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    1.3 mln people vaccinated against COVID-19, Health Minister

    Some 1.3 million Ethiopians have so far been vaccinated against COVID-19, according to the Ministry of Health.

    Health Minister Lia Tadesse (MD) told ENA on Wednesday that following the strong response last month, the spread of the virus has shown a declining trend.

    She noted that COVID-19 vaccines have been administered in all the regions and 1.3 million people have been vaccinated against the virus. Although some of the regions had lagged behind due to security problems, they are now moving faster, the minister stated.

    The majority of the people are being vaccinated, Lia said, adding that few have, however, refrained from doing so for citing fears attributed to different reasons.

    According to her, commendable results have been observed with regard to using face masks and social distancing.

    Yet, there is a need to be vigilant as the number of new cases is still high, she pointed out.

    Out of the 263,672 people who tested positive for COVID-19 thus far, 212,567 have recovered, it was learnt. (ENA)

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    Some 136 investors apply to develop Gorgora tourist attraction site

    Some 136 investors with a capital of 360 million to 1 billion Birr have applied to engage in Gorgora tourist attraction site located in Amhara region, according to Gorgora City Municipality.

    Gorgora is one of the three ‘Dine for Ethiopia’ tourist attraction development projects launched last year in August by Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed.

    On Tuesday, General Manager of the Municipality, Amanuel Shigut told ENA that 136 investment projects were selected out of the 200 projects applied for the Municipality.

    The Municipality has prepared about 300 hectares of land to be allocated for the identified investors based on their investment nature, feasibility and capital capacity, he added.

    Tourism lodges, modern hotels, resorts and agro-processing are some of the projects applied for the investment, he said. He explained that each investment projects is expected to create thousands of jobs for the youth in Gorgora town and surrounding areas.

    It is to be recalled that 4.2 billion Birr has been raised through the initiative to develop the projects. (ENA)

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    Police arrest 71 people over planned terrorist attacks in Addis Ababa, several towns

    Police in collaboration with the Joint Peace and Security Task Force arrested 71 people over planned terrorist attacks in Addis Ababa and other towns and cities across the nation.

    In a statement released on Tuesday, the task force stated that evidences showed that the suspects have connections with external elements and were receiving financial and logistical support from these outside forces.

    According to the Task Force, the suspects are members of TPLF and Shene groups that have been recently designated by the parliament as terrorist organizations.

    Large sum of money that was being transferred to the alleged terrorist people through Bole International Airport and other transfer mechanisms has been intercepted by the joint security force; it was indicated on the statement.

    The statement indicates that over USD 305,000 and more than 2 million Birr has been seized by the joint security force in connection with the planned terrorist attacks.

    Several attempted terrorist attacks have also been thwarted by the task force, it was stated. (FBC)

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    Association launches 7711 toll free GBV reporting service during elections

    The renowned local advocacy group, the Ethiopian Women Lawyers’ Association (EWLA), on Monday launched the national hotline services, via 7711 toll free call, with a view to combat violence against women in elections.

    EWLA in collaboration with USAID and National Democratic Institute (NDI) has capitalized on the program to effectively contain the violence against women. Lensa Biyene, EWLA Executive Director said that the objective of the project is to prevent women from Gender-Based Violence (GBV) against women in pre, during and postelection scenarios in the upcoming election.

    The toll free number, 7711,  helps to get free legal aid by the association, information about other services at the regional level, healthcare, medical health and other related activities. Besides, the hotline service will increase awareness of the society about violence in a bid to monitor the harassment perpetrated against women during all stages of the upcoming elections, to prevent, mitigate and respond to all sorts of gender Based Violence (GBV) against women. (The Ethiopian Herald)

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    Djibouti port ranked top in Africa

    Djibouti has been recognized as the top container port in Africa and 61st globally by the World Bank and IHS Market’s latest global Container Port Performance Index.

    Djibouti’s investment in ports and infrastructure development continues to pay dividends, highlighted by another top performance in global rankings.

    This latest recognition is a testament to the ongoing improvements in efficiency and productivity of Djibouti’s world-class container port and its key role in strengthening the country’s position as a global trade and logistics hub.

    According to the Index, Djibouti and Mombasa ports are the most technically efficient in Eastern and Southern Africa, based on three main variables: the sum of the length of all container and multipurpose berths in the port, the total container terminal area of the port, and the combined capacity of the cranes. (Business Week)

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    Kenya Suspends All Flights To and From Somalia

    Kenya has suspended flights to and from Somalia, just days after the countries restored diplomatic ties after a five-month break.  

    On Tuesday, the Kenya Civil Aviation Authority sent a Notice to Airmen (NOTAM) stating that all flights between the two countries are suspended except medivac and United Nations humanitarian flights, according to a Somali official who did not want to be identified because he is not allowed to speak to media.  

    The suspension is effective May 11 until at least August 9.  

    VOA Somali service has seen KCAA’s notice, issued on May 10, which confirms the suspension of flights.  KCAA has not yet announced the reason for the suspension, but it comes a day after Somalia issued a notice reaffirming an earlier ban on flights carrying khat, also known as mirra, from Kenya.  

    “Carrying Mirra to Somalia is still prohibited and the policy of Somalia Government did not change regarding the transportation of Miraa to Somalia airports,” read a statement sent to airline operators by the Somali Civil Aviation Authority. (VoA)

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    UN seeks proposals to end force on Sudan-South Sudan border

    The U.N. Security Council voted unanimously on Tuesday to extend the mandate of the nearly 3,700-strong peacekeeping force in the disputed Abyei region on the Sudan-South Sudan border until Nov. 15.

    It also asked Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to provide recommendations for reconfiguring and ending the mission, although Guterres informed the council early last month that he could not provide such options because of differences between the two countries.

    Both Sudan and South Sudan claim ownership of the oil-rich Abyei area. The 2005 peace deal that led to South Sudan’s independence from its northern neighbor in 2011, required both sides to work out the final status of region, but it is still unresolved. The U.N. force, known as UNISFA, has been in Abyei since 2011.

    The resolution asks Guterres to conduct a strategic review of UNISFA, assessing recent political developments between Sudan and South Sudan, and provide detailed recommendations by Sept. 30 on reconfiguring the mission “and establishing a viable exit strategy.” (AP)

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    Two people killed in Sudan rally over 2019 protest killings

    At least two people have been killed and dozens wounded as Sudanese security forces cracked down on a rally demanding justice for protesters killed during anti-government demonstrations in 2019, according to the army.

    Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok on Wednesday said he was “shocked” by the killings, calling it a “crime to use live bullets against peaceful protesters.”

    Hundreds gathered on Tuesday evening outside the army headquarters in the capital, Khartoum, at the site where thousands gathered in 2019 initially demanding the removal of then-President Omar al-Bashir and urging a transfer to civilian rule.

    The demonstration on Tuesday started shortly before iftar, the evening meal which breaks the fast during Ramadan. It marked two years since the bloody dispersal of the mass encampment outside the army headquarters.

    “As the protesters left the site, unfortunate events occurred resulting in the killing of two people and the wounding of others,” the armed forces said in a statement on Wednesday, adding that an investigation was launched. (Aljazeera)

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