MELDUNGEN VOM September 2017
von Klaus Schmitt
20.9.2017 WB Approves $600 Million Grant for Safety Net System. Addis Fortune
The International Development Association (IDA), a wing of World Bank, granted Ethiopia 600 million dollars to help food insecure people and implementation of safety net programs. The grant is also given as a response to the recent drought in the country, which left 8.5 million inhabitants in necessity of quick assistance. The aid comes at a time when the humanitarian requirement of the country increased to 1.2 billion dollars last month from 948.6 million dollars as of January 2017.
The Rural Productive Safety Net Project (RPSNP) aims to support the government's core Productive Safety Net Program (PSNP) that has worked for the last 12 years, and is one of the largest safety net program in the world. "RPSNP will help Ethiopia to provide predictable safety net support to eight million chronically food insecure people in persistently food insecure rural areas," said Carolyn Turk, World Bank Country Director for Ethiopia, Sudan and South Sudan.The PSNP has been funded by 121 donors, including the present IDA fund. The PSNP provides regular food and cash transfers to eight million people, half of which are in areas affected by the ongoing drought. The program focuses on landscape restoration, irrigation and agroforestry by food-for-work.
19.9.2017 WB commits $700 mln for basic services in Ethiopia. Walta
The World Bank has approved the International Development Association (IDA) additional financing of $700 million in support of Ethiopia’s continued efforts to improve equitable access to basic services and reinforce accountability systems at the decentralized level.
Access to basic services is one of the three main drivers of poverty reduction in Ethiopia. Additionally, improving access to services such as health and education promotes long-term growth. It is also in line with the Ethiopian Government’s Growth and Transformation Plan II, as well as World Bank Group’s (WBG) new Country Partnership Framework for Ethiopia.
“Our support through Enhancing Shared Prosperity through Equitable Services (ESPES) and related projects over the past decade has helped Ethiopia to drastically reduce child mortality, double access to antenatal care and increase net school enrollment rates,” said Victoria Monchuk, World Bank Project Task Team Leader. “In the past two years alone, ESPES facilitated the training of over 8,600 health extension workers and enabled 11 million households to have access to agriculture extension services.”
Over the last 12 years, Ethiopia with support from WBG and other partners has registered impressive results in basic service delivery. This has helped the country to meet several of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) particularly in access to and gender parity in primary education, child mortality, HIV/AIDS, and malaria.
While these are promising results, the Government of Ethiopia (GoE) recognizes that much more remains to be done. Accordingly, GoE has identified equitable services as a priority area in its strategic planning for the Sustainable Development Goals and committed record financing to ensure its sustainability. (…)
Since 2015, ESPES has been supporting Ethiopia’s decentralized system of governance through block grants that promote flow of information, resources and accountability between different levels of government, service providers and citizens. (…)
The additional funds will help finance the block grants to deliver basic social services such as health care, education, agriculture services, rural roads, and water and sanitation. In addition to scaling up existing activities, the funds will help to promote proper nutrition, citizen engagement, social and environmental safeguards as well as fiduciary management. (…)
ESPES will continue using Ethiopia’s own institutions and processes, and link disbursement of funds directly to the achievement of specific results. This will help build capacity within the country, enhance effectiveness and efficiency and contribute to the achievement of tangible, sustainable results.
While the GoE is the major financer of basic service delivery, the African Development Bank, the European Union as well as the governments of Italy and Austria are also contributing. ESPES will continue to be implemented by the Ministry of Finance and Economic Cooperation.
8.9.2017 Key Messages: Ethiopia humanitarian context, 8 September 2017. UN Office fort he Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA)
Third consecutive poor/failed rains exacerbate drought conditions in Ethiopia: Southern and eastern Ethiopia continue to battle the impact of drought caused by the Indian Ocean-related weather systems in 2016, exacerbated by below average spring rains this year - the third consecutive poor/failed rains in the southern and eastern regions. The drought conditions are compounded by disease outbreaks, large scale loss of livelihood assets and displacement.
The number of people requiring food assistance has increased by 3 million: At least 8.5 million people require relief food assistance in the second half of 2017, up from 5.6 million at the beginning of the year. In addition, 3.6 million moderately malnourished children and pregnant and lactating mothers will require supplementary feeding, at least 376,000 children are expected to become severely acutely malnourished and some 10.5 million people will not have regular access to safe drinking water until the end of 2017. Separately, some 4 million Public Works clients of the Productive Safety Net Program (PSNP) will require sustained assistance to the end of 2017. Although not formally included in the Mid-Year Review of Ethiopia’s 2017 Appeal, the financial requirements are estimated at US$300 million.
International partners scaling-up operations in support of the Government-led response: The UN and NGO partners have scaledup response and further strengthened leadership and coordination functions in support of the Government-led response. With available, albeit quickly depleting resources, operational partners are pushing forward with the integrated, adaptable and scaled-up response in response to the rapidly changing humanitarian context and priorities.
Growing needs are outpacing the level of funding: with Government and donor contributions and commitments in 2016 and 2017, the initial projected requirement for Ethiopia’s humanitarian response was well funded. But an increase in those needing assistance following the Mid-Year Review means that there will at least be an outstanding gap of US$417.6 million for the rest of the year. Additional funding is urgently needed, especially at this critical juncture where any further delay in food assistance will have a domino effect on levels of malnutrition, and associated health complications particularly amongst children and the internally displaced.
The impact of back to back droughts underscores the need to prioritize development programming: The Government and its international partners are also investing in long-term development cooperation programs to reduce vulnerability to drought, including through accelerated urban development and industrial transformation. Ethiopia’s investments in basic services, including health, education and agriculture extension services, have helped make the poorest and most food insecure more resilient but much remains to be done. Increased joint planning between humanitarian and development systems is essential. Studies have shown that every dollar spent on resilience programming saves three dollars in humanitarian assistance.
6.9.2017 China, Ethiopia Sign $15 Million Food Aid Agreement. Ezega.com
China and Ethiopia signed an emergency humanitarian food aid agreement where China will provide wheat worth 15 million U.S. dollars to support Ethiopians affected by drought. According to a press statement from the Chinese Embassy in Ethiopia, Liu Tao, Chargé d'Affaires at the Chinese Embassy, and Abraham Tekeste, Ethiopian Minister of Finance and Economic Cooperation, have signed the agreement.
The Chinese government has long committed itself to consolidating bilateral cooperation with and expanding support for Ethiopia, said Liu. "With the newly offered food aid to Ethiopia, the Chinese government is determined to help tackle food security threats to the nation that have emerged in 2017, and is ready to extend further helping hands when necessary," he said. (…) Reiterating China's long-standing friendship with Ethiopia, the statement said that the Chinese government has been by the side of the Ethiopian government and people ever since the onset of this round of climate disasters.
In November 2015, Qian Keming, Vice Minister of Commerce of China, expressed profound concern over the situation in Ethiopia during his visit to Ethiopia and signed a food aid agreement, under which 10,535 tonnes of wheat was delivered to Ethiopia in April 2016. In the same year, in a bid to further help relief efforts, the Chinese government donated 8 million dollars to World Food Program (WFP), providing emergency humanitarian food assistance to Ethiopian people.
In May 2017, Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn attended the Belt and Road Summit Forum for International Cooperation held in Beijing, China. On the occasion, leaders of the two countries announced to upgrade bilateral relations between China and Ethiopia to Comprehensive Strategic Cooperative Partnership.
"Looking into the future, the Chinese government, partnering with the Ethiopian government, will spare no effort to be of help whenever Ethiopian people is in need, jointly charting the course for the further enhancement of their enduring friendship," said the statement.
5.9.2017 WFP‘s Emergency Response Plan. ReliefWeb
- Emergency Relief Assistance 3 million people. Immediate relief assistance through unconditional in-kind and cash based transfers to the most vulnerable people in the Somali Region.
- Nutrition Assistance 6 million people. Life-saving curative and preventive nutrition services to malnourished children under the age of 5 and pregnant and nursing women nationwide.
- Assistance to Refugees 6 million people. Food, nutrition and livelihood support to camp based refugees in Ethiopia.
In 2016, Ethiopia faced its worst drought in 50 years affecting over 10 million people living in the highlands of the country. In early 2017, another drought ravaged the country, this time hitting the lowland pastoral regions and devastating the lives and livelihoods of over 5 million people. By mid-2017, the number of people in need of emergency food assistance rose again. Currently, there are over 10 million people need food assistance in the second half of 2017 across the country. In both 2016 and 2017, the poorest and most vulnerable segments of the population lost everything: their crops, livestock and household valuables—leaving them destitute and in need of emergency assistance. In both years, cholera/Acute watery diarrhoea (AWD compounded the situation has contributed to extremely high levels of malnutrition and, in some cases, mortality.
Adding to the in-country concerns is the ever-increasing number of refugees fleeing both drought and insecurity from South Sudan, Somalia, and Eritrea.
2.9.2017 U.S. gives Ethiopia $91 million in drought aid for food and medicine. Walta Information Center
The United States will provide an additional $91 million in humanitarian aid for Ethiopia to cope with a third straight year of drought, the top U.S. official in charge of assistance said Thursday. The extra funding brings U.S. aid for food and medical care in Ethiopia to more than $450 million this year, said Mark Green, the new administrator of the United States Agency for International Development. Green announced the extra aid after he met with Ethiopian Prime Minister HailemariamDesalegn.
Green, who is on his first trip abroad since starting the job three weeks ago, is in Ethiopia to highlight U.S. efforts to help impoverished countries emerge from crisis like drought and famine better prepared to weather future setbacks. (…) On Wednesday, Green said Ethiopia would be one of 12 countries that will get focused attention from Feed the Future programs, even if Congress approves cuts in USAID's budget. The Trump administration has proposed halving Feed the Future's total budget for agricultural development programs from over $1 billion this year to $500 million next year. Ethiopia's $78 million share would also be cut in half. The United States has been the principal international donor to Ethiopia as it has struggled through a devastating series of droughts. In recent years, U.S. aid has tried to help herders become farmers, provided seed money to small business entrepreneurs, taught impoverished Ethiopians job skills and provided nutritional education.
While Green assured Desalegn the United States remains committed to helping Ethiopia develop agriculturally and economically, he underscored that U.S. aid is not limitless and Washington expects the Ethiopian government to contribute more money to humanitarian efforts. “The United States will continue providing assistance for vulnerable people, but we all agree host-country partners must be willing to step up during crises, and the prime minister indicated that he was looking to do so,” he said.
1.9.2017 UN Food Agency Chiefs begin visit to drought-hit Ethiopia. ReliefWeb
(…) More than 8.5 million Ethiopians require food assistance in the second half of 2017. But the current food security and nutrition crisis cannot be resolved by emergency assistance alone. The longer-term solution lies in building communities' resilience to better withstand shocks and avoid being plunged back into crisis.
The heads of the three UN food agencies, José Graziano da Silva from the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), Gilbert F. Houngbo from the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and David Beasley from the World Food Programme (WFP) are in Ethiopia from today to witness the scale of the crisis, and to discuss how best to strengthen their support to the Government so that Ethiopia can address the growing humanitarian needs and invest in limiting the impact of future crises.
29.9.2017 Ethiopian Opposition Parties Request Details of Proposed Electoral Reform. Ezega.com
Ethiopian opposition parties that have been negotiating with the government requested detailed information from the ruling party, the Ethiopian People Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF), details and implementation of mixed electoral system proposed. The Ethiopian oppositions requested on Thursday for detailed explanation after the closed door negotiation on the proposed ideas of EPRDF and other negotiating parties on the country's electoral system, according to Ethiopian News Agency. Agreed on the need for the electoral system of the country on the table, the negotiating parties had proposed electoral systems which they believe is proper for Ethiopia during their previous meeting.
Accordingly, mixed electoral system, comprising of proportional representation and plurality was proposed by EPRDF, while the other parties preferred the proportional representation electoral system. According to media committee of the negotiation, EPRDF will present the details on how the mixed type of electoral system could work. The committee believed that the details will enable the parties to understand opportunities and challenges of implementing the proposed electoral system.
The 16 national political parties that have concluded their negotiation on a series of agendas in their first topic have started their negotiation on the second topic by discussing the electoral system.
Source: Ethiopian News Agency
24.9.2017 Parties Fail to Agree on Electoral System. ENA
Negotiating parties that met on Saturday have failed to agree on the type of the electoral system that the Ethiopia need to apply. The parties that are being negotiated on the second agenda, which is the country's electoral law, during their last meeting, had proposed two types of electoral system.
The ruling party, EPRDF proposed a mixed type of electoral system by adding proportional representation to the prevailing plurality electoral system of the country, while other parties preferred the full implementation of proportional representation. By saying mixed type of electoral system, EPRDF means the implementation of plurality electoral system and proportional representation in federal, regional and the two chartered cities of Addis Ababa and Dire Dawa; and sustain the plurality system in zonal, woreda and kebele level.
According to Gebru Berhe member of the media committee on the negotiation, the parties that have been debating on the issue in a closed session, were unable to reach agreement. Unable to narrow their differences on the issue, the parties agreed to meet 28 September to continue the negotiation.
21.9.2017 Ethiopian Political Parties Begin Talks on Reforming Electoral Law. ezega.com
16 national political parties of Ethiopia have begun discussion on ways to reform the electoral law., according to FBC. In the discussions, 12 political parties have expressed their demand for the implementation of proportional representation electoral system.
Shiferaw Shigute and Asmelash Woldeselassie, representatives of the ruling party EPRDF, for their part tabled the amended electoral law of Ethiopia, which follows the majority system. The system, which Ethiopia follows, is common all over the worldwide and it was proved successful, Asmelash said at the event. Ethiopia’s past five elections were conducted in this system and helped build democracy in the country, he added. However, in order to expand the democratic system, it is important to put in place a mechanism which guarantees the representation of some community member in the parliament, he said. The ruling party EPRDF further suggested the inclusion of both majority and proportional representation electoral system in the electoral law.
Dr. Chane Kebede, Chairperson of the Ethiopian Democratic Party (EDP), representing the 12 political parties, filed a complaint on the neutrality of the National Electoral Board of Ethiopia (NEBE). The parties also suggested NEBE to be run by a team of national political parties and the Prime Minister to nominate a commission tasked to handle election-related process.
18.9.2017 Zadig Abraha promoted to the rank of minister. Arefayné Fantahun, Ethiopia Observer
Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn has named Zadig Abraha as his media and public relations delivery unit head under the rank of minister.
Zadig, a Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) member, has been serving as the government communication affairs office as deputy minister for the past nine months. He worked under Negeri Lencho, member of the ruling coalition’s Oromo party, the OPDO, with whom he often clashed, according to reports. With this new post, Zadig would replace Ewnetu Bilta Debela, who left the position, after assigned as Ethiopia’s ambassador to Brussels. Zadig has been in the national spotlight for some time now, after picked by the late Meles Zenawi on April 2011 to serve as deputy general director of the renaissance hydropower project coordination office. He was few years later assigned to serve as the director of justice & legal system research institute. Some in the know say that Zadig is being “groomed” by TPLF to replace Hailemariam Desalegn who is expected to leave office in the coming election after three years. (…)
18.9.2017 The Conflict in Eastern Ethiopia, Explained. Endalk Chala, Gobal Voices
Ethnic tensions between Ethiopia’s two regions, Oromia and Somali erupted into violent conflict that killed at least dozens of people and drove thousands of men, women and children from their homes during the second week of September 2017. Reports on social media about the death toll and displacement of people are wildly different depending on who reports them. Pro-government journalists based in the capital Addis Ababa reported dozens of deaths while diaspora-based media put the number much higher. However, both reported that thousands of people were displaced.
A referendum still reverberates 14 years later
The longest border in Ethiopia is shared between Oromia and Ethiopian Somali region, which are respectively the country's first and second largest administrative regions by area. Tension has been simmering for years along this border which led to intermittent clashes involving mostly Oromos and Somalis.
In 1994 an opposition political party known as Oromo Liberation Front (OLF) accused the Ethiopian Somali Region of infringing into the south-eastern provinces of Oromia Region. OLF was eventually labeled as a terrorist organization by the Ethiopian regime. In June 2000, OLF reported that at least 70 people were killed in an armed conflict that ensued between Oromos and Somalis.
In December 2003, a violent clash over scarce water and land resources led to the displacement of 19,000 people in the border.
In 2004, the Ethiopian government held a referendum to settle the territorial dispute. The official results of the referendum gave about 80 percent of the disputed districts to Oromia Regional State.
But in December 2005, all hell broke loose when the federal government attempted to enforce the results of the vote. According to Relief Web International, tens of thousands of people have been displaced from both regions forcing the Ethiopian government to defer to transfer of the districts that have voted to be redistricted as part of Oromia Regional State. Things remained relatively quiet since then.
How did the latest conflict begin?
In April 2017, violent conflicts were reported in the southern border town of Moyale where members from both Oromo and Ethiopian Somali ethnic groups were killed. The cause of the violence again was scarce water and land resources. During the same month, the Ethiopian government announced that the two regions have agreed to rearrange their boundaries per the outcome of the 2004 referendum. This was when the conflict picked up and reached the level of violence that was last seen in 2005. Authorities and activists from both Oromia and Ethiopia-Somali started to trade accusations of unleashing paramilitary groups against civilians. While most Oromo activists on social media refuse to view the latest conflict in ethnic terms, the civilians caught in the conflict are actually divided largely along ethnic lines.
Last week, at least 32 people were killed both in Oromia and Somali regions. Thousands of Oromos have been fleeing the Somali Region as they have come to be a target of violence.
What has the Federal Government done about it?
According to the state media, the Federal Government has stepped in to protect civilians. However, many see the government’s role with suspicion. Some even accused the government of deliberately stoking tensions and exploiting political fissures among different ethnic groups in the country to control the growing discontent in Ethiopia. (…)
Many Oromos fervently blame the TPLF for manufacturing the conflict by pitting the Ethiopian Somalis against the Oromos. They are convinced that the conflict is the work of TPLF military personnel that are based in Somali region. Other Ethiopians tend to blame Ethiopia’s ethnic based federal government structure that defined communities based on ethnic identity.
Meet the parties at the center of the conflict
The violence this year has created a bitter dispute between Somali and Oromo politicians on a scale not seen before. Many Oromo politicians and opposition activists attribute much of the violence to a paramilitary group known as ‘Liyou Police’. They both claim that ‘Liyou Police’ is no longer an anti-insurgency military group limited in Somali region. However, Oromo opposition activists take their allegation a little further by describing ‘Liyou Police’ as an invading force that enjoy the overt assistance of Tigrayan military personnel. One of the primary demands of the protest that was held in August 2017 was the removal of ‘Liyou Police’ from disputed districts in Oromia. (…) ‘Liyou Police’ was created in 2007, after some sections of the Somalis from the Ogaden clan took up arms against Ethiopian government, alleging mistreatment under the Tigrayan-dominated government of Ethiopia. The Ogaden clan members of Ethiopian Somali have long had grievances against the Ethiopian government. They account for 80 to 90 percent of the Somali population in Ethiopia.
Though it has been obscured by the escalation of their conflict with the federal government, there is also a strong internal conflict among the Somalis themselves. There are moderate and radical members of the Ogaden clan. While some demand greater autonomy, others seek an outright independence. Still, there are others who have aligned themselves with the Ethiopian regime. To crush the insurgent members of the Ogaden clan, the Ethiopian government has tapped members of the ‘Liyou Police’.
From his early days as a leader of the ‘Liyou Police’, Abdi Mohamud Omar, or better known as Abdi Illey, eventually became the president of the region. Abdi Illey, a member of Ogaden clan himself, has helped the Ethiopian government to launch a crackdown against the insurgents. Since the latest escalation of the conflict, his communications team has been lashing out at Oromo officials of the ruling EPRDF party. On their Facebook page, Abdi Illey’s communications team has accused top OPDO officials of being terrorists by linking them with the diaspora-based Oromo activists.
On their part, OPDO officials have rejected the allegations and appealed to the federal government to prosecute the culprits.
Will the conflict stop anytime soon?
After weeks of trading accusations, the presidents of the two regions, Mr. Lemma Megersa and Mr. Abdi Mohamud Omar held a press conference in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia’s capital on September 17, 2017. Flanked by top federal government officials, they both spoke about the conflict in general terms. They both insisted the need of stability in the area but they can’t seem to agree on the root causes of the conflict. For instance, while Mr. Lemma laid the blame at the door of unnamed individuals, Mr. Abdi implied that top OPDO officials are culpable for the conflict. They both clearly absolve the Ethiopian regime of any responsibility.
The problem is many Ethiopians, especially Oromo activists, believe that the Tigrayan-dominated regime is actively involved in the conflict. They allege that Ethiopian security officials, who have close ties with the region’s president, Mr. Abdi Mohamud Omar, have a vested interest in Ethiopian Somali Region.
However, both leaders seem to agree on immediately relocating the displaced people back to their homes. But the conflict continues on the ground and even on social media where polarized rhetoric has generated not only confusion but also deliberate distortion of the real issues that caused the violence in the country.
Ein längerer Artikel zum Verlauf und zu den Hintergründen des Konflikts war bereits am 14.9.2017 in Addis Standard erschienen: Liyat Fekade: Rising Death Toll, Displacement and Protests in East, South and South East Ethiopia. What Lies Beneath?
18.9.2017 Somalia regional police killed 16 people in Bale: Spokesman. Ethiopia Observer
Heavily armed Somalia regional police force carried out violent raid yesterday, killing 16 people at Ode-Araga village in Dawe Qachan district in Bale, communication officer of the district, Kedir Wado told VOA. There were multiple injuries in the shooting and four people were taken to the nearby Ginir hospital.
Kedir said there are eight pastoralist woredas in the region, which is the lower part of Bale region, and in the past there has been conflict between the Oromo and Somalia communities over land and water. However, the latest attack was different and perpetuated by organized armed group, Liyu force that belong to Somali region, he said.
Clashes along the border of Oromiya and Somali regions have claimed more than 100 lives and displaced around 100,000 people, according to the latest figures. Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn said on Sunday that the federal government has deployed the military to the region to quell the violence and safeguard highways straddling the regions.
In a related news, the Somali regional government announced that thousands of Somalis displaced from Oromia region are have taken refuge in Jigjiga town, in the compound of Teachers Training Institute and Management Institute. For the time being, no figures on the number of displaced Somalians have been provided.
17.9.2017 55,000 people displaced amid ethnic clashes. Elias Meseret, AP September
More than 55,000 ethnic Oromos have been displaced from Ethiopia’s Somali region after a week of clashes with Somalis in which dozens were killed, the regional government of Ethiopia’s restive Oromia region said on Sunday. The statement from the Oromia government follows claims by Somali regional officials earlier this week that more than 50 people were killed in an attack against ethnic Somalis in Aweday town.
“More than 55,000 Oromos were displaced from the Somali region after the recent incident and are now sheltered in makeshift camps,” Addisu Arega, Oromia region’s spokesman, said in the statement. “Overall, some 416,807 Oromos have been displaced this year alone in fear of attacks by the Somali region’s Special Police Force.” Oromia officials say only 18 people were killed and that Oromos have been moving out of Somali towns and villages in fear of reprisals.
Border disputes between the two ethnic groups are common. Though they agreed to reconcile in April, conflict persists in many locations. On Sunday the presidents of the two regions met in the capital Addis Ababa and said efforts are underway to resettle the displaced. State-affiliated media reported the two leaders were told by federal authorities that areas facing ethnic conflict will be under the control of the Ethiopian army, and that regional forces would keep away from border locations.
Ethiopia’s Somali region is currently experiencing drought conditions, while Oromia region was a hotbed of massive anti-government protests since November 2015 that claimed the lives of more than 600 people.
17.9.2017 Heads of Oromia, Somali Regional States to Cooperate to End Conflict. ENA
Heads of Oromia and Somali regional states announced that they will work together to end the conflict and rehabilitate the people displaced due to the conflict. The heads made the remark during a joint press conference they gave with Minister of Federal Affairs and Pastoral Development. The heads have also expressed sadness over the death and displacement of people.
Head of Oromia regional state, Lemma Megersa said the conflict is the result of criminal activities of individuals. Lemma said the conflict that led to the death and displacement of people doesn't represent the people and governments of the regional states. Recalling that there were clashes in bordering areas between the regional states due to water and grazing land, the trend of the current conflict is different.
Head of Somali regional state, Abdi Mohamed said the act seen during the conflict is against the culture of both people, recalling their tradition of resolving conflicts peacefully. He condemned the acts that involve killings, as it is an act of forces driven by destructive objectives.
Kebede Chane, Minister of Federal Affairs and Pastoral Development called the act as a conspiracy against the federal system. As the federal system is based on consensus and unity, such acts are intended to jeopardize it. In this regard, he urged the need to end the conflict immediately.
17.9.2017 PM Calls on Elders, Religious Leaders to Stand with Gov't to Resolve Conflict. ENA
Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn called on community elders, tribal and religious leaders to stand in with the government to resolve the conflict between Oromia and Somali regional states. While discussing with the elders and leaders on Saturday at his office with the presence of presidents of the regional states, the Premier urged them to stabilize the communities. The Premier said that the government has set a direction to solve the problem.
"Main roads that cross the regional states will be guarded by the federal police; security forces of both regional states will withdraw from the conflicting areas in order to resolve the problem quickly" he said. In addition, the federal government will engage in disarmament of weapons in the area of the conflict. The government will also bring individuals who are responsible for the death and displacement of people. Moreover, the government has deployed members of the Ethiopian Human Rights Commission the areas of conflict to investigate human rights violations.
In this regard, the Premier urged the the community elders and tribal and religious leaders to support the government in its efforts to investigate the situation. Based on this assessment, the government will take measures and bring the responsible individuals to justice, he said.
Regarding media outlets, which disseminate information that add fuel to the fire, the Premier said the government will take measures.
Expressing his deep sorrow over the death of people, Hailemariam said that the government will do its level best to rehabilitate the displaced people.
The elders and religious father on their part expressed commitment to work in collaboration with the government restore peace.
16.9.2017 Describing What Transpires Inside the Most Powerful Governing Party of Ethiopia As an Intense Power Struggle May Sound a Bit Far-Fetched. Addis Fortune, Opinion
Describing what transpires inside the most powerful governing party of Ethiopia as an intense power struggle may sound a bit far-fetched, says gossip. The power dynamics and alliances are fluid; it can be misleading to discern formations of groups neither on party affiliations nor ideological preferences, claims gossip.
There are however tensions simmering among various individual leaders of the party, whether veterans or belonging to the second generation, gossip observed. The collective sense of alarm at how much things are getting out of shape is compounded by a widely shared feeling of a rather disabling ineptness at the highest echelon of the government, claims gossip. But, it marks an era of confusion and a sense of loss of direction in the camp of the Revolutionary Democrats, says gossip.
Such was a frustration evidently and loudly voiced by the army of senior and mid-ranking cadres of the part, who have completed the third round of training that has been going on for some months now, gossip disclosed.
A little over 800 of them assigned to the federal government and regional states - some of them as senior as ministers, state ministers and chiefs of regional states - had congregated at the Civil Service College (CSC), for the third time. The crux of the training is to sharpen their understanding and worldview of leadership, although other issues on political communications and the tenets of the doctrines of Revolutionary Democracy were also on the menu, claims gossip.
It would only be the expected outcome if there were practical illustrations drawn from experiences of the many cadres raised during the training as evidence of what works and ails the "good old part" of the EPRDF, gossip says. There were many cases of troubles debated, such as the competence of the party's leadership; its industrial policies; the role of foreign direct investment in the growth agenda of the party, and the place the domestic private sector should have in the economy; the nature of the ongoing crackdown on corruption and its desired goals; and the practice of federalism and the casualties that have surfaced among the various regions that are at loggerheads with each other, gossip disclosed.
These issues matter because they are part of political gymnastics ahead of the ruling party's convention scheduled for March 2018, claims gossip. The kingmakers in Ethiopia's power politics are cadres who get delegated to the convention, many of which were those who passed through the training at the CSC, according to gossip. And the power brokers are the veterans of the four parties in the coalition, claims gossip.
Among these veterans who were active in providing training and attempted to dazzle the cadres were Abay Tsehaye and Bereket Simon, two of the ideologues who stand tall among their contemporaries, many of whom are now effectively sidelined by Hailemariam Desalegn, chairman of the party, gossip observed.
Abay had declined to continue with the training during the third round just after he delivered the first of the two courses he was scheduled to give, revealed gossip. He did not return when the third batch completed the training two weeks ago, claims gossip.
But it is customary for the party's chair to give the sermons at the conclusion of such training; hence, Hailemariam spoke to the cadres two weeks ago, according to gossip. Unlike the second round, where he had limited himself to only making a scripted speech, he had a list of items on his note he did address, gossip disclosed. Many of the issues were in response to criticisms made during the training on the policy implementations or deviation from the party's convictions, claims gossip. Falling short of naming names, he fired back claiming "whoever" made these criticisms have neither the knowledge nor the understanding of the tenets of Revolutionary Democracy, gossip claimed.
Many of the cadres have taken this as a statement in reference to, if not, a direct attack on Bereket, who was vocal in raising those very issues during the training, according to gossip. Yet, Hailemariam denied the opportunity for rebuttal when Bereket raised his hand afterwards, disclosed gossip. Such was a small incident well noticed by the many cadres, signalling a changing power dynamics within the ruling coalition ahead of its crucial convention, claims gossip.
15.9.2017 Hundreds Apprehended in Connection with Conflict b/n Oromia, Somali Regional States. ENA
Hundreds of people who are allegedly responsible for the death and displacement of people in the conflict between Oromia and Somali regional states have been apprehended, Government Communication Affairs Office (GCAO) said. Minister of GCAO, Dr. Negeri Lencho told the media today that the suspects have been detained in connection with the conflict as part of the effort to restore peace and bring the responsible persons to justice. "People who took part in the conflict are apprehended. Maybe hundreds of people are already detained. In Oromia regional state, particularly in Aweday, nearly 200 persons are detained", he said. The Minister said the Defense Force and Federal Police were deployed to the area to control the situation and restore peace.
Efforts have been exerted in the past to enable the two sides resolve problems related to demarcation of administrative borders through mutual concession and participation of local communities. These efforts have led to the signing of agreement between the two sides to resolve problems related to administrative boundary demarcations in April this year. But recently, the two sides have entered into conflict, which Dr. Negeri said due to unknown reason.
The Defense Force and Federal Police deployed to the areas are working closely with the regional forces to control the situation, he added. According to the Minister, leaders of the two regional states, community elders and religious leaders are working together to resolve the conflict peacefully. Extending condolences to families of dead, Dr. Negeri said efforts are being exerted to rehabilitate people who are displaced due to the conflict.
13.9.2017 Clashes over boundary dispute displaced hundreds. Tesfa-Alem Tekle, Sudan Tribune
Renewed fighting between armed factions from Ethiopia’s Oromia and Somali regional states has forced hundreds of civilians to flee their homes. The fighting which erupted on Tuesday has displaced at least 600 people from both regions.
Minister of Government Communication Affairs Office (GCAO), Negeri Lencho, told the state affiliated, Fana Broadcasting Corporation, that the clashes which occurred while the government has been resolving the dispute caused loss of life and property damage. He said the Ethiopian government is currently working to resolve the boundary crises between the two regions. "The federal government, together with leaderships of both regional states, is striving to resolve the problem," said Negeri.
While mediation efforts are underway, the information minister said the national defence forces deployed in the area are carrying out disarmament measures. Negeri further said the federal government has been investigating and arresting those groups who carried out the attack on the residents. "The Ethiopian Human Rights Commission has also deployed a team to investigate human rights violations in the area," he said.
Clashes between the armed factions in the two states have led to the issuance of travel alerts by the United States and Canada. The U.S. embassy in Addis Ababa on October 10 issued an alert cautioning of citizens of intense gunfire between two cities leaving the main road linking the capital and another town blocked. The statement read: “The U.S. Embassy is aware of reports that the main road from Addis Ababa to Jijiga has been blocked by security forces between the cities of Babile and Harar due to intense fighting including gunfire.” The Ethiopian government quickly dismissed the report and said there were only sporadic clashes in the region and that it had been brought under control. The Canadian government weeks later issued a safety and security alert for Ethiopia, citing clashes in parts of the country. They subsequently cautioned citizens to exercise caution.
13.9.2017 Ethiopian government admits individuals killed during protests. Ethiopia Observer
Ethiopian government admitted that there were deaths and property damages in yesterday’s anti-paramilitary forces in various towns of Oromia region. At least two persons were killed in the eastern town of Aweday when clashes broke out during anti-paramilitary protests yesterday, according to some media reports. Similar protests were also held in Deder, Kobo, and Chelenko towns against what protesters described as atrocities committed by the Somali paramilitary forces, Liyu Hail in the region.
The government communications minister, Negeri Lencho who spoke to the state-owned Radio Fana didn’t provide numbers but confirmed there had indeed been individuals killed and injured as a result of the protests. Negeri told Radio Fana that around 600 people of Oromo and Somali origins displaced from Jigjiga and Aweday towns have taken refuge in Harar.
Negeri also said the federal government is working with officials of the two regions to resolve the impasse and members of the Ethiopian National Defense Forces started disarming clan militia groups in the area. Order had been given to the Ethiopian Human Rights Commission to conduct investigations of any abuses on the ground, according to Negeri.
13.9.2017 Deadly protests hit Ethiopia. BBC World Service
At least two people have died in protests in Ethiopia. More than 600 have been displaced during the clashes on Tuesday in towns in the east of the country. Demonstrators accuse a police unit of carrying out killings and human rights abuses against the Oromo people. The government has blamed the clashes on a border dispute between the Oromo and their neighbours in the Somali region of Ethiopia. It says it has now sent in the military to carry out a disarmament exercise.
The conflict has been raging for months but escalated this week in violent confrontations. In August, the government lifted a 10-month state of emergency imposed following more than two years of anti-government protests.
9.9.2017 Over 5,000 inmates granted amnesty. Yonas Abiye, The Reporter
More than 5,000 prisoners serving time in three regional states have been granted pardon for the Ethiopian New Year. Meanwhile, President Mulatu Teshome (PhD) has not announced the usual New Year amnesty for those under federal custody until The Reporter went to the press. Three of the regional states, viz., Amhara, Tigrai and the Southern Regional State (SNNPR) have so far granted a combined 5,037 amnesties in their respective jurisdictions.
The Amhara and Tigray regional states on Thursday granted amnesty for 1,981 and 957 prisoners in connection with the upcoming New Year. Meanwhile, the Southern Region announced on Wednesday that it had pardoned 3,099 prisoners, including 16 inmates whose sentences had been reduced. At a presser on Thursday, Gedu Andargachew, chief administrator of the Amhara Regional State, said that, “they were freed because they showed remorse and met the requirements for clemency.”
Though it is common for both federal and regional governments to grant amnesties on the occasion of the Ethiopian New Year, the nation in the just ended year has seen a record number of prisoners due to widespread unrest in the two largest regional states–Oromia and Amhara. In addition to regular prisoners, more than 31,000 individuals were arrested during the year following the issuance of the state of emergency (SoE) decree.
Earlier in July, Minister Defense Siraj Fegessa, who was the head of SoE Command Post Secretariat, told parliament that a total of 21,109 suspects were arrested in Oromia, Amhara and Southern as well as in Addis Ababa for participating in violent protests, but most of them were later released after receiving renewal training. Meantime, 7, 737 suspects are on trial over charges of committing crimes during the unrest, Siraj noted.
9.9.2017 AEUP, EDP et al forge united front. Neamin Ashenafi, The Reporter
Opposition political parties taking part in the ongoing negotiation with the ruling Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) announced on Thursday the formation of a new alliance comprising of 12 opposition political parties, out of the 15 parties in the negotiation. The parties are expected to conduct their second-round negotiation in the first week of the Ethiopian New Year, and are expected to haggle over Proclamation No. 532/2007, viz., the Amended Electoral Law of Ethiopia.
The parties announced the formation of an alliance at a press conference held at the head office of the All Ethiopian Unity Party (AEUP) located in the vicinity of Tewodros Square. The merging parties took part in the first round of negotiations separately or in different groups, but have now decided to negotiate as one. The members of the alliance include the Ethiopian Democratic Party (EDP), the All Ethiopian Unity Party (AEUP), Unity for Democracy and Justice (UDJ) and Coalition for Unity and Democracy (CUD). Accordingly, the alliance named Chane Kebede (PhD) of EDP, Mulugeta Abebe of AEUP and Tigistu Awelu of UDJ to represent it in the upcoming negotiations.
“We want the negotiation to bring something tangible both for the public, for the democratization process and for the country and that’s why we came together and agreed to present our issues and questions homogeneously,” Mulugeta Abebe, vice chair of AEUP, said at the press conference.
Similarly, chairman of UDJ Tigistu Awelu asserted that presenting issues and questions homogenously is a plus for the opposition parties than doing so fragmented.
Of 111 articles subsumed in Proclamation 532/2007, the parties took issues with some 25 articles and 43 sub-articles, and according to Tigistu, the opposition parties have agreed to suggest amendments to some 28 articles, discard nine articles and to incorporate eight new articles.
According to sources, the articles that the parties want to discard include: Article 49 on “Determination of Number of Candidates” (1)The number of candidates running for election to the House of People’s Representatives in a constituency shall not exceed 12. (2) Where the number of candidates exceeds 12, political parties shall be made to register first. (3) Where the number of candidates nominated by political parties exceeds 12, priority shall be given to not more than six political parties that received the highest votes in the previous election. (4) The remaining political organizations shall be determined by lot. (5) Where the number of candidates nominated by political parties is less than 12, the remaining places shall be filled by private candidates who received the highest votes in the previous election. (6) Where there are candidates who received equal votes in the previous election, they shall be determined by lots. (7) The number of candidates nominated to state councils or to other levels shall be determined by the Board. Where the number of candidates is more than that decided by the Board, it shall be determined in accordance with sub articles (3), (4) and (5) of this Article as appropriate. Lots to determine candidates in accordance with this Article shall be drawn in the presence of the candidates concerned or their legal representatives.
Article 61(1) on “Places Forbidden for Campaigning Activities,”Campaigning activities shall not be carried out at the following places: a) churches; b) mosques; c) military camps and police stations; d) within 500 meter radius of educational institutions during the conduct of classes; e) within 500 meter radius of official market places in rural and urban areas where marketing takes place daily or during some fixed days f) governmental and public institutions during working hours; g) places and areas where public meetings are being conducted.
On Election Observers78 (2), without prejudice to international conventions to which the country is a party, the government may invite foreign observers as deemed necessary. Apart from this, the parties also want to discard Article 6(2), 7(14), 15(1), 24(4) from the proclamation.
It is to be recalled that during the opening of the previous sessions of parliament, both the president and the PM promised to revise many rules and regulations that created a hindrance in the day-to-day activities of opposition political parties and both promised changes to the electoral system. Hence, negotiations over this proclamation might give a glimpse as to whether those promises will be fulfilled or not.
Weeks ago, the ruling party and some 16 opposition parties agreed to amend the existing Revised Political Parties’ Registration Proclamation No. 573/2008.
8.9.2017 Dozen Opposition Political Parties Form Coalition. ENA
Some 12 opposition political parties have created a coalition that will enable them to negotiate with the ruling party EPRDF. The agreement signed by the political parties will presumably create good relationship among the parties and forward organized and strong negotiation points.
In a press conference they held here today, representatives of the parties said the agreement will have crucial role in bolstering the multi-party system in the country. Secretary-General of All Ethiopian Democratic Party, Zemenu Molla said the coalition will entertain strong ideas that make practical application of democracy possible well beyond theoretical concepts. He also said the coalition will enhance mutual respect, understanding and tolerance among the parties, and ensure upper hand in proposing ideas by setting agendas based on knowledge and information during the negotiations.
All Ethiopian Unity Organization Vice President, Mulugeta Abebe said the government and opposition political parties should be committed to widen the political space and let citizens be led by the party of their choice. He added that unless the political space is widened his party will either boycott or withdraw later from the election that will take place in Addis Ababa Administrative City.
Ethiopian Democratic Party President, Dr. Chane Kebede said on his part the coalition will supplement the negotiation meant to discuss implementations of all laws, including the constitution. According to him, the ongoing negotiation based on the principle of give-and-take is progressing well.
The coalition will have a significant role in discarding any law that hampers the formation of strong political party by stifling democracy and adding others that enhance democracy.
7.9.2017 Fighting between Somalia and Oromo regions spreads to Bale and Borena. Arefayné Fantahun, Ethiopiaobserver
Sporadic fighting has flared up between the Somali regional government armed forces and Oromia policemen in Bale and Moyale area, causing widespread casualties and deaths. At least four people died in Bale region Raitu Gulbi zone today, according to the Amharic service of Deutsche Welle, that cited witnesses. The fighting appeared to be heavy in the border town of Moyale area, according to reports. As the fight still continues in Moyale, spokesperson of Oromia region Addisu Arega told DW he did not know about causalities. The Amharic service of the Voice of America on its part reported of ten deaths in Chamuki and Gofa villages in Boeran area.
Addisu confirmed that Somali regional armed forces raided Chamuki village and clashed with Oromo militias. He said they removed the Oromia flag and replaced it with their own. Dereje Gerfa Tulu, an online activist and a source close to the Oromo Peoples’ Democratic Organization (OPDO), wrote on his facebook page that that at least 60 people had been killed in the violence both in Bale and Borena today.
A similar skirmish a week ago in the eastern town of Miesso killed fifty people, according to various reports. In related news, French government warned citizens to remain vigilant while driving following clashes on the roads between Addis Ababa, Dire Dawa, and Harar. The French government on September 5 issued a travel advisory for Ethiopia, following a series of clashes between the Oromo and Somali communities in parts of the country, French foreign ministry, the Quai d’Orsay urged citizens to remain vigilant while driving and to instead favor air travel when traveling across the country due to violent incidents on the roads between Addis Ababa, Dire Dawa, and Harar. “It is also preferable to avoid gatherings and demonstrations of a political nature, particularly in areas prone to communal tensions, and to comply strictly with instructions that may be given by local authorities,” the statement said.
10.9.2017 Addis Ababa - Nairobi - Mombasa Road Project Nears Completion. Ezega.com
A high-level delegation of the African Development Bank (AfDB), the financier of the Addis Ababa - Nairobi - Mombasa road project, visited the progress of the project on the Ethiopian side. The Addis Ababa-Nairobi-Mombasa road project is an important section of the Cairo-Cape town trans-African highway, which will traverse nine African countries. Upon completion, the road connects Ethiopia and Kenya and will enable Ethiopia access the Mombasa port for its import-export trade.
“The project is going well. We have witnessed some sections that have already completed and some are making progress. We haven’t gone very fine expectation as the original plans but a lot of mobilization has already done in fact,” he said. Noting the road project from the Kenyan side has completed a year ago, the Executive Director said “I hope the section remain on the Ethiopia side will also be done quick enough, so we will complete the corridor to connect the two countries as planned with the schedule.” (…)
The project will promote trade between countries the East African Community and also enhance integration. He added that the Ethiopian government is doing its work excellently for the implementation of the project. Chief Transport Engineer Ethiopia Country Office, Mumina Wa-Kyendo said the project involving 700 km Hawassa-Moyale road, and the 300km Hageremarima-Moyale road has already been completed. Noting that the road between Hawassa and Hagerimariam has been delayed due to various reasons, he expressed hope that it will be finalized by the end of 2018. The construction of the project is part of the efforts by the governments of Ethiopia and Kenya to improve trade and regional economic integration between the two countries and socio-economical development in the region. (Source: Ethiopian News Agency)
10.9.2017 Ethiopia Attracts $3.8 billion FDI in 2016/17. Ezega.com
Ethiopia has attracted 3.8 billion U.S. dollars in foreign direct investment (FDI) in the Ethiopian Fiscal Year (EFY) 2016/17, disclosed the Ethiopian investment commissions. According to the Ethiopian government, the flow of FDI in the country showed a 20 percent increase from EFY 2015/16. "In the 2016/17 fiscal year 381 projects have become operational and the investment projects have created 71,000 temporary and permanent jobs to Ethiopians," stated Ethiopian government officals.
Furthermore, the Ethiopian government stated that some 28 companies with a combined capital of 1.48 billion U.S. dollars have made agreement with the Ethiopian government in eight industrial parks in the last fiscal year. The investment projects are mainly engaged in agriculture, manufacturing, health, education, mining and construction. (Source: Xinhua)
9.9.2017 Europe to invest big in Ethiopia. Dawit Endeshaw, The Reporter
EIB to avail 12 billion birr in loan
European Investment Bank (EIB) is said to inject close to 12 billion birr in finances to local firms in a largest ever financing program designed by the bank to Ethiopia. The financing which will be made for a number of projects are on pipeline and are expected to be realized in the coming year. Unlike previous trends which the bank often gave loans for public projects, this time around the bank has also given much emphasis to private sector projects. (…)
This engagement of the EIB was the largest ever in Ethiopia although the bank established its presence in the country some 40 years back. “We want to play a major role in Ethiopia,” said Litt. We are now processing a loan which is more than what we have done so far, as far as Ethiopia is concerned.” Those projects are now in different stages where the bank is assessing each and every aspect of the respective projects, he said. (…) Since 1976, the bank had pledged a total of 400 million Euros to Ethiopia for expenditures in infrastructure projects such as energy, water and communications. It has provided more than 22 billion euro for investments in Africa over the past five years.
9.9.2017 Ethiopian Sugar Factories to Start Operation – Officials. Ezega.com
Sugar factories across Ethiopia will become operational this budget year and fully meet the domestic demand, Ethiopian Government stated. Ethiopia’s Public Enterprises Minister, Dr. Girma Amente said there are encouraging improvements in the production of sugar, though the projects are late by two years in meeting the plan to export sugar.
“Of course we are late, but we are leaping forward,” the Ethiopian official stressed. According to the Minister, the recent export of sugar to Kenya was mainly meant to assess the market for future venture. Yet, Dr. Girma said, meeting the demand for fine sugar will take some time as the demand is huge and requires the investment of foreign and local companies that are interested in investing in Ethiopia.
The Ethiopian government revealed that import of sugar, which was 300,000 tons of sugar last Ethiopian year, has dramatically fallen to 50,000 tons. Of the 370 public enterprises at the start, there are only 20 that would be privatized gradually, it was learned. “The Ethiopian government has set a clear direction that inefficient and incompetent public enterprises will not receive any protection,” Dr. Girma underlined. (Source: Ethiopian News Agency)
8.9.2017 Ethiopia prepares for construction of $ 51m ethanol plant. esi-africa
In East Africa, Ethiopia is preparing for Phase 1 construction of a $51 million ethanol plant, to commence in October. Together with Germany’s Eugen Schmitt Company, Ethiopia’s sugar Corporation will construct the ethanol plant at the Wonji Shoa Sugar Factory. Construction of the first phase will commence in October and construction of the second phase will start next year; according to Gashaw Aychiluhim, corporate communications director of the Sugar Corporation.
Construction Review reported that Eugen Schmitt Company from Germany will have 83% of the share, while the Ethiopian government and the three other shareholders will take the remaining 14% and 3% shares, respectively.
Ethanol plant capacity
According to media, when the plant is in full operation, it will have the capacity of producing 60,000lt of ethanol per day using molasses. Molasses is a by-product of sugar, which the Wonji Shoa Sugar Factory discharges during its production processes. Finchaa and Metehara are the two sugar factories in Ethiopia that are currently producing ethanol from molasses, Construction Review Online reported. According to media, the plant will become the third mill in the country producing ethanol from molasses.
Sugar factory production
Construction review Online reported: “Through an expansion project conducted at Metehara sugar factory, the plant implemented an ethanol producing plant by the end of 2010. “Currently the factory’s ethanol plant has a capacity of producing 12,500 Meter Cube ethanol a year. It also generates 9MW of power used for self-consumption.”
7.9.2017 Ethiopia’s Reppie Waste Energy Facility to Be Commissioned in December 2017. Precise Ethiopia
The 50-megawatt (MW) Reppie Waste to Energy facility, which Ethiopia claims to be the first of its kind in Africa, will be commissioned in December, according to Ethiopian government officials. “The facility in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa is 94.3-percent complete as of July,” said Bizuneh Tolcha, minster at Ethiopia’s Ministry of Water, Irrigation and Energy (MoWIE).
The project is being built on Ethiopia’s largest landfill commonly called “Koshe” (meaning dirty in Ethiopia’s official working language Amharic), lying on 5.3 hectares of land. The landfill in recent years has struggled to dispose of the city’s increasing waste. Opened five decades ago when Addis Ababa was a small city, it is currently the main landfill for the city of 4 million plus Ethiopians.
“The project will cost 118.5 million U.S. dollars to complete. It is to be fully covered by Ethiopia’s government and when complete will process 350,000 tonnes of solid waste annually,” said the Ethiopian minster. He further said Reppie once commissioned will stop 46,494 tonnes of methane gas emission annually, helping achieve Ethiopia’s Climate Resilient Green Economy strategy (CRGE). CRGE envisaged Ethiopia achieving zero net carbon emission by 2025 while moving it from a developing nation to an environmentally friendly middle-income economy.
The project is being jointly constructed by British firm Cambridge Industries Limited and China National Electrical Engineering Company. Ethiopia plans to increase energy production capacity from the current 4,200 MW to about 17,300 MW by 2020 from hydro, wind, geothermal, solar and biomass sources. (…) Source: ezega.com
9.9.2017 3.9 bln seedlings planted across the nation. Berihu Shiferwa, WALTA
The Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources announced that 3.9 billion seedlings of the planned 4.3 bln seedlings are planted across the country in the just concluded rainy season. Public relation expert with the Ministry, Negash Mebrat, told WMC that according the information the ministry had now, the palnation campaign is finalized.
Neary 250,000 seedlings are planted in one hectare,which accoring to him, will help improve the lives of people as the seedlings will be grwon up to be another sources of firewood. He said that this the government offered training to 800 experts drawn from Amhara and Oramia to help them become aware more on plantaion of seedlings. Plantation in campaign is exposed to wastages, he said indicating that some association has made in painstaking way. He said that the Ministry will follow up and provide the assoacition with supports to help spare seedlings from possible wastages.
According to him, over 67 percent of 4 billion seedlings planted last year are grown up, and this year its projected that 70 percent of the planted will grwon up.
7.9.2017 Coke Studio Africa 2017 officially launches in Ethiopia. Ethiosports
Coca-Cola Company celebrates the official launch of its music flagship Coke Studio Africa 2017 in Ethiopia. Being broadcasted in Ethiopia for the second time in its history, Coke Studio Africa has got bigger and better this season with the merger of Coke Studio Africa and Coke Studio South Africa which were previously held separately. Ethiopia will be represented by a diverse group of artists which includes the second time voted Betty G, reggae sensation Sami Dan, Ethiopian rock phenomenon Jano band, “Bale robe” and “Dendasho” hit maker Asgegnew Asheko and top Tigrigna artist Dawit Nega.
Tigist Getu, Brand manager of Coca-Cola in Ethiopia says, “We had a great experience last year. And from that experience, we are very glad to bring a bigger and better Coke Studio Africa for the continent and for Ethiopia in particular. We have a group of top artists with diverse flavors this year incorporating the cultural and modern music experiences in Ethiopia. This will give more exposure to Ethiopian music and promote our culture globally”. (…) Coke Studio Africa 2017 will be broadcasted weekly on EBS television. It promises to be a melting pot of music talents bringing together renowned music producers and top-notch artists drawn from various parts of the continent. The merger this year increases the number of participating countries to 16, up from 11 in the previous edition. This season will broadcast in more than 30 countries across Africa. (…)
6.9.2017 Malaria risk zones expand to higher elevations in Ethiopian Highlands. Michon Scott, Climate.gov
The Ethiopian Highlands, a region of high-altitude plateaus and mountains reaching above 14,000 feet, have long provided a topographic defense against the spread of malaria, one of the world’s deadliest diseases. At many higher elevations, temperatures have historically been too cold for the Plasmodium parasites responsible for most cases of malaria in the region to be transmitted. But as global temperatures rise, that built-in protection has been fading.
This elevation map shows locations that have become more favorable for malaria-carrying parasites between 1981 and 2014 due to rising minimum temperatures. Lower elevations are dark gray, and higher elevations are lighter gray to nearly white. Superimposed upon the topography are outlines of elevations where winter temperatures have become more favorable for P. falciparum (red), which requires minimum temperatures above 64°F (18°C), and P. vivax (blue), which needs temperatures above 59°F (15°C).
Based on recent research led by Bradfield Lyon of the University of Maine, a wide range of elevations lost their cool temperature protection in the past three decades, with 10-day average minimum temperatures now becoming warmer than the critical threshold for malaria protection. In other words, the red and blue outlines show where new pockets of the Ethiopian Highlands became more malaria-friendly over the past 30 years.
Among epidemiologists, there is little doubt that climate change will increase some high-altitude temperatures, and consequently raise the elevation that experiences the threshold temperature required for malaria transmission. But Ethiopia has historically lacked high-quality climate data for its highlands. In Ethiopia, it has been difficult to identify temperature trends for individual weather stations, much less across the highlands as a whole.
As a result, many malaria-prevention efforts have been based largely on simple elevation thresholds, for example targeting elevations below 5,700 feet (1,750 meters), assuming that higher elevations were safe. The recently published study addresses the dearth of data by using a new high-spatial-resolution data set from the International Research Institute for Climate and Society’s Enhanced National Climate Services (ENACTS) initiative. According to Lyon, one of the most important results is that a wide range of elevations, including some in areas above 6,500 feet (2,000 meters), have been identified as becoming at risk for the establishment of malaria parasites. The new data will thus allow health officials to develop more specific strategies for targeting prevention and control efforts.
According to statistics released by the World Health Organization, there were 212 million cases of malaria worldwide in 2015, and 429,000 of those cases were deadly. Sub-Saharan Africa typically experiences 76% of the world's malaria cases, and 75% of its malaria deaths, most of them children under the age of five. Improved data collection and modeling will help epidemiologists spot the places with the greatest malaria vulnerability. And similar analyses could help identify expanding risk areas for other diseases and pests that affect people, livestock, or crops in other parts of the world.
Lyon, B., Dinku, T., Raman, A., Thomson, M.C. (2017). Temperature suitability for malaria climbing the Ethiopian Highlands. Environmental Research Letters. 12, 064015. World Health Organization. Malaria. Accessed August 16, 2017.
4.9.2017 Ethiopian pop star Teddy Afro's album launch stopped by police. BBC World News
Authorities in Ethiopia have stopped singer Tewodros Kassahun, popularly known as Teddy Afro, from launching his much-acclaimed album, Ethiopia. A BBC reporter says federal police showed up at the hotel in Addis Ababa hours before the party and stopped Teddy's sound team from setting up. His manager told the BBC that they are yet to get official reasons why the launch party was cancelled.
Teddy's 15-track album is the fastest-selling album in the country's history. Following its release in May this year the album topped the Billboard World Albums chart for weeks. However, it was never formally launched in Ethiopia.
On his Facebook Page, Teddy Afro has termed the police demand for a permit as ridiculous. His concert scheduled for the eve of Ethiopian New Year, which falls on 11 September, has also been cancelled in unclear circumstances.
Who is Teddy Afro? By Emmanuel Igunza, BBC News, Addis Ababa
Teddy Afro is a huge figure in Ethiopia. He enjoys an almost cult-like following and his latest album - his fifth - has elevated him to legendary status. The album is like a history lesson, with references to Emperor Tewodros II, seen as the father of modern-day Ethiopia, and it also calls for unity among Ethiopians.
Teddy is no stranger to controversy though. In 2008, he was jailed for a hit-and-run accident. He has always maintained that the case against him was politically motivated. He raised the ire of the authorities in 2005 when he released an album that was seen as critical of the authorities in the wake of disputed elections, but Teddy has tried to distance himself from politics.
He still enjoys a massive following among Ethiopians who adore and revere him. Months after his album was released, his music is still being blasted out on public transport, in bars, local shops and homes.
Horn of Africa and Foreign Affairs
9.7.2017 PM briefs members of UNSC on peace, security in region. WALTA
Prime Minister Hailemariam Dessalegn has briefed members of the United Nations Security Council about peace and security in the region, and specifically South Sudan and Somalia today. During the meeting, the Premier underlined the need for financial support to AMISOM and revitalization of South Sudan peace process.
Financing AMISOM has become very difficult, he said, adding that the international community has to play its role in the issue of peace and stability in Somalia, South Sudan and other areas in general as this situation demands cooperation. The financial contribution has to be sustainable and dependable, he pointed out. PM Hailemariam stated that the issue of conflicts in the region need not necessarily be left to Africa. UNSC has also a responsibility as it is a global body that can contribute a lot in this regard.
The Premier noted that IGAD is working on the reviving the South Sudan peace process. Hailemariam stressed that negotiation is still the priority to end the crisis in the country rather than sanction and other mechanisms.
Members of United Nations Security Council are here to discuss about peace and security in the continent, with particular reference to South Sudan, Somalia and Chad Basin. Representatives of the 15 member countries of UN Security Council and head of the African Union Peace and Security Council are holding a two-day consultative meeting. (ENA)
8.7.2017 Ethiopians at risk of arrest and torture if deported by Saudis, says HRW. Middle East Eye
Thousands of Ethiopian migrants had fled to Saudi Arabia after violent anti-government protests in Ethiopia.
Thousands of Ethiopian migrants are at risk of being imprisoned or killed if the Saudi government deports them back to Ethiopia, Human Rights Watch has warned. The warning comes after thousands of Ethiopians failed to register their presence with the Saudi government, which has put them at risk of being deported.
Felix Horne, HRW's senior researcher for East Africa, told the Voice of America (VOA) that migrant workers had a legitimate concern over being imprisoned or tortured if returned back to Ethiopia. “They say that they will be killed, arrested and tortured by the government they fled from," Horne told VOA's Horn of Africa Service. "If you are an individual who is fleeing [a] repression system, scared to return to the country of origin, you would be entitled to international protection.”
Thousands of Ethiopians fled to Saudi Arabia in 2015 when bloody anti-government protests began in Ethiopia's Oromia region. Riyadh imposed an August deadline for Ethiopian immigrants to register with the government in order to obtain work permits and "to better facilitate their cases". Saudi Arabia had previously deported large numbers of Ethiopians in 2013. Horne claims a large number of them were arrested upon returning to Ethiopia. "Some of them reported torture in detention," said Horne. Ethiopians who spoke to VOA claimed that the deportations will take place after the Hajj season is completed in a week's time. During Saudi’s 2013 expulsions, Human Rights Watch says more than 160,000 Ethiopians were returned. The rights group's report alleged various abuses in the deportation process, including xenophobic attacks, beatings in detention, and horrendous jail conditions.
The Ethiopian government denies it mistreats people who were deported back to Ethiopia and says it welcomes its citizens returning from abroad. Communication minister Negeri Lencho said in March that the government was taking measures to prepare for another mass deportation. “The government is working to protect the rights of its citizens while returning home and a national task force has also been established to effectively coordinate their safe return," he said.
In June, Ethiopia's national disaster and risk management agency allocated $58.2m to help reintegrate citizens sent home from Saudi Arabia. But Horne blamed the current situation that Ethiopian migrants in Saudi have found themselves in on the Saudi government, which according to Horne has failed to implement a fully fledged asylum procedure leaving migrants in a state of limbo.
“We urge Saudis to put in place some sort of asylum system to understand all those migrants. Which ones should be entitled to international protection? Which ones are at risk of prosecution if they go back to Ethiopia? They should halt deportation until such time these are understood,” said Horne.
7.9.2017 ECSU discharges efforts to scale up regional cooperation. Solomon Aynshet, WALTA
The Ethiopian Civil Service University (ECSU) said that it is maximizing efforts to scale up regional and continental cooperation via education and training at large. In his exclusive interview with Walta, Director of African Institute of Governance and Development with the University, Birhanu Beyene (PhD), said that the institute is committed to ensure regional cooperation, sustainable development and change the then instability images of the sub-region.
Birhanu added that the institute has graduated 38 students drawn from Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, Tanzania, and Ethiopia at the end of last academic year. The institute has targeted to broaden its horizon scholarships to 14 African countries in PhD and second degree levels. “It will be possible to address all corners of African countries in the near future.”, he added. The cost is all covered by the Ethiopian government, he noted.
The university is enhancing enormous role of Ethiopia in Inter Governmental Authority for Development (IGAD) with educational aspect at large. African achievement in peace and development is being maximized as they are taking lessons from thier past ups and downs; in this regard supporting their endeavors through education, study and research plays pivotal role to realize African renaissance, Birhanu underlined.
According to Dr. Birhanu, the University is cooperatively working with Germany and Hungary universities to be capable enough and attain international standards by drawing lessons. The institute has planned to organize alumni for former graduates in order to strengthen experience sharing and brotherhood of students.
The university gives trainings, consultancy, research and community services. With its services it is intensively working to produce many public servants who are implementing government policies and strategies. ECSU was established in 1995, Walta learnt.