Egypt And U.S. Share Comprehensive Efforts To Combat Terrorism

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE SAUDI NEWS AGENCY ASHARQ AL-AWSAT)

Cairo – Conflicts in the Arab region, most notably in Syria, Libya and Yemen, should be resolved, stressed Egyptian Foreign Affairs Minister Sameh Shoukry.

The minister added there is a possibility to contain terrorism through Western intelligence agencies, not just military operations.

Speaking to Asharq al-Awsat, the FM said that certain known factories are providing terrorist organizations with arms and equipment, calling for serious and effective cooperation to end this.

Shoukry pointed out that the US administration shares the same vision as Egypt in countering terrorism. He also discussed the situation in the region and the importance of giving people a chance to end their struggles and solve their problems.

When asked if there were any initiatives for a solution in Yemen, Shoukry replied that they are monitoring the UN envoy and other countries’ efforts to establish a resolution according to the agreed bases, such as the outcomes of the national dialogue, the Gulf initiative and supporting the legitimacy.

On terrorism, the FM stressed that Egypt will continue to fight it, especially after the two attacks on the Tanta and Alexandria Churches earlier in April.

Shoukry stated that he believes terrorism is expanding because the international effort that has been established did not succeed in containing terrorism, except in Iraq recently.

He added that the situations in Syria and Libya are complicated and terrorist organizations are spreading in Africa. He also cited the frequent attacks in Europe and Egypt that are evidence of the continued presence of these terror organizations.

According to the minister, the international community should “credibly tackle the matter because it is impossible that these organizations receive weapons and support unbeknownst to the western intelligence.”

Shoukry said: “If there a real international will to fight terrorism, then the international community should begin with determining how these terrorist organizations receive all these advanced weapons and equipment.”

The FM said it is “impossible” that intelligence agencies are unable to trace and determine the parties and states responsible for backing terrorist organizations. He added that this is crucial for the credibility of anyone who says they are fighting terror.

Commenting on Egyptian President Abdul Fattah al-Sisi’s recent trip to the US, Shoukry explained that it took place shortly after US President Donald Trump came to office and when the US policy was still being shaped.

He did say however certain concepts were agreed upon, like fighting terrorism.

When asked whether Egypt will continue to unite all three Libyan parties, Shoukry stressed that his country never did and never will stop trying to unite Libyan parties. He explained that there are three institutions in Libya: presidential council, the parliament and the state’s council, which will form a committee to agree on the amendments needed to the Sukhayrat agreement.

He added that this constant effort with Libyan leaderships, which have met with Egyptian officials in Cairo, will continue until they are successful.

The minister stressed that Egypt aims to have natural relations with regional countries according to certain bases, which include mutual respect for sovereignties.

Furthermore, Cairo does not interfere in internal affairs and does not support organizations that back terrorism.

The FM was in Sudan recently on a visit, which he described as having “positive outcomes”.

He stated that it was an opportunity to review bilateral relations and the outcomes of the meetings of the joint high committee. He also explained that Egypt and Sudan agreed on a mechanism for political dialogue and discussed the regional situation.

The minister stated that bilateral relations might have had some misunderstandings or misinterpretations, which drove brotherly relations off their track.

When asked if the past has been forgotten, Shoukry stressed that Cairo is committed to a strategic ties with Sudan, which goes beyond any special relationships, adding: “Egypt does not conspire against or interfere in the affairs of any state.”

On Ethiopia, Shoukry said that both Cairo and Addis Ababa requested better coordination and asked for more frequent meetings. He explained that this could make it clearer to the public that issues are being discussed frankly and openly.

When asked about the Egyptian-Ethiopian relations, Shoukry said that Ethiopian FM Workneh Gebeyehu conveyed his country’s prime minister’s message to Sisi during his recent visit to Cairo. He added that the visit was an opportunity to discuss the importance of the mutual relations which are based on respect and common interests.

The Ethiopian FM stressed publically that his country will not take any move that could harm Egyptian interests. Meanwhile, Shoukry confirmed that Egypt is concerned with the Ethiopian development efforts, expressing Egypt’s willingness to be part of it through investments.

Shoukry said that the two countries agreed on dialogue to reach an ongoing mechanism to hold meetings every two months in order to discuss any misunderstanding or misinterpretation that could lead to wrong assumptions.

‘The Crescent Must be Above the Cross’: Muslim Persecution of Christians 2016

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF CREEPING SHARIA’S WEBSITE)

‘The Crescent Must be Above the Cross’: Muslim Persecution of Christians 2016

Source: ‘The Crescent Must be Above the Cross’: Muslim Persecution of Christians: September, 2016 – Raymond Ibrahim

by Raymond Ibrahim

In September 2016, a group of escaped ISIS sex slaves finally revealed the true fate of Kayla Mueller  — the 26-year-old American aid worker in Syria whom ISIS had reported dead more than a year ago. Her former fellow captives said Mueller had “refused to deny Jesus Christ despite being repeatedly raped and tortured.” In February 2015, ISIS claimed their captive had been killed during a Jordanian airstrike and sent photos of her dead body in a white burial shroud, apparently as a sign of respect. One former sex slave said that Mueller “put others before herself,” and once even refused a chance to escape with the other girls because she thought her American appearance would stand out and endanger the others.

An ISIS-related plot to butcher Christians with chainsaws in a Belgian shopping center was exposed in September after authorities interrogated a Muslim youth. The teen—and son of a man being described as a “radical imam”—was arrested for calling for the execution of Christians while walking down a street.  Theo Francken, a Belgian official, said, “I already signed the order to remove the Imam from Belgian soil. But he appealed the decision, so I can only hope for a quick sentence. Clearly radicalism runs in the family.”

Speaking for the first time about the slaughter of the 86-year-old French priest Jacques Hamel, eyewitness Guy Coponet—who was himself stabbed several times, including in the neck, and was not expected to survive—revealed how the jihadi murderers also forced him to hold a camera and record them slitting the throat of the elderly priest: “They even checked the quality of the image and that I wasn’t trembling too much. I had to film the assassination of my friend Father Jacques!” He said the assailants planned on using the video as propaganda, “which would allow them to earn their fame as a ‘martyr’ of Allah.”

Meanwhile, Hungary became the first government in Europe to open an office specifically to address the persecution of Christians in the Middle East and Europe. Zoltan Balog, Hungary’s Minister for Human Resources, said, “Today, Christianity has become the most persecuted religion, where out of five people killed [for] religious reasons, four… are Christians. In 81 countries around the world, Christians are persecuted, and 200 million Christians live in areas where they are discriminated against. Millions of Christian lives are threatened by followers of radical religious ideologies.” This move came weeks after Prime Minister Victor Orban drew criticism in the EU by saying, “If we really want to help, we should help where the real problem is…. We should first help the Christian people before Islamic people.”

Around the same time—and despite the many instances of Muslim migrants raping, murdering, and terrorizing Europeans—Pope Francis urged Europeans to take in more Muslim refugees, including into their homes. He explained that the best way to combat terrorism is by warmly welcoming migrants and helping them integrate into the “European context.”

The rest of the bloody month of September’s worldwide Muslim persecution of Christians includes, but is not limited to, the following:

Violence, Prison, and Death for Christian “Blasphemers” and “Apostates”

Jordan: Nahed Hattar, a Christian writer and activist, was killed on September 25 outside of a courthouse in Amman. The 56-year-old man was earlier arrested for sharing a “blasphemous” cartoon about the prophet Muhammad. As he was walking into court to stand trial for “contempt of religion” and “inciting sectarian strife,” a man dressed in traditional Muslim garb shot him dead.  The report adds: “Approximately 70 percent of Muslim-majority countries in the Middle East and North Africa have blasphemy laws that make it illegal to criticize or dishonor religious symbols and teachings. In practice, many of these laws apply exclusively to Islam.”

Uganda: One Muslim convert to Christianity was killed and two others beaten in three separate incidents:

  • The blood-stained body of 32-year-old Enoch Shaban—a Muslim convert to Christianity and member of the Church of Uganda—was found hanging from a tree. A local resident of the village said he heard Shaban shouting for help after another man said, “We have warned you several times of being a disgrace to our religion, and you have not taken seriously our warnings.” The witness added: “Two weeks before meeting his death, he had mentioned several messages on his phone warning him to recant the Christian faith and return to Islam.” The slain apostate appeared to have been struck on the head with a metallic object. The morning before his death, Muslims were reportedly seen conspicuously loitering around his workshop, a mile away from the murder scene. Although Uganda is majority Christian, the area where Enoch was killed is predominantly Muslim.
  • On the same day Shaban was killed, Aisha Twanza, 25—another Muslim convert to Christianity in Uganda—was poisoned by Muslim family members who put insecticide in her food. After their conversion last January, Aisha and her husband were forced to flee their village because relatives threatened to kill them. On August 10, family members informed Aisha that her mother was dying; she rushed to the village only to find that it was a lie to lure her back. Questioned about her conversion to Christianity, she refused to deny her new faith. “They were very disappointed with me for deserting Islam.” Her family then served her food and allowed her to return home: “Reaching home, I started feeling stomach upset that continued….Soon the pain intensified, and my husband rushed me to Mbale hospital, then I was taken to Pallisa, where poisoning was discovered after several tests. I never expected my parents to do such a thing to me, but I thank God for saving me.”
  • A Muslim husband savagely beat his wife after she attended church. Neighbors found Fatuma Baluka, 21, unconscious and rushed her to a hospital: “When I arrived home [from church that day], my husband shouted at me as an ‘infidel,’ and then and there started hitting me with a metallic object. I fell down, only to find myself in a hospital bed.” She has since been abandoned by her husband and extended Muslim family.

Ethiopia: Six weeks after a Muslim man discovered that his wife and mother of his three children had converted to Christianity, he locked her in the house and beat her with sticks; during her ordeal, neighbors heard him shouting—including that she “should die for forsaking Islam.” Neighbors found her soaked in blood from a deep gash in her forehead and rushed her to the hospital.

Pakistan: A 16-year-old Christian youth was arrested and could be executed for the crime of “blasphemy.” He allegedly posted or liked a picture of the Kaaba, Islam’s sacred temple in Mecca, with a pig on top of it on Facebook. Infuriated Muslims who saw the image immediately reported it to authorities which led to his arrest. Authorities also removed the image in an effort to calm local Muslims and prevent them from rioting. The arrested youth’s family fled their home in fear of reprisals. Accusations of blasphemy against Pakistan’s minorities are common and often false. Religious hatred, personal score settling, and economic gain are just a few of the motives behind false accusations of blasphemy.

Malaysia: Three Muslims who sought to legally convert to Christianity were denied conversion by the court system due to the implementation of Sharia, or Islamic law, which maintains that anyone born into Islam—i.e., whose father was Muslim—must remain Muslim. According to a source discussing this report, those trying to convert are often sent to a “purification center,” where they are made to recite different Islamic creeds so they are again considered Muslim. “This purification center utilizes torture, beatings, and psychological attacks to terrify new believers into recanting their faith in Jesus Christ.”

Muslim Slaughter of Christians in Nigeria

The ongoing jihad on Christians by both Boko Haram, an Islamic jihad group, and allied Muslim herdsmen, left many dead in its wake:

  • At least eight Christians were randomly shot dead by militants on motorbikes as they were exiting Sunday church service. A couple of weeks earlier Boko Haram had said it would begin “booby-trapping and blowing up every church that we are able to reach, and killing all of those who we find from the citizens of the cross.”
  • Another senior priest was kidnapped after his car was ambushed by Muslim herdsmen; during the attack they violently beat and tried to kill two other clergy in the car, including by shooting one in the head. On the same day a Vincentian priest was kidnapped along with his brother. Discussing these and other attacks on Christian clergy in recent weeks and months, several fatal, the communications director of the local diocese said: “One begins to wonder if Catholic priests have become an endangered species.”
  • Boko Haram insurgents killed at least two people during raids on Christian villages. They tied up one man with a rope and slaughtered him in front of his wife and children. They also burned homes and set the market square of one village ablaze.
  • A group of Fulani Muslim tribesmen attacked a 60-year-old Christian farmer while he was working his land and hacked him to death with machetes. He is “the latest victim of attacks by Muslim Fulani herdsmen in Nasarawa state who have burned church buildings and homes and destroyed crops in the past four years,” said the report.
  • According to a separate report, Muslim Fulani tribesmen also killed another Christian pastor; raided Ningon village—murdering two Christians as they slept in their homes, and seriously wounding a girl with gunshots; and raided the Christian village of Ungwar Mada, forcing their way into a married couple’s home and slaughtering them.

Dhimmitude: Muslim Contempt for and Abuse of Christians

Saudi Arabia: Officials arrested 27 Christians—including several women and children—for the crime of “conducting Christian prayers” and being “in possession of Bibles.” The group of Christians, most if not all of whom were Lebanese nationals, were celebrating a feast day for the Virgin Mary when authorities stormed their residence and arrested them. Authorities, the dreaded “religious police,” proceeded to strip them of their visas and deport them back to Lebanon. Ironically, this is a much better fate than that suffered by other Christians caught engaging in “acts of Christianity” in the Islamic kingdom. In 2012, 35 Christian Ethiopians were arrested and abused in prison for almost a year, simply for holding a private house prayer. One of them reported after being released: “They [Saudis] are full of hatred towards non-Muslims.”

Iran: At least 25 Christians were arrested in Kerman for unknown reasons. Security forces broke into the Christians’ homes, searched them, seized various objects, and then took the Christians in.  Officials did not reveal the reason for the arrest nor where the Christians were taken, leaving family and friends in distress.

In another incident, authorities raided a family garden party after they noticed it wasn’t closely observing conservative Islamic norms; without a warrant they arrested five men, former Muslims who had converted to Christianity. Then they searched the premises and confiscated several items, including three Bibles. The arrested men were taken to an unknown location, though later reports suggest they were sent to Evin prison, where Iran’s worst criminals are caged.

Uzbekistan: Eight Christians were arrested and fined for possessing Christian literature, which is illegal in the Muslim majority nation. One Baptist, Stanislav Kim, was sentenced to two years in a corrective labor camp for being caught with Christian literature a second time in one year. The Christian literature was ordered to be handed over to the state-backed Muslim Board.

Malaysia: After Ben-Hur, originally a novel, was readapted into a 2016 movie and hit the big screen, movie goers were left disappointed and confused, as authorities cut out all scenes that portrayed Christ or had anything to do with Christianity, making the movie unintelligible. “I felt cheated,” said one viewer: “The novel from which this movie is adapted is Ben-Hur: A Tale of Christ. It means Jesus is central to the plot. It was censored so much the storyline made no sense! How did Judah’s mother and sister get cured from leprosy? They just appeared at the end of the movie healed.” Such anti-Christian edits are consisted with the government’s ban on and confiscation of Bibles in the majority Muslim nation.

Egypt: After weeks of more frequent than usual attacks on the Christian minority in Minya, Upper Egypt, the government responded by appointing a Muslim cleric, Mahmoud Gomaa, to investigate the situation. Gomaa then appeared in a televised interview insisting that “Everything was good…. No one has been killed. No one has even been wounded. There’s no conflict. The problem is really with the journalists writing about it.” Bishop Makarios of Minya responded by saying, “I have nothing to do with Mahmoud Gomaa. We are at a breaking point. People can’t put up with any more of this.” He explained how in recent weeks Christians have indeed been killed—including a priest who was gunned down at the entrance of his church and a man who was stabbed to death by an angry mob—as well as numerous incidents of mob violence on Christians which left many injured and their properties looted and/or burned.

United States: In September, when Coptic Christians were suffering abuses “every two or three days” in Egypt, an Egyptian Muslim woman living in America made a video calling for more Muslim hostility against Egypt’s Christian minority, in the guise of an economic boycott. In a video, Ayat Oraby—a Muslim Brotherhood sympathizer who has nearly 1.5 million followers on Facebook—called the Coptic Church a “bunch of gangsters,” a “total mafia” that “rules [Egypt] behind the curtains.” The Copts are reportedly “stockpiling weapons in churches” and “striving to create a Coptic statelet” in order to continue waging “a war against Islam.” That Oraby hates Copts simply because they are Christian came out clearly towards the end of her tirade, when she said: “They [Copts] must learn very well that the Crescent [Islam] must be above the Cross [Christianity.]” In fact, Copts pose no danger to Egypt’s Muslims — but they dare to want equal rights, when they should be content with second-class status.


Read it all and thousands more examples over the last five years in Raymond Ibrahim’s archives.

China Built Railway Opens Up Ethiopia To Red Sea Port Commerce

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE SHANGHAI DAILY NEWS)

Chinese expertise ends Africa logjam

WITH Chinese conductors at the helm, a fleet of shiny new trains yesterday began plying a new route from the Ethiopian capital of Addis Ababa to the Red Sea port city of Djibouti, in a major boost to both economies.

The 752.7-kilometer railway, built by two Chinese companies, will link the two African cities in about 10 hours, a far cry from the current excruciating multi-day trip along a congested, pot-holed road.

“We’re so excited. It takes two or three days for a truck to come from Djibouti. The driver doesn’t answer his phone. We don’t know where he is and that can be a bit of a nightmare,” said Ethiopian importer Tingrit Worku. “The train could make a huge difference.”

Some 1,500 trucks a day currently lumber along the road which carries 90 percent of imports and exports from landlocked Ethiopia to the port — a key trade hub to Asia, Europe and the rest of Africa.

“This train is a game changer. Ethiopia is one of the fastest growing economies in Africa. The connection to the ports (of Djibouti) will give a bounce and our economy will grow faster,” said Mekonnen Getachew, project manager of the Ethiopian Railways Corporation.

Ethiopia was the world’s fastest growing economy last year at 10.2 percent, however the International Monetary Fund estimates that the worst drought in 30 years is likely to see this plummet to 4.5 percent in 2016.

Both countries benefit from economic integration, with Ethiopia gaining access to the sea and Djibouti — the smallest state in the Horn of Africa — gaining access to Ethiopia’s emerging market of 95 million people.

“It is the first standard gauge electrified railroad on the continent built with Chinese standard and technology, and certainly it will not be the last. Many stand to benefit from it,” said Chinese ambassador to Ethiopia La Yifan.

The new railway means the end of the historic French-built diesel line built-in 1917, which fell into abandon in later decades, with frequent derailment.

Yesterday’s inauguration will be followed by a three-month test period, with no paying passengers and carrying only cargo.

However, when the line is fully functional, uniformed Chinese controllers will welcome passengers to spotless platforms of newly built stations all along the route, while Chinese technicians and stationmaster will keep things running in the background.

“We don’t yet have the management experience yet. We have a management contract with Chinese staff for five years, with an Ethiopian counterpart in training,” said Getachew.

China has invested heavily in infrastructure in Ethiopia, funding sub-Saharan Africa’s first modern tramway, which opened last year, as well as motorways and dams.

The new US$4 billion railway, with its red, yellow and green trains evoking the Ethiopian flag, was 70 percent financed by China’s Exim Bank and built by China Railway Group and China Civil Engineering Construction.

A high-level Chinese delegation, in Addis Ababa for the inauguration of the railway, signed further agreements on Tuesday valued at US$100 million for the construction of roads, the state-controlled Fana Broadcasting Corporation reported.

China became Africa’s largest trade partner in 2009.

China built the US$200million African Union headquarters in Addis Ababa in 2012 as a gift expressing “friendship to the African people.”

However direct investment in Africa slumped “more than 40 percent” last year, as growth slowed in China.

The railway is the first step in a vast network of 5,000 kilometers of rail which Ethiopia hopes to build by 2020.

Ethiopia: Peace And Prosperity For All Or Not At All

(This article is courtesy of the Ethiopian Observer News Paper)

Expose and fight the enemies of the Ethiopian people

What has been going on in Ethiopia during the last couple of months is worrisome, frightening, outraging, perplexing as well as shameful for those involved in tarnishing the positive image of Ethiopia. Ethiopia, which arose from the ashes of a civil war and dictatorship 25 years ago, has seen enormous development and advancements in many aspects of societal development, such as education, infrastructure, foreign investment, etc. During these 25 years the population has doubled, GDI per capita more than doubled, GDP more than quadrupled and life expectancy and life expectancy at birth increased with more than 35%. The dark days of the fascist junta came to an end giving rise to a hopeful future, where no one is left aside, where all the nations and nationalities standing in unison on equal basis were to bury the unjust and discriminatory system of the past regimes. It was a system, where a majority of Ethiopians were regarded as second class citizens and sidelined as if Ethiopia belonged to a specific group or central minority ethnic group, defining the impetus of “one country and one people”.

However, thanks to the protracted armed and systematic liberation struggle against the oppressive military regime, the dawn of change came by the resolute willpower of all the peoples of Ethiopia in 1991. Since then the Ethiopian nations and nationalities with their administrative regions in a federal system have enjoyed their full liberties of managing their own affairs such as language, culture, education, budget, etc. It is no wonder that adherents of the past regimes or those who support the unitary and old systems and remnants of the “town-guerilla-fighter” cells are rehabilitating to stir violence here and there and try to take over the government. It is the last-ditch and effort of a dying minority in the Diaspora orchestrating its fanfare of empty bravado, heroism and with its “kererto” mentality by deceiving poor Ethiopians into a situation where they risk dying and being maimed for their own egoistic and jingoistic ambitions. It is the ultimate despondency, which we see for those intoxicated by hatred and malignity, acting with precipitation.

No, the Ethiopia of today is not built on layers of straw but is a robust organic base bound by the blood and sacrifices of millions of peoples of Ethiopia. It is neither the TPLF nor the Tigray people who have been targeted, it is a target aimed at the freedom fighting peoples of Ethiopia, who would not allow any implanted hate-mongers with fascist ideas to make them stumble upon their hard-won victory. This generation of Ethiopians should not be oblivious to the resolve, courage, bravery and sacrifice of the heroes and heroines to free and build this progressive, peaceful Ethiopia that today is marching towards prosperity. Ethiopia today is, whether its enemies like it or not, an oasis of peace in a region set on fire with clan, tribal and fundamentalist conflicts. Not only is Ethiopia considered a regional mediator and player but is the main contributor to the peace-keeping forces under the auspices of the UN.

In the last few weeks, thousands of Tigrians were displaced, evicted, chased, tortured and killed in different parts of Gonder in the Amhara region for inexplicable reasons and anomalous to what opposition against government is. Though this stand and process of overwhelming harassment, purge and robbery has been simmering and going on since the last celebration of the nations and nationalities (as I wrote about in the Ethiopian observer (http://www.ethioobserver.net/Force_of%20_destruction.htm) and Aigaforum,(http://aigaforum.com/article2016/Forces-of-destruction-should-be-curtailed.pdf), in articles dated June 12, 2016 and the repeated coverage by audio reportages by Tamrat Yemane), no measures were taken until these forces of hate with parochial designs supported by the extremist Diaspora tried to destroy the very fabric of Ethiopian unity, tolerance and solidarity, attributes unique to Ethiopia. Who has precedence to define and determine ones identity as Welkait, if not the people themselves of Welkait? Why were all the meetings summoned about Welkait without the prime representation and consent of the people of Welkait, thereby adventuring the peace and security of the region with internal strife and resentment against Tigrians? One does wonder now after these incidents, why local and state administrators and federal government failed to uphold law and order and take the necessary reinforcements. Who armed all these trigger happy ragtag “armies” whether intentional or otherwise to go berserk and threaten citizens are also questions that must be addressed in this context. Who lies behind this unrest and who is to be held responsible for the consequences, of this crime against humanity are questions which the federal government has to deal with in the near future.

The government should not be dilatory and has to investigate the whole episode thoroughly and make doubly sure by bringing those criminals to justice so that no such ethnic related cleansing will ever be allowed on Ethiopian soil. It is also incumbent upon the government (regional or federal) to immediately denounce such heinous crimes, take immediate measures as sincere and official apology to the victims without trying to silence media flow. Lack of government information is already driving concerned people to seek other alternative social media outlets (Facebook, personal video clips, Al Jazeera, BBC, VOA, local radios/TVs, etc.) and other dubious sources leading to a wide range of speculations. Above all the rule of law should be respected, showing the need to inculcate into the people their rights and obligations in regard to the Constitution, the supreme document of the country. Were the previous riots, which followed though illegal in terms of breach of regulations and public order, manifestations against maladministration and good governance? They can hardly be proven as their sole purpose showed rampage, demolition of public and private properties and businesses, lootings, beatings, both verbal and physical assaults against Tigrians, disrespect of the federal flag, etc Years of mutual trust, respect, coherence, cultural interaction and integration were all suddenly dispelled by the tumultuous works of reckless individuals and mobs.

The stipulated facts speak for themselves and so far more than 4000 Tigrians with families have fled to the Sudan. This is not a simple rigmarole, but a calculated blow at innocent people, which makes one to be consumed with anger and desperation. The Tigrian people paid an excessive price with more than 60 00 thousand dead and more than 100,000 injured to liberate the country from an abysmal dictatorship, taking the brunt leadership during the armed struggle to confront an army of more than 300 000 man ( which is more than10% of the population in Tigray). Trying to dehumanize and abase the whole people of Tigray by interahamwe-like sedition by mendacious propaganda, scurrilous attacks and duplicities by the likes of ESAT (the Eritrean sponsored television channel), its wretch cronies such as the ignoble Al-Mariam (with his jejune writings and creator of “special phrases”, Messay the quack philosopher and unscrupulous Mengistu ideologue or Tamagn (Mengistu’s personal azmari and many of his likes living as bums), Ginbot 7 (the sorcerer promising power on silver platter in six months if you donate $500 and 10 years have gone since) and the lubber Aregawi (sole member of an organization with his draft declaration that the plunder in Gonder would be repeated elsewhere) will not for a moment deter or thwart the people of Tigray from its struggle for the rights of nations and nationalities, co-existence with equal opportunities for all Ethiopians.

The prime motive of the enemies is to drive a wedge between the nations and nationalities and people’s of Ethiopia. These mercenaries strive to see a failed Ethiopian state that is engaged in internal fighting and squabbling. Ethiopia has survived similar hate mongers and their intrigues for centuries and no retribution or hatred is to be ensued as a consequence of this rabble rousing staged by the extremists. It is similar as the saying of the donkey “after my death, let the forage disappear.” They know well that these diehards and hired mercenaries from the Diaspora would never manage to run the country, not even for a day. Their vision of Ethiopia is an Ethiopia which would lead to a precipice never to resurrect as a unified and proud nation. These fools iterate with duplicity, repeat their usual mantra that “Tigrians have benefited from the regime and therefore should be targeted as enemies together with the TPLF, minority government, plundering Ethiopian resources, etc.” and thereby seducing other people into hating and abetting in crime. These bigots bereft of reason would not present a single benefit gained by the Tigrian people from this new political system. On the contrary, most beggars on the streets of Addis and other cities are Tigrains, a quarter of Tigray’s population is under safety net programs dependent on handouts, very poor and substandard roads (based on my own observations compared to other places in Ethiopia), cities and a regional capital with almost a half million people lacks drinking water (distributed every three or four days) as well as electricity, rampant corruption and expropriation, confiscation of land, farmlands and park areas (e.g. the elites confiscation of land in Tchomaa in Mekelle at a lease value of 1 Birr/m2 and also known popularly as sefer), hindrances to private establishment of private businesses, poor public services, high rate of unemployment, lack of good governance, lack of democratic rights and implementation of the Constitution as also is the case in other parts of the country. Thus, trying to portray Tigray as the hub of affluence and a favored region can only be expected from deranged and malicious individuals blinded by hate.

What these extremist groups, who are out of touch with reality both during previous and current situations want is, bloodbath among Ethiopians in order to fill their ego and lust ensconced abroad wallowing in luxury both for themselves and their families. They will never slough off their hatred or reconcile with realities on the ground, but are determined to kindle civil war and disturbances in Ethiopia. It is the same group of extremists, who demonstrated against the debt cancellation, against the millennium dam project on Abay, invite other countries to wage war against Ethiopia, support the one-man regime in Asmara as a democrat and future liberator of Ethiopia, dispatch terrorist groups, attack Ethiopian delegates and other members of the Ethiopian Diaspora, occupy Embassies and defile the national flag, lobby businessmen not to invest in Ethiopia, boycott of the national carrier, etc. Knowing their background, Ethiopians both abroad and at home should not fall victims to the wiles of these unscrupulous rogues. It is purposefully done so that Ethiopians cannot not cooperate, work together and extirpate poverty from its roots and foster a climate of unity and hope.

Thus, it is the work of all peace-loving and dedicated Ethiopians to expose and if necessary to take the cases to the courts when cases of hate crimes and incitement to ethnic cleansing and genocide are published by individuals/groups or broadcasted. We should act in unison to disclose their anti-Ethiopian stance, whenever and wherever possible so that our Ethiopia belongs to all and not only to specific tribesmen with specific identity. They are few in numbers but vociferous, where we, the majority have allowed them to enhance their agenda of hate and spite. We should say no more Somalia, Rwanda, South/Sudan, DR Congo, Syria, Libya, etc. and hands off the people of Tigray. Furthermore, we know that those displaced are in desperate need for temporary or permanent rehabilitation in the form of shelter and food and thus people who are compassionate for those who are in distress should donate either through their organizations or on individual bases. The determined solidarity and sympathy shown by the Ethiopian Somali people by traveling to Tigray and donating 10 million Birr for this emergency situation should be hailed and followed.

However, what has been said above is not to be construed as a statement to limit in any way the inalienable rights of Ethiopians to oppose, express their own opinions in writing and speech, organize themselves in parties, and elect their representatives. On the contrary I cannot defend the indefensible facts on the ground. It is known that a well-informed and democratic society helps to curb and question the rulers and administrators, effectively introduce a check and balance system, infuse accountability, liability and responsibility in governance, etc. Thus, the existence of other parties contending with clear objectives and a political agenda working closely with the people by organizing and sharing views and discussions and acknowledging the Constitution should be welcome with open arms by all the people. What we have seen so far is that the ruling party has limited the space by painting any opposition as enemy of the people (compare the truth and reconciliation commission in South Africa letting the proponents of Apartheid to participate with full legal rights after being granted amnesty) instead of allowing and encouraging pluralism, free association of people, free press by enabling the democratic rights of the people to take root as enshrined in the constitution, while the opposition as weak is it might be due to its internal problems for power within, is embroiled in fighting, blackmailing, smear campaign and mudslinging within its rank and file. Peaceful negotiations, cooperation in matters of vital internal and external matters for the country should be the driving forces for both the government bearing party and the opposition politicians. The government should also go as far as appointing opposition persons to public and government positions in a gesture of good-will and a win-win solution (learn from experiences from other countries that all who do not support you are enemies)

Rent seeking, corruption and lack of good governance have been identified as problems by all stakeholders including the EPRDF in its recent and previous congresses. The corrupt officials and opportunities clinging to power and averting any change or reform through networks, kinship, friendship, neighborhood or from the same area are clear facts. It is really strange that the system only allows a similarity of ideas by stigmatizing those who have different ideas, although based on hearsays of individuals from abroad and within. It is obvious for anyone and according to the complaints of the people who a public servant earning 3000-5000 Birr owns one or two villas or in some cases real estate worth millions of Birr. Discrimination of party members and non-members among the populace are points raised by many in obtaining special offers such as jobs or other benefits. A large amount of graduates from the flourishing universities and colleges are desperate in finding jobs with extensive unemployment as a result, giving rise to hopelessness, apathy, drugs, trafficking, theft and/or migration. There is a demographic change in Ethiopia, where 60% of the youth is under the age of 25, after the EPRDF take-over in 1991. This young generation of Ethiopians is enlightened, demanding and well-informed and therefore cannot be easily hoodwinked to give up its demand for change and equal opportunities. Demoted, superannuated or retired party apparatchiks are appointed again to higher posts as if Ethiopia lacks qualified, educated, experienced and devoted professionals.

Mega projects and others have been on delay than their expected timeline without the proper transparency leading to larceny or bribes by the bidding part. Although the findings of the auditor general show clear embezzlement of public money by criticizing the prodigality of the administration, no measures have so far been taken against those responsible. A long list of misconduct is abundant from the village level to the cities by the people complaining of the unjust system and excessive corrupt practices and history will record these abuses of trust by the people. Hubris, arrogance and nonchalance to peoples voice is what led to the downfall of many nations both past and present and the EPRDF government should learn from this rich and available history. The Prime Minister once stated that “people from North to South are telling us to pack and go”. Thus, it is long overdue that the PM takes measures in the much awaited reforms for democratic change and in the fight against rent seekers/corrupt officials.

Finally I would like to quote a taxi-driver whom I met in Addis recently “What is going on in Gonder and its vicinity is madness. This is coordinated by the Diaspora, who lives in luxury with their children attending the best schools without any daily disturbances in their lives. We have to make our living and fill the bellies of five people and all other costs. We can only do this if we have a country in peace with itself. And if we want to change our government, it has to be through peaceful means” and added the following proverb in Amharic and with warning “Yekotun awerd bla yebbutan talech”.

Wish all a Happy Ethiopian New Year! (01-01-2009 EC)

 

Long live Ethiopia with its diversity in unity!

Dr. Yohannes Kiros, 11-09-2016

Ethiopia And Canada Are Working To Strengthen Bilateral Ties

 

Canadian investors keen to engage in energy, mining sectors Featured

31 Aug 2016

Canadian investors keen to engage in energy, mining sectors

 (This article is courtesy of the Addis Ababa News Paper: The Ethiopian Herald)

Canadian business communities are interested to invest in energy, mining, aerospace, engineering and infrastructural development

 Ethiopia and Canada discussed to further strengthen their bilateral relations in the areas of trade, investment, peace and security.

Foreign Minister Dr. Tedros Adhanom held talks with Office of the Ministry of International Development parliamentary Secretary Karina Gould here yesterday.

The Secretary told journalists following the talks that Canadian business communities are interested to invest in energy, mining, aerospace, engineering and infrastructural development.

The trade volume between the two countries is growing rapidly every year, she said. She said that during talks with Dr. Tedros they discussed ways of further bolstering economic cooperation.

Appreciating the role of Ethiopia in ensuring peace and security in the region, Karina Gould said that it is a great opportunity to invest in the country.

Ministry Spokesperson Tewolde Mulugeta also said the two countries have discussed to further strengthening their relations focusing on trade and investment.

According to him, the two countries have strong relations in various fields and Canada is active partner in various developmental activities including humanitarian support.

WRITTEN BY LEULSEGED WORKU

Ethiopian Scientist Believe “First Human” Lucy Died From Falling Out Of A Tree

(This article is courtesy of the Addis Ababa News Paper: The Ethiopia Herald)

Scientists say Lucy died after arboreal accident

31 Aug 2016

Texas and Addis Ababa University researchers said that the ancient human ancestor Lucy probably died after falling from a tree.

Indicating that a number of researches have been conducted for years, Co-author and Addis Ababa University Paleoenviromentalist and Geoscintists Dr. Mulugeta Feseha. said that questions how 40 per cent of Lucy’s fossils were found and was Lucy living on tree or earth were some which have not yet been given response for 42 years.

The combined interpretation from Lucy’s fossils, CT scan reconstructions and ancient environment interpretation from geological information support to conclude that Lucy died falling from a tall tree, and this was followed by rapid brutal in riverside crevasse splay sandstone sediments.

“It is ironic that the fossil at the center of a debate about the role of arborealism in human evolution likely died from injuries suffered from a fall out of a tree,”said Lead Author Anthropologist and Geographical Professor John Kappelman Austin University.

The fact that 40 per cent of Lucy’s remains are preserved and Lucy being discovered from ancient riverine environment tells that the ancient environment of Lucy needs a close scrutiny to hypothesize how Lucy was preserved,” Dr. Mulugeta said.

Lucy was both terrestrial and arboreal, features that permitted her to move efficiently on the ground may have compromised her ability to climb trees, predisposing her specious to more frequent falls. Using fracture patterns when present, future research may tell a more complete story of how ancient species lived and died, it was learnt.

The Authority for Research and Conservation of Cultural Heritage (ARCCH) Director General Yonas Desta said that his office has been providing unreserved support for researchers who are trying to conduct research and come up with new findings.

WRITTEN BY GIRMACHEW GASHAW

Up Coming G20 Summit In Hangzhou City China September 4th-5th

G20 summit to listen to concerns of developing countries: Chinese ambassador

THE G20 summit to be held in China in early September will combine the concerns of developing countries with a focus on global development, Chinese Ambassador to Ethiopia La Yifan said here on Friday.

A record number of developing countries will participate in the upcoming G20 summit, the first time in its history, the ambassador said at the Dialogue on China-Ethiopia Tourism Industry Cooperation in the Ethiopian capital.

“The G20 summit in Hangzhou will focus on development, especially that of developing countries, including African countries, which makes it different from other G20 summits,” he said.

The G20 summit, which gathers the most influential economic players in the world, should also take the concerns of developing countries into heart, he noted.

By bringing more interlocutors together, the G20 summit will push for a more inclusive world economy, said the Chinese ambassador.

The G20 summit, with the theme “Toward an Innovative, Invigorated, Interconnected and Inclusive World Economy,” will be held in east China’s Hangzhou city on Sept.4-5.