Addis Ababa (AFP) After representing Eritrea in cycling tournaments across Africa, Daniel Teklay took a journey of a different sort last year when he escaped across his country’s militarised border to a new life as a refugee. A year later Teklay is back on his bike, only now he competes in Eritrea’s neighbour and bitter rival Ethiopia, where he is the top performer on a team of Eritrean refugees who have posted impressive results at events, but are struggling to find the money and permission to compete. “I decided toRead More
Nguenyyiel refugee camp (Ethiopia) (AFP) Her feet bare and her hometown in flames, Nyadet walked east alone, eating food given to her by strangers and following trails left by others escaping war in South Sudan. She is 12 years old. Nine days after she fled bloodshed in the flashpoint town of Malakal last November, Nyadet reached the country’s border with Ethiopia, and crossed over to safety. “Maybe they are safe,” is all she can say of her mother, father, sister and two brothers, whom she lost track of when theRead More
Addis Ababa (AFP) As the African Union struggles to get members to pay dues, Zimbabwe’s President Robert Mugabe took the bull by the horns and sold his own cattle for a sizeable donation to the body. Mugabe handed over $1 million (880,000 euros) at the start of the AU’s bi-annual summit in Addis Ababa, after auctioning off 300 of his own cattle, as well as those belonging to some of his supporters. The gift was a bid to show his resolve for making the AU self-supporting as the tricky questioningRead More
Warder (Ethiopia) (AFP) The Somali people of Ethiopia’s southeast have a name for the drought that has killed livestock, dried up wells and forced hundreds of thousands into camps: sima, which means “equalised”. It’s an appropriate name, they say, because this drought has left no person untouched, spared no corner of their arid region. And it has forced 7.8 million people across the whole of Ethiopia to rely on emergency food handouts to stay alive. But by next month, that food will have run out, aid agencies say. Droughts areRead More
Addis Ababa (AFP) Ethiopia re-activated cellphone data services and unexpectedly allowed access to social media sites that had been blocked since a wave of anti-government protests last year, a government spokesman told AFP on Thursday. Africa’s second most-populous country shut down internet access even to diplomatic installations last week in a move the government said was necessary to keep students from being distracted during annual exams. Deputy communications minister Zadig Abraha confirmed the lifting of the ban but declined to say why social media sites like Facebook and Twitter, whichRead More
Addis Ababa (AFP) Ethiopians were still unable to surf the web via mobile networks on Tuesday, despite government claims the nationwide internet shutdown, which began a week ago, had been lifted. Africa’s second most-populous country turned off its internet access without warning or explanation last week, briefly depriving even diplomatic buildings, like the UN’s Economic Commission for Africa and the headquarters of the African Union, of internet access. While service to those two institutions was restored and subscribers to broadband internet say they are now able to get online, accessRead More
Addis Ababa (AFP) A judge in Ethiopia’s capital on Tuesday found a former opposition spokesman guilty of encouraging terrorism with a series of anti-government Facebook posts. Yonatan Tesfaye was arrested in December 2015 after writing on the social media platform that the government had used “force against the people instead of using peaceful discussion with the public.” While Yonatan’s lawyer and defence witnesses argued the former spokesman of the opposition Blue Party was exercising his right to free speech, judge Belayhun Awol ruled the comments “exceeded freedom of expression” andRead More
Zaena (Ethiopia) (AFP) The beehives of Ethiopia, Africa’s top honey producer, make about a quarter of the continent’s honey, but travellers who come to sample the liquid gold often find there isn’t enough to go around​. In a country where 85 percent of all jobs are in agriculture, industry experts say the beekeeping — or apiculture — sector is still a long way from harvesting its full potential, hampered by outdated, low-yield techniques, periodic droughts and uncompetitive prices. Honey traditionally plays a big role in Ethiopian life — where itsRead More
Addis Ababa (AFP) Ethiopia should rein in a controversial anti-terrorism law and release prisoners, the UN human rights chief said Thursday during a visit to Addis Ababa. The visit by Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, the UN high commissioner for human rights, comes after Ethiopia’s parliament in March extended by four months a state of emergency it declared after anti-government protesters took to the streets nationwide last year. The government of Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn has faced international pressure for cracking down on dissent and jailing journalists since taking power inRead More
Lake Asale (Ethiopia) (AFP) Every morning, hundreds of men converge on a dry lakebed in a remote corner of Ethiopia, where they cleave the ground open with handaxes to extract salt, just as their fathers and grandfathers once did. They toil under the gaze of a caravan of camels who will carry their salt bricks to market, in a trek that historians estimate has gone on since the 6th century. But with the Ethiopian government opening the isolated northern region to investors and tourists by cutting new roads through surroundingRead More