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How to immigrate to Canada by Lawyer Tekle from Toronto ethiofidel

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How to immigrate to Canada by Lawyer Tekle from Toronto ethiofidel


President of Ethiopian Crown Council will visit Canada this week

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President of Ethiopian Crown Council will visit Canada this week

Prince Ermias Prince Ermias has been on official and private visits around the world. The picture shows when Prince Ermias was welcomed to the Australian War Memorial by Director Dr. Brendan Nelson and Director and Board Member Mrs. Josephine Stone AM on June 22, 2017. The private visit by Prince Ermias was intended to commemorate the State Visit to Australia by His Imperial Majesty Emperor Haile Selassie I in 1968. By Mel Tewahade Nov 16, 2017 The President of The Crown Council, His Imperial Highness Prince Ermias Sahle Selassie Haile Selassie and his lovely wife Princess Saba Kebede will visit Canada this week. Their visit will begin on Thursday in Ottawa at Royal Canadian Geographical Society (http://www.rcgs.org/). Prince Ermias Sahle Selassie will be inducted as an Honorary Fellow by Royal Canadian Geographical Society. On Friday, The delegation will visit Infinity Retirement Solutions, Inc. (www.infrs.com) a successful wealth management firm established by Ethiopian in Mississauga, Ontario, Canada. The afternoon on this Friday will also include a visit to Dundurn Castle in the industrial city of Hamilton. The invitation to the castle was made possible by generous support of Captain Philip Bonn, a great supporter of The Ethiopian Crown Council and proud descendant of Lord Napier ( Yes, Napier of Maqdella) Captain Philp Bonn, is making the trip from United Kingdom. On Saturday, the delegation will have a public presentation at All Nations Full Gospel Church Prince Ermias Sahle Selassie will present the Case for harmony and “Curbing Youth Violence”. There will be an opportunity for Q&A session with audience. It is going to be from 1 to 3pm. The Church is located at 4401 Steeles Ave West, Downsview, Ontario. At 6pm,Saturady there is a private reception that will held in Downtown Toronto to honor the Imperil couple. Princess Saba Kebede and Prince Ermias will attend mass at St. Mary Ethiopian Church on November 19,2017 Sunday, beginning at 9am.The church service will conclude the visit. Canada is home to many Ethiopians now and His Imperil Highness is eternally grateful for the kindness that Canada demonstrated towards Ethiopians, who have been displaced from their place of birth, due to troubling recent history.

የትዝታ ጋዜጣ አዘጋጅ ከብርሃን ቲቪና ከአዲስ ቅኝት ጋዜጣ አዘጋጅ ጋር የደርገው ውይይት (The Role of Community Media Panel Discussion)

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የትዝታ ጋዜጣ አዘጋጅ ከብርሃን ቲቪና ከአዲስ ቅኝት ጋዜጣ አዘጋጅ ጋር የደርገው ውይይት (The Role of Community Media Panel Discussion)

https://youtu.be/IGVgaxvYqAE.....

Zimbabwe military’s statement after seizing power, Mugabe is in custody

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Zimbabwe military’s statement after seizing power, Mugabe is in custody

Address made by Zimbabwe Major General SB Moyo, Chief of Staff Logistics, on national television after the military seized power.

HARARE, Zimbabwe — Zimbabwe’s military said early Wednesday that it had taken custody of President Robert Mugabe, the world’s oldest head of state and one of Africa’s longest-serving leaders, in what increasingly appeared to be a military takeover in the southern African nation. After apparently seizing the state broadcaster, ZBC, two uniformed officers said in a short predawn announcement that “the situation in our country has moved to another level.” While denying that the military had seized power, they said that Mr. Mugabe and his family “are safe and sound, and their security is guaranteed.” “We are only targeting criminals around him who are committing crimes that are causing social and economic suffering in the country in order to bring them to justice,” said the main speaker, who was identified as Maj. Gen. S. B. Moyo, the army’s chief of staff. General Moyo — who was not widely known to the public but who was considered close to the commander of the Zimbabwe Defense Forces, Gen. Constantine Chiwenga — warned that “any provocation will be met with an appropriate response.” Around 6 a.m. on Wednesday, taxis were running on the main roads leading to central Harare and people seemed to be making their way to work. Some soldiers could be seen on the main roads but were not stopping commuters. After the short announcement, commercials on farming and corn seeds appeared on the state broadcaster. There was no further clarification of the whereabouts or status of Mr. Mugabe, 93, who is the only leader his nation has known since independence in 1980. Asked in a brief telephone interview about reports of a possible coup, the country’s information minister, Simon Khaya Moyo, said, “What can I say? I don’t know about that.” He did not elaborate. The television announcement came after a long night of rumors and sketchy reports in Harare that a coup might be underway. The day before, in a remarkable act of defiance, General Chiwenga had warned that “when it comes to matters of protecting our revolution, the military will not hesitate to step in.” General Chiwenga was considered close to Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa, whom Mr. Mugabe summarily expelled from the government and the governing ZANU-PF party last week. The move was widely seen as clearing the path for Mr. Mugabe’s wife, Grace, 52, who had been amassing growing political power in the past two years as her aging husband’s health declined visibly. Since his removal, the whereabouts of Mr. Mnangagwa, who like Mr. Mugabe was a veteran of the country’s struggle for independence, has been shrouded in mystery. The question of who will succeed Mr. Mugabe has long haunted Zimbabwe and its political class and led to conflicts among its members even as the country’s once-promising economy shriveled. In Harare, as uncertainty over the political situation grew overnight, foreign embassies warned their citizens to stay indoors on Wednesday. The United States Embassy said on its website that “as a result of the ongoing political uncertainty through the night, the ambassador has instructed all employees to remain home tomorrow.” American citizens, the embassy said, “are encouraged to shelter in place until further notice.” On Tuesday, neither the military nor Mr. Mugabe issued any public statements even as rumors of a possible coup surfaced on social media and in the streets. But Mr. Moyo asserted in a statement that “the ruling ZANU-PF reaffirms the primacy of politics over the gun.” Mr. Moyo, who is also the party’s national secretary for information and publicity, said the statement by General Chiwenga “suggests treasonable conduct on his part as this was meant to incite insurrection and violent challenge to constitutional order.” “Purporting to speak on behalf of the Zimbabwe Defense Forces,” he said, “was not only surprising but was an outrageous vitiation of professional soldiership and his wartime record as high-ranking freedom fighter, entrusted with command responsibilities in a free and democratic Zimbabwe.” Mr. Moyo’s statement, broadcast during the evening news hour on state television, came hours after a leader of the party’s Youth League made similar remarks at the ZANU-PF headquarters in Harare. Kudzanayi Chipanga, the youth league’s secretary, suggested that military officers unhappy with the government should first return to civilian life if they wanted to become politicians. “General Chiwenga and all those in the security sector who wish to engage in politics are free to throw their hats in the ring and not hide behind the barrel of the gun,” said Mr. Chipanga, who became a favorite of Zimbabwe’s first family after he helped organize a march last year in support of Mr. Mugabe’s leadership. The youth league accused the general of siding with a faction loyal to Mr. Mnangagwa. The league has urged that Mrs. Mugabe be endorsed as the new vice president in a party conference scheduled for next month. Source: The New York Times

Current Political issue situation of Ethiopia with emphasis on Afar Region (Berhan TV Toronto)

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Current Political issue situation of Ethiopia with emphasis on Afar Region (Berhan TV Toronto)


ሼክ መሀመድ አልአሙዲ የታሰሩበት ምክኒያት ዝርዝር መረጃ ከጀርመን ድምጽ

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ሼክ መሀመድ አልአሙዲ የታሰሩበት ምክኒያት ዝርዝር መረጃ ከጀርመን ድምጽ

Ethiopia: Saudi Arabia detains Mohammed al-Amoudi, princes, ministers DUBAI (Reuters) – Saudi Arabia detained 11 princes, four current ministers and tens of former ministers in a probe by a new anti-corruption body headed by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, Saudi-owned Al Arabiya television reported. According to a senior Saudi official who declined to be identified under briefing rules, those detained include: – Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, chairman of Kingdom Holding 4280.SE – Prince Miteb bin Abdullah, minister of the National Guard – Prince Turki bin Abdullah, former governor of Riyadh province – Khalid al-Tuwaijri, former chief of the Royal Court – Adel Fakeih, Minister of Economy and Planning – Ibrahim al-Assaf, former finance minister – Abdullah al-Sultan, commander of the Saudi navy – Bakr bin Laden, chairman of Saudi Binladin Group – Mohammad al-Tobias, former head of protocol at the Royal Court – Amr al-Dabbagh, former governor of Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority – Alwaleed al-Ibrahim, owner of television network MBC – Khalid al-Mulheim, former director-general at Saudi Arabian Airlines – Saoud al-Daweesh, former chief executive of Saudi Telecom 7010.SE – Prince Turki bin Nasser, former head of the Presidency of Meteorology and Environment – Prince Fahad bin Abdullah bin Mohammad al-Saud, former deputy defence minister – Saleh Kamel, businessman – Mohammad al-Amoudi, businessman

Mohammed Al Amoudi Arrested in Saudi Corruption Investigation

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Mohammed Al Amoudi Arrested in Saudi Corruption Investigation

By Satenaw November 5, 2017, 07:01
http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2017/11/saudi-ministers-national-guard-economy-dismissed-171104190619900.html Saudi Arabia has dismissed a number of senior ministers and detained nearly a dozen princes in an investigation by a new anti-corruption committee, state media reported on Saturday. Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, a billionaire businessman who owns investment firm Kingdom Holding, was among those held, according to Reuters news agency, citing an unnamed senior official. The senior ministers who were sacked include Prince Mitaab bin Abdullah, the head of the National Guard, and Adel Faqih, the economy minister. Abdullah al-Sultan, the commander of the Saudi navy, was replaced by Fahad al-Ghafli. In a statement on the official Saudi news agency, SPA, King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud alluded to the “exploitation by some of the weak souls who have put their own interests above the public interest, in order to, illicitly, accrue money” for the creation of the anti-graft committee. Anti-corruption probe Saudi-owned Al Arabiya news channel reported that at least 11 princes, four current ministers and several former ministers had been detained in the anti-corruption probe. Saudi authorities have not confirmed the names of those detained. However, 14 former and current ministers, officials and businessmen were mentioned on social media as being among those held. One of those mentioned is Waleed Ibrahim, the chairman of the Middle East Broadcasting Center (MBC), under which Al Arabiya operates. According to Al Arabiya, the new committee, which is headed by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, is looking into the 2009 floods that devastated parts of Jeddah, as well as the government’s response to the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) virus outbreak. King Salman issued a statement saying that the committee shall “identify offences, crimes and persons and entities involved in cases of public corruption”. The committee has the power to issue arrest warrants, travel bans, disclose and freeze accounts and portfolios, track funds and assets, and “prevent their remittance or transfer by persons and entities, whatever they might be”, according to the statement. ‘Accelerated change’ The shake-up of the Saudi government comes just months after King Salman replaced his nephew Mohammed bin Nayef with his son Mohammed bin Salman as the kingdom’s crown prince. Mohammed bin Salman has been responsible for pushing through a number of changes both at home and abroad since he became first in line to the Saudi crown. Ian Black of the London School of Economics said the move fit a “pattern of accelerated change” since Mohammed bin Salman became the heir. “We’ve seen since June this year, very far-reaching changes,” he said, adding: “That was when Mohammed bin Salman, the son of King Salman, was appointed crown prince.
 
“Since Mohammed bin Salman became the crown prince in June, we’ve seen a lot of upheavals. We’ve seen the announcement of this very ambitious Saudi plan to transform the country the Saudi economy, Vision 2030.” The dismissal of Mitaab bin Abdullah as National Guard minister came shortly after a missile attack by Yemen’s Houthi rebels on Riyadh’s King Khaled International Airport. However, Black said the two were probably not related as the sacking came bundled with changes to other ministerial portfolios. In recent weeks, Saudi Arabia has announced an end to its long-standing ban on allowing women to drive, and Mohammed bin Salman has also promised to return the country to a “moderate” form of Islam. Since 2015 Saudi Arabia has been at war against Houthi rebels, who control much of northern Yemen on the kingdom’s southern border. What does this mean? Al Jazeera’s senior political analyst Marwan Bishara explains: “There have been signs over the last two and a half years that more of this is coming. [Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman] is raising the leverage of power in Saudi Arabia. He certainly has the blessings of his father King Salman and he’s determined to make all kinds of changes in Saudi Arabia itself and in Saudi foreign policy, which led to the war in Yemen and the Gulf crisis. But internally this is new. Not only do we have a new chapter opening up in Saudi Arabia, we have a whole new book, a whole new political alphabet with one exception: it’s still all done in secrecy. Why those 11 princes, why those four standing ministers? Is it really just to consolidate power or is there more to it? Why isn’t there more transparency and sharing of evidence about the setting up of the committee? We really are on the brink of dramatic changes. In 2015, Mohammed bin Salman became minister of defence. Just a few months ago, he became the head of all the internal security forces because they got rid of the Mohammed bin Nayef, then crown prince. Now he’s taken control of the third most important security apparatus within the country, so he has the defence, he is in control of interior and now he is in control of the guards. Clearly, he has the stage set. Clearly, all the heads of all the major media networks, newspapers, and commentators were all already groomed, set in motion in order to defend the crown prince and his policies. There are already new songs for the crown prince and his glory, so internally they are definitely setting the stage in terms of the three security apparatuses, the media and so on. President Trump has given his blessings and support to the crown prince with the hundreds of billions of dollars of promised contracts, so he’s certainly supporting his various ambitions in the region, most importantly that of the confrontation with Iran in the region. This is something that Trump really wants as well as apparently a promised rapprochement with Israel. In the tradition of Saudi Arabia, revolting against the Royals is not a good idea. It’s never been recommended. But does it all end with this or will it lead to more? I think it will lead to more, but will it then lead to discontent among Saudis. It just might.” SOURCE: AL JAZEERA NEWS

Congressman urges House to vote on Ethiopian resolution [by Engidu Woldie] November 2, 2017

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Congressman urges House to vote on Ethiopian resolution [by Engidu Woldie] November 2, 2017

ESAT News (November 1, 2017) Representative Mike Coffman of Colorado today urge the House of Representative to vote on H. Res. 128, a resolution supporting respect for human rights and encouraging inclusive governance in Ethiopia. The Representative from District 8 of Colorado who works closely with the Ethiopian community on promoting democracy and human rights in Ethiopia also expressed his disappointment that the House has not yet scheduled a vote on the Resolution. “I am disappointed that the house has not yet scheduled a floor vote on House Resolution 128. I note that on two prior occasions, a vote was tentatively scheduled. In both of these instances it’s my understanding the vote was postponed due to pressure from the Ethiopian government who curbs human rights abuses against their own people but fail to deliver,” the Congressman said speaking on the House floor this morning. He said the ongoing human rights crisis in Ethiopia is extremely troubling him, to the resolutions and other co-sponsors, to the many Americans of Ethiopian heritage and to numerous human rights groups. He encouraged the House leadership to schedule a vote and members to vote in favour of the Resolution. Representative Coffman said he believes the United States could take actions to influence changes in Ethiopia. “The resolution does not simply highlight the Ethiopia’s government increasing authoritarian acts but also encourages the united states to support efforts to improve democracy and governance in Ethiopia. I believe that the united states can take actions that will positively influence the Ethiopian government and use our existing institutions to further democracy and effective governance in Ethiopia,” Coffman said. Coffman said the Ethiopian regime, instead of making the required changes, has resorted to hiring a D.C lobby firm and engaged in public affairs works. He said he was aware that the Ethiopian regime has threatened to stop security cooperation with the U.S. should the House proceed with the Resolution. “I am dismayed rather than solving their problems and moving towards becoming a more democratic government, the Ethiopian government has chosen to hire a D.C. lobbying firm…..The issue the Ethiopian government needs to address is the repression of democracy and its citizens in Ethiopia. The solution to whatever negative perception it has in the halls of the U.S. Congress is not a public affair one but rather what concrete steps are taken — are being taken against democracy in Ethiopia.”

Ethiopia: Addis standard’s exclusive interview with Ana Gomes

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Ethiopia: Addis standard’s exclusive interview with Ana Gomes

 
Ana Gomes is coordinator and spokesperson of the foreign affairs committee for her political group, the Social-Democrat. With 200 members the Social-Democrat is the second largest group within the European Parliament. For Ethiopia and Ethiopians though Ana Gomes is best remembered for her role as the leader of the EU election observers’ team during the 2005 crisis-induced general election in Ethiopia. She has had a troubled relationship with Ethiopia’s late Prime Minister Meles Zenawi, who she still calls “a dictator,” after she published her report in which wrote the election was massively rigged. Eight years later, Ana Gomes came to Ethiopia to participate in the just concluded 26thACP-EU parliamentary meeting. Her arrival in Addis Ababa caught many, who thought she would never be allowed to set foot in Ethiopia, by a surprise. Addis Standard’s deputy-editor-in-chief Tesfaye Ejigu met Ana Gomes during the meeting and held an exclusive interview. Excerpts:  
 
AS – Your question to the development commissioner Andris Piebalgs was on Ethio-Djibouti road project funded by the EU. The commissioner replied EU no longer funds road projects in Ethiopia because construction work is given to companies without auction or given to friendly companies. What happened to the Ethio-Djibouti road project at the end?Ana- Gomes – I don’t know if it was the auction. I raised the issue because some very concerned European friends told me about that because there is a lot of money from the European taxpayers which was supposed to be directed to development that was diverted. I only talked about the road. But I just confirmed with the EU commission representative that it’s indeed two contracts; one, a railway between Addis Ababa and Djibouti; the EU funding was around 45 million Euros, and two, 50 water tunnels project, by the same company worth 20 million Euros. The company was an Italian company called CONSTAT. That company adds Ethiopian Contractors/subcontractors. Obviously, it was chosen by the ministry of finance with EU agreement. It’s a project that has gone very wrong because nothing has been achieved, and the money has deviated.  EU has started an investigation, arbitration is going on; it also involved your government.  And support has been cancelled. They are apparently trying to recover the money from the company. But the money has gone, so the investigation goes on. I was promised for the details by the European Commission. It doesn’t mention road. It’s a bit weird however that the EU development commissioner mentioned road construction. And the EU signing new agreement to fund road projects in Ethiopia is contradictory. I think it’s important to clarify all these contradictions for the sake of taxpayers in Europe and also for the Ethiopian people. I am heartened by the fact that PM Hailemariam [Desalegn] has started taking measures even against the high officials who are involved in corruption. So I have to find out. In fighting corruption the main element is transparency. So this element has to be put out for the people to know. There are some things to be checked. AS – EU funded hydropower project-Gilgel gibe 3 was given without auction to Salini Construction, an Italian company. A few months after it went operational part of it caved in and was closed. The EU criticized openly the handing out of the construction without auction. But it didn’t decide to fund hydropower projects. Ana Gomes – I am very interested to learn about that. I need to note down that information. I will find out about it and ask the EU.  I am glad you asked this. I have not been able to follow in detail all these development processes because I was not in the EU development committee. AS – ACP-EU joint parliamentary assembly has democratic agenda. The speaker of the house of people’s representative of Ethiopia Abadula Gemeda said, “we have achieved a lot in building democracy, peace and good governance.” Do you buy that? Do you think a lot has been achieving?   Ana Gomes – No! In many respect, I see a lot of the old ways. Meles was an expert in using jargons such as good governance, the rule of law, democracy, sustainable development, but in practice doing just the opposite. It was a smart leadership which uses politically correct languages for Europeans and Americans consumption. But the practice was really oppressive. What I saw during Meles Zenawi was a dictatorship. I have lived in a dictatorship in my own country. I believe this persists in the mindset of many authorities. But at the same time, I realize there is indeed some opening, some realization [that] Ethiopia can’t continue this way.  Ethiopia needs change. Even some of the people who have that politically correct speech that everything has been achieved in Ethiopia in public, in private conversation with me they acknowledged that Ethiopia needs change and that it is the time to really promote important, drastic changes. In that sense, I welcome the move that the PM Hailemariam has initiated the prosecution of high officials, even a minister charged with corruption. I hope this will be the first step in the right direction. At the debate, we were discussing the independence of the judiciary.  I used the debate to say that Judicial Independence doesn’t exist in Ethiopia, although it’s stated. I recalled the judges who flee the country in 2005 because they refuse to tamper with the conclusion of the inquiry into the massacre in 2005. They were pressed by the [late] PM and the government to do that. These were very courageous people who put all their lives and their families [at risk].  I also highlighted that trials of all political prisoners but in particular journalists Eskinder Nega, Wubeshet Taye, Riyot Alemu and others like DebebeEshetu; [political] leaders Andualem Arage e.t.c. were not fair; all the people [including] Europeans who were able to be present at some of these trials said they [the prosecutors] never produced any significant evidence against them and indeed the trials were not fair.  So I hope I have made this appeal today here. AS – But they faced terrorism charges…? These terrorist charges are not credible, so I appeal for their liberation in the spirit of openness. You have now a sort of dual register. In public it said one thing in private it acknowledges that Ethiopia must change. Or Ethiopia needs support to change. In that context, indeed bold decisions should be taken to liberate these people because some of these people are icons of the younger generation. Very educated, the qualified generation which Ethiopia needs to develop itself. I receive a mail, a standard letter every day from an Ethiopian who manages to flee the country and who is somewhere in Kenya, Uganda ….Nigeria asking me to write a letter to the UNHCR saying they need political asylum. So I know Ethiopia loses the best, most qualified generation not only because of lack of jobs but because there is a politically closed environment with which these young qualified people cannot live. I know Ethiopia faces a serious terrorist threat as we all do, Ethiopia in particular because of the neighbourhood and the tension that has been built up by Meles Zenawi between Muslims and Christians in Ethiopia which was not an issue in 2005 but in the meantime became a big source of concern.  If the government continues the old ways repressing this bright, younger people who are now connected to the world in a way the regime cannot control them via the twitter, and Facebook, and so on. Obviously, many of these young people will be driven into the hands of radicals and extremists. Even to be recruited by terrorists.  It is what we see happening in other countries in the region. So, it is very important to open up democratically for the security of the country. AS – in 2015 Ethiopia will hold a general election. Do you think it will be democratic, free and fair given the situation now? Ana Gomes – I don’t know, but I hope it could be good. Meles died, he was the source of the repression; his own supporting group are divided. They are fighting with each other. There is indeed an opportunity to see Ethiopia change progressively, peacefully. Nobody wants to see Ethiopia destabilized. But to create the conditions for the election to be held democratically it requires the opposition to be allowed to operate, which is not the case at the moment. In the moment you have only one member of the opposition [in the parliament]. I recall in 2005 at least there were some results that were not disputed. And these are the results of Addis Ababa where all the 23 seats went in a shocking landslide victory to the opposition. Well, where are these people? In exile. They say the opposition is weak, of course, it is weak. “it is weak, it is fragmented, it is not loyal…” are the same kind of things that I used to hear in 2005 from Meles Zenawi. But any opposition in that condition in any country would be weak. In my own country do you think the opposition in the days of the dictator was stronger? No!  Most of it was underground. In order to have the conditions to operate I believe it is important to allow the opposition to operate, not just those inside the country but also those forced into exile. They need a guarantee to operate. There is no media freedom, only an opening scene. I read the Ethiopian Herald and it’s all the same thing only better because PM Meles Zenawi is not writing now. There is no condition for NGOs or civil societies to operate. I believe EU will not accept to come back and observe the election and give its temp of credibility unless basic elements are met; such as liberating political prisoners or allowing the judiciary to operate independently.  
 
AS – “Europe could definitely make the difference for democracy in Ethiopia. Instead, current European leaders are choosing to fail it. In doing so they are not just failing Ethiopians. They are also failing Europe.” This is taken from a letter you wrote to AP. By this do you mean Europeans aren’t trustworthy? They don’t like democracy to thrive in Ethiopia?Ana Gomes – No! European citizens, European taxpayers, European Parliamentarians care about Ethiopia, democracy, development in  Ethiopia, the efficiency of development assistance but the problem is they don’t know what happens in Ethiopia. They are fooled by the leaders; leaders in the council of ministers and in the European Commission. And also the development industry prevailing should continue without trouble. That is their vested interest. The tragedy is many people don’t understand what is happening in Ethiopia.  I was very happy that finally, EU human rights sub-committee came last July. They are very serious, knowledgeable colleagues of mine. It was an eye-opener. They asked to visit Kalite Prison and the PM allowed them but was rudely treated by the Prison administration. That is an eye-opener. AS – EU and Ethiopia are development partners today as well as then. When you were not on good terms with the regime in 2005 did EU stand by your side? Ana Gomes – The then commissioner in charge of foreign affairs and human rights stood by me always. She was not from my party but very serious. I appreciated. But the then development commissioner Mr Louis Michel didn’t support me. Some people from his services in Brussels even tried to rewrite my report to water it down. I didn’t accept that. Several moments, my views were attacked. They supported the campaign against me which the government of Meles Zenawi spread. But Meles has gone! This is a new timing. I am pleased I was granted visa without preconditions. AS – You were lobbying with the EU member states accusing the Ethiopian government of violating human rights. Do you think the situation has improved now?  Ana Gomes – I know it was not easy for the new PM to assert his role as PM.  I know there was a lot of internal fighting within the power. He is not a Tigrian.  I value the visa I was given. I value the movement against corruption. I sense some change. AS – I saw you with the speaker of the house of people’s representative, AbadulaGemeda and Ambassador Teshome Toga. You had lunch with them may be. But you were not on good terms with them? Ana Gomes – There was nothing personal; even with Meles Zenawi.  Even these professionals who were instrumental, I have nothing personal against them.  I don’t pretend to know well this country.  Ethiopian people really marvelled me. Ethiopia has a great resonance in my country.  My ancestors 500 years ago were looking for Prester John.  However, Ethiopia has a magical resonance in my childhood. Ethiopia is special. Ethiopia is a civilization; not any country. It is a civilization. AS – You said, “the EU is not only misusing European taxpayer’s money but supporting an illegitimate status-quo, letting down all those who fight for justice and democracy and increasing the potential for conflict in Ethiopia and Africa.” But the conflict in Ethiopia rises sometimes due to terrorist threats. Do you agree? Ana Gomes – Not only the Muslim-Christian conflict Meles Zenawi fueled by trying to interfere in the Muslim community leadership but also in Ogaden.  All the report we receive in the EU are disastrous, horrendous and I am very sorry to see the Ethiopian army involved in all of thatTerrorism is an excuse; subversion was in the days of the dictatorship in my country.  Now the buzzword is terrorism. It serves to excuse and to erase any rules, principles and values. I don’t accept it. I am very conscious of the terrorist threat. It is strong democratic societies who are better empowered to fight terrorism, not those with the high level of poverty, unemployment and of internal conflict. That is the situation in Ethiopia now. I hope this can be sorted out. AS – “Western leaders resist speaking up against Zenawi’s regime by invoking stability interests. Besides attempting to depict Ethiopia as a success story of development assistance, EU and the US like to portray their ‘aid darling’ as a partner in the fight against terrorism and a crucial factor for stability in the horn Africa,” do you still believe in this statement of yours? Ana Gomes – I hope Ethiopian people will be able to make the distinction between this bankrupt leadership in Europe which brought us into the big economic crises which are also political crises and the people of Europe who really are serious about democracy, human rights and the rule of law.  AS – Do you think the EU and the USA still see the regime as a partner and a crucial actor for stability or do you see any change in their position? Ana Gomes –  I think they do. But on the other hand, they also appreciate the limits of that partnership in the sense that they understand the big tensions that have been developing in Ethiopia and in the region; namely lack of effectiveness in fighting terrorism and deterring terrorism to infiltrate. I think the Americans understand it better. Within the Obama administration there is a realization that you cannot have security without real development, not fake development and numbers but without democracy. The Americans were much more effective in getting people out of jail. The American’s pressure had political prisoners freed; opposition leaders and Birtukan Medeksa and others. They realized these three elements are linked, although they have their own flout in fighting terrorism. I was told the new American ambassador to Ethiopia is outspoken about human rights. I hope it translates into a more principled approach on the part of the Obama administration. AS – a lot of Ethiopians respect you. They gave you an Ethiopian name. Ethiopians like honesty. Are you aware of your name? Do you know what it means? Ana Gomes – Yes! I am aware of it. Ethiopian friends told me about it. They told me “Ana Gobeze” I am flattered, I don’t deserve it. They told me that ‘Gobez’ means brave. I have been happy meeting Ethiopian community in different countries and also received fantastic ‘Kaba’ as a gift from Ethiopians in Sweden.

Agazi soldiers murder 10, hold Ambo hostage

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Agazi soldiers murder 10, hold Ambo hostage

  Reuters report:                                                                                                            Protesters had blocked the main road in Ambo, some 130 km west of the capital Addis Ababa, to demonstrate against sugar shortages, before police arrived to disperse the crowd. “They (police) then fired live rounds. We know of ... five people who died from gunshot wounds,” one of the protesters told Reuters. Another witness said he saw up to 10 wounded people taken to hospital. The regional government’s spokesman confirmed that deaths had occurred, but did not give details.  
 
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