ADDIS ABABA/BERLIN | | aethiopien

ADDIS ABABA/BERLIN (Own report) - German authorities are seeking to enhance German influence in Ethiopia, a country of strategic significance at the Horn of Africa, using several business conferences. Ethiopia is currently regarded as one of the continent's booming countries. Its double-digit growth rates over the past few years have also aroused German business interests. Berlin and Addis Ababa have been closely cooperating in warding off refugees, where Ethiopia's well armed repressive forces have proven very effective partners. The German government is also seeking to intensify its military cooperation with Ethiopia. The Ethiopian armed forces are engaged in the African Union's (AU) efforts to hold down the conflicts in Somalia and prevent them from becoming a serious threat to maritime trade around the Horn of Africa. At times, this includes the use of brutal repression of the Somali civilian population. more…

Seyoum Habtemariam | COLOGNE | | aethiopien
(Seyoum Habtemariam)

COLOGNE german-foreign-policy.com spoke with Seyoum Habtemariam, director of the Ethiopian Human Rights Committee in Germany, about the visit of German Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development, Dirk Niebel, to Ethiopia. more…

ADDIS ABABA/BERLIN/MUNICH | | aethiopien

ADDIS ABABA/BERLIN/MUNICH (Own report) - The German government plans to hold talks on possible new operations in Somalia at the Munich Security Conference, in early February. This was disclosed in a report on the German Minister of Development, Dirk Niebel's visit to Ethiopia. As reported by the Ethiopian government, last week, during Niebel's visit to Addis Ababa, Prime Minister Meles Zenawi made reference to the development of the situation in Somalia, which, in his opinion, calls for "serious initiatives". Niebel then invited him to attend the Munich Security Conference. Since some time, the Ethiopian government has been seeking to play itself up as the West's stabilizing power at the Horn of Africa, which is why it is being groomed by Berlin. Human rights organizations' grave accusations against Addis Ababa have dissipated without effect. The most recent accusations are about the leasing of gigantic plots of Ethiopian land to foreign - including German - agro-businesses for the low-priced cultivation of agricultural export goods, while Ethiopians are starving. At his meeting with the Ethiopian Prime Minister, German Development Minister Niebel called for legal safeguards favorable to German investors, to induce more profitable German activities in this East African country. more…

Berhanu Nega | KÖLN | | aethiopien
(Berhanu Nega)

KÖLN About western support for the Ethiopian regime german-foreign-policy.com spoke to Dr. Berhanu Nega. Dr. Berhanu was elected as mayor of Addis Ababa in 2005. He was prevented from taking office, put in jail and released after 21 months. Dr. Berhanu who works today as Associate Professor of Economics at Bucknell University (Pennsylvania) was sentenced to death in Ethiopia in 2009. more…

BERLIN/ADDIS ABABA | | aethiopien

BERLIN/ADDIS ABABA (Own report) - The German Bundeswehr is expanding its support for Ethiopia's armed forces, despite persistent accusations that they committed serious war crimes. As was confirmed by the parliamentary state secretary in the German Defense Ministry, Thomas Kossendey, Berlin is offering Addis Ababa a bilateral military cooperation program for 2011, which includes the training of army and air force officers. A so-called organization for development aid is also involved. Berlin has been supporting the Ethiopian regime for years, because it has made itself useful as the West's East African proxy. Over the past few years, Ethiopia, in coordination with Washington and Berlin, dispatched its troops to Somalia to overthrow forces displeasing to the West and committed grave war crimes, according to reports from human rights organizations. These organizations are also accusing the Ethiopian army of ignoring the rules of warfare in their repression of Ethiopia's domestic rebellions. In his talk with german-foreign-policy.com, Dr. Berhanu Nega, who opposes the regime in his country, raised grave accusations against Germany's policy toward Ethiopia. Dr. Berhanu considers the hope that the West would be helpful in Ethiopia's democratization process is doomed from the outset. more…

Complicity

ADDIS ABABA/BERLIN | | aethiopien

ADDIS ABABA/BERLIN (Own report) - Ethiopian human rights proponents pressed charges against the German government yesterday, because of Berlin's long term support of the regime in Addis Ababa, accused for years of serious violations of human rights. There are sufficient grounds for a "reasonable suspicion" that the German government has committed "complicity in violations of the Völkerstrafgesetzbuch (VStGB - German international criminal code)" declared the Ethiopian Human Rights Committee - Germany and calls on the Office of the Federal Prosecutor in Karlsruhe to initiate the relevant investigations. In fact, over the past few years, Berlin has even intensified its cooperation with Ethiopia, even though government advisors and organizations engaged in development programs have pointed to the Ethiopian regime's extreme repressive character. German complicity even extends to military support for Ethiopia, which is waging a proxy war in Somalia in support of western interests. Behind this complicity is Ethiopia's high strategic significance for Berlin's foreign policy - expounded upon in detail a few years ago by Germany's ambassador to Addis Ababa. more…

HARARE/BERLIN | | aethiopiensimbabwe

HARARE/BERLIN (Own report) - With his demand for a regime change in Zimbabwe, the German foreign minister is intensifying the campaign the West has been waging for years against President Robert Mugabe. "Mugabe's regime has to come to an end," insisted Frank-Walter Steinmeier (SPD) last weekend. Berlin is seeking a regime change since Zimbabwe's leadership refused to pursue Western economic projects in the late 1990s and began expropriating the descendents of European colonialists. Since then, Berlin, Brussels and Washington have been supporting Morgan Tsvangirai, the opposition candidate. Berlin's pretension of concern for human rights in Zimbabwe is in no way due to "ethical considerations" of its foreign policy. When compared with its attitude toward another African state, Ethiopia, it is clear that human rights serve only as a pretext for enforcing German interests. All of the German government's accusations against Mugabe apply to his Ethiopian counterpart in Addis Ababa, Meles Zenawi. Instead of being threatened with sanctions for serious crimes against humanity, just a few days ago, Meles was rewarded with an increase in German development aid. more…

ADDIS ABABA/BERLIN | | aethiopien

ADDIS ABABA/BERLIN (Own report) - The German government is increasing its financial support for Ethiopia by 40 Percent despite strong accusations raised against that country by human rights organizations. This was announced by the foreign ministry in Addis Ababa following last week's negotiations between the governments of Germany and Ethiopia. The German Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development will allocate 96 million Euros over the next three years - one of the ministry's largest development budget subventions. For years the Ethiopian government has been heavily criticized for committing crimes against humanity. After coming to power in 2005 through electoral fraud, the government ordered the shooting of hundreds of demonstrators. It is still being accused of torture and summary executions. Numerous opponents and independent journalists were forced to flee the country. Recent reports have accused the Ethiopian army of kidnappings and the murder of civilians in the East of the country. The development budget increase corresponds to Ethiopia's geo-strategic significance, which the German ambassador to Addis Ababa particularly stressed in a strategy paper. As a western ally, the Ethiopian army is also involved in the war in Somalia. Ethiopian soldiers are being trained in Germany. more…

ADDIS ABABA/BERLIN | | aethiopien

ADDIS ABABA/BERLIN (Own report) - The German government is continuing its military aid to Addis Ababa,s one year after the Ethiopian military invasion of Somalia. According to information from the German Defense Ministry, in spite of the war being waged by their country and in spite of the accusations of serious war crimes against their army, Ethiopian soldiers have repeatedly participated in training programs organized by the German Bundeswehr. Aid to Ethiopia is part of Germany's efforts to intensify her control over the continent, through the buildup of African military structures under German-European influence. To attain this objective, selected regional powers, such as Ethiopia, and regional organizations are being financed, trained and equipped. On the continental level, Berlin is strengthening the African Union's (AU) military structures. The European Union is "by far, the most important financial contributor" to the AU's militarization, African politicians confirm. This not only spares the EU from having to deploy its own soldiers, to secure resource rich regions, the military influence of Berlin and Brussels also strengthens the German position vis à vis China's economic power in Africa. more…

ADDIS ABABA/BERLIN | | aethiopiensomalia

ADDIS ABABA/BERLIN (Own report) - The German government's reaction to serious war crimes committed by the Ethiopian Army is to intensify its collaboration with the Ethiopian government. On October 4, the German chancellor had extensive talks in Addis Ababa, also initiating new business deals for German enterprises. Government circles in Berlin consider Ethiopia as a "regional stabilizing force" in Eastern Africa and the two countries have been closely co-operating since 2005. The Ethiopian army is heavily criticized for its war conduct in Somalia, which it invaded at the end of 2006. Ethiopian troops are not only accused of attacking hospitals and executing civilians. They are also accused of using the occupation of their neighboring state to hunt down Ethiopian opponents, who fled to Somalia. From Ethiopia Angela Merkel continued her trip to South Africa (Oct. 5) and to Liberia (Oct. 6). This Africa trip is to reaffirm German claims to military control of the continent and a privileged share of its resources. more…