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Mon, Apr

abiy ahmed

  • On Tuesday, U.N. humanitarian chief Mark Lowcock warned that “a campaign of destruction” is taking place, saying at least 4.5 million people need assistance and demanding that forces from neighboring Eritrea accused of committing atrocities in Tigray leave Ethiopia.

    An attempt to get U.N. Security Council approval for a statement calling for an end to violence in Ethiopia’s embattled Tigray region and to spotlight the millions in need of humanitarian assistance was dropped Friday night after objections from India, Russia and especially China, U.N. diplomats said.

  • Abiy won a Nobel Peace Prize last year for ending a two-decade standoff with Eritrea. The awarding committee in Oslo last week made a rare foray into the activities of laureates by urging peace in Tigray.

    Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed gave Tigrayan regional forces 72 hours to surrender before the military begins an offensive on the regional capital of Mekelle.

  • The young, outspoken Abiy Ahmed is now poised to take power, as the ruling coalition and its regional affiliates hold all parliament seats. A vote by lawmakers is expected on Wednesday.

    Ethiopia's ruling coalition late Tuesday named a chairman set to become the country's new prime minister amid the latest state of emergency in Africa's second most populous nation.

  • “Their brutality can only add (to) our resolve to fight these invaders to the last,” TPLF leader Debretsion Gebremichael told Reuters in a text message. Asked by Reuters if that meant his forces would continue fighting, he replied: “Certainly. This is about defending our right to self determination.”

    Abiy’s government has been trying to quell a rebellion by a powerful ethnic faction that dominated the central government for decades before he came to power in 2018. Thousands of people are believed to have been killed, and nearly 44,000 have fled to Sudan, in a conflict that has called into question whether Abiy can hold together fractious ethnic groups in Ethiopia, Africa’s second most populous country.

  • Abiy, 43, came to power in April 2018 and began to implement sweeping reforms and changes in Ethiopian policies.

    Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed Ali has won the 2019 Nobel Peace Prize for his peacemaking efforts with neighboring Eritrea.

    Berit Reiss-Andersen, the chairperson of the five-member Norwegian Nobel Committee that awards the Peace Prize, said Abiy was named for his decisive initiatives to end his country's conflict with Eritrea within months of his coming to office in 2018.

    United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres applauded the committee's choice.

    Abiy Ahmed Ali: "I was so humbled and thrilled when I just heard the news."

    "I have said often that winds of hope are blowing ever stronger across Africa. Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed is one of the main reasons why," he said in a statement Friday.

    Internal reforms

    The Nobel Committee also took note of Abiy's push for reforms within Ethiopia, largely aimed at easing the government's control of political discourse in the East African country.

    "He spent his first 100 days as prime minister lifting the country’s state of emergency, granting amnesty to thousands of political prisoners, discontinuing media censorship, legalizing outlawed opposition groups, dismissing military and civilian leaders who were suspected of corruption, and significantly increasing the influence of women in Ethiopian political and community life," the committee said.

    The committee acknowledged that much work remains to strengthen democracy in Ethiopia, but said it hopes the peace agreement with Eritrea will lead to more positive changes for both countries.

    The East African neighbors fought a brutal war from 1998 to 2000 and remained at bitter odds thereafter over unresolved land and border issues.

    After Abiy came to power in April 2018, he said Ethiopia would comply with a 2002 ruling forcing it to cede territory, including the contested town of Badme. In July, he and Eritrean leader Isaias Afwerki signed a peace agreement officially ending hostilities.

    William Davison, Ethiopia analyst for the International crisis Group, said Abiy cannot rest on his laurels.

    "[His] bold leadership has helped drive through positive changes in Ethiopia and achieve rapprochement with Eritrea. But there is a lot of work to do to achieve a new domestic political settlement between fractious actors, and there are also major obstacles to advancing the Eritrea peace process, suggesting that Abiy's hardest challenges lie ahead," he said Friday.

    Rights group Amnesty International said the Nobel prize "should push and motivate [Abiy] to tackle the outstanding human rights challenges that threaten to reverse the gains made so far. He must urgently ensure that his government addresses the ongoing ethnic tensions [in Ethiopia] that threaten instability and further human rights abuses."

    Regional peacemaker

    The Nobel Prize committee also recognized Abiy for his role in other peace and reconciliation processes in East and northeast Africa. Last year, Ethiopia contributed to the normalization of diplomatic ties between Djibouti and Eritrea after years of tension. In Sudan, he helped resolve an impasse between the ruling military council and opposition, paving the way for a power-sharing agreement.

    Abiy, 43, came to power in April 2018 and began to implement sweeping reforms and changes in Ethiopian policies.

    In an interview with VOA's Horn of Africa service in May 2019, Abiy acknowledged that he planned to be an agent of change.

    "I don’t believe that it’s proper to stay in power for long periods of time. And as long as I have power, I believe that I should use that to change people’s lives. But within my efforts working to bring change, there may be errors — but all of my intention and action is aimed at elevating Ethiopia," he said.

    The prize of about $900,000 will be presented in Oslo on Dec. 10.

    The Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences will be awarded on Monday, Oct. 14.

     

    Source: VOA

  • "Our two nations share a history and bond like no other," he said. "We can now overcome two decades of mistrust and move in a new direction."

    With laughter and hugs, the leaders of longtime rivals Ethiopia and Eritrea met for the first time in nearly two decades Sunday amid a dramatic diplomatic thaw.

  • Addressing the country minutes after he was hurried to safety, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed initially said "a few people" had been killed, but his chief of staff Fitsum Arega later reported that no one had died and that at least 83 people were injured.

    An explosion injured scores attending a rally for Ethiopia's reformist new prime minister on Saturday, shortly after he spoke and was waving to the crowd that had turned out in numbers unseen in recent years in the East African nation.

  • The U.N. human rights office this week called for independent investigations into the conflict, but Ethiopian officials have rejected what they call interference, saying this week the government doesn’t need a “babysitter.”

    The only thing the survivors can agree on is that hundreds of people were slaughtered in a single Ethiopian town.

  • “We strongly condemn the killings, forced removals and displacements, sexual assaults, and other extremely serious human rights violations and abuses by several parties that multiple organizations have reported in Tigray.

    The U.S. is “gravely concerned by reported atrocities and the overall deteriorating situation” in Ethiopia’s Tigray region, Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in the toughest statement yet from the U.S. on Ethiopia’s ongoing conflict.

  • The latest explosions came just hours after Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed declared victory in his government’s fighting against forces of the Tigray People’s Liberation Front, which runs the northern Tigray region bordering Eritrea.

    The U.S. Embassy in Eritrea says six explosions were heard Saturday night in the capital, Asmara. It follows an embassy report of another “loud noise, possibly an explosion” in the city on Friday, nearly two weeks after the government of neighboring Ethiopia’s defiant Tigray region confirmed firing missiles at the city during its war with Ethiopian federal forces.

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