Thursday, January 28

US Says Eritrean Forces Should Leave Tigray Immediately

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NAIROBI - The United States says all soldiers from Eritrea should leave Ethiopia's embattled Tigray region "immediately." A State Department spokesperson in an email to The Associated Press late Tuesday cited "credible reports of looting, sexual violence, assaults in refugee camps and other human rights abuses." "There is also evidence of Eritrean soldiers forcibly returning Eritrean refugees from Tigray to Eritrea," the spokesperson said. The statement reflects new pressure by the Biden administration on the government of Ethiopia, Africa's second-most populous country with 114 million people and the anchor of the Horn of Africa, and other combatants as the deadly fighting in Tigray nears the three-month mark. The AP this week cited witnesses who fled the Tigray region as sayi...

Mourners Pay Last Respects to Former Ghana President on Wednesday

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Ghanaians will pay their last respects to former President Jerry Rawlings Wednesday in the capital, Accra, where his funeral is being held. Rawlings, who was 73-years old, died in November of last year, but his cause of death has not been made public. He was expected to be buried last month, but the delay was partly because Ghana's political leaders disagreed on some logistics of his funeral. Rawlings was widely viewed as an advocate for the poor, with a checkered past in Ghana, having staged two coups and led a military junta before being democratically elected president in 1992.  Rawlings won a second four-year term in office in 1996. Rawlings held sway for two decades in Ghana, wielding influence even after leaving office, helping President Nana Akufo-Addo get elected for th...

South African President Urges Wealthy Nations Not to Hoard COVID-19 Vaccines

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South African President Cyril Ramaphosa said Tuesday wealthy countries should not hold onto excess stockpiles of COVID-19 vaccines, and that the world needs to work together to fight the pandemic. Ramaphosa told a virtual meeting of the World Economic Forum that those who have hoarded vaccines need to release them “so that other countries can have them.” "The rich countries of the world went out and acquired large doses of vaccines,” Ramaphosa said.  “Some countries even acquired up to four times what their population needs ... to the exclusion of other countries." The South African leader said the world is not safe if some countries are vaccinating their people, but others are not. Fighting emerging strains U.S. pharmaceutical company Moderna said Monday its COVID-19 vaccine a...

Departing US Envoy Warns Ethiopia Against Violence

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ADDIS ABABA - Calling Ethiopia “the critical actor in Horn of Africa stability,” outgoing U.S. Ambassador to Ethiopia Michael Raynor voiced confidence in a strengthened bilateral relationship but warned that violence – especially in the northern Tigray region – threatens the country’s progress. “We remain concerned about ethnic violence around the country and the threat it poses to achieving the country’s potential,” Raynor said of Ethiopia, speaking at a press conference Monday in Addis Ababa, the capital. It was Raynor’s final news briefing as ambassador, a post he has held since September 2017. He has focused on Africa for many of his 30-plus years as a diplomat. Rivalries among some of Ethiopia’s 80 ethnic groups have spawned deadly violence, including the Jan. 12 killings of ...

HM The Sultan Greets Governor-General of Australia

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Muscat, His Majesty Sultan Haitham Bin Tarik has sent a cable of greetings to David Hurley, Governor-General of Australia on the occasion of his country's National Day.   In the cable, His Majesty expressed his sincere greetings and best wishes of good health and happiness to the Governor-General of Australia, and the friendly Australian people further progress and prosperity.   Source: Oman News Agency

HH Sayyid Shihab Receives Bangladeshi Ambassador

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Muscat, HH Sayyid Shihab bin Tarik bin Taimour al-Said, Deputy Prime Minister for Defense Affairs received in his office at Al Murtafaa Camp today Mizanur Rahman, Ambassador of the People's Republic of Bangladesh to the Sultanate.   The two sides exchanged cordial conversation and reviewed the relations between the two friendly countries. They also discussed matters of common concern.   Source: Oman News Agency