Friday, January 30, 2015

Ethiopia's Electoral Board Decides On UDJ and AEUP Fate....I am not sure how these people trust the TPLF regime anyway?

The National Electoral Board of Ethiopia (NEBE) has today announced its decision on the leadership fate of two of the major opposition parties rocked by split: Union for Democracy and Justice (UDJ) and All Ethiopian Unity Party (AEUP).

Accordingly, the NEBE announced that it recognizes UDJ's breakaway led by Tiguestu Awolu and said the party is now legitimate to enter into the upcoming general elections scheduled to be held on May 24th 2015. In a similar decision the electoral board said it recognizes AEUP led by its President Abebaw Mehari over the other faction led by Mamushet Amare.

Both UDJ and AEUP were consumed by power struggle for legitimate executive representation. The Board has announced today that it has reached at the decision after giving all parties enough time to resolve their issues on their own.

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Monday, January 26, 2015

Foreign Secretary Refused to Intervene for Brit Rendered to Ethiopia ....Britain is the supporter of the minority regime in Ethiopia.. shame on them

The Foreign Secretary refused to contact the Ethiopian government to protest its abduction of a British man, it’s emerged, despite warnings from Foreign Office (FCO) staff that the man was at risk of execution.

Andargachew ‘Andy’ Tsege, a father of three from London, was abducted in Yemen and rendered to Ethiopia seven months ago today. Mr. Tsege, who is a prominent critic of the Ethiopian government, remains in incommunicado detention. The Ethiopian government has refused to reveal his whereabouts, or confirm whether it plans to carry out a death sentence imposed in absentia in 2009.

Internal FCO emails obtained through subject access requests by Mr. Tsege's family show that UK officials were extremely concerned that he would be mistreated or executed - but that despite this, nearly a month after the incident, the Foreign Secretary declined requests to intervene in his case.

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Sunday, January 25, 2015

UK-diplomats-clash-British-man-death-row in Ethiopia-Officials-fury-Foreign-Secretary-claims-couldn-t-time-help-father-three-facing-execution.. why because he is black British Citizen?

Yet Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond said he could not ‘find time’ for a phone call to raise the issue and did not want to send a ‘negative’ letter.
In one email, an exasperated official asks: ‘Don’t we need to do more than give them a stern talking to?’
Tsege, who has lived in the UK since 1979, has been called Ethiopia’s Nelson Mandela. Tsege fell out with his university friend ex-Prime Minister Meles Zenawi, after he exposed government corruption and helped establish a pro-democracy party.

In 2009, he was sentenced to death in his absence for allegedly plotting a coup and planning to kill Ethiopian officials – claims he denies.
He was abducted on June 23 while en route to Eritrea, emerging two weeks later in Ethiopia, where he has since been paraded on TV. It is not known where he is being held.
The diplomatic exchanges disclose how officials were dismayed when British Ministers rejected requests to raise the case with Ethiopia.
‘I feel so shocked and let down,’ said Tsege’s wife Yemi Hailemariam. ‘I thought Britain was a nation driven by fairness but it seems my husband’s life is simply not valued.’
The series of emails begins on July 1, with Foreign Office officials confirming his capture: ‘His detention in Yemen is significant news, and could get complicated for the UK.’

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Friday, January 23, 2015

'Ethiopia's media crackdown is bad news for Africa'

Without a free press in Addis Ababa, Africans are being locked out of the important decisions being made in their de facto capital, writes Simon Allison

It’s not easy being a journalist in Ethiopia. In fact, it’s nearly impossible, according to a new 76-page Human Rights Watch report that documents the scale of the state’s censorship apparatus. As a journalist, it makes for highly disturbing reading.

“Ethiopia’s government has systematically assaulted the country’s independent voices, treating the media as a threat rather than a valued source of information and analysis,” says Leslie Lefkow, the organisation’s deputy Africa director.

“Ethiopia’s media should be playing a crucial role in the May elections, but instead many journalists fear that their next article could get them thrown in jail.”

The authors of the report spoke to 70 Ethiopian journalists, many in exile, who painted a dismal picture of the state of Ethiopian media. The government exerts control in many different ways – some subtle, some quite the opposite.

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Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Ethiopia: Media Being Decimated .....Human Right Watch

Legal, Policy Reforms Crucial Prior to May Elections
January 22, 2015

(Nairobi) – The Ethiopian government’s systematic repression of independent media has created a bleak landscape for free expression ahead of the May 2015 general elections, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. In the past year, six privately owned publications closed after government harassment; at least 22 journalists, bloggers, and publishers were criminally charged, and more than 30 journalists fled the country in fear of being arrested under repressive laws.

The 76-page report, “‘Journalism is Not a Crime’: Violations of Media Freedom in Ethiopia,” details how the Ethiopian government has curtailed independent reporting since 2010. Human Rights Watch interviewed more than 70 current and exiled journalists between May 2013 and December 2014, and found patterns of government abuses against journalists that resulted in 19 being imprisoned for exercising their right to free expression, and that have forced at least 60 others into exile since 2010.

“Ethiopia’s government has systematically assaulted the country’s independent voices, treating the media as a threat rather than a valued source of information and analysis,” said Leslie Lefkow, deputy Africa director. “Ethiopia’s media should be playing a crucial role in the May elections, but instead many journalists fear that their next article could get them thrown in jail.”

Most of Ethiopia’s print, television, and radio outlets are state-controlled, and the few private print media often self-censor their coverage of politically sensitive issues for fear of being shut down.

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Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Ethiopia: human rights groups criticise UK-funded development programme

A major UK- and World Bank-funded development programme in Ethiopia may have contributed to the violent resettlement of a minority ethnic group, a leaked report reveals.

The UK’s Department for International Development was the primary funder of a World Bank-run development project aimed at improving health, education and public services in Ethiopia, contributing more than £388m of UK taxpayer funds to the project.

However, a scathing draft report of the World Bank’s internal watchdog said that due to inadequate oversight, bad audit practices, and a failure to follow its own rules, the Bank has allowed operational links to form between its programme and the Ethiopian government’s controversial resettlement programme.

Multiple human rights groups operating in the region have criticised the Ethiopian government’s programme for violently driving tens of thousands of indigenous people, predominantly from the minority Anuak Christian ethnic group, from their homes in order to make way for commercial agriculture projects – allegations the Ethiopian government denies.

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Poverty in Ethiopia Down 33 Percent Since 2000

ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia January 20, 2015- Agricultural growth was the main driver of poverty reduction in Ethiopia since 2000, according to the World Bank Group’s latest Poverty Assessment. Poverty in Ethiopia fell from 44 percent in 2000 to 30 percent in 2011, which translated to a 33 percent reduction in the share of people living in poverty. This decline was underpinned by high and consistent economic growth.

Since 2005, agricultural growth has been responsible for a reduction in poverty of 4 percent a year, suggesting that the agricultural growth strategy pursued by the Government of Ethiopia has paid off. High food prices and good weather ensured that increased use of fertilizer was translated into higher incomes for poor farmers with access to markets. Government spending on basic services and effective rural safety nets has also helped the least well-off in Ethiopia. The Productive Safety Net Program alone has pushed 1.5 million people out of poverty.

“Although Ethiopia started from a low base, its investment in pro-poor sectors and agriculture has paid-off and led to tremendous achievements in economic growth and poverty reduction, which in turn have helped improve the economic prospects of its citizens,” says Guang Zhe Chen, World Bank Group Country Director for Ethiopia.

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Thursday, January 15, 2015

British MPs to visit Ethiopia in bid to secure release of Andy Tsege

A delegation of British MPs will visit Ethiopia next month in a bid to secure the release of Andargachew "Andy" Tsege, a British father of three who is under a death sentence.

Mr Tsege, 59, a leading critic of the Ethiopian government who came to Britain as a political refugee more than 30 years ago, has been held in solitary confinement for the past six months.

He vanished during a stopover in Yemen last June, during a trip from Dubai to Eritrea, in what campaigners say was a politically motivated kidnapping. Weeks later it emerged he had been imprisoned in Ethiopia.

His precise whereabouts remain unknown.

The Briton, who is the secretary-general of a banned Ethiopian opposition movement, is facing a death sentence imposed at a trial held in his absence in 2009.

The announcement of the visit by British Parliamentarians, yesterday, is in stark contrast to the efforts of Prime Minister David Cameron, whose response to desperate pleas for help from Mr Tsege’s family last year was to write a letter to Ethiopia’s Prime Minister.

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Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Ethiopian Opposition Faces Difficulty in Entering Upcoming Elections

What do you expect? You must understand the nature of the beast, You cannot train a wild beast for long because one of these days, the beast will turn around and devour you and the same way and you cannot trains the wild beast like TPLF, you should leave this fake elections alone, I suggest to wait till TPLF people kill each other
Marthe van der Wolf

January 14, 2015 10:50 AM

Ethiopian opposition parties say they are facing roadblocks in their efforts to register for the May elections. The parties say the National Election Board is complicating procedures for no good reason, and raising doubt that the elections will be free or fair.

The Unity for Democracy and Justice party has the only opposition member in Ethiopia's 547-seat parliament. But it is unclear if the party will be allowed to participate in the May elections, as the National Election Board has rejected UDJ logos.

Wondimu Golla of the National Election Board said it was not about the logos, but about procedural rules.

“According to their bylaws it says, the president of the party shall be nominated or elected by the general assembly. But they nominate by some few persons, the high officials there. So we oppose this. They have to strictly follow the bylaws, their own bylaws,” said Golla.

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Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Egypt refuses Renaissance Dam storage capacity

Egypt rejected the current the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam’s (GERD) high storage capacity, as studies showed it will affect its national water security, reported state-owned Middle East News Agency (MENA) Sunday.

The dam’s storage capacity reaches 74bn cubic meters. Calling such capacity “unjustified and technically unacceptable”, Egypt asked Ethiopia to reduce it to what was agreed before the start of negotiations over the years-of-filling and operation of the dam.

Egypt, Ethiopia, and Sudan, the three countries involved, are facing difficulties in technical negotiations, said Alaa Yassin, Advisor to the Egyptian Minister of Water Resources and Irrigation and spokesman for the GERD file, according to state news agency MENA.

Yassin hopes that all parties adhere to the August agreements that took place in Sudan “without procrastination and time-wasting”, while the three countries are trying to overcome these difficulties.

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