The Ethiopian government has accused forces of the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) of firing rockets at two cities in a neighbouring state.
The state-run Ethiopian News Agency (ENA) quoted the Ethiopia State of Emergency task force as saying that late Friday, rockets were fired towards the cities of Bahir Dar and Gondar in the Amhara Region.
As a result, it said the airport areas were damaged.
“The TPLF junta is repairing and utilising the last of the weaponry within its arsenals. This is indicative of TPLF’s last resort attempts to maintain control,” the State of Emergency task force said.
It added that details of the incident were currently under investigation and further details would be provided accordingly.
Regional and political tensions have risen since 2018 when newly-elected Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed merged several ethnically-based regional parties into a single national force, amid an ambitious reform programme.
Violence erupted at the start of the month in Tigray involving federal and local forces, following the reported takeover of an army base in the Tigrayan capital, Mekelle, which prompted the prime minister to order a military offensive.
Prior to the Tigray escalation, dozens of people in western Oromia region were killed and injured in attacks.
The Ethiopian Federal Government has also declared a six-month state of emergency in the Tigray Region, whose government is controlled by TPLF.
The African Union (AU) is among organisations and countries that have appealed for the immediate cessation of hostilities.
Ethiopia, Tigray Forces Claim Victory As US Wades Into Crisis
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.
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.
Eight Die, 70,000 Displaced In Somalia As Cyclone Gati Rages
Tropical Cyclone Gati, which made landfall on 22 November in Puntland’s Bari region in Somalia, has displaced 70,000 people, the UN says.
The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said in news dispatch that the heavy rains and strong winds triggered flash floods along coastal and inland areas.
The hardest hit were 13 villages in the region.
Through its media wing, Reliefweb, the UN agency quoting local authorities, said eight people have been killed and an unknown number injured.
In Xaafuun and Hurdiya villages, about 15,000 people have been displaced to higher grounds within their neighbourhoods.
Massive damage to property and roads is reported. Telecommunication services have also been affected, especially in Xaafuun, Hurdiya and Baarmadowe.
In addition, shipping and fishing activities along the coastal areas of Bari and the Gulf of Aden have been disrupted, Reliefweb said in a situation update.
An estimated 30 fishermen who were at sea before the cyclone alert was issued were yet to be accounted for by Monday, 23 November.
The FAO-Somalia Water and Land Information Management (SWALIM) warned that the severity of the storm could increase as it passes over Somalia.
According to SWALIM, the storm poses an immediate threat to the shipping lane that links Somalia and the Gulf states.
Rapid assessments are being planned to determine actual needs and humanitarian partners are mobilising prepositioned stocks to assist affected people.
Local authorities and humanitarian partners are mobilising resources to assist people who have been hardest hit by the storm.
Humanitarian partners and Puntland authorities are planning responses beginning with a rapid assessment of needs in the affected areas.
In Somaliland, the National Disaster Preparedness and Food Reserve Authority has circulated precautionary messages and coastal guards are on stand by in case of evacuation.
In the coastal areas of Galmudug, local authorities and humanitarian partners are monitoring the situation.
How Kenya is Leading Africa’s Geothermal Energy Production
For any economy to reach maximum potential, energy production has to be optimum.
Its importance is depicted by the huge sum of money countries spend on producing energy for businesses, households and to power the nation.
No nation thrives without energy and that made Kenya’s ambitious target nine years ago a welcome idea.
In six years, Kenya has moved closer to seeing all its households have electricity supply through optimal geothermal energy production.
Since that same period, production has been three times higher than its previous best. From a previous figure of 198 Megawatts (MW), the country has produced 672MW and has provided electricity for 500,000 households.
The Menengaï Geothermal Development Project, with $108 million in funding from the African Development Bank, has helped to add another 105 MW of geothermal production capacity to the national electricity grid, with three private companies involved in the process.
For the project, 50 wells were targeted for the generation of maximum steam to produce more than 100 MW. Also, 49 wells had been drilled through the end of November 2019, generating a capacity of 169.9 MW.
Kenya is aiming higher than its estimated capacity and the results have been overwhelming. In addition to the wells and energy , CO2 emissions are expected to be reduced by 600,000 tonnes from 2022.
The Menengaï Geothermal Energy Project saw 94 staff members receiving training in drilling, contracting and financing, as well as health and safety management.
Women Powering Kenya’s Energy
Not less than 44% of trained members are women. In addition, 249 staff members of the Geothermal Development Society, including 93 women, received group training. The construction of the power plant benefits about 500,000 Kenyans, including 70,000 in rural areas of the country, as well as businesses and industries. More than 600 jobs have been created.
“The ultimate goal of the project was to help Kenya overcome severe electricity shortages caused by variability of hydropower generation, which forced the country to resort to expensive backup thermal production between 2011 and 2012, and which continued through 2018,” according to a Bank project completion report.
The dream, which was conceived in 2011 is on its way to becoming a reality and the country hopes to soon power its neighbouring African countries.
The adoption of the Low-Cost Electricity Development Plan for 2011-2031 was seen as a very ambitious plan for the country but work has gone into the belief.
The development plan was updated in 2017 as power generation capacity rose from 1,227 MW in 2010 to 3,751 MW in 2018.
While the nation is yet to meet its local demands, it is charting an exemplary course in the generation of geothermal energy.
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