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  • Ethiopia says UN observers not needed

    Ethopia has dismissed a plea from the United Nations that it allow international observers to investigate the killing of protesters by security forces during a recent bout of anti-government demonstrations.  

    Getachew Reda, a government spokesman, told Al Jazeera on Thursday that the UN was entitled to its opinion but the government of Ethiopia was responsible for the safety of its own people. 

    Reda's comments came after the UN urged the government to allow observers to investigate the killings of at least 90 protesters in the Oromia and Amhara regions over the weekend. 

    Zeid Raad Al Hussein, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, said allegations of excessive use of force must should be investigated and that his office was in discussions with Ethiopian authorities. 

    Reda, however, told Al Jazeera that it was not necessary to send observers to specific parts of the country since the UN already had a "massive" presence in Ethiopia. 

    He said the government would launch its own investigation into whether security forces had used excessive force and would do so in consultation with local people. 

    He blamed what he called "terrorist elements" for stoking the violence from abroad, without giving further detail. 

    At the weekend, an opposition leader told the AFP news agency that up to 50 people were killed as security forces suppressed the protestsAmnesty International put the death toll at 97. 

    Oromia, an area which surrounds the capital Addis Ababa, has seen several months of protests, sparked by plans to allocate farmland in the region for development. 

    Authorities scrapped the land scheme in January, but protests have flared again over the continued detention of opposition demonstrators. 

    Source: Al Jazeera and agencies


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  • Ethiopia gets UN Security Council seat

    The UN has been electing non-permanent members of the Security Council and Ethiopia has been chosen to take the place vacated by Angola at the end of the year.

    gypt and Senegal have the other two seats reserved for Africa and they will be stepping down at the end of 2017 when their two-year term comes to an end.

    The UN Security Council has five permanent members - US, UK, Russia, China and France -  and 10 non-permanent members.

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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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