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 This section of the papersystematically examines Ethiopia’s human rights record by commenting on theactions of the government in the light of the founding principles of the U N’sUniversal Declaration of Human Rights, article by article Article 1: Freedom from DiscriminationArticle 1 states that all human beingsare born free and equal in dignity and rights They are endowed with reason andconscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of equity Article 2rejects discrimination of any kind such as that based on race, color, gender,language, religion, political or other opinion, national oi social origin,property, birth, or other status Article 3: The Right to Life andLibertyArticle 3 states that everyone has theright to life, liberty, and security However, accordingto the 1992AmnestyInternational report, over 30,000 Oromo nationals were arrested following theOromo Liberation Front’s (OLF) withdrawal from a transitional government OromoSupport Groups (OSG) reported that from 1991 to 2002, the organization recorded2,915 extra-judicial killings and 854 disappearances of civilians suspected ofsupporting groups opposing the Ethiopian government Thousands of civilians havebeen imprisoned Tortuieand rape of prisoners are commonplace There arecurrently more than 30, 000 political prisoners in the Oromia region and100,000 Oromos have fled the country” Those who were killed, arrested, anddisappeared, or fled the country are those who foresaw the tragedy and opposedthe policies of the current government in Ethiopia.This mass political imprisonment,killing, firing from positions, and migration has resulted in a severe shortageof educated workers in Oromia and very serious social and political problems inOromo society, including the exacerbation of the current famine and theHIV/AIDS epidemic Article 7: Ownership of’ PropextyAtticle 7 states that everyone has theright to own property alone and in association with others According to an AmnestyInternational Urgent Action lette~,a~b’ out 150 Oromo students from Addis AbabaUniversity had been in police custody fiom 22 December 2000 to 12 January 2001The letter asserts that thousands of people of Oromo nationality have beendetained in Ethiopia without charge or trial, following several peacefuldemonstrations against the government’s decision to move the Oromia regionalcapital from Addis Ababa(Finfine) to Nazareth (Adama) In this case, the TE’LFis uprooting the Oromo people from their home city and denying them their rightto collective ownership of the land as well as of the city infrastructures andheritage sites Indeed, the TPLF intends to prevent access to the advantagesthat the city provides the Oromo Article 19: Rights of Information andExpressionArticle 19 of the UN UniversalDeclaration of Human Rights states that “Everyone has the right to freedomof opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinionswitl~ouitnterference and to seek, receive, and impact information and ideasthrough any media and regardless of frontiers” 5″nformation isknowledge Ikowledge is power In its turn, sharinginformation is empowering Forexample, social, economic, and farm planningrequire accurate information aboutevents and the environment This places a special consideration on theavailability of information through independent presses, radio, and televisionmedia For journalists and independent researchers, systematic collection ofinformation and reporting on community problems and activities increases theprospects for empowerment Article 20: Freedom of Assembly andAssociationArticle 20 of the UN UDHR states thateveryone has the right to freedom of peaceful assembly and association 60Principally t, his article authorizes people to get orgazed to define thesocial, economic, political, environmental, and health problems affectingthemThis right is violated in Ethiopia For example, Huluka (2002) has pointed thatfarmers in Western Oromia harvest more corn than the amount locally consumed.However, the farmers are not allowed to organize and ship their products toother parts of Oromiawhere there are shortages. They are forced to sell at lowprices to a government-controlled grain board” This policy alsodiscourages Oromo farmeis from producing more grain to avert this fmine Article21: Governmental RepresentationArticle 21 of the Universal Declarationof Human Rights states that “everyone has the right to take part in thegovernment of his/her country, directly, or through freely chosenrepresentatives “63 The article suggests that people should be involvednot only locally, but also nationally, ~articipating in the governmentaldecision-making process This type of participation includes socio-economic andhealth planning through budgeting by prioritizing where public money should bespent Representationin the decision making process is a very basic idea inhuman rights thinking and it is violated in Ethiopia “/ Article 26: The Right toEducationArticle 26 deals with the right toeducation.

The article suggests that education shall be directed to the fulldevelopment of human personality and the strengthening of respect for humanrights and fundamental freedoms. Education empowers the learner througha process of providing information and consciousness-raising about their needsand the circumstances in which they live Based on the information the learnergains, he/she develops critical skills to assess his/her socioeconomic andenvironmental circumstances Information is a resource and a powerfulproblem-solving tool

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