Thursday 18 January 2018
(AFP (eng) 01/18/18)
Egypt's President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi and Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn said Thursday at talks in Cairo they were opposed to any "conflict" over the sharing of Nile waters. Sisi said that Desalegn's visit was "a clear sign for our peoples and the entire world of our political will and determination to overcome all obstacles" between the two countries. The Nile should serve as "a source of cohesion... and development, not of conflict" with Ethiopia, which is building a controversial dam that has raised Egyptian concerns over water supplies, he said. "We agreed that we must make sure that this great river never becomes an object of competition, mistrust and conflict," Desalegn told a joint...
(Reuters (Eng) 01/18/18)
CAIRO (Reuters) - Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi pledged on Thursday not to let differences over a dam Ethiopia is building on the Nile river ruin relations with Addis Ababa. Ethiopia hopes the hydroelectric Grand Renaissance Dam will make it Africa’s largest power exporter. Egypt says it threatens its water supply which relies almost exclusively on the Nile that runs from Ethiopia through Sudan and Egypt to the Mediterranean Sea. Addis Ababa says it will have no impact. Sisi said negotiations with its two African neighbors were progressing and said a deadlock over a disputed, ongoing study on the dam’s impact must end. “The Nile basin enjoys great resources and capabilities that makes it a source of interconnection, building and...
(AFP (eng) 01/17/18)
Prominent Ethiopian opposition leader Merera Gudina was freed from jail on Wednesday after the government dropped charges against him as part of a wider prisoner amnesty, state media reported. In his first reported comments after his release, Merera urged the government to hold "honest negotiations" with political organisations to consolidate a national consensus. Merera is the first high-profile dissident to be freed since Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn announced earlier this month that Ethiopia would release an unspecified number of jailed...
(AFP (eng) 01/17/18)
There's nothing covert about Roxy -- a huge market in Abidjan selling counterfeit medicine, the scourge of Africa and the cause of around 100,000 deaths annually on the world's poorest continent. Located in the bustling Adjame quarter of Ivory Coast's main city and commercial hub, the haven for fake medicine has been targeted time and again by authorities and stockpiles burnt. But it resurfaces every time. "The police hassle us but they themselves buy these medicines," said Mariam, one of...
(Reuters (Eng) 01/16/18)
NAIROBI (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - A ban on the adoption of Ethiopian children by foreigners could curb child abuse and trafficking, but more support is needed for vulnerable families within the impoverished country, experts said on Monday. Ethiopia is one the biggest source countries for international adoptions by U.S. nationals, with about 20 percent of all adopted children coming from the east African nation, according to the U.S. State Department. Hollywood celebrities Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie are among those...
(AFP (eng) 01/15/18)
Ethiopia's government announced Monday it would release hundreds of people awaiting trial including imprisoned opposition leader Merera Gudina and would pardon others convicts in the coming months. The announcement came less than two weeks after the government promised to free jailed "politicians," without giving details on who and how many people would be freed. The release of Merera, chairman of the opposition Oromo Federalist Congress (OFC), has been a key demand of protesters from the country's largest ethnic group, the Oromos. In 2015, the group took to the streets over a proposed expansion of the capital city which they feared would deprive them of their land.
(Reuters (Eng) 01/15/18)
ADDIS ABABA (Reuters) - Ethiopian authorities have dropped charges against a senior opposition leader and hundreds of others who had been jailed for involvement in unrest that gripped the country in 2015 and 2016, the country’s attorney general said on Monday. Hundreds have been killed in violence in the Horn of Africa country since protests first erupted in its central Oromiya province over allegations of land grabs. Several dissident politicians have since been jailed having been charged with involvement in...
(AFP (eng) 01/13/18)
An Ethiopian court has sentenced prominent dissident Bekele Gerba and three other opposition figures to six months in jail for singing a protest song in court, a defence lawyer told AFP on Friday. The four, all members of the opposition Oromo Federalist Congress (OFC), have been in pre-trial custody since their arrest in late 2015 when a wave of anti-government protests broke out. Bekele, the deputy OFC chairman, and the three other party officials broke into song on Thursday after the judges ruled against his request to summon Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn and other high-ranking government officials as defence witnesses, their attorney Ameha Mekonnen said.
(AFP (eng) 01/12/18)
The African Union said Friday that President Donald Trump's reported description of African nations as "shithole countries" broke with "accepted behaviour" and was "extremely upsetting." Ebba Kalondo, spokeswoman for AU Chairperson Moussa Faki, told AFP that Trump's statement "truly flies in the face of accepted behaviour and practice." "This is not only hurtful, I think, to people of African origin in the United States, but certainly to African citizens," she said. "It's an extremely upsetting statement," she added. The comment was reportedly made during a Thursday meeting with lawmakers about immigration reform...
(AFP (eng) 01/12/18)
President Donald Trump reportedly lashed out in a Thursday meeting with lawmakers about immigration reform, demanding to know why the US should accept citizens from what he called "shithole" countries. The comments, first reported by The Washington Post, sparked anger among Democrats and Republicans and revived questions about Trump's tendency to make racially charged remarks. Trump sat down with senators and congressmen at the White House to discuss a proposed bipartisan deal that would limit immigrants from bringing family members...
(AFP (eng) 01/11/18)
Ethiopia's parliament has passed a law banning the adoption of Ethiopian children by foreigners, a government spokesman and diplomats told AFP on Wednesday. The vote follows an April moratorium on foreign adoptions issued by Ethiopia's government which led to the suspension of dozens of cases, including some of parents who had already completed the legal adoption process. A spokesman for Ethiopia's ministry of women, children and youth affairs confirmed the passing of the law on Tuesday without providing further details,...
(AFP (eng) 01/03/18)
Ethiopia's leader promised Wednesday to release "politicians" from jail and shut down a detention centre where human rights groups allege torture is routine. Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn made the undertaking in comments to reporters in the capital Addis Ababa, although he did not provide details. "In order to improve the national consensus and widen the democratic platform, a decision has been made to acquit politicians of their charges and free them from prison," Hailemariam said, according to the media network Fana Broadcasting Corporate. In the surprise announcement, Hailemariam said jailed politicians would be pardoned while those awaiting trial would have charges against them dropped.
(The Associated Press 01/03/18)
In a surprise move, Ethiopia’s leader on Wednesday announced plans to drop charges against political prisoners and close a notorious prison camp in what he called an effort to “widen the democratic space for all.” This is the first time the government has acknowledged holding political prisoners. Prime Minster Hailemariam Desalegn’s comments came after anti-government protests engulfed much of the restive Oromia and Amhara regions in recent months, bringing many businesses, universities and transport networks to a standstill. The sometimes...
(BBC News Africa 01/03/18)
Ethiopia's prime minister has announced the release of all political prisoners and the closure of a notorious detention centre which allegedly used torture to extract confessions. Hailemariam Desalegn told a press conference charges would also be dropped for those still awaiting trial. The move was designed to allow political dialogue, he said. Ethiopia is accused by human rights groups of using mass arrests and detention to stifle opposition. Are Ethiopian protests a game changer? Ethiopia PM Hailemariam Desalegn 'open to...
(AFP (eng) 01/03/18)
Israel on Wednesday began implementing a plan to force tens of thousands of African migrants out of the country by April, threatening to arrest those who stay. "This plan will get under way today," Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said at the start of a cabinet meeting. Under the programme, some 38,000 migrants who entered Israel illegally, mainly Eritreans and Sudanese, will have until the end of March to leave. Each will receive a plane ticket and $3,500 (2,900 euros) to...
(AFP (eng) 12/28/17)
He may be Ethiopia's biggest pop star but Teddy Afro hasn't held a concert in his country for years, some of his songs have been effectively banned, and the launch party for his last album was broken up by the police. But sitting in the living room of his spacious house outside the capital, Addis Ababa, the 41-year-old musician is relaxed and says he is focused on promoting peace and unity in Ethiopia. "As a child, I remember that we...
(AFP (eng) 12/26/17)
Egypt's top diplomat is to visit Addis Ababa Tuesday to discuss controversial Ethiopian plans to build a dam on the Nile that Cairo fears will impact its water supplies, his ministry said Monday. Construction of the massive dam on the Blue Nile in Ethiopia has poisoned relations between the two countries, as Egypt fears its share of water from the Nile will be hit once the project is completed. Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry's visit to Addis Ababa is "a new...
(AFP 12/21/17)
The European Union called Wednesday for an independent probe into clashes between two of Ethiopia's largest ethnic groups, which officials say left at least 61 dead last week alone. There have been a string of recent clashes over the border between the two ethnically demarcated Somali and Oromia federal regions, "causing many casualties and the destruction of properties", said the EU. The cause of the latest violence is not clear but it has raised concerns of growing ethnic divisions in Africa's second most-populous country. In a statement the EU called for "independent investigations (into) all acts of violence."
(Xinhuanet 12/20/17)
Ethiopia's national air carrier Ethiopian Airlines (ET) will commence flights to the southern Chinese city of Shenzhen in June 2018, an Ethiopian official said on Wednesday. Speaking to Xinhua, Tewolde Gebremariam, CEO of ET, said the latest destination makes business sense with China being an important market for the airlines. Shenzhen, in China's Guangdong Province, is home to internationally known high-tech companies including Huawei and ZTE. Ethiopian Airlines currently has five destinations in China, being Beijing, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Chengdu...
(AFP (eng) 12/18/17)
France on Monday accepted a first group of 19 refugees who were identified in Africa under an overhauled asylum policy that will also see it expel thousands of economic migrants. While it has drawn little public outcry in France, the policy faces stiff opposition from the left and from charities that shelter migrants, 22 of which called in an open letter for France's rights ombudsman Jacques Toubon to intervene. Djamel, a refugee from the Central African Republic, arrived at Paris's...

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