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US still giving aid money to Africa’s dictators

By Lorenzo Piccio04 August 2014


Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn and U.S. President Barack Obama converse at the G-8 summit in Northern Ireland. While Addis Ababa remains one of the largest U.S. aid recipients in sub-Saharan Africa, U.S. aid flows to Ethiopia have fallen sharply over the course of the Obama administration. Photo by:  Pete Souza 

Five years ago, during his first visit to sub-Saharan Africa as U.S. president, Barack Obama memorably told Ghana’s parliament that “Africa does not need strong men. It needs strong institutions.” And months before his re-election, Obama stressed strengthening democratic institutions as one of four pillars of his administration’s sub-Saharan Africa strategy .

“Our message to those who would derail the democratic process is clear and unequivocal: the United States will not stand idly by when actors threaten legitimately elected governments or manipulate the fairness and integrity of democratic processes,” Obama said in the strategy.

Obama’s strident and lofty rhetoric on democracy in Africa may make for odd bedfellows this week as 50 African heads of state gather in Washington for the first-ever U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit.

While sub-Saharan Africa as a whole has made marked progress toward democracy and institution building since the 1990s, more than a dozen of the African leaders expected in Washington can aptly be called strongmen — President Yoweri Museveni of Uganda and President Paul Kagame of Rwanda included.

Freedom House classified 20 of 49 sub-Saharan countries as “not free” in its  2014 Freedom in the World index , the think tank’s annual assessment of political rights and civil liberties around the world. Nineteen countries were classified as “partly free,” while only 10 were classified as “free.”

Fiscal 2015 U.S. aid to countries rated “partly free” and “not free” by Freedom House. View larger version .

As the graphic above shows, the United States is a significant donor to 28 of those 39 “partly free” or “not free” countries in sub-Saharan Africa. In fact, of the 10 largest U.S. aid recipients in sub-Saharan Africa, only one is rated “free” by Freedom House: South Africa, which is seeing asharp decline in funding under the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief.

Like administrations before it, the Obama White House has come under fire from some quarters for keeping the aid tap on in countries that routinely trample upon human rights and civil liberties. These advocates argue  that the steady flow of U.S. aid money to Africa’s autocrats only prolongs their hold on power.

The prevailing bipartisan view, however, is that it would be foolhardy for the U.S. aid program to tie U.S. foreign aid flows entirely to democracy and human rights considerations. U.S. foreign aid is regarded by many in Washington as a key tool in the U.S. democracy and human rights promotion toolbox — one that can be used to promote and encourage reform not only within the government but also in civil society. Funding civil society groups directly is a strategy routinely employed to avoid giving money to these strongmen.

At the same time, it’s not clear whether the administration or Congress is willing to take the strategic blowback should the United States cut aid to some of its key African partners that happen to have strongmen at the helm.

“The question is how and when to promote democracy when the U.S. has multiple competing national interests. It’s easy to talk about democracy, but what do you do when an ally shows authoritarian tendencies?” said Todd Moss, senior fellow at the Center for Global Development who was deputy assistant secretary in the Bureau of African Affairs at the Bush State Department.

Jennifer Cooke, director of the Africa Program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies echoed this sentiment.

“The conundrum is in those countries that are authoritarian but which the U.S. regards as important security partners,” said Cooke, who cited Ethiopia, Uganda and Rwanda as examples.

Below, Devex examines U.S. aid engagement with four authoritarian regimes that are also among the largest recipients of U.S. aid in sub-Saharan Africa: Uganda, Zimbabwe, Rwanda and Ethiopia. In particular, we looked at three key questions that shed light on the administration’s approach to these regimes:

1. To what extent is the Obama administration’s aid engagement tied to progress on democracy and human rights?

2. Is the administration robustly supporting democracy and governance aid programming?

3. Is aid being channeled directly through the government or through nongovernmental channels?

(A previous Devex analysis found that democracy and governance accounted for roughly 5 percent of the Obama administration’s aid spending in sub-saharan Africa.)

Uganda

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East Africa’s longest-serving ruler, Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni has been in power for nearly three decades.

Freedom House rates Uganda as “partly free” in its latest assessment, citing Museveni’s increasingly repressive style of leadership. Critics charge  that since abolishing term limits in 2005, Museveni’s “constitutional dictatorship” has persecuted dissidents and militarized the country’s civil institutions. Uganda’s human rights record has deteriorated even further following its passage of a highly controversial law — annulled Friday — that criminalized homosexuality.

Averaging nearly $470 million over the course of the Obama administration, U.S. aid spending in Uganda had been slated to remain fairly steady in the administration’s fiscal 2015 budget request. Signaling a change in direction, however, the White House  announced  in June plans to discontinue or redirect funds for “certain additional programs” involving Ugandan government institutions such as the Ugandan Police Force, Ministry of Health and National Public Health Institute. It remains to be seen whether the Ugandan constitutional court’s annulment of the anti-homosexuality law will prompt the administration to reevaluate its decision.

Devex analysis reveals, however, that only 1 percent of USAID local spending in Uganda flows through the Ugandan government — reason to believe that the impact of the announcement on the Ugandan government may be minimal.

In contrast to many other major donors to the East African country, the United States has historically refrained from channeling budget support to Kampala, which helps explain whyUSAID did not suspend aid to Uganda in the wake of a high-profile aid embezzlement scandal back in 2012.

The vast majority of U.S. aid spending in Uganda is coursed through PEPFAR. While USAID’scountry strategy for Uganda elevated democracy and governance as one of three key objectives for the agency’s programming in the East African country, the sector will account for only 1 percent of U.S. aid spending in fiscal 2015, which is down from 2 percent in 2010. In the run-up to Uganda’s next national election in 2016, however, the Obama administration has revealed plans to bolster its support for political parties and civil society.

Zimbabwe

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After a period of power sharing with the opposition, Zimbabwe’s longtime president Robert Mugabe is once again firmly in control in Harare; Mugabe won a seventh term in office in last July’s widely disputed election. Freedom House assessed Zimbabwe as “not free,” citing restrictions on freedom of speech and assembly, state-sponsored political violence, as well as serious irregularities in the July 2013 election. At the helm of one of Africa’s most repressive regimes, Mugabe has been in power since Zimbabwe gained independence in 1980.

Early on in his administration, Obama had pledged $73 million in fresh assistance to Zimbabwe — an olive branch to the then months-old power-sharing government. That same year, USAID also reinitiated programming in agriculture and economic growth, which had been on hold for much of the decade. USAID Zimbabwe had redirected the vast majority of its resources toward humanitarian programming in the aftermath of Mugabe’s systematic expropriation of white-owned farms in the early 2000s.

Until recently, the Obama administration had also begun to channel aid to select ministries aligned with the opposition and its leader, then-Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai — further evidence of a thaw in aid relations between the United States and Zimbabwe. According to Cooke, U.S. assistance to the public sector in Zimbabwe has been largely limited to health, particularly HIV prevention and treatment, as well as education.

Now that Mugabe has tightened his grip on power once more, the Obama administration, by most accounts, appears to have pulled back on the U.S. aid program’s reengagement with Harare. Very little of the administration’s robust $159 million aid budget for Zimbabwe in fiscal 2015 — which is on a par with recent levels — will likely be channeled through the central government. But the administration has left the door open to continued aid engagement with reform-minded institutions, including the parliament.

Strikingly, the share of U.S. aid to Zimbabwe directed to democracy, human rights and governance is on course to decline even further to just 7 percent in fiscal 2015, compared with 12 percent in fiscal 2010. According to the Obama administration, its programming in the sector will now be focused on safeguarding democratic gains made during the power-sharing period, including the new constitution that was overwhelmingly approved by Zimbabweans in a March 2013 referendum.

Rwanda

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Since assuming the presidency in 2000, Paul Kagame has presided over Rwanda’s rapid development progress — no small feat for a small, landlocked country devastated by genocide only two decades ago. At the same time, the African strongman has come under intense criticism from human rights groups for his authoritarian — some would say, repressive — style of leadership. Freedom House assessed Rwanda as “not free,” citing the country’s flawed electoral process and the Kagame regime’s targeting of human rights organizations.

Despite persistent questions over Kigali’s human rights record, Rwanda has emerged as adarling of Western donors — including its single-largest bilateral donor, the United States — during the past decade. Over the course of the Obama administration, however, U.S. aid flows to Rwanda have declined noticeably — proof perhaps that Kigali’s standing in the U.S. aid portfolio may not be quite where it used to be.

The administration has requested $171 million in foreign aid to Rwanda in fiscal 2015, which is nearly a fifth below fiscal 2010 levels. These cuts appear to have been driven in part by the Obama administration’s reservations over the Kagame regime’s commitment to democracy and human rights. Most notably, in October of last year, the Obama administration announced plans to restrict aid to Uganda’s military over its support for a Congolese rebel group believed to be using child soldiers.

Military aid, however, accounts for only a small portion of U.S. aid to Rwanda, which, much like in Uganda, is mostly in support of PEPFAR programming managed by nongovernmental organizations. Only 3 percent of the administration’s fiscal 2015 aid request for Rwanda has been allocated for democracy, human rights and governance, which is unchanged from fiscal 2010 levels.

Ethiopia

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Since taking office upon the death of the Ethiopian strongman Meles Zenawi two years ago, Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn has, by most accounts, governed the one-party state with the same iron fist. Freedom House assessed Ethiopia as “not free,” citing the Desalegn government’s harassment and imprisonment of political opponents. Just last month, Addis Ababa came under fire from human rights groups — and lawmakers in Washington — for its detention of Ethiopian opposition leader Andargachew Tsige.

While Addis Ababa remains one of the largest U.S. aid recipients in sub-Saharan Africa, U.S. aid flows to Ethiopia have fallen sharply over the course of the Obama administration. The administration has requested $483 million in foreign aid to Ethiopia in fiscal 2015, down by almost half since fiscal 2010. The vast majority of U.S. aid spending in Ethiopia is channeled toward PEPFAR. U.S. aid officials have said that the budget slashes are part of an effort to transfer PEPFAR resources to countries with higher HIV prevalence.

The Obama administration, on the other hand, is poised to ramp up loans, credits and guarantees for the country’s energy sector. The administration has named Ethiopia as one of six focus countries for its $7 billion Power Africa initiative. With the backing of Power Africa, the Ethiopian government and Reykjavik Geothermal, a U.S.-Icelandic private developer, recently signed a landmark deal to construct a 1,000-megawatt geothermal plant in Corbetti Caldera valued at $4 billion.

Despite the USAID country strategy for Ethiopia’s assertion that democracy and governance is the one sector that has “demonstrably deteriorated,” programming in this area will garner less than 1 percent of U.S. aid spending in Ethiopia in fiscal 2015, which is flat from fiscal 2010. At the same time, there has been little to no indication from the administration that the PEPFAR budget slashes are tied to U.S. concerns over Ethiopia’s democracy and human rights record.

Strikingly, USAID channels roughly a third of its local spending through governmental channels — a share that’s higher than all but five of the agency’s bilateral missions in sub-Saharan Africa. Ethiopia’s harsh NGO laws, which is one of the most restrictive in the world, likely helps explain USAID’s reluctance to channel more funding through nongovernmental organizations.

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China colonizing Africa through its dictators in Ethiopia

It is a dramatic increase in China’s investment in Ethiopia as spring board for African recolonization . By some estimates, it’s more than doubled in the past five years to more than two billion dollars and bribing the leaders to control one of the ancient independent country. This fuel the country’s recent dramatic foreign pumped growth in the cities making the rich rich and the poor to live in the feudal period creating wide parity.



Qatar signed agreement to continue to import Ethiopian young girls for modern day slavery

Ethiopian regime since 1991 is known selling young  girls as a mid wives  and servant in gulf and middle eastern  Arabic countries. As we have seen in 2011 in Libya how the young girl boiled live and 2012 in Lebanon hanged. Many had thrown themselves  from a top of building to end their suffering in Lebanon. And other were beaten to death by a jealous wives.

The recent agreement between Qatar and Ethiopian dictatorial regime is a continues of of this modern time slavery instituted since 1991.  Ethiopia has agreed to send domestic workers, including maids, to Qatar but said it would need seemingly  monthly reports about salary payments to them and that their work timings should not exceed that agreed upon in their job contracts.

The dignity and rights of Ethiopian workers must be protected in Qatar, the country’s Minister of State for Labour and Social Affairs, Dr Zerihun Kebede known for making his riches selling Ethiopian girls to Arabs , told a visiting delegation of Qatar Chamber, representative body of the private sector.

He said requests to recruit Ethiopian domestics will need to be submitted to the country’s embassy in Doha, and it would be sent to manpower agencies in Ethiopia for approval in order to collect in the name of tax good some of their salary to the regime in the name of protection

However, an extensive mechanism is being put in place for the recruitment process to take off based on terms and conditions agreed on by both sides benefiting both regimes on the back of the Ethiopian slaves.

The wages paid to the Ethiopian domestics will be uniform, the Qatari delegation told Ethiopian officials. There are 120 manpower agencies in Qatar while the number of recognized recruitment agencies in Ethiopia is 380.

Those shortlisted for recruitment will have to undergo medical tests in Ethiopia, and later on here. If a worker is sent home on health grounds, all costs would be borne by the Ethiopian agency concerned. 

 

 

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ERITREA’s FAILED DREAM

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After the Eritrean independence war ended in 1991, Eritreans threw themselves into reconstructing the country’s shattered infrastructure, with whole villages helping out to build small dams, terrace-eroded hillsides, and plant thousands of trees. Photos by Dan Connell.

Once a revolution is over, how do you judge its success? A victory for Mao’s vision of the People’s Republic of China was not exactly a victory for the people of China. A glorious, clean revolution isn’t easy. Look at Russia, France, Cambodia, Iran. Look at Egypt today. In the coming decades, we will see the result of revolutions played out across the Arab world and, quite possibly, across Europe as well. Will they be deemed successes by anyone other than the victors?

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A crucial, but little reported, example of a hard fought revolution and its troubling aftermath can be found in the Horn of Africa.

Twenty years ago, Eritrea—in the northeast of Africa—became a legally independent nation, having won its de-facto independence from Ethiopia two years earlier, in 1991. This independence was the end result of a 30-year war with Ethiopia. The revolutionaries who won the war were heroes, champions of freedom standing up against an oppressive, murderous Ethiopian regime backed by the Soviet Union and tacitly supported by the West. They had reestablished an independent Eritrean nation and the future looked bright. But revolutionary opposition and day-to-day power are two totally different things. Once you’ve gotten used to glorious victories, the thrills of red tape and responsibility may well be lost on you. As such, creating a free and democratic society is a total pain in the ass.

Eritrea had been an Italian colony since 1890, Ethiopia since 1935. After the Second World War, Eritrea became part of Ethiopia but maintained a measure of independence. In 1962, and in contravention of a UN resolution, Ethiopia annexed Eritrea. The UN and other world powers looked on, unwilling to jeopardize their relationship with the strategically-vital Ethiopia. As John Foster Dulles, who would go on to be the United States’ secretary of state, said in 1950, “From the standpoint of justice, the opinions of the Eritrean people must receive consideration. Nevertheless, the strategic interest of the United States in the Red Sea basin and considerations of security and world peace make it necessary that the country has to be linked with our ally, Ethiopia.” Eritrea had been screwed.


An EPLF member outside Asmara, 1979.

When Eritrea gained its independence in the early 1990s, it was the Marxist revolutionary group The Eritrean People’s Liberation Front (EPLF) that took power in Asmara, the nation’s capital, having fought a long and hard guerrilla war against Ethiopia. With their ruthless discipline, encouragement of abstinence and collective focus, the EPLF were—in the words of one leading Eritrean historian—“the most successful liberation movement in Africa.” They were tough, and while their intolerance of dissent galvanized their fighting potential, it merely made them tyrants once they were in power.

Led by Isaias Afewerki, they continued their flair for strong, Marxist-sounding names by becoming the People’s Front for Democracy and Justice (PFDJ). And, with Isaias front and center, the PFDJ has remained in power ever since independence.

Today, criticism of the government is not tolerated. Only four religions are officially recognized. Worship in any other church and you’ll be persecuted. There is no civil society to speak of and, every month, kids cross the border to escape national service, which has no fixed end and is essentially a form of government-sponsored slavery. The United Nations refugee agency (UNHCR) estimates the number of fleeing Eritreans at 1,000 a month (it’s worth noting that escaping means going through the Sahara into mine-strewn Ethiopia while avoiding being shot by border guards). Reporters Without Borders ranks Eritrea 178th out of 178 in the world for press freedom, which basically means anything approaching journalism is banned.


A UN-supplied refugee camp near the border of Ethiopia, accommodating some of the thousands of Eritreans who flee across the border every year.

By 2012, hundreds of thousands of young Eritreans had fled the country to escape the deepening political repression and to avoid what had become open-ended national service in both the armed forces and state and party-controlled businesses. Three hundred refugees were showing up in Ethiopia each month and being placed in UN-supplied camps near the border.

In May, to coincide with Eritrea’s 20th anniversary celebrations, Amnesty International released a damning report entitled Eritrea: 20 Years of Independence, but Still No Freedom. The report claims that there are, at minimum, 10,000 prisoners being held illegally without trial in Eritrea. The human rights organization’s Eritrea researcher, Claire Beston, told me that this figure did not include those people jailed for “avoiding national service or trying to flee the country.” The report is littered with the testimony of people who have been affected by the actions of the government:

“I last saw my father at the beginning of 2007, they took him away from our house. I know nothing about what happened afterward.”

“This generation, everyone has gone through the prison at least once. Everyone I met in prison has been in prison two or three times.”

“Everybody has to confess what he’s done. They hit me so many times… Many people were getting disabled at that military camp. During the night they would take them to a remote area, tie them up, and beat them on their back.”

There are many more like this. It’s not exactly light summer reading.


The 1984 to ’85 African famine put Eritrea’s war for independence on hold as the liberation front trucked aid into the country to prevent both mass starvation and a wholesale exodus from the contested areas. Ethiopia sought to isolate the Eritreans using food as a weapon.

Tesfamichael Gerahtu, Eritrea’s ambassador to the UK and Ireland, told me that while Eritrea have “some challenges in human rights,” there “are no people incarcerated on the basis of their political beliefs.” The Eritrean Ministry of Foreign Affairs released an angrily-worded response that rejected Amnesty’s “wild accusations.” The release concluded that Amnesty would ignore the 20th anniversary celebrations, “smug in its selfrighteous belief that it can, with impunity, attack and denigrate a young nation, which despite many odds, manages to progress and improve the lives of its citizens.”

Amnesty’s Claire Beston told me that Eritrea’s refusal to acknowledge its illegal detention of its own people was “incredibly disappointing for the families of those affected.” Additionally, she pointed out that Eritrea’s imprisonment of innocent people was in direct contravention with a number of international treaties it had signed up to. Drawing parallels with another country known for imprisoning innocent citizens, the human rights activist Khataza Gondwe has referred to Eritrea as “Africa’s North Korea.”

Eritrea, then, has not become the country many hoped for. “I don’t think there is anyone who doesn’t believe that promises were betrayed,” Eritrean exile Gaim Kibreab—a university professor and author of Eritrea: A Dream Deferred—told me. Kibreab left Eritrea in 1976. For him, the actions of the current government “affect us all. I have relatives in Sudanese refugee camps. I have dear friends in prison in Eritrea.” The deferred dream of a free Eritrea was not just Kibreab’s, but one shared by many of his countrymen, though possibly not Isaias Afewerki and his revolutionary army.

Kibreab wishes for a pluralist democracy in which there is a free press and a flourishing civil society. But was this ever going to be a realistic proposition for a group of hardened guerrilla warriors at the end of a 30-year struggle? Decades of uninterrupted power is probably a closer approximation of Isaias’ dreams. He’s said to be full of contempt for humanity, to be a big drinker and a mean drunk. He’s a human rights violator and a petty thug who’s known to break bottles over people’s heads once he’s had a few.

As such, being boss probably suits him just fine. His former foreign minister, Petros Solomon, a key fighter and comrade in the revolution, was imprisoned in 2001 for speaking out against the government as part of the G-15 group of dissidents, who wrote an open letter to Isaias denouncing the lack of freedom in Eritrea. Solomon has not been heard from since his imprisonment.


Petros Solomon in an underground bunker in the frontline town of Nakfa, in 1979.

Some ex-revolutionary fighters and other defenders of the Eritrean government are scornful of exiled, “so-called intellectuals” like Gaim Kibreab. They believe that the people who now talk about human rights in Eritrea are hypocrites, people who didn’t fight and stand up for the violation of Eritrean human rights in the 60s, 70s, and 80s. There is still a significant amount of support for Isaias in the Eritrean diaspora. The Eritrean ambassador told me that “you must respect that we have had our human rights violated,” in relation to Ethiopia’s annexing of—and then war with—Eritrea, as well as the international support of Ethiopia.

Kibreab, in a way, agrees with him. He told me that when you talk about Eritrea, you have to talk about Ethiopia, which—secure in its importance strategically to the United States—has continued to run roughshod over Eritrea and, in doing so, has alienated Eritrea from the rest of the world. A world that now regards it as a small rogue state with a potential for Islamism, while viewing Ethiopia as a large, roguish, but vital state—a key ally in the “War on Terror.”

“The international community,” Kibreab pointed out, “has never been charitable to the Eritrean government. But if they moved towards liberal democracy, they’d help themselves.” However, this lack of support is worth remembering, particularly since it has been true ever since John Foster Dulles admitted that Eritrea was to be the victim in an international power game. Freedom from the machinations of foreign powers was one of the driving forces of the revolution. Now, still isolated, Isaias and his government continue to battle on, proudly proclaiming survival in the face of international contempt.


In 1998, the Eritreans went back to war with Ethiopia. The country’s youth were quickly mobilized to go back into the trenches.

The interminable military service, for example, makes some sense in the context of Ethiopian aggression. In 1998, the two countries went to war over a small portion of disputed territory surrounding the barren, rock-strewn town of Badme. The war, which lasted for over two years and resulted in the death of up to 100,000 soldiers, was described as “two bald men fighting over a comb.”

Since the end of the war, Ethiopia has failed to recognize an international court ruling that stipulates that Badme is part of Eritrea. Eritrean government officials have repeatedly told me that if Ethiopia recognized the boundary, they would be ready to make friends with their neighbors. Ethiopia funds many of the strands of opposition in Eritrea and, along with the United States, plays a crucial role in a paranoid narrative put forward by the Eritrean government: that Eritrea’s very existence is under constant threat from dark powers beyond its borders.

There is an element of truth to this, but of course Isaias and his government spin it out for all its worth. As far as propaganda goes, Ethiopia is Isaias’ greatest ally.


An EPLF member outside Asmara, 1979.

What I’m also talking about here, when I talk about Eritrea at 20 years, is the difference between the idealism of revolutionary opposition and the practical day-to-day reality of running a government. After years in the mountains fighting a guerrilla war, how was a revolutionary movement going to smoothly transition into power? Just like with the Taliban in Afghanistan, we’ve seen that life in grizzled, iconic opposition is perhaps not the best preparation for a calm, moral government. In opposition, those around Isaias let him do what needed to be done. There was a sense that he was “our bastard.” But, since then, the bastard has never stopped.

Ex-revolutionaries in Eritrea are often characterized as great drinkers, good talkers, and terrible diplomats. They grew up fighting in a revolutionary struggle, and the intricacies of international diplomacy were not for them. Paranoid and wary of showing weakness, they have punished innocent people for their own failings.

This is the sadness of all revolutionary dreams turned sour: the reality of freedom is never the same as the promise of freedom. It’s unlikely that when the EPLF were fighting for their country’s independence they looked up at that East African sky and thought: We dream that some day we will imprison people without trial, that our people will do anything they can to escape the country, that our youth will be locked into national service and that there will be no such thing as journalism.

Every generation reacts against the previous one, though. Isaias is getting old, and with the post-independence generation now 20 years old, the next few years could see some upheaval, hopefully for the better, in Eritrea.

Follow Oscar on Twitter: @oscarrickettnow

See more of Dan’s work at danconnell.net.

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Nile Dam of Ethiopia Could Destroy Egypt’s Way of Life

    • MARK BYRNESEthiopia is currently building Africa’s largest hydroelectric power plant. When it opens next year, the “Great Renaissance Dam” will tap into the Nile River. Unsurprisingly, Egypt, a country whose identity and way of life are tied to that body of water, feels threatened by its neighbor’s ambitions.

The new dam will help provide electricity to a country where more than 80 percent live without it. But in Egypt, most of its population is centered near the Nile valley and delta. The former chairman of the National Water Research Center tells Time that the dam will reduce water flow anywhere from 1,300 billion gallons to 6,600 billion gallons per year. It will also increase river pollution, harming fisheries and making it difficult for boats to navigate the river. As Egypt’s foreign minister Mohamed Kamel Amr said recently, “no Nile, no Egypt.”

Tensions between the two nations over the dam project have been palpable. Egypt president, Mohammed Morsi said in a speech on June 10, “we will defend each drop of the Nile with our blood.” During a televised cabinet meeting the week before, several members told the president that “he must destroy the dam through any means available.” Ethiopian prime minister, Hailemariam Desalegn however said recently that “nothing and no one” will stop construction of the dam.

Politics aside, the Nile does play a defining role in everyday life for Egyptians, whether they be farmers or floating restaurant owners. Below, via Reuters photographer Asmaa Waguih, we get a glimpse of the wide ranging ways Egyptians use their treasured river:


A small cruise boat passes Nile City Towers, which is owned by Naguib Sawiris the owner of Orascom Telecom, overlooking the river Nile in Cairo June 7, 2013. (REUTERS/Asmaa Waguih)


A boat passes buildings under construction and the two towers of the Bank of Egypt building (R), overlooking the river Nile in Cairo June 7, 2013. (REUTERS/Asmaa Waguih)


A woman rows, while another holds a net as they fish in the river Nile in Cairo April 16, 2013. (REUTERS/Asmaa Waguih)


Boats sail past the burned out headquarters of former President Hosni Mubarak’s National Democratic Party, on the banks of the Nile in Cairo June 12, 2013. (REUTERS/Asmaa Waguih)


Women wash clothes in the river Nile in Cairo May 20, 2013. (REUTERS/Asmaa Waguih)


A boy jumps into the river Nile as people celebrate the spring holiday of Sham el-Nessim on the outskirts of Cairo May 6, 2013. (REUTERS/Asmaa Waguih)


A boy washes his horse in the river Nile in Cairo May 22, 2013. (REUTERS/Asmaa Waguih)


Men help a priest disembark from a river taxi on the river Nile April 5, 2013. (REUTERS/Asmaa Waguih)


A fisherman rows his boat on the river Nile in Cairo April 13, 2013. (REUTERS/Asmaa Waguih)


A farmer stands near his cow while it drinks from the river Nile in Cairo May 22, 2013. (REUTERS/Asmaa Waguih)


Boys play on a ferry jetty on the shore of the river Nile in Cairo May 22, 2013. (REUTERS/Asmaa Waguih)


People sit on chairs set out by a cafe on the banks of the river Nile in Cairo April 21, 2013. (REUTERS/Asmaa Waguih)


People sit in a cafe overlooking the barrages of al-Qanatir on the river Nile in Cairo May 6, 2013. (REUTERS/Asmaa Waguih)


A woman looks out as she sits in a boat during a cruise on the river Nile in Cairo June 7, 2013. (REUTERS/Asmaa Waguih)


Boats housing restaurants and nightclubs float on the river Nile in Cairo May 8, 2013. (REUTERS/Asmaa Waguih)

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More than two out of every five children in Ethiopia are stunted and more than 80 percent of all cases of child under-nutrition go untreated.

Ethiopia loses around 16.5 percent of its GDP each year to the long-term effects of child malnutrition. That’s just one of the statistics to emerge from “The Cost of Hunger in Africa” study which measures the economic impact of malnutrition in 12 different countries. Ethiopia is the third country so far to publish its findings.

ADDIS ABABA (Ethiopia)—Over the past decade, Ethiopia has taken important strides towards reducing its high levels of hunger and malnutrition. Nutrition interventions aimed at mothers and children together with programmes to boost agriculture have left millions of Ethiopian families healthier and better able to feed themselves.

Cost of Hunger in Africa

The Cost of Hunger in Africa analyzes the impact of hunger across 12 countries in Africa. It was carried out with the support of the African Union Commission, a body which includes the New Partnership for Africa’s Development, the UN Economic Commission for Africa and WFP.

However, the lasting effects of malnutrition still weigh heavily on the Ethiopian economy, as new research shows. The “Cost of Hunger in Africa” report estimates that undernutrition costs the country billions of dollars every year in lost worker productivity. Here are 10 of its key findings.

1. Today, more than 2 out of every 5 children in Ethiopia suffer from stunting, which means they’re short for their age. Stunting is a lifelong condition that results when children miss out on critical nutrients while in the womb or during the first five years of their lives.

2. As many as 81% of all cases of child undernutrition and its related pathologies go untreated.

3. 44% of the health costs associated with undernutrition occur before the child turns 1 year-old.

4. 28% of all child mortality in Ethiopia is associated with undernutrition.

5. 16% of all repetitions in primary school are associated with stunting

6. Stunted children achieve 1.1 years less in school education.

7. Child mortality associated with undernutrition has reduced Ethiopia’s workforce by 8%

8. 67% of the adult population in Ethiopia suffered from stunting as children.

9. The annual costs associated with child undernutrition are estimated at Ethiopian birr (ETB) 55.5 billion, which is equivalent to 16.5% of GDP.

10. Eliminating stunting in Ethiopia is a necessary step for its growth and transformation.

 

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Drums of War over the Nile – “Mater of life & Death” “Israel & US Behind It “


Ethiopia has angered Egypt with its plans to construct a massive hydroelectric dam on the Blue Nile, a key Nile River tributary. Ethiopia just divert to start filling the reservoir that may take over 5 years to fill up, mean while the flow of the Nile will be disrupt from Sudan and Egypt. Ethiopia contributes 87 % of the Nile water.

During Monday’s meeting, an Islamist party leader suggested Egypt support Ethiopian rebels to exert pressure on Addis Ababa. A liberal politician suggested spreading rumors that Egypt was buying military planes for possible airstrikes.

The Ethiopian foreign office summoned the Egyptian Ambassador to Ethiopia to clarify the position  of his country.

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Eritrea is negotiating with Egypt on the Nile – Breaking News ሰበር ዜና!!!

Eritrea after controlling the Red cost and land locking Ethiopia, now is planning to control the Blue Nile Basin with the help of Egypt.

The Eritrean Government is acting as a plate form for Egypt’s historical plan to dominate the Nile, and be able to irrigate her arid southern farms in a dream of becoming a bread basket of Middle East.

Eritrea is known for its training and preparing proxy warriors in the Horn of Africa since here independence in 1993. Even the UN sanction did not intimidate the Red sea state. The living demonstration is Alshabab of Somalia. Isasias Afwerki is said to propose the preparation G7 for the proxy war with Addis Ababa for the control of the source of  Blue Nile for Cairo.

In the recent meeting between the two regimes, Eritrea said to participate to realizing Egypt’s century old ancestral dream of controlling the Blue Nile River.

The plan was once crafted with the out sated   Dictator Mubarak in his time in power inherited from Jamal Abdel Nasser. The Eritrean Junta to create a new Nile basin state in the horn of Africa as a main base for food for Eritrea under the hegemony of Egypt. This is to assure once for all the source of the Blue Nile to be under the pharaoh’s state control.

As we all know the Eritrean struggle was started and supported in 1960’s   by the Nasser’s   Egypt. This was done due to the the refusal of the Negus Haile Selassie   to the Proposal of Egypt to create a Federation with Ethiopia and Sudan. A master plane  to control the source and the flow of the Blue Nile discharging  over  87% of the sweet life giving Water to Egypt and Sudan.

In the recent meeting, Eritrea proposed Egypt to use G7 (Genbot 7 Ethiopian Opposition in Eritrea) as a proxy agent to overthrow the regime in Addis Ababa and balkanize Ethiopia.  The representative of G7 Mr. Andargachew Tsege was also present at the meeting according to our source in Eritrea. The  meeting was held in the Egyptian Resort of the Red Sea. In consequence, in its recent news release the Isasias regime declared his support to Egypt to keep the Lion   Share of the Nile   according to 1929 and 1959 colonial pact,

Egypt has no other source of life giving water and the recent building of the Ethiopian new   Renaissance   mega dam of 145 Meter tall and 1KM 800M long with a reservoir of 63,000,000,000 m3 is expected to stop the follow the Blue Nile at list for 5 years. The mega dam has irritated the relation between Egypt and Ethiopia recently. The new Egyptian revolutionary     regime wanted to assure by all means the survival of its over 80 million inhabitant.

As history is a living lesson, in 1900’s Egypt had made two unsuccessful wars with Ethiopia in Eritrea with the help of European and US confederated mercenary fighters to have full hegemony over the source the Blue Nile.

According to our sources form   Eritrean January 21st mutineers, G7   have already getting the necessary instruction by the Nile state through Eritrea for destabilizing the regime in Addis Ababa.

The new Revolutionary regime in Egypt is said to playing carrot and stake in its new geostrategic plan for Africa. In one hand Dr. Mursi calling rapprochement with Nile basin countries, on the other he is working to destabilizing them to slow down the damming of the river Nile.

The Eritrean B. G. Teleke Keflay alias Menjus is seen escorting Egyptian security forces close to Sawa in the Northern part of Eritrea. They were seen arriving   on northern Eritrean Red Sea cost.

The Eritrean regime strategy is following the foot step of Egypt proposing peace with Ethiopia one hand and preparing war on the the other. Thus the long neglected Eritrea would revive financially and Geo strategically in the region.

Sources   EPPF from Asmara

Source

Info@eppf.net

 

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Adwa 117 Years since March 1, 1896 a day Africa was victorious against the European Colonialists

 

The battle of Adwa of March first of March, 1896 a great victory and pride for Africans at home and Diaspora. The victory assured that Ethiopia successfully resists European colonization.

Italy the late comer to the scramble for Africa in the late 19th century   was allocated to Ethiopia but just needed to take control. The Italians and the rest of the European powers present at the Berlin Conference 1880’s wrongly assumed that Ethiopia was made up of rival tribes fighting one another and thought it would be a quick promenade for their 20,000 strong highly trained invasion forces. They never thought  what they call “tribal back word savages” could be united raising a much larger patriotic people’s army to defend their country and even to win an all out war.

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Map of the Battle of Adowa, between the forces of General Oreste Baratieri, Italian governor of Eritrea and Menelik II, Emperor of Ethiopia.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The main cause of the Battle being the European colonial ambition it manifested through the deferent treaty the colonial powers used to cheat the Africans. This was highly manifested by Italo Ethiopian Treaty known as the Wechale Treaty.   The colonial manipulation started when Menelik II came to the throne in 1889 the Italians thought that he would surrender sovereignty to them since they had been supplying him with ammunitions. They succeeded to manipulate the king on  May 2, 1889, to make him  sign  the Treaty  of Uccialli in the province of Wello, with which Menelik accorded for the  Italians some land in Tigre to the already concession he has made by letting them to take Eritrea. In this famous once sided treaty, they   tricked Menelik by having two different versions- one in Italian and other in Amharic. The secret of the Italian plan was manifested on   article 17 which read in one in Amharic and other in Italian.   Thus the Italian version read: –

The Emperor consents to use the Italian government for all the business he does with all the other Powers or Governments“.
The Amharic version reads:-
The Emperor has the option to communicate with the help of the Italian government for all matters that he wants with the kings of Europe.”

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When Menelik realized that he had been cheated he immediately rejected the treaty and refused all further offers of gifts from the Italians. Turkey, Russia and France stood to the Ethiopian version of the story.  Finally Menelik decided to confront the advancing Italian Army which has already occupied Tigre Provence without his contentment.

As a result in September of 1895, Menelik, King of Kings of Ethiopia mobilized the population of Ethiopia to arms. Over 100,000 Ethiopians gathered under his rank to liberate his occupy province by the Italian forces.

 

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“God, in his bounty, has struck down my enemies and enlarged my empire and preserved me to this day. I have reigned by the grace of God….Enemies have come who would ruin our country and change our religion. They have passed beyond the sea which God gave us as our frontier….These enemies have advanced, burrowing into the country like moles. With God’s help I will get rid of them.”

Menelik divided his Army under three leaders:-

  1. Emperor Menelik II, The King of Kings of Ethiopia
  2. Empress Taytu Betul, The Wife of Menlik II
  3. Negus Tekle Haymanot Tessemma ,
  4. Ras Welle Betul ;
  5. RasMengesha Atikem ;
  6. Ras Mengesha Yohannes ;
  7. Ras Alula Engida ;
  8. Ras Mikael of Wollo;
  9. Ras Makonnen Wolde Mikael;
  10. FitawrariGebeyyehu,

[stream provider=youtube flv=http%3A//www.youtube.com/watch%3Fv%3DYdEifBqlcvI img=x:/img.youtube.com/vi/YdEifBqlcvI/0.jpg embed=false share=false width=340 height=260 dock=true controlbar=over bandwidth=high autostart=false /]

 

On the night of 29 February and the early morning of 1 March three Italian brigades advanced separately towards Adwa over narrow mountain tracks, while a fourth remained camped.  The Italiano Forces were led by:-

  1. General Oreste Baratieri ;
  2. Brgdaire Matteo Albertone,
  3. Giuseppe Arimondi,
  4. Giuseppe Ellena  and
  5. Vittorio Dabormida.
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These invading Italian forces were made up of 18,000 infantry and 56 artillery guns, and with many thousands of   Eritrean militias were prepared to fight against Menelik II on the battle field.

At 6:00 on the 1st of March 1896 the Italian Gen.  Albertone used the Eritrean askari peasant fighters to face their brother Ethiopian as is always the game to make the enemy to kill one another at a place called Kidane Meret. This was the hill where the Ethiopians had managed to set up their mountain out front.  On the hill side though outnumbered by the Eritrean askaris, the Ethiopian fighters were able to hold their position for two hours which they broke the rank of the Italians and able to capture General Albertone’s.  At such heroic fight the Italian and their remaining askaris dispersed leaving the wounded and the dead.  Seeing the capture of the Albertone Gen  Arimondi’s brigade joined the fight at the last minute and start punching the Ethiopians to liberate the captured Italians. The Ethiopians fought courageously  and battled the colonizers three  hours while Menelik himself joined the combat with his  25,000 strong  Shewans people’s army and  broke their back bones once for good. Brigadier Dabormida now made a fatal error as he retreated from Menelik’s push, he was cornered  into a narrow hill where he  was ransacked  by Ras Mikael ‘s Oromo Army . They wiped him  out, his body was never recovered. The last blow came at noon the next day   when Negus Tekle Haymonot led his  Gojjam forces  break the back bone of  the remaining  Italian brigade.  This happened when Negus  was attacked by the last of the invading army which he  destroyed and by one o’clock the battle was finished with victory to the African Army.

The battle was bloody over 8,000 Italians died and 1500 wounded many captured fighting hard to save the pride of European colonizers, but  with no avail. Almost the same amount of Ethiopians perished in this decisive war of history in the African heartland after the war of the Zulu in South Africa  and Mhadist victory against the Britons in Khartoum led by Mahadi.

“In Ethiopia, the military genius of Menelik II was in the best tradition of Piankhi, the great ruler of ancient Egypt and Nubia or ancient Ethiopia, who drove out the Italians in 1896 and maintained the liberties of that ancient free empire of Black men.” Huggins and Jackson analyzed the victory not only in terms of its significance to the postcolonial African world, but also in terms of its linkage to the tradition of ancient African glories and victories.  An Introduction to African Civilizations, Huggins and Jackson write

 

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Ethiopianism A Paradigm Shift for Change December 2012 ” Doom Day Announced “

 

 

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  • ThumbnailEthiopian three peacekeepers killed in Darfur
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  • 55 Somalis, Ethiopians dead or missing in boat capsize -AFP:

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  • Oromo_OfficalsEthiopian Court slaps lengthy terms against opposition leaders – Sudan Tribune: Plural news and views on Sudan

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Police hunting missing Eritrea players | News.com.auEritrean team

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First African dictator to be condemned by ICC Charles Taller paved the way for the African dictators like Issias Afewerki, Melese Zenawie etc…

Charles Taller the First African dictator to be condemned by ICC paved the way for the  African dictators like  Issias Afewerki, Melese Zenawie  etc…

 

Charles Taylor (1990)

Eritrean president Isaias Afwerki in joint press briefing in Asmara, December, 10, 2002. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Former President of Liberia 1997-2003 is “criminally responsible” to provide weapons, in exchange for diamonds, the rebel Revolutionary United Front (RUF) in Sierra Leone, killing dozens of mutilated and enslaved thousands of people, according to the Special Court for Sierra Leone (SCSL). In the horn of Africa Isaias Afwerki have prepared and trained the undefeated Alshabab with over 11’000 AMISON solider to this day and is training thousands to this day to destabilize the region and Somalia since 1991.

Taller ex-guerrillas and ex-con in the United States, was born 29th Taylor January 1948 at Arthington, 25 kilometers northeast of the Liberian capital of Monrovia in a family of fifteen brothers.

After studying economics at Boston University (USA), returned to Liberia in April 1980 after the military coup, to join the government of Samuel Doe, who was to manage procurement.

But the charge did not last long because in 1983 he was the embezzlement of over a million dollars to an account in the U.S., after he fled to this country accused, where he was arrested and sent to prison, but in 1985 he escaped from prison along with four other prisoners saw the bars of a disused laundry.

English: Muammar Qaddafi, the Libyan chief of ...

In is exile in Libya , the protection of Muammar al-Qaddafi decided enjoyed, and later in the Ivory Coast, where he founded the National Patriotic Forces of Liberia (NPFL) like that  of Isaias Afwerki  and Melese Zenawie supported and financed by dead Libyan dictator while in struggle. He even declared in his parliaments in 1991” Melese is converted in Libya to get the money.”

24th December 1989, more than four years after escaping from prison in the U.S., Taylor in the Ivorian city of Nimbi on the Liberian border again, at the top of the NPFL and came with his troops to Liberia in an attempt to Doe, who eventually assassinated in September 1990, to overthrow.

 Charles had an impact on the civil war in Liberia (1990-1995), with thousands dead and nearly a million refugees.

He was involved after the intervention of the United Nations and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), the various factions in the conflict, in Abuja (Nigeria) signed a peace agreement on 20 August 1995, was created by the body, transition ruled the country until the elections in July 1997.

Taylor, in his new group, the National Patriotic Party won (PNP) , the election with 75.32 percent of the vote, despite his campaign slogan “He killed my mother, My father was killed, but you will agree. ”

According to experts from the African country, why the Presidency of Liberia, Taylor has been so strong campaign of terror and anguish of the people to start a new civil war, when he defeated was.

During his tenure, Taylor provided arms to the rebels of the Revolutionary United Front (RUF) in Sierra Leone, one of the stakeholder groups from the civil war in this country that has killed and maimed tens of thousands of enslaved people and to exploit than the diamond mines of the country. In parallel the the horn of  African student of Mohammed Kaddafi Isasias Afwerki with hundreds of training camps to destabilize the region not realy helping them for the liberation of their country but as a proxy by it own ends are working thousands to work in the farm and the new find gold mines.

In return, Taylor received RUF these gems , the so-called “blood diamonds”  while Isaias helps him to get a continues  support by the Mediterranean dead dictator of Libya .

In May 2001 the UN imposed sanctions on Liberia, and two years later, in June 2003 accused the Special Court in Sierra Leone, founded in 1996 and supported by the United Nations, against Taylor for war crimes and crimes humanity. The same was with Eritrea two sanctioned one in 2006 and 2011 nothing changes to this day.

For Taller in 1 August approved in 2003 by the UN to send a multinational peacekeeping force in the country and the day after Taylor resigned, after which they began their exile in Calabar announced (Nigeria).

29th March 2006 Taller  was arrested while trying to flee Nigeria, knowing that the Nigerian government had accepted his deportation and extradition to the Liberian authorities.

On the same day  rasladado in Freetown (Sierra Leone) was where he caught , and soon afterwards the Dutch government agreed that the trial was held in The Hague while the United Kingdom agreed that Taylor to serve his sentence in one of its prisons.

20th June 2006, Taylor came to The Hague court on eleven counts of war crimes and crimes against humanity, including murder and mutilation of civilians, with women and girls as sex slaves and forced recruitment of children and adults in exchange for smuggling. The Eritrean deadly dictator also forces children to become his proxy fighters form Tigerian region of Ethiopia.

The process began in June 2007 and he said more than 110 witnesses, including the model Naomi Campbell, whose dictator was “blood diamonds” have to.

In March 2011, was negotiating for the test seen and after more than a year of deliberations, the Special Court for Sierra Leone on 26 April convicted and announced the sentence today.

 

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Africa Land of Dictators waiting for Social tsunami

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Following the Social Tsunami in the Arab World, it is a high time the continent of Africa to get rid of its dictators and join the democratic world. Recently Associated Press dressed a list of African remaining “Big Men” – the leaders who refuse to surrender power, and their sons. We have added the Algerian dictator to the list and made the images to complete the work.

 

Teodoro Obiang Nguema of Equatorial Guinea, 69 – Took power in a bloody coup in 1979.

Jose Eduardo dos Santos of Angola, 68 – President since 1979. Promised elections from 2006 until last year, when a new constitution abolished presidential balloting. The leader of the party that wins most parliament seats becomes president.

Denis Sassou-Nguesso of Republic of Congo, 67 – President from 1979 until a 1992 election defeat, seized power again in 1997 with help from Angolan troops.

Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe, 87 – Elected 1980 after a seven-year war for black rule. Refused to accept a 2008 election defeat and is pushing to end a shaky unity government coalition.

Paul Biya of Cameroon, 77 – President since 1982. Has won questionable elections since 1992. Changed constitution so he can run again this year.

Yoweri Museveni of Uganda, about 66 – President since 1986 when he took power as a rebel leader and ended a civil war. Refused to hold elections until 1996. Most recently reelected March 9 in elections opposition claims were rigged.

King Mswati III of Swaziland, 42 – Succeeded his father in 1986. The last absolute monarch in the world.

Blaise Compaore of Burkina Faso, 60 – Took power from his best friend, assassinated in the 1987 palace coup. Changed the constitution limiting presidential terms. Holds elections whose results are disputed by a fragmented msg opposition.

Omar al-Bashir of Sudan, 67 – Led a bloodless coup in 1989. First sitting head of state indicted by the International Criminal Court, for war crimes and crimes against humanity in Darfur.

Idriss Deby of Chad, 59 or 60 – Seized power in a 1990 coup. Eliminated constitutional term limits to contest questionable elections. Faces voters in April.

Meles Zenawi of Ethiopia, 55 – Part of a rebel group that ended a civil war in 1991. Elected in 1995. Has held questionable elections marred by riots and bloodshed.

Isaias Afwerki of Eritrea, 65 – Led the Eritrean rebel movement that helped end Ethiopia’s civil war in 1991 and ushered in Eritrea’s independence, with him as president, in 1993. Says he expects to live another 40 to 50 years and Eritrea may hold elections in 30 or 40 years.

Paul Kagame of Rwanda, 53 – Led rebels who ended Rwanda’s genocide in 1994. Elected since 2000 in elections from which all meaningful opponents have been barred.

Yahya Jammeh of Gambia, 45 – Took power in a 1994 coup and vows to never leave. Tribal chieftains are campaigning to make him king.

Ismail Omar Guelleh of Djibouti, 67 – Elected 1999 to continue a 30-year family dynasty. Changed constitution so he can run for a third term in April.

Faure Gnassingbe of Togo, 44 – Won disputed 2005 elections to succeed his father, who ruled for 38 years.

Ali Bongo of Gabon, 52 – Won 2009 elections amid charges of vote-rigging and violent protests after the death of his father, who had ruled since 1967.

Laurent Gbagbo of Ivory Coast, 65 – Assumed office in 2000 after elections barring leading opponents. Lost 2010 elections but refuses to step down.

Abdelaziz Bouteflika, 74 President of Algeria. He has been in office since 1999. He has continued emergency rule and presided over the end of the bloody Algerian Civil War in 2002