Category Archives: Politics

UK summons Ethiopian diplomat over opposition official’s arrest

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(Reuters) – Britain summoned Ethiopia’s chargé d’affaires on Monday to raise its concerns about the arrest of a British national being held in Ethiopia who has been sentenced to death over his involvement with an opposition political group.

Andargachew Tsige was sentenced to death in 2009 in absentia and another trial handed him life behind bars three years later. He was arrested in Yemen earlier this year and extradited to Ethiopia. [ID:nL6N0PK3GT]

On Monday, Britain summoned one of Ethiopia’s top diplomats in London to meet Foreign Office minister Mark Simmonds, who expressed “deep concern” that Andargachew had not been granted access to the British consulate.

“Mr Simmonds asked the chargé to urge his government to deliver on previous commitments to provide consular access without further delay, and to provide assurances that they do not intend to carry out the death penalty imposed in absentia,” a statement from the Foreign Office said.

Andargachew, secretary-general of the Ginbot 7 group, was among 20 opposition figures and journalists charged with conspiring with rebels, plotting attacks and attempting to topple the government.

(Reporting by William James; Editing by Andrew Osborn)

Addis Guday,Lomi,Enque,Fact,Jano Magazines and Afro-Time Newspaper Facing Criminal Charges

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Ethiopia Ministry of Justice stated that the six periodicals and their publishers to be charged due to “repeated acts of incitement and dissemination of false rumors intended to cause a violent overthrow of the constitutional order and to undermine the public trust on the government”.
The five magazines and publishers facing charges are:

-Addis Guday Magazine, published weekly by Rose publishing P.L.C.;

- Lomi Magazine, published weekly by Dadimos publishing P.L.C;

- Enque Magazine, published two-weekly by Alemayehu publishing P.L.C;

- Fact Magazine, published weekly by Yofa publishing P.L.C; and

- Jano Magazine, published two-weekly by Asnake publishing P.L.C;

-Afro-Time Newspaper

Ethiopian runners: Police confirm athletes defected to escape civil unrest

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The four Ethiopian runners who disappeared from the IAAF Junior World Championships in Eugene this past weekend defected from their home country to avoid returning to widespread civil unrest there, police confirmed in a report released late Friday.

The report, provided by police in Federal Way, Washington, describes an interview with Zeyituna Mohammed, an 18-year-old woman runner on the Ethiopian national team. She told police that she and the other athletes decided to stay in the U.S. because they were too afraid to return to Ethiopia.

The report confirms for the first time what many close to the case, including the team’s coaches, had suspected — that the athletes’ disappearance was part of a plan to defect from Ethiopia.

Mohammed told authories she may seek asylum in the U.S., but she is not certain of her plans. It remains unclear whether the other three athletes, whom police found in Beaverton earlier this week, are planning to do so.

Federal Way police agreed to help University of Oregon police with the investigation when authorities learned Mohammed was staying with an acquaintance there.

On Wednesday, five days after the athletes were first reported missing, Federal Way police found Mohammed staying at the home of two Ethiopian natives, one of whom came from the same village Mohammed is from.

Through an interpreter, Mohammed described how the group left the University of Oregon campus unnoticed with help from an another runner on the team, who helped them arrange rides with Ethiopian connections in the area. The group was given a ride to Portland, and then Mohammed was picked up by another driver and taken to Federal Way.

Police found the other three runners — Amanuel Abebe Atibeha, a 17-year-old boy, and Dureti Edao and Meaza Kebede, 18-year-old women — in Beaverton on Monday.

Mohammed signed a contract with Nike and Edao with Adidas on July 25, just hours before the group disappeared, their coaches told University of Oregon police.

Edao told the coaches she needed to send a copy of her passport to the Adidas contract manager to finalize the agreement, according a report from UO police released this week. Coaches gave her a key to the room where the team’s passports were kept.

Other members of the Ethiopian team later saw the four running with their bags and then hop into a white sedan, according to the UO police report. None of the other team members was able to identify the driver.

Coaches later said the four athletes’ passports were missing. Police found the women athletes’ rooms, in a UO dormitory, emptied of belongings.

Nike and Adidas have not provided details about the athletes’ contracts.

In a statement Monday, university police said the athletes are permitted to stay in the U.S. under the terms of their visas. No time limit was given. Officials in the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Citizenship and Immigration Services office declined to provide any further information.

– Ian K. Kullgren

Oromo nationalism on the rise in Ethiopia By William Davison, Aljazeera

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By William Davison
Source: Aljazeera

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia – Aslan Hasan, a student belonging to the Oromo ethnic group in Ethiopia, was called either a guilt-ridden terrorist who committed suicide or an innocent victim of brutal state repression, depending on who you listen to.

His death came following a bout of violence in May, when Oromo students in several towns protested against a government plan for the capital Addis Ababa to expand into Oromia Regional State, Ethiopia’s largest and most populous federal region with around one-third of the nation’s over 90 million people.

Security services said Hasan hanged himself in his cell after being arrested for a grenade attack that occurred at Haramaya University in the east of the country. Online Oromo activists such as Jawar Mohammed say Aslan, 24, had his throat slit by police on June 1 while in custody after being snatched four days before. A witness said it appeared his neck had been cut and his eyes gouged out.

Ethiopia’s government is frequently accused of trampling on constitutionally protected ethnic rights as it prioritises security, political stability, and public infrastructure investments to drive growth. While technocrats have devised a rational scheme to manage a bulging city, the red-hot political issue of Oromo rights was barely considered, according to an Addis Ababa University academic who wishes to remain anonymous. “They think something is good, they go for it,” he said about the ruling coalition’s top-down methods. “It’s a done deal, it’s not consultative at all.”

(BBC) Ethiopian mother angry over murdered son

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By Hewete Haileselassie

“Yeshi” is still trying to come to terms with the trauma of discovering the body of her son being carried through the streets of the Ethiopian city of Ambo.

A rickshaw driver in his 20s, he had been caught up in deadly protests between the police and students in the city in April.

They were demonstrating about plans to extend the administrative control of the capital, Addis Ababa, into Oromia state.

I think they were killing people on purpose”

Yeshi, mother of man shot dead in April in Ambo
Oromia is the country’s largest region and completely surrounds Addis Ababa – and some people feared they would be forced off their land and lose their regional and cultural identity if the plans went ahead.

The government says the “Masterplan”, as it is known, would allow them to better extend city services to rural areas.

However for Yeshi – who asked for her name and those of her family to be changed – the heavy-handed response by the security forces that saw her son shot in the head is hard to fathom.

She had come across a group of people carrying a body and overheard people saying it was her son, Tamiru.

Unable to recognise his features as they were too disfigured, she identified him by his “clothes and shoes”.

“I think they were killing people on purpose,” she told the BBC, saying that Tamiru was not directly involved in any trouble that day.

Five other young people were also killed with bullet wounds to the head, she says.

Ethiopia formally charges bloggers, journalists with terrorism as confusion surrounds the process

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Ethiopian Prosecutors have today formally charged six members of the blog Zone9 and three independent journalists detained nearly three months ago. Soliana Shimelis, the seventh defendant of the group Zone9 is charged in absentia, according to a local bi weekly, The Reporter.

However, earlier on Thursday, the lawyer for the eight defendants Amha Mekonnen told AFP that they were “waiting for charges to appear. I’m going to lodge a civil suit against police requesting the court to compel the police to release them,” adding further confusion into the matter by which the pre-trial was closed transferred from the remand court in Arada First Instance Bench and  to the Lideta  High Court 19th bench  without the presence of neither the defendants, nor their lawyers.

Tesfalem Zelalem and Asmamaw A

According to our own reporter Mahlet Fasil, who was at the court this morning, the six bloggers and the three journalists have briefly appeared at the Lideta court without their lawyers; but

ION | Djiboutian Pres. Guelleh puts himself under Ethiopia’s protection

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(By Indian Ocean Newsletter)

THE plan for economic integration devised by Djibouti and neighbouring Ethiopia could ultimately lead to a kind of political unification between the two countries. During the last few weeks, certain Ethiopian dignitaries have hinted at it and one of them even went so far as to utter “a single country with two chiefs”.

Ethiopian desire to secure its Djibouti port outlet is nothing new and some people in Addis Ababa have been talking about “an obligatory merger” with Djibouti for years. So far this trend has been latent but is now coming into the fore, because President Ismaïl Omar Guelleh (IOG) needs an Ethiopian umbrella in various sectors, including that of guaranteeing his immunity when he is no longer in power.

Weakened President

The Djibouti president was born in Dire Dawa, Ethiopia, and owns a house in Addis Ababa. He is beginning to show his age (he is 67 according to his official birth date) and his health is not what it used to be. He is currently getting over an operation at the Val-de-Grace military hospital in Paris and he is losing his mobility. Moreover, the traditional Independence Day garden party on 27 June was not held this year, the first time in decades.

During the military parade, all measures were taken for him to make the least possible effort: IOG did not even get up to return the salute of the commanders of the parading troops. Nor did he appear on 21 June at the Hotel Kempinski for the presentation of Djibouti Vision 2035, even though it is under his High Patronage. The government, and in particular finance ministerIlyas Moussa Dawaleh have been working on this project for many years. Finally, the cabinet meetings, which are normally held every week, are getting further and further apart.

No successor in sight

IOG has several times reiterated that he will not run in the 2016 election and his state of health suggests that this will indeed be the case. However, from 2006 to 2009 he had also promised that he would not amend the constitution so he could run for another mandate, which he did finally do. At present, he does not give the impression of being

ISIS Map of the World includes Ethiopia

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The ISIS map of the world: Militants outline chilling five-year plan for global domination as they declare formation of caliphate – and change their name to the Islamic State

By JOHN HALL

ISIS has formally declared the establishment of a caliphate, or Islamic state, in the vast stretches of the Middle East that have fallen under its control, and has outlined a vision to expand into Europe.

The announcement was described as the ‘most significant development in international jihadism since 9/11′.

Upon declaring a caliphate, the Sunni militants – whose brutality in attempting to establish control in Iraq and Syria has been branded too extreme even by Al Qaeda – demanded allegiance from Muslims around the world.

With brutal efficiency, ISIS has carved out a large chunk of territory that has effectively erased the border between Iraq and Syria and laid the foundations of its proto-state.

The announcement, made on the first day of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, could trigger a wave of infighting among Sunni extremist factions that have until now formed a loose rebel alliance.

A spokesman for ISIS declared the group’s chief, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, as the leader of the new caliphate, or Islamic state, and called on Muslims everywhere, not just those in areas under the organization’s control, to swear loyalty to him.

‘The legality of all emirates, groups, states and organizations becomes null by the expansion of the caliph’s authority and the arrival of its troops to their areas,’ said Abu Mohammed al-Adnani.

‘Listen to your caliph and obey him. Support your state, which grows every day,’ he added in an audio statement posted online.

Charles Lister, a visiting fellow at the Brookings Institution, said the announcement was likely the ‘most significant development in international jihadism since 9/11′.

Al-Adnani loosely defined the state territory as running from northern Syria to the Iraqi province of Diyala – a vast stretch of land straddling the border that is already largely under ISIS control.

He also said that with the establishment of the caliphate, the group was changing its name to just the Islamic State, dropping the mention of Iraq, Sham and the Levant.

However, in a map widely-shared by ISIS supporters on social networks, the Islamist group outlined a five-year plan for how they would like to expand their boundaries beyond Muslim-majority countries.

As well as plans to expand the caliphate throughout the Middle East, North Africa, and large parts of western Asia, the map also marks out an expansion in parts of Europe.

Spain, which was ruled by Muslims for 700 years until 1492, is marked out as a territory the caliphate plans to have under its control by 2020.

Elsewhere, ISIS plans to take control of the the Balkan states – including Greece, Romania and Bulgaria – extending its territories in eastern Europe as far as Austria, which appears to be based on a pre-First World War borders of the Austro-Hungarian Empire.