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Ethiopian PM Abiy Ahmed to avoid questions at Nobel Peace Prize in Oslo1 minute read

Events kick off with meetings at the Nobel Institute and a large press conference with the Peace Prize winner

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Ethiopian PM Abiy Ahmed to avoid questions at Nobel Peace Prize in Oslo

The Norwegian Nobel Committee is grappling with challenges just days before the winner of this year’s Nobel Peace Prize arrives in Oslo.

Ethiopia’s Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed has made it clear he won’t attend any event where he could publicly be asked questions, either by the press or even children, and the committee finds that “highly problematic.”

Olav Njølstad, Director of the Norwegian Nobel Institute and secretary for the committee that annually awards the Peace Prize, told Norwegian Broadcasting that the Nobel Institute and the Nobel Committee wishes Abiy Ahmed had said ‘yes’ to meeting Norwegian and international press.

READ: Zaid Aregawi says “we don’t see the peace” in query of Abiy’s Nobel prize win

Ahmed’s decision to avoid any events in which he’d need to answer questions has thus resulted in a highly amputated program for the “Nobel Peace Prize Days” that should begin in Oslo on Monday, December 9.

Events traditionally kick off with meetings at the Nobel Institute with committee members and a large press conference with the Peace Prize winner that’s broadcast live.

For the first time in many years, the Nobel press conference has been cancelled, as have traditional in-depth interviews usually conducted by NRK, the BBC and Al Jazeera.

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East Africa News

Nine airlifted from Mogadishu to Turkey following terrorist attack

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Nine people injured in a car bomb attack that occurred on Saturday in Afgoye, thirty kilometres north west of Somalia’s capital Mogadishu, were airlifted to Turkey on Tuesday morning for treatment. The airlift is the second medical evacuation of bomb attack victims in less than four weeks. Twenty one people were injured in the Afgoye attack that targeted Turkish construction workers who were having lunch with local police.

Turkey’s ambassador to Somalia, Mehmet Yilmaz confirmed that the nine to receive treatment in Turkey are three Turkish nationals and six Somalis. 

While speaking at a news conference in Mogadishu, he reiterated that his country would continue to support Somalia despite a spate of recent attacks by Islamist group… al-Shabaab. 

“This will not stop us from helping Somalia. We shall continue to work. Somalia and Turkey have good relations,” Yilmaz said.

A separate group of Turkish engineers constructing a road were among those hurt in a bombing that killed at least ninety people in December 2019.

On this matter, Somali Prime Minister, Hassan Ali Khaire, met with the Turkish ambassador to Somalia and other officials in Mogadishu. He assured of his government’s commitment to providing adequate security for Turkish nationals.

“We thank our Turkish brothers for their support. The Somali government will take any action necessary to ensure the security of Turkish nationals,” Hassan Ali Khaire said.

Turkey has been a major donor to the Horn of Africa nation since 2011. It is involved in various initiatives such as military training, infrastructure development of roads, hospitals and amenities as well as other donor efforts.

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East Africa News

U.S. conducts airstrike against al-Shabaab

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The U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM), in support of the Federal Government of Somalia, conducted an airstrike against al-Shabaab terrorists who engaged the Somali National Army, Danab Unit, near Bangeeni on Sunday, January 19. According to a statement from AFRICOM, the airstrike killed three militants.   

“This airstrike targeted al-Shabaab fighters who pose a direct, immediate, and significant threat to our partner forces,” said Maj. Gen. William Gayler, the director of operation, U.S. Africa Command. “Al-Shabaab consists of terrorists and criminals who seek to export hate and violence more broadly. We remain committed to supporting our Somali partners and the security progress; together we are building in the region.”   

The US military unit stationed in Africa aims to provide auxiliary support to the government of Somalia and the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) to increase security and seize ground from the al-Qaeda-aligned al-Shabaab.

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East Africa Politics News

Embakasi East MP, Babu Owino pleads “not guilty” to attempted murder

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Kenyan Member of Parliament for the Embakasi East Constituency recently found himself caught in the crosshairs of the justice system, following an incident in the wee hours of Friday morning. Babu Owino was seen on surveillance footage drawing a gun and allegedly shooting one Felix Orinda, popularly known as DJ Evolve, in the neck. The incident occured at B-Club, a popular night club in Nairobi.

In the surveillance videos, DJ Evolve was also seen being dragged out of the club. He was taken to Nairobi Hospital shortly after the shooting for a quick surgery to remove the bullet lodged in his neck. He is currently in a stable condition.

The controversial, outspoken legislator spent the weekend behind bars over the incident and will be remanded for another seven days pending a pre-bail report, Chief Magistrate Francis Andayi ruled on Monday morning. The magistrate called for the victim’s evidence to be presented in court before a determination is made on Babu Owino’s bail. The state, through prosecutor Jacob Ondari, registered its opposition to his release on bail, citing concerns that the MP may interfere with witnesses during investigations. A request by Owino’s lawyer, Cliff Ombeta to hold him at a police station and not in prison was also denied. He has pleaded not guilty to the charge of attempted murder.

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