Tag Archives: Abiy Ahmed

Ethiopia-Eritrea peace:             Hopes & some future concerns

1 Aug

Posted by The Ethiopia Observatory (TEO)

by Yohannes Zerai, Eritrean Opposition Movement: The Political Imperative of Self-Renewal

Recent political developments in Ethiopia seem to have generated internal dynamics that promise to fundamentally alter the political landscape in the country and perhaps even in the region. The emergence in April of Ethiopia’s newly elected prime minister, Dr. Abiy Ahmed has potentially opened the way for unprecedented social and political change and appears to have already set the country’s progress on a new trajectory. In assuming state responsibilities and addressing national issues, the new leader hit the ground running and pushed his fledgling administration to introduce hitherto unimagined political and economic reforms at a speed that Ethiopians and outsiders alike find breathtaking. The consistent message of respect, tolerance, reconciliation, love, and peace he articulates is palpably altering the mood of his nation although it remains to be seen if his future policies and decisions will be strictly guided by those ideals.

The boldness of his domestic initiatives has been mirrored in his handling of the country’s foreign affairs. In quick succession, the prime minister paid state visits to each of the IGAD countries (except Eritrea), Egypt and the Middle Eastern powers of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. The visits were reportedly aimed at expressing Ethiopia’s interest in closer bilateral relations so essential for fostering development cooperation and economic integration among countries in the region. Ethiopia’s new strategy towards Eritrea, with whom it was in a state of war for two decades, was a peace offer entailing unconditional acceptance of the terms of the Algiers Agreement and the UN Boundary Commission ruling along with a commitment to full implementation of the latter.

The process of rapprochement set in motion by that initiative has since been reinforced by a series of diplomatic moves: Eritrea dispatched a delegation to Addis Ababa, the Ethiopian leader visited Asmara and his Eritrean counterpart reciprocated the action – all in the short span of barely a month. It has now begun yielding concrete results as heralded by the 5-point Declaration of Peace and Friendship the two leaders signed in Asmara.

The fast pace at which events continue to unfold has sent at least the urban populations and the mass media in both countries into an unprecedented frenzy. Hence, until the dust settles and public mood sobers up, it would not be easy to guess how things may evolve in the near-term much less to predict what may transpire in the middle- and long-term. Consequently, this article presents just general observations regarding (i) public reaction to the reconciliation between the two countries and (ii) what this turn of events means to Eritrea’s democracy movement.

Public Reaction to Ethiopia-Eritrea Rapprochement

Mass-media accounts of the peace initiative indicate that public reaction in Ethiopia has been somewhat mixed. Some who never accepted Eritrean independence have enthusiastically supported the peace deal because they see it as providing a chance for eventually incorporating the port of Assab, if not Eritrea itself, into Ethiopian territory. Another section of the population – mostly Tigrayans – are opposed to the deal because they fiercely reject the possibility of ceding territories even those that the EEBC identified as Eritrean. The majority, however, are known to support the initiative because of its potential to bring the socio-economic dividends of peace that they yearn for.

Similarly, Eritrea’s diaspora population have been polarized in their reaction. Supporters were as uncritical of the regime’s delay in responding to the peace offer as they were supportive of its eventual decision to go overboard in its conciliation with Ethiopia. In contrast, the opposition was quick to show enthusiasm for Ethiopia’s declaration and to lavish praise on its prime minister while viciously attacking Eritrea’s leader. Citing his arrogance, authoritarian tendencies, and confrontational approach, many prematurely asserted that the leader will do everything possible to scuttle prospects for reconciliation and derail the initiative.

But when the strongman finally acted, his response caught everyone by surprise and threatened to turn the political tables. His sudden, all-out move for conciliation – symbolized by sending a delegation to Addis Ababa – and his emissaries’ cozying up and capitulation to an erstwhile foe may well prove to be a turning point in Eritrea’s politics of despotism. Some opposition elements are reported to have since softened their stance under the fake rationale that the regime has now begun addressing issues. On the other hand, the regime’s newfound priority of ensuring a “stable Ethiopia” over demarcating the border has infuriated some of its traditional supporters.

The complexities and requirements of border demarcation also were the subject of intense public discussion. Opposition media outlets disseminated information in the form of articles, comments, interviews, panel discussions, etc. that dealt with these issues and which drew from party representatives, activists, analysts and ordinary individuals. Many contributors offered well-informed and considered opinions that impart knowledge, provide insight into past and present realities and hint at prospects. The inputs of some others relied on wild guesses, exaggerations, and biases to push outrageous claims and outlandish predictions all laced with hatred for Isaias. Still, a few others advanced opinions that were remarkable for their haste and callousness and notable for the intellectual impairment they displayed.

The State of  Eritrean Opposition: A Movement at a Crossroads

The rapid end to the long-standing Ethio-Eritrea hostility has not only exposed the sorry state of the Eritrean opposition but has presented its constituent groups both an opportunity for an honest self-assessment and a challenge to justify their existence.

  1. A. In Search of Consensus: Opposition views on the peace initiative are generally random in nature and bear little or no commonality in underlying political principles. One is thus unable to discern any common thread(s) or coalescence of views that can be identified as consensus or majority opinion of one or more political groups. Even statements that leaders of political groups issued on the subject are, in tone and substance, neither authoritative nor representative. They simply reflect the views of the leaders themselves and perhaps a handful of colleagues that make up the group – not those of a mass following which they, of course, never had!If the movement is to gain momentum, its constituent groups must articulate their vision for the country, expound their strategies and programs for realizing it and mobilize Eritreans in the diaspora and, to the extent possible, inside the country. The aim should be to build a broad-based popular support evidenced by a registered membership large enough to win recognition and assistance from external political forces.
  2. Ending Intolerance and Division: The movement for democratic change has been a victim of the political climate of division, intolerance, and hostility that the PFDJ promoted. But, it has also done its share of exacerbating the resulting chaos by engaging in internecine fighting internally and with adversaries. In the process, it developed into an inward-looking, closed political camp that has continued to drift into isolation, stagnation, and fragmentation.It is high time that opposition groups came out of their present seclusion by tearing down barriers of suspicion and animus that the despotic regime has erected among the population in order to weaken the opposition. Pro-change groups must believe in the power of ideas and challenge each other intellectually. Their members should shun politics of hatred, engage regime supporters in discussions/debates and attend their social and political events. They should employ the art of negotiation and give-and-take to narrow differences with allies and adversaries and perhaps even to win some of the latter over to the movement. To do these, however, groups and their membership must first break out of the mold and cultivate civility and a more embracing attitude.
  3. Resetting Strategies: Public political discourse reveals that many in the opposition blame the country’s woes on Isaias Afewerki, not on the political system he presides over. They express indignation at his cruel, repugnant decisions and actions of the past, not the ideology, policy and strategy that made them possible. In short, many seem to labor endlessly to demonize the dictator. But they must understand the futility of trying to demonize a demon! Isaias Afewerki has long come to symbolize cruelty, despotism, belligerence and deception in the eyes of his own people, the region and the international community that has been relentless in its efforts to contain and isolate him.Opposition forces should instead focus their efforts on gaining insight into the dictator’s political thinking, his strategizing and political planning by co-opting insiders in his regime, luring PFDJ’s agents and activists abroad, networking with the diplomatic community in host countries and other creative ways. Placing themselves ahead of the political game in this way would enable the opposition to counter/challenge/circumvent the regime’s moves and actions more effectively.

The outlook for the Future

Ethiopia’s new prime minister has been doing great things for his country showcased by the impressive political and economic reforms that he introduced early in his tenure. Indeed, he must be applauded for what he has been able to achieve thus far and for his efforts to bring peace to the region. Despite these positive impressions, however, it is difficult to guess what Dr. Abiy’s ultimate goal really is, what kind of a leader he will eventually evolve into and how his country will fare in the months and years ahead.

The peoples of Eritrea and Ethiopia and, indeed, of the wider region have long yearned for peace. A bilateral or multilateral “peace project” that is fair, just and equitable in its formulation and implementation – hence, is capable of bringing to the regional stability and prosperity – would be embraced by all. It is inescapably obvious, however, that there exist forces poised to exploit this rare opportunity for genuine peace to achieve their abominable goals.

In this regard, it is imperative that our overexcited Ethiopian friends understand that the road to Eritrea’s future does not pass through Addis Ababa. That road is destined to be laid, as it had in the past, only by the Eritrean people through blood, sweat, and tears!  Likewise, those “Eritreans” who hallucinate about bringing back to life a “cadaver of a notion” about Eritrea’s future, must be helped to see reality: their cheerleading for “Abiy” in the hope of having their dream realized is as delusional as was the now-expired wish of bringing change to Eritrea by “riding Weyane tanks to Asmara”!

Denial of democracy in Eritrea is a problem that has hampered national progress, but recent political developments in the region have lately elevated it to the level of existential threat. The dawn of peace in Ethio-Eritrea relations is, in and of itself, capable neither of removing the threat nor of instituting democracy in the country. Such outcomes will be achieved only through a popular political struggle waged by Eritreans themselves. To do so, elements of the movement for change must undertake a critical appraisal of their organization, strategy, and performance as a basis for self-renewal and transformation into a more effective movement. They should then carry the struggle forward unphased by the turbulent forces at play in the Horn and cutting through the political cross-currents that muddy the region’s waters. The forces of change should stay on course guided by the beacon of hope that the vision of justice and democracy sustains.

/ Awate.com

 

Shukshukta (ሹክሹክታ) – ሞሳድ ዶ/ር ዐብይ ሊገደሉ ይችላሉ አለ ይባላል!

22 Jul

Posted by The Ethiopia Observatory (TEO)

 

Masses of Ethiopians stand by Abiy Ahmed to shield him from TPLF-instigated assassination attempts! These ‘gogmangogs’  must think of the consequences of their cowardly actions!

 

ኢትዮጵያ/ኤርትራ በጤናማ ግንኙነት ጎዳና: አየር መንገድ በረራውን ነገ ይጀምራል! የአሰብ ወደብን ለመጠቀም ፈጣን እንቅስቃሴ እየተደረገ ነው

17 Jul

Posted by The Ethiopia Observatory (TEO)

የኢፌዲሪ ጠቅላይ ሚኒስትር ዶ/ር ዐብይ አሕመድ በኤርትራ ጉብኝት ማድረጋቸውን ተከትሎ የተፈረመው የሠላምና የወዳጅነት የጋራ መግለጫ በተፋጠነ ሁኔታ እየተፈፀመ መሆኑን የውጭ ጉዳይ ሚኒስቴር ቃል አቀባይ አቶ መለስ ዓለም ገልጸዋል፡፡

አቶ መለስ ዛሬ በሰጡት መገለጫ የኢትዮጵያ አየር መንገድ ወደ አስመራ ከሁለት አስርት ዓመታት በኃላ የመጀመሪያውን በረራ በነገው ዕለት ሐምሌ 11/2010 ዓ.ም እንደሚጀምር፤ 465 ተጓዦች ወደ አስመራ እንደሚጓዙ አስታውቀዋል።

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የኢትዮጵያ አየር መንገድ ወደ አሥመራ መብረር ሲጀመር ኤርትራ ከ115 ዓለም አቀፍ የመዳረሻ ጣቢያዎች ጋር ትገናኛለች፤ ምቹ የአየር ግንኙነት መፈጠሩም ለሁለቱም ሀገሮች ኢንቨስተሮችን ለመሳብ እና የቱርስቶች ፍሰት እንዲጨምር ያደርጋል ሲሉ አቶ መለስ በመግለጫቸው ተናግረዋል።

Assab Port (Fana foto)

የአሰብ ወደብ አገልግሎት በአፋጣኝ የሚጀመሩበት ሁኔታ እንዲመቻች የሁለቱ አገራት መሪዎች መመሪያ መስጠታቸውንና በዚህም መሰረት የትራንስፓርት ሚኒስቴር፣ የኢትዮጵያ የማሪታይም አገልግሎት ባለስልጣን እና የኢትዮጵያ የባህር ትራንስፖርት ሎጂስቲክ አገሎግሎት ድርጅት እና ሌሎች አካላት ያሉበት ግብረሀይል ተቋቁሞ ዝግጅት እየተደረገ መሆኑን አቶ መለስ በመግለጫቸው ተናግረዋል።

በኢትዮጵያና ኤርትራ የድንበር አከባቢዎች በተለይም በትግራይና አፋር ክልሎች የሕዝብ ለሕዝብ ግንኙነት እንዲኖር ሁለቱም አገሮች እየሰሩ እንድሚገኙም ተገልጿል፡፡

ከኮምኒኬሽን አንፃር በሁለቱ ሀገራት ተቋርጦ የነበረው የስልክ አገልግሎት ተጀምሯል፤ የተቋረጠውን ዝምድና መጠገን ተችሏል፤ የልዩነት ግንብ ፈርሶ የወዳጅነት ድልድይ ተሰርቷል፤ ሁለቱም አንድ ህዝቦች ሆነዋል ብለዋል፡፡

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በዲፕሎማሲው በኩል ግንኙነቱን ቀድሞ ወደ ነበረበት የመመለስ (Normalization) አስመልክቶ የኤርትራ ኤምባሲ አዲስ አበባ ውስጥ ተከፍቷል፤ የኢትዮጵያ ኤምባሲም አስመራ ለመክፈት እየተሰራ መሆኑን የ ቃል አቀባይ ገልፀዋል፡፡

በኢትዮጵያ እና ኤርትራ መሀል ከሁለት አስርት አመታት በላይ ያስቆጠረ የዕልቂትና የፅልመት ታሪክ ለመለወጥ በመሪዎቻችን በኩል ድፍረት የተሞላበት ቁርጠኛ ውሳኔ በማሳለፋቸው ዓለም አድናቆቱን እየገለፀ መሆኑንም አቶ መለስ በመግለጫቸው ተናግረዋል።

የአዲስ ሙላት “ሃገሬን!”—”…ሲነዳን ኖሮ ስንት እንከፍ ጋሬጣ፣ይገዛኛል ያልኩት አባት ወንድም ሆኖኝ መጣ”

27 Jun

Posted by The Ethiopia Observatory (TEO)

የሞሪንጋን ቅጠል የተከልኩት በእጄ
የሽፈራውን ቅጠል የተከልኵት በእጄ
ጤናዪን ከነሣኝ ልንቀለው ከደጄ!…

 

ጳጳስ ካልጠፋ በሃገር በቤቱ
ስብሃት እያሉ ምነው የማይፈቱ?

 

በፍቅር ተጋግዘው ካልደገፉት በቀር
ትንሽ ጎጆ አይቆምም እንኳን ትልቅ ሃገር

 

አምናም ጾመን ነበር
ካቻምናም እንደዚያው
ዘንድሮስ ፈሠግን የምንፈታው በዛ…

 

 

The devil dead in Ethiopia, at last?   Eritrea to send peace mission to Ethiopia for talks with Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s government

20 Jun

By Keffyalew Gebremedhin, The Ethiopia Observatory (TEO)

It is no surprise that since June 18, 2018, the famous quote by the English novelist Charles Reade: “Courage, mon ami, le diable est mort! (Take courage, my friend, the devil is dead!) has been on my mind.

After listening to Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed that day in parliament, his pledge to institute the rule of law —”Presumption of innocence until proven guilty”—  for the first time ever in my life has made me trust our nation’s leader and as such identify myself with him. Thus, the pinned message on my twitter page now essentially reads: ABIY AHMED OUR PRIME MINISTER in the context of rule of law!

In response to Ethiopia’s acceptance of in its June 8, 2018 statement of the December 12, 2000 Algiers Agreement without any precondition, Eritrea too has today broken its silence and has expressed interest in sending a delegation to Addis Ababa for the necessary peace talks.

On account of what Abiy has demonstrated to date, more particularly inside the TPLF parliament last Monday, Eritrea seems convinced its infamous foe, the ‘clogger’ of peace to date now belongs to Ethiopia and Eritrea’s past. By the will of the Ethiopian people, the TPLF regime is very likely out of commission. However, there can be no certainty it would not try its usual mischiefs, as it has already been trying to fan ethnic tensions and conflicts. However, the prevalent mood in the country is, as stated in my response to similar concern Tuesday, the risks are more for the TPLF as well as the responsibilities for the consequent conflagration, leading to its final termination!

Eritrea responds to Ethiopia’s peace overture

The TPLF’s information outlet secured this Eritrean information from a tweet by Ato Estifanos Afeworki, Eritrea’s envoy to Japan, who revealed: 

A translation of President Isaias’ statement, as presented by The Washington Post reads:

“We will send a delegation to Addis Ababa to gauge current developments directly and in depth as well as to chart out a plan for continuous future action…The Eritrean people, but also the Ethiopian people, have lost an opportunity of two generations for over half a century”.

Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed has responded positively, according to the Post, expressing “his readiness to welcome warmly and with considerable goodwill the Eritrean delegation.”We have heard in the past, the evidence for Eritrea of Addis Abeba’s acceptance has been Ethiopian troops withdrawal from Badme. Now, I feel, there may have been quiet contacts between Addis Abeba and Asmara for some time to return to status quo ante 1998.

I strongly feel that this Eritrean positive response comes after Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed has exorcised in public in parliament on June 18, 2018 the 20 year-old demon that has locked Ethiopia and Eritrea into a permanent state of conflict. Abiy seemed to level the fault for this on the TPLF. He accused the Front of squandering a poor nation’s resources, as if acquiring the latest sophisticated ground and air warfare weapons could secure peace. It only proved a hindrance to peace, while it was too much, costly and burdensome for a country of 105 million population against a nation of 5.2 million. 

It is the case, I presume, possibly the prime minister’s first extensive reporting to parliament on the overall Ethiopian situation, with emphasis on the importance of sustainable peace with Eritrea that must have helped sway Eritrea to end its wait and see attitude.

I learn from my senses and close friend’s reactions to Monday’s development, i.e., Abiy’s vision, his logic, transparent approach, seriousness and the courage of his profound conviction have done the magic, gripping Ethiopians at home and abroad, possibly infecting Eritreans too.

Abiy’s “መደመር” Gospel

The sense amongst the majority of Ethiopians today is optimism, at last finally better days are coming. On the other hand, before our eyes, the TPLF has taken humiliating beatings with the truth and revelation of its injustices against our citizens and the nation. Therefore, for almost everyone the awareness of the possibilities of becoming one and whole again for real.

Equally important are the lessons from the past that remain valid: this wholeness must be constructed on the solidity of mutual respect, equality, freedom, rule of law and respecting the dignity of each and every Ethiopian, fully restored where infringed and wholeness within every citizen’s reach

Instrumental for the prime minister in doing his ‘healing’ is his now popular approach “መደመር”! It literally means, to be added, in the sense of readiness to pull together.

The prime minister believes his “መደመር” ensures sustainable peace, beat poverty and facilitate true development of Ethiopia, or a group of nations working together toward the same goal of changing the lives of their citizens.

This መደመር”,  Abiy has been harping from day one since he set foot on the political scene on April 2, 2018.

In its deeper meaning “መደመር” implies being conjoined, as one people i.e., to live in sustainable peace that facilitates working together toward enabling our people(s) to live qualitatively improved life.

This represents a complete departure from the nearly three-decade-old ideology and state politics of the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF). We saw in Ethiopia through its white lies and its mafia-esque robbery, ethnic politics has been TPLF’s goal of fragmenting society into its lowest elements, which literally is its war game, its strategy aiming to divide and conquer even relatively stronger party, eventually reducing it into its prey.

For Abiy, what“መደመር” or being conjoined means, Ethiopia internally achieving unity and cohesion— to stand as the Ethiopian nation and state. As pertains to the Horn of Africa sub-region, four days before reporting to parliament he was in Somalia. On his return, Abiy offered his vision for Ethiopia and Somalia. His effort is to spread his “መደመር” Gospel, that is replicating the same amongst Ethiopia’s neighbours. This he said would create better opportunities for the peoples of the Horn of Africa, a sub-region to date known for its restlessness and wretchedness of life. 

Because of my familiarity with the situation in Somalia, I am more surprised by the degree of welcome accorded to Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed to his “second home”. There is also the affirmative response of President Mohammed Mohamud to the Ethiopian prime minister’s “መደመር” Gospel, already affirming Somalia’s readiness  to work full time to benefit from economic integration as it his nation’s objective!

In formulating this, Abiy’s starting basis is the shared commonalities between the two nations, which capitalises on shared ethnic origin, culture, religion and history, as he put to Somalia’s leadership!

Ethiopia and Eritrea: One people, One nation

Speaking of his approach for peace between the two brotherly peoples of Ethiopia and Eritrea, Prime Minister Abiy emphasised each and every exercise for peace heretofore has been exploited for political ends. 

It is in that context he vowed “There to be no democratic dispensation in Ethiopia in his administration, wherein we [the politicians] bring forth to the table only what we scheme and plot.” (“ከዚህ በኋላ የድብቅ ፖለቲካ ኢትዮጵያ ውስጥ አይሠራም… በመደበቅ፣ በመሸረብና እኛ ብቻ አብስለን  የምናቀርብበት ዴሞክራሲያዊ ሥርዓት የለም”!) 

Instead, as a soldier who has paid his share with the lives of a close family member and friends and the damages Ethiopia has sustained during that war with Eritrea and the consequent losses in wealth continuing to this day, he made clear how his proposal can be realised, as follows:

“Our thinking is to talk together and work toward realisation of the objective of what the EPRDF Executive Committee has proposed. This makes sense because the people of Eritrea are our brothers. Brotherhood would not disappear irrespective of land taken, or land received.” (“እኛ የምናስበው እየተነጋገርን እንተገብረዋለን ብለን ነው፡፡ ምክንያቱም የኤርትራ ሕዝብ ወንድም ነው፡፡ መሬት ስለሄደና ስለመጣ ወንድምነት አይቀርም”)

In the barely three months Dr. Abiy Ahmed has been in office, he has won the accolade of politicians in foreign lands and the international media. A good friend of the Ethiopian people, who for long has sought and endeavoured through the United States Congress to change the untenable course Ethiopia has been orbiting, Congressman Chris Smith  (R-NJ), Chair of the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Africa, noted:

“I welcome news of Ethiopia’s acceptance of the 2000 peace agreement with Eritrea as well as parliament’s approval of a bill to end the State of Emergency. I remain cautiously optimistic that Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed will continue along the direction of peace and respect for human rights.  The lifting of the state of emergency means that imprisoned journalists and peaceful activists must now be freed, and greater progress must be made toward inclusive governance.  Congress will continue to monitor developments in Ethiopia with guarded optimism.”

Abiy’s maturity and his reflection in everything leaves its traces for everyone to see. He has repeatedly acknowledged what has propelled him to office is the citizens’ opposition to decades of TPLF mode of governance by state violence, official burglary and torture and terrorism against the people, as he has put it, ‘the terrorism of those in power’.

Of course, Isaias has also picked this point, it seems as a reminder – I don’t know to whom — as The Washington Post quotes him saying “Ethiopians have said ‘enough is enough’… Ethiopia is now at a turning point or transition.”

In When Peace is a Problem, international observers The New York Times quotes think:

“If Ethiopia does withdraw its troops from the Eritrean territory it still occupies, a key excuse for Mr. Isaias’s iron rule will be removed.

His admirers hope that he would grab any historic opportunity for real peace with Ethiopia to display once again the visionary leadership that defined him as a freedom fighter and reset his management of the country.

His critics, who see him as incapable of shifting gears, believe the sustained bluff that was mass conscription may have just been called. If they are correct, Ethiopia’s recent peace overture could actually make the region more, not less, volatile.”

While there is always that possibility, this time I would like to believe the author Michela Wrong is wrong in subscribing to this view in this situation. I strongly believe Isaias is too foxy to recognise pulling the strings too tight this time would be against his sole interest — spending his last days in power!

Perhaps the story by The Financial Times bears some veracity in stating, even given what Prime Minister Abiy spelt out to parliament regarding access to international waters to Ethiopia’s goods and services – the accursed TPLF has deprived it of. It is of the view that peace between the two nations could, at least, pave the “way to resumption of commercial relations.”

What has surprised me most is the silence of the United Nations secretary-General preferring silence on this Ethiopia-Eritrea peace overture! Recall that the United Nations had managed the United Nations Mission in Ethiopia and Eritrea (UNMEE) peacekeeping mission between the two warring nations from 2000-2008. The meaning of this silence has eluded me. 

The UN knows and Ethiopians know full well that the TPLF has been accorded, to the misfortune of the United Nations, the running of one whole UN peacekeeping force—the United Nations Interim Security Force for Abyei (UNISFA), free to exercise its ethnic discrimination practices since 2011— including its designation of force commanders, deputies and other officers, as I had tried to bring this breach of Charter principles to the  attention of all concerned.

What is more worrying is murderer TPLF officers assuming responsibilities as UN peacekeeping commanders, as I had made known in 2018 in Part I and Part II of my articles on the subject.

Perhaps with the coming to the political scene in Ethiopia of Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, the Horn of Africa could be main beneficiary —unlike the TPLF commanders selling masses of weapons— who would mercilessly get rid of Al-Shabaab terrorists, corrupt TPLF commanders-induced  problem. This I had discussed in my various articles on the basis of evidences accumulated by the Somalia Eritrea Monitoring Group reports. One of such reports, for instance, states:

“According to arms traders, the biggest suppliers of ammunition to the markets are Ethiopian and Transitional Federal Government commanders, who divert boxes officially declared “used during combat”. The Mogadishu arms markets are doing a booming business, S/2008/274 08-29068 7 and, according to precise information received by the Monitoring Group, their clients include parties in Kenya.”

*Updated.

ስለድንበር ምንነትና ከኤርትራ ጋር እየተነሳ ስላለው የመካለል/ያለመካለል ጥያቄ ጠሚ ዐቢይ አሕመድ ችግሩንና በስተጀርባ ያለውን ፖለቲካ ፍርጥርጥ ያደረጉበት ምላሽ!

18 Jun

Posted by The Ethiopia Observatory (TEO)

ሕወሃት ከተፈጠረ ጀምሮ በመረጃ፡ በሃቅና በፖለቲካው በኢትዮጵያ ሕዝብ ፊት —በገዛ ስግብግብነቱ —ያለቁምጣው እንደዚህ የተጠበጠበትን ቀን ፈጽሞ አላስታውስም!

ይህ ዕለት የኢትዮጵያ ሕዳሴ በአስተማማኝ አመራር እጅ መሆኑን ያየሁበት ነው!

“የድበቃ ፖለቲካ ከእንግዲህ በኋላ ኢትዮጵያ ውስጥ አይሠራም!”

– – ጠቅላይ ሚኒስትር ዐቢይ አሕመድ በፓርላማ

‘ሕዝብ ሳይመክርበት የሚለው መከራከሪያ ሊሆን ይችላል ወይ —-ውይይት ሳይደረግበት…? አይሆንም! ድበቃ አይጠቅምም… ነገር ግን እንደዚህ ዐይነት ሎጂካል ያልሆን አርጉመንት…ለጊዜው ፖለቲካ ትርፍ እንጂ አይጠቅምም! አስብን ስንሠጥ መቼ ተወያየን?

“አብዛኛው ጥያቄውን የሚያነሣና የሚያራግብ ኃይልና ስብስብ ምን ያክል ሞራል ልዕልና እንዳለው አላውቅም! “

— ጠቅላይ ሚኒስትር ዐቢይ አሕመድ በፓርላማ የሠጡት መልስ

ተዛማጅ:

“በአንዳንድ አካባቢዎች የተፈጠረው ግጭት በምንም መስፈርት ህብረተሰቡን የማይወክል መሆኑን መንግስት ገለፀ”!

የሕወሃት ማ/ኮ/ መግለጫ

ጠ/ሚር ዐቢይ አሕመድ ለፓርላማ ያቀረቡት የመጀመሪያው ግልፅና አስገራሚ ሪፖርት!

18 Jun

Posted by The Ethiopia Observatory (TEO)

 

Ethiopia loosens throttle on many key sectors, but privatization still far off

6 Jun

Posted by The Ethiopia Observatory (TEO)

“However, unless implemented with skill, knowledge and focus,” Abiy [Ahmed] said, “it can lead to a repeat of the pervasive theft seen in many African countries and a destruction of Ethiopia’s wealth.”

ADDIS ABABA (Reuters) Ethiopia’s decision to sell stakes in its lucrative telecoms monopoly and other assets could open one of the world’s largest untapped markets to huge potential investments by firms willing to work with a government still wary of private enterprise.

The stake sales are part of a raft of measures announced by Abiy Ahmed, a young former army officer who became prime minister in April, saying a new start was necessary to end crisis and chaos in a country of 100 million people, where some 40 percent are aged under 15.

While some fear Ahmed is moving too fast to challenge entrenched interests in his ruling EPRDF coalition, there is also hope across the region that his reforms will help ease crippling unemployment, foreign currency shortages and poverty.

The stake sales were announced on Tuesday, the same day Ethiopia said it would implement a 2000 peace deal with neighboring Eritrea and cede disputed territory on the border it has occupied for nearly 20 years[L5N1T75WX].

Companies have been waiting in the wings for Ethiopia to open its state monopolies and Tuesday’s news was welcomed.

South Africa telecoms group MTN told Reuters that it was excited by the potential opening up of the Ethiopian market “as it would be a natural fit for MTN’s existing pan-African footprint.” 

South African peer Vodacom said, “Vodacom has said on many occasions that Ethiopia is an attractive market so it follows that there would be interest. Naturally this is dependent on what might become available and if it fits within our investment parameters.”

It is unclear whether the government would consider licensing foreign mobile operators. Interest might be limited if the only option is a minority stake in the monopoly.

Analysts have said the government’s move falls far short of enabling full competition by multinationals. They note that by selling minority stakes the EPRDF is underscoring its view that the state should be a key player in the economy.

But the step is still radical for the EPRDF, in power since it took over from the communist Derg regime in 1991, and could indicate how 41-year-old Abiy plans to steer the country.

The economic reforms come two months after Abiy took power promising political changes to address roiling anger among young people over ethnic marginalization and unemployment.

The invitation to private investors to take shares in state companies including highly profitable Ethiopian Airlines is an acknowledgment the public sector alone could not provide adequate jobs or push export earnings higher, said one Addis Ababa-based analyst who spoke on condition of anonymity.

“There is a realization that you might need the private sector’s help,” he said.

In a statement issued Tuesday evening after a day-long meeting, the EPRDF’s executive committee said it recognized that economic reforms needed to be taken to sustain economic growth that has averaged near 10 percent for the past decade.

The statement referenced foreign exchange shortages that are draining shops of goods that suppliers cannot access hard currency to import. Foreign reserves are estimated by economists to cover less than two months’ of imports.

ECONOMIC TRANSFORMATION

The government has poured earnings from the national flag carrier and Ethio Telecoms into its infrastructure projects, part of an ambitious strategy to transform an agrarian nation into an industrialized one where the manufacturing sector provides large export earnings.

More revenues are needed, government spokesman Ahmed Shide told reporters after the coalition’s announcement.

Calling state-owned corporations a “huge source of wealth”, Shide said allowing private investors to buy shares “will enable us to generate even more wealth through them”.

But the morning after the premier himself suggested that, while the reforms are necessary, they come with risks.

“It is progressive. This new economic decision will afford us the opportunity to resolve widespread unemployment, ease foreign currency shortages, and reduce weaknesses in market connectivity,” Abiy said on Wednesday.

“However, unless implemented with skill, knowledge and focus,” Abiy said, “it can lead to a repeat of the pervasive theft seen in many African countries and a destruction of Ethiopia’s wealth.”

“The government is still deeply skeptical about capitalism and ‘speculative investors’”, said Charlie Robertson, global chief economist at Renaissance Capital, an emerging market investment bank.

Despite being Africa’s fastest growing economy, Ethiopia is a poor nation where GDP per capita is less than $800 per year and affordability of items like a smartphone is low.

The stakes sales also raise the question of what the government will do with the exchange rate. Foreign investors will want an easily convertible local currency. The Ethiopian birr is overvalued by at least 15 percent, according to the black market spread.

Still, there is undoubtedly huge untapped potential in the market given its size and under-served population, said Jacques Nel at research group NKC African Economics.

“Ethiopia remains a difficult place in which to do business, with inadequate infrastructure and opaque regulatory requirements, while the government remains deeply involved in most facets of the economy,” Nel said. “Foreign investors will still have to contend with these challenges.”

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