Advertisements
jump to navigation

Don’t underestimate Ethiopia’s crisis, Mail & Guardian February 23, 2018

Posted by OromianEconomist in Uncategorized.
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,
3 comments
Oppressed: Oromo mourn the hundreds of people killed by Ethiopia’s security forces in the 2016 Irreecha massacre (Tiksa Negeri, Reuters)
Oppressed: Oromo mourn the hundreds of people killed by Ethiopia’s security forces in the 2016 Irreecha massacre (Tiksa Negeri, Reuters)

For the past four years, ever since the first serious rumblings of discontent began, it has been difficult to appreciate the scale of the political crisis in Ethiopia.

Africa’s second-most populous country maintains an extraordinarily tight grip on information. Local journalists are routinely harassed, intimidated and censored, and foreign journalists are closely watched and prevented from going anywhere too sensitive. Local nongovernmental organisations and opposition parties operate under similar restrictions: under draconian laws, NGOs must tow the government line or risk losing their operating licences; opposition sympathisers are locked up in their thousands.

The international NGOs and think-tanks that operate in Ethiopia are complicit in maintaining the veil of silence. Many agree to refrain from any criticism of the Ethiopian regime in exchange for unfettered access to the African Union, which is based in Addis Ababa. Others turn a blind eye to the government’s routine human rights abuses because of its relatively good record on delivering socioeconomic development — although that record has been called into question by the sheer volume of protest action over the past few years.

In this climate, building an accurate picture of the unrest — and getting any of the usual suspects in the international community to raise the alarm — becomes nearly impossible.

There were plenty of clues, however, that not all was right. The odd massacre made international headlines — such as the dozens, perhaps hundreds, mowed down by security forces at an Oromo religious festival in October 2016. Reports of co-ordinated protests across the restive Oromia and Amhara regions suggested that resistance to the regime ran far deeper and was much better co-ordinated than the government was willing to admit.

Now, the political crisis has exploded into the open, with the resignation of Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn — always little more than temporary successor to Meles Zenawi, who died in 2012 — and the imposition of Ethiopia’s second state of emergency in under two years.

This new state of emergency, valid for six months pending parliamentary approval, will give sweeping powers of search and arrest to the security forces and restrict freedom of movement, protest and association. It gives licence for another crackdown on all forms of political opposition.

In this context, it is clear that recent political reform, including the release of hundreds of political prisoners, was not a symptom of more progressive policies but the desperate act of a government increasingly fearful for its very survival.

But the rapturous reception received by the freed opposition leaders, especially the Oromo Federalist Congress’s Merera Gudina and Bekele Gerba, seems to have convinced the hardliners in the country’s ruling coalition to remove the velvet glove and revert to the iron fist, which has served the regime so well for so long.

Now the country waits to see who will replace Desalegn. In another bid to placate protesters, it is almost certain to be someone from the Oromo region, either Lemma Megersa or Abiy Ahmed — both senior officials in the Oromo Peoples’ Democratic Organisation, one of the four ethnically based parties that make up the ruling coalition. The Oromos are Ethiopia’s largest ethnic group but have been long marginalised both economically and politically.

Somehow, the new prime minister will have to find a way to balance the demands of the protesters, who will expect immediate, demonstrable change, with the needs of the powerful securocrats in the ruling coalition who are manoeuvring for their own political futures, especially senior figures in the Tigrayan People’s Liberation Front, who have long monopolised power and are not anxious to share.

“Whoever ascends to the top post will have much to prove but they should begin by following the advice of the United States embassy in Addis Ababa, which warned recently that the answer to growing unrest is ‘greater freedom, not less’,” wrote Mohammed Ademo, founder and editor of OPride.com, for African Arguments. “Indeed, Ethiopia sorely needs national reconciliation and an all-inclusive dialogue, and the next leader must act swiftly to make good on pledges of widening the democratic space.”

The alternative is too frightening to contemplate.

“[The ruling coalition] is at a historic crossroads and the options are clear. It can choose to genuinely reform or it can implode under the weight of a bitter power struggle and popular discontent,” said Ademo.

Meles ZenawiHailemariam DesalegnEthiopiaAfrican UnionOromo Liberation Front


Related (Oromian Economist findings):

Ethiopia: New State of Emergency Risks Renewed Abuses

Overbroad, Vague Provisions Undercut Rights,  HRW

Does Ethiopia’s New State of Emergency Dash Hopes for Reform?, Human Rights Watch

‘Game Over,’ U.S. Congressman jabs Ethiopia’s TPLF, Africa News

U.S. condemns crackdown in Ethiopia as political crisis deepens

Ethiopia: Mass protests ‘rooted in country’s history’, Al Jazeera

OMN Insight: Conversation with Jawar Mohammed on Ethiopian Political Crisis (Feb 21, 2018)

የኢትዮጲያ ሕዝብ በህወሓት/ኢህአዴግ ላይ የአስቸኳይ ግዜ አዋጅ ማወጅ አለበት! 

Global community responds to Ethiopia’s political uncertainties

 Ethiopia: Final days of the TPLF regime

Where is Ethiopia heading after Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn’s surprise resignation?

Ethiopia’s Great Rift

OPINION: CAN ETHIOPIA OVERCOME ITS CRISIS AND BE A NORMAL COUNTRY?

WHAT IS HAPPENING IN ETHIOPIA? STATE OF EMERGENCY, PROTESTS AND POLITICAL CRISIS EXPLAINED

Ethiopia crisis needs reforms not emergency rule – E.U. warns govt

Ethiopia’s next Prime Minister

With nobody in charge, Ethiopia declares a state of emergency, The Economist

የኢትዮጲያ ሕዝብ በህወሓት/ኢህአዴግ ላይ የአስቸኳይ ግዜ አዋጅ ማወጅ አለበት! 

First a concession, then a crackdown. The ruling party’s divisions over how to respond to growing revolt are on show

«የአስቸኳይ ጊዜ አዋጁ የሰብዓዊ መብቶችን ይገድባል»ጀርመን 

የጀርመን ውጭ ጉዳይ ሚኒስቴር ሰላማዊ ለውጥ እና አስፈላጊ ማሻሻያ የሚያመጣው ከሚመለከታቸው የፖለቲካ አካላት ጋር አካታች እና ሰፊ ውይይት ብቻ እንደሆነ እናምናለን ብሏል። መሥሪያ ቤቱ እንዳለው እንዲሕ አይነቱ ውይይት ለኢትዮጵያ ዘላቂ ውስጣዊ ሰላም እና መረጋጋት መንገድ ይጠርጋል።

Statement of the Chairperson of the Commission of the African Union on the situation in Ethiopia

Ethiopia’s reinstatement of state of emergency worries Sweden

Governments Call for Ethiopia to Revoke its State of Emergency

Advertisements

Déjà vu: Ethiopia’s fascist regime (TPLF) again declares state of emergency to continue with its genocide. U.S. issues Ethiopia alert, warns of tricky security situation February 16, 2018

Posted by OromianEconomist in Uncategorized.
Tags: , , , , , , , ,
5 comments

Odaa Oromoooromianeconomisttravel-warning-do-not-travel-to-ethiopia-terrorist-tplf-from-tigray-is-killing-people-and-looting-propertiesNo To Fascist TPLF Ethiopia's genocidal militarism and mass killings in Oromia, Ethiopia

Labsiin Yeroo Hatattamaa Labsame Haggamiif Akka Ta’e Hin Ibsamne, VOA Afaan Oromo


State of emergency declared in Ethiopia amid political unrest, The Guardian

Emergency rule imposed by ruling EPRDF coalition following prime minister Hailemariam Desalegn’s decision to resign

Supporters of Bekele Gerba
 Supporters of Bekele Gerba, secretary general of the Oromo Federalist Congress (OFC), chant slogans to celebrate his release from prison. Photograph: Tiksa Negeri/Reuters

Ethiopia has announced a state of emergency after prime minister Hailemariam Desalegn on Thursday announced his intention to step down amid a political crisis in the country.

The ruling EPRDF coalition’s council met on Friday and decided to impose emergency rule for an unspecified period, the state-run Ethiopian Broadcasting Corporation said. The council “came to the conclusion that imposing emergency rule would be vital to safeguarding the constitutional order of our country”. Further details are expected to be given by the defence minister on Saturday morning.

An opposition leader said earlier on Friday the ruling coalition had lost its authority and that all parties must help map the country’s future.

Mulatu Gemechu, deputy secretary of the opposition Oromo Federalist Congress, said Ethiopia needed a completely new political system after years of unrest. “Ethiopians now need a government that respects their rights, not one that keeps beating and killing them,” he said.

Rights advocates have frequently criticised Ethiopia’s government for mass arrests and long jail terms handed to political opponents and journalists. But more than 6,000 political prisoners have been freed since January as the government has struggled to quell discontent.

The prime minister’s resignation followed a wave of strikes and demonstrations demanding the release of more opposition leaders.



Ethiopia declares state of emergency after PM quits, JAZEERA NEWS

Ethiopia's prime minister resigned on Thursday amid widespread public protests [Tiksa Negeri/Daylife]
Ethiopia’s prime minister resigned on Thursday amid widespread public protests [Tiksa Negeri/Daylife]
Ethiopia has declared a state of emergency, a day after the country’s prime minister abruptly resigned.

The measure was announced on Friday by the Council of Ministers, the Ethiopian government’s cabinet, according to state broadcaster EBC.

Local media said the measure is effective as of Friday, but it was not immediately clear how long it would last.

Quoting an unnamed source “close to the government”, the Addis Standard newspaper reported that the Council was debating whether to make the measure span three or six months.

In August 2017, Ethiopia lifted a 10-month state of emergency imposed after hundreds of people were killed in anti-government protests demanding wider political freedoms.

Ethiopia’s Oromo and Amhara people – who make up about 61 percent of the country’s population – have staged mass demonstrations since 2015 demanding greater political inclusion and an end to human rights abuses.

Jawar Mohammed, an Oromo rights activist and head of the Oromia Media Network, said the state of emergency declaration was “unnecessary, unhelpful and unwise”.

“The best way to ensure stability at this time is not to declare state of emergency that was tested and failed,” Mohammed wrote on Facebook earlier on Friday.

Felix Horne, a Human Rights Watch researcher on Ethiopia, said during the last state of emergency – the first in 25 years – more than 20,000 people were arrested.

“Those released speak about how it has only angered them further. It didn’t work then, what does [the government] hope to achieve now?” Horne wrote on Twitter.

Political uncertainty

Hailemariam, who has sat at the helm of the Ethiopian government since 2012, announced on Thursday he would be stepping down as prime minister and head of the ruling Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) coalition.

He cited ongoing “unrest and a political crisis” in the country as major factors in his resignation, which he described as “vital in the bid to carry out reforms that would lead to sustainable peace and democracy”.

Hailemariam said he will stay on as prime minister in a caretaker capacity, until the EPRDF and the country’s parliament accept his resignation and name a replacement.

READ MORE

Ethiopia ‘at crossroads’ after Hailemariam resignation

The executive committees of both the EPRDF and his own party within the coalition, the Southern Ethiopian People’s Democratic Movement, have so far accepted his decision to step down.

Tsedale Lemma, editor-in-chief of Addis Standard, said there has been a political struggle within the ruling party since the death of former prime minister, Meles Zenawi, in 2012.

Appointing a new prime minister from within the Oromo community would be “a conciliatory gesture”, Lemma said.

But whomever replaces Hailemariam, she said Ethiopia “needs a very serious political surgery to heal it from its structural [disfunction]”, which would include dismantling repressive laws and strengthening the independence of the judiciary.

Mulatu Gemechu, deputy secretary of the opposition Oromo Federalist Congress, said earlier on Friday that Ethiopia needs a new political system after years of unrest.

“Ethiopians now need a government that respects their rights, not one that keeps beating and killing them,” he told Reuters news agency.


MORE ON ETHIOPIA from Al Jazeera

Related:

Ethiopia declares state of emergency after PM’s resignation, Reuters


OMN: GRD – የአስቸኳይ ጊዜ አዋጅ (LIVE) Feb 16, 2018

Regime in just declared new state of emergency for a third time since onset of in early 2015. Regime has already killed thousands, and displaced 3M+ people in Oromia. Now wants to continue the genocide campaigns.  Oromo Press


During the 10 month state of emergency in 2016-2017 over 20k were arrested for no reason. Those released speak about how it has only angered them further. It didn’t work then, what does govt hope to achieve now? Any goodwill from prisoner releases will be gone.  Felix Horne



Ethiopia Travel Warning: The Department of State warns U.S. citizens of the risks of travel to Ethiopia due to the potential for civil unrest and arbitrary detention. August 25, 2017

Posted by OromianEconomist in Uncategorized.
Tags: , , , ,
1 comment so far

Ethiopia Travel Warning

LAST UPDATED: AUGUST 25, 2017

The Department of State warns U.S. citizens of the risks of travel to Ethiopia due to the potential for civil unrest and arbitrary detention. There continue to be reports of unrest, particularly in the Gondar region and Bahir Dar in Amhara State, and parts of Oromia State. This replaces the Travel Warning of June 13, 2017.

The Government of Ethiopia has demonstrated its ability and willingness to restrict or shut down internet, cellular data, and phone services, impeding the U.S. Embassy’s ability to communicate with U.S. citizens in Ethiopia and limiting the Embassy’s ability to provide consular services. Additionally, the Government of Ethiopia does not inform the U.S. Embassy of detentions or arrests of U.S. citizens in Ethiopia.

Avoid demonstrations and large gatherings, continuously assess your surroundings, and evaluate your personal level of safety. Be aware  that the government may use force and live fire in response to demonstrations, and that even gatherings intended to be peaceful can be met with a violent response or turn violent without warning. U.S. citizens in Ethiopia should monitor their security situation and have contingency plans in place in case you need to depart suddenly.

Given the unpredictable security situation, U.S. citizens in Ethiopia should have alternate communication plans in place, and let family and friends know that communication may be limited while you are in Ethiopia.  The Department of State strongly advises U.S. citizens to register your mobile number with the U.S. Embassy to receive security information via text or SMS, in addition to enrolling in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP).

For further information:

Ethiopia Travel Warnings June 13, 2017

Posted by OromianEconomist in Uncategorized.
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,
1 comment so far

 172fe-ethiopia2bshuts2boff2bmobile2binternet2bnationwide2bwithout2bexplanationViber, twitter, Facebook and WhatsApp Are strictly forbidden in Fascist regime (TPLF) Ethiopia


Ethiopia Travel Warning

LAST UPDATED: JUNE 13, 2017

The Department of State warns U.S. citizens of the risks of travel to Ethiopia due to the potential for civil unrest and arbitrary detention since a state of emergency was imposed in October 2016. The Government of Ethiopia extended the state of emergency on March 15, 2017, and there continue to be reports of unrest, particularly in Gondar and Bahir Dar in Amhara State. This replaces the Travel Warning of December 6, 2016.

The Government of Ethiopia routinely restricts or shuts downs internet, cellular data, and phone services, impeding the U.S. Embassy’s ability to communicate with U.S. citizens in Ethiopia and limiting the Embassy’s ability to provide consular services. Additionally, the Government of Ethiopia does not inform the U.S. Embassy of detentions or arrests of U.S. citizens in Ethiopia.

Avoid demonstrations and large gatherings, continuously assess your surroundings, and evaluate your personal level of safety. Remember that the government may use force and live fire in response to demonstrations, and that even gatherings intended to be peaceful can be met with a violent response or turn violent without warning. U.S. citizens in Ethiopia should monitor their security situation and have contingency plans in place in case you need to depart suddenly.

Given the state of emergency and the unpredictable security situation, U.S. citizens in Ethiopia should have alternate communication plans in place, and let family and friends know that communication may be limited while you are in Ethiopia. The Department of State strongly advises U.S. citizens to registeryour mobile number with the U.S. Embassy to receive security information via text or SMS, in addition to enrolling in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP).

For further information:

Embassies & Consulates

Assistance for U.S. Citizens

U.S. Embassy Addis Ababa

Entoto Street
PO Box 1014
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

 


VOA: Lammiiwwan Ameerikaa Gara Itiyoophiyaatti Akka Hin Imalle Akeekkachiisi Kenname: Ministrii Dhimma Alaa


Lammiiwwan Ameerikaa Gara Itiyoophiyaatti Akka Hin Imalle Akeekkachiisi Kenname: Ministrii Dhimma Alaa

Lammiiwwan Ameerikaa Gara Itiyoophiyaatti Akka Hin Imalle Akeekkachiisi Kenname: Ministrii Dhimma Alaa

Naannoo Amaaraa Gonder fi Baahir Daar keessatti walitti bu’iinsi itti fufuu isaa tuquu dhaan ministriin dhimma alaa Ameerikaa kan kana dura baatii Sadaasaa keessa baase akeekkachiisa imalaa har’as haaressuun baasee jira.

Labsiin yeroo hatattamaa itiyoopiyaa keessatti baatii Okoloolessaa keessa erga labsameen booda jeeqamni ka’uu fi ajaja seeraatiin ala hidhamuun jiraachuu waan danda’uuf ministriin dhimma alaa lammiiwwan United States gara biyya sanaatti akka hin imalle akeekkachiisee jira.

Akeekkachiisi imalaa har’a ba’e mootummaan Itiyoopoiyaa labsicha Bitootessa 15 waan dheeressuu isaa tuquu dhaan Gondarii fi Baahir Daar keessa amma iyyuu walitti bu’iinsi jiraachuu gabaasaaleen ibsaniiru jedha.

Akeekkachiisi kun mootummaan Itiyoopiyaa yeroo dhaa gara yerootti Interneetii fi tajaajila moobaayila harkaa waan cufuuf embasiin US lammiiwwan Ameerikaa Itiyoopoiyaa keessa jiran irra ennaa rakkinni ga’u tajaajila gorsaa kennuuf ni rakkataa jedha.

Kanatti dabaluu dhaan mootummaan Itiyoopoiyaa lammiiwwan Ameerikaa ennaa to’annaa jala oolchu embasiitti kan hin beeksisne ta’uu illee tuqee jira.

Akeekkachiisi sun lammiiwwan bakka mormiiin uummataa itti geggeessamu ykn wal ga’iin geggeessamu irraa akka fagaatan, yeroo mara nageenya naannoo isaanii akka to’ataniif of eeggatan yaadachiisee jira.

Akeekkachiisi imalaa kun kana duras yeroo adda addaatti kan ba’e waan ta’eef bal’inaan marsaa interneetii keenyaa afaanoromoo.voanews.com irraa argachuu dandeessan.


NEWS ANALYSIS: TOURISM IN PROTEST-RIDDEN ETHIOPIA IS HURTING; REVIVING IT WILL TAKE MORE THAN UNVEILING A LOGO March 28, 2017

Posted by OromianEconomist in Uncategorized.
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,
add a comment

NEWS ANALYSIS: TOURISM IN PROTEST-RIDDEN ETHIOPIA IS HURTING; REVIVING IT WILL TAKE MORE THAN UNVEILING A LOGO

Fitsum Abera, Addis Standard, 27 March 2017


Last week on March 22, Ethiopia’s Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn, who also chairs the Ethiopian Tourism Transformation Council, officially introduced the Amharic version of Ethiopia’s new tourism logo ‘Ethiopia, Land of Origins’. It is now called Midre Kedemt in Amharic.

The Prime Minister unveiled the Amharic version of the new logo while attending the fourth regular meeting of the Council, which was established three years ago in March 2014 along with the Ethiopian Tourism Organization. Reason? To transform the country’s ailing tourism industry.

A sign of urgency to reboot the country’s tourism industry plagued by, among others, poor tourism infrastructure and absence of meaningful coordination, both the Council and the Organization were established following a regulation issued by the Council of Ministers (CoM) in August 2013.

The ups and downs

Tourism in Ethiopia has been witnessing an increasing- if modest- growth since the country officially opened its doors to foreign tourists in 1963.  According to the Ministry of Culture and Tourism (MOCT), the most significant dip in the number of foreigners visiting Ethiopia happened during the 17 years in power of the military Derg regime from 1974 to 1991.  Since then, following the coming into power of the incumbent in 1991, the numbers have shown a steady growth from 64,000 to 750,000 during the 2014/15 fiscal year.

That was until November 2015, when anti-government protests that would grip the country throughout 2016 first started, an unexpected turn of an event both the Council and the Organization seemed not prepared to handle.

“That [the time the protests began] was when we started to notice the difference,” says a tour operator who requested anonymity.  “More and more clients began asking questions about security as the [protests] got international press coverage. Pretty soon the low season was upon us and the number of tourists plummeted as we [feared]. But we didn’t expect that more than 95% of our bookings for the high season would end up being canceled.”

The high season in Ethiopia typically starts in September, when the main rainy season is over; and it ends around February when it becomes too hot to take tourists to famous destinations such as the Danakil depression.

Encouraged by the steady inflow of tourists before the start of the protests, our source invested in two 4WD cars. “We bought two cars towards the end of the last fiscal year,” he explained. “We borrowed money from a bank and invested some from our own accounts. But there are no tourists now and we can’t even rent the cars to business tourists coming to Addis Abeba. We don’t know what to do. We are just paying rent, maintaining a small staff and hoping for the best at the moment.”

Although order seemed to have returned following the declaration of the current state of emergency in October last year, and “we are getting more requests now than before, it is not enough to maintain our business,” our source worries. “If things continue at this rate, we will be forced to close down. We picked a bad time to expand our business.” He also said most of their clients come from abroad after communicating with them via the internet, which suffered its own share misfortune as the country shut down internet following protests. Walk in and domestic clients account only for less than 2% of their total bookings, he said.

His frustrations are shared by many tour and travel companies that joined the market recently. Not only tour operators but those working in the transport sector were affected as well, according to Getnet Asefa, a freelance driver/guide. Getnet, who used to make an average 500birr (around $21) per day as a freelance guide, says he is now considering a change in career. “Last year at this time, I worked at least 4 days a week,” he says, “Now getting tourism work has become very difficult. Some of my friends have started working as taxi drivers. At this point, we don’t know what is going to happen next and that is scary.”

Embassy travel warnings aren’t helping the matter, either. The United States traveling warning, issued in Dec. 2016, and the United Kingdom foreign travel advice, updated most recently in Jan. 2017, are still in effect. In fact, the only country that has lifted its travel ban is Germany. But even that excludes traveling to North Gondar, an area located in a region where most tourist detestations are found.

The effect is also felt among tour and travel agencies that on the surface seemed to be doing well. “We are concerned that the company won’t survive this year,” says Yenealem Getachew, managing director of Horizon Ethiopia Tour and Travel plc. “We don’t expect to be reimbursed for our losses. But we do have many commitments. For example, we have to pay profit tax at the end of the year. Some of us have bank loans. When you have a debt to service, that is the first thing you want to take care of. If you can’t do that, you start to lay off employees.”

Yenealem said his company has asked the government for help but they “still haven’t got a response. I think they are more concerned about companies with physical damage. They don’t seem to grasp that without clients we tour operators get nothing.”

In late Oct. 2016, Ethiopia Ministry of Culture and Tourism, MOCT, has established a command post to assess the damage the industry sustained as well as to ensure the “safety of tourists”. “We went to see the damage caused by the protesters,” Tewedros Derbew, Tourist Services Competence and grading directorate director at the ministry and head of the committee, told Addis Standard. “We called the owners for a meeting to discuss how to help them as well as to offer moral support. We have now sent a report to the investment commission detailing their losses. We have also distributed questionnaires to tour operators but we haven’t received their responses yet.”

Tewedros admits “the industry has been severely affected. There is no question about that.” But contrary to the actors in the industry say, he insists “no tour and travel company was forced or threatened to close down or let go of its employees because of it.”

The opposite of…

In late 2015, around the same time the protests began, MOCT announced that it wanted to “triple the number of foreign visitors, to more than 2.5 million, by 2020”, and make Ethiopia become one of Africa’s top five tourist destinations.

In a stark difference to what the actors in the industry and several reports say in post-protest Ethiopia, in a January 2017 report to the house of people’s representatives, Hirut Woldemariam, the new minister at the ministry of culture and tourism, reported that despite the current state of emergency 300,000 tourists have visited the country during the first quarter of the current fiscal year, generating $872 revenue to the country.

But as in every sector, data for this sector is prepared by the government itself. If one goes by Hirut’s numbers above for example, more tourists have visited Ethiopia during its turbulent year than in its years of peace. In Oct. 2015, one month before the start of the protests, the same ministry said that during the 2014/15 fiscal year, 750,000 tourists have visited Ethiopia, fetching in $2.9 billion income to the county. That figure is close to the $3b the government expected to earn from the industry by the end of its first Growth and Transformation Plan (GTP) in 2015.

Other hurdles

In Oct. 2016, Lonely Planet has rated Ethiopia 10th out of the “Top Ten Countries to visit in 2017.” But, that announcement seemed to contribute little when it comes to shaking off Ethiopia’s image in the aftermath of the widely reported yearlong protests.

“Image is everything for a country’s tourism sector,” one expert says. “We had just managed to overcome decades of bad publicity caused by famines and violent regime changes. [As of late] Ethiopia had been named one of the emerging tourist destinations. The country’s overall infrastructure was getting better. Then this [the protest] happens. It will take a long time to recover from the effects of the unrest. It is difficult to predict just how long.”

Other issues many tour operators cite in relation to the decline in tourism are the substandard services and accommodations, inadequate maintenance given to tourism infrastructure and destinations, and the lack of communication between tour operators and government agencies.

“Take Lalibela for example. It looks exactly the way it did 10 years ago but the entrance fee has increased,” says Yenealem. “Our hotel bookings are dropped with little to no notice when there are big events like Epiphany in Gondar. The local guides monopolize any work to be done on the sites [including] increasing entrance and guide fees at will and they chase away anyone who refuses to have a guide.”

Lots of plans

In addition to the five-year plan by the MOCT, in September 2016, The United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) has handed over Ethiopia’s Sustainable Tourism Master Plan (STMP) 2015-2025 to the then minister of tourism and culture, Ayisha Mohammed Mussa. It targets to lift the number of international visitors to five million in the year 2025. The projected income from the industry to increase from ETB14.197 billion in 2012 to ETB180 billion in 2015. The corresponding number of jobs in the tourism sector will increase from 985, 500 to 4.8 million, according to the document.

As part of its several initiatives to revive the industry, as of last week, the Ethiopian Tourism Organization is organizing a series of workshops in several cities in North America including New York, Los Angeles, and Toronto.

ETO has also recently signed, for an undisclosed amount of money, an agreement with New York-based CornerSun, a tourism marketing and public relations firm to “represent and promote Ethiopia” to travel trade and media throughout the United States and Canada. Since it was formed in 2014, the organization, led by an industry veteran Solomon Tadesse, has spent more time and resource to promote Ethiopia by participating in various fairs and exhibitions outside the country.

With all that said and all the inconsistencies considered, however, tour operators worry that the number of tourists visiting Ethiopia will continue falling short than both the five year plan by the ministry and ECA’s STMP have anticipated.

Last week and this week, while Solomon Tadesse, along with a group of hotels as well as tour and travel company owners, is doing a three-city roadshow in the Americas, some tourists who want to take chances to visit Ethiopia signed onto Lonely Planet’s online forums to complain about complicated visa requirements at Ethiopian embassies abroad and a steep rise in domestic flight fare by the state monopoly, Ethiopian Airlines, an indication that beyond the protest-tainted image the industry is facing as of late tourists are also dealing with other problems that are equally urgent; but problems that are less the focus of the endless plans to revive the sector, including a new logo. AS 

The U.S. State Department: Ethiopia Travel Warning December 7, 2016

Posted by OromianEconomist in #OromoProtests.
Tags: , , , , , , , ,
add a comment

Odaa OromooOromianEconomist

travel-warning-do-not-travel-to-ethiopia-terrorist-tplf-from-tigray-is-killing-people-and-looting-properties


US Gov – Ethiopia Travel Alert

Ethiopia Travel Warning

LAST UPDATED: DECEMBER 6, 2016

The State Department continues to warn U.S. citizens of the risks of travel to Ethiopia due to the potential for civil unrest related to sporadic and unpredictable anti-government protests that began in November 2015. The U.S. Embassy’s ability to provide consular services in many parts of the country may be limited without warning due to the government’s restrictions on mobile and internet communications and the unpredictable nature of the current security situation. This replaces the Travel Warning of October 21, 2016.

The Government of Ethiopia declared a State of Emergency effective October 8, 2016 that includes provisions allowing for the arrest of individuals without a court order for activities they may otherwise consider routine, such as communication, consumption of media, attending gatherings, engaging with certain foreign governments or organizations, and violating curfews. Additionally, the Government of Ethiopia routinely does not inform the U.S. Embassy of detentions of U.S. citizens in Ethiopia. The full text of the decreeimplementing the State of Emergency is available on the U.S. Embassy’s website.

Internet, cellular data, and phone services have been periodically restricted or shut down without warning throughout the country, impeding the U.S. Embassy’s ability to communicate with U.S. citizens in Ethiopia. You should have alternate communication plans in place, and let your family and friends know this may be an issue while you are in Ethiopia. See the information below on how to register with the U.S. Embassy to receive security messages.

Avoid demonstrations and large gatherings, continuously assess your surroundings, and evaluate your personal level of safety. Remember that the government may use force and live fire in response to demonstrations, and that even gatherings intended to be peaceful can be met with a violent response or turn violent without warning. U.S. citizens in Ethiopia should monitor their security situation and have contingency plans in place in case you need to depart suddenly.

If you are living in or intending to travel to Ethiopia, please refer to the Safety and Security section of the Country Specific Information for Ethiopiafor additional useful information.

Due to the unpredictability of communication in the country, the Department of State strongly advises U.S. citizens to register your mobile number with the U.S. Embassy to receive security information via text or SMS, in addition to enrolling in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP).

For further information:

  • See the State Department’s travel website for the Worldwide Caution, Travel Warnings, Travel Alerts, and Country Specific Information for Ethiopia.
  • Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive security messages and make it easier to locate you in an emergency.
  • Contact the U.S. Embassy in Ethiopia, located on Entoto Street in Addis Ababa, at +251-11-130-6000 from 7:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Monday-Thursday. After-hours emergency number for U.S. citizens is+251-11-130-6911 or 011-130-6000.
  • Call 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the United States and Canada or 1-202-501-4444 from other countries from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays).

The Slovak Spectator: Slovak and Czech tourists robbed in Ethiopia November 15, 2016

Posted by OromianEconomist in Travel to Ethiopia.
Tags: , , , , , ,
add a comment

Odaa OromooOromianEconomist

travel-warning-do-not-travel-to-ethiopia-terrorist-tplf-from-tigray-is-killing-people-and-looting-propertiesun-copyoromo-youth-murdered-by-fascist-ethiopias-agaziforces-in-arsi-kokosaa-dstrict-on-17-october-2016Oromo children, victims of fascist TPLF mass killings in Oromia, 2015 and 2016More reinforcement of Ethiopia's regime fascist ( Agazi) soldiers arrived in Begi, West Walaga, Oromia, 29 July 2016. p2

Slovak and Czech tourists robbed in Ethiopia

A group of six Slovak and four Czech tourists was attacked by armed robbers in western Ethiopia; driver killed.


The Slovak Spectator, 14 November 2016


A group of six Slovak and four Czech tourists was attacked in Surma woreda near the town of Mizan on November 7. They were robbed of their credit cards, money and other precious things, Irena Valentová from the Czech Foreign Affairs Ministry confirmed to the Novinky.cz website. She also said a female Slovak tourist was injured in the attack. The attackers shot an Ethiopian driver during the incident who died after being transported to the hospital.

Head of the Bubo Travel Agency, Ľuboš Fellner, whom the Czech website cited, said the incident occurred in the so-called green zone considered to be fully safe. The Slovak Foreign Ministry confirmed the case for the TASR newswire on November 11, adding that the Slovak tourists were aided by the local representation office in Addis Ababa with receiving new documents and returning home.

The tourists subsequently returned home, according to the news reports.

The Foreign Ministry recently warned Slovak citizens not to travel to Ethiopia, due to a worsened security situation that resulted in temporary state of emergency starting October 8, for six months. In case they decide to travel to the country anyway, Slovaks should at least register with the voluntary electronic registration system on the FAM website.


Click here to read related News: Zarpa News: Ethiopian Airlines:  Thriller night over Crete! | Plane “lost” the engine! 

Alarm sounded at dawn Sunday in Athens FIR when aircraft Ethiopian Airlines sent out distress signal because the engine died!

Immediately the state apparatus was activated to help the aircraft to land safely at the airport Eleftherios Venizelos.

The aircraft sent out a distress signal at 3:40 and was on Crete, while later in 4:15 landed safely in Athens.
The route was performed from Ethiopia to Italy.

Source: onalert.gr


 

Travel News: UK holiday firms abort holidays in Ethiopia November 3, 2016

Posted by OromianEconomist in #OromoProtests.
Tags: , , , , , , , ,
add a comment

Odaa OromooOromianEconomisttravel-warning-do-not-travel-to-ethiopia-terrorist-tplf-from-tigray-is-killing-people-and-looting-properties

Oromo children, victims of fascist TPLF mass killings in Oromia, 2015 and 2016No To Fascist TPLF Ethiopia's genocidal militarism and mass killings in Oromia, Ethiopia

UK holiday firms abort holidays in Ethiopia


 Travel News, 1st November 2016

addis-ab-apSeveral UK holiday firms have cancelled forthcoming holidays to the East African nation of Ethiopia. The decision by the likes of Saga and Kuoni comes in the wake of a UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) warning that many regions and towns in the country are now unsafe.

The travel companies say people with pre-booked Ethiopian holidays can choose alternate destinations or apply for refunds. The Foreign Office updated its Ethiopian travel advisory last month.

In the revision, the FCO noted that it was advising against all but necessary travel to a huge swath in the centre of the country. This stretches down from the nation’s northern frontier with Sudan to Awasa and roughly corresponds to the states of Amhara and Oromia.

This area covers the country’s capital, Addis Ababa, plus popular tourist sights and destinations such as the Debre Birhan Selassie Church to the north of Lake Lana and the Simien Mountains. The Foreign Office advice also states that Britons should avoid certain areas in the northeast, southeast and west of the country altogether.

The FCO did explain that while it was generally advisable to stay away from most of the regions close to the border with Eritrea, certain locations were reasonably safe. These include the Debre Damo mountain monastery and the town of Yeha and its renowned 2,700-year-old tower.

Following months of civil unrest and violent clashes, the government of Ethiopia declared a state of emergency on 9 October 2016. The FCO says this is expected to last for a minimum of six months. The advice added that the emergency decree empowers government security personnel to carry out random searches, break up oversized gatherings of people and enforce curfews.