Thursday, May 30, 2013

Canada expelled Eritrean diplomat over soliciting fees from its citizens

The Consulate General of Eritrea in Toronto, the African country’s only diplomatic outpost in Canada, has long been accused of running a collection racket set up to finance the regime and its armed forces. As the National Post first reported in 2011, the consulate was acting as a fundraising front that solicited a 2% income tax and a $300 to $500 “national defence” fee from Eritrean expatriates in Canada. On Wednesday, Ottawa moved to shut the scheme down, ordering the expulsion of Consul Semere Ghebremariam  O. Micael over his persistent efforts to use the consulate to violate a United Nations military embargo. The expulsion order followed a government investigation that found that, months after Canada had ordered him to stop, the Eritrean consul was continuing to solicit money, some of it explicitly for military purposes. The scheme was considered illegal because the UN Security Council imposed sanctions on the Eritrean military four years ago over its ties to armed groups in the Horn of Africa, notably Al-Shabab, a regional affiliate of al-Qaeda. Source (National Post)

Sudanese Water Minister arrives in Cairo to discuss the diversion of Nile River


Sudan's Water Resources Minister Osama Abdullah al-Hassan arrived in Cairo on Wednesday morning for talks on the repercussions of Ethiopia's diversion of the Blue Nile to build a new dam. The Sudanese minister will discuss with Egyptian officials the effect of the Nile's diversion on Egypt's and Sudan's share of water, the state news agency MENA reported. Ethiopia began diverting a stretch of the Nile on Tuesday to make way for the hydroelectric Grand Renaissance Dam. A tripartite committee comprising representatives from Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia is expected to issue today a report on yesterday's events. Source (Allafrica.com)

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Nigerian president failed to show up in AU hall to deliver his speech.


Our sources offered conflicting accounts of Mr. Jonathan’s whereabouts. One Nigerian source said he heard that Mr. Jonathan had gone to the toilet when he was called. He added that a presidential insider later said Mr. Jonathan was having a bilateral meeting with a head of state from another African country. But another source scoffed at both excuses. “If the president was in the toilet, his aides should have informed the protocol at the summit to delay in calling him to speak. And if the president wanted to hold a bilateral meeting, why should he fix it during the time he was told he would address the assembly??” He added that somebody within Mr. Jonathan’s inner circle disclosed that the Nigerian president had stayed up till late eating and drinking with members of his inner circle.  Read more...

Friday, May 24, 2013

Anti-Corruption Commission targets land fraud next....


In his ten months performance report to the House of People’s Representatives on Tuesday May 14, Ali Suleiman, Commissioner of FEACC, reported that his commission is also investigating major corruption frauds in other government offices involving high level officials.On his report the Commissioner indicated that his office has finalised the long and painstaking investigation on land fraud worth close to one billion birr.  Read more....

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Ethiopian MPs, grilled Debretshion over telecom’s poor service


Listening to performance reports before the completion of every fiscal year is one of the tasks of Parliament. However, the trend that is being observed in the House is an unprecedented one. The Ethiopian Peoples’ Revolutionary Democratic Front-dominated Parliament dominated assembly of lawmakers has begun challenging and criticizing government reports and anything they deem inappropriate unlike previous times. This was witnessed on Thursday when the minister of Communication and Information Technology, Debretsion Gebremichael (Ph.D.) was presenting the 10-month work performance to which most of the reports focused on the success he said was achieved in the Telecom service. But the MPs were critical of the report. While highlighting the work performance of Ethio Telecom, which is responsible to the Ministry of Communication and Information Technology, Debretsion reported that the number of mobile subscriber in the current month of the fiscal year had reached 22.4 million while the plan was to make it at least 23.86 million by the end of the year.However, the minister’s reported did not escape strong comments and challenging criticism from MPs, specially with regard to “poor quality of telecom services” and frequent interruption of mobile networks.Of course, Debretshion, on his part, did not deny the criticism but tried to defend Ethio telecom with a heightened emotion. “It [Ethio Telecom] is like a newly-born infant. It is only a two-and-a-half-year-old infant. It is undergoing reconstruction. But it strives to do its best. We could not halt the service just because it’s reconstructing,” Debretsion, whose tone sounded agitated, told lawmakers.


“Hon. Minster, said an MP, “”we appreciated your report. I have noticed that you are emotionally defending the telecom service provider. However, if you go to the different woredas or even bigger towns, you can see frequent network interruption. There is even no service in some areas,” one of the MPs said. The question in turn made Debretsion smile and Speaker Abadula and the rest of MPs joined him with laughter. “Sorry if you find me pretty emotional. But that might be my nature but I am not annoyed. It is rather my pleasure to see our parliament like this sort of interaction and more debate,” was Debretsion’s which in turn made the MPs smile. A few years ago the management of Ethio telecom had been outsourced to France telecom before it was retained back six months ago. The very reason of outsourcing the company to the French company was to reform it and upgraded its management to an advanced level believed to be more competitive in the global arena.But observers question that the outsourcing of the company bore less result than the intended goal it was expected to achieve. In fact, the company is still run by the same CEO from France Telecom. Source (Reporter)



Thursday, May 16, 2013

Sendek editor- in -chief questioned by police over the story he published on the widow of late PM.


Ethiopian police in Addis Ababa questioned an editor for several hours today in connection with a story published in October about the widow of the late Ethiopian leader Meles Zenawi, according to news reports.Officers in the Ethiopian Federal Police Crime Investigation Department interrogated Ferew Abebe, the former editor-in-chief of the private Amharic-language weekly Sendek, about his sources for the October 10, 2012, story that said Azeb Mesfin, Meles' widow, had refused to leave the Ethiopian national place nearly two months after the prime minister's death, local journalists said. The story, which was widely covered in local and international press, cited government sources as saying that Meles' successor, Hailemarian Desalegn, was unable to live in the palace. Ferew refused to identify his sources and cited Ethiopian laws that guaranteed the rights of a journalist to keep sources confidential, local journalists said. According to the Ethiopian penal code, a court can compel journalists to reveal their sources if a crime has been committed against the constitutional order, national defense force, or security of the state, which constitutes clear and imminent danger. Police released Ferew on a bond of 5,000 birrs (US$265) pending further investigation, according to the same sources. On Monday, police also summoned a deputy editor for Sendek to question him about the same story, local journalists said. He was released without charge."Ethiopian police's demand that Ferew Abebe reveal his sources for a story published seven months ago is intimidation and tramples on the protections afforded to journalists under Ethiopian law," said CPJ Africa Advocacy Coordinator Mohamed Keita. "We call on authorities to abandon their long-standing pattern of vindicative persecution of journalists who raise questions about issues of public interest, such as the occupation of a public building by the former first lady." At least seven journalists are behind bars in Ethiopia, making the country the second leading jailer of journalists in Africa, according to CPJ research. Ethiopia trails only Eritrea among Africa's worst jailers of journalists, CPJ research shows. Source ( CPJ)




Tuesday, May 14, 2013

More arrests for alleged grand corruption


Police arrested Temesgen Gulilat, Head of Law Enforcement for Nazret Customs Branch. Police was searching to apprehend him in the same case other officials from Revenues and Customs Authority have been put in prison a couple of days ago. The man alleged for corruption was taken into custody in Gambella when he try to leave the country for South Sudan. Police found 160 thousand Br and other files the suspect kept with him. Police captured Temesgen while he was bribing Getachew Assefa, Head of Gambella Customs, with 80 thousand Br to facilitate his travel to South Sudan. Both are arrested, according to Police sources. Source ( Walta)




Monday, May 13, 2013

President Girma calls for the erection of a statue for Emperor Haile-Selassie




President Girma Woldegiorgis in a letter sent to Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn asked for a statue to be erected in honour of the late Emperor of Ethiopia, Haile-Selassie I. “A statue must be erected to commemorate the Emperor…he was the first leader of Africa and I think he deserves a statue,” the president said during the interview. According to the president, the Ethiopian government is making good progress on the matter and hopes that it will materialize. .It is to be recalled that Kwame Nkrumah’s statue, which was unveiled at the African Union (AU) headquarters, has sparked anger amongst Ethiopian scholars, historians and politicians, who feel Haile-Selassie deserved the honor. Back then, Members of Parliament have also been drawn into the debate and raised the issue with former prime minister, the late Meles Zenawi. Meles downplayed the request and defended the decision to honor Nkrumah, the former Ghanaian leader, whom he described as a pan-African.What has further angered locals was that, with the AU headquarters being in Addis Ababa, many expected a statue of Haile-Selassie to be erected. Ethiopian historians said they also remembered Selassie for his leading role in the creation of the OAU. However, Meles’s administration has often criticized Haile-Selassie’s track record. To date there are still many who appreciated the former Emperor, for his role in Africa’s independence and unity. (Source: Reporter)
 
 
 
 



 

Wife of Ato Gebrewahid Gebre Giorgis detained


According to the news from ETV, wife of the VP Ethiopians Custom Agency, Colonel Haymnot tesfy   is under police custody.  The news further said that Colonel Haymanot   was trying to evacuate various significant documents from her husband residence.  Police initially found a huge  amount of illegal monies   in foreign currencies along with properties titled under  Gebrahwhd Weldegirois  name.  Police has arrested her husband and his Boss  Melaku  Fente on Friday night may 10, 2013.

 

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Justice Minister Berhan Hailu has been sacked

Editor’s note: It is noted from Ethiopian TV news dated on May 10, 2013, police have arrested high level executives namely Melaku Fente and Gebrawhad Weldegirgis over corruption allegations. The two administrators were holding a position of Director and Vice directors  in the ministry of Revenue respectively. According to the news they are now under police custody along with 12 others officials.


Justice Minister Brehan Hailu has been fired from his job on Friday, May 10, 2013, reliable sources disclosed to Fortune. Brehan has received a letter from the Prime Minister’s Office, signed by Hailemariam Desalegn, late on Friday, according to these sources. Brehan has been serving in this capacity since 2005. He was moved to Justice after his previous ministry, Ministry of Information, was dissolved by law.

However, the decision to remove the Minister from Office has come as little surprise in the government circle. He has lost his position in the powerful executive committee of the ruling EPRDF, when elections were held back in March 2013. He was under fire during a convention of his party, the Amhara National Democratic Movement (ANDM), held in Bahir Dar in March, held as a prelude to the EPRDF congress, which was held in the same city.Seconded by a member to the central committee seat in the ANDM, Brehan was harshly criticized by the bigwigs of the party for his failure and incompetence while serving at the Justice Ministry. Source ( Addisfortune )

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

DV-2014 DV Lottery: Green card lottery entrant status check begins May 1, 2013


Starting Wednesday May 1, entrants from the 2014 diversity visa (green card) lottery can check on-line at the U.S. State Department’s “Electronic Diversity Visa” Entrant Status Check (ESC) web site to see if they won.

Applicants need three pieces of information from their green card lottery application:

CONFIRMATION NUMBER,
                                         FAMILY NAME (Last Name), and
                                         BIRTH YEAR.

Entrant Status Checking will be available from May 1, 2013 until April 30, 2014.

Click the below to find out applicants status
 
 
 

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Ethiopian Dissent Robel Phillipos released on bail.


According to the news report of WCVB a 19 years old Ethiopian dissent but naturalized American Robel philipos relasesd from custody after posting 1000,000 bond. His Lawyer Derege Demesse spoke to reporters moments after his client released on bond. Attorney Derge described that his client had no prior knowledge of the Boston marathon bombings and he is certain that he is clear his client name at the end of the day. “We are confident that we will be able to clear his name “” said the attorney. Phillipos is accused of lying to FBI agents during several interviews. He originally denied he was in Dzhokhar Tsarnaev's dorm room after the Boston bombings with fellow Tsarnaev friends Azamat Tazhayakov and Dias Kadyrbayev. He now claims he slept while his friends disposed of possible key evidence in the case against the Boston bombing suspect. The source also added that his bail agreement with court place him under house arrest as well as requiring him to wear an electronic ankle bracelet.




Monday, May 6, 2013

የአቡነ ጴጥሮስ ሀውልት ወደ ብሄራዊ ሙዚየም ተዛወረ::


በአዲስ አበባ የቀላል ባቡር ግንባታ የተነሳ የአቡነ ጴጥሮስ ሀውልት በግዜያዊነት ወደሚቆይበት ብሄራዊ ሙዚየም ዛሬ ሚያዚያ 25/2005 ተዛውሯል፡፡
ሃዉልቱ በነበረበት ቦታ የመሬት ዉስጥ የባቡር መስመር ይዘረጋል፡፡ የአዲስ አበባ የቀላል ባቡር ግንባታ ስራ አስኪያጅ ኢንጅነር በሃይሉ ስንታየሁ እንዳሉት ሀዉልቱ አስካሁን በነበረበት መሬት ዉስጥ እስከ 20 ሜትር ጥልቀት በመቆፈር ስራዉ ይከናወናል፡፡ የዉስጥ ለዉስጥ ስራው እስከ መጭው ክረምት አጋማሽ ድረስ ተጠናቆ አፈር ይመለስበታል ብለዋል፡፡የአዲስ አበባ መንገዶች ባለስልጣን በበኩሉ ስራው በተባለው ግዜ ሲጠናቀቅ የአደባባዩንና የመንገዱን ስራ በአዲስ መልክ በመገንባት ሃዉልቱ ወደ ነበረበት ቦታ በቀጣዩ አመት እንዲመለስ ይደረጋል ብሏል፡፡
ሀውልቱ በግዜያዊነት ሲነሳም ሆነ ወደፊት ወደቀድሞ ቦታው ሲመለስ ዉበቱን ከመጨመርና እስካሁን የተጎዱ የሀውልቱን ክፍሎች ከመጠገን ውጭ ምንም አይነት የቅርፅም ሆነ የይዘት ለዉጥ አይደረግበትም፡
ምንጭ (ERTA)

 

Friday, May 3, 2013

Ethiopia confirms jail for blogger, opposition figure


An Ethiopian court on Thursday dismissed the appeal of blogger Eskinder Nega and opposition leader Andualem Arage who were jailed last year for terror-related offences. “The sentencing is still correct so there is no reduction,” said Supreme Court judge Dagne Melaku, confirming Eskinder’s jail term of 18 years and Andualem’s life sentence. One of the charges — serving as a leader of a terrorist organisation — was dropped, but had no affect on sentencing. After the ruling, Eskinder made an emotional appeal to the court which was crowded with family, friends and diplomats. “The truth will set us free,” he said. “We want the Ethiopian public to know that the truth will reveal itself, it’s only a matter of time.” Both men are accused of links to the outlawed opposition group Ginbot 7. “The walls of justice will be demolished,” Andualem told AFP. Four other men also jailed for terror-related charges had their appeal quashed. One other defendant, however, Kinfe Michael, had his sentence reduced from 25 years to 16 years. Rights groups have called Ethiopia’s anti-terrorism legislation vague and accuse the government of using the law to stifle peaceful dissent. “I am very sad, I am very angry, I cannot talk rationally,” Eskinder’s wife Serkalem Fasil told AFP after the decision. Defence lawyer Abebe Guta said that justice had not been served, and that if his clients agreed, they would appeal to court of cassation, Ethiopia’s highest court. Ethiopia has one of the most restricted media in the world and the highest number of journalists living in exile, according to US-based press watchdog, the Committee to Protect Journalists. Last year Eskinder was awarded the prestigious PEN America’s “Freedom to Write” annual prize.  Source ( AFP)

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Ethiopia files sue against Nigeria


Though Ethiopian maintained Chanchangi Airlines' plane and engine, the plane is still grounded in Ethiopia because of Chanchangi's failure to pay the maintenance costs. The Eighth Bench of the Federal High Court scheduled a second appearance for the Nigerian domestic flyer, Chanchangi Airlines, which failed to appear on April 1, 2012, to defend itself against charges filed against it by Ethiopian Airlines. Ethiopian went to court on January 25, 2013, claiming that Chanchangi had failed to settle a 14 million Br bill for maintenance services they provided. The initial deal between the two airlines was signed for 772,346 dollars on February 9, 2004. Ethiopian agreed to service an aircraft and engine. Ethiopian's Maintenance repair and Overhaul Service, where the Nigerian airline was served, is certified by the Ethiopian Civil Aviation Authority, the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA). Established in 1945, it undertakes complete repair, modification, overhaul and testing for various aircraft and engines. Chanchangi, one of seven domestic airlines inNigeria, is located inKadunacity, the capital of Kaduna Region in north centralNigeria. According to the claim, Chanchangi would have to settle the payment in 60 days or pay 584,072.62 dollars in order to receive the engine, after which it would have to pay the remaining 188,273.83 dollars in four months in four equal instalments. Failure to do that would entail a 12pc fine. None of that happened. Chanchangi was summoned to appear in court on April 1, 2013; when Ethiopian's lawyers informed the court that the summons had not reached the defendant by then, although it was mailed from Ethiopia on January 31. The court reconvened on April 7, and Judge Hussein Yimer adjourned the case for May 8, 2013. Ethiopian's lawyer told the court that they were not able to deliver the summons in person because of the distance to Chanchangi's headquarters. The court has now ordered the Ethiopian Postal Service to deliver the summons and for the state-owned Addis Zemen newspaper to publish it.  Source ( AddisFortune)