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Embaixada da Etiópia
Brasília, Brasil

April 29,2016

News in Brief

Africa and the African Union

The Transformative Industrial Policy in Africa Report recently released by the UN Economic Commission for Africa notes that Africa is now the subject of significant optimism, though it cautions that it isn't clear whether Africa can turn the recent economic recovery into sustained economic development. The report also believes Ethiopia could soon catch up China and Vietnam in light manufacturing. (See article)


Prime Minister Hailemariam attended the UN General Assembly High-level Thematic Debate on achieving the Sustainable Development Goals at the end of last week (April 21-22). He also participated in the historic signing of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change on Saturday (April 23) at the UN headquarters in New York. (See article)

Deputy Prime Minister, Debretsion Gebremichael, Coordinator of Finance and Minister of ICT attended the 13th Summit of the Northern Corridor Integration Projects at the Speke resort in Kampala, Uganda last weekend on April 22 and 23.  He headed a delegation that included State Minister for Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Taye Atske-selassie. (See article)

Foreign Minister Dr. Tedros Adhanom, on an official visit to the Russian Federation met with Russian Foreign Minister, Sergey Lavrov on Monday (April 25) for discussions on bilateral issues, development cooperation, energy projects, regional peace and security. Dr. Tedros said Ethiopia and Russia should enhance cooperation in the areas of trade, investment, tourism and other economic cooperation to benefit peoples of both countries. (See article)

Foreign Minister, Dr. Tedros, at the end of last week, on the second leg of a European tour, visited the Republic of Serbia, following his three-day official visit to Sweden.  He met with First Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Serbia, Ivica Dacic, in Belgrade on Friday (April 22). (See article)

State Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Taye Atske-selassie, signed an agreement with the Eastern and Southern African Trade and Development Bank to open a regional office in Addis Ababa on Thursday (April 28). Mr. Admassu Yilma, CEO of the African Trade and Development Bank said opening a regional office in Addis Ababa would give easy financial access to clients and projects.

State Minister Ambassador Taye briefed Addis-based Ambassadors on Wednesday and Thursday (April 27and 28) on the recent cross-border raid into Gambella Regional State. He said the response to the unusually massive raid was being "very careful, a very targeted and a very calculated move" and Ethiopia was coordinating measures with South Sudan to rescue the children seized.  The second incident involved clashes between South Sudanese Refugees in Jawi camp and the local community and had no connection with the earlier attack.

State Minister Ambassador Taye and Mr. John Morris, Country Director of Farm Africa signed Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on Tuesday (April 26) to open Farm Africa's regional office in Addis.

State Minister Ambassador Taye on Tuesday (April 26) met with the representative of Crisis Action, Mrs. Emebet Getachew. Mrs. Emebet briefed the State Minister on Crisis Action that works with civil society and international organizations seeking lasting peace in conflict-ridden areas and presented the organization's request to open an office in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The State Minister welcomed the organization's interest to open an office in Addis Ababa.

Ethiopian Airlines was voted as the Best Cargo Airline of the Year from Africa at the "2016 Cargo Airline of the Year" award event held in London on Saturday (April 23). Roger Hailey, editor of Air Cargo News, said Ethiopian Airlines was a worthy winner of this award "as recognized by peer group professionals who voted in recognition of its valuable contribution to African air cargo".


President Ismail Omar Guelleh has invited Sudan President Omer al-Bashir to attend his inauguration ceremony for another term in office. The Djibouti Ambassador to Sudan gave the invitation to Sudan Foreign Minister Ibrahim Ghandour at the weekend.

Ilyas Dawaleh, Minister of Economy and Finance in charge of Industry headed a delegation to Jordan last weekend on a visit aimed at developing commercial ties and facilitating Jordanian trade with Africa. Djibouti has agreed to provide facilities to establish a Jordanian logistic village in its free zone to store Jordanian goods and re-export them to African markets. The two countries also agreed to hold talks on bilateral agreements on commercial preferences, investment and protection.


The magazine, Jane's Defense Weekly has published satellite images showing that the United Arab Emirates (UAE) appears to be constructing a new port next to Assab International Airport in Eritrea. This, it suggests, could become the UAE's first permanent military base in a foreign country. Naval vessels using Assab since September last year have included Emirati landing ships and in March an UAE corvette warship was docked at the port.

A new report by Freedom House on press freedom ranked Eritrea fifth from bottom and lowest in Africa because all private news outlets were outlawed, local media is strictly controlled and many journalists remain in prison.

Eritrea's Permanent Ambassador to the United Nations, Girma Asmerom, signed the Paris Agreement on the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change on behalf of the Government of Eritrea at the UN in New York on Friday (April 22).

Sunridge Gold Corp. announced on Tuesday (April 26)  that it had sold its 60% interest in the Asmara Mining Share Company to the Sichuan Road & Bridge Mining Investment Development Corp. Ltd. The price paid was US$65 million.


President Kenyatta issued a statement on Tuesday (April 26) to say that it was with a deep sense of sadness and loss that he had learnt of the untimely death of the Former First Lady, Mrs. Lucy Kibaki, who died in London. On behalf of all Kenyans and his Government he offered heartfelt condolences to former President Mwai Kibaki.

Kenya's Interior Cabinet Secretary, Joseph Nkaissery, told a security conference with Marehan elders at the weekend that the construction of the 700km Kenya-Somalia border fence to prevent unwanted persons from illegally entering Kenya will continue as planned. (See article)


President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud said on Monday (April 25) that Somalia will go to the polls to vote in presidential and parliamentary elections in August. He said "The upcoming Somali presidential and parliamentary election will be held this August," adding "The election process needs to be completed in a democratic way. We do not care which party wins. The winners will be the people of Somalia." The President announced last week he would be seeking re-election.

Prime Minister Omar Abdirashid Sharmarke has appointed Mohamed Jama Mursal as Minister of Posts and Telecommunication to replace Guled Hussein Qasim. No reason was given for the change.

Abdusalam H. Omer, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Investment Promotion on a visit to the United Arab Emirates met with Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of the UAE on Wednesday (April 27) to discuss bilateral relations and review areas of co-operation and co-ordination.

Francisco Madeira, Special Representative of the African Union for Somalia and head of the AU mission in Somalia (AMISOM), and Somalia's Deputy Prime Minister Mohamed Omar Arte met in Mogadishu over the weekend to discuss the need for more coordinated collaboration between AMISOM and the Somali National Army operations.

Ambassador Francisco Madeira, head of AMISOM, told a two-day workshop on Human Rights and Due Diligence Policy in Mogadishu (April 26-27) that AMISOM forces were committed to complying with international Human Rights law. He said a board of inquiry had been set up to handle all incidents involving AMISOM troops, police and the Somali people.

A session of the Puntland Parliament on Sunday (April 24) overwhelmingly approved the names for Transitional Puntland Electoral Commission (TPEC). Puntland President Abdiweli Mohamed Ali and Speaker Ahmed Ali Hashi picked nine nominees and the former Puntland State Television Director-General Ahmed Mohamed Ali was named as Chairman of the Commission,

Twenty three nongovernmental organizations working in Somalia appealed on Tuesday (April 26) for a concerted and collective effort from all actors to avoid a repeat of the 2011 famine when more than a quarter of a million died. According to FAO more than 731,000 people are estimated to be severely food insecure. The call came as the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs in Geneva is holding meetings on the UN Global Call for Support and Action on El Niño.

Drought conditions in Puntland and parts of Somaliland have significantly deteriorated according to the latest rainfall analysis by the FAO-managed Somalia Water and Land Information Management earlier this week. Nearly 385,000 people in Puntland and Somaliland face acute food insecurity and an estimated 1.3 million people are at risk of slipping into acute food insecurity if they do not receive assistance.

South Sudan

Riek Machar, head of the SPLM-IO, returned to Juba on Tuesday afternoon (April 26) and was sworn in as First Vice President. President, Salva Kiir called on Dr. Machar, and Wani Igga, Vice-President, to cooperate with him in the new government that will be formed soon. The President said he would not expect an opposition in either the executive and legislative branches of his government when a transitional unity government is formed inclusive of opposition parties. He called for cooperation to "return our country to peaceful coexistence." (See article)

The UN Security Council had a briefing on South Sudan on Tuesday (April 26) from Herve Ladsous, UN head of peacekeeping. Mr. Ladsous said the arrival of Riek Machar should allow "the real transition to begin" but stressed the security situation was still precarious and there was a worsening humanitarian and human rights situation. He said the transitional government would have to "start work from day one" to address governance, financial misappropriation and improving the rule of law. (See article)

The United Nations Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon, on Tuesday welcomed the return of Dr. Machar to Juba on Tuesday (April 26) and his swearing in as the country's first vice-president, describing it a "new phase" in the implementation of the August 2015 peace agreement.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon on Tuesday (April 26) announced the appointment of Abiodun Bashua of Nigeria to lead the special investigation into the attack on February 17-18 against the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) when at least 25 civilians died and an additional 144were  injured. The investigation would complement the UN Headquarters Board of Inquiry announced on March 11.


President Al-Bashir told Sudan's newly appointed ambassadors to Ireland, Yemen, the Sultanate of Oman, Qatar, Lebanon, Djibouti and Norway, to work to consolidate Sudanese relations and cooperation with these countries.

The Darfur Referendum Commission announced on Saturday (April 23) that 97% of the registered voters in the region's recent administrative referendum had voted to keep the current five states in Darfur and retain the status quo. Only 2.2% had voted for the option of a single region. The turnout for the vote was 3.15 million; opposition parties boycotted the referendum.