Click Here for EthioPolitics NEWS

New! EthioPolitics presents "ARTIST OF THE DAY"
where we feature artists from all over the world who have
contributed significantly to the world of music.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Human Rights in Ethiopia - The Urgent Need to Pass H.R. 5680

Also in the news: Annan tells neighbours: Stay out of Somalia, Stagnant Water Hampering Aid Efforts in Flood-Hit Areas, One Year Has Passed (lewit)..., 'Betrayal of Democracy' in Winnipeg Canada, The famous Peaceful civil disobedience calendar

International: DRC Provisional Results Give Kabila Victory, Sudan accused of invading Chad, US: Senate Democrats elect leaders, Al Jazeera Takes on CNN BBC, Japan Russia on tsunami alert and more of today's top stories

U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan, center, is greeted by a welcoming committee at the Bole International Airport in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, Wednesday, Nov. 15, 2006. Secretary-General Kofi Annan, in an attempt to give new momentum to the stalled peace process in Darfur, is convening a meeting Thursday in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, of senior officials from the African Union, the Arab League, the European Union, Sudan, the United States, China, Russia, Egypt, France, and half a dozen African countries.(AP Photo/Guy Calaf)

Annan tells neighbours: Stay out of Somalia

Nairobi - Neighbouring states should not meddle in Somalia, where their support for the government or its Islamist rivals risks inflaming an already volatile situation, says United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan.

A study commissioned by the UN accused 10 countries and various established militant groups of fuelling a rapid military build-up in the Horn of Africa nation.

Annan said: "An already difficult and volatile situation could be further complicated by neighbouring countries rushing in with troops or guns to support one side or the other. (More...)

Summary Report on Panel Discussions on Human Rights in Ethiopia - The Urgent Need to Pass H.R. 5680

Sponsored by the Coalition for HR 5680 – a grassroots alliance of groups, organizations and individuals who are deeply concerned about events in Ethiopia and are committed to work collectively for the passage of HR 5680

Summary of Professor Chuck Schaefer's Presentation:

Professor Schaefer began his talk by pointing out that in January 2006 he has acepted a volunteer position as Country Specialist for Ethiopia for Amnesty International-USA, and is currently devoting considerable time to this responsibility. He proceeded by discussing the wide ranging violations of human rights that have taken place in Ethiopia, including torture, extra judicial killings and imprisonment of political dissidents and opponents. (More...)

Summary of Mr. Ted Dagne's Presentation:

Mr. Dagne expressed his appreciation to the organizers of the event and began his presentation on Ethiopia ’s current human rights situation and the role of Congress. He briefed the audience on Congressman Donald Payne's visit to Ethiopia this past August. Mr. Dagne and Congressman Payne had discussions with the prime minister and other regime officials. They met with civil society leaders and groups. They also visited opposition leaders held in Kality prison and had discussions with a number of them. The delegation also met with family members of the prisoners.(More...)

Summary of Mr. Gregory Simpkins presentation:

Mr. Simpkins discussion topic was “Prospects of HR 5680 in the Lame Duck Session of the 109th Congress”. He began his presentation by offering his overall assessment that an effective grassroots Ethiopian American advocacy group has evolved around H.R. 5680. He congratulated Ethiopian Americans from diverse groups and backgrounds for working together to promote issues of common interest to all Ethiopian. He noted that the Ethiopian American community has made a lasting impression on members of congress.(More...)

Summary of Prof. Alemayehu Gebre Mariam’s Presentation:

Professor Alemayehu's presentation was aimed at developing a common understanding of the core issues of human rights in the Ethiopian American community. He suggested that Ethiopian in the Diaspora can not be effective advocates of human rights in Ethiopia unless they share a common understanding of core human rights values.(More...)

One Year Has Passed...

...One year has passed, and I awake to find myself living in a society where the words “mass imprisonment”, “torture” and “murder” sprinkle casual conversation, and the sight of camoflauged soldiers--armed with AK-47s and walking four and five abreast--no longer chills the blood.

It is because one year has passed, that I fear the exemplary resilience so often required of people here will slowly allow adaptation, even to such horrors. Are we not all , to varying degress, already learning to gather and refashion our lives from the remmnants of former freedoms—continually surrendering to the endless concessions of our most basic human rights? Are we not all already speaking less..trusting less..hoping less?

Ethiopia: Stagnant Water Hampering Aid Efforts in Flood-Hit Areas

Water levels are receding in southeast Ethiopia but humanitarian efforts to help thousands of people displaced by floods are being hindered by stagnant water, amid fears of increased risk of water-borne diseases.

About 68 people died and thousands fled their homes in the Somali region after the Wabe Shebelle river burst its banks in early November, washing away livestock and damaging infrastructure, including bridges and roads. The towns of Mustahil and Kelafo, south of Gode, the regional capital, have been worst hit by the floods.

"Inaccessibility to flood-affected areas, particularly Mustahil and Kelafo woredas, is still a challenge; this coupled with a shortage of fuel is hampering the emergency response," the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said in a situation report on Monday.

A total of 145,000 people have been affected in the two woredas, according to OCHA. Approximately 11,000 people were reported displaced in Mustahil. "These areas are still inaccessible by road," the report noted. "Transportation has been partly hampered because of poor road conditions following heavy rains in the region and several trucks loaded with emergency relief items are stranded due to the floods and heavy rains. Transportation, including helicopters and boats, is among the pressing needs."(More...)

DRC Provisional Results Give Kabila Victory

Results from Congo's Independent Electoral Commission show presidential incumbent Joseph Kabila has 58 percent of the vote to Jean-Pierre Bemba's 42 percent.

Election officials say they will formally present these results to both candidates. The commission is already looking into allegations of fraud in certain voting areas. Before results are official, the Supreme Court has to certify them.

Wednesday, Transitional President Joseph Kabila called for calm. Mr. Kabila, the son of a slain former coup leader, also said the country's army and police were loyal to him. (More...)


The famous Peaceful civil disobedience calendar, click on picture to see full size.

Today's Top Stories

-Prime Minister Meles gets rid of auditor who exposed government’s corruption
-Betrayal of Democracy in Winnipeg Canada
-Sudan accused of invading Chad
-Senate Democrats elect leaders
-Iraqi govt at odds over missing hostages
-Al Jazeera Takes on CNN, BBC With English Language News Channel
-Japan, Russia on tsunami alert
-Physics promises an end to plugs and cables for your laptop
-Man fined for saying four-letter-word on flight