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Monday, May 21, 2007

Was the Ogaden Handed Over to Ethiopia by Britain in 1896?

Check back with ETP for more news throughout the day

Also in the news:
[Blast near Mogadishu mayor's vehicle kills 2 civilians] - [Gen. Samora Confers With Oil Companies] - [ION: A daring think tank project] - [Ethiopia denies eastern losses] - [Kapuscinski author of 'the Emperor' was a "communist spy"]

[Lebanon Attacks Militants in Refugee Camp] - [Gulf Arabs pursue nuclear plans with Riyadh talks] - [World falling far short of AIDS drugs target -NGO] - [Moore's Documentary "Sicko" Opens At Cannes Film Festival] and more of today's top stories!

Meseret Defar of Ethiopia celebrates as she records a World Best time in the women's 2-mile run at the Adidas Track Classic in Carson, California May 20, 2007. (Lucy Nicholson/Reuters)

Meseret Defar breaks world record: Ethiopia's Meseret Defar shrugged off an upset stomach to set a world record in the women's two-mile run on Sunday, clocking a time of nine minutes 10.47 seconds at the Adidas Track Classic.(More...)

Blast near Mogadishu mayor's vehicle kills 2 civilians

A bomb detonated in Mogadishu near the mayor's vehicle convoy Sunday, leaving at least two civilians dead, the mayor said. His bodyguards shot and killed a suspected insurgent who had been in a tree near the explosion.

Mayor Mohamed Dheere was unharmed in the blast, but he said several wounded civilians were taken to a hospital for treatment. The government continues to battle clan rivals and Islamic insurgents, who have vowed to run an Iraq-style guerrilla war unless the country becomes an Islamic state.

The conflict in Mogadishu between March 12 and April 26 alone killed at least 1,670 people. Since February, 400,000 Mogadishu residents have fled violence in the capital.(More...)

Also see:
-Ethiopian convoy hits mine in Somalia
-Ethiopian troops kill man who tried to bomb them
-Troops open fire after blast



ION: A daring think tank project

Indian Ocean Newsletter N° 1214 19/05/2007

A group of Ethiopian intellectuals living in the United States want to start a new political grouping, in the hope of ultimately providing an alternative to the current regime in Addis Ababa.

The leaders of a small think tank called Ethiopians for Peace, Democracy and Development, gathering expatriate Ethiopians in the United States, would like to transform itself into a true political movement, recruiting from among the members of the current Ethiopian opposition.

They would like it ultimately to become an alternative to the regime of Prime Minister Meles Zenawi. This project is being carried by a triumvirate of intellectuals heading the said think tank, namely Daniel Kinde along with two retired Ethiopian Ambassadors, Ayalew Mandefro and Imru Zeleke.

According to information obtained by The Indian Ocean Newsletter, the three men want to begin by recruiting several hundred partisans from among the Ethiopian intellectual elite, while however avoiding sympathisers to certain existing opposition organisations.

Their plan appears to be to subsequently draw up a new constitution for Ethiopia and ultimately designate a shadow cabinet as an alternative to the one in Addis Ababa. Their idea is to therefore obtain support from the American Administration, particularly now that the Democrat Party has the majority in the House of Representatives.

The final stage in their plan would be to gain support from within the Ethiopian military machine. An Ethiopian official who has defected via Djibouti and Germany to take refuge in the United States is helping them in their task.

Ethiopia denies eastern losses

BBC -- The two main rebel groups in eastern Ethiopia say their forces have killed dozens of Ethiopian soldiers in joint operations in May in the Ogaden region. But senior Ethiopian official Bereket Simon said their claims were untrue and just an attempt to get media attention.

A statement from the Oromo Liberation Front said several separate attacks had led to more than 150 soldiers killed. The BBC's Amber Henshaw in Addis Ababa says there is high tension in the area since an attack on a Chinese oilfield.

But she says the remoteness of the location means it is unclear what is going on there.(More...)

Gen. Samora Confers With Oil Companies

The Ethiopian Army Chief-of-Staff, General Samora Yenus, last week conferred with representatives of three companies engaged in petroleum exploration activities in Ethiopia.

Gen. Samora, Alemayehu Tagenu, Minister of Mines and Energy representatives of Petronas, South-West Energy and Pexco held a meeting at the MME head office. The officials openly discussed the massacre of 74 civilians engaged in oil exploration work in Abole exploration site, in Degahbur zone, 720 km east of Addis Ababa. The Ogaden National Liberation Front (ONLF) had taken full responsibility for the attack.

Representatives of the companies told Gen. Samora that the ONLF had previously threatened the companies. The representatives said they had informed the government of the security threat. They said though the army guarding the exploration sites in the Ogaden basin was cooperative with the companies it failed to protect the workers.(More...)

Was the Ogaden Handed Over to Ethiopia by Britain in 1896?

Dr. Daniel Kendie

Let us begin with the problems of sourcing. The accuracy of the information gathered from external sources is usually checked and counter-checked by consulting local sources, or the other way.

To be able to do that, apart from professional training, one needs mastery of languages as well as of the relevant literature.

While there have been outstanding foreigners who wrote about Ethiopian history in a professional manner, there have also been pseudo- intellectuals, who have attempted to re-write Ethiopian history, and whose writing has had no purpose except to advance the interests of those who financed their research.

By simply relying on the information collected from the colonial archives, such “scholars” still profess to have written a history of Ethiopia without consulting Ethiopian sources. The Ethiopian viewpoint is not represented. After all, there are two sides to an issue.(More...)

Kapuscinski author of 'the Emperor' was a "communist spy"

The author Ryszard Kapuscinski who traveled to Ethiopia in 1975 and wrote a book extremely critical of Emperor Haile Selassie, describing the Emperor as an ignorant tyrant; has now been “outed” as a "communist spy"

WARSAW — Ryszard Kapuscinski, the late Polish writer often tipped for the Nobel prize, spied for the state's communist-era regime while producing chronicles of world trouble spots that made him famous, a paper said on Monday.

The revelations by the Polish weekly Newsweek about Mr. Kapuscinski, who died in January aged 74, follow a string of media publications revealing prominent figures to have been communist-era agents.

From 1959 to 1981, when Poland was ruled by the Soviet-backed communist regime, Mr. Kapuscinski covered the globe's poorest and most dangerous places as a correspondent for the state-run Polish news agency PAP.

The author of Emperor, an account of the downfall of Ethiopia's Haile Selassie and Shah of Shahs, on the overthrow of Iran's Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, travelled across Africa and South America at the time of his alleged collaboration.(More...)

Belgians find tomb of ancient Egypt courtier

CAIRO (Reuters) - Belgian archaeologists have discovered the intact tomb of an Egyptian courtier who lived about 4,000 years ago, Egypt's culture ministry said on Sunday.

The team from Leuven Catholic University accidentally found the tomb, one of the best preserved of its time, while excavating a later burial site at the Deir al-Barsha necropolis near the Nile Valley town of Minya, south of Cairo.

The tomb belonged to Henu, an estate manager and high-ranking official during the first intermediate period, which lasted from 2181 to 2050 BC and was a time of political chaos in ancient Egypt.(More...)

Michael Moore's Documentary "Sicko" Opens At Cannes Film Festival

CANNES, France (Reuters) - Director Michael Moore says the U.S. health care system is driven by greed in his new documentary "SiCKO", and asks of Americans in general, "Where is our soul?"

He also said he could go to jail for taking a group of volunteers suffering ill health after helping in the September 11, 2001 rescue efforts on an unauthorized trip to Cuba, where they received exemplary treatment at virtually no cost.

The controversial film maker is back in Cannes, where he won the film festival's highest honor in 2004 with his anti-Bush polemic "Fahrenheit 9/11". In "SiCKO" he turns his attention to health, asking why 50 million Americans, 9 million of them children, live without cover, while those that are insured are often driven to poverty by spiraling costs or wrongly refused treatment at all.(More...)

Also see:
-Michael Moore keeps stirring controversy
-INTERVIEW - Moore says Americans will back controversial film
-'Sicko' stars thank Moore for Cuba trip
-Michael Moore Says 'Sicko' Is Wake-Up Call

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-Gulf Arabs pursue nuclear plans with Riyadh talks