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Coordinated Combat Exercise Showed Ethiopia Has Built Force that Prevents War: PM

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Addis Ababa /ENA/ January 28/2023 Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed attended the joint military drill in Awash Arba, where one of the military training facilities is located in the south east part of Ethiopia.

Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed said that the coordinated combat exercise we witnessed today in Awash Arba shows that Ethiopia has built a force that can prevent war.

He said that in the combat exercise ways in which the air force, heavy weaponry, special force and infantry can be coordinated to make a battle short has been demonstrated.

As there are forces that want us to take our eyes off our dreams and actions every day, the main task of military officers is to build a force that prevents war, the premier wrote in a message posted on his social media page.

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News: Breakaway Archbishops counter-excommunicate 12 EOTC Archbishops, prepare to dispatch nominee episcopate in defiance of Holy Synod’s decision

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A man pictured hanging a banner in preparation to welcome the episcopate anointed by the breakaway Archbishops in Gombi town, in western Oromia. Picture: Sinoodoosii Oromiyaa

Addis Abeba – The three breakaway Archbishops and their 25 appointee episcopate, who were excommunicated by the Holy Synod of the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahido Church (EOTC) on Thursday, accused involving in “illegal anointment” have excommunicated 12 Archbishops of EOTC Holy Synod members in a counter measure in what has potentially indicate a split within the church. They have also announced preparations to send the 25 appointee episcopate to their local churches.

In a lengthy statement released yesterday, the three breakaway archbishops and the 25 episcopate who now refer to themselves as “Holy Synod of Oromia and nations and nationalities” of the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church, have also denounced their excommunication by the Holy Synod, and reiterated that they acted in accordance with church’s rules and regulations.

The breakaway archbishops also accused members of the Holy Synod for acting on earthly wishes to “prevent true religion fathers from being a member of the Holy Synod by excommunicating them, adding that they were involved in acts of “division, misleading the Holy Synod and confusing the Christian population.”

His Holiness Abune Sawiros, the leading archbishop of the breakaway synod, who presided over the appointment of the appointee episcopate at a ceremony held in Haro Beale Wold Church in located in Woliso town, South West Shewa zone of Oromia, said that new appointments will be given to replace the 12 archbishops who were excommunicated. He also announced that the 25 episcopate would be dispatched to their respective places where they have been assigned.

This morning pictures from different location in Western Oromia show followers preparing to welcome the appointee episcopate with banners and rallies. As of the publishing of this news, there is no statement released from the Holy Synod in Addis Abeba on the latest developments.

The decision came on the back drop of a statement subsequent to an emergency plenary session of the Holy Synod of the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahdo Chuch (EOTC) on Thursday, which passed a resolution excommunicating the three Archbishops and the 25 Episcopate. One of the 26, Father Tsega Zeab Adugna, had apologized to the Church and rescinded his Episcopate anointment, which was accepted by the Holy Synod.

His Holiness Abune Sawiros explained the decision to appoint the 26 episcopate,which led to the current controversy, said that it 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.

The Archbishop accused the Holy Synod that is currently in office for comprising 85% of its members from only one group and for failing to reflect the Church’s diversity.

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




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Nordic Countries Keen On Strengthening Economic, Development Cooperation With Ethiopia: Ambassador Mehreteab

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Addis Ababa /ENA/ January 28/2023 Nordic countries show desire to further reinforce their economic and development cooperation with Ethiopia, Ethiopian Ambassador to the Nordic countries, Mehreteab Mulugeta said.

In an exclusive interview with ENA, ambassador Mehreteab said the Nordic countries have been cooperating on development projects in their bilateral relationship with Ethiopia for a long time.

In the field of economic diplomacy, their relations with Ethiopia are growing from time to time, he elaborated.

Following the peace agreement, the Nordic countries have shown desires to strengthen their cooperation in many ways, the ambassador said

Moreover, the ambassador stated that the countries are keen on continuing and strengthening their economic and development cooperation to the country.

The ambassador noted the countries appreciated the government’s commitment to solving the problem in the northern Ethiopia through peaceful dialogue, where they are showing desires to provide support for the success of the peace agreement.

The countries also show interest to support the government’s efforts, especially in the reconstruction activities.

Nordic countries including Norway are traditional known for providing support to education, environmental protection, sustainable development spheres and other development activities in Ethiopia.

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News: Showa Robit City shares first official images showing level of destruction in ongoing violence; residents blame neglect of government

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Part of the pictures shared by Shewa Robit City Administration Mayor’s office.

Addis Abeba – The Mayor’s office of the Shewa Robit City Administration, in the North Shewa Zone of the Amhara Regional state, has last night shared several pictures this morning revealing the level of devastation and destruction caused as a result of the ongoing violence in areas bordering the Jille Dhummuga district of Oromo Special Zone and North Shewa Zone the regional state.

“Residents of kebele 05 of Shewa Robit city reported that many lives were lost and properties have been destroyed in the violence” the city mayor’s office said.

The statement quoted the residents of 05 kebele as saying that “the neglect of the government and hesitation of the law enforcement is the reason for the loss of life and property destruction every year” and that the government “should fulfill its responsibility” to clean up “the war and organized groups or forces” operating in the area.

“In addition to the loss of many lives, public schools, mills, health clinics, shops, Kebele administration offices, residences of Islamic religious leaders and individual homes were completely destroyed and looted,” the mayor’s office further said.

Although the security forces of the federal and regional state governments are making sacrifices in their efforts to stop the attacks, more efforts should be exerted to stop the ongoing attacks and destruction of property before they morph into “religious” violence in nature; the attacks “are carried out in an organized manner and with a mission to destroy the country,” the administration cautioned.

The images shared by the administration is the first images from the government office showing the level of the destruction in parts of the city. This week, Addis Standard reported that dozens of civilians were already killed in the ongoing violence. Several houses are burnt and properties looted and vandalized the violence which started on Saturday 21 September.

It has since spread to towns and villages of the neighboring North Shewa Zone including Shewa Robit, as well as Ataye and Jawa towns in Efiratana Gidim district.

Amhara regional state government said that federal police and defense forces were already deployed to the area alongside Amhara special forces to “restore peace and order.”

The regional state government said the violence flared up following an attack perpetrated against members of Amhara special forces and federal police forces stationed in Jawa kebele of Efiratana Gidim district of North Shewa zone on Saturday at around 3PM by “anti-peace forces” operating in the area. AS




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Visiting GERD Inspired us to Provide More Support: Members of Diaspora

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Addis Ababa /ENA/ January 28/2023 Members of the Ethiopian diaspora who visited the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) said that the visit has inspired them to provide more support for the dam.

This week, various diaspora organizations have been given national recognition and awards for their universal contribution to their country.

The members of the diaspora yesterday visited the construction of the dam which is a flagship project of Ethiopians.

The members of the diaspora who talked to ENA said that the Ethiopian Renaissance Dam is built with our own resources and it is a project that will take Ethiopia to a beacon of prosperity, and is a source of pride for generations to come.

They mentioned that visiting the dam in person excited them, adding that the dam is being built only with Ethiopia’s capacity is a great pride and a heart-warming feeling for us.

They also applauded the dam workers who are working hard for 24/7 in difficult weather condition.

According to them, the perseverance of the workers have moved them to further intensify their support to the dam.

They also called on Ethiopians and Ethiopian origin from all over the world to strengthen their support for the construction of the dam without any differences.

Ethiopian Diaspora Service, Director General Mohamed Edris said members of the diaspora who visited the dam have seen the fruits of the support they have been providing to GERD thus far.

In addition, this visit will help the diaspora organizations to mobilize more resources and intensify their support, he said.

Remember that the diaspora has been involved in defending the country at the international fora and supporting the victim during war; now efforts are diligently underway to enable them support development projects in coordinated manner.

In this regard, he indicated that the service will carry out its responsibility by enhancing the activities and raise financial resources in cooperation with diaspora organizations and Ethiopian embassies.

The Ethiopian Diaspora, like any Ethiopian citizen at home, have been making significant contribution to the construction of the GERD in terms of financial support.

GERD has brought together millions of Ethiopians irrespective of ethnicity, religion, political persuasion or background including those in the diaspora from all corners of the globe.

The dam being built on Abbay River (Blue Nile) is vital to Ethiopia’s economic development, providing electricity to its population as well as strengthen regional integration.

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JBIC Keen on Supporting Japanese Business, Investment in Ethiopia

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Addis Ababa January 27/2023/ENA/ Ambassador Tefera Derbew has met today with the Governor of Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC), Hayashi Nobumitsu and discussed investment opportunities and business enabling environment in Ethiopia, according to Embassy of Ethiopia in Tokyo.

Ambassador Tefera explained the historic Ethio-Japan diplomatic relations and the growing economic and development cooperation between the two countries and the economic reform Ethiopia have paved the way for ever-expanding investment opportunities and favourable business climate to the Governor.

He also encouraged JBIC to seize the investment opportunities and step up its support for Japanese companies eying to invest in Ethiopia.

Nobumitsu, for his part, expressed his delight about Japanese companies’ investment and business engagement in Ethiopia on a wide range of sectors, including the telecom sector.

The Governor said that Japan Bank for International Cooperation is keen on supporting Japanese companies doing business in Ethiopia and those potential investors who are looking for investing in Ethiopia – a country of huge market and investment potential.

The Governor also expressed JBIC’s interest to collaborate with the Embassy in promoting Ethiopia’s investment potential and evolving opportunities and incentives to Japanese business people.

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Recognizing Diaspora Organizations To Stimulate Continued Support to Homeland

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Addis Ababa January 27/2023/ENA/ Recognizing 52 Ethiopian Diaspora organizations will stimulate the diaspora community to continue their efforts to defend and promote the country, members of the diaspora have said.

Recognitions were given yesterday to some 52 Ethiopian Diaspora organizations drawn from 25 countries and members of the diaspora who actively participated in support of their country on various occasions.

Defend Ethiopia UK Taskforce, Alliance for GERD in Canada, Ethio-Canadian Network for Advocacy and Support (ECNAS), Abren Organization, among others, received recognition.

Representatives of Defend Ethiopia UK Taskforce, Zelalem Tesema told ENA that the diaspora have been working for the last two and half years to defend its country against the disinformation campaign, which was really in an organized manner.

“Now this recognition means a lot to all of us. This is for all people, Defend Ethiopia members or not who stood to defend our country. This is not only recognition but also a responsibility to continue to defend our country to continue to promote our country,” he stated.

Be it GERD or tourism, “this is more responsibility than recognition for us,” he noted

Moreover, Zelalem elaborated that the diaspora could play a great role in promoting peace and stability for all Ethiopian because we know what peace means.

“It could be the rehabilitation and reconstruction process. We should all support our country, our people, so that we suffered a lot during the last two and a half years. We shouldn’t forget COVID-19 as well, that pretty much prevented any kind of tourism, but also the war. Now the work began. We all need to work together to defend our country, to promote our country and rebuild it,” he underlined.

Alliance for Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) and Ethio-Canadian Network for Advocacy and Support (ECNAS), Semaneh Tamirat Jembere said on his part that it is our obligation to serve our country and people.

“I don’t think we need recognition. But because you have given us recognition, we are very happy. The reason why I’m saying this is that it is our obligation. It is our obligation to serve our people. And for that, we don’t need, really big recognition, but now you have done a big recognition that is very well” he noted.

Noting the majority of Ethiopian people live below the poverty line of 1.5 dollars per day, he said, adding “these are the people who gave us education, free of charge. We need to give back and help our people.”

Representative of Abren Organization based in USA, Daniel Iyasu recalled that in the last couple of years, there has been a kind of like a deliberate attempt to tarnish the Ethiopian state for various reasons, by a lot of international actors.

“We have been kind of trying to counter that and trying to inform people about what’s really going on, what’s happening here in this country, is not exactly, what you see in the foreign media. It’s important to have a different perspective. It’s always good to ask and be curious about what’s happening,” he noted.

The Ethiopian Diaspora are strong, he said, adding “I think Ethiopians as a community, we take our culture, language, families and we maintain our connections to Ethiopia in many different forms.”

He said “I think it’s been nice to see the Ethiopian government engage with the diaspora much more than before. I think prior to say, the last two, three years, there has been a kind of antagonistic feelings between the diaspora and the government here.”

The initiative by the government to engage with the diaspora in North America, Europe, in the Middle East, Africa and everywhere is a very positive thing, he added.

“I would encourage everybody in the diaspora to engage with their country,” he stated.

On other hand, he added that it’s very encouraging to see the peace deal in northern Ethiopia is hopefully is something we can anchor.

It is important for the diaspora to engage with the peace process, he urged.

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Prospects of Enduring Peace in Ethiopia Brighter: ENDF Int’l Relations, Military Cooperation Director-General

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Addis Ababa January 27/2023/ENA/ Normal life is restored and the prospect of enduring peace is brighter in the northern part of conflict-affected areas in Ethiopia, following the signing of the Pretoria peace agreement, Ethiopian National Defense Force (ENDF) International Relations and Military Cooperation Director-General Major General Teshome Gemechu said.

Major General Teshome briefed military attachés of different embassies residing in Addis Ababa about the implementation and progress of the peace agreement today.

According to him, the prospect of durable peace is brighter than any time and the people of Tigray are now enjoying peace.

“There is no military operation and there are no forces other than the Ethiopian National Defense Force in Tigray region. The government is aggressively engaged in restoration of facilities such as telecommunication, bank and other required public services as well as aid. (As a result), normal life is being restored.”

The prospect of lasting peace is now observed, Major General Teshome stated, adding that “we strongly believe that different technical issues will be worked out very quickly.”

As peace in Ethiopia has regional significance beyond Ethiopia’s territory, the implementation of this peace agreement will also help improve the condition of peace in the eastern part of Africa, the director general noted.

Besides, peace and stability in Ethiopia provide basic conditions to enhance political security and economic connectivity condition of the Horn of Africa.

The director general believes that as a good model of resolution for lasting peace, the peace agreement offers valuable lesson to various conflicts around the global.

The attachés attending the briefing on their part applauded the progress of the implementation peace agreement.

Nigerian Defense attaché, Colonel Rufai Umar Mairiga said, “I want to commend the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia for this. Peace is not easy. If you were there you observe the enthusiasm of the people for peace.”

A Kenyan attaché also stated that “the process is good and the progress is good (but) a bit slow, which is expected. The team on the ground is doing well.”

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Nation Moving in the Right Direction in Peace Building: Award-winning American Journalist

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Addis Ababa January 27/2023/ENA/Ethiopia is moving in the right direction in terms of building peace in the country and the Horn of Africa, an award-winning journalist and fellow with the Center of Media and Peace Initiatives told ENA.

The award-winning American journalist and fellow with the Center of Media and Peace Initiatives, Joseph Hammond, said Ethiopia is moving in the direction of implementing the peace agreement.

The agreement is considered as a breakthrough for African solution to its challenges since Ethiopia ended a two-year long conflict after signing the cessation of hostility agreement in early November 2022.

The Ethiopian government has swiftly implemented the deal and also restored basic services, and the return of life to normalcy is observed in the war-torn areas, the journalist noted.

Hammond stated that the restoration of basic services like air flight is a positive sign for peace development in Ethiopia.

“I think the resumption of flights to Mekele, Tigray regional capital, is positive. You know, I think it suggests that we are moving in the right direction in terms of building peace in Ethiopia and the Horn of Africa.”

According to him, the resumption of flights shows that there will be a greater free movement of people within Ethiopia, which is a return to the situation before the war. So, these are very welcome developments.

He pointed out that the Horn of African nation also has reliable global friends and partners which have been yearning to see a peaceful country above all.

“I think that Ethiopia should remember that it’s not alone. There are stakeholders within the Horn of Africa and in the world that are keen to see Ethiopia strong, successful and a peaceful country above all.”

For this reason, Hammond thinks that “Ethiopia should work with its partners and continue down the timetables laid out in the peace agreements.”

He also hoped that Ethiopia will continue on that path to achieve lasting peace.

“I think the signs are positive as well as bold here. The government, all active stakeholders, the international community can all build towards the goal of a peaceful, stable, prosperous Ethiopia in the 21st century,” Hammond noted.

He underlined that war is easy, peace is bravery. “You know, peace is very tough. But the other part of that is engaging with stakeholders to make sure it’s a long term, sustainable peace — the kind that we will see building a prosperous and stable Ethiopia I guess.”

The award winning journalist stressed that the political peace needs to be built upon the redemption of the shared heritage between the communities in Ethiopia.

Hammond also stressed the need to engage in peace building initiatives between the different communities in Ethiopia to put this chapter behind in the rearview mirror as quickly as possible.

For the journalist, Ethiopian Airlines is one of the real pearls and gems of Ethiopia’s legacy.

“I mean, this is one of the real pearls and gems, part of Ethiopia’s legacy. You know, I recall reading Nelson Mandela’s memoirs about how he was struck flying on Ethiopian Airlines and seeing African pilots and African air crew on a plane and how much that symbolizes for him. So the legacy that’s all important.”

Ethiopia is a short flight for billions of people, Hammond noted, adding that some of the world’s largest markets can be reached in a very short flight from Ethiopia.

“Not just in Africa, obviously. When we talk about the Middle East, we started talking about Southern Europe. Even into Central Asia and beyond that you already have Ethiopian Airlines flying to North America. You have them flying to Asia. So there’s a lot to build on.”

Ethiopian Airlines has still kept its net profit margin well despite COVID-19 pandemic and a two-year long war in northern Ethiopia.

Besides Ethiopian’s role to connect every corner of the globe, the airline, given the country’s mountainous terrain is going to be so important for all regions of Ethiopia going forward.

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Ethiopian Climate Change Working Group Launched

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Addis Ababa January 27/2023/ENA/Ethiopian Climate Change Working Group that aims to support green initiatives in the country by providing up-to-date scientific recommendations to policymakers and legislators about climate change, greenhouse gas emissions and carbon markets was launched yesterday.

Speaking at the launching ceremony, Ethiopian Climate Change Working Group (ECCWG) Chair, Feleke Zewge, said the small group of professionals and experts is interested in climate change and environmental sustainability research.

According to him, there are a number of good initiatives by the Government of Ethiopia in terms of mitigation and adaptation.

The aim of the group is to organize knowledge base, compile the evidence so far and come up with feasible solutions to guide existing initiatives as well to come up with more new innovative ideas.

As ECCWG, our focus is helping the national government initiatives on adaptation measures that have been underway, the group chair said, adding that the objective of the group is to assist the ongoing initiatives in terms of capacity building and research.

UP until now, Ethiopia has not fully utilized the climate finance funding mechanisms globally, Feleke said, adding that we therefore need to organize at national level to access the funding.

He believes that ECCWG will create a powerful, inclusive, and trusting network of Ethiopian organizations that will work together to meet the global goals in the Paris Climate Agreement.

Speaking at the event, Ethiopian Environmental Protection Authority Multilateral Environmental Agreements Director, Mensur Dessie, said despite its negligible contribution to global warming, Ethiopia is strongly affected by the consequences of climate change that affect its environment, agriculture, water, food and energy production.

The government is keen to partner with all stakeholders interested in cooperating with Ethiopia in this regard, he added.

The director further stated that the climate change working group is commendable as it contributes to the national agenda of building adaptation and resilience.

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