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Cablegate: Ethiopia: Bi-Weekly Report August 15 2006

VZCZCXRO3191
OO RUEHROV
DE RUEHDS #2280/01 2291315
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 171315Z AUG 06
FM AMEMBASSY ADDIS ABABA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 2112
INFO RUCNIAD/IGAD COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RHMFISS/CJTF HOA PRIORITY
RUEKDIA/DIA WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RHMFIUU/HQ USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL PRIORITY
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC PRIORITY
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 ADDIS ABABA 002280

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL PGOV PHUM ETRD ECON ET
SUBJECT: ETHIOPIA: BI-WEEKLY REPORT AUGUST 15 2006


1. The following reports compiled over the last two weeks
illustrate the variety of economic, political, and social
developments occurring in Ethiopia.

POLITICAL
---------

TIP Officer Visits Addis

2. INL/G/TIP officer Rachel Yousey visited Ethiopia August
9-15 to meet with the GOE, NGOs and officials from other
organizations to discuss efforts in Ethiopia to combat
trafficking-in-persons. Rachel concluded that the GOE
continues to perform well in some areas, such as rescuing
trafficked children in Addis Ababa, while its efforts in
other areas need to improve, such as activating the
inter-ministerial commission on trafficking, and prosecuting
traffickers more frequently.

GOE Says 13 ONLF Members Killed; 45 OLF Members Apprehended

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3. According to the GOE, 13 members of the Ogaden National
Liberation Front (ONLF) were killed and several commanders
were captured as they crossed into Ethiopia from Somalia.
Similarly, a Kenyan official in the Moyale region disclosed
that 45 "members and sympathizers" of the Oromo Liberation
Front (OLF) had been apprehended in a joint Kenyan-Ethiopian
operation on both sides of the border. According to this
official, searches will be ongoing for the next two months to
apprehend and repatriate members of this group.

Over 60 Businesses Previously Closed For Violating Government
Orders Reopen

4. Over 60 businesses that were shut down for allegedly
violating government rules passed in the wake of the October
2005 riots were reopened by order of the Prime Minister.
Mayor Birhanu Deresa said that businesses which shut down
during the riot after the May election and had not opened
despite orders from the government, were sealed by the
government for past nine months. Citing apologies from
business owners and the economic activities in the city,
Mayor Birhanu appealed to the Prime Minister to reopen the
businesses. Businesses were authorized to reopen August 11.


ECONOMIC
--------

Trade Minister Urges GOE To Submit Memorandum on the Foreign
Trade Regime

5. Minister of Trade and Industry, Gira Birru, urged the
highest executive body of the country, the Council of
Ministers, to approve the proposed Memorandum on the Foreign
Trade Regime so that it can be forwarded on to the World
Trade Organization (WTO). It has been two years since the
ministry submitted the memorandum to the Council. According
to a senior Ethiopian official, the Council is ready to
deliberate on the issue and hopes a decision will be made
within the next two weeks.

SNNPR Plans Multiple FM Stations

6. The Southern Nations, Nationalities and Peoples' Regional
State Mass Media Organization, as part of its five year plan,
announced its plans to start radio broadcasts by launching
six FM stations. According to regional officials, an
announcement requesting communities to volunteer for pilot
projects garnered one response and the Ethiopian Broadcast
Authority subsequently issued a license. SNNPR officials
reported that another announcement was planned with the goal
of issuing four to five licenses.

DEVELOPMENT
-----------

Heavy Rains Continue to Cause Deaths and Displace Thousands

7. In the past two weeks, heavy rains have caused serious
flooding in Dire Dawa and Southwest/west Shoa (Oromiya), Omo
River (Southern Nations, Nationalities, and Peoples' Region),
and Takeze River (Tigray) areas of Ethiopia. According to
the UN news agency, approximately 400 people have died as a
result of the recent flooding. An undetermined number of

ADDIS ABAB 00002280 002 OF 002


people are still missing, and thousands of people have been
displaced. Although heavy rains are not uncommon during this
time of year, rains in recent weeks have been above average.

USAID Commits $57.6 Million to Healthcare, Basic Education
and Economic Growth

8. USAID signed strategic Objective Agreements in the amount
of $57.6 million with its main GOE counterpart, the Ministry
of Finance and Economic Development. Funds will be used to
support mutually designed programs in the fields of
healthcare, basic education, and economic growth. State
Minister Mekonnen Manyazewal and USAID Mission Director Glenn
Anders signed the documents on behalf of the GOE and USG.

Joint State/USAID/CJTF-HOA Fact Finding Mission

9. A team of representatives from State, USAID and DOD's
CJTF-HOA traveled to the northern Somali region (near Dire
Dawa) on a finding trip to harmonize local development
projects. Local government officials, elders, women's
groups, and NGOs told the team that availability of water,
health (human and animal), education, and communications
infrastructure are their top priorities. The team also
called on the new mayor of Dire Dawa to express condolences
over the loss of life (250) in the August 6 flash flood and
to convey support for relief efforts.

PEPFAR
------

10. During the week of August 7-11, a joint PEPFAR-Ethiopia
and Office of the Global AIDS Coordinator (OGAC) Core Team
worked on the 2007 PEPFAR Country Operational Plan. Key
issues addressed included focusing interventions in
populations at highest risk for HIV infection, strengthening
the implementation of HIV/AIDS programs within the
hospital-health center-community networks, mainstreaming
HIV/AIDS services within the larger healthcare system,
improving program quality and evaluations of programs and
partners, finding innovative approaches to address human
resource constraints, and creating a program that is
sustainable.

CONSULAR
--------

Visa Sanctions

11. Following discussions in Washington concerning visa
sanctions, 14 of the recently submitted 16 returnee cases
were confirmed as Ethiopians. Cases previously submitted to
the Ethiopian government, where it determined that further
information was required, will now be processed directly
through the Ethiopian Embassy in Washington.
WILGUS

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