Ethiopia Insight: The OLF is dead, but its Oromo struggle lives – 19 January

  • Ethiopia Insight publishes an opinion piece by Abdurazak Kedir Abdu, who argues that while the Oromo Liberation Front (OLF) in Ethiopia has “disintegrated”, “what it stands for still captures the essence of the Oromo struggle, and this contradiction is convulsing Oromo politics.”
  • The OLF leadership returned to Ethiopia from exile in Eritrea in September 2018 as part of a reform drive spearheaded by Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed.
  • Abdurazak writes that Eritrean President Isaias Afwerki had reportedly pressured OLF leader Daud Ibsa to accept Abiy’s proposal and return home.

Satenaw: Ethiopia’s ruling coalition happy over execution of Eritrea deal – 20 January

  • Ethiopian news website Satenaw reports that Ethiopia’s ruling coalition is said to be satisfied with the execution of the Eritrea peace deal, signed in Asmara in July 2018.
  • At a regular session held in Addis Ababa, the Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) Executive Committee praised the success of the deal so far, according to state-affiliated outlet FBC. The session was led by Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, chairman of the EPRDF.
  • “The economic ties between the two countries laid a foundation to bring change in the horn of Africa and build Ethiopia’s image at the global level”, said the FBC in its report.
  • The Executive Committee session also “expressed concerns about insecurity” in parts of the country, according to FBC.

Eritrea Hub: The Ethiopia – Eritrea border: what both could learn from Britain – 20 January

 

  • Writing for Eritrea Hub, Martin Plaut considers how ongoing border issues between Eritrea and Ethiopia might be resolved with reference to boundary mapping by Britain in the 1930s.
  • Plaut cites the case of the border between what was then British Somaliland and Ethiopia. “The border had come about through a series of treaties dating from the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, with conflicting Ethiopian and Italian claims over part of the area”.
  • A British-Ethiopian boundary commission met in Berbera on 8 January 1932, and their findings were praised by the Ethiopian ambassador to Britain, Azaj Worqueh Martin, who also noted that there was “no real necessity” for the border, “because so long as people are really kindly and justly inclined there will be no difficulty”.

 

  • “None of this is to suggest that British colonialism was a good idea” writes Plaut, accounting for British colonial officers’ bias in relating the story of the boundary commission. “But it is worthwhile considering how the British went about resolving the border issue… If Ethiopia and Eritrea are to resolve their border issues, they could do worse than following this example.”

AzCentral: Daniel Mesfun breaks men’s half marathon record at Rock ‘n’ Roll Arizona – 20 January

  • Eritrean runner Daniel Mesfun won the 16th Humana Rock ‘n’ Roll Arizona, a half-marathon held in Tempe and Scotsdale on 20 January, becoming the first winner to run sub-62 minutes.
  • Daniel won the race with a record time of 1:01:12, beating his own personal best by two minutes. He is now targeting the Boston Marathon, aiming to run under 2:10.

CGTN Africa: Ethiopian PM Abiy stops in Rome before heading to World Economic Forum – 21 January

  • The African bureau of China Global Television Network, CGTN Africa, reports that Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed arrived in Rome on the first leg of his European tour, which will take him to the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, on Tuesday 22 January.
  • Abiy is set to meet with Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte in Rome. Conte visited Eritrea in October 2018 to support the peace deal between Asmara and Addis Ababa, before visiting Ethiopia.
  • Abiy will deliver an address to the World Economic Forum on 23 January, where he will interact with world leaders, global business leaders, economists, and other international finance bodies.
  • The theme of this year’s Forum is “Globalization 4.0: Shaping a New Architecture in the Age of the Fourth Industrial Revolution.”

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