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OMN: Conversation (in Afaan Oromoo) with Historian E. O. Boruu: Qophii Keessummaa Obbo Eda’oo Boruu December 16, 2016

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AU expresses concern about upcoming Summit in restive Ethiopia December 16, 2016

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AU expresses concern about upcoming Summit in restive Ethiopia

The African Union has expressed concern about Ethiopia’s current State of Emergency against the upcoming Heads of State Summit in the capital Addis Ababa in January 2017.

The concerns were raised by the Chairperson Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma who met with the newly appointed Ethiopian Minister of Foreign Affairs at the AU Headquarters on Tuesday.

The minister Dr. Workneh Gebeyehu allayed the fears of the AU chairperson by assuring that “the situation had now calmed down substantially and nothing untoward was anticipated to occur that could disrupt the Summit proceedings”.

“The Government was fully engaging the people, with a view to find solutions to the teething issues, such as the persistent problem of youth unemployment which gives way to the exploitation of idle hands,” a statement from the AU quoted the minister.

He also expressed hope that the relationship between Ethiopia and the African Union to remain solid and assume its position as the capital of Africa.

Dlamini Zuma praised the cooperation of the Ethiopian government.

Ethiopia declared a state of emergency on October 9 to curb the unrest which turned violent leading to damage of properties including those of local and international businesses.

Before the State of Emergency was imposed, over 50 people died on October 2 in a stampede at a festival in Bishoftu after police fired teargas and warning shots to disperse protesters at the event.

At least 500 people have been killed and thousands arrested in the wave of anti-government protests in the Amhara and Oromia regions over the past months.

International bodies including the United Nations and the European Union have called on the Ethiopian government to exercise restraint against protesters.

Africa News: EU parliament writes to Ethiopian president over detained Oromo leader, Professor Merera Gudina December 16, 2016

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The European Parliament (EP) has officially written to the Ethiopian government seeking clarification on the arrest of an opposition leader, Dr. Merera Gudina.

The EP President, Martin Schulz, in a letter to President Mulatu Teshome said they were disturbed about the arrest of the Chairman of the Oromo Federalist Congress (OFC) leader. The EP also reiterated its call for the charges against Gudina to be made known.

‘‘It appears that Dr Gudina was arrested by Ethiopian authorities upon his return from a short stay in Brussels in early November, during which he also met with Members of the European Parliament,’‘ the letter read.

I would like to remind you, that the European Parliament is a House of democracy, where different voices can be heard, from foreign governments as well as representatives of opposition groups.

The letter stated that the Ethiopian ambassador in Brussels had said the Gudina’s detention was connected with contacts he had with individuals Addis Ababa deemed as ‘terrorists.’ It added that it was ‘rather unfortunate that his arrest is linked to meetings he had with the European parliament.

‘‘I would like to remind you, that the European Parliament is a House of democracy, where different voices can be heard, from foreign governments as well as representatives of opposition groups,’‘ the letter added.

Late last month, Ethiopian security forces arrested the academician who is the chairman of the OFC, shortly after his arrival in the capital Addis Ababa.

Prof. Merera was returning from Brussels where – together with other Ethiopian activists and the Olympian athlete Feyisa Lellisa – he had had a meeting with Members of the European Parliament on 9 November 2016.

SUGGESTED READING Ethiopia: A year after protests started – Timeline of events [1]

Arrested for flouting curfew rules

The state-affiliated FANA broadcasting corporate however quoted authorities as saying that Gudina was arrested because he had flouted the State Of Emergency currently being enforced nationwide.

According to FANA, the Secretariat of the Command Post said Gudina violated an article of the law which prohibited any communication with banned terrorist organizations and anti-peace groups. “He is under investigation for violating this article,” the Command Post said.

The European Parliament adopted an urgency resolution on the violent crackdown on protesters in January 2016, which requested that the Ethiopian authorities stop using anti-terrorism legislation to repress political opponents, dissidents, human rights defenders, other civil society actors and independent journalists.

Since January 2016 the human rights situation in Ethiopia has not improved at all. Human Rights Watch reports that security forces have killed more than 500 people during protests over the course of 2016.