Diaspora

Oromo Federalist Congress Candidate Beaten to Death

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Oromsis’s Note: Ethiopia’s parliamentary election is only 30 days away. Today, the world woke up to yet another heart-breaking news that an Oromo opposition candidate was beaten to death while campaigning in central Oromia (read after the jump).

This follows the latest wicked and unfair verdict passed on Oromo intellectuals in an ethnic cleansing campaign waged by the ethno-racist regime in Ethiopia in collaboration with its kangaroo court.

We are also receiving a widespread fraud reports where students and teachers across the country are being bought willingly and coerced into voting for the ruling party. In some parts of Oromia unanimous party members were assigned to distribute election ballots to be pre-marked and/or registration forms prior to the polling date. For instance, in east Shewa zone one student reports, “…some teachers [ruling party cronies) are offering better grades for students who register as members of the ruling party.”

There is no doubt that the current minority regime has already usurped the people’s vote and voice in the upcoming pretentious election. What is troubling is the international community’s excruciating silence as Ethiopia makes a mockery of electoral process. The only international observers that are present on the ground are some 200 member EU mission.

It will be interesting to see what kind of report the mission will present after the election. I will be hard-pressed to know how 200 mission members hope to observe and give a credible report on an election that is to take place at over 40,000 plus polling stations in a country of 80 million people.


By Jason McLure

 

April 22 (Bloomberg) — An Ethiopian opposition activist was beaten to death by pro-government militia in the western part of the country after he refused to stop campaigning for his party before May 23 elections, an opposition leader said.

[Biyansa] Deba was killed while campaigning for the Oromo Federalist Congress, part of Ethiopia’s Medrek opposition alliance, near the western town of Ambo when four members of a militia aligned with Prime Minister Meles Zenawi’s ruling party beat him on April 7, said Merara Gudina, a member of parliament and chairman of the OFC. He died of his injuries on April 16 after being hospitalized in the capital, Addis Ababa. “He died campaigning,” Merara said in a phone interview today from Harar in eastern Ethiopia. “This is the militia of the government trying to block rural campaigning.”

Communications Minister Bereket Simon said the allegation was false and that the government could produce documents showing that Beyanza was in fact a member of the pro-Meles Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front. Bereket also accused the opposition of fabricating human rights violations so as to discredit next month’s poll.

“He was sick and he died,” Bereket said in a phone interview today. The opposition is “smearing the campaign, using any person who is dead” for their own purposes, he said.


Stabbed

Last month, Aregawi Gebrey-Yohannes, a Medrek parliamentary candidate, was stabbed to death in the northern Ethiopian region of Tigray. A man was convicted and sentenced to 15 years in a domestic court for that killing. The government has said Aregawi’s homicide was non-political, though opposition leaders said it was part of a campaign of harassment and intimidation by Meles’s party. “It’s widespread, it’s across Oromiya, it’s across other regions,” said Merara.

Earlier this month, Bekele Jirata, another Oromo opposition leader, was sentenced to 13 years in jail in absentia after being tried on charges of supporting the outlawed Oromo Liberation Front. Birtukan Mideksa, another Medrek leader, remains in jail under a life sentence after being tried for treason following Ethiopia’s 2005 vote. That year at least 193 demonstrators were killed by security forces loyal to Meles in the wake of the disputed election.

 

Bloomberg News : Ethiopian Opposition Claims Activist Killed While Campaigning

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