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Monday, March 19, 2007

ARDUF Rebels claim responsibility for kidnapping says Eritrea TV

Check back with ETP for more news throughout the day

Also in the news:
[ION: "En route" for Asmara?] - [Somali gunmen step up attacks after police commander slain] - [BoBo blog from Ethiopia] - [ION: The fallout over the kidnapping ]

[Bush to Ask for Patience in Iraq War] - [17 killed in Russian mine blast] - [Pakistani judges resign; call for more protests] - [$2M in Gold Stolen From Japanese Museum] and more of today's top stories!

Ethiopian athletics supporters in party mood (AFP)

The spectre of Ethiopian brilliance hangs over Kenya’s Mombasa ambitions: When the final entry deadline for the 35th IAAF World Cross Country Championships passed a week ago, all those athletes who had won last year’s individual senior titles were included. Four golds, three athletes, one country – Ethiopia!(More...)




Petition to save Eng. Hailu Shawl’s eyesight which is deteriorating due to denial of medical access (Kinijit)

ARDUF Rebels claim responsibility for kidnapping says Eritrea Tv

Asmara - Rebels in the remote Afar region on the Ethiopian-Eritrean border have claimed responsibility for the kidnappings of five Europeans released last week in an interview on Eritrean state media.

Armed men claiming to be from the Afar Revolutionary Democratic Unity Front (ARDUF) made the claim in a broadcast on Eritrean television late on Sunday, including the first pictures of the release of the European hostages.

"The main reason we took the hostages is because the TPLF (Ethiopia) claims that ARDUF has been wiped out, and we needed to expose the regime's false propaganda and declare our existence," an unnamed ARDUF spokesperson said in Afar language.(More...)

Also see:
-CNN: Ethiopia asks the West for help on hostages

Somali gunmen step up attacks after police commander slain

Gunmen stepped up attacks in Somalia's capital, killing a civilian and wounding four others, hours after a police chief leading a crackdown on insurgency was shot dead in the southern port of Kismayo.

MOGADISHU (AFP) - In Mogadishu, a barrage of mortar shells fell on a civilian district after missing their target in the seaport, where an African Union-chartered freighter carrying military hardware is expected to dock.

In addition, gunmen ambushed a convoy of Ethiopian troops near the seaport in southern Mogadishu, sparking a gun battle, highlighting the government's inability to rein in the deadly and complex insurgency.

"A middle-aged man was killed during the cross fire near the seaport," said Muhidin Farah, a cousin of the deceased.(More...)

The fallout over the kidnapping

Indian Ocean Newsletter

The release of Western tourists kidnapped in East Ethiopia has led to words between Meles Zenawi and Seyoum Mesfin.

Following the release in Asmara of the British diplomats who had been kidnapped in East Ethiopia by a group of Afar rebels, the Ethiopian Prime Minister criticised the way this crisis had been managed by his minister for foreign affairs.

According to information obtained in Addis Ababa, Meles Zenawi is said to reproach Seyoum Mesfin and his ministry of staying rooted to the spot and being content to merely reiterate accusations against Eritrea, which had been initially held responsible for the kidnapping.

Conversely, he considers that they should have tried to use their contacts with the former leaders of the Afar Revolutionary Democratic Unity Front (Arduf) who have now rallied behind the government of Addis Ababa, such as Mahamooda Gass to try and obtain the release of the hostages in Ethiopia. Instead, it was Eritrea that gained the credit for obtaining the liberation of the British diplomats held hostage.

This incident has also brought into the open the opposition in certain Afar circles to the Ethiopian government plans to expand the growing of sugar cane over a 200,000 hectare area in the Afar region of Tendaho.

The consequence of this agricultural project would be to prevent the movement of Afar herdsmen and to encourage the settlement in their stead of arable farmers.

"En route" for Asmara?

Indian Ocean Newsletter

According to a source close to the Ethiopian ministry of defence, the Ethiopian army has obtained satellite photos from the American intelligence services, showing the northern border of Ethiopia and providing useful information on Eritrean troop concentration.

Moreover, the leaders of the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF, hard core of the EPRDF in power in Addis Ababa) are currently waging a propaganda campaign based on the slogan “repeat in the North the victorious military operation in Somalia”.

This aggressive orientation towards Eritrea, which has been in a still unresolved border dispute with Ethiopia for many years, is not to the liking of the leaders of the other factions making up the Ethiopian governing coalition.

Furthermore, it has caused diplomats on post in Addis Ababa to wonder whether the United States military cooperation with Ethiopia to prepare their joint offensive into Somalia could now be repeated in Eritrea.

All the more so since the relations between the USA and the government of Asmara are at their lowest point and Addis Ababa suspects Somalian Islamists have transited through Eritrea or have found refuge there.

Zimbabwe at ‘Tipping Point’

Zimbabwe Opposition Aide Is Assaulted

The spokesman for Zimbabwe's main opposition leader was assaulted by security forces as he tried to leave the country Sunday, an opposition official said, accusing the government of continuing to target dissident activists.

President Robert Mugabe's government is under increasing international criticism for its treatment of the country's opposition. Activists say the government has been disrupting their gatherings and beating and detaining their leaders.

Three opposition activists allegedly assaulted when police broke up a March 11 protest meeting were re-arrested at Harare International Airport Saturday.(More...)

248-dimension maths puzzle solved

An international team of mathematicians has detailed a vast complex numerical "structure" which was invented more than a century ago.

Mapping the 248-dimensional structure, called E8, took four years of work and produced more data than the Human Genome Project, researchers said.

E8 is a member of the "Lie group" that describe symmetrical objects. The team said their findings may assist fields of physics which use more than four dimensions, such as string theory.

Lie groups were invented by the 19th Century Norwegian mathematician Sophus Lie (pronounced "Lee").(More...)

Today's Top Stories

-DJ BoBo blog from Ethiopia
-Bush to Ask for Patience in Iraq War
-Detainee confesses to USS Cole bombing
-17 killed in Russian mine blast
-Pakistani judges resign; call for more protests
-US, N. Korea Resolve Dispute Over Frozen Funds
-70s Revolutionary Turned-Writer Battisti Arrested
-$2M in Gold Stolen From Japanese Museum (Thieves Pull Off $2 Million Gold Bar Heist at Japanese Museum; Curators Left Showcases Open)