Eritrean Pilots Defect to Ethiopia With Jets
October 27, 2016 - Two Eritrean pilots have defected with their fighter jets to neighboring Ethiopia, an Eritrean opposition group confirmed Thursday, in a dramatic exit from one of the world's most closed-off states.
"The two pilots flew their small-sized fighter jets to Mekelle on Wednesday morning," Nasredin Ahmed Ali, spokesman for the Ethiopia-based Red Sea Afar Democratic Organization, told The Associated Press.
The spokesman identified the pilots as Afeworki Fisehaye and Mebrahtu Tesfamariam and described them as being very experienced with Eritrea's air force. He said Ethiopian fighter jets accompanied them upon their entry into the country's air space.
One witness, Abiy Chelkeba, a lecturer at Mekelle University, said Ethiopian jets were flying very low
al-Shabab Coming Back After Ethiopia Pulls Out From Somalia
October 27, 2016 - Somalia's Islamic extremist rebels, al-Shabab, are making a comeback, having recently seized four towns and attacked a guesthouse in neighboring Kenya, killing 12.
The resurgence of Al-Shabab, which is allied to al-Qaida, could affect Somalia's plans to hold elections next month and further destabilize what is already one of the world's most failed states.
The rebels had steadily lost ground over the past five years, first losing control of the capital, Mogadishu, in 2011 and then being pushed out of virtually all of Somalia's other major cities and towns. This was largely the work of the African Union force of 22,000 soldiers from Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda, Burundi and Djibouti, which is supported by the U.N. The relatively weak Somalia army, with 35,000 troops, also participated in the operations.
Troop Withdrawal from Somalia due to Lack of Support - Ethiopia
October 26, 2016 - Ethiopia has withdrawn troops from Somalia, where they had been battling Islamist militants.
It blames a lack of international support for the move, following the EU's recent cut in its funding for foreign troops in Somalia.
Ethiopia is a major contributor of soldiers to the Amisom, the African Union mission in the country.
Ethiopia has recently withdrawn from several other bases, which were quickly occupied by al-Shabab militants.
Officials in Somalia's Bakol region say some residents have already fled the area since the Ethiopian troops left, fearing an imminent of al-Shabab, which is part of al-Qaeda.
Ethiopian Communications Minister Getachew Reda told the BBC that the troops withdrawn from south-western Somalia were not part of Amisom.
Ethiopia Vows to Protect Foreign Companies
October 26, 2016 - Ian 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.
“We are still assessing the damage but the losses are massive,” says Derry. Since its launch in 2009, the company had grown its staff in Ethiopia to around 2,000 people and was bustling
Internet Stoppage Costing Ethiopia Millions
October 16, 2016 - Ethiopia lost around USD 9 million during an Internet shutdown that occurred between July 1, 2015 and June 30th 2016, a new study by The Brookings Institution, claims.
The study authored by Brookings Vice President Darrell West states that in recent years, a number of countries globally have blocked particular applications, shut down specific digital services, turned off mobile telecommunications services, or disrupted the entire Internet.
“Governments have many reasons for shutting down digital connections: national security, public safety, economic reasons, and wanting to maintain control. Most leaders don’t do research on the consequences. We did our study so that government officials had some sense of the economic damage that results from shutting down the Internet,” West
Ethiopian Council of Ministers Adopts Specifics of Emergency Decree
October 16, 2016 - The Council of Ministers in its 16th regular session today passed a ruling to guide the implementation of the state of emergency declared on October 8, 2016
The guideline plainly stipulates the directions the Command Post needs to take in executing given tasks.
It is to be recalled that a Command Post led by the Prime Minister was set up to oversee the implementation of provisions in the nationwide state of emergency.
Ethiopia declared a six-month state of emergency following the escalation of violence assisted by what the government said outside forces in some parts of the country.
The Council in today’s session also discussed and passed ruling on the establishment of the Ethiopian Space Council and Institute as well as the National Information and Technology draft policy.
In Ethiopia’s war against social media, the truth is the main casualty
October 16, 2016 - The annual U.N. General Assembly meeting provides an unparalleled opportunity for world leaders to take to the bully pulpit of the U.N. chamber and trumpet their country’s achievements or slam their enemies.
Last month, presidents, kings and prime ministers talked about the dangers of climate change, progress made in development goals, the threats of terrorism or their responses to the global immigration crisis. But when Ethiopia’s Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn took the podium Sept. 21, the global challenge he had in mind was perhaps unexpected: social media.
There were many other things he could have discussed, including Ethiopia’s impressive investments in infrastructure like hydroelectric dams and its high growth rates — or even a devastating drought that the government and it
Ethiopia Announces New Curbs
October 16, 2016 - Ethiopia imposed curbs on its opposition, travel restrictions on diplomats, and a dusk-to-dawn curfew around major projects in new measures announced on Sunday that follow the declaration of a six-month, nationwide state of emergency.
Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn declared the state of emergency earlier this month, saying months of unrest threatened the Horn of Africa nation's stability.
More than 500 people have been killed in protests in the Oromiya region surrounding the capital Addis Ababa and other areas since last year, after anger over a development scheme for the capital sparked broader anti-government demonstrations over politics and human rights abuses.
The state of emergency was effective from Oct. 8.
In a directive released on Sunday, opposition parties were barred f
Ethiopia blames Egypt and Eritrea over unrest
October 10, 2016 - Ethiopia's information minister says groups in Eritrea and Egypt are contributing to the unrest, which has led to a six-month state of emergency.
Getachew Reda said the foreign elements are arming and financing opposition groups, but not necessarily with the formal backing of their governments.
Under the state of emergency troops will be deployed to quell protests.
It follows months of anti-government demonstrations by members of the country's two largest ethnic groups.
Violence has intensified since the beginning of the month when at least 55 people were killed during a protests at an Oromo religious festival.
The state of emergency, which was announced on Sunday, will last for six months.
Mr Getachew told journalists in the Ethiopian, capital, Addis Ababa, that "all kinds of eleme
A Joyous Day in East Africa as the Ethiopia-Djibouti Rail Connection Is Inaugurated
Oct. 10, 2016 — Railway Gazette reports today on the inauguration of the 756-kilometer standard-gauge Chinese-built railway linking Ethiopia with Djibouti. Ethiopia’s Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn and Djibouti President Ismail Omar Guelleh officially inaugurated the linking of their countries with a ceremony in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, today.
"It is the first standard-gauge electrified railroad on the continent built with Chinese stand
Ethiopia to overtake Kenya as Eastern Africa’s top economy
October 10, 2016 - Ethiopia’s economy is expected to overtake Kenya’s this year, buoyed by massive government spending on infrastructure that has kept the Horn of Africa nation on the list of the world’s fastest-growing economies in the past 10 years.
The International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) latest statistical estimates indicate that Ethiopia’s gross domestic product (GDP) is forecast to grow from 61.62 billion US dollars in 2015 to 69.21 billion US dollars this year, narrowly beating Kenya’s output, which is expected to rise from 63.39 billion US dollars to 69.17 billion US dollars over the same period.
“Ethiopia has experienced doub
Is Ethiopia unravelling?
October 10, 2016 - On Sunday evening, the bars of Addis Ababa were doing their usual brisk business. Just 50 kilometres south of the Ethiopian capital, in the picturesque volcanic lake town of Bishoftu, more than 100 people lay dead.
About two million ethnic Oromo had turned up to celebrate a traditional cultural festival. But a deadly stampede ensued after police fired tear gas at protesters who were chanting anti-government slogans and throwing stones and bottles.
Ethiopia is going through its most widespread and sustained protests since the ruling Ethiopia People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front came to power in 1991. It’s testing the leadership’s grip, and its big idea of a “developmental state” – the implied bargain in which the gove