MELDUNGEN VON FEBRUAR 2017
12.2.2017 Famine looms in four countries as aid system struggles to cope, experts warn. The Guardian
(…) “Right now, in Ethiopia, Kenya and Somalia, there are 12 million people affected [by food insecurity]. These three countries together look as bad as Somalia in 2011. If you add South Sudan on top of that, with that conflict, and Nigeria, you have millions more. And Yemen has 18 million people. That’s creating this real concern that we are facing a major crisis that we have not seen before.” (Gareth Owen, humanitarian director of Save the Children)
(…) “We can’t carry on relying on individual appeal after appeal, because they are time-bound and partial – they play to what’s in the news.” (Mark Goldring, the CEO of Oxfam). The complexity of the current humanitarian crises also play a part, Goldring said. The potential famine areas flagged up in January by the Famine Early Warning Systems Network, a US-based agency, are conflict-related. According to Goldring, aid workers are struggling to reach people due to security constraints in these countries. He contrasted the situation last year in Ethiopia with the potential famines in conflict zones like Yemen.
“Last year I went to Ethiopia at the height of the food shortage. I was told in terms of food and crops that it was worse than the famine of 1985. But in terms of supplies it was much, much [better]. That’s because the government and the international system was working better. (…)
Sara Pantuliano, managing director at the Overseas Development Institute, said the aid system needs a complete overhaul to respond to the needs of a changing world. (…) A joint Unicef-World Food Programme study in 2014 concluded that increased investment in risk-prone areas could reduce humanitarian response costs by more than 50%. “We are definitely seeing an increase in the level and magnitude of need,” said Pantuliano. “But it’s also because the system is ineffective and doesn’t use resources in a timely way. Very often the response is too late. (…)
3.2.2017[nbsp] The next famine is impending. Relief Web International, Report from Humedica
Increasing number of refugees in the Horn of Africa
There is not enough water, more and more cattle is dying and food supplies are already short: for years now it has not rained sufficiently in the Horn of Africa and the fear is growing that this will lead to a recurrence of the latest famine, which claimed the lives of 260.000 people in 2011.
First concrete signs substantiate this concern. The refugee camps at the Ethopian-Somalian border in the Dollo Ado region register an alarming number of new arrivals from Somalia. „The high number of new refugees is extremely worrying and indicates the desperate situation of the people. Our present emergency planning includes recently updated scenarios of about 100.000 thousands of people arriving at our camp, who have to be provided for“, explains Raphael Marcus, Head of Emergency and Disaster Response at humedica.
According to reports of the United Nations in Somalia alone more than 1.1 million people suffer from acute water and food shortages these days. This number stands to be adjusted upwards daily and illustrates the impending danger of a new humanitarian disaster. (…)
Deutscher Report von Humedica (Kaufbeuren):
2.2.2017 Ethiopia 5th Major Renewable Energy Investor in Africa. ENA
Ethiopia is the 5th major investor in renewable energy in Africa at 100 million USD, according to the Renewable Global Status Report. Ethiopia has more than half a million solar lighting systems and over four million installed clean cooking stoves, making the nation among the top five in Africa when it comes to utilizing these technologies, according to the report. (…)
1.2.2017 UK Minister launches Economic Development Strategy on visit to Ethiopia; “trade and jobs at heart”. Addis Standard
Helping poorer countries trade more with the UK and the rest of the world is key to ending poverty, the UK’s Secretary of State for International Development announced this week on a visit to Ethiopia. “Priti Patel set out how Britain will work with African partners to create jobs, build livelihoods and agree new trade deals which benefit the world’s poorest people and is in the UK interest,” said a statement from the British Embassy in Addis Abeba.
During her visit, Patel launched the Department for International Development’s (DFID’s) first Economic Development Strategy at Hawassa Industrial Park, “where British support has helped create 60,000 jobs and investment opportunities for UK firms.” (…)
Ms. Patel referred to figures indicating a billion more young people will enter the job market over the next decade. “Africa’s population is set to double by 2050 and as many as 18 million extra jobs will be needed. Failure will consign a generation to a future where jobs and opportunity are out of reach; potentially fuelling instability and mass migration with direct consequences for Britain,” the statement quoted her as saying. (…)
The announcement came three weeks after her department withdrew a large funding for an all-girls Ethiopian group called “Yegna.” Dubbed by the British conservative newspaper, Daily Mail, which had incessantly campaigned against the project, as “the Ethiopian Spice Girls,” “Yegna”, a partnership between DFiD and Girl Effect, was scheduled to receive a British funding amounting to the tune of £11.8m between 2015 and 2018. “Yegna” was first formed in 2013 with the aim to “empower” young girls and fight against gender-based violence including early marriage. (…)
Ms Patel also met and discussed “reforms with the Ethiopian Prime Minister [Hailemariam Desalegn]”. She also met “representatives from Civil Society.” During her meeting with PM Hailemariam, Ms Patel announced “extra support to prevent the hunger caused by this year’s drought.” (…) Preceded only by Pakistan, currently, Ethiopia is the second largest beneficiary of UK aid receiving more than £350 a year.
- Politics, Justice, Human Rights -
28.2.2017 Ethiopian government lambasted for flipping on political reform promise. Abdur Rahman Alfa Shaban, africanews.com
International Rights Group, Human Rights Watch (HRW), has accused the Ethiopian government of turning back on its public promise to undertake reforms and to address the tense political climate in the country. HRW’s latest position is contained in a piece authored by its Senior Researcher for the Horn of Africa, Felix Horne, in reaction to the recent charge brought against a leading opposition activist, Dr Merera Gudina.
60-year-old Gudina who is chairman of the Oromo Federalist Congress (OFC) was charged with terrorism last Thursday along with two others – Dr Berhanu Nega of opposition group Ginbot 7 and Jawar Mohammed of Oromia TV. ‘‘Instead of taking actions that would demonstrate genuine resolve to address long-term grievances, the government again used politically motivated charges to further crack down on opposition parties, reinforcing a message that it will not tolerate peaceful dissent.
‘‘This raises serious questions regarding the government’s commitment to “deep reform” and dialogue with the opposition. Instead of responding to criticism with yet more repression, the Ethiopian government should release opposition politicians jailed for exercising their basic rights, including Bekele and Merera,’‘ the statement added. Merera according to HRW was being held at the Maekewali prison where mistreatment and torture are commonplace. Aside Merera, the OFC’s deputy chairman, Bekele Gerba is also presently standing trial along with scores of journalists and protesters charged under a 2009 anti-terrorism law.
(…) Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Ethiopia’s immediate past Minister of Foreign Affairs asserted in an October 2016 article titled, ‘Human Rights Watch encourages opposition violence in Ethiopia,’ that the rights group was stoking the fire in the country. Dr Tedros slammed HRW and opposition groups in the diaspora for misrepresentations that were worsening protests leading to the imposition of a state of emergency. He was responding to a report published at the time by Felix Horne – who he accused of being outside the country but pretending to know what went on inside. ‘‘In all of these, in order to support his (Felix) demands, he has deliberately given impressions and made claims he knows to be false about recent events, notably the Ireecha tragedy on October 2,’’ he wrote.
15.2.2017 Political parties propose framework for dialogue, discussion. Berihu Shiferaw, Walta Information Center
Political parties, including EPRDF, have submitted their respective detailed framework for dialogue and discussion.
Among the 22 political parties who were represented at the forum held within the meeting hall of the Office of government whip in the House of People’s Representatives (HPR), 20 of them have submitted alternative frameworks for dialogue and discussion on various issues.
The political parties had last month submitted detailed propositions on 12 main issues to the House.
Aims of the discussion or dialogue, participants, number of representatives to be included and forum of dialogue and discussion are among the issues inculcated within the frameworks.
Voting and ways on passing of decisions, agenda setting and ways to submit one, ways of using the media and methods of representing speakers on the media, also the issues included in the propositions.
Chairing a dialogue, the issue of members and independent observers of forum of political parties, ethics and discipline, administration and logistics and places of meeting are raised in a detailed manner within the frameworks.
The parties have a democratically elected five representatives that briefed the media on different issues.
Members of the Committee told the media that the political parties have reached an agreement for EPRDF to chair today’s discussion on the proposed frameworks.
The parties have selected seven representatives that can meet to prepare draft framework for political dialogue and discussion.
The parties also have reached on consensus to abruptly discuss the draft and conduct dialogues on its implementation and other related matters.
They also have indicated that it is vital to have a mutual stand on agreed up on issues and discuss points of departure in the future.
The dialogues and discussions scheduled to be conducted in the future shall be chaired by a body to be mutually decided.
The establishment of a committee for the use of media by the parties is necessitated on the disparity of information dispatched by different bodies in the past, Walta learnt.
15.2.2017 In-depth reform enables Oromia identify problems. Walta Information Center, ENA
The in-depth reform held in Oromia regional state has enabled the state to identify major problems related to governance the public has been facing, communication bureau of the regional government said.
The in-depth reform could give immediate response to public needs and meet ever-increasing demands and interest of the public on social, economic and political spheres, bureau head Addisu Arega said.
Since it is important to make accountable the individuals who are responsible for the problems, Addisu said that activities are being underway to take legal and political measures on the perpetrators.
According to him, some 18,160 leaders at the woreda and kebele levels have fired from their positions.
The reform has completed successfully by setting directions that would help to meet demands of the public, Addisu added.
Over 6.4 million people including higher, middle, and lower level leaders as well as both urban and rural residents and farmers have participated in the in-depth reform conducted in the region. (ENA)
10.2.2017 Ethiopia: Draconian state of emergency measures. Amnesty International
Halfway into the six-month state of emergency the Ethiopian government declared on 9 October 2016, this is a commentary on the State of Emergency Declaration and the Directive for the Implementation of the Declaration. The commentary analyses the State of Emergency Declaration against established human rights norms provided for in the International Covenant for Civil and Political Rights and the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights. These norms include: notification to the United Nations Secretary General; legality; non-derogable rights; necessity; and proportionality. Full report as PDF:
9.2.2017 Opposition parties to negotiate with EPRDF in unison. ENA
Some 11 political parties, which have different agendas, said they have agreed to work together in the political negotiation to be held with the ruling party, EPRDF.
Lauding the government’s initiation for the negotiation, the parties in a joint press conference said that they are hopeful that the negotiations will help to accelerate political, economic and social development of the country.
Chairperson of the partnered parties and Unity for Democracy and Justice Party, Tigistu Awolu, said the parties have agreed to work in partnership to get better results from the negotiations. The basic reason to forge collaboration among the parties is to sit in the negotiations with common negotiating points, Tigistu said. Renewing the collaboration among the parties in maintaining democracy, justice and equality in the country is also the objective of the partnership, Tigistu said. “We don`t have difference in what the final achievement for this country should , rather in the ways we follow to maintain it and we are working on it.” The parties have already submitted the modalities for debating, discussion and negotiation after reaching consensus on the issues, Tigistu added.
Ayele Chamiso, Chairperson of Coalition for Democracy and Unity Party, on his part said, “We believe that disagreements could easily be resolved through discussion and negotiation.”
The parties proposed that three moderators should be present in the negotiations. Each, the ruling party and the opposition group, will have one moderator representing them, while a third moderator who represents both groups will be chosen during the negotiations. Presence of domestic and international observers, professional moderators and access for the media are among the demand of the opposition parties to be fulfilled during negotiations.
Responding to questions regarding the current partnership of the parties in comparison to the 2005, Ayele said “the then united parties are like a family which divorced before they even got married. But now we have common grounds to unite especially on the core ideas we would set for the negotiation.”
Coalition for Unity and Democracy Party (CUDP), Unity for Democracy and Justice Party, Ethiopian Democratic Unity Movement and New Generation Party are amongst the parties agreed to work together for the negotiations to be held with the ruling party, EPRDF.
5.2.2017 Participants of reform trainings expected to compensate the public. Walta Information Center
Participants of reform trainings have expected to compensate the public Government Communication Affairs Office (GCAO) weekly statement disclosed.
About 11,352 individuals detained in connection with the recent violence have taken the second round reform training and released the day before yesterday, the statement indicated. The second round trainees have taken 20 days of trainings to increase their knowledge and awareness on the issues of constitution, constitutional system, the long processes of democratization and future ambitions of the country, the statement said.
According to the statement of the office, 9,800 individuals trained in the first round begun to play productive role within their community. Government is also expected similar role from the second round trainees released recently, the statement stated. Furthermore, government is also urges all concerned bodies to make collaboration for reform trainees whenever they return to their regular jobs and life, the statement underlined. All trainees of deep reform released to the community need to enhance their participation the in the development endeavors of the country and play considerable role to correct people with wrong doings due to lack awareness, the statement inculcated.
2.2.2017 Ethiopia claims success in quashing wave of anti-government unrest. John Aglionby, Financial Times
Addis Ababa vows to eliminate economic threats as violent protests rattle investors.
The government of Ethiopia has vowed to crush all threats to its economic model and insists it is succeeding in restoring order as it grapples with the most serious threat to its 26-year hold on power.
Negeri Lencho, the communications minister, told the Financial Times that a state of emergency imposed in October had succeeded in quashing a wave of nationwide anti-government protests that left hundreds of people dead. He insisted that Addis Ababa would not “give opportunity to any party to block the fast-growing economy and the attempt or efforts of the Ethiopian government to change the lives of the people”.
But in an apparent acknowledgment of the failings of the government’s state-driven development model, he admitted that anger over high unemployment was a factor behind the unrest. “The government educated the youth and there was not enough employment,” Mr Lencho said. “So the extremists used this fertile ground to incite violence.” (…)
Mr Lencho said authorities had detained more than 20,000 people for “training” on the constitution since the protests erupted — initially over land disputes — in 2015. The minister refused to speculate on how long the state of emergency, imposed for six months, would last. He said “armed groups” and “terrorist organisations” bent on regime change, most of which were overseas, and which he did not identify, were no longer able to incite violence because of the restrictions on demonstrating and access to, and use of, social media. But he gave few specifics, apart from the creation of a “forum” of political organisations, about how the government was addressing people’s underlying frustrations to ensure the protests did not re-erupt. The grievances, which he accepted were largely justified, were a lack of “good governance, justice, fairness [and] equity in benefiting from development”.
Pro-democracy activists and foreign diplomats have dismissed the forum as being a sham because it comprises few credible opposition figures. They say it is indicative of the government’s refusal to countenance meaningful reform. Ethiopia’s political opposition has been severely weakened, and the EPRDF and its allies control all the seats in parliament. “They’re worried that if they give an inch they won’t be able to control the fallout,” a diplomat said. (…)
Mass arrests followed, which Mr Lencho said fell into two categories: protesters who needed “training” for a few months and people considered more hardened criminals. Initially about 11,000 people underwent “training”, of whom more than 8,000 have been released. A further 12,500 have been incarcerated for training in a second wave of detentions, he added. No figures have been given for the total number of arrests but activists believe it is more than 50,000.
1.2.2017 Äthiopien lässt mehr als 10,000 politische Häftlinge frei. Im Oktober wurden in Äthiopien Proteste zerschlagen gegen die Regierung zerschlagen, dabei wurden mehr als 20,000 Demonstranten festgenommen. Diese wurden jetzt freigelassen. NZZ
(dpa) Äthiopien will rund 11,350 im Zuge politischer Unruhen festgenommene Häftlinge entlassen. Sie hätten Reue gezeigt und würden am Donnerstag freikommen, zitierte das staatliche Fernsehen am Mittwoch der Verteidigungsminister. Um anhaltenden Oppositionsprotesten beizukommen hatte die Regierung im Oktober den Ausnahmezustand verhängt. Proteste wurden zerschlagen, mehr als 20,000 Personen wurden laut den Behörden festgenommen.
Auslöser der Proteste waren unter anderem Pläne der Regierung, die Hauptstadt zu Lasten der Bewohner Oromias zu erweitern. Die Volksgruppe Oromo macht etwa ein Drittel der rund 100 Millionen Einwohner des ostafrikanischen Landes aus. Äthiopien wird mit harter Hand regiert. Im Parlament gibt es inzwischen keine Oppositionsabgeordneten mehr. Die Regierung hatte bereits Ende Dezember Tausende von politischen Gefangenen wieder auf freien Fuss gesetzt. Knapp 2500 Oppositionelle müssen sich noch vor Gericht verantworten.
1.2.2017 Outrage against the selection of Dr. Tedros Adhanom as a finalist for the post of WHO director general. ESAT
The selection of Dr. Tedros Adhanom as one of the three finalists for the post of WHO director general drew outrage among Ethiopians and friends of Ethiopia, who held Adhanom, one of a leading members of TPLF, accountable to human rights abuses and corruption ravaging the east African country. The executive board of the World Health Organization on Wednesday selected Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Dr. David Nabarro of the UK and Sania Nishtar of Pakistan as the three finalists vying for the post of director general. Dr. Karl Eldar Evang, grandson of Dr. Karl Evang, who co-founded the WHO wrote on Wednesday that “Dr. Tedros has responsibility over many years for severe human Rights violations in Ethiopia. It would ruin the legitimacy of WHO, to get him as a leader of the organization. (…) Last year twenty Ethiopian civic and political organizations in a letter to the Chairman of the Executive Board of the World Health Organization (WHO) called for the rejection of Dr. Tedros Adhanom’s candidacy for the position of the Director General. (…)
He is also accused of misappropriating funds meant for AIDS, TB and malaria research in Ethiopia. The Office of Inspector General (OIG), a body commissioned to audit and investigate Countries receiving Funds from the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria (GFATM), conducted an audit of Ethiopia and found “misappropriation of funds and use of donor funds for unsound and politically motivated programs.” (…) Member countries will pick the next boss of the global health institution in May.
- Economics -
15.2.2017 Foreign Investment in Ethiopia Slumps After Business Attacks. Nizar Manek, Bloomberg
Foreign direct investment in Ethiopia dropped by a fifth in the first half of the country’s fiscal year after violent anti-government protests in which foreign-owned businesses were targeted. The country attracted $1.2 billion in the six months through the end of December, compared with $1.5 billion in the same period a year earlier, Fitsum Arega, commissioner of the Ethiopian Investment Commission, said in a phone interview Monday from the capital, Addis Ababa. He said the government may miss its annual target of $3.5 billion, with $3.2 billion more likely to be attainable. (…)
Ethiopia, one of Africa’s fastest-growing economies, is expected to expand 7.5 percent this year, compared with an average of 9.1 percent over the past five years, according to the International Monetary Fund. Opponents of the government argue that Ethiopia’s economic gains haven’t been matched by increased political freedoms since the ruling party cracked down on the opposition in 2005, after losses in that year’s elections.
The government is paying out damages to foreign and domestic companies deemed affected by the unrest, with 100 million birr ($4.4 million) already disbursed and “more in progress,” Fitsum said. Claims were received from at least 20 domestic companies. At least two foreign businesses were successful in making claims from insurance companies, while the government is also providing tax relief to operations that sustained damages during the violence, he said. While no foreign investors canceled planned projects, they have taken a “wait-and-see attitude” to the country, Fitsum said. (…)
9.2.2017 1.7 bln birr worth car assembly plant to go operational in Dire Dawa. Walta Information Center
An assembly plant built at a cost of 1.7 billion birr in Dire Dawa city will go operational soon. Redawa Motors Industry Private Limited Company General Manager, Tadesse Admassu said the factory has been under construction during the past two years. The plant will start assembling cars next month, he added. Upon going fully operational, it would generate 15,000 jobs and assemble minibuses and other types of vehicles, it was learned.
In addition, the company has finalized preparations to build an international standard five-star hotel that rests on 4,200 square meters with220 million birr. The hotel is expected to create 500 jobs.
- Education -
17.2.2017 Ethiopia mourns its friend and greatest historian. Africanews.com
The Ethiopian government is mourning one of its greatest historians, Dr Richard Pankhurst, who died at the age of 90. (…)
He received an award of recognition from President Teshome Mulatu for the crucial role he played in the campaign for the return of a historical monument (the axum stelae) from Italy. The monument was re-erected in 2008. (…) Pankhurst arrived in Ethiopia in 1956 and devoted his life to Ethiopian studies, he is credited with over 20 books and editing many more on aspects of Ethiopia’s history, culture and economics. He taught at the Addis Ababa University – then known as the University College of Addis Ababa. He was the founding Director of the Institute of Ethiopian Studies and a leading figure within the ‘Friends of Ethiopia’ group. He left Ethiopia to his native Britain but returned in 1986 to continue work with the Institute he founded. (…)
- Horn of Africa and Foreign Affairs -
14.2.2017 Ethiopia: Dams, plantations a threat to Kenyans. Human Rights Watch
Lake Turkana water levels down, further drop expected
(Nairobi) – Dropping water levels in Kenya’s Lake Turkana following the development of dams and plantations in Ethiopia’s lower Omo Valley threaten the livelihoods of half a million indigenous people in Ethiopia and Kenya, Human Rights Watch said today.
Based on publicly available data from the United States Department of Agriculture, Lake Turkana’s water levels have dropped by approximately 1.5 meters since January 2015, and further reduction is likely without urgent efforts to mitigate the impact of Ethiopia’s actions. Human Rights Watch research based on satellite imagery shows that the drop is already affecting the shoreline of the lake, which has receded as much as 1.7 kilometers in Ferguson Gulf since November 2014. The Gulf is a critical fish breeding area, and a key fishing ground for the indigenous Turkana people.
“The predicted drop in the lake levels will seriously affect food supplies in the Omo Valley and Lake Turkana, which provide the livelihoods for half a million people in both Kenya and Ethiopia,” said Felix Horne, senior Africa researcher at Human Rights Watch. “The Ethiopian government’s moves to develop its resources should not endanger the survival of indigenous people living downstream.”
In 2015, the reservoir behind the new Gibe III dam in Ethiopia began filling. Water that previously flowed unimpeded into Lake Turkana, replenishing seasonal drops in lake levels, has since been held behind the Gibe III dam. In 2015 the annual July-November flood from the Omo River into Lake Turkana did not occur, resulting in a drop of water levels of 1.3 meters from November 2014. The very limited artificial release of water from Gibe III in 2016 was not enough to replenish water levels in Lake Turkana. As of January 30, 2017, lake levels were approximately 1.5 meters lower than they were two years earlier according to the data. (…)
People who depend on fishing for their livelihood said that their daily catch has been reduced. (…)
The Kenyan government has done little to address the impact from Ethiopia’s Omo Valley development, or to press Ethiopia to take steps to mitigate the damage and to consult with and inform affected communities about the impact of the project. The governments of Kenya and Ethiopia should urgently work with these communities to ensure upstream industrial works does not devastate their livelihoods, Human Rights Watch said.
In addition to the industrial developments in lower Omo, climate change is exacerbating the already significant problems the Turkana people face in getting sufficient food and water, and maintaining their health and security. (…)
Ethiopia’s Gibe III dam, which opened on December 17, 2016, is a key component of a massive industrial project in the lower Omo Valley that includes a cascade of water-intensive mega dams, and sugar and cotton plantations. The sugar plantations have been under development in the Omo Valley since 2011. Based on Human Rights Watch estimates derived from satellite imagery, approximately 19,500 hectares of land has been cleared on the east bank of the river for sugar plantation development. An additional 10,500 hectares has been prepared for irrigation on the west bank. The sugar plantations are planned to be 100,000 hectares. According to the Ethiopian Sugar Corporation, the first of the four sugar processing factories should be ready to begin production in early 2017. (…)
Further compounding the problem, in March 2016 the Ethiopian government announced plans for the development of a new US$1.6 billion dam, 2,200-megawatt Gibe IV, which will produce more power than any other dam in Africa outside of Ethiopia. As with Gibe III, an Italian company has been awarded the contract for Gibe IV and applied for financing for the dam through Servizi Assicurativi del Commercio Estero (SACE), the Italian export credit agency. There are plans for a fifth dam on the Omo River. (…)
The non-governmental organization, Survival International, filed a complaint on behalf of impacted Omo communities before the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights’ (ACHPR) in 2012, arguing that the free, prior and informed consent of the indigenous peoples of the Omo Valley was not given before construction began on Gibe III and the sugar plantations. (…) A final decision has yet to be made on the complaint.
Human Rights Watch
10.2.2017 „Mister Käse“ soll es richten. Ilona Eveleens, tageszeitung
Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed, genannt „Farmaajo“ (Käse), hat überraschend die Wahl gewonnen. Er könnte ein Ende der Korruption einleiten.
NAIROBI taz | „Somalia wird bald ein anderes Somalia sein.“ Das ist die Überzeugung bei großen Teilen der somalischen Bevölkerung. Nachdem Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed am Mittwochabend vom ernannten somalischen Parlament zum neuen Präsidenten des Landes gewählt wurde. Unerwartet schlug der frühere Premierminister in der zweiten Runde des Wahlgangs den Amtsinhaber Hassan Sheikh Mohamud.
Der neue Staatschef hat den Ruf, transparent und nicht korrupt zu sein. Er war sehr beliebt während seiner kurzen Zeit als Regierungschef 2010/2011. Damals sorgte er dafür, dass Regierungssoldaten bezahlt wurden und Minister ihre Vermögenswerte offenlegen: eine ganz neue Art der Transparenz in Somalia. Kein Wunder, dass der Premier daraufhin politischen Machenschaften zum Opfer fiel.
„Farmaajo“, wie Mohamed in einer somalischen Verballhornung des italienischen Wortes für Käse genannt wird – der Süden Somalias war früher italienische Kolonie –, kehrte daraufhin zurück in sein zweites Vaterland, die USA, wo er an Universitäten arbeitete und auch wie früher an der New Yorker Verkehrsbehörde. Er hält beide Staatsbürgerschaften. Seine Anhänger gründeten in Somalia die Partei „Tayo“ (Qualität).
Der scheidende Präsident Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, der 2012 bei einer indirekten Wahl bestimmt wurde, bekam weder die Korruption noch die Sicherheit in den Griff. Die islamistische Miliz Al-Shabaab, die zeitweise fast den gesamten Süden Somalias beherrschte, kontrolliert zwar keine Städte mehr, aber verübt regelmäßig Anschläge. Somalias Hauptstadt Mogadischu bleibt eine Stadt im Kriegszustand. Die Präsidentschaftswahl jetzt fand auf einem Hochsicherheitsgelände im hermetisch von ausländischen Eingreiftruppen abgeriegelten Flughafen von Mogadischu statt. Es waren wahrscheinlich die längsten Wahlen der Welt. Normale Bürger konnten nicht wählen. Klanälteste bestimmten über 14.000 Delegierte, die wiederum 275 Parlamentsabgeordnete wählten. Die Parlamente der sechs designierten Bundesländer Somalias – Puntland, Somaliland, Jubbaland, South West State, Galmudug, Hirshebelle – bestimmten 54 Mitglieder des Senats. Beide Häuser zusammen wählten den neuen Präsidenten.
Es waren die längsten Wahlen der Welt. Normale Bürger durften nicht wählen
Der Wahlprozess begann im Oktober 2016 und offenbarte, wie Politiker Stimmen kauften, mit manchmal Hunderttausenden von Euro. Viele der Parlamentarier haben wie Mohamed eine doppelte Nationalität. Sie führten einen Teil ihrer Kampagne in den USA, wo viele Somalier leben.
Obwohl es keine normalen Wahlen waren, glauben viele in Somalia, dass es der erste Schritt zur Normalität sei in einem Land, das seit 1969 keine normalen Wahlen kannte und seit Ende der 1980er Jahre keinen Frieden. Präsident Mohamed muss jetzt zeigen, dass er die Bevölkerung nicht enttäuscht wie sein Vorgänger. Die Menschen in Somalia wollen Frieden und ein Ende der tief verwurzelten Korruption. Eine riesige Aufgabe für den neuen Staatschef. Freudenkundgebungen in Mogadischu nach seiner Wahl machten deutlich, wie groß die Hoffnungen sind, die in ihn gesetzt werden – und die Erwartungen.
8.2.2017 Somalia's Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo chosen as president. BBC News
Somalia's MPs have elected a Somali-US national as the country's new president in a vote held in an aircraft hangar.
Ex-Prime Minister Mohamed Abdullahi "Farmajo" Mohamed beat President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud in a surprise result. The vote was held at the heavily guarded airport complex in the capital, Mogadishu, as the rest of the country is too dangerous. Traffic was banned and a no-fly zone imposed over the city to prevent attacks by militant Islamists. Despite this, suspected militants fired mortar rounds close to the venue on Tuesday night.
Somalia has not had a one-person one-vote democratic election since 1969. That vote was followed by a coup, dictatorship and conflict involving clan militias and Islamist extremists. Mr Mohamed's election is part of a lengthy and complex process to help the East African state rebuild its democracy and achieve stability. More than 20,000 African Union (AU) troops are stationed in Somalia to prevent militant Islamist group al-Shabab from overthrowing the weak government.
The new president is popularly known as "Farmajo", from the Italian for cheese, because of his love for the dairy product.
Thousands of Somalis quickly took to the streets to celebrate Mr Mohamed victory and cheering soldiers from the Somali army fired into the air, the Associated Press news agency reports. Mr Mohamed is seen as a Somali nationalist, and his chances of winning increased after Somalia's arch-rival, Ethiopia, was seen to be backing the defeated president.
Mr Mohamed obtained 184 votes, compared with 97 for the outgoing president, who accepted defeat, avoiding a third and final vote. "History was made, we have taken this path to democracy, and now I want to congratulate Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo," Mr Mohamud said in his concession speech.
8.2.2017 Presidents Mulatu, Erdogan Agree to Further Enhance Turkish Investment in Ethiopia. ENA
President Mulatu Teshome and Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan have held discussion in Ankara, Turkey. President Mulatu hailed the discussion they had on wide ranging issues as “fruitful and productive”, according to Anadolu, a Turkish news agency. “We have recognized that additional effort is needed to further strengthen and deepen cooperation through economic interdependdence by expanding trade and investments,” he told reporters.
The leaders also conferred on ways of further enhancing Turkish investment in Ethiopia infrastructure, manufacturing and energy. President Mulatu said he wants “Turkey to be the leading foreign investor in Ethiopia”, it was indicated.
He also congratulated Turkey for the courage and determination shown in defending democracy by foiling the coup attempt made in July. President Mulatu recalled both countries have been leading the fight against terrorism. “We are partners in the struggle to fight terrorism, albeit in different regions,” he stressed.
President Erdogan on his part underlined Turkey’s strategic partnership with Ethiopia, particularly in the economic sphere. “Hopefully, we will begin negotiations on preferential trade agreements very soon in line with this objective,” he said.
The two sides also signed memoranda of understanding (MoUs) to cooperate in four areas, it was learned.