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Traffic accident leads to mass illicit
arms seizure in northern Ethiopia   

ADDIS ABABA Ethiopia (Xinhua) -- A traffic accident in Ethiopia’s northern Amhara regional state has led to the seizure of a huge number of illicit arms, local media reported on Monday.

A fuel tanker truck originating in neighboring Sudan and travelling in northern Ethiopia, overturned while trying to avoid hitting a stray goat, the Metema locality communications affairs office of Amhara regional state said in a statement.

“Local police which arrived at the scene of the traffic accident to help the injured driver, instead found 97 Kalashnikov rifles and 1,291 handguns that were hidden in the fuel tanker truck,” the statement said.

“The truck driver has been discharged from hospital after receiving first aid treatment and is currently under arrest pending completion of investigation into his illegal activity,” the statement added.

Arms smuggling is relatively common in northwest Ethiopia, with people using firearms as protection against blood feuds and as a personal trophy.

However, smuggled firearms have also been used by criminals to commit robbery and by various minor rebel groups to initiate armed struggle against the government.



Ethiopia arrests 17 suspects for robberies in capital city

ADDIS ABABA Ethiopia (Xinhua) -- Ethiopia has arrested 17 individuals on suspicion of involvement in violent robberies in the capital city Addis Ababa, an Ethiopian official said on Sunday.

Fasika Fanta, Chief Communications Officer, Addis Ababa Police Commission, said eight guns, several mobile handsets and seven getaway cars have been seized in the homes of the 17 suspects, reported state affiliated media outlet Fana Broadcasting Corporate (FBC).

Fanta said the suspects are alleged to have been divided into three groups and engaged in numerous violent robbery incidents in various parts of Addis Ababa.

He further said police has seized 412 guns and 22,000 bullets from criminals and “rogue” law enforcement members during the last three months, as part of a crackdown on rising incidences of violent crimes.

Addis Ababa, which is Ethiopia’s main political and economic hub, with an estimated population of 5 million people, hosts more than 100 diplomatic and international organizations missions and is generally thought to a safe city.

But, recently rising incidences of violent crimes have led to the Ethiopian government to install hundreds of security cameras along major road avenues and make mass arrests of suspected criminals.


Ethiopian PM leaves for France and Germany on state visit

ADDIS ABABA Ethiopia (Xinhua) -- Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed left here on Monday for a state visit to France and Germany.

The visit will be Ahmed’s first to Europe since he took office in April, according to the Ethiopian Prime Minister’s Office.

In Paris, Ahmed and French President Emmanuel Macron are expected to discuss issues such as regional security, Ethiopia’s ongoing reform, trade and investment, said Fitsum Arega, chief of staff at the Ethiopian prime minister’s office.

In Germany, Ahmed is expected to meet with Chancellor Angela Merkel and discuss various bilateral issues, Arega said.

Ahmed is also scheduled to address “Ethiopian Day” celebrations on Oct. 31 in Frankfurt, Germany.

According to the Ethiopian foreign ministry, the “Ethiopian Day” event is expected to bring together more than 20,000 Ethiopians and people with Ethiopian ancestry from across Europe.


Ethiopian Airlines to commence new flight to Moscow

ADDIS ABABA Ethiopia (Xinhua) -- Ethiopian Airlines, the largest aviation group in Africa, on Monday disclosed that it will commence regular flights to Moscow, Russia in December this year.

The flight to Russia’s capital will also mark Ethiopian Airlines’ presence in all the five BRICS member countries.

“As of December, Ethiopian Airlines will connect Moscow with 59 cities in Africa, with thrice a week flights operated with the ultra-modern 787 Dreamliner,” the airline said in a statement on Monday.

Revealing the commencement of direct flight route connecting Africa and Russia, Ethiopian Airlines Group CEO, Tewolde GebreMariam, said that “Russia will be the final BRICS country in our ever growing global network.”

“The air connectivity Ethiopian Airlines provides to link Africa and Russia will go a long way towards facilitating and bolstering multifaceted relations between the two regions,” he said.

GebreMariam also indicated that Russia, as one of the world’s leading producers of oil and natural gas, offers ample trade and investment potentials for investors.

“Our direct flights will also promote Ethiopian and other African tourist attractions to the Russian tourists,” he said.

Ethiopian Airlines is currently the biggest carrier of passenger and cargo between Africa and China, another BRICS member country.

Ethiopia’s flag carrier currently flies to five destinations in China that include Beijing, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Chengdu and Guangzhou. It has also finalized preparations to add Shenzhen on the list. 


Chinese firm to establish regional office in
Ethiopia to bolster rising project portfolios

ADDIS ABABA Ethiopia (Xinhua) -- With a fast growing presence in Ethiopia, China Communications Construction Company (CCCC) is set to open a regional office in the east African country, an official said on Sunday.

In an interview with Xinhua, Deputy General Manager of CCCC east Africa branch Wei Qiangyu, said the plan to establish a regional office in Ethiopia was made as the size of the company’s business in the country as well as in other regional countries like Kenya and Uganda is fast increasing.

CCCC has seen its stock in the Ethiopian construction industry rise fast, taking part in landmark projects, including the 216 km Woldiya-Mekelle railway project, the Addis Ababa ring road project, the 78 km Addis Ababa-Adama toll expressway and extension of Addis Ababa Bole International Airport.

CCCC has also built and commissioned Mekelle industrial park inaugurated in July 2017 and is currently constructing Jimma and Arerti industrial parks.

“The new regional office to be located in Ethiopia’s capital Addis Ababa will have a technology and innovation center, equipped with modern laboratories, to help us competently and timely execute a number of railway, airport, road and building construction projects we have in Ethiopia and beyond,” said Wei.

Wei said his firm has been able to survive and expand in Ethiopia ever since it entered the country two decades ago, as it strives to undertake projects professionally and with great care.

“CCCC has an abundant experienced team and resources, which does proper project planning, can tackle various challenges ranging from project land acquisition, provision of enough machineries for a project, adjusting plans with changing circumstances and coordinates with all stakeholders to ensure projects are properly planned and executed,” said Wei.

As CCCC enters its third decade in Ethiopia, it is diversifying its project portfolios, signing earlier this month its first high rise building contract.

Wei told Xinhua that the project to build the headquarter for a local bank, Nib International Bank (NIB) at a cost of around 28.6 million U.S. dollars is a signal CCCC sees even more business opportunities in Ethiopia.

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