By Tesfa-Alem Tekle
September 11, 2011 (ADDIS ABABA) - The Ethiopian federal and a regional government announced over the weekend the release and pardon of over 8,000 inmates as the horn of Africa’s country celebrates its entry into the new year of 2004.
Ethiopia is unique in that it follows the Julian calendar, which is eight years behind the Gregorian calendar adopted my most of the world.
Approved by Ethiopian president, Girma Weldegiorgis, the federal government of Ethiopia has released 2,620 inmates on pardon as the East African country prepares to welcome Julian New Year on Monday, said a statement from the Ministry of Justice.
In a similar move, the South Ethiopia Peoples’ Regional Government has pardoned 5,671 prisoners.
The pardon grant does not include to inmates charged with serious offences such as genocide, corruption, terrorism.
Ethiopian New Year Enkutatash means the "gift of jewels" after the gifts given to the Queen of Sheba Makeda, when she returned to her Kingdom, which Ethiopians believe was in modern day Ethiopia, after visiting King Solomon in Jerusalem