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COVID-19: Rwanda makes EU “safe list”

The move follows a review under the recommendation on the gradual lifting of the temporary restrictions on non-essential travel into the EU.

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the European Union

According to a statement from the European Union Council on October 22, Rwanda has been listed by the European Union, among the countries on which Covid-19 travel restrictions into the EU territory should be gradually lifted.

The move follows a review under the recommendation on the gradual lifting of the temporary restrictions on non-essential travel into the EU.

Some of the criteria which the European Union considers for lifting travel restrictions on third countries (countries that are not members of the EU as well as countries whose citizens do not enjoy the European Union right to free movement) include their epidemiological situation and containment measures, including physical distancing, as well as economic and social considerations.

Some of the other countries from which the restrictions have been lifted are Singapore, South Korea, Australia, Japan, Uruguay, Thailand, and New Zealand.

This now means that Rwanda is the only country in African to feature on the list.

The EU Council’s statement, however, indicates that this list will continue to be reviewed regularly and, as the case may be, updated.

In addition, the statement also says that European Union Council recommendation is not a legally binding instrument.

To this end, the authorities of the member states are responsible for  implementing the content of the recommendation, where they may, in full transparency, lift only progressively travel restrictions towards the listed countries.

In the past few weeks, Rwanda has been reporting progress in the fight against Covid-19. As of today, Rwanda has recorded a total of 5,062 cases of which 4,806 have recovered and 34 have died.

East Africa News

Ethiopia Accuses Tigray Of Killing 600 People In Massacre

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Ethiopian Human Rights Commission has said investigations from the incident at Mai Kadra on the 9th of November showed that some Tigrayan youths killed 600 civilians.

The EHRC who are appointed by the state said the killings had ethnic leanings.

In its preliminary report, it said youths from Tigray, aided by the Police and local officials carried out door-to-door” raids, killing hundreds they identified as ethnic “Amharas and Wolkait.”

The EHRC describes itself as an “independent national” institution. It accused the TPLF alongside local Tigrayan militia and police security, of committing crimes against humanity, before they went back to their shell on the advance of Ethiopian forces.

Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed has not shifted base since the battle started. On Monday, he gave the TPLF a 72-hour ultimatum which has now expired as the Tigray officials stay rooted to their desires too.

Both forces have had daggers drawn since the 4th of November over issues that seem to have ethnic and political colouration.

Not less than 41,000 Ethiopian nationals have fled to neighbouring Sudan for safety as the conflict keeps intensifying.

On Wednesday, African Union envoys arrived Ethiopia, with Ahmed warning against international interference.

He has refused to dialogue with the TPLF and has warned Tigrayan civilians to persuade their leadership.

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East Africa News

Tigray Crisis: Ethiopian PM Warns Against International Interference

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Ethiopia’s Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed has warned the international community against interfering in its battle with Tigray.

The Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) and Ethiopian forces have been locked in a battle since the 4th of November.

Ahmed’s warning to the international community is coming on the back of the planned visit by Aftican Union Envoys. The AU has since called for a peaceful resolution as it tries to mediate in the running battle.

The Tigrayan crisis has seen TPLF forces and the Ethiopian Army exchange hostilities. At least, 41,000 Ethiopians have been forces to leave for Sudan. The UN says that number will rise to 1million should the war last long for 6 months.

Ethiopian and Tigrayan forces have laid claims to taking pounds of flesh from each other, as civilians continue to live in fear.

The UN has warned the Ethiopian government against hurting civilians in Mekelle, Tigray capital with over 500,000 residents. Ahmed has insisted that there will be no dialogues between Ethiopia and the TPLF.

Ethiopia is the second most populous country in Africa and the most populous in the Horn of Africa.

The international community has warned the warring parties about the economic dangers of a war in the country.

Tigray, the northern part of Ethiopia with aboutn5 million residents, is the politically strongest region in the world.

The TPLF accused Ethiopia of bias when it postponed the Presidential election in August over COVID-19.

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East Africa News

Ethiopia, Tigray Forces Claim Victory As US Wades Into Crisis

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Tents belonging to Ethiopian refugees fleeing from the ongoing fighting in Tigray region, are seen at the Um-Rakoba camp, on the Sudan-Ethiopia border, in the Al-Qadarif state, Sudan November 23, 2020. Picture taken November 23, 2020. REUTERS/MOHAMED NURELDIN ABDALLAH/FILE PHOTO

Ethiopian government has said Tigrayan forces are surrendering in the face of an advancing country army. The TPLF forces has however rejected this and said they are on course for victory in their battle against Ethiopia, revealing they struck an important army division.

The Ethiopian government and Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) have had daggers drawn for almost a month.

Hundreds, comprising Ethiopians and Tigrayans have died since the conflict started. According to Reuters, at least 41,000 Ethiopian refugees are in Sudan.

The crisis has seen the African Union calling for a quick resolution between the warring parties.

On Monday, Ethiopian Prime Minister, Abiy Ahmed gave the TPLF forces 72 hours to surrender or suffer a wreck. The UN in an instant reaction warned Ethiopia that it has the responsibility of protecting civilians and aid workers in the country.

FILE PHOTO: Debretsion Gebremichael, Tigray Regional President, attends the funeral ceremony of Ethiopia’s Army Chief of Staff Seare Mekonnen in Mekele, Tigray Region, Ethiopia June 26, 2019. REUTERS/Tiksa Negeri

Mekelle, the Tigrayan capital has about 500,000 inhabitants and they have been threatened with shelling if the TPLF forces fail to surrender.

TPLF leader Debretsion Gebremichael on Tuesday argued against the government version that Mekelle is encircled at a roughly 50km (31 mile) distance. He said it was plan of the government to run for cover when struck.

The United States has now reacted to the ongoing conflict and has advised that both parties sheathe their sword and embrace an amicable resolution. The US has also backed planned mediation of the African Union in the matter.

Abiy Ahmed has been accused of ethnic bias against the northern Tigray people. Ahmed, a Nobel Peace Prize winner comes from the Amhara group and has denied claims by Tigrayans linking his leadership to ethnic preference.

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