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  • Ethiopia extends support to drought-stricken parts of the Somaliland administration

    Following the declaration of the existence of serious drought conditions in parts of the Somaliland administration, the Government of Ethiopia has donated over 7200 quintals of emergency food assistance and 26, 667 cartons of milk to the region.

    Although parts of Ethiopia are also hit by the recent drought, the decision to support Somaliland has been a testament to the good neighborliness and longstanding fraternity between the peoples of the two sides.

    Source: Facebook page of The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ethiopia

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  • Ethiopia and South Sudan agree to construct oil route

    February 24, 2017 (ADDIS ABABA/JUBA) - President Salva Kiir and Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn have agreed to build a road linking the two countries enabling South Sudan to export its oil to the landlocked Ethiopia.

    President Kiir arrived in Ethiopia Thursday afternoon on a three-day official visit.

    Kiir and Desalegn on Friday signed eight cooperation agreements to enhance economic cooperation and border security between the two neighbouring countries.

    Speaking at the signing ceremony in Addis Ababa, the Ethiopian prime minister welcomed the agreement saying "We don’t need to go too far distance to import oil while South Sudan is close by here with us," the Ethiopian premier said.

    Hailemariam further said Ethiopia is currently constructing a highway from Dima to Raad and intends to extend this road further to Boma as part of its plans to boost economic ties with the world’s youngest nation.

    The highways due to be constructed will stretch from Gambella-Pagak-Palouge while the second one from Dima-Raad-Boma-Bor.

    The minister at the South Sudanese presidency, Mayiik Ayii, Gai, said the construction of the road comes together with the building of a refinery in Upper Nile with the capacity to process up top 100,000 barrels of oil per day. This project is funded by Swiss and U.S companies.

    "If the construction of this refinery is completed and the road is completed, we will have access to some hard currency through these refined products”, he told Sudan Tribune.

    He went further to say that the refinery will allow South Sudan to export refined fuel products at very decent prices to countries in the region, including Ethiopia.

    South Sudan currently exports its oil crude to the international market through Port Sudan, and imports fuel from countries in the region.

    The leaders said the trans-border highway projects will allow free movement of people, enhance trade exchange and social ties between peoples of the two sisterly countries.

    The two countries have also signed agreements on power, trade, health, infrastructure, information, communication and media.

    Another deal was also reached to establish a joint border committee which follows up implementation of joint development activities along with their shared border.

    A joint border administrators/governors committee will be formed in the earliest time possible to strengthen cooperation on issues of security, trade and infrastructure development.

    With regard to the political turmoil and finding durable solution to the conflict in South Sudan the two sides recognized "the need to work together for the implementation of the agreement on the resolution of the conflict in South Sudan" signed in Addis Ababa in August 2015.

    The two leaders further agreed to jointly work together for an inclusive process of the national dialogue in South Sudan.

    President kiir declared national dialogue on December 2016 in a bid to arrest nearly three-years long conflict.

    He called on armed opposition groups to lay down arms and join the national dialogue.

    Earlier this week, Kiir renewed his call on opposition groups to join the "open forum" arguing the national dialogue is the best option to consolidate peace in South Sudan.

    Source: sudantribune

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  • East Libya bans travel for those aged between 18 and 45

    Eastern Libya has banned men and women between the ages of 18 and 45 from travelling abroad without permission.

    The region's military chief of staff, Abdelrazzak Al-Naduri, said the aim of the move was to prevent people from joining terrorist groups abroad.

    Libya has rival administrations in the east and west, and much of the country is effectively controlled by militias.

    The new order comes days after a controversial ban on women's travel was introduced, and quickly suspended.

    That order, also issued by the authorities in eastern Libya, prevented women under 60 from travelling without a male companion.

    Libyans in other parts of the country are unlikely to be affected by the new ban, because the two rival centres of power do not recognise each other's authority.

    The new order means eastern Libya's military intelligence and ministry of interior will be responsible for issuing permits for those who wish to travel.

    A source at the military chief of staff's office told the BBC the order was likely to be a temporary one, and that most travellers would be able to obtain a security clearance within a day.

    But he did not specify what the criteria for a travel permit would be.

    The short-lived ban on women's travel was also introduced for national security reasons, the military said.

    It claimed that some women were communicating with foreign intelligence services.

    However, that directive was widely condemned and ridiculed by Libyans, the BBC's North Africa correspondent Rana Jawad reports.

    Source: BBC

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  • UN Boosts Aid for Ethiopia, Somalia to Head Off Famine

    U.N. aid agencies are appealing to international donors to provide money to scale up lifesaving operations in drought-stricken Ethiopia and Somalia, where millions of hungry people are at risk of death and illness.

    FILE - Southern Somali women carry food aid donations from the UNHCR as they make their way to their refugee camp in Dollow, Somalia, Aug. 30, 2011. Hunger is again stalking the country, and the U.N. is appealing for aid.

    Five years after a devastating 2011 famine killed nearly 260,000 people in Somalia, famine again is stalking that country. The worst-affected areas are in northern Puntland and Somaliland, where dozens of drought-related deaths and many illnesses already are being reported.

    "On Sunday, we received reports of 38 deaths due to drought-linked reasons in the Bakool region of south-central Somalia," said Leo Dobbs, spokesman for the U.N. refugee agency. "Medical cases include people with acute malnutrition — especially children — watery diarrhea and cholera. These problems are likely to grow without substantial aid."

    The United Nations estimates that half of Somalia's population, 6.2 million people, is threatened by the drought. The U.N. Children's Fund said children were the most vulnerable.

    Christiane Boulierac, a UNICEF spokesman, said the number of children suffering from severe acute malnutrition "is expected to rise to 270,000 in the next few months."

    Read more at VOA

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  • UNHCR Hails Ethiopia's Refugee Handling

    The UN Refugee Agency has lauded Ethiopia for its commitment in hosting refugees and providing asylum and other basic needs.

    UNHCR Ethiopia Spokesperson Kisut Gebrezgabher told The Ethiopian Herald that Ethiopia is prominent for its open door policy towards refugees and asylum seekers for centuries, and UNHCR as well as the international community appreciate the country and its people's generosity.

    Kisut said: ''The people and government of Ethiopia, particularly the refugee hosting communities must be commended for their generous hospitality and continued support to the refugees. The international community should recognize this and support Ethiopia to help the refugees.

    "However, considering the growing number of refugees in the country and the huge gaps in meeting their needs, Ethiopia deserves greater support to enable it  protect and assist the refugees in a better way.''

    The Government of Ethiopia has made pledges aimed at further  improving the level of protection and support enjoyed by refugees in the country and urges the international community to step up its support for the refugees and for those populations hosting them, Kisut affirmed.

    According to him, UNHCR has been providing basic assistance and services to refugees and asylum seekers, including registration, documentation, shelter, food, water, sanitation and health, education, training, as well as livelihood support   in collaboration with the Ethiopian Government and other partners.

    Besides, Kisut confirmed that UNHCR and its partners have been launching some alternative energy sources for cooking and lighting to reduce the pressure on the   environment.

    Administration for Refugee and Returnee Affairs Communication and Public Relations Team Leader Suleyman Ali for his part said the out-of-camp policy which has been offered by the Ethiopian government has granted ample opportunities for many refugees.

    ''Besides, we have urban refugees living in Addis Ababa. The urban refugees mostly came from countries like Eritrea, Burundi, Congo, Rwanda, Yemen and Djibouti. The out-of-camp policy has enabled refugees who need special medical attention and refugees with serious protection concerns,'' he added.

    The Team Leader stated that due to the ever-increasing flow of refugees to Ethiopia, additional refugee camps were launched in the refugee hosting regions, thus the number of refugee camps in the country has been upgraded to 25.

    Suleyman pointed out that there are significant improvements in Somalia refugee influx to Ethiopia because of the AMISOM efforts to sustain peace and stability in the country.

    ''The terrorist group Al-Shabab has been heavily weakened by AMISOM forces and could not pose serious threat as it had been posing before. That's why there are significant improvements as far as Somali refugee is concerned. But the Eritrean problem is still persistent. Hundreds of Eritreans are fleeing their country daily due to the gross human right abuse, compulsory military conscription and dictatorship,'' he explained.

    The Team Leader admitted that the resource constraint facing Ethiopia, ARRA and other partners has been creating setback in providing basic needs to the refugees as much as necessary, urging the international community to stretch their hands in tackling one of the serious refugee crisis in the world.

    In addition to resource constraint, Suleyman highlighted that environmental degradation and secondary movement of refugees have been serious challenges occurred with respect to refugee-hosting process. 

    According to the 2016, UNHCR report  Ethiopia is among the largest refugee-hosting countries in Africa, sheltering some 800,000 refugees in 25 refugee camps across six States.

    Source: The Ethiopian Herald

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