Ethiopia

Ambo (Ethiopia) (AFP) Ethiopia’s new Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed paid a visit to a hotbed of anti-government protests Wednesday, asking residents for patience as he works to bring change to the country. Abiy is the first prime minister in modern Ethiopian history to come from the country’s largest ethnicity the Oromo, which took to the streets in late 2015 protesting the country’s one-party government. Those protests continued for months, leading to hundreds of deaths and tens of thousands of arrests in an unprecedented challenge to the 27-year rule of theRead More
Addis Ababa (AFP) They’ve been harassed, arrested and prosecuted, but Ethiopia’s dissidents say they feel quietly hopeful after Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed extended an olive branch to them in his inaugural speech. Referring to opposition politicians as “brothers,” and apologising to people hurt in recent anti-government protests, Abiy struck an unexpected conciliatory tone after he was sworn in to office on Monday. “I’m very cautiously optimistic,” said Merera Gudina, chairman of the opposition Oromo Federalist Congress, who was freed from prison in January after spending more than a year behindRead More
Addis Ababa (AFP) Ethiopia’s new prime minister, Abiy Ahmed, apologised to people harmed in recent political unrest and reached out both to the political opposition and longtime rival Eritrea at his swearing-in on Monday. Abiy is the first ethnic Oromo to be selected by the ruling Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) as prime minister in its 27 years of rule. In a parliamentary session, Abiy formally replaced Hailemariam Desalegn, whose surprise resignation in February came after more than two years of anti-government protests led by the Oromo. “Ethiopians livingRead More
Addis Ababa (AFP) Ethiopia’s new prime minister, Abiy Ahmed, apologised to people harmed in recent political unrest and reached out both to the political opposition and longtime rival Eritrea at his swearing-in on Monday. Abiy is the first ethnic Oromo to be selected by the ruling Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) as prime minister in its 27 years of rule. In a parliamentary session, Abiy formally replaced Hailemariam Desalegn, whose surprise resignation in February came after more than two years of anti-government protests led by the Oromo. “Ethiopians livingRead More
Addis Ababa (AFP) More than 1,100 people have been arrested in Ethiopia since the nation declared a state of emergency following the prime minister’s resignation last month, state media reported Saturday. Hailemariam Desalegn’s surprise resignation came after more than two years of anti-government protests and increasing divisions in the ruling party. The Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) has for the first time picked an ethnic Oromo, Abiy Ahmed, to be its new leader. He is set to be sworn in as prime minister early next week. The state-affiliated FanaRead More
Addis Ababa (AFP) For the first time, Ethiopia has picked a leader from the Oromo ethnic group that drove years of anti-government protests, and analysts say Abiy Ahmed faces a tricky task of reconciliation and reform. The 42-year-old former minister of science and technology will take the reigns of one Africa’s fastest growing economies after more than two years of protests and political turmoil that led to Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn’s shock resignation last month. But analysts say Abiy cannot stabilise Ethiopia unless he convinces the country’s long-serving ruling coalitionRead More
Addis Ababa (AFP) Africa’s leaders will gather in Rwanda Wednesday to launch what they say will be the world’s largest free trade area but Nigeria has already pulled out, highlighting the challenge in getting the continent to sign up. Establishing the African Continental Free Trade Area (CFTA) with 55 African Union (AU) members having a cumulative GDP of $2.5 trillion is one of the bloc’s flagship projects. However Muhammadu Buhari, president of one of Africa’s largest markets Nigeria, this week cancelled plans to attend the Kigali launch and called forRead More
Addis Ababa (AFP) More than six years in jail have not blunted Ethiopian journalist Eskinder Nega’s criticism of the government that put him there. He was released in February, as part of a broad prisoner amnesty, and remains just as defiant, just as determined as when he was locked up for writing critical articles. “I am prepared to go back to prison,” Eskinder, 47, said in an interview in the Ethiopian capital this week. “What I am not prepared to do is give up.” “We will continue to press andRead More
Addis Ababa (AFP) Washington’s top diplomat began his first Africa tour Thursday by meeting with the African Union chief, who said the continent had moved on from a reported insult by President Donald Trump. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and AU commission chairman Moussa Faki Mahamat discussed security and counter-terrorism, trade and development, corruption and conflict in an hour-long meeting at the continental body’s headquarters in the Ethiopian capital. However looming over the meeting was Trump’s alleged description of Africa as a “shithole” in January, which forced the president toRead More
Addis Ababa (AFP) Washington’s top diplomat began his first Africa tour Thursday by meeting with the African Union chief, who said the continent had moved on from a reported insult by President Donald Trump. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and AU commission chairman Moussa Faki Mahamat discussed security and counter-terrorism, trade and development, corruption and conflict in an hour-long meeting at the continental body’s headquarters in the Ethiopian capital. But looming over the meeting was Trump’s alleged description of African nations as “shithole countries” in January, which forced the presidentRead More