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Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Following the continuous earthquake the city is experiencing since Sunday evening, residents are in fear to stay in their house. To avoid any risks and damages they are spending the night out of their houses. Students in different collages are pushed out to sleep in the fields.
It has been for the six tine that the city shocked with the earthquake within 24 hours.
However, it is reported that the government is yet behind to announce emergency evacuation and related matters.

Oakland — With the African Union celebrating the African Year of Human Rights at its 26th summit, at its headquarters in Addis, Ethiopia, the venue raises serious concerns about commitment to human rights.
Ethiopia's so called economic development policies have not only ignored but enabled and exacerbated civil and human rights abuses in the country. Case and point is the ongoing land grabbing affecting several regions of the country. Under the controversial "villagization" program, the Ethiopian government is forcibly relocating over 1.5 million people to make land available to investors for so called economic growth. Since last November, the country's ruling party, EPRDF's, "Master Plan" to expand the capital Addis has been the flashpoint for protests in Oromia which will impact some 2 million people. At least 140 protestors have been killed by security forces while many more have been injured and arrested, including political leaders like Bekele Gerba, Deputy Chairman of the Oromo Federalist Congress, Oromia's largest legally registered political party. Arrested on December 23, 2015, his whereabouts remain unknown.
Political marginalization, arbitrary arrests, beatings, murders, intimidation, and rapes mark the experience of communities around Ethiopia defending their land rights. This violence in the name of delivering economic growth is built on the 2009 Anti-Terrorism Proclamation, which has allowed the Ethiopian government secure complete hegemonic authority by suppressing any form of dissent.
A new report, Ethiopia's Anti-Terrorism Law: A Tool to Stifle Dissent, by the Oakland Institute and the Environmental Defender Law Center, authored by lawyers including representatives from leading international law firms, unravels the 2009 Proclamation. It confirms that the law is designed and used by the Ethiopian Government as a tool of repression to silence its critics. It criminalizes basic human rights, like the freedom of speech and assembly. Its definition of "terrorist act," does not conform with international standards given the law defines terrorism in an extremely broad and vague way, providing the ruling party with an iron fist to punish words and acts that would be legal in a democracy.
The law's staggering breadth and vagueness, makes it impossible for citizens to know or even predict what conduct may violate the law, subjecting them to grave criminal sanctions. This has resulted in a systematic withdrawal of free speech in the country as newspaper journalists and editors, indigenous leaders, land rights activists, bloggers, political opposition members, and students are charged as terrorists. In 2010, journalists and governmental critics were arrested and tortured in the lead-up to the national election. In 2014, six privately owned publications closed after government harassment; at least 22 journalists, bloggers, and publishers were criminally charged; and more than 30 journalists fled the country in fear of being arrested under repressive laws.
Read more here
On 21 January 2016, the European Parliament passed an urgent resolution on the situation in Ethiopia – condemning the use of violence by the security forces against Oromo peaceful protesters in particular, and drawing attention to the increased number of human rights violations in Ethiopia more generally. The resolution also highlights the dire situation in the Ogaden region and calls for a credible investigation into atrocities committed in the country. Importantly, as stressed by UNPO at multiple occasions, the resolution calls for greater scrutiny by the EU of its development assistance to Ethiopia, to ensure it is not contributing to further human rights violations.
A recent plan by the Ethiopian Government to expand its capital city, Addis Ababa, into surrounding Oromo lands has caused mass demonstrations among the Oromo community over the past months. Since November 2015, at least 140 peaceful protesters have been killed, and many more imprisoned. Ethiopia, being an important partner to the European Union in terms of ensuring security and stability in the Horn of Africa, and one of the major recipients of European development aid, the EU’s legislative body made a clear statement through its resolution of 21 January, that there has to be an end to the ongoing human rights abuses and brutal suppression of dissenting voices by the Ethiopian government.
The adoption of the resolution came only a week after a protest in front of the European Parliament in Brussels – which brought together more than 100 Oromos, sympathizers and UNPO staff. During the debate that preceded the vote, long-term and newer supporters of the peoples of Ethiopia, including MEPs Ana Gomes (S&D), Jordi Sebastià (Greens/EFA), Isabella Adinolfi (EFDD), Mark Demesmaeker (ECR), Jiří Pospíšil (EPP), Beatriz Becerra Basterrechea (ALDE), Marie-Christine Vergiat (GUE-NGL) and Pier Antonio Panzeri (S&D), raised their concerns over the recent events in Oromia and the overall human rights situation in Ethiopia. The text, supported by seven parliamentary groups and authored by more than 65 MEPs, was adopted in plenary without amendments.
Following an earlier plenary debate on the situation in Ethiopia last May – which fell short of resulting in a resolution, UNPO is delighted to see that European Parliament has not forgotten the plights of the Ethiopian peoples. In this context, UNPO will continue to work closely with its members, partners and MEPs to demand human rights protection and democracy in Ethiopia.
For more information, please see the press release of the Peoples’ Alliance for Freedom and Democracy on the EP resolution.
To watch the video of the plenary debate, please click here.
– Source:Finfinne Tribune