Sunday 22 April 2018
(AFP (eng) 03/28/18)
For the first time, Ethiopia has picked a leader from the Oromo ethnic group that drove years of anti-government protests, and analysts say Abiy Ahmed faces a tricky task of reconciliation and reform. The 42-year-old former minister of science and technology will take the reigns of one Africa's fastest growing economies after more than two years of protests and political turmoil that led to Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn's shock resignation last month. But analysts say Abiy cannot stabilise Ethiopia unless he convinces the country's long-serving ruling coalition to change its authoritarian ways.
(AFP (eng) 03/28/18)
Ethiopia's ruling coalition on Tuesday elected as leader Abiy Ahmed, from the country's largest ethnic group the Oromo, paving the way for him to become prime minister, state media reported. As leader of the ruling Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF), Abiy is set to take over from Hailemariam Desalegn, who announced his resignation last month in a surprise move after over two years of sporadic and often deadly protests against his government. "The EPRDF council has elected Dr. Abiy Ahmed as the leader of the party," the government-run Ethiopian Broadcasting Corporation said. Abiy will be the first Oromo prime minister in the 27-year rule of the EPRDF, which has presided over years of rapid economic growth in Africa's second...
(AFP (eng) 03/26/18)
Ethiopian police have arrested a group of 11 high-profile dissidents, some of whom had been pardoned and freed from jail just weeks before, an attorney said Monday. Among those detained on Sunday were journalist Eskinder Nega and opposition politician Andualem Arage, who were pardoned in a mass prisoner amnesty ordered by the prime minister last month, lawyer Ameha Mekonnen told AFP. Two of Ameha's clients, Befekadu Hailu and Mahlet Fantahun of the Zone 9 blogging collective, whose members were the...
(AFP (eng) 03/16/18)
More than six years in jail have not blunted Ethiopian journalist Eskinder Nega's criticism of the government that put him there. He was released in February, as part of a broad prisoner amnesty, and remains just as defiant, just as determined as when he was locked up for writing critical articles. "I am prepared to go back to prison," Eskinder, 47, said in an interview in the Ethiopian capital this week. "What I am not prepared to do is give...
(AFP (eng) 03/13/18)
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson brought his truncated maiden Africa trip to a close on Monday, promising the full backing of the United States to two countries on the frontline of the war on terror. Washington's top diplomat has been on a five-country tour of east and west Africa but was forced to cut short his visit "due to demands in (his) schedule", the State Department said. After stops in Ethiopia, Djibouti and Kenya, which were overshadowed by US President...
(AFP (eng) 03/12/18)
Residents of a town in Ethiopia's restive Oromia region on Monday disputed the government's characterisation of a deadly shooting that left nine civilians dead as an accident. Ethiopian state media said Sunday that soldiers shot nine civilians near the town of Moyale on the Kenyan border after mistaking them for members of the banned Oromo Liberation Front (OLF) who were trying to sneak into the country. But two residents who spoke to AFP said the shooting took place in an...
(AFP (eng) 03/12/18)
The deaths of nine civilians in Ethiopia's restive Oromia region, home to its largest ethnic group, was due to an accidental shooting by soldiers, state media said Sunday. Soldiers opened fire on the civilians near the town of Moyale on the southern border with Kenya after mistaking them for members of the banned Oromo Liberation Front (OLF) who were attempting to sneak into the country, Ethiopian News Agency (ENA) reported. "The wrong information that members of the force received led to the confrontation that killed nine people and injured another 12," ENA said, without specifying when the incident took place.
(AFP (eng) 03/07/18)
Ethiopia's ruling coalition will meet next week to choose a successor to Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn whose surprise resignation last month has sparked a rare succession race, state media reported Wednesday. Hailemariam's decision to step down was unprecedented in the 27-year reign of the Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) and analysts say it is unclear who the party will pick to replace him. The next prime minister will be chosen by the EPRDF council, a 180-person body composed of party officials.
(AFP (eng) 03/06/18)
Ethiopia's governing coalition is facing an unprecedented tussle behind closed doors as it seeks a new prime minister after Hailemariam Desalegn's shock resignation from the helm of Africa's fastest growing economy. With opposition parties enfeebled, the Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) coalition wields absolute power, but Hailemariam's departure last month revealed yawning divisions within the party after more than two years of anti-government protests. A date for the meeting to replace Hailemariam has not yet been announced, but the stage is set for the most contentious battle to elect a leader in the party's 27-year rule.
(AFP (eng) 03/05/18)
Businesses closed in Ethiopia's capital and its largest region on Monday to protest a state of emergency declared after the prime minister's resignation last month. Shops were shut and roads deserted in parts of the capital Addis Ababa and in towns in the surrounding Oromia region, a hotbed of anti-government dissent since 2015. "The strike is a response to our fear" of the state of emergency, a resident of the Oromia town Burayu who requested anonymity told AFP. Standing together with like-minded neighbours, the resident said: "If they see us in a group like this, the police will come and shoot us."
(AFP (eng) 03/02/18)
Ethiopia's parliament approved a nationwide state of emergency on Friday despite unusual opposition from some lawmakers, in the latest sign of fractures within the all-powerful ruling coalition. The council of ministers made the emergency declaration last month, one day after Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn's suprise resignation amid a growing political crisis and divisions in the ruling party. The six-month decree, which required approval from two-thirds of lawmakers, has been condemned by several of Ethiopia's allies including the United States and the European Union. The ruling Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) -- and its associated parties who control all seats in the legislature...
(AFP (eng) 02/17/18)
Ethiopia said Saturday that a state of emergency will remain in place for six months, as the authorities move to quell "chaos and unruliness". The council of ministers declared the country's second emergency decree in two years on Friday evening. It capped a tumultuous week that saw Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn resign, a strike in the country's largest region and a massive prisoner amnesty. "The state of emergency will be for six months and will be approved by parliament," state-run Ethiopian Broadcasting Corporation (EBC) wrote on Facebook, quoting Defence Minister Siraj Fegessa. The government had cited "ethnic-based clashes" and "chaos and unruliness" as the reasons for the declaration.
(AFP (eng) 02/17/18)
Ethiopia on Friday declared a state of emergency one day after Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn announced his resignation, state media reported. "A state of emergency has been declared as of now," the Ethiopian Broadcasting Corporation (EBC) said, citing a decision by the council of ministers. A statement read by an anchor on the state mouthpiece gave no timeline for the decree, the country's second since 2016. The decision capped a tumultuous week in which some of Ethiopia's most prominent dissidents...
(AFP (eng) 02/16/18)
Ethiopia's opposition reacted cautiously on Friday a day after the surprise resignation of the prime minister, warning it did not herald real change since the ruling party remains in power. Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn resigned on Thursday after weeks of anti-government demonstrations and growing splits within the country's ruling Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) coalition. With the EPRDF and its allies controlling every seat in parliament, it is unclear what difference Hailemariam's departure will make, said prominent opposition leader Merera Gudina, chairman of the opposition Oromo Federalist Congress (OFC).
(Reuters (Eng) 02/16/18)
ADDIS ABABA (Reuters) - Ethiopia’s ruling coalition has lost its authority and all parties must help map the country’s future, an opposition leader said on Friday, suggesting political tensions in Africa’s second most populous country are unlikely to ease soon. Mulatu Gemechu, deputy secretary of the opposition Oromo Federalist Congress, spoke a day after the surprise resignation of Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn, who said he was leaving office to smooth reforms. Mulatu said Ethiopia needed a completely new political system...
(AFP (eng) 02/16/18)
Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn resigned unexpectedly on Thursday, the first leader to do so in the country's recent history. As Africa's second most-populous country enters uncharted political territory, here are four questions about what happened -- and what comes next. - Why did he resign? - Rumours that Hailemariam would go have been circulating in the capital Addis Ababa for months, but his announcement came as a surprise. Guesses abound as to why he left when he did, but...
(Reuters (Eng) 02/16/18)
ADDIS ABABA (Reuters) - Ethiopia’s Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn suddenly resigned on Thursday in what he described as a bid to smooth reforms, following years of violent unrest that threatened the ruling party’s hold on Africa’s second most populous nation. The resignation - unprecedented in Ethiopia’s history - followed a wave of strikes this week in towns near the capital and demonstrations successfully demanding the release of more opposition leaders. More than 6,000 political prisoners have been freed since January...
(AFP (eng) 02/16/18)
The latest round of Ethiopia-led peace talks on South Sudan will wrap up on Friday with a possible agreement that could pave the way to further negotiations on ending the war, the UN envoy said. The talks that opened on February 5 in Addis Ababa are aimed at finding a settlement to one of Africa's worst conflicts. "We are hoping that there will be some form of agreement signed tomorrow," UN envoy David Shearer told reporters at UN headquarters in...
(Reuters (Eng) 02/16/18)
ADDIS ABABA (Reuters) - Ethiopia’s Prime Minister quit on Thursday, saying he wanted to smooth the route to further political reforms. The government is dominated by the EPRDF coalition led by ethnic Tigrayans. Hailemariam Desalegn’s unexpected resignation followed unrest in the Horn of Africa country initially sparked by opposition in the central Oromiya region to an urban development plan that ethnic Oromos said would encroach on their land. The anger broadened into wider public protests, while bouts of ethnic clashes...
(AFP (eng) 02/15/18)
Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn resigned Thursday after long-running political turmoil, an unprecedented move in the vast East African country. The decision by Hailemariam, in power since 2012, comes after months of escalating anti-government protests and signs of growing splits within the country's ruling coalition. In a broadcast on state television, Hailemariam said he had worked hard to solve the problems in Ethiopia, but that he believed his resignation was also part of the solution. In a broadcast on state television...

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