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Embaixada da Etiópia
Brasília, Brasil
Week

October 28, 2016

News in Brief

Africa and the African Union

African leaders on Saturday (October 22) at a summit in Lome signed a binding agreement to boost security off African coasts, to shore up development by tackling maritime crimes like piracy and smuggling. Congolese President Sassou Nguesso hailed the agreement as "historic", and Kenya's President Kenyatta said it showed Africa's ability to put together a continent-wide strategy. The agreement provides for a special fund for maritime security and for improved information-sharing. It needs to be ratified by at least 15 countries to come into force.

Gambia announced its withdrawal from the International Criminal Court on Tuesday (October 25) accusing the Hague-based tribunal of the "persecution and humiliation of people of color, especially Africans". The announcement followed similar decisions this month by South Africa and Burundi. Sidiki Kaba, President of the Assembly of State Parties to the ICC founding treaty, at the weekend asked South Africa and Burundi to reconsider their decisions to leave.

The EU Commission announced new support to countries in the Horn of Africa to help responses to the El Niño and food security crises. It will go to Ethiopia (€22.5 million), Somalia (€8 million), South Sudan (€28 million) and Sudan (€8 million) to help provide short and long-term solutions for vulnerable groups and combines measures for relief, rehabilitation and development.

Ethiopia

Prime Minister Hailemariam left on Friday (October28) for a one day visit to South Sudan where he will be discussing bilateral issues with President Salve Kiir and Vice-President Taban Deng.

Attorney General, Getachew Ambaye, has made it clear that foreign tourists are free to visit any tourist attractions anywhere in Ethiopia. During its third regular session on Thursday last week (October 20), the House of People's Representatives ratified the State of Emergency Proclamation on.

State Minister for Foreign Affairs, Amabssador Taye co-chaired the first meeting of the Mexico and Ethiopia Consultation Mechanism on Matters of Common Interest on Tuesday last week (October 18). The meeting identified new opportunities for collaboration in investment and business and expressed the intention to raise their level of political dialogue as well as discussing bilateral relations in political, cooperation and economic areas and trade links.

At the end of the 4th Ethio-Sudan Joint Economic Committee Meeting held in Addis Ababa last week Ethiopia and Sudan signed agreements to cooperate in the areas of livestock, transport, railway and banking services. The Commercial Bank of Ethiopia has now finalized preparations to open a branch in Sudan.

Ethiopian parliamentarians met last weekend (October 22) with a delegation of Dutch MPs at the House of People's Representatives in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Their discussions focused on possible cooperation to reduce poverty and unemployment.

The California-based advocacy organization, Oakland Institute, issued a statement on Friday last week (October 21) attacking the State of Emergency as "authorizing oppression." The statement follows an equally inaccurate and exaggerated report "Miracle or Mirage? Manufacturing Hunger and Poverty in Ethiopia", published last month. 

A panel discussion to share experiences on energy development was held in Addis Ababa last Sunday (October 23) co-chaired by the Korean International Cooperation Agency and the  Ministry of Water, Irrigation and Electricity.

The latest situation report of the Food and Agriculture Organization says there are prolonged dry spells predicted for southern pastoral areas and urgent assistance will be required for 2.4 million households until the end of the year. 

A statement released on Monday (October 24) by Fitch Ratings said that Ethiopia's economy had proved resilient to recent shocks such as the severe drought, in part because of a well-managed policy response, and it predicted growth to recover to 8% next year, after dipping to 6.5% this year. It noted the protests but said weak governance indicators were already factored into Ethiopia's 'B'/Stable sovereign rating. It did not believe the protests would escalate to spill over into the economy and potentially affect the country's sovereign credit profile.

Djibouti

President Guelleh paid tribute to the bravery and professionalism to the soldiers who defeated an Al-Shabaab attack on their base in Somalia on Tuesday (October 26). He expressed his gratitude to the brave soldiers who fell on the field of battle and reiterated Djibouti's determination to fight terrorism and continue to contribute to the pacification and reconstruction of Somalia.

Eritrea

Sheila B. Keetharuth, Member of the Former Commission of Inquiry on Human Rights in Eritrea and Special Rapporteur told the UN General Assembly's Third Committee on Thursday (October 27) that there were "reasonable grounds" to believe that its officials had committed crimes against humanity since 1991. The Government had failed to cooperate with the Special Rapporteur and the Commission. She called on the General Assembly to submit the Commission's report to the Security Council for possible referral to the International Criminal Court. The cooperation of all States with UN Special Rapporteurs is a fundamental obligation of United Nations membership.

Kenya

President Kenyatta cancelled an official trip to Angola to attend a local security meeting in solidarity with the families of the Kenyans who lost their lives in the Mandera attack on Tuesday (October 25). The President condemned the attack on a guest house in which 16 people died, in the strongest terms and sent his condolences to the bereaved and wished the injured speedy recovery. Al Shabaab has claimed responsibility for the attack. 

The Cabinet Secretary for the Interior, Joseph Nkaissery said on Wednesday (October 26) the Kenya Defence Forces were setting up a border command unit to counter the infiltration of Al-Shabaab militants. This would assist the police in setting up road blocks and check points, boosting security in border towns including Mandera. Mr. Nkaissery said more police officers had been deployed to hunt down those behind the Tuesday attack in Mandera.

Seven counties in northern and north eastern Kenya, Marsabit, Mandera, Wajir, Isiolo, Tana River, Lamu and Garissa are preparing to launch an economic bloc aimed at transforming the region economically. Marsabit Governor Ukur Yattani said on Tuesday (October 25) that the Northern Frontier counties had recently come together to form regional economic cooperation, the Frontier Counties Developmental Council. The aim was to jointly address socio-economic challenges, and provide common investment plans, resource mobilization and policy advocacy, in order to benefit from inter-county trade, investment and services.

Somalia

President Mohamud condemned the truck bomb attack on an AMISOM base in Belet Weyne in which two Djiboutian peacekeepers died and several others were injured. He also spoke to Djibouti President Guelleh, offering his condolences to the government and people of Djibouti and the families of the casualties. AMISOM said ten Al-Shabaab fighters were killed in the attack.

The electoral process for the Lower House started on Sunday (October 23); it comes to an end on November 10. Last week four of the six states concluded the elections for the Upper House.  

Somalia officially became a member of the Indian Ocean Rim Association on Wednesday (October 26) following its signing of the charter during the Council of Ministers meeting in Bali, Indonesia. This formally concluded the country's application process for membership to the 21 member bloc which started two years ago. The IORA promotes trade and cooperation in Maritime Safety and Security, Trade and Investment Facilitation, Fisheries Management and Tourism and Cultural Exchanges.

Following further clashes at the beginning of the week between Galmudug and Puntland forces in Galkayo, Federal Prime Minister Omar Abdirashid Sharmarke has called on both sides to respect the terms of the truce signed last year and end the fighting. The UN said on Monday that more than 75,000 people have fled their homes and at least 18 had died in the three weeks of fighting with dozens injured. UNOCHA said the onset of the Dehr rains was likely to affect the displaced especially those spending nights in the open.

AMISOM Police Coordinator of Training and Development, Francis Aryee, said on Monday (October 24) that AMISOM had deployed more security officers in Adado in Galmudug state and Jowhar, the capital of the newly formed Hir-Shabelle state to help secure the electoral process. They will work with the Somali police in strengthening security during the elections.

Somaliland's Foreign Affairs Minister Sa'ad Ali Shire speaking to journalists in Hargeisa on Monday (October 24) underlined that Somaliland was an independent country from Somalia. The Minister was responding to comments by President Mohamud of Somalia at the swearing in of President Ali Abdullahi Osoble of the newly formed Hir-Shabelle state in Somalia that federalization in Somalia was "almost complete with only Somaliland and Be nadir remaining."

Twenty six Asian sailors held hostage for more than four years by Somali pirates have been released after a ransom was paid. International mediators said this "represents the end of captivity for the last remaining seafarers taken hostage during the height of Somali piracy." The sailors came from Vietnam, Taiwan, Cambodia, Indonesia, China and the Philippines.

South Sudan

President Salva Kiir has appealed to the Troika countries (the US, the UK and Norway) to provide the financial assistance needed for his government to implement the August 2015 peace agreement, rather than advocating punitive measures which, he said, could undermine the country's reconciliation efforts.

The Chairman of the Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission (JEMC) for South Sudan, Festus Mogae, visited Addis Ababa on Monday (October 24) for talks with Ethiopia's Foreign Minster Dr Tedros Adhanom.  

The government has given Sudanese rebels in South Sudan an ultimatum to leave South Sudan within 30 days. Defence Minister, Kuol Manyang said on Monday (October 24) that the government was fully committed to respecting and implementing its non-aggression pact with Sudan. This followed a US State Department last week urging South Sudan to comply with its commitments to cease harboring or providing support for Sudanese armed opposition groups, as required by UN Security Council Resolution 2046 (2012).

The UNHCR said on Saturday (October 22) that increasing numbers of South Sudanese refugees were arriving in Gambella Regional State, 42,684 since the beginning of September. UNHCR has now opened a new refugee camp at Nguenyyiel, relocating nearly a thousand refugees from Pagak. UNHCR officials say an average of at least 900 South Sudanese asylum-seekers arrive at Pagak Transit Centre on a daily basis.

Sudan

President Omer Hassan al-Bashir on an official visit to Saudi Arabia held talks in Riyadh with King Salman bin Abdel-Aziz Al Saud on Monday (October 24). Talks covered latest developments in the region and further prospects of cooperation. The President was accompanied by Foreign Minister, Ibrahim Ghandour and the Minister of Presidential Affairs, Fadl Abdallah Fadl.

Sudan's Foreign Ministry said on Monday (October 24) that the Sudanese government has once again lodged a complaint to United Nation Security Council over its dispute with Egypt concerning the Halayeb triangle, a 20,580 sq. km area on the Red Sea. The area has been under Egypt's military control since the mid-1990s.  In April, Egypt refused a Sudanese demand for direct talks on Halayeb; nor is it prepared to refer the dispute to the International Court of Arbitration. Referral to arbitration needs the agreement of the two parties.

U.S. Envoy for Sudan and South Sudan, Donald Booth, on Monday met the Secretary General of the National Dialogue Hashim Ali Salim to discuss ways to implement the dialogue outcome. Earlier this month, the government-led national dialogue concluded the process by signing the national document, which includes the general features of a future constitution to be finalized by transitional institutions. The dialogue's recommendations include the creation of the post of prime minister, the addition of new seats to parliament and changing the name of current "National Unity Government" to the "National Reconciliation Government."

The Sudanese government on Tuesday (October 25) expressed readiness to deploy joint forces along the 2,000km-long border long borders with South Sudan to prevent cross border attacks by rebel groups.


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