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Embaixada da Etiópia
Brasília, Brasil

October 14, 2016

News in Brief

Africa and the African Union

German Chancellor Merkle  addressed the African Union on Tuesday this week (October 11) during her visit to Addis Ababa and  called on African states to do more to stem migration to Europe and address the rise in Islamic extremism. Chancellor Merkel also opened the new, German built, Julius Nyerere Peace and Security Building at AU headquarters. Ethiopia's Prime Minister Hailemariam Dessalegn, AU Commission Chairperson, Dr. Dlamini Zuma, and AU Commissioner for Peace and Security, Ambassador Chergui were also present. 


President Dr. Mulatu Teshome addressed the joint session of the two Houses of Parliament, the House of People's Representatives and the House of Federation, on Monday this week (October 10). The President outlined the key intentions of the government for the current Parliamentary session, outlining a series of reforms to set people of Ethiopia, and its youth, on course for a renewed vision of development and of response to the recent protests and disturbances. 

Prime Minister Hailemariam announced the declaration of a state of emergency on Sunday (October 9). The declaration, in accordance with Article 93 of the Constitution, came after an emergency meeting of the Council of Ministers. It was made necessary by the way some  protests had been  orchestrated to open the way for increased loss of life, significant destruction of properties and stoppage of day-to-day actvities, creating the opportunity for destructive groups to sow seeds of mistrust along ethnic and religious lines in some parts of the country.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel made an official visit to Ethiopia on Tuesday (October 11) and held talks with Prime Minister Hailemariam. The visit provided an affirmation of a strong Ethiopian and German bilateral and developmental relationship. 

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Government Communication Affairs Office briefed the Addis Ababa-based Ambassadors and representatives of international organizations on current political developments and the reasons for the declaration of a State of Emergency on Wednesday (October 12). 

The European Union External Action Service in a statement on the declaration of the state of emergency called for human rights to be respected at all times. It said it was time for all forces, inside and outside Ethiopia, to restore calm. It said the parliamentary session in Ethiopia offered opportunity for an inclusive dialogue in response to grievances and should lead to a comprehensive reform package.

The EU Parliamentary subcommittee on Human Rights held a hearing on the human rights situation in Ethiopia this week. The hearing was briefed by Felix Horne of Human Rights Watch whose testimony we will look at further next week.

The US State Department said this week it was troubled by the potential impact of the declaration of a state of emergency. It stressed that political pluralism and respect for fundamental freedoms were essential and called on the government to respect constitutionally-guaranteed freedoms of expression and association. The statement, welcoming the commitment to address legitimate grievances, strongly encouraged everyone to refrain from committing further acts of violence.


A Japanese Defence Ministry spokesman has confirmed that Japan is in negotiations with Djibouti government to increase the size of its military facilities in Djibouti and expand the number of personnel, currently 180 troops, and aircraft based there. Japan operates maritime patrol aircraft as part of international anti-piracy operations.


Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, received President Isaias in Abu Dhabi on Tuesday (October 11).  Discussions covered bilateral ties and ways to increase cooperation in economic, commercial and developmental fields.

The funeral service for Eritrea's Permanent Representative to the UN, Ambassador Girma Asmerom, who died of illness on October 5 in New York, was held at the Asmara Patriots Cemetery on Sunday (October 9). Senior officials laid wreaths and paid tribute.


The Norwegian Refugee Council has called on Kenya to remove the November deadline imposed by the government for the closure of the Dadaab camps. It claimed the repatriation process was no longer "being voluntary, safe or dignified." Kenya hosts more than 335,000 Somalia refugees, including over 270,000 in Dadaab at the moment.

Clan elders failed to meet the October 10 deadline for submission of lists of delegates who will elect the 275 members of the Lower House, raising concerns over further delays to the electoral process. Somalia's international partners warned on Monday that the deadlines "must be met to enable the respective federal member state assemblies to elect the members of the Upper House without prompting further delays in the overall electoral calendar." 

Puntland and Galmudug forces engage in fresh fighting in Galkayo town on Monday (October 10), just hours after a ceasefire agreement brokered by local elders came into effect. Six people were killed and over twelve others injured in clashes between the two state forces just three days ago. Galkayo is divided into two zones, the northern portion under Puntland administration; the southern section of the city under Galmudug. The two sides exchanged artillery fire on Thursday.

HirShabelle MPs held an election for the position of Speaker of the new region's parliament on Wednesday (October 12) in Jowhar. Osman Bare was elected with 61 votes. The Speaker of the Federal Parliament, Mohamed Osman attended together with a number of MPs from the Federal Parliament.

A group of politicians from Hiiraan region claim that plans to establish a state for the region of Hiiraan are at an advanced stage. This would be independent from the HirShabelle state whose formation process is currently in its final stage in Jowhar and their proposed state would have its capital in Bullo Burde in Hiiraan.

The International Maritime Organization has urged ships navigating past the Somali coast to continue with counter-piracy measures despite a reduction in the number of incidents. A report from the Oceans Beyond Piracy warned there is a great risk of piracy resurging in some form if the international naval presence disappears.

South Sudan

The United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) issued a statement on Wednesday (October 12) saying it was  extremely concerned over increased reports of violence and armed conflict in various parts of the country in the last few weeks, with  continued attacks on civilian vehicles outside Juba.


The National Dialogue Conference ended on Monday (October 10) with the endorsement of a national document. Speaking at the closing session President al-Bashir said a national mechanism would now be established to draft a permanent constitution for the country. He renewed his call for holdout opposition groups to endorse the National Dialogue and said the national document would remain open for signature, and vowed to establish "a new Sudan that is free from tribalism".

President al-Bashir on Monday (October 10) declared an extension of the government's unilateral ceasefire for another two months. He announced a unilateral four-month ceasefire in June. The government hopes rebel movements will reciprocate and declare a comprehensive ceasefire.

Under-Secretary for Foreign Affairs Abdel-Ghani al-Naeem, met with the UK Permanent Under-Secretary at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Sir Simon McDonald on Tuesday this week (October 11) to discuss regional and international issues including illegal immigration and human trafficking as part of the strategic dialogue between Sudan and the UK.  Mr. al-Naeem also met the UK Special Representative for Sudan and South Sudan, Christopher Trott and the Director of the African Affairs Department, Neil Wigan.