Thursday, August 27, 2015

Ethiopia, Saudi Arabia to Conclude Labour Recruitment Contract.....Ethiopians government must stop this madness…

Ethiopia and Saudi Arabia are expected to sign the Domestic Workers' Recruitment Agreement to protect the rights of Ethiopian domestic workers in that country, an official said.

The agreement will change the working situation of Ethiopian citizens in the Saudi Arabia including salary payment, having a leave and protection from domestic abuses and human right violations by their employers, Liaison Officer with Ethiopia's Embassy in Saudi Arabia, Temsegen Omar told ENA.

If signed, the deal will make the Saudi government share responsibility with employers and agencies for any violation of rights against Ethiopian domestic workers.

Saudi Arabia was reluctant to sign the contract that obliged it to take responsibility for violation of rights against citizens, but finally they managed to narrow differences, said Temesgen,

He said: "Initially there were some differences and the differences are solved in line with Ethiopia's needs in that the Saudi government should give guarantee and share the responsibility for safety of Ethiopian domestic workers' in workplaces and while trying to return home."

Ethiopian domestic workers in Saudi Arabia have been complaining about various violations including unpaid salary, domestic abuses such as torture and rape.

The Ethiopian government had banned in October 2013 its citizens from travelling to Arab countries in search of work until lasting solution is found.

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Just Out Of Jail, Ethiopian Leader Brings A Sharp Message To Obama

Just a few months ago, Bekele Gerba was languishing in a high security Ethiopian jail, hearing the cries of fellow prisoners being beaten and tortured. Now, the 54-year-old foreign language professor is in Washington, D.C., for meetings at the State Department. His message: The Obama administration should pay more attention to the heavy-handed way its ally, Ethiopia, treats political opponents — and should help Ethiopians who are losing their ability to earn a living.

Gerba is a leader of the Oromo Federalist Congress, a political party that represents one of the country's largest ethnic groups. With estimated numbers of about 30 million, the Oromo make up about a third of Ethiopia's population.

In 2011, Gerba was arrested after meeting with Amnesty International researchers and sent to prison on what he calls trumped up terrorism charges, often used in Ethiopia against political dissidents. In court he made remarks that have been widely circulated in Ethiopia and beyond: "I am honored to learn that my non-violent struggles and humble sacrifices for the democratic and human rights of the Oromo people, to whom I was born without a wish on my part but due to the will of the Almighty, have been considered a crime and to be unjustly convicted."

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Four decades after Haile Selassie’s death, Ethiopia is an African success story

Ethiopia has changed beyond all recognition since the death of its last emperor, Haile Selassie, 40 years ago. Haile Selassie was surreptitiously murdered at the age of 83 by the military revolutionaries who had overthrown him a year earlier. Though t-shirts bearing his familiar features are to be seen on the streets of Addis Ababa, the days of the empire have gone and there is no move to restore it.

Gone too is the Derg, as the military regime was called. It attempted to build a communist state on the ruins of the empire, like its backers in the then USSR. Though it built what initially seemed to be an effective dictatorship, it was unable to cope with the economic incompetence of state socialism – symbolised for the outside world by the great famine of 1984 – or the resistance aroused by brutal top-down central rule.

This resistance was led by the movement for the independence of the northern province of Eritrea. One of the most effective insurgencies the world has ever seen, it brought down the Derg in the province in 1991. Eritrea has since tragically degenerated into an African North Korea, which has succeeded only in providing a massively disproportionate number of the refugees now besieging Fortress Europe. The government of the rest of Ethiopia – by far the largest part of the country – fell to an allied guerrilla movement, the Tigray People’s Liberation Front.

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Wednesday, August 26, 2015

UN says 4.5 million Ethiopians now in need of food aid after poor rains! It is crazy after 25 years of TPLF rules still Ethiopia is hungery??

The number of Ethiopians who will need food aid by the end of this year has surged by more than 1.5 million from earlier estimates, according to United Nations agencies. After failed rains, some 4.5m people are now projected to require assistance, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (Ocha) , the World Food Programme and the UN children’s agency, Unicef, said.

This is an increase of 55% on initial projections of 2.9 million, and means donors must urgently provide an extra $230m to meet these needs.

Gillian Mellsop, Unicef representative and acting humanitarian coordinator, said donors had been generous but more was needed to prevent unnecessary human suffering. “The situation facing us today marks a significant change in our plans, requiring the scaling up of assistance, now,” she said.

Ethiopia is one of Africa’s fastest-growing economies, with nearly double-digit growth every year for the last decade, but failed rains have had devastating consequences for food supplies for its 96 million people.

“The belg rains were much worse than the National Meteorology Agency predicted at the beginning of the year. Food insecurity increased and malnutrition rose as a result,” said David Del Conte, Ocha’s acting head of office in Ethiopia, referring to the short rainy season that stretches from February to April.

Areas normally producing surplus food in the central Oromia region were also affected by shortages, and lack of water has affected livestock there and in other pastoralist areas, the agencies said.

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Now Ethiopia launches SPACE PROGRAMME - while receiving MILLIONS in British foreign aid

POVERTY-STRICKEN Ethiopia is to launch its own SPACE PROGRAMME - all while receiving MILLIONS of pounds in foreign aid from Britain.

The east African country, which is one of the poorest nations in the world, aims to put a state-of-the-art satellite into orbit within five years as part of its plans to improve communications.

Ethiopia, which is receiving £300 million in British aid this year, will now become the fourth country to have developed a space programme while receiving support from UK taxpayers.

It follows on from India, Nigeria and Pakistan who have all been granted millions of pounds in aid from the Department for International Development (DfID).

The programme in Ethiopia has already kick-started with a £1.9million observatory being built in the hills above the capital of Addis Ababa.

The first step was building two metal domes, which will be used to house two computer-controlled telescopes, on the top of Mount Entoto.

The observatory was paid for by Mohammed Alamoudi, an Ethiopian-Saudi businessman and the country's richest man, who used funds from the Ethiopian Space Science Society (ESSS) which he set up in 2004.

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Monday, August 17, 2015

Hacking Team mulled stopping Ethiopia sales – because of idiot g-men

Hacking Team failed to take effective action to investigate or stop reported abuses of its technology by the Ethiopian government against dissidents, according to Human Rights Watch.

A review of internal company emails leaked as part of a highly-publicised breach against the controversial spyware-for-government firm in July revealed that the company continued to train Ethiopian intelligence agents to hack – and even negotiated additional contracts, despite multiple reports that its services were being used to target government critics and expatriate journalists.

The Italian government should "investigate Hacking Team practices in Ethiopia and elsewhere with a view toward restricting sales of surveillance technology likely to facilitate human rights abuses", Human Rights Watch concludes.

More than 400GB of Hacking Team’s internal emails, documents, and source code leaked online following the breach of its systems. The leaked emails confirmed that the company had sold surveillance systems, training, and support to the Ethiopian Information Network Security Agency (INSA) as early as 2011, through contracts worth $1m in 2012. On November 5, 2012, Hacking Team congratulated INSA on infecting its first target.

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Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Obama: I could win 3rd term if I ran again

Obama spoke extensively on the corruption within Ethiopia and other African nations, acknowledging that the problem is not unique to that part of the world.

By Tom LoBianco and Kevin Liptak, CNN

Washington (CNN)President Barack Obama said Tuesday that he could win a third term in office if he ran again but that he is barred by the Constitution.

"I actually think I'm a pretty good President. I think if I ran, I could win. But I can't," Obama ad-libbed during a speech in Ethiopia. "There's a lot that I'd like to do to keep America moving. But the law is the law, and no person is above the law, not even the president."

Obama's remarks, which come on the same day that a new CNN/ORC poll found his approval rating standing in net-positive territory for the second month in a row, were made to the African Union in Addis Ababa. He is the first U.S. president to address the group, and was critiquing some African leaders' reluctance to turn over power.

"Africa's democratic progress is also at risk when leaders refuse to step aside when their terms end. Now let me be honest with you -- I do not understand this," Obama said, going on to say that he is looking forward to life after the presidency.

The loudest applause line of his address came when Obama said he didn't understand the motivation behind remaining in power through force -- even when leaders have "got a lot of money."

Obama spoke extensively on the corruption within Ethiopia and other African nations, acknowledging that the problem is not unique to that part of the world.

"Nothing will unlock Africa's economic potential more than ending the cancer of corruption," Obama said. "When someone has to pay a bribe just to start a business or to go to school or get an official to do the job they're supposed to be doing anyway -- that's not 'the African way'; it undermines the dignity of the people you represent."

Obama also touched on other controversial topics, including the treatment of journalists and women.

"I believe Ethiopia will not fully unleash the potential of its people if journalists are restricted or legitimate opposition groups can't participate in the campaign process," Obama said.

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Obama to Ethiopia: What's at stake in trip to still-repressive nation

That's part of what makes Obama's visit to Ethiopia interesting. The White House has stepped up its focus on commerce in Africa, in part a competitive response to China. U.S. trade with Ethiopia is increasing even as Ethiopia remains the single largest recipient of USAID assistance of any sub-Saharan African country.

But the government in Ethiopia still strictly controls the economy and often disregards basic freedoms and democracy. Ethiopia is effectively a one-party state. It holds elections but allows few independent observers to monitor. In a parliamentary election in May, the ruling Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front party and its allies won every seat. Political opponents turn up dead. Journalists are jailed. Ethiopian nationals living abroad say their email has been hacked and phones tapped by the government back home.

Human Rights Watch, in its 2015 World Report, gave a harsh assessment of Ethiopia: "The government continued to use arbitrary arrests and prosecutions to silence journalists, bloggers, protesters, and supporters of opposition political parties; police responded to peaceful protests with excessive force; and there was no indication of any government willingness to amend repressive legislation that was increasingly condemned for violating international standards."

Some Ethiopian nationals in the U.S. sharply condemn Obama's trip as a tacit endorsement of the nation's oppressive leaders. In a recent visit with the Tribune Editorial Board, leaders from Chicago's Ethiopian community expressed concern that human rights issues will be ignored.

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Obama Draws Criticism for Saying Ethiopia Is Democratic

"Yesterday he was a tricky and mischievous politician," Yonathan Tesfaye, a spokesman for Ethiopia's opposition Blue party, said in a reference to Obama's comment that Ethiopia's government was democratically elected.

"And today he has become a passionate inspirational human rights activist," Tesfaye said, citing Obama's remarks to the African Union. "Which one should we believe? Which one should we go with?"

Some African activists have greeted President Barack Obama's remarks that Ethiopia has a democratically elected government with scorn and concern.

Obama made the comment on Monday during a news conference with Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn of Ethiopia, whose ruling party won every seat in parliament in May elections.

On Tuesday, Obama urged African leaders to uphold democratic rights in a speech delivered from the headquarters of the African Union before he departed Ethiopia to end a two-nation African trip that included a stop in Kenya.

"Yesterday he was a tricky and mischievous politician," Yonathan Tesfaye, a spokesman for Ethiopia's opposition Blue party, said in a reference to Obama's comment that Ethiopia's government was democratically elected.

"And today he has become a passionate inspirational human rights activist," Tesfaye said, citing Obama's remarks to the African Union. "Which one should we believe? Which one should we go with?"

Merara Gudina, a leading opposition figure in Ethiopia, said he was doubtful that the United States would push hard for democratic change in his country and expressed concern that Obama's visit would end up being "another public relations exercise."

Human rights groups have criticized Obama for visiting Ethiopia, saying his trip lends legitimacy to an oppressive government. Ethiopia is the world's second-worst jailer of journalists in Africa, after Eritrea, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists.

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Thursday, July 23, 2015

Smuggling Victim's Traumatic Journey To UK

A woman tells of escaping conflict in Eritrea and suffering abuse at the hands of smugglers for the chance of a life in the UK.

By Lisa Holland, Senior News Correspondent

An Eritrean woman who is claiming asylum in the UK has described the trauma of making the journey here with people smugglers.

Fyori Habtay says men and women were indiscriminately raped and beaten at holding camps in Libya ahead of a perilous boat trip across the Mediterranean.

The 25-year-old fled from Eritrea fearing she would be punished for her husband’s disappearance from the army.

Her uncle arranged for her to be taken by the traffickers across the Sahara desert though Fyori. She has no idea how much he paid them.

She said Libya had been "terrifying", adding that women were raped and beaten.

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