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Ethiopia’s Oromo leader meets German envoy over political developments.

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Barely two weeks after criminal charges against him were dropped and he was released from prison, Dr. Merera Gudina, a leading opposition member in Ethiopia has hit the ground running.

Gudina, leader of the Oromo Federalist Congress (OFC) has been talking and acting politically since his release from jail on January 17, 2018.

The German Embassy in Addis Ababa shared photos of Gudina meeting with the Ambassador on Thursday January 25. “Both had a fruitful discussion about current political developments in Ethiopia.

“The Ambassador expressed Germany’s relief about Dr Merera’s release. She also expressed Germany’s gratitude for his relentless and peaceful commitment to fostering Ethiopia’s democracy.

“Dr Merera thanked the Ambassador for the continuous support that Germany has rendered to his case. He encouraged Germany to continue its contributions to finding a lasting solution to the political challenges of the country,” the Embassy’s social media handle said.

Local media showed him at the offices of the OFC with other leaders of the party.

Gudina, an academic and former lawmaker, became a central figure around anti-government sentiments. He was arrested in December 2016 after he returned home from an European tour where he addressed the EU parliament over political events back home.

The government said he was arrested for flouting a state of emergency provision by meeting anti-government elements on his tour. His initial terrorism charge was downgraded to multiple criminal charges last year.

Addis Ababa released him after the ruling EPRDF coalition decided early January 2018 to drop charges against some category of politician detainees as a means of fostering national unity. Gudina and about 500 others were released on January 17, 2018.

He has since stressed that until the government engages in meaningful dialogue with the main opposition parties, it was just a matter of time before a new round of protests break out.

Motherland News

Families Identify Church Collapse Victims in Anguish

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Tears and anguish characterized the atmosphere as the grieving families of 13 worshipers killed in a church collapse arrived at the Richards Bay mortuary to identify the bodies of their loved ones.

The worshipers died when a wall collapsed at the Pentecostal Holiness Church near Empangeni in northern KwaZulu-Natal last Thursday night.

The KwaZulu-Natal Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs Department co-ordinated with various departments including health, home affairs and the police, to assist in speeding up the body identification process.

Six worshippers were from Ulundi, four from eSikhawini and three from Maqwakazi in uMlalazi.

Describing the collapse, Phumelele Simelane from eSikhawini said worshippers had just had their evening meal and were preparing to sleep when the wall caved in.

Simelane was with her 6-year-old son, who is recovering in hospital. She said she came to the mortuary to support congregants whose relatives died.

The Mthembu family, who lost grandmother Thembi Mthabela, 54, and Andiswa Mthembu, 10, in the tragedy were overcome with grief.

“Thembi loved going to church and she always took Andiswa with her. Andiswa was doing Grade 3 at Nyathini Primary School. As a family, we are very traumatised and it is hard for us,” said a relative, who did not wanted to be named.

Buhle Mzila, whose sister Samke, 33, died, said the family had lost a breadwinner.

Samke, who worked at the Ulundi Municipality, was with her 9-year-old daughter during the incident.

Buhle said her niece, who was in hospital, was in a state of shock about her mother’s death.

“Samke loved the church, she always made sure she attended every service. She played a big role in terms of assisting the family. We are still going to feel her absence,” said Buhle.

A sobbing Mbongeni Langa said his mother had died in a “place she loved”.

The memorial service will be held tomorrow

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Motherland News

CAF Sidelines Nigerian Centre Referees for 2019 AFCON

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Out of the Twenty-seven centre referees penciled down for the 2019 African Cup of Nations, countries like Burundi, Mali, Zambia and Sudan are represented on the list, but no Nigerian referee was selected for the big occasions.

However, only one assistant referee from Nigeria named Baba Adel was listed among the twenty-nine assistant referees selected by the African Football Governing Body.

The competition will be held from 21 June to 19 July 2019, as per the decision of the CAF Executive Committee on 20 July 2017.

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