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Ethiopia's World / የኢትዮጵያ ዓለም

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Posts Tagged ‘The Economist’

I Was a War Reporter in Ethiopia. Then I Became The Enemy | ኢትዮጵያ ውስጥ የጦር ዘጋቢ ነበርኩ። ከዚያም ጠላት ሆንኩኝ!

Posted by addisethiopia / አዲስ ኢትዮጵያ on June 24, 2022

💭 የኢኮኖሚስት ዘጋቢው ቶም ጋርድነር በእርሱ ላይ ጥላሸት ያለው የኢንተርኔት ዘመቻ ከተካሄደበት በኋላ ተባረረ

💭 “እ.ኤ.አ. በ2016 ዓ.ም በኢትዮጵያ የኢኖሚስት መጽሔት ዘጋቢ ሆንኩ፣ ሀገሪቱ በሰላማዊና በመን-ተሻጋሪ በሆነ ለውጥ ውስጥ ያለች ትመስላለች። ጥልቅ ለሆነው የሀገሪቷ ታሪክ ፍቅር ያዘኝ፣ ለ 3,000 ዓመታቱ ብሔራዊ ትርክቷ፣ ለውበቱ እና ለዋና ከተማዋ ጉልበት።”

“ከጦርነቱ በስተጀርባ ያለውን ተንኮል ማጤን ቀጠልኩ። ኢትዮጵያ ውስጥ በአንድ የምዕራባውያን ምሁር የተደረገ ጥናት፣ ረሃብን በትግራይ ላይ የጦር መሣሪያ አድርጎ መጠቀምን ጨምሮ መንግሥት የጦር ወንጀልን ለመደበቅ የሚችለው እንዴት እንደሆነ ለማወቅ ፈልጌ ነበር።”

“ዛሬ ኢትዮጵያ ራሷን የምትበታትን/የምታፈራረስ ትመስላለች፣ ትዊት በትዊት፣ የፌስቡክ ጽሑፍ በፌስቡክ ጽሑፍ።”

💭 The Economist’s correspondent was expelled after a shadowy online campaign against him

💭 “I became a correspondent for The Economist in Ethiopia in 2016, the country seemed to be in the midst of a peaceful, epochal transformation. I was beguiled by its deep sense of history – the national myth stretches back 3,000 years – by its beauty and by the energy of its capital.”

I continued to look into the machinations behind the war. I was interested in how research conducted in Ethiopia by a Western scholar seemed to be enabling the government to whitewash war crimes, which included the use of hunger as a weapon against Tigray.

“Today, Ethiopia seemed to be tearing itself apart, tweet by tweet, Facebook post by Facebook post.”

👉 By Tom Gardner, The Economist

Last July I travelled to Amhara hoping to interview soldiers wounded in Ethiopia’s civil war with Tigrayan rebels. I was accompanied by a young Ethiopian journalist, who was also translating for me. A group of federal police officers stopped us outside a hospital and threw us in the back of an open-top jeep. While the vehicle wound its way towards a police station, four or five officers stood over us as we knelt or sat on our haunches. Bystanders jeered from both sides of the street. The man driving the car behind us stared at me, then made a gesture of slitting his throat. When the police started beating us, my Ethiopian colleague got the worst of it: his mouth filled with blood from the blows. I was hit in the head at least twice with a rifle butt. I made a pleading motion for the officers to stop; they laughed. That was a turning point for me. In the grips of civil war, an already brutal authoritarian regime was taking a darker turn. Anyone could become the enemy. Including me.

I did not expect to become a war correspondent. Like many people, my early associations with Ethiopia were news stories about famine. I got a more nuanced view when I studied African politics as a Masters student. In the few years before I became a correspondent for The Economist in Ethiopia in 2016, the country seemed to be in the midst of a peaceful, epochal transformation. I was beguiled by its deep sense of history – the national myth stretches back 3,000 years – by its beauty and by the energy of its capital. The state remained rigid and authoritarian; protests against it were gathering momentum. But, from afar, Ethiopia still seemed to be a land full of ambition and possibility.

In an already brutal authoritarian regime, anyone could become the enemy. Including me

At first I wrote about urbanisation and infrastructure – railways, new housing projects, industrial parks and mega-dams that had been supercharged by Chinese investment and a Chinese model of state-led growth. Many welcomed the ascension of Abiy Ahmed as prime minister in 2018 and the advent of “Abiymania”. Pop songs with titles like “He Awakens Us” lauded his rise; people wore t-shirts bearing his image; a book comparing Abiy to Moses became a bestseller. Abiy offered a glimmer of hope for an opening of political and press freedom, too; he was awarded the Nobel peace prize in 2019 for negotiating a peace deal with neighbouring Eritrea. Stepping aboard the first commercial flight between the two countries in 20 years, watching tearful families reunite, I felt like a witness to history.

Yet there were darker cross-currents. The brief unity brought by Abiy belied a more contested, painful reality. Decades of dictatorship and the long-simmering border conflict with Eritrea had obscured fractious rivalries within Ethiopia, particularly between the country’s three most powerful ethnic groups, the Oromo people, the Amharas and the Tigrayans, the smallest of the three, who comprised just 6% of the population but until recently held outsized power. Those fissures started to widen.

The Eritrean regime and Abiy shared a common adversary in the Tigrayan People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), which started as a band of guerrillas in 1975, toppled Ethiopia’s military dictatorship in 1991, then dominated the regime that ran the country for more than a quarter-century. Abiy ousted the TPLF amid public protests against the party’s imperious reign, and repeatedly blamed it for Ethiopia’s woes. But after Abiy made peace with Eritrea, TPLF leaders feared that Eritrea’s and Ethiopia’s armies would combine forces to crush Tigray, the TPLF’s homeland in the north.

When I visited Tigray in late October 2020, mobile communications were shut down for four hours amid rising tensions, a precursor of a much longer blackout to come for the region. Days later war broke out, after Tigrayan forces attacked a federal army barracks. War fever quickly took hold in Addis Ababa, with blood drives and rallies in support of government troops. Tigrayan militiamen committed a massacre of Amharas in a border town just inside Tigray. (Tigrayan civilians were killed or chased from their homes in tit-for-tat attacks.) Videos emerged of piles of corpses; bodies were carried through the streets as their relatives wailed. Abiy’s regime seized on these images, pointing to them as a retrospective justification for the conflict. The propaganda battle was on.

Suddenly I was covering a war. To some partisans in Abiy’s government, I was fulfilling a secret purpose: on social media, members of the Ethiopian diaspora labelled me an agent of the cia (later I would also be called an agent of mi6). Along with other journalists, I was accused of siding with the TPLF. At first, I laughed off such conspiratorial accusations. At the time there was little sign that the government would take such talk seriously. Independent Ethiopian journalists, however, were already under pressure. Always constrained in their reporting, after the war began some were detained for daring to contradict the official government line. A number were physically assaulted.

I was labelled an agent of the CIA, then of MI6

Soon the regime escalated its attacks against me and other foreign journalists, human-rights workers and employees of the United Nations and other international institutions. In December 2020, a local magazine ran a cover story which accused me, along with a preposterously long list of foreign and local journalists, of being part of a grand British conspiracy to overthrow Abiy’s government.

That an established journalist could spread such lies, and in a publication that many thought was respectable, marked a disturbing shift. Government officials seemed to approve of the story. One even recommended it to another member of the foreign press corps.

Pro-government activists and trolls were making similar attacks against me and others online. On Facebook a post began circulating: a collection of mug shots of foreign and Ethiopian journalists and academics – my photo among them – presented as though we were criminals and supported the TPLF. The post popped up whenever a story appeared in the Western press that cast Abiy’s regime in a negative light. That happened often, as government troops blockaded the region; human-rights groups accused the forces of ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity, including mass murder, forced hunger and rape. I reported on these atrocities, as did other journalists, and tweeted about them. A Facebook post appeared with images of 12 foreign correspondents, including me: “Please follow these people on Twitter and expose their lies”, the post said, calling us “TPLF sympathisers”.

Twitter and Facebook have served different functions during the war. Twitter has been a forum for international, English-language discourse, where members of the diaspora and people inside Ethiopia waged a propaganda war that was, at least in part, intended for a foreign audience. On Facebook, Ethiopians increasingly spread hate speech and disinformation in local languages that could sometimes incite real-world violence.

Abiy himself poured fuel on the fire of the propaganda war. In April 2021 he urged Ethiopians not to “bow” to Western media “campaigns”. In August, he called for a mass social-media campaign to counter “lies” in the Western media. That same month, state media accused me, along with journalists from the bbc, cnn and New York Times, of working for the TPLF. The state was now openly encouraging hostility against Western media as well as the human-rights groups and international institutions that were monitoring the regime’s war crimes.

Tigrayans and other Ethiopians suffered the most. By August 2021 foreign media and Amnesty International had documented the systematic rape and sexual enslavement of Tigrayan women by Eritrean and Ethiopian soldiers. (Tigrayan forces were also found to have committed mass rapes against women in the Amhara and Afar regions.) On social media, government officials and their supporters engaged in a cruel campaign to cast doubt on Tigrayan accusers. They argued that victims’ testimonials were false or exaggerated, that rape was endemic in Tigray and that many such assaults had actually been committed by Tigrayan criminals who had been released from prison. They also smeared Tigrayan refugees in Sudan as perpetrators of a massacre, to cast suspicion on Tigrayans’ own claims of war crimes. Regime apologists downplayed horrific acts and denounced as lies even some documented incidents, such as a video of security forces burning a man alive. Ethiopia seemed to be tearing itself apart, tweet by tweet, Facebook post by Facebook post.

Ethiopia seemed to be tearing itself apart, tweet by tweet

Attacks were gathering against foreign interests of any kind. A campaign under the hashtag #NoMore – that is, “no more” Western intervention, colonialism and lies – started trending on Twitter and Facebook in late 2021. The social-media posts showing my face seemed increasingly ubiquitous. Previously I had felt safe in Addis Ababa. Now I started to worry about being recognised in public and subjected to abuse, or that I might return home one day to discover my landlord had changed the locks.

Some of this was paranoia. During this time thousands of Ethiopians, usually ethnic Tigrayans, were rounded up and thrown into internment camps. Even when I was roughed up in Amhara, my Ethiopian colleague suffered the brunt of the abuse. Foreigners were sheltered by comparison. But I felt a creeping sense of the nastiness online bleeding into my real life. In mid-2021 billboards had been put up in parts of Addis Ababa calling for “white demons” to leave the country. They were the handiwork of a fire-and-brimstone preacher advertising his YouTube channel. It seemed telling, though, that the government let them stay up.

I was ever more conscious of my status as an outsider – distrusted, unwelcome. I was on a trip with friends in the eastern town of Harar when, one night, the owner of a bar told me that because I was British I must be a journalist – and because I was a British journalist, I must be in the pay of the TPLF. Rattled, I slipped out into the night. When the regime declared a state of emergency late last year, police began conducting house raids and arrests throughout the capital. I slept uneasily for weeks, expecting a loud knock at the door.

In March this year the government agreed a truce with the TPLF. The situation was calmer and relations between Abiy’s regime and the West were improving. I continued to look into the machinations behind the war. I was interested in how research conducted in Ethiopia by a Western scholar seemed to be enabling the government to whitewash war crimes, which included the use of hunger as a weapon against Tigray. A polite email I sent on May 1st to a Western think-tank sparked yet another online campaign, this time against me personally, lasting two weeks. My email to the think-tank was made public on Twitter, where pro-government figures (yet again) spread wild accusations that I was operating on behalf of the TPLF. One thing had changed: there were also calls for my journalist accreditation to be revoked.

Some social-media posts came from the Ethiopian diaspora, others from Western apologists for Abiy. State media republished claims of my “despicable behaviour”, along with the suggestion that I be “given the boot home and fired”. On May 13th, the government’s media authority summoned me to its office and handed me a letter: my press accreditation had been revoked. The next day an immigration official called to tell me I had 48 hours to leave the country. Just like that, my life in Ethiopia was over.

In the short time since I left in May, many more Ethiopian journalists and activists have been detained. One of those arrested was the author of the magazine story that attacked me and other journalists early in the war. Even he had not kept faithfully enough to the government line. (His family says he was beaten in custody.) He joins scores of other writers, commentators and photographers who have been jailed since 2020. Last year two journalists were murdered. Others have been hounded out of the country. Several other foreign journalists have been banished or barred from reporting. Ethiopia’s own human-rights commissioner has called the situation a “new low” for the country.

I started to worry about being recognised in public or that I might return home one day to discover my landlord had changed the locks

Friends in Addis Ababa sent me a video posted just days after I was expelled. An Ethiopian commentator, Seyoum Teshome, was celebrating my departure on a YouTube talk show. A fiery, Tucker Carlson-like figure, he wrote the word “journalists” in sneering inverted commas in tweets. Now he was making explicit his charge that I and others worked for the TPLF. “Tom Gardner has been expelled, hasn’t he? Why?” he said, speaking Amharic. “I’ve proved 30 or 40 times that he is a criminal. Before he was expelled, I came here and told you, ‘Look at him’, didn’t I?” He said he “proved 1,000 times” that I was part of the TPLF.

This televised tirade, since viewed on YouTube more than 100,000 times, was the coda to the long digital campaign against me. Modern digital warfare, designed to sow confusion, is now being waged everywhere from Ukraine and Syria to China and beyond. The experience was a painful reminder to me that China was a model not just for Ethiopia’s state-directed economic development. The government had also taken more disturbing lessons from China and other authoritarian states. It was learning how to become a modern, digital autocracy.

Source

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Posted in Ethiopia, Media & Journalism, News/ዜና, War & Crisis | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Lucy Kassa on The Dangers Journalists Face for Uncovering Truths in War

Posted by addisethiopia / አዲስ ኢትዮጵያ on May 5, 2022

👉 ገብርኤል 👉 ማርያም 👉 ኡራኤል 👉 ጊዮርጊስ 👉 ተክለ ሐይማኖት 👉 ዮሴፍ 😇 መድኃኔ ዓለም

💭 The Ethiopian reporter lives in exile because of her articles from Tigray

👉 From The Economist

I was attacked at my home in Ethiopia in February 2021. Three security agents raided my home and threatened to kill me if I continued to dig into the war.

Foreign governments should put pressure on Ethiopia to allow independent international investigation, lift the communication blackout and, crucially, to allow journalists to do their job

MORE THAN a year has passed since I first uncovered evidence of war crimes in the continuing conflict in the Tigray region of northern Ethiopia. Civilians have endured atrocities including sexual violence, ethnic cleansing, systematic massacres, unspeakable torture and starvation. The horror stories are endless. Yet Ethiopia’s government denies them.

All sides of the conflict have committed war crimes. A mound of evidence gathered by investigative journalists and rights groups suggests that Ethiopian government troops, allied soldiers from Eritrea and local Amhara forces have committed terrible atrocities against ethnic Tigrayans. These acts could potentially amount to genocide, as defined in international law. But troops affiliated to the Tigray forces have also committed shocking acts, including sexual violence and the extra-judicial killing of civilians, as they advanced in the neighbouring regions of Afar and Amhara.

The Ethiopian government blocks all communications and bars journalists from the conflict zones. This makes it extremely difficult to grasp the scale of the crimes and the gravity of the humanitarian crisis. Stories of atrocities often emerge two or three months after they have been committed. The communications blackout is exhausting. A story that would normally take me two weeks to research now takes a month.

It works as follows. When an allegation of an atrocity emerges, I find sources on the ground. I communicate from one person to another until I find the actual victims. My network helps bring them to somewhere in the area with internet, such as the offices of certain NGOs. (There is little petrol in Tigray so even finding transport can be extremely difficult.) I use the connection to interview them via secure messaging services. I ask the survivors to send me any footage or photographic evidence they have. To ensure consistency, I then check their testimonies against those given by other witnesses. I also work with experts to analyse satellite imagery.

My reports since the blackout have so far been limited to Mekelle, the Tigrayan capital, and its outskirts. Nobody really knows what is happening in rural areas. Whenever I uncover crimes committed by government forces, or report stories that don’t suit the government’s narrative, I fall victim to co-ordinated attacks, involving threats and online hate campaigns. Such efforts are designed to stop the atrocities from coming to light.

This harassment continued even after I was attacked at my home in Ethiopia in February 2021. Three security agents raided my home and threatened to kill me if I continued to dig into the war. They took evidence that I had gathered for an investigation into weaponised sexual violence involving Eritrean troops, in which a mother had been gang-raped and tortured by 15 Eritrean soldiers in a military camp.

I decided to carry on with the investigation because I couldn’t ignore the terrible stories I had heard. Days after my home was raided I published my investigation in the Los Angeles Times. Within hours officials released a statement saying I was not a legitimate journalist. The Ethiopian state’s media outlets and supporters tried to present me as a criminal. I was forced to flee the country.

I continue my investigations from exile. Two months ago I uncovered the massacre of 278 ethnic-Tigrayan civilians. Eritrean troops and local Afar forces who are allied to the Ethiopian army went from house to house shooting. Pregnant women and children were among the victims. More than two dozen girls reported sexual violence, too. Sometimes I feel a terrible sense of déjà vu in my work; patterns and repetition appear in the killing methods. All the more reason why journalists must continue to expose such horrors.

Foreign governments should put pressure on Ethiopia to allow independent international investigation, lift the communication blackout and, crucially, to allow journalists to do their job. The point of the hate campaigns against me and other journalists who defy the government’s narrative has been to keep these kinds of atrocities and other horrendous war crimes in the dark. The intention is to tire us through relentless bullying. The aim is for state propaganda to saturate news networks and social-media platforms to drown out the truth. But the truth can only come to light if journalists are allowed to do their work without harassment.

Source

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Posted in Ethiopia, Media & Journalism, War & Crisis | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Ethiopia’s Shaky Ceasefire: “Unless Aid Moves Very Quickly it Seems Inevitable That War Will Return”

Posted by addisethiopia / አዲስ ኢትዮጵያ on April 14, 2022

💭 የኢትዮጵያ የተኩስ አቁም ስምምነት፤ “ዕርዳታ በፍጥነት ካልተንቀሳቀሰ በስተቀር ጦርነት መመለሱ የማይቀር ይመስላል”

አባታችን አባ ዘወንጌል በአንድ ወቅት እንዲህ ብለውን ነበር፦ኢትዮጵያን በዚህ ወቅት እያስተዳደሯት ያሉት ጠላቶቿ ናቸው!”

አዎ! ሁሉም የሕዝቡ ጠላቶች ናቸው። አህዛብ + አማኒው + መናፍቁ ኦሮሞ / ኦሮማራ ጽዮናውያን ኢትዮጵያውያንንና ኢትዮጵያን ቢጠሉ አያስገርመንም ለመቶ ዓመታት ያየነው ነውና፤ የሚያስገርመውና ልብ የሚሠብረው ግን ከጽዮናውያን አብራክ ወጥተው፣ በተደጋጋሚ ይቅርታ ተደርጎላቸውና ዛሬም ጽዮናውያን መኻል ተሰግስገው እንዋጋለታለን!” የሚሉትን በግ ዛሬም ለተኩላ አሳልፈው ሲሰጡት ማየቱ ነው።

[፩ኛ ወደ ጢሞቴዎስ ምዕራፍ ፭፥፰]

ነገር ግን ለእርሱ ስለ ሆኑት ይልቁንም ስለ ቤተ ሰዎቹ የማያስብ ማንም ቢሆን፥ ሃይማኖትን የካደ ከማያምንም ሰው ይልቅ የሚከፋ ነው።”

[፩ኛ የዮሐንስ መልእክት ምዕራፍ ፫፥፲፯፡፲፰]

ነገር ግን የዚህ ዓለም ገንዘብ ያለው፥ ወንድሙም የሚያስፈልገው ሲያጣ አይቶ ያልራራለት ማንም ቢሆን፥ የእግዚአብሔር ፍቅር በእርሱ እንዴት ይኖራል? ልጆቼ ሆይ፥ በሥራና በእውነት እንጂ በቃልና በአንደበት አንዋደድ።”

[ወደ ሮሜ ሰዎች ምዕራፍ ፲፪፥፳]

ጠላትህ ግን ቢራብ አብላው፤ ቢጠማ አጠጣው፤ ይህን በማድረግህ በራሱ ላይ የእሳት ፍም ትከምራለህና።”

💭 A CEASEFIRE AGREED weeks ago should have mitigated the suffering of starving Ethiopians caught up in war; The Economist asks why so little aid has got through.

______________

Posted in Ethiopia, News/ዜና, War & Crisis | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Economist | President Isaias Afewerki Is Fanning War & Undermining Democracy Across The Region

Posted by addisethiopia / አዲስ ኢትዮጵያ on May 20, 2021

🔥 Bloody Brothers Eritrea, Africa’s Gulag State, is on the march

It is an unlikely pairing. Abiy Ahmed, Ethiopia’s prime minister, is young, charismatic and says he is committed to democracy in Africa’s second-most-populous country. Until war erupted in November in Tigray, a northern region, he was a darling of the world. In 2019 he won the Nobel peace prize for ending a war with Eritrea. Yet he is now knee-deep in blood alongside Eritrea’s president, Issaias Afwerki, an ageing dictator who locks up dissidents in shipping crates in the desert.

When the two leaders met to sign a peace deal in 2018, many hoped their reconciliation would reshape the region. Abiy was liberalising Ethiopia, releasing political prisoners and freeing the press. Some thought Issaias might learn from his new friend. Outsiders rushed to encourage the thaw. The un lifted an arms embargo (imposed because of Eritrea’s support for jihadists in Somalia). Western donors poured in cash. Eritrea’s decades of isolation seemed about to end.

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Posted in Ethiopia, Infos, News/ዜና, War & Crisis | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

The Economist | “ጴንጤዎችን የኢትዮጵያ መሪዎች በማድረጋችን ድል ተቀዳጅተናል፤ እንኳን ደስ አለን!” ይለናል

Posted by addisethiopia / አዲስ ኢትዮጵያ on November 23, 2018

ንቴኮስታሊዝም በኢትዮጵያ | አምላክ ኢትዮጵያውያንን እንዲበለጽጉ መኛል

ይለናል

የምዕራቡን ዓለም ነዋሪዎች መንፈሳዊ ሕይወት ያደቀቀው የ “ብልጽግና ወንጌል” ወይም Prosperity Gospel“ በመባል የሚታወቀው የ666ቱ አምልኮ ኢትዮጵያን ኃብታም ሊያደርጋት ነው፥ ማለቱ ነው

የእንግሊዙ “ዘ ኢኮኖሚስት” (የምጣኔ ኃብት ጉዳዮች ላይ ማተኮር የሚገባው ጋዜጣ ስለ ሃይማኖት ያወራል) በሚል ርዕስ ጴንጤዎች በኢትዮጵያ ድል እየተቀዳጁ መሆናቸውን በመኩራራት ይናገራል፤ አብይ አህመድ፣ ሃይለማርያም ደሳለኝ፣ ለማ መገርሳ እና ሌሎች ቁልፍ የሆነውን ስልጣን የያዙትም ጴንጤዎች ናቸው፤ እንኳን ደስ ያለን ኦርቶዶክስ ተዋሕዶን ድል በማድረጋቸው፥ ይለናል ይህ ታዋቂ የእንግሊዝ ጋዜጣ።

የሚገርመው በእንግሊዝ አገርም ሆነ በአሜሪካ የጴንጤዎች ቁጥር በጣም ዝቅተኛ መሆኑ ነው፤ መኖራቸውም አይታወቅም። ጴንጤዎችን እና ሙስሊሞችን እንደ ኢትዮጵያ በመሳሰሉት የደቡብ አገራት ያዘጋጇቸው መሳሪያዎች መሆናቸውን የምናየው ነው። ይህ ጋዜጣ ይህን ጽሑፍ ከምስራች ጋር ማቅረቡ ሌላ ምክኒያት የለም፤ በኢትዮጵያ ኦርቶዶክስ ተዋሕዶ እምነት ላይ ጥላቻ ስላላቸው፤ ለረጅም ጊዜ በኢትዮጵያ ላይ የጠነሱስት ሤራ በፈጠነ መልክ ግቡን እየመታላቸው እንደሆነ መስሎ ስለተሰማቸው ነው። ለጊዜው ያቀዱትና ያዘጋጁት ዕቅድ ሁሉ ቅደም ተከተሉን ይዞ በመጓዝ ላይ ይገኛል፤ የተንኮል ችግኛቸውም በመብቀል ላይ ነው።

በ “እንግሊዛዊ” ተንኮል ከተሞላባቸው ዓረፍተ ነገሮች መካከል የሚከተለው ይገኝበታል፦

Although there are few signs that Abiy favours Pentes at the expense of other faiths…”

ምንም እንኳን አቢይ የሌሎች እምነት ተከታዮችን በመጨቆን ለጴንጤዎች ማዳላቱን የሚጠቁሙ ጥቂት ምልክቶች ቢኖሩም….

ይህ ሁሉ ነገር በገጠመኝ እንዳልሆነ ብቻ ሳይሆን፤ ለምን እንደሚሆንና መቸ እንደሚሆን በጥሞና መከታተል ይኖርብናል።

ይህ ሁሉ ውጣ ውረድ ዓለምንና ህዝቦቿን በረቂቅ ቴክኖለጂ አጋዥነት ጠቅልሎ በአንድ በሳጥናኤል አገዛዝ ስር ለማድረግ ሲባል ነው። ለዚህም ሁሉም በየፊናው ተሰማርቶ ይገኛል። የአገር መሪ፣ የሃይማኖት መሪ፣ ሳይንቲስቶች፣ ጋዜጠኞች፣ የሙዚቃውና የስፖርት ኢንደስትሪ ወዘተሁሉም ትኩረት ኢትዮጵያ ናት፤ እንቅፋታቸው / መሰናክላቸው ተዋሕዶ ክርስትና ናት።


Pentecostalism in Ethiopia – God Wants Ethiopians to Prosper

The prime minister and many of his closest allies follow a fast-growing strain of Christianity


The reason why we are poor is inside us,” cries Nigusie Roba, his face sweating with emotion. “It is not the fault of God.” The pastor’s youthful congregants rise, palms open wide. Nigusie’s voice grows louder: “Tonight you will go home anointed by God.” In the far corner a young woman drops to the floor, her body writhing as she screams.

Preachers like Nigusie—sharply dressed, charismatic, and renowned for exorcising demons from the bodies of the faithful—represent a strain of Christianity not widely associated with traditionally Orthodox Ethiopia. For centuries national identity was entwined with the conservative ritual and hierarchy of the continent’s oldest church. But “Pentes”, as both Pentecostals and more staid Protestants are known in Ethiopia, are on the march.

Ethiopia’s new prime minister, Abiy Ahmed, is a devout Pentecostal. So was his predecessor, Hhaalemariamm Deissaleggn. Leammaa Meaggerrssa, the prime minister’s closest ally and president of Oromia, Ethiopia’s most populous region, is a board member of Assemblies of God, the church which hosted Nigusie in Addis Ababa in October. The rise of the Oromo wing of the ruling coalition, the Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (eprdf), has brought even more Pentes into the highest ranks of government. Most of the executive committee of Abiy’s Oromo faction have been followers of Pastor Gemechis Desta, a Pentecostal preacher, even though Pentes are probably still outnumbered in Oromia by both Muslims and Orthodox Christians.

In the 1960s Pentes were less than 1% of the national population. Today they may be as much as a quarter, packed into cities and among the fast-growing rural populations in the south and west. Most of this growth has come at the expense of the Orthodox Church

Before the eprdf introduced freedom of religion in 1995 the Pentes were fiercely persecuted by the Orthodox establishment and its allies in government. When Abiy’s church, Full Gospel Believers, tried to register in 1967, its application was rejected by the then emperor, Haile Selassie. Arrests and beatings followed, worsening under the communist regime known as the Derg. In 1979 some church members were publicly flogged as punishment for not chanting socialist slogans. Popular hostility was rife, too. When one of Nigusie’s children died in infancy, some of his neighbours in southern Ethiopia dug up the grave and hung the corpse on a post as a warning to others.

Even during those dark times Pentecostalism won converts. In much of Oromia it has also grown with the rise of Oromo nationalism, in part because sermons are conducted in the local language, Afan Oromo, rather than Ge’eez, the ancient language of Orthodox liturgy (akin to Latin for Catholics). Most of the founders of the Oromo Liberation Front, a secessionist rebel group, were Pentes.

Today the faith’s modern image explains its rise better than politics. In the Assemblies of God chapel upbeat pop music welcomes Nigusie on stage. A new wave of charismatic pastors known as “Prophets” attract huge crowds by telling followers that God will make them prosper. Suraphel Demissie, who grew up as an orphan, has a 24-hour satellite television channel, tens of millions of YouTube views, a large office in Addis Ababa and an international following. “The beguiling feature of Pentecostalism …[is] the idea that nothing is impossible,” says Andrew DeCort of the Ethiopian Graduate School of Theology.

Ideas like these can be revolutionary. Dena Freeman, an anthropologist, found how a large majority of people in a rural district in Ethiopia’s southern highlands converted to Pentecostalism in the early 2000s. The individualism taught by the religion encouraged a boom in businesses, in part because it freed people from traditional obligations to share their wealth.

The former guerrillas who used to run the EPRDF drew a sharp line between religion and state when they came to power in 1991. But religion seems slowly to be returning to the public sphere. Although there are few signs that Abiy favours Pentes at the expense of other faiths, religion seems to have shaped his politics. Many of his sermon-like speeches about love and forgiveness invoke God. Moreover, many of his followers see him as being on a divine mission. He seems to agree, having said that as a child his mother prophesied his rise.

Source

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