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Eritrea: Press Briefing note on Attacks/threats by States against UN Human Rights Experts (21.11.2017)

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Minister Okello Oryem Meets Troika Representatives (17.11.2017)

 

The meeting addressed the current political situation in South Sudan and the resultant refugee crisis in the neighboring countries, especially in Uganda.

KAMPALA, Uganda, November 17, 2017 – On November 15, 2017 the Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Hon. Henry Oryem Okello met with Representatives of the South Sudan peace-guarantor Troika member countries (Norway, United Kingdom and the United States) at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Kampala. The Troika Representatives were Mr. Paul Sutphin (USA), Mr. Chris Trott (UK) and Mr. Ering Skjonsberg (Norway).

The meeting addressed the current political situation in South Sudan and the resultant refugee crisis in the neighboring countries, especially in Uganda.

The members of the Troika reiterated their strong support for the combined efforts of the African Union (AU), Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), and United Nations to end the conflict in South Sudan, and joined their recent calls on all armed parties, including the Government of South Sudan, the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement in Opposition, and other armed groups, to commit to a ceasefire.

They emphasized that the dire humanitarian crisis in South Sudan is the direct result of the conflict and called on all parties to cease violence against humanitarian workers and obstruction of humanitarian assistance.

The Troika endorsed the ongoing efforts by IGAD and praised Uganda’s peace initiative which aimed at bringing the warring parties to the negotiating table, positively noting that this initiative was endorsed by both parties to the conflict. The Troika expressed pleasure that Uganda is in full support of the IGAD process. In addition, they endorsed the work of the UN Mission in the Republic of South Sudan, and the deployment of its Regional Protection Force.

Hon Okello welcomed the visiting team and stressed the importance of the support being extended towards all the peace initiatives. He reassured them that Uganda will continue playing a mediatory and conciliatory role between the belligerent parties to ensure that an agreement is reached.

In attendance at the meeting were the Heads of Diplomatic Missions of the Troika resident in Kampala and senior officials of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Eritrea: Statement of ELS on the Protest of October 31 (02.11.2017)

The Eritrean Law Society (ELS) is closely observing developments that have led to, and that have followed after, the unprecedented civilian protest of 31 October 2017, which occurred in the heart of the capital city of Eritrea. The protest was prompted by the announcement of a drastic government decision that affected the status of educational establishments administered by Eritrean religious institutions. Another major motive for the protest is the arbitrary arrest of respected elders and spiritual leaders, notably Haji Mussa Mohammed Nur, who strongly opposed the government decision.

Although the details of causalities are not yet fully known, ELS is concerned by the fact that brute force, including live ammunition, was used to suppress the protest, which was nothing more than a peaceful demonstration against a drastic government measure affecting the lives of thousands of people. In our view, the protest signifies one fundamental reality. In today’s Eritrea, citizens have no choice of whatsoever nature in pursuing their individual and group aspirations, life plans, goals, and purposes. Eritreans do not also have access to independent and impartial institutions, including courts of law that can safeguard their fundamental rights and freedoms in the event these essential entitlements are wantonly violated by government authorities.

History dictates that no population can be ruled forever under the yoke of unbearable authoritarianism. There is an urgent need in Eritrea for a full return to a system of governance based on constitutional order, the requirements of democratic accountability, and respect for the rule of law, including the protection of fundamental rights and freedoms of the Eritrean people. ELS would like to take this occasion to make a call on the international community and those who can play a role by pushing for a full return to a democratic system of governance in Eritrea.

Meanwhile, the following reminder is also important for all peace-loving and justice-seeking Eritreans. We shall stay the course and remain vigilant against all sorts of divisive and cheap political machinations orchestrated by the authoritarian regime in Eritrea, its brazen apologists and messengers. It is always important to remember that the regime will make continuous recourse to methods that promote its narrow political agenda as well as frustrate the momentum ushered by the protest of 31 October.

Eritrean Law Society
Executive Committee
November 2, 2017

South Sudan: National Salvation Front/Army (NAS) – “On Clashes with Kiir” (30.10.2017)

UNHCR expresses concern over humanitarian situation of South Sudanese refugees in Khartoum (26.10.2017)

Latest reports indicate that some 220 shelters in Dar Es-Salam’s open area were removed by police on 23 October, reportedly leaving some 2,000 South Sudanese refugees without shelter.

GENEVA, Switzerland, October 26, 2017 – UNHCR’s Representation in Sudan is concerned about the inadequate response to the humanitarian needs of South Sudanese refugees in Khartoum. Over the past few months, thousands of refugees have been relocated or had their shelters demolished without adequate planning and consultation with the communities.

Latest reports indicate that some 220 shelters in Dar Es-Salam’s open area were removed by police on 23 October, reportedly leaving some 2,000 South Sudanese refugees without shelter. Other refugees have been relocated to Bantiu site in Jebel Auliya locality and Naivasha site in Omdurman where inadequate reception planning has resulted in over-crowding, inadequate shelter, and over-stretched water and sanitation facilities.

UNHCR has welcomed an initial visit jointly held by the Government and the UN in late August 2017 to Bantiu site in Jebel Auliya locality to make a general assessment of the situation of the South Sudanese refugees. That visit witnessed clear and urgent humanitarian needs in water, sanitation, shelter, health and education. Planning is underway for a more detailed Government – interagency assessment of the open areas in Khartoum state. A rapid assessment, supported with full access, will allow UNHCR and other actors to start providing much needed support.

UNHCR acknowledges the Government of Sudan’s wish to find more sustainable options for hosting South Sudanese refugees who are currently living in “open areas” in Khartoum state and stands ready to discuss those options, bearing in mind the importance of a consultative process with key stakeholders including the refugee communities. Pending these longer-term options, UNHCR is hopeful that the immediate humanitarian needs of the South Sudanese refugees in Khartoum will be addressed in a timely manner to avoid unnecessary suffering. In order to address the immediate and longer-term needs of South Sudanese refugees in Khartoum, agencies will also require donor support.

Across states, UNHCR is working to assist Sudan’s refugee response through providing basic services for over 450,000 South Sudanese refugees verified as newly arrived in the country since 2013, in partnership with the Commission for Refugees. UNHCR commends Sudan’s generous and open policy for hosting a large number of refugees.

The Government of Sudan estimate is that there are some 1.3m South Sudanese refugees in the country. UNHCR is working with Sudan to ensure all these refugees are captured through registration.

Ethiopia: The Economy is struggling, not a rising lion as previously forecasted!

For as long as I can remember there gone stories of the amazing rise of the Ethiopian economy, the financial markets and the outputs out of this world. Where the money would grow ten-folds within minutes of its arrival. Like a mirage the number’s must have appeared in front of our eyes and stories that, we are told over the recent years. The Ethiopian powerhouse and the serious contender with Nigeria and South Africa. With their railways, banks and development projects, the powerful dam and all the others. It must have been a ride for the Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF), Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalgn, must be so proud of his achievement.

Why I say that, because a booming economy does not do this:

“Ethiopia and World Bank have signed a 1.3 billion dollar grant and loan agreement to enhance equitable services and reduce food insecurity. The agreement was signed by Abraham Tekeste (PhD), minister of Finance & Economic Cooperation (MoFEC) and Carolyn Turk, World Bank’s country director for Ethiopia, Sudan, and South Sudan” (All Africa, 2017).

So when a booming economy, that has such magnificent rates and growth prospects should not and no need for extensive borrowings from the World and subsidiaries, to say they need so is a lie. The debt and the international support for projects and food security is not a sign of a sound and strong economy. More of the latter if I beg to differ. On that, alas the recent weeks has proven this. World Bank was ushered in the end of September, but it is now cash-crunch time.

Not the jolly Captain Crunch, but the credit is due.

“Ethiopia will devalue its currency to attract foreign investment and close the gap in foreign trade, President Mulatu Teshome said at the opening of the bicameral parliament on Monday. He said his government is faced with a serious shortage of hard currency and export trade has dwindled in last three years. Mulatu said major projects like the construction of railway and universities will not be carried out this budget year due to a serious shortage of finances” (ESAT, 2017).

The seriousness is there and it is bleak, when the President Teshome shows up and spread enlightenment to the world. That the economy is fragile and not at its peak, is clear when all the prestige and the giant projects are now put on hold until further notice. Clearly, the financial strains have hit the economy, as well as their exports has given them less hard currency.

It does not go well, when just days ago, when this hit the fan as well:

Double-digit inflation keeps threatening the macroeconomic conditions of the country as the headline inflation rate hit 10.8pc last month, according to the Central Statistical Agency (CSA)- the highest since October 2015. It is in contrary with the target of the government in the second edition of Growth & Transformation Plan (GTP II) to keep inflation in a single digit. The hike in the price of cereals such as teff, maize, wheat, barley, beans and sorghum coupled with holiday-driven price upsurge is the primary reason for the inflationary pressure last month, keeping the food inflation stagnant around 13pc.“As September is a time of multiple holidays, it is believed to influence the increase in the inflation rate,” the report of CSA reads” (Berhane, 2017).

That the cash crunch and the double-digit inflation hits the Republic is not a good look. The proof of the currency value falling, lack of hard currency and new Multi-National loans proves that the Financial Sector and Financial Institutions are strained. There is nothing more to give, it is just bones and not meat. It is just a matter of time before the boiling bones gives no taste to stew as well!

In addition, you the economy is bonkers when their agency spread out this sort of tales, at the time the devalued currency is told to the public on other platforms.

This is from the Ethiopian News Agency:

“The diplomats, who observed the government’s direction at the joint session of the parliaments, whom ENA has talked to also forecasted the country`s economic growth to be amplified in better manner referring the current stability of the nation. Ambassador of Bangladesh to Ethiopia Monirul Islam said the growth that Ethiopia’s economy has witnessed was ‘wonderful’ despite the drought and other problems. “It was 10.9 percent and this year I hope it will be more than that because there is a good rain, everything is good, the state of emergency has been lifted and everything is normal”. “So I think the economy should perform better especially in the agriculture sector as well as in the industry sector”, he pointed out” (ENA, 2017).

I do not know if Ambassador Islam lives in alternative reality or trying to sugarcoat the situation of the dire economic state that the Republic is facing, but it makes good propaganda for the ones who still want the fantastic picture spread around the globe. That the Ethiopian economy is sound and still growing. However, it is hard to grow when you lack currency, you have growing inflation and you are borrowing more funds. I do not know, which economy or financial system that it works splendid in. Certainly not this one.

In addition, the news of the financial rising tiger or lion of Ethiopia has been a mirage, a fraud and play for the world to see. At this stage and in time, it is far from it. The Ethiopian economy is plummeting and at amp speed. If you eat up the crap the ENA serves you, it must certainly serve your kind, but it is not reality. The President even said so, the reports are striking and the added loans proves the dire state.

The ones who is the most hurt. It is the citizens who needs the hard currency to buy food and live, they are punished for the reckless care of the financial system. They are the ones who suffers, because of how the state decided to conduct their affairs. They are the ones who feels the inflation, the rising prices and still has to get by. It is not right, but that is how it is. The Ethiopian government should subsidize and make sure the people get enough. However, do not expect that. This is from the same government that sent Agazi squad to Amhara and Oromia to kill and destroy. They do not care, unless they have too or if it keep them in power. Peace.

Reference:

All Africa – ‘Ethiopia: World Bank Assents U.S.$1.3 Billion Finance to Ethiopia’ (30.09.2017) link: http://allafrica.com/stories/201710090243.html?utm_campaign=allafrica%3Aeditor&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter&utm_content=promote%3Aaans%3Aabljpw

Berhane, Samson – ‘Gov’t Sees Double Digit Inflation, Again’ (08.10.2017) link: https://addisfortune.net/articles/govt-sees-double-digit-inflation-again/

ESAT – ‘Ethiopia President Says Country is Broke’ (09.10.2017) link: https://www.tesfanews.net/ethiopias-president-says-country-financial-crisis/

ENA – ‘Diplomats Laud Economic Performance of Ethiopia’ (10.10.2017) link: http://www.ena.gov.et/en/index.php/economy/item/3814-diplomats-laud-economic-performance-of-ethiopia

 

South Sudan: “Subject: Appointment of Party’s General Secretary and Executive Secretaries of South Sudan United Movement” (07.10.2017)

SPLM Leaders Former Political Detainees (FDs) letter to IGAD: “Visit of IGAD Foreign Ministers Delegation on the ARCSS Pre-Revitialization Consultation Forum” (07.10.2017)

President receives special message from South Sudan’s Salva Kiir (03.10.2017)

President Museveni and General Ajong discussed UPDF – SPLA security cooperation and training.

KAMPALA, Uganda, October 3, 2017 – President Yoweri Museveni has today met a delegation of the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA), led by General James Ajong Mawut who is the Chief of Defense Forces of Republic of South Sudan.

During the meeting which took place this afternoon at the State Lodge in Mbale Municipality, Eastern Uganda, General Ajong conveyed a special message and a letter of appreciation from President Salva Kiir of South Sudan to President Museveni, commending him for the continued support and solidarity with the government of South Sudan.

President Museveni and General Ajong discussed UPDF – SPLA security cooperation and training.

Uganda and South Sudan have long standing economic and security interests. Uganda is also host to over one million refugees fleeing from the instability in South Sudan.

Readout of the Secretary-General’s meeting with H.E. Mr. Hassan Ali Khayre, Prime Minister of the Federal Republic of Somalia (25.09.2017)

The Secretary-General reaffirmed the United Nations’ full support in the humanitarian, security and the human rights areas.

NEW YORK, United States of America, September 25, 2017 – The Secretary-General met with H.E. Mr. Hassan Ali Khayre, Prime Minister of the Federal Republic of Somalia.

The Secretary-General commended Somalia for the progress made in advancing state-building. The Secretary-General and the Prime Minister also discussed efforts related to security sector reform and revenue generation.

The Secretary-General reaffirmed the United Nations’ full support in the humanitarian, security and the human rights areas, as well as in the implementation of Somalia’s development plans. The Secretary-General also reiterated support to AMISOM and to the creation of Somali institutions.

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