The Ethiopian parliament, the House of People’s Representatives, HoPR; today approved a new electoral bill ahead of much anticipated national polls slated for next year.
Lawmakers convened in an extraordinary session to debate and pass the law which had been under construction since Abiy came into power in April 2018.
The revised law of political parties registration and electoral ethics has been adopted unanimously by Ethiopia’s parliament, the state-run Ethiopian Broadcasting Corporation reported.
The privately-owned Addis Standard portal added that a proposed clause meant to boost the involvement of women was dismissed by the lawmaker. The said clause sought to give priority to women who received equal votes with men during the polls.
The ruling coalition, the Ethiopian Peoples’ Revolutionary Democratic Front, EPRDF; is on record to have stressed its readiness to organize the polls on schedule.
The EPRDF currently holds all seats in the parliament.Competing parties in Africa’s second most populous nation have also made similar calls but with a core demand that electoral reforms be passed.
There is a new head of the electoral board in the person of Birtukan Mideksa and international partners including the European Union have pledged financial support to help the electoral process.
Analysts have meanwhile expressed concern over rising insecurity which saw Ethiopia emerge the worst in the area of internal displacement due to conflicts. Ethnic based clashes soiled Abiy’s first year in charge at a time he was championing widespread political reforms.
The body of Israeli hiker Aya Na’amana, a 22-year-old student from Araba in the Galilee, was found in Ethiopia.
Na’amana went on a trip as part of a Technion delegation, where she studied as a student. She became separated from the group during a trip to the Salt Desert in Danakil, Ethiopia.
The Israeli foreign ministry stated: “We regret to announce that the body of the Israeli young woman, Aya Na’amana, was found after she was lost during a trip to the Salt Desert area in Ethiopia.”
“The Israeli embassy in Addis has been working with Ethiopian authorities, government and military officials at the highest levels, together with the Magnus Rescue Company, to locate the Israeli. Yesterday, when the incident occurred, searches began on the ground by local police, military forces, and local volunteers. Searches continued today, conducted by ground forces and a helicopter, until the body of the young woman who apparently fell to her death was found,” the official said.
The Foreign Ministry added that they share in the family’s grief and assisted in transporting Aya’s body to the Israel as soon as possible.
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General Observations on Ethiopian Refugee Proclamation No. 409-2004
(a) Definition of Refugees
The 2004 proclamation incorporated refugee definition from both the 1951 Convention and the 1969 African refuge convention verbatim. Article 4 of the proclamation adopted a combined definitions of refugees given by the above two instruments.
While the 1951 convention refuge definition has been at times considered to be too restrictive, the 1969 OAU definition on the contrary has been hailed to be inclusive. The fact that the Ethiopian Refuge proclamation combines the two definitions suggest an enormous interest on the part of Ethiopia to be more accommodative and more open to the plights of refugees.
The Ethiopian Proclamation does not provide for subsidiary or supplementary protections, a kind of scheme that has been developed to extend international protection to individuals who do not satisfy the refuge definition but who otherwise need protection. Given the broader definition of refugee adopted in the proclamation one may, however, argue that such persons could even be subsumed into the definition itself. Continue reading “General Observations on Ethiopian Refugee Proclamation No. 409-2004”→