| Ethiopian Opposition Proposes 50/50 Electoral System
October 18, 2017 - As part of the continued negotiations between the ruling party EPRDF and Opposition parties, EPRDF has proposed a mixed electoral system in which 10 percent proportional representation and 90 percent first-past-the-post would be combined. The ruling party said the mixed electoral system would help represent those parties that do not qualify for the first-past-the-post system.
On the other hand, the 11 Ethiopian opposition parties that negotiate as one group proposed the percentage to be 50/50 and that a government be formed on getting two third of the votes instead of 50 plus one.
They rejected the idea of
| Advisor to Ethiopian Prime Minister, Bereket Simon, Resigns
October 16, 2017 - BBC Amharic service reports that Bereket Simon submitted his resignation as the PM’s advisor for Policy Studies and Research, leaving a post he held for the past four years. If true this makes it the second time a senior government official resigned in just two weeks.
Local media reports indicate that Simon, a veteran politician has thus resigned from two top positions in just a week. Last week, he gave up his position as board chairman of the government-owned Commercial Bank of Ethiopia.
A member of the ruling Ethiopia Peoples Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF), he has served the government in diff
| Ethiopian Opposition Figure Dr. Merera Gudina Pleads Not Guilty
October 16, 2017 - Ethiopian opposition figure, Merera Gudian, appeared in court for the first time after the court's summer recess. During the session Dr. Merera Gudina has pleaded his innocence against all criminal charges brought by the federal prosecutors. The defense team told the court that Dr. Merera's plea of innocence was late by eleven months since the charges were brought against him.
The Ethiopian Federal high court 19th criminal bench adjourned next hearing to begin to hear prosecutor's witnesses for Nov. 03/2017.It is to be remembered that on July 07, Dr. Merera's defense team had requested the court to get th
| I Resigned Because My People and Party Were Disrespected - Abadula Gemeda
October 15, 2017 - Abadula Gemeda, the speaker of Ethiopia's lower house of parliament, who resigned last week, said he quit because of "disrespect" of his ethnic group. Abadula Gemeda, a member of the Oromos, Ethiopia’s largest ethnic group, announced last Sunday that he was stepping down after seven years as speaker of Ethiopia’s House of People's Representatives.
He is one of the highest-ranking government officials to resign since the Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) coalition took power in 1991. A former army chief of staff, Abadula is also a founder of the Oromo People's Demo
| US Senators James Inhofe, Michael Enzi Visit Ethiopia
October 14, 2017 - U.S. Senators James Inhofe and Michael Enzi visited Ethiopia on October 12 and 13 to discuss U.S.-Ethiopian relations, according to communique sent by US Embassy to Ezega.com. The Senators met with Prime Minister Hailemariam.
During the meeting the Senators highlighted the value the United States places on its bilateral relations with Ethiopia and the strong ties between our people. They reiterated the United States’ commitment to working in partnership with Ethiopia to take on challenges such as regional security and economic development.
Senators Inhofe and Enzi expressed a sincer
| Ethiopian Parliament Speaker Requested to Vacate State-Owned Housing
October 9, 2017 - In unprecedented move, the Speaker of Ethiopian Parliament tendered his resignation last week. The news came to light on Saturday with the disclosure by the online publication Addis Standard, and followed by the Reporter. Abadula will become the first speaker of Parliament to formally resign from office during the 22-year history of the legislative house under EPRDF.
It is also reported that authorities at the Ethiopian Housing Corporation told Abadula Gemeda, speaker of Parliament, to vacate a state-owned house located near Olympia where he has lived in for many years. Formerly known as the Housing Agency, Abadula
| Ethiopian Federal Government Warns Somali Regional State
October 9, 2017 - The Ethiopian federal government issued a warning to the Ethiopian Somali regional state communication bureau to stop publishing and distributing inciting messages immediately, reports Addis Standard. According to the Ethiopian government statement, at such a time when the Oromia and Somali regional states were experiencing a fragile security situation, the messages appearing on the Facebook pages of the Somali regional state communication bureau as well as the Facebook page of the head of the bureau, Idris Ismael Abdi, were against the recent warning by the Ethiopian federal government for all parties to
| One Month of UN Security Council Presidency Successful – Ethiopia
October 5, 2017 - Ethiopia’s month-long presidency of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) was successful, said the Ethiopian Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA). According to MoFA, the decisions taken at the events were vital in taking Ethiopia’s diplomacy into a new height.
High-level open debate, two ministerial level meetings of the UNSC, 11th joint annual consultation between UNSC and AUPSC, urgent meetings on North Korea's nuclear test and Myanmar issues were held under Ethiopia’s presidency, reports Fana BC.
Moreover, the country chaired among others meetings of the Security Council on AU-UN partnership, reform of P
| Ethiopia Frees Two Eritrean Journalists
September 3, 2017 - Ethiopia released two Eritrean TV journalists who spent more than a decade imprisoned in Ethiopia who were accused of cooperating with Al-Shabaab, according to family members and Eritrean press freedom advocates. The two, Tesfaldet Kidane and Salih Gama, were arrested by Ethiopia in 2006 on the Kenya -Somali border.
Four months after their arrest in 2006, the Ethiopian government paraded them along with 39 others as a group of captured terrorism suspects. Neither government have formally commented on the development.
VOA Horn of Africa service reported that Tesfaldet Kidan
| Ethiopia Charges Ex-State Minster
October 1, 2017 - Former State minister of the Ethiopia Ministry of Finance and Economic Cooperation and 20 others were charged with corruption offenses before the Ethiopia Federal High Court. The 21 defendants are accused of swindling the Ethiopian government millions of U.S. dollars in fraudulent tender bids, illegal payments to brokers and transferring illicit money to private accounts.
The Ethiopian court adjourned the case to October 15 to decide on the defendants' request for bail.
The Ethiopian Government has indicated that the large-scale anti-corruption investigation and arrest of high-profile individuals is part of th
| Ethiopian Opposition Parties Request Details of Proposed Electoral Reform
September 29, 2017 - Ethiopian opposition parties that have been negotiating with the government requested detailed information from the ruling party, the Ethiopian People Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF), details and implementation of mixed electoral system proposed.
The Ethiopian oppositions requested on Thursday for detailed explanation after the closed door negotiation on the proposed ideas of EPRDF and other negotiating parties on the country's electoral system, according to Ethiopian News Agency.
Agreed on the need for the electoral system of the country on the table, the negotiating parties
| Hundreds Dead, Thousands Displaced in Oromia-Somali Border Conflict
September 28, 2017 - Ethnic clashes that erupted in Ethiopia this month between Oromia and Somali ethnic groups have killed hundreds of people and displaced thousands more, the Ethiopian government disclosed on Monday.
The killing of two local administrators coupled with long-running land disputes led to an outbreak of fighting between the Oromo and Somali peoples in the south and east, government spokesperson Negeri Lencho said.
"We can say hundreds of the Oromos were killed and there were also deaths from the Somali side, we don't know exactly how many," Negeri told a press conf
| People Involved in Oromia-Somali Border Conflict Will Face Justice – Ethiopian Government
September 26, 2017 - The government of Ethiopia stated that it is working to bring persons responsible for the death and injury of people in boundary dispute between Oromia and Somali regional states to justice.
“Our government will bring the persons involved with the alleged activities based on the evidence gathered from the ongoing investigation,” said Negeri Lencho, Ethiopian government Communication minster.
Noting that the Ethiopian government has managed to bring the situation under control, Negeri said it has been working closely with community elders and tribal leaders to resolve the problem.<
| Ethiopia: No Armed Police at Irrecha Festival, Says Regional Government
September 25, 2017 - As the Oromo thanksgiving day, Irrecha religious festival, is drawing closer, the Ethiopian government has announced that weapons at the upcoming Irrecha religious festival are banned in order to avoid violence. The statement from Ethiopia’s largest regional state, the Oromia region, comes ahead of the October 1 thanksgiving gathering.
“The security situation in the region has improved immensely compared to last year so armed personnel will not be allowed to be at the center of the festival,” Lomi Beo, head of the Oromia Culture and Tourism Office, told the Associated Press on Sunday. “Arm
| Ethiopian Government, Opposition Parties Fail to Agree on Electoral Reform
September 25, 2017 - Ethiopian opposition parties, that are currently negotiating with the government, have failed to agree on the type of the electoral system that the Ethiopia needs. The parties have been negotiating on the second agenda, which is the country's electoral law, during their last meeting, in which two types of electoral systems had been proposed.
The ruling party, Ethiopian People Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) proposed a mixed type of electoral system by adding proportional representation to the prevailing plurality electoral system of the country, while other parties preferred the full implementation
| Ethiopian Political Parties Begin Talks on Reforming Electoral Law
September 21, 2017 - 16 national political parties of Ethiopia have begun discussion on ways to reform the electoral law., according to FBC
In the discussions, 12 political parties have expressed their demand for the implementation of proportional representation electoral system.
Shiferaw Shigute and Asmelash Woldeselassie, representatives of the ruling party EPRDF, for their part tabled the amended electoral law of Ethiopia, which follows the majority system.
The system, which Ethiopia follows, is common all over the worldwide and it was proved successful, Asmelash said at the event.
Ethiopia’s past five
| 55,000 Ethnic Oromos Displaced – Oromia Regional Government
September 18, 2017 - More than 55,000 ethnic Oromos have been displaced from Ethiopia's Somali region after a week of clashes with Somalis in which dozens were killed, Voice of America reports. The Oromia government follows claims by Somali regional officials earlier this week that more than 50 people were killed in an attack against ethnic Somalis in Aweday town.
"More than 55,000 Oromos were displaced from the Somali region after the recent incident and are now sheltered in makeshift camps,'' Addisu Arega, Oromia region's spokesman, said in the statement. "Overall, some 416,807 Oromos have been displaced this year alone
| Ethiopia: Hundreds Apprehended in Connection with Oromia, Somali Border Conflict
September 17, 2017 - Hundreds of people who are allegedly responsible for the death and displacement of people in the conflict between Oromia and Somali regional states have been apprehended, said Minister of Ethiopian Government Communication Affairs Office, Dr. Negeri Lencho. He also stated that the suspects have been detained in connection with the conflict as part of the effort to restore peace and bring the responsible persons to justice.
"People who took part in the conflict are apprehended. Maybe hundreds of people are already detained. In Oromia regional state, particularly in Aweday, near
| 32 Ethiopians Dead in Somali-Oromia Border Conflict
September 14, 2017 - Following clashes between rival ethnic Somali and Oromo forces in eastern Ethiopia, at least 32 Ethiopians have been killed in the clashes, reports VoA. According to VOA’s report at least 32 ethnic Somalis were killed on Monday night in Awaday, a small town between Ethiopia's holy Muslim town of Harar and its big eastern city of Dire Dawa.
Other sources and relatives of those killed have confirmed the incident, although they have sought anonymity, fearing reprisals. One source said four of his cousins, who were transporting Khat — plants used as a stimulant in Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, Djibouti and Yeme
| Armed Factions in Oromia and Somali States Clash over Border Delineation
September 13, 2017 - Following a deadly boundary crisis between the Oromia and Somali regional states, the Ethiopian federal government stated that it is working to resolve the conflict. The Ethiopian Information Minister, Negeri Lencho, stated that recent clashes led to the loss of lives and property. He said some 600 Ethiopians displaced by the clashes were receiving humanitarian assistance.
Clashes between the armed factions in the two Ethiopia’s states have led to the issuance of travel alerts by the United States and Canada. According to reports, the clashes were largely over border delineation issues. The Ethiopian official added