Saturday, April 30, 2011

Christian News Agency » Blog Archive » Ethiopia Evangelist Killed, Pregnant Wife Injured-BosNewsLife

Devoted Christians can face persecution in several parts of Ethiopia, rights groups say.
Devoted Christians can face persecution in several parts of Ethiopia, rights groups say.

ADDIS ABABA, ETHIOPIA (BosNewsLife)-- Christians in Ethiopia were mourning Thursday, April 28, after Muslim extremists reportedly killed an evangelist and assaulted his pregnant wife.

The attack happened last week, April 21, in the south-central town of Worabe, an area that is 97 percent Muslim, Christian rights activists said.

"Muslims lured Evangelist Abraham Abera from Kale Hiwot Church, his home and place of ministry, and told him that his friend was sick and needed immediate attention. Abraham left with the men, who turned on him, beating him with rods," explained advocacy group International Christian Concern (ICC) in a statement.

ICC, which has close contacts with Christians in the region, said the evangelist's pregnant wife, Birtukan, was also attacked when she tried to intervene. "Abraham died on the spot and his wife, who sustained a severe head injury, was left unconscious in the street. She was found and taken to a hospital in [the town of] Butajira, where she regained consciousness on April 22 and was able to recount the details of the attack," ICC added.

Birtukan reportedly said that as Muslims were beating her and her husband, they told them, "You (Christians) are growing in number in our area. You are spreading your message (the gospel). We will destroy you."


Though Birtukan did suffer injuries to her mid-section, her unborn baby "did fortunately survive the attack,"ICC added. Ethiopian officials could not immediately be reached amid reports that the suspects remain at large.

Birtukan reportedly said she knew at least two two of the attackers. She said Christians have suggested that the men may not be arrested because local officials are also Muslims.

"Christians in Worabe and its surrounding areas are persecuted at the hands of Muslim radicals, and the local government officials, who are Muslims, don’t protect Christians. We urge the higher government authorities [state and federal officials] to intervene and protect us," ICC quoted an unidentified Christian leader as saying.

"The brutal killing of Evangelist Abraham and the beating of his wife, Birtukan, is deeply troubling. We urge the federal government authorities to investigate this latest attack as well as reports of persecution against Christians in the Silte zone," stressed Jonathan Racho, ICC’s Regional Manager for Africa.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

|Resolve Nile water row-Business Daily:  -

The ancient Egyptian civilisation was, not unlike the rest, anchored on the waters of a major river—the Nile in this case.
A strong agriculture economy leveraged some of the most significant construction and scholarly works known to man thanks to the river that originates in the East African region.
Over time, Egypt and their colonial overlords who also held sway in neighbouring Sudan came to assume an imperious stance over the Nile waters.
Even the ascension of the revolutionary regime of the Gamal Abdul Nasser with its strong emphasis on decolonisation did not see it fit to change the 1929 colonial treaty on the Nile.
In short, Egyptian stand on the sharing and control of the Nile waters has been imperialistic and patronising.
With the support of Sudan, it has opposed any attempt at amending the Nile Treaty.
To an extent, that is understandable as the country’s lifeline is the river.
But it should put into consideration the kind of economic and demographic developments that have taken place upstream over the decades, nay centuries, it has enjoyed unchallenged control of the Nile waters.
Things are even probable to change more as Southern Sudan, until recently a neglected mass of poverty, embarks on restarting the development process so cruelly halted by the Khartoum regime since the British left the black south to the tender mercies of the Arab overlords.
The rest of the region—Uganda, Ethiopia, Kenya, Burundi, Congo and Rwanda—are also experiencing economic and income growths meaning they have to tap the waters for electricity and food production.
That is why last year they threw their weight behind the Co-operative Framework Agreement (CFA) on the sharing and control of the waters.
As expected, the then Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak in a jingoistic response denounced the new pact as his then water and irrigation minister Mohamed Allam declared it “an act of war.”
The Egyptians want further negotiations. Fortunately, the East African Community presidents have called for more talks to settle the matter.
While Egypt may be in political chaos, it is important to settle the issue fairly and amicably for the benefit of all countries.
This is because the CFA will qualify as an international treaty once the national parliaments ratify the same.

Extremism in Middle East may be a product of American fear, Ed Husain says | NYU's Daily Student Newspaper

For Ed Husain, a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations and the author of "The Islamist," North American fear of Islamic extremism is sometimes a self-fulfilling prophecy.

"The more we demonize them [Arabs] here in the West, the more likely they are to be lionized in the Middle East," Husain said.
"Too much demonizing in the public leads America to the result that they didn't want in the first place."
Husain, who founded the Quilliam Foundation, a think tank that promotes counter-extremism, spoke at Wagner Graduate School of Public Service on Monday about the interaction between the West and the Middle East, particularly in light of the recent unrest in Egypt and Syria.
According to Husain, young Arabs are now interested in universally significant issues that transcend national and cultural boundaries, such as education and health care. They have used "soft power tools" such as Facebook, Twitter and constant news coverage to spread news about revolutions and increase their presence in the Middle East. In addition, Husain pointed out that many Arabs believe that Americans are only interested in three aspects: oil, Israel and counter-terrorism.
Yet Islamic extremism remains in the Middle East, where the Muslim Brotherhood, the oldest and largest Islamic opposition organization, will be a popular asset in the new Egyption government, Husain said. Members of the Muslim Brotherhood told Husain they applaud those who commit suicide bombings.
For first-year Wagner student Jocelyn Scherr, the discussion served as preparation for her summer internship in Jordan.
"I came to this to get a better understanding on important political actions going on right now," she said.
Although the United States seeks to play an active part in aiding these nations, for Husain, the future of U.S. involvement in the
Middle East is uncertain.
"Egypt is craving United States assistance," he said, "but we do not know what is going to happen next."

Saturday, April 23, 2011

SOMALIA: Senior officer of Ethiopian consulate in Puntland assassinated | RBC Radio

By: Malyun Ali
Galkaio (RBC) Unknown gun men assassinated senior officer working for the Ethiopian consulate in Puntland, RBC Radio reports.
According to eyewitness in Galkaio gun men shot dead Mr. Mukhtar Sheikh Ali, Somali-Ethiopian citizen in Galkaio on Friday evening.
“The killing occurred at about 8:00.p.m. the backside of Galkaio stadium”, an eyewitness told RBC Radio with a condition of anonymity.
Mukhtar Sheikh Ali, 55 already served as the former district commissioner in Galladi district of Ethiopia administrated eastern region of Kilin-5 inhabited by Somalis.
RBC Radio correspondent in Galkaio says the cause of the killing is still unclear and the event came as Galkaio town experiences growing insecurity cases in the last two weeks.
Two suspects were arrested for the case, security officer confirmed to RBC Radio.
The Ethiopian consulate in Garowe, the capital of Somalia’s semi-autonomous state of Puntland was opened on May 2009, to focus the security issues as well as the trade and immigration matters in the two administrations.
RBC Radio

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1 Response for “SOMALIA: Senior officer of Ethiopian consulate in Puntland assassinated”

  1. koster says:
    One hodam/traitor less, he should have known when he served his master – major killer and looter Meles Zenawi. But the matter should be investigated properly because woyanes kill also their “servants” so as to create enemity among the various tribes. If all are united, woyane/Meles reign of terror will be shortenend so he plays what is called divide and rule/kill/loot.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

, "The War in Libya: Race, 'Humanitarianism,' and the Media" Maximilian Forte

The War in Libya:
Race, "Humanitarianism," and the Media
by Maximilian Forte

Firing for Media Effect: Setting the "African" Agenda

"We left behind our friends from Chad. We left behind their bodies. We had 70 or 80 people from Chad working for our company. They cut them dead with pruning shears and axes, attacking them, saying you're providing troops for Gadhafi. The Sudanese, the Chadians were massacred. We saw it ourselves." (A Turkish oilfield worker who fled Libya, speaking to the BBC and quoted in NPR's "In Libya, African Migrants Say They Face Hostility," 25 February 2011)

"I am a worker, not a fighter. They took me from my house and [raped] my wife," he said, gesturing with his hands. Before he could say much more, a pair of guards told him to shut up and hustled him through the steel doors of a cell block, which quickly slammed behind them. Several reporters protested and the man was eventually brought back out. He spoke in broken, heavily accented English and it was hard to hear and understand him amid the scrum of scribes pushing closer. He said his name was Alfusainey Kambi, and again professed innocence before being confronted by an opposition official, who produced two Gambian passports. One was old and tattered and the other new. And for some reason, the official said the documents were proof positive that Kambi was a Kadafi operative. . . . All I know is that the Geneva Convention explicitly prohibits prisoners of war from being paraded and questioned before cameras of any kind. But that's exactly what happened today. The whole incident just gave me a really bad vibe, and thank God it finally ended . . . . [O]ur interpreter, a Libyan national, asked [LA Times reported David] Zucchino: "So what do you think? Should we just go ahead and kill them?" (Luis Sinco, "Journalists Visit Prisoners Held by Rebels in Libya," Los Angeles Times, 23 March 2011)

To what extent is the revolt in Libya a continuation of earlier race riots against the presence of migrant workers from Sub-Saharan Africa? Where do members of the Gaddafi regime, some of whom were apparently responsible for setting security forces against those migrants, fit in with the current rebel leadership? How does the calculated cultivation of racial fear and racially selective xenophobia tie in with calls for foreign military ("humanitarian") intervention? How might intervening powers be providing cover for another massacre, one that is color-coded and rendered invisible? How do the mass media, social media, and government pronouncements from NATO members feed off each other? When both sides in a war have killed civilians, by what definition of "humanitarianism" do we intercede on one side in an armed conflict?

One of the interesting and very neglected features of the current "humanitarian intervention" in Libya is the extent to which it implicitly buys into racialized nationalist myths produced on the ground in Libya, adopting them without question and thus without concern for context, with little in the way of a critical examination of the media manipulation and calculated spread of racial fear by the leadership of "the rebels." It is not a simple matter of the Libyan opposition showing signs of xenophobia -- if that were true, it would resent the involvement of North Americans and Europeans. Instead, this is a racially selective xenophobia, with a preferential option for Western (i.e., U.S. and European) intervention, and against the presence of "Africans" (code for Sub-Saharan, black Africans). It reminds me of an old racial saying I learned in the Caribbean, truncated here: "If you're white, you're alright . . . and if you're black, go back." The point here is to explore and critique an issue that thus far exists only on the margins of media coverage and human rights discourse around Libya, that being the extent to which racism, and specifically the demonization of Sub-Saharan Africans, provides the unifying logic that bridged local revolt with imperial intervention.

In a situation where we have been told so little, and so many blind spots have been calculatingly put in place, what is apparent?

First, it was right from the intended start of the national protests (that is, Feb. 17 -- although protests in fact began two days earlier) that several opposition spokesmen, anonymous "Libyan" Twitter accounts, and other persons who would become associated with the insurgents'"Transitional National Council" (TNC) produced the paradox of racial/racist hysteria and humanitarian intervention. This was a double-barreled rhetoric: one barrel firing off accusations about foreign/black/African mercenaries engaged in "massacres" against Libyans, and the other barrel firing off demands for immediate Western intervention in the form of a no-fly zone -- the latter to help protect against the former. The two went together -- that is not an adventurous conclusion, as the two came together.

This merits repetition: those Libyans who called for foreign military intervention did so weeks before any supposed "impending massacre" in Benghazi, and did so just as the protests began. In addition, in making those calls, the black specter of African mercenaries was used as a tool to impress urgency on those who would intervene. The no-fly zone may or may not have averted a supposed "massacre" in Benghazi -- and there is good reason to dispute that one was in the works; but what it did not avert is the bloody and often lethal persecution of a whole other group of civilians, that is, African migrant workers targeted because of the color of their skin.

Second, the myth of the African mercenary, as it has been played out, suggests that Gaddafi is totally isolated: it is just him, versus all of the "united" Libyans. Nationalist drama requires a useful myth: "the people united against the dictator." In this case, "Gaddafi is going to kill all the Libyan people" or "the whole of Benghazi" is among the statements that were seized upon by those who would then invoke the "responsibility to protect" (R2P). The sometimes explicitly stated premise is that "no Libyans could do this" (suppress a Libyan revolt with such ferocity). That too is a myth: no dictatorial regime, not even that which you might consider to be the worst in history, has ever lacked a core of support, with supporters often continuing to exist long past the end of the regime itself, sometimes acting to restore it in one form or another. Of course Libyans can "do this," and the only available evidence is that they are. The wider point is that "the nation," in a deeply divided society, is being reinvented around unity, a unity that excludes Gaddafi and "his Africans."

It also bears repeating, and will be substantiated below: no incontrovertible evidence exists that "African mercenaries" have conducted any kind of mass slaughter in Libya, or that they have played any role in the suppression of protests. But evidence does exist of racially-motivated crimes against humanity committed by the insurgents and their supporters against African migrant workers, which thus far have been held beyond the call for investigation and accountability by the "international community." One has to wonder how the results might have been different, had all Libyans been black, and the targeted foreign workers white.

Race Riots in Libya, Pre-2011, a Split in the Regime, and a Preview of the Present Crisis

PLANELOADS of bodies, dead and alive, flew back to West Africa from Tripoli this week. . . . Emeka Nwanko, a 26-year-old Nigerian welder, was one of hundreds of thousands of black victims of the Libyan mob. He fled as gangs trashed his workshop. His friend was blinded, as Libyan gangs wielding machetes roamed the African townships. Bodies were hacked and dumped on motorways. A Chadian diplomat was lynched and Niger's embassy put to the torch. . . . Some of Libya's indigenous 1m black citizens were mistaken for migrants, and dragged from taxis. In parts of Benghazi, blacks were barred from public transport and hospitals. Pitched battles erupted in Zawiya, a town near Tripoli that is ringed with migrant shantytowns. Diplomats said that at least 150 people were killed, 16 of them Libyans. . . . Anti-black violence had been simmering for months, fired by an economic crisis. Colonel Qaddafi heads Africa's richest state in terms of income per person. This year oil will earn him $11 billion. But Libyans, feeding their families on monthly salaries of $170, see the money squandered on foreign adventures, the latest of which is the colonel's pan-Africa policy. As billions flowed out in aid, and visa-less migrants flowed in, Libyans feared they were being turned into a minority in their own land. Church attendance soared in this Muslim state. . . . Black-bashing has become a popular afternoon sport for Libya's unemployed youths. The rumour that a Nigerian had raped a Libyan girl in Zawiya was enough to spark a spree of ethnic cleansing. . . . In their rampage on migrant workers, the Libyan mob spared Arabs, including the 750,000 Egyptians. (The Economist, "Pogrom," 14 October 2000)

"It was not easy, because being a black man [in Libya], you can't live there simply," said George Auther, 26, who returned here in October after spending two years in the predominantly Arab nation as a builder's apprentice. "You can't move around freely. The problem is, the Libyans don't like blacks." (Ann Simmons, "Migrant Workers From Ghana Who Fled Libya Cite Racism," Los Angeles Times, 16 December 2000).

What is lacking in much of what passes for "informed commentary" on Libya is historical depth and context. Everything seems structured to explain the events of the day, without relation to previous days, let alone previous years, and the wider social and economic context. In 2000 violence against migrant workers from sub-Saharan African nations broke out across Libya, after the government ordered a crackdown against illegal immigrants. Violence that scapegoats Africans and blames them for all of the most important local problems is not new in Libya, and there is little justification for treating the post-February 15 violence as some sort of aberration.

As reported in the New African ("Who's Spoiling Gaddafi's Dream?" November 2000, p. 12), Gaddafi addressed then Ghanaian president Jerry Rawlings about "hidden hostile hands" behind the attacks on Africans in Libya, in a radio broadcast apologizing for the violence against the migrants. Rawlings himself flew to Libya to personally rescue a few hundred of the thousands of Ghanaians caught up in the violence. Gaddafi fired two of his ministers, including the justice minister. Gaddafi said that internal enemies were trying to thwart his plans for Libya's deeper integration with the African continent. That article claimed that 2.5 million African immigrants lived in Libya and that, of its population of 5.4 million, 1.4 million were Libyan blacks, according to the then deputy information secretary, Boukari Houda.

Suggestive of an early split in the regime, there is evidence of proclamations by Gaddafi, and actions by others, that do not correspond. Gaddafi "attempted to distance himself from the ethnic attacks. He blamed the violence on enemies of African unity determined to scuttle his project to create 'the Union of African States', citing 'hidden hands,' presumably from the West" -- but we need notpresume that, as Gaddafi never mentioned the West. We were toldthat in interviews "those fleeing the ethnic attacks say that they were carried out by gangs of youths with the complicity if not direct involvement of state forces," so that at least one segment of the regime was actively engaged in the violence. Is it the same segment that would later defect from the regime during this year's protests, and join to form the opposition Transitional National Council?

At the time of the race riots, the then Minister of Economy, Trade, and Investment -- one Ali Abd-al-Aziz al-Isawi -- stated about the African presence: "it is a burden"; and then he added this: "They are a burden on health care, they spread disease, crime. They are illegal."

Racial Scapegoating: The Leadership of the "Transitional National Council of Libya" (TNC)

Re-enter Ali Abd-al-Aziz al-Isawi who previously served as Secretary of the General People's Committee of Libya (GPCO) for Economy, Trade, and Investment -- now responsible for "foreign affairs" and "international liaison" as the third-ranked member of the TNC. Now he has been sending the media, in his new role, a similar message that denigrates and scapegoats black Africans:

"They [the mercenaries] are from Africa, and speak French and other languages." He said their presence had prompted some army troops to switch sides to the opposition. "They are Libyans and they cannot see foreigners killing Libyans so they moved beside the people." In a separate interview, Essawi told al-Jazeera: "People say they are black Africans and they don't speak Arabic. They are doing terrible things, going to houses and killing women and children."

Was al-Isawi one of Gaddafi's "hostile hidden hands" in the attacks on migrant workers back in 2000? While Gaddafi denounced the violence in 2000, members of the state's own security forces reportedly took part in some of the attacks. The UN also noted that over the years members of the state security forces have been complicit in attacking African migrants. One would like to know if they did so, spontaneously, on their own initiative, or were ordered to do so from higher ups. We should note that the former Libyan Interior Minister, and a former Minister of Public Security, Abdul Fatah Younis, is now a rebel military commander.

Top officials in the Libyan TNC are thus on the record, both now and when they served in the regime, for producing various accusations against black Africans. For those of us who have studied nationalism, both the instrumental objectification of otherness and the primordialism of racial belonging can be powerful strategies and resources used by ethnic elites in mobilizing supporters. That there may be this deeper agenda of scraping off the stain of "Black Africa" seems convincing; the copy-and-paste manifesto of the rebels' commitment to liberal democracy, not so much.