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Friday, May 18, 2007

Former US Official: Ethiopians considered to be occupiers and invaders by Somalis

Check back with ETP for more news throughout the day

Also in the news:
[AU peacekeepers tested in Somalia] - [Ban Ki-moon appoints Haile Menkerios of Eritrea Assistant Secretary-General] - [Ethiopia asked to release all imprisoned journalists] - [Amsale Aberra: Wedding Dresses that Stand Out]

[Wolfowitz resigns after scandal over girlfriend's pay rise] - [Somali pop stars take on tradition] - [NYPD spied on artists before 2004 GOP convention ] - [Russian opposition barred from EU summit protest] and more of today's top stories!

Somaliland Minister of Foreign Affairs Abdillahi Mohamed Dualeh answers media questions at a press conference held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.(AFP/Jose Cendon)

Somaliland to become an independent country : Breakaway Somaliland is gaining ground in its quest for international recognition as an independent nation, the region's foreign minister said Thursday.(More...)


EU, WB attempting to buy cooperation and stability at the expense of human rights?

Former US Official: Ethiopians considered to be occupiers and invaders by Somalis

(Audio) VOA interview with Amb. Herman Cohen

...Ambassador Cohen says he is not surprised by the ongoing violence in the capital Mogadishu.

The transitional government is not very popular there, and the Islamist fighters have gone underground. They certainly will not give up and they will continue to have ambushes. And the Ethiopians of course are considered to be occupiers and invaders rather than liberators. So there’s going to be constant attacks and ambushes until some sort of political solution can be brought about,” he said.

Ambassador Cohen said many Somalis reject the transitional government because it lacks inclusiveness and is seen a puppet of Ethiopia. He said a precipitous Ethiopian withdrawal from Somalia will prove detrimental as would a prolonged stay there. Under the circumstances, he said Ethiopia seems “more or less trapped” for now.(More...)

AU peacekeepers tested in Somalia

"Uganda is bearing a heavy burden for a war that was started by Ethiopia, was supposed to be finished quickly, but now shows no sign of ending"

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa and KAMPALA, Uganda - Even before a roadside bomb killed four Ugandan peacekeepers in the Somali capital of Mogadishu on Wednesday, convincing other African nations to support the mission was a tough sell.

But as fighting in Mogadishu escalates into a full-scale insurgency, creating what the United Nations now calls the world's worst refugee crisis, the likelihood of a strong African Union (AU) peacekeeping force in Somalia has diminished even further.

By providing all of the 1,600 troops of the 8,000 peacekeepers requested for the AU's mission in Somalia, Uganda is bearing a heavy burden for a war that was started by Ethiopia, was supposed to be finished quickly, but now shows no sign of ending.(More...)

U.S. envoy sees terror imprint in Somalia AU attack

NAIROBI (Reuters) - An attack that killed four Ugandan peacekeepers in Mogadishu this week bore the hallmarks of terrorist groups such as al Qaeda, Washington's new special envoy to Somalia, John Yates, said on Friday.

In the first attack of its kind against African Union troops, gunmen used a remote-controlled bomb to blow up their convoy, fuelling fears Islamist militants were following through on a threat to wage an Iraq-style insurgency.(More...)

Ban Ki-moon appoints Haile Menkerios of Eritrea Assistant Secretary-General for Political Affairs

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today announced the appointment of Haile Menkerios of Eritrea as the new Assistant Secretary-General for Political Affairs, succeeding Tuliameni Kalomoh.

Mr. Menkerios (seen here) is currently the Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General for the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Previously, from June 2003 to June 2005, Mr. Menkerios was Director of the Africa I Division in the Department of Political Affairs.

In 2002, Mr. Menkerios was Senior Adviser to the Special Envoy of the Secretary-General to the Inter-Congolese Dialogue, Moustapha Niasse, and assisted the Special Envoy on all aspects of the mediation process prior to the signing of the Global and All-Inclusive Agreement on 17 December 2002 in Sun City, South Africa.(More...)

Burmese media agency wins award, Ethiopia asked to release all imprisoned journalists

...On Monday, the IPI adopted resolutions condemning restrictions on the media in a number of countries.

The group denounced the "progressive curtailment" of press freedom in Russia, citing the case of murdered journalist Anna Politkovskaya.

The IPI called on Sudan to grant full media access to Darfur and on Ethiopia to release all imprisoned journalists and allow foreign reporters into the country.

Sri Lanka was urged to stop interfering in the local news media, while Zimbabwe was slammed over complaints of harassment and unlawful arrests of journalists, frequently accompanied by torture.(More...)

Amsale Aberra: Wedding Dresses that Stand Out

(TIME) Like millions of other brides, Amsale Aberra wanted to find the perfect wedding dress. Her preference was something simple yet sophisticated, but that wasn't so easy to come by in 1985, when the billowing ball-gown style made famous by Princess Diana was still the rage.

"I looked through all those wedding magazines, and at that time you could not possibly find something simple," she recalls. So Aberra, an assistant designer at a sportswear label, made her own dress. It had clean lines, a simple chiffon skirt and illusion sleeves.

A few months later, thinking that "it cannot be that I am the only one who wants something simple," she placed a classified ad in a bridal magazine before heading off with her new husband on a vacation to her native Ethiopia.(More...)

Wolfowitz resigns after scandal over girlfriend's pay rise

Paul Wolfowitz resigned as president of the World Bank last night, ending weeks of turmoil over the lavish pay rise he arranged for his girlfriend that triggered the worst crisis in the institution’s history.

Mr Wolfowitz’s departure was announced by the Bank’s 24-member board, which had spent two days negotiating a “face-saving” deal for the embattled president, after an ethics panel found him guilty on Monday of breaking institution rules over the $50,000 (£25,000) a year, tax-free pay rise he negotiated for Shaha Riza, his British-born girlfriend.

In a statement released by the board, Mr Wolfowitz, the former US deputy Defence Secretary and a controversial World Bank head after his role as one of the chief architects of the Iraq war, said that he would resign on June 30.(More...)

Also see:
-White House to quickly replace Wolfowitz
-Reaction to Wolfowitz's resignation

NYPD spied on artists before 2004 GOP convention

It was discovered Wednesday that the New York Police Department placed a number of African American recording artists under surveillance in the months before the 2004 Republican National Convention, which was held in New York.

According to the documents, Sean "Diddy" Combs, Jay-Z, LL Cool J and Alicia Keys (seen here) were all monitored by police in the months before the 2004 RNC.

All four of the artists had attended a rally held by Russell Simmons’ Hip-Hop Summit Action Network in Aug 2004, which raised political and voter awareness among urban youth.

This information was among some 600 pages of secret files released Wednesday by the New York Civil Liberties Union, who is suing the city on behalf of demonstrators who were arrested. (More...)

Also see:
-AP: NYPD Republican convention papers shown
-NYPD Surveilled Jay-Z, Alicia Keys in '04

Today's Top International Stories

-Somali pop stars take on tradition
-5 Killed in Southern India Mosque Bombing
-Russian opposition barred from EU summit protest(opposition leaders including chess champion Garry Kasparov prevented from flying to the protest march)
-Pakistan President Bans Opposition Leaders(Musharraf Forbids Opposition Leaders From Returning To Country For Upcoming Elections)
-Bill Gates Charity Gives $9.7M to Fight AIDS
-Siege ends after gangster gives himself up