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XINHUA NEWS SERVICE REPORTS FROM THE AFRICAN CONTINENT

 
Ethnic clashes in northern Ethiopia leaves seven dead

ADDIS ABABA Ethiopia (Xinhua) -- Ethnic clashes in Ethiopia’s northern Amhara regional state have left seven people dead, an Ethiopian official said on Thursday.

In a press statement, Bantihun Mekonen, Deputy Chief Administrator of Central Gonder zone of Amhara regional state, said the ethnic clashes were between ethnic Amhara and minority ethnic Qimant communities.

Mekonen said the clashes, which occurred between Dec. 5 to Dec. 8, also resulted in the burning of 480 houses and displacement of scores of people.

He further said the ethnic clashes were stopped by the intervention of local and federal security forces.

In recent months, parts of Amhara regional state have been scenes of deadly clashes between the majority Amhara ethnic group and Qimant activists that have left several people dead and thousands of people displaced.

Qimants are an ethnic monitory group living in the northwestern corner of Amhara regional state. In recent years Qimant activists have been campaigning to have their own autonomous region within Amhara regional state.

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EARLIER REPORTS:

Landmine explosion kills eight in western Ethiopia

ADDIS ABABA Ethiopia (Xinhua) -- Landmine explosion in Ethiopia’s western Benishangul Gumuz regional state has left 8 civilians dead, state television reported on Wednesday.

The incident happened when a mini-bus carrying 11 civilians encountered serious explosion after running over a landmine that was hidden under the road, Ethiopian Broadcasting Corporate quoted regional government authorities.

According to Benishangul Gumuz regional state officials, the number of people killed could further rise as the remaining 3 people who were on board the mini-bus during the explosion had sustained serious physical injuries.

The injured are currently receiving medical treatment in nearby health stations, it was noted.

The landmine explosion, for which no claim of responsibility has yet been made, occurred along the border of Benishangul Gumuz region and Ethiopia’s largest regional state Oromia.

Ethiopian security forces are now undertaking a through initial investigation to uncover the major intention behind the landmine plot as well as the identity of individuals, local government officials said.

The border areas along the two regional states had recently been the hotbeds of violence, in which ethnic clashes in September this year alone had left at least five people dead and scores of others injured.

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Ethiopia holds state funeral for former president

ADDIS ABABA Ethiopia (Xinhua) -- Ethiopia on Wednesday held state funeral for former president Girma Wolde-Giorgis in the presence of high level Ethiopian and foreign dignitaries.

The former President’s funeral was attended by various high level dignitaries including Ethiopian President Sahle-Work Zewde, Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed and AU Commission Chairperson Moussa Faki Mahamat.

Wolde-Giorgis, who was the East African country’s president for more than a decade, passed away on Saturday at the age of 94.

Wolde-Giorgis had been Ethiopia’s president from 2001 to 2013. He had also performed various state duties throughout the country in different capacities for close to six decades.

In recent years,Wolde-Giorgis had been active in efforts to foster reconciliation between former foes Ethiopia and Eritrea who declared an end to two decades of hostility in July.

Speaking at his funeral, current Ethiopian President Sahle-Work Zewde said Wolde-Giorgis had served his country through several governments through good and bad times.

“Wolde-Giorgis showed the true principles of public service, serving Ethiopia during challenging times over the last several decades, in various capacities,” she said during a publicly broadcast funeral ceremony.

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Ethiopia repatriates 65 nationals from Tanzania

ADDIS ABABA Ethiopia (Xinhua) -- The Ethiopia Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) announced on Wednesday it has repatriated 65 nationals detained in Tanzania over allegations of illegal entry.

In a press statement, MoFA said the 65 Ethiopians were released after discussions between the Ethiopian and Tanzanian governments to return all Ethiopians detained in Tanzania for alleged illegal entry.

Negotiations are still underway to secure the release of another 166 Ethiopians detained in Tanzania.

MoFA said The 65 Ethiopians were repatriated back to home through the joint efforts of the ministry, Ethiopia’s flag carrier Ethiopian Airlines and the International Organization for Migration.

Every year hundreds of Ethiopians are detained in Tanzania while trying to use Tanzania as a transit point on their final destination, South Africa.

Human traffickers reportedly use various countries as transit points to smuggle Ethiopians to South Africa.

According to the Ethiopia Ministry of Foreign Affairs, human traffickers charge an average of 3,500 to 4,000 U.S. dollars to smuggle a single individual from Ethiopia to South Africa.

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Chinese firm donates educational materials to Ethiopia charity

ADDIS ABABA Ethiopia (Xinhua) -- Chinese firm PowerChina International Group Limited (PCIGL) on Thursday donated educational supplies to Ethiopia blind charity -Addis Hiwot Center of the Blind (AHCB).

PCIGL donations consisted of computers, audio players, earphones and other stationary materials that can easily be used by visually impaired people. 

Speaking at the donation ceremony in Addis Ababa, Fu Jie, Ethiopia Country Manager of PCIGL, said Wednesday’s donation is the latest in a series of philanthropic donations across Ethiopia done by PCIGL.

The donation to the charity is part of our social responsibility as a member of this society, it also expresses our sincerity to this community by giving aid to those who are in need, he added.

PCIGL has been involved in Ethiopia’s infrastructure project for close to two decades, building hydro plants, road projects and wind farms.

Asrat Tilahun, Board member of Addis Hiwot Center of the Blind, said the educational supplies donation can help the center maintain its charity services.

The charity offers training of skills and educational services to about 500 people. 

The charity has previously received donations from the Chinese embassy in Ethiopia.

Dawit Berhanu, 35, a beneficiary of Addis Hiwot Center of the Blind, said the donations from PowerChina will ensure blind people can benefit from the charity’s services as he successfully did.

           

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