Archives for;

Air Crash of Dream”

Ethiopia The Rising Opposition ?

By William Lloyd-GeorgeReprint |       |  Print | Send by email

On Jul. 14 several hundred opposition protestors gathered in northern town of Gondar to and called on the government to stop exploiting the antiterrorism law and release those whom the law has been used to imprison. Credit: William Lloyd-George/IPSOn Jul. 14 several hundred opposition protestors gathered in northern town of Gondar to and called on the government to stop exploiting the antiterrorism law and release those whom the law has been used to imprison. Credit: William Lloyd-George/IPS

GONDAR, Ethiopia, Jul 18 2013 (IPS) – Since the violent quashing of political protests after the ruling party won Ethiopia’s 2005 elections, this East African nation has seen little in the way of political dissent. That is, until the last few months.

Since June, the country has witnessed mass protests in three of its major cities. Despite the significance of these protests, observers disagree over how much they signal a rebirth for the country’s opposition movement and the government’s tolerance of it.

“Until the recent protests, most had lost faith in the democratisation process and opposition parties,” Hallelujah Lulie, a political analyst from the Ethiopia-based Institute for Security Studies told IPS.

When the ruling Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front won another term of office in 2005, thousands of protestors took to the streets in protest, as the party has been in power since 1991. It had appeared that the ruling party rigged the vote as many expected the opposition Coalition for Unity and Democracy and the United Ethiopian Democratic Forces to win.

The crackdown led to the arrest of several opposition party politicians, with many others being forced to flee the country and give up politics.

“We need legislative change in order for proper liberalisation where opposition groups are free to operate without arrests and other harassment.” — Hallelujah Lulie, political analyst

 

“Recent opposition activities, however, show that people are beginning to recognise the opposition again, which could be a big boost for the domestic opposition parties,” said Hallelujah.

On Jun. 2 a new opposition group, the Blue Party, organised mass protests in the country’s capital, Addis Ababa. Thousands marched down one of the city’s main avenues, calling for the release of political prisoners and journalists and the reform of government policies.

The protest was given permission, and no arrests were made during, before, or after the demonstration, leading some to believe that the government had become more tolerant towards opposition activities.

“While there have been no arrests so far, we have credible information that the government is plotting to break up our movement and label us as terrorists. We have seen no change in the government or a willingness to engage in dialogue with us,” Yilkal Getnet, chairman of the Blue Party, told IPS.

Getachew Reda, spokesman for the Ethiopian Prime Minister’s office, told IPS that they would not negotiate with the protestors, as there are proper legal channels to address issues that the opposition politicians had not exhausted.

“Despite a lack of response from the government, we believe that the opposition movement will continue to gain momentum and are deeply encouraged by the (recent) protests,” said Yilkal.

On Jul. 14, the major opposition party, the Union for Democracy and Justice (UDJ), organised protests in two major cities, Gondar and Dessie, in north and north-central Ethiopia, respectively. It was part of a campaign ‘One Million Voices for Freedom’, which sought to get one million signatures on a petition with demands similar to those of the Blue Party.

In Gondar, protestors marched through the capital and called on the government to stop exploiting the anti-terrorism law and release those whom the law has been used to imprison, including political prisoners andjournalists. But bad weather and reports of intimidation prior to the march meant that the protestors numbered in the hundreds at most.

“Numbers do not matter right now, it is just very symbolic that the recent protests took place out of Addis, as most the activism is in Addis where it is easier to mobilise supporters,” said Hallelujah. “It shows that the opposition movement could be on the path to regaining popular recognition and trust again.”

Hallelujah believes the protests could be a sign that the opposition is emerging again, he argued that they still face huge challenges that could hinder their chances of success. He said that it is hard for opposition parties to increase their membership freely, to raise funds and even to rent a hall for party meetings.

“They are still operating in a very tight and unfriendly environment,” said Hallelujah. “We need legislative change in order for proper liberalisation where opposition groups are free to operate without arrests and other harassment.”

In the run-up to the protests in Gondar, UDJ party leaders say they faced extreme harassment by the regional state authorities. According to the UDJ, on Jul. 13 local police surrounded the office and would not let their members out all day. Only at the last minute an unofficial deal was reached with the local commander to hold the protest, or so claim party members. Also, over 10 members of their group were arrested for distributing leaflets to the general public in the days leading up to the protest.

Peering through rusty metal bars at Gondar’s Police Station 3, a simple mud hut structure, Amedemakryam Ezra, a UDJ party member, said he was arrested two weeks ago for distributing leaflets.

“They beat my legs so bad, I could not even walk for a week,” Amedemakryam told IPS from the prison. “We have not been allowed out of this cell since. It’s horrible.”

Get the Flash Player to see the wordTube Media Player.

Before he could finish his sentence, another party member who was also arrested for distributing leaflets appeared. Maru Ashagere, a hairdresser, told IPS that the local authorities went to his parents’ chicken farm and said they would poison all the chickens as punishment for their son’s political activities.

“This kind of harassment makes it very difficult for us to operate but we will struggle through none the less to achieve our goals,” Asrat Tassie, Secretary-General of UDJ, told IPS at the police station.  “Despite all this, we were able to go on with our protest and mobilise the people.”

Not only were party members harassed, but some Gondar residents told IPS they were too scared to join the protests due to threats made throughout the city.

While some might have not have joined out of fear, it appears that many around Gondar did not join because of a lack of faith in the UDJ and the opposition movement. Several residents told IPS that they did not trust the UDJ or believe that it could find real solutions.

“If they can show us real policies to replace the ruling parties, then maybe more for us would join,” said Tesfaye, 34, a local shopkeeper. “They just shout against the government but don’t offer a decent alternative, or solutions to the problems. That is not helpful to anyone.”

Get the Flash Player to see the wordTube Media Player.

 

 

Freedom is not Free in Dictatorial Ethiopia 2010

Freedom House has made the yearly report for political freedom, 2010. We  we have made the following extract concerning Ethiopia.

Sub-Saharan Africa: Major declines were recorded in Ethiopia and Djibouti, both of which dropped from Partly Free to Not Free. In addition, declines were noted in Burundi, Côte d’Ivoire, Guinea-Bissau, Madagascar, Rwanda, Swaziland, and Zambia. Improvements were noted in Kenya, Nigeria, Somaliland, and Tanzania, as well as in Guinea, which received an improvement in status from Not Free to Partly Free.

Ethiopia (2010)

Capital: Addis Ababa

Population:82,825,000

Political Rights Score: 5
Civil Liberties Score: 5
Status: Partly Free

Trend Arrow

Ethiopia received a downward trend arrow due to the narrowing of political space in advance of the 2010 elections, the government’s crackdown on the operations of nongovernmental organizations, and its passing of a draconian antiterrorism law.

Overview

Prime Minister Meles Zenawi’s government bolstered restrictions on political activity in 2009 as it prepared for federal and regional elections scheduled for 2010. Opposition party activists were arrested, and a new antiterrorism law gave the government broad authority to crack down on perceived opponents. Other legislation enacted during the year imposed strict controls on civil society organizations.


One of the few African countries to avoid decades of European colonization, Ethiopia ended a long tradition of monarchy in 1974, when Emperor Haile Selassie was overthrown in a Marxist military coup. Colonel Mengistu Haile Mariam ruled the country until a coalition of guerrilla groups led by forces from the northern Tigray region overthrew his brutal dictatorship in 1991. The main rebel group, the Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF), formed a new regime, and its leader Meles Zenawi became interim president.
Under the EPRDF, democratic institutions and a new constitution were introduced. Most of the opposition boycotted elections held in 1995, claiming harassment of its supporters precluded a fair vote, and Meles became prime minister. He began a second five-year term after the 2000 elections, which the EPRDF also won easily. Opposition parties and some observers criticized the government’s conduct of the vote.
A border dispute with Eritrea, which had gained formal independence from Ethiopia in 1993 after a long guerrilla conflict, triggered a war that lasted from 1998 to 2000. The Eritrea-Ethiopia Boundary Commission was then established to draw a new border, but Ethiopia rejected its 2002 decision to assign the town of Badme to Eritrea.
In the 2005 elections for the powerful lower house of Parliament, the EPRDF and its allies won 327 seats, while the two main opposition parties took 161 seats, up from 12 in the previous Parliament. Notwithstanding their gains, opposition parties argued that fraud and interference in the electoral process had deprived them of outright victory. Street demonstrations led to violence and a harsh reaction by the authorities. At least 193 people were killed and more than 4,000 were arrested, including leading opposition figures, who were finally pardoned and released in 2007.
The opposition boycotted local elections in 2008, accusing the EPRDF of harassment. Opposition activities were further restricted in 2009, as the EPRDF prepared for the 2010 federal and regional elections. In June, 45 members of an unregistered political party were charged with trying to topple the government.
Ethiopia’s relations with neighboring countries were tense but stable in 2009. The border dispute with Eritrea remained unresolved, but Ethiopian forces completed their withdrawal from Somalia, ending a disastrous three-year campaign aimed at destroying Islamist rebel groups and propping up the war-torn country’s Transitional Federal Government.
Meanwhile, Ethiopia continued to face separatist movements in Oromiya and the Ogaden. Sporadic fighting persisted between government forces and Ogaden National Liberation Front (ONLF) guerrillas. The authorities have banned journalists from the region, preventing the outside world from accurately assessing the situation there.

Ongoing drought in parts of the country in 2009 led to a warning that five million people would be in need of food aid, in addition to the eight million who already received it. The drought also reduced Ethiopia’s hydroelectric power output, causing frequent outages in Addis Ababa and contributing to a growth rate of less than 2 percent according to the United Nations, which was far less than the 10 percent claimed by the government.

Political Rights and Civil Liberties

Ethiopia is not an electoral democracy. However, the presence of a significant elected opposition at the federal level since 2005 does mark a possible step forward in the development of the country’s democratic political culture.
The bicameral Parliament consists of a 108-seat upper house, the House of Federation, and a 547-seat lower house, the House of People’s Representatives. The lower house is filled through popular elections, while the upper chamber is selected by the state legislatures, with both serving five-year terms. The House of People’s Representatives selects the prime minister, who holds most executive power, and the president, who serves in a largely ceremonial capacity for six-year terms. The 1995 constitution has a number of unique features, including a federal structure that grants certain powers and the right of secession to ethnically based states. However, in 2003 the central government acquired additional powers to intervene in states’ affairs when public security is deemed to be at risk.
More than 60 legally recognized political parties are active in Ethiopia, but the EPRDF dominates political life. Government harassment has seriously impeded the ability of opposition parties to function, although some have used rhetoric that could be interpreted as advocating violence, or have failed to conduct themselves in a manner consistent with a democratic political culture.
A recent series of arrests of opposition figures appeared to signal a crackdown on political freedoms in advance of the 2010 elections. Unity for Democracy and Justice party leader Birtukan Mideksa, who had received a sentence of life in prison after the 2005 postelection violence and was pardoned in 2007, was rearrested in December 2008 after her pardon was revoked. In June 2009, 46 people were charged with plotting to overthrow the government on behalf of Ginbot 7, an unregistered party. In November, a court convicted 26 of the defendants after a trial that legal rights groups criticized as unfair. However, a high-profile opponent of the government, the singer Tewodros Kassahun, known as Teddy Afro, was released early from a two-year prison sentence in August 2009; he had been convicted for a hit-and-run automobile accident, but his supporters claimed that the case was politically motivated.
The government has taken a number of steps to limit corruption, including the imposition of asset-disclosure rules for state officials. However, graft remains a significant problem. Former prime minister Tamrat Layne and former defense minister Seye Abreha were convicted of corruption in 2007, but both had been released by the end of 2008, having already served several years in prison on other corruption charges.Ethiopia was ranked 120 out of 180 countries surveyed in Transparency International’s 2009 Corruption Perceptions Index.
The news media are dominated by state-owned broadcasters and government-oriented newspapers. There are a number of independent newspapers, but they struggle financially and face intermittent government harassment. The only independent newspaper in the capital, Addis Neger, suspended operations in November, as staff said they feared prosecution by the authorities. A 2008 media law has had a chilling effect on freedom of speech. Although it barred government censorship of private media, the measure allowed prosecutors to seize material before publication in the name of national security and gave the government broader powers to pursue defamation cases. Journalists who fall foul of the government risk exile or imprisonment. In two separate cases in August 2009, journalists were given one-year prison sentences for spreading false information. Internet usage is confined mainly to major urban areas, and the government has blocked opposition-run websites.
Constitutionally mandated religious freedom is generally respected, although religious tensions have risen in recent years. The Ethiopian Orthodox Church is influential, particularly in the north. In the south there is a large Muslim community, made up mainly of the Somali, Oromo, and Afari ethnic groups.
Academic freedom is restricted. Prime Minister Meles Zenawi has accused universities of being friendly to the opposition, and their activities are closely monitored. In recent years, student protests against government policies have led to scores of deaths and injuries and hundreds of arrests. The government has tried to establish a more orderly and loyal academic community by creating 13 new state universities. Growing intolerance of dissent has dampened private discussion in the country, as even ordinary citizens face harassment or arrest for speaking out against the government.
Freedoms of assembly and association are limited. In January 2009, the House of People’s Representatives passed the Charities and Societies Proclamation, which is designed to restrict the ability of foreign nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) to bypass government channels when they disburse funds. Foreign NGOs are defined as groups that receive more than 10 percent of their funding from abroad. The measure also gives the government broad authority to restrict NGO activities it deems unhelpful, such as campaigning for human and political rights. All civil society organizations are required to reregister with the government under the new rules.
Trade union rights are tightly restricted. Government workers in “essential industries,” a term that is broadly defined, are not allowed to strike, and the Confederation of Ethiopian Unions is under government control. Some union leaders suspected of engaging in political activity have been removed from their elected offices or forced to leave the country. All unions must be registered, and the government retains the authority to cancel union registration.
The judiciary is officially independent, although there have been few significant examples of decisions at variance with government policy. Suspects are routinely held without warrants, and cases can take a long time to reach court. A draconian new counterterrorism law, passed by the government in July 2009, defines terrorist activity very broadly and gives great discretion to the security forces. According to Human Rights Watch, the law could be used to prosecute peaceful political protesters and impose the death penalty for offenses as minor as damaging public property. Conditions in Ethiopia’s prisons are harsh, and the International Committee of the Red Cross is not permitted to inspect federal facilities and police stations. Detainees frequently report being abused or tortured.
The government has tended to favor Tigrayan ethnic interests in economic and political matters. Politics within the EPRDF have been dominated by the Tigrayan People’s Liberation Front. Discrimination against other groups, especially the Oromo, has been widespread. According to the International Crisis Group, Ethiopia’s federal system of government, which grants autonomy to the dominant ethnic group in each region, has increased tensions between communities. Repression of the Oromo and ethnic Somalis, and government attempts to co-opt their parties into subsidiaries of the EPRDF, have helped to fuel nationalism in both Oromiya and the Ogaden.
The government has established a Women’s Affairs Ministry, and Parliament has passed legislation designed to protect women’s rights. In practice, however, women’s rights are routinely violated. Women have traditionally had few land or property rights, especially in rural areas, where there is little opportunity for female employment beyond agricultural labor. General deficiencies in education exacerbate the problems of rural poverty and gender inequality. According to the NGO Save the Children, Ethiopia has one of the lowest rates of school enrollment in sub-Saharan Africa.

Ethiopian Regime’s Staged manifestation in front of the Oval House exporting conflict to the US streets against Public Manifestation

Ethiopian Regime staged Demonstration show up in DC August 5, 2010

Ethiopian Anti China Demonstration DC August 5, 2010

One people Two Flags

August 5, 2010 a manifestation was instigated and staged Demonstration in front of the White House and the State Department in Washington DC by a Dictatorial regime of Melese Zenawie from Addis Ababa. It is a first of its kind in any independent country’s government record to lobby US Government in front of the Oval House in such a shameless manor but the Ethiopian Dictatorial regime of Melese Zenawie. This is not a normal diplomatic Channel to address inter governmental issues. When it comes to US government there is the ambassador in Addis Ababa, or the African regional affairs head, in the last recur you can go to the under secretariat of the foreign affairs. However, the Dictatorial regime of Melese Zenawi for his declaration of War against Egypt by damming the Nile used his disarmed beleaguered weakened citizen to come out dressed in a blue T shirt with  pre prepared slogans. This is a shame for a country that has been independent for over 3 thousand years. A country that existed long before the 1st European put his feet in America.   It is put in stage by a government who boasts” winning 99%” of the vote in his recent rugged election, and supposedly has the support of its entire population. And it is not a proper channel to pressure the US government to act in its favor. The regime of Melese Zenawie acted as simple minority group inside the US asking to move the White House certain internal issue. Melese Zenawie proved his incapacity to discern where and when to act as an independent government but as a simple US internal pressure  group. Melese demonstrated as a simple satellite puppet regime with no existing out right decision making apparatus. The Dictator once he eliminated the opposition parties, he is left with no more true working political institutions inside his regime but mere executors around him. Left for himself the new Pharaoh of Ethiopia forced his exiled Diaspora who escaped his regime’s atrocity to stage demonstration. These days Ethiopians seems not in peace at home and in Diaspora. Many were forced to go for the demo left with no choice but to be a puppet for a puppet regime. The regime is exporting its ideologies of hate  even in the streets of  Washington DC.

The next stage of the Ethiopian Dictatorial regime would be to export group fighting and Kampala’s world Cup type indecent even in the US streets, or in one of the many Ethiopian restaurants who were apparently were  targeted  as many feared  would have  taken  place as a revenge of a  worst dictatorial war mongering regime infected by Somalia Syndrome. The whole world was waiting to see the confrontation between those anti Ethiopian Dictatorial Regime groups manifesting in front of the Chinese Embassy at the same moment of staged demonstration in front of the White House. Gladly the situation was controlled by the security forces not to mix both groups. The result would have been chaotic. We hope the US government will consider not allow the same staged foreign regime manifestation and public demonstration of the Ethiopian oppositions to take place in the same day and on the same place. And to in force the government of Dictatorial regime of Ethiopia to use the proper channel rather than staged demonstrations. The government must be or be allowed to occupy the streets and the the arena of state at the same time extrapolating the democratic environment in the west.  This will risk the lives of innocent civilians. The government of Ethiopia prohibits anti government manifestation in Addis Streets rather prefer to export to the US.   A regime    cannot be in exile and in government at the same time, risking the safety of those living in US as a genuine refugee.

Get the Flash Player to see the wordTube Media Player.
Get the Flash Player to see the wordTube Media Player.

Get the Flash Player to see the wordTube Media Player.

Orchestrated Demonstration

[audio:http://ethiopianism.net/wp-content/uploads/2010/08/Selemon.mp3|titles=Selemon]
Get the Flash Player to see the wordTube Media Player.
Get the Flash Player to see the wordTube Media Player.

The  anti  China manifestation in front of  China Embassy  in the US

1.      Cease its support for Meles Zenawi’s ethnocentric regime;

2.      Cease arming and supplying Meles Zenawi’s minority ethnic dominated military;

3.      Cease its support for tyranny in Ethiopia/Africa

4.      Cease its support to Meles Zenawi’s regime in jamming the Voice of America,

Deutsche Welle, and Ethiopian Satellite Television (ESAT);

5.       Respect the human rights of the Ethiopian people,  Ethiopian  workers employed  in Chinese owned projects  in accordance with accordance labor and environmental standards as well as the Universal Declaration of Human rights.

6.       Stop bribing and corrupting Ethiopian officials to get no bid

Some see worsening rights situation in aid donor ‘darling’ Ethiopia

y Kate Linthicum, Los Angeles Times

August 12, 2010|1:33 p.m.

The U.S. gives about $1 billion annually to Ethiopia. But even as U.S. and other international aid has surged in the last decade, activists charge that the government has become more authoritarian.

Reporting from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia — Like many in the West, former U.S. Ambassador to Ethiopia David Shinn watched the country’s recent elections for signs that democracy was finally taking root.

When the results of the May vote were announced, all but two of 547 parliamentary seats went to the Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front, the coalition that has been in power here for nearly 20 years, or its allied parties.

“How do you win 99% of the vote?” Shinn said. “That’s un-American.” And yet, he said, “Ethiopia remains a darling of the donor community.”

The U.S. gives about $1 billion annually to Ethiopia, more than to any other country in sub-Saharan Africa except Sudan. But even as U.S. and other international aid to Ethiopia has surged in the last decade, activists charge that the government has become more authoritarian.

“There’s been an inverse ratio of rising donor aid and a worsening human rights record,” said Leslie Lefkow, a researcher with Human Rights Watch.

Prime Minister Meles Zenawi’s government has won a degree of favor from the West for sending troops to fight radical Islamists in neighboring Somalia, but reports of rights abuses and a string of draconian laws that have constricted political space have put donor countries in an awkward position.

“It’s a dilemma for the international donor community, which doesn’t want to walk away from Ethiopia because the needs are so great,” said Jennifer Cooke, the director of the Africa program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

Recent allegations of aid corruption have caused further unease among donor countries.

A March report by Human Rights Watch alleged a countrywide pattern of local government leaders denying aid to opposition supporters. Eligibility for many major aid programs is determined by local government officials — almost all of whom belong to the ruling coalition or its affiliates.

One former Ethiopian aid worker, who didn’t want to be named out of fear of government retribution, told The Times that aid is leveraged by local leaders to consolidate power.

“Aid is a tool for development,” the aid worker said. “It is also a tool for politics.”

Ethiopian officials deny such claims. Communications Minister Bereket Simon said Human Rights Watch was “engaged in the continuous fabrication of allegations” and said Ethiopia “has put in place a transparent mechanism for the distribution of food aid.”

But Western donors appear to be taking the allegations seriously.

Claims that aid programs had fallen victim to political distortion prompted an investigation into U.S.-funded food programs in seven local districts in December 2009, said an official with the U.S. Agency for International Development.

The probe “found no indication of political discrimination,” the official said.

A report released last week by a consortium of donors that includes the U.S., several European countries and the World Bank conceded that Western aid programs would benefit from more transparency and independent monitoring.

The Donor Assistance Group report said donor countries would work with the Ethiopian government “for continued strengthening of safeguards” against fraud.

Africa experts agree that walking away from Ethiopia is out of the question.

Almost a sixth of Ethiopia’s 85 million people depend on food aid. In an added geopolitical dimension, twin bombings in Uganda last month by the Al Qaeda-linked Somali militant group Shabab underscored the importance of having U.S. allies in the troubled Horn of Africa.

Ethiopia’s rise to “donor darling” is due in large part to its savvy leader, Cooke said.

Meles, the former Marxist guerrilla leader who has ruled Ethiopia since 1991, “is good at talking the donor speak and the rhetoric of development,” she said.

Hailed by former President Clinton as part of a new generation of African leaders who would bring stability to the continent, Meles was invited to sit on then-British Prime Minister Tony Blair’s Commission for Africa in 2004.

The commission argued that economic growth and democracy would come to Africa only after hunger, poverty and the spread of disease were stamped out — an expensive proposition that required a “big push” of new aid.

The year after he was named to the commission, security forces loyal to Meles killed nearly 200 people who were protesting that year’s election and arrested tens of thousands of opposition supporters, including Birtukan Mideksa, an opposition leader who is now serving life in prison for violating the conditions of a 2007 pardon.

The U.S. has been cautious in its criticism, although some say the Obama administration has been taking a tougher tone. In May, a top U.S. diplomat said the recent elections “were not up to international standards.”

Meles bristles at such statements and has suggested that Ethiopia could forgo its dependence on Western aid for a closer relationship with China, which has lent money for a dizzying number of development projects in recent years.

“If [the U.S.] feels the outcome of the elections are such that we cannot continue our relationship,” he warned in May, “that’s fine and we can move on.”

Ethiopia failed & rogue State of Melese Zenawie stands at 17th place

Melese of Ethiopia mastered the art of  silencing  oppositions, imprisoning  all all dissents, and dumping  elections.  Melese’s   has been in Failed  and rogue State Index ranking  behind many of  the worst  African dicttors.

Melese’s Ethiopia fullfill the 12 indactors of  Failed States sinece the founding of the orgnaization

The Twelve Indicators
Click on an indicator to see some examples of measures that may be included in the analysis of that indicator. These are neither exclusive nor exhaustive. You can add more measures, as appropriate. 

Social Indicators
I-1.  Mounting Demographic Pressures
I-2.  Massive Movement of Refugees or Internally Displaced Persons creating 
Complex Humanitarian Emergencies
I-3.  Legacy of Vengeance-Seeking Group Grievance or Group Paranoia
I-4.  Chronic and Sustained Human Flight

Economic Indicators
I-5.  Uneven Economic Development along Group Lines
I-6.  Sharp and/or Severe Economic Decline

Political Indicators
I-7.  Criminalization and/or Delegitimization of the State
I-8.  Progressive Deterioration of Public Services
I-9.  Suspension or Arbitrary Application of the Rule of Law and Widespread 
Violation of Human Rights
I-10. Security Apparatus Operates as a “State Within a State”
I-11. Rise of Factionalized Elites
I-12. Intervention of Other States or External Political Actors

httpvhd://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m9mB9-0NC38

httpvhd://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MIVwlbSk9iE

httpvhd://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GhF7dMxKSNA

Core Five State Institutions

Leadership Military Police Judiciary Civil Service
Weak Weak Poor Poor Poor

P

Prime Minister Meles Zenawi is Ethiopia’s first democratically elected leader.  He is currently serving his third term, though his party’s victory in 2005 was widely disputed.  While several opposition parties have formed a coalition ahead of the 2010 elections and small militia groups have sought to separate themselves from Ethiopia, Zenawi and his party remain firmly in control of the government.

The Ethiopian military was one of the few state institutions to remain relatively well-funded during Mengistu’s regime.  While the military is well-trained and supplied compared to its neighbors, the Ethiopian army was largely unsuccessful in its attempts to halt the advances of Islamic insurgents in Somalia from 2006-2009.  Thousands of troops remain stationed near the Eritrean border, as border disputes still have not been completely settled after the two countries signed a ceasefire agreement in 2000.  Ethiopian soldiers have been accused of committing widespread human rights abuses, particularly against women in rural areas.

The Ethiopian police have been accused of widespread corruption and frequent human rights abuses.  The police have a history of crushing most political demonstrations, as well as a reputation as unprofessional and poorly trained.

While civilian courts remain relatively independent, criminal courts are weak, overburdened, and subject to political intervention.  Many judges are largely unqualified, receiving little former training and reaching their posts by political appointment.

While attempts have been made at civil service reform, little progress has been made.  Civil servants are underpaid, making them vulnerable to corruption; they are also poorly-trained and inefficient.  Many departments are extremely under-funded, further hampering their ability to operate.

Prognosis
Ethiopia has had difficulty shaking its past history of repressive governments. The first democratically elected government has held a tight grip on power through violence, intimidation, arresting opposition voices, censoring independent media, and restricting human rights monitoring by foreign groups. Ethiopia remains unable to provide food security to its population. The country is prone to drought and flooding.  In the predominantly agricultural economy, yearly production is uncertain. The government still relies heavily on international aid for food supply.  Ethiopia must focus on diversifying its economy to be able to provide relief to its population when natural disasters do strike as well as improving its woeful education and health services.  The 2010 elections will be critical. The current government must allow opposition parties to run a fair campaign and hold a free election, or there will be a high probability of unrest.

Recent Developments

January 2009:  The Ethiopian Parliament passed a law that forbids any foreign NGO—or local NGO that receives at least 10% of its funding from abroad—from activities related to human rights or conflict resolution.

January 2009:  Ethiopian peacekeeping forces began deploying in Darfur.

June 2009:  The Ethiopian government announces a plan to build 5,000 kilometers of new railways, with the assistance of European Union funding.June 2009:  Two days after rejecting a plea by the Somali government to redeploy troops, the Ethiopian government agreed to intervene after the request was supported by the African Union.  The African Union currently has 4,000 troops stationed in Mogadishu; it remains to be seen how many troops Ethiopia will commit.



—————————————–

Ethiopia

Failed states of the world 2009

——————————————–


Methodology Behind CAST
The CAST methodology presents a framework for early warning and assessment of societies at risk of internal conflict and state collapse. The model can be used to enable the international community to take preventive action to stem conflict, prepare for peacekeeping and stability missions, assess conditions for sustainable security and provide metrics or measures of effectiveness for post-conflict reconstruction. For an example of how the methodology has been used, please see our Iraq reports.

The steps of the methodology are the following:

1. Pre-Assessment Steps
2. Rating the Twelve Indicators
3. Assessing the Core Five
4. Identifying STINGS
5. Building a Conflict Map

——————————————–

Failed states of the world 2008

——————————-

Failed states of the world 2007

——————-

——————–

Ethiopia after 3 thousand years freedom is no more free…

Freedom in Ethiopia in Down trends. A country which has been free for over 3 thousand years. A bastion of independence. This year record is  worst than last year according to  Freedom house report 2009. Melese Zenawie continue torturing killing the Ethiopians.  His case is in the hand  of the International court of Justice. It will not  be  long soon before he join Charles Taylor of Liberia .  According  genocide   Watch Melese is a an emerging dictator to be scrutinized.  The worst is that countries  preaching  and raising the Flags of Freedom and democracy continue  with Melese business as usual. The world  had  experienced  this misfortune  in the past with  Hitler, Mussolini, Franco, Salazar, Mobutu  and paid  heavy price. Read some of the reports below where Zenawi’s  Ethiopia is heading  :-

BBC World Service – Africa – Political freedom in Ethiopia

EU observers slam lack of political freedom in Ethiopia vote 

RIGHTS-ETHIOPIA New Media Law, New Threat to Press Freedom

Ethiopia: New Anti-Terrorism Proclamation jeopardizes freedom of 

Internet Repression in Ethiopia

Silenced – Ethiopia

Freedom of speech suffers in tense Ethiopia

Ethiopia’s government tamps down on press freedoms

httpvhd://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nZ0XcXDZsZg

httpvhd://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wuXIdvgq3NI


Print

Freedom in the World –  Ethiopia (2010)

Capital: Addis Ababa

Population:82,825,000

Political Rights Score: 5 *
Civil Liberties Score: 5 *
Status: Partly Free

Trend Arrow

Ethiopia received a downward trend arrow due to the narrowing of political space in advance of the 2010 elections, the government’s crackdown on the operations of nongovernmental organizations, and its passing of a draconian antiterrorism law.

Overview

Prime Minister Meles Zenawi’s government bolstered restrictions on political activity in 2009 as it prepared for federal and regional elections scheduled for 2010. Opposition party activists were arrested, and a new antiterrorism law gave the government broad authority to crack down on perceived opponents. Other legislation enacted during the year imposed strict controls on civil society organizations.


One of the few African countries to avoid decades of European colonization, Ethiopia ended a long tradition of monarchy in 1974, when Emperor Haile Selassie was overthrown in a Marxist military coup. Colonel Mengistu Haile Mariam ruled the country until a coalition of guerrilla groups led by forces from the northern Tigray region overthrew his brutal dictatorship in 1991. The main rebel group, the Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF), formed a new regime, and its leader Meles Zenawi became interim president.
Under the EPRDF, democratic institutions and a new constitution were introduced. Most of the opposition boycotted elections held in 1995, claiming harassment of its supporters precluded a fair vote, and Meles became prime minister. He began a second five-year term after the 2000 elections, which the EPRDF also won easily. Opposition parties and some observers criticized the government’s conduct of the vote.
A border dispute with Eritrea, which had gained formal independence from Ethiopia in 1993 after a long guerrilla conflict, triggered a war that lasted from 1998 to 2000. The Eritrea-Ethiopia Boundary Commission was then established to draw a new border, but Ethiopia rejected its 2002 decision to assign the town of Badme to Eritrea.
In the 2005 elections for the powerful lower house of Parliament, the EPRDF and its allies won 327 seats, while the two main opposition parties took 161 seats, up from 12 in the previous Parliament. Notwithstanding their gains, opposition parties argued that fraud and interference in the electoral process had deprived them of outright victory. Street demonstrations led to violence and a harsh reaction by the authorities. At least 193 people were killed and more than 4,000 were arrested, including leading opposition figures, who were finally pardoned and released in 2007.
The opposition boycotted local elections in 2008, accusing the EPRDF of harassment. Opposition activities were further restricted in 2009, as the EPRDF prepared for the 2010 federal and regional elections. In June, 45 members of an unregistered political party were charged with trying to topple the government.
Ethiopia’s relations with neighboring countries were tense but stable in 2009. The border dispute with Eritrea remained unresolved, but Ethiopian forces completed their withdrawal from Somalia, ending a disastrous three-year campaign aimed at destroying Islamist rebel groups and propping up the war-torn country’s Transitional Federal Government.
Meanwhile, Ethiopia continued to face separatist movements in Oromiya and the Ogaden. Sporadic fighting persisted between government forces and Ogaden National Liberation Front (ONLF) guerrillas. The authorities have banned journalists from the region, preventing the outside world from accurately assessing the situation there.

Ongoing drought in parts of the country in 2009 led to a warning that five million people would be in need of food aid, in addition to the eight million who already received it. The drought also reduced Ethiopia’s hydroelectric power output, causing frequent outages in Addis Ababa and contributing to a growth rate of less than 2 percent according to the United Nations, which was far less than the 10 percent claimed by the government.

Political Rights and Civil Liberties

Ethiopia is not an electoral democracy. However, the presence of a significant elected opposition at the federal level since 2005 does mark a possible step forward in the development of the country’s democratic political culture.
The bicameral Parliament consists of a 108-seat upper house, the House of Federation, and a 547-seat lower house, the House of People’s Representatives. The lower house is filled through popular elections, while the upper chamber is selected by the state legislatures, with both serving five-year terms. The House of People’s Representatives selects the prime minister, who holds most executive power, and the president, who serves in a largely ceremonial capacity for six-year terms. The 1995 constitution has a number of unique features, including a federal structure that grants certain powers and the right of secession to ethnically based states. However, in 2003 the central government acquired additional powers to intervene in states’ affairs when public security is deemed to be at risk.
More than 60 legally recognized political parties are active in Ethiopia, but the EPRDF dominates political life. Government harassment has seriously impeded the ability of opposition parties to function, although some have used rhetoric that could be interpreted as advocating violence, or have failed to conduct themselves in a manner consistent with a democratic political culture.
A recent series of arrests of opposition figures appeared to signal a crackdown on political freedoms in advance of the 2010 elections. Unity for Democracy and Justice party leader Birtukan Mideksa, who had received a sentence of life in prison after the 2005 postelection violence and was pardoned in 2007, was rearrested in December 2008 after her pardon was revoked. In June 2009, 46 people were charged with plotting to overthrow the government on behalf of Ginbot 7, an unregistered party. In November, a court convicted 26 of the defendants after a trial that legal rights groups criticized as unfair. However, a high-profile opponent of the government, the singer Tewodros Kassahun, known as Teddy Afro, was released early from a two-year prison sentence in August 2009; he had been convicted for a hit-and-run automobile accident, but his supporters claimed that the case was politically motivated.
The government has taken a number of steps to limit corruption, including the imposition of asset-disclosure rules for state officials. However, graft remains a significant problem. Former prime minister Tamrat Layne and former defense minister Seye Abreha were convicted of corruption in 2007, but both had been released by the end of 2008, having already served several years in prison on other corruption charges.Ethiopia was ranked 120 out of 180 countries surveyed in Transparency International’s 2009 Corruption Perceptions Index.
The news media are dominated by state-owned broadcasters and government-oriented newspapers. There are a number of independent newspapers, but they struggle financially and face intermittent government harassment. The only independent newspaper in the capital, Addis Neger, suspended operations in November, as staff said they feared prosecution by the authorities. A 2008 media law has had a chilling effect on freedom of speech. Although it barred government censorship of private media, the measure allowed prosecutors to seize material before publication in the name of national security and gave the government broader powers to pursue defamation cases. Journalists who fall foul of the government risk exile or imprisonment. In two separate cases in August 2009, journalists were given one-year prison sentences for spreading false information. Internet usage is confined mainly to major urban areas, and the government has blocked opposition-run websites.
Constitutionally mandated religious freedom is generally respected, although religious tensions have risen in recent years. The Ethiopian Orthodox Church is influential, particularly in the north. In the south there is a large Muslim community, made up mainly of the Somali, Oromo, and Afari ethnic groups.
Academic freedom is restricted. Prime Minister Meles Zenawi has accused universities of being friendly to the opposition, and their activities are closely monitored. In recent years, student protests against government policies have led to scores of deaths and injuries and hundreds of arrests. The government has tried to establish a more orderly and loyal academic community by creating 13 new state universities. Growing intolerance of dissent has dampened private discussion in the country, as even ordinary citizens face harassment or arrest for speaking out against the government.
Freedoms of assembly and association are limited. In January 2009, the House of People’s Representatives passed the Charities and Societies Proclamation, which is designed to restrict the ability of foreign nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) to bypass government channels when they disburse funds. Foreign NGOs are defined as groups that receive more than 10 percent of their funding from abroad. The measure also gives the government broad authority to restrict NGO activities it deems unhelpful, such as campaigning for human and political rights. All civil society organizations are required to reregister with the government under the new rules.
Trade union rights are tightly restricted. Government workers in “essential industries,” a term that is broadly defined, are not allowed to strike, and the Confederation of Ethiopian Unions is under government control. Some union leaders suspected of engaging in political activity have been removed from their elected offices or forced to leave the country. All unions must be registered, and the government retains the authority to cancel union registration.
The judiciary is officially independent, although there have been few significant examples of decisions at variance with government policy. Suspects are routinely held without warrants, and cases can take a long time to reach court. A draconian new counterterrorism law, passed by the government in July 2009, defines terrorist activity very broadly and gives great discretion to the security forces. According to Human Rights Watch, the law could be used to prosecute peaceful political protesters and impose the death penalty for offenses as minor as damaging public property. Conditions in Ethiopia’s prisons are harsh, and the International Committee of the Red Cross is not permitted to inspect federal facilities and police stations. Detainees frequently report being abused or tortured.
The government has tended to favor Tigrayan ethnic interests in economic and political matters. Politics within the EPRDF have been dominated by the Tigrayan People’s Liberation Front. Discrimination against other groups, especially the Oromo, has been widespread. According to the International Crisis Group, Ethiopia’s federal system of government, which grants autonomy to the dominant ethnic group in each region, has increased tensions between communities. Repression of the Oromo and ethnic Somalis, and government attempts to co-opt their parties into subsidiaries of the EPRDF, have helped to fuel nationalism in both Oromiya and the Ogaden.
The government has established a Women’s Affairs Ministry, and Parliament has passed legislation designed to protect women’s rights. In practice, however, women’s rights are routinely violated. Women have traditionally had few land or property rights, especially in rural areas, where there is little opportunity for female employment beyond agricultural labor. General deficiencies in education exacerbate the problems of rural poverty and gender inequality. According to the NGO Save the Children, Ethiopia has one of the lowest rates of school enrollment in sub-Saharan Africa.

______________


————————

Ethiopia a regime that sales its Kids …

—————————————–

Christian International Adoption Agency Buys children in Ethiopia

Stories

“Orphan Doctor” Helps World’s Children

(CBS)

Videotapes showing poor orphans from third world countries melt the hearts of prospective parents every day in this country.

Three children, sisters from Ethiopia are shown in a video – ages, you are told, 7, 4 and 6. Their mother is dead, their father dying of AIDS. A life of prostitution is all but assured – if not adopted – saved – by a loving American family.

It was just such a pitch that spoke to Katie and Calvin Bradshaw, reports CBS News chief investigative correspondent Armen Keteyian. They adopted all three girls through a U.S. agency, Christian World Adoption.

“Aside from the gender of the children, everything else proved to be a complete lie,” said Katie.

In truth, the three sisters, Journee, Maree and Meya – were actually much older: 13, 6 and 11.

While their mother was dead, their father was healthy and very much alive. He was living, by local standards, a middle-class life – an extended family able to take care of the girls as middle sister Meya showed us first hand.

“My godmothers, my aunt, those are my mom’s friends, my uncles, my dad, my dad’s friends, that’s my brother,” she said.

In the last year adoptions from Ethiopia to the U.S. have skyrocketed – growing faster than any other country in the world. They have risen from 731 in 2006 to more than 2,200 last year. That’s nearly six children per day.

Now a CBS News investigation has discovered that growth has turned Ethiopia into fertile ground for child trafficking – a country in which some American agencies and their staff engage in highly questionable conduct.

dinsdag 16 februari 2010 12:47 door Ethiopian Times

———————-


Watch CBS News Videos Online

————–

South Carolina adoption agency investigated for purchasing children

Tagged with: adoption christian CWA ethiopia world

The Christian World Association, with a base in Charleston, South Carolina, is currently involved in litigation over two Ethiopian sisters. It has been reported that their father sold the siblings to CWA. However, the two sisters said they believed they were coming to the United States for an education, not to have a new family.

The CWA specializes in adoptions from Ethiopia, Russia, Ukraine, China, and Bulgaria and has been doing so since 1991.

However, the CWA has posted a response on their website that suggests original reports by CBS news were intentionally sensationalized and left out important facts that proved CWA had done nothing wrong. Below is the CWS response:

It was with great disappointment that CWA was made aware of the various criticisms expressed by the Bradshaws to CBS news. In an effort to address each of these allegations, CWA agreed to an in-depth interview with CBS reporter Armen Keteyian. During the course of this interview, lasting well over an hour, CBS was provided facts and documents which discredit the allegations made against CWA. Instead of allowing its viewers to consider the position of both parties, CBS chose to exclude every piece of information provided by CWA during its lengthy interview.

Sadly, the appearance is that CBS is more interested in the sensational than the factual.

The truth is that CWA does not and has never given compensation of any kind to influence a parent to surrender a child for adoption. CBS was made aware that CWA workers had no contact with the parent in this video who allegedly “sold” his daughters. And, by virtue of the process in Ethiopia, CWA seldom has any contact whatsoever with relinquishing parents. An accurate understanding of the adoption process (as was provided CBS) bears this out:

In Ethiopia, a relinquishing caregiver who seeks to have a child declared an “orphan” and available for adoption initiates the process by appearing before a local court with three witnesses. These four individuals must swear to the court that the child either has no parents or that the child’s surviving parent does not have the financial ability to care for the child. Should the local court make a finding of need based on the testimony of these four individuals, an investigation is triggered by Ethiopia’s social services department called “Ministry of Women’s Affairs” (MOWA). MOWA is then responsible to conduct its independent investigation as to the need of the child and render its findings, together with those of the local court, to a higher court for yet a third review into the need of the child.

This entire process is undertaken by the Ethiopian government, without any involvement by international adoption agencies. Most often, the entire process is completed before international adoption agencies like CWA are even made aware of the child. Finally, before a child can immigrate to the United States, the entire adoption, including the “orphan” status of each child is investigated by the United States government through the U.S. Consular’s office prior to a child’s visa being issued.

While paying a relinquishing caregiver for an adoptive child would be deplorable in any context, as it relates to Ethiopia the concept even violates common sense. This desperate country has an estimated 6,000,000 orphans of whom only .03% per year will be adopted into the United States. This means that for every child chosen for adoption there is a pool of approximately 3,000 legitimate candidates from whom to choose. There is never a justification for paying a parent to surrender a child, but in Ethiopia there is also no motive to do so. The sad fact is there is no lack of children in Ethiopia needing homes, and no motive to “buy” them. This is particularly true for children who are not infants or those in sibling groups, like the ones in the CBS interview. It is hard to imagine any adoption agency being willing to pay for a child and risk criminal conviction when Ethiopia has an enormous number who are legitimately available.

CBS chose to withhold all of this information from its viewers in exchange for the more fantastic notion that these children were simply “bought” from their father and offered to an American family for adoption. The CBS position is absurd and is a sad and revealing commentary on the reliability of CBS reporting.

CWA does not misrepresent the ages of adoptive children. As was explained to CBS, adoption agencies do not make age determinations. The age of a child is determined by the Ethiopian government during the governmental process of investigating the orphan status of the child. The age determined by the government is then documented by the government and made a part of the child’s adoptive record to be provided to adoption agencies. Adoption agencies are not given the liberty to change the determination made by the government.

CBS was also made aware of the fact that determining the accurate age of children adopted from Ethiopia presents unusual challenges. Many of these children have no birth record from which ages may be calculated; for others, the only record upon which the Ethiopian government has to relay is the oral testimony of a relinquishing caregiver. CWA is deliberate in its adoption materials to repeatedly advise parents to be cautious concerning the government’s represented ages of prospective children. CBS was provided copies of these documents and an article CWA requires adoptive parents to review and sign authored by a prominent orphan doctor discussing the difficulties in assigning an accurate age to children from Ethiopia. Finally, in order to assist parents in making their own determinations as to age, CWA provides pictures and videos of prospective children so parents are given the same graphic “evidence” of a child’s age as is presented to CWA.

When CWA suspects a wide age variation in the reported versus actual age of a child, CWA caseworkers communicate an additional warning to parents. This communication becomes part of the adoptive record. Additionally, because of the nature of the Ethiopian adoption process, further information regarding a child’s age may be forthcoming immediately prior to a child’s visa being issued; when this occurs, this information is also documented in the adoptive record. CBS is aware that the Bradshaws chose not to cooperate in allowing CWA to give CBS documents from the adoptive record regarding the children’s ages.

The mission of CWA is to see orphan children and capable families come together to form permanent, mutually-rewarding family bonds. CWA is not a “business.” Revenue generated from adoptions goes to support the services as well as ongoing efforts to place children in families and to feed, clothe, house, and educate those who can never be placed.

CWA does not expect that every individual hearing the accusations will find no fault with CWA. All CWA would ask is for an opportunity to be heard and for open minds to consider all the facts before reaching a conclusion.

————————

Adopting Foreign Children is a Cruel Joke

Aster C. Lilly

Chicago, IL

Celebrities who adopt foreign children assume a few things about themselves. First, it’s a huge ego trip. Adoption is like one big Nietzsche-style charity.

Adopting a child provides these feelings for a celebrity: superiority, willfulness, godliness, and cultural imperialism.

Although this individual act may be noble, and indeed, children are the “future”, the underlying problems within the society have not been solved by that act of charity.

Adopting a baby does not create infrastructure in a country. Adopting a baby does not discourage the spread of AIDS. Adopting a baby does not provide clean drinking water for a village.

Adopting a baby saves one life; choosing that child is pretending to play God, even though it was probably done for sympathetic reasons.

And even though that adoption was meant to be an act of goodness, the native culture of the adopted child may have been caused serious harm by that act. Adoption of foreign children could be considered a form of international humiliation. Call it crass cultural imperialism. Imagine if a celebrity from another country came to America and adopted one of our children. What would our response be? I imagine people would find it repulsive and strange.

After a foreign child has been adopted, the celebrity can sit back and say “What a benefit I have made to the world!” This attitude contains a self-important subtext. As far as the actual benefits to the “world” that a celebrity has made, most of the time, they have simply acted in a few decent movies or are a musician.

Brad Pitt was in Thelma and Louise; Angelina Jolie was in Tomb raider. Madonna sang “Ray of Light”. Apparently if you earn enough money, you deserve to have a say in international affairs, regardless of credentials.

Another effect of celebrities is the lessening of the tragic perception of the nations where they adopt.

We will recognize Cambodia as the land of adopted babies; not the land of children-warlords, the killing fields, and cold-war espionage.