Archive for September 2009

American Chronicle | Q & A: Eritrea´s food shortage amid calls for UN sanctions

September 30, 2009

https://i1.wp.com/www.awate.com/images/stories//cartoons/alem.jpgEritrea is in the spotlight again following the killing on September 17 of 21 African Union peacekeepers in Mogadishu by Al-Shabab militants who the African Union and the UN allege are supported by Eritrea. AU member states are pressuring the UN to sanction the Eritrean government. In July, an AU summit in Libya unanimously voted to punish Eritrea for “escalating” the Somali crisis. Meanwhile, the World Food Program has been denied access to Eritrea and has expressed concern that food is not reaching the most vulnerable – especially children and pregnant women.

American Chronicle | Q & A: Eritrea´s food shortage amid calls for UN sanctions

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EthioGuardian.com ETG: Ethiopia: U.S. Policy Shift Needed in the Horn of Africa

September 30, 2009

Anti-American sentiment in Somalia is pervasive, and stems in large part from U.S. complicity with the Ethiopian invasion and reported Ethiopian human rights abuses in Somalia. Ethiopia has also reportedly engaged in human rights abuses within its Ogaden region, which borders Somalia, where the government is engaged in a counterinsurgency effort against an ethnic Somali separatist movement. Though Ethiopia has denied these charges, human rights organizations, including Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch, have documented atrocities committed by both sides in that conflict. The U.S. decision to withdraw its military personnel from the Ogaden in April 2006, and the subsequent failure of the international community to seek accountability for these atrocities, has cemented a widespread public perception in Ethiopia and Somalia that the United States is willing to turn a blind eye on human rights abuses in exchange for cooperation in the counterterror effort.

EthioGuardian.com ETG: Ethiopia: U.S. Policy Shift Needed in the Horn of Africa

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The Associated Press: Court to weigh lawsuit against former Somali PM

September 30, 2009

WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court will consider throwing out a human rights lawsuit against a former prime minister of Somalia who is accused of overseeing killings and other atrocities.The court said Wednesday it would review an appeals court ruling allowing Somalis to sue Mohamed Ali Samantar of Fairfax, Va., who was defense minister and prime minister of Somalia in the 1980s and early 1990s under dictator Siad Barre.The lawsuit alleges that Samantar was responsible for killings, rapes and torture, including waterboarding, of his own people while in power, particularly against disfavored clans. The lawsuit was filed in 2004 at federal court in Alexandria under the Torture Victim Protection Act.U.S. District Judge Leonie Brinkema tossed out the case in 2007, ruling that Samantar was entitled to immunity under a separate U.S. law, the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act.But the appellate court ruled that the law does not extend immunity to individuals, only to foreign states themselves and their agencies.The high court will consider whether Samantar is immune from the lawsuit. The case will be argued early next year.The case is Samantar v. Yousuf, 08-1555.

The Associated Press: Court to weigh lawsuit against former Somali PM

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Abugida Ethiopian American Information Center » How Ghana Did It – George B.N. Ayittey, Ph.D.

September 29, 2009

The crisis Africa faces is one of monumental leadership failure. Ideology is not particularly relevant. Both pro-West and pro-East leaders have failed their people. Collectively, these leaders have been responsible for the deaths of more than 18 million Africans since independence. This total is more than what Africa lost through the slave trade – from both the West and East African coasts. According to former Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo, corrupt African leaders have stolen at least $140 billion (£95 billion) from their people in the decades since independence (London Independent, June 14, 2002. Web posted at www. independent.co.uk). This type of leadership is a far cry from that which Africans have known in their own traditional systems for centuries. Name one African chief who looted the treasury for deposit in a foreign bank.

Abugida Ethiopian American Information Center » How Ghana Did It – George B.N. Ayittey, Ph.D.

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Garowe Online – Home

September 29, 2009

The group of lawmakers included: MP Abdullahi Ahmed Afrah, MP Farah Ali Abdi, MP Mohamed Ali Omar, MP Ali Yusuf Osman, MP Dahir Abdulkadir Muse, and MP Shukri Haji Ahmed.MP Afrah, who spoke at a Saturday press conference in Mogadishu on behalf of the lawmakers, said Finance Minister Sharif Hassan Sheikh Aden has taken steps to destroy the Transitional Federal Government (TFG) led by President Sheikh Sharif Ahmed.MP Afrah”The Finance Minister illegally misuses the small income collected at the port and airport in Mogadishu,” said MP Afrah, who is a member of the TFG parliament’s financial accountability subcommittee.

Garowe Online – Home

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Abugida Ethiopian American Information Center » In Contempt of… the Truth! – Alemayehu G. Mariam

September 28, 2009

Commenting recently on an International Crisis Group (ICG) study dealing with rising ethnic tensions and dissent in advance of the “May 2010” elections, Ethiopia’s arch dictator wisecracked, “This happens as some people have too many billions of dollars to spend and they feel that dictating how, particularly, the developing countries manage their affairs is their God given right and to use their God given money to that purpose. They are entitled to their opinion as we are entitled to ours.”The dictator’s opinion of the ICG and its findings was predictably boorish: “The analysis (ICG report) is not worth the price of or the cost of writing it up,” he harangued. “We have only contempt for the ICG. You do not respond to something you only have contempt for.” The dictator boasted that his “ethnic federalism” policy had saved the “country [which] was on the brink of total disintegration.” He marshaled anonymous authorities to support his fabricated claim that he is the redeemer of the nation: “Every analyst worth his salt was suggesting that Ethiopia will go the way of Yugoslavia or the Soviet Union. What we have now is a going-concern.”

Abugida Ethiopian American Information Center » In Contempt of… the Truth! – Alemayehu G. Mariam

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The Associated Press: Israel shuts down for Day of Atonement amid fears

September 27, 2009

JERUSALEM — The start of the Jewish Day of Atonement at sundown Sunday marked the beginning of a day like no other in Israel, on which even Israelis with no connection to religion tend to put their normal lives on hold.This year Yom Kippur, the holiest day of the Jewish calendar, comes at a particularly somber time following revelations of a previously hidden Iranian nuclear facility and more missile tests by the Revolutionary Guard.”That proves to whoever was still in doubt that Iran is the most serious threat today on the peace of the world and its security,” said Israeli Deputy Foreign Ministry Danny Ayalon, speaking to Israeli Channel 10.

The Associated Press: Israel shuts down for Day of Atonement amid fears

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U.S. Policy Shift Needed in the Horn of Africa – Council on Foreign Relations

September 27, 2009

FULLNAMEOFINTERVIEWEEU.S. strategic interests in the Horn of Africa center on preventing Somalia from becoming a safe haven for al-Qaeda or other transnational jihadist groups. In pursuing its counterterror strategy, the United States has found common cause with Ethiopia. The Ethiopian government has long feared the renewal of Somali irredentist claims on its eastern border, or that a powerful Islamist movement may stoke unrest among its own large Muslim population, and feels beset both by a powerful indigenous separatist movement in its Ogaden region and an unresolved border dispute with its northern neighbor, Eritrea

U.S. Policy Shift Needed in the Horn of Africa – Council on Foreign Relations

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Reports | Human Rights Watch

September 27, 2009

Reports | Human Rights Watch

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Abugida Ethiopian American Information Center » Peace on the Horn -Jason McLure (Newsweek)

September 27, 2009

For the past three years, Ethiopia has been Washington’s key ally in fighting terrorism in the Horn of Africa. Its two-year U.S. backed occupation of Somalia led to the ouster of one Islamist government in Mogadishu, but fueled the rise of a more radical group, known as Al-Shabab. But government’s domestic activities have put the most strain on the alliance. The disputed 2005 elections ended with security forces killing 193 demonstrators and the jailing of opposition leader Birtukan Mideksa and more than 120 other opposition figures, journalists and activists. Birtukan was pardoned in 2007 and released from jail, but landed in prison again in December after the government said she violated terms of her release. Many analysts say the jailing had more to do with Birtukan organizing a challenge in national elections next year. NEWSWEEK’s Jason McLure talked with Foreign Minister Seyoum Mesfin about democracy, Somalia and the durability of Ethiopia’s alliance. Excerpts:

Abugida Ethiopian American Information Center » Peace on the Horn -Jason McLure (Newsweek)

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