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Ethiopian News


  • UN wants access to Ethiopia protest areas

    The UN's human rights high commissioner (OHCHR) has repeated a demand that the Ethiopian government allow his office access to the protest-hit areas of the country. This comes after a week of protests sparked by the deaths at a religious festival in a town in Oromia on Sunday.

    In a statement, the OHCHR says that "independent observers" should be allowed to go to "the Oromia and Amhara regions to speak to all sides and assess the facts". It adds that "the protests have apparently been fuelled in part by a lack of trust in the authorities’ account of events", but it calls on all sides to remain calm.

    The OHCHR says it is also concerned about the arrest of two bloggers, Seyoum Teshoume and Natnael Feleke, earlier this week.

    "We urge the government to release those detained for exercising their rights to free expression and opinion. Silencing criticism will only deepen tensions," it says.

    BBC News

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  • US concerns about the current protests in Ethiopia

    Hello. We have been closely following your comments and reactions over the past few days and we recognize both your anger and frustration. At the same time, it means a lot to us that you see this page as a place where you can express yourselves freely and recognize that much of the frustration we see comes from the high expectations you hold for the United States. We believe in the value of freedom of expression, even when it is used to criticize. The dialogue we have with you is important for addressing misunderstandings and building trust on both sides and we hope you will continue to share your views with us as constructively as possible.

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  • The Prominent Ethiopian Politician Engineer Hailu Shawel Passed Away

     

    The Prominent Ethiopian Politician Engineer Hailu Shawel Passed Away

      

     

     

    According to Wikipedia

    Hailu Shawul (also spelled Shawel; Shawil) (Ge’ez: ሃይሉ ሻዉል; born 1936) is an Ethiopian engineer and the chairman of the Coalition for Unity and Democracy (CUD). He was born in Northern Shewa.

    Hailu Shawul was the chairman of Kinijit and succeeded Professor Asrat Woldeyes as the head of the All-Amhara People’s Organization (AAPO). However, some sources dispute his presidency and show that the AAPO’s split into two factions – the All Ethiopian Unity Party (AEUP) and the United Ethiopian Democratic Party-Medhin – was due to Hailu Shawel not gaining the presidency and thus creating his own party. Many believe that the division was tactically mediated by the EPRDF government interference.

    He contributed to the transformation of the AAPO into the multi-ethnic AEUP, which was one of several that united October 2004 in the CUD, with the goal of fielding candidates in the May 15, 2005 general elections.

     

     

     

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  • Oromo protests: Ethiopia arrests blogger Seyoum Teshome

    Ethiopian police have arrested a blogger who criticised the government, especially its handling of the ongoing protests in the Oromia and Amhara regions.

    Seyoum Teshome, an outspoken university lecturer who has been quoted frequently by foreign media outlets about the anti-government protests, was detained on October 1 at his home in Woliso town in the Oromia region.

    Ethiopia's government spokesman, Getachew Reda, told The Associated Press news agency on Tuesday that he had heard about Seyoum's arrest and is investigating the reasons why.

    Days before his arrest, Seyoum told the AP that he was planning to start his doctoral studies at Addis Ababa University and was starting his own blogging website, Ethiothinkthank. He wrote about Ethiopia's anti-government protests on his blogging site and Facebook page.

    "This arrest of a prominent writer and commentator is deeply disturbing as it comes against a backdrop of government moves to stifle protests and criticism," said Robert Mahoney, deputy director of the New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists. "Seyoum Teshome should be released without delay and without condition."

    Ethiopia is the third worst jailer of journalists in Africa, and a number of journalists are serving jail terms for writing critical pieces about the government, said the journalists' group.

    The arrest came a day before dozens of people were killed in the Oromia region.

     

    They were crushed in a stampede after government forces fired tear gas and bullets to disperse protesters during the annual Irreecha thanksgiving celebration of the Oromo people.

    The government has said that 55 people died, but online activists and opposition groups outside Ethiopia claim the death toll is much higher.

    The incident has sparked renewed protests in many towns across Oromia, where over the past year anti-government protests have called for respect for human rights, wider freedoms and the release of detained opposition figures and journalists.

     

    Witnesses said that many people were crushed to death and others fell into ditches as they tried desperately to escape police. Shoes and clothing littered the scene of the disaster as a small group of angry residents dug for bodies in a deep ditch.

    On Monday, Human Rights Watch called for an independent investigation and said the government should "end the use of deadly force to quell largely peaceful protests that began nearly a year ago".

    Protests started among the Oromo - Ethiopia's biggest ethnic group - in November. They later spread to the Amhara, the second-most largest in the country.

    Both groups say a ruling multi-ethnic coalition is dominated by the Tigray ethnic group, which makes up about six percent of the population.

    Source: Associated Press

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