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Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Mariano Barreto (Photo: ghanasoccernet.com)
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia - Mariano Barreto has been appointed as the new Ethiopian coach with immediate effect.
The Ethiopian Football Federation (EFF) announced on Tuesday that the Portuguese will take over fromSewnet Bishaw who was sacked in early February.
EFF settled on the former Ghana coach from a shortlist of five coaches that had been drawn from the initial 27 who applied for the job.
Barreto coached Ghana between 2003-2004 then coached CS Maritimo between 2004-2005.
In 2005 he moved to Al Nasr, then moved on to Naval between 2006-2007.
Mariano then moved to AL Qudisiyah in 2011.
Sources at EFF intimated to supersport.com that should EFF fail to agree on the salary with Mariano, they would consider settling for Serbian Zoran Pilipovic.
Source: supersport.com

Man accuses Britain's Department of International Development, alleging its finances have abetted rights violations.

An Ethiopian man is suing Britain's government alleging its aid money has funded human rights abuses.
The man, known only as Mr O, accuses Britain's Department for International Development (DFID) of financially supporting a "villagisation" scheme in western Ethiopia, a government-led plan to settle pastoralists in sedentary communities, according to the AFP news agency.
The case - itself funded by British legal aid - has been brought before London's High Court, but no trial date has yet been set.
"Mr. O claims he suffered severe abuse and had to flee his home," in western Ethiopia's Gambella region under the villagisation programme, his British lawyers Leigh Day said in a statement.
Under the scheme, the government plans to settle 1.5 million people across the country, which it says will improve access to key services such as education and healthcare.

Getachew Reda, the government spokesman, dismissed the allegation of abuse, saying it was "absolutely outrageous because it doesn't have any factual basis".
But Mr O claims he was forced to leave his home and move to a village with no farmland, schools or clinics before he was finally arrested and beaten by the army.
His lawyer, Rosa Curling, claimed the villagisation programme has had a "devastating and tragic impact", warning that a misuse of aid money can "devastatingly undermine the very aims it is trying to achieve".
DFID denied the charges, saying in a statement that "it is wrong to suggest that British development money is used to force people from their homes".
Britain, one of Ethiopia's largest donors, plans to spend an average of $550m per year until 2015, including direct budgetary support to the government.
About 30 percent of the Ethiopia's budget comes from donor money, crucial in one of the world's poorest countries, where the majority of the 91 million people earn less than two dollars a day, according to the World Bank.
Human Rights Watch has accused Ethiopia of forcibly displacing thousands of people under the villagisation scheme.
The commodity super-cycle – in which commodity prices reach ever-higher highs and fall only to higher lows – is not over. Despite the euphoria around shale gas – indeed, despite weak global growth – commodity prices have risen by as much as 150pc in the aftermath of the financial crisis. In the medium term, this trend will continue to pose an inflation risk and undermine living standards worldwide.
For starters, there is the convergence argument. As China grows, its increasing size, wealth and urbanisation will continue to stoke demand for energy, grains, minerals and other resources.
For example, the US consumes more than nine times as much oil as China on a per capita basis. As more of China’s population converges to Western standards of consumption, demand for commodities – and thus their prices – will remain on an upwards trajectory.
Of course, not all commodities are equal. For example, although the case for copper seems straightforward – given that it is a key input for wiring, electronics and indoor plumbing – a strong bid for iron is not as obvious, given the Chinese infrastructure boom that has already occurred over the last two decades.
Worst-case estimates have China’s real gross domestic product (GDP) growing at around seven percent a year over the next decade. Meanwhile, the supply of most commodities is forecast to grow by no more than two percent annually in real terms. All else being equal, unless China’s commodity intensity – defined as the amount of a commodity consumed to generate a unit of output – falls dramatically, its demand for commodities will be greater this year than it was last year.
As long as China’s commodity demand grows at a higher rate than global supply, prices will rise. And the rapid economic growth that China’s leaders must sustain in order to lift an enormous number of people out of poverty – and thus prevent a crisis of legitimacy – places a floor under global food, energy and mineral prices.
To be sure, intensity of use has fallen for some commodities, like gold and nuclear energy; but for others, such as aluminum and coal, it has risen since 2000 or, as is the case for copper and oil, declines have slowed markedly or stalled at high levels. As the composition of China’s economy continues to shift from investment to consumption, demand for commodity-intensive consumer durables – cars, mobile phones, indoor plumbing, computers and televisions – will rise.
There is also the issue of the so-called reserve price (the highest price a buyer is willing to pay for goods or services). The reserve price places a cap on how high commodity prices will go, as it is the price at which demand destruction occurs (consumers are no longer willing or able to purchase the goods or service).
For many commodities, such as oil, the reserve price is higher in emerging countries than in developed economies. One explanation for the difference is accelerating wage growth across developing regions, which is raising commodity demand, whereas stagnating wages in developed markets are causing the reserve price to decline. By implication, if nothing else, global energy, food and mineral prices will continue to be buoyed by seemingly insatiable emerging-market demand, which commands much higher reserve prices.
Ultimately, emerging economies’ absolute size and rate of growth both matter in charting commodity demand and the future trajectory of global commodity prices, with per capita income clearly linked to consumer wealth. If people feel rich and enjoy growing wages and appreciating assets, they are less inclined to cannibalise other spending when commodity consumption becomes more expensive. They just pay more and carry on.
Of course, upward pressure on commodity prices also stems from supply-side challenges. It is not just that global supplies of resources are increasingly scarce, but also that supplies are increasingly falling into inefficient hands.
Around the world, governments are taking greater control of resources and imposing policies that hamper global production and ultimately force prices higher. Such price increases can prove particularly inflationary in countries that import commodities. And they can be disastrous to exporting economies, which risk rapid currency appreciation and thus a loss of competitiveness.
Of course, technological advances, like hydraulic fracturing (fracking) in the shale-gas industry, could increase supply and therefore lower prices. But mounting environmental challenges, and the limited availability of commodity substitutes, suggest that a reprieve on commodity prices is not near.
There is a perennial temptation to focus on – even to overemphasise – the short-term, tactical drivers of commodity-price movements, at the expense of giving longer-term, structural factors their due. While short-term factors – for example, political instability, weather-related disruptions and speculative activity – are important determinants of prices, they tell only part of the story.
The economic fundamentals of supply and demand remain the key factors in driving the direction of commodity prices and determining whether the commodity super-cycle will persist. In practical terms, this means that oil prices, for example, are more likely to hover near 120 dollars a barrel over the next decade, rather than 50 dollars; and we are unlikely to see a 20 dollar barrel of oil ever again.


PUBLISHED ON MARCH 16,2014 [ VOL 14 ,NO 724]

With European elections looming and a host of crises here at home dominating the political debate, there is the risk that challenges abroad - including Ethiopia’s disturbing treatment of journalists - will be swept under the carpet. It is vitally important that the current Parliament and Commission not let that happen as their mandates wind down, writes Alison Bethel McKenzie.
Alison Bethel McKenzie is executive director of the International Press Institute in Vienna.
When nominations for the European Parliament’s Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought were announced last autumn, it was heartening to see that two imprisoned journalists in one of Africa’s most oppressed countries had made the list with the support of more than 40 lawmakers.
Although the award ultimately went to the Pakistani education activist Malala Yousafzai, the nomination of Ethiopian journalists Reeyot Alemu and Eskinder Nega marked important recognition of the appalling conditions that these brave people have faced since they were convicted on terrorism charges in 2011.
Yet today, there seems to be no end to the Ethiopian government’s assault on independent journalism. In February, an Addis Ababa court sentenced Somali journalist Mohamed Aweys Mudey to 27 years in prison for allegedly having information about a Somali al-Shabab terrorist cell operating inside Ethiopia. Several colleagues of Alemu and Nega are already serving sentences under anti-terror law.
Two Swedish journalists know all too well the consequences of being a journalist in Ethiopia, Africa’s second largest country and a leading recipient of EU aid. In December 2011, reporter Martin Schibbye and photographer Johan Persson were sentenced to 11 years in prison for “rendering support to terrorism” by interviewing people in the conflict-prone Ogaden region. Luckily for them, concerted international campaigns and diplomatic pressure helped win their freedom a year later.
The ruling Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front, or EPRDF, has always maintained a tight grip on the news media since taking power in 1991. Yet it strengthened its hand in 2009 by adopting the Anti-Terrorism Proclamation that gives virtually unchecked powers to the authorities to arrest and prosecute those they deem fall under an overly broad definition of terrorism.
Under the law, a journalist who interviews and reports on a suspected terrorist could be accused of distributing anti-government information. Eskinder Nega was convicted for allegedly supporting an “Arab Spring” in Ethiopia by writing about those who were inspired by democratic movements in North Africa. Reeyot Alemu, a school teacher by profession who spent her free time writing for a newspaper, was convicted for publishing a photo bearing the Amharic word bäqa (enough!) - a slogan for opposition groups.
The EPRDF has tried to weaken civil society groups as well. The Proclamation to Provide for the Registration and Regulation of Charities and Societies (CSP), also adopted in 2009, restricts the operations and financing of independent human rights and civil society organisations. Together, the anti-terror and CSP laws have a profound effect on the ability of watchdogs to monitor and critique government policies, as well as provide early warnings of troubles in this disaster-prone Horn of Africa nation.
The government has not shied from using the laws to bludgeon opposition figures and journalists. Dozens of journalists have fled the country, including Abiye Teklemariam and Mesfin Negash, two newspaper editors who were charged with plotting anti-government activities and sentenced in absentia. Wubset Taye, Yusuf Getachew and Solomon Kebede, the latter two who ran the Ye Muslimach Guday (Muslim Affairs) magazine that reported on Ethiopia’s large Islamic community, are serving sentences along with Alemu and Nega under the anti-terror law.
My colleagues and I at the International Press Institute (IPI) in Vienna and from the World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers (WAN-IFRA) in Paris were barred from seeing these journalists at the Kaliti prison - a notoriously crowded detention facility that has housed many prisoners of conscience - when we visited Addis Ababa in early November. Colleagues and lawyers for the families told us that the state prison administration routinely deny visitors the right to see prisoners. In the case of Reeyot Alemu, who has been treated for breast cancer, this has restricted her access to outside medical help.
Why should Europeans care - and why should European leaders do more than propose prizes for Ethiopia’s terrified journalists, no matter how well meaning these honours?
Because Europe has a major investment in the wellbeing of Ethiopia and its people. The country is the fifth largest recipient of development aid from EU donors, amounting to a record 690 million euros in 2011 and 557 million euros in 2012, figures from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development show. Ethiopia is also one of the main recipients of EU humanitarian aid, with the European Commission alone providing 130 million euros over the past three years to help support millions of Ethiopians and refugees from regional conflict areas in need of basic food, water and health assistance.
It would be foolish to suggest that Ethiopia’s needy should be denied aid because of the notorious policies of their rulers. But that does not absolve the EU from using its influence to pressure the EPRDF élite, which has traditionally enjoyed a chummy relationship with western leaders.
The EU is committed through its three-year-old Agenda for Change development policy to foster democratic governance in Ethiopia and other aid recipients. The 2013 “Joint Co-operation Strategy” aimed at fostering a stable and democratic Ethiopia acknowledges that “fundamental freedoms, such as freedom of association and expression, face increasing restrictions”, but those who dole out money in Brussels and the 28 EU capitals have shown little outward sign of pressuring the prime minister, Hailemariam Desalegn, to reform laws that inhibit fundamental rights.
With European elections looming and a host of crises here at home dominating the political debate, there is the risk that challenges abroad - including Ethiopia’s disturbing treatment of journalists - will be swept under the carpet. It is vitally important that the current Parliament and Commission not let that happen as their mandates wind down.
Their successors, moreover, will need to insist that the EPRDF reform if it is to be a worthy partner of Europe. The EU should be prepared to get tough, through travel and economic sanctions on senior party officials if they fail to pardon the journalists and other prisoners of conscience - and begin the process of revamping their anti-terror and civil society laws to allow for legitimate dissent and independent news reporting.
European citizens who every year provide millions of euros in aid and support to Ethiopia deserve no less. So do the imprisoned journalists, and their many colleagues who live in fear of ending up like Reeyot Alemu and Eskinder Nega.