Tag Archives: civil society

From his pulpit, amid a crisis, Abiy regally dismisses all opponents

11 May

Posted by The Ethiopia Observatory (TEO)

by René Lefort

After unilaterally deciding that Prosperity Party will govern until elections, the type of ruling system the Nobel laureate yearns for becomes clearer and clearer

History may show that last week was a decisive moment in the post-EPRDF era. Albeit a clear sign that Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed is heading in the wrong direction.

On 27 April, Prosperity Party’s Central Committee chose constitutional interpretation among the now famous four options to overcome the constitutional crisis: dissolving parliament; declaring a state of emergency; constitutional amendment; and constitutional interpretation. In advance, the government tasked a team of “highly reputable legal experts” to conduct an in-depth analysis. This was disclosed by the Prime Minister only ten days later in his 7 May address. The legal team’s composition is not public.

As if the four options were still on the table, Abiy then “consulted” opposition leaders about them on 29 and 30 April. He told his social media followers the meeting was “fruitful”, but on the occasion he also attacked the Oromo Liberation Front (OLF) and Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF).

To the first, as one its former militant wing is engaged in an armed struggle in Wellega, he said: “You cannot stand on the peaceful and legal struggle and armed activity”. For the second: “practice democracy on your turf. You cannot repress in Tigray and demand a free and open forum in the Federal government”.  Furthermore, he condemned those political forces allegedly working with enemies of Ethiopia. He called them “banda”, the label for Ethiopians who collaborated with Italian invaders after 1935.

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Addis Ababa FFD3 talks risk deadlock over UN agency for tax

15 Jul

Posted by The Ethiopia Observatory (TEO)
by Eliza Anyangwe, The Guardian

    * Aid organisations fear that negotiations at the Financing for Development conference may go into deadlock over the issue of a UN agency for tax.

    * “The G77 and advocacy groups want to see certain issues brought before a global tax body, such as whether or not multinationals should publicly declare the amount of tax they pay, and the question of where corporations pay their taxes.”

    * “But international charities such as Action Aid have accused the rich nations, including the UK, of blocking progress, and some say that the UK and US, among others, are now lobbying hard to prevent the creation of UN agency to the point of risking deadlock in the talks.”

Civil society organisations are warning that the Financing for Development (FFD3) talks which began on Monday 13 July, may go into deadlock, or even collapse as negotiators reach an impasse over the creation of a new global tax body.
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US statement of concern over imprisonment of Ethiopian journalist Temesgen Desalegn

31 Oct

Posted by The Ethiopia Observatory (TEO)
Press Statement by Jen Psaki

The United States is deeply concerned by the October 27 sentencing of Ethiopian journalist Temesgen Desalegn to three years in prison for “provocation and dissemination of inaccurate information.” Freedom of expression and freedom of the press are fundamental elements of a democratic society, and the promotion and protection of these rights and freedoms are basic responsibilities of democratic governments.

As President Obama stated during his meeting in September with Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam, it is important that Ethiopia’s progress and positive example on economic development and regional conflict resolution extends to civil society as well. We urge Ethiopia to make similar progress with regard to respect for press freedom and the free flow of ideas and reiterate our call for the Ethiopian government to release journalists imprisoned for exercising their right to freedom of expression.

President Obama’s troubling dinner party

7 Aug

Posted by The Ethiopia Observatory (TEO)
by Doyke McManus, Los Angeles Times

The Obama administration erred on the side of inclusion in deciding which leaders to invite to its ambitious U.S.-Africa summit this week — at least in the view of human rights advocates.
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Is Clare Short, EITI chair & former UK official, facilitating corruption in Ethiopia & shoring up repression with the Initiative as vehicle?

24 Mar

Posted by The Ethiopia Observatory
By Alemyaheu Gebremariam, al mariam’s commentaries

Last week, Clare Short, Chair of the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI), succeeded in bullying the EITI Board members into voting to admit the ruling regime in Ethiopia into her Club. She did it the old-fashioned way— arm-twisting, browbeating, bulldozing, rear-end kicking, a little bit of jawboning and sweet-talkin’ and a whole lot of temper tantrum throwing. She had learned her lessons well. In 2003, when Short ripped into Tony Blair and threatened to resign her position as Secretary of State for International Development over the Anglo-American invasion of Iraq, she fulminated defiantly, “But they were going to war anyway and they were going to bully and pressure countries to vote for it.”
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Clare Short carries the day for Ethiopia at EITI – woe unto the Initiative’s future & poor Africans

19 Mar

By Keffyalew Gebremedhin – The Ethiopia Observatory

At its Osol meeting on March 19, 2014, the international EITI Board has approved Ethiopia’s application as EITI ‘candidature’ status, whose future approval is subject to preformance in the first three years.
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Ethiopia speaks at current HRC on behalf of Africa in defense of human rights & civil society groups!

12 Mar

By Keffyalew Gebremedhin – The Ethiopia Observatory

In Geneva, Tuesday March 11, 2014 was devoted by the Human Rights Council (HRC) to consider in a panel discussion on the theme of the importance of promotion and protection of civil society space in all countries.
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US House Appropriations Bill (2014) Section relating to Ethiopia

6 Feb

Posted by The Ethiopia Observatory

SEC. 7042

(d) ETHIOPIA—Funds appropriated by this Act that are available for assistance for Ethiopian military and police forces shall not be made available unless the Secretary of State :—

    (A) certifies to the Committees on Appropriations that the Government of Ethiopia is implementing policies to—

    (i) protect judicial independence; freedom of expression, association, assembly, and religion; the right of political opposition parties, civil society organizations, and journalists to operate without harassment or interference; and due process of law; and

    (ii) permit access to human rights and humanitarian organizations to the Somali region of Ethiopia; and

    (B) submits a report to the Committees on Appropriations on the types and amounts of United States training and equipment proposed to be provided to the Ethiopian military and police including steps to ensure that such assistance is not provided to military or police personnel or units that have violated human rights, and steps taken by the Government of Ethiopia to investigate and prosecute members of the Ethiopian military and police who have been credibly alleged to have violated such rights.

(2) The restriction in paragraph (1) shall not apply to IMET assistance, assistance to Ethiopian military efforts in support of international peacekeeping operations, countering regional terrorism, border security, and for assistance to the Ethiopian Defense Command and Staff College.

(3) Funds appropriated by this Act under the headings ‘‘Development Assistance’’ and ‘‘Economic Support Fund’’ that are available for assistance in the lower Omo and Gambella regions of Ethiopia shall—

    (A) not be used to support activities that directly or indirectly involve forced evictions;

    (B) support initiatives of local communities to improve their livelihoods; and

    (C) be subject to prior consultation with affected populations.

(4) The Secretary of the Treasury shall instruct the United States executive director of each international financial institution to oppose financing for any activities that directly or indirectly involve forced evictions in Ethiopia.

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