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Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Somali Peacekeeping Mission to Go Ahead Despite Current Troop Shortfall

Check back with ETP for more news throughout the day

Also in the news: [Producer of 'YEtechekonu KeLdoch' arrested] - [Military Rule?] - [UN Security Council cuts troop levels in Eritrea-Ethiopia peacekeeping mission] - [Somalia: Mortars Fired At an Ethiopian Base, Several Injured] - [NPR: Saving the World in Ethiopia]

International: [First bird flu death in Nigeria] - [Bush Says Invading Iran 'Not the Plan'] - [Germany seeks 13 over CIA 'kidnap'] - [British Police Arrest 8 in Alleged Kidnapping Plot] - [Cuban TV Airs New Castro Images] - [Best-selling author Sidney Sheldon dead at 89]and more of today's top stories!

In the U.S, Canada, Australia and Europe; Ethiopians are preparing for mass demonstrations to bring to the world’s attention the plight of Human rights activists, journalists and opposition party leaders who are unjustly incarcerated by the government of Ethiopia
The Carr Center for Human Rights Policy
Amnesty International USA

"Peaceful Resistance and Civil Disobedience as Treason: Sustained Crackdown on Dissent in Ethiopia"


Producer of 'YEtechekonu KeLdoch' arrested

(Ethio-ZagoL): The attack on free speech by the EPRDF continues unabated. Daniel Fisseha, executive producer of "Oppressed Jokes", was arrested on Saturday. "Oppresssed Jokes", the brilliant collection of works of stand-up comedy, had become instant hit in the country last year.

The jokes by up and coming comedians focused on social and political issues, including satires on the personality and rule of Meles Zenawi, Ethiopia's dictator. Art critics considered the collection as the first of its kind in the country in content and form. (Source)

See video Clips from YETechekonu KeldoCH:

-Clip 1 - Meles Interview
-Clip 2 - Eritrea Propaganda
-Clip 3 - Palace guards

Military Rule?
Lewit, from Addis Abeba

Today Addis truly reflects the virtual police state in which we live. Over the past week thousands of federal policemen have descended upon the city for the AU summit and, while this may help to ease the fears of the most corrupt African leaders visiting from abroad, residents here feel anything but safe.

I have never seen the city like this—a comparable number of forces were deployed during Meskel (but concentrated entirely around the Square), but the atmosphere now feels even more oppressive due to their overwhelming omnipresence.

Under the watch of conspicuous rooftop snipers, federal and military wagons currently rule the roads, spilling out dozens upon dozens of blue-clad, heavily armed soldiers at a moment’s notice. These policemen are literally EVERYWHERE, waiting with guns cocked outside retaurants and cafes, schools and churches, in abandoned lots and on crowded corners, both on the main streets and side roads.(More...)

UN Security Council cuts troop levels in Eritrea-Ethiopia peacekeeping mission

UNITED NATIONS - The Security Council voted Tuesday to reduce the peacekeeping mission in Ethiopia and Eritrea from 2,300 troops to 1,700, expressing disappointment in the stalled process to draw the border between the feuding Horn of Africa neighbors.

The 15-member council unanimously approved extending the mission in the tense 620-mile-long buffer zone for another six months.

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called for the extension last week, warning that another war could break out between the two countries if progress is not urgently made on the peace process.

Ban said resumed fighting would risk destabilizing the entire region, given the precarious security situation in neighboring Somalia, where African leaders are trying to muster an 8,000-member African Union peacekeeping force. (More...)

Somalia: Mortars Fired At an Ethiopian Base, Several Injured

Unknown gunmen fired several missiles at the Ethiopian military base in El-arfid, a settlement on the edge of north of the capital Mogadishu, on Tuesday night. At least three huge explosions could be heard in some parts of the capital last night.

Witnesses told Shabelle that a group of unknown armed men reportedly riding in a car has fired at least three mortars at the Ethiopian military barrack that lies between El-arfid and Darmoley, settlements, about 10 km south of the capital.(More...)

[NPR] Saving the World in Ethiopia: One Child at a Time

...One of the patients, Fantan Dere, is a young girl unsure of her age. She tells nurse Bethlehem Tesfaye that she may be 10, but the nurse thinks it's more likely Fantan is 12.

Fantan says she has been married for four years; marriages happen at a very early age for girls in rural Ethiopia. But they usually aren't consummated until the girl is ready to conceive. Fantan didn't live with her husband until two years ago. In July, she went into labor with her first child. She was in labor for three days before she was taken to a hospital in Dessie. By then, the baby had died and Fantan was severely injured.(More...)

Somali Peacekeeping Mission Will Go Ahead Despite Current Troop Shortfall

ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia Jan 31, 2007 (AP)— Three battalions of peacekeepers from Uganda and Nigeria are ready to be deployed in Somalia and will be airlifted in as soon as possible, a senior AU official said Wednesday.

The African Union was pressing ahead with its peacekeeping mission to Somalia despite securing only half the 8,000 troops needed at a key summit of African leaders that ended Tuesday. The hope is the African force will prevent a routed Islamic movement from taking advantage of a power vacuum created by the withdrawal of Ethiopian forces who have been supporting Somalia's internationally recognized government. (More...)

Best-selling author Sidney Sheldon dead at 89

Sidney Sheldon, who enjoyed very successful careers in cinema, theatre, and later television before turning to fiction and becoming a spectacularly popular novelist, has died in Los Angeles following complications from pneumonia. He was 89.

Sheldon, who was born in Chicago in 1917, sold his first written work at the tender age of 10, securing $10 for a poem. After trying a variety of jobs during the Depression, he found his first Hollywood job as a script reader at the age of 17, while writing his own screenplays at night. He also enjoyed precocious success on another coast, in another medium, at one time having three musicals on Broadway: a rewritten The Merry Widow, Jackpot and Dream with Music.(More..)

Today's Top Stories

-First bird flu death in Nigeria
-Bush Says Invading Iran 'Not the Plan'
-US money is 'squandered' in Iraq
-Germany seeks 13 over CIA 'kidnap'
-British Police Arrest 8 in Alleged Kidnapping Plot
-Cuban TV Airs New Castro Images
-Berlusconi's Wife Demands His Apology
-Town to immigrants: you can't kill women