UN to send a fact-finding mission to the Ogaden
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ADDIS ABABA, Aug 29 (Reuters) - The United Nations plans to send a fact-finding mission to Ethiopia's Ogaden region where separatist rebels who killed 74 people in an April attack say they are facing the toughest government crackdown in years.
The mission, due to start on Aug. 30, will assess allegations by the rebels and rights groups of human rights abuses as well as the food, water and health needs of Ogaden's ethnic Somalis.
The remote region bordering Somalia has come under growing scrutiny since the government launched a campaign two months ago to flush out Ogaden National Liberation Front (ONLF) rebels after they carried out one of their bloodiest attacks on a Chinese-run oil exploration field in April.
Rights groups accuse soldiers of shooting civilians, burning homes and seizing livestock in its hunt for the ONLF, which wants more autonomy for the area believed to be rich in oil and gas.
"The information coming from the Somali region since the beginning of the Ethiopian government campaign against the ONLF has been secondhand, and it has been worrying," Paul Hebert, head of the U.N.'s Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs in Ethiopia, told Reuters on Wednesday.(More...)
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“Where there has been racial hatred, it must be ended. Where there has been tribal animosity, it will be finished. Let us not dwell upon the bitterness of the past....rather look to the future....If we can create this sense of national direction and identity, we shall have gone a long way toward solving our economic problems.” - Kenyatta.(More...)
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Pictures of the DayThe patriotism and devotion to country Ethiopian athletes possess is legendary. When Tirunesh suffering from terrible stomach pain, won the race in Osaka last Saturday, she said “I did it for my country. I was struggling but I told myself to hang in. I didn't want to let down the people back home in Ethiopia.”
This sentiment is not new to Ethiopian athletes. Just see the conversation below between Mamo Wolde and Abebe Bikila, as Abebe realized he was too sick to finish the race and defend his title at the 1968 marathon in Mexico City.
As narrated by Mamo Wolde
(Ten miles into the race), he (Abebe) turned and beckoned teammate, Mamo Wolde,
Abebe: "I'm not finishing this race."
Mamo: "Sorry, sir."
Abebe:"But Lieutenant, you will win this race."
Mamo: "Sir, yes sir."
Abebe:"Don't let me down."
when Abebe Bikila emerged from an ambulance (just after Mamo won the race), He caught Wolde's eye, came to attention and saluted. Wolde, mission accomplished, crisply returned it. Wolde's victory meant his country hadn't produced a lone prodigy, but a succession. Wolde had made the marathon Ethiopia's own. (Excerpted from ‘The Ordeal of Mamo Wolde” by Kenny Moore)