ethiopiantimes

May 4, 2011

Photos show three dead men at bin Laden raid house

Filed under: Uncategorized — ethiopiantimes @ 10:59 pm
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Photographs acquired by Reuters and taken about an hour after the U.S. assault on Osama bin Laden’s compound in Abbottabad in Pakistan show three dead men lying in pools of blood, but no weapons.

The photos, taken by a Pakistani security official who entered the compound after the early morning raid on Monday, show two men dressed in traditional Pakistani garb and one in a t-shirt, with blood streaming from their ears, noses and mouths.

The official, who wished to remain anonymous, sold the pictures to Reuters.

None of the men looked like bin Laden. President Barack Obama decided not to release photos of his body because it could have incited violence and used as an al Qaeda propaganda tool.

“I think that given the graphic nature of these photos, it would create some national security risk,” Obama told the CBS programme “60 Minutes.”

Based on the time-stamps on the pictures, the earliest one was dated May 2, 2:30 a.m., approximately an hour after the completion of the raid in which bin Laden was killed.

Other photos, taken hours later at between 5:21 a.m. and 6:43 a.m. show the outside of the trash-strewn compound and the wreckage of the helicopter the United States abandoned. The tail assembly is unusual, and could indicate some kind of previously unknown stealth capability.

Reuters is confident of the authenticity of the purchased images because details in the photos appear to show a wrecked helicopter from the assault, matching details from photos taken independently on Monday.

U.S. forces lost a helicopter in the raid due to a mechanical problem and later destroyed it.

The pictures are also taken in sequence and are all the same size in pixels, indicating they have not been tampered with. The time and date in the photos as recorded in the digital file’s metadata match lighting conditions for the area as well as the time and date imprinted on the image itself.

The close-cropped pictures do not show any weapons on the dead men, but the photos are taken in medium close-up and often crop out the men’s hands and arms.

One photo shows a computer cable and what looks like a child’s plastic green and orange water pistol lying under the right shoulder of one of the dead men. A large pool of blood has formed under his head.

A second shows another man with a streak of blood running from his nose across his right cheek and a large band of blood across his chest.

A third man, in a T-shirt, is on his back in a large pool of blood which appears to be from a head wound.

U.S. acknowledgment on Tuesday that bin Laden was unarmed when shot dead had raised accusations Washington had violated international law. The exact circumstances of his death remained unclear and could yet fuel controversy, especially in the Muslim world.

Pakistan faced national embarrassment, a leading Islamabad newspaper said, in explaining how the world’s most-wanted man was able to live for years in the military garrison town of Abbottabad, just north of the capital.

Pakistan blamed worldwide intelligence lapses for a failure to detect bin Laden, while Washington worked to establish whether its ally had sheltered the al Qaeda leader, which Islamabad vehemently denies.

(Editing by Jon Boyle.)

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Ethiopia: “Never, Ever Again” Memorial Held to Commemorate Red Terror Era

Filed under: Ethiopia — ethiopiantimes @ 10:23 pm
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Addis Ababa, May 4, 2011 (Ezega.com) – The Red Terror Martyrs Memorial Museum organized a 5-Day Event during April 26-30 named “Never, Ever Again” to commemorate victims of the Red Terror (Key Shiber).

The museum started the memorial celebration by dedicating the first day, Tuesday, for children. Children were given a tour in the museum with an explanation of the Red Terror and what happend at the time. The second day was titled “No Women No Cry”. Women from different walks of life shared their experiences and survival stories during and after the red terror.

Thursday was a symposium titled “Then and now: similarities and differences in grassroots revolution”. Different speakers who had been through revolutions in the past shared their experiences, and the stories of Red Terror were told by those who had experienced it first hand.

What went wrong at the time and what was the lesson from that experience were the issues the symposium tried to address. On Friday and Saturday the Museum had a musical tribute to the martyrs, honoring family and friends. “Tezta” an all day contemporary fine art exhibition and films that memorize Red Terror were also parts of the five-day event.

The Museum was established in March 2010 by the ‘Red Terror Martyrs’ Families and Friends Association. It permanently exhibits pictures, materials, documents and the remains of the victims that tell a story that is probably still in the memory of the present generation. The display begins from the time when students revolt against the Hailesellasie rule and shows how this revolution was stolen from the students by the military.

Red Terror victims ethiopiaPictures at the musim demonstrate the 17 years of brutal rule of the Derg and its leader Mengistu Hailemeriam. From the time the Emperor was detained by the military administration up to the time the regime ordered the killing of the 60 high officials and families of the Emperor is displayed and supported by photos and documents signed by Mengistu Hailemariam himself and his closest officials.

Some of the pictures of the victims of the red terror and the remaining of their bodies are on display permanently at the museum.

Red Terror (Key Shiber) (1978-79) is remembered as a brutal period in Ethiopian history with torture and mass murder of Ethiopians by the then military regime Derg led by Mengistu Hailemariam.

Though the terror still has its controversies and disagreements when it comes to the question of responsibility, it is undeniable that thousands of men, women, and youth were murdered, tortured and multilated in the most inhuman way under the guise of building a better Ethiopia.

According to the report by Amnesty International, around half a million people, most of them young students, were killed at the time.

Mengistu Hailemariam, who lives in Zimbabwe as a fugitive, repeatedly denied any responsibility for the terror. He blames the opponents of his regime who started the killing of Derg officials by calling their action “White Terror”. The response from the military regime for the ‘White Terror’ was handing out guns to ordinary people who were considered to be “Abyot Tibeka” or ‘Guards of the Revolution’.

Mengistu was found guilty of genocide in absentia in January 2007 and sentenced to life in prison.

Uganda: Repression Deepens

Filed under: Uganda — ethiopiantimes @ 10:03 pm
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While most of us have been watching Pakistan, bin Laden and violence in northern Nigeria, popular opposition to the Museveni government in Uganda has been growing, resulting in more official repression. Last week, there were anti-government demonstrations in the economic and commercial capital of Kampala, with the press reporting five dead and well over one hundred injured. At least some of the deaths were the result of police shooting point-blank into the crowds. Today, the Uganda Law Society, a membership organization representing the country’s lawyers, declared a three day sit-in at Kampala’s High Court building to protest the recent police violence.

Meanwhile, the Museveni government has jailed prominent opposition leader Kizza Besigye five times over the last two months. In order to call domestic and international attention to his plight, some thirty of his supporters attempted to take him food last week. (In African jails, families frequently provide food to inmates.) They were stopped by the authorities, leading to a violent confrontation. As nearly always, the police were the winners.

Uganda (or parts of it) appears to be seething. Museveni is a wily politician who in the past was the darling of the West, if no more, as he has become more repressive and his intervention in the eastern Congo more destructive. After some twenty five years in power and displaying the characteristics of a Big Man, it remains to be seen whether repression and his mastery of ethnic divide and conquer tactics will be enough for him to ride out the current storm. Watch this space.
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50 people missing, 20 bodies recovered after Kenya–Ethiopia border raid

Filed under: Ethiopia,Kenya — ethiopiantimes @ 4:00 pm
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The Government has recovered 20 bodies of the Todonyang massacre that occurred along the Kenya–Ethiopia border on Monday.

The bodies, mostly women and children with gunshot wounds, were littered in the plains of Todonyang in Turkana North, one Kilometre from Todonyang police post.

The bodies were recovered as 50 other people were reported missing and some of them are feared dead.

Two other people including a woman who survived the ordeal by lying down and pretending to be dead were nursing serious gunshots wounds at a local hospital.

On Wednesday, the Government confirmed that the Merille militia from Ethiopia killed 20 Turkana pastoralists inside Kenyan territory when they were returning home from a barter trade at the border point.

Among the dead were 20 Kenyans killed by the Merille militia and four of their own killed by the Turkana in retaliation.

Rift Valley PC Osman Warfa had earlier indicated that 37 Turkanas had been killed while a cleric had also said five Merille militia had been killed, bringing the total to 42.

The youngest victim of the attack was a three-week-old boy whose head had been shattered with a bullet and was found with his intestines protruding from his stomach, that were being devoured by vultures.

Another body had been devoured completely by vultures and other wild animals but the other 19 bodies were still intact, although the eyes, especially of the women age between 20 and 25 years, had been gouged out.

The bodies were lying stark naked on the plain grounds near villages inhabited by the Merille militia at Natira area along the border. The attackers had removed neck beads, Ornaments and clothes from the women’s dead bodies.

Security team

A security team led by Rift Valley PC and Turkana North MP John Munyes flew into the area on Tuesday and encountered the remains of the victims.

“We have seen the bodies and we have confirmed the execution was carried out at one point inside the Kenyan border,” Warfa said at the scene.

The PC and the security team were, however, forced to leave the area in a huff after suspected members of the militia started advancing to where they were and started opening fire to nearby villages.

Later, Todonyang Catholic Priest, father Stephen Ochineg called Munyes’s aide, Mr Moses Ikoel to report that they had abandoned five bodies after the militia surrounded them.

“The priest called and informed me that they were forced to flee and abandon five bodies on the scene,” he told The Standard.

Munyes, however, vowed to return to the scene and ensure that all bodies were collected and taken to the Todonyang Catholic Mission Church awaiting a mass burial.

The MP feared that if left uncollected, the bodies were likely to be tampered with by the militia who culturally remove male organs and take them back home as a show of bravery.

“I know the Merille kill the Turkana and remove private organs. They do this every August when they are circumcising their young ones. These are actually ritual killings which we cannot be accepted,” Munyes said.

Shockingly, not even a single spent bullet cartridge was recovered from the scene, an indication that the militia accomplished their mission and collected the spent cartridges.

A resident said the attack was a well-organised execution, which was carried out in a broad daylight.

Warfa said the Government would work out ways to flush out the militia from Kenyan soil.

The area MP John Munyes echoed his sentiments during a press briefing in Lodwar.

The PC said Ethiopian authorities have been informed of the killings.

“I am very optimistic that something will be done by the two governments to address the escalating insecurity in Todonyang along Kenya-Ethiopia border,” he said.

The PC commended the Catholic Church for their frantic efforts to house several families in a church compound after they were displaced by the attack.

A mass burial is set to be conducted as soon as the relatives of the victims are identified.

Ethiopian Government Slashes Karuturi Global Land Concession

Filed under: Ethiopia — ethiopiantimes @ 10:10 am
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May 4 (Bloomberg) — Ethiopia slashed the size of Karuturi Global Ltd.’s land concession that was larger than Luxembourg on concern it was too big for a single company to manage and to enable an annual migration of antelope, the government said.

The amendment, which reduced the concession by two-thirds to 100,000 hectares (247,105 acres), was made in consultation with Bangalore-based Karuturi six months ago, Esayas Kebede, head of the Agriculture Ministry’s land investment support directorate, said in an interview in Addis Ababa, the capital. Karuturi’s website lists its concession at 311,000 hectares.

“We have not received any recent updates on the Karuturi agricultural business in Ethiopia,” said Archit Singh, an analyst at Globe Capital Market Ltd., which has a “strong buy” rating on the company’s stock. “I am not aware of any change in the lease size,” he said by phone from New Delhi yesterday.

Ethiopia, the country that came to symbolize Africa’s inability to feed itself in the 1980s, has transferred about 350,000 hectares of agricultural land in the Gambella, Benishangul-Gumuz and Southern Nations regions since September 2009, according to the Agriculture Ministry’s website. Investors include companies from Ethiopia, India, China, Saudi Arabia as well as Ethiopians living abroad.

Chief Executive Officer Ramakrishna Karuturi declined to comment on the amendment in an e-mailed response to questions on April 29. Esayas didn’t say when the change was made public.

‘Huge Area’

“Three hundred thousand hectares is a huge area of land. Nobody can manage it,” Esayas said on April 29. “Therefore, Karuturi should get a rational and manageable plot of land based on its own capacity and our monitoring and evaluation capacity.”

Karuturi, which has invested $100 million in Ethiopia so far, plans to have 65,000 hectares in production this year and sell its first harvest in October mainly within Ethiopia and to other East African nations, Karuturi said in an e-mailed statement in February. The company is growing crops including rice, palm oil, sugar cane and cereals.

The boundary of Karuturi’s land wasn’t accurately mapped when it was first leased by the Gambella Regional Government in 2009, Esayas said. All similar land deals are now handled by the directorate in the Agriculture Ministry, he said.

“They signed an agreement without any coordinates or delineation of the land,” he said. “As a federal government, we should correct that mistake.”

White-Eared Kob

Part of the reason for the amendment to the concession was to create an 8,000-hectare corridor through Karuturi’s land for a one-million strong migration of white-eared kob, a type of antelope, Esayas said.

The annual movement from Southern Sudan into an area that includes Gambella National Park, which was given a new boundary in March, is the second-largest mammal migration in Africa, Cherie Enawgaw, an ecologist at the Ethiopian Wildlife Conservation Authority, said in a phone interview from Arba Minch in southern Ethiopia on May 2.

Among other investors in Ethiopian land are Hunan Dafengyuan Agriculture Co., a Chinese company, which is developing 25,000 hectares to grow sugar cane in Gambella, a fertile state with a relatively low population density, according to the ministry. Spentex Industries Ltd., a Delhi- based yarnmaker, is growing cotton in the northwestern region of Benishangul-Gumuz, also on 25,000 hectares, it said. Shapoorji Pallonji & Co. of India has 50,000 hectares to grow biofuels in the same region.

Almost all rental fees range from 30 birr ($1.76) to 158 birr per hectare a year, according to the Agriculture Ministry.

Criticism

Critics of Ethiopia’s land policy, including GRAIN, the Barcelona-based advocacy group, have argued that domestic farmers are being dispossessed and the country shouldn’t rent land cheaply to foreign investors to grow cash crops when about 13 percent of its approximately 80 million people still rely on food aid.

Ethiopia is prepared to lease 3.6 million hectares of an available 74.5 million hectares of suitable land if it gets “real investment,” Esayas said. The government of Africa’s second-most populous nation, which bars private land ownership, says the investments will provide technology, jobs, improved food security and export revenue.

Major investors may receive more land if performance evaluations, which are done monthly, meet the ministry’s requirements, according to Esayas.

–Editors: Paul Richardson, Philip Sanders.

To contact the reporter on this story: William Davison in Addis Ababa via Nairobi at pmrichardson@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Paul Richardson in Nairobi at pmrichardson@bloomberg.net.

Kenyan Fishermen Killed by Ethiopian Militia, Daily Nation Says

Filed under: Ethiopia,Kenya — ethiopiantimes @ 8:28 am
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At least 18 people died in northwestern Kenya when bandits from neighboring Ethiopia attacked a group of fishermen, the Daily Nation reported, citing a relief agency.

Suspected members of the Merille militia carried out the raid while the men were resting after fishing at Todonyang, an area rich in fish and a source of conflict between the Turkana ethnic group and the Merille, the Nairobi-based newspaper said, citing Peter Moru of the Lokichoggio Catholic Justice and Peace Commission.

Turkana Central lawmaker Ekwee Ethuro said 35 people were killed in the attack, which he blamed on cattle rustlers, the newspaper said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Paul Richardson in Nairobi at pmrichardson@bloomberg.net

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