Washington, DC – Congressman Donald M. Payne, Chairman of the Subcommittee on Africa and Global Health, issued the following statement today:

donald_payne3.jpg“I am concerned over the continued targeting and imprisonment of innocent civilians by the Ethiopian government.

Ms. Birtukan Mideksa, one of the most prominent political leaders and a staunch human rights advocate, has been imprisoned for the second time by the Ethiopian government. Ms. Mideksa, a freedom fighter and a courageous leader, has faced untold suffering over the past several years.

I first met Ms. Mideksa in Kality prison in 2006. Ms. Birtukan Mideksa is on a hunger strike and unfortunately has been separated from her young child. “ Read more →

US warns woyanne new law could curtail aid

Written by AFP

ADDIS ABABA

The United States, Ethiopia’s main donor, warned Friday that a new law adopted by Addis Ababa restricting foreign-funded aid groups may curtail its assistance.

Under the new law, any group that draws more than 10 percent of its funding from abroad will be classified as foreign, and thus banned from working on issues related to ethnicity, gender, children’s rights and conflict resolution. “We recognise the importance of effective oversight of civil society organisations… However we are concerned this law may restrict US government assistance to Ethiopia,” a State Department statement said. Read more →

Donkeys boost Ethiopian literacy

Written by Elizabeth Blunt

BBC News, Awassa

In a bamboo and matting shelter on the edge of the town of Awassa, rows of tiny children are struggling with Ethiopia’s fiendishly complicated Amharic alphabet.

“Huh – HUH! Hoo – HOO! Hee – HEE! Ha – HA!” they chant in unision after their teacher.

Their teacher is a small boy, scarcely older than they are, but he moves his pointer confidently along the chart showing the 256 different characters, and the children shout back.

“Ma – MA! Meh – MEH! Mi -MI! Mo – MO!”

Children being taught the Amharic alphabet Read more →

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