Hacktivists Vandalize Ethiopian Government Website

An unknown group hacked and vandalized Ethiopian Ministry of Defense website. Graphic images from the recent Oromo student protests were posted on the site. Oromo students and farmers have been protesting Addis Ababa Masterplan, a plan to integrate the surrounding Oromia towns into the capital since late November. Ethiopian security forces have killed as many as 60 peaceful protesters, according to activists’ estimate, even though Ethiopian government admitted to killing only five. In recent years, Ethiopian government has been in the news for hiring an upscale Italian hacker group named Hacking Team to spy on Ethiopian diaspora and journalists.

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Western Media Hire Pawns as Reporters

It is hard for people in East Africa to get western media’s attention. It is even harder when the latter’s freelance reporters suppress flow of information, or choose to ignore facts on the ground. Two of such freelancers are currently reporting from Ethiopia: William Davison and Elias Meseret. Ethiopia is notorious for expelling foreign journalists if it suspects they would not be influenced. Ethiopia ranks at the bottom when it comes to press freedom.

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Ethiopia Kills Unarmed Students

Ethiopian Security Forces Mercilessly Murdered Protesting Students
According to various sources, Ethiopian security forces killed at least seven students in the last two weeks. High school and university students of Oromo ethnic origin took to the streets in protest of Addis Ababa Integrated Regional Development Plan, which they dubbed “Master Killer,” in reference to the exploitation and displacement of Oromo farmers. These protests have been cropping up in towns and universities in Oromia Regional state (the largest regional state in Ethiopia) with less organization but similar theme. They’re all opposed to the Addis Ababa Master Plan. Ethiopian security forces are known for their heavy handedness when responding to peaceful protests.

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BBC Wakes Up

Announces New Broadcasting Services To Remote Corners Of The World
The ever-changing digital media has once again forced news and entertainment titans like the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) to wake up and smell the coffee. Last week, BBC got an £85 million a year shot-in-the-arm from the UK government per its proposal, which includes expanding services to Russia, North Korea, Ethiopia and Eritrea. The announcement created an excitement in these corners of the world, raising the hope for unbiased news coverage for these areas although that’s yet to be seen. In July of this year, BBC slashed 1,000 jobs as a result of £150 million license fee deficit. Tony Hall, BBC director-general told the media, the cuts were in an effort to make BBC ‘leaner and simpler”.

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Ethiopian Towns Rocked By Protests

On Wednesday, Nov. 25, 2015, young Oromo protesters demanding a halt to Addis Ababa Integrated Regional Development plan, also known as Addis Ababa Master Plan, swarmed Ambo and Mendi towns, located in the western parts of Ethiopia. According to social media updates, roads were blocked by burning tires and rocks in Mendi, a town located 350 miles to the west of Addis Ababa, in Oromia Regional State. Similar protests were happening in Ambo town, located 78 miles to the west of Addis Ababa. More than two dozens of students and residents of this town were killed by Ethiopian security forces in 2014 when they protested against the same project.

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Kenya Moves Defense Forces to Ethiopian Border

Ethio-Kenya is an odd couple. Even though the war on terrorism keeps them together, there is always a skirmish on the porous border; often times fight over grazing lands among tribes living around the border of the two nations. This time, Ethiopian soldiers crossed the border and killed three Kenyan policemen. It prompted the deployment of Kenyan Defense Force. The two nations are as friendly as any neighboring countries could get.

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Eritrea – Africa’s North Korea

Secretive Nation

Eritrea, the 22-year-old nation navigated a treacherous terrain to get to its independence in May 1993. From Italian colonial control-to-British administrative control-to-full annexation by Ethiopia, and then independence, it had been a contentious land. Despite Eritreans’ hope that the nation would be democratic and prosperous, their country is leading from behind in almost every metrics but leads in secrecy. Isaias Afwerki turned out to be Africa’s Kim Jong-Un, short of the nuclear weapon. This Horn of Africa nation is one of the most secretive nations in the world.

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Diaspora’s Oromo Community Urges Lawsuit

WASHINGTON–In the wake of The Horn Post’s Report that linked the World Bank Group and Grand Lyon to the Addis Ababa Master Plan, a prominent member of Oromo Community in the United States urges a class action lawsuit. The member shared the letter he sent to International Oromo Lawyers Association (IOLA) with The Horn Post. International Oromo Lawyers Association is a professional association found in 2014, and legally registered in the United States, according to its website. The letter writer asked The Horn Post to redact the names. Dear fiends [sic] at IOLA,

I would like to begin this short note by congratulating you on your successful achievement of establishing International Oromo Lawyers Association.

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Addis Ababa Master Plan

A Partnership between France And The World Bank In Gentrification and Inhumane Mission
ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia–France with the help of the World Bank has embarked on missions that destroyed many lives in some African countries. One of those countries in which this duo operates is Ethiopia. Mali, Burkina Faso and Benin are the other victims of the “urbanization for the 21st century,” which mainly advocates building cities around public transportation. In May 2014, university student protesters of Oromo ethnic origin took to the streets of Ethiopia in opposition to the “Integrated Development Master Plan.” Some student protesters quoted by social media activists dubbed it “a master killer,” because dozens of students and people who protested were gunned down by Ethiopian security forces. Some of them pointed to its “unconstitutionality,” saying it encroaches on Oromia’s land.

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Ethiopian Calendar Belongs In A Museum

Happy 2008 to Ethiopia! We urge the nation to get even with the world, at least at counting. Based on the Coptic Calendar, Ethiopian Calendar has 13 months; twelve of them with 30 days each and the last one with 5 except in a leap year when it adds the 6th day. Ethiopian New Year approximately marks the end of the rainy season. If you are wondering why seven or eight years behind, you are not alone.

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