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Ethiopian News


  • Merkel declines to address Ethiopian parliament

    German Chancellor to meet with leaders of opposition parties

    German Chancellor Angela Merkel (PhD), who will be visiting Addis Ababa next week, declined to address the House of Peoples’ Representatives, which will return from recess for the second year term of the fifth parliament.

    According to reliable sources, though Ethiopian authorities requested the head of the German federal government to address legislators, Merkel declined because “it is a one-party-dominated parliament and did not see the point in doing so”.

    Merkel embarks Sunday on a visit to three African countries. She will first travel to Mali and Niger before coming to Ethiopia where she is to meet with Prime Minister Hailemariam Dessalegn and visit the headquarters of the African Union.

    The German Chancellor will arrive in Addis Ababa on Monday evening escorted by members of the German Federal Chancellery. However, there will be no economic or business delegation that will accompany the Chancellor during her visit; the reason being “logistical difficulties”. Merkel is expected to arrive in Addis Ababa in the evening hours and will be welcomed by an honor guard the next morning at the National Palace. Later on Wednesday, she will have a bilateral session with Prime Minister Hailemariam.

    According to sources, Merkel will discuss the issue of using excessive and unnecessary force by security forces against protesters in different parts of the country.  She will also address the issue of what sources said is “controlled opening” of the political space.

    Her talks with Hailemariam will also focus on migration issues and the battle against terrorism.

    More Here...

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  • Capital city tightens security to repel spreading protests

    Amid panic among residents of the capital city, Addis Ababa, following the renewed protest in the surrounding towns of the Oromia Special Zone, the city’s Police Commission said yesterday that it has tightened its security around city to contain the spreading Oromo protest from entering the city.

    The protest started to spread across towns in the Oromia Special Zone, following the deadly Irrecha stampede that claimed the lives of at least 53 people and injured hundreds more.

    The tragic incident came after a heated protest at the annual Irrecha festival interrupted and after the region’s Special Forces have decided to use tear gas to disperse the protest.

    The firing of tear gas resulted in the public rushing off to safety causing heightened commotion and stampede around the scared grounds of Lake Hora, where Irrecha is celebrated every year.

    The statement issued by the government blamed the tragic stampede on groups who instigated chaos in the crowd deliberately resulting in the deaths of many innocent civilians.

    Meanwhile, activists accuse the government of firing more than tear gas and go to the extent of claiming that the accident was caused by the coordinated ground and air attack employing “helicopters and live rounds”  on protestors resulting in people falling in the lake, ditches and/or caught in middle if a deadly stampede.  

    Following the funeral ceremony of many of the victims, widespread protest and unrest broke out around Sebeta, Furi and Burayou and other districts surrounding Addis Ababa.

    As a result, on Tuesday and Wednesday, Addis Ababa was noticeably quite with shops closed and transportation shortages observed around Mexico, Tor Hailoch, Ayer Tena and Jemo Condo site, as well as in the neighborhoods of Ashewa Meda, Asko and nearby places around Kolfe-Keranyo Sub City.

    However, the City’s Police Commission Commissioner, Girma Kassa told The Reporter that “the residents (of Addis Ababa) has been caught by fear of unrest yet there is no credible incidents that affect its security”. More Here

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  • 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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