Friday, June 25, 2010

Waamicha Yeroo

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

The Center for Victims of Torture is looking for Oromo and Amharic Interpreter


Provide interpretation services to international clients who are receiving therapy, social and medical services. Interpretation is typically in a face-to-face setting, but there may be periodic need for phone interpretation or document translation. Interpretation services are provided on a part-time, as-needed basis, at locations in Minneapolis and St. Paul. Hours vary, but typically interpreters will work between 6 to 12 hours per week.


  • Applicant must possess excellent interpreting skills.
  • Fluency in Oromo, Amharic and English.
  • Interpreting experience in the medical, mental health or social services areas preferred.
  • Experience working in a confidential environment.
  • Interested in the advancement of human rights.
  • Must be able to work flexible hours between the hours of 9 am - 5 pm, Monday - Friday.

Hourly Rate: $20-25 per hour

Application Process:
Submit resume and cover letter or an application. Please specify language skills and scheduling availability.

Human Resources
The Center for Victims of Torture
717 East River Parkway
Minneapolis, MN 55455

Fax: 612-436-2606


Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer


Ethiopia's 'Hyena Men' Talk to the Animals

Adam Mohamad, a butcher is not a
Photo: VOA - H Murdock

Adam Mohamad, a butcher is not a "hyena man," but like many Hararis, he feels close to the animals and will feed them by hand if they come to his shop.

The countryside surrounding Harar, an ancient walled city in eastern Ethiopia, is dense with hyenas. The people of Harar say hyenas are not dangerous scavengers; they are a regular part of society.

Salamo Fantan reaches into a straw basket for strips of raw goat meat, and calls the wild hyenas by name. He tosses the meat to some animals, which look like large brown dogs with razor sharp teeth and black jowls. Others approach Salamo and take the meat from his hand, or off a stick in his mouth. A few tourists take pictures, lighting the feeding with the headlights of their taxis.

Across town, Youseff Mume Saleh feeds another family of hyenas with his hands and with his mouth. He says the show goes on with or without the tourists. Feeding the hyenas is a family tradition and a spiritual calling. He says he speaks to the hyenas, and they communicate with him.

When bad news is coming, he says, the hyenas cry. It is hard to find a Harari person skeptical of this claim.

The  'hyena men' of Harar, an ancient city in eastern Ethiopia, call the  animals by name, and feed them goat meat with their hands or from sticks  in their mouths.
VOA - H Murdock
The 'hyena men' of Harar, an ancient city in eastern Ethiopia, call the animals by name, and feed them goat meat with their hands or from sticks in their mouths.
Youseff says the Harari hyenas protect the city from other hyena packs, known to attack children and livestock because they are not well-cared for by their human neighbors. He also says the animals serve as a kind of almanac, predicting the city's prosperity or suffering.

Every year, Muslims in this historically Islamic city gather to celebrate Ashura, the Islamic new year. Hyenas always attend the celebration and are offered a special porridge. If the coming year will be good, they dine. If the year will bring hardship, the hyenas refuse to eat.

The wife of one of the sheiks who hosts the annual event, Kadiga Ali, says the last time the hyenas refused to eat was 2005. That year hyenas in the nearby countryside killed two children, and some cows.

A butcher who sells lamb and goat meat, Adam Mohamad, says the Harari relationship with the hyenas goes far beyond the spiritual. Holes near the gates of the walled city, which is more than 1,000 years old, drain rain water out, and allow hyenas to enter at night, to clean up the city garbage.

Adam also says local hyenas have excellent memories and will seek revenge on humans that harm them or their families. When they come around his store at night, Adam holds strips of meat in hands for the animals to eat. One day one of his neighbors got annoyed and threw a stone at a hyena. In retaliation, the hyena ate one of the man's sheep.

But its not just spirituality, superstition and practicality that tie the Harari people to their neighbor hyenas. It is also friendship. The "hyena men" acknowledge that they feed the animals to make money from tourists, and to prevent attacks on goats, sheep and cows. But, they say, if there were no tourists, and there was no danger to the livestock, they would still feed the animals. More than pets or neighbors, these men say, the hyenas are their family.


"Worse than the former Marxist dictator he ousted nearly two decades ago, Zenawi has clamped down on the opposition, stifled all dissent, and rigged elections." Foreign Policy

The Worst of the Worst

Bad dude dictators and general coconut heads.


9. MELES ZENAWI of Ethiopia: Worse than the former Marxist dictator he ousted nearly two decades ago, Zenawi has clamped down on the opposition, stifled all dissent, and rigged elections. Like a true Marxist revolutionary, Zenawi has stashed millions in foreign banks and acquired mansions in Maryland and London in his wife's name, according to the opposition -- even as his barbaric regime collects a whopping $1 billion in foreign aid each year.
Years in power:


Thursday, June 17, 2010

Election results show Ethiopia's move toward one-party rule: U.S. expert

"Those who care about Ethiopia and the region now face a key question: were
the May 2010 elections a casualty of a broader agenda of repression and
control, or was the agenda of repression and control primarily an electoral

Leslie Lefkow, HRW

Election results show Ethiopia's move toward one-party rule: U.S. expert

WASHINGTON, DC - The results of recent elections in Ethiopia show the country is inching toward a one-party rule, and now Meles Zenawi, the prime minister, has been in power longer than the military dictator he toppled in 1991, said Ted Dagne, an American expert on the Horn of Africa.

Ted made the statement during a congressional hearing presided over by Congressman Donald Payne (D-JN), chairman of the Subcommittee on Africa and Global Health, House Foreign Affairs Committee.

"Pre-election conditions were marred by the harassment, detention, and in some cases killing of opposition members. The combination of measures taken by the ruling EPRDF over the past several years not only weakened legal opposition but also crushed civil society, human rights groups, and the independent press activities," Ted said.

He said opposition leaders, civil society groups and independent journalists who fled the country for fear of persecution also helped EPRDF consolidate its gains.

"Some Ethiopians and outside observers also assert that many were fearful of being killed or injured should they express open support for the opposition as was the case in the 2005 elections." he added.

The expert also blamed the opposition groups for squandering precious time over inter- and intra-party squabbles rather than forging a formidable united front against the ruling party. (Ted Dagne's full text is downloadable here.)

Testimonials available here

Others who testified were Leslie Lefkow, Senior Researcher, Human Rights Watch; Sadia Ali Aden, Human Rights Advocate and Freelance Writer; Kenneth John Menkhaus, Ph.D., Professor of Political Science at Davidson College; and Pagan Amum, Secretary General of the Sudan People's Liberation Movement.

Source: Ethiomedia

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

"I got involved in politics for the purpose of helping the Oromo people, to raise their heads up high because they had been oppressed." Obboo Bulchaa Dammaqsaa

Bulcha Demeksa: Eight Decades in Nutshell

Eden Sahle
15 June 2010


A pillar in Ethiopian and African society, Bulcha Demeksa, refraining from competing in the 2010 National Elections and watching the defeat of his party along with all other opposition parties (save one member of Medrek), announced his resignation from politics. He took an interview with EDEN SAHLE, FORTUNE STAFF WRITER, in which he talked about his history, his opinions on the current politics of Ethiopia, and his future plans.

When did your involvement in politics begin?

It started during the Emperor's Regime. A minister is a politician and I was deputy minister of Finance at the time. I was part of the political elites at that time.

Were you involved in politics during the Derg Regime?

No, I was outside of the country working for the World Bank at the time. Endalekachew Mekonnen, who was the Prime Minster at the time, offered me the position of Minister of Agriculture, just as the revolution was starting. I came back to Ethiopia and stayed exactly for 40 hours before going back to my job at the World Bank. The situation was really bad. Many of my colleagues and friends were killed after I left.

When did you first join Parliament?

In the 2005 elections, and I became the leader of my party. I was elected in my village Bogidirmagi with 94pc of the vote. The Ethiopian Peoples' Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) won only six per cent of the vote in my district.

Why did you choose not to participate in the 2010 elections?

I decided to retire from politics, because I am now nearly 80 years old. I wanted to let younger people do the job and do the fighting because Ethiopian politics is brutal.

What do you mean by "brutal"?

Public observers chosen by candidates to gauge the correctness of the election get beaten up. I have seen them bleeding. The government and the opposition are like enemies. I have never seen such a thing in the United States, United Kingdom, or Germany. I have seen the ruling party and opposition parties fighting for power [in those countries], but they do not hate each other. They sit down and talk and have coffee or tea together. When one wins power genuinely, the defeated party accepts the defeat and tries the next election. But it is not like that in our country. People numbering 195 were killed in the aftermath of the 2005 elections. What is more brutal than that? It is not for me, anymore, and it is not [just because of] my age. I hope my successors do not witness this.

Do you believe that your party will succeed without you?

I do not think the brutality of our politics will disappear. But they are younger and can stand it, resist, and survive, but I have done my share; it is enough for me.

Do you think you have achieved your goal?

No. I am leaving without achieving my goal. Initially, I got involved in politics for the purpose of helping the Oromo people, to raise their heads up high because they had been oppressed. They had been land tillers and not landowners. I wanted to change that situation, but they are still [a] disadvantaged people.

Nevertheless, we have done some good. For example, the Oromo language is accepted today. Medrek as a party accepts that the language should be an official language like Amharic, as it is a widely spoken language. My other goal was to see a strong Ethiopia, which is respected by African and other countries and to see the Oromo people be part of that. I wish all the Ethiopian federal states to be richer and happier in this respect. I think that I have contributed a little. There are some achievements, but the overall goal has not been achieved.

If you had taken part in the 2010 elections, do you think that you would have won a seat in Parliament?

I doubt it. Therefore, I do not regret my decision not to participate in the elections. I also do not think that my party would have benefited had I taken part in the elections. I see that all of the parties that I know, primarily Medrek have lost because of unfair elections.

What is your comment on the recent election?

Medrek, as a party, has agreed not to discuss the issue of the election because we have already started taking legal steps with the National Electoral Board of Ethiopia (NEBE) and have written a letter to the Federal Supreme Court. I will refrain from answering your question at this point.

Why did you decide to resign now?

Because Ethiopian politics is too rough; nobody at my age can survive it.

Have your party members supported your resignation?

Some of them who like me so much have supported me, and some who only think about the party have asked me to stay.

Do you think your party will be affected by your departure?

Not at all, because we are now part of a coalition (Medrek), a stronger and much bigger party.

What is your next move?

After September, I will no longer be a Member of Parliament, but I will advise and help my party in whatever way necessary. I will finish a book about my personal life.

Have you enjoyed your time in Parliament?

No, I have not enjoyed it. I was stifled. I was given only two minutes on any subject on the basis of the number of seats we have in Parliament, which is unfair. The Constitution does not impose such a limit on Members of Parliament. I have a law degree and a masters degree in Economics, I have 17 years of working experience in the UN and five years at the World Bank, which makes me qualified to advise on almost all economic and legal issues, but not being able to do that was disappointing for me.

What do you think the next Parliament will be like?

I do not know. It is unfair to prejudge. But I know how it should be. It should be like Parliament in Ghana or South Africa where people can oppose [the ruling party] without fear and retribution. It should be a place where parliamentarians debate freely. It should be a place where thinkers express their ideas most vividly.

Do you think that you have served long enough?

No, I could serve until I am 85. I am healthy and my mind works, but due to the brutality of our politics, I cannot continue.


Bulcha Demeksa, 80, was born in western Welega in a village called Bogidirmagi, Oromia Regional State. He was married twice for 14 and 43 years and had five children from his first marriage and one from his second.

Educational Background

He attended elementary education at the Adventist Mission School in Gimbi, Oromia Regional State. He finished his high school education at Akaki Mission School, Addis Abeba.

He obtained his LLB degree from Addis Abeba University (the then University College of Addis Abeba) and did his master's in Economics, after winning a scholarship from Syracuse University in the United States.

Career and political background

He served at the Ministry of Finance (MoF) for 10 years and became a deputy minster of Finance. He joined the World Bank in 1970, representing all English-speaking countries in Africa. Later, he worked at the United Nations in New York for 17 years. He cofounded in 1993 and holds a share in Awash Bank SC and served as its president until 2000.

After resignation, he formed the Oromo Federalist Democratic Movement (OFDM). He also participated in the conference of the formation of the transitional government by the Ethiopian Peoples' Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) 19 years ago.

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Ethiopia rebels get lengthy jail terms

Ethiopia rebels get lengthy jail terms

Addis Ababa - An Ethiopian court has slapped lengthy prison terms on 24 rebel fighters for alleged terrorist activities and treason, the justice ministry said on Wednesday.

A high court on Tuesday sentenced seven commanders of the secessionist Oromo Liberation Front (OLF) to life in prison, one officer to 25 years, 15 to 11 years, and another fighter to a shorter sentence, a statement said.

"The accused were members of the OLF - an illegal organisation involved in treason and in terrorist activities meant to break up the unity of the country," the ministry said.

The suspects were accused of killing 16 people in two attacks in eastern Ethiopia two years ago.

The OLF was part of Ethiopia's transition government from 1991 to 1995, after the fall of the Marxist regime of Colonel Mengistu Haile Mariam.

After numerous disputes with Prime Minister Meles Zenawi's party, it quit the coalition and demanded the creation of an independent state for the Oromiya region.

Since then, Ethiopian police have routinely accused the group of carrying out "terrorist activities" and fomenting insecurity.

Opposition leaders of Oromo descent accuse the government of arbitrarily detaining hundreds from the region on suspicion of supporting the group.

Oromos are the largest ethnic group in the Horn of Africa nation, comprising more than 30% of the population of 80 million.


Saturday, June 05, 2010

Ethiopian Heritage College Scholarship Offered for 2010-2011

Ethiopian Heritage College Scholarship Offered for 2010-2011

Posted on 06/04/10

Applications are still being accepted for the Ethiopian Heritage College Scholarship Fund, now in its third year.

Washington, DC (PRWEB) June 4, 2010 -- June 3: Applications are still being accepted for the Ethiopian Heritage College Scholarship Fund, now in its third year. Applications for the 2010-2011 academic year must be received by 5:00 PM on June 25, 2010. The scholarship was established by the law firm of Chaikin, Sherman, Cammarata, & Siegel, P.C., which also performs the screening process.

This opportunity for college-bound students has been publicized through media releases and direct contact with guidance counselors at area high schools. Guidance counselors and other school officials have been encouraged to announce the scholarship and help eligible students file their applications.

The scholarship, which pays a total of $1000 in two $500-dollar increments, is open to residents of the Greater Metropolitan Area of Washington, D.C. who will be attending 2- or 4-year colleges or universities during the academic year of the scholarship. Persons related by blood or marriage to any current or former member of the selection committee are not eligible.

All eligible student applications submitted by the deadline are considered. Scholarship recipientsScholarship recipients will be chosen on the basis of several criteria, including: a submitted essay, personal character, financial need, high school grade point average, demonstrated community service, and academic ability. In addition to the application, select candidates may be asked to a personal interview by the selection panel.

Recipients will receive scholarship funds in August and February. Scholarship funds are to be used for school expenses, including tuition, room and board, and books. To maintain eligibility, awardees make reports each grading period to show satisfactory academic performance. If academic performance falls below satisfactory levels, future payment will be withheld. In cases of significant extenuating circumstances exemptions may sometimes be granted.

For the purposes of eligibility, the Greater metropolitan Area of Washington D.C. is defined as including the Maryland countiesMaryland counties of Anne Arundel, Howard, Montgomery and Prince George's; the City of Alexandria, Virginia; the Virginia countiesVirginia counties of Arlington, Fairfax, Loudoun and Prince William.

Complete rules are available here:

Download the application at:
serious personal injury due to the negligence of another party. The law firm is dedicated to providing their clients with the highest levels of personal attention in order to offer high quality, aggressive legal representationlegal representation that will yield the greatest likelihood of a successful outcome.

The personal injury lawyers at Chaikin, Sherman, Cammarata, & Siegel, P.C. have represented more than 10,000 personal injury clients and have the skills, experience, and resources to help injured victims pursue maximum compensation for their injuries. The law firm has received an AV rating from Martindale-Hubbell, the organization's highest possible rating for attorneys.


For the original version on PRWeb visit: