Inclusive Cabinet Brings New Hope for Ethiopia: Religious Fathers

The inclusion of members of competing political parties in the cabinet formed this week by the new government bodes well for Ethiopia as leaders of the competing political parties will be able to contribute their share to the overall development of the country, clerics noted.

Inter-Religious Council of Ethiopia General-Secretary, Reverend Tagay Tadele told ENA that the inclusion of competing political parties in government is new to the country and would bring bright hope for Ethiopia.

The appointment of members of competing political parties in various positions at federal and regional levels encourages political parties to work in cooperation with the ruling party for the development of the nation, he noted.

The new approach would promote democratic culture in the country, Reverend Tagay said, adding that it also confirms the fulfillment of the promise made by Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed.

He further pointed out that the ruling party which won the election laid a new foundation for collaboration in the best interest of the country by leaving aside political and ideological differences.

The ruling party should first be appreciated for its willingness to share power willingly and the competing political parties for accepting the call of the government to work together for the common good of the people and the country, the reverend elaborated.

According to Reverend Tagay, the collaboration of political parties will promote internal unity and lift Ethiopia to a higher level. Intervention of foreign powers in the internal affairs of the country will also be thwarted.

The well-known Ethiopian Islamic cleric, Ustaz Abubeker Ahmed said on his part the inclusive cabinet gives opportunity for competing political parties to serve their country.

It enables the parties to contribute their share to democracy building, development, peace and stability as well as unity and integrity of Ethiopia, he added.

Ustaz Abubeker pointed out that it further opens a new chapter in the political culture of Ethiopia since it brings together ruling and competing political parties together to work for the common goal of nation building under one cabinet and government structure.

 

Source: Ethiopia News Agency

Move to Include Contending Political Parties in Gov’t Positions Exemplary for Africa: A Scholar

The commitment of the government of Ethiopia to work with contending political parties by including them in the newly formed cabinet is an example of a democratic practice for other African countries.
It is to be recalled that ruling Prosperity Party registered landslide victory in the Ethiopian general elections held on June 21, 2021.

Accordingly, Ethiopia has officially formed a new government this week based on the election results.

Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed included three competing political party leaders in the new cabinet of the federal government of Ethiopia.

Regional governments have also taken similar move in their respective cabinets.

During the announcement of his cabinet, the Premier said the objective of this move is to demonstrate the possibility of working together for national goal with a view to ensuring the best interest of the country despite political differences.

Political Science Lecturer at Hawasa University Nigusu Belay told ENA today that the way that the new government has been formed is a new trend not only in Ethiopia but also most countries in Africa.

Therefore, “such unique political culture in Ethiopia must be admired by other African countries too”, he added.

According to Nigusu, creating conducive environment to help contending major political parties work with the government brings new horizon not only for Ethiopian politics but also for Africa.

The scholar stated that “We as an African nation are not familiar in working with our contenders; we largely consider others as threats to one to another. But, the situation that happened on Wednesday at the Ethiopian Parliament was an amazing event that changed the narration about African politics”, he said.

He further indicated that other countries in Africa should learn from Ethiopia as working together for a national interest is very crucial to ensure democracy and tolerance which are prerequisites to building sustainable peace and development.

The decision made by the government of Ethiopia in this regard demonstrates to the rest of the world that Africans can exercise democracy without any interference, the scholar underscored.

“We showed the world that we can work together as one even if we have different political views. The world witnessed that African can exercise diversity of political views in a peaceful and democratic way’, he said.

Indicating that political stand is different from serving a nation with knowledge and skill he said that all political parties at the government positions should collaborate for successful democratic culture in the country.

 

Source: Ethiopia News Agency

Experts Call for Revival of Nile Basin Initiative

Ethiopian water experts have called on Nile Basin countries to revitalize their participation in the Nile Basin Initiative and strive for mutual benefits from the Nile River.

The Nile Basin Initiative (NBI) is an intergovernmental partnership of 10 Nile Basin countries, namely Burundi, DR Congo, Egypt, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, South Sudan, Sudan, Tanzania and Uganda, with the objective ‘to achieve sustainable socio-economic development through the equitable utilization of, and benefit from, the common Nile Basin water resources.’

The water experts, who called for renewed participation of the seven countries in the Nile Basin Initiative (NBI), said the divergence to tripartite negotiations on the Blue Nile between Ethiopia, Sudan and Egypt has partly limited the progress made by many of the NBI countries to participate in the initiative.

They urged South Sudan, Uganda, Kenya, Sudan, Burundi, Rwanda, Tanzania and DR Congo to renew their commitments and take actions that help to effectively implement the initiative.

Hawassa University Water Supply and Environmental Engineering lecturer, Mihret Dananto said the seven countries have to revitalize their participation in the initiative and revive the waning NBI.

According to him, the countries need to transform the initiative into a council to scale up its executive mandates and get international recognition instead of relying on mere initiations.

The platform in that way could encourage inclusive discussion on mutual obstacles and administer the transboundary river effectively.

Mihret pointed out that the initiative’s capacity to implement its objective is not effective and all the countries in the NBI should participate and collaborate in administering River Nile.

Ethiopia should not fight alone, the water expert noted, adding that agreements reached with Egypt and Sudan could also directly impact the rest of the countries in the Nile Basin Initiative.

“Silence of the seven countries is not helpful to Ethiopia in particular while the country is in fact fighting for their interests,” the expert pointed out, adding that “so the countries have to actively engage and defend their respective interests.”

Hawasa University Irrigation and Water Resources Engineering Department member, Moltot Zewdie said working in collaboration within the Nile Basin Initiative would benefit all the countries in the basin.

The failure of progress in the Nile Basin Initiative has diminished cooperation and funding, he noted, adding that departure to the tripartite negotiations might have hampered the progress of the participation of the countries in the initiative.

The expert commended Ethiopia’s readiness to cooperate with the NBI member countries to develop and use the water resource.

However, Moltot noted that developing the basin requires huge cost and needs support of the lower riparian countries for mutual and sustainable benefits.

 

Source: Ethiopia News Agency

Emir of Qatar, Other Senior Officials Congratulate Abiy on His Election

Emir of Qatar Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani and other Qatari high level government officials have sent a congratulatory message to Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed on his re-election.

In addition to the Emir, Deputy Emir Sheikh Abdulah Bin Hamid Al Thani and the Prime Minister and Minister of Internal Affairs of Qatar Sheikh Khalid Bin Khalif Bin Abdulaziz Al Thani have also congratulated PM Abiy.

Qatari leaders wished Abiy to successfully register development and prosperity to the people of Ethiopia in his term as Prime Minister.

It is to be recalled that Abiy sworn in last Monday as the Prime Minister of Ethiopia.

 

Source: Ethiopia News Agency

Return of Ethiopian Migrants from The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (5 May 2017 – 30 September 2021)

In April 2017, the Government of Saudi Arabia launched a campaign titled ‘A Nation without Violations’, granting all irregular migrants an amnesty period of 90 days to leave the country without facing penalties.
After multiple extensions, the amnesty period ended in November 2017. Since then, many Ethiopians have been arrested, detained and sent back to Ethiopia on chartered flights. Returnees arrive at Bole International Airport in Addis Ababa, where they are registered by IOM staff before continuing on to their destination. IOM also provides travel support to the most vulnerable migrants. IOM teams have registered a total of 423,398 returnees since April 2017, although the organization estimates that returns to Ethiopia following the decree are likely to be even higher. Since May 2017, IOM has electronically registered 416,6561 returnees whose profiles are presented in this factsheet. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, returns were temporarily halted on 22 March, and resumed on 3-13 April, 2-8 June and since September 2020.

 

Source: International Organization for Migration

UNFPA handed over medical supplies and commodities worth nearly 1 million USD to assist the newly displaced in Amhara and Afar regions

Kombolcha – Amhara Region, Ethiopia – “UNFPA is here today to make sure we provide the support needed for the 700,000 displaced people in Amhara region and that the health facilities – which are already overstretched – have the capacity to deliver life-saving services” said Ms. Dennia Gayle, UNFPA Representative, during the official handover ceremony of medical supplies on September 22 in Kombolcha, Amhara Region to address the recent humanitarian crisis in the region. Emergency reproductive health kits and dignity kits were handed over at the ceremony in the presence of H.E. Dr. Dereje Duguma, State Minister of Health and officials of the Amhara Region Health Bureau.

UNFPA delivered 20,000 Dignity Kits and 145 emergency reproductive health kits to serve more than 200,000 internally displaced people in 22 health facilities. Meanwhile, emergency reproductive health kits and dignity kits were also handed over to the Afar Region to respond to the recent humanitarian crisis in the region bringing the total worth of the medical and hygiene supplies donated by UNFPA to the Amhara and Afar regions to nearly 1 million USD.

Nearly 900,000 people have been newly displaced as a result of the conflict in Tigray which has spiraled into bordering areas of the Amhara and Afar regions since July, 2021. Climate-related shocks and intercommunal conflicts are also impacting more than 5 million people across Amhara and Afar regions.

Mentioning that essential health care services have been disrupted as a result of the conflict, H.E. Dr. Dereje Duguma, State Minister of Health of Ethiopia expressed during the ceremony his appreciation for the support and leadership of UNFPA to provide “life-saving supplies to serve our mothers and sisters at the right time and when it is most needed”.

Ms. Dennia Gayle reassured that “UNFPA is particularly concerned for the thousands of displaced women and adolescent girls who remain in urgent need of essential and life-saving health, protection and support services. We will do everything at our hand to deliver the urgently needed support and to ensure no one is left behind in both Afar and Amhara regions”.

Since the onset of the conflict in northern Ethiopia, UNFPA has been closely working with government implementing partners and other humanitarian actors to address the humanitarian needs of IDPs and host communities with gender-based violence prevention and response, sexual and reproductive health and psychosocial support interventions.

In Amhara region alone, UNFPA life-saving sexual and reproductive health supplies and dignity kits have reached nearly 400,000 conflict-affected people and 28 health facilities with a budget amounting 559,000 USD. In Afar region, UNFPA provided sexual and reproductive health kits for 16 health facilities reaching out to more than 283,000 people, 20,000 Dignity Kits and one ambulance with the financial support of the Government of Denmark, the Ethiopian Humanitarian Fund (EHF) and the CERF Anticipatory Action Framework project.

 

 

Source: United Nations Population Fund

DR Congo: Lack of sufficient funding means tough choices for humanitarians

Conflict in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and a lack of funding, are leaving humanitarians with a stark choice over who to assist, the  UN Humanitarian Coordinator in the country warned on Friday. 

The conflict in the DRC is on “such a massive scale”, that the country has the highest number of internally displaced in Africa, a large refugee population of 500,000, and is experiencing multiple crises, including in education, funding and healthcare, said David McLachlan-Karr, UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator for DRC.

He added that this had led to “repeated epidemics of cholera, measles and malaria — indicative of weak health system”. Reporting on the humanitarian situation in DRC, the top UN official said it was time to put the country back on the “global map of need”.

26 million food insecure

DRC is suffering a “food insecurity crisis with 26.7 million Congolese food insecure, he pointed out.

Peoples’ “day to day” lives are “precarious, with inadequate nutritional intake,” leaving them in a “weakened condition and prone to disease” he said. 

According to the Humanitarian Coordinator, there is a “protracted protection crisis,” with “inter-ethnic conflict over natural resources in both North and South Kivu and in other eastern provinces” which “require urgent humanitarian assistance; healthcare, food, shelter water sanitation, education for populations they are unable to access”.

The funding situation is also “very concerning,” Mr. McLachlan-Karr added. “We are over a quarter funded and it’s a year we’ve really suffered a decrease in funding, leaving us with a stark choice – who to prioritize?”

‘No repeat’ of abuse – pledge

Noting the recent report on sexual abuse and exploitation allegedly carried out by World Health Organization (WHO) staff during the UN health agency’s response to an Ebola outbreak in 2020, Mr. McLachlan-Karr said the UN Country Team’s work around gender violence sexual exploitation and abuse, “points to major problems and a need for the community to step up and to scale up our prevention capacities and support to survivors in this unacceptable situation”.

He reiterated WHO’s pledge that “every case and allegation will be investigated, and justice will be served”.

There will be “no repetition of what happened in the tenth Ebola crisis. We work to the highest ethical standards and will stamp out this abuse,” he added.

‘Funding on the decline’

According to Mr. McLachlan-Karr, 9.6 million people are in need in the country, but due to COVID-19 and other crises like the situation in Ethiopia’s Tigray region, there is a need to “draw global attention to problems in DRC which are on the scale of Yemen and Syria”.

Warning that civilians are being increased “directly targeted” with “gender-based violence he called for additional funding, to fight the scourge.

“Funding trends are on the decline,” he added. “We’ve been funding closer to 50 per cent mark in the past 35 past years.

“Often donors make decisions in the last quarter of the year, so we could see an increase in our funding beyond 27 per cent,”, however, he warned, “we need funding for 12 months of the year to plan our programme”.

Emphasizing the difficulties of “working on a shoestring when you get funding at the end of the year” he noted that they have still assisted over 3.2 million people, 4 million with food assistance; 1.7 million with water and sanitation assistance and, 1.2 million with emergency cash transfers to access land to guarantee food security.

 

Source: United Nations