Thursday, June 30, 2022

China to Strengthen Coordination with Pakistan on Multilateral Affairs and Safeguard Common Interests of Developing Countries: Top Chinese Diplomat

By Liu Caiyu

Jun 30, 2022 02:58 PM 

Top Chinese diplomat Yang Jiechi meets with Pakistani Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif in Islamabad on Wednesday. Photo: Ministry of Foreign Affairs

China always puts China-Pakistan relations a priority in neighboring diplomacy, and is willing to strengthen coordination with Pakistan on multilateral affairs and safeguard the common interests of developing countries, said top Chinese diplomat Yang Jiechi during a meeting with Pakistani Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif in Islamabad on Wednesday. 

China views Pakistan as an iron-clad friend and reliable brother and China-Pakistan mutual trust and friendship remain solid as a rock no matter how the international landscape changes, said Yang, who is a member of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee and director of the Office of the Foreign Affairs Commission of the CPC Central Committee. 

China regards the bilateral relations as a priority in neighboring diplomacy, and is willing to work with Pakistan to further strengthen communication and strategy coordination to maintain the traditional friendship, and enhance strategic mutual trust, deepen pragmatic cooperation in construction of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), join hands to build closer China-Pakistan community with a shared future, Yang noted. 

Yang said China appreciates Pakistan's support for the Global Security Initiative and Global Development Initiative and stands ready to work with Pakistan to implement the initiatives so as to make Asia and the world more peaceful, secure and prosperous. 

Shehbaz said developing relations with China is the cornerstone of Pakistan's foreign policy. Pakistan firmly pursues the One-China principle and supports China in safeguarding its core interests and major concerns. 

Hu Zhiyong, a research fellow at the Institute of International Relations of the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences, told the Global Times on Thursday that Yang's visit reaffirms all-weather strategic cooperative partnership between the two countries after Shehbaz came into office. 

It proves that China-Pakistan ties won't change along with government reshuffles and strong ties between the two nations bring regional stability and peace in the turbulent era, Hu said. 

The Pakistani government and people thank China for its long-term selfless assistance and are ready to learn from China's successful experience in economic development and the fight against COVID-19, Shehbaz said, adding that China has bright prospects for development, and no force can hold back China's development and growth. 

Pakistan is ready to work with China to deepen practical cooperation in various fields, speed up the construction of the CPEC and push the all-weather strategic cooperative partnership to a new height, Shehbaz said.

The communication between the two countries' leaders further deepens bilateral cooperation on CPEC, a flagship project under the Belt and Road Initiative, Hu noted.

In their meeting, Yang also conveyed greetings from Chinese President Xi Jinping and Premier Li Keqiang to Shehbaz. Shehbaz also asked Yang to deliver his greetings to the Chinese leaders. 

Recalling the recent visit of tri-services delegation to China led by the Chief of Army Staff, the Prime Minister expressed satisfaction at the expanding defense and security cooperation between Pakistan and China, which is contributing to regional peace and stability, according to a statement by the Pakistan Embassy in Beijing to the Global Times.

Besides, both Yang and Shehbaz agreed to further strengthen cooperation in safeguarding regional security and counterterrorism. 

In their meeting, Shehbaz reiterated his strong condemnation of the Karachi terrorist attack and underscored Pakistan's determination to bring the perpetrators to justice. He reaffirmed Pakistan's commitment to enhanced measures for safety, security and protection of Chinese nationals, projects and institutions in the country. 

In his recent visit to Gwadar, Shehba quoted by Aaj TV said that "We should not allow people to target workers of our friendly countries … Value their security more than yours. If we do not give security to our investors, they will leave the country." 

Pakistani Ambassador to China Moin ul Haque also told the Global Times in a recent interview said that Pakistan is working together with China and upgrading the security and working together on a new, enhanced security plan together.

Haque noted that Pakistan and China are aware of these threats coming from external forces that attempt to undermine China-Pakistan friendship. "We are working together to destroy these forces who are against our future."

The two also exchanged views on the situation in Afghanistan including the humanitarian and economic crises. The need for international cooperation and unfreezing of assets to avert a humanitarian catastrophe and ease the misery of the Afghan people was underscored, the statement from the embassy reads. 

They also signed a slew of MOUs and protocols including works of G2G joint technical working group for realignment of Karakoram Highway from Thakot to Raikot in Pakistan. 

The Economist Rephrases Controversial Article: Clarifies it Never Intended to Cause Offense amid Accusations of Racism

By GT staff reporters

Jun 30, 2022 04:02 PM

The Economist magazine has rephrased the controversial comparison featured in one of their articles that compares pigs to Chinese people and clarified that it was not intended to cause offense, which, however, failed to convince Chinese netizens outraged by such racist and dehumanizing language.

On Thursday, in an email reply to the Global Times, the magazine writes: "As our intention was never to cause offence, we have rephrased the article to make our meaning absolutely clear."

"In a Graphic setting out how most of the world's grain is fed to animals or used to make biofuel, we observed that 431m tonnes of grain is eaten by pigs and that, if it were a stand-alone country, this would rank at the very top of the league tables for grain consumption. By way of comparison, we pointed out that this is 45% more than the real-life country that consumes the most rice and wheat, which is China," The Economist explained in the email. 

The Economist said it had rephrased the article and attached a note at the bottom after being "contacted by Chinese readers, who object to the comparison."

The now-deleted content was part of an article titled "Most of the world's grain is not eaten by humans" published on June 23. 

"In 2019 pigs ate 432m tonnes of grain, 45% more than the people of China did," it read.

On Thursday, the Global Times found that the comparison has been rephrased to "According to our calculations, if the world's pig population were a stand-alone country, it would rank at the very top of grain-consumption league tables, chomping through as much grain as 2bn people."

In a clarification note attached at the bottom of the article on Wednesday, The Economist said "An earlier version of this article compared the grain-consumption rate of pigs with that of the people of China. We selected China solely because it is the world's leading consumer of both wheat and rice."

However, the rephrase and clarification seemingly still failed to convince the outraged Chinese netizens, as The Economist did not make any apology for the mistake.

"Spitting in our face and then 'rephrasing things,' what's the point??" said a user of China's Twitter-like Sina Weibo.

The previous comparison triggered backlash among Chinese readers as well as overseas netizens after The Economist used it in a Tweet to promote the article on Tuesday. 

Although the article mainly focuses on analyzing data of food consumption per country, area, and year, the inappropriate comparison between pigs and the Chinese people was widely criticized for being "awful," "racist" and "dehumanizing."

The Tweet has also been deleted as of Wednesday.

President Xi's Visit to Hong Kong Underscores Trust, Confidence

Central govt demonstrates strong will of upholding 'one country, two systems' to safeguard Hong Kong

By Chen Qingqing and Leng Shumei

Jun 30, 2022 03:24 PM

Photo: Xinhua

Chinese President Xi Jinping and his wife Peng Liyuan wave to the welcoming crowd upon their arrival in Hong Kong, on June 30, 2022. Xi, also general secretary of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and chairman of the Central Military Commission, arrived in Hong Kong by train. Photo: Xinhua

Chinese President Xi Jinping arrived at West Kowloon Station in Hong Kong by train on Thursday afternoon, launching his visit to the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of the city's return to the motherland. 

This is also Xi's first publicly announced visit outside the Chinese mainland since the COVID-19 epidemic started in early 2020. This visit will be of great significance as observers expect that Xi will point out in his speech the direction of the city's future development, especially after the implementation of the national security law for Hong Kong and electoral system reform helped restore stability in the city.  

Observers in Hong Kong and the mainland believed that Xi's visit to Hong Kong amid an increasingly complex geopolitical environment sends a clear message to Hong Kong and to the world that the "one country, two systems" principle is beneficial to the country and to the city, and will be unswervingly upheld for the long term despite smears and doubts by the West. 

It also serves as an important warning to some external hostile forces as well as extremist secessionists in the city that the country will never tolerate those who sabotage Hong Kong's prosperity or the country's sovereignty, security and development interests.

Carrie Lam, the outgoing chief executive of the HKSAR, and Luo Huining, director of the central government's liaison office in Hong Kong, welcomed Xi and the first lady Peng Liyuan on the station platform. They were surrounded by local residents and students waving Chinese national flags, flowers and banners with the words "Warmly welcome President Xi to attend the celebration of the 25th anniversary of the city's return to the motherland and the inaugural ceremony of the sixth-term government of the HKSAR."

Inside the station, a lion dance was held and the atmosphere of excitement was palpable. 

Xi extended congratulations and best wishes to Hong Kong compatriots as he gave a short speech inside the station. He said he has always been concerned about Hong Kong and his heart is always with Hong Kong compatriots. 

"It has been five years since my last visit to Hong Kong," Xi said upon arrival at the West Kowloon high-speed rail station.

Over the past five years, I have been all along concerned about and caring for Hong Kong, and my heart is always with Hong Kong compatriots, Xi said.

'A brighter future will beckon'

In the recent period, Hong Kong has withstood many severe tests and overcome many risks and challenges. After many storms and hardships, Hong Kong has been reborn and shown vigorous vitality, Xi said, noting that the reality proves that the "one country, two systems" principle has strong vitality that will ensure the long-term prosperity of the city and benefits of Hong Kong compatriots. 

"A brighter future will beckon, if we forge ahead with perseverance," said Xi, noting that as long as the principle is upheld unswervingly, Hong Kong will surely have an even brighter future and make new, greater contributions to the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation. 

"It's expected that with the care of Xi and the central government, the practice of 'one country, two systems' will be stable and sustainable in Hong Kong, and the city's status and importance in the country will be more prominent with its prosperity and stability much guaranteed," Lau Siu-kai, the vice-president of the Chinese Association of Hong Kong and Macao Studies, told the Global Times on Thursday. 

Accompanied by Lam, Xi met with some 160 people from various sectors of Hong Kong and representatives of the disciplined services at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre on Thursday afternoon. The President also visited the Hong Kong Science Park to inspect Hong Kong's innovation and technology development while his wife Peng Liyuan visited the Xiqu Centre of the West Kowloon Cultural District. 

Chan Yung, vice-chairman of the Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong, who was also among the 160 representatives, told the Global Times that Xi's visit greatly boosts the confidence of Hong Kong people, especially after the city has been battling the epidemic for two years. "Also, we face a growingly complex geopolitical environment as the Ukraine crisis goes on and the pandemic has not ended," Chan said. 

China adjusted its quarantine policy for close contacts and international arrivals ahead of Xi's visit. Chan, who also served as a deputy director for Chief Executive-elect John Lee's campaign office, said he believed it's a positive signal for Hong Kong's economic recovery, as many are expecting the resumption of mainland-Hong Kong exchanges. 

Xi's choice to go to Hong Kong by high-speed rail demonstrates the development of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area, which shows a major achievement of the practice of "one country, two systems" in the area, Li Xiaobing, an expert on Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan affairs at Nankai University, told the Global Times on Thursday.

Being a key part of China's high-speed rail network, the entire line of the Guangzhou-Shenzhen-Hong Kong Express Rail Link entered into service on September 23, 2022. The line is 141 kilometers long, of which 115 km is on the mainland and 26 km is in the Hong Kong SAR.

While Hong Kong is still in the aftermath of the fifth wave of its COVID-19 epidemic and Macao is witnessing sporadic cases, and the current international situation is bringing about more uncertain factors, Xi's visit to the SAR shows his and the central government's trust in and concerns about Hong Kong, Li noted.

Significant political message

No matter how hard the Western media and politicians twisted the "one country, two systems" and slandered the national security law for Hong Kong and electoral reform by claiming that the city has completely changed and there's no freedom anymore, the city has been moving on, ignoring those trivial voices and embracing a brighter future as the central government also points out a clear direction for it. 

During a meeting with Lam, Xi said the central government acknowledged her work over the past five years, as she made significant contributions to leading the HKSAR government to govern according to the law, uniting all sectors in society to stop violence, fighting COVID-19 outbreaks and integrating Hong Kong into national development while safeguarding sovereignty, security, development interests and the city's stability as well as prosperity. 

The implementation of the national security law for Hong Kong and the electoral reform crushed plots of a "color revolution", bringing order back to the city and giving an opportunity for the city to select qualified leaders and competent patriots.  

While the ups and downs of the past few years have led to doubts among some people about whether China will continue upholding the "one country, two systems" principle, Xi's visit set the fundamental tone on this issue, serving as a political vow, Tian Feilong, a legal expert at Beihang University in Beijing, told the Global Times on Thursday. 

"Also, it sent out a clear warning to those extremists in Hong Kong and the external forces that attempt to interfere in Hong Kong affairs: any force sabotaging stability, prosperity, security and development interests would meet a resolute crackdown by the central government," he said. 

Make US’ ‘Long Arm’ Toward China Feel the Pain: Global Times Editorial

By Global Times

Jun 30, 2022 12:53 AM

Illustration: Liu Rui/Global Times

On Tuesday, US President Joe Biden's administration placed five Chinese companies on a trade blacklist for "allegedly supporting Russia's military and defense industrial base." On the same day, 20 other entities which have connections with China were also added to the blacklist by the US for allegedly helping Iran or supporting military application. 

This is the first time the US has taken action against Chinese entities over Russia-related businesses since the Russia-Ukraine conflict broke out in February. US media claimed that the move was to demonstrate US' resolve and strength to implement sanctions against Russia. Who does Washington think it is? The UN Security Council? Or the judge and the police of the world? 

The US does not and should not have the privilege of being superior, and China will never accept any country that claims to be superior. The US' unilateral sanctions and long-arm jurisdiction have neither the basis of international law nor the authorization of the UN Security Council. They are completely illegal. Where does the US gain the confidence to set up a moral plaque for illegal actions? Once taking off the confusing disguise, the hegemony can be immediately revealed. After all, quite a few American elites today still regard the world of the 21st century as a "jungle," and view the US as the most ferocious beast, or the only hunter in the jungle.

However, the world is no longer a "jungle society." The rapid development of political civilization, economic globalization and the multilateralism has all made it difficult for the US to maintain its hegemony. More and more countries don't buy such US tricks, and the US' ability has been gradually falling short of its ambition. As a result, it starts to talk more about "rules" - using the "rules" to demand and constrain others, while the US itself is wandering outside the "rules." American hegemony seems to have become "smarter," but the sly nature has not changed. 

China and Russia maintain normal energy, economic and trade cooperation. On what grounds is the US blocking the cooperation and "punishing" China? The Chinese people are opposed to this, and will take necessary measures to safeguard the legitimate rights and interests of companies of our country. We must let the "long arm" of the US that has constantly reached out to China feel the pain and teach it a lesson.

On the day that Washington announced sanctions against Chinese companies, the G7 summit ended with a joint statement. The statement, which mainly reflects Washington's attitude, interests and style, is full of domineering and arrogant rhetoric and unreasonable content, creating a record in G7 history. It mentioned China 14 times, called on "China to press Russia... to immediately and unconditionally withdraw its troops from Ukraine" and urged China to give up "expansive maritime claims" in the South China Sea. It also voiced "grave concerns" on China's human rights situation. Obviously, the illegal sanctions against Chinese companies are consistent with this statement. This has reminded us of the Eight-Nation Alliance over 100 years ago, but today's China is not the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911) that could be bullied by foreign powers. 

Take Russia-Ukraine conflict as an example. Its essence and root cause are the contradictions between the US and Russia. It's the result of the strategic imbalance caused by the US-led NATO's eastward expansion. However, Washington has arbitrarily concocted the so-called "Chinese responsibility theory." It's complete hooligan logic. People have seen that the sanctions against Russia by the US and its followers have "reached the political limit," but they have failed to generate the expected effect. Instead they have fallen into the traps they dug, with energy shortages and soaring prices. If they don't clean up the economic chaos themselves, what qualifications do they have to put the blame on China, which has been working hard to promote talks and peace?

It's worth noting that US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan said not long ago that there was little evidence China was supporting Russia militarily or was violating in wholesale fashion sanctions imposed on Moscow. The US government's contradictory statement on this issue has not only reflected the chaotic decision-making of the current Biden administration, but also once again demonstrated the US' bad habit of shifting the blame to others. Washington wants to create a false impression in public opinion that "China can take actions to solve the crisis." On one hand, it tries to shirk its "special responsibility" for the Ukraine crisis, and on the other, creates new common enemies to maintain "unity" within the US-led camp.

The US sanctions on Chinese companies on Tuesday set another extremely bad precedent. According to past examples, once the US sets a precedent, it will continue to expand its scope of attack according to its own needs. The sooner the international community stops the US, the less damage it will cause. Opposing hegemony is not only a matter of international morality, but also a must-do for safeguarding legitimate interests.

Four Chinese Nationals Abducted in Deadly Nigeria Attack

By CHINEDU ASADU

ABUJA, Nigeria (AP) — Gunmen attacked a local mining site in northcentral Nigeria, killing “many security personnel” and abducting some workers including four Chinese nationals, authorities said on Thursday.

The attackers on Wednesday evening “invaded” the mining site in Shiroro council area of Niger state which is prone to such attacks and opened fire on those present before fleeing with some staffers including the Chinese, according to Emmanuel Umar, the state commissioner for security.

A security team deployed to respond to the attack “engaged the terrorists and there was a yet-to-be-determined number of casualties from both sides,” said Umar.

Locals and authorities in Shiroro told The Associated Press that bodies are still being recovered and the death toll remains unclear because of how remote the area is. The Niger governor’s office said in a different statement that “many security personnel” lost their lives in the attack.

“Security forces mobilized reinforcement for the manhunt of the remaining terrorists … and rescue of the injured victims including security personnel that sustained various degrees of injuries have been taken to a government medical facility in the state for treatment,” the official said of the attack in the state which borders Abuja, Nigeria’s capital.

Authorities did not disclose the name of the company, the latest affected in attacks targeting foreigners over the years in Nigeria though not as frequent as they used to be. Three Chinese nationals were abducted in a similar attack in Niger state earlier this year while working at a hydroelectric power plant.

In November, Chinese authorities issued a travel advisory warning their citizens and companies against travel to “high-risk” areas in Nigeria and other parts of Africa.

Wednesday’s attack is the latest incident in a cycle of violence that has claimed hundreds of lives in the past year. A growing kidnap-for-ransom syndrome has also seen more victims held in captivity for months, including dozens kidnapped in a train attack near the capital city in March.

The state of Nigeria’s security has deteriorated under President Muhammadu Buhari, a retired military general who became president in 2015. Frequent attacks in the northwest and northcentral parts of Nigeria are blamed on armed groups that authorities have said are mostly young semi-nomadic herdsmen from the Fulani tribe in conflict with farming communities over limited access to water and land. Some of the rebellious herdsmen are now working with Islamist extremist rebels in the country’s northeast in targeting remote communities.

Ethiopia, Sudan Can Resolve Problems Without Foreign Intervention: Abiy Ahmed

June 29, 2022

Ethiopian PM Abiy Ahmed (Photo: ENA)

Borkena 

“Although there are problems between Sudan and Ethiopia, the two countries should be determined to work in cooperation to resolve them,” Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed said in a Twitter message he shared on Tuesday. 

In his message, which he wrote in the Arabic language, he said that there are states or countries interested in the conflict between Sudan and Ethiopia. 

“However, nothing good comes out of conflict,” Abiy Ahmed added. 

He said that Ethiopia’s choice is for peace and trust to prevail between the two countries. And that the “two countries should not resort to conflict due to external influence.” 

Abiy Ahmed did not explicitly say where the external influence is coming from. 

On Tuesday, Egyptian President, Sisi, expressed condolences over the death of seven Sudanese troops along the border with Ethiopia. 

The recent tension between Sudan and Ethiopia came after Sudan claimed that seven captured Sudanese soldiers were executed by the Ethiopian army -something the Ethiopian Defence Force rejected as baseless. 

According to the Ethiopian Defence Force, the exchange of fire was between Sudanese forces and local militia in the Armachiho area.

Sudan invaded a large tract of Ethiopian territory in November 2020 soon after the war between Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) and the Federal government of Ethiopia erupted. 

Sudan Shelled Ethiopian Territories, TPLF Collaborating

June 29, 2022

It came after claims of execution of captured Sudanese soldiers by Ethiopian forces. Four of the victims from the incident along the Ethio-Sudan area are said to be Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) fighters 

Ethiopia’s Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed (left) and Al Burhan (right). (Photo by – / AFP / file)

Borkena 

Sudan shelled areas along the Ethiopian border where there was an incident involving its defence force and local Ethiopian militia.

The BBC Amharic service, on Wednesday, cited Desalegne Ayana, who is head of the West Armachiho district administration, to report that Sudan has been shelling the area with artillery, mortar and other heavy weaponry. 

Residents in the area said the shelling was strong on Monday, and it continued to Tuesday in the afternoon. 

No casualty is reported in connection with the heavy weaponry attack from Sudan. 

Sudan started the military move this week on alleged grounds that seven of its soldiers who were captured by the Ethiopian Defence Force were executed. It further claimed that the execution happened within the “Sudanese border.” 

Egyptian President,  Abdel Fattah el-Sisi,  on Tuesday, expressed condolences to Al Burhan, Sudanese military leader and president of the country, over the loss of the death of the Sudanese soldiers. 

The Ethiopian government on Tuesday said no Ethiopian army was deployed to the area where the incident occurred.  According to the Ethiopian Defence Force, the fighting was between the local militia in Armachiho and the Sudanese forces.  

Desalegne Ayana said Sudanese forces made advances from the Ethiopian territories they forcefully occupied, and they met resistance from the local militia. 

In the exchange of fire seven were killed on the side of Sudan. One militia was killed from the Ethiopian side. 

Although not confirmed by Desalegne Ayana, other local reports say that four of the victims on the side of Sudan were TPLF fighters. 

Sudanese Forces invaded Ethiopia territories in November 2020 when the Ethiopian Defence Force deployed in the area was removed in connection with what the Ethiopian government called a law enforcement operation against the TPLF following the attack on the northern command of the Ethiopian Defence Force. 

The African Union on Wednesday expressed concern over the escalation of a border dispute between Ethiopia and Sudan.  The Chairperson,  Moussa Faki Mahamat, called for a “complete refrain from any military action whatever it’s origin and calls for dialogue between the two brotherly countries to solve any dispute.” 

Ethiopia, through the public relations director of the Ethiopian Defence Force, Colonel Getnet Adane, on Tuesday expressed readiness to cooperate with the investigation of the incident. 

Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed is advancing a pacifist position in the recent development, and he tends to think that both countries will not benefit from conflict. 

There is an understanding on the part of Ethiopia that the incident was manufactured and that there are other forces behind it. 

In a message, written in Arabic, Abiy Ahmed said Ethiopia and Sudan are capable of resolving the problems they are facing in a spirit of “brotherhood and good neighbourhood.” 

US, EU Call to Not Use Violence Against Sudanese Protesters as Congressmen Call for Sanctions

Demonstrators from the Resistance committee of Almamoura area of Khartoum on Dec 28, 2021 (AFP photo)

June 29, 2022 (KHARTOUM) – U.S. and EU diplomats urged to refrain from violence against the pro-democracy protests planned on Thursday as Congressmen renewed calls for targeted sanctions on the coup leaders.

Pro-democracy forces plan to hold a protest on Thursday to celebrate the 3rd anniversary of the popular rallies that forced the military leaders to hand over power to civilians in August 2019, before a coup that toppled the transitional government.

The Resistance Committees organise neighbourhood protests reminding Sudanese to take to the street on June 30, while the security services arrested activists in a bid to abort the successful demonstration.

The U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Africa Molly Phee spoke on Wednesday with General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan and urged not to use violence to disperse the protests supporting the restoration of a civilian government.

Phee said that she also spoke with the leaders of the Forces for Freedom and Change (FFC) coalition and Sudanese Revolutionary Forces.

“Spoilers must not be allowed to use June 30 protests to undermine progress on restoring the transition,” she added.

For their part, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, Sweden ambassadors and the EU Delegation in Khartoum released a statement calling upon the Sudanese authorities to “guarantee freedom of expression”.

“Moreover, it is essential for protests to remain peaceful and protected by security forces,” added the European diplomats.

General al-Burhan repeated on Wednesday that power handover to civilians requires a national agreement or elections.

“Power transfer cannot be implemented through chaos, sabotage, or the provocation of others,” he said in remarks before to the Sudanese army special forces.

Also, the authorities plan to close bridges in the three cities of the capital Khartoum to prevent protests from Omdurman and Bahri from reaching the presidential place the headquarters of the military-led Sovereign Council.

Also, a disruption to mobile internet access is expected in Khartoum to prevent coordination between the protesters.

Congress urges targeted sanctions

Four Congressmen in Washington issued a joint statement calling on the Sudanese coup leaders to cede power to civilian government and respect the rights of freedom of expression and peaceful protest.

U.S. Senators Bob Menendez, Jim Risch, Chairman and Ranking Member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and Representatives Gregory Meeks and Michael McCaul, Chairman and Ranking Member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee condemned the killing of over 200 civilians in Khartoum and Darfur as result of excessive use of violence against protesters and tribal clashes.

“We urge Sudanese security forces to refrain from using violence to suppress peaceful protests and to respect the rights of the Sudanese people to advocate for change without fear of reprisal,” reads the joint statement.

The congressmen urged the Sudanese military to return to their barracks and called the Biden administration and the international community to take punitive measures against the military leaders.

“We also urge the United States and other members of the international community to curb impunity by imposing individual, targeted sanctions on security force leaders responsible for gross violations of human rights or significant public corruption.”

On Thursday, the security forces killed a protester in Bahri when they fired live ammunition to disperse the neighbourhood protest calling to take part in the national protests of June 30.

(ST)

Ethiopia’s TPLF Group Denies Executing Sudanese Soldiers

TPLF rebels arrive in Mekele, the capital of the Tigray region, Ethiopia on June 29, 2021 (AFP photo)

June 28, 2022 (ADDIS ABABA) – The Ethiopia Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) has denied allegations that its forces executed seven Sudanese soldiers and a civilian inside the Horn of Africa nation’s territory.

Sudan on Sunday said Ethiopia killed its soldiers and a civilian who were prisoners of war and displayed their bodies to the general public.

But the Ethiopian Foreign Affairs ministry, in a statement, said that the “tragic incident” took place inside the Ethiopian territory following an attack carried out by Sudanese troops with the support of “elements of the terrorist TPLF”.

The TPLF is an ethnic nationalist paramilitary group, banned political party, former ruling party of Ethiopia, and designated as a terrorist organization by the Ethiopian government.

The group, in a statement issued on Wednesday, dismissed is alleged involvement in masterminding horrific massacres  against civilians  in Gambella  region and elsewhere.

“In reality, members of the [Ethiopian] regime’s security forces have been captured on tape brutally executing civilians in all regions in a broad daylight on many occasions,” partly reads the statement.

It accused the government under Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed of  millions “forcibly” displacing millions of the population from their homes, while hundreds of thousands have been killed and most parts of the country inaccessible by citizens.

The genocidal  war on Tigray,  the most glaring  expression  of the Abiy regime’s destructive obsession with using force to settle political  differences, has unleashed  a cascade  of events that threaten the survival of Ethiopia as we know it,” the group said.

Meanwhile sources said Sudan has filed a formal complaint with the United Nations Security Council over the killings.

In recent years, tensions between Sudan and Ethiopia have run high in because of a spillover of the conflict in Ethiopia’s northern Tigray region and Ethiopia’s construction of a giant hydropower dam on the Blue Nile.

Tens thousands of refugees have fled into eastern Sudan and there have been military skirmishes in an area of contested farmland along Sudan-Ethiopia border.

(ST)

African Union Calls for Restraint and Dialogue Between Sudan and Ethiopia

June 29, 2022 (KHARTOUM) – The Chairperson of the African Union Commission. Moussa Faki called on Sudan and Ethiopia to refrain from military escalation and to seek a negotiated dispute for the border conflict between the two countries.

Sudanese army on Tuesday attacked Ethiopian troops based in Barkhat area and destroyed their settlement after the killing of seven of its soldiers and the display of their bodies.

Faki on Wednesday released a statement saying he was following with “deep concern” the military escalations between Sudan and Ethiopia.

“The Chairperson appeals for complete refrain from any military action whatever its origin and calls for dialogue between the two brotherly countries to solve any dispute,” further he said.

He further called on the two sides to hold negotiations under “the auspices of the AU Border Program”.

Sudan had already rejected any talks with Ethiopia on the Fashaga area. Khartoum says there are two border demarcation agreements sealed in 1902 and 1975.

Faki’s proposal, which is in line with the Ethiopian demand to engage in new discussions, has very little chance of being accepted by the Sudanese government.

Ethiopia said that the abduction of the Sudanese soldiers and their murder were done by a local militia.

(ST)

African Union Urges Calm in Ethiopia-Sudan Border Dispute

NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) — The African Union says it is deeply concerned by “the escalating military tension” between Ethiopia and Sudan after seven Sudanese soldiers and a civilian were killed in a border dispute.

The statement Wednesday by the chairman of the continent-wide organization urged both countries to cease armed hostilities and hold talks.

The incident happened in the disputed area of al-Fashaqa, which is known to Ethiopians as Alfashga.

Sudan’s Foreign Ministry reported the eight victims had been taken into Ethiopia after the soldiers were held captive in an area inside Sudan on June 22. A separate statement from Sudan’s military described the killings as a “cowardly act” and said Khartoum would retaliate.

Ethiopian authorities have denied its government troops were responsible for the killings. A spokesman for the Ethiopian military blamed Sudanese forces for illegally entering Ethiopia and clashing with a local militia.

“Independent investigations into the matter can be launched with the participation of the two sides,” Getinent Adane said.

Residents of Tach Armacho, an Ethiopian town near the Sudan border, told The Associated Press by phone that their area was hit by heavy artillery fired from Sudan until Tuesday afternoon.

Ties between the neighboring countries have deteriorated in recent years amid a long-running border dispute over large swaths of agricultural land in the al-Fashaqa area. Sudan insists the lands are within its borders, according to an agreement that demarcated the boundary between their territories in the early 1900s.

Sporadic clashes have erupted over the past two years in that area, after Sudan said it reclaimed most of its territory and called on Ethiopia to withdraw troops from at least two locations it says are inside Sudan.

In November, Sudan said six of its troops were killed in an attack by Ethiopian military and militia forces in the area. The two nations have held talks, most recently in Khartoum in December 2020, to settle the dispute over al-Fashaqa, but have not made progress.

Ethiopia, in turn, says Sudan took advantage of the deadly conflict in Ethiopia’s northern Tigray region to enter Ethiopian territory. It has called for Sudanese troops to return to positions they held before fighting erupted in Ethiopia’s Tigray region in November 2020, pitting Ethiopia’s federal forces against regional fighters.

UN Envoy Warns Congo’s M23 Rebels Are Acting Like an Army

By EDITH M. LEDERER

Armed militiamen gather near Rutshuru, 70 kms (45 miles) north of Goma, Democratic Republic of Congo,Wednesday June 22, 2022. Earlier in the week, East Africa's leaders have responded to the threat of war between Rwanda and Congo by instructing a new regional force to deploy in eastern Congo and ordering an immediate cease-fire. A statement after the meeting in Kenya's capital does not give details on the date of deployment of the force or its composition. (AP Photo/Moses Sawasawa)

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — The U.N. special envoy for Congo warned Wednesday that the M23 rebel group has increasingly acted as a conventional army during escalating military action in the country’s volatile east and could threaten the U.N. peacekeeping force charged with protecting civilians.

Bintou Keita urged the U.N. Security Council to fully back regional efforts to defuse tensions between Congo and Rwanda over M23 rebels and other armed groups that have raised fears of war between the neighboring countries.

She also urged Congo and Rwanda to seize the opportunity to resolve their differences at an upcoming summit hosted by Angola’s President Joao Lourenco in the capital, Luanda.

Eastern Congo, which borders Rwanda, lives with the daily threat from dozens of armed groups that jostle for a piece of the region’s rich mineral wealth, which the world mines for electric cars, laptops and mobile phones. The M23, one of the most notorious rebel groups, surged into action this year and captured a key trading town in eastern Congo this month.

Congo has accused Rwanda of supporting the M23, which Rwanda has long denied. Each country has accused the other of recent incursions.

On June 20, east African leaders meeting in the Kenyan capital, Nairobi, responded to the threat of war by instructing a new regional force to deploy in eastern Congo and ordering an immediate cease-fire.

Keita told the Security Council that “during the most recent hostilities, the M23 has conducted itself increasingly as a conventional army rather than an armed group.”

“The M23 possesses firepower and equipment, which is increasingly sophisticated, specifically in terms of long-range fire capacities, mortars and machine guns as well as precision fire against aircraft,” she said. “The threat that this poses both for civilians” and U.N. peacekeepers “who have a mandate to protect them is evident.”

The M23 offensive has had a major impact on civilians, causing the death of 23 people including six children in May and June, and displacing more than 170,000, the U.N. special representative said.

Keita warned that if the M23 continues “its well-coordinated attacks” against the Congolese army and the U.N. peacekeeping force known as MONUSCO “with increasing conventional capabilities, the mission may find itself confronted by a threat that goes beyond its current capabilities.

She also cited threats from other armed groups.

As government forces and the U.N. peacekeeping body shifted troops to focus on the M23, Keita said other armed groups “sought to take advantage of the resulting security vacuum,” increasing attacks in North Kivu and Ituri provinces that killed more than 150 civilians between May 28 and June 17.

Keita later told reporters that deployment of the regional force authorized at the Kenya meeting should complement U.N. peacekeepers: “The most important element and feature for us is coordination, coordination, coordination.”

Fortunately, she said, the regional force will be based in Goma, eastern Congo’s largest city, where U.N. peacekeepers have a coordination center with the Congolese army. She also stressed the importance of the regional force’s commitment to human rights.

Keita said MONUSCO has been informed that the regional force’s headquarters will be deployed by the end of July and its troops should come sometime in August.

U.S. deputy ambassador Richard Mills told the council the United States insists that the regional force’s deployment be closely coordinated with U.N. peacekeepers and conducted under international law and existing Security Council sanctions resolutions.

Keita said she was encouraged by the commitment of Congo’s government to pursue consultations with armed groups and encourage them to lay down their arms and join a national disarmament program, adding that several groups expressed their willingness.

Julienne Lusenge, president of the Congolese organization Female Solidarity for Integrated Peace and Development, told the council about the impact of the worsening conflict in the east on women, saying mothers are cooking “soil to feed their children instead of boiling corn or soya.”

Lusenge also told the story of a woman whose family mortgaged land to pay $700 to ransom a relative. She was kidnapped when she went to deliver the money, forced to cook the entrails of a man who had been killed that were fed to prisoners, and repeatedly raped. After being released, she was detained by another group as she headed home, held as a sexual slave and forced to cook and eat human flesh. She escaped, returned to her village, and learned the family member she went to ransom had been murdered.

Lusenge urged the Security Council to end “any ambiguity of what is happening in the east,” saying U.N. experts have shown Rwanda’s involvement with the M23. And she urged increased protection for civilians to prevent deaths and sexual violence against women and girls, medical and psychological support for survivors, and strengthened dialogue to end the violence and restore stability to eastern Congo.

Wednesday, June 29, 2022

Boat Capsizes off Senegal Coastline, 13 Migrants Killed

By BABACAR DIONE

DAKAR, Senegal (AP) — A boat carrying migrants trying to get to Europe capsized off the coast of Senegal, killing at least 13 people, according to local Red Cross officials.

The incident happened near Kafountine in the southern Casamance area Monday night, said Djadja Sambou, an official with the Senegal Red Cross.

About 150 people were on the boat and 91 people have been rescued, leaving more than 40 missing, said rescue workers. The search is continuing for any survivors or to retrieve bodies.

The boat capsized after a fire broke out on board, according to local news reports.

Government officials are investigating what caused the accident happened and who was in charge of the boat and the migration operation, according to officials in the Ziguinchor area.

Senegal sees many people try to migrate to Europe each year by taking small boats on the hazardous sea route along West Africa’s coastline. In August 2021, a boat carrying around 60 migrants capsized in Saint-Louis, in the north of Senegal, causing dozens of passengers to drown.

Sea, Land Tragedies Claim Lives of 50 Migrants in Libya

By SAMY MAGDY

In this photo released by Doctors Without Borders and taken on June 27, the MSF team rescues 71 people from a rubber boat in distress. A flimsy rubber boat collapsed and sank in the Mediterranean Sea off Libya's coast, leaving at least 30 people including women and children missing and feared dead, the international charity said Wednesday, June 29, 2022. It marked the latest tragedy at sea involving migrants seeking a better life in Europe. (Anna Pantelia/MSF via AP)

CAIRO (AP) — A flimsy rubber boat collapsed and sank in the Mediterranean Sea off Libya’s coast, leaving at least 30 people including women and children missing and feared dead, an international charity said Wednesday.

Officials said meanwhile they found the bodies of 20 migrants who they said died of thirst in the desert close to the border with Chad.

The deaths marked the latest tragedies involving migrants who use Libya as a transit point on a perilous journey to Europe.

The vessel sank in the deadly central Mediterranean Sea route, said Doctors Without Borders, also known by its abbreviation MSF for the French name of the group.

A rescue ship operated by MSF reached the boat, and managed to rescue dozens of other migrants including some women, the charity said. A pregnant woman died on board the rescue ship, Geo Barents.

The missing migrants include five women and eight children, MSF said.

“We have seen so many people drowning — men, women and children — and we will never forget the day we had yesterday. We tried to save them but we couldn’t save them all,” a 17-year-old boy from Cameroon said in a testimony posted by MSF on Twitter.

Libya has in recent years emerged as the dominant transit point for migrants fleeing war and poverty in Africa and the Middle East. The oil-rich country plunged into chaos following a NATO-backed uprising that toppled and killed longtime autocrat Moammar Gadhafi in 2011.

Human traffickers in recent years have benefited from the chaos in Libya, smuggling in migrants across the country’s lengthy borders with six nations. The migrants are then packed into ill-equipped rubber boats and set off on risky sea voyages.

Among the rescued migrants from Monday’s boat sinking was a woman who lost her child in the sinking and another one who said she lost two children, the charity said. Three people on board needed emergency care, including a 4-month-old baby and they were evacuated to Malta. The infant was evacuated along with his mother, MSF said.

“The survivors are exhausted; many have ingested large amounts of seawater and multiple people suffered from hypothermia after spending many hours in the water,” said Stephanie Hofstetter, MSF medical team leader on board.

The charity has called for Italian and Maltese authorities to determine a port of safety to allow the disembarkation of survivors.

The loss of life is the latest tragedy at sea involving migrants trying to cross the Mediterranean from the North African nation in a desperate attempt to reach European shores.

“This is an example of what happens weekly, if not daily in the Central Mediterranean,” said Safa Msehli, a spokeswoman for the International Organization for Migration. “The lack of active monitoring and search and rescue by State actors makes it extremely difficult for us to have the full picture.”

In recent years, the European Union has cooperated with Libyan authorities to prevent the crossings in policies criticized by rights groups.

Rights groups and U.N. agencies have for years documented systematic abuse of migrants in Libya including forced labor, beatings, rapes and torture. The abuse often accompanies efforts to extort money from families before migrants are allowed to leave Libya on traffickers’ boats.

Libyan authorities said Wednesday they found the bodies of 20 migrants who died from thirst in the desert 120 kilometers (around 75 miles) from the border with Chad.

The Ambulance and Emergency Authority in the southeastern city of Kufra said the migrants were on their way from Chad to Libya when their vehicle broke down around 310 kilometers (192 miles) south of the city.

It was not immediately clear when the vehicle broke down.

The agency posted footage online showing rescue workers putting the dead migrants into black body bags before moving them to waiting vehicles.

UN Keeps Peacekeepers in Mali as Russia and China Abstain

By EDITH M. LEDERER

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — The U.N. Security Council voted Wednesday to maintain the U.N. peacekeeping mission in turmoil-wracked Mali, while condemning the West African nation’s military rulers for using mercenaries that commit human rights and humanitarian violations.

The council also expressed “grave concern” at the deteriorating political and security situation in the West African nation.

Russia and China abstained on the French-drafted resolution that extends the mandate of the mission until June 30, 2023, with its current ceiling of 13,289 military personnel and 1,920 international police.

Mali has been in turmoil since a 2012 uprising prompted mutinous soldiers to overthrow the president. The power vacuum that resulted ultimately led to an Islamic insurgency and a French-led war that ousted the jihadists from power in 2013.

But insurgents remain active and extremist groups affiliated with al-Qaida and the Islamic State group have moved from the arid north to more populated central Mali since 2015, stoking animosity and violence between ethnic groups in the region.

Mali’s current ruling junta, which seized power in August 2020, has grown closer to Russia as Moscow has looked to build alliances and gain sway in Africa.

The junta has hired mercenaries from Russia’s Wagner Group, which has been accused by the European Union and human rights groups of violating human rights and international humanitarian law. The Kremlin denies any connection to the company, but Western analysts call it a tool of Russian President Vladimir Putin.

After Wednesday’s vote, France’s U.N. ambassador, Nicolas De Riviere, said violations of human rights and humanitarian law by terrorist groups as well as Malian armed forces accompanied by members of the Wagner Group “must stop.”

Warning that insecurity in Mali is rising, he said the U.N. mission must be given access to areas where alleged violations are committed to fulfill its mandate and publish quarterly human rights reports as the resolution demands. He said that “those responsible for violations must be brought to justice.”

Amid tensions with Mali’s military rulers, France announced in February that its military forces would be out of the country by this summer. But France proposed continuing to provide aerial support to the U.N. peacekeepers, who need the capabilities of attack helicopters. Mali strongly objected to a continued French air presence, however, and the French offer was dropped from the resolution.

U.S. deputy ambassador Richard Mills said one reason the United States supported the resolution was “because it strongly condemns the alarming increase in violations and abuses against civilians and again calls for all parties to cease committing or abetting any violation or abuse.” He said that “this includes terrorist armed groups, the Malian armed forces, and the Kremlin-backed Wagner Group.”

The resolution authorizes the U.N. mission to assist Malian authorities in promoting and protecting human rights. The force also is “to monitor, document, conduct fact-finding missions, help investigate and report publicly” to the Security Council on humanitarian and rights violations, including sexual violence and human trafficking, “and to contribute to efforts to prevent such violations and abuses.”

It also authorizes U.N. peacekeepers to carry out other “priority tasks,” including supporting implementation of a June 2015 peace agreement and the current political transition, supporting the restoration of state authority to central Mali and stabilizing the region, protecting civilians and creating safe environments for delivery of humanitarian aid.

Explaining Russia’s abstention, the country’s deputy U.N. ambassador, Anna Evstigneeva, pointed to the resolution’s “intrusive wording “on human rights, saying it will not help ensure that Mali can exercise its right to protect its own citizens.

“We are concerned that this might be used by those who want to tarnish the work of the transition government and are not pleased with its independent foreign policy approach,” she said. “We to a degree have become used to the fact that our Western colleagues time and again try and push `fakes’ into the council about the apparently disruptive work of Russia in Mali” when Moscow is helping the country combat terrorism.

Last Friday, Mali’s junta leader signed a new law paving the way for elections and a return to constitutional rule in 2024. The law would allow Col. Assimi Goita, who is president of the transitional government and other military members, to be candidates, according to a copy of the legislation seen by The Associated Press.

The resolution on Mali also gives Security Council backing to continued support for the regional counterterrorism force known as the G5 Sahel, which Mali’s military rulers announced they were pulling out of in May. The G5 Sahel force, which also includes soldiers from the neighboring West African states of Niger, Mauritania, Burkina Faso and Chad, was created in 2014 and actually deployed troops in 2017.

The council said it will continue providing medical evacuations and “access to life support consumables and use of engineering plant equipment.” It asked Secretary-General Antonio Guterres “to enhance exchange of information between the peacekeepuing force in Mali and the G5 Sahel states through provision of relevant intelligence.”

Colonial Rhetoric on Egypt’s “Historic Share” from Nile Waters is Unacceptable

Ethiopia has been working on the win-win solution regarding using Nile waters. It believes that over 250 million people of the Blue Nile Basin have to benefit fairly from the water. This stance of the country that contributes over 85 percent of the water deserves recognition instead of rejecting it putting unnecessary pressure in place.

The European Union’s (EU) latest statement for the preservation of Egypt’s “historic share” from Nile waters is a one-sided and contravenes the Union’s impartial status regarding the construction of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD).

According to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ethiopia, EU’s backing of Egypt’s mythical historic share from Nile waters is not something expected from observers and the stance needs reconsideration. This stance of the EU contradicts that it had before.

Some two years back, the European Commission and European Council acknowledged the strategic significance of the Nile River and Ethiopia’s mega hydro-power under construction. This is indicated in a letter Presidents of European Council and European Commission have written to Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed of Ethiopia. The two presidents have indicated that they encourage discussions and negotiations among the major Nile Riparian countries, Ethiopia, Egypt and Sudan to resolve the issue peacefully. They also expressed their interest to bring aboard international cross boundary water experts that can help the disputing countries reach agreement on the use of the Nile River and GERD.

On top of contradicting its impartial stance thus, EU’s latest comment showcases the union’s departure from its mandate and affinity with Egypt. The move also puts the EU’s integrity and impartiality in the negotiations in a doubt.

Though promoting a win-win benefit from the Nile waters among the riparian countries, Ethiopia strictly defies the colonial rhetoric the so called Egypt’s “historic share” that allocated all the Nile River’s Water to Egypt and Sudan. Although Egypt has persistently argued that the 1959 agreement between Egypt and Sudan is the legal framework for the allocation of the waters of the Nile, Ethiopia and other upstream riparian states reject that argument.

The 1959 agreement allocated all the Nile River’s waters to Egypt and Sudan, leaving 10 billion cubic meters (b.c.m.) for seepage and evaporation, but afforded no water to Ethiopia or other upstream riparian states—the sources of most of the water that flows into the Nile.

This agreement of colonial era that excluded Ethiopia, the source of the river is totally unacceptable and the European Union should reconsider the issue and correct its comment in the way it reveals its impartiality.

The main reason repeatedly expressed that Ethiopia is constructing GERD is to generate hydro power to give light to its over 60 percent population living in the darkness at the moment and enable them to produce enough food for their family. It has no such evil intention of blocking the river and putting in danger the livelihood of the lower riparian people.

The Ethiopian Herald  25 June 2022

Amhara, Oromia States Toil in Unison to Counter Terrorism

ADDIS ABABA – Chief Administrators of the Amhara and Oromia states expressed firm stance to counter the terrorist and extremist forces’ attempts to disrupt the peaceful balance that exits between the two largest ethnic groups of the country.

Amhara State Chief Yilkal Kefale (PhD) and his Oromia State counterpart Shimeles Abdissa exchanged views on ways to deter the Terrorist-Shene’s ethnic- motivated killings of civilians in different parts of Oromia on Sunday. Accordingly, they came to terms to strengthen the law enforcement operation to neutralize the criminal faction.

As to Yilkal, Shene’s ethnic-motivatedkillings of civilians aim to create dismemberment and disrupt the age-old peace of the country. “In collaboration with the Oromia State, we will work to ensure peace and order and not allow similar atrocities to be committed on the defenseless people.”

The leadership should bear common understanding to prevent such kinds of atrocities and ensure peace and stability. Leadership at all levels should guarantee the safety of civilians and take appropriate measures to prevent future problems. “All Ethiopians also expected to support the law enforcement efforts across the country.”

 As to Yilkal, both states have been exchanging information in the border areas and forming a joint committee to fight the common enemy. “Shene is not only the enemy of the people of Amhara, it is the enemy of all Ethiopians.”

Oromia State Chief Administrator Shimeles Abdissa said for his part T-Shene has been employing violence, killing, attacking and abducting of civilians as the means of achieving its ill-intended goal. As a result, the leadership and security forces of the Oromia State paid noble sacrifices while defending their people.

Shimeles further highlighted that Shene’s frequent attacks on ethnic Amharas targeted to create a hate and suspicion between the people of Amhara and Oromo. “The hearts of the people of Oromo have been broken by the radical element’s recent killings of ethnic Amharas in Wollega though the attack will never break our unity and brotherhood. We should not only condemn the act, but also work together to maintain our country’s unity and will take merciless actions against the terrorist group.”

The two states reached consensus to work together for the successful conduct of the law enforcement operation and consolidate the military, political and security apparatus, he remarked.

BY TSEGAYE TILAHUN

The Ethiopian Herald  28 June 2022

Ethiopia Says Sudanese Defense Force Misrepresented Facts About Border Incident

June 27, 2022

The Ethiopian government tends to believe that the recent incident along the Ethio-Sudan border area is a “concocted” one. 

Disputed Al-Fashaga area between Ethiopia and Sudan border ( Map : Institute For Security Studies)

Borkena 

After Sudan accused Ethiopia of capturing and executing seven Sudanese soldiers,  the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ethiopia on Monday said that the Sudanese Defence Forces misrepresented facts about the border incident which is said to have occurred on June 22, 2022. 

On the date mentioned above, the Sudanese forces, with support from the TPLF terrorists,  made additional incursions into the Ethiopian territory along the border –  a development that triggered a skirmish with the local militia. 

Sudan made claims, according to a report by Reuters, that its soldiers were taken from within the Sudanese territory and executed in Ethiopia. 

The update from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ethiopia admitted that there were losses [unspecified number] of lives during the clash between local militia and Sudanese forces. 

“The Ethiopian Government regrets the loss of life as a result of a skirmish between the Sudanese army and a local militia of which an investigation would be carried out soon,”  said the statement from the MFAE. 

As to the narrative from the government of Sudan regarding what it called “execution”, Ethiopia rejected it as a “misrepresentation of facts.” 

The Ministry said, “Whereas the above was what has transpired at the common border, the Government of Ethiopia categorically rejects the misrepresentation of these facts by the Sudanese defense forces that unjustly put the blame on Ethiopia while it was the Sudanese army unit that has crossed into the Ethiopian border provoking the incident.” 

Sudan invaded Ethiopian territories in November 2020 soon after the Ethiopian troops posted in the area were relocated to Northern Ethiopia to carry out what the Ethiopian government called at the time “law enforcement operation” against the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) after the latter attacked the Northern Command of the Ethiopian Defense Force in the same month. 

It appeared that Sudan was coordinating with the TPLF. This month,Simo Parviainen,  a former Finnish diplomat warned that TPLF is working with partners in Sudan and Egypt as part of its preparation for the next round of war. 

There were also reports that over 20,000 TPLF troops were in Sudan poised as asylum seekers. Despite talks for peaceful negotiation, the TPLF government has been making preparations to launch another round of war against Ethiopia. 

Sudan is recalling, according to an Aljazeera report, its Ambassador to Ethiopia. 

For the government of Ethiopia, the latest incident along the Ethio-Sudan border area is a manufactured one with the intention to distract Ethiopia from its effort to attain development. 

“The Government of Ethiopia believes that the incident was deliberately concocted to undermine the deep-rooted relations between the peoples of Ethiopia and the Sudan. On top of that, the incident was designed to destruct [distract] Ethiopia from its path of peace and development,” said the statement from the Ministry. 

Meanwhile, Egyptian News sources are reporting that Sudanese forces took control of territories in Ethiopia. 

 In breaking news coverage, Daily News Egypt reported ” Sudan’s army says it took control of “Frankincense Fortress” military camp in Al-Fashaga after intense fighting with Ethiopian forces. This comes as the Sudanese army vowed to avenge the 7 Sudanese soldiers who were executed in Ethiopia.” 

The Ethiopian government did not remark on that at this writing. 

Ethiopia Says it is Ready to Cooperate with Investigation of Sudanese Soldiers “Execution”

June 28, 2022

Sudan news sources claim a large-scale offensive in retaliation for soldiers killed within the Ethiopian border. Ethiopian Defense Force said there were no troops deployed to the area into which the Sudanese Forces made an incursion last week    

Colonel Getnet Adane , Ethiopian Defense Force Public Relations Director ( Photo credit : ENA

Borkena 

Ethiopian Defense Force Public Relations Director, Colonel Getnet Adane, on Tuesday, said that the Ethiopian Defense Force is ready to cooperate in the investigation of claims of execution of seven Sudanese soldiers.

“Regarding the attack, if there is any entity interested in investigating it, Defense Force representatives from the two countries could form a committee and the Ethiopian Defense Force is ready to cooperate,” he said, as cited in an Ethiopian News Agency report.  

The claim, on the part of Sudan, that the Ethiopian Forces executed soldiers in a way that violates war captive treatment is baseless, it was said. 

Colonel Getnet said that the Ethiopian Defense Force was not posted in the parts of Ethiopian border areas into which the Sudanese force made incursions last week. 

He added that Sudanese Forces who made incursions into the Ethiopian area “clashed with local militias[from the Ethiopian side]”, and that there were casualties on both sides. 

“The Ethiopian army does not operate like a bandit. It has a strict command system and will not act without orders from the government,” Colonel Getnet said.  

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ethiopia on Monday issued a statement saying Sudan misrepresented the facts about the death of seven Sudanese soldiers inside the Ethiopian border in the Al-Fashga area. 

Claims of large-scale military offensive by Sudanese Forces 

Meanwhile, Sudan news sources are making claims that the Sudanese  Defense Force launched an extensive attack on the Ethiopian Defense Force positions in the Al-Fashaga area. 

Sudan Tribune on Tuesday said, “Sudanese army launched a large-scale attack on the Ethiopian troops remaining inside the disputed border area of Al Fashaga on Tuesday.” 

It also cited a reporter in Gadaref to report that “the Sudanese army retook Kala-Leban and Barkhat settlements and Tesfai Adawi Hills in the Fashaga.” 

The number of casualties from this operation is unspecified but it said that “dozens of Ethiopian troops” were captured. 

The Ethiopian government has not yet remarked on the claims of the Sudanese Forces victory in Al-Fasgaga following the incident on June 22. 

Ethiopian analysts and activists related the latest crisis along the Ethio-Sudan border to a move made to obstruct the third filling of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam.

The Ethiopian government on Monday said the crisis was a concocted one.

Al Burhan’s government of Sudan has been supporting the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) after the latter attacked the Northern command of Ethiopian Forces in November 2020.

Ethiopia Dialogue Forum Statement on Amhara Genocide

June 26, 2022

Ethiopian Dialogue Forum Board calls for an end to deliberate and Accelerated Amhara Genocide. Appealed to the international community and to all Ethiopians

From the Ethiopian Dialogue Forum Board (EDF) 

The 1994 Rwandan Genocide that claimed the lives of hundreds of thousands of ethnic Tutsis shocked the entire world. Yet, the Ethiopian census of 2007 that showed 2.5 million ethnic Amhara missing did not draw attention at all. It became local news for a brief time. Ethiopians and the rest of the world forgot this ominous episode quickly. Since the replacement of the Socialist regime by the Meles-led TPLF/EPRDF regime in 1991, a pre-planned destruction of the Amhara people was set in motion using different methods-mass killings, displacements, and dispossession of Amhara everywhere in the country, the burning of Amhara-majority towns, villages, and places of worship, and the relentless expulsion of Amhara from their homesteads, localities, jobs, and enterprises. The culprits behind this synchronized and recurrent action intended to kill the will of Amhara to live.

Despite this extreme oppression, the Amhara fought for change for more than 27 years at great human sacrifice. Amhara paved the way for Abiy Ahmed’s rise to power in 2018. Amhara celebrated his rise with hope. But since the coming to power of Abiy Ahmed’s regime in 2018, atrocities against the Amhara accelerated through the agency of Oromo ethno-nationalists who felt empowered. Tens of thousands of Amhara killed. Regional and local ethnic elites displaced millions from regions of Ethiopia now named Oromia and Ben Shangul-Gumuz. These displaced millions are slowly dying from lack of food, abysmal shelters, and absence of any medical care. Victims live in extremely overcrowded concentration camps. These concentration camps abound around many Amhara-region towns like Bahir Dar, Debre Tabor, Dessie, Debre Berhan, and tens of others.

In addition to the wars that have been unleashed on the Amhara from the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) in the north and east and the Oromo Liberation Army (OLA) in the South and West of the Amhara majority regional state, regional Special forces and militia as well as Ethiopian federal government forces and security initiated and commanded target Amhara and attack forces everywhere are carrying out unceasing mass murder of Amhara peasants and poor people in the so called Oromia and Ben Shangul-Gumuz regions in full view of the world.

Surviving victims have provided eyewitness accounts to the international and local media that local government authorities, police, militia, Special Forces, and others have participated in mass killings and the eviction of Amhara. Documentary evidence, eyewitness accounts and other testimonies are available in video recordings in the Ethiopian Diaspora media and other archives. Videos showing bulldozer-assisted burials of hundreds of Amhara in mass graves are also available in different YouTube archives.

The most recent gruesome Rwanda-like genocide of more than 1,500 Amhara infants, children, pregnant women, the elderly, men, and women of all ages occurred on June 18-19, 2022. This latest figure differs from the locally reported figure of four hundred. This time, the international media woke up and reported this latest genocide like massacre targeting Amhara solely because they are Amhara.

Most international media– BBC, Guardian, NBC, AP, AFP, NPR, PBS New Hour, New York Times, Washington Post, and other media reported on June 19 and June 20, the early estimates of those murdered in a single day at two hundred. Tragically, this initial number continues to rise rapidly as local surviving residents uncover hundreds of dead bodies each hour and each day scattered in several locations and, in many cases, decomposed. On June 20, 2022, the BBC reported on “Ethiopia Violence in Oromia” and wrote “about villages full of dead bodies.” Its investigation showed those slaughtered were all Amhara bodies.

EDF joins other Ethiopian groups in urging that the United Nations, the African Union, the USA, members of the European Union, specialized UN agencies, all human rights organizations, and all members of Ethiopia’s huge Diaspora across the globe express moral outrage and condemn this latest Amhara genocide perpetrated by the Oromo Liberation Army/Shine and its regional and federal government enablers.

EDF also urges Western and African Governments as well as the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights in partnership with the Ethiopian Human Rights Commission to demand that the federal government of Ethiopia establish a credible and independent investigation body promptly and charge it to conduct a thorough investigation of Amhara genocide and bring the culprits to a court of law. We believe accountability is imperative.

EDF joins Ethiopians around the globe in demanding accountability at the highest level of the Federal Government of Ethiopia led by Prime Minster Abiy Ahmed Ali as well as the regional state administration of Oromia led by Mr. Shimelis Abdissa. There cannot be justice or peace or development without accountability for crimes of genocide.

Finally, the EDF Board and members urge the Ethiopia Diaspora to conduct peaceful demonstrations across the globe using the hashtag “Stop Amhara genocide now.”

The sponsor of this appeal, the, Ethiopian Dialogue Forum (EDF) is a USA based think-tank duly registered as a 501 (C) (3) non-profit organization. Since its formation more than a decade ago, EDF has engaged prominent scholars, academics, activists, political leaders, legal and other experts; and sponsored one hundred forums; and disseminated findings on institutional and structural policy issues that affect Ethiopia and the rest of Africa.

Ethiopian Dialogue Forum (EDF) 

Ethiopian Police Attacked University Students in Addis Ababa

June 26, 2022

Abiy Ahmed came to power following prevalent protest in the country about four or five years ago. Now he is himself facing protest in many parts of Ethiopia over the massacre of ethnic Amhara 

One of the Addis Ababa University students who was attacked by Federal Police on Saturday June 26, 2022 in the capital Addis Ababa. (Photo: Social Media)

Borkena 

Ethiopian Federal Police attacked Addis Ababa University students who were protesting against genocide on Amhara in the Wollega region of Ethiopia. 

Hundreds of Students gathered from the Addis Ababa University campuses on Saturday morning to add their voices against what many Ethiopians believe is an orchestrated genocide against unarmed ethnic Amhara communities in the Wollega region of Ethiopia. 

Addis Ababa University Students’ Protest came a day after Gondar University Students took to the street to protest against the periodic and seemingly unending massacre of ethnic Amhara communities in the Oromo region of Ethiopia. 

No students are reported dead from police brutality in the capital Addis Ababa. However, some students were severely beaten by the Federal Police. 

Pictures circulating on social media (like the one featured above) show students soaked in blood after they were attacked by police. 

About 200 Addis Ababa University students made it to the street for the protest, according to the source.  

The Federal police had received information earlier and did not allow many students to leave campus to join the protest, DW Amharic reported, on Saturday, citing university Students. 

The students reportedly told the source that they were within their constitutional rights and were marching with bare hands. 

They did not chant offensive slogans blaming the government. They chanted slogans calling for an end to the ethnic-based killing. 

Federal police members were seen near Addis Ababa University campuses right after they dispersed the hundreds of students who attempted to march on the streets. 

There were also defence force members in a pickup and armed with snipers, according to DW Amharic report. 

Local sources say as many as 1500 ethnic Amharas were savagely massacred in the latest string of attacks in the Wollega region of Ethiopia. 

Hundreds of others were wounded and thousands dispersed in the jungles hoping to escape from the attackers. 

The military wing of the Oromo Liberation Front (the government calls it Shane) has been launching a recurrent attack against Ethnic Amhara communities in the rural area of the Wollega region over the past four years (since Abiy Ahmed became Prime Minister). 

Some government authorities in the area where the massacre took place are said to have been involved in facilitating the attack. Government security forces were not, according to local sources, deployed for several hours to the area as the radical Oromo nationalist armed groups were roving the villages for a killing spree. 

An increasing number of Ethiopians now tend to believe that Prime Minister Abiy is either weak with no ability to tackle the security crisis or that he has sympathy for the radical ethnic nationalist group.

Amhara Region Police Arrest Six Over Alleged Terror Plot

June 28, 2022

A total of 20 arrests including those who are said to have collaborated in what police call the Bahir Dar terror plot. Federal and regional authorities involved in investigating it 

Bahir Dar City (Photo /File. Source: social media)

Borkena 

The Amhara regional state on Tuesday said it has arrested what it called suspects who were on the move to launch a terrorist attack in Bahir Dar city, the seat of the regional administration. 

Fourteen others who are said to have collaborated with the suspects, according to the regional police, are also arrested. Residents of the city are said to have collaborated with security forces in making the arrest possible. 

Authorities say that the suspects exploded grenades in four locations in the city on Monday evening. 

A report by Amhara Media Corporation (AMC) indicated that police searched the residences of suspects on the same day.  

Police made further claims that it had seized a sniper, two grenades, a machine gun, and more than 3700 ammunition during the search operation in the residences of the suspects. 

It is unclear whether the suspects are linked to organised groups or if their move was politically motivated. 

AMC, government-owned media, cited Commander Debalke as saying that Federal and regional authorities are undertaking an investigation on the suspects ( whose identities are undisclosed at this point in time), and the result will be made public. 

The Amhara regional state had been undertaking a crackdown since last month. It was claiming that it is targeting groups who are operating in the region under the guise of FANO but working either for enemies of Ethiopia or to achieve a criminal purpose. 

Over 4500 residents were arrested in the operation. 

Opposition parties and activists have criticised the government crackdown. Many believed that it was intended to weaken FANO – a  volunteer militia group that played a key role in reversing the TPLF military invasion of the Amhara region.