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Friday, March 23, 2007

A Mockery of Justice: Court Adjourned again

Check back with ETP for more news throughout the day

Also in the news:
[U.S. Presses for Release of American Held in Ethiopia ] - [Tinton Falls man being held as POW by Ethiopia ] - - [Somalia silences Al-Jazeera]- [More Than 100 Deported From Kenya] - [Al-Qaeda names cell leader for Somalia]

[Bishop ready to face guns, urges Zimbabweans to take to the streets ] - [Iraqi Deputy PM wounded in suicide attack] - [Iran nabs British sailors in Iraq waters] - [Gates Pushes To Shut Down Gitmo] and more of today's top stories!

Smoke is seen in a general view of Somalia's capital Mogadishu.(AFP/Jose Cendon). Ethiopian troops exchanged heavy mortar and machine-gun fire with insurgents for a thrid straight day in Mogadishu, leaving a trail of casualties and violence showing no sign of let-up.(More on this below)


The “New Breed” of African Leaders and the Future of Human Rights and Democracy in Africa

Friday, April 6, 2007
9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Room 25 Mondale Hall
University of Minnesota Law School
229 19th Ave S.
Minneapolis, MN 55455

The Humphrey Institute, the Law School, and the Human Rights Center are proud to present a panel discussion event on African Leaders, the current state of Human Rights and Democracy in Africa, and U.S. Foreign Policy.(More...)

A Mockery of Justice: Court Adjourned again

Lewit -- There was an unusual feeling of excitement in the air, and even the most skeptical among us dared hope that today was THE day.

All the regulars were there—the ferenj (journalists , observers, and diplomats) crowding the front rows, the immediate family members behind to the left, and additional relatives, friends and supporters left to fill in the gaps.

As usual, we had time to kill. After the greetings, speculations and words of encouragement were exchanged, casual conversation began to wane and the defendants had still not appeared.

I was in no mood to discuss my easter plans with those seated next to me, so I counted the white tiles on the ceiling and fidgeted nervously with the peeling plastic cover of my chair.

Finally, shortly after 10 o’clock, the defendants were brought in and everyone sprang to their feet, waving and smiling (now skilled in the art of communicating without words.)

The prisoners looked well and flashed us triumphant thumbs-up as they filed in. They appeared overjoyed to see one another again, and we silently interpreted this scene as the appropriate prelude to their immediate release.

After about 15 minutes everyone was settled in their seats and the judges filed in.

When it was clear that Judge Adil would not be present (a fact that was neither acknowledged nor recorded), all hope instantly evaporated.(More...)

Tinton Falls man being held as POW by Ethiopia

WASHINGTON — A 24-year-old American Muslim from Monmouth County been detained by Ethiopia and could be designated a prisoner of war for allegedly fighting for radical Islamists in neighboring Somalia

Amir Mohamed Meshal is in an Ethiopian jail pending a hearing to determine his status, the State Department said Thursday.

The case echoes complaints that other countries have lodged with the U.S. for the many people it has detained at the naval prison in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and elsewhere as part of the fight against on terrorism. The detention also has caused a diplomatic spat between the U.S. and Kenya.(More...)

Also see:
-U.S. Presses for Release of American Held in Ethiopia

Somalia silences Al-Jazeera

The Qatar-based Al-Jazeera satellite television network and two local private radio stations to stop broadcasting from the country's capital.

The orders came as Ethiopia-backed government troops battled suspected Islamist insurgents in the capital Mogadishu for the second straight day, as months-long violence showed no sign of let-up.

Government spokesperson Hussein Mohamed Muhamoud said authorities had instructed the three organisations to immediately halt their work failure to which they would be forced to abide by the order.(More...)

Zimbabwe bishop ready to face guns, urges Zimbabweans to take to the streets

(CNN) -- A leading Zimbabwean cleric said on Thursday he was ready to face bullets in the street amid international condemnation of Robert Mugabe's regime and fears of a renewed wave of repression.

Pius Ncube, the Roman Catholic archbishop of the southern Bulawayo diocese, urged Zimbabweans to take to the streets in protest at the government's ongoing crackdown against dissenters opposed to the government, Reuters reported.

"The biggest problem with Zimbabweans is they are cowards, myself included, but as for me I am ready to stand in front, even of blazing guns," Ncube told a news conference.

"If only Zimbabweans are prepared to stand, so am I prepared to stand ... we are not going to be bullied."

Meanwhile Angola denied reports on Thursday claiming it had deployed members of a feared paramilitary police force to Zimbabwe in support of the government.(More...)

Al-Qaeda names cell leader for Somalia

A leader of the Council of Islamic Courts, the radical militia ousted from Somalia in December, has been named as al-Qaeda’s leader in the country, according to government intelligence.

Aden Hashi Ayro has been directing the insurgency in the capital, Mogadishu, Salad Ali Jelle, the Deputy Defence Minister, said yesterday.

Counter-terrorism experts believe that Ayro, who is in his mid30s, had al-Qaeda training in Afghanistan. United Nations officials have linked him to the killings of 16 people, including Kate Peyton, a BBC journalist. He was also believed to have been involved in a failed plot to bring down an Ethiopian airliner.(More....)

Plane crashes on third day of Mogadishu fighting

MOGADISHU (Reuters) - A plane carrying 11 people aiding African peacekeepers in Mogadishu burst into flames and crashed on Friday during a third day of fighting in an insurgency many fear could plunge Somalia back into civil war.

Local private radio Shabelle said the plane, a Russian-made Ilyushin used in the region to transport both cargo and troops, was hit by a missile as it took off from Mogadishu.

A witness said he had encountered one survivor wandering dazed among dead bodies and the wreckage of the plane.

At least 16 people have been killed and hundreds more wounded this week in the bloodiest clashes since the government and Ethiopian troops seized the coastal city from rival Islamists three months ago.(More...)

More Than 100 Deported From Kenya

Kenya Deported More Than 100 People From 19 Countries to Somalia and Ethiopia

MOMBASA, Kenya Mar 23, 2007 (AP)— Kenya deported more than 100 people from 19 countries to lawless Somalia after they crossed the border between the two countries illegally during fighting earlier this year, and the deportees were subsequently arrested by Ethiopian troops, a human rights group said Friday.

The Kenyan government denied the men and women refugee status and even sent its own citizens back to face an uncertain future in a country with no functioning legal system, said the chairman of Muslim Human Rights, Al-Amin Kimathi. Ethiopian forces fighting inside Somalia then took the suspects and flew them to two detention centers inside Ethiopia, he added.(More....)

Today's Top Stories

-72 die in Mozambique weapons depot blast
-Will America deliver the final shove that topples Mugabe?
-Gates Pushes To Shut Down Gitmo (Defense Secretary Argued For Closing Of Terror Prison During First Weeks On Job)
-Iraqi Deputy PM wounded in suicide attack (Iraq's Sunni Deputy Prime Minister was wounded today in a suicide bomb attack at a prayer hall in Baghdad that killed at least two people)
-Iran nabs British sailors in Iraq waters (Iranian naval vessels seized 15 British sailors in Iraqi waters on Friday)
-'Shooter' the Movie, Mark Wahlberg in Ethiopia?
-God-fearing villagers snub "satanic" bar codes