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Friday, January 12, 2007

Clan fighting kills 14 in central Somalia

Look for the 'The Week in Review' segment below

Weekend Top Stories: [letter regarding the "Legacy of a Dream" Award controversy] - [How US forged an alliance with Ethiopia over invasion] - [Pentagon Sees Move in Somalia as Blueprint]

‘Bekele the destroyer’ - Kenenisa Bekele laid down an emphatic statement to the rest of the world by destroying the field in the men’s 9.3km at the Event Scotland Great Edinburgh Cross Country - IAAF permit race - today.

Concerned Ethiopians in Los Angeles will hold a demonstration on Saturday, January 20, 2007 at 1pm to oppose a public meeting that is called on the same day by a representative of the EPRDF Regime to discuss current issues with the Ethiopian community residing in the Greater Los Angeles area.

Clan fighting kills 14 in central Somalia

At least 14 people have been killed and dozens more were wounded after clan fighting erupted in central Somalia, reports say on Sunday.

The fighting happened yesterday in Gobo village, which is on the borderline between Galgadud and Hiran regions in central Somalia. Witnesses say that clashes went between Hawadle and Murursade clans of Hawiye tribe.

The cause of the latest battle was based on pastoral land and water argument. Militias of both sides exchanged artillery and rocket propelled grenades that rocked the village. Sources from villages close to the area of the fighting say today rivals could have been seen organizing themselves for fresh battle.(More...)

Also see: 13 killed in a clan gun battle in central Somalia

The "Legacy of a Dream" Award controversy

From: Keif Schleifer
Executive Director
The Empowerment Initiative
Human Rights, Social Justice, Non-Violence Advocacy

Mr. Pino,

Azeb Mesfin is not Meles Zenawi. Zenawi's actions, however, discredit the presentation of the "John Thompson Legacy of a Dream Award" you are offering to Mesfin, his wife, in the name of Dr. King. The legacy of Dr. King challenges us to do what is difficult, to stand against injustices, even when that stand may be contrary to those closest to us.

I cannot imagine how difficult the life of a first lady may be, especially when living in the shadow of a man with a despicable and atrocious record. Nevertheless, Dr. King, himself, warned of the dangers of complicity. What I find terribly offensive about this particular award presentation is that it is being connected to the "Legacy" and "Dream" of Dr. King. Quite frankly, I don't believe that Dr. King would have ever dreamed of this current legacy for Ethiopia. He certainly would not have condoned it.

The Hon. Ana Gomes, MEP, prepared a video message for us (here in Atlanta) for yesterday's Human Rights Symposium that put "Peace on Trial in Ethiopia." Please consider her very relevant and stirring message regarding the protracted crisis in Ethiopia. Additionally, Ms. Gomes reminds us of a higher calling as we approach the day we recognize the work of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

You can read more about the Human Rights Symposium in the attached the press release.

Please note that here in Atlanta, many Ethiopians in the Diaspora have set aside their cultural, political and ideological differences in an effort to forge unity, empathy and understanding among each another. Such freedom of assembly, discourse, disagreement, discussion and association would be impossible in the current "democratic" Ethiopia.

This committed, persistent group of ethnically different Ethiopians strongly believe that M.L. King's message of non-violent struggle and mutual respect provides the most logical hope for lasting peace, reconciliation, social justice and democracy in Ethiopia. The Civil Rights Movement, as a whole, is their source of inspiration.

I hope the best for you, your institution, and the challenge before you in the face of this controversy.

Best Regards,

How US forged an alliance with Ethiopia over invasion

On December 4, General John Abizaid, the commander of US forces from the Middle East through Afghanistan, arrived in Addis Ababa to meet the Ethiopian prime minister, Meles Zenawi. Officially, the trip was a courtesy call to an ally.

Three weeks later, however, Ethiopian forces crossed into Somalia in a war on its Islamist rulers, and this week the US launched air strikes against suspected al-Qaida operatives believed to be hiding among the fleeing Islamist fighters.

The meeting was just the final handshake," said a former intelligence officer familiar with the region.

Washington and Addis Ababa may deny it, but the air strikes this week exposed close intelligence and military cooperation between Ethiopia and America, fuelled by mutual concern about the rise of Islamists in the chaos of Somalia.(More...)

Pentagon Sees Move in Somalia as Blueprint

WASHINGTON, Jan. 12 — Military operations in Somalia by American commandos, and the use of the Ethiopian Army as a surrogate force to root out operatives for Al Qaeda in the country, are a blueprint that Pentagon strategists say they hope to use more frequently in counterterrorism missions around the globe.

Military officials said the strike by an American gunship on terrorism suspects in southern Somalia on Sunday showed that even with the departure of Donald H. Rumsfeld from the Pentagon, Special Operations troops intended to take advantage of the directive given to them by Mr. Rumsfeld in the weeks after the Sept. 11 attacks.

American officials said the recent military operations have been carried by the Pentagon’s Joint Special Operations Command, which directs the military’s most secretive and elite units, like the Army’s Delta Force. (More..)

The Week in Review

  • Monday - January 8, 2007

  • [We want negotiations with govt, says Islamist official] - [Ethiopia's Intervention may Radicalize moderate Muslims] - [Gunmen attack Ethiopian troops in Mogadishu ] - [Somalis suffer along tense border with Kenya] - [Djibouti Urges Ethiopia to Pull Its Troops Out] - [Ethiopian fighter jets bomb southern Somalia]

  • Tuesday - January 9, 2007

  • [Somali, Ethiopian troops intervene to stop clan fighting] - [Two rocket explosions, firefight in Somali capital] - [U.S. Launches Airstrike in Somalia] - [Reject claims of Somali 'crisis'] - ['Many dead' in US air strikes on Somalia] - [More attacks on Ethiopian troops by unidentified gunmen] - [EU criticises alleged US airstrike in southern Somalia]

  • Wednesday - January 10, 2007

  • [U.S. airstrike in Somalia stemmed from Ethiopian tip] - [Situation of Human Rights in Ethiopia from Bad to Worse: THE OBSERVATORY for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders] - [Fazul Abdullah Mohammed killed says Somali official] - [US bombards Somalia for third day] - [An increasingly futile war] - [World Bank provides US$175 mln grant to Ethiopia]

  • Thursday - January 11, 2007

  • [Somali airstrikes miss al-Qaida target, Fazul still alive says US official] - [Life sentence for Mengistu Haile Mariam] - [U.S. special forces on ground in Somalia] - [Door-to-door weapons search sparks violence in Mogadishu] - [Somali and Ethiopia forces skirmish with Islamic militiamen] - [U.N. backs deployment of troops to Somalia]

  • Friday - January 12, 2007

  • [Somalia: Death toll rises, nine killed eight wounded in Mogadishu] - [Georgetown University to honor first lady Azeb Mesfin: historic blunder?] - [Ethiopia: Human Rights Watch World Report 2007] - [U.S. Says African Troops Needed in Somalia Urgently] - [Somali conflict raises spectre of new refugee crisis]