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Ethiopia Sets Tentative August Date For Elections

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At Least 29 Injured In Bomb Attack At Pro-Abiy Rally In Ethiopia

Political groups in Ethiopia have reacted to the election timetable announced by the country’s electoral commission.

Ethiopia’s electoral board said on Wednesday it expects to hold the first national elections under prime minister Abiy Ahmed in the middle of August.  Abiy Ahmed, took office in 2018 and has instituted political and economic reforms.

READ:  Ethiopia: Amid Ban, Dubai Firm Wins Wheat Supply Bid

The National Electoral Board of Ethiopia (NEBE) also proposed a month-long voter registration exercise to kick off from early April.

Representatives of political groups, as well as civil society, have raised concerns that since mid-august is the peak of the rainy season in much of Ethiopia, voter turnout could be impacted.

READ:  Ethiopia Passes Hate Speech And Fake News Laws

But NEBE chairperson, Birtukan Midheksa, who agreed there would be logistical challenges in an august election, said legal and institutional reforms had made it impossible to conduct the election sooner. Midheksa said holding an election in September or October, as was being suggested, would be unconstitutional.

READ:  Ethiopia Frees Police Suspected Of Negligence In PM Rally Blast On Bail

Some opposition politicians have also questioned whether Ethiopia is ready to hold an election given security concerns in many places. Previous elections were held in May.

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Kenya: Government Extends Deadline For Issuance Of E-Passport

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Kenya authorities have delayed the deadline by a year for all citizens to switch to e-passports. It is the second time the deadline has been extended.

Ministry of interior says the deadline has now been pushed back to march next year to enable nearly two million Kenyans – mostly in the diaspora – who are still holding the old document to replace it.

READ:  Rwanda, Congo Discouraging Border Travel Amid Ebola

The government said it had set up passport centres in Dubai, Johannesburg, Berlin, Paris, London and Washington DC to make it easier for Kenyans living abroad to get the e-passports.

READ:  Ethiopia Appoints Ambassador To Eritrea

The old passport was initially scheduled to be phased out by September last year but was pushed back to March this year.

The government says e-passports are intended to minimize fraud, identity theft, forgery and passport skimming.

READ:  WHO Hails Positive Efforts In DRC Ebola Outbreak

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At Least 29 Injured In Bomb Attack At Pro-Abiy Rally In Ethiopia

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At Least 29 Injured In Bomb Attack At Pro-Abiy Rally In Ethiopia

At least 29 persons are reportedly injured in an attack at a political rally, organized by officials, in support of prime minister Abiy Ahmed in central Ethiopia on Sunday.

READ:  Ethiopia Frees Police Suspected Of Negligence In PM Rally Blast On Bail

Prime minister Abiy Ahmed himself was not there. Police say six suspects have been arrested following the attack in Ambo town. State-run Ethiopian news agency quotes Oromia regional state police commissioner Ararsa Merdesa as saying it was a grenade attack.

READ:  Ethiopia Set To Remove 3 Armed Groups From Terror List

Political tension is high as Ethiopia gears up for elections in august. Violence arising from ethnic differences is threatening to undermine reforms initiated by the prime minister.

READ:  Rwanda, Congo Discouraging Border Travel Amid Ebola

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W.H.O. Warns It Is Running Out Of Money To Tackle Ebola Epidemic In D.R.C.   

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WHO Warns It Is Running Out Of Money To Tackle Ebola Epidemic In DRC   

The World Health Organization, W.H.O., says it is running out of funds to continue the fight against Ebola in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.  The U.N. health body is appealing for forty million dollars to save its efforts to end Ebola in the country.

READ:  Egypt, Ethiopia, Sudan Remain Deadlocked Over Nile Dam

W.H.O. says its Ebola operation is in dire straits in north Kivu and Ituri provinces – two cities that have been wracked with violence.  The world body says it would run out of funds in a week and is urging donors to urgently come to its rescue.

READ:  Libyan Coast Guard Rescues Over 520 Europe-bound Migrants

Who says if it does not get the necessary funds to continue the Ebola fight, the declining number of cases in the country would pick up again.

READ:  WHO Hails Positive Efforts In DRC Ebola Outbreak

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