Ethiopia 35 Eritrea 12 Athletes of Olympiad 2012 London

Ethiopia – Athletes

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Eritrea

Eritrea – Athletes

 

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Dates of London 2012 athletics finals with Ethiopian finalists anticipated:

Friday August 3rd:  9:25pm – Women’s 10,000m.
Saturday August 4th:  9:15pm – Men’s 10,000m.
Sunday August 5th:  11am – Women’s marathon; 9:25pm – Men’s 3000m steeplechase.
Monday August 6th:  9:05pm – Women’s 3000m steeplechase.
Tuesday August 7th:  9:15pm – Men’s 1500m.
Thursday August 9th:  8pm – Men’s 800m.
Friday August 10th:  8:05pm – Women’s 5,000m; 8:55pm – Women’s 1500m.
Saturday August 11th:  7:30pm – Men’s 5000m; 8pm – Women’s 800m.
Sunday August 12th:  11am – Men’s marathon. 

Ethiopian athletes entered in London 2012 athletics events 
(as previously announced, including, in italics, those reserves who will likely not travel to London):

400m
Men: Bereket Desta 

800m
Men: Mohammed Aman
Women: Fantu Magiso 

1500m
Men: Mekonnen Gebremedhin, Dawit Wolde, Teshome Dirirsa; Aman Wote (reserve)
Women: Abeba Aregawi, Genzebe Dibaba, Meskerem Assefa 

5000m
Men: Dejen Gebremeskel, Hagos Gebrhiwet, Yenew Alamirew; Kenenisa Bekele (reserve)
Women: Meseret Defar, Gelete Burka, Genet Yalew; Tirunesh Dibaba (reserve)

10,000m
Men: Kenenisa Bekele, Tariku Bekele, Gebregziabher Gebremariam;
Lelisa Desisa (reserve)
Women: Tirunesh Dibaba, Belaynesh Oljira, Werknesh Kidane; Aberu Kebede (reserve)

Marathon
Men: Ayele Abshero, Dino Sefer, Getu Feleke;
Tadesse Tola (reserve)
Women: Tiki Gelana, Aselefech Mergia, Mare Dibaba; Bezunesh Bekele (reserve)

3000m Steeplechase
Men: Roba Gari, Birhan Getahun, Nahom Mesfin
Women: Sofia Assefa, Hiwot Ayalew, Etenesh Diro; Zemzem Ahmed (reserve)

 

Ghost of Late Ethiopian Emperor Reflect on his 120 Birthday anniversary, as the Autocracies of Ethiopia and Eritrea Fall Apart

The Red Sea and Africa’s north-east move deeper  into an era of great change, with global ramifications as energy acquisition patterns also transform, impacting the relative geopolitical centrality of the region. 

Ethiopians gathered quietly, on July 23, 2012, in larger numbers than in recent years, and in more places around the world, as well as in Ethiopia, and remembered the birthday of the late Emperor, Haile Selassie I, born 120 years earlier.

The manner of their gatherings, and the growing and open remembrance of the “good times” of Ethiopian growth and prosperity in the Imperial period, were strategically significant. They reflected the reality that change has now begun in Ethiopia, and that there is less to fear from what had been the growing xenophobia of the Tigrean-born Prime Minister, Meles Zenawi, against potential rivals and against the Amhara people from whom the late Emperor had risen.

Has the Age of Meles Ended? 

The Emperor’s birthday anniversary — it was clear to those exchanging rumours in the Mercato in Addis Ababa that Meles Zenawi, 57, was either seriously ill, or perhaps even already dead. He had failed to participate in the African Union (AU) summit in Addis, and to meet a delegation from the People’s Republic of China (PRC), Ethiopia’s most important investor/trading partner.

Meles’ situation — regardless of how serious his health problems might be at present — mirrors the problems of leadership elsewhere in the region: in neighbouring Somaliland; in Yemen; and particularly in Eritrea, where Pres. Isayas Afewerke is almost certainly in failing health, if not already dead or incapacitated. The pattern of governmental “transitions” and power vacuums and difficulties in these states, as well as in Egypt, Sudan, and Somalia, has profound implications for the stability and security of the Red Sea/Suez sea lanes, and for the region generally. As we discuss in this report, the “unravelling” of the situations in Ethiopia, Eritrea, and Egypt, in particular, was picking up pace by mid-2012.

By July 18, 2012, even Agence France Presse (AFP) had picked up reports from “diplomatic sources” that Meles was in a “critical condition” in a Brussels hospital, although one source confirmed that he was, at least, still alive. Earlier in the week, Government spokesmen were saying that reports that Meles was being treated at a Brussels hospital were “false and wrong”. By July 20, 2012, the Government Communications Office said that Meles was in good health and would be back at his post in a few days, but confirmed that he “recently had a health problem that needed professional attention”.

The speculation — and it was only that — was that he was suffering from a brain tumor; no official would confirm the nature of his illness. By July 18, 2012, as well, Deputy Prime Minister, Hailemariam Desalegn confirmed at least that Meles was ill, explaining Meles’ absence from his scheduled chairmanship at a meeting in Addis of the New Partnership for African Development (DEPAD) on July 14, 2012, and his scheduled AU leaders’ summit on July 15, 2912.

The notably anti-Meles Ethiopian Review in early July 2012 commented: “Ethiopia’s khat-addicted dictator Meles Zenawi has been diagnosed with blood cancer and is receiving treatment at a Belgium hospital.”

His wife, Azeb Mesfin a member of Parliament and a key figure in the Tigré People’s Liberation Front: TPLF), visited Brussels for one day to see her husband in hospital. The former Foreign Minister (1991-2010) Seyoum Mesfin (currently Ethiopian Ambassador to the PRC, but still a key figure in the TPLF, which totally dominates the Government coalition, the Ethiopian Peoples Revolutionary Democratic Front: EPRDF) also visited him, before returning to Addis Ababa. Seyoum is a strong contender to replace Meles.

There seems little doubt that Azeb Mesfin has been positioning herself to succeed her husband, although possibly not — initially — with the title of Prime Minister. Talk is that the Deputy Prime Minister, Hailemariam Desalegn, would take over, at least for an interim period. But there is little doubt that Azeb Mesfin (although with some Amhara family heritage of her own) shares her husband’s anti- Amhara policies, or at least uses this as a badge of legitimacy in the TPLF, which is also her only power base. Clearly, her only lever in the power stakes would be to attempt to continue the Tigrean (read TPLF) domination of the EPRDF and of Ethiopian life.

Here is where evidence is emerging of broad opposition to that, both within the EPRDF’s non-Tigrean membership, and from within the broader Ethiopian community, which has, until this point, been heavily constrained from voicing any opposition to Meles’ policies.

Meanwhile, Ethiopia’s Muslim community has been engaging in a growing fratricidal conflict, mainly between members of the moderate Ethiopian Islamic community and those converted by the large injections of Saudi funding to neo-salafist beliefs. These clashes grew to the point where riot police intervened in recent (July 2012) clashes in Addis Ababa just before and just after the AU summit in Addis. Foreign media reporting has indicated that these protests have been about the marginalization of the growing Muslim minority from governance. Deeper analysis how’s it is between the imported and domestic strands of Islam, and between neo-salafist and moderate strands, and the Meles Government has been supportive of the imported, moderate brand. Saudi Arabia has, for the past few decades funnelled billions of dollars worth of investment in Ethiopia, and also the source of funding for a massive campaign of mosque-building, to facilitate the proselytization of Saudi neo-salafist Wahhabism.

Ethiopian Muslims have protested against Government support for the Al Ahbash sect of Islam, which is ostensibly apolitical. Al Ahbash is also known as the Association of Islamic Charitable Projects, a Sufi movement, following the teachings of Ethiopian religious scholar Abdulla al-Harari. It is possible that the Government supported Al Ahbash to counterbalance the influence of imported Saudi Wahhabism.

But what is important is that the dissent by Ethiopian Muslims for or against imported strands of Islam, but in any event protesting against the Government, as well as the open support being shown for the memory of the late Emperor (and therefore, by definition, backing off from the hostility toward the Amhara ethnic group, and from the suppression of the Oromo peoples), are symptomatic of the reality that Meles and the TPLF have been unable to sustain the tightness of their grip on Ethiopia in recent months. Meles’ health condition — for some months a matter of speculation — may well have been at the root of the Administration’s declining ability to sustain its control.

There have been other, small, indicators, as well, such as the defection of the driver of Meles’ wife, Azeb Mesfin, who reportedly disappeared on about July 20, 2012, and apparently turned up in Rome. Why now? What spurred him to make the break? Was it the fact that he heard about the impending collapse of the Government, or the death or disability of Meles? And did Azeb prompt him to make the move?

Azeb Mesfin herself received an Italian visa on July 18, 2012, and was in Rome by July 19. It was reported on July 20, 2012, that Azeb had herself left Ethiopia to escape from Sebhat Nega, a key TPLF official whom she forced out of the party’s top leadership in 2009. She also had him removed from his chairmanship of the multi-billion-dollar Endowment Fund for the Rehabilitation of Tigré (EFFORT) around the same time. Sebhat Nega began manoeuvring from about the first week in July 2012 to make a comeback as the TPLF power. It was Sebhat who engineered Meles’ rise to power and he was the second most powerful figure in the ruling party until he was humiliated and removed by Azeb. Nonetheless, even though Sebhat has significant support within the TPLF, he is not seen as a successor to Meles, but he appears to have retained his influence and the loyalty of his supporters. And Sebhat has been known to oppose Meles’ own choice of a successor, Berhane Gebrekiristos.

This was perhaps one of the most significant pointers to the reality that Meles Zenawi was no longer in power, or likely to recover (assuming he was still alive). Indeed, it is also significant that his wife, Azeb, left Addis the day before Meles reportedly returned to the capital (on July 20, 2012).

Meanwhile, Berhane Gebrekiristos and Teodros Adhanom, another close confidante of Meles, were reportedly — by July 10, 2012 — named as acting Prime Ministers of Ethiopia.

Clearly, then, the Age of Meles in Ethiopia has ended, or was ending by early July 2012. More important now, is to calculate what this could mean to Ethiopia and the region.

What has been significant, during this “interregnum”, however, has been the reality that Eritrea quietly occupied the contested border area which includes the city of Badme. Ethiopia and Eritrea had, in fact, agreed to the ceding of this area in the Algiers Accord of 2002, but Meles had — even up to May 2012 — refused to allow the transfer of the town to Eritrea. There were valid reasons for this, but what was significant was that Eritrea — which has its own leadership problems at present — had not challenged Ethiopia on the matter until June-July 2012, when it seemed clear to Asmara that Meles’ grip on power had loosened.

The Strategic Impact 

Many factors on the regional and global stage have begun to coalesce. New and fundamental questions must now be raised about whether the geo-strategic importance of the core Middle East — the Arabian Peninsula and the seas to the north, east, and south of it — has also begun to be transformed.

The changing of the guard in Ethiopia is just one watershed event. Meles’ apparent incapacitation came at a time when Eritrea’s Isayas was also incapacitated (and, equally possibly, close to death), and at a time of political transitions in Egypt and Yemen, and internal preoccupation in Sudan (to the point of war with South Sudan). Indeed, it comes also at a time when the Saudi Arabian leadership itself is contemplating generational change.

At best, the end of the Meles and Isayas autocracies compounds the break of the status quo of the past few decades in the Red Sea/Suez sea lane of communication (SLOC), the broader Horn of Africa, and in Egypt itself. This has profound implications for East-West trade, which depends on the SLOC; transforming Egypt’s traditional hostility toward Ethiopia (which has utilized Eritrea as a staging horse to isolate Ethiopia, so as to minimize Ethiopian interference with the Blue Nile source waters); and opening up the prospects for Israel to once again more safely project naval power down the Red Sea to the Indian Ocean.

At the same time, however, the centrality to the global market of the oil and gas exports from the region (and particularly the Arabian Peninsula and Persian Gulf) has been declining. The question has to be asked as to whether the Red Sea/Suez SLOC is as strategically critical as it was, say, two decades ago? Certainly, in terms of ship movements and revenues to Egypt (Suez Canal), it may have risen in direct, statistical terms. But is it as critical in overall terms of strategic balance?

For the PRC and Japan, for example, while exports from the Persian Gulf remain critical, these can bypass the Red Sea/Suez SLOC, and, increasingly, the PRC is seeking overland oil and gas transfers from the Northern Tier (Iran and the Caspian Basin), rather than via sea lanes. To some degree, for Europe as well, pipelines are the dominant traffic lanes of the future, rather than sea lanes. On the other hand, oil and gas from the Horn of Africa itself — as well as from Yemen — is of growing importance, although oil from South Sudan is being postured to go via new pipelines through Kenya to the Indian Ocean, rather than allowing South Sudanese exports to continue to be subject to Sudanese control. [The original pipelines went from what is now South Sudan up to the Red Sea, through what is now Sudanese territory. The Kenyan route itself is not without problems, given the potential for instability and even secessionist activities taking place in Kenyan coastal regions.]

Japan itself, now highly conscious of the vulnerability of its oil and gas sea lanes through the Indian Ocean — as US influence declines (despite the US’ “Pacific pivot”), and because of increased PRC activities to control the chokepoints: the South China Sea sea-lanes, which link the Indian Ocean (and therefore the Red Sea) to the Pacific and on to Japan. As a result, Japan is seen as likely to increase its attempts to acquire Canadian oil and gas, largely from the Alberta fields, especially since the US Barack Obama Administration rejected (for the time being) plans for a pipeline from Alberta down through to the US markets. But the Canadians are also now more aware of, and ready to act on, the reality that an export market exists for their oil outside of the US. Significantly, as the global energy pattern changes, however, the US demand even for Canadian energy is seen as likely to decline.

Ultimately, an Alberta-Vancouver pipeline may make sound sense to Canada, to address the Asian markets, including Japan. And Japan might also find that it can find energy supplies from the US fields in Alaska, given the fact that the Alaska pipeline itself is under-utilized and facing real questions as to its viability if demand for Alaskan energy from “the lower 48” states declines further.

Such a move would instantly free Japan from the strategic uncertainty and massive cost of importing oil and gas from the north-western Indian Ocean (Persian Gulf), and give it short, secure sea-lines of communication with North America. This becomes increasingly important as Japan decides whether it can, politically, return to nuclear power generation or not.

Inherent in all this is the reality that US reliance on Middle Eastern energy is declining, and declining rapidly.

In other words, fear and uncertainty over the security of Middle Eastern sea lanes and choke points should be expected to be a driver in future energy procurement decisions and trade, pushing energy companies to invest in the recovery of oil and gas from less politically hostile regions. This could well spur the US — particularly after this term of the Barack Obama Administration — to redouble its efforts at recovering energy from its newly-confirmed oil and gas reserves. Egypt itself could also well turn its back on the Red Sea to some extent (although it will always be important to Cairo because of Suez Canal revenues), if Ethiopia can reassure it on the question of Blue Nile water flow, and if the offshore Mediterranean gas fields can provide a major energy income from European clients.

Even within Europe, the new availability of energy resources from the massive shale deposits, as well as the new Eastern Mediterranean gas fields and the growing network of supplies emerging from Russia and the Caspian Sea Basin, make the Middle East less critical as an energy resource. Clearly, the Red Sea/Suez retains its importance as a trade sea route, but even that, to an extent, is to be supplemented, if not challenged, over the coming decades by internal overland connections within the Eurasian landmass: the new Silk Route.

Has Arabia’s brief period in the geopolitical sun come, then, to its apogee?

All of this, then, could cause the PRC and India to become Ethiopia’s (and South Sudan’s) most interested clients for energy, just as they have become more important clients for energy from Iran, the Persian Gulf states, Sudan, and West Africa.

It is unsurprising that the present Turkish Government has begun to exert its renewed interest in the region, particularly by supporting Sudanese Pres. Umar Hasan Ahmad al-Bashir and attempting to court the Muslim Brothers in Egypt. Turkey has reasserted its claim to have an historical interest in the control of the Red Sea, based primarily on its earlier Ottoman dominance of what is now Saudi Arabia. While this Turkish claim or posturing may appear to be unsustainable to regional states, or outside observers, today, it is nonetheless a factor in Turkish neo-Ottomanism, and is also linked to Turkey’s grand strategic sense of rivalry with Iran (which also seeks to assert an influence on the Red Sea and Horn of Africa).

Where does all of this leave Ethiopia, Eritrea, and the Horn of Africa?

Significantly, one possibility could be — with the personality-driven autocracies of Meles and Isayas drifting astern — that Ethiopia and Eritrea resume their historical relationship, but in such a way that the various elements of the “old empire” are given their due attention. This could see a gradually coalescing confederation which would include Eritrea (historically, the Bar Negus: Kingdom of the North), and Ethiopia, with greater prominence given to the aspirations of its great regions, such as Oromo- land, and the Somali regions, Tigré, the Amhara Plateau, and so on.

Nostalgia for the golden days of Emperor Haile Selassie I means that there are elements of the historical interlinking cultures of the Ge’ez language based peoples which still have a commonality.

 

By. Gregory R. Copley

Original Title :-  Global Energy Could Change as the Autocracies of Ethiopia and Eritrea Fall Apart

Islamic Revolt 2012 “Social Insurgency vs Sectarianism” ? the Case of Ethiopia

Islam in Ethiopia is known since the time of the Prophet.
The first Hijrah was in Ethiopia at the order of the Mohammed the founder of Islam.

Since the Arab Spring of 2011 Ethiopia tested its share reaching climax in 2012.
This video shows the different positions of the Ethiopian Islamist and the different manifestations those anti and pro as the situation start being exploited by the regime which is leading to more exacerbation and more clamp down with no solution.

The revolt would lead to general uprising and regime change, if it is not kidnapped by sectarians and only if the other sector of the society joins the insurgency.

The Exiled guardian of the Ark – Freazer Seifu of Ankober

ፍሬዘር ሰይፋ ደበበ Freazer Seifu Debebe born in Ankober region of Ethiopia. His families kept the Ark of Moses hidden in his village. The Ark was taken from Axum to Ankober by the order of the King of Kings Haile Selassie. Freazer family hided the Ark in the time of the Italian occupation.
Today Frieazer is exiled in Germany where his asylum request is been rejected.
In Ethiopia he was imprisoned and victim of the atrocities of Melese Zenawi’s dictatorial regime.
His asylum case was misrepresented and mistranslated to the Authorities in Germany.
Today , he is working under the auspices of EPPF to liberate his home land Ethiopia.

Egyptian Newly elected Morsy opened the Old books of Coptic Church to save the Nile water from damming (Muse Tegegne, Prof.)

The newly elected president Mohamed Morsy is opening history books to solve the Nile issue with the millennium old relation of  Egyptian Coptic Church with Ethiopia.  For over 1500 the Ethiopian Orthodox Church received its patriarch form Egypt . The Ethiopian church in return grants the freedom of worship in Egypt by using Nile as deterrence  menacing to deviates the Nile water if freedom of Christian cult was not respected. There was a time the Ethiopian kings menaced the Egyptian Muslim leaders to detour the Nile water at its source if the persecution of the Muslims in the Nile country continuous.

There is other main diveregance between the Ethiopian Orthodox Church and the Egyptian Coptic church on Keys of the Der el Sultan Church in Jerusalem. The key is now in the hands of the Ethiopian monks at the monastery in the heart of Jerusalem. In the  1967  six day war  the key was given back by the Israeli army to the Ethiopians. Recently the Israeli court judged in favor  Egyptian church .  This conflict by the sisterly churches was used as an arm by the Israeli politician between Egypt and Ethiopia. The author was once represented the Ethiopian side of the story   at   the Israeli court in the end of 1970’s.

The newly elected head of the Coptic Church at the recent death of the Patriarch Pope Shenouda III informed the press on Thursday that the church is prepared to accompany newly elected President Mohamed Morsy on his tour of Ethiopia to discuss Nile water allocation if asked to do so.

President Mohamed Morsy will visit Addis Ababa, the capital of Ethiopia, as the head of Egypt’s delegation at the African Summit on 15 and 16 July.

Relations between Egypt and Ethiopia were strained when in May 2010; Ethiopia joined other upstream Nile countries in signing the Entebbe agreement, which outlined new allocations for Nile water. The agreement was rejected by Egypt and Sudan, who both stands by a 1959 and 1929 accorded the lion share of the Nile of the waters.

Despite Egypt’s and international  objections, in 2011 Ethiopia began work on the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam, which Egypt claims may reduce its quota of Nile water and dries the Nile water eventually the only source of life giving water to Egypt.

Prior to his death, the Coptic Church’s leader Pope Shenouda III was working closely with members of the Ethiopian church to address this issue.

The deceased Pope Shenouda III was “keen on resolving this crisis during his meetings with religious figures in Ethiopia,” he said, adding that the church delegated several bishops to work on the issue.

The new “Death Dam” in construction in Ethiopian not only will salinate the Nile river but also deprive Egypt from the yearly floods that Egyptian farmers depended of over 12’000 years as the source of their civilization. The new  death dam two times bigger than its source Lake Tana will soon be the biggest manmade lake in Africa with that of Aswan. To fill this big in human dam  will take a minimum of 5 years during which Egyptian farmers will pay the dividend. Today countries like the US are dismantling dams to revive the traditional water flows after constructing over 1500 dams all over the country while African dictators of the Nile are damming the only source of frech water in the region, The Nile.

And the great Tana Lake in consequence will dry when all its water will sip down to the newly built  artificial dam after the construction of the Ethiopian Dictators megalomania dam.  Since Tana lake is placed at the alatitutde of 2200 meters and the the new Death Dam is down at 100 meters all waters will flow down to this in human barrage. According to the recent studies  such  pyramidal dams in the tropical areal will have  a lasting consquence on the disequilibrium earth’s magnetic filed disturbances. (See Video)

Ethiopia could recurs to other sources of Energy like Thermal which in the abundance in the highland plateau and Egypt in return  could be a partner in its realization to safe guard the Nile water by investing in this project.  ( Prof. Muse Tegegne)

 

Hunger – Ethiopia’s new but an old weapon to force tribes off their land – Survival

The last two regimes in Ethiopia have used famine as a weapon of war against their own people, but as means of survival on power. The communist regime displaced 100 thousands from Tigre & Wollo provinces to the other parts of Ethiopia in mid 1980’s. Today the irredentist regime of Melees Zenawie is using famine and hunger to push the Southern Omotic, Gambella and Benishengol tribal peoples from their homestead by damming their life giving water for the international land grabbers. Here is a recent article by Survival intentional confirming the same old new arm known from time immoral used to cleanse the original population from their ancestral land all over the world. The case of the Amerindians damped in reservations the Aborigines in Australia is a best historical example not forgetting the Romans. (Prof. Muse)

Suri boy from Ethiopia’s Lower Omo Valley. Violent land grabs are devastating the tribe.
© Survival

Survival has received disturbing reports from members of several tribes in Ethiopia’s Lower Omo Valley, which describe how the government is destroying their crops to force them to move off their land into designated resettlement areas.

Those most affected by the land grabs are Suri, Bodi and Mursi pastoralists, and the Kwegu hunter-gatherer people.

Many families are now desperate as they have no sorghum, and their cattle grazing land is also being rapidly destroyed as the government continues to lease out their land for sugar cane and oil palm plantations.

A Mursi explains what is happening:

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From the Omo Valley
A Mursi woman speaks out against the destruction of the tribe’s crops. Her identity has been hidden to protect her from reprisals.

Some Bodi communities are already being moved in to camps against their will. A Bodi man said, ‘They are taking our land by force. The bulldozer even cleared the gardens where our crops were growing. They went right through where our sorghum was growing.’

The Mursi have been told they must sell their cattle, and will be moved to the resettlement camps by the end of this year. One Mursi woman said, ‘The other day I went to the Omo River.  I went to my grain stores to get the grain and it was gone. My grain stores had been thrown away (by bulldozers). I don’t like what they are doing. When I went I just cried. Our grain stores were gone. Now we will have big problems.  We don’t know what to do. Maybe we will die.’

Karo and Hamar children bring their cattle to drink by the Omo River.
© Survival

Access to the Omo River is being blocked as the government continues to clear land and build roads to the sugar cane plantations, which are part of the state run Kuraz Sugar Project.

The government is also leasing large tracts of tribal land to national and foreign investors. To the west of the Omo National Park, the Suri are protesting against a Malaysian company which is planting oil palm on some of their best cattle grazing land.

According to one Suri man, ‘The government went with soldiers and for two weeks tried to prevent the Suri from planting crops. This was to force the people to be hungry and accept moving into the resettlement site. Most of the Suri are afraid to go to the place where they plant crops. Only a few went. In one village near the Malaysian plantation, three houses were burned down, with grain stores inside. This was done by the plantation workers.’

Human Rights Watch recently launched a damning new report ‘What Will Happen if Hunger Comes?’ which documents how government security forces are driving communities to relocate from their lands through violence and intimidation, threatening their entire way of life with no compensation or choice of alternative livelihoods.

The Fake Ethiopian ethnic federalism and its deadly experience

MANISH GYAWALI
Detractors of ethnic federalism in this country claim that it will take the country down a slippery path towards strife and possibly even disintegration. Supporters claim that it is necessary to bring previously marginalized communities into the mainstream. No one can predict the future, but it is wise to have a look at the international context to see how the experience has been so far. Ethiopia, an Eastern African country, offers plenty of opportunity in this regard. This former unitary state has now whole heartedly gone down the path of ethnic federalism. What have been the results?


The relevant modern history of Ethiopia starts in 1974 when Emperor Haile Selaisse was ousted and a communist government took its place. After much upheaval, this period ended in 1991 with the overthrow of Mengitsu Haile Mariam. Eritria, a restive province, declared its independence and separated in 1991. A new constitution was written in 1994 and following this, Meles Zenawi came to power in 1995 and has remained the head of his country ever since. In the last legislative elections, the coalition he heads, The Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF), of which his own party, The Tigrayan People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) is by far the largest component, obtained over 99 per cent of the vote. With a history that goes back almost 4000 years, Ethiopia is culturally rich. The country is also culturally diverse. Although three main groups make up more than 70 per cent of the population, Ethiopia is home to almost 90 different ethno-linguistic groups. The Oromo, the largest ethnic group, contains, between 30 to 40 per cent of the country’s population. The heterogeneous nature of Ethiopian society, and its past unitary state status makes comparisons with Nepal logical. The International Crisis Group issued a report in 2009 entitled Ethiopia: Ethnic Federalism and its Discontents that was quite critical of the country’s current political structure. It argued that despite the nomenclature used, Ethiopia was far from being a true federation and rather that much power was centralized. Another study by Edmund J. Keller of the University of California, Los Angeles, concluded that Ethiopia is characterized by ‘limited autonomous decision making below the regional state level’ and a ‘great deal’ of central control making the country a ‘pseudo-democracy’ in reality.

Thus, all the progress and equality that ethnic federalism was supposed to have brought about appears not to have happened in reality. Breaking down the old unitary state was supposed to have led to a greater appreciation for inter ethnic differences, but, according to the ICG paper, in many cases just the opposite has happened. Very large ethnic groups like the Oromo have felt inadequately represented in the new system and continue to wage small scale violent attacks against the state. In fact, the ICG report suggests that this discontent among the Oromo could prove to be fatal to the Ethiopian state. Oromos may think that if they are not given more freedoms that the present government is no less oppressive than the ones in the past and may even decide to secede as the Eritrians did. Because Oromos are such a large fraction of the population, their secession would have enormous consequences. The irony is that Oromos have gained many more opportunities and rights under the present regime than they did in the past. Yet, many ethnic Oromo do not seem to be particularly grateful to the present government, and they argue that the few rights they are enjoying now are a result of the sacrifices made by their own indigenous movements such as the Oromo Liberation Front, which was started in 1974 (and which is now outlawed).

The EPRDF is dismissive of such claims, arguing that it alone brought ethnic consciousness among the people. Yet, it wants to have its cake and eat it too. It wants to take the moral high ground by declaring that it alone has given Ethiopia’s marginalized ethnic groups freedom and rights, and yet it does not want to give away real power to the federal units. Is this viable? Democratic countries, working ostensibly towards democratic ideals cannot hope to align themselves with autocrats for too long and still be thought of as being morally upright. Sooner or later, Meles will either be asked to reform himself or be discarded. In that case, Ethiopia will face many more difficulties trying to control secessionist movements.

Thus, Ethiopia’s case demonstrates that ethnic federalism, if not coupled with real autonomy and reforms can be seen by ethnic groups as only a token acceptance of their sovereignty. In that case, they may decide that only full independence can guarantee their rights. The Maoists’ understanding of ethnic independence seems to echo, in many ways that of the EPRDF (which itself is said to have a Stalinist understanding of ‘nationalities’ as they are ‘former’ communists). That is, the Maoists seem to want to give the various ethnic groups a few rights of self determination, while keeping most of the power at the center. But as ethnic groups in Nepal appear to have internalized their original identities even more strongly than in Ethiopia, it seems that the Maoists can no more control these movements as they could in the past.

The Horn of Africa is breaking apart a new ocean is been made a Magnitude 4.8 just hit the region as a recent manifestation risk to dams in the valley

Geologists working in the remote Afar region of Ethiopia say the ocean will eventually split the African continent in two, though it will take about 10 million years seems it is that end of time now we are in. As Many researchers are  described the events as “truly incredible”. Used to understanding changes in the planet on timescales of millions of years  have seen amazing changes in Afar in the past five years, where the continent is cracking open, quite literally underneath our feet. In 2005, a 60km long stretch of the earth opened up to a width of eight metres over a period of just ten days. Hot, molten rock from deep within the Earth is trickling to the surface and creating the split. Underground and  eruptions are still continuing and, ultimately, the horn of Africa will fall away and a new ocean will form. Thus producing risk in the dams being constructed in the  Ethiopian  side of the valley

2012 July 01 16:19:13 UTC

    • This event has been reviewed by a seismologist.
    Magnitude 4.8
    Date-Time
    • Sunday, July 01, 2012 at 16:19:13 UTC
    • Sunday, July 01, 2012 at 07:19:13 PM at epicenter
    • Time of Earthquake in other Time Zones
    Location 13.351°N, 41.779°E
    Depth 10 km (6.2 miles) set by location program
    Region ERITREA – ETHIOPIA REGION
    Distances 64 km (39 miles) S of Eid, Eritrea
    110 km (68 miles) WNW of Assab, Eritrea
    190 km (118 miles) WSW of Zabid, Yemen
    193 km (119 miles) NNE of Dubti, Ethiopia
    Location Uncertainty horizontal +/- 6.6 km (4.1 miles); depth fixed by location program
    Parameters NST= 47, Nph= 47, Dmin=232.5 km, Rmss=0.74 sec, Gp= 72°,
    M-type=body wave magnitude (Mb), Version=4
    Source
    • USGS NEIC (WDCS-D)
    Event ID us2012cmay
    • Did you feel it? Report shaking and damage at your location. You can also view a map displaying accumulated data from your report and others.

 

 

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Major Tectonic Boundaries: Subduction Zones -purple, Ridges -red and Transform Faults -green

major Tectonic Boundaries: Subduction Zones -purple, Ridges -red and Transform Faults -green

 

“The East African Rift System (EARS) is one the geologic wonders of the world, a place where the earth’s tectonic forces are presently trying to create new plates by splitting apart old ones. In simple terms, a rift can be thought of as a fracture in the earth’s surface that widens over time, or more technically, as an elongate basin bounded by opposed steeply dipping normal faults. Geologists are still debating exactly how rifting comes about, but the process is so well displayed in East Africa (Ethiopia-Kenya-Uganda-Tanzania) that geologists have attached a name to the new plate-to-be; the Nubian Plate makes up most of Africa, while the smaller plate that is pulling away has been named the Somalian Plate (Figure 1). These two plates are moving away form each other and also away from the Arabian plate to the north. The point where these three plates meet in the Afar region of Ethiopia forms what is called a triple-junction. However, all the rifting in East Africa is not confined to the Horn of Africa; there is a lot of rifting activity further south as well, extending into Kenya and Tanzania and Great Lakes region of Africa. The purpose of this paper is to discuss the general geology of these rifts are and highlight the geologic processes involved in their formation.” www.geology.com

Map of ERITREA

 

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