Thursday, November 2, 2017
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For the first time, a WCC delegation went to the Eritrean Orthodox Tewahdo Church last month. Dr. Nigussu Legesse, the council's program executive and convener for Africa, and Ecumenical Relations head Fr. Daniel Buda led the delegation, Africa News detailed.
The WCC delegation and officials from the Eritrean Church held synod meetings during the visit. They also went to historic monasteries and archaeological sites in the area.
"We came here with great expectations and we are looking forward to having constructive dialogue and encounters with the Eritrean Orthodox Church which is our WCC member church here in Eritrea and with other churches, religious communities and state authorities," Dr. Legesse shared.
The border dispute between the two countries sparked in 1993 when Eritrea got its independence from Ethiopia. Morocco tried to mediate between the two nations in 2000, but the border demarcation deal that was created that time still has not been fully implemented. The issue led to a two-year war in 1998 which left around 70,000 dead.
Meanwhile, Ethiopia has released two Eritrean TV reporters after more than 10 years of being imprisoned. Sources told Voice of America's Horn of Africa service that cameraman Tesfaldet Kidane and show host Salih Gama were freed a few days ago.
Kidane and Gama were arrested in December 2006 at the border between Kenya and Somalia during the time that Ethiopia invaded Somalia. In April 2007, the Foreign Ministry of Ethiopia reportedly identified them as among the 41 terror suspects who were captured, but they were never formally charged, nor were they tried in court.
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"A United Kingdom (U.K.) court has charged an Ethiopia-born management lecturer over nine counts of terrorism offences. Tadesse Kersmo fled from Ethiopia in 2009 and sought asylum in the U.K. He was later granted British citizenship. Westminster Magistrates Court judge, Emma Arbuthnot, granted Kersmo a bail of $32,000 along with other release conditions. He is due back in the Central Criminal Court in two weeks, the BBC reports. He is affiliated with the opposition group, Ginbot 7, which is banned in Ethiopia. Among the accusations he faces are, receiving training in Eritrea and holding terrorism-related information like texts on sniper training and guerilla warfare. Kersmo who was arrested during his return to the United Kingdom in January told reporters that he was innocent of the charges. The case is the first such in relation to an Ethiopian opposition member outside of the country. The regime in Addis Ababa has received flak from rights groups that accuse them of stifling dissent and cracking down on political opposition and the media. The United Nations, the European Union and other European governments have continued to push for political reforms in the country. The government also imposed a state of emergency in October last year as part of efforts to quell spreading anti-government protests. Most conditions of the state of emergency have since been relaxed but it was extended for three months after expiry in April this year."
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