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Eritreans, Ethiopians enjoy benefits as border reopens.

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Trade, transport and peace are some of the early benefits that Eritreans and Ethiopians are enjoying, following Tuesday’s re-opening of border points between the two countries.

Kjetil Tronvoll, a Norwegian professor who follows developments in the Horn of Africa region tweeted on Friday that Eritrean were flocking markets in Adigrat and Mekelle to buy commodities like cement.



He added that buses could now cross without any border control.

‘‘Local trade is re-flourishing as Eritreans and Ethiopians trade with no currency exchange issues. Birr-Nakfa exchanged on parity on the ground. Very positive dev – but need institutionalization.

The war that broke out in 1998 over the border and other issues killed an estimated 80,000 people before fighting ended in 2000 in a contested peace deal.

Tensions burned on over the position of the frontier until Ethiopia’s prime minister, Abiy Ahmed, offered to end the military standoff this year as part of a package of reforms that have reshaped the political landscape in the Horn of Africa and beyond.

Thousands of people from both countries, including soldiers waved Eritrean and Ethiopian flags, as they followed the border opening ceremony on Tuesday in Zalambessa.

Zalambessa, a town located on the Ethiopian border is part of the Misraqawi Zone of the Tigray region. It is about 42 kilometers north of Adigrat.

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Adigrat is the last important Ethiopian city south of the border with Eritrea, and is considered to be a strategically important gateway to Eritrea and the Red Sea.

The plan this week was announced that they merge with the Oromo Federalist Congress party ‘ to represent Oromia and the Oromia people’s interests’.

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Crime

Ethiopia : 36 spy officers enter detention over corruption, rights abuses.

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After five months of investigations, Ethiopian authorities have arrested over thirty officials of the intelligence services, the attorney general Berhanu Tsegaye told reports on Monday.

According to him, the 36 officials currently being held have questions to answer over human rights abuses and alleged corruption. The officials were detained over the weekend, he added.



Local media portals quotes him as revealing grim details of rights violations on especially Ethiopians suspected and detained in connection with terrorism.

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He said investigators have uncovered 7 illegal dungeons in Addis Ababa, used purposefully to torture victims. Some of the actions of the detained officials led to death, rape and castration in some cases.

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He also gave details with regards to the case of a bombing at a pro-Abiy rally in Addis Ababa.

The third detailed corruption within the business wing of the Ethiopian National Defence Forces’ commercial wing.

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Motherland News

Uganda: Raging fire kills nine students in boarding School.

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Nine students died after fire engulfed a dormitory at a secondary school in southern Uganda early Monday, police said, one of the deadliest in a string of conflagrations at schools across the country in recent years.

Police spokesman Patrick Onyango said, the nine male students died when the blaze erupted at a dormitory that housed about 130 students at St. Bernard Maya secondary school in a district near the border with Tanzania.



Security personnel, Onyango said, suspect the fire was started deliberately by a group of students who had been expelled days earlier from the same school over indiscipline.

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It is suspected that they could be the ones that set the school on fire because of anger. They came back between midnight and 1 a.m. (local time Monday) and set the school ablaze,” he said.

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Our investigation is along that line because that is what we suspect happened.”

Other students were injured in the fire and had been rushed to nearby health facilities but Onyango said he was yet to establish their number.

Fire outbreaks at schools, mostly in dormitories, have become more frequent, often leaving buildings and students’ personal effects reduced to ashes.

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