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Monday, November 27, 2006

Protests In Khartoum Enter Second Week - BLOGS STILL BLOCKED IN ETHIOPIA!

ETP - In continuation of its repressive undemocratic policies; the Ethiopian Government has blocked all blogs yet again. This attempt by the government to completely sensor all information in and out of Ethiopia is a desperate effort to keep citizens ignorant and unaware of atrocities that are currently being committed .

Also in the news: CUD Trial Update, Letters that sparked US Somalia alert fake, The Great Ethiopian Run scam: URAEL, Fanning the flames of war, Solution to the Quagmire in Somalia:Enset, US to suspend visa services in Eritrea

International: Stakes high as Iraq-Iran officials meet, Diplomatic Row Brews Over Spy's Radiation Death, UK to cut Iraq troops by "thousands" by end-2007, Leftist Chavez ally winning Ecuador presidential race and more of today's top stories

Ethiopians’ protest at the UNHCR gate in Khartoum entered its second week. Two are seriously sick.The protest started november 20, 2006 when the rounding up and arresting of Ethiopians with no valid IDs was at its pick. According to their representative their number is 212. Among the protesters is a woman with a six month baby and another with a two years old. Debteraw.(More...)

Letters that sparked US Somalia alert fake

MOGADISHU, Nov 27 (Reuters) - Somali Islamists on Monday dismissed as fake two letters purportedly signed by their most influential leader and which led to a U.S. warning of possible suicide attacks in Kenya and Ethiopia.

"An assassin will not write a letter and say I will carry out a plan. Even in the copy we saw, they could not get the letterhead right," Ibrahim Hassan Addow (seen here), in charge of foreign affairs for the Islamists, told Reuters.

"Those who want attack us and bring foreign troops to Somalia want to use this cheap tactic to get American support ... It is unfortunate that a State Department official accepted this and used it in American foreign policy towards Somalia."

The letters surfaced amid belligerent rhetoric and heightened fears that a standoff between Somalia's interim government and rival Islamists may spiral into a regional war, sucking in neighbouring countries.(More...)

CUD Trial Update

Shimelis Kemal, co-author of the EPRDF court drama requested the court today to abandon the appearance of his remaining 289 trained witnesses. Of the total expected fake witnesses of 367 only 59 appeared in court so far; and 19 have not witnessed for the prosecutor himself claimed their substance is redundant.

Shimelis claimed that the substance of the remaining 289 witnesses is not different from those so far appeared; and his office wants to help justice to be made as soon as possible (“yetefaten fitih”). However the co-authors appeal to bring 15 new witnesses that were not mentioned in the original list of witnesses due to different reasons. The court accepted both questions and adjourned for Wednesday. The authors seems to end their series so short. Why?

Meanwhile, Muluneh Eyoel, Sisay Agena and Eskindir Nega were brought back to Kality jail from their solitary confinement last week. Prison sources confirmed that the three were in solitary confinement as a punishment for their “behavior” which is demanding their basic rights of discussing with their prison mates. source

The Great Ethiopian Run scam


The television trucks are already at their place. Tens of thousands of enthusiastic amateur athletes are trying their best to compete, or in some cases to complete, the 6.5 miles through Addis Ababa's city center. Last years edition was just three weeks after the general strike and the murders and mass arrests following the election fraud. I watched the run nearby one of the trucks of the Ethiopian Television Corporation.

In a nearby buna bet people were following the event on television. When the competitive athletes finished the crowds came passing by. Whenever they passed the truck of the ETC with a camera on its roof, the V sign was made and large groups shouted 'Leba, leba'.

You could read the uneasiness from the faces of the camera men. What to do? There was no way to avoid the shouting and signaling runners but filming it, was against all the codes that are valid at the national television. Which means we show what the gang wants us to. And they knew that the government did no even want to admit that the opposition was alive and kicking, even with many thousands suffering in concentration camps.

The other thing was that the camera men and other technical people felt that the 'Leba, leba' yells were not only meant for the thieves that stole the elections, but also was aimed at the ETV itself.

Day in day out broadcasting lies does not make you popular. I must admit that I enjoyed this spectacle. After weeks of tension, somehow I escaped from the attention of the security people, it was a relieve to see that so many felt the same as me. For a moment we could share our feelings of anger and frustration. May be even a tear dropped out of my eyes.

After a while I went in to the buna bet for a refreshment. Ethiopian television was still showing pictures of thousands of people running. But there was something strange. All of them were wearing the T shirt, that the organization provides, of the run the year before.

And no pictures of people outing their frustration with the recent atrocities. Then I understood; to avoid showing the angry crowd on TV, ETV was showing the footage of the year before. While the reporting went on for another hour, the television people had packed their things and were long gone.

Fanning the flames of war

Conor Foley, Guardian

Plans by the US government to authorise intervention in Somalia are likely to be counterproductive, as history warns us.

...Deploying frontline states, such as Ethiopia, in Somalia, without the consent of all warring parties, would be the equivalent of pouring petrol on a fire. Intervening under the banner of the UN will also weaken the organisation's neutrality and legitimacy. The ICG has instead called on the UN to reinforce its arms embargo against all sides and to push for a negotiated end to the conflict. It states that "any UN-sponsored military deployment should be designed to support an agreed ceasefire, not undermine it"...(More)

Solution to the Quagmire in Somalia


...In her article, the feminist Mire (cousin of the leader of the Islamists, Sheikh Hassan Dahir Aweys) argues that what Somalis needed the most at this time is a sense of security in their own country and she was prepared to give the benefit of the doubt to the Islamists, even though she is convinced that Somali women will not fare any better under Islamic Sharia law.

In an email conversation I had with Mire after reading her article, she related to me that the central reason for the lack of political stability in Somalia in the last 16 years was Ethiopian interference in Somali affairs. She also seemed to attribute the ills of Somali society such as warlordism and the consumption of the mild narcotics khat (tchat) on Ethiopia. While I agreed with Mire that interference by the Meles regime was, indeed, one of the reasons for the political instability in Somalia today, I indicated to her that the premium that Somali society places on clan loyalty over and above everything else is the main culprit.(More...)

US to suspend visa services in Eritrea

ASMARA (Reuters) - The United States said on Monday it was temporarily suspending visa services in Eritrea until the Red Sea state let its new consular officer enter the country.

The current U.S. consul is set to leave Eritrea early next month, but in a sign of worsening diplomatic relations the U.S. embassy said it had been unable to get a visa for her replacement.(More...)

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