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Wednesday, September 27, 2006

How long can a government govern with out the consent of its constituents?

Also in the news:Urgent Press release from Ethiopian Americans for H.R. 5680, EC President to Visit Ethiopia, Ethiopian meddling counterproductive, Fears for two Ethiopian teachers and more of today's top stories

Riot erupted as Ethiopians celebrated the Orthodox Christian day honoring Queen Elena’s ‘finding of the true cross’ in Addis Ababa September 26,2006. picture by WILL CONNORS. (more on this below)

Urgent: Press release from Ethiopian Americans for H.R. 5680

Several thousand Ethiopian-Americans, Ethiopians and friends of Ethiopia are expected to rally on Capitol Hill to show their support for a bill called “The Ethiopia Freedom, Democracy and Human Rights Advancement Act (H.R. 5680). In an unusual act, the Speaker of the U.S. House, Dennis Hastert has intervened to prevent the bill from going to the House floor for a final vote. A separate rally is also scheduled in Batavia, IL, a city in Speaker Hastert’s Congressional district.(More...)
How long can a government govern with out the consent of its constituents?

(ETP- Sintayehu Tefera) The annual Ethiopian religious holiday Meskel was celebrated in Addis Ababa yesterday. Prior to the celebrations thousands of federal and city police, on foot as well as on horseback, surrounded “Meskel adebabay” where the ceremony was to take place. Participants, including journalists covering the event, were required to show photo ID in order to get in. Despite the heavy security, protests broke out towards the end of the ceremony when the announcer acknowledged the President and Patriarch (head of the Ethiopian Orthodox church) who were in attendance. Protestors denounced EPRDF (the ruling party) and the patriarch, who is seen by many in Addis as a government sympathizer.

The attending faithful of the Ethiopian Orthodox church, accused the patriarch of corruption and fraudulence. Ethio-Zagol (blogger from Addis) reported; Abune Paulos (the Patriarch) had to leave the procession in a hurry without making his traditional speech. The crowd was heard screaming "leba, leba," (thief, thief) while the patriarch hurriedly made his exit. Witnesses reported seeing tracks full of youth demonstrators being taken away by the federal police. Journalists who tried to find out where the detainees were being taken were ordered to leave the ceremony.

Last years celebrations were also marred with huge protests and inhumane violence courtesy of the Ethiopian federal police. Mass gatherings of any kind in Addis have become an increasing headache for the EPRDF government since they almost certainly end up serving as a platform for the public to express their discontent. EPRDF in its current form has irrecoverably lost the publics confidence, which begs the question; How long can a government govern with out the consent of its constituents?

-Read ethio-zagol's account: Police clashes with scores of protestors

EC President to Visit Ethiopia, AU Headquarter

Addis Ababa - European Commission (EC) President Jose Manuel Barroso is due here Saturday at the head of a high- powered delegation for a three-day working visit to the African Union (AU) Commission, EC Representative in Ethiopia, Tim Clarke, announced Tuesday. The EC mission to the AU, which will include no less than 10 European Commissioners and three vice presidents, is primarily intended to deepen existing cooperation and partnership between the two continental bodies. (More...)

Fears for two Ethiopian teachers

A human rights organisation has expressed fears for two teachers arrested in Ethiopia last month. According to Amnesty International, the two men are being held incommunicado without charge. Wasihun Melese and Anteneh Getnet are members of the Ethiopian Teachers' Association - the oldest trade union representing some 500,000 teachers. The ETA has criticised the government in the past and says the authorities have targeted it since last year's election.(More...)

Ethiopian meddling in Somalia counterproductive
International relations and security network (ISN)

During the past year, Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi has come into international disrepute for fixing elections, cracking down on his opposition and violating human rights. As a result, Western donors, among them the US, have withdrawn much of their economic aid to the country. As such, Zenawi may speculate that these policies would be reversed if his country helped prevent the spread of radical Islam in the Horn of Africa.

Clearly, the international community would be wrong to rely on Ethiopia to counter the Islamist threat in Somalia. Instead, it should enable the deployment of African Union peacekeepers and support the ongoing peace talks between the UIC and the Somali interim government. (More...)

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