Addis Ethiopia Weblog

Ethiopia's World / የኢትዮጵያ ዓለም

Posts Tagged ‘Blocked’

Ethiopia Is at a Crossroads. Can the Nation Survive in Its Current Form?

Posted by addisethiopia / አዲስ ኢትዮጵያ on June 25, 2021

Ethiopia stands at a crossroads. On June 21, the country finally held the first round of long-delayed elections for the country’s parliament and Regional State Councils. Voting in the remaining 69 of the country’s 547 constituencies will take place in a second round in September. It’s not clear when (or if) voting for the 38 MPs from the war-torn Tigray region will take place.

Two things are almost certain in coming days: Election officials will announce that the governing Prosperity Party has won enough seats to form a government with current Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed remaining at its head, and opposition parties will cry foul. Though Abiy’s government will weather the storm, there is more controversy to come as he moves forward with plans to amend Ethiopia’s constitution to change the country’s ethno-federalist structure. Today, Ethiopia’s regions have recognized rights to self-determination. Abiy’s changes would strengthen the country’s federal government at the regions’ expense and create a presidential system of government to political authority. It’s a fight over the essentials of who holds power in an important and potentially unstable country.

That fight has already resulted in bloodshed. In Tigray, combat between government forces and local rebels has killed thousands of people and displaced more than 2 million. Just this week, a government airstrike on a public market in Tigray killed more than 50 people, according to local health officials.

Where did Ethiopia civil conflict come from?

Ethiopia’s troubles have been simmering, and occasionally boiling over, for many years. Despite strong economic growth over the past decade—Ethiopia’s economy generated “strong, broad-based growth averaging 9.4% a year from 2010/11 to 2019/20,” according to the World Bank—youth unemployment has long been a chronic problem, and a violent response to protests based in economic frustration in 2016 led to widespread and increasingly intense demonstrations.

Africa’s second most populous country has a long history of unrest. Its current constitution divides Ethiopia into ethnic territories, and many of the country’s conflicts come from underlying ethnically based political grievances. There are more than 90 ethnic groups living within Ethiopia’s borders, and many feel almost entirely excluded from political power.

In particular, until three years ago, members of the Oromo and Amhara communities, which together make up more than 60 percent of the population, were angry that Tigrayans, who make up just over 6 percent, had dominated Ethiopia’s government since 1991, when the nationalist Tigray People’s Liberation Front ousted Soviet-backed dictator Mengistu Haile Mariam. From 1991 until his death in 2012, Tigrayan Meles Zenawi kept order with an iron fist. Protests finally forced his successor, prime minister Hailemariam Desalegn, to step down in 2018.

Abiy Ahmed, son of an Oromo Muslim father and Amhara Christian mother, replaced Desalegn. Considered Oromo, he is the first member of that group ever to serve as prime minister. His promises for the country’s future quickly drew Western praise. He won the 2019 Nobel Peace Prize, by ending an intractable war with neighboring Eritrea, freeing political prisoners, welcoming exiled dissidents home, pledging to protect a free press, and committing his government to foster a new national unity while respecting ethnic diversity.

But there’s a troubling parallel here with the former Yugoslavia. The end of authoritarian rule in a country divided into ethnic-dominated territories can open a Pandora’s Box of fear, suspicion, and anger among ethnic groups, as it did among Serbs, Croats, Slovenes, Bosnian Muslims, Montenegrins, Kosovar Albanians, and Macedonians in the 1990s. In Ethiopia, ethnic killings began to increase in the country in 2018, displacing nearly three million people during Abiy’s first year in office. Tigray powerbrokers, convinced they would become marginalized by Abiy’s plans, began to talk of secession.

Abiy then responded with what he called a “police action” in Tigray. In November 2020, following an alleged rebel attack on an Ethiopian military base, Abiy launched a military offensive in Tigray. Since then, credible accusations have emerged that Ethiopian forces have used human mass rape, extra-judicial killing and have burned crops, killed livestock, and blocked food aid to starve the region. These actions have drawn condemnation from the Western governments that once saw Abiy as West Africa’s rising star. The U.N. now says that 350,000 Tigrayans face famine. Eritrean forces have also drawn condemnation for deliberately “starving” Tigrayans.

This is the backdrop for the current elections. On Friday, the embassies of Australia, Canada, Denmark, Germany, Ireland, Japan, Luxembourg, New Zealand, Norway, Sweden, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom and the Delegation of the European Union to Ethiopia released a statement that includes the following warning: “These elections have taken place in very challenging and problematic conditions with a restricted political environment, including the detention of opposition members, harassment of media representatives, and parties facing difficulties in freely campaigning. There is a challenging security environment in many areas, and internally displaced people have not been sufficiently registered to vote or included in the elections. The number of women running for office reduced by almost a third from the last general elections.”

This is the crossroads for Ethiopia. Can the nation survive in its current form? Which is more dangerous for its future: An open hand or a closed fist?

Source

______________________________________

Posted in Ethiopia, Infos, News/ዜና, War & Crisis | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Three MSF Employees ‘Brutally Murdered’ in Ethiopia’s Tigray

Posted by addisethiopia / አዲስ ኢትዮጵያ on June 25, 2021

የ፴፭/35 ዓመቷ ስፓኒያዊቷ ማሪያ ሄርናንዴዝ በመሰቃየት ላይ ያለውን ሕዝባችንን ለማገልገል የሃገሯን ምቾት እና የቤተሰቦቿን ፍቅር ትታ ከማድሪድ ወደ ኢትዮጵያ ብትሄድ እንዲህ የአውሬው ግራኝ አብዮት አህመድ አሊ የግድያ ሰለባ ሆነች። 😈 ይህ አረመኔ የዲያብሎስ ጭፍራ ሕጻናትን ይገድላል፣ ሴቶችን ይገድላል፣ ሕፃናትንና ሴቶችን ያስደፍራል፣ ቀሳውስትንና ካህናትን ይገድላል፣ በመኝታ ላይ ያሉ ንጹሐንን ይገድላል፣ መስዋዕት ከፍለው የመጡትን የውጭ ሃገር እንግዶችን ይገድላል።

 “ማሪያ/ ማሪያም” የሚለውን ቅዱስ ስም መስጠት ቢፈቀድ የሚገባቸው እንደርሷ ያሉ ልዩ ሴቶች ነው። 

😠😠😠 😢😢😢

✞✞✞ ነፍሳቸውን ይማርላቸው! Q. D. E. P – Descanse en Paz! R.I.P

Three employees working for the Spanish branch of Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) were killed by unknown assailants in Ethiopia’s Tigray region, the medical charity said on Friday.

MSF-Spain lost contact with a vehicle carrying the team on Thursday afternoon, it said in a statement. “This morning the vehicle was found empty and a few metres away, their lifeless bodies.”

“We condemn this attack on our colleagues in the strongest possible terms and will be relentless in understanding what happened,” the statement said.

It identified the victims as emergency co-ordinator Maria Hernandez, 35, from Madrid, assistant co-ordinator Yohannes Halefom Reda, 31, from Ethiopia, and their Ethiopian driver Tedros Gebremariam Gebremichael, also 31.

They are among at least 12 aid workers reported killed since fighting broke out in November between Ethiopia’s military and forces loyal to the region’s former ruling party, the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF). The conflict has killed thousands of people and displaced more than 2 million.

Ethiopia’s foreign ministry sent condolences via Twitter, but said it had been urging aid agencies to secure military escorts in the area. The ministry said TPLF forces were active in the town of Abiy Addi where the attack occurred. MSF did not confirm the location.

A TPLF spokesman could not immediately be reached for comment.

Spain’s foreign ministry said it was engaging with the aid agency and the Ethiopian government on the attack.

“A heartfelt hug to the family and colleagues of Maria … who has been murdered in Ethiopia where she was helping the population,” tweeted Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez, who also sent condolences to the families of Yohannes and Tedros.

_______________________________

Posted in Ethiopia, Health, Life, News/ዜና, War & Crisis | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

WHO’s Dr. Tedros Says Victims of Ethiopia Air Strike Denied Access to Medical Care

Posted by addisethiopia / አዲስ ኢትዮጵያ on June 25, 2021

WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus accused authorities in Ethiopia on Friday of blocking ambulances from reaching scores of victims of an air strike this week, a rare case of speaking out in his official capacity about the conflict in his homeland.

Tedros, who is an ethnic Tigrayan and former Ethiopian Cabinet minister, referred in his opening remarks at a WHO briefing to the air strike this week which hit a crowded market in his native region. The federal government has been waging war against fighters loyal to the former regional authorities since last year.

Ambulances were blocked for more than a day from attending the scene and evacuating the wounded for medical care,” Tedros said.

WHO is currently providing life-saving trauma and surgical supplies to a hospital that is treating survivors who were able to reach care,” Tedros said. “Attacks on civilians anywhere are completely unacceptable and so is denying them access to immediate care, because we lose lives.”

Tedros has occasionally tweeted about the conflict in Tigray, but has rarely mentioned it while speaking publicly in his official capacity as head of the WHO.

Ethiopia’s government has accused him in the past of supporting its opponents in the Tigray conflict, the Tigrayan People’s Liberation Front, which he previously represented as Ethiopia’s health minister and foreign minister.

Ethiopia’s military has denied that any civilians were among those killed in the air strike on the town of Togoga near the regional capital Mekelle. A military spokesman said on Thursday that all those struck were combatants, wearing civilian clothes.

Residents and doctors, however, have said that women and children were among the dead and wounded. A health official working on the response to the air strike said on Friday the death toll had risen to 64 killed, with 180 other people wounded.

The incident was one of the deadliest in months in a conflict in which the government had said major fighting largely ended last year.

It happened after residents described an increase in fighting in recent days, and fell on the anniversary of a 1988 air strike by Ethiopia’s then-ruling communists that killed hundreds of civilians, an event widely commemorated in Tigray.

On Friday, Tedros also tweeted a message from medical charity Medecins sans Frontiers, which reported that three of its staff had been killed in Ethiopia.

_______________________________

Posted in Ethiopia, Health, News/ዜና, War & Crisis | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

 
%d bloggers like this: