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  • 17 Artists Cancel New Year Concerts Due to Protests

     

     

    BBC News

    Many Ethiopian singers have cancelled their concerts to welcome in Ethiopia’s New Year, which falls this year on 11 September.

    Ethiopians will be ushering in 2009 on Sunday as their calendar is more than seven years out of sync with the one used in much of the rest of the world.

    But some singers are planning to put a dampener on the celebrations that take place on New Year’s Eve.

    They say it would not be good to celebrate when people are mourning those who have died in recent protests.

    At least 17 singers have backed out of gigs to be held in various venues in the capital, Addis Ababa, and other cities.

    Oromo singer Abush Zeleke was among those who announced their decision on their official Facebook page.

    And on Twitter have reacted to the news:

    Some Ethiopian musicians who live abroad are following suit.

    US-based singer, Abby Lakew, announced she had cancelled all her shows in Dallas, Atlanta, Chicago and Las Vegas:

    I do not want to perform on any stage as of right now while my people are dying!!!
    I will pray for peace and I believe in one love!!! All people should be treated equally, with the same rights, dignity and human rights.”

    There has been an unprecedented wave of protests in Ethiopia in recent months.

    Demonstrations began in the Oromia region last November and have spread elsewhere.

    And over the weekend at least 23 inmates died in a fire at a prison where anti-government protesters were reportedly being held.

    Source tadias.com

     

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  • Landslide kills around 12 people in bale robe

     

    Robe, more commonly known as Bale Robe , is a town and separate woreda in south-central Ethiopia. Located in the Bale Zone of the Oromia Region, this town has a latitude and longitude of 7°7′N 40°0′E with an elevation of 2,492 metres (8,176 ft) above sea level.

    It is located about 430 kilometres by road from Ethiopia's capital Addis Ababa

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  • Briton jailed in Ethiopia: court rules Foreign Office does not have to intercede

    Andargachew Tsige’s daughter, 9, denied application for judicial review of UK government’s handling of case 33

    A British national kidnapped by Ethiopia and held in jail faces an uncertain future after a court ruled that the Foreign Office did not have to intercede on his behalf.

    A high court judge denied an application by Andargachew Tsige’s nine-year-old daughter, Menabe, demanding a judicial review of the UK government’s handling of the case.

    Tsige, a prominent opposition activist who had been living in Britain for 35 years, was kidnapped at Sana’a airport in Yemen by Ethiopian security agents in 2014, after having been tried and sentenced to death in absentia.

    More than two years later, Tsige remains in prison and the UK government has made no public call for his release. The government has merely lobbied for Tsige to get a fair trial and access to a proper defence team. But lawyers acting for Menabe Tsige argued that this approach had proven useless.

    Reacting to the ruling on Wednesday, Yemi Hailemariam, Tsige’s partner and the mother of his two children, said: “The judge could clearly see the humanity in the case, but assumed the Foreign and Commonwealth Office must be doing more than just calling for ‘due process’. But there is no evidence for this.

    “I’m devastated. Nothing has changed for him. He will remain there. It’s very sad.”

    In documents submitted to the court, Menabe’s lawyers stressed the real risks Tsige faced if the government refused to change its approach: “Not least, that [he] will be executed, but even if he is not killed, that he will spend the rest of his life imprisoned.”

    Andy Tsige, pictured in 2014 with his family. Photograph: Yemi Hailemariam

    The former foreign secretary, Phillip Hammond, argued that calling for Tsige’s released would be “counterproductive, and could affect the government’s ability to progress the case”. In an open letter published last week, the new foreign secretary, Boris Johnson, maintained this position, and reiterated that “Britain does not interfere in the legal systems of other countries by challenging convictions.”

    Tsige’s release has been called for by the UN, members of US congress, the European parliament, and various British MPs, as international concern mounts over rising repression in Ethiopia.

    Tsige is secretary general of an exiled Ethiopian opposition movement, Ginbot 7. He fled the country in the 1970s, after his brother was murdered, and settled in the UK in 1979. The Ethiopian government has accused him of “terrorism”. Hailemariam and her children have received no written assurances that the government will not uphold the death penalty and execute Tsige.

    Maya Foa, head of the death penalty team at Reprieve, said in other cases of British nationals kidnapped or detained abroad, most recently in the arrest of Lee Bo, a bookseller living in Hong Kong who was seized by Chinese authorities, the government did release statements calling for his release.

    She added that international pressure has proven successful in prompting the release of political prisoners in Ethiopia. In July last year, the charges against a group of young journalists, known as the Zone9 bloggers, were dropped and they were released from the infamous Kality prison, where Tsige is also being held, ahead of a state visit by President Obama. Press freedom observers speculated that it was the presence of such a high-profile politician that had forced the government to change its position.

    Speaking after the ruling, Foa said: “Over two years into this British father’s ordeal, it’s deeply concerning that the Foreign Office has not asked for his release – and today’s ruling comes as another blow to his desperate family. One thing remains clear – the FCO urgently needs to change its strategy, so that Andy can return to his family in London.”

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  • EU Announces the Stopping of Emergency Fund to Ethiopian Government

    No monies from the EU’s flagship Emergency Trust Fund (ETF) for Africa goes to the Ethiopian government or its agencies, the Commission stressed yesterday (6 September), as human rights groups say more than 400 people have been killed in clashes with the government. The ETF was set up last year, at the Valleta migration summit, in an attempt to mitigate the ‘pull’ factors behind uncontrolled migration from sub-Saharan Africa to Europe, in the wake of the migration crisis. Ethiopia, with a stable and West-friendly government in the Horn of Africa, is one of the major recipients of the trust fund, which aims to improve life chances and livelihoods in some of the world’s poorest countries.

    However, the authoritarian government in Addis Ababa has long been the butt of accusations over its treatment of the Oromia people and their region – which surrounds the capital. Since November 2015 – when Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker signed the ETF – some 400 people have been killed by Ethiopian government security forces during protests, according to New York-based Human Rights Watch.

    This week, the situation deteriorated further, with the deaths of at least 23 inmates in a fire at a prison believed to be holding detained protestors. Pictures showed smoke billowing from the jail, but the BBC cited local media reporting the sound of gunfire from the Qilinto prison. Pressed by EurActiv.com on whether the Commission had a view on the unrest in one of its key partners in sub-Saharan Africa, and whether the ETF contained a mechanism for either reviewing or even suspending payments through the Emergency Trust Fund, a spokesman was quick to point out that no monies were channelled directly through the government in Addis Ababa, or any government agencies. In an emailed statement later, it added, “As far as the Emergency Trust Fund for Africa is concerned, it is important to know that no funding are decentralised to, or channelled through, the beneficiary countries’ government structures.

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  • Ethiopia - Grave concerns raised by US over the killing

    Representing her country Samantha Power, the US ambassador told reporters last Sunday how her country is concerned about the massive killing of protestors in Ethiopia.

    According to the ambassador, the action what it calls excessive use of force, needs a transparent and independent investigation. US have also asked for the government to allow a peaceful protest.

    As the AU also showed it concern over the loss last week now U.N. Security Council will make its move on to Ethiopia today to discuss together.

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  • PM Hailemariam removes Shiferaw Shigute

     

    (by EthioTime) Prime Minister Hailemariam Dessalegn has been reported to have removed his other regional comrade, Education Minister Shiferaw Shigute in a week time after Mekuria Haile has been sacked from Ministry of Housing and Urban Development.

    Many people in the East African country have been suspicion toward the capacity of Shiferaw to up hold ministerial post especially the education where country’s educational institutions suffer from curricula being abandoned due to funding cuts, unqualified – but party-loyal – lecturers, and shoddily built institutions.

    Ethiopia’s higher education infrastructure has mushroomed in the last 15 years. The rapid growth of Ethiopia’s higher education system has come at a cost, but it is moving forward all the same, according to The Telegraph.

    Despite this fact, the Ministry of Education under leadership of Shiferaw, higher education entrance exam leaking scandal plagued the nation all round to blockage of social media sites pressing the Ministry to cancel Higher Education entrance exam schedule in May this year.  

    Shiferaw is an executive committee member of EPRDF and former president of South Region. However, EPRDF council announced last week a plan to conduct massive "clean up" including its top leadership which is followed by Hailemariam’s signoff to sack two ministers. The public seems annoyed with the act of taking the “small fish” down.  

    Image: Shiferaw Shigute

     

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  • Ethiopia government admit deaths during prison fire - BBC Africa Live

    Ethiopia government admit deaths during prison fire

    The jail is home to some political prisoners.

    On Saturday there were reports of intense gunfire and local media said there were about 20 deaths.

    A government statement, reported on the state broadcaster, did not specify the numbers dead or injured.

    Neither did it mention the cause of the fire, which some have said was started deliberately by people who wanted to escape.

    Ethiopia has been hit by anti-government protests in several parts of the country, by some of its largest ethnic groups.

     

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