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Showing posts with label Ethiopia. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Ethiopia. Show all posts

Ethiopia, Eritrea sign statement that war ‘has come to an end’

~Punch Nigeria. Sunday, July 8, 2018.

Leaders of Ethiopia and Eritrea
Ethiopia and Eritrea are no longer at war, the neighbours said in a joint statement Monday, a day after their leaders held a historic meeting in Asmara.
Quoting from a “Joint Declaration of Peace and Friendship,” Eritrean Information Minister Yemane Gebremeskel said on Twitter the “state of war that existed between the two countries has come to an end. A new era of peace and friendship has been ushered (in).”

“Both countries will work to promote close cooperation in political, economic, social, cultural and security areas,” Yemane added.

He said the agreement was signed by Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed and Eritrean President Isaias Afwerki on Monday morning at state house in Asmara.

Images of the ceremony showed the two men sharing a wooden desk, backed by their nations’ flags, as they simultaneously signed the document.

The declaration echoed comments made by Abiy at a dinner hosted by Isaias late Sunday, where he said diplomatic, trade, transport and communications ties would be re-established and borders re-opened.

“We agreed that the airlines will start operating, the ports will be accessible, people can move between the two countries and the embassies will be opened,” Abiy said.

“We will demolish the wall and, with love, build a bridge between the two countries,” he said.

Abiy left Asmara after signing the joint agreement on Monday.

Meet the Rastafarians who returned to the ‘Promised Land,’ Ethiopia

~ The Guardian, Nigeria. 

Emperor Haile Sellassie

EVEN today, long after the fall of the Dergue, Selassie remains a controversial figure in Ethiopia, and many look askance at the Rastafarians who venerate him.

There are people who have extreme love for Selassie, the modernising leader who did so much for the country, but others say he was a representative of a colonial empire, was enamoured by the opulence of Europe and did not lead the country in an equitable way,” says MacLeod.

There have been other problems too.

One is “ganja” – marijuana – considered a herb of religious significance by Rastafarians, who sometimes refer to it as the “wisdom weed” or “holy herb”.

In Ethiopia, by contrast, it is regarded as a dangerous drug, comparable to heroin or cocaine, says MacLeod. Ethiopian police sometimes raid the Rastafarian settlement at Shashamene to search for it, she says – even though khat, a stimulant leaf that is widely chewed in the country, is held by some experts to be more harmful.
It is also unfortunate that the land granted by Selassie is located in a region populated by the Oromo people, who say they have been oppressed for years by Ethiopia’s dominant Amhara commnity, to which Selassie belonged.

According to MacLeod, Selassie was for the “Amharisation” of Ethiopia.
On the local level, in Shashamene, the Rastas support the emperor, who, in the eyes of the Oromo people, represents a coercive central power,” agrees Dr. Giulia Bonacci, a Rastafarian researcher from the Institute of Research for Development, based in Addis Ababa.
“In a region still marked by a history of alienation from land and economic and social dominance, symbols of imperial power are not appreciated.”

Bob Marley
The Rastafarians have, up to a point, integrated with the local Ethiopian population. Some have married Ethiopians, but on the whole these Ethiopian partners have not adopted the Rastafarian faith.
“She don’t fight me about my faith. I don’t fight her. She’s a Protestant,” says Vincent Wisdom, a Rastafarian man with an Ethiopian wife. None of his five children share his faith either. “Two of them are Orthodox and one of them is Protestant; the others are too small,” he says.

MacLeod has met only one Ethiopian, Naod Seifu, who has converted to Rastafarianism.
“I used to have dreadlocks but I have to trim them to work,” he told her. “In Ethiopia having dreadlocks is taken as bad behaviour and inappropriate.” He added that any Ethiopian who believed the king was divine was regarded as “mad”.

The main Rastafarian sects or “mansions”

•Nyahbinghi – the oldest of all Rastafarian orders. The name is derived from Queen Nyahbinghi who ruled Uganda in the 19th century and fought against the British Empire. They were the first to proclaim Emperor Haile Selassie as the incarnation of the supreme deity. The Nyahbinghi pushed for repatriation to Ethiopia.

Ethiopian Folktales

Narrated by Ayelew Haile 
Opening phrase
Tocho tocho tanoret
Andreshoro kefela
Gahse butuna kela
Teret teret.
(Let us laugh.

Let the new garment suit you.)
Imahoy Zewditu Wudineh
Imahoy Zewditu Wudineh

Once there lived a husband and wife in a certain village. The man was very foolish and the woman was clever (which is very usual in our society!). So every week, she would go to the market to buy everything they needed for the home, while the husband stayed at home looking after the children, the domestic animals and the garden.
One day she met a young, handsome man. They became lovers and met every week. She was very much in love with him and she wanted to meet him all the time and felt very passionate. She wanted to stay long with him. She made plans every day as to how she could meet him often.
One day she said to him, “I’m not happy with this, I miss you because I see you only once a week. I’m not satisfied. Why can’t we spend a night together?”
He says, “No, this is impossible. Of course I feel passionate about you too, but you are married and so we can’t do it.”
She said, “I can make a plan for that. You will shave off your beard, wear a woman’s dress and put a veil on your head and I will tell him I’ve met my sister whom I haven’t seen for twenty years. Then I will introduce you to my husband. You will sleep in the other room and I will tell him that I am going to sleep with my sister because I haven’t seen her for so long.”
Her lover agreed and he went with her, wearing a skirt and everything was accomplished as she had planned.
So they went home and she said to her husband, “Here is my sister who I haven’t seen since before I married you twenty years ago, and God knows how lucky it is I met her in the market so suddenly. So He is to be praised. And I brought her here to introduce her to you.”
So they kissed each other. After a while she told him that her sister was so shy she would stay in the other room until she became more familiar with the family.
The husband had bought a good sheep.
The woman said, “There is no one I love more than my sister, so let us slaughter it (in the culture it is very important for a woman to feed her lover)."


Ethiopia, republic in northeastern Africa, officially the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia. Ethiopia is bounded on the northeast by Eritrea and Djibouti, on the east and southeast by Somalia, on the southwest by Kenya, and on the west and northwest by Sudan. A high plateau capped with rugged mountains covers much of Ethiopia; lowland deserts surround the plateau region. Agriculture, the country’s chief economic activity, is carried out in the fertile plateau area.

Ethiopia has a diverse population, with more than 70 distinct ethnic and linguistic groups. The 1995 constitution established Ethiopia as a federation and created nine regions for the country’s main ethnic groups.

Known as Abyssinia until the 20th century, Ethiopia is the oldest independent nation in Africa. It was home to the powerful Christian kingdom of Aksum in the first centuries ad and became a Christian empire in the 15th century. After the 1500s Ethiopia divided into a number of small kingdoms, which were reunified by
Menelik II in the 1880s. Eritrea, which had been part of Ethiopia since the 1950s, became an independent nation in 1993 after a protracted civil war. Addis Ababa is Ethiopia’s capital and largest city.

Ethiopia covers an area of 1,133,380 sq km (437,600 sq mi). The heart of the country is a high tableland, known as the Ethiopian Plateau, that covers more than half the total area of the country. The plateau is split diagonally in a northeastern to southwestern direction by the Great Rift Valley. Although the average elevation of the plateau is about 1,680 m (about 5,500 ft), it is cut by many rivers and deep valleys, some of which are 600 m (2,000 ft) below the level of the plateau. The area is capped by mountains, the highest of which is Ras Dashen (4,620 m/15,157 ft). These heights and indentations occur in northern Ethiopia, in the region surrounding Lake T’ana (the lake in which the Blue Nile rises). The northeastern edges of the plateau are marked by steep escarpments, which drop some 1,200 m (about 4,000 ft) or more to the Denakil Desert. Along the western fringe the plateau descends less abruptly to the desert of Sudan. Along the southern and southwestern limits, the plateau lowers toward Lake Turkana (formerly called Lake Rudolf).

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