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Friday, May 25, 2007

EPRDF Passes Bill Amending Electoral Law

Check back with ETP for more news throughout the day

Also in the news:
[Africa Commemorates 'Africa Day'] - [United We Stand Divided We Fall] - [30,000 Runners to Hit the Road at Ethiopian 'Millennium Great Run'] - [Somali government rebuffs Amnesty's report on Somalia]

[Gunmen seize Nigeria oil workers] - [Al-Sadr Reappears In Iraq At Rally] - [Myanmar Extends Suu Kyi's House Arrest] - [The Surprising Realities of Mythical Creatures] and more of today's top stories!




Africa Commemorates 'Africa Day'

Africa Day is the annual commemoration on May 25 of the 1963 founding of the Organisation of African Unity (OAU), which was in July 2002 succeeded by the present African Union, while amalgamating with the African Economic Community (AEC), but kept the date and name of Africa Day. (Wiki)

African Heads of State at the inaugural summit of the Organization of African Unity. Africa Hall, Addis Abeba - May, 1963 (Click to Enlarge)

Inspiring letter, written to Emperor Haile Selassie by Oliver Tambo, Vice President of the African National Congress (ANC, South Africa), explaining why he was unable to attend the summit and on the wellbeing of Nelson Mandela (Click on picture to read the letter in its entirety)

In July 1964, Malcolm X attended the second meeting of the Organization of African Unity (OAU), in Cairo, to distribute a press release on behalf of twenty-two million Afro-Americans in the United States. [See Video]

For more history and interesting insider facts on Ethiopia’s involvement in the creation of the OAU (Now AU), visit []

Also see:
-Africa Commemorates 'Africa Day'
-Celebrating Africa Day in style
-Millions unite to celebrate Africa Day
-Rastas to commemorate Africa Day

United We Stand Divided We Fall
Kinijit Support Group in Sacramento

...Non-violent struggle may be gradual, un-dramatic, and mostly be carried out by individuals whose names will never make the news headlines or be associated with any organization. Hence, its victory is a product of collective action of all citizens, not a heroic action of a single group. Above all, the results from non-violent struggles are long lasting; it is a definitive means of installing and preserving democracy.

After EPRDF lost election in May 15, 2005, it violently disrupted the peaceful transition of Ethiopia from despotic to democratic country. Since then, thousands of innocent citizens, renowned political leaders and human right defenders, independent journalists and students have been killed, suffered in prison and torture.

Uncountable numbers of innocent citizens are dislocated from where they have been living for generation and became fugitives in their own country and refugee elsewhere with little hope of returning to their home. This is the result of complete lack of political will of the incumbent EPRDF government to accept the people’s decision, abide by the results of the election and its strong desire to stay in power.

The election process and the May 15, 2005 election sparked the light of hope, the desire for peace and much eagerly awaited economic development for all Ethiopians. Unprecedented number of Ethiopians caste their ballot hoping that they would put government of their choice to power and in anticipation that they would eradicate conflict, starvation and poverty from Ethiopia. Kinijit and other opposition parties did run successful election campaigns.(More...)


Jonathan Dimbleby Interviews - PM Meles Zenawi (Do you think the interview was professionally conducted? Does it adhere to journalistic standards? Or was it one-sided and biased? Contact the producers at “” and let them know what you think)

Also see:
BBC: Meles Zenawi on HardTalk
(Stephen Sackur went to Ethiopia (2005), to ask Prime Minister Meles Zenawi the questions Ethiopian journalists could not)

EPRDF Passes Bill Amending Electoral Law

“the law is a threat to the fundamental principle of election and democracy which is the power of the people. The new law paves way for partiality in the election processes of the country,” Temesgen Gebru

"the law is made in a way to benefit the government" Bulcha Demeksa


ADDIS ABABA,Ethiopia- The Ethiopian parliament adopted a new election law with a majority vote on Thursday that will create a new structure for the national election board and add new practices in the nation’s future elections.

The new law which was presented to the house last March has been discussed by the ruling party and opposition parties in parliament for weeks. It is different from the privious law that it will give place for the opposition parties to participatre in the process of nominating the election board officials.

Three of the four major opposition voices in the Ethiopian parliament rejected the ratification of the law and asked for further discussions and amendment while EUDP MEDHIN said that the law has some contentious points but will accept the overall document.(More...)

Also see:
-Foreign media and observers to be banned from Ethiopia’s future elections

30,000 Runners to Hit the Road at Ethiopian 'Millennium Great Run'

(hint, hint)...Haile indicated that the race will be aired live on BBC, Supersport and other international media as well as TV stations

Some 30,000 runners will participate at the 2007 Ethiopian Millennium Run, the biggest mass ever run in Africa, to be staged for the seventh time in Ethiopia.

"This will be the first big mass run in Africa where 30000 thousand runners including world elite athletes are expected to take part," Founder and Coordinator of Ethiopian Great Run, World class Athlete Major Haile Gebresilassie told a press conference on Thursday.

Haile said this year's great run to be held on Sunday 9 September 2007 and dedicated for the Ethiopian Millennium, will be the biggest in Africa The 2007 TOYOTA Great Ethiopian Run is the 7th edition of Ethiopia's annual international 10km road race.

Haile indicated that the race will be aired live on BBC, Supersport and other international media's as well as other TV stations.(More...)

Somali government rebuffs Amnesty's report on Somalia

Mogadishu 25, May.07 - The Somali transitional government rebuffed Amnesty International report on human rights violations by several countries in the Horn and Eastern Africa.

Somali government spokesman, Abdi Haji Goobdoon, said Friday that the international human rights agency was exaggerating its report on human rights abuses in Somalia. He said Somali interim government has only recently been able to seize control of the country.

“Local human rights agencies are yet novices in their work because the whole country is recovering from the civil war and hardships that have not yet entirely evaded, so I believe Amnesty was quick to criticize Somalia on rights violations,” he said.(More...)

Myanmar Extends Suu Kyi's House Arrest

(AP) - Defying an outpouring of international appeals, Myanmar's military government Friday extended the house arrest of pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi by another year, a government official said.

Suu Kyi, the 1991 Nobel Peace Prize laureate, has spent 11 of the past 17 years in detention and the order will keep her confined to her residence for a fifth straight year.

Her current one-year detention order was due to expire on Sunday and the extension had been widely expected, although many international groups and world leaders had called for Suu Kyi's freedom. The government normally makes no official announcement of such actions.

Paulo Sergio Pinheiro, the U.N.'s human rights expert for Myanmar, said the decision was ``counterproductive in terms of making a transition to democracy. They say they are moving ahead, but they continue to hold 1,200 political prisoners, including the main members of the opposition,'' he told The Associated Press by telephone from Cape Town, South Africa(More...)

Also see:
-US demands release of Myanmar's Suu Kyi
-UN rights envoy condemns Suu Kyi detention decision
-China will stay out of Myanmar's affairs

Explaining the Lebanese Crisis

Are you having trouble understanding what's going on in Lebanon? Last summer there was war with Israel, all winter and spring the country has been in a political crisis between the government and Hizballah, and now all of a sudden there is some mystery jihadi group staging an uprising in a Palestinian camp. What gives? What does it mean?

(Picture - Lebanese army soldiers patrol the outskirts of the besieged camp of Nahr al-Bared in north Lebanon)

Lebanon has some 400,000 Palestinian refugees that originally came in two waves -- 1948 and 1967. That was a long time ago though, and the younger generations have never seen their home country, and still don't have citizenship in this one. Most of the residents of Nahr al-Bared hail from Nazareth in the Galilee.

The Palestinians brought a lot of trouble with them to Lebanon. Since most of them are Sunni Muslim, their arrival upset this country's fragile sectarian balance, pushing Lebanon towards the civil war that raged from 1975 to 1990. Nor did it help that the PLO turned Lebanon into a base for terror operations against Israel, which led Israel to invade in 1982 (they finally left Southern Lebanon in 2000).(More...)

Today's Top International Stories

-Gunmen seize Nigeria oil workers
-Women's rights key to Africa AIDS crisis: study
-Divided Congress approves Iraq war funds
-Al-Sadr Reappears In Iraq At Rally
-Ukraine: Yushchenko signs decree to take control over interior troops
-North Korea Fires Off Series of Missiles
-The Surprising Realities of Mythical Creatures

-Bob Marley - Africa Unite