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    MoFA launches a promotion campaign trending #Rising Ethiopia

    The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ethiopia (MoFA) on Wednesday launched a two-month-long social media campaign trending under the phrase #RisingEthiopia.

    The campaign aims to promote the good qualities of Ethiopia and avert the effects of the misguided media narrative that has dominated the air for the last couple of months.

    Besides mobilizing Ethiopians living abroad for a common good, the campaign will also introduce Ethiopia’s investment potential to the international community and build up Ethiopia as an emerging tourism destination.

    Key themes will anchor the campaign in different phases, including #Tourism, #Culture#DiasporaBusiness#Investment and flagship projects and charities.

    The first phase of the campaign takes place from December 30 to January 24, 2021 with webinar discussions and showcasing Ethiopia’s #Tourism potential and attractions in various activities.

    The final phase of the campaign #EthiopiaGiving Week will mobilize the public to raise funds for some flagship projects, including the #GERD and charity causes. (FBC)

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    Ethiopia to cut wheat import by more than half

    The Ministry of Agriculture (MoA) plans to reduce imports of wheat by more than half.

    This was disclosed by Agriculture Minister, Umer Hussen, during a discussion with members of House of People’s Representatives.

    Ethiopia has been importing 17 million quintals of wheat annually.

    According to the Minister, the harvest, expected from 300,000 hectares of land, would help produce 10 million quintals.

    Even if it was possible to get more yield this harvest season, the flooding in Afar Region obstructed the effort to meet the target, he said.

    Some 90,000 hectares of irrigated land has been covered with wheat, the Minister said, adding that the best seed, fertilizers and supplies have been properly provided.

    Umer revealed that efforts are also being exerted to fully stop wheat imports within three to five years. (FBC)

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    Assembly plant to produce full-fledged electric vehicles in 10 years

    Marathon Motors Engineering, which launched its first electric car in July 2020, announced on Tuesday its plan to raise the portion of its electric car production to 30 percent by 2023 and 100 percent by 2030.

    Currently, Marathon Motors is assembling 36 cars per day with over 14 models, according to the company’s CEO.

    Introduced in July 2020, it plans to increase its supply of electric vehicles to go in line with the nation’s policy of building a climate resilient green economy of Ethiopia.

    The company plans to increase its assembly of electric cars to 15 percent of its total production capacity by the end of 2021, to 30 percent by 2023 and to 100 percent by 2030.

    “The second model of electric car is in its final phase, to be launched soon, and by 2022 the company plans to assemble five models of electric cars, according to Melkamu Assefa, founding CEO, Partner and Managing Director of Marathon Motors Engineering. (The Ethiopian Herald)

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    Ministry to bring back hundred stolen heritages home

    The Ministry of Culture and Tourism announced it has planned for the return of around a hundred stolen heritages within 10 years interval. The Ministry has established a new National Heritage Returns Committee that works on repatriation of looted heritages.

    The Ministry’s Communication Director, Endegena Desalegn, told The Ethiopian Herald that the national committee will permanently work on repatriating heritages that were stolen for various reasons and kept in different countries.

    The committee is expected to open its own office, organize a sub-committee that is drawn from various sectors such as culture, law and diplomacy, among others.

    He said the country has received different looted heritages from different countries including the first piece of the granite obelisk looted by the troops of fascist Italy, Emperor Tewodros II’s lock of hair, and crowns of kings. However, he pointed out, there are also numerous unreturned treasures.

    Besides, every concerned body working in research and conservation of cultural heritages should play a vital role in keeping and following-up on heritages, he remarked. (The Ethiopian Herald)

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    Horn in Brief

    Djibouti, Somaliland border open after six years

    Following a five-day official visit by the President of the Republic of Somaliland, Musa Bihi Abdi, to the Republic of Djibouti, a six-year-long near-complete closure of the border between the two countries has come to an end.

    President Bihi’s visit, which was wrapped up with a joint border crossing on Monday, was one of the longest.

    “With gratitude, we note the cordial reception and brotherhood my delegation was shown throughout our tour of the country,” President Bihi said speaking at a jubilant reception by the people of the ancient, coastal town of Zeila.

    “We are also very happy that our common border is now declared open, ending difficulties which shrouded economic vibrancy between the two countries,” he said.

    On the Djiboutian side, the President was accompanied by the Djibouti Police Commissioner, Colonel Abdullahi Abdi Farah. (MENAFN – SomTribune)

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    Thousands attend funeral of Sudanese detained, killed by RSF militia

    Tens of thousands of Sudanese people gathered on Tuesday to mourn a civilian who died under torture by the controversial Rapid Support Forces (RSF). His funeral was seen as a new demonstration of the aversion the Sudanese have towards the militia, which is accused of grave human rights violations.

    The funeral procession for Baha Eldin Nouri began with hundreds of cars from the morgue of Omdurman Hospital to the RSF detention facility, located in Khartoum North, where the 45-year-old man was killed.

    The mourners stopped for a few minutes in front of the SRF facility before they went on carrying the coffin to the residence of the family of the deceased and from there to the cemetery of Kalakla neighborhood south of Khartoum.

    Hundreds of mourners held Nour’s pictures and banners denouncing his detention and calling for the execution of the killers.

    The mourners who attended the longest funeral procession in Sudan’s modern history, chanted slogans denouncing the Rapid Support Forces and calling for the trial of the perpetrators. (Sudan Tribune)

    Anadolu reported that the immunity of the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) suspected of killing a civilian was removed on Tuesday.

    In a statement, RSF spokesman Jamal Juma said immunity was removed from the suspected soldiers “and were handed over to the Public Prosecution to complete the investigation procedures.”

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    South Sudan to import COVID-19 vaccines as cases rise

    South Sudan on Wednesday announced it is working with the Global Alliance for Vaccines (GAVI) to acquire vaccines for COVID-19 in January 2021 following a rise in number of confirmed cases.

    Speaking to reporters in Juba on Wednesday, the director-general of preventive health services in the Ministry of Health, John Rumunu said they are preparing to acquire COVID-19 vaccines from GAVI, months after the first case was officially confirmed in April this year.

    “The global vaccine initiative will pay the initial cost of the vaccine trials. The timeline expected is January,” he remarked.

    According to the health official, the Ministry has so far recorded 3,131 recoveries and 63 deaths due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

    He said they intend to acquire vaccines, owing to the fact that countries globally have started using the vaccines against the virus.

    “South Sudan and partners have requested GAVI to help in footing the bills for the first request of the vaccines,” explained Rumunu.

    The health official expressed concerns that the health situation in the country is not improving since not enough COVID-19 tests are being carried out. (Sudan Tribune)

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    Fighters from carrier give cover to us troops withdrawing from Somalia 

    Fighter aircraft from the carrier Nimitz have been providing operational and close air support as US troops withdraw from Somalia under threat of possible attack from al- Shabaab insurgents. 

    Support from F/A-18 Super Hornets of Carrier Air Wing 17 aboard the Nimitz “allows us to maintain pressure against regional threats while carrying out Operation Octave Quartz to relocate troops in Somalia to neighboring countries,” Air Force  Maj. Gen. Dagvin Anderson, commander of Joint Task Force-Quartz, said in a statement on Monday. 

    The Nimitz and its strike group, consisting of the guided-missile cruisers Princeton and Philippine Sea, and the Arleigh Burke-class  destroyer Sterett, arrived off the Horn of Africa country on Dec. 21, US Africa Command said in a statement. 

    On Dec. 22, the Nimitz strike group was joined by the Makin Island Amphibious Ready Group (ARG) consisting of amphibious assault ship Makin Island and amphibious transport dock ships San Diego and Somerset, according to AFRICOM. The ARG has about 2,500 Marines from the 15th Marine Expeditionary unit aboard. (Military.com)

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