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  • Ethiopia: Ex-ONLF rebels in Ogaden learn new skills

    Fighters who surrendered taking up classes, such as carpentry, to start afresh after years of battling the government.

    Former rebel fighters with the Ogaden National Liberation Front (ONLF), which has been battling against the government for an independent state for ethnic Somalis in Eastern Ethiopia for decades, are learning new skills to make fresh starts.

    Gored Osman Ali is one fighter who laid down his arms and surrendered to the Ethiopian military two years ago.

    He is learning carpentry in what the Ethiopian government describes as a programme to teach the ex-fighters new skills and integrate them into society.

    Ali, who is heavily scarred from sustaining nine wounds during his time with the group, says he joined the ONLF when he was 15 years old.

    "I realised there was no way a solution could be found using force and whatever perception I had in the beginning I was wrong,” he told Al Jazeera.

    Ogaden is officially known as the Somali region of Ethiopia.

    The Ethiopian government has said that hundreds of ONLF fighters have been captured or surrendered in recent years, insisting the conflict is over. 

    Both the Ethiopian government and the ONLF have accused each other of committing human rights abuse including killing of civilians, torture and rape. There has been no formal political settlement. 

    Source: Al Jazeera

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  • A new mega hydroelectric project in Ethiopia for Salini Impregilo €2.5 billion contract signed for the Koysha dam

    MILAN, MAY 24, 2016 - Salini Impregilo continues to be a partner in development for Ethiopia as it will build a new hydroelectric plant in the Koysha area. The new megaproject is worth €2.5 billion and will have an installed capacity of 2,200 MW. The client is the Ethiopian Electric Power (EEP). The project includes a 170 metre high rolled compacted concrete (RCC) dam; the reservoir volume is 6000 million cubic metres. The hydroelectric plant will annually produce 6,460 GWh.

    This new important project together with GIBE III, which went into operation recently and GERD (the Grand Renaissance Dam) on the Blue Nile will enable Ethiopia to become Africa’s leader in terms of energy production.

    The Country has been rapidly growing for many years now, and will soon become the driving force of the African continent. The large infrastructure projects that have characterized the past few years do not only sustain growth, but also contribute to achieving the goal of transforming Ethiopia into Africa's energy hub.

    As of today, Ethiopia exports energy in Kenya, Sudan and Djibouti, its closest countries. The authorities do not exclude reaching markets like Europe and the Middle East in view of the potential of the hydroelectric plants being built. 

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  • Floods and landslides kill over 100 in Ethiopia

    At least 20,000 homeless as meteorologists blame this year's particularly powerful El Nino for country's high rainfall.

    About 100 people have been killed by floods and landslides across Ethiopia that started last month, government officials say.

    At least 20,000 families have been made homeless, according to the UN, while local officials say there are a number of people still missing.

    Meteorologists have blamed this year's particularly powerful El Nino weather phenomenon for the country's high rainfall.

    Aid organisations anticipate continued flooding could displace tens of thousands more.

    "People can be affected in different ways. They can have damaged crops, they can lose their livestock, and in the more extreme cases, lose their entire households and go really quite destitute," Paul Handley, of the UN's Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) in Ethiopia, said.

    The floods have also hampered distribution of vital aid to drought-affected areas.

    The situation is exacerbated because more than 10 million people have been forced to rely on aid after the country suffered its worst drought in decades that lasted at least a year.

    Handley said the six affected regions had already been in a dangerous situation relating to food security.

    "This is where the 10.2 million people that we've been assisting already are," he said.

    "But now they are also suffering from the flooding. It's really adding to the already-dire situation."

    Source: Al Jazeera 

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  • Getachew Ambaye Appointed the First Attorney General

    Getachew Ambaye, minister of Justice (MoJ) up until today, has been appointed as the first Attorney General in the newly established Federal Attorney.

    Parliament has approved the draft bill establishing the office earlier last month, after a heated debate and ample back and forth. The establishment of the Office and appointment of Getachew will kick start a process that relinquishes the MoJ – and all entities that have prosecutory powers, including special prosecutors of the Ethiopia Revenues & Customs Authority (ERCA), Federal Ethics &Anti-corruption Commission (FEACC), and the Trade Practice & Customer Protection Authority (TPCPA), to be followed by major reshuffle of heads and general human resource streamlining.

    Source: AddisFortune

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  • Economic boom bringing Ethiopian diaspora home - Washington Post

    ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia (The Washington Post) - The first time Abezash Tamerat returned to her native Ethiopia, she walked out of the airport terminal’s sliding doors only to turn around and walk right back in, briefly overwhelmed by the press of beggars and taxi drivers clamoring outside.

    Abezash Tamerat, who left Ethi­o­pia as a child and grew up in foster care in Georgia, founded a charity that helps HIV-positive orphans in Ethi­o­pia and recently moved back to Addis Ababa for good with her children. (Aida Muluneh/For The Washington Post)

    Tamerat had left Ethiopia as a child and grown up in foster care in Georgia. Now she was going back as a 20-year-old to rediscover the far-off, unfamiliar place that had shaped her identity.

    She arrived with about $40, trusting in a credit card in a country that even then, in 2003, had no ATMs. A week later, she was back at the airport trying unsuccessfully to change her ticket and get an early flight home to Atlanta.

    Frustrated, she gave her quest another chance, staying on to find her birth family, learn ­Amharic and start a home for HIV-positive orphans. Later, she founded Artists for Charity, a network of artists, volunteers and donors that supports the home. After many more trips, Tamerat, now 34, finally made the decision that more and more members of the Ethiopian diaspora are making: She returned to Addis Ababa for good last year.

    An estimated 2 million Ethiopians live abroad, driven out by years of war, famine and economic hardship. A report by the Migration Policy Institute puts the number of first- and second-generation Ethiopian immigrants in the United States at about 250,000.

    Now, courted by the Ethiopian government, many are bringing back money and skills acquired in the West, helping to transform a society still hobbled by the legacy of the 17-year communist dictatorship that ended in 1991. Over the past decade, a country that was once a byword for famine and privation has seen consistently high growth, welcoming foreign investment and pouring money into infrastructure.

    The homecoming is not easy for most. Returnees confront not just a complex bureaucracy, but also frequent suspicion from those who stayed and weathered the hard years. Yet they have changed the face of Ethiopia’s cities — launching businesses, opening art galleries, cafes and salons, and founding hospitals.

    Read more from The Washington Post

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