Blog Archives

Briton on death row in Ethiopia saw news of release on Facebook

Andargachew Tsege saw comment from attorney general about pardoningA British citizen released last week after being imprisoned on death row in Ethiopia said he only found out that he would be freed after a government official commented on an appeal on Facebook.Andargachew Tsege, who has been an outspoken critic of the Ethiopian regime, was arrested at an airport in Yemen in 2014 before being extradited to Addis Ababa. He was imprisoned for four years, held in solitary confinement for more than a year. Good to have Andargachew Tsege back on UK soil after his pardon by the Ethiopian government. Very proud of the hard work @foreignoffice staff put into supporting him and his family to get him home safely. Continue reading...
Posted in Ethiopian News

Ethiopia pardons abducted Briton on death row

Regime critic Andargachew Tsege was seized during stopover in Yemen in 2014A Briton who has spent four years on death row in Ethiopia after being abducted at an airport in Yemen has been pardoned.Andargachew Tsege, an opponent of the regime in Addis Ababa, first came to the UK in 1979. He holds British citizenship and was sentenced to death in his absence nine years ago. His wife, who has not seen him in four years, told the Guardian that she expected him to be back at their home in London this week. Continue reading...
Posted in Ethiopian News

In Ethiopia’s bushlands, promised riches of a railway boom turn to dust

Villagers, lured by new jobs and rich rewards for selling their land, now face poverty and heartbreak as claims of corruption engulf £2.5bn transport project‘They promised us we would get jobs there,” says Tadele, nodding at the grand, almost baroque edifice at the bottom of the hill. Adama’s new railway station, yellow bricks golden in the afternoon sun, is still a symbol of hope for the 43-year-old who lives in a village overlooking it. But its promise is dimmer than it was.A stint on the payroll of the Chinese firm that built Ethiopia’s new railway ended sourly. After six months he was fired, for reasons he disputes. Now, like many in his village and in small towns all along the railway from the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, to Djibouti, the tiny nation and synonymous Red Sea port that borders Ethiopia,
Posted in Ethiopian News

UN suspends key witness in alleged sexual assault inquiry

Miriam Maluwa put on administrative leave after giving evidence to support claims against UNAids deputy directorA key witness in a sexual assault investigation involving a UN assistant secretary general has been suspended from her job, in a move campaigners say is a show of “pure intimidation tactics”. UNAids disputes this, saying the suspension is unrelated to the investigation of the senior official, Luiz Loures. Miriam Maluwa, who has worked for the UN for more than 25 years, was placed on administrative leave from her post as country director for UNAids in Ethiopia on 27 March. In a letter from the agency she was told this action did not amount to disciplinary measures, but that UNAids would be conducting a management and operational review of the country’s office during her absence. Continue reading...
Posted in Ethiopian News

Ethiopians urge Britain to return bones of ‘stolen’ prince after 150 years

Poet Lemn Sissay adds voice to campaign for repatriation of the boy’s remains with other loot taken after the Battle of MaqdalaFor 150 years, Ethiopians have been asking when Prince Alemayehu will come home. The orphan prince, a descendant of Solomon, was taken to England – some say “stolen” – after British soldiers looted his father’s imperial citadel following the Battle of Maqdala in 1868.He died at the age of 18, after an unhappy childhood, and was buried at St George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle at the request of Queen Victoria. Now, as discussions take place with the Victoria &Albert Museum about the return of royal treasures taken by British forces during the battle, the Ethiopian government told the Observer it is “redoubling” its efforts to finally bring back the prince’s remains. Last week there were celebrations in Addis Ababa
Posted in Ethiopian News

The Ethiopian treasures in the V&A may have to return home | Martin Kettle

The Maqdala artefacts were seized in an imperial war that wasn’t about plunder or annexation. Still, they may not be in the right placeA group of Ethiopian treasures, now on special display at the Victoria and Albert Museum, have rekindled an old debate about whether such artefacts should be returned to their country of origin. Ethiopia would like them back. The V&A’s director, Tristram Hunt, has suggested a long-term loan. The Ethiopian government has welcomed Hunt’s offer. And there, for now, the matter rests.The treasures, which include an 18th-century gold crown and a royal wedding dress, are part of a fascinating and beautiful collection with a tragic and little-known history. They were seized by the British in 1868 and have been in the V&A ever since. But the circumstances of their seizure, and the consequences, deserve to be much better
Posted in Ethiopian News

British museums and looted treasures | Letters

The V&A should acknowledge the circumstances in which its Ethiopian artefacts were acquired by returning them unconditionally, says Douglas CurrieI am writing to take issue with the views of the V&A director, Tristram Hunt, as quoted by Mark Brown in his article concerning Ethiopian artefacts held by the museum (Ethiopian treasures could be on their way home after V&A offers long-term loan, 4 April).Among the reasons given by Mr Hunt for not allowing a “simple return” of items to their countries of origin is what he calls the “philosophical case for cosmopolitanism in museum collections”. I take this to mean that museums should play a role in promoting other cultures. Continue reading...
Posted in Ethiopian News, Politics

Looted Ethiopian treasures in UK could be returned on loan

Victoria and Albert Museum director says artefacts could be sent to Africa on long-term loanTreasures including a gold crown and a royal wedding dress, which were taken from Ethiopia by the British 150 years ago, could be returned to Africa by the Victoria and Albert Musuem on long-term loan.Ethiopia lodged a formal restitution claim in 2007 for hundreds of important and beautiful manuscripts and artefacts being held by various British institutions, all plundered after the 1868 capture of Maqdala, the mountain capital of Emperor Tewodros II in what was then Abyssinia. Continue reading...
Posted in Ethiopian News, Politics

‘Freedom!’: the mysterious movement that brought Ethiopia to a standstill | Tom Gardner

Qeerroo – young Oromo activists – drove the mass strike that helped topple the prime minister of one of Africa’s most autocratic governments Today, Desalegn is a banker. But once he was a Qeerroo: a young, energetic and unmarried man from Ethiopia’s largest ethnic group, the Oromo, bound by what he calls a “responsibility to defend the people”.Twelve years ago he helped organise mass protests against an election result he and many others believed the ruling Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) had rigged. This landed him in prison, along with thousands of others, on terrorism charges.They are the vanguard of the Oromo revolution Continue reading...
Posted in Ethiopian News

‘By Ethiopians, for Ethiopians’: girl band Yegna shake off Spice Girls tag | Claudine Spera

A group that supports women’s rights using music influenced by Ethiopian heritage is thriving – despite losing UK aid fundingIn the grounds of a school in Bahir Dar, a city in north-west Ethiopia, thousands of young fans have gathered to catch a glimpse of the country’s hottest girl band.Behind billowing white sheets in a makeshift green room, the four women collectively known as Yegna prepare to take the stage. As the harsh lunchtime sunshine beats down, curious schoolchildren press up against the material to get a glimpse of their idols, who have been dubbed Ethiopia’s Spice Girls by the British press.It helps girls be confident. Teaching a young girl is changing a whole community Related: Ethiopian music scheme loses UK aid funding after press criticism Continue reading...
Posted in Ethiopian News

‘Never retreat’: all-female band Yegna bring girl power to Ethiopia – video

Through songs, radio drama and their own YouTube channel, Yegna champion women's rights across Ethiopia, where many young women never get the chance to go to secondary school. Last year, the band lost its UK aid funding after a negative press campaign, but they remain determined to press home their message. The Guardian went to Addis Ababa to find them still inspiring young girls to assert their right to education and say no to child marriage Continue reading...
Posted in Ethiopian News

Hailu Mergia: the Ethiopian jazz legend who jams in his taxi

He fled his native country with his group, the Walias Band, in 1981 and now drives a cab in Washington DC, in which he also composes. But, despite his lo-fi setup, ‘if you have a good bassline you can create anything’On a Monday afternoon, Hailu Mergia is driving through the suburbs of Washington DC, his laminated cabby licence tacked to the back of his seat. It’s rare that one of his customers realises that their driver is an Ethiopian musical legend, the keyboardist and accordionist of the Walias Band, one of the most popular groups from the country’s 70s golden age. When Mergia speaks of that era – growing up near Addis Ababa, raising goats and sheep, singing traditional folk music, joining the military, forming the Walias Band and eventually leaving Ethiopia for good – the dates get fuzzy, but
Posted in Ethiopian News

Please don’t stop giving to charity – these Ethiopian farmers show how crucial it is | Tadesse Amera

These organic cotton farmers would still use pesticides if it weren’t for UK donations. We shouldn’t let the scandals faced by some charities alter our behaviourAmong crops, cotton is notorious for the high volumes of hazardous pesticides used to grow it. Pesticide poisoning of smallholder farmers is all too common and indiscriminate use is a major cause of water pollution and biodiversity loss. For years, the accepted wisdom around the world has been that it is uneconomical to grow cotton in any other way. But today farmers in Ethiopia are proving that it is not only possible, but profitable, to grow cotton without pesticides.I work with smallholder cotton farmers in the Arba Minch area in the south of the country. In the early 2000s they benefited from some training on sustainable agriculture and, despite having no funding, were very keen
Posted in Ethiopian News

The Wife’s Tale by Aida Edemariam review – portrait of a mother goddess

Edemariam deftly traces her grandmother’s life in Ethiopia, taking in Haile Selassie’s feudal reign and Marxist dictatorshipIn this elegant account, Aida Edemariam has sketched her grandmother’s life in an Ethiopia that shifted, within 50 years, from feudal monarchy to Marxist dictatorship. We first meet Yètèmegnu in the years before the Italian invasion in 1935, as a child of nine betrothed to a cleric more than two decades her senior. It is with a deft, subtle touch that Edemariam portrays both the contemporary celebration of the event and the deeper tragedy of it.Born into a landowning family in the Gondar region in the north of the then Abyssinian empire, Yètèmegnu boasts distant royal connections. Within her small, pastoral world she is treated as a noble; her larder brims with crops from her husband’s peasant-tilled fields. Continue reading...
Posted in Ethiopian News

Operation Chaos by Matthew Sweet review – spies, Vietnam deserters and a cult of evil

A horribly readable account of the US military deserters who found asylum in Sweden during the Vietnam War, and their group’s infiltration by the CIAIt is almost forgotten now what a decisive role Sweden played in the Vietnam war. Even at the time, the armies doing the fighting and the million or so Vietnamese doing the dying may have underestimated the importance Swedish public opinion had on their struggle. But in Sweden it was never in doubt. The starting point for this weird, sad, horribly readable story is the arrival in Stockholm in May 1968 of six misfit and confused US deserters from the Vietnam war after they had been shepherded across the Soviet Union from Japan, where a fishing vessel had smuggled them on to a Russian ship.They had been transported across the USSR “on a current of vodka”
Posted in Ethiopian News

Addis Ababa massacre – in pictures

The Addis Ababa massacre or Graziani massacre, in which 20,000 to 30,000 Ethiopians were killed by Italian occupying forces on 19 February 1937, is commemorated at the Holy Trinity Cathedral in the Ethiopian capital Continue reading...
Posted in Ethiopian News

The Wife’s Tale by Aida Edemariam review – anatomy of an unyielding spirit

The extraordinary life of the author’s grandmother, who married aged eight and survived tumultuous events, is richly and painstakingly evokedAida Edemariam found the subject of this engaging biography in her own family tree – The Wife’s Tale being the story of her paternal grandmother. And in choosing to excavate and write a family history, she follows a growing trend among biographers reshaping the genre with intimate studies of late mothers, complicated fathers and tragic siblings, from Helen Macdonald and Richard Beard to 2017’s Costa prize-winning biographer, Rebecca Stott.In Edemariam’s case, it is the life of Yetemegnu, who was born in the northern Ethiopian city of Gondar and died five years ago at the grand age of 97 (or thereabouts: the timeline in the book explains that formal birth certificates weren’t used in Ethiopia in the early 20th century). She emerges
Posted in Ethiopian News

State of emergency declared in Ethiopia amid political unrest

Emergency rule imposed by ruling EPRDF coalition following prime minister Hailemariam Desalegn’s decision to resignEthiopia has announced a state of emergency after prime minister Hailemariam Desalegn on Thursday announced his intention to step down amid a political crisis in the country. The ruling EPRDF coalition’s council met on Friday and decided to impose emergency rule for an unspecified period, the state-run Ethiopian Broadcasting Corporation said. The council “came to the conclusion that imposing emergency rule would be vital to safeguarding the constitutional order of our country”. Further details are expected to be given by the defence minister on Saturday morning. Related: Mass protests force Ethiopia to free opposition leader Continue reading...
Posted in Ethiopian News

Ethiopian prime minister resigns after mass protests

Hailemariam Desalegn steps down in surprise move intended to end years of unrestEthiopia’s prime minister has submitted a letter of resignation in a surprise move that comes amid protracted anti-government protests.The resignation of Hailemariam Desalegn, who has been in power since 2012, was first reported by the state-affiliated broadcaster Fana on Thursday and follows a nationwide state of emergency last year. His stepping down is unprecedented in the east African country. Related: Mass protests force Ethiopia to free opposition leader Continue reading...
Posted in Ethiopian News

Mass protests force Ethiopia to free opposition leader

Bekele Gerba and seven other political figures suddenly cleared of charges and let out of jail after being arrested in 2015Ethiopia has released a senior opposition leader from prison and dropped all charges against him after demonstrators blocked roads and staged protest rallies in several towns. Bekele Gerba, secretary general of the Oromo Federalist Congress (OFC), was arrested in December 2015 after mass protests broke out in the Oromiya region over accusations that farmers were being forced to sell land with scant compensation. Related: 'Addis has run out of space': Ethiopia's radical redesign Continue reading...
Posted in Ethiopian News

Ethiopia vows to protect European companies after farms attacked

Foreign food businesses attacked during recent protests by the Oromo ethnic group in Ethiopia face a tough choice to stay or leave and lose their investmentIan Derry was shocked when he got the news. A group of men had ransacked his company’s factory and burned down several buildings. A decade of work, tonnes of produce, tens of millions of dollars invested in equipment – it was all gone in the span of a few hours.Derry is the director of africaJUICE, a Dutch company whose fruit processing plant in Ethiopia was one of almost a dozen factories attacked during the most recent outburst of protests by the Oromo ethnic group. Now foreign agri-businesses like his face a tough choice: stay, despite the risk, or leave and lose their investment. Related: State of emergency likely to ramp up repression in fractured Ethiopia
Posted in Ethiopian News

EU seeks swift action on African migration deals to ease pressure on Italy

Leaders at Brussels summit will call for more efforts to reduce irregular migrants and want agreements in place by springEuropean Union leaders will press for faster results from deals with African countries to stop the flow of migrants and refugees crossing the Mediterranean sea to Italy.The EU has intensified work with governments in Ethiopia, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal and Mali – all countries of origin for people attempting the dangerous sea crossing to Italy. Related: The EU's boxers are on the lookout for fighting talk from Theresa May Related: EU considering working with Sudan and Eritrea to stem migration Continue reading...
Posted in Ethiopian News

From Syria, with sadness: souvenirs that cause heartbreak | Dreda Say Mitchell

My holiday mementos now prompt sympathy for countries with incredible sights and people suffering crises and warHoliday souvenirs are reminders of happy times, but when tragedy comes to the places we’ve visited they can become double-edged. In my front room is a large rug that I once haggled for over a cup of mint tea. What turns this particular carpet into a poignant memory is that I bought it, with other mementos, in the street market in Aleppo over a decade ago.The city was full of incredible sights. How many will survive this war is an open question. But it’s the people I remember. Passersby would regularly stop me on the street and ask me where I came from. When I told them, they would nod and say: “You are welcome in Syria.” That seemed to be a phrase everyone
Posted in Ethiopian News

Ethiopia is in a state of emergency. The tyrannical government must go | Alemante Gebre-Selassie

The country’s deadly protests stem from ethnic division, endemic corruption and high youth unemployment. The world must support calls for a new governmentThe deadly protests that have rocked Ethiopia over the past several months, resulting in the declaration of a six-month state of emergency, stem from many regional and national grievances, most of which reflect a sense of economic and political marginalisation by wide sections of the country.The unrest in the south dates back to November 2015, when demonstrators opposed a government plan to expand the boundaries of Addis Ababa into the Oromo regional state. Farmers were particularly upset, worrying that they would lose their farms in the government’s notorious “land grab” policy. Those protests have claimed the lives of hundreds of people and still counting. Related: Ethiopia declares state of emergency as deadly protests continue Related: Olympic medallist Feyisa
Posted in Ethiopian News

$10m campaign targets cervical cancer among girls in sub-Saharan Africa

Vaccine drive launched on International Day of the Girl aims to protect girls against the region’s biggest-killing cancer, in Rwanda, Ethiopia and MalawiA partnership worth $10m (£8.1m) to increase the uptake and awareness of a vaccine to protect girls from cervical cancer, which has higher death rates in sub-Saharan Africa than any other cancer, was launched on Tuesday.Gavi, the vaccine alliance, announced it is joining forces with the Girl Effect to increase the demand for the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine in Rwanda, Ethiopia and Malawi. Related: US ranks lower than Kazakhstan and Algeria on gender equality Continue reading...
Posted in Ethiopian News, Health

​Ethiopia blames ‘foreign enemies’ for inciting unrest

Minister accuses Egypt of influencing anti-government protests, and training and financing rebel groupEthiopia has blamed “foreign enemies” for the unprecedented wave of protests that has prompted the government to declare a six-month state of emergency.The government is facing the biggest challenge of its 25 years in power, with anti-government protests spreading, foreign-owned companies targeted and a harsh security crackdown that has killed hundreds so far failing to quell the unrest. Related: Ethiopia: many dead in anti-government protest at religious festival Related: Ethiopia's Nile dam project signals its intention to become an African power Continue reading...
Posted in Ethiopian News

UN peacekeepers refused to help as aid workers were raped in South Sudan – report

Chinese troops abandoned their posts rather than engage in fighting and protect civilians, says US-based rights groupUnited Nations peacekeepers stayed in their bases rather than protect civilians during an outbreak of fighting in South Sudan in July, a rights group has said.Chinese UN peacekeepers in the capital Juba “abandoned their posts entirely” at one civilian protection site where tens of thousands had sought safety from successive bouts of fighting, a report by the US-based Centre for Civilians in Conflict (Civic) said. Related: 'We just want to live' – South Sudanese refugees bear scars of brutal civil war Related: Enough is enough. It's time to protect aid workers Continue reading...
Posted in Ethiopian News

The two-hour marathon: who is it for?

The Sub2Hr project wants to use cutting-edge science to break the record. But what do Ethiopian athletes, its favoured candidates, think about the plan? I found out at a rural training camp in Gondar In a two-part series in the New York Times entitled Man vs Marathon, Jeré Longman took a thorough look at Yannis Pitsiladis’s project to accelerate the process that will, almost certainly, lead to a human being running the arbitrary distance of 26.2 miles in two hours. In the article, Pitsiladis, a sports psychologist, says that the most likely candidate to achieve this feat would be an Ethiopian or Kenyan with a hard, rural upbringing, and that the best way for them to run that fast for that long would be to minimise the amount of weight on their feet, probably by running barefoot or with merely
Posted in Ethiopian News, Health

Ethiopia: many dead in anti-government protest at religious festival

Opposition party says stampede kills at least 50 people in chaotic scenes in restive Oromiya regionScores of people are feared dead after police in Ethiopia fired teargas and warning shots to disperse anti-government protesters at a religious festival, triggering a stampede.The Oromiya regional government, where the event took place, confirmed the death toll at 52. A spokesman blamed “people that prepared to cause trouble”. Related: Feyisa Lilesa: being an athlete allowed me to be the voice of my people Continue reading...
Posted in Ethiopian News

Ethiopia’s tribes – in pictures

Globalisation and development are impacting heavily on the tribes living in the Omo Valley. Human rights groups fear for their future if they are forced to scatter, give up traditional ways of living through loss of land or the ability to keep cattle Continue reading...
Posted in Ethiopian News

Eyewitness: Omo Valley, Ethiopia

Photographs from the Eyewitness series Continue reading...
Posted in Ethiopian News

‘We’d leave tomorrow if we could’: life in Eritrea for those left behind

Thousands of people flee the country illegally every month to skip military service, but getting out is too expensive for mostOutside a cafe on the crossroads of a busy intersection in Asmara, three 25-year-olds sip macchiatos and catch up on the latest gossip in the bright morning sunshine. The conversation soon turns to people who have “skipped”, a term for those who have fled Eritrea to escape the indefinite national service programme.Birhane, 25, who works as a mechanic in a government-owned garage, said: “Between us, we probably know about 300 people who have skipped in the last few years. They are leaving because we have to do what the government tells us to do.” Related: It's not at war, but up to 3% of its people have fled. What is going on in Eritrea? We would all leave tomorrow if
Posted in Ethiopian News

Who’s WHO? Six candidates named for next World Health Organisation chief

Ministers and academics from France, Ethiopia, Pakistan, Italy, Hungary and UK will vie to succeed Margaret Chan as director general in July 2017Six candidates from Africa, Asia and Europe – including one Briton – have been nominated for the position of director general of the World Health Organisation, at a time when experts have emphasised the need for the agency to prove it can be “transparent and accountable” to the public.The candidates include current and former government ministers and academics. Dr Philippe Douste-Blazy of France, a former health and foreign minister, makes the list, as does Ethiopia’s foreign minister – and former health minister – Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. Related: World Health Organisation should outsource key duties, experts say Continue reading...
Posted in Ethiopian News, Health

Feyisa Lilesa: being an athlete allowed me to be the voice of my people

Ethiopian runner made controversial X gesture as he crossed the finishing line, but the struggle of the Oromo is far from overIn a dark suit jacket and tieless white shirt, Feyisa Lilesa walked into the ballroom of a Washington hotel and crossed his wrists above his head. Several Ethiopians present burst into spontaneous applause.For them, exiled far from home, the marathon man became a hero last month when he made the same X gesture as he crossed the finish line to win silver at the Rio Olympics. It was an audacious protest on one of the world’s biggest stages against the Ethiopian government’s persecution of the Oromo ethnic group, at huge risk to himself and his family. Related: Olympic medallist Feyisa Lilesa’s gesture was a plea for justice for his people | Henok Gabisa Related: Ethiopia, 30 years after the
Posted in Ethiopian News

Middle East’s leaders cross the Red Sea to woo east Africa

Iran, Saudi Arabia, Israel and others are seeking favours in Kenya, Sudan and Ethiopia as old alliances in the region falterFor Nairobi’s commuters, summer has brought more woes than usual. Along with the demonstrations, road accidents and downpours that frequently cause gridlock in Kenya’s capital, there has been an almost weekly shutdown as foreign VIPs fly in. “Of course people are annoyed … but some rather like it. We are getting the feeling that we are finally returning to centre stage,” said Charles Onyango-Obbo, a publisher and journalist.Many of the visitors have been from the US, China and other nations long seen as players in the region, but an increasing number are from the Middle East, their visits underlining a dramatic twist in the centuries-old battle between foreign powers for influence, trade, resources and military assets in a strategically sensitive
Posted in Ethiopian News

Stand as one – the global refugee crisis in pictures

A new immersive visual and audio exhibition by photographers commissioned by Oxfam takes viewers into the world of some of the 65 million people forced to leave their homes around the globe. The photos remind us of the humanity and individuality of each person who has been compelled to flee because of conflict or extreme deprivation. Oxfam’s Stand as One campaign calls for global action to welcome more refugees, prevent families from being separated and keep people fleeing their homes safe from harm.The Stand as One exhibition is at 4 Holywell Lane, London, EC2A 3ET, until 15 September. Admission is free. On Monday 12 September, photojournalist Phil Moore and curator Rebecca McClelland will join Oxfam campaigns director Sally Copley to share personal experiences of the global refugee crisis Continue reading...
Posted in Ethiopian News

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 caseA 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. Continue reading...
Posted in Ethiopian News

Israel police chief says it is natural to suspect Ethiopians of crime

Roni Alsheich condemned for comments, which come against backdrop of complaints by Ethiopian Jews over how their community is policedIsrael’s most senior police officer has provoked outrage by suggesting it is “natural” for officers to suspect Israelis of Ethiopian origin – as well as Arabs – of being more involved in crime than other Jews.Roni Alsheich, Israel’s police commissioner, made the comments in response to a question at a conference of the Israeli bar association, suggesting more widely that research worldwide showed that “young people and immigrants” were disproportionately involved in crime. Continue reading...
Posted in Ethiopian News

Olympic medallist Feyisa Lilesa’s gesture was a plea for justice for his people | Henok Gabisa

Ethiopia’s Oromo people are systematically targeted and oppressed by its ruling regime. The athlete’s crossed arms protest shouldn’t be ignoredWhen the Ethiopian Olympic marathon medallist Feyisa Lilesa crossed his arms at the finish line, the world asked what the symbol stood for. Little is known about the historical marginalisation and collective persecution of Lilesa’s people, the Oromo of north-east Africa.Almost all Ethiopian runners come from the Oromia region; but the Ethiopian athletics federation is highly scornful of their Oromo identity. Perhaps the federation’s imperious attitude towards the athletes emanates from its paranoia and mistrust of the people, and fear that one day Oromo athletes might open Ethiopia’s Pandora’s box and spill the beans at an international sports event. Exactly what Lilesa did in Rio - and now he has not returned to Ethiopia. Related: Medallist Feyisa Lilesa fails to return
Posted in Ethiopian News

Medallist Feyisa Lilesa fails to return to Ethiopia after Olympics protest

Runner was not on board team plane despite assurances he would not be punished for taking a stand over political repression in his countryThe Olympic marathon silver medallist Feyisa Lilesa has failed to return to Ethiopia despite assurances he would not be punished for his Rio protest over political repression in his country.An AFP journalist at the airport in Addis Ababa said Lilesa was not on board the plane that landed on Monday night carrying Ethiopia’s Olympics team. Related: Ethiopian Olympic medallist seeks asylum after marathon protest Continue reading...
Posted in Ethiopian News

Deadly desert: working in 60C heat – in pictures

Unforgiving temperatures of up to 60C (140F) beat down on these saltminers on a daily basis. The mines, situated in the Afar Triangle in Ethiopia, stretch across 38,000 sq miles and at their lowest point are more than 300ft below sea level. Joel Santos travelled to capture the area’s dry, brutal beauty Continue reading...
Posted in Ethiopian News

Ethiopia’s Feyisa Lilesa makes gesture of protest on marathon finish line in Rio – video

Silver medallist in the men’s marathon, Feyisa Lilesa, makes a gesture of protest as he crosses the finishing line at the end of the race in Rio on Sunday afternoon. The Ethiopian holds his arms above his head, wrists crossed, in support of members of his Oromo tribe in the east African nation. Reports suggest Lilesa fears detention or death if he returns home and he is seeiking asylumEthiopian Olympic medallist seeks asylum after marathon protest Continue reading...
Posted in Ethiopian News

Africa droughts prompt calls to start pumping untapped groundwater

As drought sweeps many countries in Africa, an initiative led by water NGOs supports the use of underground aquifers. But the idea is controversialDespite recent heavy rains, Ethiopia is still reeling from the worst drought to hit the country for half a century, particularly in the livestock-dependent regions of Oromia and Somali. Yet studies (pdf) suggest the country could have billions of cubic metres of untapped groundwater.The story is the same across many parts of Africa, where farmers rely on erratic rains and depleted surface water while potentially vast groundwater reserves go ignored. Africa’s subterranean water amounts to an estimated 660,000 cubic kilometres (pdf), according to research from the British Geological Society – more than 100 times the continent’s annual renewable freshwater resources. Related: 'Extreme measures are needed': Namibia's battle with drought comes to its cities Continue reading...
Posted in Ethiopian News

Olympic wealth gap leaves Africa behind | Letters

With the US and other G8 countries packed together at the top of the Rio 2016 medal league table, you would be forgiven for wondering why article 1 of the UN universal declaration on human rights, which says “All human beings are born free and equal”, should not be qualified with the words, “depending on where they are born” (Rio 2016 medals and results, 17 August).Take the UK and Africa, for example. By Wednesday 17 August, the UK, which covers only 243,610 sq km with some 65 million people, had already won 50 medals, 19 of them gold. Contrast these achievements with Africa’s. Although it is the world’s second-largest and second-most-populous continent, covering 30.2m sq km and inhabited by about 1 billion people, it had won just 21 medals, five of them gold. To put Africa’s poor performance in perspective,
Posted in Ethiopian News

My activist partner is on death row in Ethiopia. The UK needs to intervene | Yemi Hailemariam

Andargachew Tsege, a British citizen, was kidnapped by security forces in 2014. Ethiopia’s EPRDF is still brutally cracking down on opposition voicesWatching the Ethiopian government shoot dead dozens of protesters last weekend made me sick with worry about my partner, who faces execution there for his political views. Andargachew Tsege, we call him Andy, is a British citizen and father of three. He is no stranger to protests in Ethiopia – he was a student activist in the 1970s, demonstrating against the then-government and eventually having to flee to London for fear of persecution. He would go on to become a key figure in Ethiopia’s pro-democracy movement.In 2005, following years in exile, Andy braved a trip back to Ethiopia to launch his book, which criticised government corruption and abuse. He was among the thousands who were arrested in a post-election
Posted in Ethiopian News

Dozens shot dead in anti-government protests across Ethiopia says opposition

Deaths in at least ten separate towns amid growing unrest over government policiesDozens of people were shot dead by security forces in protests across Ethiopia’s Oromiya and Amhara regions at the weekend, residents and opposition officials have said.Unrest flared in Oromiya for several months until early this year over plans to allocate farmland surrounding the regional capital for development. Authorities scrapped the scheme in January, but protests flared again over the continued detention of opposition demonstrators. Related: Ethiopia's farmers fight devastating drought with land restoration Continue reading...
Posted in Ethiopian News

A day in the digital life of Africa

From a Nigerian living in the shadow of Boko Haram to a 70-year-old farmer in Zimbabwe, technology is transforming what is possible in AfricaAfrica is in the throes of a technological revolution, leapfrogging computers in favour of internet connections through mobile phones. A fifth of the continent now have access to a broadband connection, a figure predicted to triple in the next five years.But how are phones and the internet changing the lives of ordinary Africans? And what barriers do people still come up against when trying to connect?Sometimes the network is so poor that WhatsApp messages linger for hours without sendingTeacher states that it is sad that the number of girls in class drops #EndChildMarriage pic.twitter.com/DpcFmRfn5o Continue reading...
Posted in Ethiopian News

Ethiopia’s safe houses offer more than shelter to violence survivors – in pictures

Women and girls who have been abused need a range of services to help their recovery, including medical care, counselling and legal aid as well as training in life skills and employment, according to a report by Womankind Worldwide, More than a roof. A shelter in Ethiopia’s capital, Addis Ababa, offers exactly this holistic approachPhotographs: Maheder Haileselassie Tadese/Womankind Continue reading...
Posted in Ethiopian News

UK growth not being converted to increased wellbeing, says report

Britain ranks in the bottom 25 out of 162 countries when it comes to boosting the wellbeing of its citizens, survey findsThe UK is losing ground to Germany and other countries when it comes to using economic growth to improve the wellbeing of its citizens, according to a report.The sustainable economic development assessment (Seda) by the Boston Consulting Group measures the wellbeing of citizens across 160 countries. Using measures other than just GDP, such as employment rates, economic stability, income equality and environment, it gives countries an overall score and a recent progress score, and compares their ability to convert wealth and growth into wellbeing. Continue reading...
Posted in Business, Ethiopian News, Health

Al-Shabaab militants storm Somalia base used by Ethiopian troops

African Union forces repel early morning assault on Halgan base, with both sides claiming to have inflicted heavy casualtiesInternational forces in Somalia have fought off an audacious attack on a heavily defended military base by hundreds of al-Shabaab militants.The assault on Thursday is the latest in a series of high profile attacks by the Islamic extremists in the war-torn east African state and will fuel fears that the group, which is affiliated with al-Qaida, is gaining strength. Related: Gunmen kill at least 15 in attack on Mogadishu hotel Related: Two major al-Shabaab leaders killed in US airstrike and raid by Somali forces Continue reading...
Posted in Ethiopian News

Eritreans still denied freedom 25 years after independence

Young people are fleeing at an alarming rate, preferring to face uncertainty in Europe rather than oppression at home, The Conversation reportsTwenty-five years ago the Eritrean People’s Liberation Front marched into Asmara, sending the Ethiopian forces they had been fighting for 30 years scrambling out of the city to safety. People were elated. The underdogs had triumphed and the streets were filled with war-wearied citizens, who were free at last. Young people feel smothered by the lack of opportunities within the country Related: Inside Eritrea: conscription and poverty drive exodus from secretive African state Related: Guardian Africa series: Inside Eritrea Continue reading...
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Secret aid worker: ‘It is time to pass the UN leadership baton to a new generation’

As the sector comes together for the World Humanitarian Summit, it’s time to address the elephant in the room - the leaders sitting at the helmChange is coming; or so they say. After interviews, backroom strategising and deals being struck, the new UN secretary general will assume his or (hopefully) her role in January. But what does that mean for the men and women across the globe who expect more from the UN and from its humanitarian system as a whole? Related: Secret aid worker: fixing the humanitarian and development divide Related: The humanitarian system: 'A mammoth machinery losing track of what it is for' Related: Secret aid worker: what should doctors do when we witness human rights abuses? Related: The man who deals with disasters: 'If it was an impossible job I would not be trying to do it'
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How southern Africa is coping with worst global food crisis for 25 years

From Angola to Zimbabwe, food prices are soaring and malnutrition is on the rise as the latest El Niño weather event takes a brutal tollDrought is affecting 1.4 million people across seven of Angola’s 18 provinces. Food prices have rocketed and acute malnutrition rates have doubled, with more than 95,000 children affected. Food insecurity is expected to worsen from July to the end of the year. Related: Where drought is the new normal: El Niño worsens food shortages in Malawi and Zimbabwe – podcast Related: Drought and rising temperatures 'leaves 36m people across Africa facing hunger' Continue reading...
Posted in Ethiopian News

We must rebuild farmers’ resilience after Ethiopia’s catastrophic El Niño

Before this year’s drought, farmers’ yields were tripling in some regions. With the right investment, Ethiopia can get back on track for middle-income statusA year ago, Ethiopia was on the verge of achieving something remarkable. Having been the second poorest country in the world as recently as 2000, Ethiopia was on track to becoming middle-income by 2025. The 1980s image of a country ravaged by famine, poverty and conflict was fading.A large part of Ethiopia’s phenomenal growth was thanks to more than a decade of investment, with a particular focus on transforming agriculture. This sector employs more than 80% of the population of 91 million people (pdf), and accounts for more than 60% of exports. Agricultural yields were tripling in some regions, with the farmers I visited proud to be harvesting more, earning more, and sending their children to school
Posted in Ethiopian News

Ethiopian troops close in on hostages taken by South Sudan militia

Government says soldiers have surrounded area where 125 children are believed to have been taken by Murle tribesmenEthiopian troops have reportedly surrounded an area in South Sudan where an armed group is suspected of holding 125 children hostage.The troops crossed into South Sudan and surrounded Jior and Kok, where the children are believed to be being held by Murle tribesmen, the president of Gambella state, Gatluak Tut, told the state-affiliated broadcaster Fana. Related: South Sudan peace deal in balance amid opposition leader’s continued absence Continue reading...
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‘Unbridled violence’ in Gambella leaves Ethiopia searching for answers | William Davison

Why did a group of South Sudanese people cross the border into western Ethiopia and start shooting mothers and abducting their children?The South Sudanese attackers arrived on foot before dawn. In the Nuer villages in the grasslands of Gambella in western Ethiopia, people woke to the sound of gunshots and tried to flee, but armed men stopped them. Mothers were shot when they tried to stop the raiders taking their children.Bol Choul, 26, tried to run away but one of the attackers caught him in his hut and they fought. Bol injured his hand but managed to get out. He had to leave without his wife and children, and his blind father, who was shot but survived. Related: Ethiopian forces hunt South Sudan gunmen who killed 208 in raid Related: Ethiopia's clampdown on dissent tests ethnic federal structure Related: Tensions
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Ethiopian coffee farmers full of beans as barcodes promise better business

Ethiopia has underscored its zeal to modernise production of its top commodity with a scheme that tells buyers exactly where its beans are fromCoffee farmers jostle outside the Wodessa co-operative’s warehouse on the outskirts of Jimma in western Ethiopia, watching as their world-renowned Arabica beans are packed into jute sacks conspicuously marked with barcodes. The codes are designed to tell global buyers exactly where these beans are from.“Coffee buyers are interested in who is growing their coffee. Our aim is to promote our producers,” explains Fekadu Dugassa, manager of the Limu Innarea Coffee Co-operative Union, which is based in the high-altitude plains of outer Jimma. Related: How Africa's first commodity exchange revolutionised Ethiopia's economy | Lauren Everitt Continue reading...
Posted in Business, Ethiopian News

Ethiopian forces hunt South Sudan gunmen who killed 208 in raid

More than 100 children were kidnapped in deadly attack on Friday, but troops are closing in, says Ethiopian officialThe death toll from a raid carried out by South Sudanese gunmen in western Ethiopia has risen to 208 and the assailants kidnapped 108 children, an Ethiopian official said on Sunday. Related: Tensions run high as rebels return to South Sudan's capital Continue reading...
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The UK needs to condemn executions in Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and Iran

The rise in capital punishments worldwide should bring action from the UK’s foreign office, but it has been criticised for deprioritising human rightsDriven by unprecedented execution sprees in Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and Iran, the use of the death penalty has reached an all-time high, according to figures published by Amnesty International. An alarming proportion of those executed were carried out for non-violent crimes, including drug offences and attendance at political protests. Related: Iran and Pakistan fuel surge in executions to 25-year high The countries driving a global surge in executions are among the UK’s closest allies. This gives us a voice Related: Justice in Pakistan: "The government is hanging people left, right and centre" Continue reading...
Posted in Ethiopian News, Politics

Ethiopia’s clampdown on dissent tests ethnic federal structure

Protests sparked by the arrest of Konso leader Kala Gezahegn underlined growing tensions between Ethiopia’s central government and many ethnic populationsNothing seemed amiss when an Ethiopian government vehicle arrived to collect the traditional leader of the Konso people for a meeting in March. But instead of being taken to discuss his community’s requests for more autonomy, Kala Gezahegn was arrested.Kala’s detention marked a low point in fraught relations between the Konso in southern Ethiopia and the regional authorities in the state capital, Hawassa. Five years ago, the Konso lost their right to self-govern, and growing tensions since then mirror discontent in other parts of Ethiopia. Continue reading...
Posted in Ethiopian News

‘They call us crazy’: a trip to Ethiopia’s first space observatory

Multi-million dollar facility offers excellent views of Orion’s Belt – and opportunities to tackle climate change and famineWith its clear skies and closeness to the equator, Ethiopia is an ideal location for space exploration. Yet for a developing country facing its worst drought in 50 years, spending millions of dollars to look at the stars might, at first, seem frivolous.“They call us crazy because they think we’re [only] exploring outer space and gazing at the stars. But they can’t see the bigger picture,” says Abinet Ezra of the Ethiopian Space Science Society. Related: US pledges $97m in emergency aid to drought-stricken Ethiopia If someone studies here, they’re going to contribute to society. It’s a mechanism to control the brain drainIn one of the oldest Christian countries, the Ethiopian Space Science Society is seen as a challenge to the church Related:
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Drought and rising temperatures ‘leaves 36m people across Africa facing hunger’

Unusually strong El Niño, coupled with record-high temperatures, has had a catastrophic effect on crops and rainfall across southern and eastern AfricaMore than 36 million people face hunger across southern and eastern Africa, the United Nations has warned, as swaths of the continent grapple with the worst drought in decades at a time of record high temperatures.The immediate cause of the drought which has crippled countries from Ethiopia to Zimbabwe is one of the strongest El Niño events ever recorded. It has turned normal weather patterns upside down around the globe, climate scientists say. Related: As drought hits Ethiopia again, food aid risks breaking resilience Related: El Niño has passed peak strength but impacts will continue, UN warns Related: El Niño is causing global food crisis, UN warns Continue reading...
Posted in Ethiopian News

Ethiopian prime minister: ‘We are an island of stability in a troubled region’

Hailemariam Desalegn says the key to keeping the peace in Ethiopia is a tooth-and-nail fight against poverty AllAfrica’s Reed Kramer interviewed Ethiopia’s prime minister, Hailemariam Desalegn, after a US-Africa business summit in Addis Ababa in February. These are extracts from the original interview.Your government has made major strides in meeting the millennium development goals (MDGs) agreed among countries worldwide at the UN. Now there are sustainable development goals (SDGs). How is Ethiopia doing? Continue reading...
Posted in Ethiopian News

‘We’re waiting to die’: Ethiopians pray even as drought response praised | Simona Foltyn

Limited food and dwindling livestock has become a way of life for many Ethiopians since drought struck. The government says its countermeasures are working, yet its confidence is belied by the hardship facing farmersMadina Boru cradles her 18-month-old son as the health worker wraps the measuring tape around his skinny upper arm. The boy is one of more than 400,000 children in Ethiopia at risk of extreme hunger as the country grapples with the worst drought in decades, caused by a particularly severe occurrence of the weather phenomenon El Niño.“All of our crops failed last year, after the rains didn’t come,” Boru says. “My son fell sick soon after.” Related: Ethiopia's agriculture boom yields a bare harvest for poor as El Niño bites | William Davison Related: UK gives Ethiopia £30m to fight drought similar in scale to 1984 crisis
Posted in Ethiopian News

Africa’s Big Men can deliver but they must know when to go | Charles Onyango-Obbo

Elections in African countries can be troublesome things, but when the same leader has been in power for more than 25 years, citizens should start to worryIn recent months, headlines from Africa have been dominated by Big Men who just won’t go away.On 18 February, Ugandans went to the polls, with President Yoweri Museveni, who has ruled the country since he came to power as a victorious rebel leader in 1986, looking to extend his 30-year rule. Related: Democrats v autocrats in Africa: is there a winning formula? – podcast Related: Can democracy spread at the push of a button? | Stephen Abbott Pugh Continue reading...
Posted in Ethiopian News

Oromo children’s books keep once-banned Ethiopian language alive

Melbourne woman Toltu Tufa launches publishing company to print teaching resources for Oromo, a language forbidden under Haile SelassieToltu Tufa grew up in Australia, so she couldn’t understand why her father insisted on teaching her Oromo, a macrolanguage spoken in parts of Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia and Egypt.But what she went on to discover about the language prompted her to launch the first publishing company to print children’s books entirely in Oromo, which she exports from her home in Footscray, 5km west of Melbourne, to schools and families throughout the world. Related: 'Stop the killing!': farmland development scheme sparks fatal clashes in Ethiopia | William Davison Related: Ethiopia scraps Addis Ababa 'master plan' after protests kill 140 Related: US pledges $97m in emergency aid to drought-stricken Ethiopia Continue reading...
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‘I’m a hero. I created a country’, says the rebel driving South Sudan’s brutal war

Riek Machar, liberation champion turned insurgent, tells Daily Maverick his fight is just – despite reports of horrific suffering One of Africa’s bloodiest wars is being waged from a three-storey building in a calm, upscale neighbourhood in Ethiopia’s capital. It is here, in a typical suburban villa in Addis Ababa, an easy walk away from luxury hotels and burger joints, that Riek Machar maintains his residence. Related: South Sudan civil war inquiry details torture and forced cannibalism How can you create a perpetrator who is a victim? I am a victim Related: South Sudan: world's newest nation 'needs international management' Continue reading...
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FGM: number of victims found to be 70 million higher than thought

Half of girls and women cut live in just three countries as Unicef statistics reveal shocking global scale of barbaric ritualThe huge global scale of female genital mutilation has been revealed in disturbing new statistics, which show at least 200 million girls and women alive today have undergone ritual cutting, half of them living in just three countries.The latest worldwide figures, compiled by Unicef, include nearly 70 million more girls and women than estimated in 2014 because of a raft of new data collected in Indonesia, one of the countries where FGM is most prevalent despite the practice being banned since 2006. Related: Genital mutilation risk triples for girls and women in US, CDC study finds Continue reading...
Posted in Ethiopian News, Health

First steps towards meeting the global goals – your stories and images

At the start of the year, we asked you what initial moves you were making to achieve the sustainable development goals. Here are your stories and images“The best chance of meeting the sustainable development goals (SDGs) is if everyone on the planet is aware of them,” says VSO Papua New Guinea’s education programme manager, Emily Snowden. “My team has precious links to a large community of education professionals in PNG, such as Carol Abiri. We travelled up the Yuat River to a school close to Carol’s father’s home, one of the most remote places in PNG. It was interesting to hear the viewpoints expressed by the young people; when they described their goals for the world today, they said they were looking for shade, places to sit, water, and space to breathe.” Related: Seven ideas on how to finance the
Posted in Ethiopian News, Health

Ethiopia welcomes the Queen: archive, 2 February 1965

2 February 1965: The state visit was made after the Emperor of Ethiopia visited London when Sir Winston Churchill was Prime Minister Addis Ababa, February 1The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh came here tonight to a leonine welcome at the start of a week’s state visit to Ethiopia.Waiting for her at the airport was the Emperor of Ethiopia in field-marshal’s uniform and a lion’s mane helmet. As she drove the two miles to the Jubilee Palace she passed two huge gilded aluminium lions erected in her honour. Continue reading...
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Lions rediscovered in Ethiopian national park

Local reports were confirmed when a population of previously unknown lions was caught on camera trap in the remote Alatash national parkConservationists have announced the “amazing discovery” of a previously unknown lion population in a remote north-western region of Ethiopia, confirming local reports with camera trap photographs for the first time. Lions were spotted in the Alatash national park on Ethiopia’s border with Sudan, lion conservation group Born Free said. “The confirmation that lions persist in this area is exciting news,” Born Free Foundation said in a statement. “With lion numbers in steep decline across most of the African continent, the discovery of previously unconfirmed populations is hugely important.” Hans Bauer, a lion conservationist from Oxford University who led the tracking expedition in Ethiopia, said there could be up to 200 lions in the area. “Considering the relative ease with
Posted in Ethiopian News

US pledges $97m in emergency aid to drought-stricken Ethiopia

East African country has been especially hard hit by the seasonal warming over the Pacific Ocean – brought on by the El Niño climate phenomenon The head of the US Agency for International Development has announced $97m in emergency assistance to Ethiopia to combat the devastating effects of a drought brought on by the El Niño climate phenomenon.The seasonal warming over the Pacific Ocean has caused a serious drought across eastern and southern Africa and particularly hard hit is Ethiopia – Africa’s second most populous country with 94 million people. Continue reading...
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From the Nile to the Amazon, climate change threatens hydropower

Brazil, Egypt and China are leaders in damming rivers to generate electricity, but global warming has put future water levels in doubtFrom the Amazon to the Nile to the Mekong, rivers are a lifeblood for many nations, filling taps and irrigation canals and generating hydroelectricity that is powering economic development. But a new study warns that changes to river flows caused by climate change threaten that. Thousands of hydrodams risk being left high and dry by mid-century as global warming takes hold.On the face of it hydroelectricity seems an obvious antidote to climate change. Hydrodams are among the world’s largest power sources and free of carbon emissions. They could replace the burning of fossil fuels in dozens of countries, allowing economic development without booming emissions of greenhouse gases. Brazil, Egypt, China have led the way. Related: What energy shortage? Where
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Ethiopia scraps Addis Ababa ‘master plan’ after protests kill 140

Bid to expand capital into nearby farms abandoned but protesters say Oromo people’s struggle for equality continuesEthiopia has announced it will scrap plans to expand the capital into surrounding farms after widespread opposition from the public. Clashes are thought to have claimed 140 lives as students and farmers from the Oromia region marched against the so-called “master plan” to allow Addis Ababa to subsume nearby farmland. @addisstandard #OromoProtests so.... what happens to the people who are arrested and Killed due to the protest aganist the master plan? Related: Violent clashes in Ethiopia over 'master plan' to expand Addis Ethiopia scraps the Addis Ababa master plan but #OromoProtests continue. Demands: genuine self-rule and release of all political prisoners. Continue reading...
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The refugee who took on the British government | Ben Rawlence

For British politicians, foreign aid to Africa has become a cherished emblem of our idealism and generosity. But what happens when our funds harm those they are meant to help? One day in late 2010, a farmer – I will call him Opik – woke up in his village in the remote Ethiopian province of Gambella. In this lush lowland area of savanna bordering South Sudan, the semi-nomadic Anuak people have lived for centuries, cultivating sorghum and maize, swimming in the river and gathering nuts, berries and fruits from the trees and wild honey from the forest. “It was paradise,” Opik recalled.The Anuak have an intimate relationship with their landscape. Their highest traditional authority is a spiritual leader called the wat-ngomi, who must sanction any human intervention in nature. Some trees are deemed sacred and cannot be cut down. Spirits
Posted in Ethiopian News

Hunger threatens millions as El Niño causes drought and floods

Aid agencies call for urgent action as failed harvests, stunted crops and soaring prices trigger widespread food shortages in Africa, the Caribbean and Asia Aid agencies have warned that tens of millions of people in Africa, the Caribbean and Asia face severe hunger in the next six months following failed harvests, stunted crops and soaring prices of staple foods.Droughts and floods have occurred across the world as a result of the strongest recorded El Niño weather event. The natural climate phenomenon is peaking now and leading to a humanitarian disaster, say agencies including Oxfam, ActionAid, Care International, Plan and Catholic Relief Services. Related: El Niño: food shortages, floods, disease and droughts set to put millions at risk Related: El Niño could leave 4 million people in Pacific without food or drinking water Continue reading...
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‘Stop the killing!’: farmland development scheme sparks fatal clashes in Ethiopia | William Davison

As government plans to build on Oromo farmland around Addis Ababa spark widespread protests, an increasingly brutal crackdown by the government has sparked fears that excessive force may become the normThe protesters wrapped the two bodies in blankets and plastic sheeting. On top, they placed pieces of paper with the names of the dead, alongside the bullet casings from the weapons that had just killed them. Then the chanting began: “There is no democracy, there is no justice.”This was the scene in Wolenkomi, a town in Ethiopia’s Oromia region, on Tuesday, shortly after security forces fired into a crowd protesting at plans to develop farmland surrounding the capital, Addis Ababa. At least four people were killed. Related: Ethiopia's election is a wake-up call on human rights and sound governance | Daniel Calingaert and Kellen McClure Related: Ethiopia appeals for international
Posted in Ethiopian News

Violent clashes in Ethiopia over ‘master plan’ to expand Addis

Extending capital into surrounding farmland is part of ongoing discrimination against Oromo people, say protesters. Global Voices reportsAt least 10 students are said to have been killed and hundreds injured during protests against the Ethiopian government’s plans to expand the capital city into surrounding farmland. According to Human Rights Watch, the students were killed this week when security forces used excessive force and live ammunition to disperse the crowds. Related: 'Ethiopia's media crackdown is bad news for Africa' Students of Haramaya University, Harar Campus stage a mourning protest today Dec 9, 2015. # OromoProtests # Ethiopia pic.twitter.com/bTqdl1CCG1The sad state of press in #Ethiopia , no media can give us information about #OromoProtests, social media is the only existing source.Justice for massacred #Oromo students. #OromoProtests @WhiteHouse @StateDept #Ethiopia pic.twitter.com/WfnWgPao6h Continue reading...
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Earliest known biography of an African woman translated to English for the first time

Ethiopian noblewoman Walatta Petros left her husband to stop the spread of Roman Catholicism, possibly fell in love with a fellow nun and was elevated to sainthoodThe earliest known book-length biography of an African woman, a 17th-century text detailing the life of the Ethiopian saint Walatta Petros, has been translated into English for the first time.Walatta Petros was an Ethiopian religious leader who lived from 1592 to 1642. A noblewoman, she left her husband to lead the struggle against the Jesuits’ mission to convert Ethiopian Christians to Roman Catholicism. It was for this that the Ethiopian Orthodox Täwaḥədo Church elevated her to sainthood. Continue reading...
Posted in Ethiopian News, Religion

Joys and surprises of watching Liverpool and Arsenal in Ethiopia (for 45p) | Jonathan Wilson

Premier League’s reach is underlined by hundreds in Lalibela – around 20% of the adult male population – following the matches on a public TV every SaturdayJosé Mourinho swept a disgusted arm through the air, spun on his heel and disappeared down the tunnel, furious at Chelsea conceding an equaliser to Liverpool well into the third minute of first-half injury time. The majority of the 90 or so people packed into the courtyard of the Sebli Cafe laughed. Outside, a mule trotted past, followed by a man carrying the hide of a skinned goat on a stick. Smoke drifted across the doorway from the charcoal of the woman warming a coffee pot outside the cafe next door.It’s easy to become cynical about the Premier League’s claim to be the greatest league in the world. When clubs claim to have hundreds
Posted in Ethiopian News

BBC World Service to receive £289m from government

Cash injection over next five years will allow expansion of service in regions including North Korea, Ethiopia and RussiaThe government is to give the BBC £289m over the next five years to invest in expanding the BBC World Service into countries such as North Korea as part of its strategy designed to strengthen the UK’s “soft power”.The cash injection was announced on Monday as part of the government’s National Security Strategy and Strategic Defence and Security Review, which is its five-year plan “for a secure and prosperous United Kingdom, with global reach and global influence”. Related: BBC World Service boosts arts coverage with presenters including Cerys Matthews Continue reading...
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Giving money to Eritrea and Sudan to stop refugees is almost satire

Offering financial incentives to repressive governments shows deeply flawed logic that ignores the reasons people flee from homeAfrican governments have been offered €1.8bn to help stem the flow of refugees to Europe. Yet the migrants European leaders want to “send back” are in many cases fleeing the governments the EU is now collaborating with.It could almost be satire. Amongst those present at the Malta summit in Valletta were Sudan, Eritrea and Ethiopia – widely condemned for their disregard of human rights. Related: Can $2bn for Africa stem the refugee crisis? Related: Europe's €1.8bn fund to tackle migration crisis not enough, say Africans Continue reading...
Posted in Ethiopian News

Live Q&A: Ending open defecation by 2030 – are toilets enough?

On World Toilet Day join an expert panel to discuss how to provide adequate sanitation for 2.3 billion peopleIn Ethiopia the proportion of people going to the toilet outside has reduced from 92% to 29% between 1990 and 2015, thanks to a huge push from the Ethiopian government. But around the world, almost one billion people still practice open defecation, which can lead to contaminated water sources and the spread of diseases such as cholera, diarrhoea, dysentery, hepatitis A and typhoid.Last year, India launched Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, an ambitious campaign to make the country open-defecation free by 2019 – 11 years before the UN’s target. But India, like many countries, faces a tricky problem: even people who have a toilet don’t always want to use it. Government-built latrines are rejected by some communities due to the social stigma associated with
Posted in Ethiopian News

Yes, Ethiopia has problems – but this drought is no 1984 rerun | William Davison

With rapid economic growth and a government safety net, Ethiopians are understandably angry at being associated in western minds with miseryWhen the BBC’s Michael Buerk brought Ethiopian famine to the world’s attention in 1984, the footage panned over thousands of people on the brink of starvation in the region of North Wollo. A BBC report this week, filmed in the same drought-stricken area, focused on one mother’s loss of her son to hunger. But it was an indication that although Ethiopia still suffers preventable tragedies, it may well have gained the capability to prevent catastrophe.A statement from the Ethiopian embassy in London was quick to challenge yesterday’s report: “The sensational news broadcast by BBC TV, regarding children dying on a daily basis, does not reflect the current broad reality on the ground and the full preparation that has gone into
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Ethiopian recipes from Mazi Mas: ‘We like to eat! Slowly, with family’ | Cook residency

Paid work proved elusive when Azeb Woldemichael first moved to London. Now she works for Niki Kopcke at Mazi Mas, regularly cooking dishes from her native Ethiopia, like these bright, musky stewsIt’s the colours that you first notice about Ethiopian food. The dishes look like children’s paint sets: purple beetroot, orange carrots, green cabbage and the unmistakable, rich red of berbere spice mix. A musky, intense mixture of dried spices and chilli, berbere lends its fire to many traditional Ethiopian wat, which tends to be translated as “stew.” The majority of wat are not stews in the sense that we are familiar with, but more like curries: long-simmered dhals, and vegetables cooked together very slowly, so that they meld into a sweet alloy of textures and flavours.Ethiopian cuisine, more than any other I know, is a homage to the process
Posted in Ethiopian News

Ethiopia’s agriculture boom yields a bare harvest for poor as El Niño bites | William Davison

Ethiopia may be portrayed as an emerging African powerhouse, but prolonged drought has left 8.2 million people facing a major food security crisis On a bright afternoon in east Ethiopia, Mohammed Jibril’s family is passing around corncobs roasted over a fire. Bulky cows lounge on the other side of a shady tree, munching from a golden carpet of cereal.It is a picturesque rural scene, complete with a forested mountain towering over the plains. Yet Jibril is worried and, when asked about this year’s crops from his three hectares of land, he is scathing. “What would I harvest?” he asks, gesticulating at his scrappy cornfield. Related: Ethiopia appeals for international aid in face of deepening food insecurity The challenge is incredibly serious and will take the effort of the international community to support the government Related: UN says 4.5 million Ethiopians
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Which countries are doing the most to stop dangerous global warming?

In November, nearly 200 countries meet in Paris for United Nations talks to agree a new climate deal. Find out below how their pledges - known as Intended Nationally Determined Contributions or INDCs - compare in our in-depth analysis of 14 key countries and blocs, in partnership with Climate Action TrackerSign up for the Guardian’s Keep it in the ground campaign Continue reading...
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Ethiopia appeals for international aid in face of deepening food insecurity

Government requests $596m after crop failure caused by erratic rainfall leaves 48,000 under fives severely malnourished and 8.2 million people at riskThe Ethiopian government is calling for international assistance to help feed 8.2 million people after erratic rains devastated crop yields.Climate shocks are common in Ethiopia and often cause poor or failed harvests that lead to acute food shortages. Related: UN says 4.5 million Ethiopians now in need of food aid after poor rains Continue reading...
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What transformation in aid and development really looks like

Change may be grindingly slow, but results like Ethiopia’s self-help groups ‘multiplying like yeast’ are worth a waitOver the years I’ve frequently been a source of amusement to my wife Emma, but rarely more so than when I came home from work at DfiD one day a decade ago and recounted to her a particularly mortifying interaction I’d had with the IT department. My computer had gone on the fritz during a password update, and in order to resolve it I’d had to tell the tech support guys my old password over the phone – while a senior official was in the room. Imagine my joy as I had to spell out “f-u-c-k-i-n-c-r-e-m-e-n-t-a-l-i-s-m” while my visitor attempted and failed to stifle their mirth.Although I use slightly more discreet passwords these days, I’ve still never really drunk the Kool-aid on change
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Record El Niño set to cause hunger for 10 million poorest, Oxfam warns

Charity says countries already facing a ‘major emergency’ include Ethiopia, where 4.5 million people need food aid because of scarcity of rain this year At least 10 million of the world’s poorest people are set to go hungry this year because of failing crops caused by one of the strongest El Niño climatic events on record, Oxfam has warned. Related: El Niño: a global weather event that may save California — and destroy the tropics | Kyle Meng & Solomon Hsiang Related: El Niño could bring drought and famine in west Africa, scientists warn Related: EU united for ambitious, binding agreement at Paris talks, says climate chief Continue reading...
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Ethiopian runners begin new lives after fleeing to the United States

Athletes who suffered political persecution face an anxious wait to find out if their asylum claims are successful and they can resume their careersGenet Lire locked herself in a bathroom stall at Dulles International Airport and hid. The clock was ticking. If she was found, she would have to get on the plane and return home. She feared she would be locked up again, probably beaten, and her family terrorised. The time passed slowly: five minutes, 10, 15, 20. Feet tapped on the tile floor. Doors opened and closed. Every noise and shuffle made Lire’s chest tighten.This was supposed to be a quick layover. Lire was a 17-year-old sprinter from Ethiopia, in the US to compete in the 2014 International Association of Athletics Federation (IAAF) World Junior Championships in Eugene, Oregon. But she had no intention of reaching the starting
Posted in Ethiopian News

Addis Ababa gets sub-Saharan Africa’s first light-rail network

City links: Light rail arrives in Ethiopia, billboards react to your emotions and Nashville campaigns against cars in this week’s best city storiesThe best city stories from around the web this week explore sub-Saharan Africa’s first light rail system in Ethiopia’s capital, Chicago’s financial instability, eerily interactive city billboards and the Nashville residents trying to get their city to ditch cars.We’d love to hear your responses to these stories, and any others you’ve read recently, both on Guardian Cities and elsewhere. Just share your thoughts in the comments below. Advertising giant M&C Saatchi is currently testing advertising billboards with hidden Microsoft Kinect cameras that read viewers’ emotions and react according to whether a person’s facial expression is happy, sad or neutral. The test adverts – which feature a fictitious coffee brand named Bahio – have already appeared on Oxford Street
Posted in Ethiopian News

Want a new tram? Ask the Chinese

As the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa unveils its first commuter rail system, funded and built by China, UK councils are also eyeing up eastern opportunities I was an hour and a half late for a meeting at the Hamlin Fistula Foundation, on the outskirts of Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa, but my taxi driver just shrugged. What did I expect? It was March and Addis Ababa’s roads had clogged up into near-permanent gridlock as the country’s first commuter light-rail service, which has just opened, neared completion. Above us, the concrete viaducts that would bear the brand-new trains represented a shiny new future. But down here, on the streets, it was chaos.Of course, this is nothing new. My taxi driver would have had a lot in common with the cab drivers and businesses of Edinburgh, who complained bitterly for six years about
Posted in Ethiopian News, Politics

Calais migrants fear focus on Syria will worsen their plight

Anger grows that UK move to take in quota of Syrians overshadows claims of those fleeing conflicts elsewhereOn the dirt road, overlooked by the sparkling new silver fence and a knot of French police officers, some 30 men and boys are politely having their say. In four different languages, the point being made is much the same – “Why them, why not us?”There is a new desperation palpable in the refugee camp at Calais, the Jungle. The refugee crisis is now fully on the political agenda, but even as donations of clothing and food are coming in, the news that the focus is on Syrians has deeply worried the people here who are fleeing other wars, other crises. Closely following political developments across Europe, they are angry at the distinctions they see being made. Continue reading...
Posted in Ethiopian News

Around Africa in 10 buildings | Joseph Conteh

From a mud-brick mosque in Mali to modernist cinemas in Angola, here’s some of the continent’s most memorable architectureThis list of 10 spaces from the ancient and modern world is by no means exhaustive, but it gives a flavour of the richness of African architecture, the architects involved and the stories these buildings have allowed us to tell. Continue reading...
Posted in Ethiopian News

This Ethiopian prince was kidnapped by Britain – now it must release him | Maaza Mengiste

Seven-year-old Prince Alemayehu was captured – along with many national treasures – in 1868. His remains are held in Windsor Castle but pleas for their return have been rebuffedYou see him first as he was soon after his father’s death: a seven-year-old boy staring, stunned, into the camera. He sits on a cloth-covered bench, next to a shield and a strip of animal hide. Around his shoulders, a long shamma drapes and gathers at his folded ankles. You note his bare feet, the way one toe, curled upward and tense, hints at the emotions he is keeping guarded. He wears the silver-baubled necklace that will travel with him from Ethiopia to England, the one also seen in pictures where he is made to sit for Julia Margaret Cameron and other photographers. His mother, if still alive, will soon die unexpectedly,
Posted in Ethiopian News

EU diplomats reveal devastating impact of Ethiopia dam project on remote tribes

Lives of semi-nomadic tribespeople being irreversibly changed by relocation into poorly planned settlements to make way for sugar plantation, says released reportA controversial World Bank-funded scheme to dam a major Ethiopian river and import up to 500,000 people to work in what is planned to be one of the world’s largest sugar plantations has led to tens of thousands of Africa’s most remote and vulnerable people being insensitively resettled.According to reports, released this week, by two teams of British, American and EU diplomats who visited the resettlement areas in the Lower Omo Valley in southern Ethiopia last year, the lives of 20,000 Mursi, Bodi and other semi-nomadic tribespeople are being “fundamentally and irreversibly” changed by the mega-project. Continue reading...
Posted in Ethiopian News

Freshers fleeced and cooks confounded | Letters

Polly Toynbee has written a vivid account of the crisis facing the NHS and social services (The long read, 2 September). However, it is marred by the use of the term “bed-blockers”. They are no more bed-blockers than prisoners are cell-blockers. The system has trapped them just as surely as judges have trapped those in jail.Geoff BarrExeter, Devon• I worked in Ethiopia as a VSO volunteer for a year in a school and college. I experienced first hand the sheer pleasure, joy and fun that students felt when they received a book. These were just story books sent from Ireland, they had never seen anything like them. The illustrations, the colour, the feel, the pop ups all added to this enjoyment and amazement. So please, Books for Africa (Letters, 29 August), keep doing what you are doing and ignore those
Posted in Ethiopian News

Veteran Eritrean freedom fighters launch underground opposition

After fighting on same side in liberation war, activists say President Afwerki has betrayed their principles by instituting a dictatorship In the spring of 1976, two young Eritrean men walked into the glass-fronted United Nations building in downtown Geneva to make a desperate plea. It was years into Eritrea’s struggle to break away from neighbouring Ethiopia, and occupying troops had recently shuttered schools across the country. With no outside help forthcoming, Habte Tesfamariam and Yusuf Berhanu, both fresh-faced university graduates, saw the UN refugee agency as a last resort. Related: What you need to know about Eritrea – the Guardian briefing Even if there are some things that need to change, it has to be done the Eritrean way Related: Guardian Africa series: Inside Eritrea Continue reading...
Posted in Ethiopian News

South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir signs peace deal despite ‘serious reservations’

Deal designed to end 20 months of civil war, but Kiir, who last week asked for more time for consultations, warned the deal might not lastSouth Sudan’s president has signed a peace deal aimed at ending a 20-month conflict with rebels but told regional African leaders at the ceremony that he still had “serious reservations”.Salva Kiir, who has led South Sudan since it seceded from Sudan in 2011, last week asked for more time for consultations, drawing threats of UN sanctions if he failed to sign within a two-week deadline. Continue reading...
Posted in Ethiopian News

UN says 4.5 million Ethiopians now in need of food aid after poor rains

Estimates of those requiring help have surged by 1.5m, and donors must urgently provide an extra $230m to meet their needs, say UN agenciesThe number of Ethiopians who will need food aid by the end of this year has surged by more than 1.5 million from earlier estimates, according to United Nations agencies. After failed rains, some 4.5m people are now projected to require assistance, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (Ocha) , the World Food Programme and the UN children’s agency, Unicef, said.This is an increase of 55% on initial projections of 2.9 million, and means donors must urgently provide an extra $230m to meet these needs. Related: Despite border crackdown in Ethiopia, migrants still risk lives to leave Continue reading...
Posted in Ethiopian News

Despite border crackdown in Ethiopia, migrants still risk lives to leave

Life in border towns is a cat-and-mouse game as authorities hunt out smugglers, but extreme poverty still pushes would-be migrants to leave, whatever the costThe mood in the border town of Metema these days is quiet and watchful.Dozens of houses on the hot, dusty main road that stretches from Ethiopia into Sudan look as if they have been closed in haste. Guards grimly patrol the border, stopping anyone who looks as if they are trying to cross illegally. The nightclubs and bars are emptier than usual, although they still attract Sudanese who cannot drink alcohol in their own country under sharia law. Related: These are refugees, not migrants, arriving in their thousands on Greek shores | Kirk Day I know the dangers of working in Libya, especially with the news about Isis. But I want to risk it all and
Posted in Ethiopian News

Ethiopia’s fallen aristocrats: from the archive, 24 August 1974

The radicals are pressing for a French Revolution-style solution - a mass execution of the aristocracyAddis Ababa, August 23They are crowded into three long army barracks, sleeping on simple army cots, their heads shaven as if they are condemned men, their food brought to them three times daily by wives already dressed in black for mourning.These were once the high and mighty of Ethiopia - princes, imperial courtiers, provincial nobility, aristocratic landlords, blue-blooded ministers, and much decorated generals. They ruled entire provinces, owned enormous estates, and commanded private armies and could boast of belonging to royal families tracing their ancestry 2,000 years to the founding of the Ethiopian monarchy. Continue reading...
Posted in Ethiopian News

Divided and dispersed, Eritrea opposition struggles to harness spirit of resistance

With critics split along ideological lines and many living in exile, there is no meaningful movement to oppose president’s repressive 14-year rule. The brute strength of president Isaias Afwerki’s regime has been the weakness of the Eritrean opposition. As leader of the Eritrean People’s Liberation Front, the tall, austere man led the country to freedom from Ethiopian rule in 1991 following a 30-year war, promising hope and autonomy to his war-wearied citizens...
Posted in Ethiopian News, Politics

‘If we don’t give them a voice, no one will’: Eritrea’s forgotten journalists, still jailed after 14 years

The country is ranked worst in the world for press freedom, its writers locked in secret jails. Here, PEN Eritrea profiles the men who fought for a free press, and paid the priceEritrea has become one of the world’s worst offenders for human rights abuses over the last decade, imprisoning the third highest number journalists – after China and Iran. Related: Guardian Africa series: Inside Eritrea Related: Tale of two Eritreans offers glimpse inside Africa's most secretive state Where two brothers pass each otherWhere two brothers meet each otherThe strange thing about the matter is that every time the discontent and contempt resurface, the stubbornness of the ministry grows Continue reading...
Posted in Ethiopian News

Africa’s ‘Little Rome’, the Eritrean city frozen in time by war and secrecy

What’s the capital of this notoriously closed-off country like? On a rare visit, Natasha Stallard finds faded 30s glamour, colonial-era futurist architecture – and bicycles everywhere Read more from the Inside Eritrea seriesSitting on the edge of a roundabout in Asmara, the capital city of Eritrea and the centre of Italy’s former African empire, the Fiat Tagliero service station is a glorious sight: art deco lettering spells out its name in both Italian and Amharic in a font worthy of a Fellini film poster, while two 30-metre concrete wings soar across the former garage forecourt below, mimicking an aeroplane.The building’s wings are full of the bold attitude of a bygone era in Eritrean history. Built in 1938 by Italian architect Giuseppe Pettazzi, it was the year Europe teetered on the brink of world war, and in Italy, prime minister Benito
Posted in Ethiopian News

The migrants’ church in Calais is a place of raw prayer and defiant hope | Giles Fraser: Loose canon

Irrespective of the politics of immigration, the big issues of global fairness have come to our door and building higher fences is no answerNo matter it was some Calais dive bar. Pool is pool. It was one game each – and I don’t like losing. Of course we have time for a decider I agreed, looking anxiously at my watch. I made a quick mental calculation. A 10-minute taxi ride would get me to the station 20 minutes before the train left. Yes, one more game and I could still be in England in just over an hour. We racked up the balls.That’s how casually I think about a journey from Calais to London. I get to border control and waft a little red book that says something about “her Britannic majesty” requiring people like them to help people like
Posted in Ethiopian News, Religion

Cooperation and diplomacy best response to Europe’s migration crisis | Letters

I was puzzled as to why Patrick Kingsley’s compassionate article exploring the reasons thousands of refugees are fleeing Eritrea for Europe (Report, 1 August) chose to argue that the country is not at war. Of course it is. There is a big difference between a failed and frozen peace process and the resolution of an armed conflict. The longstanding border conflict with Ethiopia cannot justify the well-documented human rights abuses committed by President Isaias Afwerki’s government, but it is more of a driving cause of this crisis than holes in a British fence.The two states are locked in a costly border war, and their citizens are suffering the consequences. Powerful governments such as the US and the UK appear to have given up on finding a negotiated solution. Even the UN security council seems unable to uphold its own decisions
Posted in Ethiopian News

Why Obama doesn’t understand the lust for power of our African leaders | Patience Akumu

These ‘big men’ argue that human rights is a western concept, writes an award-winning east African journalistEven before the dust could settle on President Barack Obama’s candid criticism of African presidents who manipulate their constitutions so that they can stay longer in power, Uganda’s president, Yoweri Museveni – once the west’s model of a truly democratic leader – was on his way again to contest the presidential seat he has held for 30 years. From Rwanda to the Democratic Republic of Congo, Burundi to Zimbabwe, Africa’s big men replied to Obama: this oppression – the shackles, the poverty and indignity – are what the African people have chosen. Tedros Adhanom, the foreign minister of Ethiopia, home of the African Union, defended African leaders who cling to power, saying: “Because they made the law, they can change the law.”Museveni was echoing
Posted in Ethiopian News

Obama’s call to end female genital mutilation yet to reach Ethiopia’s villages

While some Ethiopians praise the US president’s speech in Addis Ababa, other activists are concerned his message did not reach the people who needed to hear it the most in remote, traditional villages where circumcision continuesWhen she was a girl, Sadiya Aliye’s genitals were cut, as she was told tradition dictated. So when she became a mother to four daughters, she put all of them through the same agonising ritual.But attitudes, and law enforcement, are changing in Ethiopia. Aliye was arrested all four times, spent two months in jail and paid $50 fines. “I was very angry,” she recalls. “They beat me.” Her husband, the midwife and those who held down the girls were also punished. Related: Barack Obama in Kenya: 'no excuse' for treating women as second-class citizens Continue reading...
Posted in Ethiopian News, Health

Obama in Africa: 12 things we learned from his historic trip

Bold statements on gay rights and a visit to the ‘grandmother of humanity’, David Smith reflects on a week following the US president Obama is on a roll. He arrived in east Africa on the back of a ruling upholding his healthcare plan, endorsement of his Pacific trade agreement, a nuclear deal with Iran, the reopening of diplomatic relations with Cuba, and stirring eulogy in Charleston. He disembarked Air Force One in Nairobi with a spring in his step and proceeded to confidently skewer homophobia, misogyny, corruption and dictatorship. Related: Obama's message of hope rings true in call for Africa to flourish Related: Obama's plan to visit Ethiopia criticised as 'gift' for repressive government Continue reading...
Posted in Ethiopian News

Global population set to hit 9.7 billion people by 2050 despite fall in fertility

Predicted increase of 2.4 billion will complicate efforts to stamp out poverty, inequality and hunger and place further strain on health and education systems Despite a continuing slowdown in the rate of population growth, it is “almost inevitable” that the number of people on the planet will rise from 7.3 billion today to 9.7 billion in 2050, according to the latest UN projections.Ten years ago, the world population was growing by 1.24% annually; today, the percentage has dropped to 1.18% – or roughly another 83 million people a year. The overall growth rate, which peaked in the late 1960s, has been falling steadily since the 1970s. Continue reading...
Posted in Ethiopian News, Health

Barack Obama becomes first US president to address African Union – video

Barack Obama addresses the African Union in Addis Ababa, on Tuesday, becoming the first ever president of the United States to do so. Obama says Africa has helped shape America as a nation as well as his own worldview. He warns that without full democracy nations cannot realise the full promise of independence Continue reading...
Posted in Ethiopian News

Obama meets Lucy, ‘the grandmother of humanity,’ during Ethiopia visit

Lucy is a 3.2 million-year-old member of Australopithecus afarensis and the most complete skeleton of an early human ancestor ever discoveredShe had never heard of Barack Obama, or the United States for that matter, and did not say a word when she met the president before a state dinner in Ethiopia.Lucy, a 3.2 million-year-old member of Australopithecus afarensis, is the most complete skeleton of an early human ancestor ever discovered. The fossil, normally housed in Ethiopia’s national museum, was brought to the national palace on Monday for Obama’s visit and helped put the ephemera of politics in perspective. Related: Obama criticised for calling Ethiopia's government 'democratically elected' Continue reading...
Posted in Ethiopian News

The Guardian view on Obama in Africa: good news for women and girls | Editorial

In Kenya, Barack Obama had a message worth hearing but in Ethiopia he faces much greater obstaclesPresident Obama’s visits to Kenya and Ethiopia can be justified as policy by the dreadful state of South Sudan, which borders both countries, but it is hard to escape the thought that he had personal reasons for wanting to visit Kenya, his father’s homeland, while still president. However, though joyfully received, he has not been an uncritical guest. His criticisms of the flaws of Kenyan society have been plain and well aimed. His attack on the scourge of FGM was quite without diplomatic circumlocution. “There’s no excuse for sexual assault or domestic violence; there’s no reason that young girls should suffer genital mutilation … These traditions may go back centuries; they have no place in the 21st century,” he said. This was a message that
Posted in Ethiopian News

Obama criticised for calling Ethiopia’s government ‘democratically elected’

While US president calls for end of crackdown on political and press freedom, his comments on Hailemariam administration are widely condemned Barack Obama has been criticised by opposition groups and journalists in Ethiopia after referring to the country’s government as “democratically elected”, with one human rights watchdog describing the statement as “shocking”.The US president was speaking at a joint press conference with Hailemariam Desalegn, the Ethiopian prime minister, after the two leaders held talks in the capital, Addis Ababa. Related: Barack Obama makes first visit to Ethiopia by serving US president Related: Barack Obama in Kenya: 'no excuse' for treating women as second-class citizens Related: Obama and African leaders to consider sanctions in South Sudan's civil war Continue reading...
Posted in Ethiopian News

As millions of Africans watch Obama, will he bring hope to refugees like me? | Dogo Aba Bora

I was once a detainee and a refugee in the Sudan and I clung to news that intimated freedom was near. Obama could have a similar impact As President Obama addresses the leaders of the African Union, I have strong misgivings that his presence as the first sitting United States president to attend the gathering will be misinterpreted as positive reinforcement of the type of governance that pervades most African nations today. The president’s stated support for human rights, freedom of speech and the rule of law and justice are profoundly antithetical to the rampant human rights abuses and repression of free press throughout the continent. It is important that the president signals this clearly in his trip. Millions of voiceless, stateless refugees and displaced people all over the world will eagerly watch and hear Obama’s address in their temporary
Posted in Ethiopian News

Obama: Trump comments a result of ‘culture that is not conducive to good politics’ – video

At a press conference in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, Barack Obama criticized comments by Republican candidate Donald Trump about war veteran John McCain, saying presidential debates deserve better: 'We're creating a culture that is not conducive to good policy or good politics ... I want to make sure I'm turning over the keys to somebody who is serious about the serious problems that the country faces and the world faces" Continue reading...
Posted in Ethiopian News

Obama breaks with protocol in Africa to criticise Republicans’ ‘lack of decorum’

President wades into domestic US politics while in Ethiopia over comments from Trump and Huckabee ‘that would be considered ridiculous if it weren’t so sad’The increasingly shrill tone of the Republican presidential campaign has provoked a rare overseas rebuke from Barack Obama, who criticised candidates like Donald Trump, Mike Huckabee and Ted Cruz for lacking “seriousness, decorum and honesty”.During an official visit to Ethiopia, the president broke with diplomatic protocol to wade into domestic US politics instead and respond to those on the American political right who have recently compared his administration’s policies to Nazi death camps and the crucifixion of Christ. Related: The Guardian view on Obama in Africa: good news for women and girls | Editorial Continue reading...
Posted in Ethiopian News

Barack Obama makes first visit to Ethiopia by serving US president

President’s meeting with prime minister of Ethiopia set to focus on security and threat of Somalia-based terrorist group al-ShabaabBarack Obama is meeting the Ethiopian prime minister during the first visit by a serving American president to the country, a US security ally and fast-growing economy but much criticised by human rights watchdogs.Obama’s talks with Hailemariam Desalegn at the national palace in Addis Ababa were expected to focus on security and the threat of the Islamist militant group al-Shabaab in Somalia. The US president, who arrived from Kenya on Sunday, also wants to improve business ties with Africa. Related: Ethiopia's ruling party wins by landslide in general election Related: Obama and African leaders to consider sanctions in South Sudan's civil war Continue reading...
Posted in Ethiopian News

US President Barack Obama arrives in Ethiopia – video

US President Barack Obama arrives in Ethiopia on Sunday, on the second leg of his Africa tour. Obama was greeted at Bole airport in Addis Ababa by the country's prime minister, Hailemariam Dessalegn, and other dignitaries. The pair are expected to hold bilateral talks on trade and security in the region, and Obama will address the African Union. Ethiopia is seen as a key security ally for the United States, given its geographical position between Somalia and Sudan Continue reading...
Posted in Ethiopian News

Ethiopia powers up ambitions for green industry | William Davison

The strategy for an eco-friendly, sustainable Ethiopian economy aims to bring the country to middle-income status by 2025 while pegging back emissionsThe hulking waste-to-energy power plant taking shape on the edge of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia’s capital, symbolises ambitions to convert the agrarian Horn of Africa country into an eco-friendly industrial powerhouse.The government’s $120m (£76.8m) Reppie project, being built to EU emissions standards, will incinerate the city’s rubbish to generate 50MW of electricity. A computer-generated image on display at the site shows the future factory shrouded by a tree-filled park. Related: Regreening program to restore one-sixth of Ethiopia's land Related: New development goals need to be ambitious, actionable and accountable Continue reading...
Posted in Ethiopian News

Obama heads to Kenya amid fresh claims of South Sudan war crimes

US president faces calls to intervene in war-torn country after Human Rights Watch presents new evidence of alleged atrocitiesBarack Obama arrives in Kenya this weekend amid calls for the US to take swift action to halt continuing violence in South Sudan, where new evidence emerged on Wednesday of horrific atrocities amounting to war crimes and crimes against humanity.Obama will attend a conference on global entrepreneurship in Nairobi, and may visit Nyang’oma Kogelo village, the home of his late father. Nairobi residents have complained that $500,000 (£320,000) in taxpayers’ money has been spent sprucing up the capital ahead of his arrival. Related: South Sudan expels UN relief coordinator Toby Lanzer Continue reading...
Posted in Ethiopian News

Addis delegates failed to put money where mouth was on gender equality | Ana Ines Abelenda and Nerea Craviotto

World leaders at the development finance summit may have paid lip service to women’s rights, but the Addis Ababa action agenda tells a different storyThe UN development finance summit in Addis Ababa was disappointing. Member states failed to address a host of flaws in international financial policy that, tackled effectively, could have done much for human rights, especially women’s rights and gender equality.The final agreement, known as the Addis Ababa action agenda, is almost entirely devoid of specific proposals that can be swiftly implemented, and fails to rise to the world’s multiple challenges. Continue reading...
Posted in Ethiopian News

Ester Rada: Ester Rada review – soulful debut constantly changes musical direction

(Discograph/Harmonia Mundi) Related: Mulatu Astatke: the man who created 'Ethio jazz' Ester Rada has a powerful soul voice and a dramatic, eclectic style that reflects her history. Born outside Hebron in 1985, a year after her parents had arrived from Africa as part of Israel’s mass immigration of Ethiopian Jews, she grew up listening to western soul as well as Ethiopian music, and her influences include Nina Simone and Mulatu Astatké. No wonder her debut constantly changes musical direction: there’s bombastic R&B, along with slinky soul balladry and a dash of reggae. But what makes Rada’s songs distinctive is how they switch from western-influenced vocals to brassy instrumental passages that use the modal structures of Ethio-jazz. The best tracks include the gutsy reggae of Sorries and the jangling funk of Nanu Ney, but more African influences would be welcome. It
Posted in Ethiopian News

Glee, relief and regret: Addis Ababa outcome receives mixed reception

UN secretary general hails Addis Ababa development finance summit a success but failure to establish new global tax body draws criticismWorld leaders at the financing for development summit in Addis Ababa have reached agreement on an economic framework to support the sustainable development agenda. As the third and final day of negotiations in the Ethiopian capital stretched into mid-evening, countries rich and poor voted in favour of an outcome document that, nine months in the making, will shape development finance for the next 15 years. Related: Development finance summit: milestone or millstone for the world's poor? Related: Where are the concrete plans for action in the development finance deal? | Alex Evans Related: Rich countries accused of foiling effort to give poorer nations a voice on tax Continue reading...
Posted in Ethiopian News

Development finance summit: milestone or millstone for the world’s poor?

As a deal was struck on funding the poverty battle at the development finance summit in Addis Ababa, the UN hailed a historic moment while others branded the outcome tragic. We look at what was agreedSome campaigners gravely warned the talks were about to fail, while others criticised the obduracy of participants who refused to budge from pre-set positions. But after three days of sometimes tense negotiations in the Ethiopian capital, a deal on financing global development was struck late on Wednesday.The Addis Ababa action agenda lays out the different ways nations aim to pay for an ambitious plan to end poverty, ensure equality and put an increasingly fragile world on the path to sustainable development. Related: Where are the concrete plans for action in the development finance deal? | Alex Evans This agreement opens the door for the private
Posted in Ethiopian News

Richer nations reject call for tough tax provisions at foreign aid conference

Developing countries and aid groups were united on need for fairer rules on multinational tax, but lacked support from Australia and other wealthy nationsA marathon three-day conference on the future of foreign aid has concluded without resolving the issue of multinational tax avoidance, after countries including Australia called for a watering down of tough provisions.The formation of a global tax body was top of the agenda for the financing for development (FFD) conference in Ethiopia’s capital Addis Ababa this week. Continue reading...
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How best to measure child poverty? | Keetie Roelen

The UK has moved from measuring child poverty by family income to focusing instead on ‘root causes’ – yet global evidence shows this leads to a blame gameIn July, the British government announced a change in the target for child poverty in the UK, moving away from a measure based on income to focusing on the “root causes” of poverty such as unemployment and family breakdown. The move, which came before a big cut in tax credits, has sparked much criticism. Some wondered whether the government was shifting the goalposts, others whether it was trying to abolish the measure altogether in anticipation of a likely rise in child poverty. Related: The welfare reform and work bill will make poor children poorer | Letter from Javed Khan of Barnardo’s Continue reading...
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Rich countries accused of foiling effort to give poorer nations a voice on tax

Aid agencies at Addis Ababa development finance summit claim UK and others have obstructed talks aimed at enabling poor countries to influence UN tax policyAid agencies on Monday accused the world’s richest countries, including the UK, of blocking plans to allow poor countries a greater say on UN tax policies.The upgrade of the UN tax committee to an intergovernmental body was widely seen as a way for less wealthy nations that have struggled to build effective tax systems to influence policy decisions at the UN. Related: Ten reasons why European governments should back a global tax body | Tove Maria Ryding It is disappointing that the UK appears to be one of the few governments blocking progress on the issue of a tax body Continue reading...
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Celebrity efforts to ‘save Africa’ ha​​ve often only reinforced stereotypes

Bob Geldof’s Live Aid pioneered a new wave of stars’ involvement in the developing world that has produced mixed resultsThirty years ago today Bob Geldof organised a star-studded concert at Wembley stadium to raise funds for Ethiopian famine victims. Live Aid reached 1.9 billion people across 150 countries, and raised £40m.Geldof was, in a sense, the pioneer of a new breed of celebrity “missionaries” with his efforts to end the Ethiopian famine. Yet, as American journalist David Rieff has noted, Live Aid’s donations to NGOs such as Oxfam and Save the Children also facilitated the displacement of 600,000 people by the autocratic Mengistu regime, resulting in an estimated 100,000 deaths.This cult of celebrity has often led to a dangerous dumbing down of serious issues Continue reading...
Posted in Ethiopian News

Woman who was face of Live Aid laments price of fame 30 years on

Footage of Birhan Woldu as a starving child was seen around the world and after recovering she joined Sir Bob Geldof on stage at Live 8 concert The woman who as a starving three-year-old became the face of Live Aid 30 years ago has said the campaign has done “nothing” for her, and the celebrity that came with it has forced her to live a life underground. Birhan Woldu, now 34, told the Guardian that because of her unasked for fame she has struggled to get a job. Related: Daily life in Ethiopia – in pictures Continue reading...
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What to expect from the Addis Ababa Financing for Development conference

Development economist Owen Barder gives an insight into what the coming five days of plenaries, roundtables and side events will be all aboutOn Monday 13 July, world leaders will gather in Ethiopia’s capital, Addis Ababa, for the third Financing for Development summit (FFD3). On the agenda: work out where the money will come from to fund the two processes that start this year and aim to change the future for people and planet. As Jim Yong Kim, the head of the World Bank, put it: “If we seize this moment we can accomplish the greatest achievement in human history.”That’s all well and good but how exactly will FFD3 differ from previous global talk shops? Owen Barder, development economist and director for Europe at the Center for Global Development, considers what the coming five days of plenaries, roundtables and side events
Posted in Ethiopian News

Ethiopia courts scepticism after freeing imprisoned writers ahead of Obama visit

Critics accuse government of political opportunism amid official attempts to cast release of five writers from media and Zone 9 as routine act of generosityAfter more than a year of imprisonment, two Ethiopian women had no idea they were about to be released until a prison loudspeaker informed them they were free to go.“They were kind of stunned. Can you imagine what kind of emotion? They didn’t believe it at first – they thought they were being taken somewhere else,” said a friend of Edom Kassaye, the freelance journalist who was released from Kality jail on Thursday morning along with another detainee, the Zone 9 blogger Mahlet Fantahun. Continue reading...
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UN demands urgent release of British activist on death row in Ethiopia over torture fears

The Foreign Office has pushed for consular access to Andargachew Tsige with no tangible results, since the British citizen was abducted in Ethiopia a year ago The UN has demanded the immediate release of a Briton held on death row in Ethiopia for more than a year, an intervention that campaigners say exposes Britain’s poor diplomacy towards the case. Continue reading...
Posted in Ethiopian News, Politics

Financing the sustainable development goals – podcast transcript

Who will pay for the ambitious plans set out in the sustainable development goals? In the run-up to the finance talks in Addis Ababa, we discuss the key issuesListen to the podcast Reports and presenters: Hugh MuirThe developed countries shouldn't be using the emerging economies as an excuse not to deliver on their commitments98 of the FTSE 100 companies use tax havens routinely – we're trying to highlight something that is endemic Related: Ten reasons why European governments should back a global tax body | Tove Maria Ryding Related: Without leadership over development finance, talks in July cannot succeed Continue reading...
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Philip Hammond warns Ethiopia over treatment of Briton on death row

Foreign secretary condemns detention of Andargachew Tsige in solitary confinement with no access to consular help or right to appealThe treatment of a Briton on death row in Ethiopia is threatening to undermine the country’s relationship with the UK, the foreign secretary has warned.In an unusually blunt statement, Philip Hammond has called for rapid progress in the case of Andargachew Tsige, who is being held in solitary confinement in an unknown location in Ethiopia. Related: UN investigates Briton on death row in Ethiopia Continue reading...
Posted in Ethiopian News, Politics

Obama’s plan to visit Ethiopia criticised as ‘gift’ for repressive government

Activists express anger at US president’s trip to country widely criticised for human right abuses. Global Voices reportBarack Obama’s decision to visit Ethiopia has shocked human rights activists, who say the visit sends the wrong message to a repressive government widely accused of clamping down on dissent. Related: One year on, jailed Ethiopian bloggers are still awaiting trial Ruling party in #Ethiopia, that #Obama has just announced visit to, takes all 546 parliamentary seats in election, inc. sole opposition seat#Ethiopia's ruling party won 100 % of seats in "historic" 5th parliamentary poll: http://t.co/jtghP6Ehsx Yet Obama will visit Addis in July.Intensifying Ethiopia repression is met with sanctions, right? No, the gift of an Obama visit. http://t.co/yvjhulwhbq pic.twitter.com/QSfmo9a14EUnbelievable: as Ethiopia shuts down nearly any political opposition, Obama chooses to visit. http://t.co/YOubDzsOlH pic.twitter.com/utn3IGnjA8I strongly oppose OBAMA shaking hands with the devils in Ethiopia
Posted in Ethiopian News

Financing the sustainable development goals – podcast

This July, Addis Ababa in Ethiopia hosts the UN's Financing for Development conference, where member states will discuss how to pay for the ambitious plans laid out in the sustainable development goals Continue reading...
Posted in Ethiopian News

Ethiopia’s ruling party wins by landslide in general election

Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front stripped opposition party of its one parliamentary seat and took all but 21 of seats in regional state councilsEthiopia’s ruling party and its allies achieved a clean sweep in last month’s general election, winning all 546 parliamentary seats, the final results showed.Prime minister Hailemariam Desalegn’s Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) scored a landslide victory, stripping the opposition of the one seat it had held in the outgoing chamber, said Merga Bekana, chairman of the electoral board on Monday. Related: Ethiopian election marred by harassment claims Related: Ethiopia's elections are just an exercise in controlled political participation | Jason Mosley Continue reading...
Posted in Ethiopian News

Ethiopia’s higher-education boom built on shoddy foundations

The country desperately needs new universities to drive development, but most of the 30 built in the last 15 years fall woefully shortEthiopia’s higher education infrastructure has mushroomed in the last 15 years. But the institutions suffer from curricula being abandoned due to funding cuts, unqualified – but party-loyal – lecturers, and shoddily built institutions. The rapid growth of Ethiopia’s higher education system has come at a cost, but it is moving forward all the same. Related: Beatings for asking for help: corporal punishment in India's schools Related: Ethiopia's renewable energy revolution shouldn't fail to empower its poor Related: Ethiopia crackdown on student protests taints higher education success | Paul O'Keeffe Continue reading...
Posted in Ethiopian News

‘I know I’m too young to be a mother’: child marriage in Ethiopia – in pictures

Early marriage and pregnancy are challenges faced by many teenage girls in Ethiopia. Unicef’s Girls’ Empowerment photo project aims to document the hopes, dreams and aspirations of young women throughout Ethiopia All photographs by Kate Holt for Unicef Continue reading...
Posted in Ethiopian News

Mothers of wisdom: Ethiopian women ensure their babies are born HIV free | Carla Kweifio-Okai

Regular antiretroviral treatment coupled with improved diagnosis is helping to reduce the number of babies being born with HIV in EthiopiaAbeba sits in the consultation room at Modjo health clinic in central Ethiopia, her seven-month-old daughter, Aster, cooing playfully on her lap.Abeba is HIV-positive, and has travelled 20 minutes by bus to collect the antiretroviral treatment she needs. She is part of a programme at the clinic to prevent mother-to-child transmission, which involves a regimen of medications for mothers and babies during pregnancy and breastfeeding.The day I found out I was HIV positive there were eight other people who found out too, but I’m the only that survived. Continue reading...
Posted in Ethiopian News

Ethiopia’s crackdown on dissent drives opposition to push for ‘freedom first’ | William Davison

Government’s critics weigh options after ruling party landslide leads to loss of faith in ballot box while case of Zone 9 bloggers discourages free speechOn the very day Ethiopia’s ruling party celebrated another crushing electoral victory, a young blogger on trial under anti-terrorism laws in an Addis Ababa courtroom lashed out at the authorities. “You yourself should respect the law,” said Abel Wabella, 28, from the Zone 9 blogging group, after judges denied him the chance to protest against the tortuous pace of legal proceedings that began more than a year ago. Related: Ethiopia's election is a wake-up call on human rights and sound governance | Daniel Calingaert and Kellen McClure Continue reading...
Posted in Ethiopian News

Agriculture will drive Africa’s rise to economic power

From Mali to Tanzania, agriculture is propelling rampant economic growth. Governments need to continue to invest to support smallholder farmersI was in Mali recently where I met a woman, Maimouna Coulibaly, who several years ago left her job in the United States and returned to her home country to start a seed company called Faso Kaba. She quickly and confidently ramped up production, from 100 tons per year to over 1,000. She is eager to keep expanding, but she’s having a hard time finding financing.I have heard different versions of this story over the last few months as I travelled around the continent: African farmers and agriculture businesses experiencing an initial burst of entrepreneurial success, reflecting the tremendous potential for agriculture as an economic driver, but then encountering obstacles that raise questions about how to sustain it.Agriculture in Africa today
Posted in Ethiopian News

Picture story: how photographing the Omo Valley people changed their lives

The people of the Omo Valley are incredibly photogenic. But tourism is turning their lives into a daily fancy dress parade. Photographer and writer Matilda Temperley, feeling partly responsible, decided to chart their transformationThe cultural heritage of Ethiopia’s Omo Valley and Kenya’s Lake Turkana basin has, until recently, been relatively untouched by globalisation. Thousands of years as a crossroads of human migration has resulted in a marked diversity. At least 10 distinct ethnic groups occupy the borders between Kenya, South Sudan and Ethiopia. Like most photographers, I was drawn to the Omo Valley not by its landscape, but by these inhabitants, the ochre-skinned Hamer, the lip-plated Suri and Mursi, and the painted Karo amongst them.Since my first visit to the Omo Valley in 2007, I have witnessed a change in both the landscape and its inhabitants. While modernisation is inevitable,
Posted in Ethiopian News

Ethiopian election marred by harassment claims

Ruling party expected to hold on to power in first election since strongman Meles Zenawi died in 2012 but opposition groups complain of persecutionEthiopians are voting in national and regional elections – the country’s first since the 2012 death of its longtime leader – with the ruling party expected to maintain its grip on power.More than 38 million voters are eligible to cast ballots on Sunday. Some opposition groups had threatened to boycott the vote, saying their members were being harassed and detained – charges the government denies. Related: Ethiopia's election is a wake-up call on human rights and sound governance | Daniel Calingaert and Kellen McClure Continue reading...
Posted in Ethiopian News

The people of the Omo Valley – in pictures

The people of the Omo Valley are incredibly photogenic. But tourism is turning their lives into a daily fancy dress parade. Photographer and writer Matilda Temperley, feeling partly responsible, decided to chart their transformation Continue reading...
Posted in Ethiopian News

Ethiopia’s election is a wake-up call on human rights and sound governance | Daniel Calingaert and Kellen McClure

The international community must challenge Ethiopia’s oppressive regime by funding local human rights and democracy groupsOn Sunday, millions of Ethiopians will line up at polling stations to participate in Africa’s largest exercise of political theatre. A decade-long campaign by Ethiopia’s government to silence dissent forcibly has left the country without a viable political opposition, without independent media, and without public challenges to the ruling party’s ideology.For most Ethiopians, these elections are a non-event. Related: Ethiopia's elections are just an exercise in controlled political participation | Jason Mosley Related: What causes conflict and how can it be resolved? – podcast Continue reading...
Posted in Ethiopian News

Ethiopia’s elections are just an exercise in controlled political participation | Jason Mosley

Electoral defeat is not on the cards for Ethiopia’s ruling party, but it is vital for the country’s development that it engages more effectively with dissenting voices Ethiopians will go to the polls on 24 May. Few observers doubt the outcome, with the ruling Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) expected to remain in power.While symbolically significant – this is the first general election since the death of the long-serving prime minister Meles Zenawi in 2012 – the polls are more of a logistical hurdle for the ruling party than a competitive, democratic exercise. What happens after the elections is more important for stability than the conduct of the polls themselves. Related: Ethiopia’s ‘African tiger’ leaps towards middle income | Dereje Feyissa Dori Related: British support for Ethiopia scheme withdrawn amid abuse allegations What happens after the elections is more
Posted in Ethiopian News

UN investigates Briton on death row in Ethiopia

Special rapporteur on torture asks UK and Ethiopian governments about detention of Andargachew Tsige amid claims of ill-treatmentThe detention of a British citizen held on death row in Ethiopia for almost a year is being investigated by the United Nations official responsible for preventing torture.Andargachew Tsige was arrested last June while in transit through Yemen’s main airport and forcibly removed to Addis Ababa. He is the leader of an opposition party and had been condemned to death several years earlier in his absence. Related: UK stands accused over extradition of Ethiopian opposition leader Continue reading...
Posted in Ethiopian News

Ethiopia prepares for election with ruling party expecting landslide victory

Ethiopian Peoples’ Revolutionary Democratic Front set to win fifth straight vote due largely to the lack of a viable opposition – and their stern response to dissentJust days before Ethiopia goes to the polls, the Jan Meda sports field in Addis Ababa is empty of its usual hordes of joggers and footballers. Instead it is reserved for a rally by the main opposition party, Medrek. But only a couple of hundred people turn up, their orange T-shirts bearing the slogan “I vote for clean hand” almost lost in the field’s wide expanses.Medrek’s poor showing contrasts with the campaign of the ruling party, the Ethiopian Peoples’ Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF), which uses its sway over farmers and civil servants to mobilise thousands of placard-wielding supporters all over the country. Continue reading...
Posted in Ethiopian News

Lamb review: sheer brilliance knits together first Ethiopian film at Cannes

Yared Zeleke’s sharp eye for the culture of his homeland is showcased in this tremendous ethnographic debut The first image in Lamb is a closeup of a small boy’s hand laying gently on the thick, auburn wool of of a sheep. It may be a one-sided relationship – it’s hard to get inside the head of livestock – but Ephraim (Rediat Amare) clearly loves this animal. He lives in a small village in Ethiopia with his father, an area troubled by drought. His mother has recently passed away and his father has decided that he will take the boy to live with cousins in a farmland area with rolling green hills while he goes to Addis Ababa looking for work.The new family consists of a loving but all-business great aunt who keeps a whip by her side for occasional discipline,
Posted in Ethiopian News

A righteous path: mass exorcisms performed in Ethiopia – in pictures

British photographer Robert Waddingham journeyed to Ethiopia’s Great Rift Valley to a church near Arba Minch where Orthodox priests regularly carry out mass exorcisms using holy water. Many of those attending the ceremony come to be blessed, but there are also those seeking cures for physical ailments. Please note some images contain nudity Continue reading...
Posted in Ethiopian News, Religion

‘I’d rather die at sea than stay there’: migrants on crossing the Med

After a terrifying journey across the Mediterranean, thousands of migrants arrive in Sicily every week. These are their stories. Portraits by Gideon MendelThere was too much violence in Ivory Coast. You can’t live there. All my friends have left. Continue reading...
Posted in Ethiopian News

Violent clashes in Tel Aviv during anti-racism rally – video

Israeli riot police used tear gas and water canon in violent clashes on the streets of Tel Aviv on Sunday night. The violence broke out during an anti-racism rally by Ethiopian Israelis, shutting down a major highway. Demonstrators overturned a police car, smashed shop windows, destroyed property and threw bottles and stones at officers in riot gear and on horseback. More than 60 people were wounded and 40 arrested Continue reading...
Posted in Ethiopian News

Ethiopian Israelis clash with police as anti-racism rally turns violent

Tensions boil over in central Tel Aviv on Sunday after footage emerged last week of an Ethiopian Israeli in an army uniform being beaten by policePolice on horseback charged at hundreds of ethnic Ethiopian citizens in central Tel Aviv on Sunday as an anti-racism protest descended into one of the most violent demonstrations in Israel’s commercial capital in years. The protesters, who included several thousand people from Israel’s Jewish Ethiopian minority, were demonstrating against what they say is police brutality after the emergence last week of a video clip that showed policemen shoving and punching a black soldier. Continue reading...
Posted in Ethiopian News

The best books on Ethiopia: start your reading here

Our literary tour of Ethiopia covers the traumatic overthrow of the monarchy and the bloody revolution that followed, taking in past and present, fact and fiction In 1954, a young Indian nun working at a mission hospital in Addis Ababa dies while giving birth to identical twins. Their father, a well-respected British surgeon, disappears, abandoning the boys. Fortunately for the twins, the two doctors who deliver them become their loving, adoptive parents. Continue reading...
Posted in Ethiopian News

Ethiopia’s jailing of Zone 9 bloggers has a chilling effect on freedom of expression

Group calling for greater rights and democracy faces terrorism charges as Addis Ababa becomes wary of media that criticises ruling governmentThey met online in 2010 while raising money for charity: nine young, university-educated Ethiopian professionals. Eventually, they decided to launch a blog about social and civic issues in Africa’s second-most-populous nation.“Initially, it was not about political activism or about criticising the government. It was to connect with like-minded people,” said Soliyana Shimeles, 28, one of the founders of the blog Zone 9. Related: 'Ethiopia's media crackdown is bad news for Africa' The ruling party has become wary of media they cannot directly controlIronically, the arrests may have drawn attention to a group that previously had little influence Continue reading...
Posted in Ethiopian News

Eliud Kipchoge and Tigist Tufa claim London Marathon victories

• Kenya’s Kipchoge wins men’s race ahead of Wilson Kipsang• Tufa becomes first Ethiopian women’s champion since 2001The Kenyan former world champion Eliud Kipchoge has won the 2015 London Marathon men’s race. He finished narrowly ahead of his fellow Kenyan and the 2014 winner, Wilson Kipsang.At one stage the Kenyan breakaway front three – Kipchoge, Kipsang and the world record holder, Dennis Kimetto, who finished third – looked as though they may break the course record. However it was not to be, as Kipchoge finished with a time of 2:04:41, five seconds faster than Kipsang. Continue reading...
Posted in Ethiopian News

‘When people come with severe malaria, it is like a race against time’

Malaria kills more than 1,500 people in Ethiopia every year. Now a new drug is improving survival rates – and is easy to administer at local village health postsIn her 12-square-metre outpost in Ethiopia’s Oromia region, Nure Kieltaji represents the frontline in the fight against malaria. She works as a community health worker, one of two people offering basic primary healthcare to more than 1,000 people in her village Dembel Dildila.Nure spends a lot of her time on malaria prevention, travelling between homes to educate people on the use of insecticide-treated nets and point out potential breeding sites for mosquitoes – mostly pots of stagnant water and discarded plastic bags. Continue reading...
Posted in Ethiopian News, Health

ኢትዮጵያዊያኑ ጦማሪዎች ፍትህ ሲጠብቁ አንድ አመት ሞላቸው

የግንቦቱ ምርጫ ሲቃረብ ተቃውሞ ላይ ጥቃት ሲበረታ ስድስቱ ወጣት ጦማሪያን እና ሶስቱ ጋዜጠኞችም በእስር ላይ እንዳሉ ነው ::ነገርግን ምእራባዊያን ዝም ብለው ይመለከታሉ:: ግሎባል ቮይስስOne year on, jailed Ethiopian bloggers are still awaiting trialIf you’re unable to see this article, you can download this appበ2004 ዘጠኝ ኢትዮጵያዊያን ወንዶች እና ሴቶች ዞን 9 የተሰኘ የጦማሪዎች ቡድን ለመመስረት ተሰባሰቡ። የፖለቲካ ሙሰኝነት በሰፊው በተንሰራፈበት: የመገናኛ ብዙሃን በመንግስት ፍጹም ቁጥጥር ስር ባሉበት እና አምባገነን ስርአት ስር በሰደደበት ሀገር ላይ ይህ በጣም ድፍረት የሚፈልግ ተግባር ነው።በአማርኛ እና በእንግሊዘኛ በመጻፍ ጦማሪዎቹ የአገሪቷን አንዳንድ ፈታኝ ማህበራዊ እና ኢኮኖሚያዊ ጉዳዮች በመዳሰስ በሃገሪቷ መገናኛ ብዙሃን ለማይነገሩ ታሪኮች ህይወት ሰጥተዋል።መግባባት ባለመቻላችን የኢትዮጵያ መንግስትና ህዝብ ተለያይተናል ብዬ አምናለሁ። የህዝብ ተወካይ ተብለው ምክር ቤቶችን ጨምሮ በተለያየ ቦታ የሚገኙ ሰዎች ጥረታቸው ገዢው ፓርቲው የሚለውን ሁሉ ለህዝብ ለማሳመን እንጂ የወከላቸውን ሃሳብ ለመንግስት ሲያቀርቡ አይደለም። በስም ብቻ የህዝብ ተወካይ ተባሉ እንጂ በስራቸው የገዢው ፓርቲ ተወካዮች ናቸው
Posted in Ethiopian News

One year on, jailed Ethiopian bloggers are still awaiting trial

Imprisoned journalists question the influx of western aid to a government intensifying its crackdown on dissent ahead of elections. Global Voices reportኢትዮጵያዊያኑ ጦማሪዎች ፍትህ ሲጠብቁ አንድ አመት ሞላቸውIn 2012, nine Ethiopian men and women came together to create a blogging collective known as Zone 9. In an autocratic country rife with political corruption and where state-run media is utterly dominant, this was a bold move.Writing in both English and Amharic, the bloggers covered some of the country’s most pressing social and economic issues, giving life to stories all but absent from local media. There is a discord between the Ethiopian public and government ... they never work for the communities which they claim representation of. They are just nominal representatives; in fact they are representatives of the ruling regimeMahlet Fantahun, Zone 9 blogger, August 2012 Related: Letter from an Ethiopian
Posted in Ethiopian News

Letter from an Ethiopian prison

Natnael Feleke has been imprisoned for a year without trial. In a letter smuggled out of jail, he asks the US secretary of state to stop supporting the regimeDear John Kerry,I first came to know about you back in 2004, during the US presidential election, when you were running for office against George Bush. At just 17 years old I knew little about US politics – or politics in general – but I discussed the campaigns with my schoolmates. Continue reading...
Posted in Ethiopian News

Pope Francis condemns Isis killings of Ethiopian Christians

Pontiff says ‘continuing martyrdom’ of victims from Africa to the Middle East and Asia cries out to ‘everyone who can still distinguish between good and evil’ Pope Francis has condemned the “continuing martyrdom” of Christians by Isis militants after 30 Ethiopians were shown being shot and beheaded in Libya.“With great distress and sadness I learn of the further shocking violence perpetrated against innocent Christians in Libya,” Francis said in a message to Patriarch Abuna Matthias of the Ethiopian Tewahedo Orthodox Church. Related: Isis video purports to show massacre of two groups of Ethiopian Christians Continue reading...
Posted in Ethiopian News

Ethiopia’s Lelisa Desisa wins 119th Boston Marathon

Desisa (2hr 9min 17sec) wins Boston Marathon for second time in three yearsCaroline Rotich of Kenya takes first place in women’s race (2hr 24min 55sec)Dathan Ritzenhein of Rockford, Michigan, was the first American, in seventhLelisa Desisa won his first Boston Marathon in 2013.He didn’t have much time to celebrate. Continue reading...
Posted in Ethiopian News

Former Finnish PM: ‘Inequality harms growth, not the other way around’ – video

The deputy secretary-general of the OECD, Mari Kiviniemi, says her biggest challenge is helping governments to communicate with their citizens. Speaking to the Guardian in March at the Women in Parliaments Global Forum in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, she says the only thing worthwhile in the long run is inclusive growth and that even Finland needs more female role models Continue reading...
Posted in Business, Ethiopian News, Politics

Isis video purports to show massacre of two groups of Ethiopian Christians

Islamic State footage features rant against Christian crusaders, and shows 15 men beheaded on beach and another 15 shot in the head in scrublandIslamic State has released a video purporting to depict the massacre of 30 Ethiopians, the second incident of mass slaughter of Christians by the terror group in its redoubt in Libya.The beheadings and shootings publicised by the group are the latest assault on minorities across the Middle East, thousands of whom have been forced to abandon ancestral homes to flee the group’s broadening reach in the region. Related: In the face of Islamic State’s atrocities, global inaction is not an option | Philippe Sands Continue reading...
Posted in Ethiopian News

World Bank breaks its own rules as 3.4 million forced from land and livelihoods

Review of World Bank documents reveals electricity, water and transport projects contravened safeguards designed to protect rights of indigenous peopleThe World Bank has repeatedly violated its own policies on protecting the rights of indigenous people while funding projects that resulted in nearly 3.4 million slum-dwellers, farmers and villagers losing their land or having their livelihoods damaged over the past decade, according to documents seen by the Guardian.The projects, into which the bank channelled more than $60bn (£40bn), aimed to boost electricity and water supplies and expand transport networks in some of the world’s poorest countries. But they have resulted in more than 1.2 million people in Vietnam being economically or physically displaced over the past decade, as they made way for dams and power plants funded by the organisation. In addition, more than 1 million people in China were displaced
Posted in Business, Ethiopian News

Ethiopians talk of violence and land grabs as their homes are earmarked for foreign investors

New report gives damning indictment of the government’s mandatory resettlement policy carried out in a political climate of torture, oppression and silencingThe human cost of Ethiopia’s “villagisation” programme is laid bare by damning first person testimony published on Tuesday.The east African country has long faced criticism for forcibly relocating tens of thousands of people from their ancestral homes to make way for large scale commercial agriculture, often benefiting foreign investors. Those moved to purpose-built communes are allegedly no longer able to farm or access education, healthcare and other basic services.They intimidated us, we did not move – this is our land, how do we move?The government receives money from donors, but they fill their pockets and farmers die of hunger. Related: Ethiopian farmer takes UK to court over 'brutal' resettlement policy Continue reading...
Posted in Ethiopian News

Are the terrorists of al-Shabaab about to tear Kenya in two?

Since colonial times the east African country’s north-east has been politically and economically disenfranchised. The killing of 148 people last week was part of a fresh attempt by al-Shabaab militants to exploit this inequality, copying Boko Haram’s success on the other side of the continentMixed in among the grief-stricken parents who thronged the Chiromo mortuary parlour in Nairobi, seeking word on the fate of their children, on Friday afternoon were student leaders who had come to make a political point.“We have one simple demand to relay to the government: we want the mass withdrawal of non-Muslims from the whole of the north-eastern region,” Titus Matata, 22, an industrial chemistry student at the University of Nairobi, told the Observer. “We are not wanted there, and the government must facilitate the evacuation of all non-Muslim students at once.” Continue reading...
Posted in Ethiopian News

Top WHO official in Thailand denies maid slavery claims

Ethiopian maid’s lawyer alleges that while working for Dr Yonas Tegegn’s family she did not receive proper salary, was physically abused and fed only riceThe World Health Organisation’s top official in Thailand has denied beating his Ethiopian domestic helper and treating her like a modern day slave.The 25-year-old unnamed maid filed a complaint with police last month accusing Dr Yonas Tegegn, the WHO’s representative in Thailand, and his wife of abusing her and forcing her to work without pay for nearly two years. Continue reading...
Posted in Ethiopian News

Brutal reality sets in for Kenyans after ‘senseless’ massacre at university

As the world reacts to tragedy, a nation mourns and struggles to come to terms with deaths of loved ones murdered during 12-hour siege staged by al-ShabaabThe call came in just after 7am. Fred Musinai’s daughter, Elizabeth Namarone, told him that gunmen were going from room to room at her university hostel, shooting any students they identified as Christian on the spot. Related: Al-Shabaab leader responsible for Garissa attack is Kenyan Related: Kenya attack: 'There were screams and nobody knew if we would survive' Continue reading...
Posted in Ethiopian News

Letter from Ethiopia: back and forth

Despite breakneck economic regeneration, Addis Ababa retains many of its familiar charms and frustrationsI am not sure why I like Ethiopia so much. In part, I think it is the sights, sounds and smells that are so evocative. Watching a blood-red sun beginning to set through the haze that hovers over Addis Ababa, watching the black kites swoop between the buildings, listening to the sounds of traffic, Ethiopian pop music and the odd chicken or two, plus the smells of wood smoke, roasting coffee, cheap diesel and something else, indescribable, but essentially African, I remember why I like this country so much.I am also attracted by the people. In most Ethiopians there is a joy and optimism. They believe that they are on the cusp of great things: becoming a middle-income country, surfing the “knowledge superhighway”. Every state company and
Posted in Ethiopian News

Democracy behind bars: 11 opposition leaders facing jail or death

With global democracy declining for the ninth year in a row, we look at some of the opposition leaders around the world who have been charged with sodomy, bribery and arson, and who now face prison and even death sentences Leopoldo López, awaiting verdict, charged with inciting violence and arsonBurundi Continue reading...
Posted in Ethiopian News, Politics

Journalism students highlight plight of jailed journalists with bracelets

US university group launch Press Uncuffed project to raise moneyJournalism students in a US university are planning to publicise the plight of imprisoned journalists by launching a line of bracelets emblazoned with their names, reports the Associated Press.The journalism students at the University of Maryland hope to raise enough money to produce 10,000 bracelets in a project called Press Uncuffed. Continue reading...
Posted in Ethiopian News

Treating multi-drug resistant TB in Ethiopia – in pictures

Almost half a million cases of multi-drug resistant tuberculosis emerge globally each year, but only 3% of people receive treatment. In Addis Ababa, the Alert Hospital provides free treatment for MDR-TB patients, funded by the Ethiopian government and international donors. Patients stay at the hospital for up to four months to start their treatment Continue reading...
Posted in Ethiopian News, Health

Ethiopia: new TB treatment means patients will no longer need a miracle | Carla Kweifio-Okai

A $60m project that brings two new drugs to the treatment of tuberculosis offers hope to Ethiopians with the multi-drug resistant form of the diseaseWhen Endalkachew Fekadu contracted a strain of drug-resistant tuberculosis 12 years ago, it was still considered a death sentence by health professionals in Ethiopia. Related: Treating multi-drug resistant TB in Ethiopia – in pictures I'd forget my name, I couldn't use my hands or legs. Sometimes it felt the treatment was worse than the disease Continue reading...
Posted in Ethiopian News, Health

Egypt sets concerns aside to sign Nile dam deal with Ethiopia and Sudan

Despite fears of disruption to the river’s flow, Egypt has agreed to Ethiopia’s Grand Renaissance dam, which will generate 6,000 megawatts of electricityEgypt has agreed to a preliminary deal with Ethiopia on a dam project that Cairo had feared would hamper the flow of the Nile, paving the way for a binding regional agreement that has been years in the making.The leaders of Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan gathered in Khartoum on 23 March to sign the agreement of principles on Ethiopia’s Grand Renaissance dam project. Continue reading...
Posted in Ethiopian News

What to expect from the Women in Parliaments Summit 2015

More than 400 female parliamentarians will convene in Ethiopia this week, to discuss tactics and strategies to get more women into power“In parliaments where we have a critical mass of women, we are beginning to see a difference in the laws and policies that are passed. The key to a lasting betterment of our society lies in achieving greater female leadership.” With these words, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, chair of the African Union Commission, sums up why 400 female parliamentarians are meeting in the Ethiopian capital of Addis Ababa this week. Related: The 10 best and worst countries for female public leaders – in charts Related: Lessons from Rwanda's female-run institutions | Jane Dudman Continue reading...
Posted in Ethiopian News, Politics

Ethiopia burns 1.6 tonnes of ivory – video

Some 6.1 tonnes of ivory is burned in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, on Friday as part of efforts to deter poachers. The country has lost 90% of its elephant population in the last thirty years and the ivory was destroyed in an attempt to reduce the demand for it. The tusks, carvings and jewellery was confiscated from traffickers travelling to Asia from the Ethiopian capital Continue reading...
Posted in Ethiopian News

Religion and money: is Islamic banking the way forward for Ethiopians?

What happens when it’s not just a lack of physical banks preventing communities’ access to financial services, but ethical issues too? Islam is the world’s second largest religion with more than 1.5 billion followers, making up more than 23% of the world’s population. Of these, 650 million Muslims hover at or below the poverty line. But although Islamic-compliant finance is a huge industry globally, when the international community talks about improving access to financial services in developing countries, making services Islamic-compliant is rarely top of the agenda. Islamic-compliant financial products can take several forms and business models. However, the principles of Islamic finance are universal: you cannot make money off money. No one can charge or pay interest, or invest in items that Islam forbids such as alcohol and gambling. Related: Interactive map: which country has the fewest ATMs? Related:
Posted in Business, Ethiopian News, Religion

I’m an aid worker… and I’m gay

NGOs’ mandates include fighting for human rights, equality, protection and social justice. Yet, the rights of LGBT staff continue to be neglectedI never thought that somebody would consider resigning because of me. Or even that a whole team might resign because of me. I was actually happy to resign myself: after all, I seemed to be the source of the problem. But our manager didn’t want any of us to go.I was working for an NGO in Lebanon and I had recently requested a change in my contract. I was now in a relationship with another woman, and I wanted my partner to accompany me, but a colleague refused to process my partner’s monthly allowance. Our manager, searching for a compromise, was conflicted. On one hand he worried that the other employee would take the NGO to court if she
Posted in Ethiopian News

First human? The jawbone that has made us question where we’re from | Chris Stringer

The discovery of the oldest remains of human ancestors could prove that we evolved from different speciesA jawbone which has lain under the African soil for nearly three million years is challenging us to define just what it means to be human. Are we characterised by our small jaws and teeth, by our large brain or long legs, by our tool-making, our meat-eating or our language skills, or by some combination of these or other traits?These are hard questions to answer and the multitude of choices we face reveals a key problem: the term “human” can be used in so many ways. However, those of us who study the fossil record can rely only on what survives in the ground to help us to our conclusions. There are different views, but I equate the term “human” with membership of the
Posted in Ethiopian News

Ethiopian farmer drops case alleging UK aid money paid for evictions | Sam Jones

Court told action halted because UK had stopped funding controversial project, although DfID said the case had no bearing on its decisionAn Ethiopian farmer who claims UK aid money was used to bankroll forced evictions in his home country has dropped his legal action against the British government after it stopped funding a controversial development project because of increasing concerns over civil and political rights in Ethiopia.The farmer, known as Mr O, had alleged that British aid contributions to Ethiopia’s promotion of basic services (PBS) programme – a $4.9bn (£3.2bn) project run by the World Bank and designed to boost education, health and water services – were being used by the Ethiopian government to help fund its villagisation programme. Continue reading...
Posted in Ethiopian News

Difret review – the true story of a rape victim who fought back

This Ethiopian docudrama recreates the game-changing legal case involving a 14-year-old who shot her kidnapperEthiopian director Zeresenay Mehari’s docudrama recounts a game-changing legal case from the mid-90s that involved a 14-year-old girl named Hirut (played by Tizita Hagere) who tried to plead self-defence after fatally shooting the man who abducted and raped her. Local star Meron Getnet, who’s terrific, co-stars as Hirut’s pro-bono lawyer Meaza Ashenafi, a feisty modern woman who won’t give up the fight against patriarchal tradition. It’s tempting to give this more of a pass because the subject is so noble and so few African-made films make it over here, but it has to be admitted that the some of the acting is a bit ropey and the script is a little too on-the-nose at times. There really is a scene where our heroine Meaza goes to a bar to
Posted in Ethiopian News

Naomi Campbell’s Ebola fundraiser shows ‘saviour complex’ alive and well

Auctioning designer clothes and high-end donations, the supermodel’s ‘Fashion Against Ebola’ night is evidence of an outdated and patronising view of Africa, writes Adrienne KlasaLast week supermodel Naomi Campbell threw a fundraiser to raise money for the victims of the Ebola epidemic. Timed to kick off London fashion week, the invitation featured an image of Campbell sashaying down a catwalk, her black gown slit all the way up the thigh, next to the benefit’s title: Fashion Against Ebola.The event, which auctioned the model’s wardrobe castoffs and high-end donations from designer labels, donated money to the Disasters Emergency Committee.Condescension by well-intentioned if misguided celebrities towards the African region is an all too frequent Related: Band Aid 30: clumsy, patronising and wrong in so many ways The Ebola crisis is expected to lop off as much as $6bn off the GDP output
Posted in Ethiopian News

Mental health and aid: does the talking cure do harm or good?

When disaster strikes aid agencies are increasingly focusing on mental health as well as food and shelter. But without cultural understanding, pushing western treatment can do damage. Cue the rise of the humanitarian anthropologist ...A few years ago Andrew Solomon had to get into a wedding bed with a ram. An entire village, taking a day off from farming, danced around the unlikely couple to a pounding drumbeat, draping them both in cloth until Solomon began to think he was going to faint. At this point the ram was slaughtered along with two cockerels, and Solomon’s naked body was drenched in the animals’ blood, before being washed clean by the village women spitting water onto him.Solomon had been taking part in a traditional Senegalese ceremony to exorcise depression as research for his book The Noonday Demon. “I discovered that depression
Posted in Ethiopian News, Health

Robert Mugabe assumes African Union helm with familiar rallying cry

Zimbabwe president calls on Africa to harness resources for its own ends as members urged to tackle infrastructure, climate change, conflict and Ebola Robert Mugabe, Zimbabwe’s 90-year-old president, has assumed the chairmanship of the African Union (AU) with a call for members to improve infrastructure and tackle climate change, conflict and Ebola, and with a familiar rallying cry that Africa’s wealth belongs to Africa and not “imperialists and colonialists”.The veteran leader, who was elected head of the union on Friday, replaces President Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz, of Mauritania. Related: Robert Mugabe: man of the people? Continue reading...
Posted in Ethiopian News

Ethiopia’s women vow to turn tide of violence, rape and murder | William Davison

The low social status of Ethiopian women lies at the root of violence against them and the tragic cases of two teenagers have galvanised female activists in their efforts to tackle itTejnesh Leweg’neh, a 15-year-old from Ethiopia’s mountainous northern Shoa region, was abducted by three men on her way to market in October. They tried to force her to agree to marry one of them. She refused, and, a day later, they pushed her off a cliff. Now Tejnesh is paralysed from the waist down.That same month, 16-year-old Hanna Lalango, from Ethiopia’s cosmopolitan capital, Addis Ababa, was abducted by a group of men from a minibus on the outskirts of the city. She was raped over several days and died in hospital about a month later from her injuries. Five men have been convicted and are awaiting sentence for the
Posted in Ethiopian News

‘Ethiopia’s media crackdown is bad news for Africa’

Without a free press in Addis Ababa, Africans are being locked out of the important decisions being made in their de facto capital, writes Simon AllisonIt’s not easy being a journalist in Ethiopia. In fact, it’s nearly impossible, according to a new 76-page Human Rights Watch report that documents the scale of the state’s censorship apparatus. As a journalist, it makes for highly disturbing reading.“Ethiopia’s government has systematically assaulted the country’s independent voices, treating the media as a threat rather than a valued source of information and analysis,” says Leslie Lefkow, the organisation’s deputy Africa director. We were publishing our magazine twice a week, and usually afterwards we would receive threats by phone and cars would follow us,If we want to know what’s happening in Africa, we need to know what’s happening in Addis AbabaWe’re getting a distorted picture of
Posted in Ethiopian News

Martin Hill obituary

My father, Martin Hill, who has died of cancer aged 71, championed human rights in Africa for more than 32 years during his career with Amnesty International. He was instrumental in exposing the human rights violations committed in Ethiopia and Eritrea by the Derg military force, many of whom were subsequently convicted of genocide and crimes against humanity. He campaigned tirelessly for the release of dozens of prisoners of conscience, including Netsanet Belay, who is now Amnesty International’s Africa research and advocacy director.  Continue reading...
Posted in Ethiopian News

Ethiopia: human rights groups criticise UK-funded development programme

Leaked World Bank report rejects claims from the Bank’s management that no link existed between their programme and villagisationA major UK- and World Bank-funded development programme in Ethiopia may have contributed to the violent resettlement of a minority ethnic group, a leaked report reveals.The UK’s Department for International Development was the primary funder of a World Bank-run development project aimed at improving health, education and public services in Ethiopia, contributing more than £388m of UK taxpayer funds to the project. Continue reading...
Posted in Business, Ethiopian News, Politics

Farm Africa’s goats and bees help rural Ethiopians forge new livelihoods

Villagers discuss the impact of Farm Africa’s goat-rearing, beekeeping and irrigation programmes a year on from the 2013 Guardian Christmas appeal donations to the Tigray Food Security projectBy 2013, widowed Letay Gebre-Michael could feed her children only two meals a day. Now she serves three meals daily with an afternoon snack, thanks to three goats she received from international NGO Farm Africa.Each goat gave birth to two more giving Gebre-Michael a herd of nine. She donated three goats to another qualifying individual – a requirement of beneficiaries of Farm Africa’s goat-rearing programme – and sold two at market. Continue reading...
Posted in Ethiopian News

Ethiopia dam will turn Lake Turkana into ‘endless battlefield’, locals warn

Kenyans near world’s largest desert lake predict conflict, hunger and cultural devastation when hydroelectric project is completedPeople living near Lake Turkana in northern Kenya have little understanding that the fresh water essential to their development is likely to dry up when a huge hydoelectric dam in neighbouring Ethiopia is completed. Fishermen, farmers, teachers and others living near the world’s largest desert lake say Turkana’s volume has reduced significantly over the past 30 years because of higher temperatures and changing weather patterns. Continue reading...
Posted in Ethiopian News

Fire damages Addis Ababa hotel made famous by Evelyn Waugh’s book “Scoop”

Ethiopian officials say they hope Itegue Taitu hotel, built in 1900 and one of the oldest buildings in the city, will be rebuilt. Fire has badly damaged a hotel in Ethiopia’s capital made famous as the setting for Evelyn Waugh’s 1938 satirical novel Scoop. A fierce blaze swept through the Itegue Taitu hotel in Addis Ababa late on Saturday. “Within a few minutes the whole place was alight and smoke was coming out the eaves,” said Clem Clemson, a British tourist. [...]
Posted in Ethiopian News

Local Ethiopians miss out as big agriculture firms struggle in Gambella | William Davison

Commercial farming, with its vast tracts of land, is running into problems in Ethiopia’s Gambella region – and local communities are reaping few benefits As dusk envelops the grasslands of Gambella in western Ethiopia, a weary Jakob Pouch sits on a jerry can, resting his chest against a wooden staff. The 45-year-old evangelical preacher from the Nuer community has just made the three-hour walk from the banks of the Baro river, where he tends to his large family’s small plot of corn. His daughters are preparing cabbage and cobs to be cooked on an open fire.In the opposite direction, across the asphalt road that leads to South Sudan, lies the farm of BHO Bioproducts, an Anglo-Indian company growing rice and cotton on the 27,000 hectares (67,000 acres) it has leased. Continue reading...
Posted in Ethiopian News

Briton shot dead in Ethiopia

Ethiopian officials describe death as an accident, saying tourist was killed when AK-47 carried by another man went offA British tourist has been killed in Ethiopia, the UK’s foreign office has confirmed, with Ethiopian officials describing it as an accident.The British national was shot dead when an AK-47 went off in the north-western city of Bahir Dar at 10.30am local time on Christmas Eve, according to reports. Continue reading...
Posted in Ethiopian News

Africa’s successes struggle to eclipse weary old tropes of suffering continent

Ebola, Islamist crimes and paucity of democratic states detract from upbeat message that Africa’s time has finally come“It has never, ever been a good bet to bet against America, and America is betting on Africa. The idea, and the reality, are just tantalising. The possibilities are immense.”These were the words of the US vice-president, Joe Biden at the biggest gathering of African heads of state ever assembled by the White House. It was now, Biden insisted, an equal partnership. “The question was always what can we do for Africa? That’s no longer the question. The question is what can we do with Africa?” Continue reading...
Posted in Ethiopian News

220 journalists are now in prison across the world

Annual survey by the Committee to Protect Journalists shows China and Iran have most journalists in jailMore journalists are in jail across the world at present than a year ago. According to the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), 220 journalists are in prison, an increase of nine from 2013.It is the second-highest number of imprisoned journalists since CPJ started its annual census in 1990, and highlights a resurgence of authoritarian governments in countries such as China, Ethiopia, Burma and Egypt. Continue reading...
Posted in Ethiopian News