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Dubai & COVID19

Post by Zmeselo » 26 Mar 2020, 03:32

Most of the people who have tested positive in many African countries, have all come from Dubai.

a) 17 more coronavirus cases reported in Rwanda, adding to the 19 cases bring the total to 40 cases. Of the new cases, 9 came from Dubai

b) Uganda confirms its first case of Coronavirus through a 36-year-old Ugandan man, who arrived from Dubai.

c) Eritrea confirms 3 more Coronavirus cases, bringing total to 4. All the cases are Eritrean Nationals, who arrived from Dubai.

d) 3 Coronavirus cases confirmed in Zimbabwe; 3rd patient is a 52-year-old who traveled to Dubai and returned on 15th March.

e) etc ...


UK Ambassador to Asmara @UkambW:

The British Embassy supports the measures taken by the Government of Eritrea to stop the spread of coronavirus. I encourage them, however, to let people leave Eritrea to return home and to allow Ethiopian Airlines to fly in this week at least.

Fnan Desta @FnanDesta Replying to @UkambW:

Wouldn’t that depend on Ethiopian airlines arriving in Asmara with no passengers, only to transport people out? If so, would an airliner agree to that? As an alternative, could the countries who have citizens in Eritrea they wish to evacuate not send chartered planes for pick up?

Lastly, I would imagine Eritrea would be where it is safest now relative to other countries in Europe and North America where COVID-19 is on a troubling increase.

... to let people leave Eritrea to return home and to allow Ethiopian Airlines to fly in this week at least.
On behalf of which people is the UK Ambassador asking, for Ethiopian airlines to fly for one more week? If the people he is asking for are British, he could request a permit from the Eritrean government to evacuate them using British Airlines. If not, why is he acting in charge of them?


(Courtesy of Ghirmay Haile)

Vital signs, of increased awareness amongst the public!

Following the Ministry of Health guidelines, the use of buses and taxis is minimal. Also wonderful, that all the windows are left open for super ventilation in buses.

Last edited by Zmeselo on 26 Mar 2020, 06:02, edited 2 times in total.

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Joined: 30 Jul 2010, 20:43

Re: Dubai & COVID19

Post by Zmeselo » 26 Mar 2020, 03:58

Is another regional alliance what the Horn needs?

Eritrea, Ethiopia and Somalia’s new alliance must complement existing structures and not exacerbate distrust and undermine integration.

24 MAR 2020


The new regional cooperation between Eritrea, Ethiopia and Somalia comes amid a long history of distrust and unresolved boundary disputes between Ethiopia and Eritrea, Djibouti and Eritrea, and Kenya and Somalia. It also comes on the heels of internationally praised rapprochement between Ethiopia and Eritrea.

In July 2018, neighbours Eritrea and Ethiopia ended their two decades of no war, no peace over the 1998-2000 border dispute war. A few weeks later, Eritrea and Somalia agreed ... 10668.html to resume diplomatic relations, ending over a decade of tensions. Since 2006, Somalia has accused Eritrea of supporting the Islamic militant rival group to the transitional government in Mogadishu while Ethiopian troops were supporting the latter.

In September 2018, Eritrea, Ethiopia and Somalia held their first meeting to build comprehensive cooperation, resulting in a joint commitment to build closer political, economic, social and security ties and promote regional peace and security.

Many observers have wondered about the motivation behind this new alliance and its impact on interstate relations in the Horn of and East Africa, and what it means for the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) regional body.


IGAD has a robust security sector and counter-terrorism programmes – what new approaches does the alliance propose?


What value would a new regional bloc of three states bring to the vast and diverse East African region? And might it add to the complexities and tensions in an already fraught region, or reduce them? What does it mean for interstate relations in the region and for the future of IGAD?

The cooperation could contribute to regional stability in two ways. First, it already represents an improvement of relations among previously conflicting countries. It could also help Eritrea and Ethiopia align their vision on how to resolve Somalia’s conflict. This is critical in the context of the proxy war between the two countries over Somalia’s internal politics.

Second, if managed well the new cooperation could be a vehicle for Eritrea’s return to the IGAD family. Eritrea has stayed away from IGAD since it suspended its participation in 2007, and when it unilaterally decided to return in 2011, IGAD member states did not agree to accept its return. Eritrean leaders have made it clear that it will only rejoin a reformed IGAD, and it’s hoped that this new alliance could provide opportunities for this to happen.

So the new cooperation, by virtue of rapprochement among the three, opens the door for IGAD to constructively engage its member states on issues that concern the region. The fact that Eritrea, Ethiopia and Somalia initiated ... -djibouti/ efforts to mediate the conflict between Djibouti and Eritrea also highlights the bloc’s potential to stabilise the region. The mediation effort hasn’t progressed in addressing the main issues of the border and Djibouti’s missing soldiers, but the normalised relations are nevertheless a positive step.


If managed well the new cooperation could be a vehicle for Eritrea’s return to the IGAD family


The new tripartite alliance does however pose risks for integration in the Horn of Africa. If the three states concerned aren’t cautious, their agreement could increase distrust between states in the region. Already the lack of communication and consultation with other IGAD heads of state (Kenya, Uganda, Sudan, Djibouti and South Sudan) on the details of the cooperation has raised suspicion that the three states aim to establish another bloc ... index.html in the region that could rival IGAD.

Apart from general statements about the three countries’ regional security and economic development, their joint communiqué stated ... communique that the 2020 joint plan of action included combating common security threats and improving economic ties. Details ... operation/ about what this means and how these goals will be achieved aren’t clear.

IGAD has a robust security sector and counter-terrorism programmes and one wonders what new approaches the alliance proposes. Clarifying this is essential. The communiqué mentions ‘terrorism, arms and human trafficking and drug smuggling’ as examples of common security threats, although such threats in the region are covered by IGAD’s mandate. Sharing these details with IGAD and the rest of its member states builds transparency and trust among the region’s states, avoiding unnecessary speculation and suspicion.

It would also be useful to know why countries like Djibouti, Kenya, Sudan, South Sudan and Uganda were excluded from the alliance, especially as this is happening amid dampened diplomatic relations and cross-border security tensions, and the maritime boundary dispute between Kenya and Somalia. Other thorny issues for the alliance are the unresolved boundary dispute between Djibouti and Eritrea and tensions between Somalia and Somaliland.


The new alliance will only be useful if it complements and strengthens IGAD


There could be domestic and regional interests for the three countries’ alliance. Ethiopia’s Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed Ali is steering a delicate democratic transition at home, while building on a firm foundation of a peace deal with Eritrea and seeking greater regional peace and stability. In Somalia, President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed is set up for a tightly contested election later in the year, and needs the support of both Ethiopia and Eritrea.

Many analysts say Eritrea’s President Isaias Afwerki is behind the new alliance. Some believe the new bloc could be Eritrea’s strategy to establish an alternative intergovernmental arrangement in its move ... dependence from ‘isolation to regional influence’.

Other regional analysts say the new alliance could be a response to IGAD’s failure to perform as an effective regional bloc. Although it has performed well in brokering regional peace, the continued tension between its members and lack of economic integration shows its underperformance.

This raises the question of how the new alliance will relate to and work with IGAD. The alliance must complement IGAD and avoid overlapping mandates. Competition between the blocs would make regional integration more difficult than it already is. Ethiopia and Somalia should ensure their continued commitment to IGAD and encourage Eritrea to be an active member. This would help minimise the risk of weakening regional cohesions among countries in the Horn.

IGAD should strengthen its ability to serve the diverse interests and get the buy-in of its member states, making it more relevant in the region. IGAD’s reform process, which aims ... ATE%20.pdf to review and update its structure to ensure a rule-based, effective and predictable organisation, must be fast-tracked.

IGAD is already working to become more effective in the region and internationally, starting with the new Executive Secretary’s 100-day plan ... ss-release focusing on reform. What the proposed reform entails is however still unclear.

More than any other time, the Horn requires a strong regionally coherent bloc that articulates and negotiates the interests of its over 282 million citizens. In the face of security threats such as political conflicts, terrorism, drought, and external powers’ interference, the new alliance will only be useful if it complements and strengthens IGAD, rather than creating disharmony with other member states. If well managed, the new alliance could make IGAD stronger.

Selam Tadesse Demissie, Research Officer, Horn Security Analysis Programme, ISS Addis Ababa

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Re: Dubai & COVID19

Post by Zmeselo » 26 Mar 2020, 04:43

Researchers investigate the spatial pattern of plant diversity in the Horn of Africa

1 day ago

By Zhang Nannan, Chinese Academy of Sciences ... frica.html

Variation partitioning of SES_PD and NRI values for total, woody and herbaceous plants into the independent effects of climate, topography and soil, as well as their overlaps. Credit: ZHOU Yadong

The horn of Africa, located in the northeast of Africa, including Djibouti, Ethiopia, Eritrea and Somalia, is one of the global biodiversity hotspots recognized by United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). It has about 5000 vascular plants, half of which are endemic to the region. Ethiopia and Eritrea are major constituent countries in the horn of Africa, which is one of the most threatened terrestrial ecosystems in the world.

In August, 2019, Wang Shengwei and Biyansa H. Boru rebuilt the plant distribution information database of Ethiopia and Eritrea, based on the Flora of Ethiopia and Eritrea and some online databases, and made a fine division of flora in this area. The research results were published in the Journal of Systematics and Evolution.

Based on this reconstructed database, under the guidance of Wang Qingfeng, deputy director of Wuhan Botanical Garden and director of Sino-Africa Joint Research Center (SAJOREC), Chinese Academy of Sciences, Dr. Zhou Yadong et al. divided all the data into three sub-datasets, i.e., all species, woody plants and herbaceous plants, and then analyzed and compared the spatial pattern of six main indexes of plant diversity of the three sub-datasets in the region, including Species richness (SR), Weighted species richness (SRW), Phylogenetic diversity (PD), Phylogenetic endemism (PE), Standardized effect size phylogenetic diversity (SES_PD) and Net relatedness index (NRI).

The results showed that the richness and phylogenetic diversity of woody and herbaceous plants were basically the same, they were positively correlated with annual precipitation , annual precipitation range, topography, total nitrogen and total extractable phosphorus, and negatively correlated with annual average temperature. Compared with the total plant and herbaceous plant, all environmental variables can explain the SES_PD and NRI variation of woody plant to a greater extent.

The results show that, on a large spatial scale, environmental filtration plays a more important role in species composition of woody plants community than herbaceous plants.

The above research is supported by the Sino-Africa Joint Research Center project of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and the Youth Program of National Natural Science Foundation of China.

The research was published in the latest issue of Journal of Systems and Evolution, titled
Species richness and phylogenetic diversity of different growth forms of angiosperms across a biodiversity hotspot in the horn of Africa.
More information: Ya‐Dong Zhou et al. Species richness and phylogenetic diversity of different growth forms of angiosperms across a biodiversity hotspot in the horn of Africa, Journal of Systematics and Evolution (2019).

Provided by Chinese Academy of Sciences ... -sciences/

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Re: Dubai & COVID19

Post by Zmeselo » 26 Mar 2020, 05:09

Police hand out fliers about the coronavirus to migrant workers and asylum seekers in Tel Aviv's Neveh Sha’anan neighborhood, March 22, 2020. Credit: Moti Milrod

Asylum Seekers in Israel Forced to Fend for Themselves During Coronavirus Crisis

With no social or medical safety net, more than half have lost their jobs since the coronavirus outbreak began

By Lee Yaron ... -1.8706176

Mar 25, 2020

Like many Israelis, Mollo has spent more than a week in isolation after possible exposure to the coronavirus. He was told that he had been near patient number 283, a student of the Har Etzion Yeshiva, where he worked in the cafeteria.

Like others, he spends his days within four walls, fearing for his health, livelihood and missing companionship. But there’s one detail that changes his condition from “worrisome” to “critical:" He’s an asylum seeker ... -1.8699624 from Eritrea. (With the name of: Mollo? Naah!)

Unlike other Israelis who cannot work during the coronavirus crisis, ... -1.8700788 Mollo, along with 30,000 other asylum seekers from Eritrea and Sudan, ... -1.8497390 is not eligible for unemployment or compensation for dismissal. These funds are held by the state as a deposit that cannot be withdrawn, and to make matters worse, He also has no savings.
The situation is very bad, I don’t know if I’ll have any job to return to,
Mollo tells Haaretz.
Everyone is in a bad situation but for our community, this situation will kill us. We live from hand to mouth, whatever we earn we use to buy food and pay rent. I’m very frightened.

Neveh Sha’anan, March 22, 2020. Credit: Moti Milrod

Asylum seekers in Israel have no social or medical safety net. They do not have national health insurance, and have to rely on private insurance, which is dependent on either their employment or an upfront payment to extend it temporarily. Meanwhile, more than half of them have lost their jobs.

Data from the Israeli Restaurants Union show that 10,000 asylum seekers have been fired in this sector alone. Thousands more who worked at hotels have also lost their source of income. Now it appears that they all have a greater chance of coming down with the coronavirus than of finding a new job.

But even getting through the first stage, the isolation, is not easy, Mollo says. He lives in a one room flat with three roommates. That’s the only way they can afford the 2,400 shekels per month rent. When he learned that he needed to isolate himself, he had to ask his roommates to find another place to live for now. Many other asylum seekers face a similar risk in the event that they have to self-quarantine. Many live in small apartments, and share a bathroom and kitchen with several other families.

Other challenges they face include the difficulty of receiving basic information about the crisis. When Mollo tried to call the Health Ministry to find out the virus’ symptoms and receive instructions for self-isolation, he ran into obstacles. He had to key in an identity number – which he lacks - just to be able to speak with someone.
An Israeli friend helped me so I was able to talk to them [the Health Ministry]. I had no choice,
he said.

Tens of thousands go hungry

Baharana Negasi has also joined the ranks of the unemployed. ... -1.8688933 He has been living in Israel for 14 years. He worked at a Jerusalem eatery that put him on unpaid leave until further notice. But being a leading activist in the asylum seeker community has kept him very busy. His phone doesn’t stop ringing; every few minutes he gets a call from a family in dire circumstances and in need of help.

He is also attempting to arrange meetings of community leaders.
Next month none of us will be able to pay rent or have enough money to buy food,
he said.
People weren’t as fearful during the period of expulsions as they are now from the damages of the coronavirus. They’re in a panic. People don’t know what to do if they get infected, parents don’t know where they’ll find work, and this situation can develop into a complete disaster for tens of thousands of people.

Police Officers explain new government instructions to people in Neveh Sha’anan, March 22, 2020. Credit: Moti Mildrod

The magnitude of the problem is also clear at the Aid Organization for Refugees and Asylum Seekers in Israel,

A non-governmental group that helps the asylum seekers, which is inundated with desperate appeals from families that have nothing to eat.
These are families that even in routine times were living beneath the poverty line, without any support from National Insurance, they have no reserves on the side,
said Tali Ehrental, the director-general of ASSAF.
They can’t afford rent and we fear that they will get thrown out onto the street.
She added that many children of asylum seekers have lost their sole hot meal of the day which they got at school.

Where’s the money

Money is needed to prevent hunger, perhaps the main problem for asylum seekers. But there seems to be a solution to the asylum seekers’ lack of money: they are required to contribute 20 percent of their wage to a “deposit fund,” to which their employer adds a 15 percent social benefit contribution. The government could release this money to the asylum seekers, which some of them have been paying this contribution for years. The money is usually kept and only given to an asylum seeker when they leave the country, thus encouraging them to leave Israel.

But there is a clause which states that the treasury or interior ministry can set the terms for when these workers can receive some or all of these funds.

Last week a number of human rights groups appealed to the treasury and interior minister to release these funds.

Shai Berman, head of the restaurants’ union, wrote to Finance Minister Moshe Kachlon saying,
the asylum seekers will be destitute during this crisis, despite their having full compensation funds set aside.

People stand on the street in Neve Sha'anan, March 22, 2020. Credit: Moti Milrod

Berman said these workers had asked them for compensation so they could survive
and this only adds to the burden faced by our industry which is already deep in crisis.
This situation discriminates between them and Israeli workers. This is a serious wrong, both toward these workers and toward restaurant entrepreneurs at their most difficult hour.
Haaretz has learned that the policy is under review as a result of these appeals. Officials have agreed in principle that asylum seekers should receive 2,000 to 2500 shekels their deposit funds, but not to permit anyone to withdraw all their funds. In some cases people have tens of thousands of shekels in their fund.

A source familiar with the details said
we are working on a mechanism to allow the withdrawal of a portion of the deposit, but not the entire amount under any circumstances.
We understand that without this money the community will face a disaster by next month without any salaries,
the source said.

Fliers about the coronavirus are handed out to asylum seekers, Neveh Sha’anan, March 22, 2020. Credit: Moti Milrod

According to plans, asylum seekers will receive a larger sum of money in the first month of withdrawal from the fund.

Officials are also seeking a solution for asylum seekers who have no money deposited and who cannot make a living, in order to avoid them going hungry. In addition to the money that they would spend on living, the plan states that asylum seekers would also be required to pay hundreds of shekels a month in health insurance, for which they would be entitled to withdraw further funds from their deposits.

A subcommittee was appointed at the Prime Minister’s Office this week to handle the issue of foreigners amid the coronavirus crisis, headed by Attorney Dina Dominitz, director of the Human Trafficking Unit in the Justice Ministry. The panel will be a forum for government, business and social and civil service group representatives, with a goal of formulating a policy within a few days and gaining approval from Interior Minister Aryeh Deri. The committee will also seek solutions for asylum seekers who need to self-isolate, and to lower the risk of infection breaking out among them.

Sensitive information

Economic difficulties have for now overshadowed the other fears faced by asylum seekers, though these concerns have not disappeared. But the fear of wider infection from the coronavirus and the need for people to self-isolate, has raised these issues anew.

Sources at Physicians for Human Rights say asylum seekers worry that any personal details they give the Health Ministry could be leaked to Population Authority personnel, who could seek to deport them.

It is also unclear who would fund medical care for those with no status if they are infected with the coronavirus. The Health Ministry has ordered hospitals and Magen David Adom to provide treatment with no questions asked about medical insurance.
It’s definitely a step in the right direction but we still haven’t seen how this is actually carried out,
said Dr. Zoe Gutzeit, of PHR’s immigration department.
Not everyone who has symptoms will be hospitalized, and who is going to treat someone without insurance in these times?
Gutzeit said.

There is also the question of who will speak to these people and how. Again, the problem of communication problems between the state and the asylum seekers arises. It’s not just a matter of having an identity number to key in on a helpline. For the most part information is not provided to this community in their language. PHR says that as a result of their appeals, the Health Ministry has translated some information into other languages, among them Tigrinya, which is spoken in Eritrea. But the translation takes some time and the information made available is often outdated.

A document circulated by the city of Tel Aviv in English urged people to stay home except to purchase food, medicine, or see the doctor. There was no mention of permission to leave the home in certain other instances such as to go or a walk or to go to work.
Compounding the fears felt by asylum seekers is their exposure to inaccurate information from the Health Ministry,
said Sigal Rozen, founder of the Hotline for Refugees and Migrants.
Many of them think erroneously that they are not allowed to go out to work and that they cannot leave their homes for any reason. This only intensifies their distress and fears.
The Tel Aviv Municipality said it has worked to make this information available in English and Tigrinya in the Neve Sha’anan neighborhood, where many asylum seekers live. They are working jointly with the Mesila organization that helps foreigners, and have posted 5,000 flyers in these languages with Health Ministry instructions. These instructions have also been issued over loudspeakers.

Whether these efforts are enough isn’t altogether clear, but on Monday the city took another step, after protests from human rights groups’, sending representatives to Neve Sha’anan to speak to residents.

Lee Yaron: Haaretz Contributor

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