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Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Prime Minister Meles gets rid of auditor who exposed government’s corruption

Also in the news: the famous Peaceful civil disobedience calendar, Commission to demarcate Ethiopia-Eritrea border, Eritrea: Three journalists dead in prison

International: African Union to Probe Darfur Massacre, Rumsfeld faces threat of lawsuit over 'war crime', Dozens Kidnapped at Baghdad University, Iran says nuke program is near complete and more of today's top stories

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

(Picture addis fortune) Saturday September 11, 2006 - the closing day of the Addis Abeba University Strategic Planning Conference, Prime Minister Meles Zenawi and Andreas Eshete. Meles told his listeners that his government was dissatisfied with the quality of graduates coming out of Ethiopian higher education institutions.

ETP Asks: and just who is to blame for that?

Human rights watch Report: "Educators and students are often among the first targets of governments that do not respect civil and political rights. In Ethiopia, governmental power has been used to turn the educational institutions into a system that largely serves the interests of state power-holders....(AAU) professors told Human Rights Watch that professors can be fired for speaking their minds even when they do so in their personal capacity"

Prime Minister gets rid of Auditor who exposed government’s corruption

ETP - Last (Ethiopian) year when the auditor General of Ethiopia, Lema Aregaw (seen here), presented his report to the House of People’s Representatives and officially exposed the deep seated corruption within the EPRDF led government of Ethiopia; everyone knew his days in office were numbered.

His report indicated that close to 7.2 Billion Birr (approximately 900 million U.S dollars) was unaccounted for; most of it from the regional state coffers. It was an eventful day in the house that Tuesday; it was also the day when the very infuriated prime Minister gave the now infamous ‘the right to burn money’ speech. “The regional administrations” Prime Minister Meles said, “had the authority that could go as far as burning the money they received as subsidies from the federal government if they wished to do so”

As expected, in a letter dated November 10, 2006, Prime Minister Meles has relived the auditor general from all his duties. What the Prime Minister did is of course illegal, since the law clearly states that only the parliament has the authority to remove the Auditor General from his position. Proclamation 68/1997 sub article (4) article 101 of the constitution states “the Auditor General is accountable to the Council of Peoples' Representatives and between sessions is accountable to the President of Ethiopia”

Mr. Lemma Argaw has served as Auditor General for thirty years. He was appointed in 1979 during the derg era; because of his professional reputation and unpartisan reports, he had managed to hang on to his post for decades.

Also see:
-7.2 Billion Birr Unaccounted for from Ethiopia's Budget [The Sub-Saharan Informer’s license was revoked shortly after this article was published. It has now been granted back its license but it seems that links to critical articles, such as this one, have been permanently removed form the website]

Commission to demarcate Ethiopia-Eritrea border

An independent commission will demarcate the contested Ethiopian-Eritrean border on maps and leave the rival nations to establish the physical boundary themselves, a letter obtained by Reuters on Tuesday shows.

The Horn of Africa neighbors fought a 1998-2000 war over a border area of dusty villages and scrubby plains, in which 70,000 people were killed. Although a 2000 agreement ended the conflict, the peace process soon ground to a halt.

"The commission has decided that it will complete the process of demarcation by the use of coordinates to establish fixed points on the boundary to be connected to each other," the November 7 letter from the commission to Ethiopia said.(More...)

Eritrea: Report says three journalists died in prison

Reporters Without Borders today called on the Eritrean government to urgently produce evidence that three journalists illegally held since September 2001 are still alive, as information from credible sources indicates they died in the course of the past 20 months in a detention centre at a place called Eiraeiro, in a remote northeastern desert.

The organisation wrote to the Eritrean embassy in France on 9 October asking the government to provide an explanation “within a reasonable period” about these “very disturbing reports.” If we do not get a reply from you in the near future, our organisation will publish this information,” said the letter, which did not receive a response.

“This silence on the part of the Eritrean authorities is inhumane and intolerable,” Reporters Without Borders said today. “Dozens of political prisoners have disappeared into jails run by the armed forces. They include at least 13 journalists, of whom there has been no word for nearly five years.” (More...)

Today's Top Stories

-Sudan: African Union to Probe Darfur Massacre
-South African parliament sanction gay marriage
-Rumsfeld faces threat of lawsuit over 'war crime'
-Dozens Are Kidnapped at Baghdad University
-Iran says nuke program is near complete
-Driver threatens police with snake