በቀላሉ የመሥሪያ ማገናኛዎች

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Ethiopia's finance minister says western donors' freezing of $375 million in aid to his country is unacceptable.

Sofian Ahmed said Friday the direct aid amounts to 10 percent of Ethiopia's annual budget.

Western diplomats said Thursday the European Union, the World Bank and other donors would withhold the aid as a result of Ethiopia's crackdown on opposition leaders and journalists.

Media reports say the donors hope to disburse the money through other channels to address Ethiopia's widespread poverty.

The government crackdown followed clashes between security forces and protesters last month, in which at least 46 people were killed. Wednesday, a judge ordered the continued confinement of more than 80 opposition leaders and journalists detained during the protests.

A total of 131 people are charged with plotting against the Ethiopian government, treason, and genocide.

New warnings of famine and food shortages have been sounded for parts of the Horn of Africa.

The Famine Early Warning Systems Network says more than one-million people in south and southeast Ethiopia face "extreme food insecurity" due to the failure of normal late-year rains.

The U.S.-funded group says pre-famine conditions have emerged in several districts, including Afder, Liban and Gode).

The group says two million people need humanitarian aid in Somalia, mostly in the south, where the poor rainfall has led to widespread crop failure. It also warns of a food crisis in northern Kenya.

It says food aid has been dispatched to the affected regions but that the crisis will likely intensify during the dry season in early 2006.

The United Nations issued humanitarian appeals this month for Somalia and Kenya.

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