Ethiosat, the first Ethiopian satellite launched a year ago, would reduce by half the USD 10 million broadcasters expend in the country annually, the Ethiopian Broadcasting Authority said on Wednesday.
The authority held a press conference with stakeholders on the activities it carried out to enable broadcasters use Ethiosat for their transmission.
Speaking on the occasion, Ethiopian Broadcasting Authority Director-General, Getachew Denqu explained that the authority concluded agreement with S.E.S Rental Company after seven months of negotiations.
The agreement would allow television stations located in Ethiopia to use Ethiosat, the director said. According to him, the agreement would enable the nation’s television channels to become competitive and reduce their expenses.
The selected rental satellite is accessible in all parts of Ethiopia with better quality, Getachew added.
Transmission with Ethiosat would also contribute to the establishment of stations that better provide security, peace and national values, he noted.
Thus far, 60 local and foreign stations have been registered to use the satellite, the director-general said. (ENA)
Ethiopia to issue visa on arrival for tourists from over 80 countries
Ethiopia will issue visa on arrival for tourists from all African and over 30 other countries, Tourism Ethiopia said on Tuesday.
The move was made to reopen tourism by adhering to COVID-19 guidelines in line with recommendations of the Ministry of Health, it was learnt.
Tourism Ethiopia Convention Bureau Director, Alemayehu Gebretensae told ENA that tourists can acquire visa on arrival at Bole International Airport.
“Visa will be issued on arrival at Bole International Airport for citizens from all African countries and over 30 countries of other continents,” the director said, adding tourists can also fill e-Visa form online from anywhere.
Besides, the tourism sector has prepared a stimulus package.
Accordingly, tourist police would be deployed to provide safety for tourists and hotels.
With many tourist sites and destinations, Ethiopia has close to a dozen tangible and intangible heritages inscribed in the UNESCO World Heritage site. (FBC)
Hambericho mountain stairway project inaugurated
A Hambericho Mountain stairway project, which consists of 777 stairs, was inaugurated on Wednesday.
The inauguration ceremony was attended by SNNP high ranking officials, including speaker of the regional council, Helen Debebe.
At the inaugural, Rural Cluster Coordinator of Southern Nations, Nationalities and Peoples’ Region with the rank of Deputy President, Anteneh Fekadu said that the 777 steps stairway has been constructed with an outlay of 10 million birr.
Hambericho stairway eases the climb to the top of the mountain which is elevated some 3,000 meters above sea level and hiking in other parts of the mountainous attraction sites in the area, he explained.
The Hambericho Mountainous Natural attraction site, which is situated in Kembata Tembaro Zone, is one of the developments of green tourism destinations being carried out in the region.
The 777 stair Hamberich Mountain project is the first of its kind in Ethiopia. (FBC)
**** UN releases emergency funding for civilians in Ethiopia’s Tigray region
The United Nations (UN) released USD 36.6 million for civilians caught up in the conflict that has roiled Ethiopia’s Tigray region since early last month, in order to secure water, sanitation and lifesaving medical supplies.
Weeks of fighting in the Northern region have reportedly left hundreds dead, thousands displaced, and millions in urgent need of humanitarian assistance. More than 50,000 people, almost half of them children, have fled across the border into Sudan.
The UN Emergency Relief Coordinator, Mark Lowcock, said that after six weeks of conflict, “the civilian toll is mounting. Women and children arrive in Sudan with disturbing stories of violence, deprivation and abuse. Many have not made it out.
‘Unfettered access, now’
“Conflicts like this are hard to stop once they get out of control, the lives they extinguish cannot be brought back, and the grievances they create are long lasting. Right now, children are cut off from help. We need unfettered access, now.” (UN News)
Ethiopia offers 10 million birr bounty on TPLF leaders
The Ethiopian National Defense Forces (ENDF) announced on Friday that it will award ten million birr bounty for whistleblowers who tip the whereabouts of TPLF officials who are at large, according to Fana Broadcasting Corporation.
In a press conference held on Friday, Community Information Department Head of the National Defense Forces, Let.-Gen Asrat Denero announced an offer amounting to 10 Million Birr in rewards for information on the whereabouts of members of the TPLF Clique.
The reward is to be offered to anyone who discloses the whereabouts of members of the TPLF Clique who are being hunted in an operation underway following the atrocity the renegade group committed against the national army troops and the nation at large.
The government is working to bring culprits to justice, restore infrastructure and rehabilitate affected people following the completion of the law enforcement operation in Tigray.
Mekelle City and several towns in Tigray region are returning to normalcy and getting back to the previous day to day activities. (FBC)
Police seizes over 2,700 firearms in Addis Ababa in one month
The Addis Ababa Police Commission on Tuesday announced the seizure of more than 2,700 firearms during the last one month.
In a raid it carried out on residential homes, vehicles and institutions in collaboration with Federal Police regional security forces, Addis Ababa police has also seized more than 80,000 bullets of various firearms besides the weapons.
Following the attack by TPLF against the Northern Command of the National Defense Forces, police undertook close investigations on suspected houses and institutions in a bid to curb potential terror acts by agents of the renegade group in Addis Ababa.
Aided by a close investigation and raids it carried out from November 4 to December 5, 2020 for a month, police seized grenades, anti-vehicle mines, 141 communication devices, 809 Kalashnikovs, 2 launchers, 976 pistols, 924 rifles which were illegally owned by individuals in the city, it was indicated.
In addition, police disclosed the seizure of some 1312 military uniforms, 629 mobile phones and 1799 new SIM cards which were allegedly being used for illegal activities. (FBC)
Horn in Brief
Somalia cuts diplomatic ties with Kenya
Somalia said it will withdraw its diplomats from Kenya and has given Kenyan diplomats seven days to leave Mogadishu.
Information Minister Osman Abukar Dubbe said Somali’s Mogadishu-based government was recalling its diplomatic staff from Kenya and was giving Kenyan diplomats seven days to leave Somalia.
Dubbe did not specify the nub of the latest tiff between Mogadishu and Nairobi but accused Kenya’s “current leadership” of carrying out “recurring outright” interference in Somalia, while describing the people of Kenya as “peace-loving.”
The rift follows a reported visit to Nairobi by Muse Bihi Abdi, the President of the self-proclaimed independent Somaliland, in Somalia’s far North.
Abdi had been received by Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta on Monday, reported the French news agency AFP.
Somalia has also long objected to what it believes is Kenya’s support for Ahmed Madobe, the President of the Somali southern state of Jubbaland, which borders Kenya and includes the key Somali port Kismayo.
Modobe has been at odds with Mogadishu as the central Somali administration prepares for Presidential and Parliamentary elections due in early 2021.
Two weeks ago, Mogadishu expelled Kenya’s Ambassador and recalled its own Ambassador from Nairobi. (DW)
South Sudan’s Machar calls for start of healing, reconciliation process
South Sudan’s First Vice President Riek Machar on Wednesday called for the start of the healing and reconciliation process in order to unite people to support the parties to conclude pending tasks in the peace process.
Machar who leads the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-In-Opposition (SPLM-IO) which is in a power-sharing arrangement with President Salva Kiir’s SPLM said the Revitalized Transitional Government of National Unity (R-TGoNU) will soon start the process of healing and reconciliation.
“We must not allow peace spoilers to turn the clock back to violence. The R-TGoNU is now kicking off the process of reconciliation, forgiveness and national healing by convening before the end of this month a conference for the people of Upper Nile state,” said Machar in a statement issued in Juba.
He disclosed that similar reconciliation conferences will also be conducted in other states.
The youngest nation on Tuesday marked the anniversary of the conflict, with Machar using the occasion to push for the start of healing and reconciliation among the people of South Sudan. (Xinhua)
New desert locust ‘invasion’ threatens millions across Horn of Africa: UN
New swarms of desert locusts threaten the livelihoods and food security of millions of people in the Horn of African region, according to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).
FAO reported on Wednesday that locust infestations increased over the past month in Ethiopia and Somalia as a result of extensive breeding, favorable weather and rainfall, with populations predicted to increase further in the coming months.
“New locust swarms are already forming and threatening to re-invade Northern Kenya and breeding is also underway on both sides of the Red Sea, posing a new threat to Eritrea, Saudi Arabia, the Sudan, and Yemen,” FAO said in a news release.
Earlier this year, the greater Horn of African region witnessed one of the worst ever desert locust infestations.
FAO warned that the new swarms could have devastating consequences for communities affected by recurrent drought, conflict, high food prices, and the COVID-19 pandemic.
The UN agency said it requires a further USD 40 million in 2021 to increase surveillance and control activities in the worst affected countries – Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, the Sudan, and Yemen. (CGTN)
U.S. lifts Sudan’s designation as state sponsor of terrorism
The United States formally rescinded Sudan’s status as a state sponsor of terrorism on Monday, removing the biggest barrier to the African country’s access to international lending institutions and economic development.
Sudan was designated as a state sponsor of terrorism in 1993, in part for its support of militant Palestinian organizations such as Hamas, as well as for harboring al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden. Less than two years ago, a popular protest movement led to the ouster of Omar al-Bashir, who ruled Sudan for three decades and whose policies often antagonized the United States and Israel.
“Today we return to the international community with all our history, the civilization of our people, the greatness of our country and the vigor of our revolution,” tweeted Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok. He added that the move would help reform the economy, create jobs and attract investment.
In a statement, the State Department called the delisting “a fundamental change” and emphasized the role of Sudan’s protest movement in bringing about the conditions for this new course. (Washington Post)