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Thursday, December 14, 2006

Everyone Should Stand Guard for the Protection of Human Rights!

Also in the news: [New website for KIL] - [Eritrea calls for emergency meeting on Somalia] - [Bush Adds Ethiopia to Malaria Fight] - [Coming storm in Somalia]

International: [Ban Sworn in As U.N. Secretary-General] - [Kenya's President rejects salary increase given to him by parliament] - [Mugabe moves to extend his rule] - [US:Senate control might shift on illness],

-Kinijit international launches a new website

Bush Adds Ethiopia to Malaria Fight

WASHINGTON - President Bush on Thursday added eight more countries to a U.S. initiative aimed at combatting malaria in Africa and reducing the disease's mortality rate by 50 percent in targeted nations.

The additional countries are Benin, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Liberia, Madagascar, Mali and Zambia.

The new countries were announced at a White House summit on malaria, intended to raise awareness of the mosquito-borne disease and to mobilize a grass-roots effort among voluntary, faith-based and non-profit organizations to save millions of lives.

Just before the summit, Bush told the president of Benin that the United States will commit resources, time and talent to help rid much of Africa of malaria, but added that Benin's government must help by educating its citizens on prevention.

"We cannot succeed, however, unless there is an administration that is willing and capable to do the hard work necessary to educate people and spread nets and insecticides necessary to deal with a disease that can be defeated," Bush said.(More...)

Everyone Should Stand Guard for the Protection of Human Rights!

EHRCO (The Ethiopian Human Right Council) Press Release issued on the occasion of International Human Rights Day, Dec 10

...since the May 2005 national election, brutal extrajudicial killings, mass arrests, and torture have been committed against citizens. There have been repeated violations of freedoms of expression, belief, and assembly, press freedom, the right to organise, and other political rights.

It is the duty of the government to bring to justice those who wilfully violate the rights enshrined in the Constitution and in the international human rights instruments that Ethiopia has ratified. At the same time, every citizen has to struggle to ensure that this is done so.

On this occasion, EHRCO calls upon civil society, the Ombudsman, the Ethiopian Human Rights Commission, the Parliament and other appropriate government organs, development partners as well as the media to develop common programmes and work together to promote political and religious tolerance, the resolution of differences through peaceful dialogue, the rule of law, and the protection of human rights.

Eritrea calls for emergency meeting on Somalia

Eritrea is calling for an emergency East African meeting to discuss the situation in Somalia, where it and arch-foe Ethiopia have been accused of waging a proxy war, officials said on Thursday.

As all-out war, which many fear could engulf the Horn of Africa looms in the lawless nation, Eritrean President Isaias Afwerki urged a crisis meeting of regional foreign ministers, they said.

The call comes as Somalia's powerful Islamist movement continues to threaten the weak Ethiopian-backed Somali government and follows United Nations Security Council authorisation last week of East African peacekeepers to aid the administration.

Eritrea denies charges by UN experts that it is arming the Islamists but has sided with the movement in opposing the deployment of a peacekeeping mission by the regional Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (Igad).(More...)

The Coming storm in Somalia

The Guardian, Simon Tisdall - Watching Somalia right now is like standing on a beach, waiting for a category five hurricane to hit. The storm is approaching fast, there seems little that can be done, and the ensuing destruction will be terrible - and far-reaching.

The looming Somali cataclysm threatens to spark a regional war, suck in east African and Arab actors, and create a dangerous new theatre in the polarising, global contest between western power and Islamist jihadism. Somalia has the potential to make Darfur look like a little local difficulty.

The cocked trigger for all-out conflict is a deadline set by the Union of Islamic Courts (UIC), a movement of growing military and popular strength that controls the capital, Mogadishu, and most of southern Somalia.

If Ethiopia does not abandon the rump, western-backed government that holds the central town of Baidoa and withdraw its troops by Tuesday, the Islamists say they will attack. Several thousand Ethiopian soldiers have entered the country in recent months with tacit US backing. Their presence is officially denied. Addis Ababa has rejected the ultimatum.(More...)

Kenya's President Mwai Kibaki has rejected an $18,000 monthly salary increase given to him by parliament

Kenya's President Mwai Kibaki has rejected an $18,000 monthly salary increase given to him by parliament. He said he had turned down the offer because "there are other priority projects in need of urgent funding".

"I have taken note of the decision reached and weighed its implications under the current economic conditions prevailing in the country, and do hereby turn down the offer," the president said in a statement on Wednesday night.

It is imperative that remuneration due to public officers be a true reflection of the economic and social times of the nation."

In the parliamentary debate last week, opposition MP William Ruto had said there were civil servants who earned "peanuts" at about $57 a month, were in more urgent need of a salary increase. (More...)

Today's Top Stories

-Ban Sworn in As U.N. Secretary-General
-Mugabe moves to extend his rule
-Senate control might shift on illness
-North Korean talks to resume Monday
-Circumcision cuts risk of HIV