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Embaixada da Etiópia
Brasília, Brasil
Week

August 8, 2016

News in brief

Africa and the African Union

The Second IGAD-Plus Extraordinary Summit was held on Friday (August 5) at Sheraton Addis, in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.  AUC Chairperson, Regional leaders, and IGAD Executive Secretary are expected to deliberate on the situation in South Sudan.

A meeting of coordinators to look at the progress achieved since the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) Summit  in Johannesburg in December last year was held in Beijing, China at the end of last week (July 28-29). The meeting was intended to underline the continuous commitments from China and African countries to carry on cooperation and development and give further impetus to the implementation of the FOCAC Action Plan's five pillars and identified areas of cooperation. (See article)

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon marked the 2016 UN World Day Against Trafficking in Persons on Saturday (July 30), urging the international community, to carry forward the fight against human trafficking and the smuggling of migrants and refugees. (See article)

On Tuesday this week the United Nations considered a draft agreement on refugees and migrants as a document for the planned UN Summit to be held on September 19 in New York. Refugees and migrants will be one of the biggest issues at next months' UN General Assembly, and the proposed document is expected to be the centerpiece at the Summit. (See article)

Ethiopia

Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn gave briefings to the press on Friday (August 5) on the current issues and the El-Nino –induced drought in the country.  Noting that the government has managed to cope with the drought, the Premier said the country's efforts of mitigating the challenge have brought about encouraging results. Touching upon the recent demonstrations, both staged and the ones being called in parts of Amhara and Oromia Regional states, Prime Minister Hailemariam described the demonstrations as "in appropriate" given that "they have no owner [responsible body] and are unauthorized." Accordingly, he stressed that the government will be obliged to discharge its responsibility of ensuring rule of law. The Prime Minister however said the government would continue to making efforts to address concerns of good governance, corruption and maladministration through dialogue.

Foreign Minister Dr. Tedros Adhanom bade farewell to the departing Mexican Ambassador to Ethiopia, Alfredo Miranda on Thursday (August 4). Recalling the longstanding and historical relations between Ethiopia and Mexico, the two sides reiterated that the bilateral relation should further be enhanced at all levels.

A high-level Ethiopian delegation, led by State Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Taye Atske-silassie took part in the follow-up forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) in Beijing, China at the end of last week (July 28-29). (See article)

State Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Taye Atske-selassie conferred with US Ambassador to Ethiopia, Ambassador Patricia M. Haslach on Tuesday (August 2). The two sides discussed on issues of mutual interest.

State Minister Ambassador Taye held discussions with Mr. Liu Guanglei, Vice Chairman of China People's Political Consultative Conference Chongqing Committee (CPPCC) on Wednesday (August 3).  On the occasion, Ambassador Taye noted Ethiopia is making unreserved effort in poverty eradication and economic transformation through modernization of agriculture and industrialization; and Chinese investors are encouraged to invest in these priority areas more than ever.

Ambassador Taye Atseke-Selassie, State Minister for Foreign Affairs and Remi Hemeryck, Executive Director of SOS Sahel, signed on Monday (August 1), a Memorandum of Understanding to open SOS Sahel regional office in Ethiopia.

Motuma Mekassa, Minister of Water, Irrigation and Energy, said the 24th meeting of the Nile Council of Ministers (Nile-COM) in Entebbe, Uganda, last month had discussed ways to advance Nile cooperation, the operations of the Nile Basin Initiative and its financial sustainability. The meeting had agreed country contributions would be made in a timely manner to support the NBI. Egypt has requested to rejoin the NBI (it left in 2010). The meeting said its resumption as a member would be decided in the future.

The Gibe III hydroelectric project has begun generating 800 megawatts electric power. Engineer Azeb Mesfin, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Ethiopian Electric Power on Thursday (August 4) said the project, which has 10 Francis turbines with a power of 187 megawatts each for a total installed capacity of 1,870 megawatts, is now 96 percent complete.

Eritrea

A high-level Eritrean government delegation headed by Mr. Hagos Gebrehiwet, Head of Economic Affairs of the ruling Peoples Front for Democracy and Justice, took  part in the China-Africa Cooperation Forum last week. During his visit, Mr. Gebrehiwet signed an agreement with Gao Huncheng, Minister of Commerce, for the development of the Mai-Nefhi College of Science and Technology. 

Kenya

Kenya and France signed a $37 million deal this week to support the installation of renewable energy generation units, both solar and wind turbines, in 23 mini-grids currently powered by diesel generators. The deal was singed at State House in the presence of President Uhuru Kenyatta and French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault. It will add 9.5 MW of power for some of the northern counties and reduce the cost of electricity by an average of 20%.

Somalia

President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud officially opened the National Leadership Forum in Mogadishu on Wednesday (August 3). The meeting, attended by the Prime Minister, Omar Sharmarke and the regional state presidents, was to finalize the timetable for the election and decide whether  a delay is necessary, the establishment of the commission to resolve disputes, the status of Mogadishu, and the composition of regional election commissions as well as electoral security and other issues that need to be completed before the election. (See article)

The UN Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) has warned that the humanitarian situation in Somalia remains extremely serious. In a report released on Friday last week (July 29) it said the main harvest season after the April to June Gu rains is expected to be 30% to 50% below average in southern Somalia.  This was due to poor rains, pests and flooding in Hiiraan and Middle Shabelle regions, which normally provide up to 80% of cereal production. The depressed rains will also affect availability of water for livestock and people. OCHA said the next Deyr rainy season, from October to December, is also likely to be below average.

Puntland marked 18 years of governance with a ceremony at State House in Garowe on Monday (August 1). Puntland President Abdiweli Mohamed Ali led the celebrations, with Vice-President Abdihakin Abdullahi Haji Omar, parliamentarians, traditional elders and Islamic scholars. President Abdiweli expressed his optimism about the Puntland democratization program due to culminate in a presidential vote in 2019. He said: "We want to move away from the clan-based political system and embrace democratic ideals."

South Sudan

The Second IGAD-Plus Extraordinary Summit was held on Friday (August 5) at Sheraton Addis, in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.  AUC Chairperson, Regional leaders, and IGAD Executive Secretary are expected to deliberate on the situation in South Sudan.

 (See article)

The World Food Program said this week that the situation in South Sudan was close to catastrophic. About a third of children across the country were  now acutely malnourished, twice the emergency threshold, with the situation in Northern Bahr el-Ghazal and Unity states particularly severe. Half the population was dependent on food aid. Rains and armed banditry mean the WFP has to use airdrops to reach the most endangered populations. The UNHCR said on Tuesday (August 2) that 60,000 have fled the country since the conflict erupted again last month, many being women and children; 900,000 people had fled from the country with 1.8 million internally displaced.

President Salva Kiir this week sacked  six ministers suspected of loyalty to former vice president, Riek Machar,  and replaced them with people loyal to his new first Vice President, Taban Deng Gai. The new officials, according to the presidential decree, were appointed on the basis of recommendations from the first Vice President. President Kiir has also dismissed 50 MPs appointed by Machar, replacing them with people nominated by Taban Deng Gai.  These moves have been described by the SPLM-IO as illegal and in contravention of the Peace Agreement. (See article)

Sudan

The Head of the African Union Office in Khartoum, Mahmoud Kan, said on Tuesday (August 2) that the African Union High-level Implementation Panel (AUHIP) would meet with the Sudan opposition, Sudan Call, in Addis Ababa next week. He said the Sudan Call leaders had agreed to sign the Roadmap on August 8 and talks on the cessation of hostilities and the humanitarian assistance would take place from 9 to 11 August. The head of the AUHIP, Thabo Mbeki,  has also extended an invitation to the Sudan government to participate in the Addis Ababa meeting. 

Sudanese Petroleum Minister, Mohamed Zayed Awad, returning from a visit to China on Wednesday (August 3) said several Chinese companies would launch new oil and gas investments in Sudan. He said a delegation from the state-owned China National Petroleum Corporation would arrive in Khartoum on August 25 to explore new investment opportunities. Presidential aide for China affairs, Awad Ahmed al-Jazz, said the government has laid out 170 projects in various fields for Chinese investors. During the visit the delegation discussed establishing a free zone, an industrial area and a port.

In a speech in South Kordofan on Monday, First Vice President, Bakri Hassan Salih, praised the opposition decision to sign the Roadmap Agreement, saying this would pave the way for Sudanese people to meet together and solve their country's issues. He said the national dialogue process would continue "until it reaches its goals" and called on rebel groups to join peace process.


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