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  • 52 people die in stampede at Irrecha celebration

    Addis Ababa, October 2, 2016 (FBC) –The Oromia Regional State said 52 people have died in stampede at the annual Irrecha celebration in Bishoftu town today.

    Because of the evil acts masterminded by forces who are irresponsible for the people and culture of the Oromo people, a violence had occurred at the celebration which attracted participants from across the country and abroad, the regional state said in a statement.

    The government had tolerated and made the highest precaution, however, “these forces disrupted the celebration disrespecting the people and the Aba Gadas,” it said.

    As a result, 52 people have died in a stampede, the statement said.

    The statement added that the people have died because of stampede, not by a measure taken by security forces as erroneously reported by some media outlets, it said.

    The regional state extended its deepest condolences for all who died in the stampede as well as wished their families and people of the regional state consolation.

    The regional state further said it would stand along with and provide all the necessary support for families of the victims.

    The regional state, in partnership with the people, will strengthen the efforts it launched to make the Gada system recognized worldwide.

    The regional state finally called on the public to denounce such acts which harm the benefit and culture of the Oromo people.

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  • EU, US authorities press charges against intruders into Ethiopian Embassies

    Countries hosting Ethiopian embassies have begun filing charges against Ethiopians who trespass the vicinities of the embassies in those countries.

    Ethiopian protesters in U.S. and Europe have repeatedly stormed embassies in those countries.

    Previously angered protesters have also briefly took control of Ethiopian embassy in London.

    Extensive and deadly violence has been taking place during anti-government protests in Ethiopia’s Amhara and Oromiya region.

    Tewolde Mulugeta, Spokesperson of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs told journalists that the ethiopian government is working closely with US and European countries to bring perpetrators to justice.

    Government officials allege that the protests in Ethiopia and elsewhere are being organised by exiled opposition movement such as the US based Ginbot-7 which had long been designated by Addis Ababa as terrorist entity.

    The Ethnic Oromo and Amhara demonstrators however say they are protesting because the government has failed to respect their political and economic rights.

    Tewolde said the western countries are filing charges against the perpetrators in accordance with the Vienna Declaration that provides the premises of a diplomatic mission, such as an embassy, to be protected by the host country from intrusion or damage.

    The Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations of 1961 is an international treaty that defines a framework for diplomatic relations between independent countries.

    The Convention provides that the premises of a diplomatic mission are inviolable and the host country must protect the mission from intrusion or damage.

    Contrary to the provisions of the Convention that provides for the invincibility of embassies and missions, Ethiopians in the Diaspora intruded into the compounds and created havoc on the compounds of the Ethiopian embassies in London, Stockholm, Washington and Canberra.

    "Some Diasporas violated international law of immunity of the Ethiopian embassies abroad by intruding into the embassies compounds when they have every democratic rights to present their issues to the embassies in a formal legal manner," Tewolde stated.

    According to the spokesperson, the Australian government has already filed a charge against intruders into the Embassy in Canberra, while the respective governments in London, Stockholm and Washington are processing legal actions against perpetrators.

    The official further said the doors of the Ethiopian government are always open to engage in dialogue with Ethiopians in the Diaspora on the policies and the development strategies of the government based on visible evidences.

    According to Human Rights Watch (HRW) Ethiopian security forces crackdown against protesters has led to the life loss of hundreds of citizens.

    Right groups accuse the Ethiopia security forces of using excessive force to suppress the wave of protests.

    Oromo opposition political parties told sudan Tribune that Dozens of their members including leaders remain jailed.

    Some of the opposition officials were accused of having links with terrorist organisation who wish to destabilize the horn of Africa’s nation.

    Ethiopia has also accused arc-rival Eritrea of backing the havoc by financing and hosting anti-peace elements, an allegation Asmara denies.


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  • Ethiopia scores high marks in Obama's refugee address

    Ethiopia is pleased with the fact that United States (US) President, Barack Obama, has praised Ethiopia's role in hosting and supporting refugees as well as efforts to improve their conditions.

    Ethiopia is currently sheltering more than 800,000 refugees out of the over 65 million people, roughly 1 percent of world’s total population, displaced worldwide.

    The US president was addressing a panel organized on the sidelines of the 71st United Nations General Assembly meeting being held in New York. Ethiopia was mentioned twice throughout Obama’s address.

    According to Obama, the role that countries like Germany, Turkey, Canada, Sweden and Ethiopia are playing in sheltering refugees and helping them with access to humanitarian assistance is exemplary to others.

    ‘‘It’s a test of our international system where all nations ought to share in our collective responsibilities, because the vast majority of refugees are hosted by just 10 countries who are bearing a very heavy burden — among them Turkey, Pakistan, Lebanon, Iran, Ethiopia. Countries that often have fewer resources than many of those who are doing little or nothing,’‘ Obama said.

    He again thanked Ethiopia for bearing the refugee burden despite difficulties, ‘‘I want to personally thank Chancellor Merkel and Prime Minister Trudeau, and the people of both those countries — because the politics sometimes can be hard, but it’s the right thing to do.  And Ethiopia, which as was noted in the video, bears an enormous burden,’‘ he added.

    At the panel Ethiopia, Canada, Germany, Jordan, Mexico and Sweden shared their experiences in sheltering large number of refugees and activities to improve their conditions.

    Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Dessalgen said they will continue to provide shelter to refugees and activities to improve their condition.

    He added that as part of its plans, the government is providing the chance for refugees to get access to education and engage in income generating activities including agriculture.

    ‘‘The government is facilitating conditions to make refugees get access to 30 percent of job opportunities to be created in various industrial parks, as part of improving their condition,’‘ he is quoted to have said.

    World leaders are discussing ways of tackling the growing global migration crisis, the biggest migration crisis in which the number of displaced people surpassed those of World War Two, at the 71st UN General Assembly being underway in New York.


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  • Ethiopian top rebel leader from Gambella region joins government

    September 11, 2016 (ADDIS ABABA) – A top leader of the rebel group of the Ethiopian Peoples Patriotic Front (EPPF) has decided to abandon his rebellion and joined the government after 25 years in exile.

    Thowath Pal Chay, former governor of Gambella region of Ethiopia, has returned to the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, and declared his comeback after leading unsuccessful rebellion for decades against the current Ethiopian government. He has been the chairman and commander in chief of the rebels’ coalition.

    “We have decided to resolve our differences peacefully, to respect the constitutional order and to operate peacefully,” Chay told the national Ethiopian TV in the capital, Addis Ababa.

    He made the remarks after conducting a meeting with the Ethiopian Prime Minister, Hailemariam Desalegn, on Thursday, to whom he personally declared the end to his rebellion.

    It is not clear how many fighters the rebel leader has brought back with him as he has failed for decades to establish a strong rebel base in his home region. He however said he was working to bring back home his fighters from Eritrean and Sudanese borders.

    Chay, an Ethiopian Nuer from the Gaajaak community which is the majority in the Gambella region, has been leading a loose coalition of rebel groups, including from different ethnic groups in the country.

    He fled the country in 1991 when his former boss, Mengistu Hailemariam, was overthrown by the current government. Chay has been living in exile mainly in the Kenyan capital, Nairobi, or in Asmara, Eritrea, and has been touring the world to Australia, United States of America, and so forth.

    He was known for being a powerful figure during the time of Mengistu where he was the governor of the former Illubabor region, combining the current Gambella region in the west, and parts of southern Ethiopia. He was also the top security officer for the Derg regime in the region.

    The opposition leader was also a member of the highest national political organ in Ethiopia, the Central Committee and the Politburo of the Workers’ Party of Ethiopia (WPE) chaired by the former Ethiopian dictator, Mengistu, Hailemariam, who ruled the country from 1975 to 1991.

    Chay has been known by the top leadership of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement/Army (SPLM/A) for his role in the establishment of the movement in May 1983 as he was the top Ethiopian official who received late John Garang de Mabior across the border into Ethiopia.

    He also handed over to the late Garang the military headquarters, Bilpam, located inside Ethiopia’s Gambella region, after dislodging from the area the Anya Nya 2 fighters led by late Vincent Kuany Latjor, a fellow South Sudanese Nuer.

    It is not clear under which circumstances the former opposition leader has decided to return to the country after 25 years in exile, and without first signing an agreement with the government.

    He was previously against the split of the country into Ethiopia and Eritrea in 1993 and also against the current Ethiopia’s federal system of governance which has divided Ethiopia based on ethnicities and nationalities.

    It is also unclear whether or not he will legally register his opposition political party in Addis Ababa in order to “peacefully” pursue his party’s objectives, or join the current ruling party and take up a position in the government.


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  • 720 inmates pardoned as Ethiopia celebrates New Year

    720 inmates previously held in various detention facilities pardoned as Ethiopia celebrates New Year of 2009.

    The East African country, unlike the rest of the world, relies on the ancient Coptic calendar, which has 13 months. Each of the 12 months on the calendar has 30 days, except one, which has either five or six days depending on whether it’s a leap year or not.

    The federal police said no pardon was granted to prisoners who had committed serious offences such as murder and rape.

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