Meldungen von Oktober 2016

von Redakteur

1 October 2016  Overflow of Gibe III threatens thousands downstream.  Yohannes Anberbir, Ethiopian Reporter. .
Excessive level of water at Ethiopia’s giant hydropower dam, Gibe III, has prompted officials at Ethiopian Electric Power (EEP) to commence a controlled release of the water as of the coming week. The hydropower plant that entered in to its commissioning phase six months ago was unable to generate in full capacity owing to the low level of water caused partly by the EL Nino induced drought in the country. The aftereffects of the drought caused heavy rain falls in many parts of the country that consequently threatened overflow of the Gibe River on top of the dam. (…) National Disaster Risk Management Commission (NDRMC) has notified its humanitarian partners to prepare to respond to possible disaster to communities residing downstream the controlled release of water from Gibe III dam, according to the OCHA’s weekly bulletin released on September 26. he water from the Gibe III dam will be released for a week or two starting from September 29, according to the NDRMC alert dispatched to its humanitarian partners. The flooding will likely affect infrastructure and livelihood of people in Dasenech, Gnangatom, Hamer, and Selamago woredas of the Southern Nations Nationalities and People Regional State (SNNPR) where the dam is built. he population within these four weredas of the lower Omo is estimated to be about 400,000, according to researches. (…)

- Politics, Justice, Human Rights -

31.10.2016    Ethiopia frees 2,000 protesters as hundreds seek amnesty.   Sudan Tribune, Tesfa-Alem Tekle,  
More than 2,000 individuals who were in jail following the recent violence have now been freed after taking the necessary corrective lessons, Ethiopia’s defence minister, Siraj Fegesa disclosed. Siraj, who also sits at the Secretariat of the Command Post, said people believed to have been behind the recent unrest have peacefully surrendered to the government. The suspects could be granted amnesty depending on the level of crimes they have committed. Soon after the Horn of African country declared a state of emergency, its authorities called on suspects behind the deadly violence to turn themselves in. (…)
While briefing journalists on Sunday the defence minster, said calm had been restored after the implementation of the state of emergency measure. The suspects arrested, Fegesa said, had roles in the violence that hit the nation weeks back. Some of the suspects, added the minister, had began surrendering to the Ethiopian government. According to the official, at least 400 individuals peacefully surrendered to the command post before the 10-day amnesty ultimatum set the authorities. He further said 1,500 illegal weapons were recovered from violence-prone areas after they collaborates with the public.
The suspects still in jail are taking corrective lessons in different training centers in Amhara and Oromia region.
Government officials and those at the state of emergency command post secretariat said the violence and unrest in parts of the nation have calmed down. “Violence has been contained and we have created a situation where people can go about their lives without the fear of being attacked”, the communications minister, Getachew Reda, said. He stressed that several investments and factories in the country were back to business and people are doing their normal activities safely.
Meanwhile, the State of Emergency Inquiry Board tasked to follow up and report the human rights handling by government while implementing the state of emergency decree has commenced its work. The chairperson and members of the board said the inquiry board began exercising its authorization in accordance with the constitutional provision that sets out the specific duties and responsibilities. Members of the board pledged to carry out their duties and responsibilities in a neutral way. (…) Following the state of emergency decree, the United Nations urged government to ensure the protection of fundamental human rights when imposing the measure.

31.10.2016    Ethiopia Moves to 'Rehabilitate' Opposition Protesters.  Voice of America, Marthe van der Wolf
BRUSSELS/ADDIS ABABA — (…) Government spokesman Getachew Reda told reporters last week that the rehabilitation programs help the government deal with the large amount of people in detention. “Probably this is the only government in the world that metes out punishment in the form of constitutional classes. Some fitness exercise maybe. It’s only the most dangerous criminals who will have to face the consequences. Otherwise, this is going to be rehabilitation programs, three weeks, a month. You teach them constitution. You teach them some values and the ABC of basic decency,” he said.
But international human rights groups have a different take. Human Rights Watch said in a statement Monday that rehabilitation is a “euphemism for short-term detention” and that these programs “typically involve ill-treatment and sometimes torture.” HRW says there is no due process or formal record of these detentions. The rights group says tens of thousands of people have been detained since anti-government protests began in November 2015. (…) Opposition leader Merera Gudina of the Oromo People’s Congress says hundreds of his party members have been arrested. “Mostly they don’t have legal advice, lawyers and so on. In fact, sometimes we don’t know where they are detained. It’s not normal prison, you know. In Shashamane, we heard that they were detained in cinema house. So they were detained anywhere. Not in normal prison house," said Gudina.  

Four major Ethiopian oppositions formed “Ethiopian Movement”
Posted by: ecadforum October 28, 2016
Patriotic Ginbot 7, Oromo Democratic Front, Afar People Party and Sidama People Democratic Movement are reportedly formed “Ethiopian Movement”. The newly formed “Ethiopian Movement” called a public meeting in Washington DC. (ESAT News).
(Audio) Ethiopia: Berhanu Nega speaks with Radio France International

27.10.2016    Govt Rules Out Early Elections to Address Unrest.  Voice of America
Ethiopia’s government has ruled out holding new nationwide elections to address the grievances behind nearly a year of deadly protests. But the opposition says the changes the government is undertaking are not good enough. Government spokesman Getachew Reda says Ethiopia will not call for an early vote. The next regional and nationwide elections are scheduled for 2020.  “What we are trying to do is to follow the election cycle," said Reda. "This government does not have the slightest of intention to all of sudden change the law and call for a vote based on a changed law. We are here for the long haul.” Reda said Wednesday parliament will instead convene to endorse a proposal from the prime minister to reorganize the Cabinet. That is expected in the next week, though Reda did not give an exact date.
Opposition leader Merera Gudina of the Oromo People’s Congress told VOA this crisis can only be solved with new elections. “They are still playing their own game with the reshuffling of their own personnel which for us it is nothing when people are asking fundamental basic change of policies and in fact the resignation of the ruling party, and demanding for new elections," said Gudina.

27.10.2016    Inquiry Board Begins Work. ENA
The State of Emergency Inquiry Board has officially started work today. At a press conference Inquiry Board Chairperson Tadesse Hordofa gave today, he said no restrictions will be imposed on human rights during the state of emergency. The board, comprised of 4 members of the House of People’s Representatives and 3 legal experts from the Federal Court, is responsible for checking and reporting on the implementation of the state of emergency, accor-ding to the chairperson.
The inquiry board will make public names of individuals and the reasons for their arrest within one month, he added. The board has also the power to inspect and monitor that no measures taken during the emergency period are inhumane and bring those to the attention of the Prime Minister or the Council of Ministers to take corrective measures, Tadesse elaborated. The board has also the responsibility to protect the public from perpetrators of inhumane acts. Furthermore, the board will submit its views to the House of People’s Representatives on the request to extend the duration of state of emergency.

26.10.2016    Ethiopia denies Somalia troop withdrawals linked to unrest at home. MSN News,  
Ethiopia on Wednesday denied that a string of withdrawals of troops from towns in Somalia were connected to the state of emergency declared in response to nearly a year of anti-government protests. Government spokesman Getachew Reda insisted the removal of troops from a string of Somali towns -- including at least three since Ethiopia declared a six-month state of emergency on October 9 -- was to do with the "financial burden" and "lack of support" rather than the need for more troops at home. "It has nothing to do with the state of emergency," Reda told a press conference in the capital Addis Ababa. "We have been making a very conscious and responsible decision to evacuate our forces from many parts of Somalia. We cannot remain there indefinitely." Reda said the domestic challenge represented by the unprecedented months of sometimes deadly anti-government protests was not "enormous enough for us to shift our policy in Somalia".
Ethiopian troops deployed to fight Shabaab militants in Somalia have left towns in the western Bakool and Hiraan regions in recent weeks, allowing the insurgents to immediately reclaim them. Most recently, Tiyeeglow in Bakool region was abandoned on Wednesday and hours later Shabaab fighters moved in. "We were informed about the pullout of the Ethiopian troops and this morning they have proceeded with their plan to vacate the town," said Abdulahi Moalim Hassan, a security official in Hudur, the nearby district capital. "We are not sure about the fate of Hudur as well," he added. "People are worried and they are not relying on the Ethiopian troops anymore."
Reda said the withdrawn troops were not from Ethiopia's 4,400-strong contingent of the internationally-funded African Union peace-enforcement mission, AMISOM, but rather were some of the "few thousands" deployed in Somalia unilaterally for which his government is "paying all the expenses". "These troops are not under AMISOM and unfortunately are not being helped in their efforts to assist the Somali national army," said Reda. He said AMISOM troops were not affected and neither were all non-AMISOM forces being withdrawn.

25.10.2016    Sissi’s maneuvers to destabilize Addis.  Waltainfo
While the Egyptian president wants to set himself up as the regional godfather, Addis Ababa and Ankara denounce Cairo’s interference in Ethiopia. ION investigates. The Egyptian Foreign Minister, under its Minister Sameh Shoukry, was driven to issue a press release on 6 October to deny Ethiopian and Turkish allegations that Egypt is backing Oromo rebels in Ethiopia.In barely veiled terms, Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn recently incriminated the regime of Egyptian President Abdelfattah al-Sissi, declaring that “Forces that do not want Ethiopia to exploit its natural resources are indirectly involved in violence, by providing financial support to certain groups”.
The head of the Ethiopian government has in mind the Egyptian president’s maneuvers during the UN General Assembly in New York from 13 to 20 September. Throughout the event, the Egyptian government constantly looked for support from other African countries to block the economic rise of Ethiopia. He therefore tried to enlist the help of the presidents of South Africa, Jacob Zuma, Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari, and Somalia, Hassan Sheikh Mohamud. He wants them to stand against the Ethiopian Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) project which has been a considerable cause of tension between Egypt and Ethiopia. But he quickly realised that their initiative had little success, the members of the Egyptian delegation – almost a hundred officials – reportedly sent messages to the African representatives at the assembly in New York warning them that Cairo could back the Oromo rebels. To be sure, Omgita Sharo, one of the leaders of the Oromo Liberation Front (OLF) is currently resident in the Egyptian capital, where the government has given him refugee status and protection by the secret service. Finally, Sissi’s strategy did not bear fruit in New York and it now remains to be seen whether he will carry out his threats.
Source; African Intelligence

24.10.2016    Ethiopia unrest fueled by HRW and opposition in diaspora – Foreign Affairs chief.  Abdur Rahman Alfa Shaban, africanews
Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Ethiopia’s Minister of Foreign Affairs has officially responded to Human Rights Watch (HRW) over its series of reportage in the country. According to the top diplomat, HRW through its senior researcher for Ethiopia and Eritrea, Felix Horne, was stoking anti-government protests through its false and negative reportage of the situation in the country. In an article titled, ‘Human Rights Watch encourages opposition violence in Ethiopia,’ 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. ‘‘The suggestion that there were hundreds killed originally came from members of opposition groups in the Diaspora who even claimed that hundreds were shot by helicopter gunships.
‘‘This was a palpable invention, but Human Rights Watch was quick to claim: “an unknown number of people, possibly hundreds, died during a stampede after security forces used teargas and gunfire.”
‘‘One result of this, and similarly invented claims immediately after the tragedy, was an outburst of further demonstrations and attacks on property as well as a number of deaths in various parts of the Oromo regional state.
‘‘It is very clear this happened because of the statements of Human Rights Watch and of the Diaspora opposition encouraging and feeding rumors,’‘ he said. He further accused the rights body of ‘‘making considerable efforts to push the European Union to use its role as Ethiopia’s main development cooperation partner to force Ethiopia to accept an international investigation.’‘ Dr Tedros accused the HRW researcher of writing articles on the Ethiopia protests without having the requisite information, giving interviews to Reuters and, last week, addressing the European Parliament’s Subcommittee on Human Rights with inadequate information. ‘‘In all of these, in order to support his 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 stated.
Ethiopia’s top diplomat also deplored the manner in which Human Rights Watch has increasingly failed to disclose the sources of their information in the country. He said the group continued to peddle false information despite proof to the contrary. He was particularly displeased at reports that the security had fired live ammunition at protesters during the Ireecha festival. He insisted that the cause of the deaths were a result of tragic drowning and crushing of persons during the stampede. ‘‘There is, in fact, no evidence (though there are a multitude of allegations made over social media) of any more deaths than the official figures of 55 who died, all from being tragically drowned or crushed in the stampede.
‘‘None of those who died were killed by gunshots, despite Mr. Horne’s claims, as has been confirmed by reports from the hospitals in Bishoftu,’‘ he added. (…)

21.10.2016    Desaströse Informationspolitik schürt Zorn der äthiopischen Bevölkerung.  entwicklungspolitik online,
Göttingen. - Die Gesellschaft für bedrohte Völker (GfbV) hat am Freitag die desaströse Informationspolitik der Regierung für die Eskalation von Protesten, Gewalt und Spannungen in Äthiopien verantwortlich gemacht. "Opferzahlen werden nur selektiv veröffent-licht und systematisch heruntergespielt. Menschenrechtsorga-nisationen, die detailliert höhere Angaben zu Menschenrechts-verletzungen machen, werden als unseriös diffamiert. Doch Wochen später wird schließlich eingeräumt, wie berechtigt die Sorge um Menschenrechte war. Mit einer solchen Taktik des Leugnens und Verschleierns verspielen Äthiopiens Behörden jede Glaubwürdig-keit, vor allem auch in der eigenen Bevölkerung“, erklärte der GfbV-Afrikareferent Ulrich Delius in Göttingen.
"So wird bei den Demonstranten nur neue Wut geschürt und die Aussicht auf eine politische Lösung der Konflikte getrübt." Appelle von UN-Generalsekretär Ban Ki-moon, die Bürgerrechte zu respek-tieren, bleiben unbeachtet.
Am Donnerstag hatten die äthiopischen Behörden erklärt, 1.645 Demonstranten und „Rädelsführer“ seit Verhängung des Ausnahme-zustandes am 8. Oktober 2016 festgenommen zu haben. Die reelle Zahl aller seit Beginn der Proteste im November 2015 Verhafteten ist mit mindestens 22.000 Menschen nach Informationen der GfbV jedoch deutlich höher. Denn die Massenverhaftungen in den Regionen Oromia und Amhara halten bereits seit Monaten an und begannen nicht erst mit der Ausrufung des Ausnahmezustands. Schon vor einem halben Jahr hat die GfbV freien Zugang für internationale Menschenrechtsexperten zu namentlich genannten Armeelagern und ehemaligen Polizeischulen gefordert, die als illegale Gefängnisse genutzt werden.
Auch nach dem Blutbad beim Erntedankfest der Oromo am 2. Oktober 2016 hatten sich die Behörden beeilt, eine relativ geringe Zahl von 55 Menschen anzugeben, so die GfbV. "Schnell wurde eine dreitägige Staatstrauer verhängt, um jede öffentliche Debatte über die Hintergründe und das wahre Ausmaß des Zwischenfalls zu verhindern", kritisierte Delius. "Bis heute ist nicht klar, wie viele Oromo zu Tode kamen. Kritiker gehen von mindestens 678 Toten aus. Die Angehörigen der Vermissten wollen endlich die Wahrheit wissen. Ihre Proteste werden immer gewalttätiger, weil sie die Hoffnung verloren haben, von dieser Regierung jemals die Wahrheit zu erfahren. Das ist hausgemachte Gewalt, für die Äthiopiens Regierung weitgehend verantwortlich ist."
Wochenlang wurden internationale Menschenrechtsorganisationen von den Behörden gezielt diffamiert, weil sie angeblich zu hohe Zahlen der bei Demonstrationen Getöteten vorlegten. Bei einer Pressekonferenz mit Bundeskanzlerin Angela Merkel räumte Premierminister Hailemariam Desalegn am 11. Oktober 2016 ein, dass bei den Protesten bereits mehr als 500 Menschen getötet wurden, und bestätigte damit die zuvor von Menschenrechts-organisationen gemachten Angaben.

21.10.2016    Ethiopia state of emergency affecting work of US embassy.  africanews
The United States embassy in Addis Ababa has disclosed that the October 9 state of emergency currently in force in Ethiopia severely affects their ability to assist US citizens. One of the restrictions under the curfew is that diplomats for their own safety were to avoid travelling 40 kilometers outside the capital. ‘’…the decree restricts U.S. and other foreign diplomats from traveling 40 kilometers outside of Addis Ababa, which severely affects the ability of the Consular Section to assist U.S. Citizens,’‘ the embassy said.
The embassy in a release titled ‘Security Message for US Citizens: State of Emergency’ reminded citizens that the decree imple-menting the state of emergency had been published on the official government website, hence the need to observe all rules to avoid arrest. While tasking citizens to know and abide by the rules, they also warned that ‘‘citizens could be arrested for activities they would otherwise consider routine. ‘U.S. citizens should be aware that the decree also requires landlords to report tenants’ identities to police, with a copy of their passport if the renter is a foreign national,’‘ they added. (…)

21.10.2016    U.S. citizens urged to defer travel to Ethiopia -State Department. Reuters,
The U.S. State Department urged U.S. citizens on Friday to defer all non-essential travel to Ethiopia because of ongoing unrest that has killed hundreds of people, led to thousands of arrests and prompted restrictions on diplomatic travel. (… )

17.10.2016    Posting on Facebook is now a crime under Ethiopia’s state of emergency.   QUARTZ Africa
A state of emergency declared in Ethiopia last week is growing more draconian by the day. Posting updates on the current status of the country, hit by anti-government protests since last November, is now a crime, the government said over the weekend. Watching Oromia Media Network and Ethiopian Satellite Television and Radio, outlets run by the Ethiopian diaspora supportive of the protesters, is also illegal. “The military command will take action on those watching and posting on these social media outlets,” Siraj Fegessa, Ethiopia’s minister of defense, said on state television. Those who violate the terms of the state of emergency risk imprisonment of three to five years.  (…)
Under the state of emergency, all expressions or communication that could incite violence have been banned, including the now famous protest gesture of raised hands, crossed at the wrist. Authorities can search and detain citizens without prior approval. Discussing issues with foreigners that could incite violence or communicating with groups deemed terrorists is also illegal. Listening to Voice of America or German Radio has also been banned. Diplomats have been barred from traveling more than 40km (25 miles) outside of the capital without prior approval. To protect businesses and government property, a 6pm curfew around major infrastructure projects, farms, government institutions, and factories has been put in place.

17.10.2016    Äthiopien verschärft Ausnahmezustand. Gesellschaft für bedrohte Völker
Göttingen. - Die Gesellschaft für bedrohte Völker (GfbV) hat am Montag die Verschärfung des Ausnahmezustandes in Äthiopien kritisiert. Die Menschenrechtsorganisation forderte die Europäische Union auf, gegen die massive Einschränkung von Bürgerrechten sowie der Bewegungsfreiheit von Diplomaten zu protestieren.
"Was hat Äthiopien zu verbergen, dass es die Bewegungsfreiheit von Ausländern drastisch einschränkt und seinen Bürgerinnen und Bürgern jegliche Auslandskontakte, jeden kritischen Informations-fluss durch Telefon, E-Mail, Facebook und andere soziale Medien verbietet?", sagte der GfbV-Afrikareferent Ulrich Delius in Göttingen. "Ob hinter den Kulissen weiter gemordet wird, soll der Weltöffentlichkeit offenbar verborgen bleiben."
Die äthiopische Regierung hat Samstagnacht neue drakonische Bestimmungen zur Durchsetzung des Ausnahmezustandes verkün-det. So dürfen sich ausländische Diplomaten nur noch in einem Umkreis von 40 Kilometern frei in der Umgebung der Hauptstadt Addis Abeba bewegen. Alle weiteren Reisen müssen von den Behörden genehmigt werden. Entlang aller Hauptverkehrsstraßen wurde eine 25 Kilometer breite "rote Zone" eingerichtet. Dort wurde die Bewegungsfreiheit eingeschränkt. Außerdem darf niemand Waffen oder entzündbare Flüssigkeiten besitzen. So sollen neue Brandanschläge auf Großfarmen von Investoren sowie Industrie-projekte und Staatseinrichtungen verhindert werden. In unmittel-barer Nähe solcher Projekte gilt eine abendliche Ausgangssperre.
Verboten wurde auch, ausländische Radio- oder Fernsehsend-ungen regierungskritischer Medien zu hören oder zu sehen. Politischen Parteien wird de facto jede Meinungsäußerung zur angespannten Sicherheitslage untersagt. Auch die Führer religiöser Bewegungen sowie Schulen und Universitäten müssen sich jeder politischen Äußerung enthalten. Um neue Generalstreiks zu verhindern, ist es Geschäftsleuten jetzt verboten, ihren Laden während der normalen Öffnungszeiten zu schließen.
"Doch so wird der zivile Ungehorsam der über staatliche Willkür und Menschenrechtsverletzungen aufgebrachten Oromo nicht zu brechen sein", warnte Delius. Denn selbst Kleinbäuerinnen verweigern inzwischen die Versorgung der größeren Städte mit Nahrungsmitteln und verkaufen ihre Produkte nicht mehr an die Städter. "Auf die Wirtschaft Äthiopiens kommen durch die Proteste und Angriffe auf Projekte ausländischer Investoren Milliarden-verluste zu. Äthiopiens Wirtschaftswunder droht ein steiler Absturz, wenn die Regierung nicht endlich umdenkt und unabhängige Untersuchungen der Übergriffe auf Demonstranten zulässt."

14.10.2016    Gemeinsamer Aufruf dreier Organisationen für die Zeit nach dem Machtwechsel: ENTC, EYNM, SHENGO.   Ethiopian Review
Drei bislang wenig bekannte Organisationen haben einen gemeinsamen Aufruf auf Amharisch online gestellt: (1) Nationaler Rat des Übergangs, (2) Nationale Jugendbewegung Äthiopiens, (3) Rat (Shengo) des gemeinsamen Kampfs des äthiopischen Volkes.
Das Dokument beschreibt die momentane Situation und ruft zu raschem Handeln auf angesichts der ihrer Meinung nach wackeligen Regierung. Die drei Organisationen sind der Meinung, alle besorgten und engagierten Äthiopier sollten schnell zusammen kommen um über die Integrität des Landes und Frieden nach der jetzigen Regierung zu beraten und eine gemeinsame, allen gerecht werdende Lösung unmittelbar auf den Tisch zu bringen. Ort und Termin der Konferenz soll bald bekannt gegeben werden. Weitere Organisationen wollen teilnehmen. Eine erste Presseerklärung hatte es schon am 7. September gegeben.

13 October 2016  Ethiopian Opposition Wants 'Real Change' But Views on Tactics Differ.  Voice of America, Jill Craig.
NAIROBI — Insisting the demonstrations in Ethiopia’s Oromia region during the past year are a mass movement, not just two or three protest groups, Merera Gudina, the chairman of Ethiopia’s opposition Oromo Federalist Congress, is calling for the government to listen to the people's demands. “Our struggle, until a democratic state is created in the country, a political system that accommodates for all the citizens in the country, is created, we continue our struggle,” said Gudina. “Whatever the cost may be.” He says the government has been using "carrot and stick" tactics. Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn has promised political reforms, which Gudina says are “too little, too late." (…)  Several requests by VOA for a response from the Ethiopian communications minister were not answered.
Disagreement on credibility: Rashid Abdi, Horn of Africa analyst for the International Crisis Group, says violence is counterproductive to the protest movement. “Yes, I think, in these kind of protests, you know, more militant elements tend to take actions necessary without the interests of others, and I think the turn of events in probably the last three weeks, has really dented the image of the protest movement and undermined their credibility,” said Abdi.  Gudina disagrees. “I don’t think that it is losing credibility. It is probably the fabrication of the government and some Western media. Otherwise, really, it is a popular movement; across the country people are refusing to be ruled in the old way,” said Gudina. “I don’t think it is losing any credibility in the eyes of the people of Ethiopia.” (…)

12 October 2016  Ethiopia Won’t Shrink from Regional Responsibility because of State of Emergency:GCAO Minister.  ENA.
The state of emergency Ethiopia has declared to restore peace and stability will not make it shrink from its responsibility of ensuring stability across the region, according to Minister of Government Communication Affairs (GCAO). This was disclosed at a joint briefing Government Communication Affairs Office Minister, Getachew Reda, and State Minister of Foreign Affairs Taye Atskesilassie gave today to diplomats representing African, Asian and Oceanian countries in Ethiopia about the state of emergency in the country. Communication Affairs Minister Getachew on the occasion said Ethiopia will consolidate its role in peacekeeping at the regional and continental levels as usual. “We will never shrink from our regional responsibility simply because we have declared state of emergency. What we are doing right now is coordinating our security”, he elaborated.
Asked about the withdrawal of Ethiopian troops from a key military base in central Somalia's el-Ali in Hiran region, Getachew said “there will be rotation of forces and that is going to be expected. But we have not yet been restrained from meeting our responsibility towards our brothers and sisters in the region”. Foreign Affairs State Minister Taye added that some contingent had to move from el-Ali to Beledweyne positioning themselves to protect the electoral process which will be held in Somalia soon.

- Conflicts and Unrest -

25.10.2016    State of emergency restrictions do not apply to foreign tourists- Official. ENA, APA, Waltainfo
The recently declared state of emergency in Ethiopia that also limits diplomats’ movement outside of the country’s capital, Addis Ababa, is not applicable to foreign tourists, a senior official said here Tuesday. Attorney General Getachew Ambaye said in a brief statement Tuesday that the recent declaration that requires diplomats not to travel 40 km radius outside of Addis Ababa without the knowledge of the Command Post is not applicable to foreign tourists and that they are allowed to travel across the country freely without reporting on their movements. Getachew indicated that tourists are entitled to travel and visit any tourist destination across the country without informing the authorities about their movements as long as they carry valid passports with tourist visas.
Public Relations Director with the Ethiopian Tourism Organization Getenet Yegzaw said with the normalization of the current situation in the country, the number of tourists cancelling their trips to Ethiopia is declining. He stated that the decree also encourages foreign tourists to come to Ethiopia as their safety and wellbeing is effectively ensured during their stay in the country. During the current fiscal year, more than one million tourists are expected to visit the country and the nation expects to generate $3 billion from tourism.

21.10.2016    State of Emergency Normalizing Situation in Ethiopia. Waltainfo,
The Office of the Federal Attorney said the state of emergency that Ethiopia has declared a week ago, is helping to restore law and order in the country. In a press conference he gave here today, General Attorney Getachew Ambaye said following the establish-ment of emergency rule in the country, the situation has started to progress. Getachew said economic activities which were disturbed by the violence including road transportation and business are now backing to normal. As the state of emergency came following the danger posed on the security and stability of the state, it enables the state to bring the situation to normal, he added. The destructive activities carried out by anti-force elements in various parts of the country were targeting economic pillars as well as instigating hatred among different ethnic groups and followers of different religions, he said. The forces were trying to stop long-distance transportation to various parts of the country, which hindered movement of goods and people, he said. Those activities had made the situation difficult to transport construction materials to the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam for a while as well hindered import-export trade through Metema, he said.
But, the state of emergency has changed the situation, Getachew said. “They have tried to close the road to the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) and stop vehicles loaded with construc-tion material. There was also an attempt to prevent transportation of fuel from Sudan through the northern part of the country”, he said. “Now things are getting better. Activities including transportation, trade, and education continue without any problem”, he said.

21.10.2016    Public lauds positive impact of emergency ruling. ENA
DireDawa - Residents of some towns across the nation have revealed that the declared state of emergency enabled them to freely undertake their daily activities as it removed the threats. Residents of Diredawa, Desse and Estern Wollega zone in the regional state of Oromia told ENA that peace has returned to their localities as signs of violence have subsided. (…) "The state of emergency is significant in ensuring peace and maintaining the journey towards renaissance," Etagegn said. The respondents agree that the ruling is important and timely to foil the plots of anti-peace forces against the peace, development and democracy building endeavors nationwide.

21.10.2016    “We don’t care if we get killed” Protests in Ethiopia continue.  Vice News, David Gilbert
The Ethiopian government has declared a state of emergency in the country as it intensifies a crackdown on widespread anti-government protests born of frustration that’s been fomenting for decades. In the past two weeks alone, authorities have arrested thousands of protesters, overwhelmingly young people by some accounts. In the unprecedented anti-government protests sweeping the country, this week alone has seen more than 2,600 people detained in the Oromia and Amhara regions, with 450 arrested in the capital Addis Ababa. Those detained include business owners who closed their shops and teachers who “abandoned their schools.” In June, Human Rights Watch reported that “tens of thousands” of protesters had been arrested since the unrest that began 11 months ago. However, the number arrested is already likely much higher than the figure quoted by the government, according to Fisseha Tekle, the chief researcher for Amnesty International in Ethiopia. He told VICE News that arrests are ongoing and that the focus is on younger people. “They must have some list, the security forces, because they are not arresting everyone, but they really target the youths, because it is the youths who have been protesting for the last year,” Tekle said. “They don’t arrest older people; students are the main target.” (…)
Because the Ethiopian government limits the operations of human rights activists in the country, many are wary about speaking on the record. One source within a human rights group operating in Ethiopia, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, told VICE News that protesters had told them “we don’t have anything to lose anymore, we don’t care if we get killed.”
(…) This (state of emergency, KS) has made it difficult to get accurate details of what is happening, especially outside of Addis. And even if a connection can be made, people are still afraid to talk. “People are suspicious because of online surveillance and also mobile phone surveillance, so people might not be [comfortable] talking over the phone about what is happening,” Tekle said. (…) the state of emergency aims to silence criticism of the regime. It is now illegal to contact those termed “outsiders” on social media like Twitter and Facebook. “The military command will take action on those watching and posting on these social media outlets,” Siraj Fegessa, Ethiopia’s minister for defense, said.
The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights has made two calls for access to conduct an international, independent, and impartial investigation into the alleged violations, both of which have been rejected by the Ethiopian government. (…)

20.10.2016    Suspects in recent violence surrendering, handing over looted arms: Command Post.  Waltainfo
Following the joint efforts carried out by the public and the Command Post established to oversee the implementation of the state of emergency, suspects in the recent violence have been surrendering and handing over looted arms. Accordingly 93 bandits have surrendered in north Gondar zone, Amhara regional state. Similarly, bandits in Dembidolo town and Sedo woreda in Kelem Wolega zone, Oromia regional state, have handed over to security forces about 70 arms they looted from various areas. Moreover, 110 people who had been the key actors and coordinators of the violence in Kelem Wolega zone have been detained based on the tips obtained from the public. The Command Post has continued hunting the remaining culprits.
Among the forefront actors in the violence and property damage occurred in west Arsi zone, Oromia Regional State, 450 suspects in Shashemene and 670 suspects in west Arsi zone have been arrested and investigation is underway. Similarly, of the 162 arms ransacked from west Arsi zone, including Shashemene, about 88 arms have been recovered by the efforts of elders and by the looters themselves. Efforts are also underway to recover properties stolen from government, individuals and development institutions. The Command Post also managed to recover 32 of the arms looted in west Guji zone. Based on the information provided by the public, some 302 suspects have been detained in the zone. About 20 suspects are also negotiating with elders to give their hands. Some 92 modern and outdated arms and 8 pistols were recovered from Adama, Bora, Lome, Liben Chikula, Adea, Boset and Adami Tulu woredas in east Shoa zone. Of the 513 arms looted in Oromia Regional State in general, about 384 arms have been recovered so far, it was noted.
In a related development, 13 businessmen have been arrested for trying to quit service by closing their shops in north Gondar zone, Amhara Regional State. Moreover, 13 suspects have been arrested for secretly calling for strike. Three teachers were also arrested for trying to obstruct the teaching learning process by abandoning school. Of the 35 businessmen detained for trying to deny service by closing their shops in Bahir Dar town, six have been released after the necessary investigation. The Command Post is investigating the remaining 29 businessmen. (FANA)  

17.10.2016    A Week After Ethiopia’s State Of Emergency, Gonder Starts A General Anti-Gov’t Strike. DeBirhan
A week after the TPLF (EPRDF) led Ethiopian regime declared a State of Emergency across Ethiopia, few days after the specifics of it such as banning any form of anti-gov’t protest, were made public, the Gonder city, Northern Ethiopia has launched a general strike against the government today. There have been three general/stay away strikes against the regime so far in Gonder city. The general strike includes the closures of all private businesses and services including transportation. The city streets remain deserted and government employees are affected due to the protest forcing the closure of government services as a result. (…) The stay away protest will stay on until the end of the week. Last week Bahir Dar, the capital city of the Amhara region, held a successful stay away strike for five days.
Under the six month long State of Emergency, the Command Post, which is now ruling the country, can take any measure against businesses closing their businesses as a form of protest or anyone taking part in any anti-government protest. The curfews and the declaration of the SoE does not seem to have worked in Ethiopia as the protests have spread and increased in momentum especially in the Amhara regional state.
Later in the day, some shops have been opening and transport started operating due to pressure by the government.

12 October 2016  Command Post begins operation. ENA.
The Command post established to oversee the implementation of the state of emergency starts operation.
Pursuant to the proclamation that provided for the declaration of a state of emergency, a secretariat for the command post was commissioned. Minister of Defense and Secretariat of the Command Post, Siraj Fagessa has briefed commanding officers and heads of security at federal and regional levels on the ways of implementing the proclamation. The command post is entrusted with coordinating security controls, safeguarding public and private properties, infrastructures, public well being as well as ensuring the protection of human rights as provided in the nation’s constitution. (…)

4 October 2016  Oromiya region to support victims Irrecha incident.  Walta Informationb Center. .
The Oromiya regional state said today that it has prepared to provide all necessary supports to all victims of stampede during the festivity of the cultural celebration of Ireccha at Hora arsidi lake, Bisheftu.
Oromiya regional state vice president, Eshetu Dessie, briefing Journalists at Chefe Oromiya noted that the region is now expressing condolence and is ready to support all the victims of the stampede at Irrecha festivity. According to Eshetu the innocent participants of the Irrecha died due to the violence caused by the anti-peace forces during the celebration. The social media is disseminating propaganda as if the violence is started by gun fire opened by government forces, he added.
Eshetu stressed that everyone should understand the misleading information conveyed through the social media. He also called every citizen of the country to strengthen the solidarity and contribute to maintain sustainable peace in the country. The regional government has undertaken efforts to register the Gada system in this year by the UNESCO in which Irreechaa is one of the glorious element of the Gada system, Eshetu underscored. All necessary efforts will continue to register the Gada system as one of the intangible heritage of the world, he reiterated.

4.Oktober 2016  Neue Proteste nach Massenpanik in Äthiopien.  Deutsche Welle.
Nach der Massenpanik in Bishoftu halten die Proteste gegen die äthiopische Regierung an, ein regimekritischer Blogger wurde verhaftet. Aktivisten hoffen auf politischen Druck aus Europa.
In Äthiopien spitzt sich die Situation nach der tragischen Massenpanik am Wochenende zu. Oromo-Aktivisten riefen nach dem Tod vieler Menschen in der Stadt Bishoftu zu "fünf Tagen des Zorns" auf - trotz der von der Regierung ausgerufenen Staatstrauer. Während die Fahnen auf Halbmast wehten, zogen in den westlichen und östlichen Randbezirken der Hauptstadt Addis Abeba Demonstranten mit ihren Plakaten durch die Straßen und kritisierten lautstark die Regierung.
Mehrere zehntausend Menschen, die dem Volk der Oromo angehören, hatten sich am vergangenen Sonntag am Ufer des Sees Harsadi zum jährlichen Dankfest "Irreecha" versammelt. Der See gilt den Oromo als heilig. Als einige Teilnehmer als Symbol des Protests gegen die Regierung ihre Handgelenke in Kopfhöhe überkreuzten und Steine und Flaschen in Richtung der Sicherheitskräfte warfen, setzte die Polizei Tränengas ein. Die Tränengaswolke löste eine Massenpanik aus, dutzende Menschen stürzten übereinander in einen Graben. Die Regierung spricht von 52 Toten, aber Menschenrechtsorganisationen gehen von mehreren Hundert Toten aus.
Kreislauf der Gewalt
"Wie gewohnt hören wir nur Lügen", erbost sich Geberu Geberemariam, Vize-Chef der Oppositionspartei "Äthiopiens Demokratisches Einheitsforum". "Die kleine Wahrheit, die wir  von der Regierung gehört haben, war, dass die Menschen nach einer Massenpanik in ein nahegelegenes Tal gerutscht und viele gestorben sind. Die Schuld dafür trägt aber die Regierung, weil die Soldaten und Polizisten in die Luft geschossen und Tränengas benutzt haben." (…)
Blogger festgenommen
Für noch mehr Wut bei den Demonstranten sorgte die Nachricht, dass die Polizei den bekannten Blogger Seyoum Teshome am Montag in seinem Haus festgenommen hat. (…) Das Internationale Komitee zum Schutz von Journalisten (CPJ) fordert die unverzügliche Freilassung von Teshome.
Wenn die Regierung den Dialog mit der Bevölkerung suchen würde, dann wäre das ein Zeichen von Stabilität in Äthiopien, sagt Merga Yonas Bula, DW-Journalist und selbst Oromo. Bislang gebe es aber immer wieder Berichte, dass Sicherheitskräfte mit scharfer Munition auf Demonstranten schössen. Die Gewalt verschlimmere die Lage und werde die Region weiter schwächen. (…)
Der Druck der internationalen Gemeinschaft, die ja einen großen Teil der Budgethilfe für Äthiopien leiste, müsse viel stärker werden, fordert Aktivist Tufa. Sonst drohten sich die Proteste und die Gewalt auf umliegende Städte und selbst auf Nachbarländer auszuweiten: "Das könnte verheerende Auswirkungen auf die gesamte Region haben und dazu führen, dass noch mehr Menschen in die  politisch ebenfalls angespannten Nachbarländer und nach Europa fliehen."
Mitarbeit: Negash Mohammed

4 October 2016  AU Welcomes Ethiopian Government Probe Into Deadly Stampede. Malaysian National News Agency.
The African Union has stated that it welcomes the decision by the Ethiopian government to investigate the cause of a stampede that killed 52 people during a festival over the weekend. ''The AU Commission Chairperson welcomes the government's efforts to investigate the cause of the stampede and to bring to justice those responsible, while calling for calm and peace," an AU statement read. (…)

4 October 2016  Protests rock Ethiopia after Irreecha festival Massacre. Reuters.
Protests broke out in some areas of Ethiopia’s Oromiya region on Monday, a day after dozens of people were killed in a stampede at a religious festival sparked by a bid by police to quell demonstrations, witnesses said. On Monday, witnesses said crowds took to the streets in Oromiya’s Ambo, Guder, Bule Hora and other towns in response to the deaths. Opposition politicians and government officials gave contrasting tolls of casualties that took place during the annual Irreecha festival in the town of Bishoftu, some 40 km (25 miles) south of the capital Addis Ababa, where police fired teargas and shots in the air to disperse protesters. The manager of the town’s government-operated referral hospital said the death toll had risen to 55, with 100 injured, from 52 dead on Sunday. An opposition leader told Reuters the number of dead stood at around 150.
On Monday, witnesses said crowds took to the streets in Oromiya’s Ambo, Guder, Bule Hora and other towns in response to the deaths. “Shots are still being fired. Everything remains shut – Ambo has been brought to a standstill,” said Mesfin, a university student who did not want to give his full name out of fear of reprisal. Two other residents of the other towns said scuffles took place between demonstrators and police. The region’s assistant police chief told journalists that “widespread disturbances” had taken place in several parts of the region. “Roads have been blocked, while government offices and vehicles have been burnt down. Police are trying to put an end to all this,” said Sorri Dinka, deputy commissioner of the Oromiya Police Commission. The Horn of Africa country has declared three days of national mourning, with flags flying at half mast throughout the country to pay tribute to the victims. (…)

3. Oktober 2016  GfbV hält offizielle Opferzahlen für nicht glaubwürdig.  entwicklungspolitik online.
Göttingen. - Die Gesellschaft für bedrohte Völker (GfbV) hat den Behörden Äthiopiens vorgeworfen, die Zahl der Todesopfer zu verschleiern, die bei der Niederschlagung von Protesten beim Erntedankfest der Oromo am Sonntag ums Leben kamen. "Die von der Regionalregierung Oromias genannte Zahl von 52 Todesopfern ist nicht glaubwürdig, da Augenzeugen über deutlich mehr Todesfälle berichteten", sagte GfbV-Afrikareferent Ulrich Delius am Montag in Göttingen. Das Blutbad müsse von unabhängigen internationalen Experten untersucht werden, um das wahre Ausmaß und die Verantwortung für den gewaltsamen Tod zu klären, forderte Delius. Augenzeugen gehen laut GfbV von bis zu 300 Toten aus. Die Menschenorganisation wies darauf hin, dass niemals von den Behörden glaubwürdige Opferzahlen vorgelegt worden seien, seit im November 2015 die öffentlichen Proteste der Oromo begannen. Regelmäßig sei die tatsächliche Zahl der Getöteten fünf- bis zehnmal so hoch, wie von offiziellen äthiopischen Stellen eingeräumt wurde.
So kamen nach offiziellen Angaben fünf Menschen Mitte Dezember 2015 bei Demonstrationen zu Tode. Tatsächlich seien damals jedoch mindestens 75 Oromo gestorben, erklärte die GfbV. Nach Informationen der Behörden sollen zwischen dem 5. und 7. August 2016 sieben Demonstranten getötet worden sein, in Wahrheit hätten aber mindestens 104 Oromo und Amhara ihr Leben verloren. "Die Menschen in Äthiopien haben jedes Vertrauen in Erklärungen ihrer Behörden verloren. Nur unabhängige internationale Experten können die wahren Umstände und Folgen des exzessiven Einsatzes von Gewalt durch Sicherheitskräfte klären", sagte Delius. Leider deute wenig darauf hin, dass die Behörden die Verantwortlichen für die dramatische Eskalation der Lage bei dem von mehr als zwei Millionen Menschen besuchten Fest juristisch zur Rechenschaft ziehen werden, erklärte die GfbV. Stattdessen solle den Oromo der Prozess gemacht werden, die die Teilnehmer des Fests dazu verleitet hätten, in Sprechchören Gerechtigkeit zu fordern.
"So macht man die Opfer zu Tätern, statt den unverantwortlichen Abwurf von Tränengas-Granaten auf die dicht gedrängt stehende Menschenmenge zu klären. Wer so einen Einsatz anordnet, nimmt bewusst den Tod von hunderten Menschen in Kauf, um Demonstranten mundtot zu machen", kritisierte Delius. Auch das von den Behörden eingeräumte Abfeuern von Warnschüssen sei unverantwortlich gewesen, da es eine Massenpanik ausgelöst habe, bei der viele Menschen zu Boden gefallen und niedergetrampelt worden seien. Videoaufnahmen und Aussagen von Augenzeugen deuten laut GfbV darauf hin, dass das Tränengas aus einem von der äthiopischen Armee genutzten Bell 205 - Hubschrauber aus US-amerikanischer Fertigung abgeworfen wurde. In der nahe gelegenen Stadt Debre Zeyit befinde sich eine Luftwaffenbasis.

2. Oktober 2016  Tödliche Massenpanik auf religiösem Festival. Bei einem religiösen Ritual ist es in Äthiopien zu einer Massenpanik gekommen. Mit Tränengas und Warnschüssen waren Polizisten gegen Regierungskritiker vorgegangen. Laut Augenzeugen starben Dutzende Menschen.  Spiegel Online.
Auf einem religiösen Festival in Äthiopien sind offenbar viele Menschen bei einer Massenpanik ums Leben gekommen. Sicherheitskräfte hatten versucht, regierungskritische Proteste auf der Veranstaltung in der Region Oromia zu stoppen - mit Tränengas und Warnschüssen. Daraufhin brach Panik unter den Besuchern aus, viele Menschen stürzten übereinander in einen Graben. Wie viele Menschen dabei verletzt wurden oder starben, ist noch unklar. Vertreter der Opposition sprachen von mindestens 50 Todesopfern. Die Regierung gab zunächst keine Zahlen bekannt, sprach aber von mehreren Verletzten und Toten.
Tausende Menschen waren zu dem jährlichen Festival in die Stadt Debre Zeyit gekommen, 40 Kilometer südlich der Hauptstadt Addis Abeba. Laut Berichten von Augenzeugen hatten Demonstranten auf einer Kundgebung "Wir brauchen Frieden" und "Wir brauchen Gerechtigkeit" skandiert. Auch hätten sie Steine und Flaschen in Richtung der Sicherheitskräfte geworfen. Zudem sollen die Regierungskritiker Flaggen einer Rebellengruppe geschwenkt haben, die bei der Regierung als terroristisch gilt. (…)

2 October 2016  Dozens Killed In Ethiopia After Stampede At Protest. At least 50 people were killed in the stampede.  Huffington Post.
ADDIS ABABA, Oct 2 (Reuters) - More than 50 people were killed in a stampede in Ethiopia’s Oromiya region that was triggered when police used teargas and shot in the air on Sunday to disperse anti-government protesters at a religious festival. The state broadcaster put the death toll at 52, citing regional officials. The opposition also said at least 50 people were killed at the annual festival where some people had chanted slogans against the government and waved a rebel group’s flag. (…)
When police fired teargas and guns into the air, crowds fled and created a stampede, some of them plunging into a deep ditch. The witnesses said they saw people dragging out a dozen or more victims, showing no obvious sign of life. Half a dozen people, also motionless, were seen being taken by pick-up truck to a hospital, one witness said. “As a result of the chaos, lives were lost and several of the injured were taken to hospital,” the government communications office said in a statement, without giving figures. “Those responsible will face justice.” (…)The government blames rebel groups and dissidents abroad for stirring up the protests and provoking violence. It dismisses charges that it clamps down on free speech or on its opponents. (…)

2 October 2016  Nearly 300 killed at Oromo Irrecha Festival in Bishoftu.  Ethiopian Review.
ADDIS ABABA (Oct 2) - Nearly 300 people were killed and many more injured on Sunday when soldiers fired tear gas and shots on tens of thousands of Oromos celebrating a religious festival in Bishoftu (Debre Zeit), about 40 km south of the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa. A helicopter gunship was also reportedly involved in firing shots on the people most of whom were killed in a stampede sparked by the tear gas fired more than what the crowd could take in.
Witnesses said the people were determined to celebrate the 'Erecha' religious festival in a peaceful manner but the Agazi soldiers were provoking the gathering into confrontations. Others said there were also soldiers who were firing shots into the crowd. Among the victims were those who drowned in a nearby lake and others who died as they fell off a cliff.
The mayhem began when ruling party officials took over the podium along with Oromo elders and the crowd asked the officials to leave the scene. "People booed government officials and demanded only elders should speak to the crowd," wrote the prominent Oromo activist Jawar Mohamed on his Facebook page. "All of a sudden tear gas, machines guns bullets began to rain on people from ground soldiers and helicopters. This caused panic and stampede. People fell of the cliff into a ditch and the lake." At least 120 bodies were reported at Bishoftu Hospital while 175 bodies were transported to morgues in Addis, according to activist Jawar Mohamed. Hospitals in the town were flooded with bodies and the injured. (…)

2 October 2016  Irreecha festival interrupted because of violence.  Ethiopian News Agency.
Addis Ababa Ocotober 02/2016 The annual Irreecha festival, a thanksgiving day of the Oromo people, has interrupted because of the planned violence orchestrated by some anti-peace groups, the Government Communication Affairs Office (GCAO) said. Despite the preparation made by Abba Gadaas, father of the Gadaa, and the regional government, the festival was disrupted because of the violence instigated by the elements, a statement the Office sent to ENA said. The festival was going smoothly with the blessing of the Abba Gadaas until the planned violence was started, said the statement. According to the Office, some people have lost their lives, while other are sustained injuries after a stampede. The Office extended condolences over the loss of lives.

2 October 2016  Eight TPLF forces killed in western Ethiopia.  ESAT News.
Eight security forces have reportedly been killed in Benishangul Gumuz region, western Ethiopia, following clashes with the local people in an area known as Sherkolle, whose land has been give to gold prospectors from Tigray region. Over one thousand investors, all from Tigray, were recently given large tracts of land in the region to explore gold which angered the locals, who were displaced to pave way for the prospectors. At least 25 locals have sustained injuries, chairman of the Benishangul People's Liberation Movement told ESAT. Yosef Hamid said over a thousand members of the regime’s military officials have moved and settled in Sherkolle to explore gold but the locals have refused to leave their land, leading to the deadly clashes. Tensions have remained high in the area, Hamid said.The TPLF-led regime has given hundreds of thousands of hectares of land in Benishangul, Gambella, and south Omo regions to exclusively Tigrians and few cronies of the regime displacing thousands of indigenous people from their land.

1 October 2016 Around 120 Ethiopian soldiers defected to Eritrea.  By CDE.
Around 120 Ethiopian soldiers defected to Eritrea via Sudan on Wednesday to join Ginbot 7 and Oromo Liberation Front (OLF), rebel groups that are backed by neighboring Eritrea. The Ethiopian soldiers who are opposing the racist policy of the TPLF regime travelled through Al Fushqa in Sudan to reach Eritrea said that the army is 'cracking' and 'the Tigrean officers have now resorted to imprisoning members of Amhara and Oromo ethnic soldiers within the army.' Nine month ago, around 80 Ethiopian soldiers defected to different opposition organizations in Eritrea through Zalambesa area.

- Economic Development -

22.10.2016    Ethiopia plans to collect 2 bln birr for GERD. Walta
Ethiopia plans to collect about 2 billion birr from the public to support the construction of the Great Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) in this budget year. (…) According to Dr. Debretsion, over 28 billion birr has been collected from the public in the last five years, and government targets to collect about 2 billion birr to speed up the construction of the GERD this fiscal year. Government plans to use multiple ways of fundraising mechanisms such us 81 00 SMS, bond purchase, games and various programs, (…)
54 percent of the construction of the great renaissance dam is now completed, said Dr Debretsion, the installation of turbines, which can generate 750 mega watts will start soon, he added.
The national council coordination of public participation for the great renaissance able to collect about 28 billon birr from the public planning to collect about 49.5 billion birr in the last five years period. The public contributed about 8.6 bln birr in the last budget year from the total pledge to give 12.4 billion birr and about 2.6 billion birr is obtained from diaspora community residing in different parts of the world, walta learnt.

12 October 2016  Ethiopia set to get new science, technology center.  Walta Information Center.
Deputy Prime Minister Demeke Mekonnen has announced government’s plan to build a new science and technology center that promotes innovative practices. The announcement came during his meeting with a Chinese delegation led by the country’s Science and Technology Vice Minister Hou Jianguo early today. The two officials discussed on ways to expand the all rounded Ethio-China cooperation in science and technology fields. Demeke told reporters following the bilateral talks that the center will be built in line with China's growing interest to make partnership with African countries in science and technology fields and help Ethiopia to be a center of innovation in the region.
The center will have importance in introducing modern science and technology practices among the youth and children and enabling them to translate their vision into reality. The new initiative will be taken by the Ethiopian government with China assisting its realization. Ethiopia needs to share China's reach experience in science and technology and translating it into efforts to scale up the implementation of innovative practices, Demeke said. he Deputy Prime Minister further noted that discussion was also held on promoting the Ethio- China cooperation in human resource development.

- Agriculture and Natural Resources -

24.10.2016    Ministry plants over 30 million seedlings around dams.  Walta Information Center
Water, Irrigation and Electricity Ministry said that 30.6 million seedlings are planted around water, irrigation basins during the concluded rainy season of the country. Public Relations Head with the Ministry, Bizuneh Tolcha, told WIC that 30.6 million seedlings are planted on 5,547 hectares of land at Tekeze, Gilgel Gibe, Valleys and Tana Beles basins. Bezunesh added that the plantation enabled the areas to recover their livelihoods. Besides, it prevented the dams from silt storage. According to Bizuneh, soil and water conservation works have been done on 130,446 hectares of land during the previous fiscal year.