About Prof. Muse Tegegne

Prof. Muse Tegegne has lectured sociology Change & Liberation in Europe, Africa, Asia, and Americas. He has obtained Doctorat es Science from the University of Geneva. A PhD in Developmental Studies & ND in Natural Therapies. He wrote on the problematic of the Horn of Africa extensively. And Lecture at Mobile University..
Website: http://ethiopianism.net
Prof. Muse has written 348 articles so far, you can find them below.

Genocide in preparation in Ethiopian Tactonic Dams for over 1/2 Million Omotic Ethiopians & Kenyans are endangered

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The  Ethiopian Rift valley  extending from the Afar Vally down to the Omo river  passing to the Lake Turkna ( Rudelf)  up unto lake Victoria. This is a tectonic  plate separation point breaking the Horn of Africa from the rest of the continent. One  cannot build a Dams  (Gebe I Gebe II Gebe III) connecting these  breaking  plates. Recently the Gebe II dam’s tunnel of 26 kilometer collapsed from this movement. The government of Ethiopia is continuing its project and throwing money in these futile project and destroying the lives of over half a million Ethiopians & Kenyans down the river . The dam could collapse any time with these unexpected movement endangering over half a million lives .

Ethiopia map of dam surroundings at present

Dramatic Geologic Activity in East Africa

A New Ocean Will Eventually Form as Tectonic Plates Split Apart

Feb 26, 2010 Terrie Schultz

The splitting apart of the African Plate in the East African Rift Valley shows how continents change and oceans are created through the process of plate tectonics.

The huge, brittle tectonic plates that make up Earth’s crust normally move only a few centimeters per year, not fast enough to be noticeable in a human lifetime. However, in the East African Rift Valley, this tectonic motion is happening with remarkable speed.

The East African Rift System

The East African Rift System is the most extensive continental rift zone on Earth, as well as one of the most active geologic regions. Stretching more than 6,000 km (3,700 miles), it begins in Lebanon and Syria to the north, proceeds along the Red Sea where it marks the boundary between the African and Arabian Plates, and continues through to Mozambique in the south.

The area of east Africa is defined by extremes. Volcanic activity along the Great Rift Valley has produced some of the world’s highest mountains, including Mt. Kilimanjaro and Mt. Kenya, while the Danakil Depression in Ethiopia is one of the lowest points on the planet.

The Afar Triangle, which includes north-eastern Ethiopia, Djibouti and the southern Red Sea region of Eritrea, is the location of a tectonic triple junction where three tectonic plates meet. These three plates are moving away from each other due to an upwelling of magma from the mantle, which melts the crust and causes it to thin and pull apart. The phenomenon is similar to that which occurs at the mid-ocean ridges, where hot magma rises up and pushes the oceanic crust out to each side in the process of seafloor spreading, but it is rarely observed on Earth’s surface.

The African Plate is Tearing Apart, Forming a New Plate and Ocean Basin

Recent tectonic activity in the East African Rift Valley has created vast fissures where the African Plate is being split into two parts. The Nubian Plate that comprises most of the African continent, and the Somalian Plate, on the eastern coast, are moving in opposite directions at what is known as a divergent plate boundary. As the plates pull apart, a new ocean will eventually form, and the Horn of Africa will separate from the rest of the continent, becoming an island.

Lake Turkana

The dam may affect the people who live around Lake Turkana



Web campaign against Ethiopia Gibe III dam

BBC

age last updated at 14:48 GMT, Tuesday, 23 March 2010

A group of international campaigners has launched an online petition against Ethiopia’s huge Gibe III dam project.

The group wants to put pressure on Western donors and banks not to fund the dam, saying it would destroy the livelihoods of some 500,000 people.

The dam is on the Omo River, which flows from southern Ethiopia into Lake Turkana in northern Kenya.

Ethiopia’s government says the dam is needed to generate enough electricity for its population and to sell abroad.

Construction work is under way on the dam, which would be Africa’s second largest hydro-electric dam, providing some 1,800 megawatts of electricity.

‘Very sensible’

But one of the groups, International Rivers, says the government still needs about $1.4bn (£930m) to finish it.

“Gibe III is the most destructive dam under construction in Africa. The project will condemn half a million of the region’s most vulnerable people to hunger and conflict,” said Terri Hathaway, director of International Rivers’ Africa programme.

The dam would flood a huge area, creating a 150km-long lake and preventing people from planting their crops on the river’s flood plains, as they have done for many generations.

Campaigners also fear that the dam would reduce the flow of water into Lake Turkana, which some 300,000 people depend on.

However, Ethiopia’s government disputes that the overall amount of water would change – they say it would just be a more regular flow throughout the year.

Tewolde Gebre Egziabher, head of Ethiopia’s Environmental Protection Authority, told the BBC the project was “very sensible”.

“The advantages for the whole country, the local communities around, even for our neighbouring countries – including Kenya -so much more outweigh the small problems that will be caused on an immediate basis but are not long-lasting.”

FLOODING EFFECT OF DAM ON OMO RIVER

Choose a view:


Using newly gathered seismic data from 2005, researchers reconstructed the event to show the rift tore open along its entire 35-mile length in just days. Dabbahu, a volcano at the northern end of the rift, erupted first, then magma pushed up through the middle of the rift area and began “unzipping” the rift in both directions, the researchers explained in a statement today.

“We know that seafloor ridges are created by a similar intrusion of magma into a rift, but we never knew that a huge length of the ridge could break open at once like this,” said Cindy Ebinger, professor of earth and environmental sciences at the University of Rochesterand co-author of the study.

@@@@Fissures have opened in the Earth's surface in Afar as the Arabian and Nubian tectonic plates pull apart. Scientists say the process is the same as that which created the Atlantic. Photograph: Xan Rice

The Horn of Africa is Becoming an Ocean

A new ocean is appearing between the Arabian and the African plate. This ocean is appearing faster than previously geological thought. A series of more than one-hundred sixty two earthquakes in
two weeks were the
For the first time – humans were able to witness the birth of an ocean. Geologist Dereje Ayalew and his colleagues from Addis Ababa were the first to witness this up-to-the-minute experience. With a shake of the earth as soon as they arrived they were tempted to run back to the helicopter that had brought them there but in moments they were able to witness this horrific yet fascinating event. After a few moments, a dense crack in the earth appeared – an event that usually takes a lifetime to occur. This would be an amazing experience to view in a lifetime, it has been recently added to my “things to see in my lifetime” list.
“In north-eastern Africa’s Afar Triangle, though, recent months have seen hundreds of crevices splitting the desert floor and the ground has slumped by as much as 100 meters (328 feet). At the same time, scientists have observed magma rising from deep below as it begins to form what will eventually become a basalt ocean floor.”
“The process happening here is identical to that which created the Atlantic Ocean,” Parts of the region have sunk to nearly one-hundred meters below sea level.
The red sea will soon flood this crevice, and the scientists are able to unearth what is to be the floor of the newly forming ocean. The African and the Arabian plates meet at the Afar triangle and are considered to be the largest natural construction site on the planet. The event witnessed was the first visual proof of the formation. Now, this would have been something to witness.
Locals visit the site regularly and notice new cracks forming constantly. Also, fumes as hot as 400 degrees arising from the area accompanied by magma and sulfur. This is evident in the recent volcanic activity within the area. It won’t be a very long time until this area is flooded by the current red sea and becomes the youngest ocean.
Schematic map of Africa's most active volcanoes

Giant dam to devastate 200,000 tribal people in Ethiopia 23 March


A massive hydroelectric dam project on Ethiopia’s Omo River will devastate at least 200,000 tribal people, Survival said today.

Survival is launching an urgent campaign calling on the Ethiopian government to halt the dam (known as Gibe III), and urging potential international funders, including the Africa Development Bank, the European Investment Bank, the World Bank and the Italian government not to support the project.

Italian company Salini Costruttori, has been contracted to build the dam. The same company built the smaller Gibe II dam, part of which collapsed 10 days after it was opened in January.

The dam will end the Omo’s natural flood, which deposits fertile silt on the river banks, where the tribes cultivate crops when the waters recede. In a region where drought is commonplace, this will have devastating consequences for the tribes’ food supplies.

The tiny hunter-gatherer Kwegu tribe, for example, will be pushed to the brink as fish stocks will be reduced. Six Kwegu, including two children, recently died of hunger because the rains and flood failed.

The Ethiopian government plans to lease huge tracts of tribal land in the Omo Valley to foreign companies and governments for large-scale production of crops, including biofuels, which will be fed by water from the dam.

Most of the tribal people who will be affected by the dam know nothing about the project. The Ethiopian government is clamping down on tribal organizations, and last year closed down 41 local ‘community associations’, making it impossible for communities to hold meetings about the dam.

The Omo River is the primary source of Kenya’s famous Lake Turkana, which supports the lives of 300,000 people who pasture their cattle on its banks and fish there. The dam will threaten their survival too. Both the Lower Omo Valley and Lake Turkana are UNESCO World Heritage sites.

Survival’s director, Stephen Corry, said today, ‘The Gibe III dam will be a disaster of cataclysmic proportions for the tribes of the Omo valley. Their land and livelihoods will be destroyed, yet few have any idea what lies ahead. The government has violated Ethiopia’s constitution and international law in the procurement process. No respectable outside body should be funding this atrocious project.’

Survival together with the the Campaign for the Reform of the World Bank, Counter Balance coalition, Friends of Lake Turkana and International Rivers have launched a petition to stop the dam.

Sign the Petition

Some facts on Gibe 3 dam:

1. The dam wall will be 240 metres high – the tallest dam in Africa

2. The lake formed by the reservoir will be 150 kms long

3. Estimated Cost: 1.4 billion Euros (US $1.7 billion at start of dam construction)

4. Construction started in 2006 and is due to be completed in 2012

5. The dam will provide 1,800 megawatts of electricity

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httpvh://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xa5tTu4_D6s

The Lower Omo River in south west Ethiopia is home to eight different tribes whose population is about 200,000. They have lived there for centuries.

However the future of these tribes lies in the balance. A massive hydro-electric dam, Gibe III, is under construction on the Omo. When completed it will destroy a fragile environment and the livelihoods of the tribes, which are closely linked to the river and its annual flood.

Hamar girls display their ornate hair and adornments.
Hamar girls display their ornate hair and adornments.
© Eric Lafforgue/Survival

Salini Costruttori, an Italian company, started construction work on the Gibe III dam at the end of 2006, and has already built a third of it.

Soon, both the African Development Bank and the Italian government will decide whether to fund the dam project as requested by the Ethiopian government.

Survival and various regional and international organisations believe that the Gibe III Dam will have catastrophic consequences for the tribes of the Omo River, who already live close to the margins of life in this dry and challenging area.

We are calling on the African Development Bank and other potential funders not to support this project until a complete and independent social and environmental impact study is carried out and the tribal peop

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httpvh://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3hpLlt0agt8

‘Open the dam and let the water flow’ – desperate plea from Omo Valley 25 February

A Kwegu boy outside his hut. The Omo Valley tribes are finding it hard to feed their children in these times of drought.
A Kwegu boy outside his hut. The Omo Valley tribes are finding it hard to feed their children in these times of drought. ©Survival

Many tribal people in the Lower Omo Valley in Ethiopia are starving as the region is in the grip of a drought and the river’s annual flood has failed.

The Kwegu, a small hunter-gatherer tribe, have been badly hit. Survival has received reports that two Kwegu children and four adults died from hunger in November.

A Kwegu man sent this message: ‘Go and give this news to your elders, we Kwegu people are hungry. Other tribes have cattle, they can drink milk and blood. We don’t have cattle; we eat from the Omo River. We depend on the fish, they are like our cattle. If the Omo floods are gone we will die.’

The rains have not fallen properly for three years in the Omo Valley, home to eight different tribes and around 200,000 people. The annual flood of the Omo River, a lifeline for the region, has decreased in recent years, and in 2009 it failed completely.

A Mun tribesman said, ‘Before the flood waters would come and we would have big cultivation sites. Now, all the cultivation sites … have got no water.’

It is not clear why the rains have stopped, or why the flood failed. What is clear, is that the Gibe cascade – a series of five dams planned for the Omo River – is likely to stretch an already strained region, and its people, to breaking point.

Some Kwegu blame the dam. One said, ‘Our land has become bad. They closed the water off tight and we know hunger. Open the dam and let the water flow.’

Gibe I is already complete, damming one of the tributaries of the Omo River. The Gibe II dam blocks the same river, and recently was a major source of embarrassment for the Ethiopian government and Italian firm Salini Construttori, after part of it collapsed just ten days after opening.

The Gibe III dam is about one third complete. A 50 meter cofferdam was recently built as part of the ongoing dam construction. Some believe it may have contributed to the lack of the annual flood.

If completed, Gibe III will be the second largest hydroelectric dam in Africa.

Experts warn it will irrevocably devastate the Omo River’s flood cycle, which is crucial to the Omo Valley tribes’ livelihood and survival.

The Ethiopian government claims Gibe III, aside from generating enough electricity to power the country several times over, will increase the safety of the downstream tribes by stopping giant floods from sweeping away livestock and people. But the tribes are clear – without the annual flood, they cannot survive.

A Mun tribesman said, ‘Now that the floods are gone we have a big problem. We are afraid of death. The rainy season hasn’t come for three years. Why haven’t the rains been working all this time? Did the sky not sign his work papers? Did he forget to work?’

‘There is no singing and dancing all along the Omo River now. The people are too hungry. The kids are quiet.’

‘The big rains have been gone for three years and now, we come to the Omo and there is no water.’

Ethiopia's dam project could kill Kenya's Lake Turkana

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Uncontacted tribes threatened by ‘thousands of explosions’ 22 March

A Nahua man shortly after first contact in 1984. More than 50% of the Nahua died following contact.
A Nahua man shortly after first contact in 1984. More than 50% of the Nahua died following contact.
© Survival

A pioneer scientific study has revealed how some of the world’s last uncontacted tribes are threatened by ‘the detonation of thousands of seismic explosives’ on their land.

The study says that seventeen large areas in the Peruvian Amazon where oil and gas companies can work include land inhabited by uncontacted Indians.

The potential impacts on the tribes and their land are ‘severe and extensive’, says the study. These impacts include: ‘hundreds of heliports’, ‘the cutting of hundreds of kilometres of seismic lines’, ‘the detonation of thousands of seismic explosives’, oil spills and leaks, new roads, and the ‘unique potential of advancing the agricultural, cattle and logging frontiers’, all of which could be disastrous for the tribes ‘whose lack of resistance or immunity make them extremely vulnerable to illnesses brought by outsiders.’

‘More of the Peruvian Amazon has been leased to oil and gas companies over the past four years than at any other time on record,’ says the study, published in ‘Environmental Research Letters’.

The study cites drilling in northern Peru by a British company as ‘extremely controversial’, although it does not mention the company, Perenco, by name. Perenco, which has recently revealed plans to build a pipeline into the region, is working ‘within a mega-diverse and largely intact section of the Amazon (where) there is strong anthropological evidence (of) uncontacted indigenous peoples.’

The study says that a massive 72% of the entire Peruvian Amazon is now open for exploration and drilling. Survival is campaigning against exploration in parts of the Peruvian Amazon inhabited by uncontacted tribes.

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EUROPE:

Aid for Ethiopian Dam Challenged
David Cronin

BRUSSELS, Jan 26 (IPS) – Financial support has been requested from the European Union for a controversial energy project in Ethiopia that could drive thousands of farmers from their land.

With a projected cost of 1.7 billion dollars, the Gilgel Gibe 3 dam is the single largest infrastructural work being undertaken in Ethiopia. At a launch ceremony Jan. 24, Ethiopian President Girma Wolde-Giorgis predicted that the hydroelectricity scheme will boost efforts to reduce poverty.

Yet his upbeat assessment is disputed by environmental and social policy activists.

They predict the dam will have adverse consequences for the ecology of the Gibe-Obo river system. Although 400 nomadic pastoralists are likely to lose access to grazing lands as a result of it, locals have not been formally consulted about its effects.

The European Investment Bank (EIB) has confirmed that it has received a request to loan money to the dam.

In a letter, seen by IPS, senior bank official Yvonne Berghorst said that “in order to qualify for funding, the EIB’s normal thorough project appraisal procedure would need to demonstrate that the project meets the EIB’s requirements on environmental and social standards, is technically, economically and financially viable and complies with relevant practices and standards regarding procurement.”

Doubts have been cast on whether the project would comply with international tendering rules. Salini, an Italian construction firm, was awarded a contract for the project by the Addis Ababa government, without any competition.

An EIB spokesman said that because the contract had been granted in this way, the bank would “only be able to finance things that might be subcontracted” to other companies.

“We will be looking very carefully at the project’s affordability,” the spokesman added. “Does the project make sense for the Ethiopian economy? We will look at what positive effects it will have to make a balanced decision.”

Campaigners have declined to accept this reassurance.

Magda Stockczkiewicz from Friends of the Earth’s Brussels office pointed out that the EIB had previously financed earlier phases of the dam’s construction between 1998 and 2005, even though similar problems had been observed in the awarding of contracts. A loan of more than 44 million euros (65 million dollars) was allocated to phase two, for example.

“It is in keeping with the classic EIB approach that it is not going to provide finance to all of a monster but that it is happy to finance the birth of a monster,” said Stockczkiewicz.

Set up by the 1957 Treaty of Rome, the EIB is an official EU body, which approved loans totalling more than 53 billion euros (78 billion dollars) in 2006.

Although the bank raises its capital from international markets, its mandate requires that it adheres to the Union’s policies. Under the Cotonou Agreement, a treaty signed in 2000 that lays down the legal basis for the EU’s relationship with Africa, it is obliged to ensure that any work it supports in Africa helps reduce poverty.

Gilgel Gibe 3 is considered pivotal to an Ethiopian five-year plan to generate 4,000 megawatts of electricity. Almost half that energy is to come from the project.

But the question of whether the domestic population will benefit as a result is fiercely contested, given that much of its power could be exported to Kenya.

Caterina Amicucci from the Campaign for the Reform of the World Bank in Rome said that just 6 percent of Ethiopia’s 73 million inhabitants are connected to the national electricity grid. It would be preferable, she added, to invest in improving domestic capacity than to support schemes designed to export energy.

As alternatives to Gilgel Gibe 3, campaigners are advocating a major effort to increase the supply of cooking fuels to rural communities.

Ethiopia has also been identified as having vast potential for the generation of geothermal energy – from heat stored beneath the earth’s surface – particularly in the Rift Valley.

Despite being a critic of the World Bank, Amicucci argued that the Washington-based institution is “much more advanced” than the EIB. After sustained campaigning by a wide variety of organisations, the World Bank has become more transparent and has begun insisting that correct procedures are followed before it releases money.

“Because of the procurement issue (with Gilgel Gibe 3), the World Bank’s offices in Addis Ababa have told us they can’t support this project,” Amicucci added.

Another concern being raised is that Ethiopia could struggle to pay back a large-scale loan.

In a report on Ethiopia issued last year, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) stated that the granting of commercial loans to public enterprises has a “sizeable effect” on debt sustainability.

The World Bank and IMF consider the external debt of a country as sustainable when it is around 150 percent of its yearly export revenues.

According to the latest data published by the World Bank, Ethiopia has an external debt of 6 billion dollars, equivalent to one-fifth of national income.

Some 40 percent of Ethiopians live below the poverty line.

“Loans have to be paid back,” said Stockczkiewicz. “Our belief is that in such a situation, the responsibility on the donor is even greater. If they don’t look through all the pros and cons of a project before giving a loan, at the end of the day it is the country’s people that will have to pay the price.”

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European bank withdraws funding from Ethiopia’s dam


afrol News, – The European Investment Bank has decided to pull back its funding for Ethiopia’s hydropower dam following pressure calls by environmentalists that the Gibe 3 Dam threatens the food security and local economies that support more than half a million people in Southwest Ethiopia.

According to the banks statement, the Euro 1.55 billion hydropower dam would devastate the ecosystems of Ethiopia’s Lower Omo Valley and Kenya’s Lake Turkana.

The dam which is expected to be Africa’s tallest dam with the height of 240 meters and Ethiopia’s biggest investment, drew criticisms from environmentalists saying the construction will wreak havoc on the Omo River’s natural flood cycle.

The Bank’s statement further said in March 2009, Friends of Lake Turkana, a group of affected people in Kenya, urged the EIB not to fund the Gibe 3 because the affected communities could not withstand any more pressure on the little resources along the lake.

The coordinator of Friends of Lake Turkana, Ikal Angelei, said Gibe 3 Dam would lead to the ecological and economic collapse around Lake Turkana, adding that it would also fuel tension in the volatile east African region.

The African Development Bank will be the next financier to consider funding for the project. Friends of Lake Turkana and International Rivers Network submitted complaints to the AfDB in March and April.

International Rivers’ Africa director Terri Hathaway said the Gibe 3 Dam violates the AfDB’s policies on environmental and social assessment, poverty reduction, resettlement, public disclosure, and trans-boundary water management.

“Donors should not fund through the AfDB what they are not prepared to fund through the EIB,” the official said.

The Gibe 3 Dam which resumed construction in 2006 was awarded without competition to an Italian construction giant Salini, raising serious questions about the project’s integrity. The project’s impact assessment reports were also published long after construction began and are said to disregard the project’s most serious consequences.

The European Investment Bank financed the Gibe and Gibe 2 dams, conducted a pre-assessment of the Gibe 3 Dam, and contribued funds to the project’s Economic, Financial and Technical Assessment.

The environmentalists have argued that the construction of Gibe 3 dam would leave the Lake Turkana and its inhabitants devastated as the lake could start drying up when its main source, the Omo River, is depleted by a huge dam in Ethiopia.

“There is no question that Ethiopia needs power. But the irony of the Gibe III dam is that while it threatens the economy of the Turkana region, a large share of its electricity will be sold to consumers in other parts of Kenya,” the environmentalists has said.

Although Kenya and Ethiopia have reportedly signed the power purchase agreement outlining the terms of electricity sales in 2006, no bilateral agreements on the use of the Omo-Turkana waterway and the dam’s downstream effects to Kenya are publicly known.

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Kenyan indigenous groups file complaint with AfDB on Ethiopian dam

2 March 2009

Requestors argue that the Gibe III Dam is set to deplete Lake Turkana with dramatic impacts on downstream communities in Kenya, and in the absence of public consultation.

On February 4, Friends of Lake Turkana, a Kenyan organization representing indigenous groups in northwestern Kenya whose livelihoods are linked to Lake Turkana, filed a formal request with the African Development Bank’s (AfDB) Compliance Review & Mediation Unit (CRMU) – the AfDB’s internal accountability mechanism – to investigate and intervene in the Bank’s plans to finance the Gilgel Gibe III hydroelectric project in Ethiopia.

Gilgel Gibe III (known as “Gibe”) is part of a continuing series of projects on the Omo River and its tributaries in southwestern Ethiopia. Construction on the third portion of the project began in 2006, but the request for funding to the AfDB was only made recently. The project has become problematic for public funders because the Ethiopian government did not follow standard procedures in awarding the main contract to an Italian firm, Salini, without any bidding procedure. The World Bank has declined to offer financing because of this flaw, as has the Italian government. The European Investment Bank also seems to be leaning against any funding, on the same grounds. The AfDB’s procurement guidelines likewise prohibit it from funding the main contract, but the loan currently under consideration uses a loophole – financing through a sub-contract – to evade the rules.

With so many potential public funders turning away from the project, and with private financiers like J.P. Morgan Chase withdrawing support because of the financial crisis, the AfDB’s contribution becomes more important – even vital – if the project is to be completed.

Unfortunately, judgments about whether procurement rules have been violated do not fall within the CRMU’s mandate. The request filed by FoLT instead focuses on the impact of the project on Lake Turkana. The Omo River supplies roughly 80 percent of the water in the lake, which is the world’s largest permanent desert lake. The contemplated impact of the dam could reduce the lake’s depth, it is estimated, by between 7 and 10 meters. Such an impact would have serious repercussions on the chemical balance of the lake, which is highly alkaline, and therefore on the biodiversity supported by the lake. Lake Turkana hosts the world’s largest group of Nile crocodiles – over 20,000 – as well as many other species of fish, bird, hippopotamus, etc.

A serious impact on the lake would also have a serious impact on the riverine forest and the lands around the lake used for flood-recession agriculture. Most of the peoples living in the area are pastoralists who supplement their diet with seasonal cultivation; a damaged lake would seriously compromise their food security and way of life.

The Ethiopian government approved its Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA) on the project in July 2008, nearly two years after construction began, in a blatant violation of Ethiopian law. The ESIA barely acknowledges any impact on Lake Turkana, and provides unrealistically rosy scenarios to claim that the project will actually improve conditions at the lake, such as by “reducing evaporation” – indeed, if there is less water, there is less evaporation. Little effort has been made to consult with affected peoples, and no effort whatsoever has been made on the Kenyan side of the border.

Northwestern Kenya is one of the most arid and resource-deprived parts of Kenya, and conflict among its various people has been chronic. The impact of the Gibe Dam on Lake Turkana would very likely lead to increased violent conflict.

Although Ethiopia is chronically short of power, most of the power produced by this project would, ironically, be sold to Kenya. That power would be very unlikely, however, to benefit the peoples of northwestern Kenya, but instead go to the metropolitan areas such as Nairobi, further south. The arrangements between the Kenyan and Ethiopian governments have not been transparent, and there is now jostling in Parliament and the Kenyan coalition government to ascertain what has been agreed to and whether the interests of the people around Lake Turkana have been taken into account.

Friends of Lake Turkana is careful to acknowledge that while they are fighting for the interests of the people on the Kenyan side of the border, there are hundreds of thousands in Ethiopia who stand to suffer even more disruptive impacts. The Omo River Valley is populated by a very diverse assortment of indigenous groups, also prone to conflict over scarce resources. Consultations with them have been minimal. But the Ethiopian government’s record of repression, and new laws it has recently passed to further limit the activities of civil society groups, have effectively discouraged groups in Ethiopia from organizing explicit opposition. Nonetheless, expatriate Ethiopian groups, together with NGOs with an interest in the region, plan to file a request to supplement FoLT’s in the coming weeks that will outline in more detail the potential problems in Ethiopia.

The AfDB board was originally scheduled to discuss the project on February 25, but that date was delayed shortly after FoLT’s request was filed. There is now no indication when the project will be formally considered, but efforts are being made within the Bank, both through the CRMU and through other contacts, to slow down the process and make sure that adequate consultations and studies are done before any decision is made.

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httpvh://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3oBAbD8bhoM

Kenya, Ethiopia cautioned on power project RESOURCES by the UN  (20/03/2010

BY SARAH WAMBUI

Ethiopia Round 4 Election Human Right Abuses increases according Human right Watch …

The government says Human Rights Watch has got it wrong. Really?

INDEPENDENT voices in Ethiopia are finding it ever harder to be heard. Suffocated by an irascible government, the country’s newspapers are now the least informative in east Africa. Journalists deemed critical of the prime minister, Meles Zenawi, are pilloried. And they are not alone.

Foreign aid people and diplomats say a law pushed through parliament last month will curtail the activities of local human-rights workers. The new law means that independent local outfits that get more than 10% of their income from abroad will be classified as foreign. Once designated as such, they will not be allowed to engage in anything to do with democracy, justice or human rights. Real foreigners are already banned from doing so. As few home-grown charities and non-governmental organisations can stand on their own feet in a country as poor as Ethiopia, the government will be able to control domestic dissent more tightly.

The task of raising human-rights issues now increasingly falls to foreigners. A particularly bitter tussle is under way over allegations of atrocities by Ethiopian soldiers in the country’s south-eastern Ogaden region. This area abuts the border with turbulent Somalia and is populated mainly by ethnic Somalis traditionally hostile to the government in Addis Ababa, the capital.

Human Rights Watch, a pressure group, accuses Ethiopia of war crimes and crimes against humanity there. It says that Ethiopian troops burned down villages and killed, raped and tortured civilians in a counter-insurgency campaign against the separatist Ogaden National Liberation Front after its fighters had killed 74 Ethiopian and Chinese oil-exploration workers in 2007. Ethiopia’s government was so incensed by the description of “systematic atrocities” in the Ogaden that it commissioned a report of its own that dismissed Human Rights Watch’s allegations as hearsay and its methods as slapdash.

The government report found “no trace” of serious human-rights violations. People reported to have been killed or tortured were said to have been found alive and well. Villages marked down as torched were said to be unscathed. The sole admitted instance of torture was said to have resulted in a court-martial. According to the Ethiopian report, Human Rights Watch was one-sided, since it failed to document the guerrillas’ thuggery. Perhaps unwittingly, said the Ethiopians, it had made itself a propaganda tool of the separatists.

The Ethiopian investigation did not, however, examine all of Human Rights Watch’s accusations. Some executions listed by the group go unchallenged or are blamed unconvincingly on the guerrillas. The report skims over the Ogaden’s humanitarian emergency, which Médecins Sans Frontières, a French-based charity, lists as one of the world’s ten worst. The Ethiopian report flatly denies that the government blockaded separatist strongholds during a famine, thus starving civilians. The Ethiopians also lambast Human Rights Watch for not visiting the Ogaden, knowing that it was they who blocked the visit. They claim that the Ogaden has been open to anyone, yet most independent journalists have been banned from travelling there freely. Several aid organisations, including the International Committee of the Red Cross, have been kicked out. Aid workers there speak only anonymously, for fear of expulsion.

The government has a general election to win next year. A wave of arrests of political dissenters, including a prominent opposition leader, Birtukan Mideksa, suggests the government wants to keep all its opponents in check.

A simple way for it to win confirmation of its claim that Human Rights Watch’s accusations are false would be to let independent journalists, both foreign and Ethiopian, visit the Ogaden and see for themselves.

———-Debate 4 ———–
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Fear over Ethiopia poll media law

2010-03-23 22:15

Addis Ababa – A new media code that sets guidelines for coverage of Ethiopia’s elections in May has drawn fire from embattled media staff, who face fines and jail time if found guilty of violations.

The National Electoral Board of Ethiopia approved the framework two weeks ago, ahead of the May 23 polls, but journalists are already voicing their disapproval and fears over its restrictions.

The code bans journalists from carrying out interviews of voters, candidates and observers during election day, while it also prohibits predictions ahead of the announcement of results.

Transgressors face one year in jail for reporting on the latter.

“We stand against every article that is stipulated in the law. It simply puts an unreasonable amount of burden on any journalist,” Anteneh Abraham, head of the Ethiopian National Journalists Union, told AFP.

‘Rebellion and terrorism’

“We simply can’t work under those conditions. The strict restrictions have instilled fear in all media workers,” he added.

Further restrictions have also been placed on coverage from inside polling stations during the same day, in particular the limited access granted for photography and video footage.

However, an article on security has sparked the most concern due to what is seen as ambiguity.

“Media workers must refrain from reports that may incite rebellion and terrorism,” according to the article.

It bans the “preparation, publishing and distribution of reports that foment political instability and chaos along ethnic, religious, linguistic … lines.”

“It’s way too dangerous for anyone,” a reporter told AFP on condition of anonymity.

“I will simply avoid covering the elections as it is not worth the potential trouble,” he added.

Anteneh said he doubted the legality of the government’s decision to allow an electoral board to come up with a media law, and slammed its authorities for adopting the code “in secret” without consulting all stakeholders.

– SAPA

Human Rights Watch Report

Ethiopia is on a deteriorating human rights trajectory as parliamentary elections approach in 2010. These will be the first national elections since 2005, when post-election protests resulted in the deaths of at least 200 protesters, many of them victims of excessive use of force by the police. Broad patterns of government repression have prevented the emergence of organized opposition in most of the country. In December 2008 the government re-imprisoned opposition leader Birtukan Midekssa for life after she made remarks that allegedly violated the terms of an earlier pardon.

In 2009 the government passed two pieces of legislation that codify some of the worst aspects of the slide towards deeper repression and political intolerance. A civil society law passed in January is one of the most restrictive of its kind, and its provisions will make most independent human rights work impossible. A new counterterrorism law passed in July permits the government and security forces to prosecute political protesters and non-violent expressions of dissent as acts of terrorism.

Political Repression and the 2010 Elections

As Ethiopia heads toward nationwide elections, the government continues to clamp down on the already limited space for dissent or independent political activity. Ordinary citizens who criticize government policies or officials frequently face arrest on trumped-up accusations of belonging to illegal “anti-peace” groups, including armed opposition movements. Officials sometimes bring criminal cases in a manner that appears to selectively target government critics, as when in June 2009 prominent human rights activist Abebe Worke was charged with illegal importation of radio equipment and ultimately fled the country. In the countryside government-supplied (and donor-funded) agricultural assistance and other resources are often used as leverage to punish and prevent dissent, or to compel individuals into joining the ruling party.

The opposition is in disarray, but the government has shown little willingness to tolerate potential challengers. In December 2008 the security forces re-arrested Birtukan Midekssa, leader of the Unity for Democracy and Justice Party, which had begun to build a grassroots following in the capital. The government announced that Birtukan would be jailed for life because she had made public remarks that violated the terms of an earlier pardon for alleged acts of treason surrounding the 2005 elections. The authorities stated that there was no need for a trial as the move was a mere legal technicality.

In July the Ethiopian government passed a new anti-terrorism law. The law provides broad powers to the police, and harsh criminal penalties can be applied to political protesters and others who engage in acts of nonviolent political dissent. Some of its provisions appear tailored less toward addressing terrorism and more toward allowing for a heavy-handed response to mass public unrest, like that which followed Ethiopia’s 2005 elections.

Civil Society Activism and Media Freedom

The space for independent civil society activity in Ethiopia, already extremely narrow, shrank dramatically in 2009. In January the government passed a new civil society law whose provisions are among the most restrictive of any comparable law anywhere in the world. The law makes any work that touches on human rights or governance issues illegal if carried out by foreign non-governmental organizations, and labels any Ethiopian organization that receives more than 10 percent of its funding from sources outside of Ethiopia as “foreign.” The law makes most independent human rights work virtually impossible, and human rights work deemed illegal under the law is punishable as a criminal offense.

Ethiopia passed a new media law in 2008 that improved upon several repressive aspects of the previous legal regime. The space for independent media activity in Ethiopia remains severely constrained, however. In August two journalists were jailed on charges derived partly from Ethiopia’s old, and now defunct, press proclamation. Ethiopia’s new anti-terror law contains provisions that will impact the media by making journalists and editors potential accomplices in acts of terrorism if they publish statements seen as encouraging or supporting terrorist acts, or even, simply, political protest.

Pretrial Detention and Torture

The Ethiopian government continues its longstanding practice of using lengthy periods of pretrial and pre-charge detention to punish critics and opposition activists, even where no criminal charges are ultimately pursued. Numerous prominent ethnic Oromo Ethiopians have been detained in recent years on charges of providing support to the outlawed Oromo Liberation Front (OLF); in almost none of these cases have charges been pursued, but the accused, including opposition activists, have remained in detention for long periods. Canadian national Bashir Makhtal was convicted on charges of supporting the rebel Ogaden National Liberation Front (ONLF) in July, after a trial that was widely criticized as unfair; he was in detention for two-and-a-half years before his sentence was handed down, and he was unable to access legal counsel and consular representatives for much of that period.

Not only are periods of pretrial detention punitively long, but detainees and convicted prisoners alike face torture and other ill-treatment. Human Rights Watch and other organizations have documented consistent patterns of torture in police and military custody for many years. The Ethiopian government regularly responds that these abuses do not exist, but even the government’s own Human Rights Commission acknowledged in its 2009 annual report that torture and other abuses had taken place in several detention facilities, including in Ambo and Nekemte.

Impunity for Military Abuses

The Ethiopian National Defense Force (ENDF) has committed serious abuses, in some cases amounting to war crimes or crimes against humanity, in several different conflicts in recent years. Human Rights Watch is not aware of any meaningful efforts to hold the officers or government officials most responsible for those abuses to account. The only government response to crimes against humanity and other serious abuses committed by the military during a brutal counterinsurgency campaign in Gambella in late 2003 and 2004 was an inquiry that prosecuted a handful of junior personnel for deliberate and widespread patterns of abuse. No one has been investigated or held to account for war crimes and other widespread violations of the laws of war during Ethiopia’s bloody military intervention in neighboring Somalia from 2006 to 2008.

In August 2008 the Ethiopian government did purport to launch an inquiry into allegations of serious crimes in Somali Regional State, where the armed forces have been fighting a campaign against the rebel Ogaden National Liberation Front for many years. The inquiry was sponsored by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, lacked independence, and concluded that no serious abuses took place. To date the government continues to restrict access of independent investigators into the area.

Relations in the Horn of Africa

In August the Eritrea-Ethiopia Claims Commission issued its final rulings on monetary damages stemming from the bloody 1998-2000 border war between Ethiopia and Eritrea. Nonetheless the two countries remain locked in an intractable dispute about the demarcation of the heavily militarized frontier. Eritrea continues to play a destabilizing role throughout the Horn of Africa through its efforts to undermine and attack the government of Ethiopia wherever possible. The government of President Isayas Afewerki hosts and materially supports fighters from Ethiopian rebel movements, including the Oromo Liberation Front. Eritrea has also pursued a policy of supporting armed opposition groups in Somalia as a way of undermining Ethiopia’s support for the country’s weak Transitional Federal Government.

Key International Actors

Ethiopia is one of the most aid-dependant countries in the world and received more than US$2 billion in 2009, but its major donors have been unwilling to confront the government over its worsening human rights record. Even as the country slides deeper into repression, the Ethiopian government uses development aid funding as leverage against the donors who provide it-many donors fear that the government would discontinue or scale back their aid programs should they speak out on human rights concerns. This trend is perhaps best exemplified by the United Kingdom, whose government has consistently chosen to remain silent in order to protect its annual £130 million worth of bilateral aid and development programs.

Donors are also fearful of jeopardizing access for humanitarian organizations to respond to the drought and worsening food crisis. Millions of Ethiopians depend on food aid, and the government has sought to minimize the scale of the crisis and restrict access for independent surveys and response.

While Ethiopia’s government puts in place measures to control the elections in 2010, many donors have ignored the larger trends and focused instead on negotiating with the government to allow them to send election observers.

A significant shift in donor policy toward Ethiopia would likely have to be led by the US government, Ethiopia’s largest donor and most important political ally on the world stage. But President Barack Obama’s administration has yet to depart from the policies of the Bush administration, which consistently refused to speak out against abuses in Ethiopia. While the reasons may be different-the current government is not as narrowly focused on security cooperation with Ethiopia as was the Bush administration- thus far the practical results have been the same. The events described above attracted little public protest from the US government in 2009.

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Afrik.com

Ethiopia: Repression Rising Ahead of May Elections

Human Rights Watch is pleased to invite you to the launch of a new report, “’One Hundred Ways of Putting Pressure’: Violations of Freedom of Expression and Association in Ethiopia,” to be held in Nairobi on Wednesday, March 24, 2010.

I
n May 2010, Ethiopia will hold its first national election since the controversial polls in 2005. Using firsthand testimony and documentation collected over the past decade, ?One Hundred Ways of Putting Pressure? examines the shrinking space for opposition parties, independent civil society, and the media, and assesses the potential impact of human rights abuses on the electoral process in 2010. In the report, Human Rights Watch calls on the Ethiopian government to take urgent steps to improve the electoral environment by immediately releasing political prisoners; supporting independent efforts to investigate and publicly report on abuses, including by international electoral observers; and ceasing attacks and intimidation on political opposition, independent civil society, and the media.

What: Human Rights Watch report release

“’One Hundred Ways of Putting Pressure’: Violations of Freedom of Expression and Association in Ethiopia”

Who: Georgette Gagnon, Africa director, Human Rights Watch

When: Wednesday, March 24, 2010 at 10:30 a.m.

Where: Chester House, 1st Floor, Room 4, Koinange Street, Nairobi, Kenya

Source: Human Right Watch (HRW)

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Fears over Ethiopia’s press code for poll coverage (By Aaron Maasho (AFP))

Southern Sudan Independence or Desperation

John Garang

“John Garang was a government army officer sent to quell a mutiny of 500 southern troops who were resisting orders to be shipped north. It took him 22 years to come back”

He was one of the few senior southerners who really believed in the concept of a united Sudan”

Peter Moszynski BBC  August 2005


Don’t Break Away From Sudan, West Tells South

Michael Wakabi

22 March 2010


Southern Sudan Could Open ‘Corridor of Terror’, Says West

httpvh://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HAwPJSrHrFI

Nairobi — Donor circles want Southern Sudan to drop its bid for independence in the referendum next January, as concerns grow that a rushed secession could trigger turmoil and instability beyond Sudanese borders.

In 2005, President Omar al-Bashir’s National Congress Party and the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement, led by the late Dr John Garang signed a Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) that ended 22 years of war between the North and South.

That CPA left the door open for the South to break away from the union if 60 per cent of voters decide so in the 2011 plebiscite.

Although the United States, which is considered to have a vested interest in the outcome of Sudan’s peace process says it “takes no position on what the outcome of that referendum should be,”

The EastAfrican has separately learned that key Western democracies and institutions, fearing that independence for the South in its present state could see the area slide into anarchy, have quietly urged President Salva Kiir’s government to go slow on secession.

“Independence for the South should be put off for a few more years primarily because of lack of capacity in the South to run a stable and secure state,” said a source privy to Western analysis of the evolving situation in Sudan.

He added: “There is no institutional infrastructure to support a state, so there is a high chance that the country will degenerate into a Somalia-like situation. This would open a ‘corridor of terror’ across the region that could be infiltrated by Al Qaeda and its associates to create instability that would run counter to Western interests.”

The West is spooked by the prospect of sudden independence for a fragile state — with a corrupt and fractious national leadership, a nearly non-existent civil service, a poorly established local police and professional military — immediately disintegrating into a civil war.

This could draw the international community into a costly intervention to rebuild a state that few countries want to underwrite in the current economic climate.

With new discoveries of oil in both Uganda and Sudan and the likelihood of further discoveries in the northeast of the Democratic Republic of Congo, peace in the region is essential to the exploitation of these resources.

Western strategists believe that even under the best of circumstances, the absence of institutional infrastructure in the South and independent communication links to the outside world mean Juba would remain hostage to Khartoum, making it difficult to get energy and other exports to outside markets.

Such a scenario would deny the infant state the resources to deliver to the population the promised benefits of independence, leading to high levels of discontent that could result in a breakdown of law and order, said one analyst.

Other fears revolve around the fact that the South is far from homogenous and united, with a real risk that it could spiral into uncontrolled violence as the different regions jostle over resources.

Apparently, the West would like to see some slack factored into the timeline for Juba’s independence ambitions, while the shaky alliance between the SPLM and al-Bashir — who has largely been “contained” by the ICC warrants against him — is propped up until such a time that institutional capacity and critical infrastructure have been developed in the South.

Apparently, Kenya and Uganda, which have separately announced plans to build key road and railway links to Juba, are partly implementing this strategy.

While it denies any direct interest in the outcome of the referendum, the United States says it is concerned about peace and stability in Southern Sudan and is working with both the SPLM and the NCP to “prepare for the 2011 referendum, and working with the parties to ensure that the process is fair and credible and that the will of the people, as expressed through the referendum, is respected peacefully.”

httpvh://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wUQgNjxJv0o

Lagging behind


Responding to enquiries by this newspaper, Joann M Lockard, public affairs officer at the US embassy in Kampala, said, “The United States is concerned about peace and stability in South Sudan. The parties in Sudan are behind in the implementation of the most contentious provisions of the CPA, which is why we have worked so hard in 2009 and will double our efforts in 2010 to implement the agreement before it expires in 2011.”

For their part, while officially professing the position of the Intergovernmental Authority on Drought and Development (Igad), which is to encourage the parties in Sudan to make unity as attractive as possible, Kenya and Uganda are pursuing a two-track strategy.

On one track, fearing to set a precedent that could lead to a ripple effect with sections of their own populations agitating for secession, Uganda and Kenya are not officially breaking ranks with proponents of a unified Sudan.

Uganda is still wary of what a split of Sudan would mean for its restive north, while Kenya has for years kept a wary eye on its northeastern regions bordering Somalia.

“In international law, it is very rare to find a country openly calling for the partition of another country because it sets a precedent that could come back to haunt them; in the case of Uganda, you must have heard Norbert Mao (chairman of Gulu District Local Council in northern Uganda) suggest that the north should break away from Uganda,” said Uganda’s Junior Minister for Foreign Affairs, Henry Okello Oryem.

According to independent sources however, Uganda and its EAC partners believe that despite the challenges the South faces, Juba is better off breaking away from its unproductive marriage with Khartoum.

httpvh://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pqcV4X3bBms

If Oromos are Ethiopians and Ethiopians are Oromos too Why “Exclude” ?

Gadaa.com

P.O Box 32391 – Fridley, MN 55432
www.OromoStudies.org

March 19, 2010

Mr. Johnnie Carson
Assistant Secretary – Bureau of African Affairs,
U.S. Department of State
2201 C Street NW – Washington, DC 20520
202-647-4000 – carsonj@state.gov

Dear Assistant Secretary Carson:

I am writing this letter on behalf of the Oromo Studies Association (OSA), a scholarly, multi-disciplinary, non-profit international organization, established to promote studies on and relevant to the Oromo people residing in East Africa, mainly in Ethiopia with a population close to 50 million. The Executive Committee of OSA is very excited to learn that the Bureau of African Affairs in the US State Department is organizing a seminar/ conference on Ethiopia on April 5, 2010. OSA is following the issue of this conference with a great deal of interest, because Ethiopia is at the crossroads due to the upcoming election in May of 2010.

We were even more excited when we learned that Professor Asafa Jalata, a renowned Oromo-American scholar, was invited to participate on this historic seminar and make a presentation on the current Ethiopian situation from the Oromo perspective. However, our excitement had soon changed to sadness and depression when we learned that he was later on told that he could not participate in this seminar because he was an Oromo. We further learned that some of the peace-loving organizers of the April 5, 2010 seminar walked out from the process, protesting that debarring Oromo experts from participating in this seminar was a discriminatory action by itself. To make the situation even worse, when asked why Professor Jalata was prevented from participating on the conference, the lead organizer of this seminar declared that “the seminar has been canceled.” But then we learned that, this was in fact not true and the preparation for the planned conference was proceeding as scheduled. We believe that this is a clear indication of making undemocratic decisions behind closed doors, because the assertion that “the seminar was canceled” was simply a cover-up. Change and transparency are the motto of our current President Barack Obama, and it is our strong conviction that the State Department should function under the same motto.

Dear Sir,

The Oromos, who constitute about 50% of the current population of Ethiopia, have lived under discriminatory and minority rule for over a century now. First, by the Amhara minority ruling class (from Menelik II (1889) to Mengistu Hailemariam (1991)), and now, by another minority Tigrean ruling class led by Meles Zenawi and his TPLF (Tigrean People’s Liberation Front) party, all this time by strong support and endorsement of Western powers, mainly the United States. The current minority TPLF leadership has received support and endorsement in 1991 at the so called “London Conference” by the then US Assistant Secretary of African Affairs Herman Cohen. The regime continues enjoying US support since then at the expense of marginalization, discrimination, and humiliation of the entire non-Tigrean population of Ethiopia, mainly the Oromo population.
We Oromos believe that we are (and have been) seen as second class citizens by the successive Ethiopian regimes and their cliques and our brothers and sisters at home continue to live under humanitarian harassment, economic exploitation, discrimination and humiliation. It truly hurts our feelings when we learn that, the same discrimination is, not only endorsed on us (Oromos), but in deed applied to us by the leadership of this great country of ours, the United States of America.

Dear Sir,

If justice were to be served, because majority of the Ethiopian population are Oromos, it goes without saying that most of the participants of the seminar should be Oromo experts based on majority democratic principles. We believe that such an important conference will be successful when and only when all the stakeholders are proportionally represented and when all voices are heard. Therefore, we ask your genuine interaction with Ms. Rachel Warner to enable her to welcome Oromo experts to participate in the April 5, 2010, seminar/conference on Ethiopia. OSA believes that democracy, human rights, security, stability, and development in Oromia and in Ethiopia cannot be promoted without the free participation of the Oromo people, the largest ethnonational group in Ethiopia.

Thank you for your democratic leadership, and we hope to hear from you soon.

Sincerely,

Haile Hirpa, PhD
OSA President

CC:
President Barack Obama
White House
info@barackobama.com

Madam Secretary Hilary Clinton
U.S. Department of State
websitecomments@state.org
2201 C Street NW – Washington DC 20520
Telephones: (202) 647-4000/ (202) 647-6575

Rep. Donald M. Payne
Elected Board Chair of the Board of the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation
2310 Rayburn House Office Building – Washington DC 20515
Fax: (202) 225-4160 – Phone: (202) 225-3436

Senator Russ Feingold
wcontact@feingold.senate.gov
Fax: (202) 224-2725 – Phone: (202) 224-5323

—————–

Oromo: If United, We Can Make a Difference Even in the Horn!

March 22, 2010 at 12:34 am · Gadaa.com

By Fayyis Oromia*

The conference prepared by OACC in Minessota has initiated a very good discussion among different parts of Oromo community, including those who support the obsolete mindedxeqilaigizat-federalists (x-federalists), those serving the Weyane fascist fake-federalists (f-federalists) and those promoting the foresighted killil-federalists (k-federalists). It is crystal clear that these Oromo groups can decide on the future situation in the empire like answering the question, who should take power from the fascist fake-federalists in the coming “election” 2010: the kilil-federalists or the xeqilaigizat-federalists?

Thanks to the Oromo people and to Rabbi/Waaqayyoo, every political group in the empire nowadays claims to be a federalist. They no more brag and preach about a unitary imiye Ethiopia or about Abbay Tigray. The unitarists who untiringly cry about the imiye could now know that, without the rhetoric of federation, they can win no single vote of Oromo. The hegemonist Weyanes changed their program of Abbay Tigrai just as they had come to Oromia.

But now, it seems their power base is shaking. The next question seems to be: who will take power in the coming “election” from the Weyane fascist fake-federalists (from the FFF, who are almost similar to the KKK of USAmerica)? The k-federalists led by MEDREK or the the “anti-Killilistan” forces, who are x-federalists and led by MEAD aka AEUP? Time will show us which one of them will succeed. The best remedy against the fascists would have been the further conversion of the unitarists from their present position of supporting x-federation to the position of supporting k-federation. That means recognizing the right of Oromia to exist and the right of the Oromo nation to self-determination, instead of still trying to dismantle Oromia with the pretext of struggling for the x-federalism (for geography-based federalism).

Then, we, anti-Weyane forces in the empire, would have only ONE strong force against fascists instead of being divided into two opposition camps (k-federalists and x-federalists). Well, the die-hard unitarsts bragged about their unitary position during the “election” in 2005. Today in this time of 2010 “election”, they do brag about their “NEW form” of federation. But, surely in the next “election” of 2015, they will be part and parcel of k-federation. We have observed that they are learning slowly, but surely. Looking at the political organizations in the empire, the current three political camps, in which Oromo is participating are:

– Xeqilaigizat-federalist (x-federalists) parties like AEUP, EDP, EPPF and, EPRP (*note that the position of G-7/UDJ is ambiguous*).

– Fascist fake-federalists (f-federalists) of TPLF and its slaves like ANDM, OPDO, SEDM and SPDP.

– Killil-federalist (k-federalist) parties like ATSD (Arena), OFC, SDAF (Somali) and UEDF (* the liberation fronts like OLF, ONLF and SLF as well as the ambiguous G-7/UDJ do seem to endorse this camp*)

No question that the fascist f-federalists will die a natural death inthe near future. The only question to be answered is: who will take over? The k-federalists or the x-federalists? Or will the fascist f-federalists survive further by playing the “divide and rule” game using k-Federalists vs. x-federalists? The best solution would have been that x-federalists give up their obsolete xeqilaigizat view and join the k-federalists by accepting and respecting the God-given right of Oromo to have Oromian autonomy in the Ethiopian context and by acknowledging the same right to other nations and nationalities of the empire, so that we can have only ONE very strong k-Federalist camp against the fascist f-federalists. Unfortunately, the leader of MEAD opposed to join MEDREK and signed the Code of Conduct with the leader of the fascist f-federalists, and with that he gave Weyane the chance not to lose power in this coming “election”.

That is why, specially Oromo rallying behind the x-federalists and the fascist f-federalists should decide now which way to go. They better ask themselves: what is next for their own people (the Oromo people), just like Oromo in Minnesota did. The politically-conscious nationalist Oromo seems to have decided that the next step for the Oromo people must be the securing of the true k-federation. They started to say: let us talk and walk now the k-federation. The time (the phase of the liberation journey) is in reality the time to struggle for true federation.

The question asked to be solved in the panel discussion of Minnesota was “What is Next for the Oromo People?”, and the answer suggested was mostly, “the next is a move to a true federation (true Oromian autonomy). That means the next measure to be taken for our people is to engage our coordinated words and works to promote our move towards the next step of our liberation journey, i.e. a move to a true k-federation and then ask again “What is Next for Our People?”. This question will be asked further till Oromo people decide per referendum (self-determination) and declare that “we have achieved our objective.” Without such determination of our public regarding our destination, the simple assertion of individuals or organizations that “we have already achieved our objective” does not work.

According to the hitherto discussion, in short, “regional walfaanummaa of free nations after national walabummaa of Oromia and other nations” can be a common END-kaayyoo of the liberation journey, not only for Oromo nationalists, but even for all nationalists of the nations in the Horn of Africa, including the genuine Amhara and Tegaru nationalists (of course, excluding the imperialist Abyssinian hegemonists like Weyane). It will be nice if all of them can agree on this, giving up their effort until now, which they used to make one of the following four goals they do seem to pursue, respectively, as their END-kaayyoo. For instance:

– Amhara f-federalists’ end-kayyoo of a unitary Ethiopia now modified to be a “NEW form” of federation (geography-based federation),

– Tegaru hegemonists’ end-kaayyoo of the status quo, i.e. maintaining the fake-federation,

– Oromo federalists’ overt end-kaayyoo of only Oromian autonomy, disregarding the further move to Oromian independence, and

– Oromo liberators’ end-kaayyoo of only isolated Oromian independence, without taking into consideration the possible further move to a union of independent nations.

Actually, the best and the beneficial common END can only be the voluntary union of independent nations aka regional walfaanummaa with/after national walabummaa based on self-determination of the partaking nations of the region. Even though self-determination is the generalkaayyoo for the nation concerned, the political organizations struggling for the right of their nations must be able to formulate a concrete kaayyoo they think should be the outcome of the self-determination. To make it clear, I do want to try to describe here, that the concepts bilisummaa(liberation), abbaabiyyummaa (sovereignty) and hire-murtefannaa (self-determination) can not serve as a concrete kaayyoo (concrete outcome of the national self-determination) for the Oromo liberation fronts and for the Oromo political parties.

I think the whole “confusion” about our kaayyoo is firstly for we could not differentiate the GENERAL kaayyoo-Oromo from the SPECIFIC kaayyoo of the respective fronts/parties, which they set and advocate to be the best outcome of the self-determination. Also, the “confusion” is because of the fact that the following concepts were used without defining them operationally as akaayyoo of Oromo political organizations at different times by different groups:

– Abbaabiyyummaa: which is not per se a concrete kaayyoo to be used by the political groups for we can claim to be abbaabiyyaa in all the three possible outcomes of our self-determination, that means abbaabiyyaa in a form of only Oromian autonomy or in a form of only Oromian independence or in a from of a union of independent nations.

– Bilisummaa: which is the common denominator for all our liberation fronts/parties who do struggle against the status quo (against garbummaa Oromo). So we can also claim to have bilisummaa in all the above three outcomes of our self-determination (the Oromian autonomy, the Oromian independence or the union of independent nations), that means it also cannot be a concrete goal to be advocated by our specific fronts/parties, so that the public decides for/against it in a referendum. Actually, it is the virtue, which all political organizations want to achieve before we do have a chance to exercise a referendum.

– Hiree-murteefannaa: which is obviously the general goal of the Oromo people, but it can not serve as a concrete goal of the specific Oromian liberation front or Oromian political party for it includes all the hitherto mentioned three terms (the short-term Oromian autonomy, the middle-term Oromian independence and the long-term union of independent nations) as a possible outcomes. It seems here is the “ambiguity” of Oromo nationalists in OLF-SG, if their rhetoric about this unspecific kaayyoo is not only tactical.

– Walabummaa (independence): this is one of the concepts which can be taken as a concrete goal of the liberation fronts/political parties for it is one of the concrete three outcomes of the Oromo self-determination, which can be advocated by the groups supporting it, regardless of the position of the Oromo majority which will be determined during the required referendum. It seems this is the reason why those who do advocate this “Kaayyoo-ganama” usually sound to be arrogant and self-righteous, whenever they talk that they are the “only ones on the right track.”

– Walfaanummaa (union): which has got also a double meaning (firstly, walfaanummaabefore/without walabummaa. i.e. federation and, secondly, walfaanummaa after/withwalabummaa, i.e. the union of independent nations). These are two of the three specific outcomes of the Oromo self-determination, so that any liberation front or political party claiming to struggle for walfaanummaa should concretely tell which of the twowalfaanumma’s it means. For instance, OFC clearly seems to struggle for walfaanummaawithout walabummaa, but which front/party is for walfaanummaa with walabummaa? The alliance AFD and with that the front OLF-SG? It is then better to describe the two concepts as walfaanummaa Ethiopia before walabummaa (Ethiopian union before national independence), and walfaanummaa Sabootaa after walabummaa (the union of nations after independence), respectively.

Simply put, Oromo people’s kaayyoo, in general, can include all the above mentioned five concepts, but Oromo liberation fronts and Oromo political parties should be as clear and as concrete as possible, when they tell us their desired goal or when they advocate the type of the outcome of the process (outcome of the self-determination) for the Oromo people.

If the three concepts (bilisummaaabbaabiyyummaa and hire-murteffannaa) are unspecific to serve as a kaayyoo of the Oromo liberation organizations, then only the two concepts (walabummaa biyyaa and walfaanummaa sabootaa) are good to be concrete and to be used by the organizations. Based on the combination of these two concepts, the concrete kaayyoo’s of Oromo liberation organizations can only be one of the following three:

– regional walfaanummaa sabootaa (walfaanummaa Ethiopia) without nationalwalabummaa (without walabummaa Oromia); for instance, the position of OFC.

– national walabummaa biyyaa without regional walfaanummaa sabootaa, e.g. the supposed position of OLF-QC.

– national walabummaa biyyaa WITH regional walfaanummaa saboota walabaa, which seems to be the position of AFD.

Looking at these three options, the third one could be the beneficial, common and concrete END-kaayyoo for all Oromo liberation fronts. The other two options can be used as the two stops (Diredhawa and Adaama), respectively, on the route of our liberation journey from Djibouti (garbummaa) to Finfinnee (beneficial bilisummaa). What makes then specially our liberation fronts (rebel fronts) not to agree on the above possible common and concrete END-kaayyoo? I can understand when our democratic federalists (opposition parties) like OFC under Weyane’s gunpoint refrain from talking about such END-goal and overtly declare that they do struggle for Oromian autonomy in the Ethiopian context. But where is the hindrance of the liberation fronts not to agree?

As a conclusion, from all the discussions done till now, we can say that Oromo nationalists serving the x-federalists and the fascist f-federalists should give up their irrationality and start to struggle for the minimal sort of sovereignty (Oromian autonomy in Ethiopian context) for their own people, Oromo. That means, they should now start to support the federalists in OFC. Other Oromo federalists, who do try to rally behind the mini-organizations registered for the “election” like AOPDP, GSAP, OALF, OLUF and ONC should also reconsider their stand, converge the vote of all Oromo people to one direction and elect the competent Oromo federalist party (OFC) instead of dispersing Oromo vote in futility.

Last but not least, we could see during the last discussions during and after the OACC conference that there is no any significant ideological difference of kaayyoo among the different Oromo liberation fronts, which can hinder them not to forge unity and make them not to work together. They only need to be ruled by the Oromo tradition of ilaa fi ilaame and discuss on the way forward for the Oromo people. Then, the cooperation and coordination of the Oromo federalist movement with the Oromo liberation movement is the optimal condition to determine our fate in the NEXT step of our liberation journey and to plan a further move to the END. If united and empowered in such sense, we Oromo can make a difference not only in the empire, but even in the whole Horn. So let’s foster tokkummaa of kaayyoo/”unity of purpose”, and move together forward!

Galatoomaa!

Fayyis Oromia can be reached at fayyis@yahoo.de.

httpvh://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wDEKNqPYu40

Bikila 500 for 50 : Abebe honored by 500 Yards after 50 years in Rome Marthon

httpvh://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vca1QGVAshM-

httpvh://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nQmqEIYI-GU

Ethiopia’s Gena wins Rome Marathon

ESPN.com news services
ROME — Siraj Gena of Ethiopia paid tribute to an Olympic hero in winning the Rome marathon on Sunday, running barefoot while outsprinting two Kenyan rivals to the finish.
Gena took off his shoes with about 500 yards left and then outkicked Benson Barus and Nixon Machichim to finish the 26.2-mile race in 2 hours, 8 minutes, 39 seconds.
Gena was paying homage to Ethiopian Abebe Bikila, who won the 1960 Olympic marathon in Rome after running the entire course without shoes.
“I felt I had to do something to honor Bikila,” Gena told the ANSA news agency. “For me he will always be an enormous inspiration and today I wanted to see what it would be like to cross the line in Rome barefooted like he once did.”
In the women’s race, Firehiwot Dado led an Ethiopian sweep of the podium in 2:25:28.
Kebebush Haile was second in 2:25.31 and Mare Dibaba third with 2:25.38.
Former Formula One driver Alex Zanardi of Italy won the men’s handcycle category, boosting his hopes of competing at the London 2012 Paralympics.
“Now London 2012 is no longer a dream, it has become a realistic possibility,” he said.
Zanardi had both legs amputated above the knee after he crashed during a race in 2001.
About 15,000 runners took part in Sunday’s race.
In Seoul, South Korea, Sylvester Teimet ran a personal best to break the course record and lead a Kenyan sweep at the Seoul International Marathon.
Teimet pulled ahead at the end to win the 26.2-mile race in 2 hours, 6 minutes, 49 seconds on Sunday. He lowered his personal record by 3:04 and beat South African Gert Thys’ 2004 course record of 2:07:06.
Gilbert Kipruto Kirwa was 10 seconds back and Paul Kiprop Kirui was third.
Amane Gobena of Ethiopia won the women’s race in 2:24:13 ahead of Chunxiu Zhou of China and Caroline Cheptanui Kilel of Kenya.
A 62-year-old South Korean man collapsed and died while running the Seoul marathon, according to race organizers. The cause of death was not immediately known.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

Ethiopia’s Gena wins Rome MarathonEmailPrintComments0Share42retweet2ESPN.com news services
ROME — Siraj Gena of Ethiopia paid tribute to an Olympic hero in winning the Rome marathon on Sunday, running barefoot while outsprinting two Kenyan rivals to the finish.
Gena took off his shoes with about 500 yards left and then outkicked Benson Barus and Nixon Machichim to finish the 26.2-mile race in 2 hours, 8 minutes, 39 seconds.
Gena was paying homage to Ethiopian Abebe Bikila, who won the 1960 Olympic marathon in Rome after running the entire course without shoes.
“I felt I had to do something to honor Bikila,” Gena told the ANSA news agency. “For me he will always be an enormous inspiration and today I wanted to see what it would be like to cross the line in Rome barefooted like he once did.”
In the women’s race, Firehiwot Dado led an Ethiopian sweep of the podium in 2:25:28.
Kebebush Haile was second in 2:25.31 and Mare Dibaba third with 2:25.38.
Former Formula One driver Alex Zanardi of Italy won the men’s handcycle category, boosting his hopes of competing at the London 2012 Paralympics.
“Now London 2012 is no longer a dream, it has become a realistic possibility,” he said.
Zanardi had both legs amputated above the knee after he crashed during a race in 2001.
About 15,000 runners took part in Sunday’s race.
In Seoul, South Korea, Sylvester Teimet ran a personal best to break the course record and lead a Kenyan sweep at the Seoul International Marathon.
Teimet pulled ahead at the end to win the 26.2-mile race in 2 hours, 6 minutes, 49 seconds on Sunday. He lowered his personal record by 3:04 and beat South African Gert Thys’ 2004 course record of 2:07:06.
Gilbert Kipruto Kirwa was 10 seconds back and Paul Kiprop Kirui was third.
Amane Gobena of Ethiopia won the women’s race in 2:24:13 ahead of Chunxiu Zhou of China and Caroline Cheptanui Kilel of Kenya.
A 62-year-old South Korean man collapsed and died while running the Seoul marathon, according to race organizers. The cause of death was not immediately known.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

httpvh://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ajGwbZpO1_E

httpvh://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cI_l2lIMBEI

Haile G. beating world Record on the Foot step of  Abebe Bikila

httpvh://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hOnAm4X9Ic8

Silent Cry is being heard by EU’s Anna Gomes:- Genocide in Ogaden will be deciding factor to take Melese to IC

httpvh://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q3fDtpV82Ss&feature=player_embedded

Ethiopia: Zenawi Govt calls EU MP Ana Gomes “Stupid” for a hearing on Ogaden conflict

Ms. Ana Gomes has reappeared, not unexpectedly. She was the highly controversial head of the EU Electoral Observer Mission to Ethiopia in 2005 whose behavior and less than balanced relationship with opposition leaders and parties led to a formal complaint by the Government. Ms. Gomes has been active on a number of occasions in recent years on behalf of violent opposition movements in the Diaspora, particularly Ginbot 7. Now with the election coming up she is looking for the limelight again. This week, as a European Member of Parliament, she was hosting and opening a “hearing” on “Human Rights and the Security Situation in the Ogaden”, in collaboration with the Organization of Unrepresented Nations and Peoples, a collaboration which, by definition, demonstrates Ms. Gomes’ ignorance of the political situation in Ethiopia’s Somali Regional State where Ogaden Somalis are represented and participate in government. This week Ms. Gomes has been in London where she addressed a meeting organized by Third World Solidarity. It appears that Ms. Gomes and the Eritrean Government have something of a common agenda. Whether they are working together as some allege, is beside the point. Most of those at the meeting were former Derg members or supporters guilty of crimes against the people of Ethiopia. The organizers claimed the meeting would be attended by MPs but none of those listed actually attended. One person who did attend was a lady who is persona non grata in Ethiopia because of the dubious disposal of property from the Russian Embassy in Ethiopia in the early nineties. In a few weeks time, in early April, Ms. Gomes apparently plans to be in Washington to deliver a “keynote speech” at an opposition organized conference on Governance, Peace and Security and Development. No doubt Ms. Gomes will also surface at other meetings before the election on May 23rd. It would be difficult enough to accept this sort of deliberate effort to interfere in the electoral process by an outsider even if Ms. Gomes actually knew anything about the reality of politics in Ethiopia. Ms. Gomes, however, does not as she comprehensively demonstrated by her naïve, and frankly stupid, performance as head of the EU Electoral Observation Mission in 2005. Her recent efforts show she has not become any more sensible, or knowledgeable.” SOURCE: Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, Ministry of Foreign Affairs

httpvh://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Us4y4BSDRHw

Ana Gomes hosts EU hearing on Ogaden, Ethiopia crisis

Human Rights and Security in Ogaden: European Parliament Film screening (excerpts): Silent Cry Ms. Ana-Maria Gomes, MEP Mr. Marino Busdachin, UNPO Mr. Abdullahi Mohamed, African Rights Monitor Ms. Xasan Ruqiyo, Ogaden Communities & Civil Society Association The hearing, whose topic is “Human Rights and Security Situation in Ogaden,” will be opened by Ms Ana Gomes MEP, who is chairing the event, and Mr. Marino Busdachin, General Secretary of UNPO.  Mr. Abdullahi Mohamed, from African Rights Monitor, and Ms. Xasan Ruqiyo from the Ogaden Communities & Civil Society Association will be speaking on behalf of Ogaden. There will also excerpts from a film, Silent Cry, a grassroots documentary produced by British students, reporting the lives of Somali refugees from Ogaden. These stories were discovered accidentally when the students, visiting Nairobi on vacation, met Omar, a taxi driver who shared with them his personal tragic story. The students then went to the Ifo Refugee Camp, in Northern Kenya, where they interviewed several refugees, including victims of rape and torture. Ogaden is a region in eastern Ethiopia with a majority population of Somalis.  The Ethiopian government has waged a long-term war against the Ogaden, suppressing the region and its people.  Years of neglect and war have left Ogaden in a state of turmoil, and human rights abuses by the Ethiopian government are commonplace.  There is limited infrastructure, and due to Ethiopia’s corrupted federal structure, no political power on the part of the people of Ogaden to develop the area. The hearing is sponsored by Ms Ana Gomes, MEP from the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats (www.socialistsanddemocrats.eu) of the European Parliament in collaboration with the Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization
httpvh://www.youtube.com/watch?v=by5zlfiNcto
An Open Letter to the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights
Justice Navanathem Pillay
Petitions Team
Office of the United Nations
High Commissioner for Human Rights
UNOG-OHCHR
1211 Geneva 10, Switzerland
Dear Madame High Commissioner,
Advocates of justice around the world are thrilled at the strong action the Prosecutor of the International
Criminal Court has taken in issuing a warrant for the arrest of Omar al-Bashir of the Sudan, resulting in
finally holding him accountable for the atrocities being committed in Darfur over the last six years. Under
al-Bashir’s leadership, millions of Sudanese from Darfur, as well as from Southern Sudan, have suffered
inconceivable harm, injustice and hardship.
The action that the International Criminal Court has taken in this situation has restored hope to peace and
justice loving people, affirming that international human rights law not only exists on paper, but in reality.
It also sends an important message to perpetrators throughout the world that impunity for their crimes is not
assured forever; which may be a primary reason that one of the first leaders to defend Omar al-Bashir and
condemn the warrant was Prime Minister Meles Zenawi of Ethiopia, whose government has also been
implicated in a pattern of widespread perpetration of serious human rights atrocities in Ethiopia and in
Somalia. He and those within his government may be keenly aware of their own vulnerability to similar
actions by the ICC in the future that could upend a deeply entrenched system of government-supported
impunity that has protected perpetrators from any accountability.
I first became knowledgeable regarding the abhorrent human rights situation in Ethiopia when Genocide
Watch and Survivors Rights International were called by the head of the Anuak Justice Council, Obang
Metho, (now the leader of the newly formed Solidarity Movement for a New Ethiopia) to investigate the
brutal massacre of 424 Anuak carried out in Gambella, Ethiopia in December of 2003. The Anuak are a
tiny, dark-skinned ethnic group who live in a remote section of southeastern Ethiopia.
Ethiopian National Defense Forces (ENDF) and civilian militia groups from another ethnic group utilized a
prepared list to target Anuak leaders, many of whom were opposed to the government’s plan to exclude
them from any involvement in the drilling for oil on their indigenous land. As militia groups chanted,
“Today is the day for killing Anuak,” both the military and militias used machetes, axes and guns to kill the
unarmed victims, frequently raping the women while chanting, “Now there will be no more Anuak
children.”
Extra-judicial killings, rape, disappearances, destruction of livelihood and the displacement of thousands of
Anuak continued into late 2005 before finally subsiding when the same Ethiopian National Defense Forces
were moved to the Ogaden area of southeastern Ethiopia and into Somalia where similar atrocities were
and still are being committed. A subsequent investigation of the Anuak massacre by Genocide Watch and
Survivors Rights International to determine who was behind the human rights crimes, documented the
existence of a plan called “Operation Sunny Mountain,” that could be traced to originating at the highest
levels within the central government of Ethiopia.
As a result of our investigation and based on our experience in international law and genocide, we
concluded that the killing of the Anuak in Gambella, Ethiopia, fit the definitions of genocide and crimes
against humanity. Human Rights Watch also conducted two investigations of their own and determined that
the crimes against the Anuak meet the stringent definition of crimes against humanity.
Most of the perpetrators in their report and in ours have never been brought to justice under the Ethiopian
justice system due to the failings and corruption of that system. Despite the violation of international law,
not only has no one has been held accountable for these crimes which occurred over five years ago, but
worse than that, such crimes continue in other places in the country.
Only some of these cases have been investigated by respected international human rights organizations, but
where they have, findings consistently point to the involvement of the Ethiopian government in the inciting,
the empowerment or the perpetration of crimes against humanity, war crimes and even genocide, often
justified by them as “counter-insurgency.”
In light of these facts, I would strongly urge you to initiate an investigation of the situation in
Ethiopia based on your proprio motu powers as the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights.
We believe that your investigation is justified due to the culture of impunity that exists within Ethiopia.
Extensive documentation is available to examine the violations, most of which has been compiled in
independent investigative reports completed by international human rights organizations. We also believe
that the Ethiopian people have been waiting long enough for genuine justice and relief from the harsh
oppression and brutal tactics committed by a government that purports to be a partner in the War on Terror,
while terrorizing their own people. Addressing the EPRDF regime, friendly to Omar al-Bashir, may bring
greater stability to the entire Horn of Africa.
We are willing to provide assistance to you in carrying out this task because we, in Genocide Watch, and
other human rights organizations are determined to pursue justice, even long after violations have occurred,
as part of our mission. Investigative reports, contacts and other information can be provided should you
need them.
I thank you for the excellent work you are doing in combating impunity, the enemy of justice. Perpetrators
of crimes against humanity must not be allowed to walk free. Genocide Watch will continue to do its part,
collaborating with others, in pursuing additional ways to make such crimes carry a heavy penalty. One way
is to work with domestic governments to make sure that those Ethiopians who have committed these crimes
do not gain access to entry into western countries, something that is now supported through new legislation
in many of the western countries. Additionally, in Canada, Europe and in the US, there are now laws giving
authority to these governments to prosecute human rights perpetrators found within their new countries of
residence should admissible evidence be found to charge them. The western countries should no longer act
as a haven for such criminals.
Thank you for your consideration of this request for the initiation of an investigation of genocide, crimes
against humanity and war crimes in Ethiopia. We look forward to hearing from you.
Sincerely yours,
GHStanton
Dr. Gregory Stanton,
President of Genocide Watch
————–

httpvh://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vWmQJiuSrxg&feature=player_embedded

Ogaden civilians fight back Woyanne death squads

Posted by SaveOgaden On January – 24 – 2010

(Ogaden Online) — Reports reaching the Ogaden Online service desk from the city of Diridhaba in the province of Shiniile confirm the existence of a recent pitched battle that took place between the Tigrean People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) troops stationed in the area and the local population.

It is reported that towards the end of last week, the civilians held an area-wide demonstration to protest the recent confiscation by the Woyanne militia of a fertile agricultural land estimated at 60,000 hectares. Reliable sources within the TPLF and in Addis Ababa intimated that the land was clandestinely sold to a Chinese consortium

Eyewitnesses reported that the TPLF troops, instead of letting the citizens vent their bent up anger and frustration through the peaceful demonstration, started shooting everyone on sight. Ogaden civilians, once they realized what was going on, immediately dispersed. However, Ogaden Online reporters in the area confirmed that instead of waiting out the TPLF troops to return to their barracks, as used to be the norm, the residents, many of whom were nomads who have firearms for protecting their livestock from wild animals in the area, went back to their homes and came back armed and ready to fight the TPLF gangs.

Eyewitnesses reported that the TPLF troops were quickly overwhelmed by the sheer number of armed civilians from all corners of the city. As a result, the TPLF troops were quickly overrun by the local civilians. It is reported that the TPLF militias left five of their dead in the area and went back to their barracks. The casualty figured from the Woyanne side is unknown.

The civilians were said to have lost one, but there are many injuries sustained by the civilian side. The city is still tense. There are reports that the TPLF militias have consulted with their bosses inAddis Ababa on what to do next. It is said they are awaiting further instructions. Many of the civilians are said to have sworn that rather than vacate their fertile land, they would die facing off the TPLF militias and any other group that attempts to confiscate their land.

httpvh://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C1ZbV1suIaQ

Melese Zenawie Needs Eritrea to save him from the Election Storm…”Frère ennemie” …he acts like they never fought before?


“Frère  ennemie”

Ethiopia PM willing to meet long-time Eritrean enemy

Fri Mar 19, 2010 11:09am GMT

By Barry Malone

ADDIS ABABA (Reuters) – Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi said he is willing to meet Eritrean President Isaias Afwerki despite more than 10 years of bitter words and a bloody border war.

Eritrea last month accused Ethiopia of blocking its participation in African Union (AU) summits in Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa — seat of the 53-nation body.

Responding to questions, Meles denied the claims and said Isaias was welcome in Ethiopia.

“If the Eritrean government is eager to send any person, whether the president himself or any person, and participate in meetings they will be treated exactly like any other delegation,” Meles told reporters late on Thursday.

Meles said it was Addis Ababa’s obligation as AU headquarters.

The 1998-2000 war between two of the world’s poorest countries killed at least 70,000 people. An independent border commission in 2002 awarded the flashpoint town of Badme to Eritrea but Ethiopia still occupies the territory.

“I am prepared to talk to anybody on matters that help peace in the neighbourhood,” Meles said. “So as I have made it very clear on many occasions we are ready to talk to them at any level, at any time, any place.”

Meles did not say whether he was willing to discuss the border issue.

“I have no obligation to meet him at the airport,” Meles added.

In December, the U.N. Security Council imposed sanctions on Eritrea, accusing it of backing rebel groups in Somalia, where at least 21,000 people have been killed in violence since the beginning of 2007.

The sanctions, adopted in December and backed by 13 of the 15 members of the U.N. Security Council, include an arms embargo, travel restrictions and asset freezes for some of the country’s top officials.

Asmara says the Security Council is a proxy for the United States and says the multi-state body continues to ignore the fact that their territory is being occupied by Ethiopia, Washington’s strongest ally in the Horn of Africa.

“I have no obligation to meet him at the airport,” Meles added.

In December, the U.N. Security Council imposed sanctions on Eritrea, accusing it of backing rebel groups in Somalia, where at least 21,000 people have been killed in violence since the beginning of 2007.

The sanctions, adopted in December and backed by 13 of the 15 members of the U.N. Security Council, include an arms embargo, travel restrictions and asset freezes for some of the country’s top officials.

Asmara says the Security Council is a proxy for the United States and says the multi-state body continues to ignore the fact that their territory is being occupied by Ethiopia, Washington’s strongest ally in the Horn of Africa.

httpvh://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d_QPdvDyygo&feature=player_embedded

httpvh://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5IJENRhyiUk&feature=player_embedded

Eritrean Air force unit escapes country

Sudan Tribune

Saturday 20 March 2010

March 18, 2010 (ADDIS ABABA) – 15 Eritrean air force members have reportedly fled Eritrea, seeking political asylum to an undisclosed government.

An exiled opposition website – assenna.com recently claimed receiving details of the Air force group including list of their names, however declined to publicize details for safety reasons.

“Although loyalty is one of the several criterions to join the Eritrean air force, many of them had already defected the PFDJ regime in a similar manner. The repeated mass defection of its skilled officers has undermined the young Eritrean Air force significantly.’’ It Said.

There is no an immediate comment from officials in Eritrea and the report can’t independently be verified at this point.

The Eritrean Air Force was established shortly after Eritrean War of Independence in 1994. The make-up of the original force was composed of aircraft that were abandoned by the then defeated armed forces of the Derg regime.

Expansion of the Eritrean Air Force (ERAF) did not occur until the Eritrean-Ethiopian War in which the two air forces fought for superiority. In a sort of arms race, Eritrea responded to Ethiopia’s purchase of Su-27s with a purchase of MiG-29s.

In 2000 the ERAF bought eight Su-25s from Georgia, and six more MiG-29’s from Moldavia. In 2003 Eritrea also acquired several Su-27s.

The Eritrean Air Force is a smaller branch of the Eritrean Defence Forces. If confirmed, the latest report would be a big blow to President Issayas Afeworki-led government who repeatedly denied the worsening fleeing away of citizens to neighboring countries.

In a recent interview with Al Jazeera, President Issayas denied any knowledge to the defection of the country’s national football team in December last year in Kenya, Instead he said it was a “fresh news” to him. However it was then confirmed by the ministry of information.

Eritrean borders are heavily patrolled by border guards and thousands of Eritreans risk their life attempting to cross to neighboring countries.

Eritrean refugees who recently made it to Ethiopia told Sudan Tribune that a shot to kill policy is intensified along the border.

Wegahta radio this week reported the killing of 12 Eritrean refugees (all from Asmara’s Mai-temenai sub-city) by border guards up on attempt to cross to Sudan.

The UNHCR recently reported from Sudan that the exodus out of Eritrea is reaching alarming stages.

In protest to country’s mandatory military service, tens of thousands of young Eritreans find eastern Sudan as their main transit to cross to Europe or Israel for better life.

In Ethiopia alone, there are nearly 50,000 Eritrean refugees in three camps, a-third of them being members of the Eritrean military.

According to Administration for Refugees and Returnees Affairs (ARRA), the current influx of Eritreans to Ethiopia stands at 1,800 a month.

Ethiopian dictator is wining before the Vote and promised to jail the opposition soon after ..

It is My Election !

I am the Election itself !

I am the winner !

How can I lose since it is My own Election !

And  I will  Never Ever Lose !

Do you Understand ??? That is it what I call “Electoral Democracy”.

They Lost thus   Jail  is  a Must !!!

Listen to Me Now … my puppets I made You I am Your Bose ..I have hand picked you…

Do you understand?  Yes this is  “Parliamentary Democracy”  my  makings …

We are there for another 30 years …hahaha !!!!

We do not need observers and their Radios

Now Let us  jam it call Bob Marley Please …

httpvh://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qc7_RaJh8rY

I do not Need Observer at my own election.

Let them observe their own.

They never  invite me to observe their sham dumped  election ? Look What they say about my election of  2005:_

It is time the EU and US realise that the current regime in Ethiopia is repressing the people because it lacks democratic legitimacy “

Ana Gomes

EU election observer_

___

Marquee Ethiopia Election Matchup Pits PM vs Former Comrade

VOA Peter Heinlein | Addis Ababa 17 March 2010

Ethiopia’s May 23 elections for parliament have produced some interesting match-ups, with several prominent government officials facing stiff competition.  One contest pits Prime Minister Meles Zenawi against a former comrade in arms, Aregash Adane.
Aregash Adane seems an unlikely challenger to one of Africa’s most respected leaders. Invited for an interview about her bid to unseat the prime minister, she arrives on foot. No aides, no driver, no car.
“I’m only a few kilometers away,” she explains, “and I like to walk”.
Aregash Adane knows Meles Zenawi well. They are both from Adwa, in the northern Tigray region. The legislative seat they are contesting represents the town. She is three years older than the 54-year-old prime minister, but says they have close family ties.
“Adwa is both his home and my home. His family and my family are very close. They are friends. We are neighbors,” she added.
Mr. Meles and Ms. Aregash began their political careers as comrades in a Marxist-Leninist guerrilla group, the Tigrayan People’s Liberation Front (TPLF).  They fought together to overthrow the murderous Dergue regime led by the Communist dictator Mengistu Haile Mariam.  When the Dergue collapsed in 1991, the TPLF seized power.
Mr. Meles became leader of both the TPLF and the new ruling coalition called the Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF).  Ms. Aregash was the senior female member of the decision-making central committee.
But in 2001, a power struggle split the TPLF.  Mr. Meles crushed his opponents.  The rival faction, including Aregash Adane, was banished to the political wilderness.
Ms. Aregash says since then, Mr. Meles has followed Leninist principles, establishing himself as the head of a one-party Revolutionary Democratic state.
“It’s a dictatorship,” she noted.  “Revolutionary Democracy is a philosophy of communism or socialism. It was designed by Lenin to create a certain period where they could develop and transit to socialism, so the ideology itself is very dictatorial.”
Ms. Aregash says her challenge to the prime minister is not personal, but policy-driven.  She argues that after 19 years in power, the EPRDF’s promise of democratic socialism has failed to materialize.  She calls Revolutionary Democracy an ideology of the past.
“The EPRDF government has failed in the sense that it didn’t build or create democratic institutions in the country,” she explained.  “There is no era of socialism, at least in the immediate future, so the ideology which Meles is still following is, I believe wrong, so I challenge him.”
The former guerrilla fighter says voters in Adwa are responding to her message, but she doubts Mr. Meles and the ruling party will give up power through the ballot box.  She says Ethiopia’s elections are stage-managed affairs designed to produce a desired outcome while giving the impression of multi-party democracy.
“If people voted against EPRDF, they are not ready to accept it, so they have to create an environment where the opposition couldn’t get a majority,” she said.  “The only thing it’s trying to do is portray he’s creating an environment where the election has been held democratically.”
The May 23 election will be the first parliamentary poll since the disputed 2005 vote, which gave the ruling party a solid majority. Allegations of fraud led to violent demonstrations in which nearly 200 protestors were killed. Scores of opposition leaders were tried and sentenced to life in prison for their part in the protests, but later pardoned.
Ethiopia’s most recent elections, the 2008 local council polls, also gave the ruling party an overwhelming victory. After most opposition parties boycotted, the EPRDF and its allies won all but three of 3.6 million seats being contested

Ethiopia’s May 23 elections for parliament have produced some interesting match-ups, with several prominent government officials facing stiff competition.  One contest pits Prime Minister Meles Zenawi against a former comrade in arms, Aregash Adane.
Aregash Adane seems an unlikely challenger to one of Africa’s most respected leaders. Invited for an interview about her bid to unseat the prime minister, she arrives on foot. No aides, no driver, no car.
“I’m only a few kilometers away,” she explains, “and I like to walk”.
Aregash Adane knows Meles Zenawi well. They are both from Adwa, in the northern Tigray region. The legislative seat they are contesting represents the town. She is three years older than the 54-year-old prime minister, but says they have close family ties.
“Adwa is both his home and my home. His family and my family are very close. They are friends. We are neighbors,” she added.
Mr. Meles and Ms. Aregash began their political careers as comrades in a Marxist-Leninist guerrilla group, the Tigrayan People’s Liberation Front (TPLF).  They fought together to overthrow the murderous Dergue regime led by the Communist dictator Mengistu Haile Mariam.  When the Dergue collapsed in 1991, the TPLF seized power.
Mr. Meles became leader of both the TPLF and the new ruling coalition called the Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF).  Ms. Aregash was the senior female member of the decision-making central committee.
But in 2001, a power struggle split the TPLF.  Mr. Meles crushed his opponents.  The rival faction, including Aregash Adane, was banished to the political wilderness.
Ms. Aregash says since then, Mr. Meles has followed Leninist principles, establishing himself as the head of a one-party Revolutionary Democratic state.
“It’s a dictatorship,” she noted.  “Revolutionary Democracy is a philosophy of communism or socialism. It was designed by Lenin to create a certain period where they could develop and transit to socialism, so the ideology itself is very dictatorial.”
Ms. Aregash says her challenge to the prime minister is not personal, but policy-driven.  She argues that after 19 years in power, the EPRDF’s promise of democratic socialism has failed to materialize.  She calls Revolutionary Democracy an ideology of the past.
“The EPRDF government has failed in the sense that it didn’t build or create democratic institutions in the country,” she explained.  “There is no era of socialism, at least in the immediate future, so the ideology which Meles is still following is, I believe wrong, so I challenge him.”
The former guerrilla fighter says voters in Adwa are responding to her message, but she doubts Mr. Meles and the ruling party will give up power through the ballot box.  She says Ethiopia’s elections are stage-managed affairs designed to produce a desired outcome while giving the impression of multi-party democracy.
“If people voted against EPRDF, they are not ready to accept it, so they have to create an environment where the opposition couldn’t get a majority,” she said.  “The only thing it’s trying to do is portray he’s creating an environment where the election has been held democratically.”  The May 23 election will be the first parliamentary poll since the disputed 2005 vote, which gave the ruling party a solid majority. Allegations of fraud led to violent demonstrations in which nearly 200 protestors were killed. Scores of opposition leaders were tried and sentenced to life in prison for their part in the protests, but later pardoned.
Ethiopia’s most recent elections, the 2008 local council polls, also gave the ruling party an overwhelming victory. After most opposition parties boycotted, the EPRDF and its allies won all but three of 3.6 million seats being contested

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US criticizes Ethiopia’s “jamming” of Voice of America

WASHINGTON, D.C. (BNO NEWS) — The United States condemned Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles’ decision to jam Voice of America’s Amharic Service, the U.S. State Department said on Friday.

The U.S. also condemned Meles’ comparison of their programming to Radio Mille Collines, a radio station that projected racist propaganda and hate during the 1994 Rwandan Genocide.

“Comparing a respected and professional news service to a group that called for genocide in Rwanda is a baseless and inflammatory accusation that seeks only to deflect attention away from the core issue,” said State Department acting spokesman Gordon Duguid.

“The Prime Minister may disagree with news carried in Voice of America’s Amharic Service broadcasts; however, a decision to jam VOA broadcasts contradicts the Government of Ethiopia’s frequent public commitments to freedom of the press,” Duguid added.

The U.S. said the Ethiopian Constitution states that all citizens have the right to freedom of expression “without any interference” and that this right shall include freedom to seek, receive, and impart information and ideas of all kinds, “regardless of frontiers.”

Buganda Revolution in Uganda



His Majesty Ronald Muwenda Mutebi II 36th King of Buganda

In Ethiopia the Historical  over  thousand of  years Zege Church burned recently  by the regime No body moved a finger. The Great Buganda people has just declared revolution while the Ethiopians are sleeping . The Ethiopians must learn from Uganda and defend their cultural identity.  Imagine a Mosque is just touched what will happen? Where is the justice…? Where are the defender of international cultural Identity ? Where are the  so called Christan world ?  Specially The orthodox World  Russia ,  Greek 8 Eastern Churhes   etc… Where are our brothers the  Muslims defender of a true faith no word in their site about this great church ? Where is our ecumenism.  Where is UNESCO in Ethiopia ?

The Buganda kings like  Toree’s  kings claim their descendants from Ethiopian Kings they gave the name to the country what is called today  the post colonial Uganda. Uganda is off time konwn as the  Perle of Africa.

Buganda is a kingdom located on Lake Victoria; Over time it expanded by means of conquest; in the 19th century it covered a large part of what is Uganda today, including the site which was to become Uganda’s capital, Kampala. It has an old relation with the Abyssinian kingdom. it was interpreted by the Scramble of Africa  and the coming of the European powers in the region.

In the 19th century, Buganda was visited by western travelers : J.H. SPEKE (1862), HENRY MORTON STANLEY (1876). Their reports picture a state of considerable size and authority, the capital at LUBAGA HILL a town of 40,000, the armed forces consisting of 125,000 troops and a ‘navy’ of 230 war canoes.
Anglican missionaries arrived in 1877; Catholic missionaries in 1879; soon, protestant (Anglican), catholic and islamic groups intrigued against each other at Buganda’s court. Clashes between rival factions resulted in massacres; as political leaders frequently changed, so did the victimized communities; in 1885, Kabaka Mwanga ordered the execution of 1 Anglican missionary and of 30 Catholic converts..

Brief Description

The Tombs of Buganda Kings at Kasubi constitute a site embracing almost 30 ha of hillside within Kampala district. Most of the site is agricultural, farmed by traditional methods. At its core on the hilltop is the former palace of the Kabakas of Buganda, built in 1882 and converted into the royal burial ground in 1884. Four royal tombs now lie within the Muzibu Azaala Mpanga, the main building, which is circular and surmounted by a dome. It is a major example of an architectural achievement in organic materials, principally wood, thatch, reed, wattle and daub. The site’s main significance lies, however, in its intangible values of belief, spirituality, continuity and identity.

The Tombs of Buganda Kings at Kasubi constitute a site embracing almost 30 ha of hillside within Kampala district. Most of the site is agricultural, farmed by traditional methods. At its core on the hilltop is the former palace of the Kabakas of Buganda, built in 1882 and converted into the royal burial ground in 1884. Four royal tombs now lie within the Muzibu Azaala Mpanga, the main building, which is circular and surmounted by a dome. It is a major example of an architectural achievement in organic materials, principally wood, thatch, reed, wattle and daub. The site’s main significance lies, however, in its intangible values of belief, spirituality, continuity and identity.


Njagala-Kasayi or Kasaba’s wife’s hut in the main courtyard | Sébastien Moriset © UNESCO
Date of Inscription: 2001
Criteria: (i)(iii)(iv)(vi)
Property : 26.8000 ha
Kampala District
N0 20 55 E32 33 5
Ref: 1022

Brief Description

Statement of Significance

Criterion i The Kasubi Tombs site is a masterpiece of human creativity both in its conception and its execution. Criterion iii The Kasubi Tombs site bears eloquent witness to the living cultural traditions of the Baganda. Criterion iv The spatial organization of the Kasubi Tombs site represents the best extant example of a Baganda palace/architectural ensemble. Built in the finest traditions of Ganda architecture and palace design, it reflects technical achievements developed over many centuries. Criterion vi The built and natural elements of the Kasubi Tombs site are charged with historical, traditional, and spiritual values. It is a major spiritual centre for the Baganda and is the most active religious place in the kingdom.

Thousands of people in Uganda belonging to the Baganda kingdom have held a riot at the tombs of their late kings, which caught fire last night.

The grass thatched building which contained the five tombs of late kings, all the kings to have ruled Buganda kingdom in the last 100 years, caught fire last night. According to a police officer at a police post near the tombs, Chris Sali, the tombs caught fire at 8.30 but there are different versions about the cause of fire.

“Some people say that they saw someone setting fire on the tombs. They say he fled in a vehicle. Others say that young men who smoke opium near the tombs were responsible for setting the fire on the tombs,” Sali said.

Meanwhile, some people in the Buganda kingdom have accused the Ugandan government of setting the fire on the tombs. The government has vehemently denied the allegations.

Thousands of angry people stormed the tombs after the fire and started mourning. They fought with the police who had been deployed to contain law and order. Four people have been admitted to hospital (Mulago) in Kampala after having sustained severe injuries.



President Museveni

The angry mob blocked Uganda’s president, Yoweri Kaguta Museveni from visiting the tombs. The President later canceled his visit.

Although President Yoweri Museveni restored Ugandan Kingdoms in 1993 — albeit establishing them as non-political cultural institutions — after they were abolished in 1967 by President Obote, the Baganda believe that the President has tried to limit the influence of the Buganda Kabaka (King).

Last September, clashes erupted in the Ugandan capital, Kampala, following a planned visit by King Ronald Muwenda Mutebi of the Buganda kingdom to the central district of Kayunga. About 20 people were killed.

Kayunga, which is part of the Buganda kingdom, is believed to be inhabited by mostly non-Baganda. The riots were sparked when the minority community in the largely Buganda populated area opposed the King’s trip.

The Kayungas who opposed the visit of the King said they had seceded from the Buganda Kingdom, while insisting that the Kabaka’s visit was politically motivated. A detail that is prohibited by the 1993 deal that restored the kingdoms.

Constitutional powers

The Baganda have been advocating for constitutional powers for Kings through the restoration of a federal administration that would formally recognize the political power of their King.

Buganda is the largest and most politically powerful kingdom with about 20 per cent of the total Ugandan population and constituting the largest single ethnic group in the country.

The Kingdom is strategically located in the central region along the shores of Lake Victoria and houses the nation’s capital, Kampala.

The Baganda have an estimated population of about five million people.

During the colonial era, Buganda became the most influential kingdom in Uganda when the British rewarded it for its collaboration by giving it territories that belonged to the western kingdom of Bunyoro.

Many Baganda have, for several years, unsuccessfully lobbied the government to introduce a federal form of government that would give some autonomy to the regions.

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The Uganda Record

Wednesday, 17th March 2010

Who burnt the Kasubi Tombs?

The royal Buganda tombs at Kasubi on July 19, 2009.

The Buganda royal site, the Tombs at Kasubi, have been razed to the ground in a fire that swept through the premises shortly after 9:00p.m. on Tuesday night, March 16, 2010.

Witnesses at the scene at the time of the fire said it had started without warning or build up and appears to have been the work of an arsonist.

Hundreds of distressed and wailing Baganda gathered at the burning building and tried desperately to extinguish the fire but were reduced to tears and helplessly watching the grass-thatched complex go up in flames.

When the police arrived, it too failed to put out the fire and when the crowd got rowdy, gunshots and teargas were fired in the air, further angering the crowd.

WBS television and NTV aired segments of the inferno, while NBS television and Record TV run extensive video footage of the scenes of chaos, anger and the burning premises.

As gleaned from the TV footage, the anger of the crowd gathered at the tombs appeared to be directed at President Museveni, with many voices caught on camera angrily declaring that no matter what, one day he would perish in a fire too.

SMS text messages flying about in Kampala mentioned the fire and usually pointed the finger at Museveni.

The Katikiiro of Buganda, J.B. Walusimbi, Prince Kassim Nakibinge, and Buganda Information minister Medard S. Lubega were among the senior kingdom officials first at the scene.

The tombs, listed as one of hundreds of World Heritage Sites by the United Nations cultural agency UNESCO, were one of the most visited historic sites in Uganda.

Built just over 100 years ago, they are the traditional burial ground of Buganda’s kings, as well as the repository of some of the most valuable and irreplaceable cultural artifacts in Buganda.

Who set the royal tombs on fire?

The Daily Monitor newspaper, in its edition of Wednesday March 17, 2010, quoted eye witnesses as saying that a white pickup without number plates was at the scene.

A woman spoke of seeing a white box left at the tombs, then a loud explosion just before the historic site burst into flames.

When nearby motorcycle riders tried to block the pickup, now speeding off the scene, somebody inside or seated on the outside of the vehicle fired in the air to disperse the motorcycle riders.

“[T]he fleeing man shot in the air to scare away riders in his pursuit,” the Daily Monitor reported.

This, clearly, was an act of arson and sabotage. Whoever lit that fire knows what the Kasubi Tombs mean to Buganda. It is like setting fire to the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Westminster Abbey in London, historic burial site of some of England’s most revered figures.

The purpose of burning Kasubi Tombs would have been two fold.

From the point of view of one trying to cause the Museveni government to lose any remaining support in Buganda, it would have been to trigger off riots or deep and boiling anger among the Baganda.

From the point of view of a state actor, to set the tombs on fire and destroy them would achieve the goal of creating conditions of such unrest and insecurity as to warrant the proclamation of a state of emergency in Buganda.

Whatever the truth, this was an act of supreme political sabotage, not mere arson. The only act that would exceed this would be to assassinate the Kabaka of Buganda or to burn down one of his palaces.

The fact of a loud explosion preceding the break out of a fire was the hallmark of the fires that struck Budo Junior School and several others schools in and outside Kampala in 2008 and the Park Yard Market near Nakivubo Stadium in 2009. Explosives were used.

What makes the Kasubi fire even more suspicious was the reported firing in the air by the getaway car. Had the tombs been set on fire by an ordinary arsonist, he would have made it his top priority to flee the scene as quietly and inconspicuously as possible. To fire gunshots in the air could only attract attention.

More importantly, to have the audacity to fire gunshots in the air suggests the confidence of an arsonist with some measure of state protection, or membership in the official state security and military apparatus.

In its reporting and discussion of the fire on Wednesday morning, NBS television kept receiving SMS text messages from viewers mentioning their belief that it was the government.

As the fire raged on Tuesday night, the Catholic Church-run radio station, Radio Maria, kept receiving phone calls by listeners accusing the government of being behind the fire and had to discontinue the discussion for fear of being accused of inciting the public.

It was noticeable, on Wednesday morning, that most FM radio stations in Kampala avoided discussing the fire during their breakfast shows, mindful of what live phone calls from listeners would say and knowing the risk they run in having their operating licenses withdrawn.

The caution taken by the radio stations not to discuss the fire in itself reflects the widespread anger among the public and their belief that this was a state-orchestrated attack on Buganda.

Watch Joseph Koney and His kids  Army

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30 years since the fall of the Amin regime
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Earth is changing Polarity is moving :- Eclipses, Earth-quack, Tsunami ends up in polarity change…2012

This solution was discovered by Albert Einstein and his colleague Nathan Rosen, who first published the result in 1935. However, in 1962 John A. Wheeler and Robert W. Fuller published a paper showing that this type of wormhole is unstable, and that it will pinch off instantly as soon as it forms, preventing even light from making it through.


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A pole shift refers to the Earth’s magnetic field reversing its polarity. If a magnetic reversal occurred today, compasses would point south rather than north.

In the past 15 million years scientists found pole shifts occurred four times every 1 million years. Though this averages out to once every 250,000 years, switches do not occur at regular intervals. During one period in the Cretaceous, polarity remained constant for as long as 30 million years, though this is believed to be an anomaly. The last pole shift took place 790,000 years ago; causing some scientists to believe we’re due, while others speculate a reversal is already underway.

Dynamic processes taking place deep inside the planet generate Earth’s magnetic field. A core of molten iron surrounds the inner core of solid iron, each rotating at different rates. Their interaction, and perhaps other geophysical processes not yet understood, creates what scientists call a “hydromagnetic dynamo.” This self-perpetuating electric field acts in some ways like a gigantic bar magnet. The Earth’s magnetic field extends into space for tens of thousands of miles from the planet’s poles. It not only protects the Earth from solar radiation but plays a fundamental role in overall climate, weather patterns, and migratory habits of animals. If the poles were to reverse instantly, destruction would be global, from earthquakes and volcanic eruptions to melting of Arctic ice and vast flooding. However, evidence suggests pole shifts happen gradually taking anywhere from 1,000 — 28,000 years. The last four flip-flops took about 7,000 years each.

Evidence for pole shifts came unexpectedly in the 1950s while exploring seafloor spreading along the mid-Atlantic ridge. Here molten material wells up, cools and hardens, creating new sea crust, pushing the old crust outwards. Magnetic particles or iron oxides in the lava act like tiny compass needles, aligning themselves with the magnetic field, leaving a permanent record of the Earth’s polarity at the time the crust is created. By reading the orientation of the oxides at various distances out from the point of welling, scientists can “look back in time.” What they found was striping or alternating bands — periods of reversal throughout history.

Some researchers believe a pole shift is underway today because the magnetic field has decreased in intensity as much as 10% – 15% over the last 150 years, with the rate of decay increasing more significantly in recent years. If this trend continues, the magnetic field will be gone in 1000-2000 years. A weakening magnetic field is a precursor to pole shifts, though it’s acknowledged the current decay might also be attributable to other unknown causes, or might reverse itself. In the case of a pole shift, once the magnetic field weakens enough, the field directions undergo a near-180 degree switch before strengthening and stabilizing in the new orientation. However, scientists don’t really know how long this process takes. What is known is that it takes twice as long at the poles as at the equator. So while compasses at the mid-latitudes might point south after a 3,000-year transition, compasses at the poles would continue to point north for another 3,000 years.

The actual mechanisms behind a pole shift are still unknown. Some theories suggest comet impacts might play a role; others, that the magnetic field is inherently prone to flip-flops. Conclusive answers await a better understanding of the dynamics of this very fascinating geophysical phenomenon.

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Earth loses its magnetism
 

 

  

By Molly Bentley
in San Francisco
 
 
 
 

 

Scientists have known for some time that the Earth’s magnetic field is fading.

Earth magnet, BBC
The field is mainly dipolar – but there are anomalies

Like a Kryptonite-challenged Superman, its strength has steadily and mysteriously waned, leaving parts of the planet vulnerable to increased radiation from space.

Some satellites already feel the effects.

What is uncertain is whether the weakened field is on the way to a complete collapse and a reversal that would flip the North and South Poles.

Compasses pointing North would then point South.

It is not a matter of whether it will happen, but when, said scientists who presented the latest research on the subject at a recent meeting of the American Geophysical Union in San Francisco.

But when is hard to pinpoint. The dipole reversal pattern is erratic.

“We can have periods without reversals for many millions of years, and we can have four or five reversals within one million years,” said Yves Gallet, from Institut de Physique du Globe de Paris, France, who studies the palaeomagnetic record and estimates that the current decay started 2,000 years ago.

Flip or flop

Over the last century and a half, since monitoring began, scientists have measured a 10% decline in the dipole.

At the current rate of decline it would take 1,500 to 2,000 years to disappear.

SEAFLOOR RECORDER
Seafloor spreading, BBC
As molten rock rises, spreads out and cools, magnetised minerals record field direction
Over millions of years, the seafloor rocks retain a ‘barcode’ of pole reversals
These pole reversal events may take perhaps 10,000 years to complete
The last major pole flip appears to have been about 780,000 years ago

A particular weakness in the field has been observed off the coast of Brazil in the so-called Southern Atlantic Anomaly. Here, eccentricities in the Earth’s core have caused a “dip” in the field, leaving it 30% weaker than elsewhere.

The extra dose of radiation creates electronic glitches in satellites and spacecraft that fly through it. Even the Hubble telescope has been affected.

Magnetic reversals were always preceded by weakened magnetic fields, said Dr Gallet, but not all weakened fields bring on a flip-flop.

The Earth’s invisible shield could also grow back in strength. “Then sometime, maybe 10,000 years from now, the dipole will decay again and that will lead to a reversal,” said Harvard physicist Jeremy Bloxham.

The theme was recently taken up by Hollywood in the movie The Core, in which the Earth’s core mysteriously stops spinning, effectively turning off the electromagnetic field.

The movie is nonsense, scientists told BBC News Online, except that the Earth’s magnetic field is generated by activity deep inside it.

Iron record

The heat of the solid inner core keeps the molten cocktail of nickel and iron churning in the outer core, which generates a magnetic field.

It is not known how the core behaves exactly, but scientists have a general understanding of how electrical and fluid currents and magnetic field lines all interact to produce the field we experience outside Earth.

If we had the equivalent of a space probe that went into the core and made measurements for us, that would tell us a tremendous amount
Jeremy Bloxham, Harvard

Imagine the magnetic field lines within the core “twisting like spaghetti,” said Peter L Olson, geophysics professor at Johns Hopkins University.

As they wind and kink around each other, their interaction can accentuate the magnetic field or diminish it.

“Depending on how it’s kinked,” he said, “it can be helpful or harmful.”

The last time the field lines kinked into a dipole reversal was 780,000 years ago.

By studying seafloor sediment and lava flows, scientists can reconstruct the magnetic field patterns of the past. Iron in lava, for example, points in the direction of the then-existing field and is frozen in that orientation as the lava cools and hardens.

According to Dr Gallet, the oldest reversal that has been studied by lava flows comes from Greenland, dated at 16 million years. The time between reversals varies from a thousand to millions of years.

Global light show

So is the Earth about to flip? The safe bet may disappoint screenplay writers everywhere.

“Chances are we’re not,” said Dr Bloxham. “Reversals are rare events.”

And they would certainly not threaten life on Earth as they do in science fiction. Although there would be extra radiation exposure to satellites and some airplanes, there would also be enough of a residual field to provide protection to people, and certainly no more radiation than what is observed at the poles, where the field lines currently dip.

Simulation, Los Alamos
Supercomputers have modelled the pole flipping process (Image: Los Alamos Nat Lab)

But there would be some bizarre readjustment. Prior to Earth’s poles re-establishing themselves, a period of disorder would produce multiple poles, according to Dr Bloxham, which may make backwoods camping tricky.

“Getting around using a magnetic compass would be a more complicated endeavour,” he said.

A collapse would also produce a great increase in auroral activity – the beautiful display of lights generated by solar particles that follow the magnetic field lines down into the atmosphere.

And there would be plenty to time to grab a camera – the reversal is gradual.

This would give animals which use the magnetic field for navigation, such as some birds, turtles and bees, time to reorient themselves.

“They’d go through many generations in the period in which the field was entering the phase of reversal,” said Dr Bloxham. “Presumably they would learn new behaviour patterns to accommodate it.”

Space within

As for the ozone layer – which was thought to be vulnerable without a protective shield – the effects would be negligible unless there was a super-solar proton event, said Charles H Jackman, an atmospheric physicist at the US space agency’s Goddard Flight Center, referring to the high-energy radiation that can accompany solar flares.

The charged particles zinging down to Earth, said Dr Jackman, break apart molecules of nitrogen, whose atoms go on to form nitric oxide, which devours up ozone.

This happens all the time, but the effects would be increased during a magnetic reversal or diminished magnetic field.

Total field strength, IGRF
Fluctuations and movement of field strength across the globe are recorded

But he said scientists saw no significant change in ozone depletion due to the Southern Atlantic Anomaly. In any case, the ozone layer would bounce back quickly from the heavy solar bombardment, healing itself in just two to three years, according to Dr Jackman.

This is not the timeline associated with anthropogenic chlorofluorocarbons.

“Chlorofluorocarbons have a much longer lifetime in the atmosphere than does the nitric oxide and its associated constituents,” he said.

But all these scenarios are of an indeterminate future. The Earth’s interior will remain unexplored for a long time to come – only in science fiction can humans or their equipment survive the 5,500 Celsius temperature in the core to study its activity.

“If we had the equivalent of a space probe that went into the core and made measurements for us, that would tell us a tremendous amount,” said Dr Bloxham. “Hollywood may be able to do these things, but we can’t.”

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Ethiopian Shadow Puppet electoral 3 round Debates

Chinese Shadow Puppet Theater type Electoral

Debate 1

Ethiopian Electoral Puppet Show

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Debate 3 Round 1
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Debate3 Round3
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Ethiopian opposition parties threaten election boycott

News Africa news

Ethiopia’s main opposition coalition Wednesday threatened to pull out of the 23 May parliamentary elections, citing intimidation of party supporters and its inability to field candidates against the ruling party, PANA reported from here.

The eight political parties, under the Forum for Democratic Dialogue (Forum), led by Dr. Merara Gudina, said they were considering pulling out of the parliamentary race, if the harassment of supporters continued ahead of the polls.

“We cannot give the electorate a false promise that we will compete fairly in the upcoming elections,” said Engineer Gizachew Sheferew, the deputy chair of the forum.

The Forum is considered one of the most formidable challengers to the ruling Ethiopian Peoples Revolutionary Democratic Party (EPRDF) under the leadership of Meles Zenawi, the Ethiopian Prime Minister.

The EPRDF said the opposition parties were only interested in building a case for a post-election violence.

“We are unable to conduct the normal process of a democratic election, which includes the registration of candidates, the registration of voters,” Bulcha Mideksa, head of the party’s Foreign Relations Committee, told PANA.

“There is no possibility of us talking to the people. It is impossible to hold political rallies because the government will not allow us,” said Mideksa.

The opposition politicians spoke hours after the National Electoral Board of Ethiopia (NEBE) extended the registration of voters for an additional five days.

The Forum, however, said the five days were not enough to register more voters.

At least 27 million voters have registered for the elections, out of an estimated 32 million eligible to vote.

“We want to inform the public that we are not operating according to a normal political scenario of a free and fair election,” Mideksa added.

“There is a mini-war against us. There are places where our candidates cannot register, they are being intimidated and the government has blocked us from changing the candidates who have not registered for the elections,” the party leader said.

Prof. Beyene Petros, of the United Ethiopian Democratic Force, a member of the Forum, said opposition parties had about 50 per cent of their candidates blocked from registering for various elective positions during the upcoming elections.

“The best gift the government can give to the people of Ethiopia is to organise free and fair elections, free of intimidation,” Gudian told a news conference.

Ethiopia is set to hold its parliamentary elections on 23 May and the party with a majority of the seats in the 545-seat parliament forms the next government after the elections.

The Forum said it would form a government of national unity, bringing together all the opposition groups, including rebel groups in the country’s Southern region.

Addis Ababa – Pana 18/02/2010

Putland Pirtland

The northeast region of Somalia has, since mid-1998, been referred to as the Puntland State of Somalia . Although pre-colonial Somalian society did not have a national government with modern structures and clearly defined international borders, the northeast region had traditional structures of government dating from the early years of the 19 th century; namely, the Sultanate of Majerteen (1901–1927), whose territory included the current regions of Bari and Nugal, the Sultanate of Mudug/Hobyo (1885–1925) and the Sultanate of eastern Sanaag (1896–1925).

These Sultanates were relatively under-developed and far from achieving a modern status in terms of political and state management systems. They had administrative and military structures, which safeguarded security, social welfare and political stability until these were disrupted by colonial powers; the Italians in the first two Sultanates and the British in the third one. Trade and commercial relations existed between the Sultanates and the Indian sub-continent and Arabian Gulf states. For instance, ad valorem taxation systems, export of livestock, animal and agro-forestry products and import of consumer goods thrived in the Sultanate of Majerteen during the second half of the 19 th century and first quarter of the 20 th century.

The Italian and British conquest of the Sultanate in (1923-1927) suppressed the peoples’ resistance and destroyed all political, economic and commercial structures. The Italian fascist authorities were more repressive than the British, as reflected by the economic policies they applied to these regions. For instance, import-export trade and all the commercial transactions with above mentioned traditional markets were suspended and forcibly replaced with Italian trade companies, which imported consumer goods from Italy and exported salt, frankincense, hides, skin and agricultural cash crops (banana and cotton) to Italy through Mogadishu.

The suspension of trade markets and political structures of the former Sultanates by the colonial authorities had a devastating effect on the livelihood security, famine coping mechanism and employment/income earning opportunities of the northeastern communities. Pastoralists, merchants and fishermen had to immigrate to the southern regions in order to seek employment and trading opportunities.

Furthermore, the Sultans of Majerteen and Mudug, their families, relations and key collaborators, such as the traditional elders, were forcibly deported by the Italians to Mogadishu .

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EU: Somali pirates seize Kenyan fishing vessel

Fri, Mar 12 2010

Bartamaha (Nairobi):- Somali pirates have seized a Kenyan-flagged fishing vessel, the European Union Naval Force said Tuesday.
Cmdr. John Harbour said Tuesday the Sakoba was taken last week, but many details remain unclear. The owner has not been in touch and the ship was not registered with maritime authorities. The crew nationalities and numbers are unknown.
Pirate attacks usually peak in March and April when the seas are calmer and the past week has seen a flurry of attacks and shoot-outs between pirates and security forces.
It is very unusual for a ship owner not to report a hijacked vessel to naval authorities. Naval authorities say there has been no communication with the crew. However, Harbour said that armed pirates have been sighted onboard.
The Sakoba was last registered in Spain three years ago but the Spanish Environment Ministry, which handles maritime affairs, said the vessel is Kenyan-owned.
The ship was apparently taken about 400 miles (640 kilometers) east of the Tanzanian city of Dar Salaam last Wednesday, Harbour said. Somali pirates have been extending their reach south into the Indian Ocean because of stepped up naval patrols in the Gulf of Aden.
Harbour said the pirates may use the hijacked vessel as a ‘mothership’ to carry extra food, fuel and water and tow pirate speedboats hundreds of miles out to sea. The Sakoba is following the path of another hijacked ship, a Norwegian chemical tanker, which was seized on Friday near Madagascar. Both vessels appeared to be headed for the pirate stronghold of Haradheere, he said.
The failed state of Somalia provides the perfect haven for pirates, which prey on the busy shipping lanes nearby. The Somali government is fighting an Islamist insurgency and cannot take on the well-armed, well-paid pirate gangs as well. Ransoms are typically several million dollars _ a fortune in a war-ravaged country where nearly half the population is dependent on aid.
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BOSSASO, Somalia June 14, 2009 A Cabinet minister in Somaila’s self-governing State of Puntland returned home Saturday from Ethiopia with a delegation led by the Puntland Vice President, Radio Garowe reports.

Mr. Farah Aden Dhala, Puntland’s Planning and International Cooperation Minister, spoke with community-based Radio Garowe via telephone after returning to Bossaso, the region’s commercial hub.

“Our trip to Ethiopia was a follow-up of the President’s visit in March,” Minister Dhala said, adding that discussions with Ethiopian government officials in Addis Ababa ranged from security to trade relations.

According to the Planning Minister, Puntland and Ethiopian officials discussed the possible opening of an Ethiopian Trade Office in Garowe, the capital of Puntland State, which would help facilitate travel and trade relations between the two sides.

Further, the discussions covered ways of establishing airline relations of direct flights between Addis Ababa and Bossaso in order to help improve commerce and strengthen trade ties.

“Our delegation also met with Ambassadors from several countries, including Sweden and Germany, while in Addis Ababa” Planning Minister Dhala said, adding that discussions covered anti-piracy efforts.

He noted that anti-piracy discussions with Western ambassadors were successful and that the Puntland delegation informed the international community of the “best way to fight against pirates.”

Lastly, the Planning Minister said that Ethiopian government officials want to play a “neutral role” in the conflict between Puntland and Somaliland.

“We expressed Puntland’s policy of retaking Las Anod and Ethiopian officials said they want Puntland and Somaliland to coexist peacefully,” Mr. Dhala added.

Las Anod, the capital of Sool region, has been at the heart of the Somaliland-Puntland conflict since Dec. 2002 when Puntland security forces took control of the provincial capital.

In Oct. 2007, Somaliland troops took control of Las Anod after fierce battles forced upwards of 50,000 civilians to flee.

Both Planning Minister Dhala and Puntland VP Gen. Abdisamad Ali Shire hail from Sool region, which is dominated by members of the Dhulbahante sub-clan within the larger Darod clan-family.

Source: Garowe Online


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UN Sanctioned & stigmatized Eritrea … IC Continues to deny Genocidal Woyane A Judgment day…?



Eritrean pleads not guilty to aiding terrorists

By LARRY NEUMEISTER | Posted: March 9, 2010 2:53 pm |

Evidence collected by the United States against an East African charged with providing support to a Somali terrorist organization linked to al-Qaida includes lengthy statements he made to authorities, a prosecutor told a judge Tuesday.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Christopher LaVigne made the revelation during a plea proceeding for Mohamed IbrahimAhmed in Manhattan. Ahmed’s lawyer, Sabrina Shroff, entered a not guilty plea on his behalf.

Ahmed, 35, a citizen of Eritrea, was brought to the United States on Saturday from Nigeria on charges that he supported al-Shabaab, a violent extremist group in Somalia.

Prosecutors say he gave the organization 3,000 euros and studied weapons and explosives at a training camp. They say he bought an AK-47 rifle, ammunition and two grenades in April in Somalia. Al-Shabaab was designated by the U.S. as a terrorist group in 2008.

LaVigne told U.S. District Judge Kevin P. Castel that evidence the government will turn over to the defense in the case includes extensive statements Ahmed made in Nigeria, along with items recovered from him.

The prosecutor said Ahmed’s statements were in six reports that amounted to 10 to 13 pages. As the prosecutor spoke, Ahmed nodded his head as he listened to a translator. The government wouldn’t disclose details on Ahmed’s statements.

His apparent cooperation with authorities seemed evident in court. At the end of the proceeding, which lasted only a few minutes, Ahmed leaped from his chair and headed toward the door leading to the cell block next to the courtroom. The marshals who accompanied him did not appear alarmed by his rapid movement.

Court papers indicated Ahmed might have been held by authorities since November, when officials say he was found in possession of documents reflecting bomb-making instructions. The indictment also said his crimes stretch from at least January 2009 through last November.

U.S. authorities would likely welcome any information Ahmed can provide about al-Shabaab.

An indictment charging Ahmed with providing material support to the organization and receiving training from the group said a former leader of al-Shabaab who trained with al-Qaida in Afghanistan prior to 2001 had called for foreign fighters to go to Somalia to join al-Shabaab in a “holy war” against the Ethiopian and African Union forces in Somalia.

The indictment said al-Shabaab’s recruitment efforts had led men from other countries including the United States to go to Somalia to engage in violent jihad _ holy war.

The indictment said al-Shabaab was believed to have provided protection and safe haven for al-Qaida operatives wanted for a 2002 hotel bombing in Kenya and the 1998 bombings of the U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania that resulted in 224 deaths, including 12 Americans.

It said al-Shabaab in April declared it was responsible for mortar attacks against a U.S. congressman visiting Somalia. A year before that, al-Shabaab leaders declared that their fighters would “hunt the U.S. government” and warned that the U.S. and Ethiopia should keep its citizens out of Somalia, the indictment said.

Al-Shabaab is the most active group of violent extremists targeting Somalia’s weak U.S.-backed transitional government. The indictment said it has carried out assassinations of civilians and journalists and had distributed a videotape depicting the slow decapitation of an accused spy.

Somalia, an impoverished East African nation of about 10 million people, has not had a functioning government for more than a decade.

Federal prosecutors said al-Shabaab, hoping to impose strict Islamic law throughout Somalia, has claimed responsibility for suicide bombing attacks in recent years, including five simultaneous suicide bombings targeting government, Ethiopian and United Nations facilities in October 2008.

Woyane Man Charged with Terrorism in U.S. Court (the article above)

Wed Mar 10, 2010 5:54 pm

If you recall few days ago The New York Times made a deliberate error in its reporting of the terrorism suspect held in New York as being from “Eritrea.” And as usual the evil-slave woyanes hell bent to smear Eritreans run with it, flooding the cyberspace, including this forum, with their childish propaganda to smear the good name of their former masters — the Eritreans.

But now that the terrorism suspect is identified as an Ethiopian national, most probably from Tigray, the woyane propaganda guns are silenced. You slave-woyanes got to be careful what you wish for because essentially that it will come back to bite you in the a$$ – and here it has…..

Sabrina Schroff, the man’s lawyer in the United States, says that the Ethiopian native denies all the accusations. The New York Times identifies him as Eritrean, but the Swedish Foreign Minister holds that he is originally from Ethiopia.



U.S. report accuses Eritrea of systematic abuses

Bartamaha (Nairobi):– The United States has intensified its criticism of Eritrea, saying the Red Sea state systematically abuses human rights and is a destabilizing influence in the Horn of Africa.

In its annual human rights country report, released late on Thursday, the U.S. State Department accused Eritrea of sponsoring terrorism in the Horn of Africa, and acting as a source and conduit for arms to insurgents in Somalia.
It said Asmara oversaw unlawful killings by its security forces, routine beatings and torture, arbitrary arrests, and severely restricted freedom of speech, the press, assembly, association and religion.
“(Throughout 2009) consistent and systemic gross human rights violations persisted unabated at the government’s behest,” the report said.
Citing a June report by the U.N. Munitions Monitoring Group, it said the Red Sea state was guilty of sponsoring terrorism in the Horn of Africa.
The State Department report went on: “The government acted as a principal source and conduit for arms to antigovernment, extremist, and insurgent groups in Somalia.”
Asmara says there is no concrete evidence for the allegations, accusing Washington of inventing statistics and interfering in the region, and blames years of intrusive U.S. foreign policy as a cause of the conflict in Somalia.
RELATIONS STRAINED
Ties between the United States and Eritrea have been severely strained by a series of accusations and counter-accusations.
In February, the U.S. embassy suspended its consular services and last week issued a travel warning, referring to a rise in anti-U.S. sentiment among Eritreans. Eritrea then accused Washington of trying to create chaos in the country..
Asmara has still not officially recognized the U.S. ambassador and the state-owned media are running a sustained campaign against what they say are decades of U.S. persecution.
The United States sees Eritrea as an enemy in the fight against Islamist radicalization, alleging support for the al Qaeda-linked Somali militant group al Shabaab.
U.S. prosecutors said this week an Eritrean arrested in Nigeria was brought to New York to face charges after receiving bomb-making training from al Shabaab.
The United States bankrolled Eritrea’s regional rival Ethiopia during its long occupation of Eritrea, a memory that still rankles among Eritreans when ties with Washington start to go cold.
The occupation ended in the early 1990s when the outnumbered Eritreans fought Ethiopia and won independence.
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(Editing by David Clarke and Andrew Dobbie)

Source:- Reuters


UN Position

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Eritrean Position

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  • Eritrean response to sanctions

The UN Security Council has today passed a shameful resolution imposing sanctions against Eritrea. The unjustifiable measures imposed on Eritrea include: an arms embargo; the inspection and seizure by Member States in their territory of such cargo to and from Eritrea; and, the imposition of a travel ban, and the freezing of assets of, Eritrea’s political and military leadership who may be blacklisted by a Committee.

As Eritrea has strongly emphasized in the past weeks, this brazen act is neither based on fact nor on the provisions of international law. It constitutes a travesty of justice and amplifies the dangers inherent in a unipolar world.

The fact of the matter is this resolution was originally conceived and feverishly executed by the United States. Britain, and especially Uganda, were co-opted as sponsors of the resolution for purposes of deceitful packaging. The US Mission to the UN further tried to invoke a resolution of the African Union to disguise the real culprit. But in the end, this cover did not work. As it happened, the US Ambassador to the UN was ultimately forced to come out of the closet and cajole UN Member States to adopt the resolution willy-nilly.

Setting aside the misguided policies of the US Administration in the Horn of Africa region and the loathsome personal agenda of the US Ambassador to the UN who could not hide her obsession to “punish Eritrea” and “break its arrogance”, what are the accusations leveled against Eritrea? How do these accusations square with the provisions of the UN Charter? Does the
heavy-handed process pursued in this case conform to the modalities and precedents of the UN Security Council in imposing sanctions against a Member State?

1.     It must be stressed that the accusations against Eritrea for involvement in Somalia have never been substantiated or verified. Many Member States objected to the draft resolution in the early days precisely for these reasons though they acquiesced to US pressure later. The Somalia Monitoring Group had previously accused Eritrea for “supplying arms to those opposing the TFG”. This clause was later dropped quietly and the revised version indicts Eritrea for “providing political, financial, and logistical support to armed groups engaged in undermining peace and reconciliation in Somalia”. As pointed out earlier, these allegations were, again, not explained or substantiated. Indeed, how can Eritrea provide logistical support to armed groups in Somalia when it does not have a contiguous border with that country? The allegation of financial support is equally tenuous. Eritrea has neither the political will nor the financial clout to bankroll armed groups in Somalia. As for the accusations of political support, it is well-known that Eritrea has not recognized the TFG for cogent and well-thought out reasons. This was also the case with the externally established previous TFGs installed in Mogadishu without the consent of the Somali people. Eritrea’s impartial and balanced position emanates from its profound desire to contribute to a durable and sustainable solution to the crisis in Somalia. These political considerations aside, the fundamental legal issue at hand is whether this matter of purely sovereign national jurisdiction can be misconstrued as a subject of UN Security Council concern. Is it the mandate of the Security Council to punish any Member State on account of the political views it holds or the diplomatic choices it makes? Has the Security Council ever imposed sanctions against one or more countries because they have not recognized Kosovo, Abkhazia, or South Ossetia? Does controversy on matters of this nature empower the UN Security Council to take punitive measures against a defenseless country arbitrarily?

2.    The resolution refers to the “decision of the 13th Assembly of the African Union in Sirte, calling on the Council to impose sanctions against Eritrea”. Again, this assertion is replete with distortions and half-truths. As underlined earlier, the resolution was co-sponsored by Uganda in its individual capacity. It was not tabled, but on the contrary, vehemently opposed by Libya which is the current Chair of the AU and a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council. More importantly, the UN Security Council’s function is not to rubber-stamp resolutions adopted by a regional organization when invoking Chapter VII of the UN Charter to impose sanctions against a Member State but to do so independently and only on the basis of incontrovertible facts and law.

3.    In a feat of unprecedented cynicism, the UN Security Council Resolution recommends other punitive measures against Eritrea on account of the U.S. fabricated “border dispute with Djibouti”. For seven long years now since the Eritrea-Ethiopia Boundary Commission gave its final and binding Award on the border dispute between Eritrea and Ethiopia in April 2002, the Security Council has refused to shoulder its responsibilities to ensure the respect of the arbitration decision in accordance with the provisions of the Algiers Peace Treaty that was largely drafted and explicitly guaranteed by this same body. This has encouraged Ethiopia to violate its treaty obligations, the UN Charter and international law to continue its occupation of Badme and other sovereign Eritrean lands. This same Security Council is now singing to a different tune, simply because it is played by Washington, to threaten Eritrea with punitive measure for a non-existent border conflict.

Security Council Resolution 1907(2009) is thus not based on law and incontrovertible facts. The United States has simply employed its preponderant influence to ram through unjustifiable sanctions against a small country. What is shameful is that the United States has been allowed to use the platform and authority of the United Nations to perpetrate injustices against the people and Government of Eritrea; for the second time in recent history. What is shameful is that other major powers in the UN Security Council cannot go beyond expressing their disappointment, mostly in private meetings, to check the excesses of Washington. What is shameful is that the United States can turn the tables and victimize an innocent nation for the very crimes that it is responsible for in the first place. Because the truth is, the United States is mostly responsible for the mayhem and suffering that is bedeviling Somalia today. Indeed, it is common knowledge that as intractable as the Somali crisis is, there were real hopes of a turnaround for the better in 2006. For reasons that defy reason, the Bush Administration then acted to roll back those promising developments to instigate and support Ethiopia’s invasion of Somalia. That single debacle claimed the lives of thousands of innocent Somalis, made half a million people homeless and aggravated the humanitarian crisis in Somalia to unprecedented levels. But then, the Security Council is not taking action on the basis of justice and legality. It is taking action on the basis of the existing power balance in a largely unipolar world. This does not bode well for international justice and peace. This is why today is a shameful day for the United Nations.

Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Asmara
23 December 2009

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Woyane Position

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AU Position

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Somalia backs UN sanctions on Eritrea

MOGADISHU (Somalilandpress) –The Somali envoy to the United nations security council, Elmi Ahmad Du’ale, has said the sanctions imposed on Eritrea by the Security Council on 23 December were “proof” that the country aided terrorism.

The Security Council on Wednesday imposed sanctions Eritrea over providing military support to Islamist insurgents battling the Somali government.

“The sanctions were based, first and foremost, on proof that Eritrea supports terrorism and extremist groups opposed to the Somali government, which have been the stumbling block to stability in Somalia” Du’ale said in a strong drawl in an interview with Hornafrik local radio in Mogadishu on Thursday.

Al-shabab’s long awaited battle of Mogadishu flares …

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Thirty die in renewed Mogadishu fighting

2010-03-12 05:41:31 GMT2010-03-12 13:41:31 (Beijing Time)  Xinhua English

Soldiers of Somali government forces take position at the frontlines of the fighting with Islamist insurgent fighters in Mogadishu, Somali, March 11, 2010. At least 30 people were killed and 83 others injured Thursday as fierce fighting continued between Somali government forces backed by African Union peacekeeping troops and Islamist insurgent fighters in Mogadishu, capital of Somalia, medical sources said. (Xinhua/Ismail Warsameh)

Soldiers of Somali government forces run for cover at the frontlines of the fighting with Islamist insurgent fighters in Mogadishu, Somali, March 11, 2010. At least 30 people were killed and 83 others injured Thursday as fierce fighting continued between Somali government forces backed by African Union peacekeeping troops and Islamist insurgent fighters in Mogadishu, capital of Somalia, medical sources said. (Xinhua/Ismail Warsameh)

Soldiers of Somali government forces take position at the frontlines of the fighting with Islamist insurgent fighters in Mogadishu, Somali, March 11, 2010. At least 30 people were killed and 83 others injured Thursday as fierce fighting continued between Somali government forces backed by African Union peacekeeping troops and Islamist insurgent fighters in Mogadishu, capital of Somalia, medical sources said. (Xinhua/Ismail Warsameh)

MOGADISHU, March 11 (Xinhua) — At least 30 people were killed and almost 83 others were wounded Thursday as the fierce fighting continues between Somali government forces backed by African Union (AU) peacekeeping troops and Islamist insurgent fighters in Mogadishu, medical sources said.

The fighting which erupted on Wednesday resumed in the early hours of Thursday morning after it briefly stopped overnight with both sides claiming successes.

“As many as 30 people were killed, 12 of them in one area in the north of Mogadishu while we have picked almost 83 wounded people including 35 children mainly in the northern districts of Mogadishu,” Ali Muse, head of local ambulance service told Xinhua.

Heavy artillery and intense gunfire was heard around the battle areas in the north of Mogadishu where witnesses said several shells landed in residential neighborhoods.

Families in residential pockets in the north began fleeing their homes to join hundreds of thousands of displaced civilians on the outskirts of coastal Indian Ocean city of Mogadishu.

Somali government military commanders as well as insurgent fighters have claimed to have achieved ground from the other side but that cannot be independently verified as the battle still rages in north Mogadishu.

The latest upsurge in fighting comes as speculation intensifies of a major government offensive to retake the capital from rebels who control more than half of the restive coastal city.

Somali government controls only parts of the capital Mogadishu while Islamist groups rein over large swathes of territory in the south and centre of war-ravaged horn of African nation.

The U.S. pledged to support Somali government plans to wrestle control of Mogadishu from Islamists who are poised to oust the weak but internationally recognized government of Somalia.

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Somali official tells residents to flee battle zones as fighting flares for a third day

By Mohamed Olad Hassan, AP
Friday, March 12, 2010

Somali official to residents: Flee battle zones

MOGADISHU, Somalia — Fighting erupted in Somalia’s capital for the third straight day Friday in some of the worst violence in nearly a year, as government-backed troops shelled the front lines of rebels trying to advance into government-held territory.

Mogadishu’s mayor warned residents to flee the fighting, which is expected to intensify in coming weeks after the government launches a long-awaited offensive against Islamist insurgents.

Emergency officials say at least 50 people have been killed and nearly 150 wounded in fighting in the Somali capital on Wednesday and Thursday. At least two more people were killed in fighting Friday, a resident reported. At least six were wounded, emergency officials said.

Rebels advanced to as close as 1 mile (2 kilometers) from the government-held area on Thursday, but have since been pushed back several blocks.

Mogadishu Mayor Abdurisaq Mohamed Nor told citizens to move at least a couple miles (kilometers) away from battle zones. Residents in Mogadishu are often caught in crossfire or are hit by off-target munitions.

“The ongoing fighting is not part of our planned major offensive, but there is possibility that it can follow, we urge the civilians to flee from the battle zones,” said Nor “This time your suffering will not last much longer. We will finish the rebels off.”

A resident, Mohamed Abdi Haji, said that about 200 insurgents aboard a dozen gun-mounted vehicles moved into his neighborhood and drove toward the presidential palace. Government soldiers and African Union peacekeepers fired barrages at the militants and forced them to retreat, Haji said.

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Somalia: Africom’s First War

Friday, 12 March 2010, 5:13 pm
Opinion: Rick Rozoff

Africom’s First War: U.S. Directs Large-Scale Offensive In Somalia

Rick Rozoff

Over 43 people have been killed in the Somali capital of Mogadishu in the past two days in fighting between Shabab (al-Shabaab) insurgent forces, who on March 10 advanced to within one mile of the nation’s presidential palace, and troops of the U.S.-backed Transitional Federal Government. The fighting has just begun.

The last ambassador of the United States to Somalia (1994-1995), Daniel H. Simpson, penned a column for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on March 10 in which which he posed the question “why, apart from the only lightly documented charge of Islamic extremism among the Shabab, is the United States reengaging in Somalia at this time?”

He answered it in stating “Part of the reason is because the United States has its only base in Africa up the coast from Mogadishu, in Djibouti, the former French Somaliland. The U.S. Africa Command was established there in 2008, and, absent the willingness of other African countries to host it, the base in Djibouti became the headquarters for U.S. troops and fighter bombers in Africa.

“Flush with money, in spite of the expensive wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the Department of Defense obviously feels itself in a position to undertake military action in Africa, in Somalia.” [1]

Fulfilling its appointed role, the New York Times leaked U.S. military plans for the current offensive in Somalia on March 5 in a report titled “U.S. Aiding Somalia in Its Plan to Retake Its Capital.” (Note that the Transitional Federal Government is presented as Somalia itself and Mogadishu as its capital.)

The tone of the feature was of course one of approval and endorsement of the Pentagon’s rationale for directly intervening in Somalia at a level not seen since 1993 and support for proxy actions last witnessed with the invasion by Ethiopia in 2006. The report began with a description of a military surveillance plane circling over the Somali capital and a quote from the new chief of staff of the nation’s armed forces, General Mohamed Gelle Kahiye: “It’s the Americans. They’re helping us.”

Afterward “An American official in Washington, who said he was not authorized to speak publicly” – a hallmark of the American free press – was, if not identified, quoted as maintaining that U.S. covert operations were planned if not already underway and “What you’re likely to see is airstrikes and Special Ops moving in, hitting and getting out.” [2]

The New York Times also provided background information regarding the current offensive:

“Over the past several months, American advisers have helped supervise the training of the Somali forces to be deployed in the offensive….The Americans have provided covert training to Somali intelligence officers, logistical support to the peacekeepers, fuel for the maneuvers, surveillance information about insurgent positions and money for bullets and guns.” [3]

Four days later General William (“Kip”) Ward, commander of United States Africa Command (AFRICOM), testified before the Senate Armed Services Committee.

In his introductory remarks the chairman of the committee, Senator Carl Levin, reinforced recent American attempts to expand the scope of the deepening Afghanistan-Pakistan war, the deadliest and lengthiest in the world, to the west and south in stating that “al Qaeda and violent extremists who share their ideology are not just located in the Afghanistan-Pakistan region but in places like Somalia, Mali, Nigeria and Niger.” [4]

In his formal report Ward pursued a similar tact and expanded the Pentagon’s “counter-terrorism” (CT) area of responsibility yet further from South Asia: “U.S. Africa Command has focused the majority of its CT capacity building activities in East Africa on Kenya, Ethiopia, Djibouti, and Uganda, which – aside from Somalia – are the countries directly threatened by terrorists.” [5]

He also spoke of the current offensive by “the transition government to reclaim parts of Mogadishu,” stating “I think it’s something that we would look to do and support.” [6]

Senator Levin and General Ward included eight African nations in the broader Afghan war category of Operation Enduring Freedom, countries from the far northeast of the continent (the Horn of Africa) to the far west (the oil-rich Gulf of Guinea). The U.S. military has already been involved in counterinsurgency operations in Mali and Niger against ethnic Tuareg rebels, who have no conceivable ties to al-Qaeda, not that one would know that from Levin’s comments.

In between South Asia and Africa lies Yemen on the Arabian Peninsula. The New York Times report cited earlier reminded readers that “The United States is increasingly concerned about the link between Somalia and Yemen.” Indeed as Levin’s comments quoted above establish, Washington (along with its NATO allies) is forging an expanded war front from Afghanistan and Pakistan to Yemen and into Africa. [7]

That extension of the South Asia war has not gone unobserved in world capitals, and earlier this year Russian political analyst Andrei Fedyashin commented: “Adding up all four fronts – if the United States ventured an attack on Yemen and Somalia – America would have to invade a territory equal to three-fourths of Western Europe; and it is hardly strong enough for that.” [8]

Strong enough or not, that is just what the White House and the Pentagon are doing. The only other objection that can be raised to the above author’s description is that it too severely narrows the intended battlefront.

In the past six months Somali troops have been sent to Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya and Uganda for combat training and “most are now back in the capital, waiting to fight.”

In addition, “There are also about 5,000 Ugandan and Burundian peacekeepers, with 1,700 more on their way, and they are expected to play a vital role in backing up advancing Somali forces.” [9]

Last October the U.S. led ten days of military exercises in Uganda – Natural Fire 10 – with 450 American troops and over 550 from Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda. The U.S. soldiers were deployed from Camp Lemonier (Lemonnier) in Djibouti, home to the Pentagon’s Joint Task Force/Horn of Africa and over 2,000 U.S. forces. The de facto headquarters of AFRICOM.

At the time of the maneuvers a major Ugandan newspaper wrote that they were “geared towards the formation of the first Joint East African Military Force.” [10]

In addition to using such a multinational regional force in Somalia, the U.S. can also deploy it against Uganda’s Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) rebels in Uganda, Congo and Sudan, and could even employ it against Eritrea, Zimbabwe and Sudan, along with Somalia the only nations on the African continent not to some degree enmeshed in military partnerships with Washington and NATO. (Libya has participated in NATO naval exercises and South Africa has hosted the bloc’s warships.) [11]

Earlier this month the Kenyan newspaper The East African divulged that “American legislators are pushing for a law that will see another phase of military action to apprehend Lord’s Resistance Army rebels.”

The news source added that the LRA Disarmament and Northern Uganda Recovery Bill adopted by the U.S. Congress last year “requires the US government to develop a new multifaceted strategy” and as such the new bill under consideration “will not be the first time the US government is providing support to the Uganda army in fighting the LRA.

“The US has been backing the UPDF [Uganda People’s Defence Force] with logistics and training to fight the rebel group.” [12]

Last month it was announced that the U.S. Africa Command has dispatched special forces to train 1,000 Congolese troops in the north and east of their nation, where Congo borders Uganda.

Former U.S. diplomat Daniel Simpson was quoted above as to what in part is Washington’s motive in pursuing a new war in and around Somalia: To test out AFRICOM ground and air forces in Djibouti for direct military action on the continent.

A United Press International report of March 10, placed under energy news, offered another explanation. In a feature titled “East Africa is next hot oil zone,” the news agency disclosed that “East Africa is emerging as the next oil boom following a big strike in Uganda’s Lake Albert Basin. Other oil and natural gas reserves have been found in Tanzania and Mozambique and exploration is under way in Ethiopia and even war-torn Somalia.”

The region is, in the words of the Western chief executive officer of an oil prospecting firm, “the last real high-potential area in the world that hasn’t been fully explored.” [13]

The article added: “The discovery at Lake Albert, in the center of Africa between Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo, is estimated to contain the equivalent of several billion barrels of oil. It is likely to be the biggest onshore field found south of the Sahara Desert in two decades.”

It also spoke of “a vast 135,000-square-mile territory in landlocked Ethiopia that is believed to contain sizable reserves of oil. It is estimated to hold 4 trillion cubic feet of natural gas as well.”

And, more pertinent to the Horn of Africa:

“A 1993 study by Petroconsultants of Geneva concluded that Somalia has two of the most potentially interesting hydrocarbon-yielding basins in the entire region – one in the central Mudugh region, the other in the Gulf of Aden More recent analyses indicate that Somalia could have reserves of up to 10 billion barrels.” [14]

Washington’s North Atlantic Treaty Organization allies are also deeply involved in the militarization of East Africa.

On March 10 NATO extended its naval operation in the Gulf of Aden off the coast of Somalia, Ocean Shield, to the end of 2012, an unprecedentedly long 33-month extension. On March 12 “Standing NATO Maritime Group 2 will take over missions from Standing NATO Maritime Group 1 for the four-month assignment. The change will increase NATO’s contribution from four ships to five ships….” [15]

At the same hearings of the Senate Armed Services Committee that AFRICOM commander William Ward addressed, NATO Supreme Allied Commander in Europe, America’s Admiral James Stavridis, “noted that 100,000 NATO troops are involved in expeditionary operations on three continents, including operations in Afghanistan, off the coast of Africa, and in Bosnia.” (Evidently Kosovo was meant for Bosnia.)

Stavridis, who is concurrently top military chief of U.S. European Command, said “The nature of threats in this 21st century [is] going to demand more than just sitting behind our borders.” [16]

He also said he finds “Iran alarming in any number of dimensions,” specifically mentioning alleged “state-sponsored terrorism, nuclear proliferation and political outreach into Latin America.” [17]

NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen recently returned from Jordan and the Persian Gulf state of Bahrain where he pressured both nations to support the war in Afghanistan and Alliance naval operations.

NATO’s top official said [on March 9] that he has asked Jordan and Bahrain to contribute to alliance naval operations fighting terrorism and piracy in the Eastern Mediterranean and the Gulf of Aden, as he ended a visit to the two countries. NATO is keen to improve cooperation with Arab and Muslim states, seeing them as important allies for a number of missions, including the all-important deployment in Afghanistan.” [18]

Regarding the Western military bloc’s almost nine-year Operation Active Endeavor in the entire Mediterranean Sea and its Operation Ocean Shield in the Gulf of Aden, Rasmussen said, “We would very much like to strengthen cooperation (with Bahrain and Jordan) within these operations.” [19]

While in Jordan he was strengthening military ties with NATO’s Mediterranean Dialogue partnership – Algeria, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Mauritania, Morocco and Tunisia – and in Bahrain firming up the Istanbul Cooperation Initiative aimed at the six members of the Gulf Cooperation Council: Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

Bahrain, Egypt, Jordan and the United Arab Emirates have military personnel serving under NATO in Afghanistan.

In late February a delegation of the 53-nation African Union (AU) visited NATO’s Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe in Mons, Belgium.

“NATO continues to support the AU mission in Somalia (AMISOM) through the provision of strategic sea- and air-lift for AMISOM Troop Contributing Nations on request. The last airlift support occurred in June 2008 when NATO transported a battalion of Burundian peacekeepers to Mogadishu.” [20]

On March 10 AMISON deployed tanks to prevent the capture of the Somali presidential palace by rebels.

The North Atlantic military bloc, which in recent years has conducted large-scale exercises in West Africa and inaugurated its international Response Force in Cape Verde in 2006, also supports “the operationalisation of the African Standby Force – the African Union’s vision for a continental, on-call security apparatus similar to the NATO Response Force.” [21]

In May the European Union, whose membership largely overlaps with that of NATO and which is engaged in intense integration with the military bloc on a global scale [22], will begin training 2,000 Somali troops in Uganda.

Brigadier General Thierry Caspar-Fille-Lambie, commanding officer of French armed forces in Djibouti, said “the Somali troops will be trained with the necessary military skills to help pacify and stabilize the volatile country.”

He issued that statement “at the closing ceremony of four-week French operational training of 1,700 Ugandan troops to be deployed” to Somalia in May. The French ambassador to Uganda said “The EU troops shall work in close collaboration with UPDF to train Somali troops.” [23]

The 2,000 soldiers to be trained by the EU will represent a full third of a projected 6,000-troop Somali army.

The U.S.-NATO-EU global triad plans an even larger collective military role in the new scramble for Africa. On March 4 and 5 a delegation from AFRICOM met with European Union officials in Brussels “seeking EU cooperation in Africa,” specifically in “areas where cooperation could be possible, notably with the soon-to-be-launched EU mission to train Somali troops.” [24]

Tony Holmes, AFRICOM’s deputy to the commander for civil-military activities, said “Somalia, that’s an area where we’re going to be doing a lot more, the European Union is already doing a lot and will be doing more….

“Somalia is very important for us. The European Union is involved in training Somalis in Uganda and that’s something we might be able to work closely with to support.”

The AFRICOM delegation, including Major-General Richard Sherlock, director of strategy, plans and programs, also discussed “counter-terrorism cooperation with the EU in the Sahel region, notably in Mauritania, Mali and Niger…” [25]

In late January the chairman of NATO’s Military Committee, Admiral Giampaolo Di Paola, said “that the Alliance is in discussion with a Gulf state to deploy AWACS planes for a reconnaissance mission over Afghanistan in support of its ISAF mission and also for anti-piracy off Somalia.” [24]

To demonstrate that NATO’s anti-piracy operation off the coast of Somalia has other designs than the one acknowledged, early this year a NATO spokesman announced that the bloc’s naval contingent in the Gulf of Aden “now has an additional task” to intervene against a fictional deployment of Somali fighters across the Gulf to Yemen.

The spokesman, Jacqui Sheriff, said “NATO warships will be on the lookout for anything suspicious.” [25]

As though Somali al-Shabaab fighters have nothing else to do as the U.S. is engineering an all-out assault on them in their homeland.

Five days after the New York Times feature detailed American war plans in Somalia, the Washington Times followed up on and added to that report.

U.S. operations are “likely to be the most overt demonstration of U.S. military backing since the ill-fated Operation Restore Hope of 1992….”

“Unmanned U.S. surveillance aircraft have been seen circling over Mogadishu in recent days, apparently pinpointing insurgent positions as the TFG [Transitional Federal Government] marshals its forces. U.S. Army advisers have been helping train the TFG’s forces, which have been largely equipped with millions of dollars’ worth of U.S. arms airlifted into Mogadishu over the last few weeks.”

The newspaper report further stated: “It’s not clear when the offensive will start. The word on the street is sometime in the next few weeks….”

————————


_____________________

Timeline: Somalia (BBC)

A chronology of key events:

600s – Arab tribes establish the sultanate of Adel on the Gulf of Aden coast.

Mogadishu skyline pictured in 1977
Somali capital, Mogadishu, in more peaceful times
Emerged as Arab settlement in 10th century
Bought by Italy in 1905
Capital of independent Somalia from 1960
Estimated population: 1 million

1500s – Sultanate of Adel disintegrates into small states.

1875 – Egypt occupies towns on Somali coast and parts of the interior.

1860s – France acquires foothold on the Somali coast, later to become Djibouti.

1887 – Britain proclaims protectorate over Somaliland.

1888 – Anglo-French agreement defines boundary between Somali possessions of the two countries.

1889 – Italy sets up a protectorate in central Somalia, later consolidated with territory in the south ceded by the sultan of Zanzibar.

1925 – Territory east of the Jubba river detached from Kenya to become the westernmost part of the Italian protectorate.

1936 – Italian Somaliland combined with Somali-speaking parts of Ethiopia to form a province of Italian East Africa.

1940 – Italians occupy British Somaliland.

1941 – British occupy Italian Somalia.

Independence

1950 – Italian Somaliland becomes a UN trust territory under Italian control.

Ruins of parliament building, Mogadishu, 2003
Parliament in ruins: War devastated much of Mogadishu

1956 – Italian Somaliland renamed Somalia and granted internal autonomy.

1960 – British and Italian parts of Somalia become independent, merge and form the United Republic of Somalia; Aden Abdullah Osman Daar elected president.

1963 – Border dispute with Kenya; diplomatic relations with Britain broken until 1968.

1964 – Border dispute with Ethiopia erupts into hostilities.

1967 – Abdi Rashid Ali Shermarke beats Aden Abdullah Osman Daar in elections for president.

Drought and war

1969 – Muhammad Siad Barre assumes power in coup after Shermarke is assassinated.

former dictator Siad Barre
Muhammad Siad Barre backed ‘Scientific Socialism’
Born in 1919
Led military coup in 1969; overthrown in 1991
Died in Nigeria, 1995

1970 – Barre declares Somalia a socialist state and nationalises most of the economy.

1974 – Somalia joins the Arab League.

1974-75 – Severe drought causes widespread starvation.

1977 – Somalia invades the Somali-inhabited Ogaden region of Ethiopia.

1978 – Somali forces pushed out of Ogaden with the help of Soviet advisers and Cuban troops. Barre expels Soviet advisers and gains support of United States.

1981 – Opposition to Barre’s regime begins to emerge after he excludes members of the Mijertyn and Isaq clans from government positions, which are filled with people from his own Marehan clan.

1988 – Peace accord with Ethiopia.

1991 – Mohamed Siad Barre is ousted. Power struggle between clan warlords Mohamed Farah Aideed and Ali Mahdi Mohamed kills or wounds thousands of civilians.

Somaliland breaks away

1991 – Former British protectorate of Somaliland declares unilateral independence.

US troops, partof UN force in Somalia
UN force sent to quell violence suffered losses, left in 1994

On This Day 1992: American marines land in Somalia

On This Day 1993: US forces killed in Somali gun battle

1992 – US Marines land near Mogadishu ahead of a UN peacekeeping force sent to restore order and safeguard relief supplies.

1993 – US Army Rangers are killed when Somali militias shoot down two US helicopters in Mogadishu and a battle ensues. Hundreds of Somalis die in the battle depicted in the film “Black Hawk Down”. US mission formally ends in March 1994.

1995 – UN peacekeepers leave, having failed to achieve their mission.

1996 – Warlord Muhammad Aideed dies of his wounds and is succeeded by his son, Hussein.

Puntland autonomy

1998 – Puntland region declares autonomy.

2000 August – Clan leaders and senior figures meeting in Djibouti elect Abdulkassim Salat Hassan president of Somalia.

Somali refugees in Kenyan border town

Fighting in 2002 led Somali civilians to seek safety in Kenya

2000 October – Hassan and his newly-appointed prime minister, Ali Khalif Gelayadh, arrive in Mogadishu to heroes’ welcomes. Gelayadh announces his government, the first in the country since 1991.

2001 April – Somali warlords, backed by Ethiopia, announce their intention to form a national government within six months, in direct opposition to the country’s transitional administration.

2001 August – UN appeals for food aid for half a million people in the drought-hit south.

2004 August – In 14th attempt since 1991 to restore central government, a new transitional parliament inaugurated at ceremony in Kenya. In October the body elects Abdullahi Yusuf as president.

Hussein Aideed, other faction leaders, at peace talks in Kenya 2004
2004 peace deal: Factions agreed to set up new parliament

2004 December – Tsunami waves generated by an undersea earthquake off Indonesia hit the Somali coast and the island of Hafun. Hundreds of deaths are reported; tens of thousands of people are displaced.

2005 February – June – Somali government begins returning home from exile in Kenya, but there are bitter divisons over where in Somalia the new parliament should sit.

2005 November – Prime Minister Ali Mohammed Ghedi survives an assassination attempt in Mogadishu. Gunmen attack his convoy, killing six people.

Islamist advance

2006 February – Transitional parliament meets in Somalia – in the central town of Baidoa – for the first time since it was formed in Kenya in 2004.

Sheikh Hassan Dahir Aweys
Sheikh Aweys: His Islamic militia controlled Mogadishu

2006 March and May – Scores of people are killed and hundreds are injured during fierce fighting between rival militias in Mogadishu. It is the worst violence in almost a decade.

2006 June-July – Militias loyal to the Union of Islamic Courts take control of Mogadishu and other parts of the south after defeating clan warlords.

Ethiopian troops reported in Somalia.

2006 July-August – Mogadishu’s air and seaports are re-opened for the first time since 1995.

2006 September – Transitional government and the Union of Islamic Courts begin peace talks in the Sudanese capital, Khartoum.

Somalia’s first known suicide bombing targets President Yusuf outside parliament in Baidoa.

2006 October – About 35,000 Somalis escaping drought, strict Islamist rule and the possibility of war have fled to Kenya refugee since the start of 2006, the UN reports.

War of words between Ethiopia and Somalia’s Islamists. Premier Meles says Ethiopia is “technically” at war with the Islamists because they had declared jihad on his country.

Islamists retreat

2006 December – UN Security Council resolution endorses African peacekeepers, specifies that neighbouring states should not deploy troops. Islamist leaders react by saying they will tackle foreign forces as invaders.

ETHIOPIA INTERVENES
Ethiopian soldier, Kismayu, January 2007
Ethiopian troops, government forces routed Islamist militias

Ethiopian and transitional government engage the Islamists in battle and soon put them to flight.

2006 December 27 – African Union, Arab League urge Ethiopia to pull out its troops. UN Security Council fails to agree on a statement calling on foreign forces to withdraw.

2006 December 28 – Joint Ethiopian and Somali government force captures Mogadishu.

2007 January – Islamists abandon their last stronghold, the port town of Kismayo.

President Abdullahi Yusuf enters Mogadishu for the first time since taking office in 2004.

US carries out air strikes in southern Somalia which it says targetted al-Qaeda figures, and which reportedly kill an unknown number of civilians. It is the first known direct US military intervention in Somalia since 1993. The strikes are defended by President Yusuf. They are condemned for killing innocent civilians.

Interim government imposes three-month state of emergency.

2007 February – UN Security Council authorises a six-month African Union peacekeeping mission for Somalia.

2007 March – African Union peacekeepers land at Mogadishu amid pitched battles between insurgents and government forces backed by Ethiopian troops. The Red Cross says it is the worst fighting in 15 years.

Humanitarian crisis grows

2007 April – UN says more than 320,000 Somalis have fled fighting in Mogadishu since February.

Hundreds of people are reported killed after several days of fierce clashes in the capital.

2007 May – The World Food Programme says a resurgence of piracy is threatening food supplies.

2007 June – A US warship shells suspected Al-Qaeda targets in Puntland.

Prime Minister Ghedi escapes a suicide car bomb attack on his compound.

Ethiopian Premier Meles Zenawi visits Mogadishu, pledging to withdraw his troops once peace takes hold.

2007 July – National reconciliation conference opens in Mogadishu and comes under mortar attack. Islamist leaders stay away from the talks.

Refugee exodus grows amid an upsurge in violence.

2007 August – Human Rights Watch accuses Ethiopian, Somali and insurgent forces of war crimes, and the UN Security Council of indifference during the recent conflict.

New opposition alliance

2007 September – Opposition groups form a new alliance to campaign for a military and diplomatic solution to the Somali conflict. They meet in Asmara, Eritrea.

2007 October – Ethiopian forces fire on demonstrators in Mogadishu protesting at the presence of what they call foreign invaders.

Heaviest fighting in Mogadishu reported since April. Ethiopians move reinforcements into the city.

CRACKDOWN ON PIRACY
French military seize pirates
French commandos snatch pirates in Somalia as foreign navies begin their fight-back

Prime Minister Ghedi resigns.

Aid agencies warn a catastrophe is unfolding in Somalia.

2007 November – Government shuts down Radio Shabelle, Radio Simba and Radio Banadir.

UN special envoy Ahmedou Ould-Abdallah describes Somalia’s humanitarian crisis the worst in Africa, suggests using international justice to curb the violence.

Nur Hassan Hussein, also known as Nur Adde, sworn in as new prime minister.

Number of Somali refugees hits one million, with nearly 200,000 fleeing the capital in the past two weeks, the UN reports.

2007 December – Ethiopian troops leave key central town of Guriel.

2008 January – Burundi becomes the second nation to contribute troops to the African Union peacekeeping force, sending 440 soldiers to Mogadishu.

US strikes

2008 March – US launches missile strike on southern town of Dhoble targeting suspected al-Qaeda member wanted for 2002 bombing of Israeli-owned hotel in Kenya.

Islamist-led insurgency continues to spread.

2008 April – EU calls for international efforts to tackle piracy off the Somali coast after a series of hijackings and attacks on vessels.

2008 April – US air strike kills Aden Hashi Ayro, a leader of the Al-Shabab insurgent group.

2008 May – Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi says he will keep troops inside Somalia until “jihadists” are defeated.

The UN Security Council unanimously votes to allow countries to send warships into Somalia’s territorial waters to tackle pirates.

2008 June – Government signs three-month ceasefire pact with opposition Alliance for Re-Liberation of Somalia.

The deal, which provides for Ethiopian troops to leave Somalia within 120 days, is rejected by Islamist leader Hassan Dahir Aweys, who says Union of Islamic Courts will not stop fighting until all foreign troops have left country.

2008 July – Head of the UN Development Programme in Somalia, Osman Ali Ahmed, killed by gunmen in Mogadishu.

Piracy concern

2008 September – Somali pirates’ hijacking of a Ukrainian ship carrying 33 tanks prompts widespread international concern. The US and other countries deploy navy ships to Somali waters.

2008 October – Nato agrees to despatch a naval force to patrol to waters off Somalia by the end of 2008, in an effort to control piracy.

A wave of coordinated bombings across the self-governing and relatively peaceful regions of Somaliland and Puntland, in Somalia’s north, kill at least 27 people.

2008 November – Somali pirates hijack an oil-laden Saudi super-tanker and demand a 25m dollar ransom for its return.

2008 December – Ethiopia announces plans to withdraw all forces by end of 2008.

President Abdullahi Yusuf tries to sack Prime Minister Nur Hassan Hussein over his attempts to draw moderate Islamists into the government. Parliament declares the dismissal unconstitutional and passes a vote of confidence in Mr Nur. Mr Yusuf resigns.

Al-Shabab advances

2009 January – Ethiopia completes the withdrawal of its troops. Fighters from the radical Islamist al-Shabab militia take control of the town of Baidoa, formerly a key stronghold of the transitional government.

Meeting in neighbouring Djibouti, Somalia’s parliament swears in 149 new members from the main opposition Alliance for the Re-Liberation of Somalia. It elects a moderate Islamist, Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed, president, and extends the transitional government’s mandate for another two years.

2009 February – President Ahmed selects Omar Abdirashid Ali Sharmarke as prime minister. Mr Sharmarke, a former diplomat, is widely seen as a bridge between Islamists within the Somali government and the international community.

2009 May – Islamist insurgents launch onslaught on Mogadishu.

2009 June – Somalia’s security minister and more than 20 other people are killed in a suicide bombing at a hotel in Beledweyne, north of the capital Mogadishu.

President Ahmed declares a state of emergency as violence intensifies. Somali officials appeal to neighbouring countries to send troops to Somalia, as government forces continue to battle Islamist insurgents.

2009 September – Al-Shabab proclaims allegiance to Al-Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden.

Islamist rivalry

2009 October – Al-Shabab wins control over the southern port city of Kismayo after defeating the rival Hizbul-Islam Islamist militia, which withdraws to villages to the west. At least 20 are killed and 70 injured in fighting that threatens to spread to the rest of the Islamist-controlled south.

2009 November – Pirates seize a supertanker carrying oil from Saudi Arabia to the US, one of the largest ships captured off Somalia. The Greek-owned Maran Centaurus was about 1,300km (800 miles) off Somalia when it was hijacked.

Kidnappers released journalists Amanda Lindhout and Nigel Brennan after 15 months in captivity.

2009 December – Al-Shabab denies being behind suicide attack that killed 22 people in Mogadishu, including three ministers.

2010 January – Al-Shabab declares it is ready to send fighters to support Islamist rebels in Yemen.

2010 February – Al-Shabab formally declares alliance with al-Qaeda, begins to concentrate troops in southern Mogadishu for a major offensive to capture the capital.

An Associated Press reporter in Mogadishu said the fighting is the heaviest since last May, when insurgents trying to topple the weak, U.N.-backed government launched massive attacks.

Residents fleeing the city said many of their relatives and neighbors are trapped in the war zone.

“My husband and six of my relatives and some of my neighbors are trapped inside their homes … by mortars and bullets flying every where,” said Dahabo Duhulow, a mother of six.

An Associated Press photo showed red couches piled high on a wooden, donkey-pulled cart as two Somalis helped propel the cart forward.

With his 2-year-old son clasped to his chest, Adow Yusuf Da’ud said that he had walked three hours through dangerous streets to escape the fighting.

“During the day and during the night, the shells were raining down into our residences,” Da’ud said. “We had to walk through the danger to escape. my oldest son is still there to take care of the house and the property”

More than half of those living in Somalia’s seaside capital have fled. Those remaining are mostly too poor to move or fear being attacked as they leave. Compounding their dilemma, an Islamist group issued a series of demands at the beginning of the year that caused the U.N.’s World Food Program to pull out of much of southern Somalia. Soon families fleeing into the countryside may find nothing to eat.

Neither the Islamists or the U.N.-backed government can take and hold enough ground for a decisive victory.

The government is supported by around 5,300 African Union peacekeepers, whose tanks and armored vehicles help them to outgun the insurgents. The insurgents favor mobile hit-and-run attacks, using snipers and mortar fire to make it hard for the government’s poorly trained and irregularly paid soldiers to hold their position.

The government hopes to break the stalemate with an upcoming offensive, but its launch has been delayed by problems that include inadequate equipment and training. There has been a surge in fighting since the beginning of the year, when the offensive was first being publicly discussed.

Even if the government push succeeds, few Somalis trust an administration that has failed to deliver even a semblance of services or security more than a year after it took power.

The arid Horn of Africa nation has not had a functioning government since the overthrow of a socialist dictator in 1991. Its civil war, which began into clan warfare, has morphed in recent years into a fight between an administration favored by the international community and an Islamist insurgency backed by hundreds of newly arrived foreign fighters.

They Robbed the world . Band Robbery on the name of the starving Millions…..

Who is right who is wrong  a smoking gun…

Master the arts of becoming rich and  famous  on the back of  th  starving African Dry bones, from Melese Zenawie and his intentional friends.”

They All Need to Return the Money Back  Both Sides to the international body…!!!



Paroles Michael Jackson We Are The World

There comes a time
When we hear a certain call
When the world must come together as one
There are people dying
And it’s time to lend a hand to give
The greatest gift of all

We can’t go on
Pretending day by day
That someone, somehow will soon make a change
We are all a part of
God’s great big family
And the truth, you know love is all we need

————–
==[Chorus]==
We Are The World
We are the children
We are the ones who make a brighter day
So let’s start giving
There’s a choice we’re making
We’re saving our own lives
It’s true we’ll make a better day
Just you and me

——
==
Send them your heart
So they’ll know that someone cares
And their lives will be stronger and free
As God has shown us by turning stone to bread
So we all must lend a helping hand

————–

———–
[Chorus]
We Are The World
We are the children
We are the ones who make a brighter day
So let’s start giving
There’s a choice we’re making


We’re saving our own lives
It’s true we’ll make a better day
Just you and me

When you’re down and out
There seems no hope at all
But if you just believe
There’s no way we can fall
Well, well, well, well, let us realize
That a change can only come
When we stand together as one

—————-

—————-
[Chorus]
We Are The World
We are the children
We are the ones who make a brighter day
So let’s start giving
There’s a choice we’re making
We’re saving our own lives
It’s true we’ll make a better day
Just you and me

Bob Geldof and the Dictator Meles Zenawie

2010 18:00
Addis Ababa – Bob Geldof said in Nairobi, Kenya that donor organizations involved in the distribution of relief in 19984/85 famine in Ethiopia at the time had condemned BBC’s recent allegation while discussing with Prime Minister Meles Zeanwi on Monday.
BBC’s allegation alleges that millions of pounds raised through Bob Geldof’s Live Aid concerts were diverted to fund TPLF rebel military operations in northern Ethiopia.

10 March 2010 11:22

Arrogant Bob Geldof, sponser of the Ethiopian Dictator attacks BBC

Bob Geldof upped the ante in the row between Band Aid and the BBC yesterday by calling for the director of the BBC World Service, Peter Horrocks – who is also the BBC’s director of global news – to be sacked.

The musician-turned-poverty campaigner also called for two other BBC journalists to be fired after various BBC news outlets claimed that 95 per cent of the $100m aid donated, by Live Aid and others, to fight famine in rebel-held northern Ethiopia in 1985 was diverted to be spent on weapons.

Geldof, who organised the Live Aid concerts that raised $250m to tackle famine Africa, also lamented the “intense systemic failure of the World Service”, which he said was once the jewel in the BBC’s journalistic crown.

He claimed there had been a “total collapse of standards and systems at the World Service which has a special and particular duty of care to the truth”.

The Band Aid Trust is preparing an official complaint to the broadcasting regulator Ofcom about the BBC story, which ran on all main BBC news outlets as well as the World Service.

Last night, the Live Aid organiser called for the sackings of Mr Horrocks, Andrew Whitehead, the World Service news and current affairs editor, and Martin Plaut, the originator of the story, which Geldof claimed was “thoroughly discredited and sexed up”.

Geldof said he was doubly disappointed because he had always been a great supporter of the World Service. He said it “beggared belief” that BBC journalists could take seriously a claim that 95 per cent of the aid to Tigray was spent on weapons. “Where were all the dead people then? If no one was getting food, why was nobody dying? That would have been one of the first questions I’d have asked,” he added. There were not many deaths in Tigray “because they were getting help – and massive amounts of it”, he insisted.

In an article in today’s Guardian newspaper, Geldof says the BBC World Service has a particular duty of care “because in thousands of small rooms in the many dark spots of our planet, people huddle secretly and in great danger [to listen to the World Service] to hear the reality and the truth behind their situation. And to tabloid all that away of an instant? Tragic beyond measure”.

He claims that the reporter, Mr Plaut, and his producers and editors, have, on the basis of unsubstantiated claims, compromised the neutrality of the Red Cross, which relies on its neutrality for access to war zones, dungeons and concentration camps.

“Just as the Ross-Brand affair exposed the systemic weaknesses of the BBC in the area of entertainment, so this now does in the news sector of the World Service – with far more drastic consequences,” Geldof adds. “Why did alarm bells not go off early on in this sorry tale? Where were the checks, balances, neutrality, even-handedness? They all failed at the World Service.”

Senior White House advisers, high-level United Nations delegates, senior British diplomats, many aid agencies, and the Prime Minister of Ethiopia who led the Tigray rebels at the time, had all refuted the BBC story, Geldof insisted, “and yet the World Service is so far off the rails it cannot recognise or acknowledge the truth”.

In addition to the sackings of the three journalists, he wants an immediate investigation into what he claims went wrong. “Steps should be taken to rectify the identified faults,” he says. “The World Service must work very hard to re-establish its hard-won and trusted reputation as the world broadcaster of excellence.”

The Independent asked for an interview with Mr Whitehead but a BBC spokesman said: “Sorry, we won’t be able to accommodate your request.Ethiopia.

===========================
=====
==

I Thursday 4th March, 2010

Irish singer Bob Geldof is said to have been left furious after claims broadcast on BBC said that the millions of dollars raised by Band Aid were diverted to Ethiopian rebels.

Band Aid was a charity featuring British and Irish musicians, founded by Geldof, 58, in 1984.

Allegations that 95 percent of aid money donated to help victims of the 1985 Ethiopian famine were siphoned off had been made in a BBC radio programme broadcast on March 3.

Two former senior commanders in the Tigrayan People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) told the BBC that a vast majority of the money was stolen by rebels to buy weapons for their fight to overthrow the Ethiopian Government.

The claims sparked controversy, not least because one of the rebel leaders implicated was Meles Zenawi, now the Prime Minister of Ethiopia and still a leading recipient of Western aid.

Band Aid officials used networks of aid agencies to deliver relief through Sudan to the epicentre of the famine in rebel-held Tigray.

Aregawi Berhe, the former military commander of the TPLF, told the BBC that rebels put on a “drama” to get their hands on the relief money, posing as merchants and handing over bags of sand instead of grain in exchange for cash delivered by naive Western aid workers.

Gebremedhin Araya, another former rebel leader, told the BBC that he was “given clothes to make me look like a Muslim merchant”.

Nick Guttmann, Christian Aid’s director of emergency relief operations, fell short of denying the allegations but said that the story needed to be put into context.

“We were working in a major conflict, there was a massive famine and people on all sides were suffering. Both the rebels and the Government were using innocent civilians to further their political ends,” Times Online quoted him as saying.

Geldof dismissed the claims, saying, “the story and the figures just don’t add up”.

“If that percentage of money had been diverted, far more than a million people would have died,” he said.

“It’s possible that in one of the worst, longest-running conflicts on the continent some money was mislaid. But to suggest it was on this scale is just b******s,” he stated.

Geldof’s stance was supported in a letter to the BBC by former Band Aid officials, including their Ethiopia director, which said that all the money dispensed in Tigray had been accounted for by the organisation.

“The public should not think that the money they so generously contributed to one of the poorest countries in the world was misused or given in vain,” it said.

Max Peberdy, a Christian Aid worker whom the rebels claimed to have tricked into handing over 500,000 dollars, said he did not believe that the money was diverted.

“It’s 25 years since this happened and it’s the first time anybody has claimed such a thing,” he said.

Geldof blamed the story on the grievances nursed by the two former rebel commanders, who had since fallen out with their former compatriots and fled into exile in the Netherlands.

Jamie Drummond, executive director of One, the charity co-founded by Geldof and Bono, said that he had travelled to Tigray with Geldof six weeks ago to see agricultural projects that were funded by Band Aid and Live Aid – which he said could not have been achieved if the BBC’s allegations were true.

The BBC has stood by its report. (ANI)

Bob Geldof anger at BBC over Band Aid allegations

guardian.co.uk, Tuesday 9 March 2010 23.00 GMT

Bob Geldof has launched a furious attack on the BBC World Service over its claim that 95% of the $100m aid raised to fight famine in northern Ethiopia was diverted by rebels and spent on weapons.

Writing in today’s Guardian, the musician and mastermind of the 1985 Live Aid concerts accuses the World Service of a “total collapse of standards and systems”, threatens it with legal action and calls for the sacking of the reporter behind the story, his editor and the head of the World Service, Peter Horrocks.

Geldof also uses the Guardian’s Comment is Free website to lash out at the journalist Rageh Omaar for penning a “ridiculous” opinion piece for the site on Monday in which the former BBC correspondent defended the corporation’s story and its right to investigate the fate of millions of pounds of aid money.

The row began last week when the World Service broadcast an Assignment programme in which a former Ethiopian rebel commander claimed that in 1985, only 5% of the $100m destined for famine relief in the northern province of Tigray reached the hungry.

The report, by the World Service’s Africa editor, Martin Plaut, also carried an allegation from another former rebel that the Tigrayan People’s Liberation Front had tricked aid workers into giving them money meant to buy food for the starving.

Geldof and the Band Aid Trust are talking to some of the world’s biggest charities – including Oxfam, Unicef, the Red Cross, Christian Aid and Save the Children – about reporting the BBC to the broadcasting watchdog Ofcom and the corporation’s governing body, the BBC Trust.

But Geldof has now announced his intention to go further.

“We will also take a view on what, if any, legal action we may take both against the journalist in question and the World Service in general,” he writes. “Martin Plaut, [the BBC World Service news and current affairs editor] Andrew Whitehead and Peter Horrocks should be fired. There should be an immediate investigation into what went wrong, steps should be taken to rectify the identified faults and the World Service must work very, very hard to re-establish its trust and hard-won reputation as the world broadcaster of excellence.”

In his article, Omaar had argued that while the interplay of politics and aid was complicated, the BBC felt it had uncovered “credible evidence” during a nine-month investigation and was entitled to broadcast its findings.

He added: “As a Somali, looking at what happened in my country during the US-led humanitarian intervention in 1992 and what is happening today, what I find unacceptable is that a humanitarian operation can be elevated to the status of being above criticism.”

Geldof, however, has hit back at Omaar – and the media as a whole – for continuing to cover the allegations, which he insists are baseless.

“How can you deign to lecture on being above criticism, prompted by the criticism I meted out last weekend to your incompetent mate and his associates at the Beeb, while falling back on the implied assumption that you and by extension all journalists, are above the criticism yourselves? Get it straight, pal – you are not. Either as individuals or an organisation. It’s about time a little more humility was allowed into your closed, self-regarding media world. But like the bankers and the MPs these days, you lot just don’t get it, do you?

He also asks Omaar why Plaut’s allegations have only now surfaced.

“Band Aid has been under the most intensive scrutiny since and most particularly during the mid-80s. Quite rightly too. Pretty weird, however, that not a single one of the dozens of journalists who have travelled with me or covered Band Aid ‘discovered’ Martin Plaut’s ‘story’.”

A BBC spokesman said the World Service would continue to defend its report.

“This was a well-researched programme and the BBC stands by its journalism,” he said. “We are happy to repeat that there is no suggestion that any relief agency was complicit in any diversion of funds”.

However, a senior BBC source told the Guardian that there was concern about the amount of criticism that “a relatively obscure documentary [which] didn’t even mention Band Aid” had attracted. He said: “We are concerned we are going to come under fire. We hear from sensible people in the aid business that ‘of course money went missing – we are just concerned about the 95% figure’ [but] Bob Geldof’s exaggeration that ‘not a penny went missing’ looks ridiculous to us”

Bob Geldof: My rage at this World Service calumny

Rageh Omaar’s defence of the discredited BBC report on Band Aid beggars belief. He ignores the total collapse of standards at the World Service

Rageh Omaar’s piece “Even Band Aid is not above criticism” is ridiculous. It is of course not about me, or Band Aid, but rather a defence of journalistic exceptionalism, and the now thoroughly discredited BBC World Service programme that “sexed up” a claim that nigh-on the entire humanitarian relief effort by all aid agencies was diverted to arms in Tigray province in 1985.

He allies himself with the programme’s dubious technique of using a “star” name to attract attention to an otherwise unexceptional or dubious point of view in the hope that it will gather attention.

So let me first say that far from being above criticism, should Rageh or the World Service colleague he seeks to protect have done the basic journalistic gig of doing a teensy bit of research before they write their stories by, say, doing something basic like maybe Googling my name, he would immediately be overwhelmed by a 35-year torrent of vituperation and condemnation of everything about me – from my suspiciously foreign-sounding name to my shaving and bathing habits, hairstyle (fair enough!), my partners, children, domestic life, temperament, driving habits, political views, attitudes, clothing, style, music, driving and on and on. No, Rageh, rest assured, I am definitely not above criticism – but again, please, for the sake of veracity, and again, I extend this to the wretched Martin Plaut, your fellow journalist, stop venturing palpably untrue statements dressed up as fact.

And how arrogant you are, how self-important, that you should deign to lecture on the implied assumption that you, and by extension all journalists – and specifically in this case the BBC World Service – are above the criticism that you are so busily wagging your finger at me for, and which I (clearly getting above my station) have last weekend meted out to your incompetent mate and his associates at the Beeb. Get it straight, pal – you are not. Either as individuals or organisations. It’s about time a little humility was allowed into your closed self-regarding little media world. But like the bankers and the MPs these days, you lot just don’t get it, do you?

As for Band Aid, well, as a trustee said to me, sickened upon seeing the shameful Times cartoon which accepted the BBC story as gospel (of course) without asking any questions: “We’ve taken it on the chin for 25 years and never said anything. Not this time.” Definitely not this time. The Band Aid Trust is reporting BBC World Service to Ofcom and the BBC board of directors, and we have requested transcripts of all interviews from the show in question from the deputy chairman of the BBC. We will also take a view on what legal action we may take both against the journalist in question and World Service in general. Criticism, no problem, Rageh. Calumny, no.

Band Aid, too, Mr Omaar, has been a constant target over the years, had you but had the decency to bother checking before uttering your pathetic interpretation of press freedom as allowing any clown carte blanche to interpret reporting as an excuse for half-truth, distortion, and innuendo and unsubstantiated claims. The journalism of “making it up”.

As you probably know anyway, but it just doesn’t fit into your pompous guff this time, Band Aid has been under the most intensive scrutiny since and most particularly during the mid-80s. Quite rightly, too. We have an obligation to all those who entrusted us with their money and more particularly to those in whose name it was given. That is what I and my fellow trustees have been doing for the last 26 years. Same guys, same trust. And we ain’t stopping now. Pretty weird, however, that not one, not a single one of the dozens of journalists of record and others who have travelled with me or covered Band Aid “discovered” Martin Plaut’s “story” (and story is indeed what it is). Some feel the press has a right to lie. Rageh, no such right exists.

The real story of this sorry saga is the intense systemic failure of the World Service, that cherry on the cake of the BBC’s reputation. It’s a rotten old cherry these days. And I am as bereft as a jilted lover. Of all the taxes I pay, I pay only one gladly – my licence fee. I am Mr World Service. I have done ads promoting the BBC, I have written and spoken in its defence, it is indeed the BBC who started me and others on this African journey; I believe it must, at all costs, be retained very similar to what it is now, albeit cutting away the deadwood and slack. But basically: “I Want My BBC!”

But this BBC story was neither about me nor Band Aid. By disingenuously posturing as “serious” reporting, it pretended the total failure and negligence of all the great humanitarian workers and their organisations in the worst famine in modern times, and how miraculously not one of them spotted that no one was getting food despite everyone supplying it!

It beggars belief that anyone would take that seriously. Where were all the dead people then? If no one was getting food, why was nobody dying? That would have been one of the first questions I’d have asked. But they weren’t dying because they were getting help, and massive amounts of it. But of course no one did ask where the bodies were at the World Service. That and many, many, other unasked questions.

No, this story here is of the total collapse of standards and systems at the World Service, which has a special and particular duty of care to the truth. Why? Because in hundreds – perhaps thousands – of small rooms in the many dark spots of our planet people huddle secretly and in great danger to hear the reality and the truth behind their situation. Because in deserts and jungles, I have listened to the world tell its story to me through this miraculous brave station. And to tabloid all that away of an instant? Tragic beyond measure.

Where were the producers and editors and seniors? Why was Plaut allowed to go mad on his pre- and post- media interview circus around the world with bonkers wild accusations? Just to get an audience? Did he and the World Service for one second comprehend the enormous damage and danger he immediately put every humanitarian worker in? Particularly the huge, brave and brilliant Red Cross? Did he not consider, for one microsecond, the consequences of accusing them, with absolutely no evidence whatsoever, that they had handed over 95% of their cash to purchase arms?

It literally beggars belief at the enormity of the consequence had his lie not been nailed immediately and with as much vehemence as could be mustered. How appalling the utter and total disregard or incomprehension of the result of his actions. What if the Red Cross, now compromised in their neutrality, were ordered away from war zones, or forbidden access to the deepest dungeons, or concentration camps? What then, Rageh Omaar and Martin Plaut? What then of your smug certitudes and thin pieties? Then you could report on the blood on your own hands rather than falsely smear it over the hands of others. How dare you, Rageh Omaar, attempt to defend the awful indefensible. Just for that alone, Plaut should be fired. You people, you self-important mediators of “news”, should wise up and accept a little humility rather than attack the aid agencies and their workers for being above criticism and ask yourself, as I do, who the hell are you to lecture?

Just as the Ross-Brand affair exposed the systemic weaknesses of the BBC in the area of entertainment, so this now does in the news sector of the World Service – albeit with far more drastic consequences. Where were the editors, subs and producers? As the Independent rightly asked, “Did the bells not go off” early on in this sorry tale? Where were the checks, balances, neutrality, even-handedness? They all failed at the World Service. Worse, they inconsistently and continuously contradicted themselves in their ludicrously pompous Rorke’s Drift-type face-saving insistence on “sticking by their story”. Well, they were right in the use of the word “story”.

Despite the on-the record refutation of everything in Plaut’s report by very senior White House advisers, high-level UN delegates, senior British ex-ambassadors and diplomats, all the aid agencies, the leader of rest the Tigrayan relief group at the time, the prime minister of Ethiopia and rebel leader at the time, and me, and without a single shred of evidence, not one iota of evidence, they cannot bear to acknowledge the grim reality, the actual truth – that they were wrong. The BBC World Service is so far off the rails it quite literally cannot recognise or acknowledge truth when it encounters it.

Martin Plaut, Andrew Whitehead and Peter Horrocks should be fired. There should be an immediate investigation into what went wrong; steps should be taken to rectify the identified faults; and the World Service must work very, very hard to re-establish its glorious trust and hard-won reputation as the world broadcaster of excellence.

Melese Zenawie inamte of Karadzic sooner …

Karadzic Trial Resumes March 1, Court Rejects Delay





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Genocide!!!

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What is Genocide?

An Evolving International Framework

Genocide is a term created during the Holocaust and declared an international crime in the 1948 United Nations Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide. The Convention defines genocide as any of the following acts committed with the intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such:

a. Killing members of the group;
b. Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group;
c. Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part;
d. Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group;
e. Forcibly transferring children of the group to another group.

The specific “intent to destroy” particular groups is unique to genocide. A closely related category of international law, crimes against humanity, is defined as widespread or systematic attacks against civilians.

This timeline traces the development of the word and law of genocide.

Karadzic Trial Resumes March 1, Court Rejects Delay

Former Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic in the courtroom of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) in the Hague in November 2009

February 26, 2010
AMSTERDAM (Reuters) — The war crimes trial of Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic will resume on March 1, judges at the Yugoslavia tribunal have ruled, dismissing his request for a postponement.

Karadzic, who denies all 11 counts of war crimes relating to the 1992-95 Bosnian war, had asked for a further delay of his trial after judges appointed London-based barrister Richard Harvey in November as his lawyer and postponed the trial to March 1.

“A further postponement would be a drastic measure that would, concurrently, have real repercussions for the parties’ rights to a fair and expeditious trial,” the court’s judges said in statement which was signed by Presiding Judge O-Gon Kwon.

Karadzic had said more time was necessary until the court’s appeals chamber had ruled on one of his appeals against Harvey’s appointment and there was a decision on defence funding.

On February 12, the appeal chamber said Harvey could stay on as counsel because of Karadzic’s “persistent obstructive behavior.” Harvey was appointed after Karadzic boycotted the first three days of his trial in October.

Harvey’s exact role in the trial will be determined after Karadzic has given his opening statements on March 1 and 2, the judges said.

If Karadzic, who has said he plans to attend the March 1 opening, continues to boycott the rest of the trial, he loses his right to represent himself and the appointed lawyer will take over.

Karadzic, who was captured in July 2008 after 11 years on the run, is being charged with the genocide of 8,000 Muslim men and boys at Srebrenica, the worst atrocity of the Bosnian conflict, and responsibility in the 43-month siege of Sarajevo beginning in 1992.

An estimated 10,000 people died in the siege as the former Yugoslavia was torn apart in the 1990s by Serbs, Croats and Muslims fighting for land.

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1945-1946

A New, but Limited, Legal Sanction is Issued

Allied forces codified the general principle of “crimes against humanity” into enforceable law and prosecuted Nazi war criminals for atrocities they committed against both their own and other nation’s citizens. However, the law was limited in scope, applying only to crimes committed during an international conflict.

The Charter of the International Military Tribunal (1945) defined crimes against humanity as “murder, extermination, enslavement, deportation, and other inhumane acts committed against any civilian population, before or during the war; or persecutions on political, racial, or religious grounds in execution of or in connection with any crime within the jurisdiction of the Tribunal, whether or not in violation of the domestic law of the country where perpetrated.” The definition of crimes against humanity was further refined during the process of drafting the Rome Statute (1998) which created the International Criminal Court.

1950-1990s

The Promise Goes Unfulfilled

Though massive atrocities against civilian populations were committed in the years following the Holocaust and throughout the Cold War, the very countries that signed their names to the Genocide Convention scarcely considered whether these crimes constituted genocide.

Not one country invoked the Genocide Convention when the Khmer Rouge (1975–79) regime in Cambodia caused the deaths of an estimated 1.7 million people. Cambodia itself ratified the convention in 1950. These prisoners were interred at Tuol Sleng (Security Prison 21), a secret center operated by the Khmer Rouge in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. Documentation Center of Cambodia, Phnom Penh

1994

After the Genocide Ends, the World Creates a Tribunal for Rwanda

From April through mid-July, at least 500,000 civilians, mostly of the Tutsi minority, were murdered with devastating brutality and speed while the international community looked on. In October, the UN Security Council extended the mandate of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia to include a separate but linked tribunal for Rwanda, the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, located in Arusha, Tanzania.

1998

A Permanent Court to Prosecute Atrocities against Civilians is Established

Through an international treaty ratified on July 17, 1998, the International Criminal Court was permanently established to prosecute genocide, crimes against humanity, and war crimes. The treaty reconfirmed the definition of genocide found in the 1948 Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide. It also expanded the definition of crimes against humanity and prohibits these crimes during times of war or peace.

Crimes Against Humanity: Any of the following acts when committed as part of a widespread or systematic attack directed against any civilian population, with knowledge of the attack:

(a) Murder;
(b) Extermination
(c) Enslavement
(d) Deportation or forcible transfer of population
(e) Imprisonment or other severe deprivation of physical liberty in violation of fundamental rules of international law
(f) Torture
(g) Rape, sexual slavery, enforced prostitution, forced pregnancy, enforced sterilization, or any other form of sexual violence of comparable gravity
(h) Persecution against any identifiable group or collectivity on political, racial, national, ethnic, cultural, religious, gender as defined in paragraph 3, or other grounds that are universally recognized as impermissible under international law, in connection with any act referred to in this paragraph or any crime within the jurisdiction of the Court
(i) Enforced disappearance of persons
(j) The crime of apartheid
(k) Other inhumane acts of a similar character intentionally causing great suffering, or serious injury to body or to mental or physical health.

2004

U.S. Declares that Genocide Is Occuring in Darfur, Sudan

Testifying before the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee on September 9, 2004, Secretary of State Colin Powell declared that “genocide has been committed in Darfur.” Though the United Nations and other governments agreed on the scale of atrocities being committed against civilians, they did not declare them “genocide.”

December 2003 Ethiopian Genocide

World Organization Against Torture and Genocide Watch respond to Ethiopian Prime Minister’s denial of massacres of Anuaks in interview with Reuters

Geneva – Washington, 5 May 2004

The International Secretariat of the World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT) and Genocide Watch reiterate the need for an independent and impartial investigation into reports of massacres of members of the Anuak community, mass rapes, forced disappearances, torture and burning of homes and crops in the Gambella region in Ethiopia.

Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi, in an interview with Reuters on 29 April 2004, dismissed reports that the Ethiopian army targeted and killed Anuaks as ‘fiction’ and said that at the most 200 people had been killed in clashes in the region. He stated that the “only people who had been killed by the military in the area were armed Anuak insurgents who had staged cross-border raids from Sudan.”

Genocide Watch, Survivors’ Rights International (SRI), and OMCT have previously drawn the attention of the international community to reports that Ethiopian government troops and ‘highlander’ militias massacred 424 Anuak civilians, including women and children and the elderly, in December 2003. Genocide Watch and SRI interviewed eyewitnesses and documented the massacres in the Gambella region in a 23-page joint report released in February 2004, titled ‘Today is the Day of Killing Anuaks’. A list detailing the names, gender and ages of the 424 people who were killed has also been compiled. Genocide Watch sent a letter to Mr. Zenawi on 8 January 2004 urging him to prevent the massacres from becoming full-scale genocide.  The letter also called on Mr. Zenawi to order the arrest of the perpetrators of the massacres, and named three Ethiopian government officials responsible for the killings.  Genocide Watch has received no reply to its letter to Mr. Zenawi.  The named officials have been promoted to positions of more authority, rather than arrested.

Following its own fact-finding in Gambella, the U.S. government called for “transparent, independent” inquiries into the violence in which hundreds were killed. In a statement from Washington on 20 February 2004, the U.S. said the Ethiopian government must investigate allegations that its troops were involved in the killings. On 25 March 2004, the European Union Council of Ministers called for “a full and independent enquiry into suggestions of involvement by members of the Ethiopian military in violence directed against innocent civilians” in the Gambella region of Ethiopia.

“We have interviewed numerous victims and eyewitnesses from the minority Anuak ethnic group who fled south-western Ethiopia in the wake of massive and unprovoked violence against unarmed men, women and children,” said Genocide Watch/SRI researcher Keith Harmon Snow. “We have collected detailed testimony suggesting that acts of genocide and crimes against humanity were committed against unarmed civilians by Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Defense Forces (EPRDF) and ‘highlander’ militias.”

“There is irrefutable evidence of atrocities against thousands of civilians, and we continue to receive reports of killings and mass rape,” Mr. Snow said. “We are very concerned about rural areas where communications and access to civilians are prevented by isolation and a heavy military presence. On April 27, for example, we received reports of four girls and three farmers allegedly shot dead by EPRDF soldiers in Pinyudo and Abobo districts, but assessment of the scale of the violence in rural areas remains difficult because the government has prohibited access by independent investigators.”

Recent reports received by OMCT and Genocide Watch allege that killings and other acts of ethnic cleansing are continuing. On 8 April 2004, The United Nations Commission on Human Rights heard testimony estimating that between 13 December 2003 and 31 March 2004, the total number of persons killed had reached 1,137. (See http://www.genocidewatch.org/ethiopiastatementobang.htm.) These reports need to be investigated carefully, considering the massacres and other violations documented in December, accounts of ongoing violence from families of victims and other local sources, as well as information collected from the thousands of refugees who continue to flee to Pochalla in Sudan. Although the total numbers of victims are estimates, OMCT and Genocide Watch believe that the Government cannot dismiss the consistent accounts of scores of eyewitnesses as fabrications.

Mr. Zenawi has stated that, “Without the intervention of the army, the killings would have continued indefinitely.” This statement is in stark contrast to reports from victims and eyewitnesses to Genocide Watch and SRI and to documentation by a member of the OMCT network that uniformed Ethiopian troops incited highlanders to commit violence and led attacks on Anuak civilians in Gambella and the surrounding areas. The killings were allegedly ordered by Tsegaye Beyene, commander of the Ethiopian Army in Gambella, with the authorization of Dr. Gebrehab Barnabas, an official of the Ethiopian government. According to reports, the Ethiopian army continues to commit atrocities against Anuak civilians daily. The situation is reported to be so severe that OMCT, Genocide Watch and SRI have called for the withdrawal of Ethiopian government troops from the region.

The Ethiopian Parliament has mandated the establishment of an independent commission to investigate the reports of violence. While OMCT and Genocide Watch view this is as a positive development, and a recognition by the Parliament of the seriousness of the situation, we have raised profound concerns about the independence, composition and mandate of the commission that has been set up. One of the alleged planners of the attacks has even been named Chairman of the commission. The commission appointed seems to have been designed to “whitewash” the crimes committed. These concerns have not been addressed by Mr. Zenawi.

Genocide Watch and OMCT repeat the urgent requests that we have made to the Ethiopian government, urging an immediate halt to all military operations against Anuaks, and independent and impartial investigations to bring the perpetrators of massacres, mass rapes, torture, and other grave human rights violations to justice. We also strongly urge the government to invite independent UN human rights experts to visit the Gambella region, in order for them to carry out unrestricted investigations into these atrocities. Immediate access to the region by international monitoring groups and humanitarian assistance must also be guaranteed.