Thursday, June 30, 2011

UN agency welcomes safe return of two missing staff in Ethiopia

The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) confirmed today ( June 30th ) that two Ethiopian staff members who went missing after a deadly incident in mid-May have been safely recovered. “WFP confirms that the staff members have been brought to the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, where they are receiving medical treatment and stress counseling and being reunited with their families,” the Rome-based agency said in a press statement. The two staff members went missing on 13 May after the convoy in which they travelling on a monitoring mission in Ethiopia’s Somali region was attacked by assailants. One member of the convoy, the driver Farhan Hamsa, was killed in the attack, and another staff member was injured.
WFP said it had worked closely with national and regional authorities to ensure the safe return of the two staff members. “This incident underscores the need to ensure the safety and security of UN staff,” the statement stressed. Source ( UN News Center)

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

South Sudan is planning Oil pipeline through Ethiopia

The breakaway region of Sudan, to be known from July 9 as the Republic of Southern Sudan (RoSS), is planning an oil pipeline through Ethiopia as one of its option to circumvent the 2005 oil sharing agreement with Khartoum, South Sudan’s oil minister Dr Luol Deng said in Dubai on Tuesday. Producing more than 70 per cent of Sudan’s oil, the South Sudanese administration feels the 2005 agreement, which calls for a 50-50 sharing of oil revenue between the two entities, is unfair and cannot be implemented. However, all the oil refineries, storage facilities and ports lie in the Khartoum controlled territory, which receives the crude through two pipelines. “Oil sharing has been one of the highly contested issues between us (North and South) and we have had continuous discussion over this. For now we will continue with the current mechanism and use North’s facilities, but in the future as we gain independence and pump more oil these two pipelines would be insufficient, that is why we are planning to have another one through Ethiopia,” said Dr Deng. Presently, South Sudan’s only source of income is oil and the administration feels the country has the resources to change that. The landlocked country has millions of acres of fertile land and importantly enough water to work the land as well. The Vice-President says the country has wildlife greater than those of Kenya and Tanzania — two countries famous for its wildlife tourism.The UAE would be hosting an investment and trade conference on South Sudan in the month of October.Source ( KhaleeJ Times )

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

U.N. Security council approves Ethiopian troops for Abyei

The United Nations Security Council on Monday unanimously approved a resolution authorizing the deployment of 4,200 Ethiopian troops to Sudan’s disputed Abyei region, a move diplomats said was aimed at defusing tensions in the run-up to the southern third of the country declaring independence on July 9. The resolution, which was drafted by the United States and authorizes the deployment of the troops for a six-month period, comes a week after north and south Sudan signed a deal in Addis Ababa to demilitarize Abyei and allow Ethiopian peacekeepers to monitor the situation. Diplomats said the resolution gave the force, called the United Nations Interim Security Force, the authority to take “necessary actions,” including the use of military force, to protect civilians or in self-defense. The resolution comes against a backdrop in which the Security Council has been authorizing the use of force in recent months to protect civilians in countries like Libya and the Ivory Coast, where nations are deemed to have failed to shield citizens from atrocities.
In 2011, the splitting of the north and south into separate countries was imperiled by fighting over a border region claimed by both. In 2005, the country’s opposing political parties signed a peace accord aimed at ending Africa’s longest-running civil war, which killed an estimated 2.2 million people — 10 times as many as in Darfur. Source ( NewYork Times)

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Ethiopian journalist likely held under anti-terrorism law

Authorities have not disclosed the reason for Alemu's arrest, but a local lawyer who requested anonymity for fear of government reprisals told CPJ that she has been transferred into preventive detention for a period of 28 days, pending further investigations. This is the minimum period for preventive detention under Ethiopia's 2009 anti-terrorism law, according to legal experts. Ethiopia's code of criminal procedure allows for preventative detention for a minimum of 14 days, they said. Read more….

Ethiopia donates over 5.4 million birr to 3-11 Japan tsunami victims

Just before the handover ceremony, prayers for the 3.11 victims were offered by the Ethiopian Orthodox Church, the Ethiopian Catholic Church, the Ethiopian Islamic Affairs Council, the Ethiopian Evangelical Mekaneyesus Church and the Ethiopian Evangelical Church Union. The donated money was collected from Midrock Ethiopia Technology Group PLC., Ethiopian Leather Industry PLC., the Privatization and Public Enterprise Supervisory Agency, the Ethiopian Chamber of Commerce and Sectoral Associations, the Addis Ababa Chamber of Commerce and Sectoral Associations, the Ethiopian Chamber of Sectoral Associations, the National Bank of Ethiopia and Ethiopian Bankers Association. Read more...

Friday, June 24, 2011

Rains in Ethiopia bring relief and threat of Diarrhea UN says

Although recent rains in Ethiopia temporarily relieved a severe water shortage, they have also brought an increased threat of diarrhoea, the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) reported today.
"The recent rains, coupled with existing risk factors such as poor hygiene and sanitation practices, have elevated the threat of acute watery diarrhoea (AWD) in areas previously affected by outbreaks," OCHA said. The rains helped reduce water trucking requirements, but now the UN and its partners are focusing on rehabilitation of water schemes, sanitation and preparedness for flooding, OCHA said. They are also undertaking AWD preparedness and prevention activities, including the distribution of water and sanitation supplies. The agency said that a deteriorating nutritional situation in southern Ethiopia "continues to raise concern." In particular, the Southern Nations, Nationalities, and People's Region had seen a 90 per cent increase n the numbers of persons seeking nutritional aid since March. Source ( allafrica.com)

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Sudanese Forces to Withdraw from Abyei Region as Ethiopian Army takes its position

Sudan’s army seized the main town in Abyei on May 21 after accusing Southern Sudan’s security forces of attacking its troops. The south is due to become independent on July 9. Fighting in Abyei and the northern Sudanese border state of Southern Kordofan has raised concern of a return to the two- decade civil war in sub-Saharan Africa’s third-biggest oil producer that ended in 2005. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon backed the agreement in a statement released in New York and said both sides to the conflict should “establish an administration and police service and to provide their full cooperation to the United Nations and government of Ethiopia in deploying peacekeeping troops and police to the area.” Read more…

Monday, June 20, 2011

Clinton warns African leaders: Reform or face Uprisings

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton issued a warning to African leaders today: reform or potentially face the same unrest that has threatened to topple longtime rulers in North Africa and the Middle East. In a speech to the African Union in Ethiopia, Clinton said that citizens are no longer accepting repressive governments and that the internet and social media are providing a platform like no other for these ideas to spread and take root. “This wave of activism, which came to be known as the Arab Spring, has particular significance for leaders in Africa and elsewhere who hold on to power at all costs, who suppress dissent, who enrich themselves and their supporters at the expense of their own people,” she said. “If you believe that the freedoms and opportunities that we speak about as universal should not be shared by your own people, men and women equally, or if you do not desire to help your own people work and live with dignity, you are on the wrong side of history, and time will prove that,” Clinton added pointedly. Africa’s leaders might have good reason to follow her advice, as Clinton has a track record of being right about this. In January, in a speech to Arab leaders at a conference in Qatar, Clinton warned that they must reform soon or watch progress “sink into sand.” Just days later Tunisian strongman Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali became the first dictator to fall and Egypt’s Hosni Mubarak soon followed suit. Over the following months uprisings threatened to topple the rulers of Libya, Syria, Bahrain, Yemen, Morocco and elsewhere. Source (ABC News)

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Food Shortages in East Africa including Ethiopia Expected to Affect More People, says FAO

In Ethiopia, the U.N. agency said millions more require emergency food assistance. What’s more, the lack of rain is blamed for the deaths of 220,000 cattle in the Borena Zone along the southern border with Kenya.The drought has destroyed crops and killed livestock, bringing high levels of malnutrition to the region. “Most parts now of Somalia, parts of Kenya, parts of Ethiopia specifically, and even parts of northern Tanzania and some parts of Uganda to the northeast have been affected by less rainfall, infrequent rainfall and a late start of the rainfall. So, this compounded an already problematic region in terms of food security,” Read more....

No suspicious items were found in the vehicle of Pentagon scare suspect, says FBI special agent

Previously, FBI Special Agent Brenda Heck, who heads the bureau's counterterrorism division in its Washington field office, told reporters that a non-explosive material was found in a backpack the suspect was carrying at the time of his arrest.A law enforcement official speaking on the condition of anonymity said tests were being done to determine the substance and the exact concentration. A law enforcement source told Milton that the suspect now identified as Melaku was carrying a notebook that contained the phrases "al Qaeda," "Taliban rules" and "Mujahid defeated croatian forces" when he was detained.Despite the references to the terror organization that organized the 9/11 attacks, the group fighting U.S. forces in Afghanistan and the Arabic word for "holy warrior," the law enforcement source told Milton that the suspect is not thought to have been involved in a terrorist act or plot. Read more….

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Ethiopian Annual Inflation Rate Increased to 34.7% in May

Ethiopia’s annual inflation rate climbed to 34.7 percent in May as food prices surged, the Central Statistical Agency said. Inflation accelerated from 25.6 percent in the previous month, the Addis Ababa-based agency said in an e-mailed statement today. Food prices jumped 41 percent in the year, compared with a 32.2 percent increase in April, it said. Price increases in Ethiopia, Africa’s second-most populous nation, are being driven by “excessive” growth in money supply, which expanded 35 percent at the end of March, the International Monetary Fund said on May 31. The Washington-based lender had previously projected an increase of 22 percent in money supply this fiscal year. The government has cited high international commodity prices for the rise in inflation. Global food prices climbed in nine of the past 11 months, touching a record in February, amid tightening grain supplies and increased demand, according to the United Nations. Oil prices have risen as a result of political instability in the Middle East and once they decline, Ethiopian prices will drop, Deputy Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn said on June 8.
The negative real interest rates that have resulted from rising inflation is discouraging a necessary boost to Ethiopia’s national savings rate, the country director of the World Bank in Ethiopia, Ken Ohashi, said on June 7. Without a significant increase in savings from the current official rate of 5 percent of gross domestic product, Ethiopia will struggle to finance a five-year growth plan in a sustainable manner, Ohashi said. The IMF forecasts Ethiopia’s growth rate may fall to 6 percent in the fiscal year to July 7, 2012, from 7.5 percent this year, partly because of inflation. The government’s forecast for the current fiscal year is 11.4 percent. The government will meet its growth targets, Hailemariam said. Source ( Bloomberg BusinessWeeks)

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Eritrea eruption disrupts air traffic, Clinton visit

A long-dormant volcano has erupted in Eritrea sending clouds of ash over parts of east Africa, disrupting air traffic and forcing US chief diplomat Hillary Clinton to cut short a trip to Africa.The eruption of the Dubbi volcano sent a plume of ash up to 15 kilometres into the air, the Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre said, disrupting air traffic in Eritrea and neighbouring Ethiopia, and threatening further disruptions in the region. Read more….

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Ethiopia Begins Electricity Exports to Neighboring Djibouti, Utility Says

Ethiopia began power exports to its Horn of Africa neighbor Djibouti, an Ethiopian Electric Power Corp. spokesman said. The electricity shipments began on May 27, Addis Tagele, a spokesman for the state-owned utility, said in a phone interview today from Addis Ababa, the capital. “The maximum at the moment is about 20 megawatts,” he said. Ethiopia plans to produce as much as 8,000 megawatts of additional electricity from hydropower sources over the next five years, Prime Minister Meles Zenawi said on April 30. Read more….

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Ethiopia jails 14 for AU summit bomb plot

An Ethiopian court sentenced 14 people to lengthy prison terms on Wednesday for plotting to carry out bombings during an African Union summit in January. Authorities have described the suspects as Oromo Liberation Front (OLF) rebels trained in Eritrea, and said they were caught with explosives smuggled in from the Red Sea state and neighbouring Djibouti. The bombers were accused of planning to strike a hotel where several heads of state were staying, as well as an open market west of the capital Addis Ababa, as part of efforts to destabilise Ethiopia. "Four suspects were sentenced to life in prison, six to 25 years behind bars, one to 14 and three to nine years in jail," a Justice Ministry official told Reuters. Eritrean and OLF representatives were not immediately available for comment. Ethiopia routinely accuses Asmara of supporting rebel groups, and declared in April it would support Eritrean guerrillas fighting to overthrow President Isaias Afewerki. Both sides have often traded tough rhetoric since their 1998-2000 border war, which killed around 80,000 people and left the frontier demarcation unresolved. Eritrea was part of Ethiopia until 1991, the culmination of a 30-year secession war by rebels under Afewerki. Source (Reuters)

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Ethiopia: Opposition coalition leader request a meeting with Clinton

Her other stop will be Ethiopia, a long standing U.S. security ally in the volatile east of Africa. Ethiopian Foreign Ministry spokesman Dina Mufti says that visit will be important as well. But the leader of the main opposition coalition known as Medrek, former President Negasso Gidada, says he is very disappointed that, as far as he knows, no meeting between Clinton and Ethiopia's opposition has been scheduled. The opposition leader says internal African politics are also very important. He says, as long as there are serious shortcomings in democracy and human rights, other priorities, such as development and stability, are at risk. "I think the embassy here should still try to arrange the program so that she meets with us, because it is really a pity if she does not," Gidada said, Read more….

Green card lottery: US reviews 'diversity visa' glitch

The US is reviewing its green card lottery after this year's results were cancelled, leaving 22,000 people who thought they had been chosen for a chance at US residency disappointed. The state department said a computer failed to run a valid random selection for the annual diversity visa lottery.More than 19m people entered this year's lottery, which is intended to diversify the pool of new US arrivals. The results of a new drawing of names will be posted in July. Read more…

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Yemen president to return within days: party official

Wounded Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh, flown to Saudi Arabia for emergency medical treatment, will return to Yemen within days, a ruling party official said on Sunday.
"The president will come back to Sanaa within days," Tareq al-Shami told Reuters.
Saleh is being treated in the Saudi capital for injuries sustained after a rocket attack on his presidential palace on Friday. ( Reuters)

Former Internal Security chief dies.

According to the information obtained from Reporter former Regime internal security minister Colonel Tesafye Weldesaalese passed way. Reporter said in its Amharic edition, that the cause of his death was unknown. Tesafye was one of the 23 officials who recently granted clemency over his death sentence. Many hoped that Teasfye would reveal the untold stories of the Regime or probably might write a book when he is out of prison. He was indeed the Black box of Derg era. It is also remembered that his wife died some 10 years s ago due to cancer complications.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

የዶክተር ዳኛቸው አሰፋና የአንድ ኢትዮጵያው የሴፍ ግዛቸው ውይይት

የአዲስ እበባ ዪኒቨርስቲ የፍልስፍና ፋኩልቲ አስተማሪ የሆኑት ዶክተር ዳኛቸው አሰፋ በቅርቡ በዩኒቨርስቲ ውስጥ የአባይን ግድብ አስመልክቶ በፕሬዝዳንቱ በተጠራው ስብሰባ ላይ የስብሳብው አካሄድ ስላልተመቻቸው ግልጽ ደብዳቤ ለአዲስ ጉዳይ ጽፈው ነበር:: ደብዳቤው ቡዙዎችን እያነጋገረ ነው:: ዶክተር ዳኛቸው የወር ደሞዝ መዋጮን አስመልክቶ will of all ( የቡዙሀኑን ሀሳብ) ያላከተተ የአቌም መግለጫ በምሽት ቴሌቪዥን ቀርቧል ይላሉ:: "ህዝብና መንግስት የተስማማ እለት የግለሰቦች Individual right የሚወሰድበት ጊዜም ነው ይላሉ ዶክተር:: ዶክተር ዳኛቸው ከዚህም በተጨማሪ የአባይ ግድብ ከፍተኛ ምክር ቤት አወቃቀር ህዝባዊ አይደለም ይልቁኑ ኢሀደጋዊ ሆኗል ሲሉ ይገልጻሉ:: ሙሉውን ውይይት እዚህ ያገኙታል::

President announced the withdrawal of death penalty over former high ranking Dreg officials

According to the information obtained from Ethiopian first web site , president Girma weldgiorgis informed to the general public and to the family of the victims , that the capital punishment of former high ranking Derg officials is reduced to life sentence. In view of that since these officials have served 2/3 of their prison time, it is a high probability that the former officials will be released very soon. The president concluded his speech by saying May God Bless Ethiopia. Watch the pardon speech here .

Mubarak and sons to stand trial in August

According to a court official, Mubarak would be tried on charges of corruption and intentionally killing protesters during the 18-day uprising that ended his 30-year rule on February 11, the Middle East News Agency reported on Wednesday. Mubarak was in no condition to be transferred to a prison hospital and would for now stay in the current health facility, Egypt's public prosecutor said on Tuesday. Ala'a and Gamal are being held in Torah prison on the outskirts of Cairo, the Egyptian capital. Read more...

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Clinton will travel to Lusaka, Dare Selam and Addis Abeba

The chief US diplomat will meet with Tanzanian President Jakaya Kikwete and Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi. "In Tanzania, she will highlight our successful bilateral engagement, including a host of programs, including Feed the Future," Clinton deputy spokes man Mark Toner said. In Ethiopia, Clinton will "focus on regional issues," visiting the African Union headquarters and meeting with AU Chairman Jean Ping in addition to holding bilateral meetings with Ethiopian officials. She will also meet with representatives of civil society -- which usually includes human rights and other society activists -- to "draw attention to their innovative and enterprising work," Toner said. Read more…