Ethiopia has pardoned 746 prisoners, including a renowned journalist Eskinder Nega and a prominent opposition figure Andualem Arage, local media reported.
The pardon came as per the decision of the decision making body of the ruling Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front, according to the state-run news agency FANA.
About 417 of the pardoned inmates are federal prisoners, who were jailed on charges of terrorism, inciting violence, religious extremism and other related convictions, FANA reported quoting a statement of the Attorney General.
The pardoned prisoners will be released after approval of the President Mulatu Teshome.
Ethiopia saw widespread anti-government protests since 2015.
Last year, the ruling party held what it said was an in-depth appraisal and admitted to deep rooted governance problems in the country.
Turkey's Ethiopian alumnus making it in big way at home
An Istanbul-educated Ethiopian physician has realized his dream of opening a hospital in his country with his heart “still beating in Istanbul”.In an exclusive interview with Anadolu Agency in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa, Dr. Jelal Mohammad Hasan said he could not have become a doctor and the owner of a hospital had it not been for Turkey.Hasan said he spent six years in Istanbul to earn his degree in medicine at Istanbul University, one of Turkey’s oldest and biggest. Born and raised in a poor family in Ethiopia’s Adama town, Hasan's life changed for good after receiving a grant from the Islamic Development Bank's Scholarship Program, and now he takes pride, and justifiably so, of serving his own people.“I used to study for at least six hours every day. If I had taken a job like some of the Turkish students, I couldn’t have graduated. All my friends and teachers helped me very much,” said Hasan.He describes the time he spent there as “unforgettable”.“The thing I miss most is Istanbul. I recommend all my friends to go and get education there,” Hasan said, sitting in his office in the five-story building of the hospital that he heads, which serves hundreds of patients every day. He emphasized that Istanbul had a place for every person coming from a different cultural background."I can’t forget the days that I walked from the university to Taksim and ate fish on the banks of the Golden Horn,” he fondly reminisced, adding that he was not a jealous person normally, but he always envied Istanbulites.After returning to his country in 2010, Hasan decided to set up a small clinic, which he ran for five years.“At the beginning, I myself would clean the clinic. Some people were taken aback, asking ‘why are you cleaning the clinic; aren't you a doctor?!’ My wife also painted the walls and helped with everything,” he said.Once he had enough experience and savings, he established the Afran Hospital in Addis Ababa in 2015. The hospital provides treatment in the fields of gynecology, internal diseases, general surgery, and pediatrics, and it also has an emergency ward.Hasan mingles with the Turkish people who live and work in Ethiopia. For him, it is a shortcut to experiencing Istanbul while still in Addis Ababa.Many Turkish expats, in return, prefer to be treated by Hasan and consult him about their health problems.Hasan thinks that Turkey should open a big hospital in Addis Ababa.“This is the capital of Africa,” he said. “So, Turkey should open a hospital and show its rich experience in the health sector.”Hasan dreams of opening a state-of-the-art hospital in Ethiopia one day. “Ethiopians deserve it,” he said.
'Ethiopian students can boost Ethio-Turkish relations'
Ethiopian students are expected to serve as a bridge for strengthening Ethio-Turkish relations, Turkey’s Deputy Education Minister said Saturday. Said Orhan Erdem made the remarks during the 13th annual congress of the Association of Ethiopian Students in Turkey (AEST) held at Ankara University’s Golbasi campus.In his speech, Erdem said graduating Ethiopian students are expected to facilitate better relations between the two nations.“You are all ambassadors of your country,” he added, emphasizing the exchange of cultural and political knowledge between the two countries. AEST voiced its support for Turkey’s military operation in Syria's Afrin, which is aimed at maintaining peace and stability in the area. “As a student in Turkey, I am curious about Turkey's activities, and I stand with the recent operation in Afrin,” said Kamil Abdu Oumer, a Law PhD candidate at Selcuk University in Konya.Ethiopian coffee was served for honorable guests during the program.There are more than 350 Ethiopian students in Turkey, and AEST holds gatherings every year. The 12th annual congress was held in Bursa last year.Ethiopia inaugurates Istanbul Consulate General officeEthiopians take pride in helping bring about reforms
Egypt, Ethiopia, Sudan leaders ‘overcome’ dam problem
Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El Sisi on Monday declared in capital Addis Ababa that the dispute between his country, Sudan and Ethiopia over the hydro-electric dam project on the Nile had been resolved."Congratulations, we solved our problems," El Sisi said after a closed-door meeting with Ethiopian President Hailemariam Desalegn and Sudanese counterpart Omar Hassan Al Beshir.The three leaders came out of the meeting holding up their hands together.El Sissi, hemmed in the middle of the two, said: "We have overcome our problems. We will be working as one.”It has been six years since Ethiopia launched the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) -- a $4.8 billion mega hydro-electric dam project on the Nile near the Ethiopia-Sudan border.In October last year, the water ministers of Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan dispersed from a meeting in Cairo without reaching an agreement on the "inception report" put forth by international consultants – BRL -- hired by the three countries to study the impact of the dam.A 12-strong National Technical Committee, drawing up four experts each from the three countries, that had been set up to implement studies on the dam would now resume.“We have now instruction to resume our work within a period of one month,” a high-profile expert source, who is part of the committee, told Anadolu Agency anonymously due to restrictions on talking to the media.According to him, the closed-door meeting was held in a cheerful and amicable environment.In October, Ethiopia and Sudan rejected an Inception Report tabled by the consultants saying the BRL came up with a proposal of more work that was not included in the terms of reference given to it.Egypt fears the hydro dam project on the Nile would reduce its “traditional water share”, while Ethiopia insists it needs electric energy critically for its development.