Ethiopia Asks for Extension of Saudi Amnesty Deadline for Undocumented Migrants

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ADDIS ABABA (Xinhua)―Ethiopia has asked for an extension of the 90 days amnesty deadline that will expire Wednesday issued by Saudi Arabia for illegal migrants to return to their original countries.

Speaking to an Ethiopian state-affiliated media outlet Radio Fana, spokesperson for Ethiopia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs Meles Alem says Ethiopia has managed to make 45,000 of its undocumented citizens return home and gave to another 110,000 Ethiopian travel documents.

Both figures are still a minority of the estimated 400,000 undocumented Ethiopians living in Middle East’s largest economy in jobs ranging from maids to construction sites workers.

Meles says with an unknown number of undocumented Ethiopians remaining in Saudi Arabia, the Ethiopian government has presented a proposal to Saudi authorities to extend the amnesty deadline.


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With a growing population currently at around 30 million and a squeeze in international oil price Saudi Arabia is on a drive to indigenize its’ work force currently dominated by millions of illegal and legal migrants.

The approaching deadline recalled painful memories Ethiopians in the last deportation debacle in November 2013 when a deportation round by Saudi authorities on illegal migrants left many Ethiopians in Saudi detention camps or back home penniless.

Ethiopian government has already dispatched a dozen diplomats in its embassy in Riyadh and consular offices in other Saudi cities to give consular advice to stranded Ethiopians.

With an eye to curbing illegal migration, the Ethiopian government last month signed an agreement with Saudi Arabia government for an overseas employment agreement to help future legal Ethiopian migrants.

It has also put advertorials in Ethiopian electronic media urging relatives of Ethiopians illegally residing in Saudi Arabia to persuade them to return ahead of the expiry of the Amnesty deadline.

Source: China.org.cn
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The 29th AU Summit Starts in Ethiopia’s Capital Today

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ADDIS ABABA (Xinhua)―The 29th Ordinary Session of the Summit of the African Union (AU) kicks off at the AU headquarters in Ethiopia’s capital Addis Ababa on Tuesday.

The 29th summit, which will take place from June 27 to July 4, will be held under the theme “Harnessing the Demographic Dividend through Investments in Youth.”

The Pan-African bloc in a statement on Monday indicated that, the 34th Ordinary Session of the Permanent Representatives’ Committee (PRC) will be held during the first two days of summit, June 27 and 28.

The PRC meeting is expected to prepare the agenda of the AU Summit with appropriate recommendations for consideration by the Executive Council, which is scheduled to take place from June 30 to July 1.


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The Permanent Representatives’ Committee meeting will bring together all the Ambassadors of the 55 AU member states based in Addis Ababa and other key AU officials, the AU Commission announced.

The main event of the summit, the 29th Ordinary Session of the Assembly of the Heads of State and Government of the African Union, is expected to take place from July 3 to 4.

Meanwhile, Ethiopian security forces have assured African leaders and summit participants for the peaceful deliberations of the event.

The Ethiopian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Addis Ababa City Administration, in a joint press communique issued on Friday, asserted that the east African country has completed all the necessary security preparations.

Source: Xinhua
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Ethiopia: East Africa’s New Economic Power

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Ethiopia has experienced an average economic growth of 10.8% per year in the past decade and it’s expected to overtake Kenya soon to become East Africa’s economic power.

By Gwendolin Hilse (DW) |

Ethiopia’s economy is growing so rapidly it may soon replace Kenya as the largest economic power in the region. But a large number of people in the country still live in poverty and many challenges remain.

The recent inauguration of the giant Hawassa industrial park was a special moment for Ethiopia’s government. Built with Chinese help, the park has modern halls where leather and textile products will be produced for the European and American market. Located 275 km south of the capital Addis Ababa, the park is expected to turnover 1 billion dollars annually and provide employment for more than 60,000 people.


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Ambitious plans

The plant in Hawassa is one of 16 industrial parks planned by Ethiopia’s government. In a push to revive the country’s economy, they are investing heavily in large infrastructure projects. In 2015, they rolled out a modern light railway in Addis Ababa – the first fully electric tram in sub-Saharan Africa. By 2020, a 5,000-kilometer rail network should connect the country with its neighbors and the port of Djibouti. To provide a regular source of electricity in a country where less than a quarter of people have access to power, the government is also constructing a vast dam on the upper reaches of the Blue Nile.

With a gross domestic product (GDP) of 800 US dollars (715 euro) per capita, Ethiopia is still one of the poorest countries in the world. Almost 6 million people depend on food aid.

But Ethiopia’s economy is booming. The country has experienced an average economic growth of 10.8 percent per year in the past decade and it’s expected to overtake Kenya soon to become East Africa’s largest economy. In 2014, consulting firm Deloitte & Touch spoke of an “economic miracle”.

The question is how sustainable this boom is in a country that has been under a state of emergency since October 2016 following protests against government policies and human rights abuses. The government has cracked down on dissent and arrested several opposition leaders.

Continue reading this story at Deutsche Welle (DW)
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Ethiopia’s Prince Ermias Sahle Selassie: The Exiled Prince from the World’s Oldest Monarchy

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Promoting the ties, Prince Ermias Sahle Selassie, grandson of Emperor Haile Selassie, believes both are “gateway” countries – Australia to Asia, and Ethiopia to Africa.

By Andrew Clark (The Australian Financial Review) |

On the face of it, Australia and Ethiopia have little in common. A poor country of 100 million people on the Horn of Africa, Ethiopia is scarred by coups, civil wars and famine.

But links range from Australian mining investments to eucalyptus trees ringing the capital Addis Ababa; from Australian “Whaler” horses providing mounts for the ceremonial guard, to both countries’ soldiers fighting alongside in the Korean War. And then there is the Australian-founded, funded and run obstetric fistula hospital, the Hamlin Fistula Ethiopia.


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Promoting the ties, Prince Ermias Sahle Selassie, President of the Crown Council and putative successor to the oldest throne in the world, believes both are “gateway” countries – Australia to Asia, and Ethiopia to Africa.

Australia is “a gateway to Asia and because of that to the world.” he says. Ethiopia is the oldest state in Africa with the oldest continuous Judeo-Christian bloodlines. It hosts the African Union, and ranks, after Brussels, as a major diplomatic capital, making it “the gateway for Africa”.

Australia: a global microcosm

Warming to his theme, Prince Ermias views Australia as “a microcosm of what the world may look like in the future because you have all types of people in this supposedly isolated and remote place”.

Arriving in Sydney, “what struck me the most was the multicultural nature of Australia. I found it more visually stunning than New York.” The Big Apple “is supposed to be a melting pot of the world but when I came to Sydney Airport and I was watching all those faces I just could not believe the interaction of people.”

This bilateral gateway status is part of one of the more intriguing foreign visits to Australia in recent years. Prince Ermias – his full name is His Imperial Highness Prince Ermias Sahle Selassie Haile Selassie – is retracing the steps of his grandfather, Emperor Haile Selassie, near the 50th anniversary of a state visit to Australia in 1968.

Continue reading this story at The Australian Financial Review
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What Is behind Tension between Eritrea and Djibouti?

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(BBC News)―The African Union is sending a fact-finding mission to Eritrea and Djibouti as tension mounts over their disputed border at one of the world’s busiest shipping routes.

The AU’s move has been backed by the UN Security Council, which on 19 June urged the two countries to resolve their differences peacefully.

The tension has been driven by Qatar’s move to withdraw its peacekeeping forces from the border.

The peacekeepers had been in place since 2010 as part of efforts to resolve a dispute over the status of Dumeira Mountain and Dumeira Island, claimed by both Eritrea and Djibouti .


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The tiny Dumeira Island lies just off the coast of the two countries, at the southern end of the Red Sea. It is close to the Bab-el-Mandeb strait, an important shipping lane for global commerce.

The two countries’ armed forces clashed on the border in 2008. Both states later accepted Qatar’s offer of mediation and the deployment of peacekeepers, though bilateral relations have remained strained.

The withdrawal of the Qatari peacekeepers appears to be related to the country’s current diplomatic dispute with some of its Gulf neighbors, which over recent weeks have imposed a blockade.

Eritrea and Djibouti: What happened and why?

On 16 June, Djibouti accused Eritrea of sending its troops into the disputed territory, following the withdrawal of the Qatari peacekeepers, a move that Doha had confirmed two days earlier, though without giving any reason.

Continue reading this story at BBC News
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