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Ethiopia: An Amhara Coup, which opens up many questions…

“All men are equal in the presence of God; and all are intelligent, since they are his creatures; he did not assign one people for life, another for death, one for mercy, another for judgment.”Zara Yacob, Ethopian Philosopher

This weekends nightmare continues to haut us, as the Ethiopian political struggle continues. As the internet is blocked and very few reliable sources. The state tries to control the flow of information, but even then, the state are dropping a few tokens that could be misinterpreted. Combined with the bloodshed of high ranking officials, which shows the problems within the state itself. It is a manifestation of it.

The Assassinated was Dr. Ambachew Mekonnen, Amhara regional state president, Chief of Staff, General Seare Mekonnen, Maj. General Gezai Abera (suicide) (ret.), Ato Ezez Wassie, Amhara regional government advisor who we’re killed on the 23 June 2019. However, it is today reported that Regional Attorney General Mr. Migbaru Kebede, who died from his bullet-wounds today on the 24th June 2019.

Later in the day, there are reports that the supposed coup plotter behind it all, General Asaminew Tsige, the former Ginbot leader and also freed by the Prime Minister a year ago after being 8 years in prison. Has been killed by local police around Bahir Dar today.

The bodyguard that the Prime Minister stated during the weekend that was in custody is now reported to have taken suicide. Therefore, the previous statements from the state doesn’t add up. This bodyguard assassinated the ones in Addis Ababa on Saturday. However, the authorities had him in custody as either they previously told the world or he was already dead.

There are some loose ends to why this happen and why the manhunt against Gen. Tsige. Because, this was a coordinated attack against the Amhara power structure both in Addis and Bahir Dar in the Amhara region. However, there is no clear sign for why, the man whose been pardoned by the leadership of today, would suddenly target the leadership of the region. It seems a bit odd.

What is also odd about the whole thing is that there a speculations going on, if Gen. Tsige was able to change the bodyguards of these high ranking officials during the last 6 months and plotted it for so long. That is mere speculation at this point.

We can wonder what is the truth or not and with few eyes on the ground. There is only a minor room for speculation without direct verified information. Especially, since the state was so early out with it on Saturday, but now by Monday, the indicated information changed. Therefore, you can wonder if Tsige is a scapegoat for the real ones behind it or not. We don’t know and don’t know what there is to hide at this point.

What we do know, is that there been plenty of killings, of direct murder of high ranking individuals, who stood close to the Prime Minister and the leadership of Amhara region. We can not conclude yet, why they were taken away, but there must be some reason for it.

We are lacking some details to ensure that facts on the ground. I hope that they will come, if not. There is an evident cover-up by the ones who needed scapegoats to clear their names, whoever they may are. Peace.

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Ethiopia: Office of the Prime Minister – Press Release (23.06.2019)

Ethiopia: Prime Minister Ahmed Ali Abiy – Message to the people and Government of Eritrea on the occasion of Independence Day (23.05.2019)

Opinion: PM Abiy over-ambitious One-Party Suggestion!

In Addis Ababa, there must be several of the loyalist in and around Prime Minister Ahmed Ali Abiy has come out with statement and wish for all parties of the Coalition of Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Defence Force(EPRDF), which is a political coalition made out of Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), Oromo Democratic Party (ODP), Amhara Democratic Party (ADP) and the Southern Ethiopian People’s Democratic Movement (SEPDM). All of these are working together, even if the Woyane or the TPLF have had the upper-hand in the coalition. This is well-known and with the OPD at the helm. That has still not stopped.

This is why, the current stalemate and the issues within the Federal Democratic Republic becomes more dire. As the political achievements are put into questions, as the Prime Minister knows how to say the right things, but doesn’t act upon it. What is striking and worrying is the internal battles between the ethnic groups in Ogaden, Oromia, Amhara and so on. That these persists and the state isn’t issuing statements of security or even securing the citizens, whose ending up in cross-fire. Therefore, the ambition of the PM should be to regain peace and prosperity and not just become an initial one-party state.

This seems to be his main goal, to take away the hassle of multi-party coalition in favour of one party rule. As it has seemed like, but he is taking away that to ensure, that he doesn’t have to comply to other forces within the coalition, as they would be directly one organization instead. It is smart, but certainly, the ones finding themselves as minorities will feel squeezed in this.

TPLF Statement:

In its statement, TPLF in no uncertain terms believes, 1) the coming national election must be held as planned, 2) the planned transformation of EPRDF in to a single party is unattainable and makes no sense now when the main four EPRDF members are not seeing eye to eye on many issues, 3) the country is at risk of disintegrating, better late than never to go back to the tested EPRDF way of governing, 4)TPLF is saddened to know the Ethiopia that used to be peacemaker in many other countries is today begging for helping hand to restore its own peace., 5) TPLF is bemused to hear the government is thinking to invite outsiders to keep peace in the country. 6) TPLF call on all peace loving people to join its forthcoming effort to restore law and order and democratic governance in the country!” (TPLF, 12.04.2019)

EPRDF Council Meeting:

Addis Ababa, April 12, 2019 (FBC) –The Council of the Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) will hold its regular session as of next Monday. According to a statement issued by the Council, the meeting is to discuss current national agendas and evaluate organizational performances of the Front over the past months.” (Fana BC – ’EPRDF Council To Meet Next Monday’ (12.04.2019).

We can even see the power-block, the ruling elite and the greatest obstacle to a one-party movement, instead of coalition is the TPLF. The ones who is known to control and also manipulate it to their advantage. That is why this is a rare moment of history. Where a reforming Prime Minister, someone who tries to make a difference. Failing at it, but still trying within the parameter of his power. As he is one of them and knows the system.

What is striking in the game of trying to forge a one-party political movement. Even as the EPRDF have allowed the Oromo Liberation Front and other former illegal opposition movements to partly operate. They are still not viable in the political spectrum. So, before the next election to make the Coalition into ONE-PARTY, would in some spheres ensure a one-party state. As the others cannot compete or have the ability to be seen. Since, they are minor players and the ERPDF have the whole state machinery behind them.

That is why I am shocked that the TPLF doesn’t want to do this. It would be a WIN-WIN, though the TPLF emblem and superiority would be a fraction of the party and not an separate controlling entity. That is maybe their fear of becoming second fiddle and losing their codes of conduct. Therefore, they cannot muster support for a One-Party vision.

This is good for Ethiopia to have more parties, more people possible representing them. That should not be on ethnic lines, because that is just stirring pot of trouble. A kettle already boiling and internal conflicts spiralling out of control. That is why the Republic is faced with a million internally displaced people. This should be a warning to the authorities, that their policies and their vision is distorted, as so many people are struggling to live in their homes and in their homestead.

Surely, the TPLF and the Woyane want all control. That is not new, the ODP trying to get more balance of power, as well as possibly the others in the coalition. However, this might just be another play for the facade, just to look like the coalition is moving somewhere. As the EPRDF have been more cautious about peace missions in the region, than securing the internal conflicts. This should be the priority. To ensure the villages, the homes and the lives of citizens who are endangered and with security organizations not shielding their homes and lives. However, that is second fiddle in the battle of power in Addis, which is apparently, more important than changing the lives of ordinary citizens. Peace.

As internally displaced persons reach nearly 1 million in Ethiopia, WHO reinforces medical supplies (09.04.2019)

An estimated 995 559 individuals were displaced by inter-communal clashes across the Gedeo and West Guji zones in February and March.

ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia, April 9, 2019 – The World Health Organization (WHO) in Ethiopia has dispatched experts and medical supplies in response to the needs of the internally displaced persons in the Gedeo and West Guji zones in Oromia Region and the Southern Nations, Nationalities and Peoples Region (SNNPR).

According to official government reports, an estimated 995 559 individuals were displaced by inter-communal clashes across the Gedeo and West Guji zones in February and March. The Government of Ethiopia appealed in mid-March for support from partners in response to the escalating situation.

In response, WHO sent emergency health kits capable of treating 115 000 people for three months, along with supplementary kits containing medical supplies (gloves, needles, syringes) and drugs for 70 000 people for three months. WHO has also provided kits for treating 250 severe acute malnourished children with medical complications for three months.

The supplies were delivered to Gedeo Zone ahead of an assessment team led by WHO Representative to Ethiopia, Dr Rufaro Chatora, who visited the region to assess the situation. He met with health officials to discuss priority areas for WHO support for the immediate health needs of around 675 737 internally displaced persons scattered in different locations in the zone.

“This is a complex humanitarian situation, and WHO has deployed additional capacity of experts to the zones to support the response to the health needs of the displaced and the host communities,” said Dr Chatora. “The response is commendable, but the need is huge and requires the coordinated and rapid response of WHO and other partners.”

The assessment team visited two temporary displaced persons camps in Gedeb woreda (district) and the Gedeb Hospital, where a stabilization centre has been expanded to accommodate the massive increase in cases of severe acute malnutrition. WHO is training 34 health workers in the management of children with severe acute malnutrition with medical complications.

Among the immediate needs in the temporary camps are improvements to the living conditions, access to safe water and sanitation and an immunization campaign (as well in the host communities) to avoid disease outbreaks.

“WHO will coordinate with the Federal Ministry of Health, United Nations agencies, international organizations, NGOs and other partners to strengthen the response, particularly in regard to water, sanitation and hygiene and the vaccination campaigns,” Dr Chatora said.

The Government has deployed 117 health professionals, including physicians, nurses, pharmacists, psychiatrists and epidemiologists, to help alleviate the human resource gap in the response. More staff will be deployed in the coming weeks.

The WHO response team based in Gedeo and West Guji zones will be increased in the coming days to provide continued technical support to the government-led inter-agency rapid response for surveillance and early warning disease outbreak, water-quality assessments, environmental audits, case management and coordination.

Ethiopia: Is there a brewing Internal-Conflict with a fake Messiah at the steering-wheel?

The urge to save humanity is almost always only a false-face for the urge to rule it. Power is what all messiahs really seek: not the chance to serve. This is true even of the pious brethren who carry the gospel to foreign parts.”H.L. Mencken

It looked so hopeful, when Prime Minister Dr. Abiy Ahmed Ali took over a year ago. The Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Defence Force (EPRDF) coalition government, which have had sole control from the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) and the other parties been controlled and manoeuvred on their behest. Therefore, people where hopeful when a Oromo leader would take the wheel. However, things has gotten worse. Some things has changed for the better, but there are many worrying signs on the horizons. The sun is setting and the next day looks tense.

The Prime Minister wasn’t taken over something finished, something that was strong. He came in the midst of a oppressive regime, using the army against civilians and using draconian laws to keep people under their wings. The EPRDF have arrested so many because of their political affiliation or their activism. Now, the EPRDF is struggling with the newly released former political opposition and legality of Queero, Oromo Liberation Front (OLF) and Ogaden National Liberation Front (ONLF). As the Oromo youth have gone house-to-house, the army and others has done direct assaults and killed within the Ogaden region. Like there been violence happening between other ethnic groups to in other parts of Ethiopia. While the government let it happen and doesn’t stop it.

That is why the situation is getting worse. The Internally Displaced People in about 800 sites in the Federal Republic.

There are several other issues like this from OCHA:

The lives of 8 million food insecure people will be at risk if food assistance does not reach them in time. Additionally, the number people in need of emergency food assistance activities will continue to grow” (OCHA – ‘Ethiopia: If funding remains insufficient, most life-saving operations will cease beyond March’ 07.03.2019).

So there are millions who are struggling to eat, there millions struggling with a place to stay and has been forcefully evicted from their homes. This has escalated under the time of EPRDF and Prime Minister Abiy. That is well known, as the EU have offered assistance because of this.

As stated here from the EU:

Ethiopia is undergoing sweeping reforms, but the winds of democracy and new-found freedoms have also fanned ethnic tensions, very often boiling over into an all-out conflict. In 2018, conflict resulted in an exponential increase in the number of internally displaced to more than 3 million people, one of the fastest growing displacement crises in the world. EU Humanitarian Aid, once focused on helping refugees and Ethiopians uprooted by drought and food shortages, is now increasingly needed to help Ethiopians displaced by violence in hundreds of sites across the country” (European Commission’s Directorate-General for European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations – ‘Helping people displaced by ethnic violence in Ethiopia’ 28.03.2019).

Even though the state will make everything look like a golden era:

A discussion forum reviewing the one-year journey of reforms held at the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) hall today. The event, which is a continuation of the political party forums of the past few months, explored the political, economic, foreign relations, justice and security sector changes undertaken during the past one year. During the discussion, it was indicated that 45,000 people have benefited from the amnesty law at the federal level. Moreover, over 100,000 prisoners were released at a national level following the reform initiative” (FanaBC – ‘Forum Reviews Ethiopia’s One-Year Journey Of Reforms’ 30.03.2019).

As that was happening, the same state saluting itself, did this:

A press conference called by Ethiopian journalist and activist Eskinder Nega in Addis Ababa blocked by police. The police officers were unable to give reasons, but told people to disperse, later they said the order came from high up” (ECADF – ‘Ethiopian government blocked activists press conference’ 30.03.2019).

So, even though surely, Prime Minister Abiy has done a lot of good. His still showed lack of progress, concerning the ethnic violence, the lack of food insecurity and the issues of the state. Which is supposed to help all citizens. There are regions and groups taking advantage of their new role in government. This being Oromo whose using force in the Ogaden, where the Somali are attacked and killed. That has been reported and this sorts of violence have grown during his term. Therefore, there has to be a striking need to address and settle this, before it boils over.

We can see, there other worrying signs too. There are lack of coherent and strong message from the Addis Ababa. Who are busy playing international peacemaker, while internally brewing chaos. Where the TPLF are toying with the other groups. Where there are questionable actions, as the state isn’t issuing needed reforms to make peace with all of them whose been hurt. This is happening, as the state is preparing for new elections in 2020. That will surely be shambolic as in the past. As the EPRDF plans to totally control it and force people to vote for them. Something else, would be a revolution. That revolution would not be televised.

Even the hardcore Tigrai is tired of him after a year, as stated here:

Now the masters of Abiy Ahmed are not sure if they picked the right person to lead their silent coup in Ethiopia. The Ethiopian population is disappointedly aware about the true identity and intent of Abiy Ahmed in Ethiopia. A massive tide against Abiy Ahmed is gathering in every corner of Ethiopia. Abiy Ahmed Ali is stuck between a rock and hard place so he is changing his tactics on dealing with the people of Tigrai and the Tigrai state government. Mind you the strategy of Abiy Ahmed and his masters is still the same, it is to systematically weaken and destroy TPLF and Tigrai, but their tactics so far backfired and their plan is in disarray. The new plan is to appear gentle and friendly towards TPLF and Tigrai instead of the harsh treatment they used until now. At the same time they are planning to manipulate any political differences among Tigraians and use them to create gaps between Tegaru” (Tigrai Online – ‘Abiy Ahmed Ali and his masters are changing tactics towards Tigrai’ 26.03.2019).

We can see that the PM is losing ground. That his in trouble. His not trusted by the ones whose the major benefactor of the coalition. Neither, trusted by others either. His seen as puppet from both sides. While playing big-time abroad in Somalia and with Eritrea. We have to see how this goes. But there are many question left unturned.

There are plenty more of hardships, needed efforts and finding peace between dozens of communities. As the state are having more and more people displaced. More and more people lacking food, while the state is trying to look as striving. This is a miss match of ideals and the image the state tries to portray for the world to see. We have to question this, I don’t have the answers. But certainly, the EPRDF have figure this out. They cannot live on PR Stunts and fancy speeches amidst of the internal conflicts and the lack of systems, which is not taking care of their own. Therefore, the EPRDF is waiting for the international community to sponsor and aid these people, by the default of the state is left behind. Peace.

Ethiopia: OPM – Government Support to Displaced Gedeo (16.03.2019)

Ethiopia and Djibouti’s renewed resolve for cooperation and economic integration (18.02.2019)

The 15th Djibouti-Ethiopian Joint Ministerial Commission meeting was held at the end of last month (January 30-31) in Djibouti.

LONDON, United Kingdom, February 18, 2019 –  The meeting was held in a spirit of brotherhood that reflected the excellent relations between the two countries. At the same time, it also provided a unique platform for both countries, to serve as a venue for the determination of both governments to demonstrate a renewed resolution to continue to play a pivotal role in the progress of the Horn of Africa and of Africa. Both governments are, after all, engaged in a process of reform aimed, inter alia, to encourage their nationals to engage fully and practically in the creation of employment opportunity for youth, expand the structures of democracy, buttress ongoing economic progress, and respect the rights of the people.

This Joint Ministerial Commission meeting was an opportune occasion to showcase the renewed commitment of both countries to resolve all pressing issues, and underline their determination to work closely together on peace and stability in the region and to support economic development and regional integration.

The Ethiopian side commended the Government of Djibouti for taking steps to improve relations with Eritrea. Djibouti appreciated Prime Minister Dr Abiy’s bold moves to encourage tranquility in the region. The initiatives for peace provided a firm jumping off point to encourage youth to participate in the current wind of hope, change and confidence. The agreements reached clearly demonstrated the deep-seated commitment of both governments to encourage prosperity of their peoples. They included bolstering cooperation on criminal matters, formulating plans for ensuring regular, safe and orderly migration on the basis of the spirit of the Marrakech Agreement, and producing a new comprehensive agreement on labor issues, as well as enhancing existing cooperation on peace and security issues bilaterally and within the frame work of IGAD, the African Union and the United Nations.

The Joint Ministerial Commission in fact provided an important venue to underline the need to work closely together to revive the economy of areas that shared a common border and improve the conditions and ways of life of the populations on both sides of the border. There was strong awareness that this would give further impetus towards reinforcing already deep-rooted people-to-people ties. Similarly, aiming to further concretize the ties, a new level of cooperation was reached to exchange instructors and youth experts in such areas of logistics and transport, forestry, engineering, and language teaching.

The second distinctive feature of the Joint Ministerial Commission meeting was that it served as a venue to navigate the future of this symbolic cooperation and make clear the way forward for moving towards the dream of the “Africa we want in 2063.” Important milestones like the Continental Free Trade Area brokered by the African Union and signed up to by 44 of its 55 member states, in Kigali last year, can best be materialized if meaningful efforts are undertaken at regional level. Allowing free access to commodities, goods, and services across the continent are prerequisites to African unity. This was clearly shown by Ethiopia and Djibouti, both signatories to the CFTA, in expediting implementation of their bilateral Border Trade Protocol and General Trade Agreement at the JMC meeting.

Both sides have scaled up the gains achieved in port operation and transportation. They have made great efforts to remove impediments to enhance the efficiency of the port and ensure effective utilization of transport links. Enhancement of the quality of operations as well as completing interconnection projects, and initiating new phases of railway projects to augment integration, were discussed in detail. Joint mechanisms have been put in place. Both sides agreed that completion of infrastructure projects was essential to fast-tracking economic integration. They agreed to work to launch the natural gas pipeline project by fast-tracking technical issues.

Overall, the 15th Djibouti-Ethiopia Joint Ministerial Commission meeting clearly provided the opportunity for an important dialogue and a realistic working platform to further speed up the pace of cooperation and economic integration. It called for credible steps to resolve any outstanding issues, agreeing to implement solutions to encourage the continued upward spiral of economic links and joint peace and stability. It emphasized the need to forge closer follow-up of agreements, and to hone capacity to manage the systems underpinning prosperity and security. The meeting strongly underlined the value of holding bilateral dialogues regularly to encourage the advancement of the joint common agenda for the greater common good.

Ethio Telecom: Statement to Correct Misleading Information on International Internet Gateway Capacity (11.02.2019)

Ethiopia: ONLF Press Release (23.01.2019)

The Somali people in the Somali regional state(Ogaden) have a legal right to manage their political affairs and full self-rule upheld both by the Ethiopian constitution and international law. The most fundamental tenet of these entitlements is the right to choose their own leaders. Furthermore, Premier Abiy has promised to all peoples in Ethiopia to respect their democratic rights and open the political space.

ONLF calls for both the ruling party and the federal government to respect the wishes and dignity of the Somali people and desist from any acts that could jeopardise the stability and the wellbeing of the Somali regional state and the people.

Any political differences shall be resolved in a transparent manners where all stakeholders are consulted.

ONLF is committed to peace and democratic governance in the Somali state and Ethiopia in general and calls upon all stakeholders to adhere to the same principles.

Finally, ONLF calls upon the ruling party in the Somali state to resolve any difference internally in an amicable and transparent manner.

ONLF

23/01/2019

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