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Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Afar Diaspora group calls for the release of Ethiopian hostages

Check back with ETP for more news throughout the day

Also in the news:
[Swedish Teen Released From Ethiopia] - [Archaeologists find Ethiopia's lost Islamic kingdom] - [Prominent politician murdered in Mogadishu] - [Dancing to a better future in Ethiopia]

[Britain Presses Iran; Woman May Be Freed] - [Senate backs troop withdrawal from Iraq] - [Arab summit opens in Riyadh] - [World's Tallest Man Marries] and more of today's top stories!

(Photo - Rosa Verhoeve) Founded in 1996 by international choreographer R. Maldoom, "Adugna Potentials" is Ethiopia's only professional contemporary dance troupe. Leading choreographers from Europe and Africa come to teach in the company and its members have gone on to perform at international art and dance festivals (More on this below)


Afar Diaspora group calls for the release of Ethiopian hostages

(Stuttgart, Germany)ETP -- The Afar forum - an association of Diaspora Ethiopians from the Afar region, in a statement released today, has called for the release of Ethiopian hostages held since the beginning of March by ARDUF rebels.

The marginalization of the Afar people in terms of basic development while their resources are exploited by the governments of Ethiopia and Eritrea, High-handed micro management by the Ethiopian ruling party through appointed puppets; are some of the reasons for discontent in the Afar region, the statement said.

In addition, The Afar forum called for the release of Afar politicians, intellectuals, and merchants in Eritrea who, the group claims, have been detained for more than a decade. It also called on the Ethiopian government to free all prisoners of conscience without any preconditions. [Read the press release]

Denmark tops WEF's networked readiness index, Ethiopia 4th from bottom

Ethiopia occupies 119th position in the World Economic Forum’s (WEF) Networked Readiness Index (NRI) 2006-2007, from 115th position in the 2005-2006 Index.

Denmark is number one for the first time in the sixth Global Information Technology Report (GITR) 2006-2007's "Networked Readiness Index", moving up 2 positions from last year and reflecting an upward trend dating back to 2003.

The NRI examines the preparedness of countries to use ICT effectively on three dimensions — the first is the general business, regulatory and infrastructure environment for ICT; second, the readiness of the three key stakeholders (individuals, businesses and governments) to use and benefit from ICT; and third, their actual usage of the latest information and communication technology available.

Accompanying Ethiopia; Cameroon, Paraguay, Mozambique, Lesotho, Zimbabwe, Bangladesh, Angola, Burundi and Chad are in the bottom 10 of the Index.

Archaeologists find Ethiopia's lost Islamic kingdom

PARIS -- French archaeologists said Tuesday that they had uncovered the remains of three large towns that may have been the heart of a legendary Islamic kingdom in Ethiopia.

Ancient manuscripts have long told of the kingdom of Shoa, which, between the 10th and 16th centuries straddled key trade routes between the Christian highlands and Muslim ports on the Red Sea. But Shoa's precise place on the map has never been clear.

The National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS) said a team of archaeologists had laid bare the remains of three medieval towns, Asbari, Masal, and Nora, on a high escarpment of the Rift Valley.

Shoa - also written as Shewa - was an autonomous state from about the 10th century, until it was absorbed by the sultanate of Ifat at around the end of the 13th century.

The three towns "may have constituted the heart of the Shoa Muslim kingdom before it came under Ifat's political control," the researchers, led by CNRS' Francois-Xavier Fauvelle, suggest.(More...)

Swedish Teen Released From Ethiopia

A 17-year-old Swede has been released from Ethiopia where she was imprisoned for the past three months.

According to a press release from the Swedish Foreign Ministry, the girl’s release comes after intensive work on her behalf by the Foreign Ministry and embassies.

Three Swedes remain captive in Ethiopia accused of taking part in fighting. They were seized in Kenya after fleeing unrest in Somalia.(More...)

Dancing to a better future in Ethiopia

ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia (Reuters) - Music echoes through an overcrowded neighborhood in the Ethiopian capital, drawing dozens of children off the streets to get a glimpse of another world -- the world of dance.

Inside a garage transformed into a dance studio, the floor crackles at every jump and sunlight pours from huge holes in the tin roof.

For Junaid Jemal, who like millions of other children in Ethiopia sold goods on street corners hoping to make enough money for a warm meal, joining the dance troupe that rehearses in the studio was an escape from hopelessness.(More...)

-More pictures from 'Adugna'

Prominent politician murdered in Mogadishu

Mogadishu 28 -- Gunmen have shot dead the former Somali consulate to Dubai, Mr. Abdi Naasir Ahmed Aadan better known as “Serjito”.

Mr. Serjito was killed along with another man who was riding with him in his car around Tri Biano neighborhood in Mogadishu.(More...)

Also see:
-Senior politician killed in Mogadishu

Zimbabwe opposition chief arrested again

The leader of Zimbabwe's main opposition party was arrested again today, in what appeared to be the latest round of intimidation aimed at political opponents by Robert Mugabe's regime.

Morgan Tsvangirai was seized in an armed raid by the President's security forces at the headquarters of his Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) in Harare along with around 20 other members of staff, it has been revealed.

The forces were armed with teargas cannisters, sticks, riot helmets and AK47 rifles when they launched their assault.

Fearful for their safety, shopkeepers near the MDC's Harvest House headquarters reportedly closed as the raid took place.

Mr Tsvangirai's arrest came as Mr Mugabe was due to attend a summit called about the crisis in his country in Tanzania.(More...)

Today's Top Stories

-Acid attack on woman shocks Ethiopia
-Senate backs troop withdrawal from Iraq
-Britain Presses Iran; Woman May Be Freed(Britain Freezing Talks With Iran Until 15 Navy Crew Members Released)
-EU extends Microsoft's deadline
-Arab summit opens in Riyadh
-Buzz Grows Over Queen's Upcoming U.S. Stay
-World's Tallest Man Marries