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    Two charged with inciting violence

    Two individuals have been charged with inciting violence at the annual Irrecha festival, at Bishoftu town, about 45km east of the capital Addis Ababa.

    The two individuals are Tufa Melka and Kedir Bedasso.

    According to the charge sheet, the first defendant, Tufa, incited violence by snatching a microphone from elders while they were delivering a speech at the event.

    The second defendant, Kedir Bedasso, is charged with organizing the violence using phone.

    A total of 55 were killed in the violence.

    The Federal High Court 4th criminal bench adjourned the hearing for June 1, 2017.

    After the tragic incident, the Government of Ethiopia announced that more than 55 people have died from the stampede in Bishoftu on Sunday October 2, 2017. The stampede occurred during the annual Irreecha thanksgiving celebration held by the Oromo. Opposition groups and activists have however disputed those accounts, saying more people died after government forces fired teargas. Thousands of festival participants chanted anti-government slogans and their arms crossed above their heads. (FBC)

    US intel specialist gives Somalia drones to combat Al-Shabaab

    A former United States intelligence specialist has donated surveillance drones to police in Somalia, aiming to help combat a jump in deadly bombings by Al-Qaeda-linked insurgents Al-Shabaab.

    The gift comes as US President Donald Trump is increasing military engagement in the region. A member of the US Navy SEAL Special Forces was killed in Somalia earlier this month on a raid. The death of the Navy SEAL is the first US combat casualty in Somalia since 1993.

    The Somalis received five drones, some of which have infra-red or night vision capabilities, from Brett Velicovich, whose service with the US military features in a ‘Drone Warrior’, a book to be published next month. His life story is also being developed as a movie by Paramount Pictures.

    “There’s been a real increase in complex attacks,” the 33-year-old told Reuters on a rooftop overlooking the capital of Mogadishu, as drones swooped and whirred nearby during a four-day police training course.

    Insurgents have been steadily losing control of cities and towns. (Reuters)

    Djibouti opens mega port

    Djibouti has opened a new ultra-modern mega port, the Doraleh Multipurpose port – to facilitate its efforts towards providing world class shipping platform.

    “With this new world-class infrastructure, Djibouti confirms its position as a major trading hub for the continent. We are proud to show the world our capacity to deliver major infrastructure projects – some of the most technologically advanced on this continent,” Aboubaker Omar Hadi, chairman, Djibouti Ports and Free Zones Authority (DPFZA), said.

    The Doraleh Multipurpose port (DMP) sprawls on 690 hectares plot of land. It is estimated to have cost over USD 590 million since its initiation back in 2015. The project was jointly funded by Djibouti Ports and Free Zones Authority and China Merchant Holding (CMHC).

    The start of the art port is installed with equipment manufactured by Chinese firm ZPMC.

    The mega new port has been completed synonymously with the Addis Ababa-Djibouti Railway, a new 752km track linking Ethiopia’s capital, Addis Ababa with the Port of Djibouti. (CGTN)

    Chinese contractor awarded long delayed conference center project

    Chinese contractor CGCOC has been awarded a contract to build the first phase of a 120 million convention center complex in the capital of Ethiopia.

    When completed, the Addis–Africa International Convention and Exhibition Centre (AAICEC), is expected to cover 11 hectares and provide a conference venue for up to 5,000 delegates.

    According to Global Construction Review, the contract was signed in the Addis Ababa Sheraton hotel last week.

    The work is being financed by the AAICEC’s shareholders, which include the city government and chamber of commerce, the Bank of Abyssinia as well as expatriate Ethiopians living in South Africa.

    The company is offering more shares to anyone who wants to invest in the scheme.

    The project, which was first put forward by the chamber of commerce in 2012, was to have been begun in 2015. This date was postponed after the sponsors struggled to attract enough interest from investors willing to finance it and contractors willing to build it. (Global Constriction Review)

    Addis, Lyon, AFD sign cooperation agreement

    Addis Ababa City Administration, Lyon Town Planning Agency, and the French Development Agency (AFD) have signed cooperation agreement on Tuesday to share the best practices and capacity building in the field of urban development.

    The agreement was signed on the sidelines of the one-day workshop held to mark the 20th Anniversary of AFD in Ethiopia.

    The cooperation agreement includes developing specific methods and tools to analyze and implement policies and initiatives to structure the urban development of Addis Ababa and identify and disseminate best practices for urban development projects, according to a joint press release they issued.

    State Minister of Urban Development and Housing, Demise Shito appreciated the commitment of AFD for the support it has been providing for the development of Ethiopia during the past 20 years.

    “The French government is striving to enhance our efforts of creating clean, safe, resilient, inclusive, and green and in totality competitive urban centers through the application of the state-of-the art planning solutions and their effective implementations”, he added. (ENA)

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