Friday, March 03, 2006

ION update: 03/03/06

Lobbying for the families of Ethiopian political prisoners
Indian Ocean Newsletter N° 1171 04/03/2006

A group formed by the relatives and friends of the imprisoned leaders of the Coalition for Unity and Democracy Party (CUDP, Ethiopian opposition) have called on the services of an American lobbying company. This group is called Advocacy Ethiopia and is based in Silver Springs, Maryland. It has just hired the lawyer Harold Boyd from the Boyd & Brown practice to help them get their voice heard by the American administration. This law practice is based in Maryland and also has a branch in Washington.

Another woman in Paris
Indian Ocean Newsletter N° 1171 04/03/2006

The current Ambassador of Ethiopia to Paris is to return soon to Addis Ababa. She will be replaced in France by another woman, who is currently on post in the Ivory Coast.

Finally, Wubishet Demissie T/.Mariam (ION 1166) will not be replacing Ms Sahle-Work Zewde in the post of Ambassador to Paris. It is Ms Tadelech Haile-Mikael who is to be the new representative of Ethiopia in France. Haile-Mikael, 52, is currently the Ethiopian Ambassador to the Ivory Coast and has been the Minister for Women’s Rights from 1995 until she went to Abidjan at the beginning of 2002. A former activist in the Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Party (EPRP, opposition), she has spent more than a decade (1979-1991) in prison while her husband, who was also a member of the EPRP, was killed by the troops of the then President Mengistu Haile Mariam in 1979. Tadelech Haile-Mikael then escaped the death penalty because she was pregnant, later giving birth to a girl in prison. Her daughter then lived with her mother during the whole of her imprisonment. Before her time in prison, the future Ethiopian Ambassador to France studied journalism at the University of Friebourg in Switzerland. As The Indian Ocean Newsletter had announced, Sahle-Work Zewde will go to Addis Ababa to run the Africa department of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs and become her country’s Ambassador to the African Union.

Eritrea: A chargé d'affaires in France
Indian Ocean Newsletter N° 1171 04/03/2006

The Ambassador of Eritrea to Paris has been recalled to Asmara. She has been replaced by her counsellor who has been made a chargé d'affaires.

On post since the beginning of 2001, the Eritrean Ambassador to Paris, Hanna Simon has been recalled to Asmara and replaced by her counsellor, Ahmed Dehli. The latter hence becomes the chargé d’affaires of the Eritrean embassy in Paris until a new Ambassador is appointed. Dehli had lived and studied in France for many years before returning to Eritrea several years ago. He notably held the post of director of the Centre d’Etudes Stratégiques in Asmara. He returned to Paris last year as counsellor to the embassy. With the departure of Ms Simon, the balance of the number of women ambassadors to France from African countries has shifted slightly. Their number had stood at six and the recent replacement of the ambassador of Uganda by another woman (ION 1161) did not change the ratio. No more than will the replacement of Sahle-Work Zwede (Ethiopia) by another woman Ethiopian diplomat. But with the departure of Hanna Simon, there are now only five.

From Ambassador to consultant
Indian Ocean Newsletter N° 1171 04/03/2006

The Ethiopian Ambassador to Germany has left the diplomatic service and returned to Addis Ababa to work for an institute studying security.

The Ethiopian Ambassador to Germany left his diplomatic functions at the beginning of the month to take charge of a project to fight terrorism in the Horn of Africa, based in Addis Ababa. This project is an initiative by the InterGovernmental Authority on Development (Igad) and the Institute for Security Studies (ISS) of South Africa. ISS had originally advertised this post in August 2005 and eventually selected Hiruy Amanuel Gebresellasie. Furthermore, Amanuel signed on behalf of the Ethiopian government in September 2005 in Berlin an agreement with International Conferences, Workshops and Exhibitions (ICWE) and Hoffman & Reif Consultants (HRC) to hold an annual conference on information and communication technology in Ethiopia. The first edition of this conference, “eLearning Africa” will be held from 24 to 26 May in Addis Ababa with financial support from the European Commission. Although he has now left the Ethiopian diplomatic service, Amanuel is on the eLearning Africa honorary committee, alongside Andreas Eshete (Dean of Addis Ababa University) and the Ethiopian Minister of Education Wondwossen Kiflu. Born in 1952, married to Mehret Kidanu and the father of two children aged 18 and 20. Amanuel is a graduate in librarianship from the Addis Ababa University, in political science from the California Lutheran University and in communication, radio and television from Syracuse University. He began his career as a radio producer in Ethiopia at the beginning of the 1970s and later worked for the Ethiopian Ministry of Information before joining the Ministry for Foreign Affairs at the beginning of the 1990s. Amanuel has held several posts in this ministry’s Europe department, before becoming head of the department in 1992 and later director general for Europe and America (1994-2000). In 2000 he was sent to France as chargé d’affaires and was made Ambassador to Germany two years later.