Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Decades of volatility test Ethiopia’s young leader

It is not every day a prime minister admits that his country is in chaos, that the leadership is tainted by corruption and that the government has abused the legitimate rights of its people. Yet after years of popular uprisings and state repression, that is exactly what Abiy Ahmed, Ethiopia’s new 41-year-old leader, has done.“In a democratic system, the government allows citizens to express their ideas freely without fear,” Mr Abiy said this month, addressing a parliament that has overseen two states of emergency since 2016 and locked up or shot thousands for voicing their opinion.Asking for forgiveness from “advocates of freedom and justice” killed in police crackdowns, he used his inaugural speech to chart “a new political beginning”. For the east African country of 105m people, the continent’s second-most populous, he said building a system that “respected all human and democratic rights, especially to free expression, assembly and organisation” was “an existential matter”.His handling of that process may prove an existential matter too — at least for the 27-year-old Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front, the coalition that has monopolised power since it overthrew the Marxist Derg regime in 1991. Lauded internationally for overseeing some of the fastest growth in Africa, at home it has struggled to contain never-ending waves of protest.Resentment has been stirred by the widespread belief that the government is controlled by Tigrayans, who make up only 6 per cent of the population. Demonstrations have been particularly intense among the Oromo, who account for one in every three Ethiopians, but who have felt politically and economically marginalised. Mr Abiy is the first Oromo to hold the premiership since the post was created in 1909.

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A blessing in disguise for Ethiopia's Abiy Ahmed

The TPLF Agent in disguise

By Yohannes Gedamu

Ethiopia's new PM is already facing major obstacles, but a US resolution can help him push his reform agenda forward.

On April 2, Abiy Ahmed, a young technocrat from the Oromo People's Democratic Organisation (OPDO), part of the ruling Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF), was sworn in as Ethiopia's new prime minister. Ahmed's inauguration came amid much fanfare and raised expectations about the future of Ethiopia's democracy. He is widely seen as a reformer who can take the necessary steps to calm a nation that has been engulfed in unprecedented levels of political unrest over the past three years.
But only a little over a week into his tenure, Ahmed's reform agenda is already facing serious obstacles.
The state of emergency declared in Ethiopia in February, after the shock resignation of Ahmed's predecessor, Hailemariam Desalegn, is still in place. This means that, in contrast to normal times, a council of military officers referred to as the "Command Post" is effectively in control of the state. As a result, the new prime minister's hold on the state security apparatus is minimal, making it extremely hard for him to move forward with any reform agenda.
The state of emergency has already resulted in at least nine deaths, thousands of arrests and the displacement of tens of thousands of Ethiopians. And there is no sign that the Command Post is planning to ease its grip on the country anytime soon, having arrested many Ethiopians over the past two weeks, especially in the Oromia region. Amhara activists and scholars have also been arrested in the city of Bahir Dar, although they've been released since.

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Abiy Ahmed has a chance to lift the lid on freedoms in Ethiopia

The TPLF Agent in disguise

I am not sure, why people expectation is so high for this man, he is the part of the problem and he is like an office boy for the TPLF regime, (office boy: a person, traditionally a boy, employed in an office to run errands, do odd jobs, etc. ) in another word he is a person intended, secretly to undermine or bring about the downfall of the TPLF opponent. he is going to do the TPLF dirty Job. he looks like one of us but actually he is a Trojan horse working for the TPLF regime and that is a fact, please do not expect anything from this man. There is no radical change in his vocabulary

Abiy Ahmed has one of the most precarious balancing acts to perform of any leader in Africa. He was sworn in as Ethiopia’s prime minister on April 2 after the surprise resignation of his predecessor, Hailemariam Desalegne, two months earlier. Mr Abiy’s ascendancy owes much to a crisis that has been brewing in the country for the past three years. The government needed to present a new face to confront a revolt that threatens to upend the 27-year rule of the Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front. Since defeating the Marxist Derg regime in 1991, the EPRDF has kept the lid tightly sealed on all forms of political expression. This has been especially so since 2015, when demonstrations broke out in Oromia, the region surrounding the capital, Addis Ababa. Security forces have used the crudest methods to suppress dissent, killing and jailing thousands of protesters and government opponents. The population has been cowed, in some areas, but not persuaded. There are genuine risks associated with opening up too quickly and allowing the public to vent. Continuing repression — and the prolongation of a state of emergency — will, on the other hand, quickly erode the hope that Mr Abiy’s appointment has raised the capacity of the EPRDF to change. That way also lies chaos. Ethiopia’s ruling coalition has racked up genuine successes over the years. Eschewing liberal market orthodoxy, and giving the state a central role in development, it has presided over some of the fastest economic growth in Africa. It has also engineered significant improvements in education and healthcare, especially for the rural poor.

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Saturday, April 7, 2018

Ethiopia's PM seeks end to violence that displaced nearly a million

Violence along the border of the Horn of Africa country’s Somali and Oromiya provinces first erupted in September last year, with both regions blaming the other for the unrest.
The area has been plagued by sporadic clashes for decades. A referendum held in 2004 to determine the status of disputed settlements failed to ease tensions.
Since September, officials in Oromiya have repeatedly blamed raids by a paramilitary force from the Somali region as causes of the violence. The Somali region denies those claims and says its residents have been unjustly targeted in attacks.

On Saturday, Abiy arrived in Jijiga - the capital of the Somali region - in a bid to tackle the problems.
“This has been a tragedy that should never have taken place,” the state-run Ethiopian Broadcasting Corporation quoted him as saying in a speech.

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Can Abiy Ahmed Save Ethiopia?

ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia — In 1990, the Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) was a guerrilla alliance battling the Derg, a Marxist-Leninist military junta that had deposed Emperor Haile Selassie in a 1974 coup. A year later, the EPRDF took power; it has ruled Ethiopia ever since.
When the Derg fell, Abiy Ahmed, who was recently elected as the EPRDF’s chairman and sworn in as prime minister on Monday, was just 14 years old. But even then, Abiy, who was born to a Muslim father and a Christian mother in the Oromo town of Beshasha in southwestern Ethiopia, was becoming politically active.

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Reconnecting the internet is the first litmus test Ethiopia’s new prime minister has to pass

Dr. Abiy Ahmed Ali was sworn-in as the new Prime Minister of Ethiopia on April 2, 2018. He will succeed Hailemariam Desalegn who resigned in the midst of a heightened political crisis in Feb. 2018 after five and a half years at the helm.
The seemingly peaceful power transfer in Addis Ababa is a welcome gesture, but it betrays the ongoing struggle the country has had to endure for the last three years, including the current six-month state of emergency. A highly coordinated media censorship has ensured that only a fraction of what is happening in Africa’s second most populous country is visible. As Abiy Ahmed takes over Ethiopia’s most powerful constitutional office, he has the responsibility of lifting the lid on media censorship, if the opportunity for reforms is to take root outside Addis Ababa.
To be sure, the new prime minister has an overflowing to-do list. Lifting the state of emergency is widely seen by a broad range of Ethiopians and human rights groups as a top priority and signal of progress. However, recent trends by the Command Post, the bureau responsible for managing the state of emergency, may be eroding the high hopes the population has in this rare political opportunity. After the much-publicized release of political prisoners in mid-February, the Command Post re-arrested 29 journalists and lecturers, among them Eskinder Nega, the celebrated winner of 2012 PEN award.

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Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia fail to agree on Nile dispute

By Associated Press April 6 at 9:07 AM
CAIRO — The foreign ministers of Sudan, Egypt, and Ethiopia have failed to reach an agreement in the lingering dispute over Ethiopia’s massive dam on the Blue Nile, ministers said on Friday.
Egypt is concerned that the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam will drastically impact its own share of water from the Nile, on which the entire population relies. Ethiopia, like Egypt, has said that the dam issue is a “matter of life or death.”
Sudan’s Foreign Minister Ibrahim Ghandour said on Friday that 15 hours of talks in Khartoum have ended with no deal. The three countries’ intelligence chiefs and irrigation ministers also attended the talks.
Ghandour said that, nevertheless, “the meetings were constructive and important,” but that the three sides failed to “end up with satisfying answers.”
Egypt’s Foreign Minister Sameh Shukri confirmed the remarks in a report published by the daily al-Shorouk, adding that there will be another round of talks within 30 days.

Egypt fears Ethiopia’s $4.8 billion dam could reduce its Nile water share. Ethiopia has said it needs the dam for its development and is seeking to assure Cairo that it will not significantly harm it. The sticking point appears to be how quickly the reservoir behind the dam will be filled and if that will impact Egypt’s water share.

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Ethiopia closes notorious prison as internet service returns

By Elias Meseret | AP April 6 at 10:37 AM
ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia — Ethiopia has closed a prison notorious for decades for holding opposition figures, journalists and activists, a state-affiliated media outlet reported Friday, as the country adjusts to a new prime minister who has said it is time to “make up for all the wrongs done in the past.”
Fana Broadcasting Corporate announced Maekelawi’s closure months after the former prime minister said it would be turned into a museum. Prisoners will be transferred elsewhere.
Ethiopia installed new Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed this week as Africa’s second most populous nation tries to recover from months of the most serious anti-government protests in a quarter-century. The protests demanding more freedoms began in the Oromia and Amhara regions in late 2015 and spread elsewhere, bringing many businesses and transport networks to a standstill and leading to a state of emergency.
Also on Friday, residents across the restive Oromia region told The Associated Press that internet service had returned after several weeks. Observers have said the government shut down service to control the spread of protest images on social media.


Thursday, March 15, 2018

Kenya Red Cross says 8,500 asylum-seekers flee Ethiopia

By Associated Press March 14 at 3:20 PM
NAIROBI, Kenya — The Kenya Red Cross says more than 8,500 Ethiopians have crossed the border into Kenyan territory seeking asylum from conflict after government troops mistakenly killed civilians.
The Red Cross said in a statement Wednesday that the number may keep increasing in the coming days.

The civilians fled after Ethiopian security forces mistakenly killed nine civilians in Moyale, located on the country’s southern border with Kenya, according to a command post established to oversee Ethiopia’s state of emergency. Ethiopia imposed the state of emergency following months of unrest in some parts of the country that tarnished the country’s image as one of Africa’s best performing economies.

Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Ethiopia arrests top Oromia official who openly slammed Moyale killings

uncontrolled mafia group and dictatorial and tribal regime in Ethiopia taking a desperate act in order to terrorized the people of Ethiopia

Abdur Rahman Alfa Shaban

Local media in Ethiopia are reporting that the Command Post administering the February 16 state of emergency (SOE) have arrested a top official of the Oromia regional state for openly criticizing the deadly military incident in the town of Moyale over the weekend.
Taye Dendea, a lawyer and head of the Oromia regional state’s justice bureau is reported to have belied the army’s account of the mistaken killing of nine people in Moyale. He serves as head of the bureau’s communication and PR department.
In an interview with the VOA Amharic service, Dendea said he believed that the deadly incident was a deliberate act by the security forces and urged action to be taken against all persons directly and remotely connected to the incident.
The Addis Standard portal in its report on the arrest noted that this is the third time Taye has been detained. He has previously served jail terms of three and seven years on charges that he belonged to the banned Oromo Liberation Front (OLF) during his varsity years between 2003 and 2016.

Incidentally, the official account of the Moyale incident said forces had acted on wrong intelligence as they attempted to intercept OLF members. “It took Taye a total of 16 years to graduate with his first degree in Law before he joined the Oromia justice bureau in 2017,” the report added.

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