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  • Ethiopia protests: What’s behind the trouble in Gondar?

     

    Sunday's protest in Ethiopia involving thousands of people in Gondar, a city in Amhara region, is a rare example of an anti-government demonstration in the country.

    It was organised on social media but no group has taken responsibility for it. The demonstration comes two weeks after another protests in the city in which 15 people died, including members of the security forces and civilians.


    What's behind the protests?

    At the root of the recent demonstrations is a request by representatives from the Welkait community - known as the Welkait Amhara Identity Committee - that their land, which is currently administered by the Tigray regional state, be moved into neighbouring Amhara region.

    The Welkait committee says community members identify themselves as ethnic Amharas and say they no longer want to be ruled by Tigrayans.

    Demonstrations began a fortnight ago but leaders of the Welkait community have been asking for the move for a year.

    Amharas used to form the country's elite and the language remains the most widely spoken in the country.


    Is that the only issue?

    Observers say that Ethiopia's governing coalition is dominated by the party from the small Tigray region (TPLF), and some see the protests as a way of criticising the country's government.

    When Sunday's demonstration was organised on social media, no mention was made of other issues, but during the protest banners could be seen expressing solidarity with people from the Oromia region.

    Since November last year, the government has been dealing with a wave of protests in Oromia as people complain about alleged marginalisation. Those demonstrations began over a plan to expand the federal capital, Addis Ababa, into Oromia. That plan has been dropped, but the issue highlighted grievances with the government which have not gone away.

    The Oromos are Ethiopia's most populous ethnic group.

    People on Sunday were also calling for the release of a group of 18 Muslims who were imprisoned last year under controversial anti-terror legislation. Read more here

    Source: BBC

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  • Ethiopia’s national higher education entrance exam result reveals

    (by EthioTime) Ethiopian National Education Assessment and Examination Agency has announced today that Grade 12, higher education entrance exam result has been revealed.

    Accordingly, students are advised that they can check their exam results following the procedures on the Agency’s website www.neaea.gov.et or can also check via free text line on 8181 by sending RTW and their Exam ID number.

    The Agency says over half of the examinees have been able to score the passing mark where the university entrance mark is not yet revealed.

    Image: Exam Result

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  • Oromo protesters 'force suspension of Ethiopia university exams'- BBC

    Ethiopia's university entrance exams, due to start today, have been cancelled because one of the papers has been leaked online, reports the government-affiliated Fana Broadcasting Corporate.

    Pictures of the English exam have been widely shared on social media.

    Minister of Education Shiferaw Shigute is quoted as saying: “After a cross check, we decided to terminate the whole exam since we had no evidence that the other exams were safe."

    People supporting the protests for greater rights for Ethiopia's Oromo people are saying that they are responsible for the leak.

    Photographs of some of the exam papers have been posted on one activist's Facebook page:

    The activists said they wanted Oromo students to have more time to study for the entrance exams after their high schools had been closed for several months during a wave of protests at the end of last year and the beginning of this year.

    Ethiopia's education ministry has said that a plan for new exams will be announced soon.

    Source: BBC

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  • U.S. Ambassador Patrica Haslach left Ethiopia

    (by EthioTime) Ambassador of the United States to Ethiopia, Patrica Haslach has left Addis Ababa as she finished her term as U.S. Ambassador for the past three years.  

    She said on Wednesday evening farewell event that, “the end of an assignment is always bittersweet, and that is particularly true today.  As I reflect on the last three years, I’m very proud of how much progress we’ve made, but also very much aware of how far we have to go.”

    We have focused on three pillars in the U.S.- Ethiopia relationship – development and economic growth; human rights and governance; and regional peace and security, she said.  

    All are necessary if Ethiopians are to have the future they aspire to.  All are independent, but interconnected, and there will not be success in one domain without success in all. Patrica also stressed that Ethiopia is an important partner for the United States mentioning President Obama’s visit last years as high point of her time in Ethiopia.

    “I am also worried by recent developments, which have the potential to threaten the progress that the people and government of Ethiopia have made.  I know there is a great deal of fear and frustration in Ethiopia, including among our diverse and talented staff,” said Patrica.

    “I can tell you that we continue to engage with the government of Ethiopia, urging its officials at all levels to uphold Ethiopia’s constitutional guarantees of democratic government and respect for human rights and the rule of law.  As President Obama said last year:  “Making sure to open additional space for journalists, for media, for opposition voices, will strengthen rather than inhibit the agenda that the Prime Minister and the ruling party has put forward.” 

    Even in the United States, the world’s oldest democracy, we continue to strive for improvement, by acknowledging our challenges and working to overcome them.  Freedom of expression, freedom of assembly, transparency, and accountability are essential elements of good governance and democracy. 

    The leaving Ambassador also noted that, as U.S. Assistant Secretary for Human Rights, Tom Malinowski said in his recent article in allafrica.com (and on our Embassy Facebook page), “Because of the friendship and common interests our two nations share, the U.S. has a stake in Ethiopia's prosperity, stability and success. When Ethiopia does well, it is able to inspire and help others.  On the other hand, a protracted crisis in Ethiopia would undermine the goals that both nations are trying to achieve together.”  I want you to know that our message is clear:  anyone who wants Ethiopia to develop and to succeed must understand that Ethiopia will be strongest when all voices are heard and government is accountable to all.  Unlawful detention and abuse must end.

    Image:U.S. Ambassador Patrica Haslach

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  • Amhara region Chief Gedu Andargachew lost from political power

    (by EthioTime) President of the Amhara regional state, Gedu Andargachew, has been removed from political power, according to sources that the regional party, Amhara National Democratic Movements, central committee decided to strip off Gedu’s power.

    The decision is said to limit Gedu’s involvement in administrative functions while he is also deputy chairman of the party. It was reported that the Party Central Committee claim that Gedu amassed excessive power and failed to tend the political health of the party.

    Sources also indicate that, some other regional officials have also been removed from office in the region.

    Gedu will be limited to governmental functions after now, while Party Chairman Ethiopia’s Deputy Prime Minister Demeke Mekonnen will make all party related decisions, it was learned.  

    The Bahir Dar. The regional capital, demonstration in the weekend went beyond denouncing TPLF and left many people died.

    Image: Gedu Andargachew

     

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