Category Archives: East Africa

Wounded and killed Oromos in Ethiopia

Killed and wounded people by security forces in eastern Ethiopia at the weekend were reported by senior regional official.

“The victims were all ethnic Oromos. The perpetrators were members of a paramilitary force,” said Negeri Lencho, spokesman for the Oromiya state administration.

The area has been plagued by instability. At present 37 killed and 44 wounded are reported by Addis media, all of them from Oromia region.

Outbreak of violence in Jijiga

Ethiopian soldiers exchanged fire with members of local government security forces on in the country’s eastern Somali region after central authorities sought to arrest regional officials, via social media witnesses report scenes of violence.

Soldiers were deployed in the province’s capital Jijiga leading to a conflict with the region’s paramilitary forces.

Ethiopia’s Somali region has been plagued by violence for the last two decades. The government has fought the rebel Ogaden National Liberation Front (ONLF) since 1984 after the group claimed secession of the region, also known under name of Ogaden.

 

Ten rhinos in Kenya died after transfer

Kenya’s wildlife minister apologized for being rude with  his critics, and  sending them to “hell” while he  comes under mounting pressure over the death of 10 rhinos during a botched transfer.

Tourism and Wildlife Minister Najib Balala had directed the comments to those calling for his resignation over the fiasco during a press conference:

“People need explanations about the rhinos… people are angry. I am also angry,” Balala told. “I have emotions and I reacted. I feel let down by my system that did not act quickly to stop the death of the rhinos.”

Kenyans have been outraged after 10 of 11 rhinos being transferred from Nairobi and Lake Nakuru national parks to Tsavo East died after the operation.

The 11th was attacked by lions, and is recovering.

Balala has blamed Kenyan Wildlife Service (KWS) officials involved in the transfer for “negligence”, suspending six senior officials.

An initial enquiry indicated that the rhinos may have become dehydrated and died after drinking saline water in their new habitat.

The scandal intensified when the former chairman of the KWS board, the world-renowned anthropologist Richard Leakey, released a statement revealing that the board had on three prior occasions blocked the transfer.

He said this was due to “a deep concern about the lack of vegetation in the sanctuary that could sustain rhino, and also, the real issue of available and safe water.”

He also indicated that no new KWS board had been set up in the three months since the one he chaired expired, leaving the decision to carry out the translocation entirely up to Balala’s ministry.

The indignant Kenyans demanded via social media to see the horns of the dead rhinos, KWS displayed the 20 horns to the media last week to allay suspicions.

In yet another blow to the country’s rhino population, the KWS said that a 12-year-old male had been killed by poachers for its horn in Nakuru National Park this week.

EU extended mandate to NAVFOR Somalia operation

EU NAVFOR Somalia Operation Atalanta: Council prolongs the Operation and decides on new headquarters and new Operation Commander.

The Council today extended the mandate of EU NAVFOR Somalia Operation Atalanta until 31 December 2020. The Council also decided to relocate the European Union Naval Force (EU NAVFOR) Operational Headquarters from Northwood (UK) to Rota (Spain), and to Brest (France) for the Maritime Security Centre Horn of Africa (MSCHOA) as of 29 March 2019. It appointed Vice Admiral Antonio Martorell Lacavefrom the Spanish Navy as new Operation Commander to take command from Major General Charlie Stickland on the same date. The relocation and change in command are required due to the UK’s decision to withdraw from the EU.

Today’s decision also allocated a budget of €11.777 million for the common costs of the operation for the period 1 January 2019 to 31 December 2020.

EU NAVFOR Operation Atalanta contributes to the deterrence, prevention and repression of acts of piracy and armed robbery off the Somali coast. The operation is part of the EU’s comprehensive approach for a peaceful, stable and democratic Somalia.

The operation also protects vessels of the World Food Programme and other vulnerable shipping, monitors fishing activities off the coast of Somalia and supports other EU missions and programmes in the region.

Eritrea Embassy inauguration in Addis Ababa

The inauguration of the Eritrean Embassy was the culmination of President Isaias Afwerki three-day visit to Ethiopia, his first to the country in 22 years.

“I feel boundless joy as I convey to you the message of peace, love and good wishes of the people of Eritrea. And, I congratulate you warmly for the successful and historic changes that you have brought about,” President Isaias said at a concert celebrating the peace process at the Millenium Hall in Ethiopia’s capital, Addis Ababa.

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:

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