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Ethiopia briefs foreign envoys on recent conflicts

ADDIS ABABA Ethiopia (Xinhua) -- The Ethiopian government on Tuesday briefed Addis Ababa-based foreign envoys on the current state of affairs and conflicts witnessed in the east African country.

Ethiopian Foreign Minister Workneh Gebeyehu said the recent clashes in Oromia and Ethiopian Somali regional states were instigated by rent-seeking groups who wanted to take advantage of minor conflicts and that the government has been working to dismantle wrongdoings along the two regional states border.

The border conflict resulted in killings and substantial displacement of civilians and illegal protests occurred in at least eight towns of the Oromia region, causing the death of eight people in Shashemene and Borena areas, Gebeyehu said.

The Ethiopian Human Rights Commission is investigating the causes of deaths and alleged abuses as a result of the reported clashes, the minister said.

“Once the investigation of the Commission is completed, the government will take action in accordance with relevant laws of the state on perpetrators of the recent killings and displacement,” Gebeyehu said.

Noting the various efforts that were made to assist the displaced people, Gebeyehu said that the rehabilitation program has been given due emphasis by the Ethiopian government.

He said the Oromia regional state has taken measures against offenders who targeted civilians.

Gebeyehu also noted that the government move to devalue the Ethiopian birr by 15 percent is to promote the east African country’s exports sector.



Youth unemployment behind unrest in Ethiopia in 2016: president

ADDIS ABABA, (Xinhua) -- Youth unemployment is behind the unrest that rocked Ethiopia in 2016 and still simmers to this day, Ethiopian President Mulatu Teshome said on Tuesday.

Answering to local and international reporters’ questions at the National Palace in Addis Ababa, Mulatu acknowledged Ethiopia’s youth who make up about 70 percent of Ethiopia’s estimated 100 million population want a better standard of living and stable employment.

“The Ethiopian government has already invested 400 million U.S. dollars in a revolving fund which will be made available to budding young entrepreneurs and is building industrial parks to employ the hundreds of thousands of fresh graduates annually,” he said.

Ethiopia is building or has commissioned more than a dozen industrial parks across the country which it hopes will give job opportunities to the youth while earning much needed foreign currency to the country from exports.

The president pointed out that the East African country already has around 50 private and state owned universities, graduating hundreds of thousands of graduates annually and has enrolled 30 million students at primary and secondary schools.

“In addition to the job opportunities the government is facilitating, it is also giving multifaceted assistance to Ethiopia’s private sector to help ease Ethiopia’s youth employment challenges,” said Mulatu.

Ethiopia was rocked by unrest in 2016 in various parts of the country led mainly by disgruntled youth that led to the deaths of around 700 people.

Since then, the Ethiopian government has stressed improving governance and creating stable employment opportunities for the youth to answer their economic demands.


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