Ethiopia's 'first female comic book superhero'

Founder of Etan Comics, Beserat Debebeshe, explains why he created Ement Legesse.
Ethiopia is getting its 'first female comic book superhero'. She's a young woman called Ement Legesse and stars in a comic called 'Hawi'. Her story is a historical fantasy set in modern-day Ethiopia and draws on the country's rich past. Newsday's Shaimaa Khalil spoke to the founder of Etan Comics, Beserat Debebeshe.  

(Photo: image of Ement Legesse in 'Hawi' Credit: Etan Comics)

Ethiopian plane crash site is called ‘Bad Luck’

Tesfalem Araia

BBC Tigrinya

The people who live near the crash site of Ethiopian Airlines flight ET302 have been mourning for the 157 victims of the crash.

They were the first to arrive at the scene on the morning of 10 March and saw how the plane nose-dived to the ground.

But there is something which went largely unnoticed - the name of the area, which appears to foreshadow the tragic incident.

In the local Afaan Oromoo language the area is called "Tulluu Farraa" which means "bad luck".

"The area earned the name Tulluu Farraa because of weather conditions there" Baatirrii Lemma, a local elder told the BBC.

Mr Baatirrii said that due to high altitude of the place it is hard to know which direction the wind is coming from.

"People called it Tulluu Farraa which means Bad Luck, because it was too cold to live there," he said.

Ethiopia crash sit
The plane came down six minutes after take off from Addis Ababa

Gunmen kill five in western Ethiopia

Ashagre Hailu

BBC News Amharic, Editor

Unidentified gunmen have killed five people in the western town of Negjo, in Ethiopia's Oromia region, local government officials say.

They say the attack happened in the early hours of Tuesday morning.

Two foreign nationals are among the victims of the attack, according to Oromia region's office of communication. But their nationalities have not yet been disclosed.

Local officials say they will release more information about the attack and the victims' identities at a later stage.

Ethiopia to delay census because of instability

Ashagre Hailu

BBC Amharic editor

An Ethiopian woman holds a baby at a temporary refuge center in Burayu of Oromia Region, Ethiopia on September 18, 2018.
Getty Images
Conflict has forced more than one million people to flee their homes

Ethiopia plans to indefinitely postpone its national census because of the large number of people left homeless by conflict in parts of the country, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed's office has said in a statement.

People currently living in camps needed to return to their homes, before the census - which was due to have started on 7 April - could be conducted, it added.

Parliament - which has the final say - would be asked to approve the indefinite postponement.

The census had been postponed twice before - in 2017 and 2018, according to the state-linked Fana Broadcasting Corporate news site.

More than one million people have fled their homes because of largely ethnic-driven conflict in Ethiopia.

The census is vital to determine the country's population, and would influence the allocation of budgets for each region - a contentious issue that tends to spark political tensions.

Ethiopia last carried out a census in 2007. Its population is estimated to be 102.5 million, making it the most populous African state after Nigeria.

Read: The leader promising to heal a nation

Empty casket of plane crash victim 'brings closure'

Berhanu Gemechu

BBC Afaan Oromoo

Ayantu Girmaye
Ayantu Girmaye had been air hostess for 18 months

The mother of 24-year-old Ethiopian air hostess Ayantu Girmaye says she has achieved closure following Sunday's burial of her daughter in an empty casket - a week after she was among the 157 people killed when an Ethiopian Airlines plane crashed on farmland near the town of Bishoftu.

In an interview with BBC Afaan Oromoo, Kibebewa Legesse said her daughter usually kissed her when she left home to fly, but did not do so on the day she died because she was running late.

Ms Kibebewa said she had twice visited the site of the crash, and had come to terms with the fact that no part of her daughter's body would be recovered.

Along with that of other Ethiopian nationals and Ethiopian Airline staff killed in the crash, Ayantu's casket is being kept in a wall vault at the Holy Trinity Cathedral in the capital, Addis Ababa.

"I do not want to separate her from the other deceased. I want everything to happen together," Ms Kibebewa said.

If you know Afaan Oromoo, you can read more about the interview with Ms Kibebewa here.

A chronology of key events in the history of Ethiopia from the 2nd-century Kingdom of Axum to the present day.

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