Police Arrest Ethiopia Insider’s Founder

Journalist Tesfalem Waldyes, the founder and editor-in-chief of Ethiopia Insider, an Ethiopian news and analysis website, is in police custody, according to media reports.Tesfalem’s colleagues and friends said his whereabouts hadn’t been known since Sa…

Journalist Tesfalem Waldyes, the founder and editor-in-chief of Ethiopia Insider, an Ethiopian news and analysis website, is in police custody, according to media reports.

Tesfalem’s colleagues and friends said his whereabouts hadn’t been known since Saturday, but federal police confirmed his detention to the BBC, saying there is nothing to be concerned about.

Police didn’t give additional details. Shortly after the detention, Befeqadu Hailu, the executive director of the Center for Advancement of Rights and Democracy, said Tesfalem went missing after covering the Irreecha festival in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia’s capital. Irreecha is a cultural event celebrated by Ethiopia’s ethnic Oromo community.

Befeqadu also said via Twitter that Tesfalem’s plan for Sunday was to report on the festival, which also took place at a second location, Bishoftu.

The annual event is traditionally held in Bishoftu, a town located in the Oromia region, about 40 kilometers south of Addis Ababa.

After covering the event in Addis Ababa, Tesfalem posted a video on Ethiopia Insider’s Facebook page that showed attendees expressing their criticism of Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s administration.

Attendees also demanded the release of political prisoners, chanting, “Jawar, Jawar!”

Jawar Mohammed, an Oromo activist and opposition leader, has been imprisoned, charged with terrorism and other crimes alongside other prominent Oromo politicians.

In 2014, Tesfalem was among three journalists and six bloggers, who became known as the “Zone 9 Bloggers” and were arrested for inciting violence among other charges, including terrorism. He spent more than one year in prison and was later released. Zone 9 Bloggers were recipients of the Committee to Protect Journalists’ International Press Freedom Award in 2015.

The U.S.-based Committee to Protect Journalists says at least seven journalists are imprisoned in the country.

Separately, Prime Minister Abiy was sworn in for a second term on Monday.

The event comes as the national government remains engaged in a nearly year-old armed conflict with rebels in Ethiopia’s northern Tigray region.

Source: Voice of America

Suspected Jihadis Kill 14 Soldiers in Burkina Faso

Suspected jihadis killed 14 soldiers Monday in an attack in northern Burkina Faso, the defense ministry said, in the latest bloodshed to hit the region plagued by Islamist violence.”The military detachment of Yirgou” in the Centre-Nord region’s Barsalo…

Suspected jihadis killed 14 soldiers Monday in an attack in northern Burkina Faso, the defense ministry said, in the latest bloodshed to hit the region plagued by Islamist violence.

“The military detachment of Yirgou” in the Centre-Nord region’s Barsalogho department was “the target of a terrorist attack” around 0500 GMT on Monday, junior defense minister General Aime Barthelemy Simpore said.

“Fourteen soldiers were killed during the fighting and seven wounded were evacuated,” he said in a statement, with the death toll higher than the nine given earlier by security sources.

“Several terrorists were neutralized during the response,” he added, praising the soldiers’ “great fighting spirit.”

A ground and air counteroffensive was immediately launched to “neutralize the attackers,” he added.

A security source told AFP an enormous amount of equipment was lost, with some burned and some taken away by the attackers.

Burkina Faso has seen regular, deadly jihadi attacks since 2015, mostly in the northern and eastern regions close to the Mali and Niger borders.

But on Saturday, it was the south that was hit, with two soldiers killed by a makeshift bomb in Larabin near the Ivory Coast border.

Back in the north, five soldiers were killed during a reconnaissance mission in Mentao last Wednesday, also by a makeshift bomb, the armed forces said.

In mid-September, a suspected jihadi attack killed six gendarmes escorting fuel tanks for a mining company.

Such attacks, normally blamed on jihadi groups affiliated to the Islamic State or al-Qaida, have killed around 2,000 people and forced more than 1.4 million to flee their homes.

Source: Voice of America