The TN Weekend News Digest #3


Miss some news this week? Catch up on a few of the stories with this quick weekly news digest.

Djibouti’s Foreign Minister Mahamoud Ali Youssouf
“A deal to build a Saudi military base in the country will happen very soon. The security, military and strategic draft of the accord is ready and the coastal areas that could host the base, be it military or naval, have been identified after Saudi military officers and officials explored some of the Djibouti areas. “We have agreed on the base, and the accord is still valid.” – Djibouti’s Foreign Minister Mahamoud Ali Youssouf

Djibouti Agrees to a Saudi Military Base on its Territory

(Al Arabia) – Djibouti’s Foreign Minister Mahamoud Ali Youssouf said that his country welcomed a Saudi military base to be built on its territory.

“I took Saudi military leaders to some of Djibouti areas for Saudi Arabia’s military bases,” Youssouf said, adding that the agreement will be signed off in the near future.

With regards to Djibouti’s relations with Iran, Youssouf explained that after Tehran supported that attack against the legitimate government of Yemen, Dijbouti decided to cut all ties with Iran. (>> Read more …)

DROI Chair Shocked by Arrest of Prof. Merera Gudina

“The European Parliament is aware of the difficult situation in Ethiopia and stresses the need to continue to support the Ethiopian people.” – DROI Chair

(European Parliament) – The Chair of the European Parliament’s Subcommittee on Human Rights (DROI), Elena Valenciano (S&D, ES), made the following statement:

“On 30 November Ethiopian security forces detained the chairman of the Ethiopian opposition party ‘Oromo Federalist Congress’ (OFC), Professor Merera Gudina, shortly after his arrival in Addis Ababa.

Prof. Merera was returning from Brussels where – together with other Ethiopian activists and the Olympian athlete Feyisa Lellisa – he had had a meeting with MEPs on 9 November 2016.

I urge the Ethiopian Government to make public any charges it has brought against Prof. Merera and I will continue to follow his case very closely.

The European Parliament adopted an urgency resolution on the violent crackdown on protesters in January 2016, which requested that the Ethiopian authorities stop using anti-terrorism legislation to repress political opponents, dissidents, human rights defenders, other civil society actors and independent journalists. (>> Read more …)

Eritrea Participated in Fidel Castro’s Funeral

eritrea-cuba(Shabait) – Higher Eritrean delegation took part in the funeral service of the former Cuban president Fidel Castro yesterday 4 December in the city of Santiago de Cuba.

The Eritrean delegation which comprises Foreign Minister Osman Saleh and Mr. Yemane Gebreab, Head of PFDJ Political Affairs, expressed deep condolences on behalf of the people and Government of Eritrea.

The late Cuban president Fidel Castro passed away on Friday, 25th of November at the age of 90.

Ethiopia Selling Weapons to South Sudan

(Nyamile) – The government of South Sudan has purchased lethal weapons from Ethiopia in preparation to launch a deadly assault on South Sudan armed opposition groups, revealed a confidential document seen by Nyamilepedia, dated November 25, 2016 and signed by deputy attaché in South Sudan Embassy in Addis Ababa.

South Sudan embassy deputy attaché in Ethiopia Lt. Col. Solomon Tor Kang has sent a quotation of 55,000 US dollars to South Sudan army chief Gen. Paul Malong Awan in the light of dispatching the military packages.

Ethiopia’s Defence Ministry supplied South Sudan embassy in Ethiopia with fifty five thousand US dollars quotation as charges for transport fees from Dukem/Daluta to Debrezeit Air Force Base, the amount is inclusive of air base handling, loading and offloading fees, says the document.

Nyamilepedia was unable to reach South Sudan government for comment on these new procurement.

This military hardware awaiting passage to Juba include 20,000 pieces of Rocket 107 MM.He, 7,964 quantities of 60 MM Mortar, 20,000 pieces of RGD-5 Hand Grenade and among other classifications of different kind of military hardware. (>> Read more ...)

Somalia’s Presidential Election Postponed for Third Time

Somalia faces election challenges. What now?

(VOA News) – Somalia’s presidential elections, scheduled to begin this week, have been postponed for a third time, the electoral body said Monday.

Omar Mohamed Abdulle, head of Somalia’s electoral body, said elections slated for Wednesday will not happen as planned.

Abdulle did not offer a new date, but said the next president will be elected before the end of this year.

Somalia’s parliament members will elect the new president. However, parliamentary elections to elect new lawmakers have not been completed in all regions of the country.

The parliamentary voting was marred by irregularities and corruption, and Somalia’s electoral body is investigating allegations of election malpractice.

Somalia’s auditor general, Nur Jimale Farah, told VOA’s Somali service earlier this month that some of the parliamentary seats were bought by the highest bidder.

“Some votes were bought with $5,000, some with $10,000, and some with $20,000 or $30,000. But not all seats are equal. Some are influential seats and have a lot of candidates competing for them,” he said. (>> Read more …)

Discontent Grows Louder in Ethiopia as Regime Fights for Survival

oromo-amhara-protests(Financial Times) – Angered by the arrest of Merera Gudina, his party leader, hours earlier for allegedly “making contact with terrorist groups”, a senior figure in Ethiopia’s opposition said he was willing to commit a crime under the country’s strict state of emergency laws by criticising the ruling party.

The Oromo Federal Congress executive, who asked for anonymity, was scathing about the Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front, the coalition that has governed the African nation for 25 years and controls every seat in the Addis Ababa parliament.

“People want total change. This means the EPRDF has to hold a free and fair election,” he told the Financial Times in an interview. “But they interpret that as wanting to overthrow the government by force. They will cut your neck for saying so.”

At first glance Addis Ababa, a city of more than 3m people at the centre of one of the continent’s fastest-growing economies, appears to be normal. But beneath the surface it is clear that Ethiopia’s authoritarian rulers are in a fight for survival as they combat unprecedented levels of discontent.

The regime, which is dominated by ethnic Tigrayans, who comprise only 6 per cent of the population, admits that more than 500 people have probably been killed since anti-government protests began 13 months ago. Two months into what is expected to be a six-month state of emergency, 11,600 people have been arrested. (>> Read more …)

The U.S. and Ethiopia’s Complicated Alliance

(Seeker) – In October, the U.S. State Department issued a travel warning for Ethiopia. The State Department website says this warning is due to “ongoing unrest that has led to hundreds of deaths, thousands of arrests, as well as injuries and extensive property damage.”

Formal relations between the U.S. and Ethiopia stem back to 1903, and in spite of Ethiopia’s instability, the U.S. has maintained relations with them. What are the details of the relationship between these two countries?

Watch the video to find out why: