Voice of America: African Women Try to Change Their Countries’ Militaries – 03 March

  • Voice of America publishes a feature on discrimination against women in African military service despite centuries of involvement on the front lines.
  • Eritrean women fought alongside men during Eritrea’s 30-year conflict for independence and “also healed the wounded and repaired equipment for return to the battlefield.”
  • However, a study by the African Peacekeeping Network and the National Research Foundation of South Africa found that women are still considered less capable than men in the armed forces.
  • VOA writes: “The United Nations praises the work of women as peacekeepers. It says female peacekeeping soldiers can help bring women in conflict areas into the peace process and give them a voice.”
  • Bintou Keita, of Guinea, is the UN assistant secretary general for peacekeeping operations. She said: “Women peacekeepers act as role models in the local environment, inspiring women and girls in often male-dominated societies to push for their own rights and for participation in peace processes.”

Anadolu Agency: S. Sudan, Ethiopia, Eritrea meet for stabilization – 04 March

  • Turkish outlet Anadolu Agency reports that Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed and Eritrean President Isaias Afwerki have met with South Sudan President Salva Kiir in Juba, in what is described as another step towards economic and political integration in the region.
  • Kiir postponed his visit to Bahr El Gazel region of Chad to host the meeting.
  • In September the Eritrean, Somali and Ethiopian leaders met in Asmara, the Eritrean capital, where they agreed to launch a “vigorous high-level campaign towards regional integration”.
  • South Sudan’s ambassador to Ethiopia James Morgan told Anadolu Agency that oil fields in the horn of Africa country were resuming operations after years of disruption due to civil war.

Africa News: Ethiopia, Kenya, Eritrea leaders meet in Asmara for mini summit – 04 March

  • Africa News reports that Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta and Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed met with Eritrean President Isaias Afwerki in Asmara on 3 March for a tripartite summit on regional cooperation.
  • President Kenyatta flew out from Asmara on Sunday afternoon, while Prime Minister Abiy and his delegation were taken on a tour of two dams and other agricultural projects in Eritrea.
  • The talks follow a visit to Ethiopia by President Kenyatta from 1-2 March.
  • Eritrean Information Minister Yemane Meskel said that President Isaias was also due to hold separate talks with each visiting leader.

BBC: Ethiopian Emperor Tewodros II’s stolen hair to be returned by UK – 04 March

  • The UK’s National Army Museum is to return a lock of hair cut from the head of Emperor Tewodros II of Ethiopia, who killed himself rather than be captured during the British invasion of Ethiopia in 1868.
  • The BBC reports that talks about repatriation with the Ethiopian government will begin within the next few days.
  • Ethiopia “lodged a formal request in 2008 at various British institutions for the return of the treasures worth millions of dollars” taken from Maqdala, the emperor’s northern citadel capital.

Region Week: Eritrean Merhawi Kudus (Astana) won the 11th Tour of Rwanda in Kigali – 04 March

  • Eritrean cyclist Merhawi Kudus has won the Tour du Rwanda, which concluded on 3 February at Kigali Regional Stadium in the Rwandan capital.
  • Merhawi rides for Kazakhstan’s Astana Pro Team. He won the overall race classification with a time of 24 hours, 12 minutes and 37 seconds.
  • The victory marked the end of dominance for Rwandan cyclist, who had claimed the coveted Tour du Rwanda yellow jersey every year since 2014.
  • The race was last won by an Eritrean in 2010, when Daniel Teklehaimanot was victorious.

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