Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Sudan death row woman Meriam Ibrahim 're-arrested'

Meriam Ibrahim gave birth to a baby daughter in prison
A Sudanese woman freed from death row on Monday has been arrested with her family at Khartoum airport, sources have told the BBC.

Meriam Ibrahim was sentenced to hang in May for renouncing Islam, sparking widespread outrage at home and abroad.

About 40 security agents detained Mrs Ibrahim - along with her husband Daniel Wani and two sons - at the airport, the sources said.

On Monday, Mr Wani said the family intended to leave for the US.

Mrs Ibrahim was released from prison after an appeal court annulled the death sentence imposed on her.

She was arrested in February, and gave birth to a boy in prison not long after being sentenced.

Sudan death row's Meriam Ibrahim released after international outcry

Campaign triggered after woman imprisoned for marrying a Christian was sentenced to 100 lashes and hanging for apostasy

A Christian woman on death row in a Sudanese prison has been released on the orders of a court in Khartoum following an international outcry over her sentence and treatment.

Meriam Ibrahim, 27, had been sentenced to 100 lashes for adultery and to be hanged for apostasy after refusing to renounce her faith. Her case led to an international campaign, drawing in political and religious leaders, celebrities and human rights organisations.

Demands for her release accelerated after Ibrahim gave birth while shackled to the floor of her prison cell at Omdurman women's prison. Her newborn daughter, Maya, and her toddler son, Martin, were incarcerated with her.

"I'm so happy," Ibrahim's husband, Daniel Wani, a US citizen, told the Guardian by phone from Khartoum on Monday. He said his wife and their two children were in relatively good condition, and he hoped that the family would soon be able to start a new life in the US. Elshareef Mohammed, Ibrahim's lawyer, said that she was "fine and very happy" but had been taken to a safe house amid fears that the family could be at risk of attack.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Ethiopia: The post-Meles universe takes shape

Prime Minister Hailemariam is developing a style of consensual politics, but some politicans and businessmen are having difficulty adjusting.

The passing of Prime Minister Meles Zenawi in August 2012 has shaken up the business and political elite.

Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn does not favour the top-down and snap decision-making practised by his predecessor, preferring instead to consult more widely.

While this leads to a slower governmental machine, it protects the administration from the odd rash decision.

Egyptian anchorwoman suspended after live row with Ethiopia envoy

Egyptian broadcaster Rania Badawy
Rania Badawy of the private satellite station Tahrir hung up on Ethiopia's ambassador to Cairo during a live call-in over the contested Grand Renaissance Dam 

An Egyptian broadcaster has been suspended for arguing with Ethiopia's ambassador to Cairo during a live TV phone-in about Addis Ababa's ongoing Nile dam project.

On Wednesday, Rania Badawy, a talk show host on the privately-owned Tahrir satellite channel, got into a heated argument with Ethiopian envoy Mahmoud Dardir over the Grand Renaissance Dam, a multi-billion hydroelectric dam that has been a source of contention between the two countries for over a year.

Near the end of the six-minute-long call, Badawy asked the envoy if Addis Ababa insisted on pressing forward with the dam's construction in its current form and capacity, which Egypt fears will harm its share of the Nile's water.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Sudan asks Egypt to rejoin Nile Basin body

Sudan on Thursday appealed for Egypt to resume full participation in a 10-nation Nile River forum, four years after Cairo withdrew over fears for its access to the crucial water source.

Egypt has limited its participation in the Nile Basin Initiative since 2010 when Rwanda, Ethiopia, Uganda and Tanzania signed a new treaty on equitable sharing of Nile waters.

Burundi and Kenya later also inked the deal which stripped Egypt of its power to veto upstream irrigation and hydropower projects.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Ethiopia’s Condom Dilemma

ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia — I was confused the first time I saw a giant billboard in Addis Ababa advertising Members Only and stressing how “membership has its pleasures,” accompanied by a stark silhouette of a leggy female figure. It reminded me of advertisements in New York for so-called gentlemen’s clubs — not the sort of places you tend to find in Ethiopia’s capital, where levels of disposable income and where that money goes differ markedly.

Members Only turned out to be the latest condom brand released by DKT Ethiopia, an American nonprofit that since 1989 has sold Ethiopia’s most popular brands. DKT’s condoms are usually sold well below market cost, heavily subsidized, as part of the effort to tackle problems like H.I.V. and to improve family planning for the country of about 95 million. Ethiopia has the second largest population in Africa, projected by the World Bank to grow to 145 million by 2050.

Desperate wife seeks kidney donor for ailing husband

Iyob Kebede lies in his hospital bed, a defeated man.

His prognosis is ‘bleak’ according to his doctor, while his weekly life-saving treatment is now putting a drain on his family’s savings.

The only cure is a kidney transplant for which he is unable to find a donor or the means.

The 28-year-old Ethiopian is suffering from renal failure that requires him to endure haemodialysis treatment twice a week for the interim until he undergoes surgery – if he ever can, fears his wife.

The 28-year-old Tirsit spends her days caring for her husband and their two-year-old son Kirubel; the nights are spent ferrying passengers from Dubai Airport for the Roads and Transport Authority, where she works as a cab driver.

Iyob, who is also a cab driver with Metro Taxis, is currently on medical leave she says.

“I don’t know how long can we keep this up,” says Tirsit, wiping away tears as she looks over at Iyob, whose silent demeanour is only punctuated by the hissing of the dialysis machine he is hooked up to at the Belhoul Speciality Hospital, where he is currently being treated.

With hospital bills averaging Dh10,000 per month, the fear of the mounting expenditure keeps her from sitting still even for a few minutes.

“I have committed myself to 24-hour shifts at work so I can make the commissions. I need that money,” says an emotional Tirsit, who earns a meagre Dh1,000 basic salary. “People tell me that I will fall sick doing this. But how can I stop when Iyob needs this for his treatment? They tell me he has reached the cut-off limit for his health insurance for this year. I am unsure how to continue with his treatment when we exhaust our savings.”

According to his physician and Specialist Nephrologist, Dr Paulose Thomas, Iyob suffered from a history of pedal oedema (swelling of the feet and ankles due to accumulation of excessive fluid) for eight months, at the beginning of last year, and was advised to undergo renal biopsy.

Due to lack of funds, according to Tirsit, her husband travelled to Ethiopia last September to undergo treatment.

Investigation stalls in case of nine detained journalists and bloggers

Nine journalists who were arrested on 25 and 26 April continue to be detained pending trial. When the latest detention hearing in their case was held on 14 June, a judge gave the police yet more time to complete their investigation and finally determine the charges.
The nine journalists remain in jail waiting for the next hearing. Tesfalem Waldyes of Addis Standard, Edom Kasaye, a former Addis Zemen employee, Asmamaw Hailegiorgis of Addis Guday and Zone9 blog collective members Atnaf Berhane, Mahlet Fantahun, Befekadu Hailu, Abel Wabella, Natnail Feleke and Zelalem Kibret have been held for more than 50 days.
Immediately after their arrests, they appeared in court on charges of “working with foreign organizations claiming to be human rights activists to destabilize the nation” and “receiving funding in order to incite the public to violence via social media.”
When the next hearing was held on 17 May (after a postponement), the court gave the police permission to hold them for another 28 days to continue investigating suspected violations of the 2009 anti-terrorism act, which can carry imprisonments sentences from 5 to 10 years. The 28 days expired on 14 June.
Reporters Without Borders has learned that the court in the Addis Ababa district of Arada allowed the police to hold them in detention for another 28 days at the 14 June hearing. This decision was taken after the police argued that complications had arisen and they needed more time to gather the required evidence.
For the third time since their arrest, the judge agreed to the request on the condition that the police complete their investigation and finalize the charges by the next hearing.


(IAAF) World Championships medallists Ibrahim Jeilan and Almaz Ayana were among the high-profile winners at the Ethiopian Championships at the Addis Ababa stadium last week (10-15 June).

But the championships also saw some major shocks as steeplechaser Etenesh Diro, middle distance runners Fantu Magiso and Mantegbosh Melese lost their specialty events.

Jeilan, Ayana, and Wote convince in domestic return

The championships attracted a number of Ethiopia’s World Championships level athletes as the event will be used as one of the selection criteria to pick the country’s team for the African Championships in Marrakesh later this summer.

The star cast here was led by Ibrahim Jeilan, the 2011 world 10,000m champion and reigning silver medallist in the same event, who stepped down in distance to compete in the 5000m.

The 25-year-old may have failed to finish his marathon debut in London in April this year, but showed here that he has lost none of the finishing prowess that saw him overtake Britain’s world and Olympic 5000m and 10,000m champion Mo Farah in the closing stages of the 2011 World Championships in Daegu.

U.K. safety agency confirms Ethiopian 787 fire caused by pinched battery wiring

The U.K. safety agency investigating the fire inside an Ethiopian Airlines’ Boeing 787 parked at Heathrow last July confirms the fire started due to incorrectly installed battery wiring in a device installed in many different airplanes.
A report by a U.K. safety agency Wednesday confirms the cause of the fire inside an Ethiopian Airlines 787 Dreamliner parked at Heathrow last July.

A battery inside a small locator beacon was installed incorrectly, with crossed wires pinched between the device case and the coverplate, causing a short circuit.

The update to the ongoing investigation shows that the supplier of the beacon, Honeywell, identified this precise installation problem and the potential for crossed wires six months earlier and modified the assembly instructions to prevent it from happening in the future.

Ethiopian Designer Looks to Take Handbag, Local Fashion Business by Storm

Most countries in Africa haven’t been crowned fashion capitals just yet. Some regions, however, have taken many in the fashion industry by surprise. Companies like Hugo Boss, Prada and Cartier have helped to expand the growing luxury market within Africa. One particular individual feels it is a personal call to show the world just what Africa really has to offer — on and off the runway.
Afomia Tesfaye is a designer of beautiful modern handbags and accessories that are made via a 100 percent fair-trade process in Ethiopia. She is currently developing her Spring 2015 collection of handbags and preparing to launch her first online shop through her website FOMI Collection. AFKInsider caught up with Tesfaye to discuss the founding of FOMI, the manufacturing business as well as Africa’s fashion future.

AFKInsider: What made you decide to return to Ethiopia to continue the pursuit of a handbag business?
Tesfaye: It was a very natural decision for me to develop handbags in Ethiopia, not only because it is the place of my birth, but because it is actually a very exciting time to develop business here. Ethiopia is currently one of the fastest growing economies in the world and leather is our second greatest export (next to coffee). We produce some of the highest quality sheepskin in the world, so it is a privilege to be able to create leather goods with such refined raw materials.

The British ex-pat who has opened a farm in Ethiopia

Mr Crisp, second left, and his four business partners have big ambitions for the dairy
Beside the small town of Adiguden a group of cows prance and buck when released from their shed into a paddock beneath the piercing sunshine of the midday sun in northern Ethiopia.

They are owned by a British entrepreneur and his Ethiopian partners, who have created a new dairy company called AJGG Dairy Products, based in Ethiopia's Tigray region bordering Eritrea.

It is early days for the business, which still has to use a horse-drawn cart for the daily milk run from the 2.5 hectare (6.2 acre) farm to the local bus station, from where its product is then driven 35km (22 miles) to be sold in Makelle, Tigray's capital.

Hence you might ask John Crisp, the Brit behind the joint venture: why on earth open a dairy farm in Ethiopia?
"It is a little complicated," says the 57-year-old.

Mr Crisp originally met his four AJGG partners through an organisation working with the mentally ill in Mekelle. This led to the idea of how a dairy farm could offer occupational therapy to patients recovering from mental health problems.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Kibrom’s Tizita: Fusion of Ethiopian Folk with Jazz and Gospel Sounds

New York (TADIAS) — Learning how to play the krar, a five stringed traditional Ethiopian lyre, at age 8, Kibrom Birhane found himself enthralled by Orthodox chanting. “Always it moves me when I hear music,” he says. And from that time on he knew he wanted to pursue a career in music. Kibrom eventually began teaching piano to other students for about three years before receiving a scholarship to attend the Los Angeles College of Music where he developed a passion beyond Ethiopian folk music, and became a songwriter and composer focusing on the fusion of Ethiopian folk with jazz and gospel sounds. His debut album entitled ‘Kibrom’s Tizita’ was recently released by Tsehai Records, a new division of Tsehai Publishers. Kibrom describes his new album as “an exploration of Ethiopian heritage through folk and pop music with a jazz backbone.”

Kibrom is also a record and mixing engineer and says he “learned to play all of these different roles over time, and with that came new innovations” in his music and sound. His solo pieces are among his most personal works, and Kibrom shares that they are “an expression of what I feel at the moment. I don’t study or learn solos; I just play them.”

Monday, June 16, 2014

Ethiopian Military-Run Corporation Seeks More Foreign Partners

Metals & Engineering Corp., an Ethiopian military-run corporation, said it plans to partner with more foreign companies as it spearheads a government-drive to develop industries in Africa’s second-most populous nation.
METEC, as it’s known, is already working with companies including Alstom SA, Europe’s second-largest power-equipment maker, U.S.-based solar-panel manufacturer Spire Corp. and China Poly Group Corp. on engineering and manufacturing projects. Some of the company’s budding industries, like vehicle-assembly and engineering businesses, may generate more than 20 billion birr ($1.1 billion) of revenue a year, spokesman Michael Desta said in an interview.
“We’re doing this in collaboration” with foreign companies, he said on Feb. 15 in the capital, Addis Ababa. “We want to learn from them.”
Ethiopia is using one of Africa’s largest armies to help develop an economy that grew an average 8.7 over the past five years, according to the International Monetary Fund. The country operates a state-led development model that targets public and private investment in value-adding industries in order to diversify an economy in which agriculture accounts for 46 percent of total output.
The government is in the midst of a five-year plan in which it’s spending 569 billion birr until 2015 on projects including the $5 billion Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam, which would be the site of Africa’s biggest hydropower plant.

Military Efficiency

“The military happens to be relatively efficient, disciplined and well-organized to be entrusted with such grand projects,” said Merkeb Negash, a lecturer in political science and international relations at the Department of Governance and Development Studies at Jimma University in Ethiopia.

Market fluctuation delays gold production in Ethiopia

 According to the Trade Ministry, Ethiopia eyed to $774.5 million over the past ten months from gold exports. It only earned $369.31million during the reported period.

World Bulletin/News Desk

Global gold market fluctuations have prompted an Australian company to delay gold production in western Ethiopia, the Ethiopian Ministry of Mines said Saturday.

"Gold production by Nyota Minerals has been delayed due to the unstable global gold market," the ministry's public relation deputy head Chala Bonsa told Anadolu Agency.

"But it is expected to commence production,” Bonsa said.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

መኢአድና አንድነት የቅድመ ውህደት ስምምነት ተፈራረሙ-የፊርማው ሥነ ሥርዓት በብጥብጥ የታጀበ ነበር

የመላው ኢትዮጵያ አንድነት ድርጅት (መኢአድ) እና አንድነት ለዲሞክራሲና ለፍትሕ ፓርቲ (አንድነት) ረዘም ላለ ጊዜ ሲያካሂዱት የነበረውን ድርድር አጠናቀው፣ ሰኔ 1 ቀን 2006 ዓ.ም. ቴዎድሮስ አደባባይ አካባቢ በሚገኘው የመኢአድ ጽሕፈት ቤት የቅድመ ውህደት ስምምነት ተፈራረሙ፡፡

የአንድነት ፓርቲ ፕሬዚዳንት ኢንጂነር ግዛቸው ሽፈራውና የመኢአድ ፕሬዚዳንት አቶ አበባው መሀሪ የቅድመ ስምምነቱን አስመልክተው በጋራ በሰጡት መግለጫ፣ ሙሉ ውህደቱ በአንድ ወር ጊዜ ውስጥ እንደሚከናወንና አዲሱ ውህድ ፓርቲ ምክር ቤት 400 አባላት እንደሚኖሩት ገልጸዋል፡፡

የአዲሱን የውህድ ፓርቲ ስያሜን በተመለከተ ኢንጂነር ግዛቸው በስምምነቱ ላይ እንደተገለጸው የሁለቱንም ፓርቲዎች የቀድሞ ስያሜ ያቆራኘ አዲስ ስያሜ እንደሚወጣ አስረድተው፣ በሁለቱም ፓርቲዎች ዘንድ ‹‹አንድነት›› የሚለው ስያሜ የጋራ በመሆኑ እርሱን በመያዝ የቀድሞ ስሙን ሳይለቅ አዲስ ስያሜ ይወጣል ብለዋል፡፡ ዓርማውም በሁለቱ የጋራ ስምምነት የሚለወጥ መሆኑንና ይህም በውህዱ ፓርቲ አማካይነት እንደሚፀድቅ አብራርተዋል፡፡

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Ethiopia’s tech landscape: unique challenges, massive potential

Having recently visited Addis Ababa, I thought I might write down some of my impressions. The last time I was here was over 20 years ago, as I would fly between Khartoum and Nairobi for boarding school. Needless to say, much has changed, except for the warm hospitality of the Ethiopian people.


Mobile carriers and their spam advertising

It’s non-existent here. I was shocked when I landed at the airport, since there were no billboards or ads for any mobile operators (only the phone manufacturers). I didn’t realise how much mobile operator advertising there is in the world until I got to Ethiopia.

2G vs 3G SIM cards

“What is that!?” I thought the guy who was telling me about them was confused, but he wasn’t. They actually sell SIM cards that are different here, and you can’t buy 3G SIM cards right now, since the government-run company (ETC) that manages all ISP and mobile carrier traffic is upgrading to 4G. They’ll sell 4G cards then, and until then you’re stuck with sipping out of the 2G straw.


Luckily I have a friend who has a friend, named Feleg, who rents SIM cards. He’s an Ethiopian techie who spent much of his life in Colorado, and is now back building his own businesses. Besides hooking me up with a 3G SIM which now runs in the BRCK, it turns out Feleg is a really good front-end engineer and UX guy.

The Internet Speeds

They remind me of internet speeds in Kenya in 2007, pre-undersea cable. Usable, but not great. Everyone says that they were faster until recently, when all the big road works started to cut the cables and cause some disruption in the service.

The Roads are Amazing

There’s hardly any traffic and the roads are really well built. There are advantages to a centralised autocracy, as Rwanda shows us as well. Police/soldiers are everywhere — literally on every corner. Traffic is hit or miss, but overall it moves faster than in Kenya. Mostly due to there not being a lot of cars. Importing a car here has seemingly arbitrary rates of duty, ranging from 100% to 500% (so I was told) and that number might change while the vehicle is in-transit.

Death Threats Force San Jose Stowaway’s Mom to Flee Ethiopian Refugee Camp

Fearing for her life: Ubah Mohammed Abdule, 33, has fled the Ethiopian refugee camp where she lives, claiming to have received threats. Her son made international headlines after climbing into the wheel well of a Hawaiian Airways plane and surviving the flight from San Jose to Maui    
The mother of the Somali teenager who stowed away on a plane from California to Hawaii has left a refugee camp in Ethiopia, saying that threats have been made against her life.

Ubah Mohammed Abdule was moved outside of the Shedder Refugee Camp in far eastern Ethiopia, near the border with Somalia, for safety reasons, said Abdlrasak Abas Omar, a legal protection officer at the camp.

He said that Abdule showed the camp administrators logs of anonymous calls she said were made by people threatening her with death.
Her 15-year-old son, Yahya Abdi - who ran away from his father's house in Santa Clara, California, on April 20, hopped a fence at Mineta San Jose International Airport and climbed into the wheel well of the closest plane, surving the 5 1/2-hour flight to Maui - is believed to have been trying to get home to see his mother.

'It's just a 600 meter (yard) evacuation because she felt vulnerable in the camp's makeshift homes,' said Omar.

'She's quite unstable now.'

Abdule has not seen her teenage son in eight years.

Just Back: following General Napier in Ethiopia

General Napier marched up this way with 13,000 British troops, 26,000 camp followers and more than 40,000 animals
Alice Allan wins our weekly travel writing competition - and £200 - for this account of tracing the footsteps of General Napier in Ethiopia
Getachew gestures expansively at the massive range of flat- topped mountains before us. “This place, Ethiopia,” he muses, “is very up. Very down.”
He’s not wrong. The drive to Magdala, Emperor Tewodros’s mountain fortress, takes 10 hours by 4x4 from Addis Ababa, rising slowly until the final hairpin ascent beneath sheer cliffs.
Inspired by Philip Marsden’s book The Barefoot Emperor, we’ve come to walk in the footsteps of General Napier, who 146 years ago marched up this way (with 13,000 British troops, 26,000 camp followers and more than 40,000 animals) to free hostages held by Tewodros. Ten adults, two children and a very large cool box, our modern expedition is, by comparison, modest.

Monday, June 9, 2014

Ethiopia's foreign minister invites Egypt's El-Sisi for more dam talks in Addis Ababa

Egypt`s newly inaugurated president with the Ethiopian Foreign minister on Monday (Photo: Al-Ahram)
Meeting with Ethiopian officials on Monday sees President El-Sisi continue promises of 'dialogue' and cooperation between the two countries
Ethiopian Foreign Minister Tedros Adhanom has invited Egypt's newly-inaugurated President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi to visit his country, Al-Ahram's Arabic news website reported.
The invitation came during a meeting on Monday at the presidential headquarters in Cairo's Heliopolis district, where El-Sisi met with Adhanom in addition to Egypt's Foreign

Minister Nabil Fahmy and Ethiopia's ambassador to Egypt, Mahmoud Dardeer.

Jailed Ethiopian journalist Eskinder Nega awarded the 2014 Golden Pen of Freedom

“This Golden Pen is more important than food, medicine and water. It materializes the support and shows that he is not forgotten. That he is one of us. That an attack on one journalist is an attack on us all and that jailing a journalist is a crime against humanity,” Swedish journalist Martin Schibbye says, accepting the 2014 Golden Pen of Freedom, the annual press freedom prize of the World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers (WAN-IFRA), on behalf of imprisoned Ethiopian publisher, journalist and blogger Eskinder Nega.
The honour is formally bestowed on Nega in a ceremony at the 66th World Newspaper Congress, under way in the Italian city of Torino this week, where more than 1,000 media industry representatives have gathered.

Nega is serving an 18-year jail sentence in Addis Ababa’s notorious Kaliti prison, convicted on trumped-up terrorism charges after daring to wonder in print whether the Arab Spring could reach Ethiopia, and for criticising the very anti-terrorism legislation under which he was charged. Arrested in 2011, he was sentenced on 23 January 2012 and denounced as belonging to a terrorist organisation.

Mahmoud Ahmed in studio for his new album

ሙሃሙድ አህመድ አልበሙን እየሰራ ነው ኢትዮጵያ የሙዚቃ ኢንደስትሪ ከፍ ያለ ዝናን ያተረፈው እና የትዝታው ንጉስ እየተባለ የሚቆላመጠው ሙሃሙድ አዲሱ አልበሙ ቢበዛ አምስት ወራት እንደሚወስድበት ለታዲያስ አዲስ በስልክ ተናግሯል፡፡

3 Ethiopians Killed in Interstate 81 Crash in Washington County, Virginia


Virginia State Police have released the names of the three people killed in a crash on Interstate 81 in Washington County, Virginia Tuesday evening.

The Toyota's male driver, Abenezer D. Thewdros, 19, of Arlington, Va., and two male passengers, Abel N. Ayele, 19, of Arlington, Va., and Alemu S. Ameha, 25, of Alexandria, Va., all died at the scene. A third male passenger, Arketsadik Yilma, 19, of Alexandria, Va., was flown by Virginia State Police Med-Flight helicopter to Bristol Regional Medical Center for treatment of serious injuries.

Officers said the crash happened when a Toyota car struck a tractor trailer in the shoulder of the southbound lanes. 

On foot through Ethiopia’s forgotten land

In the latest of our Great Walks series – how a new chain of community-run guesthouses is making it easier for trekkers to explore Tigray’s dramatic landscapes 

Gebre, our guide, was getting exasperated. “It’s easy,” he said. “Women come up here with babies on their backs – it’s easy.”

It was not easy. I’d been paralysed with fear for five minutes, stuck halfway up a cliff with no rope, spreadeagled on the sandstone, starfish-like, my hands and bare feet, slick with sweat and terror, slipping from the tiny crannies. Twenty feet below was the narrow ledge I’d set off from; 1,000ft below that, the valley floor. Above, somewhere up there, was the clifftop rock church of Abuna Yemata Guh. And above that, only heaven. Ending up at any of them was distinctly on the cards.

Eutelsat also cites Ethiopia as sat-jammers

A week ago it was Arabsat that was very publicly naming Ethiopia as the source of multiple jamming sessions to its broadcast channels. Now Eutelsat is piling on the pressure, also naming that Ethiopia is guilty of deliberate jamming, and of ramping up the signal jamming so that in 2013 it accounted for some 15 per cent of the operator’s problems.

Eutelsat said the jamming is coming from northeast Ethiopia. Eutelsat says it is taking its complaints, via the French National Frequencies Agency, to the International Telecommunications Union, and to the Ethiopian government.

President El-Sisi says won't allow rift with Ethiopia

Egypt's newly inaugurated President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi vows to ease crisis with Addis Ababa after a months-long impasse over Ethiopia's controversial Grand Renaissance Dam project
 Egypt's newly elected President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi said he would not allow a rift to develop between Cairo and Addis Ababa, who have been locked in a stalemate over access to the Nile water.

Ties between Egypt and Ethiopia have progressively soured since Addis Ababa launched the construction of a controversial hydroelectric dam that Egypt fears will substantially harm its share of the Nile River, the country's main source of potable water.

However, El-Sisi unequivocally stated during his inaugural address at the Qubba Palace on Sunday evening that he will not allow friction to take place with the Ethiopia.

Monday, June 2, 2014

Ethiopian Reggae in NYC, 6/15

Zvuloon Dub System comes to SOB's June 15.

When Haile Selassie, Emperor of Ethiopia, the man known as Ras Tafari, visited Jamaica on April 21, 1966, more than one hundred thousand Rastafarians were waiting at Kingston Airport to see the man they revered as the Messiah. For a brief moment, still celebrated by the faithful as Grounation Day, the two countries came together. 18 years later, in 1984, an Ethiopian Jewish family, members of the lost tribe of Israel, walked across the desert, making the long trek to their homeland. And now those three cultures - Jamaica, Ethiopia, and Israel - merge on the new album by Tel Aviv-based Zvuloon Dub System, called Anbessa Dub.

"It's a natural mix," explains drummer Asaf Smilan. "We started out in 2006, playing roots reggae, all very '70s. I'd also loved that old Ethiopian musi c since I first heard it, about 10 or 15 years ago, but I didn't have any Ethiopian friends to discover more about it. Then Gili Yalo joined as the singer in 2009. He's from Ethiopia. And once he came, everything changed."

Goat riding man riding bike caught on film in Ethiopia

Amazed onlookers could not hide their amusement when they spotted this goat seeming to hitch a ride with a cyclist.

The animal looks unconcerned, casually looking around as the man pedals alongside traffic through Addis Ababa in Ethiopia.

The video, uploaded to YouTube on Wednesday, has been viewed more than 150,000 times.


It is unclear how the goat was attached to the man but commenters have speculated that its legs were tied and it could have been on the way to a market for slaughter.

Yemeni People Traffickers Prey on Ethiopia Migrants Seeking Work

Ethiopian immigrants wait near Obok, north of Djibouti's capital, for smugglers' boats to cross the Gulf of Aden into Yemen. Numbers traveling across the Gulf of Aden have risen this year even after Saudi Arabia, the intended destination for many, began mass deportations of unregistered employees. Photographer: Tony Karumba/AFP via Getty Images

Sintayehu Beyene left Ethiopia planning to earn money to begin a carpentry business -- he ended up captive in Yemen where Kalashnikov-wielding traffickers stole what little he owned.

Grabbed from a boatload of migrant workers as it landed on a Yemeni shore, he says the armed gang whisked him inland to a desert camp. Beaten and detained for nine days with about 30 other people, he was forced to hand over the 1,400 Ethiopian birr ($72) he was carrying before being released. He crossed to neighboring Saudi Arabia, where wages are sometimes more than double the rates paid in Ethiopia, only to be deported a month later when authorities cracked down on illegal migrants.

Egypt deports 77 Ethiopians trying to enter Israel

African migrants sit near the border fence between Israel and Egypt near the Israeli village of Be'er Milcha September 6, 2012 (Photo by Reuters)

Dozens of Ethiopian nationals were arrested days earlier after sneaking into Egypt through southern border in a bid to reach Israel for work
Egypt on Sunday deported 77 Ethiopians for attempting to illegally migrate through the country to Israel, state news agency MENA and Al-Ahram's Arabic news website reported.
The deportees entered the Egyptian governorate of Aswan through the country's southern frontier with Sudan. They were arrested two weeks ago in Aswan but only deported on Sunday following a liaison with the Ethiopian embassy in Egypt, MENA said.

Ethiopians Rule The Roads At Suja Rock ‘n’ Roll San Diego Half Marathon

Deksisa, Dibaba capture titles; Keflezighi leads hundreds under 1:30 mark.

On the 17th anniversary of the Suja Rock ’n’ Roll San Diego Marathon and Half Marathon on Sunday morning, at the 13.1-mile distance, youth was served—and it was a pair of Ethiopians who ruled the roads.

On the men’s side, 20-year-old Solomon Deksisa of Ethiopia broke away from Kenyan Geoffrey Bundi near Mile 11 and sped to victory, winning in 1 hour, 10 seconds. Bundi, 26, finished second in 1:00:26.

In the women’s race, three-time Boston Marathon champion Rita Jeptoo, 33, of Kenya soaked up the pre-race hype. But on a humid morning with temperatures in the 60s, it was 20-year-old Ethiopian Birhane Dibaba stealing the show.

US warns of possible terror attack in Ethiopia-Read The Full MESSAGE

The U.S. Embassy in Addis Ababa  would like to remind U.S. citizens living or traveling in Ethiopia to maintain a high level of vigilance and to take appropriate steps to enhance personal security.   The Embassy continues to receive credible threat reports of Al-Shabaab's intent and capability to attack Ethiopia and western interests in Ethiopia.  In recent weeks, there have been several incursions along the Ethiopian-Somali border.  While there is no known specific information regarding the timing or location of an attack, we would like to remind U.S. citizens to be especially vigilant in areas where large numbers of U.S. and western citizens congregate, including restaurants, hotels, bars, places of worship, supermarkets, and shopping malls.

We strongly recommend that U.S. citizens traveling to or residing in Ethiopia enroll in the Department of State's Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP). STEP enrollment gives you the latest security updates, and makes it easier for the U.S. embassy or nearest U.S. consulate to contact you in an emergency. If you don't have Internet access, enroll directly with the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate.

Karlheinz Boehm, 86, Austrian actor dedicated to helping Ethiopians

Karlheinz Boehm, an Austrian actor and human rights activist who founded an aid group dedicated to helping people in Ethiopia, has died. He was 86.

Mr. Boehm’s group, Menschen fuer Menschen (“People for People”) said he died at his home near Salzburg on Thursday. It didn’t give a cause of death.

In the 1950s, the German-born Mr. Boehm starred alongside Romy Schneider in the television series “Sissi,” playing Emperor Franz Joseph of Austria. He later appeared in Michael Powell’s 1960 thriller “Peeping Tom” and in movies directed by Rainer Werner Fassbinder.