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Sunday, July 01, 2007

The Week in review plus weekend news

Weekend Top Stories:
[ION: Considerable reluctance to pardon] - [Indian Ocean Newsletter: Meles gets medical treatment in Israel] - [Africa must unite: A Call to the Summit in ACCRA] and more of the weekend's top stories!

The Week in Review


Africa must unite: A Call to the Summit in ACCRA
(Prof. Mammo Muchie)
Prof. Alemayehu G. Mariam on VOA discussing H.R. 2003
Washington Update - 7/1/07
Statement on the Union Government of Africa

Indian Ocean Newsletter: Meles gets medical treatment in Israel

Indian Ocean Newsletter N° 1217 30/06/2007

This week the Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi went on a short visit to Israel to undergo medical treatment. According to certain sources, it concerns a problem with his liver. Other sources mention a cerebral haemorrhage. Zenawi has now gone to Israel for medical reasons several times.

At Summit for African Leaders, IFJ Calls for Release of Imprisoned Journalists

“We are extremely worried about the situation of our colleagues in Ethiopia, Eritrea and The Gambia,” said IFJ Africa Office Director Gabriel Baglo just before the start of the African Union Summit in Ghana. “It’s time for urgent action, not more empty promises. We call on the Heads of State of Africa to free all the journalists imprisoned without delay.”

The IFJ said that 13 journalists are languishing in jail in Ethiopia at the Kality prison in Addis Ababa. At least 15 other journalists are held incommunicado in jail in Eritrea. In The Gambia, journalist “Chief” Ebrima Manneh was arrested in July 2006 and his whereabouts since then are unknown.(More..)

Explosions in Somalia as leader vows to end mayhem

OGADISHU, July 1 (Reuters) - Explosions and gunfire rocked Mogadishu on Sunday hours after President Abdullahi Yusuf promised to stem a bloody insurgency against his government and bring back stability to the war-ravaged Horn of African country.

Speaking at a function in his bullet-scarred hilltop presidential palace to commemorate 47 years of independence from Italy, Yusuf vowed to lead Somalia to prosperity. "It's sad after 47 years of independence that killings are going on," he told several hundred supporters gathered for the ceremony late on Saturday ahead of Independence Day.(More...)

Indian Ocean Newsletter: Considerable reluctance to pardon

Indian Ocean Newsletter N° 1217 30/06/2007

The discreet negotiations last week would seem to have convinced the imprisoned leaders of the Coalition for Unity and Democraty (CUD, opposition) to sign a document in return for being freed.

Now the reluctance to Prime Minister Meles Zenawi’s strategy is on the government’s side. One of the historical leaders of the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF, ruling party), Sebhat Nega, had already denounced this policy a few weeks ago, feeling that negotiations were looming on the horizon. Speaking in an interview broadcast by the radio station Dimtse owned by the TPLF (ION 1216) on 28 May, he was very harsh about the opposition.

He excluded any idea of reconciliation and stated that the imprisoned opponents “should beg for our forgiveness”. Meanwhile the Minister for Information Bereket Simeon last week constantly denied the very existence of talks with the imprisoned CUD leaders. And yet the latter have been discussing among themselves since mid June about the terms of the document they were being asked to sign to gain their freedom.

The terms “fault” and “guilt” originally contained in the text were replaced by “mistake”. Hence the imprisoned leaders must now admit having “made mistakes” after the 2005 election and recognise that they shoulder the responsibility of part of the consequences of these “mistakes”, including the violent events in October 2005.

However, now that they are beginning to accept the idea of signing such a document in order to be set free, members of the Ethiopian government are beginning to set new conditions. They want the debate planned by the US Congress on the Ethiopia Democracy and Accountability Act of 2007 to be cancelled.