Somalia: Kismayu falls into the hands of clan militia
Check back with ETP for more news throughout the dayAlso in the news:
[8 Ethiopian Hostages Freed After 52 Days] - [Asmara denies kidnapped Ethiopians freed by Eritrea ] - [Shelling rattles Somali capital for the sixth day as civilian casualties mount] - [Psychiatrists see big need in Ethiopia]
[Former Russian Leader Boris Yeltsin Dies] - [Nigeria Opposition Rejects Election as Winner Declared] - [Sarkozy and Royal go through as 84% turnout sets new record] - [Virginia Tech students return to campus after massacre] and more of today's top stories!
ETHIOPIA HUMAN RIGHTS BILL RE-INTRODUCED IN THE HOUSEThe Coalition for H.R. 5680
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Commentary on Coalition for H.R. 5680 Press Release
International Ethiopian Women Organization (IEWO)
Brief Commentary on the Somalia situation
ETP -- On January 1, 2007 Ethiopian troops rolled into Somali's port city Kismayo after a fierce battle at Jilib with the Islamic Courts Union (ICU). Now, less than four months later, clan militias have taken total control of Kismayo.
As the battle in Mogadishu rages on and death toll of Ethiopian troops plus Somali civilians keep rising, it is becoming apparent that the Ethiopian government made a big blunder in choosing to militarily intervene in Somalia.
Even if it succeeds in securing Mogadishu for the short term (after sacrificing troop lives and resources), there is no guarantee that the city will not eventually suffer the same fate that befell Kismayo.
Somalia: Kismayu falls into the hands of clan militia
Government troops took off their military dresses and joined the militias
Shabelle Media-- Mogadishu ,April.23 - More than 16 people were killed and dozens more were wounded in the port city of Kismayu, 500 km south of the capital Mogadishu, Monday after a heavy gun battle between rival clans, Majegten and Marehan, took place in the town.
Shabelle reporter in Kismayu, Mohammed Ahmed, said the fighting stopped around 2:00 PM local time as the town fell into the hands of Marehan militias.
The rival clans fighting in Kismayu have long been challenging over the leadership of the town since contingents of Ethiopian troops deserted the town in mid February.(More...)
Shelling rattles Somali capital for the sixth day as civilian casualties mount
MOGADISHU (AFP) - Heavy shelling shook the Somali capital Monday as Ethiopian forces stepped up their nearly week-long battle against Islamist insurgents, and civilian casualties mounted.
After a night of sporadic fire, heavy explosions hit northern Mogadishu's districts, where Ethiopian forces aboard tanks pursued the insurgents seeking to wipe them out from the seaside capital, residents said.
At least five people were killed and 15 wounded as the clashes raged.
We have recovered the bodies of four people in a shop near Tawfiq area after an artillery shell landed in a house where they were hiding," said elder Ollow Mohamed Hassan. Another man was killed by a stray bullet.(More...)
-Fighting rages in Somali capital as bodies rot in streets, say witnesses
-Hundreds of thousands flee bloody capital
8 Ethiopian Hostages Freed After 52 Days
ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia (AP) - Eight Ethiopians held hostage for 52 days after they were kidnapped along with five European tourists have been released unharmed, government officials said Sunday.
Thirteen Ethiopians were seized at gunpoint along with the five Europeans on March 1 while on a sightseeing tour in northeastern Ethiopia near the disputed border with Eritrea. Five of the Ethiopians were found within days of the kidnapping. The Europeans were released March 13.(More...)
Asmara denies kidnapped Ethiopians freed by Eritrea
ASMARA, April 23 (Reuters) - Eritrea on Monday rejected Ethiopia's assertion that Asmara had released eight Ethiopians who were kidnapped last month with a group of Europeans, saying Eritrea had never held the group.
Ethiopian state television said on Sunday the eight had been freed following international pressure on Eritrea, its foe and neighbour, which has always denied involvement in the abduction in a remote desert region.
"It's not true. These are Ethiopians who have been taken by Ethiopians and it has nothing to do with us," Information Minister Ali Abdu told Reuters by phone.
"I don't know whether it is paranoia, obsession or madness. They have developed this pattern blaming Eritrea every day and night," he said.(More...)
Psychiatrists see big need in Ethiopia
ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia -- Amanuel Hospital, Ethiopia's only psychiatric hospital, has a chaotic and desperate feel.
Male inpatients in pajamas wander aimlessly across a football field-sized courtyard where patches of green grass grow despite the dusty red soil and merciless sun.
Other patients sit and stare all day, some wearing chains around their ankles to prevent them from escaping. Many women pass their days braiding one another's hair under a dark overhang that protects them from the scorching equatorial sun.
Only a handful of overwhelmed doctors staff this 360-bed hospital -- not surprising given that the entire country of 75 million people has just 17 psychiatrists and 190 psychiatric nurses.(More...)
Nigeria Opposition Rejects Election as Winner Declared
ABUJA, Nigeria April 23 — The candidate of the governing People’s Democratic Party, Umaru Yar’Adua, has won the presidential election in Nigeria, according to party officials.
Partial results from Saturday’s election, which was marred by widespread fraud, violence and chaos, showed landslide victories for Mr. Yar’Adua in several states.
The European Union election observer criticized the conduct of the election and questioned the legitimacy of the results, which handed huge victories to the governing party.
Max van den Berg, chief observer for the mission, said at a news conference Monday that the elections “have fallen far short of basic international and regional standard for elections.”(More...)
Sarkozy and Royal go through as 84 per cent turnout sets new poll record
(France's first round presidential frontrunners Segolene Royal (L), Socialist party candidate, and Nicolas Sarkozy, UMP conservative party candidate - REUTERS)
PARIS (AP) - Socialist Segolene Royal and conservative Nicolas Sarkozy have two weeks to sell voters on two vastly different visions for France - at a time when its people are nervous about retaining their prosperity and carving out a viable identity in a rapidly changing world.
Either would be the first French president not to have lived through World War II, a significant generational shift. But the similarities end there.
Royal would bring a breezy elegance to the Elysee. She has openly appealed to women voters and says her election as the first French woman president would have no less than ``planetary'' consequences. On campaign posters the feminine ``e'' has optimistically been added to read ``presidente.''(More...)
Today's Top International Stories-Virginia Tech students return to campus after massacre
-Former Russian Leader Boris Yeltsin Dies
-Police chief among 33 killed across Iraq today
-Echoes of Cold War in missile arguments(Russian hostility to the American plan to station anti-ballistic missiles and their radar in Poland and the Czech Republic is an indication of the wider unease in relations between Moscow and Washington)