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Friday, April 20, 2007

UN report says no military solution in Somalia

Check back with ETP for more news throughout the day

Also in the news:
[Ethiopia "far worse" than Zimbabwe in police violence: Mapuranga]
[Reuters: Somali rebel says Ethiopian troops flee to Yemen]
[Latest Mogadishu violence kills 21 people] - [New WFP boss to visit Ethiopia next week] - [Islamists claim suicide chemical attack on Ethiopians in Somalia-Web] - [Gebrselassie aims to make it business as usual in city]

[Nigeria ballots 'not in country] - [Ceremonies nationwide to mourn massacre victims] - [Kasparov Questioned by Russian Security] - [Mother: China Stole My Son's Organs] and more of today's top stories!


Today: 12th Annual "Get On The Bus"

1,500 Activists will gather in New York City to highlight human rights violations in Darfur, Ethiopia and Guatemala

This year, GOTB will feature four actions as well as a speakers' panel. Activists will be demonstrating for the people of Darfur, to advocate for Mesfin Woldemariam, prisoner of conscience and one of Ethiopia's most prominent human rights defenders, and to bring the former Guatemalan dictator, General Efrain Rios Montt, to justice.(More...)

Marathon runners Haile Gebrselassie of Ethiopia, left, and Paul Tergat of Kenya pose for photographers, in front of Tower Bridge which spans the river Thames in central London, Thursday April 19, 2007. The runners will participate in the London Marathon Sunday April 22, 2007.(More...) AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis

UN: "No military solution in Somalia"

UNITED NATIONS - A United Nations (UN) report has pressed for world support for African peacekeepers in Somalia but warned that pursuing military solutions in Mogadishu was likely to be "counter-productive."

"The international community should urgently support the African Union (AU) with all means at its disposal," the report by UN chief Ban Ki-moon said. It stressed the need to provide "sufficient financial and logistical resources" to the AU stabilisation force to enable it to complete its deployment and facilitate the withdrawal of Ethiopian troops.

But the report also warned that pursuing "military solutions to stabilise Mogadishu is likely to be counter-productive, creating long-term resentment among certain clans and communities and damaging prospects for the reconciliation process."(More...)

Ethiopia "far worse" than Zimbabwe in police violence: Mapuranga

Ambassador Mapuranga blamed media bias for the negative portrayal of Zimbabwean political events in the United States, listing "far worse" examples of police violence in other African nations.

"Two hundred people were shot dead by police" in Ethiopia after its elections in 2005, Mapuranga said, "but that coverage was not seen" in the United States.

In contrast, Mapuranga said, the Western media gave extensive coverage to a recent protest in Zimbabwe when "one demonstrator was shot dead as the crowd surged in a menacing manner.(More...)

Reuters: Somali rebel says Ethiopian troops flee to Yemen

SANAA, April 20 (Reuters) - A leader of Somalia's Islamist insurgents said on Friday some Ethiopian soldiers had fled to Yemen from the fighting in the capital Mogadishu and called on the Arab country not to extradite them.

Yemeni newspapers have reported that dozens of Ethiopian soldiers were among Somali refugees who arrived in Yemen in the past week, but Yemeni and Somali officials denied the reports.

"This war is illegal and immoral and any soldier who flees from it for fear of killing or being killed deserves to be ... treated in a humanitarian way," Sheikh Sharif Ahmed, a leader of the Islamic Courts Council, told Al Jazeera television.(More...)

Latest Mogadishu violence kills 21 people

MOGADISHU (Reuters) - Sporadic shelling and gunfire went on through the night in Mogadishu and residents on Friday said latest fighting and a suicide attack at an Ethiopian base had killed at least 21 people and wounded another 101.

Residents say the recent fighting, which had rockets slamming into a crowded market on Thursday, was as bad as a ferocious four-day war that killed 1,000 people at the end of March and displaced about a fifth of the city's population.

"We have admitted 71 and 41 of them are seriously injured and the other 30 had minor injuries," a doctor at the Madina Hospital told Reuters.(More...)

Also see:
-Mogadishu braced for humanitarian disaster
-Heavy fighting in Somali capital; casualties unknown
-Somali deaths mount, president downplays clashes

Islamists claim suicide chemical attack on Ethiopians in Somalia-Web

DUBAI, April 20 (Reuters) - A little known Islamist group on Friday claimed responsibility for a suicide bombing on an Ethiopian military base in Somalia, and said it used chemicals in the attack, according to an Internet statement.

The group, calling itself the Young Mujahideen Movement in Somalia, said one of its most prominent members, Abdul-Aziz Dawood Abdul-Qader, carried out Thursday's bombing. The attack came amid intense fighting between Ethiopian forces and Somali insurgents that killed at least 12 civilians.(More...)

Ethiopia: New Date Set for Somali Reconciliation Conference

ENA -- The Transitional Government of Somalia said Wednesday that the delayed national reconciliation conference seen as critical to the nation will be held on June 14, People's Daily Online reported.

Addressing a news conference in Nairobi, Somali Ambassador to Kenya, Ali Mohammed Nur said the talks, which was earlier planned for April 16, 2007 was delayed due to security concerns.

"The National Congress which shall be followed by a series of reconciliation conferences at regional and district levels, is expected to reflect on our efforts at achieving genuine reconciliation and lasting peace in our country as well as the revival and restoration of Somalia's fine international image and preservation of our sovereignty," Nur told journalists.(More...)

New WFP boss to visit Ethiopia next week

Josette Sheeran, new executive director of the UN World Food Program (WFP), is scheduled to visit Ethiopia Monday and Tuesday in what is said to be her first international visit since taking office at the end of last year.

Sheeran's first visit to Ethiopia will focus on humanitarian crisis in the Horn of Africa region, the UN agency's Ethiopia Office said in a statement Friday.

"She will first visit Ethiopia to explore how WFP, the largest purchaser of surplus grain in Ethiopia, can better connect farmers to markets through its purchases," it said.

Sheeran will also have a number of high-level meetings, including those with Prime Minister Meles Zenawi and African Union Commission Chairperson Alpha Oumar Konare, according to the statement.(More...)

Luciano, Mikey General & Ragga lox to play in Addis

ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia – The international reggae artists Luciano the messenger, Mikey General, and Ragga lox arrived in Ethiopia yesterday for their first Ethiopian performance in the country.

All the artist have not set foot in Ethiopia before but they have had their names tied to different successful shows which include the New York Irie Jam reggae concert that gathered 25,000 crowds.

The performance of the artists here is going to be at the Unity University College tomorrow Saturday. And the international promoter Dave Judah of the Reggae Jam Promotion International told SSI yesterday that the place is chosen for setting the positive message across the college students who are likely to promote the positive message all over Ethiopia.(More...)

Today's Top International Stories

-Nigeria ballots 'not in country'(Ballot papers have not yet arrived in Nigeria on the eve of the presidential election, the election commission head has said)
-Ceremonies nationwide to mourn massacre victims
-Iran, EU to meet on nuclear stand-off
-World Bank expresses 'great concern' over Wolfowitz affair
-Candidates make their last appeals to French voters
-Kasparov Questioned by Russian Security
-Mother: China Stole My Son's Organs(Woman Fights To Find Out What Happened To Body Of Executed Son, Suspects Organ Trade)