The Ethiopian government has rejected a report by Human Rights Watch (HRW) that alleges an “ethnic cleansing” campaign is under way in western Tigray despite a truce signed in November.
The allegations are “not substantiated by evidence,” Ethiopia’s Government Communication Service said in a statement.
“This distorted and misleading portrayal of the situation attempts to undermine peaceful coexistence, fuel inter-ethnic conflict, and obstruct the national efforts for peace and reconciliation,” it said.
The war, which broke out in November 2020, pitted regional forces from Tigray against Ethiopia’s federal army and its allies, including forces from other regions and neighboring Eritrea.
Fighting has raged on and off since then, killing thousands of civilians, uprooting millions, and leaving hundreds of thousands on the brink of famine.
The HRW issued a report last week saying the November peace agreement to end the two-year conflict in Tigray had not stopped “ethnic cleansing” in the disputed western part of the region, known as the Western Tigray Zone.
Al-Shabab attacks Ethiopian military base in Somalia
Ethiopia says its forces in Somalia thwarted an al-Shabab attack on a base Wednesday in the Somali town of Doolow.
“The Ethiopian National Defense Forces (ENDF) stopped the attackers in their tracks before they could wreak havoc,” Ethiopia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs tweeted.
Earlier, residents in Doolow reported that two explosions targeted an Ethiopian military base outside the town just after 10 a.m. local time.
A resident who did not want to be identified for security reasons said the first explosion occurred at a checkpoint for the entrance of the base, while the second explosion took place away from the location of the first one.
A purported video clip recorded by a second resident shows a white plume of smoke rising from the site of the first explosion. As the witness recorded, the sound of the second explosion could be heard.
Ethiopia keeps thousands of troops in Somalia to fight al-Shabab and protect its border. The troops serve as part of the Africa Union (AU) mission to support the Somali government. Ethiopia also has non-AU forces, based on a bilateral agreement with the Somali government, to fight al-Shabab and protect its border.
Kuwait turns to Ethiopian domestic workers
Kuwait will import domestic workers from Ethiopia to ensure a sufficient supply of manpower amid stalled negotiations with the Philippines over the entry ban on Filipinos.
Kuwait’s Union of Domestic Labor Recruitment Offices reached an agreement with its Ethiopian counterpart to regulate the import of domestic workers from Ethiopia, its head Khaled al-Dakhnan announced.
About 600 employment agencies will help supply workers to Kuwait as the two countries are expected to reach a permanent labor agreement in the coming days.
Once a formal agreement is signed, the conditions to begin importing domestic workers will be implemented.
The designated monthly wage set for domestic workers from Ethiopia will be the standard USD 300, with the recruitment fees not exceeding USD 1,600.
Al-Dakhnan said he expects a substantial number of Ethiopian workers will be moving to Kuwait to meet the demand amid the shortage of domestic workers as a result of the entry ban on Filipinos.
Kuwait will also be holding talks with several other countries, including Kenya and Uganda, in hopes of reaching a deal.
Egypt urges Ethiopia to “compromise” over Dam
Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi this week called on Ethiopia to “compromise” over the bitterly contested Great Ethiopian Renaissance Dam, leading to speculation about a new approach to the Ethiopian project. Egypt fears it could deprive it of life-giving water amid threats from conflict to water resources and infrastructure, as seen in Ukraine’s Kakhovka dam this week.
Speaking at a press conference during a visit by his Mauritanian counterpart Mohamed Ould Ghazouani, Sisi said, “We stressed the importance of encouraging Ethiopia to adopt any compromise solution presented at the negotiating table that preserves its interests without abusing the rights of the downstream countries,” referring to Egypt and Sudan.
Sisi added that the goal was “to reach a legal and binding agreement regarding the filling and operation of the Renaissance Dam”.
While Ethiopia says the dam poses no threat to Egypt or Sudan, it has refused to sign a binding agreement regarding the operation of the dam.
Pokots in Uganda hiding stolen cattle in Kenya
Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni has reiterated his directive that armed Turkana herders will not be allowed into the country, even as he accused his own countrymen of cattle rustling.
“The Turkana of Kenya must stop entering Uganda with guns, and I do not want to hear of even one incident of those people again raiding in Uganda if they want to stay here,” he said.
But despite the warning, Museveni trained his guns on members of the Pokot community in Uganda and accused them of cattle rustling.
He said they have been raiding homes in Uganda, driving the stolen livestock across the border, and hiding them with their tribesmen in Kenya.
“The leaders of the Pokot in Uganda also need to completely discipline their people. The practice of stealing cattle from the other clans of Uganda and hiding it with their tribemates in Kenya must stop completely,” Museveni said during the State of the Nation address at Kololo Ceremonial Grounds in the capital Kampala.
Ugandan President tests positive for Coronavirus
Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni announced he has contracted COVID-19 after one of the tests he took Wednesday morning turned positive.
Speaking during the State of the Nation address on June 7, Museveni said he had been feeling unwell, and this forced him to be separated from his wife, First Lady Janet Museveni.
“This morning, I was feeling as if I had a cold. I took a rapid coronavirus test, which was negative. I did two more tests with deeper analysis. One of them turned out positive; the other was negative. That’s why I came in a separate car with Mama Janet Museveni,” said Museveni, according to the Monitor.
President Museveni’s contracting the virus came as a surprise to many, considering how he has always been careful of how he interacts with everyone.
In several national and international meetings and events, the outspoken President is always spotted in a mask, often holds his State House meetings out in the garden, and never greets his guests, including fellow presidents, with handshakes.
Air Tanzania celebrates first 767 freighter delivery to Africa
Boeing and Air Tanzania are celebrating the delivery of the airline’s first 767-300 freighter. The airplane arrived at the airline’s hub in Dar es Salaam and will provide the operator with dedicated air freight capacity to serve the country’s growing cargo market.
The delivery also marks the first direct 767 freighter delivery from Boeing to an African carrier.
“We are thrilled to welcome the 767-300 Boeing Freighter to our fleet. The 767 will cater to the growing cargo demand that was previously carried by passenger airplanes,” Ladislaus Matindi, Air Tanzania’s managing director, said.
“The 767 will enable Air Tanzania to support a journey towards a more sustainable future and time-critical cargo schedules across Africa and beyond.”
The 767-300 Freighter’s excellent fuel efficiency, operational flexibility, and low noise will enable Air Tanzania to support time-critical cargo schedules across Africa and beyond. It is capable of flying 3,255 nautical miles with a revenue payload of more than 52 tons.
(Air Cargo Week)
UN judges declare Rwandan genocide suspect unfit to stand trial
United Nations judges have declared an 88-year-old Rwandan genocide suspect unfit to continue standing trial because he has dementia. They said they would establish a procedure to go on hearing evidence without the possibility of convicting him.
The majority decision by judges at the International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals means no guilty verdict can be reached in the trial of Félicien Kabuga, one of the last fugitives charged in connection with the 1994 genocide.
Kabuga is accused of encouraging and bankrolling the mass killing of Rwanda’s Tutsi minority. His trial began last year, nearly three decades after the 100-day massacre left 800,000 dead. He is in custody at a UN detention unit in The Hague and isn’t expected to be released for now, despite the judges’ ruling.
The judges’ decision disappointed many Rwandans.
Yolande Mukakasana, a genocide survivor and writer, said that the judges who say Kabuga is unfit to stand trial should be tried too, asserting that their action could promote genocide denial.
“Kabuga’s actions during genocide led to the deaths of innocent people who were older than Kabuga. I know people who were too old to walk but were killed on account of being Tutsi,” Mukakasana said.