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Country profile for Ethiopia

Provided Courtesy of Security Exchange 24

Risk Rating

Red (High Risk)
Red (High Risk) InTouch advice:

Most parts of the country are dangerous.

Do not travel unless absolutely necessary.

Unselected
Amber (Moderate Risk) InTouch advice:

Some parts of the country are dangerous.

Travel with caution.

Unselected
Green (Low Risk) InTouch advice:

Most parts of the country are safe.

Travel freely.

General Information

  • Capital: Addis Ababa
  • Major Languages: Amharic
  • Currency: Birr
  • Timezone: GMT +3:00

Country Map

Map of Ethiopia

In April 2018 Abiy Ahmed became Ethiopia’s prime minister. He introduced reforms, released thousands of political prisoners and negotiated an end to the low-intensity conflict with Eritrea. Abiy, who is the first Oromo chairman of the ruling Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF), became the first Ethiopian PM to meet with an Eritrean counterpart in two decades and in 2019 he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. However, despite being an ethnic Oromo himself, he has failed to curb the repressive tendencies of previous governments, while the security forces have been accused of multiple human rights violations since Abiy came to power. In June 2020 popular Oromo singer Hachalu Hundessa was shot dead in Addis Ababa. His death sparked violent protests across the country, during which more than 160 people and hundreds more wounded. The authorities cut access to the internet and arrested over 1,200 people.

The violence highlighted the serious ethnic tensions which remain in Ethiopia. The Oromo, despite being the largest group in the country, has historically claimed that they are marginalised in favour of small groups such as the Amharas and Tigrayans. The constitution in 1995 carved up the country along ethnic lines, increasing tensions between different groups. The response of the security forces, which has continued under Abiy, is often heavy-handed, and despite freeing political prisoners when he first came into office, thousands of people have been arrested during the latest wave of unrest. In June 2019 the Amhara regional president, Ambachew Mekonnen, was shot dead along with his adviser in Bahir Dar. Hours later, the chief of the staff of the national security forces Seare Mekonnen was killed in his home by his bodyguard in Addis Ababa. Elections had been scheduled for August 2020 but these were delayed due to the outbreak of Covid-19. Officials in the Tigray region ignored the postponement and held the elections, which were won by the Tigray People’s Liberation Front. Parliament responded by voting to cut ties with the leaders of the region.

The Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) project continues to be a source of tension between Ethiopia, Egypt and Sudan. African Union-led talks have been ongoing but the three countries have failed to reach an agreement over the management of the dam and the mechanisms to resolve future disputes. In July 2020 Ethiopia announced that it had completed the first stage of filling the dam, angering officials in Cairo and Khartoum. The GERD project will make Ethiopia a significant power exporter, but Egypt considers it to be an existential threat due to the impact of freshwater supplies from the Nile River. Sudan is also concerned over the impact GERD will have on its own dams, although it would benefit from a cheap supply of energy. In September 2020 the US said it would suspend $130m in aid to Ethiopia due to concerns over the project.

Ethiopian troops re-entered western Somalia in November 2011 to support the Transitional Federal Government (TFG) in its fight against the Islamic militant group al-Shabaab, while at the same time large numbers of Kenyan and African Union (AMISOM) troops moved in from the south. This incursion came less than three years after US-backed Ethiopian troops were driven out of the country by al-Shabaab, who were largely radicalized in 2006 in response to the first Ethiopian intervention. Due to Ethiopia’s military involvement in Somalia (both historical and current) there is a moderate threat of terrorism in the country. There have been several warnings of potential attacks in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa; the US warned in 2014 that the group were planning to target the Bole area of the city. All travel to the south-eastern border with Somalia should be avoided, and visitors should remain vigilant to the threat of terrorist attacks throughout the country.

There is a moderate threat of crime in Ethiopia, with violent incidents more likely to occur in remote areas. In January 2013 an Austrian national was shot dead during an apparent armed robbery near Bahir Dar on the Blue Nile River. Bag-snatching and thefts from vehicles are relatively common in the capital, notably in the Piazza and Mercato market areas of the capital. 

Ethiopia is among a number of countries worldwide which have been hit by the global outbreak of the Covid-19 coronavirus. The latest case figures can be viewed here.

News articles

By CPJ

Reporter Dawit Kebede Araya shot and killed in Ethiopia

Ethiopian authorities must conduct a thorough and independent investigation into the killing of journalist Dawit Kebede Araya, determine if it was motivated by his work, and hold those responsible to account, the Committee to Protect Journalists said.

View all articles for Ethiopia

Alerts for Ethiopia

EHRC condemns public execution in Oromia

Ethiopia's Human Rights Commission (EHRC) has condemned the public execution of a suspected militant in the western Oromia region. In a statement, the EHRC said it was "alarmed by the public parading and extrajudicial killing of a suspected criminal offender, Amanuel Wondimu, in Dembi Dollo, Kelem Wollega zone on May 11, 2021 by security forces." Government officials said that Wondimu was a member of the banned Oromo Liberation Army, which was recently designated as a terror group. He is suspected of killing a journalist who worked for state media.

Former Ethiopian peacekeepers seek asylum in Sudan

More than 100 former UN peacekeepers from Ethiopia have sought asylum in Sudan. The peacekeepers came from the northern region of Tigray and were due to return from a recently closed mission in the Darfur region. However, due to the recent conflict in Tigray they feared persecution and were seeking international protection. The UN refugee agency said the group would be "taken to a location where they can be safely undertaken for their refugee status to be determined".

Government appoints interim administration in Tigray

Ethiopia's government has appointed a new interim administration in the northern Tigray region. Dr Abraham Belay, president of the Prosperity Party (PP), has been named as the chief executive of the administration. The move comes after government forces seized Tigray from the former ruling Tigray People's Liberation Front (TPLF), who have since been designated as a terrorist organisation.

Government designates TPLF and OLF-Shane as terrorist groups

Ethiopia's government has designated the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) and the Oromo Liberation Front (OLF) Shane as terrorist groups. The council of ministers approved a resolution on Saturday in response to a series of attacks by the two groups. A statement issued by the prime minister’s office said the two groups “operate as terrorists and their management or decision-makers have acknowledged or are leading destructive activities on the nation”.

Fifteen killed in clashes at Tigray-Amhara border

At least 15 people have been killed in clashes on the border between the Tigray and Amhara regions. Local officials said fighting had taken place around the town of Niraq in the Wag Hemra zone earlier this week. The incident follows ethnic clashes in other parts of Amhara state earlier this month, prompting the government to declare a state of emergency.

EHRC says armed group in control of Kamashi area

The Ethiopian Human Rights Commission (EHRC) said an armed group has taken control of the Kamashi area in the western region of Benishangul-Gumuz. The commission said the area, with a population of around 20,000, had fallen to an armed group after the local security forces were overwhelmed. "This escalation of the insecurity plaguing the area is alarming," the commission said while calling for immediate reinforcements. Hundreds of people have been killed in clashes in Benishangul-Gumuz over the last six months.

Protests held across Amhara over ethnic violence

Multiple protesters have been held across the Amhara region of Ethiopia in response to the recent ethnic violence. Hundreds of thousands of people took part in the rallies, including in the regional capital Bahir Dar and the city of Debre Markos. Many protesters were voicing their anger at Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, who they accused of not doing enough to stop the attacks, which have been blamed on the OLF Shane, an Oromo rebel group. At least 20 people were killed in several days of violence before the military was deployed to restore order.

State of emergency declared in Amhara

A state of emergency has been declared in the southern part of Amhara state. The Ministry of Defence said the decision was taken following three days of deadly clashes in the town of Ataye and other areas of Oromia. Jemal Hassen Mohammed, the chief administrator of the Jile-Temuga area in the Oromo special zone, said the clashes started in March after an ethnic Oromo prayer leader was shot dead outside a mosque. The incident sparked fighting between the Amhara and Oromo ethnic groups.

Eritrean troops open fire on civilians in Tigray

Eritrean soldiers have opened fire on civilians in the northern region of Tigray, according to Amnesty International. The rights group said three civilians were killed and at least 19 others wounded in the "unprovoked attack", which took place in the town of Adwa on Monday. The incident comes despite Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed stating two weeks ago that Eritrea was withdrawing its forces from the country. "Deliberate attacks on civilians are prohibited by international humanitarian law and must stop,” said Amnesty East Africa Deputy Director Sarah Jackson.

Sudan closes eastern border with Ethiopia

Sudan has closed the eastern border with Ethiopia due to concerns about rising cases of coronavirus. Thousands of people fled across the border into Al-Qadarif state to escape the conflict in the northern Tigray region. The decision to close the border was taken to "prevent the entry of foreigners except those determined by the authorities," reported the Sudan Tribune news website.

GERD talks in Kinshasa end without agreement

Talks between Sudan, Egypt and Ethiopia over the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) project have ended without agreement. The two-day discussions were hosted in Kinshasa, DR Congo and ended on Tuesday. “This position reveals once again Ethiopia’s lack of political will to negotiate in good faith,” Egypt’s foreign ministry said in a statement. Addis Ababa rejected a Sudanese proposal to allow international mediators to join the talks. “Without a new approach to negotiations, there becomes space for Ethiopia to impose a fait accompli and put all the peoples of the region in grave danger,” said Sudan’s foreign minister, Mariam al-Sadiq al-Mahdi.

Scores killed in clashes along Afar-Somali border

At least 100 people have been killed in clashes along the border between the Afar and Somali regions. Local officials said the violence started last Friday and continued through to Tuesday. An official from the Afar region told the AFP that the area was attacked by Somali forces. Ahmed Kaloyte said Somali special police and militias raided an area known as Haruka, “indiscriminately firing on locals and killing more than 30 Afar civilian pastoralists” and injuring at least 50 more. The fighting follows deadly clashes in the Oromia region last week that left 30 people dead.


Ethiopia says Eritrean troops are withdrawing from Tigray

The Ethiopian Foreign Ministry says Eritrean forces have started withdrawing from Ethiopia’s Tigray region. This comes after a call by G7 countries on Friday for the withdrawal of the Eritrean soldiers, followed by a peace process that is acceptable to all Ethiopians. Fighting began in Tigray in early November after forces loyal to the then-governing party – the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) – attacked army bases across the region. Soon after Eritrean troops crossed the border. The Foreign Ministry now reports that Eritrean troops "have started to evacuate and the Ethiopian National Defense Force has taken over guarding the national border." It continued “Whilst the government... honesty appreciates the concerns being expressed, it has already been too apparent that the supply of food and medicinal aid must be the crux of expressions of concerns."

Gunmen kill 30 in Oromia region

Unidentified gunmen have killed at least 30 people in an attack in the Oromia region. Gunmen targeted ethnic Amharas during the raid in the West Wollega Zone on Tuesday night. Local authorities accused a splinter group of the Oromo Liberation Front (OLF) of carrying out the attack. “These allegations directed towards us are false and are part of a long-running concerted operation by the government to frame the Oromo Liberation Army as a lawless outfit,” said Odaa Tarbii, a spokesperson for the group.

Eritrean troops accused of killing civilians

The Ethiopian Human Rights Commission has accused Eritrean troops of killing more than 100 civilians in the Tigray region last November. The investigation follows similar allegations from Human Rights Watch (HRW) and Amnesty International, which both documented abuses in the town of Axum. “As these grave human rights violations may amount to crimes against humanity or war crimes, it underscores the need for a comprehensive investigation into the overall human rights situation in the Tigray region," the commission said in its report. The latest claims come after Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed finally admitted that Eritrean troops had been deployed in Tigray.

PM Abiy admits atrocities committed in Tigray

Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed has admitted that atrocities have been committed in the northern Tigray region. The PM made the admission in parliament in Addis Ababa on Tuesday. “Reports indicate that atrocities have been committed in Tigray region,” said Abiy. “We know the destruction this war has caused.” He said soldiers involved in human rights abuses and war crimes will be held responsible.

Villagers killed in Oromia attack

At least 22 people have been killed in an attack on a village in the Oromia region. Local officials claim that the assailants were members of the Oromo Liberation Army. A further 20 people were kidnapped and later released during the raids, and most of the victims were members of the Amhara ethnic group.

Opposition party boycotts upcoming election

The Oromo Liberation Front (OLF) has announced that it will not take part in the upcoming election. ''OLF regrettably pronounces that its participation in the upcoming general election is completely prevented," said the party in a statement. The OLF accused the government of Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed of jailing some of its leaders and "narrowing" the democratic space. Last week the Oromo Federalist Congress (OFC) also announced that they would not be taking part in the election, which is scheduled for June.

BBC journalist detained in Tigray

A BBC reporter has been detained along with four other people in the northern Tigray region. The group were arrested by the military at a cafe in the regional capital, Mekelle. Girmay Gebru works for BBC Tigrinya, and his detention comes after a local journalist - Tamiray Yemane - and two translators were also detained. A spokesperson for the BBC said: "We have expressed our concern to the Ethiopian authorities and are awaiting their response."

Hundreds of structures torched in Tigray fires

Hundreds of structures have been destroyed in fires around the town of Gijet in the Tigray region. Reuters reported that satellite imagery showed that 508 had been torched and appeared to have started intentionally. Mulu Nega, head of Tigray’s government-appointed interim administration, said a team has been sent to investigate amid reports of fighting between federal forces and local militias.

Six students killed in bus attack, Tigray

Six students are feared dead following an attack on a bus in the northern region of Tigray. Gunmen targeted the bus as it was being escorted by soldiers near Mekelle. There was no claim of responsibility for the attack.

Authorities confirm Tigray abuses

The Ethiopian authorities have confirmed rape allegations in the northern region of Tigray. "We have received the report back from our Taskforce team on the ground in the Tigray region, they have unfortunately established rape has taken place conclusively and without a doubt," said Minister of Women Filsan Abdullahi. The statement comes after the UN said it had received multiple reports of sexual violence and abuse during the conflict.

Detained opposition figure on hunger strike

A former ally turned rival of Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed is on hunger strike. Jawar Mohammed and 19 others charged with terrorism offences started the strike almost two weeks ago, according to their lawyers. Jawar is a media mogul who was arrested in September following the outbreak of violent ethnic unrest that was sparked by the killing of popular Oromo musician Hachalu Hundessa. The group are being detained at Kaliti Prison in Addis Ababa.

One killed in Mekelle protest

One person has been shot dead during an anti-government protest in the northern city of Mekelle, the capital of the Tigray region. Troops opened fire after groups of young men burned tyres to block roads in the centre of the city on Tuesday. Several others were wounded during the unrest, which coincided with a visit by religious leaders from Addis Ababa.

Sudan warns Ethiopia against filling GERD without deal

Sudan's Irrigation Minister Yasser Abbas has warned Ethiopia against going ahead with the second filling of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) until a comprehensive agreement is reached. Earlier Ethiopia's Minister of Water, Irrigation and Energy Sileshi Bekele said the construction of the dam is going ahead as planned. The latest round of African Union-sponsored talks stalled in January. Egyptian officials blamed the Ethiopian negotiators for the breakdown.

UN claims 20,000 refugees missing from Tigray camps

As many as 20,000 mostly Eritrean refugees are missing after two camps were destroyed in the northern Tigray region, according to the UN. Filippo Grandi, the UN’s High Commissioner for Refugees, said many of the refugees “were caught in crossfire, abducted and forced to return to Eritrea under duress by Eritrean forces.” Around 3,000 people were able to reach another camp in Mai-Aini, which the UN has access to. The statement from the UN comes after the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) said access was still being restricted in large parts of Tigray.

Aid official claims access to Tigray is still restricted

The head of the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) has claimed that the Ethiopian authorities are restricting access to the northern Tigray region. Jan Egeland said his and other agencies were unable to reach two refugee camps. "In 40 years a humanitarian, I’ve rarely seen an aid response so impeded. We are failing as an int’l community," said Egeland on Twitter. The statement came after Finnish foreign minister Pekka Haavisto also said that access to the affected regions has been limited due to "the challenging security environment and bureaucratic obstacles."

Tigray journalist shot dead in Mekelle

A Tigray TV journalist has been shot dead in the city of Mekelle. Dawit Kebede Araya was found dead along with another man, Bereket Berhe, inside a car in the Adi Hawsi district on Wednesday. He was recently detained by the security forces and released shortly after. It is not yet known who carried out the attack.

TPLF deregistered by electoral board

The former ruling party of Tigray state, the Tigray People's Liberation Front (TPLF), has been deregistered by the electoral board. "The board accused TPLF of engaging in armed violence," reported the Fana Broadcasting Corporate (FBC). The body also cancelled the registration of the Coalition for Unity and Democracy (CUD) party and demanded answers from the Asimba Democratic Party, National Congress of Great Tigray (Bitona) and Salsay Weyane Tigray over their role in the regional elections held in September.

Scores killed in Benishangul-Gumuz clashes

At least 100 people have been killed in renewed ethnic clashes in the western Benishangul-Gumuz region. Local officials said the fighting took place across the Metekel district on Monday. "The area residents who were collecting the bodies told Esat that during the Dibate district attack, the armed bandits were only targeting the houses of Amhara and Agew nationals and killed many, including women and children," reported the opposition satellite channel Esat TV. The latest fighting comes weeks after 200 people died in ethnic clashes in the area.

TPLF officials killed in army operation

Several senior Tigray People's Liberation Front (TPLF) officials have been killed in an army operation. TPLF spokesperson Sekoture Getachew and the former head of the Tigray finance bureau, Daniel Assefa, were among those killed. Zeray Asgedom and Abebe Asgedom, two other core members of the TPLF, also died during the operation. The Ethiopian army has not confirmed where the officials were killed.

Reuters cameraman arrested in Ethiopia

A cameraman working for the Reuters news agency has been arrested in Ethiopia. Kumerra Gemechu was detained at his family home in Addis Ababa last Thursday. No reason has been given for his arrest and police have not yet commented. "Journalists must be allowed to report the news in the public interest without fear of harassment or harm, wherever they are. We will not rest until Kumerra is freed," Reuters editor-in-chief Stephen Adler said in a statement.

Security forces kill 42 over Benishangul-Gumuz massacre

The Ethiopian security forces have killed at least 42 people suspected of involvement in the massacre of 100 people in the Benishangul-Gumuz region. Local residents said members of the ethnic Gumuz community attacked the homes of people from the Amhara, Oromo and Shinasha communities on Wednesday. State media did not identify the people killed in the latest military operation, while five current and former government officials have been detained following the violence.

Scores killed in western Ethiopia

At least 100 people have been killed in an attack on a village in the western state of Benishangul-Gumuz. Unknown gunmen stormed the village of Bekoji in Bulen county on Wednesday, according to local officials. Beyene Melese, a spokesperson for the state’s government said "anti-peace elements" were responsible for the attack. There have been previous outbreaks of violence in the region fuelled by competition for resources between rival ethnic groups.

Three killed by bomb in Addis Ababa

Three people have been killed after a bomb exploded in the capital, Addis Ababa. Five others were wounded when the abandoned device went off in the Lideta district on Sunday. "An investigation regarding the explosion is now going on and the public will be informed once the investigation is completed," reported the state-owned Ethiopia News Agency. The incident is not believed to be linked to the conflict in the northern Tigray region.

Sudan accuses Ethiopia of attacking its forces

Sudan has accused the Ethiopian security forces of attacking its troops inside Sudanese territory. The ruling Sovereign Council said a number of troops were killed in an ambush in the Um Altyour area on Wednesday. "The gov’t is closely following the incident with local militia on the Ethio-Sudan border. Such incidents will not break the bond b/n our two countries as we always use dialogue to resolve issues," said Ethiopia's Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed in a statement. Thousands of Ethiopians have fled across the border into Sudan to escape the conflict in the northern Tigray region.

EU suspends aid to Ethiopia over Tigray crisis

The EU has suspended $110m in budget support payments to Ethiopia because of the conflict in Tigray. "We need to see certain conditions fulfilled by the Government of Ethiopia for EU Budget Support to resume," an EU spokesperson said in a statement. The EU said the conditions include granting full humanitarian access for relief workers, access for civilians seeking refuge in neighbouring countries, an end to ethnically targeted measures and hate speech, and restoring communication lines and media access in the Tigray region. 

Four aid staff killed in Tigray fighting

Four staff members from two international aid agencies have been killed in fighting in the northern Tigray region. The Danish Refugee Council (DRC) said three of its security guards were killed, while the International Rescue Committee (IRC) said one of its staff members also died. The IRC said it “regrets to confirm the killing of a staff member in Hitsats Refugee Camp in Shire. Communication with the area is extremely difficult and we are still working to gather and confirm the details surrounding the events.” The DRC issued a statement which said it was “deeply saddened to confirm the death of three colleagues.”

Ethiopian troops shoot at UN staff, Tigray

Ethiopian troops have opened fire at UN staff at checkpoints in the northern region of Tigray. Government officials said the UN team had ignored instructions not to travel to the area. "They broke two check-points to drive to areas where they were not supposed to go, and that they were told not to go. When they were about to break the third one, they were shot at and detained," said government spokesman Redwan Hussein. The UN has been appealing for humanitarian access to the region over fears of food and medical shortages following the recent conflict.

PM Abiy rejects claims of civilian casualties in Mekelle

Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed has rejected claims from medics in the northern region of Tigray that civilians were killed in the conflict between federal and regional troops. A doctor told Reuters that at least 27 civilians had been killed in the fighting, including a 4-year-old. Abiy also rejected claims from the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) that its fighters were preparing to fight an insurgency from the rugged mountains.

PM Ahmed grants UN access to deliver aid in Tigray

Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed's government has granted access to the UN to deliver humanitarian aid to the Tigray region. Military tensions have escalated in the northern region after violent clashes between the Ethiopian government forces and the Tigray People's Liberation Front (TPLF). Thousands are feared dead while a large influx of refugees headed towards Sudan and Eritrea. France24 reported that access to the region has been heavily conditioned due to a communications blackout. A UN official told AFP: “We signed an agreement giving unconditional access for humanitarian assistance wherever people are in need". PM Ahmed said over the weekend that he won the battle in Tigray but the TPLF has said that they will retaliate.

TPLF regroup for counter-offensive

Fighters of the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) are reportedly preparing a counter-offensive against federal forces. The TPLF lost the state capital, Mekelle, over the weekend during a military campaign launched by Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed. The head of the TPLF, Debretsion Gebremichael, has vowed to continue fighting against the "invaders". Earlier politicians in Tigray said more than 4,000 government soldiers have been released.

Federal forces seize Tigray capital

Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed has announced that federal forces are now "fully in control" of Mekelle, the capital of the northern region of Tigray. The Tigray People's Liberation Front (TPLF) has not yet commented on the announcement and communications are down in the region. "I am pleased to share that we have completed and ceased the military operations in the Tigray region," said Ahmed in a statement in the city. Earlier in the day, there were reports of heavy bombardment in the city, which is home to around 500,000 people.

PM Abiy declares offensive on Mekelle

Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed has announced the start of an offensive on Mekelle, the regional capital of the Tigray region. The operation has started after a deadline for fighters to surrender expired. Abiy called on people in the city to stay at home and said the military would try to avoid civilian casualties. The Tigray People's Liberation Front (TPLF) has vowed to continue fighting the federal forces, with party leader Debretsion Gebremichael saying his forces are "ready to die in defence of our right to administer our region".

Ethiopian troops cross into Kenya

Ethiopian troops have crossed into neighbouring Kenya during an operation to track down supporters of a rebel group. Local residents said 10 Kenyan nationals were seized by Ethiopian soldiers during a raid in the town of Moyale. The army was reportedly searching for supporters of a faction of the Oromo Liberation Front (OLF), which has been accused of carrying out attacks in western and southern Ethiopia.

PM issues ultimatum ahead of Mekelle offensive

Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed has issued a three-day ultimatum to troops fighting in the northern Tigray region. “We urge you to surrender peacefully within 72 hours, recognising that you are at the point of no return,” Ahmed said on Sunday evening. There was no immediate response from the  Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF),  whose leader Debretsion Gebremichael had earlier told reporters that federal forces "couldn't move an inch for more than one week."

Amhara officials accuse Tigray forces of rocket attacks

The Amhara regional government has accused the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) of firing rockets at the city of Bahir Dar. “The illegal TPLF group launched a rocket attack around 01:40am in Bahir Dar,” Amhara regional government’s communications office said on Friday. There were no reports of damage or injuries from the attack, which comes as federal troops continue the government's offensive on Tigray's capital, Mekelle.

Federal forces advance on Tigray

Ethiopia's federal forces have captured two towns in the northern region of Tigray. Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed said troops were advancing on the regional capital, Mekelle. The Tigray People's Liberation Front (TPLF) confirmed the loss of Shire and Axum but claimed that it was a temporary setback. "Tigray is now a hell to its enemies. The people of Tigray will never kneel," the TPLF said in a statement. Thousands of people have fled across the border to neighbouring Sudan to escape the fighting.

Abiy says ultimatum expired for Tigray fighters

Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed has said that a three-day ultimatum for fighters in the northern region of Tigray has now expired. Abiy said the federal government's military operation against the Tigray People's Liberation Front (TPLF) is now entering its final phase, and thanked an unspecified number of troops who switched sides. The statement comes as the UN warned of a "full-scale humanitarian crisis," with an estimated 27,000 people fleeing across the border into neighbouring Sudan.

Airstrikes target Tigray capital

Airstrikes have been reported in Mekelle, the capital of the northern Tigray region. There was no immediate confirmation of damage or casualties, and the strikes have not been officially confirmed by the Ethiopian government. The news comes after the security forces in Tigray fired rockets at the Amhara region and into neighbouring Eritrea.

Security forces kill gunmen linked to bus attack

The Ethiopian security forces have killed a group of gunmen accused of killing civilians in a bus attack over the weekend. At least 34 people died when a bus was targeted in the Benishangul-Gumuz region on Saturday night. Police claimed that the assailants were linked to the Tigray People's Liberation Front (TPLF), although no official link has been established.

Rating change from Moderate to High

The risk rating for Ethiopia has changed due to the ongoing conflict in the northern Tigray region and rocket fire in the neighbouring Amhara region.

Tigray forces launch rockets at Eritrea

At least two missiles hit the airport in Eritrea's capital, Asmara, on Saturday night. The long-range rockets appeared to have been fired by forces in the northern Tigray region of neighbouring Ethiopia. The president of Tigray, Debretsion Gebremichael, earlier threatened to launch attacks against Eritrea after claiming that Asmara had sent troops to fight alongside Ethiopia's federal forces. "We will use everything at our disposal to defend ourselves," said Gebremichael. The latest strikes come after the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) fired rockets at two airports in the Amhara region. Meanwhile, the number of people who have fled across the border into Sudan is now at least 21,000.

Tigray forces fire rockets at Amhara region

The Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) has fired rockets at two airports in the neighbouring Amhara state. Damage was reported at an airport in Gondar on Friday night, where two members of the security forces were killed and 15 wounded, while rockets also landed near the airport at Bahir Dar. Tigray’s state government said the attacks were in retaliation for recent air strikes by the federal government on the region. "As long as the attacks on the people of Tigray do not stop, the attacks will intensify," spokesman Getachew Reda said in a statement.

Tigray residents told to mobilise against Ethiopian army

Residents in the northern Tigray region have been told to mobilise to defend themselves against the federal government. Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed ordered a military offensive against the Tigray People's Liberation Front (TPLF) last week and several hundred people have been killed in the conflict, while thousands more have fled across the border to Sudan. Ahmed has rejected calls to start peace talks and the TPLF have declared a state of emergency to "defend the security and existence of the people of Tigray and their sovereignty."

Ethiopian troops seize airport in Humera

Ethiopian troops have seized the airport in Humera in the restive Tigray region. “The Ethiopian National Defense Force has fully captured Humera Airport amid [a] continuation of [the] government’s military response against TPLF rebel group,” state-affiliated Fana TV reported on Tuesday. The capture comes a week after the security forces launched an operation against the Tigray People's Liberation Front. Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed has resisted international calls to end the conflict, which have prompted fears over a civil war erupting in Ethiopia.

Army chief and other officials sacked

Ethiopia's army chief, head of intelligence and foreign minister have been sacked. Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed did not give a reason for the sackings, although replacements have been named. The decision comes as fighting continues in the northern Tigray region. The UN has warned that nine million people could be displaced by the conflict, which is ongoing in eight areas of Tigray.

Government airstrikes hit targets in Tigray

Ethiopia's government has launched airstrikes against targets in Tigray state. Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed claimed that strikes were conducted on Thursday and Friday and would continue. The operation was launched when members of the Tigray People's Liberation Front (TPLF) attacked a federal army base. The latest clashes have increased fears of a civil war in the country, and the UN  has called for an "immediate de-escalation of fighting".

Tigray forces seize army base

Forces loyal to the regional government of Tigray have seized an army base from federal government troops. Local sources said that the Northern Command Headquarters in Mekelle is now under the control of regional forces. Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed had earlier declared a state of emergency in response to an attack by the Tigray People's Liberation Front (TPLF). Parliament has also proposed that the TPLF be designated as a "terrorist organisation."

Federal government declares state of emergency in Tigray

Ethiopia's government has declared a state of emergency in the opposition-ruled Tigray region. The decision was taken after Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed accused the Tigray People's Liberation Front (TPLF) of carrying out an attack on an army base. "This situation has reached a level where it cannot be prevented and controlled through the regular law enforcement mechanisms," a statement from the prime minister's office said. Abiy said federal troops were attacked during an attempt to "loot" military assets.

Scores killed in Oromia attack

At least 32 people have been killed in an attack in the Wollega area of Oromia. The Ethiopian Human Rights Commission (EHRC) said that an armed group targeted members of the Amhara ethnic group on Sunday. The victims were abducted from their homes and taken to a local school, where they were kiled. The EHRC warned that the death toll is expected to rise. Elias Umeta, the region’s administrator, claimed that the Oromo Liberation Army carried out the killings, while Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed has said "measures have started to be taken against the attackers." 

Ethiopia, Egypt and Sudan resume GERD talks

Ethiopia, Egypt and Sudan have resumed talks over the controversial Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD). The week-long negotiations are taking place online and began on Sunday. Last week US President Donald Trump warned that Cairo might blow up the dam if a final agreement is not reached between the three states. “It’s a very dangerous situation because Egypt is not going to be able to live that way… They’ll end up blowing up the dam,” said Trump.

TPLF rejects military appointment from PM Abiy Ahmed

The Tigray People's Liberation Front (TPLF) has rejected the appointment of a general from Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed's government. Amid increasing political tensions between the TPLF and the Ethiopian government in Addis Ababa, the new appointment was rejected as regional authorities said that the PM has no authority to nominate officials in the region. The TPLF was removed from power after decades of dominance. The northern region has recently held its elections despite the vote being postponed across other regions due to the coronavirus. PM Ahmed considers the TPLF ruling in Tigray illegitimate. Current political grievances are feared to fuel civil unrest in the region.

Ethiopia, Egypt and Sudan to resume talks on Grand Renaissance Dam

Talks on the controversial Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam will resume. Ethiopia, Egypt and Sudan have agreed to resume talks after a long consultation with the African Union (AU). Talks have been suspended for nearly two months. Egypt and Sudan claim that the dam could significantly affect water supply from the Nile River, while Ethiopia plans to start the dam's second filling phase. Political tensions have recently intensified after inflammatory remarks made by US President Donald Trump on the matter and US pressure on Ethiopia through plans to suspend aid to the country.

Parliament votes to cut ties with Tigray leaders

Ethiopia's upper house of parliament has voted to sever ties with the leaders of the northern Tigray region. The House of Federation “decided the federal government should sever any kind of relationship with the Tigray regional state assembly and the region’s highest executive body,” reported the state-run Ethiopian Broadcasting Corporation. The decision came after officials in Tigray held regional elections that the federal government deemed to be illegal.

Ethiopia closes airspace over GERD

The civil aviation authority has closed the airspace over the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD). "All flights have been banned to secure the dam," aviation head Wesenyeleh Hunegnaw told Reuters without giving any more information. The GERD has been the source of tension between Ethiopia, Egypt and Sudan and talks mediated by the African Union (AU) are ongoing.

Hundreds arrested ahead of major Oromo festival

More than 500 people have been arrested ahead of the annual Irreecha thanksgiving festival, observed by the Oromo, the country’s largest ethnic group. Oromia state police commissioner Ararsa Merdasa said the people detained were planning to cause disturbances during the festival. A number of firearms and hand grenades were seized during the rais. Celebrations are due to be held in Addis Ababa and across Oromia state this weekend.

Officials say 2,000 charged with violence after singer's death

Ethiopian officials said 2,000 people have been charged in connection with the violent protests that were sparked by the killing of Oromo singer Hachalu Hundessa in June. Attorney General Gendion Timothewos said that the suspects include politicians but denied that any of the charges were politically-motivated. At least 160 people died in the weeks that followed Hundessa's death.

Opposition figures charged with terrorism

Several prominent opposition figures have been charged with terrorism in Ethiopia. The attorney general said 24 people will appear in court on Monday to face the charges. They include Jawar Mohammed, a media mogul turned opposition politician who was arrested in July. The charges relate to the violent ethnic unrest which was sparked by the killing popular Oromo singer Hachalu Hundessa and which left more than 150 people dead.

Torrential rain causes major flooding in Ethiopia and Sudan

Severe flooding has displaced an estimated 200,000 people across five regions of Ethiopia. The minister for water and irrigation, Seleshi Bekele, said livestock has been killed and houses destroyed by the floods, which were caused by the heaviest rains in a century. Neighbouring Sudan has also been affected by widespread flooding, with at least 100 people dead and half a million homes damaged. At the weekend a Qatari military plane landed at Khartoum International Airport to deliver much needed aid.

Prosecutors file terrorism charges against opposition figure

Federal prosecutors have filed terrorism charges against Eskendir Nega, founder and leader of the opposition Balderas for Genuine Democracy. He was among thousands of people who were arrested following the murder of popular musician Hachalu Hundessa in June. Henok Aklilu, Eskinder's lawyer, said he is still waiting for a copy of the charge sheet.

Tigray region votes in defiance of government

Voting started in the northern Tigray region on Wednesday in defiance of the federal government. Prime Minister postponed general elections earlier this year due to the coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak; however, the Tigray region rejected the decision and said any attempt to prevent the vote was a "declaration of war." The Tigray Independence Party, which was formed in June, is pushing for the region to break away from the rest of Ethiopia. The results will be announced by 13 September.

US cuts aid over dam dispute

The US is cutting up to $100m of aid over the controversial Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) project. Officials in Washington DC said the move was triggered by Ethiopia's decision to start filling the dam before an agreement was reached with Egypt and Sudan. "The United States previously and repeatedly expressed its concern that commencing the filling of the Gerd before all necessary dam safety measures were implemented created serious risks," a state department official told Reuters. Funding for projects linked to HIV/Aids, migration and refugees will not be affected. Fitsum Arega, Ethiopia’s ambassador to the US, said they had asked the Americans to reconsider the cuts.

Twelve killed in ethnic clashes, Ale district

At least 12 people have been killed in ethnic clashes in southern Ethiopia. Ten others were wounded during the unrest, which was sparked by a dispute over forest ownership rights in the Ale district. “There has been major property damage, mainly the burning of several houses and a religious institution in the area,” said Government Communication Affairs Head of the district Sawra Gebeyehu.

Defence minister sacked amid political differences with PM Ahmed

Defence Minister Lemma Megersa has been sacked amid political differences with Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed. Earlier this month, Lemma was suspended from the central committee of the ruling Prosperity Party. Political tensions between Megersa and PM Ahmed escalated after the prime minister decided to change the name of the  Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) to Prosperity Party. He also has criticised a number of recent government policies.

Several killed in ethnic clashes in SNNPR

At least 10 people have been killed in violent clashes in the Southern Nations, Nationalities, and Peoples Regional (SNNPR). Reuters reported that clashes broke out when demonstrators took to the streets of Boditi to demand the formation of a new autonomous region for the Wolaita ethnic group. The protest was endorsed by the opposition Wolaita National Movement Party, which had one of their members arrested. Incidents were also reported in the town of Sodo. Ethnic clashes in the SNNPR are common as several ethnic groups are demanding that they be granted autonomy.

Defence minister suspended from ruling party's central committee

Defence Minister Lemma Megersa and two other officials have been suspended from the ruling Prosperity Party's central committee. Fikadu Tesema, head of the party's branch for the Oromo region, said Megersa was removed from his position for "failure to discharge his responsibility." Last year Megersa criticised Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed for rebranding the Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) as the Prosperity Party.

Ethiopia worried over Egypt's intentions to build military bases in Somaliland

Ethiopia's government has raised concerns over an alleged plan from Egypt to establish a military base in the autonomous region of Somaliland. A spokesperson for the foreign ministry claimed that the move could threaten regional security. Egyptian officials headed to Somaliland earlier this month to hold a high-level meeting in the region's capital, Hargeisa. Political tensions in East Africa are high since Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia failed to reach a deal over the Grand Renaissance Dam.

Nile states reach 'common understanding'

Ethiopia, Egypt and Sudan have reached a "major common understanding" during talks about the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD). Ethiopia's Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed said the understanding "paves the way for a breakthrough agreement" over the controversial project. Egypt and Sudan have expressed concerns that the dam will impact their access to water from the River Nile, with Cairo previously threatening military action. "It is absolutely necessary that Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia, with the support of the African Union, come to an agreement that preserves the interest of all parties," said Moussa Faki Mahamat, chairman of the AU commission.

Ethiopia starts filling Grand Renaissance Dam

Ethiopia has started filling the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam on the Blue Nile. "The construction of the dam and the filling of the water go hand in hand," Water Minister Seleshi Bekele said on Wednesday. The announcement comes as talks between Ethiopia, Sudan and Egypt over the dam remain deadlocked. Cairo claims that the dam could have a devastating impact on its access to fresh water.

Internet restored after shutdown

Officials have restored access to the internet in parts of the country following weeks of violent protests. The latest unrest was sparked by the killing of popular Oromo singer Hachalu Hundesa in the capital, Addis Ababa. The government claimed that the internet was being used to fuel inter-ethnic violence and defended its decision to restrict access. More than 200 people were killed in the violence and at least 5,000 were arrested.

Two arrested for murder of protest singer

Two people have been arrested over the murder of popular Oromo musician Hachalu Hundessa. His death sparked widespread protests across the country, particularly in Addis Ababa and in the state of Oromia, during which more than 170 people were killed. The suspects have confessed to the killing, according to federal attorney general Adanech Abeibe. Officials claim that they are linked to a breakaway faction of the Oromo Liberation Front (OLF).

OLF members arrested in Addis Ababa

Five senior members of the Oromo Liberation Front (OLF) have been detained in the capital, Addis Ababa. The group's chairman, Dawud Ibsa, said the group were taken to an unknown location. The arrests come after more than 160 people were killed in anti-government protests which were sparked by the killing of popular Oromo singer, Hachalu Hundessa.

Security forces deployed ahead of singer's funeral

The security forces have been deployed to the town of Ambo ahead of the funeral of popular musician Hachalu Hundessa. More than 80 people have been killed in two days of protests following Hundessa's death. "Haacaaluu is not dead. He will remain in my heart and the hearts of millions of Oromo people forever," Santu Demisew Diro, his wife, said. "I request a monument erected in his memory in Addis [Ababa] where his blood was spilt." His death has reignited anger among ethnic Oromo in Ethiopia.

Fifty killed in protests over singer's death

At least 50 people have now been killed in the protests which erupted after the killing of popular musician Hachalu Hundessa. Several members of the security forces are reported to have been killed in the violence, which has also seen businesses torched across the Oromia region. Hundessa was shot dead in an apparent targeted killing on Monday night. More than 35 people have also been arrested, including prominent politician Jawar Mohammed.

Protest death toll rises after killing of popular singer

At least seven people have been killed in protests sparked by the killing of popular musician Hachalu Hundessa. Thousands gathered in Addis Ababa to mourn the singer on Monday and Tuesday, with large crowds gathering outside the hospital where his body was taken. Five people were killed and 75 others wounded in the town of Adama, while two others died in Chiro. Dozens of people were also wounded in the town of Dera. The government has shut down the internet in areas of Oromia state.

Musician shot dead in Addis Ababa

A popular Ethiopian musician has been shot dead in the capital, Addis Ababa. Hachalu Hundessa was targeted in the Gelan Condominiums area of the city on Monday night. Several people have been arrested in connection with the attack although the motive has not yet been established. "Let us express our condolences by keeping ourselves safe and preventing further crime," said Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed. The killing has sparked protests across the country, during which two people were shot dead in the eastern town of Chiro. One person was also wounded during protests in Adama on Tuesday.

Nile River talks hit impasse

The latest round of talks between Ethiopia, Sudan and Egypt over the construction of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) have hit an impasse. Sudan's Minister of Irrigation Yasser Abbas said the three countries had agreed on "90 percent or 95 percent" of the deal but there were still disputes over several legal points. "The disputes between the three delegations are of a legal nature, especially in terms of a... mechanism for water-sharing. Sudan has proposed to refer these issues to the prime ministers of the three countries," said Abbas on Wednesday. Ethiopia says it is committed to filling the dam in July even if a final agreement is not reached with it neighbours.

Parliament allows PM Abiy to remain in office

Parliament has approved allowing Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed to remain in office beyond his mandate after elections scheduled for August were postponed. The vote, which passed 114 in favour and four against, came two days after an opposition politician resigned as speaker in protest at the decision to delay the election. "The House of Federation has approved a decision to extend the term of all assemblies until international health institutions have deemed the threat from coronavirus to be over," reported the Ethiopian News Agency on Wednesday.

Upper house speaker resigns over postponement of elections

The speaker of the upper House of parliament has resigned after the elections scheduled for August were postponed. Keria Ibrahim announced that she is stepping down over apparent grievances with the government of Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, whom she accused of deliberately postponing the vote to remain in power beyond the end of his term in September. Ibrahim is a senior official for the Tigray People's Liberation Front (TPLF), an influential party in Ethiopia, especially in the northern Tigray region. In March, the government announced the postponement of the regional and parliamentary elections in Ethiopia due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Army accused of extrajudicial killings and torture

Amnesty International has accused the Ethiopian army of extrajudicial killings, mass detentions and torture. The reports documents allegations which allegedly took place throughout 2019 and included the killing of 39 people in Oromia state. “Given the gravity and the duration [of the period in which abuses were reported] I cannot believe top officials are not aware of what was happening,” said Fisseha Tekle, Amnesty International's researcher for Ethiopia.

Sudan PM rejects Ethiopia's dam agreement

Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok has rejected an Ethiopian proposal to sign an agreement over the Grand Renaissance Dam. The PM said there were still technical and legal problems to overcome. Ethiopia recently announced plans to start filling the dam's reservoir in July and said they would continue even if no agreement was reached with Sudan and Egypt.

Ethiopia admits shooting down plane carrying aid

Ethiopia has admitted that its troops shot down a Kenyan aid aircraft in Somalia last week. The plane was carrying humanitarian and medical supplies when it was targeted near Bardale last Monday. Soldiers shot the plane down because they had not been informed about it and believed it was on a "potential suicide mission" because it was flying a low altitude. "The incident … will require mutual collaborative investigation team from Somalia, Ethiopia and Kenya to further understand the truth," said Ethiopian officials in a statement.

Journalist charged under new disinformation law

A journalist has been charged under new anti-hate speech and disinformation laws over reports about coronavirus (Covid-19). Yayesew Shimeles has been critical of Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed's government on Tigray TV. Human rights groups said the charges could undermine freedom of expression in the country.

Ethiopia declares state of emergency

President Abiy Ahmed has declared a state of emergency in Ethiopia in response to the outbreak of coronavirus (Covid-19). "Because the coronavirus pandemic is getting worse, the Ethiopian government has decided to declare a state of emergency under Article 93 of the constitution," Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed said in a statement on Wednesday. "I call upon everybody to stand in line with government bodies and others that are trying to overcome this problem." There have been 55 confirmed cases and two deaths in the country so far.

Ministry of Health announces first coronavirus deaths

Ethiopia's ministry of health has announced the first deaths from coronavirus (Covid-19). A 60-year-old woman died at the Eka Kotebe hospital and a 56-year-old man died after spending three days in ICU. There have been 43 confirmed cases in Ethiopia since the outbreak was first reported on 12 March.

August elections postponed due to coronavirus

Parliamentary and presidential elections scheduled to take place in August have been postponed due to the outbreak of coronavirus (Covid-19). "Because of issues related to the coronavirus, the board has decided it can't conduct the election as planned... so it has decided to void that calendar and suspend all activities," said the electoral commission in a statement. The body said a new date will be issued "when the pandemic is over".

US embassy warns of attacks against foreign nationals

The US embassy has warned that foreign nationals are being attacked over fears that they are infected with coronavirus (Covid-19). The embassy issued an alert that said it has been receiving reports regarding a rise in anti-foreigner sentiment since the first case of the virus was confirmed last week. "Reports indicate that foreigners have been attacked with stones, denied transportation services... being spat on, chased on foot, and been accused of being infected with Covid-19," the embassy added.

First case of coronavirus confirmed in Ethiopia

The first case of coronavirus (Covid-19) has been confirmed in Ethiopia. Takele Uma Banti, the mayor of the capital Addis Ababa, said that a Japanese citizen was the person affected. The patient arrived in the country from Burkina Faso on 4 March. "We should avoid meetings and hand contacts," the mayor wrote on Twitter.

Ethiopian cardinal barred from entering Eritrea

The head of Ethiopia's Catholic Church has been barred from entering Eritrea. Cardinal Prime Minister Elyes Fakhfakh was travelling to an event but was not allowed to leave the airport. Eritrea's government has not commented on the case, which comes amid increasing tensions between President Isaias Afwerki and the Catholic Church, which has called for political reforms.

Dozens wounded at pro-Abiy rally

Around 30 people were wounded in an attack on a rally in support of Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed in central Ethiopia on Sunday. Six people have been arrested in connection with the incident, during which a grenade was thrown into a crowd in the town of Ambo. The prime minister was not present at the rally, which comes ahead of elections scheduled to take place in August.

Three killed in land clashes, Addis Ababa

Three people have been killed and several others wounded in clashes between police and Orthodox Christians. The unrest was sparked when officers attempted to destroy a structure built on a piece of disputed land but were met with resistance from a local group. The city mayor condemned the use of force by police, while the Addis Ababa Synod leadership said officers had destroyed a church which was awaiting a title deed from the city administration.

Protesters demand release of abducted students

Protesters have gathered across the Amhara Region State to demand the release of abducted university students. The protesters accused Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed of failing to do enough to establish the whereabouts of the students, who went missing in early December. "Security officials had told me they were trying to have the students released through the mediation of local elders, but it's more than one month since that promise was made and I haven't received an update from security officials since then," said the father of one of the students.

Several killed as stand collapses during religious event in Gondar

At least three people have been killed after a stand collapsed during a religious celebration in Gondar, northern Ethiopia. Medical sources told AP that the accident happened on Monday as thousands were gathered to attend an Epiphany celebration. Reports suggest that dozens of people were also injured after the wooden stand collapsed at the Emperor Fasilides Bath.

Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan agree draft dam deal

Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan have signed a draft agreement over Africa's largest hydro-electric dam. The Grand Renaissance Dam in Ethiopia has been a major source of contention between the three states, with Egypt and Sudan concerned that the dam will negatively impact water supplies. The US treasury secretary and the World Bank president brokered the agreement, which is expected to be finalised next month.

Six kidnapped children killed over failure to pay ransoms

Six kidnapped children have been killed after their families failed to pay a ransom. Eight children were abducted near Gondar in the Amhara state on 20 December by bandits who demanded a $3,700 ransom for each victim. One hostage managed to flee while another survived being shot. No arrests have been made so far.

Abiy merges new political party

Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed will lead a new political party, which will consist of three of the four ethnically-based parties. The Prosperity Party will also include other allies of the Ethiopian Peoples' Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF), although the Tigrayan People's Liberation Front (TPLF) refused to take part. Ahmed said the merger is intended to end ethnic separatism in the country.

Referendum takes place over the creation of new regional state in Ethiopia

Hundreds of thousands are expected to take part in a referendum over the statehood of a zone known as Sidama. The vote will take place on Wednesday, where they will decide on turning Sidama into Ethiopia's tenth regional state. The referendum has been seen as a major test for Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed ahead of the general election in May. It also comes amid attempts to ease ethical tensions in Ethiopia, especially towards the Sidama ethnic group, which is the fifth-largest in the country. Currently, Sidama is part of the Southern Nations, Nationalities and Peoples' Region (SNNPR). Most voters are expected to cast their ballots in the town of Hawassa, which is located near the state border between the SNNPR and Oromia.

Student stabbed to death at Dembi Dollo university

A student has been stabbed to death at the Dembi Dollo University in south-western Ethiopia. The incident follows an outbreak of ethnic clashes at several other academic institutions across the country. Two people died at the weekend at the Woldiya University in the north, while nine people were wounded during clashes at a campus in the south-east. The security forces have been deployed to restore order at several sites, while some students told the BBC they were staying away from campus due to fears over the violence.

US hosts talks over Grand Renaissance dam

The US government is hosting talks between Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan to resolve the dispute over the Grand Renaissance dam. Foreign ministers from the three countries travelled to Washington DC in an attempt to resolve their difference over the project. The dam, which is being built in northern Ethiopia, will be the largest hydroelectric power station in Africa when it is completed in 2021. Egypt has continually voiced concerns that the dam will severely restrict its water supply from the Nile.

Oromia violence leaves 27 dead

At least 27 people have been confirmed dead since protests erupted in the Oromia region on Wednesday. The unrest was sparked when opposition activist and publisher Jawar Mohamed claimed the government had deployed the security services to his compound near the capital. Since then roadblocks have been set up and protesters have destroyed property across the Oromia region. On Friday the military was deployed to "restore normalcy in the area," according to Defense Indoctrination and Public Relations Director Major-General Mohamed Tessema.

Protesters burn PM's book

Protesters have burnt copies of a new book by Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed in a show of support for opposition activist Jawar Mohammed. Hundreds of people gathered outside Mohammed's compound in the capital, Addis Ababa, on Wednesday. Protests have also been reported in Adam, Ambo, Harar and Jimma, with unconfirmed that several people have been killed in the unrest. Ahmed, who was recently awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, released a book - Medemer - on Saturday.

Landslide kills 22 in Konta district

At least 22 people have been killed by landslides in the Konta district of Ethiopia. Heavy rains have been pounding the southern region since Sunday, causing a wave of mud to destroy homes. Recuse workers have been deployed to the scene and there are warnings in place over further landslides in the region.

Sixteen killed by gunmen, Afar

At least 16 people have been killed by gunmen in the northern region of Afar. The attack took place in the village of Obno in the Afambo district on Saturday. “The armed men came via Djibouti and committed the killings,” Afar’s deputy police commissioner Ahmed Humed told Reuters. “We’ve never seen such an incident at this scale before where many civilians lost their lives. We are still investigating who these armed men are.”

Abiy Ahmed awarded Nobel Peace Prize

Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed has been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts to "achieve peace and international cooperation." Ahmed agreed a peace deal with Eritrea last year, ending a 20-year military stalemate. "Thank you very much. It is a prize given to Africa, given to Ethiopia and I can imagine how the rest of Africa's leaders will take it positively to work on [the] peace-building process on our continent," said the PM in a statement.

Ethiopia rejects Egypt's dam proposals

Ethiopia's government has rejected proposals from Egypt to operate the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam. "The proposal from Egypt was unilaterally decided...(it) didn't consider our previous agreements," said Sileshi Bekele, Ethiopia's minister for water. "An Egyptian expert can't control our dam," he added, claiming it would infringe on Ethiopia's sovereignty. The two countries also disagree on how much water should be guaranteed to Egypt when the hydropower dam is operational in 2022.

Nine wounded in grenade attack near capital

At least nine people have been wounded in a grenade attack just outside the capital, Addis Ababa. “Nine people sustained minor injuries in the grenade attack occurred on Thursday at 7:30 pm local time", according to a statement the Oromia Regional State Communication Bureau. The assailant targeted a Oromia police camp in the town of Burayu and one of the casualties was a police officer.

Two aid workers killed in western Ethiopia

Two aid workers have been killed by gunmen in western Ethiopia. The US-based Action Against Hunger said two of its staff members were ambushed in the Gambella region near the border with South Sudan. "Team members were in transit from our 24-hour pediatric Nutrition Stabilization Center in Nguenyyiel Refugee Camp when they were ambushed by armed individuals," the charity said in a statement.

Opposition parties reject electoral reforms

Ethiopia's opposition parties have threatened to boycott national elections next year unless there are changes to an electoral law passed last year. “The law was approved in a rush without addressing our demands,” said Girma Bekele, vice chairman of the Joint Council of Political Parties representing 107 opposition groups. It significantly increased the threshold of required signatures for national and regional parties, a move which the opposition said favours the ruling People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF).

Gunmen kill seven in Hararghe region

At least seven people have been killed in an attack in the central Hararghe region. Three others were wounded when gunmen opened fire in the Bordede district on Thursday. The Ethiopian Defense Force and federal police have been deployed to investigate the incident. The identity of the assailants has not yet been confirmed.

Two police killed in Addis Ababa

Two police officers have been shot dead in an attack in the capital, Addis Ababa. The incident happened at the Central Statistics Agency where the officers were guarding tablets to be used for a national census. One person has been detained in connection with the attack.

Soldiers deployed to Sidama region after deadly clashes

The Ethiopian military has deployed soldiers and police to the southern Sidama region following deadly clashes last week that left 25 people dead. The violence was sparked when activists took to the streets to declare their own territory after the federal government failed to deliver a referendum. “Armed and illegal groups have been wreaking havoc in the region and the army has been trying to restore the rule of law,” said the government in a statement. Local residents claimed that the security forces opened fire on protesters during rallies across the region last week.

Shots fired as Sidama rally over new region

Shots have been fired in the southern city of Hawassa where members of the Sidama ethnic group have been demanding the establishment of a new region. Thursday marked the one-year anniversary since a referendum was approved by local officials; however, the federal government has promised that it would take place in the next five months. “Now the most important thing is peace for our people,” Million Tumato, president of the Sidama Liberation Movement Party, told Reuters. “Still the five months timeline is not specific as it doesn’t indicate when the referendum will take place.” There is a significant security presence in the city and most shops and businesses have remained closed.

Activists call for independent state for Sidama

Activists from the Sidama ethnic group are calling for the formation of a new regional state. In July 2018 the Sidama's governing council requested a referendum on the formation of a new state; under the constitution, this should be granted within a year. A declaration is expected on Wednesday, with dozens of people already taking to the streets to celebrate. Last week Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed called for patience and warned against "unlawful" action.

Opposition supporters arrested in Amhara state

Dozens of opposition supporters have been arrested in the northern state of Amhara. The National Movement of the Amhara said 56 people had been arrested, while several other people were also detained in Oromia state. The move comes after the alleged coup attempt earlier this week, which saw the army chief of staff, Gen Seare Mekonnen, shot dead by his bodyguard. The internet has been shut off across Ethiopia in response to the unrest.

Security forces kill alleged coup leader

The reported leader of a failed coup attempt has been killed by Ethiopia's security forces. General Asamnew Tsige was shot dead outside Bahir Dar, the state capital of the northern Amhara region. According to reports, Asamnew and his supporters shot dead regional government President Ambachew Mekonnen and his adviser Ezez Wassie at the state offices on Saturday. "Several hours later, in what seems like a coordinated attack, the chief of staff of the national security forces, Seare Mekonnen, was killed in his home by his bodyguard in Addis Ababa," said government spokeswoman, Billene Seyoum.

Senior officials killed in Ethiopia attacks

The chief of staff of the Ethiopian army has been killed by his own bodyguard in the capital, Addis Ababa. Gen Seare Mekonnen and another officer were killed while trying to prevent a coup, according to Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed. Elsewhere, the regional governor of Amhara state, Ambachew Mekonnen, has also been killed along with an adviser. "The coup attempt in Amhara regional state is against the constitution and is intended to scupper the hard-won peace of the region," said the PM's office in a statement. "This illegal attempt should be condemned by all Ethiopians and the federal government has full capacity to overpower this armed group." The US Embassy has advised all of its staff to remain indoors in light of the political unrest.

Student killed by grenade in Nekemte

A student has been killed and nine other people wounded in a grenade attack in the western town of Nekemte. The device was thrown at the Fact Hotel on Wednesday evening, a week after a footballer was killed in another attack on the hotel. The police said they are investigating the incidents. The Oromo Liberation Front is often blamed for violence in the region, including a series of armed robberies back in January.

Anger over ongoing internet blackout

Ethiopians are voicing their frustration at the ongoing internet blackouts in large areas of the country. Text messaging services have also been shut down since last Thursday. The state-run Ethio Telecom, the country's only telecoms provider, has refused to comment on the outages. There are reports that the action was taken to prevent exam papers from leaking.

Internet shutdown across Ethiopia

Internet access has been restricted across Ethiopia. The monitoring group said services have been restricted since 10:30 local time. There was no official confirmation of the shutdown, although secondary school exams are underway and the authorities took similar measures two years ago.

Footballer shot dead in Nekmete

A footballer has been shot dead in Nekmete following a grenade attack which wounded seven. Wondwossen Yohannes was killed on Wednesday night at the Fact Hotel in the town of Nekemte in the Oromo region. It is not yet clear who carried out the attack, although the Oromo Liberation Front (OLF) operates in the area.

Student killed at Axum protest

A student has been killed in a protest in the northern city of Axum. A further 10 people were wounded during the violence, which took place during a protest by students from Axum University. The rally was held in response to the death of a Tigrayan student at Debra Markos University.

Foreign ministry apologises for map missing Somalia

Ethiopia's foreign ministry has apologised over a map which incorporated Somalia into its own borders. "We sincerely regret any confusion and misunderstanding this incident might have caused," the ministry said in a statement. The semi-autonomous region of Somaliland was shown on the map, which appeared on the ministry's website. Relations between the two countries have improved since Ethiopia's Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed took office.

Military to be deployed to tackle ethnic violence in Amhara and Benishangul-Gumuz

Regional officials in Amhara and Benishangul-Gumuz have deployed the military to curb the rising in ethnic-led violence reported in both regions. Increasing incidents of violence have been reported in the area which has seen a surge in retaliatory attacks involving Amhara and Gumuz ethnics. Regional officials said that at least 20 people were killed since clashes erupted last week. Ethnic clashes in the region are common due to disputes involving rival groups based along the Sudanese border. Outbreaks of violence are often attributed to land disputes between pastoral and farming communities.

Prime Minister Ahmed orders cabinet reshuffle

Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed has ordered a cabinet reshuffle, assigning two former regional presidents to federal posts. Three ministries faced changes on Thursday after parliament approved the nominations. The former president of Amhara regional state, Gedu Andargachew, is becoming the country's new foreign minister, while the former president of Oromia regional state, Lemma Megersa, becomes the new defence minister. Aisha Mohammed, who is leaving the defence ministry, is being moved back to the Urban Development ministry. As president of Oromia, Megersa faced increasing challenges on countering militancy of the Oromo Liberation Front (OLF), which in January signed a ceasefire agreement with the government. Amhara and Oromia are the homelands of two of Ethiopia’s biggest ethnic groups.

International assistance sent to tackle wildfire at Semien National Park, Amhara

International assistance has been sent to Amhara as a massive wildfire continue active across Ethiopia's Semien National Park. Firefighters from Israel, South Africa and Kenya have been deployed to assist emergency services to tackle the blazes, which remain active for months. Authorities confirmed that although on some occasions the fire was controlled, another wildfire ignited earlier this month. Firefighting efforts are being compromised due to difficult terrain. The Semien National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site located near the town of Gondar. It houses Ethiopia's highest peak, Ras Dashen, and Lake Tana.

Ethiopia Airlines pilots not at fault for ET302 crash

Ethiopian Airlines said its pilots followed all procedures before flight ET302 crashed last month. In a preliminary report said the pilots were not able to control the aircraft after the Manoeuvring Characteristics Augmentation System (MCAS) forced the plane to nosedive. "It was very unfortunate they could not recover the airplane from the persistence of nosediving," the airline said in a statement. All 157 people on board the 737 MAX were killed in the crash, prompting Boeing to ground the entire fleet of aircraft.

Five killed by gunmen in Ethiopia

At least five miners have been killed by gunmen near the town of Nedjo in the Oromia region. Three Ethiopians and two foreign nationals from an unnamed mining company were targeted on Tuesday, according to Reuters. Violence has continued in Oromia - an area which has long complained of economic marginalisation - despite the political and economic reforms undertaken by Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed.

Former OLF rebels start hunger strike

Former Oromo Liberation Front (OLF) rebels have gone on hunger strike in Ethiopia. The group claim that they are taking the action due to the poor living conditions at the Tolay military camp in the south-west of the country. "We are being treated inhumanly and no one cares about us," a former rebel told the BBC. Around 1,000 ex-fighters are believed to live at the camp.

Ethiopian Airlines flight crashes after take off

An Ethiopians Airlines flight to Kenya crashed shortly after taking off from Addis Ababa. All 149 passengers and eight crew members were killed in the crash at 08:44 on Sunday. Flight ET3012 was six minutes into the flight when the pilot reported difficulties and asked to return to the Ethiopian capital. An investigation into the cause of the crash is underway and Boeing, who manufactured the 737 Max-8, have sent a technical team. The incident comes just months after a Lion Air flight, which was also a 737 Max-8, crashed into the sea near Indonesia.

Protests erupt in Oromia region over land rights

Thousands of people have taken to the streets in the Oromia region to protest over land rights. Rallies were held in 10 cities across the region after 51,000 apartments were completed on land which had previously been used by farmers until they were evicted by force. Local residents claim the capital, Addis Ababa, is expanding and encroaching onto their land.

Army takes over security in western and central Gondar

The Ethiopian army and federal police have taken over security in western and central Gondar. The move comes after the Amhara region's security forces failed to restore security in the region, which displaced 40,000 people. Under the emergency measures people are not allowed to carry weapons between Metema to Gondar and from Gondar to Humera.

Five killed in Tepi clashes

At least five people have been killed in clashes in the southern town of Tepi. Local residents said the Sheka attacked them before fighting erupted with the security forces. Protests have also been reported in the town of Konso where people have been demanding zonal administration status.

Oromia state signs ceasefire with OLF

The Oromia regional state has signed a peace agreement with the Oromo Liberation Front (OLF). Milkesa Mideksa of the Oromia state and Dawud Ibsa, chairperson of OLF, signed the agreement at Ambo University on Thursday. The deal includes an immediate ceasefire and plans for the disarmament and demobilization of OLF fighters.

Multiple banks targeted in Oromia

Seventeen banks have been targeted by armed robbers in the Oromia region. Eleven branches were targeted on Saturday in Western Oromia and Qellem Wellega. Six further branches were targeted on Sunday. Officials in Oromia region accused the Oromo Liberation Front (OLF) of carrying out the raids.

Army accused of killing civilians in West Gondar

The Ethiopian army has been accused of killing seven people and wounding 15 others in a shooting in the West Gondar Zone. The incident occurred in the towns of Gende Wuha and Kokit on Tuesday following a dispute between residents and a road construction company. Deputy Chief of Staff of the National Defense Force, General Birhanu Jula, denied the allegations and claimed armed groups opened fire on troops who were escorting heavy vehicles.

Ten killed by roadside bomb

At least 10 people have been killed and one other wounded by a roadside bomb in western Ethiopia. The victims were travelling in a minibus along the border with Oromia and Benishangul Gumuz on Wednesday. There was no claim of responsibility for the attack.

Civilians killed in shooting at hotel, Moyale

At least 12 civilians have been killed in a shooting at a hotel in the border town of Moyale. The incident occurred as soldiers were holding talks with militias from the Ormom and Somali ethnic groups at the Bekele Molla Hotel following a series of deadly clashes between the two groups. Thousands of people have fled across the border to Kenya to escape the violence.

Ethiopia withdraws troops from border with Eritrea

Ethiopia has withdrawn troops from its border with Eritrea as part of the peace deal agreed between the two countries in July. Since Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed took office relations between the former enemies have improved significantly. In recent months trade and diplomatic ties have been restored, while families separated by the 1998-2000 war have been reunited.

Protesting soldiers given jail terms

A group of soldiers who marched to Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed's office in October to demand a pay rise have been jailed. The 66 troops were sentenced to between five and 14 years by a military court, "These sentences delivered today will serve as lessons," said prosecutor Cap Hailemariam Mamo. Ahmed ordered the soldiers to do press-ups at his office to defuse tensions, but later said he was angry at the situation and feared for his life.

Twenty killed in Somali-Oromo clashes

At least 20 people have been killed in the latest outbreak of clashes between Oromo and Somalis. The fighting erupted in the border town of Moyale on Wednesday and continued through to Thursday. More than 30 people were wounded during the fighting, which only ended when the Federal Police intervened. There are frequent clashes between the two groups over land and resources.

TPLF accuse government of crackdown

The Tigrayan People's Liberation Front (TPLF) party has accused the Ethiopian government of orchestrating a crackdown against its members. Around 80 people, many of them Tigrayans, have been arrested over the last week on allegations of corruption which the party say were ordered under “the pretext of corruption and human rights are being used to attack Tigrayans”. The suspects include Kinfe Dagnew, a Tigrayan major general in the army and former chief executive of the Metals and Engineering Corporation (Metec), Ethiopia's military-run conglomerate.

Thousands displaced by ethnic clashes

At least 200,000 people have been displaced by clashes in the Somali and Oromia regions of Ethiopia since July. A report by the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) said aid groups were struggling to support the huge numbers of displaced people, with more than 700,000 people displaced since the conflict started. "Elders tell us people are dying for lack of aid. These families need lifesaving aid, before it’s too late,” NRC regional adviser Evelyn Aero said.

Former deputy intelligence chief arrested

The former deputy intelligence chief has been arrested as part of an investigation into corruption and human rights abuses. Yared Zerihun is among 60 members of the intelligence and security services to be detained since Monday. Earlier this week the attorney general said vast corruption had been uncovered following a five-month investigation into the Metals and Engineering Corporation (Metec), Ethiopia's military-run conglomerate. This was followed by allegations that Metec has been involved in smuggling arms to neighbouring Somalia.

Police find mass graves near Somali-Oromia border

Ethiopian police have found a mass grave containing around 200 bodies near the border between the Somali and Oromia regions. The site was discovered during investigations into ethnic violence led by Abdi Mohammed, the former president of the Somali region. Officials said they are trying to identify the victims from the site.

Ethiopia appoints first female president

Ethiopia has appointed its first female president. Sahle-Work Zewde previously worked for the United Nations (UN) and as a diplomat. Her appointment comes after Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed announced that half of his cabinet positions would be taken up by women.

Seven killed during Tigray protest

Seven people have been killed and 20 others wounded after the security forces opened fire on protesters in the Tigray region. Witnesses said troops opened fire as thousands of demonstrators walked to the main square in the town of Alamata on Sunday. The protesters were members of the Raya ethnic group, who have been split between the Tigray and Amhara states since 1992.

Governmnet agrees peace deal with ONLF

Ethiopia's government has signed a peace deal with the Ogaden National Liberation Front (ONLF). The deal, which ends a 34-year armed conflict, states that both sides will immediately end hostilities. The ONLF also committed to using purely political means to achieve its aim of independence for the Ogaden region. The agreement was signed in the Eritrean capital, Asmara.

Eight wounded during Afar demonstration

Eight people have been wounded during protests in the Afar region of Ethiopia. Members of the security forces opened fire during rallies in nine zones, including the regional capital Semera. The protesters were demanding a fairer distribution of wealth and greater respect for human rights.

PM appoints women to half of his government posts

Ethiopia's Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed has appointed women to half of his ministerial posts. Abiy told parliament that women were "less corrupt than men" and the move would help restore stability to the country. Aisha Mohammed was named as Ethiopia's first female defence minister and Muferiat Kamil, the former speaker of parliament, became the country's first Minister of Peace.

Three soldiers killed by OLF rebels

Three Ethiopian soldiers have been killed by suspected Oromo Liberation Front (OLF) rebels in the Amaro district. Another soldier was wounded in the ambush, which occurred on Monday. The Ethiopian Defense Force killed two rebels during the exchange in Guji, Last week the government issued a warning to the OLF, telling them to disarm immediately.

PM meets with protesting soldiers

Ethiopia's Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed has met with protesting soldiers after they marched to his office to demand a salary increase. Abiy ordered the troops to do 10 press up, which he carried out alongside them. “(Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed) told them the way they presented their grievances was not correct but anyway heard their issues. At last, he ordered all of them to do 10 push-ups and then invited them dinner," said commissioner of the Federal Police Commission, Zeynu Jemal. He also agreed to meet them soon to discuss their demands.

Police officer kills two colleagues, Addis Ababa

An Ethiopian police officer has shot dead two colleagues in the capital, Addis Ababa. The suspect was reportedly drunk when he opened fire in the central Bole district. He was also shot dead in the incident, while the area was briefly cordoned off.

Twenty killed in western Ethiopia clashes

At least 20 people have been killed and thousands more displaced in clashes in western Ethiopia. The unrest was sparked after two officials from the Benishangul-Gumuz regional state were killed by gunmen linked to the Oromo Liberation Front (OLF). “The number of the deceased could be much higher because some of the clashes occurred in far-off rural areas,” said Negeri Lencho, communication chief of Oromia state

Five charged with terrorism offences

Five people have been charged with terrorism in connection with an attempt to kill Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed. The incident occurred at a political rally on 23 June, when a bomb was thrown at a stage while the PM addressed a crowd. Two people were killed and 150 others were wounded in the blast, although Abiy was unharmed. Prosecutors said the assailants were from the Oromo ethnic group.

Amnesty International condemns Ethiopia arrests

Amnesty International has condemned the recent arrests of thousands of people during protests in Ethiopia's capital, Addis Ababa. Amnesty said the arrests threaten "a new era of human rights gains." Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed has been praised since taking office in April for releasing political prisoners and restoring relations with Eritrea; however, more than 3,000 were detained over the weekend following ethnic violence which left 65 people dead.

Thousands protest after deadly ethnic clashes

Thousands of people have taken to the streets of Addis Ababa to protest against the recent wave of ethnic violence in the country. At least 23 people were killed and 200 others arrested over the weekend after the leaders of the Oromo Liberation Front (OLF) returned to the country following Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed's decision to overturn the ban on the group. Protesters blocked roads across the city on Monday and business were forced to shut.

Ethiopia-Eritrea sign agreement in Saudi Arabia

Ethiopia and Eritrea have signed a new agreement during talks in the Saudi city of Jeddah. The two states recently agreed a peace accord and last week re-opened border posts which were closed during the 1998-2000 war. "The peace agreement between Ethiopia and Eritrea signed today in Jeddah is a historic event that will contribute to strengthening security and stability in the region," Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir said.

Police fire tear gas at Addis Ababa protest

Police have fired tear gas to disperse protesters in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa. Supporters of the Oromo Liberation Front (OLF) have clashed with local residents in the capital due to tensions over the Oromo flag. The OLF has descended on the capital in preparation for the return of their leadership, days after Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed removed the group's designation as a terrorist organisation.

Ethiopia-Eritrea reopen border

The leaders of Ethiopia and Eritrea have met to witness the reopening of a key border post linking the two countries. The ceremony at Bure coincides with the Ethiopian New Year and comes after the two governments agreed to restore ties in July. The border witnessed some of the fiercest fighting during the 1998-2000 war between the two states.

Rebel leader returns to Ethiopia

The former exiled leader of the Patriot Ginbot 7 rebel group has returned to Ethiopia. Berhanu Nega returned to the country alongside PG7 general secretary Andargachew Tsige, which was classified as a terrorist organization by the government until earlier this year. "Our nation immensely benefits from a peaceful contest of ideas for in the final analysis we all care about our country’s wellbeing and we all cherish our children’s future,” said Fitsum Arega, the chief of staff for Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed.

Holy water blamed for diarrhoea outbreak

Ethiopian authorities say contaminated holy water is the source of an acute outbreak of diarrhoea in the northern Tigray region. At least 10 people have been killed and more than 1,200 cases reported in the region over the past two weeks. Many of the affected are being treated at the main hospital in the city of Mekelle. Medical teams have been deployed to decontaminate areas in a bid to stop the disease from spreading further.

Military helicopter crash kills 18

At least 18 people have been killed in a military helicopter crash near Ethiopia's capital, Addis Ababa. The chopper was travelling from Dire Dawa when it came down on Thursday, killing 15 soldiers and three civilians. An investigation into the cause of the crash is underway.

Metec loses Grand Renaissance Dam contract

Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed has terminated the contract with the Metals and Engineering Corporation (Metec) for the $4bn Grand Renaissance Dam project. Metec, which is run by the Ethiopian military, was due to finish work on the dam alongside Italian firm Salini Impregilo. "It is a project that was supposed to be completed within five years, but seven or eight years later not a single turbine is operational," said Abiy in a speech at the weekend.

Former Somali region leader arrested

The former president of Ethiopia's Somali region has been arrested. Abdi Mohammed Omar, known as Abdi Illey, was detained at his villa in Addis Ababa on Monday and is expected to be charged with human rights abuses. Illey resigned at the start of August after 15 years in office. Ethiopia's new Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed said the security forces in the Somali region were responsible for torture, abuse and rape. "As such, prisoners were held inside prison cells along with animals like hyenas, lions and tigers for intimidation purposes. People were raped, looting was rampant and people were killed," said Abiy.

Warning issued over mudslides

Ethiopian authorities have issued an alert over flooding and mudslides in the country. At least 50 people have been killed during the current rainy season, with the latest deaths reported in Amhara state on Thursday. Eight people including six members of the same family died when their house was swept away in a mudslide. Heavy rain is forecast to continue through to September.

Paramilitary force kills dozens in Oromia

At least 40 people have been killed in an attack by a paramilitary force in the Oromia region of Ethiopia. Oromia regional administration's spokesman Negeri Lencho said gunmen from the Somali region carried out the raids in the East Hararghe district. The violence is the latest in a series of cross-border attacks between the Oromia and Somali regions.

Internet access down amid ethnic clashes in Jijiga

Internet access in eastern Ethiopia is reportedly down after ethnic clashes broke out over the weekend. Locals told Reuters that for three days internet connection has been down in the Oromia region. Protests erupted on Saturday in the town of Jijiga, where at least four people were killed. Earlier in the week, the government has agreed to sign a peace deal with the Oromo Liberation Front (OLF) as part of Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed's efforts to improve security in the region.

Government signs peace deal with Oromo rebels

Ethiopia's government has agreed a peace deal with the Oromo Liberation Front (OLF). The agreement to end hostilities was made in Eritrea on Tuesday and is the latest effort by Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed to improve security in the country. The OLF has fought a low-level insurgency in the Oromia region since the 1970s.

President of Somali region quits

The president of Ethiopia's Somali region has agreed to resign. Idris Ismail took the decision after days of tension between the Somali region and the federal government, which also resulted in state troops being deployed to the regional capital, Jigjiga. At least 30 people have been killed in the unrest and hundreds have been forced to flee the city.

Troops deployed to eastern Ethiopia

Federal troops have been deployed to the eastern city of Jigjiga, capital of the Somali region, to restore order following unrest which left nearly 30 people dead. Soldiers took control of key positions after looting and attacks against non-Somalis. The national government has accused regional officials of carrying out human rights abuses, while there has also been a dispute over the distribution of the region's oil wealth.

Armed men held near airport

A group of 40 armed men have been detained near the Alula Aba Nega International Airport in the northern Tigray region. Officials said the men, who are Ethiopian nationals, had entered the country from Sudan. They are being held at a camp near the airport while the security forces interrogate them.

Civil unrest reported in Bale Goba, Oromia

The US Embassy has stated on Thursday that a violent wave of unrest is currently being reported in Bale Goba, Oromia. Travellers have been advised to avoid the area as tensions may further escalate. Earlier in the week, six people were killed in Goba during communal clashes. Ethnic clashes are common in the region due to land disputes.

Dam project manager found dead in Addis Ababa

The manager of a controversial dam project in Ethiopia has been found dead inside his vehicle in Addis Ababa. State media said that Semegnew Bekele was reported dead at Meskel Square. Bekele was responsible for managing the construction of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam, which is being built over the Nile River. The project generated diplomatic tensions with Egypt, which claimed that the project may compromise the river's water flow.

Six killed in communal clashes in Goba, Oromia

At least six people have been killed during communal clashes in the restive Oromia state, central Ethiopia. According to the police, clashes erupted over the weekend during a dispute surrounding a park in Goba. Several people have also been injured during the clashes, while a number of buildings were damaged. Ethnic clashes are common in the region due to land disputes. Thousands of people have already been displaced due to the long conflict between armed members of the Oromos ethnic group and neighbouring Somalis.

Prime Minister Ahmed calls for multiparty democracy ahead of 2020 vote

Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed has called for further electoral reforms ahead of the 2020 presidential election. In a speech before lawmakers, PM Ahmed said that the country should pursue multiparty democracy. Although opposition parties are allowed to run, the People's Revolutionary Democratic Front coalition has ruled the country since 1991. PM Ahmed was elected in April and has since introduced a number of reforms.

Parliament approves amnesty bill after months of political turmoil

Ethiopia's parliament has approved a bill which will grant amnesty to a number of political prisoners detained during three years of political instability in the country. According to state media, those to benefit from the bill are members of some groups accused of treason and people under investigation for violating the constitution. In recent months, hundreds of people were released - it is estimated that more than 30,000 people were detained after three years of protests. The bill was introduced by Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed Ali, who was sworn into office in April after the resignation of Hailemariam Desalegn.

Eritrea withdraws troops from Ethiopian border

Eritrea has withdrawn troops from its border with Ethiopia as a "gesture of reconciliation". The move follows a "peace and friendship" agreement between Ethiopia's Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed and Eritrea's President Isaias Afwerki earlier this month to restore relations. On Wednesday Ethiopian Airlines carried out the first commercial flight between the two countries in two decades.

PM Ahmed reopens Eritrean embassy in Addis Ababa

Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed and Eritrea's President Isaias Afwerki have re-opened the Eritrean embassy in Addis Ababa after both countries agreed to end a long-standing border dispute. President Afwerki headed to Ethiopia as part of a three-day official visit to sign a pact to resume relations with its land-locked neighbour. The move comes as both countries agreed to discuss Ethiopian aspirations to be granted with sea access through Eritrean ports.

Ethiopia and Eritrea formally end border war

Ethiopia and Eritrea have signed a declaration saying that "state of war that existed between the two countries has come to an end." The 1998-1999 border war was ended by a ceasefire, but until today it has never been fully implemented. The agreement was signed at a meeting between Eritrea's President Isaias Afewerki and Ethiopia's Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed.

Clashes erupt between troop and farmers on Sudan-Ethiopia border

Sudanese troops have clashed with Ethiopian farmers along the shared border, leaving at least five people dead and several others wounded. The fighting erupted in the Metema district of Ethiopia earlier this week following a dispute over agricultural land. Farmers claim that Sudanese troops have been preventing them from working the arable fields in the area.

Several killed during ethnic clashes in Benishangul-Gumuz

At least nine people were killed since a wave of unrest broke out in Benishangul-Gumuz region in western Ethiopia. Tensions erupted on Monday in Assosa, the province's capital. Locals told Reuters that a number of ethnic minorities were being deliberately targeted, but the motives behind the spate of violence remain unclear. Ethnic clashes in the region are common due to disputes involving rival groups based along the Sudanese border.

Huge fire erupts near historic Grand Anwar Mosque

A huge fire is raging near the historic Grand Anwar Mosque in the Merkato district of the capital, Addis Ababa. Several shops near the site have been destroyed in the blaze, which began shortly after midnight. The fire department managed to contain the fire before it reached the mosque, although the women's madrassa was reportedly damaged.

Eritrean delegation arrives in Ethiopia for peace talks

A high-level Eritrean delegation has arrived in Ethiopia for landmark peace talks between the two countries. Foreign minister Osman Saleh and other senior figures were met by Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed in Addis Ababa on Tuesday for the first meeting of its kind in two decades. Earlier this month Ahmed said he would accept the terms of a UN-backed peace agreement, which was signed in 2000.

Thirty arrested over grenade attack

More than 30 people have been arrested in connection with the deadly grenade attack in Ethiopia. At least two people died and 156 others were wounded in the blast at a political rally in Addis Ababa on Saturday. Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed was giving a speech at the rally when the device exploded and was taken to safety. "The people who did this are anti-peace forces. You need to stop doing this. You weren't successful in the past and you won't be successful in the future," Ahmed said.

Government unblocks websites and TV channels

Ethiopia's government has unblocked 264 websites and TV broadcasters. Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed's chief of staff said the decision was taken because "freedom of expression is a foundational right." Hundreds of news outlets were blocked by the previous administration, leading to accusations that they were blocking dissent. US-based television stations, Ethiopian Satellite Television (ESAT) and Oromo Media Network (OMN), were among those who were unblocked as part of the move. Ahmed has introduced a series of reforms since taking office in April, along with pushing for improved relations with Eritrea.

PM accuses security agencies of terrorism

Ethiopia's prime minister has accused the security institutions of torturing citizens to allow the government to remain in power. Abiy Ahmed, who took office in April, said he will abolish the anti-terrorism laws which have seen thousands of people detained in recent years. "Our constitution doesn't allow it, but we have been torturing, causing bodily damages and even putting inmates in dark prison cells," Ahmed told parliament on Monday. "These were terrorist acts committed by us, and using force just to stay in power is a terrorist act too."

Bank robbers get stuck in traffic

Two bank robbers were caught in traffic in Addis Ababa after trying to raid the Bole branch of Abyssinia Bank. The pair fled the scene empty-handed before crashing into another vehicle as they tried to escape. The pair then tried to drive down the wrong side of the road before escaping on foot.

Thousands rally against peace agreement

An estimated 6,000 people have gathered in the northern Tigray region to protest against the government's decision to agree to a peace deal with Eritrea. “Consultation should have been held with the people and the opposition,” said an opposition leader from the Arena region. Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed announced on Tuesday that the government would accept the border commission ruling from 2002, which awarded several border towns to Eritrea.

Crocodile kills pastor during baptism

A crocodile has killed a pastor during a baptism at Lake Abaya. Docho Eshete, a Protestant pastor, was conducting a ceremony in the Merkeb Tabya district when the animal attacked him. Residents said the crocodile escaped back into the lake.

Ethiopia accepts Eritrea peace deal

Ethiopia's government has agreed to implement the 2002 peace deal with Eritrea. The ruling coalition said it will accept the border commission ruling, which awarded several border towns to Eritrea. "The Eritrean government should take the same stand without any prerequisite and accept our call to bring back the long-lost peace of the two brother nations as it was before," the ruling Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) said in a statement.

Government seeks to lift state of emergency

Lawmakers are set to lift the country's current state of emergency after cabinet members approved the submission of a draft legislation. The bill seeks to lift the ongoing six-month state of emergency nearly two months earlier. The state of emergency was introduced in February after a violent wave of unrest led to the resignation of Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn. Officials claim that the political situation in the country has returned to normal as a number of reforms - including the release of hundreds of political prisoners - are underway. 

British man on death row freed by government

A British citizen who was being held on death row has been freed. Andargachew Tsege was arrested in Yemen in 2014 and transferred to Ethiopia, where he had been accused of plotting a coup. He was born in Ethiopia but fled to the UK in the 1970s seeking political asylum. Attorney General Berhanu Tsegaye said his pardon was part of an initiative to "widen the political space".

Dozens killed in Ethiopia landslides

At least 32 people have been killed in a landslide in southern Ethiopia. Fana Broadcast Corporate reported 23 deaths in the Sidama area, while a further nine deaths were reported in Gamo Gofa. The incident comes after Cyclone Sagar killed dozens of people in neighbouring Somalia, Djibouti and Somaliland.

Four killed in Somali-Oromo clashes

At least four people have been killed and several others wounded in clashes between the Somali-Oromo communities in Ethiopia. Fighting erupted on Saturday when rival militias torched houses along the border between the two states. Hundreds of people fled the area and around 40 schools remain closed.

Bomb kills three in Oromia

Three people have been killed in a bombing on the restive Oromia region of Ethiopia. The device exploded at a cement factory owned by Nigerian billionaire Aliko Dangote in Mugher, killing an Indian manager and two Ethiopian workers. Police are calling on the local community to help track down the assailants behind Wednesday's attack. During the mass protests in Oromia in 2016-17, trucks belonging to the Dangote Cement factory were attacked.

Inter-ethnic clashes hit Moyale

An unknown number of people have been killed in inter-ethnic clashes in the town of Moyale. The Oromo and Garre groups have been involved in intermittent clashes in the area for several days. The clashes forced around 5,000 people to flee into neighbouring Kenya.

Nationwide power cut due to dam failure

Ethiopia has been hit by a nationwide power cut following a technical failure at a hydroelectric dam. State media said a circuit breaker tripped at the Gibe III dam but engineers are working to fix the problem. Ethiopia is in the process of building a larger dam on the River Nile, despite objections from neighbouring Egypt and Sudan. The $4bn Grand Renaissance Dam was due to become operational in 2017 but the project has been hit by delays.

Bomb kills three in Oromia

A bomb has killed three people in the town of Moyale in the Oromia region. Scores more were wounded in the blast, which occurred near a bus station. State officials said paramilitary troops from the Ethio-Somali regional state had carried out the attack. Ethiopia's new prime minister, Abiy Ahmed, recently visited the Ethio-Somali region to call for peace between the two states.

Soldier kills pregnant woman in Oromia

A soldier has shot dead a pregnant woman in the state of Oromia, according to activists.  Ayantu Mohammed Sa’idoo was allegedly abducted in the East Hararghe area on Sunday before her body was found on Monday. A military officer has been detained by police as investigations into her death continue.

Ruling coalition appoints new leader

Ethiopia's ruling coalition has appointed a new leader following the resignation of Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn last month. The Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF)  announced that Abiy Ahmed is the coalition's new chairman and will also succeed Desalegn. The move is seen as significant as Ahmed is from the Oromo ethnic group and he will be the first Oromo PM in the 27 years EPRDF has been in power.

Bus crash leaves 38 dead

At least 38 people have been killed in a bus crash in northern Ethiopia. The bus veered off the road in the Legambo district on Monday, leaving a further 10 people with serious injuries. An investigation into the cause of the crash is underway.

Troops kill nine civilians near Kenyan border

The Ethiopian military says it is investigating reports that soldiers killed nine civilians and wounded 12 others near the Kenyan border. The incident occurred during an operation against suspected Oromo Liberation Front (OLF) rebels in the town of Moyale on Sunday. Seven soldiers have been suspended pending the result of the investigation.

Residents of Oromia protest emergency rule

Residents across Oromia state have started a three-day social shutdown in protest at the emergency decree imposed by the government last month. The decree was ratified in parliament on Friday, although activists claim that the vote should not have been passed. "As you all have seen, the illegitimate and unnecessary state of emergency declared by the TPLF military leaders have failed to secure 2/3 support in parliament. The regime has been given two days to officially announce SOE has been revoked and return the army to its barrack," said Jawar Mohammed, a local activist.

Parliament approves state of emergency

Ethiopia's parliament has overwhelmingly ratified the state of emergency imposed last month just after Prime Minister Heilemarian Desalegn handed in his resignation. Desalegn resigned amid rising ethnic tensions that broke out back in 2015. Lawmakers of the ruling coalition, the Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF), approved the measure; however, not all members followed party lines. Under the state of emergency, protests are banned alongside the publication of material that may incite hatred.

Hundreds of prisoners released in eastern Somali region

Government officials announced that hundreds of prisoners have been released in the eastern Somali region. Regional authorities said: “On Wednesday, over 1,500 prisoners were released following a pardon by President Abdi Mohammed Omer. The inmates had been jailed on charges that include anti-peace activities.” Since January, more than 6,000 prisoners have been freed in a government attempt to curb the ongoing wave of political unrest that has been engulfing the country since 2015.

Drought triggers mass displacements in Somali and Oromia regions

Mass displacements and internal conflicts have been reported due to drought in southern and south-eastern Ethiopia. The areas most affected are the Oromia and Somali regions, in which since political tensions broke out back in September, more than one million people were displaced and sheltered across 400 camps. The acute drought has intensified due to the lack of rain for four consecutive years.

State of emergency declared after PM steps down

A state of emergency has been declared after Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn handed in his resignation last week. Ethiopia's Council of Ministers announced on Friday that the measure is effective immediately. The length of the state of emergency remains unknown but it is likely to last from between three and six months.

Prime Minister Desalegn steps down amid deadly unrest

Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn has handed in his resignation in an attempt to halt the current wave of unrest in the country. Desalegn said he is stepping down so that the government can proceed with political and economic reforms and end the violent wave of demonstrations that killed hundreds of people since it first erupted in 2015 - mainly in Oromia and Amhara. He also announced that he is leaving the leadership of the Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF), which is part of the fragmented ruling coalition.

Four killed in IDP camp shooting

Four people have been killed and 11 others wounded in a shooting at an IDP camp in eastern Ethiopia. Federal security forces opened fire on a camp in Hamaressa on Sunday, according to the state broadcaster EBC. The incident happened as residents were protesting over poor conditions inside the camp.

Ethiopia releases prominent political prisoners

Ethiopia has started releasing prominent political prisoners and journalists, according to the state broadcaster Fana Broadcasting Corporate (FBC). Opposition politician Andualem Arage and journalist Eskinder Nega are among 746 people who have been pardoned. Nega was jailed for 18 years on anti-terrorism charges in January 2012 over his links to an opposition group. "The prisoners will join the society after the President approved their list to be tabled by the Board of Pardon as well as receiving rehabilitation training," FanaBC reported.

Five killed by police at religous festival

At least five killed have been killed by the Ethiopian security forces at a religious festival in the northern town of Weldiya. Dozens more were wounded in the incident, which occurred during the second day of Epiphany celebrations. A large group of people were marching and chanting anti-government slogans when troops opened fire.

Oromo opposition leader released in Ethiopia

A jailed Oromo opposition leader has been freed following more than a year in detention. Merera Gudina, Oromo Federalist Congress (OFC), was pardoned following an announcement by Prime Minister Desalegn Hailemariam. Following his release, Merera said:  "I have never violated the law. I was a former member of parliament. I know the constitution and the law. I have been always respecting that."

Government to release political prisoners

Ethiopia's government has announced the pardon and release of political prisoners in the country. Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn said the decision was made after discussions within the ruling EPRDF coalition. The notorious Maekelawi Prison will also be closed and turned into a museum.

Scores killed in ethnic clashes, Oromia

At least 61 people have been killed in the latest outbreak of ethnic violence in Ethiopia's Oromia region. Members of the Somalis and Oromos have been fighting in the Hawi Gudina and Daro Lebu district since the end of last week. Local government spokesman Adisu Arega said 29 Oromos and 32 Somalis died in the clashes. Tens of thousands have been displaced by fighting in the region.

Social media blackout reported over Oromia ethnic clashes

A social media blackout has been reported across Ethiopia as ethnic clashes escalate in the southern Oromia region. Social media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook have been temporarily shut down on Tuesday after reports of violence involving security forces emerged in Chelengo town, where at least six people were reportedly killed. Thousands of people have already been displaced due to the long conflict between armed members of the Oromos ethnic group and neighbouring Somalis.

German tourist shot dead in north-eastern Ethiopia

A German tourist has been shot dead near the Erta Ale volcano in north-eastern Ethiopia. A guide was also wounded in the attack in the Afar region, close to the border with Eritrea. No group has claimed responsibility for the killing and Ethiopia's government said investigations are underway.

Twenty killed in ethnic clashes

At least 20 people were killed in ethnic clashes in Ethiopia last week, according to the government. Spokesperson Negeri Lenco said 98 people were also arrested in Oromia and five in the Somali region during the unrest. Thousands of people have fled fighting between armed members of the Oromos and Somalis this year.

Egypt warns Ethiopia over dam project

Egypt has warned Ethiopia over its Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam project. Cairo fears the construction on the Blue Nile, which will be Africa's largest hydroelectric dam, will cut water supply downstream. The Egyptian government said the two countries, along with Sudan, had failed to approve a study on the potential impact of the dam. “We are capable of protecting our national security and water to us is a question of national security," said Egypt's President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi.

Several killed as protests turn violent in Oromiya

At least five people have been killed when police officers reportedly opened fire at protesters in the Oromiya region, central Ethiopia. Police officers were deployed to Ambo on Thursday after demonstrators took to the streets to protest against sugar shortages. According to reports, officers fired live bullets at the protesters, while the definitive death toll has not yet been officially confirmed. The incident came days after nearly a dozen people were killed in tribal clashes in the same region. Last year, the government imposed a nine-month state of emergency - lifted in August - after a violent wave of unrest engulfed Ethiopia and led to more than 700 deaths.

Eleven killed in Oromiya clashes

Eleven people have been killed in the latest clashes to hit the Oromiya region of Ethiopia. A regional government official said eight ethnic Oromos and three Amharas died in the Buno Bedele zone last week. Around 700 people died during a mass outbreak of violence in the region last year, and ethnically-motivated attacks have continued throughout 2017.

Ten killed in latest Oromia unrest

At least 10 people have been killed and 30 others wounded in the latest unrest in the Oromia region. Government forces killed four people during a protest in the town of Soda, while three others died in Booke. In Shashemene a further three people were killed as thousands gathered to protest against the detention of political leaders.

Ethiopia's speaker of parliament resigns

The speaker of Ethiopia's parliament has confirmed his resignation.  Abadula Gemeda said he would outline the reasons behind his decision once the move was approved by the lower house. Gemeda is an ethnic Oromo and there are suggestions that he has resigned over the government's handling of the unrest in the Oromia region in recent years.

Government reviews eastern Ethiopia's conflict death toll

Officials have announced that the government has revised the death toll of the violent ethnic clashes in eastern Ethiopia. After initially reporting that at least 50 people were killed and 50,000 others were displaced along the Oromia border and the Somali regions, Information Minister Negeri Lencho has announced on Monday that the death toll reached hundreds on both sides. Lencho said: “We can say that hundreds of members of the Oromo ethnic group were killed and there were also deaths on the Somali side. We do not know exactly how many died.” Security measures in the region have been heightened after the federal government took over control.

Fifty killed in ethnic clashes

Fifty people have been killed and more than 50,000 displaced due to fighting along the border of Oromiya and Somali regions. Officials from both regions announced the impact of the fighting at the weekend, although both sides blame each other for the violence. On Sunday, Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn said soldiers had been deployed to the region to end the clashes and disarm residents. In 2015 and 2016 at least 669 people were killed in violence in the Oromiya region.

Deadly clashes erupt between Oromia and Somali militias

Hundreds of people have been displaced by clashes between rival state militias in eastern Ethiopia. Information Minister Negeri Lencho said 600 people had been forced to flee their homes due to fighting along the Oromia and Somali state borders. The army has been deployed to the area to disarm the militias and restore order, according to Lencho. 

Grenade wounds 13 in Jimma town

At least 13 people have been wounded after a grenade was thrown in the south-western town of Jimma. An assailant threw the device in the Laghar area on Thursday. The town's police inspector Fadil Mohamed said the injured, including a 10-year-old girl, were taken to Jimma University Referral Hospital for treatment. The motive for the attack has not yet been established, although a stay-at-home strike started in the region on Wednesday.

Fighting blocks key road between Addis Ababa to Jijiga

The main road between Addis Ababa and Jijiga has been blocked due to fighting. The US embassy in Ethiopia issues a warning in a statement: “The US Embassy is aware of reports that the main road from Addis Ababa to Jijiga has been blocked by security forces between the cities of Babile and Harar due to intense fighting including gunfire.” It is not clear which groups are involved in the fighting.

Finance minister arrested on suspicion of corruption

Ethiopia's finance minister has been arrested on suspicion of corruption. Alemayehu Gujo is the highest-ranking official to be detained as part of an anti-graft drive in the country.  More than 40 officials from the Ministry of Finance and Economic Cooperation have already been detained as part of the investigations.

Government lifts state of emergency

Ethiopia's government has lifted a 10-month state of emergency in the country.  Politicians voted to lift the measure on Friday, citing improved security conditions. The state of emergency was initially imposed in the Oromia and Amhara region last October following deadly anti-government protests.  More than 20,000 people were arrested on various charges during the period.

Tax-hike protests spreads to Addis Ababa

Protests against tax increases have spread to Ethiopia's capital, Addis Ababa, following days of unrest in the Oromia region.  Small businesses in the capital have closed in protest at the tax increases which came into effect on 7 July. The new tax targets businesses with an annual turnover of up to 100,000 Birr (around $4,300).

Ethiopian soldiers killed in heavy fighting

Ten Ethiopian soldiers were killed and several others wounded in fighting with the Ogaden National Liberation Army (ONLA) on Saturday.  The fighting took place in the village of Anfi in the Hamaro district.  The wounded troops were transported to hospitals in the town of Fik.

Internet access suspended during national exams

Internet access in Ethiopia remains limited as the government ordered a temporary shutdown on Tuesday. Networks were suspended during national exams period as a preventive measure to avoid potential leaks. The internet was previously blocked in 2016 after activists leaked national exams online. Landline and mobile phone services have not been affected.

Thirteen killed in military operations, Tara Gedam

At least 13 Ethiopian regime soldiers have been killed and five others have been wounded in ambush operations carried out by the Patriotic Ginbot 7 army in Tara Gedam. The operations targeted Ethiopian regime army camps in the South Gondar Zone of the Libokemkem district. A convoy of fuel trucks travelling from Sudan to the Ethiopian regime camps has also been targeted and destroyed.

UN demand independent inquiry into deadly unrests

The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights is pressuring Ethiopia to allow UN monitors to investigate alleged abuses during months of unrest in 2015 and 2016, where hundreds of people were killed in Oromiya and Amhara regions. Despite a government-sponsored report, the UN is requesting Ethiopia to allow international investigators into the country. According to Ethiopian authorities, 669 people were killed and 26,000 arrested during the wave of unrest that forced the country to be put under a state of emergency.

Ten jailed over dam project attack

An Ethiopian Federal High Court has jailed 10 members of the Benishangul Gumuz People’s Liberation Movement (BPLM) for their involvement in an attack on the Grand Ethiopian Rennaissance Dam (GERD).  Nine people were killed and four others were wounded in a grenade attack on the project, which is close to the Sudanese border.  The Ethiopian government said the BPLM are funded and trained by Eritrea, a claim which Asmara strongly denies.

Ethiopia extends state of emergency

Ethiopia has extended the state of emergency in the country for a further four months.  Defence minister Siraj Fegessa said the "extension is needed so as to take the prevailing relatively good peace and security situations to the point of no return."  The opposition claim that the emergency powers are being used to target their activities, including members of the Oromo ethnic group.  Hundreds of people have been killed by the security forces during protests in the Oromia region.

South Sudanese carry out deadly cross-border raids

Suspected South Sudanese gunmen have carried out a deadly cross-border raid in the Gambella region of Ethiopia.  At least 28 people were killed and 43 children kidnapped during the attack, which took place between 10 and 12 March.  A local spokesman said that more than 1,000 Murle tribespeople carried out the assault.

Rubbish dump landslide kills 113

At least 113 people have been killed in a landslide at a rubbish dump in Ethiopia's capital, Addis Ababa.  Around 150 people were at the dump at the time of the accident on Saturday night and many of them are still missing and feared dead.  Several makeshift houses were also destroyed in the landslide at the Koshe Garbage Landfill, the cause of which is not yet known.

Ethiopia's security forces clash with rebels near Renaissance Dam project

Ethiopia's security forces have clashed with alleged Eritrean-rebels near the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam in the Benshangul region.  Deputy government spokesman Zadig Abraha said "actions were taken" against 13 members of the Benshangul Peoples Liberation Movement on Wednesday evening.  Eritrea’s government denied any knowledge of the rebel group or the attack.  “This whole accusation is preposterous and peddled for some sinister reason,” Eritrean Information Minister Yemane Gebremeskel said.

Multiple grenade blasts reported in Gondar

Multiple grenade blasts have been reported in Gondar, northern Ethiopia. The explosions took place on Wednesday in the bordering area of Matema. One of the explosions was targeted at a cotton processing facility, reportedly owned by the ruling Tigrayan People's Liberation Front (TPLF), while another grenade went off in the Matema's Negade Bahir neighbourhood. No casualties have been reported, however authorities have blamed the attack on opposition militants. The incident comes days after one person was killed and 19 others injured at a hotel in Gondar.

Grenade explodes at Gondar hotel

A grenade has killed one person and wounded 19 others at a hotel in the northern city of Gondar.  The device exploded in the city on Tuesday night as football fans gathered to watch a game.  No group has claimed responsibility for the attack.

Grenade explodes outside Bahir Dar hotel

A grenade has exploded outside the Grand Hotel in Bahir Dar.  No injuries were reported following the blast, which occurred at around 20:00 on Wednesday.  Several government officials were at the hotel at the time of the blast; however, there was no immediate claim of responsibility.

Ethiopia jails 20 Muslims for seeking Sharia state

Ethiopia has jailed 20 Muslims for attempting to establish an Islamic state in the country.  The group, which includes two journalists, were charged under the country's controversial anti-terrorism laws.  “The defendants didn’t get a fair trial. In fact, we didn’t expect the court to give a fair verdict,” Mustafa Safi, the defendants’ lawyer, told The Associated Press. “They were subjected to both a mistrial and a bad treatment at the infamous Kilinto detention center. They were even unable to pray there. But we will appeal the sentencing anyway.”

Oromo leader arrested in Addis Ababa

An Ethiopian opposition leader from the restive Oromo region has been arrested in the capital, Addis Ababa.  Merera Gudina, chairman of the Oromo Federalist Congress, was arrested at his home shortly after returning from a meeting with the European Union (EU) in Brussels. "Police arrested him in his house the same day in the evening. We haven't been given reasons behind his arrest," said Gebru Gebremariam, deputy chairman of the Oromo Federalist Congress.

Tourists robbed in western Ethiopia

A group of foreign tourists have been targeted by armed robbers in western Ethiopia.  Six Slovaks and four Czech nationals were robbed while their Ethiopian driver was killed during the attack near Mizan Teferi, an administrative center of the Bench Maji Zone in Southern Nations, Nationalities and Peoples Region (SNNPR).  The Czech ministry of foreign affairs said the assailants were from the Surma tribe.

Ethiopian PM announces cabinet reshuffle

Ethiopia's prime minister, Hailemariam Desalegn, has announced a cabinet reshuffle in response to the ongoing civil unrest in the country.  A state of emergency has been in place after wave of violent clashes in the Oromia and Amhara areas of Ethiopia.  Opposition leader Tigistu Awelu praised the move, but warned: “However, the new ministers no matter their profiles cannot be successful unless there is a dynamic structural change in government workings.”

Eritrean pilots defect to Ethiopia

Two Eritrean pilots have defected to Ethiopia, according to an Eritrean opposition group.  "The two pilots flew their small-sized fighter jets to Mekelle on Wednesday morning," said Nasredin Ahmed Ali, spokesman for the Ethiopia-based Red Sea Afar Democratic Organization.  Mebrahtu Tesfamariam and Afework fissehaye flew their military aircraft to the northern Ethiopian city of Mekelle.  In 2012 two Eritrean military pilots secretly flew President Isaias Afewerki’s plane to Saudi Arabia, where they sought political asylum.

Ethiopia withdraws non-AMISOM troops from Somalia

Ethiopia has withdrawn troops from neighbouring Somalia, claiming a lack of international support for the fight against the al-Shabaab militant group.  “The troops are not under the AMISOM mandate and are unfortunately not supported in their efforts to assist the Somali National Army … The Somali National Army and the international community must take responsibility,” said communication minister Getachew Red.  The withdrawal will not affect the 4,400 troops operating under the AMISOM mandate

Ethiopian troops withdraw from Hiran region

On 11 October, Ethiopian troops serving the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) withdrew from a military base in el-Ali village in central Somalia's Hiran region after coming under artillery fire. They destroyed the base before abandoning the area. Al-Shabaab fighters have since taken control of the village. Security reports state that the withdrawal from el-Ali has made a large and strategic area vulnerable to occupation by militants. The reason for the withdrawal has not been disclosed, but various sources believe that it could be related to a need for more troops in Ethiopia following the declaration of a six-month state of emergency.

State of emergency declared in Ethiopia

The Ethiopian government has declared a state of emergency for the first time in 25 years following the recent wave of deadly protests by the Oromo and Amhara communities.  Hundreds of people have been killed in the unrest, including 55 people during clashes with police last week, while thousands more have been arrested.  The two ethnic groups, who make up 60 percent of the population, claim that they have been marginalised by a minority Tigrean elite.  "A state of emergency has been declared because the situation posed a threat against the people of the country," Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn said on Sunday.

US woman killed in attack during anti-government protests

On 5 October, a US woman was killed when stones were thrown at the van she was travelling in during an anti-government protest on the outskirts of Addis Ababa. The female passenger, working as an agricultural expert in the Oromia region, was reportedly hit by a stone thrown by unknown individuals and later died from her injuries. The group had not asked for police protection during their journey. 

Fifty-two people killed in stampede at religious festival in Oromia

On 2 October, a stampede at a religious festival in Bishoftu, in the Oromia region, killed at least 52 people. They were reportedly crushed to death after police fired tear gas and rubber bullets to disperse an anti-government protest that grew out of the festival celebrations. Several more were injured and taken to hospital. The Oromia regional government has stated that "those responsible will face justice."

Agaw Democratic Party leader and senior member arrested

On 12 September, the Agaw Democratic Party reported that the group's leader, Andualem Tilahun, and a senior party member, Beyilu Teshale, were arrested by the authorities on 29 August and have remained in custody since then. They were charged for allegedly inciting the public against the government, but the Agaw Democratic Party refutes this, claiming that the arrests are politically motivated to eliminate the opposition party in the region.  

Stay-at-home protest reaches third consecutive day in Amhara

For the third consecutive day the streets of the Ethiopia's north-western Amhara region are deserted due to an ongoing stay-at-home protest. Most government buildings and businesses remain shut down since they closed on Sunday as part of an anti-government demonstration. The stay-at-home protest was triggered by the successive killings carried out by Ethiopian security forces, who are responsible for the death of hundreds of people since July. The popular unrest was generated due to the alleged marginalization of Amhara and Oromia people by People's Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF), supported by the Tigrayan People's Liberation Front (TPLF).

Scores killed as anti-government protest turns violent in Oromiya

Dozens are reported dead during clashes between anti-government demonstrators and security forces during the weekend. Merera Gudiana, leader of the opposition Oromo People's Congress, told the AFP that "We have reports of between 48 to 50 protesters killed in Oromiya. This death toll may be higher because there were a lot of wounded".  Some claim that the police are unprepared to deal with such unrest, leading to the escalation of tension.. This is the second region to be engulfed by these protests which were triggered by a historical land dispute between Tigrayan and Amhara ethnics.

Dozens arrested amid ethnic unrest in Addis Ababa

Dozens of people were arrested amid renewed civil unrest across the weekend in Addis Ababa.  The rally was led by the opposition group from Oromo, who gathered at Meskel Square to demand equality and freedom. Oromo and Amhara ethnics, both compromising at least 80% of Ethiopian ethnic groups, have claimed that they suffer discrimination in favour of the Tigrayan, who occupy key government positions. The incident comes as part of a series of demonstrations where nearly a week ago Amhara ethnics joined an anti-government demonstration in Gondar.

Thousands join anti-government protests in Amhara

Tens of thousands of people took part in a mass-anti government protest in the Amhara region of Ethiopia on Sunday.  The rally in Gondar went ahead in defiance of an order by the Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) government.  The protesters condemned the government's brutal response to the protests in Oromo since last year.  Human Rights Watch released a report in June estimating that over 400 Oromo protesters were killed in November, 2015.

Ten killed during protests in northern Ethiopia

At least 10 people have been killed during several days of protests in northern Ethiopia.  Five police officers and civilians were among the victims of the violence, with local activists claiming the death toll was higher.  The unrest in the city of Gondar was sparked by anger at the arrest of members of the Welkait community and at the government's decision to administratively include the community and its land into the neighbouring Tigray Regional State. 

Four killed in fierce clashes in Addis Ababa

At least four people have been killed during clashes between the police and local residents in the suburbs of Ethiopia's capital, Addis Ababa. Two police officers and two other people were killed when authorities started to knock down illegally built houses in the Hanna Furi area in the west of the city. The government released a statement on Wednesday, claiming that the deaths were caused by "organized criminals". Eyewitnesses said police officers were attacked by local residents, who refused to be forcibly evicted from the more than 30,000 houses in the area.

Fighting erupts on Eritrea-Ethiopia border

Eritrea has accused Ethiopian troops of attack Eritrean positions along the two countries disputed border.  Residents near the Tsorona Central Front reported heavy fighting on Sunday, leading to families fleeing the area.  Ethiopia "unleashed an attack against Eritrea on the Tsorona Central Front. The purpose and ramifications of this attack are not clear," said the Eritrean government on Sunday.  Although the two countries agreed a peace deal in 2000 following a two-year border war, which killed around 80,000 people, it has not been fully implemented and diplomatic relations have not been restored.

Flooding kills dozens in Ethiopia

At least 50 people have been killed in flooding and landslides in Ethiopia following heavy rain.  Officials in the southern district of Wolaita said 41 people died in landslides on Monday, while nine people drowned in flooding in the south-eastern region of Bale.  The extreme rainfall comes as Ethiopia is struggling with the worst drought in 50 years, leaving more than 10 million people in urgent need of humanitarian assistance.

Gunmen kill scores near South Sudan border

Gunmen have killed at least 208 people and kidnapped more than 100 children in an attack near the border with South Sudan.  The cross-border raid occurred in the Gambella province on Friday, with Ethiopian officials claiming that the attackers were members of the Murle tribe in South Sudan.  Communications Minister Getachew Reda said Ethiopia's security forces had killed 60 of the assailants and are pursuing others.  He said troops would also cross into South Sudan if necessary.

Ethiopia scraps Addis Ababa expansion plans

Ethiopia's government has announced that it is scrapping plans to expands the capital, Addis Ababa, following a wave of deadly protests.  An estimated 140 people were killed by the security forces during the demonstrations, which were organised by the Oromo ethnic group, which are the largest in the country.  The protesters claimed the capital's expansion would result in the loss of land for Oromo farmers.

Ethiopian forces reportedly kill 140 protesters

The Human Rights Watch (HRW) activist group have stated that Ethiopian security forces have killed at least 140 people participating in mass anti-government demonstrations since November. The protests have arisen from fears that the government's plan to expand administrative control into the Oromia region will displace Oromo farmers.

Five killed in Oromia protests

At least five people have been killed in the latest protests against government plans to incorporate areas of farmland around the capital into a new business zone. Government spokesman Getachew Reda told Reuters that regional officials had so far named five dead but that this could rise as "armed gangs are terrorising civilians, killing government officials, unarmed security officers and farmers". Merara Gudina, chairman of the opposition Oromo Federalist Congress, said: "The list we have shows more than 30 people have been killed by police and soldiers trying to stop the protests."

Six wounded in mosque grenade attack

At least six people have been wounded in a grenade attack at a mosque in Ethiopia's capital, Addis Ababa.  The device was thrown at the Anwar Mosque in the city's Mercato district after Friday's prayers.  Government spokesman Getachew Reda said it was not clear who carried out the attack.

Opposition says police killed 10 student protesters

Ethiopia's opposition says police have killed 10 Oromo student protesters at peaceful demonstration.  Bekele Nega, the general secretary of the Oromo Federalist Congress said the students are opposed to government plans to integrate the capital, Addis Ababa, with surrounding towns.  The government said only four students had been killed and 20 police officers were wounded during the unrest.

Thousands join rally against IS killings in Libya

Thousands of people have joined a government organised rally against the killing of Ethiopians by Islamic State (IS) militants in Libya.  The event in Addis Ababa was called after parliament declared three days of national mourning to begin on Wednesday.  Clashes were reported at an earlier protest in the Cherkos neighbourhood of the city, which was dispersed by riot police using tear gas.

Nile agreement reached in Khartoum

The leaders of Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan have signed an agreement to settle a long-running dispute over the distribution of water from the Nile river.  The discussion centred on Ethiopia's controversial Grand Renaissance Dam project, which Cairo feared would reduce its supply of water. "I confirm the construction of the Renaissance Dam will not cause any damage to our three states and especially to the Egyptian people," Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn said at the signing ceremony. Egypt's President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi said "we have chosen cooperation, and to trust one another for the sake of development.

US warns of potential terrorist attack in Addis Ababa

The US Embassy in Ethiopia has warned of a possible terrorist attack in the capital, Addis Ababa.  In a statement the group said they had received threat reports about a planned attack by the Somali militant group al-Shabaab in the Bole area, which is popular with tourists. "Restaurants, hotels, bars, places of worship, supermarkets, and shopping malls in the Bole area should be avoided until further notice because they are possible targets for a potential imminent terrorist attack."

Nine bloggers charged with terrorism offenses

Nine Ethiopian journalists and bloggers detained for three months have been charged with terrorism offenses.  The group, who all work for the Zone Nine website, were accused of receiving financial aid from the outlawed Ginbot 7 group in order to destabilise the country when they were arrested in April.  Human Rights Watch (HRW) and the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) have both condemned the decision, claiming the government is misusing legislation to suppress political dissent.

Eleven student protesters killed in Oromia state

At least 11 students have been killed during days of clashes with police in Ambo in Oromia state.  The students began protesting at the end of April against a government plan to expand the capital, Addis Ababa, into Oromia.  One local witness told the BBC that as many as 47 people were killed in the clashes. 

100,000 Ethiopians expelled from Saudi Arabia

More than 100,000 Ethiopians have been sent back from Saudi Arabia following a violent crackdown on migrant workers.  Ethiopia's foreign minister Tedros Adhanom said a further 50,000 are still expected to return to the country.  The decision last month to end a seven-year amnesty led to violent protests both in Saudi Arabia and outside the Saudi embassy in Addis Ababa.

Anti-Saudi protests held in Ethiopia

Police have arrested dozens of people at a protest outside the Saudi Arabian embassy in the capital Addis Ababa.  The unrest was sparked by the Gulf kingdom's crackdown on its 9 million migrant workers, with around 500 Ethiopians forced to leave the country earlier this week.

Thousands join rare anti-government protest

Around 10,000 people have staged an anti-government protest in the Ethiopian capital, the first of its type since the post-election violence in 2005 that killed 200 people.  The demonstrators marched through the Arat Kilo and Piazza districts of Addis Ababa to demand the release of jailed journalists and activists.

Ethiopia claims to have foiled al-Shabaab kidnap plot

Ethiopia's intelligence agency claims to have foiled an al-Shabaab plot to kidnap UN workers in the country.   The National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS) said it had arrested eight militants, claiming that the accused wanted to abduct foreign members of the UN's World Food Programme in Ethiopia before taking them to Somalia to demand a ransom.

Ethiopia Data Sheet

Population:
91.2 million
Major Religion/s:
Christianity, Islam
International dialing code:
+251
International dialing prefix:
00
Emergency services:
Police 91, Medical 92, Fire 93
Drives:
Right
Voltage:
220V
Climate:
Tropical
Ohter Major Cities:
Dire Dawa, Mekele, Nazret
Borders:
Eritrea, Sudan, Djibouti, Somalia, Kenya, South Sudan