሸጡትን እነ “ቦቸራ”ን የተወዳጀ ሰው ሁለት ብር ከፍሎ ብዙ ወሬ አንብቦ ይመለሳል፡፡ ቢሆንም ሰፊው ህዝብ ወሬውን ለመስማት የግዴታ ወደ ጆሊ ባር መሄድ አይጠበቅበትም፡፡ የትም ቢሆን ወሬው ይደርሰዋል፡፡ በተለይ ባለስልጣናት የሚደብቋቸውና “ውሸት ነው” እያሉ የሚያስተባብሏቸው ግንባር ወሬዎች የኋላ ኋላ ህዝቡ ዘንድ መድረሳቸው አይቀርም፡፡ ባለስልጣናቱ “ውሸት” ያሉት ወሬ እውነት ሆኖ ከተገኘ ህዝቡ ለጊዜው በትዝብት ያልፈዋል፡፡ ለትክክለኛው ፍርድ ደግሞ ወደ ታሪክ ያስተላልፈዋል፡፡ ታሪክም ሳያዳላ እውነተኛውን ፍርድ ይበይናል፡፡
ከታሪክ ፍርድ ይሰውረን!!

The Long Arm of Ethiopia Reaches for Those Who Fled

By Felix Horne

Ethiopia’s Refugees Unsafe in Kenya and Elsewhere
“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 national handed 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.

በርካቶችን ለሞት የዳረገው የኦሮሚያ – ሶማሌ ግጭት እስከ ትናንት አለመቆሙን መንግስት አስታውቋል

አለማየሁ አንበሴ
Abdi,kassa & Lemma
አቶ አብዲ መሐመድ፥ እቶ ካሳ ተክለብርሃን እና አቶ ለማ መገርሳ

በኦሮሚያ እና በሱማሌ ክልሎች መካከል የተፈጠረው ግጭት እንደቀድሞ የወሰን ጉዳይ እንዳልሆነ የተጠቆመ ሲሆን፣ ትክክለኛ መንስኤው እየተጣራ መሆኑን ያስታወቁት የመንግስት ኮሚኒኬሽን ጉዳዮች ሚኒስትር ዶ/ር ነገሪ ሌንጮ፤ ግጭቱ እስከ ትናንት አርብ ድረስ በተለያዩ ቀበሌዎች መቀጠሉንና በርካቶች ተገድለው፣ ከ20 ሺህ በላይ ዜጎች መፈናቀላቸውን አስታውቀዋል፡፡

ለበርካታ ቀናት በቀጠለ ግጭት፤ የሠው ሕይወት ጠፍቷል፣ ንብረት ወድሟል፣ ዜጎች ተፈናቅለዋል ያሉት ሚኒስትሩ፤ ግጭቱ በቅርቡ እንዲገታ ይደረጋል፤ የሃይማኖት አባቶች፣ የሃገር ሽማግሌዎችም በመሃል ገብተው የማረጋጋት ስራ ይሠራሉ ብለዋል፡፡

ጠቅላይ ሚኒስትር ሃይለ ማርያም ደሣለኝ፤ ከሁለቱ ክልል አመራሮች ጋር በግጭቱ ላይ በስልክ ውይይት ማድረጋቸውንና ግጭቱ እንዲቆም ማሣሠቢያ መስጠታቸውንም ሚኒስትሩ አስታውቀዋል፡፡
በአካባቢው ለግጭቱ መባባስና ለሠው ህይወት መጥፋት ምክንያት የሆኑ ለህግ እንዲቀርቡ ይደረጋል ያሉት ሚኒስትሩ፤ የመሳሪያ ትጥቅ የማስፈታት ስራም ይሰራል ብለዋል፡፡

የመከላከያ ሰራዊትና የፌደራል ፖሊስ በግጭቱ መሃል ገብቶ ለማረጋጋት ለምን ዘገየ ተብለው የተጠየቁት ሚኒስትሩ፤ ክልሎቹ ችግሮቹን በራሳቸው ይፈቱታል የሚል እምነት በመጣሉ ነው ብለዋል፡፡
በግጭቱ የሶማሊያ ሪፐብሊክ ኃይሎችና የሶማሌ ክልል ልዩ ኃይል መሳተፋቸው ተጣርቶ ህጋዊ እርምጃ ይወስዳል ብለዋል – ሚኒስትሩ፡፡ ግጭቱ በታጠቁ አካላት የታገዘ መሆኑን የጠቆሙት ሚኒስትሩ፤ እነዚህ የታጠቁ አካላት እነማን ናቸው የሚለው ግን እስካሁን ምላሽ አለማግኘቱንና በማጣራት ሂደቱ እንደሚታወቅ ተናግረዋል፡፡ ግጭቱ የህዝብ ለህዝብ አለመሆኑን ግን አስረግጠው በመግለፅ፡፡ ከዚሁ ጋር በተያያዘ የሁለቱ ክልሎች የመንግስት ኮሚኒኬሽን ኃላፊዎች ጉዳዩን አስመልክቶ በየሚዲያው የሚያስተላልፏቸው መግለጫዎች፣ ግጭቱን ሊያባብሱ የሚችሉ በመሆኑ ከእንግዲህ በኋላ ግጭት አባባሽ መግለጫዎችን ከመስጠት እንዲቆጠቡ ዶ/ር ነገሪ አሳስበዋል፡፡

የኮሚኒኬሽን ኃላፊዎቹ ከዚህ ድርጊታቸው የማይቆጠቡ ከሆነ፣ ህጋዊ እርምጃ እንደሚወሰድም ሚኒስትሩ ጠቁመው፤ በሁለቱም የሚገለፁ አሃዛዊ መረጃዎችንም ገና ያልተጣሩ መሆናቸውንና መንግስት ሁኔታውን አጣርቶ እንደሚገልፅ አስታውቀዋል፡፡

የሶማሌ ክልል ግጭቱን አስመልክቶ ለቪኦኤ በሰጠው መግለጫ፤ በአወዳይ ከተማ 50 ሠዎች መገደላቸውን ሲገልፅ፣ የኦሮሚያ ክልል በበኩሉ፤ በአወዳይ ከተማ 18 ሰዎች መገደላቸውን፣ ከነዚህ ውስጥ 12ቱ የሶማሌ ተወላጆች፣ ቀሪዎቹ የኦሮሞ ጃርሶ ጎሣ አባላት መሆናቸውን አስታውቋል፡፡

የኦሮሚያ ክልላዊ መንግስት ቃል አቀባይ አቶ አዲሱ አረጋ ትናንት ምሽት ባሰራጩት መረጃ፤በሰሞኑ ግጭት ከተፈናቀሉት ከ22ሺ በላይ ዜጎች በተጨማሪ አጠቃላይ የድንበር ግጭቱ ከተከሰተበት ከ2009 ጀምሮ 416ሺ807 ዜጎች መፈናቀላቸውን አስታውቀዋል፡፡

በአወዳይ የደረሠውን ግጭት ተከትሎ፣ ከሶማሌ ክልል ከ21 ሺህ በላይ ዜጎች ተፈናቅለው በጭናቅሠን፣ ባቢሌና ሐረር ከተሞች ተጠልለው እንደሚገኙ የኦሮሚያ ክልል ቃል አቀባይ አቶ አዲሱ አረጋንና ምንጮቹን ጠቅሶ ቪኦኤ ዘግቧል፡፡

የሱማሌ ክልል የመንግስት ኮሚኒኬሽን ሃላፊ አቶ ኢንድሪስ አህመድ በበኩላቸው፤ “ሰዎች ከአካባቢው የተፈናቀሉት በግዴታ ሳይሆን በፍቃዳቸው ነው፤ ጥቃት አልተፈፀመባቸውም” ብለዋል፡፡ ምንጮች በበኩላቸው፤ የግዳጅ ማፈናቀል መፈፀሙንና በዜጎች ላይ ድብደባና እንግልት እንደደረሰባቸው ለመገናኛ ብዙኃን ተናግረዋል፡፡

የሱማሌ ክልል መንግስት ኮሚኒኬሽን ሃላፊ አቶ ኢንድሪስ አህመድ፤ በአወዳይ ከተማ የደረሰውን ግድያ ተከትሎ ባስተላለፉት መግለጫ፣ የኦሮሚያ ክልል መንግስትን “የአሸባሪነት አላማ አራማጅ” በሚል የፈረጀ ሲሆን የኦሮሚያ ክልል ቃል አቀባይ በበኩላቸው፤ ፍረጃውን አጣጥለው፣ ከአንድ ክልልን ከሚያስተዳድር አካል የማይጠበቅ ነው ብለዋል፡፡

የሶማሌ ክልል መንግስት ኮሚኒኬሽን ሃላፊ ለቪኦኤ በሰጡት መረጃ፤ በአስራ አንድ የሶማሌ ወረዳዎች፣ ማንነታቸው ባልታወቀ አካላት በተሠነዘሩ ጥቃቶች፣ ከሁለት መቶ አስራ ሶስት ሰዎች በላይ ህይወት ማለፉን አስታውቀዋል፡፡ ይሄን ተከትሎም የሶማሌ ክልላዊ መንግስት፣ ለ5 ቀናት የሚቆይ ብሄራዊ የሃዘን ቀናት በክልሉ ማወጁንም ለማወቅ ተችሏል፡፡

ከዚሁ ጋር በተያያዘ ፣የኢትዮጵያ ሰብአዊ መብቶች ኮሚሽን የግጭቱን መነሻና የደረሰውን ጉዳት የሚያጣራ ቡድን ከትላንት በስቲያ ሐሙስ ወደ አካባቢው መላኩንና ማጣራት መጀመሩን የኮሚሽኑ የህዝብ ግንኙነት ኃላፊ አቶ ደምሰው በንቲ ለአዲስ አድማስ አስታውቀዋል፡፡

ሰሞኑን የሁለቱ ክልሎች የመንግስት ኮሙኒኬሽን ኃላፊዎች በማህበራዊ ድረ-ገፆቻቸው የሚያሰፍሯቸው የእርስ በርስ ውንጀላዎች አስደንጋጭና ግጭቱን የሚያባብሱ መሆናቸውን አስተያየት ሰጪዎች ይናገራሉ፡፡ ክልላዊ መንግስታቸውን ወክለው መልዕክት የሚለዋወጡ እንደማይመስሉና ኃላፊነት የጎደሏቸው እንደሆነም ተገልጿል፡፡
ምንጭ፡ አዲስ አድማስ

The world loves Ethiopian pop star Teddy Afro. His own government doesn’t.

By Paul Schemm

Teddy Afro

Tewodros Kassahun (Teddy Afro) Photo Credit: Ethionewsflash.

ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia — Monday marked the first day of the new Ethiopian year, but it hasn’t been much of a holiday for Teddy Afro, the country’s biggest pop star.

First, the government informed him that his New Year’s concert was canceled. Then, on Sept. 3, police broke up the launch party for his successful new album, “Ethiopia,” in the middle of the sound check at the Hilton Hotel, claiming Teddy hadn’t received permission to hold the event.

“Asking for a permission to organize an album launch is like asking a permit for a wedding or birthday party,” Teddy wrote on his Facebook page. “This is unprecedented and has never been done before because it is unconstitutional.”

But government disapproval certainly isn’t anything new for Teddy: This year was his third straight aborted New Year’s concert. And even as “Ethiopia,” which briefly hit No. 1 on Billboard’s world music chart, could be purchased or heard on virtually every street corner in the capital, Addis Ababa, after its May release, Teddy’s songs were nowhere to be found on state radio and TV. An interview with a public TV network was even canceled at the last minute, prompting the resignation of the journalist involved.

At first glance, there seems to be nothing controversial about Teddy Afro, born Tewodros Kassahun, and his traditionally influenced pop songs about love, unity and the glory of Ethiopia. His tunes have earned him a rapturous audience both at home and among the vast Ethiopian diaspora.

If anything, Teddy is quite the patriot. He’s just the wrong kind of patriot.

Teddy’s music has increasingly focused on extended history lessons glorifying Haile Selassie, the last emperor of Ethiopia, who was overthrown by a communist coup in 1974, as well as the great kings of the 19th century. The title track of his 2012 album, “Tikur Sew,” for example, celebrated Emperor Menelik II and his defeat of Italian troops invading Ethiopia in 1896 — complete with a music video that was practically a war movie.

But those rulers came from the Amhara people, the ethnic group that has historically dominated the country and, according to other Ethiopian peoples, brutally repressed its rivals. “Wherever he faced fierce resistance, Menelik responded with the most barbaric and horrific forms of violence,” read a 2013 statement by activists from the Oromo people, who led a boycott campaign of the Heineken-owned brewery Bedele after it sponsored Teddy’s concerts.

Teddy’s celebration of historic Amhara rulers is dramatically different from the nationalism of the ruling Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front, which is dominated by a political party from the Tigrayan people. The government promotes Ethiopia’s ethnic diversity and uses “unity through diversity” as its slogan. Teddy’s songs — and his criticism of rising ethnic division in Ethiopia — seem like challenges to its vision of the country.

The government is also particularly sensitive at the moment. The ruling party has carefully crafted a narrative of progress and development for the country, created partly in response to the bitterness that followed Ethiopia’s 2005 elections. It was the country’s first free and fair vote, and the results were heavily disputed. Hundreds died in the ensuing unrest, and — whether intentionally or not — a then-newly released song from Teddy became part of the soundtrack of the protests.

Now the government’s narrative is starting to fray. The country’s largest ethnic group, the Oromos, recently spent a year and a half protesting its alleged marginalization, saying that government development plans seemed to leave Oromo areas behind. Hundreds of people died at the hands of security forces during protests, and the situation calmed down only after a 10-month state of emergency was called in October 2016. The Amhara region also saw protests against the government in the same period, during which some people attacked Tigrayans as “usurpers.”

Teddy “is instigating a quarrel during a very sensitive time for them,” said Seyyoum Teshome, an independent political analyst who has had run-ins of his own with the government.

Ethiopia’s government has been repeatedly criticized — albeit in fairly muted terms — by the United States and other countries for suppressing dissent. The Parliament is entirely under the control of the ruling party, and some of the most prominent opposition leaders, especially Oromos, are in prison. And while Teddy has insisted that he has nothing to do with politics, it appears that the government isn’t willing to take any chances on his music.

Source:-The Washington Post

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