Sunday, April 14, 2024

Baby mortality rate quadruples in Ethiopia’s Tigray region

In Ethiopia’s Tigray region, the death rate of babies dying in their first month of life is four times the rate before the war, according to a recent study. The most common causes were prematurity, infections, and perinatal asphyxia, or the inability to establish breathing at birth.

“So, we can say that the under-five mortality during wartime doubled compared to the pre-war era. In unit mortality, which means the death of a child in units in the first 28 days of life, also quadrupled as compared to the pre-war era, from around 10 deaths, according to studies in Tigray in 2020, to around 36 deaths,” said Bereket Berhe (MD), pediatrician at Ayder Referral Hospital.

Almost two years have passed since the war started and Ethiopia’s government isolated the Tigray region from the rest of the world, severing basic services such as electricity, phone, internet and banking.

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Both sides have been invited to African Union-mediated peace talks this weekend in South Africa.

(Africa news)

Ethiopia suspends issuance of Visa on Arrival to Nigerians and other nationalities

Ethiopia is temporarily suspending the issuance of visas on arrival to Nigerians and nationals of other countries who are non-residents in the country.

A statement by the spokesperson of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Francisca Omayuli, said the development, which applies at all points of entry into the country, was as a result of security concerns and the current political situation in the country.

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“Suspension applies to nationals of all countries bearing standard passports who seek entry into Ethiopia and is not specifically targeted at Nigerians, as reported in some quarters,” Omayuli said.

The Nigerian government said it has noted the concern expressed by the Ethiopian authorities over the abuse of the country’s visa policy by some Nigerians who enter the country on tourist visas and remain even after the expiration of their visas, engaging in unwholesome activities.

The government said the activities of the few elements not only tarnish the image of the country but limit opportunities for well-meaning Nigerians outside the country.

(The Will)

Haile Selassie I’s artefacts to go on display at the roman Bath Museum

Objects belonging to the former Ethiopian Emperor, Haile Selassie I, who lived for some years in Bath, are set to go on display.

His personal belongings, such as golf clubs and walking sticks, will be among items at the Roman Baths Museum Pump Room King’s Lounge from October 24th. Members of the public can take a guided tour of the emperor’s former home and look throughout the house, learning about the places of significance inside and outside the building.

The African Emperor lived in exile at Fairfield House from 1936 to 1941 after Italy invaded Ethiopia. Fairfield House is offering guided tours every Sunday during October.

Ras Benji, project manager at Fairfield House, said the emperor drank the healing waters of Bath in 1936 and 1954 in the Pump Room, adding that some of the items on display played a role in politically liberating his country.

Speaking of the significance of the emperor’s walking stick, Ras Benji explained how walking helped clear the emperor’s mind while his home country was under attack.

Ras Benji said His Imperial Majesty’s legacy was a vital part of Black History in the UK.


Ethiopia turns over alleged people smuggler to Netherlands

Ethiopia has turned over to Dutch judicial authorities a 38-year-old Eritrean man suspected of playing a leading role in a major international criminal network that smuggled Eritreans to the Netherlands.

“The journey involved brutal violence—migrants were abused and extorted in camps,” prosecutors said in a statement after the suspect was taken into custody by military border police.

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Dutch prosecutors said their investigation included cooperation from Italy, Europol, Interpol, and the International Criminal Court. The man, whose identity wasn’t released, is suspected of people smuggling from 2014–2020.

“On their way to Europe, victims were beaten, tortured, and raped while they were held in camps in Libya with hundreds of others,” the prosecutors said, adding that several migrants died as a result.

Family members of the migrants in the Netherlands were forced to pay large sums of money before the migrants could continue their journey to Europe in “crowded and barely seaworthy boats. Countless migrants did not survive this sea voyage,” prosecutors said.

The man extradited to the Netherlands has already been convicted in Ethiopia and sentenced to 18 years.

(Mail online)

Horn In Brief

Sudan’s pro-democracy groups approve charter opposing Burhan’s army rule

More than 50 Sudanese pro-democracy groups have agreed on a new draft constitution, in one of the largest shows of unity from the country’s opposition since the 2019 popular uprising.

The document, signed Wednesday evening, is meant to put the country back on the path to democracy and remove the military from power, according to group leaders.

Sudan has been mired in political turmoil since its military seized power in a coup last October after three decades of authoritarian rule under former President Omar al-Bashir. Following the military takeover, Sudan’s top general and current ruler, Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, swept away his civilian partners in government and detained hundreds of officials and activists.

At least 54 mainly grassroots networks—known as the Resistance Committees—signed the charter late Wednesday in Khartoum, in what is a hybrid of two separate proposals drafted earlier this year.

The Juba Peace Agreement, signed between the former military-civilian power-sharing government and various rebel groups in 2020, promised to integrate the country’s various armed factions into one military united force and improve regional and ethnic representation across the country.

(The new Arab)

Kenya fails to strike oil in area claimed by Somalia

Kenya has failed to strike oil and gas deposits in the coastal strip that has for years been at the center of an international border dispute with neighboring Somalia.

Seismic surveys at Mlima-1 well, which is known as Block L11B in the Lamu Basin, revealed that the wells were dry, ending a 10-year search for oil on the coastline that had emerged as one of the world’s hottest exploration prospects.

The Energy and Petroleum Regulatory Authority (EPRA) said that ENI Kenya Business Venture (BV), formerly Agip, folded the project before the middle of this year after it failed to trace deposits of oil and gas in the area.

It granted ENI the exploration permits in 2012 amid protests from Somalia’s government that Kenya was offering the blocks illegally.

Kenya stepped up exploration activities in the Lamu Basin in December last year, weeks after rejecting a UN court ruling that decided mostly in favor of Somalia in the maritime row.

“There was promising activity, but unfortunately, they (ENI) hit a dry well and they had to close the operations,’’ EPRA said.

(Business daily)

THE KEEP WALKING: Africa top 30 list celebrates African creatives

Much like the world-renowned top 30 under 30 list, Johnnie Walker and Trace have partnered in an innovative new initiative, KEEP WALKING: AFRICA TOP 30, a definitive list recognizing next-generation cultural shapeshifters from across the African continent.

The List will identify and celebrate 30 next-generation African cultural pioneers and visionaries who are not always recognized for it but are boldly pushing culture forward and making an impact on the continent’s creative economy across music, film, media, fashion, and art.

The companies announced that the list of nominees will be revealed in October, while members of the public are also encouraged to vote for cultural shapeshifters who they believe have given impetus to and moved culture forward, both across Africa and abroad.

Africa’s Top 30 comes at a time when trends for Africa’s creative economy are overwhelmingly positive. UNESCO reports indicate that Africa’s still largely untapped film industry could quadruple revenue to USD 20 billion and create an additional 20 million jobs, while digital music streaming revenue in Africa is expected to reach USD 500 million by 2025.

(Trace press release)

Kenya Airways drops in global ranking as EA airlines fail to make top 100 cut

Kenya Airways dropped three places in the latest global ranking of airlines, trailing its regional rival Ethiopian Airlines, which recorded a significant jump to fly among the top 30 carriers in the world.

Skytrax World Airline Awards, which rates the world’s best carriers, placed KQ in position 81 in this year’s ranking, down from 79th in last year’s report.

Ethiopian Airlines, which rose 11 places to position 26, emerged as Africa’s best carrier, with South African Airways and Air Maroc coming in at positions 66 and 79 respectively to stay within the top 100 carriers globally.

RwandAir, Uganda Airlines, and Air Tanzania did not make the cut into the top 100 carriers in the ranking. However, the Rwandan carrier scooped some category awards in ‘Best Cabin Crew in Africa’ and ‘Best Airline Cabin Cleanliness’.

While the awards celebrated the best of aviation, the industry is still tackling the strain of COVID-19, staffing shortages, and fuel price surges caused by the conflict in Ukraine.

Rising global fuel prices inflicted a ninth consecutive half-year loss on Kenya Airways, increasing its default risk and sinking it Ksh15 billion (USD 124.1 million) deeper into a negative equity position.

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