BY Nebiyou Alemayehu & Natnael kabtimer (oslo)
On 6th March 2014 Frontline club Oslo organized an event in collaboration with NEW FRONTIERS entitled “In the Name of Democracy: Land Grabbing and Genocide in Ethiopia” at Filmen Hus Oslo. As it is known Norway is the only Western country that has signed a bilateral agreement with the Ethiopian intelligence service facilitating forced return of refugees, even if the Ethiopian dictatorial government always receives strong international criticism for its gross human rights violations. In the event, four different individuals from similar and different point of view about Ethiopia and Ethiopians have been invited to present their standpoint about the current Ethiopian regime.
Abdullahi Hussein was the president’s adviser and head of the Ogaden TV channel Cakaara News. He had responded to the abuses and atrocities against civilians and for a few years he copied the president’s secret video files. Files included the internal meetings where individual officers and soldiers in the regional militia testify arbitrary arrests, torture, murder, extortion and rape. He presented unique video documentation revealing the dictatorship’s harsh treatment of its opposition, which he has smuggled out of the government and is taking to the International Criminal Court in The Hague. In general he has presented about the horrific circumstances in the Ogaden region, the handling of the evidence, and the process towards the International Criminal Court in The Hague.
The other presenter was Mr Obang Metho. He is a human rights activist who has tirelessly advocated for human rights, justice, freedom and environment, enhanced accountability in politics and peace in Africa for over 10 years. He has briefed leaders and officials at United Nations, the European Parliament, the US Department of State, the US Senate, the US House of Representatives, the World Bank and the Council for Foreign Relations, amongst others.
From Norway, Artist Solveig Syversen, who works with Ethiopian refugee status in Norway, has presented her work-in-progress documentary about the Norwegian-Ethiopian agreement of returning refugees.
The fourth person who presented his opinion about the current Ethiopian regime was, One Norwegian researcher from Bergen . His presentation was different from the other three in many ways and he seems to have a close relationship with the current Ethiopian regime. He presented verbal presentation in favor of the current Ethiopian regime specifically about the development of Ethiopia by referring the regime’s problems presented by Mr Hussien and Mr Metho as an “Exception”. His whole presentation has created great deal of disappointment in the audiences. He left at the middle of the event by avoiding questions from audiences.