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OPDO’S ABIY AHMED WILL BE NEXT ETHIOPIA PM-SAYS FORMER US AMBASSADOR, HERMAN COHEN.

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The Oromo Peoples Democratic Organization (OPDO) leader, Abiy Ahmed will be named the next Prime Minister of Ethiopia, according to a former United States ambassador.

Herman Cohen, a former Assistant Secretary of State in a tweet with barely 24-hours to a parliamentary ratification of a recently imposed state of emergency (SoE) also warned that the measure needed to be repealed.

Cohen, who is big on political events in Addis Ababa said it was important for the government to withdraw the SoE before naming Abiy as PM ‘thereby avoiding tense vote in parliament and setting (the) stage for political reforms.’

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OPDO, a quarter faction of the ruling Ethiopia Peoples Revolutionary Defense Front (EPRDF) only recently promoted Abiy to the post of OPDO Chairman. His immediate predecessor, Lemme Megerssa was named deputy but maintained his post as president of the Oromia Regional State.

The need to occupy the PM seat was occasioned by the resignation of Hailemariam Desalegn in February. Desalegn said he had opted to leave the post to allow political reforms to be pursued. He remains in charge till the EPRDF vote for a new leader of the coalition.

There has been serious lobbying of lawmakers from the OPDO to vote against the SoE today when it is tabled by the government. It is believed that if they vote against or abstain, the government will fail to get the six-month measure validated.

The Council of Ministers imposed it two weeks ago but according to law they needed to have it ratified by parliament within a particular time frame. It is the second time in the last two years that Addis Ababa has imposed the measure.

The first, in October 2016, was at the height of anti-government protests that led to massive deaths amid a security crackdown. It lasted from October till August 2017.

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PM Abiy reiterates Ethiopia’s decision over latest clampdown.

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Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed has finally spoken on ongoing anti-corruption and rights abuse clampdown stating that there was not going to be any backing down let alone retreat.

A statement from the Abiy’s office issued in Amharic tasked citizens to rally behind the development as a means of ridding the country of lawlessness and criminal elements.

State-affiliated FBC reported that the statement titled, ‘Let’s Fight (the) Cancer,’ said the government was bent on bringing people behind injustices to book.



The statement said the underlying objective of recent arrests was to get rid of Ethiopia criminals. “… criminals do not care about ethnicity, country, or morality; they only care for themselves.

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“The key to justice is to create a system for innocent citizens to live in freedom and dignity while criminals are held accountable and punished in accordance with the law,” the statement read in part.

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Since early this week, authorities have announced the arrest of over sixty former military and intelligence officials arrested in connection with rights abuse in prisons and gross corruption in the military run business conglomerate, Metals and Engineering Corporation, MetEC.

A former head of MetEC, Kinfe Dagnew; and a former intelligence chiefs, Tekleberhan Woldearegay and Yared Zerihun have all been detained and put before courts in the capital, Addis Ababa.

Head of security at the state monopoly, Ethio Telecom, Gudeta Olana, has also been arrested as has head of the entity and brother of ex-MetEC boss, Essayas Dagnew.

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New Zealand denies refusing refugees with holiday visas entry.

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New Zealand’s Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern, on Friday, rejected allegations that the country’s government was blocking refugees who wished to travel into the country from Nauru on visitor visas.

Nauru’s president, Baron Waqa, also claimed in an interview with Australian media that he had also personally brokered a deal for New Zealand to accept 80 refugees currently located on the island.



“It’s incorrect to say that there is some kind of agreement for 80 specific individuals to take residence or visit,’’ Ardern told media at the East Asia Summit in Singapore.

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“The request did not ask about whether refugees could visit New Zealand on holiday visas,’’ he added.

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The country assessed all applications for visitor visas on a case-by-case basis. This applies regardless of a person’s country of origin or nationality.

The country is under pressure to transfer the remaining 30 children from the island.

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