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Welcome to the website of the Embassy of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia to Canada. This website provides you with information and links leading to services provided by the Embassy. We provide information on trade, investment and tourism of Ethiopia as well as issues related to Diaspora to our visitors.
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News in Brief On the humanitarian Response in the Tigray Region Ethiopia reaffirmed commitment to the global response to the covid-19 pandemic President Sahle-Work Zewde visits Djibouti Africa and...
A Week in the Horn 30.10.2020 News in Brief AU Statement on the Virtual Ministerial Meeting of the Negotiating Parties of the Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) held on 27 October 2020 President...
A Week in the Horn 16.10.2020 News in Brief 37th Ordinary Session of the Executive Council of the African Union Meets Virtually President Isaias Afwerki pays a three-day visit to Ethiopia Africa and...
A Week in the Horn 09.10.2020 News in Brief Triumphs, challenges, and the way forward: President Sahle-work’s opening speech at joint Session of HPR, HoF Total peace in Sudan is on the horizon, and...
A Week in the Horn 02.10.2020 News in Brief Press Release on Irregular Migrants in KSA 75th session of the United Nations General Assembly and High-Level Commemoration Event on the 75th Anniversary...
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Democracy in Africa Abiy Ahmed on the threats to Ethiopia’s democratic transition, ‘The government must stop violent ethnic and religious demagogues. But only democracy can hold the country...
News in Brief
On the humanitarian Response in the Tigray Region
Ethiopia reaffirmed commitment to the global response to the covid-19 pandemic
President Sahle-Work Zewde visits Djibouti
Africa and the African Union
The 21st Extraordinary Session of the Executive Council of the African Union that was held virtually on Wednesday (December 02). The meeting aimed to discuss the launch of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) and the status of the implementations of the theme of the Year of the African Union for 2020, ‘Silencing the Guns’. Demeke Mekonnen, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of Ethiopia, has participated in the meeting.
The United Nations General Assembly is holding a Special Virtual Session on 3 and 4 December 2020, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The session was convened upon the request of Azerbaijan on behalf of members of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) in recognition of the need for a global response to the pandemic. Ethiopia was represented at the Special Session by Mr. Demeke Mekonnen, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs who delivered his remarks via pre-recorded video message underscoring the need for global solidarity more than ever before to effectively respond to this unprecedented crisis and reaffirmed Ethiopia’s commitment in this regard. (See article)
Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of Ethiopia, Demeke Mekonnen has held phone conversations with the Foreign Ministers of the Netherlands, Norway, Russia, Austria and Denmark. He explained that federal government law enforcement operation in Tigray region is over with minimum causalities to civilians, government is working with national and international agencies to provide humanitarian assistance to affected people, Rehabilitation and reconstruction works in Tigray region are underway,and the manhunt is underway to bring the perpetrators to justice.
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President Sahle-Work Zewde received Israel’s Immigration Minister, Pnina Tamano-Shata on Thursday (December 04). During the occasion, Tamano-Shata who is the first Ethiopia-born person to hold the position, expressed her delight in visiting Ethiopia. Tamano-Shata also said that she is working hard to strengthen the long-standing relations between Ethiopia and Israel, according to office of the President. The minister arrived in Addis Ababa last Sunday for a working visit to Ethiopia. The Israeli Minister besides discussing on bilateral issues will hold talks about immigration of Diaspora Jews to Israel during her stay in Ethiopia.
In its 6th year 5th regular session held on Thursday (December 03) the House of Peoples Representatives has approved resolution on the agreement signed between Ethiopia and Russia on cooperation in the use of Nuclear Energy for peaceful purposes. The House also approved a resolution referred to Legal, Justice and Democratic Affairs Standing Committee to regulate the relationship between regional states of Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia and the Federal government.
The World Bank has provided $512.5 million in loan and grant to enhance the implementation of Strengthen Ethiopia’s Adaptive Safety Net Project (SEASN). Of the total, $312.5 million is a grant, while the remaining amount is a loan. Ethiopia’s Minister of Finance, Ahmed Shide and World Bank Country Director for Eastern and Southern Africa, Ousmane Dione, signed the agreement in Addis Ababa on Thursday (December 03). This financing will allow for more geographic coverage, enable better service delivery, and is an important next step in modernizing Ethiopia’s productive safety net program (PSNP).
Minister of Water Irrigation and Energy Ministry, Dr. Seleshi Bekele stated that the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam and Koysha Hydroelectric Dam have combined capacity to generate 10,000MW electric power up on their completion. While addressing the ministerial panel of UK- Africa Renewable Energy Ministerial Symposium, Dr. Seleshi Bekele on Thursday (December 03) talked about the total combined capacity of renewable energy projects that will be completed in the coming 5 years. The minister explained that Ethiopia will increase its power generation capacity to 20,000MW in the coming 10 years.
Ethio Telecom announced that it has resumed telecom services in some parts of Tigray Regional State. According to the company, there has been telecom services interruption in Tigray Region for the last three weeks due to the law enforcement operation carried out in the region. In a press release it issued on Wednesday (December 02), Ethio Telecom disclosed that it has resumed telecom service using alternative power solutions after conducting the necessary maintenance and rehabilitation works on damaged telecom infrastructures. Telecom service has accordingly been partially resumed in Dansha, Turkan, Humera, Shiraro, Maytsebri, and Maikadra, while fully service was resumed in Alamata.
The Interim Government of Tigray Regional State has formed new provisional administration in Shire after the Ethiopian National Defense Force (ENDF) ousted the defiant TPLF who ruled the region for almost three decades. Following the completion of a three-week long law enforcement operation against the TPLF tyranny, the Tigray Interim Government has been striving for instituting its administration in the areas liberated from the junta, it was indicated.
South Sudanese peace talks that was led by TPLF junta’s senior member Seyoum Mesfin, with a capacity of Chief Mediator, did not bring the desired outcomes due to TPLF’s biased stance between opposing parties, South Sudan’s Ambassador to Ethiopia said. Ambassador James Pita Morgan told The Ethiopian Herald on Tuesday (December 01) that the delighted by Prime Minster Abiy Ahmed’s (Ph.D.) remark about the TPLF’s negative role in South Sudanese peace talks in his parliamentary address on Monday. Ambassador Morgan noted that the 2015 peace agreement that was signed by South Sudanese conflicting parties in Addis Ababa was not materialized due to the clear favoritism Seyoum had held.
Climatic conditions suitable for desert locust development are forecasted to be highly suitable in eastern and coastal Kenya, eastern Ethiopia, central and southern Somalia, according to The Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD). IGAD said in a statement on Thursday (December 03) that ecological conditions, particularly the availability of green vegetation, are most suitable in the northern sub-region due to the higher than usual rainfall received during the season which continues to sustain vegetation growth. Adult locusts are in large numbers in Sudan, Eritrea, Ethiopia, and Somalia, areas that received high rainfall and that have good vegetation cover, it stated, adding that these are showing high reproduction and rapid development.
The UN on Friday (November 27) announced that agreement has been reached with the Ethiopian Government to allow “unimpeded, sustained and secure access” for humanitarian supplies to reach those in need across areas now under its control in Tigray. Confirming details of the deal at UN Headquarters in New York, Spokesperson Stéphane Dujarric said that the safe passage of aid supplies and staff also extends to the Ethiopian regions of Amhara and Afar, bordering Tigray.
President of the FDRE, Shale-Work Zewde has arrived in Djibouti on Sunday (November 29, 2020) for a two days official visit. Prime Minister Abdoulkader Kamil Mohammed, Foreign Minsiter Mahmoud Ali Youssouf, scores of Djiboutian high level officials as well as Ethiopian Ambassador to Djibouti H.E Berhanu Tsegaye , IGAD’s Secretary General Dr. Workneh Gebeyehu along with Diplomats and Military Attachés at the Embassy have accorded the President a warm welcome at the Ambouli International Airport. President Sahle-Work held talks with the President of the republic as well as made an appearance at the Djiboutian Parliament (See article).
The federal force have captured Mekelle the capital of the Tigray region, said the Ethiopian Prime Minister and the army chief of staff in two separate statements on Saturday (November 27). On 26 November, Abiy Ahmed announced the end of a 72-hour ultimatum given to recalcitrant Tigran forces to surrender and gave the green light to launch the final stage of the “law enforcement campaign” on the Tigrayan People’s Liberation Front (TPLF). “The federal government is now fully in control of the city of Mekelle,” said Abiy in a statement posted on Twitter. “I am pleased to share that we have completed and ceased the military operations in the Tigray region,” he further said in a separate tweet released after the statement. General Birhanu Jula the federal army Chief of Staff said they have taken control of the Northern Command Centre in Mekelle and freed more than 7,000 troops who were taken as hostages by the TPLF group.
Seventeen patients have been diagnosed positive for COVID-19 in tests carried out on Thursday (December 03) at Quarantine Centers in Asmara. All the patients are nationals who returned recently with Charter Flights from Ethiopia (12), Italy (2), Germany (2), and Sweden (1). The total number of confirmed cases in the country to-date has accordingly risen to 594. The total number of recovered patients to-date stands at 498.
The Pentagon’s acting defense secretary has made a rare visit to Somalia, where American forces have been assisting in the fight against al-Qaida affiliate al-Shabab. In a brief statement, the Pentagon said Christopher Miller, who was installed as acting defense secretary Nov. 9 when President Donald Trump fired Mark Esper, met on Friday (November 27) with U.S. troops in Mogadishu, the capital, to express appreciation for their work and to reiterate the U.S. commitment to combating extremist groups.
SUNA reported on Sunday (November 29) that the Federal Government of Somalia expressed its deep regret with the Kenyan government’s continuous interferences in the internal and political affairs of Somalia. The Federal Government of Somalia, said the paper, has summoned its Ambassador to the Republic of Kenya and instructed the Ambassador of the Republic of Kenya to Somalia to depart to Kenya for consultations.
A 350-member echelon of China’s seventh peacekeeping infantry battalion to Juba, South Sudan, on Thursday (December 03) departed north China’s Tianjin on a one-year mission. They are the first batch of the 700-strong peacekeeping infantry battalion dispatched by China to the east African country. The team will be tasked with carrying out armed patrols, responding to conflicts and protecting civilians, among other peacekeeping missions.
South Sudan is likely to face famine due to the effects of a protracted conflict, flooding and a poor economy, an international non-governmental charity organisation warned on Monday (November 30). Save the Children, in a statement, said cumulative effects of years of conflict, flooding, and a poor economy has destroyed livelihoods, disrupted food production, markets and forced four million people out of homes. It said children in South Sudan face serious threat of hunger as nearly one million of them under five years face severe food shortages.
South Sudan’s armed opposition faction (SPLM-IO) will conduct its sixth national conference in the capital, Juba starting this week on Tuesday (December 01). The event, the SPLM-IO said, will be held under the theme, “Building and Sustaining Peace through Implementation of R-ARCSS” from December 1-5. “The conference will discuss among other; implementation of the revitalized government (R-ARCSS), formation of National, State and Local government.
Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi on Saturday (November 28) met with his South Sudan counterpart, Salva Kiir to discuss developments regarding the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD). Speaking at a joint press conference with Kiir, al-Sisi said the meeting also focused on strengthening existing cooperation between the two countries in water resources and irrigation, and to join efforts to maximize the utilization of the Nile River’s resources. The two leaders also exchanged views on many current regional and international issues of common interest, especially the ongoing developments in Ethiopia and East Africa which are of strategic importance, and how to work to contain their potential repercussions on the region.
The al-Rawat oil field, which is part of block 25, in the White Nile state has officially begun production with a capacity of 440 barrels per day from the first wells, said the Sudanese government on Thursday (December 03). The Minister of Energy and Mining, Khairy Abdel Rahman, the Undersecretary, the Governor of the White Nile on Thursday, were in the Salam locality of the White Nile state to witness the beginning of oil production of the first well in Block 25 of the al-Rawat field.
The Central Council of the Forces for Freedom and Change and Prime Minister Abdallah Hamdok on Wednesday (December 02) discussed the formation of the second transitional government after the signing of a peace agreement with the Sudanese Revolutionary Front (SRF). A statement issued by the Prime Minister’s Office said that the ruling coalition renewed its confidence in the Prime Minister and called on him to continue leading the transitional government.
The Sudanese Prime Minister Abdallah Hamdok met on Monday (November 30) with a delegation from Boeing as the country inched closer to being off the US terror list. The President of Boeing in the Middle East, North Africa & Turkey Bernard Dunn came to the meeting alongside the US top diplomat in Sudan Brian Shukan. The US embassy in Khartoum described the meeting as “productive” in which they discussed opportunities for U.S. investment in Sudan’s civilian aviation sector.
In a statement issued on Monday (November 30), the Sudanese presidency said that Sovereign Council Chairman Abdel Fattah al-Burhan received a telephone call from the U.S. Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo on Monday. The two parties “discussed arrangements related to removing Sudan from the list of states sponsoring terrorism in the coming weeks, in addition to bilateral relations and means of promoting and developing them, as well as issues of common interest at the regional and international levels,” said the statement.
On the humanitarian Response in the Tigray Region
The Federal government undertook law enforcement operations in the Tigray Regional State with a view to restoring constitutionality and rule of law. The Government took all the necessary precaution for the protection of civilians and the avoidance of collateral damage in undertaking this operation. These operations are now completed with the Ethiopian National Defense Forces taking control of almost all areas in the region.
Interim administrations are now being set up in those areas and efforts are being exerted to ensure peace and stability, thus also restoring basic services to the people. In this regard, the Provisional Administration has begun its activities in the Tigray Regional State and appointed a City Administration in Shire. Ethio-Telecom has resumed interrupted telecom services in the Region. It is also conducting maintenance work on damaged infrastructure. Accordingly, telecom services have resumed partly in Dansha, Turkan, Humera, Shiraro, Maystebri, and Maykadra towns. Telecom service has also been fully restored in and around the town of Alamata. Some banks have started providing service. Markets are gradually opening, and preparations are underway to repair electricity lines. Government has prioritized repairing bridges, roads, electricity and communication lines to facilitate the resumption of transportation and commerce.
The Federal Government is, of course, cognizant of the concerns that have been expressed by the humanitarian community. In this regard, it should be clear that Ethiopia takes its international obligations seriously and it fully abides by international human rights and humanitarian law. Therefore, the Federal Government has no difficulty granting the necessary humanitarian access to the agencies to allow them to deliver assistance to those in need. It is aware that some humanitarian actors have already been operating in the area. Now that most of the areas are cleared, the situation is conducive for humanitarian actors to carry out their activities and the government is ready to facilitate their work in this regard.
The Federal Government had dispatched a delegation composed of the relevant Federal government Ministries and Agencies to the areas to assess the humanitarian needs on the ground. The delegation went in two direction – on the western and eastern sides – and assessed the actual situation in the ground and the prevailing needs that require urgent response. Upon the report submitted by the delegation, action is already being undertaken to immediately respond to some of the urgent humanitarian needs that have been identified. The Ethiopian National Disaster Risk Management Commission is delivering and distributing food, medical and sanitary supplies to the region.
This will now be further reinforced with the opening of a humanitarian access route to be managed by the Ministry of Peace. The signing of the Memorandum of Understanding on “Establishing an Enhanced Coordination Mechanism for Humanitarian Access in the Tigray Region” between the Minister of Peace and the UN Resident Coordinator in Ethiopia demonstrates the government’s commitment to facilitate the delivery of urgent humanitarian assistance. The Ministry of Peace will lead Ministerial level coordination of the humanitarian efforts, while the National Disaster Risk Management Commission will manage the overall operational response. On her part, the UN Resident Coordinator will serve as co-chair of the Government-UN coordination structures at federal, regional, and local levels.
The government is organizing a visit involving various government ministries and agencies as well as representatives of the humanitarian community to travel to those liberated areas. In this regard, an assessment and response mission is taking place in Afar, in areas bordering Tigray, to reach people who have been internally displaced. Other similar missions will follow over the coming days to other areas. Furthermore, every possible effort is being exerted to support all Ethiopians that have fled to voluntarily return to their communities. Four IDP sites are being set up to receive the displaced populations and our citizens who fled to Sudan. Some of them have already started to come back to their homes and their homes and properties are being protected and secured. In the spirit of the above-mentioned MOU, the government is committed to work with UN agencies and other humanitarian organizations to protect civilians and help those in need.
Ethiopia reaffirmed commitment to the global response to the covid-19 pandemic
The United Nations General Assembly is holding a Special Virtual Session on 3 and 4 December 2020, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The session was convened upon the request of Azerbaijan on behalf of members of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) in recognition of the need for a global response to the pandemic. On 9 November 2020, the General Assembly adopted a modalities resolution for the holding of this Special Session, which was organized in the form of an opening segment, a general debate and an interactive dialogue to be led by the Head of the World Health Organization and other relevant UN entities.
The COVID-19 Pandemic is considered as the greatest global health crisis since the founding of the United Nations 75 years ago. The Special Session provides an opportunity for member States to reaffirm their commitment to international cooperation and multilateralism and highlight the fundamental role of the United Nations system in the comprehensive global response to the COVID-19 pandemic, including the crucial role played by the World Health Organization.
The first day of the session yesterday witnessed the participation of many world leaders, United Nations principals and other relevant stakeholders, who engaged in dialogue on the impacts of the pandemic on people, societies and economies and discuss the multifaceted, coordinated response required to address this crisis.
Ethiopia was represented at the Special Session by Mr. Demeke Mekonnen, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs who delivered his remarks via pre-recorded video message underscoring the need for global solidarity more than ever before to effectively respond to this unprecedented crisis and reaffirmed Ethiopia’s commitment in this regard.
The Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister noted the encouraging progress in the development of the COVID vaccine and expressed Ethiopia’s full support to the COVAX initiative. He also indicated that Ethiopia subscribes to the growing international consensus that the vaccine should be indeed a global public good — accessible and affordable to everyone, everywhere. In this connection, he expressed hope that those with resources will contribute to filling the funding gap to accelerate the development, production, and equitable access to COVID-19 tests, treatments, and vaccines.
Mr. Demeke pointed out that Africa is the hardest hit by the projected medium to long-term social and economic impacts of the pandemic. He said, this is undermining the gains made over the past decades in making a dent on poverty and exasperating already existing socio-economic difficulties. That is why, he noted, that Africa has been urging G20 countries to provide an effective economic stimulus package that includes relief and deferred payments.
While the international response in support of Africa provided some relief, the Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister said much more still needs to be done to mitigate the medium and long-term impact of the pandemic on the continent. In this regard, he appreciated the persistent push by the Secretary-General on this issue during the recently held G-20 Riyadh Summit.
Ato Demeke also explained the global COVID-19 recovery strategy should be green and resilient and it must be aligned with the Paris Agreement of climate change and the Sustainable Development Goals. In this context, he underlined the need to accelerate the implementation of the SDGs as part of efforts to recover and rebuild better in the post-COVID period. He also emphasized the need to pursue bold climate actions alongside the ongoing concerted global efforts to mitigate the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. In this regard, he indicated that the submission of the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) by parties to the Paris Agreement before the end of December 2020, would be a critical moment for raising ambition as well as ensuring a green recovery from COVID. He concluded his remarks by expressing hope that the outcome of this Special Session will contribute to catalyzing and coordinating global response based on unity, solidarity and multilateral cooperation and pave the way for an inclusive, sustainable, green, and resilient recovery.
The Special Session continues today with a series of moderated panels covering key aspects of the impact of, and response to, the COVID-19 pandemic, including the UN system’s health and humanitarian response to date; the road to a COVID-19 vaccine; and the socio-economic impact and recovering better.
President Sahle-Work Zewde visits Djibouti
124 years of diplomatic history, 25 heads of mission yet the only woman that stood out among “the Gentlemen” league of Ambassadors and Consul Generals is now the first female president of Ethiopia, Her Excellency, Sahle-Work Zewde. 1993 to 2002 were the years served as an Ambassador to Djibouti and Permanent Representative to the Intergovernmental Authority for Development (IGAD). Her initial tenure was filled with challenges as Ethiopia completely turned its face from Assab to Djibouti port where 95% of Ethiopian trade now passes through. Those years served as litmus papers to demonstrate what she was made of; patience, intelligence, courage, refined character, excellent communication skills and a big doze of humanity. Sahle-Work’s stay in Djibouti marks an upward trajectory in the diplomatic relationship between the two countries. Joint infrastructure projects began to yield results, trade has flourished, people to people ties strengthened. This sets another milestone to the ever growing exemplary ties between the two brotherly countries in areas such as power, fiber optics, water, electrified railway line interconnectivities, and soon the natural gas pipeline; providing the duo the gigantic potential to contribute for regional economic integration at large.
“Sahle-Work” was a household name among Djiboutians due to her ingenuity in understanding the culture and creating a bold link with the Government and the people of Djibouti. That memory still lingers in the minds of Djiboutians and Ethiopians alike.18 years later, President & former Ambassador Sahle-Work Zewde visited her second home, Djibouti, as Ethiopia’s first female President.
On the President and her delegation’s arrival in Djibouti on November 29, 2020, Prime Minister Abdoulkader Kamil Mohammed, Foreign Minister Mahmoud Ali Youssouf, scores of Djiboutian high level officials as well as Ethiopian Ambassador to Djibouti Berhanu Tsegaye, IGAD’s Secretary General Dr. Workneh Gebeyehu along with Diplomats and Military Attachés at the Embassy have displayed a warm welcome at the Ambouli International Airport. Following the welcome fanfare, President of the Republic of Djibouti Ismail Oumer Guelle, has received his counterpart at the “Palais de Presidente” as well as held a press briefing following a one to one session. President Sahle-Work, conveying Premier Abiy Ahmed’s greetings to the Government and People of Djibouti, praised the ever growing ties between the two countries as remarkable. The President also underscored the remarkable economic ties between the two countries as an inspirational model for economic integration in the continent. She has further noted her government’s unwavering commitments to further strengthen the strategic cooperation with Djibouti on multifaceted areas. President Ismail Oumer Guelleh, welcoming the President to her second home, underscored the need to use the successes recorded to serve as a dynamics to upscale the partnerships in all areas of common interest. President Ismail commended the Ethiopian government for its remarkable efforts to uphold rule of law in Tigray region.
The next day has seen President Sahle-Work’s honorary presence at the Djibouti National Assembly where president of the Assembly, Mr. Mohammed Ali Houmed, and Ethiopian Ambassador to Djibouti Berhanu Tsegaye parliamentarians, representatives of the diplomatic as well as consular corps in Djibouti, representatives of non-governmental organizations, prefects and local authorities of different regions of the country were in attendance. President Sahle-Work in her remarks expressed the unique friendship between the two countries that is intertwined by blood, culture, religion and language. The President urges the need to further make use of this huge advantage to fast track the economic integration the two countries sought to win.
The President has concluded her two days official presence in Djibouti with a visit to the SGTD, DMP and new free zone port facilities as well as shared “her wisdom” at the Head Quarters of the IGAD on regional issues.
November 29, 2020
By Lawrence Freeman
Today, the Ethiopian government is reporting that the National Defense Forces have taken control of city of Mikelle, the capital city of Tigray, as well as the airport. This portends the effective defeat of the opposition forces that violently rebelled against the nation over three weeks ago, and the liberation of the Tigray region
Notwithstanding criticisms by some spectators, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed was obligated to respond with force to safeguard the sovereignty of Ethiopia, in a similar manner to U.S. President Abraham Lincoln’s all-out war to preserve the Union. The nation-state, which Prime Minister Abiy was defending, is not a coalition or association of separate states or semi-autonomous regions. Rather it is a unique sovereign concept of self-governing that transcends various ethnic or religious beliefs. The nation-state is uniquely required to serve all its citizens and ensure the posterity of its people. That is why throughout history, bloody wars have been fought to preserve the precious nation-state above all other considerations. The military conflict was not a civil war, but more precisely, it was a war to preserve the integrity of the Ethiopian nation.
Prime Minister Abiy launched the now victorious military campaign against the leadership of the TPLF (Tigray People’s Liberation Front), not against the people of Tigray. The immediate cause for the government’s offensive was in response to an early morning attack by the TPLF on November 4, on the Northern Command post of Ethiopian National Defense Force (ENDF) located in Mekelle. This assault, which murdered many soldiers and seized equipment and ammunition, was deemed by the Ethiopian government, as “crossing the red line.” The government was compelled to respond with full force to safe the nation. No nation could continue to exist if it allowed its armed forces to be slaughtered. A six month state of emergency for the Tigray region was declared by the Council of Ministers on November 6. The stated intent of the government is to arrest and bring to justice a small “TPLF criminal clique” that has been funding and mobilizing to destabilize the nation.” (1)
TPLF Rejects Abiy’s Reform
To understand the underlying origin for this conflict requires reviewing the modern history of Ethiopia. In 1991, the Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF), a coalition of forces, overthrew the fascist-Marxist Derg regime and took over control of the government of Ethiopia. For the next twenty-seven years, the TPLF not only governed the northern Tigray region, but as well, exerted unparalleled influence over the central government and the other ethnic regions of the country.
A year after he was selected by the EPRDF to become the new prime minister in April 2018, Prime Minister Abiy initiated a democratic-reform process that included replacing the countries narrowly focused ethno-national parties with a new nation-wide Prosperity Party. Three regional parties that were part of the EPRDF coalition joined the new Prosperity Party as equals, in effect dissolving the EPRDF. However, the TPLF refused to accept losing its dominant political power. It voluntarily declined to join the new party, leaving the TPLF isolated with weakened political power.
Ethiopia’s constitution and its federation of a central government coexisting with regional ethnic states was formed as a compromise to various ethnic-nationalities that historically had been marginalized. This dubious arrangement indicates the ethnic pressures prevalent in Ethiopia, which must be overcome to unify the nation. Consideration should be given to modifying the constitution following next year’s national elections. It is now imperative to reinforce a national Ethiopian identity that transcends ethnic-nationalism. This is what Prime Minister Abiy intended with his reforms and the creation of the non-ethnic Prosperity Party. (Read: Ethiopia’s Prosperity Party: A Revolutionary Necessity). Confronted by open rebellion from the TPLF leadership, Prime Minister Abiy had no choice but to respond forcefully, otherwise the very existence of Ethiopia would be put in danger.
In harmony with his Medemer philosophy, Prime Minister Abiy proclaimed that all Ethiopians should accept responsibility for their past offenses, and all should be forgiven. He embraced the belief that the slate should be wiped clean of the past, in order for Ethiopian society to unite in a common pursuit of prosperity for all. (2)
Without concern for the future of Ethiopia, the TPLF rejected Prime Minister Abiy’s outlook and proceeded to commence an open rebellion against the Ethiopian nation.
Chair Persons of the eight parties who also represent eight Regions as governing parties worked under the umbrella of the EPRDF coalition signed a document for the establishment of Prosperity Party. Photo Credit OPM
Abiy Acted to Preserve Ethiopia
Prior to attacking the soldiers of the ENDF in Mekelle, which the TPLF viewed as a foreign army, the TPLF disregarded national election law. After Ethiopia’s elected government-the House of People’s Representatives-postponed national elections in March of this year due to circumstances resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, the TPLF conducted its own illegal elections in Tigray in September, violating the nation’s decree.
Prime Minister Abiy charged the TPLF leadership of trying to derail his transition, making the country ungovernable by instigating religious and ethnic conflicts, and inciting violence against the central government in Addis Ababa.
Although, Prime Minister Abiy is an Oromo, and is the first non-Tigrayan to become prime minister since 1991, he is acting in the interest of all Ethiopians, not simply or narrowly on behalf of his ethnic origin. If, Prime Minister Abiy were to allow the TPLF to defy federal law and initiate an armed attack on the defense forces of the federal government without responding as he has, this would encourage other ethno-separatist movements to flout the authority of the nation. Thus, contrary to what people may have wanted to believe, Prime Minister Abiy’s military campaign to subdue the reckless TPLF leadership, was the best way to prevent the conflict from becoming a civil war.
Bronwyn Bruton of the DC based, Atlantic Council Africa Center, argued that intuitive calls for negotiations endangered the future of Ethiopia. In her blog post Ethiopia: Calls for Negotiation Are Driving Ethiopia Deeper Into War, written before the defeat of the TPLF, she wrote:
“The most effective means of discouraging the continuation of this conflict is to finally put pressure on TPLF leaders…to stand down…in the interest of protecting the local population. Abiy urgently needs to be persuaded that he can rely on the international community–and not only his army–to ensure that the TPLF will be prevented from returning to power. Counterintuitively, the fastest way for the international community to do that is to stop calling for negotiations, and to start demanding accountability for the TPLF.
Calling for negotiations, as so many are advocating, will only encourage TPLF leaders to believe that violence will permit them to fight their way to a bigger chair at the table. That is not only a losing strategy in Ethiopia–it sets up an extraordinarily dangerous precedent for the next armed insurgency that wants to challenge central authority.”
Ethiopia, East Africa’s leader in economic development and a key nation providing stability to the Horn of Africa. There are confirmed reports that the TPLF fired missiles across the border into Eretria, and on the Bahir and Gondar airports in Amhara, Ethiopia. Thus, it is clear that the TPLF posed an immediate danger not only to Ethiopia, but to the entire region, and had to be defeated.
President Abraham Lincoln meeting with his generals at Antietam, Maryland. (courtesy history.com)
Lincoln Waged War to Save the Union
U.S. history records a troubled and dangerous time when the Army of the Federal Government came under attack.
Six weeks after Abraham Lincoln was elected President of the United States on November 6, 1860, South Carolina seceded from the Union on December 20, and demanded the removal of all federal troops. On December 26, 1860, Major Robert Anderson of the U.S Army in South Carolina, moved his 68 troops into Fort Sumter, an island in the Charleston Harbor. Immediately following his inauguration on March 4, 1861, President Lincoln was confronted with the threat of the dissolution of the United States. South Carolina, one of seven states that formed the Southern Confederacy on February 8, 1861, insisted that the Federal Fort Sumter belonged to them, and commenced a siege around the beleaguered federal troops. President Lincoln had to make the most momentous decision of his two week old presidency, which he knew would impact the very existence of the United States; whether to send supplies to the troops or relinquish the fort. In the words of author Doris Goodwin:
“He [Lincoln] must make the decision between a surrender that might compromise the honor of the North and tear it apart, or a reinforcement that might carry the country into civil war.” (3)
On April 6, President Lincoln told the governor of South Carolina he would send provisions to the troops-no arms or ammunition. In response, Jefferson Davis, provisional president of the Confederacy, ordered Major Anderson to surrender the fort, which he refused. The Civil War officially began at 4:30 in the morning of April 12, when the Confederacy fired on Fort Sumter. President Lincoln rightly considered Fort Sumter as an outpost of the Federal Government, and thus an attack on the fort was an attack on the United States. Within days President Lincoln issued a call for 75,000 volunteers to join the Union Army to defeat the Southern rebellion and secure the very existence of the nation.
In President Lincoln’s Second Inaugural Address on March 4, 1865, he discussed the reason for the federal government’s war against the rebel South. He remarked that while he was seeking to save the Union without war “insurgents were seeking to destroy it…seeking to dissolve the Union, and divide effects by negotiation.” The South, he said, “would make war rather than let the nation survive” and the North “would accept war rather than let it perish.”
President Lincoln made clear in this address, and throughout his entire tenure as president, that he would spare no effort, including the tremendous loss of life, to preserve the Union. The Confederacy, supported by the British, intended to abolish the Union, had to be defeated, even at the dreadful price of 750,000 soldiers perishing in combat. Americans and all people of the world should give thanks that President Lincoln was victorious, and that the United States of America survived as a sovereign nation.
Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed (left) with former Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn
No Moral Equivalency
Throughout the entirety of the of the four year long war, President Lincoln would only describe the enemy of the Union as a “Southern Rebellion.” He never recognized the legitimacy of the Confederacy of Southern States, because, to President Lincoln there was only one government representing all of the United States.
Former Ethiopian Prime Minister from 2012-2018, Hailemariam Desalegn espoused a correlated judgement in regard to the TPLF in his argument: Ethiopia’s Government and the TPLF Leadership Are Not Morally Equivalent. On November 24, he admonished the international community’s view of the conflict:
“The key problem…is the assumption of moral equivalence, which leads foreign governments to adopt an attitude of false balance and bothsidesism.” He continued: In the meantime, those who are advocating dialogue with the TPLF leadership should carefully consider the full implications of what they are calling for, as they will open a Pandora’s box that other ethnic-based groupings are ready to emulate. Those calling for talks should understand that the very prospect of negotiating with the TPLF’s current leadership is an error—as matter of both principle and prudence.”
While Prime Minister Abiy was not fighting a civil war, analogous to President Lincoln he was forced to make decisions that would determine the very existence of Ethiopia. Nations must be supported against separatist, ethnic or religious movements that attempt to tear apart the fabric of national sovereignty. All human beings, regardless of where we were born, are united by our universal innate potential of creativity. The power of our creative-soul is what makes us distinctively human, unique from all other species. It is our common heritage. The nation-state exists to promote the creative potential of all its citizens from the past to the present and into the future. Thus, its value to civilization is inimitable and must be safeguarded at all costs.
1 Updates on the unfolding developments of Ethiopia, Office of the Prime Minister, November 6, 2020
2 Ethiopia’s Prosperity Party: A Revolutionary Necessity
3 Team of Rivals, Doris Kearns Goodwin, Simon and Shuster, New York, 2005
Lawrence Freeman is a Political-Economic Analyst for Africa, who has been involved in the economic development policy of Africa for over 30 years. He is the creator of the blog: lawrencefreemanafricaandtheworld.com
A Week in the Horn 16.10.2020
News in Brief
37th Ordinary Session of the Executive Council of the African Union Meets Virtually
President Isaias Afwerki pays a three-day visit to Ethiopia
Africa and the African Union
The African Union Commission announced on Thursday (October 15) that the African Trade Observatory (ATO) –a mechanism being implemented by the International Trade Centre (ITC) to help the new African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) function when it goes live in 2021 –has begun testing the online dashboard to give real-time trade statistics to African users. Such information will include intra-continental trade flows (traded values, traded quantities, the use of tariff preferences, taxes and fees paid at the border), and information on market conditions (such as taxes applicable at the border and regulatory requirements).The 37th Ordinary Session of the Executive Council of the African Union (AU) kicked off on Tuesday (October 13). The two-day Ministerial meeting deliberated at lengths, the progress and intensification of actions aimed at peace, security, development and integration as articulated in Africa’s Agenda 2063. The ministers also, among other key issues, reflected on the ongoing institutional reforms particularly with the ongoing transition to the new Departmental structure of the Commission, adopted by the Assembly of Heads of State and Government in February 2020, as well as the Financing Strategy for the new structure. The meeting also considered the African Union Budget for the financial year 2021 and deliberated on the African Union theme for 2021. (See article)A group of public, private and non-profit organizations, led by the African Union Commission through the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC), launched on Monday (October 12) the Africa Pathogen Genomics Initiative (Africa PGI) in a US$100 million, four-year partnership to expand access to next-generation genomic sequencing tools and expertise designed to strengthen public health surveillance and laboratory networks across Africa. Africa PGI will be part of the Institute of Pathogen Genomics, launched by Africa CDC in 2019, with a vision to integrate pathogen genomics and bioinformatics into public health surveillance, outbreak investigations, and improved disease control and prevention in Africa. The institute’s capacity will be strengthened to manage and provide technical oversight for Africa PGI.
Last week on Friday (October 09), the UN Secretary-General spoke at the second High-Level event on “Mobilizing with Africa” as part of the annual meetings of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund. The Secretary-General said that since the beginning of the crisis, African countries and the African Union have shown commendable leadership and unity in response to the pandemic. He stressed that the international community must continue to show commitment to Africa’s health and well-being. The Secretary-General said the pandemic has resulted in acute liquidity constraints for African countries that without bold measures could spiral into a solvency crisis.He called on development partners to broaden the eligibility of the G20 Debt Service Suspension Initiative so that it includes all highly indebted and vulnerable countries that have been adversely affected by the emergency and also urged developed countries to support the Liquidity and Sustainability Facility, and to support efforts to prioritize green growth and environmental conservation. He also reiterated the UN’s solidarity with the people and governments of Africa at this pivotal moment for the continent. The International Organization for Migration on Friday (October 09) called for effective global cooperation to help the at least 2.75 [million] migrants who are stranded around the world due to COVID-19 restrictions, including border closures and nationwide lockdowns. IOM’s Director General, António Vitorino, said that, where governments have taken action, tens of thousands of migrants have been able to return home in a manner that takes into consideration the significant health challenges the pandemic poses.Ethiopia Spokesperson of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ethiopia, Ambassador Dina Mufti said Ethiopia has repatriated 993 migrants within the last three weeks. Among these 953 are from Saudi Arabia, 5 from Tanzania and 35 from Djibouti. He said this today (October 16) while delivering the Ministry’s biweekly press briefing. Besides the situation of Ethiopian migrants in Saudi Arabia, the Ambassador also covered current issues in Ethiopia and the main diplomatic activities of the Ministry within the last three weeks. The 37th Ordinary Session of the Executive Council of the African Union was concluded on Thursday (October 15). It was held virtually and Minister H.E. Gedu Andargachew has participated in it. The Council has adopted the budget for the AU for the year 2021 and endorsed the theme of the year 2021: “Arts, Culture and Heritage: Levers to building the Africa We Want”. At the occasion, Mr. Gedu has suggested the 2021 budget of the Commission to consider the COVID-19 pandemic and the economic potential of member states in appropriation. Ethiopia and the World Bankon Thursday (October 14) signed a financing agreement amounting $400 million for the urban productive safety nets and jobs project (UPSNJP). The agreement was signed here in Addis Ababa by Ahmed Shide, Ethiopia’s Minister of Finance, and Ousmane Dione, World Bank Country Director for Ethiopia, Eritrea, South Sudan and Sudan. The stated amount of funding from the International
Development Association (IDA) was approved on September 30, 2020 by the World Bank Group’s Board of Executive Directors. The grant will support Ethiopia’s efforts to improve the incomes of the urban poor and promote the inclusion of disadvantaged urban youth in the labor market under UPSNJP. The UPSNJP will provide social protection as well as jobs related services to 816,000 beneficiaries in around 83 cities across the country.Ethiopia on Thursday (October 14) reported 739 new COVID19 cases out of 6, 985 laboratory tests conducted in 24 hours. This brings the total number of cases in the country to 87, 169. The country also reported 13 deaths from the virus, taking the death toll to 1,325. A total of 823 patients have recovered from the virus to bring the total recoveries to 40,988. The country has so far conducted 1,377,080 laboratory tests. As a continuation of the political dialogue platform, political parties operating in Ethiopia discussed on Thursday (October 15) different national agendas. Heads of the parties, including Prime Minister Dr Abiy Ahmed, attended the discussion focused on Ethiopia’s constitution, political system and democracy. The participants reflected their views on research papers presented at the event assessing weaknesses and strengths of constitutions issued in Ethiopia from 1939-1991. The Prime Minister later on his Twitter page writes, “These discussions are key in enabling political parties to work closely together; jointly address issues that arise and co-create a vision of growth and prosperity in service to country and our people”.Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed on Thursday (October 15) has appointed Dr. AregawiBerhe, a veteran opposition leader, as Director General of the Office of the National Council for the Coordination of Public Participation to the Construction of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD). Dr. Aregawi Berhe is one of the opposition political party leaders who had spent years in exile and returned home two years ago following the reform being undertaken by the administration of Prime Minister Abiy. He is currently a chairperson of the opposition “Tigray Democratic Coalition Party.” Dr. Aregawi was also one of the founders of TPLF. The Office of the National Council for the Coordination of Public Participation to the Construction of GERD was established right after the announcement of the construction of the dam to mobilize public support.The Ethiopian Broadcasting Authority (EBA) announced on Thursday (October 15) a plan to establish a Media Center of Excellence to enhance the professional capacity of journalists and the media industry in the country by providing state-of-the-art training courses. Speaking to ENA, Wondwosen Andualem, EBA Deputy Director-General said the proposal to establish the media center of excellence is prepared in partnership with Ethiopian media professionals and experts from Aljazeera Media Network. The governments of Ethiopia and Qatar will fund the construction of the center, it was learned.Environment, Forest and Climate Change Commission announced on Wednesday (October 14) that it has been working to establish the first environmental tribunal thatwill hear cases relating to environmental issues so as to mitigate environmental degradation. Ayele Hegena (PhD) Director General of Policy, Law, and Standards Research and Development with the Commission told the media that the
establishment of the tribunal will have immense role in providing emergency responses via entertaining flexible ways. He underscored that the tribunal will be established in especial way and it will have a mandate to observe only civil cases relating to environment.The Ministry ofFinance forecast Ethiopian economy to register 8.5 percent growth in the 2013 budget year. Following the implementation of home grown economy along with measures taken to lessen the impact of Coronavirus pandemic, the economy has shown a significant growth. Mentioning the pressure of inflation and foreign currency, Finance Minister Ahmed Shide in a press conference on Tuesday (October 13) stressed that the government will continue to implement the combined fiscal and monetary policy. The measures that weretaken on fiscal, monetary and other administrative actions to minimize the negative impacts of COVID-19 pandemic have a significant contribution to maintain the economy.Ministry of Finance disclosed the temporarily suspension of the planned partial privatization of Africa’s biggest aviation and leading company, Ethiopian Airlines. The move comes on the heels of the same measures taken recently to roll back the planned privatization of Ethiopian Shipping and Logistics Service Enterprise. The plan is put onhold as the company continues to be profitable and competitive in the global aviation industry, Finance Minister Ahmed Shide told a press conference on Tuesday (October 13) as he presented the Ministry’s three-month performance report. “We do not believe that this is the time to privatize the company while it appears robust.”The seventh meeting of the Statistical Commission for Africa (StatCom7) opened virtually on Tuesday (October 13) with a clarion call from Ethiopia’s President Sahle-Work Zewde for Africa to urgently transform and modernize its national statistical systems, especially in light of the continuing novel coronavirus pandemic. In remarks to officially open the meeting, Ms. Zewde said African governments need to provide more support and budgets for modernizing national statistical offices for evidence-based planning and decision making. “The transformation of national statistical systems in Africa is more important now than ever before as we fight against the pandemic and as we look to build stronger and better systems. Therefore, access to technology by national statistical systems must be promoted in all African countries in view of accelerating the production and use of data and statistics as public good,” she said.The Addis Ababa Museum has been reopened to tourists after months of enclosure due to pandemic. The reopening of the Museum came on Wednesday (October 13) after Addis Ababa Culture, Arts and Tourism Bureau has disinfected its buildings and vicinity with in order to protect from pandemic. Addis Ababa Museum holds various invaluable heritages representing cultural and historical values of the city as well as the country at large. Currently, Ethiopia has been reopening tourist attraction sites following the decision made by the government to stimulate the industry hit by the pandemic.Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed has inaugurated Entoto Natural Park, a park expected to become one of the focal points of tourist attraction, last Saturday (October 10). Prime Minster Abiy Ahmed initiated the Entoto Project alongside the Sheger River side
projects in order to establish a world-class tourist destination. In less than one year, the inaugurated park has become a beautiful place fully with various indoor and outdoor facilities, including sport centers, library, restaurants and coffee shops. It has got also artificial lake, fountain, walkways, bicycle and scooter roads built mostly with local materials, it was learned. During the inauguration, Prime Minister Abiy said that Entoto Natural Park demonstrates the capacity of Ethiopians to achieve big things when united.The National Bank of Ethiopia said that Ethiopian foreign missions will start changing old banknotes with the new ones to address the demands of citizens working overseas. Briefing journalists on Tuesday (October 13), NBE’s Deputy Governor Solomon Desta said that the new notes change is being carried out efficiently; and so far, the Bank has distributed over 90 billion Birr. Currently, over five thousand ATM machines are functional and distributing the new banknotes.131 more are ready to operate.State Minister Tsion Teklu on Tuesday (October 13) has received at her office, Ambassador Stephan Auer, German Ambassador to Ethiopia and discuss to collaborate on migration, border security, job creation, voluntarism, capacity building, migration data management, and effective reintegration of migrants. They also discussed the upcoming continuation of the Ethio-German Joint Ministerial Commission.The Ministry of ForeignAffairs of Ethiopia in cooperation with the House of Federation on Monday (October 12) gave a briefing to the diplomatic community residing in Ethiopia about current issues in the country. Worku Adamu from the House of Federation (HoF), and Dr. Bikila Hurissa and Ambassador Dina Mufti gave the briefing. They explained how the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted the schedule for the 6th general election, the ruling of the HoF on the unconstitutional nature of the election that took place in the Tigray Regional State, and the modalities that the Ethiopian Federal Government crafted to reach the needs of the people in Tigray bypassing the unconstitutionally elected leaders.EritreaIt was on Tuesday (October 13) that the Eritrean President, Isaias Afwerki arrived in Jimma, Oromia Regional state for a three-day working visit to Ethiopia upon invitation of Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed. Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed and high-level Government officials accorded a warm welcome to the Eritrean President and members of the delegation upon their arrival at Jimma AbaJifar Airport. Foreign Minister Osman Saleh and Presidential Adviser Yemane Ghebreab were part of the Eritrean delegation that accompanied President Isaias. (See article)The Ministry of Health announced that eight patients have been diagnosed positive for COVID-19 in tests carried out on Thursday (October 15) at Quarantine Centers in Adibara (7) and Shambiqo (1) in Gash Barka Region. All the patients are nationals who returned from Sudan and Ethiopia recently. On the other hand, four patients who were receiving medical treatment in hospitals in Gash Barka Region have recovered fully and have been released from these facilities. The total number of recovered patients
A Week in the Horn 30.10.2020
News in Brief
AU Statement on the Virtual Ministerial Meeting of the Negotiating Parties of the Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) held on 27 October 2020
President Trump’s Remarks over the GERD draw Criticisms
Ethiopia participates in the celebration of the United Nations Day
AU Peace and Security Council, UN Peace Building Commission hold Informal Consultative Meeting
Africa and the African Union
The African Union Commission Chairperson, Moussa Faki Mahamat said the tripartite meeting held between Ethiopia, Egypt and Sudan on the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) was productive. Ministers of Water and Foreign Affairs of the three countries have met on Tuesday (October 27) to discuss on GERD and agreed to resume the AU-led negotiations, he stated. “I participated in a very productive Ministerial Meeting on the GERD with Ministers of Foreign and Water Affairs of Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan under the strong leadership of the Department of International Relations and Cooperation of South Africa where all parties agreed to resume AU-led negotiations,” the Chairperson twitted.
In related news, the Department of International Relations and Cooperation of South Africa has issued a statement on Wednesday (October 28) about the Virtual Ministerial Meeting of the Negotiating Parties of the Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) held on 27 October 2020. (See article)
The COVID-19 pandemic, rising levels of hunger and malnutrition, and growing swarms of locusts were the backdrop for the 31st Session of the Regional Conference for Africa, that kicked off on Tuesday (October 27), convened by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. More than 80 Ministers and deputy Ministers from more than 45 countries took part, as well as representatives from observer countries, donor organizations, civil society and the private sector. Hundreds of delegates joined the three-day Zoom sessions and many more have watched the live webcast. FAO Assistant Director-General and Regional Representative for Africa Abebe Haile-Gabriel made a call for bold action during his opening remarks.
The first meeting of the Coordinating Council under the Secretariat of the Russia-Africa Partnership Forum was held in the format of a videoconference on Tuesday (October 27). The event was attended by the special representative of the President of the Russian Federation for the Middle East and Africa and other senior Russian government officers. The progressive development of multidimensional relations with African states as per the decisions of the first summit Russia – Africa, held in Sochi in October 2019, and issues of preparation for the next Russian-African summit in 2022 were discussed.
The African Union Peace and Security Council (AUPSC) and the United Nations Peacebuilding Commission (UNPBC) held a virtual informal consultative meeting last week on Friday (October 22). The meeting was focused on ways of further enhancing cooperation between the two bodies in support of peace building in Africa. (See article)
Recently President of the United States of America, Donald Trump, accused Ethiopia, among other things, for not accepting a deal that was brokered by him in Washington over the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD), which Ethiopia has rejected due to various legitimate concerns. “It’s a very dangerous situation because Egypt is not going to be able to live that way,” Trump said during his phone conversation with the Prime Ministers of the State of Israel and Sudan on the normalization of relations between the latter two. “They’ll end up blowing up the dam. And I said it and I say it loud and clear — they’ll blow up that dam. And they have to do something,” he added. The president’s remark caused a huge public outcry and compelled many national and international institutions to react quickly condemning the wordings of the president that appeared to give a green light to Egypt to solve outstanding issues over the dam through military action. Renowned politicians and individuals have also shown their anger at the outrageous comments of the President. (See article)
The joint forum that was established to tackle challenges of Foreign Direct Investment in Ethiopia held its regular meeting on Wednesday (October 28) in the premises of the Foreign Affairs of Ethiopia. Gedu Andargachew, Minister of the Foreign Affairs of Ethiopia, and Ambassador Girma Biru, macroeconomic advisor to Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed led the discussion. The meeting thoroughly discussed the challenges that foreign investors are facing in the country. At the occasion, State Minister, Tsion Teklu has presented some case studies on the challenges of doing business for foreign investors in Ethiopia. Lelise Neme, Commissioner of the Ethiopian Investment Commission (EIC) has also tabled a paper regarding the overall investment situation in Ethiopia.
The Addis Ababa city administration on Wednesday (October 28) signed a $15 million cooperation agreement with Bloomberg Initiative for Global Road Safety (BIGRS) to reduce traffic fatalities and injuries. Speaking at the five-year cooperation agreement signing ceremony, Adanech Abiebie, deputy mayor of the city said the assistance from BIGRS would contribute a lot to the implementation of road safety works in the capital. Bloomberg Philanthropies Program Director, Kelly Larson, said “she is happy to work with Addis Ababa, one of the 30 cities participating in BIGRS project that aims to reduce traffic injuries and fatalities.
Ethiopia, Sudan and Egypt on Tuesday (October 27) resumed negotiation on the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD). Ministers of Foreign Affairs, as well as Water Affairs from the three countries, attended the meeting held virtually under the auspices of the African Union (AU).The countries are expected to discuss and finalize in the coming seven days the way forward and the workable timeline for the negotiation and to narrow gaps on outstanding issues.
Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed has inaugurated on Thursday (October 29) the Dire Dawa Industrial Park built at 150 ha of land. The industrial park constructed with an outlay of 150 Million US Dollars has so far created jobs for around 1000 people in its garment and textile factories. Four Companies engaged in garment and textile production are said to have started operations so far in fifteen working sheds in the industrial park. According to ENA, Dire Dawa Industrial Park is expected to facilitate 20,000 additional jobs for citizens when it goes fully operational in the time to come.
Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed along with various high ranking government officials has visited on Thursday (October 29) the Gode Irrigation Dam constructed in the Shebele River, Somali Region. Deputy Prime Minister Demeke Mekonnen, President of Somali Region, Mustafa Omuer and President of Oromia Region, Shimelis Abdisa accompanied the premier in the visit. The premier stated that 2,000 hectares of lowland wheat has been cultivated as part of the prioritized lowland agricultural practices underway in the country. In addition to the wheat cultivation, vegetables, fruits, and oilseeds are also widely grown. On the same day the premier launched a 300 Km road Project in Somali Region.
Ethiopian Muslims celebrated on Thursday (October 29) the 1495th Birth of Prophet Mohammed with various religious events across the nation. Religious leaders and a number of Muslim faithful have congregated at the Grand Mosque in Addis Ababa and attended the Maulid prayers. The Grand Mufti Haji Oumer Idris, President of Ethiopian Islamic Supreme Council has presided over the religious event at the Mosque and extended his Maulid an-Nabi Greetings to all Muslims.
Exports in the first quarter of the fiscal year 2020 compared to in the previous fiscal year, export revenue increased by 115.6 million USD or 16 percent and a total of US $ 838.6 million was earned, said the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MoTI) on Tuesday (October 27). The mining sector has achieved 300 percent of the plan and 205 million USD earned. The industrial sector earned 95 percent and 94 million USD, while agricultural products earned 73 percent and 541 USD respectively, said MoTI.
Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed paid a visit on Tuesday (October 27) to Were BaboWoreda of the South Wollo Zone of Amhara State, which is among the most severely affected areas in the country by the invasion of the desert locust. Stating that the desert locust swarm has caused a significant amount of crop losses in some parts of the country, the Premier indicated that the government has executed several efforts over the past months to mitigate the impact. “And now as we are yet again confronted with a second round of invasion, various activities are being undertaken to control the invasion.” During the field visit, Abiy learnt the farmer’s immediate challenges and vowed that the government will support them.In a related development, the PM commenced the construction of the Hayk-Bistima-Chifra asphalt road project in the Amhara State, budgeted at 2.1 billion Birr.
A consultative discussion focused on telecom sector reform activities took place at the Prime Minister’s office on Monday (October 26). Chaired by Prime Minister Dr. Abiy Ahmed, the discussion reviewed the process carried out so far to open the sector for competition through partially privatising the sector. The Prime Minister set a direction for the continuation of the reform activities by taking into consideration the feedback given by stakeholders in previous consultations.
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In a related development, two new international telecom operators will enter into the Ethiopian market until April 2021 once the due process of competitive bid evaluation is completed, according to Ethiopian Communication Authority. Briefing journalists on the telecom reform progress on Monday (October 26), Director-General of the Authority Balcha Reba said the official disclosure of the two qualified bidders will begin within the coming 15 days. Highlighting the significance of identifying the well qualified and standardized internationally proven operators, Balcha said financial and technical requirements are crucial alongside other equally important issues like security.
Every year, October 24 is celebrated as a UN Day marking the entry into force of the United Nations Charter after the majority of its signatories, including the five permanent members ratified it. The day is celebrated worldwide with a series of commemoration events. What makes this year’s celebration special is it marks the 75th anniversary of the founding of the United Nations. The commemoration of this historic milestone revolved around three important dates. (See article).
Effort is underway to put under control desert locusts that have and continue to infest various localities in the Northern Red Sea, Anseba, Central and Southern Regions, according to the Ministry of Agriculture. The Ministry of Agriculture stated that thanks to the concerted operations by EDF units, the public and professionals since 23 October, hoppers that hatched in and were stretched over 1400 hectares in several sub-zones of the Northern Red Sea Region, particularly Qrora, Afabet, and Shieb were put under control.
The first container ship of the Djibouti Shipping Company, which will exclusively operate between Turkey, Djibouti and Somalia, was launched during a ceremony last week on Friday (October 23). The new sea route will reduce shipping time from 35 to 50 days to just nine to 10 days, Djibouti’s Ambassador to Turkey Aden HousseinAbdillahi stated. “This new logistics initiative, which enables to deliver goods in nine to 10 days instead of 35 to 50 days is a game-changer that will increase the trade volume between Turkey and the Horn of Africa,” Abdillahi said.
The United Nations on Wednesday (October 28) condemned the killing of two of its humanitarian workers in Somalia by assailants from Islamist group al Shabaab and urged all combatants in the country’s warring sides to respect civilians. In a statement, the international body said the two victims, both Somalis, were working with an ongoing polio vaccination campaign by the UN agencies UNICEF and the World Health Organisation (WHO). They were killed on Tuesday in the Somalia capital Mogadishu.
Police said on Tuesday (October 27) that suspected al-Shabaab extremists killed a local government official and his companion in Somalia’s capital before detonating a car bomb that killed three other people. The gunmen ambushed the city official and his female passenger in their car in eastern Mogadishu and shot them dead, said Omar Mohamed, a district police official.
Security sector reform and economic recovery are key priorities for a post-COVID-19 Somalia, according to the latest World Bank economic analysis. The 5th edition of the Somalia Economic Update, Impact of COVID-19: Policies to Manage the Crisis and Strengthen Economic Recovery, says three decades of armed conflict have contributed to poor economic outcomes and the marked decline in quality of life, destroying infrastructure and interrupting public service provision.
The Prime Minister of the Federal Republic of Somalia Mohamed Hussein Roble on Monday (October 26) received in his office the United Nations Special Representative for Somalia, Ambassador James Swan. Prime Minister Roble and Ambassador James Swan discussed electoral issues, security and co-operation between Somalia and the international community.
The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) has issued an alert on fresh desert locust invasions in Somalia that pose a huge threat to food security. In its desert locust situation update, FAO said more swarms will be seen in the next few days or weeks in southern Somalia, Xinhua reported. “Immature and mature swarms are present in the northwest between Boroma and Hargeisa while mature adult groups and swarms are present and breeding in the northeast and in central areas of Mudug and Galgaduud,” said the UN food agency in an alert released on Monday (October 26).
At least four al-Shabab militants were killed on Sunday (October 25) in a fierce fighting in QansahDhere town in the southern region of Bay, an official said on Monday (October 26). AbdiRisakAbdullahi Ibrahim, governor of QansahDhere said the militants ambushed a convoy carrying government forces who were advancing from a military base in the town, sparking a fierce clash. “We killed four al-Shabab fighters during the confrontation. We lost one soldier while two others got injured,” Ibrahim said.
South Sudan’s President SalvaKiir and the head of the United Nations Mission in the country (UNMISS), David Shearer met in the capital, Juba on Wednesday (October 28) to discuss the status of the implementation of the revitalised peace agreement.During the meeting, the presidency said in a statement, Shearer briefed President Kiir on the activities of UNMISS in the young nation.
Sudan and South Sudan agreed to open the 10 border crossing points along the 2,000-kilometre (1,200-mile) boundary, said the Sudanese defence minister on Tuesday (October 27). Following the independence of South Sudan in 2011, the two countries closed border and accused each other of supporting rebel groups from both sides affecting traders and communities on both sides. However, during recent years, the two Sudans felt the need to work together to bring peace and stability on the two sides and create a conducive environment for cooperation.
The Egyptian Prime Minister, Mostafa Madbouly on Monday (October 26) met South Sudan’s Irrigation and Water Resources minister, Manawa Peter Gatkuoth to discuss water issues. Speaking during the meeting held in the Egyptian capital, Cairo, Madbouly said Egypt would support South Sudan in various fields, with a particular focus on South Sudanese students currently in Egypt.The minister lauded Egypt’s support for South Sudan in the field of education, citing the establishment of industrial schools in South Sudan and its government’s decision to increase the number of scholarships for South Sudanese students studying at Egyptian universities.
The United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) said on Saturday (October 24) it evacuated some 32 humanitarian workers following threats and violent attacks by youth groups in Renk town of Upper Nile State. The humanitarian staff, UNMISS said in a statement, are currently safe and under its protection.
International donors strongly condemned attacks on aid workers in Renk and urged the South Sudanese government to provide the needed protection to humanitarian groups. Last week on Friday (October 22), a youth group looted a store of Medair organization in Upper Nile State before to set it on fire. They also vandalized the group’s vehicles. Local youth had demanded the Catholic aid group, earlier this month, to assign jobs for them instead of staff members. This week they insisted that the aid groups should leave the area without their assets.
Members of the Transitional Sovereignty Council, Lt. Gen. Shams-EddinKabbashi, and Mohamed Hassan Al-Taayeshi on Thursday (October 29) left for Juba, South Sudan State, in the context of the arrangements of South Sudan mediation to continue the negotiation with the People’s Movement – North led by Abdul-Aziz Al-Hillo. The delegation accompanying the members of the Transitional Sovereignty Council included the Minister of Justice, Dr. Nasr-Eddin Abdul-Bari, and the Federal Government Minister, Dr.Yousif Adam Al-Dhai.
Prime Minister, Dr.AbdallaHamdouk, Wednesday (October 28) received two phone calls from the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, and the Vice President of the United Arab Emirates, Prime Minister and Governor of Dubai Emirate, Sheikh Mohamed bin Rashid Al Maktoum.They congratulated the Prime Minister and the Sudanese people on the removal of Sudan from the list of countries sponsoring terrorism, and the signing of Sudan peace agreement in Juba last month. The Prime Minister expressed his appreciation for the continuous support of the leadership of the United Arab Emirates to Sudan to achieve peace, stability and development.
The Sudanese government on Wednesday (October 28) officially took control of the gold mines in JabalAmer area of North Darfur, operated by the Rapid Support Forces (SRF) leader and his family. Following continued criticism of the control of the gold mines and large involvement of the Sudanese military in the national economy, al-Junaid Company announced the handover of gold mines to the transitional government.
Sudan’s foreign minister said on Wednesday (October 28) that his country would determine which kind of normalization his country will opt for during the upcoming talks with the Israeli delegation. Omer Gamar Eldin told Sky News Arabia on Wednesday that the two countries agreed in principle to normalize relations but it will be effective once the deal is endorsed by the legislative council.
U.S. President Donald Trump Monday (October 26) formally notified the Congress of his decision to remove Sudan from the list of State Sponsors of Terrorism. “Pursuant to the Constitution and the laws of the United States, (…) I hereby certify, with respect to the rescission of the determination of August 12, 1993, regarding Sudan that:” “(i) the Government of Sudan has not provided any support for acts of international terrorism during the preceding 6-month period; and” “(ii) the Government of Sudan has provided assurances that it will not support acts of international terrorism in the future”. The Congress now has 45 days to pass a resolution rejecting Sudan’s delisting, otherwise, it will become definitive by the end of this delay in December 2020.
The Sudanese government has begun implementing a national plan to protect civilians in the Darfur region, ahead of the withdrawal of the hybrid operation UNAMID by the end of the year, the foreign ministry said on Sunday (October 25). The tripartite mechanism on the UNAMID held a meeting at the headquarters of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, with the participation Jean-Pierre Lacroix, U.N. Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations, SmailChergui, AU Peace and Security Commissioner.
The United States announced on Friday (October 23) that Sudan has agreed to normalize ties with Israel following a conference call between leaders of U.S., Sudan and Israel.The announcement follows months of speculation and reports that the US has been quietly pressing Sudan to normalize relations with Israel in return for an expedited path to getting off the list of states that sponsor terrorism.
In related news, the agreement to normalize relations with Israel will enter into force once it is ratified by the legislative body said Sudan’s Foreign Minister on Friday (October 23). Omer GamarEldin confirmed to the official news agency SUNA that the transitional authority – represented by the cabinet and the Sovereign Council – agreed to normalize relations with Israel as it was announced in a joint statement released by the White House in Washington on Friday.
AU Statement on the Virtual Ministerial Meeting of the Negotiating Parties of the Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) held on 27 October 2020
At the behest of His Excellency, Mr. Matamela Cyril Ramaphosa, President of the Republic of South Africa and Chairperson of the African Union, Dr. Naledi Pandor, Minister of International Relations and Cooperation of the Republic of South Africa, and Chairperson of the African Union Executive Council hosted a virtual meeting of Ministers of Foreign Affairs and Ministers of Water and Irrigation Affairs of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) Negotiating Parties, namely, the Arab Republic of Egypt, the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia and the Republic of Sudan, on Tuesday, 27 October 2020.
Also in attendance at the meeting were the Chairperson of the African Union Commission, His Excellency, Mr. Moussa Faki Mahamat, Observers from the African Union (AU), European Union (EU), United States of America (USA), and African Union Experts on the GERD matter.
The GERD Negotiating Parties reaffirmed their sincere commitment to the AU-led process and agreed to immediately, and unconditionally resume negotiations. They undertook to develop a clear work-plan with time frames and deliverables. The Parties also agreed to continue negotiations on the remaining technical and legal issues. In this regard, the Parties will report back at a follow-up Ministerial Meeting in seven (7) days.
Minister Pandor welcomed the positive and fraternal spirit displayed by the GERD Negotiating Parties during the meeting, and commended them for their positive and constructive input. She reassured the Parties of the AU’s continued support as they resume a critical phase of the negotiations process.
President Trump’s Remarks over the GERD draw Criticisms
Recently President of the United States of America, Donald Trump, accused Ethiopia, among other things, for not accepting a deal that was brokered by him in Washington over the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD), which Ethiopia has rejected due to various legitimate concerns. “It’s a very dangerous situation because Egypt is not going to be able to live that way,” Trump said during his phone conversation with the Prime Ministers of the State of Israel and Sudan on the normalization of relations between the latter two. “They’ll end up blowing up the dam. And I said it and I say it loud and clear — they’ll blow up that dam. And they have to do something,” he added.
The president’s remark caused a huge public outcry and compelled many national and international institutions to react quickly condemning the wordings of the president that appeared to give a green light to Egypt to solve outstanding issues over the dam through military action. Renowned politicians and individuals have also shown their anger at the outrageous comments of the President.
Following President Trump’s remark, a question was forwarded to UN Spokesperson on the UN’s Noon Briefing on Monday: “is the Secretary-General at all concerned that Egypt might be planning to blow up the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam?” He said, the Secretary-General, supports the ongoing efforts of the Chairperson of the African Union, Cyril Ramaphosa, who is encouraging the parties to reach a mutually beneficial agreement. “The Secretary-General calls on all concerned countries to take concrete steps to finalize an agreement in the spirit of goodwill, consensus, and compromise,” he said adding, “The dam can become an important instrument of cooperation and partnership between Egypt, Ethiopia, and Sudan as they strive towards a peaceful, prosperous future for their own people.”
High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy/Vice-President of the Commission, Josep Borrell has also issued a statement lauding the possibility of solving outstanding issues over the dam through dialogue. “An agreement on the filling of the GERD is within the reach of Ethiopia, Sudan, and Egypt,” he said, “Now is the time for action and not for increasing tensions.” The statement further said the Union fully supports the efforts of South Africa, current Chair of the African Union, to bring the parties to a negotiated solution.
The Prime Minister office of Ethiopia has issued a statement, though not as a direct response to President Trump’s comments, saying, “The negotiation with the lower riparian states has shown significant progress since the AU seized of the matter as a manifestation of Africa’s capability to respond to its own problems. Nonetheless, occasional statements of belligerent threats to have Ethiopia succumb to unfair terms still abound. These threats and affronts to Ethiopian sovereignty are misguided, unproductive, and clear violations of international law.” The statement expressed Ethiopia’s commitment to a peaceful resolution of the matter on the GERD based on cooperation, non-interference, mutual trust, and the principle of equitable and reasonable utilization. However, the statement continued “Ethiopia will not cave-in to aggressions of any kind, nor do we give recognition to a right that is entirely based on colonial treaties.”
The Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ethiopia, Gedu Andargachew also summoned the United States Ambassador Mike Raynor Saturday (October 24) to seek clarifications on the remarks of President Trump. Minister Gedu underscored the statement on the GERD and the negotiation process as misleading and wrong as the GERD doesn’t stop the flow of the Nile waters. He said, “The incitement of war between Ethiopia and Egypt from a sitting US president neither reflects the longstanding partnership and strategic alliance between Ethiopia and the United States nor is acceptable in International Law governing interstate relations.” The Minister further informed the Ambassador that Ethiopia has never and will not in the future succumb to threats to its sovereignty and will be committed to continuing the trilateral negotiations under the framework of the African Union.
The Congressional Black Caucus (CBC), a caucus made up of mostly African American members of the United States Congress, termed President Trump’s comment as “reckless and dangerous” and urged the US to remain impartial in the negotiations over the dam. Rev. Jesse L. Jackson, Sr. on Wednesday (October 28) said, “We all know that he [Trump] fully supports Egypt over Ethiopia with regards to the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD). He demonstrated that by cutting aid to Ethiopia and lobbied the World Back to do likewise.”Various public figures like Former Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Dessalegn, Tony Blinken, former Deputy Secretary of State and former Deputy National Security Advisor under President Barack Obama and Congressman Ed Perlmutter, U.S. House of Representatives from Colorado’s 7th district wrote on their Twitter page that the President’s remark is not constructive and will put the US’ neutrality over the GERD negotiations into question.
Ethiopia participates in the celebration of the United Nations Day
Every year, October 24 is celebrated as a UN Day marking the entry into force of the United Nations Charter after the majority of its signatories, including the five permanent members ratified it. The day is celebrated worldwide with a series of commemoration events. What makes this year’s celebration special is it marks the 75th anniversary of the founding of the United Nations.
The commemoration of this historic milestone revolved around three important dates. The first one was June 26 which marks the date when the UN Charter was signed. A virtual event was organized in New York to allow member States to “take stock of both the successes and lessons learned in implementing the United Nations Charter over the last 75 years, as well as to look ahead and examine how best to collectively overcome current and upcoming challenges”.
The second one was the High-Level Commemoration of the 75th Anniversary of the United Nations held on 21 September 2020 under the theme “The Future We Want; the UN We Need: Reaffirming our Collective Commitment to Multilateralism”. A record number of world leaders participated at the High-Level Event which culminated with the adoption by member States of a concise, substantive, forward looking and unifying Declaration reaffirming their commitment to multilateralism and to the United Nations and their shared vision for a common future.
The third one is the celebration of UN day on 24th October. Two days before, a concert under the theme “Reimagine, Rebalance, Restart: recovering together for our shared humanity”, was held in New York. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the concert was pre-recorded and screened at the General Assembly Hall. There was also another event held on 26 October which “highlighted UN voices from the field – showcasing work of the UN and its agencies around the globe – and insiders’ perspectives of UN’s work and the future of the organization”.
The commemoration of the UN Day was observed here in Addis Ababa on 23 October at the UNECA compound in the presence of the UN family under the theme “Shaping our future together”. Ms. Ann Allen Encontre, UNHCR Representative in Ethiopia, who spoke on the occasion on behalf of the UN country team in Ethiopia is quoted as having said: “I am very glad to be here for this momentous occasion in Ethiopia, one of the founding members of the United Nations and a staunch supporter of multilateralism.” She further stated in her remarks that, “As we move forward, the timeless values of the UN Charter must remain our guide and unite our strength to serve ‘we the peoples.” Ethiopia was represented by H.E. Ambassador Tesfaye Yilma, Permanent Representative of Ethiopia to the African Union and UNECA.
In his video message on the commemoration of the UN Day, H.E. AtoGeduAndargachew, Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia congratulated the UN family on the celebration of the 75th Anniversary of the United Nations. Minister Gedu highlighted the particular significance of this event for Ethiopia as a founding member of the United Nations and an ardent supporter of multilateralism and the principles and purposes of the UN Charter not only in words but in deeds. He took the opportunity to reaffirm Ethiopia’s commitment to uphold these principles as the world continues to grapple with the new and emerging challenges.
The Minister said, “We in Ethiopia consider the United Nations as a dependable and valuable partner in our efforts to meet the needs and aspirations of our people for peace, democracy and prosperity”. He expressed hope that the United Nations and its various specialized agencies, funds and programmes will maintain and strengthen their support and cooperation with Ethiopia in the years ahead.
AU Peace and Security Council, UN Peace Building Commission hold Informal Consultative Meeting
The African Union Peace and Security Council (AUPSC) and the United Nations Peacebuilding Commission (UNPBC) held a virtual informal consultative meeting on 23 October 2020. The meeting was focused on ways of further enhancing cooperation between the two bodies in support of peace building in Africa.
They recognized the unprecedented challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, particularly in the countries and regions under the consideration of the Peacebuilding Commission, namely West Africa and the Sahel, Central Africa, Lake Chad Basin, and the Great Lakes. They both underscored the crucial role of women and youth in helping to address those challenges, as well as in implementing the African Union’s flagship project of “Silencing the Guns” in Africa.
The two bodies stressed the need to work more closely together with closer collaboration and information sharing between the United Nations and the African Union on peace building and Post-Conflict Reconstruction and Development activities to tackle the root causes of instability. They also underlined the need for effective partnership with relevant Regional Economic Communities and Regional Mechanisms (RECs/RMs) and concerned stakeholders at the local, national, regional, and international levels, while ensuring that the Women Peace and Security agenda is mainstreamed in those activities.
The two bodies stressed the need to ensure complementarities and coordination between different financial mechanisms of the United Nations and the African Union. They recognized that trilateral cooperation between the United Nations, regional/sub-regional organizations, and international financial institutions has proved to be productive, particularly, in some of the peace building interventions in Africa. They encouraged similar approaches in support of countries emerging from conflict or going through complex transitions. They also welcomed the new UN Peacebuilding Fund Strategy for 2020-2024, which aims at strengthening the UN’s strategic cooperation with regional organizations, including the African Union, on peacebuilding and sustaining peace.
The AUPSC and the PBC members commended the African Union’s Initiative on “Silencing the Guns in Africa by 2020” and the theme of the year of the African Union for 2020 “Silencing the Guns: creating conducive conditions for Africa’s development”, which underscores the interdependence between good governance, peace, security, and development. Members welcomed ongoing support provided to the Initiative by the UN System and encouraged further support for African women and youth-led initiatives to fast-track the implementation of the ‘Silencing the Guns’ agenda.
Member States welcomed stronger engagement of the AU representatives in PBC meetings and emphasized the need to further enhance the consultative mechanisms between the AUPSC and PBC to support effective partnerships for peace building and post-conflict reconstruction strategies and programs in Africa.
Ethiopia as a member of both the UNPBC and the AUPSC was represented at the meeting by its Permanent Representatives in New York and Addis Ababa. The Ethiopian delegation underlined the need to fully embrace the national ownership of peace building initiatives with strong capacity building element embedded in them. In this regard, reference was made to UNSC Resolution 2457(2019), which provides strong support for Africa’s efforts to Silencing the Guns in the Continent, including peace building initiatives, and that it would be helpful to our joint effort if concerned stakeholders could rigorously follow up on the implementation of that Resolution.
Finally, Member States suggested to hold more frequent meetings between the two bodies, including at the expert level, and, if resources permit it, to consider a future joint retreat in 2021, to develop practical recommendations to both bodies for deepening their relationship. In this connection, they requested their respective secretariats to present a joint proposal to the Chairs of the UNPBC and the AUPSC.
The United Nations Peacebuilding Commission (UNPBC) was established as part of the reform process that took place during the 60th session of the General Assembly of the United Nations in 2005, following the establishment of the High-level Panel on Threats, Challenges, and Change by the former Secretary-General Kofi Annan established in December 2004.
A Week in the Horn 09.10.2020
News in Brief
Triumphs, challenges, and the way forward: President Sahle-work’s opening speech at joint Session of HPR, HoF
Total peace in Sudan is on the horizon, and it is achievable
Africa and the African Union
The Government of the Federal Republic of Germany in the framework of the European Union (EU) initiative ‘Team Europe’ donated on Thursday (October 08) 900.000 COVID-19 test kits to the African Union (AU) / Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC). An EU Humanitarian Air Bridge flighty delivered the test kits In Bole International Airport at Addis Ababa. A press point following the handover ceremony highlighted the strong partnership between ‘Team Europe’ and the AU in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Human Resources, Science and Technology Department (HRST) of the African Union, in collaboration with CDC Africa and UNICEF, held a workshop on Tuesday (October 06) for AU member states on lifelong learning and the safe reopening of schools. This event responds to the recommendation by Ministers to the Commission to facilitate inter-country learning and the scaling up of good practices among Member States in the education sector. The workshop had in attendance, participants from, the African Union Commission (AUC – HRST), UNICEF, CDC Africa, and AU Member States. The workshop aimed, among other things, to take stock of recent evidence and practices on continuous learning and safe school reopening in Africa and elsewhere.
UNAIDS, the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS, issued new guidance on Thursday (October 08) on how to reduce stigma and discrimination in the context of the COVID?19. The guidance is based on the latest evidence on works to reduce HIV?related stigma and discrimination and applies it to COVID?19. UNAIDS notes that since the start of the pandemic, numerous forms of stigma and discrimination have been reported. These include xenophobia directed at people thought to be responsible for bringing COVID?19 into countries, attacks on health?care workers and verbal and physical abuse towards people who have recovered from COVID?19. According to UNAIDS, as with the HIV epidemic, stigma and discrimination can significantly undermine the response.
The UN announced on Thursday (October 08) that a joint report by UNICEF, World Health Organization (WHO), World Bank, and the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs on stillbirths, indicated that nearly 2 million babies are stillborn every year, or one every second. And that is according to the first?ever stillbirth estimate that is included in the report. In 2019, 3 in 4 stillbirths occurred in sub-Saharan Africa or Southern Asia. The new report warns that the COVID?19 pandemic could worsen the global number of stillbirths. A 50 per cent reduction in health services due to the pandemic could cause nearly 200,000 additional stillbirths over a 12?month period in 117 low- and middle?income countries.
Dr. Amani Abou-Zeid, Commissioner for Infrastructure and Energy addressed on Tuesday (October 06) the Launch event of the ‘Africa Data Leadership Initiative (ADLI)’, organized by the UN Economic Commission for Africa, Smart Africa and Future State. This initiative aimed at ensuring the data economy drives equitable growth and social progress across the Continent. The Commissioner said, “Data science in Africa, for Africa led by Africa-based scientists, can play a key role in addressing many of the Continent’s challenges.”
The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) last week on Friday (October 02) called for urgent action to address the dire situation of migrants attempting to cross the central Mediterranean Sea in search of safety in Europe and to tackle the shocking conditions they face in Libya, at sea and frequently upon their reception in Europe. The call follows a week-long mission to Malta by a team of human rights [officers].
As part of the preventive diplomacy efforts of ECOWAS, AU and the UN geared towards ensuring the holding of a credible, transparent and peaceful presidential election on 18 October 2020 in the Republic of Guinea, a Joint High-Level Solidarity Mission was undertaken to the Republic of Guinea from 30th September to 4th October 2020. The mission was aimed at deepening engagement with various political actors and stakeholders in the electoral process, with a view to ensuring a credible, transparent, inclusive and violence-free election. In a communiqué issued on last week on Friday (October 02), the joint Mission reiterated the need for dialogue among the candidates and political actors as well as the urgent signing of the code of good conduct before the election and urges the candidates to refrain from announcing the results before the organs legally mandated to do so.
U.S. Army Maj. Gen. Joel Tyler, director of operations, U.S. Africa Command, traveled to the African continent to engage with partners, visit key U.S. military operating locations, and deepen his understanding of security in the region, Sept. 27 to Oct. 1. During his engagement, Tyler visited Djibouti, Somalia, and Kenya. Tyler’s trip highlighted AFRICOM’s commitment to working with our East African partners and operating in a degraded pandemic environment. The U.S. continues to operate and train with our East African partners.
Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed Ali together with his Ministerial delegation received on Thursday (October 08), the High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs & Security Policy/Vice President and his delegation, to discuss bilateral and regional issues of mutual interest. The delegation also met with President Sah;e-work Zewde and Foreign Minister Gedu Andargachew. Borell reaffirmed EU’s support for Ethiopia’s reform agenda and the Union’s attachment to its strategic partnership with Ethiopia. Josep Borrell also attended a handover ceremony of 1.4 million test kits to the Africa Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC). The kits were delivered through EU Humanitarian Air Bridge flight as part of the EU’s global response to the COVID-19 pandemic, worth over €26 million, with contributions from the EU, Germany, Austria, Spain, and Sweden.
Ethiopia has repatriated 297 migrants from Jeddah, Saudi Arabia on Thursday (October 08). Among the returnees, 25 are children. Officials from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and other government agencies welcomed the returnees at Bole International Airport.
Ethiopia’s Minister of Education, Dr Getahun Mekuria, held on Thursday (October 08) a video conference meeting with Baroness Sugg, UK’s Minister for Foreign Dev’t Affairs and Special Envoy for Girls’ Education. During the meeting, Sugg pledged UK’s continued support to inclusive education in Ethiopia, particularly for girls in rural areas and at refugee camps. The UK is the largest donor to Ethiopia’s education sector.
Minister of the Ministry of Water, Irrigation and Energy, Dr. Seleshi Bekele along with Vice President of Somali Region Mustefa Mohammed inaugurated on Thursday (October 08) a solar power plant built at a cost of 467,000 USD in Korele town. The newly inaugurated solar micro-grid electric power plant, the first of its kind out of the 12 pilot projects in the country, is capable of generating 325 Kilowatt electric power.
Ethiopian Diaspora Agency has planned to raise 50 million Birr from the Diaspora community this year as part of the ‘Dine for Nation’ initiative. ‘Dine for Ethiopia’ is a resource mobilization initiative aims at raising 3 billion Birr for development projects in Gorgora, Wonchi and Koysha located in Amhara, Oromia and Southern Nations, Nationalities, and Peoples’ regional states, respectively. The resource mobilization program, launched by Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed in August, is open to all Ethiopians including friends of Ethiopia. Ethiopian Diaspora Agency Director-General, Selamawit Dawit told ENA on Thursday (October 08) that the fund raising program will be carried out in collaboration with Ethiopian missions, ambassadors, diplomats around the world.
Ethiopian Embassy in New Delhi, India, and the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM) co-organized on Monday (October 05) a webinar meeting to deepen trade and investment relations between the two countries. Held under the theme, “Building momentum in Ethiopia-India economic partnership through trade and investment opportunities,” the meeting brought more than 250 business people and government officials together. At the occasion, State Minister Tsion Teklu delivered a keynote speech inviting Indian Investors to participate in realizing Ethiopia’s dream of becoming the leading manufacturing hub in Africa. Tizita Mulugeta, Ambassador of Ethiopia to India, highlighted the enormous benefits the Indian investors may get partaking in the Ethiopian economy.
Ethiopia has developed a digital monitoring system that controls firearms movement in the country. The digital system is an implementation of the Firearms Administration and Controlling Proclamation that the government approved to control illegal firearms trafficking and related activities. Speaking at a ceremony prepared to celebrate “African Amnesty Month” on Wednesday (October 07), Peace Minister Muferiat Kamil said the digital firearms monitoring and controlling system will help to control illegal circulation of firearms in the country by registering the serial number of the weapons in a digitized system.
The Ethiopian Diaspora has reportedly raised over 48 million Birr for the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) during the last three months. In an exclusive interview with ENA on Wednesday (October 07) Ethiopian Diaspora Agency Director-General Selamawit Dawit said the diaspora is encouraged more than ever to support the dam, especially after the first phase filling in July. Out of the total amount raised, over 20 million Birr was collected while 28 million Birr is pledged. According to the director-general, the agency has planned to raise 200 million Birr in total this Ethiopian Fiscal Year.
Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed on Wednesday (October 07) officially inaugurated the Bahir Dar Industrial Park which is constructed with an outlay of more than 53 million USD. The first phase of the park development, constructed by the China Civil Engineering Construction Company (CCECC) in Bahir Dar city of Amhara region, lies on 75 hectares of land with 8 sheds in which investors are currently finalizing set up to become operational. When fully operational, the Bahir Dar Industrial Park is expected to create jobs to more than 10,000 Ethiopians and boost the nation’s export trade.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs held a wide-ranging discussion on Wednesday (October 07)with Ethiopian media professionals reporting in the Arabic language on the GERD. The meeting aimed to discuss ongoing activities and signpost favorable agendas to better cover stories related to the dam. At the occasion, the Spokesperson of the Ministry, Ambassador Dina Mufti, commended the media professionals for communicating Ethiopia’s stance over the GERD to the Arabic audience. The works of media professionals would even be more fruitful if they explore issues over the dam from various perspectives, he added. According to the Spokesperson, the Arabic reports of the dam should also focus on people-to-people engagements and activities related to trade, investment, and tourism between Ethiopia, the Middle East, and Arab countries.
The House of Federation has approved unanimously on Tuesday (October 06) the request to form a new regional state by joining five zonal administrations and one special Woreda (district) located in the southern part of Ethiopia. The new regional state named ‘South West Ethiopia Nations Regional State” will be formed by joining Kaffa, Sheka, Bench Sheko, Dawuro, and West Omo zones as well as Konta special woreda, it was indicated. The zonal administrations and special woreda have requested for a new regional state as they share similar language, culture, history, and geographical landscape that would make them beneficial.
Authorities in Addis Ababa on Monday (October 05) shut down a part of the country’s airspace in the Benishangul-Gumuz region, where the massive Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) is being built. “The ban was imposed after consultations with the Air Force and other relevant government and security bodies,” Wosenyeleh Hunegnaw, the Director- General of the Ethiopian Civil Aviation Authority, told the media. As a result, he said, commercial or passenger flights, or any other types of flights, will not be allowed to fly through the area near the vicinity of the dam.
Ethiopia’s tourism sector that has been interrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic over the past seven months, will fully be reopened until the end of this October, Tourism Ethiopia announced. In an exclusive interview with ENA, Tourism Ethiopia Director-General, Sileshi Girma said most of tourism facilities including hotels, tour operators and tourist destinations in Ethiopia have stopped operations because of the pandemic over the past months and this has been hugely affecting the sector. According to Sileshi, the sector will be open for international tourists based on the National Travelers Safety Protocol developed by the country to help contain the spread of COVID-19 and protect the safety of tourists.
The German Agency for International Cooperation (GIZ) on Monday (October 05) handed over two field vehicles and various surveying equipment to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ethiopia. The donation is part of GIZ’s initiative to supporting the implementation of the African Union Border Programme (AUBP) on behalf of the German Federal Foreign Office across the continent. Receiving the donations on behalf of the Ministry, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Ambassador Woinshet Tadesse thanked GIZ and said the donation would improve the technical capabilities of Ethiopia to address the objectives of AUBP.
Kenya’s Cabinet Secretary for Tourism & Wildlife, Najib Balala said Kenya wants to work with Ethiopia in the tourism sector. He said this during a virtually held discussion on Monday (October 05) with Ambassador of Ethiopia to Kenya, Meles Alem. The meeting deliberated possibilities to scale up the relations between the two countries with a particular emphasis to the tourism sector. Ambassador Meles noted the severe effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the tourism sectors in both countries. He underscored that Ethiopian and Kenyan stakeholders in the tourism sector should work together and secure a vibrant tourism in the post COVID-19 period.
Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ethiopia, Ambassador Woinshet Tadesse confers with the Personal Representative of the President of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Lutadil Yannick, and his delegation on Sunday (October 04) in Addis Ababa. The two sides exchanged views on issues of mutual interest and on how to enhance the bilateral relations of the two sisterly countries. The Permanent Secretary also briefed the delegation about the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) and Ethiopia`s firm position for the equitable and reasonable utilization of the waters of the Nile. The delegation from the DRC further noted the need to reopening of Ethiopia`s embassy in Kinshasa.
State Minister Ambassador Redwan Hussien received on Friday (October 02) copies of the credentials of the Ambassadors of the Kingdom of Spain, the Republic of Poland, and the French Republic to Ethiopia. State Minister Redwan held fruitful talks with the ambassadors to further strengthen relations with Ethiopia.
A delegation led by the President of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, President Sahle-Work Zewde, arrived in Juba on Saturday (October 03) to attend the signing of a peace agreement between the Transitional Government and the rebel groups in Sudan, after a year of negotiations under the auspices of South Sudanese President H.E. President Salva Kiir.
President Sahle-Work Zewde bid farewell last week on Friday (October 02) to three Ambassadors who have finished their term in Ethiopia. The Ambassadors include Ambassador Mark Ramsaden of New Zealand, Ambassador Antoine Chevrier of Canada and Ambassador Sulayman Alieu Jack of the Gambia. The Ambassadors appreciated the cooperation and support that they received while in Ethiopia. On the same day Foreign Minister Gedu Andargachew has met the ambassadors of Nezealand and Canada thanked them for scaling up their countries’ relations with Ethiopia.
Seven patients have been diagnosed positive for COVID-19 in tests carried out on Thursday (October 08) at Quarantine Centers in Shilao (5), Adibara (1) in Gash Barka Region; and, the Nyala Hotel (1) in Asmara in the Central Region. All the patients are nationals who returned from Sudan and Ethiopia recently. The patient in Asmara is one of those quarantined on arrival from Ethiopia with a Chartered Flight two weeks ago. On the other hand, six patients who were receiving medical treatment in hospitals in Gash Barka Region have recovered fully and have been released from these facilities. The total number of recovered patients to-date accordingly stands at 364. The total number of confirmed cases in the country to-date has risen to 405.
President of the Federal Republic of Somalia, Mr. Mohammed Abdullahi Mohammed and his delegation flew back home in the afternoon hours of Monday ( October 05) concluding a fruitful two-day working visit to Eritrea. During the two-day working visit, President Isais Afwerki and President Mohammed Abdullahi Mohammed held extensive talks aimed at further enhancement of bilateral ties and consolidation of a strong, independent, and sovereign Somalia. The two leaders further agreed to re-double ongoing efforts for regional integration on the basis of the Tri-Partite Agreement signed subsequently between Eritrea, Ethiopia, and Somalia. Accompanied by President Isaias Afwerki, President Mohammed Abdullahi Mohammed and his delegation visited various development sites and projects in the Southern and Northern Red Sea Regions.
Staff from the International Organization for Migration (IOM) on Monday (October 05) assisted Djiboutian authorities as they attended to the grim task of recovering and burying eight drowning victims whose remains washed ashore after a lethal journey from Yemen over the weekend. According to IOM, the victims, from a total of 34 mainly Ethiopian and Somali migrants seeking to return to Africa after attempting to find work in the Arabian Gulf make even more tragic a recent wave of Africans arriving in Djibouti.
President Uhuru Kenyatta on Sunday (October 04) discussed the regional peace and security with his Egyptian counterpart Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi. While on his way from France, the President made a stopover in Egypt and paid a courtesy call to Al-Sisi. The two leaders also discussed a number of subjects of mutual interest between Kenya and Egypt including trade and Africa’s response to the novel coronavirus. “Through Kenya’s non-permanent member seat at the United Nations Security Council, Kenya further aims to contribute to global peace and security, with the ultimate goal being the attainment of sustainable development for the year 2021-2022,”the President said.
A Kenyan court on Wednesday (October 07) convicted two men for helping Al Qaeda-linked gunmen to storm Nairobi’s Westgate shopping mall and kill at least 67 people in 2013. The attack proved Somali militants could strike at the heart of the capital. The assault on the upscale mall, a favourite with the growing middle class and foreign workers, came two years after Kenya sent troops into Somalia following kidnappings and raids on Kenyan soil. A third accused, also charged under a national terrorism act, was acquitted in the trial, which was the only prosecution conducted by Kenya over the assault by Somali Al Shabab militants.
The government of Somalia and Cuba have denied reports that two Cuban doctors who were kidnapped in Kenya in April 2019 have been released. The two governments have denied the reports that al-Shabab had released two Cuban doctors who had been held captive by al-Shabaab for a year and a half. The acting foreign minister of Somalia Ahmed Isse Awad denied saying that the information that has circulated and that has been replicated by various media and on digital social networks, about the alleged release of the two kidnapped Cuban doctors, Assel Herrera Correa and Landy Rodríguez Hernández was a fabricated one. Through a tweet by the Cuban Embassy in the United State, the Cuban Ministry of External Relationship said efforts to rescue the doctors was still ongoing.
Former Somali Prime Minister Dr. Ali Khalif Galeyr has passed away in Jigjiga, the capital of the Somali regional state in Ethiopia on Thursday (October 08). He served as PM in 2000 and Khatumo state president in the latest years of his life. Besides an illustrious career as a politician, he was a noted scholar with teaching experience at universities in the US. Somali President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo has sent his condolences over the sudden demise of the former PM.
The Force Commander of the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMSIOM), Lt. Gen. Diomede Ndegeya, on Wednesday (October 07) concluded his familiarization visit of all six AMISOM sectors, with a visit to sector two and sector six, in Dhobley and the coastal city of Kismayo, respectively, both located in Jubaland State of Somalia.
At least six Somali government soldiers were killed and four others wounded when a roadside bomb blast struck a military vehicle in the Middle Shabelle region on Wednesday (October 07), an official said. Ibrahim Adan, a police officer in the region told Anadolu Agency over phone that an “improvised explosive blast hit the military vehicle carrying soldiers traveling from Bal’ad district to a military observation post in the area.” Three soldiers escaped the attack and the wounded were transported to Mogadishu for treatment, he added.
The South Sudanese government said that the unification of the armed forces in the country will be effective in November of this year. The unification of the armed groups with the government army of South Sudan had to be achieved during the first six months of the pre-transitional period after the signing of the revitalized peace agreement. However, two years after the signing of the agreement, the matter is still pending due to the lack of resources and international support for the costly process. The deputy head of Sudan’s Sovereign Council Mohamed Hamdan Daglo “Hemetti” on Wednesday (October 07) met in Juba with First Vice-President Riek Machar, and the South Sudanese Presidental Advisor for Security Affairs Tut Gatluak to discuss the implementation the revitalized peace agreement.
The World Food Programme (WFP) in South Sudan on Wednesday (October 07) strongly condemned an attack on its boat convoy carrying food assistance. The river convoy had 13 crew people aboard when it was attacked near Shambe [North]. One person is missing and presumed killed, while three people suffered gunshot wounds. WFP stresses that humanitarian workers and contractors risk their lives delivering much-needed food assistance to the most vulnerable. The food aid was intended for people displaced after losing their homes and crops to floods. Over 800,000 people have been impacted by floods in South Sudan, on top of years of conflict that have caused widespread hunger and malnutrition.
A Tanzanian national has been appointed the new head of South Sudan National Revenue Authority (SSNRA). Dr. Patrick Mugoya, who was previously the deputy head of Tanzania Revenue Authority, replaces Dr. Olympio Attipoe, a Ghanaian national. Speaking to reporters in Juba on Tuesday (October 06), Mugoya vowed to put in place mechanisms for transparency and accountability in revenue collections as well as end all tax leakages and unnecessary waivers.
President Salva Kiir has been awarded a prize for his mediation of the Sudan peace agreement which was negotiated during one year in the South Sudanese capital. The peace prize that he received during the signing ceremony of the Sudan peace agreement in Juba on Saturday (October 03) was delivered by the Universal Peace Federation, an international and interreligious non-governmental organisation to support efforts for peace in the world.
The Vice Chairman of the Sovereign Council, Mohamed Hamdan Daglo “Hemetti” met in Juba on Thursday (October 07) with the leader of the SPLM-N Abdel Aziz al-Hilu paving the way for the resumption of peace talks this month. In press statements after the meeting, Hemedti and al-Hilu declared that the purpose of the meeting between them is to break the deadlock and restore confidence between the two parties for the sake of peace in Sudan. They affirmed that they would resume talks after holding workshops in line with the Addis Ababa Agreement between Prime Minister Abdallah Hamdok and al-Hilu to discuss all obstacles and enhance efforts to achieve just peace in all parts of Sudan.
The U.S. Envoy for Sudan, Donald Booth, discussed with the leaders of Forces for Freedom and Change (FFC) the country’s removal from the terror list parties in separate meetings on Wednesday (October 07). Booth is currently in Khartoum after attending the signing of peace agreement with armed groups in Juba for talks with the government officials and the ruling coalition alliance. He met with the head of the executive office of the Unionist Alliance and Omer al-Digair of the Sudanese Congress Alliance.
Sudan’s transitional authority and armed groups on Saturday (October 3) signed the final peace agreement and vowed to work together for peace implementation and democratic reforms. The Sudanese government, Sudanese Revolutionary Front (SRF and Sudan Liberation Movement of Minni Minnawi (SLM-MM) signed a comprehensive peace agreement in Juba after a year of negotiations. Sudanese Prime Minister Abdallah Hamdok in his speech spoke about this communion saying that “This peace would not have been possible without (the role of) Juba”. For his part, al-Burhan sang a song for the Sudanese army saying “Sudan is our country and we are all brothers”. Immediately, he was accompanied by the South Sudan Army Music Band and the applause of the crowd. President Kiir in his speech expressed this happiness and pride for the signing of the Sudan peace agreement in Juba despite all the challenges that faced the process.
The Joint Special Representative for the African Union-United Mission in Darfur (UNAMID), Jeremiah Mamabolo, on Saturday (October 07) attended the formal signing of the peace agreement between the transitional Government of Sudan, the Sudan Revolutionary Front (SRF), the Sudan Liberation Movement–Minni Minnawi (SLM/MM) and Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North (SPLM-N) of Malik Agar in Juba, South Sudan. On this occasion, Mr. Mamabolo echoed the key message expressed in the UN Secretary General’s remarks to the signing ceremony, in which Mr. António Guterres welcomed the peace agreement as a historic milestone for the people of Sudan on the road of achieving peace and sustainable development.
A spokesman for the Forces for Freedom and Change (FFC) ruling coalition said that the Transitional Legislative Council will be formed as soon as the leaders of the Sudanese Revolutionary Front (SRF) return to Sudan. On 3 October, the Sudanese government and the SRF armed groups signed a final peace agreement and agreed to include the peace document in the constitutional document that governs the transitional period within two weeks. “The legislative council will be formed as soon as the leaders of the Revolutionary Front return to Sudan,” FFC Spokesman Ibrahim Al-Sheikh told the Sudan Tribune after his return from Juba.
The Sudanese government and the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement will resume negotiations during the third week of October. The announcement was made at a press conference on Monday (October 05) in Juba by the Chief Mediator Tut Gatluak. But he did not specify the date for the resumption of negotiations.
The Sudanese government said that the implementation of peace agreements requires huge resources amounting to at least $ 7.5 billion. In line with a peace agreement signed with the armed groups, the government is committed to allocating a huge amount of money for the development of the war-affected regions. On Thursday (October 07), the Ministry of Finance organized a workshop to discuss “Peace Development Projects” where the Finance Minister Heba Mohamed Ali remarked, “The implementation of peace requirements need huge resources amounting to at least $ 7.5 billion, which must be provided over the next ten years.”
Triumphs, challenges, and the way forward: President Sahle-work’s opening speech at joint Session of HPR, HoF
President Sahle-Work Zewde officially opened the new joint session of the House of People’s Representatives and the House of Federation of the F.D.R.E on Monday (October 05). In her remarks, the President recounted the successes and challenges of the previous year while charting a course for the new priorities and direction for the new session.
She hailed the historic peace deal between Ethiopia and Eritrea that unchained the countries’ from a decade-long diplomatic deadlock. Recognizing the immense significance of this peace deal, the President recalled that the international community has honored the efforts of the Prime Minister through awarding him the Nobel Peace Prize 2020. President Sahle-work said this was one of the moments that positively portrayed the image of the nation at the international level.
The bygone year has also witnessed one of the palpable milestones in the filling and construction of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam. President Sahle-work reiterated that the Government of Ethiopia was successful in completing delayed projects, such as the GERD that have been sources of public grievances. She said the first phase of filling of the reservoir was a triumphant moment for Ethiopians. This year, we will complete the second phase of filling the dam, and two of the turbines of the dam would start generating electricity, she said.
The President also highlighted the diplomatic challenges Ethiopia has faced concerning the filling and operation of the GERD. She said that Ethiopia was able to withstand unnecessary pressures and hand twisting attempts against its unwavering commitment to utilizing the Nile water resources. She said Ethiopia’s position in the negotiations on the dam is always the same and based on the principle of mutual benefit. The President underlined that her country would not entertain any undue pressure that does not recognize its dire need and right to utilize the Nile waters.
According to President Sahle-work, the year has also been historic for Ethiopians have planted 5 billion seedlings. This has paved the way to the success of the Green Initiative launched by the Government of Ethiopia, she said. The President said in the New Ethiopian Year, the government will make the Green initiative project more participatory and will share the experience with the region for more impressive and inclusive results.
Some of the achievements registered last year in the tourism and technology sectors are also inspiring to do even more in these areas, she said. She said the city beautification projects and the latest national-level initiatives to establish and expand better tourist attraction sites would revitalize the tourism sector that has been severely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Regarding advancement in technology, the President underscored that the launching of the first satellite was just the beginning of Ethiopia’s ambition to build a strong economy that is supported by technology.
In the just-passed Ethiopian year, the Government has also shown its commitments to be truthful to its motto of citizen-centered diplomacy by encouraging Ethiopian nationals living abroad to participate in the affairs of the nation. In line with this, she said it was also a year where cooperation agreements were made with the Middle East countries to ensure the dignity, rights, and legal employment of Ethiopian citizens.
President Sahle-work also reiterated that the Government of Ethiopia has been taking various measures that positively impacted the economic lives of many Ethiopians. She said three million citizens were able to get jobs. The Cluster farming technique has also helped many to reap a lot from their farmlands, she said. The Government also took various monetary measures to lower the inflation rate, she added. The President said the Government is committed to implementing measures in the New Year to make sure that the youth are employed, farmers are successful in their harvest, and the inflation rate on consumer goods is lowered to a single digit.
Although “last year was a year of great determination and dedication and a milestone for our country to move forward,” President Sahle-work said, “it was also a year of many challenges,” numerating the hurdles from the COVID-19 pandemic and the desert locust invasion to violence and extremism. She recalled that it was a year in which the economy was attacked, education was discontinued and elections were extended due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The President also reiterated that the Government has been taking various measures to mitigate the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. The preventive measures will continue until the virus is neutralized, she said adding that the government is charting out measures to take in a post-COVID period to defuse long-lasting effects of the virus on the country’s economy.
She said it was also a year where citizens were killed, injured, maimed, displaced, and their property destroyed because of extremism and violence. Had it not been for the cooperation of the public and security forces, the problem would have gotten out of control, she said. She highlighted how violence and extremism have been threatening the democratic sphere in the country. We were able to change the direction of “the arrow that was thrown at us” and made sure the rule of law is enforced and the way to building an inclusive democracy is paved, she added.
Total peace in Sudan is on the horizon, and it is achievable
Last week on 3 October 2020, the Government of Sudan and its group of opposition Sudan Revolutionary Forces (SRF) that comprised of nine parties have signed a peace agreement in the South Sudanese capital, Juba. So satisfying was that it is President Salva Kiir Mayardit who mediated the peace process for about a year. It was a fact that soon after the independence of South Sudan, Khartoum and Juba were not able to see eye to eye. However, after the Addis Ababa peace agreement of South Sudanese in 2018 and the peace deal of Sudan between the civilian and military forces and the formation of a unity government, relations between Juba and Khartoum turned into a new page.
We have found ourselves since then that the Government of South Sudan playing a crucial role in the mediation of the Sudanese parties. This is, therefore, a significant regional development in the positive to consolidating peace in the Horn of Africa.
The signing ceremony in Juba has to be looked at and appreciated, therefore, in light of its regional significance. It is because of this significance that Ethiopia was represented by its president Sahlework Zewde along with the presidents of Djibouti, Chad, and Somalia. Egypt and Uganda were represented at their Prime Ministers level. The AU Commission chairperson was in attendance while the UN Secretary-General addressed the gathering via a video link. Many more East African, as well as the Gulf countries and representatives of the Western world, were in attendance too.
Looking at the substance of the peace agreement, one has to agree that it is a significant development that has put Sudan on the right track, a track that solidifies the fact that conflicts have to be resolved through dialogue under the African motto of “African Solutions to African problems”. The agreement will address power and resource sharing as well as political and human rights problems that would uphold all sorts of freedoms that a democratic state should have to fulfill. The entire international community has very much commended the agreement.
The most frequently raised issue was the absence of SPLM-N (Abdulaziz Al Hilu) and SLM (Abdul Al Wahid Al-Nur) groups. The Sudanese government negotiation with the two parties is on-going, and that Ethiopia calls up on all the stakeholders of Sudan to redouble efforts to get the parties to agree on an acceptable deal.
The agreement signed in Juba and the negotiations with the SPLM-N and SLM all need international support. One is support for the implementation of the already signed agreement, both diplomatically and financially, and the second support is for a successful outcome from the negotiations that would be held with SPLM-N and SLM. Conflict in Sudan took more than three decades in Darfur, Kordofan, Blue Nile, and other areas with less intensity. Now, total peace in Sudan is on the horizon, and it is achievable.
This would, in turn, enable Sudan the chance to address the economic challenges it has faced for a long that hindered it from exploring its full economic potential.
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We wish Ethiopians and Ethiopian origin in the diaspora,
a pleasantcelebration of Timkat (Ethiopian Epiphany).
The colorful Timkat festivity is inscribed as one of
the World's Intangible heritage by UNESCO along with
Meskel celebration, Gada system, Fiche Chambalala, Irrecha
Embassy of Ethiopia, Ottawa
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The Embassy wishes all followers of Christianity a Merry Christmas!
The Embassy wishes all Muslim Ethiopians and of Ethiopian origin in Canada a Happy Mawlid.
Happy International Coffee Day!
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Transit number?- 00056? Bank Code?- 001
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Please use the following Accounts to donate to finalize the construction of #Dam.
We have set up a trust account and email transfer to save you of the hassle.
In addition, accounts were set up in #Ethiopia in different money exchanges,
which we have stated below.
NB. We did not attach information for bond sale as we do not sell at the Embassy.
However, should you would like to buy,
we will provide the important information.
You can call the Embassy or
Trust Account Set up by the Embassy:-
Bank Account No. 0005-1150-308
Transit No. 00056
Bank Code 001
Bank Name Bank of Montreal(BMO)
Email Transfer :-
Bank Account Numbers set up in Ethiopia for Dollar and Birr Donations
Dollar Exchange 1000001071077
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In response to your requests, we have set up the seamless money transfer platform
to the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam Trust account.
Please use the email transfer at:-
to contribute and Make History.
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Please see below the Zoom link, Webinar ID and Password to join
the conference held to take place on Jul 18, 2020 10:00 AM Eastern Time (US and Canada)
Or iPhone one-tap :
0#,,0863765778# or +15873281099,,83763340067
Dial(for higher quality, dial
a number based on your current location):
Canada: +1 438 809 7799 or
+1 587 328 1099or +1 647 374 4685 or
+1 647 558 0588 or +1 778 907 2071 or
+1 204 272 7920
US: +1 301 715 8592 or +1 312 626 6799 or
+1 346 248 7799 or
+1 669 900 6833 or +1 929 205 6099 or +1 253 215 8782
Webinar ID: 837 6334 0067
International numbers available: https://us02web.zoom.us/u/kcETnb16q
Do not miss out on the Virtual dialogue on the current issues with regard to the Great Ethiopian Renaissance Dam, Held to take place on Saturday, July 18th, 2020 @ 10:00 a.m.(Eastern time).
We will be joined by H.E Minister of Foreign Affairs Gedu Andargachew and Technical Teams from Ethiopia.
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It is Her Dam!!!
“Today marks the beginning of the global virtual campaign to support the construction of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD).
We urge all Ethiopians and friends of #Ethiopia to join hands with the Campaign and to be Ambassadors of the #GERD by using the hashtags #ItsMyDam #?????????? across Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram.
Post about the Dam, share all campaign content, and comment on GERD-related news. Let us spread the good news of the #RenaissanceDam.”
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I am here for Abay! I am here for GERD!
I stand for Equitable use of the Nile Waters!
Please join the GERD Worldwide Virtual Campain from July 02-05,2020.