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Ethiopia must pursue multiparty democracy, says PM’s Chief of Staff.

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Ethiopia must pursue multiparty democracy, the prime minister’s chief of staff said on Sunday in what could be the latest in a series of momentous changes sweeping the country.

The country allows competing parties but all parliamentary seats are held by the Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front, which has maintained tight control in the country of 100 million people since it fought its way to power in 1991.



The ruling coalition has also presided over an economy that has grown faster than any other in sub-Saharan Africa over the past decade.

Abiy Ahmed became prime minister in April and since then the government has instituted reforms including releasing political prisoners, diluting state control of the economy and making peace with northern neighbour Eritrea.

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The government this month lifted a ban on opposition groups that were considered terrorist groups. Any further steps to strengthen the country’s democracy would likely make elections due in 2020 more competitive.

Abiy was meeting national and regional parties on Sunday and his chief of staff, Fitsum Arega, said in a tweet:

“PM Abiy concluded: Given our current politics, there is no option except pursuing a multiparty democracy supported by strong institutions that respect human rights and rule of law.”

He said the parties appreciated Abiy’s political reforms and also wanted changes to electoral laws.

The coalition swept the 2015 vote but the opposition was weakened by restrictive laws and what human rights group described as repression. Security forces killed hundreds of people in three years of unrest since then.

The opposition said it was cheated of victory in an election in 2005, after which 193 protesters and seven policeman were killed in riots.

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REUTERS

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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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