US-Ambassador to Ethiopia Ambassador RaynorItiyoophiyaatti Ambaasaaddarri Amerikaa Maaykil Reneer ministrii dantaa alaa Itiyoopgiyaan waamamanii labsii yeroo muddamsaa biyyattiin labsite irratti ejjennaa qaban irratti ibsa akka kennan gaafataman jechuun gaazexaan biyya keessaa Ripoortar jedhamu gabaasee ture.

Garu Embaasii Amerikaa Finfinnee jiruuf dubbii himaa kan ta’an Nikolaas Barnet walgahiin gaggeeffamee kan sadarkaa dhunfaa ta’u ibsuun waa’ee irratti dudubbatame ibsuu hin feenu jedhan.

Gama kaaniin wanni gaazexaa Ripoortar irratti ba’e Ambaasadirichas ta’e Embaasii Amerikaa kan bakka bu’u miti jedhan.

Labsii yeroo muddamsaa kan ilaaleen ejjennaa qabnuu fi ibsii baafne kan jijjiramu miti jechuun irra deebi’anii mirkaneessan.


More than 6,000 People Rescued from the Mediterranean Sea

More than 6,000 People Rescued from the Mediterranean Sea

The refugees and migrants were rescued on the Mediterranean route from Libya to Italy in the last few days, IOM says.


More than 6,000 people have been rescued on the central Mediterranean route from Libya to Italy in the last few days, as greater numbers take to the sea in warmer weather, the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) said on Tuesday.

About 500 refugees and migrants are believed to have drowned so far this year, including 22 deaths just reported by the Libyan coastguard, according to IOM spokesman Joel Millman.
WATCH: Refugees in Libya: ‘Smugglers have lost all humanity’ (2:52)

“We have yet to complete March, and we are already racing at a pace of arrivals that has exceeded anything we’ve seen before in the Mediterranean. This is typical of spring, getting very busy,” he said.

“But it’s not typical to have the numbers be so high this early and the corresponding deaths that go with it.”

Aid to Libya

Italian and European officials said on Monday they were ready to send equipment and economic aid to Libya to help fight traffickers who have thrived in a power vacuum left by the 2011 overthrow of former Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi.

So far this year 16,248 migrants have arrived in Italy, up from 13,825 in the same period last year.

However, the overall number of migrants arriving in Europe, and particularly on Greek islands, has dropped substantially since the EU and Turkey agreed to prevent people making the crossing in return for financial and diplomatic incentives.

Across Europe, 160,331 migrants arrived by sea at this time last year compared to an estimated total of 20,484 arrivals so far this year, which includes those reaching Greece and Spain.

No African citizens granted visas for African trade summit in California

No African citizens granted visas for African trade summit in California

Every single African citizen who requested a visa was rejected, according to the organizer of the African Global Economic and Development Summit

Trade show

(The Guardian) — An annual African trade summit in California had no African attendees this year after at least 60 people were denied visas, according to event leaders.

The African Global Economic and Development Summit, a three-day conference at the University of Southern California (USC), typically brings delegations from across Africa to meet with business leaders in the US in an effort to foster partnerships. But this year, every single African citizen who requested a visa was rejected, according to organizer Mary Flowers.

Some are now questioning whether the denials to the Los Angeles event could be tied to the anti-immigration policies of Donald Trump, who is pushing forward with a travel ban against six Muslim-majority countries despite ongoing legal challenges.

Flowers said roughly 60 to 100 people from at least a dozen nations were denied entry to the summit, which went on as planned with a much smaller group last Thursday through Saturday.

“I don’t know if it’s Trump or if it’s the fact that the embassies that have been discriminating for a long time see this as an opportunity, because of talk of the travel ban, to blatantly reject everyone,” Flowers said in an interview on Monday. “These trade links create jobs for both America and Africa. It’s unbelievable what’s going on.”

The problems for the trade summit mark the latest example of restricted travel to the US under Trump, whose controversial immigration policies and rhetoric have impacted a wide range of industries and communities. Soccer players, musicians, doctors, tech workers, protesters and others from across the globe have been denied access to the US, which has also experienced a slump in tourism since Trump’s inauguration.

Rejected participants at the trade summit came from Nigeria, Cameroon, Angola, Ethiopia, Sierra Leone, Guinea, Ghana, South Africa and more, according to Flowers. Trump’s travel ban covers Somalia, Sudan and Libya in Africa, and citizens from those countries did not seek visas for the event.

“This conference puts Americans in touch with real people so they can do real business,” said Flowers, CEO of Global Green Development Group, which does economic development work in Africa.

A spokesperson for the US state department declined to comment on claims of rejections for summit participants, saying in a statement: “We cannot speculate on whether someone may or may not be eligible for a visa, nor on any possible limitations … Applications are refused if an applicant is found ineligible under the Immigration and Nationality Act or other provisions of US law.”

This is not the first time the summit has struggled with visa problems, according to Flowers, who has been organizing the event since 2013. In past years, she said, roughly 40% of interested African participants were denied entry.

But the 100% rejections this year meant there were only 50 to 75 participants total instead of the 150 to 200 who typically attend, she said. “Financially, that’s a gaping hole – a whole bunch of people who would have contributed not just to the event and to USC, but to the city around.”

She said many of the applicants who were rejected had already registered for the event and paid initial visa fees, but then were denied after short interviews – even when they brought extensive documentation, such as bank statements and property records.

The long-term impact of the visa denials is a lack of new trade links and business partnerships between US entrepreneurs and African nations, said Flowers, who also represents southern California as a member of the District Export Council, a trade group affiliated with the US commerce department.

“This summit is designed to bring Africa to America’s doorstep for investments and trade,” said Flowers, who is now working on a power plant project in Nigeria, with a collaboration that emerged from a past trade summit.

“We can’t have the government telling us to go do business with Africa and then you slam the doors in their face,” she added, noting that Trump has been in contact with Nigeria’s president. “We can’t survive as an internal country. We have to operate globally or we won’t be powerful.”

Following the visa rejections, Flowers is now also in contact with US congresswoman Karen Bass, who represents Los Angeles and is the ranking member of the Africa subcommittee.

“When restrictive policies and practices are followed by US embassies when granting visas to Africans, it can hurt opportunities between US and African business entities,” Bass said in a statement to the Guardian on Monday. “I encourage the Department of State to make sure these policies are flexible enough to encourage the free flow of business ideas and opportunities.”

Ten killed as Samburu, Borana herders clash in Isiolo – Citizen Digital

Ten killed as Samburu, Borana herders clash in Isiolo

By Josiah Mugo For Citizen Digital

Samburu, Borana herders clash in Isiolo

Kenya (Citizen Digital) — Ten people were killed in fresh clashes pitting Borana and Samburu herders in Kom area of Isiolo on Monday.

According to Isiolo County Commissioner George Natembeya, six of the victims were Boranas, four Samburus with the number of injured Boranas remaining unknown as they fled the area using motorbikes.

Natembeya said that the Borana attackers from Merti and Garbatula gained access to the Samburu camp by use of motorbikes, attacked and escaped using the same bikes, a clear pointer that the attack was premeditated.

The county boss, however, indicated that a contingent of security officers has been dispatched to the area to comb through in search of more casualties as well as help restore calm.

Kom area has always been subject to conflict as it is the only place in the region where herders from Samburu, Marsabit and Wajir counties converge during the drought seasons due to the presence of water and grass throughout the year.

The native Borana elders reserve the area for use during the dry seasons and allow other pastoralist communities to graze their animals upon request up to specified boundaries, but the situation gets bloody every time the visitors defy the agreement.

He warned that the region would only become free of clashes once a disarmament exercise is successful, calling for support in terms of adequate security personnel and machinery to conduct the disarmament exercise soonest possible.

The office of the county security team has only been registering the illegal firearms in the hands of the public with the hope that the exercise would curb irresponsible use of the weapons.

Natembeya now says that the water and grass in the area could be enough for all the animals if shared peacefully.

Tension is still rife in the area as the visitors refuse to back off from the area for fear that their animals will die once they leave Kom and go back to their land.

Land Grabbing: Ugandan Farmers Call on UN to Sever Ties with Bidco Africa

Land Grabbing: Ugandan Farmers Call on UN to Sever Ties with Bidco Africa

Farmers(Addis Standard) — Lake Victoria farmers cite Bidco land-grabbing, environmental destruction and human rights violations

The Bugala Farmers Association has called on the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) to sever its ties with Bidco Africa, a Kenya-based edible oil producer accused of land-grabbing, human rights violations and environmental disasters in Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania.

Over 100 farmers lost their land to Bidco when, in partnership with the local government, the company deforested more than 7,500 hectares (18,500 acres) of rain forest and smallholder farms on Bugala Island on Lake Victoria to make way for one of the largest palm oil plantations in Africa.

In a petition delivered to the UNDP Kampala office on 28 January, the Bugala Farmers Association called on the UNDP to investigate the organization’s recent announcement that Business Call to Action (BCtA), a UNDP offshoot, concluded an agreement with Bidco Africa.

“For those who know the real business practices of Bidco Africa and its CEO Vimal Shah, the embrace by BCtA of Bidco Africa is a tragedy for smallholder farmers and a major stain on the reputation of UNDP,” the petition says.

The petition cites Bidco Africa’s failure to comply with court orders to compensate the farmers for their land; the company’s labor practices in Uganda, Tanzania and Kenya; alleged tax evasion in Kenya; and the deforestation of land for its palm oil production in Uganda. The deforestation has become so bad that the World Bank, originally a sponsor of the project, had to withdraw its support.

“The Bugala Farmers Association calls on UNDP and its senior leadership to examine the morally questionable association of such a distinguished U.N. organization with such a blatant violator of human rights that is Bidco Africa,” the petition says. “The evidence of Bidco Africa’s poor business practices is well documented, and UNDP must immediately disassociate itself with such a company.”

The petition continues: “Bidco Africa, which claims to adhere to the U.N. Global Compact, is in fact in violation of all U.N. Global Compact principals, from human rights to protection of the environment. Against the backdrop of such repeated violations, the UNDP/BCtA’s partnership with Bidco Africa is a violation of UNDP’s core mission and principals.”

When the farmers presented their petition at the UNDP office in Kampala, security officers blocked them at the compound gate and confiscated video filmed by accompanying media. UNDP officials refused to meet the farmers, and suggested that the petition – which is addressed to UNDP Administrator Helen Clark – could only be delivered at the organization’s headquarters in New York City. Only after a four-hour wait was the petition officially received by a UNDP receptionist in Kampala.

In addition to Administrator Clark, the petition is addressed to Peter Liria, Chief Ethics Officer, Director of the Ethics Office; Abdoulaye Mar Dieye, Director Regional Bureau for Africa; and Mila Rosenthal, Director of Communications; among others.

The UNDP has not responded to the farmers’ petition since it was presented on 28 January

“#Women’s Inferno in #Ethiopia”, hosted by MEP Liliana Rodrigues

“#Women’s Inferno in #Ethiopia”, hosted by MEP Liliana Rodrigues

European Parliament, Brussels


The Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization (UNPO), in collaboration with the People’s Alliance for Freedom and Democracy (PAFD) and MEP Liliana Rodrigues (S&D), will be holding a conference entitled ‘Women’s Inferno in Ethiopia’ at the European Parliament in Brussels.

The primary aim of the conference is to raise awareness about the deteriorating condition of human rights in Ethiopia. This focus comprises the human rights abuses faced by marginalised ethnic groups, and more specifically, the rife sexual and gender-based violence that disproportionately affects women in these communities. To this end, the conference will centre on the plight of women from Ogaden and Oromo, but also from Benishangul-Gumuz, Gambella, and Sidama.

Two years have passed since UNPO’s conference entitled ‘Minority Women’s Rights: an Ethiopian Inferno?’, and now the organisation seeks to bring these issues back to the table with a particular spotlight on sexual violence. Bringing together a variety of internal and peripheral perspectives, this conference will converge around broad issues, such as the state of human rights in Ethiopia, and around more detailed concerns regarding institutionalised rape and other forms of gender-based violence.

The conference programme will soon be available. For further information, please contact Julie Duval (

Selected comments from UNPO facebook:

Denboba Natie · 48:49 Thanks for becoming voices for voicelessly brutalised peoples of Ethiopia

Oromoo Dammaqe · 55:03 Thank you UNPO WELL DONE !

Denboba Natie · 58:14 We’re actively working to engage EU members to show practical support instead of lip services.

Denboba Natie · 1:02:00 Mamaya in a modern world this is a diplomatic campaign…armed struggle will its own wing. Therefore, UNPO is groups of dedicated MEPs. Therefore I advise you to see it in this light

Abbagiddi Guye · 2:09:49 Bekele Gerba & other political prisoners are on hunger strike protesting prison conditions. Consequently prison officials have prevented them from meeting with their lawyers and family.

Mamaya Umar · 1:02:21 I dont even know how this people call government of ethiopia…if you cause genocide you cant be gov..anymore but terrorist…just cus they hav gov license that doesnt make them less terrorist

Utubaa Lammii · 11:16 Good job Dr. Shugut Galeta representative of OLF Diplomatic affair in behave of Oromo.

Salah Ahmed · 1:09:26 The Ethiopian armed forces had just did something you can’t never imagine. They had 9 moth pregnant female forced to lie down on her stomach. This Terrorist groups jumped on her back. She lost her child fainted for them to do anymore harm to her. They left her and dead infant there. The locals took her to the nearest clinic to save her life. Her lifeless child was buried while she was getting treated at that clinic. I can have any human right activist connect this lady when i cleared their authenticity.
Leyla Cabdulaahi Ibraahim · 2:09:06 TPLF needs to be held responsible for their horrific acts!!!!
Leyla Cabdulaahi Ibraahim · 44:46 Thank U Graham for Always supporting Ogaden People
Abbagiddi Guye · 1:49:05 Thanks again buddy TPLF is ISIS of Ethiopia
Mintid Midnimo · 50:51 Ogadenia, Oromia and other notions and nationalities deserved to be free from dictatorship government of Ethiopia
Sukan Chakma · 48:27 Thank you UNPO for being there to support the unheard voices

ODDU VOA AFAAN OROMOO.Bulchiinsii Mana Hidhaa Qilinxoo Gaaffii Keenyaaf Deebii Nuu Kennuu Dide: Hidhamtoota

Hoggantoota KFO mana hidhaa jiran keessaa

Hoggantoota KFO mana hidhaa jiran keessaa

Hogganoonni paartii Kongreesa Federaala Oromoo kanneen mana hidhaa Qilinxoo keessa jiran nyataa maatii irraa geeffameef har’a kaasee fudhachuu dhaabuu isaanii maatiin beeksisanii jiru.Kana malees Maatiin yeroo dubbisuuf gara Qilinxoo deemuus gad ba’anii nu dubbisuu dhaaban jedhu.Mana hidhaa sana keessatti Televiziyoonni daw’ataa turan jalaa fudhamuu, kitaabonni akka dubbisaniif ehamaan seenaa ture amma manni hidhaa deebisee funaanuu isaa akkasumas kutaa xiqqoo keessa duraan namnii 7 akka turee amma garu nama ka biraa saddeeti dabaluu isaanii ibsuun kun martii mirga nama to’annaa jala jiru sarbuu dha jedhu hidhamtoonn.

Gama kaaniin abukaatoon hidhamtootaa Obbo Abduljabbaar Huseen maamiltoota isaanii waliin wal arguuf har’a gara mana hidhaa Qilinxoo kan deeman ta’uus “hidhamtoonni gad ba’uu didan” deebii jedhu waan kennameef ituu wal hin argiin hafuu dubbatu.Ragaa himatamtoota irratti dhiyaate kan ilaaleen waliin dubbachuuf deemuu isaanii ragaan kun immoo fuula kuma tokko ol waan ta’eef irratti hojjachuuf yeroo gaafata jedhan. Maraafuu hidhamtoota arguuf yaaliin godhan kan itti fuufuu ta’u abukaatoon kun ibsanii jiru.

Gabaasa guutuu dhaggeeffadhaa

Gargaarsi US Gad Xiqqaachuun Nu Yaaddesse: AngawootaGargaarsa Afriikaa

Gargaarsi US Gad Xiqqaachuun Nu Yaaddesse: AngawootaGargaarsa Afriikaa

Gargaarsi US Gad Xiqqaachuun Nu Yaaddesse: AngawootaGargaarsa Afriikaa

Angawaan gargaarsaa akka jedhanitti bajati akka kutamuuf gaafatame kun biyyootii kanaa fi kanneen biroof balaa dha.

US biyya tokkicha sagantaa nyaata addunyaa WFP deggeru ennaa ta’u waggaa darbe doolaara biliyoona lamaa ol gumaache.

Yeroo rakkinaa akkasiitti jedhan Dubbi himtuun WFP kan damee gaanfa Afriikaa Challiss McDonough jaarmoliin gargaarsaa kana kana duraa caalaa gargaarsa barbaadu.

Kutaa Sudaan kibbaa hanga tokko keessatti beelli akka jiru labsdameera. Gandeen fagoo uummati kummi 20 keessa jiraatu keessatti WFPn midhaan gargaarsaa inni qilleensa irraan gad buuse xiqqoo dha.

Gargaarsi akkasii kun ergamu malee xayyaaronni kun nyaata deedeebisuuf hin sosso’an taanaan uummatichi dhugumatti homaa hin qabu jedhan.

Isaanii fi balaa uumame gidduu waanti jiru gargaarsa midhaan nyaataa nuti geessinuuf qofa.

Balaa nuti jennu kun bajati US sagantaa gargaarsa sadarkaa addunyaa kan akka USAID irraa dhibba irraa harka 30 akka gad xiqqaatu gaafata.

Gabaasa guutuu dhaggeeffadhaa

Human Rights and the Election of the next Director-General: Public Accountability Now

Humsn Rights Plantations Investigation Human Rights Oromo Protesters - security forcesHuman Rights and the Election of the next Director-General: Public Accountability Now

By Eric A. Friedman

Georgetown University, Washington, DC (O’Neill Institute for National & Global Health) — I believe that human rights, and the right to health in particular, should be a top priority of and guiding principle for the next WHO Director-General, whom the world’s health ministers will choose at the World Health Assembly in May. Human rights, after all, encompass the values needed to achieve health for all and health justice, such as equity, non-discrimination, universality, participation, and accountability. They are legally binding precepts. Above all, they embrace human dignity, and the utmost respect for all people in health systems and health-related decisions. They embody the notion of people-centered health services.

This importance demands electing to the post a credible and strong leader on human rights, someone with a history of fighting injustice, of opposing human rights violations, of standing up for the marginalized and oppressed, of resisting political, corporate, or other interests that stand in the way of human rights. This centrality of human rights means electing an individual willing to stand against forces and policies that tolerate or even perpetuate discrimination, or that let political or other concerns override the rights of women, minorities, immigrants, political opponents, or anyone else. It entails appointing a person who views organizations fighting for human rights as partners, even when their own governments may oppose them.

Three candidates remain in the race to be the next WHO Director-General: Tedros Adhanom, David Nabarro, and Sania Nishtar. All candidates should be accountable for their past support of human rights, and outline their plans for furthering human rights around the world if chosen to lead WHO. While it is important for all candidates to do this, one candidate in particular ought to provide a detailed public account of where he stands, and has stood, on human rights. Having spent more than a decade as a cabinet minister in a government that has committed large-scale human rights abuses, Dr. Tedros must make clear his position and intention.

Dr. Tedros served as Minister of Health of Ethiopia from 2005 through 2012, when he became Minister of Foreign Affairs, remaining in the post until a cabinet reshuffle last November. He was, and remains, a member of the Central Committee of the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), long the country’s dominant political party, of the more select, nine-member TPLF Executive Committee, and of the Executive Committee of the Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF), the ruling coalition.

Some background on human rights in Ethiopia is in order. It is a country where the ruling coalition won all 547 seats in its most recent (2015) parliamentary election, which surely says much more about the state of democracy than the government’s popularity. Freedom House rates Ethiopia as “not free,” ranking it below than many other of the “not free” countries (p. 18) and with one of the world’s largest declines in freedom over the past decade (p. 10).

In its World Report 2017, Human Rights Watch calls the media in Ethiopia “under government stranglehold,” with at least 75 journalists fleeing into exile since 2010, and others arrested. A 2009 law “continues to severely curtail the ability of independent nongovernmental organizations.” Security forces “frequently” torture political detainees, of whom there are many. Over the past decade, Ethiopia has denied entry to all UN human rights special rapporteurs, other than on Eritrea.

The Ethiopian government’s repressive ways gained international prominence at the Rio Olympics last summer. As he crossed the finish line, winning the silver medal, Ethiopian marathon runner Feyisa Lilesa crossed his arms as a symbol of protest against the government’s violent response to protests in the Ethiopia’s Oromia region. Two months earlier, Human Rights Watch had released a report detailing the government’s violent response to the protests, the most recent round of which began in November 2015. They broke out in response to the government clearing land for an investment project. This fed into wider fears about farmers being displaced without adequate consultation or compensation as part of a master plan to massively expand the boundaries of Addis Ababa, the capital, into the neighboring Oromia region. Adding fuel to the protests were environmental and other local concerns, and longer-standing grievances among members of Ethiopia’s largest ethnic group, the Oromo, of political, economic, and cultural marginalizationAmnesty International reported that least 800 protesters had been killed by the end of 2016.

Ethiopia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs posted a blog on its official website in October 2016 (when Dr. Tedros was still Foreign Minister) in response to Human Rights Watch’s reporting on Ethiopia. The piece accuses Human Rights Watch of baseless allegations, intentionally misleading its audience, and propagating “scare stories.” It focuses on the NGO’s response to an October stampede during an anti-government protest at an annual festival in Oromia, though addresses Human Rights Watch’s reporting in Ethiopia more generally. Yet Human Rights Watch is widely recognized to employ a gold standard of research. The above-mentioned report, for example, was based on more than 125 interviews, “court documents, photos, videos and various secondary material, including academic articles and reports from nongovernmental organizations, and information collected by other credible experts and independent human rights investigators.” All material in the report was verified by two or more independent sources.

In light of Ethiopia’s severe human rights abuses and Dr. Tedros’s prominent position within the ruling party and the government, a natural question becomes: What was his role in the country’s systematic abuses of human rights?

I do not know the answer, or the veracity of other charges that Ethiopian diaspora organizations have lodged. In his role in the TPLF and ERPDF power structures, is it possible that he tried to change things from the inside, using his position of power within the government to oppose the government’s repression?

What we do know, though, based on the independent reports of Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, the U.S. State Department, and others, is that the human rights situation in Ethiopia is dire. And Dr. Tedros has long been an important member of the government.

Dr. Tedros has committed to an open and transparent approach to running WHO. Now is the time for him to demonstrate this commitment, publicly addressing the concerns about human rights during his time in the Ethiopian government, and his role, including as a member of the power structures of the ruling party and coalition. States should evaluate his answers carefully and in light of other evidence.

States should also consider whether regardless of Dr. Tedros’s actions within the government – perhaps unless he vigorously fought against rights-abusive policies from the inside – the mere fact of having served (particularly for a considerable length of time) in a high-level post of a government that perpetuates such severe human rights abuses should be an automatic disqualifier from any international leadership position. Would electing someone put forward by such a government, particularly someone who has long served in that government, in some way represent the international community endorsing, accepting, the legitimacy of that government and its policies, and diminish the importance we ascribe to human rights?

We live in an era where human rights remain under great threat. Especially at such times as these, it is vital that states vote for a candidate whose record and integrity will enable them to lead WHO into a new era of health and human rights

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