Category Archives: East Africa

Eritrea and Ethiopia to re-establish diplomatic ties

Eritrea and Ethiopia intend to re-establish diplomatic and trade ties after decades of a protracted conflict.

Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed and Eritrean President Isaias Afwerki made the announcement during historic meeting hosted in Eritrean capital Asmara.

It is the first time the leaders from the two East African neighbours have met in almost two decades of a protracted territorial conflict.

Cut off sea Ethiopia, the second most populated country in Africa, slided into a protracted conflict with its former province Eritrea, which declared independence and established its control over the sea coast, impacting Ethiopia’ geopolitical and economic situation.

A peace deal was signed in December 2000. However, Ethiopia refused to accept the final ruling of a border commission two years later, which awarded disputed territory to Eritrea, including the town of Badme.

The countries have been on a war footing ever since.

Explosion hits PM Abiy Ahmed rally in Addis Ababa

A blast was heard during a rally in Addis Ababa on June 22,  following a speech by Ethiopia new Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, a media reports. Local media claim six people hurt by grenade explosion. In a television address shortly after the incident, Aiby Ahmed said that  “such small incidents will not deter us from the journey of renewal. We will unite and overcome this failed and defeated idea.” Reportedly the culprits, fleeing the scene have been arrested, and are in custody now.

There are no further reports on the consequences of the blast, however some news sources claim it was “small”.

The twitter microblog pictures show a dense crowd of supporters, who came during weekend to give their support to a new Prime Minister. The event took place at a historic Meskel Square of Addis Ababa:

In a televised address shortly after escaping an apparent assassination attempt at a rally organized to support his reform agenda, PM Abiy Ahmed vows “such small incidents will not deter us from the journey of renewal. We will unite and overcome this failed and defeated idea.”

Media  claims six people hurt by the explosion:

Al-Shabaab claimed killing of U.S. military

One U.S. special operations soldier was killed and four U.S. service members wounded in an “enemy attack” on Friday, June 8, in Somalia, the U.S. military said — casualties that are likely to put renewed scrutiny on America’s counterterror operations in Africa.

It’s the first public announcement of a U.S. military combat death on the continent since four U.S. service members were killed in a militant ambush in Niger in October.

Al-Shabab claimed credit for the attack, the SITE Intelligence Group said in a statement Friday.

The U.S. has about 1,000 special operations personnel in Africa. The last killing of a U.S. service member in Somalia was in May 2017 during an counterterrorist operation west of Mogadishu.

President Donald Trump paid tribute on Twitter Friday night, offering “thoughts and prayers” to the families of the soldier who was killed and those who were wounded. “They are truly all HEROES,” he tweeted.

 

 

Belgium sends Special Envoy to Burundi

Burundi’s long-serving President Pierre Nkurunziza promised on Thursday to step down when his term ends in 2020, easing fears of fresh violence in the impoverished country.

Nkurunziza had been widely expected to take advantage of recent changes to the constitution to stand for two more terms – raising concerns that Burundi would see a repeat of the unrest that erupted after he stood for a third time in 2015.

My term is ending in 2020” – he said a ceremony.

This constitution was not modified for Pierre Nkurunziza as the country’s enemies have been saying. It was amended for the good and better future of Burundi and the Burundian people,” he said in the speech broadcast on state television.

Minister of Foreign Affairs Didier Reynders welcomes the announcement by the President of Burundi Pierre Nkurunziza of the end of his mandate in 2020. The principle of democratic alternation lies at the heart of the Arusha Accords and of the African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance.

Following this announcement, Belgium hopes that the authorities of Burundi will now start working on opening up the public and democratic space, as an essential step towards the elections in 2020. Belgium therefore pleads for a resumption of an inclusive dialogue, under the aegis of the region and in the spirit of the Arusha agreement. Minister Reynders has decided to send his Special Envoy for the Great Lakes to Burundi to bring this message.

 

Burundi leader can stay until 2034

The overwhelming majority of Burundi voters (73%) approved a new constitution, the country’s electoral commission said on Monday (21/05/2018), ushering in changes that could let the president stay in power to 2034.

Already ahead of the vote a number of independent experts have expressed concerns about a possibility for President Pierre Nkurunziza to become an ‘eternal’ leader of the nation

Last week’s referendum asked voters to say “yes” or “no” to amendments extending the presidential term from five to seven years and allowing President Pierre Nkurunziza to seek two more terms beginning in 2020.

Woman lapidated by al Shabaab

Somalia Islamist group al-Shabaab announced it has lapidated to death a woman accused of poliandria.

The al-Qaeda-linked group radio, Andalus, reports that the execution by lapidation took place on Wednesday (9/05/2018)  after an ad hoc al-Shabab court convicted the woman in Sablale town in Lower Shabelle region.

The report says masked men lapidated to death 30-year-old Shukri Abdullahi Warsame in the middle of a  public square according to the procedure of Sharia law.

The self-proclaimed Sharia judge said the woman had confessed to having secretly married 11 men without seeking a divorce.

Al-Shabab has been fighting for years to impose a strict version of Islam in the Horn of Africa nation.

EU condolences to “all Mozambicans” mourning Afonso Dhlakama

Afonso Dhlakama passed away in times of great challenges for Mozambique. He played a historical role in the process that culminated in the Rome Peace Accord of 1992 and was a key actor in the democratic transition of the country. Since 2016 Afonso Dhlakama, again, demonstrated great determination in engaging in peace and reconciliation talks with President Nyusi” – says the statement of the European External Action Service (EEAS).

“The EU extends its deepest condolences to the family and friends of Renamo President Afonso Dhlakama, as well as to all Mozambicans who mourn the loss of the leader of Renamo” – the EEAS statement continues. “The EU encourages the Government and Renamo to continue with their firm and sustained commitment towards lasting peace so that a comprehensive agreement can quickly be reached. The European Union continues to stand with and support Mozambique on the country’s path towards peace and prosperity for all its citizens.”

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