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Gunmen kill nine in Ethiopia truck attack

Gunmen opened fire on a truck in western Ethiopia Wednesday, killing nine people and injuring seven, the information ministry said. "Unidentified armed men opened fire on a truck carrying 28 people, killing nine on board," it said in a statement. The motive for the attack was not known, but officials said they were investigating the attack, which took place in the remote Benishangul region, about 400 kilometres (250 miles) northwest of Addis Ababa. The attack took place near the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam, set to be Africa's largest hydroelectric project.

Ethiopia Christian group to stage anti-gay demo

An Ethiopian religious group on Thursday announced plans to stage an anti-gay rally this month to protest what it called "rising incidents" of homosexuality in the conservative Horn of Africa nation. The initiative comes after Uganda and Nigeria recently passed tough anti-gay laws, although Ethiopian authorities said they were "indifferent" to the demonstration. "The country has seen an increase in gay-related activities and this has reached an alarming stage," said Dereje Negash, the head of a Christian Association, Woyniye Abune Teklehaimanot.

Ethiopia spies on citizens with foreign technology

Ethiopia is using foreign technology to spy on citizens suspected of being critical of the government, Human Rights Watch said in a report released Tuesday. The report accused the government of using Chinese and European technology to survey phone calls and Internet activity in Ethiopia and among the diaspora living overseas, and HRW said firms colluding with the government could be guilty of abuses.

Kenya bails police accused of seizing Ethiopian rebels

Two Kenyan police officers were released on bail Thursday after they denied kidnapping two Ethiopian rebels in the Kenyan capital. Magistrate Doreen Mulekyo freed the two, an inspector and a constable from the criminal investigations department, against a bond of 2 million Kenya shillings ($23,000) each. They were accused of kidnapping two senior officials of the Ogaden National Liberation Front (ONLF) of Ethiopia, Ali Ahmed Hussein and Sulub Abdi Ahmed, at a restaurant in Nairobi on January 26.

Japan announces $11.6 mil. in aid for Ethiopia to help refugees

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe announced on Monday that Japan will provide financial aid worth $11.6 million (1.2 billion yen) to Ethiopia to help refugees in neighboring countries affected by civil war. Abe, on the last leg of his Middle East and Africa trip, also agreed with Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn during their talks to bolster bilateral economic ties in a way that will encourage more Japanese companies to operate in the African country.

Japan to announce aid for Ethiopia to help refugees

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe plans to announce on Monday that Japan will provide financial aid to Ethiopia to help refugees in neighboring countries affected by civil war, Japanese officials said. Abe, on the last leg of his Middle East and Africa trip, will also agree with Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn during their talks to bolster bilateral economic ties in a way that will encourage more Japanese companies to operate in the African country, the officials said.

Ethiopia brings home 140,000 migrants from Saudi

Ethiopia has brought home close to 140,000 citizens from Saudi Arabia, the International Organization for Migration said Wednesday, a month after the oil-rich kingdom started deporting undocumented migrants. Thousands are continuing to arrive daily from Saudi Arabia, where a seven-month amnesty period for migrants expired in November and where Ethiopia says three of its nationals were killed in police clashes as the migrants prepared to leave.

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Ethiopian police torture political detainees: Human Rights Watch

ADDIS ABABA (Reuters) - Ethiopian police investigators in Addis Ababa's main detention center have tortured political detainees and regularly mistreat people in custody to extract confessions, Human Rights Watch (HRW) reported on Friday. The Ethiopian government, long seen by the West as a bulwark against militant Islam in the Horn of Africa, has denied frequent accusations that it uses state institutions to stifle dissent and silence political opposition.

Sole opposition MP says Ethiopia bottling up strife

By Edmund Blair ADDIS ABABA (Reuters) - Girma Seifu Maru, Ethiopia's sole opposition politician in a 547-seat parliament, says the authorities risk provoking social unrest if they do not offer more political space to critical voices. The 47-year-old economist and consultant said his party, Unity for Democracy and Justice (UDJ), is pushing for greater openness with a petition against an anti-terror law that critics say is used to stifle dissent, and by a campaign of protests.
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