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  • Sudan, Ethiopia hold military talks on border security and human trafficking

    March 28, 2017 (KHARTOUM) - Senior Sudanese and Ethiopian army officers Tuesday have met for the second day in Khartoum within the framework of the Sudanese-Ethiopian Strategic Forum.

    In a press release extended to Sudan Tribune Tuesday, the Sudanese army said: “the forum discussed a number of issues pertaining to border security, ways to prevent and combat human trafficking and migrant smuggling besides the local and regional security threats”.

    According to the press release, the two sides underscored the importance of the forum in promoting relations and joint work between the two countries, pointing to several recommendations and understandings on issues of security and sustainable development as well as strategic military cooperation and coordination.

    The press release added that Sudan Armed Forces (SAF)’s Chief of the General Staff, Lt. Gen. Emad al-Din Mustafa Adawi, has met with the Ethiopian delegation participating in the forum headed by Ethiopia’s National Defence Forces Chief of Operations Lieu. Gen. Abraham Woldemariam.

    It pointed that the meeting discussed bilateral ties between the two countries and ways to enhance cooperation and exchange of experiences.

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  • Tabs for members of parliament

    You may say “I won’t believe this” or “that’s not true”. But, to your surprise, it is fact that each member of the House of Peoples’ Representatives have got a tablet computer following the House’s program to do away from paper documents.

    On Tuesday’s session of the parliament, MPs were reading and listening reports from the tablet computers for the first time.

    “We have designed an information technology project to alter the house’s way of doing things,” Kereyu Banata, Head of the Information Technology at the Parliament told the Reporter Newspaper.

    “The long-served paper system was tiresome and too costly,” he said, adding, “Therefore, it is a mandatory task for the house to change the system into a digital one”.

    “From this moment onwards, all MPs should follow reports and proclamations by using their own tabs,” he explained.

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  • Human right violations committed against suspects says board

    The State of Emergency Decree Inquiry Board said on Tuesday that human right violations were committed against suspects who were imprisoned following the widespread unrest in the country last year.

    At the performance hearing to the Parliament on Tuesday, the Inquiry Board Chairperson, Tadesse Hordofa was quoted by Sheger FM radio as saying that, “the command post has investigated and reached that various human rights violations were committed against the suspects.”
    Suspects flooded beyond prisons capacity even with a lack of place to dine and sufficient toilet rooms, he told the parliamentarians.

    He added suspects who have already taken the “deep reform” training were suffered from dysentery and other water born disease attributed to lack of clean potable water in the Awash Arba and Birrsheleko centers.

    Tadesse went on to say that some polices used to implement forceful measurements including intimidation of suspects to confess them.
    Previously, some prisons have got a shortage of foods. “But that problem is now resolved to some extent,” the chairperson confirmed.

    The state decree inquiry board said over 20,000 citizens jailed since the imposition of the decree have so far been freed after receiving renewal training, including on the constitution, rule of law and color revolution, among others.

    According to the board, 475 of the total detainees were freed on advice due to their old age and deteriorated health condition. The remaining nearly 5,000 suspects, however, will remain in custody to face justice.

    A total of 26,130 suspects were arrested since Ethiopia declared the state emergency decree in October in response to the wide spread protests and unrest in Amhara and Oromia regions.

    The state of emergency, the country’s first in quarter a century, was imposed to arrest violent anti-government protests and to restore what Addis Abeba says is a growing security situation in the two troubled regions.

    Established shortly after imposition of the state emergency, the seven-members inquiry board comprising four MPs and three legal experts from the federal high court is also responsible to monitor nothing inhuman act is being committed against citizens during the emergency period or if any it will report to the premier’s office or to council of ministers.

    Since the decree was imposed more than five months ago, the Ethiopian government recently lifted many of the restrictions.
    Days ago, Addis Abeba also lifted more restrictions for the second time. Accordingly the command post led under Ministry of Defense has lifted the command post’s power to arbitrary arrest people or search individuals’ houses.

    Furthermore, curfews and other restrictions on media and social media activism have also been lifted.

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  • Ethiopia sends 16 to prison for trying to create new state

    An Ethiopian court has sentenced 16 people to prison after finding them guilty of trying to create a separate state in the tense Oromia region.
    All 16 are members of the outlawed Oromo Liberation Front. They received sentences of four to 13 years.

    The Ethiopian Federal High Court said in its ruling Tuesday the members tried to carry out terrorist acts across the country and supported other group members in remote parts of Oromia.

    The region has been a hotspot for anti-government protests that began in November 2015. The protests later spread across the country and demanded wider political freedoms and the release of political prisoners.

    The protests led to the killings of hundreds of people and the declaration of a nationwide state of emergency that remains in effect.

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  • Loosening State of Emergency propels steady growth

    It's been more than five months since Ethiopia declared a state of emergency in response to widespread protests and unrest. The country’s first state of emergency in more than quarter century aimed at normalizing what the government calls a “worsening security situation” in Oromia and Amhara regional states.

    Recently, the government revealed that some of the restrictions imposed by the state of emergency have been lifted. Accordingly, the command post, which is charged with enforcing the country’s state of emergency in the wake of unprecedented mass protests against government policies, would no longer be able to arbitrarily arrest people or conduct property searches without court warrants. Further, curfews and some restrictions on media reporting and social media activism have come to an end.

    Five months earlier, the government announced that the declaration of the state of emergency is needed due to difficulties in keeping law and order through the regular security command. As a result, the government was forced to restrict some rights of citizens for a time lasting up to six months.

    Right after the declaration lasts for four months, Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn said “As of now, the state of emergency has accomplished its goal. We have to ensure that the goal is long-lasting, as long as we have ensured that, the state of emergency can be lifted anytime,” speaking to Journalists in January.

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  • US Embassy Denies Visa for Ethiopian Business People

    The US Embassy in Addis Ababa denied visas for Ethiopian businesspeople who were travelling to Los Angeles last week to attend the African Global Economic and Development Summit held on March16-18, 2017 in the University of Southern California.

    At least 20 Ethiopian businesspeople, who were invited to attend the three-day annual African trade summit, were all denied entry visas. One of the business people whose visa application was rejected told The Reporter that he has presented an extensive documentation to the embassy’s visa consular affairs section including bank statements and property records. “It is sad that we are unable to attend the trade summit meant to create business opportunities for Ethiopian companies due to visa issues,” he said.

    Spokesperson of the US Embassy in Addis Ababa, Nick Barnett, said that the embassy cannot comment on individual cases. In an email response to The Reporter, Barnett said: “There have been no new restrictions on visa issuance to Ethiopian citizens. The US government facilitates legitimate travel to the United States in accordance with the Immigration and Nationality Act, which applies to all visa applicants, regardless of nationality.”

    According to organizer of the African Global Economic and Development Summit, Mary Flowers, the annual African trade summit typically brings delegations from across Africa to meet with business leaders in the US in an effort to foster partnerships. Ethiopian businesspeople were not the only ones to be denied entry visas.

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