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Friday, October 27, 2006

ION: Secretary general of Parliament on the run and The Week in Review

Catch-up on major news events you missed in the past week - Plus the weekend’s top stories!

Also in the news: [Diplomats in Ethiopia under surveillance: ION report] [Message from Kinijit Vancouver] [15 killed, thousands displaced in Ethiopia flood]

Secretary general of Parliament on the run
Indian Ocean Newsletter N° 1200 28/10/2006

According to several tallying information sources, the secretary general of the Ethiopian Chamber of Representatives, Foto Bedane, took advantage of an official journey to Europe to defect from the regime of Prime Minister Meles Zenawi. He was part of an Ethiopian parliamentary delegation headed by the Speaker of the House of Representatives Degfe Bula which had left Addis Ababa on 13 October to go to Geneva (Switzerland) to attend the 115th general assembly of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) from 16 to 18 October. Foto Bedane is reported to have then decided not to return to Addis Ababa and may seek refugee status in the United States. His predecessor, Samuel Alemayhu, had similarly defected after a world conference of speakers of parliament in September 2005 in New York.

The Week in Review

  • Monday- October 23, 2006

  • According to our investigation 193 civilians were shot dead by security forces: Wolde-Michael Meshesha, Teletafi kinijit splits in two(addis Abeba), ETHIOPIAN AMERICAN AND ETHIOPIAN LAWYERS condemn HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATIONS in Ethiopia, Lemtmerugn (poem by Tewodros Abebe), Somalia's ICU leader dares Ethiopia to attack, Addis ferengi signing off

  • Tuesday- October 24, 2006

  • Zero tolerance for democracy: Policy of the Ethiopian government, Evidence of EPRDF’s failed policy, Ethiopia Ranked Among Worst Press Violators, Ethiopian officer captured after fierce battle, Ethiopia's "Lucy" to be exhibited in United States, From Vancouver Kinijit Support Groups, Ethiopia at war with ICU, Jonny Ragga Wins Music Award

  • Wednesday- October 25, 2006

  • The commission’s report proves that the “evidence” against imprisoned leaders of Kinijit is contrived: Kinijit Press release, Somalis sign up to fight Ethiopia, Ethiopia's fossil Lucy set to become a 'mute ambassador' to the US, Skepticism and delusion, shunning from reality, Eritrea has 10,000 armed men at border

  • Thursday- October 26, 2006

  • Yalemzewd Bekele released, Smithsonian OPPOSES Lucy’s tour, Ethiopian Soldiers ordered not to engage in discussions, Starbucks roasted over African dispute, ICU Prevent Gasoline from Reaching Somalia's Government, Prize offered to Africa's leaders, Eritrean fatally shot

  • Friday- October 27, 2006

  • Meles tells diplomats CUD's trial ends this year, An Open Letter to Ethiopians: Citizens’ Charter for a Democratic Ethiopia, Wolde-Michael Reacts to Report, disturbing news from a former aid darling, EU says Ethiopia released its staff member, UN report: thousands of foreign troops in Somalia, African Unite 2007
Message from Kinijit Vancouver

1. Wednesday November 1 2006 at 6 PM sharp
Protest rally & Candle light vigil front of
CBC Canadian Broadcasting Corporation . (message CBC speak up)
700 Hamilton Street. ( Hamilton & Georgia ) Vancouver,
Rain or Shine we will be there

2. Send the post card we prepared to your MP

3. Distribute the post card in the community throughout the month of November.
Form more Information see flyer

Diplomats under surveillance
Indian Ocean Newsletter N° 1200 28/10/2006

The recent expulsion of two members of the European Commission illustrates the extent to which diplomats in Addis Ababa are under surveillance.

The two members of the European Commission expelled by the Ethiopian authorities for “trafficking” had not been arrested at Moyale, a town on the border with Kenya, as the Ethiopian authorities claim, but 150 km from there, near Agre Mariam, on their way back from Addis Ababa. The Swedish diplomat Bjorn Jonsson and the Italian Enrico Sborgi had gone to the border to accompany Yalemzewd Bekele, a 29 year old human rights activist who worked for the European delegation in Addis Ababa. She believed she was in danger of being arrested because of her links with the opposition. She had initially taken refuge in the premises of the European delegation and later in Jonsson’s house. She was then accompanied to Moyale where she was arrested on 19 November while showing her papers to the Ethiopian immigration service. Fasil Assefa, who was waiting for her at the Koket Borena hotel but had no intention of going to Kenya, was also arrested.

According to some sources, the Ethiopian intelligence agents investigating Yalemzewd had photos of her eating a pizza with Jonsson, her line manager, the day she took refuge in the EC premises in Addis Ababa. They are also said to have photos showing her in the company of other members of the staff of the European delegation during private meetings. This would appear to show that the whole affair had been minutely prepared by the Ethiopian intelligence services. Better still, according to opposition sources, these services have benefited from the complicity of members of the private security company which guards the European delegation compound. This security firm, Sebhatu and Brothers, is owned by the brothers of Mimi Sebhatu, a journalist close to the regime who benefited with her husband Zerihun Teshome, for the attribution of a licence to launch a private radio station. She is also the editor of the newspaper Eftin which is strongly supportive of the Ethiopian regime. Agents from this security company could have informed the official intelligence services of Yalemzewd’s comings and goings and of her departure for Moyale. Her telephone conversations with the expelled diplomats, and with Tim Clark, the head of the European delegation in Addis Ababa, are also believed to have been recorded in the same way.

Sebhatu & Brothers may be employing disguised government agents. It was the government coalition, EPRDF that, according to people close to Mimi Sebhatu and her husband, provided half of the funding to create this security company. This company has more clients than another security company linked to partisans of the regime, belonging to Major Alemseged Gebre Yohannes, a former deputy Police Commissioner.

15 killed, thousands displaced in Ethiopia flood

ADDIS ABABA - A river burst its banks in southeastern Ethiopia killing 15 people and displacing more than 2,000, the state-run Ethiopian News Agency (ENA) said on Saturday.

“Wabe Shebelle broke its banks and flooded adjoining areas following heavy rains in highland Ethiopia,” ENA said quoting Ethiopia’s early warning disaster unit.

State television said late on Friday the towns of Kibredehar and Musthale were flooded and that residents had to move to higher ground. It said a U.N. boat and fact finding team had been sent to the region.(More...)