Tag Archives: Addis Ababa

African Union Summit opens in Addis Ababa

The leaders of  African states gather for the annual African Union #AU summit which started its activities from February 7.

The refugees and internally displaced persons are in the focus of the Summit taking place in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Nowadays Sub-Saharan Africa hosts more than a quarter of the world’s 25.4 million refugees, the UN agency for refugees UNHCR reports.

However that figure is considered to be a conservative assessment because of ongoing conflicts in the Central African Republic, South Sudan, Somalia, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Burundi.

According to the United Nations, 85% of the displaced people are located in developing countries, with three African countries – Uganda, Sudan and Ethiopia  among the major hosts of refugees in the world.

The activists and campaigners for human rights insist there is an urgency for the African Union to undertake practical measures to address the issue of refugees on the continent.

The #AU will also discuss a standard passport for all African countries. There are expectations that the passports will bring the continent closer to free movement of people alike in the European Union, to promote a viable alternative to current illegal migration.

The AU’s Commission promised to announce the design, production, and issue a model of a passport during the Summit.

However the problem of passports is not limited to its design, or funding. There is no tradition, neither requirement to issue birth certificates in Sub-Saharan Africa, with an exception of some urban agglomerations. The date of birth in the overwhelming number of cases is unknown, which creates a considerable obstacle in identification of  an individual. The case of a notorious Ethiopian “junior” athlete Girmawit Gebrzihair,  causing an international scandal, is a recent example of difficulties the authorities meet, while producing passports for citizens without birth certificate, based only on their affidavit, the method lacking credibility. An alternative for establishing a correct age, can be in use of medical checks with a sophisticated modern equipment, however the are no funds available to engage in such a costly practice.

 

 

Ethiopia receives €89 million EU aid

EU announces new humanitarian package for those most in need in Ethiopia.

On an official visit to Ethiopia, Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management Christos Stylianides has announced today €89 million in humanitarian support for 2018-2019 whilst visiting EU aid projects in the Somali region in Eastern Ethiopia where many people have fled their homes due to internal conflict.

“Ethiopia is an important partner for the European Union. As the country undergoes profound positive political change, the EU will step up support for the most vulnerable Ethiopians. I have seen myself how crucial our EU humanitarian support is in the daily lives of displaced people. It helps them feed their children, provide them with medicines and send them to school. This is EU aid that save lives,”Commissioner Christos Stylianides said  speaking from the Quologi camp for internally displaced people near Jijiga, capital of the Somali region.

The EU funding will be used to address the needs of people displaced within Ethiopia, refugees from neighboring countries as well as tackling natural disasters such as drought. Currently there are close to three million people displaced within the country and around one million refugees from neighboring countries.

The Commissioner is holding various meetings with the Ethiopian authorities. He met Ethiopian President Ms Sahle-Work Zewde in Addis Ababa, where the Commissioner reiterated the EU’s strong partnership with Ethiopia and commitment to support the country’s reform process. In Jijiga he met with President of the Somali region, Mr Mustafa Mohammed Omar and with partners delivering aid on the ground to discuss the humanitarian situation.

The Commissioner is also due to meet representatives from the Government of Ethiopia, as well as the African Union.

Chairing rotating presidency of the European Union Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz visited the Quoloji camp earlier in December to provide additional two million euro for assisting children.

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.

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.

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:

EU ready to assist Ethiopia-Eritrea negotiations

“The recent announcement by Ethiopia that it is ready to fully implement the Algiers Agreement and the decision of the boundary commission, as well as the decision by the President of Eritrea to send a delegation to Addis Ababa to that end, are decisive steps towards the resolution of the longstanding differences between the two countries” – the statement of the EU top diplomat Federica Mogherini says.

“The settlement on the border issue would benefit Ethiopia and Eritrea as well as stability in the Horn of Africa region”.

“In line with the Chairperson of the African Union Commission’s statement, the EU also stands ready – as a witness to the Algiers Peace Agreement – to assist Ethiopia and Eritrea on their path towards reconciliation”.

South Sudan President to negotiate peace in Addis Ababa

South Sudan President Salva Kiir will meet his opponent Riek Machar in Addis Ababa on June 20 to  negotiate an end to a five-year-old civil war, Ethiopia’s foreign ministry said.

“The meeting on South Sudan tomorrow will be held under the auspices of (Ethiopian) Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed with the aim of bridging gaps between President Salva Kiir and Riek Machar,” the ministry statement said.