News in Brief https://mfaethiopiablog.wordpress.com/2021/07/23/a-week-in-the-horn-23-07-2021
Tigray Region Humanitarian Assistance Updates (Office of the Prime Minister)
Africa and the African Union
The African Union Commission launched a new five-year continental Green Recovery Action Plan 2021-2027. The launch was officiated by H.E Felix Tshisekedi, Chairperson of the African Union and President of the Democratic Republic of Congo, with interventions by Heads of State and several dignitaries from AU member States, International Organizations UN Agencies, bilateral and multilateral partners. In his opening statement H.E President Felix Tshisekedi highlighted that a clean and resilient recovery in Africa will not only create jobs in the industries of the future but also overcome challenges related to public health, prosperity and climate change. He also emphasized that the challenges confronting us today are a reminder of the need to think of a recovery that is both inclusive and respectful of the environment and in line with the Sustainable Development Goals.
The Economic, Social and Cultural Council (ECOSOCC) of the African Union on Saturday (July 17) has assured African media of its support towards enhancing their capacity in covering the COVID-19 pandemic and other health crises. ECOSOCC Head of Secretariat, William Carew said this yesterday during the ECOSOCC Global Dialogue Series Webinar themed: Covering the Pandemic – African Journalism in the Era of COVID-19, organized in collaboration with the International Press Institute (IPI) and attracted editors, journalists and media houses from across Africa.
The 4th Session of the IGAD Special Task Force on the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden was held in Bishoftu, the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia from 13th to 15th July 2021, under the Chairmanship of H.E Ambassador Magdi Ahmed Mofadal of the Republic of the Sudan representing IGAD Chair; in coordination with Ambassador Mohamed Ali Guyo, IGAD Special Envoy for the Red Sea, Gulf of Aden and Somalia. The meeting was attended by the Members of the Task Force from all IGAD Member States. The IGAD Special Task Force was convened to review and validate the outcomes of the National Consultative Meetings (NCMs) on the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden held on various dates between 2019 and 2020. It also deliberated on the way forward.
President Sahilework Zewde Monday (July 19) wished all Ethiopian Muslims a Happy Eid al-Adha, according to Office of the President. “On behalf of myself and the people of Ethiopia, I wish the holiday to be a time for thinking about peace and development of your country and to reach out to those in need,” the president said in her message.
Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed on Sunday (July 18) said Ethiopians from all walks of life have prepared to weed out the terrorist TPLF group as the unity of the whole nation has been strengthened more than ever now to shatter the group’s conspiracy. Despite the government’s declaration of unilateral humanitarian ceasefire to address the major concerns of the international community for cessation of hostility and unimpeded access to the region, TPLF has continued rejecting the ceasefire and engaging in provocative acts.
Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed Monday (July 19) has extended a congratulatory message for Ethiopians over the successful completion of the second-year filling of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD). In his message, the Prime Minister said “congratulations on the completion of the second Grand Renaissance Dam! “Ethiopia moves onward resiliently; the prime minister also wrote on his Face-Book.
Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed on Thursday (July 22) said the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam would continue to be a source of cooperation for the Nile River Riparian countries, including the downstream states. In a message written today in Arabic on his Twitter page, the Prime Minister noted Ethiopia’s successful completion of the second filling of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam as per the scheduled time.
Demeke Mekonnen Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of Ethiopia met on Friday (July 16) with the UN Undersecretary-General for the Department of operational support, Mr. Atual Khare. During the meeting, the Deputy Prime Minister expressed the positive role of the Ethiopian peacekeeping force in the UN and highlighted the longstanding history of Ethiopia’s peacekeeping mission in the UN.
Foreign Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Demeke Mekonnen Monday (July 19) has congratulated Ethiopians over the successful completion of the second-year filling of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD). In his message, Demeke said that the second-round filling of the dam is a historic achievement that would make all Ethiopians proud of their hard work, financial and Knowledge investment to realizing the project.
Demeke Mekonnen, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ethiopia had a meeting on Tuesday (July 20) with H.E. Ms. Annette Weber, European Union special representative for the Horn of Africa. The two sides have discussed the 6th general elections in Ethiopia, the filling of the GERD and the ongoing tripartite negotiation, the humanitarian ceasefire in Tigray, and the Ethiopia-Sudan border dispute.
In his briefing to the media on Thursday (July 22), Ministry of Foreign Affairs Spokesperson Dina Mufti said Ethiopia still believes that the GERD will benefit not only Ethiopia but also the lower riparian countries. The spokesperson noted that Ethiopians are celebrating the second-round filling of the dam not because they filled the dam but because the completion of filling ahead of the scheduled time shows to the world that truth has prevailed.
Ambassador Hirut, has welcomed the new EU Special Representative for the Horn of Africa at the Embassy’s Chancery on Thursday (July 22) and expressed readiness to work with Dr Annette Weber. On this occasion, Ambassador Hirut and Special Representative Ms. Weber exchanged views on the current situation in Ethiopia and regional issues of common interest. Furthermore, they shared views regarding the recent visit of Ms. Weber to Ethiopia. The two sides have agreed to continue exchanges on mutual issues of common concern.
Approved by the Ethiopian government, the World Food Program (WFP) has launched a humanitarian flight from Addis Ababa to Mekelle on Saturday (July 17. Six people were on board with money to fund humanitarian operations of the organization in the region, pay salaries of humanitarian workers in 21 woredas, and wages for day laborers.
The Ethiopian Civil Service University, in collaboration with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ethiopian Foreign Relation Service Institute, graduated 153 Diplomats in Diplomatic and International Relations on Saturday (July 17). The graduates received their postgraduate diplomas from State Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ethiopia, Ambassador Birtukan Ayano.
Eid Al Adha, 1442 Hijiri year, was colorfully celebrated nationwide on Tuesday (July 20). At the event held at the Al-Khulafae Al-Rashidin Mosque, Sheik Salem Ibrahim al-Muktar, Mufti of Eritrea, said that Eid is a religious and cultural event in which the faithful extend hands to disadvantaged citizens.
Djibouti and Ethiopia have secured finance to build a second electricity transmission line after the two countries enjoyed the returns from the first project that linked their power grids. The first project has enabled Djibouti to import Ethiopia’s hydropower-processed, renewable and cheap electricity.
Prime Minister of the Federal Republic of Somalia, Mohamed Hussein Roble on Thursday (July 22) received Minister of Foreign Affairs and Defense of Ireland, Simon Conveney in his office, SONNA reported. They have “discussed enhancing bilateral engagements, partnership and support in security, reviewing the arms embargo and Federal Elections”, Mr. said on Twitter post after the meeting.
Prime Minister, Dr. Abdalla Hamdouk has described the patience and the efforts being exerted by the Sudanese people to restore their rights of stability and development as fruitful. Dr. Hamdouk addressing the nation, on Tuesday (July 20), on the occasion of Eid Al-Adha reviewed the initiative he launched, “National Crisis and Transition Issues – The Way Forward”, which aimed to achieve the goals that the Sudanese people aspire to.
Saudi investors plan to build a new port in Sudan’s Red Sea coast, Gibril Ibrahim, Sudanese Minister of Finance said on Friday (July16).
South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir has called for the reorganization of the country’s armed forces for effective command and control. He made the remarks while officially opening a three-day military command consultative meeting held at the army headquarters in the capital, Juba on Saturday (July 17). Kiir, also the commander-in-chief of South Sudan Peoples Defense Forces (SSPDF), urged the military command to work collectively to expedite the graduation of the necessary unified forces.
The health authorities in South Sudan say they have closed down all the Covid-19 vaccination centers after running out of the jabs. South Sudan’s Heath Minister Elizabeth Achuei receiving the COVID-19 vaccine In March, the East African nation received 132,000 doses of the Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine from the Covax facility, but 72,000 of them were donated to neighboring Kenya over concerns that they would expire before use.
Tigray Region Humanitarian Assistance Updates (Office of the Prime Minister)
Following the Government of Ethiopia’s enactment of a unilateral humanitarian ceasefire in the Tigray region, to enable farmers to undertake the seasonal farming activities and facilitate humanitarian assistance, we are witnessing the impediment by TPLF remnants of assistance delivery to those in dire need.
Prior to the June 29′ 2021 enactment of a humanitarian ceasefire and related withdrawal of the Ethiopian National Defence Force from Mekelle and other cities in the region, the National Emergency Coordination Committee, which in three rounds had been provided humanitarian assistance for the past months, had also placed in storage more than 400,000 quintals of wheat and 2.5 million liters of cooking oil for distribution to those in need. In addition, close to 14million liters of fuel have been left in fuel depots within the region for utilization by citizens prior to the withdrawal of the ENDIF.
It is to be noted that unfettered humanitarian access has been provided for partners and international aid organizations to avail the required assistance. The Government of Ethiopia remains steadfast in Its commitment to support the safe delivery of critical supplies to its people in the Tigray region, without endangering national security. Full permission for humanitarian flights to fly to the Tigray Region have been facilitated, on the condition that they depart from Addis Ababa and land in Addis Ababa on the return flight. The condition to pass through Addis Ababa is In keeping with the Constitutional duty of the Government to preserve national security – a sacrosanct duty it is obliged to honour. Two flights by the World Food Program (WFP) have already been made in the past week.
The Government of Ethiopia is also facilitating humanitarian convoys through the Afar region and is working to fast-track security checks on the trucks to avoid delays. Relatedly, we once again condemn the attack by TPLF on an aid convoy on 18 July 2021, along the Semera-Abala road. The obstruction of humanitarian assistance to those in need within the region by the terrorist group TPLF for political gains Is an act that should also be condemned by the international community. TPLF’s continued provocations directed at the Ethiopian National Defence Force, through the use of child soldiers and armed civilians, attempting to draw our forces into an altercation, need to also be strongly condemned by the international community.
The Government of Ethiopia has been working tirelessly in collaboration with development partners to ensure continued supplies of food and medicine to those that are in desperate need of it. It will continue to work with its humanitarian partners to prevent breaks in humanitarian operations and for assistance to reach all affected community.
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