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Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Ethiopian security forces massacred protesters, says inquiry judge!!

Also in the news: 'Meles rejects observer's report', Eritrea rejected UN call to withdraw, Somalia Islamists recruit hundreds after call for Jihad on Ethiopia, What is the Size of the Ethiopian Population in the United States?, H.R.5680: Sustaining the Struggle for Freedom, Democracy and Human Rights and more of today's top stories.

A senior Ethiopian judge appointed by his government to investigate election-related unrest says -

"security forces shot, beat and strangled to death 193 unarmed protesters."

Wolde-Michael Meshesha, a vice chairman of the 10-member inquiry, accused the government Wednesday of trying to suppress the results of the probe amid sharp questions about Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi's commitment to democratic reform.

Ethiopian officials refused to comment on the claims. Officials said at the time that demonstrators were trying to overthrow the government.

"This was a massacre,"

Wolde-Michael said in a telephone interview with The Associated Press.

"These demonstrators were unarmed yet the majority died from shots to the head."

"There is no doubt that excessive force was used," added the judge, who left Ethiopia last month after receiving anonymous death threats, leaving his wife and five daughters behind. He is now claiming asylum in Europe and would not disclose his exact whereabouts out of fear for his safety.

A draft of the inquiry team's report, which was to have been presented to the Ethiopian parliament in early July and has since been obtained by the AP, says among those killed were 40 teenagers, including a boy and a girl, both 14. The two were shot.(More...)

Also see
-EZ's report 'Meles rejects observer's report'
-BBC report Ethiopian protesters 'massacred'
-Investigators Says Ethiopian Forces Killed 193 in Anti - All American Patriot
-Inquiry Triples Toll in Ethiopia Protests - Washington Post
-Inquiry Says Ethiopian Troops Killed 193 in Ballot Protests in ’ - New York Times
-Panel Says Ethiopian Forces Killed 193 in Anti-Government Protests - Men's News Daily
-Ethiopian security forces killed 193 protesters, triple the - San Diego Union Trib
-Security forces 'massacred' 193 - News24
-193 protesters said killed in Ethiopia - Olberlin
-Ethiopian Judge Says Forces Killed 193 Protesters - All Headline News
-Judge: Ethiopian forces killed 193 unarmed protesters - CNN International
-Ethiopian security forces massacred protesters? -

H.R.5680: Sustaining the Struggle for Freedom, Democracy and Human Rights in Ethiopia

Coalition for HR5680 will hold a Conference in Washington D.C. on Saturday November 4, 2006. (More...)

Eritrea rejected a United Nations Security Council call to immediately withdraw troops

Eritrea on Wednesday rejected a United Nations Security Council call to immediately withdraw troops from a demilitarised buffer zone on its arch-foe Ethiopia, criticising the world body for ineffectiveness.

Asmara, which on Tuesday said it had sent soldiers into the so-called "Temporary Security Zone" (TSZ) to harvest crops, claimed it had a sovereign right to have troops on any portion of its soil, including in the TSZ.

It also denounced the UN for failing to press Ethiopia to accept a border delineation that emanated from the 2000 agreement that ended the two countries' bloody two-year border war.

"It is unacceptable for the UN Security Council to make such a tepid call that causes more confusion and even complicates the situation," Information Minister Ali Abdu said from Asmara.(more...)

Somalia Islamists recruit hundreds after call for Jihad on Ethiopia
Mogadishu- Somalia's Islamists have recruited at least 450 young men to carry out a holy war on neighbouring Ethiopia, an official from a registration centre told Deutsche Presse-Agentur dpa. Islamists in Baladweyne - just 25 kilometres from the Ethiopian border - registered the young Somalis, who signed up voluntarily after a call by Islamist leaders to wage Jihad on Ethiopia, who it claims has sent troops into the country.

"We invited the young people to join the Jihad recruitment. We registered 450, and the recruitment is still going on," said chief registration officer Sheikh Abdulrahman Abdulle.

He said the Islamists would provide the recruits with military training, as well as arms and vehicles.

The Islamists have accused Ethiopia of sending troops into Somalia to protect the weak transitional government, a charge Addis Ababa denies. Witnesses near the government's seat in the provincial capital Baidoa said they heard men in fatigues speaking a foreign language. (More...)

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