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Ethiopia bomb blast to get FBI experts’ attention from U.S.

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The United States will send experts from the Federal Bureau of Investigation to Ethiopia to investigate a bomb blast that took place during a rally on Saturday, state-affiliated media said on Monday.

Fana Broadcasting Corporation quoted Under Secretary of Commerce Gilbert Kaplan as making the remark on Monday during his talks with Ethiopia’s minister of foreign affairs.



Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed survived the grenade attack on Saturday at a massive rally in support of his push for radical political and economic reforms, including a peace deal with regional arch-enemy Eritrea.

The United States issued a statement on Friday welcoming Ethiopia’s decision to resolve a border a dispute with Eritrea, saying it ‘looks forward to a normalisation of relations’ between the two countries.

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In his meeting with the Ethiopian foreign affairs minister, Kaplan expressed the United States support for economic reforms made by Abiy’s government including the liberalisation of the economy.

Ethiopia recently announced that it would privatise previously state owned entities including the telecommunications company and the lucrative Ethiopain Airlines.

Kaplan said the U.S. was optimistic about the potential for increased bilateral trade and investment, as the economy is liberalised.

According to the Ethiopian Investment Commission (EIC), as of March 2018, there were nearly 251 U.S. investment projects active in Ethiopia.

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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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