Thursday, November 21, 2013
Saturday, November 16, 2013
Police crackdown on demonstrations against targeted attacks on Ethiopian migrant workers in Saudi Arabia.
The government said protesters did not have a permit to demonstrate and confirmed the arrests [AFP]
|Police in Ethiopia have arrested dozens of people outside the Saudi embassy in the capital Addis Ababa in a crackdown on demonstrators protesting against targeted attacks on Ethiopians in Saudi Arabia.|
Police units blocked roads on Friday to prevent the protest at the embassy from growing and forced some journalists to delete photos.
One protester, Asfaw Michael, who was beaten, said he did not understand why Ethiopia wanted to shield Saudi Arabia from the protest.
According to the Ethiopian government, three Ethiopians were killed last week in Saudi Arabia in clashes with police. Saudi authorities are in the process of repatriating at least 23,000 illegal immigrants from Ethiopia.
"The police came and they beat us...and now more than 100 people are at the police station," said Getaneh Balcha, a senior member of the opposition Blue Party movement, adding the party chairman and vice chairman were among those held.
The government said protesters did not have a permit to demonstrate and confirmed that arrests had been made, but did not say how many.
"It was an illegal demonstration, they had not got a permit from the appropriate office," Shimeles Kemal, a government spokesman, told the AFP news agency, adding charges could be brought against the organisers.
"They were fomenting anti-Arab sentiments here among Ethiopians ... the demonstration itself was illicit, so the police took measures and apprehended some," he said.
Many foreign workers in Saudi Arabia are fleeing or are under arrest amid a crackdown on the kingdom's nine million migrant labourers. Close to 500 Ethiopians have been repatriated.
Last weekend, Saudi residents fought with Ethiopians and a video emerged of a crowd dragging an Ethiopian from his house and beating him.
The security sweep in Saudi Arabia comes after seven months of warnings by the government, which has created a task force of 1,200 Labour Ministry officials who are combing shops, construction sites, restaurants and businesses in search of foreign workers employed without proper permits.
More than 16,000 people have already been rounded up, according to authorities.
Monday, November 11, 2013
Saturday, November 9, 2013
Thursday, November 7, 2013
A meeting between water ministers from Egypt, Sudan, and Ethiopia failed to produce the committee that it had aimed to put in place to supervise Ethiopia’s Grand Renaissance Dam.
A tripartite panel of experts had investigated the dam and presented recommendations to the three countries affected by the Ethiopian construction project.
Egyptian Minister of Water and Irrigation Mohamed Abdel Moteleb rejected the notion that the meeting between the countries had “failed,” saying such negotiations would need time and would not come to a quick conclusion. Abdel Moteleb also blamed a national dialogue held by former president Mohamed Morsi, which was broadcasted live, unbeknownst to some participants who suggested secret intelligence operations to undermine the Ethiopian government. The “scandal,” said the minister, dominated the meeting between the three countries and caused a delay in negotiations and required Abdel Moteleb and his delegation to clarify the stance of the interim government on the issue.
Following the return of the Egyptian delegation to Cairo, it was announced that a second round of talks between the ministers would take place in Khartoum on 8 December, in order to implement the recommendations put forth by the Committee of Experts.
Abdel Moteleb said his delegation provided a “comprehensive and clear vision” to the other countries, calling on the need to complete studies of the economic and environmental impacts of the dam.
The minister also stressed the possibility that the three ministers could come to an agreement following the December meeting.
Ethiopian Minister of Water, Irrigation, and Energy Alamayo Tegno said the postponed meeting was due to differences among the three sides, but also stated that he was optimistic that a solution would be reached, according to the Sudan Tribune.
Abdel Moteleb had previously expressed optimism that the three countries could coordinate in handling the dam, which would potentially affect the upstream countries of Sudan and Egypt.
Wednesday, November 6, 2013
Tuesday, November 5, 2013
Opposition party says more than 150 of its members have suffered abuse at hands of Ethiopian security officials.
Last Modified: 02 Nov 2013 03:52
Negasso Gidada, the UDJ party chief, centre, has urged the government to stop abusing his party members [EPA]
|An opposition party has accused the Ethiopian government of beating, abducting and illegally detaining more than 150 of its members during July and September this year.|
In a 39-page report launched on Thursday, the Unity for Democracy and Justice (UDJ) detailed what it said were "gruesome rights violations" committed against its supporters and members.
"One hundred and fifty members and supporters of the party have been subjected to severe beatings, illegal detentions and abductions by the police and security officials," Negasso Gidada, the party chairman, told reporters.
"We are asking the government to stop these human rights violations and take those responsible to justice," said Negasso, who served as the country's president from 1995 to 2001, before joining the opposition.
A government spokesman declined to comment saying it had yet to receive the report.
Earlier this month, Human Rights Watch said many former detainees - including politicians, journalists and alleged supporters of opposition groups - were slapped, kicked and beaten with sticks and gun butts during investigations at Addis Ababa's Federal Police Crime Investigation Sector, known as Maekalawi.
Ethiopia intensified its clampdown on peaceful dissent after the disputed 2005 election, the New York-based watchdog said.
At the time, the polls ended in violence, killing about 200 people.
Opposition candidates won 174 seats, but many did not take them up, saying the vote was rigged.
In an interview with Reuters this month, Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn said the government was not to blame for the opposition's poor showing.
He has also accused some opposition party members of collaborating with rebel groups the government had previously labelled as terrorist organisations.
But UDJ's leaders deny any links with the outlawed rebel groups, and warn the government that "stifling" dissent may encourage violence in the country.
"We are not requesting anything from the government side, we are requesting a level playing ground," Girma Seifu, a senior UDJ official and the sole opposition politician in Ethiopia's 547-seat parliament.
The Horn of Africa country has won international plaudits for delivering double-digit growth for much of the past decade, but rights groups often accuse the government of using state institutions to stifle dissent and silence political opposition.