Friday, December 30, 2011

Ethiopian News in Amharic - Thursday, December 29, 2011 - YouTube

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Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Ethiopian News in Amharic - Friday, December 23, 2011 - YouTube

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Ethiopian News in Amharic - Monday, December 26, 2011 - YouTube

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Tuesday, November 15, 2011

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Ethiopian Dictator Detained Slovakia' ambassador with diplomatic immunity

By ARGAW ASHINEPosted Tuesday, November 15 2011 at 11:39
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Slovakia has recalled its ambassador from Addis Ababa after Ethiopian security forces detained but later released the envoy.
Mr Milan Dubcek was arrested and detained for two days by Ethiopian security and released without any further explanation or charge.
He was arrested while he took a photograph from Entoto Mountain, which is 10 minutes drive from his residence and less than 1km away from the US Embassy.
The Slovak ambassador spent November 5-6 in Addis Ababa prison, despite his diplomatic immunity.
He was released after European diplomats intervened.
The Slovak Foreign ministry has demanded an explanation and official apology, but the Ethiopian Government has refused to comply.
Addis sent a letter to Slovak officials, but the latter's Foreign ministry said it was inadequate and continued to demand an official apology.
“We have scrutinised the letter, but its content did not satisfy us, so we again have sent our reaction,” Slovak Foreign Affairs minister Mikulas Dzurinda was quoted as saying by Slovak state news agency.
According to the minister, Mr Dubcek would remain at home until the Ethiopian Government provided a full apology with guarantees that no such action would be repeated to, not only Slovakia, but also any other EU-member country .

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Ethiopian News in Amharic - Monday, November 14, 2011 - YouTube

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Thursday, October 6, 2011

Ethiopia, Djibouti Seal Power Export Deal |

The Ethiopia-Djibouti electric power transmission was launched yesterday in Djibouti in the presence of Meles Zenawi, prime minister of Ethiopia and Omar Guelleh, president of Djibouti.

The project is estimated to meet 75 percent of Djibouti’s power demad.

The 65 million dollar project, largely financed by the African Development Bank (AfDB), aims to raise access to electricity in Djibouti to 60 percent by 2015 which was 49.5 percent in 2003.

Ethiopia had been exporting electricity to Djibouti on a trial basis for the last four months charging Djibouti 0.70 dollars a kilowatt.

Substation construction work included an extension to the existing Dire Dawa substation, involving two 230-kV lines. One circuit is used to supply Adigala, the principal Ethiopian border town along the 230-kV transmission line route.

Another substation has been constructed, which will also supply another 11 Ethiopian border towns, in the vicinity of Aysha, Dewele and Harewa, with a network comprising 230 km of 33-kV overhead line.

Djibouti used to consume about 0.17 billion kwh in 2000. And by the end of 2006 it was consuming o.22 billion kwh. According to recent documents, the country’s annual consumption of electricity from domestic and imported sources has reached 0.26 billion kwh.

Power demand in Djibouti is expected to grow from about 90 megawatt to 175 megawatt over the next fifteen years.

Source: The Ethiopian Herald

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Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Nine Ethiopian Tigerian band members & polices killed, 17 injured in Amara region

Nine Ethiopian band members killed, 17 injured TUESDAY, 27 SEPTEMBER 2011 15:15 0 Ethiopia has been plunged into mourning after nine artists were killed and 17 seriously injured in a car accident. Police said the accident happened on Monday in the Amhara region while the artists were travelling to South Sudan for a concert that was scheduled for this weekend. The well known artists are members of the Tigray Cultural Squad who played “significant roles” in the struggle against the military regime in Ethiopia. The injured and bodies of their colleagues were evacuated from the area by helicopter According to the Tigray Culture and Tourism Bureau, all of them are members of the Tigray Cultural Squad who “played significant roles in the bitter struggle to ensure equality, freedom and democracy in Ethiopia.” They are Berhane Gebremeskel (Gano), Berhane Gebrehiwot (handebet), Berhane Andey (Kunama), Letemeskel Gbrehiwot (Agew), Tekie Tesfamariam, Haile Gerlasie, Berhane Gebremichael, Ashenafi Mengistu and Habtome. Ethiopia has one of the highest number of traffic accidents on the continent with around 2,000 people being killed on the roads annually.

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Tuesday, September 13, 2011

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Ethiopia to Build Two More Nile Dams |

Ethiopia to Build Two More Nile Dams


Ethiopia announced that it would build two more dams along its share of the Nile, six months after launching the construction of a 5,250 megawatt power plant on the river.

Ethiopia aims to produce 20,000 megawatts of power within the next ten years, part of a plan to spend 12 billion dollars over 25 years to raise power generating capability.

According to Reuters, officials estimate that the country has the potential to produce about 45,000 megawatt of electricity.

Feasibility tests have already started for the new dams with support from the government of Norway, Mihret Debebe, CEO of the Ethiopian Electric Power Corporation, said.

According to Mihret, when the dams go operational, they will generate around 2,100 megawatts of power. Last week the Ethiopian Electric Power Corporation signed power transmission project contracts worth around 330 million dollars with companies from ten countries.

Indian companies take the biggest share of the contract winning three contracts worth more than 50 million dollars.

Among the companies which entered into agreements with the corporation are Energoinvest DD of Bosnia & Herzegovina, ALISTOM GRID of France, ABB AG of Germany, AECOM of USA-Canada and Norinco International Limited of China.

The projects are expected to be completed within 12 to 24 months.

French and Italian companies have agreed to provide consulting services to EEPCo for the Renaissance Dam which is currently under construction.

Source: Walta Information Centre

Ethiopia: Thousands of prisoners freed for New Year - Sudan Tribune: Plural news and views on Sudan

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

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Stratex Discover More Gold in Ethiopia |

Stratex Discover More Gold in Ethiopia


Stratex International, the AIM-listed gold miner, discovered more gold from drilling at its Megenta hot spring epithermal gold discovery within its exclusive exploration licence at Tendaho in the Afar Regional State.

These include high grade intersection of 19.50 g/t Au over 0.70 metres in hole MG-DD-12 with the potential for bonanza grades veins.

These occurred within zone of 4.49 g/t Au over 3.25 metres about 70 metres below surface and extend the target zone 460 metres along concealed graben edge. The priority target zone at Megenta now extends over 3 km.

The company has completed the 3,000 metre 14-hole scout drilling programme at Megenta and it is now planning to follow up drilling which it will discuss with Thani Ashanti, its partner.

The high-grade result was taken from a 0.70 metre-wide sample that includes a 0.25 metre vein within brecciated basalt [formed into sharp-angled fragments embedded in a fine-grained matrix], which indicates that the vein could contain bonanza grades higher than 19.50 g/t.

Drilling of deeper holes will be planned in a follow-up programme to be approved by Thani Ashanti, Stratex's partner.

In addition, Stratex will begin exploration on its other gold targets in the Afar region - Akehil, Boraule, and Det Bahari in Ethiopia and Asal and Dimoli Khan in Djibouti.

It was reported early in August that Stratex International's shares shot up following its announcement of "significant results" from drilling at its Megenta hot spring gold discovery in Ethiopia.

Source: StockMarketWire

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Ethiopia & the New Wikileaks Release Viewing cable 09ADDISABABA2809, PARTY PATRONAGE AND FOREIGN ASSISTANCE IN ETHIOPIA

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Reference IDCreatedReleasedClassificationOrigin
09ADDISABABA28092009-11-25 14:332011-08-30 01:44CONFIDENTIALEmbassy Addis Ababa


C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 03 ADDIS ABABA 002809    DEPT OF AGRICULTURE WASHINGTON DC  DIA WASHINGTON DC  MILLENNIUM CHALLENGE CORP    SIPDIS    DEPT FOR AF/E, PASS TO USAID    E.O. 12958: DECL: 11/24/2019  TAGS: EAID PGOV PHUM PREL KDEM ET SUBJECT: PARTY PATRONAGE AND FOREIGN ASSISTANCE IN ETHIOPIA    REF: A. ADDIS ABABA 31       B. 08 ADDIS ABABA 3370       C. 08 ADDIS ABABA 2159       D. ADDIS ABABA 2645       E. ADDIS ABABA 975       F. ADDIS ABABA 379       G. ADDIS ABABA 2273       H. ADDIS ABABA 1612    Classified By: CDA Roger A. Meece for reasons 1.4 (B) and (D).    1. (C) Recent allegations of the politicization of foreign  assistance in Ethiopia, including humanitarian food aid, are  consistent with reports by non-governmental organizations,  opposition political parties, the media, and members of the  international donor community.  The manipulation of  humanitarian assistance for political benefit by the ruling  Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF)  since 2005 should be viewed in the context of broader efforts  to utilize government resources to ensure EPRDF's political  and electoral supremacy.  U.S. foreign assistance is less  vulnerable than many countries' aid because the USG insists  on maintaining a large measure of control over the mechanics  of aid distribution.  Post strongly endorses the Productive  Safety Net Program (PSNP) as the most effective and most  closely monitored assistance program of its kind and urges  other donors to adopt PSNP-type anti-manipulation safeguards.   Although USAID is confident that PSNP funds are being  directed to legitimate beneficiaries, EPRDF members may well  be receiving priority.  Efforts to monitor food distribution  are aimed at making sure vulnerable people are fed and cannot  be expanded to include investigation of political pressures  applied to those people without jeopardizing that primary  mission.  End summary.    Increased Political Patronage Since 2005  ----------------------------------------    2. (C) Since the controversial 2005 elections, the Government  of Ethiopia (GoE) has engaged in a systematic campaign to  tighten control over opposition parties and their allies.  The closure of political space has been achieved in part by  the passage of restrictive laws governing civil society (Ref  A), political parties (Ref B), and the media (Ref C), the  intimidation of opposition candidates campaigning in their  constituencies (Ref D), as well as the purging of ethnic  groups perceived as disloyal to the ruling party from the  military (Ref E) and civil service (Ref F).  As the GoE has  used its network of local officials to enforce these new  rules, Post has received multiple reports that the GoE is  also using the complete spectrum of government resources -  including many basic public services - in a patronage system  to shore up support for the EPRDF.    3. (C) Post has reported specific complaints of patronage and  coercive recruitment techniques used by the government, such  as the use of military facilities and civil service trainings  for political indoctrination (Ref G), the withholding of food  aid, seeds, and fertilizers to non-EPRDF members (Ref H), and  preferential treatment in job assignment, promotion, and  professional development for EPRDF members (Ref H).  In one  recent allegation, opposition Member of Parliament Bulcha  Demeksa, of the Oromo Federalist Democratic Movement (OFDM),  told Post that local EPRDF cadres had asked his constituents  to join the party during the same visits in which they  distributed seed and fertilizer.  He said that voters who  refused to join did not receive seed or fertilizer in the  next round of distribution.  Beyond these specific  allegations, Mission officers are frequently told by contacts  that it is commonly understood that eligibility for  government services is made easier by party membership as a  practical matter.  This practice is felt most strongly in  rural areas, where many Ethiopians are dependent on food  assistance and agricultural inputs such as seeds and  fertilizer, and where local officials can more easily monitor  the political activities of their constituents.    4. (C) The GoE has attempted to silence reports of patronage  and coercive action, as in the recent case of journalist  Wossenseged Meshesha (protect), of Mesenazaria newspaper.  In  a recent article, Wossenseged quoted opposition United  Ethiopian Democratic Forces (UEDF) leader Beyene Petros  describing incidents in which his constituents had been  forced to make financial contributions to the EPRDF upon  receiving seed and fertilizer.  Despite the fact that the    ADDIS ABAB 00002809  002 OF 003      statements he printed were directly quoted and backed up by  hard copies of receipts the farmers were given for their  forced contributions, Wossenseged is now being sued by the  GoE for defamation.  In a November 10 press conference the  opposition Forum for Democratic Dialogue (Forum) publicly  criticized in general terms the ruling party's use of  government and donor resources for political patronage,  resulting in a series of local and international media  reports on the politicization of food aid.  Several  international NGOs have researched the issue as well,  including Human Rights Watch, which plans to release a report  on the general issue of politicization of government services  in January 2010.    Foreign Assistance Vulnerable to Politicization  --------------------------------------------- --    5. (SBU) As reports of patronage have increased since 2005,  Post has become keenly aware that foreign assistance,  including U.S. humanitarian assistance, is vulnerable to  politicization.  Direct budget support, which the USG does  not provide but is favored by many donors, is the most  vulnerable form of assistance.  As an example, Post has  received numerous reports of graft and politicization of  donor support provided through the Provision of Basic  Services (PBS) program, which provides block grants to  regional governments and is coordinated by the World Bank.  (Note:  The USG does not contribute to  PBS.  End note.)  Emergency relief food is also vulnerable to  politicization, owing to the large volume of food transferred  and the urgent need to distribute it quickly.  USAID and its  partners closely monitor the distribution of most relief food  distributed by NGO partners and WFP through the "hubs and  spokes" system now used in the Somali Region, which allows  for better control over distribution at the local level.  Urgent needs and limited geographic coverage by NGOs  sometimes necessitate distribution which transfers food  resources directly to the GoE.  (Note:  The Mission continues  to press WFP to ensure greater transparency and  accountability in relief food distribution, and much progress  has been made over the past year since the "hubs and spokes"  system went into effect in October, 2008.  End note.)    6. (SBU) PSNP, to which the U.S. is a major contributor, is a  highly monitored program operated by the GoE and NGOs with  donor support that provides cash and food to more than seven  million Ethiopians in exchange for labor, in a graduated  system designed to move families toward food security.  While  PSNP has been the object of allegations of politicization  leveled by the opposition (including those in Ref H) and has  received recent media coverage, PSNP has easily the best  safeguards in this regard among all assistance programs in  Ethiopia.  These safeguards include semiannual "Joint Review  of Implementation and Support" missions, quarterly financial  audits, targeting studies, Rapid Response Team field visits,  regular beneficiary benefit transfer reports, and an appeals  system.  The strong support PSNP receives from the donor  community is a result of these safeguards and the fact that  PSNP is more closely monitored than other programs.    USG and Other Donor Action on PSNP  ----------------------------------    7. (SBU) In recognition of the vulnerability of foreign  assistance to politicization, USAID and other PSNP donors  have examined transparency in PSNP selection of beneficiaries  and distribution of assistance, and agreed upon a framework  to ensure accountability and investigate allegations of  corruption and politicization.  An independent study  conducted in 2008 showed that 85% of PSNP participants  believe the selection process is fair, and a recent USAID  Fiduciary Risk Study revealed no evidence of direct political  interference.  Although the forthcoming HRW report reportedly  cites examples of PSNP-related corruption in times of extreme  food insecurity, when some monitoring safequards are relaxed  in order to expedite distribution, USAID is confident that  PSNP resources are not directed to unqualified (i.e., food  secure) families as a result of political connections.  USAID  notes, however, that the percentage of families who qualify  for PSNP (i.e., the poorest, most food insecure households)  who actually receive PSNP support is higher in the Tigray and  Amhara regions (considered to be the most loyal to the ruling  party) than in other regions of the county that are equally  needy (e.g., Oromia and Southern Nations, Nationalities, and  Peoples Regions).  This trend is not limited to PSNP, but    ADDIS ABAB 00002809  003 OF 003      rather applies to many government-provided services and  benefits.  (Note:  For years, the Somali Regional State was  denied nearly all government services and foreign assistance,  for similar reasons.  This has largely been reversed.)    8. (SBU) USAID's recent Fiduciary Risk Study confirmed that  families known to local officials (who are usually EPRDF  members) are more likely to receive PSNP support.  It is also  possible that opposition party members hide their political  sentiments in an attempt to avoid repercussions, that they  are afraid to voice their concerns to donor monitors, or that  politicization is simply not overt.  While Post is confident  that local officials are not checking voter ID cards when  selecting beneficiaries, for example, party affiliation is  well known in remote areas and may subtly influence  decisions.    9. (SBU) Amy Martin, Deputy Director of the UN Office for the  Coordination of Humanitarian Assistance (OCHA), told PolOff  recently that media coverage of the politicization of food  aid is a welcome wake-up call in OCHA's efforts to make  donors recognize the problem.  Some donor representatives in  country have noted that if these reports continue, their  governments are likely to take further action, up to and  including cutting support for various aid programs.  In a  statement released on November 18 during a visit to Ethiopia,  British International Development Minister Gareth Thomas  called on the GoE to investigate allegations of the  politicization of food aid, and stated that the UK would make  "tough decisions" regarding its foreign assistance if  necessary.    Comment  -------    10. (C) The politicization of humanitarian assistance,  including both emergency relief food and distributions made  through structured programs such as PSNP, is merely one  example of the GoE's utilization of government resources to  strengthen support for the ruling party, and should be  viewed in the context of all EPRDF preparations for the 2010  elections.  While U.S. humanitarian assistance is less  vulnerable to GoE manipulation because it is provided through  neutral NGOs and structured programs, all assistance is  vulnerable.  PSNP, which has received much scrutiny of late,  is an easy target because of its high visibility, but it is  in fact less susceptible to politicization  than most aid.    11. (C) Closer scrutiny of the potential vulnerability of  PSNP and other USG assistance to  politicization would carry significant risk.  Mission staff  (including direct-hire officers, locally engaged staff, and  third party consultants) with the most direct access to  beneficiaries are of course those whose primary task is  distribution of assistance.  On the other hand, individuals  with whom political staff meet to discuss such issues are  commonly visited thereafter by local officials in their homes  or offices, or taken by local police to security services  offices for questioning about their perceived disloyal  activities.  Blurring the lines between distribution of  assistance and the monitoring of political pressures brought  to bear on beneficiaries risks putting the assistance  programs themselves in jeopardy from a ruling party that has  become confident that its vast patronage system is largely  invulnerable. End comment.  MEECE