Tag Archives: Ginbot 7 Movement

Andargachew Tsige: Ethiopian brutality, British apathy


A UK citizen who was a refugee from the one-party state that is Ethiopia has been spirited back into its clutches. Why is the Foreign and Commonwealth Office doing so little?


On 23 June 2014 Andargachew Tsige was illegally detained at Sana’a airport in Yemen, while travelling from Dubai to Eritrea on his UK passport. He was swiftly handed over to the Ethiopian authorities, who had for years posted his name at the top of the regime’s ‘most wanted’ list. Since then he has been detained incommunicado at a secret location in Ethiopia. His ‘crime’ is the same as that of hundreds, perhaps thousands, of others—publicly criticising the brutality of the Ethiopian ruling party.

Born in Ethiopia in 1955, Tsige arrived in Britain aged 24, as a political refugee. He is a black, working-class UK citizen, married with three children. Despite repeated efforts—including demonstrations, petitions and a legal challenge— by his family and the wider Ethiopian community, the British government has done little or nothing to secure this innocent man’s release or ensure his safe treatment in detention. The UK is the third biggest donor to Ethiopia, giving around £376m a year in aid.

After nine months of official indifference, among Tsige’s supporters trust and faith in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) is giving way to cynicism and anger. Is the neglect due to his colour or his quality of ‘Britishness’, in an implicit hierarchy of citizenship? If he had been born in England, to white, middle-class parents, attended the right schools (over half the British cabinet was educated privately) and forged the right social connections, would he be languishing in an Ethiopian prison, where he is almost certainly being tortured, abused and mistreated?

Consistently ignored
Tsige is the secretary general of Ginbot 7, a peaceful campaign group which fiercely opposes the policies of the Ethiopian party-state, controlled for 24 years by the Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF). It highlights the regime’s many and varied human-rights violations and calls for adherence to liberal ideals of justice and freedom, as enshrined in the country’s constitution—a broadly democratic piece of fiction which is consistently ignored by the ruling party (even through the EPRDF wrote it).

Political dissent inside Ethiopia has been criminalised in all but name. Freedoms of assembly, of expression and of the media are all denied; so too is affiliation to opposition parties. Aid that flows through the government is distributed on a partisan basis, as are employment opportunities and university places. The media are almost exclusively state-owned and internet access (at 2% the lowest in sub-Saharan Africa) is monitored and restricted. The government would criminalise thought if it could.

At what point, indeed, does neglect in the face of injustice and abuse become complicity?

The population lives under suffocating repression and fear; the vast bulk appears to despise the government. Human rights are ignored and acts of state violence—some of which, according to human-rights groups, constitute crimes against humanity—are commonplace. It is this stifling reality of daily suffering which drives Tsige and other members of Ginbot 7, forcing them to speak out—action that has cost him his liberty.

For challenging the EPRDF, in 2009 and 2012, he was charged under the notorious Anti-Terrorist Proclamation of 2009, tried in absentia and given the death penalty. The judiciary in Ethiopia is constitutionally and morally bound to independence but in practice it operates as an unjust arm of the EPRDF. A trial where the defendant is not present violates the second principle of natural justice, audi alteram partem (hear the other party). Again, however, the EPRDF, having dutifully signed up to all manner of international covenants, ignores them all.

The regime likes trying its detractors who live overseas (activists, journalists, political opponents) in their absence and securing outrageous judgements against them, particularly the death penalty or life imprisonment. It rules by that ancient tool of control—fear.

In relation to Tsige, or indeed anyone else in custody, little in the way of justice, compassion or fairness can thus be expected. Self-deluding and immune to criticism, the EPRDF distorts the truth and justifies violent repression and false imprisonment as safeguarding the country from ‘terrorism’—a phenomenon only evidenced by the thugs, in and out of uniform, which the party-state deploys.

Constitutional responsibility

Tsige is a UK citizen and the UK government has a constitutional and moral responsibility to act robustly on his behalf. In February a delegation of parliamentarians, led by Jeremy Corbyn, his local MP, was due to visit Ethiopia in an effort to secure his release. But the trip was abandoned after a meeting with the Ethiopian ambassador. A member of the team, Lord Dholakia, vice-chair of the all-party parliamentary group on Ethiopia, said it was made clear that they would not be welcome: the ambassador reportedly told them “that there was no need for them to go to Ethiopia as the case is being properly handled by the courts”.

Tsige however has yet to be formally charged, has been denied contact with his British solicitors, and consular support, and has received only one brief visit from the British ambassador, last August—a meeting controlled by the Ethiopians. The FCO has said it is “deeply concerned” about Ethiopia’s refusal to allow regular consular visits and Tsige’s lack of access to a lawyer and others seeking to visit him. But ‘do something’ is the cry from the family and the wider community.

At what point, indeed, does neglect in the face of injustice and abuse become complicity? If a government gives funds to a government, effectively the EPRDF, which is killing, raping, imprisoning and torturing its own citizens, and then does nothing, it is complicit in the crimes thus being committed.

British Members of Parliament to visit Ethiopia in bid to secure release of Andargachew Tsege

By JONATHAN OWEN, The Independent


A delegation of British MPs will visit Ethiopia next month in a bid to secure the release of Andargachew “Andy” Tsege, a British father of three who is under a death sentence.
Mr Tsege, 59, a leading critic of the Ethiopian government who came to Britain as a political refugee more than 30 years ago, has been held in solitary confinement for the past six months.
He vanished during a stopover in Yemen last June, during a trip from Dubai to Eritrea, in what campaigners say was a politically motivated kidnapping. Weeks later it emerged he had been imprisoned in Ethiopia.
His precise whereabouts remain unknown.
The Briton, who is the secretary-general of a banned Ethiopian opposition movement, is facing a death sentence imposed at a trial held in his absence in 2009.
The announcement of the visit by British Parliamentarians, yesterday, is in stark contrast to the efforts of Prime Minister David Cameron, whose response to desperate pleas for help from Mr Tsege’s family last year was to write a letter to Ethiopia’s Prime Minister.
Jeremy Corbyn, vice-chair, the All Party Parliamentary Group on Human Rights, and Mr Tsege’s constituency MP, will lead the delegation. “He is a British citizen so there is no reason on earth why the British government should not take a very robust view on this,” he said. His constituent is “a British national in prison with no understandable, comprehensible or acceptable legal process that’s put him there.”
And Clive Stafford-Smith, director, Reprieve, who will accompany the MPs to Ethiopia, said: “I think Mr Cameron doesn’t understand how serious this is. I think that Andy is going to be seen, as the years go by, as Ethiopia’s Nelson Mandela.”
Campaigners fear that Mr Tsege is being tortured and concern is mounting for his wellbeing. His sister Bezuaybhu said: “He’s in his cell for 24 hours a day, with an electric light, he’s having no exercise, he’s not having contact with anybody – so if this is not torture what is it?” Her brother has been “kidnapped, detained illegally” and should be brought back to Britain, she added.
In a statement a Foreign Office spokesperson said: “The Ethiopians have not allowed us further access than the two consular visits on 11 August and 19 December, though we continue in our efforts to secure this.” The British government is “deeply concerned” about his detention and is “pressing  the Ethiopian authorities” not to carry out the death penalty, they added.
Six months after his capture, Mr Tsege’s family is finding it increasingly hard to cope. His partner Yemi Hailemariam, mother of their three children, said: “We are very ordinary family caught up in this very extraordinary problem and we just don’t know how to get ourselves out of it.” She added: “It just breaks my heart to think he will be celebrating his 60th birthday in three weeks’ time in prison.”
The only contact she has had in six months was a short telephone call Mr Tsege made last month. “He primarily focused on the kids saying that I should not give them false hope. I told him to keep well and strong. He said he is fine. I asked him where he was, he said he was still there [Ethiopia],” she told The Independent.
“It is very, very, difficult to keep things going; I do have my low points. I try just to block a lot of things out and just keep ploughing away – that’s how I’m trying to cope with it,” said Ms Hailemariam.
In a statement, a spokesperson for the Ethiopian Embassy, London, claimed that Mr Tsege belongs to a “terrorist organization” seeking to “overthrow the legitimate government of Ethiopia.” He is being “well treated” and “torture is inhumane and has no place in modern Ethiopia,” they added.
Yet a recent report by Amnesty International revealed how political activists have been tortured and killed by the Ethiopian security forces in recent years.

Today marks 6 months since Ethiopian opposition leader was kidnapped at Yemen international airport

Amnesty International


‘I appeal to the UK to not forget Andy and to make every effort to ensure his safety’ – partner of Andargachew Tsege

Amnesty International today urged the British government to step up efforts to ensure the safety of Andargachew Tsege, a British national held in secret detention nearly six months on since he was rendered to Ethiopia.

Mr Tsege, a British national of Ethiopian origin who is Secretary General of the outlawed Ethiopian opposition group Ginbot 7, disappeared at Sana’a airport in Yemen on 23 June while he was travelling to Eritrea. He had previously been tried in absentia in Ethiopia and sentenced to death for involvement in an alleged coup attempt.

Six months later he is still in secret detention and the Ethiopian government refuses to reveal his whereabouts – he has no access to lawyers or family members.

Amnesty is extremely concerned that Tsege – who is a father of three living in London – is at risk of torture, as political detainees in Ethiopia are frequently tortured in order to extract information and “confessions”. Since his apprehension in June, the UK has been granted just one consular visit on 11 August, during which Tsege was brought hooded to a meeting with the British Ambassador and was not permitted to speak to him privately.

Andargachew Tsege’s partner Yemsrach Hailemariam spoke of her anguish at not having more assurance of his safety. Ms Hailemariam said:

“It’s agony not to be able to visit Andy or find out how he’s doing. It’s nearly six months since Andy was detained. We’re outraged that the UK government has only been able to get one consular visit in that time. Given the close relations between Ethiopia and the UK I would have expected much more. I appeal to the UK to not forget Andy and to make every effort to ensure his safety.”

Amnesty International UK Director Kate Allen said:

“The British government must do more for Andargachew Tsege.
“He’s a British national and the government is obliged to make every effort to ensure that he is not subjected to torture or other ill-treatment, and that he is granted access to his family and a lawyer.

“The British government have long remained tight-lipped about the disastrous state of human rights in Ethiopia and it’s time they spoke out.”

Repression in Ethiopia
Arbitrary detention like Tsege’s is widespread in Ethiopia and torture is rampant in Ethiopia’s detention centres. Dissent is not tolerated, and opposition parties, protesters, students and countless others are subjected to harassment, arrest and enforced disappearance from the security services.

In October, Amnesty published a report highlighting that thousands of people from Ethiopia’s largest ethnic group have been arrested in recent years because of their actual or suspected opposition to the government. These have been detained without charge, tortured, and in some cases killed. As Ethiopia prepares for general elections next May, Amnesty fears the Ethiopian authorities will increase both the scale and the brutality of its efforts to suppress dissent.

Kate Allen added:

“In the wake of the 2005 elections, nearly 200 people were gunned down in the streets of the capital while protesting against the election results. The 2010 elections took place in a context of intimidation, harassment and major restrictions on political freedoms. Since then the government has continued to take all possible measures to suppress opposition and dissent in the country. Meanwhile criticism from Ethiopia’s donors has been conspicuously absent. The international community should be urging the Ethiopian authorities to take immediate and crucial steps to remove their stranglehold on political space in the country ahead of May’s vote.”

Ginbot 7
Ginbot 7 is one of five organisations proscribed as terrorist organisations by the Ethiopian parliament in 2011. In 2012, Andargachew Tsege was prosecuted in absentia on terrorism charges (alongside journalist and prisoner of conscience Eskinder Nega, and others) and sentenced to life imprisonment. Previously, in 2009, he was convicted in absentia on charges related to an aborted coup attempt and was sentenced to death. He was also tried in absentia in the 2005-2007 trial of political opposition members, journalists, activists and others.

አንዳርጋቸው ፅጌ እንዴት ተያዘ?

Keep reading books, but remember that a book is only a book, and you should learn to think for yourself. –Maxim Gorky

ከተስፋዬ ገብረአብ (Gadaa)


አንዳርጋቸው ፅጌን ለመጨረሻ ጊዜ ያየሁት የ2014 የፋሲካ በአል በዋለ ማግስት ነበር። ወደ ለንደን
መንገድ ስለነበረው ከተከዜ በረሃ ወደ አስመራ መጥቶ ሳለ ደወለልኝና ተገናኘን። ሳገኘው ታሞ ነበር። ከምግብ
ወይም ከውሃ ጋር የተያያዘ ቀላል ህመም እንደሆነ ነገረኝና ወደ ፋርማሲ ሄደን መድሃኒት ገዛን።

እየደወልኩ ስለ ጤንነቱ ስጠይቀው ቆየሁ። በሶስተኛው ቀን ተሲያት ላይ ይመስለኛል ወደ ቤቱ ብቅ
አልኩ። የግቢውን በር ገፍቼ ስገባ አንዳርጋቸው በሁለት እጆቹ ልሙጥ የባህር ድንጋዮችን ተሸክሞ ቁጭ ብድግ
እያለ ስፖርት ሲሰራ አገኘሁት። ማጅር ግንዱ በላብ ርሶአል። ግቢው ውስጥ ካለችው የብርቱካን ዛፍ ላይ
ያንጠለጠለውን ፎጣ አንስቶ ላቦቱን ማደራረቅ ያዘ።

በረንዳው ላይ ቁጭ ብለን ጥቂት ካወጋን በሁዋላ ለመሄድ ተነሳሁ። በዚህ ጊዜ ከሶስት ቀናት በሁዋላ ወደ
ለንደን ለመሄድ ትኬቱን እንደቆረጠ ገልፆልኝ በነጋታው ምሽት የራት ቆይታ እንድናደርግ ጠየቀኝ። ሁለታችንም
በጋራ የምናውቀውን ሰው ስም ጠቅሶም በራት ቆይታው ላይ እንደሚገኝ ጠቆመኝ። ተስማማሁና ቀጠሮ ያዝን።

በነጋታው በቀጠሮአችን መሰረት ተገናኘን። ምንም ልዩ ርእሰ ጉዳይ አልነበረንም። ስለ አካባቢያችን
ፖለቲካ ተጨዋወትን። ስለ ግንቦት 7 ህዝባዊ ሃይል አንስቶም ጥቂት ነገረን። በሰው ሃይልና በአንዳንድ አስፈላጊ
ተሽከርካሪዎች በመጠናከር ላይ መሆናቸውን፣ ወያኔ ያዳከመውን የኢትዮጵያዊነት ስሜት ለመመለስ የሚሰራው
የፖለቲካ ስራ ራሱን የቻለ ጊዜ የሚወስድ ስራ እንደሆነ፣ በጥቅሉ ግን ትግሉ ተስፋ እንዳለው ነበር ያጫወተን።
ሞራሉ ጥሩ ነበር። ተስፋ የመቁረጥ ዝንባሌ አላየሁበትም።

ራት እስኪቀርብ፣ “የጀሚላ እናት” በሚል ርእስ ካዘጋጀሁት (በወቅቱ ካልታተመ) መፅሃፍ አንድ ትረካ
አነበብኩላቸው። “የአዲሳባ ቀብር” የሚል ነበር። ትረካው ኮሜዲ አይነት ስለነበር እየሳቁ ነበር ያዳመጡኝ።
ከእኩለ ሌሊት በፊት መለያየታችን ትዝ ይለኛል። አንዳርጋቸው መኪና ስላልያዘ ቤቱ አድርሼው፣ “መልካም
መንገድ” ተመኝቼ ተሰናበትኩት።

ያቺ ምሽት ከአንዳርጋቸው ጋር የመጨረሻ የምተያይባት እለት ትሆናለች ብዬ ግን እንዴት ማሰብ ይቻላል?
አሁንም ቢሆን ለዘልአለሙ አንተያይም ብዬ አልደመደምኩም። ሌላው ቀርቶ ይህች መጣጥፍ እንኳ ካለበት ጉረኖ
ደርሳ ሊያነባት እንደሚችል ተስፋ አደርጋለሁ።

ስለነገ ማንም አያውቅም። መለስ ዜናዊ ከግርማ ወልደጊዮርጊስ ቀድሞ ይሞታል ብሎ ሊያስብና ሊገምት
የሚችል ማንም አልነበረም። ደካማና በቀላሉ ተሰባሪ የሆነች ነፍሳችን ከአስር ደቂቃ በሁዋላ ምን ሊገጥማት
እንደሚችል እንኳ አናውቅም። ተስፋ ግን በልባችን ሞልቶ ተርፎአል። ስለዚህም ሰዎች በተስፋ ይኖራሉ። ሰዎች
በተስፋ አሻግረው ያልማሉ። ሰዎች በተስፋ እርቀው ይጓዛሉ…

ደጋግሜ እንደገለፅኩት አንዳርጋቸው ከነሙሉ ችግሮቹ ብርቱ ሰው ነበር። አንዳርጋቸው አደጋ ላይ
በመውደቁ ኢትዮጵያውያን “የአንድነት ሃይል” ፖለቲከኞች ትልቅ ሰው ጎድሎባቸዋል። ርግጥ ነው፣ ከአንዳርጋቸውጋር ስናወጋ የኦሮሞ ጉዳይ ከተነሳ ተግባብተን አናውቅም። አንዳርጋቸው በያዘው የፖለቲካ አቋም ከሰፊው የኦሮሞ
ህዝብ ደጋፊ ሊያገኝ እንደማይችል መናገሬም አልቀረ። በተለያዩ ፅሁፎች የማንፀባርቀውን አቋም አነሳ ነበር። አንድ
ጊዜ በወግ መሃል፣

“የታሪክ እስረኛ ላለመሆን ምኒልክ የኦሮሞ ህዝብ ላይ ለፈፀመው ግፍ ይቅርታ ጠይቃችሁ አጀንዳውን
ለመዝጋት ለምን አትሞክሩም?” ብዬ ጠይቄው በአነጋገሬ በጣም መቆጣቱን አስታውሳለሁ።

አንዳርጋቸው ለአማራ ብቻ ሳይሆን፣ ለትግራዩም፣ ለኦሮሞውም በአጠቃላይ ለመላ ኢትዮጵያውያን
የሚጠቅም የፖለቲካ መስመር ተከትያለሁ ብሎ በጥብቅ ያምናል። ለነገሩ ወያኔም እንዲሁ ይላል። ኢህአፓም
ይህንኑ ይላል። ሞአ-አንበሳ እንኳ በአቅሟ የዘውድ መመለስ ለኢትዮጵያ አንድነት ፍቱን መፍትሄ መሆኑን
ትሰብካለች። ፈላስፋው ዘርአያእቆብ እንደጠየቀን ‘ሁሉም የኔ መስመር ትክክል ነው’ የሚል ከሆነ ‘በዚህ መካከል
ማነው ፈራጅ?’ የሚል ጥያቄ ይነሳል። ምላሹ ቀላል ነበር። ፈራጅ ሊሆን የሚችለው ህዝብ ነው። የምንመፃደቅበት
ህዝብ ግን የሚሻለውን የመምረጥ እድል አላገኘም…

ሌላ ቀን ደግሞ እንዲሁ ከአንዳርጋቸው ጋር ስንጨዋወት እንዲህ አለኝ፣

“የወያኔ መውደቅ የማይቀር ነው። ከወያኔ መውደቅ በሁዋላ በአገሪቱ ሊፈጠር የሚችለው ክፍተትና
መለያየት ግን በጣም ያሳስበኛል። ከባድ ፈተና ከፊታችን ተደቅኖአል። ለብሄርና ለቋንቋ ጥያቄዎች አጥጋቢ መልስ
መስጠት ይጠበቃል። ከፊታችን የተደቀኑትን ቋጥኝ ጥያቄዎች ለመመለስ የሚያበቃ በቂ ዝግጅት አለን ለማለት ግን
እቸገራለሁ። ችግሩ ምን መሰለህ? መሬት ላይ የሚሰራው ስራ ከፕሮፓጋንዳው ጋር አልተመጣጠነም።
ፕሮፓጋንዳው መቅደሙ አደገኛ ነው።”

አንዳርጋቸው ይህን መሰረታዊ ችግር የሚዳስስና መፍትሄ የሚያስቀምጥ አዲስ መፅሃፍ በመፃፍ ላይ ነበር።
የመፅሃፉን ርእስ “ነፃነትን የማያውቅ ነፃአውጪ – ክፍል ሁለት” እንዳለውም ነግሮኝ ነበር። የመጀመሪያው “ክፍል
አንድ” መፅሃፍ፣ የአርትኦት ስራ ያስፈልገው ስለነበር፣ በአጫጭር አረፍተነገሮችና በቀላል አማርኛ እንድነካካው
ጠይቆኝ በትርፍ ጊዜዬ እያገዝኩት ነበር። ሁለቱንም መፃህፍት አንድ ላይ የማሳተም አሳብ ነበረው።

ወያኔ አንዳርጋቸውን የመን ላይ አሸምቀው እንደያዙት የሰማሁ ቀን በድንጋጤ ደንዝዤ ነበር። ማመን
አቃተኝ። አንዳርጋቸው ከአራት አመታት በላይ ወደ ኤርትራ ሲመላለስ የሱዳንና የየመንን አየር መንገዶች ተጠቅሞ
እንደማያውቅ አውቃለሁ። እኔ አልፎ አልፎ የየመንን መንገድ እንደምጠቀም ስለሚያውቅ፣ “ተው፣ አትመናቸው”
ብሎ ጭምር መክሮኛል። የመን ላይ ‘መንግስት አለ’ ለማለት እንደማይቻል አንዳርጋቸው እያወቀ ምን ሊሆን የመን
ሄደ? ያልተመለሰ ጥያቄ ሆነብኝ።

ዜናውን ስሰማ የተደበላለቀ አሳብ ወደ አእምሮዬ መጣ። ሊሆን የማይችል ጥርጣሬ ነገሮች ጭምር
ረበሹኝ። ዜናውን በሰማሁበት ደቂቃ ስንቱን አወጣሁ፤ ስንቱን አወረድኩ። ማን ዘንድ ደውዬ ማንን እንደምጠይቅ
ግራ ገባኝ። በመጨረሻ ወደ አንዳርጋቸው ዘመዶች እየበረርኩ ሄድኩ።

አስመራ ላይ አንዳርጋቸው “ዘመዶች” አሉት። የስጋ ዘመዶቹ አይደሉም። አዲስአበባ ጎረቤቶቹ የነበሩ
ናቸው። ነገሩ እንኳ ከጉርብትና በላይ ነው። አንዳርጋቸው ወጣት የኢህአፓ አባል ሆኖ ሲንቀሳቀስ የደርግ አፋኞች
ሊገድሉት ያሳድዱት ነበር። ወንድሙንና አንድ ኤርትራዊ ጓደኛውን ጎዳና ላይ ሲረሽኑበት አንዳርጋቸው የሚገባበት
ቀዳዳ አልነበረውም። በዚህ ችግር መሃል፣ የእናቱ ጓደኛ የነበረች አንዲት ኤርትራዊት ሴት አንዳርጋቸውን ወደ
አስመራ በመውሰድ ከመኖሪያ ቤቷ ሸሸገችው። ስድስት ወራት ከቤት ሳይወጣ ከቆየ በሁዋላ ያቺ ሴት የሃሰት
መታወቂያ አውጥታለት፣ ትንሹን አንዳርጋቸው እንደ ገበሬ አልብሳ ወደ ገጠር በመውሰድ ለሻእቢያ አስረከበችው።
ሻእቢያ አንዳርጋቸውን በሱዳን በኩል ሸኘው። ከዚያም አንዳርጋቸው ወደ ለንደን አቀና። አንዳርጋቸው መፅሃፉን
ሲፅፍ የመፅሃፉን መታሰቢያ ከሰጣቸው መካከል ጓደኛው የነበረ የእነዚሁ የኤርትራውያኑ ልጅ የነበረ ነው። ይህን
የተከበረ ቤተሰብ አንዳርጋቸው ወስዶ አስተዋውቆኝ ነበር። ስድስት ወራት የተደበቀባትን ክፍል ጭምር
አይቻለሁ። አንዳርጋቸው ይህን ቤተሰብ እንደ ስጋ ዘመዱ ያያል። እነርሱም አንዳርጋቸውን ሲያዩ በደርግ የተረሸነ
ሟች ወንድማቸውን ያስታውሳሉ።

እንግዲህ አንዳርጋቸው የመን ላይ መያዙን ስሰማ ወደ እነዚህ ሰዎች ነበር የበረርኩት። እንደደረስኩ
የግቢውን በር ደበደብኩ። አንዲት ሴት ብቅ አለች። አላውቃትም። እንግዳ ሳትሆን አትቀርም። ማንን እንደምፈልግ
ነገርኳት። የፈለግሁዋት ሴት እንደሌለች ነገረችኝ። እና የእጅ ስልኳን ሰጠችኝ። ደወልኩ። የምፈልጋት ሴት ስልኩን
አነሳች። ማን እንደሆንኩ ከነገርኳት በሁዋላ፣

“ስለ አንዳርጋቸው ሰማሽ?” ስል ጮህኩ።
“አልሰማሁም። ምን ሆነ?” ስትል እሷም ጮኸች።
“አሁኑኑ ነይ። እነግርሻለሁ…”

ከአስር ደቂቃ በሁዋላ እዚያው ከቤታቸው በራፍ ላይ ቁጭ ብለን የሰማሁትን ሁሉ ነገርኳት። ቃል
መተንፈስ እንኳ ተቸገረች። ትንፋሿ ቆሞ ድርቅ ብላ ቆየች። በመጨረሻ ግን ጥቂት ጥያቄ አዘል ቃላት ተናገረች፣

“በየመን በኩል ለምን እንደመጣ አልገባኝም? በየመንያ እንደማይጠቀም ከዚህ በፊት ነግሮኝ ነበር?”

በመቀጠል ከአንዳርጋቸው “ዘመዶች” ወደሌላው ደወልኩ። ተገናኝተን ስናወጋ ዜናውን ሰምቶ ነበር
የጠበቀኝ። ግራ ተጋብቶ ነበር። ግራ በተጋባ ስሜትም፣

“አንዳርጋቸው ከለንደን ሲነሳ ደውሎልኝ ነበር።” አለኝ። አያያዘና አከለበት፣ “…ትኬቱ በኤርትራ አየር
መንገድ ከዱባይ በቀጥታ ወደ አስመራ የተቆረጠ ነበር። ለምን በየመን በኩል እንደቀየረው አልገባኝም?”

አንዳርጋቸው ከየመን ወደ አዲሳባ መዛወሩን እስከሰማሁባት እለት የነበሩት ቀናት ለኔ እጅግ አስጨናቂ
ነበሩ። ወሬው አስመራን አዳርሶ ነበር። ፖለቲካ የማይከታተሉ ሰዎች ሳይቀሩ የአንዳርጋቸውን ስም እያነሱ ሲነጋገሩ
ሰማሁ። የኔና የአንዳርጋቸውን መቀራረብ የሚያውቁ እየደወሉ ይጠይቁኝ ነበር። አንዳርጋቸውን በፖለቲካ አቋሙ
የሚቃወሙት የኦነግ ከፍተኛ አመራር አባላት ጭምር በየመን ድርጊት ክፉኛ ተቆጥተው ነበር። የኦነግ አመራር
ከመቆጣት አልፎ የመን ላይ ዛቻ የቀላለቀለ መግለጫ አወጣ። ዳሩ ግን ማንም ምንም ማድረግ በማይችልበት
ፍጥነት አንዳርጋቸው ተላልፎ ለወያኔ ተሰጥቶ ኖሮአል። ኦሮማይ!

አንዳርጋቸው እንዴት ከወያኔ እጅ ሊገባ እንደቻለ ዛሬም ድረስ ግልፅ መረጃ የለም። የተለያዩ መላ
ምቶችን እየሰማን፣ እያነበብን ቆይተናል። አንዳርጋቸውን በቅርብ ከሚያውቁት አንዱ እንደመሆኔ እኔም ካለኝ
መረጃ በመነሳት የራሴን ግምት መውሰዴ አልቀረም። የኔን ግምት ይፋ ከማድረጌ በፊት ሌሎች የሚሉትን
ለመስማት በሚል እስካሁን ድረስ በጉዳዩ ላይ ሳልፅፍ ቆይቼ ነበር። አሳማኝ መረጃ ሳይፃፍ ወይም ሳይገለፅ ጊዜው
ስለረዘመ እነሆ! እኔም የግል አስተያየቴን ለማኖር ወሰንኩ…

ኤልያስ ክፍሌ ethiopianreview ላይ የፃፈውን አንብቤያለሁ። ግንቦት 7 የኤልያስን መረጃና ትንታኔ
በደፈናው፣ “ውሸት” ሲል ማስተባበሉንም ተከታትያለሁ። ግንቦት 7 ከማስተባበል አልፎ አንዳርጋቸው እንዴት
ሊያዝ እንደበቃ መግለፅ አለመቻሉ ግን ማስተባበሉን ጎደሎ ያደርገዋል። ያም ሆኖ የኤልያስ ክፍሌ ዘገባ ለኔ
አሳማኝ አልነበረም። በተመሳሳይ ከአንዳርጋቸው መያዝ ጋር በተያያዘ ጥቂት ወሬዎችን ተከታትያለሁ።
ከሰማሁዋቸው መካከል፣

“አንዳርጋቸው ከዱባይ አስመራ በቀጥታ የሚወስደው የኤርትራ አየር መንገድ ትኬት ነበረው። ዱባይ
ላይ የኤርትራ አይሮፕላን ስላመለጠችው የየመንን ትኬት ገዛ።” የሚለው አንዱ ነው።

ለዚህ መረጃ ክብደት ልሰጠው አልቻልኩም። አንዳርጋቸው ተጨማሪ አንድ ቀን ዱባይ በማደር
የሚቀጥለውን የኤርትራ አይሮፕላን መጠቀም እየቻለ፣ እንዴት አስተማማኝ እንዳልሆነ በሚያውቀው የመኒያ
ለመጓዝ ይወስናል? አንዳርጋቸው በየመን አየር መንገድ የተጓዘው በግማሽ ቀን ውስጥ በራሱ ውሳኔ ብቻ ከሆነ፣
የወያኔና የየመን የፀጥታ ሰዎች በዚያችው ቅፅበት አንዳርጋቸውን ለማፈን መቀናጀት ችለዋል ብሎ ማመን
ይቸግራል። የመሆን እድሉ በጣም አናሳ ነው። ለንደንም ሆነ አስመራ የሚገኙ የአንዳርጋቸው ዘመዶች የማያውቁት
አንድ ጉዳይ ያለ ይመስላል። በርግጥም አንድ ምስጢር ሊኖር እንደሚችል እጠረጥራለሁ።

ነገሩ ወዲህ ነው…

በአንድ ወቅት ግንቦት 7 ከነ ነአምን ዘለቀ እና ከአንድ የሆነ የአፋር ድርጅት ጋር ውህደት ነገር
መፈፀማቸውን በዜና ነግረውን ነበር። ከውህደቱ በሁዋላ ብዙም የተወራ ነገር ሳይኖር ነገሩ ተድበሰበሰ። ነአምን
ዘለቀ ከግንቦት 7 ጋር አብሮ ሲሰራ ስመለከት ግን አፋሮቹም ሆነ እነ ነአምን ጠቅልለው ግንቦት 7 ውስጥ ገብተዋል
የሚል ግምት ወስጄ ነበር። የአንዳርጋቸው የመያዝ ሂደት ከዚያ ሳይጀምር አልቀረም።

አንዳርጋቸው ከአፋሮቹ የፖለቲካ ድርጅት ጋር ግንኙነቱን አጥብቆ ቀጥሎ እንደነበር አውቃለሁ። ምን
እንደሚሰራ ግን ፈፅሞ ነግሮኝ አያውቅም። በመካከሉ ሆላንድ ሳለሁ ከግንቦት 7 ሰዎች በኩል የሾለከ የሚመስል
ወሬ ሰማሁ። ይህም ወሬ ለስራ ተብሎ 30 ሺህ ዶላር ተሰጥቶት ወደ የመን የተላከ አንድ አፋር የመሰወሩ ወሬ
ነበር። ወሬው በሰፊው የተሰራጨ አልነበረም። እጅግ በጣም ጠባብ በሆነ ቀዳዳ ነበር የሰማሁት። ይህ ወሬ
ሲመዘን ተራ ወሬ ሊመስል ይችላል። አፋሩ ገንዘብ መያዙ በርግጥ መረጃውን ከፍ አድርጎታል። ከገንዘቡ በላይ ግን
“የመን” የሚለው መረጃ ክብደት ነበረው። ግንቦት 7 የመን ላይ ትኩረት ማድረጉ ትልቅ መረጃ ነበር። አፋሩ
የመን-ሰንአ ሲደርስ ተሰወረ። ከዳ ወይስ ተያዘ? አይታወቅም። ከድቶም ሆነ ተይዞ ወያኔ እጅ ገብቶ ሊሆን
እንደሚችል ግን መገመት ይቻል ነበር። ይህ ከሆነ የግንቦት 7ን የተደበቀ ፍላጎት ወያኔ አውቆአል ማለት ነው።

ግንቦት 7 ምን እንደሚፈልግ ወያኔ ካወቀ፤ የግንቦት 7ን ፍላጎት ለማጥመጃ ሊጠቀምበት ይችላል። ቀላል
ጉዳይ አይደለም። ግንቦት 7 የመን ላይ ምንድነው የፈለገው? ከስደተኞች መካከል ታጋዮችን መመልመል?
የተመለመሉትን ደግሞ ወደ ተከዜ በረሃ ማሻገር? ይህን ስራ ለማከናወን ብዙ ገንዘብ ይጠይቃል። ውድ ነው።
ከሁሉም በላይ ግን ይህን ስራ ለመስራት የሚችል፣ አላማ ያለው ብቁ ሰው የመን ላይ ማግኘትን ይጠይቃል።

አፋሩ ገንዘብ ይዞ የመን ላይ ከተሰወረ በሁዋላ አንዳርጋቸው ተስፋ ቆርጦ ጉዳዩን ይተወዋል ተብሎ
አይገመትም። እንደገና ይሞክራል። ወያኔዎች በዚህ በአንዳርጋቸው ዳግማዊ ሙከራ ጊዜ የራሳቸውን ሰው የመን
ላይ አስቀምጠው አንዳርጋቸውን እንዲገናኘው አድርገው ይሆን? አንዳርጋቸው በረጅም ሂደት ወያኔዎች
ያዘጋጁለትን ሰው እንደራሱ ሰው በማመን ለግንቦት 7 አባልነት በምስጢር መልምሎት ይሆን? እና በረጅም ጊዜ
ሂደት አንዳርጋቸው ወያኔዎች ባዘጋጁለት ወጥመድ ውስጥ ሰተት ብሎ ገብቶላቸው ይሆን? ማለትም አንዳርጋቸው
እነዚያ አባላቱን ለማነጋገር፣ አሊያም ታጋዮቹን ወደ ተከዜ ለማሸጋገር እንዲቻል አንዳንድ ጉዳዮችን ለመፈፀም
በምስጢር የመን ገብቶ ለመውጣት ሞክሮ ይሆን?

ጥያቄዎቹ “አንዳርጋቸው እንዴት ተያዘ?” ለሚለው ጥያቄ ፍንጭ ሰጪ ሊሆኑ ይችላሉ። ቀጥተኛ መረጃ
ያለው አካል የተፈፀመውን በዝርዝር እስካልነገረን ድረስ ከምናውቀው በመነሳት ለመገመት እንገደዳለን።

ከዚህ ሁሉ በሁዋላ፣ “ወያኔዎች አንዳርጋቸውን ይዘው በማሰራቸው አተረፉ ወይስ ከሰሩ?” የሚል ጥያቄ
ይነሳል። የወያኔ ሰዎች “አተረፍን” እያሉ ነው። ማትረፍና መክሰራቸውን ለማየት በርግጥ ጥቂት ጊዜ መጠበቅ
ያስፈልግ ይሆናል። “አትርፈናል” ባዮች ከበሮ ሲደልቁ ሰምተናል። በአንዳርጋቸው መያዝ ቆሽቱ የደበነ ወገን፣ ነገ
በቁጣ ምን ሊፈፅም እንደሚችል አለመገመት የፖለቲካ የዋህነት ነው። እነ በቀለ ገርባ፣ እነ እስክንድር ነጋ፣ እነ
ኦልባና ሌሊሳ፣ እነ ኢንጂነር መስፍን አበበ (ራሶ)፣ እነ ጫልቱ ታከለ፣ እነ ኢብራሂም ሱልጣን፣ እነ ሰይድ አሊ፣ እነ
ፊፈን ጫላ፣ እነ ኮሎኔል ኦላኒ ጃሉ፣ እነ ውብሸት ታዬ፣ ዛሬም ድረስ እስርቤት ናቸው። አንዳርጋቸው ፅጌ
ተጨምሮአል። ይህን ፅሁፍ እየጻፍኩ ሳለም በርካታ ነፃነት ጠያቂዎች እየታፈኑ ወደ እስር ቤት በመጓዝ ላይ ነበሩ።
እስርቤት የተወረወሩትን ዜጎች በቀን 24 ሰአት የሚያስታውስ በሚሊዮን የሚቆጠር ዜጋ በመላ ኢትዮጵያ አለ።

በደል ሲበዛ ወደ በቀል ይለወጣል። ብዙውን ጊዜ ተበዳዮች ጉልበት ሲያገኙ የማመዛዘን ችሎታቸውን
ያጣሉ። በቀል ከመጣ ከደሙ ንፁህ የሆነውን ከተጠቃሚው መለየት ሳይቻል ጊሎቲኑ ከፊቱ ያገኘውን ሊበላ
እንደሚችል ከታሪክ በተደጋጋሚ አይተናል። ወያኔ አንዳርጋቸውና መስፍን አበበን በመሳሰሉ ታጋዮች ላይ
እየፈፀመ ባለው የማፈን ድርጊት ከህዝቡ መራር ቂም በማትረፍ ላይ ነው። ጭፍን ደጋፊዎቹ አደጋ ላይ
እንዲወድቁም አጋልጦ እየሰጣቸው ነው። በመሆኑም ወያኔ አትራፊ ስለመሆኑ ማረጋገጥ አይችልም።

የፅጌ ልጅ – አንዳርጋቸው ከጠላቶቹ እጅ ላይ ወድቆአል። በወያኔ ቴሌቪዥን ላይ ቀርቦም ጥቂት ቃላትን
ተናግሮአል። አንዳርጋቸው በጨካኝ ጠላቶቹ እጅ ላይ ወድቆ ሳለ የተናገራቸውን ቃላት በቀጥታ መውሰድ ወይም
ንግግሩን እንደ መረጃ ተጠቅሞ በዚያ ላይ አስተያየት መስጠት ተገቢ አለመሆኑን እረዳለሁ። ያም ሆኖ
አንዳርጋቸው በንግግሩ፣ “እኔን ተክቶ በረሃ የሚወርድ ሰው ማግኘት ይቸግር ይሆናል” አይነት አባባል መጠቀሙ
በተዘዋዋሪ የትግል ጥሪ ይመስለኛል። መስማት የሚፈልግ ካለ ይህን ሊሰማ ይችላል…

ርግጥ ነው አንዳርጋቸው ከተያዘ በሁዋላ በመላ አለም የሚገኙ “የአንድነት ሃይሎች” በቁጣ የተቃውሞ
ሰልፎችን አካሂደዋል። “አንዳርጋቸው ነኝ!” የሚል መፈክር ይዘውም ታይተዋል። “ሁላችንም አንዳርጋቸው ነን!”
የሚለው መፈክር ለአንዳርጋቸው ተገልብጦ ስድብ እንዳይሆንበት ግን እሰጋለሁ። “አንዳርጋቸው ነኝ!” ለማለት
ቢያንስ አንዳርጋቸው የሞከረውን ለመሞከር ቁርጠኛነትን ማሳየት ይጠይቃል። “ሁላችንም አንዳርጋቸው ነን!”
የሚለው አባባል በአፍ ብቻ ተንጠልጥሎ ከቀረ፣ እንደተለመደው የአንድ ሰሞን የዳያስፖራ ጫጫታ ሆኖ እንደ
ቀዳሚዎቹ መፈክሮች ይህም ከተረሳ ለአንዳርጋቸው ስድብ እንጂ ክብር ሊሆነው አይችልም።

የቅዳሜ ማስታወሻ – December 12, 2014 – Tesfaye Gebreab (Gadaa) – Email: ttgebreab@gmail.com

David Cameron writes to Ethiopian PM on behalf of British political dissident on death row

Andargachew “Andy” Tsege, a critic of the Ethiopian regime, was kidnapped in Yemen.

The Independent


The Prime Minister has personally intervened in the case of a British father-of-three facing the death sentence in Ethiopia, after the man’s children appealed for his help.

David Cameron wrote to the Ethiopian Prime Minister in a bid to save the life of Andargachew “Andy” Tsege, 59, whose plight was revealed by The Independent last Friday.

His actions were in response to what he described as “very touching messages” from Mr Tsege’s children, who are calling for the Prime Minister to help get their father home.

Mr Tsege, who came to Britain as a political refugee in 1979, was arrested at an airport in Yemen in June and promptly vanished. Two weeks later it emerged he had been sent to Ethiopia, where he has been imprisoned ever since. The Briton, a prominent opponent of the Ethiopian regime, is facing a death sentence imposed five years ago at a trial held in his absence.

Menabe, his seven-year-old daughter, recently wrote to Mr Cameron asking him to help get her “kind, loving and caring dad” out of prison. Her twin brother, seven-year-old Yilak, simply asked: “What are you doing to get my dad out of jail?” Mr Tsege’s 15-year-old daughter, Helawit, summed up the mood of the family in her letter: “Please, please, please (!) bring him back soon. We miss him so much.”

The 59-year-old sought asylum in Britain in 1979 after being threatened by Ethiopian authorities over his political beliefs (Reprieve)

Responding to the children’s appeals, the Prime Minister claimed the government is taking the case “very seriously”. In the letter to Yemi Hailemariam, Mr Tsege’s partner and mother of their children, Mr Cameron admitted “Ethiopian authorities have resisted pressure” from British officials to have regular “access” to Mr Tsege.

“As a result of the lack of progress to date I have now written personally to Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn to request regular consular access and his assurance that the death penalty (which the British Government opposes in all circumstances) will not be imposed,” he added. “I very much hope that there will be further progress to report in response to my letter,” he concluded.

Responding to the news yesterday, Maya Foa, head of the death penalty team at legal charity Reprieve, commented: “The Prime Minister says he is ‘concerned’ – but where is the outrage at this flagrant breach of international law, and the ongoing abuse of a British citizen?”

She added: “Andy’s small children are terrified of losing their father, his partner is desperate with worry, and we are no closer to seeing Andy released and returned to safety. Enough delays – we need firm action now to bring him home to London.”

Tsege was arrested during a two-hour stop over in the Yemeni capital, Sana’a (EPA)

Reprieve has begun legal moves which could result in a judicial review to force Foreign Office officials to press for Mr Tsege’s immediate release and return to Britain – something which the Government has resisted to date. A letter to Treasury Solicitors, sent last week by lawyers acting for the charity, argues: “Far from not being ‘entitled’ to request his return, the UK Government has every reason to do so and we urge you to exercise that power as a matter of urgency.”

Meanwhile, Mr Tsege’s family remain in limbo. The past four months have been “agonising” said Ms Hailemariam. “Waking up every day not knowing where Andy is or how he’s being treated is taking a terrible toll on my children and myself.” She added: “The Prime Minister has told our family that he is taking action, but it seems like next to nothing is being done to get Andy back. The children and I need him here with us in London. The Government must demand his return, before it’s too late.”