At least ten men drowned after the boat they were traveling capsized in Lake Tana, the largest lake in Ethiopia, Monday evening. The crowded boat went down about a mile off from Baher Dar, while heading to the village of Gorgora, when waves started coming over the stern of the boat.The villagers were returning after offering prayers and and making sacrifices at the site when the boat overturned.The boat called Fasiledes belonged to the state owned Lake Transport Enterprise and was said to be not in a good form, although officials said they were still not certain why it tipped over. It was not known as to how many people were on board and the search for survivors continues today.
Lake Tana is the source from where the famous Blue Nile starts its long journey to.
Poetry will have a place at the 50th anniversary of the founding of the Organization of African Unity, the precursor to today’s African Union. Award-winning Ethiopian-British performance poet and playwright Lemn Sissay is in town and he will be performing at different venues in Addis Ababa for the for the celebration of the Golden Jubilee.
The first event will take place on Wednesday, 22 May at the National Theater, where the poet will be performing selections from his internationally acclaimed works. Beweketu Seyoum and Ephrem Seyoum will be supporting him for the event which is free and open to the public. Read more…
Ethiopian security forces arrested two sons of prominent opposition figure and internet activist Assegid Gebre Selassie in the northern town of Mekele, hauling them off to a remote location without showing a warrant, he told local magazine.
“My two sons are incarcerated at different prisons, one at illegal solitary confinement called 06, which is not even known by legal institutions,” Assegid said. He discovered the location days later, after contacting various responsible bodies, though his permission request to visit them was denied.
Ahferom Assegid and Yemane Assegid were probably detained on a charge of putting their father’s writings online, according to media report. No trial date had been set by late year.
According to the activist, “the security forces did not present an arrest warrant.” One of his sons who suffer from health problems was “not allowed to take his medication with him.”
A one-time TPLF apologist and leader, Assegid later became a firm opponent of the party and is now member of the opposition political party known as Arena Tigray for Democracy and sovereignty. He himself was imprisoned a number of times for his writings about human rights violations, sectarian discrimination, and repression of the political opposition.
A panel discussion to explore Emperor Haile Selassie’s role and Ethiopia’s contribution to the formation of the Organization of African Unity (OAU), a precursor to the AU, was abruptly cancelled. The panel, planned to quell a controversy over a lack of credit by the ruling party for the Emperor, was to have been held at Old Plenary Hall of the African Union here in Addis Ababa this weekend as part of the 50th anniversary of OAU. The organizer, Hailesellasie I Memorial Foundation, said scheduling conflicts of the panelists had caused the cancellation.
The program had been scheduled to be chaired by Thabo Mbeki, the former South African president and was to be attended by a distinguished list of panelists such as former president of the Addis Abeba University, professor Andreas Eshete, a lawyer and senior official during the Imperial era, Teshome G. Mariam, former mayor during the caretaker administration of Addis Abeba, Brehane Deressa, and former head of Ethiopian Radio and Television Agency, Selome Tadesse.
Many Ethiopians are voicing frustration over the disregard for Emperor Haile Selassie’s role and contribution during the OAU’s establishment as well as supporting the liberation struggles of many African countries.
Ethiopian Orthodox Church’s new patriarch, Abune Mathias has officially joined the microblogging website Twitter, securing the account @EOTCPatriarch.
His first tweet dated on March 10 reads,
Good morning from Addis Ababa! My brethren, pray for the unity of our Holy Orthodox Church and each other as we enter the Great Holy Lent.
Abune Mathias, who has previously served as archbishop of the church in Jerusalem, was enthroned on March 3, 2013. The 71-year-old patriarch has lived abroad for more than 30 years, which probably explains why he is embracing the new technology.In another tweet dated March 20, the Patriarch said that he misses Jerusalem, but he is honored and humbled “to serve our Holy Church” at the Patriarchate in Addis Ababa.
The Patriarch’s tweets are spiritual in nature, reminding people to serve the poor and keep them in their prayers. His desire to connect with citizens regularly suggests that he is keen to be seen to be engaging with the concerns of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church.
Right now, the Patriarch has over 357 followers, and he appears to be the first head the Ethiopian Orthodox Church active on the platform.
Ethiopian police in Addis Ababa questioned an editor for several hours yesterday in connection with a story published in October about the widow of the late Ethiopian leader Meles Zenawi, according to news reports.
Officers in the Ethiopian Federal Police Crime Investigation Department interrogated Ferew Abebe, the former editor-in-chief of the private Amharic-language weekly Sendek, about his sources for the October 10, 2012, story that said Azeb Mesfin, Meles’ widow, had refused to leave the Ethiopian national palace nearly two months after the prime minister’s death, local journalists said. The story, which was widely covered in local and international press, cited government sources as saying that Meles’ successor, Hailemarian Desalegn, was unable to live in the palace.
Ferew refused to identify his sources and cited Ethiopian laws that guaranteed the rights of a journalist to keep sources confidential, local journalists said. According to the Ethiopian penal code, a court can compel journalists to reveal their sources if a crime has been committed against the constitutional order, national defense force, or security of the state, which constitutes clear and imminent danger. Read more…
A new book chronicling the use of photography as communication and propaganda medium in Emperor Menelik II’s palace is set to launch next week here in Addis Ababa. The book entirely written in French and entitled, ‘Le Roi des rois et la photographie. Politique de l’image et pouvoir royal en Ethiopie sous le règne de Ménélik II’ is the offering from the French scholar, Estelle Sohier.The author said her book is about the history of the creation of photographs by the court, their uses, and their political stakes. “These documents bring a new perspective to the history of Ethiopian royalty at the beginning of the 20th century and its relations with the outside world,” she said.
Estelle received her PhD in history from the University of Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne and the University of Naples in 2007. She is now a lecturer at the Department of Geography of the University of Geneva. Her current research focuses on the history of photography and its political uses between 1880 and 1930.
The book would be launched on 14 May at two different venues, one at the French Center for Ethiopian Studies (CFEE) at 12.30 pm and at the Alliance Ethio-française at at 6.30 pm.
This Sunday, Ethiopian Orthodox Christians celebrate Fasika, (Easter). After a long fast of eight weeks they feast on meat and exchange greetings of well-wishing with their neighbors and relatives. On Easter Eve, Ethiopian Christians participate in an hours-long church service that ends around 3 a.m., after which they break their fast and celebrate the risen Christ. The following photos show reading of the resurrection by priests from Lalibela town, where the churches built underground are regarded by some as the eighth wonder of the world. Just after the Gospel readings, the proclamation of the resurrection is expanded by the song sung by the debteras (first with sticks, then with drums and sistra): «Today is a joyful day, the Sunday (sanbat) of the Christians, because Christ is risen from the dead».
An Ethiopian court on Thursday dismissed the appeal of blogger Eskinder Nega and opposition leader Andualem Arage who were jailed last year for terror-related offences. “The sentencing is still correct so there is no reduction,” said Supreme Court judge Dagne Melaku, confirming Eskinder’s jail term of 18 years and Andualem’s life sentence.
One of the charges — serving as a leader of a terrorist organisation — was dropped, but had no affect on sentencing. One of the charges — serving as a leader of a terrorist organisation — was dropped, but had no affect on sentencing. After the ruling, Eskinder made an emotional appeal to the court which was crowded with family, friends and diplomats.
“The truth will set us free,” he said. “We want the Ethiopian public to know that the truth will reveal itself, it’s only a matter of time.”
Both men are accused of links to the outlawed opposition group Ginbot 7. “The walls of justice will be demolished,” Andualem told AFP. Four other men also jailed for terror-related charges had their appeal quashed.
AFP via Global Post
Ethiopia is coffee’s birthplace, it is said and Ethiopians take their coffee seriously. From the elaborate “coffee ceremony” in towns and villages up and down the country, to the sipping a macchiato with the Sunday papers in one of the capital’s many cafes, coffee is ever present. Many of Addis residents have favorite haunts – most of them small cafes, which are located around the corner from their apartment or workplace, where coffee is prepared in a jebena or long-necked pot, usually conducted by one young woman, dressed in the traditional Ethiopian costume of a white dress, – and nothing will make you feel local like finding one of your own. But in the meantime, here’s a selection of notable spots that place a particular emphasis on the ambiance and the quality of the coffee. Read more…