Nala Daawo Sawiradda Airport-ka magaalada Jigjiga Ogadenya.Waxaa so qaadey mawaadin reer Ogadenya ah oo safar ku tagey magaaladda Jigjiga fadalan noo so dir wixii sawir ee ka hayso Ogadenya.
Nala Daawo Sawiradda Airport-ka magaalada Jigjiga Ogadenya.Waxaa so qaadey mawaadin reer Ogadenya ah oo safar ku tagey magaaladda Jigjiga fadalan noo so dir wixii sawir ee ka hayso Ogadenya.
(MOL) Ethiopia’s government may develop gas fields in its eastern Somali region itself or with a partner while a contractual dispute with a Chinese oil and gas company is resolved, Mines Minister Sinknesh Ejigu said.
Five production-sharing agreements signed on July 22, 2011, with PetroTrans Co. for 10 blocks in the Ogaden area of the region, which include the Calub and Hilala fields with natural gas resources estimated at 4 trillion cubic feet, were canceled on July 1, Sinknesh said on July 31.
“The Ethiopian government is responsible for developing this,” she told reporters in the capital, Addis Ababa. “We can develop this. Let them go to arbitration and if we want — we have the finance and the technical capability — we can do it.”The government will also consider joint ventures and other options, she said.
Landlocked Ethiopia, Africa’s second-most populous nation, produces no oil or gas and is partly reliant on coffee and other agricultural exports for annual foreign-exchange earnings of around $3 billion. SouthWest Energy, based in the capital, said it hopes to strike crude in the Ogaden next year.
The exploration and development contracts with Hong Kong-based PetroTrans, which the government hoped would bring financing of as much as $5 billion, were revoked after repeated warnings about a lack of investment and activity, Sinknesh said.
“We were flexible because we thought this was a big company,” she said. “They were talking too much, they were saying they have money, but it was not found to be so.”
In its termination notice, the ministry said PetroTrans failed to arrange a loan to be repaid from future revenue, the company said yesterday in an e-mailed statement attributed to its lawyer, Philip Hirschler.
“PetroTrans rejects the notice as invalid and denies that it is in breach of” agreements, Hirschler said. “PetroTrans has made considerable investments in connection with the petroleum production-sharing agreements, remains committed to this project and will continue to seek to resolve its differences with the Government of Ethiopia amicably.”
The concessions, including gas reserves discovered in the 1970s, were relinquished by Malaysia’s state-owned Petronas Nasional Bhd in October 2010.
PetroTrans fulfilled its obligations by analyzing data and signing contracts for surveying and drilling, and will take the dispute to arbitration in Geneva unless the decision is reversed, the company said in a July 12 letter to the ministry obtained by Bloomberg News. It has the right to sue any company that takes control of the blocks until settlement, according to the letter.
The company said it approached state-owned China National Petroleum Corp. and China Petrochemical Corp. about working together in Ethiopia. It also “significantly advanced negotiations” for the construction of a pipeline to Djibouti and natural gas processing facilities at the neighboring country’s port, it said.
Lenders refused to fund the project citing “security concerns and sovereign financial credibility issues,”PetroTrans said in the document that was sent to the ministry.
The Ogaden National Liberation Front has fought a low-level insurgency in the area since 1984 seeking greater autonomy. In April 2007, the banned group attacked a site operated by China’s Zhongyuan Petroleum Exploration Bureau, killing nine Chinese workers and 65 Ethiopians.
To contact the reporter on this story: William Davison in Addis Ababa at firstname.lastname@example.org
Sida aan horey idinku soo tabiney waxaa Marsin Online soo gaarey Cabasho ku saabsan Xawaalad la’aan ka jirta Deegaanka Marsin iyo nawaaxigeeda
hadaba cabashadii darteed waxaa (Marsin Online ) la soo xiriiray Abdullahi Hassan oo ka mid ah madaxda sar-sare Kaah Express wuxuuna Abdullahi
sabab uga dhigay Xawalad la’aanta Marsin iyo nawaaxigeeda in ay tahay isgaarsiin la’aan wuxuu Abdullahi intaa ku darey in Kaah Express diyaar u tahay in
ay u adeegto dadka deegaanka Marsin iyo Nawaaxigeeda hoos ka daalaco mid ka mid ah emailadii Madaxda kaah Express.
—- Forwarded Message —– From: Mustafa Ali @emirates.net.ae> To: @comcast.net Sent: Sat, 28 Jul 2012 14:12:50 -0000 (UTC) Subject: RE: arinta Cabashada Degmada Marsin
Walaal meeshaas inaan xawaaladda gayno waxaa inaga hortaagan waa is gaarsiin laáan. Xawilaad isgaarsiin taleefan ayay u baahantahay. Ilaahay idamkiis waqtiga isgaarsiin la helo ayaan hawshaas galaynaa.
ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia — Ethiopia’s longtime ruler and most powerful figure, Prime Minister Meles Zenawi, is not attending an African Union summit that opened Sunday in Ethiopia, which further fueled speculation that he might be seriously ill.
About three dozen African heads of state and government gathered in Addis Ababa on Sunday, but Meles did not attend the meeting — a first since he assumed office in 1991.
Meles was expected to open the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) meeting on Saturday. But Senegalese President Macky Sall opened the gathering instead, telling participants that Meles was unable to be present due “to health conditions.” Sall wished Meles “good health.”
The most recent images of Meles aired by state-run Ethiopian Television showed him noticeably thinner. Opposition websites are claiming that Meles is being treated for a serious illness.
The government declined to comment on the matter.
Ethiopia’s parliament was set to hear from Meles last week when the country’s lawmakers were scheduled to approve Ethiopia’s current fiscal budget, which began July 8, but Meles did not address parliament.
Meles in 2010 promised to step down by 2015. Hailemariam Desalegn was named deputy prime minister. He is also the country’s foreign minister.
ADDIS ABABA — South Africa’s Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma will be the next chairperson of the African Union Commission. The South African Home Affairs Minister defeated incumbent Jean Ping of Gabon in an election on Sunday at the AU summit in Addis Ababa.
Dlamini-Zuma will take over the African Union’s top post after winning an election in a fourth round of voting. The South African won 37 votes from African leaders in a secret ballot at AU headquarters, more than the two-thirds threshold needed to win.
Benin’s President Boni Yayi, who also holds the rotating chair of the AU, welcomed the results. “Now we have a president of the AU Commission, Madame Zuma, who will preside over the destiny of this institution,” he said.
Dlamini-Zuma and incumbent AU Commission Chairman Jean Ping, competed for the post at the last AU summit in January, but neither candidate received enough votes to be declared the winner.
Dlamini-Zuma will be the first woman to lead the African Union, and the first South African.
Speaking to reporters before the vote, Dlamini-Zuma said that, if elected, she would spend her first few days in office determining how she could improve the AU. “I don’t think my contribution is about doing different things from the incumbent. But the contribution I would like to make is to look at the organization and see how we can strengthen our organization, so that it works efficiently, effectively and better,” she said.
Dlamini-Zuma candidacy as a South African was somewhat controversial. Asked whether her election would violate an unspoken tradition that disapproves of leaders from the continent’s biggest countries heading the AU, Dlamini-Zuma said she did not see a problem with her election. “I don’t see the connection between me as an individual who wants to make a contribution to this organization to my country’s size. Really, I don’t see the connection,” she said.
Dlamini-Zuma will assume office as the African Union takes on several regional crises, including an Islamist militant insurgency in northern Mali and a rebellion in the eastern part of the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Ethiopian Police Clash With Muslims Before AU Summit Meeting
By William Davison
July 14 (Bloomberg) — Hundreds of people were injured and arrested when Ethiopian police clashed with Muslims in the capital, Addis Ababa, where African leaders are gathering for a summit, and one person may have died, an Islamic committee said.
The violence yesterday, which involved guns, sticks and tear gas, occurred in five areas of the city after federal police broke into the city’s Awalia Mosque compound in order to disrupt preparations for a meeting tomorrow, Ahmedin Jebel, representing a mosque community group, said today in a phone interview.
“They broke the door and entered and started shooting at Muslims,” Ahmedin said from the capital. “Many were attacked and they arrested almost all of those there.” After a call to prayers, Muslims who gathered in response to the incident were involved in further clashes, he said.
Some Ethiopian Muslims, who make up 34 percent of a population of 94 million according to the CIA World Factbook, have been protesting for eight months at mosques about alleged government interference in elections of Islamic leaders.
The government has accused the protesters of including extremists who want to turn Ethiopia into an Islamic state. The meeting being planned by the mosque was partly about the elections issue.
Seventy-two people were arrested and six policemen and 10 civilians were injured when a group tried to create a “civil disturbance” at Awalia by blocking roads and shouting political slogans, State Minister of Communications Shimeles Kemal said by phone today from the capital. Police may have used tear gas though they didn’t open fire and there were no fatalities, he said.
“The policemen sustained injuries from rocks thrown by protesters,” he said. “They were trying to spread the disturbance to other mosques but the police intervened and got it under control.”
The group was trying to create “havoc” to disturb the African Union summit, Shimeles said. “There is no threat” now, he said.
People were gathering today at the capital’s largest mosque in the Mercato area to demand the release of all those arrested yesterday, said Ahmedin.
Four people were killed in clashes with security forces in southeastern Ethiopia on April 27 when a crowd tried to free a Muslim preacher, who had been arrested, the government said. Ten policemen were injured, the police station and a post office burned down and 24 people were arrested during the incident in Asasa in the Arsi Zone of Oromia region, the government said at the time.
African heads of state and other dignitaries are arriving in Addis Ababa this weekend to attend a two-day African Union summit that begins tomorrow.
BERKELEY, CALIFORNIA — Next time I travel to Ethiopia, I may be arrested as a terrorist. Why? Because I have published articles about Ethiopian politics.
I wrote a policy report on Ethiopia’s difficulties with federalism. I gave a talk in which I questioned Ethiopia’s May 2010 elections, in which the ruling EPRDF party (Ethiopian Peoples’ Revolutionary Democratic Front) won 545 out of 547 seats in the Parliament. As part of my ongoing research on mass violence in the Somali territories, I interviewed members of the Ogaden National Liberation Front, a separatist rebel group in eastern Ethiopia that the government has designated as a terrorist organization.
In the eyes of the government of Prime Minister Meles Zenawi, my work is tantamount to subversion. Not only do his officials have zero tolerance for criticism, they consider people who either talk to or write about the opposition as abetting terrorists.
In recent years the government has effectively silenced opposition parties, human rights organizations, journalists and researchers. On June 27 a federal court convicted the journalist Eskinder Nega and 23 opposition politicians for “participation in a terrorist organization.” More than 10 other journalists have been charged under an anti-terrorism law introduced in 2009. Among them are two Swedes, Martin Schibbye and Johan Persson, who are serving an 11-year prison sentence in Ethiopia. Hundreds of opposition supporters languish in prisons for exercising the very democratic rights that the Ethiopian Constitution nominally protects.
Most people outside Ethiopia associate the country with famine and poverty. They know little about the country’s history and politics — for example that Ethiopia was never colonized, or that it has Africa’s second biggest population. Nor are they aware that Ethiopia is a darling of the donor community, receiving more aid than any other African country. Over the past year alone, the U.S. Agency for International Development has given Ethiopia $675 million in aid. The United States closely collaborates with Ethiopia in covert missions against radical Islamists in neighboring Somalia.
Much of this support comes from the portrayal of Ethiopia as a strong and stable government in a region riddled with political upheaval. The problem, however, is that Ethiopia is plagued by too much state control.
When EPRDF came to power in 1991, it promised to democratize the country. Two decades later the party has a tight grip on all public institutions, from the capital to remote villages. Formally a federal democracy, Ethiopia is a highly centralized one-party state. No independent media, judiciary, opposition parties or civil society to speak of exist in today’s Ethiopia. Many of the country’s businesses are affiliated with the ruling party. Most Ethiopians do not dare to discuss politics for fear of harassment by local officials.
As I found out in dozens of interviews with Ethiopian Somalis, security forces indiscriminately kill, imprison and torture civilians whom they suspect of aiding Ogaden rebels.
How have donors who fund about one third of Ethiopia’s budget and many humanitarian programs reacted to this? They haven’t. They not only continue to support the Ethiopian government but in recent years have increased their aid. The West, most prominently the United States and the European Union, have concluded a strange pact with Meles Zenawi: So long as his government produces statistics that evince economic growth, they are willing to fund his regime — whatever its human rights abuses.
This policy is wrong, shortsighted and counterproductive. It is wrong because billions in Western tax money are spent to support an authoritarian regime. It is shortsighted because it ignores the fact that the absence of basic rights and freedoms is one of the reasons Ethiopians are so poor. It is counterproductive because many Ethiopians resent the unconditional aid and recognition given to their rulers. In Ethiopia — and also in Rwanda and Uganda — the West is once again making the mistake of rewarding stability and growth while closing its eyes to repression.
Tobias Hagmann specializes in East African politics. He is a visiting scholar at the Department of Political Science at the University of California at Berkeley.
Sudan-ta koonfureed oo u dabaaldagaysa sanad-guuradii koobaad ee ka soo wareegtey qaadashadii Xornimada
Sudan-ta koonfureed oo u dabaaldagaysa sanad-guuradii koobaad ee ka soo wareegtey qaadashadii Xornimada.
(MOL) Waxaa maanta oo taarikhdu tahay 9-7-2012 hal sano ka soo wareegtay markii dawlada Juba ay xornimada ka qaadatey dalka Sudan
waxaa saacadaha soo socda bilaaban-doona xaflad aad u balaaran oo lagu maamuusayo sanad guuradii ka soo wareegtay xornimadii koofurta Sudan ka qaadatay waqooyiga Sudan oo ku beegan 9-7-2011
Dadka oo aad u faraxsan ayaan habeenkii xaley hurdo seexan waxayna u diyaargaroobayaan barxada wayn ee magaalda Juba oo ah waa barta lagu qaban doono dabaaldaga.
dadwlada Jubba ayaa sheegtey in amaanka la adkeeyey waxaana lafilayaa in madax badan oo aduuka ka soo qaybgalaan sanad guurada koobaad ee ka soo wareegtay xornimadi koonfur Sudan.
Ugu danbaynti Shacabka reer Ogadenya ayaan iyagu lahayn maalin ay u dabaal-dagaan xornimo.
wararka danbe kala soco (Marsin Online) sida xaflada ku dhamaato.
Ethiopia – Meles Zenawi and his health
By Yilma Bekele
Ato Meles Zenawi, Chairman of Tigrai People Liberation Front (TPLF) and Prime Minster of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia is not in good health. I became aware of that fact after watching the video of a news clip made during his meeting with the President of China at the G8 meeting in Mexico. The last time we saw Ato Meles was during President Obama’s food conference and he was in perfect health. In fact he looked jovial with a new haircut and was dressed in his customary five to ten thousand dollars Italian or English suit. That was until Ato Abebe Gelaw of Ethiopian Satellite Television (ESAT) gave him the scare of his life and he was forced to flee the continent. Things have not been the same ever since.
When he surfaced in Mexico it was obvious he had some medical issues in the interim period. His expensive clothes did not fit him right, his face was ashen and hollow and it was clear he has lost plenty of weight. I was forced to conclude we got a problem. Normally the fate of one individual should not be such a source of drama or wild speculations. But Ato Meles is not just another Ethiopian. He is the Country, Nation and people all rolled in one. The state of his health and well-being is not just idle speculation. His friends, Party or those close to him are not forthcoming with the cause of his illness. We are left to speculate, guess or are being forced to search for a fortuneteller and reduced to read the remains of his coffee cup or consult a palm reader.
We do that because whatever happens to him affects all of us in one-way or another. In the Western countries the health of the leader is an official record. If the leader dies or is incapacitated there are rules and systems set in place to assure smooth transition. Most African countries including ours lack that. In our case there has not been a natural and predictable manner of passing the mantle of leadership. In fact the last four instances have been a source of agony for the unfortunate leader in power and our poor Nation. That is why Ato Meles’s health is an issue we should all fret and worry about. We definitely do not want a surprise.
I am sure his family is worried. His friends are concerned. His Party is alarmed. The Ethiopian people are watching this drama with keen interest. No one wishes him ill but I doubt any body in Ethiopia is praying for his recovery either. It is fair to say the whole Nation is trying to figure out what his untimely demise will bring to our poor old country. What ever ails him is not a simple disease. That is why he is being cared for in Europe with top-notch specialists in an expensive private hospital. No amount of money will be spared to keep the green reaper at arms length.
Sooner or later we all die. We just do all we can to make it later than sooner. Our state of health and longevity is affected by all kinds of factors including a few we have no control on. Genetics, style of life and pure luck plays a big role. We try to eat right, exercise and avoid stress to increase our odds of a long happy life. There are a few things we know about the ‘Leaders’ life style to be able to make an educated guess on what is ailing him.
We know that he smokes, that is cigarettes. We are told that he enjoys chewing Kat with his buddies. His politburo friends are known to enjoy expensive liquor thus we can safely assume that he probably joins them in this past time. All three habits are considered forms of substance abuse and have ramifications on vital organs such as lung, heart and liver. It is fair to say that the last few years, palace living has resulted in weight gain resulting in added girth.
Most leaders keep a busy schedule and have no time for exercise. We know that Ato Meles is studying for his PhD in addition to his duties as the Prime Minster and that leaves him with no time for the gym. We have heard antidotes about his tennis matches but judging from the way he came down the airplane steps during his trip to Philadelphia to one of his meetings one can tell he is not in good shape. He was laboring to walk down while his agile wife descended swiftly even in her high heels.
There is no proof that Ato Meles is suffering from a terminal illness. On the other hand there is no information to say that he just caught the common cold either. As I said due to the nature of the totalitarian system that values secrecy we are left to speculate. We worry and stress because history teaches us that the demise of a dictator, which Ato Meles is, brings all sorts of unforeseen complications on the Nation they leave behind.
Whether they commit suicide like Hitler, are hanged like Mussolini, die in their sleep like Stalin, face a firing squad like Ceausescu and wife, hunted down, sodomized, pistol whipped and shot like Gadaffi or face the International court of justice like Charles Taylor dictators all leave a trail of destruction behind them. That is why Ato Meles’s illness becomes our concern and worry. We think about it to try to figure out how to avoid chaos due to a power vacuum.
This sort of power vacuum attracts all kinds of good and bad characters that would want to capitalize on the empty space created and might be tempted to fill it with something other than people’s power. We do not want that. So what are the forces arrayed to replace the one man, one party rule currently dis-functioning in the land of the Abeshas?
The TPLF party is the premier center of power. Ato Meles and his associates control the Military, security service, the mass media and the economy. What is there left is a good and valid question. Technically Ato Meles is the de-facto head of all these powerful organizations. He is a hand on manager. The different entities are foreign to each other but all report to him. That is how one-man dictatorship works. Some countries like China practice group dictatorship. The Central committee of the ruling Communist Party functions as a group. While others like North Korea or Ethiopia rely on the benevolence of a single individual. The question arise is the TPLF Party capable of functioning as a single entity without the head? Or would the different departments that were designed to look at each other with suspicion coalesce to form a united front? It is highly doubtful.
There are various centers of power within the organization. Queen Azeb the wife is in charge of the economic section. Due to her high visibility and negative press any one group is willing to sacrifice her to save their skin. The internal security is a force to recon with. Would the Generals trust this hi tech mercenaries is a question to consider. The original TPLF functionaries like Sebhat or Abbay are rendered toothless but still operate behind the scene. Why any self respecting Woyane will ally with these old fashioned kitchen conspirators is something to think about. The new upstarts like Tewodros Adhanom or launderer Gebre Kristos have their feet on both camps always ready to abandon ship if the situation heats up. No one trusts the duo. The likes of Seyoum will not come back for all the tea in China.
The military is the most logical center of power that is capable of using force to usurp power. In the current situation of Ethiopia that scenario is a little complicated. Due to the nature of the use of ethnic affiliation used by Ato Meles the military is not a cohesive force. All the top leaders and commanders are from one ethnic group while the rank and file is a reflection of the country. It is fair to say both OLF and G7 are present and functioning creating further uncertainty. Uncertainty is not good for conspiracy. The role played by the top Generals in the economy has isolated them from the average solder. Is it a professional army or peasants in uniform is a valid question. Does one fight to attain power or save his investment creates split personality.
I don’t mean to forget those organized as EPRDF. There are plenty but the Amhara and Oromo stand out at least on paper as the most likely group that will refuse to die quietly. Their puppet leaders are faced with a real dilemma. Divorced from their people they have no base to appeal to. Rendered powerless by design they have no army or security to fall back on. The TPLF mafia that is running them now does not harbor any respect towards their outfit or intends to include them in the deliberations. They are left between a rock and a hard place. For all practical purposes it is easier to ignore and discard them.
Where does the opposition fit in this picture is a good question. The major opposition, the nightmare of the ruling group is of course Ginbot7. G7 is the enemy they know is around but are unable to touch and feel. It is the cause of their blind fury. I will take their word for it G7 is everywhere. Of course G7 could be the figment of their imagination, the result of their paranoia then again why would they allocate so much resource to hunt down a ghost? In my humble opinion G7 is EPRP and Kinijit on testosterone! We all know what those two groups are capable of.
There is also the on and off legal opposition. That is a tricky animal to deal with. At the moment Andenet is the only one with any amount of dignity and respect. The Ledetus and the Chammisos are rendered useless and will most probably hide out the chaotic period and pray for dear life since all opposition groups will be hunting them down for the stray dogs they have become. That leaves us with the Beyenes the Meraras and the Hailus, the darlings of the civilized West. Those are the people our benefactors will try to parade out and use. They will become pictures of civil society. Believe me they will play their choreographed part to the hilt. They cooperated and served Ato Meles, no reason to think they will be allergic to the West for a promise of visibility and fist full of dollars.
The West led by the US is the wild card in this scenario. They very much like stability and the status quo under their guidance. Their interest at the moment is having a strong foothold in the Horn of Africa to prepare for the coming war for resources. Governments like the TPLF mafia are their preferred arrangement. A weak and divided country is their choice. I do not think they go out of their way to create those conditions but on the other hand they do not discourage such reality. Our neighborhood is a fertile ground for contention by the big powers. Except for Kenya and Tanzania we are surrounded by weak, divided and civil war prone countries that exist from day to day with no guarantee of tomorrow. The US, the Europeans or the Chinese are not about to discover their moral compass and save us from our selves. Expecting them to do so is the height of foolishness or a result of extreme poverty of self-esteem.
As I write this Ato Meles is in Europe being healed and the factions he left behind are shell shocked and in a daze. A few will have some reliable information but the vast majority will be operating in the dark trying to figure out this brand new reality in the midst of dis information, mis information and foggy information. Plenty will be sending their family to far away places and moving vast amount of money out of the country. Some will lock their doors and hunker down until the storm settles while a few will search for new alignments and future partners. The kilils will take the opportunity to assert their newfound power and create further complications to the beleaguered party. It is possible organized criminal elements will take advantage of the uncertainty and intensify such activities as bank robbery and hijackings. The Amharic saying ‘ye wedke zaf mesar yebezabetal.’ Is being played live in our country. It is highly possible the different factions will begin to duke it out prematurely. It is conceivable they will end up doing the dirty part of the job for the rest of us. As I see it not matter what this down ward spiral will continue for the forcible future.
There is a silver lining in all this scenario of doom. It is the strength and unity of the Ethiopian people that have shown resiliency for thousands of years. Every attempt that has come our way to divide us, set us up against each other has always failed. We have survived and no one can deny that. The current bosses have left no stone unturned to weaken us, break our will and marginalize our country.
There crime is too much to numerate but I will mention the few ugly ones. Kilil was their first salvo. It was meant to make us strangers to one another. No matter how many ways they tried it failed miserably. Today we have come full circle and no one talks ethnic politics except hired cadres. They spoke ill of our common language, drew ugly symbol on our flag and sold our land to foreigners. Our language is still intact, no one carries their flag and land sale has become a hot issue that makes our blood boil. Our old religion was not safe but thanks to our gallant Abunes both at home and in exile it has managed not only to survive but as a matter of fact emerge stronger. Their attempt to create division with our Moslem brothers is uniting us on a higher level and showing all the commonality of our struggle for freedom of religion and love of country.
As you can see from the current turmoil their evil scheme is showing signs of what is called the boomerang effect. It is backfiring on the evildoers. The current drama played in North America and the emergence of the new ESFNA is living proof that all is well and Ethiopia is rising once again.
Anchor Hassan ‘Karate’ slams media blockade in Ethiopia Special.
By Farid Omar
Jul 7, 2012
Toronto – According to rights groups, the persistent persecution of journalists in Ethiopia is appalling as many journalists rot in jail while draconian laws muzzle free press and curtail political dissent.
In exposing Ethiopia’s ongoing media blockade in the volatile Somali-inhabited oil region, anchor Hassan Abdillahi Omar “Karate” of Ogaal Radio, 88.9FM told a massive gathering of delegates attending the 2012 Annual Ogaden Diaspora Convention at the Days Inn Hotel, Toronto, that “the Ogaden region is technically under Ethiopian-enforced media blockade due to ongoing media censorship, persecution of journalists, the arrest, mistreatment and detention of journalists; both local and foreign ones, as well as existing draconian laws aimed at muzzling free press.”
Hassan ”Karate” lambasted Ethiopia’s new Anti-Terrorism Bill proclaimed in 2009 and effectively used as a restrictive tool to curtail freedom of press and political dissent.
“To date, Ethiopia’s Anti-Terrorism Law is considered the most draconian legislation in Africa aimed at crushing legitimate political dissent and freedom of press. This law has serious implications for freedom of speech in the Ogaden region as local journalists are at risk of being detained for indefinite periods while many face torture and other forms of mistreatment in prison.” adding that “journalists also increasingly face the risk of assassination at the hands of the Ethiopian security forces that have been brutally cracking down on free press in the region.”
Anchor Hassan Karate addressing the Annual Ogaden Diaspora Convention in Toronto Canada.
Photo: Ogaal Radio, 88.9FM
Hassan Karate second right with participants during the Convention.
Photo: Ogaal Radio, 88.9FM
The Ogaden National Liberation Front (ONLF) has been leading an insurgency in the Somali region and has effectively disrupted oil production in Chinese oilfields in the east. In July 2011, the Ethiopian army shot and then detained Martin Schibbye and Johan Persson, two Swedish journalists who went to Ogaden in order to investigate and report on the role of Sweden’s Lundin Oil in the gross human rights abuses committed by the Ethiopian Army against the civilian population.
On December 27, 2011, Schibbye and Persson were sentenced to 11 years in prison for entering the country illegally and supporting what the Ethiopian regime calls “terrorism” after they traveled with the ONLF fighters. International observers note that it is a common practice for foreign journalists to cross borders when entering conflict zones.
Anchor Hassan Karate addressing the Ogaden Community Diaspora convention in Toronto Canada.
Photo: Ogaal Radio, 88.9FM
Calling for the journalists’ immediate release, Hassan “Karate,” a recipient of the prestigious National Ethnic Press and Media Council of Canada (NEPMCC) award, noted that “the people of Ogaden, rights groups and members of the world media as well as progressive governments consider the two Swedish journalists as prisoners of conscience, who were imprisoned because of their belief in free expression and pursuit of the truth.”
Hassan “Karate’s” view echo those of the International Freedom of Expression Exchange Clearing House (IFEX), which maintains the journalists were simply doing their job, and were embedded with the rebels so they could report on the region and on the activities of the Swedish oil firm with interests there.
“The harsh and unprecedented treatment of Mr. Schibbye and Mr. Persson is intended to dissuade any more attempt by the international and local press to ever again attempt to report in a free and independent manner in Ogaden. The Ethiopian government has destroyed long ago all free media in Ogaden, and is now dismantling the few remaining free press in the rest of Ethiopia” said Hassan Karate.
Kerstin Lundell the investigative Swedish journalist speaking on the Tragedy of Oil in Ogaden durin…
Photo: Ogaal Radio,88.9FM
Mike Sullivan the MP for York South-Weston addressing the Convention.
Photo: Ogaal Radio, 88.9FM
Stating that the state of media in Ethiopia is a dire one, Hassan “Karate” informed the convention that citizens in Ogaden are unable to speak freely, organize political activities, and challenge Ethiopia’s military occupation through peaceful protests.
“In this region, the media is heavily restricted and the main source of information is the state owned television and radio, which serve as a mouthpiece of propaganda for Zenawi’s EPRDF regime. The few private media that exist are not only heavily censored, but are mostly co-opted and intimidated by the regime as they are prevented from reporting on the brutal occupation by the Ethiopian forces.” said Hassan “Karate.”
OYSU members entertaining participants during the Convention.
Photo: Ogaal Radio, 88.9FM
According to Hassan “Karate” the systemic muzzling of the press is aimed at concealing from world attention, the regime’s excesses in the Somali region. The Ogaal Radio anchor noted that the day to day atrocities in Ogaden the Zenawi government is trying to hide from world attention include:
Mass murder, rape, plunder and the razing of villages and towns
Forced disappearances and deportations
Arbitrary arrests and detention
Extra Judicial killings
Widespread torture and ill treatment
Hassan “Karate” called upon western governments that hold leverage over Ethiopia to act swiftly to end the media blockade in the affected region .
“The US and Canadian governments as well as member countries in the European Union that provide Ethiopia with significant aid, need to be pressured to force Addis Ababa to lift its media blockade in Ogaden. Ethiopia must allow foreign media unhindered access to the region and should immediately remove all the restrictions imposed on local media” stated Hassan “Karate.”
OYSU members performing at the Convention.
Photo: Ogaal Radio, 88.9FM
The award-winning anchor called for further action stating that “world leaders should demand the immediate and unconditional release of all Ogadeni and Ethiopian journalists as well as foreign journalists illegally held in Ethiopian jails and allow them to do their professional work.”
Hassan “Karate” pledged that Ogaal Radio will continue to do what it does best; provide a progressive voice for the ongoing struggle in the region.
“To the long suffering people of Ogaden and our equally suffering brothers and sisters in Somalia, please rest assured that Ogaal Radio will steadfastly remain a voice for the struggle, in the quest for freedom throughout the Somali Peninsula.” said Hassan “Karate.”
Participants listening to Hassan Karate during the Convention.
Photo: Ogaal Radio, 88.9FM
Participants listening to Hassan “Karate” during the Convention.
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Mike Sullivan the York South-Weston MP addressing the Convention.
Photo: Ogaal Radio, 88.9FM
The convention featured other notable speakers including Kerstin Lundell, the Swedish investigative journalist following the path of oil in Ogaden, exposing corporations such as Sweden’s Lundin and Canada’s Africa Oil linked to human rights violations in the oil rich region.
Another key speaker, Mike Sullivan, the Federal MP for York South-Weston, decried Canada’s dubious record of paying a blind eye to rights abuses in Africa. He promised to take up Ogadeni grievances to the Federal government stating that the Federal NDP will fight to ensure “the moral campus points to the right direction.”
The Convention concludes Saturday evening with an eagerly anticipated theatrical play featuring Somali artists from across Europe and North America.
Ogaal Radio can be reached at (416) 278-2988
Farid Omar: email@example.com