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Ethiopia’s exiled patriarch Bishop Merkorios returns

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The exiled patriarch of Ethiopia’s powerful Orthodox Church, Bishop Merkorios, has returned home to the capital, Addis Ababa, after 27 years.

Ethiopia’s reformist Prime Minister, Abiy Ahmed, met him in the US last week and persuaded him to reconcile with a rival faction of the Church.

He was greeted by his followers, who sang and ululated in welcome.

The Church split in the early 1990s after Mengistu Haile Mariam’s Communist regime was overthrown.

Politics and the church are closely intertwined in Ethiopia – and Bishop Merkorios was perceived to represent the diaspora and opposition in exile.

As there are now two patriarchs, Bishop Merkorios will be responsible for the spiritual aspects of the church, while Bishop Mathias will be in charge of the day-to-day affairs.

Read Also: Questions trail death of South Africa’s celebrated cardiologist

The reunification of the Church signals that Mr Abiy, who become prime minister in April, is succeeding in his efforts to promote reconciliation among Ethiopians, reports BBC Amharic’s Kalkidan Yibeltal from Addis Ababa.

More than 40% of Ethiopia’s population of about 100 million are adherents of the Orthodox Church.

Ethiopia has some of the world’s oldest churches, including rock-hewn churches, which are a World Heritage Site, in Lalibella in northern Ethiopia.

Metro

Spanish PM, Pedro Sanchez, blames ‘Mafia’ for human trafficking after African migrants’ deaths at Morocco/Melilla border

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Spanish PM, Pedro Sanchez, blames ‘Mafia’ for human trafficking after African migrants deaths at Morocco/Melilla border

The Prime Minister of Spain, Pedro Sanchez, has blamed the death of over 20 African migrants at the Morocco/Melillah border while trying to cross to Europe, on a “Mafia” trafficking syndicate.

The incident which happened late on Friday, saw a violent and fatal border incursion on the Moroccan border with the Spanish north African enclave of Melilla, leading to the deaths and injury to scores of Spanish and Moroccan officers injured.

While speaking on the incursion at a press conference in Madrid on Saturday, Sanchez said:

“If there is a party responsible for everything that happened on the border, it is the mafias that traffic in human beings.

“It was an attack on the territorial integrity of our country.

“The tactics of migrants trying to get into Melilla have changed. Before now, they used to spread along the whole length of the fence. Now they concentrate on the part where they think it is weakest,” Sanchez said.

Sanchez who paid tribute to officers on both sides of the border for fighting off “a well-organised, violent assault,” called on more stringent measures to be taken to avoid a future occurrence.

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South Africa: Eskom announces ‘Stage 4’ power cuts

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South Africa’s state-owned power utility, Eskom says it will continue with “Stage 4” power cuts until Wednesday.

The power rationing has been through 3 stages. The stage 3 was a level of a power cut on an eight-level system under which the utility implements a seven and a half hour rolling outage across the country. The stage was a five-hour rolling blackout.

The utility said in a statement said “it regrets to inform the public that Stage 4 load shedding is anticipated to continue from 05:00 on Monday morning until midnight at least until Wednesday.”

“This is due to unlawful and unprotected labour action at a number of power stations, which has caused delays in carrying out planned maintenance and repairs.”

Eskom Holdings SOC Ltd is South Africa’s primary electricity supplier, generating approximately 90% of the electricity used in South Africa and approximately 30% of the electricity generated on the African continent.

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