Thursday, November 21, 2013

Ethiopia on High Alert -

Ethiopian soldiers standing guard (JENNY VAUGHAN/AFP/Getty Images)
Ethiopian soldiers standing guard

Ethiopia on High Alert

November 21, 2013  •  From
Ethiopia says more terrorist attacks may be imminent.
Ethiopia is under high alert after security officials pieced together intelligence suggesting imminent terrorist attacks.
The terror alarm bells sounded on November 5, three weeks after a failed suicide bomb plot by the radical Somali militants, al Shabaab. The failed plot prematurely killed two belt bombers who had been planning a televised explosion at a high profile, pre-World Cup soccer match in the capital Addis Ababa.
Al Shabaab was quick to claim responsibility and admit failure. In the lead up to the November 5 warning, intelligence officials claimed to have picked up chatter indicating that al Shabaab will attempt a “successful” strike.
Al Shabaab also published an online magazine in which it refuted claims that its “martyrdom-seeking” Westgate Mall militants had tried to escape or avoid death.
Officials from Ethiopia’s National Intelligence and Security Service and Federal Police Joint Counter-terrorism Taskforce warned of the possible attacks from the al Qaeda-linked, Iranian-backed al Shabaab group, as well as from terror groups supported by the government of Eritrea. The officials, however, did not state where or when the terrorists would likely strike. They asked for the vigilance and cooperation of all Ethiopian security officials and the public at large.
As if on cue, just hours after the warning on November 5, a bomb exploded in a minibus in western Ethiopia, killing four people.
Now, authorities are reiterating the high terror alert. Spokesman for the foreign ministry, Dina Mufti, issued this dire warning a week later on November 12: “More activities of this nature are expected to happen in Ethiopia, and therefore the need for raising security levels is very, very important.”
The security challenges that Ethiopia is facing may not yet be earthshaking in scope, but they are disrupting Ethiopian society. They are disrupting Ethiopian politics. We can expect tension to increase between Ethiopia and nations such as Iran and Eritrea that are accused of sponsoring the terrorist organizations.
A prophecy in Daniel 11:40-44 indicates that Islamists are going to take over Ethiopia and some of its surrounding nations. It mentions the nations of Libya, Egypt and EthiopiaTrumpet editor in chief Gerald Flurry commented on this prophecy back in February 2011:
[W]hy does the Bible mention [these nations] and not many other nations in the Middle East? It’s because they are significant to Bible prophecy and [because] they do relate to what’s happening in the Middle East right now! God does not structure the Bible in a way that it’s in vain. Every word is significant. Every country is really significant.
In an April 2011 article titled “Libya and Ethiopia Reveal Iran’s Military Strategy,” Mr. Flurry admonished us to watch Libya, Egypt, Ethiopia and Eritrea. “THEY ARE ABOUT TO FALL UNDER THE HEAVY INFLUENCE OR CONTROL OF IRAN, THE KING OF THE SOUTH,” he warned.
Keep watching Ethiopia. For more, request our free booklet Libya and Ethiopia in Prophecy

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Arrests at anti-Saudi protest in Ethiopia - Africa - Al Jazeera English

Police crackdown on demonstrations against targeted attacks on Ethiopian migrant workers in Saudi Arabia.

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The government said protesters did not have a permit to demonstrate and confirmed the arrests [AFP]
Police in Ethiopia have arrested dozens of people outside the Saudi embassy in the capital Addis Ababa in a crackdown on demonstrators protesting against targeted attacks on Ethiopians in Saudi Arabia.
Police units blocked roads on Friday to prevent the protest at the embassy from growing and forced some journalists to delete photos.
"The police came and they beat us... and now more than 100 people are at the police station.
Getaneh Balcha, Blue Party

One protester, Asfaw Michael, who was beaten, said he did not understand why Ethiopia wanted to shield Saudi Arabia from the protest.
According to the Ethiopian government, three Ethiopians were killed last week in Saudi Arabia in clashes with police. Saudi authorities are in the process of repatriating at least 23,000 illegal immigrants from Ethiopia.
"The police came and they beat us...and now more than 100 people are at the police station," said Getaneh Balcha, a senior member of the opposition Blue Party movement, adding the party chairman and vice chairman were among those held.
The government said protesters did not have a permit to demonstrate and confirmed that arrests had been made, but did not say how many.
"It was an illegal demonstration, they had not got a permit from the appropriate office," Shimeles Kemal, a government spokesman, told the AFP news agency, adding charges could be brought against the organisers.
"They were fomenting anti-Arab sentiments here among Ethiopians ... the demonstration itself was illicit, so the police took measures and apprehended some," he said.
Many foreign workers in Saudi Arabia are fleeing or are under arrest amid a crackdown on the kingdom's nine million migrant labourers. Close to 500 Ethiopians have been repatriated.
Last weekend, Saudi residents fought with Ethiopians and a video emerged of a crowd dragging an Ethiopian from his house and beating him.
The security sweep in Saudi Arabia comes after seven months of warnings by the government, which has created a task force of 1,200 Labour Ministry officials who are combing shops, construction sites, restaurants and businesses in search of foreign workers employed without proper permits.
More than 16,000 people have already been rounded up, according to authorities.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Addis Ababa’s Historic Mexico Square to be Rebuilt after Railway Construction | East Africa News

Mexico SquareMexico’s ambassador to Ethiopia, Mr. Alfredo Miranda, has announced that the historic Mexico Square in Addis Ababa will be reconstructed after the completion of the light railway project.
Due to the construction of the light railway route, various historic sites, roads, and buildings – including the statue of martyr Abune Petros – have been displaced from their original positions.
The demolition of Mexico Square, which has been one of the city’s major sites for years, has been a talking point for many of the city’s residents.
Although undertaking a city-wide construction project comes with certain sacrifices, some reports say that certain artifacts and historical sites have not been properly handled. It’s been reported that looters have been taking advantage of the demolition of these sites to take possession of some of the building materials.
The history of Mexico Square comes from events that happened in 1935-1936, when Ethiopia presented its case against the Italian occupation to the League of Nations. Mexico was one of the few countries that showed camaraderie and support to Ethiopia at that time. Following this event, the Mexico Square was built in Addis Ababa and has been a historical site ever since, symbolizing the friendship between the two countries.
Ambassador Alfredo Miranda responded to the questions about proper handling and storing of the historical articles. He stated that the historical helmet on Mexico Square which symbolizes Mexican warriors has been carefully taken to the national museum. He added that no other artifacts are at risk of getting damaged or destroyed.
The Ambassador said he has personally spoken to the concerned parties at the Addis Ababa Cultural and Tourism Office, including the city mayor about this issue. He expressed his gratitude to those who cooperated in transferring the helmet to the National Museum and reassured the public that the Square will be reconstructed in a modern fashion on its original position after the completion of the railway project.
Remarking on the demolitions, the Ambassador said since the railway construction will bring a solution to the heavy traffic problem in the city, the temporary demolition of the Square is one of the necessary sacrifices that needs to be paid for the sake of the city’s development.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Ethiopia to bring home illegal workers from Saudi Arabia - AFP:

Addis Ababa — The Ethiopian government is repatriating its citizens living in Saudi Arabia illegally, after reports that an Ethiopian was killed by Saudi police, officials said Saturday.
Last April, the Saudi government issued an amnesty period giving illegal immigrants seven months to gain legal status or leave the country.
Foreign workers gather near the Saudi immigration ministry on November 4, 2013 in downtown of Riyadh (AFP/File, Fayez Nureldine)
"The ones who failed are the ones who are being repatriated," the spokesman for the Ethiopian foreign ministry, Dina Mufti, told AFP.
Every year, large numbers of Ethiopians leave their country looking for work. Most are females moving to the Middle East seeking domestic work.
Last year, 200,000 women left Ethiopia seeking jobs, according to Ethiopia's Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs.
Dina said there were unconfirmed reports that an Ethiopian had been killed this week by Saudi police who were shifting illegal immigrants into camps.
"They were trying to get them in the camp before repatriation and in that process... an Ethiopian has been killed with a police bullet, but we are verifying it," Dina said.
He could not say how many illegal immigrants are in Saudi Arabia, and did not say when they would be brought home, only that it would be "as soon as possible".
The International Labour Organization (ILO) said many Ethiopian domestic workers living abroad are subjected to emotional and physical abuse, poor working conditions, low pay and discrimination.
Last month, the Ethiopian government said it was banning domestic workers from moving abroad after reports of widespread abuse.
With a population of 91 million people, Ethiopia is Africa's second most populous country after Nigeria, but also one of the continent's poorest with the majority of people earning less than two dollars a day.
The nation's unemployment rate is 20 percent, according to the ILO, with more than 27 percent of females and 13 percent of males jobless.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Talks The Ethiopian dam between water tripartite ministers in Khartoum failed-

Water ministers from Egypt, Sudan, and Ethiopia fail to come to an agreement of how to implement panel’s recommendations
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A picture taken on May 28, 2013 shows the Blue Nile River in Guba, Ethiopia, during its diversion ceremony  (AFP/File, William Lloyd-George)
A picture taken on May 28, 2013 shows the Blue Nile River in Guba, Ethiopia, during its diversion ceremony
(AFP/File, William Lloyd-George)
A meeting between water ministers from Egypt, Sudan, and Ethiopia failed to produce the committee that it had aimed to put in place to supervise Ethiopia’s Grand Renaissance Dam.
A tripartite panel of experts had investigated the dam and presented recommendations to the three countries affected by the Ethiopian construction project.
Egyptian Minister of Water and Irrigation Mohamed Abdel Moteleb rejected the notion that the meeting between the countries had “failed,” saying such negotiations would need time and would not come to a quick conclusion. Abdel Moteleb also blamed a national dialogue held by former president Mohamed Morsi, which was broadcasted live, unbeknownst to some participants who suggested secret intelligence operations to undermine the Ethiopian government. The “scandal,” said the minister, dominated the meeting between the three countries and caused a delay in negotiations and required Abdel Moteleb and his delegation to clarify the stance of the interim government on the issue.
Following the return of the Egyptian delegation to Cairo, it was announced that a second round of talks between the ministers would take place in Khartoum on 8 December, in order to implement the recommendations put forth by the Committee of Experts.
Abdel Moteleb said his delegation provided a “comprehensive and clear vision” to the other countries, calling on the need to complete studies of the economic and environmental impacts of the dam.
The minister also stressed the possibility that the three ministers could come to an agreement following the December meeting.
Ethiopian Minister of Water, Irrigation, and Energy Alamayo Tegno said the postponed meeting was due to differences among the three sides, but also stated that he was optimistic that a solution would be reached, according to the Sudan Tribune.
Abdel  Moteleb had previously expressed optimism that the three countries could coordinate in handling the dam, which would potentially affect the upstream countries of Sudan and Egypt.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Ethiopia on heightened alert | eNCA

File: A truck carrying Ethiopian troops, the country has urged soldiers to remain vigilant at checkpoints along the country's borders. Picture: AFP
ADDIS ABABA - Ethiopia has put its police and security forces on heightened alert after receiving strong evidence that Somalia's Islamist al Shabaab group is planning attacks in the country, officials said on Tuesday.
The move came three weeks after officials said two Somali suicide bombers accidentally blew themselves up while preparing to kill soccer fans during Ethiopia's World Cup qualifying match against Nigeria.
Al Shabaab has vowed to exact revenge on Ethiopia for sending troops to Somalia to fight the al Qaeda-linked militants, alongside African Union forces fromUganda, Burundi and Kenya.
"There is strong evidence that indicates Al Shabaab and terrorist groups backed by Eritrea are preparing to carry out attacks in Addis Ababa and other areas of the country soon," the National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS) and the federal police said in a joint statement.
Addis Ababa often accuses the government in neighbouring Eritrea of supporting rebels, which Asmara staunchly denies.
The statement, read on state television, said security forces were already on heightened alert and called on the public to inform police if they encountered "suspicious" activity.
Hotel staff and private landlords should verify the identity of visitors, the statement said.
It urged soldiers to remain vigilant at checkpoints along the country's borders.
In September, al Shabaab gunmen raided an upmarket shopping mall in Nairobi, killing at least 67 people in a four-day siege.
Ethiopia says it has thwarted several attacks over the past two years which it blamed on domestic rebel groups as well as Somali insurgents.
However, it has so far been spared the sorts of assaults seen in nearby countries -- such as the Nairobi mall siege and an attack that killed 74 soccer fans in Uganda as they watched the 2010 World Cup final on television.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Ethiopian opposition claims rampant abuse - Africa - Al Jazeera English

Opposition party says more than 150 of its members have suffered abuse at hands of Ethiopian security officials.

Last Modified: 02 Nov 2013 03:52
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Negasso Gidada, the UDJ party chief, centre, has urged the government to stop abusing his party members [EPA]
An opposition party has accused the Ethiopian government of beating, abducting and illegally detaining more than 150 of its members during July and September this year.
In a 39-page report launched on Thursday, the Unity for Democracy and Justice (UDJ) detailed what it said were "gruesome rights violations" committed against its supporters and members.
"One hundred and fifty members and supporters of the party have been subjected to severe beatings, illegal detentions and abductions by the police and security officials," Negasso Gidada, the party chairman, told reporters.
"We are asking the government to stop these human rights violations and take those responsible to justice," said Negasso, who served as the country's president from 1995 to 2001, before joining the opposition.
A government spokesman declined to comment saying it had yet to receive the report.
Earlier this month, Human Rights Watch said many former detainees - including politicians, journalists and alleged supporters of opposition groups - were slapped, kicked and beaten with sticks and gun butts during investigations at Addis Ababa's Federal Police Crime Investigation Sector, known as Maekalawi.
Ethiopia intensified its clampdown on peaceful dissent after the disputed 2005 election, the New York-based watchdog said.
Stifling dissent
At the time, the polls ended in violence, killing about 200 people.

Opposition candidates won 174 seats, but many did not take them up, saying the vote was rigged.
In an interview with Reuters this month, Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn said the government was not to blame for the opposition's poor showing.
He has also accused some opposition party members of collaborating with rebel groups the government had previously labelled as terrorist organisations.
But UDJ's leaders deny any links with the outlawed rebel groups, and warn the government that "stifling" dissent may encourage violence in the country.
"We are not requesting anything from the government side, we are requesting a level playing ground," Girma Seifu, a senior UDJ official and the sole opposition politician in Ethiopia's 547-seat parliament.
The Horn of Africa country has won international plaudits for delivering double-digit growth for much of the past decade, but rights groups often accuse the government of using state institutions to stifle dissent and silence political opposition.