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Tuesday, June 19, 2007

U.S administration to double non-humanitarian aid to the Govt. of Ethiopia

Check back with ETP for more news throughout the day

Also in the news:
[Somalia presidential spokesman shot] - [Islamists oppose reconciliation conference, discredit Ethiopia's role] - [Ishac Diwan makes way for Kenichi Ohashi] - [A roadside bomb explodes as an Ethiopian convoy passes]

[US-Israel talks on Palestinians] - [Splitsville For French Power Couple] - [Gazans stream to crossing with Israel] - [Videotape supposedly shows suicide bomber 'graduation'] and more of today's top stories!


At least three journalists a month flee their home countries to escape threats of violence, imprisonment, or harassment. CPJ has documented 243 cases of journalists forced into exile over the past six years. The 243 journalists surveyed by CPJ came from 36 countries, with more than half hailing from just five. Ethiopia is second in the world, next to Zimbabwe, where journalists are forced into exile to escape harassment.(More...)


LEBA! LEBA! - video by the Ethiopian Television Network (ETN)
(June 18 protest at the Ethiopian embassy in Washington DC)


Shame on Zenawi

by Tumusiime Kabwende
(spokesman for the East and Horn of Africa Human Rights Defenders Network)

"It is unbelievable that Prime Minister Meles Zenawi has turned himself into one of Africa’s nascent dictators, yet no international body has come out strongly to condemn him"(More...)


Bush administration to double non-humanitarian aid to the Ethiopian Govt.

(Excerpt from the New York Times report )

US Administration officials are trying to double the amount of non-humanitarian (Not for humanitarian purposes) aid to Ethiopia to $481 million next year, from $284 million this year. But key Democrats in Congress, including Mr. Payne (seen here), are questioning this, saying that because of Ethiopia’s human rights record, it is time to stop writing the country a blank check.

...This is a country that is abusing its own people and has no respect for democracy,” said Representative Donald M. Payne, Democrat of New Jersey and chairman of the House Foreign Affairs subcommittee on Africa and global health.

We’ve not only looked the other way but we’ve pushed them to intrude in other sovereign nations,” he added, referring to the satellite images and other strategic help the American military gave Ethiopia in December, when thousands of Ethiopian troops poured into Somalia and overthrew the Islamist leadership. (More...)

Also see:
-Ethiopian Govt. Bullies its Citizens, United States keeps Ignoring
-"New York Times" Covers Ethiopia Horrors
-U.S. Funds African Civil War

Somalia presidential spokesman shot twice

MOGADISHU (Reuters) - Somalia's presidential spokesman was shot twice at close range in the latest assassination attempt on government officials in the Horn of Africa nation, officials said on Tuesday.

"He was shot in the neck and near the jaw," a security source speaking on condition of anonymity told Reuters. "I think the gunman was aiming for the head. He wanted to eliminate him."

The security source, who saw Hussein Mohamed Mahamud "Hubsired" recuperating in a hospital run by African Union peacekeepers in Mogadishu, said he was in stable condition and was to be flown to Nairobi for treatment.(More...)

Also see:
-Assassination attempt in East Africa
-Somalia presidential spokesman wounded in latest violence
-Somalia presidential spokesman shot twice in capital

Ishac Diwan makes way for Kenichi Ohashi
By Groum Abate

Capital -- The World Bank has appointed Kenichi Ohashi as its new country director for Ethiopia and Sudan. Kenichi Ohashi will succeed Ishac Diwan, who had been serving in the position since 1997.

According to the WB, Kenichi served the World Bank as a Country director for Nepal and would be replaced by Susan Goldmark on July 1st 2007.

Before his current position, Ishac served as Manager of the Economic Policy for Poverty Reduction Unit of the World Bank Institute (WBI) and head of the Institute’s Attacking Poverty Program.

Mr. Diwan has dual Lebanese and Canadian nationality with a Ph.D in Economics from the University of California at Berkeley.

TOP STORIES FROM THE PAST WEEK____________________________________

A roadside bomb explodes as an Ethiopian convoy passes

An Ethiopian military convoy hit a roadside bomb around former Somalia Defense Ministry in northwest of the capital where contingents of Ethiopian forces are based. Witnesses told Shabelle that they saw the mine explode while the Ethiopian convoy was passing by the road.

It is not yet clear if any of the Ethiopians were hurt in the blast that occurred at 3:00 pm local time, according an eye-witness refused to be named.(More...)

Ethiopia’s Tiananmen Square

(Another Excerpt from the New York Times report)

(Ethiopian students protest outside Addis Ababa Tegbareed Industrial Technology College in the Mexico area of the Addis Ababa. Addis Ababa, Ethiopia 07 June 2005. Andrew Heavens/REUTERS)

Its (Ethiopia's) leaders, many whom were once rebels themselves, from a neglected patch of northern Ethiopia, are widely known as some of the savviest officials on the continent. They had promised to let some air into a very stultified political system during the national elections of 2005, which were billed as a milestone on the road to democracy.

Instead, they turned into Ethiopia’s version of Tiananmen Square. With the opposition poised to win a record number of seats in Parliament, the government cracked down brutally, opening fire on demonstrators, rounding up tens of thousands of opposition supporters and students and leveling charges of treason and even attempted to kill top opposition leaders, including the man elected mayor of Addis Ababa.

Many opposition members are now in jail or in exile. The rest seem demoralized.

There are no real steps toward democracy,” said Merera Gudina, vice president of the United Ethiopian Democratic Forces, a leading opposition party. “No real steps toward opening up space, no real steps toward ending repression.(More...)
Tiananmen square, what is it ?
The Tiananmen Square protests of 1989

Islamists oppose reconciliation conference, discredit Ethiopia's role

The much anticipated Somalia national reconciliation conference may not take place after all because of inter-clan suspicion and the stand taken by the ousted Union of Islamic Courts (UIC) that it must be held on neutral grounds.

As the conference failed to take place for the second time, The EastAfrican obtained a communiqué issued by UIC leaders in Doha, Qatar, on June 7 during a two day conference, in which the Islamists insisted that there would be no genuine reconciliation until Ethiopian troops left Somalia.

Ethiopian embassy officials in Nairobi, however, insisted that Addis Ababa will only act according to bilateral agreements with the Transitional Federal Government (TFG) led by President Abdullahi Yusuf.(More...)

Today's Top International Stories

-US-Israel talks on Palestinians
-Gazans stream to crossing with Israel
-Videotape supposedly shows suicide bomber 'graduation'
-Splitsville For French Power Couple
-YouTube makes international move
-Moscow ranks as world's priciest city
-Papers show Isaac Newton's religious side