Archive | August, 2011

AU stands on slippery path on recognition of Libya’s TNC

29 Aug

By Keffyalew Gebremedhin

The UN wants to be everything to its influential members and main financiers on Libya. To others, it shows smiles that do not seem to help it now. Of late, the fact that regional organizations are increasingly becoming afterthoughts is a problem in its own right, as we see it at this very moment. I think Ivory Coast a few months ago and Libya now demonstrate that the cooperation agreement between the UN and the African Union (AU) has totally collapsed and is in serious need of repairs.
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IMF report chiding Meles’s economic & financial polices not to see light of day

29 Aug

By Keffyalew Gebremedhin

The latest IMF report, synthesized after a staff mission visited Ethiopia from 18-30 May 2011, strongly underlines that Ethiopia’s macroeconomic performance “has deteriorated markedly”, according to the Ethiopian Reporter (Amharic) of 28 August 2011. What makes the mission’s observations tough for the government to swallow this time is not mainly what it said—since we already have an idea of the mission’s expressed concerns from the May 31 IMF Press Release no. 11/207. It is rather how the report said it, according to the weekly paper.
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Part II. Meles says no land grab in Ethiopia—Not today, not tomorrow!

23 Aug

By Keffyalew Gebremedhin

Allegations of land grabbing persist, despite vigorous denials

Part I of this article dealt with the landgrab issue in Ethiopia in the context of displacements of local people, mainly in Western Ethiopia. It also discussed Indian concerns about the future security of their investments in agriculture in Ethiopia, as repeatedly expressed by Vickram Bahl, Editor-in-Chief of India’s ITMN television.
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PART III. Meles says no land grab in Ethiopia—Not today, not tomorrow!

23 Aug

By Keffyalew Gebremedhin

Dispossessing and displacing people to settle them down

Last March, when the Guardian’s environment editor John Vidal returned from Gambela after documenting the destruction that has befallen the population there, he saw State Minister of Agriculture Wondirad Mandefro and confronted him with the facts. The state minister’s first reaction was a scoff followed up by denial, saying not a single person was moved. When the journalist persisted that he had seen “evidences of many displaced, worried and frightened people”, the vice minister simply said, “…It is their choice…Either to choose to have these basic services come to the villages…it is based on their willingness. But of course, they have to abandon their previous ways of life. [Otherwise] you cannot provide any basic services to the community.”
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Meles returns from China with fistful of dollars: No time to worry about debts!

16 Aug

By Keffyalew Gebremedhin

Prime Minister Meles Zenawi was one of the high-level guests of the Chinese government at the opening of the 26th Summer Universiade in Shenzhen, China. The competition would run through 23 August, although it is not known how long the premier would stay in China. Universiade is sports competition, organized every other year by the International University Federation, ever since its first game in 1959 in Turin, Italy, where it adopted its name as Universaide from the Italian.
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Ethiopia ready to engage Egypt & Sudan in talks on Renaissance Dam, ToR sent to both lower riparians 

12 Aug

The story here is attributable to Capital, an Ethiopian English language weekly, http://www.capitalethiopia.com, entitled Ethiopia prepares tripartite talks on renaissance dam .

What is not clear here is whatever happened to the original environmental impact assessment Ethiopian officials in April indicated they had already undertaken. In this story, there is reference to the National Coordination Council for the Construction of the Renaissance Dam approving or re-approving, as the case might be, the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) “report conducted by an independent experts’ panel.” It is not clear, if this is a new study,or whether update of the old one.

Unfortunately, this story, beside reporting on Ethiopia’s readiness now to engage the other two lower riparian states, the story also does not give any indication, if there has been any preliminary tripartie talks ever since the visit to Ethiopia of Prime Minister Essam Sharaf last May.
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The world economy: déjà vu all over again 

11 Aug

By Keffyalew Gebremedhin

Meles goes to China

There is no better evidence for the fear that has hit the global market this whole week than the price of gold on Wednesday. At the time of this writing, it was hovering around the $1,800 per ounce for the first time. At Wall Street’s close on Wednesday, the Dow Jones plummeted 521 points, a 4 percent nosedive, leaving investors and dealers to wonder in their helplessness whether the bottom has been reached given the precipitous declines of the last five days and several hundreds of billions of dollars lost, if not trillions.
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