Thursday, May 19, 2022

West’s Unwise Moves Lead to Global Food Crisis, Says Russian Ambassador to US

In other words, problems emerged long before the beginning of Russia’s special operation in Ukraine, Antonov said

Russian Ambassador to the US Anatoly Antonov Anton Novoderezhkin/TASS

© Anton Novoderezhkin/TASS

WASHINGTON, May 19. /TASS/. Unwise macroeconomic moves of western countries have ruined the global food security, Russian Ambassador to the United States Anatoly Antonov said on Wednesday, adding that problems in this area started long before the beginning of the special military operation in Ukraine.

"Food security had been ruined for several years by unwise macroeconomic steps of the collective West fueled by the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic. In other words, problems emerged long before the beginning of Russia’s special operation in Ukraine," Antonov was quoted as saying by the press service of the embassy on its Telegram channel.

The food crisis deteriorated after a wave of "unilateral and illegitimate anti-Russia sanctions that undermined western governments’ credibility because of unpredictability of their actions, as well as broke supply chains and interrupted international financial flows," he said, noting that statements made by western nations that "their bans do not cover supplies of food and fertilizers are deceit" as "sanctions in the financial and transport areas directly influence the situation on global food markets."

That said, "Russia remains committed to its obligations on international contracts regarding export supplies of agriculture products, fertilizers, energy and other important goods," the diplomat stressed.

UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres said earlier on Wednesday that the global community would not be able to fully solve the issue of food crisis without Russian and Belarusian fertilizers, as well as without Ukrainian grain. Russian products and fertilizers should have full and unlimited access to global markets, he noted.

Russian President Vladimir Putin said on February 24 that in response to a request by the heads of the Donbass republics he had made a decision to carry out a special military operation, after which the US and its allies slapped sanctions against Russian persons and legal entities, as well as sped up arms supplies to Kiev.

Russia to Use BWC in Relation to US Over Military Biological Research in Ukraine

Earlier, the Russian Defense Ministry informed that the special military operation in Ukraine produced evidence the Kiev regime was urgently eliminating traces of a US Department of Defense-funded military biological program in Ukraine

© Russian Foreign Ministry/TASS

MOSCOW, May 18. /TASS/. Moscow will resort to articles 5 and 6 of the Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production and Stockpiling of Bacteriological (Biological) and Toxin Weapons and on their Destruction to investigate Washington’s research into biological weapons in Ukraine, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova told a news briefing on Wednesday.

"We are getting ready to employ the mechanisms established under articles 5 and 6 of the Convention, by which the signatories are obliged to hold consultations with each other in making any decisions regarding the purposes of the Convention or in connection with the implementation of its provisions, and also to cooperate in conducting any investigations of suspected violations of obligations under the convention," Zakharova said.

Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov earlier said the special military operation in Ukraine produced evidence the Kiev regime was urgently eliminating traces of a US Department of Defense-funded military biological program in Ukraine. He said that according to staffers of Ukrainian biolaboratories a number of extremely dangerous pathogens, such as those causing plague, anthrax, tularemia, cholera and other lethal diseases were urgently destroyed on February 24.

US Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Victoria Nuland, while testifying before the US Senate’s foreign relations committee on March 9, acknowledged that in Ukraine there were some facilities conducting clandestine biological research and Washington was keen to prevent Russian forces from gaining control of these facilities. She said the US Department of State was "quite concerned that Russian troops, Russian forces, may be seeking to gain control of [those labs], so we are working with the Ukrainians on how they can prevent any of those research materials from falling into the hands of Russian forces".

West Undermines Strategic Stability in Europe — Russian Security Council’s Chief

Nikolay Patrushev recalled that the Western countries had unilaterally severed a number of major international treaties, including those in the field of arms control

Russian Security Council Secretary Nikolay Patrushev Alexei Nikolsky/Russian Presidential Press and Information Office/TASS

© Alexei Nikolsky/Russian Presidential Press and Information Office/TASS

MOSCOW, May 18. /TASS/. The Western countries have undermined strategic stability in Europe and the Middle East and jeopardized the architecture of security in the Asia-Pacific Region, as well as destabilized the world situation in general, the secretary of Russia’s Security Council, Nikolay Patrushev, said in a message of greeting to foreign ambassadors who are meeting with the Security Council’s staff on Wednesday.

Patrushev stressed that amid the emergence of new centers of power the world was turning increasingly unstable due to certain countries’ reluctance to lose their geopolitical dominance. These countries, Patrushev said, acting in defiance of the others’ interests have intentionally ruined the system of international stability that had taken yeas to build and ignored Russia’s security guarantee proposals.

"As a result, strategic stability has been upset in Europe and the Middle East and the architecture of security in the Asia-Pacific Region placed in jeopardy. The war of sanctions against Russia has sharply destabilized the economic situation around the world. Many countries are faced with the risk of famine," Patrushev said.

He recalled that the Western countries had unilaterally severed a number of major international treaties, including those in the field of arms control. At the same time, projects beneficial to select few were being promoted to create new closed military-political blocs in various regions of the world, Patrushev added.

"The very same forces are stubbornly devaluing the potential of international law in an attempt to replace it with some kind of a "rule-based order", the rules of those who create it, and not of the entire world community," Patrushev noted. In addition, he stressed, attempts are continuing to undermine the key role of the United Nations and a number of other multilateral institutions, primarily in the field of maintaining global security and conflict resolution. The activity of special and specialized structures of the United Nations is being politicized.

"Under these conditions, the countries that are really striving to ensure stability in the interests of the entire world, including Russia, suggest developing a peaceful, secure, open and cooperation-based unifying agenda, ultimately aimed at the socio-economic development of states, at improving the well-being of their peoples and at building a single and indivisible architecture of international security. However, this will be difficult to achieve without coordinated and concerted action by of the entire world community," Patrushev concluded.

Eritrea Says the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) Planning a Large-scale Invasion

May 18, 2022

Eritrea vows to defend its sovereignty in the face of TPLF’s new war 

Borkena 

Eritrea on Tuesday said the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) is preparing for war. 

In an editorial statement issued in Tigrigna, the Ministry of Information of Eritrea said the TPLF is this time targeting Eritrea’s entire sovereign territory with the aim to subdue it. 

It also said that the TPLF plans to take control of the Wolkait and Humera areas, and open up access to Sudan. 

Destabilizing the entire Horn of Africa region is another aim that the TPLF is pursuing by way of launching a new war is also a goal that TPLF is pursuing, according to the Statement. 

The Eritrean government also noted that TPLF has been getting food, medicine, and gas in large quantities under the guise of humanitarian aid just before starting its war. 

Eritrea stressed that it has a legitimate right to defend its sovereignty and freedom.  

Soon after the TPLF attacked the Northern Command of the Ethiopian Defence Force in November 2020, it undertook rocket attacks against Eritrea but it did not last long as the TPLF was stripped of its capability to launch rocket attacks. 

Two cities in the Amhara region of Ethiopia were also targeted with rockets, Bahir Dar and Gondar. 

During a meeting with the European delegation about two weeks ago, Ethiopia announced that the TPLF has been engaged in massive military mobilisation including by way of forced conscription in the Tigray region of Ethiopia. The TPLF however denied the accusation. 

In addition to Eritrea and the Federal government of Ethiopia, the Amhara region of Ethiopia issued a statement this week in which it said the TPLF is planning to invade the region again. It ordered the security forces in the region to be on standby. 

Following the Ethiopian government’s declaration of humanitarian truce, there has been a consistent flow of aid to the Tigray region. Hundreds of trucks that delivered aid to the region did not return. 

There is a speculation that they might have been diverted to aid TPLF’s war effort. 

A Reuters report this week seems to confirm that the TPLF is indeed engaged in forced conscription. 

Eritrea Foremost Ally of Ethiopia: MoFA

wendimagegn — May 18, 2022

ADDIS ABABA – As Eritrea has been Ethiopia’s foremost security and political ally, the two countries are now getting ready various pacts aiming at boosting economic cooperation and strengthening people to people ties, so said Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ethiopia (MoFA).

Presenting MoFA’s nine months’ performance report to the House of Peoples’ Representatives, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Affairs Minister Demeke Mekonnen said that Eritrea has stood with Ethiopia during the latter’s difficult time. It is high time to beef up the two sisterly countries’ economic cooperation like the security and political ones.

Currently, the two sides are strengthening ties, Demeke said. Adding that various activities are being done to develop frameworks for putting in place infrastructure that facilitate cross-border trade, usage of ports, trade exchange, custom services and immigration, as well as other frameworks that could benefit the people of the two countries.

He further stated that the joint campaigns of Ethiopian and Eritrea Diasporas have played an indispensable role in fighting against some western countries’ pressures on Ethiopia.

“Ethiopians and Eritreans have to continue working hard in unison in a bid to achieve their common interests curbing interference and enhancing people-to-people ties.”

He also hailed members of Ethiopians and Eritreans Diasporas for standing against the coordinated foreign forces’ pressure targeting the two countries.

 BY ABDUREZAK MOHAMMED

The Ethiopian herald may 18/2022

The New Fronts of Information Warfare Against Ethiopia

wendimagegn — May 12, 2022

Since the onset of the law enforcement operation in Tigray State, the low-rated international media outlets have been spreading untrustworthy information that does not reflect the honest truth unfolding countrywide. It is evident that the country was between the hammer and the anvil following the nefarious deeds of some western media outlets that have been fanning the flames. In consideration of the foregoing, Ethiopia managed to pass through many twists and turns.

However, in due course, through the coordinated efforts of Ethiopians residing at home and abroad, the country ended up foiling the heinous deeds of the media outlets. Notwithstanding the fact that the media outlets moved heaven and earth to turn the tables on Ethiopia, they failed to actualize the desired objective according to expectations.

In the aftermath of their misguided policy towards Ethiopia, the media outlets have been persistently weaning themselves from the unvarnished truth and failing to lift the lid. As their propaganda machines continuously produce and spread abundant fake news, they were able to perplex the international community in a number of instances.

Albeit the ultimate goal of the media outlets was to bring the terrorist TPLF group to power, they failed to pursue their objectives given that the truth is on Ethiopia’s side.

It is absurd indeed that some western media outlets left no stone unturned to create chaos and put the lives of noncombatants at risk by taking sides with the terrorist TPLF group. In the face of continued pressure and defamation from internal and external actors, Ethiopia managed to stand tall and resist challenges.

In a similar vein, forming alliances with the terrorist TPLF group, the so-called international media outlets have been whitewashing atrocities perpetrated in various parts of Afar and Amhara states. Instead of turning the tide and normalizing the circumstances, the media outlets have been upping the ante and endeavoring to back the country into a corner.

In the present climate, as always, some of the low-rated international media outlets have continued mystifying the international community with misleading information. Their evil deeds have demonstrated no sign of decelerating.

In the wake of the hidden agenda of some western media outlets, quite a lot of Ethiopians and friends of Ethiopia have been counteracting the coordinated camping against Ethiopia. They have been as well countering the ongoing smear campaign against Ethiopia by supplying the international community with indisputable truth.

While calculatingly condemning the incumbent government, the so-called media outlets have been giving the cold shoulder to the shocking summary killing, and other criminal acts perpetrated by the terrorist group. Sadly, they have been demonstrating a one-sided approach getting off journalistic ethics and standards more than ever.

Amidst a new preparation of the terrorist TPLF group to restart attack against Ethiopia, a new front of information warfare is being waged against Ethiopia by the partnership of some international human rights groups and media outlets.

Lately, Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch and BBC carried out wrong information in their so-called ‘Western Tigray’ atrocities. The Ethiopian government and Amhara State have been quick to expose the defamatory reports urging the organizations to retract their biased statements.

Responding to BBC recent fake story, University of Gondar that was accused of eliminating evidence said that the University of Gondar unequivocally rejects the defamatory allegations which are unbefitting to our educational institution. The University of Gondar is one of the most respected research-based educational institutions in Ethiopia which is devoted to solving some of society’s pressing issues through evidence-based research and community engagement. As one of the few higher research institutions in the country, we have an immense responsibility to uncover and bring to light those issues that are of importance to the general population, the university added.

As part of the aforementioned mandated responsibilities, the University of Gondar has been conducting a yearlong comprehensive study of decades-long evidence on alleged gross human rights violations committed against the Amhara people living in Welkaite, Tegede, and Telemt by the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF).

Consistent with human rights organizations’ standards and academic research integrity, the University’s research team discovered that thousands of Amharas were killed and buried in mass following the forceful annexation of the above-stated areas to the Tigray region in the mid-1990s. The research team uncovered a systematic consortium of mass graves the TPLF used to bury Amharas who participated in the resistance movement that was against the annexation of said lands into Tigray. The research team held a press conference regarding the findings on April 7, 2022.

The University of Gondar is shocked that a global news network with the stature of the BBC would publish such fabrications without an iota of evidence. The research team’s only motive is to scientifically investigate the reported acts of genocide committed against the local Amhara inhabitants in Welkite, Tegede, and Telemt over the past 40 years.

No such evidence of “Tigrayan mass graves” was ever discovered as alleged by the free-lance journalist. However, if any such graves of Tigrayans were discovered, the research team and the University of Gondar would have been the first to acknowledge and provide the evidence.

Writing in a tone that resembles TPLF propaganda, the article’s goal seems to be to tarnish the meticulous research and reputation of our experts and the University of Gondar. Such journalism lacks integrity and is unscientific in its nature. The seriousness of the current accusations and the ill intent the report intended to inflict on our institution is a clear attempt to censor the freedom of scientific exploration. Loose and unsubstantiated claims without evidence, as reported by the journalist, can be detrimental to the mission and vision of education everywhere and must be investigated by the BBC with the utmost attention, according to the university.

“We believe the BBC, as an international news outlet, has a weighty responsibility to safeguard the scientific flow and dissemination of educational institutions’ research and a strict and methodical editorial process should be followed moving forward when defamatory reporting is made against institutions of higher learning.

We call on the BBC to retract this article, properly investigate the author, check the validity of the sources, and investigate the editorial process that was followed.”

Similarly, the American photojournalist Jemal Countess has blamed “The Guardian” newspaper for misuse and repurpose of his photographs taken from the Sekota refugee camp in Amhara region to support the TPLF’s merits.

“The Guardian” had used one of the photographs captured by Countess in Sekota of the Amhara Regional State in Ethiopia to illustrate an alleged “ethnic cleansing” story in Tigray region and based on Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch that the Ethiopian government categorically rejected, according to Information obtained from Ethiopian News Agency.

The photograph was taken by the American photojournalist in March 30, 2022 and portrayed a group of internally displaced women from the Wag Hemra Zone sitting together in a shelter at the Meberat Hayl IDP camp.

Approached by ENA, Countess said “The Guardian” misrepresented the location and time of the photograph at the Sekota refugee camp for Amhara fleeing TPLF when he had taken it during his visit in the area.

By changing the photo caption in its recent publication, he pointed out that this media outlet used the photo as a joint report for Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch.

According to him, the changes to the caption in recent publications are dishonest.

“But ethically speaking you are supposed to use the photo and context and include the caption or at least make mention of the caption of the context of the photo. They basically ignored everything.”

The journalist note that this happens so frequently with “The Guardian” that it is just kind of lost. “I don’t know how to say it without really, you know, the publication down so to speak. But I mean it does cast its credibility and its ethical standards into doubt.”

He stated that this media sticks a photo on to an article that favors Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International’s report.

“It basically is a stab at the suffering of the people in the photo. It is a kind of a big middle finger to everybody else. You know, because this is just the other aspect of it is just like they are basically working with the TPLF and may have a couple of staff members that are affiliated with the TPLF.”

The photo misused and repurposed to support the TPLF merits has to really look at the fact that this network that TPLF leaders built, owned and ran the media operations of the whole time when they were in power, Countess underscored.

In fact, according to information obtained from Counter Punch war is big, loud, and significant and attracts an audience; media likes it.

In all conflicts mainstream media plays a crucial role, often inflammatory, feeding the discord through a particular narrative. Western media claims it is independent, but this is fallacious; corporate owned or State sponsored, it is conditioned by a particular world-view,ideologically/politically, nationalistically, historically.

To sum up, the more often something is repeated, the louder the drumbeat of insistence on its truth, no matter how incredible it may be. In this regard, Ethiopians should stand to defend their country both in battlefields and in the media frontiers.

BY ADDISALEM MULAT

The Ethiopian herald may 12/2022

Shene: TPLF’s Junior Partner in Crime

wendimagegn — May 14, 2022

Serving as the Trojan horse of the arch-enemy of Ethiopia, the terrorist TPLF group, Shene has been orchestrating a spree of civilian killings in Oromia and Amhara adjacent areas. In fact, both partners in crimes have been causing unprecedented carnage in different parts of the country. The self-proclaimed liberation group has rather been denying the rights of the Oromo population and other communities. The disgruntled group has also been singling out the ethnic group and committing extrajudicial killings of innocent civilians.

Most of the members of the killing squad were languishing in prisons by the terrorist TPLF regime before turning to be the loyal servants of their former torturers. Some even died at the hand of the terrorist TPLF only for being Oromo and fighting for the cause of ethnic Oromos.

The former enemies now turned into friends have formed an unholy alliance to turn the country into a bloodbath. The political bankrupt groups that have been designated by Ethiopian lawmakers as terrorist groups continue inflicting excruciating pain on civilians including those who they say belong to them.

At the time when the terrorist TPLF organization was in power, they designated OLF as a terrorist organization and perpetrated atrocities. They as well claimed the lives of thousands of the Oromo youths on the pretext of a number of poor reasons.

Barbarism, massacres, destructions, and sexual abuse are what the two like-minded groups are known for. Apart from reducing residential houses and business centers of civilians to ashes, the terrorist group has been persistently taking part in ransacking and displacing noncombatants.

While the Ethiopian government has been fighting the TPLF criminal enterprise, Shene has been carrying out a cruel acts of civilian killings and infrastructural distractions.

True to form, Shene has been lining up its pockets working in close collaboration with rights groups, activists, and other actors that have been pulling out all the stops to move the country into uncharted territory and blackening the image of the country.

Furthermore, the group has been instigating conflicts on religious and ethnic lines targeting at moving the country into uncharted territory and pursuing its hidden objectives.

The intended target of the terrorist Shene group is obviously to make the country uncontrollable by initiating clashes along ethnic and religious lines in addition to disseminating division and discord.

In the present climate, in addition to ransacking and damaging public and private properties, the terrorist Shene group has been doubling its atrocities. The group has been causing huge destruction to schools and health centers on the grounds that it does not care about the well-being of civilians.

On top of that, as the group does not want to see a stable Ethiopia, it has been time and again moving heaven and earth to up the ante and turn the lives of civilians into living hell.

Nowadays, in the aftermath of the evil deeds of the Shene group, the lives of noncombatants have been hanging in the balance. As the group possesses big weapons, the community in various parts of the country has been living under unceasing fear.

Terrorist Shene forces have caused immense damage in schools and health centers in Kuyu District, North Shewa Zone of the Oromia State, the local security head said.

He added that security forces are deployed to neutralize the radical faction.

Quoting the security head, the local media report indicated that forces of the terrorist faction posed a danger to the wellbeing of the community.

The head further noted that as the combatants of the criminal group own heavy guns, they are forcing the community to live under constant fear. “The area is too vast to cover with our security forces. So, the federal government has been working closely with us and the community at large in curtailing the threat Shene posed to the safety of the public.

Furthermore, a growing number of Shene members have been disarmed, demobilized, and reintegrated into society.

Residents also stressed that Shene fighters have looted their properties including cattle and other valuable items. “The dissidents also destroyed schools, health centers, and other public service institutions and due to Shene’s belligerence, our children are left out of school and pregnant women are dying,” one of the locals was quoted as saying by the media.

“This is a clear violation of the public interest and Shene’s acts demonstrated the fact that the group is not fighting for the people of Oromo,” another resident said.

North Shewa Zone Chief Administrator Kifelew Aderie said for his part that more than 36,000 people in the North Shewa Zone of the Oromia State have been displaced from homes due to Shene’s aggression. “More than 700 houses and 88 health centers have also been burnt down by the terrorist faction and schools, training centers and other public infrastructure have been destroyed.”

The terrorist-designated Shene group has been committing grave crimes against civilians and has caused immense destruction to the people of Oromo and other civilians and ravaged public property by taking orders from its crime master TPLF, survivors said.

The survivors, whose names are concealed for safety purposes, bitterly stated that the group killed scores of defenseless civilians and kidnapped individuals without apparent political affiliation thereby disproving its claim to stand for the Oromo people. A significant number of civilians living in different parts of the Oromia State have lost families and relatives due to Shene’s belligerence.

“How on earth did a group that claimed to protect the Oromo people killed innocent civilians, burned and destroyed their property?” they posed the question. “If one really fights for the freedom of its own people, it doesn’t kill his brothers, sisters, and dissolve families. Shene is not fighting for the people of Oromo, but instead, they are fighting to achieve TPLF’s hidden agenda.”

The killing of innocent civilians and the destruction and looting of public and private properties have become a daily occurrence in Oromia due to the criminal faction’s existence. “They set fire to our home while the family was inside, killed my father, and I was struggling with them to save my life and even though they shot me in hand, I could endure,” said one of the survivors.

“My father is a farmer and he doesn’t have political affiliation with any entity. Shene combatants killed him as if he was a supporter of the government and received finance from the latter. Now we left our home and led a peaceful life in another area as refugees,” another one recounted.

“The terrorist group came to our village, looted our cattle, and burnt our houses down. The only thing we have left is the clothes that we are wearing now. Our houses are turned into ashes. We are currently sheltered in the school compound. If you ask me who put us in this situation, I would say it is the Shene group.”

Sitting under the piles of left ashes of his burnt house, Chala Feye, who seems to pass the age of 70, uttered the above statement. He said that the Shene terrorist group committed grave crimes in connivance with some individuals that used to live together with the community.

As to him, the group has also destroyed and burnt the new residents that were under construction on the main roads. “I am left with nothing. The entire thing has turned into ashes. I have lost over 30 quintals of peanut and barley.”

“The moment they arrived, they broke into my house and start taking my property outside. Then, they put the entire thing on fire” said the Tatu Debele, a woman who also lost her house to the group.

She added: “Though my life was not full of bed of roses, I was able to buy some household goods including cabinets. They burned down everything in front of my eyes. All of the efforts that I had to put on, working day and night were lost in vain.”

“How am I supposed to raise my children now? The one who destroys the property of the people should not have the guts to consider itself as a freedom fighter,” She underlined.

By the same token, Kebenu Tameru underscored: “I have lost all of the property that I earned working so hard for 30 years. The rebel group has destroyed our entire harvest including our house. I took nothing when I left my house. If it was not for the people who took me out of the house, I would have died.”

“They have killed me. Is this how they struggle to liberate the Oromo people? The struggle is sacrificing oneself not killing fellow citizens that they claim to protect,” Kebenu stressed.

As the Ethiopian government moves to disarm Shene, the international community should put pressures on the two killing squads to lay down arms and help facilitate the movement of humanitrain aid to reach out the displaced communities.

BY ADDISALEM MULAT

The Ethiopian Herald  14 May   2022

Wednesday, May 18, 2022

Deterring TPLF’s Another Round of Attack

wendimagegn — May 17, 2022 

The terrorist TPLF group has been beating the drums of war failing to recall learning from its previous mistakes. As things stand at present, following the provocative actions of TPLF, tensions have been running high with the criminal enterprise increasing its hawkish acts.

As a consequence of the terrorist TPLF group’s deeds, most of the noncombatants residing in the two areas have been battling a vast number of life challenges that need a speedy solution.

In point of fact, though responding to the rising humanitarian need of noncombatants is not a walk in the park, the federal government and humanitarian organizations have been providing the Tigray population with humanitarian assistance.

In the wake of the humiliating defeat, the terrorist TPLF group has been acting like a chicken with its head cut off and upping the ante in the northern part of the country. It is no hyperbole to say, the group has suffered significant losses despite the crimes are not far short of genocide. Despite the federal government’s continuous endeavor to restore peace and tranquility, the terrorist TPLF has continued its criminal acts.

It is quite disappointing to see the group has been fully engaged in bringing escalatory words into play that can rupture the longstanding relationship among people. Some of the enablers of the terrorist TPLF group residing at home and abroad have been engaged in a smear campaign against the federal government.

As the terrorist TPLF group and its partners in crimes are different ends of the same snake, they have been sparing no effort to create insecurity and havoc, and move the country into uncharted territory. In place of returning to normal the existing circumstances of the country, the terrorist TPLF group has been engaged in saber-rattling undertakings that can put the lives of civilians at risk more than ever before.

According to reliable sources, there are signals that the terrorist TPLF group has been ratcheting up tension in the northern part of the country undermining its preceding murders perpetrated in the two states. They have been leaving no stone to make the two areas a scene of various wars with multi-players involved.

Aside from camouflaging its nefarious deeds and intimidating a catastrophic escalation, the terrorist TPLF group has been moving heaven and earth to lay the blame at the federal government door. What’s more, the criminal enterprise has been mounting hostility and throwing cold water on the efforts of the federal government for peace and is ready to open fire.

There has been mounting evidence that the terrorist group is mobilizing millions of militants to attack Ethiopia.

To repel the provocative acts of the terrorist TPLF group and respond to the possible second-round invasion, the Ethiopian government is strengthening its deterring capacity.

The terrorist TPLF continues military belligerence, fully disregarding the plight of innocent civilians which they claim to represent and defend and mobilize ethnic Tigrayans under the age of 50 to assault Amhara lands, Welkait, Tegede, and Telemt Amhara Identity Committee said.

The committee further highlighted that the criminal faction has made extensive preparations to launch another round of war and especially target the people of Amhara. TPLF recently ordered every ethnic Tigrayan under the age of 50 to get prepared for the war on the Welkait, Tegede, and Telemt fronts.

Approached by local media, the Lisane Gifuan Organization Chairperson Abiyu Belew said the people of Ethiopians especially those who live in the Welkait, Tegede, and Telemt have to be well prepared to repulse TPLF’s invasion back and foil its attempt to dismantle the country. The rebellious clique has to be demolished once and for forever.

“The call we made is a matter of survival as TPLF aims to restore power at the expense of Ethiopia’s sovereignty and the invasion of the fascist group must be aborted for good. TPLF started attacking Amhara and dismantling Ethiopia since it was in the 4 Kilo Palace. Every action of them is well known, the leaders are desperate now, and we do have ample evidence for their long preparation for the war. Ethiopia does have a committed and able defense force to crush the TPLF. Here, the measures taken should bring a lasting solution to all Ethiopian problems.”

The Organization’s Public Relation Chalachew Abay expressed his belief that the people of Tigray do not embrace TPLF’s call for arms and the faction forced to send their children to war otherwise they will not get ration from the food and non-food aid. “We don’t need war and turmoil, but if TPLF has seriously pushed the war, it has to be beaten for good. While the clique has made it compulsory for the people of Tigray to take part in the war with the rest of Ethiopia, the so-called Tigray scholars could hardly devise possible solutions to depart the public from the bandits.”

The international community has to well comprehend the warmonger behaviors of the terrorist TPLF and understand Ethiopia’s reality instead of sponsoring conflict, Chalachew emphasized.

Enemy quarters had better think twice and refrain from further provocations as the country’s armed forces are in heightened readiness to repulse any possible attacks and defend their people, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed (Ph.D.) said.

The Premier made the above remark in the award-giving ceremony to Ethiopian joint forces that successfully repulsed TPLF aggression hosted in the Amhara State capital Bahir Dar yesterday.

Abiy, who is also the Commander-in-Chief of the Ethiopian National Defense Forces (ENDF), stated that the government is taking every step so that the destructive forces will not have a foothold in the country and Ethiopia’s committed and disciplined army has enabled it to repulse any threats.

The Premier emphasized that enemies of Ethiopia shouldn’t miscalculate and attack the country assuming the people are divided in ethnic lines, language, and religious and political differences. Though Ethiopians do have differences in some aspects, they have been always standing as one whenever the sovereignty and territorial integrity of their country is threatened. ENDF, federal police, special forces, and other security forces have made history when internal betrayals and external historical foes of the country tried to fall Ethiopia apart.

“Today’s recognition and prize given to security forces is an accreditation forwarded to all Ethiopians who paid noble sacrifices for the unity and integrity of their country.”

On the occasion, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Demeke Mekonnen said that the government as always has a firm belief in resolving differences in a peaceful manner; however, he stressed the former’s heightened readiness for any possible attacks from the terrorist TPLF.

“We always prioritize peace and peaceful options, but if TPLF attempts to attack Ethiopia, lasting and sustainable measures would confidently be taken.”

For the Amhara State Chief Administrator Yilkal Kefale (Ph.D.), Ethiopia’s existence is guaranteed by the blood and bones of its sons and daughters.

Though the terrorist TPLF invaded Amhara and Afar states and caused loss of immense property damages, the people of the two states along with Ethiopian brothers and sisters have successfully repulsed the faction’s offense and inflicted significant harm to the clique in Mekelle.

Yilkal further pointed out that TPLF can’t learn from its mistakes at all and lasting measures will be taken if it drums a war trumpet for another round; this program is a reference for the past and for the future. Though the war brought human and material loss, it was an occurrence where the unity of Ethiopia was guaranteed.

“Places, where the terrorist group committed massacres in Amhara and Afar states including Chena, Gaynt, Gashena, Qobo, Dessie, Boru Meda, Shoa Robit and Kombolcha, Werke, Dire Roqa, Tsagbij, and Kemise, have been flaming as fire and reflecting Ethiopians’ unity. The ENDF, Amhara State Special Forces, regional security structure including Fano, militia and the public at large deserve recognition and gratitude for their relentless effort to rescue Ethiopia from being fall apart.”

The recognition and gratitude ceremony was graced by the Prime Minister, Deputy Prime Minister, and other senior government officials, high-ranking officials of the ENDF and state chiefs as well as noble investors and other public figures.

Visiting the preparation of the Ethiopian defense forces station in Sekota town, Waghimra Administration Zone of Amhara State, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed (Ph.D.) has praised members of the heroic national forces of the Central Command of Ethiopian National Defense Force (ENDF) and held a discussion with communities of the area.

During the course of his meeting with members of the command, he said yesterday that he was honored to have spent time with Ethiopia’s heroic national forces of the central command.

“Many have sacrificed in services to the nation and the larger vision of a greater Ethiopia. Sacrifice, handwork, knowledge, compassion, and unity will take our nation to its deserved heights,” the Premier added.

BY ADDISALEM MULAT

The Ethiopian Herald  17 May   2022

TPLF’s Saber-rattling Acts Amidst Humanitarian Catastrophe

wendimagegn — May 15, 2022

In the aftermath of the declaration of a humanitarian truce by the government of Ethiopia, the much-needed humanitarian aid has been entering Tigray State via air and road transportation. In the present circumstances, as the incumbent government is determined to facilitate the urgently needed assistance the whole thing is making progress in the right direction.

Notwithstanding the fact that the terrorist TPLF group has been leaving no stone unturned to close humanitarian corridors and throw mud at the federal government’s effort, relief agencies have been delivering aid to the war-affected communities.

Worse still, instead of taking measures to improve the humanitarian crises unfolding in the northern part of the country, the terrorist TPLF group has embarked on adding fuel to the fire by doubling down its warmongering activities.

The two-faced terrorist TPLF group has been diverting humanitarian assistance to feed its militants while millions of Tigray population around the clock is seriously affected by hunger and inadequate amount of food.

In the face of continued blockage of humanitarian corridors by the terrorist TPLF group, convoys of trucks carrying humanitarian assistance as well as medical services have been reaching Mekelle despite the group has been using the humanitarian aid for other purposes.

Though the incumbent government has allowed unrestricted access to humanitarian assistance, the terrorist TPLF group has been persistently blocking humanitarian corridors to mislead the international community lying the blame at the doorsteps of the federal government.

Apart from closing the much-needed humanitarian assistance to line their pockets, the terrorist TPLF group has continued closing humanitarian corridors and engaging itself in saber-rattling.

Nowadays, as the international community managed to understand the evil deeds of the terrorist TPLF group, the former has been acclaiming the government’s positive measures that would help reverse the humanitarian catastrophe facing the Tigray population. The cock-and-bull-story of the terrorist TPLF group has been failing to bear fruit now that all the conspiracies have gradually been laid bare.

Western countries and institutions have begun to appreciate Ethiopia’s commitments toward the delivery of humanitarian assistance to the needy in war-torn and drought-affected states of the country, according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ethiopia (MoFA).

During the weekly media briefing, MoFA Spokesperson Ambassador Dina Mufti stated that Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Affairs Minister Demeke Mekonnen held discussions with the representatives of the European Union Commission (EUC) and World Food Programme (WFP), as well as Denmark’s Development and Nordic Countries Cooperation Minister.

As to Amb. Dina, Deputy PM Demeke briefed the EUC representative about current activities regarding the delivery of humanitarian aid, peace and stability in the country, protection of human rights, and other related issues. The representative has also been asked that the international organizations have to increase their humanitarian support to Ethiopia, he added.

He further stated that the EUC representative appreciated the current activities done by Ethiopia, he said adding that the representative also praised Ethiopia’s stance to resolve the border dispute with Sudan in a peaceful way.

As to Amb. Dina, Demeke held a discussion with Denmark’s Development and Nordic Countries Cooperation Minister, and Demeke briefed the Minister about Ethiopia’s commitment in bringing lasting peace across the country.

Accordingly, the Minister stated that the efforts being made by the Ethiopian government in all sectors are encouraging.

He further noted that Demeke had a conversation with the WFP Representative in Ethiopia, and Demeke briefed the representative that Ethiopia is working tirelessly to save over 20 million citizens from drought. And, the WFP has been urged to increase its support to the war-torn and drought-affected peoples.

The representative appreciated the work in terms of delivering humanitarian assistance to the people in need, as to the Spokesperson.

The representative also stated that there are over nine hundred thousand refugees in Ethiopia who came from neighboring countries. He added that the WFP will strengthen its works in the country.

According to the Spokesperson, MoFA State Minister Ambassador Redwan Hussien held discussion with the U.S. Ambassador to Ethiopia, and the latter promised that his country will provide all necessary support to Ethiopia.

Despite the disinformation by the mouthpiece of the terrorist TPLF, WHO Chief Tedros Adhanom (Ph.D.), over 5.2 million needy people in Tigray State have so far received humanitarian assistance, the National Disaster Risk Management Commission (NDRMC) said.

NDRMC Public Relations Directorate Debebe Zewdie told the Ethiopian Press Agency (EPA) that the government has been exerting efforts to ensure a speedy humanitarian response in Tigray. The government has mobilized 83 donor agencies, the highest number compared with the rest of the country, to deliver humanitarian support to the state.

Accordingly, 202,079 kilograms of medicine, 406,403 kilograms of nutrition, and 91, 5058 kilograms of shelter and detergents were transported to Tigray from July 2021 to May 1, 2022. Besides, 50,921 metric tons of additional nutrition and 9,563 metric tons of food items were transported by air to the area. To do this, a total of 221 flights have been taken to Tigray and the federal government sent 1.7 billion Birr for the implementation of the program.

The director further stated that the World Food Program (WFP) and the UNHCR provided 401,029 litter fuels to Mekelle last March through road transport. In this regard, 1,626 vehicles carrying fuels were dispatched to the Tigray State capital of which only 596 were returned.

The WFP announced on its part that its 165 trucks that arrived in Tigray delivered 3,000 tons of food and nutrition over the past week. The program has also distributed 3,400 tons of food to Tigray and reached 120,000 people. Additional 94 trucks are en route for food distributions in Afar and Amhara states.

Government Communication Service stated that a number of trucks carrying food and medical items have reached Tigray in three phases since the government declared a humanitarian truce to save peoples’ life.

The government of Ethiopia is working with aid organizations to facilitate food items for those in need of assistance and after the ceasefire agreement various food and medical items arrived in Tigray by air 135 trucks carrying food items and 10 trucks carrying fuel reached Tigray passing through Afar state, as to the office.

Over the last two months, 36 million Birr estimated medicine and medical items reached the needy as the government has been working with donors.

The government has been working with international aid organizations to reach food items to support the needy. From July 2021 to mid-April 2022, a total of 5.2 million Tigray people have benefited from humanitarian aid.

Contrarily, TPLF is cheating the international community via disseminating false propaganda as if it has left Amhara and Afar states, but it is far from reality. Worse even, the medical item sent to the needy are being sold by terrorist TPLF opening the new pharmacy, and children and patients are dying due to lack of medicine. Some 1,099 heavy trucks headed to Tigray carrying food and medical items have not returned back. Only 40 trucks have come back.

Cognizant of the fact that millions of people in Tigray, Afar, and Amhara are in need of life-saving humanitarian assistance, the terrorist TPLF continues trademark warmongering and preparing for another round of disastrous war.

Speaking to local media, Sociology Assistant Professor at New York’s Iona University Derese Getachew (Ph.D.) noted that TPLF keeps war as a means to survive and deceive the people of Tigray. The political difference among political parties cannot be seen as a minor issue, but if it is properly resolved, TPLF will be automatically rejected by the people of Tigray.

As to him, TPLF is seemingly powerless to answer the public’s economic and social demands. “They know the consequence of triggering another round of conflict. Thousands of hundred thousand of their militants have been killed during the year and plus war and the same will happen if the faction decides to fight.”

“TPLF leaders have no choice other than pursuing war efforts to secure personal aspirations. “I think they are planning to penetrate into the Sudan border….and the area is highly militarily confined [] If that happened, the casualties would be unthinkable.”

The military might of the Ethiopian National Defense Forces (ENDF) is far greater than that of the TPLF. In the meantime, the Eritrean government is standing by to repulse TPLF’s provocation as the faction have made an attempt to team up with foreign forces that have an interest to harm the regime in Asmara, the academician elaborated.

In reference to this, one of the TPLF-affiliated media, BBC News Amharic recently disclosed that TPLF is arresting Tigrayan parents who refused to send their children to the battlefields.

The media quoted a young ethnic Tigray as saying his parents and uncle were arrested for refusing to send their children to war. The criminal clique has enacted oppressive laws that force parents to send at least one son or daughter to the family for war efforts. “My father is arrested because he has refused to send his son to war,” another young man was quoted as saying by the aforementioned media.

In a short-recorded video, TPLF’s Political Bureau Head said the faction has been providing a 10-day military training to everyone in Tigray and sending them off to war fronts. The head warned comrades that no one must escape this plan and anyone who opposes must be eliminated.

The misadventure of the terrorist TPLF group has taken a big toll on civilians, particularly the Tigray population, but the group that fails to learn from its past mistakes is preparing for another round of unprovoked war. Hence, the international community should put pressure on the group to avert the looming conflict and help the already war-impacted communities in Tigray, Afar, and Amhara states.

BY ADDISALEM MULAT

The Ethiopian Herald  15 May   2022

UNEP Interventions to Make East African Climate Normal

wendimagegn — May 18, 2022

In November 2021, scientists at the Famine Warning System Network sent out a warning that an unprecedented drought in the Horn of Africa was imminent if poor seasonal rainfall continued into 2022. Tragically, their prediction is turning out to be prescient.

East Africa, and in particular, parts of Somalia, Djibouti, Ethiopia, and Kenya, are experiencing the driest conditions and hottest temperatures since satellite record-keeping began. As a result, as many as 13 million people are currently experiencing acute food and water shortages and a projected 25 million will face a similar fate by mid-2022.

Scientists are blaming climate change for the current crisis in a part of the world that is least able to cope. Africa as a whole contributes to about two to three percent of global emissions that cause global warming and climate change.

However, the continent suffers the heaviest impacts of the climate crisis, including increased heat waves, severe droughts and catastrophic cyclones, like the ones that hit Mozambique and Madagascar in recent years.

Furthermore, scientist’s project things will only get worse for Africa if current trends continue. According to the 2022 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate change report, “key development sectors have already experienced widespread loss and damage attributable to anthropogenic climate change, including biodiversity loss, water shortages, reduced food production, loss of lives and reduced economic growth.”

The current drought hitting East Africa has been particularly devastating to small-scale farmers and herders across the Horn who are already vulnerable to climate related shocks.

This is why the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) is currently supporting 22 African countries to use Ecosystem-based Adaptation solutions that are already present in their environment to buttress communities against the deadly effects of climate change.

In the small East Africa nation of Djibouti, for instance, UNEP has undertaken three ecosystem-based adaptation projects, including a drought mitigation project specifically aimed at assisting subsistence farmers and herders whose crops are failing and livestock are dying.

“Ecosystem-based adaptation approaches, such as planting indigenous, rapidly growing species of plants that can have immediate impact on the ground, combined with long-term solutions is incredibly effective at protecting communities from the impacts of climate change,” said Eva Comba, a Task Manager at UNEP’s Climate Adaptation Unit.

She said that restoring already existing ecosystems, by planting more Acacia and mangrove trees, for example, is vital in countries like Djibouti that are vulnerable to droughts, storms, flash-floods and coastal erosion.

Some of the ecosystem restoration Comba and her colleagues at UNEP are working on planting trees in 15 hectares of land. The greenery includes Acacia trees, which are ideal plants for providing a cooling shade and prevent soil erosion on farmlands—a must in a hot and dry climate like Djibouti’s.

Another key component of the project is building boreholes and underground water tanks that enable subsistence farmers to water their crops in ways that are sustainable over time.

Replanting and protecting already existing mangrove forests is also an important part of UNEP’s ecosystem-based adaptation approach, especially in coastal regions of Djibouti. Mangroves are effective for protecting local communities from storms and supporting alternative livelihoods, such as fisheries and tourism.

Despite the dire impacts of climate change in Africa, there is cause for optimism. UNEP is working with many countries across the continent to ensure that climate change adaptation is embedded in national policy and planning. UNEP is also working with the European Union and The Africa LEDS project to support Low Emissions Development (LEDS) across the continent in order to unlock socio-economic opportunities whilst fulfilling the climate objectives of the Paris Agreement.

UNEP also worked with ministers of the environment from 54 African countries to create The Africa Green stimulus programme. It supports a comprehensive green recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, which has already cost the continent tens of billions of dollars in lost gross domestic product.

However, a lot more work needs to be done to mitigate the worst effects of climate change that is yet to come, say experts. According to UNEP’s 2021 Adaptation Gap Report, the “estimated adaptation costs in developing countries are five to ten times greater than current public adaptation finance flows.” The report also found that the costs of adaptation are likely to hit as high as USD 280-500 billion per year by 2050 for developing countries.

The current drought in East Africa has sent humanitarian agencies scrambling to prevent another famine like the one that hit the same region in 2011 in which an estimated 260,000 people died.

If the April rainy season turns out to be as disappointing as the last three, it will mark the longest drought to hit the region since the 1980s, potentially leading to a famine of tragic proportions.

“At the moment in the Horn of Africa we are witnessing vulnerable communities being disproportionately affected by climate change who are least able to buffer against its impact,” said Susan Gardner, the Director of UNEP’s Ecosystems Division. “To prevent a major humanitarian crisis in East Africa, we must provide urgent humanitarian assistance to those in need, while also thinking long term by investing in ecosystem-based adaptation solutions that will save lives, build green economies and protect the environment.”

BY STAFF REPORTER

THE ETHIOPIAN HERALD WEDNESDAY 18 MAY 2022

Kidnapped Ethiopian General Tefera Mamo Reportedly Handed over to Authorities in Bahir Dar

May 18, 2022

The Amhara regional government or Ethiopian Federal government did not officially confirmed if General Tefera Mamo is in custody and if that is the case why it is so

General Tefera Mamo _ Ethiopian News 

Borkena

A day after he was reported kidnapped, former Amhara region special forces commander, Brigadier General Tefera Mamo, may have been handed over to authorities in Bahir Dar, Amhara region of Ethiopia. 

A report by DW Amharic, on Wednesday, cited Menen Haile to report that General Tefera Moamo is detained at the Ninth police division in Bahir Dar. 

However, she said she doesn’t know when General Tefera was transferred to Bahir Dar. 

Asked where she got the information from, she said someone (unspecified) living in Bahir Dar, the seat of Amhara regional state, told her that he is there. 

In an interview with EMS service, on Wednesday, she said it is likely that he was abducted by government forces. 

Abiy Ahmed’s Federal government or the regional state in Bahir Dar did not say anything about the detention of General Tefera at this point.  Gen. Tefera has not appeared in court at this writing either. 

General Tefera Mamo was reportedly abducted before noon on Monday shortly after he left home to meet with someone in the capital Addis Ababa.  

Later,  Menen Haile confirmed the story saying that he told her that he would be meeting with Yohannes Buayalew, and left home before noon Monday.  

Mr. Yoannews was a senior government official in the Amhara region until the ruling prosperity party removed him from central committee membership. 

Gen. Tefera’s wife said she tried to reach him on his mobile phone on the same day (Monday) at about 4 p.m. but he did not answer his phone.

She also said that she reached out to different gov’t offices with the hope of establishing his whereabouts but she was not informed about it. The federal criminal investigation bureau, Addis Ababa Police Commission, and Bole Sub City police department are some of the places she checked. 

General Tefera was offered to be a security advisor for the Amhara regional state after he was removed from his role as the commander of the special forces in the region. However, he declined the offer saying “if you say I am not needed, you do not have to assign me to other roles.” 

While serving in the  Defense Force under Prime Minister Melese Zenawi’s government, General Tefera was thrown to jail over an alleged coup attempt. 

Last week, he gave a two part interview to Ethiopian Satellite Television (ESAT) in which he was very critical of Prime minister Abiy Ahmed’s government and Amhara regional states authorities. 

South Sudan Frees Sudanese Communist Leaders After Brief Confinement

Sudanese Communist Party Chief Mohamed Mokhtar al-Khatib speaks to the press on November 9 2015 in Khartoum (AFP photo)

May 18, 2022 (JUBA)- South Sudan Wednesday released Sudanese Communist Party (SCP) leaders who were arrested for having travelled to the SPLM-N-held area in South Kordofan state without the needed permission.

Three SCP officials travelled last week to Juba for talks with SPLM-N leader Abdel Aziz al-Hilu and SLM leader Abdel Wahid al-Nur. The party’s purpose of the meetings is to discuss ways to unite joint efforts to topple the military leaders and establish a civil state.

However, the South Sudanese Minister of Presidential Affairs told the Sudan Tribune on Wednesday that his government there are no Sudanese political figures in detention in Juba.

Barnaba Marial Benjamin described relations between the two countries as strong and are guided by the 2012 cooperation agreement which binds the two countries to “respect each other’s sovereignty and territorial integrity” and to “refrain from launching and hosting hostile and negative armed and non-armed opposition groups without the knowledge of the other”.

Benjamin stressed that the policy of President Salva Kiir’s government is to promote peace and mutual cooperation.

“His Excellency the President of the Republic has been playing a significant role in the search for peace in Sudan and Sudanese leadership and the region recognizes these important efforts. Peace in Sudan means peace in South Sudan,” he said.

Political Secretary Mohamed Mukhtar al-Khatib, Spokeswoman Amal al-Zainand and External Relations Official Saleh Mahmoud were confined in their hotel in Juba and their movements were restricted.

Siddiqi Kabbalo Member of the SCP Central Committee told the Sudan Tribune that the delegation has the required visa but the authorities in Juba blamed them for not informing them about the nature of the meetings held in the country.

The delegation, in response, said they are guests and that it is for the parties they met to inform the South Sudanese authorities, Kabbalo said.

A high-ranking security official told the Sudan Tribune on Wednesday the mission of the Sudanese delegation was “illegal” and undermines the efforts for peace in Sudan that President Salva Kiir was making.

“Nobody knew they were coming for political reasons,” the official said before adding that their mission became clear after they met and held talks with Abdel Wahid here in Juba before travelling to Kauda in South Kordofan.

“There was no prior information about the details of their mission. They did not coordinate with us and this was the concern and it was what we told them when they returned. We told them to coordinate because it is about their safety and their security,” he emphasized.

He underscored that his government would be held responsible for their safety if anything happened to them.

The official added that all of them have been freed now.

The PSC refuses to take part in the political process facilitated by the trilateral mechanism as they reject the participation of the coup leaders in the process.

The SPLM-N al Hilu and the SLM al-Nur also reject the coup and call for the restoration of a civilian government.

(ST)

Asmara, Khartoum Keep Discussing Initiative to End Sudanese Crisis

Al-Burhan reads a message from President Afwerki handed over by Eritrean Ambassador to Khartoum Ahmed Isa on May17, 2022

On Tuesday, May 17, 2022 (KHARTOUM) – Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, the head of the Sovereign Council, received a new message about an initiative to settle the political situation in Sudan.

Eritrean Foreign Minister Osman Saleh met al-Burhan twice, on April 16 and May 2, to discuss an initiative to resolve the political crisis in Sudan.

However, the Eritrean Ambassador to Sudan, Isa Ahmed Isa handed over a new message from his government to al-Burhan and his deputy Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo “Hemetti” about this initiative.

“The message of President Isaias focuses on strengthening bilateral ties as well as the contribution Eritrea could make, as a neighbouring country to Sudan, to resolve its internal problem and play a due role in the region,” reads a statement released on Shabait, the official website of the Eritrea government.

In Khartoum, the Sovereign Council issued a statement about the meeting saying that Ambassador Isa said that Sudan’s security is also the security of the African region.

According to the statement, the Eritrean diplomat added that “Sudan is able to solve its issues through broadening the base of participation among all components and conducting a serious and honest dialogue”.

General al-Burhan, on October 25, 2022, overthrew the transitional government and suspended the transitional democratic, saying the ruling political coalition, FFC, needs to include more political forces in the process.

Eritrea did not officially make public the content of its initiative but observers say it might deal with the situation in eastern Sudan as some Beja tribal factions reject a peace agreement negotiated with other groups.

The African Union, IGAD and the UN political mission to Sudan launched a joint process to end the Sudanese crisis, earlier last month.

(ST)

Dinka Ngok, Misseriya Conference in Uganda Calls for Peaceful Co-existence

Participants attending the three-day conference for Dinka Ngok and Misseriya leaders in Entebbe, Uganda (UNISFA photo)

May 17, 2022 (ENTEBBE) – A three-day joint traditional leaders peace conference for Dinka Ngok and Misseriya communities commenced in Entebbe, Uganda on Tuesday with calls for peaceful co-existence.

30 traditional leaders are attending the forum organized by the United Nations Interim Force in Abyei (UNISFA) under the theme, “Peace through dialogue”.

The Ngok Dinka delegation is headed by their paramount chief, Bulabek Deng Kuol, while El Sadig Hireka Izzal Din is heading the Misseriya team at the conference.

In a keynote address at the opening of the conference, the Special Envoy of Secretary-General for the Horn of Africa, Hanna Serwaa Tetteh called on the Misseriya and Ngok Dinka traditional leaders to find a solution towards peaceful coexistence within the contested oil-producing Abyei region.

Decrying the increase in insecurity and loss of lives of lives in Abyei, Tetteh said efforts over the two days of the conference are key to working with governments towards finding a lasting solution to peaceful co-existence.

UNISFA’s Acting Head of Mission and Force Commander, Maj. Gen. Benjamin Olufemi Sawyerr said the conference will enable the two communities to engage themselves in a frank discussion which will unravel the root causes of the conflict and together fashion a workable and sustainable solution.

“The next three days will enable you, the Misseriya and Ngok Dinka leaders, to engage in frank discussion which will unravel the root causes to the conflict in Abyei and work for a sustainable solution. It will also define the parameters of your togetherness,” said Olufemi.

He added, “UNISFA and partners stand ready to support you with our advice and facilitation. We will also support the implementation of your solution for peace by the end of this conference”.

Olufemi appealed to the traditional leaders to have an open mind and discuss with the objective of finding a lasting solution to the crisis in Abyei.

“Our discussions should not be conducted with a view to respond to one another. On the contrary, we must use our time together to understand each other’s perspectives, desires, aspirations and fears,” he said, adding that international interventions must be understood as temporal in nature.

In recent months, violence has intensified in the contested oil-producing region despite the presence of the UN peacekeeping force in the area.

According to authorities in the area, some of the attacks were carried out by the Sudanese Messeriya tribe with the most recent one happening last month, whereby more than 40 civilians including women and children were killed by suspected Messeriya tribesmen in separate incidents in the area.

Abyei, a disputed area since South Sudan obtained independence in 2011, while there have long been tensions between the Ngok Dinka community and the Misseriya nomads who pass through the area looking for grazing.

In 2011, the UN Security Council deployed its peacekeeping force in the disputed area after deadly clashes displaced thousands of the population.

(ST)

COSATU Presents its Submission on the Prevention of Hate Crimes and Hate Speech Bill to Parliament

May 17, 2022

Special Note: Happy 36th Anniversary to COSATU. Formed December 1985

The Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) presented its submission on the Prevention of Hate Crimes and Hate Speech Bill to Parliament’s Portfolio Committee on Justice and Correctional Services today.

Judging from repeated incidents over the past few years, it is evident that South Africa is still grappling with the legacies of apartheid and colonialism.  Many South Africans are still bearing the pains and effects of decades of enforced racism and hate crimes that have been committed against them and their families.  We have witnessed all too often serious incidents of hate speech and hate crimes occurring in South Africa.  Some of these include the sentencing of a KwaZulu-Natal resident who was found guilty of spewing racial hate speech on social media. In 2016, a community in Centurion mobilised against the construction of a Mosque and in 2010, white students at the University of the Free State pleaded guilty to crimen injuria after they urinated in the food of African cleaning staff.

The experience of Rwanda during the 1994 genocide is testimony that hate crimes and hate speech cannot be taken lightly.  Whilst hate speech at times may be dismissed as the utterances of idiots best ignored, Rwanda, the former Yugoslavia, Germany and countless other countries have shown that this act can lead to hate crimes, violence, murder and genocide. 

It is therefore critical that the correct balance is found.  The Constitution enshrines the right to freedom of speech, thought and political association.  It also places an obligation upon the state to protect ordinary persons from unfair discrimination.  However, all rights are accompanied by responsibilities.  While it is critical to protect ordinary citizens from hate speech, it is also important not to allow incompetent politicians use this to their advantage to hide their delinquencies.

The Bill provides this balance.  It recognises that South Africa is a constitutional democracy that can be very robust at times, and necessarily so.  It also recognises the need to provide protection for ordinary citizens from hate crimes and hate speech.   

COSATU urges Parliament to pass this progressive Bill.

Issued by COSATU.

For further information please contact:

Matthew Parks

Parliamentary Coordinator

 Cell: 082 785 0687

Email: matthew@cosatu.org.za

STELLENBOSCH URINATING INCIDENT VICTIM WANTS PERPETRATOR TO BE TAUGHT A LESSON

First-year law student, Theuns du Toit, entered 20-year-old Babalo Ndwayana’s Huis Marais room during the early hours of Sunday morning and urinated on his study desk.

Twenty-year-old Agricultural Business Management student Babalo Ndwayana. Picture: Kevin Brandt/Eyewitness News

Kevin Brandt | 

CAPE TOWN - A Stellenbosch University student, who was the victim of racism, says his abuser should be taught a lesson.

First-year law student, Theuns du Toit, entered 20-year-old Babalo Ndwayana’s Huis Marais room during the early hours of Sunday morning and urinated on his study desk.

Ndwayana filmed the incident on his cellphone and the footage has been shared and criticised on social media.

Ndwayana, an agriculture business management student, was asleep when Du Toit barged into his room.

Ndwayana laid a criminal complaint against Du Toit at Stellenbosch Police Station on Tuesday.

"He just walked in... I was asleep... he just walked in and urinated in my stuff". He said 'I'm waiting for someone boy', and after that, he said it's a white boy thing."

Students that Eyewitness News spoke to Tuesday had mixed reactions to the incident.

"Justice needs to happen but quicker," said one student.

Another said that Stellenbosch University was not to blame.

"It wasn't the university's fault, I think the university has done quite a lot to bring attention to racism".

University management has reiterated that Du Toit’s permanent expulsion and/or criminal charges against him have not been excluded as part of the possible outcomes of the disciplinary process against him.

FESTIVAL BRINGS AFRICAN CONTEMPORARY ART TO SENEGAL'S STREETS

The enormous exhibits are part of the much-anticipated Dakar Biennale of Contemporary African Art, which opens on Thursday and promises to "break down" gallery walls by bringing modern art to the streets of Senegal.

Men look on at an art installation by Senegalese Artist, Yakhya Ba, along Dakar’s sea promenade on May 11, 2022. Picture: JOHN WESSELS / AFP

AFP | 

DAKAR, Senegal - Intriguing pyramids and a huge yellow dog have cropped up on the Senegalese capital's seafront.

The enormous exhibits are part of the much-anticipated Dakar Biennale of Contemporary African Art, which opens on Thursday and promises to "break down" gallery walls by bringing modern art to the streets of Senegal.

It's a fresh idea for the 14th Biennale as the organisers set out to challenge art's "elitist image".

The exhibition is all about moving "the artist's studio to the street", they say - a "plea for art to be more present in public spaces".

By the ocean, people silently approach two pyramid-shaped mausoleums. Dozens of earthen faces appear in piles in their interior and on their outside walls, their eyes closed. Some are screaming.

A line of shoes leads away from the tombs and towards the cliff edge of Dakar's corniche, as though they're falling into the sea.

Senegalese artist Yakhya Ba's work is a powerful study of the agony faced by migrants and their families.

A little further on, others take selfies by Egyptian artist Khaled Zaki's massive dog sculpture. He wanted his work to delight children - and draw attention to the problem of stray canines in the Senegalese capital.

**AFRICA AT THE CROSSROADS**

The Biennale this year will showcase works from more than 2,500 artists across 85 countries.

It is to feature some 300 exhibits in the capital and nearby islands of Ngor and Goree, as well as around 100 in other towns and countries of the diaspora.

The exhibition was postponed due to Covid in 2020, but the 2018 event attracted almost 250,000 visitors, including 50,000 from abroad.

For this year's edition, artistic director El Hadji Malick Ndiaye asked 17 artists to produce monumental works to interact with locations along Senegal's coast, from fishing villages to universities and prisons.

This year's theme is "Ndaffa" - the forge in Wolof - and "the construction of new models".

"This Bienniale is symbolically strong because it's after the Covid-19 crisis that shook and tested African countries," Ndiaye told AFP.

"Africa is at the crossroads of several changes. There are movements for a new appropriation of African heritage, questions about the CFA franc and the autonomy of African countries, unrest in several countries, and the emergence of new citizen consciousness..."

He said participating artists had been invited "to have their own points of view on all this" and "forge new ways of thinking".

**DREAMLIKE WORK**

A former courthouse hosts the Biennale's international exhibition, which displays the work of 59 artists from 28 countries, including 16 African countries and 12 countries of the diaspora.

There's dreamlike work from Senegalese painter and contemporary art sensation Omar Ba, video pieces courtesy of South African artist Sethembile Msezane, and space-age creations from Franco-Togolese-Senegalese Caroline Gueye - who is also an astrophysicist.

Other exhibits include a "forest" of 343 armless sculptures by Senegalese artist Ousmane Dia, a fierce critic of inequality who is calling for a new order "that focuses more on human dignity".

There will also be a seminar, organised by Senegalese writer Felwine Sarr, discussing the restitution of African heritage.

The Biennale, which runs until June 21, comes as war rages in Ukraine.

Artistic director Ndiaye said art was vital to encourage reflection in such fateful, changing times.

"When weapons crackle, we must make sure culture does too," he said.

MOROCCO 'BREATHING AGAIN' AS TOURISTS BACK AFTER COVID SHUTDOWN

Tourism - which accounts for some seven percent of Morocco's economy and creates hundreds of thousands of formal and informal jobs - was battered by Morocco's tight restrictions during the pandemic.

Tourists shop around in the old city of Morocco's Marrakesh on 12 May 2022. Picture: FADEL SENNA/AFP

AFP | 

MARRAKESH - Moroccan snake-charmer Youssef watched as long-absent tourists again thronged Marrakesh's famous Jamaa El-Fna square, ending a long pause forced by the Covid pandemic.

"We're breathing again," he said.

The ancient southern city, famous for its views of graceful red buildings set against palm trees and snow-capped mountains, has long drawn visitors including celebrities from Madonna to Yves Saint Laurent.

But it was particularly hard hit by a two-year collapse in tourism that saw arrivals to the North African kingdom plummet to just a third last year from 2019.

For Youssef, taking a break from playing his oboe-like "ghaita" pipe before the seemingly mesmerised serpent, "it's such a pleasure to be back here after these slow, painful months".

Tourism - which accounts for some seven percent of Morocco's economy and creates hundreds of thousands of formal and informal jobs - was battered by Morocco's tight restrictions during the pandemic.

Today, Marrakesh residents see signs of hope again as tourists have returned to the UNESCO-listed old city's narrow alleys.

Cafe terraces are full and foreigners browse shops and market stalls for traditional clothing, furniture and souvenirs.

"We're not back to pre-pandemic levels but the situation has been improving over the past month," said salesman Abdellah Bouazri, after serving an Argentinian customer in a Boca Juniors football top.

Bouazri, 35, said the coronavirus had forced him to temporarily abandon his shop and find alternative work as a security guard.

The father of two was one of many in the beleaguered industry forced to find an alternative income - including many informal workers without contracts or social security.

But he said he was optimistic about the future: "It has been hard, but today I'm delighted to be going back to my real job."

'RECOVERY INCOMPLETE'

Morocco this week reopened land borders with the Spanish enclaves of Ceuta and Melilla, two years after they were shut due to Covid and a major diplomatic row.

That was the latest step in a slow recovery for the tourism sector, backed by the government which has launched a two billion dirham (190 million euro) support fund, on top of 95 million euros it released to prop up hotels.

"The recovery might be underway, but it's incomplete," said the FNIH national hotels federation's chief Lahcen Zelmat.

According to the tourism ministry, Morocco last year earned some 3.2 billion euros in tourism revenue -- less than half the figure for the year before the pandemic.

But revenue in the first quarter was up by 80% on last year, according to official figures, and the finance ministry predicts a "more favourable outlook for 2022".

That was reflected in the steady flow of tourists outside the Medersa Ben Youssef, a 16th-century Koranic school in Marrakesh.

"This place is magical - I'm impressed by all the detail," said Nick, a 29-year-old Londoner visiting for the first time. "Since COVID I've been missing exploring new cultures."

Nearby, other visitors queued up to the Yves Saint Laurent museum, one of the city's top tourist spots.

"The museum was a must," said Coco, a Chinese student living in Germany. "We consider ourselves very lucky to be able to travel again, and we're really charmed."

RIVAL LIBYA GOVERNMENT ENTERS CAPITAL, PROMPTING CLASHES

Clashes broke out between rival armed groups shortly after the prime minister of the Libyan government, Fathi Bashagha, entered the western city, an AFP journalist reported.

Parliament-backed Prime Minister of Libya Fathi Bashagha. Picture: Mahmud Turkia/AFP

AFP 

TRIPOLI, Libya - The rival government appointed by Libya's eastern-based parliament said Tuesday it had arrived in the capital, where the unity government has refused to cede power, prompting fighting between their militia backers.

Its press service announced "the arrival of the prime minister of the Libyan government, Fathi Bashagha, accompanied by several ministers, in the capital Tripoli to begin his work there."

Clashes broke out between rival armed groups shortly after he entered the western city, an AFP journalist reported.

In February, the parliament in the eastern city of Tobruk designated former interior minister Bashagha as prime minister.

But he has failed to oust the Tripoli-based unity administration led by premier Abdulhamid Dbeibah, who has said repeatedly he will only cede power to an elected government.

Dbeibah's government was formed in 2020 as part of United Nations-led efforts to draw a line under a decade of conflict since a NATO-backed counter-revolution which toppled Libyan statesman Moamer Kadhafi in 2011.

Dbeibah was to lead the country until elections last December, but they were indefinitely postponed and his political opponents argue that his mandate has now finished.

The rise of Bashagha's government gives the North African country two rival administrations, as was the case between 2014 and a 2020 ceasefire.