The Ethiopian government has tabled a draft bill that will empower the Immigration authorities to ban individuals from leaving the country

MekelleŠć°31 May 2024 (Tigray Herald)

The Ethiopian government has tabled a draft bill that will empower the Immigration authorities to ban individuals from leaving the country, Ethiopian Insider reported. The existing Immigration bill authorises the government to ban individuals from leaving the country only when a competent court orders so. However, the draft bill also gives the General Director of the Immigration and Citizenship Service the authority to ban individuals from leaving the country without a court order on the grounds of irreversible threats to the country’s national interest or national security, according to the report. The report said the draft bill also allows the Immigration and Citizenship Service to blacklist foreign nationals living in the country illegally and deport them. The bill has to be approved by parliament before it takes effect.

2) Medical Teams International, a humanitarian organisation operating in Ethiopia, has revealed that one of its staff was killed and others injured in northern Amhara region on May 24. In a statement on Tuesday, the organisation said its staff was killed when its convoy was fired upon by armed men. “We are closely reviewing and addressing the circumstances surrounding this tragic loss and determining next steps as an organisation,” it also stated. The organisation, however, stressed that it did not believe the incident was an “intentional, targeted attack on our staff or on the organisation”. Yet armed actors increasingly “fail to adhere to International Humanitarian Law, outlined in the Geneva Conventions”, it added. Medical Teams International did not mention the exact location of the incident, but the UN refugee agency said this week that an NGO staff was killed in western Amhara, where thousands of Sudanese refugees were sheltering.

3) The National Election Board of Ethiopia has asked the Federal Parliament in a letter whether it had carried out an inquiry into the prolonged detention of seven officials of the opposition Oromo Liberation Front (OLF), BBC Amharic reported. According to the report, the board mentioned that OLF submitted to it a petition on the serious health conditions of the detainees. The board stated that its efforts to follow up the situation of the detainees had not borne fruits, the report added. OLF has repeatedly accused the government of Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed of detaining its officials for three years in violation of a court order. International human rights organisations, including Human Rights Watch, have accused the government of moving the detainees between prisons to hide their whereabouts.

4) Ethiopia’s Mines ministry has told the Federal Parliament that armed groups were actively operating in or controlling most of the areas where important minerals, including gold, were located, local media reported. The ministry said that it was difficult to remove the armed groups and rebel forces from those areas. According to the ministry, the mineral-rich areas under the control of armed groups include Wadla Delanta woreda of South Wollo zone in Amhara, Guji zone of Oromia and several areas in the western Gambella and Benshangul Gumuz regions. The inaccessibility of the mineral-rich areas has severely affected the country’s revenue from the resources, Mines and Energy minister Habtamu Tegegn, was quoted as saying in his report. The government says revenues from minerals have also declined due to contraband trade.

5) The Tigray regional Disaster Risk Management Commission has disclosed that 1.5 million of the 4.5 million needy people in the region were not receiving humanitarian assistance, DW reported on Wednesday. The report said the commission attributed the unchanged number of the needy population after the Pretoria Cessation of Hostilities Agreement to the sluggish recovery of economic activities in the region and the non-return of IDPs. Meanwhile, the commission stated that it had been denied the authority to distribute humanitarian assistance to Ofla and Zata woredas of the contested Raya area, which were recently recaptured from the Amhara militia by the Tigrayan forces. The commission said the decision was “political”, according to the report.


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