Eastern Sudanese delegation refused entry into Eritrea for conference

Source: Dabanga
August 5 – 2022 KASSALA

The large eastern Sudanese delegation on its way back from the Eritrean border (SUNA)

The large eastern Sudanese delegation on its way back from the Eritrean border (SUNA)

At the Laffa border crossing in Kassala yesterday, the Sudanese authorities prevented a high-profile delegation from eastern Sudan from entering Eritrea to participate in a forum on eastern Sudanese issues.

The delegation included more than one hundred people representing native administration leaders from various eastern Sudanese tribes.

They were invited by the Eritrean government as part of its initiative to resolve the recurring disputes among the eastern Sudanese communities. They would participate in a forum sponsored by Eritrean President Isaias Afwerki.

A source told Radio Dabanga that the authorities at the crossing detained the delegation for hours before allowing it to briefly cross the border to greet the Eritrean delegation that came to receive them.

The members of the delegation did not have an entry visa for Eritrea. Border officials claimed that they did not receive permission from Khartoum to allow the eastern Sudan delegation to pass the border without entry visas.

The delegation included prominent native administration leaders, most notably Nazir* Sayed El Amin Tirik, head of the Hadendowa Beja clan and chairman of the High Council of Beja Nazirs and Independent Chieftains, and El Ameen Dawoud, head of the Popular Front for Liberation and Justice and a representative of the Nazir of the Beni Amer clan.

Beja disputes

The Beja are a group of nomadic tribes, occupying mountain country between the Red Sea and the Nile River. Their territory stretches from south-eastern Egypt through Sudan into Eritrea. Their relationship with the Sudanese authorities is characterised by disputes and protests and they have consistently fought for more rights to self-determination in the region.

Earlier this week, the High Council of Beja Nazirs and Independent Chieftains withdrew the Eastern Sudan track from the government’s Supreme Committee for Addressing the Situation in Eastern Sudan, headed by Mohamed ‘Hemeti’ Dagalo who is the Deputy-Chair of Sudan’s Sovereignty Council and Commander of the Rapid Support Forces and was involved in the October 25 military coup.

The Beja Nazirs called on all eastern Sudanese “to return to the founding platform and to stay away from government officers and donations that belittle the issue of the Beja people”.

* A nazir is a state-appointed administrative chief of a tribe, according to the native administration system in Sudan

AFRICAETHIOPIAHORN OF AFRICA

 

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 http://et.usembassy.gov

U.S and EU Joint Press Statement

Mekelle, Ethiopia, August 2, 2022– The respective European Union (EU) and U.S. Special Envoys for the Horn of Africa, H.E. Annette Weber and H.E. Mike Hammer traveled on their first joint mission to Mekelle, Tigray, to encourage the launch of talks between the Federal Government of Ethiopia (FGoE) and the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) under the African Union’s auspices.

Political dialogue is necessary to resolve the conflict in northern Ethiopia and achieve a durable peace. The Envoys welcomed the public commitment by both parties to engage in talks and expressed their readiness to support African-led mediation.

The Envoys agree that a swift restoration of electricity, telecom, banking, and other basic services in Tigray is essential for the people of Tigray, as recognized in earlier discussions with the Ethiopian Government. Tigray Regional President Debretsion provided the international community a letter to be passed to the Government of Ethiopia providing security guarantees for those who need to work to restore services. With this security assurance, there should be no obstacle for the restoration of services to begin.

Equally, unfettered humanitarian access to Tigray and the Afar and Amhara neighboring regions affected by the conflict is imperative, accompanied by the lifting of restrictions on cash, fuel, and fertilizers. Improved civilian-military coordination will help ensure effective and transparent aid distribution. Furthermore, the EU and U.S. are committed to providing assistance to all communities in need in Ethiopia, including those affected by drought and food insecurity.

Accountability is a key foundation for reconciliation. In this vein, the Envoys urged cooperation with, and access to the conflict areas for, the International Commission of Human Rights Experts on Ethiopia (ICHREE) to enable them to conduct a credible investigation.

The Envoys furthermore appealed to all sides of the conflict to refrain from hate speech and provocative rhetoric.

###

SENSITIVE BUT UNCLASSIFIED

 

 

Eritrea Hub

Jul 27

Venue Contract Terminated!

By Amanuel Ghebremicael

The planned Scandinavian Festival of Eritreans, to be held at Jarva People's Park in Eggeby gård just North of Stockholm, faced fierce opposition from the get go.

The organisers planned to bring a well known genocide promoter, by the name Awel Seid, all the way from Eritrea. Shockingly, and as expected a "surprise" guest by the name Yemane Ghebreab was also invited to the event.

Eritrean opposition groups were not comfortable with the idea that a public space was to be leased to a regime that is known around the World for its gross human rights violations.

It made no sense that the Eritrean regime - that has no concern at all for the public - should be allowed to use a public facility.

After all, this is the same regime that has held Dawit Isaak, a Swedish Eritrean Journalist, in dungeons for more than 20 years.

Opposition groups, spearheaded by the Bright Future Movement objected to the lease in writing to the management of the park.

Action Needed

The regime's actions call for a reciprocal response or action elsewhere. Åsa Nilsson Söderström, a local politician and a mayoral contender in Stockholm, was made aware of the situation.

She wrote a strong letter opposing the use of a public space for the event. "Let's Cancel this Year! We will hold a festival for Democracy next Year" she wrote.

Bright Future Movement in Sweden has taken a range of measures so far.

These included:

·    Writing a letter of objection to the Park Management -

·    Lobbying lawmakers and the local media

·    Conducted an Intense Campaign against the Festival

·    Set up an E-mail Campaign for the public to address the problem to the Concerned parties

·    Notified local Authorities and the Stockholm Police - requesting a Demonstration Permit

Success!

Together, these efforts convinced the Park Management to terminate it's halls rental contract with the PFDJ.

And all associated services, like water, electricity, toilet have also been denied.

The PFDJ's Fundraising Event, disguised as a "Cultural" Event will now have to be held the open fields and they will have to hire all the services they use.

AFRICAERITREAEUROPEAN UNIONHORN OF AFRICANETHERLANDS

Source: EEPA by K. Smits

 July 22, 2022

 Asylum Seekers

The Dutch Council of State’s Administrative Jurisdiction Division, the country’s highest general administrative court, //www.raadvanstate.nl/actueel/nieuws/@132146/eritrese-asielzoekers-lopen-reeel-risico/" style="box-sizing: border-box; -webkit-font-smoothing: antialiased; outline: none; color: rgb(0, 147, 194); text-decoration: none; transition: all 0.1s ease-in-out 0s; border-bottom: 1px solid rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.2);">ruled on 20 July that Eritreans in the military sector of the national service are at risk of inhuman treatment. This ruling impacts how future Eritrean asylum claims will be treated. The case was started by an Eritrean man whose initial claim was rejected. The man feared he would have to enter the military part of the national service, if he would be returned.

Military service in Eritrea: risk of torture and inhuman treatment

The case ended up at the Administrative Jurisdiction Division after appeals. The Administrative Jurisdiction Division reviewed the circumstances of the Eritrean national service in detail. It found that the circumstances in the military part of the Eritrean national service are so severe, that the Eritrean man would run the risk of torture and inhuman treatment if returned. This would be a violation of article 3 of the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms (ECHR).

The ruling is not only of impact in this case, but for all cases of Eritrean asylum seekers in the Netherlands going forward.

Who is at risk?

The Eritrean man at the heart of the ruling had his asylum claim originally rejected, because he had grown up in a Sudanese refugee camp. Therefore, the Dutch Secretary of State deemed that he did not run the risk of having to enter national service upon return to Eritrea. The ruling of 20 July stated that the court found that the low level of education, the inability to read and having no network in the country would instead make it even more likely that the man would be forced to enter the military part of national service.

“It appears from open sources, as described under 10.3, that the alien, once selected to the military component, could face extremely heavy work- and living circumstances, lack of basic resources, physical trainings or work that is too heavy, very severe corporal punishments and detention under appalling circumstances. Furthermore, open sources describe, as noted under 9 and 9.1, that it is likely that after his national service will be extended after 18 months, because of which he will have no perspective on and end date of his active service in the military component. The circumstances mentioned here are, to the opinion of the Department, severe to such an extent that they separate as well as in combination with each other qualify as torture or inhuman or degrading treatment, as referred to in Article 3 of the ECHR […]”

//www.raadvanstate.nl/actueel/nieuws/@132144/202101479-1-v2/" style="box-sizing: border-box; -webkit-font-smoothing: antialiased; outline: none; color: rgb(0, 147, 194); text-decoration: none; transition: all 0.1s ease-in-out 0s; border-bottom: 1px solid rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.2);">RULING OF THE COURT, ARTICLE 14.2

Furthermore, the court found that it does not have to be an absolute certainty that such a person will be subject to such circumstances:

“The risk must be greater than just a single chance of such treatment, but the alien does not have to prove that it is certain that he will undergo such treatment.”

//www.raadvanstate.nl/actueel/nieuws/@132144/202101479-1-v2/" style="box-sizing: border-box; -webkit-font-smoothing: antialiased; outline: none; color: rgb(0, 147, 194); text-decoration: none; transition: all 0.1s ease-in-out 0s; border-bottom: 1px solid rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.2);">RULING OF THE COURT, ARTICLE 14.3

No normal national service

The court found that the national service in Eritrea diverts from that of other countries. Focusing particularly on the military part due to the nature of the case, the court stated that recruits face severe circumstances. These include extreme living and working circumstances and lack of basic resources. In addition, the court found evidence of extremely severe punishments and detentions under inhuman circumstances. It found that military commanders have virtually unchecked power and act arbitrarily.

“From the information available in open sources, as described under 10.3, it appears that the alien will have to serve under commanders in the military component that in fact have unlimited power over him. The answer to the question whether he will have to face treatment prohibited under Article 3 of the ECHR is therefore not possible to answer, because it is dependent on the arbitrary decisions of the commander in question. But from information from public sources, it shows that it happens more often than incidentally that a commander is guilty of such prohibited treatments.”

//www.raadvanstate.nl/actueel/nieuws/@132144/202101479-1-v2/" style="box-sizing: border-box; -webkit-font-smoothing: antialiased; outline: none; color: rgb(0, 147, 194); text-decoration: none; transition: all 0.1s ease-in-out 0s; border-bottom: 1px solid rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.2);">RULING OF THE COURT, ARTICLE 14.4

In addition, the court considered the indefinite nature of the national service, which can extend well beyond a decade.

“Altogether, the Department is of the opinion that it is expected that the alien, upon return to Eritrea, has to complete the national service at some point. The alien’s personal circumstances mean that he has a higer chance to end up in the military component. His national service will most likely be extended after eighteen months. The duration therefore becomes indefinite. Looking at the circumstances of the military component of the national service described in public sources, the alien runs a real risk to sustain harm as referred to in Article 3 of the ECHR. The appeal is successful.”

//www.raadvanstate.nl/actueel/nieuws/@132144/202101479-1-v2/" style="box-sizing: border-box; -webkit-font-smoothing: antialiased; outline: none; color: rgb(0, 147, 194); text-decoration: none; transition: all 0.1s ease-in-out 0s; border-bottom: 1px solid rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.2);">RULING OF THE COURT, ARTICLE 15

//www.raadvanstate.nl/actueel/nieuws/@132144/202101479-1-v2/" style="box-sizing: border-box; -webkit-font-smoothing: antialiased; outline: none; color: rgb(0, 147, 194); text-decoration: none; transition: all 0.1s ease-in-out 0s; border-bottom: 1px solid rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.2);">Click here to read the full ruling (Dutch only)This entry was posted in Asylum SeekersEritreaNetherlandsRefugees in the EUThe Netherlands and tagged Administrative Jurisdiction Divisionappealasylum seekercourtECHREritreaninhuman treatmentnational servicerulingTorture. Bookmark the permalink.

 

Source: Ma’ariv, Israel, July 14

Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Yair Lapid recently announced his decision to shut down the Israeli Embassy in Asmara, the capital of Eritrea, and disperse its employees. This is because Eritrea has been delaying the arrival of the Israeli ambassador for almost two years.

The prime minister’s announcement seems to have been made in haste and anger.

The story raises a lot of questions and also raises an eyebrow. Without speculating as to why this happened, let’s start with the facts: The Israeli government appointed a new ambassador to Eritrea in July 2020. As usual, it officially notified the authorities there and asked, also as per usual, for consent so that the new ambassador could travel to Asmara and start working. Since then, the Eritrean authorities haven’t approved Israel’s request. Without formal permission, the ambassador can’t officially travel to the country and begin his post.

This is a real deviation from diplomatic protocol.

Asmara has a right to postpone the appointment. But what’s strange is its refusal to provide any satisfactory explanation. That’s simply unacceptable. How did Israel allow this anomaly to last for two years? Giving consent is usually a matter of several weeks, not years.

Ostensibly, if there are no ties and the Eritreans are delaying the approval of our ambassador, we have nothing to do there. But again: Why drag feet for two years without an appropriate response on our part? We will probably be left with no plausible explanation.

And now for the speculations.

Why does Eritrea behave the way it does? The Red Sea region is familiar to me from the time I served as Israel’s ambassador to Egypt. Based on my conversations with those familiar with the topic, it seems as if the current Eritrean president doesn’t want us in his country. Others claim it’s all because of our rapprochement with Sudan.

As stated, all this is speculation, and even if they are all true, there is still no justification for Asmara not giving consent to the appointment of the ambassador.

And one more thought: Diplomatic relations between countries are based on the principle of reciprocity. What is the benefit of Israel not having an official representation in Eritrea while Eritrea has an active embassy in Israel?

This creates an unwanted imbalance. If a decision has finally been made to shut down the embassy in Asmara, the principle of reciprocity must be applied, and the Eritrean ambassador must be asked to leave Israel. They must understand that we’re serious.

–Yitzhak Levanon (translated by Asaf Zilberfarb)

ባንዴራ ኢትዮጵያ

ምንጪ ስእሊ,GETTY IMAGES

22 ሓምለ 2022, 08:23 EAT

ኢትዮጵያ ዘለዋ ዕዳ ወጻኢ፡ ዓመታዊ ይውስኽ ኣሎ። ባንክ ዓለም ከም ዝብሎ፡ ስርዓት ደርግ ካብ ስልጣን ክእለ እንከሎ ኢትዮጵያ ትሸዓተ ቢልዮን ዶላር ዕዳ ነይርዋ።

እንተዀነ፡ ብ2006 ዓ.ም [ኣ.ኤ] እዚ ዕዳ ናብ 2.2 ቢልዮን ዶላር ወሪዱ ነይሩ። ድሕሪኡ ግን፡ ዕዳኣ ዓመታዊ ብቢልዮን ዶላራት እናወሰኸ መጺኡ።

ባንክ ዓለም ብ2020 ዘውጽኦ ጸብጻብ እንተወሲድና፡ መንግስቲ 30.36 ቢልዮን ዶላር ዕዳ ከም ዘለዎ የመልክት።

ድሕሪ ክልተ ዓመታት ድማ፡ ኢትዮጵያ ካብ ውሽጢ ዓድን ወጻእን ዝወሰደቶ ልቓሕ 56.6 ቢልዮን ዶላር ከም ዝበጽሐ ሚኒስተር ፋይናንስ ገሊጹ።

እታ ሃገር ዘለዋ ዕዳ፡ ክንዲ ፍርቂ ዕብየት ሓፈሻዊ ምህርቲ ውሽጢ ዓዲ [ጂዲፒ] እታ ሃገር ስለ ዝዀነ፡ ኣለቃሕቲ ኣብ ጕዳይ ዕዳ እታ ሃገር ክዝትዩ ጀሚሮም ኣለው።

ንኢትዮጵያ ዝለዓለ ልቓሕ ካብ ዝህባ ሃገራት ሓንቲ ዝዀነት ቻይና ምስ ፈረንሳ ብምዃን ድማ ነዚ ኣኼባ ይመርሓኦ ኣለዋ።

ኣለቃሕቲ፡ ካብ ዝሓለፈ ዓመት ጀሚሮም’ዮም ኣብ ዛዕባ ዕዳ ኢትዮጵያ ክመያየጡ ጀሚሮም ዘለው።

ይዅን’ምበር ብሰንኪ’ቲ ኣብ ሰሜን ኢትዮጵያ ዝተወልዐ ኲናት እቲ ጕዳይ ተወንዚፉ ጸኒሑ።

ዓለምለኸ ትካል ገንዘብ [ኣይኤምኤፍ]፡ ባንክ ዓለምን ካልኦት ትካላት ገንዘብን፡ ከምኡ'ውን ቻይናን ካልኦት ኣለቃሕትን ኢትዮጵያ፡ ጫድን ዛምቢያን ብዛዕባ ዘለወን ዕዳ ዳግመ ግምት ንኽገብራሉ ይሓቱ ኣለው።

ዳይሬክተር ኣይኤምኤፍ ክሪስታሊና ጆርጂዮቫ፡ ምስ ዕድአን ተወሳኺ ፈተናታት ዝገጥመን ዘሎ ሃገራት ፍታሕ ክረኽባ ኣለወን ክትብል ንማዕከን ዜና ሮይተርስ ተዛሪባ።

ንምዃኑ፡ ኣብዚ እዋን ኢትዮጵያ ክንደይ ዝኣክል ዕዳ ወጻኢ ኣለዋ? ዕዳኣ እንተዘይከፊላ ዘጋጥማ ሽግር ከ እንታይ’ዩ?

'እቲ ልቓሕ ኣብ መዓላ ኣይወዓለን'

ቀዳማይ ሚኒስትር ኣቢይ ኣሕመድ፡ ብ2018 ናብ ስልጣን ቅድሚ ምምጽኡ፡ ኢትዮጵያ ኣስታት 28 ቢልዮን ዶላር ዕዳ ከም ዝነበራ ኣየለ ገላን [ዶክተር] ይዛረብ።

እዚ ተንታኒ ስነ ቝጠባ ከም ዝብሎ፡ ኣብቲ እዋን ዝተፈጥረ ፖለቲካዊ ጽገና ዝርኣዩ ኣለቃሕቲ፡ ንኢትዮጵያ ገንዘባዊ ሓገዝን ልቓሕን ሂቦም'ዮም።

“እቲ ኣብ 2018 ዝተፈጥረ ተስፋታት ኣብ ግምት ብምእታው፡ መንግስቲ ዝተለቅሖ ገንዘብ ግን ኣብ ጥቕሚ ከውዕሎ ኣይከኣለን። ነቲ ልቓሕ ተጠቒሙ ተወሳኺ ገንዘብ ከእቱ ዘይምኽኣሉ፣ እዅል ዕድላት ስራሕ ዘይምፍጣሩን እቲ ገንዘብ፡ ተወሳኺ ሸርፊ ወጻኢ ከምጽእ ዘይምኽኣሉን" ጸገማት ከም ዝፈጠረ ይዛረብ።

እቲ ምሁር፡ ቅድሚ ምምሕዳር ኣቢይ ኣሕመድ ዝነበረ መንግስቲ ዝተለቅሖ ገንዘብ ከይተኸፍለ፡ ክሳብ 2020 ኣብ ዘሎ ግዜ፡ መንግስቲ ብውሑዱ ተወሳኺ 10 ቢልዮን ዶላር ልቓሕ ምውሳዱ ነቲ ዕዳ ሓፍ ክብል ገይሩዎ’ዩ ዝብል እምነት ኣለዎ።

“ልቓሕ ምኽፋል፡ ካብቲ ቅድሚ ሕጂ ዝነበረ ኵነታት ሎሚ ዝያዳ ኣጸጋሚ እናዀነ መጺኡ’ዩ” ኢሉ።

ንኢትዮጵያን ካልኦት ብዙሓት ሃገራት ኣፍሪቃን ልቓሕ ካብ ዝህቡ ትካላት ገንዘብ ሓደ ዝዀነ ኣይኤምኤፍ፡ ኣብ 2020 ንኢትዮጵያ ሰለስተ ቢልዮን ዶላር ልቓሕ ኣጽዲቑላ።

ካልኦት ከም ባንክ ዓለም ዝበሉ ኣለቃሕቲ ትካላት ድማ፡ ተወሳኺ ሽዱሽተ ቢልዮን ዶላር ክህብዋ እንከለው፡ ነዚ ስዒቡ ዕዳ እታ ሃገር ናብ 38 ቢልዮን ዶላር ክብ ክብል ከም ዝኽእል እቲ ተንታኒ ይዛረብ።

ኣይኤምኤፍ፡ እቲ ልቓሕ ቅድሚ ምጽዳቑ ብ2019 ኢትዮጵያ ልቕሐን ንምምላስ ካብ መንጐ ዝተጸገማ ሃገራት ከም ዝዀነት ገሊጹ ነይሩ።

“እዚ መጠንቀቕታ፡ መጠን ዕዳ ኢትዮጵያ ብኽልተ ቢልዮን ዶላር ኣብ ዝነከየሉ ግዜ ዝወጽአ’ዩ” ክብል ዶክተር ኣየለ ይገልጽ።  

ዕዳ ዳግም ምውቓር [Debt Restructure] እንታይ እዩ?

መንግስቲ ኣቢይ ኣሕመድ፡ ኣለቃሕቲ ንኢትዮጵያን ካልኦት ሃገራት ኣፍሪቃን ዘለወን ዕዳ ዳግም ንከዋቕሩ [ደብት ሪስትራክቸር ንኽገብሩ] ብተደጋጋሚ ይሓትት ነይሩ።

ኣብዚ ቅንያት ድማ፡ እቶም ኣለቃሕቲ ሃገራትን ዓለምለኻዊ ትካላት ገንዘብን ድማ ኣብዚ ዙርያ ዘተ ጀሚሮም ኣለው።

መንግስቲ፡ በጀት 2015 ዓ.ም [ግ] ኣመልኪቱ ኣብ ዘቕረቦ ጸብጻብ፡ ልቓሕ ምምላስ ቀንዲ ትዅረት መንግስቲ ከም ዝዀነ ገሊጹ’ዩ።

ኢትዮጵያ ዘለዋ ዕዳ

ቅድሚ ኣብታ ሃገር ዝወልዐ ኲናት ሓድሕድ፡ ኢትዮጵያ ምሽልሻል ዕዳ ንኽግበረላ ሕቶታት ከተቕርብ እኳ እንተጸንሐት፡ ብሰንኪ እቲ ኲናት ግን ምስቶም ኣለቃሕቲ ትካላት ዝነበራ ርክብ ከም ዝሓርፈፈ ኣየለ ገላን ይዛረብ።

“መንግስቲ፡ ዓመታዊ ባጀት ኣብ ዝምድበሉ እዋን፡ ዕዳ ምኽፋል ቀዳምነት ገይሩ ከቐምጥ ሰሚዐ ኣይፈልጥን” ዝብል እቲ ተንታኒ እቲ ዕዳ ዘሕደሮ ጸቕጢ ክሳብ ክንደይ ከቢድ ምዃኑ ዘርኢ እዩ ይብል።

“እቲ ሕጂ ዝቐረበ ዳግመ ምውቓር ዕዳ ፡ ብሓጺሩ ‘እቲ ልቓሕ ልዕሊ ዓቕመይ ስለ ዝዀነ ምምሕያሽ ይገበረለይ’ ማለት’ዩ” ብምባል እቲ ኣሸላሻል ብቐንዱ ሰለስተ መገዲታት ዝተኸተለ ከም ዝኸውን የብርህ።

እቲ ሓደ፡ ዕዳ ልዕሊ ዓቕመይ ስለ ዝዀነ ይሰረዘለይ ኢልካ ምስቶም ኣለቃሕቲ ክትሰማማዕ ጻዕሪ ምግባር ኰይኑ፡ ካልኣይ ወለድ እቲ ልቓሕ ልዑል ስለ ዘዀነ ምንካይ ይገበረለይ ዝብል እዩ። እቲ ሳልሳይ ድማ፡ ልቓሕ ዝኽፈለሉ ግዜ ንኽናዋሕ ምሕታት ከም ዝዀነ ይጠቅስ።

ብደረጃ ዓለም፡ ልቓሕ ወሲድካ ብእዋኑ ዘይምምላስ ገበን’ዩ ዝብል ተንታኒ ስነቝጠባ ኣየለ ገላን፡ “ነዚ ንምውጋድ ሃገራት እቶም ኣለቃሕቲ ምሕረት ክገብሩለን ጻዕሪ ይገብራ እየን። እዚ እንተዘይኰይኑ ግን ኣብ ጸሊም መዝገብ [ብላክ ሊስት] ይኣትዋ። እዚ ክኣ ዝኸፍአ ጸገም’ዩ ዘምጽእ” ኢሉ።

ቅድሚ ሕጂ ኣለቃሕቲ ትካላት፡ ኢትዮጵያ ዝወሰደቶ ልቓሕ ከም ዝሰረዙ ዘዘኻኽረ እቲ ክኢላ፡ ኣብዚ ናይ ሕጂ ድርድር ድማ እቲ ናይ መኽፈሊ ግዜ ኣናውሑለይ ዝብል ከም ዝኸውን ይግምት።

“ግዝያዊ መፍትሒ ክኸውን ይኽእል’ዩ፤ ግዜ እናነውሐ ክኸይድ እንከሎ ግን መጠን ወለድ እናወሰኸ’ዩ ዝመጽእ። እዚ ‘ሾርት ተርም ገይን፤ ሎንግ ተርም ፐይን’ዩ’ [ንግዚኡ ትረብሕ፡ ንሓዋሩ ግን ትሳቐ] “ብምባል ንዝኸፍአ ድኽነት ዘቃልዕ’ዩ ዝብል ስግኣት ኣለዎ።

ምብዛሕ ዕዳ ዝፈጠሮ ጸቕጢ

ብዙሓት ትካላት ልምዓት፡ 40 ሚእታዊት ሃገራት ትሕተ-ሰሃራ ኣብ ከቢድ ቅልውላው ልቓሕ ከም ዝርከባ ይገልጹ።

ዓለምለኸ ትካል ገንዘብ [ኣይኤምኤፍ] ብ2018 ኣብ ዘውጽኦ ጸብጻብ፡ ኣፍሪቃ ኣብ ከቢድ ቅልውላው ዕዳ ትጥሕል ኣላ ክብል ኣጠንቂቑ ነይሩ።

እቲ ትካል ከም ዝብሎ፡ ኣብ ዝሓለፉ ሓሙሽተ ዓመታት ቍጽሪ ስግኣት ዕዳ ዘለወን ሃገራት ብዕጽፊ ወሲኹ።

ቻይና፡ ንሃገራት ኣፍሪካ ዝለዓለ ልቓሕ ካብ ዝህባ ሃገራት ኣብ ቅድሚት ትስራዕ። 20 ሚእታዊት ዕዳ መንግስታት ኣፍሪቃ ካብ ቻይና እዩ።

35 ሚእታዊት ልቓሕ፡ ካብ ከም ባንክ ዓለም ዝኣመሰሉ ትካላት ዝተረኽበ ክኸውን እንከሎ፡ 32 ሚእታዊት ድማ ካብ ውልቀ- ኣለቃሕቲ ዝተወስደ እዩ።

ኣብ ዝሓለፉ 11 ኣዋርሕ [ክሳብ ወርሒ ግንቦት 2014 ኣብ ዘሎ ግዜ] መንግስቲ 330 ቢልዮን ብር ንምእካብ መደብ'ኳ እንተነበሮ፡ 309 ቢልዮን ብር ጥራይ’ዩ ኣኪቡ፡ ክብል ቀዳማይ ሚኒስተር ኣቢይ ኣሕመድ ተዛሪቡ ነይሩ።

እቲ ቀዳማይ ሚኒስተር ቅድሚ ክልተ ሰሙን ንኣባላት ባይቶ ኣብ ዝሃቦ መብርሂ፡ መንግስቲ 500 ቢልዮን ዶላር ወጻኢ ከም ዝገበረ ሓቢሩ።

ኣብ መንጐ ኣታውን ወጻእን እታ ሃገር ዘሎ ፍልልይ ክሰፍሕ ዝገበሮ ድማ፡ ዝተኣከበ ዕዳ እታ ሃገር ከም ዝዀነ ጠቒሱ።

“ኣብዚ ዓመት፡ 1.7 ቢልዮን ዶላር ዕዳ ከፊልና ኢና፤ እዚ ኸኣ ኣስታት 100 ቢልዮን ብር እዩ” ኢሉ።

ቤት ምኽሪ ባይቶ ወከልቲ ህዝቢ፡ በጀት 2015 ዓ.ም እታ ሃገር 786.6 ቢልዮን ብር ክኸውን ሰሊዑ’ዩ።

እዚ፡ መብዛሕትኡ ዕዳ ንምኽፋል ዝውዕል ኰይኑ፡ ንዳግመ ህንጸትን ምጥንኻር ሰራዊት ምክልኻልን ዝውዕል ምዃኑ ሚኒስትሪ ገንዘብ ሓቢሩ’ዩ።

ክኢላ ስነቝጠባ ኣየለ፡ ኢትዮጵያ ንድሕሪት ካብ ዝጐቱዋ ጸገማት እቲ ሓደ፡ ዘለዋ ዕዳ ብዙሕ ምዃኑ’ዩ ይብል።

መንግስቲ ነቲ ብሕታዊ ጽላት ዘተባብዕ ፖሊሲ እንተዘይሓንጺጹ፡ ቍጠባ እታ ሃገር ንምዕባይ ክጽገም’ዩ ኢሉ ይኣምን።

“ፖለቲካዊ ኵነታት እታ ሃገር፡ ጉዳይ ማክሮ-ኢኮኖሚ [ንኣብነት ዝቕባበ ዋጋ] ከምኡ’ውን መንግስቲ ዘለዎ ውዙፍ ዕዳ ዓበይቲ ማሕለኻታት’ዮም” ይብል።

መንግስቲ፡ ኣብ ኣጠቓቕማ ባጀትን ብኽነትን ከምኡ’ውን ውሽጣዊ እቶት ናይ ምእካብ ዓቕሙ ዘይምዕባዩ፡ ዝኣመሰሉ ጸገማት ከም ዘለውዎ ኣባላት ባይቶ ወከልቲ ህዝቢ እታ ሃገር ኣልዒሎም ነይሮም።

ቍጠባዊ ዕብየት ኢትዮጵያ፡ ካብ 2011 ክሳብ 2013 ኣብ ዘሎ ግዜ፡ ትሕቲ ውጥን ዝዀነ ናይ 7.1 ሚእታዊት ዕብየት ከም ዘርኣየ ይግለጽ።

ኢትዮጵያ ልቓሕ ክትወስድ እንከላ እንታይ ተትሕዝ?

ሃገራት፡ ዝወሰዳኦ ልቓሕ ምኽፋል ክጽገማ እንከለዋ ዘለወን ፕሮጀክታት ከም ትሕጃ ክህባ ስምምዕ ምግባር ይልመድ ኣሎ።

ንኣብነት፡ እቲ እንኮ መገዲ ኣየር ዚምባብወ፡ ንመንግስቲ ደቡብ ኣፍሪቃ ክኸፍሎ ዝግባእ ዕዳ ብዘይምኽፋሉ ክሳብ 2019 ተታሒዙ ጸኒሑ።

እቲ መገዲ ኣየር ብ2019 በረራ ክጅምር እንከሎ፡ ብሰንኪ ንዓመታት ዝተኣከበ ውዙፍ ዕዳ፡ ብ2017 ልዕሊ ፍርቂ ሰራሕተኛታቱ ከሰናብት ተገዲዱ ነይሩ።  

ካብዚ ሓሊፉ፡ ኤይር-ዚምባብወ ብሰንኪ ስግኣት ድሕነት ኣብ ክሊ ኣየር ሃገራት ኤውሮጳ ዝበረሉ ፍቓድ ተሓዲጉ።

ቻድ ድማ ንኣንጎላ ክትከፍሎ ዝግብኣ ዕዳ፡ 100 ሚልዮን ዶላር ክትመልስ ብዘይምኽኣላ ዘለዋ ከብቲ እናሸጠት ትኸፍል ምህላዋ ጋዜጣ እታ ሃገር ብ2020 ጸብጺቡ ነይሩ።

በዚ መሰረት፡ ዓለምለኻዊ ኣለቃሕቲ፡ ልቓሕ ክህቡ እንከለው ኣብ እዋኑ ዘይምለስ እንተዀይኑ ከም ትሕጃ ዝሕዝዎ ሃብቲ ወይ ንብረት ኣሎ ማለት እዩ።

ተመኵሮ ካልኦት ሃገራት ተመሳሳሊ'ዩ።

ሃገራት፡ ልቓሕ ክወስዳ እንከለዋ ዘትሕዛኦ ነገር ብግልጺ ስለ ዘይፍለጥ፡ ኣብ መንጐ መንግስትን ኣለቃሕቲ ትካላትን ዘይምርድዳእ ተፈጢሩ ናብ ሕጊ ኣብ ዝኸድሉ እዋን ቃልዕ ይወጽእ።

ኣየለ፡ ኣብ መንጐ ኬንያን ቻይናን ዝተፈጥረ ኵነታት ብኣብነት የልዕል።

“ኬንያ ካብ ቻይና ኣብ ዝወሰደቶ ልቓሕ ዘይምርድዳእ ምስ ተፈጥረ፡ ቻይና ወደብ ሞምባሳ ናተይ'ዩ ምባል ምስ ጀመረት እቲ ወደብ ከም ትሕጃ ተታሒዙ ከም ዝነበረ ግልጺ ኰይኑ" ይብል።

ዛምቢያ’ውን ካብ ቻይና ልቓሕ ክትወስድ እንከላ፡ መመንጨዊ ጸዓት ዝዀነ ትካል ኣትሒዛ ምንባራ ኣብ መንጐ ክልቲአን ሃገራት ዘይምርድዳእ ምስ ተፈጥረ'ዩ ተፈሊጡ።

ኢትዮጵያ ግን ክሳብ ሕጂ ምስ ልቓሕ ብዝተሓሓዝ ዝኣተወቶ ቅርሕንቲ ስለ ዘየለ፡ እንታይ ኣትሒዛ ከም እትልቃሕ ብወግዒ ኣይፍለጥን።

እቲ ዕዳ መን’ዩ ዝኸፍሎ?

ኢትዮጵያ ካብ ዘለዋ ዕዳ፡ እቲ 97 ሚእታዊት ናይ ነዊሕ ግዜ ልቓሕን ‘ፐብሊክን ፐብሊክሊ ግራንትድን’ ዝተባህለ ዓይነት ልቓሕን ከም ዝዀነ እቲ ክኢላ ስነቝጠባ ይዛረብ።

“ናይ ነዊሕ ግዜ ማለት፡ እቲ ክፍሊት ካብ 30 ክሳብ 50 ዓመታት ኣብ ዘሎ ግዜ ዝፍጸም ማለት’ዩ። እዚ ማለት፡ ነዚ ልቓሕ ናይ ምምላስ ሓላፍነት ናይቲ ዝተለቅሐ መንግስቲ ዘይክኸውን ይኽእል'ዩ።”

‘ፐብሊክን ፐብሊክሊ ግራንትድን’ ድማ [ብዋሕስ ሃብቲ ህዝቢ ዝተረኽበ ልቓሕ] ድማ፡ እቲ ክፍሊት ክምለስ ኣለዎ ኣብ ዝተባህለ ግዜ፡ ህዝቢ ኢትዮጵያ ናይ ምምላስ ሓላፍነት ዝወስድ ኰይኑ፡ እቲ ልቓሕ ዝመልሶ ግን ናይ ሕጂ ወለዶ ኣይኰነን ማለት እዩ ክብል የረድእ።

AFRICAETHIOPIAHORN OF AFRICA

Source: Ethiopia Insight

20 July, 2022

by Kallu Messay

An AU-led, good faith negotiation between the federal government and the TPLF can restore peace to Ethiopia.

Timing is of the essence in any political decision. That is why conflict analysts emphasize the importance of what they call a ripe moment—a time when warring parties perceive that both would achieve their objectives through negotiations instead of fighting.

Ethiopia has reached this decisive moment. The Prosperity Party (PP) arrived at a responsible decision by establishing a high-level committee led by Demeke Mekonnen, the Deputy Prime Minister, to explore the option of ending the brutal war with Tigray through peaceful means.

TPLF has also indicated its readiness to engage in the process and has said that it has set up a team ready to negotiate.

Nearing two years since the beginning of the ruthless war, Ethiopia now has a real chance to restore peace and stability.

DEVASTATING WAR

Despite recent progress, there is a legitimate concern that the brutal war could return with all its ugly faces and devastating social and economic consequences.

The urgent need to seize this moment becomes apparent only when all parties seriously look at how devastating the civil war has been.

At the moment, it’s not possible to determine the exact number of Ethiopians who died and were injured in the war, but the figure is in the tens of thousands, if not in the hundreds of thousands.

On top of that, millions of people have been displaced and went through deep psychological trauma.

News from Tigray and northern Ethiopia is filled with horrific stories of gang-raped women, displaced people, parentless kids, and malnourished children.

The consequences of the civil war, drought, hyperinflation, pandemic, climate change, and the ongoing Russian-Ukrainian war is pushing Ethiopia to the edge of a dangerous cliff.

If the war with Tigray resumes, it will most certainly be the literal end of Ethiopia and will multiply the already catastrophic humanitarian crisis.

That is why it is vitally important to stop this futile war now. This demands insightfulness, wisdom, courage, and pragmatism from national, regional, and global actors.

PEACE PUSH

The humanitarian truce announced by the Ethiopian government in March and reciprocated by the TPLF has brought a sense of relief and hope. And now, PP’s decision to initiate peace talks should be welcomed by all domestic and international actors.

Such a bold move by a governing party that was fully engaged in mobilizing the whole nation to the war front should not be taken lightly. It surely must have challenged the leaders of the party, given some hardliners within the party are most likely pushing for war.

What is most important is that pragmatism appears to have gained the upper hand in the decision by the PP’s leadership to take practical steps to kick off the peace process.

Of course, as a governing party that ultimately aims to bring stability to the country it rules, this decision may be expected. Indeed, the PP-led federal administration has the primary political and moral obligation to stop the war in the country by devising a comprehensive peace deal.

This doesn’t mean that a government can’t take measures to ensure the rule of law. However, as the Tigray war has clearly shown, the end goal of law enforcement operations is not engaging in a perpetual state of war.

All wars must end politically, and Ethiopia’s case cannot be different.

The current moment has brought hope that peace and stability will prevail as the governing party announced its approach to ending the unspeakable suffering of millions of Ethiopians.

TPLF also has an obligation to unequivocally commit itself to peaceful resolution of the conflict. Sending mixed signals by, among others, questioning the AU-led process and presenting premature preconditions could squander this delicate moment.

DAUNTING TASK

Even with genuine goodwill from both the federal and Tigrayan sides, the challenges they will face are very complex.

The peace process is daunting for all involved, and we should not expect immediate breakthroughs. We have had bloodbaths that killed many, and emotions are understandably high. This also means that the trust level is low.

What is advised now is to start with low-hanging fruits such as the federal government consolidating the humanitarian truce which has contributed to much-improved humanitarian assistance in Tigray.

The federal government resuming basic services in Tigray is another measure that should be taken, as it would also help in boosting confidence and enhancing support for the negotiation process from the Tigrayan public.

In these efforts, increased support from the UN and its humanitarian partners who have experience in providing aid in areas controlled by non-state actors would be very helpful.

Before going into the most controversial, thorny matters, it is important to come to a mutual understanding, and also stress to the public, that this kind of negotiation takes time, thus requiring patience and perseverance.

The ride will be very bumpy and there will be deadlocks, frustrating both parties and the public backing them. Such difficulties will possibly give cause for extremists in both camps to interrupt the path of negotiations and return to war.

One of the most complex issues is related to the Amhara-Tigray land dispute. Both regional leaderships claim that the Welkait-Tegede-Telemt-Humera (Western Tigray) area belongs to them, and both think it is a non-negotiable issue.

What will perhaps be helpful here is framing the issue not merely as a matter of land, but more as a matter of ensuring the safety of citizens living in, and displaced from, the area.

Still, hawkish voices from both sides will continue to amplify the idea that one should lose for the other to win. This approach must be rejected.

This is why thinking beyond short-term political goals is required of all leaders. We need leaders from both sides to behave like statesmen and not short-sighted, populist politicians.

SPOILERS

The first expected outcome of the negotiation should be to reach a permanent ceasefire. From there, confidence can slowly be built and the other contentious issues can be discussed.

There are always spoilers from within and abroad. Some domestic and foreign actors would like to see a weakened and fragile Ethiopia that is unable to stand firm and protect its national interests.

It would be naive to expect that these actors would idly sit back and watch when Ethiopians make steps towards the path of peace and reconciliation.

They may act to squander this momentum of peace by taking all types of measures by using the media, aggravating domestic and regional grievances, supporting disgruntled armed actors, and so on.

No matter how the process or the outcome is fair and inclusive, some Amhara and Tigray nationalists would view the negotiation as an act of betrayal.

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Consequently, parties in the negotiation should engage in a well-designed strategy, directly and openly communicating with their constituents about the process—both the challenges and outcomes.

Eritrea is another elephant in the room when thinking about a political settlement. Reports indicate that while Addis Abeba is seeking a political settlement, Asmera is still inclined to pursue a military approach.

It is deplorable and deeply concerning that Eritrea is still in a belligerent mood. What should be communicated to Asmera is that the negotiation will not threaten legitimate security interests it may have, but is solely focused on finding a durable solution to what is primarily an Ethiopian civil war.

It is thus vital to be aware of and not be distracted by such spoilers while maintaining a commitment to solving the conflict solely through negotiations.

AU-LED

The peace process requires support from domestic organizations and regional and international partners. But, this does not mean multiple peace tracks that may complicate the process should exist.

This is why the AU-led peace process should be the only path, while other partners, neighboring countries, and the UN should extend requested assistance while restraining themselves from creating parallel tracks that may compete with and undermine the process under the auspices of the continental organ.

Facilitators of negotiations, of course, are not always fully impartial. There are always personal, national, and institutional interests.

It is thus unrealistic to expect that the AU-led process will be completely impartial and free from the vested interests of the institution and people engaged in the process.

However, so long as facilitators provide equal treatment to all parties and their interests, which the AU can surely do, and all parties accept the reality that facilitators are never fully impartial, negotiations can be fair and effective.

For instance, when America acted as a peacemaker between Egypt and Israel at Camp David, it was not a fully impartial actor as it had a stake in the outcome. And both parties were aware of that. Yet, the US-led process led both countries to reach a historical agreement.

Another challenge is implementation.

We are, of course, not there yet, but it is important to remember that the process heavily influences the potential execution of any future peace agreement.

Making the process inclusive by consulting all relevant domestic actors and garnering the support of the international community will be crucial to ensure the eventual effective implementation of agreements.

The people of Ethiopia have suffered enormously due to the brutal civil war. This moment has finally given them hope—hope that they will see the restoration of calmness, accountability for grave human rights violations, reconciliation, restoration of broken social fabrics, and the healing of psychological wounds.

Achieving these ends will be very difficult, but it is possible if both parties seize the current momentum and engage in the negotiation process in good faith.

I have learned so much from you, and have been inspired by how you persevere in the current difficult conditions – which have left many of you feeling you had no other choice but to flee your country – and maintain hope for a better future.  I share your hope, and urge the government to implement the political and economic reforms that would unlock the magnificent potential that exists here.

Source: https://www.facebook.com/usembassyasmara/

I will complete my assignment and return to the United States tomorrow.  It has been an honor and the highlight of my career to serve as Chief of Mission at U.S. Embassy Asmara.  I so enjoyed my two-and-a-half years here.  The best part was meeting and getting to know you, the Eritrean people.  Thank you for welcoming me so warmly to this wonderful country and sharing with me your rich culture and history, especially your justifiable pride in achieving independence in 1993.  I have learned so much from you, and have been inspired by how you persevere in the current difficult conditions – which have left many of you feeling you had no other choice but to flee your country – and maintain hope for a better future.  I share your hope, and urge the government to implement the political and economic reforms that would unlock the magnificent potential that exists here.
I want to tell each of you, whether you live here in Eritrea or abroad, that despite the false narratives constructed and disseminated to deny your lived reality, I and many, many others around the world know the truth of your suffering, your courage, and your quiet dignity.  We acknowledge your sacrifice and struggle.  As I prepare to depart Asmara, I feel deeply humbled and grateful.  You, the Eritrean people, will always be in my thoughts and prayers.  May God bless you, your families, and the beautiful, proud country of Eritrea!
መልእኽቲ ስንብታ ካብ ፈጻሚ ጉዳይ ዎከር:
መደብ ስርሐይ ወዲአ ጽባሕ ናብ ኣሜሪካ ክምለስ እየ። ኣብ ኤምባሲ ኣሜሪካ ኣብ ኣስመራ ከም ላዕለዋይ ሓላፊ  ኮይነ ምግልጋለይ ንሞያይ ክብርን ድምቀትን ኮይኑኒ ኣሎ። ኣብዘን ክልተ ዓመትን ፈረቓን ዘሕለፍክወን ዝበለጸ ወገኑ፡ ምስ ህዝቢ ኤርትራ ምርኻብን ምልላይን ኢዩ ነይሩ። ናብ’ዛ እትድነቕ ሃገር ኣዝዩ ምዉቕ ኣቀባብላ ዝገበርኩምለይን: ሃብታም ባህልኹምን ታሪኽኩምን ስለዘካፈልኩምንን፡ ብፍላይ ኣብ 1993 ብዝረኸብክሞ ናጽነት ብቑዕ ዝኾነ ሓበንኩምን አመስግነኩም፡ ። ካባኻትኩም ብዙሕ ተማሂረ፡ ብኸመይ ነቲ ዘሎ ህሉው ኣጸጋሚ ኩነታት ትሓልፍዎ ተመሲጠ ፡ እቲ’ኳ ንብዙሓት ካባኻትኩም ንብሩህ መጻኢ ንምንዳይ እንትርፎ ካብ ሃገኩም ምውጻእ ካልእ ምርጫ ዘይገደፈልኩም ኩነታት። ተስፋኹም እካፈልን፡ መንግስቲ ድማ ነቲ ኣብ’ዚ ዘሎ መስተንክር ዓቕሚ ዝኸፍት ፖለቲካውን ቁጠባውን ጽገናታት ከተግብር እምሕጸን።
ንነፍሲ ወከፍኩም ክነግረኩም ዝደሊ፡ ኣብ ኤርትራ እትነብሩ ኹኑ ኣብ ወጻኢ፡ ዋላ’ኳ እቲ እትነብርዎ ክውንነት ንምኽሓድ ዝተሃንጸን ዝቕጽልን ሓቅነት ዘይብሉ ትረኻታት እንተሃለወ፡ ኣነን ብዙሓት ብዙሓት ካልኦትን ኣብ መላእ ዓለም፡ ሓቅነት መከራኹም፡ ትብዓትኩም፡ ከምኡ’ውን ህዱእ ክብርኽምን ንፈልጥ ኢና። መስዋእትኹምን ቃልስኹምን ንፈልጦ ኢና። ካብ ኣስመራ ክነቅል ኣብ ዝዳለወሉ ዘለኹ እዋን፡ ዓሙቝ ትሕትናን ምስጋናን እስምዓኒ። ንስኻትኩም፡ ህዝቢ ኤርትራ፡ ወትሩ ኣብ ሓሳበይን ጸሎተይን ክትህልዉ ኢኹም። እግዚኣብሄር ንዓኻትኩምን፡ ንስድራኹምን፡ ነታ ምጭውቲን ኩርዕትን ሃገር ኤርትራ ይባርኽኩም!
 
رسالة وداع القائم بالأعمال ووكر
سأكمل مهمتي وأعود إلى الولايات المتحدة غدًا.  لقد كان شرفًا وأهم ما يميز مسيرتي المهنية أن أعمل كرئيسة للبعثة في سفارة الولايات المتحدة في أسمرة.  لقد استمتعت للغاية بعامين ونصف هنا. أفضل جزء كان الالتقاء والتعرف عليك، أيها الشعب الإريتري.  أشكرك على الترحيب بي بحرارة في هذا البلد الرائع ومشاركتي ثقافتك وتاريخك الثريين، ولا سيما اعتزازك المبرر بتحقيق الاستقلال في عام ١٩٩٣.  لقد تعلمت الكثير منك ، واستلهمت من الطريقة المثابرة في الحاضر الظروف الصعبة – التي جعلت الكثير منكم يشعر بأنه ليس أمامك خيار آخر سوى الفرار من بلدك – والحفاظ على الأمل في مستقبل أفضل.  أشارككم الأمل، وأحث الحكومة على تنفيذ الإصلاحات السياسية والاقتصادية التي من شأنها إطلاق الإمكانات الرائعة الموجودة هنا
أريد أن أقول لكل واحد منكم، سواء كنت تعيش هنا في إريتريا أو في الخارج، أنه على الرغم من الروايات الكاذبة التي تم إنشاؤها ونشرها لإنكار واقعك الذي تعيشه، فأنا وكثيرون آخرون حول العالم يعرفون حقيقة معاناتكم وشجاعتكم، وهدوء كرامتك. نعترف بتضحيتك ونضالك. بينما أستعد لمغادرة أسمرة، أشعر بالتواضع العميق والامتنان  أنتم، أيها الشعب الإريتري، ستكونون دائمًا في أفكاري وصلواتي.  بارك الله فيكم وعائلاتكم وبلد إريتريا الجميل الفخور

 

Martin Plaut posted: " SAMUEL GETACHEW, KOMBOLCHA, ETHIOPIA, SPECIAL TO THE GLOBE AND MAIL After 20 months of civil war, the damage to Ethiopia’s once-soaring economy is visible across the country. At a stalled railway project, homeless war victims have taken possession" Martin Plaut

 

 

SAMUEL GETACHEW, KOMBOLCHA, ETHIOPIA, SPECIAL TO THE GLOBE AND MAIL

After 20 months of civil war, the damage to Ethiopia’s once-soaring economy is visible across the country. At a stalled railway project, homeless war victims have taken possession of the empty construction site. At a newly opened industrial park, buildings have been unofficially converted into a prison and a warehouse for emergency food rations.

When Abiy Ahmed was sworn in as Prime Minister in 2018, there were hopes that one of Africa’s most populous and strategically important countries could be transformed. Many Ethiopians believed he would end the traditional narrative of an aid-dependent nation.

The energetic young leader promised to unlock the impoverished economy and liberalize state-dominated sectors such as banking, aviation and telecommunications. But today, Ethiopia’s economy is in tatters. Reform momentum has eroded, the national currency has weakened, inflation is at a near-record high – almost 40 per cent – and foreign investment has slowed. The International Monetary Fund is warning of more trouble ahead, with GDP growth projected to fall from 6.3 per cent last year to 3.8 per cent this year, the lowest in almost two decades.

The declining growth in the country of 115 million people is a result of “the conflict in Northern Ethiopia, lower agriculture production, a sharp fall in donor financing and intensifying foreign exchange shortages, drought, and spillovers from the war in Ukraine,” IMF deputy division chief Sonali Jain-Chandra said in a statement at the end of her visit to Ethiopia last month.

Despite the slumping economy, Mr. Abiy has continued to pump billions of dollars into his military budget this year. Higher spending, combined with a sharp drop in tax revenue during the war, is causing the budget deficit to balloon, the IMF said.

The military spending, meanwhile, has sustained a cycle of destruction and violence that only worsens Ethiopia’s economic woes. As many as 500,000 people have died as a result of the war in the Tigray region, in Northern Ethiopia, researchers estimate. New outbreaks of violence and mass killings continue to emerge in other regions, including Oromia and Gambella in recent weeks.

Late last year, Tigrayan rebels captured and looted a construction site for a 390-kilometre-long railway in Northern Ethiopia, destroying hundreds of trucks, bulldozers and excavators in the town of Kombolcha.

The US$1.7-billion project was considered crucial for the landlocked country, connecting the north to a major railway between Addis Ababa and the Red Sea port of Djibouti. Turkish multinational Yapi Merkezi had almost completed the seven-year construction project at the time of the attack, which brought it all to a halt and threw thousands out of work.

The construction site has now become a makeshift camp for hundreds of people displaced by the war.

The government still hopes to revive the project. “We are in discussion with the company and we still see the project as a priority,” Hilina Belachew, the chief executive of the Ethiopian Railways Corporation, told The Globe and Mail.

Last year, Mr. Abiy cut a red ribbon to open a 50-hectare industrial park in the city of Semera, in the Afar region. He said it would attract textile investment and become “a catalyst for accelerated trade along a key import-export corridor.” But today, after war swept through much of Afar, the industrial park is mainly used to store humanitarian food supplies for war victims. It is also used as a prison for Tigrayan detainees, local residents told The Globe.

The war has also cost Ethiopia its membership in the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA), a U.S. program that provides duty-free trade benefits in key industries. U.S. President Joe Biden suspended Ethiopia from the program in December, citing “gross violations of internationally recognized human rights” since the war began.

The suspension has led to tens of thousands of job losses in Ethiopian textile factories. Best Garment, an Indian company, is one of many suffering the consequences. It announced last month that it will lay off more than 3,000 employees because of the AGOA decision.

Mr. Abiy has tried to push ahead with his privatization plan, but the war has dampened investor interest. When his government offered investors a chance last year to bid for a licence in the previously closed-off telecommunications sector, only two companies submitted formal bids.

A consortium led by Kenyan-based Safaricom was the eventual winner, with an US$850-million bid. After announcing plans to launch its service in April, it has repeatedly pushed back the start date. The continuing violence in several regions is expected to hamper its ability to operate nationally.

Shortages of foreign currency, which curtail the import of raw materials, are another major obstacle to investment in Ethiopia. One of the country’s biggest bottling companies, MOHA Soft Drinks Industry, has reportedly halted production in Ethiopia because of such shortages.

With a report from Geoffrey York in Johannesburg

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