Threat of genocide real in Ethiopia

ADDIS ABABA, (CAJ News) – THERE is concern about the situation in the northern Tigray region of Ethiopia degenerating into genocide.

Upcoming elections scheduled for the East African country have coincided with the divisions.

“On top of ethnic targeting and massacres within Tigray, there have been reports of government discrimination, demonization and hate speech directed at Tigrayans in other parts of Ethiopia,” some 12 non-governmental organisations said.

The NGOs jointly wrote to the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHCR) to intervene.

UN envoys have publicly called for urgent action to end the abuses in Tigray and alleviate the conflict’s devastating impact on the region’s civilian population.

The United States expressed worry as the situation escalates towards polls set for June 21.

“The hardening of regional and ethnic divisions in multiple parts of Ethiopia threaten the country’s unity and territorial integrity,” Ned Price, US Department of State spokesperson, said.

He said the period following these elections would be a critical moment for Ethiopians to come together to confront the divisions.

Tigray plunged into crisis last November after a fallout between the regional government and national administration.

Thousands of civilians are estimated to have been killed, while the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs believes at least 1,7 million people remain displaced.

Rape is widespread and famine imminent.

Preliminary analysis by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) indicates that all warring parties have committed abuses that may amount to war crimes and crimes against humanity.


Source: CAJ News Agency

IGAD To Collaborate Further With The Global Fund On COVID-19 Response And TB In Refugee Settings

(ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia): The Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) yesterday concluded the regional dialogue on the COVID-19 Response Mechanism application and the validation workshop of the continuation request on the multi country TB intervention among refugees in the region.

The four-day two meetings were on the priorities for the COVID 19 Response Mechanism application and the current TB grant Interventions that will be maintained in the continuation request to the Global Fund.

The participating organisations and entities were the Country Coordinating Mechanism Committees, officials from member states’ Ministries of Health, the COVID-19 Coordinating Authorities and the Refugee Commissions of Member states. They were joined by the Global Fund Grant sub recipients: the Administration for Refugee and Returnee Affairs of Ethiopia, the Kenya Red Cross Society and the UNHCR. In the consultations meeting, representatives of refugee communities did participate in.

The objectives of the dialogue were to:

  • Identify the priorities for the COVID-19 Response Mechanism application through broader engagement with stakeholders, Country Coordinating Mechanisms (CCMs) of member states and refugee communities;
  • Discuss and agree on TB interventions in the current grant by the Global Fund to be maintained in the continuation request;
  • Validate the continuation request through having regional consultations with the involvement of CCM, Sub recipients and key stakeholders;
  • Facilitate the process of endorsement of the proposal by each country CCMs.

By the end of the two meetings, the participants:

  • Agreed on the priorities for the COVID-19 Response Mechanism application;
  • Identified current grant interventions that will be maintained in the continuation request;
  • Validated the continuation request.


Source: IGAD

Ethiopians to Go to Polls in June 2021

Ethiopia is one of the few African countries which has a very long history of constitutional practice. However, its experience on holding a multiparty election is not that aged as its constitutional practice.

In 1995, Ethiopia was able to hold the first multiparty elections in its history after two decades of military dictatorship and civil war. Henceforth, Ethiopia held five general elections. Those elections featured mixed characteristics in terms of competitiveness, fairness, and their level of public participation. Few of them showcased unprecedented participation by opposition parties and independent candidates and an unmatched level of political debate in the country. However, most of the past elections in Ethiopia had been characterized by the dominance of the ruling party-EPRDF.

Following the 2015 general elections, which once again experienced the complete domination of federal and local powers by the ruling party, Ethiopia got into a political turmoil that created a huge threat to the constitutional order of the country. Many argue that the absence of a diversified representation of ideas in the parliament was among the causes of the violent protest that erupted across the country and finally led to change of government due to the resignation of the then Prime Minister of Ethiopia, H.E. Hailemariam Desalegn.

In April 2018, H.E. Dr. Abiy Ahmed Ali became the chairman of the ruling party and Prime Minister of the country. Since taking office, the Prime Minister initiated many reforms. In the political sphere, the reforms mainly aimed at widening the political space and build a solid institutional and legal foundation for enhancing the democratization process by amending the existing laws and regulations and introducing new ones. Furthermore, the government of Ethiopia has initiated profound reforms to establish a free and fair electoral system.

To this end, the National Electoral Board of Ethiopia (NEBE) has been reorganized in a manner that enables it to conduct a transparent system. The Board has revised the electoral law, paving the way for an election that is transparent, free, peaceful, democratic, and acceptable by the people. The Prime Minister has also appointed Ms. Birtukan Mideksa, a former political prisoner and exile, as Chairperson of the National Electoral Board of Ethiopia, a move that demonstrated the government’s commitment to create a participatory and inclusive system towards making the upcoming elections free, fair, and democratic.

Ethiopia was slated to hold the 6th national and local elections in August 2020, when the world was struck by the covid-19 pandemic. This has led to the postponement of the elections, as promulgated by the Ethiopian parliament, until the time enough resilience is created to fight the pandemic. Within months, as the public’s awareness about the means of transmission of the coronavirus as well as the capabilities created in the country to fight the pandemic increased, the Ethiopian parliament passed a decision to hold the election by strictly adhering to the rules and regulations outlined by the Ministry of Health.

After undertaking extensive discussion with various concerned bodies on the preliminary election schedule, the National Election Board of Ethiopia unveiled the timetable for the 6th general election. Accordingly, Ethiopia will hold a parliamentary election on June 5, and administrative elections for the cities of Addis Ababa and Dire Dawa on June12, 2021. Due to the current circumstances in the Tigray region, election has to be postponed to future schedule where an enabling environment will be created to do so.

Beginning from February to March 2021, 46 national and local political parties, and 125 independent candidates have been registered to participate in the election. These political parties have commenced their preparation; thus, most of them, including the incumbent, have unveiled their political manifesto, and kicked off election campaigns. Voters registration has also been finalized.

International and domestic civic society organizations that showed interest to play an observer role are registered and licensed by the NEBE. So far, 36 domestic Civil Society organizations and 134,109 observers have been licensed. The European Union is among the international actors that was invited to observe the upcoming election.

Even though the election atmosphere has been overshadowed by the surge in the spread of the pandemic, the public and competing political parties are demonstrating on determination to see the light at the end of the tunnel. As it will be the first general election to be held in the post-reform period, undoubtedly, the world’s eye would be on Ethiopia. The upcoming election would be an opportune moment to consolidate the reforms process in the country.

In his recent address to the regional Presidents of Ethiopia and the National Election Board leadership, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed has expressed government’s commitment to holding a free, fair, democratic, and peaceful election. “Elections are a demonstration of building a democratic culture in which differences are addressed through the ballot and not by the bullet. Through the voting process, citizens exercise agency and actively participate in the building of a democratic process.” He said. Citing that the upcoming elections are consequential in Ethiopia’s democratization process, he urged all stakeholders to do their utmost in delivering on a successful and peaceful election.

Ethiopia follows a parliamentary democratic system where the Prime Minster will be elected from the party that won the majority seat in its lower house- the house of people’s representatives which has five hundred fourty seven seats.

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Source: Embassy of Ethiopia in Brussels

National Curricula Review Validation Workshop Conducted

Haramaya University College of Natural and Computational Sciences Conducted National Curricula Review and Validation Workshop of PhD in Mathematics and BSc in Molecular Biology and Biotechnology (MBBT) respectively at the University’s Senate Hall on June 11,2021. Dr. Getachew Abebe, Dean of College of Natural and Computational Sciences of Haramaya University, expressed his appreciation and gratitude for the committee members who worked hard on the development of the curriculum through investing their precious time.

Dr. Getachew said that curriculum development is not an easy task and has to be well planned and be purposeful. “If we are working on it, we need to process at the back of our memory; whether our curriculum could help the students achieve the intended learning competence or not,” he added.

Dr Getached added that these curriculum needs to serve as the roadmap to ensure integrated, coherent learning experiences of the student. It contributes towards their personal, academic and professional learning and development of the learners. In short it is supposed to bring meaningful overall attitudinal change, according to Dr Getachew.

Prof. Mengistu Urge, Vice President for Academic Affairs, on his opening speech thanked and appreciated the concerns and contributions of the reviewers and said that since Haramaya University is one of the research universities which are striving to achieve the Ministor of Science and Higher Education (MoSHE) goals in planning and working towards fulfilling the criteria.

All the curricula in Haramaya University, specifically currently prepared by the College of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences, were also internally and externally revised. They were also approved by Higher Education Relevance and Quality Agency (HERQA).

The revised curriculums went through an internal institutional review and were evaluated externally by Higher Education Relevance and Quality Agency (HERQA).

Prof. Mengistu added that although the outcome hasn’t been known yet, Haramaya University was benchmarked by the Partnership for skills in Applied Sciences, Engineering and Technology (PASET) for being ranked in the system of sub-African Universities. “These assessments help us in identifying our gaps for our anticipated action regardless of the results we may get,” he added. This PhD curriculum in Mathematics is timely and it is according to the need and the plan of the University.

The workshop was attended by guests from internal and external reviewers, examiners as well as the academic community of HU. Constructive Comments and suggestions were forwarded from the reviewers and the participants.


Source: HARAMAYA University

6th National Elections will Be Nation’s first attempt at Free, Fair Elections: PM Abiy

A week from today, Ethiopians will cast their vote in the 6th National Elections, which will be the nation’s first attempt at free and fair elections, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed Said.

Premier wrote in his twitter “As we go to the polls to exercise democratic rights, let us to use the day to exercise civic duty and leave a generational print.”

He added “Go out and Vote next Monday. Go out and plant your Green Legacy too. Let’s make it a positively historic day together!”

Ethiopia will conduct 6th general national elections on June 21, 2021.

More than 36 million Ethiopian are expected to cast their ballot during the day.


Source: Ethiopia News Agency

Consultation Forum to Enhance Traditional Reconciliation Mechanisms Underway

A consultation forum organized by Ministry of Peace in partnership with the Ethiopian Reconciliation Commission to promote the critical role of traditional reconciliation mechanisms in conflict resolution kicked off today in Addis Ababa.

The three days consultation forum has brought together over 200 participants consisting of religious and traditional leaders, as well as Abba Gedas and the youth drawn from all over the country.

There are several indigenous knowledge in Ethiopia that have been in use to resolve conflicts and disputes among individuals and communities.

The consultation forum is expected to discuss in detail on the potential of traditional conflict prevention and reconciliation mechanisms in Ethiopia with a view to enhance peace and coexistence in the country.

Opening the forum, Ethiopian Reconciliation Commission Chairperson Cardinal Berhaneyesus said the forum will enable participants to share experiences of traditional conflict resolving mechanisms.

The participants are also expected to discuss on issues of enhancing and strengthening the existing traditional reconciliation mechanisms in various parts of the country, he added.

He pointed out that traditional reconciliation mechanisms are of paramount importance in finding lasting solutions to curb existing and newly arising conflicts in the country.

Advisor to the Minister of Peace, Minassie Fisseha on his part stressed the importance of the consultation forum in preserving and strengthening traditional values of conflict resolution mechanisms.

Traditional reconciliation mechanisms plays a big role in creating peace within the community, he noted adding that values of traditional reconciliation further creates confidence and solidarity among the people as well as enhances the smooth relation between the government and the people.


Source: Ethiopia News Agency

Ethiopia Launches EOI to Partially Privatize Ethio-Telecom

Ethiopia announced today the release of an Expression of Interest (EOI) to partially privatize Ethio-Telecom.
This was disclosed during a press conference organized by Ministry of Finance and Public Enterprises Holding and Administration Agency on the completion of a key milestone in partial privatization of the Etho-Telecom.

Deputy Director General System Design at Public Enterprises Holding and Administration Agency (PEHAA), Zinabu Yirga said following the announcement of the privatization process that started in 2018, the government is now ready to release an EOI for the sale of a 40 percent stake in the Ehio-Telecom.

This has been done in line with the appointment of Deloitte as a lead transaction advisor, who is now on the final stage of completing the preparatory work which includes business plan, financial, legal and tax due diligence and business valuation following the global best practice, it was indicated.

Zinabu stated that the issuance of the EIO will be allowed the international investors to express interest in acquiring a stake in Ethio-Telecom within one month starting from tomorrow June 15, 20121.

After the issuance of the EOI, the process will follow with a Request for Proposal (RFP) and the timeline for the release of the RFP will be communicated in due course with the aim of completing the transaction in an efficient and streamlined manner, it was stated.

Furthermore, Deputy Director General underlined that the government wants   state-owned enterprises to be effective, competitive and productive.  Senior Advisor of Ministry of Finance, Brook Taye said the Expression of Interest (EOI) is open to all investors and operators interested to engage in the sector.

“We are expected many investors and operators participate in this EOI,” he stated.


Source: Ethiopia News Agency