News in Brief

Statement of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia on the Ethiopia-Sudan Border Incident 

Statement of the Chairperson following the murder of George Floyd in the USA

UN Security Council Extends UNAMID mandate till December

Ethiopia reiterates its call to International Partners for support to Ethiopian migrants

Ethiopia, Spain Stress on Sharing Experiences in fighting COVID-19 

Africa and the African Union

The Chairperson of the African Union Commission MoussaFakiMahamat, in a statement issued on Friday (May 29), strongly condemns the murder of George Floyd that occurred in the United States of America at the hands of law enforcement officers and wishes to extend his deepest condolences to his family and loved ones. (See article)

The Commissioner for Political Affairs of the African Union Commission, Ambassador Minata Samate Cessouma presided over a virtual consultative meeting of senior officials of African Election Management Bodies (EMBs ) on Wednesday (May 27) on the COVID-19 pandemic and elections in Africa. The virtual peer-learning consultative meeting was convened in collaboration with the Association of African Electoral Authorities (AAEA) and Regional Economic Communities’ networks of EMBs.

Ethiopia

Minister of the Foreign Affairs of Ethiopia, GeduAndargachew on Thursday (June 04) welcomed to his office, the Algerian Ambassador to Ethiopia, Salah Francis Elhamdi. During their discussion, Mr. Gedu commended the long-standing relationship between the two countries and called on expanding it further. The two also have discussed the arrangements of training opportunities to Ethiopian diplomats in the higher education institutions of Algeria. Following the briefings on the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam by Gedu, the Algerian ambassador expressed his hope that Ethiopia, Sudan, and Egypt would reach a mutually beneficial agreement through dialogue.

Ethiopia on Thursday (June 04) donated 17,000 Kg of COVID-19 medical supplies to the Republic of South Sudan. Ambassador Beatrice KhamisaWani-Noah, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of the Republic of South Sudan received the Ethiopian delegation that delivered the medical supply at Juba International Airport. Ambassador Redwan Hussein, Minister of State of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ethiopia and head of the delegation handed over the medical supplies to Ambassador MayenDutWo, Undersecretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of the Republic of South Sudan. The Undersecretary commended Ethiopia’s support of COVID-19 medical supplies to his country at this difficult time.

State Minister TsionTeklu and high-ranking government officials accorded a warm welcome to 118 Ethiopians who have returned home from Saudi Arabia Thursday (June 4). It is recalled that 136 Ethiopians returned home from Saudi Arabia last week on Tuesday.

Ethiopia recorded 150 new cases of the coronavirus, out of the 5,141 laboratory tests conducted on Thursday (June 04). With this, the total number of confirmed cases in the country now stands at 1,636. A 30-year-old man also died of the virus in the past 24 hours, bringing the total number of deaths to 18. The number of recoveries reached 250 after four people recovered from the virus.

The Prime Minister Office announced on Wednesday (June 03) that Ethiopia will officially embark on its annual Green Legacy challenge on June 5, 2020. “Last year,” said Prime Minister Abiy “we each committed to the national call and met our set target,” adding, “Despite COVID19, we are determined to plant the intended 5 billion trees.”

State Minister of the Foreign Affairs of Ethiopia, TsionTeklu said expelling and deporting migrants would further exacerbate the spread of the virus. She said this in addressing a webinar held on Wednesday (June 03) that aimed at discussing how migrants who find themselves in a difficult condition under the threats of the COVID-19 pandemic can be assisted where they are at the moment. (See article)

The Minister of Water, Irrigation and Energy, Dr. SeleshBekele on Wednesday (June 03) held a virtual meeting with his Sudanese counterpart, Professor Yassir Abbas Mohammed on ways of resuming the trilateral negotiation of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD). The two ministers along with their respective delegation exchanged views on the procedural aspects of resuming the trilateral negotiations and other key concerns from each country. Key issues and concerns regarding the outstanding negotiations on the GERD have been also discussed in the virtual meeting. The two sides further agreed to hold frequent bilateral meetings leading to the trilateral negotiations as soon as possible.

Ethiopian Airlines on Monday (June 02) stated that it has generated more than 120 Million US Dollars revenue within the last month, an income surpassing its monthly expenses. The Chief Executive Officer of the Airlines, TewoldeGebremariam said the airline is supporting the domestic economy besides covering its monthly costs. The Airlines’ success is attributed to its timely engagement in cargo services, especially transportation of medical supplies across the world. Tewolde noted Ethiopia’s being selected as a convenient transit hub to the distribution of medical supplies amidst COVID 19 pandemic in the region and across has created a good opportunity for the airlines to emerge as a global airlift operator.

Ethiopian Embassy in Israel has organized a coffee exhibition and culinary diplomacy event aimed to foster the Ethiopian Coffee to the Israeli community. The exhibition held at Empress Taitu Memorial Building in Jerusalem on Tuesday (June 02) has been attended by representatives of Israeli Foreign Affairs and Tourism Ministries, Mayor of Jerusalem, Members of the diplomatic community, Journalists, members of Ethiopia Friendship Association and guests drawn from various institutions in Israel. Ethiopian cultural restaurants and Importers of Ethiopian Coffee in Israel took part in the exhibition. Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary and Special Envoy of Ethiopia to Israel, RetaAlemu, while delivering a welcoming speech, said the exhibition is mainly aimed at promoting unique features of Ethiopian Coffee to the world.

Office of the Federal Attorney-General said it has started its investigation into the new Amnesty International report on “grave human rights violations.” “We respect human rights, not for any reason but the protection of our people and for justice,” AdanechAbiebie, Attorney General, said in a post to her Facebook page on Tuesday (June 02). “We have looked at the report of Amnesty International and have started our investigation on the matter. Now, we are working on finalizing our investigation and checking the content and process of the report for actuality and neutrality,” she said. “After the investigation is complete, where the report is correct, we will take the necessary steps to remedy the problem and where the report is false or exaggerated, we shall discuss with Amnesty International and let the report be corrected accordingly,” she added.

Ethiopia and Spain expressed the need to forge a joint approach in their efforts to mitigate and prevent the COVId-19 pandemic. This was related on Monday (June 01) in a phone conversation held between Minister of the Foreign Affairs of Ethiopia, GeduAndargachew, and his Spaniard counterpart Ms. Arancha González Laya. (See article)

Forbes on Sunday (May 31) has listed seven countries that have the potential to become major tourist destinations in a post-COVID World. Ethiopia is the first amongst the list. In listing the reasons for selecting Ethiopia as one of the most attractive tourist destinations, Forbes writes, “Out of the 54 nations that make up Africa, one could make the argument that Ethiopia has the most fascinating historic background – it was the second civilization on earth to adopt Christianity, the only African nation to defeat a European power in battle and resist colonialism during the Scramble for Africa, and it’s believed that our earliest human ancestors first came from this fertile region. Visitors to this unique country will find a truly diverse scope of natural beauty – the western edges of Ethiopia are home to lush rainforest, which quickly gives way to the towering peaks of the Ethiopian Highlands as one ventures east.”

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia issued a statement referring to the incident of 28 May 2020 along the border area between Ethiopia and the Sudan with great dismay and expressing its deep sympathy and condolences to the families of the victims of both countries. (See article)

The government of Ethiopia on Saturday (May 30) announced that it has repatriated 323 of its citizens from Lebanon. Upon arrival at Bole International Airport, the returnees were welcomed by State Minister of the Foreign Affairs of Ethiopia TsionTeklu and, other high-ranking government officials including Maureen Achieng, IOM Chief of Mission to Ethiopia. In addition to the 333 returnees that have arrived in Addis Ababa last Thursday, the Government has covered the costs of the trip in repatriating Saturday’s arrivals too. The government announced that it would continue to identify its citizens who are living in unbearable conditions abroad and provide assistance to those who want to return home voluntarily.

The UN on Friday (May 29) reported that excessive heavy rains that started in April in Ethiopia have led to flooding, displacement, loss of lives and livelihoods, as well as damage to infrastructure in different parts of the country. According to authorities, flooding has affected more than 470,000 people, of whom over 300,000 people are displaced. The Government, the UN, and other humanitarian agencies and communities are responding to the needs of flood-affected and displaced people, although with limitations. The UN said that $25.6 million is urgently required to address unmet needs as well as early recovery support.

Eritrea

Contribution by nationals to augment the National Fund to combat the COVID-19 pandemic continues, the Eritrean Ministry of Information announced. The Ministry quoting reports said, various administration areas in the Southern and Central regions, cooperative associations, and religious institutions contributed a total of 63 thousand and 808 Nakfa. Similarly, small businesses in the Gash Barka, Northern Red Sea, and Central regions contributed a total of 193 thousand and 543 Nakfa. 20 individuals also contributed a total of 132 thousand Nakfa. In related news, the Ministry said, several administrative areas, owners of small businesses and members of the Eritrean Defense Forces extended food items and sanitation materials to disadvantaged families in their area while many nationals inside the country and abroad decided that the families renting their houses to live free of rental payment ranging from one to four months.

Djibouti

The government of Djibouti Delivered Food aid to Beledweyne Flood victims in Somalia on Monday (June 01). Hiraan governor Ali Jeyte Osman received the consignment at UgaasKhalif airport. AbdiWaare, the state president of Hirshabelle thanked the government of Djibouti for sending humanitarian support. “We appreciate the president of Djibouti, Ismael Omar Gelle, the people and troops serving under the AMISOM peacekeeping mission.” Many people were displaced after the river burst its banks’ many people are now living in IDPs.

Kenya

The UN on Friday (May 29) reported that seasonal heavy rains in Kenya have affected nearly 302,000 people in 43 of the 47 counties. Currently, according to the Kenya Red Cross Society, over 211,000 people are displaced, up from 116,000 at the beginning of the month. Nearly 27,000 livestock have been lost and over 30,000 acres of crops submerged, increasing the risk of food insecurity across the country. The UN Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) has allocated $3 million to the response, which will support partners in providing shelter, food, water, sanitation, and health services to the affected population. Emergency shelter and non-food items have been distributed to over 5,600 households.

The Kenyan government has facilitated the evacuation of 120 Kenyan teachers who were stranded in Somalia amid the Covid-19 pandemic. The teachers landed at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) aboard a Daallo Airlines flight last week on Thursday evening from the Garowe area in Somalia. Most of the evacuated teachers worked in Yamays, Dawaad, and Rasasyr international schools in Galkayo, Garowe, and Bosaso.

Somalia

Galmudug regional state president Ahmed AbdiKariye (Qoor-Qoor) on Thursday (June 04) hailed the construction of the port in the city of Hobyo as a game-changer to the Somali economy. He said that his administration was well placed to complete the required job and that they would not seek any external help. Galmudug president said, ” the people of Galmudug can construct the port without other people’s help”. He reiterated that the operation to disarm the clan militias to surrender their weapon is still ongoing.

Two airlines operating in Somalia have had their licenses withdrawn on Monday (June 01) over Khat smuggling. Somalia banned imports of khat in the wake of COVID 19 to avert the spread. According to government officials, the government has accused Buff AIR SERVICES airlines of illegally transporting Khat to Buhodle town on 26 May and in violation of the Somali government’s ban on COVID-19 revoked its license. Also, Silverstone Air Service was accused of illegally importing khat and transporting to Jowhar on 31 May in the name of Carrying medical supply. Khat was banned in a bid to combat the spreading of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Somalia will push ahead with plans to hold presidential and parliamentary elections in early 2021, removing doubt that it will delay the vote because of the spread of Covid-19. “Holding a timely election is more important than anything else at this time and it’s one of the primary goals which the public entrusted us,” Prime Minister Hassan Ali Kheyre said on Sunday (May 31) in a speech following a cabinet meeting.

The UN on Friday (May 29) reported that seven Somali health workers were abducted on May 28 from a mother and child health clinic run by an NGOin Gololey village in the Middle Shabelle region. These seven health workers and another civilian were subsequently killed. The Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator for Somalia, Adam Abdelmoula, said any attacks against medical facilities and personnel are unacceptable and a breach of international humanitarian law and any common decency. He called for a thorough and transparent investigation.

In related news, the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) condemns the abduction and deliberate killing of seven health workers and a civilian at a local health center in Gololey village in the Balcad District of HirShabelle State on May 28, 2020. “I am shocked by the senseless killings of civilians. Deliberate attacks against health professionals and facilities are a serious violation of International Humanitarian Law and constitute a war crime in non-international armed conflicts,” said the Head of AMISOM, Ambassador Francisco Madeira. The African Union Mission in Somalia, presents its sincere condolences to the bereaved families, the people, and the government of Somalia, for the loss of these dedicated citizens.

South Sudan

South Sudan President SalvaKiir on Thursday (June 04) appointed Nhial Deng Nhial as new Minister of Presidential Affairs after firing his former Minister MayiikAyii Deng. Nhial took the oath of office before President Kiir in a ceremony attended by Vice-Presidents Rebecca Garang and Taban Deng, Senior Presidential advisor KuolManyangJuuk and SPLM Secretary-General JemmaNunuKumba.

South Sudan denied claims that it approved a request to set up an Egyptian military base in the country, according to a government statement late on Wednesday (June 03). “There is nothing of that kind,” said the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation. “No agreement has been reached whatsoever to allocate a piece of land for Egyptian Military Base in the territory of the Republic of South Sudan.” It said South Sudan denies claims “circulated in social media that the Government of South Sudan has agreed to Egyptian request to build a military base in Pagak.” Pagak is a town in South Sudan’s Upper Nile state, near the border with Ethiopia.

In related news, Ambassador of South Sudan to Ethiopia, James Pitia Morgan, said his country won’t do anything that could harm Ethiopia. Ambassador Morgan’s remarks came following information shared on social media claiming that South Sudan had agreed to Egyptian request for a military base in Pagak. “The information is completely false,” he said in a press conference issued to local journalists on Thursday (June 04) in Addis Ababa. “The information is shared by a group who has the interest to undermine the existing cooperation between the two countries,” said the ambassador.

A batch of South Korean peacekeepers has left Seoul heading to South Sudan where they are expected to arrive on Monday (June 01) three months after its initial scheduled date due to the spread of coronavirus pandemic. On 3 March 2020, South Sudan suspended until further notice the rotation of peacekeepers from five countries China, Cambodia, India, Nepal, and South Korea. The suspension coincided with the replacement of a 300-troop South Korean contingent deployed in South Sudan’s Bor area, known as the Hanbit Unit or Reconstruction Assistance Force.

South Sudan’s Vice President James WaniIgga has tested positive for coronavirus, becoming the third vice-president and the fifth member of the government to catch the respiratory disease. South Sudan’s vice-president, James WaniIgga informed the country of his infection in statements to South Sudan’s TV on Saturday (May 29). “My samples were taken for testing a few days ago and today it has been found positive for corona,” he said. “I encourage all South Sudanese to really go for testing. This is very important so that we stop the spread of this pandemic to more people,” he further said.

Sudan

In a videoconference meeting held on Thursday (June 04), the Security Council of the United Nations extended the mandate of the African Union-United Nations Hybrid Operation in Darfur (UNAMID) until 31 December, deciding that the peacekeeping mission will maintain its current troop and police ceilings during this period. (See article).

The Sudanese negotiating parties, the government and the Revolutionary Front (SRF) have achieved a “very significant progress” in the peace talks, said the South Sudanese mediation on Thursday (June 04). Speaking to the press after a videoconference session of talks between the two parties from Juba, DhieuMatouk told reporters that the two parties agreed on 25 of the 29 issues on the agenda of the talks. The peace talks which are approaching their deadline of 20 June are now focused on security arrangements, national and pending issues.

Sudanese Prime Minister AbdallahHamdok pledged to hold accountable the responsible for the bloody attack on the pro-democracy sit-in last year where over one hundred people were killed and hundreds injured or abused. On Wednesday (June 03) Sudanese marked the first commemoration of the brutal attack on the main site of protests outside the headquarters of the Sudanese army on 3 June.

The African Union Peace and Security Council (PSC) on Monday (June 01) requested the UN Security Council to extend the UNAMID mandate until 31 December but at the same time called to separate Darfur operation and transition in Sudan. On Friday 29 May, the Security Council decided to delay its decision on the troops’ drawdown until 3 June to allow more consultations about the UNAMID withdrawal and the political support mission requested by the Sudanese government. The PSC “Appeals to the United Nations Security Council to consider the situation in Sudan separately from the mandate of UNAMID and to also ensure that any future mission to be deployed in Sudan should be under Chapter VI mandate of the UN Charter,” said the PSC in a statement adopted in a meeting held on 21 May.

Security conditions are not met for the withdrawal of the hybrid peacekeeping operation from the western Sudan region, said Darfur armed groups participating in the Juba-mediated peace process in Juba. The Security Council is expected to extend the withdrawal of the UNMAID for 31 December as the UN peacekeeping department it was not possible to meet the initial date of 31 October due to the negative impact of the COVID-19 measures on the drawdown schedule. In a statement extended to the media, Ahmed TugodLissan, the Chief Negotiator for the groups of the Sudanese Revolutionary Front (SRF) participating in Darfur Track said that UNAMID is needed to protect civilians due to the “fragile” security situation.

A spokesperson for the Sudanese Professionals Association (SPA) which spearheaded protests that led to the ouster of former President Omer al-Bashir on April 11, said that their support for separating religion from the state aims to promote the peace process. On Saturday (May 31), the SPA announced its support for separating religion from the state. This announcement came in the wake of a declaration by the Sudanese Congress Party (SCoP) expressing its support for the negotiating position of the SPLM-N al-Hilu calling to reaching an agreement on the secular state during the peace talks.

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Statement of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia on the Ethiopia-Sudan Border Incident

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia refers with great dismay the incident of 28 May 2020 along the border area between Ethiopia and the Sudan and hereby expresses its deep sympathy and condolences to the families of the victims of both countries.

In the spirit of containing the situation on the ground and avoiding any further tension, the Ministry urges that the two countries should work together through existing military mechanisms to address and jointly investigate circumstances surrounding the incident. The Ministry strongly believes that there is no honorable reason for the two countries to descend into hostility and calls for the need to continue the close collaboration between neighboring local and regional administrations to ensure peace and security in the border area. We are of the view that such incidents are best addressed through diplomatic discussion based on the cordial and friendly relation and peaceful coexistence between the two countries. We believe that the incident does not represent the strong ties between the peoples of the two countries.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia wishes to underscore the importance of further strengthening the cordial and friendly atmosphere that reflects the longstanding fraternal relations between the two countries based on good neighborliness and mutual understanding.

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Statement of the Chairperson following the murder of George Floyd in the USA

The Chairperson of the African Union Commission MoussaFakiMahamat, in a statement issued on Friday (May 29), strongly condemns the murder of George Floyd that occurred in the United States of America at the hands of law enforcement officers and wishes to extend his deepest condolences to his family and loved ones.

Recalling the historic Organisation of Africa Unity (OAU) Resolution on Racial Discrimination in the United States of America made by African Heads of State and Government, at the OAU’s First Assembly Meeting held in Cairo, Egypt from 17 to 24 July 1964, the Chairperson of the African Union Commission firmly reaffirms and reiterates the African Union’s rejection of the continuing discriminatory practices against Black citizens of the United States of America.

He further urges the authorities in the United States of America to intensify their efforts to ensure the total elimination of all forms of discrimination based on race or ethnic origin.

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UN Security Council Extends UNAMID mandate till December

In a videoconference meeting held on Thursday (June 04), the Security Council of the United Nations extended the mandate of the African Union-United Nations Hybrid Operation in Darfur (UNAMID) until 31 December, deciding that the peacekeeping mission will maintain its current troop and police ceilings during this period.

According to a statement issued by the UN, “the Council expressed its intention to decide by 31 December courses of action regarding UNAMID’s drawdown and exit.” “The mission’s strategic priority will be the protection of civilians, including by supporting Sudan’s capacity to carry out that duty and by preserving requisite capacity, particularly in Jebel Marra.”

The Council underscored that UNAMID will retain its responsibility for civilian protection in Darfur without prejudice to Sudan’s primary duty in this regard, the statement reads. According to the statement, the council reiterated its requests that UNAMID and the newly established United Nations Integrated Transition Assistance Mission in Sudan (UNITAMS) create a coordination mechanism to determine the modalities and timelines for the handover of responsibilities where they have common strategic priorities in Darfur.

The Council also called on UNAMID and Sudan’s Government to finalize swiftly a revised framework agreement which ensures the principle of civilian end-use, as well as the security and physical integrity of the handed‑over UNAMID team sites and assets that will not be used by UNITAMS and its integrated United Nations country team partners.

The 15-member organ also called on Sudan to swiftly conclude its investigations into recent looting of previously handed‑over UNAMID team sites and to continue to hold accountable individuals who participated in such incidents.

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Ethiopia reiterates its call to International Partners for support to Ethiopian migrants

State Minister TsionTeklu hosted a webinar on Wednesday (June 03) with International partners to discuss the situation of Ethiopian migrants residing in some countries in Africa and the Middle East. The webinar was held against the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on migrants. The aim was to discuss how migrants who find themselves in a difficult condition under the current circumstances can be assisted where they are at the moment.

In her opening remarks, State Minister TsionTeklu explained that large scale migratory movements lend the coronavirus the mobility it needs to spread. She noted, the expulsion and deportation of migrants further expose them to the coronavirus. In this regard, she referred to the decision by the African Union Peace and Security which condemned mass deportations and called for an international moratorium on mass returns until the fight against COVID-19 has been won. She also mentioned the United Nations Network on Migration, which has similarly pronounced itself on this issue, calling for the suspension of forced returns during the pandemic and redirection States towards including migrants in national responses to COVID-19.

The State Minister further explained that the Government of Ethiopia has established 50 quarantine centers to provide shelter, humanitarian, and health services to returnees, with the support of the International Organization for Migration, cognizant of its obligation under international law to accept the return of its nationals. To date, over 14,441 Ethiopian migrants have returned but with the domestic infection rate rising, she noted the challenge this could pose in seriously overstretching the country’s capacity. In this regard, she expressed the government’s commitment to continue to engage in constructive dialogue with countries hosting Ethiopian migrants in need of humanitarian protection and assistance.

She took the opportunity to thank all the host countries for accommodating Ethiopiannationals and expressed hope that they will continue this kind gesture together with partners. She also expressed profound appreciation to the Ethiopian community members and leaders in countries where these migrants are present in huge numbers, for their relentless dedication and commitment to contributing their share, mobilizing resources, and coordinating the “sharing of dinning” request made by Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed. State MinisterTsion indicated that the Prime Minister has been very keen to ensure that all street people, many of them non-Ethiopian (e.g. Syrian and Yemeni refugees and migrants) do not get forgotten in the COVID19 response efforts.

The State Minister concluded her remarks by reiterating Ethiopia’s commitment to forging international cooperation around migration management practices that prioritizes migrants’ health, wellbeing, and human rights. As the international community intensifies efforts to combat COVID-19, she underscored the need for solidarity to successfully combat COVID19 and mitigate its socio-economic impact on individuals, families, and communities.

On her part, Dr. Catherine Sozi, UN Resident Coordinator in Ethiopia, who delivered brief remarks at the Webinar, said that no one can fight the COVID-19 or manage migration alone. In this regard, she expressed the UN’s commitment to supporting Ethiopia to manage returns during this pandemic. She also highlighted the recent report released by the United Nations on people on the move, particularly the plight of vulnerable women and girls. She underlined the need to uphold the dignity of migrants. The African Union Commissioner for Political Affairs, Ambassador MinataSamate who also attended the Webinar delivered a brief remark highlight what the African Union has been doing to address the issue of migrants.

This was followed by a brief intervention by Ambassador TesfayeYilma, Ethiopia’s Permanent Representative to the African Union and UNECA. He expounded on the discussion at the level of the Peace and Security Council of the African Union, Ethiopia being the current member, and the decision by the AUPSC condemning mass deportation of migrants and called for an international moratorium on mass returns until the fight against COVID-19 has been won. On his part, Mr. DawitYirga, Director General for International Organizations stressed the need for protecting the most vulnerable populations and those least able to protect themselves. He referred to what the United Nations Secretary-General, who said that “International Humanitarian, human rights and refugee law continues to apply, even –and especially – in challenging times like these”. He, therefore, expressed hope that international partners will consider irregular migrants in need when working together with the national committee led by the Ministry of Finance.

Following a brief question and comment from participants, State Minister Tsion concluded the webinar by assuring the participants of the Ministry’s desire to continue engaging with partners on this important issue.

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Ethiopia, Spain Stress on Sharing Experiences in fighting COVID-19

Ethiopia and Spain expressed the need to forge a joint approach in their efforts to mitigate and prevent the COVId-19 pandemic. This was related on Monday (June 01) in a phone conversation held between Minister of the Foreign Affairs of Ethiopia, GeduAndargachew, and his Spaniard counterpart Ms. Arancha González Laya.

During the conversation, Gedu expressed his sympathy to the government of Spain and its people on the loss of lives to the pandemic. The Foreign Ministers also said that Ethiopia and Spain should further strengthen their bilateral relations through sharing experiences gained in mitigating and containing measures against the virus.

In their talks regarding the GERD, Gedu presented explanations regarding Ethiopia’s stance to equitably and reasonably utilize its water resources in line with accepted principles of ‘causing no significant harm’ as well as cooperation.

The Foreign Ministers have noted the importance of applying the principles laid out in the DoP and the spirit of the document as well to resolve outstanding issues in the tripartite talks and to reach mutually beneficial agreements.

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