የኢትዮጵያ ሰብዓዊ መብቶች ኮሚሽንና በሰብዓዊ መብቶች መስክ የሚሠሩ የሲቪል ማኅረሰብ ድርጅቶች ኅዳር 30/2012 በጋራ የሠጡት መግለጫ

12 Dec

Posted by The Ethiopia Observatory (TEO)

ከኮሚሽነር ዳኒኤል በቀለ ፌስቡክ

የተባበሩት መንግስታት ድርጅት ጠቅላላ ጉባኤ እኤአ ዲሴምበር 8 ቀን 1948 ሁሉ አቀፍ የሰብዓዊ መብቶች ድንጋጌ (Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) ማጽደቁ ይታወሳል፡፡

ሰብዓዊ መብቶችን በሚመለከት በዓለም ዓቀፍ ደረጃ እንደመለኪያ የሚያገለግለው ይህ ሠነድ፣ የሰው ልጆችን የማይገሰስ ክብር ዕውቅና የሠጠ ሲሆን እነዚህም መብቶች ለዓለም ፍትህ፣ ነጻነትና ሠላም መሠረቶች ሆነው በማገልገል ላይ ይገኛሉ፡፡

በሁሉ አቀፍ የሰብዓዊ መብቶች ድንጋጌ አንቀጽ 2 ላይ ማንም ሰው በዘር፣ በሃይማኖት፣ ጾታ፣ ቀለም፣ ቋንቋ፣ እምነት፣ ፖለቲካዊ አቋም፣ ማህበራዊ መነሻ፣ ዜግነት ወይም ሌላ ማናቸውም ምክንያት ያለምንም ልዩነት ሁሉንም መብቶችና ነጻነቶች የተጎናጸፈ መሆኑንም ዕውቅና ይሠጣል፡፡

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Ethiopia, the scourge of ‘hate speech’ & American social media

10 Dec

Posted by The Ethiopia Observatory (TEO)

by David Kaye*

While Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed is in Stockholm to receive the Nobel Peace Prize, you might think that the people of Ethiopia would be abuzz with conversation and pride about this achievement. After all, Abiy has done something most thought inconceivable just a couple of years ago: initiated peace with Eritrea and, more important for day-to-day life in Ethiopia, ended the dark repression of the past quarter century.

Yet the buzz is elsewhere, the air full of talk of reform — and the threats to it. During a week-long mission to Ethiopia, I found that, at the top of everyone’s list of concerns is social media’s growing power and dissemination of hate speech and disinformation.

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UN expert urges Ethiopia to stop shutting down internet

9 Dec

Posted by The Ethiopia Observatory (TEO)

by Elias Meseret, APress correspondent

ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia (AP) — A United Nations expert on the freedom of expression said he has urged Ethiopian officials to stop shutting down the internet.

David Kaye, the U.N.’s special rapporteur on the right to freedom of opinion and expression, told reporters in Ethiopia’s capital, Addis Ababa, that he is concerned with the frequent internet shutdowns carried out by the government.

“I’ve also experienced an internet shut down here in Ethiopia in the past week,” he said, referring to a brief shutdown on Dec. 5 that Ethiopian officials said was to stop a cyber-attack targeting the country’s financial institutions.

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UN Special Rapporteur David Kaye on the right to freedom of opinion & expression: End of Ethiopia mission statement

9 Dec

Posted by The Ethiopia Observatory (TEO)

From 2 to 9 December, at the invitation of the Government, I conducted the first mission to Ethiopia by a mandate-holder of the United Nations (UN) Special Procedures since 2006. Throughout the mission, in which I evaluated the situation of freedom of opinion and expression in the country today, I met with Government officials, members of Parliament and the Judiciary, human rights defenders and academics in civil society, journalists, students and other participants in the rapid legal, institutional and political change taking place in Ethiopia today. At the end of a productive and illuminating visit, for which the Government offered considerable support and facilitation, and for which I offer my gratitude, I express my hope that this is the first of a long list of such visits, by my mandate and other UN experts reporting to the Human Rights Council. I supply further details and background at the conclusion of this statement.

 

I.  Introduction

 

Ethiopia is a vast and diverse country marked by the excitement, uncertainty and, in some quarters, fear of what one close observer called “tectonic” shifts in the institutional, legal and political environments. Beginning in April 2018, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed ended the state of emergency, released journalists, activists and opposition figures from prison, legalized civil society organizations, and halted rampant government censorship. His Government continued with the launch of a formal process of legal and institutional reform, introducing a public participatory process of legislative drafting and advice that should be a model for democratic processes worldwide. Applying this model, Ethiopia has adopted a progressive law on civil society organizations and is in the process of considering other laws related to media and access to information, counter-terrorism, and computer crime. In May, Addis Ababa played host to World Press Freedom Day, unthinkable just a year earlier.

Nothing should take away from the progress, promise, and boldness of this transformation, as long as the Government invests in it the commitment and momentum of its early days. The world community should support it where it can and, where appropriate, with robust diplomatic and financial contributions. While everyone involved should recognize that there may be bumps along the road to reform, there can be no turning back to the era of repression that ruled Ethiopia for over a quarter century.

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Government debt, not a free lunch

9 Dec

Posted by The Ethiopia Observatory (TEO)

by Kenneth Rogoff*

With borrowing costs at multi-decade lows, governments seemingly can take on much more debt without any great concern about long-term consequences. But the real risks and costs of higher public borrowing may be hidden.

CAMBRIDGE – With interest rates on government debt at multi-decade lows, a number of leading economists have argued that almost every advanced economy can allow debt to drift up toward Japanese levels (over 150% of GDP even by the most conservative measure) without any great concern about long-term consequences. Advocates of much higher debt might be right, but they tend to downplay or ignore everything that can go wrong.

First and foremost, the new view of debt understates the risks to other claimants on public tax revenues – such as pensioners, who might be thought of as junior debt holders in the twenty-first-century welfare state. After all, most social-security systems are debt-like in the sense that the government takes money from you now, and promises to pay it back with interest when you are old. And for governments, this “junior” debt is massive relative to the “senior” market debt that sits atop it.

Indeed, governments in OECD countries are currently paying out an average of 8% of GDP in old-age pensions, and a staggering 16% in the case of Italy and Greece. Actuarially, future taxes earmarked for paying pensions swamp future taxes earmarked for paying debt by a significant multiple, although many governments have been trying to adjust pensions downward gradually, as Europe did during the financial crisis, and Mexico and Brazil have done under duress more recently. Unfortunately, slow growth and aging populations mean much remains to be done.1

Thus, even if it seems that governments can take on much more debt without having to pay significantly higher market interest, the real risks and costs may be hidden. Economists Alan Auerbach and Laurence Kotlikoff made a similar point in an influential series of papers back in the 1990s.

Second, and perhaps even more critically, the current complacency regarding much higher debt implicitly assumes that the next crisis will look just like the last one in 2008, when interest rates on government debt collapsed. But history suggests that this is a dangerous assumption. For example, the next wave of crises could easily stem from a sudden realization that climate change is accelerating much faster than previously thought, requiring governments simultaneously to stall the capitalist engine and spend vast sums on preventive measures and remediation, not to mention dealing with climate refugees. And the next global conflagration could be a cyber war, with unknown ramifications for growth and interest rates.

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National Bank of Ethiopia (NBE) repeals controversial bond bil. How could it impact nation’s inflation rate & the market?

9 Dec

Posted by The Ethiopia Observatory (TEO)

 

Macroeconomist Eyob Tesfaye:

“This relief has high importance, because the banks have been on liquidity constraint that was pushing them for unnecessary competition, while their lending capacity will also be improved.” 

 

After promising they would do so for a year, the National Bank of Ethiopia (NBE) has now repealed the controversial bill imposed on private banks, requiring them to buy 27 percent of bonds for every loan they disburse.

The ‘MFA/ NBEBILLS/001/2011’ directive introduced in April 2011 forced banks to buy billions of birr worth of bonds from the central bank. The government took this action as a way of mobilizing resources for government targeted investment activities and these funds are administered by the Development Bank of Ethiopia, the state owned policy bank.

The directive mandated that all banks except the Commercial Bank of Ethiopia and Development Bank of Ethiopia, both which are state owned, buy 27 percent of NBE bills for every loan disbursement at a five percent interest rate with a five-year maturity period.

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ለማ በገበያ — በተመስገን ደሣለኝ

7 Dec

Posted by The Ethiopia Observatory (TEO)

 

 

 

Ethiopia needs all the help it could garner, including by visiting UN Special Rapporteur to ensure respect for human rights sticks in a nation that has been through a lot!

7 Dec

By Keffyalew Gebremedhin The Ethiopia Observatory (TEO)

Backgrounder

Ethiopians have not as yet officially heard of David Kaye’s assessment of the human rights situation in Ethiopia. I guess he still happens to be in the country, having arrived in Addis Abeba on Monday December 2, 2019.

I know he still is in Ethiopia, as we have not learned from the media about his mission culminating in an exit meeting with the nation’s prime minister, as is the tradition.

Otherwise, a quiet exit may emit a different message, an ominous sign Ethiopia’s ugly past of habitual refusal of cooperation with the UN Special Procedures mechanism having made a quiet comeback. Human Rights Watch once described this state of affairs with the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) as a “history of [Ethiopia’s] non-cooperation…with UN special mechanisms…” It is only in 2006, Ethiopia was compelled to accept the UN special rapporteur on Eritrea.

Therefore, the present non-meeting with special rapporteur with the highest level of the ruling Oromo Democratic Party (ODP) government may come as a confirmation that past negative habit is alive and well and is still kicking. 

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