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UNSOM condems suicide bombing in Gaalkayo as attempt to derail reconciliation process (28.04.2018)

The United Nations Mission in Somalia (UNSOM) condemns today’s suicide bombing in the city of Gaalkacyo, which reportedly killed government security officers and civilians.

“This attack occurred because extremists feel threatened by the progress that is being made with reconciliation efforts in Gaalkacyo,” said the head of UNSOM, the UN Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Somalia, Michael Keating.

“The country has suffered enough violence and bloodshed; it is time for reconciliation,” he added. “The people and authorities in Gaalkacyo are courageously finding a way forward; they should not be derailed by this assault on their chances of a peaceful future.’’

According to initial reports, a suicide bomber detonated his explosives in an area of the city known as Jiiro Abdullahi Yusuf, where security forces were stationed, earlier on Saturday morning, killing at least two senior security force commanders as well as civilians. Al-Shabaab has reportedly claimed responsibility.

UNSOM expresses its condolences to the families and colleagues of the victims and wishes the injured a full and speedy recovery.

Opinion: Mismatch of reports concerning the Ethiopian Economy!

Even as the stark contrasting reports are appearing, the reality must hit the fan. You can’t have your cake and eat it too. For me its a hard time reading about the rising economy, when certain other familiar set-backs are reported. Its like you cannot have rainy-season and dry-season at the same time. You cannot have a giant harvest or a drought from the same land. That just doesn’t happen. If this was different republic’s, different nations and different rulers. Then it would be possible different results. But when were discussing the narrow place. It just doesn’t make sense.

First I will cover that good news, that got Ethiopia on CNN, than after that I will take a report coming from the local ESAT, Tesfanews & AfricaNews. These are striking differences to the narrative coming from CNN. Which doesn’t make sense to me.

CNN says:

Ethiopia’s economy is predicted to grow by 8.5% this year. The figures signal continued economic expansion following a long period of impressive growth. In the last decade, Ethiopia has averaged around 10% economic growth, according to the IMF” (Giles, 2018). This gives a favorable outlook with a fantastic economic growth. If that was true. Why does this other report says otherwise.

ESAT Says:

Dwindling imports of wheat has resulted in scarcity of bread in the capital Addis Ababa and the price of a loaf of the staple has doubled. Authorities say the crisis was a result of the foreign currency crunch facing the country. Long lines at bakeries in the capital is a regular scene and owners of the bakeries told local media that they only get half of the wheat flour in quotas. The bakeries say if the crisis continues, they would be forced to close business” (…) “Plans to import 200,000 metric tons of wheat this year have failed due to foreign currency shortages sparking the bread crisis” (De Birhaner, 2018)

TesfaNews says:

The situation has exasperated to the point where factories have been forced to operate under capacity, crucial medicines are disappearing from pharmacies and many goods are not found on shelves of supermarkets. The amount of international reserve has dwindled. It only covers 1.8 months of imports by the end of the last fiscal year” (…) “It is fact that Ethiopia’s economy is troubled by a shortage of foreign currency and it is in a position where it cannot be calmed down by the sudden release of dollars. The economy needs a workable solution. This requires looking into every line of the balance of payment account and coming up with strategies to improve them” (Abdulmena, 2018).

AfricaNews Says:

But those at the speech said Abiy did not outline plans to open up new sectors, a move which could also ease a shortage of foreign exchange. Instead, he said state spending on infrastructure, which has crowded out local companies, would continue. Abiy also told the business community that the foreign exchange shortage that has plagued the country will last for years and more cooperation with the private sector is essential to solve it” (AfricaNews, 2018).

Let’s be clear, this is my view of the situation. Because, the narrative of a rising economy, when fellow reports are that the are lines to bakeries for bread, lack of imports of medicine and factories. That cannot create a vast rise of economy as the IMF and CNN reported. That just don’t make sense. How can the economy grow, when public cannot spend their monies or get the needed imported food? That seems like a pointless.

That the lack of foreign exchange in the reserves, that hits the economy. Supermarkets loosing their goods, medicine from the shelves, bread out of bakeries, all of that should be of a failing economy. Not a rising tiger. The Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Defence Force (EPRDF) and the Councils of Ministers has to rig the numbers to the international organizations. Because you cannot have lack of bread, medicine and goods, while also having a high-rising economy. If it was so, then depression of America in the 1920s was the grandest time of the Economy there. But that is just how I view things. Because I don’t have the numbers, but the reports doesn’t make sense.

Its hard to see… rising growth and prosperity, but if it was so, wouldn’t the people have more money to spend at the Supermarket. Not have less products to buy at the Supermarket. Wouldn’t there be more medicine and not less? Wouldn’t the bakeries have bread? Wouldn’t the state have the foreign exchange reserves to import the needed wheat? Then it would be believable. By all means, I want a prosperous Ethiopian Republic. However, the truth cannot be that now. Not during State of Emergency, not during the oppression of the Oromia and Amhara regions. Not during the oppressive behavior and silencing the people. The EPRDF and the TPLF are surely trying to ply the outside world. That is why the ESAT, TesfaNews and AfricaNews not hitting the stands. It is because your not listening to reality, but a narrative creating by the oppressive central government, that doesn’t listen, but only want people to obey. Peace.

Reference:

Giles, Chris – ‘Ethiopia is now Africa’s fastest growing economy’ (24.04.2018) link: https://edition.cnn.com/2018/04/24/africa/africa-largest-economy/index.html

De Birhaner – ‘The Foreign Currency Crunch Is Bad In Ethiopia That It Has Even Caused Bread Shortage in Addis’ (28.04.2018) link: http://debirhan.com/2018/04/foreign-currency-crunch-bad-ethiopia-even-caused-bread-shortage-addis/

Abdulmena Mohammed – ‘Forex Crunch: Ethiopia’s Immovable Object’ (27.04.2018) link: https://www.tesfanews.net/ethiopia-forex-crunch/

AfricaNews – ‘Ethiopia not ready for foreign investment in telecoms, banking: president’ (24.04.2018) link: http://www.africanews.com/2018/04/24/ethiopia-not-ready-for-foreign-investment-in-telecoms-banking-president/

Visiting Ethiopia, UN human rights chief urges new Government to ‘keep positive momentum going’ (27.04.2018)

The United Nations human rights chief on Thursday expressed hope that Ethiopia continues its economic development in which human rights are respected and people can freely speak their minds about public policies.

NEW YORK, United States of America, April 27, 2018 – “We all want to see an Ethiopia with continuous economic development where all people benefit, and where people express their views on public policies, unafraid,” said UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein at the end of his official visit to Ethiopia.

His visit followed the country’s recent transition of power from the Government led by Hailemariam Desalegn, who abruptly resigned as prime minister in March, to the new one led by Abiy Ahmed.

A country with one of the fastest-growing economies in world, Ethiopia has also been riven by human rights violations and oppression on protests by those demanding equality.

“Moments of transition are rarely ever smooth. Ethiopia has struggled with a heavy history, but it has the wisdom of a tolerant, vibrant, youthful population to harness,” said Mr. Zeid, encouraging the authorities to keep the positive momentum going and to keep translating the inspiring words in the Prime Minister’s inaugural address into action.

Mr. Zeid was referring to the Prime Minister’s recognition that there is a “need to address existing inequities that led to recent unrest,” that “democracy cannot be realised in the absence of rights – be it civil or economic rights” and that the “right of people to express opinions, rights of people to organise themselves and engage in effective dialogue and participate in the governance system is inherent in our humanity…not for any government to bestow…as it sees fit.”

The UN rights chief also welcomed the release of a large number of people, including bloggers, political opponents and others who had been detained in relation to their participation in protests and their criticism of the Government.

“There was tremendous hope, but also anxiety,” he said, citing the words of a former political detainee, who said: “we have repeatedly been victims of broken promises.”

During a visit to the Oromia region, Mr. Zeid met with the regional authorities and the traditional leaders, known as the Aba Gadas, who he said spoke about how they will continue to push for the truth to be told about what has happened over the past few years, including deaths during protests.

“They demanded investigations and accountability for excessive use of force by the authorities. They expressed their desire for justice and human rights for all Ethiopians and for their voices to be heard without fear of reprisal,” Mr. Zeid said.

On Wednesday, the UN Human Rights Office for East Africa and the Ethiopian Government signed an agreement to strengthen the Office’s ability to do human rights work in the country and the region.

The Office has already offered its assistance in revising the charities and societies proclamation, the anti-terrorism legislation and the mass media laws.

“In this 70th anniversary year of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, when too many leaders risk reversing hard-won human rights gains, we look to Ethiopia to continue to give cause for optimism and hope,” Mr. Zeid said.

NUSOJ: Journalists’ union accuses Somali Ministry of Information for faking sincerity to resolve journalists’ safety crisis (23.04.2018)

The PAFD Press Statement On Ongoing State-Terrorism And Government Instigated Ethnic Conflicts (18.04.2018)

The TPLF/EPRDF army and security apparatuses are wrecking mayhem throughout Ethiopia as the operation of State of Emergency intensifies with degree of unprecedented barbarism in Oromia and throughout the country, even after the new PM has been appointed by TPLF/EPRDF. The killing of dozens of unarmed civilians is also intensifying in various Oromia regional state as are the imprison- ment of civilians in Ogaden Somali since the new PM, Dr Abiy Ahmed has sworn in on April 02, 2018. The PAFD categorically condemns with all possible terms the EPRDF/TPLF’s State terrorism in Ethiopia and urges the EPRDF/TPLF to call for an urgent transitional arrangement.

The inauguration speech of the new PM has been meticulously crafted with a lot of positive attributes albeit with the objective of achieving one key target of erroneously uplifting the spirit of often dejected mass. All peoples of Ethiopia who’ve lost hope and trust in TPLF/EPRDF during its 27 years reign of divide and conquer thought there is going to be a glimmer of hope, although it has become apparent that nothing has changed apart from paying lip-services.

Meanwhile, the killings of and an arbitrary detention of civilians has increasingly continued in various regions with severity in Oromia. The instigation of ethnic conflicts between peacefully coexisted nations such as the Oromo and Gedeo, Oromo and Ogaden Somali and the rest is increasing albeit the imposi- tion of State of Emergency and murdering of civilians. In Oromia regional state where the TPLF/ EPRDF’s army and security apparatuses are saturated, in addition to April 17, 2018’s Moyale carnage, the daily executions of unarmed dozens of civilians including a pregnant woman known by the name

‘Ayyaantuu Mohaammad Shaanqoo’ in East Oromia Hararge Zone, Mee’sso town on April 8, 2018 has increased. Initially, the indicated Oromo pregnant woman was approached by the Agaazi forces who demanded her for a gang-rape. As she refused to obey their sadistic orders, they forced her to her knees and shot her on her head with three bullets to instantly kill her. Additionally, an elderly Oromo man known by the name ‘Mardaasaa Yaadasaa’ in Qellem district of Wallaggaa zone, Sadii Caanqaa sub district, Koomboo village has been executed by TPLF/EPRDF’s Agaazi on April 13, 2018 who broke into his house before dawn by further seriously wounding his son who is fighting for his life in hospital.

In Ogaden Somali the detention of politicians and deliberately denying water and food to civilians in various districts is widespread as part of indirect killing of hundreds of deliberately targeted civilians

with the objectives of depopulating Ogaden Somali. Moreover, the TPLF/EPRDF’s regime is also de- ploying the Ogaden Somali detainees who have been recently released for a forced labour where the la- bourers are often denied food and water until they die. Today (April 18, 2018) the TPLF/EPRDF’s re- gional agents -the Solomali Liyu militia executed an Ogadeni Somali woman known by the name

‘Rooda Yaasiin Muhumed’ in Kabribayah town of the region for no apparent reason. In Sidama the displacement of thousands of peasants from their lands of Hawassa proximity is intensifying by turning

the majority to virtual beggars in their own land. In Gambella, Amhara, Afar, the entire south and Benshangul, the plights of civilians remain as precarious as it was 15 or 20 years ago. The situation all over the country remains as fluid as it has been a year ago despite the short-lived Euphoria of the majority after the inauguration of the new PM two weeks ago.

Therefore, the PAFD categorically deplores the ongoing killing and arbitrary detentions of civilians in various parts of the country including in Oromia, Ogaden Somali, Amhara, Afar, Gambella and elsewhere. We urge the new PM and his EPRDF’s party to unconditionally lift the State of Emergency, release all political prisoners and call for an unconditional all- inclusive transitional arrangement in Ethiopia to restore law and order that remain distant from the peoples of Ethiopia for the past 27 years.

Finally, the PAFD’s once again renews its calls of London February 2018 all-inclusive confer- ence to opposition groups of all peoples of Ethiopia to unconditionally put aside their differ- ences to agree to work together to achieve the highly-craved democratic changes by struggling in unison. We also call upon all politicians, civic society, academics and religious groups to open their minds and hearts to come to term to realistically address the demands of the major- ity in Ethiopia in unison. Recognising and appreciating the recent approval of House Resolu- tion (HR-128) in America, we finally call upon all the international political players to do more in defending the rights of over 104 million peoples in Ethiopian by unconditionally and fully supporting their struggle until they achieve their dream of living in a free and democratic country where her leaders are held into account for their actions and accountable to their con- stituents.

Justice, Freedom and Equality For All Peoples In Ethiopia!

The Peoples’ Alliance for Freedom and Democracy (PAFD), April 18, 2018

Somalia: Puntland Press Release (16.04.2018)

Patriotic Ginbot 7 Movement for Unity and Democracy: On the passage of H.Res. 128 “Supporting respect for human rights and encouraging inclusive governance in Ethiopia” (15.04.2018)

Somalia: MoFA Press Release on the relationship with the UAE (16.04.2018)

PM Abiy has shown his swagger, but the EPRDF acts and sounds much like the same!

I know it is just under 2 weeks since the Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Defence Force (EPRDF) got a new Chairman and Prime Minister Dr. Abiy Ahmed Ali. Just days after now, he has been traveling and having meetings within the regions highly affected by the prolonged State of Emergency with the draconian laws and military forces attacking civilians, arresting and stopping ordinary activity. Therefore, it is important that the Prime Minister traveling and meeting people in Oromia, even in Amhara later too. But just traveling, while having Agazi squad is still killing people. The numbers since takeover is already up-to six. There might be more, but that is the ones that is reported.

The EPRDF, the state and government are still keeping their Command Post and the military at bay. They are still silencing the people and their protests. There is still internally displaced people and the military, still has the final say. There is a change of the top inside the ruling coalition, but their activity hasn’t changed.

That is both proven in the condemnation of the United States House Resolution 128, that was voted on in the Representatives House yesterday. Not that is direct sanctions against the ERPDF, but it is a sign of change from Washington D.C. However, the EPRDF are condemning it, instead of asking themselves how the US came to that conclusion and assessment of the Ethiopian struggle. The EPRDF should instead work on change from within, unless they want the protesters to continue. Since, they haven’t done much, than small tokens.

It is a big deal that the PM offers a visit of the Opposition leaders at the Palace today, that they are in the lavish and the nice venue listening to the PM. As he eloquently saying the words needed to be said, but the acts of EPRDF isn’t much change, but more of the same. That is why the killings continue, the arrests and the lack of reconciliation. This is the first step, but if the EPRDF want to really open up. They need the SoE gone away and they need to negotiate to have proper elections and trustworthy National Electoral Board of Ethiopia (NEBE). Not one rigging for the EPRDF and their Allied Parties.

We know that the EPRDF has no plan of directly changing, they think they can get away with changing the PM and make him speak softly around the Republic. Instead of actually making a difference. That is why the Local Elections are postponed again, instead of showing opportunity to freshen the local government in Addis Ababa and Dire Dawa for instance.

The Ethiopian Government should be careful of their activity, as they have detained the leadership of the protest again, the famous writers and politicians that they recently released. I am not the sort of guy traded-off on beautiful speeches, even if I also can be carried away. Dr. Abiy has been able to pick his words wisely, but its time for the first steps of actions. If he wants to be the change or not a puppet. Right now he looks like a puppet and smells like a puppet. He has a nice tone and done some nice public appearances. However, it is not enough.

Not if the EPRDF want to be something else than the Woyane, the TPLF go-lucky gang who oppress the protest and the will of the people. Knowing how they look at themselves, we can see that from Seifeselassie Gebre who wrote this: “However, it is quite refreshing to see some lawmakers such as Senator Inhofe who had the courage to speak the truth by chastising the bill as nothing more than an opportunistic interference at a time Ethiopia finds itself at a critical juncture. The honorable thing for the congressmen would have been to congratulate the new PM and also applaud and commend the peaceful transfer of power that was made possible by (1) EPRDF’s time-tested internal deliberation and selection process for power transition, (2) the timely imposition of the State of Emergency that gave the government enough time to hash out its differences and reach a consensus regarding the selection of a new leader” (Seifeselassie Gebre – ‘H.Res-128: A Pretext in Search of a Neo-liberal Colony’ 12.04.2018, Tigraionline.com).

When you read this your blood should be boiling, as the goodness of the unnecessary deaths, the detentions of rights of the Amhara and Oromo people are put on the altar of one switching chair in Addis Ababa. Instead of thinking of the consequences of the State of Emergency, the TPLF supporters, are saying the Americans are meddling. They shouldn’t look directly at the meddling, but the results and the activity of the military, the Command Post and Agazi Squad in the regions of protest. That is if, the value of life matters to the TPLF and the EPRDF. It is a smack to the face of a Sovereign nations to get a resolution like it did, but they haven’t acted with humans intent. Only to keep power and silence the Queerro of Oromia and the Amhara too. That got to stop!

If the EPRDF is serious, the first thing that has to happen, is to stop the State of Emergency. Second is to recalling the Agazi squad and military police out of the streets into the barracks. Third stop the road-blocks and fourth quit the draconian laws silencing the people. That from the Anti-Terror Law and the Codes put on the SoE. All of that has to stop, then there is time for nice speeches and trying to negotiate, to make a change from the current acts of the EPRDF. Because right now, the government are putting a nice act in-front of the world. But it hasn’t changed the system, neither the disrespectful interference in the citizens lives.

That is why the TPLF, the Woyane, the EPRDF, cannot only send Dr. Abiy as a puppet and speak of elegance and finesse. But he needs to show in acts in Parliament, there need to be votes to stop the State of Emergency. The Parliament needs to investigate the violence, the killings of innocent civilians and the arbitrary arrests. So justice can be for all and the ones who has misused power can get the punishment for their ill-will against the will of the people. The protesters has the right to get that. Even if someone believes silencing them is their god-given right. They shouldn’t, the Oromo and Amhara deserves a better fate. Just like the Tigrai. They don’t own it all.

We know all isn’t what it seems, when ESAT are reporting this:

The new prime ministers of the EPRDF are saying that they do not believe that the EPRDF line will continue. (ESAT News April 4, 2010) The current Prime Minister, Abiy Ahmed, is calling on the EPRDF line. According to the sources of ESAT’s EPRDF sources, some of the existing leaders of the EPRDF leadership, Ato Sibhat Nega, Abay Hailaye, Bere Simeon, Patriarch Joseph, Seyoum Mesfin, and others who have served in the organization, follow the politics of the new Prime Minister instead of the developmental ideology of the EPRDF. They are insisting that they will have to live up to their promises, and that they are more likely to listen to the opposition than the EPDRF. These new leaders, who have started a new campaign on the EPRDF line, have said that the new prime ministers are eager to save the EPRDF line without a desire to extend the EPRDF line. The ruling party has been in the process of mobilizing different supporters, saying that the Oromia region has created a bad system in our country and is a landlocked country. Although the regions have been given the power to govern themselves, the leadership of the National Intelligence and Security Service is in the process of revolving around the central authority, and the current leaders, who are said to be under attack, If they are going to engage with opponents without permission, then threatening to take action to protect the survival and protection of the archives. He added that the former leaders are gathering opinions, even those who are popular, and that the people have given their trust and confidence that the new prime minister will bring about real change” (ESAT, 12.04.2018).

We have to see if it is all public swagger from the new PM or if the EPRDF are real about it. I doubt it, since the killings has continued since the swearing-in. As long as innocent dies for any government to live, you know something is wrong. It doesn’t matter for who and where, it is just wrong. Peace.

U.S. Funded Special Forces Used for Political Standoff in Somalia (04.04.2018)

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