Archive for the ‘In the news’ Category

Bread shortages reported in Addis Ababa

April 6, 2014 Leave a comment


Private media are reporting a bread shortage in Addis Ababa, where residents of the city are complaining about their difficulty to find affordable, smaller size breads. Addis Guday a weekly Amharic magazine, says the lack of flour might have led to bread shortages in the city, quoting some bakery owners. The magazine also said there has been slight price increase in some food items that are made with wheat flour.
A quick survey conducted by the magazine staff in some bakeries of the city conformed that there has indeed been an acute bread shortage in the city, especially the often consumed smaller size breads. The breads that were mostly available were those bigger ones, which cost around ten birr.
The Ethiopian government has not acknowledged a bread and wheat shortage in the city. Addis Guday quoted Kelemework, vice-chair of the Ethiopian Agricultural Agency, as saying he is not aware of the city’s bread crisis.
Bread is a staple in the Ethiopian diet, eaten with almost every meal. People are largely dependent on private bakeries amid an acute bread shortage there. The government often says the country has enough wheat reserves for one year and a half.

Bail denied for activists arrested during on women run

March 15, 2014 1 comment

women run
An Ethiopian court Friday began considering whether to prolong the detention of ten activists and members of the semayawi, or Blue Party jailed on charges of unauthorized protest after they chanted slogans during the Great Ethiopia Run last Sunday. The federal first instance Yeka district court on Friday morning opened a hearing into the activists, seven of them women, who launched a protest on the 11th edition of the annual women run, on Sunday 9 March to demand the release of jailed journalists and politicians. The court rejected a request for bail for the activists who have been held in custody for six days. Read more…

Categories: In the news

Muktar Kedir becomes head of OPDO

March 2, 2014 Leave a comment

Muktar Kedir, a loyal politician and trusted ally of Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn, has been elected as head of the Oromo People’s Democratic Organization (OPDO). Following the departure of the former chairman Alemyehu Atomsa, OPDO appointed Muktar, a civil service minster, as chairman of the party.
Muktar has been an active member of the OPDO since the 2000s. He was governor of the Jimma zone from 1999 to 2003. He was also head of the office of the Ethiopian Peoples’ Revolutionary democratic front (EPRDF) council from 2008 to 2010, and vice president of the Oromia region.
Under the late Meles Zenawi, Muktar enjoyed considerable influence especially after he was appointed to run the affaires of the prime minster’s office in 2010. He also joined the national security council at the time, a post that helped him to gain a great deal of knowledge and skill managing large operations.
Muktar is known as a politician of considerable will, and ego. He is an orator given to addressing mass meetings, and is one of few senior EPRDF figures who can communicate with the people. His biggest problem could come from OPDO where there are already two distinct factions, one supporting him, from Islamic areas and the other from largely Christian areas. Muktar was unpopular with the later faction for approving Wahabist groups to organize gatherings when he was vice minster of the Oromia region, a job with much influence in the party.
A native of Jimma, Muktar graduated from the civil service college with a degree in law. He also studied international leadership in Asuza Pacific University of California in August 2008.

Ethiopia’s new wine brand to go on sale

February 25, 2014 2 comments

The Ethiopia’s Rift Valley is known for its prolific bird life and the thick acacia woodland surrounding the string of seven lakes. The town of Ziway, 158 km south of Addis Ababa, which lies alongside eponymous lake, is surrounded by a rich agricultural area and pleasant scenery. Driving through the highway, we cross the Bulbula River, which is serving for the network of drip irrigation to grow plots of vegetables, and roses. Now the area is on its way to establish itself as the centre of Ethiopia’s audacious wine farm, though it remains at a small scale.
Read more…

Oromia regional state president Alemayehu Atomsa steps down

February 21, 2014 4 comments

Alemayeu Atomsa
The Oromia regional State president Alemayehu Atomsa, who has been unwell for the past three years, announced that he is resigning his position, effective February 18.
The 45-year-old Alemayehu, who has served as chair of the Oromo People’s Democratic Organization (OPDO), a part of the ruling coalition, and the presidency of the region since September 6, 2010, had handed a resignation letter to the party, which accepted it ‘with regret and respect’. His first resignation letter to the then prime Minster Meles Zenawi three years ago has been rejected.
It is not clear who will succeed him, but the OPDO appears to favor the vice president, Abdulaziz Mohamed, as acting president. Read more…

Former regional chief said to have fled the country

February 1, 2014 1 comment

The former Gambela regional state chief and the current federal affairs state minister, Omot Obang fled the country, it was reported. Omot is said to have left the country and he told friends that he would not be returning to Ethiopia, even though he hasn’t made public statement yet.Sources suggest Omot took refuge in Manila, Philippines.
Omot, ethnic-Anuak, who studied law at the Ethiopian Civil Service University, served as president of Gambela state in western part of the country for 13 years until he was replaced by Gatluak Tut Koat, ethnic-Newer.He led the region’s ruling party – Gambella Peoples’ Democratic Movement (GPDM) – from September 2005 until he left the party in 2012.
Omot has been named by human rights groups as a key architect of a genocide against the Anuak tribe.He was accused of being involved in December 13, 2003 massacre by government troops of more than 400 people.The former high-ranking Ethiopian politician denies the charges which he says are false, illogical and he says he is the victim of a smear campaign.
In April 2013, Prime Minister Hailemarim Desalegn dismissed him as part of a government reshuffle and then brought him to the capital, as the state minister for federal affairs in a controversial appointment. Read more…

Opposition party elects new leader

January 5, 2014 Leave a comment

Gizachew Shiferaw

Ethiopia’s largest but struggling opposition party, the Unity for Democracy and Justice (UDJ), elected Gizachew Shiferaw, 59, as its leader, as the country builds up to an election scheduled for next year.
At meeting held last week here in Addis, the new party chief replaced Negasso Gidada, former president of Ethiopia, who served as president the UDJ for the past three years.
Gizachew beat three other candidates to the position in a poll of party members, even though Girma Seifu, the only opposition member of parliament, made a campaign on social media indicating that he would be a strong contender to win the party’s nomination. Read more…

Stone-tipped spears predating humans discovred in Ethiopia

November 27, 2013 Leave a comment

The oldest known stone-tipped projectiles have been discovered in Ethiopia. The javelins are roughly 280,000 years old and predate the earliest known fossils of our species, Homo sapiens, by about 80,000 years, National Geographic reported.
These javelins are some 200,000 years older than previous examples of similar weapons, suggesting that modern humans and their extinct relatives had the know-how to create these sorts of complex thrown projectiles much earlier than often thought.
Scientists investigated stone tools unearthed at the Gademotta Formation on the flanks of an ancient, large collapsed volcanic crater in central Ethiopia’s Rift Valley. “Today, the area represents a ridge overlooking one of the four lakes in the vicinity, Lake Ziway,” said researcher Yonatan Sahle, an archaeologist at the University of California, Berkeley. Read more…

Scientists monitor activity at Corbetti and Alultu

November 25, 2013 Leave a comment

Scientists deployed monitoring equipments on two Ethiopian volcanoes that would provide real-time tracking of eruptions and forgo repairs of seismic equipment.
A team led by scientists from the University of Bristol in England, placed ground based GPS monitoring equipment that will measure movements in two volcanoes within the East African Rift, Alutu and Corbetti, 250 kilometers south of Addis Ababa.
A large hammer drill, powered by three car batteries, was used to drill a hole into the hard rock for the antenna pin, which needed to be perfectly straight for the GPS antenna to record the satellite signals properly. The antenna was set on the pin and aligned and connected to the recorder, which collected a GPS signal from the satellites every 15 seconds. The equipment is connected to the battery and solar panels and waterproofed and protected with a fence. Read more…

Indian-owned farm attacked in Gambella

November 5, 2013 1 comment

A violent attack on a tea plantation leased by Indian-owned Verdanta Harvest Plc Officials in Ethiopia’s western Gambella region, has renewed concerns over the country’s policy of leasing out large tracts of land to international investors, according to a report in The Hindu newspaper.
The newspaper reported that on October 20, unidentified individuals destroyed buildings and machinery worth approximately $140,000 in Gambella. It was reported that locals set the plantation on fire “on account of destroying the rich forest resources”, a claim denied by the company. Community leaders in Gambella did not comment on the attack, but rights groups have warned that a policy of leasing out 42 per cent of Gambella’s land and resettling over 30,000 agro-pastoral communities is the likely cause of the unrest.
In 2011, for instance, armed gunmen killed five workers on a farm developed by a Saudi Arabian company. All land in Ethiopia belongs to the state, giving the government unusual leverage in its dealings with local communities. Read more…