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Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Eritrea says Ethiopian soldiers defecting opposing invasion of Somalia

Also in the news: Ethiopia's Mengistu H/Mariam verdict due next week, TRUE DISCIPLES OF DEMOCRACY SHALL BE FREE by Aie Zi Guo

International: Kabila hails new era for DR Congo , Panel says U.S. policy in Iraq ‘is not working’, Evidence of water discovered on Mars surface and more of today's top stories

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Eritrea says Ethiopian soldiers defect opposing invasion of Somalia

Asmara, 6 December 2006 – 8 Ethiopian soldiers arrived in Eritrea opposing the TPLF regime’s invasion of Somalia. One of the soldiers, Alelign Simeneh disclosed that troops from different divisions of the Ethiopian Army have entered Somalia territory in breach of its sovereignty. He added that the regime is imprisoning officers, soldiers and health professionals under the guise of evaluation after the defection of two Ethiopian generals who have joined the opposition.

Accordingly, Lt. Colonel Girma, ex-secretary of Maj. General Bacha Debele and several other senior officers and health professionals who were members of the Army and an unknown number of nurses have defected.

The 8 soldiers are Kamel Kemalo Sheik, Hassan Mohammed Ibrahim, Wegari Gidina Mokjera, Abyot Sheferaw Hunde, Teyib Haji Temam Suleiman, all 5 from the Oromo ethnic group, and Alelign Simeneh Gezu and Adane Mekuanint Ayichew, both from the Amhara ethnic group, as well as Abdi Saleh Mohammed, a Tigrayan. (Source)

Ethiopia's Mengistu verdict due next week

ADDIS ABABA, Dec 6 (Reuters) - The long-awaited verdict in Ethiopia's more than decade-old genocide trial of former Marxist ruler Mengistu Haile Mariam will be issued next week, officials said on Wednesday.

Mengistu, who has lived in exile in Zimbabwe since 1991, has been tried in absentia with 73 other officials accused of involvement in killing tens of thousands of people during his 17-year-rule, including the 1977-78 "Red Terror" campaign.

The verdict was to be delivered in May but was postponed after the court said it needed more time to assess evidence. "The time set to give the final verdict on the trail of Colonel Mengistu Haile Mariam and his officials was brought forward to Dec. 12 from Jan. 23," a statement from Ethiopia's office of the special prosecutor said.

Mengistu's rule began with the toppling of Emperor Haile Selassie in 1974 and included war, brutal purges and famine.

During the "Red Terror", suspected opponents were rounded up, then executed by garrotting or shooting, their bodies often thrown into the streets. (More...)

Kabila hails new era for DR Congo

A new era is beginning, President Joseph Kabila has told an audience in the Democratic Republic of Congo's capital shortly after his inauguration.

He told heads of state and an excited crowd that he would abide by "the trilogy of good governance, democracy and respect for human rights".

He is DR Congo's first freely elected leader in 40 years having won a tense run-off presidential poll in October.

The 35-year-old took power in 2001 after his father was assassinated. Thousands of guests were in the garden of State House just near the huge and powerful Congo river for the ceremony.

Many people were shading themselves under umbrellas in the national colours of blue, red and yellow. Several African leaders attended the event including South Africa's President Thabo Mbeki and the Angolan leader, Jose Eduardo dos Santos. (More...)

Panel says U.S. policy in Iraq ‘is not working’

WASHINGTON - President Bush’s policy in Iraq “is not working,” the Iraq Study Group said bluntly on Wednesday, prodding the administration to embrace diplomacy to stabilize the country and allow withdrawal of most U.S. combat troops by early 2008.

After four years of war and the deaths of more than 2,900 U.S. troops, the situation is “grave and deteriorating,” and the United States’ ability “to influence events within Iraq is diminishing,” the commission warned in an unsparing report.(More...)

Read the IRAQ STUDY GROUP REPORT from official site

Today's Top Stories

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-No accord on Iran over nuclear programme
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