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  • US concerns about the current protests in Ethiopia

    Statement by the U.S. Embassy

    Addis Ababa, August 8, 2016: The U.S. Embassy is deeply concerned with the extensive violence that occurred during protests across Ethiopia this weekend in the ‪#‎Oromia‬ and ‪#‎Amhara‬ regions. We have noted reports that protesters and security officials have been injured or killed, although confirmed numbers are not available.

    The U.S. Embassy expresses its deep condolences to those who suffered as a result of the violence and regrets the damage to livelihoods, economic development, and the social fabric that such violence brings. We recognize that many of the demonstrations took place without authorization, and urge all parties to support those who are seeking constructive dialog and peaceful solutions. We reaffirm our call to respect the constitutionally enshrined rights of all citizens, including those with opposition views, to gather peacefully, and to express their opinions.

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  • Pogba Could Be Announced As Early As Monday

     

    Paul Pogba is reportedly set to travel to Manchester on Saturday to complete a medical ahead of his world-record transfer to Manchester United, according to Sky Sports.

    The French midfielder has been at the center of the transfer saga of the summer, but the deal could finally be concluded soon and he could be announced as a United player by Monday, according to some of Sky Sports’ sources.

     

    United kick off the season with a match against Leicester in the Community Shield on Sunday, the 7th of August before their Premier League campaign begins with an away game at Bournemouth a week later. Pogba is likely to be announced before then should the deal go through, and Mourinho will hope he settles in quickly.

    The total amount spent on transfers by Premier League clubs this summer is at an unbelievable £544,480,000, and that amount is set to increase by a further £100 million should Pogba’s record breaking move go through.

    The Frenchman was recently asked by the hosts of YouTube channel whether he would be staying with Juventus for the upcoming season, to which he replied “Yeah”. The 23-year-old’s reply wasn’t very convincing, however it does give rise to the possibility that Pogba may not even be moving this summer.

    Should that prove to be true, it will no doubt infuriate United’s fans who have been eagerly awaiting the return of their former prodigy.

     

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  • Tension high between Ethiopia and Eritrea despite harmony in region

     

    Addis Ababa Letter: concern their fraught history may once again lead to full-scale war

    James Jeffrey 

    Tensions between Ethiopia and Eritrea snapped in June in their most dramatic way for the last 15 years.

    Fighting that erupted at their border involved tanks and heavy shelling and left hundreds dead. While military ordinance has stopped falling for now, any truce – if that word is applicable, such is the ill will on both sides – hangs by a thread, as does the welfare of both countries and the fragile peace and development spreading in the Horn of Africa.

    Initially, speculation circulated among critics of both countries’ governments that the clash was a fabrication to distract from recent critical reports published by the United Nations and advocacy groupHuman Rights Watch. Such scepticism, however, became harder to sustain as reports mounted about the gravity of the clash near the border town of Tserona.

    Eritrea calls Ethiopia the aggressor engaging in “reckless military adventures” and puts the number of Ethiopian dead at 200 and wounded at 300. While rejecting that toll, Ethiopia’s government acknowledges that “a major engagement” took place; observers suggest it took action over Eritrean support of subversive elements inside Ethiopia.

    This flash of instability actually occurred amid increasing harmony across the region thanks to increasing trade and economic integration between the likes of Ethiopia, Djibouti and Somaliland.

    Stalemate

    However, any sort of harmonising effect has long been absent at the Ethiopia-Eritrea border, which is frozen in a cold war-type stalemate following a fraught history between the two and in spite of shared bonds such as language, culture and family ties.

    After Eritrea was subsumed into Ethiopia in 1962, it fought a 30-year liberation war against the powers inAddis Ababa, the Ethiopian capital. This culminated in the fall of Ethiopia’s military dictatorship in 1991 after Eritrean fighters teamed up with Ethiopian rebels.

    A referendum followed in 1993 in which the Eritrean people voted in favour of independence. Ethiopia’s new government – created by those same rebels – supported the referendum and its decision, while Eritreans had great hope for their country’s future.

     

    But relations between the two then went downhill and by 1998 fighting broke out over the border around the village of Badme, an inconsequential piece of land; pride, however, has never been in short supply in either country.

    The following two-year war brought about a disastrous loss of life – 70,000-100,000 people are estimated to have died in scenes of modern trench warfare – and of financial resources for both sides.

    A ceasefire was followed in 2002 by an internationally brokered border resolution to safeguard the peace. Overall it suited both sides, apart from one key detail: Badme was to return to Eritrea.

    With forces already ensconced in Badme, the Ethiopian government was loath to withdraw from territory gained through thousands of Ethiopian lives lost. So it proposed that implementation of the resolution required further talks – which didn’t happen – while its troops remained on what everyone acknowledged as Eritrean land.

    That’s the way it has stayed ever since, though it has not helped that the international community has looked the other way. Now the worry is of the increasing possibility of full-scale war breaking out with a fight to the finish.

    On paper, Ethiopia, with its larger, well-trained and better equipped military, backed by years of economic growth and development while Eritrea stagnated, would come out on top.

    But there’s no telling how a final contest, or its aftermath, would play out. And if a decisive blow was delivered against Eritrea’s regime, what then? There are enough examples of how the travails of winning war prove nothing to sorting what follows.

    ‘Economic locomotive’

    The last thing Ethiopia needs as it tries to cement its recent economic and developmental gains is another failed state next door, while the likes of Djibouti and Somaliland do not want a country that many call the “economic locomotive of the region” impeded in its progress – or worse, derailed.

    Other reasons exist to dissuade either side from instigating a final round of destruction: Ethiopia is trying to become a more respected and engaged international player, while Eritrea shows increasing signs of tiring of its economic isolation and of contemplating increased international co-operation.

    However, when a conflict’s fault lines are defined along common heritage, among neighbours and even relatives, the sense of betrayal and anger felt is personal and runs deep – proving much more difficult to resolve than antagonism between strangers.

    All the while there remains that apparently unmovable hurdle throughout the decades, pride, which is nurtured by mutual loathing between the respective governments.

    So now would be an excellent time for international diplomacy to finally help sort out a real and lasting compromise settlement – but with diplomacy of an assertive nature, rather than the half-hearted approach of before. Neither Ethiopians nor Eritreans are pushovers.

    Source: Irish Times

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  • English premier league transfer done deal

    For a reminder of all the done deals at the 20 Premier League clubs, have a look below at the arrivals and departures in each side's first team.
    For all the latest rumours, listen to the Transfer Centre on talkSPORT 2 from 1pm (BST) here.

    ARSENAL
    IN
    Granit Xhaka (Borussia Monchengladbach, £35m)
    Rob Holding (Bolton, £2m)

    OUT
    Mikel Arteta (released)
    Tomas Rosicky (released)
    Mathieu Flamini (released)

    BOURNEMOUTH
    IN
    Lewis Cook (Leeds United, £6m) 
    Lys Mousset (Le Havre, £5.4m)
    Emerson Hyndman (Fulham, compensation)
    Nathan Ake (Chelsea, loan)
    Jordon Ibe (Liverpool, £15m)
    Brad Smith (Liverpool, £3m rising to £6m)

    OUT
    Matt Ritchie (Newcastle United, £12m) 
    Tommy Elphick (Aston Villa, £3.6m)  
    Lee Tomlin (Bristol City, £2.75m) 
    Sylvain Distin (released)
    Stephane Zubar (released)
    Josh Carmichael (released)
    Josh Wakefield (released) 
    Glenn Murray (Brighton & Hove Albion, loan)

    BURNLEY
    IN
    Johann Berg Gudmundsson (Charlton, £2.5m)
    Nick Pope (Charlton, £1.1m) 

    OUT
    Joey Barton (Rangers, free) 
    Matt Gilks (Rangers, free)
    Matt Taylor (released)
    Lloyd Dyer (released)

    CHELSEA 
    IN
    Michy Batshuayi (Marseille, £33m) 
    N'Golo Kante (Leicester, £30m)

    OUT
    Nathan Ake (Bournemouth, loan)
    Baba Rahman (Schalke, loan)

    CRYSTAL PALACE 
    IN 
    Andros Townsend (Newcastle United, £13m)
    James Tomkins (West Ham United, £10m) 
    Steve Mandanda (Marseille £1.5m) 

    OUT
    Dwight Gayle (Newcastle United, £10m)
    Alex McCarthy (Southampton, undisclosed)
    Emmanuel Adebayor (released)
    Marouane Chamakh (released)
    Brede Hangeland (released)
    Adrian Mariappa (released)
    Paddy McCarthy (released)

    EVERTON 
    IN
    Maarten Stekelenburg (Fulham, undisclosed)
    Idrissa Gueye (Aston Villa, £7.1m)

    OUT
    Tony Hibbert (released)
    Leon Osman (released)
    Steven Pienaar (released) 

    HULL CITY 
    IN
    Will Mannion (AFC Wimbledon, compensation) 

    OUT
    Sone Aluko (Fulham, free)
    Ryan Taylor (released) 

    LEICESTER CITY 
    IN
    Ahmed Musa (CSKA Moscow, £18m) 
    Nampalys Mendy (Nice, £13m) 
    Ron-Robert Zieler (Hannover 69, undisclosed)
    Luis Hernandez (Sporting Gijon, undisclosed)
    Raul Uche Rubio (Rayo Vallecano, undisclosed)

    OUT
    N'Golo Kante (Chelsea, £30m) 
    Andrej Kramaric (Hoffenheim, undisclosed)
    Joe Dodoo (Rangers, undisclosed)
    Ryan Watson (Barnet, free) 
    Dean Hammond (released)
    Paul Koncheskey (released)
    Harry Panayiotou (released)
    Mark Schwarzer (released)

    LIVERPOOL 
    IN
    Sadio Mane (Southampton, £30m) 
    Loris Karius (Mainz, £4.7m) 
    Joel Matip (Schalke, free)
    Ragnar Klavan (Augsburg, £5m)
    Alex Manninger (Augsburg, free)
    Georginio Wijnaldum (Newcastle, £25m)

    OUT
    ​Jordon Ibe (Bournemouth, £15m)
    Joe Allen (Stoke City, £13m)
    Brad Smith (Bournemouth, £3m rising to £6m)
    Jerome Sinclair (Watford, £4m)
    Lawrence Vigouroux (Swindon Town, £400,000)  
    Jordan Rossiter (Rangers, £250,000)
    Adam Bogdan (Wigan Athletic, loan)
    Jose Enrique (released)
    Kolo Toure (released)
    Samed Yesil (released)

    MANCHESTER CITY 
    IN
    Ilkay Gundogan (Borussia Dortmund, £21m)
    Nolito (Celta Vigo, £14m)
    Oleksandr Zinchenko (Ufa, undisclosed)
    Aaron Mooy (Melbourne City, swap deal)
    Leroy Sane (Schalke, £37m)

    OUT
    Aaron Mooy (Huddersfield, loan) 
    Martin Demichelis (released)
    Richard Wright (retired)

    MANCHESTER UNITED 
    IN
    Eric Bailly (Villarreal, £30m)
    Henrikh Mkhitaryan (Borussia Dortmund, £26m)
    Zlatan Ibrahimovic (Paris Saint-Germain, free)

    OUT
    Victor Valdes (Middlesbrough, free) 
    Nick Powell (released)
    Guillermo Varela (Frankfurt, loan)

    MIDDLESBROUGH
    IN
    Marten De Roon (Atalanta, £12m)
    Viktor Fischer (Ajax, £3.8m)
    Victor Valdes (Manchester United, free) 
    Bernardo Espinosa (Sporting Gijon, free) 
    Jordan McGhee (Hearts, loan)
    Antonio Barragan (Valencia, £3m)
    Alvaro Negredo (Valencia, loan)
    Brad Guzan (Middlesbrough, free)

    OUT
    Rhys Williams (Perth Glory, free)
    Jordan Jones (Kilmarnock, free) 
    Jonathan Woodgate (released)
    Damia Abella (released)

    SOUTHAMPTON 
    IN
    Nathan Redmond (Norwich City, £11m) 
    Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg (Bayern Munich, £12m)
    Alex McCarthy (Crystal Palace, undisclosed)

    OUT
    Sadio Mane (Liverpool, £30m)
    Victor Wanyama (Tottenham Hotspur, £11m) 
    Gaston Ramirez (released)
    Kelvin Davis (retired)
    Jason McCarthy (Walsall, loan)
    Graziano Pelle (Shandong Luneng, £13m)
    Paulo Gazzaniga (Rayo Vallecano, loan)

    STOKE CITY 
    IN
    Joe Allen (Liverpool, £13m)
    Ramadan Sobhi (Al Ahly, fee rising to £5m)

    OUT
    Steve Sidwell (Brighton, free) 
    Peter Odemwingie (released) 

    SUNDERLAND 
    IN
    None

    OUT 
    Emanuele Giaccherini (Napoli, £2m)
    Danny Graham (Blackburn Rovers, free) 
    Steven Fletcher (Sheffield Wednesday, free) 
    Wes Brown (released)
    Steve Harper (released)
    Mikael Mandron (released)
    Liam Agnew (released)

    SWANSEA CITY 
    IN
    Leroy Fer (QPR, £3.5m)
    Mike van der Hoorn (Ajax, £2m)

    OUT
    Alberto Paloschi (Atalanta, £6m) 
    Eder (Lille, £4m)
    Daniel Alfei (released)
    Lee Lucas (released) 
    Bafetimbi Gomis (Marseille, loan)
    Matt Grimes (Leeds United, loan) 
    Kyle Bartley (Leeds United, loan) 
    Liam Shephard (Yeovil Town, loan)

    TOTTENHAM
    IN
    Victor Wanyama (Southampton, £11m)
    Vincent Janssen (AZ Alkmaar, £18.5m) 

    OUT
    Grant Ward (Ipswich Town, undisclosed)

    WATFORD
    IN
    Isaac Success (Granada, £12m) 
    Christian Kabasele (Racing Genk, £5.8m)
    Jerome Sinclair (Liverpool, £4m) 
    Juan Zuniga (Napoli, loan)
    Brice Dja Djédjé (Marseille, £4m)

    OUT
    Gabriele Angella (Udinese, undisclosed) 
    Jurado (Espanyol, undisclosed) 
    Joel Ekstrand (released) 
    George Byers (released)
    Josh Doherty (released)

    WEST BROMWICH ALBION 
    IN
    Matty Phillips (QPR, £5.5m)

    OUT
    Anders Lindegaard (Preston North End, free) 
    Victor Anichebe (released)
    Stephane Sessegnon (released)

    WEST HAM UNITED 
    IN
    Toni Martinez (Valencia, £2.4m)
    Sofiane Feghouli (Valencia, free) 
    Havard Nordtveit (Borussia Monchengladbach, free) 
    Gokhan Tore (Besiktas, loan) 

    OUT
    James Tomkins (Crystal Palace, £10m)
    Elliot Lee (Barnsley, free)
    Joey O'Brien (released) 
    Jordan Brown (released)
    Leo Chambers (released)
    Stephen Hendrie (Blackburn Rovers, loan) 
    Kyle Knoyle (Wigan Athletic, loan)

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