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Ethiopia launches new initiative to employ disaffected youth

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For the last two decades, the Ethiopian government has been trumping the country’s economic successes , which earned it the title the “African Tiger.” However the youth appear to have been left behind.

The town of Ambo is located 120 kilometers (75 miles) west of Addis Ababa and is knows as the kicking off point of the protests against the infamous re-zoning plan of the government almost three years ago. Reports show that security forces responded to the protests with lethal force that claimed hundreds of lives while thousands more were arrested.

“The urgent problem of the youth now is not unemployment rather lack of peace in their area, because those employed or unemployed people are still getting killed or arrested,” said an unemployed young man from Ambo who requested anonymity from due to the current political situation in the area.

As a response to the growing protests, the Ethiopian government declared a six-month state of emergency last October. One of the factors that the government attributed to causing the protests is unemployment.

In his address to parliament last October, President Mulatu Teshome said that his administration pledged to create more jobs for the youth. He argued that the youth in both rural and urban towns have no stable means of income and rely on daily labor. As a result, Mulatu said, these young people are living in an atmosphere of “extreme anxiety.”

“If the government does not focus more on the youth,” Mulatu warned, “it should realize that our country could again face the kind of political crisis that was experienced recently.”

A new jobs bill

Two weeks ago, the House of People’s Representatives passed a new bill dubbed the “Youth Revolving Fund,” which promises jobs for unemployed people aged 18-34 years. In the preface of this 11-page bill, it is stipulated that the economic achievements of the country had itself created new demands from the youth which the government could not fulfill.

Therefore, the government has allocated about $500 million (474 million euros) to create jobs for the 2.9 million unemployed. The bill also gives the state-owned Commercial Bank of Ethiopia a mandate to administer the fund.

According to local reports, the fund will be disbursed to the youth through the bank’s 3,900 branches and 1,700 micro-finance centers. To receive the fund, young people should be organized according to their interests and submit a project proposal to the bank. Although the new bill asserts that the bank then gives the money to the youth following a “revolving-fund system,” there is no clear explanation as to when and how they will be paying back the money they borrow.

Communications Minister Negeri Lencho, however, claimed that the new fund is not meant as a mere distribution of money to the youth.

“The students study either by selling their coffee plantations or their cattle to transform their lives,” the minister told DW. However, he said, “the government has no capacity to employ all these youth and it is hard to claim that the economy has accommodated them.”

Desperate measures?

According to recent data from the Ministry of Education, Ethiopia’s 37 universities enroll over seven and a half thousand students for undergraduate and postgraduate courses each year. However, there is no clear data of how many find work upon graduation.

Mulatu Gemechu, deputy chairman of the Oromo Federalist Congress, compared the government’s job creation plan to a man who sinks into water while holding onto foam. He also criticized the government’s politicized education policy as contributing factor to the weakness of the economy.

“Those students who are affiliated to the ruling party get a grading such as A or B or C and then can get a job easily,” Gemechu told DW. But, he said, “if students get a D, for not being associated with the party’s activities, then they do not get a job.”

As a result of this lack of academic freedom and employment, Gemechu claimed, there are graduates working on cobblestones as a daily laborer. Thus, he sees the job creation fund rather as a political investment aimed at diverting the genuine uncertainty of the youth.

In a recent opinion piece, the economist Getachew Teklemariam argued that “the story line from the side of the government is that it [youth employment plan] was never a reflexive response to the unrest. What is true, nonetheless, is that the unrest has, at least, pushed the agenda to the fore.”

One resident of Ambo who preferred not to give his name, agreed that unemployment is an issue in Ethiopia but that it is not right “if the government claims the unrest is due to youth unemployment.”

He then spoke about how his friend was killed by the security forces and urged the government to respond to legitimate youth issues like “peace and the respect for human rights.”

Source: DW

Ethiopia: From peaceful protest to armed uprising

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What began as a regional protest movement in Ethiopia in November 2015 is in danger of becoming a fully-fledged armed uprising.

Angered and exasperated by the government’s intransigence and duplicity, small guerrilla groups made up of local armed people have formed in Amhara and elsewhere, and are conducting hit-and-run attacks on security forces. Fighting at the beginning of January in the north-western region of Benishangul Gumuz saw 51 regime soldiers killed, the independent news outlet ESAT News, based in Europe and the United States, reported, and in the Amhara region a spate of incidents has occurred, notably a grenade attack on a hotel in Gondar and an explosion in Bahir-Dah.

In what appears to be an escalation in violence, in Belesa, an area north of Gondar, a fire-fight between “freedom fighters”, as they are calling themselves, and the military resulted in deaths on both sides. There have also been incidents in Afar, where people are suffering the effects of drought: two people were recently killed by security personnel and others were arrested. The Afar Human Rights Organisation told ESAT that the government has stationed up to 6,000 troops in the region, which has heightened tensions and fuelled resentment.

Given the government’s obduracy, the troubling turn of events was perhaps to be expected. However, such developments do not bode well for stability in the country or the wider region, and enable the ruling regime to slander opposition groups as “terrorists”, and implement more extreme measures to clamp down on public assembly in the name of “national security”.

Until recently those calling for change had done so in a peaceful manner; security in the country – the security of the people – is threatened not by opposition groups demanding that human rights be observed and the constitution be upheld, but by acts of state terrorism, the real and pervasive menace in Ethiopia.

Oppressive state of emergency

Oromia and Amhara are homelands to the country’s two biggest ethnic groups, together comprising around 65 per cent of the population. Demonstrations began in Oromia: thousands took to the streets over a government scheme to expand Addis Ababa onto Oromo farmland (plans later dropped), and complaints that the Oromo people had been politically marginalised. Protests expanded into the Amhara region in July 2016, over the appropriation of fertile land in the region by the authorities in Tigray – a largely arid area.

The regime’s response has been consistently violent and has fuelled more protests, motivated more people to take part, and brought suppressed anger towards the ruling Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) to the surface. Regional, issue-based actions quickly turned into a nationwide protest movement calling for the ruling party, which many view as a dictatorship, to step down, and for democratic elections to be held.

Unwilling to enter into dialogue with opposition groups, and unable to contain the movement that swept through the country, in October 2016 the government imposed a six-month state of emergency. This was necessary, the prime minister claimed, because “we want to put an end to the damage that is being carried out against infrastructure projects, education institutions, health centres, administration and justice buildings”. He added that “we put our citizens’ safety first”.

The extraordinary directive, which has dramatically increased tensions in the country, allows for even tighter restrictions to be applied (e.g. post an update on Facebook about the unrest and face five years imprisonment) and is further evidence of both the government’s resistance to reform and its disregard for the views of large sections of the population.

The directive places stifling restrictions on basic human rights, and, as Human Rights Watch states, goes “far beyond what is permissible under international law and signals an increased militarised response to the situation.”

Among the 31 articles of the directive, “Communication instigating protest and unrest” is banned. This includes using social media to organise public gatherings. Also banned is “Communication with terrorist groups”, which doesn’t mean the likes of Islamic State group but relates to any individual or group whom the regime define as “terrorists”, i.e. anyone who publicly disagrees with it.

Both ESAT and Oromia Media meet the terrorist criteria, as defined by the EPRDF, and are high up the excluded list. Public assembly without authorisation is not allowed. There is even a ban on making certain gestures “without permission”. Specifically, crossing arms above the head to form an X, which has become a sign of national unity against the regime, and was bravely displayed by Ethiopian marathon runner Feyisa Lilesa, at the Rio Olympics.

If anyone is found to have violated any of the draconian articles they can be arrested without charge and imprisoned without due process. The ruling regime, which repeatedly blames so called “outside forces” for fuelling the uprising – Eritrea and Egypt are cited – says the new laws will be used to coordinate the security forces against what it ambiguously calls “anti-peace elements” that want to “destabilise the country”.

Shortly after the directive was passed, the government arrested 1,645 people, the New York Times reported, of which an astonishing 1,220 “were described as ringleaders, the rest coordinators, suspects and bandits.”

All of this is taking place in what the ruling regime and its international benefactors laughably describe as a democracy. Ethiopia is not, nor has it ever been, a democratic country. The ruling EPRDF, which, like the army, is dominated by men from the small northern Tigray region (6 per cent of the population), came to power in the traditional manner: by force. Since its assumption of power in 1992 it has stolen every “election”.

No party anywhere legitimately wins 100 per cent of the parliamentary seats in an election, but the EPRDF, knowing that its  principle donors – the USA and UK – would back the result anyway, claimed to do so in 2015. The European Union, also a major benefactor, did criticise the result. However, much to the fury of Ethiopians around the world, President  Barack Obama, speaking declared that the “elections put forward a democratically elected government”.

Government reaction

Since the start of the protests the government has responded with force.Nobody knows the exact number of people killed –  500, according to Human Rights Watch, possibly thousands. Tens of thousands have been arbitrarily arrested and detained, probably tortured, definitely mistreated; family members of protesters, journalists and opposition politicians are intimidated and routinely persecuted. And while 10,000 people have recently been released, local groups estimate a further 70,000 remain incarcerated and the government has initiateda new wave of arrests in which young people have been specifically targeted.

Among the list of violent state actions – none of which has been independently investigated – the incident at Bishoftu, which many Ethiopians describe as a massacre, stands out. On 2 October millions of ethnic Oromos gathered to celebrate at the annual Irreecha cultural festival. There was a heavy, intimidating military presence, including an army helicopter; anti-government chants broke out, people took to the stage and crossed their arms in unity. In response, the security forces fired live ammunition and tear gas into the crowd.

The number of casualties varies depending on the source; the government would have us believe that 55 people died, though local people and opposition groups claim 250 people were killed by the security forces. The ruling regime makes it impossible to independently investigate such incidences or to verify those killed and injured, but Human Rights Watch states that, “based on the information from witnesses and hospital staff… it is clear that the number of dead is much higher than government estimates”.

A week after the nightmare at Bishoftu, the ruling party imposed a state of emergency – another ill-judged pronouncement that has entrenched divisions, strengthened resolve and plunged the country into deeper chaos. Such actions reveal a level of paranoia, and a failure to understand the impact of repressive rule. With every controlling, violent action the government takes, with every innocent person that it kills or maims, opposition spreads, resistance intensifies and resolve grows stronger.

Enough!

The Ethiopian revolt comes after over two decades of rule by the EPRDF, a party whose approach, despite its democratic pretensions, has been intensely autocratic. Human rights, mentioned in the liberally worded constitution, are totally ignored: dissent is not allowed nor is political debate or regional secession – a major issue for the Ogaden region, which is under military control.

There are no independent media – all media are state owned or controlled, as is access to the internet. Journalists who express any criticism of the ruling regime are routinely arrested, and the only truly autonomous media group, ESAT, is now classed as a terrorist organisation. Add to this list the displacement of indigenous people to make way for international industrial farms; the partisan distribution of aid, employment opportunities and higher education places; the promulgation of ethnic politics in schools; and the soaring cost of living, and a different, less polished Ethiopian picture begins to surface than the one painted by the regime and donor nations – benefactors who, by their silence and duplicity, are complicit in the actions of the EPRDF government.

People have had enough of such injustices. Inhibited and contained for so long, they have now found the strength to demand their rights and stand up to the bully enthroned in Addis Ababa. The hope must be that change can be brought about by peaceful means and not descend into a bloody conflict. For this to happen the government needs to adopt a more conciliatory position and listen to the people’s legitimate concerns.

This unprecedented uprising may be held at bay for a time, restrained by force and unjust legislation, but people rightly sense this is the moment for change. They will no longer cower and be silenced for too much has been sacrificed by too many.

By Graham Peebles

Source: redressonline.com

IMF says drought to cut Somalia’s 2017 growth to 2-2.5 pct

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NAIROBI  – Somalia’s economy is likely to expand by 2-2.5 percent this year, down from an estimated 3.4 percent last year, as drought cuts output in the important agriculture sector, the IMF’s country representative said on Monday.

Ravaged by decades of civil conflict, the Horn of Africa nation has started to attract investment from Somalis living abroad, encouraged by the modest progress made by regional troops trying to restore peace.

Samba Thiam, whose office is based in neighbouring Kenya, told Reuters drought in the region would drag down overall growth but its impact was partly offset by booming construction activity, and the telecoms and service sectors.

Somalis send back $2.3 billion annually from abroad and some of that cash – as well as hundreds of millions of dollars in aid – has been financing the construction of hotels, commercial buildings and houses in the capital of Mogadishu.

“(If) you go to Mogadishu you (will) see that it is booming everywhere,” Thiam said.

The drought was also expected to drive up the prices of food, lifting inflation to between 2.7 percent and 3 percent this year, from 1.5 percent last year, he said.

Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed, a former prime minister who was elected president this month, faces a host of challenges including protecting Somalis from al Shabaab militants.

Thiam said the new government also needed to eliminate corruption and wastage of public funds to be able to fund much-needed public health and education services.

The IMF was ready to work with the Somali government to prepare for the printing of new currency notes, in line with the government’s stated goal, he said.

Most Somalis use dollars but poorer people, who cannot access dollars, use tattered Somali shilling notes, which were printed in 1990-91, and a series of fake currencies printed by regions and businesses over the years.

Source:Reuters

 

Ethiopia lauds peaceful transition of power in Somalia

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MUNICH –  Ethiopian minister of Foreign Affairs, Dr. Workneh Gebeyehu, has lauded the recent peaceful transition of power in Somalia.

Addressing the meeting on “Building Security in a post-conflict country: Beyond Guys and Guns in Somalia”, a key side -event at the Munich Security Conference, on Sunday in Germany, Dr. Workneh took note of the recent presidential election in the country.

“The recent electoral process has demonstrated that Somalia has really come of age. It was indeed participatory and competitive election that the country has held in recent years, which culminated with the selection of members of the new bicameral parliament and appointment of the new president of Somalia,” the minister said.

“This is indeed a significant achievement for the people of Somalia and also the international community at large that has invested so much in support of peace and stability in Somalia.”

Dr. Workneh highlighted the need to financially and logistically support the job of completely addressing the challenge from Al-shabaab and consider the concrete proposals by the African Union for the authorization of more troops.

Building the national security apparatus of Somalia and the state institutions as well as that of the regional and local administrative structures from the scratch is a matter of priority as it needs adequate resource and staff with the necessary skill, he emphasized.

The Minister underscored that Ethiopia remains firmly committed to cooperating with people of Somalia and the new President in a bid to see the country stand on its feet and join the community of Horn of Africa nations.

Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General for Somalia and Head of the UN Assistance Mission in Somalia (UNSOM), Michael Keating, for his part noted that Somalia has come a long way from the political, economic and social chaos it finds itself in and conducted a successful election with a peaceful transition of power.

Mr. Keating emphasized the need for the government of Somalia to take ownership of building its national institutions and the security apparatus in order to build the confidence of its people, neighbors and the international community who stood by it for the last two-and-a-half decades.

The US Command Force for Africa, representatives from the EU Naval Force Contributing Countries and members of International Organizations were in attendance of the meeting.

Source: MoFA

Truck Bomb in Somali Capital Kills 30

A shopkeeper surveys the wreckage of shops destroyed by a blast in a market in the capital Mogadishu, Somalia Sunday, Feb. 19, 2017. A Somali police officer says a blast at a busy market in the western part of Somalia's capital tore through shops and food stands and killed more than a dozen people and wounded many others. (AP Photo/Farah Abdi Warsameh)

Somali officials say at least 30 people were killed and dozens others wounded when a massive car bomb exploded in a busy market in the capital Mogadishu on Sunday.

Witnesses said a car laden with explosives targeted a market in Kawo-Goday area in Mogadishu’s Wadajir district.

Security officials told VOA’s Somali service the victims included civilians and government soldiers. Scores of people wounded in the attack have been transported to local hospital.

Director of Madina hospital Mohamed Yusuf told VOA they have received least 32 people wounded in the attack so far.

No one has yet claimed the responsibility for the blast, but officials blamed al-Shabab militants.

Sunday’s attack came hours after al-Shabab denounced Somalia’s new president Mohamed Abdullahi Farmaajo.

A senior leader of the group has vowed to continue fighting the government. In an audio message, Sheikh Hassan Yaqub, a senior commander, called the new president an “apostate” and warned Somalis against supporting him.

Source:VOA

IOM to build hundreds of new shelters for S. Sudanese refugees Ethiopia

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ADDIS ABABA – The International Organization for Migration (IOM) on Friday disclosed that it is building hundreds of transitional shelters for tens of thousands of South Sudanese refugees in Ethiopia.

IOM said it will construct some 900 transitional shelters in the newly built Nguenyyiel camp in Gambella Region which borders South Sudan.

Nguenyyiel camp was opened in September 2016 to accommodate an estimated 4,500 refugees; however, it currently hosts 27,620 refugees who have fled their home country.

Refugee flows from South Sudan to Ethiopia didn’t see a sign of decline due to ongoing fighting and food insecurity.

According to IOM officials, the transitional shelters are a considerable improvement on the basic emergency shelters currently being used by newly arriving refugees in the camp.

The new shelters, which will be built using local techniques and materials, according to IOM official will contribute to managing the continued flow of South Sudanese refugees into Gambella

“The new transitional shelters and the ongoing relocations are vital in our ongoing efforts in managing the inflow of South Sudanese refugees into Gambella in a way that really responds to the needs of refugees,” said Miriam Mutalu, the Head of IOM Ethiopia’s Sub-Office in Gambella.

The construction of the shelters is being carried out in close cooperation with the Administration for Refugee and Returnee Affairs (ARRA) which is UNHCR’s main government counterpart which is maintained to ensure the protection of refugees in Ethiopia.

The construction of the shelters aimed to relocate refugees from the border is being financed by the UK’s Department for International Development

Ethiopia currently shelters some 325,000 South Sudanese refugees in different camps in Gambela region.

The world’s newest nation gained its independence in 2011 but plagued by a civil war in December 2013 after President Salva Kirr accused his former deputy turned rebel leader of a coup plot.

The conflict has forcibly displaced over 2.6 million citizens making the east African nation of the countries that saw the highest level of conflict-induced displacement worldwide.

UNHCR on Thursday said it is fully engaged in coordination mechanisms to mainstream the needs of refugees within humanitarian and national plans.

These coordination mechanisms include the UN Country Team, the Humanitarian Country Team, the Refugee Task Force, and donor, NGO and inter-agency meetings at the national, field and camp levels.

“This has ensured an effective coordination environment in the context of the Level 3 Emergency for South Sudanese refugees as well as the development of a regional response plan for the same situation in 2017,” said the UN refugee agency.

Ethiopia provides protection to refugees from some 20 countries, with the majority originating from South Sudan, Somalia, Eritrea and Sudan.

South Sudanese, Eritreans, Yemenis and Somalis originating from South and Central Somalia are granted automatic refugee status.

While to all other individuals refugee status determination is undertaken by the Government’s Eligibility Committee on which UNHCR sits as an observer.

The Ethiopian Government maintains the policy requiring refugees to reside in refugee camps. However, the Government has also an Out-of Camp-Policy (OCP) which allows certain refugees to reside in the urban areas, primarily Addis Ababa

The out of camp policy benefits refugees in need of special medical attention unavailable in camps; refugees with serious protection concerns or inability to stay in camps for humanitarian reasons and Eritrean Refugees enrolled in OCP.

Currently, a total of 19,977 refugees under the OCP programme reside in the capital Addis Ababa.

Source:ST

PROSECUTORS PRESENT CLIPS OF INTERVIEW AND A PUBLIC SPEECH AS EVIDENCE OF TERRORISM CHARGES AGAINST BEKELE GERBA

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ADDIS ABABA  – After several delays and more than a year in detention, prosecutors have today presented two video clips as evidence against Bekele Gerba, first secretary general of the opposition Oromo Federalist Congress (OFC), who is facing terrorism charges in the file name under Gurmesa Ayano.

Bekele Gerba was charged in April 2016 along with 21 co-defendants including Dejene Fita Geleta, secretary general of OFC with various articles of Ethiopia’s much criticized Anti-Terrorism Proclamation (ATP).

The charges include, but not limited to, alleged membership of the banned Oromo Liberation Front (OLF), public incitement, encouraging violence, as well as causing the death of innocent civilians and property destructions in cities such as Ambo and Adama, 120km west and 100km east of Addis Abeba during the recent Oromo protests in Ethiopia.

In the past prosecutors have presented evidences largely marked by several inconsistencies,including oral testimonials, against all the defendants, but have until today kept postponing that of Bekele Gerba’s. However, no individual has come forth to testify against Bekele, which led prosecutors to present the two video clips to the 4th criminal bench of the federal high court.

One of the two clips presented as evidence is Bekele Gerba’s acclaimed speech as a keynote speaker during the annual conference organized by Oromo Studies Association (OSA) in August 2015. In it, after highlighting the plight of the Oromo, the largest ethnic group who are the basses of his opposition party, OFC, Bekele spoke at large, and pleaded passionately, about the need for nonviolent struggle. It now stands as evidence against him on charges that include ‘inciting violence.’  Bekele spoke at OSA’s event just five months after he was released from jail after serving more than four years for yet another terrorism-related charges. Prosecutors argued the speech was ‘inciting’ in its content. However, when asked by the defense lawyers to explain what OSA stands for, one prosecutor simply answered “no.”

The second evidence presented this morning was Bekele Gerba’s interview with ESAT, a foreign-based radio and television station. The interview was given in Dec. 2015, during the peak of the#OromoProtests that began in Nov. 2015 and lasted for almost a year. Prosecutors claimed the interview was related to the anti-government protests that gripped almost the entire parts of the Oromia regional state, the largest regional states in a federated Ethiopia.

The court adjourned the next hearing on Monday, Feb. 20th, during which prosecutors said they will present a third video clip of an interview Bekele gave to OMN, another foreign-based television station with a large viewership constituency among the Oromos in Ethiopia.

Prosecutors have also said they would present a fourth video clip as evidence against two defendants, Abdeta Negassa and Beyene Rudaa. Many of the 22 defendants in the same file are members of the opposition OFC.

Source:AS

Suffragette’s historian son Richard Pankhurst dies, Ethiopia mourns

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ADDIS ABABA – Richard Pankhurst, the son of the British women’s rights campaigner Sylvia Pankhurst who became one of the world’s leading experts on Ethiopian history and culture, has died aged 89.

He first came into contact with Ethiopia through his mother, a ‘suffragette’ who also campaigned against the invasion of the Horn of Africa nation by Benito Mussolini’s fascist Italian troops in 1935.

He moved to Addis Ababa with her after World War Two and started teaching at Addis Ababa University, going on to write more than 20 books and thousands of articles.

He also inherited an activist streak from his mother and his grandmother, Emmeline Pankhurst, founder of the suffragette movement, which helped secure the right for British women to vote.

Richard campaigned with his wife Rita for the return of piles of plunder taken from Ethiopia by invading British troops in 1868, and of a giant obelisk taken from the ancient city of Axum by Mussolini’s forces. Both were there in Axum to watch as Italy returned the obelisk in 2005.

The British Embassy said Pankhurst had died on Thursday,

Ethiopia’s Foreign Ministry called him a “doyen of historians and scholars of Ethiopia”.

“Pankhurst was one of Ethiopia’s greatest friends during his long and productive life, and his scholarship and understanding for Ethiopia will be sorely missed,” it said in a statement.

Author and photographer Maaza Mengiste told BBC Africa: “I’ve discovered things about my country, just sometimes stumbling upon something that he’s written … a whole other window opens for me on how I understand my own history.”

One Ethiopian, Wondwosen Gelan, tweeted simply: “He was our history archive. We miss him so much.

Source:Reuters

 

South Sudan general resigns ministerial post, defects to rebels

South Sudan's President Salva Kiir addresses delegates during the swearing-in ceremony of First Vice President Taban Deng Gai at the Presidential Palace in the capital of Juba, South Sudan, July 26, 2016. REUTERS/Jok Solomun

JUBA  – A South Sudanese minister has defected to the rebels, according to a letter seen by Reuters on Friday, becoming the second high-level resignation this week in the war-ravaged nation.

Lieutenant General Gabriel Duop Nam, the minister of Labour, sent a one-page letter saying he would join the rebellion of former vice president Riek Machar.

“I reaffirm my full allegiance and commitment to the … wise leadership of H.E. Dr. Riek Machar,” he wrote.

Two rebel spokesmen confirmed the authenticity of the letter to Reuters. The government spokesman declined to comment.

Oil-rich South Sudan, the world’s youngest nation, was plunged into civil war in 2013 after President Salva Kiir, an ethnic Dinka, fired Machar, his deputy and an ethnic Nuer.

The fighting that followed has increasingly followed ethnic lines, and in December the United nations warned that it was setting the stage for genocide. More than three million of the country’s 11 million citizens have been forced to flee their homes.

Lieutenant General Thomas Cirillo Swaka, the well-respected deputy head of logistics, resigned from the military six days ago but did not say he was joining the rebels.

He cited massive human rights abuses by the military and rampant ethnic favouritism, charging that Kiir was filling key posts in the security forces with Dinka from his home area.

Many human rights groups have reported on that the military has looted, raped and killed civilians.

Days after Swaka resigned, the government released a statement saying he had been implicated in a corruption investigation and had fled to avoid justice.

Source:Reuters

 

Ethiopia’s FM in Germany to attend Munich Security Conference

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MUNICH – Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ethiopia, Dr. Workneh Gebeyehu, has arrived in Munich-Germany to attend the 53rd Munich Security Conference (MSC), which is scheduled for February 17 to 19, 2017.

Just ahead of the 53rd edition of the Munich Security Conference which opens on Thursday, the Munich Security Conference Foundation released the third edition of its annual report on key issues in international security.

“The international security order today is probably more volatile than at any other point after the end of World War II.” With these words, Ambassador Wolfgang Ischinger, chairman of the Munich Security Conference, welcomed the about 300 guests of the traditional MSC Kick-off event at the Bavarian Representation in Berlin on February 13, 2017.

Ischinger gave a first overview of the topics of the upcoming Munich Security Conference and presented the new Munich Security Report. Entitled “Post-Truth, Post-West, Post-Order?”, the report compiles a variety of analyses, data, statistics, infographics, and maps on major developments and challenges in international security. Ischinger’s summary: “The West is shaken to its very foundations.”

Among the key topics of this year’s MSC 2017 are Cyber, Health, Energy and Climate Security issues, Terrorism and Extremism, the war in Syria and the future of the European Security Order.

European and Global Cooperation as well as Global Order are also among issues on the agenda.

A selection of Official partner events will take place on the sideline of the Conference on which issues of fighting the root causes of Migration and Economic Cooperation as a new Deal for Africa will be addressed on a panel discussion by German-Africa Business Association

There will also be Discussion on ‘Building Security in Post-Conflict Country: Beyond ‘Guys and Guns ‘in Somalia hosted by the United Nations.

MSC is an independent forum dedicated to promoting peaceful conflict resolution and international cooperation and dialogue in dealing with today’s and future security challenges.

Over the past five decades, the Munich Security Conference (MSC) has become the major global forum for the discussion of security policy.

Each February, it brings together more than 450 senior decision-makers from around the world, including heads-of-state, ministers, leading personalities of international and non-governmental organizations, as well as high ranking representatives of industry, media, academia, and civil society, to engage in an intensive debate on current and future security challenges.

In addition to its annual flagship conference, the MSC regularly convenes high-profile events on particular topics and regions and publishes the Munich Security Report.

Source: MoFA

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