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Peaceful Demonstration Outside Downing Street (January 2008)

posted 29 Jan 2012, 06:18 by D Woldeab

Horn of Africa for Peace and Stability Forum – Press Release


January 2008

Please be informed that a large peaceful demonstration will be held at
Downing Street on the 16th of January 2007 from 12:00 to 18:00 Hrs.  The
demonstration will be one of its kind and will involve from a wide range
of nationalities and ethnic groups including the Somalis, Eritreans,
People from Ogaden and Oromo together with the remaining oppressed
Ethiopian People. It is organised by the Horn of Africa for Peace and
Stability Forum and is expected to draw thousands of people from all over
the UK.

Why a Peace Demonstration?

The people of the Horn of Africa have been suffering at the hands of the
minority regime in Ethiopia.  Innocent people are being tortured,
humiliated and killed, women raped, villages burnt and land occupied.  The
entire region is in turmoil and as a result, the human suffering and gross
material destruction have been incalculable.  The Ethiopian government is
only able to inflict such widespread pain and suffering with the help of
the British taxpayers’ money that has been made available to it
unconditionally by the British government.  The demonstrators will call on
the British government to stop being complicit in the crimes committed
against humanity in general and the people of the Horn of Africa in
particular.

About the Horn of Africa

The Horn of Africa is the easternmost part of Africa and is a region
containing the countries of Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Somalia and
Sudan.  It is inhabited by about 110 million people.

Background

The Horn of Africa has suffered from wars and natural calamity for a long
period of time.  As a result of this, there has been untold human
suffering and destruction.  The people have not had the chance to engage
in development activities continuously. The area with all its natural
resources remains one of the poorest in the world. Foreign interference
and bias made the problems intractable.

Currently, the source of the problem is the minority regime led by Prime
Minister Meles Zenawi currently in power in Ethiopia.  Ethiopia is one of
the poorest countries in the world and is ranked 170 out of 177 in the UN
Human Development Report.  81% of its population lives below the poverty
line earning just $2 a day.  Yet, the Ethiopian government:

Managed to raise its military budget to $400 million.  Ethiopia has spent
about $3 billion just on buying arms (Source: SIPRI).  While the
government spends this amount, the people of Ethiopia find themselves in a
dire situation as a result of disease and famine.

Invaded a neighbouring country, Somalia, in violation of the AU and UN
Charters while shelling civilian areas indiscriminately and causing the
death of tens of thousands of people, destruction of properties and the
displacement of 1.5 million people from their home.  The U.S.A is waging a
proxy war in Somalia through Ethiopia.

Sent the army to Ogaden to loot, murder, rape women and children, burn
entire villages and expel aid agencies to stop food aid from getting to
needy recipients in the area while preventing journalists and human rights
organisations from having access to the area to cover up the atrocity.

Massacred innocent people including children; caused the destruction of
hundreds of Anuak villages in Gambella which drove more than 60,000 Anuak
people into neighbouring Sudan and Kenya

Committed untold crimes on the Oromo people, Jailed and killed tens of
thousands of them.

Orchestrated ethnic clashes among the various peoples of Ethiopia which
led to injury and death.

Refused to abide by the decision of an international court and forcefully
occupied sovereign Eritrean territories. The border between the two
countries remains tense and volatile with over 500,000 soldiers facing
each other.

Rigged the vote in the national election in 2005 and slaughtered 196
peaceful demonstrators in broad daylight. Untold numbers remain imprisoned
throughout the country, as documented by Human Rights Watch, including
prominent civil society activists and ordinary citizens. 

And the list goes on………..

With the increase in brutality of the Ethiopian government, the British
government has been unconditionally increasing the financial assistance
given to Ethiopia which in effect is used to undermine democracy, peace
and development in the Horn of Africa in general and in Ethiopia in
particular.  The aid given to Ethiopia has been increased by 600% to £160
million over the last four years, making Ethiopia one of the largest
recipients of aid in Africa.  This is excluding the money given for food
security and humanitarian purposes. It is unthinkable that the Ethiopian
regime would be able to cause such chaos and destruction without the
financial support that it gets from the British government and others.  By
virtue of supporting the Apartheid regime of the Ethiopian government, the
British government is denying the people of the Horn of Africa the right
to live in peace.

The British government subscribes to the idea that the people of the Horn
of Africa be subservient to the interests of the minority regime in
Ethiopia. It is for this reason that we will be asking the British
government to stop propping up the brutal regime in Ethiopia using
taxpayers’ money in order to end the terrorizing of innocent people;
destruction of properties and invasion, attack of neighbouring states and
wreak havoc in the region.

For further details or to contact the organisers, please e-mail to
hornofafrica2008@yahoo.co.uk


Horn of Africa for Peace and Stability Forum

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