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Ethiopia Reconsidering Tax Plan Following Widening Protests

Revenue-authorities-scrap-tax-hikeJuly 24, 2017 - Ethiopia Revenue and Custom Authority are reportedly reconsidering a proposed tax hike for small businesses, the Addis Standard news portal has reported.

The decision comes in the wake of widening protests by affected business people. Shops were closed in the Oromia State early last week in defiance of the new tax. By Friday, the action had spread to the capital Addis Ababa, with shops in some parts closed.

The report cited the head of the Ethiopia Revenue and Customs Authority (ERCA), Kebede Chane, as saying the decision to revise the tax directive followed the compl

Tax-Hike Protests Reach Ethiopian Capital Addis Ababa

Ethiopian-Custom-RevenueJuly 21, 2017 - Tax-hike protests that started in Ethiopia’s largest regional state has now reached the Capital Addis Ababa, according to Africa News.  Some business owners in the Ethiopian capital haven’t opened their doors today, protesting against new daily income estimations.

Speaking on the subject, officials from the Ethiopia Revenue and Customs Authority stated that there was some misunderstanding of the tax directive. ‘‘We have not imposed such taxes. The confusion is due to lack of understanding and the tendency of considering daily incomes as taxes.’‘ There has yet to be an official comm

Business Owners in Ethiopia’s Largest Regional State Strike against Revised Tax law

Anti-Tax-Strike-OromiaJuly 20, 2017 - Following the imposition of a revised tax law by the Ethiopian government, some business owners in the country’s largest regional state Oromiya have gone on strike, reported Reuters.  Ethiopian government officials also stated that some vehicles belonging to public institutions have been attacked.

On Wednesday, business owners and residents in the town of Ambo, a town located in western part of Ethiopia Ababa told Reuters that almost all shops, hotels and restaurants there have now been shut after open-ended strikes were called on Monday.

"The entire city is at a standstill. Everything is closed," one

Addis Ababa City Administration Knocks Down 1,980 Houses

Addis-AbabaJuly 18, 2017 - The Addis Ababa City Administration announced that it had cleared 102ha of land for redevelopment purposes in the last Ethiopian fiscal year, which just ended in June 2017. In this clearing program, the city administration knocked down 1,980 residential units from the 2,228 houses it planned to demolish in that Ethiopian fiscal year, calming 89pct success in its performance.

This land clearing was part of the city administration's plan to transfer 1,521ha of land for investors during the fiscal year, in which Ethiopia’s capital City was able to prepare 1,313ha for the required development projects. Out of this prepared

Red Cross Trains Ethiopian Police on Human Rights

Red-Cross-Trains-Ethiopian-PoliceJuly 10, 2017 - The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), launched two reference books and an ICRC-produced video that will serve as teaching manuals for the police on international human rights and humanitarian principles pertaining to policing. The ICRC has also provided trainings on international human rights and humanitarian standards to Ethiopian police. 

Sisay Shikur, Federal Deputy Police Commissioner General, thanked the ICRC for organizing the discussion, while Assistant Commissioner Getu Tekleyohannes, Community Service Vice President with the Ethiopian Police University College (EPUC), exp

Turkey Donates Office Equipment to Ethiopian Regions

Turkey-donates-office-equipmentJune 30, 2017 - For a second time in a week period, the Turkish government donated office equipment to the Ethiopian government. The donation comprises 62 pieces of IT equipment including computer sets, LCD projectors, scanners, and photo copiers.

At the handover Ceremony, state Minister of Children’s Affairs Alemitu Omot said she was delighted to receive the donation for Afar, Benishangul and Gambella regions that are less developed, and urged representatives of beneficiary states to make good use of them.

“Women and children are the most deprived sections of society,” she said, adding her ministry has embarked upon p

Ethiopian Parliament to Discuss Oromia State Special Interest on Addis Ababa

Oromia-special-degreeJune 27, 2017 - After discussing on the draft legislation prepared on the constitutional special interests of the Oromia regional state on Addis Ababa, the Council of Minister today referred it to the House of People Representatives (HPR) for approval, according to FBC.

According to a statement the Council of Minister sent to FBC today, details of the special interests of the regional state were prepared in line with article 49 (5) of the Ethiopian constitution and based on the consultations held with stakeholders.

The draft legislation was also reviewed thoroughly by the Executive Committee of the Ethiopian People's R

Above-Avearage Rainfall Ahead, Ethiopian Agency Warns Farmers

Ethiopian-Metrology-AgencyJune 27, 2017 - The Ethiopian Meteorology Agency on Monday warned farmers across the country over the prospect of above-average rainfall in the coming days which could affect crops.

The announcement came amid Ethiopia's battle with the ongoing drought that hits parts of the east African country affecting 7.8 million Ethiopians in need of emergency food aid.

The agency through its announcement indicated that the above-average rainfall would threaten the safety of agricultural crops in some cereal producing regions of the country during the upcoming five days.

As the country is still facing below-average rainfal

Ethiopia Counters Merera Gudina’s Request for Separate Terrorism Cases

Merera-GudinaJune 21, 2017 - Federal prosecutors in Ethiopia maintained their argument Tuesday that their terrorism case against Merera Gudina, head of the Oromo Federalist Congress (OFC), need not be separated from a file that includes charges against other defendants that his defense says have nothing to do with Merera.

Merera was arrested in November 2016 upon returning from Brussels, where he delivered a speech and testimony about the Ethiopian human rights situation to the European Parliament. A widely circulated photo showed Merera there with exiled opposition leader Berhanu Nega and Oromo Olympic athlete Feyisa Lilesa.

Ethiopian offici

Ethiopian Oromia Regional State in Talks to Start Oil Company

Oromia-to-start-oil-companyJune 21, 2017 - A central Ethiopian region that’s seen almost two years of sporadic anti-government protests is planning a new private oil company and is in talks to import Middle Eastern crude, part of an economic initiative authorities say will address some of the roots of the unrest.

Oromia Petroleum Share Co., the planned venture, will import the oil via Djibouti, process it at a new large-scale refinery and distribute it to gas stations owned and operated by local youths, Tekele Uma, head of the region’s transport authority, said in an interview. Potentially creating more than 50,000 jobs, it will build a transportation network in

13 Ethiopians Convicted on Terror Offences

13-sentences-for-terrorJune 19, 2017 - The Federal high court of Ethiopia has convicted 13 Ethiopians on terrorism charges found to have been working on behalf of an outlawed armed group, Patriotic Front-Ginbot 7 (PFG7).

According to a report in the Ethiopian state affiliated media outlet Radio Fana on Friday, the defendants were accused of using their membership in a legal opposition party All Ethiopia Unity Party (AEUP) as a cover to recruit members for PFG7 from 2012-2014 in Ethiopia's Amhara regional state.

They are also accused of sending sensitive information to the armed group and Ethiopia's arch rival northern neighbor

Ethiopian Parties Agree to Discuss Amending Electoral Laws

Parties-agree-change-electoral-lawsJune 17, 2017 - The ruling party EPRDF and 16 national political parties engaged in intra-party negotiation have agreed to discuss revising electoral laws as an agenda for the political negotiation intended to take place between the parties, according to ENA.

The parties agreed on the issue as all the national political parties that are taking part in the negotiation requested to consider an amendment on the prevailing electoral laws.

The parties have thoroughly debated on two of the 13 agendas presented by the agenda organizing and media committee to be tabled for discussion on Wednesday.

In addition to amend

The Politics of Internet Shutdown in Ethiopia

By Seble Teweldebirhan

Internet-Shutdown-EthiopiaJune 15, 2017 (Ezega.com) - After almost ten days of internet blackout, Communications Affair’s Minister Negere Lencho, told reporters that the shutdown of service was to protect the moral of high school students who were taking national exams. ‘We just did not want them to be disturbed by all the negativity and false information online. We wanted them to focus,’ he told reporters. Negeri did not agree with the assertion that the government shutdown of the internet was because of the fear that the national exams will be stolen and distributed online, as it happened last year. Instead, he argued that t

Ethiopia to Launch e-Visa Service

Ethiopian-Visa-onlineJune 14, 2017 - The Ethiopian Immigration and Nationality Affairs Main Department, in collaboration with Ethiopian Airlines, has reportedly finalized preparations of the initial phase to commence an e-visa service for international visitors to Ethiopia, according to ENA.

According to a press release of the Ethiopian Airlines, the e-visa is processed and issued online on a single web page where applicants apply, pay and secure their entry visa online.

Once the online application is approved, applicants will receive an email authorizing them to travel to Ethiopia and they will get their passport stamped with the visa upon arrival in Addis Abab

Ethiopian Council of Ministers Approves 320B Birr Budget for Coming Year

320B-Birr-Budget-ApprovedJune 3, 2017 - Ethiopian Council of Ministers has approved over 320 billion birr budget for the upcoming Fiscal Year, according to ENA.

According to a statement the Council sent to ENA, it has approved 320,803,602,160 birr budget in its 31st regular meeting today.

Of the total budget, 114,703,641,453 birr is allotted for capital expenditure, according to the press release.

More than 117 billion birr is allotted to subsidize regional governments, while 7 billion birr will be utilized for sustainable development goals.

The draft budget has grown by 9.6 percent when compare to that of the present fisca

EPRDF, Opposition Parties Agree on Negotiation Modality, Observers

EPRDF-Opposition-Approve-modalityJune 2, 2017 - 17 national political parties, including the ruling party EPRDF, have approved negotiation modality and a code of conduct for local and foreign observers, according to FBC.
 
Chairperson of Agenda and Media Committee and Deputy Chairperson of the Ethiopian Democratic Union, Gebru Berhe, told journalists today that the two-month negotiations on governing regulations and the code of conduct have finally come to a fruitful conclusion.

Since all negotiations need modality, it took a long time and intensive effort to approve the modality for the negotiations and the code of conduct, he elaborated.

Ethiopia Blocks Access to Internet Nationwide for Exams

Ethiopian-government-disrupts-internetJune 1, 2017 - Ethiopian Government Communication Affairs Office announced that internet and social media will be temporarily disrupted until the completion of 10th and 12th grade national exams, according to ENA.

In a statement it sent to ENA, the office said social media will not be accessible all over the country from May 31-June 2 and June 5-June 8, 2017.

According to the statement, the measure is taken to protect students from being victims of fake information and help them finish the exams without being disturbed.

This is the second year the Ethiopian government has resorted to taking

Ethiopian Emperor in Exile: The Untold Story

Haileselassie-in-ExileBy Seble Teweldebirhan

May 20, 2017 (Ezega.com) - On May 5, 1941, Ethiopian Emperor Hailesellasie made a grand entry to the capital, Addis Ababa, pleased that after five years in exile, he was finally back to his country and the people who worshipped him. The day is now celebrated every year as the Patriot’s Victory Day. His return symbolizes the failure of Italy’s attempt to colonize Ethiopia. However, there has been a lot of controversy over the years on the emperor’s decision to exile when things got tough. There have also been different stories on how the king and his family coped up with life as refugee in England. The

UN Human Rights Commissioner Denied Access to Oromia, Amhara Regions

UN-HR-denied-full-accessMay 7, 2017 - United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, who paid an official visit to Ethiopia this week, expressed his concern over the misuse of legislations in Ethiopia to suppress human rights and basic freedoms, according to the Reporter. Among other things, he noted that his team was not commissioned to assess the human rights situation in Oromia and Amhara regional states.

During his official visit, the commissioner, Zeid bin Ra’ad Al Hussein, discussed issues related to human rights in the country with government officials, opposition leaders and civic society representatives.

On Thursday afternoo

Ethiopian Commission Blames Excessive Force for Some Casualties

HRC-EthiopiaApril 23, 2017 - The Ethiopian Human Rights Commission (EHRC), which has been investigating widespread protests and response to them by security forces in Oromia and Amhara regional states, has found regional and federal government security forces responsible for poor performance in responding to the crisis, which resulting in unnecessary killing of protestors, according to the Reporter.

The commissioner of EHRC, Adissu Gebregziabher (PhD), said that investigations, conducted in Oromia, Amhara as well as the Gedeo zone, focused on the causes and the scale of violence as well as the security forces’ handling of protestors particularly from July 2016 to ear

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