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  • Ethiopian Prime Minister blames US-based government dissenters for protests

    “This is not the capacity of the man himself. It’s something which has been orchestrated by someone else from outside,” Hailemariam was quoted saying.

    Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn has blamed the United States-based "dissenters" for being behind Olympic medallist Feyisa Lilesa’s protest at the Rio de Janeiro Games. REUTERS/Tiksa Negeri

    Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn has blamed the United States-based “dissenters” for being behind Olympic medallist Feyisa Lilesa’s protest at the Rio de Janeiro Games, the Foreign Policy.com reported.

    According to reports, Lilesa held his arms in an “X” as he crossed the finish line in protest against government’s crackdown on political dissent.

    The marathon runner finished second in the final at the recent Olympic games in Rio, thus earning a silver medal for his country.

    Demonstrations in Ethiopia began popping up in November 2015 in the Oromia region, which surrounded the capital. This was over a government plan to expand the boundaries of Addis Ababa.

    The region’s Oromo people feared their farmland would be seized, and though the authorities soon dropped the urban enlargement project and brutally suppressed the protests, they badly misjudged the anger it triggered.

    The protests have since swept across other parts of Oromia, and more recently to the northern Amhara region, causing disquiet in the corridors of power of a key US ally and crucial partner in east Africa’s fight against terrorism.

    Human rights investigations

    The Chicago Tribune reported that critics of Ethiopia’s human rights investigations say the government was in a habit of deflating numbers in order to cover up abuses taking place at the hands of their security services.

    Human Rights Watch’s death statistics have multiplied those of Ethiopian civil society groups such as Human Rights Council Ethiopia, a nongovernmental organisation that monitors human rights in the country, and those published in an official Ethiopia Human Rights Commission report presented to the country’s parliament.

    However, despite all his, the Ethiopian parliament endorsed the commission’s findings, which determined that agitators seized upon the peaceful protests and used them as an opportunity to incite ethnoreligious hatred.

    Hailemariam, who is in New York for the UN General Assembly this week, reportedly said that he would never allow an outside investigation to take place when Ethiopia has its own institutions available, because to do so would be a “breach of sovereignty”.

    Hailemariam said that the silver medallist was put up to the stunt by US-based opposition groups in order to protest the government’s crackdown on demonstrations and further fuel controversial secessionist movements at home and in neighbouring Eritrea.

    “This is not the capacity of the man himself. It’s something which has been orchestrated by someone else from outside,” Hailemariam was quoted saying. -  News24

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  • Ethiopian leader at UN Assembly decries use of social media to spread messages of hate and bigotry

     

    Prime Minister Hailemariam Dessalegn of Ethiopia addresses the general debate of the General Assembly’s seventy-first session. UN Photo/Cia Pak

    21 September 2016 – As much as social media offers a digital platform to improve exchange of information and enhance popular participation, its attendant negative impacts simply cannot be ignored, Hailemariam Dessalegn, the Prime Minister of Ethiopia, told the United Nations General Assembly today.

    “In fact, we are seeing how misinformation could easily go viral via social media and mislead many people, especially the youth,” he said in his address to the annual general debate, adding: “Social media has certainly empowered populists and other extremists to exploit people's genuine concerns and spread their message of hate and bigotry without any inhibition."

    On other global challenges, he said international peace and stability is facing greater risks with the rise of geo-political tensions and the growing threats posed by “all shades” of terrorist groups. Moreover, the global economy has not yet rebounded from the financial crisis.

    Further, “it is critical to underline one critical matter which is usually given short shrift, both by the media and others. It is simply hypocritical to deny that some of our countries have been targets for destabilization activities carried out with no accountability by people and groups who have been given shelters by states with whom we have absolutely no problems,” he stressed.

    It is under these challenging circumstances that countries are striving to implement the new UN transformational agenda, including the Sustainable Development Goals, and, obviously, he said, there are no easy solutions to these complex issues. “The situation is much more pronounced specially for least developed countries like us which are making every possible effort to […] escape from the poverty trap.”

    “We believe our vision is right and we are determined to get there. Whatever challenges and shortcomings we may have, we don't have difficulty owning up to them and we will make every- possible effort to deal with them in close consultation, cooperation and participation of our people,” Prime Minister Dessalegn said, noting that there is no better testimony for the resolve Ethiopia had shown in this regard than the way it had handled this past year’s devastating El-Nino.

    At the same time, he said Ethiopia could not simply “wish away” the challenges it is facing. Indeed, they need collective and coordinated responses “and we are always ready willing to continue to contribute positively in close partnership with others in our region and beyond in tackling these challenges.”

     Source: http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=55022#.V-O2dk8oHCP

     


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  • Clashes in Bandipora hamlet after forces teargas villagers demanding militant’s body

    Witnesses said that villagers, including women, staged a protest outside the army camp to demand the body of a suspected militant.

    Clashes in Bandipora hamlet after forces teargas villagers demanding militant’s body

    Representational Image

    Clashes erupted in a village in Bandipora district of north Kashmir after forces resorted to teargas shelling to break up a protest by villagers, demanding body of a suspected militant killed in a gunfight earlier today.

    Witnesses said that villagers, including women, staged a protest outside the army camp to demand the body of a suspected militant.

    However, forces used teargas shells to disperse the protesters, triggering clashes.

    Earlier, police and army said a militant was killed in a gunfight in Chapran Gujjarpatti area of Aragam village .

    “One militant has been killed,” said DySP operations Bandipora Murtaza Hussain Mir. “His identity is being ascertained.”

    Source: greaterkashmir.com

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