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Kenyan police round up 60 illegal Ethiopian
immigrants in security swoop

By Chris Mgidu NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- Kenyan security officers on Wednesday arrested 60 Ethiopian immigrants from a residential estate in Nairobi.

Nairobi County police commander Japheth Koome said they had arrived in the city on Sunday and were found hiding in a house at Mihang’o area in Kayole, east of capital city.

Koome said the Ethiopians were being fed with bread and shared toilets that threatened their health, noting that investigation is underway to establish how the suspects reached the area.

“The Ethiopians don’t have the prerequisite papers to warrant their stay here. They are illegal immigrants and would face the law,” said Koome.

The police have on several occasions rounded up dozens of illegal immigrants especially from Ethiopia, who have been discovered locked up in congested rooms in Kenyan towns and cities.

The immigrants are said to be using Kenya as their transit route to other countries such as South Africa or other European countries.

Koome said a smuggler behind their stay in the area was also arrested and they would be charged in court soon. The suspects who cannot speak English or Swahili had rented the house and stayed there waiting to move out to South Africa.

The security officers are looking for another smuggler behind the syndicate and that those arrested are to be deported to their country after court processes.

The area where they were hidden is sprawling and the smugglers chose it to avoid police and immigration officials’ suspicion.

The latest arrest comes after the police last week arrested 13 other Ethiopians from a house in Nairobi. They are facing charges in court.

The Kenyan authorities have blamed the vastness of the region for the runaway influx of foreigners into Kenya through Moyale on Kenya-Ethiopia borders and the porous border with Somalia.

Refugee rights organizations and aid agencies have blamed poverty in Africa for the rising cases of human trafficking.

They said that the huge supply of labour both skilled and unskilled makes them vulnerable to criminal syndicates.



Ethiopian to resolve boundary dispute between two regional states

ADDIS ABABA Ethiopia (Xinhua) -- The Ethiopian government is working to resolve the boundary dispute between Oromia and Somali regional states, said a senior government official on Wednesday.

Negeri Lencho, Minister of Ethiopian Government Communications Affairs Office (GCAO) said recent violence on the borders of the two regional states left a number of people dead and about 600 others displaced from both Oromo and Somali communities.

“The Ethiopian government is working with the leaders of Somali and Oromia regional states and Federal government and regional states security forces to return the affected areas to normalcy,” he added.

Ethiopia’s largest regional state Oromia and its second largest regional state Somali have had border disputes for nearly two decades.

A referendum conducted in November 2004 on localities bordering the two regional states intended to resolve the boundary dispute, has failed to resolve the issue with both sides blaming each other for the non-adherence of the referendum results.

An accord signed in March between Oromia regional state president Lemma Megersa and Somali regional state president Abdi Omer Mohammed to resolve deadly boundary disputes has also failed to stop sporadic clashes involving security forces and civilians from both sides.


Flood displaces more than 2,800 in Ethiopia’s Oromia state

ADDIS ABABA Ethiopia (Xinhua) -- Over 2,800 people in Ethiopia’s Oromia regional state have been displaced by floods as the Awash River flow out of its river bank due to torrential rains over the last week.

According to the Oromia regional state Disaster and Risk Management Commission, some 12 districts in the area were affected by the flood as the river runs out of its scheme.

The commission, however, affirmed that human fatalities were not occurred as a result of the ongoing flood, which was exacerbated by the torrential rains in the rivers’ tributary areas.

The Awash River is among the biggest rivers in Ethiopia whose course is entirely contained within the boundaries of Ethiopia. The river is also one of the highly irrigated throughout its river bank along the southeastern part of Ethiopia until it ends its course on a small lake located on the Ethiopia-Djibouti border.

Senior Ethiopian government officials including Workneh Gebeyehu, Ethiopian Minister of Foreign Affairs, have on Wednesday paid a visit to the most affected areas and witnessed the support provided for the displaced people.

Even though swift measures helped local communities avoid human injuries, the floods have caused death of animal lives and loss of harvest in some parts of the affected areas, state news agency quoted Geremew Olika, Oromia regional state Disaster and Risk Management Commissioner, as saying.

Ethiopia is prone to recurrent floods every year during the major rainy season, particularly between July and October, which threatens the lives and livelihoods of thousands of people.

The Oromia regional state Disaster and Risk Management Commission and other government agencies are presently urging communities that are prone to flooding to keep vigilant as Ethiopia’s rainy season continues.


Ethiopia’s capital road coverage more than doubles in 10 years: authority

ADDIS ABABA Ethiopia (Xinhua) -- Ethiopia’s capital Addis Ababa has registered a huge increase in terms of road coverage during the past 10-year period, Addis Ababa city Roads Authority revealed on Wednesday.

The capital’s road coverage has increased from 2,537km to 6,256km during the past 10 years, according to the figure from the Addis Ababa city Roads Authority.

The construction of Gotera Interchange Roads, a flyovers and interchange squares project, is one of the notable road projects commissioned during the early periods of the reported period. Named after the Ethiopian people, “Nation and Nationalities and Peoples Square”, the project was built by a Chinese firm, Shanghai Construction Group.

Ethiopia’s capital Addis Ababa is known for hosting various international and regional organizations, including the African Union (AU) headquarters and the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UN-ECA).

Addis Ababa is also Ethiopia’s major tourist attraction spot. According to the Addis Ababa City Administration Culture and Tourism Office, the city has attracted over 650,000 tourists in the first three quarters of the just completed 2016-2017 Ethiopian fiscal year.

The east African country has been implementing two 5-year Growth and Transformation Plans (GTP) since 2010, GTP-I and GTP-II, in which the Ethiopian government has given due emphasis to road construction.


Privately-funded Chinese hospital breaks ground in Ethiopian capital

ADDIS ABABA Ethiopia (Xinhua) -- A groundbreaking ceremony was held on Tuesday in Ethiopia’s capital Addis Ababa for the construction of a privately funded Chinese hospital.

The hospital, dubbed Addis Ababa Silk Road General Hospital, will be built in two phases and have 600 beds, including 40 ICU beds, when construction is completed, with a total investment of about 30 million U.S. dollars from Seychelles Afei Holding Co., Ltd.

At the conclusion of the first phase, which will involve an investment of 16 million dollars, the hospital will have 200 beds, including 12 ICU beds.

Wang Jianhua, representative of Seychelles Afei, said the hospital will start operation once the first phase is completed within 12 months.

The hospital will hire 45-50 doctors and specialists from China, the United States, Europe, Russia, Cuba, and South America and deploy high-tech equipment to deliver quality services, Wang said.

There will be around 200 nurses at the hospital, about a quarter them from foreign countries, he told Xinhua.

Ethiopian State Minister of Health Kebede Worku said the new hospital will further strengthen people-to-people relations.

In remarks delivered at the groundbreaking ceremony, the minister praised China for creating opportunities for Africa in general and for Ethiopia in particular by supporting social and economic development endeavors.

He noted that China has been deploying medical teams in Ethiopia over the past four decades.

Liu Yu, economic and commercial counselor at the Chinese Embassy in Ethiopia, said the Addis Ababa Silk Road General Hospital would inject new impetus in the cooperation between the two countries in the health sector.

Lin Feng, vice chairperson of the Chinese Volunteer Medical Doctors Association, said the new hospital would serve as a medical training center.

Officials from the African Union and Addis Ababa University also attended the ceremony.


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