Ethiopia

Bishoftu (Ethiopia) (AFP) An Ethiopian religious festival transformed on Sunday into a rare moment of open defiance to the government one year after a stampede started by police killed dozens at the gathering. The Irreecha festival is held annually by the Oromos, Ethiopia’s largest ethnic group, which in late 2015 began months of anti-government protests over claims of marginalisation and unfair land seizures. Parliament declared a nationwide state of emergency aimed at quelling the unrest shortly after the bloodshed at last October’s Irreecha, but the protests at this year’s gatheringRead More
Bishoftu (Ethiopia) (AFP) A year ago Firommisa Darasa barely made it out of Ethiopia’s Irreecha festival alive, managing to escape from a deep ditch where dozens perished. The tragedy happened after police fired tear gas at anti-government protesters, sparking a stampede. Last year’s bloodshed at the annual religious festival held by Ethiopia’s largest ethnic group, the Oromo people, became a turning point in the months of anti-government protests which prompted the government to declare a nationwide state of emergency. While dissatisfaction with Ethiopia’s government still runs deep among the Oromos,Read More
Addis Ababa (AFP) The African Union on Wednesday expressed its “bewilderment” at US President Donald Trump’s inclusion of Chad on an updated and open-ended travel ban list issued at the weekend. In a statement the AU said it had been “perplexed” by the presence of three African countries — Libya, Somalia and Sudan — on Trump’s original travel ban, and welcomed the removal of Sudan from the new list, issued Sunday. But it criticised the “unjust” inclusion of Chad, a country with a long history of cooperation with the UnitedRead More
Addis Ababa (AFP) Clashes that erupted in Ethiopia this month between two of the country’s largest ethnic groups have killed hundreds of people and displaced thousands more, the government said Monday. The killing of two local administrators coupled with long-running land disputes led to an outbreak of fighting between the Oromo and Somali peoples in the south and east, government spokesman Negeri Lencho said. “We can say hundreds of the Oromo ethnicity were killed… and there were also deaths from the Somali side, we don’t know exactly how many,” NegeriRead More
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