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Ethiopian Emperor in Exile: The Untold Story

Haileselassie-in-ExileBy Seble Teweldebirhan

May 20, 2017 ( - On May 5, 1941, Ethiopian Emperor Hailesellasie made a grand entry to the capital, Addis Ababa, pleased that after five years in exile, he was finally back to his country and the people who worshipped him. The day is now celebrated every year as the Patriot’s Victory Day. His return symbolizes the failure of Italy’s attempt to colonize Ethiopia. However, there has been a lot of controversy over the years on the emperor’s decision to exile when things got tough. There have also been different stories on how the king and his family coped up with life as refugee in England. The

UN Human Rights Commissioner Denied Access to Oromia, Amhara Regions

UN-HR-denied-full-accessMay 7, 2017 - United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, who paid an official visit to Ethiopia this week, expressed his concern over the misuse of legislations in Ethiopia to suppress human rights and basic freedoms, according to the Reporter. Among other things, he noted that his team was not commissioned to assess the human rights situation in Oromia and Amhara regional states.

During his official visit, the commissioner, Zeid bin Ra’ad Al Hussein, discussed issues related to human rights in the country with government officials, opposition leaders and civic society representatives.

On Thursday afternoo

Ethiopian Commission Blames Excessive Force for Some Casualties

HRC-EthiopiaApril 23, 2017 - The Ethiopian Human Rights Commission (EHRC), which has been investigating widespread protests and response to them by security forces in Oromia and Amhara regional states, has found regional and federal government security forces responsible for poor performance in responding to the crisis, which resulting in unnecessary killing of protestors, according to the Reporter.

The commissioner of EHRC, Adissu Gebregziabher (PhD), said that investigations, conducted in Oromia, Amhara as well as the Gedeo zone, focused on the causes and the scale of violence as well as the security forces’ handling of protestors particularly from July 2016 to ear

Ethiopian States of Oromia and Somali Agree to Resolve Boundary Dispute

Oromia-Somali-states-reach-agreementApril 20, 2017 - Ethiopian Somali and Oromia regional states inked an agreement to resolve problems related to administrative boundary demarcation, according to ENA.

The agreement is expected to address challenges facing while adjusting administrative boundary demarcations on border areas between the two states.

The agreement, signed by the Presidents of the two states, will enable them finalize demarcations of administrative boundary in all areas bordering the two states.

By doing so, the states are expected to avoid clashes between residents living around border areas.

Minister of

114 Individuals Sentenced for Corruption in Tigray - Commission

Tigray-114-individuals-sentenced-for-corruptionApril 18, 2017 - Tigray Regional State Anti-Corruption and Ethics Commission disclosed that 114 individuals were sentenced from one year to twenty years in prison for corruption, according to Walta news report.

Over 6 million ETB has been returned to government’s coffers, according to the report, as well as three villa homes which were illegally built but confiscated and sold with tender.

Commissioner Birhane Teklu said that surveyors, engineers and investors are among the detainees. 

The regional anti-corruption commission said it has provided training to more than 5500

669 Ethiopians Died During Unrest, Commission Discloses

Unrest-claimed-669-EthiopiansApril 18, 2017 - The Ethiopian Human Rights Commission (EHRC) said a total of 669 people were killed in the unrest that occurred in some parts of Amhara, Oromia and SNNP regional states in 2016, reports FBC.
The Commission released results of the investigation it carried out following the violence in the aforementioned three regional states.

The investigation was carried out in 15 zones and 91 towns of Oromia, 5 zones and 55 woredas (districts) in Amhara as well as in six zones in SNNP regional states.

The Commission said the unrest claimed 495 people (462 civilians, 33 security personnel) in Oromia, 140

Ethiopian High Court Sentences 10 for GERD Attacks

GERD-attackers-sentencedApril 13, 2017 - The Federal High Court Fourth Criminal Bench has sentenced 10 members of the Benishangul People’s Liberation Movement (BPLM) ranging from nine years to life imprisonment, according to FBC report.

The ten individuals, including first and second defendants, Abdulwahib Mehadi Issa and Abdurahman Nasir, were found guilty of killing people after throwing hand grenade on a public transport vehicle headed to the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD).

According to the charge sheets, the defendants crossed into Benishangul Gumuz regional state via Sudan three years ago after receiving military training in Eritrea

EPRDF, Parties Continue Negotiations without Medrek, AAPO, Semayawi

Ethiopian-parties-agree-to-negotiateApril 11, 2017 - EPRDF and several opposition parties agreed upon regulations that will govern the negotiation to be held among them, according to ENA report. Some of the biggest opposition parties, Medrek, All Amhara People Organization and Semayawi Party are no longer taking part in the negotiations.

Six parties that proposed a neutral third party mediator in the last round agreed to continue the negotiations.

The parties have agreed to select three persons from among the parties to lead the negotiation permanently unless they are proven to lack neutrality and for mis

Political Reform Progressing Well, Says Ethiopian Ruling Party, EPRDF

Reform-going-well-EPRDFApril 10, 2017 - Encouraging results have been gained from the in-depth reform conducted across the country, says EPRDF, in its half-year performance evaluation of the second year of the second Growth and Transformation Plan (GTP-II).

In a communiqué issued to ENA, after completing the two-day deliberations, the Council said the forums intended to bring in-depth reforms had carried out in accordance with the plan.

The Council evaluated that the discussions conducted at various levels among the leadership, members, public servants and the public, have created consensus on the major issues.

Evaluating the tendencies and actions of

Leadership Council Ethiopian Ruling Party Meeting This Week

EPRDF-Council-meetingApril 6, 2017 - The Council of EPRDF, Ethiopia's governing party, will meet tomorrow to evaluate first six-month performance of this Ethiopian fiscal year, according to FBC report.

The Council will mainly focus on evaluating the implementation of the Front’s ongoing deep-reform program as well as gains made after it, according to a statement office of the Council sent to FBC today.

The Council will also weigh up the execution of directions stated to fight against rent seeking, chauvinism, narrowness and corrupt practices for personal benefit, which are the main threats for the renaissance of the country.

Moreover, it is expecte

Two Zone 9 Bloggers to Face Charges of Inciting Violence - Report

Zone-9-bloggers-face-incitement-chargesApril 6, 2017 - Ethiopia's Supreme Court today ruled that two bloggers from the Zone 9 collective, previously acquitted of terrorism charges, should be tried instead on charges of inciting violence through their writing, according to CPJ. If convicted of the charge, Atnaf Berhane and Natnail Feleke would face a maximum prison sentence of 10 years, according to the report.

The court upheld the lower court's acquittal of two other Zone 9 bloggers, Soleyana S Gebremichael and Abel Wabella. Today's actions by the Supreme Court were a response to prosecutors' appeal of the October 2015 acquittal of all four.


Can Landlocked Ethiopia Restore Its Former Glory?

Landlocked-Ethiopia-former-gloryMarch 31, 2017 - Among its African contemporaries, Ethiopia stands out as one of the few countries that has existed in essentially the same form since antiquity, albeit under different names, according to analysis at STRATFOR. Its geographic position at the heart of the Horn of Africa has made it a crossroads for trade, helping it to maintain a continuity that has lasted from ancient times through the colonial era to today. While modern Ethiopia's interests are much more tightly focused on its core than the far-flung reach its ancient predecessors commanded, its geography still makes it a key player in global trade and regional

EPRDF, Opposition Parties Fail to Agree on Moderator

Ethiopian-parties-disagreeMarch 30, 2017 - Ethiopian Political parties once again failed to agree on how to proceed on planned national dialogue, according to ENA. The new sticking point is on who should moderate the upcoming discussions, according to the report.

A group of six parties stressed on the need for a neutral moderator, while the majority, including the ruling party EPRDF, proposed that the dialoguing political parties lead the discussions by turns.

Medrek (Forum for Democratic Dialogue in Ethiopia), has failed to attend the meeting without giving any explanation.

President of the opposition Unity for Justice and Democracy Party, Ti

Peace and Stability Restored in Ethiopia - Emergency Board

Peace-restored-ethiopiaMarch 28, 2017 - Ethiopia's State of Emergency Board reported that peace and stability has been restored in the country as a result of the effective implementation of the emergency proclamation, according to ENA report.

This was disclosed in a report delivered to the House of People’s Representatives today.

Board Chairman Tadesse Hordoffa told the House that lists of the 26,130 detained persons, mostly men, were posted in each woreda and kebele.

He added that from the 174 complaints, suggestions and tip offs submitted to the board, 54 were referred to the Command Post for rectifications.

Some of the complaint

Why Former Arbegnoch-Ginbot 7 Fighter Abandoned Eritrea

Samrawit-Former-Ginbot7-fighterMarch 25, 2017 - It is wrong to fight alongside forces whose main aim is to destroy Ethiopia, says Samrawit Sisay, who recently defected from Ginot 7 and returned to Ethiopia. In a video interview with Ethiopia First, Samrawit tells her story of why she went to Eritrea and joined Ginbot 7, what she witnessed there during her period with Ginbot 7, and why she finally decided to leave Eritrea and return to Ethiopia.

In the video interview, Samrawit warns others not to make the same mis

Ethiopian Political Parties Fail to Reach Agreement - Report

Ethiopian-parties-fail-reach-agreementMarch 19, 2017 - Ethiopia's 22 national political parties concluded their meeting today without reaching agreement on whether to involve third-party intermediaries or not in the upcoming dialogue, according to FBC.

During the meeting, all opposition political parties suggested the dialogue to be mediated by neutral bodies.

The ruling party, the Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF), for its part opposed the idea and said “a third-party negotiator is unnecessary.”

After discussing on the issue for six hours, all parties agreed to meet again on March 29,

Ethiopia's Emergency Command Post Lifts Some Restrictions

Emergency-command-post-lifts-restrictionsMarch 15, 2017 - Ethiopia's Command Post for the State of Emergency announced that it has lifted some of the restrictions imposed more than five months ago, according to ENA.

The curfew that was imposed on movements around major infrastructural facilities from 6:00 P.M to 6:00 A.M for security reasons is among the lifted restrictions.

Siraj Fagessa, Minister of Defense and Head of the Secretariat of the Command Post told reporters that the situation for which the restrictions were imposed could now be treated on a regular law enforcement processes.

Furthermore, the arrest of suspects and conducting searches

Ethiopian Court Rejects Merera Gudina’s Bail Request

Merera-Gudina-denied-bailMarch 10, 2017 - Ethiopian federal high court 19th criminal bench has rejected bail request of Dr Merera Gudina, Chairman of the Oromo Federalist Congress (OFC), according to FBC.
The court denied bail for the defendant as he was charged with attempt to forcefully destroy the constitutional order, which could result in up to death penalty.

The defendant for its part requested the court to grant him a constitutional right to bail claiming that he was detained without tangible evidence.

Prosecutors said he will hide information and go abroad if he is granted bail.

The trial will continue on April

Will State of Emergency Lead to Dialogue and Reconciliation?

State-of-emergency-5monthsMarch 10, 2017 - It's been five months since Ethiopia declared a state of emergency in response to widespread protests and unrest, reports the VOA, and there are no signs indicating when it might end.

Since October, thousands have been arrested and sent to military-style camps where they live in squalid conditions, perform strenuous exercises and get beaten when they falter, according to Befeqadu Hailu, a former detainee. The prisoners have also undergone reeducation training, including a crash course on the country’s constitution.

Despite the release of about 20,000 detainees, top opposition leaders remain in jail.

EPRDF Executive Committee Meeting This Week

EPRDF-Executive-Meeting-StartsMarch 6, 2017 - The Executive Committee of the Ethiopian Peoples’ Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) has begun its regular meeting today, according to FBC.

In its meeting, the Committee will put directions after evaluating progress of the ongoing deep-reform program and first half performance of this fiscal year, which is the second year of the second Growth and Transformation Plan (GTP-II) period. 

The Committee will see in detail the progress of the directions set by the government to continue the deep-reform program down at the civil servants and the public levels.

The Executive Committee will furth


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