| Misreading History and Political Science and the Exigency of Smooth Power Transition in Ethiopia
By Ghelawdewos Araia, PhD
February 22, 2018 - In the last three to four years, Ethiopia has been in constant political turmoil, ranging from Gondar and Oromia incidents to the Oromo-Somali confrontations in South East Ethiopia, to the Woldia-Kobo-Mersa protestations and subsequent deaths of innocent Ethiopians. All these protestations, euphemistically called mass upheavals by some disgruntled Diaspora Ethiopian groupings, were actually ethnic-based and ethnic-hatred disturbances; I label them as disturbances because in any historical context, revolutionary and peoples’ uprisings do not destroy and/or burn public propert
| Ethiopia: OPDO Elects Dr. Abiy Ahmed Chairman of the Organization
February 22, 2018 - The Central Committee of the Oromo People Democratic Organization (OPDO) elected Dr Abiy Ahmed as Chairman of the Organization, according to the FBC. This position was held by Lema Megerssa, who will now be deputy Chairman of the Organization, according to information obtained from office of the Central Committee of the Organization.
It is reported that the Central Committee of the OPDO unanimously voted the appointments of Dr. Abiy and Lema, the office indicated.
The latest move by OPDO will likely mean that Dr. Abiy Ahmed is the likely nominee of the organization to be the next Prime Minister of
| Command Post Issues Details of Emergency Law in Ethiopia
February 21, 2018 - The Command Post issued details of the State of Emergency declared on Friday by the Ethiopian Councils of Ministers, according to FBC.
In a press briefing, Secretariat of the Command Post, Minister of Defense Siraj Fegessa, announced details of prohibited actions and measures to be taken against anyone found in violation.
The State of Emergency forbids any action in breach of the constitution and constitutional order, or activities that erode tolerance and unity of the people as well as having link with and providing support to terrorist organizations.
It also prohibits obstructing t
| Ethiopian Foreign Minister Briefs Diplomats on State of Emergency
February 20, 2018 - Ethiopian Minister for Foreign Affairs, Dr Workneh Gebeyehu, briefed diplomatic community in Addis Ababa on the State of Emergency declared last Friday, according to FBC.
According to the foreign minister, the country is returning to peace and stability following the declaration of the State of Emergency
Instabilities were observed in some parts of the country at a time when the government of Ethiopia has been doing its level best to widen the political space, he told the diplomats.
The instabilities were resulted in losses of life and damages in properties, Dr Workneh added.
Since it was impossibl
| Ethiopian Government Releases Bekele Gerba
February 14, 2018 - The Ethiopian federal attorney general announced that it has dropped charges against seven Ethiopian opposition figures, including Bekele Gerba, a prominent Ethiopian opposition politician. The other six are Gurmessa Ayana, Addisu Bulala, Dejene Tafa, Getu Garuma, Tesfaye Liben, and Beyene Ruda, according to Fana.
Bekele's release comes as stay-at-home protests were called by online activists all across the Oromia region, demanding the release of Bekele Gerba and others, and the protest has gone into effect as of Monday in several cities and towns in the region, which has been home to persistent anti-government protests
| Yelekal Getnet to Establish New Poltical Party
February 10, 2018 - The former president of Ethiopian Blue Party, Yelekal Getnet (Eng.), announced plans to form a new political party. The name of the newly established party will be “Ethiopian National Movement (ENM)” and will submit its registration request to the National Electoral Board of Ethiopia (NEBE) by Monday, February 12, 2018, said Yelekal.
“In order to stop the fragmentations in opposition political parties, we are trying to sort out our problems within the party in an amicable way; hence, we were able come to a consensus. However, the existing leadership of the party blocked all possible ways of working t
| Ethiopian Government Pardons More Prisoners
February 8, 2018 - As part of its pledge to create national consensus and widen political space, the Ethiopian government has pardoned 746 prisoners today, including Andualem Arage and journalist Eskinder Nega.
Andualem Arage, Deputy Chairman of the opposition Unity, Democracy and Justice (UDJ) and Eskinder Nega, owner of several critical newspapers were jailed on September 2011 on terrorism related charges.
The Ethiopian government has since January released thousands of prisoners arrested in connection with unrest that rocked Ethiopia in 2016.
The unrest in 2016 led to the deaths of hundreds and was dubbed by
| Nearly One Million Ethiopians Displaced in Oromia–Somali Conflict - UN
February 2, 2018 - The United Nations (UN) announced that close to one million people have been displaced due to the conflict along the borders of the Oromia and Ethiopian Somali regional states. The data from the latest round of the International Office of Migration Displacement Tracking Matrix1 conducted in November, 2017 indicates that around one million persons have been displaced.
On the other hand, 637,000, almost 60 percent of the total displaced people are sheltered in camps. From this, the 68,000 are Ethiopian Somalis which are displaced between 2015 to end 0f 2017, according to the report.
At least 93,000 conflic
| Several Ethiopians Arrested Following Qobo, Mersa Unrest
February 1, 2018 - Ethiopia’s Amhara regional state announced that a number of civilian have been arrested for their role in anti-Ethiopian government protests that killed over 20 people in the state. The party governing the region, the Amhara National Democratic Movement (ANDM), also disclosed that the measure was taken after a central committee meeting.
The region, Ethiopia’s second largest state, is located in the north and was riled by anti-government sentiments in three town –Woldiya, Qobo,and most recently Mersa.
Even though the exact number of arrest is not known, Ethiopian political commentators are wondering why no Eth
| Ethiopia Pardons Over 2000 Prisoners
January 26, 2018 - Ethiopias Oromiya Regional State President, Lema Megersa, announced that over 2,000 prisoners have been pardoned. The move is part of Ethiopias government efforts to calm unrest.
The Ethiopian government has long been accused by rights groups of using security concerns as an excuse to stifle dissent and media freedoms. However, the Ethiopian government denies all the charges.
Last week the United Nations urged Ethiopian officials to review the status of a large number of people still behind bars.
U.N. human rights spokesman Liz Throssell said the Ethiopian government should review anti-
| China Communist Party, EPRDF Agree to Bolster Cooperation
January 23, 2018 - The Communist Party of China (CPC) delegation held discussion with head of Ethiopian People Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF), Shiferaw Shigute as well as office’s urban politics and organizational sector coordinator, Fetlework Gebre-Egziabher.
The Ethiopian officials explained to CPC delegation about the recent conflicts occurred in Ethiopia. According to the Ethiopian officials, the problems were resulted from weaknesses of the organization and the government as well as the huge gap occurred towards creating employment opportunities.
Head of the CPC delegation for his part told the Ethiopia
| UN Concerned About Use of Force by Ethiopian Security Forces
January 23, 2018 - The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights voiced its concern about the use of force by Ethiopian security officials against worshippers celebrating the Ethiopian Orthodox festival of Epiphany this weekend that left at least seven people dead and a number injured.
The incident, in Ethiopia’s Woldiya City on 20 January, reportedly took place when Ethiopian security forces tried to stop people from chanting anti- Ethiopian government songs and allegedly opened fire on them. Protesters reportedly later blocked roads and destroyed a number of properties.
We call on Ethiopian authorities to ensure that the security forces
| 148 Rebel Members Surrendered - Ethiopian Government
January 23, 2018 - The Ethiopian government on said 148 members of the outlawed rebel group Gambella People's Liberation Front (GPLM) have surrendered to Ethiopian security forces. The Ethiopian government also said that the rebels had previously been based in neighboring Eritrea, but decided to return to Ethiopia to start normal life.
The Ethiopian government alleges the rebel group is supported by its archrival country Eritrea, while Eritrea accuses Ethiopia of supporting Eritrean rebel groups and running an international campaign to isolate the Red Sea nation.
Since Eritrea's independence from Ethiopia following a referend
| Huawei, Lenovo to Supply 180,000 Tablets to Ethiopian Government
January 18, 2018 - In a bid to establish effective data registration system and avoid double counting during the fourth national census, the Ethiopian Central Statistics Agency (CSA) announced that it has purchased 180,000 mobile tablets from two Chinese companies, namely Huawei and Lenovo. The two companies have provided 90,000 mobile tablets each as per the agreement.
According to experts at the CSA, the use of mobile tablet technologies during the data collection procedure will ease the census process.
Following the Ethiopian Public Procurement and Property Disposal Services international bid on behalf of the Cen
| Ethiopian Opposition Party Leader Merera Gudina Released
January 17, 2018 - The Ethiopian government announced the release of Merera Gudina, the leader of the Oromo Federalist Conference party. According to the Ethiopian government, the 61 years old professor was released on Wednesday morning.
The Ethiopian government accused Merera of violating Ethiopia's state of emergency by having contact with "terrorist" and "anti-peace" groups. In October 2016, while Ethiopia was under state of emergency, Merera had criticized the decree in an address to the European parliament in Brussels.
Merera was arrested in November 2016 at the airport in the capital, Addis Ababa
| US Hails Ethiopian Government Decision to Release Oppositional Figures
January 16, 2018 - The U.S government hailed the Ethiopian government decision to release and drop charges of key oppositional figures. Couple of weeks ago the U.S embassy in Addis Ababa had expressed its concern about the recent conflict in the Eastern African nation.
According to a statement by Getachew Ambaye, Ethiopias government Attorney General, charges against 528 Ethiopian suspects, including Dr Merera Gudina and Dr Wolderufael Disasa, have been dropped.
Following the announcement, the U.S government statement stressed that we understand these efforts as part of the governments decision to accelerate democratic progress, and sta
| Ethiopian Government Drops Charges Against Opposition Leaders
January 15, 2018 - Based on announcement made by the Ethiopian prime minster a couple of weeks ago, the Eastern African nation today announced that it has dropped charges against a senior opposition leader and hundreds of others who had been jailed for involvement in unrest that gripped the country in 2015 and 2016.
Hundreds have been killed in violence in the Horn of Africa country since protests first erupted in its central Oromiya province over allegations of land grabs. Several dissident politicians have since been jailed having been charged with involvement in terrorism and collusion with the secessionist Oromo Liberatio
| Security Situation in Ethiopia Improving - Ethiopian Government
January 10, 2018 - Ethiopian National Security Council (ENSC) stated that the security situation across Ethiopia has improved over the past 45 days. Siraj Fegessa, Defense Minister of Ethiopia and coordinator at ENSC, said measures undertaken to prevent road blockage by protesters and illegal rallies have been successful.
He also said 270 rifles, 200 handguns, 65,000 rifle ammunitions and 1,000 artillery ammunitions have been intercepted in recent days as they were about to be smuggled to Ethiopia's capital Addis Ababa.
Ethiopia faced in 2016 unrest that killed hundreds dubbed by analysts the gravest challenge to the ruling coalition,
| Ethiopian Government Arrests 107 Over Ethnic Conflicts
January 5, 2018 - The Ethiopia Federal Police Commission reported that it has arrested 107 individuals relating to recent conflict along the border of Somali and Oromia regional states. Abiyu Assefa, Commissioner of Ethiopia Federal Police Commission, gave the figure during a report to the Ethiopian Parliament.
He further said 98 of the suspects apprehended relating to the violence are from Oromia regional states while nine are from Somali regional state.Heavy clashes along the 1500 km Oromia-Somali boundary in September spilled into ethnic violence that left hundreds of thousands displaced and an undisclosed number of people d
| Ethiopia to Release Political Prisoners, Close Maekelawi - Ethiopian PM
January 3, 2018 - In unexpected announcement, PM Hailemariam Desalegn of Ethiopia disclosed Ethiopia will release and pardon prisoners jailed for political reasons. Further it is disclosed that the government will close Maekelawi prison, officially known as the Federal Police Crime Investigation Center.
This marks the first time that the Ethiopian government has to admit that there are people jailed for political reasons in Ethiopia.
The Prime Minister said the move was intended to “foster national reconciliation”.
“Politicians currently under prosecution and those prev