Saturday, July 28, 2007

Ethiopia's "Growing Pains"

EPRDF's mouthpiece has a politically correct spin for brutal crackdown by security agents on supporters of the opposition. Only problem, responsibility for "mistakes" made is not equally shared or acknowledged.

...Ethiopia's ruling party attributes any heavy-handedness against the opposition to growing pains. "In most cases there are no problems," said Bereket Simon, a senior adviser to Mr. Zenawi. "We feel there might be problems here and there because this is not a mature democracy like that of the West. It is an emerging democracy and we're bound to make mistakes."

Ethiopia turns its critics into untouchables (The Globe and Mail) July 17, 2007

Raid on Ethiopian opponents in Sudan

Indian Ocean Newsletter N° 1219 28/07/2007

The Sudanese police have swept through the Ethiopian opposition circles in exile in several towns in the country. Around thirty men with links to the Ethiopian Peoples’ Patriotic Front (EPPF) and the Oromo Liberation Front (OLF), two groups supported by Eritrea, were arrested, including Atanaw Wassie, 70, leader of the EDU. The raid also picked up a number of young Ethiopian girls accused of chewing Khat, taking drugs and “contaminating Sudanese culture”.

UN says Eritrea destabilizing Somalia

Insurgents in Somalia have received huge numbers of weapons in secret shipments from Eritrea, the UN says.

There are now more arms in Somalia than at any time since the civil war started in 1991, the UN report says.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Red Cross deadline to leave Ogaden

...The regional president of Ethiopia's Somali region, Abdullai Hassan, told the BBC that the ICRC had been given seven days to leave the area.

He accused the organisation of collaborating with the enemy and of spreading baseless accusations against the regional government on its website.

Ethiopia deadline for Red Cross (BBC) July 24, 2007

U.N. refutes ONLF accusation

NAIROBI (Reuters) - Ethiopia's government is not "blocking" aid to a remote eastern region, but trade restrictions combined with floods could still trigger a humanitarian crisis there, the U.N. World Food Programme said on Tuesday.

A rebel group in the desolate area bordering Somalia demanded a U.N. investigation after The New York Times quoted Western diplomats and aid officials on Sunday accusing Ethiopian authorities of stopping food aid reaching the Ogaden region.

WFP says no Ethiopia aid blockade, but has concerns (Reuters) July 24, 2007

Harar celebrates first millennium

The ancient walled city of Harar in eastern Ethiopia is celebrating its 1,000th anniversary this month. The main event was a mass wedding in the colourful, traditional style. [Photo & words by the BBC's Elizabeth Blunt]

Monday, July 23, 2007

Atlanta murder, suicide

Yet more in disturbing trend of Ethiopians becoming part of America's gun culture, and killing each other.

...Police identified the gunman as 52-year-old Abdulazia Ibrahim. A neighbor described him as a retired immigrant worker who delighted in helping children. Neighbors said that the family was from Ethiopia and had lived in the house about 12 years.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Lidetu Ayalew demands CUD apology

After being vilified as a spy and traitor for not sharing the same fate as imprisoned CUD leaders, Lidetu Ayalew (UEDP-Medhin chairman and former co-leader in CUD) is airing opposition's dirty laundry in public.

The United Ethiopia Democratic Party (UEDP-Medhin) demanded apologies from the released leaders of the Coalition for Unity and Democracy (CUD) for tarnishing its name as a traitor to the people. The request was issued in a press conference held on July 18, 2007.

UEDP-Medhin Strikes Out at CUD (Addis Fortune) July 22, 2007

Friday, July 20, 2007

Opposition free at last!

...They were driven out of prison in minibuses to the cheers of dozens of relatives and supporters waiting outside. One man unfurled an Ethiopian flag and waved it as motorists honked their horns in celebration.

Ethiopia frees 38 opposition members (Reuters) July 20, 2007
Listen to Hailu Shawel on Voice of America

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Africa's best summer holiday

Fancy cars, plush hotel rooms, group photo with old friends...Another AU summit holiday comes to an end.

African leaders have ended their three-day summit in Ghana without reaching agreement on how to establish a single government for the continent.

No timetable for uniting Africa (BBC) July 4, 2007