Ethiopia

The Honorable Paul Ryan Speaker of the House H-232 The Capitol Washington, D.C. 20515 Dear Speaker Ryan, We are writing to underscore the importance of House Resolution (H.Res.) 128 and the need to bring it to a vote as soon as possible. The resolution, which calls for respect for human rights and encourages inclusive governance in Ethiopia, has strong bipartisan support with 71 co-sponsors. It passed the Foreign Affairs Committee unanimously on July 27, 2017 and was scheduled for a vote on October 2nd. However, on Thursday, September 28, theRead More
Speaker of the Ethiopian parliament, Abadula Gemeda, who submitted his resignation last week has presided on Thursday over a regular session of the House of People’s Representatives. Gemeda’s announcement of resignation last week sparked speculations and debate whether the one-time defense minister and president of the Oromia region has real power to shake the Tigrayan dominated regime. Some analysts say his resignation was a sign that there is a crisis within the ruling EPRDF coalition whose memberethnic parties, at least the OPDO, would no more wish to continue under theRead More
Addis Ababa (AFP) The speaker of Ethiopia’s lower house of parliament, who resigned last week, said Saturday that he quit because of “disrespect” of his ethnic group. Abadula Gemeda, a member of the Oromos, the country’s largest ethnic group, announced last Sunday that he was stepping down after seven years as speaker of the House of People’s Representatives. He is one of the highest-ranking government officials to resign since the Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) coalition took power in 1991. A former army chief of staff, Abadula is alsoRead More
Ethiopia will devalue its currency to attract foreign investment and close the gap in foreign trade, President Mulatu Teshome said at the opening of the bicameral parliament on Monday. He said his government is faced with a serious shortage of hard currency and export trade has dwindled in last three years. Mulatu said major projects like the construction of railway and universities will not be carried out this budget year due to a serious shortage of finances. The president said more taxes will be levied on the big taxpayers toRead More
At the 72nd Session of the UN General Assembly, Hailemariam Desalegn, the Ethiopian Prime Minister, gave lip service to “multilateralism” and international principles. Hailemariam Desalegn said: “…Geo-political tensions reminiscent of the cold war are increasing; the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction is posing real threats to global peace and security; terrorism and violent extremism continues to wreak havoc across different parts of the world; global income inequality is no longer a development challenge but also a security threat; climate change is not a fiction but real and we areRead More
The speaker of Ethiopia’s lower house of parliament submitted his resignation on Sunday, one of the highest-ranking officials to do so since the ruling EPRDF coalition came to power in 1991. Abadula Gemeda did not disclose reasons behind his decision, but said he would disclose the factors once his move was approved by parliament. Analysts in the Horn of Africa country said Abadula, an ethnicOromo, may have decided to step down owing to disapproval of the government’s response to unrest that roiled Ethiopia’s Oromiya region in 2015 and 2016. TheRead More
Addis Ababa (AFP) Ethiopia will devalue its currency by 15 percent in a bid to boost demand for its major exports, a state-run media outlet reported Tuesday. Africa’s second most-populous country is also one of its best economic performers, with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) estimating in September that the economy had grown by 9 percent since 2016. Fana Broadcasting Corporate reported the devaluation of the birr currency will take effect on Wednesday and is intended to boost demand for the country’s flagging exports, including coffee, leather and gold. IncomeRead More
Adama (Ethiopia) (AFP) She was not one of them, but Saada Youssef had lived alongside the Somali people of eastern Ethiopia for years. Then came the day local officials told her to leave or die. “Even on the truck, people were throwing stones at us,” Saada said, recalling her escape in a vehicle sent to rescue people of Oromo ethnicity living in the Somali region where tit-for-tat ethnic violence killed hundreds last month. Saada found refuge in a collection of abandoned buildings in Adama, a city far from her homeRead More
Bishoftu (Ethiopia) (AFP) Ethiopia’s largest ethnic group on Sunday staged a peaceful anti-government protest at their biggest festival, where dozens were killed a year ago during a tear gas-induced stampede. Clad in traditional white, tens of thousands of Oromo people who gathered for the Irreecha festival, chanted “Down, down Woyane,” a derogatory term for the Ethiopian government. The Oromo are the single largest ethnic group in Ethiopia but critics say the government marginalises them. Last year’s festival was held after months of demonstrations by Oromo communities. Police opened fire withRead More
Bishoftu (Ethiopia) (AFP) An Ethiopian religious festival transformed on Sunday into a rare moment of open defiance to the government one year after a stampede started by police killed dozens at the gathering. The Irreecha festival is held annually by the Oromos, Ethiopia’s largest ethnic group, which in late 2015 began months of anti-government protests over claims of marginalisation and unfair land seizures. Parliament declared a nationwide state of emergency aimed at quelling the unrest shortly after the bloodshed at last October’s Irreecha, but the protests at this year’s gatheringRead More