Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Ethiopia ruling party to pick new premier next week | TODAY.NG

 "Ethiopia ruling party to pick new premier next week
ByAgencies -February 24, 2018

Awramba Times
Ethiopia’s ruling coalition will meet to choose a new prime minister next week, a party official said on Saturday.

Hailemariam Desalegn resigned as prime minister last week after ordering a mass prisoner amnesty and days of protest in Africa’s second most-populous country. A state of emergency was declared the following day.

The 180-member council of the ruling Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) would decide on his replacement, said Kassahun Gofi, publicity chief for the largest of the four parties in the coalition, the Oromo Peoples’ Democratic Organisation (OPDO).

“It’s tentatively scheduled for Wednesday,” Kassahun told AFP in an interview.

Kassahun also said his party backed the state of emergency, even though it suspends a number of constitutional rights and is partly aimed at the restive Oromia region the OPDO represents.

Ethiopia’s constitution gives parliament 15 days to approve the emergency decree of February 16.

“As a party, we support the state of emergency,” Kassahun said.

The parties within the coalition have jockeyed for position since Hailemariam’s resignation, which was rumoured for months but ultimately came the day after a no-confidence vote by his party in the EPRDF coalition, a government official told AFP on condition of anonymity.

This week, the OPDO elevated a high-ranking official, Abiy Ahmed, to the position of chairperson in a move believed to clear the way for him to stand for prime minister.

“We are ready to simply present a potential candidate at the prime minister level,” Kassahun said. “If it is the will of all parties, Dr. Abiy will be elected.”"

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Ethiopia Authorities Order Security Forces to Quell Protests - Bloomberg

 Updated on 
  • Security forces instructed to use ‘all necessary measures’
  • Ethiopia’s government declared a state of emergency Feb. 16
Ethiopian authorities ordered the country’s security forces to “take all the necessary measures” to deal with anti-government agents in the restive Oromia region.
The so-called Command Post, which is administering a state of emergency declared on Feb. 16, must deal with “illegal forces” in Oromia if they “do not refrain from their destructive actions immediately,” according to a statement published Tuesday by the ruling-party funded Fana Broadcasting Corp.
The government has been struggling for more than two years to end sporadic and often deadly anti-government protests in the Oromia and Amhara regions. The Oromo and Amhara communities together make up more than half of Ethiopia’s population, Africa’s largest after Nigeria. Activists from both groups claim that minority ethnic Tigrayans, who are about 6 percent of the population, dominate an authoritarian government.
One person was killed this week and seven were wounded as protests continue in Nekemte, an Oromia market town about 242 kilometers (151 miles) west of the capital, Addis Ababa, Oromia spokesman Addisu Arega said in a Facebook post Tuesday, citing reports received by the regional government.

‘Angry Population’

Government forces blocked leaders of the opposition Oromo Federalist Congress, including Chairman Merera Gudina and Secretary-General Bekele Gerba from entering Nekemte on Sunday, said Beyene Petros, who heads the Medrek coalition of opposition parties that includes the OFC. Merera was freed from prison in January and Bekele this month as part of a mass release of more than 7,000 detainees first announced by the government in January.
“The population is angry and reacting,” Beyene said by phone from Addis Ababa. “The population was waiting to receive the leaders of the Oromo Federalist Congress.”
Calls to the mobile phones of Merera and Information Minister Negeri Lencho didn’t connect when Bloomberg sought comment.
Bekele and Merera “had to be sent back to Addis,” according to Beyene. “Since we are under a state of emergency, under that kind of embargo, no activities are allowed.”
Ethiopia, Africa’s fastest-growing economy over the past decade, is a key U.S. ally in its battle against al-Qaeda in the Horn of Africa. Home to more than 100 million people, the $72 billion economy has drawn investors including General Electric Co., Johannesburg-based Standard Bank Group and hundreds of Chinese companies.
The U.S. on Feb. 17 said it strongly disagreed with Ethiopia’s decision to impose a state of emergency that “includes restrictions on fundamental rights such as assembly and expression.”

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

E.U. warns govt of Ethiopia "crisis needs reforms not emergency rule"

Ethiopia crisis needs reforms not emergency rule - E.U. warns govtThe European Union (E.U.) has cautioned Ethiopian government over the decision to impose a state of emergency on the heels of promised political reforms.
In a statement released on Monday by E.U. spokesperson, Catherine Ray: “The announced reinstatement of the State of Emergency risks undermining this very objective.
“It is therefore of the utmost importance that it should be as limited in time as possible and respectful of human rights and fundamental freedoms, notably those enshrined in the Ethiopian Constitution. Violence should also be avoided,” the statement said.
It will be important for the new government to have the full capacity to pursue the positive reforms initiated by the Prime Minister to address the grievances of the population.
Commenting on resignation of Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn, the E.U. averred it it “opens a period of uncertainty in Ethiopia,” adding that “It will be important for the new government to have the full capacity to pursue the positive reforms initiated by the Prime Minister to address the grievances of the population.
“Only a constructive dialogue among all stakeholders – authorities, opposition, media, civil society – will allow for a peaceful and durable resolution of the crisis.”
Desalegn remains in his post as premier until the ruling EPRDF coalition elects his successor at its next congress. According to Defense Minister Siraj Fegessa, the emergency rule was to curb spreading violence across the country.

Friday, February 9, 2018

Ethiopian military gets new deputy Chief of Staffs, 4 Full Generals and 57 General officer promotions | Horn Affairs

Three new deputy Chief of Staffs appointed to Ethiopian National Defence Forces (ENDF) while sixty-one senior officers are promoted today.
Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam appointed today three new deputy Chief of Staffs.
The new deputy Chief of Staffs are:-
1. General Seare Mekonen Yimer
2. General Adem Mohamed Ahmed
3. General Berhanu Jula Gelelcha
There has not been a position of deputy of Chief of Staff to date. These newly created posted could be indicators of who will succeed the current Chief of Staff Samora Yenus.
Ethiopian President Mulatu Teshome, on the other hand, granted senior military titles to 61 officers today.
According to the list released on the state media and translated by HornAffairs, 40 Colonels are promoted to Birgadier General rank; 14 Birgadier Generals are promoted to Major General rank; 3 Major Generals are promoted to Lieutenant General rank and 4 Lieutenant Generals are promoted to full General rank.
The following Lieutenant Generals are promoted to full General rank:-
1. Seare Mekonen Yimer (currently head of Education and Training main department)
2. Abraha Woldemariam Genzebu (currently head of Operation main department)
3. Adem Mohamed Ahmed (currently chief of Air force)
4. Berhanu Jula Gelelcha (currently head of Peacekeeping Mission center of ENDF)
The promotion to Full General rank is the first in a decade. It was in 2007 that General Samora Yenus was promoted to Full General rank. (See HornAffairs’ profile of Gen. Samora). It was not clear if there has been anyone with a Full General rank in the modern military history of Ethiopia.
The following Major Generals are promoted to Lieutenant General rank:-
1. Mehari Zewdie Gebremariam (currently head of Human Resources main department)
2. Mola Hailemariam Alemayehu (currently Sector head at South Sudan peacekeeping mission)
3. Hasan Ebrahim Musao (currently Force Commander of the UN Interim Security Force for Abyei – UNISFA).
The promotion of 3 officer to Lieutenant Generals is generous compared to previous years. In the past six years, only two officers, namely Yohannes Gebremeskel and Gebrat Ayele, have been promoted to Lt. General rank.
The following Brigadier Generals are promoted to Major General rank:-
1. Atakleti Berhe Gebremariam
2. Yayne Seyoum Gebremariam
3. Asrat Denoyro Ahmed
4. Zewedu Belay Malefya
5. Mulu Girmay Gebrehiwot
6. Fiseha Kidanemariam Woldehiwot
7. Kumsa Shanqo Desta
8. Wagnew Amare Desalegn
9. Shuma Abdeta Heka
10. Belay Seuoum Akele
11. Mohamed Tesema Geremew
12. Abdurahman Ismael Alo
13. Mesele Meseret Tegegne
14. Kefyalew Amde Tesema
The following Colonels are promoted Brigadier General rank:-
1. Fiseha Sentayehu Emeru
2. Asrese Ayalew Tegegne
3. Dedi Asfaw Ayane
4. Alemayehu Wolde Jelo
5. Berhe Kidane Serfael
6. Dawit Woldesenbet Awegchew
7. Asfaw Mawcha Yirdaw
8. Tilahun Ashenafi Mamo
9. Gidey Hailu Gebre-egziabher
10. Shimeles Atnafu Dinku
11. Tesfaye Temesgen Abaye
12. Desalegn Dache Ulte
13. Abadi Selamsa Abebe
14. Mekonen Benti Teso
15. Kebede Regasa Gerbi
16. Tagese Lambamo Dembore
17. Negasi Tikue Lewete
18. Dagnaw Yitbarek Gebremariam
19. Fikadu Tsegaye Emeru
20. Yirdaw Gebremedhin Gebretsadik
21. Yilma Mekuanent Tensay
22. Berhanu Bekele Bedada
23. Guesh Berhe Woldeselasie
24. Abate Ali Filate
25. Alemu Ayene Zeru
26. Berhane Beyend Woldenigus
27. Hailu Endashaw Atomsa
28. Gebrehiwot Sasinos Gebru
29. Kebede Fekadu Gebremedhin
30. Mekonen Asfaw Kelbo
31. Alemseged Wondewosen Berhe
32. Solomon Bogale Mekonen
33. Woldejiwergis Teklay Asfaw
34. Teshome Gebre Adere
35. Seyd Tikuye Abegaz
36. Mengistu Teklu Tesema
37. Nuru Muzeyn Araro
38. Wagnew Aleme Ayalew
39. Hadgu Gebrehiwot Gebreselasie
40. Mekonen Zewdie Tamene

Thursday, February 8, 2018

Abreham Yayeh - Talk to SBS Amharic | Ethiopia | Eritrea | Tigray

One million displaced in Ethiopia ethnic fighting: UN

People gather prior to a food distribution at the internally displaced person (IDP) camp of Farburo in Gode, Ethiopia, on January 27, 2018. The camp recently hosted Somali families fleeing conflict between Somali and Oromo communities in Ethiopia. PHOTO | YONAS TADESSE | AFP
Clashes between two of Ethiopia’s largest ethnic groups have forced around one million people to leave their homes, according to a UN report seen by AFP.
Fighting between the Oromo and Somali peoples along the shared border between their two states occurred sporadically through 2017 but the situation intensified in September, leaving hundreds of people dead by a government estimate and displacing scores of others trying to flee the violence.
Statistics from the UN’s International Organization for Migration (IOM) show that the conflict-related displacement is more widespread than previously known and one of the biggest seen by Ethiopia in recent years.
“Preliminary data from the latest round of the IOM Displacement Tracking Matrix conducted in November 2017 indicates that around 1 million persons have been displaced due to conflict along the Oromia-Somali regional border,” dating back to at least 2015, said a report by the UN’s Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).
In 2017 alone, 700,000 people were displaced with the IOM recording a “significant spike” in September of that year.
An official with IOM’s office in the capital Addis Ababa declined to comment further on the data, cited in the OCHA report dated January 23.
Ethiopia is divided into ethnically demarcated federal states intended to give the country’s many ethnic groups self-determination.
While Oromos and Somalis have lived side-by-side in each other’s region, quarrels between the two ethnic groups over access to land and resources have occurred for years along the borders of their two states, Oromia and Somali.
The reasons for the conflict’s sudden intensification last year remain unclear, but both sides accuse the other of carrying out atrocities and forcing people of the opposite ethnic group out of their respective states.
“Often having fled with nothing more than personal possessions at hand, most of the IDPs remain in precarious conditions, fully dependent on government and international humanitarian assistance,” the IOM said.