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ETHIOPIA: Parliamentary elections to be held on 5 June 2021

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The Ethiopian Electoral Commission announced on Friday 25 December 2020 that the parliamentary elections will take place on 5 June 2021. Originally scheduled for August 2020, the vote could not be held due to the devastating Covid-19 around the world.However, this delay had been the subject of intense tension between the Ethiopian government and the Tigray region, one of the country’s nine regions since 1995.

The idea of postponing the legislative election, decided by the government because of the current health situation, had helped to increase tensions between the government of the Prime Minister and founder of the Prosperity Party, Abiy Ahmed, and the dissident Tigray region in the north of the country, against which a military operation was launched on 4 November 2020. For good reason, the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) organized its own regional elections in September 2020, which the Ethiopian government considered illegal.

The Ethiopian Electoral Commission published on its Facebook page on Friday 25 December 2020, the date of the legislative election now set for 5 June 2021. Thus, Ethiopian citizens who wish to take part in its elections will have to register on the electoral lists from 1 to 30 March 2021.

The Ethiopian government’s announcement does not at the moment concern the Tigray region, for which special measures will be taken by its interim administration.

According to the United Nations (UN), the fighting in the Tigray region has resulted in more than 50,000 refugees in neighbouring Sudan and nearly 63,000 internally displaced persons.

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EAST AFRICA

ETHIOPIA – Facebook deletes PM Abiy Ahmed’s publication

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Facebook’s parent company, Meta, suppressed a Sunday publication by Ethiopian Prime Minister (PM) Abiy Ahmed that called on Ethiopians to “bury” the soldiers of the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF).

Facebook said it had suppressed Abiy Ahmed’s message urging Ethiopian citizens to rise up and “bury” Tigray’s rival forces that are now threatening the capital as the war in the country escalates. 

As a matter of fact, it appears that the PM’s message last Sunday violated the platform’s policies against incitement and support of violence, Associated Press spokesperson Emily Cain of Facebook’s parent company, Meta, told the Associated Press. It was withdrawn on Tuesday morning, she said. “The obligation to die for Ethiopia belongs to all of us,” Abiy wrote in part in the deleted message.

In connection with the suppressed publication, he urged to point out that the Ethiopian government has been at war for a year with the TPLF, which dominates national policy before taking office in 2018. The Abiy government this week declared a state of national emergency with broad powers of detention in the country.

In September, the U.S. State Department condemned a speech by Abiy’s advisor who compared the Tigray rebels to the devil and said they should be “the last of their kind.”

In the past, Facebook has already suppressed publications from leaders, including a video of former US President Donald Trump linked to the violence that took place on the Capitol in the United States.

Source : Koaci / Mensah – KOACI Permanent Correspondent in Ghana, Togo and Nigeria – Contact the Togolese editorial staff at koaci.com (+228) 98 95 28 38 or koaci.ghana@gmail.com

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EAST AFRICA

ETHIOPIA – Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed calls for national mobilization against rebels

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Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed issued a solemn appeal against his compatriots on Tuesday, 10 August 2021. It invites “all able and major Ethiopians” to join the armed forces. Objective: fight against the Tigrean rebels.

Faced with the advance of the rebels in Tigray, the head of the Ethiopian government, Abiy Ahmed, demanded a mobilization commensurate with the situation. An appeal that the head of state launched on Tuesday, August 10. He urged his fellow citizens to engage in this fight.  

The conflict lasted nine months and has now spread in recent weeks to two neighbouring regions in the north of the country. The unilateral ceasefire that had been decreed at the end of June 2021 is finally buried. Now is the time for all Ethiopians of all ages to join the defence forces, special forces and militias and show their patriotism,” said the Ethiopian President, the 2019 Nobel Peace Prize winner in a statement.

Remember that the Tigray War is an armed conflict between the Ethiopian federal government and the Tigray regional government since November 4, 2020. The conflict stems from the rebellion of the Front for the Liberation of the People of Tigray (FLPT) against the federal government of Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed whose will is to put an end in 2019 to the ethnocentric political system in force since 1994.

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EAST AFRICA

ETHIOPIA – Parliamentary elections postponed again

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Initially scheduled to take place in August 2020, the Ethiopian parliamentary elections had already been postponed to 2021 due to Covid-19. This decision was criticised by opponents of Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s power, who accuse him of wanting to stay at the head of the country.

In Ethiopia, the general elections will be postponed again. The announcement was made on Saturday 15 May 2021 by the National Electoral Board of Ethiopia (NEBE), the body responsible for organizing this important event in Ethiopian political life.

According to the institution, this delay is due to logistical problems, in particular related to the registration of citizens on the electoral lists. As a result, the process would be slowed down by the deteriorating security situation in some parts of the country, but also by the difficulties associated with printing and transporting bulletins.

This postponement is not the first one announced by the Ethiopian authorities concerning the conduct of the parliamentary elections in the Negus country. Originally planned for August 2020, they were postponed to June 5, 2021, officially due to the Covid-19 pandemic. However, several opponents, notably from the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), had considered this decision as an attempt by the first Abiy Ahmed, to stay in power, without going to elections.

This new announcement should provoke further criticism from some of the Ethiopian political class hostile to the Prime Minister, particularly in regions that are demanding more power.

It should be noted that for the moment no new date has been announced for the elections. However, the authorities indicate that the postponement should not exceed three weeks.

Source : Agence Ecofin / Par Moutiou Adjibi Nourou

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