ethiopiantimes

June 10, 2014

Mubarak tried to assassinate Meles Zenawi


Praised Mohammed Hassanein Heikal, the journalist and writer, policy adopted by the late President Gamal Abdel Nasser, toward Africa, saying: «Egypt contributed to reign in support of African liberation movements, and has set up an organization of African unity», adding that Abdel Nasser was well aware of the value of Africa, therefore resorted to the establishment of good relations with Ethiopia, he said.

The structure in statements to the «Egypt where? .. And Egypt to where?», Which displays on the TV «CBC», on Thursday, that the deterioration of Egypt’s relations with African countries, starting from the era of the late President Anwar Sadat, because of his fight against communism in Africa, in order to draw closer tie with the United States, saying: «Egypt’s cooperation with Africa, America lost, and in the era of Mubarak matters worse», as he put it.

And the reasons for the deterioration of Egyptian-African relations in the era of Mubarak, a clearer structure, since an assassination attempt on Mubarak in Ethiopia, deteriorated relations between Egypt and Africa in general, and the Egyptian-Ethiopian in particular, saying: «Zenawi, Ethiopia’s prime minister earlier, assured me that some Mubarak promised to avenge him because of the assassination attempt, but his regime tried to assassinate him three times, which was confirmed to me by Meles Zenawi».


He also criticized the structure of the way the former president of Mercy, with the crisis of bridging the Renaissance, which harmed the Egyptian position significantly, he said, saying: «treated the way Mursi with the crisis, and he broadcast the dialogue session held by, talk about hitting the dam, all this was a Major disaster », as described.

He called attention to the necessity of the state structure in African countries, particularly Ethiopia, saying: «We have many interests in Ethiopia, and should not be neglected in any way», he said

Noor Rashwan
Translated from the Arabic Version @ http://www.shorouknews.com/news/view.aspx?cdate=10042014&id=e212cc3b-d681-4f01-99dd-9b6ef5a3926c

June 7, 2014

Ethiopian Woman Beaten, Raped,Threatened By An Egyptian Man

Filed under: Ethiopia — ethiopiantimes @ 8:43 pm
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A25-year old Ethiopian woman filed a case at Abu Halifa Police Station against an Egyptian expatriate who attacked and raped her, and threatened to kill her if she reported to the police, reports Al-Seyassah daily.

According to security sources, the Egyptian expatriate forced the victim into his flat, after which he beat her and raped her.

He then threatened to murder her if she complained to securitymen. However, the victim obtained a medical report indicating the injuries she sustained and registered a case against the suspect. Investigations are ongoing to find and arrest him.

Officers jail ordered: Assistant Undersecretary for Traffic Affairs at the Ministry of Interior Major- General Abdullah Al-Muhanna has issued a directive to put behind bars an unidentified officer and his subordinate for erecting an inspection point at a roundabout in Jahra without permission from the authorities, reports Al-Rai daily. According to sources this had resulted in traffic jam on a road leading to commercial complexes and investments areas.


Woman says molested: A 30- year-old Syrian woman has filed a complaint with the Salmiya Police Station accusing an unidentified person of molesting her and harassing her eight-year-old son while he was playing with other children near the building, reports Al-Rai daily. A case has been registered and police are looking for the suspect.

Source: ArabTimes

May 23, 2014

Sudan’s FM accuses Egypt’s spy agency of aiding Cairo-based rebels

Filed under: Sudan — ethiopiantimes @ 4:19 pm
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Sudan’s FM accuses Egypt’s spy agency of aiding Cairo-based rebels

The Sudanese foreign minister Ali Karti accused the Egyptian General Intelligence Directorate (GID) of sponsoring anti-Khartoum rebels who are residing in Cairo despite repeated complaints by his government.

“[Egypt] does not remember hundreds of opposition [members] who belong to armed groups bearing arms [against the government] and have safe premises sponsored by security and intelligence service and sponsored by the state and have full rights to hold seminars and adopt political positions,” Karti told al-Sudani newspaper in an interview.

“We urged them [Cairo] dozens of times and they asked us for names [of rebel figures]. We wrote [provided to them] hundreds of names and repeated it dozens of times and [ambassador] Kamal Hassan Ali knows this file completely. They even demanded from us their sites [where opposition members are staying] and we identified these villas and apartments in which they reside. We are fully aware of who in the [Egyptian] intelligence agencies dealing with them” he added.

The Sudanese top diplomat emphasised that they will not reciprocate and denied hosting any Egyptian opposition figures from the Muslim Brotherhood.

“Sudan has always been respectful of the political situation in Egypt, and we declared over and over that we will not be a launch pad for any damages towards Egypt and in fact Sudan is free of any of the symbols of the Egyptian opposition” he said.

 

Karti suggested that Cairo is retaliating for Khartoum’s supportive position of Ethiopia’s Grand Renaissance Dam.

“There are pressures on us. The Egyptian interior minister says they are facing a security threat from the south. Which south is he referring to?” he said.

Cairo was irked by Khartoum’s support of Ethiopia’s plan to build the Renaissance dam which Egypt argues will impact its Nile water share needed for its population of 90 million.

Furthermore, Sudan’s Islamist government has appeared uncomfortable with the recent developments in Egypt given the common ideology they shared with Egypt’s ex-president Mohamed Morsi and the Freedom and Justice Party (FJP) which brought him to power.

Karti also acknowledged tensions with Arab Gulf states of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) over relations with Iran and presumption that Sudan backs the International Organization of the Muslim Brotherhood.

“We said that we have nothing to do with the International Organization of the Muslim Brotherhood, and they were unable to bring Sudan to their side. Sudan was the last state that Morsi has visited,” he said.

He criticised local media and even the Sudanese army for overstating the issue of docking of Iranian warships in Port Sudan which appeared to concern these countries.

Karti also denied that Sudan is an issue of dispute between Qatar and its neighbors.

A diplomatic fallout occurred between Qatar and other Gulf states, including UAE, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain after they accused Doha of failing to abide by an accord not to interfere in each others’ internal affairs.

The three Gulf states are believed to be angry at Qatar’s support for the Muslim Brotherhood, an Islamist movement whose ideology challenges the principle of conservative dynastic rule long dominant in the Gulf.

A source close to Qatar’s government told Reuters last March that the dispute had more to do with issues in the wider Middle East such as the crises in Egypt and Syria, than about matters affecting fellow Gulf states.

Qatar is one of the main political and economic backers of Sudan’s Islamist government and has hosted Darfur peace talks which resulted in a peace accord signed in 2011 known as the Doha Document for Peace in Darfur (DDPD) between Khartoum and Liberation and Justice Movement (LJM) headed by Tijani el-Sissi.

Source Sudan Tribune

 

May 18, 2014

Egypt’s al-Sisi ready to visit Ethiopia for water talks

Filed under: Uncategorized — ethiopiantimes @ 9:18 pm
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Egypt’s presidential frontrunner has said that he is ready to visit Ethiopia for talks on resolving their Nile water dispute.

“Dialogue and understanding are the best way to resolve the crisis,” al-Sisi said in an interview with the state-run Al-Ahram daily on Saturday.

“This is better than going into a dispute or an enmity with anyone,” he added.

The former army chief, who led the army to unseat elected president Mohamed Morsi last July, said that he is ready to visit Ethiopia “if this serves Egypt’s interests”.

“I will not hesitate in making any effort for my country and its water rights, which is a life-or-death issue,” he added.

Relations between Cairo and Addis Ababa soured last year over Ethiopia’s plans to build a $6.4-billion hydroelectric dam on the Blue Nile, which represents Egypt’s primary water source.

The project has raised alarm bells in Egypt, which fears a reduction of its historical share of Nile water.

Water distribution among Nile basin states has long been regulated by a colonial-era treaty giving Egypt and Sudan the lion’s share of river water. Ethiopia, for its part, says it has never recognized the treaty.

Source World Bulletin/News Desk

May 7, 2014

3 Egyptians caught in Gambella, accused of spying

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3 Egyptians caught in Gambella, accused of spying

GAMBELLA – The regional state government  of Gambella caught today 3 Egyptian nationals who penetrated to the the region via the war torn South Sudan in what the regional government of Ethiopia believed to be a spying mission to find information about the country’s  Renaissance Dam. The the three men named as Yusuf Haj, Ismail Azizi and Hassan Garai were caught in separate locations of the region.

Yusuf went to Abobo on a fake tourist pass to see the Abobo dam of the Abobo county (Woreda). The locals in Abobo worried about the suspicious activities he was making near the dam and that prompted his arrest by the local police. He was then transferred to the regional  administration in Gambella for further investigation and detentions.

The other two were caught at a bus station in Gambella trying to board a bus to Benshangul – Gumuz state without security passes. Benshangul-Gumuz near blue Nile is where the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) is located.


Egypt and Ethiopia have been at odds over the construction of GERD. Egyptian government threatened to bomb the dam as they feel that if the dam becomes operational, it would compromise their fair share of the Nile water. Ethiopia however denied any impact the flow of water would do to Egypt.

Moreover, South Sudan government recently signed a military agreement with Egyptian government. The agreement was received with too much skepticism by Addis Ababa who think that any deal by their neighbour with Egypt would invite an attack on the dam.

Last week, the South Sudanese rebels claimed to have captured 12 Egyptians in Jonglei who fought alongside the government of South Sudan.

April 30, 2014

Egyptian satellite to monitor construction of Ethiopia’s disputed dam

A new Egyptian satellite will track the construction of an Ethiopian hydroelectric dam over which officials in Cairo and Addis Ababa have been locked in a standoff over fears that the project will hinder Egypt’s access to the Nile’s water.

Launched almost two weeks ago, Egysat will monitor Ethiopia’s Grand Renaissance Dam by capturing high quality photos of the construction site along with other sources of the Nile, said Alaa El-din El-Nahry, vice president of Egypt’s National Authority for Remote Sensing and Space Sciences.

The LE300 million satellite – which will come into operation in mid-June after a two-month test period – will track the dam’s height, storage capacity and water discharge. It will also monitor the Kongo River basin to assess the effectiveness of a proposed project to link the Kongo and Nile rivers.

Egypt’s government believes the satellite’s findings will bolster its negotiations with Ethiopia and provide legal ground in case it must resort to international arbitration over any violations in the dam’s stated purpose of electricity generation, El-Nahry said during a seminar in Cairo, according to Al-Ahram’s daily Arabic newspaper.

Egypt has been particularly concerned that the dam, now more than 30 percent finished, will hugely impact its share of the Nile, the country’s main source of potable water.

Situated near the Sudanese border on the Blue Nile, a Nile tributary, the hydroelectric dam will be the biggest in Africa, capable of producing 6,000 megawatts of energy.

Last week, Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn urged Egypt to return to the tripartite discussions with Ethiopia and Sudan in an effort to settle the dispute. The three countries have been engaged in a series of dialogues since the launch of the project three years ago.

Last year, Ethiopia and five other Nile-basin countries – Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda, Kenya and Burundi – endorsed an accord, the Co-operative Framework Agreement, which replaces a 1929 treaty granting Egypt veto power over any project on the Nile in upstream countries.

Sudan, Egypt’s immediate downstream country, has backed Ethiopia’s plans to build the dam.

April 24, 2014

Russia launches a spy satellite for Egyptian military

Filed under: Egypt — ethiopiantimes @ 3:29 pm
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A Soyuz rocket with Egyptsat-2 satellite around one hour before launch on April 16, 2014.

A Russian rocket launched a new-generation surveillance spacecraft Wednesday designed to give the Egyptian military a powerful “eye in the sky.”

The launch of the Soyuz-U rocket took place as scheduled on April 16, 2014, at 20:20 Moscow Time (12:20 EST) from Site 31 in the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.

The launch vehicle was carrying a Russian-built Egyptsat-2 satellite designed to provide high-resolution imagery for the Egyptian military and other government agencies in the country.

The spacecraft was successfully delivered into its planned orbit 520 seconds after liftoff.

The development and launch campaign for Egyptsat-2 has been conducted largely in secret. Only one visual of the operational spacecraft was released to the public by its manufacturer RKK Energia after the successful launch. Notably, in its post-launch press-release, the company avoided the use of name Egyptsat-2, instead identifying the satellite as a “spacecraft for optical-electronic observation developed for the foreign customer.”

RKK Energia announced that the satellite had been inserted into a 720 by 440-kilometer orbit with an inclination 51.6 degrees toward the Equator. Its ground facility established control over the satellite at 21:52 Moscow Time, the company said. Western radar detected two objects in orbit with similar parameters, probably representing the satellite and the third stage of the Soyuz-U launch vehicle. The satellite was expected to use its own propulsion system to enter a final operational orbit.

 

April 23, 2014

Paying for giant Nile dam itself, Ethiopia thwarts Egypt but takes risks

Filed under: Nile — ethiopiantimes @ 7:52 pm
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(Reuters) – Ethiopia’s bold decision to pay for a huge dam itself has overturned generations of Egyptian control over the Nile’s waters, and may help transform one of the world’s poorest countries into a regional hydropower hub.

By spurning an offer from Cairo for help financing the project, Addis Ababa has ensured it controls the construction of the Renaissance Dam on a Nile tributary. The electricity it will generate – enough to power a giant rich-world city like New York – can be exported across a power-hungry region.

But the decision to fund the huge project itself also carries the risk of stifling private sector investment and restricting economic growth, and may jeopardize Ethiopia’s dream of becoming a middle income country by 2025.

The dam is now a quarter built and Ethiopia says it will start producing its first 750 megawatts of electricity by the end of this year. In the sandy floor of the Guba valley, near the Sudanese border, engineers are laying compacted concrete to the foundations of the barrage that will tower 145 meters high and whose turbines will throw out 6,000 megawatts – more than any other hydropower project in Africa.

So far, Ethiopia has paid 27 billion birr ($1.5 billion) out of a total projected cost of 77 billion birr for the dam, which will create a lake 246 km (153 miles) long.

It is the biggest part of a massive program of public spending on power, roads and railways in one of Africa’s fastest growing economies. Ethiopia’s output has risen at near double digit rates for a decade, luring investors from Sweden to China.

But economists warn that squeezing the private sector to pay for the public infrastructure could hurt future prospects. Growth is already showing signs of slowing.

Even so, Addis Ababa says the price is worth paying to guarantee Egypt has no veto over the dam, the centerpiece of a 25-year project to profit from East Africa’s accelerating economic growth by exporting electricity across the region.

“We did not want this dam to suffer from external pressures, particularly with respect to financing,” said Fekahmed Negash, a director within Ethiopia’s Ministry of Water and Energy.

DIPLOMACY RECAST

Ethiopia’s transformation from an economic disaster barely able to feed its people into an emerging regional leader capable of self-financing mega-projects has recast diplomacy over the Nile, northeast Africa’s most important resource.

Egypt, which has claimed exclusive right to control the river’s waters for generations, is fuming. Cairo worries the dam will reduce the flow on which it has depended for drinking water and irrigation for thousands of years.

It has demanded building be halted pending negotiations between the countries, and had offered to take on joint ownership of the project, an offer Addis Ababa dismissed.

Cairo no longer wields the same leverage it once did when upriver sub-Saharan countries were too poor to build such huge projects themselves.

Still, the dam’s cost of more than $4 billion is roughly 12 percent of the annual output of Ethiopia, a steep price to pay for a country spurning outside help.

Ethiopia has resorted to measures like forcing banks that lend to private borrowers to lend the equivalent of 27 percent of their loan books to the government at a low return, effectively a tax on private lending.

Along with other projects, the dam is draining so much financing from the economy that private investors’ access to credit and foreign exchange is being jeopardized, hurting growth, the International Monetary Fund says.

The IMF forecast in November that output growth would slow to 7.5 percent this fiscal year from 8.5 percent in 2011/12, and said the economy needed restructuring to encourage private sector investment now crowded out by huge public projects.

Ethiopia needs high growth to fulfill plans to lift its population out of deep poverty. Per capita income was still just $410 in 2012, the World Bank says.

The government disputes the view that lavish public spending is hurting overall economic performance, and forecasts a higher growth rate than the IMF.

Italy’s biggest construction firm, Salini Impregilo, which is building the dam, says all payments have been made on time so far and it has no worries about Addis Ababa continuing to come up with the needed billions.

“We have full confidence in the government of Ethiopia,” the firm said in an e-mail to Reuters.

And the dam is just the start for Ethiopia’s ambition of becoming a regional power hub. A government plan seen by Reuters would see Africa’s second most populous nation target installed capacity of 37,000 MW within 25 years – far more than the World Bank’s estimate of just 28,000 MW for the entire current output of sub-Saharan Africa excluding South Africa.

More dams are being built and Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn is fast securing deals to sell power abroad.

In the Ministry of Energy, a building whose stark design is a throwback to when communists ran Ethiopia’s economy into the ground, a poster maps Ethiopia’s energy goals.

From a dot on the Nile, lines run north through Sudan and across the Sahara desert as far as Morocco while extending southwards to South Africa, linking Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and other power-hungry economies.

Djibouti, Kenya and Sudan already take 180 MW, which, though a small amount so far, is already changing the economics of electricity in the region, Ethiopian officials say.

“Before it started getting power from Ethiopia, Djibouti’s tariff was 30 U.S. cents per kilowatt hour. We are selling to them at 6 cents,” said Mekuria Lemma, corporate planning chief at Ethiopia’s state-run power corporation, EEPCO.

Kenya has signed an agreement to buy about 400 MW. Rwanda too inked a deal in March to take 400 MW by 2018 and a similar arrangement with Tanzania is expected. Beyond Africa, talks are expected over supplying 900 MW to Yemen via an undersea cable.

NATIONAL SECURITY

As long as Ethiopia spurns outside funding, there seems to be little an angry Cairo can now do to stop the dam.

The sparkling streams at the foot of Ethiopia’s Mount Gish spill into Lake Tana from where the Blue Nile meanders gently towards Sudan’s capital, Khartoum, where it joins the White Nile and flows north through Egypt and drains into the Mediterranean.

Among Cairo’s worries is concern that years of filling the new dam’s 74 billion cubic meter reservoir will temporarily cut the river’s flow, and that surface water evaporation from the huge new lake will then reduce it permanently.

“Water problems even without this dam are sky high,” said water expert Klaus Lanz in reference to Egypt’s shortage.

Egypt leans on a 1959 treaty with Sudan which hands Cairo the lion’s share of water. Some Egyptian politicians even urged military action last year against Ethiopia, raising concerns of a “water war”.

The public political bluster has died down, but Egyptian officials still refer to safeguarding their nation’s quota of the Nile’s flow as a matter of national security.

In a government white paper, Cairo calls the construction of the dam a “violation” of international legal principles, in particular the duty to prevent harm to other riparian nations.

“We have no other resources,” Egyptian foreign ministry spokesman Badr Abdelatty told Reuters. “So it’s not a joke. We will not allow our national interests, our national security … to be endangered.”

LIMITED OPTIONS

“We are still for cooperation, negotiation, but only serious negotiations, not to waste time,” Abdellaty added.

But distracted by militant violence and political turmoil at home, Cairo appears to have few levers with which to force Addis Ababa to halt the project. Ethiopian officials say the dam could be completed as early as 2016.

Ethiopia denies Egypt will suffer and complains that its northern neighbor has flexed its political muscle to deter financiers from backing other Ethiopian power projects.

Fekahmed of the water ministry said Cairo had influenced a decision by China’s Electric Power Equipment and Technology Co. to pull out of a $1 billion deal to connect the dam to the grid.

“The authorities in Egypt made a noise,” Fekahmed said, adding that another Chinese group was now lined up to fund the high voltage lines. Egypt’s Abdelatty did not comment on the specific case but confirmed that Cairo was trying to use its influence to push foreigners away from backing the project.

“We have contacts with everybody,” said Abdelatty. “(The minister) raised it with Russia, with China, you name it.”

In a diplomatic coup for Ethiopia, and a political blow to Egypt, the other major down river country, Sudan, has slowly warmed to the dam project and lifted its own earlier objections. Sudan may benefit from cheap power and irrigation water.

Egyptian Foreign Minister Nabil Fahmy told Sky News Arabic this month he rejected a military solution and dismissed referring the dispute to the International Court of Justice, which would require the agreement of both sides.

Instead, Egypt continues to push hard for further studies on the dam’s design and impact on downstream countries. All the while, Ethiopia shows no sign of ordering the downing of tools.

“We will finish it whether they like it or not,” said a senior Ethiopian official who requested anonymity. “But of course, we will continue negotiating in the meantime.”

(Additional reporting by Richard Lough in Nairobi, Stephen Kalin in Cairo and Danilo Masoni in Milan; Writing by Richard Lough)

By Aaron Maasho

April 21, 2014

Egypt to ‘escalate’ Ethiopian dam dispute

While construction of Africa’s largest hydroelectric dam continues apace, downstream neighbour Egypt is crying foul.

In the three years since construction began on the 1.8km Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam across the Blue Nile River, Egypt and Ethiopia have been engaged in a war of words over its potential impacts.

Ethiopia believes the massive dam will herald an era of prosperity, spurring growth and attracting foreign currency with the export of power to neighbouring countries. But Egypt has raised concerns about the downstream effects, as the Blue Nile supplies the Nile with about 85 percent of its water.

Both sides say they seek a negotiated solution, but they remain at loggerheads, with negotiations stalled. Ethiopia insists the dispute must be resolved through negotiations between the two parties, with Mahamoud Dirir, the ambassador to Egypt, noting in a statement last month that “there are only two… countries in the entire world which are well-placed to mediate between Egypt and Ethiopia.”


Egypt, meanwhile, is quietly lobbying the international community for support against what it says is a violation of international law, diplomatic sources confirmed to Al Jazeera.

“Egypt plans to take actions to escalate the situation against Ethiopia,” said a western diplomat in Cairo, who spoke on condition of anonymity. “But the exact implications of these actions [are] still unclear.”

Egypt’s main concern is water security, as the country faces a future of increasing scarcity. Nearly all of Egypt’s water comes from the Nile, and its population of 83 million is growing at nearly two percent annually.

Already, water shortages cause problems. The most common response is the reuse of wastewater in agriculture, often untreated. The 2005 UNDP Human Development Report for Egypt stated that “poor water quality affects both health and land productivity with damage costs estimated to have reached LE 5.35 billion [$7.7m] or 1.8 percent of GDP.”

Doaa Ezzat Zaki al-Agha, a water management specialist conducting research in the Nile delta, said five members of her family died from liver disease, which she believes resulted from poor drinking water. “They have no other choices, only the Nile water,” she said.

Mohamed Abdel Wahab, a farmer from a small village of 300 families near the delta city of Alexandria, an area that regularly experiences water shortages, believes the government should be “more strict with Egypt’s sovereign right to water” – and his view reflects that of many Egyptians. Any threat to the country’s water supply is treated as an existential threat. Accordingly, Egypt has long opposed upstream development projects on the Nile. In the past this prevented Ethiopia from receiving money from international organisations like the World Bank, which has a “no objection” rule for projects it funds. Now, Ethiopia is funding the $4.8bn project itself.

Tensions peaked in May 2013 when Ethiopia began diverting the Blue Nile. Former Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi told a national conference: “We will defend each drop of Nile water with our blood if necessary.”

Today, statements from the Egyptian Foreign Ministry are more conciliatory, with spokesperson Badr Abdelatty saying he hoped the situation could be resolved through “cooperation”. A recent statement by Abdelatty on the State Information Service website, however, adds: “The Ethiopian dam is an issue that can bear no compromises.”

The last negotiations in Addis Ababa in February stalled over whether international experts should be included in a technical committee being formed to implement the recommendations of a May 2013 report on the dam. Written by an international panel of experts (IPOE), the report proposed more extensive assessment of the dam’s potential transboundary environmental and social impacts. “We must have an international member on the committee and the Ethiopians refused this,” said Khaled Wasif, a spokesperson for the Egyptian Ministry of Irrigation and Water Resources.

 

April 16, 2014

Egyptian President Hopeful Threatens War with Ethiopia, Qatar, and to Revoke Camp David Accords

Filed under: Egypt — ethiopiantimes @ 7:27 pm
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