Saturday, September 3, 2016

#EBCበክልሉ በሰው ህይወትና በመሠረተ ልማቶች ላይ በደረሰው ጥቃት ማዘኑን የአማራ ክልል መንግስት ገለፀ፡፡

Foreign-owned flower farms attacked in Ethiopia unrest -growers - Times LIVE

Foreign-owned flower farms attacked in Ethiopia unrest -growers

REUTERS | 03 September, 2016 09:55
All plots are close to Bahir Dar, the Amhara regional capital. "Details are still being gathered. The scope of damage requires further investigation," the statement said. File photo

At least seven foreign-owned flower farms in Ethiopia's Amhara region have been burnt to the ground or partially damaged in political violence afflicting the country over the past two months, producers said on Friday.

Anti-government protests over disputed provincial boundaries and allegations of human rights violations have spread in the north-central province, the second region to be riven by turmoil this year alongside Oromiya province in central Ethiopia.
In June, Human Rights Watch said security forces killed at least 400 people in Oromiya protesting at government plans to incorporate some parts of the region within the city limits of the capital Addis Ababa.
"Around seven flower farms have been affected - some burnt to the ground, others partially vandalised during attacks that took place Monday to Wednesday," the Ethiopian Horticultural Producers and Exporters Association said in a statement emailed to Reuters. No injuries have been reported from the attacks.
The list of firms included Esmeralda Farms BV of the Netherlands, Italian owned-Alfano Fiori, Indian firm Fontana Flowers PLC, and others operated and owned by investors from Israel, Belgium and the Middle East, it added.
All plots are close to Bahir Dar, the Amhara regional capital. "Details are still being gathered. The scope of damage requires further investigation," the statement said.
Tensions have been rumbling for two decades over the status of Wolkayt district, a stretch of land that protesters from Amhara say was illegally incorporated into the neighbouring Tigray region to the north.
Though demonstrators have behaved mainly peacefully, there have been incidents where government officials and civilians perceived to be associated with the government have been attacked by protesters.
A spokeswoman for Flora Holland, the world's largest flower auction based in the Dutch city of Aalsmeer, said that growers were assessing the damage from the attacks.
"The scope of the damage differs greatly from business to business," Elizabeth Palandeng said, but she did not believe it would lead to a long-term problem with deliveries.
Hardest hit appeared to be a Dutch company, Esmeralda, which said in a statement that 10 million euros worth of investments "went up in smoke" in an attack on its farm on Sept. 29.
The African flower industry has grown quickly in recent years, with Kenya and Ethiopia together providing about 65 percent of the Dutch auction's total.
Any sign of unrest is closely watched in Ethiopia, an important Horn of Africa ally of the West against Islamist militants in neighbouring Somalia, and an economic power seen as a centre of relative stability in a combustible region.
Earlier this week, Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn said his administration would carry out "deep-rooted" reforms and pledged to address grievances, though he warned of measures if protests escalated into violence.

South Sudan opposition diplomat defects to government - Sudan Tribune: Plural news and views on Sudan

 A South Sudan opposition diplomat in Ethiopia on Friday declared his defection to join president Salva Kiir led government in Juba.
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The South Sudan Embassy in Ethiopia (Photo Wanderingmark)
David Dang, who had been serving as Deputy representative of the SPLM-IO mission office in Ethiopia says he has resigned from his position, arguing that the leader of the armed opposition group, Riek Machar, has failed to lead the movement.
"Machar has no vision, he is running the SPLM-IO like his own property, as a result I am no longer supporter of Dr. Riek Machar" David told Sudan Tribune on Friday.
David’s defection comes weeks after few opposition officials including Taban Deng, close aide of Machar and former SPLM-IO head negotiator defected to government to take the officie of the first vice president , replacing boss Machar.
David further said that he is now on wards the supporter of Taban Deng who also is chairman of the SPLM/A-IO splinter faction .
"Furthermore Gen. Taban Deng Gai knows what it takes to be a leader," he said.
David called on all people of South Sudan and particularly on Greater Nuer community to follow his move and join the leadership of Taban.
He said Taban is the right leader to implement the peace agreement brokered by the regional bloc, IGAD and to save South Sudan from sliding back into a bloodshed.
"If you want peace to prevail in South Sudan, please come and join the First Vice President, Taban Deng Gai who is ready to implement the peace deal," David said.
He added that the peace agreement signed in August last year is the only binding document which could stop the suffering of the people.
"Our people don’t deserve to be in the IDPs camps this too long in their own country; our children don’t deserve to grow in refugee camps without going to school" he added.
David Dang, switch sides to join the SPLM-IO, under leader ship of Riek Machar, in November 2014, while he was then serving as deputy head of mission of South Sudan Embassy in Ethiopia.
David, ethnic Nuer, then accused the ethnically Dinka dominated Kiir’s government of creating climate of fear at South Sudan embassies across the world to systematically force the Nuer diplomats abandon their posts.