city:addis ababa

  • Power shift creates new tensions and Tigrayan fears in Ethiopia.

    Disagreements over land and resources between the 80 different ethnic groups in Ethiopia have often led to violence and mass displacement, but a fast and unprecedented shift of power led by reformist Prime Minister #Abiy_Ahmed is causing new strains, experts say.

    “Ethnic tensions are the biggest problem for Ethiopia right now,” Tewodrose Tirfe, chair of the Amhara Association of America, a US-based advocacy group that played a significant role in lobbying the US government to censor the former regime. “You’ve got millions of people displaced – it’s a humanitarian crisis, and it could get out of control.”

    During the first half of 2018, Ethiopia’s rate of 1.4 million new internally displaced people exceeded Syria’s. By the end of last year, the IDP population had mushroomed to nearly 2.4 million.

    Tigrayans comprise just six percent of Ethiopia’s population of 100 million people but are perceived as a powerful minority because of their ethnic affinity with the Tigray People’s Liberation Front. The TPLF wielded almost unlimited power for more than two decades until reforms within the ruling Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front last year.

    Since coming to power in April 2018, Prime Minister Abiy – from the Oromo ethnic group, Ethiopia’s largest – has brought major changes to the politics of the country, including an unprecedented redistribution of power within the EPRDF and away from the TPLF.
    The politics of ethnic tensions

    Despite the conflicting interests and disagreements between ethnic groups, the Ethiopian government has managed to keep the peace on a national scale. But that juggling act has shown signs of strain in recent years.

    https://www.irinnews.org/analysis/2019/02/14/Ethiopia-ethnic-displacement-power-shift-raises-tensions
    #Ethiopie #terres #tensions #conflit #violence #IDPs #déplacés_internes #migrations #minorités

    In 2017, an escalation in ethnic clashes in the Oromia and the Somali regions led to a spike in IDPs. This continued into 2018, when clashes between the Oromo and Gedeo ethnic groups displaced approximately 970,000 people in the West Guji and Gedeo zones of neighbouring Oromia and the Southern Nations, Nationalities and Peoples Region.

    “The pace and scale of the change happening in Ethiopia is quite unbelievable,” said Ahmed Soliman, a research fellow with the Africa Programme at the London-based think tank Chatham House.

    “The impact of inter-communal tensions and ethnic violence presents a serious challenge for the new leadership – in Tigray and elsewhere. Abiy’s aggressive reform agenda has won praise, but shaking up Ethiopia’s government risks exacerbating several long-simmering ethnic rivalries.”

    Although clashes are sometimes fuelled by other disagreements, such as land or resources, people affected often claim that politicians across the spectrum use ethnic tensions as a means of divide and rule, or to consolidate their position as a perceived bulwark against further trouble.

    “Sadly [around Ethiopia] ethnic bias and violence is affecting many people at the local level,” said a foreign humanitarian worker with an international organisation helping Ethiopian IDPs, who wished to remain anonymous due to the sensitivity of the issue. This includes fuelling the displacement crisis and worsening the humanitarian situation.

    “The main humanitarian concern is that new displacements are occurring by the day, that due to the wide geographic scope, coordination and response in all locations is practically impossible,” the aid worker said.

    “I would like to see more transparency as to what actions the government is taking to hold regional and zonal governments responsible for addressing conflict, for supporting reconciliation, and supporting humanitarian response.”
    Tigray fears

    Although Tigrayans constitute a relatively small part of overall IDP numbers so far, some Tigrayans fear the power shift in Addis Ababa away from the TPLF leaves them more vulnerable and exposed.

    Already simmering anti-Tigrayan sentiments have led to violence, people told IRIN, from barricading roads and forcibly stopping traffic to looting and attacks on Tigrayan homes and businesses in the Amhara and Oromia regions.

    In the Tigray region’s capital of Mekelle, more than 750 kilometers north of the political changes taking place in Addis Ababa, many Tigrayans feel increasingly isolated from fellow Ethiopians.

    “The rest of the country hates us,” Weyanay Gebremedhn, 25, told IRIN. Despite the reforms, Tigrayans say what hasn’t changed is the narrative that they are responsible by association for the ills of the TPLF.

    Although he now struggles to find work, 35-year-old Huey Berhe, who does mostly odd jobs to pay the bills, said he felt safer living among his own community in Mekelle.

    Huey said he had been a student at Jimma University in western Ethiopia, until growing ethnic tensions sparked fights on campus and led to Tigrayans being targeted. “I left my studies at Jimma after the trouble there,” he said. “It was bad – it’s not something I like to discuss.”
    ‘A better evil’

    “There is a lot of [lies] and propaganda, and the TPLF has been made the scapegoat for all vice,” said Gebre Weleslase, a Tigrayan law professor at Mekelle University. He criticised Abiy for not condemning ethnic attacks, which he said had contributed to tens of thousands of Tigrayans leaving Amhara for Tigray in recent years.

    But Amhara Association of America’s Tewodrose said the feeling of “hate” that Ethiopians have toward the TPLF “doesn’t extend to Tigrayans”.

    “There is resentment toward them when other Ethiopians hear of rallies in Tigray supporting the TPLF, because that seems like they aren’t supporting reform efforts,” he said. “But that doesn’t lead to them being targeted, otherwise there would have been more displacements.”

    Tigrayans, however, aren’t as reassured. Despite the vast majority enduring years of poverty and struggle under the TPLF, which should give them as many reasons as most Ethiopians to feel betrayed, even those Tigrayans who dislike the TPLF now say that turning to its patronage may be their only means of seeking protection.

    “The TPLF political machinery extended everywhere in the country – into the judiciary, the universities… it became like something out of George Orwell’s ‘1984’,” Huey said. “But the fact is now the TPLF may represent a better evil as we are being made to feel so unsafe – they seem our only ally as we are threatened by the rest of the country.”

    Others note that Abiy has a delicate balance to strike, especially for the sake of Tigrayans.

    “The prime minister needs to be careful not to allow his targeting of anti-reform elements within the TPLF, to become an attack on the people of Tigray,” said Soliman.

    “The region has a history of resolute peoples and will have to be included with all other regions, in order for Abiy to accomplish his goals of reconciliation, socio-political integration and regional development, as well as long-term peace with Eritrea.”

    Although the government has a big role to play, some Ethiopians told IRIN it is essential for the general population to also face up to the inherent prejudices and problems that lie at the core of their society.

    “It’s about the people being willing and taking individual responsibility – the government can’t do everything,” Weyanay said. “People need to read more and challenge their assumptions and get new perspectives.”


    https://www.irinnews.org/analysis/2019/02/14/Ethiopia-ethnic-displacement-power-shift-raises-tensions

    #Tigréans


  • The Crisis Below the Headlines: Conflict Displacement in Ethiopia

    Since April 2018, the ascension of Abiy Ahmed as prime minister of Ethiopia has ushered in a wave of national optimism. The new prime minister has moved quickly to open political space, promote human rights, and negotiate peace with neighboring Eritrea. However, behind the positive headlines—and indeed positive measures that merit international support—a major humanitarian crisis has unfolded in the south of the country. Over the past year, intercommunal violence has displaced hundreds of thousands Ethiopians. At the outset of the crisis, Prime Minister Abiy’s administration took laudable action in collaborating openly with United Nations agencies and other humanitarian organizations to mobilize and coordinate a response to the plight of internally displaced persons (IDPs). Unfortunately, however, it has more recently taken steps that have compounded IDPs’ suffering by pressing for their return home before conditions were suitable.

    As political ground shifted at the federal level, long-standing grievances between ethnic groups over land, borders, and rights re-emerged in an explosion of violence in southern Ethiopia. Significant displacement occurred between April and June along the internal border of Oromia and the Southern Nations, Nationalities, and Peoples’ Region (SNNPR).
    In September, a team from Refugees International (RI) traveled to southern Oromia and SNNPR to assess the situation of the displaced and the response. The team found that while the government made a proactive effort to partner with international humanitarian organizations early on, this positive trend was soon upended. In late August, the government began to restrict the delivery of assistance, telling IDPs that they would only receive help if they returned home. However, because many return areas were destroyed in the violence and remained insecure, a number of IDPs who tried to return home now find themselves living in secondary displacement sites.
    Read the Full Report
    The government must take four key steps to address the crisis. First, it must refrain from carrying out additional premature, non-voluntary returns and allow aid organizations to provide assistance in both areas of displacement and areas of return. Second, it must establish a clear and transparent plan for voluntary and sustainable returns. Third, the government should implement this return plan in close coordination with relief organizations. And fourth, it must inform IDPs who have already been returned that they can live where they feel safest and that aid provision will be need-based. Donors and humanitarians must advocate for these changes while working with the government to support an overall improvement in its response to conflict IDPs.
    Resolving ethnic disputes will be a long-term endeavor for the new government. Displacement due to intercommunal violence is therefore likely to remain a challenge for the foreseeable future. Indeed, over the last few months, tensions on the outskirts of Addis Ababa caused thousands to flee while another 70,000 people were forced from their homes in the western state of Benishangul-Gumuz. The government’s push for premature returns in the south should not become the precedent for responding to ongoing and future displacement crises.


    https://www.refugeesinternational.org/reports/2018/11/14/the-crisis-below-the-headlines-conflict-displacement-in-ethio
    #IDPs #déplacés_internes #Ethiopie #asile #migrations #rapport


  • Egypt backs out of verbal agreement on 4-7 year timeframe to fill Ethiopian Renaissance Dam reservoir | MadaMasr

    https://madamasr.com/en/2018/09/27/feature/politics/egypt-backs-out-of-verbal-agreement-on-4-7-year-timeframe-to-fill-ethiopia

    The irrigation ministers of Ethiopia, Egypt and Sudan met on Tuesday in the Ethiopian capital of Addis Ababa to be briefed on the latest recommendations on the timeframe to fill the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam’s reservoir, a contentious issue that has long driven a wedge between the parties amid fears of the impact on downstream water supply.

    A 15-member scientific study group, comprised of five scientists and researchers from each country, presented its findings on Tuesday to Ethiopia’s Minister of Water, Irrigation and Electricity Seleshi Bekele, along with his Egyptian and Sudanese counterparts, Mohamed Abdel Aty and Khadr Mohamed Qasmallah.

    No specific conclusions emerged officially from the meeting, the Egyptian Ministry of Water Resources and Irrigation announced through the state-owned MENA news agency on Wednesday. The statement affirmed that all parties are committed to continuing talks, without providing further details.

    Yet an Ethiopian diplomatic source, who spoke to Mada Masr on condition of anonymity, says that there was an initial verbal agreement between the parties, which Cairo has since backed away from.

    “The ministers reviewed what the team has been doing during the past three months and consulted on a way forward,” Teferra Beyene, advisor to Ethiopia’s Ministry of Water, Irrigation and Electricity, tells Mada Masr.

    While the study group’s findings have not been officially disclosed, the Ethiopian source tells Mada Masr that the team recommended the 74 billion cubic meter dam reservoir be filled over four to seven years, depending on the amount of rainfall and intensity of the Nile’s water flow.

    Following the presentation of the report, the source described Ethiopia and Sudan’s ministers as immediately accepting the recommendations, and expressing a readiness to begin work on a joint declaration to bind the parties to these terms.

    While the Egyptian delegation verbally accepted the report’s findings at first, it later said it would need more time to consider, the source explains. “The Egyptian delegation changed their minds and refused to sign the agreement. Instead, they want first to consult at headquarters and come to a decision.”

    The four-to-seven-year window falls outside the timeframe Cairo has pushed for to fill the dam. An Egyptian diplomat told Mada Masr at the close of August that Cairo’s concerns have centered around the pace at which the dam’s reservoirs would be filled, and that this issue was the subject of “tough and elaborate talks.”


  • Eritrea-Etiopia – Si tratta la pace ad Addis Abeba

    Una delegazione eritrea di alto livello è arrivata in Etiopia per il primo round di negoziati di pace in vent’anni. Il ministro degli Esteri eritreo Osman Sale è stato accolto in aeroporto dal neo premier etiopico Abiy Ahmed che, ai primi di giugno, ha sorpreso il Paese dichiarando di accettare l’Accordo di pace del 2000 che poneva fine alla guerra con l’Eritrea.

    L’Accordo, nonostante la fine dei combattimenti nel 2000, non è mai stato applicato e i rapporti tra i due Paesi sono rimasti tesi. Etiopia ed Eritrea non hanno relazioni diplomatiche e negli ultimi anni ci sono stati ripetute schermaglie militari al confine.


    https://www.africarivista.it/eritrea-etiopia-si-tratta-la-pace-ad-addis-abeba/125465
    #paix #Ethiopie #Erythrée #processus_de_paix

    • Peace Deal Alone Will Not Stem Flow of Eritrean Refugees

      The detente with Ethiopia has seen Eritrea slash indefinite military conscription. Researcher Cristiano D’Orsi argues that without a breakthrough on human rights, Eritreans will still flee.

      Ethiopia and Eritrea have signed a historic agreement to end the 20-year conflict between the two countries. The breakthrough has been widely welcomed given the devastating effects the conflict has had on both countries as well as the region.

      The tension between the two countries led to Eritrea taking steps that were to have a ripple effect across the region – and the world. One in particular, the conscription of young men, has had a particularly wide impact.

      Two years before formal cross-border conflict broke out in 1998, the Eritrean government took steps to maintain a large standing army to push back against Ethiopia’s occupation of Eritrean territories. Initially, troops were supposed to assemble and train for a period of 18 months as part of their national service. But, with the breakout of war, the service, which included both military personnel and civilians, was extended. All Eritrean men between the ages of 18–50 have to serve in the army for more than 20 years.

      This policy has been given as the reason for large numbers of Eritreans fleeing the country. The impact of the policy on individuals, and families, has been severe. For example, there have been cases of multiple family members being conscripted at the same time. This denied them the right to enjoy a stable family life. Children were the most heavily affected.

      It’s virtually impossible for Eritreans to return once they have left as refugees because the Eritrean government doesn’t look kindly on repatriated returnees. Those who are forced to return to the country face persecution and human rights abuses.

      In 2017, Eritreans represented the ninth-largest refugee population in the world with 486,200 people forcibly displaced. By May 2018, Eritreans represented 5 percent of the migrants who disembarked on the northern shores of the Mediterranean.

      Things look set to change, however. The latest batch of national service recruits have been told their enlistment will last no longer than 18 months. The announcement came in the midst of the dramatic thawing of relations between Ethiopia and Eritrea. It has raised hopes that the service could be terminated altogether.

      With that said, it remains to be seen whether the end of hostilities between the two countries will ultimately stem the flow of Eritrean refugees.

      It’s virtually impossible for Eritreans to return once they have left as refugees because the Eritrean government doesn’t look kindly on repatriated returnees. Those who are forced to return to the country face persecution and human rights abuses.

      The Eritrean government’s hardline position has led to changes in refugee policies in countries like the UK. For example, in October 2016, a U.K. appellate tribunal held that Eritreans of draft age who left the country illegally would face the risk of persecution and abuse if they were involuntarily returned to Eritrea.

      This, the tribunal said, was in direct violation of the European Convention on Human Rights. As a result, the U.K.’s Home Office amended its immigration policy to conform to the tribunal’s ruling.

      Eritrean asylum seekers haven’t been welcome everywhere. For a long time they were persona non grata in Israel on the grounds that absconding national service duty was not justification for asylum. But in September 2016, an Israeli appeals court held that Eritreans must be given the chance to explain their reasons for fleeing at individual hearings, overruling an interior ministry policy that denied asylum to deserters.

      The situation is particularly tense for Eritreans in Israel because they represent the majority of African asylum seekers in the country. In fact, in May 2018, Israel and the United Nations refugee agency began negotiating a deal to repatriate African asylum seekers in western countries, with Canada as a primary destination.

      An earlier deal had fallen through after public pressure reportedly caused Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to back out of it.

      Eritreans living as refugees in Ethiopia have been welcomed in Australia where they are one among eight nationalities that have access to a resettlement scheme known as the community support program. This empowers Australian individuals, community organizations and businesses to offer Eritrean refugees jobs if they have the skills, allowing them to settle permanently in the country.

      The government has always denied that conscription has anything to do with Eritreans fleeing the country. Two years ago it made it clear that it would not shorten the length of the mandatory national service.

      At the time officials said Eritreans were leaving the country because they were being enticed by certain “pull factors.” They argued, for example, that the need for low cost manpower in the West could easily be met by giving asylum to Eritreans who needed just to complain about the National Service to obtain asylum.

      But change is on the cards. After signing the peace deal with Ethiopia, Eritrea has promised to end the current conscription regime and announcing that national service duty will last no more than 18 months.

      Even so, the national service is likely to remain in place for the foreseeable future to fulfil other parts of its mandate which are reconstructing the country, strengthening the economy, and developing a joint Eritrean identity across ethnic and religious lines.

      Eritrea is still a country facing enormous human rights violations. According to the last Freedom House report, the Eritrean government has made no recent effort to address these. The report accuses the regime of continuing to perpetrate crimes against humanity.

      If Eritrea pays more attention to upholding human rights, fewer nationals will feel the need to flee. And if change comes within Eritrean borders as fast as it did with Ethiopia, a radical shift in human rights policy could be in the works.

      https://www.newsdeeply.com/refugees/community/2018/08/09/peace-deal-alone-will-not-stem-flow-of-eritrean-refugees

      #asile #réfugiés

    • Eritrea has slashed conscription. Will it stem the flow of refugees?

      Ethiopia and Eritrea have signed an historic agreement to end the 20-year conflict between the two countries. The breakthrough has been widely welcomed given the devastating effects the conflict has had on both countries as well as the region.

      The tension between the two countries led to Eritrea taking steps that were to have a ripple effect across the region – and the world. One in particular, the conscription of young men, has had a particularly wide impact.

      Two years before formal cross border conflict broke out in 1998, the Eritrean government took steps to maintain a large standing army to push back against Ethiopia’s occupation of Eritrean territories. Initially, troops were supposed to assemble and train for a period of 18 months as part of their national service. But, with the breakout of war, the service, which included both military personnel and civilians, was extended. All Eritrean men between the ages of 18 – 50 have to serve in the army for more than 20 years.

      This policy has been given as the reason for large numbers of Eritreans fleeing the country. The impact of the policy on individuals, and families, has been severe. For example, there have been cases of multiple family members being conscripted at the same time. This denied them the right to enjoy a stable family life. Children were the most heavily affected.

      In 2017, Eritreans represented the ninth-largest refugee population in the world with 486,200 people forcibly displaced. By May 2018 Eritreans represented 5% of the migrants who disembarked on the northern shores of the Mediterranean.

      Things look set to change, however. The latest batch of national service recruits have been told their enlistment will last no longer than 18 months. The announcement came in the midst of the dramatic thawing of relations between Ethiopia and Eritrea. It has raised hopes that the service could be terminated altogether.

      With that said, it remains to be seen whether the end of hostilities between the two countries will ultimately stem the flow of Eritrean refugees.
      The plight of Eritrean refugees

      It’s virtually impossible for Eritreans to return once they have left as refugees because the Eritrean government doesn’t look kindly on repatriated returnees. Those who are forced to return to the country face persecution and human rights abuses.

      The Eritrean government’s hard line position has led to changes in refugee policies in countries like the UK. For example, in October 2016 a UK appellate tribunal held that Eritreans of draft age who left the country illegally would face the risk of persecution and abuse if they were involuntarily returned to Eritrea.

      This, the tribunal said, was in direct violation of the European Convention on Human Rights. As a result, the UK’s Home Office amended its immigration policy to conform to the tribunal’s ruling.

      Eritrean asylum seekers haven’t been welcome everywhere. For a long time they were persona non grata in Israel on the grounds that absconding national service duty was not justification for asylum. But in September 2016 an Israeli appeals court held that Eritreans must be given the chance to explain their reasons for fleeing at individual hearings, overruling an interior ministry policy that denied asylum to deserters.

      The situation is particularly tense for Eritreans in Israel because they represent the majority of African asylum-seekers in the country. In fact, in May 2018, Israel and the United Nations refugee agency began negotiating a deal to repatriate African asylum-seekers in western countries, with Canada as a primary destination.

      An earlier deal had fallen through after public pressure reportedly caused Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to back out of it.

      Eritreans living as refugees in Ethiopia have been welcomed in Australia where they are one among eight nationalities that have access to a resettlement scheme known as the community support programme. This empowers Australian individuals, community organisations and businesses to offer Eritrean refugees jobs if they have the skills, allowing them to settle permanently in the country.
      The future

      The government has always denied that conscription has anything to do with Eritreans fleeing the country. Two years ago it made it clear that it would not shorten the length of the mandatory national service.

      At the time officials said Eritreans were leaving the country because they were being enticed by certain “pull factors”. They argued, for example, that the need for low cost manpower in the West could easily be met by giving asylum to Eritreans who needed just to complain about the National Service to obtain asylum.

      But change is on the cards. After signing the peace deal with Ethiopia, Eritrea has promised to end the current conscription regime and announcing that national service duty will last no more than 18 months.

      Even so, the national service is likely to remain in place for the foreseeable future to fulfil other parts of its mandate which are reconstructing the country, strengthening he economy, and developing a joint Eritrean identity across ethnic and religious lines.

      Eritrea is still a country facing enormous human rights violations. According to the last Freedom House report, the Eritrean government has made no recent effort to address these. The report accuses the regime of continuing to perpetrate crimes against humanity.

      If Eritrea pays more attention to upholding human rights, fewer nationals will feel the need to flee. And if change comes within Eritrean borders as fast as it did with Ethiopia, a radical shift in human rights policy could be in the works.

      https://theconversation.com/eritrea-has-slashed-conscription-will-it-stem-the-flow-of-refugees-

      #conscription #service_militaire #armée

    • Out of Eritrea: What happens after #Badme?

      On 6 June 2018, the government of Ethiopia announced that it would abide by the Algiers Agreement and 2002 Eritrea-Ethiopian Boundary Commission decision that defined the disputed border and granted the border town of Badme to Eritrea. Over the last 20 years, Badme has been central to the dispute between the two countries, following Ethiopia’s rejection of the ruling and continued occupation of the area. Ethiopia’s recently appointed Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed acknowledged that the dispute over Badme had resulted in 20 years of tension between the two countries. To defend the border areas with Ethiopia, in 1994 the Eritrean government introduced mandatory military service for all adults over 18. Eritrean migrants and asylum seekers often give their reason for flight as the need to escape this mandatory national service.

      Since 2015, Eritreans have been the third largest group of people entering Europe through the Mediterranean, and have the second highestnumber of arrivals through the Central Mediterranean route to Italy. According to UNHCR, by the end of 2016, 459,390 Eritreans were registered refugees in various countries worldwide. Various sources estimate Eritrea’s population at 5 million people, meaning that approximately 10% of Eritrea’s population has sought refuge abroad by 2016.
      Mandatory military service – a driver of migration and displacement

      As data collection from the Mixed Migration Centre’s Mixed Migration Monitoring Mechanism Initiative (4Mi) shows, 95% of Eritrean refugees and migrants surveyed gave fear of conscription into national service as their main reason for flight out of Eritrea. Men and women from 18 to 40 years old are required by law to undertake national service for 18 months — including six months of military training followed by 12 months’ deployment either in military service or in other government entities including farms, construction sites, mines and ministries.
      In reality, national service for most conscripts extends beyond the 18 months and often indefinite. There are also reported cases of children under 18 years old being forcefully recruited. Even upon completion of national service, Eritreans under the age of 50 years may been enrolled in the Reserve Army with the duty to provide reserve military service and defend the country from external attacks or invasions.

      According to Human Rights Watch, conscripts are subject to military discipline and are harshly treated and earn a salary that often ranges between USD 43 – 48 per month. The length of service is unpredictable, the type of abuse inflicted on conscripts is at the whim of military commanders and the UN Commission of inquiry on human rights in Eritrea reported on the frequent sexual abuse of female conscripts. Eritrea has no provision for conscientious objection to national service and draft evaders and deserters if arrested are subjected to heavy punishment according to Amnesty International, including lengthy periods of detention, torture and other forms of inhuman treatment including rape for women. For those who escape, relatives are forced to pay fines of 50,000 Nakfa (USD 3,350) for each family member. Failure to pay the fine may result in the arrest and detention of a family member until the money is paid which further fuels flight from Eritrea for families who are unable to pay the fine.

      The government of Eritrea asserts that compulsory and indefinite national service is necessitated by continued occupation of its sovereign territories citing Ethiopia as the main threat. In its response to the UN Human Rights Council Report that criticised Eritrea for human rights violations including indefinite conscription, Eritrea stated that one of its main constraints to the fulfilment of its international and national obligations in promoting and protecting human rights and fundamental freedoms is the continued occupation of its territory by Ethiopia.

      In 2016, Eritrea’s minister for Information confirmed that indefinite national service would remain without fundamental changes even in the wake of increased flight from the country by citizens unwilling to undertake the service. The Minister went on to state that Eritrea would contemplate demobilization upon the removal of the ‘main threat’, in this case Eritrea’s hostile relationship with Ethiopia. Eritrea and Ethiopia have both traded accusations of supporting opposition/militia groups to undermine each other both locally and abroad. If the relations between the countries turn peaceful, this could potentially have an impact on Eritrean migration, out of the country and out of the region.

      In the absence of hostilities and perceived security threats from its neighbour, it is possible that Eritrea will amend – or at least be open to start a dialogue about amending – its national service (and military) policies from the current mandatory and indefinite status, which has been one of the major root causes of the movement of Eritreans out of their country and onwards towards Europe. Related questions are whether an improvement in the relations with Ethiopia could also bring an immediate or longer term improvement in the socio-economic problems that Eritrea faces, for example through expanded trade relations between the two countries? Will this change usher in an era of political stability and an easing of military burdens on the Eritrean population?
      A possible game changer?

      The border deal, if it materialises, could at some time also have serious implications for Eritrean asylum seekers in Europe. Eritreans applying for asylum have relatively high approval rates. The high recognition rate for Eritrean asylum seekers is based on the widely accepted presumptionthat Eritreans who evade or avoid national service are at risk of persecution. In 2016 for example, 93% of Eritreans who sought asylum in EU countries received a positive decision. This recognition rate was second to Syrians and ahead of Iraqis and Somalis; all countries that are in active conflict unlike Eritrea. If the government of Eritrea enacts positive policy changes regarding conscription, the likely effect could be a much lower recognition rate for Eritrean asylum seekers. It is unclear how this would affect those asylum seekers already in the system.

      While Eritreans on the route to Europe and in particular those arriving in Italy, remain highly visible and receive most attention, many Eritreans who leave the country end up in refugee camps or Eritrean enclaves in neighbouring countries like Sudan and Ethiopia or further away in Egypt. After they flee, most Eritreans initially apply for refugee status in Ethiopia’s and Sudan’s refugee camps. As Human Rights Watch noted in 2016, the Eritrean camp population generally remains more or less stable. While many seek onward movements out of the camps, many refugees remain in the region. With these potentially new developments in Eritrea, will the Eritreans in Sudan, Ethiopia and other neighbouring countries feel encouraged or compelled to return at some, or will they perhaps be forced to return to Eritrea?
      What’s next?

      Conservative estimates in 2001 put the cost of the war between Eritrea and Ethiopia at USD 2.9 billion in just the first three years. This has had an adverse effect on the economies of the two countries as well as human rights conditions. In 2013, Eritrea expressed its willingness to engage in dialogue with Ethiopia should it withdraw its army from the disputed territory which it further noted is occupied by 300,000 soldiers from both countries. Ethiopia has previously stated its willingness to surrender Badme, without in the end acting upon this promise. Should this latest promise be implemented and ties between two countries normalized, this might herald positive developments for both the economy and the human rights situation in both countries, with a potential significant impact on one of the major drivers of movement out of Eritrea.

      However, with the news that Ethiopia would move to define its borders in accordance with international arbitration, the possibilities for political stability and economic growth in Eritrea remain uncertain. On 21 June 2018, the President of Eritrea Isaias Aferwerki issued a statement saying that Eritrea would send a delegation to Addis Ababa to ‘gauge current developments… chart out a plan for continuous future action’. The possibility of resulting peace and economic partnership between the two countries could, although a long-term process, also result in economic growth on both sides of the border and increased livelihood opportunities for their citizens who routinely engage in unsafe and irregular migration for political, humanitarian and economic reasons.

      http://www.mixedmigration.org/articles/out-of-eritrea

    • Despite the peace deal with Ethiopia, Eritrean refugees are still afraid to return home

      When Samuel Berhe thinks of Eritrea, he sees the sand-colored buildings and turquoise water of Asmara’s shoreline. He sees his sister’s bar under the family home in the capital’s center that sells sweet toast and beer. He sees his father who, at 80 years old, is losing his eyesight but is still a force to be reckoned with. He thinks of his home, a place that he cannot reach.

      Berhe, like many other Eritreans, fled the country some years ago to escape mandatory national service, which the government made indefinite following the 1998-2000 border war with Ethiopia. The war cost the countries an estimated 100,000 lives, while conscription created a generation of Eritrean refugees. The UNHCR said that in 2016 there were 459,000 Eritrean exiles out of an estimated population of 5.3 million.

      So, when the leaders of Ethiopia and Eritrea signed a sudden peace deal in July 2018, citizens of the Horn of Africa nations rejoiced. Many took to the streets bearing the two flags. Others chose social media to express their happiness, and some even dialed up strangers, as phone lines between the nations were once again reinstated. It felt like a new era of harmony and prosperity had begun.

      But for Berhe, the moment was bittersweet.

      “I was happy because it is good for our people but I was also sad, because it doesn’t make any change for me,” he said from his home in Ethiopia’s capital, Addis Ababa. “I will stay as a refugee.”

      Like many other Eritrean emigrants, Berhe fled the country illegally to escape national service. He fears that if he returns, he will wind up in jail, or worse. He does not have a passport and has not left Ethiopia since he arrived on the back of a cargo truck 13 years ago. His two daughters, Sarah, 9, and Ella, 11, for whom he is an only parent, have never seen their grandparents or their father’s homeland.

      Now that there is a direct flight, Berhe is planning on sending the girls to see their relatives. But before he considers returning, he will need some sort of guarantee from Eritrea’s President Isaias Afwerki, who leads the ruling People’s Front for Democracy and Justice, that he will pardon those who left.

      “The people that illegally escaped, the government thinks that we are traitors,” he said. “There are many, many like me, all over the world, too afraid to go back.”

      Still, hundreds fought to board the first flights between the two capitals throughout July and August. Asmara’s and Addis Ababa’s airports became symbols of the reunification as hordes of people awaited their relatives with bouquets daily, some whom they hadn’t seen for more than two decades.

      “When I see the people at the airport, smiling, laughing, reuniting with their family, I wish to be like them. To be free. They are lucky,” Berhe said.

      Related: Chronic insomnia plagues young migrants long after they reach their destination

      Zala Mekonnen, 38, an Eritrean Canadian, who was one of the many waiting at arrivals in Addis Ababa, said she had completely given up on the idea that the two nations — formerly one country — would ever rekindle relations.

      Mekonnen, who is half Ethiopian, found the 20-year feud especially difficult as her family was separated in half. In July, her mother saw her uncle for the first time in 25 years.

      “We’re happy but hopefully he’s [Afwerki] going to let those young kids free [from conscription],” she said. “I’m hoping God will hear, because so many of them died while trying to escape. One full generation lost.”

      Related: A life of statelessness derailed this Eritrean runner’s hopes to compete in the Olympics

      Mekonnen called the peace deal with Ethiopia a crucial step towards Eritrean democracy. But Afwerki, the 72-year-old ex-rebel leader, will also have to allow multiple political parties to exist, along with freedom of religion, freedom of speech and reopening Asmara’s public university while also giving young people opportunities outside of national service.

      “The greeting that Afwerki received here in Ethiopia [following the agreement to restore relations], he didn’t deserve it,” said Mekonnen. “He should have been hung.”

      Since the rapprochement, Ethiopia’s leader, Abiy Ahmed, has reached out to exiled opposition groups, including those in Eritrea, to open up a political dialogue. The Eritrean president has not made similar efforts. But in August, his office announced that he would visit Ethiopia for a second time to discuss the issue of rebels.

      Laura Hammond, a professor of developmental studies at the School of Oriental and African Studies in London, said that it is likely Afwerki will push for Ethiopia to send Eritrean refugees seeking asylum back to Eritrea.

      “The difficulty is that, while the two countries are normalizing relations, the political situation inside Eritrea is not changing as rapidly,” Hammond said. “There are significant fears about what will happen to those who have left the country illegally, including in some cases escaping from prison or from their national service bases. They will need to be offered amnesty if they are to feel confident about returning.”

      To voice their frustrations, thousands of exiled Eritreans gathered in protest outside the UN headquarters in Geneva on Aug. 31. Amid chants of “enough is enough” and “down, down Isaias,” attendees held up placards calling for peace and democracy. The opposition website, Harnnet, wrote that while the rapprochement with Ethiopia was welcomed, regional and global politicians were showing “undeserved sympathy” to a power that continued to violate human rights.

      Sitting in front of the TV, Berhe’s two daughters sip black tea and watch a religious parade broadcast on Eritrea’s national channel. Berhe, who has temporary refugee status in Ethiopia, admits that one thing that the peace deal has changed is that the state’s broadcaster no longer airs perpetual scenes of war. For now, he is safe in Addis Ababa with his daughters, but he is eager to obtain a sponsor in the US, Europe or Australia, so that he can resettle and provide them with a secure future. He is afraid that landlocked Ethiopia might cave to pressures from the Eritrean government to return its refugees in exchange for access to the Red Sea port.

      “Meanwhile my girls say to me, ’Why don’t we go for summer holiday in Asmara?’” he laughs. “They don’t understand my problem.”


      https://www.pri.org/stories/2018-09-13/despite-peace-deal-ethiopia-eritrean-refugees-are-still-afraid-return-home

    • Etiopia: firmato ad Asmara accordo di pace fra governo e Fronte nazionale di liberazione dell’#Ogaden

      Asmara, 22 ott 09:51 - (Agenzia Nova) - Il governo dell’Etiopia e i ribelli del Fronte nazionale di liberazione dell’Ogaden (#Onlf) hanno firmato un accordo di pace nella capitale eritrea Asmara per porre fine ad una delle più antiche lotte armate in Etiopia. L’accordo, si legge in una nota del ministero degli Esteri di Addis Abeba ripresa dall’emittente “Fana”, è stato firmato da una delegazione del governo etiope guidata dal ministro degli Esteri Workneh Gebeyehu e dal presidente dell’Onlf, Mohamed Umer Usman, i quali hanno tenuto un colloquio definito “costruttivo” e hanno raggiunto un “accordo storico” che sancisce “l’inizio di un nuovo capitolo di pace e stabilità in Etiopia”. L’Onlf, gruppo separatista fondato nel 1984, è stato etichettato come organizzazione terrorista dal governo etiope fino al luglio scorso, quando il parlamento di Addis Abeba ha ratificato la decisione del governo di rimuovere i partiti in esilio – tra cui appunto l’Onlf – dalla lista delle organizzazioni terroristiche. La decisione rientra nella serie di provvedimenti annunciati dal premier Abiy Ahmed per avviare il percorso di riforme nel paese, iniziato con il rilascio di migliaia di prigionieri politici, la distensione delle relazioni con l’Eritrea e la parziale liberalizzazione dell’economia etiope.

      https://www.agenzianova.com/a/5bcd9c24083997.87051681/2142476/2018-10-22/etiopia-firmato-ad-asmara-accordo-di-pace-fra-governo-e-fronte-nazional


  • Renaissance Dam discussions in Sudan expected to produce shared initial understanding | MadaMasr

    https://www.madamasr.com/en/2018/04/04/feature/politics/renaissance-dam-discussions-in-sudan-expected-to-produce-shared-initial-un

    Diplomatic sources close to arrangements for the tripartite meetings on the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) that began on Wednesday in Khartoum say the portfolio of understanding that is expected to come out of the talks includes directions such as a partial reservoir filling of the dam by Ethiopia, Egypt’s resort to national water reserves and guarantees granted to Sudan for its development projects.

    The diplomatic sources, who spoke to Mada Masr on condition of anonymity, say that there is “political will” on all sides for the meetings to result in positive initial understandings on the Ethiopian development project, which has strained relations between Khartoum, Addis Ababa and Cairo.  

    Attending the two-day summit are the foreign ministers, irrigation ministers and intelligence chiefs from the three countries, who will focus on the effects of completing the construction of the dam and making it operational in the second half of 2018.  

    An Egyptian source, who spoke to Mada Masr on condition of anonymity, says the talks are expected to produce three main outcomes. Firstly, Ethiopia will fill the reservoir with just enough water to allow the first two turbines to become operational in the short term (this had been a point of tension previously, as Egyptian officials were concerned that Addis Ababa had begun “early filling” of the dam). Levels of water in the reservoir would then increase incrementally, along with the rise in the number of operational electrical turbines. Secondly, Egypt would ensure it has strategic water reserves in Lake Nasser. And thirdly, Sudan would receive guarantees that its neighbors would support its agricultural projects and other developmental projects it needs to boost its economy.


  • Les Émirats chassés de Somalie ?
    http://www.presstv.com/DetailFr/2018/02/28/553877/Corne-de-lAfrique-Les-Emirats-jouent-de-malheur

    Je serais à la place de MBS, je leur dirais de faire une coalition pour attaquer le Somalie et Djibouti.

    Et pourquoi pas l’Ethiopie, si j’en crois l’article arabe dont je mets le lien. @simplicissimus, ça a l’air super compliqué, et je te sens plus motivé que moi sur le sujet ;-)

    http://thenewkhalij.news/%D8%B3%D9%8A%D8%A7%D8%B3%D8%A9/%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%B5%D9%88%D9%85%D8%A7%D9%84-%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%A7%D8%AA%D)

    #fret_maritime #corne_de_l'afrique #émirats

    • Pouf, pouf !

      Deux choses distinctes, si je comprends bien. Mais pas tant que ça…

      • base navale à Berbera
      ça coince entre les EAU et le Somaliland. Pb, de qui s’agit-il Divers Marine Contracting LLC (citée dans l’article) est présente à Dubaï, à Abou Dhabi c’est Diver Marine Contracting LLC, à Sharjah (Head Office), Diver Shipping & Cargo and Ship Maintenance LLC, le tout dans un groupe du nom de Divers Group LLC (dont la (délicieuse) devise est Consider it done
      http://www.divers-marine.com/global-presence.html
      Ce même site mentionne une filiale dans la corne de l’Afrique, mais c’est à Bosasso au Puntland, donc en Somalie…

      Le litige porte sur une liaison routière Berbera-Wajale (à la frontière avec l’Éthiopie, sur la route vers Djidjiga, Harar (ô mânes de Rimbaud…) et (loin…) Addis-Abeba.

      • développement du port de Berbera
      Accord tripartite hier, jeudi, pour un projet de développement conjoint avec DP World aux manettes (filiale du fonds souverain Dubai World) avec 51%, le Somaliland (30%) et l’Éthiopie (19%)

      DP World Signs Agreement with Ethiopia, Somalia to Develop Port of Berbera | Asharq AL-awsat
      https://aawsat.com/english/home/article/1191896/dp-world-signs-agreement-ethiopia-somalia-develop-port-berbera
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V6Q5tbitEXY

      Dubai’s state-owned DP World said on Thursday the Ethiopian government had taken a 19 percent stake in Somaliland’s Port of Berbera. The port operator said it would retain a 51 percent stake in the port and that Somaliland would retain 30 percent.

      DP World Group chairman and CEO Sultan Bin Sulayem lauded the strategic partnership, and stressed the role of partnerships between the public and private sectors in accelerating the pace of economic growth of countries.

      Bin Sulayem, said: “I am so excited about the prospects of working with the Ethiopian government. Ethiopia is home to approximately 110 million people."

      Accord dénoncé dès le lendemain par la Somalie (qui ne reconnait pas l’indépendance du Somaliland, pas plus qu’aucun autre pays d’ailleurs…)

      • MAIS…
      l’accord pour la base navale (février 2017) parlait (déjà…) de DP World (et on ne touche pas un mot de la liaison routière)

      Les Emirats arabes unis s’offrent une nouvelle base navale au Somaliland - RFI (article du 13/02/17, modifié (?) le 13/11/17…)
      http://www.rfi.fr/afrique/20170213-emirats-arabes-unis-base-navale-militaire-somaliland

      Les Émirats arabes unis (EAU) avaient déjà une base navale en Érythrée, ils en auront bientôt une seconde au Somaliland. Le Parlement de cette république auto-proclamée vient de lui donner son feu vert, en tout cas. Cette base doit renforcer la présence des Émirats dans la Corne de l’Afrique.

      Les EAU et le Somaliland sont sur le point de signer un bail de 25 ans. En 2042, donc, la base navale et aérienne deviendra la propriété du gouvernement de cette république auto-proclamée.

      En contrepartie, DP World, basé à Dubaï, troisième opérateur portuaire au monde, s’est engagé à agrandir le port de Berbera à l’horizon 2019 et à le gérer pendant 30 ans. Un contrat d’une valeur de plus de 400 millions d’euros.

      Ce port de commerce, l’un des rares en eau profonde de la Corne de l’Afrique, devrait renforcer le rôle économique de Berbera. L’Éthiopie s’en réjouit déjà, elle qui n’a aucun accès à la mer. Berbera est encore plus près d’Addis-Abeba que ne l’est Djibouti.

      Quant à la future base navale de Berbera, elle pourrait jouer un rôle stratégique dans la région. Il est probable que les EAU s’en servent dans le conflit qui, de l’autre côté de la mer Rouge, oppose le gouvernement du Yémen aux Houthis.

      Les Émirats, qui soutiennent Aden, utilisent déjà Assab, leur base en Erythrée, ou des avions de combat, y compris des Mirages, ont été déployés, selon la presse spécialisée. Pour la base d’Assab aussi, c’était du donnant-donnant. Pour s’y installer, les Émirats se sont engagés à moderniser l’aéroport d’Asmara.

      • Quant à Djibouti et Doraleh, on n’est pas sorti de l’auberge… le conflit est déjà ouvert, après un premier échec pour obtenir une renégociation en 2014, l’Assemblée nationale djiboutienne a passé une loi en novembre 2017 demandant la révision des contrats à caractère stratégique…

      Djibouti en conflit avec DP World sur le port de Doraleh - RFI (article du 24/02/18, modifié le 25/02/18)
      http://www.rfi.fr/afrique/20180224-djibouti-conflit-dp-world-port-doraleh-dubai

      Nouvelle escalade dans le conflit qui oppose le gouvernement de Djibouti à l’exploitant portuaire de l’émirat de Dubaï, DP World. Djibouti a repris la gestion du terminal de conteneur de Doraleh au nom des intérêts de la nation. Un conflit lourd de conséquences pour l’approvisionnement des pays de la Corne de l’Afrique.

      Le gouvernement de Djibouti a résilié le contrat de concession attribué à DP World en 2006 et repris la gestion directe du terminal portuaire de Doraleh, au nom de la souveraineté de l’Etat et des intérêts supérieurs de la nation. Et ce, de manière totalement illégale, selon Dubaï Ports World, l’un des plus grands gestionnaires d’installations portuaires au monde.

      DP World entend donc bien ne pas en rester là et a engagé une procédure devant la cour d’arbitrage international de Londres. Une cour qui s’est déjà prononcée en faveur du consortium de Dubaï dans le passé, quand Djibouti en 2014 avait déjà remis en cause le contrat qui les liait. Djibouti accusait l’opérateur portuaire d’avoir versé des pots-de-vin pour obtenir la concession de 50 ans.

      Ce conflit est lourd de conséquences et pas seulement pour les deux protagonistes, car le port en litige approvisionne les pays de la Corne de l’Afrique. Au premier rang desquels l’Ethiopie, dépourvue de façade maritime, qui dépend à 90% de ce port pour ses échanges commerciaux.

      • Cette dernière péripétie n’a en tous cas pas l’air d’avoir entamé l’optimisme de M. Bin Sulayem, comme on peut le voir sur la vidéo et qui doit certainement compter sur un arbitrage international favorable.
      De plus, avec Assab en Érythrée, Doraleh à Djibouti et Berbera au Somaliland, où les EAU disposent (ou vont disposer) de facilités, Djibouti va entrer en concurrence avec ses voisins pour garder son rôle de porte d’accès de et à l’Éthiopie. Pour le moment, il a l’avantage de la liaison ferroviaire toute neuve (et chinoise) reliant Djibouti à Addis Abeba.

      liaison inaugurée le 5 octobre 2016 et qui vient tout juste de commencer ses opérations commerciales, le 1er janvier 2018 (enfin, il paraît…)
      Chinese-built Ethiopia-Djibouti railway begins commercial operations - Xinhua | English.news.cn (article du 1er janvier 2018)
      http://www.xinhuanet.com/english/2018-01/01/c_136865306.htm

      The Chinese-built 756-km electrified rail project connecting landlocked Ethiopia to Djibouti officially started commercial operations on Monday with a ceremony held in Ethiopia’s capital Addis Ababa.

      Contracted by two Chinese companies, the first 320 km of the rail project from Sebeta to Mieso was carried out by the China Rail Engineering Corporation (CREC), while the remaining 436 km from Mieso to Djibouti port section was built by the China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation (CCECC).

      Bref, grandes manœuvres et compagnie. Ajoutes à cela ce qui se passe de l’autre côté de la Porte des Lamentations

      Enfin, tu remarqueras que tous les pays cités sont hautement démocratiques et connus pour la transparence de leurs décisions d’investissement…

    • A Djibouti, « la Chine commence à déchanter »
      http://www.lemonde.fr/afrique/article/2018/02/05/a-djibouti-la-chine-commence-a-dechanter_5252153_3212.html


      Le président djiboutien Ismaïl Omar Guelleh (à gauche) et le président chinois Xi Jinping, à Pékin, le 23 novembre 2017.
      Jason Lee / AFP

      Le torchon est-il en train de brûler ? Les entreprises chinoises qui espéraient décrocher des contrats dans la zone commencent à déchanter. Ainsi, les travaux des deux nouveaux aéroports confiés à China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation (CCECC) sont remis en cause. Celui d’Ali Sabieh, la deuxième ville de Djibouti, devait compter deux pistes d’atterrissage, avec la capacité de traiter 600 000 tonnes de fret par an. Le second devait quant à lui desservir le détroit de Bab Al-Mandeb, une zone stratégique pour le commerce international et pour la Chine.

      Mais les deux contrats signés par CCECC en janvier 2015 ont été brutalement remis en cause. La raison de la brouille n’est pas claire, personne ne souhaitant évidemment commenter, ni côté chinois, ni côté djiboutien. Electricité, transport, logistique… Les contrats sont tous plus ou moins remis en cause les uns après les autres, et rien n’est vraiment acquis pour les entreprises chinoises, qui apprennent sur le terrain la dure réalité des négociations dans une zone rongée par la corruption et les conflits politiques.

      Selon Africa Intelligence, l’exaspération des Chinois a atteint son comble lorsque le président Ismaïl Omar Guelleh est revenu sur sa promesse de leur laisser le monopole des zones franches dans le pays, ouvrant ainsi le jeu à des groupes indiens et émiratis. Une concurrence que vit très mal Pékin, qui pensait écraser tout le monde grâce à sa puissance militaire et financière et à ce fameux « partenariat stratégique ». Mais le jeu national est beaucoup plus complexe.

      Remarques :
      • le président Guelleh s’est rendu en Chine après le vote de l’Assemblée demandant le réexamen des contrats. Il a dû s’y faire sonner les cloches. Ce qui n’a, apparemment, pas empêché la remise en cause des contrats…
      • vu les articles qui précèdent, il se pourrait qu’il ait alors (ou un peu avant) découvert que le contrat de concession de DP World (de 2006, pour une durée de 30 ans) lui interdisait de confier d’autres zones portuaires à des tiers. Or, #OBOR, l’initiative stratégique des nouvelles routes de la soie a de grandes chances de comprendre un terminal multimodal à Djibouti.
      • or, c’est la Chine qui finance le développement de Doraleh, terminal multimodal dont la gestion est confiée à DP World, ainsi que Damerjog, spécialisé dans le bétail. J’imagine qu’elle y verrait bien un opérateur… chinois.

      Djibouti Starts Construction of Two Major Ports | World Maritime News
      (article de septembre 2013 où l’on retrouve Bin Sulayem, à l’époque former CEO de DP World)
      https://worldmaritimenews.com/archives/93197/djibouti-starts-construction-of-two-major-ports

      Djibouti President, Ismail Omar Guelleh, officially launched the construction of the Damerjog livestock port in Arta district and the multipurpose Doraleh port on Sunday.

      Also present was Somali Prime Minister, Abdi Farah Shirdon who was on an official visit to Djibouti, the former chief executive officer of Dubai’s DP World, Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem, and representatives from Ethiopia and South Sudan.

      Construction of the two ports is being funded by the China Merchants Group.

    • Pour La Tribune, à propos des développements récents à Djibouti (article du 24/02/18) parle des investissements de DP World et d’une durée de 50 ans pour la concession…

      Djibouti : le gouvernement rompt le contrat de l’exploitant portuaire DP World
      https://afrique.latribune.fr/politique/gouvernance/2018-02-24/djibouti-le-gouvernement-rompt-le-contrat-de-l-exploitant-portuair

      Le contentieux entre Djibouti et DP World remonte à 2014, suite à la plainte déposée contre l’opérateur portuaire émirati, dont le capital est détenu majoritairement par le gouvernement de Dubaï. Une action en justice justifiée par des accusations de paiements illégaux pour obtenir une concession portuaire d’une durée de 50 ans pour le Doraleh Container Terminal. Pour le cabinet présidentiel djiboutien, le contrat aurait pris fin après l’échec de la résolution du différend entre les deux parties survenu en 2012.

      Pour l’heure, les autorités djiboutiennes n’ont donné aucun détail sur la nature du différend qui les oppose à DP World, tout en rappelant que la décision de résilier l’accord de gestion vise à protéger la souveraineté nationale et l’indépendance économique du pays. Cette décision du président Guelleh a de fortes chances de mettre terme au contrat de concession signé en 2006. Le terminal a pour rappel connu son démarrage effectif en 2008.

      DP avait investi 400 millions de dollars pour la construction du terminal qui était géré par le Doraleh Container Terminal, détenu à hauteur de 66% par l’autorité portuaire djiboutienne et à 33% par l’opérateur émirati. La collaboration entre les deux partenaires se tend en 2015, lorsque le gouvernement djiboutien accuse DP World d’avoir versé des commissions occultes de plusieurs millions de dollars à Abdourahman Boreh, qui était à la tête de l’Autorité des ports et zones franches entre 2003 et 2008.

      L’entreprise est également accusée de fraude fiscale et de détournement de fonds publics. La procédure de résiliation lancée dans la foulée par Djibouti sera déboutée à Londres en février 2017. En réaction, le gouvernement Guelleh mettra en place une loi votée en octobre dernier, lui permettant de résilier unilatéralement des contrats publics liés à la réalisation de grandes infrastructures au nom de la souveraineté du pays.

      « Il convient de noter que le Doraleh Container Terminal sera désormais sous l’autorité de la Doraleh Container Terminal Manangement Company qui appartient à L’Etat », précise le communiqué du cabinet présidentiel.

      Bref, ça castagne dur et les Chinois ne sont pas réputés être tendres en affaire…

    • @simplicissimus : Heureusement, c’est plus calme dans la corne de la France ! Merci d’avoir débrouillé ce très gros sac de noeuds dont je n’imaginais même pas à quel point il était complexe. Le tout dernier lien sur le missile chinois est réjouissant si on peut dire...

    • Le nouvel exploitant (tout récemment devenu public…) du terminal de Doraleh fait affaire avec les singapouriens.

      Djibouti Signs New Container Terminal Deal – gCaptain
      http://gcaptain.com/djibouti-signs-new-container-terminal-deal

      Djibouti’s Doraleh Container Terminal Management Company has signed a deal with Singapore-based Pacific International Lines (PIL) to raise by a third the amount of cargo handled at the port, the country’s Ports and Zones Authority said on Tuesday.

    • Djibouti says its container port to remain in state hands
      https://www.reuters.com/article/us-djibouti-port/djibouti-says-its-container-port-to-remain-in-state-hands-idUSKCN1GQ1IB

      Djibouti’s container port will remain in state hands as the government seeks investment, a senior official said on Wednesday in comments likely to reassure Washington where lawmakers say they fear it could be ceded to China.

      The Doraleh Container Terminal is a key asset for Djibouti, a tiny state on the Red Sea whose location is of strategic value to countries such as the United States, China, Japan and former colonial power France, all of whom have military bases there.

      Djibouti last month terminated the concession of Dubai’s state-owned DP World to run the port, citing a failure to resolve a six-year contractual dispute.

      The cancellation accelerated diplomatic competition in Djibouti and renewed concerns in a number of capitals that other nations could use it to strengthen their influence.

      The port would remain “in the hands of our nation” as the government seeks new investors, said Djibouti’s Inspector General Hassan Issa Sultan, who oversees infrastructure for President Ismail Omar Guelleh.

      There is no China option and no secret plans for the Doraleh Container Terminal,” he told Reuters in an interview. “The port is now 100 percent managed by the state.

      The top U.S. general for Africa told U.S. lawmakers last week the military could face “significant” consequences should China take control of the terminal. Lawmakers said they had seen reports that Djibouti had seized control of the port to give it to China as a gift.

    • Et encore un nouveau terminal de containers à Doraleh, mais cette fois-ci avec… la France !
      … et Djibouti va (unilatéralement…) racheter les parts de DP World dans le premier terminal de Doraleh.

      Djibouti plans new container terminal to bolster transport hub aspirations
      https://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-djibouti-port/djibouti-plans-new-container-terminal-to-bolster-transport-hub-aspiratio

      The new container terminal project could break ground as early as September with construction expected to take 24 months, Hadi said, speaking on the sidelines of the Africa CEO Forum in Abidjan, Ivory Coast.

      We are going to build DICT, Doraleh International Container Terminal. This is a new plan,” he said. “We are in discussions with #CMA_CGM._

      The port authority was not in talks with any other potential partners, he said. Shipping group CMA CGM declined to comment.
      […]
      Meanwhile, Hadi said the port authority was ready to end a dispute with DP World over its cancellation of a concession contract for another facility, the Doraleh Container Terminal, by buying out DP World’s 33 percent stake.

      Djibouti ended the contract with the Dubai state-owned port operator last month, citing a failure to resolve a dispute that began in 2012.

      DP World has called the move illegal and said it had begun proceedings before the London Court of International Arbitration, which last year cleared the company of all charges of misconduct over the concession.

      “_We are prepared to pay them their 33 percent of shares,” Hadi said. “There is no need for arbitration. We are going to buy their shares.

      Ce qui semble du pur #wishful_thinking.

      Par ailleurs, à force de fricoter avec tout le monde, il va bien finir par arriver un accident dans cette zone hyper stratégique.

      Genre un missile « houthi » (?) qui s’égarerait et franchirait les quelques 120 km de Bab el Mandeb (et baie de Tadjoura) séparant l’île de Perim du palais présidentiel de Djibouti…

      Encore un coup des Persans et de leurs copains Chinois…



  • Mise en ordre, mise aux normes et #droit_à_la_ville : perspectives croisées depuis les #villes du Sud

    Marianne Morange et Amandine Spire
    Mise en ordre, mise aux normes et droit à la ville : perspectives croisées depuis les villes du Sud [Texte intégral]
    Spatial reordering, norm production and the right to the city : a crossed perspective from cities of the South
    Anna Perraudin
    Faire place aux minorités dans le centre de #Mexico. Des #squats à la propriété, enjeux et limites d’une politique de résorption de l’#habitat_irrégulier [Texte intégral]
    Making place for minorities in central Mexico City. From irregular settlements to property : issues and limitations of an irregular habitat resorption policy
    Amandine Spire, Marie Bridonneau et Pascale Philifert
    Droit à la ville et replacement dans les contextes autoritaires d’#Addis-Abeba (#Éthiopie) et de #Lomé (#Togo) [Texte intégral]
    Right to the city and resettlement in the authoritarian contexts of Addis Ababa (Ethiopia) and Lomé (Togo)
    Marianne Morange et Aurélie Quentin
    Mise en ordre néolibérale de l’espace et fabrication de « bons commerçants » au Cap et #Quito : le commerce « de moins en moins dans la rue » [Texte intégral]
    Out of place, out of the street ? Reordering urban space and the reshaping of “good” traders in neoliberalizing Cape Town and Quito
    Francesca Pilo’
    Les petits commerçants informels des #favelas face à la régularisation électrique : entre tactiques, ajustements et inadaptations [Texte intégral]
    Small informal traders in the favelas and regularization of the electricity service : between tactics, adjustments and shortcomings
    Emma Broadway
    Informal Trading and a Right to the City in the Khayelitsha CBD : insights from the field [Texte intégral]
    Commerce informel et droit à la ville dans le #Central_Business_District de #Khayelitsha : un regard ethnographique, au plus près du terrain

    http://journals.openedition.org/metropoles/5491
    #urban_matter #Le_Cap #Afrique_du_sud


  • Ethiopia : Confronting urban hardship

    The traditional image of refugees in sprawling rural settlements and camps no long accurately depicts the reality of today’s refugee situation. With more than half of the world’s refugees living in cities and urban areas, the refugee experience itself has changed in many ways. The life of a forced migrant in an urban environment is often one invisibility and simultaneous exposure. Urban refugees and asylum seekers constantly face protection risks and are often denied access to basic services, exposing them to unique social vulnerabilities.

    Ethiopia, which hosts over 830,000 displaced individuals, is experiencing a rise in numbers of urban refugees. Crises in neighbouring countries such as South Sudan, Sudan, Somalia, Eritrea, and Yemen have contributed to these rising numbers. In fact, according to the UNHCR, there are over 20,000 urban refugees in the capital city of Addis Ababa, most of them from Eritrea.

    Urban refugees residing in Addis Ababa and all over the world face alternative challenges to those living in camps where basic amenities such as food, water, and shelter are often available. High priced city living, limited access to social and economic services, lack of skills training, employment opportunities, and insufficient support contributes to the poor living conditions of the urban refugee experience.

    In response to these harsh circumstances, JRS started the first and only urban Refugee Community Centre (RCC) in Addis Ababa in 1996. The RCC responds to the unmet needs of urban refugees and asylum seekers with a range of services and support. The vocational skills training, day care service, English language courses, psychosocial services, sports and recreation, music therapy, and emergency food and material assistance offered by RCC helps displaced persons heal, learn, and thrive in their new environments.

    The RCC project provides educational support to the Somali community residing in Addis Ababa, because illiteracy is widespread among many Somali refugees. The English and computer classes, and sports activities and community services offered by JRS help many refugees improve their living situations. These educational courses and social integration programs are relevant to everyday life, as many urban refugees are unable to obtain these resources on their own. “Even if there is no money that can be given, JRS talks to us and makes us feel good despite the hardships,” said a refugee woman at the centre.

    During the 2016 Leaders’ Summit on Refugees, Ethiopia made pledges to address the socio-economic needs of refugees and host communities. Accordingly, the pledges will amend Ethiopia’s national law to expand the out-of-camp policy and issue work permits to refugees. JRS RCC is adapting its projects in response to the changing context, especially those activities that involve language, business, and occupational skills trainings to facilitate and empower refugee participation.

    “What’s really nice about the project is that it’s the only community space for refugees. There are some people who have been coming to the centre since childhood. There’s also a great relationship there between us (JRS) and the people we serve. This trust and transparency isn’t seen with many other organisations,” says Liana Tepperman, Director of Programs at JRS/USA.

    The effectiveness of the services provided by JRS are recognized by urban refugee stakeholders, including UNHCR who recently helped fund the opening of a new urban Child Protection Centre in July 2017. Several prominent individuals like the UN General Assembly President, and officials from the European Union and US government have made visits to the RCC. They encouraged JRS to continue to take a strong leadership role in urban refugee discussions and actions, as there is still more change to be made.

    https://reliefweb.int/report/ethiopia/ethiopia-confronting-urban-hardship
    #Ethiopie #urban_refugees #réfugiés_urbains #réfugiés #asile #migrations


  • Sudan–the second time as farce
    http://africasacountry.com/2017/07/sudan-the-second-time-as-farce

    For six years rebel forces in Sudan’s South Kordofan and Blue Nile states (the Two Areas) have been battling the Sudanese government. Round after round of negotiations mediated by the African Union (AU) in Addis Ababa have failed to bring an end to what is a continuation of the second Sudanese civil war (1983-2005) fought by the Sudan People’s…


  • South Sudan, the second time as farce
    http://africasacountry.com/2017/07/south-sudan-the-second-time-as-farce

    For six years rebel forces in Sudan’s South Kordofan and Blue Nile states (the Two Areas) have been battling the Sudanese government. Round after round of negotiations mediated by the African Union (AU) in Addis Ababa have failed to bring an end to what is a continuation of the second Sudanese civil war (1983-2005) fought by the Sudan People’s…


  • Ethiopia Imposes Nationwide Internet Blackout · Global Voices
    https://globalvoices.org/2017/06/01/ethiopia-imposes-nationwide-internet-blackout

    Last year, the government was forced to postpone the national university entrance exam after the initial session was marred by a leak spread on Facebook. Activists in the diaspora leaked questions on Facebook ahead of the exam in early June in 2016 after the government refused to re-schedule the exam for students who missed an entire semester of classes due to protests.

    But the current blackout is different from previous mobile Internet and social media shutdowns that have been imposed in an effort to prevent exam leaking. This blackout is broader in scope and scale, effectively eliminating Ethiopia from the map of the global Internet.

    This is especially easy for the Ethiopian government to do, since all Internet and phone service in the country is provided through through a single government-owned Internet service provider, Ethio Telecom. The blackout thus leaves businesses, banks, Internet cafes in Addis Ababa and social media pages of government media cut off from the rest of the world, making it harder for them to do their day-to-day work.

    #Éthiopie #Internet #examens #censure #autorité


  • Racial cities: the segregation of Romani people in urban Europe

    Going beyond race-blind approaches to spatial segregation in Europe, Racial Cities argues that race is the logic through which stigmatized and segregated “Gypsy urban areas” have emerged and persisted after World War II. Building on nearly a decade of ethnographic and historical research in Romania, Italy, France and the UK, Giovanni Picker casts a series of case studies into the historical framework of circulations and borrowings between colony and metropole since the late nineteenth century.

    By focusing on socio-economic transformations and social dynamics in contemporary Cluj-Napoca, Pescara, Montreuil, Florence and Salford, Picker detects four local segregating mechanisms, and comparatively investigates resemblances between each of them and segregation in French Rabat, Italian Addis Ababa, and British New Delhi. These multiple global associations across space and time serve as an empirical basis for establishing a solid bridge between race critical theories and urban studies.

    Racial Cities is the first comprehensive analysis of the segregation of Romani people in Europe, providing a fine-tuned and in-depth explanation of this phenomenon. While inequalities increase globally and poverty is ever more concentrated, this book is a key contribution to debates and actions addressing social marginality, inequalities, racist exclusions, and governance. Thanks to its dense yet thoroughly accessible narration, the book will appeal to scholars, undergraduate and postgraduate students, postdoctoral researchers, and equally to activists and policy makers, who are interested in areas including: Race and Racism, Urban Studies, Governance, Inequalities, Colonialism and Postcolonialism, and European Studies.


    https://www.routledge.com/Racial-Cities-Governance-and-the-Segregation-of-Romani-People-in-Urban/Picker/p/book/9781138808782
    #livre #Roms #urban_matter #villes #ségrégation #marginalisation


  • As new drought hits Ethiopia, UN urges support for Government’s ’remarkable’ efforts
    http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=56063
    /News/dh/photos/large/2017/January/Ethiopia_2016_Oromia_OCHA.jpg

    Commending the Ethiopian Government and humanitarian partners on the response to last year’s El Niño drought that left 10.2 million people needing food assistance, United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres and UN aid chief Stephen O’Brien today said the international community must show “total solidarity” with country as it faces a new drought.

    “This High-Level event must express our total solidarity with the Ethiopian people and the Ethiopian Government. And let’s be clear: that solidarity is not a matter of generosity. It is a matter of justice and of self-interest,” the Secretary-General told those gathered for the event, held earlier today in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, on the margins of the 28th Summit of the African Union.

    #Éthiopie #sécheresse #climat #alimentation #malnutrition #faim #famine


  • Ethiopia: Oromo opposition leader arrested | News | Al Jazeera
    http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2016/12/ethiopia-oromo-opposition-leader-arrested-161201105801067.html

    A prominent Ethiopian opposition leader from the country’s restive Oromo region has been arrested after he came back from a meeting with members of the European Parliament in Brussels.

    Merera Gudina, who is the chairman of the opposition Oromo Federalist Congress, was arrested in his house in the capital Addis Ababa, according to media reports.

    “Merera arrived in Addis Ababa on Wednesday morning from a trip to Brussels, where he met members of the European Parliament,” Gebru Gebremariam, deputy chairman of the Oromo Federalist Congress, told the Reuters news agency.

    #Éthiopie #droits_humains #répression


  • Ethiopian women face new threat of human trafficking as ...
    http://news.trust.org/item/20161124000447-2o9q3

    Women in Ethiopia live under constant fear of violence, illness, hunger and poverty but they are now also facing a new threat - human trafficking, according to veteran women’s rights campaigner Bogaletch Gebre.

    Although a state-led industrial drive has transformed Ethiopia into one of Africa’s fastest-growing economies, a third of its 99 million citizens still survive on less than $1.90 a day - the World Bank’s measure of extreme poverty.

    Girls are often regarded as a financial burden on their families in the Horn of Africa country long blighted by cycles of disease, drought, hunger and conflict, and expected to drop out of school to get married or find employment.

    “When a child is born a girl in Ethiopia ... she is born into servitude. She is literally there to serve the family,” Gebre said, as she recalled growing up in the 1960s in Kembatta, southern Ethiopia. “It’s a tragedy.”

    In the past decade, human traffickers have increasingly lured girls away from their schools and homes in poor, rural areas with the promise of jobs and other opportunities in cities like the capital Addis Ababa, Gebre said.

    But many ended up being exploited as maids and sex workers.

    #Ethiopie #femmes #filles #esclavage #esclavage_sexuel #viol


  • Ethiopia: After a year of protests, time to address grave human rights concerns | Amnesty International
    https://www.amnesty.org/en/latest/news/2016/11/ethiopia-after-a-year-of-protests-time-to-address-grave-human-rights-concer

    Nearly one year on from the start of a wave of protests that has left at least 800 people dead at the hands of security forces, the Ethiopian government must take concrete steps to address grave human rights concerns in the country, Amnesty International said today.

    The protests began in the central Oromia region on 12 November 2015, in opposition to the Addis Ababa Masterplan, a government plan to extend the capital Addis Ababa’s administrative control into parts of the Oromia.

    #Ethiopie #répression #meurtres #contestation


  • Ethiopians who fled over land rights now face eviction from Calais “Jungle” ...
    http://news.trust.org/item/20161024114219-am5fi/?source=gep

    Deep in the Calais “Jungle” migrant camp in northern France, hundreds of Oromo Ethiopians set up their own school.

    An Irish volunteer came to teach classes during the day, but at other times groups of Oromo men, and a few women, gathered to discuss the news from Ethiopia: this month’s announcement of a state of emergency, or the rising death toll in protests.

    On the sides of makeshift wooden shelters they painted the crossed arms protest symbol of the Oromo struggle, publicised by Ethiopian marathon runner Feyisa Lilesa at the summer Olympics.

    “Feyisa never give up,” was written on one wall, and “Stop killing Oromo students” was scrawled on another.

    People from Oromiya, a region at the heart of Ethiopia’s industrialisation efforts, accuse the state of seizing their land and offering tiny compensation, before selling it on to companies, often foreign investors, at inflated prices.

    “When we went to demonstrations they killed many people, they arrested many people, they put in jail many people. So we had to escape from the country,” said Solan, a 26-year-old from Addis Ababa.

    #terres #Éthiopie #migrations #migrants #asile #évictions_forcées #Calais


  • Ethiopia announces new curbs as part of state of emergency measures | Reuters
    http://www.reuters.com/article/us-ethiopia-protests-idUSKBN12G0Q9

    Ethiopia imposed curbs on its opposition, travel restrictions on diplomats, and a dusk-to-dawn curfew around major projects in new measures announced on Sunday that follow the declaration of a six-month, nationwide state of emergency.

    Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn declared the state of emergency earlier this month, saying months of unrest threatened the Horn of Africa nation’s stability.

    More than 500 people have been killed in protests in the Oromiya region surrounding the capital Addis Ababa and other areas since last year, after anger over a development scheme for the capital sparked broader anti-government demonstrations over politics and human rights abuses.

    The state of emergency was effective from Oct. 8.

    In a directive released on Sunday, opposition parties were barred from issuing statements deemed to pose a threat to the “sovereignty, security and the constitutional order of the country” to both domestic and foreign press.

    The raft of measures include granting security services powers to stop and search suspects, and search homes without court authorization. Contacting opposition groups branded “terrorist movements” has been forbidden. Ethiopia has designated five groups, including two armed secessionist movements, as terrorists.

    The violence in Oromiya, Ethiopia’s largest and most populous region, and to a lesser extent in Amhara province, has overshadowed the success story of one of Africa’s fastest growing economies.

    #Éthiopie #état_d'urgence #dictature #contestation


  • Ethiopia : At least 700 feared dead at Irrecha religious festival - Anywaa Survival Organisation
    http://www.anywaasurvival.org/ethiopia-least-700-feared-dead-irrecha-religious-festival

    700 contre 55 avancés dans les autres médias...

    The religious festival turned bloody when the government police forces fired teargas, fired bullets and flew helicopters over the crowds leading to panic and chaos. More than 700 lives were lost at the religious festival and the death toll could rise as many remain unaccounted for and some are in critical condition in hospitals. The government downplayed the death toll and showed symbolic gesture by declaring three days mourning and lowering of the flag for the loss of lives at the festival. The anti-government protest in response to the government miscalculation and mishandling of the Oromo religious festival has spread to other towns including Ambo and some parts of the capital. On Tuesday 4 October 2016 an angry mob set on fire a bus heading from the capital to Addis Alem, outside of Addis Ababa.

    #Ethiopie #contestation #répression #morts #meurtres


  • Ethiopia Declares Emergency, After New Outburst Of Protests And Violence : The Two-Way : NPR
    http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2016/10/09/497275155/ethiopia-declares-emergency-after-new-outburst-of-protests-and-violence

    #État_d'urgence en #Éthiopie (et comme d’hab tout le monde s’en pète)

    A week after a deadly stampede brought anti-government protests and violence to a fever pitch, Ethiopia declared a six-month state of emergency Sunday. Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn says the declaration is necessary for the government to protect both property and citizens’ lives.

    The stampede struck at a religious festival that also had qualities of a demonstration that was held last Sunday, Oct. 2, in the town of Bishoftu, southeast of Addis Ababa. That’s where many in a massive crowd that had gathered to celebrate the annual Irreecha thanksgiving festival chanted slogans and crossed their fists over their heads, an increasingly familiar gesture that protests oppression and calls for more rights for the people of Oromia.

    #terres #territoires #contestation #dictature


  • Dutch, Israeli Farms in Ethiopia Attacked by Protesters - Bloomberg
    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-09-01/ethiopian-protesters-burn-dutch-owned-flower-farm-in-north

    A Dutch-run flower farm in northern Ethiopia was among a series of foreign-owned plantations attacked by anti-government protesters as unrest in the country spreads.

    A “large group” of people invaded Esmeralda Farms Inc.’s farm 13 kilometers (8 miles) south of Bahir Dar city in the Amhara region on Aug. 29, causing about 7 million euros ($7.8 million) of damage, country manager Haile Seifu said by phone Thursday. Flower farms in the area owned by Israeli, Italian, Indian and Belgian companies were among nine commercial properties damaged in the protests, which continued on Aug. 30, he said.

    “They were so aggressive, there were also soldiers who couldn’t control them, so we just ran away, as it’s life or death,” he said from the capital, Addis Ababa. “They came actually at once through our compound, through our fence, through our main gate, so everybody left.”

    #Éthiopie #rébellion #terres


  • Tens of thousands of protesters call for a regime change in Ethiopia

    Tens of thousands of protesters have flooded the streets of Gonder in the Amhara region of northern Ethiopia on Sunday demanding a change of government due to the unfair distribution of wealth in the country.


    http://www.africanews.com/2016/07/31/half-a-million-protesters-call-for-a-regime-change-in-ethiopia
    #Ethiopie #résistance #manifestation


  • UNHCR cautions Sudan to stop deportation of Eritreans

    The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) on Thursday urged Sudan to stop the forced deportation of hundreds of Eritreans to their countries of origin.

    http://www.africanews.com/2016/06/02/unhcr-cautions-sudan-to-stop-deportation-of-eritreans
    #réfugiés_érythréens #Soudan #asile #migrations #réfugiés #renvois #push-back #refoulement


  • The #PanamaPapers are everywhere …
    http://africasacountry.com/2016/04/its-the-economy-no-8

    And this week we’ll spend sometime talking about them. First up, however, we’ve got some nice things to say about a conference held in Addis Ababa (31 March-5 April). (1) The Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), a progressive organization based in Addis and a favorite of ours, held its annual Africa Development Conference this past […]

    #IT'S_THE_ECONOMY