Miss some news last week? Catch up on a few of the stories with this quick weekly news digest.
Australia: Protests Prompt Ethiopia Reprisals
(HRW) – The Ethiopian government has arrested and detained dozens of relatives of Ethiopians who participated in a Melbourne protest in June, 2016, and is still holding many of them four months later.
On June 12, members of Australia’s Ethiopian community who are from Somali Regional State protested the visit to Australia of an Ethiopian regional government delegation that included Abdi Mohamoud Omar, known as Abdi Iley, the president of Ethiopia’s Somali Regional State. They were also protesting Australia’s support for the Ethiopian government. The Ethiopian delegation did not appear, and after several hours the event was cancelled. The protesters later learned that several dozen of their relatives in Ethiopia’s Somali Regional State had been arrested and detained due to their involvement in the Melbourne protest. (>> Read more …)
South Sudan: UN Adviser Warns of Genocide Risk
(VOA News) — The U.N. adviser on genocide said Friday that South Sudan, embroiled in civil war since 2013, was at a “strong risk of violence escalating along ethnic lines, with the potential for genocide.”
Adama Dieng spoke to reporters in South Sudan’s capital, Juba, at the end of his five-day visit to the nation.
Information Minister Michael Makuei disagreed with Dieng and said the U.N. adviser’s assessment was “very unfortunate.”
“Here in South Sudan, what is happening has nothing to do with genocide,” Makuei said.
South Sudan was formed in 2011 and has been beset by internal violence for most of the time since. The civil war has claimed tens of thousands of lives and forced more than a million people to flee to neighboring countries.
In an interview with the German broadcaster Deutsche Welle, Dieng said, “There is still room to fend off further escalation of this ethnically fueled tension. But there is conflict almost all over the country. And the lid is off the kettle, and the security apparatus is so fragmented that no one has permanent control anymore.”
“What is important now,” the U.N. official said, “is that President Salva Kiir, who is in charge of law and order, takes the measures which are required to bring to a halt the escalation of the ongoing ethnically fueled violence.” (>> Read more …)
Ethiopia’s Tourism Revenue Falls by Over $7m Due to Protests
(AfricaNews) – Ethiopia’s tourism revenue has taken a massive dip in the wake of anti-government protests that started a year ago. The Horn of Africa country is projected to lose about 400 million dollars from tourism in the current budget year.
According to the BBC’s correspondent in the country, millions of dollars was lost in tourism revenue. He refers to the tourism ministry’s disclosure that income from the sector had fallen by more than $7m (£5.5m) over the last quarter alone.
A local media portal said the country had planned to generate 3 billion dollars from tourism this year but the current shortfall had forced the government to revise its targets.
The government declared a six-month long state of emergency in October as part of efforst to quell the protests. Most of the protests were in the Oromo and Amhara regions. The clampdown by security agencies led to international calls for the government to respect the rights of protesters. (>> Read more …)
US ‘Admits Somalia Air Strike Killed Allies, not al-Shabab’
(BBC News) – An airstrike in Somalia that the US said had targeted al-Shabab actually killed 10 members of an allied local militia, US media report, quoting an unpublished Pentagon investigation.
The US says it carried out the September strike to protect Puntland forces who came under fire during an operation against al-Shabab militants.
The strike sparked anti-American protests among local communities.
The Somali army said the dead were civilians and Galmudug regional forces.
The US provides military support to Somalia in its fight against al-Shabab, an al-Qaeda affiliate, which is waging an armed insurgency in the country.
After the strike, officials in Galmadug accused rivals authorities in Puntland of feeding the US military false intelligence to trick them into launching the strike that killed its soldiers.
Puntland and Galmadug, both semi-autonomous regions, have been fighting each other for decades over territorial disputes. (>> Read more …)
Ethiopia Charges 22 Over Terror Plot
(BBC News) – Ethiopian authorities have charged 22 people with inciting violence at schools and plotting terror attacks following instructions from Oromo rebel groups based outside the country, the state-affiliated Fana Broadcasting Corporation reports.
The Oromo Liberation Front (OLF) groups from which the suspects were allegedly receiving instructions were based in Norway and Kenya, it adds.
The defendants allegedly incited an attack on a school in December 2015 and also allowed three “armed terrorists to join them after receiving instructions” from an OLF leader abroad, the report said.
The group has not yet been asked to plead to the charge.
Ethiopia imposed a state of emergency last month, detaining some 11,000 people following an unprecedented wave of anti-government protests by members of the country’s two largest ethnic groups, the Oromo and Amhara. (Note: This is a developing story)
Eritrean Hero Ghirmay Ghebresiassie Turns 21
(TesfaNews) – Eritrean hero and world’s youngest, two time marathon winner Ghirmay Ghebresiassie has just turned 21 today.
Ghirmay won the 2015 IAAF World Championships marathon title in Beijing at the age of 19 to become the first ever teen to win the event. The win was also Eritrea’s first ever Gold in the championship’s history,
He also wins the New York City marathon last week at the age of 20 to be called the youngest ever NYC marathon winner in history by clocking 2:07:51. That victory brought him $125,000 in prize money.
Ghirmay was also took fourth place in the marathon at the Olympic Games in Rio.
— TCS NYC Marathon (@nycmarathon) November 14, 2016