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Archive for the tag “Ethiopia”

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

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Ethiopia secures repatriation of remains of Emperor Tewodros II (04.03.2019)

The Ethiopian Embassy in London will hold discussions with the National Army Museum on Thursday 7th March on the repatriation of the hair.

LONDON, United Kingdom, March 4, 2019 – The Embassy of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia in London welcomes and commends the unanimous decision by the Trustees of the National Army Museum to return locks of hair belonging to Ethiopia’s Emperor Tewodros II, which were removed by a member of the British Expeditionary Force led by Field Marshal Robert Cornelius Napier after the Emperor chose to commit suicide rather than surrender at the battle of Maqdala in 1868.

The Ethiopian Embassy in London will hold discussions with the National Army Museum on Thursday 7th March on the repatriation of the hair.

This exemplary gesture of goodwill by the National Army Museum – coming as it does at the end of a year-long commemoration of the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Maqdala – signifies the dawn of a new level of shared understanding in our complex history. It is also a reflection of the longstanding ties between Ethiopia and the UK, based on a spirit of partnership and the principle of mutual benefit.

For Ethiopians everywhere, as the locks of hair represent the remains of one of the country’s most revered and beloved leaders, a display of jubilant euphoria is to be expected when it is returned to its rightful home in Ethiopia.

Once again, the Embassy of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia in London renews its thanks and appreciation to the National Army Museum for this commendable deed.

Communique of the 46th Ordinary Sessions of IGAD Council of Ministers (27.02.2019)

Kenya: CS Monica Juma letter to IGAD (26.02.2019)

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.

Legal battle for control of Djibouti Ports comes to Hong Kong (13.02.2019)

China Merchants Port Holdings controls the controversial 1,150-hectare Port of Hambantota, which Sri Lanka handed over to China on a 99-year lease.

HONG KONG, China, February 13, 2019 – One of the world’s largest port operators has sued a Chinese state enterprise in Hong Kong over infringement of its exclusive port agreement with a strategically located African nation, in the city’s first court case involving China’s Belt and Road Initiative.

FactWire (www.FactWire.org) has obtained a legal filing by United Arab Emirates’ DP World (FRA: 3DW) at the Hong Kong High Court against China Merchants Port Holdings Company Ltd (HKEX 0144), accusing it of causing the Djibouti government to revoke the firm’s exclusive right to run the country’s ports.

Hong Kong-based China Merchants Port Holdings, a subsidiary of state enterprise China Merchants Group, deals mainly in the construction of ports, marine container logistics and operating container terminals.

It has actively participated in large-scale port infrastructure projects in multiple countries under China’s ambitious Belt and Road Initiative in recent years.

China Merchants Port Holdings controls the controversial 1,150-hectare Port of Hambantota, which Sri Lanka handed over to China on a 99-year lease.

Its inroads into Djibouti, located strategically between the Arabian Sea and the Mediterranean Sea, has for years been at the centre of legal disputes between the African nation and the UAE state enterprise.

In the writ of summons filed to the Hong Kong court in August last year, DP World accused the company for causing the Djibouti government to nationalise the Doraleh Container Terminal, despite the 30-year concession agreement that allowed DP World to exclusively run the terminal.

DP World, which operates 78 ports in 42 countries including Terminal 3 in Kwai Chung, Hong Kong, said under its agreement with the Djibouti government, it would have “full and exclusive right to establish, develop, and operate the Doraleh site”.

The concession agreement also said Djiboutian authorities cannot grant concessions for any other port capable of handling ocean-going vessels or free zone facilities within the country for the duration of the agreement.

The concession agreement took effect in February 2004 for a period of 30 years with the option for two 10-year renewals.

Joint-venture company Doraleh Container Terminal S.A. (DCT) was created to develop and operate the terminal.

The Djibouti government held 66.66 percent of DCT’s shares under state enterprise Port Autonome International de Djibouti (PAID), while DP World held 33.34 percent through its subsidiary Dubai (International) Djibouti FZE (DID).

Despite being a minority shareholder, DP World had the right to appoint most board members of DCT, thereby retaining control of the company’s operations and management.

Two years later, both parties signed a 2006 Concession Agreement in which DID relinquished their role in the development of the Doraleh Container Terminal.

However, DID’s exclusivity right over other port and free zone projects remained in full force.

Economic hindrance

Doraleh Container Terminal commenced operations on February 2009 but the Djibouti government began expressing dissatisfaction with its agreement with DP World.

It said the concession agreement “gave a foreign company the opportunity to oppose the fundamental interests of the Republic of Djibouti by hindering its economic and social development process”.

Three years later in 2012, China Merchants Port Holdings began negotiating a partnership with Djiboutian authorities over the development of ports and free-trade zone projects in the nation. In July that year, they signed a strategic partnership agreement.

The Chinese firm is a direct competitor of DP World and was actively looking to invest in ports to strengthen its position in East Africa.

Djiboutian authorities sold 23.5 percent of its shares in DCT to China Merchants Port Holdings, effectively allowing the Chinese firm to hold 15.67 percent of the shares, contradicting the concession agreement, the legal filing said.

With China Merchants Port Holdings acquiring an indirect shareholding in DCT, Djibouti was bypassing its contractual obligations and implementing its partnership with the Chinese firm, the filing said.

In 2014, China Merchants Port Holdings and Djibouti decided to build Doraleh Multipurpose Port next to the Chinese People’s Liberation Army Support Base in Djibouti.

Chinese firms China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation Ltd and China State Construction Engineering Corporation began construction on the multipurpose port in the same year.

Operations at this port began in mid-2017, also in contradiction of the agreement between Djibouti and DP World, the UAE firm said.

At the multipurpose port’s launching ceremony, the Djibouti government signed a deal with China Merchants Port Holdings to build a new Doraleh International Container Terminal, to be located between the Doraleh Container Terminal and the multipurpose port.

New Shekou

According to the official Belt and Road Initiative website, the then Executive Director and Vice Chairman of China Merchants Port Holdings Hu Jianhua suggested plans to build a new port to Djibouti president Ismail Omar Guelleh in 2013.

Hu’s proposal was to build a new Shekou, part of the China (Guangdong) Pilot Free Trade Zone, complete with a new port, a free trade area and to transform an old port terminal into a business and residential centre.

The website said China Merchants Port Holdings invited Guelleh and other Djibouti stakeholders to inspect the “thriving” Shekou port. It said by learning about the history of Shekou, Djibouti will decide to cooperate with China Merchants.

According to DP World’s legal filing, Djibouti attempted to revoke DP World’s exclusive agreement by using allegations of corruption, while it developed its partnership with China Merchants Port Holdings on various projects.

In 2012, Djibouti sued Abdourahman Boreh, a former presidential confidante who was involved in the negotiation and execution of the agreement between DP World and Djibouti, for corruption at the High Court of England and Wales. The case was thrown out.

Djibouti again sued Boreh in 2017 at the London Court of International Arbitration for bribery and those charges were again dismissed. The court found no corruption was involved.

Nevertheless, Djiboutian authorities seized control of the Doraleh Container Terminal on February 22, 2018 and transferred concession staff and assets to Societe de Gestion du Terminal (SGTD), a public company created to manage the terminal.

“SGTD, whose sole shareholder is the State of Djibouti, has successfully taken over the operations of the Doraleh container terminal,” the Djibouti government had said in a press release, which highlighted the unfairness of its concession agreement with DP World.

“The implementation of this concession agreement was severely prejudicial to the fundamental interests of the Republic of Djibouti, to the development of the country and to the control of its most strategic infrastructure asset.”

DP World in February last year sued Djibouti at the London Court of International Arbitration over the takeover of the terminal.

Seven months later, the court ruled in favour of DP World and stated that its agreement with Djiboutian authorities is still valid and binding.

DP World, China Merchants Port Holdings and Djiboutian authorities did not respond to FactWire’s questions.

Strategic placement

An International Monetary Fund report said Djibouti’s external public debt to GDP ratio has already reached 85 percent.

At the end of 2016, 32 percent of this debt was owed by the central government. Sixty-eight percent consisted of government-guaranteed debt of public enterprises, 77 percent of which was owed to China’s EximBank, which is directly under China’s State Council.

In other words, the debt that Djibouti owes China is about 44 percent of its GDP.

Located on the Horn of Africa, Djibouti’s strategic location by the Bab-el-Mandeb Strait, which acts as a gateway between the Gulf of Aden and the Red Sea and the adjacent Suez Canal, makes it a desirable location for foreign military bases.

China’s first overseas military base was set up there in 2017.

The US established their base in Djibouti following the attacks on Sept 11, 2001.

It is also home to French and Japanese military bases.

Read More Here: factwire.org/single-post/2019/02/10/Legal-battle-for-control-of-Djibouti-ports-comes-to-Hong-Kong (https://bit.ly/2E2ecns)

Video: https://www.facebook.com/factwireworld/videos/2306575722708744/ (https://bit.ly/2S0TjwR)

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

Djibouti: Communique de presse de la LDDH historique (05.01.2019)

Ethiopia: PM Abiy Ahmed have to stop the internal conflicts!

The Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Defence Force (EPRDF), the Council of Ministers and the Parliament should intervene and find solution together with Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed Ali. As the reformist of the Oromo Democratic Party and the other parties in the coalition government in the EPRDF.

The Prime Minister whose known for being a reformist and a game-changer. If he really is it. There has not been less of ethnic violence or even use of force against civilians since he took the reign. The stint with the PM hasn’t changed it. Here is three recent reports from Afar, Ogaden and Oromia. All of them shows the issues within the Republic.

Reports from Afar Region:

Afar forum condemns the well-coordinated and planned attack against civilian Afars by Issa-Somalis in the Afar region of Ethiopia. The Issa-Somalis tribe waging a coordinated and well planned attack since December 25,2018 in Qunxafaoqo, Gadamaytu, and Qadaytu the illegal settlements killing several civilians and police forces. Reports that reaches us now also indicates that the Issa-Somalis are also attacking the federal army who come to stop the senseless bloodshed. It is report that several people lost their lives from both sides” (Afar Forum Executive Committee, 30.12.20118).

While Halgan Media reported on the Ogaden region:

On the early hours of Wednesday December 12th heavy artillery rained down on the city of Moyaale in Ogaden, as Ethiopian Govt backed Oromo paramilitaries stormed the border town. A vicious onslaught besieged the town as Oromo paramilitary forces went door to door gunning down Somali civilians and maiming women and children in broad daylight. Smoke was billowing through the sky as hundreds of homes and shops where burned down. A total of 15 civilians where killed with over 60 wounded. The wounded survivors where treated in makeshift clinics in alleyways. Oromo paramilitary militias and armed Oromo factions continue to launch cross border raids indiscriminately targeting Somali inhabited towns on the Ogaden-Oromo border region” (Halgan Media – ‘Oromo Militias Masscre Somalis In Moyaale’ 14.12.2018).

ESAT report from Oromia:

Police commissioner for the country’s Oromo region say 41 people, including police officers and local officials, were killed in the western part of the region in the last four months. Commissioner Alemayehu Ejigu blamed the Oromo Liberation Front (OLF) for the violence in western Ethiopia, according to local media reports. He said 29 civilians, 10 police officers and 2 local officials were killed while 77 police officers and 40 members of the local militia were injured. The perpetrators have also took 2,072 kalashnikovs from the police force, the commissioner said. Public and private properties have been destroyed” (Engidu Woldie/ESAT – ‘41 killed in violence in Western Ethiopia, suspects apprehended’ 24.12.2018)

When we know this sort of activity happening in Ethiopia. This is happening on the watch of PM Abiy, who are responsible and has to act on this. The actions in Afar region, the acts in Ogaden and the ones in Oromia. All of which, is innocent lives taken by the militias, the youth and other who spark ethnic conflict. This is all showing the problems within the state. That the PM has take care of, if he cares about the violence, the losses of life and the people who are hurt on his watch.

If the PM is a true reformist and someone who is in-charge. This should be top priority. Not getting people to remit money or get the Diaspora Fund working. No, this should be the first thing to do in 2019. Because, the PM has to act on this. That the EPRDF should react and finds solutions to this. Need to create space that stops the militias and violence in Afar, Oromia and in Ogaden Regions. They need to see to it.

The PM time to step your game up. This is sinister action, which results in people losing their life. That should be unacceptable. Peace.

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