Friday, June 29, 2012
Thursday, June 28, 2012
By Aaron Maasho
ADDIS ABABA, June 28 | Thu Jun 28, 2012 6:05pm IST
(Reuters) - Ethiopia has signed two deals worth $3.2 billion with Chinese and Turkish companies to construct a railway to link the land-locked Horn of Africa nation to Djibouti's Tadjourah port to export potash, officials said.
Ethiopia, which has seen high economic growth over the past five years, hopes to exploit growing business ties with China, India and Turkey to boost its expanding economy.
Under a five-year development plan launched in 2010, the government aims to pursue power projects and boost infrastructure, including building several new railways.
Getachew Betru, head of the Ethiopian Railways Corporation (ERC), said Turkish firm Yapi Merkezi will build a $1.7 billion railway line in the northeast, part of a project that stretches to Djibouti's third port of Tadjourah, which is under construction.
Tadjourah, on the Red Sea, is the closest outlet for Ethiopia's Afar region, where a number of foreign firms, including Canada's Allana Potash Corp, a re developing potash mines.
Allana said in February it would work with Djibouti authorities to integrate required potash storage and handling facilities into the new port plans.
Wednesday's deal followed a $1.5 billion agreement signed over the weekend between ERC and China Communications Construction Company to build a different section of the railway line to Tadjourah port.
Yapi Merkazi is expected to complete its portion of the line in 42 months, the foreign ministry said on its website.
This will link up with the section being built by the Chinese firm, as well as other portions, to give Ethiopia an alternative port access from the current route to Djibouti's mai n outlet, and providing an outlet for potash development,
Ethiopia aims to construct 5,000 km of railway lines by 2020 and says companies from BRIC nations have shown an interest in several projects.
The neighbouring economies are reliant on each other with about 70 percent of all trade through the tiny Red Sea state
Tuesday, June 26, 2012
Sunday, June 24, 2012
An Ethiopian court has sentenced a United Nations guard to seven years in prison for communicating with a terrorist group.
Abdurahman Sheikh Hassan, who is Ethiopian, was earlier found guilty of participating in the Ogaden National Liberation Front (ONLF), which is banned, reported BBC News. Hassan had helped in negotiating the release of two other UN workers who had been kidnapped by the group and, according to the judge, passed information to terrorists while doing so. He also said Hassan was guilty of collaborating with a senior member of ONLF called Sherif Badio, who was sentenced in absentia to life in prison for "serving as a leader or a decision maker in a terrorist organization."
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"Under the guise of his job, he has been passing information to a terrorist organization with the aim to help them," Judge Mulugeta Kidane told the court before delivering his verdict, according to BBC.
Hassan appeared in court on Friday holding Muslim prayer beads, reported News24. He shook his lawyer's hand as she translated the sentence to him, as he does not speak Ethiopia's Amharic language.
The head of UN security in Ethiopia's Ogaden region, Hassan was arrested last July after he participated in the negotiations to release two UN World Food Programme hostages held by the ONLF, according to News24.
Since Ethiopia introduced its new anti-terrorism law a year ago, two Swedish journalists have been sentenced to 11 years each in jail, while a case involving another 23 people is still under way, said the Africa Report.
Saturday, June 23, 2012
Tuesday, June 19, 2012
Monday, June 18, 2012
Saturday, June 16, 2012
Somalia: Ethiopian Forces Ditch Another Town in South-Central Somalia
Mogadishu — Ethiopian and government backed Ahlu Sunna forces, have abandoned another town in south central Somalia, Radio Garowe reports.
The village of Wabho, approximately 40 kms south west of El Bur was vacated by Ahlu Sunnah and Ethiopian forces on Tuesday.
According to residents of Wabho, after the allied forces deserted the village, Al Shabaab militants quickly seized control and have been carrying out inspections of the allied forces’ empty barracks.
The allied forces in their tanks and technical vehicles headed to the district of Guri’el 120 kms west of Wabho, where they have set up camp.
It is unclear why the allied forces have retreated from another town in the region. Ahlu Sunnah authorities when asked did not comment on why the forces evacuated the town.
However local sources close to Ahlu Sunnah, said that the group will release statements following a meeting, which officials will discuss the recent retreats of allied forces in the Galgudud region and potential security measures.
On Sunday, Ethiopian forces vacated the town of El Bur which was quickly taken over by Al Shabaab insurgents. The following day two men, who were suspected of working with the allied forces, were found beheaded in the town’s center.
The brutal murder has left residents gripped with fear as Al Shabaab has assumed control.
On the other hand Ethiopia stated earlier this year that their mission was to force Al Shabaab from towns occupied by them but not to safeguard cities captured by Ethiopian forces.
Ethiopia has stated that they will depart from towns after handing it over to African Union forces (AMISOM) that have already deployed a small number of forces in Baidoa with more set to arrive.
Analysts say that the reason for the retreats by Ethiopian forces could possibly be delays in the substitution period, in which AMISOM forces were to assume control of cities captured by Ethiopian and Somali forces, causing Ethiopian forces to vacate even before the AU forces arrive.
Friday, June 15, 2012
Saturday, June 9, 2012
June 8, 2012 (ADDIS ABABA) - Ethiopia’s Council of Ministers has proposed a record 137.8 billion Birr (nearly $ 8 billion) annual budget for the 2012/2013 fiscal year, focusing on combating poverty.
The proposed budget, according to the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development, will mainly be allotted for priority projects such as infrastructure development, education, health and power generation activities, which will be carried out during the fiscal year, which in Ethiopia begins in July beginning July.
The majority 2012/2013 budget will be raised from internal income, while the balance - projected to be around $ 1 billion - will be mobilised from external sources in the form of loans and grants.
Just over more than 26.8 billion Birr ($1.5 million) of the stated budget serves as the country’s regular budget, while over 54.4 billion Birr ($3 million) is allocated for capital budget.
Over 36.5 billion Birr ($2 million) of the budget is allotted to subsidize regional states while 20 billion Birr ($1.1 million) is earmarked to support activities aimed to meet the United Nations Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
The proposed draft budget, was formulated by taking into account the country’s current, economic, social situation and other important factors and has been referred to parliament for final approval.