Thursday, June 30, 2011

Ethiopian Anti-Terrorism Law Used to Suppress Dissent- all

Ethiopian authorities have held a newspaper columnist incommunicado for at least eight days under what appears to be Ethiopia's anti-terrorist law, report the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), Reporters Without Borders (RSF) and the Writers in Prison Committee (WiPC) of PEN International. Reeyot Alemu, a regular contributor to the independent weekly "Feteh", was arrested on 21 June. She is the second reporter to be picked up and held without charge in less than a week.
Authorities have not disclosed the reason for Alemu's arrest, but a local lawyer (who requested anonymity for fear of government reprisals) told CPJ that she was transferred into preventive detention for 28 days - the minimum period for preventive detention under Ethiopia's 2009 anti-terrorism law.
Local journalists said they believe Alemu's arrest could be related to her columns critical of the ruling Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF). Her 17 June column in "Feteh" criticised the EPRDF's public fundraising methods for the Abay Dam project, and made parallels between Prime Minister Meles Zenawi and Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi, says CPJ.
Another journalist, Woubshet Taye, deputy editor of the weekly "Awramba Times", has been held since 19 June, also at the federal investigation centre at Maekelawi Prison in Addis Ababa, says CPJ.
The sweeping anti-terrorism law criminalises any reporting authorities deem to "encourage" or "provide moral support" to groups and causes the government labels as "terrorists". When it was enacted in 2009, IFEX members expressed concern that it would become a potent tool for suppressing political opposition and legitimate criticism of government policy.
According to CPJ, the law makes it difficult for Ethiopian reporters to cover the activities of Ethiopia's opposition figures and rebels without risking prosecution and a 20-year prison sentence - even though Ethiopia receives praise and assistance for participating in U.S. counterterrorism measures in neighbouring Somalia.
"The irony is, the government may pride itself on its efforts to fight terrorist groups, but we [reporters] will think twice before writing about it," said a local journalist who also requested anonymity for fear of government reprisals.
Recently, a day after U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton visited the capital, Addis Ababa, EPRDF-ruled Parliament formally designated five groups as terrorist entities: al-Qaeda, the hard-line Somali Islamist militant al-Shabaab, the Ethiopian separatists groups Ogaden National Liberation Front (ONLF) and the Oromo Liberation Front (OLF), as well as Ginbot 7, a banned political party started by U.S.-based opposition leader Berhanu Nega.
WiPC suggests that Taye's arrest may be linked to his perceived sympathy for Ginbot 7. "Awramba Times" provides in-depth political coverage.
Human Rights Watch reports that just this March, more than 100 ethnic Oromo Ethiopians were accused of belonging to the OLF and detained without charge after mass arrests. Reports of the arrests broadcast on Voice of America's Amharic service were jammed by the government, further raising concerns that the roundups are politically motivated.
In a related issue, the Ethiopian Free Press Journalists' Association (EFJA) has uncovered evidence that China has been providing technology, training and technical assistance to the Ethiopian authorities to enable them to jam the signals of dozens of broadcasters, including Voice of America.
According to CPJ, the Ethiopian government has long targeted international media for providing coverage of the terrorist groups. In 2009, the Ethiopian government went as far as accusing the Kenya-based broadcaster Nation Television (NTV) of giving a platform to terrorist groups in the Horn of Africa for airing a report on the OLF. In 2008, authorities accused Al Jazeera of "direct and indirect assistance to terrorist organisations" after it aired an exclusive report on the ONLF. In 2007, three "New York Times" journalists were detained for five days for reporting on the ONLF.
Enacted in July 2009, the anti-terrorism law contains an overly broad definition of acts of terrorism that could be used to suppress non-violent peaceful protests, and greatly expands police powers of search, seizure and arrest. The law also carries sentences of up to 20 years in prison, and provides for holding "terrorist suspects" for up to four months without charge.

Monday, June 27, 2011

SOMALIA: Ethiopia- Demonstrations in Mogadishu were organized by the Governor of Benadir

SOMALIA: Ethiopia- Demonstrations in Mogadishu were organized by the Governor of Benadir

SOMALIA: Ethiopia- Demonstrations in Mogadishu were organized by the Governor of Benadir


MOGADISHU (RBC) A very sensitive report obtained by RBC Radio reveals that Ethiopian government blames series of demonstrations in the government controlled districts in Mogadishu in the mid of June were organized by the Governor of the Benadir Regional Administration, Mohamud Ahmed Nor Tarzan and a group in the Council of Ministers who support Prime Minister Farmajo.

Somalia capital, Mogadishu had seen wide demonstrations to oppose the Kampala Accord which demand the resignation of Prime Minister Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed. The demonstrators, largely consisting of women and students but including a number of TFG forces, blocked the main streets of the capital.

“The demonstrations were aimed to weaken the support of the international community and of Somalis for the ‘Kampala Accord’. The Ethiopia’s report said.

“The Benadir Regional Administration was using government money to cause chaos in Mogadishu as they had the previous week.” Ethiopia says.

Naming individuals

“The organizers of these demonstrations include two former allies of President Sheikh Sharif, Hassan Ma’alim and Yusuf Aynte, both MPs, who appear to feel aggrieved at being sidelined over the ‘Kampala Accord’. The report added.

Ethiopia has expressed its support for the Accord signed by the President of the Transitional Government of Somalia, Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed, and the Speaker of the Transitional Federal Parliament, Sharif Hassan Sheikh Adan, on June 9th in Kampala.

Ethiopia also worries that Somalia nationalisms were intending to call all Somalia unity, which may bring reclaim of Ethiopia’s occupied Somalia territory of Ogaden region.

RBC Radio

500+ Ethiopian Muslims jailed (

Over 500 Ethiopian Muslims jailed
Charlie Butts - OneNewsNow - 6/27/2011 3:35:00 AMBookmark and Share
Ethiopia mapEthiopia is cracking down on those who have been targeting Christians, and the spokesman of one international group hopes that will bring a new level of understanding to other anti-Christian radicals. (See earlier story)
The Ethiopian military was needed to end the week-long rampage that began March 2. Jonathan Racho of International Christian Concern (ICC) tells OneNewsNow the suspects were rounded up and put on trial.

"Ethiopian courts sentenced 579 Muslims to prison terms ranging from three months to 18 years, and the court sentenced the Muslims to the prison terms for taking part in violence against Christians that left one Christian dead," he reports.

Muslim symbolMany other believers were injured, and 69 churches were burned to the ground, along with several Christian homes and other Christian properties.

"We also learned that an additional 107 individuals are accused of terrorism for their roles in attacks against the Christians, and the public prosecutors have brought charges against them in federal court," Racho explains.

Police are currently searching for eight people who are thought to be the masterminds behind the attacks. ICC is hopeful the prosecutions will prompt other extremists to understand that similar actions will mean consequences.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Al-Shabaab welcomes Zawahiri appointment

Somalia shabaab qaeda 2011 06 20
Somalia's al-Shabaab have welcomed the appointment of Ayman al-Zawahri as the new head of al-Qaeda, the global terror group to which al-Shabaab have pledged allegiance. (Stringer/AFP/Getty Images)
Somalia’s al-Shabaab Islamist militants have welcomed the appointment of Ayman al-Zawahiri as the new head of al-Qaeda following the killing of Osama bin Laden by US Navy Seals in Pakistan last month.
“We welcome Dr Ayman al-Zawahiri, Allah protect him,” said al-Shabaab spokesman Sheikh Ali Mohamed Rage.
“We shall work with him the way we worked with our late brother Sheikh Osama bin Laden. The blood of Osama shall not be for nothing,” he said in a statement broadcast on Shabaab-controlled radio stations in Mogadishu.
Rage also issued a warning to the US. “Americans and their allies, be aware that there are thousands of Osamas who stand to fulfil the ideology of our hero,” he said.
In recent years more than 20 Somali-Americans have left the US to fight alongside al-Shabaab and the FBI is concerned that some may plan to return to the US to carry out terrorist attacks.
Although al-Shabaab has fought a fierce and bloody insurgency in Somalia it has shown only a limited capacity for attacks on foreign soil, its first – and so far only – being the suicide bombings in Uganda during the World Cup Final last year.
Al-Qaeda in East Africa was dealt a blow earlier this month when Fazul Abdullah Mohamed, wanted for masterminding the US embassy bombings in Nairobi and Dar es Salaam in 1998, was killed in a shootout at a roadblock in Mogadishu.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Fears Yemen is the new Republic of al-Qaeda | The Sun |News

Yemen ... the new Republic of al-Qaeda

Terror takeover fears

Happy ... protester with anti-President slogan on his chest
Happy ... protester with anti-President slogan on his chest


History professor, Oxford University
THE Yemen is a minefield of warring tribes and Muslim sects.
Its strategic location, with a coastline along the Red Sea and Indian Ocean, makes civil war there such a concern for the rest of the world.
Piracy is in business in Somalia but Yemen is better placed to raid the lucrative oil tankers and container ships en route to the Suez Canal.
Yemen has terrorists as well as pirates. Already Yemeni groups linked to al-Qaeda have attacked the West.
US efforts to combat terrorist cells using drone attacks and bribes have had limited success at best.
Now with forces in Afghanistan and Libya neither Washington nor Whitehall has the stomach for another intervention.

FEARS were mounting last night that Yemen could fall into the hate-filled grip of al-Qaeda.

The threat grew after its president, who fled the country, had surgery on wounds suffered in a rebel rocket attack on his palace.
Ali Abdullah Saleh had jagged pieces of wood removed from his chest in Saudi Arabian capital Riyadh.
Experts believe his departure on Saturday, with most of his family and other regime leaders, could be permanent, ending 33 years of iron rule.


Al-Qaeda and tribal factions look set to battle to fill the power vacuum amid warnings Yemen could soon become the terror network's global base.
Western powers fear Yemen - home to the world's most dangerous al-Qaeda group led by jet bomb mastermind Anwar al-Awlaki - could become a lawless "failed state".
Al-Awlaki's internet rants from his Yemeni lair have sparked a string of terror attacks from twisted followers in Britain and the US.
And the meltdown of its government will raise the risk of terror attacks on the West and pose a serious threat to vital Gulf oil shipments.
Foreign Secretary William Hague warned the growing chaos could be "a much more serious threat" to UK security.
Joy ... soldier joins demonstration in Sanaa
Joy ... soldier joins demonstration in Sanaa
Yemen's unrest was inspired by uprisings across the Arab world that have led governments in Egypt and Tunisia to fall.

Video: Celebrations In Yemen

PRESIDENT Ali Abdullah Saleh flown to Saudi Arabia for medical treatment
Surgery ... Ali Abdullah Saleh. Right, bomb mastermind Anwar al-Awlaki
Surgery ... Ali Abdullah Saleh. Right, bomb mastermind Anwar al-Awlaki
In Taiz, Yemen's second city, dozens of gunmen attacked a presidential palace yesterday, killing four soldiers.
Nine soldiers died when gunmen ambushed a convoy in the south, officials said. And at least two people were killed when a grenade exploded at a facility used by an anti-Saleh general.

20 killed in Israel border violence

Clash ... Israeli troops
Clash ... Israeli troops
ISRAELI troops killed at least 20 protesters on the Syrian border yesterday.
More than 325 others were injured as youths tried to breach a fence at the Golan Heights.
As Palestinian and Syrian demonstrators hurled rocks over the wire, troops opened fire. One onlooker said: "It was like a turkey shoot."
Israel accused the Syrian regime of orchestrating the violence to deflect attention from its crackdown on a civil uprising.
PM Benjamin Netanyahu declared: "Extremist forces are trying to breach our borders and threaten our communities. We will not let them do that."
The death toll in Syrian town Jisr al-Shughour reached 25 yesterday after clashes with troops.

Hague's Gaddafi warning

Surprise visit ... William Hague
Surprise visit ... William Hague
FOREIGN Secretary William Hague says "time is against" Libyan dictator Colonel Gaddafi.
Mr Hague paid a surprise weekend visit to the war-ravaged country and spoke to leaders of its opposition movement.
He said the rebel Transitional National Council was genuinely committed to democracy and he had a "fairly clear sense" it was not linked to extremists. He said the meeting was "inspiring".
Mr Hague, visiting Benghazi as British Apache helicopters joined Nato airstrikes for the first time, said: "The pressure is now all on the regime."
The pilot leader of the Apache strike which destroyed a radar site and army post at the port of Brega, said: "We achieved total surprise."

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