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Martin Plaut

February 21

“Violence is never acceptable and can never be condoned,” Van Reisen told Dutch News. “Having said that, Brigade Nhamedu is very concerned about the fact that the long arm of the Eritrean government is given so much leeway and in some cases enjoys official protection, while it is impinging on their freedom.”

February 21, 2024 Gordon Darroch

Source: Dutch News

Police officers standing by a burned-out car on Fruitweg in The Hague after the riots. Photo: Mouneb Taim/Anadolu via ANP

An investigation into the riots that erupted at an Eritrean festival in The Hague at the weekend should examine the role of Eritrea’s government as well as opposition groups, politicians and academics have said.

On Wednesday the prosecution service said a 28-year-old man had been arrested on Friday, the day before the riots, for posting a video calling on people to attack the gathering at the Opera venue on Fruitweg.

Thirteen people aged between 19 and 36 have so far been arrested in the wake of the riots on Saturday evening, in which police and firefighters were pelted with stones and police cars and a coach were set on fire. Fifteen officers were injured.

The Hague’s mayor, Jan van Zanen, blamed a group opposed to the Eritrean regime, Brigade Nhamedu, for orchestrating the violence, which he called “appalling and unacceptable”.

Van Zanen issued an emergency order early on Saturday restricting access to the venue after receiving indications that opposition activists were planning to disrupt the gathering, but acknowledged afterwards that “signs were missed”.

Politicians have called for an investigation into Brigade Nhamedu’s activities, with some, such as the far-right PVV, calling for those responsible for the violence to be deported immediately.

Eritrea’s government has also condemned the violence and refuted any suggestions it was indirectly responsible.

Negassi Kassa Tekle, the country’s ambassador to Belgium who also serves the community in the Netherlands,told Nieuwsuur: “This is not a political issue. This is a lawless group of people merely focusing on the disruption and obstruction of Eritrean gatherings.”

But Mirjam van Reisen, professor of international relations at Tilburg University, who specialises in human rights in Eritrea, said tensions within the community had increased in recent years as the government tried to exert control through cultural events.

“Violence is never acceptable and can never be condoned,” Van Reisen told Dutch News. “Having said that, Brigade Nhamedu is very concerned about the fact that the long arm of the Eritrean government is given so much leeway and in some cases enjoys official protection, while it is impinging on their freedom.”

Some Dutch MPs have echoed the calls for a wider investigation into the conflict within the Eritrean community. 

Bente Becker, of the right-wing Liberal (VVD) party, said: “It would be good for the cabinet to investigate the activities of Brigade Nhamedu and take action against the organisation if necessary. But we should also not forget the influence of the Eritrean regime.”

According to the former BBC journalist Martin Plaut, Brigade Nhamedu was formed two years ago following clashes between pro- and anti-government supporters in the German city of Giessen, at what was billed as a cultural event.


The organisation targets government-organised events because they are seen as fundraisers for Eritrea’s government, one of the most repressive dictatorships in the world.

“Brigade Nhamedu isn’t a close-knit organisation,” says Van Reisen. “It’s more of a network that responds when a festival is organised. People living in the area, as well as some who travel, mobilise and want to make their voices heard.”

President Isaias Afwerki has ruled Eritrea as a one-party state since 1993, two years after it declared independence from Ethiopia, when he won 95% of votes in the national assembly.

Paramilitary organisations supporting the Eritrean government, with names such as Eri-Blood and Eri-Makhete, have appeared at cultural events in recent years, notably in Israel, where 150 people were hurt in clashes in Tel Aviv last September.

Tear gas

Police fired live rounds and tear gas at protesters, with one anonymous source comparing the level of violence to “the kind of scenes you only see on the West Bank”. Eritrean community leaders said they had asked police to cancel the event, warning there would be riots.

Fourth Front, a campaign group backed by the Eritrean government, posted a Facebook message in October announcing a demonstration in The Hague “to take revenge and be compensated for our disrupted festivals”.

Pro-democracy groups such as the Organisation for Eritrean Human Rights Defenders called for the event to be banned, claiming it had a “military character” and would spark riots.


Van Reisen said Eri-Blood was highly likely to have been involved in the rioting last weekend. “Invariably you see these paramilitaries, or I would call them criminal organisations, used at these festivals,” she said.

“If you’re going to investigate Brigade Nhamedu, you should also investigate what the paramilitary organisation Eri-Blood is doing here.

“Is it a criminal organisation? Does it have implications for the rule of law, is it undermining democratic rights? And ask fundamental questions about how a hit squad like that functions.

“Given the routine infiltration of the diaspora, although this is highly speculative, it’s possible that they posed as Brigade Nhamedu in order to focus attention on Brigade Nhamedu.”


There are more than 26,000 Eritreans living in the Netherlands, out of a worldwide dispora of half a million, and around 4,000 have claimed asylum in the last two years.

The vast majority are granted refugee status, but those who are refused are often unable to return because the Eritrean government refuses to give them passports. The Netherlands does not co-operate with Isaias’s regime because of its human rights record.

“This is not a time when people from the Horn of Africa should be being sent back home,” said Laetitia Bader, a deputy director of Human Rights Watch’s Africa division. “The threat of persecution remains very real.”

Military service

Young Eritreans usually flee the country to avoid military service, which everyone aged between 18 to 50 is obliged to perform. Officially the service period is 18 months, but in practice it can last more than a decade.

Educated Eritreans are conscripted into “civil service”: compulsory public sector jobs in government offices or teaching, which has been condemned by the United Nations as a form of forced labour.

But the Eritrean expat community also includes supporters of the dictatorship who fled during the war with Ethiopia in the 1990s and settled in Europe. They are generally better integrated into Dutch society and have more established social networks than their younger peers.

Eritrea’s government tolerates no dissent either at home or abroad. Expats are expected to pay a 2% tax to the government at home and denied consular services, such as the issuing of passports and birth certificates, if they refuse.


The Netherlands has repeatedly warned Eritrea about the tax and other means extortion. In 2017 a majority of MPs called for the embassy in The Hague to be closed after television current affairs show Argos highlighted the practice.

During the Covid lockdown foreign affairs minister Stef Blok summoned the ambassador to explain why Eritrean citizens had been ordered to donate at least €100 to fund the government’s pandemic control measures.

The prosecution service also opened an investigation and wrote to Eritrean citizens advising them that Dutch law forbids demanding money under duress.

Van Reisen says the Netherlands should follow the lead of Norway and Canada and introduce legislation in parliament to prevent cross-border repression.

“We live in a sovereign country where everyone from left to right enjoys the same freedoms,” she said. “I want to see an investigation that focuses on whether this festival was a form of intervention by a foreign state, how it took place and who the protagonists were.

“It’s part and parcel of protecting our constitutional framework so that people don’t need to resort to violence to make their point.”



  • In the past two months alone, Russia has signed military cooperation agreements with Nigeria and Ethiopia, Africa’s two most populous nations.
  • The U.S. has pledged to reignite its economic and commercial engagements in Africa, but a planned drawback of troops is giving way to extensive spending on operational bases and longer-term plans to sustain a strategic presence.
  • France maintains the largest presence and troop numbers of any former colonial power in Africa.
ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia - August 8, 2020: Ethiopians hold up a poster of Russian President Vladimir Putin and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan during a pro-government gathering condemning the rebel Tigray People's Liberation Front (TPLF).
ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia - August 8, 2020: Ethiopians hold up a poster of Russian President Vladimir Putin and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan during a pro-government gathering condemning the rebel Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF).
Minasse Wondimu Hailu/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Russia is challenging the status quo in Africa, using insecurity and diplomatic disputes with Western powers as a springboard to expand its presence on the continent.

From Libya to Nigeria, Ethiopia to Mali, Moscow has been building key strategic military alliances and an increasingly favorable public profile across Africa in recent years. 

Central to this effort is offering alternatives to countries that have grown disgruntled with Western diplomatic partnerships.

The second Russia-Africa Summit is scheduled for 2022. At the inaugural summit in Sochi in 2019, President Vladimir Putin vowed that Russia was “not going to participate in a new ‘repartition’ of the continent’s wealth; rather, we are ready to engage in competition for cooperation with Africa.”

Via the U.N., Russia has also provided aid in the form food and medical assistance alongside its growing commercial, economic and military support across the continent.

Russia’s bilateral push

In the past two months alone, Russia has signed military cooperation agreements with Nigeria and Ethiopia, Africa’s two most populous nations.

The Stockholm International Peace Research Institute estimates that Africa accounted for 18% of Russian arms exports between 2016 and 2020.

Russian mercenaries have also provided direct assistance to governments in Libya and the Central African Republic, according to the U.N. However, the Kremlin has denied links to the Wagner Group, a paramilitary organization alleged by the U.N. to be aiding human rights abuses in the region.

“A group of Russian instructors was sent to the CAR at the request of its leaders and with the knowledge of the UN Security Council Sanctions Committee on the CAR established by Resolution 2127,” a Russian foreign ministry statement said in July. “Indicatively, none of them has taken part in combat operations.”

Reuters reported in July that U.S. lawmakers had stalled a planned $1 billion weapons sale to Nigeria over allegations of human rights abuses by the government.  

Less than a month later, Russia signed a deal with President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration to supply military equipment, training and technology to Nigerian forces.

MOSCOW - Members of a Nigerian delegation inspect a Russian Mil Mi-28NE Night Hunter military helicopter during the opening day of the MAKS-2021 International Aviation and Space Salon at Zhukovsky outside Moscow on July 20, 2021.
MOSCOW - Members of a Nigerian delegation inspect a Russian Mil Mi-28NE Night Hunter military helicopter during the opening day of the MAKS-2021 International Aviation and Space Salon at Zhukovsky outside Moscow on July 20, 2021.

Although historically a key diplomatic and trade partner of the U.S., Buhari’s government found itself at odds with Washington amid the #EndSARS protests in 2020, and again after a recent fallout with Twitter.

Meanwhile, Islamist militant groups such as Boko Haram and the Islamic State’s West Africa Province have cotinued to wreak havoc in the northeast of the country. 

This confluence of factors paving the way for Russian influence-building was also at play in Ethiopia. Russia has provided support for Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s government after Western governments balked at his forces’ military response to an insurgency in northern Tigray. 

Ethiopia felt the U.S. in particular was aligning with Egypt in the ongoing dispute over the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam. U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken further evoked the ire of Addis Ababa in March by accusing forces in Tigray of “ethnic cleansing.” 

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov then met with Ethiopian counterpart Demeke Mekonnen in June. Moscow proceeded with the deployment of election observers to Ethiopia, whereas the EU withdrew its observers, citing “ongoing violence across the country, human rights violations and political tensions, harassment of media workers and detained opposition members.”

SOCHI, RUSSIA - OCTOBER 23, 2019: Ethiopia' Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed (4th L) and Russia's President Vladimir Putin (2nd R) during Russian-Ethiopian talks on the sidelines of the 2019 Russia-Africa Summit at the Sirius Park of Science and Art.
SOCHI, RUSSIA - OCTOBER 23, 2019: Ethiopia’ Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed (4th L) and Russia’s President Vladimir Putin (2nd R) during Russian-Ethiopian talks on the sidelines of the 2019 Russia-Africa Summit at the Sirius Park of Science and Art.
Donat Sorokin\TASS via Getty Images

Russia has supplied strategic weapons both as a potential defense against any Egyptian strike on the GERD and to aid government forces in Tigray. 

“Gains by the Tigray Defence Force (TDF), which has captured parts of the Afar and Amhara regions in recent weeks, make the provision of desperately needed weapons all the more important for Addis Ababa, and Moscow is likely to oblige to such a request, possibly on a buy-now-pay-later basis,” said Louw Nel, senior political analyst at NKC African Economics.  

In what Nel flagged as a “sign of things to come,” Ethiopia and Russia signed a military cooperation agreement in July, focused specifically on knowledge and technology transfers. However, Nel noted that Ethiopia will be “wary of allowing Russian personnel to be deployed there in anything other than a training capacity.” 

Russia’s foreign ministry was not immediately available for comment when contacted by CNBC.

U.S. ‘creeping build-up’ 

The U.S. has pledged to reignite its economic and commercial engagements in Africa, but a planned drawback of troops is giving way to extensive spending on operational bases and longer-term plans to sustain a strategic presence, according to a recent report from risk intelligence firm Pangea-Risk. 

In 2018, then-U.S. national security advisor John Bolton singled out Russia’s expansionist “influence across Africa,” and Washington has been keen to retain a foothold on the continent.

The Biden administration is set to maintain the U.S. military’s 27 operational outposts on the continent, while the country’s Africa Command (Africom) is prioritizing counter-terrorism objectives in the Horn of Africa and the Sahel regions.

The U.S. is also establishing a presence in other strategically important regions, such as the Red Sea and the Gulf of Guinea. Some $330 million is reportedly being spent by 2025 on U.S. military base construction and related infrastructure projects, while Africom is drawing up a 20-year strategic plan. 

This will focus on counterterrorism, special forces operations and humanitarian support, along with safeguarding U.S. commercial interests in the face of growing Chinese and Russian presence. 

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and staff members participate in a virtual bilateral meeting with Nigeria's President Muhammadu Buhari during a videoconference at the State Department in Washington, DC on April 27, 2021.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and staff members participate in a virtual bilateral meeting with Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari during a videoconference at the State Department in Washington, DC on April 27, 2021.

The report noted that Cape Verdean authorities have since July 2020 agreed a Status of Forces Agreement with the U.S. military to allow U.S. troops to operate from its archipelago. 

“Such an agreement makes sense given global geo-political competition in the West African region and the need to counter the growing risk of piracy in the Gulf of Guinea, both of which pose an existential threat to U.S. commercial interests,” Pangea-Risk CEO Robert Besseling said. 

“However, the one-year-old SOFA with Cape Verde raises questions over broader U.S. diplomatic and judicial engagements in the country, and whether this sets a pattern for U.S.–Africa relations going forward.” 

International Crisis Group Africa Program Director Comfort Ero, has said the “creeping build-up” of U.S. military on the continent was accompanied by mixed messaging, accusing both the U.S. and African governments of a lack of transparency. 

The U.S. is likely to phase out its direct military presence in insecurity hotspots, but continues to seek SOFA deals with countries of strategic importance, Pangea-Risk said, adding that Washington will be reluctant to withdraw entirely due to Chinese and Russian presence. 

France struggles in the Sahel 

France maintains the largest presence and troop numbers of any former colonial power in Africa, particularly in the form of 5,100 troops in the Sahel, where the border area between Mali, Burkina Faso and Niger meet has become a hotspot for violence. 

“Paris is inconsistent in its treatment of friendly regimes, indulging an unconstitutional transfer of power in Chad but taking a harder line following a coup in Mali,” said NKC’s Nel. 

French President Emmanuel Macron supported a military-led transition from Chadian President Idriss Deby, who was killed in battle with rebel forces in April, to his son. This violated the country’s constitution and led to anti-French protests and the vandalism of a Total petrol station. 

PAU, France - French President Emmanuel Macron (L) welcomes Chad's President Idriss Deby prior to a summit on the situation in the Sahel region in the southern French city of Pau on January 13, 2020.
PAU, France - French President Emmanuel Macron (L) welcomes Chad’s President Idriss Deby prior to a summit on the situation in the Sahel region in the southern French city of Pau on January 13, 2020.
GEORGES GOBET/AFP via Getty Images

However, when Colonel Assimi Goïta established military rule in Mali, Macron denounced the coup and suspended a joint military operation with the Malian army. Protests in the aftermath were also hostile toward France, while Russian flags and posters were visible. 

“Given the clear negative trend in political stability in Mali, there is reason to consider the danger that it might end up looking like the CAR, where President Faustin-Archange Touadéra’s weak government is essentially kept in place by Russian muscle: the mercenaries of Yevgeny Prigozhin’s Wagner Group,” Nel said. 

Source=Russia is building military influence in Africa, challenging U.S., France (

We, ERIPS (Eritrean Research Institute for Policy and Strategy), are pleased to note that the Prime Minister of Ethiopia, Abyi Ahmed, has finally accepted the need for an investigation of the reported atrocity crimes committed throughout Tigray.  We are particularly pleased to note that the United Nations High Commission for Human Rights (UNHCHR) has indicated it is prepared to take part in such an investigation. It is pertinent that the investigation takes place as expediently and independently as possible before evidence is destroyed, tampered with, sanitized and witnesses are intimidated.

Understanding the complexity of the situation and the trail of biased reports we have been reading, we would like to express our serious concerns over the specific approach that is being promoted by the Ethiopian PM, namely: that the Ethiopian Human Rights Commission (EHRC) undertakes the investigation jointly with the U.N. Human Rights Office.  This, we do not believe, can give the level of independence required to satisfy a due process, including reassuring victims and averting a possible cycle of retributive violence.

We are also concerned about the sincerity of the PM’s pronouncement of “African problems” requiring “African solutions” and claiming, “those that cultivate divisions amongst us as Africans…to assert hegemony”. We are weary of such rhetoric often being used to mobilize African support for the wrong reasons. In this particular case it is blatantly disingenuous as it comes from the same person, who, at the initial stage of the conflict, refused to listen to advise of the very eminent persons sent by the then Chairman of the AU, President C. Ramaphosa of South Africa, to resolve the conflict politically and in the spirit of African problems, African solutions.

Due to a confluence of political and institutional influences, the contributions of those organizations selected to work with the UNHCHR may lead to biased investigations or investigations perceived to be biased. Simply put, gaining the trust and cooperation of victims, and investigating objectively without bias will be required to avoid unintentionally exacerbating the situation and to prevent the widespread violence, retaliation, and vengeance from continuing endlessly. We therefore strongly recommend that the investigations be carried out solely by the U.N. as it is better placed to ensure professionalism, credibility and independence of the process and veracity of the findings.

Note: The Eritrean Research Institute for Policy and Strategy (ERIPS) is a US based research organization with around 200 volunteer researchers from various educational institutions, public corporations, and private enterprises. ERIPS also has a vast network within the Eritrean and other North-East African communities.

Eritrean Research Institute for Policy and Strategy


Source: Daily Telegraph

Doctors say victims of conflict-related sexual violence are seeking emergency contraception and HIV prevention drugs in northern Ethiopia and 27 March 2021 • 8:30am

Illustration of victims of sexual violence outside a crumbling hospital

Hundreds of women are rushing to Tigray’s hospitals in northern Ethiopia for emergency contraception and HIV prevention drugs after being systematically raped, often gang-raped, by Eritrean and Ethiopian soldiers fighting in a brutal civil war.

Dozens are seeking abortions, medical care and psychological support in overwhelmed hospitals, many of which have been destroyed by a five-month conflict between Ethiopia’s federal government and the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF).

Thousands more are thought to be suffering in silence as they fear reprisals by security forces and rejection from their families, survivors, doctors and aid workers told the Telegraph.

In one of the first in-depth investigations of allegations of rape as a weapon of war in the conflict – which would constitute a war crime – the Telegraph has spoken to dozens in the region to uncover the true extent of what is happening.

One video, which was widely circulated on social media and has been verified by the Telegraph, shows a surgeon in Adigrat hospital removing long nails and pieces of plastic from the vagina of one woman after she was raped and tortured.

Melat*, 20, was at home in Wukro with her elder brother Danayi* when Ethiopian federal soldiers came in, she said. “When five Ethiopian soldiers came to our house to rape me, Danayi tried to defend me from them. ‘I cannot let you rape my sister,’ he said to them. The soldiers shot my brother in the head and took turns raping me,” Melat recalled, still in shock. “They raped me beside the corpse of my brother.”

Like many Tigrayan women, she is now pregnant from the attack. Many others have contracted HIV or other sexually transmitted diseases.

Ethiopian and Eritrean forces have for months been battling troops loyal to the former Tigrayan regional government in a war that has left thousands dead and millions on the brink of starvation. The resulting humanitarian disaster has left 4.5 million people in need of emergency assistance.

A coalition of Tigray’s political opposition recently stated that more than 50,000 people might have died since fighting began on November 4. Survivors, doctors, aid workers and experts speaking to the Telegraph all pointed to rape being systematically used as a weapon of war by Ethopian and Eritrean forces despite being harassed and threatened by soldiers in a bid to prevent them from speaking out.

“It’s absolutely ethnic cleansing, rape is being used as a weapon of war, it is being used as scare tactics,” an aid worker who has just returned from Tigray, who asked to stay anonymous, said.

Selam, a 26-year-old coffee seller in Edaga Hamus, 100km away from Tigray’s capital of Mekelle, said she was abducted by Eritrean soldiers with 17 other women in January.

“They took us into the forest. When we arrived there, there were around 100 soldiers who were waiting for us. They tied the hands and feet of each one of us. And then they raped us without mercy,” she told the Telegraph as she fought through tears.

Four retired US ambassadors to Ethiopia write an open letter to Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed (PhD) stating their concerns about recent political developments in the country.

The letter sent exclusively to The Reporter is signed by Ambassadors David Shinn, Aurelia Brazeal, Vicki Huddleston, and Patricia Haslach.

The full content of the letter is presented below.

Open Letter to Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed from retired U.S. Ambassadors to Ethiopia

January 21, 2021

Dear Mr. Prime Minister:

We are former ambassadors who have served in Ethiopia during various political crossroads, and each of us are forever inspired by the resilience and principles of the Ethiopian people. At present, we are deeply concerned about the stability and future of Ethiopia, and so have taken the liberty to write to you about our concerns.

We have watched the conflict in Tigray with grave unease as, according to the United Nations, nearly 60,000 refugees have fled to Sudan, 2.2 million people have been displaced, and 4.5 million people need emergency assistance, many of whom are without adequate food. We are also worried about the reported presence of Eritrean troops in Tigray, which could jeopardize Ethiopia’s territorial integrity.

We are concerned about the worsening ethnic tensions throughout the country, reflected in the proliferation of hate speech and rising ethnic and religious violence. Based on our time in your country, this growing violence seems to us to be contrary to Ethiopia’s long-standing tradition of tolerance for diverse religions and ethnicities. 

It is our hope, Mr. Prime Minister, that your government will ensure the protection of civilians, the independent investigation of human rights violations, and unrestricted access for the United Nations and other relief agencies. We would like to repeat the advice we often heard during each of our tenures in your country: Ethiopia needs a national dialogue designed to bring together all sectors of society. We wish you and every Ethiopian the very best.


Hon. David H. Shinn
Ambassador: July 1996-August 1999

Hon. Aurelia E. Brazeal
Ambassador: November 2002-September 2005

Hon. Vicki J. Huddleston
Chargé d’Affaires: September 2005-November 2006

Hon. Patricia M. Haslach
Ambassador: September 2013-August 2016 

Source=Retired US Ambassadors to Ethiopia write an open letter to Prime Minister Abiy | The Reporter Ethiopia English

You really couldn’t make it up. Terrorism…trouble in Mozambique…Western Sahara…but not a word about the war currently raging North of the African Union headquarters in Addis Ababa.

Not a mention of the three African Union presidents Ramaphosa asked to mediate in the Tigray conflict.

Any wonder the African Union is held in such low regard by ordinary Africans?


Your Majesties,
Your Excellencies, Heads of State and Government,
H.E. Moussa Faki Mahamat, Chairperson of the African Union Commission,
Honourable Ministers,
Commissioners of the African Union,
Representatives of Regional Economic Communities,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

Let me welcome you, once again, to this 14th Extraordinary Session on Silencing the Guns. 

While the year 2020 has imposed unprecedented challenges on us, it has also reminded us of our fortitude and resilience as Africans.

We have gathered here today to assess the progress we have made since 2013 when we adopted the Agenda 2063 flagship project of ‘Silencing the Guns’ by 2020. 

With this flagship project, we committed ourselves to the objective of creating a conflict-free continent that is stable, developed, prosperous and capable of delivering the better life that all its people yearn for. 

We made a solemn declaration not to bequeath the burden of wars to the next and future generations of Africans. 

It was at the January 2017 Assembly that we adopted the AU Master Roadmap of Practical Steps for Silencing the Guns in Africa by the Year 2020. 

As we gather here, we all know that the guns are not yet silent. 

In some areas peace has been achieved, but considerable challenges still confront us.

There are shortcomings in implementation that must be addressed urgently because they diminish our ability to consolidate peace, prevent the recurrence of violent conflict, build social cohesion, deepen democracy and advance economic development.

Peace and stability will remain elusive if we do not address the connection between security and development; these are mutually reinforcing and one cannot be achieved without the other. 

Sustainable peace can only be achieved by building a just world and a rules-based international order that is inclusive and that addresses the root causes of conflict, such as poverty, injustice and discrimination. 

We condemn the acts of violence, terrorism and violent extremism as seen in the Sahel region and that are now spreading to other parts of the Continent, including our sisterly country of Mozambique. 

We equally express our grave concern about the current situation in Western Sahara, which demands that every effort is made to facilitate the self-determination of the people of Western Sahara.  

We need to reaffirm our commitment to the full and successful implementation of the AU Master Roadmap of Practical Steps to Silence the Guns in Africa. 

As we march towards the start of trading under the African Continental Free Trade Area on the 1st of January 2021, we are mindful that its success cannot be separated from a stable and conducive business environment that is able to attract foreign direct investment.    

We need to address the root causes of conflict in our societies through a multifaceted approach that will require improved governance, entrenched democratic norms, respect for human rights and the political will to capacitate our institutions.

We need to address the continued exclusion of women in the economic, political and social spheres, which renders them particularly vulnerable to violence and conflict and which undermines the contribution they could make to finding and sustaining peace. 

We welcome the ongoing efforts to create a conducive environment for the effective participation of women and youth in peace and development processes.

It is through political will that we will overcome. 

It is through political will that we, the African Union, will foster unity among the people of our continent. 

Yesterday we marked the 7th anniversary of the passing of the founding father of the South African nation, President Nelson Mandela. 

As we continue to remember him and draw inspiration from his lifelong dedication to the African cause, it is fitting that we, who are given the privilege to lead our people, work practically to give meaning to his dream of “an Africa which is at peace with itself”. 

Let us work to realise the dreams of our forebears and ensure that the next and future generations of Africans will reap the rewards of an Africa at peace with itself.

We look forward to your insights and perspectives on our agenda item of the day.

Equally, we look forward to the adoption of concrete decisions that will emanate from our engagements.

I therefore declare this session officially open and I wish us all fruitful deliberations.

I thank you.

Saturday, 12 September 2020 14:31

Bahrain follows UAE to normalise ties with Israel

Palestine recalls Bahrain envoy, denounces latest deal as 'another treacherous stab to the Palestinian cause'.

Bahrain follows UAE to normalise ties with Israel
Senior White House adviser Jared Kushner travelled to Bahrain as part of his Middle East tour earlier in September [Bahrain News Agency/Handout via Reuters]

Bahrain has joined the United Arab Emirates in agreeing to normalise relations with Israel, in a US-brokered deal that Palestinian leaders denounced as "another treacherous stab to the Palestinian cause".

Donald Trump, the president of the United States, announced the deal on Twitter on Friday after he spoke by phone to Bahrain's King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

"This is truly a historic day," Trump told reporters in the Oval Office, saying he believed other countries would follow suit.

"It's unthinkable that this could happen and so fast."

In a joint statement, the United States, Bahrain and Israel said "opening direct dialogue and ties between these two dynamic societies and advanced economies will continue the positive transformation of the Middle East and increase stability, security, and prosperity in the region".

A month ago, the UAE agreed to normalise ties with Israel under a US-brokered deal scheduled to be signed at a White House ceremony on Tuesday hosted by Trump, who is seeking re-election on November 3.

The ceremony is due to be attended by Netanyahu and Emirati Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan. The joint statement said Bahrain's Foreign Minister Abdullatif al-Zayani will join that ceremony and sign an "historic Declaration of Peace" with Netanyahu.

Like the UAE agreement, Friday's Bahrain-Israel deal will normalise diplomatic, commercial, security and other relations between the two countries. Bahrain, along with Saudi Arabia, had already dropped a ban on Israeli flights using its airspace.

Friday's joint statement only made passing mention of the Palestinians, who fear the moves by Bahrain and the UAE will weaken a longstanding pan-Arab position that calls for Israeli withdrawal from already illegally occupied territory and acceptance of Palestinian statehood in return for normal relations with Arab countries.

The statement said Bahrain, Israel and the US will continue efforts "to achieve a just, comprehensive, and enduring resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict to enable the Palestinian people to realise their full potential".

'Grave harm'

Netanyahu welcomed the agreement and thanked Trump.

"It took us 26 years between the second peace agreement with an Arab country and the third, but only 29 days between the third and the fourth, and there will be more," he said, referring to the 1994 peace treaty with Jordan and the more recent agreements.

For its part, Bahrain said it supports a "fair and comprehensive" peace in the Middle East, according to BNA state news agency. That peace should be based on a two-state solution to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the report said, quoting King Hamad.

Jared Kushner, Trump's son-in-law and senior White House adviser, hailed the agreements as "the culmination of four years of great work" by the Trump administration.

Speaking to reporters in a call from the White House soon after Friday's announcement, Kushner said the UAE and Bahrain agreements "will help reduce tension in the Muslim world and allow people to separate the Palestinian issue from their own national interests and from their foreign policy, which should be focused on their domestic priorities".

The Palestinian leadership, however, condemned the agreement as a betrayal of the Palestinian cause and recalled the Palestinian ambassador to Bahrain for consultations.

Palestinians protest against normalizing ties with Israel as Arab foreign ministers meet
Palestinians have protested against Arab states normalising ties with Israel [File: Raneen Sawafta/Reuters]

In a statement, the Palestinian Authority said it "rejects this step taken by the Kingdom of Bahrain and calls on it to immediately retreat from it due to the great harm it causes to the inalienable national rights of the Palestinian people and joint Arab action".

The Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), based in Ramallah, the occupied West Bank, called the normalisation "another treacherous stab to the Palestinian cause". And in Gaza, Hamas spokesman Hazem Qassem said Bahrain's decision to normalise relations with Israel "represents a grave harm to the Palestinian cause, and it supports the occupation".

'A purely Saudi decision'

Khalil Jahshan, executive director at the Arab Center of Washington, said Saudi acquiescence was key to Bahrain's decision.

"It is a purely Saudi decision. In the absence of the ability, due to internal constraints, by the leadership in Saudi Arabia to respond positively to Trump, they gave him Bahrain on a silver platter."

Bahrain, a small island state, is home to the US Navy's regional headquarters. Saudi Arabia in 2011 sent troops to Bahrain to help quell an uprising and, alongside Kuwait and the UAE, in 2018 offered Bahrain a $10bn economic bailout.

Al Jazeera's Nida Ibrahim, reporting from Ramallah in the occupied West Bank, agreed, saying Palestinian officials believe the Bahrain and the UAE deals would not have happened "without regional backing".

"The fear among the Palestinians is that these deals are a green light for more Arab states to normalise with Israel," she said. "And many Palestinians say that for years they saw the US as Israel's lawyer or partner and now they see it as Israel's agent. That's because Trump is the one announcing these normalisation deals."

Since taking office, the Trump administration has pursued staunchly pro-Israel policies, including moving the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, ordering the PLO to shutter its Washington, DC, office and recognising Israel's occupation of the Syrian Golan Heights.

The US president and his advisers have championed a so-called "deal of the century" proposal to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict - and they have courted Arab Gulf states to try to drum up support for that initiative.

Bahrain, for example, hosted a US-led conference in June 2019 to unveil the economic side of the proposal, and Emirati and Saudi leaders voiced support at the time for any economic agreement that would benefit Palestinians. Palestinian leaders boycotted that summit, however, saying the Trump administration was not an honest broker in any future negotiations with Israel.

Reporting from Washington, DC, Al Jazeera's Kimberly Halkett said while the deals between Israel, Bahrain and the UAE are not high on the list of priorities for most US voters, a large portion of Trump's supporters are Evangelical Christians who favour his pro-Israel positions.

Halkett said Trump is trying to show them before the November 3 contest that he can get the "deal of the century" done in his second term.

"He's acting as if this is a framework that will bring about that so-called 'deal of the century'," Halkett said, despite the fact that "the president and his administration's representatives are not even talking to the Palestinians right now".



ምምሕዳር ትራምፕ፡ ኣብ ኣመሪካ ንዝነብሩ ኤርትራውያንን ኢትጵያውያንን ከመይ ጸልዩዎም?

ዶናልድ ትራምፕ
3  መስከረም 2020

ፕረዚደንታዊ መረጻ ኣመሪካ ዝመጽእ 3 ሕዳር 2020 ክካየድ እዩ፡፡ እቲ መረጻ ብቐንዱ ጉዳይ ኣመሪካውያን ይኹን እምበር ውጽኢት መረጻ እታ ኩለመዳያዊ ጸብለልታ ዘለዋ ሃገር፡ ዳርጋ ንመብዛሕተአን ሃገራት ዓለም ስለዝጸሉ ኣቓልቦ ማሕበረ ሰብ ዓለም ዝወስድ ጉዳይ እዩ፡፡

ብምኽንያት ኣንጻራዊ ናይ ፖሊሲ ፍልልያት፡ ኣብታ ኣብ ዓለም ዝበዝሑ ስደተኛታት ዝነብሩላ ኣመሪካ ዝካየድ መረጻ፡ ነቶም ስደተኛታት አዐርዩ እዩ ዘገድሶም፡፡

ከም ጸብጻብ ትካል ፖሊሲ ስደት (ኤምፒኣይ) ኣብ 2018 ኣቆጻጽራ ፈረንጂ፡ ኣብ ኣመሪካ ቁጽሪ ስደተኛታት 44.7 ሚልዮን ነይሩ፡፡ እዚ ድማ ኣስታት 15 ምኢታዊት ካብ ብዝሒ ህዝባ ኣመሪካ እዩ። ፡

ኣብ ተመሳሳሊ እዋን ቁጽሪ ኣብታ ሃገር ዝነብሩ ኢትዮጵያውያን 278 ሽሕ ክበጽሕ እንከሎ 45 ሽሕ ኤርትራውያን ከምዘለው ጸብጻብ ይሕብር፡፡

ቅድሚ ኣርባዕተ ዓመታት ካብ ፕረዚደንት ባራክ ኦባማ መንበረ ስልጣን ዝተረከበ ኣባል ውድብ ሪፐብሊካን ፕርዚደንት ዶናልድ ትራምፕ፡ ኣብዚ እዋን ንኻልኣይ እብረ ኣብቲ ጻዕዳ ቤተ-መንግስቲ ዘጽንሖ ድምጺ ንምርካብ ምስ ሕጹይ ዲሞክራት ጆ-ባይደን ብድምጾ ይጠማጠም ኣሎ።

ስደተኛታት ኢትዮጵያን ኤርትራን ንዝሓለፈ ኣርባዕተ ዓመታት ምሕደራ ትራምፕ ከመይ ይገልጹዎ?

ኢትዮጵያዊ ኪሮስ ኣርኣያ ኣብ ግዝኣት ካሊፎርንያ ንነዊሕ ዓመታት ዝተቐመጠ ኣብ ዓውደ ፋይናንስ ዝነጥፍ ሞያዊ እዩ፡፡

ፕረዚደንት ዶናልድ ትራምፕ ኣብ ልዕሊ ስደተኛታት ኣወንታዊ ኣረኣእያ ከምዘይብሉ ዝገልጽ ኣቶ ኪሮስ፡ ገና ፕረዚደንት ቅድሚ ምዃኑ፡ ኣብ ልዕሊትውልዲ ባራክ ኦባማ ዘልዕሎ ዝነበረ ሕቶታት ከም ኣብነት ይጠቅስ፡፡

''ኦባማ ኣብዚ ኣይተወለደን፤ ኣብዚ ዓዲ ተወሊዱ እንተኾይኑ ከርኢ ኣለዎ እናበለ የንበድብድ ነይሩ፡፡ ሓደ ጊዜ ኣብ ኬንያ ሓደ ጊዜ ኣብ ኢንዶኔዥያ ተወሊዱ እናበለ ክሲ የቕርበሉ ነይሩ'' ዝብል ኣቶ ኪሮስ፡ ፕረዚደንት ኦባማ ኣብ ኣመሪካ ግዝኣት ሃዋይ ከምዝተወለደ ዘረድእ ወረቐት ከቕርብ ተገዲዱ ከምዝነበረ ይዝክር፡፡

ኪሮስ ኣርኣያ

ዶናልድ ትራምፕ ፕረዚደንት ኮይኑ መስተመረጸ ድማ ግዜ ከይወሰደ ስደተኛታት ዝኣትዉሎም ኣፍደገታት ናብ ምዕጻው ከምዝኣተወ ይገልጽ፡፡

''ምስ ሜክሲኮ ዘሎ ዶብ፡ ሳውዝ ቦርደር ኢሎም ዝጽውዕዎ ዶብ ክጸብብ፡ ናብ ሓሙሽተ ሽሕ ዝኾኑ ሓደሽቲ ሓለውቲ ዶብ ቖጺሩ '' ይብል፡፡

ብተወሳኺ እቲ ፕረዚደንት ዋሕዚ ዘይሕጋውያን ስደተኛታት ንምቕናስ ምስ ሜክሲኮ ኣብ ዘዋስን ዶብ ኣመሪካ ኣስታት ክልተ ሽሕ ማይል ሓጹር ንምስራሕ ዝገበሮ ምንቅስቓስ፡ ኣብ ስደተኛታ ዘለዎ ኣመለኻኽታ ሓደገኛ ምዃኑ መረጋገጺ ከምዝኾነ ኣቶ ኪሮስ ኣርኣያ ይገልጽ፡፡

ኣብ ህጻንነታ ምስ ኤርትውያን ወለዳ ናብ ኣመሪካ ዝመጽአት ኣድያም ሃይለሩፋኤል፡ ንዝሓለፉ ዓሰርተ ዓመታት ተሓላቒት መሰል ስደተኛታት ብፍላይ ከኣ ንኤርትራውያን ስደተኛታት ኮይና ክትንቀሳቐስ ጸኒሓ፡፡

መንግስቲ ኣመሪካ፡ ኣብ ልዕሊ ኤርትራ እትርከበን ሃገራት ዘንበሮ ናይ ጉዕዞ እገዳ ልክዕ ከምዘይኮነ እትገልጽ ኣድያም፡ ''እዚ እገዳ ብኣብዝሓ ካብተን ሃገራት ንዝመጽኡ ምሁራት እዩ ጽልዋ ዘለዎ'' ትብል፡፡

እቲ ዝኽፍአ ናይቶም ብሊብያ ካልኦት ሃገራትን ኣቢሎም ብዶብ ሜክሲኮ መጺኦም '' ዕቑባ ንምርካብ ዝሳቐዩ ዘለዉ ስደተኛታት ኣሕዋትና እዩ'' ትብል፡፡

ብኣቆጻጽራ ኣውሮጵያውያን ዝሓለፈ 1 ለካቲት፡ መንግስቲ ኣመሪካ፡ ንሃገራት ኤርትራ፣ ኪርጊስታን፣ ማንያማር፣ ሱዳን፣ ታንዛንያን ናይጀርያን ናይ ጉዕዞ እገዳ ከምዝገበረን ኣፍሊጡ፡፡

ኣብቲ እዋን፡ መንግስቲ ኤርትራ ብዘይ ስሩዕ ሰነድ ኣብ ኣመሪካ ዝብሩ ዜጋታቱ ናብ ሃገሮም ንምውሳድ ኣይተሓባበረን፣ እታ ሃገር ኣብ ጉዳያት ድሕነትን ጸጥታን ንምስራሕ መንግስቲ ኣመሪካ ንዘንበሮ መምዘኒ ኣየማለአትን ዝብሉን ምኽንያታት ብመንግስቲ ኣሜሪካ ቐሪቦም ነይሮም፡፡

መንግስቲ ኤርትራ ብወገኑ፡ ነቲ ኤርትራውያን ኣብ ኣሜሪካ ብቐዋምነት ክነብሩ ዘኽእል ቪዛ ከይረኽቡ ዝኽልክል እገዳ ዘይኮነስ ነቶም ዝቐረቡ ምኽንያታት እዩ ተቓዊሙ፡፡

ምሕደራ ፕረዚደንት ባራክ ኦባማ ምስ ዶናልድ ትራምፕ ክነጻጸር እንከሎ፡ ምሕደራ ኦባማ ንስደተኛታት ዝሓሸ ከምዝነበረ እያ ተጣባቒት መሰል ሰደተኛታት ኣድያም ሃይለ ሩፋኤል እትገልጽ፡፡

''ብርግጽ ባራክ ኦባማ እዩ ዝሓይሽ፡፡ እቲ ናይ ዲሞክራት ፖሊሲ ኣብ ስደተኛታት ትኹረት ይገብር እዩ፡፡ ደሞክራት፡ ነቲ ኩነታት ዝርድኡን ኩሉ ጊዜ እናማዕበሉዎ ዝኸዱን እዮም'' ትብል፡፡

ኣድያም ሃይለ ሩፋኤል

ብተወሳኺ መንግስቲ ባራክ ኦባማ ኣብ ኤርትራ ንዝበረ ጸገም ምሕደራ እውን እንተኾነ ኣቓልቦ ሂቡ ይሰርሓሉ ከምዝነበረ ትሕብር፡፡

ማዕከን ዜና ኤቢሲ፡ ቁጽሪ መንግስቲ ኣመሪካ ናብ ሃገሮም ዘባርሮም ኤርትራውያን እናወሰኸ ይመጽእ ከምዘሎ ኣብ ወርሒ ግንቦት ሓቢሩ ነይሩ፡፡

ካብ ወርሒ ሚያዝያ ክሳብ ጉንበት ኣስታት 936 ኤርትራወያን ናብ ሃገሮም ክባረሩ ከምዝተወሰነ ግን ገና ኣብ ቁጽጽር ከምዘይወዓሉ ዝገልጽ ጸብጻብ ኤቢሲ፡ ካብ ወርሒ ጥቅምቲ ክሳብ ግንቦት ጥራሕ ልዕሊ ዓሰርተ ኤርትውያን ናብ ሃገሮም ከምዝተሰጉ ይሕብር፡፡

''ቀዳምነት ንኣመሪካ'' ዝብል ፖሊሲ ዶናልድ ትራምፕ፡ እታ ሃገር ምስ ካልኦት ሃገራት ንዝህልዋ ምሕዝነት ከምዘጉደሎ ዝገልጽ ኣቶ ኪሮስ ኣርኣያ ኣብ ልዕሊ ኢትዮጵያ እውን ዝተፈለየ ከምዘይነበረ ይገልጽ፡፡

ብተወሳኺ '' ናይ ኣመሪካ ስርዓት ብዛዕባ ትራምፕ ጥራሕ እውን ኣይኮነን'' ዝብል ኣቶ ኪሮስ፡ ናይ ኣመሪካ ጥቕሚ ይሕሉ እዩ ኣብ ዝበሃል ኩሉ ኢድካ ምእታው ንነዊሕ እዋን ዝጸንሐ ኣካል ፖሊሲ ወጻኢ እታ ሃገር ከምዝኾነ ብምግላጽ፡ ''ድኽመት መንግስቲ ኢትዮጵያ ተሓዊስዎ'' ኣብ ጉዳይ ህዳሰ ዝተርኣየ ነገር ከም ኣብነት የልዕል፡፡

መንግስቲ ኢትዮጵያ፡ መንግስቲ ኣመሪካን ዓለማዊ ባንክን ኣብ ሰሉሳዊ ድርድር ግድብ ህዳሰ ክሕወሱ ምስምምዑ፡ ብደገን ውሽጥን ቀሊል ናብ ዘይበሃል ፖለቲካዊ ጽዕንቶ ኣእትይዎ እዩ፡፡

ቅድሚ ስምምዕ፡ ሰለስቲአን ሃገራት እቲ ግድብ ማይ ከይመልእ ብወገን ኣመሪካ ዝቐረበ ተደጋጋሚ መጠንቀቕታን፡ ብተቓወምቲ ኣብዪ ኣሕመድ ''ነቲ ግድብ ሸይጥዎ'' ዝብል ክስን፡ ንመንግስቲ ኢትዮጵያ ተወሳኺ ሕማም ርእሲ ፈጢሩሉ እዩ፡፡

ኣብ ኣመሪካ ዝነበሩ ኢትጵያውያን ንምትእትታው መንግስቲ ዶናልድ ትራምፕ ብምቅዋም ሰልፊ ኣካይዶም እዮም፡፡

ኮይኑ ግና ንጉዳይ ግድብ ህዳሰ ነኺሱ ሒዙ ዘሎ መንግስቲ ኣመሪካ፡ ኢትዮጵያ ነቲ ስምምዕ ብዘይ ምቕባላ፡ ካብ መንግስቲ ኣመሪካ ዝግበረላ ሓገዝ ክሳብ 130 ሚልዮን ዶላር ክቕነስ ከምዝኽእል ኣብ ቀረባ መዓልታት ተገሊጹ ኣሎ፡፡

ካብ ቀጻሊ መረጻ ኣመሪካ እንታይ ይጽበዩ?

ትራምፕን ጆ ባይደንን

ኣብ ዝሓለፈ ሕዳር፡ ጸለምቲ ኣባላት ኮንግረንስ ውድብ ዲሞክራቲክ፡ ናብ ሳንድያጎ መጺኦም፡ ኣብ ጉዳይ ኣፍሪቃውያን ስደተኛታት ከምዘዘራረብዎም እትገልጽ ኣድያም ሃይለ ሩፋኤል፡ ኣብ መንጎ ሜክሲኮን ኣመሪካን ዘለዉ ስደተኛታት ዘለውሉ ኩነታት ምስረኣዩ ኣዝዮም ከምዝሓዘኑ ትዛረብ፡፡

''ገሪሙዎም፡ ክንድኡ ኣፍሪቃዊ ስደተኛ ከምዘሎ፡ ከምኡ ዓይነት ቅልውላው ከምዘሎ ኣይፈልጡን ነይሮም'' ትብል፡፡

ኣባላት ውድብ ዲሞክራት ብተነጻጻሪ ንስደተኛታት ዝሓሸ ምድንጋጽ ከምዘለዎም እትገልጽ ኣድያም፡ ኩሎም ኣባላት ሪፐብሊካን ብፖሊሲ ደረጃ ኣንጻር ስደተኛታት እዮም ምባል ከምዘይከኣልን ብዙሓት ንጉዳይ ኣፍሪቃውያን ስደተኛታት ብኣወንታዊ ከምዝጥምትዎን ትዛረብ፡፡

ኣቶ ኪሮስ ኣርኣያ፡ ኣብ ዝሓለፈ ኣርባዕተ ዓመታት ኣብ ኣመሪካ ክፍጸሙ እዮም ኢሉ ዘይሓሰቦም ነገራት ከምዘረኣየ እዩ ዝገልጽ፡፡

''ቤተ ሰብ ምስደቆም ክፈላሊ ጀሚሩ፤ 10 ሽሕ ዝኾኑ ሓደሽቲ ተቖጻጸርቲ ቆጺሩ ገዛ ንገዛ እናዘሩ፡ ሰባት ደቆም ኣብ ኣብያተ ትምህርቲ ኣብጺሖም ክምለሱ እንከለው ጨውዮምዎም ይኸዱ'' ብምባል ብዙሓት ካብ ኣባላት ስድረኦም ተፈላልዮም ከምዝተባረሩ ይዛረብ፡፡

ብተወሳኺ ፕረዚደንት ትራምፕ፡ ኣብ ጉዳይ ኮሮናቫይረስ ዝተኸተሎ ፖሊሲ ነታ ሃገር ብዙሕ ዋጋ ከምዘኽፈላ ዝገልጽ ኣቶ ኪሮስ፡ ብዙሓት ደገፍቱ ዝነበሩ ኣባላት ሪፐብሊካን ይርሕቕዎ ከምዘለዉን ኣብዚ ሕጂ ዝካየድ መረጻ ናይ ምስዓር ዕድሉ እናጸበበ ይመጽእ ምህላው ይገልጽ፡፡

ኩሉ ሳዕ ሓበራዊ ጻዕሪ ነበርቲ ኣመሪካ ስደተኛታት፡ ኣብ ፖሊሲ ስደተኛታት ኣመሪካ ጸቕጢ ንምፍጣር ከምዝሕግዝ ኣቶ ኪሮስ ኣርኣያን ኣድያም ሃይለ ሩፋኤልን ይሕብሩ፡፡

Harnnet Media - ሓርነት ሚድያ

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