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  • Ethiopia says UN observers not needed as protests rage

     

    Addis Ababa - Ethopia has dismissed a plea from the United Nations that it allow international observers to investigate the killing of protesters by security forces during a recent bout of anti-government demonstrations. 

    Getachew Reda, a government spokesman, told Al Jazeera on Thursday that the UN was entitled to its opinion but the government of Ethiopia was responsible for the safety of its own people.

    Reda's comments came after the UN urged the government to allow observers to investigate the killings of at least 90 protesters in the Oromia and Amhara regions over the weekend.

    Zeid Raad Al Hussein, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, said allegations of excessive use of force must should be investigated and that his office was in discussions with Ethiopian authorities.

    Reda, however, told Al Jazeera that it was not necessary to send observers to specific parts of the country since the UN already had a massive presence in Ethiopia.

    He said the government would launch its own investigation into whether security forces had used excessive force and would do so in consultation with local people.

    He blamed what he called "terrorist elements" for stoking the violence from abroad, without giving further detail.

    At the weekend, an opposition leader told the AFP news agency that up to 50 people were killed as security forces suppressed the protestsAmnesty International put the death toll at 97.

    Oromia, an area which surrounds the capital Addis Ababa, has seen several months of protests, sparked by plans to allocate farmland in the region for development.

    Authorities scrapped the land scheme in January, but protests have flared again over the continued detention of opposition demonstrators.

    Source: Al Jazeera and agencies

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  • Rapid HIV testing kits to be distributed

    (by Andegna.com) Ethiopia’s Ministry of Health to distribute rapid HIV test kits after proper check have been conducted on the testing kits to meet the standards despite the Ethiopian Public Health Institute’s prior alarm on the kits to fit the Ethiopian environment.

    The Ethiopian Public Health Institute and US Center for Disease Control carried out evaluation on the tools performance in Ethiopia, which Ministry claim kits are faultless to immediate distribution.

    Ministry said it has requested Ethiopian Public Health Institute (EPHI) to verify the conformity of the kits as per the Ethiopian context. The finding indicated that the test kit performed well on the plasma specimens but the sensitivity appeared to be usually low on whole
    blood, 93.3 percent. The ministry thus requested EPHI and Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to validate the assessment results again.

    However, Ethiopian Public Health Institute’s first HIV test kit evaluation did not follow the protocol recommended by the world health organization (WHO) and the joint United Nations program on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS), EPHI rebounded that there might have been possible operational errors in the field of testing and the right procedure was not followed during the evaluation of the kit conferring to the 2015 WHO standards.  

    Image: Quick HIV test kit (sample)

     

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  • President of Benishangul-Gumuz region dies

    (by Andegna.com) Ahmed Nassir Ahmed, President of Benishangul-Gumuz regional state died on Thursday.

    Ahmed, was a growing regional figure after the former long-serving regional president Yaregal Aysheshum, who has been convicted of corruption.  

    He served at the top ranks of the regional political party, Benishangul-Gumuz People’s Democratic Unity Front (B-GPDUF), an affiliate of the ruling Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF).  

    In recent times, the region has become center of interest as Ethiopia laid the construction of Grand Renaissance Dam in a place called Guba.  

    Image: the late Ahmed Nassir

     

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  • Addis plans to build industrial park

    (by Andegna.com) The Addis Ababa City Administration is planning construction of seven industrial cluster parks to host at least 130 mid-level industries. 

    City’s Industrial Development Bureau said a new plan is to help reduce the infrastructure service challenges of telecom, water and electric power supplies by locating them in one place, which the City said most of the industries are dispersedly locate and this has made it difficult and costly to build infrastructural facilities.

    In an aimed to solve these challenges the locations of the parks have been identified and construction work will begin soon by the city Administration in Nifas Silk-Laphto, Akaki Kaliti and Bole Sub-cities for the construction of the parks.

    The cost of the project is being studied to be covered by the administration in a loan to be gained from the World Bank and other financial institutions.

    Image: Addis Ababa @skyscrapercity.com

     

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  • S Korea opens EXIM Bank office in Addis

    (by Andegna.com) South Korea come close to Ethiopia after officially opening Export Import (EXIM) Bank representative office in Addis Ababa.

    In an aim to provide investment credit for Ethiopia the Korean government has decided to open the EXIM Bank in 2015 and the Bank has been officially opened on Friday.

    “The opening of the representative office in Addis Ababa will strengthen the ties between the two countries lasted for over 50 years,” Chairman and President of the Bank, Lee Duk-Hoon (PhD), said on the opening ceremony.  

    During Korean President, Park Guen-Hye official visit last week, a concessional loan agreement amount USD 500 million has been signed, through the Economic Cooperation Development Fund that will be utilized for development works in the next three years.

    South Korea is keen in supporting Ethiopia in the fields of agriculture, industrialization, water, electric power generation, road construction, and science and technology. Since 2006 Korea has provided over USD 178 million for infrastructural development projects for Ethiopia.

    Image: Korean Exim Bank Headquarter 

     

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