The arrival of an Ethiopian Airlines at Israel’s Ben Gurion airport earlier this week set the scene for an emotional reunion between family members, some of whom who hadn’t seen their relatives for as long as twenty years.
The Aliyah flight consisting of 150 people was made possible through a joint initiative of the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews (IFCJ), Israel’s Ministry of Immigrant Absorption, Ministry of Interior, and the Jewish Agency as part of “Operation Zur Israel.”
The operation, spearheaded by Pnina Tamano-Shata, Israel’s Minister of Immigrant Absorption, is designed to help the remaining community of Jews living in refugee camps in Gondar and Addis Ababa to make their way back to Israel.
Over 5,000 people who have first degree relatives already living in Israel have moved or are scheduled to move in the near future.
Escorting the group back to Israel, Yael Eckstein, President of the IFCJ, said helping to bring the final remnants of Ethiopian Jewry home to Israel is a central part of their mandate. “It’s a source of great pride to be able to assist hundreds more to come home.”
(Israel national news)
Ethiopian Airlines increases flights to Vic Falls
Government efforts to improve air connectivity for the benefit of the tourism industry are paying off after the Airlines increased the number of flights on the Addis Ababa-Victoria Falls route.
The Airline also announced plans to launch the Bulawayo route from November this year.
Ethiopian Airlines representative, Menbere Worku, told ZBC News that the company is responding to increased demand for flights into Zimbabwe.
“As we all know, Ethiopian Airlines has been flying into Victoria Falls four times a week. Now we have started the fifth one effective July 1st. The reason for the increase of the frequency is there is increased demand and many countries have lifted travel restrictions,” Worku said.
Players in the tourism industry are appreciative of the airline’s continued support to the local tourism sector. Increased air connectivity is a vital cog in the growth and accessibility of any tourist destination.
“Positive impact both on domestic and international tourists’ influx… easy accessibility of tourism destination Victoria Falls; better the sales, which will definitely increase the tourism industry revenue,” Terry Leach commented.
Safaricom Ethiopia poised for launch
Newcomer Safaricom Ethiopia committed to switch on its first commercial services in a limited area next month, when it will become the country’s first privately-owned mobile operator.
At a press event, Safaricom Ethiopia outlined the phased launch would begin in the city of Dire Dawa before expanding to 24 cities across the nation by April 2023.
In a wide-ranging update, the fledgling operator noted it had already employed 500 staff and was continuing its recruitment, including trying to attract local graduates. It has also opened supply chain tenders to find new partners in the country.
Safaricom Ethiopia’s network will comprise its own infrastructure alongside wholesale agreements and infrastructure sharing with state-owned rival ethio telecom.
The launch marks the culmination of a long-held government aim to open up the sector, which it believes will provide competition to the current monopoly, increase investment into the country and improve network coverage.
Safaricom and its backers won a tender process to secure the license in 2021. Originally authorities had offered up two fresh licenses, but turned down MTN after its bid did not meet the authority’s expectations.
(Mobile World live)
Five Ethiopians get six months in jail for illegal entry
A Maralal court on Wednesday sentenced five Ethiopians to six months in prison after they were found guilty of being in Kenya illegally. The foreigners, who spoke neither English nor Swahili, pleaded guilty through an Amharic interpreter.
They told the court that they were heading to Nairobi to find work. “We were heading to Nairobi to seek jobs but unfortunately we were arrested on the way. We have friends who are in the city who called us,” they said.
Maralal Senior Principal Magistrate, John Tamar, found the five guilty of being in Kenya without valid permits and passports, directing the five be repatriated to Ethiopia after serving their sentences.
“The five are clearly in the country unlawfully. Therefore, I proceed to fine them Sh30,000 each or six months in prison after which they would be repatriated back to Ethiopia,” Tamar ruled.
The five were among 14 immigrants detained by police. The other nine were from Eritrea and were sent to the United Nations refugee agency in Nairobi for possible registration as refugees.
HORN IN BRIEF
Sudan’s al-Burhan removes civilian members from Sovereign Council
Sudan’s military leader Abdel Fattah al-Burhan (Gen.) on Wednesday dismissed the five civilian members of the ruling Sovereign Council from their duties, according to a statement issued by the council.
The statement gave no reason for the surprise move, which came two days after al-Burhan announced the military’s withdrawal from internationally led efforts to resolve the political crisis plaguing Sudan since a military coup last October.
Also on Monday, al-Burhan urged political and revolutionary groups to start talks to form a government of “independent technocrats” to run the country during the democratic transition derailed by the October 25 coup he led.
The Sovereign Council, he said in a televised address to the nation, would be dissolved when a government is formed and a supreme council of the armed forces is created to take charge of defense and security issues.
The dialogue’s facilitators – the UN, African Union and the regional IGAD group – said in a statement on Wednesday that the military’s withdrawal has effectively terminated the negotiations and that they would consult with civilian stakeholders on a new formula to replace it.
Kenya’s external debt grows to Sh 4.21 trillion
Kenya’s total outstanding external debt grew to Sh 4.21 trillion by March 2022, latest data shows, as the government borrowed to bridge budget deficit.
Kenya National Bureau of Statistics data shows, outstanding stock of public and publicly guaranteed external debt, increased 11.7 percent from the same period in 2021, at Sh 3.76 trillion.
Multilateral debt accounted for the bulk of outstanding external debt at 43.2 percent, having risen by 21.5 percent from March 2021.
Commercial banks were the second major source of credit with the stock of debt owed to these lenders accounting for 28.7 percent of the total stock of external debt at Sh1.2 trillion.
The Eurobond was the major instrument held by commercial banks, accounting for 67.6 percent of the stock of commercial debt for the period under review. The stock of debt from bilateral sources rose from Sh1.14 trillion at the end of March 2021, to Sh1.17 trillion at the end of March 2022.
This pushed overall debt up, which is currently quoted at Sh8.4 trillion by the Central Bank of Kenya. Domestic debt is at Sh4.22 trillion.
Deadly diseases may follow drought in Somalia, warns UN health agency
The World Health Organization (WHO) warned against deadly diseases and malnutrition afflicting Somalia due to drought.
In an exclusive interview with Anadolu Agency, Mamunur Rahman Malik, the WHO representative in Somalia, said some areas in the country are already experiencing a famine-like situation. He urged the government to shift its focus to work on providing life-saving support to the vulnerable population.
Malik said the health consequences of one of the worst droughts were alarming, cautioning that more people may die because of diseases than hunger.
The drought is believed to have hit 50 percent of the country’s population as more than seven million people need humanitarian assistance. The dry spell has also displaced nearly a million people – the majority of them children and women.
“If we do not prioritize health in terms of expanding access to emergency healthcare and life-saving support, people will eventually die of diseases,” he said adding, diseases follow famines and droughts as they accompany malnutrition, which causes more deaths than hunger itself.
Steep goat prices spoil Eid festivities in Tanzania
As Muslims across the world prepare to celebrate Eid al-Adha on Saturday, steep prices of sacrificial animals are putting spokes in the festivities in Tanzania.
The most important Muslim festival marks the culmination of the annual Hajj (pilgrimage) rituals in Saudi Arabia.
Also known for the feast of sacrifice, this Islamic holiday is celebrated by sacrificing cattle to distribute a part of the meat to the poor and recall the willingness of the Prophet Ibrahim (Abraham to Christians and Jews) to sacrifice his son. It is believed that before Ibrahim could sacrifice his son, God provided him with a lamb and accepted his obedience.
Local traders attributed the rising price of goats this year to higher city levies and rising transport costs due to the rise in the price of fuel.
According to him, in other markets, some traders have slightly lowered the price in anticipation of the high turnout of buyers but still, there are fewer buyers.