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Tuesday, October 31, 2006

New deadly floods kill 67 in Ethiopia

Also in the news: Attention readers in Ethiopia: Judge W/Michael Messhesha's Interview (Amharic), Ethiopian royal family to sell property in Jerusalem to foreign nationals, The Ethiopian who uses old mortar shells to make great coffee and more of today's top stories

Ethiopia hit by new deadly floods

At least 67 people have been killed by floods in Ethiopia's eastern Ogaden region, aid workers say. Almost 300,000 have been affected after the Shabelle river burst its banks, an aid worker told the BBC.

There are also unconfirmed reports that crocodiles have killed two people in the floods. Accurate information is hard to get from the remote area.The area was also hit by devastating floods earlier this year, which killed hundreds and left thousands homeless.

The BBC's Amber Henshaw in Ethiopia says some people had only just returned home when they were forced to flee again following torrential rain. "Sixty-seven people have died since the worst flooding hit Friday, and the crocodiles in the area are eating some of the bodies," Muktar Mohammed, flood coordinator for the government-run Disaster Prevention and Preparedness Bureau, told the AP news agency. (More...)

Attention readers in Ethiopia

You may not have had the chance to see the real report of the real independent inquiry commission. Below is a transcript of Judge W/Micheal Meshesha’s Interview with Radio Ethiopia Sweden. In this interview Judge W/Michael Messhesha reveals what was to be the report of the Original inquiry commission. [Courtesy of HR5680 taskforce]

(Read transcript)

Ethiopian royal family to sell property in Jerusalem to foreign nationals

Ethiopians in Jerusalem (EIJ)

On 21 September 2006, the Jerusalem District Court in Israel decided in favor of conferring a disputed property in Jerusalem to the survivors of Emperor Haile-Selassie and Empress Mennen.

As recalled, this property’s ownership was in dispute between the Royal Family and the EPRDF government in Ethiopia since 1999. The would-be Empress acquired the land, which is situated on Dvora Hanevia St. no 4 and 6 in Jerusalem through the mediation of the Ethiopian Consul in Jerusalem at the time Ato Paulos in early 1928, and was legally registered under the names of the late Emperor and Empress on January 25, 1928.

....Selling this ‘holy’ site to foreigners can only amount to a treacherous act against the people of Ethiopia and the memory and legacy of HIM Emperor Haile-Selassie and Empress Mennen. Through this act an important part of this memory and legacy of both of them will be irreversibly extracted and extorted from Jerusalem and Ethiopia’s histories once and for all.

So when faced with the dilemma of choice between a tyrant nihilistic regime and a self-centered elite claiming to have royal blood, one ought to remember that in both cases the Ethiopian nation is the one losing a great deal.

The Ethiopian who uses old mortar shells to make great coffee

In Biblical times they said "turn your swords into ploughshares", now in northern Ethiopia a tradesman is bringing the saying into the 21st century.

In his workshop in Mekele, just 200km from Ethiopia's border with Eritrea, Azmeraw Zekele is turning burnt-out shells into cylinders used in coffee machines.

Most of the shells are leftover from the war between the two countries which took place between 1998 and 2000.

The workshop is made up of three quite small ramshackle rooms that lead from one to another with sunlight coming through the gaps, but it is a hive of activity for Mr Azmeraw and his six staff. (More...)

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