Daily Archives: September 14, 2017

Press Availability With U.K. Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson

FOREIGN SECRETARY JOHNSON: Good afternoon, everybody. I am delighted to welcome Secretary Tillerson to London. We’ve had an excellent series of meetings, including, of course, about the appalling damage wrought by Hurricane Irma. I returned this morning myself from Anguilla and the British Virgin Islands, where I saw the scale of the destruction and the ordeal that has been inflicted on the people across the Caribbean and in Florida.

Our immediate task is to ensure that aid reaches everyone in need, and today there are nearly 1,000 British military personnel deployed in our Caribbean territories, supported by RFA Mounts Bay and two Puma transport helicopters. More than 40 tons of aid has arrived, including one ton of food and enough shelter for 13,000 people. RFA Mounts Bay is now heading to the U.S. Virgin Islands to pick up more supplies before moving on to the Turks and Caicos. I thank the United States for allowing the U.S. Virgin Islands to be used as a hub for the distribution of aid.

And I’m grateful to France and to the U.S. for assisting the departure of British citizens. We have been glad to respond to a request for assistance from our French friends by sending an RAF C-17 transport aircraft to provide heavy lift for their aid effort. The prime minister has announced 57 million pounds of help for the overseas territories; in addition, the government will match every pound donated to the Red Cross appeal, up to a maximum of 3 million.

Later today, I’m going to chair COBRA to check on the progress of our response. The minister for the commonwealth, Lord Ahmad, is arriving in the Turks and Caicos tonight to assess the situation on that British territory. Once the emergency phase is over, the overriding need will be for long-term reconstruction to get our Caribbean territories back on their feet, and in that effort, Britain, France, the U.S., and the Netherlands will be working side by side.

I’ve also today chaired a meeting on Libya with Secretary Tillerson and our colleagues from Italy, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates, and France. Libya is a front line in our common struggle against terrorism and illegal migration, and we all share a vital interest in that country’s stability. Our shared goal is to break the political deadlock and rally behind the United Nations envoy, Ghassan Salame, as he seeks to bring all sides together. Our friends in North Africa share the same interest in a peaceful Libya, and that prize is wholly achievable. We now have a new opportunity to make progress by helping the Libyan people to reach a political settlement based on compromise and consensus.

Finally, we discussed the grave situation in East Asia, where North Korea has defied the world by testing a nuclear device and launching ballistic missiles. On Monday, the Security Council unanimously adopted UN Resolution 2375, including the toughest sanctions imposed on any country in the 21st century. Today, we discussed how best to enforce those measures, with the aim of maximizing the pressure on North Korea to reach a diplomatic solution. We resolved to continue to work together and with important partners who can influence North Korea, including China, with the aim of securing the complete and irreversible denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.

On all these issues and more, I am delighted, again, to work alongside Rex, Secretary Tillerson, demonstrating once again the strength of the alliance between our two countries. Rex, it’s great to have you in London. Thanks for all your time. Over to you.

SECRETARY TILLERSON: Well, thank you so much, Foreign Secretary Johnson, and again, it’s always an honor and a pleasure to be here in the United Kingdom and to work with such close and committed allies to find solutions to some of the most complex issues in the world, not the least of which is North Korea and Libya.

I do want to thank Foreign Secretary Johnson for his kind words to the American people, particularly in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey and now Hurricane Irma. Many Americans, as you know, continue to suffer in recovery and have a long way to go to rebuild their homes and their lives. Americans, though, do have a reliable friend in the British people, and the British have a reliable friend in the United States. And I think that was clearly demonstrated in the response to the effects of Irma throughout the Caribbean on British territories, American territories, and French territories. The cooperation through that event has been extraordinary. I think all of us set down our own concerns and said what can we do to help each other’s citizens, and we are very thankful for that. We’re also committed to take that same spirit into the aftermath and how can we work together and coordinate now to complete the recovery and begin the long, long process of reconstruction in a way that I think is beneficial to everyone.

I do quickly want to recognize and congratulate the United States has a new ambassador to the United Kingdom, Woody Johnson. He has arrived here 18 days ago. I think it ensures that our special relationship will remain in good hands. I did comment to the ambassador I’m a little concerned I have an Ambassador Johnson and a Foreign Secretary Johnson, and all that assures is that on any given day, a Johnson’s going to be to blame for something.

I do want to also acknowledge that we had a very, I think, useful meeting � short but very useful opportunity to meet with Prime Minister May and members of her senior staff this morning. We discussed a number of areas of mutual interest. I expressed my appreciation to the prime minister for the very strong support and resolve of the United Kingdom both as an important member of the UN Security Council but also in the public statements and actions to send a very strong message to North Korea and the regime in North Korea that their efforts to advance their nuclear weapons programs and the threatening posture that they have taken is not acceptable to any member of the international community. And that support is very important in our efforts to bring that to a resolution.

The prime minister and I had also had a discussion briefly about the threat that Iran poses to the region through its destabilizing activities in Yemen, in Syria, and other parts of the region, and we discussed our shared interest to find a solution to the conflict in Syria once the war against ISIS, the defeat of ISIS is concluded. And again, we continue to welcome the opportunity to work closely with our counterparts in the United Kingdom.

While Brexit does present unique challenges to the British people, please know that you have a steadfast ally in the United States, and we will stand by our ally as Brexit continues to take shape. And we look forward to continuing this long relationship.

As indicated, Foreign Secretary Johnson and I also had the opportunity to delve into a number of detailed topics of mutual concern. As again, as I said, we’re very thankful for the U.K.’s leadership, and the foreign secretary in particular has been stellar in terms of supporting our efforts on North Korea, from sanctions to also implementing those sanctions, finding ways to de-escalate the violence in Syria. And we express our deep gratitude to the United Kingdom for their very generous contributions towards humanitarian assistance to the long-suffering Syrian people as we continue to liberate areas that have suffered under the oppression of ISIS.

Along with representatives from France, we had a very substantial meeting to discuss how to increase that diplomatic and economic pressure on the DPRK, and also how we can work together to relay messages to the regime in North Korea that we � you need to stand down your program and engage in a dialogue to find a way to a peaceful resolution.

Foreign Secretary Johnson and I also had very productive discussions, as he indicated, with the French, Italian, Emirati, and Egyptian colleagues, as well as the UN special representative for the secretary-general, Ghassan Salame, on the way forward on Libya � again, an issue that’s important to the United States to create stability, reconciliation, and restore Libya under a functioning government. What we don’t want to see happen is Libya become a place to birth additional terrorist organizations or provide opportunities for ISIS to re-emerge in a different part of the world. We are all committed to helping the Libyans find the Libyan solution that will lead to their future.

I think as Special Representative Salame works with the Libyans to advance the political reconciliation, it’s important that he know that he has the full support of the United States. We think it is time to focus the mediation efforts in one location at the UN under his leadership, and I think we had very strong unity among the group that met today to support the special representative in his efforts. We will meet again with the UN Secretary-General Guterres to consider these issues in New York next week on the margins of the UN General Assembly meeting.

Once again, I want to thank Prime Minister May and Foreign Secretary Johnson for their most gracious welcome, for a series of very, very productive meetings today on a host of important topics, some of which we’ve touched on with you, but most importantly for their commitment to action in the achievement of our common goals.

So, Foreign Secretary, thank you again.

FOREIGN SECRETARY JOHNSON: Thank you, Rex. Thank you very much. We’re going to take a couple of questions. James Landale from the BBC.

QUESTION: James Landale, BBC. First of all, Foreign Secretary, on aid. Do you believe that the government should be able to use its aid budget to help people in need in the Caribbean? And if so, what are you going to do about it?

Secondly, on Libya. Do you actually think that elections next year are feasible? And when do you think they should be held?

Thirdly, on Burma. You said last weekend that Aung San Suu Kyi was, and I quote, one of the most inspiring figures of our age. Do you regret saying that now, and has your view changed as a result of the events of this week?

And Secretary of State, if I could ask you on Iran. What actually is the position of the United States today on the Iran nuclear deal? Are you going to continue to waiver the sanctions? Do you continue to believe that Iran is fulfilling its obligations of that deal?

And secondly, what is your view on what is taking place in Myanmar and Bangladesh, and the behavior of Aung San Suu Kyi?

FOREIGN SECRETARY JOHNSON: Let me go first, Rex. Well, on your first question, James, I think anybody who see � I mean, I don’t believe that � anybody’s seen the effects of a hurricane, but it’s absolutely catastrophic, awe-inspiring. I’ve never seen anything like it. It’s like the destruction that you see in images from the First World War. And I think anybody with an ounce of compassion would want to see spending by our government on getting those people back up on their feet, and indeed, on getting those British � and I stress it � British Overseas Territories helped in the long term. And of course, we are looking now across Whitehall at ways in which we can make sure that our aid budget can be used in that way. And I know that Priti Patel, all my colleagues are looking at how we can do that. That is absolutely natural, and we’re on that right now.

On Libya, you ask a very important question: Would it premature to hold elections within a year? I happen to think that that could be about the right time scale. I think it’s very important, however, that you don’t do it too fast and that you get the political groundwork done first. There has to be a constitution; there has to be an accepted basis for those elections to take place. That is currently not here. You have to amend the Skhirat Agreement, the Libyan political agreement. That needs to be done. Everybody understands, broadly speaking across the actors in Libya, what needs to be done. And I think there’s � I think there’s a very wide measure of support amongst the Libyan people for getting on with an election, by the way.

So I think that the program that Ghassan Salame has sketched out certainly commanded support this afternoon in the P3+3, in the format that we brought together today. Obviously, what we are hoping is that that will gain further, wider support at UNGA, the UN General Assembly next week.

Thirdly on Burma and the tragedy that is unfolding and the gross abuse of the human rights of the Rohingya population, nobody should underestimate what is happening now. 370,000 Rohingya have fled or are estimated to have fled in desperation. That’s almost half the Rohingya population in Northern Rakhine.

And to answer directly your point about Daw Suu, State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi, let’s be clear: She led Burma after a period of decades of repression by a military junta. And I yield to no one in my admiration of what she stood for and the way she fought for democracy. I think many people around the word share that admiration. But I think it’s now vital for her to use that moral capital and that authority to make the point about the suffering of the people of Rakhine.

And I think nobody wants to see � nobody wants to see a return to military rule in Burma. Nobody wants to see a return of the generals. But it’s also vital that the civilian government � and that is Daw Suu, for whom, as I say, I have a great deal of admiration, but it is vital for her now to make clear that this is an abomination and that those people will be allowed back, that those people will be allowed back to Burma and that preparation is being made, and that the abuse of their human rights and the killings � hundreds perhaps even thousands � then the killings will stop.

SECRETARY TILLERSON: Well, first, with respect to the administration’s view of the JCPOA, of the nuclear deal with Iran, the Trump administration is continuing to review and develop its policy on Iran. It is underway. There have been several discussions internally among our NSC and along with the discussions with the President. But � so no decisions have been made.

But I think it’s worth noting that, as the administration continues this review of the JCPOA, I think President Trump has made it clear to those of us who are helping him develop this policy that we must take into account the totality of Iranian threats, not just Iran’s nuclear capabilities; that is one piece of our posture towards Iran. And I think if one revisits the preface to the JCPOA, that preface reads that the participants, quote, anticipate that full implementation of this JCPOA will positively contribute to regional and international peace and security, end quote. That was one of the expectations of the JCPOA.

In our view, Iran is clearly in default of these expectations of the JCPOA through their actions to prop up the Assad regime, to engage in malicious activities in the region, including cyber activity, aggressively developing ballistic missiles. And all of this is in defiance of UN Security Council Resolution 2231, thereby threatening � not ensuring, but threatening � the security of those in the region, as well as the United States itself. So we have to consider the totality of Iran’s activities and not let our view be defined solely by the nuclear agreement. So it continues to be under review. No final decision’s been made.

With respect to the horrors that we are witnessing occurring in Burma, I think it is a defining moment in many ways for this new emerging democracy, although it is a power-sharing arrangement. We all clearly understand that. And so we appreciate the difficult and complex situation Aung San Suu Kyi finds herself in. And I think it is important that the global community speak out in support of what we all know the expectation is towards the treatment of people, regardless of their ethnicity, and that we must � this violence must stop; this persecution must stop. It’s been characterized by many as ethnic cleansing. That must stop.

And we need to support Aung San Suu Kyi and her leadership, but also be very clear and unequivocal to the military share � power-sharing in that government that this is unacceptable. And this is going to, in many ways, I think, define the direction that Burma will take. We � they need our strong support. We should give them our strong support.

QUESTION: Secretary Tillerson, on North Korea, President Trump described the UN Security Council resolution that was passed this week as a small step. Do you concur with that assessment, and do you still seek a full oil embargo against North Korea? And do you think China would ever agree to that?

And Secretary Johnson, on the � on Iran, the French have signaled a willingness to supplement the nuclear deal to extend sunset provisions. Did that come up in today’s conversations, and is Britain open to such a suggestion?

And Secretary Tillerson, would the U.S. be open to that as well?

SECRETARY TILLERSON: With respect to the UN Security Council resolution and the President’s view that it was a small step, I share that view. We had hoped for a much stronger resolution from the Security Council. Having said that, I think it does � it did accomplish a couple of things: one, a complete prohibition on textiles, which does represent somewhere between $7- and $800 million of export revenue to the regime.

And I think importantly, the successful conclusion of yet another unanimous UN Security Council resolution, in and of itself, I think, does continue to send a consistent message to the regime in North Korea and importantly to those who continue to enable North Korea’s activities that the international community does have a common view on the seriousness of North Korea’s proliferation program and the development of their weapons � their nuclear weapons, I think it’s clear that with respect to oil and a complete embargo on oil from the UN Security Council, that’s going to be very difficult.

In effect, that is directed at China alone because China supplies essentially all of North Korea’s oil. I am hopeful that China, as a great country, a world power, will decide on their own and will take it upon themselves to use that very powerful tool of oil supply to persuade North Korea to reconsider its current path towards weapons development, reconsider its approach to dialogue and negotiations in the future. That is a very powerful tool that has been used in the past, and we hope China will not reject that or discard that as a very powerful tool that they alone really have the ability to assert.

So we’re going to continue our efforts of the global campaign, going to continue to call on all countries to fully implement the UN Security Council sanctions and resolutions, and where countries have a sense that they can do more to put pressure on this regime to bring them to a point of dialogue with a � in a very productive way, we ask that everyone do that.

FOREIGN SECRETARY JOHNSON: I just � on North Korea, quickly, if I can just add, Rex, that there was, I think, a wide measure of support for the position that you and I have both adopted that this is � this is not the time, when we’re trying to get the Chinese to exert the maximum possible pressure � and by the way, I think they � I think the Chinese have done more perhaps than we thought that they would, but there is scope for them to do much, much more, particularly in respect to � of oil. Now is not the time to start setting other hairs running with other attempts at engagement with the regime in Pyongyang. Now, the focus has got to be on what China can do as the country that’s responsible for 93 percent of North Korea’s external trade. And that � I was very struck by the strong support for that position, particularly from our French friends.

And just to get to your point about Iran, the North Korean crisis shows the importance of having arrangements such as the JCPOA. And you ask about extending the � having the sunset clause, and I actually can’t remember who raised it. It did come up. Everybody could see that it was going to get tenser as we get towards the deadline, and that’s why it’s important that we make it work and that we keep it alive. And there are two aspects to this. As Secretary Tillerson has just said, the Iranians have got to behave and fulfill their side of the bargain, and they’ve got to stop being adventurous and expansionist and causing trouble in the region, whether it’s in Yemen or Syria or anywhere else.

And of course, on the other side, we in the U.K. think it very important that Iran, that country of 80 million people, many of them young, potentially liberal, could be won over � could be won over to a new way of thinking. I think it’s important that they should see that there are benefits, economic benefits from the JCPOA as well. So we in the U.K. want to keep that alive, and that’s certainly a point that we have been making to Rex and others in the U.S.

QUESTION: I also have seven or eight questions after that. (Laughter.)

SECRETARY TILLERSON: Thank you. Thank you.

FOREIGN SECRETARY JOHNSON: Thank you. Thanks a lot.

Source: U.S Department of State

SOUTH AFRICA: ESKOM POSTPONES POWER CUTS TO DEBT RIDDEN MUNICIPALITIES

PRETORIA, — State-owned power utility company Eskom has rescheduled electricity interruptions to three Eastern Cape municipalities following non-payment of their bills.

The power utility had planned the pending interruptions of bulk electricity to the municipalities of Raymond Mhlaba, Walter Sisulu and Inxuba Yethemba for Wednesday. However, the interruptions have been rescheduled for Friday.

This is to allow the municipalities additional time to make adequate payment or to table firm debt settlement proposals to Eskom.

Over the last few days, Eskom has been engaging the municipalities and the provincial government regarding the pending interruptions.

We are still hopeful that we will be able to find mutually acceptable solutions before Friday, 15 September. We firmly believe that the interruption of supply to any customer for non-payment is always the option of last resort and we will continue to engage the municipalities over the next two days in an attempt to avert the supply interruptions, said Eskom.

Last month, Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Minister Des Van Rooyen said several municipalities were complying with the arrangements made with Eskom to settle their electricity debt.

The Minister said this when he briefed media after President Jacob Zuma convened a meeting with political office bearers from all three spheres of government � Ministers, Premiers and Mayors � at Tuynhuys in Cape Town.

According to figures provided by the Presidency after the meeting, 58 municipalities owe the power utility R7.5 billion.

Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK

Africa’s liberation history to be documented

We are a force. That’s the declaration the late African National Congress leader, Oliver Tambo, made on 2 May 1984 while delivering a speech in Mazimbu, Tanzania.

The longest serving ANC President, whose contribution to South Africa’s liberation is being celebrated throughout the country this year, spent considerable time in Tanzania lobbying the world in the fight against apartheid South Africa.

It’s difficult to talk about South Africa’s struggle for liberation without mentioning the role played by Tanzania in the fight for a democratic South Africa and an end to apartheid.

The country opened itself as a base for many liberation movements, including the ANC, the Pan African Congress, Mozambique’s FRELIMO and Angola’s People’s Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA). Tanzania was also a base for what was known as the African Liberation Committee, which was established by the Organisation of Africa Unity (OAU). This structure was dissolved when South Africa gained it’s democracy in 1994.

It is perhaps for this contribution, which Tanzania made towards the liberation of African countries, that the United Nations took a decision to appoint the country to host the Roads to Independence in Africa project in collaboration with the African Union.

The project includes the construction of a museum, library and archives and aims to recognise the spirit of solidarity and cooperation amongst Africans, says the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO).

A high level delegation from South Africa will descend on the town of Dodoma this week to celebrate the road to liberation of African countries and the role countries like Tanzania played. The delegation, includes, among others, Arts and Culture Minister Nathi Mthethwa, Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Minister Des Van Rooyen, Directors General from various government departments and senior government officials. They will form part of a Ministerial Roundtable themed ‘Roads to Independence: African Liberation Heritage’.

Project to promote people-to-people cooperation

According to the Department of Arts and Culture, the project, endorsed by the UN, has the potential to strengthen people-to-people cooperation using culture. It will allow South Africans and the continent’s people to appreciate that the DNA of a liberated Southern Africa and the continent as a whole is in Tanzania.

It has the potential to contribute towards carrying out the responsibility to ensure that current and future generations know that we fought for the independence and development of our people and our countries, the department says.

Activities around this project should be able to connect all Southern African countries and educate young people about the roots of the continent, says the department.

The project first focuses on Tanzania and the Southern African region, whose liberation movements were based in Tanzania. These countries are Angola, Mozambique, Namibia, Zambia, Zimbabwe and South Africa.

The South African chapter of the project, called the Resistance and Liberation Heritage Route, is a national memory project aimed at commemorating and celebrating South Africa’s road to independence. Cabinet established an Inter-Ministerial Committee to oversee this project and provide political leadership.

The four-day meeting in Dodoma will be preceded by preparatory interactions of senior government officials and Directors General ahead of the main ministerial gathering. At the senior officials’ meeting, South Africa will be represented by Directors General from Government Communication and Information System (GCIS), Arts and Culture, Public Works, Military Veterans, as well as the South African Heritage Resources Agency. Representatives from SADC countries, who supported the struggles for independence, have also been invited to the meeting.

Collective memory

It is hoped that the museum will play a role in collecting and keeping key memory in Africa’s road to liberation and will be used as the region’s heritage site.

The research centre will serve as a place where research on the liberation of Africa will take place and would also share light on the aftermath of the struggle.

Tanzania has identified more than 120 liberation heritage sites and will be documenting history around the liberation of the continent.

At the end of the meeting in Dodoma, it is expected that Ministers will have a clear picture on the status of the implementation of African liberation heritage programmes within the SADC region and what can be done to ensure all countries are integrated in the programme.

Source: South African Government News Agency

Deputy Minister Sfiso Buthelezi responds to media reports about Public Investment Corporation CEO

The Deputy Minister of Finance, Mr Sfiso Buthelezi, as Chairman of the Public Investment Corporation (PIC), notes media reports that there is a campaign to remove PIC Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Dr Dan Matjila.

The Deputy Minister would like to put it on record that these allegations are unfounded, baseless and are causing unnecessary panic over an internal matter at the PIC. There are no preconceived plans whatsoever to remove Dr Matjila, the Deputy Minister says.

The PIC board has indeed called for a meeting on Friday with the CEO, but this is to discuss and get clarification from him on internal matters.

The Deputy Minister has already briefed the Minister of Finance, Malusi Gigaba.

Source: Government of South Africa

At Least 32 Killed in Ethiopia’s Oromia, Somali Regions

WASHINGTON � At least 32 people have been killed in clashes across Ethiopia’s Oromia and Somali regions following clashes between rival ethnic Somali and Oromo forces, a former Ethiopian lawmaker said.

Speaking to VOA Somali Service, Boqor Ali Omar Allale said at least 32 ethnic Somalis, including his younger brother, were killed on Monday night in Awaday, a small town between Ethiopia’s most holy Muslim town of Harar and its big eastern city of Dire Dawa.

“They were innocent business people sleeping with their children and spouses. They were attacked in their homes and most of them beheaded. Based on the number of burial spaces arranged, we have at least 32 deaths, including my younger” brother, Allale told VOA Somali from Jigjiga, the capital city of the Somali region of Ethiopia.

Fearing reprisals

Other sources and relatives of those killed have confirmed the incident, although they have sough anonymity, fearing reprisals.

One source said four of his cousins, who were transporting Khat � a plant used as a stimulant in Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, Djibouti and Yemen � were among those killed.

So far, Ethiopian authorities have not commented on the incident. VOA could not immediately confirm the reported killings with Ethiopian regional and federal authorities.

The alleged incident follows clashes between rival ethnic Somali and Oromo armed groups, which have been raging in areas bordering the Oromia and Somali regional states for months, but escalated this week into violent confrontations. Each side is accusing the other of being behind the deadly violence.

Speaking to VOA Afaan Oromoo, Addisu Arega, the Oromia regional communication director, accused the Liyu (special in Amharic) police in the Somali region of crossing into the Oromia region and killing a number of people.

Arega said people were captured during the fighting, and based on that information, we have now realized, three entities are taking part on attacking our people: Somali region Liyu police, Somali region militias and a man holding a Somali republic regular Army Identification Card, whom we are investigating.

On the other side, Idiris Isma’il, Somali regional communication director, denied the accusation, saying it was a total lie.

I was surprised to hear such information that our special police force known as Liyu police, are waging attacks on residents. It is absurd, Isma’il told VOA Amharic Service. The allegation was not analyzed and confirmed by the federal government’s security apparatus nor by the Somali regional state; therefore, it is a total lie.

Isma’il has also accused Ogaden National Liberation Front (ONLF) of starting the violence between the two communities, an accusation denied by ONLF spokesman Abdulkadir Hassan Hirmoge.

We have nothing to do with these clashes. The regimes in Nazareth and Jigjiga always play the two brotherly people against each other to divide or suppress them in times of public revolution, Hirmoge said.

Recent violence

Journalists in Ethiopia reported on Tuesday that at least two people were killed and more than 600 others displaced during protests across Ethiopia’s east.

On Sept. 7, at least four people were killed near Moyale, a city in Southern Ethiopia, when Oromo militia armed with machetes attacked patients in a hospital, local media reported.

A resident of Moyale, and a relative of one of those killed, told VOA Somali over the phone on the condition of anonymity: I can confirm the death of four people killed with knives and machetes. They were patients who sought a medical care to a hospital in Oromia region. They were attacked by mobs armed with knives and machetes for revenge.

Moyale, deep in Ethiopia’s dusty southeastern drylands and straddling the border with Kenya, is divided along the long-contested frontier between Oromia and Somali regional states.

The city, in which three different flags fly side-by-side � the flag of Ethiopian federal government, the Oromo flag, and that of the Somali state of Ethiopia � has been a testament to the success of Ethiopia’s distinct model of ethnically based federalism, established in 1994.

But analysts say the continuation of deadly ethnic clashes will endanger Ethiopia’s federal system.

The latest violence comes a month after the Ethiopian government lifted a 10-month state of emergency imposed after more than two years of anti-government protests, mainly in the Oromia region.

Ethiopian security forces killed more than 400 people in those waves of anti-government demonstrations, according to U.S.-based Human Rights Watch.

Source: Voice of America