Ethiopian news and information update

March 14/2014

To: Rt. Honorable Clare Short
Chair of the Board,
Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI)

Rt.Hon. Clare Short,

SOCEPP is addressing this letter to you and the Board to call for the rejection of the candidacy application of the regime in Addis Abeba Ethiopia. The March 18 Board meeting needs to clearly realize that EITI standards are not present or adhered to by the applying government.

Transparency and accountability are alien to the ruling TPLF/EPRDF regime. The resources of Ethiopia are embezzled at will by the rulers and foreigners with no accountability done. To cite a few examples: the gold mine at Shakiso by Sheikh Alamoudi and the late Meles Zenawi’s wife is unaccounted for. Economic plunder done by the TPLF trust organizations grouped under EFFORT, who dominate the major economic sectors of the country, is also hidden as EFFORT has never been audited or taxed. The main export item, coffee, is controlled and sold by the Guna company that is an EFFORT subsidiary. Sesame and other produces are also controlled by the Commodity Exchange market set up by the regime itself and in which private companies have an insignificant presence.  Opal, Mercury, Tungsten, and other resources are sold off by the regime in collaboration with the Chinese and Indian companies. No account of these sales have been made up to now. The profit from the land grab (land the size of Belgium sold cheaply to foreign –Indian, Chinese, Arab—companies) has not been reported by the National Bank.

 The human rights record is absolutely deplorable.

•    A repressive so called anti-terror law hassled to the jailing of numerous journalist and dissidents on trumped up charges;
•    The judiciary is under the control of the regime;
•    The regime holds more than 35,000 political prisoners in various known and secret (ghost) prisons;
•    A so called law on Charities and Society/NGOs has practically banned organizations concerned with human rights, child and women welfare;
•    Civic organizations have been muzzled and replaced by bodies set up by the regime itself;
•    Massacres (Gambella, Arba Gugu, the Ogaden, etc.) define the regime;
•    Brutal torture in jails and prisons is routine;
•    State interference in religious affairs is blatant;
•    Ethnic discrimination and ethnic cleansing are the policies of the regime in place.

In short, the regime in Addis Abeba does not qualify at all. It must repeal its repressive laws and proclamations (on the Press, on charities and civil organizations, the so called anti- Terror Law, etc.), release all political prisoners, accept visit by international prison observatory bodies, stop torture, end the practice of selling off fertile land and forcefully resettling the farmers/peasants, put an end to ethnic cleansing that is particularly affecting Amharas and accept transparency and accountability. Till then, the application must be rejected by the Board with due respect to its principles and standards.

We thank you in advance.


Letter to EITI (in pdf)

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