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  • Ethiopia secures about 40,000 exit visas for its undocumented citizens living in Saudi Arabia

    The Ethiopian government has secured exit visas for about 40,000 undocumented citizens living in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

    The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has subsequently dispatched a team to Saudi to help in the safe return of the nationals who are taking advantage of an Amnesty program between the two governments.

    Ethiopia’s Foreign Minister, Workneh Gebeyehu who visited Saudi also held talks with the national airline, Ethiopian Airlines, on how best to bring back the nationals.

    Barely a week ago, Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn expressed worry over the refusal of nationals illegally resident in Saudi to return despite the amnesty program.

    Desalegn said he feared that the Saudi government will resort to forcibly deport Ethiopians who have refused to voluntarily return home.

    The Premier was quoted by the Ethiopia News Agency as saying, “the situation that made the Saudi Government forcibly deport our citizens is being created. Therefore, it is better if our citizens come back home before various problems arise seizing the opportunity they are given even in the remaining short period”.

    The 90 day amnesty at the end of June and authorities said the numbers of people they expected to return under the program was all but underwhelming.

    The period for illegal foreigners to leave the oil-producing giant started on March 29, 2017. Those who fail to leave will be subjected to fines or face legal measures, which include forced deportation.

    Most rich Middle East countries hire thousands of domestic helpers from Africa and Asia. Most of these helpers often complain of abuse from their employers.


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  • Ethiopia court found former Blue party official guilty of terrorism charges

    A court in Ethiopia has found a former opposition spokesman guilty of "encouraging terrorism" with a series of anti-government Facebook posts. 

    Yonatan Tesfaye of the Blue Party was arrested in December 2015 after writing on the social media platform that the government had used "force against the people instead of using peaceful discussion", AFP news agency reports.

    Mr Yonatan maintained his innocence throughout his trial, but Judge Belayhun Awol ruled that his comments "exceeded freedom of expression" and amounted to encouraging terrorism, it adds.   

    "I think the government's intent and what it seeks is this: to restrict others from speaking freely," Mr Yonatan's lawyer Shebru Belete Birru told AFP after the verdict.  

    He now faces a possible sentence of between 10 and 20 years under Ethiopia's  anti-terrorism laws. 

    More than 650 people, including 63 policemen, have died in a wave of anti-government protests that began in Ethiopia in November 2015, accordin to official figures. 

    Source: AFP


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  • Ethiopian botanical scientist plans to open Ethiopia's first botanic garden

    A leading Ethiopian botanical scientist plans to open Ethiopia's first botanic garden.

    Professor Sebsebe Demissew says the continent needs people with the skills to advance plant research.

    Prof. Sebsebe Demissew, a leading Ethiopian botanical scientist, has been selected to be the recipient of this year’s prestigious Kew International Medal. The Medal is an annual award given to individuals for distinguished, internationally-recognised work aligned with the mission of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew (RBGK), to be the global resource for plant and fungal knowledge, building an understanding of the world’s plants and fungi upon which all our lives depend.

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  • Ethiopia rubbish dump landslide: Search for survivors

    Rescue workers are searching for survivors of a landslide that has killed 62 people at a vast dump in Ethiopia's capital Addis Ababa.

    Officials say the death toll for the Saturday night landslide at the Koshe landfill is likely to rise. A resident said 150 people were there at the time.

    A number of makeshift houses are now buried under tonnes of waste.

    The area has been a dumping ground for Addis Ababa's rubbish for more than five decades.

    Rescuers are using bulldozers and even bare hands to move tonnes of debris as the search for survivors and dead bodies continues.

    At least 10 more bodies have been recovered on Monday.

    Read more at BBC

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  • Ethiopia commemorates victory against Italian forces in the Battle of Adwa

    The historic battlefield, Adwa, yesterday saw the culmination of the 121st anniversary of the victory in the presence of President Dr. Mulatu Teshome, Culture and Tourism Minister Dr. Hirute Woldemariam, senior government officials and Former South African President Thabo Mbeki as well as Dignatarians.

    The event saw marches by members of the Ethiopian security forces and displays by veteran soldiers who showed up with weapons and displayed artistry. They were all draped in the colours of the country.

    In March, 1896, in the fight that last for a few hours, Ethiopians led by Emperor Menelik II were so determined and strategic to completely crush Italian battalions marching from several directions in the rugged mountainous area of the country’s northern part –Adwa.

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