Meldungen von August 2016

von Redakteur

Humanitarian Situation

31 August 2016  Complex Emergency Fact Sheet #18 Fiscal Year (FY) 2016. USAID
(…) Increased rainfall in areas of Oromiya Region has resulted in improved water, farmland, and livestock conditions, as well as positive food security trends, according to local Government of Ethiopia (GoE) officials and USAID partner reports. To date, August rains have also reduced reliance on water rationing in parts of Oromiya due to increased water availability.

25 August 2016: WFP Ethiopia: Drought Emergency Situation Report #9.

•    The mid-year review of Humanitarian Requirements Document (HRD) for 2016 was released on 12 August. The total number of people requiring food assistance is revised down from 10.2 million to 9.7 million for the second half of 2016; out of which 7.1million will be assisted through WFP-GoE and 2.6 million through JEOP.
Situation Update
•    Based on the June belg assessment the mid-year review of the Humanitarian Requirements Document for 2016 finds that the humanitarian situation in Ethiopia remains critical. With a combination of drought, which significantly weakened coping capacities, extensive flooding, which has caused displacement, disease outbreaks and the disruption of basic public services, the Government of Ethiopia (GoE) together with the humanitarian community will continue the response strategy outlined in the 2016 HRD.
•    Food insecurity and malnutrition rates remain high with millions of people requiring humanitarian assistance. The overall food security situation has not improved in most cropping areas due to limited belg production performance cause by prolonged drought. Livestock have started to recover, but conception, calving and improved milk production will take time. Income from livestock sales and products is increasing countrywide, but income source opportunities for labour have not yet rebounded to previous levels. Consequently, nutritional needs remain high in both belg and kiremt dependent areas.
•    The total number of people in need of food assistance in the second half of 2016 is revised down from 10.2 million to 9.7 million, with the WFP-GoE caseload being 7.1 million. The main reduction is in the Somali region where the caseload declined from 1.6 million to 1.2 million.

25 August 2016  Floods Displace Hundreds of Thousands in Ethiopia. Radio Havana Cuba
United Nations, August 25 (RHC)-- The United Nations says more than 600,000 people have been displaced in Ethiopia since March, largely because of flooding. The African country was struggling with its worst drought in decades in 2015, but it ended when spring rains arrived in March. On Wednesday, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said nearly 300,000 people were forced to flee their homes between March and June due to flooding. The report further said that others were stranded due to the inter-communal conflict in Ethiopia's southern Oromia and Somali regions. Many of the people displaced by flooding have since returned home, the UN said, noting that more than 10,000 families are still stranded and in need of basic household items and emergency shelter. The UN office also noted that heavy rainfall has delayed the delivery of emergency food aid to 85,000 flood-affected people in Somali region.

2 August 2016  Ethiopia Responding Well to El Niño-Induced Drought. Addis Fortune
The United Nations Office of Coordination for Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA) says that Ethiopia is responding well to the El Niño-induced drought that hit the country hard and resulted in immediate food assistance for more than 10,000 people (rather 10 million?! KS). The El Niño global climatic event wreaked havoc on the country’s 2015 harvest seasons by extending the dry season in the rain-dependent country, causing food insecurity, malnutrition and water shortages. According to the UNOCHA, a well-coordinated response is underway in the country, although the scale of the emergency puts a lot of pressure on the limited resources. “Given the time necessary for the procurement of relief, the government and its international partners urge immediate and sustained support for this slow onset natural disaster,” the release stated.
The natural hotspot classification, updated in early July, indicated that the scale of the drought has decreased from 429 priority woredas to 420 woredas across the country. Though the report says the government mitigated the impact of drought by better responding to it, the impact is still huge. The International Organisation for Migration (IOM) reported that 631,508 individuals were displaced due to the impact of El Niño in the Afar, Amhara, Dire Dawa, Hareri, Oromia, SNNP and Somali regions between August 2015 and June 2016.

Politics, Justice, Human Rights

30 August 2016  Premier says his gov’t ready to curtail weaknesses. ENA
Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn announced that his government is ready to curtail its weakness and realize the reform quickly, expressing his confidence about the party's ability to resolve problems. The Prime Minister's briefing came following the conclusion of a meeting by the EPRDF Council that evaluates the party's 15 years journey on the path of reform.
Concluding the evaluation, the Council of the Ethiopian Peoples' Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) has decided to consolidate the reform so as to curtail weaknesses among the party and government bodies. In a press briefing he gave here today, the Premier said the meeting of the Council was fruitful. "It recognized the need to resolve the problems and ensuring partiality to the public." Hailemariam said the party and the government are ready to address challenges facing the party and the government. "The government is ready to address limitations; we will solve our limitations through the current reform path that we pursue."
Even though a number of issues were raised and discussed during the meeting of the Council, abuse of government power for personal gains was at the center, according to the Prime Minister. Recalling that the party's ultimate objective is to stand for the benefit of the public, Hailemariam said the current scenario doesn't show that. This is what made the reform most important, to rectify such tendencies so that to meet the expectations of the public thereby improve their satisfaction.
Evaluating the situation in the meeting, the leadership has agreed on the need to use the power to serve the public, the Premier added. Rectifying the tendency towards misuse of power will provide opportunity for the party to get back on track for future successes as well as resolving other problems, he said. Hailemariam, who is also chairman of the party, expressed his confidence about the party's ability to resolve problems, saying "EPRDF is a party with a capacity to pass such challenging times by resolving problems."

28 August 2016  EPRDF Council decides to consolidate reform to curtail abuse of office. ENA
The Council of the Ethiopian Peoples' Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) decided to consolidate the reform program so as to curtail abuse of office for private gains that has been the source of bitterness among the public. In a communiqué issued at the conclusion of the meeting this evening, the Council recognized the need to consolidate the reform program the party has implemented 15 years ago to put an end to the challenges the party faced. (…) In this regard, the Council has decided the need to implement a full-fledged reform programs so as to rectify this tendencies and malpractices, the communiqué said. The decision to implement the reform in a strong manner is derived from the need to maintain the achievements attained and quick resolution of the problems caused by weakness that aggravated public grievances. Understanding that the struggle within the party alone can't eliminate the problems, the Council called on the public to take part in the struggle.

26 August 2016  Federal government system strengthens citizen’s sense of unity: Speaker.  Walta Information Center
Ethiopia’s federal government system has strengthened citizen’s sense of unity, Speaker of the House of Federation said. Yalew Abate told to WIC that Ethiopia’s federal system of governance has created a room to accommodate differences through bolstering unity. The speaker noted that the system was built based on the free will of the citizenry. It has laid a foundation for a just utilization of national resources the result of which has been seen over decades, he said.
He also said that the system has a significant role to ensure citizen’s democratic and human rights.Acc ording to the speaker, Ethiopia’s federal system of governance has created a platform to entertain mutual understand among Ethiopia’s nation, nationalities and people’s. As a result of that, each and every part of the country is experiencing a remarkable growth trajectory. That is what proves the effectiveness of federalism said Yalew. (…) According to Yalew, the ultimate goal the system is creating a unified political economy based on a decentralized system of governance where openness and accountability triumphs. That has registered fruitful result, he said.

24 August 2006  EPRDF Council Starts Evaluation of 15 Year Reform Journey.  ENA
The Council of Ethiopian Peoples' Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) has started evaluating its 15 years journey on the path of reform. The evaluation started in the presence of members of the council and other pertinent senior leaders of the party today. The reform path covered in the past 15 years will be evaluated in depth so as to identify successes and ensure continuity as well as to rectify problems by struggling for the attainment of popular commitments and focus on the continuity of the renaissance journey in a consolidated fashion, it was indicated.
EPRDF Council is hierarchically the next powerful body after the General Assembly. Thus, it is expected to pass resolutions that fundamentally and radically solve problems on the bases of the evaluations of the Executive Committee. esides, the regular meeting will evaluate the performance of the first year of the Second Growth and Transformation Plan. Accordingly, the council is expected to assess the strengths and good performances in the year in order to sustain the achievements and set direction to rectify weaknesses and shortcomings. The council will also discuss the plans of the organization and the government for this Ethiopian fiscal year, a press release of the Office of EPRDF stated.

6 August 2016  Court hands down sentences to Semayawi Party members. The Reporter, Tamiru Tsige
The 14th Criminal Bench of the Federal High Court has handed down sentences to three senior officials of Semayawi Party, who were allegedly caught making their way to Eritrea to join the armed struggle group Ginbot 7 (a group labeled as a terrorist organization by the House of People’s Representatives) on Friday. The three party officials identified as Birhanu Tekleyared, Eyerusalem Tesfaw and Fikremariam Asmamaw together with their accomplice named Dessie Kahasai were each sentenced five, four-and-a-half, four and another four years of rigorous imprisonment. The defendants were also stripped-off all of their public rights for five years. The three defendants were said to have been arrested by security forces a year ago with their accomplice, while they were traveling to Eritrea whereby they were due to join the Ginbot 7 group which was designated as a terrorist group by the parliament.

Conflicts and Unrest

31 August 2016  Government orders security forces to maintain peace, law and order. Walta Information Center
Premier Hailemariam Dessaleg said he has ordered the country’s security forces to take any appropriate measures on illegal moves aimed to destabilize the nation and jeopardize its development. In his briefing today to journalists Prime Minister Hailemariam emphasized that the government has to effectively carry out its responsibility of maintain law and order. The government will never allow its responsibility of maintaining peace, law and order for negotiation. The government won’t allow any illegal demonstrations or conflicts that have been distracting the peaceful situation of the country and claiming lose of lives and destruction of property.
Having pin pointed maintaining peace in the country and keeping and maintaining law and order is the only option of existence, the premier emphasized, adding that the government won’t tolerate those individuals or groups aiming to destabilize the country and jeopardize its development. He also said that the government is capable of controlling all illegal activities and conflicts in the country and guarantee the people peaceful environment and stable situation as it is the major part of its responsibility.
Prime Hailemariam also stressed that there are some extremist Diaspora members who had received a lot of money from countries aiming to destabilize Ethiopia and jeopardize its fast economic development. These extremist Diaspora members have used most of the money for themselves and used part of it to create chaos and havoc in Ethiopia, the Premier said, adding that the government won’t tolerate theses destabilizing efforts that it has ordered all security forces to maintain peace, law and order.
He also urged the youth not to be an instrument for these extremist Diaspora members who have negotiated their country’s chaos for money. He also said that the government has planned to hold a discussion on the revised youth packages that are expected to benefit the majority of the unemployed youth in the years ahead.

31 August 2016  Ethiopian regime deploying massive military to the Amhara region as uprising continue unabated  Engidu Woldie, ESAT News
Reports reaching ESAT from Ethiopia say the TPLF regime is deploying thousands of its troops and Agazi Special Forces to the Amhara region where uprising against the regime is gaining momentum as more towns and localities removed local administrations and the security, and replaced them with interim administrations elected by the people. Thousands of troops in a dozens of convoys and heavy machinery were seen heading towards northern Gondar via Wuchale, Wollo as the alternative and direct routes were closed by protesters, according to a sources who spoke to ESAT.
ESAT is yet to verify the information but high ranking TPLF military and civilian officials led by chief of staff Samora Yenus have arrived in Gondar. Close observers of the new developments say the regime was heading towards forming military posts and putting in place a military administration as seen in the Oromo region of the country where a nine month protest has relatively quieted this month.
Deadly protests have however continued on Tuesday in Gondar and Gojam where seven protesters – three in Adet and four in Simada – were shot and killed by TPLF forces. Three people were also killed in Merawi. In Bahir Dar, angry protesters went to the Sebatamit prison and freed 700 prisoners who were detained in the recent protests. Several people were injured in the shoot out to free the prisoners, according to hospital sources. Gun fire could be heard on Tuesday in the city of Bahir Dar which saw deadly protests on Monday as four people were killed and protesters attacked businesses belonging to the regime.
In Amba Giorgis, regime forces attacked residents who on Monday targeted businesses and set on fire houses belonging regime officials. Tensions remained high in Fnote Selam that has seen deadly protests in recent days. Offices and businesses remained closed on Tuesday in Finote Selam.
Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn blamed the unrest on what he called “foreign forces” bent on distracting the country from its development and fomenting ethnic conflicts. He declined to name the “foreign forces” but went on to accuse them of providing financial support to Ethiopian opposition forces in the diaspora. The Premier’s accusations did not come as a surprise to political observers who said that it has been customary for the regime to blame external forces for all its internal crises.
Meanwhile, human rights groups called for an independent investigations into the killings and incarceration of civilians by security forces in Ethiopia. Defend Defenders, Amnesty International, Ethiopian Human Rights Project, Frontline Defenders and FIDH called in a joint statement for the immediate cessation of the killings and detention of peaceful citizens and members of the civic society.

31 August 2016  Dutch, Israeli Farms in Ethiopia Attacked by Protesters. William Davison, Bloomberg
A Dutch-run flower farm in northern Ethiopia was among a series of foreign-owned plantations attacked by anti-government protesters as unrest in the country spreads. (…)  Flower farms in the area owned by Israeli, Italian, Indian and Belgian companies were among nine commercial properties damaged in the protests, which continued on Aug. 30. (…) Nigusu Tilahun, a spokesman for the Amhara government, said he wasn’t immediately available to comment, while a call to Communications Minister Getachew Reda wasn’t answered.
Militias are also clashing with the army in parts of Gojam and Gondar areas of Amhara, with 10 people dying Wednesday in Metemma on the Sudan border, and four in Debark to the north of Gondar city, said Yared Hailemariam, executive director for the Association for Human Rights in Ethiopia, which is based in Belgium. The military is also patrolling Bahir Dar and shooting at protesters, he said by phone from Brussels. Unless the government changes its approach, the unrest may worsen, he said.

31 August 2016  Ethiopian Protesters Shave Heads in Solidarity with Incarcerated Opposition Leaders. Fredrick Ngugi, Face2Face Africa
As Ethiopian protesters continue to demand equality and inclusion in the country’s economic and political processes, many have resorted to shaving their heads in solidarity with the incarcerated opposition leaders and civilians who have died in the protests, according to VOA. The protesters, mainly from the Oromo and Amhara ethnic communities, have been posting videos online of themselves shaving their heads, which is a sign of mourning in many Ethiopian cultures. This trend began after a letter was allegedly smuggled from prison by Oromo opposition leader and former university lecturer Bekele Gerba calling for mourning for those who have died in the protests, VOA has reported. (…)

27 August 2016  Addis dwellers urge public for calm, government to solve grievances. Walta Information Center
The resident of Addis Ababa who have talked to Walta Information Center concerning the recent distortion of peace in some part of the country have urged the public at large to remain calm while exercising their constitutional rights and asked the government to solve any grievances some section of the society might have in a timely manner. The dwellers told WIC underscored the need to maintain peace and stability of the country in order to realize Ethiopia’s ongoing renaissance. They said that the public at large and the government entrusted to conduct the collective political, economic and social affairs of the country should discuss openly any gaps there might exist closely in a constructive manner. (…) They all noted that people should not participate in protests rallies where no one is taking responsibilities for any unintended outcomes and are not recognized by the government. They added that the government should exert more effort to maximize job creating opportunities particularly for the youth.

26 August2016  Discussion about Recent Unrests with Ambassadors Successful, Says MoFA. ENA
The discussions held with resident ambassadors in Ethiopia about the recent unrests were successful in enabling them to know the objective reality and the efforts of the government to solve problems by peaceful means, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) said. At a weekly briefing he held here today, MoFA Spokesperson Tewolde Mulugeta said the diplomats are now well aware of the root causes of the unrests in parts of Amhara and Oromia regional states and the efforts to address the legitimate concerns.
The spokesperson stated that ambassadors from African, Asian, Middle Eastern, European and American countries were enlightened on how some political elements hijacked the legitimate public grievances and triggered violence in the regional states. The diplomats were also briefed about the measures being taken by the government to solve the problem and activities to maintain public order.

26 August 2016  Ethiopia says Olympic marathon medalist a 'hero', forever welcome back home. Sally Haden, Thomson Reuters.
LONDON (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - The Ethiopian government has given a public assurance that the Olympic marathon silver medalist, Feyisa Lilesa, would be safe if he returns to Ethiopia, following his protest against the treatment of his Oromo people as he crossed the finish line. Lilesa crossed his arms above his head in an "X", a sign widely used as a symbol of Oromo resistance. The champion runner did not return home after the Olympics, fearing for his safety even though the government said he would not be punished. "He is always welcome," Ethiopia's communications minister, Getachew Reda, told the Thomson Reuters Foundation, adding that Lilesa is an "Ethiopian hero".
"He was selected among many in the field not because he held one political opinion or another, but because he was a great, if not one of the greatest athletes in the field. As you would agree with me, he delivered and delivered big." In an email to the Thomson Reuters Foundation, the minister said: "He is our hero. That's good enough a reason for him to want to come home. I don't think he needs my assurance or that of the prime minister or any such. He is more than welcome back home."  
In a Skype interview with the Thomson Reuters Foundation from Rio on Thursday, Lilesa said he feared his life would be at risk if he returned and did not trust assurances he would be safe. "They kill and they don't tell the world they kill, they jail and they don't tell anybody, so how can I believe that?" he said. Lilesa said he had not been contacted directly by any government official but believed that he could not return home once he had made his protest gesture. "I knew] I would be jailed or killed if not, I would [never be allowed] out of that country and allowed to participate in any international competition or race at all. I am quite sure those things would happen to me." The 26-year-old runner said he had been given temporary leave to stay by the Brazilian authorities but had not decided yet where he was going to seek asylum.

25 August 2016  Gedu urges Amhara people to maintain peace in the region.  Walta Information Center
Chief Administrator of the Amhara Regional State has urged people to strengthen and maintain peace and tranquility in the region. Briefing Journalists today on current affairs in the region, Gedu noted that the regional state is making unreserved effort to address issues raised by the public in some areas of the region in accordance with the country’s constitution. The government is making relentless effort to ensure peace in the region, he added.
He indicated that the recent happenings in some areas of the region had a social and economic effect on the daily life of people and the government shall not tolerate this scenario to continue. The EPRDF leadership has consulted on options to respond to the issues on constitutional basis and has tailored directions to gradually address them, he reiterated. The Regional State has consulted with different sections of the people on issues that are key to strengthen peace and stability in the region and address public woes, he underscored.
The regional administration has created consensus on the need for peace and rule of law via such discussion forums, Gedu said. “Some anti-peace elements situated both here and abroad are spreading baseless allegations and rumors. Individuals kept under control by the government as suspects of criminal acts shall be handled in accordance with the law,” he remarked.

25 August 2016  Attempt by TPLF forces to take custody of a leader of the Amhara resistance fail. Engidu Woldie, ESAT News
Aided by ground forces and helicopters, the TPLF regime forces approached the Angereb jail in the city of Gondar on Wednesday to take custody of Col. Demeke Zewdu, the symbol of the revolt in the Amhara region. The local defense forces however refused to transfer his custody. Regime security forces in plain cloth but armed, who managed to sneak into the jail to whisk away the Colonel, were arrested and their weapons confiscated by the local forces. Residents of Gondar, who were holding a stay at home protest on Wednesday were irate over the news and repeated attempt by the TPLF forces to take Colonel Demeke.
The Colonel, a leader of the movement against Tigrayan oppression in Amhara, had reportedly killed three TPLF forces last month as they attempted to arrest him at his residence. Since then, Gondar has seen one protest after another demanding an end to TPLF rule. The protest in Gondar was joined by Bahir Dar and other major towns and even smaller localities lately. 150 people were killed by security forces two weeks ago when residents of Gondar and Bahir Dar held a peaceful demonstration.

24 August 2016  Streets deserted during renewed protests in some Ethiopian cities. Ismail Akwei, africanews.
Three days into a renewed protest, this time a stay at home protest in the Amhara region in northwestern Ethiopia, life has come to a halt as the streets have been deserted and businesses shut down as at Wednesday. Residents in the capital of the Amhara region, Bahir Dar, observed the shutdown since Sunday in continuation of anti-government protests that turned violent in several cities since July. Government offices, businesses and transportation was shut down while the streets of this otherwise hustle and bustle town were quiet on the third day of the stay at home protest, Ethiopian television ESAT reports.
Last week, Gondar started observing the shutdown which is reportedly continuing in protest against the killings by Ethiopian security forces in the city when thousands protested earlier in the month. (…)  International bodies as well as countries have called for the respect of human rights, the release of detained protesters and an investigation into the violence. The Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn has however banned demonstrations in the country while authorizing the police to use all necessary means to prevent them. The protesters accuse the Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) led government affiliated to the Tigrayan People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) of marginalising the poor largest northern regions of Amhara and Oromia. They also demand the release of arrested activists.

17 August 2016  Third Day Of General Strike In Gonder, Thousands In BirSheleko Detention Camp.  Debirhan
Amid increasing protests and defiance against the government in Ethiopia’s biggest regions of Oromia and Amhara, the residents of Gonder city, Northern Ethiopia, Amhara region, population of around 300,000, are staging a general strike of stay away for a third consecutive day today. Last night the Voice of America had reported that other towns in the Amhara region such as Debre Markos, Dessie and Woldiya have also staged a stay away strike. The cities have been totally quiet with no businesses or services open despite officials calling the people to come out and start work. Government workers also have joined the protest. Street dwellers and beggars are being helped by volunteer youth. In a related report, sources are reporting that thousands of young Oromo and Amhara protestors detained during recent protests in the regions are being held in the BirSheleko Military Camp, 389 kilometers northwest of Addis Ababa. The last time such a large number of youths were detained in concertartion camps like Beleaten, BirSheleko and Dedesa was during the 2005 post election violence when around 100 prisoners were reportedly held in a four by four room.

17 August 2016  Demands need to be forwarded in accordance to constitution: Political Parties Joint Council. ENA
The Joint Council of Political Parties consisting of nine parties operating nationally said any kind of demand by the public should have been forwarded in accordance to the Constitution. In its extraordinary session held here yesterday, the Council expressed its condolences over the loss of lives and damage on properties that resulted from violent protests in some parts of Oromia and Amhara regional states. The Communiqué issued by the Council following its deliberations said the demonstrations held in various areas of the regional states were "illegal and against the constitution". (…) The Council underscored on the importance of public discussions with the government at all levels to address the demands from the public. The parties urged their members to refrain from such acts that could jeopardize peace and stability in the country. Regarding individuals detained in connection with the violence and damage, the Council urged the need to conduct immediate investigation and bring the responsible individuals before the court of law and free those who are not involved. The Council has also urged the media outlets to provide fair and accurate information and refrain from disseminating news items that instigate violence.

17 August 2016  ‘A Generation Is Protesting’ in Ethiopia, Long a U.S. Ally. Jeffrey Gettlemannn, New York Times
(…) Several factors explain why bitter feelings, after years of simmering beneath the surface, are exploding now.
The first is seemingly innocuous: smartphones. (…) Even when the government shuts down access to Facebook and Twitter, as it frequently does, especially during protests, many people are still able to communicate via internet proxies that mask where they are. Several young Ethiopians said this was how they gathered for protests.
Second, there is more solidarity between Oromos and Amharas, Ethiopia’s two largest ethnic groups. (…) “We are on the way to coordinate under one umbrella,” said Mulatu Gemechu, an Oromo leader.(…)
The third reason behind the unrest is the loss of Meles Zenawi. (…) He was considered a tactical genius, a man who could see around corners. Analysts say he was especially adept at detecting early signals of discontent and using emissaries to massage and defang opponents. “The current regime lacks that ground savvy,” Mr. Abdi, the conflict analyst, said. (…) The result, many fear, is more bloodshed.

11 August 2016  Ethiopia's battle for land reforms could lead to civil war: opposition leader.
Reporting by Sally Hayden, editing by Paola Totaro and Jo Griffin. Thomson Reuters Foundation, the charitable arm of Thomson Reuters (
London, Thomson-Reuters. Mass street protests that saw dozens of people shot by Ethiopian security forces over the weekend could spill into civil war if the government fails to reform land use policies, a veteran Ethiopian opposition politician has warned. Merera Gudina, leader of the Oromo People's Congress, said the East African country was at a "crossroads". "People are demanding their rights," he said. "People are fed up with what the regime has been doing for a quarter of a century. They're protesting against land grabs, reparations, stolen elections, the rising cost of living, many things. If the government continue to repress while the people are demanding their rights in the millions that (civil war) is one of the likely scenarios," Gudina said in an interview with the Thomson Reuters Foundation from Washington DC. (…) "There have been no attempts at negotiation from the government, no engagement with the opposition or the people. So far, their only response is bullets," Gudina said. U.N. human rights chief Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein urged Ethiopia on Wednesday to allow international observers into Oromiya and Amhara. He also said allegations of excessive use of force across the two restive regions must be investigated and that his office was in discussions with Ethiopian authorities.
(…) The protests have spread (from Oromia) to other areas and people were now organizing and co-operating across ethnic lines, Gudina said. "That is what we have been waiting for," he said. "The regime could not contain the protests to only one region: all along, we have been expecting that others have their own issues."
Government officials did not respond to requests for comment. The state-owned Ethiopian News Agency reported that "illegal protests" by "anti-peace forces" had been brought under control. It did not mention casualties.
 (…) In a statement released on Monday, the U.S. Embassy in Addis Ababa said it was "deeply concerned with the extensive violence that occurred during protests across Ethiopia" at the weekend. It said it had noted that protesters and security officials had been killed but that confirmed numbers were not available.
Gudina also criticized foreign investors in Ethiopia. "Investing when such governments are at war with their people is not helping. There's no guarantee, no security for their investment until the politics is getting better and the country is stabilized," he said. "They know that the country is going in a bad direction."

11 August 2016  Destabilizing with the veil of peaceful demonstration is unacceptable –Minister. Walta Information Center.
Minister of the Government Communication Affairs Office said that destabilizing the country under the cover of the right to peaceful demonstration is unacceptable. Getachew Reda, speaking on a dialogue forum of Aljazeera, the Stream, yesterday said that protestors organized by some rejectionist elements from Diaspora are trying to destabilize the country under the cover of peaceful demonstration and the government is trying to hold them in check. “There is nothing wrong with people expressing whatever concerns they have in a peaceful manner. What the government is concerned about is those who are aimed at dismantling the state structure and creating the kind of instability that will help them drive their own agendas and impose it on this country,” Getachew noted.
The government has been very consistent in terms telling people that whether there are people who are expressing their concerns is not a problem for it and demonstrations should be held in a manner that meets some place, manner and time requirements. “We have two kinds of protestors. Some of them have legitimate concerns but they may turn out to be violent. Still these are within the acceptable limit. Others are using different inputs against members of the security and these are unacceptable and should be put in check,” he underscored. We are having an extensive dialogue with the people of Oromia, Amhara and the people of the entire country. Whatever issues people have, they have the right to raise it. These concerns should be addressed through dialogue and mutual consensus, not through violent and destabilizing ways, he added.
The government is holding extensive discussion with the public at large. It is working with the people to contain violent acts that could spiral out of control. if it fails to address the grievances of the public in a manner that satisfies the youth and other members of the public in a manner that does not affect stability of the country, survival of the country itself will be at stake. With the support of the public the government is trying to seriously address the grievances, he reiterated.

11 August 2016  Govt Says UN Observers Not Needed As Protests Rage. Al Jazeera
Addis Ababa — Ethopia has dismissed a plea from the United Nations that it allow international observers to investigate the killing of protesters by security forces during a recent bout of anti-government demonstrations. Getachew Reda, a government spokesman, told Al Jazeera on Thursday that the UN was entitled to its opinion but the government of Ethiopia was responsible for the safety of its own people. Reda's comments came after the UN urged the government to allow observers to investigate the killings of at least 90 protesters in the Oromia and Amhara regions over the weekend. Zeid Raad Al Hussein, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, said allegations of excessive use of force must should be investigated and that his office was in discussions with Ethiopian authorities.

10 August 2016  Unprecedented Ethiopia protests far from over: analysts. AFP
Regional protests that began last year in Ethiopia have spread across the country, and despite successive crackdowns analysts say dissatisfaction with the authoritarian government is driving ever greater unrest. (…)
"Since it came to power in 1991, the regime has never witnessed such a bad stretch... Ethiopia resembles a plane going through a zone of extreme turbulence," independent Horn of Africa researcher Rene Lefort told AFP. Despite what he described as the "state of siege" imposed on the Oromia region in recent weeks, the protests have refused to die down, and demonstrators have been challenging government more and more openly. (…) "This crisis is systemic because it shakes the foundations of the model of government put into place 25 years ago, which is authoritarian and centralised," Lefort explained. The protesters have different grievances but are united by their disaffection with the country's leaders, who largely hail from the northern Tigray region and represent less than 10 percent of the population. (…)  
Getachew Metaferia, professor of political science at Morgan State University in the United States, described the state as "controlled by an ethnic minority imposing its will on the majority," a crucial factor in understanding the protests. More than 60 percent of the country's almost 100 million people are either Amhara or Oromo. "There is no fundamental discussion with the people, no dialogue... the level of frustration is increasing. I don't think there will be a return back to normal," the professor added. (…)  "Ethiopia's leaders have lost the vision of Meles. They are showing signs of nervousness and don't place trust in their own people," said one European diplomat on condition of anonymity. (…)  More used to its image as an oasis of calm in a troubled region, the government is swift to blame foreign "terrorist groups" for the unrest, usually pointing the finger at neighbouring Eritrea. Hailemariam last Friday announced a ban on demonstrations which "threaten national unity" and called on police to use all means at their disposal to prevent them.
Merera Gudina, leader of the opposition Oromo People's Congress, said the nebulous movements were not affiliated with traditional political parties and were focused above all on claiming back freedoms the government has long denied. "We are nine months into this protest. I don't think it will stop," he told AFP. "This is an intifada," he said, using a term which means uprising.

9 August 2016  State Chief calls on public to ensure stability, rule of law.  ENA
Addis Ababa August 08/2016  State Chief of Amhara Regional State Gedu Andaregachew has called on the public to support efforts being exerted to ensure stability and rule of law in the regional state. n a press conference he gave today in connection to the recent violence in some parts of the region, the State Chief said the support from residents is critical to restore stability in areas where violence happened recently. Gedu said Blue (Semayawi) Party, that has got permission from the regional government to hold the demonstrations, is responsible for the loss of lives and casualty. Gedu said that the party should have been holding a peaceful demonstration, but failed to do so. The State Chief said the cause for the recent violence occurred in Bahir Dar, Gondar and Debre Tabor do not belong to the majority of the public. Gedu said the regional government has managed to control the violence with the support of the regional police force and the public. He said the regional government is working to ensure the sustainability of the system that protects the rights of the public. The State Chief asserted that the regional government will closely work with the public to maintain peace and stability in the region.

9 August 2016  Church urges public to strive for peace.  Walta Information Center
Addis Ababa, 9 August 2016 (WIC)- The Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahido Church insisted on the public to manage the violence that happened in some parts of the country and persevere for peace and stability. Patriarch of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church, his Holiness Abune Mathias, in his statements today said that Ethiopians have kept their unity, freedom, brotherhood and love for over 3,000 centuries. The current situation is bothering the church, he noted. His holiness called up on the public to keep on building the new Ethiopia and stop this violence so as to realize the Ethiopian renaissance with all their might. The church called up on the people to request their rights only in peaceful and lawful manner. The church, in its five-point statement noted that there will be prayers and peace preaching during the current two weeks of fasting.

8 August 2016  Demeke says 'no tolerance' towards illegal forces.  ENA
Deputy Prime Minister Demeke Mekonnen has warned that “the government and the general public will not tolerate groups working to bring down the constitutional system by force.” Demeke, who is also Chairperson of the Amhara National Democratic Movement (ANDM), stated that the latest unauthorized demonstration was destined to abolish the constitutional system. Article 30 of Ethiopia’s Constitution permits peaceful demonstration, with organizers taking full responsibility, he recalled, dubbing the latest uprising in some parts of Oromia and Amhara unconstitutional. “The latest move is intentionally planned to overthrow the legitimate government,” he cautioned. The organizers had the intention of creating havoc in the country, according to Demeke, who blamed the overall action on foreign forces who do not want to see a strong Ethiopia.
“There are forces inside and outside of the country who want this nation to stand fragile,” he said indicating activities countering the illegal move. Demeke confirmed that the illegal demonstrations have been put under control with the involvement of the government and the public, without meeting their purpose. He stated that the so called protestors were brandishing weapons of war which is entirely against the country’s Constitution.
According to Aster Mammo, Vice Chair of the Oromo People’s Democratic Organization (OPDO), the failed demonstrations in some parts of Oromia were not in compliance with the set rules and regulations. Aster called the move the work of enemies who want to grab power unconstitutionally, according to the report by She assured that the government will stand firm in guarding the constitutional system from anti-peace elements. Offering proper responses to public demands is among the key tasks of the government, the official said, calling on the public to maintain support to the government in dealing with such illegal acts.

8 August 2016  Several dozen shot dead in weekend protests across Ethiopia.  Elias Meseret , AP  
ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia — Ethiopian security forces shot dead several dozen people in weekend protests across the country as frustration with the government grows, an opposition leader and Amnesty International said Monday, while hundreds staged a rare demonstration in the capital after calls via social media. The government again blocked the internet over the weekend, alleging that “anti-peace elements” based abroad and online activists were to blame for the violence.
In a statement, Amnesty International said at least 67 people were killed in the Oromia region alone when security forces fired on protesters, and that another at least 30 were shot and killed in the northern city of Bahir Dar. The rights group cited “credible sources” and said hundreds of people were detained. An opposition politician, Mulatu Gemechu of the Oromo Federalist Congress party, told The Associated Press that more than 70 people were killed across Oromia. “Many others were injured, and we have lost count of the number of those who were arrested,” he said. (…) “We will not tolerate bodies that aim to overthrow the government and the constitutional order of the country by force,” Ethiopia’s deputy prime minister, Demeke Mekonnen, told Fana Broadcasting Corporate on Monday.

8 August 2016  Ethiopia protests: At least 90 people killed during government protests.  Aislinn Laing, The Telegraph, Nairobi
Around 90 people are believed to have been killed in Ethiopia after police used live bullets on people taking part in rare protests against the government. In Oromia, a region to the south-east of the capital Addis Ababa, residents and opposition politicians told Reuters news agency that at least 33 people had been killed in protests in towns across the region in which they chanted anti-government slogans and waved dissident flags. The agency cites residents of Bahir Dar, a city in the northern Amhara region as saying that as many as 60 people had been killed there. Amnesty International confirmed 30 fatal shootings by police in Bahir Dar on Sunday night, saying the deaths might have amounted to “extrajudicial killings”. (…) Amnesty claimed that hundreds more protesters have been rounded up by the country into police and military detention centres. The state-owned Ethiopian News Agency said "illegal protests" by "anti-peace forces" had been brought under control but made no mention of casualties. (…) The United States said it was "deeply concerned" by the violence towards protesters.
"We reaffirm our call to respect the constitutionally enshrined rights of all citizens, including those with opposition views, to gather peacefully and to express their opinions," its embassy in Addis Ababa said in a statement.

7 August 2016  TPLF soldiers returning from mission ambushed & killed in retaliation for firing on citizens.  The Ethiopia Observatory
12 TPLF soldiers on a truck were ambushed late Sunday afternoon by Muse Bamb residents in Gondar. The soldiers were returning from assignment, where reportedly they had fired on Gondar residents. Of the 12 on a Chinese-made truck, eight were killed and four are being hunted in the locality.

7 August 2016  'Several killed' as Ethiopia police clash with protesters.  BBC News
Several people are feared dead in clashes in north-western Ethiopia between police and anti-government protesters, amid a wave of unrest.
On Friday police arrested dozens of demonstrators during massive rallies in the capital, Addis Ababa. The government has been facing protests from the two largest ethnic communities over alleged human rights abuses and other issues. Authorities have banned demonstrations and blocked social media. Despite the ban, people took to the streets in several parts of the country for a third consecutive day on Sunday, Emmanuel Igunza reports from Addis Ababa. The worst violence took place in the north-western city of Bahir Dar in the Amhara region - the homeland of the Amhara people. Police used tear gas and fired in the air to disperse thousands of people who had blocked roads and chanted anti-government slogans. Unconfirmed reports say several people were killed. One resident told the BBC he had seen a friend being shot in the head by security forces. Overnight protests continued in the Oromia region, which surrounds Addis Ababa, with police arresting dozens of people. (…)

7 August 2016  Militias in Gondar take over a military camp from TPLF in Azezo and a depot in Koladiba.  ESAT
A resident of the town told ESAT on the phone that farmers in Azezo who engaged regime soldiers in a gun battle all day on Saturday took over the military camp in the town. ESAT could not independently verify the claim and it is not clear which side controls the town of Azezo. Heavy fighting has been reported in Koladiba, 35 kilometers form the town of Gondar, where protesters took control of a military depot. A source told ESAT that farmers run over the army in a fierce gun fight. Offices and vehicles belonging to the ruling EPRDF were set on fire. In Aimba, two killed in a gun battle with soldiers as the farmers ambushed a convoy of soldiers heading to Gondar.

5 August 2016  Gov’t shall address public woes via dialogue - Premier.  Walta Information Center
Addis Ababa, August 5, 2016 (WIC) – Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn said his government would continue making efforts to address questions of the public through dialogue. The Premier gave briefings to the press on current issues and the drought which occurred due to the El-Nino global weather phenomenon. The efforts made to mitigate impact of the drought have born encouraging results. The government has managed to cope with the drought, the Premier said. Following the prevailing even rainfall distribution, the Premier predicted improved crop harvest this farming season.
Regarding the demonstrations staged in some areas of Amhara and Oromia Regional States, the Premier said they (demonstrations) are not appropriate.” “They have no accountable body and are unauthorized,” he added. Ideas which are out of the Constitution were reflected in the demonstrations, he said. Hence, the government will be obliged to ensure rule of law and will discharge its responsibility, the Premier said. However, the government will continue working to address those public questions that need a response from the government, such as problems of good governance, corruption and maladministration, the Premier said. (FBC)

5 August 2016  State Chief says planned protest in Oromia "illegal”. ENA
Chief Administrator of the regional state of Oromia Muktar Kedir has said the planned demonstration during the weekend in the region has not been authorized, calling it as illegal. Despite citizens’ constitutionally granted rights to demonstrate and express their thoughts, the current planned protest has no legal based, Muktar stated. Citing on social media will not entail actual conduction of the demonstration since no one has presented itself as a responsible body for the action. Any legal body, with intentions to stage a demonstration, needs to offer details of the planned action. However, the state chief on Thursday issued a statement saying that the planned protest was illegal and no permit has been issued. He said the plan is to create havoc among the public. Muktar urged the public to refuse the current protest since it has no legal ground to be involved in.

4 August 2016  Chauvinism won’t hinder Ethiopia’s renaissance - Premier.   Walta Information Center
Addis Ababa, 4 August 2016 (WIC)- Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn said Ethiopia’s renaissance will not be hindered by chauvinists and narrowists. The Premier, in his closing remarks of the 2nd Ethiopian Diaspora Day in Bahir Dar, said that Ethiopia has met the millennium development goals and also recorded a double digit economic growth in the past two decades via cooperative works of the government and the people. These remarkable records should not be lagged by the chauvinisms, narrowists, rent seekers and lack of good governance. e added that his government is optimistic and is ready to overcome these challenges and to confront them as a matter of survival and realize the Ethiopian renaissance and become one of the middle income countries by 2025. According to him, the problems related to the Wolkait identity quest are results of inability to take timely and adequate actions by some Tigray and Amhara regional state officials. Now the government will resolve the problems in the area immediately for once in an exhaustive manner, he added. Hailemariam also said had these challenges been resolved before it is too late while they are in the grass root level, its effect in the area now would have become null and void.


26 August 2016  Ethiopian Athletics Leaders Asked to Resign After Poor Rio Olympic Performance. Kofi Saa, Zegabi  
The leaders of the Ethiopian Athletics Federation (EAF), who have been blamed for the country’s mediocre performance at the just ended Rio Olympic Games, have also been asked to resign. On Friday, the Ethiopian Athletes Interim Committee comprised of coaches, elite and veteran athletes said the heads of the EAF are to blame for the fact that Ethiopia came 44th place on the Rio medal table. (…)
Ethiopia’s Athletes Committee blamed Ethiopia’s poor performance in Rio on high-ranking members of the EAF and their team selection process, Fana Broadcasting Corporation reported. Haile Gebrselassie, Ethiopia’s legendary runner and Chairperson of the Committee, called for the resignation of high-ranking members of the EAF. He gave the leaders a week to resign from their positions. Gebrselassie, who expressed disappointment in Ethiopia’s Rio performance, also called for an urgent meeting where the problems facing the federation would be discussed. “They (EAF) say the results are not bad and even encouraging. This is unacceptable,” said Gebrselassie, who won two Olympic gold medals in the Atlanta and Sydney. “I say it’s discouraging! It’s like a sick ignored its problems. If we do not accept our illness, it can kill us.” (…)
Gebrselassie, 43, was among a group of Ethiopian athletes who gathered in Addis Ababa in June to protest against the EAF. The protester, which reportedly involved about 100 athletes, took to the streets to express their disapproval over the selection process of Ethiopia’s Olympic team. Ethiopia’s distance runner Kenenisa Bekele, who was excluded from the Rio team, was also present at the protest. Bekele, who said was disappointed with the decision to exclude him from the Olympic team, said there are officials in the Federation who have very little knowledge of athletics.

12 August 2016  Almaz breaks 10,000m world record at Rio.  ENA
Ethiopian Athlete Almaz Ayana set a new world record for the 10,000m women’s race at the Rio Olympic. Almaz run the 25 laps at 29፡17፡45 to win the gold medal, while Tirunesh Dibaba, former world champion finished third. Tirunesh ran a personal best of 29:42.56 for the bronze. Kenya’s athlete Vivian Cheruiyot finished second, in a new personal best and national record of 29:32.53.

10 August 2016  Ethiopia's new hope for the 10,000 is feisty and outspoken. Gerald Imray, AP
RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — Yigrem Demelash arrives for a training session and right away gets into an argument with one of the coaches. The coach has an idea of how this session should go. Demelash, short, slight, 22 years old and yet to run at the Olympics, has a different idea and isn't afraid to say it. (…) Between 1996 and 2008, the men's 10,000 at the Olympics was an Ethiopian procession, with back-to-back golds by Gebrselassie and then his protege Bekele. At the world championships, the dominance reached another level. Ethiopians won gold in nine of the 10 worlds between 1993 and 2011. Four straight titles for Gebrselassie (1993-99), four straight for Bekele (2003-09) and one for Ibrahim Jeilan in 2011. Since then, nothing.
(…) it's mighty tough to replace runners of the caliber of Gebrselassie and Bekele. But Demelash thinks there are also problems with the way Ethiopia plans for big events these days. The coaching, he contends, is one of them. Demelash says Ethiopia will never have another Woldemeskel Kostre, the legendary coach who trained Gebrselassie and Bekele and who died this year. "In the past, when the running greats like Haile and Kenenisa were in the national squad, everything was good. There were good coaches and a good environment," Demelash said from Ethiopia's new sports academy in Addis Ababa. "Athletes and coaches should agree on many things but that's not the case here." There's another reason for Ethiopia's slide, he said. Road races, where the competition is more regular and the money better, are draining Ethiopia's best track talent. The 10K and 5K events are neglected," Demelash said. "Other athletes (could) have an even better performance than Haile and Kenenisa if the sport is given due attention. But that's not the case at the moment. All the attention is where the money is. ... That's road races."
"It would have been a boost of morale for everyone if he (Kenenisa Bekele, KS) was in the team," Demelash said.
But he's not, and the youngster now carries a heavy weight on his skinny shoulders. He must carry on after Gebrselassie and Bekele, two of the greatest distance runners ever and two who created an aura of Ethiopian power in the sport. If it's any consolation for Demelash, the track coaches back him and rate his talent highly. The feeling is not mutual.

10 August 2016  Ethiopia is overdoing its stadium-building. The government’s plan to improve football infrastructure is getting locals offside, The Economist
(…) “We were the founders of African football,” says Juneydi Basha, the president of the Ethiopian Football Federation. Addis Ababa hosts the African Union; the government wants it to host Afcon, too. In every major town, new football stands are going up. The federal government, which is paying, says eight “world-class” stadiums—each with a capacity of at least 30,000—are being built. Six smaller ones are also under way in the capital. The flagship is a 60,000-seater (as big as Arsenal’s Emirates stadium in London) in the centre of Addis Ababa, being built by the Chinese State Construction and Engineering Corporation at a projected cost of at least $110m. Ordinary Ethiopians scent folly. The ruling Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF), has a solid reputation for managing the country’s infrastructure, but the stadium programme has people talking. The claim that it is simply responding to popular demand seems doubtful. “It makes no sense,” says Leoul Tadesse, a local sports journalist. “Building stadiums won’t solve our problems.” (…)  Is the EPRDF, which has governed Ethiopia since winning power in 1991 after a decade of armed struggle, scoring an own goal? The country’s revered former prime minister of 17 years, Meles Zenawi, would probably not have let the programme kick off. The stern veteran of the EPRDF’s bush war, who died in 2012, is said to have remarked once that Ethiopia needs fertilisers, not stadiums. With the country only just starting to recover from drought, and this week wracked by widespread anti-government protests, in some of which the government is accused of having fired into crowds, his words sound prescient.

Eritrea, Somalia, Al-Shabab

15 August 2016  Ethiopia: al-Shabab’s Ethiopian Wing Real Threat Across the Country?
Public Diplomacy & Regional Security News, Washington
An East Africa regional organization says the Somalia-based militant group al-Shabab is actively plotting attacks in countries throughout the region. The Intergovernmental Authority on Development, or IGAD, says the militant group has expanded and formed special military wings dedicated to carrying out attacks in Kenya and even in Ethiopia. In a 53-page report, titled “Al-Shabab as a Transnational Security Threat,” IGAD says that although al-Shabab’s main bases remain in Somalia, its “identity and aspirations” have shifted and transformed the group into a “transnational organization” with membership from across East Africa. IGAD says the death of the group’s leader had “little effect” on the group’s operations and its capability to attack “actively developing new external operations in Ethiopia,” according to the report.

Ethiopian and Eritrean Refugees

2 August 2016  Grenzschutz für Europa: Sudan nimmt äthiopische Flüchtlinge fest. Entwicklungspolitik online, Quelle: Gesellschaft für bedrohte Völker.
Göttingen. - Sudans RSF-Miliz hat nach eigenen Angaben 600 Flüchtlinge aus Äthiopien im Grenzgebiet zu Libyen und Ägypten festgenommen, damit sie nicht weiter nach Europa fliehen. Die Gesellschaft für bedrohte Völker (GfbV) hat EU-Außenministerin Federica Mogherini am Dienstag dazu aufgefordert, sich dafür einzusetzen, dass die Verhafteten nicht in ihre Heimat abgeschoben werden. Denn dort drohe ihnen Folter, unmenschliche Behandlung und sogar die Hinrichtung, warnte die Menschenrechtsorganisation in Göttingen. (…)
Die RSF begeht, laut GfbV in zahlreichen Bürgerkriegsregionen des Sudan schwere Verbrechen an der Zivilbevölkerung. Teile der Miliz sind von der sudanesischen Regierung für den Grenzschutz abgestellt worden. Sie sollen im Rahmen der Kooperation mit der EU Flüchtlinge daran hindern, nach Europa weiterzuziehen. "Wir haben ernste Sorge um die Flüchtlinge aus Äthiopien. Denn Tausende junge Oromo fliehen zurzeit vor einer Verhaftungswelle aus ihrer Heimat. Rund 20.000 Angehörige der verfolgten Minderheit sind seit November 2015 aufgrund von Massenprotesten gegen Landraub und eine Gebietsreform in Äthiopien verhaftet worden", erklärte Delius. "Diese Oromo brauchen dringend Schutz." Der RSF-Kommandeur Mohamed Hamdan Dagolo, genannt Hemetti, hat am vergangenen Samstag öffentlich erklärt, seine Miliz habe 600 äthiopische Flüchtlinge in der Region Al-Naheel in der Sahara festgesetzt und den Behörden in Nord-Darfur übergeben, um sie in ihre Heimat zu repatriieren. Hemetti, der der arabischen Bevölkerungsgruppe der Rizeigat in Darfur angehört, hatte sich auf Bitten von Staatspräsident Omar Hassan al-Bashir im Jahr 2003 dem Kampf gegen Aufständische in Darfur angeschlossen und war schon damals einer der Führer der wegen ihrer Völkermordverbrechen berüchtigten Janjaweed-Reitermilizen. Heute ist er Brigadegeneral der im Jahr 2013 gegründeten Rapid Support Forces (RSF), die offiziell dem sudanesischen Geheimdienst NISS unterstehen.