By Mikael Arage | Amhara News Network

Long disguised as a national army, the TPLF army continues to go on the loose as it opens a new absurd chapter of cracking down on influencers where dozens of priests, deacons, mosque and church elderlies are locked behind bars in different parts of the Amhara regional states of Ethiopia.

“Amhara and Oromo university students continue to be a subject of arrest, torture and extra judicial killings,” says a student at Bahirdar University.

“Such atrocities tantamount to the exacerbating barbaric ways how terrorist regime TPLF slaughter its hostages,” continued the student at Bahirdar University.

University students are demanding that the Tigrian regime leave hostaged territories of the Amhara and Oromia regional states; However, ethnic Tigrian university students have joined with Tigrian security forces to beat and murder a number of ethnic Amhara and Oromo university students as opposed to joining with the authentic causes of their fellow classmates.

ANDEM and OPDO — which are the Amhara and Oromo wing of the ruling party respectively — boycotted the meeting of EPRDF’s executive committee deliberated this week, citing exacerbating internal colonization and atrocities in their constituencies , on their people by the Tigrian regime. Another imperative parliamentary secession — called for this week by the prime minister — was unanimously boycotted by the representatives from the constituencies of the marginalized Amhara and Oromia regional states. Furthermore, ANDEM and OPDO are demanding the immediate pull out of colonizing TPLF forces from their regions , citing exacerbating atrocities against their people and large scale devastation of communities.

Headed by General Samora Yenus who publicly said,” We have weakened Amhara and the Ethiopian Orthodox church” , thousands of Tigrian troops entered the Amhara and Oromo regional states , counterproductively overtaking the regional administrations nearly a year ago. Since then thousands have died as well as became chronically disabled while close to 60,000 are under incarceration; Furthermore, the TPLF army continues to bill the department of finance of the Amhara regional state for its exacerbating heinous crimes against humanity of militarily repressing ethnic Amharas. Credible sources at the finance unit of the regional state quantify that over 62% of the annual budget for the Amhara regional state will be fragmented off to accommodation, salary and military logistics of the invading Tigrian Army ; As a result, basic services such as education, health and agriculture are deteriorating .

Cars belonging to the ‘Amhara Health Authority’ , ‘Amhara Education Authority’ and other regional institutions are increasingly put to use for the commotion of invading Tigrian soldiers.

“Bills are charged to our regional state as if we have ordered a repression service,” bitterly complained a middle aged personnel at the finance unit of the Amhara regional state.

This comes at a time when Ethiopians across the country and the international community are increasingly calling for a swift transition to democracy and/or united international intervention so as to stop atrocities by the authoritarian regime that has been exercising tyranny for the last three decades.

Corruption, kickbacks and bribery are on the rise in Ethiopia. The national debt of the country is going up while more than 30 billion USD has gone out of Ethiopia as an illicit financial outflow, according to a report from Global Financial Integrity, a Washington-based research and advocacy organization.

“The people of Ethiopia are being bled dry. No matter how hard they try to fight their way out of absolute destitution and poverty, they will be swimming upstream against the current of illicit capital leakage. The global shadow financial system happily absorbs money that corrupt public officials, tax evaders, and abusive multi-national corporations siphon away from the Ethiopian people, “ wrote Sarah Freitasin in the report which she co-authored with GFI Lead Economist,Dev Kar.

Micro to Mega projects are often pretexts used for large scale money laundering by the terrorist TPLF regime which is hostaging Ethiopia. The Ethiopian regime didn’t manage to secure yet another sum for laundering. Not surprisingly, no one will be held accountable.

“TPLF should consider a mediation by the U.S. government and organize an all party conference before the country collapses,” says Herman Cohen, the former U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs.

One thing is clear. The regime is losing its legitimacy — if there’s any — and crumbling day by day. Consequently, the sooner essential transitions are made now is in the best interest of Ethiopia and beyond.

The article was originally posted in the Amhara Network­ platform by Mikael Aragehttps://www.facebook.com/AmharaNetwork/

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Mikael Arage is a freelance PR journalist, techprenuer, manager, engineer, strategist, life long interdisciplinary student and Human rights activist based in Helsinki, Finland. He regularly covers on atrocities, technology and business development in Ethiopia.

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Ethiopia speaker, PM’s policy analyst flip-flop on resignation

By Africa News,

Ethiopia’s speaker of parliament and another top official of government have reportedly rescinded their resignation from government.

According to the state-affiliated FBC, the two had agreed to return to their posts after high-level talks by the Executive Committee of the ruling Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF).

Speaker Abadula Gemeda tendered in a resignation in October this year basing his decision on the government’s handling of a border crisis between Oromia and Ethiopia-Somali states.

Gemeda’s resignation was not accepted at the time with Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn stating that there were talks with him to rescind his decision. Earlier this week, the Addis Standard portal reported that the resignation had been accepted.

Gemeda, a former president of the Oromia state stepped down from his speaker duties over the period but maintained his position as a legislator.

The other official is Bereket Simon, a top advisor to PM Desalegn, he tendered in a resignation two weeks after Gemeda even though Desalegn at the time told lawmakers that the two resignations were not connected and needed to be taken in context.

Bereket, a former information minister and until his resignation an advisor to Desalegn in charge of Policy Studies and Research Center, had his request granted. It is not known under which arrangement the same resignation has been rescinded.






By Mikael Arage Yimer | Amhara Network

The TPLF regime has practically dissolved the FEDERAL constitution of Ethiopia by hijacking the presidents of Amhara and Oromia regional states. Their excellency — Ato Gedu Andaragachew and Ato Lema Megerssa — are intercepted/banned from doing any leadership activity in their full capacity as head of their corresponding regional states; they can’t meet with each other and their fellow constituencies. Nor communicate their version of events through the state media. Only TPLF’s Debretsion is at large on the state media. Sources disclose that the presidents are being pressured and harassed in a separate confinement while the TPLF regime is carrying out a separate(dramatic) , mafia style, cut meetings with illegal representatives of ANDM and OPDO so as to enforce its will of perpetual tyranny and/or disintegration of the country through further division, conflict and turmoil.

“We have done enough research about creating conflicts in the country. We have implemented only samples and experimental ones so far. If you don’t accept what we say, then we will accuse you of whatever and throw you to jail. Furthermore, we will disintegrate the country through further conflicts. Ethiopia and its future is under our control. Look at how we played the conflicts in different parts of the country just in the last one year alone,” said TPLF’s rude intelligence officer to the presidents.

The presidents —— and all regional MPs — representing the largest seats in the parliament have unanimously asked for an immediate pull out of colonizing TPLF forces, formation of new military leadership, dissolution of TPLF dominated national intelligence and transition to democracy. Furthermore, MPs from these marginalized and predominant constituencies are in their second week of general strike — demanding the puppet PM Hailemariam — for an explanation as to why terorrisme , homicide, conflicts and devastation of communities is actively and proactively carried out by the terrosit TPLF regime.

Yet another parliamentary session — called for today so as to deliberate on peculiar legislations that were set by TPLF to divert and divide regional states — was unprecedentedly rejected and boycotted by not just OPDO and ANDEM MPs alone but also the rest of the regional states except Tigray.

Large scale protests, home seat-in and closure of business across the country have already started unfolding today. Less and less people are showing up at work. Students strike could follow anytime soon.

“There is no greater shame for TPLF than being played out for being bad by all MPs, “ commented Takle Lorabo, a southern observer of Amhara Network and researcher at Dilla university.

"It’s quite a dramatic development that the TPLF regime is isolated as it gets from one sucidal trouble in to another. TPLF isn’t a notorious terrorist regime only because it carries out terorisme on its hostages but also because it’s sucidal ,” commented another observer from Semera, Afar on Amhara Network.

“ It’s highly anticipated that there will be a nation-wide rebellion in the country crippling the long stretched, weak and divided army of the country of which leadership is overwhelmingly dominated by notorious ethnic Tigrians,” says our analyst for political affairs.

After an imperative internal communication carried out last week, the Sudanese and Eritrean national armed forces are reportidley on a stand by while Egyptian Air forces are in an intense fighter Jet rehearsal an unusual.

Non-Tigrian armies of Ethiopia are already siding with the people. They are ready to point their guns up all the way to the fall of regime. Militia across the country are on a high alert so as to shed their blood in the fight against any further terorrisme by the regime.

The unpredictability of the situation of Ethiopia isn’t just about as to how events will unfold in the country but also geo-politically.

It remains to be seen how terrorist regime TPLF resorts to a peaceful transition to democracy ,or disgracfully face defeat by the very people which it oppressed and exploited in the last three decades.
The article was originally posted in the Amhara Network-የአማራ ትስስር covered by Mikael Arage https://www.facebook.com/ AmharaNetwork/

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Mikael Arage is a techprenuer, manager, engineer, strategist, citizen journalist, life long interdisciplinary student and human rights activist based in Helsinki, Finland. He regularly covers on atrocities, technology and business development in Ethiopia.

ሚካኤል አራጌ በፊንላድ የሚኖሮ በቴክኖሎጂ ፣ ንግድስራ ፣ ግኝት ፣ ማህበራዊና ፖለቲካዊ ጉዳዮች ላይ የግልና ሙያዊ አስተያየት የሚሰጥ ሃገር አገልጋይ ምሁር ነው። ኢትዮጵያ ውስጥ ያለዉንም የሽብርተኛው ፣ ትህምክተኛውና ጠባቡ የህወሃት ስርዐት ላይም ጠንከርና ጠለቅ ያለ ተቃዉሞ ፣ አስተያየትና ትንተና በመስጠት ይታወቃል።




The Implications of TPLF’s Democratic Centralism on the Democratization Process in Ethiopia 

By Semahagn Gashu Abebe (PhD)

One of the mechanisms used by TPLF to control the country’s political and economic systems is through the mechanism of democratic centralism. The system has been used by Marxist ‘vanguard’ parties to enforce discipline and to prevent factionalism, while discouraging any independent thinking among the members. The system was initially developed by Lenin in 1921 to silence diverse opinions in society and reinforce absolute control. Lenin argued, ‘free discussion within the party should be tolerated and even encouraged up to a point, but, once a vote was taken, all discussion had to end. The decision of the majority should constitute the current party “line” and be binding upon all members.’

In other words, democratic centralism allows the expression of ideas to a certain point and after the ‘vanguard’ party had reached a decision, all party members including the society have the obligation to abide by those decisions. After a policy or decision is made by the top leadership of the party, all the people living in that country, let alone members of the party, have the duty to abide by it. The public has no any role in contributing its views on the subject since the vanguard party is assumed to act always in the interests of the masses.

By its nature, democratic centralism is contrary to the ideals of democratic governance. While democracy requires leaders to abide by the decision or interest of the public, democratic centralism requires the public to abide by the policy forwarded by the top elite who claim to know what is best for the society. In democratic centralism, if any member of the party attempts to challenge the decision, it will amount to factionalism and serious measures will be taken against dissenters.

The importation of the system of democratic centralism to the Ethiopian political sphere is closely linked with the radicalization of the students’ movement in the 1970s. As a product of the leftist political movement in Ethiopia, TPLF inherited and extensively used the organizational principle of democratic centralism and Maoist conceptions of mass political mobilization during the armed struggle. Consistent with the Leninist conception, the democratic centralism used by TPLF allows party members to have the right and obligation to discuss the agendas presented freely, to oppose, support and provide critical comments. At the end of any TPLF meeting, democratic centralism requires the majority decision to be accepted by the minority. After a decision is made, members have no right to mobilize others against decisions passed by the party. By demanding absolute loyalty, democratic centralism has enabled few individuals to have absolute power and dominance while the ordinary members are left only to follow orders and preventing them from asking question or correcting the mistakes of the organization.

After it controlled political power, democratic centralism has proved to be an efficient mechanism that has helped TPLF to control its members to the lowest level. Since the party has structures extended to the lower kebele administration, democratic centralism has enabled the party to extend its control over all aspects of life in the country. The regional and kebele administrations are controlled by cadres of TPLF rather than being representatives of the community. Compared to the opposition parties that have poor organizational structures, democratic centralism has enabled TPLF to use its party channels as instruments of policy execution as well as extending repression to the grassroots level.

Democratic centralism has also been instrumental in crushing political opponents. The system was effectively used to dismiss powerful party leaders from TPLF in 2001. Though the root cause of the split within TPLF was largely on policy difference in the leadership, the difference was finally settled through the aggressive use of the system of democratic centralism. Veteran members of TPLF were dismissed from the party after being accused of violating the democratic centralism principle of the party. The dissenters were labelled as factionalists and dismissed from the party since the party’s internal rule provides that those who do not accept the majority decision should be excluded.

Though the application of democratic centralism has enabled TPLF to be efficient in terms of ensuring discipline within the party structure, the wider application of the system has brought serious implications to the democratization process in the country. Apart from being used to maintain discipline within the party, democratic centralism is one of the major principles currently regulating government structure and intergovernmental relations. The principle is also responsible for undermining the separation of powers principle and the significance of official channels of government.

In order to exercise checks and balances in a democratic system of government, there has to be a reasonable distance between the various organs of government. Though there are legislative, executive and judicial organs in the Ethiopian constitutional system, the separation of powers principle has been undermined due to the extensive application of the party’s policy of democratic centralism. Since members of the parliament representing TPLF/EPRDF are tied to democratic centralism, there is no any effective way the parliament could control the executive branch. Any opposition to the party’s policies may entail serious consequences since it is considered as factionalism. In a parliament wholly controlled by TPLF, virtually every decision is made by the regime and largely enforced by tightly controlled party and government apparatus through the system of democratic centralism.

The aggressive use of democratic centralism has also blurred the separation of government and party structure. The system has seriously undermined the clear distinction between party and government apparatus in the country especially in lower administrations. As far as a government official is loyal to party policies, the authority of the public or legal institutions in controlling the corruption of party loyalists is very limited. Legal or disciplinary measures will only be taken against the corrupted party loyalists when the central organ of the party gives the green light to that effect.

Democratic centralism has also undermined the application of the constitutional principles of accountability and transparency. In a system that is firmly controlled by the system of democratic centralism, government business is discussed and decisions are made at party meetings that precede meetings of state bodies. In such systems, a few political party leaders make major decisions while the passing of decisions in government institutions is being a formality. The decision-making process of the system is largely secretive and restricted to few members of the politburo or the executive committee.

The application of democratic centralism across the system has also seriously undermined the authority of the regional governments. Despite the fact that the constitution provides numerous powers to regional governments, they are largely expected to act in accordance with the party position whether a policy is relevant to the region or not. Regional governments are largely expected to endorse central government policies due to their obligation to abide by the party rules. Due to the existence of strong democratic centralism mechanisms, regional authorities are keener to keep their party connections rather than to be accountable to regional institutions or the public. The political fate of the regional authorities is largely determined by the party organ at the center rather than regional government or party apparatus.

In the last three years, the entrenched repressive democratic centralism system used by TPLF to preserve its hegemonic power has resulted in widespread protest and conflicts in the country. The Ethiopian people have clearly expressed their detestation of the injustices committed by TPLF and the restricted political space in the country. It has become clear that the democratic centralism system that has been used by TPLF to control the people under its iron fist for the last twenty-six years has reached to its limit. Though there is no any indication that TPLF is abandoning its system of democratic centralism, it has realized that the status-quo cannot maintained and change is inevitable. But unless TPLF’s system of democratic centralism is completely annihilated, a genuine democratization process will never take roots in the country.

Source Used - Semahagn Gahsu Abebe, The Last Post-Cold War Socialist Federation: Ethnicity, Ideology and Democracy in Ethiopia, Routledge, 2014.




Ethiopia's ruling coalition sweats over insecurity as Oromo, Amhara MPs protest

By Africa News

The Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF), the country’s ruling coalition is facing an internal crisis which has led to Members of Parliament (MPs) belonging to two main blocs – the Amhara and Oromia, boycotting parliament, the BBC Africa Live page has reported.

The coalition in a statement released on Wednesday admitted that it was facing gradual ‘mistrust and suspicion’ among the four main blocs. OPDO, ANDM, TPLF and SEPDM.

Twenty four later, members of the Oromo People’s Democratic Organization (OPDO) and the Amhara National Democratic Movement (ANDM) boycotted parliament calling for Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn to give an explanation on escalation in recent deadly violence.

The statement according to local media sources went on to assert that a weakness of the executive arm was responsible for the current state of affairs. It said the ‘weakness of the executive’ had contributed significantly to the deteriorating security across the country.

The other two EPRDF parties are the Tigrayan People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) and the Southern Ethiopian People’s Democratic Movement (SEPDM). The coalition holds 100% seats of the parliament.

Ethiopia’s three-pronged security crisis

The security situation in Ethiopia is a mix of anti-government sentiment on one hand, ethnic clashes affecting two major regions and a deadly turn of events across some universities in the Horn of Africa country.

Most universities affected by serial deaths of students have closed down due to a lack of conducive atmosphere for studies. The government has said that the deaths were politically inclined and that it was doing everything possible to remedy the situation.

Then last week, sixteen people were reportedly shot in the town of Chelenko in the Oromia region. The regional communications chief blamed it on federal security forces who opened fire on protesters unhappy about the killing of a resident. The government says it has opened a probe.

Then there is the border tensions between the Oromia and Ethiopia-Somali regional states. An escalation in the age-long tension late last week led to the deaths of 61 people on both sides. Scores were also reported to have been injured, houses burnt and hundreds internally displaced.




Ethiopia: Student protest turn violent as fifty detained in Ambo


By ESAT

Four students were injured in Bule Hora University as anti-TPLF protesters clashed with regime supporters. Classes have been disrupted and the pro-TPLF students have reportedly left the campus.

In the the town of Ambo, the epicenter of anti-TPLF protests, security forces arrested 50 students of Ambo University. Security forces accused that the students have coordinated and led the protests.

Anti-TPLF protests have continued in Arba Minch, Adigrat, Wolkite and Asosa Universities.

According to the Ministry of Education, 20 of the 33 Universities in the nation have been hit by Anti-TPLF protests and classes have been disrupted with a considerable number of students having left their campuses.






Worries over water security for millions of people prompted the Arab League yesterday to say it is following “with extreme concern” talks between Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia over the latter’s Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD), which it is building on the Blue Nile.

By GCR

Ethiopia was not “cooperating and coordinating enough”, said Ahmed Abul-Gheit, secretary general of the league, a regional association of 22 countries in Africa and the Middle East.

His comments came after negotiations between the three countries broke down earlier this month over how to conduct technical studies on the dam’s impact on Egypt and other countries downstream.

Abul-Gheit told the Fourth Arabic Forum for Water in Cairo that water security for Egypt, the most populous Arab country, was a matter of Arab national security.

“We do not feel that Ethiopia was cooperating and coordinating enough. The Ethiopian plans to operate the dam and use its water in irrigation are ambiguous and concerning,” he said, reports Egyptian news site Ahramonline.

Abul-Gheit called on Ethiopia to show more openness and cooperation given that “there are currently 400 million people living on the banks of the Nile who will reach one billion by 2050”.

He said Egypt receives 85% of its water from the Ethiopian highlands through the Blue Nile.

As its name suggests, GERD, set to be Africa’s biggest dam, is a project of supreme national importance to Ethiopia. Now more than half built by Italian contractor Salini Impregilo, the hydroelectric plant will have an installed capacity of 6,000 MW – more than double Ethiopia’s current generating capacity – and is central to Ethiopia’s plan to be a net power exporter to the electricity-starved continent.

Construction began in early 2011 as Egypt was convulsed by its January revolution. Since then, fearing for its water security, Egypt has strongly opposed the dam, with concerns over the possibility of the conflict escalating to violence emerging in 2013.

Since then, without relinquishing its concerns, Egypt has acquiesced in principle to Ethiopia’s right to build GERD.

In March 2015 Egypt’s President Abdel-Fattah el-Sisi and his counterparts from Ethiopia and Sudan signed a cooperation deal on the principles of sharing the Nile River water and the construction of the GERD. Then in September 2016 Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia agreed that French consultants BRL and Artelia would carry out studies on GERD’s impact on the flow of the Nile.

However, negotiations held 11-12 November in Cairo between the three parties broke down over the studies, with Egypt’s water minister accusing Sudan and Ethiopia of trying to direct them in a way that would “render them useless”, reported Middle East news site Al-Monitor.

Meanwhile, Ahramonline reported that Egypt’s president and Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn are scheduled to meet in Cairo next month to discuss the deadlock.

General Mohamed Nur Yunus aka Samora


What are Samora's plans for the army?

By AfricanIntelligence

In late October, the army chief of staff General Mohamed Nur Yunus, known as Samora, summoned some forty generals to the ministry of defence in Addis Ababa. According to our information, the meeting was dominated by the issue of internal divisions within the military high command and its repercussions. General Samora reportedly painted a worrying picture of the current state of the armed forces, who are being ‘left to their own devices’ by commanders who are not doing their job properly. He is understood to have warned his generals that they would be held accountable, suggesting that a purge might be imminent. Samora has already sidelined Oromo generals from military command positions, moving them to posts in the human resources departments (ION 1461). He might now be tempted to rid himself of senior Tigrayan officers who are contesting his authority, such as the former commander of the Northern Defence Command, General Seare Makonen Yimer, who is currently the head of the training department at the ministry.

Former Ethiopian dictator Mengistu Haile Mariam who fled into exile in Zimbabwe in 1991. It remains to be seen what will happen to him now that his host, Robert Mugabe, has been removed from power. FILE PHOTO


By AGGREY MUTAMBO | Nation

The change of guard in Zimbabwe may have been the unwanted thing in the life of Robert Mugabe. But another former African strongman may be facing an uncertain future as a result.

For years, Robert Mugabe gave asylum and then protected Mengistu Haile Mariam, the Ethiopian dictator who still carries a death sentence on his back.

Government officials in Mugabe’s administration had variously argued that Zimbabwe owed a lot to Mengistu, especially after he reportedly helped Africans during the Bush wars that delivered independence to that country in 1980.

MNANGAGWA

But last Friday, Emerson Mnangagwa took over as Zimbabwe’s new President, bringing with him the uncertainty over whether the Ethiopian dictator will be protected as he had been under Mugabe.

Mengistu, sometimes known as the Butcher of Addis Ababa, had fled to Zimbabwe in 1991 after rebel forces toppled his 17-year autocracy that started with the assassination of Emperor Haile Selassie in 1974.

Throughout his rule, Mengistu ran the country with a feared iron grip, assassinating members of his own junta perceived to oppose his rule.

When from 1983 Ethiopia faced a serious famine which saw global celebrities come together to raise money to help the starving people, Mengistu sought for food aid and technical aid from western powers. At the same time, he retained military and diplomatic ties with the former Soviet Union.

FAMINE

But things did not change much in Ethiopia. The chronic famine in the north continued, the same with the war in Eritrea.

Ethiopia’s economy failed to grow, forcing Mengistu to use the military and his close political associates to maintain his grip on power.

But Ethiopians were unhappy with the situation in the country leading to more unrest.

As a result, the Ethiopian strongman had to use force in his quest to remain in power.

But he could not do this for long and eventually he was defeated by rebel groups forcing him to resign in 1991 and flee into exile.

But even in his absence, Ethiopian courts found him guilty of genocide.

TORTURE AND KILLINGS

His administration was directly put on the spot over the killing 2,000 people and torturing of 2,400 others at the height of the country’s civil war.

Initially, he was sentenced to life in prison, alongside key lieutenants in the junta known as Derg in 2007.

But prosecutors appealed the sentence. He was handed a death sentence in 2008, still in absentia.

Despite the verdict and calls by then Ethiopian Premier Meles Zenawi to have him extradited, Zimbabwe under Mugabe often offered to protect him.

In the wake of the sentence, for instance, Mugabe’s officials claimed Mengistu would remain “our guest”.

In Zimbabwe’s new leader, some have seen him an extension of Mugabe, especially since he was a long-time ally and former spy for Mugabe until they fell out on succession.

Zimbabwean opposition politicians had indicated they would accept to rendition Mengistu to face jail.

Opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai, for instance, told a reporter in 2008 that Zimbabwe would not accept “dictators on our land.”





Unchanging for nearly 17 years, Ethiopian diplomacy is poised to undergo a radical overhaul


By African Intelligence

Under the auspices of the minister of foreign affairs Workneh Gebeyechu, an inner circle composed of Ethiopia's permanent representative to the UN, Tekeda Alemu, the diplomatic veteran and new ambassador to China, Berhane Gebre-Christos, and the vice president of the Ethiopian International Institute for Peace and Development, Moges Tesfamichael, is actively engaged in overhauling Ethiopian foreign policy. Their aim is to take account of the growing military and diplomatic cooperation between Ethiopia and Sudan (encouraged largely by Washington), the efforts on the part of Egypt to smooth its relations with Sudan, the rivalry between Iran and Saudi Arabia, and above all Ethiopia's interest in resuming relations and dialogue with its Eritrean rival. The Ethiopian government is, for instance, thinking of ceasing to arm Eritrean opposition groups, and at the most recent meeting of the TPLF central committee in Mekele the possibility of relinquishing Badme to Eritrea was discussed. Ethiopian diplomats would also like to maintain a delicate balance in relation to Mogadishu and Hargeisa. However, regarding the question of the dispute with Egypt over the sharing of Nile waters, their policy remains unchanged and Addis Ababa wants to keep up the pressure on Cairo and Khartoum to ratify the Entebbe accord, which stipulates the terms for redistributing the waters of the Nile. Overall, the country's new foreign policy will seek to emphasise Ethiopia's increasingly important role in regional mediation, especially when it comes to resolving the outstanding problems in South Sudan and Somalia. An initial outline of this foreign policy strategy will be discussed with the relevant parties at the end of January and the policy is due to be put into effect within the next six months.