April 18, 2014

Haile Selassie’s Africa: A Legacy Ignored by a Generation

Filed under: Haile Selassie — ethiopiantimes @ 7:27 pm
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 (Photo: Courtesy Tsehai Publishers)

Tadias Magazine
News Update

Published: Thursday, April 17th, 2014

New York (TADIAS) — In a new book by Dr. Belete Belacehw Yihun, entitled Black Ethiopia published by Tsehai Publishers, the diplomatic history of Ethiopia and the legacy of Haile Selassie is revisited with the scales of history rebalanced to show more sides of the embattled leader. According to Dr. Christopher Clapham at the Centre of African Studies at Cambridge University, “This book tells the remarkable story of how Ethiopia seized the diplomatic leadership of Africa.” While many historical materials on Haile Selassie’s diplomatic efforts remain inaccessible to the general public, Belete’s book is among the few compiled resources on Ethiopian diplomacy in modern Ethiopia, which studies the time period between 1956 and 1991 as Ethiopia took the reigns of African diplomacy that continued in subsequent governments.

“If we are to truly understand the events of the present, we must look to the past for answers,” adds Elias Wondimu, founder of Tsehai Publishers. “We must look with a critical eye toward the past and examine why events happened and why people are perceived and ultimately preserved a particular way.” The scarcity of compiled documentation of Ethiopian diplomacy, especially in a time of great change and modernization, makes this book a particularly valuable piece of history.

Just over two years ago, on the the eve of the fifty year anniversary of the founding of the Organization of African Unity (OAU) / African Union (AU) was celebrated as the new AU headquarters in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia opened its doors for its inaugural summit to large fanfare. The celebration included the unveiling of a bronze statue of one of the most famous leaders of the organization, Kwame Nkrumah. A quote from Nkrumah was inscribed in front of the statue in golden letters, “Ethiopia shall stretch forth her hands unto God. Africa must unite.” The quote epitomizes the significant role that Ethiopia played towards the founding of the OAU.

Nkrumah, the leader of the Casablanca Group, fought for a completely united Africa under the motto “One continent, one nation”. Nkrumah’s contributions to African unity are invaluable, and yet the statue has stirred debate not just in Ethiopia, but worldwide as Nkrumah’s legacy is only one part of OAU’s origins. Emperor Haile Selassie, who was a uniting figure among the different factions, is another person who played a major role in convincing African leaders to bypass their ideological divisions to work together. As a well-regarded international statesman of his time, Emperor Haile Selassie led the way to the establishment of the OAU in Addis Ababa in 1963.

Dr. Theodore M. Vestal, Professor Emeritus of Political Science at Oklahoma State University, sums up Ethiopia’s impact on African politics in the following way, “Ethiopia has a long history of leadership in the Pan-African Movement, the complicated mosaic of continental and regional political and economic association liberation movements and mediation efforts.” Undoubtedly Haile Selassie was a major part of this tradition as he set a standard of statesmanship that has helped to advance Ethiopia and all of Africa towards a united global force.

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April 17, 2014

Amhara Nationals living in Sululeta town beaten by a group of Sululeta town youth

Filed under: Suluta — ethiopiantimes @ 5:37 pm
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Amhara Nationals living in Sululeta town beaten A group of Sululeta town youth who claimed that the Oromo nationals have been mistreated at the sport festival held in the Bahir dar city beaten the Amhara nationals living in Sululeta town.

The beatings on Thursday, April 10, 2014 heavily injure three individuals who are now taking medical treatment in Addis Ababa. Besides the beatings, damage has occurred on house and properties.

Sululeta town’s communication office head said that four suspects of the rampage are in custody. He also said that those who caused the beatings and the damage are hooligans that can’t represent the town.

April 16, 2014

Minister of Federal Affairs and Benishangul Gumuz Region Charged

Blue party has filed a charge on the minister of federal affairs and Benishangul Gumuz region on the case of the 1, 346 families displaced from their homes and properties in the Benishangul Gumuz region’s Masha zone and Yaso woreda without any warning on February, 2013.

Blue party has been asking for the displaced citizens to return back to their places, to be compensated for their losses and those responsible be put to justice. Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn has said that the citizens are displaced due to a mistake done by rent seekers and the offenders would be put to justice.

But the Federal Affairs Minister neither returned the displaced citizens back to their places nor compensated them. The responsible offenders also haven’t been charged. Therefore, Blue party’s charge document that was prepared by Dr. Yakob Hailemariam is accepted by the court and tomorrow on April 17, 2014 the charge document will be read to the Federal Affairs minister, the Benishangul Gumuz region and the responsible offenders at the Federal High Court’s eighth criminal bench.

It is noted that the Benishangul Gumuz region’s president Ahmed Nasir has admitted the accusation and promising to return the displaced citizens back to their places.

Egyptian President Hopeful Threatens War with Ethiopia, Qatar, and to Revoke Camp David Accords

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April 15, 2014

9 Killed in Benishangul-Gumuz Region

Filed under: Benishangul-Gumuz — ethiopiantimes @ 8:41 pm
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More than Nine people are killed and six injured in a suspected gun shooting on a car last night in Benishangul-Gumuz Region, the shooting happened on the car near “Teyeba”, 100KM from Asosa Sherkole Woreda.

According to Fana,  The Federal Police is hunting for the shooters.

April 13, 2014

UK slams Ethiopia’s human rights record

Filed under: UK — ethiopiantimes @ 11:24 am
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The 2013 edition of the Human Rights and Democracy Report of the government of the United Kingdom (UK)

severely criticized the government of Ethiopia for its application of its Anti-Terrorism Proclamation and the Charities and Societies Proclamation, which hampers the activity of the opposition camp of the country.

The report says that the UK is concerned about continuing restrictions on opposition and dissent in Ethiopia through use of the Anti-Terrorism Proclamation (ATP) and the Charities and Societies Proclamation (CSP) .

Those detained under the ATP include members of opposition groups, journalists, peaceful protesters, and others seeking to express their rights to freedom of assembly and expression while the CSP has had a serious impact on Ethiopian civil society’s ability to operate effectively, according to the report.

Section 11 of the report, which covers and focuses on the issues related to Human Rights in countries of concern contains a review of the human rights situation in 28 countries where the UK Government has wide-ranging human rights concerns.

This part of the report explores the concerns of the government of the UK. The report takes Bahrain, Bangladesh, Ethiopia, Nigeria, Rwanda and Egypt as case study countries.

In this regard, the report presents the condition of human rights abuse in Ethiopia as follows. The report chooses to highlight a number of reports of mistreatment of prisoners in detention.

In May, the Ethiopian Human Rights Commission (EHRC), whose mandate and powers are defined by Parliament, published a report, “Monitoring Report on Respect of Persons Held in Custody of Ethiopian Police Stations” which described generally poor detention conditions with some incidents of human rights abuses and unlawful interrogation tactics.

The report was based on the monitoring of 170 police stations and inspections were conducted without any prior notification. One institution, the Meakelawi Police Detention Facility, has drawn a high level of criticism from former detainees and international NGOs for alleged mistreatment of its inmates.

Allegations of abuse by the “Special Police” in the Somali Region are also a concern of the report despite the report saying the increased security presence in the region had brought some benefits including some development of basic services and infrastructure – albeit from a low base.

However, there have been many reports of mistreatment associated with the special police including torture and execution of villagers accused of supporting the Ogaden National Liberation Front (ONLF) .

Moreover, the report said the UK government and the UN have pressed the Ethiopian government to articulate a reform plan for the Special Police, and the Ethiopian government has agreed this is needed. So, according to the report, the UK government promises to encourage the government of Ethiopia to take action.

April 11, 2014

Ethiopian Muslim Peaceful Demonstration On Apr/11/201 at Addis Ababa Anwar Masjid

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April 10, 2014

England continues to hold on to Ethiopia’s treasures looted in 1868

By MURPHY BROWNE (Abena Agbetu)

Many Christians consider the Easter season to be the holiest season of the Christian faith. Easter is a special time of celebration for millions of Christians around the world. It is believed that Christ’s crucifixion, death and resurrection happened around that time. The Easter weekend (Holy Thursday, Good Friday, Easter Saturday and Easter Sunday) is supposed to be a time that Christians commemorate the culminating event of their faith. Some Christians believe that it is a time that proclaims God’s purpose of loving and redeeming the world through Christ’s supreme sacrifice. However, in the eyes of some, not all Christians are created equal.

Easter of 1868 was an especially brutal time for Christian Ethiopians living in Maqdala. Over the three day Easter weekend of 1868 a group of White Christian men slaughtered a group of Christian Africans in Ethiopia. On Easter Monday, 1868, after three days of fighting that began on Good Friday when the British attacked, the Ethiopian Emperor Tewodros II committed suicide rather than allow his enemies to capture him. On that Easter Monday of 1868 after the British captured the fortress of Maqdala, which was Emperor Tewodros’ mountain capital in north-west Ethiopia, the British soldiers celebrated by desecrating the body of the Ethiopian monarch looting everything of value and burning the town.

The British “expedition” was led by Robert Napier who had been promoted to Lieutenant General and given command of 32,000 men.

Clements R. Markham, who has been recognized as the leading British historian of the time was part of the expedition. Markham wrote that Napier’s men, on entering the citadel, swarmed around the body of the deceased monarch then: “gave three cheers over it, as if it had been a dead fox, and then began to pull and tear the clothes to pieces until it was nearly naked”.

British journalist Henry Morton Stanley who wrote glowingly about the British “victory” at Maqdala corroborated Markham’s account of the events. In the 1874 book, “Coomassie And Magdala: The Story Of Two British Campaigns In Africa” (reprinted in 2009) Stanley wrote of the scene where the Emperor’s desecrated body lay: “mob, indiscriminate of officers and men, rudely jostling each other in the endeavour to get possession of a small piece of Theodore’s blood-stained shirt. No guard was placed over the body until it was naked, nor was the slightest respect shown it. It lay subjected to the taunts and the jests of the brutal-minded”.

These good British Christian soldiers swarmed the area and looted not only the Emperor’s treasury but also the Christian church of Medhane Alem, including its store house, “constituting a gross act of sacrilege”.

Describing the scene of the British soldiers dividing the property they looted from the Ethiopians Stanley wrote: “The perambulatory roll of the drum which in all well governed and systematically military encampments announces a new move or new event, assembled all the officers and crowds of on-lookers around the piled trophies of Magdala which covered half an acre of ground. Fathoms of finest carpets of all countries were spread about, and all the paraphernalia of a thousand churches glittered in the morning sunlight.”

Stanley described the British soldiers at the scene who were covetously waiting to take some of the loot back to Britain in this manner: “and jostling each other in the characteristic confusion of mobs (and the most belligerent mob in the world is an English one)”.

The religious manuscripts, crosses and other ecclesiastical objects stolen by the British troops, today grace museums and some private collections in Britain. Sir Richard Rivington Holmes who was Assistant in the British Museum’s Department of Manuscripts, wrote in an official report that at dusk, he met a British soldier who was carrying the crown of the Abun, the Head of the Ethiopian Church, and a “solid gold chalice weighing at least 6 lbs”. Holmes bought the crown and the chalice for “£4 Sterling.”

Not satisfied with looting the treasures of the Ethiopian people, the British destroyed Maqdala. The well planned and executed arson attack began with destroying the fort/citadel. The palace and all other buildings, including the church of Medhane Alem, were also set on fire.

The British journalist, Stanley, reporting on the destruction: “The easterly wind gradually grew stronger, fanning incipient tongues of flame visible on the roofs of houses until they grew larger under the skillful nursing and finally sprang aloft in crimson jets, darting upward and then circling round on their centres as the breeze played with them. A steady puff of wind leveled the flaming tongues in a wave, and the jets became united into an igneous lake! The heat became more and more intense; loaded pistols and guns, and shells thrown in by the British batteries, but which had not been discharged, exploded with deafening reports. Three thousand houses and a million combustible things were burning. Not one house would have escaped destruction in the mighty ebb and flow of that deluge of fire”.

The looted treasures of Maqdala were transported to the Dalanta Plain on 15 elephants and 200 mules. The stolen goods were shipped to Britain from the Dalanta Plain. On April 20 and 21, the British military held a two-day auction to dispose of the stolen Ethiopian property. The British coveted the many “richly illuminated Bibles and manuscripts” and other property of the Ethiopian people and wanted them as souvenirs of the horror they had visited upon the Ethiopian people.

The British Museum, now the British Library, benefitted from the auction and received 350 Ethiopian manuscripts, many of them “finely illuminated”. The Royal Library at Windsor Castle received six “exceptionally beautiful specimens”. Some other recipients of the stolen Ethiopian manuscripts were the Bodleian Library in Oxford, Cambridge University Library, the John Rylands Library in Manchester, the Royal Library in Vienna, the German Kaiser and the Biblioltheque Nationale in Paris. Several of these manuscripts contain extensive archival material, including Tewodros’s tax records and other data essential for the study of Ethiopian history. The stolen property also includes two of Emperor Tewodros’ crowns and a royal cap, his imperial seal, the golden chalice and 10 tabots from the church’s altar. Several beautifully decorated processional crosses were given to the South Kensington Museum, the name later changed to the Victoria and Albert Museum; two of the Emperor’s richly embroidered tents are now in the Museum of Mankind, London.

The barbarity of the British knew no bounds as they also stole locks of Emperor Tewodros’ hair, some of it displayed in the National Army Museum, London.

Not content with looting and destroying Maqdala, the British took the widowed Empress Tiruwork Wube and her son, the seven-year-old Ethiopian prince, Dejazmach Alemayehu Tewodros, prisoner. While the Empress and prince were being taken away from their home, the Empress transitioned and the prince was orphaned. Prince Dejazmach Alemayehu was taken to England where he transitioned in 1879 when he was 18 years old. His remains are buried in a crypt beside St George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle. Over the years his tomb has been visited by numerous Ethiopians including His Imperial Majesty Haile Selassie I.

Beginning with Emperor Tewodros’ successor, Emperor Yohannes IV, there have been numerous requests to the British monarchy and government for the return of Ethiopia’s stolen property. On August 10, 1872 Emperor Yohannes IV wrote to Queen Victoria and the British Foreign Secretary, Earl Granville, requesting the return of a Kebra Nagast and an icon, the Kwer’ata Re‘esu. Since they possessed more than one stolen copy, the British Museum very generously returned one copy of the Kebra Negast to Ethiopia. On 18 December, 1872 Queen Victoria replied to the Emperor declaring: “Of the picture (icon) we can discover no trace whatever, and we do not think it can have been brought to England.” The icon was indeed part of the looted property that was taken to England but was not publicly acknowledged until 1890, a year after Emperor Yohannes’s death. In 1905 a photograph of the icon appeared in The Burlington Magazine, a British art journal.

Since the return of the Kebra Negast in the nineteenth century there has been great resistance to return Ethiopia’s property. An English woman who had in her possession a collection of Ethiopian manuscripts from Maqdala had several of them published in London, with translations by Sir Ernest Wallis Budge. These manuscripts were seen by Emperor Menelek’s envoy, Ras Makonnen (Emperor Haile Selassie I’s father), who was in England in 1902 for the Coronation of King Edward VII. In January 1910, perhaps in an attack of conscience, the woman who possessed the Ethiopian manuscripts bequeathed them in her will to Emperor Menilek. The Times reporting this, stated that “envoys from the Emperor were sent over to arrange for their [the manuscripts’] recovery, and it is believed that the present bequest is the fulfillment of a promise then given”. The English woman died on 20 December 1910 but the powers that be refused to honour her bequest to return the manuscripts to the Ethiopian people.

The Ethiopian president made a formal request to Queen Elizabeth II for the remains of Prince Alemayehu to be returned to Ethiopia in time for the celebration of the Ethiopian Millennium (September 12, 2007.) In an article published on Sunday, June 3, 2007 the BBC News reported: “The royal household at Windsor Castle, where Prince Alemayehu was buried, is said to be considering the request.”

Like the looted treasures of his homeland, the remains of the teenage prince who was taken prisoner after being orphaned by the British, are still in Britain seven years after that request was made.

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April 9, 2014

2.7 Million Ethiopians May Need Food Help

Filed under: Uncategorized — ethiopiantimes @ 5:27 pm
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Source: Addis Firtune

2.7 Million Ethiopians May Need Food Help

A potential shortfall in donor assistance could see the Ethiopian government having to foot the bill



Ethiopia finds itself in critical need of donors’ assistance, in order to feed 2.7 million people. This announcement comes not long after its leaders were upbeat, reporting a bumper harvest of 231 million quintals of grain for the current fiscal year.

When donors and Ethiopian authorities met on January 24, 2014, to agree on the projection of the volume of humanitarian assistance needed for 2014, the resultant crucial document-the joint Government and Humanitarian partners’ Document-showed that 2.7 million of the 91 million people in the nation, according to the latest estimate by the World Bank are in need of humanitarian aid.

The total food requirement is estimated at 388,635 MT. This is broken down to 314,684 MT of cereals, 31,468 MT of pulses, 9,441 MT of oil and 33,042 MT of blended or supplementary food.

This comes against the government’s recent announcement that agricultural productivity in the nation is projected to grow in leaps and bounds.

Despite the normal and above normal 2013 meher rains, which further improved the food security situation in the country, humanitarian challenges will continue in 2014 in north eastern Amhara, Afar and the southern Tigray regions. These are all areas that receive inadequate seasonal rainfall. There is also a focus on other areas that could be affected by various hazards, like – floods, conflicts, crop pests and diseases, stated the report.

Water shortages persist in the drought-prone areas in northeastern Afar, South Region, southeastern Tigray and the lowlands of the southern pastoralist areas.

The nation’s 12.27 million ha of land was covered with cereals during the year 2012/13. This was a 1.52pc increment compared to that of the previous year. The government planned to produce 22,907,055 tons of cereal, but exceeded it by 310,555 tons. However, the amount was not able to feed the nation. In the 2013/14 fiscal year, Ethiopia is planning to exceed last year’s cereal production by 2,300,000 tons.

The alarm for the Ethiopian government is clear, despite the number of beneficiaries, decreasing compared to that of the previous year.

Crop production, according to the document, will most likely be affected in the major producing areas of Amhara and Tigray for the third consecutive year. This will worsen the food security situation in these areas.

But the number of beneficiaries is particularly high in Oromia and the Somali regions, which account for 27 and 25 pc, respectively. Tigray and Amhara follow close behind with 19pc and 16pc, respectively.

Oromia has 766,336 people out of its population of 31 million (according to the CSA’s estimate of 2012) in need of humanitarian assistance. In the Somali region, on the other hand, 691,978 people are projected to be in need of food assistance out of a population of five million (according to the CSA’s estimate of 2012).

The alarm for the government is going to remain intact if weather conditions do not improve, says Rahel Asfaw, a senior Resource Mobilisation Expert at the Disaster Prevention Preparedness & Food Security Sectoral Office.

“It all depends on whether or not there is timely rain,” she said.

In the remote Somali Region where the meher season was rain-deficit, the number might even grow, she says.

The total food requirement for 2014 amounts to 388 million dollars. This includes 314,684 tonnes of pulses, 9,441 tonnes of oil and 33,042 tonnes of blended food.

The problem for the government is that it only has 51.6 million dollars. This total represents just 12.8pc of what is required.

While the remainder is expected from the international community, previous contribution trends show that a portion of the required amount is left to be filled by the government itself.

Last year the donors contributed only 68 pc of what was required.

“The contribution from donors may not be any different from the previous year,” says Rahel.

For another food security expert, the international community’s contribution might not even amount to 68pc. He cites priorities elsewhere in the continent and the world.

“This will worsen the situation,” he fears.


PUBLISHED ON FEBRUARY 09, 2014 [ VOL 14 ,NO 719]

April 8, 2014

Dessie protest against woyane was a success

Filed under: Uncategorized — ethiopiantimes @ 8:09 pm
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