Obama holds talks on security, human rights in Ethiopia

On Tuesday Obama will also become the first US president to address the African Union, the 54-member continental bloc, at its gleaming, Chinese-built headquarters.

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In contrast to the thousands that greeted Mr. Obama in Nairobi, few braved the steady rain to see the president’s passing motorcade in Addis Ababa.

Woretaw Wassie, a leader of the opposition Blue Party reported customers of his celebration had been arrested in advance of Obama’s visit on suspicion they would make a fuss.

ADDIS ABABA Ethiopia (Xinhua) -U.S. President Barack Obama arrived later Sunday in Ethiopia’s capital Addis Ababa for an official visit in the East African country. Obama is traveling on a two-nation African tour where he will…

Both countries faced similar challenges in terms of terrorism, but also human rights violations and economic growth, according to Rhodes.

President Barack Obama is closing an historic visit to the land that considers him a local son with an address to the Kenyan people. He also promised Kenya more security assistance.

Mr Obama has travelled to Africa more than any other sitting US president, and talked about the “deep” ties between Africa and the US before setting off on the trip.

As he motorcades from hotel to conference room to arena in Africa, President Barack Obama has been fantasizing about a return trip to the continent after leaving office – one with more family, less fanfare and fewer people…

While in Ethiopia, Obama will also meet with regional leaders to discuss the crisis in South Sudan.

South Sudan has been beset for months by a civil war triggered by a conflict between warring factions in the government.

But senior aides to the president say they aren’t optimistic that there will be a breakthrough at the meeting set for Monday or before an August 17 deadline set by the negotiators. During a visit here to the Ethiopian capital, he will meet with regional leaders to try to build a consensus behind a peace proposal, and to come up with a backup plan in case that fails involving increased sanctions and possibly an arms embargo.

Obama arrived in Ethiopia on Sunday night after a stop in Kenya, his late father’s homeland. The troops stayed another two years and have returned periodically since to fight al-Shabab in areas near the Somali-Ethiopian border. However, Ethiopia is a key strategic ally for the US, especially in security policy, counterterrorism and efforts to secure a peace deal in strife-torn South Sudan, which borders Ethiopia to the south-west.

The president has faced criticism for visiting Ethiopia from human rights groups that accuse the government of cracking down on dissent by arresting journalists, opposition party supporters and others.

“In many ways, I guess it’s a reward”, Margon said.

The New York Times reports that another big subject of discussion for Obama in Ethiopia will be the situation in South Sudan.

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It would be recalled that Ethiopia released from prison some bloggers and journalists two weeks ago ahead of the president’s visit.

US President Barack Obama in Kenya