[*] [-] [-] [x] [A+] [a-]  
[l] at 6/30/22 7:41am
0 Facebook 1 Twitter 0 Telegram 0 Email Bahir Dar, the Capital City of Amhara regional state. Pictures: Bahir Dar City Communication Addis Abeba The Bahir Dar City Administration Security Council issued statement today imposing curfew on movements of Bajaj, the three-wheeled motors widely used for city transport. According to the regions state media, the council passed the resolution imposing the curfew after it held emergency meeting in order to ensure public peace and security. Accordingly, a curfew on the movement of the Bajajs is imposed after 8:00 PM local time as of tonight. Owners or drivers of the Bajajs will take responsibility for any that will be taken against any Bajaj vehicle found operating after 8:00 PM the media said. The decision by the Council came in the backdrop tension in the city after university students started protesting against the killing on 18 June of mainly Amhara community in Tole, West Wollega zone of Oromia regional state. Several protests are popping up in various places, mainly university campuses both in Addis Abeba University and in various universities located in Amhara regional state. This week, the Bahir Dar police said that on 28 June evening, grenades exploded in four locations in the city, leading to the arrest of six suspects after security operations. The city police also said that 14 suspected accomplices linked to the six suspects have been arrested and were being investigated by state and federal security forces. Earlier today, Gizachew Muluneh, head of the Amhara State Government Communication Affairs Bureau, told regional media that the Amhara Regional State Security Council had discussed various issues and set directions with regard to the ongoing law enforcement operation in the region. Gizachew added that the law enforcement measures were registering progress to strengthen internal unity and protect against foreign enemies in the region. Although he is quoted by the media as saying that the Security Council has reviewed the outcomes of the law enforcement operation and noted shortcomings, he didnt state details. AS

[Category: Ethiopia, Amhara Regional State, News, Politics]

[*] [-] [-] [x] [A+] [a-]  
[l] at 6/30/22 6:06am
0 Facebook 0 Twitter 0 Telegram 0 Email By Etenesh Abera @EteneshAb Addis Abeba- In the course of the twice-postponed and contested Ethiopias sixth national elections held last in June 2021 in some parts of the country, opposition parties, Oromo Liberation Front (OLF) and Oromo Federalist Congress (OFC) withdrew, citing the jailing, harassment, and intimidation of their members as reasons. The Ogaden  National Liberation Front (ONLF) followed suit, citing intimidation and harassment of its members by the Somali regional branch of the ruling party Prosperity party won the majority seats in the House of Peoples’ Representatives (HoPR), and House of Federation (HoF) regional councils. Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed promised to commence a process to hold an inclusive national dialogue the same month the National Electoral Board of Ethiopia announced the election results which oversaw the Prosperity Party as the victor.  The National Dialogue Commission and Controversy Surrounding it  In December, 2021 the Standing Committee of Law, Justice, and Democracy at the HoPR announced that the National Dialogue Commission (NDC) proclamation did not include content on powers of negotiation, but rather was limited to facilitating a platform for a dialogue process amongst the many concerned actors. The public nomination process of the commissioners kicked off with the HoPR nominating 14 individuals.  Following the HoPR announcing the 42 shortlisted nominees to the public, three major opposition parties (OFC, OLF, ONLF) rejected the process, citing impartiality, lack of representation, and absence of knowledge. The selection process of the nominees for the commission’s board had its own controversy.   Political Parties Joint Council (PPJC), a coalition of more than 53 legally registered political parties, released a statement which asked the HoPR to temporarily halt the proceedings to select the eleven commissioners and conduct the process in an inclusive and trustworthy manner.  Rahel Baffie, chairwoman of the Political Parties Joint Council (PPJC),  in an interview with Addis Standard said the following in relation to the NDC, “I  can say it is our only hope. We have to be sure that it’s inclusive and impartial, I believe that anyone related to politics should be out of it and not control the process. They are all stakeholders, of course, there will be a way for them to come up with their issues and answers from the community. This government, the previous government as well, should be included.” The role of the NDC is yet to be properly clarified for the public Professor Mesfin Araya, NDC Chairman Professor Mesfin Araya, Chairman of NDC, in an interview with a local media outlet revealed that the NED will accept ideas of dialogue from the public and will start functioning based on priority. Despite high expectations of the public, Professor Mesfin added that  “ The role of the NDC is yet to be properly clarified for the public. For some, they thought we were in charge of the reconciliation between regions, and for others, we were going to facilitate the negotiations. But our clear role is facilitating dialogue.” Speaking on the inclusion of armed groups, the professor stressed a condition of  Unless they lay their arms down. Wolaita Scholars  Expectations form NDC Opinions in Wolaita about the national dialogue seem to be in sync with other parts of the country. Cautious hope, calls for inclusivity, and fair representation are at the core of demands. Like Tamen Ena, Assistant Professor at Wolaita Sodo University, who spoke to Addis Standard, and expressed his hopes for the outcome of the national dialogue. He said,” We have had the reconciliation commission with 41 members. But we didn’t hear anything from them and then the commission was disbanded without functioning.”  He outlined four requirements that are needed to have a successful national dialogue. He continued,  The first thing, the commission should be functional, unlike the now scattered reconciliation committee. Second, the dialogue must involve the lower structure of the government and victims of different incidents, in essence, grassroots-based. Third, The commission must be independent and without government influence. Finally, in regard to the commission members, they must be neutral.     His colleague Tezita Tekle (Lecturer at Wolaita Sodo University) believes that the national dialogue commission should be inclusive otherwise she suggests that third-party mediators could be an option to look at. Like her colleague, she criticized the reconciliation commissions track record and said, We have had the reconciliation commission which was dispatched without functioning after three years.’’ I know not all demands will not be answered by the commission, but major demands should be a priority. For example, Wolaita, the demand for statehood should be a priority, The people of Wolaita deserve it.”Tezita Tekle, Lecturer at Wolaita Sodo University She insisted that the dialogue be inclusive by engaging armed entities like the Tigray People’s Liberation Front and Oromo Liberation Army. In regards to providing lasting solutions, she added, I know not all demands will not be answered by the commission but major demands should be a priority. For example, Wolaita, the demand for statehood should be a priority, concluding, The people of Wolaita deserve it.” Abinet Chemere, lawyer and resident of Wolaita Sodo, agreed with Tezita on the inclusion of armed groups and argued that the main goal should be to bring peace.  He said, The cost of this war is multi-dimensional, for the Wolaita people as well as for others in the country.”  Abinet expressed fear that members of the NDC might be pressured to side with the government and along with its vision for how the national dialogue will be carried out. He argued that it is within their powers that are outlined in the proclamation to act independently and advised them to do so.AS

[Category: Ethiopia, In-depth Analysis, News, self determination, Wolaita Stathood Request]

[*] [-] [-] [x] [A+] [a-]  
[l] at 6/30/22 5:12am
0 Facebook 1 Twitter 0 Telegram 0 Email A recent report by Help Age International, older pastoralists in the Horn of Africa are calling for urgent action to save them from a drought that is leaving them and their entire way of living passed down the generations, at breaking point. Picture: Borana, Southern Oromia By Masresha Taye – Gayo@Masresha09 Addis Abeba Ethiopia’s pastoral regions are suffering from yet another episode of drought, the fourth in the previous five years. Drought is not a new occurrence in these locations; rather, the severity and frequency of droughts are growing, and they are becoming increasingly unpredictable. Drought has claimed the lives of millions of animals in the last ten years solely. More than a million animals are currently estimated to be affected by Ethiopia’s prolonged drought catastrophe in pastoral areas. Close to 400,000 sheep have been lost in the eight months preceding March this year alone in Borana, Ethiopia’s third-largest pastoral zone after Somalia and Afar. Economically, socially, environmentally, and politically, it’s a disaster. Simultaneously, a number of state and non-state entities are working to mitigate the effects of the drought on the country’s pastoral and agro-pastoral populations. Such efforts, as well as the issues they encounter, have been around for decades. So, who is to blame for such a disaster: the drought or the actors (politicians, humanitarian groups, researchers, etc.)? The solution is not straightforward because the nature of the problem is recognized from an organizational rather than a grassroots (pastoralist) perspective. But why, like many other countries, does Ethiopia fail to recognize drought and the issues faced by pastoralists in general? The following is an attempt to highlight some of the gaps. Pastoralism 101: The Fundamentals Pastoralism is ingrained in those pastoralists’ economic, social, institutional, environmental, and political outlooks, not just as a source of livelihood. Ethiopia has the largest cattle population in Africa, according to statistics. However, pastoralists possess almost two out of every five cattle, nearly seventy percent of goats, and all camels in the dryland system (also referred to as Arid and Semi-Arid Lands-ASALs). Make no mistake: livestock accounts for about 40% of agricultural GDP, which is the country’s economic backbone. Pastoralists and agro-pastoralists own a similar percentage of Ethiopia’s land (40%). “Without livestock and the environment they exist; our cultural identity is superficial.” Livestock is a source of food (milk, meat, and dairy products), income (sale of livestock and its products), wealth, and socio-cultural status (sharing responsibilities and exercising cultural matters and rituals) at the household level. Furthermore, livestock and the natural environments in which they operate are closely linked to socio-political, institutional, and environmental interactions. A councilor in Borana’s traditional administration, Gada, whom I met in July (2021), told me, “Without livestock and the environment they exist; our cultural identity is superficial.” A similar relationship exists in Somali between the presence of a Boku (village head) or an Ugaz (clan chief) and the presence of pastoralism. Pastoralism, however, is not a rosy system in Ethiopia, or anywhere else for that matter. It is confronted with several challenges and changes. Some of the shifts and challenges include increased natural and environmental shocks, land tenure changes, rangeland fragmentation, dwindling indigenous and communal rules and practices, conflicts, demography and livestock numbers, trade and market-related policies and politics, infrastructure expansion and connectivity, and the heavy presence of foreign and external actors. Pastoralism is a risky endeavor. Drought as a glue to the complex problem Drought is a scarcity of water and pasture. Due to the failure of seasonal rain, pastures become scarce. This, in turn, causes drought and, as a result, livestock mortality. Livestock mortality leads to food insecurity and further poverty traps in the long run. These are chains of causes and results. This appears to be linear, yet this is not the case. The current humanitarian response stems from a simplification of the drought’s multifaceted nature. I’m not implying that this assistance is ineffective. Instead, any type of development effort should include the drought’s institutional and structural challenges. To begin with, in a pastoral system, a seasonal rain failure does not always imply drought. This is because pastoralists have pasture resources and reserves for the wet and dry seasons. Mobility is crucial in this situation. Simply put, mobility (also known as movement or migration) refers to the act of withdrawing money from a bank during a cash need. Similarly, water resources are managed in the same way. Water-wells are closed and saved for the dry season when plenty of water is on the surface. Surprisingly, such water sources are not concentrated in one location. As a result, pastoralists relocate when a need arises. On the other hand, mobility does not happen at random; rather, it is influenced by a variety of circumstances. Understanding the herd’s characteristics, such as size, type, and condition, as well as resource (pasture and water) requirements. Pastoralists define criteria such as the availability of resources in the destination areas and potential conflicts of interest with other pastoral communities. So, why has drought-hit pastoralists in the last few years severe than in the past? Droughts, flooding, and diseases are becoming more common as a result of climate change (a swarm of locusts). This isn’t the whole tale. Some structural and institutional issues exist. Although wet season grazing grounds are significant, livestock mortality is primarily linked to the availability of pasture during the dry season. Pastoralists have been disenfranchised in Ethiopia since the 1960s due to large-scale development programs. Nearly 40% of valuable dry-season grazing pastures in Afar have been converted to state-run or commercial plantations. Expropriation of land is still going on. Sugar plantations have taken more than half of the land Karayu pastoralists own. Pastoralists in both locations lost significant access to Awash, the only supply of fresh water. Thousands of hectares of community land were enclosed in Borana and parts of Somali as a result of the African Development Bank and African Development Fund’s rangeland rehabilitation project in the 1960s and 70s. Pastoralists were forced to provide breeding stock on a quota system and at predetermined prices because of the vitality of these areas in terms of providing dry season grazing. These lands are presently either privately owned or, in some circumstances, owned by the regional government. While benefits were realized to pastoralists, several infrastructure developments ignore seasonal mobility and access to pastoral resources. As a result, they obstruct pastoralists’ mobility and access to resources. Pastoralists suffer from the loss of critical pasturelands as a result of unplanned urban or kebele center establishments/expansion. Not all interventions are necessarily bad or adversely affect pastoralists; particularly, schools and health facilities have contributed to the wellbeing of the pastoral community. However, several of such investments disregard the key features of pastoralism. To understand some of such disparities, I distributed digital cameras to pastoralists so that they could take pictures on such issues. Below is a picture was taken by a pastoralist in Borana to demonstrate that the recent planned airport construction by PM Abiy would evacuate close to 200 agro-pastoral households. The regional and federal governments believe “there is enough land for pastoralists, that no need to compensate affected households”, explains Malich, who took the picture. They will be relocated to other areas, which would affect their livelihood and destabilize their socio-institutional establishments. Nonetheless, the land is like a “medicine” for pastoralists to plant crops and use crop residues for their livestock. Policies encourage riverbank farming, resulting in the privatization and commodification of communal resources. Irrigation and water development projects are being built without regard for access (who accesses and how) to vital pastoral resources. Rather, they lead to resource expropriation by the wealthy and those with close ties to local politicians. Finally, land policies and rules have long ignored communal ownership; they are designed from the perspective of sedentarised (farming community) landholdings. Within the pastoral system, there are many additional variables to consider (endogenous). Increased human and livestock populations; weakened local institutions; rangeland fragmentation; and so on. When a drought strikes, the system that used to respond by diversifying the risk by implementing local strategies collapses. Dry-season reserves are no longer accessible. Mobility is restricted. Agriculture is being developed on prime wetlands. The wealthy either privatize or commodify the remaining resources. Rain failure causes all other issues, and the system is extremely sensitive to shock absorption. As a result, drought causes havoc throughout the system. Accept the fact, embrace the drought, and think differently Drought is at the heart of the problem for pastoralists and the natural, social, and economic environments in which they work. However, as previously stated, it is linked to a variety of issues and is not solely an environmental incident. Pastoralists in the past have shown that they recognize the nature of the drought and respond differently before, during, and after it occurs (collectively and individually). As a result, both state and non-state actors should embrace it, and efforts should align with pastoralists’ logic and perspectives rather than the other way around. The ongoing humanitarian efforts provide relief for pastoralists who have faced problems and challenges for decades. We must act and think in new ways. Let’s start with the facts: pastoralism in Ethiopia will continue despite numerous challenges and the devastating effects of drought. For the simple reason that it is a more viable and better option in the dryland system than other forms of economic activity/production for the foreseeable future. This does not imply that it has remained static and will continue to do so; rather, it has evolved. This necessitates an understanding of the various issues and paths that pastoralism and pastoralists take. First and foremost, drought is part and parcel of a dryland system. And due to the global climate change problem, the frequency, severity, and impact are likely to be with us for a long time. As a result, efforts by external actors (both state and non-state) should begin to recognize that the problem is not pastoralism but rather a complex of local, regional, and global factors. As a result, interventions should be limited to assisting pastoralists in improving their ability to respond to disasters without jeopardizing their local responses. Second, policymakers must understand and acknowledge the distinction between pastoralism and farming. As a result, the stories about pastoralism should not be compared to farming or any other form of economic activity. In the past, policies toward pastoralists and dryland systems were largely blamed on policymakers’ ignorance. This, however, has morphed into broader socio-political concerns. Pastoralists, according to those at the center (state-led) narratives, are a source of instability and insecurity. A policy bias that resulted in the confiscation of pastoral lands for “investment” or sedentarising pastoralists is now complicated by regional and national political considerations. As a result, there is corruption and poor governance. Furthermore, in the past, scarcity of resources (pasture or water) caused conflict in pastoral areas bordering the Oromia and Somali regions. In recent decades, they have become increasingly political, intending to gain a political or personal advantage. the wealthy and those with political clout begin to privatize key pastoral resources while disenfranchising the poor and vulnerable. Third, a plot of land has different uses and values for a pastoralist than it does for a farmer. For a policymaker, having a base camp and several satellite camps to operate is a luxury, but that’s part of pastoralism. Mobility is required by the natural environment, which requires using dry season pastures while restoring wet season grazing lands and vice versa. As a result, land policies and laws must be aware of the scenarios and dynamics that exist in pastoral areas. Pastoralism should be aided rather than hindered by land-based interventions and investments. Restoration of rangelands or sedentarising pastoralists, for example, has eroded collective (local) resource governance structures in most pastoral areas, as the wealthy and those with political clout begin to privatize key pastoral resources while disenfranchising the poor and vulnerable. Mobility and migratory patterns were disrupted, putting drought coping strategies at risk. Fourth, external actors should understand the current and possible pathways for pastoralists. UN OCHA’s 2007 study, which brought together pastoralists, researchers, development practitioners, and policymakers, and later studies by other regional scholars (for example, Andy Catley, Jeremy Lind, Ian Scoones in 2013), provides a good insight into the pathways of pastoralism in Ethiopia and the Horn. As a result, development interventions and projects must take into account a variety of factors, both now and in the future. Not all interventions are beneficial to all pastoralists; some exacerbate rather than alleviate problems. For example, water development is critical. However, if suitable governance mechanisms aren’t in place, it may encourage the commodification of pastoral resources near water sources. Similarly, pastoralists’ various opinions should be considered while designing schooling and other infrastructural services. Finally, any other sort of development intervention, including drought resilience, in pastoral areas necessitates a shift in perspective (socio-economic, institutional, and political). Policies, strategies, and development programs should be cognizant of the system’s distinct characteristics and act accordingly. AS Editor’s Note: Masresha Taye is a PhD researcher at the Institute of Development Studies, University of Sussex (UK), focusing on Pastoralism. He can be reached at ben.ersam@gmail or m.taye@ids.ac.uk. This article was first published on the March edition of Addis Standard print magazine.

[Category: Ethiopia, Ethiopia Drought, Horn of Africa, Opinion]

[*] [-] [-] [x] [A+] [a-]  
[l] at 6/30/22 12:15am
0 Facebook 1 Twitter 0 Telegram 0 Email Over the past several weeks, dozens of pictures were posted by Tigrayan activists showing children with severe skin diseases Addis Abeba A new report by the Ethiopian Human Rights Commission (EHRC) said that in the month of May the Commission has followed and monitored the detention of around 9, 000 Tigrayans who are held illegally and unconstitutionally since December 2020 in Semera and Agatina camps in the town of Semera, Afar Regional state. The Commission has called for the immediate end to the detention. According to the report released on Wednesday, the detainees were taken from three districts in the Afar Region bordering Tigray, namely, Abala, Koneba and Berhale, in connection with the civil war. Local authorities said they were held for the purpose of their own security and in connection with suspicion of crimes.” EHRCs report mentions several disturbing cases inside the Semera camp. It said that within the last five months alone, there are accounts of Tigrayans who have died of diseases; a mother who lost a child during birth; a young woman who is kept chained by her family due to mental illness; up to ten people who are suffering from open wounds; five children with mental disabilities, and children aged 4-5 years who are suffering from an epidemic of skin diseases, the contagious spread of which has threatened the remaining detainees in the camp due to lack of medical treatment. They were taken by the Afar Regional State Security Forces, in collaboration with the zonal and woreda authorities, and transported them on different days to the camps they remain detained since. The extremely limited availability of humanitarian aid and medical services caused epidemic-like diseases in the camps, including loss of lives The detainees interviewed by the Commission said that they had been evicted from their homes and were being held without their consent. During the visit by the EHRC team, there were 8,560 people in the two camps, the report said; and men and women were separated, forcing members of the same family to live apart. The extremely limited availability of humanitarian aid and medical services caused epidemic-like diseases in the camps, including loss of lives, and it is exacerbated by the fact that they are not allowed to receive medical facility except for when a woman is to give birth. EHRC said local authorities who spoke to its team say the restrictions on movement have been imposed [on the detainees] because of the need to their own security, and to identify people who are wanted on suspicion of a crime. EHRC Chief Commissioner Dr. Daniel Bekele said, “the detainees in Semera and Agatina camps in Semera, Afar Region, should be released immediately as they are detained illegally and arbitrarily based on ethnic identity. If there are people who want to stay in the camp until they return to their places of residence, it must be done voluntarily and without any restrictions. All those who wish to voluntarily return to their place of residence or remain in their current location should also be given the necessary support and assistance. If there are those who are reasonably suspected of crimes, who should otherwise be treated under the formal criminal justice system, the current treatment is unconstitutional and is exposing the people inside the camp to multiple human rights violations; it must end immediately and unconditionally, Daniel added. AS

[Category: Ethiopia, Afar regional state, Op/Ed, Africa, Law & Justice]

[*] [-] [-] [x] [A+] [a-]  
[l] at 6/29/22 6:44am
0 Facebook 1 Twitter 0 Telegram 0 Email The headquarter of Wolaita Zonal Administration By Etenesh Abera @EteneshAb Addis Abeba The Wolaita statehood quest dates back to the era of imperial Ethiopia, according to research conducted by Tensay Hailu. (Tensaye Hailu, Wolaytta’s Quest for Statehood: A Historical Overview and Analysis of Contemporary Quests for Regional Statehood in Ethiopia’s Federation, September 2019) “According to the retrospective and historical analysis, there had been more than 50 kings who rose from three different clans or tribes to make the dynasty: the Wolaita-Mala, Arugia, and Tigre; however, the two major dynasties, the Wolayta-Mala and Tigre are well known in the region to take the kingship and crown in which the monarchical leadership with different political structures had been practiced in the region (Wagesho, 2000; Chama, 2017, Babanto, 1970). It is neither related to the formation of a new country or state by secession nor to depart from other nationalities; Instead, it is genuinely a request for reformation of the state that had been forcefully assimilated by the political forces led by Menelik II at the end of 1800s. This infers that Wolaita was a country or state that had more than 50 kings who independently ruled over their territories; and it was called the kingdom of Wolaita or sometimes, Damota. “In general the public was rejecting the idea of being reconstituted under a new structure because they were being downgraded to woreda.” Adane Tayeza, historian In addition, several historical pieces of evidence, folklore, and written documents prove that the Wolaita state had its monetary system or coins shaped money that the people used to practice marketing inside and outside the region.” (Eshetu Degife Dana, The Benefit of Wolaita Regional State Formation in Ethiopia, September 2020) According to Tensaye Hailus research, after the kingdom of Wolaita fell to Menelik II, the kingdom’s capital was changed from Delbo to the current Zonal Capital, Sodo.  Adane Tayeza, (history and archive professional who co-authored a book called Feudal system in Wolaita with Abesha Sherko (Ph.D.) and regular history pieces contributor at Gifeta monthly magazine produced by the zonal culture and tourism bureau) stipulated that during the imperial regime of Haile Selassie I, Wolaita was one of the 80 Awrajas from an aggregate of 12 Teklay Gizats under the then Sidamo Teklay Gizat.  He added that during the Derg regime, leaders continued to be dispatched for Wolaita from the central part of the country. In the middle of the 1990s, the socialist government restructured around 28 woredas by naming the North Omo administration which created huge public disappointment. According to Adane Taye, infightings caused by ideological divides in Socialist  Ethiopia did leave a lot of scars in Wolaita’s history, the people of Wolaita still remember the infamous mass killing in the Sodo town by those suspected of being the members of the then-active Ethiopian Peoples Revolutionary Party (EPRP).  Adane mentioned that nationalities that were restructured under the nascent North Omo administrative entity did have a shared language and history amongst other facets. “ In general the public was rejecting the idea of being reconstituted under a new structure because they were being downgraded to woreda.” He reminiscences.  “During the 1991-94 Transitional Government period, the Wolaytta nationality was combined in Kilil 9 with Gamo, Gofa, Dawro, and others with the capital city in Arba Minch. Subsequently and following the establishment of the FDRE in 1995, Wolaytta was included within the newly created SNNPR (comprising Kilils 7,8,9,10,11) as one of the 54 nationalities that made up the Region. “(Makonnen Tesfaye, Wolaytta’s quest for democracy, self-determination and statehood, December 3, 2019) Post-EPRDF Era  In 2000, elders from Wolaita Zone wrote a letter addressed to the Ethiopian Constitutional Inquiry Council objecting to the new educational curriculum set by the then North Omo zone of the SNNPR. In the letter, the elders stated that both the regional and zonal councils breached the constitutional right of the Wolaita people by imposing a new language upon the people of Wolaita, by way of the ‘Wogagoda proposal’ which assumed the first two letters of each concerned nationality: Wolayta, Gamo, Gofa, and Dawaro.   In a letter reviewed by Addis Standard, the elders mentioned that the suggested language also breached the international conventions to which Ethiopia is a signatory, the conventions emphasized the school enrollment of children at the first level of education in their mother tongue.   Ten years after the EPRDF took power, Wolaita got the new zonal administration structure, with a lot of sacrifices. The letter demanded the recognition of the people of Wolaita and their language as a natural right and further called for the formation of a zonal or regional structure accordingly. In the same letter, the elders state that the people of Wolaita wish for their new administration structure which is reflective of their history and self-administration.  Around 1998 G.C, new facilitation offices started to settle in Sodo. Agricultural facilitation, police facilitation, and a court opened as a solution for the ongoing public question. Adane added, referring to what was the beginning of the new zonal structure.  After six months rattled by troubles and a peace rally, the incumbent at the time decided to pause the new educational language curriculum policy and afford Wolaita a new zonal administration structure.   Ten years after the EPRDF took power, Wolaita got the new zonal administration structure, with a lot of sacrifices. Adane remarks. He added that those individuals suspected of organizing and mobilizing the public were sentenced to jail terms lasting from six months to years, for asking for their rights. AS

[Category: Ethiopia, In-depth Analysis, self determination, Wolaita Stathood Request, Oppostion Parties, Ethiopia's Multinational Federalism, Southern Nations, Nationalities and Peoples Region]

[*] [-] [-] [x] [A+] [a-]  
[l] at 6/29/22 5:47am
0 Facebook 0 Twitter 0 Telegram 0 Email General Abdel-Fattah Burhan, head of Sudans ruling Sovereign Council, visited Al Fashaqa in the east of Sudan on Monday, according to Sudans official news agency, SUNA Addis Abeba The Chairperson of the African Union Commission, Moussa Faki Mahamat, said he is following with deep concern the escalating military tension between Ethiopia and Sudan and deeply regrets the loss of life at their common border. The Chairperson appeals for complete refrain from any military action whatever it’s origin and calls for dialogue between the two brotherly countries to solve any dispute. The Chairperson notes that the recent border skirmishes should not scuttle the diplomatic solutions being sought to resolve ongoing internal challenges in the two Member States, the AU said. Similarly, the Executive Secretary of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), Dr Workneh Gebeyehu, issued a statement expressing deep concern on the recent military escalation between Ethiopia and Sudan borders. IGAD also called on the two sisterly countries to exercise utmost restraint and avoid actions that can further heighten tensions and to actively seek diplomatic means to find a lasting and sustainable solution on the matter, according to the statement. Tensions escalated between the two countries after the accusation on Sunday June 26, by Sudanese army accusing the Ethiopian army of “executing” seven of its members and a civilians and “displaying the bodies” to the public. Sudanese army said this was “in a manner that contradicts all the laws and of war and international humanitarian law, the Ethiopian army executed seven Sudanese soldiers and a citizen who were prisoners of war and then presented them to their fellow citizens with all meanness”. However, both the Ethiopian Ministry of Foreign and Affairs and the National Defense Force (ENDF) denied the Sundanese armys accusation. The Ministry admitted the death and expressed its regrets at the loss of life but said it was as a result of a skirmish between the Sudanese army and a local militia of which an investigation would be carried out soon.” Similarly, the Ethiopian army said the accusation that the Ethiopian army had killed captives was unfounded and baseless and that its members were not in the area. Sudanese army vowed to take an “appropriate response”, and there have been reports of active military clashes along the contested border between the two countries. On Tuesday 28 June several reports said Sudans armed forces have reportedly fired heavy artillery in its eastern region bordering Ethiopia. AS

[Category: Ethiopia, Horn of Africa, Sudan, Secutity, Politics]

[*] [-] [-] [x] [A+] [a-]  
[l] at 6/29/22 4:36am
0 Facebook 2 Twitter 0 Telegram 0 Email The late Haacaaluu Hundeessaa By Martha Kuwee Kumsaa Addis Abeba There is an amazing aura of jubilation in the air. Young and old alike, we are celebrating the life and legacy of our beloved Haacaaluu Hundeessaa on the first anniversary of his assassination on 29 June 2021. The Halifax Regional Municipality in Nova Scotia Canada even named June 29 as Oromiya Day. Oromos and their friends were paying homage to our icon and offering him the great hero’s send-off he deserved but never received. We are honoring his incredible legacies and reflecting on how to take them further into the liberation of all nations trapped in the Ethiopian empire. Only a few months ago, such celebration seemed unthinkable, as the convulsing suicidal empire unleashed an avalanche of sinister tragedies one after another, bombarding and beating us down. It seemed like an eternal nightmare from which we could not wake up. We were engulfed by intense collective grief and mourning, the likes of which we had never seen before. Now, nothing is more inspiring than to watch our young people bounce back so dramatically. Nothing is more uplifting than to see them regroup, organize, and take charge of our collective affairs. Nothing is more joyous than to witness them break the harsh grip of the sinister imperial grief with such incredible resolve and take Haacaaluu’s legacies into a brighter future. Musicians have sung for the musical genius, Haacaaluu. Artists have created wonderfully imaginative pieces for him. Scholars and activists have poured out oceans of ink writing about him. But what is so great about Haacaaluu? What are his important legacies? He dug into the deep cultural wells and beautiful rhythmic melodies of ancient Oromo music Arts activism is a deeply relational process, and Haacaaluu did this with a unique finesse that only he could accomplish. He dug into the deep cultural wells and beautiful rhythmic melodies of ancient Oromo music. He revitalized and amplified Oromo resistance music and used them to shake the roots of the dying empire. Haacaaluu stands out as the most fearless freedom singer of his generation. He sang freedom to the empire, urging it to come to terms with its past and free itself from its imperial chains. He passionately supported the new multinational Ethiopia where all its diverse peoples live in freedom and with equal respect and dignity. In deep resonance with his people’s heartbeat, however, Haacaaluu also noticed that imperial Ethiopia may have been pared down tremendously by the last regime, but multinational Ethiopia was still stuck in its imperial ruins and could not move past it. There was a sharp discrepancy between the words and deeds of the regime, thus triggering large scale dissent and protest. Perhaps Haacaaluu is most renowned for his inspirational leadership in the years of peaceful protests of qeerroo and qarree that ushered the current regime into power. He symbolizes the fiery spirit of his qubee [alphabet] generation – a generation schooled in its own Oromo language and knew a region called Oromia. This is a generation that stood on the ruins of empire and enjoyed the spectacular achievements of the bitter struggle of the generations before it. Unlike the previous generations who were despised for being Oromo and disparaged for speaking their language and their truth, the qubee generation grew up with a sense of fierce freedom, equality and trust in the human dignity of Oromos. When the system preached freedom but practiced repression, however, this generation took to the streets demanding freedom and democracy. The grassroots movements offered a peaceful alternative to the hitherto sole strategy of armed struggle to achieve freedom. What is the current regime doing by mass killing and jailing of young Oromo peaceful protesters? It is driving them to armed struggle in tens of thousands, just like it is doing in its war on Tigray Now, this marks a pivotal turning point in the Oromo struggle for national liberation. Haacaaluu’s music had a tremendous contribution to these peaceful protests. His songs inspired the young people who brought the repressive regime to its knees. They simply raised their hands and demanded justice. And they continued to do so even as live bullets of the regime’s security forces rained down on them, and even through repeated State of Emergency declarations. When the current regime was ushered in on the backs of these peaceful protests and in the last breaths of the dying empire, its mandate was to dismantle the empire and democratize multinational Ethiopia. Unfortunately, it chose to resuscitate the dying empire while giving a compulsively deceptive lip service to multinational Ethiopia. As in his life, Haacaaluu is marking yet another turning point in his death. What is the current regime doing by mass killing and jailing of young Oromo peaceful protesters? It is driving them to armed struggle in tens of thousands, just like it is doing in its war on Tigray. It is making violence the only option of not only surviving but also dismantling the dying empire. The assassination of Haacaaluu is an act of the dying empire trying its weary and shaky old hand to strike back. By shooting Haacaaluu, however, Imperial Ethiopia simply shot itself. It shot down its best chance to transform and renew. It chose death. The nonstop violence and repression we are witnessing since Haacaaluu’s assassination is the empire convulsing from its slow suicide. AS Editor’s Note: Martha Kuwee Kumsa, is a Siinqee feminist and a Professor at Wilfrid Laurier University in Canada, specializing in Oromo culture and immigrant identity. Professor Kuwee can be reached at kuweekumsaa@gmail.com 

[Category: Ethiopia, Tribute, Art and culture, Art Review, Africa]

[*] [-] [-] [x] [A+] [a-]  
[l] at 6/29/22 2:05am
0 Facebook 1 Twitter 0 Telegram 0 Email By Mahlet Fasil @MahletFasil Addis Abeba Federal Prosecutors indicted journalist Temesgen Desalegn, owner and managing director of the Amharic weekly, Fitih magazine, this morning with three separate criminal counts. The charges were formally read to the defendant at the Federal High Court Lideta Branch, First Constitutional and Anti-Terrorism Bench. Temesgen was first detained on 26 May after the police accused him of “inciting riots and creating public mistrust on the Ethiopian National Defense Forces and the government.” He was admitted to hospital for treatment after the police physically assaulted him during family visit on 03 June. Temesgen, who has been appearing in court since, was arraigned on Tuesday 28 June at the Federal High Court Lideta Division, but prosecutors couldnt read the charges against him in the court due ti absence of presiding judges. The prosecutors however submitted the written lawsuit, but the charges were not formally read to Temesgen. The defense team, led by defense lawyer Henok Aklilu, had to return home without receiving the written copies of the lawsuit and returned to the court this morning. This is a developing story for details on the three criminal counts. AS

[Category: Ethiopia, News, Law & Justice]

[*] [-] [-] [x] [A+] [a-]  
[l] at 6/29/22 1:26am
0 Facebook 1 Twitter 0 Telegram 0 Email Radhika Coomaraswamy (left), replaces Fatou Bensouda as a member of the three-person UN Commission on Ethiopia. Picture: UN agencies Addis Abeba The President of the Human Rights Council, Ambassador Federico Villegas, announced yesterday the appointment of Radhika Coomaraswamy, former Chairperson of the Sri Lanka Human Rights Commission, to serve as a member of the International Commission of Human Rights Experts on Ethiopia. Ms. Coomaraswamy will join Kaari Betty Murungi of Kenya (chair) and Steven Ratner of the United States of America, who were appointed to serve on the human rights investigative body on 2 March 2022.  The Geneva-based Human Rights Council created the Commission of Human Rights Experts on 17 December 2021 with a mandate to investigate allegations of violations and abuses of international human rights, humanitarian and refugee law in Ethiopia committed since 3 November 2020 by all parties to the conflict. Today’s appointment comes after the resignation of Fatou Bensouda as a member of the three-person Commission on 8 June 2022, following her nomination to serve as The Gambia’s High Commissioner to the United Kingdom. Ms. Coomaraswamy brings to this position years of experience as a human rights lawyer, expert and advocate having served in various positions in her country and in the international arena. She has held several prior roles, including as a member of the Human Rights Council-created Independent International Fact-Finding Mission on Myanmar from 2017 to 2019 and as Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict from 2006 to 2012. The Commission of Human Rights Experts on Ethiopia will deliver an oral report to the Human Rights Council on 30 June, which will be its first presentation to the Council. The Commission is scheduled to present a comprehensive written report to the human rights body in September and subsequently to the UN General Assembly session later this year. Biography of Radhika Coomaraswamy Radhika Coomaraswamy (Sri Lanka), a lawyer by training and formerly the Chairperson of the Sri Lanka Human Rights Commission, is an internationally known human rights advocate who has worked as the UN Special Rapporteur on Violence against Women (1994-2003) and as a Member of the Human Rights Council-mandated Fact-finding Mission on Myanmar from 2017 to 2019.  Additionally, she served as Under-Secretary-General and Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict (2006-2012), for which she was charged with preparing the annual report of the Secretary-General on Children and Armed Conflict.  In 2014, Ms. Coomaraswamy was appointed by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon as lead author on a Global Study on the implementation of UN Security Council resolution 1325 on women, peace and security.  She received her B.A. from Yale University, her J.D. from Columbia University, an LLM from Harvard University and honorary PhDs from Amherst College, the Katholieke Universities Leuven, the University of Edinburgh, the University of Essex and the CUNY School of Law. UN dispatch

[Category: Ethiopia, News, Africa, Law & Justice]

[*] [-] [-] [x] [A+] [a-]  
[l] at 6/28/22 7:46am
2 Facebook 1 Twitter 0 Telegram 0 Email By Biruk Alemu  Addis Abeba-The soaring fuel prices have greatly impacted the transportation services, Addis Ababa City public transport users and taxi drivers told Addis Standard. According to various economists and international reports, oil prices have risen sharply as a result of the Russia-Ukraine war to the extent that the price of a single barrel of crude oil has risen to $140, which is a significant increase since mid-2008. The oil price hikes at the international level have put Ethiopia, which has already been languishing in high inflation due to civil war, drought, and other factors, placing the country in a difficult position.   Due to the price increment in the international market, the Ethiopian government announced last month that oil prices would be augmented too. Addis Ababa Transport Bureau, on its part, subsequently stated an increment of transportation fees for taxis ranging from 0.50 cents to 3.50 ETB. The government warned that it would take action against those who raise prices on utilities or consumer goods following its oil price adjustment. This warning hasn’t stopped ‘entities’ from increasing prices, residents told Addis Standard. According to the residents’ testimonies, the cost of living has skyrocketed right after the government’s oil price adjustment, and said they have so far been subjected to unnecessary hustles to find affordable transportation.  According to various segments of Addis Abeba’s residents, who gave their testimonies to Addis Standard, the day after the government raised the price of fuel, business owners and transport providers started simultaneously increasing their respective prices. They added that the move has exacerbated the already high cost of living in the city.  Following the oil price adjustment in the country, Addis Abeba City Administration Transport Bureau announced its decision of revising the tariffs for mid-bus and mini-bus transport vehicles to be implemented from June 8th of 2022 in accordance with its assessment.   Regardless of the city’s Transport Bureau warning of taking punitive actions against transport service renders who are found to increase prices other than what it stated the tariff ought to be, residents told Addis Standard that they had encountered taxis and other service providers involved in increasing the price against what the Bureau had underlined. “The government’s price adjustment has heavily impacted us,” they added.  What do Addis Abeba Residents say? Sema Mengistu, a resident of Addis Abeba, spoke to our correspondent regarding the impact of the oil price adjustment. “Following the rise in fuel prices, the cost of living has skyrocketed which has forced [Addis’s] residents to use Sheger and Anbesa buses [the city’s bus]. Because the taxis have increased their fares, public transport users have shifted to look for scarcely available city buses that have resulted in long queues. This has led to a shortage of buses, making it difficult for the community to use its time effectively and efficiently.”  Sema further went on to say that the taxis have significantly increased their fares following the oil price adjustment. “For instance, where the fare from Megenagna to Bole Arabssa is supposed to be 15 birr, they doubled it when it gets dark,” adding, “ When you go out for shopping, you’ll notice alarming price hikes which the business owners tell you that the transportation increments have forced them to do so.” The increase in fuel has caused the price of items from the rural districts to rise and exposed the community to a high cost of living. Drivers of food commodities from the rural areas have increased prices due to increased fuel prices. Due to rising fuel prices, traders have also raised prices in the community, “ Henok Moges, another resident of Addis Abeba, said expressing his complaints.   The Communications Director of the Ministry of Trade and Regional Integration, Kumneger Eshetu, told Addis Standard that a task force was established three months ago and is currently working to manage the inflation as a result of higher oil prices. What effect does the fuel increase have on taxi drivers? According to taxi drivers interviewed by Addis Standard at the Megenagna area in the capital, the government raised fuel costs without considering the effect it would have on taxi drivers. The increase in fuel prices has led to a considerable increase in the cost of spare parts. Concerned bodies should resolve the matter,” they added. Rising fuel prices have affected taxi owners. We have not been able to buy spare parts, Ato Tadele Wolde Michael, a taxi driver, and owner, told Addis Standard. “Due to the fuel price increment and tariff adjustment, spare part vendors are raising prices. The transportation tariff has only been increased merely 50 cents to 2 birr whereas the price of spare parts, such as motor oil, filters, tires, belt, and other products, has dramatically increased as a result,” He lamented experiencing such high costs. Explaining the alarming price, Tadele stated that previously engine oil used to cost about 800 birr which now costs more than double: 1,800 birr. “We used to buy filter oil at 150 birr but now it has gone up to 250 birr. A single tire was approximately 3,000 birr which has now nearly tripled to 8,000 birr,” he kept complaining. He further explained that being a taxi driver has now become the job you would do only when you don’t have another option. “It has become worthless,” he said. According to him, the government and taxi riders have not understood what he and other taxi drivers have endured.  Tesfaye Tamirat is another taxi driver that Addis Standard spoke to regarding the impact of oil price increment on his job. “The oil price adjustment has resulted in an alarming price increment on spare parts,” he expressed his astonishment.  According to Tesfaye, a brake which he used to buy at a cost of 400 birr has now gone up to 830 birr. He further underscored that the government should intervene and control how spare part sellers and doing their business in the city and said affording the cost has become ‘unattainable’. He also said that some taxi drivers, dealing with ‘controllers’, are charging the public higher tariffs just to afford buying spare parts.  “Driving has now become unprofitable and is the job you do when you don’t have another option. All we earn is going towards the vehicle’s maintenance and spare parts. We can’t stand the high cost of living, including house rent and managing expenses for the households,” Tesfaye said.  Mesay Zewdu, another driver, called on the government to look for options directed at the availability of affordable spare parts instead of its planned program of subsidizing oil.  Depletion of Sheger bus and its effects  The Addis Ababa Transport Bureau has contracted more than 400 cross-country buses with private service providers and named them Sheger Support buses to provide services. Since these buses became operational, they have alleviated the problem of transportation to some extent in the city. However, currently, the number of these buses has dwindled and the users are being exposed to indescribable difficulties. Following the cessation of these buses’ operation, taxis have alarmingly been increasing their tariffs which have resulted in shortages of means of transportation and unnecessary inconvenience for commuting residents.  A local media outlet quoted several residents of Addis Abeba saying,” the transportation problem in the city has hindered them from working and has become a hurdle for life,” adding,” the illegal activities, including unfair tariff charges, by transport service providers during work rush hours have become a serious challenge.” These residents further said that the shutting down of ‘Sheger Support buses’ has resulted in such chaos.  Addis Ababa Transport Bureau Communication Director, Etsegenet Abebe, told the aforementioned media outlet that some of the bus services have been discontinued since May 9, 2022, due to a request for service tariffs and fees. She added that the bureau is working to find a solution based on research. Addis Standard’s attempts to get hold of suppliers of petroleum, the Ministry of Trade and Regional Integration, the Addis Ababa Transport Bureau, and the Public Relations Officer of the City Government for further commentary were unsuccessful.AS

[Category: Ethiopia, News Analysis, Social Affairs]

[*] [-] [-] [x] [A+] [a-]  
[l] at 6/28/22 7:46am
0 Facebook 0 Twitter 0 Telegram 0 Email By Biruk Alemu  Addis Abeba-The soaring fuel prices have greatly impacted the transportation services, Addis Ababa City public transport users and taxi drivers told Addis Standard. According to various economists and international reports, oil prices have risen sharply as a result of the Russia-Ukraine war to the extent that the price of a single barrel of crude oil has risen to $140, which is a significant increase since mid-2008. The oil price hikes at the international level have put Ethiopia, which has already been languishing in high inflation due to civil war, drought, and other factors, placing the country in a difficult position.   Due to the price increment in the international market, the Ethiopian government announced last month that oil prices would be augmented too. Addis Ababa Transport Bureau, on its part, subsequently stated an increment of transportation fees for taxis ranging from 0.50 cents to 3.50 ETB. The government warned that it would take action against those who raise prices on utilities or consumer goods following its oil price adjustment. This warning hasn’t stopped ‘entities’ from increasing prices, residents told Addis Standard. According to the residents’ testimonies, the cost of living has skyrocketed right after the government’s oil price adjustment, and said they have so far been subjected to unnecessary hustles to find affordable transportation.  According to various segments of Addis Abeba’s residents, who gave their testimonies to Addis Standard, the day after the government raised the price of fuel, business owners and transport providers started simultaneously increasing their respective prices. They added that the move has exacerbated the already high cost of living in the city.  Following the oil price adjustment in the country, Addis Abeba City Administration Transport Bureau announced its decision of revising the tariffs for mid-bus and mini-bus transport vehicles to be implemented from June 8th of 2022 in accordance with its assessment.   Regardless of the city’s Transport Bureau warning of taking punitive actions against transport service renders who are found to increase prices other than what it stated the tariff ought to be, residents told Addis Standard that they had encountered taxis and other service providers involved in increasing the price against what the Bureau had underlined. “The government’s price adjustment has heavily impacted us,” they added.  What do Addis Abeba Residents say? Sema Mengistu, a resident of Addis Abeba, spoke to our correspondent regarding the impact of the oil price adjustment. “Following the rise in fuel prices, the cost of living has skyrocketed which has forced [Addis’s] residents to use Sheger and Anbesa buses [the city’s bus]. Because the taxis have increased their fares, public transport users have shifted to look for scarcely available city buses that have resulted in long queues. This has led to a shortage of buses, making it difficult for the community to use its time effectively and efficiently.”  Sema further went on to say that the taxis have significantly increased their fares following the oil price adjustment. “For instance, where the fare from Megenagna to Bole Arabssa is supposed to be 15 birr, they doubled it when it gets dark,” adding, “ When you go out for shopping, you’ll notice alarming price hikes which the business owners tell you that the transportation increments have forced them to do so.” The increase in fuel has caused the price of items from the rural districts to rise and exposed the community to a high cost of living. Drivers of food commodities from the rural areas have increased prices due to increased fuel prices. Due to rising fuel prices, traders have also raised prices in the community, “ Henok Moges, another resident of Addis Abeba, said expressing his complaints.   The Communications Director of the Ministry of Trade and Regional Integration, Kumneger Eshetu, told Addis Standard that a task force was established three months ago and is currently working to manage the inflation as a result of higher oil prices. What effect does the fuel increase have on taxi drivers? According to taxi drivers interviewed by Addis Standard at the Megenagna area in the capital, the government raised fuel costs without considering the effect it would have on taxi drivers. The increase in fuel prices has led to a considerable increase in the cost of spare parts. Concerned bodies should resolve the matter,” they added. Rising fuel prices have affected taxi owners. We have not been able to buy spare parts, Ato Tadele Wolde Michael, a taxi driver, and owner, told Addis Standard. “Due to the fuel price increment and tariff adjustment, spare part vendors are raising prices. The transportation tariff has only been increased merely 50 cents to 2 birr whereas the price of spare parts, such as motor oil, filters, tires, belt, and other products, has dramatically increased as a result,” He lamented experiencing such high costs. Explaining the alarming price, Tadele stated that previously engine oil used to cost about 800 birr which now costs more than double: 1,800 birr. “We used to buy filter oil at 150 birr but now it has gone up to 250 birr. A single tire was approximately 3,000 birr which has now nearly tripled to 8,000 birr,” he kept complaining. He further explained that being a taxi driver has now become the job you would do only when you don’t have another option. “It has become worthless,” he said. According to him, the government and taxi riders have not understood what he and other taxi drivers have endured.  Tesfaye Tamirat is another taxi driver that Addis Standard spoke to regarding the impact of oil price increment on his job. “The oil price adjustment has resulted in an alarming price increment on spare parts,” he expressed his astonishment.  According to Tesfaye, a brake which he used to buy at a cost of 400 birr has now gone up to 830 birr. He further underscored that the government should intervene and control how spare part sellers and doing their business in the city and said affording the cost has become ‘unattainable’. He also said that some taxi drivers, dealing with ‘controllers’, are charging the public higher tariffs just to afford buying spare parts.  “Driving has now become unprofitable and is the job you do when you don’t have another option. All we earn is going towards the vehicle’s maintenance and spare parts. We can’t stand the high cost of living, including house rent and managing expenses for the households,” Tesfaye said.  Mesay Zewdu, another driver, called on the government to look for options directed at the availability of affordable spare parts instead of its planned program of subsidizing oil.  Depletion of Sheger bus and its effects  The Addis Ababa Transport Bureau has contracted more than 400 cross-country buses with private service providers and named them Sheger Support buses to provide services. Since these buses became operational, they have alleviated the problem of transportation to some extent in the city. However, currently, the number of these buses has dwindled and the users are being exposed to indescribable difficulties. Following the cessation of these buses’ operation, taxis have alarmingly been increasing their tariffs which have resulted in shortages of means of transportation and unnecessary inconvenience for commuting residents.  A local media outlet quoted several residents of Addis Abeba saying,” the transportation problem in the city has hindered them from working and has become a hurdle for life,” adding,” the illegal activities, including unfair tariff charges, by transport service providers during work rush hours have become a serious challenge.” These residents further said that the shutting down of ‘Sheger Support buses’ has resulted in such chaos.  Addis Ababa Transport Bureau Communication Director, Etsegenet Abebe, told the aforementioned media outlet that some of the bus services have been discontinued since May 9, 2022, due to a request for service tariffs and fees. She added that the bureau is working to find a solution based on research. Addis Standard’s attempts to get hold of suppliers of petroleum, the Ministry of Trade and Regional Integration, the Addis Ababa Transport Bureau, and the Public Relations Officer of the City Government for further commentary were unsuccessful.AS

[Category: Ethiopia, News Analysis, Social Affairs]

[*] [-] [-] [x] [A+] [a-]  
[l] at 6/28/22 6:36am
0 Facebook 0 Twitter 0 Telegram 0 Email Addis Abeba A 13-member national committee has been formed under the coordination of the Oromia Regional State Majlis in response to the killing on the weekend of 18 June of several dozens of civilians in Tole Kebele, Gimbi woreda, West Wollega Zone of Oromia regional state. The overwhelming number of the victims are Muslims from the minority Amhara community members in the area in what is globally condemned as the deadliest attack on against civilians. According to the Oromia and Majlis, and Harun Media reports, the 13-member committee formed by the former is made up of elders, prominent Islamic teachers and scholars, including Ustaz Abubakar Ahmed and Ustaz Kamil Shemsu, as well as artists and respected members of the Ulama. The committee is expected to coordinate with federal and regional governments focusing on three main tasks: to support and rehabilitate the surviving victims and to coordinate the support for those the IDP centers who are in need of urgent assistance; to investigate the deadly attack in detail and report the damages to the public and other stakeholders to ensure that victims received justice; and to work with relevant stakeholders to find a lasting solution to the recurring problems attacks targeting Muslims. According to zonal authorities, at least 1,200 households (4,800 people) have been displaced to Diga woreda in East Wollega Zone The committee was set up to work closely with the federal and state governments to address the root causes of the ongoing killings and attacks targeting Muslims in the Wollega zone, according to Harun Media. The committee, which has called the Muslim community to stand by it, is expected to provide briefing to the public within the coming few days. According to the latest UNOCHA humanitarian report released on 27 June, dozens of civilians have been reportedly killed in Tole kebele in Gimbi woreda, West Wollega Zone, Oromia Region, following fighting between armed groups and security forces. Partners have not yet been able to verify information regarding this incident or assess the situation and needs in the area due to restricted access. According to zonal authorities, at least 1,200 households (4,800 people) have been displaced to Diga woreda in East Wollega Zone. AS

[Category: Ethiopia, Oromia Regional State, News, Law & Justice]

[*] [-] [-] [x] [A+] [a-]  
[l] at 6/28/22 2:51am
0 Facebook 1 Twitter 0 Telegram 0 Email Addis Abeba Ethiopias Ministry of Defense denied as baseless the accusation by Sudanese army that its army executed seven Sudanese soldiers and a civilian captured during recent skirmishes. On Sunday June 26, Sudanese army accused Ethiopian army of executing seven of its members and a civilians and displaying the bodies to the public. Sudanese army said this was “in a manner that contradicts all the laws and of war and international humanitarian law, the Ethiopian army executed seven Sudanese soldiers and a citizen who were prisoners of war and then presented them to their fellow citizens with all meanness”. However, Colonel Getnet Adane, Ethiopian National Defense Forces (ENDF) Public Relations Director, said ENDF members were not present at the scene and the Sudanese army that entered the Ethiopian territory clashed with local militias. He added that the army is ready to work with a committee comprising representatives of the two countries armed forces to investigate the attack. Colonel Getnet told state run daily, ENA, that during the onset of the war in Tigray, the Sudanese army invaded the Ethiopian territory in a manner that did not match the historical friendship between Ethiopia and the Sudanese people. He also mentioned that Sudanese defense force was harassing Ethiopia whenever it was facing internal problems at various times. Furthermore, Colonel Getnet accused Sudanese forces of recently infiltrating Ethiopian territory and attacking Ethiopian militias in the area, resulting in injuries on both sides. The army operates within strict chain of command and will not engage in banditry even if there is no military chain of command from the government. Colonel Getnet While this is the reality, he said the Sudanese armys accusation that the Ethiopian army had killed captives while it was not it the area was unfounded and baseless. Colonel Getnet added that even if the army was there and had captured prisoners of war, respect and compliance to the law are the hallmarks of the army. He noted that the Ethiopian militarys discipline had been demonstrated during the Korean and Congolese campaigns, and that its discipline in the deployment of its members in Abyei region between two Sudanese states had been praised. The army operates within strict chain of command and will not engage in banditry even if there is no military chain of command from the government. On Monday, the Ethiopian Ministry of Foreign Affairs said the Ethiopian Government regretted the loss of life as a result of a skirmish between the Sudanese army and a local militia and vowed an investigation would be carried out soon.” The Ministry also “categorically the Sudanese defense forces misrepresentation of these factsthat unjustly put the blame on Ethiopia while it was the Sudanese army unit that has crossed into the Ethiopian border provoking the incident.” AS

[Category: Ethiopia, News, Sudan, Politics]

[*] [-] [-] [x] [A+] [a-]  
[l] at 6/27/22 12:36pm
1 Facebook 2 Twitter 0 Telegram 0 Email Four of the seven member peace negotiation team. Picture: EPA Addis Abeba State run EPA announced names of seven member peace negotiation team appointed by the federal government to resolve the crisis in the northern part of the country. The team is chaired by Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Demeke Mekonnen, and is composed of members: Gedion Timothewos (PhD), Minister of Justice, Temesgen Tiruneh, Director General of the National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS), Ambassador Redwan Hussine, Security Advisor of Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, Lt. Gen. Berhanu Bekele, Ambassador Hassan Abdulkadir, and Dr. Getachew Jember. The names are announced following earlier presser where Gedion Timothewos, said that the recently held meetings by the Central Committee and the Executive Committee members of the ruling Prosperity Party party have “put a direction” outlining the “peace alternatives” to solve “the problem in the northern part of our country.” Dr. Gedion said the direction the party will pursue will be “in a manner that respects the constitution and national interest” of the country and “facilitated by the African Union.” On June 14 Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed told lawmakers that his government “wants peace with everyone” and revealed for the first time that “a study committee” has been formed under the leadership of Demeke Mekonnen. An open letter from the President of Tigray on the position of the government of Tigray with respect to peace talks @reda_getachew @ProfKindeya pic.twitter.com/HQgOX8VXTv— Tigray External Affairs Office (@TigrayEAO) June 14, 2022 Although the statement from the federal government said peace talks to be held under the “facilitation of the African Union,” in a letter addressed to President Macky Sall, Chairperson of the African Union and President of Senegal on 14 June, Debretsion Gebrechichael (PhD), President of Tigray state, expressed reservations in the AU led process. The silence of the African Union over the war and the atrocities perpetrated by the forces ranged against us was a betrayal of the Foundational Principles of the Union. We have consistently condemned the failure of the African Union Chairperson and his High Representative to take a position consistent with their solemn obligations under the Constitutive Act of the Union, the Protocol establishing the Peace and Security Council, and a host of other commitments entered into. In the considered view of the People and Government of Tigray the leadership of the African Union Commission has yet to redeem its failures and restore our trust, the letter said. Debretsion also said Tigrays position remains that the peace process requires the engagement of a range of international partners, under the leadership of the Government of Kenya. Among those partners are the United States, the European Union, the United Arab Emirates, the United Nations, and the African Union. So far there is no comment from regional authorities in Mekelle over todays announcement by the federal government. AS

[Category: Ethiopia, Tigray regional state, Armed Conflict in Tigray, Politics]

[*] [+] [-] [x] [A+] [a-]  
[l] at 6/27/22 12:36pm
0 Facebook 0 Twitter 0 Telegram 0 Email Four of the seven member peace negotiation team. Picture: EPA Addis Abeba State run EPA announced names of seven member peace negotiation team appointed by the federal government to resolve the crisis in the northern part of the country. The team is chaired by Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Demeke Mekonnen, and is composed of members: Gedion Timothewos (PhD), Minister of Justice, Temesgen Tiruneh, Director General of the National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS), Ambassador Redwan Hussine, Security Advisor of Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, Lt. Gen. Berhanu Bekele, Ambassador Hassan Abdulkadir, and Dr. Getachew Jember. The names are announced following earlier presser where Gedion Timothewos, said that the recently held meetings by the Central Committee and the Executive Committee members of the ruling Prosperity Party party have “put a direction” outlining the “peace alternatives” to solve “the problem in the northern part of our country.” Dr. Gedion said the direction the party will pursue will be “in a manner that respects the constitution and national interest” of the country and “facilitated by the African Union.” On June 14 Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed told lawmakers that his government “wants peace with everyone” and revealed for the first time that “a study committee” has been formed under the leadership of Demeke Mekonnen. An open letter from the President of Tigray on the position of the government of Tigray with respect to peace talks @reda_getachew @ProfKindeya pic.twitter.com/HQgOX8VXTv— Tigray External Affairs Office (@TigrayEAO) June 14, 2022 Although the statement from the federal government said peace talks to be “facilitated by the African Union,” in a letter addressed to President Macky Sall, Chairperson of the African Union and President of Senegal on 14 June, Debretsion Gebrechichael (PhD), President of Tigray state, expressed reservations in the AU led process. The silence of the African Union over the war and the atrocities perpetrated by the forces ranged against us was a betrayal of the Foundational Principles of the Union. We have consistently condemned the failure of the African Union Chairperson and his High Representative to take a position consistent with their solemn obligations under the Constitutive Act of the Union, the Protocol establishing the Peace and Security Council, and a host of other commitments entered into. In the considered view of the People and Government of Tigray the leadership of the African Union Commission has yet to redeem its failures and restore our trust, the letter said. Debretsion also said Tigrays position remains that the peace process requires the engagement of a range of international partners, under the leadership of the Government of Kenya. Among those partners are the United States, the European Union, the United Arab Emirates, the United Nations, and the African Union. So far there is no comment from regional authorities in Mekelle over todays announcement by the federal government. AS

[Category: Ethiopia, Tigray regional state, Armed Conflict in Tigray, Politics]

[*] [-] [-] [x] [A+] [a-]  
[l] at 6/27/22 9:07am
0 Facebook 0 Twitter 0 Telegram 0 Email On 23 December 2020 Sudanese official New Agency SUNA aired a clip showing heavily armed Sudanese military units being mobilized to the border with Ethiopia. Picture: Screengrab By Getahun Tsegaye @GetahunTsegay12 Addis Abeba The Ministry of Foreign Affairs said the Ethiopian Government regrets the loss of life as a result of a skirmish between the Sudanese army and a local militia of which an investigation would be carried out soon. The statement from MoFA came after Sudan accused Ethiopias army of capturing and executing seven Sudanese soldiers and a civilian, Reuters reported on June 27. But Ethiopia said the incident took place within Ethiopian territory after incursions by a Sudanese regular army unit supported by elements of the terrorist TPLF. Ethiopia also categorically rejects the misrepresentation of these facts by the Sudanese defense forces that unjustly put the blame on Ethiopia while it was the Sudanese army unit that has crossed into the Ethiopian border provoking the incident, and expressed hopes that the Sudanese Government would restrain itself from any escalation of the incident and would take measures that could de-escalate the situation. The Government of Ethiopia believes that the incident was deliberately concocted to undermine the deep-rooted relations between the peoples of Ethiopia and the Sudan. On top of that, the incident was designed to destruct Ethiopia from its path of peace and development.The Government of Ethiopia, however, remains committed to the principles of amicable resolution of differences among states, the Ministry said. Skirmishes between the two neighboring countries have become common in recent years over the contested and fertile al-Fashqa border region. Sudans foreign ministry, Asma Mohamed Abdalla  is quoted as saying about the latest skirmish: “the men had been seized on Sudanese territory on June 22 and taken into Ethiopia where they were killed.” According to a Sudanese military official, the soldiers were captured in a border region near the disputed area of Al-Fashaga. Reports also indicated that whereas the ministry summoned the Ethiopian ambassador in Khartoum, it also called its own ambassador back from Addis Abeba for consultations and it was further said that Sudan was under preparation to file a complaint to the U.N. Security Council.   Sudans army late on Sunday accused Ethiopia of displaying the bodies in public, Arab news reported . “In an act that contravenes all laws and customs of war and international humanitarian law, the Ethiopian army executed seven Sudanese soldiers and a citizen who were their captives,” adding, This treacherous act will not pass without a response, the military said in a statement. Since 1902, Ethiopia and Sudan have engaged in a border dispute over a place called  al-Fashaga, a swarth of fertile land,  which the two countries contend on it following the hazardous demarcation of the place during when Sudan was under the British colonial rule. There have been sporadic clashes between the two countries forces but the clash has recently escalated when the Sudanese forces claimed full control of the area, displacing thousands of Ethiopian farmers and killing dozens of civilians.  Recently, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Demeke told lawmakers about Ethiopia’s determination to settle the border issue with Sudan by pursuing a peaceful path “without inflicting any atrocities,”  He said, “We are striving to resolve the matter in a peaceful way and Ethiopia will continue in that direction and we want to notify that we’re working on that level.”  FM Demeke, however, was not limited of accusing Sudan over the al-Fashaga dispute; he accused it of f harboring “terrorist groups and other forces in the name of refugees”, whom he accused of “launching attacks on Ethiopia from that direction at various times.” “Their base is in Sudan. Giving such support and being a base for such groups is tantamount to waging war for which we have officially notified..and we’re following the matter.” But he also said that Ethiopia will continue all its efforts “to resolve it in a peaceful way. In any measurement, we underline that our territory will be brought back,” FM Demeke remarked his speech to the parliament. AS

[Category: Ethiopia, News, Sudan, Politics]

[*] [-] [-] [x] [A+] [a-]  
[l] at 6/27/22 8:46am
0 Facebook 0 Twitter 0 Telegram 0 Email Gedion Timothewos Addis Abeba Gedion Timothewos, Minister of Justice of Ethiopia and Central Committee member of the ruling Prosperity Party (PP), said that the Central Committee and the Executive Committee members of the party have put a direction outlining the peace alternatives o solve the problem in the northern part of our country. Dr. Gedion said the direction the party will pursue will be in a manner that respects the constitution and national interest of the country and facilitated by the African Union. The ruling partys statement didnt provide further details as of yet. On June 14 Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed told lawmakers that his government “wants peace with everyone” and revealed for the first time that “a study committee” has been formed under the leadership of Demeke Mekonnen, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs. In a related development, in the same presser given to state media today, Adem Farah, deputy president of the party said that security forces have carried out a recent law enforcement operation to eliminate a number of terrorists who have committed crimes against innocent Ethiopians based on the direction put forth by both the Central and Executive Committees of the party the action is still being intensified, Adem said. The Central and Executive members of the party held their meetings on 22 and 25 June respectively. On 22 June the Executive Committee said it has set directions to intensify the “law enforcement measures” that are being conducted against armed groups in the country that are accused of carrying out attacks against civilians. AS

[Category: Ethiopia, Tigray regional state, News Alert]

[*] [+] [-] [x] [A+] [a-]  
[l] at 6/27/22 6:52am
0 Facebook 0 Twitter 0 Telegram 0 Email Photo: UNICEF Addis Abeba With the increasing risk of famine in the Horn of Africa due to severe and prolonged drought conditions, urgent life-saving and livelihood assistance is needed to avert a humanitarian catastrophe, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) warned today. As the peak of the crisis fast approaches, FAO launched a revised Rapid Response and Mitigation Plan, which exclusively focuses on four drought epicentres across the region: Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya and Somalia. The time frame for the new plan has been extended from June to December 2022 with the aim of preventing a deterioration in food security conditions in the region, saving the livelihoods and therefore the lives of almost five million rural people across the four countries. FAO is appealing for a total of $219 million. So far, the UN Agency has mobilized around $47 million, leaving a gap of $172 million. While the funds received thus far will provide life-saving livelihoods assistance through cash and livelihood packages, including animal health and infrastructure rehabilitation to approximately 700 000 people, millions more can be reached if the plan is fully funded. “Agricultural livelihoods are hugely underfunded in humanitarian responses, even in droughts when agriculture bears 80 percent of the impact,” said Rein Paulsen, Director of the FAO Office of Emergencies and Resilience. “Business as usual is no longer an option. It’s time to properly invest in more efficient and forward looking assistance. This must be linked to long-term development assistance”. Dispatch  Find the full report here. 

[Category: Ethiopia Drought, Oromia Regional State, Somali Regional State, #DailyScoop]

[*] [-] [-] [x] [A+] [a-]  
[l] at 6/27/22 5:43am
0 Facebook 0 Twitter 0 Telegram 0 Email Addis Abeba- Shares in KEFI Gold & Copper PLC fell Monday morning amid press reports referring to a loss of the license for its Tulu Kapi gold project in Ethiopia. KEFI said that the reports are inaccurate as the deadline for the mining company to demonstrate the availability of project funding and to check compliance on environment, duties and taxes, land rent, and exploration reports is June 30. The company remains confident of its compliance with all regulatory requirements, KEFI said. Shares at 1012 GMT were down 11% at 0.57 pence, recovering from a low of 0.46 pence earlier in the morning as the company released its response to reports from local media outlets. AS This article was originally published on Market Watch. 

[Category: Oromia Regional State, Society & Economy, Talk Business]

[*] [-] [-] [x] [A+] [a-]  
[l] at 6/27/22 4:02am
0 Facebook 1 Twitter 0 Telegram 0 Email Addis Abeba In a statement it released this morning, the Ethiopian joint security and intelligence task force, which is comprised of the National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS), Ethiopian National Defense Forces (ENDF), the Federal Police Commission, and Information Network Security Administration (INSA), cautioned university students to beware of inciting media propaganda which are deliberately being disseminated to create unrest within university communities, and to steer clear of violence. The statement further blamed attempts to instigate violence within universities on individuals that it accused of being mercenaries of the terrorist TPLF Junta who it claimed were mobilizing to deliberately incite violence. The Task Force cautioned students to beware of their presence but also warned that it will not tolerate anyone who do not refrain and who violate the task forces warning, and that it will take strict legal actions. The Task Force blamed unnamed media broadcasts that it accused of disseminating information claiming that an intelligence team has been dispatched to universities in Amhara region to attack Oromos and other national group students studying at these universities. It said that these unnamed media outlets which are bought with dollars have been working to destabilize the country by framing agenda [which are] divisive and inciting sectarian violence, following the recent violence in Gonder city and using it as pretext. They have tried to spread the violence to all parts of the our country, the statement said, adding however, their destructive mission has been thwarted by our peoples culture of tolerance, foresight, patience and the efforts of our security forces. The statement said that federal security forces and the joint Task Force were able to thwart recent joint attacks in Gambella city and its environs by Gambella Liberation Army (GLA) and Oromo Liberation Army (OLA), referred by the government as OLF/Shene; as well as attacks in the towns of Gimbi and Dembi Dolo in western Oromia. The terrorist groups were significantly wiped out, the crises have been neutralized and normalcy has returned to the areas, the statement said. AS

[Category: Ethiopia, News, Security, Law & Justice]

[*] [-] [-] [x] [A+] [a-]  
[l] at 6/27/22 12:23am
0 Facebook 0 Twitter 0 Telegram 0 Email Addis Abeba Over 500 Ethiopian migrants are stranded in Malawi and would like to return to their communities of origin, according to a verification exercise conducted by the Ethiopian authorities with support from the International Organization for Migration (IOM). Malawi is a country of transit located on the overland route to South Africa, also known as the ‘Southern Route’. The route is mainly used by irregular migrants from Ethiopia and Somalia looking to find economic opportunities as far down as Cape Town. Hence, they have to travel through Tanzania, Malawi, Zambia, Zimbabwe or Mozambique before entering South Africa. migrants were exposed to violence, exploitation and abuse, both in transit countries and at destination. Migrants are often subject to deception, ill treatment and even death A study released by IOM in May found the ‘Southern Route’ to be  fraught with significant protection risks due to the long distance traveled, the multiple border crossings, the reliance on brokers and the switching of intermediaries along the way. Thus, migrants were exposed to violence, exploitation and abuse, both in transit countries and at destination. Migrants are often subject to deception, ill treatment and even death, observed the study which was part funded by the EU-IOM Joint Initiative for Migrant Protection and Reintegration in the Horn of Africa (the EU-IOM Joint Initiative). The program also supported the recent verification of stranded Ethiopian migrants who are spread across various locations in Malawi. Many were in detention and were short of food while some had contracted communicable diseases due to poor conditions and overcrowding. The Ethiopian authorities have since issued travel documents to 562 migrants who expressed a wish to return home. The EU-IOM Joint Initiative and other IOM projects will commence the assisted voluntary return process starting with the most vulnerable among the verified migrants, including children and those with medical issues. They will also be supported to re-establish their lives in Ethiopia through tailored needs-based reintegration assistance.  Head of the Diaspora, Business and Consular section of the Embassy of Ethiopia in Kenya, Ambassador Desta Woldeyohaness Delkasso, said: “We are determined to work with partners in assisting all the stranded migrants, including those wishing to return to Ethiopia to do so safely and in dignity.” IOM

[Category: Ethiopia, Migration, News, Africa, Social Affairs]

As of 6/30/22 10:52am. Last new 6/30/22 8:02am.

Next feed in category: Arab News