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Police arrest 21 individuals for issuing travel documents illegally

The National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS) on Tuesday said 21 individuals have been arrested for issuing travel documents to applicants illegally.

Sixteen of the detained suspects are heads and employees of the Addis Ababa Bole Airport branch office of the Immigration Nationality and Vital Events Agency (INVEA). The remaining five individuals operated under the pretext of legal employment agencies.

They were arrested through a joint operation the Security Service held with the crime investigation bureau of the Federal Police Commission, it noted.

The suspects form INVEA and employment agencies worked covertly to give passports to people who had failed to meet the legal procedure after receiving a bribe.

Police also seized over one million birr and various bank books during a raid on homes of three employees of INVEA and seven passports from homes of three employment agencies suspected of human trafficking activity.

Around 37 bank books and various materials used for illegal practices were also seized. (FBC)


Siemens Gamesa to equip, build 100-MW wind farm in Ethiopia

Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy SA (BME:SGRE) has officially joined the 100-MW Assela wind farm project in Ethiopia, as the turbine supplier and builder.

The company said it had signed a contract with the state-owned Ethiopian Electric Power (EEP) for the supply of 29 pieces of the SG 3.4-132 wind turbines. It will also serve on the project as the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contractor, the company said on Monday.

The Ethiopian Ministry of Finance (MoF) secured a EUR 117.3 million loan for Assela from Danske Bank A/S (CPH: DANSKE) under an agreement that was supported by the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ development assistance, Danida and ratified by the Ethiopian parliament.

The project site is located between the towns of Adama and Assela, some 150 km south of Addis Ababa.

Siemens Gamesa expects to commission the wind farm by the start of 2023.

Based in Denmark, the company is a leading supplier of wind power solutions to customers all over the globe. (Renewables Now)


Agency to commence sixth round household survey, requires over 110 million Birr

The Central Statistics Agency (CSA) said it has finalized preparations to commence the sixth round household welfare statistical survey across the country in selected sample areas with an estimated cost of over 110 million birr.

The Agency also disclosed that over 2,000 sample areas are identified to conduct a survey, which covers nearly 38,000 families across the country. The survey will commence on January 9, 2021 and continue throughout the year.

Amare Legese, CSA statistical Census and Researches Deputy-Director General, said 261 data collectors are ready to collect data, categorized into 87 groups, 26 statistician and 28 experts in charge of conducting the survey properly.

He said the survey focuses on two areas namely household consumption survey and welfare monitoring survey. Household consumption survey is very pivotal in determining poverty rate and citizens’ poverty level across the country.

Besides, it is very crucial for addressing and assisting the right need of the people in designing and preparing a national policy. (The Ethiopian Herald)


Four Ethiopians among 100 most influential Africans of 2020

The New African magazine has selected four Ethiopians in its ‘The 100 Most Influential Africans of 2020’ list.

Ethiopians who made the list are Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, WHO Chief Tedros Adhanom (PhD), CEO of Ethiopian Airlines Tewolde Gebremariam and Admassu Tadesse, head of Trade and Development Bank.

PM Abiy had won the Nobel Peace Prize for brokering peace with neighbor Eritrea and launched a whole raft of reforms in his country. He had also set about to unite the various ethnic groups and religions that make up Ethiopia.

According to the magazine, Tedros has undoubtedly been the most prominent African voice on the international stage this year.

But in this global role, it is not the voice of Africa that he represents, although he is its most prominent ambassador, but that of the poor, the weak, the most vulnerable: the voice of humanity.

In regards to Tewolde, the CEO of Ethiopian Airlines, had to navigate the biggest crisis in the history of the international aviation sector as Covid-19 grounded planes and emptied the continent’s busiest airports.

Under Admassu Tadesse’s leadership, the Trade and Development Bank has grown its assets seven-fold to USD 7 billion. (FBC)


Kenya formally begins UN Security Council tenure

Kenya has now started its two-year mandate in the United Nations Security Council as a non-permanent member.

The East African country formally took its seat at the Council on Monday evening, after beating Djibouti to the position in June 2020.

The flag hoisting ceremony took place in the Security Council chamber, after which Kenya took its seat at the Council.

This is Kenya’s third tenure at the UN Security Council, and will run until 2022. The country last served in the body in 1997.

“The flag-raising event marks the formal start of our contribution at the seat of the global and premier decision-making organ on matters of international peace and security,” said Monica Juma, Kenya’s Defense cabinet secretary.

UNSC constitutes of fifteen countries, five of which are permanent members.

The permanent members are China, France, Russia, UK and US – which have the right to veto resolutions.

The remaining ten members of the Council serve on a non-permanent basis lasting two years, with five elected each year. (CGTN)


UK appoints new ambassador to sensitive Mogadishu post

The British government has appointed Kate Foster, as Ambassador of the United Kingdom to the Federal Republic of Somalia – replacing the hugely popular Ben Fender.

After the handover, it is understood Fender will be transferring to another Diplomatic Service appointment while Ms. Foster will take up her post sometime in February 2021.

Foster has extensive experience in North Africa dating back to 2004, after she left the private sector to work for the UNHCR.

Most recently, it is believed she attended a government Staff Course in preparation for her post.

She will adopt her new position in a year to be marked by elections in Somalia and neighboring Somaliland, amidst a time of change in the Horn of Africa, not helped by the recent civil war in regional power house Ethiopia and increased Chinese interest in the region.

From 2018 to present, she has been serving as Cabinet Office, Deputy Director, International Affairs, and National Security. (The Taiwan Times)


Clashes in Sudan’s White Nile state leave five dead

At least five people were reportedly killed and many others were wounded in violent clashes that erupted between residents and South Sudanese militiamen in the border area of El Mogeines in White Nile state on Sunday.

Sheikh El Reyeh, a relative of one of the victims, attributed the events to a dispute between people living in the area and members of a South Sudanese militia over a water well near El Mogeines in El Salam locality.

“The firefights lasted from Sunday until midday on Monday,” he told Radio Dabanga. “On Sunday, three people were killed. Many others were wounded, some of them seriously. They have been transferred to Kosti for treatment.”

Two more people were killed on Monday. The militiamen torched a number of houses and plundered shops at the district market. “The violence caused most of the people to flee the area,” El Reyeh added. (Radio Dabanga)


Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia explore ways to work together in Jubaland Corridor

Ethiopia, Kenya and Somalia discussed ways to work in collaboration in maintaining peace and stability in Jubaland Corridor.

The trio deliberated on developing the corridor and reached an agreement to forge solidarity in the area.

Commander of Sector-2, Brig.Gen Jema and Deputy Commander of Sector-6, Colonel Makurga Ponard, and Commander of the 5th Motorized, Col. Assefa Mekonnen, and Jubaland region top military officers and Federal SNA high officials and Jubaland’s security officers took part in the meeting.

On the occasion, Vice President of Jubaland, Mahmud Seid said Somalia, Ethiopia and Kenya are countries where people have brotherly bond and live in harmony.

He stressed the need to forge solidarity and fight Al Shabaab together, which is wreaking havoc in the cross-border region of the three countries.

Deputy Commander of AMISOM’s Sector-6, Col. Makurga Ponard, commended the joint peacekeeping mission of Ethiopia and Kenya in marinating peace in the region.

He reiterated commitment of the region’s security force in solidarity with the joint peacekeeping mission. (FBC)