IGAD SSP Conducted Capacity Building Workshop On Integrated Border Management

October 15, 2021 (BISHOTU, ETHIOPIA): The IGAD Security Sector Program (IGAD SSP) has successfully concluded a five-day national workshop on Integrated Border Management for the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia. The purpose of the workshop was to enhance the capacity of senior government officials in border security and management and promote inter-agency, intra-agency and regional as well as international coordination and cooperation to effectively prevent and interdict the entry or transit of suspected terrorists, foreign terrorist fighters and such other transnational criminals.

Participants included thirty-three senior officials represented by the National Intelligence and Security Services (NISS), Information Network Security Agency (INSA), Immigration, National and Vital Events Agency (INVEA), Federal Police, Customs Authority and Ethiopian Civil Aviation Authority.

The workshop was faciliated by local experts and partitioners, and in collaboration with United Nations Office of Counter Terrorism (UNOCT) – Border Security and Management (BSM) Unit, CT-Travel Section, and the UN Office of Information and Communications Technology (OICT). The following are some of topics covered during the event:

  • Concepts on border management and border security management (BSM) in African context
  • Transnational security threats and BSM in the context of the IGAD region
  • The role of border communities in BSM
  • Good Practices on the Use of Technologies to Prevent and Counter Terrorism at Borders: biometrics and terrorist watchlists
  • The responsible use of biometrics in national ID in the context of border security
  • One-Stop Border Post (OSBP) concept – the case of Ethiopia-Kenya experience
  • Overview of Passenger Data (API and PNR); Challenges to Implementation; Support provided by the CT Travel Programme
  • Overview of Passenger Data (API and PNR); Challenges to Implementation; Support provided by the CT Travel Programme

Opening and closing remarks were delivered by Commander Abebe Muluneh, Director of IGAD Security Sector Program. The director noted that “. . . border communities in the IGAD region may not differ much from one country to another with each other than with the nations to which they belong.” Hence, he urged IGAD Member States, including Ethiopia, to empower border communities as key actors towards effective border management and promote inter and intra-agency, as well as regional and international coordination and collaboration.

One of the objectives of the IGAD Security Sector Program is enhancing institutional and human capacities of Member States to effectively address emerging, evolving, and existing transnational security threats (EEE-TSTs) in order to contribute to regional peace and stability, and foster enabling environment for regional integration and development of the sub-region.

The training was conducted with the financial support of the Republic of Korea.


Source: IGAD

Addis Ababa University Community Service Extensively works on Watershed

Addis Ababa University (AAU) Office of the Vice President of Research and Technology Transfer, Community Service Directorate, visited the Watershed activity underway in collaboration with various institutions in Amhara National Regional State 15-17 Oct 2021.

A five-member study team sent by the University visited development projects which are ongoing in the Tana Basin in West Gojjam Zone, North Achefer Woreda, Kunzila and its environs run by Kunzila Integrated Land Management (KILM).

During the visit, the team not only witnessed the work being done in the basin but also consulted with the experts and beneficiaries to collect actual information about the activity accomplished by the KILM project.

Mr. Tekeba Tebabal, General Manager of KILM, Safe Water Supply and Sanitation Regional Bureau, along with his colleagues, gave a briefing on the work being done by AAU in collaboration with various organizations in the basin.

According to the General Manager, KILM is a five-year integrated development project implemented in collaboration with the regional government and the government of Kingdom of the Netherlands.

As stated by Mr. Tekeba, the overall objective and goal of the project is to enable the people of Kunzila and the surrounding area to grow in income, own healthy and quality life style in the next five years.

Integrated project work, increasing agricultural production and productivity, making safe drinking water accessible, cooperating with institutions in a scientific manner, capacity building, conducting scientific monitoring and evaluation, etc. are the main activities of the project, the Manager said.

The main function of integrated Watershed is to protect land degradation and water loss, increase agricultural production and productivity, and enable farmers to use technology resources wisely, Mr. Tekeba confirmed.

According to Mr. Tekeba, the project is benefiting more than 32,000 residents of 6 kebeles found in the 12 Watersheds of Kunzila and its environs.

Work is underway to rehabilitate depleted natural resources, protecting gully using cabin and wood terracing, practicing protected grazing land, digging boreholes, growing forage, digging soil bend and so on, as stated by Dr. Aseffa Derebe, Deputy Manager of KILM.

“In this way, efforts are made to ensure that any course of water entering the Lake Tana is clean and does not carry any soil in the near future,” Dr. Aseffa added.

Dr. Aseffa also stated that about 400 farmers are well trained to feed their animals beyond themselves applying scientific methods by growing fodder such as elephant grass, cowpea, pigeon pea, Rhodes grass, Spania and others.

The team found that the project has been successful in seven months in the areas of environmental protection, modern agriculture, health care, safe drinking water, fodder preparation, nursery site establishment, grazing land use, gravel roads construction connecting villages with main roads and so on.

The project has led the farmers to produce a wide range of vegetables and fruits on homestead so that they can grow and use vegetables that they have never grown before, such as beetroot, cabbage, carrot, avocado, banana, coffee and others.

According to the feedback from the beneficiary farmers, they are happy with all that KILM is doing in their area. They wish that the project activity and its duration of stay in the area be extended to ten years.


Source: Addis Ababa University

ECSU Registrar and Alumni Directorate Gives Orientation

Ethiopian Civil Service University (ECSU) Registrar and Alumni Directorate organized orientation program to new students who joined the university in 2021/22 academic year on October 15, 2021 at Abay Hall.

On the program Dr. Lemma Gudissa, ECSU academic vice president, welcomed the students and briefed the immense contribution of ECSU to the overall human capital development of the country through specialized education programs and trainings. He also expressed the university’s firm commitment for quality education since its establishment, and this continues and strives to become a competitive university nationwide and  being accountable to Ministry of Education following  the new structural arrangement of the government. He also wished successful learning time in their stay at ECSU and advised them to  follow strictly the rules and regulation of the university, and become fully cognizant of the academic policies and regulations by reading the university’s senate legislation and other rules and regulations of colleges.

Dr. Abdu Mohammed, Director for ECSU Registrar and Alumni Directorate, on his part welcomed the incoming students and expressed his office readiness to meet their needs and provide the necessary assistance to them. He also urged the students to follow strictly the rules and regulations of the university and work hard for better academic performances.

College deans and directors of different directorates have also briefed the rules and regulations of their respective colleges and directorates and wished them a successful academic year.


Source: Ethiopian Civil Service University

New Airstrikes Target Capital of Ethiopia’s Tigray Region

Ethiopian forces have carried out another airstrike on the capital city of the northern Tigray region Wednesday, two days after an airstrike killed three children there.

United Nations spokesman Farhan Haq told reporters Tuesday that one other person was killed in the airstrike on the outskirts of Mekelle. Haq said nine people were reportedly injured in a second airstrike in Mekelle later that day that also damaged a number of houses and a nearby hotel.

The spokesman said the U.N.’s colleagues “are alarmed at the intensification of the conflict and once again remind all parties to the conflict of their obligations under international humanitarian law to protect civilians and civilian infrastructure.”

The Ethiopian government initially denied launching Monday’s attacks, but the state-run Ethiopian Press Agency later acknowledged the airstrikes and said they targeted communications infrastructure.

“Action [was taken] against media and equipment used by the TPLF [Tigray People’s Liberation Front] terrorists in Mekelle,” the press statement said. The TPLF is a former member of the coalition that ruled Ethiopia for more than 30 years. In May, Ethiopia designated the group a terrorist organization.

Getachew Reda, a TPLF spokesperson, accused Ethiopia’s prime minister, Abiy Ahmed, of being unwilling to end the conflict. “He has never been for peace, only the appropriate use of sticks can prod him into considering such a path. The #AirStrikeonCivilians in #Mekelle is proof positive that he will do everything to terrorize our people, especially when his forces are losing on the battlefield,” he said in a Twitter post Tuesday. “If people had illusions he could keep his promise to resolve the conflict peacefully, yesterday’s attack should make it clear that only sticks are effective.”

The Ethiopian federal government has been engaged in an armed conflict with fighters from the northern Tigray region for nearly a year.

Mekelle has not seen large-scale fighting since June, when Ethiopian forces withdrew from the area and Tigray forces retook control of most of the region. Following that, the conflict continued to spill into the neighboring regions of Amhara and Afar.

Last week, Tigray forces said the Ethiopian military had launched a ground offensive to push them out of Amhara.


Source: Voice of America

State Department Recap: October 13-20


Here’s a look at what U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken and other top diplomats have been doing this week:

US-South America

Promoting democracy and managing migration are the focus of Blinken’s first trip to Ecuador and Colombia from October 19 to 21 as top U.S. diplomat. During a speech Wednesday in Quito, Blinken outlined challenges facing democracies in the Western Hemisphere but said he was optimistic they could be overcome.

Venezuela also looms large as the U.S. calls for political talks to resume between the Venezuelan government and the country’s opposition. U.S. officials this week discussed ways to tackle irregular migration, as Colombia hosts nearly 2 million Venezuelan migrants, and Ecuador also hosts a large number of migrants from Venezuela.

China also came up during Blinken’s South American trip. Ecuadorian officials described Beijing as “a commercial partner,” with Ecuadorian President Guillermo Lasso saying he wanted to secure a trade deal with China. Blinken told his Ecuadorian counterpart the U.S. was not asking countries to choose between Washington and Beijing, but he warned of risks of doing business with Chinese companies, saying “there really is no division between purportedly private enterprises and the state.”

US ‘One China’ Policy

Nicholas Burns, President Joe Biden’s nominee to be the next U.S. ambassador to China, took a tough line on dealings with China during his Senate confirmation hearing Wednesday. Burns said the U.S. was right to continue its “one-China policy” but that Washington was also right to oppose China’s unilateral actions that undermine the status quo and undermine the stability of the region. Noticeably, Burns used the wordings of Washington’s so-called one-China “policy,” which is different from Beijing’s one-China “principle.” The U.S. has “acknowledged” but has never endorsed the Chinese Communist Party’s claim of sovereignty over Taiwan.


Colin Powell’s legacy

Colin Powell, the first Black U.S. secretary of state and a top military officer, died Monday at age 84 from complications due to COVID-19 while battling multiple myeloma.

He is being remembered by America’s foreign service work force, who say Powell was devoted to ensuring the State Department was properly resourced, consulted and respected.

Powell, who shaped lasting U.S. policies toward Africa, also is being remembered on the continent for peacemaking, supporting the fight against AIDS and sounding the alarm against war abuses.


Haitian protesters took to the streets this week to demand the release of 17 missionaries — 16 Americans and 1 Canadian — kidnapped on October 16 by the 400 Mawozo gang. An interagency team dispatched by the U.S. government is working closely with Haitian authorities to try to recover the missionaries. The State Department has raised its travel advisory for Haiti to Level 4: Do Not Travel.

Top US envoy to afghanistan steps down

The U.S. special envoy to Afghanistan, Zalmay Khalilzad, stepped down from his post this week, less than two months after the chaotic U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan. Blinken announced Khalilzad’s departure in a statement Monday, saying the envoy would be replaced by his deputy, Thomas West. Talk of Khalilzad’s resignation had emerged since August after the Afghan Security Forces collapsed and the Taliban rapidly took control over the war-torn country.

Tigray violence

The U.S. remains gravely concerned by escalating violence in Tigray.

Forces in Ethiopia’s Tigray region said Monday that the Ethiopian government had launched airstrikes on the regional capital, Mekelle. The United States also was looking into the reported attack, with State Department spokesperson Ned Price saying the U.S. remained “gravely concerned by what has been escalating violence in Tigray for some time.”

China missile test

Top U.S. officials said Washington was paying close attention to China’s efforts to build up its military arsenal, amid reports Beijing took a major step forward two months ago by testing a hypersonic missile. Monday, the State Department said the U.S. was “deeply concerned” about the rapid expansion of China’s nuclear capabilities, which is deviating from Beijing’s decades-long nuclear strategy based on minimum deterrence.

Iran nuclear deal

Efforts to get Tehran to return to the terms of the Iran nuclear deal are in danger of falling short, forcing the United States and its allies to consider nondiplomatic options to contain the threat, according to top U.S. officials.

Jerusalem consulate

The United States will move ahead with its plan to reopen the U.S. consulate in Jerusalem as Washington restores ties with the Palestinians and commits to a two-state solution. “As I said in May, we’ll be moving forward with the process of opening a consulate as part of deepening those ties with the Palestinians,” Blinken said during a Wednesday press conference. But he stopped short of providing a timeline.


Source: Voice of America

Eritrean Refugees Express Concern about Safety of Families Detained by TPLF

Eritrean refugees sheltered in North Gonder Zone of Amhara region expressed concern about the safety of their family members and fellows who are detained by the terrorist TPLF militants in Tigray.

The refugees expressed the concern during their discussion with officials of the Ethiopian Refugees and Returnees Affairs (ARRA) and UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) on Tuesday.

ARRA Director General Tesfahun Gobezay, UNHCR Assistant High Commissioner – Operations, Raouf Mazou, UNHCR Acting Regional Representative, Charles Mballa and UNHCR Ethiopia Country Rep.  Mamadou Dian Balde had visited refugees and IDPs in Dabat and Dabark, in North Gondar.

The delegates warmly welcomed by the Northern Gondar Zonal Administrator Yalelem Fantahun and his team in Dabark and briefed on the overall situation of refugees and IDPs.

During the meeting the Zonal Administrator underlined that most of the IDPs are sheltered in schools and are facing challenges as school opening time is approaching.

Therefore those IDPs are in need of shelter and it is their top priority right now, he added.

Then the team visited one of the IDP’s centers called Millennium. Some of the representatives of the IDPs reflected to the guests that they left behind all their livestock’s and their farm lands so as to save their lives.

The next destination for the delegates was the newly established refugee camp, Alem-Wach where they had been briefed by ARRA and partners representatives about the overall development of the camp.

The team had time to visit the refugees, who are at Dabat town in one of the public infrastructure called Menfesawi, according to statement obtained from ARRA.

There were also discussions with some of the refugees’ representatives in which they repeatedly voiced their concerns about their family and fellows, who are under detainees of the TPLF militants.

They urge UNHCR to take care of them, as it is only UNHCR that is present in the operation in areas where Eritrean refugees are detained by TPLF.

It was reported that the terrorist TPLF has been attacking refugee camps located in Tigray, abducting refugees and looting camp properties.

It is to be recalled that Eritrean refugees in Addis Ababa demanded the pertinent member of the international community to take urgent action to protect refugees in Tigray from TPLF’s attack in a rally weeks held weeks ago.


Source: Ethiopia News Agency

Lethal Journalism of The Telegraph Exposed In October 18 Article By Will Brown

Lethal journalism of the Telegraph blatantly misquoted Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed of Ethiopia to bolster a preordained narrative in which Ethiopia must be vilified, Ethiopia Current Issues Fact Check said.

In its latest article titled “Ethiopian PM threatens to stop food aid entering the country,” author Will Brown blatantly misquoted Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed of Ethiopia to bolster a preordained narrative in which Ethiopia must be vilified.

At the same time, insurgents of the TPLF are spared criticism, if not outright praised.

According to the Telegraph, the Prime Minister stated, “If we make sure that this thing called wheat [food aid] does not enter Ethiopia, 70 percent of Ethiopia’s problems will be solved”.

This translated quotation from Amharic is, of course, a gross manipulation of the Prime Minister’s words, which were initially delivered in Amharic.

In actuality, the Prime Minister stated his desire to see “Ethiopia become food self-sufficient and less dependent on food aid coming from abroad,” a noble goal widely shared among the Ethiopian public.

Perhaps the Telegraph would like to reassess its assumptions of what the Prime Minister said or did not say.

If translating Amharic into English is particularly challenging, they should seek help before becoming a disservice to their readers, who deserve to know that facts.

What the Telegraph has done in this article goes beyond taking things out of context or misinterpreting the Prime Minister’s words.

This is an unscrupulous disregard for what was said and a complete twisting of the facts for agenda-based reporting.

For the sake of journalism and factual reporting, the Telegraph should reevaluate this report for its merit and ask if it meets journalistic standards, Ethiopia Current Issues Fact Check urged.


Source: Ethiopia News Agency