It is now reported that the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia (FDRE) have hired the lobbying firm Venable LLP to promote Ethiopia in the United States of America (USA). This is not the first time an African Warlord or President with conflicts is hiring lobbyist to “clean-up” their image abroad. It is all done to sway the U.S. Congress and get a favourable tune from the White House. Because, the broken Washington D.C. is for sale and everyone can be bought, apparently.
Venable LLP had 81 clients in 2020 and spent $7,400,000 in lobbying fees for various of causes. The Venable LLP had 44 lobbyist working for them last year.
What is striking is the two fellas that is representing Ethiopia in Washington D.C. is Thomas Quinn and Loren Aho. Open Secrets says Quinn speciality is Taxation by a vast margin and Defence. While Aho have also Defence as speciality. This is not government affairs or foreign affairs, which is where the Ethiopian government needs help to sway public opinion about the war in Tigray and all the other atrocities across the Republic.
On a FARA form filed by Quinn on the 4th February 2021. Quinn is an attorney and a partner in the company. It states that he has three foreign principals his working for as a foreign agent. In his filing, these are: “Embassy of Ethiopia, Embassy of the State of Qatar & Hong Kong Trade Development Council”. This means that works for these others as well. While banking the thousands of dollars per month from Addis Ababa. We can wonder how much Qatar and HKDC is paying him too.
The Ethiopian Embassy is paying Venable LLP US$35,000 per month. When they have a taxation expert and minor lobbyist on his payroll. The company has an outreach and has a big team. Though, the two who is handling this has this history. This is information in the public domain from ProPublica and OpenSecrets. It is not like the American lobbyists isn’t looked into, as a public oversight to their actions and how they influence U.S. Congress.
That Quinn and Aho is hired to this is to whitewash and make Abiy’s government look good in the public eye in the US. It is to get Committee’s to act in favour of Addis Ababa. That is why they have hired these fellows. Where they are trying to sway and swing things in their direction. So, that they are not sanctioned or embargoed in any way. Especially, now that they are going into an election, warfare in Tigray and other lingering conflicts across the Republic.
Prime Minister Abiy has hired these guys to look good. That is the reason. As his team isn’t able to get positive headlines in Western Media and the use of this as a platform to get that. This is why regimes like this uses lobbyists to become “cleansed” from the “bloodstains” abroad. Also, to ensure their leadership and legitimacy across the board. In a manner, which they get vouched for by the International Community.
It is ironic that Abiy does this, as he holds a grip on local-media and accreditation of foreign media houses too. Just give people a pass, if they follows his guidelines and writes his stories. If they don’t, then they are banished from the Republic. Peace.
It is now revealed that someone named Jans Roosjen of the Netherlands has a United States Patent on the Teff Flour, the tradition food source backing done thousands of years. Roosjen is officially a pre-historical human being, he is back-to-future, he is the mirage and the answers of all things. Since he can patent something that has been part of Ethiopian culture and their practices, without their consent and without consideration. He is not the owner of Teff Flour. The United States Patent Office shouldn’t accept this, because this is taking someones national pride and food culture and stamping their ill-gotten name on it.
This is a mockery of invention, this is cultural and staple food theft. It would be like stealing french-fries from Belgium, the Kimchi from South Korea or the Feijoada from Brazil. No one owns that invention, but you cannot patent it too. This is made for the people and owned by the people, secondly, as a foreigner you should appreciate the culture, not steal it. That is what this man has done with the Patent of Teff Flour milling. Like he invented it, he didn’t invent it, he just served a document and filing to the Patent Office. They should have dismissed it as a insane thinking of a European man, who has no ownership to the food cuisine of Ethiopia.
“Teff (Eragrostis Tef) is a cereal crop of Poaceae or Gramineae family with small grains. It is believed to have originated in Ethiopia between 4000 and 1000 BC . Teff seeds were reported to be discovered in a pyramid which is thought to date back to 3359 BC . It is a primarily cultivated cereal crop in Ethiopia with high market price and socio-economic values. Its center of origin and diversity is Ethiopia” (…) “The cultivation of teff as a major cereal crop in Ethiopia was started thousands of years ago. As mentioned in the Introduction, some researchers have indicated that teff production in Ethiopia has a history of more than 4000 years. Teff is a primarily cultivated cereal crop in Ethiopia with high market price and socio-economic values” (Daba, 2017).
Encyclopedia of Life (eol.org) states this:
“Between 8,000 and 5,000 BC, the people of the Ethiopian highlands were among the first to domesticate plants and animals for food and teff was one of the earliest plants domesticated. Teff is believed to have originated in Ethiopia and Eritrea between 4,000 BCE and 1,000 BCE. Genetic evidence points to E. pilosa as the most likely wild ancestor. A 19th century identification of teff seeds from an ancient Egyptian site is now considered doubtful; the seeds in question (no longer available for study) are more likely of E. aegyptiaca, a common wild grass in Egypt.” (eol.org – ‘Eragrostis tef’).
That Roosjen own business, which is on his page teff-grain.com, where he states: “given the fall-numbers the mixing of teff-grain or flour with other flours/seeds is patented”. That is very insane, that a man from Netherlands or Holland is thieving a 1000 year old tradition and trying to keep it to himself. That is disgusting, it would be okay if he imported it through Prograin, the company he is owns and serves, but patenting it, is taking it a bit to far.
So the Roosjen started a shop in 2004, patent it in 2006 and has forgotten the tradition of the food. It is time for the world to patent everything for Nethlands, the wind-mills and when coming to foods. It is time for Ethiopians to patent Dutch tradition food, to retaliate like Pannenkoeken, Erwtensoep, Poffertjes and Stroopwafels. Because if a random Dutch man can patent food for centuries and get away it. The Ethiopian and government, should do similar acts until the Dutch retract this nonsense. This is demeaning and insulting of all humanity. Its like patenting human life itself, Roosjen next project could be to patent one of the pyramids of Egypt. Since he could already has stolen, the pride and staple food of injeera of Ethiopia.
Roosjen, you do not own an African Cuisine, you don’t have the rights to patent 8000-year old tradition food from Ethiopia. How dear you, you should retract it and be glad to mother, that you can still import this food and the flour itself. The Ethiopian partners of yours should stop selling to you. Since, you have betrayed their tradition and their cuisine, they should boycott you and yours families business.
A Dutch Company and a Dutch Man is lucky to be able to trade the commodity, they should sanction the man. The farmers, the traders in Addis Ababa, the ones who has traded with his company and the ones licensing sale to him. Should stop immediately, he doesn’t deserve it. Because he has stolen part of the pride of Ethiopia. No one has the right to do so. No-One has the right to do so, it is insulting and demeaning.
Daba, Tadessa – ‘Nutritional and Soio-Cultural Values of Teff (Eragrostis tef) in Ethiopia’ (May 2017)
Reports from the UN International Organization on Migration (IOM) “suggest that Government forces are now approaching the town of Maiwut, 25 kilometres north-west of Pagak”.
WASHINGTON D.C., United States of America, July 13, 2017 – Thousands of South Sudanese civilians are fleeing to neighbouring Ethiopia as Government troops advance on a rebel stronghold in the Upper Nile region, a senior United Nations official today said, expressing grave concern about what is already the world’s fastest growing refugee crisis.
Reports from the UN International Organization on Migration (IOM) “suggest that Government forces are now approaching the town of Maiwut, 25 kilometres north-west of Pagak. I’m gravely concerned by this ongoing situation,” the Special Representative of the Secretary-General in South Sudan, David Shearer, told reporters from Juba, the capital.
He added that while it is unclear which side began the fighting, the military advance by the South Sudan forces “is not in the spirit of the unilateral ceasefire” declared by the Government in May.
Mr. Shearer said there has been “active military engagement” over the past week north of Pagak, and at least 25 aid workers have relocated in the area as a result of the insecurity.
The senior UN official, who is also the head of the UN Mission in the country, or UNMISS, also voiced great concern about an orphanage near Torit, south of Juba, surrounded by Government and rebel fighters who are preparing to fight.
“It’s unacceptable that 250 innocent children, and the people who care for them, find themselves in no-man’s land between the warring parties,” Mr. Shearer stressed.
Requests by UNMISS to access the Hope for South Sudan Orphanage have been denied “locally, on the ground.”
The Government forces central command in Juba yesterday gave UNMISS “the go-ahead to send peacekeepers to the orphanage. I’m hopeful that will happen today,” he added.
Mr. Shearer urged both sides to reflect on President Salva Kiir’s Independence Day message of peace and withdraw from the facility.
In addition to accessing the orphanage, a group of Nepalese peacekeepers have been sent to protect civilians and the UN base in Torit.
“The number of patrols we can undertake in the town will increase with the additional peacekeepers. In turn, that should provide more security and boost confidence,” said Mr. Shearer.
He noted that his deputy, Moustapha Soumaré, is travelling to Torit tomorrow and will report back.
To date, Abyei has no police service system in place and there is no functioning joint local administrative structure.
ABYEI, South Sudan, July 12, 2017 – The United Nations Interim Security Force for Abyei (UNISFA) condemns all attacks perpetrated by unknown armed groups in Abyei Area which resulted in deaths and injuries of civilians.
UNISFA expresses its deepest condolences and sympathy to the family of the victims and vows to investigate swiftly the attacks with the Joint Peace Committee, the traditional leaders, as well as Sudan and South Sudan governments, and bring the perpetrators to justice.
UNISFA emphasizes its commitment to implement its mandate to secure Abyei Area and to protect civilians under imminent threat of physical violence, without prejudice to the responsibilities of the relevant authorities.
To date, Abyei has no police service system in place and there is no functioning joint local administrative structure. The absence of these systems has resulted in the increase of criminal cases.
The current influx of population in Abyei has contributed towards increased economic and social activities in the area. The unemployment among the youth is a cause of concern which also leads to manifestation of crime in various forms.
In light of the recent incidents, UNISFA has stepped up its security measures particularly in and around Amiet common market which is a vital economic hub for different tribal groups including Ngok Dinka and Misseriya. Most of the criminal incidents in recent months have taken place in the vicinity of the common market.
The last two months have seen an upsurge in cases of cattle-rustling, carjacking attempts and robbery/shooting incidents. In May, a grenade exploded in Amiet market resulting in injuries to some civilians.
UNISFA reaffirms that criminality in all its forms is a serious threat to the security situation in Abyei Area.
UNISFA urges all communities and groups to support the Mission in its efforts to maintain the degree of peace and stability that Abyei has been experiencing over the last two years. The criminal activities should not deter the significant progress made towards improving relations between the Messiriya and the Ngok Dinka communities.
GENEVA, Switzerland, July 10, 2017 – UNHCR’s Representative in Sudan, Noriko Yoshida, welcomed the contribution of EUR 3.1 million in humanitarian funds from the European Union (EU) for South Sudanese new arrivals in Sudan.
“We are seeing a great increase in the number of refugees coming across the border into Sudan, indicating that things are not getting better in South Sudan despite all our hopes for peace and security there. Support from the EU and others is heartily welcomed”, Yoshida said.
Nearly 160,000 South Sudanese refugees have newly arrived in Sudan in the first half of 2017. Yoshida expressed her gratitude to Sudan for its continued generosity hosting over 400,000 South Sudanese refugees since December 2013, and an estimated 350,000 South Sudanese remaining in Sudan following South Sudan’s secession.
Impressed by the generosity of ordinary Sudanese people who share very limited resources with South Sudanese refugees in dire need, Yoshida said UNHCR and its partners are seeking to scale up their assistance to host communities receiving refugees.
“More funding is needed so that we can meet the existing and growing needs of refugees and host communities. Support from EU and other donors will ensure we have the resources to meet immediate needs and put in place adequate services to improve the quality of the current response”.
EU humanitarian funding covers three states (White Nile, East and South Darfur states) out of five states which have been considerably affected by the influx of South Sudanese refugees. The funding is earmarked to registration activities, reception support and shelter and provision of basic household items.
EU humanitarian aid has previously supported UNHCR in the response and provided EUR 4.4 million in 2016 towards UNHCR’s efforts to respond to critical life-saving needs.
UNHCR and its partners have appealed through a Refugee Response Plan for USD 221 million in 2017 to assist refugees and host communities in Sudan. As of June 2017 less than 20% of the funds have been received.