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Embaixada da Etiópia
Brasília, Brasil
Week

April 22,2016

News in Brief

Africa and the African Union

The African Union in a statement on Tuesday (April 19) condemned the attack on civilians in Gambella Regional State last Friday and expressed support for a military action to contain the "criminals" responsible for killing 182 people and abducting 102, mostly children. (See article)

The UNHCR said on Wednesday (April 20) that up to 500 migrants might have drowned in the Mediterranean last week when human traffickers crammed people onto an already overcrowded ship, causing it to sink. 41 people survived. The Somali government said on Monday that 200 or more might have been Somalis. Many others were reported to be from Eritrea as well as from Ethiopia. 

Ethiopia

The Ethiopian House of Peoples Representatives declared (April 19) two days national mourning on Wednesday and Thursday this week for the victims of the attacks on unarmed civilians in the western area of Gambella by Murle tribesmen from South Sudan on Friday last week (April 15). 182 people were killed and over a hundred children seized. (See article)

Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn arrived in New York on Wednesday (April 20) to attend two milestone events in New York: the High Level Thematic Debate on Achieving Sustainable Development (SDGs) and the Paris Climate Agreement Signing Ceremony, taking place on Friday and Saturday this week (April 21 and 22) .

In an interview with The Worldfolio Prime Minister Hailemariam detailed Ethiopia's policies towards regional integration and the importance of regional peace and stability, as well as highlighting its emphasis on sustainable development, the plans to shift from an agrarian-based to an industrial-based economy, and the opportunities available for investors. (See article)

The 5th Tana Forum on security in Africa wrapped up its two-day session on Sunday (April 17, 2016). Speaking at the conclusion of the forum, Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn recognized the great works of the Institute for Peace and Security Studies (IPSS-Addis), which he noted was instrumental in promoting peace and security in Ethiopia and Africa at large through education. (See article)

Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn and Somali President Mohamud met on the side-lines of the 5th Tana High Level Security Forum and agreed to advance cooperation economically and politically to institutional levels.  The Prime Minister reiterated Ethiopia's support to Somalia for the elections later this year.

Foreign Minister Dr. Tedros Adhanom started a three day official visit to Sweden on Tuesday (April 19), attending a roundtable discussion at the Swedish Institute of International Affairs).

Dr. Tedros briefed the participants on current developments in Ethiopia and regional security challenges in the Horn of Africa. (See article)

During his visit, Dr. Tedros held talks with Foreign Minister, Margot Wallstrom on Wednesday. (April 20) He also held discussions with Ms. Angeta Karlsson, State Secretary for Health Care, Public Health and Sport of Sweden, Mr.Mikael Damberg, Sweden's Minster for Enterprise and Innovation and with Ms. Isabella Lovin, Minister for International Development Cooperation of Sweden. After the meeting with Ms. Lovin, Sweden announced ithad launched a US$25 million program of development cooperation with Ethiopia for 2016-2020.

Dr. Tedros visitedthe Riksdagen, the Swedish Parliament on Thursday (April 21) and held talks with Kenneth G. Forslund, Chairman of the Committee on Foreign Affairs on a range of issues, including climate change, drought, and agricultural transformation. He also met with representatives of major Swedish companies as well as with representatives of the Ethiopian Diaspora

Foreign Minister Dr. Tedros met with the CEO of Girl Effect, Farah Ramzan Golant, in his office on Monday (April 18). Girl Effect is an organization that reshapes the value of girls and frames new social norms that break the cycle of poverty through an integrated brand approach. One such program is "Yegna", a brand designed to inspire positive change for girls in Ethiopia. 

State Minister Ambassador Taye Atske-selassie met with Mr. Elman Abdullayev, Ambassador of the Republic of Azerbaijan (April 19, 2016). Discussions focused on issues of strengthening bilateral and multilateral cooperation between Ethiopia and Azerbaijan.

State Minister for Foreign Affairs Ambassador Taye Atske-selassie, and Country Head, Sebastien Frendo from the Africa Governance Initiative (AGI) signed an agreement for the establishment of an AGI regional office in Ethiopia (April 19). The Africa Governance Initiative is a non-profitable organization established by Tony Blair, former UK Prime Minister.

A Framework agreement between the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia and the International committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) for ICRC's activities in Ethiopia was signed (April 19, 2016). State Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Taye Atske-selassie said ICRC's activities in Ethiopia dates back to 1981 and that their support was highly appreciated.

State Minister Ambassador Taye Atske-Selassie is attending the 13th Summit of the Northern Corridor Integrated Projects in Kampala this weekend (April 22 and 23). Countries participating are Rwanda, Uganda, Kenya, South Sudan, Tanzania, Burundi, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Ethiopia which is now a full partner of the NCIP.

IHS, a US-based consultancy firm in a study on foreign direct investment (FDI), identified Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda along with Ghana in a list of 15 hotspot investment destinations around the world. It described Ethiopia as "a star on the rise", with strategic policy reforms to build up its industrial sector, and accelerated infrastructure development.

The Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary Ambassador to the Republic of Zimbabwe, Ambassador Mustafe Dek Abdisalam presented his letter of credence to the Republic of Zimbabwe's PresidentRobert Mugabe on Thursday last week (April 14).

Djibouti

Djibouti's Minister of Interior, Hassan Omar Mohammed Burhanuddin, signed a cooperation agreement in the field of security with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Naif bin Abdulaziz, Deputy Premier and Minister of Interior of Saudi Arabia on Sunday (April 17) in Riyadh.

The Djibouti government has donated one thousand tons of food to assist families affected by the severe drought in Somaliland. The aid was handed over to Somaliland's national emergency drought committee by Djibouti's Minister of Agriculture, Mohamed Ahmed, on Tuesday (April 19). The Somaliland government said earlier that nearly 200.000 families needed urgent food aid.

Eritrea

Foreign Minister Osman Saleh Mohammed and Presidential Adviser Yemane Ghebreab visited Finn Church Aid offices last week during a visit to Helsinki. Finn Church Aid began to support Eritrean education sector development in early 2015.

IHS Jane's Defence Weekly reported last week that the United Arab Emirates (UAE) appears to be constructing a new port next to Assab International Airport in Eritrea. It published satellite imagery showing a new military camp and the construction of a new port facility which could become the UAE's first permanent military base in a foreign country. The work apparently began after September last year.

Thursday last week (April 14) was "Eritrean Prisoners' Day", on which Eritreans around the world commemorated the thousands of Eritrean prisoners of conscience in hundreds of prisons in Eritrea. Some have been held for more than two decades without charge or trial. They include teachers, religious leaders, professionals, artists, traders, sheikhs and priests, as well as veteran combatants and leaders of the EPLF, among them are ministers and army commanders and other senior members of the ruling party and the government who were once President Isaias closest associates.

Kenya

President Kenyatta declared at the weekend that the country had closed the chapter on the post- election violence, and said that the Kenyan judicial system would deal with the three Kenyans wanted by ICC over claims of witness tampering.

International Criminal Court said this week that Kenya must cooperate with the court to hand over three suspects it wanted and had the legal obligation to fully cooperate with the ICC including the implementation of arrest warrants. In case of non-cooperation, the legal procedure before the ICC is for the Judges to make a finding of non-compliance and to refer it to the Assembly of States Parties to take any measure it deems appropriate.

President Kenyatta said on Wednesday  (April 20) that corruption and wastage, mismanagement and infighting were the major threats to the success of devolution. He added that the government would deal ruthlessly with any governors who engaged in corruption and warned that those caught on the wrong side of the law would be dealt with like common criminals. His warning came at the start of the 2016 Devolution Conference being held in Meru. The President's speech was read on his behalf  by the Devolution Cabinet Secretary, MrMwangiKiunjuri,

Somalia

President Mohamud told the Voice of America's Somali service on Wednesday (April 20)  that he would seek re-election in this year's presidential elections, due to be held in September after the election of a new Parliament. He said "I will be a candidate for the upcoming elections in 2016 and will come up with new agenda and strategy to lead the nation if I get re-elected."

President Mohamud speaking at the United States Institute of Peace in Washington, this week said Somalia's "nascent institutions" needed years of financial and security support to become effective. The forthcoming election was a compromise under which clans choose a total of nearly 14,000 people to form an electoral college to select a new parliament. He stressed Somalia needed further improvements in security and mistrust among clans remained high. He also noted concern over the dumping of toxic waste along Somalia's coasts.

During his visit to Sudan last week, President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud and President Al-Bashir agreed to step up cooperation in the economy, trade, security, culture, education and governance. They also agreed to form a strategic cooperation council at ministerial level.

At a briefing of the UN Security Council on Tuesday this week (April 19), the AU Representative to the United Nations called for the deployment of operational enablers and force multipliers to rejuvenate AMISOM operations and recommended the renewal of AMISOM's mandate which runs out on May 30. (See article)

Prime Minister Omar Abdirashid Sharmarke held talks with Algerian Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Ramtane Lamamra, on Friday last week (April 15) in Istanbul, Turkey on the sidelines of the 13th Summit Conference of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) to discuss cooperation between the two countries.

Prime Minister Sharmarke visiting Russia has asked Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov for help to equip its armed forces to fight terrorism as well assistance to strengthen its economy. At a meeting on Tuesday (April 19), Mr. Lavrov said Russia is ready to consider military cooperation.

Minister of Trade and Industry, Abdul Rashid Mohamed Ahmed, met Egyptian Prime Minister Sherif Ismail on Thursday (April 21). They agreed on the importance of enhancing bilateral cooperation and signed a MoU to promote trade. A statement said the two countries intend to cooperate in industrial production and livestock, and promote trade in the fishery sector. A trade delegation is to visit Somalia to study implementation of the proposed cooperation initiatives.

The Special Representative of the Chairperson of the African Union Commission for Somalia, Ambassador Francisco Madeira, met Independent Expert (IE) on the Human Rights Situation in Somalia, Mr. Bahame Tom Nyanduga in Mogadishu on Wednesday (April 20). Discussions covered a wide range of issues including AMISOM's conduct of military operations. Mr. Nyanduga also met with Somali Government representatives. He is expected to report his findings to the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva, in September

The President of Somalia's Puntland State Government, President AbdiweliMohamed Ali met with the Egyptian Ambassador to Ethiopia, Ambassador Aboubakr Hefny, during a visit to Addis Ababa on Monday (April 18). President Ali earlier attended the Tana High-Level forum on Security in Bahr Dar.

Efforts are being made to revive the stalled Somalia/Somaliland talks. A Somali team led by the Minister of the Interior, Abdirahman Hussein Adowaa, is in Istanbul for talks with a Somaliland team led by Foreign minister Dr. Saad Ali Shire. The last round of talks ended when Somaliland rejected the inclusion of Somaliland citizens in the team of Somalia negotiators.

Somaliland Vice president, Abdirahman Abdillahi Ismail ‘Sayli', said this week that Somaliland planned to establish a special police unit to prevent illegal migration of Somaliland youth. The announcement came after reports that more than a hundred Somaliland citizens might be among those who died in the Mediterranean last week.

South Sudan

Following several delays by Dr, Reik Machar this week, IGAD and the Troika countries of the USA, Norway and the UK, issued a statement that Dr, Machar must return to Juba to take up his post as Frist Vice President by Saturday (April 23) at the latest. The statement was endorsed by Kenya, Ethiopia, Uganda, Sudan, African Union, China, European Union, Norway, United Kingdom, United States, Canada, Netherlands and UNMISS. (See article)

South Sudan's Acting Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Peter Bashir Gbandi, said on Wednesday that preparations were underway for joint South Sudan/Ethiopian military operations to free the children abducted during the attack.

Sudan

The Egyptian government on Sunday (April 17) refused a request from Sudan to engage in direct talks or resort to international arbitration on the dispute between the two countries over Halayeb triangle. A foreign ministry spokesperson said that "Halayeb and Shalateen are Egyptian territory and they fall under Egyptian sovereignty". The Sudan Foreign Ministry's latest request came after the Egyptian government declared on April 9 that Tiran and Sanafir Islands at the mouth of the Gulf of Aqaba fall within the territorial waters of Saudi Arabia.


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