Monday, June 12, 2017

Ethiopia set to run out of food aid for 7.8 million people as drought drags on

Ethiopia will run out of emergency food aid for 7.8 million people hit by severe drought by the end of this month, the Government and humanitarian groups have said.
Successive failed rains blamed by meteorologists on fluctuations in ocean temperatures known as the Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD) have created a series of severe back-to-back droughts in Ethiopia and the Horn of Africa region.

In Ethiopia, the number of people now critically short of food is expected to rise by at least 2 million by next month.

Donors, international aid groups and the Government said existing food aid for the current 7.8 million would run out as funds are critically short this year, with Ethiopia receiving only slightly more than half of the $US1.235 billion to meet requirements until July.

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Ethiopia denies emergency food aid will run out within weeks

Ethiopia has denied suggestions by UN officials that it will run out of emergency food aid for millions of people by the end of this month.

The UN's World Food Programme said 7.8 million people affected by drought would be left without food assistance.

But Ethiopian officials put the number of those affected at 1.7 million and said they would receive new help either from donors or the government.

Ethiopia has been struggling following successive failed rains.

Famine has been declared in South Sudan, and there have been warnings of famine in north-east Nigeria, Yemen and Somalia.

Ethiopia's commissioner for disaster risk management Mitiku Kassa said: "It's true that in some areas food will run out by the end of the month but this will only affect around 1.7 million people.

"We expect the donor community to step in to fill that gap and we are hopeful. But if they fail to do that, we will have to use some of our development budget to provide emergency assistance to our people."

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Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Ethiopian politician Yonatan Tesfaye guilty of terror charge

Ethiopian opposition politician Yonatan Tesfaye has been found guilty of encouraging terrorism for comments he made on Facebook.

He was arrested in December 2015 as a wave of anti-government protests in the Oromia region was gathering momentum.

The authorities objected to several posts including one in which he said the government used "force against the people instead of peaceful discussion".

Ethiopia has been criticised for using anti-terror laws to silence dissent.

Amnesty International described the charges as "trumped up", when they were confirmed in May 2016.

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Thursday, May 11, 2017

Anguish and unrest in Amhara over Ethiopian state of emergency

Anti-government protests spread from Oromia to country’s second most populous area

In the Ethiopian city of Gondar the chewing of the mildly narcotic plant khat stimulates animated conversation about recent events during the country’s ongoing state of emergency.

“If you kill your own people how are you a soldier – you are a terrorist,” says 32-year-old Tesfaye, plucking at a bunch of green leaves. He recently left the military after seven years of service around the border with Somalia. “I became a soldier to protect my people.”

Demonstrations last August in the country’s Amhara region, and particularly the cities of Bahir Dar (the region’s capital) and Gondar (the former historical seat of Ethiopian rule) signalled the spreading of protests to Ethiopia’s second most populated region.

For much of the previous year, protesters in the Oromia region, to the south of Amhara, had been engaged in anti-government demonstrations to highlight perceived discrimination against the Oromo people.

The Oromo and Amhara are Ethiopia’s largest ethnic groups and both claim they are excluded from the country’s political process and economic development.

On October 9th, 2016, following further unrest, the ruling Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front party declared a six-month state of emergency, which was extended for four months at the end of March this year

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Friday, May 5, 2017

US doesn't need Ethiopia in its war on terror in the Horn of Africa

***Great poor Ethiopians soldier do not need to die for the ego of fascistic Ethiopian regime***

Earlier this month, U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis visited the Middle East and Africa to “reaffirm key U.S. military alliances” and engage with strategic partners.” Mattis only visited the tiny nation of Djibouti in the Horn of Africa where the U.S. maintains its largest military base. Ethiopia was conspicuously absent from the “strategic partner” lineup.

In September 2014, Barack Obama underscored the vital importance of Ethiopia in the U.S. war on terrorism. He noted that cooperation with Ethiopia “is making a difference” and that the “partnerships that we have formed with countries like Ethiopia are going to be critical to our overall efforts to defeat terrorism.”

In July 2015, during his state visit, Obama called Ethiopia an “outstanding partner” in the fight against terrorism in the Horn and a “key partner” in resolving the crises in South Sudan. He praised Ethiopia for being “a major contributor to U.N. peacekeeping efforts”, and for its unique role in “contribut(ing) more (peacekeeping) troops than any other country in Africa.”

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UN Human Rights Chief Pushes for Inquiry Into Ethiopia Unrest

ADDIS ABABA — The United Nations human rights chief said on Thursday he would push Ethiopia to allow his agency to investigate rights abuses during months of unrest in 2015 and 2016 in which hundreds of people were killed.

The Horn of Africa country declared six months of emergency rule in October after more than a year of violent protests in its Oromiya and Amhara regions. Demonstrators in the areas say the government has trampled on their political rights. The state of emergency has since been extended by four months.

Last month, a government-sanctioned investigation said 669 people had been killed in the violence.

Speaking to journalists during a three-day visit, U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein said there was a "clear need for a much wider and freer civic space" in Ethiopia.

"Although I benefited greatly from the briefings provided to me by the Attorney General's office, the extremely large number of arrests “over 26,000“ suggests it is unlikely rule of law guarantees have been observed in every case," he said. "I believe my staff ought to be given access to the affected areas, and I renew my request, so we can assess the situation and ascertain what further support can be given to the authorities, including justice officials."

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UN human rights chief urges Ethiopia to allow opposition

by: John Aglionby, East Africa Correspondent

Hussein warns autocratic regime of need for ‘more open democratic space’
The Ethiopian government is putting more than a decade of economic development at risk by banning meaningful political opposition, muzzling the media and suppressing civil society, the UN’s human rights chief has warned.

Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein, the UN high commissioner for human rights, said there “appears to be a clear need” for Addis Ababa to “ensure a far more substantive, stable and open democratic space for all its people”. He warned that, if not, the “social pressure will build to a point where dramatic things happen”. Ethiopia, often touted as one of Africa’s star economic performers, has been under a state of emergency imposed by the autocratic government in October as it battled to crush a wave of countrywide protests. Last month, the state-controlled Ethiopian Human Rights Commission reported that 669 people were killed in demonstrations between August 2016 and March 2017. Tens of thousands of people have been detained. Independent human rights activists believe the death toll is much higher. Mr Hussein, who spent three days in Ethiopia, said he could not corroborate any figures because his staff had been prevented from visiting the affected areas, mainly Oromia and Amhara. He said he asked for access to be granted but this had not been given.

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Thursday, May 4, 2017

UN rights chief: Ethiopia blocked access to protest areas

The TPLF government have so much things to hide and all TPLF leader should be persecuted for crime against humanity

By Elias Meseret | AP May 4 at 12:01 PM

ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia — Ethiopian officials have blocked United Nations access to areas that experienced deadly protests during one of the country’s most violent periods in recent memory, the U.N. human rights chief said Thursday.

Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein spoke during a three-day visit to the East African nation at the government’s invitation. Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn has rejected United Nations and other outside requests to investigate the months of anti-government protests demanding more political freedoms.

The government has said at least 669 people were killed and largely blames the political opposition for the unrest. Opposition figures and human rights groups say security forces killed protesters, while the government has called security forces’ response “proportionate.”

More than 26,000 people were detained amid the protests, and Ethiopia in October declared a state of emergency that recently was extended.

Zeid expressed alarm at the “extremely large number” of arrests and said some charges against those detained “may be misplaced.”

He asked that U.N. staffers be allowed to visit the areas of unrest. “We may then perhaps provide a list to the government and ask for specific releases” of people detained, Zeid said. “This requires more attention.”

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Ethiopia’s humans rights problems may tank its ambition to become a global apparel center

Ethiopia wants companies that make clothes to view it as one of the world’s most hospitable places to operate. Low employee wages and cheap power have led foreign companies to gravitate towards the Horn of Africa nation in recent years. The government recognizes the strategic importance of garment and textile making, and has continued to invest in the sector by constructing large industrial parks like the Hawassa Industrial Park.

But its land and human rights problems could jeopardize that ambition, according to a new report from risk consultancy firm Verisk Maplecroft. Protests over land reform and political participation have rocked the country since 2015, leading to the reported death of hundreds of people and the detention of tens of thousands of others.

“The sector remains exposed to a host of political, social and environmental risks,” says Emma Gordon, a senior Africa analyst with Verisk. And “many of these issues are unlikely to be resolved over the coming five to ten years.”

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Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Ethiopia is facing a killer drought. But it’s going almost unnoticed.

The TPLF government enlightening us, how many dams, road, rail road built and the city is booming with all kind of buildings? But a lot of People are so desperate to get their daily bread, so what is the point? What is first? Still people are starved to death, why the TPLF should resign and give the power to capable Ethiopians

By Paul Schemm May 1 at 2:23 PM

ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia — The announcement by the United Nations in March that 20 million people in four countries were teetering on the edge of famine stunned the world and rammed home the breadth of the humanitarian crisis faced by so many in 2017.

Yet even as donors struggle to meet the severe needs in the war-torn nations of Nigeria, South Sudan, Somalia and Yemen, another crisis, more environmental in nature, is taking place nearby — nearly unnoticed.

On Thursday, the Ethiopian government increased its count of the number of people requiring emergency food aid from 5.6 million to 7.7 million, a move that aid agencies say was long overdue. The figure is expected to rise further as southeast Ethiopia confronts another fierce drought.

But with food crises erupting across the continent and the government's budget strained by last year’s drought, the money isn't there to fight it. There could eventually be as many people in Ethiopia needing emergency food assistance as in Somalia and South Sudan combined.