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  • Ethiopia Court Found Former Senior Opposition Figure Yonatan Tesfaye Guilty of Terrorism Charges

     

    The Federal High court fourth criminal bench has today passed a guilty verdict against Yonatan Tesfaye, former opposition Blue Party public relations head.

    Yonatan was first arrested in December 2015, barely a month after the first wave of a year-long #Oromoprotests erupted.  He was held incommunicado during the pre-trial weeks and was subsequently charged in May 2016 under Ethiopia’s infamous anti-terrorism proclamation (ATP).

    Yonatan has been defending the charges against him since then. The charges of ‘encouragement of terrorism’, stipulated under article six of the ATP, were largely drawn from his Facebook activism during the protests. According to article six of the ATP, “Whosoever publishes or causes the publication of a statement that is likely to be understood by some or all of the members of the public to whom it is published as a direct or indirect encouragement or other inducements to them to the commission or preparation or instigation of an act of terrorism…” is subject to terrorism charges.

    He had presented several defense witnesses, including prominent opposition party leaders from the Oromo Federalist Congress (OFC), Bekele Gerba and Dr. Merera Gudina, who are in jail at the time of their testimony fighting charges of terrorism and multiple criminal charges respectively, and journalist Eskendir Nega, who is serving 18 years in prison for terrorism-related charges.

    In addition, Yonatan’s close friend Ephrem Tayachew, his father Tesfaye Regassa, and his sister Gedamnesh Tesfaye as well as academicians from the Addis Abeba University (AAU), including the outspoken philosopher Dr. Dagnachew Assefa and Dr. Yaqob Hailemariam have all appeared in court to testify in defense of Yonatan’s innocence.

    However, this morning the court in its verdict overruled all defense testimonials by upholding prosecutors’ accusations. Yonatan’s sentencing is adjourned to May 25.

    Yonatan could face from ten to 20 years rigorous prison term in a federal prison; however, the court ruled that he can appeal for a minimum sentence.

     

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  • Beware of fraud related to the Diversity Visa (DV) Lottery!

     

     

    The Embassy of the United States of America in Addis Abeba told DV applicants to be aware and take care of the fraud activities by individuals.

    The only way to find out if you have been selected for the 2018 DV Lottery is to check the status of your application starting May 2 at 7pm local time.

    The Embassy wishes all applicants success in the process, and urge everyone to protect themselves from fraud.

    If ANYONE contacts you claiming you have been selected, IT’ S FRAUD.

    If anyone asks you for money to apply for the DV Lottery, IT’S FRAUD.

    The DV Lottery is a random selection, if anyone claims they can help you get selected for money, IT’S FRAUD.

    If some says you have been selected for the DV Lottery, but you did not apply, IT’S FRAUD.

    Click Here to check

     

     

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  • Yum to open 10 Ethiopian Pizza Huts in African expansion

    ADDIS ABABA (Reuters) - U.S. fast-food giant Yum Brands Inc. has signed a deal with Ethiopia's Belayab Foods and Franchise PLC to open 10 Pizza Hut restaurants in the Horn of Africa country as part of an expansion on the continent.

    Pizza Hut will be the first major restaurant franchise to open an outlet in Ethiopia, Africa's second most-populous nation, which has become one of its fastest-growing economies.

    "We will start off with three outlets first in six months time and open 10 stores within the next three years," Michael Ghebru, a shareholder of the project, told Reuters.

    Kentucky-based Yum, which is also the parent of the KFC and Taco Bell chains, is no stranger to emerging markets with more than 1,000 restaurants in Africa. Its Pizza Hut franchise has 188 branches across the continent.

    "Let's be prudent because in Africa there may be some levels of instability and also when you are opening some routes that take time," Ewan Davenport, General Manager of Pizza Hut Africa, said.

    "But the sky is the limit. At the moment, we are looking at (opening) at least 50 stores a year."

    Read More Here

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  • Donkey Abattoir Still in Business Despite Ban

    Despite a ban from the Bishoftu City Administration, Shandong Dong, the first donkey slaughterhouse in Ethiopia, is carrying on with the business until the stock of donkeys it has already purchased have been slaughtered. Their stock should be complete sometime in the next week.

    In a letter issued on April 16, 2017, the administration banned the Chinese company from carrying on with its operations, saying that it was offensive to the people who are living around the plant. The ban comes three weeks after public outrage exploded on social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter.

    “We cannot compromise when the community is demanding its closure,” said Dereje Jira, head of Bishoftu City Administration Mayor’s Office. “One of the important points in our deep reform is avoiding negligence of the people’s demands.”

    The shutdown, however, is not stopping Shandong Dong or donkey wholesalers, whose businesses have also suffered.

    We cannot cease immediately,” said Lio Zhaohua, country director of Shandong. “We are supposed to complete at least what we have in stock.”
    “This is a joke,” said Lio. “Any investment should get notice before a shutdown.

    Shandong first come to Ethiopia five years ago secured a license from the Ethiopian Investment Commission. Its original plan was to buy donkey skins from Ethiopian market.

    The Commission, however, suggested the company open its slaughterhouse instead, saying that they would not find anyone suppliers for donkey skin. With an initial capital of 62.6 million Birr, Shandong started to build a donkey abattoir.

    Read more:

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  • Teddy Afro album release date rescheduled for mid-next week

     

    t might be disappointing for Teddy Afro fans, however his much anticipated fifth studio Album, “Ethiopia” release date has been rescheduled for mid-next week. The album has planned to be released this weekend.

    The procrastination in releasing the album is attributed to a delay in the duplication of the original CD’s, sources told Dire Tube.

    “Ethiopia” single, which is believed to be the title of the album debut released a week before is a much loved melody with having over 1.5 million viewers on You Tube at this moment.

    Unfortunately, it was also early this week that his “Branayie” single from his album has stolen and posted on social medias. “Branayie” was allegedly stolen during the video shooting in Gojjam.

    “Branayie” is about the popular love story of Bezabih and Seblewengel, characters of the late Hadis Alemayehu’s “Fikir Eskemekabir” literary “Love unto Death” novel.

    As an appetizer for fans, a surprise music video of Teddy Afro’s “Biranayie” will be released on this Sunday,

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