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Commission to amend EIA policy

The Environment, Forest and Climate Change Commission announced that it has drafted a new policy to amend the 295/2002 Environmental Impact Assessment Policy (EIA).

Presenting the draft policy to stakeholders, Law, Policy and Standards Research Director with the Commission, Ayele Hegena (PhD) said on Tuesday that the commission drafted a new policy to ensure environmental sustainability through independently accepting all mandate of environmental impact related issues.

For him, although the existing policy grants a mandate to several institutions, which causes lack of coordination and collaboration between federal and regional actors, it does not clearly put the mandates and roles across and within institutions.

He said due to the existing policy, some sectors have revoked their delegated mandates as a result of conflict on justification leading to overlap of activities. He further stated that the existing policy lacks international standards. (The Ethiopian Herald)

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Mentally-ill Ethiopian woman faces deportation from Germany

Just as Germany announced stricter measures against the Coronavirus pandemic, authorities in Bavaria were preparing to deport a young Ethiopian woman amidst a pandemic.

The Bavarian Refugee Council and the asylum seeker advocacy network, Pro Asyl said Mimi T. was due to leave on Thursday (November 26) on an Ethiopian Airlines flight bound for Addis Ababa.

The 32-year-old is being sent back to a country where she no longer has family, friends or any social networks, said Johanna Böhm, from the Bavarian Refugee Council.

Mimi T. had left Ethiopia in 2009, at the age of 21, after suffering under the Tigray People’s Liberation Front regime. As a supporter of the opposition, she was arrested and jailed, said Böhm.

"In jail she suffered sexual violence. This continued in Dubai where she worked for a number of years as a housekeeper," said Böhm.

Mimi T. came is married to an Ethiopian. (Info Migrants)

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GERD to start first round of power generation next June

The Minister of Water, Irrigation and Energy, Seleshi Bekele (PhD), said the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) will start its first round of power generation in June 2021.

The Minister, on Thursday, made the remark during a lecture he gave at the University College of London (UCL) on Accelerating Renewable Energy Development to meet Universal Energy Access.

The discussion was attended by the UN Secretary General Representative on Energy alongside other distinguished academics, according to the Ministry.

The discussion included how Ethiopia, within East Africa, is using holistic approaches for energy generation and sustainable development.

In his lecture, Seleshi touched upon the major strides Ethiopia is taking in the field of renewable energy generation for universal energy access. He talked about the GERD which Ethiopia is self-financing and building.

He also mentioned that “in June 2021, the dam will start its first round of power generation.” (FBC)

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Addis Ababa city to launch electric bus pilot project

Preparations are underway to launch electric buses in Addis Ababa City at a pilot level, said the city’s transport bureau on Wednesday.

The bureau is working in collaboration with the London-based C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group (C40) to secure financial and technical supports for the project.

The bureau conducted a global virtual workshop for two days in collaboration with (C40), a network of the world’s megacities taking action to addressing climate change, to launch the pilot phase on a lane of Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) corridor.

The event brought together heads and representatives from public and private institutions, bus manufacturers and Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) to discuss topics focused on technologies, finance, policy, data gathering and role of stakeholders.

During the workshop, the Addis Ababa transport bureau expressed its plan to replace diesel-powered transit buses with electric buses by developing BRT corridors, reducing emission of greenhouse gases, prevent climate change and reduce health risks of the community. (FBC)

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Horn in Brief

CIA officer killed in combat in Somalia

A CIA officer was killed in Somalia last weekend, according to a former senior administration official with knowledge of the matter. The officer was wounded in an operation in the country and later died, the source said.

The identity of the officer has not been made public but the source said the officer was a former Navy SEAL.

The death comes as the Trump administration is making plans to withdraw more than 600 troops from Somalia in the near future.

US Special Operations forces have been embedded with the Somali National Army, assisting in the fight against the militant group, Al-Shabaab. As well as advising on airstrikes and ground assaults, the Navy SEAL-led team's primary task is to train and build Somalia its own elite light infantry force.

The CIA declined to comment. The New York Times first reported the death of the officer.

As is tradition, the officer's death will lead to another star being placed on the CIA's Memorial Wall in the atrium of CIA headquarters. (CNN)

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KBR wins USD 65 million contract to support US bases in Djibouti and Kenya

Kellogg Brown and Root (KBR) has been awarded a USD 64.8 million US military contract to support base operations at three locations in Djibouti and Kenya.

According to the US Department of Defense, which made the announcement on November 20, Kellogg Brown and Root Services Inc. was awarded the indefinite delivery/indefinite-quantity contract modification for the exercise of Option Three for base operating support services at Camp Lemonnier, Djibouti; Chabelley Airfield, Djibouti; and Camp Simba, Kenya.

“The work to be performed provides for all management and administration, security, fire and emergency, air operations, ordnance, material management and supply, facilities management and investment, pest control, integrated solid waste, pavement clearance, utilities, base support vehicles and equipment, morale, welfare and recreation support, galley, unaccompanied housing, custodial, grounds maintenance and landscaping and environmental services to provide base operations support services,” the US Department of Defense said.

“After award of this option, the total cumulative contract value will be USD 263, 190,457. Work will be performed in Djibouti City, Djibouti (89%); Manda Bay, Kenya (8%); and Chabelley, Djibouti (3%).” (Defence Web)

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AU urged to speed up the establishment of S. Sudan's hybrid court

Human Rights Watch has urged the African Union Commission to engage South Sudan's Unity government to speed up the establishment of the hybrid court as stipulated in the 2018 peace agreement.

In a statement at the 67th Ordinary Session of the African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights on Tuesday seen by The East African, the rights group urged the continental body to initiate investigations into allegations of human rights violations.

"We call on the African Commission to urge all States across Africa, notably Tanzania, South Sudan, Ethiopia, Liberia, Guinea, Cameroon, Côte d'Ivoire, Mali, Nigeria to initiate prompt and impartial investigations into allegations of human rights violations.

"These violations include destruction of property, extrajudicial killings, torture, enforced disappearances, sexual violence, and other abuses committed by members of the security force," HRW said.

In July this year, South Sudanese civil society reiterated calls to the African Union to help form a hybrid court that will address issues of injustice. (The East African)

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Sudan’s former PM Sadiq al-Mahdi dies of COVID-19

Former Sudanese Prime Minister Sadiq al-Mahdi has died from a Coronavirus infection. He was 84.

In a brief statement, al-Mahdi’s family said he died on Thursday, three weeks after being admitted to hospital in the United Arab Emirates.

Al-Mahdi was Sudan’s last democratically elected prime minister and was overthrown in 1989 in the military coup that brought former President Omar al-Bashir to power.

The moderate Umma Party was one of the largest opposition parties under al-Bashir, and al-Mahdi remained an influential figure even after he was toppled.

Last month, al-Mahdi’s family said he had tested positive for COVID-19, and after a few days in hospital in Sudan, he was transferred to the United Arab Emirates for treatment.

In a statement, the Umma Party said al-Mahdi would be buried on Friday morning in the city of Omdurman in Sudan.

“We offer our condolences to the Sudanese people over his death,” the party said.

It also lauded his commitment to democracy in Sudan. (Al Jazeera)

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