በቀላሉ የመሥሪያ ማገናኛዎች

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The U.N. Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) is warning that millions of people in Ethiopia and neighboring nations are on the brink of starvation due to droughts and ongoing conflicts.

An FAO alert warns that more than 11 million people in Somalia, Kenya, Djibouti and Ethiopia are in desperate need of assistance. The organization says food shortages are especially severe in Somalia where two-million people need humanitarian assistance.

The FAO says the rainy season, which usually comes October through December, did not occur this year, resulting in widespread crop failure.

The U.N. agency says early estimates show that more than one-million people in Ethiopia's Somali Region are facing severe food shortages. It says $40 million is needed to stave off starvation in the region.

Overall, more than eight million people in Ethiopia rely on food assistance.

A U.S. diplomat says Ethiopia should drop charges of treason against five Ethiopian-born journalists with the Voice of America.

Vicki Huddleston, the top U.S. envoy in Addis Ababa, says Ethiopian officials should speak directly to the U.S. government about any issues they have with VOA, rather than charging the journalists in court.

She said U.S. officials are very concerned about the indictment against the five journalists, who are U.S. government personnel.

The journalists (Nigussie Mengesha, Addisu Abebe, Tizita Belachew, Adanech Fesshaye, and Solomon Kifle) all work at VOA headquarters in Washington.

VOA Director David Jackson has said the charges are false and designed to intimidate VOA broadcasters.

Mr. Negussie Mengesha has said he and his colleagues reject the charges, adding that VOA broadcasts to Ethiopia are objective and balanced.

The VOA journalists are among 129 people, including other journalists and Ethiopian opposition leaders who are facing charges of treason or genocide. The charges stem from deadly violence that occurred last year during protests over disputed elections.

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