Ethiopia: Week in Review

May 16, 2021

1. National Election Board Chairwoman Birtukan Mideksa announced the postponement of the June 5 elections due to logistical issues. The chairwoman stated that no more than three additional weeks are needed before Ethiopians head to the polls. The Ethiopian foreign ministry has announced that Russian and AU observers will take part in the Ethiopia's elections. The US state department stated that Ethiopia needs to set the "right environment" for the upcoming elections.

2. US Special Envoy Jeffrey Feltman returned from his trip where he met leaders in the Horn of Africa and Egypt and released a statement expressing his concern about Ethiopia's internal political situation as well as the situation in Tigray. The US embassy in Ethiopia hosted the Orthodox Church patriarch who criticized the Ethiopian government's war on Tigray last week.

3. Eritrean troops disguised as Ethiopian troops are accused of blocking critical humanitarian aid to Tigray. The humanitarian situation in Tigray continues to remain dire. Here are the latest updates for this week from relief web on the situation in Tigray.

4. Ethiopia said it lost $500 million by excluding mobile money from the terms of two new telecom licences according to Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed. The decision to exclude mobile money is intended at ensuring the country develop its own expertise according to a statement by the Prime Minister during the unveiling of mobile money services by Ethio telecom. IndeeFrench giant Orange is interested in a stake in Ethio telecom.

5. Coronavirus cases are decreasing significantly in Ethiopia.

6. Ethiopia's attorney general has said that fighters not civilians have been mostly killed in Tigray. 35 Ethiopian peacekeepers are seeking refuge in Sudan. The Ethiopian government has said that its priority is the reconstruction of Tigray state. Ethiopia also said it foiled a terror plot in the Oromia region.

Good Reads

What Ethiopia needs is less, not more ethno-nationalism - Yohannes Gedamu

Ethiopia-Sudan border tensions must be de-escalated - Shewit Woldemichael

The Logic Behind Events in Ethiopia - Peter W. Esmonde

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