Tuesday 20 February 2018
(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 left jail in a prisoner amnesty, and anti-government protests rocked the country's largest region, Oromia. "Because of the dangers the constitution and the constitutional system is facing, we have reached the point where it is difficult to keep the law...
(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...
(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)
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...
(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...
(AFP (eng) 02/14/18)
Ethiopia released a jailed opposition leader and journalist on Wednesday and dropped charges against a group of bloggers in a wave of prisoner releases and pardons. An AFP videographer said politician Andualem Arage and journalist Eskinder Nega left a prison in the capital Addis Ababa before a crowd of about 100 supporters. "The struggle must continue. Better things should come for all of us, and a bright sunshine of democracy must shine in Ethiopia," said Andualem, who was serving a...
(Reuters (Eng) 02/14/18)
ADDIS ABABA (Reuters) - Ethiopia released a senior opposition leader from prison on Tuesday and dropped all charges against him, a day after demonstrators blocked roads and staged rallies in several towns to protest against his incarceration. Bekele Gerba, secretary general of the Oromo Federalist Congress (OFC), was arrested in December 2015 after mass protests broke out in the Oromiya region over accusations that farmers were being forced to sell land with scant compensation. He had been held initially on...
(AFP (eng) 02/13/18)
Top Ethiopian dissident Bekele Gerba was released from jail on Tuesday, state media reported, as anti-government protests by the country's largest ethnic group closed roads and businesses near the capital. The release of Bekele was a key demand of Oromos, the majority ethnic group, whose protests led to a national emergency being declared two years ago. The attorney general earlier said charges against Bekele would be dropped. Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn had also said some jailed politicians would be released. "Bekele Gerba and other six suspects have been released from prison today," the state-affiliated Fana Broadcasting Corporate reported.
(AFP (eng) 02/13/18)
Businesses were closed and stone-wielding men blocked roads near Ethiopia's capital on Tuesday in the latest anti-government protest by the Oromo people, the country's largest ethnicity. It is the second day of a three-day strike called by the Oromo people and follows a nationwide state of emergency last year after protests turned deadly. "Without any mistakes or any wrongdoing, our people are being chained. In our own country, we are considered as second class citizens," said Dina Abdela. He and...
(AFP (eng) 02/12/18)
Ethiopia on Monday dropped charges against top dissident Bekele Gerba, state media reported, ending the trial of a critic whose detention fuelled deadly protests and brought the country international condemnation. The move is the latest instance of Ethiopia's government pardoning or dropping charges against high-profile prisoners since Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn last month announced an unspecified number of detainees would be released. "The federal attorney general today dropped charges against seven suspects, including Bekele Gerba," state-affiliated Fana Broadcast Corporate reported. "The move is part of the decisions made by [the] Executive Committee of EPRDF to drop charges against and pardon politicians...
(AFP (eng) 02/08/18)
Ethiopia's attorney general ordered the release of hundreds of prisoners on Thursday, state media reported, including journalist and blogger Eskinder Nega and opposition leader Andualem Arage whose jailings drew international condemnation. The pair are the latest high-profile detainees to be freed since Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn announced last month that Ethiopia would allow an unspecified number of detained "politicians" to leave jail. "The Federal Attorney General today pardoned a total of 746 suspects and prisoners, including Eskindr (sic) Naga and...
(AFP (eng) 02/08/18)
The African Union's chairman dismissed during a visit to Beijing on Thursday a French newspaper report alleging that China had spied on the continental body as "lies" intended to derail cooperation. The report published by Le Monde in January claimed technicians at the AU's Chinese-built headquarters in the Ethiopian capital discovered last year that the contents of their computers had been regularly copied to servers in Shanghai since 2012, citing unnamed AU sources. "I don't see it is in the...
(AFP (eng) 02/05/18)
Clashes between two of Ethiopia's largest ethnic groups have forced around one million people to leave their homes, according to a UN report seen by AFP. Fighting between the Oromo and Somali peoples along the shared border between their two states occurred sporadically through 2017 but the situation intensified in September, leaving hundreds of people dead by a government estimate and displacing scores of others trying to flee the violence. Statistics from the UN's International Organization for Migration (IOM) show that the conflict-related displacement is more widespread than previously known and one of the biggest seen by Ethiopia in recent years. "Preliminary data from the latest round of the IOM Displacement...
(AFP (eng) 02/05/18)
Israel began warning thousands of African migrants Sunday that they must leave by the end of March, officials said, under a plan that could see them jailed if they refuse. On January 3, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced implementation of a plan to deport about 38,000 migrants who had entered the country illegally, mainly Eritreans and Sudanese. The controversial plan gives them until the end of next month to leave voluntarily or face jail and eventual expulsion. Immigration authority spokeswoman...
(AFP (eng) 02/02/18)
Ethiopia has lifted a ban on domestic workers moving overseas after passing a new law to guard against ill-treatment, a government official said Thursday. Africa's second-most populous country instituted the ban five years ago following reports of abuse, and complaints that employment agencies lured Ethiopians into working abroad in illegal and appalling conditions. Abebe Haile, a director at the labour ministry, said the new law regulates employment agencies that connect jobless Ethiopians with work in foreign countries. The government has...
(Reuters (Eng) 01/29/18)
ADDIS ABABA (Reuters) - The leaders of Ethiopia, Egypt and Sudan on Monday set a one-month deadline for laying out the ways to break a deadlock in talks over a mega dam Addis Ababa is building along its share of the Nile, an official said. Egypt and Ethiopia are at loggerheads over the construction of the Grand Renaissance Dam, a $4 billion-hydroelectric project that Cairo fears will reduce waters that run to its fields and reservoirs from Ethiopia’s highlands and via Sudan. Ethiopia, which is financing the project alone and hopes to become the continent’s biggest power generator and exporter, dismisses the claims.

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