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Protests Grow Over Addis Ababa’s Expansion

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Addis Ababa is growing fast and set to expand further, pitting the government against Oromo activists, seeking to protect their rights.
ARTICLE |  | BY MOHAMMED ADEMO

Ethnic Oromo students in Ethiopia are ratcheting up opposition to the territorial expansion of the Horn of Africa nation’s capital, Addis Ababa. Thousands of students at all eight regional universities in Oromia, the largest of Ethiopia’s federal states, turned in recent days to demand an immediate halt to the city’s so-called “Integrated Development Master Plan,” unveiled earlier this month.

Today, Tuesday 29 April, an estimated 25,000 people, including residents of Ambo town in central Oromia, participated in a city wide demonstration, in the largest show of opposition to the government’s plans to date. A handful of students have been injured and others arrested in protests at the campuses of Jimma, Haromaya, Ambo, Wollega, Metu, Bolu Hora, Adama and Maddawalabu universities, according to local reports.

Once dubbed a “sleeping beauty,” by Emperor Haile Selassie, Addis Ababa is an awakening city on the move. Vertically, buoyed by a growing economy and rural to urban migration, there is construction almost on every block — so much so that locals refer to it as “a city underconstruction.” The country’s first light rail transit which will connect several inner city neighbourhoods, being constructed with the help of the China Railway Group Ltd, is reported to be60% complete. Horizontally, over the last decade, not least due to an uptick in investment from returning Ethiopian expats from the U.S. and Western Europe, the city has expanded at a breakneck pace to swallow many surrounding towns.

Addis Ababa’s rapid urban sprawl is also getting noticed abroad. In 2013, it’s the only African city to make the Lonely Planet’s annual list of “top 10 cities to visit.” In April 2014, in its annual Global Cities Index, New York-based consultancy A.T. Kearney named Addis Ababa, “the third most likely city to advance its global positioning” in sub-Saharan Africa, only after Johannesburg and Nairobi. If it maintains the pace of development seen over the last five years, Kearney added, “the Ethiopian capital is also among the cities closing in fastest on the world leaders.”

Overlapping jurisdictions

Founded in 1886 by emperor Menelik II and his wife Empress Taytu Betul, Addis Ababa sits at the heart of the Oromia Regional State. According to the country’s constitution, while semi-autonomous, Addis Ababa is treated as a federal district with special privileges granted to the Oromia region, for which it also serves as the capital.

The Addis Ababa City Administration, the official governing body, has its own police, city council, budget and other public functions overseen by a mayor. The overlapping, vague territorial jurisdictions have always been the subject of controversy. Now contentions threaten to plunge the country into further unrest.

Home to an estimated 4 million people, Addis Ababa offers Ethiopia one of the few gateways to the outside world. The state-run Ethiopian airlines, one of the most profitable in Africa, serves 80 international cities with daily flights from Addis to Europe, different parts of Africa, the United States, Canada, Asia and the Middle East.

In addition to being the seat of the continental African Union, the city hosts a number of United Nations regional offices, including the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa. There are also more than 100 international missions and foreign embassies based in Addis, earning it the nickname of ‘Africa’s diplomatic capital.’ All these attributes require the city to continually grow to meet the needs and expectations of a global city.

City officials insist the new “master plan”, the 10th iteration since Addis Ababa began using modern city master plans in 1936, will mitigate the city’s disorganised growth and guide efforts to modernize it over the next 25 years.

According to leaked documents, the proposed plan will expand Addis Ababa’s boundaries to 1.1 million hectares, covering an area more than 20 times its current size. Under this plan, 36 surrounding Oromia towns and cities will come under Addis Ababa’s jurisdiction. Oromo students, opposition and activists say the plan will undermine Oromia’s constitutionally granted special interest.

A history of problematic growth

Addis Ababa’s spatial growth has always been contentious. The Oromo, original inhabitants of the land, have social, economic and historical ties to the city. Addis Ababa, which they call Finfinne, was conquered through invasion in 19th century. Since its founding, the city grew by leaps and bounds. But the expansion came at the expense of local farmers whose livelihoods and culture was uprooted in the process. At the time of its founding, the city grew “haphazardly” around the imperial palace, residences of other government officials and churches. Later, population and economic growth invited uncontrolled development of high-income, residential areas — still almost without any formal planning.

While the encroaching forces of urbanisation pushed out many Oromo farmers to surrounding towns and villages, those who remained behind were forced to learn a new language and embrace a city that did not value their existence. The city’s rulers then sought to erase the historical and cultural values of its indigenous people, including through the changing of original Oromo names.

Ultimately, this one-time bountiful farm and pasture land from which it draws the name Addis Ababa – meaning ‘new flower’ – where Oromos made laws under the shades of giant sycamore trees, grew foreign to them by the day. It is this traumatic sense of displacement that elicits deep passions, resentment and resistance from the Oromo community. The Oromo are Ethiopia’s single largest ethnic group, numbering over 25 million – around 35% of the total population – according to the 2007 census.

Ethiopia’s constitution makes a pivot to Addis Ababa’s unique place among the Oromo. Article 49 (5) of the constitution stipulates, “the special interest of the state of Oromia with respect to supply of services, the utilisation of resources and joint administrative matters.”

The Transitional Government of Ethiopia, which drafted the constitution, was fully cognisant of the potential conflicts of interest arising from Addis Ababa’s unbridled expansion, when it decided “to limit its expansion to the place where it was before 1991 and to give due attention to its vertical growth,” according to Feyera Abdissa, an urban researcher at Addis Ababa University.

But in the city’s 1997-2001 master plan, which has been in effect over the last decade, the city planners determined vertical growth posed key urbanisation challenges. In addition, most of Addis Ababa’s poor cannot afford to construct high-rise dwellings as per the new building standards. Officials also noted that the city’s relatively developed infrastructure and access to market attract the private investment necessary to bolster its coffers; the opening up to privatisation contributed to an upswing in investment. According to Abdissa, during this period, “54% of the total private investment applications submitted in the country requested to invest in and around Addis Ababa.” In order to meet the demand, city administration converted large tracts of forest and farmland in surrounding sub-cities into swelling urban dwellings, displacing local Oromo residents.

Local self-rule

In 2001, in what many saw as a conspiracy from federal authorities, the Oromia regional government decided to relocate its seat 100kms away, arguing that Addis Ababa was too “inconvenient” to develop the language, culture and history. The decision led to Oromia-wide protests and a brutal government crackdown, which left at least a dozen people, including high school students, dead. Hundreds of people were also arrested. In 2005, regional authorities reversed the decision amid internal pressures and protracted protests in the intervening years.

But the current opposition to the city’s expansion goes far beyond questions of self-rule. Each time Addis Ababa grew horizontally, it did so by absorbing surrounding Oromo sub-cities and villages. Many of the cities at the outskirts of the capital today, including Dukem, Gelan, Legetafo, Sendafa, Sululta, Burayu, Holeta and Sebeta, were one-time industrious Oromo farmlands. While these cities enjoy a level of cooperation with Addis Ababa on security and other issues of mutual interest, they have all but lost their Oromo identity. If the proposed master plan is implemented, these cities will come directly under Addis Ababa City Administration — thereby the federal government, further complicating the jurisdictional issue.

Among many other compromises made possible by Ethiopia’s ethnic federalism, each state has adopted the use of its native tongue as the official language of education, business and public service. In theory, the country’s constitution also grants autonomous self-rule to regional states. Under this arrangement, each state makes its own laws and levy and collect taxes.

In contrast, municipalities that fall under federal jurisdiction, including Addis, are governed by their own city administrations and use Amharic, Ethiopia’s federal working language. For the Oromo, as in the past, the seceding of surrounding towns to Addis means a loss of their language and culture once more, even if today’s driving forces of urbanisation differ from the 19th century imperialist expansion.

As seen from its recent residential expansions into sub-cities on the peripheries such as Kotebe, Bole Bulbula, Bole Medhanialem, Makanisa and Keranyo, the semi-agrarian community, including small, informal business owners, were given few options. The city’s new code requires building high-rises that are beyond their subsistence means. Unable to comply with the new city development code, the locals were pressured into selling their land at very low prices and eke out a living in a city that faces chronic unemployment. As a result, the horizontal expansion and displacement of livelihoods turned a one time self-sufficient community into street beggars and day labourers.

Activists fear that the latest expansion is part of a grand plan to contain a resurgent Oromo nationalism. As witnessed during the 2001 protests, any attempt to alter Addis Ababa’s administrative limits, unites Oromos across religious, regional and political divides. Unless halted, with a steam of opposition already gathering in and outside of the country, the ongoing of protests show ominous signs.

In a glimpse of the fervent opposition that could quickly turn deadly, within weeks after the plan was unveiled, two young and upcoming Oromo artists have released new music singles lamenting the city’s historic social and cultural heritage. One of the singers, Jafar Yusef, 29, was arrestedthree days after releasing his musical rendition — and has reportedly been tortured. Despite the growing opposition, however, the Addis Ababa municipal authority is vowing to forge ahead with the plan, which they say was developed in consultation with a team of international and local urban planners. Federal Special Forces, known as Liyyu police, who have previously been implicated in serious human rights violations, have been dispatched to college towns to disperse the protests. Soldiers in military fatigues have laid siege to several campuses, preventing students from leaving, according to eyewitness reports.

Trouble at the top while those at the bottom lack the basic necessities

The city administration is also riddled by a crippling legacy of corruption, massive inefficiency and poor service delivery. Its homeless loiters in the crowded streets that are shared by cars, pedestrians and animals alike. There are few subsidised housing projects for poor and low-income families. Many of the residents lack clean drinking water, healthcare and basic education. While some progress had been made to upgrade the city’s squatter settlements, the city is full of dilapidated shacks. Despite poor drainage system and other infrastructural deficiencies, studies show that there is a general disregard for health and environmental hazards in Ethiopia’s urban redevelopment scheme.

A lot of these social and economic problems are caused by the city’s poorly conceived but dramatic urban expansion. In the last two-decades, in an effort to transform the city into a competitive metropolis, there have been an uptick in the construction of high-rise buildings, luxury hotels and condominiums, which displaced poorer inhabitants, including Oromo farmers. “No one is ensuring the displaced people find new homes, and there are no studies about what his happening to them,” Mara Gittleman of Tufts University observed.

Regardless, the outcome of the current controversy will likely test Ethiopia’s commitment to ethnic federalism. The advance of the proposed master plan would mean further estrangement between the Oromo masses and Oromia regional government. Long seen as a puppet of the federal regime, with substantial investment in cultural and infrastructural development, regional leaders are only beginning to sway public opinion. Allowing the master plan to proceed would engender that progress and prove suicidal for the Oromo Peoples’ Democratic Organization (OPDO), the Oromo element in Ethiopia’s ruling coalition. In the short run, the mounting public outcry may not hold much sway. The country’s one-time vibrant opposition is disarray and the ruling Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) has almost complete control of the political system.

The opposition to the expansion plans does not pose an immediate electoral threat to the EPRDF who, controlling the system as they do, are likely to win an easy victory in next year’s elections. However, opposition, and the government’s possible aggressive response to it, could make Oromo-government relations more difficult. The government now has a choice, violently crackdown on protestors, labelling them “anti-development”, or engage with them as stakeholders representing historically marginalised communities. Ethiopia’s federal constitution suggests the latter course of action; sadly, recent history may suggest the former.

Think Africa Press welcomes inquiries regarding the republication of its articles. If you would like to republish this or any other article for re-print, syndication or educational purposes, please contact: editor@thinkafricapress.com.

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28 Comments

28 Comments

  1. Anonymous

    May 2, 2014 at 4:07 pm

    this news is full of lie. u want make a big issue. those some racist anti-nationalist students doesn’t represent the entire oromo ethnic!!! the plan is mo advantageous for indigenous people! it is just there are people who want to make it political issue! AND REMEMBER THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT HAS THE RIGHT TO INTERFERE; EVEN THE LAW CAN BE CHANGED ANY TIME AS IT IS NOT GOD’S LAW!!! Our beautiful African capital city shale grow! 4get politicians nd racists!!!

  2. Anonymous

    May 2, 2014 at 12:44 pm

    Please the buildings burnt in Ambo are the properties of the people. You should not have to think that the properties like the buildings found in Ambo are the properties of others like Woyane, but that of the public at large. Do not perceive the 18th and 19th centuries thoughts of revolution. The court and public prosecution buildings, the cars, etc are that of the citizens of Oromia in general and that of Ambo residents in particular. We are now in the 21st century of high globalization. All things should be settled through discussion. I am not saying that the question of Oromo Students in different Universities is wrong, but it should follow democratic way since Oromo People are those who began the democratic way of living in Ethiopia before any nations.

  3. Anonymous

    May 1, 2014 at 5:50 pm

    don`t be side with one just pray

  4. Anonymous

    April 30, 2014 at 8:02 pm

    ante dedeb ante man neh kimalam

  5. zelalem Tesfaye

    April 30, 2014 at 6:46 pm

    sorry! you are the true ethiopia enamy!! plz don’t talk bad and disgusting news about ethiopia! we haven’t ear to hear you. we are on progress even if problem is there!!

  6. Death to Woyane

    April 30, 2014 at 2:47 pm

    Breaking News from AMBO:
    This morning a stupid woyane(Federal Police) has killed a 9th grade student called Tesfaye in Ambo. To revenge that an Oromia Police has killed two Federal Polices . It is a very good news that the Oromian police has sided with its people- The people of Oromia! In addition , the people of Ambo has controlled and burned many woyane buildings…….for more news: http://qeerroo.org/2014/04/30/breaking-news

  7. Renaissance

    April 30, 2014 at 2:23 pm

    The world is coming into single community in the 21st century as a result of globalization. The integrated master plan of Addis is very crucial for development endeavor of Our capital and the surrounding oromia regional state cities. If you look through many of international experiences is telling us integrated master plan is a basis for equitable growth and development. Our oromo brothers please don`t fool and narrow yourseleves like OPLF/ Oneg/. growing together is has mutual benefits more than its threats! Think like Ethiopia, not only as Oromia.

  8. g

    April 30, 2014 at 2:03 pm

    g

  9. Gebre goshu

    April 30, 2014 at 1:26 pm

    when A.A developed ,ethiopia developed. Ethiopia consists of amh,oro ,soma,tig,ben,etc…. I’m sad in your opposition . In your view abays is for benshangule,but it is for all countries that crosses. ሰለዚ በናታቹ በድህነት የምትገኝ አገራችን Ethiopia እንሰብላት።

  10. Anonymous

    April 30, 2014 at 12:12 pm

    timb ya nafxanya lij

  11. ethiopian

    April 30, 2014 at 12:02 pm

    we should all get along,if we can’t get along , the result going to be really bad. We are one of the poorest country on the planet. i don’t think we have the luxury to play politician. We need to work together for the greater good like feeding our self. who cares what trib you are from we are all look alike. To other countries we are all the “the famine nation” we should work hard and change that image. Oromo, Amhara and Tigre people need some History reading to do. One Ethiopia is sound really good to me. No body knows one Amhara or one Oromo. Please ppl be smart about that stop being ignorant in this century also.

  12. Anonymous

    April 30, 2014 at 11:18 am

    Oromia has such like history &oppression that led her to the present situation every body should be awared of the truth . Even if the revolution settled by means of force , the ongoing politica of ethiopia falls into ambiguity of being true
    none of pure Oromo supports the plan. Because it endangers both Oromoo people and Afan Oromo language

  13. Anonymous

    April 30, 2014 at 8:17 am

    mesedadeb woga yelawum manim kemanim aybeltim

  14. dina ol@ Anonymous 1

    April 30, 2014 at 8:12 am

    ammas harkaa keessaan sassabaa adaraa opdo ummataa oromoo hin gurgurinaa seenaan isiin hin dhisuu, laftii kun oromiyaa jala ta’ee misoomuu ni dandaa waan ta’ee ummataa oromoo jala lafa hin bittineesia yoo dhugaan oromoo bakka buutaan, hanga yoomii gowomtuu oromoo ???????????????? amma lakkii jechuu qabduu jabaadha hanga dhugaan argamutti !

  15. Anonymous

    April 30, 2014 at 6:47 am

    Thats it

  16. Anonymous

    April 30, 2014 at 6:29 am

    put your id…..

  17. Anonymous

    April 30, 2014 at 6:10 am

    lelemena meteh taweraleh ende

  18. Anonymous

    April 30, 2014 at 6:04 am

    ante sile wollega yet abtih tawukaleh???????
    wallagga eko ende ante ayinetun jezba ke chika teftifo yiseral ok?// antenim dirkina rab aydel begorf yametah ? silezih be gorf endemetah begorf timelesaleh!hidina ya be debterana be eji merfee yetetebetebewun kumtahin keyir ok?????????? azmarii, leflafii ,lemagne!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  19. Anonymous

    April 30, 2014 at 5:57 am

    Anonymous ,, antem alehi komata yeminilik zer!!! minilikin ye gedelew kumtina aydel????????????

  20. Anonymous

    April 29, 2014 at 11:14 pm

    Menem betamtu a.a ahunem tadgaleeeeeeech

  21. AmharaRules

    April 29, 2014 at 10:11 pm

    Finfinnee Oomia,tarik anbib ante tinb Galla..Minilik eko anditn Oromo bewuchi siyayat ende Amhara set wub mesla tayechiw,yagatami ena ye edil guday hono gen kumtina endeneberebat sayawk esuan bedto new yetelalefebet… Mesihafe Minilik me’eraf 1 lay bezirzir tesfolihal..bedemb anbibew..lol

  22. Finfinnee,Oomia

    April 29, 2014 at 6:30 pm

    komata gondere minabak alek ezi !

  23. Finfinnee,Oomia

    April 29, 2014 at 6:28 pm

    KKOMATA. Minilik yemotew le 5 Amet Bekumtina tesekayito. new min erasikin tikibalek komata endehonk atawkim ,

  24. Anonymous

    April 29, 2014 at 4:58 pm

    through the past menelik killed millions of oromo people the next did too but the great killer of Oromo people is opdo who is selling Oromo as it is without any tolerance, because there is a fact that opdo kabines are not Oromo

  25. Anonymous

    April 29, 2014 at 4:51 pm

    Wow!what A good analysis.

  26. Anonymous

    April 29, 2014 at 4:50 pm

    Wow

  27. Save shewa

    April 29, 2014 at 4:33 pm

    አሁን የጋራ ጠላት(ትግሬ) በመካከላችን ስላለ እርስ በርሳችን መጣላት የለበንም። እነዚህ ምስኪን ኦሮሞዎች በትግሬዎች በመደብደባቸው እንቆጫለን። መቼም ይሄም የምንሊክ እጅ አለበት እስካላሉን ድረስ ፣ ከጎናቸው እንቆማለን።
    ስለ አዲስ አበባ ከተማ፣ ወለጋ አያገባውም። ከተማው የኛ የሸዋዎች ነው። የቆረቆርነው እኛ ነን። ከተማውን ስንቆረቁረው፣ ወለጋዎች ልብስ መልበስ እንኳ አያውቁም ነበር, ዛፍ ላይ ቅቤ ይቀቡ ነበር። ትግሬዎችም ቢሆኑ የተለየ ታሪክ የላቸውም፣ እኛ ከተማውን ስንቆረቁረው፣ ትግሬዎች መቀሌ ላይ ቅማላቸውን ይቀምሉ ነበር።
    ወለጋዎችም ሆነ ትግራዮች ፣ አንድ ምስማር እንኳ አላቀበሉም።
    ቢሆንም በማያገባቸው ነገር እንደዚህ በመቀጥቀጣቸው ብናዝንም፣ ትግሬዎችም በማያገባቸው የአዲስ አበባ ከተማ፣ የሰው ሰው እንደዚህ መቀጥቀጥ የለባቸውም።
    የሚገርም እኮ ነው፣ ሁለቱም ወገኖች(ትግሬዎችም ሆነ ወለጋዎች) ስለ አዲስ አበባ ከተማ ምንም አያገባቸውም። እኛ የከተማው ባለቤቶች ቁጭ ብለን ትግራይና ወለጋ ፣ እርስ በርሳቸው ይጨፋጨፋሉ።
    ወይ ስምንተኛው ሺህ !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    የተናቀ ከተማ በአህያ ይወረራል ፣ የተባለው በኛ ደረሰ።

  28. Ali Ahmed

    April 29, 2014 at 3:45 pm

    please don’t think at once..is there ad/c b/n etio color ?not oromo not tig not ama not afar……..We are an ETHIOPIAN.

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IMG_0110
ከመጋቢት19-24/2014 ዓ.ም በሐዋሳ አለም አቀፍ ስቴድዮም የተደረገው 51ኛዉ የኢትዮጵያ አትሌቲክስ ሻምፒዮና ከሞላ ጎደል ስኬታማ በሚባል ሁኔታ ተጠናቋል፡፡ ከአምስት አመት በኋላ በድጋሚ በአካል በመገኘት ስለተከታተልኩት የኢትዮጵያ አትሌቲክስ ሀገር አቀፍ ሻምፒዮና የግል ምልከታዬን እንደሚከተለው አጠናቅሬዋለሁ፡፡

የበለጠ ትኩረትን በሳቡት ውድድሮች ዙሪያ የተመዘገቡ ውጤቶችን በወፍ በረር በመዳሰስ ስጀምር ከፍተኛ ፉክክር በታየበት የመጨረሻ ቀን የወንዶች 5000ሜ. የአለም ከ20 አመት በታች ሻምፒዮና የ3000ሜ የብር ሜዳልያ አሸናፊው አሊ አብዱልመና 13፡45.0 በሆነ ሰዓት ከጥላሁን ሀይሌ፣ ጌትነት ዋለ እና ዮሚፍ ቀጄልቻ ቀድሞ አሸናፊ ሆኗል፡፡ የፉክክሩ አካል የነበረው እና የርቀቱ የወቅቱ የአለም ሻምፒዮን ሙክታር እድሪስ ስድስተኛ ወጥቷል። 

ከ20 ዓመት በታች የ3000ሜ የአለም ሻምፒዮኑ ታደሰ ወርቁ በ28፡12.0 የወንዶች 10,000ሜ. ሻምፒዮን ሲሆን በ1996 ዓ.ም. በአትሌት ስለሺ ስህን ተመዝግቦ የነበረውን 28፡16.23 የሆነ የሻምፒዮናው ሪኮርድ ለማሻሻልም በቅቷል፡፡ በ10 ሺህ ሜትር የሴቶች ፉክክር ግርማዊት ገብረእግዚአብሔር በቀዳሚነት የጨረሰችበት 31፡21.5 የሆነ ሰዓት አዲስ የሻምፒዮንሺፕ ሪኮርድ ሆኖ ተመዝግቧል፡፡ በርቀቱ የከዚህ ቀደሙ ሪኮርድ  ለተሰንበት ግደይ ከሶስት ዓመት በፊት ያስመዘገበችው 32፡10.13 የሆነ ሰዓት ነበር፡፡

ሳሙኤል ፍሬው በዘንድሮ የወንዶች 3000ሜ. መሰናክል አፈፃፀም ከአለም ሁለተኛው ፈጣን በሆነ 8፡22.5 ሰዓት አሸናፊ ሲሆን ጌትነት ዋለ ከአራት ዓመት በፊት አስመዝግቦት የነበረውን 8፡28.98 የነበረ የሻምፒዮናው ሪኮርድም አሻሽሏል፡፡ በሴቶች 3000ሜ. መሰናክል ከ800ሜ ወደ ረጅም ርቀት የተሸጋገረችው ወርቅውሃ ጌታቸው በ9፡41.8 ሰዓት መቅደስ አበበን (9:43.8) በማስከትል በአሸናፊነት አጠናቃለች። 

አድሃና ካህሳይ (3:51.0) የወንዶች 1500ሜ ፉክክሩን በበላይት ሲያጠናቅቅ በሴቶች 1500 ሜ አያል ዳኛቸው (4:10.0) ተጠባቂዋ ዳዊት ስዩምን (4:11.1) በመቅደም በአንደኛነት አጠናቃለች። በ800ሜ. ወንዶች ቶሌሳ ቦደና (1:47.1) በሴቶች ወርቅነሽ መሰለ (2:02.1) አሸናፊ ሆነዋል።
ዮብሰን ብሩ በ400ሜ/400ሜ መሰናክል (45.9/50.5) ድርብ ድል ሲቀዳጅ፣ በወንዶች ጦር ውርወራ ኡታጌ ኡባንግ ብሔራዊ ሪኮርድ በሆነ 73.28ሜ. አሸንፏል፡፡ የኋልዬ በለጠው እና ዮሃንስ አልጋው በእርምጃ ሩጫ የሻምፒዮንነት ክብርን ተቀዳጅተዋል።

ጥቂት አስተያየቶች፡-
የኢትዮጵያ አትሌቲክስ ስፖርት አፍቃሪ እንደሆነ እና ለዕድገቱ እንደሚቆረቆር ሰው በብሔራዊ ሻምፒዮናው ላይ ስለተመለከትኳቸው አዎንታዊ እና አሉታዊ ጎኖች ጥቂት አስተያየቶቼን እንደሚከተለው አስቀምጣለሁ፡-

አዎንታዊ ጎኖች
• ባለው ነባራዊ ሁኔታ ውስጥ ሊገጥሙ የሚችሉትን ተግዳሮቶች በሙሉ በመቋቋም ፌዴሬሽኑ ውድድሩን ከአዲስ አበባ ውጭ አካሂዶ በሰላም ማጠናቀቅ መቻሉ አንደኛው ስኬቱ ነው፡፡

• በሻምፒዮናው ላይ ጥቂት የማይባሉ ታዋቂ አትሌቶች በሀገሪቱ ትልቁ የአትሌቲክስ ፉክክር ላይ ተሳታፊ ሆነው ሲወዳደሩ መመልከት የተቻለ ሲሆን በተለይም በወንዶች 5000 ሜትር ፍፃሜ ላይ የታየው የኮከብ አትሌቶች ፉክክር ልዩ ነበር፡፡

• በውድድሩ ወቅት ለአትሌቲክስ ዳኞች የብቃት ማሻሻያ ስልጠና መሰጠቱም የውድድሩን ጥራት ለማሳደግ የሚረዳ እንደመሆኑ እሰየው የሚባል ነው፡፡
 
• እንደ ኢትዮ ኤሌክትሪክ ያሉት ክለቦች ለአትሌቲክስ ስፖርት የበለጠ ትኩረት በመስጠትና ተጠናክሮ በመቅረብ ከዚህ ቀደም በጠንካራነታቸው ከሚታወቁት መከላከያ እና ኢትዮጵያ ንግድ ባንክ ጋር የቅርብ ተፎካካሪ ሆነው መታየት፤ የኦሮሚያ ክልል፣ ደቡብ ፖሊስ እና ሲዳማ ቡና ክለብ አትሌቶችም ጠንካራ ተሳትፎ ሳይዘነጋ የሻምፒዮናው ፉክክር ድምቀት ነበሩ፡፡  
• የአንዳንዶቹ ተገቢነት አጠያያቂ ቢሆንም ብዛት ያላቸው የሻምፒዮናው ሪኮርዶች የተሻሻሉበት ውድድርም ነበር፡፡ 

አሉታዊ ጎኖች
• የሀገሪቱ ትልቁ የአትሌቲክስ ውድድር ውጤት አሁንም በኤሌክትሮኒክስ የሰዓት መቆጣጠሪያ የማይደገፍ መሆኑ በተለይም በአጭር ርቀት እና በሜዳ ላይ ተግባራት ውድድሮች ላይ የሚሳተፉ አትሌቶች ልፋት ተገቢውን እውቅና እንዳያገኝ እያደረገ ይገኛል፡፡ የሻምፒዮናውን ውጤቶች በዘመናዊ እና ዓለም አቀፉን መለኪያ በሚያሟላ መልኩ አለመያዝ በአህጉራዊ እና አለም አቀፋዊ ውድድሮች ላይ ለተሳትፎ የሚያበቁ ውጤቶችን በማስመዝገቡ ረገድ የሚኖረው አሉታዊ ተፅዕኖ ከፍተኛ መሆኑ ከግምት ውስጥ ገብቶ አሁንም መፍትሄ ያልተበጀለት ጉዳይ ነው፡፡ 
 
• የኢትዮጵያ አትሌቲክስ ፌዴሬሽን ወደ ሚዲያ/ለአጠቃላዩ ሕዝብ የሚያስተላልፈው የመጀመሪያዎቹን ሶስት ደረጃዎች ይዘው የሚያጠናቅቁ አትሌቶችን ውጤት ብቻ መሆኑ አወዳዳሪው አካል የሚያደርገውን የራሱን ውድድርም ሆነ አትሌቶቹ የለፉበትን ውጤት ከማስተዋወቅ አኳያ በቂ አይደለም፡፡
  
• በወንዶች የጦር ውርወራ እና የሴቶች ምርኩዝ ዝላይ ብሔራዊ ሪኮርዶች እንደተመዘገቡ ይታመናል፤ በሴቶች 100ሜ መሰናክል እና የወንዶች 400ሜ መሰናክል የተመዘገቡት ሰዓቶችም የምንግዜውም ፈጣን ሊሆኑ ይችላሉ፡፡ ነገር ግን ውድድሩ በኤሌክትሮኒክስ ታይሚንግ ያልተደገፈ እና የንፋስ ንባብ ያልነበረው መሆኑ ውጤቶቹ በዓለም አቀፍ ደረጃ ተቀባይነት እንዳይኖራቸው የሚያደርግ ነው።

• በ20 ኪ.ሜ የእርምጃ ውድድር ላይ በሁለቱም ፆታዎች የተመዘገቡት ሰዓቶች ከሚጠበቀው በላይ እጅግ በጣም ፈጣን እና እውነታዊ አለመምሰላቸው በውድድሩ ላይ የተፈጠረ አንዳች ስህተት መኖሩን የሚያመላክቱ መሆኑ፡፡ እንዲህ አይነት ለማመን የሚከብዱ እና ጥርጣሬን የሚፈጥሩ አይነት ውጤቶች ሲመዘገቡም የተፈጠረ ስህተት መኖር አለመኖሩን ለማጣራት አለመሞከሩ፡፡
     
• የሴቶች 10 ኪሎ ሜትር ውድድር ላይ ለውድድር የማይፈቀድ የጎዳና ላይ መሮጫ ጫማን በመጠቀም የተመዘገበ ውጤት በሪኮርድነት ጭምር ተይዞ መፅደቁ። ብሔራዊ ፌዴሬሽኑ ከተከለከሉ ጫማዎች ጋር የተያያዙ ዓለም አቀፍ ሕገ ደንቦችን ማወቅና መተግበር ቢገባውም በሴቶች 10 ሺህ ሜትር ውድድር ላይ የተከሰተው ነገር የውድድር ሕገ ደንቦቹ መረጃ በፌዴሬሽኑ ውስጥ በትክክል የተሰራጩ እንዳልሆነ የሚያመላከት ነው፡፡  

• በሴቶች 1500 ሜትር የግማሽ ፍፃሜ ውድድር ላይ አትሌት ዳዊት ስዩም የሻምፒዮናውን ሪኮርድ ያሻሻለችበት ውጤት እንደተመዘገበ በውድድሩ ወቅት በተደጋጋሚ ሲነገር ከተደመጠ በኋላ ግልፅ ባልተደረገ ምክንያት ውጤቱ በሐዋሳው ውድድር ላይ ተሻሻሉ ከተባሉት የሻምፒዮናው አዲስ ሪኮርዶች ዝርዝር ውስጥ ሳይካተት መቅረቱም የፌዴሬሽኑን ግልፀኝነት ጥያቄ ምልክት ውስጥ የሚከት ነው፡፡

ከላይ የተዘረዘሩት አዎንታዊ እና አሉታዊ ጎኖች ለረጅም ግዜ የኢትዮጵያን አትሌቲክስ ስፖርት እንቅስቃሴዎች በቅርበት ከመከታተሌ አንፃር በራሴ እይታ ያስቀመጥኳቸው እንደመሆናቸው አንዳንዶቹ ሀሳቦች አከራካሪ ሊሆኑ ይችላሉ፡፡ ሆኖም የውድድር ደንቦችን በአግባቡ ከማስፈፀም አኳያ በታዩት ክፍተቶች ዙሪያ ምንም የሚያከራክር ጉዳይ ስለሌለ በወቅታዊ የውድድር ደንቦች ዙሪያ የግንዛቤ እጥረት ላለባቸው የስፖርቱ ባለድርሻ አካላት በሙሉ አስፈላጊውን ገለፃ እና ትምህርት መስጠት የፌዴሬሽኑ ኃላፊነት ነው፡፡ ከውድድር ጋር የተያያዙ ደንቦችን ከመጣስ አኳያ በሀገር ውስጥ በሚደረጉ ውድድሮች እንደቀላል ነገር የሚታለፉ ጉዳዮች በዓለም አቀፍ ውድድሮች ላይም ተደግመው እንደግል አትሌቶችን እንደቡድን ሀገርን ትልቅ ዋጋ ሊያስከፍሉ ይችላሉና አስፈላጊው ጥንቃቄ ቢደረግ መልካም ነው፡፡ ባለፈው መስከረም ወር በቪየና ሲቲ ማራቶን ውድድሩን በአሸናፊነት ጨርሶ የነበረው ኢትዮጵያዊው ደራራ ሁሪሳ የገጠመውን አንዘንጋው! 

ሀገራችን ኢትዮጵያን በመልካም ጎኑ ስሟ እንዲነሳ በሚያደርገው እና በትልልቅ ዓለም አቀፍ የውድድር መድረኮች ላይ የኩራታችን ምንጭ በሆነው የአትሌቲክስ ስፖርት እንደጎረቤታችን ኬንያ ዓለም አቀፍ ውድድሮችን የማስተናገድ የብቃት ደረጃ ላይ ደርሰን ማየት የዘወትር ምኞቴ ነው፡፡ የኢትዮጵያ አትሌቲክስ ፌደሬሽንም የውድድሮቹን ጥራት ለማሻሻል በትኩረት እንደሚሰራ ተስፋ አደርጋለሁ።      
      
የ10,000ሜ. አሸናፊ የሆነችው ግርማዊት ገብረእግዚአብሔር (Photo by EAF)

በመጨረሻም በሀዋሳ በተካሄደው 51ኛዉ የኢትዮጵያ አትሌቲክስ ሻምፒዮና ከመሮጫ ጫማ ጋር የተያያዙ ደንቦችን በማስከበሩ ረገድ የተፈጠረውን ክፍተት እንደማስተማሪያ ብንጠቀምበት በሚል የሚከተለውን ለማለት ወደድኩ፡-

የመሮጫ ጫማ ደንቦች ለትራክ ውድድር

64 ደቂቃ ከ14 ሰከንድ በሆነ ሰዓት የዘንድሮ የራስ አል ካይማህ የግማሽ ማራቶን ውድድር አሸናፊ የሆነችው ግርማዊት ገብረእግዚአብሔር በሐዋሳ በተከናወነው 51ኛው የኢትዮጵያ አትሌቲክስ ሻምፒዮና ላይ 31 ደቂቃ ከ21.5 ሰከንድ  በመግባት የ10,000ሜ. አሸናፊ ሆናለች፡፡ የኢትዮጵያ አትሌቲክስ ፌዴሬሽንም ዓለም አቀፉን ደንብ ከግምት ባላስገባ ሁኔታ ውጤቱን በአዲስ የሻምፒዮንሺፕ ሪኮርድነት ጭምር አፅድቆት አልፏል፡፡ ይሁን እንጂ መጋቢት 20/2014 በተደረገው የሴቶች የፍፃሜ ፉክክር ላይ በኢትዮጵያ ምድር የተመዘገበ የምንግዜውም ፈጣን የሴቶች 10 ሺህ ሜትር ሰዓት የሆነው ውጤት በአለም አትሌቲክስ ዘንድ እውቅና ሊሰጠው የማይችል ነው።

ለምን?

አትሌቷ የሶል ውፍረቱ 40ሚሜ የሆነ ዙምኤክስ ቬፐርፍላይ (ZoomX Vaporfly) ጫማ አድርጋ በመወዳደሯ ምክንያት።

ደንቡ ምን ይላል?

በትራክ ውድድሮች ላይ የሚፈቀደው ከፍተኛው የሶል ውፍረት ፡-
– 20ሚሜ ከ 800ሜ በታች ለሆኑ ውድድሮች እና ለሁሉም የሜዳ ላይ ተግባራት (ከስሉስ ዝላይ በስተቀር)

– 25ሚሜ ለ800ሜ እና ከዛ በላይ ለሆኑ ውድድሮች እንዲሁም ለስሉስ ዝላይ

– 40ሚሜ ለትራክ ላይ የእርምጃ ውድድሮች

እነዚህ ደንቦች እ.ኤ.አ. እስከ ኦክቶበር 31, 2024 ድረስ በሥራ ላይ ይውላሉ። ከኖቬምበር 1 ቀን 2024 ጀምሮ ለ800ሜ እና ከዚያ በላይ ለሆኑ ውድድሮች እንዲሁም ለስሉስ ዝላይ የሚፈቀደው ከፍተኛ የሶል ውፍረትም ወደ 20 ሚሜ ዝቅ የሚል ይሆናል።

የትራክ ላይ መወዳደሪያ ስፓይክ ጫማ ከሌለኝስ?  

ደንቡ የጎዳና ላይ የመሮጫ ጫማዎች በትራክ ላይ እንዳይደረጉ አይከለክልም ነገር ግን በ25 ሚሊ ሜትሩ ገደብ ምክንያት 30 ሚሜ ወይም 40 ሚሜ የሆኑ የጎዳና ላይ መሮጫ ጫማዎች በትራክ ውድድሮች ላይ እንዲደረጉ አይፈቅድም፡፡

ለበለጠ መረጃ :-
https://www.worldathletics.org/news/press-releases/new-athletic-shoe-regulations-approved-2022

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Opinions

On the TPLF’s Love Affair With ‘Genocide’

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Ethiopia's Lalibela, a UN World Heritage Site, now under Tigrayan forces control

Today, the joint investigation report by the Ethiopian Human Rights Council and the UNHR
on human rights violations committed in Tigray concluded that there is no evidence that genocide has taken place so far. While this is a bit of a setback for the TPLF, which has wanted the world to believe—since the 1990s, even as the TPLF was dominating power in Addis—that a genocide has been perpetrated against the people of Tigray, unfortunately the group still appears to be determined to make genocide a reality. This is confusing for people who don’t understand why the TPLF is obsessed with genocide, why its internet cadres began using #TigrayGenocide in April 2020, months before the war began. So many weapons have been deployed in this war, and among them: confusion and obfuscation.


In the past several months and more so in the past few weeks, we have been getting
testimony after testimony from allied Amhara forces fighting the TPLF that Tigrayan residents of cities in Wollo have been collaborating with the TPLF by a) attacking ENDF and allied forces from behind; b) forcing ENDF and allied forces to withdraw from towns and cities afraid of committing large scale massacres by firing back at the civilians (Tigrayans) firing at them; c) helping the TPLF locate and execute young Amharas believed to be a threat; and d) in at least one horrifying account by an IDP who managed to escape occupied territories, handing TPLF soldiers a list of women to rape. Another shocking development in the past several months has been the widespread use of child soldiers by the TPLF, which, according to experts who have studied the practice, is an “alarm bell” calling attention to possible plans to commit mass atrocities. The use of child soldiers by the TPLF and its attendant implications, along with the widespread deployment of civilian sleeper agents in Amhara cities the TPLF has taken over, serves to create an overall perception of every Tigrayan as a potential enemy, sowing fear and mistrust.

Many Ethiopians are looking at this and wondering: why are Tigrayan elites on the internet
either celebrating the TPLF’s advance via these toxic methods or silent about all this? How can they not see how dangerous this is for everyone, especially for Tigrayans who live outside Tigray? How can they not see that there is no “winning” after stoking all this lasting animosity? Do Tigrayan elites not understand that there can be no justice for Tigray—whether Tigray secedes or not—unless there is justice for her neighbors, for Tigray does not exist in a vacuum? The questions are being asked but nobody is answering them. Our academic class has largely failed to offer viable analyses of the ideas driving this war, as they failed over the past fifty years in regards to coming up with a fitting paradigm for understanding Ethiopia’s unique situation.


Here is my humble attempt to explain what I think is happening with the TPLF’s obsession
with—and with its active attempt to inspire—genocide:


The most successful psychopaths in any field understand that, in order to win anything, one
must risk everything, including the very thing one is supposedly fighting for. In the case of the
TPLF (and associated Tigrayan political elites), whose motto appears to be “give me supremacy or give me death,” that “everything” they are risking is the lives of ordinary Tigrayans in whose names they are fighting. We have seen over the past several months the extent to which the TPLF is willing to go to sacrifice ordinary Tigrayans in order to get what it wants: wave after wave after wave of young poorly armed and inexperienced Tigrayans were unleashed upon ENDF and Amhara and Afar forces in order to force the latter to waste ammunition and energy before the more experienced soldiers are sent.


So, for a political group who sends tens of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands, of
young Tigrayans towards open fire, violence against hundreds of thousands of Tigrayans is nothing if it means the TPLF will in the end win the “prize” it has been obsessed with for decades: genocide. You see, merely attaining power in Addis Ababa is not enough for the TPLF, whose core driving ideology is Tigrayan supremacy. Power is temporary; anybody can take it away from you, and the 2018 uprisings demonstrated that. Genocide is forever. Nobody can take away from you the story of genocide committed against your people.


The TPLF looked at countries like Israel and Rwanda and realized what a potent instrument
genocide is for establishing perpetual minority rule. We have some indications suggesting that the TPLF views Israel as a model. When the war between Ethiopia and the TPLF began in November 2020, Sekoutoure Getachew, a TPLF official, went on TV to tell us that the TPLF’s decision to launch a preemptive attack on the Northern Command was inspired by how the young state of Israel, feeling threatened by her neighbors, launched preemptive attacks against them in the “six-day war” of 1967. Another indication is the manner in which the TPLF, during its 27 years in power, invested heavily in creating a wealthy and strongly networked Tigrayan diaspora which has been used to lobby and influence western governments and organizations much in the same way as the Jewish diaspora aids the state of Israel. The TPLF has figured out that truth does not matter in politics, especially in international politics. If you have the wealth and the personnel to peddle your preferred narrative, if you have the military power to subdue the people you want to subdue, if you are willing to make concessions to external forces (US, Egypt, etc), you can do unspeakable things to others (much like the state of Israel does to Palestinians) and still manage to portray yourself as the victim.
This calculation is so far working for the TPLF, but nothing would seal the deal like the actual
commission of genocide—or something that looks like it—against Tigrayans. As we have seen over the past twelve months, western governments and organizations have shown their willingness to adopt TPLF’s narratives without scrutiny and can easily reward the TPLF with its much pursued prize, genocide, even if actual genocide doesn’t take place.


But why does the TPLF need genocide to establish minority rule? Because, as we saw in their
first tenure in power, you can only rule with an iron fist for a limited period of time. Leaders of the TPLF are adherents of Tigrayan supremacy: the idea that Tigrayans, as the “only” heirs of the Axumite empire, are the natural rulers of the Ethiopian state, and cannot be ruled by “barbarians” south of them. The only acceptable power arrangement for the TPLF is one in which Tigrayans are either directly dominating political power or are the perpetual kingmakers pulling all the major strings. Anything outside that, any system that forces Tigrayans to live on equal footing with everyone else, is unacceptable. And this kind of domination by a minority cannot coexist with a democratic system that the majority of Ethiopians clearly prefer. So, the TPLF needs something more potent than pure political/economic/military power to justify bypassing democracy to establish itself as the permanent ruler/kingmaker of Ethiopia. It needs a new and powerful raison d’être to justify its domination not just to Tigrayans and the rest of Ethiopians but, and most importantly, to the rest of the world. If a genocide were to be committed against Tigrayans (or if the U.S. decides to reward the TPLF with the genocide label even in the absence of it), then the TPLF can license itself to impose all manner of drastic measures aimed at “protecting Tigray and
Tigrayans.” This could be anything from redrawing internal borders (and taking debilitating
measures against the peoples whose lands are being robbed—most likely Amharas and Afaris—so that they will never be in a position to assert themselves) to ethnic cleansing and genocide against populations considered to be a threat. And when you oppose it, the TPLF will say “you committed a genocide against Tigrayans” over and over and over, and its western backers will repeat the same chorus. If they have been this loud over a non-existent genocide over the past twelve months, just imagine what it would be like if the U.S. or UN rewards them with that label.


And this is where the Ethiopian government’s major dilemma comes from: if ENDF and
Amhara forces fight to regain their cities and towns, they risk committing large scale massacres. The TPLF networks reported to be operating within these cities wear civilian clothing and fire at the armies from inside civilian establishments, in an apparent attempt to set up pro-Ethiopia forces. Pro-Ethiopia forces are essentially being dared to commit large scale massacres in order to win back their own cities. So far, they are choosing to withdraw from these towns and cities. But that is another problem: not only is the TPLF committing unspeakable violence against civilians and destroying infrastructure in those cities, the takeovers are emboldening it to continue pressing, giving young people back in Tigray false hope that they are winning and—this is very important—the false idea that they are being “welcomed” by locals in those cities. Then more and more and more young Tigrayans are sent to their deaths.


So the Ethiopian government is stuck between a rock and a hard place. One option is
allowing its forces to do whatever it takes to take back territory, thereby offering protection to its citizens in Wollo and elsewhere, but also risking the “genocide” label by western governments who have been eagerly waiting for such an opportunity so that they can blackmail the government into submitting itself to their wishes on GERD and other issues. Option two is avoiding large scale violence and allowing the TPLF to take power in Addis Ababa and do to Ethiopia what it wishes. One of the things it might do to Ethiopia, according to its leaked strategy document, is force a confederation that will no doubt privilege some states, i.e. Tigray, more than others, and that will no doubt be designed to subdue some populations—mainly Amharas and Afaris—who are considered obstacles to Tigray’s aspirations of domination and expansion (in the TPLF’s original manifesto, Afar is claimed as Tigray land).


And there is absolutely no doubt that the TPLF will make big concessions on the GERD in
order to compensate its western and Egyptian backers, if not redraw borders to make Benishangul Gumuz Tigrayan territory. If you think this is wild, read about the history of the state of Israel, the TPLF’s model state. The redrawing of borders that the TPLF undertook in 1991 was also wild at the time; people don’t think of it as outrageous anymore because the fact that they held onto the territory for 30 years has normalized the event in our minds. And that’s all the TPLF needs: another thirty years to normalize all the outrageous things they will do next.

One may argue that this is a false dichotomy, that there is a third or even maybe fourth option: winning these cities back without mass violence much in the same way the ENDF managed to do during its first campaign in Tigray. We all should pray for such a miracle, of course. However, one can also say that in the early days of the war, the TPLF was mostly withdrawing from Tigrayan cities to avoid urban warfare. And even when they engaged in urban warfare, it was not at the same scale and intensity as has been the case over the past four and half months or so. Starting in mid June, the TPLF’s use of civilians as human shields and fighters stopped being just another weapon in its arsenal and became a center of its operations. The near collapse of the ENDF inside Tigray right before its withdrawal was precipitated by the TPLF’s intensified use of “civilians” to trap the ENDF. Many ENDF soldiers chose to surrender rather than fire at those “civilians.” It is still possible to avoid large scale violence in the attempt to retake towns in Wollo, but the risk for it is very high, and is possibly behind the federal government’s reluctance to take decisive actions.


The point is: barring miracles, the Ethiopian government is positioned to lose something
one way or another. All that is left is choosing its preferred poison. Perhaps one thing to consider for the federal government is: the rights of Amharas and Afaris to defend themselves against the existential threats posed against them by the TPLF is much bigger than the national government’s concerns about its place and relationships with the rest of the world. If the federal government decides to risk the disintegration of Ethiopia, like it has done so far either due to incompetence or severe fear of committing large scale violence, that is fine for the federal government. But when you allow that disintegration to happen, please don’t leave the people of Amhara and Afar in a vulnerable position, unable to defend themselves and their lands. If we must return to the State of Nature, at least give these two peoples, who have so far shed more blood than anyone else in defense of their country, a chance to preserve their lives and their lands. Give them the resources they need to defend themselves before it is too late for them even if you feel it is too late for Ethiopia. Anything less is just a continuation of the gross criminal negligence that the federal government has been guilty of so far.

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የቶኪዮ 2020 ኦሊምፒክ የኢትዮጵያ የአትሌቲክስ ተሳትፎ ድህረ ምልከታ

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በቶኪዮ 2020 ኦሊምፒክ በወረቀት ደረጃ ከውድድሩ መጀመር በፊት ቡድኑ ባመዛኙ በጥሩ ብቃት ላይ የሚገኙ ወጣት አትሌቶችን ስላካተተ ቢያንስ የለመድናቸውን ሁለት ወይም ሶስት የወርቅ ሜዳልያ ድሎች እንደማያሳጣን ተስፋ አድርጌ ነበር፡፡ ሆኖም የሜዳ ላይ ውጤቱ እንደተጠበቀው ሳይሆን ቀርቷል፡፡ ኢትዮጵያ በውጤታማነቷ በምትታወቅበት የአትሌቲክስ ፉክክር በአንድ የወርቅ፣ አንድ የብር፣ እና ሁለት የነሐስ በድምሩ በአራት ሜዳልያዎች ከዓለም 14ኛ ከአፍሪካ 3ኛ ደረጃን ይዛ ጨርሳለች፡፡ ይህም ሁሌም ለአፍሪካ የበላይነት ከምንፎካከራት ኬንያ ጋር ያለን ልዩነት ይበልጥ እንዲሰፋ አድጎታል፡፡ ከቅርብ ግዜ ወዲህ ሌላኛዋ የምስራቅ አፍሪካ ተቀናቃኛችን እየሆነች ከመጣችው ኡጋንዳም አንሰን እንድንገኝ አድርጎናል፡፡ የቶኪዮ ኦሊምፒክ በአትሌቲክሱ ከ1992ቱ የባርሴሎና ኦሊምፒክ ወዲህ ኢትዮጵያ ዝቅተኛ የሜዳልያ ስኬት ያስመዘገበችበትም ሆኖ አልፏል፡፡

አሉታዊ ጎኖች
ቶኪዮ የኢትዮጵያ አትሌቲክስ ውጤታማነት ፈር ቀዳጅ የሆነው ታላቁ አትሌት ሻምበል አበበ ቢቂላ በ1964 ዓ.ም. በተከታታይ ሁለተኛ የኦሊምፒክ ማራቶን ድሉን የተቀዳጀባት ከተማ ናት፡፡ እናም በቶኪዮ ከተማ በተከናወነው የኦሊምፒክ ውድድር የኢትዮጵያ ልዑካን ቡድን የሱን ክብር የሚያጎሉባቸውን ነገሮች ያደርጋሉ ብዬ ጠብቄ ነበር፡፡ የሆኑት ነገሮች ግን በተለይ በቡድኑ አስተዳዳሪዎች በኩል ፍፁም ኃላፊነት የጎደለውና ከጠበቅኩት በተቃራኒው ነበር፡፡ የኢትዮጵያ አትሌቲክስ ፌዴሬሽን እና የኢትዮጵያ ኦሊምፒክ ኮሚቴ ከአትሌቶች ምርጫ አንስቶ በቡድኑ የዝግጅት ወቅት በተካረረ ውዝግብ ውስጥ ነበር የከረሙት፡፡ የኦሊምፒክ ቡድኑን የማዘጋጀት እና የመምራት የጋራ ኃላፊነት የነበረባቸው ሁለቱ አካላት ይባስ ብለው ውዝግቡን ቶኪዮ ድረስ ይዘውት ሄደዋል፡፡ ይህ ሁሉ ሲሆን ሁለቱን አካላት በማቀራረብ በትልቁ ውድድር ላይ ያለንን ተሳትፎ እንከን አልባ ማድግ የሚጠበቅባቸውም ተመልካች ከመሆን የዘለለ ሚና አልነበራቸውም። የውዝግቡ አሉታዊ ትሩፋት በአትሌቶች ስነልቦና እና በአጠቃላይ የቡድኑ ውጤት ላይ የበኩሉን ተፅዕኖ ሳያሳርፍ እንዳላለፈ አያጠራጥርም፡፡

እንደ አለመታደል ሆኖ በቶኪዮ ኦሎምፒክ የኢትዮጵያን ልዑካን የመምራት ትልቁ ኃላፊነት የተሰጣቸው ሰዎች ኃላፊነት የጎደላቸው ነበሩ። የስፖርቱ አስተዳደሪዎች ትላልቅ ዓለም አቀፍ ውድድሮች በመጡ ቁጥር በአትሌቶች ምርጫ ዙሪያ የነበረውን ውዝግብ እንዲያቆሙልን እመኝ ነበር። ጭራሽ እራሳቸው ችግር ፈጣሪ ሆነው መገኘታቸው አስደንጋጭ እና አሳሳቢ ጉዳይ ነው፡፡ በመሮጫ መም ወይም በጎዳና ላይ በሚደረጉ ውድድሮች መሸነፍን በስፖርቱ ውስጥ ማሸነፍ እና መሸነፍ ያሉ የነበሩ እና ወደፊትም የሚኖሩ ነገሮች ስለሆኑ በፀጋ መቀበል ይቻላል፡፡ ተወዳዳሪዎቹ ውጤታማ እንዲሆኑ የስነልቦና ጥንካሬን ሊፈጥሩላቸው የሚገቡ ኃላፊዎች የእርስ በርስ ሽኩቻ ተቃራኒውን አሉታዊ ተፅዕኖ ሲያሳርፍ ማየት ግን ፍፁም ተቀባይነት የለውም፡፡ ለነገሩ ከስፖርቱ እድገት ይልቅ የፖለቲካ ግዴታቸው የሚያስጨንቃቸው የስፖርት አመራሮች በበዙባት ሀገር ስፖርቱ እንዲህ የማንም መጫወቻ ሲሆን ማየት አዲስ ነገር አይደለም፡፡  

የስፖርት አመራሮች ከፖለቲካ ተፅዕኖ ነፃ ሆነው ትኩረታቸውን ስፖርቱን በማስፋፋቱ እና ማሳደጉ ላይ አድርገው የሚሰሩ ስለስፖርቱም በቂ እውቀት እና ፍቅሩ ያላቸው ቢሆኑ መልካም ነው፡፡ ለቦታው በሚመጥን እና ኃላፊነቱን በአግባቡ መወጣት በሚችል የስፖርት አመራር የሚመራ የስፖርት ተቋምን መገንባት በተመሳሳይ ሰዓት የሀገር ግንባታን የሚደግፉ ሶስት ነገሮችን ስኬታማ ያደርጋል፡፡ በስፖርት ጤናውን የሚጠብቅ ማሕበረሰብ በመፍጠር በጤናው ሴክተር ላይ የሚኖረውን ጫና ይቀንሳል፣ በሀገር ገፅታ ግንባታ እና በኢኮኖሚው ዕድገት ላይም የበኩሉን ከፍተኛ አስተዋፅኦ ያደርጋል፡፡ በቶኪዮ ላይ የተመለከትናቸው የሀገርን ክብር ዝቅ ያደረጉ ግዴለሽነቶች ተገቢው ትኩረት ተሰጥቷቸው ሊታዩና አጥፊዎቹ ሊጠየቁበት ይገባል፡፡ በመጪዎቹ ዓመታት በሚጠብቁን ዓለም አቀፍ ውድድሮች ላይም የቶኪዮ ኦሊምፒኩን አይነት ሀፍረት እንዳይገጥመን ከወዲሁ ለችግሮቹ መፍትሔ መፈለግ አለበት፡፡

ባለፉት ዓመታት ኦሊምፒክ በመጣ ቁጥር በልዑካን ቡድኑ ውስጥ እየተካተቱ በሕዝብ ገንዘብ የሚዝናኑት የኦሊምፒክ ቱሪስቶች ጉዳይ ዘንድሮም ያልተቀረፈ ችግር ሆኖ ተስተውሏል፡፡ ከሌላው ግዜ በተለየ መልኩ ተጠባባቂ አትሌቶችን ይዞ መጓዝ ይጠይቅ በነበረው ውድድር ላይ አትሌቶቹን ትቶ ምንም የማይሰሩ ሰዎችን ይዞ መሄድ ትልቅ ቀልድ ነው፡፡  

ከሜዳ ውጭ የነበረው ውዝግብ ዋነኛ የትኩረት ማዕከል የነበረ መሆኑ በሜዳ ላይ የነበሩብንን ድክመቶች ሊያስረሳንም አይገባም፡፡ ስድስት የጎዳና ላይ ተወዳደሪዎቻችን እና አንድ የመም ተወዳዳሪ ውድድራቸውን ማቋረጣቸው በቶኪዮ ከታዩት ደካማ ጎኖቻችን መካከል የሚጠቀስ ነው፡፡ ችግሩ በዚህ ምክንያት ነው የተከሰተው ብሎ ለይቶ ለመናገር ባይቻልም ብዙ ግዜ ሲፈትነን ለሚስተዋለው የሞቃታማ ቦታ ውድድር የምናደርጋቸው ዝግጅቶችን መለስ ብሎ መመልከትን የሚጠይቅ ይመስለኛል፡፡ የተጎዳች አትሌትን ወደውድድር እንድትገባ ማድረግ እና በሁለት ደቂቃ ውስጥ ለማቋረጥ መገደዷም የአትሌቶች የጤና ክትትል ላይ ክፍተት እንዳለ የጠቆመን ክስተት ነው፡፡

የኢትዮጵያ ኦሊምፒክ ቡድን ወደውድድር ስፍራው ካቀናበት ግዜ ጀምሮ በቶኪዮ ምንም አይነት ቡድኑን የተመለከቱ ይፋዊ ጋዜጣዊ መግለጫዎች ወይም ፕሬስ ሪሊዞች አልነበሩም፡፡ ይህም እንደተለመደው የሕብረተሰቡን እና የመገናኛ ብዙሀንን ስለቡድኑ ቀጥተኛ መረጃ የማግኘት መብት የገደበ ነበር፡፡ ጋዜጠኞችም ሚዛናዊ ሆኖ ከመዘገብ ይልቅ ጎራ ለይተው ቃላት መወራወራቸው የህዝብን ትክክለኛ መረጃ የማግኘት መብት የነፈገ ነው፡፡ 

አዎንታዊ ጎኖች
ሰለሞን ባረጋ በወንዶች 10,000 ሜትር ወርቅ፣ ለሜቻ ግርማ በወንዶች 3000 ሜትር መሰናክል ብር፣ ጉዳፍ ፀጋዬ በሴቶች 5000 ሜትር ነሐስ፣ እና ለተሰንበት ግደይ በሴቶች 10,000 ሜትር ነሐስ ማስመዝገብ መቻላቸው የሚደነቅ ስኬት ነው፡፡

የመጪው ትውልድ አካል የሆኑት ተስፈኞቹ መቅደስ አበበ፣ ፍሬወይኒ ሀይሉ፣ በሪሁ አረጋዊ እና ጌትነት ዋለን ጨምሮ አምስት አትሌቶች ለሜዳሊያ የቀረበ የአራተኛነት ደረጃን ይዘው ማጠናቀቅ መቻላቸውም መልካም ነው፡፡ በተለይ ወጣቶቹ ያስመዘገቡት ውጤት በመጪዎቹ ዓመታት ተገቢውን ድጋፍ ካገኙ የምንጓጓለትን ድል ሊያስገኙልን እንደሚችሉ ያመላከተን ነው፡፡

የሀብታም አለሙ በኢትዮጵያ የኦሊምፒክ ተሳትፎ ታሪክ በሴቶች 800 ሜትር ለመጀመሪያ ግዜ ለፍፃሜ ተወዳዳሪነት መብቃት ምንም እንኳ በፍፃሜው የሜዳልያ ድል ባይቀናትም በአዎንታዊ ጎን ሊጠቀስ የሚችል ስኬት ነው፡፡

ከአንደኛ እስከ ስምንተኛ ደረጃን ይዘው ላጠናቀቁ አትሌቶች በሚሰጥ ነጥብ ድምር መሰረት በወጣው የነጥብ (ፕሌስመንት) ደረጃ ሰንጠረዥ ላይ በ64 ነጥብ ዘጠነኛ ሆነን ማጠናቀቃችንም እሰየው የሚያስብል ነው፡፡

በቶኪዮ ኦሊምፒክ ከአራተኛ እስከ ስምንተኛ ባሉት ደረጃዎች ውስጥ አጠናቀው ነጥብ ያስገኙ እና የዲፕሎማ ተሸላሚ የሆኑት አትሌቶች፡-
4ኛ – ፍሬወይኒ ሀይሉ – በሴቶች 1500 ሜትር
4ኛ – መቅደስ አበበ – በሴቶች 3000 ሜትር መሰናክል
4ኛ – ሮዛ ደረጀ – በሴቶች ማራቶን
4ኛ – በሪሁ አረጋዊ – በወንዶች 10,000 ሜትር
4ኛ – ጌትነት ዋለ – በወንዶች 3000 ሜትር መሰናክል
5ኛ – እጅጋየሁ ታዬ – በሴቶች 5000 ሜትር
6ኛ – ሀብታም አለሙ – በሴቶች 800 ሜትር
6ኛ – ሰንበሬ ተፈሪ – በሴቶች 5000 ሜትር
8ኛ – ዮሚፍ ቀጄልቻ – በወንዶች 10,000 ሜትር
8ኛ – ዘርፌ ወንድማገኝ – በሴቶች 3000 ሜትር መሰናክል

  • የአትሌቲክስ የነጥብ ደረጃ ሰንጠረዥ ከአንደኛ እስከ ስምንተኛ ባሉት ደረጃዎች ውስጥ የሚያጠናቅቁ አትሌቶች በሚያስመዘግቡት ነጥብ ድምር መሰረት የሚወጣ ሲሆን የነጥብ አሰጣጡም ለአንደኛ ደረጃ 8 ነጥብ፣ ለሁለተኛ ደረጃ 7 ነጥብ፣ ለሶስተኛ ደረጃ 6 ነጥብ፣ ለአራተኛ ደረጃ 5 ነጥብ፣ ለአምስተኛ ደረጃ 4 ነጥብ፣ ለስድስተኛ ደረጃ 3 ነጥብ፣ ለሰባተኛ ደረጃ 2 ነጥብ፣ እና ለስምንተኛ ደረጃ 1 ነጥብ ነው።

ከፊታችን ምን  እየጠበቀን ነው? ምንስ እናድርግ?
ባለፈው ዓመት በዓለም አቀፉ ወረርሺኝ ምክንያት ትልልቅ ዓለም አቀፍ ውድድሮች ለሌላ ግዜ እንዲተላለፉ መደረጉ ይታወቃል፡፡ ሌላ አስገዳጅ ሁኔታ ካልተፈጠረ በስተቀር ቀጣዮቹ አራት ዓመታት በተከታታይ በየዓመቱ ዓለም አቀፍ የአትሌቲክስ ውድድሮች የሚካሄዱባቸው ይሆናሉ፡፡ በ2022 የዓለም ሻምፒዮና፣ በ2023 የዓለም ሻምፒዮና፣ በ2024 የኦሊምፒክ ጨዋታዎች፣ እና በ2025 የዓለም ሻምፒዮና ውድድሮች ይኖራሉ፡፡ በቀጣዩ ዓመት በኢትዮጵያ የቀን አቆጣጠር ከሐምሌ 8 – 17/2014 በዩናይትድ ስቴትስ ኦሪጎን የሚካሄደው የዓለም አትሌቲክስ ሻምፒዮና አዘጋጆች ሙሉ የውድድሩን ፕሮግራም፣ የማራቶን እና የእርምጃ ውድድሮች የሚካሄዱባቸውን ቦታዎች በትላንትናው ዕለት ይፋ አድርገዋል፡፡ የዓለም ሻምፒዮናውን ውድድር በኃላፊነት የሚመራው የኢትዮጵያ አትሌቲክስ ፌዴሬሽንም ከወዲሁ ለዛ ውድድር ተሳትፎ የሚጠበቅበትን አቅዶ መንቀሳቀስ ይኖበርታል፡፡

ከምርጫ ጋር በተያያዘ የሚነሱ ጭቅጭቆችን ለማስቀረት ከወዲሁ ሁሉም አትሌቶች አውቀውት በውስጡ የሚያልፉበትን ገዢ የሆነ የመምረጫ መስፈርት ማዘጋጀት ቀዳሚው ተግባር መሆን አለበት፡፡ የመምረጫ መስፈርት ሁልግዜም በግላዊ ምልከታ እና ፍላጎቶች ላይ በሚመሰረት ምክንያት አነጋጋሪ መሆኑ የማይቀር ነው፡፡ ቢሆንም ባለድርሻ አካላቱን በሙሉ ባሳተፈ መልኩ ውይይት ተደርጎበት ቢወጣ ሁሉንም ገዢ እና ከጭቅጭቅ የፀዳ ሊሆን ይችላል፡፡ እዚህ ላይ በቶኪዮ ኦሊምፒክ ከተከሰቱት ሁኔታዎች አንፃር የሌሎች ሀገሮችንም ተሞክሮዎች በመዳሰስ ነገሩን ሰፋ አድርጎ መመልከት ቢቻል ጥሩ ነው፡፡ ትልልቅ ውድድሮች በመጡ ቁጥር በተደጋጋሚ እንደታዘብነው አንዳንድ አትሌቶች በቡድኑ ውስጥ ለመካተት የሚያደርጉትን ተገቢ ያልሆነ ሙከራም ማቆም አለባቸው፡፡ ከፋም ለማም ስፖርቱን እንዲመራ ኃላፊነት የተሰጠው ተቋም የሚያወጣቸውን መስፈርቶች ማክበርና በዛ ውስጥ ተመራጭ ለመሆን መሞከር ግድ እንደሚላቸውም መዘንጋት የለባቸውም፡፡ ማኔጀሮች እና አሰልጣኞች በተለይ በማራቶን የራሳቸውን አትሌት ለማስመረጥ የሚያደርጓቸው አላስፈላጊ ግፊቶችም ሊያቆሙ ይገባል፡፡

ለውድድሮች የምናደርጋቸውን ዝግጅቶች ጠንካራ እና ደካማ ጎኖች ከውድድሮች በኋላ መገምገም እና መታረም ያለባቸው ነገሮች ካሉ ማረም፡፡ ከፍተኛ ሙቀት በነበረባቸው በለንደን 2012 ኦሊምፒክ ሶስቱም የወንዶች ማራቶን ተወዳዳሪዎቻችን፣ በሞስኮ 2013 የዓለም ሻምፒዮና ሁለቱ የሴቶች ማራቶን ተወዳዳሪዎቻችን፣ በቶኪዮ ኦሊምፒክ ላይ አምስት የማራቶን (ሶስቱም ወንዶች እና ሁለት ሴቶች) ተወዳዳሪዎቻችን እንዲሁም የሴቶች እርምጃ ተወዳዳሪያችን ለማቋረጥ መገደዳቸውን አስተውለናል፡፡ ስለዚህ በጎዳና ላይ ውድድሮች ከባድ ሙቀት ለሚኖርባቸው ቦታዎች እንዴት መዘጋጀት አለብን የሚለው ጉዳይም በደንብ ሊታይ የሚገባው ይመስለኛል፡፡ አንዳንድ የመም (ትራክ) ተወዳዳሪ አትሌቶቻችን የውድድር ዓመቱ ሲጀምር ድንቅ ብቃታቸውን ያሳዩን እና ወደትልቅ ውድድር ሲቃረቡ አቋማቸው እየወረደ ይመጣል፡፡ አሰልጣኞቻቸው ለእነዚህ አይነቶቹ አትሌቶች ወደትልቅ ውድድር ሲቃረቡ ብቃታቸውን እያሳደጉ እንዲሄዱ የሚረዳቸውን የልምምድ ፕሮግራም ቢያዘጋጁላቸው መልካም ነው፡፡ በመካከለኛ ርቀት ውድድሮች ላይ በተለይ በወንዶች አሁንም በከፍተኛ ደረጃ የሚፎካከሩ አትሌቶችን ለማፍራት ጠንክረን መስራት ይጠበቅብናል፡፡

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