Decision Ignores Gibe III Dam’s Impact on Indigenous Peoples, Environmental Concerns
July 13, 2012 (Washington, DC) – The World Bank undermined the rights of indigenous peoples and the environment with its approval on July 12, 2012, of a US$684 million loan, Human Rights Watch, Friends of Lake Turkana, International Rivers, Survival International, and the Bank Information Center said today. The loan is for a 1000-kilometer transmission line that would supply power to Kenya from Ethiopia’s controversial Gibe III dam.
The World Bank’s board of directors approved the loan without applying the Bank’s social and environmental standards to the Gibe III dam, a power source for the transmission line. Gibe III, under construction in southern Ethiopia, has been linked to serious human rights abuses and environmental concerns, the organizations said. Read more…
Competitive Elections for UN Body Would Improve Membership
July 13, 2012 (Geneva) – Foreign ministers of African Union (AU) member states should reconsider a decision that would allow Sudan and Ethiopia to gain uncontested seats on the United Nations Human Rights Council, a group of African and international civil society organizations said on July 11, 2012 in a letter. The AU is meeting in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, from July 9 to 16, 2012.
The UN General Assembly resolution that established the Human Rights Council states that members shall uphold the “highest standards” of human rights, but Sudan and Ethiopia fall far short of that threshold, the organizations said. Read more…
July 13, 2012 (Reuters) – An Ethiopian court on Friday sentenced a prominent blogger to 18 years in jail and five other exiled journalists to prison terms ranging from eight years to life behind bars for conspiring with rebels to topple the government, the presiding judge said.
Dissident writer Eskinder Nega was one of 24 Ethiopians who were convicted last month of conspiring with rebels to overthrow the government. It was the third case in six months involving members of the media.
“The court has given due considerations to the charges and the sentences are appropriate,” Judge Endeshaw Adane said. Read more…
July 13, 2012 (Igihe) – If the World Bank withholds cash meant to build a transmission line to Link Kenya to electricity generated from Ethiopia’s mega Gibe III Dam, the idea would leave East Africa without US$ 1 Billion lost inform of energy costs every year.
The transmission line valued at US$ 1.3 Billion is part of a broader plan to link the electricity grids of Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda, spurring growth and saving East African nations around $1 billion a year in energy costs.
The World Bank has been urged to withhold support for a power line that would take electricity from Ethiopia to Kenya, citing environmental and human rights concerns.
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