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John Molson School of Business, Concordia

MB 9 B (9th floor) 1450 Guy

Montreal, QC H3H 0A1

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MIGS is organizing a panel discussion to explore and understand the human rights situation in Ethiopia.

Ethiopia has convulsed under political and civil unrest for the past two years. Increasing tensions between the government and the nation’s two largest ethnic groups, the Oromo and the Amhara, has resulted in the deaths of hundreds of Ethiopian citizens, forcing the government to declare a state of emergency from October 2016 to August 2017. In September 2017, conflict between ethnic groups resulted in the killing of civilians and the displacement of more than half a million people, and recent instances of inter-ethnic conflict violence resulted in killings on university campuses. Ethiopia is increasingly buckling due to intra-party disputes within the ruling party, culminating in ongoing confrontations between federal armed forces and regional government security forces.

While the government hopes to maintain power with promises of reform, analysts are concerned that it is too late and that the Ethiopian state is withering. With an ever worsening human rights situation, international organizations and western governments have continued to neglect important developments in Ethiopia and the risks of civil unrest, genocide and state collapse.


Speakers


Tewodrose Tirfe is Chairman for National Advocacy for Amhara Association of America, an Ethiopian-American based non-profit in North Carolina, and has worked diligently to bring awareness to the humanitarian crisis in Ethiopia, particularly the ethnic cleansing and systematic de-population of the Amhara people through engaging and educating members of congress, policy makers, humanitarian organizations, and the public. Mr. Tirfe has successfully garnered support for House Resolution 128 and Senate Resolution 168 to address the humanitarian crisis, lack of democracy, and rampant corruption by the Ethiopian Government. Mr. Tirfe testified before the U.S. Congress on March 9, 2017 at a hearing held by the House Foreign Affairs Committee.


Felix Horne is the Senior Ethiopia and Eritrea researcher for Human Rights Watch. Based in Ottawa he has documented the human rights dimensions of Ethiopia’s development programs, telecom surveillance, media freedoms, misuse of the counterterrorism law and other topical issues in the Horn of Africa including most recently the two year-long crackdown against peaceful protesters in Ethiopia. Prior to working for HRW, Felix has worked on a variety of indigenous rights and land issues in northern Canada and internationally including several years of research into the impacts of agricultural investment in several African countries. He holds a Masters in Resource and Environmental Management from Dalhousie University and an undergraduate degree in urban planning from the University of Saskatchewan.



Muluken Tesfaw is a renowned exiled journalist based in Finland. He has authored three widely-read books concerning human right violations in Ethiopia, which have been used for advocacy work by a number of human right advocates, including The Amahara Holocaust: Accounts of Genocidal Actions Carried on the Amhara people of Ethiopia (1991-2015). Muluken Tesfaw also is a founder and host of Brana Radio, and is a professional psychologist with years of experience working for humanitarian organizations in Ethiopia.

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John Molson School of Business, Concordia

MB 9 B (9th floor) 1450 Guy

Montreal, QC H3H 0A1

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