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Police arrest 24 individuals for plotting to incite violence in Gambella region

The National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS) of Ethiopia has announced the arrest of 24 individuals, who are accused of plotting to incite violence in Gambella regional state, located in Western Ethiopia.

Among the detainees include Tsegaye Mebrhatu (Kahsay), Gebremariam Anania, Wastina Teshome (Jal Sena), Abrham Mehari, Col. Tesfaye (Balestra) and 19 other people who make up part of the destructive forces of the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) and OLF-Shene group.

According to a statement NISS sent to Fana Broadcasting Corporation, police arrested them while they had been plotting to incite violence after taking mission from the TPLF.

Similarly, some 22 individuals have also been arrested for planning to incite violence in Assosa and Kamashe zones of the Benishangul Gumuz regional state.

Police arrested them, including Yohannes Girmay and Risom Girmay, while they had been planning to make the areas centers of violence after taking mission from Abay Tsehaye, a member of the destructive group of TPLF, the statement indicated. (FBC)

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Microalgae, COVID-19 research laboratories inaugurated

National Microalgae Biotechnology and COVID-19 research laboratories were inaugurated today in the premises of the Ethiopian Biotechnology Institute.

The microalgae laboratory will serve for microalgae production and the COVID-19 research laboratory for testing and research.

Launching the laboratories at the institute, Innovation and Technology State Minister, Fozia Amin, said the laboratories are real-time problem solving.

The COVID-19 laboratory would support the current testing challenges of the pandemic and other diseases, while the National Microalgae Biotechnology Laboratory enables the untapped resources in the country to be exploited by educated human power, she said.

Ethiopian Biotechnology Institute Director-General, Kassahun Tesfaye said on the occasion that the semi-automated microalgae laboratory is the first of its kind in Ethiopia and will produce microalgae products and serve as a capacity building project.

According to him, the microalgae laboratory will use large-scale mass culture in the Ethiopian Rift Valley Lakes and produce 100 liters of microalgae seeds in 15 days, to help sustain nutrition and for export. (ENA)

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Desert locust swarms no more a threat: Ministry

The desert locust swarms which invaded parts of Ethiopia are no longer threats to crops, as their spread diminished due to aerial and ground control operations, according to the Ministry of Agriculture.

Mandefro Negusse, State Minister of Agriculture, told ENA that the locusts that infested five regions and one city administration are now confined to one region.

“We only have desert locusts in Somali Region, despite some dispersed locusts that escaped control operations,” he added.

The country has increased the number of its aircraft and vehicles to intensify control operations against the locusts across the country.

“We have now seven aircraft sprayers, three navigation helicopters, and 116 vehicles that boosted our capacity to fight any current and possible future locust invasion,” Mandefro underscored.

The locust will no more be a threat to agricultural crops in Ethiopia because it will now go to naturally favorable areas to breed.

“It will not create a problem on crops in Ethiopia for now,” the state Minister noted. (ENA)

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Local firm signs MoU with Evolvin’ Women Dubai

The local firm Center for Accelerated Women’s Economic Empowerment (CAWEE) on Monday singed a virtual Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the United Arab Emirates (UAE)-based Evolvin’ Women, in a view to advance the capacity of Ethiopian female entrepreneurs.

In a statement issued after the signing, the Embassy said that through the MoU, the program will see the training and development of emerging female entrepreneurs who will be identified with the support of CAWEE. Evolvin’ Women will work with the entrepreneurs to help accelerate their business development and offer them an array of business support including training, services and resources to facilitate their financial success and freestanding.

The UAE Embassy in Addis Ababa is keen to support and encourage the goals of the two organizations to empower women by building their capacity. (The Ethiopian Herald)

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Horn in Brief

Sudan closes border with Ethiopia over clashes in restive region

Sudan closed its border on Thursday with Ethiopia over concerns that clashes in the northern region of the neighboring country may spread.

The action aimed at stopping fighters in Ethiopia’s Tigray region from crossing the frontier, the government of Sudan’s Kassala state said in a statement. Kassala’s governor plans to travel to the border areas to assess the security situation, it said.

Ethiopia’s military clashed with forces loyal to Tigray’s ruling party, Tigray People’s Liberation Front, for a second day on Thursday. Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed ordered the incursion after accusing the region’s government of attacking a federal army camp.

Relations between Tigray and Abiy’s government have been strained since Abiy took office in 2018 and sidelined the TPLF, once the prominent power broker in Ethiopia. Last month, the federal parliament ordered the Treasury to halt direct budgetary support to the Tigrayan administration for defying an order to postpone regional elections. Tigray’s leaders said the withholding of funds was unconstitutional and tantamount to a declaration of war. (Bloomberg)

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Somali Minister survives landmine blast, 2 bodyguards hurt

A Somali Minister survived a landmine blast in Mogadishu on Thursday night but two of his bodyguards were injured, a government official confirmed on Friday.

Labor Minister Durran Ahmed Farah is safe after the explosion targeting his convoy at the KM-4 intersection in Mogadishu’s Hodan district, said government spokesman Ismael Mukhtar Omar.

“The Minister is safe but two of his bodyguards were injured after the blast last night,” Omar told Xinhua over the phone.

Witnesses said the Minister’s vehicle was destroyed after being hit by the landmine, which was planted on the roadside.

No group has so far claimed responsibility for the latest attack in the restive capital, but al-Shabaab terror group usually stages such attacks in the Horn of Africa nation.

The Qaida-allied group, which was driven out of Mogadishu by Somali army and African Union forces in 2011, still carries out attacks in the capital and in rural areas in central and southern Somalia. (Xinhua)

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Two South Sudan aid groups suspend operations after workers killed

Two aid groups have suspended operations in parts of Eastern South Sudan after gunmen killed two of their workers late last week.

The suspension will make matters worse for thousands of citizens displaced by widespread flooding in Jonglei state.

Annette Hearns, deputy head of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA) in Juba, said the killings not only affected aid delivery to vulnerable people but caused more suffering for the families of the deceased.

“We condemn this type of behavior. Our colleagues are attempting to support new mothers and children who are malnourished, and help them receive the support they need to live,” Hearns told VOA’s South Sudan in Focus.

An employee with Plan International was killed on October 29 in the Pibor Administrative Area, according to a UNOCHA statement released Monday.

After the attacks, both aid agencies suspended operations in the two areas, said Hearns. (VoA)

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Somaliland political leader endorses Somali electoral model

The Chairman of UCID party (Ururka Caddaalada iyo Daryeelka) of Somaliland, Faisal Ali Warabe, has endorsed the Somali elections due to take place in February 2021.

In a break with Somaliland Government policies that distance the self-proclaimed ‘Republic of Somaliland’ from the Somali political process, Faisal delivered a keynote speech for representatives from the Dir clan in a meeting held in Nairobi, Kenya.

Under the 4.5 power sharing formula, the UCID Chairman belongs to the Dir clan.

 “Two clans vie for the Presidency and the Prime Minister’s office. We have to play a role in the forthcoming elections,” Faisal told participants of the meeting.

Mohamed Adan Qabyatire, a former Somaliland Planning Minister, attended the meeting and said “We have to meet regularly and raise funds.”

Last month, the Government of Somaliland issued a statement in which it openly rejected the election of Somaliland MPs and Senators in Mogadishu for the 2021 elections.

The Nairobi meeting is likely to infuriate President Muse Bihi. (The Taiwan Times)