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Jawar Mohammed is an Ethiopian-born journalist and activist. The founder of the Oromia Media Network, Jawar was a leading organizer of the 2016 Ethiopian protests and the key intellectual inspiration for the National Youth Movement for Freedom and Democracy, popularly known as the Qeerroo. Jawar Mohammed was born on 12 May 1986 in the small town of Dumuga (Oromo: Dhummugaa) on the border of the former Arsi and Hararghe provinces. His father was Muslim while his mother was an Orthodox Christian; their inter-religious union was considered novel but was ultimately accepted by the community. Jawar began his formal education at a Catholic school in Asella. He then attended secondary school in Adama until 2003, when he was awarded a scholarship to study at the United World College of South East Asia in Singapore, from which he graduated in 2005. He described his experience at the UWC as awakening his consciousness to his own Oromo identity. He then studied at Stanford University, graduating in 2009 with a degree in political science. He went on to pursue graduate studies in human rights at Columbia University, receiving a masters' degree in 2013. In 2006, while a student at Stanford, Jawar founded the International Oromo Youth Association (IOYA), intended to serve as an umbrella organization for Oromo youth groups around the world, which has engaged in advocacy in front of United Nations bodies in Geneva and held demonstrations to protest Ethiopian government policy. Jawar first gained prominence as a writer and speaker on Oromo and Ethiopian politics, chiely amongst the US-based diaspora. He was a notable critic of the Oromo Liberation Front and their perceived failure to effect meaningful political change in Ethiopia and advance Oromo interests. Jawar has been an important political coordinator for the Qeerroo youth movement, even in exile.However, he has been controversial

Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemeriam Desalegn and two other government officials have been summoned by a federal high court to serve as witnesses in the ongoing terrorism and criminal trials of two Oromo opposition leaders and 15 others. The Prime Minister, Speaker of Parliament Abadula Gemeda and Oromia Region President Lemma Megerssa are expected to appear in court in November 2017, local media portal Addis Standard reports on Friday. The court ruled in favour of the defense to summon the three top government officials after four days of hearings. The opposition leaders on trial are Bekele Gerba, first secretary general of the opposition Oromo Federalist Congress (OFC) and Dejene Fita Geleta, secretary general of OFC. displayAdvert("mpu_3") They were arrested with 20 others at the end of 2015 in connection with the 2015 Oromo protests that resulted in the death of hundreds of protesters. They were accused of inciting the deadly protests and having links with outlawed political party Oromo Liberation Front (OLF) which has been labeled a terrorist organisation by the government. The court acquitted five of the defendants in July this years after over a year in detention. Bekele Gerba, a university lecturer, had his terrorism charges reduced to criminal charges and an attempt
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