FBI to help probe into Ethiopia rally blast

FBI to help probe into Ethiopia rally blast

The US is sending the FBI to help investigate a grenade attack in Addis Ababa which killed two people at a rally addressed by Ethiopia's reformist prime minister, state media said Monday.

"The US government said it will send FBI experts to investigate Saturday's bomb blast at a rally organised to support [the] reform agendas of Prime Minister Dr Abiy Ahmed," state-affiliated Fana Broadcasting Corporate said.

A spokesman for the US embassy in Addis Ababa confirmed the FBI's involvement.

On Monday, an AFP photographer saw four people who did not appear to be Ethiopian combing the site of the blast while a US embassy vehicle was parked nearby.

Thirty people have so far been arrested over the attack that took place as Abiy concluded a speech promoting his reformist policies before a crowd of hundreds of thousands in the capital's Meskel Square.

Saturday's explosion sparked panic in the crowd, resulting in a stampede and more than 150 injuries.

There has been no claim of responsibility for the attack.

Rally organiser Seyoum Teshome earlier told AFP he saw police scuffle with a person attempting to hurl a grenade at the stage Abiy had spoken from.

Nine officers have also been arrested for negligence, including the deputy commissioner of the Addis Ababa police.

Since taking office in April, 42-year-old former cabinet minister and army officer Abiy has initiated unprecedented reforms that have been broadly welcomed but have upset the status quo.

He has released jailed journalists and opponents, agreed to cede contested territory to Eritrea, admitted that security forces tortured dissidents and begun to open up the state-controlled economy.

These moves have boosted his popularity among Ethiopians.

But it remains unclear how much support he has within the secretive ruling Ethiopia People's Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) coalition, which wields absolute power in Ethiopia.

Polls open in Comoros presidential

Polls opened on Sunday in Comoros’ presidential election. Incumbent president Azali Assoumani is widely expected to win another term.

Tensions are already high in the mainly-Muslim Indian Ocean archipelago. They were exacerbated last year by a referendum that gave Assoumani sweeping powers. The opposition boycotted the

Kenya: Thousands facing hunger [The

Kenyan authorities are downplaying an ongoing famine in the Baringo and Turkana counties that has so far killed about 11 people.

These hunger-related death reports were given by locals and even by some local government officials who risk facing sanctions for providing this information.

“It’s all fake news and

Gabon: Bongo returns home after

President Ali Bongo Ondimba flew home to Gabon Saturday after several months in Morocco recovering from illness.

He flew back into Libreville on Saturday afternoon, accompanied by his wife Sylvia, to be welcomed by Prime Minister Julien Nkoghe Bekale and senior members of the government.

Several thousand

Cyclone Idai: What are the immediate

Parts of southern Africa have been left devastated after Cyclone Idai swept through Mozambique, Malawi and Zimbabwe. Hundreds of people have been killed and hundreds of thousands more affected. Even though the cyclone hit Mozambique over a week ago, aid agencies are warning that the disaster is getting worse. Here are three reasons

Ethiopians celebrate return of Emperor

Ethiopians on Wednesday celebrated the decision by a London museum to hand back locks of hair cut from the corpse of an Ethiopian emperor during a British invasion 150 years ago.

Ethiopians, many dressed in the national colours of red, gold and green, cheered as staff at the National Army Museum handed over the

Ethiopian crash hub: Airline rebuts

The March 10 crash

On March 10, the world was hit by the news that a passenger aircraft operated by Africa’s top national carrier had crashed. The reference point for the information was solely the office of Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed.

It remained the most quoted source for hours before the flier, Ethiopian

NBA launches first African channel on

Seventh seed Dominic Thiem from Austria claimed the Indian Wells title on Sunday after defeating Roger Federer in three straight sets 3-6, 6-3, 7-5.

The National Basketball Association announced Wednesday that it has partnered with Google’s YouTube to launch its first-ever channel exclusively dedicated to fans in

One more to go: AU celebrates Ethiopias

Ethiopia’s parliament on Thursday approved the membership of the country into the Africa Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA), bringing the number of ratifications across the continent to 21.

The African Union Commissioner for Trade and Industry, Albert Muchanga took to Twitter to celebrate the news,

Mozambique cyclone deaths hit 217,

Mozambique’s Minister of Land and Environment has given updated figures arising from the deadly cyclone Idai that ravaged the southern African country late last week.

According to the minister, the official death toll stood at 217, a figure significantly lower than a projection by president Filipe Nyusi who told state media

Heres South Africas election in numbers

A record number of 48 political parties will contest in South Africa’s national elections on May 8, the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) said on Wednesday.

IEC announced the final tally after the deadline for submission of party candidate lists and payment of deposits.