Obbo Fekadu Megersa is Fighting against Lethal Diseases
The life of an Oromo figure, who has been fighting hard for Oromo unity and freedom, is in danger as he battles with serious diseases in Maryland, USA.
Obbo Fekadu MegersaGudeta is the founder and manager of the most popular Oromo centric www.ayyaantuu.org, and its sister www.kichuu.com online resources. These two online resources have allowed thousands of Oromos to freely share their articles, collections, and artistic products to the entire Oromo communities globally. Consequently, thousands of Oromos have received vital information on Oromia and Oromo society. Furthermore, because of his commitment to inform and enlighten his society that has been kept in ignorance and darkness, Obbo Fekadu has been working on a project to create a global Oromo virtual library.
Obbo Fekadu also had his footprints in the initiation and administration of the Madda Walaabu Oromo-centric radio. He also worked for the Oromo Relief Association to support Oromos who were affected by war, famine, and variety of diseases in Oromia and beyond.
Anybody who knows Obbo Fekadu can testify that he is a dedicated Oromo to advance the Oromo cause to overcome political oppression, economic exploitation, and dehumanizing poverty.
We appeal to the world-wide Oromo individuals and communities to extend their support to the immediate and long-term needs of Obbo Fekadu and his family. We also request you to wish for his speedy recovery and remember him and his family in your prayers at this critical time.
Tanzania’s Abdulrazak Gurnah wins 2021 Nobel Prize in literature Swedish Academy recognises Tanzanian novelist’s ‘uncompromising and compassionate penetration of the effects of colonialism and the fate of the refugee’.
Gurnah has published 10 novels and a number of short stories [Gareth Cattermole/Getty]
SOURCE: AL JAZEERA AND NEWS AGENCIES
Tanzanian author Abdulrazak Gurnah has won the 2021 Nobel Prize in literature, the award-giving body said.
The prestigious prize was awarded on Thursday by the Swedish Academy, which cited Gurnah’s “uncompromising and compassionate penetration of the effects of colonialism and the fate of the refugee in the gulf between cultures and continents”.
Born in Zanzibar and based in England, Gurnah recently retired as a professor of post-colonial literature at the University of Kent.
He has published 10 novels and a number of short stories. He is best known for his 1994 novel “Paradise”, set in colonial East Africa during World War I, which was shortlisted for the Booker Prize for Fiction.
Gurnah got the call from the Swedish Academy in the kitchen of his home in southeast England.
Tanzanian author Abdulrazak Gurnah has won the 2021 Nobel Prize in literature, the award-giving body said.
“I think it’s just brilliant and wonderful,” Gurnah told Reuters news agency when asked how he felt to win the prize. “It’s just great – its just a big prize, and such a huge list of wonderful writers – I am still taking it in,” he said.
“It was such a complete surprise that I really had to wait until I heard it announced before I could believe it.”
Anders Olsson, chairman of the Nobel Committee for Literature, called him “one of the world’s most prominent post-colonial writers”.
The prestigious award comes with a gold medal and 10 million Swedish kronor ($1.14m).
Gurnah would have normally received the Nobel from King Carl XVI Gustaf at a formal ceremony in Stockholm on December 10, the anniversary of the 1896 death of scientist Alfred Nobel who created the prizes in his last will and testament.
But the in-person ceremony has been cancelled for the second straight year due to the pandemic and replaced with a televised ceremony showing the laureates receiving their awards in their home countries.
Of the 118 literature laureates since the first Nobel was awarded in 1901, 95 – or more than 80 percent – have been Europeans or North Americans.
Last year’s prize went to American poet Louise Gluck for what the judges described as her “unmistakable poetic voice that with austere beauty makes individual existence universal”.
Gluck was a popular choice after several years of controversy. In 2018, the award was postponed after sex abuse allegations rocked the Swedish Academy, the secretive body that chooses the winners.
The awarding of the 2019 prize to Austrian writer Peter Handke caused protests because of his strong support for the Serbs during the 1990s Balkan wars.
Jens Liljestrand, a journalist and literature critic, told Al Jazeera that Gurnah was a little known figure.
“In my decades of watching the Nobel prize and writing about literature, this is the biggest surprise – the most jaw-dropping announcement so far,” he said.
“No one just appears on this list automatically, you have to be there for a while,” he added.
“So I don’t believe that recent developments in the world, or world politics, or the refugee crisis has affected this choice – but I think that probably the need to watch post-colonial literature more closely, and to pay attention to this literature [means] the importance and the acuteness of this literature has been emphasised in recent years.”
On Monday, the Nobel Committee awarded the prize in physiology or medicine to Americans David Julius and Ardem Patapoutian for their discoveries into how the human body perceives temperature and touch.
The Nobel Prize in physics was awarded on Tuesday to three scientists whose work found order in seeming disorder, helping to explain and predict complex forces of nature, including expanding our understanding of climate change.
Benjamin List and David WC MacMillan were named as laureates of the Nobel Prize for chemistry on Wednesday for finding an easier and environmentally cleaner way to build molecules that can be used to make compounds, including medicines and pesticides.
Still to come are prizes for outstanding work in the fields of peace and economics.
Ethiopia is deliberately starving its own citizens
The world should apply whatever pressure it can to force it to stop
It is almost a year since Abiy Ahmed, the prime minister of Ethiopia, launched a “law enforcement” operation against the government of the northern region of Tigray, which he accused of rebellion. Since the beginning, the ensuing conflict has been marked by war crimes. Late last year in the city of Axum, for instance, Eritrean troops fighting alongside Ethiopian forces murdered hundreds of civilians, mostly men and boys. Some were lined up and shot in the back. Others were gunned down as they came out of church or murdered while lying in bed in hospital. And the Tigrayans have been accused, among other atrocities, of raping and killing Eritrean refugees in un camps.
Horrifying as these crimes are, they are now being eclipsed by an even more heinous one: a deliberate attempt by the Ethiopian government to starve its own citizens. Since the fighting broke out Tigray has suffered an increasingly restrictive blockade by government forces. Since July it has received only a fraction of the food needed to keep its 6m inhabitants alive, hardly any fuel and no medical supplies at all. More than 5m people do not have enough to eat. Some 400,000 of those are facing what aid agencies call “catastrophic” hunger—the last step on the path to mass starvation. Aid workers compare the crisis to Ethiopia’s famine of the 1980s, when 400,000-700,000 died.
Ethiopia’s widening war could be catastrophic for millions. The U.S. needs to step up pressure
Members of the National Defense Force march during a rally to celebrate Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, on Oct. 4. (Tiksa Negeri/Reuters)
October 7, 2021 (The Washington Post) — The rainy season is coming to an end in Ethiopia’s conflict zones, which means that the fighting season could be about to begin. Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, freshly sworn in for a new five-year term on Monday, has been massing government forces near Tigray, a rebellious province in the country’s north. Barring de-escalation, the consequences — especially for the 6 million people of Tigray, at growing risk of famine — could be catastrophic.
De-escalation seems to be the furthest thing from Mr. Abiy’s mind. Three weeks ago he answered the Biden administration’s push for a negotiated solution with a three-page open letter in which he declared: “Ethiopia will not succumb.” More ominously, his government recently ordered seven U.N. aid workers in charge of humanitarian relief for Tigray expelled from the country, on the purported grounds that they have sided with Tigrayan rebels. The U.N. Security Council devoted a meeting to that issue Wednesday. U.N. Secretary General António Guterres denounced the “unprecedented” expulsions and warned of an “immense humanitarian crisis” — and Ethiopia’s representative responded by accusing the U.N. officials of falsifying Tigray’s plight.
Ethiopia’s ouster of the U.N. team came shortly after the chief of the U.N.’s Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs had said Mr. Abiy’s forces were mounting a “de facto blockade” of Tigray, making it impossible for more than about 10 percentof needed food aid to reach the area and contributing to a crisis that has left 5.2 million people dependent on outside relief, of whom 400,000 are already living in near-famine conditions, according to the United Nations. Officials fear a repeat of the 1984-1985 starvation that Ethiopia’s then-ruling Marxist military regime engineered, in part to crush Tigrayan resistance, and which killed up to 1.2 million people.
The Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), which ruled Ethiopia — undemocratically — before Mr. Abiy’s rise to power in 2018, is hardly blameless. Its forces responded to a series of heavy-handed measures by the central government with a violent uprising in November 2020, triggering a joint offensive by Addis Ababa and its allies in neighboring Eritrea. The two nations’ campaign was marked by widespread human rights abuses. Yet the TPLF withstood it and counterattacked — seizing territory outside Tigray and committing atrocities of its own. Thousands are believed to have been killed in the war and 2 million displaced, numbers that are sure to rise if all-out combat resumes.
Until recently, Ethiopia was Africa’s fastest-growing economy, demonstrating a potential which makes the prospect of another era of famine and war doubly tragic. Seeking to avoid such an outcome, the Biden administration in mid-September announced new authority for sanctions on leaders of any side — whether Mr. Abiy or his foes — guilty of human rights abuses, obstructing humanitarian relief or blocking peace talks. Framed evenhandedly, the plan wisely anticipated Addis Ababa’s inevitable charges of bias. President Biden also delayed actual implementation — for what officials said would be “weeks, not months” — to give diplomacy yet another chance. Judging by recent events, it may soon be time to stop threatening pressure on Mr. Abiy, and start exerting it.