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INSA Thwarts 15-Billion-Birr Loss Incurring Cyber-Attacks

Addis Ababa, February 2/2023/ENA/ The Ethiopian Information Network Security Administration (INSA) revealed that it has thwarted cyber-attacks which would have caused 15 billion Birr loss during the past 6 months. Briefing journalists about the performance report of INSA, Information Network

Hospitality Sector Reaffirms Commitment to Serve AU Summit Participants in Addis Ababa Well

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Addis Ababa (ENA) February 2/2023 The National Committee established to oversee preparations to host the upcoming AU summit held a discussion today with representatives of stakeholders in the hotel and tourism sectors.

State Minister of Foreign Affairs and Chairperson of the National Committee, Ambassador Birtukan Ayano opened the discussion by stating that all necessary preparations are being made to host the conference with greater success than the previous years.

The state minister said hotels, tour operators, and other tourism industry players should strive to make Ethiopia a top conference tourism destination by offering excellent services to AU summit participants.

She emphasized that, in addition to being advantageous from a business standpoint, hosting the AU conference presents a chance to enhance the country’s image, which necessitates the best possible planning.

The Minister of State for Tourism, Selamawit Dawit, for her part, said that the upcoming African Union Conference is where Ethiopians will show their country’s potential in the field of conference tourism.

She stated that the Ministry has prepared tour programs for the AU guests who will come to Addis Ababa to take part in the conference.

In the discussion, the arrangements being made in relation to health, security, telecom, firefighting, and emergency services were presented to the participants.

The AU Ministerial sessions and the Assembly will be held from February 15-19 in Addis Ababa. 

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INSA Thwarts 15-Billion-Birr Loss Incurring Cyber-Attacks

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Addis Ababa, February 2/2023/ENA/ The Ethiopian Information Network Security Administration (INSA) revealed that it has thwarted cyber-attacks which would have caused 15 billion Birr loss during the past 6 months.

Briefing journalists about the performance report of INSA, Information Network Security Administration Director-General, Solomon Soka, said 2,145 cyber-attacks were attempted.

Of these, 2,049 that could caused an estimated loss of more than 15 billion birr were thwarted.

According to him, cyber security vulnerability research was also undertaken on 64 institutions during the stated period.

Some 340 cyber security vulnerabilities were identified in the research conducted in the institutions (27 governmental and 37 private).

From among these, 97 were highly vulnerable, 154 medium vulnerable, and 89 low vulnerable.

When compared to same period last Ethiopian fiscal year, there is improvement of cyber security vulnerability of the institutions, the director general stated.

Security institutions, banks, financial institutions, education and medical institutions as well as the media were among the institutions targeted by hackers, it was learned.

Solomon stressed that institutions need to give due attention to cyber security, establish cyber security administration system, and work closely with INSA on the issue as well as implement cyber security legal frameworks.

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Some 71 Schools Completely Destroyed by Conflicts in Northern Ethiopia to be Reconstructed

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Addis Ababa, February 2/2023/ENA/ Ministry of Education announced today that 71 schools destroyed by the conflict in Afar and Amhara regions would be rebuilt in the first phase school reconstruction program.

Education Minister Professor Birhanu Nega told journalists that a total of more than 3,300 educational institutions were completely destroyed by the conflict in northern Ethiopia.

Among those schools, the reconstruction of 71 schools that the ministry has prioritized will begin this year.

Of these, five schools are going to be reconstructed with the support of the Diaspora Trust Fund, 16 schools by Menschen für Menschen, and 50 by the World Bank, the minister said.

The ministry has been collecting finance for the construction of the schools, development partners and organizations as well as the Ethiopian Diaspora.

Up until now, a total of 2.8 billion Birr has been collected for the reconstruction effort, it was learned.

Selection of contractors for the 71 schools was conducted by the regional education bureaus, the construction authorities and the regional contractors associations.

Reconstruction of the schools will be completed in the next few months and the schools will be opened next Ethiopian academic year.

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Ethiopia Developing Transitional Justice Policy to Ensure Sustainable Peace, Reconciliation

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Addis Ababa, February 2/2023/ENA/ Transitional justice policy document which is expected to contribute to sustainable peace, reconciliation and justice in Ethiopia has been developed, according to Ministry of Justice.

The document presented to media practitioners today was developed based on findings of a study conducted by experts with the view to soliciting inputs from relevant stakeholders.

The draft document comprises three main parts and the first looks into the history of transitional justice in Ethiopia and its relevance to the current situation.

The second part analyzes alternative policy options on a wide-range of mechanisms for the pursuit of transitional justice in Ethiopia.

The last part examines and proposes a range of institutional arrangements to implement transitional justice mechanisms in Ethiopia.

Transitional Justice Working Group Expert, Marishet Tadesse, said that Ethiopia has attempted to apply certain components of transitional justice on different occasions.

However, the absence of a holistic transitional justice framework rendered its efforts ineffective, incoherent, and largely fragmented, the expert stated.

“Ethiopia is going through various transitional periods. During those times, the country had tried to overcome the challenges and found solutions. But it has not yet brought about the sought results. More importantly, lasting peace, justice and democratic transition have not been achieved.”

Due to the current realities and socio-political polarizations in Ethiopia, Marishet underscored that the issue of transitional justice has become a pressing issue.

According to him, developing a comprehensive transitional justice policy is therefore imperative for the country to consolidate democracy and ensure sustainable peace in the country.

For the expert, transitional justice is considered as one of the best options to many countries attempting to transition from conflict or authoritarian rule to kick start democratization process and post-conflict re-organization of political systems.

Ethiopia needs to deal with its past and organize its future based on the pillars of justice, equality, human rights and inclusiveness.

Therefore, this policy will address human rights-based and victim-centered framework, including compensation for victims, drawing on the experience of other jurisdictions and considering Ethiopia’s socio-political context.

Another expert from Ministry of Justice, Addis Getnet said on his part that Ethiopia has witnessed conflicts, widespread human rights violations, social and political contradictions, and declining of social fabrics.

Therefore, transitional justice is a must to provide a sustainable solution for Ethiopia’s deep-rooted problems by ensuring democratization and lasting peace

“Implementing a transitional justice is imperative. That is why this transitional justice document has been developed to thwart authoritarianism, contribute to the consolidation of democracy, and facilitate the move to a stable and affluent society based on equality, justice, reconciliation and respect for human rights and freedom.”

This transitional justice policy would also include a prosecution process that seeks to punish gross human rights violations, including war crimes, crimes against humanity, and other grave crimes, it was learned.

A wide-range public consultation forums will be prepared on the policy options for transitional justice before it becomes effective.

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Ethiopian Capital Market Authority to Issue License To capital Market Service Providers

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Addis Ababa, February 2/2023/ENA Ethiopian Capital Market Authority announced that it is undertaking the necessary preparations to issue licenses to capital market service providers over the coming six months.

It is to be recalled that Ethiopia had approved Capital Markets Establishment Proclamation in 2021 to provide the legal foundation for the development of capital markets in the country.

Following the approval of the Proclamation, several activities have been carried with a view to create conducive environment for its implementation. As per the proclamation the government had established an institution and appointed leaders to start for its implementation.

The Addis Ababa Chamber of Commerce and Sectoral Associations has held a stakeholders’ consultation that was organized in collaboration with the Ethiopian Capital Market Authority and Ethiopian Securities Exchange under the theme “Ethiopia’s Capital Market”

Director General of the Ethiopian Capital Market Authority, Dr. Brook Taye said during the consultation that several activities were carried out to reorganize the Authority in order to implement the proclamation.

Accordingly, regulatory guidelines and directives have been prepared as per the proclamation, he said.

Works are also underway to complete the necessary requirements and criteria that need to be fulfilled by those who wish to join in the capital market activities and commence operation in the coming three to six months, the Director General stated.

The authority is exerting efforts to realizing the operationalization of the capital markets as early as possible.

President of the Addis Ababa Chamber of Commerce and Sectoral Associations, Mesenbet Shenkute said for her part that until recently Ethiopia has been one of the 40 countries who do not have capital market in the international capital market.

Capital market is very crucial to strengthen Ethiopia’s investment activities and economic development, Mesenbet said stressing the need to give due attention for the establishment of strong institutions and capacity building in order to properly tap its positive opportunities.

Capital market creates opportunity for investors and companies to engage in a new way of investment to raise funds by selling their shares and encourage private investment.

It will also play critical role in paving the way for emerging investors and companies to benefit from distribution of wealth.

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News Analysis: As schism deepens, Orthodox Synod slams PM Abiy’s remarks on ongoing crisis point by point, threaten to organize worldwide protest

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His Holiness Abune Pertos, (left), Head of the Holy Synod Secretariat, and His Holiness Abune Mathias I, Patriarch of the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church. Synod’s statement was read by the Abune Petros.

Addis Abeba – In a rare and strongly worded response to Prime Minister Abiy’ Ahmed’s remarks on the ongoing crisis that has fractured the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church (EOTC), the Holy Synod of the church issued a statement last night rejecting, rebuffing, fact-checking and criticizing the Prime Minister’s talking points point by point.

The Synod also issued ultimatum to the government “to carry out the responsibilities assigned by the constitution by upholding the institutional supremacy of the Church, the rights and interests given to it by law, and by giving appropriate correction to the illegal actions” by the breakaway Archbishops, and alternatively, threatened to call for a worldwide protest if corrective measures were not to be taken.

In a clear sign of a worrying times ahead, the Holy Synod emphasized that unless the crisis is resolved and the rights of the church are upheld, the Synod will organize worldwide demonstrations by its members against the government, to inform the international community the catastrophe the church is facing.

Addressing the Premier’s reflections that “the current situation in the Orthodox Church is very simple and it can be resolved through dialogue.” the Synod said he “underestimated” the seriousness of the matter and sidelined the decision by the Holy Synod to excommunicate the three breakaway archbishops and the 25 appointee episcopate, and accused the PM saying that Synod believes this description is equivalent to the state’s interference in the church’s internal affairs by putting aside the canonical decisions of the church.

With regard to the PM’s assertions that “both sides have truth, and both are our fathers, we do not favor or oppose one over the other”, the Synod criticized the statement as creating an equivalence between “the legally recognized church with the illegal group denounced by the church.” It added that considering the two sides as equals, encourages “illegality and sidesteps the government’s responsibility to protect and guarantee legal institutions”.

The Synod out-rightly rejected PM’s Abiy’s reflections for dialogue through negotiations saying that to be “united through negotiation,” gives the church in the position to violate religious guidelines, destroy canonical systems, and accept the breakaway group as equals in the administrative structure of the Church.

“The instruction not only encourages disorder but also imposes on the executives to hesitate in fulfilling their responsibilities and it nullifies their constitutional authority,”

Holy Synod

The statement also lashed out at the PM’s instruction to members of his cabinet “not to interfere”, saying that it will cripple the efforts of government executives, at all levels, who have been making significant efforts to protect the peace and security of the people.

“The instruction not only encourages disorder but also imposes on the executives to hesitate in fulfilling their responsibilities and it nullifies their constitutional authority,” the Synod stated.

The Holy Synod told the government these issued should be rectified and the government must fulfill its constitutional responsibility of ensuring the rule of law and the security of institutions, as it is a duty that calls into question the rule of law, the statement underlined.

“State and religion are separate as it is clearly stipulated in the constitution and the church believes that the government should not interfere in the religious and canonical affairs of the church,” the Synod said.

It also stated serious accusations that “in East Wollega, Kelem Welega and Horo Gudru zones, members of the special forces of the Oromia National Regional Government, under the special patrol escort and care, forcibly broke into the legal institutions of the church, and the religious and administrative institutions of the church were invaded by the illegal groups.” Clerics and administrative staff of the church who opposed the illegal take over of the Church by the breakaway group were detained, legal vehicles of the church were denied of movement and to be used for any service.

“The fact that all these were done under the leadership of the state government led us to the belief that the government has violated the constitution and interfering in religious matters, and with its approval, a coup d’état on the synod is taking place,” the Synod said, further cautioning the government to ensure the necessary protection and life insurance for the bishops and officials of the church to carry out their responsibilities in the dioceses where they have been assigned to work without harassment or security risks in line with the legal status of the Holy Synod’s administrative structure.

On the remarks by the PM that with his government’s support “two patriarchs have been in charge of one chair” after the exiled Synod was returned home, the Holy Synod said it was factually incorrect and failed to reflect the reality on ground, as the roles of the late Abune Merkorios, the 4th Patriarch, after his return from exile were only to serve as spiritual figurehead of the Church and not who doubled as a Patriarch. This argument was rather forwarded as cover to allow “the illegal pontificate and subversion of the Synod” by the breakaway group in violation of the religious, canonical and administrative practices of the Church, the Synod said.

According to the statement, the appointment of the bishops who returned with the late Abune Merkoriosto to the country and become members of the Holy Synod was not made in violation of the canon, as was indicated in the PM’s remarks.

“The fact that all these were done under the leadership of the state government led us to the belief that the government has violated the constitution and interfering in religious matters, and with its approval, a coup d’état on the synod is taking place,”

Holy Synod

The Synod also strongly reacted against the Premier’s remarks that neither he, nor his government can suppress the demands of people for the “right to serve” in one’s language. “The long history of the church proves that it has recognized language services in its laws, and even more so, especially since it has been providing language services” to the followers of the church living in the Oromia regional state. “The church contributed to the ministry by translating the Christian books of worship and rituals into Oromo language, including the three bishops who were revoked who had made their illegal appointment and the assignment of many bishops who speak the language was made,” according to the statement.

In what seemed to be an attempt to respond in detail to the accusations that the Church lacked the language diversity, the Synod further went on saying that “the church has opened spiritual colleges so that the indigenous people of the region can learn in their language and become fit for service. It organized priest training institutions in all dioceses and taught the gospel to thousands of serving priests, deacons, and preachers,” and demanded to “correct the explanation that the church opposed the language services and closed the doors.”

The other issued the Synod criticized the Prime Minister was his assertion that unlike any governments, his government granted land and property the church. The Synod said it was the legal property that the church has been using for centuries and it has been asking for it to be confirmed with a title deed; it was not new property that was acquired by the church with a grace of the state. Although it was not given to her as stated, and even if it was, given the fact that more than 75% of the population of Addis Abeba are followers of the Church, it shouldn’t have been counted as a special privilege as the PM portrayed it to be, the Synod contested

This rebuke by the Synod also extended to the PM’s remarks that his government has been helping the rehabilitation of the world heritage site at Lalibela Rock Hewn Churches Church, being financed by the French government. The site is a tourist destination from which the government is bagging permanent source of income, the statement said.

Refuting the Prime Minister;s explanation that there were no such uproar when religious fathers in Tigray decided to severe relations with the Synod saying that the “synod uttered nothing about religious fathers in Tigray, so it is inappropriate to protests when it occurred in Oromia”, the Synod has pushed back at the argument that saying religious fathers in Tigray region and the entire Christian population did not establish an “illegal Synod in violation of the laws and canons of the church. They did not appoint bishops.” It demanded the Prime Minister to correct the explanation given in “the comparison of the two unrelated actions in a situation that pretends to give legal cover to the illegal appointment and a coup d’état.”

Background

On 26 January the principal Holy Synod of the EOTC have excommunicated three breakaway Archbishops and 25 appointee episcopate accusing them of involving in “illegal anointment” without the knowledge of the church. On Saturday 28 January, the three archbishops and 25 episcopate also excommunicated 12 Archbishops of EOTC Holy Synod members in a counter measure, followed by dispatching over the weekend, bishops to their assigned dioceses.

The event that led to what has now potentially become a split of the EOTC happened at the Haro Beale Wold Church in Woliso city of the South-West Shoa zone in Oromia Regional State, on 22 January, where His Holiness Abune Sawiros (PhD), Archbishop of South West Shoa Diocese, together with two other Archbishops, appointed 26 bishops: 17 bishops for dioceses located in the Oromia region, and nine bishops for dioceses outside Oromia without the involvement of the Holy Synod, creating widespread shock and anger among many of the church’s followers.

His Holiness Abune Sawiros explained the decision to appoint the 26 episcopate was made to resolve long lasting problems within the church for failing to serve believers in their native languages and detached of their culture, which resulted in loss of millions of believers over the past years particularly in Oromia and Southern region.

However, the appointment was called “illegal” by his Holiness Abune Mathias I, Patriarch of the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church (EOTC) who convened an emergency meeting to deal with the event he described as “a great event that has targeted the church.”

Since then the breakaway Archbishops who formed the “Holy Synod of Oromia and Nations and Nationalities.” are dispatching nominee episcopate to their local dioceses and claim that they are being received with “overwhelming” public welcome from the faithful.

The Prime Minister’s remarks that the Synod strongly reacted to in its statement yesterday was the first public remark since the crisis, in which he said that on the controversy should be addressed with the leaders of the Church settling their differences through dialogue and discussion. He also defended his government’s track record of helping the Church in the face of growing criticisms, including by the Ezema party, of roles being played by the ruling party to divide the church by helping the breakaway Archbishop. AS




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CBE Secures 1.7 Billion USD From Various Sources in Six Months

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Addis Ababa, February 2/2023/ENA/ CBE Secures 1.7 Billion USD From Various Sources in Six Months.

The modern dry port is built to facilitate the activities of Ethiopia’s logistics service.

The port, which is also built on 34 hectares of land, is anticipated to play an important role in the overall economy by promoting domestic and foreign trade activities as well as maximizing foreign currency revenues.

Dire Dawa Dry Port has a terminal, warehouses, a three-story building offices, railway lines, and other vital facilities.

As there is a shortage of warehouses in the horn African nation and it has made it difficult for cargo vehicles to move cargo fast, this inaugurated port would enable handling of more than 150 trucks on a daily basis.

Moreover, the port has also two warehouses that accommodate parking for 140 vehicles at a time as well as a railway connecting the port with the Ethio-Djibouti railway line.

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Analysis: “We have given up on our cattle, we are now striving to save our lives”: Borana drought victim

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Photo: ©UNICEF Ethiopia/Demissew Bizuwerk. Photo taken as early as 2021.

By Getahun Legesse @Birmaduu2

Addis Abeba – The Borana zone of Oromia region in Southern Ethiopia is one of the places harshly hit by the worst drought in 40 years in East Africa. More than 800,000 residents of the zone are in need of immediate food assistance, according officials.

The prolonged absence of rain for five consecutive seasons has affected the lives of residents especially the farmers who were entirely dependent on rain-fed agriculture as they have lost thousands of livestock and crop.

Residents confirmed to Addis Standard that the shortage of food and water have claimed the lives of people. “We have given up on our cattle. We are now striving to save our lives,” Bekalu Abera, a resident of Arero district of Borena zone told Addis Standard.

“Some people are migrating to towns from rural villages. However, the helpless elderly and the weak are dying at their home.”

Bekalu Abera

He said this crisis is one of the toughest time in the history of Borana adding that it has placed immense impact on the life of the residents.

“Some people are migrating to towns from rural villages. However, the helpless elderly and the weak are dying at their home. A good number of people are spending days and nights without food. You can detect by looking at their weak physical appearance. The crises could claim lives of hundred thousands if it lingers on,” Bekalu said.

Dinka Dadi a communications officer of the Arero district also told Addis Standard that people are struggling to get something to eat and they have increasingly become prone to acute starvation.

“The people are unable to secure daily meal. They have lost means of securing it. People are starving to death, and are in need of life saving assistance,” Dinka said.

Some aid agencies are providing lifesaving assistance, but the humanitarian crises surpasses the amount of supply being provided according to Dinka. The crisis cannot be addressed by these organizations, according to the local official.

“Apart from lack of food there is series shortage of water. The people are using waters from ponds and rivers exposing themselves to water-borne diseases. Some have contracted epidemics such as diarrhoea,” Dinka said, adding that, “even almost all of these ponds and lakes are currently drying, and the people have nothing to drink”.

The aged and the children are dying of hunger as their body is less adaptive, according to Dinka.

Administrator of Borena zone Jarso Boru told Addis Standard that out of the total 1.7 million population, drought has threatened more than 800,000 residents.

The absence of rainfall for five consecutive seasons has wiped out thousands of cattle, destroyed farms and exasperated dire humanitarian crisis in the region, the administrator said, adding that, all the 13 districts in the zone have been affected by drought.

Water-borne diseases such as cholera, diarrhoea and measles have been reported in the affected areas according to Jarso.

In addition to attempts by public servants and business people who made financial contribution to support lifesaving campaign, Jarso said the government and some aid agencies are venturing to avert the crises, but the supply mismatches the demand as the crisis is enormous and the drought continued to persist.

UN’s Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said between June and December of 2022, South-Eastern part of Ethiopia, including Somali, Oromia, and the Southern Nations and Nationalities People’s region (SNNPR), experienced one of the worst droughts recorded in the Horn of Africa, impacting 12 million people.

In a 18 January report OCHA said the drought impact is expected to further worsen after January 2023 across the drought affected zones as they enter the dry season, adding that, “severe water shortage reported” have been reported in ten drought affected districts in Oromia region.

The prevalence of severe acute malnutrition in the region has increased by more than 30 percent in the first week of January compared to November last year according to OCHA’s report.

The Oromia Busa and Gonofa, regional commission in charge of humanitarian response was unavailable to reply to Addis Standard’s request for information on the drought crisis in Borena zone. AS




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Ambassador Seleshi Holds Discussion with US Officials

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Addis Ababa February 1/2023 /ENA/ Ethiopian Ambassador to the United States, Seleshi Bekele said he had a fruitful discussion with the US officials on the implementation of the peace agreement and other affairs.

“Yesterday, I had useful and candid discussions with Molly Phee, US Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs on the progress made in the implementation the peace agreement and socio-economic development and remaining challenges in Ethiopia,” he said.

Ambassador Seleshi added that he also discussed with Special Envoy for the Horn of Africa (SEHOA) Mike Hammer on progress of negotiation on Ethiopian Grand Renaissance Dam (GERD).

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PM Abiy Ahmed Arrives in Mogadishu to Participate in the Regional Forum

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Addis Ababa February 1/2023/ENA/ Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed arrived in Mogadishu, Somalia, to participate in the regional forum convened towards strengthening the campaign against Al-Shabaab in East Africa.

May be an image of 2 people, people sitting and people standing

According to the Office of the Prime Minister, the leaders’ discussion is aimed at providing regional solutions to regional problems.  

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