A Week in the Horn 19.06.2020

News in Brief

FM Gedu: Africa-China Solidarity is Indispensable to defeat COVID-19

Deputy Head of Sudan’s Sovereign Council Pays a two-day Visit to Ethiopia

Press Release on the Continuation of the Tripartite Negotiation on the GERD

FM Gedu Urges Ethiopians to Unite over GERD issue

Djibouti hosts Consultation Summit between Somalia and Somaliland

Newly appointed Ambassadors pledge to safeguard Ethiopia’s interests in a Swearing-in Ceremony

Ministry Consults Stakeholders to assist Ethiopians abroad Challenged by COVID-19

Webinar discusses market options in China for Ethiopian Meat Exporters

Africa and the African Union

The African Union announced on Thursday (June 18) that the Pan-African Parliament (PAP) has urged its members to ensure that African Union (AU) member states allocate adequate funding to cater for healthcare systems when budgets are submitted to Parliaments for consideration. The call follows a briefing to members of the PAP Committees on Health and Gender by the Africa CDC, which revealed that inadequate healthcare services impeded Africa’s response to the novel Coronavirus during the early days of the spread of the global health threat.

The African Union on Tuesday (June 16) held a virtual commemoration of the 2020 Day of the African Child under the theme Access to Child Friendly Justice Systems. Participants, in their deliberations, covered aspects such as international and regional norms and standards on access to child friendly justice system in Africa; obligations of member states in ensuring child friendly justice; good practices and limitations in accessing child friendly justice systems, including limitations for vulnerable groups and role of various stakeholders including civil society organizations, children and media.

The African Union on Wednesday (June 17) announced that aligned with the commemoration of the Day of the African Child observed every 16th of June, and under the 2020 theme of the year “Access to a Child Friendly Justice System in Africa”, the African Union and UNICEF, have jointly launched the “No Name Campaign: For every child legal identity, for every child access to justice”.

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the German government assumes premium payments of around EUR 19 million for the drought insurance offered by the African Risk Capacity (ARC). The African Union in a joint communiqué issued with the Federal Republic of Germany on Tuesday (June 16) said the payment will reliably protect up to 20 million poor and vulnerable people in Africa against drought in the coming agricultural season and mitigate the risk of a compound crisis.

President Matamela Cyril Ramaphosa of the Republic of South Africa, and Chairperson of the African Union (AU) convened a video-teleconference Meeting of the Bureau of the Assembly of African Union (AU) Heads of State and Government with the Chairpersons of the AU Regional Economic Communities (RECs) last week on Thursday on (June 11). The Meeting was held to consider reports of the AU Special Envoys, regarding economic relief measures and pooled procurement of medical supplies for Member States in the fight against COVID-19. The Meeting also provided a platform for the Chairpersons of the RECs to update the Bureau on measures and coordination efforts that have been undertaken since the last meeting on 29 April 2020. President Sahle-Work Zewde of Ethiopia has also participated in the meeting.

United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres on Monday (June 15) announced the appointment of Major General Kefyalew Amde Tessema of Ethiopia as Force Commander for the United Nations Interim Security Force for Abyei (UNISFA). He succeeds Major General Mehari Zewde Gebremariam of Ethiopia who will complete his assignment on 7 July.  The Secretary-General is grateful for his tireless dedication and effective leadership of UNISFA.

Ethiopia

The Minister of the Foreign Affairs of Ethiopia, Gedu Andargachew called for solidarity between Africa and China to overcome the socio-economic challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic and to chart out a better way forward. The Minister made the remarks participating in the High-Level Video Conference on Belt and Road International Cooperation held on Thursday (June 18) under the theme, “Belt and Road International Cooperation: Combating COVID-19 with Solidarity”. (See article)

Ethiopia and the World Bank on Thursday (June 18) signed a financing agreement amounting $ 250 million in support of supplemental financing to the second Ethiopia growth and competitiveness programmatic development policy financing. The agreement was signed by Ahmed Shide, Ethiopia’s Minister of Finance and Carolyn Turk, World Bank Country Director for Ethiopia, Eritrea, Sudan and South Sudan. Out of the total financing, $125 million is in the form of credit, while the remaining $125 million is a grant.

The Ministry of Health on Thursday (June 18) reported 195 new COVID-19 cases out of the 4,853 samples tested in the last 24 hours. The newly registered positive cases have pushed the total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in the country to 3,954. The new cases reported are all Ethiopians aged between 1 and 85 years. Some 90 of them are males and the remaining 105 are females.

The COVID19 Response Ministerial Committee on Thursday (June 18) held its regular meeting to discuss the activities underway to curb the spread of the pandemic. After assessing the existing regulations, the Committee stressed the need to revise some of them to better respond and prevent the virus from spreading. According to multiple assessments conducted by the committee, the spread of the virus is picking up. Based on the findings, the Committee discussed on regulations that require revision to better implement mechanisms to control the spread.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ethiopia, Women’s, Children’s and Youth affairs office conducted a meeting on Thursday (June 18) with members of ‘Ethiopian Wud Bete’- an association of Ethiopian adoptees to France. The association came up with project ideas which they want to implement in Ethiopia and discussed them with the Ministry.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ethiopia and the Ministry of Trade and Industry on Wednesday (June 17) jointly organized a consultation that aimed at promoting Export Trade in Ethiopia. State Minister at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ethiopia Tsion Teklu and Ambassador Misganu Arga, State Minister at the Ministry of Trade and Industry, led the discussion. Following Mrs. Tsion’s welcoming speech and briefings on the agendas of the meeting, Ambassador Misganu delivered a detailed presentation regarding Ethiopia’s plan in promote foreign trade in the upcoming Ethiopian Fiscal Year. Attendees deliberated on the various aspects of the plan, including the potential challenges and opportunities that may arise in carrying it out. In addition to senior officials from both of the ministries, leaders of Ethiopian missions in Djibouti, Khartoum, Juba, Nairobi, Kampala, Dar Es Salaam, Hargeisa, and Puntland attended the meeting. The session ended by agreeing to conduct similar discussions every month.

Ambassador Henok Teferra presents his Credentials as Ambassador of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia to the Kingdom of Spain, to His Majesty King Felipe VI of Spain at His Majesty’s private residence, El Palacio de La Zarzuela on Wednesday (June 17, 2020). The welcoming ceremony enabled a deeper and more substantive interaction with His Majesty and Spain’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, European Union and Cooperation, Mrs. Arancha Gonzalez.

A webinar aimed at expanding markets for Ethiopian meat exports in China was held on Wednesday (June 17). The consultation was organized by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ethiopia and attended by the Ethiopian Embassy in Beijing, China and meat exporters in Ethiopia. (See article)

The Ministry of Water, Irrigation and Energy in a statement issued on Wednesday (June 17) about the ongoing trilateral talks over the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam said the most prominent technical issues are resolved through the negotiation, although, the full completion of the negotiation will require resolution of legal issues. The statement further said that the delegation of the Republic of Sudan sought to report the progress and seek guidance from the Prime Minister of the Sudan. The meeting concluded with an agreement to continue the negotiation after Sudan has its consultation, the statement added. (See article)

Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed on Wednesday (June 17) took part in the virtual Extraordinary China-Africa Summit on Solidarity against COVID-19, Chaired by President Xi Jinping. The Summit which was jointly proposed by China, South Africa as AU Chair and Senegal, as co-Chair of FOCAC convened leaders of African countries, the United Nations Secretary General and the Director-General of the World Health Organization. In his remarks, Prime Minister Abiy noted that solidarity has been a key value between China and African countries during these unprecedented times. Recalling the eight major initiatives announced by President Xi Jinping during the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation, he called for the initiative to give priority and focus to health care.

The minister of the Foreign Affairs of Ethiopia, Gedu Andargachew, gave a briefing on Monday (June 15) to local media outlets regarding the ongoing tripartite talks over the Grand Renaissance Dam. He emphasised Ethiopia’s resilience in facing innumerable hardships to build the dam and underscored the country’s unwavering commitment to get resolves to outstanding issues over the dam through dialogue. (See article)

The ambassadors appointed recently by President Sahle-work Zewde took an oath before the President on Tuesday (June 16, 2020) pledging to safeguard their country’s interests and carry out their duties at the utmost of their abilities. Delivering a speech in the swearing-in ceremony, President Sahle-work told the ambassadors that it is a great honor and distinct privilege to represent their country and government abroad. The swearing-in ceremony was followed by special recognition ceremony to honor two of the women ambassadors and the planting of trees in the name of Ethiopia’s Green Legacy Initiative. (See article)

Officials from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ethiopia on Monday (June 15) welcomed 274 Ethiopian citizens who are repatriated from Kuwait. It is recalled that on Saturday (June 13) 249 Ethiopian were repatriated from Kuwait.  Including the latest round returnees, 1023 vulnerable nationals have been repatriated from Kuwait.

President Sahle-Work Zewde made a visit to the Embassy of Burundi to pay her respects to the late President Pierre Nkurunziza who passed away this week. President Pierre Nkurunziza of Burundi was dead due to heart failure last week on Monday

President Sahle-Work Zewde bid farewell to the outgoing Ambassador of Sweden to Ethiopia. The President thanked the Ambassador for his service and reiterated Ethiopia’s commitment to strengthening the ties between the two nations. The Ambassador, who finished up a three year term in Ethiopia, highlighted the various initiatives to bolster relations between Ethiopia and Sweden in various areas including gender. He further stated his country’s commitment to deepening the relations between the two countries.

The Ministry of the Foreign Affairs of Ethiopia consulted on Friday (June 12) with stakeholders on ways to assist Ethiopian citizens who are living abroad and challenged by the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. As per the resolution of the United Nations and a communiqué issued by the African Union regarding movement of people amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the consultation noted that mass movement of people increases the spread of the virus. (See article)

Gedu Andargachew, minister for Foreign Affairs of Ethiopia and Ms. Kang Kyung-wha, minister of Foreign affairs of the Republic of Korea on Friday (June 12) exchanged a phone call to discuss COVID-19 prevention and containment measures, and the role of Korean Investors in Ethiopia. Noting the global-level danger that the COVID-19 pandemic poses on the lives of people, the ministers underscored the importance of cooperation among nations. Noting this year marks the 70th anniversary of the outbreak of the Korean War, Ms. Kang Kyung-wha reiterated that the Republic of South Korea thankfully remembers the immeasurable contribution of the Ethiopian defense force in building peace in her country.

The Government of Sweden, through UNICEF, has provided 116 million birr support for urban productive safety net beneficiaries in Ethiopia. According to the announcement made last week on Friday (June 12), the fund will be used to support poor households who are vulnerable to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, including persons with disabilities and elderly people. The cash will enable 49,000 households to cope with the impact of the pandemic for the coming six months, according to the Ministry of Urban Development and Construction.

Eritrea

The Ministry of Health announced that eleven (11) patients were diagnosed positive for COVID-19 on Thursday (June 18) in tests carried out for individuals who had completed their quarantine time in the environs of Om-Hajer, Goluj, Ali-Gidir and Ghirmaika; Gash Barka Region. All the patients are Eritrean nationals who returned from the Sudan in recent weeks, the announcement reads. It further said that in spite of the ban on people’s movements in the region as a whole, influx of Eritrean nationals to the country from Ethiopia, Sudan, Djibouti and Yemen through irregular land and sea routes continues to-date. The total number of confirmed cases in the county has now risen to 142. 39 of these have recovered fully and were released from hospital in the past while the remaining 103 are receiving necessary medical treatment.

Djibouti

The leaders of the federal government of Somalia and Somaliland held a landmark meeting in Djibouti on Sunday (June 14). The meeting was hosted and chaired by President Ismail Omar Guelleh of Djibouti.  “The resumption of the talks between Somalia and Somaliland is a perfect illustration of the continued determination of the leaders of the region to resolve differences through dialogue,” Guelleh said via Twitter.Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed has attended the summit. (See article)

Somalia

Ethiopia has donated 15 tonnes of medical equipment and medicines worth half a million dollar to help Somalia fight against COVID-19 and other diseases. Minister of Finance, Ahmed Shide, and State Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Redwan Hussien, handed over the medical supplies in a ceremony held in Mogadishu, the capital of Somalia on Thursday (June 18). Ambassador Redwan said the donation is a testament of Ethiopia’s strong foreign policy of extending solidarity to its neighbours during good and bad times.

At least four civilians were killed on Thursday (June 18) – including a mother and child – by a roadside bomb in Mogadishu, Somalia’s capital, according to a government official. The explosion in the Hodan district took place near a Turkish-run Maarif Foundation school, and it targeted military vehicles passing through, Somali government spokesman Ismael Mukhtar Omar said.

Somalia’s international partners issued a joint statement on Monday (June 15) welcoming the proposal by President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed ‘Farmajo’ on 14 June to convene a meeting between the Federal Government of Somalia and all five Federal Member State Presidents and the Governor of Benadir Region (Mogadishu), to be preceded by an initial virtual meeting. The partners commend this initiative to strengthen cooperation and foster consensus.

As part of efforts to support communities in its Areas of Responsibility, AoR, in the fight against COVID-19, the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM), on Friday (June 12) presented a range of personal protection and hygiene supplies to the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) and vulnerable civilians in the Banadir region.

Kenya

The high number of Covid-19 positive cases being recorded in the country has been attributed to Kenyans non-adherence to the measures put in place by the Ministry of Health, says Dr Rashid Aman, Chief Administrative Secretary. On Wednesday (June 17), the country recorded 184 positive cases, the highest ever since its first case on March 13 bringing the case-load to 4,044. This was out of 2,518 samples tested in the last 24 hours pushing the cumulative samples to 124, 474.

Kenya has won the UN Security Council seat after beating Djibouti in second round of voting Thursday (June 18). The contest between Kenya and Djibouti headed to the second round of voting on Thursday after the first phase saw Nairobi’s victory insufficient to win the UN seat. With 191 of 193 countries voting, Kenya scored 129 votes, beating Djibouti which got 62 votes. It means Nairobi can, from January 2021, return to the UN’s most powerful organ after 23 years where it will be part of key decisions on global peace and security. India, Mexico, Ireland and Norway had been elected earlier on Wednesday.

South Sudan

President Salva Kiir and his first deputy Riek Machar Wednesday have stuck a deal on the allocation of the 10 states in South Sudan ending a three-month stalemate. In a statement released on Wednesday (June 17) in Juba, Nhial Deng Nhial Presidential Affairs Minister announced that the two leaders have reached an agreement during a second meeting held on Wednesday after a meeting on Saturday 14 June, to discuss the deadlock. Nhial further said that following the agreement,  the SPLM-IG will nominate the Governors six states, the SPLM-IO three states and the SSOA for one state.

The UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) on Wednesday (June 17) said that it is concerned by reports of renewed clashes and increased tensions near Pibor.  In the past few days, many civilians have escaped reported violence in Gumuruk in the Jonglei region.  The Mission said it has reinforced its base in Pibor so it can carry out extra patrols and provide security for civilians.  The Mission is also in contact with the leaders of the groups involved in the fighting and is urging them to restore calm and come together for mediation and reconciliation.

South Sudan First Vice President Riek Machar on Tuesday (June 16) chaired for the first time after his recovery from COVID-19, a meeting of the Governance Cluster of the Council of Ministers. The meeting discussed respective functions and duties of various ministries members of the Governance Cluster, said a statement released by Machar’s spokesman James Dak.

The UN Humanitarian Coordinator in South Sudan, Alain Noudéhou, on Tuesday (June 16) launched an urgent appeal for an additional $390 million to support the response to COVID-19 and for new humanitarian needs.  The UN said that this brings the overall humanitarian appeal for South Sudan for this year to $1.9 billion.  Aid organizations are aiming to help 7.4 million people by the end of the year, up from the 5.6 million planned before the outbreak of the pandemic.  Mr. Noudehou said that the humanitarian community in South Sudan is committed to staying the course and to deliver much-needed essential services and assistance for the most vulnerable people.

Over 289,000 South Sudanese have spontaneously regained their areas of origin since the cessation of hostilities agreement by the end of 2017. The figure was announced in a joint statement released last week on Friday (June 12) by the South Sudanese Relief and Rehabilitation Commission- RRC’s chair Manase Lomole and UNHCR Representative a.i Adan D. Ilmi. “By May 2020, over 168,800 South Sudanese refugees have returned to South Sudan following the signing of the revitalized peace agreement in October 2018, and 289 650 in total since November 2017,” says the statement.

Sudan

Yasir Arman, deputy head of the SPLM-N Agar, said on Thursday (June 18) that the signing of the peace agreement between the government and the Sudanese Revolutionary Front (SRF) was postponed for a week. In a statement posted on his page on Facebook, Arman dismissed reports alleging that the peace process had been postponed indefinitely. “The delay of the signing (of the peace agreement) from June 20 may be for a week. We are confident that the (initial) signing is possible before the end of this month,” he wrote.

The irrigation ministers of Sudan, Egypt, and Ethiopia referred their discussion of legal issues over the filling and operation of the Renaissance Dam to the prime ministers of the three countries after failing to agree on it. The legal dispute is about the binding legal status of the agreement once signed, the scope of this agreement whether it is limited to the filling and operation the dam, or it is also a water-sharing agreement and finally what the dispute settlement mechanism is. Speaking to reporters in a press conference on Wednesday (June 17) Yasir Abbas Sudanese Minister of Irrigation stressed that between 90% to 95% of the technical issues related to the GERD filling and operation have been agreed.

Let. Gen. Mohammed Hamdan Daglo, Deputy Head of Sudan’s Sovereign Council on Wednesday (June 17) arrived in Addis Ababa to consult bilateral issues with government officials in Ethiopia. Upon its arrival at Bole International Airport, Deputy Prime Minister of Ethiopia, Demeke Mekonnen, Minister of the Foreign affairs of Ethiopia, Gedu Andargachew and other high-ranking government officials accorded a warm welcome to the Sudanese delegation. (See article)

Sudan has authorized gold companies and producers to export gold directly without going through the Bank of Sudan, in an attempt to curb the smuggling of precious metal abroad. The decision to freely export gold was announced after a meeting of the Higher Committee for Economic Emergencies on Tuesday (June 16) evening, chaired by the deputy chairman of the Sovereign Council, Mohamed Hamdan Daglo, and co-chair and Prime Minister Abdallah Hamdok.

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FM Gedu: Africa-China Solidarity is Indispensable to defeat COVID-19

The Minister of the Foreign Affairs of Ethiopia, Gedu Andargachew called for solidarity between Africa and China to overcome the socio-economic challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic and to chart out a better way forward.

The Minister made the remarks participating in the High-Level Video Conference on Belt and Road International Cooperation held Thursday (June 18) under the theme, “Belt and Road International Cooperation: Combating COVID-19 with Solidarity”.

He appreciated China for successfully curbing the spread of the virus and thanked the Chinese government and the private sector, including Jack Ma Foundation, for their unyielding support to Ethiopia’s fight against the scourge.

Noting how the pandemic slammed developing countries, Mr. Gedu expressed his hope that the conference would create opportunities for concerted efforts in containing, mitigating and defeating the global threat.

The Minister further called on the Chinese government to continue to support Ethiopia to help it sustain the hard-won economic gains, accelerate the ongoing reforms, and withstand economic shocks in the post-COVID-19 period.

State Councilor and Foreign Minister of China, H.E. Wang Yi, chaired the meeting and WHO Director-General, H.E. Tewodros Adhanom, senior officials from the United Nations, foreign ministers and ministerial-level officials from several countries attended the conference.

Before the meeting, the Chinese government briefed the media that the conference would bolster multilateralism, boost international cooperation against COVID-19, and advance high-quality BRI cooperation.

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Deputy Head of Sudan’s Sovereign Council Pays a two-day Visit to Ethiopia

Let. Gen. Mohammed Hamdan Daglo, Deputy Head of Sudan’s Sovereign Council on Wednesday (June 17) arrived in Addis Ababa to consult bilateral issues with government officials in Ethiopia. Upon its arrival at Bole International Airport, Deputy Prime Minister of Ethiopia, Demeke Mekonnen, Minister of the Foreign affairs of Ethiopia, Gedu Andargachew and other high-ranking government officials accorded a warm welcome to the Sudanese delegation.

A statement by the Sovereign Council said that the meeting which was held with Dr. Abiy Ahmed upon Let. Gen. Mohammed Hamdan Daglo’s arrival was attended by Ethiopian foreign and defence ministers. Hemetti stressed “the importance of developing relations between the two countries and uniting visions on regional and international files,” said the Sovereign Council.

On Thursday (June 18) Let. Gen. Mohammed Hamdan Daglo met with Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed to visit Adama Industry Park. Dr. Abiy later tweeted that the visit was aimed at witnessing the resilience of Ethiopia’s industries during the COVID19 pandemic that have switched production activities in response to the times.

In Khartoum, the Sovereign Council said that in addition to his meeting with Ethiopian Senior government officials, the Sudanese official “will meet with a number of African Union officials to discuss peace issues, especially in Sudan and South Sudan”.

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Press Release on the Continuation of the Tripartite Negotiation on the GERD

The Ministry of Water, Irrigation, and Energy

17 JUNE 2020

Addis Ababa (17 June 2020): The tripartite negotiation between Ethiopia, Egypt, and the Sudan on the Guidelines and Rules for the first filling and annual operation of the GERD continued for the seventh day on Wednesday, 17 June 2020, via video-conference in the presence of observers.

The technical and legal teams of the countries had a consultation in parallel sessions ahead of the ministerial meeting. The teams reported the outcome of their work to the trilateral ministerial meeting.

The most prominent technical issues are resolved through the negotiation. However, the full completion of the negotiation will require resolution of legal issues. The delegation of the Republic of Sudan sought to report the progress and seek guidance from the Prime Minister of the Sudan. The meeting concluded with an agreement to continue the negotiation after Sudan has its consultation.

Beyond ensuring the optimal operation of the GERD, the negotiation requires prudence to safeguard the permanent right of Ethiopia over the Blue Nile. Similarly, the negotiation demands the Governments of Egypt and Sudan to take a visionary road leading to sustainable cooperation that respects the sovereignty and mutual benefit of the countries.

Ethiopia reiterates its right to fill and operate the GERD based on the principles enshrined under the DoP. However, Ethiopia is of the conviction that the three countries can conclude the negotiation on the guidelines and rules with an outcome that maximizes the benefit of the countries.

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FM Gedu Urges Ethiopians to Unite over GERD issue

The minister of the Foreign Affairs of Ethiopia, Gedu Andargachew, gave a briefing on Monday (June 15) to local media outlets regarding the ongoing tripartite talks over the Grand Renaissance Dam.

He said Ethiopia has managed to build the dam despite immeasurable challenges posed by the Egyptian side who had been trying to put Ethiopia’s financial options into a straight jacket.

The absolute need for development and the legitimate right of Ethiopia to provide electricity to almost 65% of its population have been driving Ethiopia in building the dam, Mr. Gedu added.

The Minister further said, although Egypt contributes nothing for the water share of the Nile River, it still clings to the colonial-day water treaties that do not give recognition either to Ethiopia’s or the other riparian countries’ natural right to utilize the water resource.

He said Ethiopia is participating in the tripartite talks taking the accepted principles of ‘cooperation’ and ‘causing no significant harm’ as guideposts in addition to recognizing its rights to equitably and reasonably utilize its water resources.

Although the current tripartite talk is in its 5th –day session, the age-old stance of Egypt acting as if it is the sole owner of the Nile waters coupled with its uncompromising attitude to the realities of the day is stalling the talks, he said.

Mr. Gedu said Egypt is foot lagging in the tripartite talks while attempting to take the GERD case to the United Nations Security Council, which doesn’t go in line with the spirits of the DoP and further obstructs the ongoing talks

Appreciating the financial and emotional support Ethiopians have been giving to the construction of the dam, the Minister called on all Ethiopians to stand together in asserting their right to utilize their own natural resource.

During a question and answer session, Mr. Gedu told journalists that the Republic of Sudan has to be hugely appreciated for its positive and encouraging role in helping the talks run in a matured and cooperative manner.

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Djibouti hosts Consultation Summit between Somalia and Somaliland

The leaders of the federal government of Somalia and Somaliland held a meeting in Djibouti on Sunday (June 14). The meeting was hosted and chaired by President Ismail Omar Guelleh of Djibouti who said:  “The resumption of the talks between Somalia and Somaliland is a perfect illustration of the continued determination of the leaders of the region to resolve differences through dialogue”.

During the consultation summit on relations between Somalia and Somaliland, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed reiterated the value of peace and reconciliation in the Horn region as the foundation for regional integration. It is recalled that the consultation summit follows a meeting between the two leaders facilitated by Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed in February 2020 in Addis Ababa. In the summit, Prime Minister Abiy recounted the abundant resources in the region that can be utilized effectively for regional development, if cooperation and peace are made to be leading forces. He emphasized, “together we can pool our resources to break the vicious cycle of poverty and despair.”

A Statement by the High Representative/Vice President of the European Union, Josep Borrell appreciated the resumption of dialogue between Somalia and Somaliland saying, it is ‘’an important and positive step in the process of normalising their relations, bringing renewed hope not only for the people of Somalia and Somaliland but for the whole Horn of Africa. It is an essential part of confidence-building measures to reconcile differences and promote peace-building, prosperity and development in the region. Djibouti and Ethiopia played a determining role in making this dialogue happen.’’

A statement issued by Somalia’s international partners also welcomed the dialogue between President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed ‘Farmajo’ and President Muse Bihi Abdi and commended the regional support, and engagement that led to the talks.The statement further welcomed the meeting as ‘’an important step in strengthening communication and fostering understanding, and encourage the technical committee named by the principals to deliver tangible benefits for their people.’’

The international partners of Somalia that signed on the statement commending the recent move between Somalia and Somaliland are the United Kingdom, African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM), Belgium, Canada, China, Denmark, Ethiopia, European Union, Finland, France, Germany, Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), Ireland, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, Uganda, United States, United Nations.

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Newly appointed ambassadors pledge to safeguard Ethiopia’s interests in a Swearing-in Ceremony

The ambassadors appointed recently by President Sahle-work Zewde took an oath before the President on Tuesday (June 16, 2020) pledging to safeguard their country’s interests and carry out their duties at the utmost of their abilities.

Delivering a speech in the swearing-in ceremony, President Sahle-work told the ambassadors that it is a great honor and distinct privilege to represent their country and government abroad. President Sahle-work further urged the ambassadors to be vigilant in identifying opportunities abroad that can be tailored to the needs of their country. She also reiterated the profound importance of engaging the Ethiopian Diaspora community in fruitful activities that can advance the prosperity of people at home. The president further urged the ambassadors to groom junior staff members to make them ready to carry out further responsibilities in future endeavors.

Congratulating the ambassadors during the ceremony, the minister of the Foreign Affairs of Ethiopia,  Gedu Andargachew expressed his strong belief that the ambassadors would advance Ethiopia’s interests in the bilateral and multilateral fora.

State ministers and senior officials from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs attended the swearing-in ceremony. Paying allegiances to the Green Legacy Initiative of Ethiopia, the ambassadors planted seedlings in the premises of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ethiopia.

The swearing-in ceremony was followed by a special recognition ceremony prepared to honor two of the women ambassadors and the planting of trees in the name of Ethiopia’s Green Legacy Initiative. On the occasion, the Minister of the Foreign Affairs of Ethiopia, Gedu Andargachew handed over gifts to two of the newly appointed female ambassadors as tokens of appreciation. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs Women, Children and Youth Affairs Bureau took the initiative to honor Ambassador Hirut Zemene and Ambassador Eyerusalem Amdemariam for their outstanding diplomatic services given to the people and government of Ethiopia. The Ministry noted that recognizing achievements of the ambassadors would inspire women in Ethiopia to strive for greater achievements.

It is recalled that former State Minister, Ambassador Hirut Zemene has been recently appointed as Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Ethiopia in Belgium, Brussels, while Ambassador Eyerusalem Amdemariam has been appointed as Consul General in Dubai, UAE.

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Ministry Consults Stakeholders to assist Ethiopians abroad challenged by COVID-19

The Ministry of the Foreign Affairs of Ethiopia consulted on Friday (June 12) with stakeholders on ways to assist Ethiopian citizens who are living abroad and challenged by the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

As per the resolution of the United Nations and a communiqué issued by the African Union regarding movement of people amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the consultation noted that mass movement of people increases the spread of the virus.

Taking the recent surge in the number of COVID-19 patients in Ethiopia, attendees come to understand that Ethiopian migrants should be helped where they are to minimize the risk of infection.

International Organizations have also been urged to provide the necessary support to Ethiopian migrants where they are and continue to work together with Ethiopia to contain the spread of the virus.

The consultation was chaired by State Minister Tsion Teklu and attended by high-ranking government officials including the Ministry of Peace State Minister,  Frealem Shibabaw and State Minister of the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs  Ayelech Eshete.

Ambassador of the European Union to Ethiopia, Johan Borgstam, UN Resident Coordinator and UN Humanitarian Coordinator in Ethiopia, H.E. Dr. Catherine Sozi and  Maureen Achieng, Chief of Mission for the IOM Special Liaison Mission to Ethiopia have also attended the consultation.

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Webinar discusses market options in China for Ethiopian Meat Exporters

A webinar aimed at expanding markets for Ethiopian meat exports in China was held on Wednesday (June 17).

The consultation was organized by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ethiopia and attended by the Ethiopian Embassy in Beijing, China and meat exporters in Ethiopia.

Leading the discussion, Permanent Secretary of Economic Diplomacy at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ethiopia, Ambassador Dawano Kedir said stakeholders should do their level best to enter into the huge Chinese market.

Ambassador Teshome Toga highlighted that constant supply of goods is imperative to stay competitive in the Chinese market.

Representing the Ministry of Agriculture, Dr. Alemayehu Mekonnen said Ethiopia should prefer exporting processed meat taking health issues into consideration.

Hailessilase Worres, Executive director of Ethiopian Meat and Dairy Industry Development Institute (EMDIDI), said in addition to meeting standards for export of meat, it would be helpful if meat importers are invited to physically inspect abattoirs in Ethiopia.

The consultation ended noting that mutual agreement from both countries is important to enter into the Chinese market.

Attendees also called for a swift exchange of information among stakeholders and underlined the need to draw the attention of Chinese investors to Ethiopia’s meat exporting market.

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