The Horn of Africa Bulletin, Vol. 6 No. 4 (Jul-Aug 94)

The Horn of Africa Bulletin, Vol. 6 No. 4 (Jul-Aug 94)

       QQ   QQ    QQQQ    QQQQQQQ  QQQ   QQ        
       QQ   QQ   QQ  QQ   QQ   QQ  QQQQ  QQ         QQ    QQQQQ
       QQQQQQQ   Q    Q   QQQQQQQ  QQ QQ QQ        Q  Q   QQ  
       QQ   QQ   QQ  QQ   QQ  QQ   QQ  QQQQ        Q  Q   QQQQ
       QQ   QQ    QQQQ    QQ   QQ  QQ   QQQ         QQ    QQ

        QQ QQ    QQ      QQ   QQ     QQ      QQ        QQ QQ
       QQQQQQQ   QQQQQ   QQQQQQQ     QQ     QQ        QQQQQQQ
       QQ   QQ   QQ      QQ  QQ      QQ      QQ       QQ   QQ
       QQ   QQ   QQ      QQ   QQ  QQQQQQQQ    QQQQQ   QQ   QQ

QQ    QQ   QQ   QQ  QQ      QQ      QQ          QQ        QQ     QQQQ  QQ
QQQQQQQ    QQ   QQ  QQ      QQ      QQQQQ       QQ        QQ     QQ QQ QQ
QQ    QQ   QQ   QQ  QQ      QQ      QQ          QQ        QQ     QQ  QQQQ

                          Vol.6 No.4  Jul-Aug 94


The Horn of Africa Bulletin (HAB) is an international media review, compiling and recording news and comments on the Horn of Africa. Reports published in HAB represent a variety of published sources and do not necessarily represent the views of the editors.

Readers are always referred to the original sources for complete versions. When HAB uses a secondary source, the secondary source is given first, followed by the primary source in square brackets. Some items are re-titled to best reflect the content of chosen excerpts. Sections marked with "/HAB/" are introductions or comments made by the editors. Square brackets are used to indicate changes/ additions made by the editors. (Square brackets appearing within a secondary source may also indicate changes made by a previous editor.)

Note of Thanks: We are particularly indebted to our readers for their contributions and to our sources for their invaluable cooperation.


Abbreviations of sources used in this publication:

AB - African Business; AC - Africa Confidential; AED - Africa Economic Digest via RBB; AFP - Agence France Presse, Paris; AI - Amnesty International; AN - Africa News; ANB - African News Bulletin; APS - Africa Press Service; AR - Africa Report; ARN - Arab News; CSM - Christian Science Monitor, World Edition; DN - Daily Nation; DNR - Dagens Nyheter; DT - Daily Telegraph via RBB; EC - Ethiopian Commentator; EH - Ethiopian Herald; EN - Ethiopia News; ENA - Ethiopian News Service; ER - Ethiopian Review; FOA - Focus on Africa; GI - Guardian Independent; GN - The Guardian via RBB; GW - Guardian Weekly; HRM - Human Rights Monitor; IHT - International Herald Tribune; IND - The Independent via RBB; ION - Indian Ocean Newsletter; KT - Kenya Times; LICR - Lloyd's Information Casualty Report via RBB; LWI - Luth. World Information; MD - Monday Developments; MEED - Middle East Economic Digest via RBB; NA - New African; NFE - News from Ethiopia; NN - NordNet; NNS - NGO Networking Service's Monthly Update via NordNet; NYT - New York Times; RBB - Reuters Business Briefing; SCSG - Scottish Churches' Sudan Group Newsletter via NN; SDG - Sudan Democratic Gazette; SHRV - Sudan Human Rights Voice; SN - Sudan Embassy News; SNU - Somalia News Update; SSV - Southern Sudan Vision; STD - Standard; SU - Sudan Update; SvD - Svenska Dagbladet; SWB - BBC Summary of World Broadcasts via RBB; UNIC - United Nations Information Center, Sydney, via NN; WH - The White House via ; WP - Washington Post.

Radio stations are abbreviated as follows:

RNU - Radio National Unity, Omdurman; RFI - Radio France Internationale, Paris; RH - Radio Hargeisa, Voice of Republic of Somaliland; RM - Radio Manta, Mogadishu; RMO - Radio Mogadishu; RMV - Radio Mogadishu, Voice of the Great Somali People; RSR - Republic of Sudan Radio, Omdurman; VBME - Voice of the Broad Masses of Eritrea, Asmara; VOA - Voice of America; VOE - Voice of Ethiopia, Addis Ababa; VOEE - Voice of Ethiopia External Service, Addis Ababa; VOEN - Voice of Ethiopia National Service, Addis Ababa.


The Horn of Africa Bulletin is published bimonthly by the LIFE & PEACE INSTITUTE, Box 297, S-751 05 Uppsala, Sweden Tel: (+46) 18-16 95 00; Fax: (+46) 18-69 30 59 Email:

Publisher: Sture Normark
Editor: Susanne Thurfjell Lunden
Assistant Editor: Everett Nelson

Although the electronic Horn of Africa Bulletin is free of charge, donations are greatly appreciated.

Annual _hardcopy_ subscription fees: Organizations -- SEK 300 (US$ 50); Individuals are asked to give a donation to HORN OF AFRICA PROGRAM/LPI to cover production costs and postage. Back issues cost SEK 30 (US$ 5).

Terms of payment:

Post giro 494 74 05-9 (Sweden and some European countries); Eurocheck in SEK only; International Money Order in SEK (or US$) drawn on a Swedish (or US) bank. NO PERSONAL CHECKS OR CASH. Please make money order payable to HORN OF AFRICA PROGRAM.

** E T H I O P I A **


AAPO - All Amhamra People's Organisation
ADU - Afar Democratic Union
ALF - Afar Liberation Front
APDO - Afar People's Democratic Organisation
ARDU - Afar Revolutionary Democratic Union
ARDUF - Afar Revolutionary Democratic Unity Front
BPLM - Benishangul People's Liberation Movement
CAFPDE - Council of the Alternative Forces for Peace and Democracy in
COEDF - Coalition of Ethiopian Democratic Forces
CRDA - Christian Relief and Development Association
ECS - Ethiopian Catholic Secretariat
EDAG - Ethiopian Democratic Action Group
EDC - Ethiopian Democratic Organization Coalition
EDUP - Ethiopian Democratic Unionist Party
EECMY - Eth. Evangelical Church Mekane Yesus
ENDP - Ethiopian National Democratic Party
EPDA - Ethiopian Peoples' Democratic Alliance
EPDM - Ethiopian People's Democratic Movement
EPRDF - Ethiopian People's Rev. Democratic Front
EPRP - Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Party
ESDL - Ethiopian Somali Democratic League
ESDM - Ethiopian Somali Democratic Movement
GDU - Gamo Democratic Union
GPDF - Gurage People's Democratic Front
HPDO - Hadia People's Democratic Organisation
IFLO - Islamic Front for the Liberation of Oromia
IGLF - Issa Gurgura Liberation Front
KPC - Kembata People's Congress
MEISONE - All Ethiopia Socialist Union
OALF - Oromo Abo Liberation Front
OLF - Oromo Liberation Front
ONLF - Ogaden National Liberation Front
OPDO - Oromo People's Democratic Organisation
ORA - Oromo Relief Association
OSAFU - Oromo Students Association of Finfine University
SEPDC - Southern Ethiopian Peoples Democratic Coalition
SGPDO - Sodo Gordena People's Democratic Organisation
SPDO - Sidama People's Democratic Organisation
TPLF - Tigray People's Liberation Front
TWU - Tigri-Worji Union
UODO - United Oromo Democratic Organisation
UOPLF - United Oromo People's Liberation Front
WPE - Workers' Party of Ethiopia
WPDF - Wolaita People's Democratic Front
WSLF - Western Somali Liberation Front

** E R I T R E A **


ARDU - Afar Revolutionary Democratic Union
ARDUF - Afar Revolutionary Democratic Unity Front
CERA - Commission for Eritrean Refugee Affairs
CRS - Catholic Relief Secretariat
ECE - Evangelical Church of Eritrea
EDLM - Eritrean Democratic Liberation Movement
EDM - Eritrean Democratic Movement
ELF - Eritrean Liberation Front
ELF-RC - ELF-Revolutionary Council
ELF-UO - ELF-Unity Organisation
EPLF Eritrean People's Liberation Front
ERRA - Eritrean Relief and Rehabilitation Association
ERD - Emergency Relief Desk
PFDJ - Popular Front for Democracy and Justice
PGE - Provisional Government of Eritrea
PROFERI - Programme for Refugee Reintegration and Rehabilitation of
Resettlement Areas in Eritrea

** E D I T O R I A L **


This article is written by Professor Ken Menkhaus, Davidson College, North Carolina, USA. He worked last year for UNOSOM in the south of Somalia, and is presently visiting Somalia on behalf of LPI to assess the efforts to build a national reconciliation process from the grass roots.

"The warlords are now peacelords." This remarkable declaration was made by the former Special Representative of the Secretary-General in Somalia, Ambassador Lansana Kouyate, following the signing of the Nairobi declaration in May 1994, by Somalia's main factional leaders. Since then, Somalia's "peacelords" have been busy with new fighting in the Jubba valley, Merka, Mogadishu, and Beled Weyn, displaying yet again their disdain for written peace accords obtained through the mediation efforts of the UN. The militia of one of the "peacelords", General Aideed, has also attacked UNOSOM forces in Mogadishu, Beled Weyn, and Baidoa, resulting in the deaths of 17 peacekeeping troops since April. And preparations are now being made for still more fighting in those zones. Whatever new name UNOSOM wishes to bestow upon the militia leaders, they have continued to promote war, instability, and division rather than reconciliation.

It is difficult to comprehend the turn UNOSOM policy has taken in the past eight months. In a desperate bid to justify its own costly presence in Somalia, UNOSOM is attempting to engineer a hastily-assembled national government in Somalia. Some UNOSOM officials evidently believe they can do this by forsaking the more time-consuming process of working with already established local government and grass-roots organizations, and cutting a deal instead with what they see as the most powerful forces in the country--the militia of General Aideed, in alliance with General Morgan and Abdullahi Yusuf. It is a tactic that is based on striking ignorance of social realities in Somalia and vast overestimation of the real authority of these warlords; it violates the UN's alleged adherence to political neutrality in Somali national reconciliation; it is not only morally questionable, it is also doomed to fail. It is a policy that reveals yet again that some UN officials consistently pursue their own best interests rather than the best interests of the Somali people. It is not surprising at this point, that some critics of the UN claim that the Somali people would be best served by the UN leaving Somalia altogether.

All along, even in the best of times, tensions within the UN and UNOSOM led to an ambiguity in UNOSOM's commitment to fostering a grass-roots approach to political rehabilitation in Somalia. While in 1993, it assisted in the establishment of district and regional councils, selected by local populations, it also enshrined the factions as linchpins of national reconciliation in the Addis Ababa agreement of March 1993. Since January 1994, despite UN rhetoric about a "two-track" process involving both factions and grass-roots representatives in the shaping of Somalia's future, UNOSOM has ignored and even suppressed participation of grass-roots groups. It has ordered a halt to any assistance to the many district and regional councils in the countryside--even though scarce international aid has been set aside for them--in order to placate General Aideed, who finds the idea of representative local government threatening to his control by military conquest and occupation. UNOSOM officials argue that the Nairobi declaration calls for factional "review" of existing district councils, and that it must respect that accord. But who signed the Nairobi declaration? The factions, of course, not real representatives of the Somali people.

Meanwhile, a recent visit by LPI representatives to Somalia revealed evidence that local, grass-roots organizations do have the authority to bring peace and governance to the country and to operate in opposition to warlordism. When a Swedish NGO worker was kidnapped by the clan of General Aideed, Aideed himself said he had no power to intervene. Eventually, the Swede was released through the efforts of a group of Somali women, who managed to obtain the release of the hostage. In Gardo, where the SSDF recently met, Mijerteen clan elders rejected the leadership bid by warlord Abdullahi Yusuf, choosing instead a respected civilian leader. And while the warlords continue to foster an economy of plunder among their militias, local neighborhoods in Mogadishu and other towns are offering young militiamen training--without international support--to develop skills that will allow them to re-enter civil society. These kinds of dynamic social developments go virtually unnoticed, while the UNOSOM leadership is meeting only with scheming faction leaders.

UNOSOM's failure to see its responsibility to the average Somali and to the principles of representative governance is tragic, and represents a costly missed opportunity for the Somali people. In some UN circles, the "grass-roots" approach in Somalia is now viewed as naive and unacceptable because it is seen as a conscious effort to marginalize factional leaders. But the establishment of district and regional councils, selected by local communities, is hardly a radical or unworkable idea. All it required of aspiring Somali leaders was to demonstrate that they possessed a real constituency, not just a menacing militia. If warlords like Aideed are as popular as they claim to be, they should have no fear of such a process. It was not too much to ask of the UN to safeguard the fundamental right of representative governance for the Somali people.

(IPS 5 Aug 94, by Horace Awori)

NAIROBI - The Horn of Africa faces another famine threat as a result of drought, poor harvests and war, the U.N. Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO) warned Friday.

"A serious food crisis is emerging in the Horn of Africa as a result of reduced or poor harvests due to adverse weather or civil strife," said the FAO in its latest quarterly report on food supply and crop prospects, published here Friday...

The U.N. agency warns the situation is much more serious than that of the 1984/85 famine, "when hundreds of thousands of people perished due to starvation".

This time around, the lives of 22 million people are threatened, according to the FAO...

Although the donor response has been generous, the pledges are likely to fall short of the requirements. Only 60 percent of the pledged assistance has been delivered.

"There is an urgent need for substantial additional pledges and measures to expedite the delivery of pledged assistance," the report says.

In Ethiopia, famine conditions are emerging because of the poor harvest in 1993/94. There are also delays in deliveries of relief assistance because of bad roads in the worst affected areas.

"Large numbers of deaths from starvation have been reported in recent weeks," says FAO.

Particularly hard hit is the Afar region of the north-east, eastern Hararghe, Arissi in central Ethiopia, Gonder in the north-west, [Ilubabor] in the west, Wolaita in the south-west, southern and northern Oromo...

The government estimates 7.5 million people, or 14 percent of the population, are affected. According to the U.N. agency, "without an adequate and timely response to these needs, millions will face starvation in the coming months."

In Eritrea, 1.1 million people or 40 percent of the total population, have serious food difficulties because of poor harvests last year.

FAO says these people will need food assistance until the next harvest due in December. The agency urges donors to make additional pledges because those so far made fall too far short of the requirements...

Sudan, which had an exportable sorghum surplus in the 1992/93 season, suffered a poor harvest last season and now faces a large cereal deficit.

"The situation continues to deteriorate in several parts, particularly in the south due to intensified fighting in recent weeks," the report notes...

The situation in Juba and Wau is particularly grave, FAO warns. Food has disappeared from the markets and the little available is beyond the pockets of most people.

In Somalia, the agency says the food supply position remains difficult for farmers who lost their secondary season crops because of drought.

The large number of displaced and vulnerable people affected by the civil strife are seriously at risk, especially in the north-western Galbeed region. Severe food shortage have been reported in western Mudug, and in the Jilib and Kismayu areas of the southern and lower Juba regions.

FAO emphasises that the recent outbreak of militia hostilities and the onset of the rains has hampered the distribution of relief food...

(IPS 15 Jun 94)

TUNIS, Jun 15 (IPS) - It took the death of half a million people in Rwanda to get the leaders of the Organisation of African Unity (OAU) to come to terms with the fact that sometimes a neighbours' domestic affairs are their affair as well...

Something had to be done. But first one ghost had to be laid to rest: the OAU's historic commitment to the principle of non-intervention in the domestic affairs of their members as laid down in their founding charter.

To get around this, the OAU has devised a form of OAU 'Security Council' on U.N. lines, so as to broaden its authority to act as an independent force in sensitive situations where global forces--such as the U.S. in Somalia and the U.N. in Rwanda--have failed.

"The idea for a Committee of The Summit (the proposed council's former name) was floated last year and was put on hold to be looked at," said Christopher Clapham, an African regional security expert at Britain's Lancaster University...

Details of the new OAU security council--a name that OAU Secretary General Salim Ahmed Salim described as an "explanatory analogy"--have not yet been made clear, beyond its membership, frequency of meetings and its broad tasks as a conflict management body.

Its task will be intended to support, not supplant, the United Nations, said Salim. "Africa should not be considered as apart from the rest of the world," he said, noting the U.N. Secretary General Boutros Boutros-Ghali's part in the new body's devising.

"It's quite clear that the U.N. Security Council can't take on all the world's problems, and all Africa's problems," said Adam Roberts, a conflict intervention specialist at Oxford University in Britain. "Time and time again the United Nations has itself pressed for a more regionally based system."...

Thus foreign minister Habib Ben Yahia of Tunisia, whose leader heads the OAU and thus its new 'security council', on Wednesday quietly overturned 30 years of OAU habit by noting that there was no such thing as "a 100 percent purely domestic issue".

Yet some were sceptical: "In the past it has been the sovereignty issue that has been the real obstacle to effective OAU intervention. I don't see how they are going to overcome that," said Clapham.

The OAU already has the year-old Central Organ of the OAU Mechanism for Conflict Control, Management and Resolution, which has met at head of state, ministerial or ambassador level 18 times since last June - 11 times in emergency session...

Under Tunisian chairmanship, the new OAU 'security council' will constitute: Cote D'Ivoire, South Africa, Mauritania, Zaire, Benin, Tanzania, Ghana, Nigeria, Egypt and Ethiopia.

The new security council will meet once a month at ambassadorial level, twice a year at foreign minister level and once a year as a summit of heads of state, though Salim said emergency meetings would be called as needed...

Clapham notes that an OAU conflict resolution mechanism could be backed up by richer, industrialised nations, pleased to pay to get the diplomatic embarrassment of intervening in African wars off their hands while meeting domestic demands for action.

"This way, U.S. soldiers are not going to get shot: neither is the U.S. going to get accused of imperialist interventions," he said...

(ION 16 Jul 94, p.8)

Speaking in Moscow on July 12 to Russian ambassadors holding posts in Africa, Russia's prime minister encouraged them to "regain lost terrain" in the region since the collapse of the Soviet Union. He also said it was necessary "to start again at zero with the African market for Russian-built arms" and revealed that decisions in principle had been taken on technical military cooperation with Djibouti, Namibia and Sierra Leone. Moscow hopes to resume cooperation with Angola and Ethiopia.


(NNS July 94)

This month in Asmara, the Constitution Commission opened public discussions on the issues which will determine the shape of the future Eritrean Constitution. These have been divided into 22 topics including governance, security, social and cultural issues, foreign relations and comparative constitutions each being discussed by a panel. Presentations have been given by members of the commission, members of the People's Front for Democracy and Justice as well as by invited guests such as the Ethiopian Constitution Commissioner, Kifle Wodajo. The Eritreans intend to take the discussion out to the districts and sub regions for feedback. They begin the first leg of their journey to the Eritrean communities in Europe and North America shortly.

(NNS July 94)

July saw the signing of the international convention on the rights of the child by Eritrea. Also, the IMF accepted Eritrea's application for membership opening the way for admission to the World Bank and the International Development Association.

(IPS 22 Jul 94)

UNITED NATIONS - The United Nations has downgraded Angola and Eritrea to the ranks of the poorest of the world's poor.

The U.N. Economic and Social Council is adding the two African countries to a list of 47 Third World nations categorised as least developed countries (LDCs).

Salim Lone, Editor-in-Chief of the U.N.-published 'Africa Recovery' newsletter, told IPS Friday he was not surprised. For one thing, he said, the new nation of Eritrea was carved out of Ethiopia, which was already an LDC. Eritrea joined the world body as a full-fledged member in May 1993.

The LDCs numbered 24 about two decades ago. By 1991, the number increased to 42, and in Dec. 1991, five other countries joined the ranks of LDCs: Cambodia, Madagascar, the Solomon Islands, Zaire and Zambia.

The addition of Angola and Eritrea last week brings the number to 49, of which, 34 are from Africa...

A country is designated LDC based on its population size (less than 75 million) and per capita income (less than 699 dollars).

These countries should also score a value of 47 or less on the United Nations' 'augmented physical quality of life index', and a value of 22 or less on the 'economic diversification index.'...

(Reuter 25 Aug 94, by Jacky Sutton)

ASMARA - The Red Sea state of Eritrea has adopted sweeping trade laws tailored to gain support from global donors, spur foreign investment, and reverse decades of economic stagnation forced by civil war and hardline Marxist rule.

The new laws govern investment, land tenure and trade and pledge an export-oriented Eritrean economy that fully utilises its strategic geographical position and natural resources.

Investment laws passed by parliament on Tuesday limit the role of government in trade to only regulatory service and back a liberal free-market economy, officials said on Thursday...

Under the laws, Eritrea will privatise 42 state firms and the government will also auction 11 of the hotels it owns.

Government authorities said some 44,855 houses nationalised by the Mengistu administration had already been returned to their previous owners and authorities were sorting out 16,000 pending cases, most of these due to disputed ownership.

Domestic and foreign investors will be treated equally in trade and investment matters and the economy will be fully open to private capital for investment purposes. But priority will be given to Eritreans for all new jobs, the adopted laws say.

The laws stipulate that remission of profits and repatriation of capital is to be unrestricted and foreign capital is now assured of guarantees against nationalisation or confiscation. Bureaucratic policies will also be streamlined...

The laws placed small-scale industry, light manufacturing, irrigated agriculture and agro-industry as sectoral priorities. Government will provide strong backing to small business that shows a clear competitive advantage in international markets - including preferential exchange rates and loans, officials say.

Officials added that such support was backed by cash from a $25 million package in development assistance under the World Bank Reconstruction and Rehabilitation Programme for Eritrea...

The government pledged to assist 50,000 ex-fighters who have been or will be demobilised, as well as orphans, wounded veterans and families of the 65,000 people killed in the war.

The laws give Eritreans and foreign investors a right to land for farming, housing and development but government and communities would have a say in land usage. They outlaw the sale, division of inheritance of land granted to investors.

The passing of the law on land frees construction of housing and office units, especially in the capital Asmara, while the legal safeguards to tenure are expected to encourage previously wary investors, economic analysts told Reuters.


(The Eritrean Newsletter June/July 94, p.12)

The EPLF regime has since the last few months been propagating that it has drafted a constitution for the country...

To begin with, the Commission was appointed, and had its tasks defined, by the "National Assembly" comprising mainly of members of the EPLF leadership. In all appearances, the regime's so-called National Assembly has now taken the role of what should have been a democratically elected Constituent Assembly. Moreover, the NA doesn't appear to expect [anything] from the Commission for the draft constitution other than its rubber-stamp approval. Yet, it tries to impart the impression that the said constitution is actually being drafted by the appointed Commission. In fact, any attempt made on the part of the Commission at inclusions, alterations, modifications or omissions in the contents of the constitution is stringently opposed by the EPLF...

(The Eritrean Newsletter June/July 94, p.1)

On 6 June 1994 the Amharic Service of the German radio broadcasting, the "Deutsche Welle", had an extensive interview with Dr. Beyene Kidane, member of the ELF-RC Executive Committee in charge of Foreign Information. The interview dealt with the problem of the ELF-RC cadres and a member of the leadership who have recently been detained in Ethiopia by the Transitional Government of that country...

Q. In spite of being allowed to operate in the country, we heard that some of your activists have recently been detained by the Transitional Government. If that is indeed true, why have they been detained? And, how many are they?

A. 26 persons were detained on 29 April 1994, and are still in detention at the moment. In view of the relative freedom of movement we had enjoyed, the action of the TG of Ethiopia was rather surprising and unexpected...

Q. Do you have any information as to how the detainees are being treated? If the answer is yes, can you comment?

A. Up to now, neither we nor their relatives or friends have been able to establish direct contacts with them. In fact, it was only after a month that we were able to find out where those groups who were arrested in the various parts of the northern province of Tigray were held...

Q. It is difficult to believe that the TG would arrest your members after giving you permission to open offices and operate in the country. What have your people actually done? Indeed, what crimes have they really committed for the government to take such a drastic measure against them?

As I said earlier, we still don't know of any crime that our people have supposedly committed. The fact that the action was taken few days after an EPLF delegation had visited Addis Ababa leads us to believe, however, that the measure taken by the TG was political in nature. And, in our view, the entire episode cannot be seen in isolation of the anti-democratic policies the EPLF leadership pursues against all the Eritrean democratic forces in general, and the ELF-RC in particular...

(ELF-RC press release 25 Jul 94)

The EPLF regime recently gruesomely massacred a number of its disabled war-veterans who were encamped at the Mai Habar town, some 30 km south east of Asmara. 21 of them are so far known to have died when indiscriminate fire was opened on them by the government's notorious army commandos. More than 20 wounded are currently being hospitalised at the Haz Haz hospital in the northern outskirts of Asmara.

The incident is believed to have happened on 11th July 1994 as a culmination of a long drawn-out dispute with the leadership. The invalid veterans had been lodging a number of administrative and political complaints against the leadership that went on for years but still remained unsolved...


(ION 11 Jun 94, p.4)

The Eritrean and Israeli governments have signed an agreement which will allow handicapped persons who were wounded during Eritrea's war of independence to be cared for in Israeli hospitals. Seven Eritreans have already arrived in Israel for surgery which will enable them to wear artificial hands. According to Israel's ambassador in Asmara, his government had perviously despatched a specialized medical team to examine Eritrean war-wounded.

(DNR 10 Aug 94, by Anders Hellberg [original in Swedish])

The Swedish Foreign Office will now take up the question of whether a foreign country's embassy has the right to collect fees from that country's own citizens in Sweden.

"An embassy cannot just do anything, it is regulated by the Vienna Convention from 1961 and 1963," says Bjorn-Gosta Sporrong, deputy assistant under-secretary of the Foreign Office's legal division...

All countries' embassies charge small fees of a few hundred crowns [1 USD=8 SEK] for so-called "stamp fees"...

"Such fees are definitely allowed and can be rather high," says Bjorn-Gosta Sporrong.

But according to Sporrong, those fees which Eritrea's embassy charges are not stamp fees:

"It is very questionable if one can do as this embassy is doing now. I am not completely clear on the legality of this situation."

/HAB/ Allegedly, the Eritrean government is demanding 2% of the annual income of all Eritreans living abroad.

(SWB 16 Aug 94 [VBME in Tigrigna, 13 Aug 94]

Talks between the foreign ministers of Eritrea and Sudan ended yesterday. After extensive discussions based on the 1994 agreement [as heard], a joint communique on security, repatriation of refugees, the opening of consulates and modes of coooperation was issued. Each side also agreed not to intervene in the internal affairs of the other and to ban the activities of terrorists in their territories. On the basis of the agreement reached and in order to facilitate the effective performance of the joint security committee, the two sides agreed to implement fully the agreement reached and enhance their efforts to dislodge terrorists from their respective territories...

(SWB 16 Aug 94 [Suna news agency, Khartoum, in English 13 Aug 94]) Asmara: ...A meeting would be held soon between the two countries' interior ministers as Sudan accepted to sign a common agreement with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNCHR). A programme was prepared to start the repatriation of the Eritrean refugees from Sudan next September...


(ION 25 Jun 94, p.4)

Mayor of Asmara Sebhet Effrem and US ambassador in Eritrea Robert Houdek have concluded an agreement on opening a branch of American Information Office in the Eritrean capital. A US delegation which included ambassador Houdek, the head of USAID Brian Atwood, and congressman Tom Hull recently toured the country. The visitors promised on their return to send US president Bill Clinton a full dossier of Eritrea's needs so that the US administration may be in a position to increase substantially its financial aid (currently standing at US$ 6 million) to Asmara.

(ION 30 Jul 94, p.6)

The European Union has awarded the Eritrean government financial aid worth ECU 3.7 million (US$ 4.1 million) under the Lome IV agreement for a series of six projects which are to be evaluated and supervised by European non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in liaison with Eritrean NGOs. ISCOS-CISC of Italy will take responsibility for the demobilization of soldiers project (ECU 540,000) and CRIC, also of Italy, will be working on a health project (worth ECU 731,860, of which ECU 250,000 will be for equipment and ECU 70,000 will be for pharmaceutical products), and Christ Outreach of Great Britain will supervise another public health project worth just over one million ECU (of which ECU 70,000 will be for equipment). The French veterinary NGO Veterinaires Sans Frontieres will supply aid to Eritrean veterinary services (ECU 430,000, including ECU 125,000 in veterinary products), CAFOD of Great Britain will take charge of a drinking water supply project (estimated to cost ECU 290,000) and the humanitarian organization Medecins Sans Frontieres of Belgium will be working in the health sector (ECU 698,000, including some ECU 150,000 worth of pharmaceutical products)...

(EH 15 Jul 94, p.6 [ENA])

ADDIS ABABA - Eritrea and Tanzania each received 200,000 U.S. dollars from the OAU Special Emergency Assistance Fund for Famine and Drought in Africa (SEAF) a press release from the information division of the regional organization said.

According to the release, the agreements to this effect were signed Wednesday by the OAU Secretary General, Mr. Salim Ahmed Salim, Ambassador Haile Merkorios of Eritrea and Ambassador Christopher Liundi of Tanzania.

The agreement stipulates that the Eritrean government use the grant to construct 36 wells in the five most famine and drought stricken areas affecting 2 million people, the release said...

(Moneyclips via RBB 11 Aug 94 [Riyadh Daily, by Furqan Ahmed])

RIYADH - The state of Eritrea has expressed its deep gratitude to the Kingdom for its humanitarian aid and financial support for various urgent projects of national reconstruction in this newly independent country after undergoing 30 years of struggle against the foes of Eritrea.

Speaking to Riyadh Daily, here Saturday Eritrean Charge d'Affaires Mohammad Berhan A. Kader said: "The Saudi Fund for Development (SFD) has been studying several projects of reconstructing roads, airports, improving its sea ports and building up hospitals and schools."

The Islamic Development Bank (IDB) has also promised substantial grants of scholarships and help to the educational institutions in Eritrea, he said.

During the long struggle for Eritrea's freedom, Saudi Arabia extended all possible support to that country which is linked by centuries-old ties of friendship and culture, Kader said...

Kader said about 80,000 Eritreans are residing in the Kingdom employed in diversified professions...


(SWB 1 Jul 94 [VOE in Amharic, 29 Jun 94])

Sixty-nine candidates have been put forward and 1,550,795 voters registered for the Region Five [eastern Ethiopia, mainly Somali] Constituent Assembly elections which will be held on 10th Hamele [17th July]. According to Mr Abdi Ali Abshir, the area's election board representative, among the 69 candidates 47 are independent, 21 are represented by the Ethiopian Somali League and one is represented by the Western Somali Democratic Party...

(EH 8 Jun 94, p.1, by Kisut G/Egziabher)

DIRE DAWA--The head of the Electoral Board office of Dire Dawa special district has blamed the National Electoral Board (NEB) for the postponement of the election of Constituent Assembly members of July 17 in the city and its environs.

Ato Ahmed Raghe Musa, head of the Office, said that had the NEB responded on time to their request that the residents of the 29 kebeles of Gurgura Woreda, a constituency outside both Region 4 and Region 5, cast their votes with the people of Dire Dawa, the election would have taken place on schedule. According to him the response to a letter sent to the NEB on 7 April was acknowledged on May 25, only 11 days before the election. "It was too late to prepare the people for the election within 11 days," said Ato Ahmed...

Meanwhile, the Secretary General of the NEB, Ato Assefa Biru, said that it was to give ample time for preparations and conduct things smoothly that the election was postponed.

According to him, because of the unsettled border disputes between regions 4 and 5, some of these people demand to vote in Dire Dawa while others choose Region 4. "We have already taken up the matter with the Prime Minister's Office and I hope that by the time the election takes place, the border dispute will have been settled, said Ato Assefa.

(SWB 2 Aug 94 [VOE in Amharic, 31 Jul 94])

Residents of the town of Dire Dawa and its environs [Region Five, mainly Somali, eastern Ethiopia] today cast their votes for the Constituent Assembly in their respective constituencies...

/HAB/ As HAB goes to press, sources in Ethiopia say that the elections in Dire Dawa have gone to the OPDO. Results of elections in Region Five are not yet available.

(SWB 9 Aug 94 [VOEE in Somali, 5 Aug 94])

The Voice of Ethiopia's Somali language service has for a long time been part of local vernacular services. As of Sunday, 7th August 1994, the Somali language will be included in the national languages. [Passage omitted on resultant changes to broadcast times]


(GN 4 Jul 94, by Julie Flint)

The ruling Ethiopian Peoples Revolutionary Democratic Front has won a landslide victory in the country's first national elections. It secured 484 of 547 seats in a constituent assembly that will approve a charter for a decentralised democracy based on a voluntary association of ethnic states.

The outcome of the June 5 vote was never in doubt. Despite appeals from aid donors and Ethiopia's friends in the West, the country's main opposition groups boycotted the elections, alleging harassment and saying the EPRDF's ethnic project could result in 'balkanisation'.

International observers' judgment that the ballot was generally free and fair appears, however, to have been borne out by the result from Addis Ababa, where independents mounted a strong challenge and the EPRDF took only 13 of 23 seats.

In the regions, where strong opposition parties stood aloof, EPRDF allies carried the day with ease. Thus 173 of 178 seats in Oromo areas went to the Oromo People's Democratic Organisation, the Oromo arm of the EPRDF, and all but one of the seats in the Amhara-dominated north went to the Amhara National Democratic Movement. Unrest prevented polling in the Ogaden, Ethiopia's ethnic Somali region.

The opposition's refusal to participate in Ethiopia political reorganisation after decades of dictatorship began with its boycott of regional elections two years ago and subsequent withdrawal from the Council of Representatives. Many Ethiopians believe the moves have backfired by strengthening the EPRDF's grip on government.

"The opposition has failed its constituents," Andreas Ashete of the Inter-Africa Group said. "The regional elections were terribly flawed, but the government has made a serious effort to correct the mishaps and will try harder next time. Free and impartial elections cannot be left to the government alone. Join the electoral board! Open offices! That's how elections get to be fair."

Some members of the opposition also criticise its intransigence. "Our chances of having our perspectives enshrined in the constitution are over now," lamented a leading member of the Oromo Liberation Front. "The first important chapter is finished, and the Oromo are going to live under a constitution in which they have not participated. In a country that never had any democratic exercise, some violations are bound to happen. But it's up to us to rectify some of these violations rather than stay out of the process. We are going to have only one party running the show now. But what is the sense of lamenting after abdicating the whole thing."

Immediately after last month's elections, some observers expressed hope that opposition parties would be sufficiently encouraged to participate in key parliamentary elections early next year. Those hopes are likely to have dimmed, after five opposition politicians were jailed last week on what Amnesty International calls "slender and dubious evidence" of conspiracy.

(Agence Europe via RBB 5 Jul 94)

Brussels, 04/07/1994 - The Presidency of the European Union has published the following Communique:

"The European Union believes that the elections of a constituent assembly in Ethiopia were satisfactory from a technical point of view. These elections were thus an improvement on the 1992 regional elections and represent progress in the democratic development of the country. The conduct of the elections indicated that there are grounds for believing that the opinions of the Ethiopian people could be properly reflected at the planned elections for a parliamentary government.

"The European Union considers that there is still some way to go, particularly regarding the climate in which opposition parties are able to campaign. Although a substantial number of independent candidates stood in the elections, the European Union regrets that, for whatever reasons, the main opposition parties did not participate and it was therefore, for the most part, an EPRDF-dominated election.The European Union finally believes that in the forthcoming parliamentary elections not only the conduct of the electoral press must be satisfactory, but all political forces should participate."

(AC 1 Jul 94, p.4)

...Opinions differ as to the EPRDF's real intentions:

- Groups which believe in a centralised state and claim the EPRDF is undemocratically turning its own manifesto into a constitution, without involving any opposition, argue that the EPRDF wants to destroy the integrity of a state already threatened by Eritrean independence. It is also suggested that the TPLF/EPRDF wants the option of pulling out if things go wrong and being able to declare Tigray independent.

- For the OLF and ONLF (and several other movements among Afars and Tigrayans) the problem is the opposite one: that the EPRDF is only prepared to accept the secession concept under very particular circumstances which it would take care to avoid. In other words, it is using the Soviet trick of creating impossible conditions to ensure secession is never implemented. The ONLF claims this is the whole point of creating the ESDL in the Somali Region: to ensure that those wanting a referendum on the issue are kept out of power and that the EPRDF keeps control of the Somali political debate. Recent EPRDF moves against it in Region 5 have left the ONLF feeling it has little future under the new constitution, even though it claims it is not secessionist as such but wants to explore 'fully' the right of self-determination. The OLF also feels options are closing. It has kept contacts open, most recently through ex-President Jimmy Carter's mediation efforts in February, but feels the EPRDF has made no move on major issues: independent military control, rebuilding the national army and realistic regional security control.

The opposition is divided on other levels besides the issue of self-determinaiton and secession which has caused problems in the [COEDF] and CAFPDE and did much to weaken the efforts of the 1993 Paris conference of opposition groups. The creation of the CAFPDE in Addis Ababa after the abortive conference there last December was not welcomed by all: leading oppositionists overseas have reservations about the rise to prominence of Dr. Beyene Petros as CAFPDE Chairman.

The EPRDF hopes the new constitution will provide a form of words to satisfy all sides in the self-determination debate but is aware of the risk of alienating everyone. The TPLF itself is showing signs of strain and there has been concern in Tigray over the effects of the boundary changes of two years ago. These have left a serious legacy of ill-feeling in both Gondar and Tigray. The level of active opposition by Kefegne (Unhappy Ones) in former northern Gondar may still be little more than the bandit activity that EPRDF military sources claim, but there is general animosity in the region over the loss of so much land to Tigray. Equally, the handling of control of the traditionally Tigrayan lowland salt areas to the Afar Region has caused irritation as the Afar have tried to maximise returns from the salt trade.

The EPRDF, well aware (and still resentful) that its forces are widely seen as an army of occupation, planned to demobilise up to 30,000 this year as part of its intention to reduce both the military as a whole and its Tigrayan content. This will now be difficult. Unrest in parts of Gondar has led to greater caution among possible donors about supporting proposed agricultural settlements for Tigrayan ex-soldiers. More generally, there are no jobs available for the demobilised and a lack of overall funding for alternatives. Widespread food shortages and drought conditions have added to these difficulties as has the unresolved debate over funding for the new regions.

In the last resort, the major problem is a lack of finance for the whole constitutional experiment. The EPRDF still hopes, even expects, that this will come from external sources but there are indications that some of its staunch and even uncritical supporters in the West are becoming more cautious. Partly, this is due to genuine doubts about the viability of the constitutional project while human rights organisations report a deteriorating situation, and partly to increasing constraints on Western treasuries at a time when Ethiopia faces a famine as potentially devastating as that of a decade ago (AC Vol 35 No 7). Some see the present crisis as one of poverty not just famine, and argue it has not been helped by the establishment of new regional administrations and bureaucracies. Inevitably, concern about the seven million Ethiopians said to be at risk from the famine will outweigh any enthusiasm for political innovation.


(AI 1 Jul 94, AFR 25/WU 02/94)

On Monday 27 June, the Central High Court in Addis Ababa sentenced a medical professor and four other members of an opposition group, the All-Amhara People's Organization (AAPO), to two years' imprisonment.

"The five convicted prisoners appear to have been imprisoned on the basis of slender and dubious evidence and without direct proof of the alleged conspiracy", Amnesty International said today.

The human rights organization has not yet received the full details of the judgement, but at this stage it seems that the judges relied on prosecution evidence which was not properly corroborated.

This evidence included a written note apparently found by the police at the university and a statement made to the police during the preliminary investigations by a witness who died before the trial. All five men denied the charges of incitement to violence and are appealing to the Supreme court to overturn the sentences.

Professor Asrat Woldeye, 65, had been free on bail during the long trial but the other four--Sileshi Mulatu, 61, AAPO's office manager, Teshome Bimerew, an Addis Ababa University student, former army lieutenant Chane Alamrew and Ambelu Mekonnen, a farmer from Gojjam, had been in prison for over a year. A court had granted them bail but the Supreme Court overruled it.

The five men were arrested in July 1993 and charged with holding a meeting in the AAPO office nine months earlier at which they were alleged to have planned violent attacks on the government...

The defendants denied any plan of anti-government violence. They said the meeting had been about complaints the AAPO had received of abuses by government soldiers of the Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) and pro-government militias against AAPO supporters and Amharas...

(SWB 4 Jul 94 [VOEE in English, 2 Jul 94])

The central police bureau has disclosed that nine people were killed and eleven others captured in Asaget [phonetic] district in North Shewa administrative zone [Region Three] in an exchange of fire with members of the security forces. The bureau said the group of 22 [word indistinct], a collection of bandits and former soldiers perpetrating different criminal activities. [Words indistinct] between the security forces and the bandits began as they refused to surrender. The group members who had earlier broken into the Debre Birhan prison and illegally set free prisoners were under security force surveillance before they were rounded up.

According to the police, Mr Andale Melaku, the ringleader of the bandits who was the Debre Birhan representative of the all Amhara People's Organization [AAPO], was one of the bandits killed in the fire exchange.

(Reuter 24 Aug 94, by Tsegaye Tadesse)

ADDIS ABABA - Ethiopia said it will start charging 1,315 detained officers of the ousted Communist regime with serious crimes and human rights abuses from next month.

Ethiopian state television quoted Chief Special Prosecutor Girma Wakjira as telling diplomats that the detainees would be divided in three broad categories for the trial.

First to be charged would be policy and decision makers - senior officials and miltiary commanders who served under deposed Marxist dictator Mengistu Haile Mariam.

The second batch would include field commanders, to be followed by a final group comprising individuals suspected of murder, torture and other related crimes, the special prosecutor was quoted as saying on Tuesday.

Ethiopian Foreign Minister Seyoum Mesfin said on Tuesday Mengistu, in exile in Zimbabwe, will be arraigned in his own country in September, probably at the same trial as that of his officials.

Seyoum told reporters during a visit to Harare that he had not discussed Mengistu's return to Ethiopia with Zimbabwean officials as the case was being handled by Ethiopian courts.

Girma did not give the exact date when he would start charging the former officials in an Addis Ababa court.

The trial would be based on Ethiopian and international law but he did not rule out the possibility of the death penalty for those found guilty of committing serious capital crimes.

"I cannot rule out that the prosecution may cite incidents where we would seek the death penalty," Girma said. "But I hope it will not to the extent of embarassing the international community by seeking the death penalty in every case."

Girma said exhumation work carried out by Argentine forensic experts in different sites in Hauzien, in the northern region of Tigray and in the capital Addis Ababa strengthened cases against human right violations.

"The exhumations were of extreme importance to the collection of evidence to build cases of human rights abuses and for the process of reconstructing the truth about the occurences of the recent past," Girma told the diplomats.

In March, Argentine experts uncovered remains of 12 people strangled and dumped in mass graves outside Addis Ababa - suspected victims of an Ethiopian death squad.

The grave was found behind a building apparently used for torture and executions by Mengistu's loyalists just before May 1991 when rebels took over Addis Ababa, toppling a government accused of deaths of tens of thousand of opposition loyalists.

The Argentine team has also exhumed remains of civilians bombed indsiscriminately at an open-air market by Mengistu's airforce closer to the period before he fled.

Mengistu critics accuse him of ruining the economy of the Horn of African state and of perpetuating or failing to stem the murder of his opponents. Ethiopian authorities have previously said they would like the ousted dictator to be extradicted to stand trial for his role in the atrocities.

/HAB/ International human rights groups admit today that they did little to monitor and publicize the horrors and crimes of the Mengistu regime.

(SWB 23 Jun 94 [SABC Channel Africa radio, Johannesburg, in English 21 Jun 94])

Deposed Ethiopian dictator, Mengistu Haile Mariam, is reported to be advising the Zimbabwean government on intelligence gathering, security and weapons purchases. Zimbabwe's independent 'Daily Gazette' said Mr Mengistu began acting as a consultant to the central intelligence organization and the ministry responsible for state security several months after being granted political asylum in Harare in 1991.

The newspaper said his role revolved around training programs on intelligence tactics and the acquisition of modern armaments. The Zimbabwean government has refused to comment on the report.

(Reuter 14 Jul 94)

ADDIS ABABA - Ethiopia denied on Thursday jailing anyone for expressing their political opinions or views, saying people were jailed only when they were found guilty of crimes.

In a statement, Justice Minister Mathiteme Selemon said the London-based human rights watchdog Amnesty International had written demanding the release of prisoners jailed for various crimes.

"People are jailed in Ethiopia, not for expressing their views and opinions, but they receive sentences of imprisonement when evidence proves them guilty of committing crimes," he said.

He said Amnesty International should visit Ethiopia to make inquiries if it believed there were human rights violations.

/HAB/ For a review of AI's assessment of human rights in Ethiopia during 1993, see the Amnesty International Report 1994.

(AI 20 Jul 94, AFR 25/17/94)

Daniel Kifle, arrested on 15 January 1994, was sentenced to 18 months' imprisonment under the Press Law on 1 June on account of articles based on a clandestine opposition radio broadcast, that alleged corruption by the Prime Minister and claimed that Eritrean troops were deployed in Ethiopia.

Mulugetta Lule [Editor of Tobia] was sentenced on 1 June to a suspended one-year prison term and fined for publishing a communique by the Kefegne rebel fighting group. The communique had claimed heavy casualties by government troops, which were denied by the government. His case is currently under appeal.

Mesfin Shifferaw has "re-appeared" (details still unclear). Kayk Kassaye is still "disappeared".

Tefera Asmare, who is currently serving a two-year sentence, was given an 18-month suspended sentence on 29 June for allegedly disseminating false information. The appeal against his sentence to two years imprisonment is still pending before the Supreme Court.

Meleskachew Amha and Berehane Mewa are still detained without charge and with bail refused. They have been held on repeatedly renewed 14-day court orders requested by the police for investigation... They have access to their families but no official acess to their lawyers.

Wolde-Ghiorgis Wolde Michael is reportedly held without charge or access to lawyers and relatives in Shashamane (175 kms south of Addis Ababa). There is concern that he may have been physically ill-treated.

Melaku Tedasse [Editor-in-Chief of Lubar magazine], Habtamu Belete [Editor-in-Chief of Ruhama magazine] and Girma Endrias [Editor of Ruhama magazine] were sentenced to six months imprisonment for contempt of court around 7 July. They had been arrested in Addis Ababa in mid-June with Tesfaye Tadesse [Publisher of Lubar magazine], who remains in detention, and were held by the police for questioning in connection with published articles criticising government troops and officials. Several court cases involving journalists provisionally released on bond are still continuing, including against Kefale Mammo, chairman of the Ethiopian Free Press Journalists Association and editor of Ruh magazine.


(IPS 21 Jun 94, by Anaclet Rwegayura)

SODDO, ETHIOPIA - By Ethiopian custom, it is taboo to tell anyone that there is a dearth of food in one's family.

Social norms also prohibit exposure of weak children to outsiders. If cornered by circumstances, an Ethiopian would rather say his or her child is weakened by a disease rather than admit that it is malnourished.

Small wonder then that thousands of children die of starvation and related complications whenever drought hits this Horn of Africa country, causing massive crop failures...

Ethiopia's rural communities are likely to depend on food handouts for their survival for the next two to three years. Many have fallen victim to loan sharks who provided money to tide the farmers over until the situation normalised.

These farmers would have to give up their entire harvests this year to local traders to repay the loans.

"Their food problems will be snowballing," Hastamu Zeleke, an official of the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) in North Omo zone, told IPS...

The need to narrow the gap between food requirements and domestic supply is at the centre of the Ethiopian government's development policy concerns.

It has come up with a land use plan to expand the area under rainfed cultivation, estimated at seven million hectares (ha). The country has 55 million ha of arable land

Draught power and farm equipment need to be made available to more farmers, while small-scale irrigation farming will have to be expanded to ensure that yields are stable during droughts.

The government's target is a five-percent annual increase in farm production until the year 2000 so that Ethiopia can feed itself. This would increase gross food output from the present seven million tonnes to 12 million tonnes.

But even if another natural disaster does not force Ethiopia to depend on additional food aid, the FAO does not expect the country to be self-sufficient in food within the next few years.

The organisation says food imports to meet domestic shortfalls will remain in the range of 650,000 tons a year over the next 17 years.

(Reuter 11 Jul 94)

ADDIS ABABA - Ethiopians were urged on Monday to curb population growth from 1.7 million people a year, trapping them in a vicious cycle of deprivation, hunger and death.

Negussie Teferra, head of population affairs in the prime minister's office, told a news conference annual population growth of 3.2 percent was outstripping economic development of 2.0 percent.

This was the main reason for Ethiopia's failure to feed its 55 million people, he said in a statement marking World Population Day. He added millions of Ethiopians had died in the last 20 years because the country could not grow enough food.

(IPS 21 Jul 94, by Anaclet Rwegayura)

ADDIS ABABA - Donors have responded to Ethiopia's appeals for food aid but have now complained that there are not enough storage facilities and trucks to transport supplies to more than seven million starving people here.

"The critical issue regarding relief operations during the remaining months of the year is not the availability of food aid, but the capacity to manage distributions, short-haul transport and warehousing," says a recent report by the U.N. Emergencies Unit for Ethiopia (UN-EUE).

Donors, who in june delivered 329,634 tons out of a required total of 933,634, have said that new shipments totalling 157,819 tonnes were expected to arrive soon in the northeast African country.

But the UN-EUE has warned that it foresees heavy congestion of food loads at Djibouti and the Eritrean ports of Assab and Massawa, on which landlocked Ethiopia relies.

It has urged the Ethiopian authorities to speed up the clearance of food supplies from the two Eritrean ports to reduce the congestion.

Both Assab and Massawa urgently need funds to maintain their off-loading and shore-handling equipment to cope with the volume of food arriving there.

A World Food Programme (WFP) logistics mission, which recently toured the towns, has launched a 1.5-million-dollar appeal for spare parts to improve the two Red Sea ports...

(Reuter 19 Jul 94)

LONDON - ..."There is potential for mass movement of people in Ethiopia," Mark Bowden, area director for Africa of Save the Children, told a news conference. "But the capacity to prevent that is well within our reach."...

Presenting the findings of a survey conducted in northern Ethiopia during May and June, Bowden said Ethiopia's poor infrastructure meant highland areas were particularly vulnerable to food shortages that could prompt mass movement of people into more central areas where access to aid is easier.

"Ethiopia has almost the lowest density of roads per head of population in the whole of Africa," he said.

Continued neglect of maintenance and building work during 20 years of conflict in Ethiopia has left only 20 percent of the population served by the existing road network.

The survey proposed 12 emergency feed roads should be cut from four major routes being built by the Ethiopian government to reach remote areas in the North Wollo district.

"Four or five million pounds now would have a substantial impact," Bowden said, adding that investment in better roads would help to head off starvation crises in the future...

(IPS 20 Jul 94, by Anaclet Rwegayura)

ADDIS ABABA, JUL 20 (IPS) - Weather forecasts indicate that this year's rains in parts of Ethiopia are likely to last long enough to ensure good harvests.

But, even if they do, for some farmers it is already too late. Many of the draught animals they use, mainly oxen, have either been killed or weakened by drought between 1993 and this year.

One of the most affected regions is northern Tigray, on the border with Eritrea. The U.N. Emergencies Unit for Ethiopia (UN-EUE) says the area will remain fallow this year because draught animals are in scarce and many of those available are in poor health...

(Reuter 21 Jul 94)

ADDIS ABABA - Ethiopia appealed on Thursday to East African states to save their 32-year-old locust control organisation from collapse by paying their arrears.

Awetahegn Alemayhu told a meeting of the seven member states of the Desert Locust Control Organisation - East Africa (DLCO-EA) that it was ineffective as annual contributions were unpaid.

"The DLCO is bankrupt and unable to pay staff salaries and employees are threatening to sue," he told the ministerial meeting, adding that the DLCO-EA played a vital role combating pests.

Conference sources said ministers would discuss whether DLCO-EA could be merged with the regional Inter-Governmental Authority on Drought and Development (IGADD) to ease its cash crisis.

The two-day meeting in the Ethiopian capital accepted Eritrea as an eighth member state of the DLCO-EA. The others are Ethiopia, Djibouti, Somalia, Sudan, Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania.

(Reuter 18 Jul 94)

ADDIS ABABA - At least 60,000 people have left their homes in Ethiopia because of floods near the Red Sea state of Djibouti, Ethiopian radio reported.

The radio said the Awash river had turned 2,000 hectares (5,000 acres) of farmland into a swamp in areas inhabited by the Afar tribe near the Ethiopia-Djibouti border.

It did not say whether there were any casualties.

Rain this year in Ethiopia, where some 7.5 million people are threatened with famine, has been steady, bringing hope that 1994 crops yields will be better than in 1993.

(EH 21 Jun 94, p.1, Berhanu Legesse)

ABBIS ABABA--African Refugee Day is an occasion which provides an opportunity for Africans to make a sober assessment of the refugee situation in the continent and devise a future strategy aimed at alleviating the suffering of people who fled their country for one reason or another, Ato Kuma Demekasa, Minister of Internal Affairs said here yesterday...

Speaking about the refugee situation in Ethiopia, he said that the TGE, in cooperation with UN agencies, international and local donor organizations, was taking concrete steps to rehabilitate the Ethiopian returnees. Over 608,000 Ethiopian refugees have been returned from Somalia, Kenya, Sudan, Djibouti and other countries, he added.

At present Ethiopia hosts 260,000 refugees from Somalia, 44,019 from Sudan, 18,000 from Djibouti, 10,000 from Kenya, Ato Kuma said adding, some refugees from Zaire, Rwanda, Burundi, Liberia and other countries are also being assisted in Addis Ababa. Over 27,000 additional refugees from Somalia are now living in the southern parts of Ethiopia, he said...

(ION 25 Jun 94, p.3)

One of the secretaries of the French parliament's foreign affairs commission, Xavier Deniau, has pleaded, in a report of the mission he carried out in Ethiopia in March 1994, in favour of France and the international community helping the Afar community in Djibouti which has fled the civil conflict in their own country to seek refuge in neighbouring Ethiopia... Deniau's report takes the figures issued by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees for Afar refugees sheltering in Ethiopia at some 17,000, mostly in villages along the main road linking the Eritrean port of Assab with Addis Ababa. During his mission, the French MP noted that "the international community has taken hardly any interest in their fate up until now", that food aid from the United Nations World Food Programme was "insufficient because based on an estimated population of 10,000 persons" since the officials "usually live in Addis Ababa". He said he considered that UNHCR had adopted an attitude of "prudent expectation" towards these refugees and that France had "so far shown proof of remarkable discretion on this dossier". He quotes the Ethiopian government's request for aid for the refugees, issued in July 1993 and transmitted to Paris by the French ambassador in Ethiopia, but says that it "received a negative response from the Africa Desk officials" in the French foreign ministry. Xavier Deniau therefore proposed a humanitarian aid project (which was subsequently integrated into the cooperation programme of the French embassy in Addis Ababa) in three parts: educating young Afars in the villages along the Ethiopia-Djibouti frontier, setting up a mobile medical assistance system, and carrying out traditional well-digging programmes...


(IPS 29 Jul 94, by Anaclet Rwegayura and Nhial Bol)

ADDIS ABABA - A border dispute is simmering between Sudan and Ethiopia despite attempts by both sides to settle the row.

According to Seyoum Mesfin, Ethiopia's foreign minister, the problem is caused by Sudanese farmers slipping into Ethiopia to cut down trees for firewood, and then nipping back over the border.

Their claim on Ethiopian territory and violation of the border has led to clashes between both country's security forces...

The assessment however has been denied by Sudan. "We have no border conflicts with Ethiopia," said Al Nour al Hadi, a foreign ministry official in Khartoum.

Earlier Sudan's foreign minister, Dr. Hussein Abu Salih, also rejected speculations by journalists that the unannounced visit by Head of State Lt-Gen Omar Hassan al Bashir to Ethiopia last week had to do with the conflict.

"What concerns the press on the visit of the president to Ethiopia? We have joint interests with Ethiopia and the president can go there without informing the press," he said.

Despite the denials, reports reaching Khartoum say nine Sudanese citizens had recently been killed by Ethiopian forces at Fashiga, on the border.

"Ethiopian forces also attacked and killed five soldiers of the Popular Defence Forces (militia) who were guarding farmers in the area," according to a local government official in eastern Sudan, on the border with Ethiopia.

The Ashiga Triangle and Galalabat, on the Red Sea - both disputed by the two neighbours - almost led to war in the 1970s. The squabble over the ownership of the land extending from Metema to Humera settlements straddling the common border, have been off and on for many years...

Attempts to strike an accord were made by past regimes of the two countries but no agreement was reached...

(EH 19 Jul 94, p.5 [ENA])

ADDIS ABABA - Ato Yoseph Kumalo, the newly appointed Ambassador of Ethiopia to the Sudan has presented his credentials to President Omar Ahmed Al-Bashir last month...

(SWB 20 Jun 94 [VOE in Amharic, 17 Jun 94])

Ethiopian and American military experts are currently conducting a joint military exercise which will last over one month, the Ministry of Defence stated today. The joint exercise, which started on 24th Ginbot [Ethiopian Calander: 1st June], is taking place at the Addis Ababa military hospital and Dukem [south of Addis] and is divided into three categories. There are 138 experts involved, and the exercise includes military engineering, supplies and surgery... The current joint military exercise will further strengthen relations between Ethiopian and American forces and will also help the Ethiopian military experts to improve their military skills... Of the 138 military experts, 53 are American, while the rest are members of the Ethiopian defence force.

(Ethiolist 16 Aug 94 [VOA 11 Aug 94])

President Clinton met with Ethiopian President Meles Zenawi at the White House Thursday. The two leaders discussed a range of regional issues, as we hear in this report from V-O-A White House correspondent Deborah Tate.

President Clinton met with his Ethiopian counterpart in the oval office to discuss a host of regional issues, including efforts to bring peace to Rwanda, Sudan, and Somalia.

A senior administration official - who did not wish to be identified - said the two presidents also discussed the severe drought in Ethiopia that is resulting in food shortages threatening millions of people in the East African nation.

The official said the meeting took place in a friendly atmosphere, and that Mr. Clinton re-affirmed U-S support for Ethiopia's efforts toward multi-party democracy and its pursuit of economic reforms.

The official said the two men also discussed the human rights situation in the country, but he did not elaborate.

As the two presidents met, a number of Ethiopian opposition groups held demonstrations outside the White House, protesting alleged human rights abuses by the Meles Government. Other Ethiopian groups in Washington expressed their support for the Ethiopian president.


(EH 24 Jun 94, p.1 [ENA])

Ethiopia has been elected as chairman of the Advisory Council of European Union and African, Caribbean and Pacific Countries (EU-ACP) committee for industrial cooperation.

In a written statement it sent to the Ethiopian News Agency, the Ministry of Industry said the council elected Ethiopia as its chairman during its second annual meeting held recently in Brussels, Belgium...

The statement said Ethiopia's Industry Vice Minister Girma Yigebru will serve as chairman of the council till July 1995...

(Reuter 4 Jul 94)

ADDIS ABABA - Ethiopia's economy has surged forward because of a major inflow of loans and grants from global donors in the last two years, the finance minister said.

Alemayehu Daba said on state-run television late Sunday that world bodies such as the World Bank and IMF were pleased with the country's economic restructuring programme and had pledged to offer $1.2 billion in aid and grants. Of this, $651 million was released in the first tranche of the agreement last year.

"The fund was used to buy spare parts and raw materials to boost the performance of the country's industries from as low as 20 percent to the present 75 percent capacity," he said.

"It was also used to purchase fertilizers to increase agricultural output," he added.

He said the remainder of the $1.2 billion would be released after an assessement mission by donors visits Ethiopia and see how the money already released had been utilised...

Ethiopia's economy grew by 7.0 percent in 1992 but drought reduced growth from a predicted 5.0 percent to 2.0 percent 1993.

Alemayehu gave no forecast for economic growth this year...

(Reuter 8 Jul 94)

ADDIS ABABA - Ethiopia's only commercial bank Friday reported a gross profit of at least $45.3 million in 1993-94, more than double its gains in the previous fiscal year.

Tilahun Abaye, general manager of the state-owned Commercial Bank of Ethiopia, said the profit was the result of business expansion due to the government's new liberal economic policies...

He said the bank's profit for fiscal 1991-92 stood at around $10.6 million and $20.3 million for 1992-93.

Deposits in the bank's 155 branches rose to $1.1 billion in 1993-94 from $942.6 million the previous year, he added...

(Reuter 20 Jul 94, by Tsegaye Tadesse)

ADDIS ABABA- Ethiopia's coffee export earnings will rise if the international rise in prices is sustained until the next season, a top coffee exporter said.

But Aschenaki Gebrehiwot, executive secretary of the Ethiopian Coffee Exporters' Association, said the frost in Brazil had come at an inopportune time as far as the current season's exports were concerned.

"Most of the country's 1993-94 coffee crop had already been sold. As a result Ethiopian coffee exporters enjoyed only a small benefit from the sudden price hike," he added.

He estimated coffee exports in the 1994-1995 season at 90,000 tonnes.

Ethiopia exported 85,000 tonnes of coffee in the 1993-94 season and earned around $160 million, according to official information. In 1992-93 it exported 70,000 tonnes and received $120 million.

Coffee accounts for over 60 percent of foreign exchange earnings. Most exports go to Europe, Asia and the Middle East...

(Reuter 11 Aug 94, by Tsegaye Tadesse)

ADDIS ABABA - Ethiopian authorities said a geological survey has confirmed vast deposits of gold, platinum, petroleum and gas which the nation planned to start exploiting to kickstart economic growth.

Ethiopian Vice Minister for Mines and Energy Resources Shemsudin Ahmed told Reuters the survey showed the minerals had been available but were not explored under previous feudal monarchies or the Marxist rule of Mengistu Haile Mariam.

"This remained an agrarian country of peasant farmers," he told Reuters.

"Exploration has now begun. We expect the results will reverse a legacy of famine and massive deaths from starvation that have plagued Ethiopia," a government official added...

Ethiopian leaders say the campaign to attract private capital for mining - first presented at a world mining conference in Denver, Colorado - had an impressive response.

They said 28 companies from the United States, Canada and Britain had already applied for concession rights and a few were already operational. They gave no details.

"A geoscientific survey carried out in Ethiopia indicated the nation's underground wealth is vast. It showed gold deposits as being at par with Ghana," Shemsudin Ahmed said.

"Ethiopia also possesses five proven major basins where potential oil and gas reserves have been identified."

Geology department experts say Ethiopia's Ogaden basin which covers an area of 350,000 square kms is considered to have high oil potential. The other chief oil area is the Gambella basin, on the western border with Sudan.

They said the survey indicated that platinum, nickel, lead and gem stones would also be available...

(IPS 29 Jul 94)

UNITED NATIONS - One of the biggest military spenders in sub-Saharan Africa says it has sharply reduced defence spending and stopped buying weapons of war.

Ethiopia has told the United Nations it has slashed military spending from 50 percent to 10 percent of its national budget.

"Moreover, no arms have been imported after the downfall of the past regime," the Ethiopian government says in a letter to Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali released this week...

As part of the new trend towards "transparency of military expenditures," Ethiopia admits it spent "billions of dollars on arms during the past regime."

"However, the picture has changed drastically since peace has prevailed and the country is actively engaged in economic reconstruction," the letter says.

"The arms Ethiopia possesses at the moment are only those that were purchased by the former government," according to the letter. "The bulk of the arms are now, in fact, junk and hence hardly of any use. Ethiopia keeps the rest only for defence purposes."

According to the latest figures released by the Washington-based Arms Control and Disarmament Agency (ACDA), Ethiopia imported about three billion dollars in arms during 1987-1991.

Of this, about 2.9 billion dollars came from the former Soviet Union, followed by China, which accounted for about 90 million dollars' worth of military equipment during the same period.

Since Mengistu took power in 1974, the Soviets reportedly supplied about 10 billion dollars' worth of military equipment to Ethiopia over a 17-year period ending 1991.

Ethiopia was the largest single buyer of arms in sub-Saharan Africa, according to ACDA. The Ethiopian air force is equipped with Soviet-made MiG-17, Mig-21 and MiG-23 fighter planes...

From: Everett Nelson 
Newsgroups: lpi.hab
Date: 30 Aug 94 17:10 SST
Subject: Editorial  (Jul-Aug 94)
Message-Id: <>

Editor: Ali B. Ali-Dinar
Previous Menu Home Page What's New Search Disclaimer