Thursday, October 20, 2016

Ethiopia 'detains 1,600' under state of emergency - BBC News

  • 33 minutes ago
  • From the sectionAfrica

Demonstrators chant slogans while flashing the Oromo protest gesture during Irreecha, the thanksgiving festival of the Oromo people, in Bishoftu town, Oromia region, Ethiopia, October 2, 2016Image copyrightREUTERS
Image captionThe most recent protests were sparked by the deaths of at least 55 people at a religious festival

The Ethiopian authorities have detained more than 1,600 people under the state of emergency, a government minister has told the BBC.
A statement, quoted by state-affiliated FBC website, lists arrests in the Oromia and Amhara regions, which have recently seen massive demonstrations.
This is in addition to Monday's arrests of 1,000 people near the capital.
A six-month state of emergency has been declared in the face of a wave of unprecedented anti-government protests.
Under the emergency measures, people can be detained without an arrest warrant for the duration of the state of emergency.
FBC reports that a total of 1,683 people have been arrested in at least five places, including in Shashamene, 250km (155 miles) south of the capital, Addis Ababa, where 450 people have been detained.
It describes most of those arrested as "suspects in the recent violence" and adds that a large number of looted weapons had also been handed over.
Some business people have been detained for closing their shops, as have three teachers for "abandoning school".
There is no mention where the people are being held.

Oromo woman cryingImage copyrightREUTERS
Image captionThe current unrest is the biggest to hit Ethiopia in more than two decades
Ethiopian security personnel at demonstrationImage copyrightREUTERS
Image captionThere have been months of deadly clashes in Ethiopia

Rights groups say that at least 500 people have died during the anti-government protests over the last 11 months as a result of clashes with security forces.
Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn said last week that could be an accurate estimate, but blamed "anti-peace forces" for the trouble.
Activists have targeted commercial property, including some foreign-owned businesses.
These include warehouses and factories in the town of Sebeta, near Addis Ababa, which were set alight during recent protests, the authorities say.
On Monday, the mayor of the town told FBC that 1,000 people had been arrested in connection with those attacks. He later told the AP news agency that some of those had been released.

Arrest breakdown:

Map showing the regions of Ethiopia

  • 670: West Arsi zone, Oromia
  • 450: Shashamane, Oromia
  • 302: West Guji zone, Oromia
  • 110 "key actors and co-ordinators of the violence": Kelem Wolega zone, Oromia
  • 93: Gondar zone, Amhara
  • 13 businesspersons for closing their shops, 13 for calling for a strike and three teachers for "abandoning school": Gondar zone
  • 29 businesspersons for closing their shops: Bahir Dar, Amhara
Source: FBC

The recent wave of demonstrations began in Oromia last November with people there protesting against a plan to expand Addis Ababa into their region.
That plan has since been dropped, but the protests have continued.
There have also been demonstrations in the country's Amhara region.
The state of emergency was declared on 9 October a week after at least 55 people died in a stampede during an Oromo religious festival which turned into a protest.
Activists blamed the security forces for causing the panic, but the government said protesters in the crowd were responsible.
Human rights groups have in the past criticised Ethiopia for suppressing dissent.
In last year's general election, every seat was won by either a member of the governing EPRDF coalition or one of the party's allies.
The government has recently proposed reforms to the electoral system so that opposition politicians have a better chance of being elected.

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Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Ethiopia: ተቃውሞ ከአስቸኳይ ጊዜ አዋጁ በኋላ

UN chief voices concern over Ethiopia - CHANNELAFRICA

UN chief voices concern over Ethiopia - CHANNELAFRICA: "UN chief voices concern over Ethiopia Date: Oct 18, 2016 United Nations (UN) Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon, is following developments in Ethiopia with concern after a series of measures under a state of emergency targeted the media and diplomats, his spokesperson said. The government declared a six-month state of emergency on October 8 in response to an unprecedented wave of opposition protests. Ban is "following the developments in Ethiopia with concern, including the declaration of a state of emergency," said  UN Spokesperson, Stephane Dujarric. "We are aware of the latest reports about new measures being imposed and are looking at the available information." The UN chief urged Ethiopian authorities to uphold human rights and called for calm and restraint. The country's Oromo and Amhara communities, which together make up 60% of the population, have been protesting for nearly a year against marginalisation.  Ethiopia's government is largely made up of minority Tigrayans. Ban called for an "inclusive dialogue to resolve all grievances." "

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Seven things banned under Ethiopia's state of emergency - BBC News

  • 17 October 2016
  • From the sectionAfrica
Demonstrators chant slogans while flashing the Oromo protest gesture during Irreecha, the thanksgiving festival of the Oromo people, in Bishoftu town, Oromia region, Ethiopia, October 2, 2016Image copyrightREUTERS
Image captionThe most recent protests were sparked by the deaths of at least 55 people at an Oromo religious festival
Ethiopia's government has declared a six-month state of emergency in the face of an unprecedented wave of violent protests.
Activists in the country's Oromia region has been holding demonstrations since last November, and protesters from the Amhara region have also joined in.
The deaths of at least 55 people at an Oromo religious festival on 2 October triggered fresh unrest, including the targeting of some foreign-owned businesses.
Rights groups say that at least 500 people have died during the protests overall and last week Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn said that could be an accurate estimate.
The emergency was announced earlier this month but the government has now made clear what this means in practical terms.
Here are some of the things that are restricted:

1. Social media

Ethiopian soldiers try to stop protesters in Bishoftu, in the Oromia region of EthiopiaImage copyrightAP
Image captionActivists have used their mobile phones to spread news about their protests
You cannot use social media, such as Facebook and Twitter, to contact what are called "outside forces". In fact, any attempt to communicate with "terrorist organisations and anti-peace groups designated as terrorist" is banned.
Protesters have been posting messages and mobile phone footage to social media and websites run by Ethiopian dissidents living abroad.
The government has accused Eritrea and Egypt of fomenting the protests.

2. Broadcast Media

You cannot watch the TV channels Esat and OMN, which are both based outside the country. The government has described them as "belonging to terrorist organisations".
These broadcasters have become some of the major sources for people wanting to know more about the protests.

3. Protests

Protesters chant slogans during a demonstration over what they say is unfair distribution of wealth in the country at Meskel Square in Ethiopia's capital Addis Ababa, August 6, 2016.Image copyrightREUTERS
Image captionProtests have been frequent in Ethiopia in recent months
You cannot organise a demonstration at your school or university, neither can you be involved in a political campaign that is "likely to cause disturbances, violence, hatred and distrust among the people".
University campuses were among the first places to be hit by the wave of anti-government protests.

4. Gestures

Ethiopia's Feyisa Lilesa crossed his arms above his head at the finish line of the Men's Marathon athletics event of the Rio 2016 Olympic GamesImage copyrightAFP
Image captionEthiopian Olympic marathon runner Feyisa Lilesa made the crossed arms Oromo protest symbol well known around the world
You cannot make a political gesture, such as crossing your arms above your head, or communicate a political message to the public "without permission".
The crossing-arms gesture has been seen widely at the protests in Oromia, and even made it to the Olympics when marathon runner Feyisa Lilesa used it as he crossed the line in second place in Rio in August.

5. Curfew

Torched bundles of woven fabric are seen in a textile factory damaged by protests in the town of Sebeta, Oromia regionImage copyrightREUTERS
Image captionFactories have been targeted in arson attacks
You cannot visit a factory, farm or governmental institution between 6pm and 6am the next day. If you violate the curfew than "law enforcement bodies have been authorised to take the necessary action".
Government buildings and private businesses, some of them foreign owned, have been deliberately targeted by some of the protesters.

6. Diplomats

US diplomatic carImage copyrightAFP
If you are a diplomat you are not allowed to travel more than 40km (25 miles) from the capital, Addis Ababa, without permission. The government says that this is for your own safety.
In general, the diplomatic reaction to the protests and the state of emergency has been muted. The US has said that it is "troubled" by any restrictions on the freedom of expression in the state of emergency, but, like other western powers has called for peaceful dialogue to solve the country's problems.
Ethiopia is a close ally of the US against Islamist militancy in neighbouring Somalia.

7. Guns

If you have a gun, you cannot take it within 25km of the country's main roads out of Addis Ababa, and within 50km of the country's borders, even if you have a permit to carry it.

More about the protests in Ethiopia

Map of protests and violence in Ethiopia in 2016

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Prof. Muse Tegegne has lectured sociology Change &  Liberation  in Europe, Africa and Americas. He has obtained  Doctorat es Science from the University of Geneva.   A PhD in Developmental Studies & ND in Natural Therapies.  He wrote on the  problematic of  the Horn of  Africa extensively. He Speaks Amharic, Tigergna, Hebrew, English, French. He has a good comprehension of Arabic, Spanish and Italian.