Thursday 22 February 2018
(AFP (eng) 10/30/17)
Ethiopia and Rwanda will meet during November to fill the place at the 2018 African Nations Championship (CHAN) vacated by Egypt, the organisers confirmed Monday. Egypt withdrew after clubs refused to release players as the tournament for home-based footballers is not staged during a FIFA international window. The Egyptians were eliminated in the qualifying competition by Morocco, who then replaced unready Kenya as hosts, creating a vacancy in the 16-team field. Egypt were reinstated only to pull out, leaving Ethiopia and Rwanda to play each other on November 5 and 12 for a finals place.
(AFP (eng) 10/30/17)
A Dutch-Ethiopian national Monday denied any involvement in war crimes during bloody purges in Ethiopia in the late 1970s, known as the "Red Terror," in a rare case before a Dutch court. Prosecutors "have the wrong person," Eshetu Alemu said as his trial opened in The Hague. "I was really shocked when I heard what prosecutors are accusing me of doing, that I could behave like that as a human being," he added. "I deny the charges against me," the 63-year-old told the four judges. Alemu is alleged by prosecutors to have been a henchman for Marxist dictator Mengistu Haile Mariam in northwestern Gojjam province in the 1970s. The hearings in The Hague involve "a grim series of events involving...
(AFP (eng) 10/27/17)
Human rights organisations and a group of London MPs appealed to the UK government on Thursday to intervene in the case of a British citizen on death row in Ethiopia. US-based Human Rights Watch and London's Reprieve were among five organisations to write to Foreign Minister Boris Johnson over the case of Andy Tsege, who has been imprisoned in Ethiopia since 2014. "Andy's life is in danger as long as he continues to be arbitrarily detained in Ethiopia," they wrote. "The only way to ensure Mr. Tsege's safety and wellbeing is for the UK to urgently seek Mr Tsege's return home to London. We urge you to reconsider your priorities in Mr Tsege's case, and to negotiate his return to...
(AFP (eng) 10/27/17)
At least two people were killed during a protest over the transportation of sugar in a restive Ethiopian town, a government spokesman said on Thursday. An Ambo resident told AFP protesters blocked the town's main road after a rumour spread that trucks passing through were carrying scarce sugar on orders of the government. Ambo was at the centre of a wave of anti-government protests that started in late 2015 and were temporarily quelled by the imposition of a 10-month state of emergency in October 2016. Hostility to the government runs deep in Ambo, a university town 120 kilometres (75 miles) west of the capital...
(Reuters (Eng) 10/27/17)
ADDIS ABABA (Reuters) - At Kinfe Abera’s garage in Addis Ababa, cranky, 50-year-old Volkswagen Beetles enjoy a kind of life after death; their parts are never discarded but re-used to keep the city’s remaining Beetles on the road. The Beetle was born in the 1930s out of dictator Adolf Hitler’s desire to produce a cheap “people’s car” for the German family. After World War Two it sold in the tens of millions around the globe and in the 1960s even starred in a Disney movie as Herbie the “Love Bug”. Production of the original version of the curvy little vehicles ended in 2003, and authentic spare parts can be hard to come by. So Ethiopian mechanics have to “slaughter” some...
(AFP (eng) 10/25/17)
Yetnebersh Nigussie's first battle for disability rights was in law school, when she successfully pushed university administrators to provide Braille textbooks for blind students such as herself. Not long after, Yetnebersh, 35, left the legal profession to pursue a different type of advocacy as a full-time fighter for the rights and opportunities of Ethiopia's millions of disabled people. Last month her life's work was recognised with a Right Livelihood Award, often called the "Alternative Nobel Prize". But her work is not yet complete. "There are still... millions of persons with disabilities who are living in a very destitute manner in a very undignified way," Yetnebersh told AFP. "We really need to show people that people with disabilities have one disability,...
(Reuters (Eng) 10/25/17)
ADDIS ABABA (Reuters) - U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley arrived in Ethiopia on Monday, one of the first senior members of President Donald Trump’s administration to visit Africa, on a trip diplomats hope will shed light on his plans to engage with the continent. Africa is traditionally overshadowed by more urgent issues, and the Trump administration has so far been hands-off. After meetings on Monday with Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn and a senior African Union official, Haley told reporters she hoped this was the beginning of “a stronger relationship with the AU and our African partners.” “The United States very much sees Africa as a very important part of the world. We see great opportunities in...
(Reuters (Eng) 10/24/17)
AMSTERDAM (Reuters) - A Dutch citizen will go on trial in the Netherlands next Monday on charges he committed war crimes in Ethiopia in the 1970s. The 63-year-old Dutchman, who was born in Ethiopia, is accused of the incarceration, torture and murder of opponents of former Ethiopian leader Mengistu Haile Mariam in the late ‘70s. As Mengistu’s representative in the Ethiopian province of Gojjam, the man is accused of ordering the killing of 75 young prisoners in 1978 and of being responsible for the incarceration and inhumane treatment of more than 200 people. An Ethiopian court has sentenced the man to death, in absentia, for his role in what was called the “red terror”, which the communist military junta of...
(AFP (eng) 10/24/17)
Zekarias Mesfin spent months making a movie about his dangerous illegal migration from Ethiopia -- and when he arrived at the film's premiere, he was in a coffin carried by six white-gloved pallbearers. Not that Zekarias, 33, was dead. But he chose the dramatic entrance to show how close to death he came 12 years ago when he left his home in Ethiopia to journey across the deserts of Sudan and Egypt to try to get to Israel. "I was almost dead," Zekarias told AFP, following the Ethiopian premiere of the film last week at the national theatre in the capital Addis Ababa. "At the Israel border, I lost many, many friends, sisters, brothers." Zekarias could not have predicted where...
(AFP (eng) 10/24/17)
Elephant poaching in Africa declined for a fifth straight year in 2016 but seizures of illegal ivory hit records highs, the CITES monitor said Tuesday, calling it a "conflicting phenomena". In its latest report, the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species also noted that despite the overall fall in poaching, Africa's elephant population has continued to drop "due to continued illegal killing, land transformation and rapid human expansion." Global illegal ivory trade has remained relatively stable for six years, CITES reported. But 2016 saw a full 40 tonnes of illegal ivory seized, the most since 1989, as well as the hightest-ever number of "large-scale ivory seizures", the group said. "The overall weight of seized ivory in illegal trade is...
(Reuters (Eng) 10/23/17)
DAKAR (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - African political leaders, activists, and local chiefs joined forces on Monday to commit to ending child marriage in West and Central Africa, the region with the highest child marriage rate in the world. More than a third of girls in the region are married under the age of 18, with the rate over 50 percent in six countries and up to 76 percent in Niger. Driven by factors including poverty, insecurity and religious tradition, marrying off girls once they reach puberty or even before is a deeply engrained social custom in much of West and Central Africa. The practice hampers global efforts to reduce poverty and population growth and has negative impacts on women’s and...
(AFP (eng) 10/21/17)
US Ambassador Nikki Haley will be the highest-ranking administration official to visit Africa next week when she travels to South Sudan, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Ethiopia. Haley will meet with officials from the African Union in Addis Ababa on Monday before traveling on to Juba and Kinshasa for talks with leaders and to meet with UN peacekeepers, said a US statement. Haley "will witness firsthand the UN operations working to address conflict and devastation in these countries, including visits with UN peacekeeping missions and sites of other UN agencies providing life-saving humanitarian aid," said the statement on Friday. President Donald Trump announced Haley's visit to Africa last month during a meeting with African leaders on the sidelines of...
(AFP (eng) 10/21/17)
The killing of four American special operations soldiers in Niger has highlighted the increasing role elite units are playing across Africa, which is rapidly becoming a major center of US military action. Their mission is to counter the advances of a slew of jihadist movements across the continent, including Al-Shabaab in Somalia, affiliates of the Islamic State group in the Sahel region and Boko Haram in Nigeria. Of the 8,000 special forces "operators" deployed globally this year, more than 1,300 are in Africa, according to officials from the US Special Operations Command (SOCOM), which is based in Tampa, Florida. Another 5,000 or so are in the Middle East. In five years, the number of US commandos in Africa has tripled...
(Reuters (Eng) 10/20/17)
DAKAR (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - The #MeToo social media campaign to raise awareness about sexual harassment and abuse has sparked conversation in parts of Africa where domestic violence is rampant but strong cultural and religious taboos prevent women from admitting it. Prompted by sexual abuse allegations against American film mogul Harvey Weinstein, millions of women around the world have been sharing their experiences of harassment and abuse on Facebook and Twitter with the hashtag #MeToo. The movement has reached only a small part of the population in West Africa, but some women are participating in defiance of attitudes which dictate that being abused brings shame on the family, is a curse, or makes a woman unmarriageable. In Senegal, some women...
(Xinhuanet 10/19/17)
Ministers of Water and Irrigation of Ethiopia, Sudan and Egypt on Wednesday discussed on ways to continue the two commissioned studies on the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD), which are not progressing at the required level. Egyptian Irrigation Minister, Mohamed Abdel-Aty, Sudanese Minister of Water Resources, Irrigation and Electricity Affairs, Muataz Musa, and Ethiopian Minister of Water, Irrigation and Electricity, Sileshi Bekele, have on Tuesday visited the dam's construction site in Ethiopia's Benishangul-Gumuz regional state on the Blue Nile River, located some 40km east of Ethiopia's neighboring country Sudan. Since the commencement of the construction of the dam, the three countries agreed to conduct an assessment by an International Panel of Experts (IPoE) so as to build trust among Ethiopian...
(AFP (eng) 10/18/17)
Rent-a-room giant Airbnb said Tuesday that it had provided accommodation for 1.2 million visitors to Africa over the last year -- double the previous year as tourism expands across the continent. The website now offers more than 100,000 accommodation options in Africa, global public affairs director Chris Lehane said on a visit to Johannesburg. "It's an incredibly rich and diverse continent, an incredibly dynamic place, certainly a big part of our future," Lehane told AFP. Airbnb was founded in 2008 and offers accommodation ranging from single bedrooms to whole homes in 65,000 cities in 191 countries. The company announced Tuesday that it would invest $1 million (850,000 euros) in Africa by 2020 to "promote and support community-led tourism projects". "For...
(Xinhuanet 10/17/17)
Kenya's plantation union on Monday denied reports that flower farmers are relocating to Ethiopia due to frequent labor unrest in the east African nation. Kenya Plantation and Agricultural Workers Union (KPAWU) Assistant General Secretary Meshack Khisa rejected reports made by county officials as alarmist and reckless. He said that workers in the sector had the right to agitate for higher pay due to the high cost of living which had pushed up the price of basic commodities. "The governor's statements of farmers relocating to Ethiopia is misinformed, alarmist and reckless as the flower industry has continued to grow and expand rather than shrink," Khisa said in Naivasha, about 90 km northwest of Nairobi, referring to Nakuru Governor Lee Kinyanjui, who...
(AFP (eng) 10/17/17)
Though its motto is "one Africa, one voice", the reality of "Africa's parliament" could not be more different. Since its creation in 2004, the Pan-African Parliament (PAP) has struggled to make its voice heard, prompting its deputies to ask themselves at a recent gathering: "What are we for?" "Every time we're here, we obsess over the same things. If we are not making laws, then what's the point of being here?" Corneille Padonou of Benin said to his fellow parliamentarians. "This forum is not a parliament, it is just a discussion platform that does not have any legislative powers. This institution is still wobbly," said Floyd Shivambu, a parliamentarian from South Africa. "As it is, it is a waste of...
(APA 10/16/17)
APA-Dakar (Senegal) - The president of the African Development Bank, Akinwumi Adesina, will deliver the Norman Borlaug Lecture on Monday 16 October as part of the World Food Prize events taking place from October 16 to 20, 2017 in Des Moines, Iowa, USA. The Norman Borlaug Lecture under the title: “Betting on Africa to Feed the World”, will be held on World Food Day, October 16, in conjunction with the annual World Food Prize celebration. AfDB President Adesina will receive the 2017 World Food Prize on Thursday October 19, announced a press release issued by the AfDB on October 16, which also said “the prize is to agriculture what the Nobel Prize is to peace, science and literature.” The World...
(The Associated Press 10/12/17)
An Ethiopian official says protests in the restive Oromia region left six people dead Wednesday as anti-government demonstrations return to some parts of the East African country. Oromia regional official Abiy Ahmed says more than 30 people were injured in clashes in Shashamane town and an area called Boke. He did not say who was responsible for the killings. Blogger and university lecturer Seyoum Teshome says more than 15,000 people rallied again Thursday in Wolisso town against the country’s ruling elite. He says it was mostly peaceful. Ethiopia in August lifted a 10-month state of emergency imposed after widespread protests. Oromia is the country’s largest federal state and has seen large anti-government protests since the end of 2015. Rights groups...

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