The emergence of modern socialists

Throughout most of American history, the idea of socialism has been a hopeless, often vaguely defined dream. So distant were its prospects at midcentury that the best definition Irving Howe and Lewis Coser, editors of the socialist periodical Dissent, could

Int’l Rights Commission Report Raises Serious Questions Concerning Scope, Purpose: Professor Fitz-Gerald

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Addis Ababa September 24/2022/ENA/ The draft report by the International Commission of Human Rights Experts on Ethiopia (ICHREE) raises serious questions concerning both the scope and the overall purpose of the report, International Security Professor Ann Fitz-Gerald said.

In an exclusive interview with ENA, the expert noted that the people in Afar and Amhara regions were deeply affected by the conflict and that the evidence of this was widespread.

Professor Fitz-Gerald added that she had listened to many on how the fighting had impacted on families, communities and infrastructure — and how unfortunate it was not to have traveled over the border into Tigray as well – but how enlightening it was to speak with Tigrayan families and individuals in both Amhara and Afar regions that had fled and come over the border.

“Aspects of the severe situation across the broader conflict space which was not addressed by the report is a weakness, especially as there were numerous empirical studies that have been done on widespread TPLF-led atrocities. The implementation of rule of law must be based on in-depth criminal investigations, many of which require the support of forensic evidence – and also enabling space for other evidence to be collected; and this has not just happened yet.”

The expert further stressed that the International Commission of Human Rights Experts on Ethiopia (ICHREE) also needs to be comprehensive. She questioned why there were never any efforts to support the continuity of the JIT investigation process which had covered Tigray, but had not been applied to conflict-affected communities in either Amhara or Afar regions.  

“This was an investigation process which was applauded by many and, for the purpose of consistency and continuity, other conflict-impacted communities should have benefitted, and thus sought some sort of resolve, from the same process. The team could have also returned to Tigray and continued a more in-depth investigation from the point at which the earlier investigation had ended,” the professor elaborated.

She further stated that “what has not helped with encouraging a comprehensive approach to investigations is the tendency for international actors to refer to this conflict as the “Tigray conflict” and not the “conflict in Northern Ethiopia”, particularly as the mainstay of the battle space has been located in Amhara and Afar.”

The expert pointed out that this human right commission did not have a large mandate and added that when organizations that are tasked with these sorts of investigations are not given a widely supported mandate, they normally also suffer from a lack of resources and a limited timescale in which to do the work.

“Information and propaganda have played a significant role in this conflict.”

According to the professor, this is a conflict in northern Ethiopia where some international policy leaders have changed the narrative to reflect that.

The ICHREE report did not consider the work done by the joint investigation of the Ethiopian Human Rights Commission and the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR).  

The JIT (Joint Investigation Report on Tigray Conflict) report had confirmed that the Tigray Special Forces and allied militia attacked the Northern Command of the Ethiopian National Defense Force and took control of the bases and weaponry on November 3, 2020, which, to the amazement of everyone following the events, the ICHREE never mentioned even to make a reference.

Due to the above reasons the Ethiopian government has categorically rejected the report of the International Commission of Human Rights Experts on Ethiopia, which it said “is politically motivated.”

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Vice President Gai Says Many Positive Developments in Ethiopia Benefit South Sudan

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Addis Ababa September 24/2022/ENA/ Many positive developments like tree seedlings plantation in Ethiopia also benefit South Sudan, Vice President Taban Deng Gai said.

The South Sudanese Vice President, who concluded a three-day
working visit to Ethiopia yesterday, told ENA that many positive development
like the Green Legacy in Ethiopia certainly benefit South Sudan.

The “tree growing initiative of Prime
Minister Abiy Ahmed is beneficial to the environment of South Sudan. They
(Ethiopian officials) are also going to supply us trees so that we could do the
same in South Sudan.”

Taban Deng Gai said that “The governments of Ethiopia have
been standing with us. The current peace agreement (Comprehensive Peace
Agreement (CPA)) that we implemented in South Sudan (for instance)  originated from Addis Ababa.”

Taban Deng Gai noted that “Ethiopia is our
big brother and sister, the big brother always takes care of the sibling and
the young one so that (s/he) may also grow stronger.” 

South Sudanese are endowed with a lot of
resources, the vice president said, adding that the government believes also
that the people of Ethiopia have a right to benefit from all these resources so
that South Sudanese could also benefit from Ethiopia.

 “What we have been lacking is these linkages
in terms of roads and river transport,” he said.

Speaking about the mission of the high
level delegation he headed during his visit to Djibouti earlier, the vice
president said “I have been sent by my president to explore the prospect of
making use of the port of Djibouti as it has a lot of potential. Currently it
is only serving Ethiopia and Djibouti.”  

South Sudan “wants access (to the port)
through road that also goes through Ethiopia so that the people of South Sudan
can get services of import and export,” he added.

The vice president stated that he had very
good meetings with the people and Government of Ethiopia and the President of
Djibouti, “who is very committed to supporting South Sudan and Ethiopia by
opening this corridor so that we can use the port.”  

“We have agreed that we construct the
road of Pagak and Palouge this year so that the material for oil exploration
and development can come from Djibouti to the oil field in the area of Palouge
and oil field in the Unity State,” Gai said.  

The high level delegation led by the Vice
President of South Sudan also met with Ethiopian Minister of Finance Ahmed
Shide on Thursday and discussed about ways of
enhancing infrastructure connectivity between the two countries.

The officials have agreed
on ways to enhance their previously designed plans in the areas of roads
infrastructure, energy, telecommunications, water transportation, and other
vital economic sectors with a view to creating integration for mutual benefits.

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Ethiopian Selected Preferred Bidder for Nigeria Air, Owns 49% of Nat’l Carrier

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Addis Ababa September 24/2022/ENA/ Ethiopian Airlines (ET) consortium has been selected as the preferred bidder for Nigeria Air, owning 49 percent of the national carrier, according to the Nigerian newspaper “The Cable”.

Aviation Minister Hadi Sirika said during a media briefing on Friday in Abuja that ET scored 89 percent out of 100 in the technical bidding process and 15 out of 20 as regards financial bids.

“After a careful, detailed and ICRC governed selection process, Ethiopian Airlines (ET) Consortium has been selected as the preferred bidder, offering an owner consortium of 3 Nigerian investors.

“The Nigerian investors are MRS, SAHCO and the Nigerian Sovereign Fund (46%), FGN owning 5% and ET 49%. The consortium has been subject to a due diligence process.

“The contract will be negotiated between consortium and FGN, leading to a full business case (FBC) which will be expected to be approved by the federal executive council (FEC). We expect this process to take 6-8 weeks,” the paper quoted the minister.

The aviation minister said the national carrier would launch with three Boeing 737-800s in a configuration very suitable for the Nigerian market.

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#ASDailyScoop: City Admin says organized robbery at private residence by group posing as fed. security forces foiled

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Photo: Addis Abeba City Press Secretary Office

Addis Abeba – The Addis Abeba City Administration said an organized robbery attempt by a group of individuals who posed as federal security forces and targeted a private residence in the city was foiled after coordinated efforts by neighbors, community police and security forces in the areas.

Calling the attempted robbery an “evil plot”, the City Administration said the incident took place in Lideta sub-city, Woreda 08, Zone one.

According to Hailu Lule, the Chief Executive Officer of the sub-city, four individuals wearing federal police uniforms and two individuals in civilian clothes entered the residence of an individual after showing fake federal police IDs. They attempted to rob the residence after detaining the house help before the plot was thwarted.

Hailu said security forces had already been tracking the suspects, who fled the scene with “Oro. Code 03” vehicle, assisted by their co-conspirators who were parked outside. Security forces are tracking the suspects with assistance from surveillance camera in the area. He cautioned residents of the city to inform security forces similar suspicious activities and to safeguard neighborhoods. AS

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Ethiopia, Russian Agree to Hold Joint Commission Meeting in Short Period of Time

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Addis Ababa September 24/2022 /ENA/ Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Demeke Mekonnen has met with the Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation Sergey Lavrov and Mali’s foreign Minister Abdoulaye Diop.

In the conversation with the Russian Foreign Minister, Demeke lauded the longstanding relationships between the two sides and spoke on the situation in Ethiopia in the context of the conflict in the north.

The two sides agreed to tightening bilateral ties with expanded engagement in various sectors and cooperate in multilateral fora.

They have also discussed the level understanding reached during Lavrov’s visit to Ethiopia and reached an agreement that the meeting of the joint commission of the two countries should be held in a short period of time.

 In a separate conversation, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Demeke spoke with Abdoulaye Diop of Mali about ways to strengthen ties between the two nations and safeguard the continent’s interests by fortifying the African Union.

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News: Italy approves €9 million to respond to most urgent needs in Ethiopia

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Drought in Borana,Oromia

Addis Abeba – Four initiatives have been approved on 15 September by the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Italian Cooperation for a total of 9 million euros to respond to “Ethiopia’s most urgent needs.”

To respond to the problem of drought, which has caused acute food insecurity for 50 million people in the Horn of Africa, the Italian Cooperation will provide 3 million euros to the civil society organizations to implement initiatives in the sectors of water and sanitation, agriculture and food security, protection, health and nutrition, in the southern regions of the country, according to a statement sent to Addis Standard.

Furthermore, 2 million euros will support the interventions of the World Food Program (WFP), to promote an effective response to the nutritional rehabilitation and to prevent infant mortality. The program will be implemented in the Tigray, “as soon as the situation allows”, in Amhara and Afar regions, classified as the most fragile in terms of needs. The crisis in the Northern part of the Country, in particular, has increased the vulnerability of the population, especially displaced people. The continuous fighting, insecurity, the collapse of social services, have created a high-risk environment and a forced movement of the population in which, in addition to malnutrition, gender-based violence is a widespread daily reality. To prevent this violence, to reduce inequalities and to combat sexual exploitation and abuse, the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA)will act in favor of the protection of nearly 50,000 women and girls, especially internally displaced persons and returnees in the north of Ethiopia, through a contribution of 2 million euros.

Finally, Ethiopia will benefit from another 2 million euros, for the regions of Gambella and Benishangul-Gumuz, to counter the protracted crisis and to support people forced to flee the conflict.

“These new loans in the emergency sector reaffirm the commitment of our development cooperation in the most vulnerable areas of the country and in favor of people most in need. Furthermore, in the light of attaching the utmost attention to this situation, a high Level side-event on the margins of the 77th UNGA in New York, co-chaired by Italy, through the Vice Minister Marina Sereni, OCHA and other partners, was devoted yesterday 21 September to the humanitarian situation in Ethiopia and broader Horn of Africa Region,” the statement adds. AS

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Ethiopian Group CEO Stresses Need for Initiatives like Single African Air Transport Market to Develop Continent

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Addis Ababa September 23/2022/ENA/ Initiatives like Single African Air Transport Market (SAATM) are essential to develop the air transport industry in Africa further and enable the continent to accelerate its socio-economic development, Ethiopian Airlines Group CEO Mesfin Tasew told ENA.

He stressed that Ethiopian believes that air transport is a catalyst for socio-economic development of countries and is also instrumental to promote cooperation between countries.

“Today we fly to more than 66 destinations in Africa and we believe it is not adequate,” the CEO stated, and added that the African air transport industry is still underdeveloped for different reasons.

The African air transport is underdeveloped and “whatever we have today; 80 percent of the passengers in Africa are served by non-African airlines. Though Ethiopian is the leading airline in Africa its share from the overall the African air transport market is relatively very small.”

According to him, restrictions put by countries are one of the reasons that have prevented Ethiopian from flying to more destinations in Africa.

“Even if we (Ethiopian) are growing, we believe that we cannot serve the entire Africa. So we need other African airlines to come develop and to work with us in cooperation. With this spirit − the spirit of pan-Africanism, we are assisting other African airlines in other countries to develop their competency, to expand their network and enabling other African airlines to take their share of the air transport market.”

Ethiopian has been helping other African airlines including ASKY Airlines, Malawi Airlines, and Zambia Airways while Congo and Nigeria Airways are on the pipeline, he pointed out. The airline is helping other African countries to set up their own airlines and develop their existing capacity.

Ethiopian Airlines, which commands the lion’s share of the pan-African network, has become one of the continent’s leading carriers, unrivalled in Africa for efficiency and operational success, turning profits for almost all the years of its existence.

The airline generated 5 billion USD revenues in the concluded Ethiopian fiscal year, the CEO revealed, adding that Ethiopian has special competency which enables it to find opportunities amidst challenges.

While all airlines were suffering from the challenges of COVID-19, Ethiopian airlines found the cargo business as an opportunity to transport personal protective equipment, vaccines, test kits and other essential goods, it was learned.

Mesfin stated that Ethiopian capitalized on enhancing the cargo business and that enabled it to compensate the revenue lost from the passenger business through cargo operation.

“We had only a limited number of cargo aircrafts around 13 full dedicated aircrafts but they were found to be inadequate so we quickly jumped in converting our passenger aircrafts temporarily into cargo and we did 25 of them. So, 25 passenger planes converted to cargo aircraft plus 13; the total number of aircraft that we deployed to transport cargo was 38.”

By operating so much cargo, Ethiopian was able to generate the above stated revenue in 2021/22 which is even higher than pre-COVID.

Yet, the CEO believes that even if Ethiopian is growing, it cannot serve the entire Africa. So other African airlines need to be developed and work with the airline in cooperation. “With this spirit − the spirit of pan-Africanism, we are assisting other African airlines in other countries to develop their competency, to expand their network and enabling other African airlines to take their share of the air transport market.”

For that, Mesfin underscored that the Single African Air Transport Market (SAATM), an initiative of the African Union to create a single unified air transport market in Africa, the liberalization of civil aviation in Africa and that serves as an impetus to the continent’s economic integration agenda, is essential.

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TPLF Exacerbated Suffering of People of Tigray by Starting Recent War, Says Journalist Who Surrendered

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Addis Ababa September 23/2022 /ENA/ The terrorist TPLF started the recent war on Kobo front to exacerbate the sufferings of the people of Tigray who endured miseries by the offensives of the group for two rounds, Fistum Tsegaye, a journalist of the terrorist group TPLF who has surrendered to the National Defense Force revealed.

Mothers in Tigray “have no place to hide their children from the terrorist group that is snatching them away.”

During its 27 years rule of the country, the terrorist group has committed many atrocities and crimes against Ethiopians.

In those years of reign of terror, people were tied up together with hyena; others were kept in dungeons with their hands and feet tied for years. Some persons suffered from injuries as a result of burns inflicted by pouring burning plastics on their bodies.

After the terrorist group was removed from power by a popular protest, it committed treasonous attack on the Northern Command of the National Defense Force, in cooperation with Ethiopia’s historical enemies, and carried out invasions that threatened the country’s existence.

By denying the people of Tigray from receiving humanitarian assistance, the terrorist group has shown its cruelty to the people by forcing children to war as it cares little for the people.

Speaking to ENA, the journalist who surrendered to the NDF said the terrorist TPLF snatched children from mothers of Tigray, abandoning the elderly without support.

The journalist noted that the terrorist group, which has been extending its existence by inciting conflict, has proved that it is against peace by launching a third round of attack on the people of Ethiopia.

Fistum stated that even if the people of Tigray have been pleading with the group to end the war  and solved the problems through peaceful means, the terrorist group launched the war.

The terrorist TPLF launched the war on Kobo front, disregarding  the sufferings of the people of Tigray who endured miseries by the previous offensives.

For the third time, it launched attack and tries to deceive the people of Tigray by lying that the Ethiopian government started the war, he elaborated, adding that this confrontation has exacerbated the problems of the people of Tigray.

According to Fistum, neither the international community nor the people of Tigray should be confused by the false information and propaganda of the terrorist group.

The journalist revealed that there is no youth in Tigray who wants to go to the war front. However, the children and youth who flee to other zones and kebeles to escape from the terrorist group’s network would be seized and taken to war.

“The children and youth of Tigray are being hunted and forced to go to war. And the terrorist group shoots those who retreat with its killing squads,” he added.

The journalist said the youth lacked options as they were killed from behind when they fled and  death became their only option.

“I have seen with my own eyes young people being killed by the leaders of the TPLF because they retreated,” he said.

Moreover, the journalist stated that the terrorist group’s army is in disarray due to the defiance of the youth who rebelled against  the repression and abuses of TPLF on the people of Tigray.

However, through their established networks, the terrorists are taking the youth to war fronts and many who defied have been arrested, according to the journalist.

The people of Tigray are taken hostages by TPLF that deprived them their rights to express grievances and opposition about the difficult situation in Tigray.   

“The terrorist TPLF has made the people of Tigray suffer from starvation and death. It didn’t do anything to save the people.”

The journalist further revealed that what is being reported by the Tigray media about the situation in the region and the reality on the ground are completely different.

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HR Experts Commission Report Weak as Numerous Empirical Studies Exist on Widespread TPLF Atrocities: Prof. Fitz-Gerald

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Addis Ababa September 23/2022/ENA/The International Commission of Human Rights Experts on Ethiopia (ICHREE) report issued recently is weak because there were numerous empirical studies that have been done on widespread TPLF atrocities, International Security Professor Ann Fitz-Gerald said.

In an exclusive interview with ENA, she stated that the people in Afar and Amhara regions were deeply affected, and the evidence was widespread all over the places.

The professor said the implementation of rule of law must be based on evidence and enabling space for other evidence must be collected, forensic undertaken, et cetera. Yet this has not just happened.

“This emerged as very obvious weakness of the report, especially there were numerous empirical studies that have been done on widespread TPLF large atrocities. The implementation of rule of law must be based on evidence and enabling space for other evidence must be collected, forensic  undertaken, et cetera; and it has not just happened yet.”

Fitz-Gerald explained that when she had traveled across Afar and Amhara regions, she saw people in areas like northern and South West Wollo, and Northern Afar deeply affected.

“The evidence was widespread all over the places. Listening to how the fighting has impacted families, and it is very sad to not get into Tigray as well and speak to families actually in the region as well as families who have fled and come over the border,” the professor added.

She believes that the research had some issues concerning methodology and investigation to human rights atrocities and violations.

“Comprehensive studies are necessary that look at the affected conflict space; and there has been an error I believe on the part of the international civil society to refer to this conflict as the Tigray conflict when most of the fighting and most of the battle space has been located in Amhara and Afar (regions). Fellow Tigrayans are deeply affected by this conflict, there is no doubt about that. But, the actual war fighting has been taking place in Amhara and Afar.”

According to her, it is very questionable based on that evidence as to why this issue is to be referred to as Tigray conflict. “I think there is a swell of TPLF propaganda; and the TPLF affiliates want to project that message so that the attention will come to Tigray. But, this is a conflict in northern Ethiopia and I think some international policy leaders have changed the narrative to reflect that.”

The International Security Professor noted also that this human right commission didn’t have a large mandate and huge level of support that some similar studies had.

“When we don’t have a huge amount of support on large mandate, this becomes reflected in the resources made available for such studies to be carried out,” she said.

It is to be recalled that the Ethiopian government categorically rejected the report of the International Commission of Human Rights Experts on Ethiopia (ICHREE).

The commission presented its initial findings on the conflict in northern Ethiopia with the intention to demonize the Government of Ethiopia.

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News: Jimma Uni. suspends two staff for production of “wrong and illegal” sociology module; ethics committee investigating

2 mins read
Partial view of Jimma University. Picture: Jimma University FB page

By Natnael Fite @NatieFit

Addis Abeba – Jimma University announced that it has suspended two staff members and will take various immediate measures regarding the “wrong and illegal” explanations on the history of the Oromo nation, which was provided inside the “Sociology of Ethiopian Societies” module. The module was prepared by the Department of Sociology at the University’s distance learning program, which drew severe criticism over the past few days.

Jemal Abafita (PhD), President of the University said, confirmed the university’s decision to Addis Standard and said that: “the university has a strong working process. Modules go through various reviewing processes as they are developed. There is an agreement signed by the university staff with the university for this purpose. There are criteria for writing and editing, including experience and quantity of staff needed on module preparations. Accordingly, we have not had any problems before. The current one may be a problem in the workflow.”

The “Sociology of Ethiopian Societies, (SOCI 2022)” module, which was published in April 2022 by the Department of Sociology at the University’s distance learning program faced major criticisms especially for the contents incorporated on pages 48 – 49, stating that “the Oromo were in the midst of a decade-long migration from their homeland in the far southern lowlands. The Oromo moved north through the southern highlands, bypassing the Sidama in the west, and into the central highlands, where they settled in the center and west lands…, some of which had formerly belonged to the Amhara.” Furthermore, the module was criticized for stating that “the Gadaa system is far from modern democracy because it does not respect women’s rights.”

Following a growing criticism on social media, the university’s administration responded on Thursday, 22 September, in a letter signed by the President the University, and addressed to the Vice President of Academic Affairs. The letter noted that the comments and explanations on the module distributed Department of Sociology at the University’s distance learning program did not reflect the position of the university , and ordered immediate corrections to be taken.

“The explanation on the distributed module can cause conflict between people and it used the law of academic freedom of the institution of higher learning illegally,” the letter said. The university ordered that the module should not be published further, and those copies which were already distributed to students should be recollected and destroyed immediately.

Furthermore it has announced that the author and editor of the module have been suspended from their posts since as of 22 September 22, and the matter will be referred to the ethics committee for further investigation and immediate decision. A thorough analysis of all textbooks of the University will be carried out to prevent such problems from happening again, the letter further said.

“When this matter came to the notice of the university administration, the quickest thing we did was to take immediate action and have it investigated. Although the matter is being investigated by the ethics committee and will not be discussed in detail until the investigation is completed, the matter will be investigated carefully as it degrades the quality of education and causes serious social problems. The university will investigate the procedures and take action. When it is done, we will make the results of this investigation public. We will use a crisis management system to keep the learning going until another module is developed. Besides collecting and disposing the wrong modules, others are also being investigated to prevent similar problems from happening again,” Dr. Jemal said. AS

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