May 11, 2011

Kenya deports British human rights defender

Filed under: Kenya — ethiopiantimes @ 7:47 pm

NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) — A Kenyan official says a British human rights investigator looking into the illegal deportations and detentions of terror suspects from Kenya to Uganda has herself been deported.

Hassan Omar Hassan of the government-funded Kenya National Commission on Human Rights says lawyer Clara Gutteridge was deported Wednesday on government orders.

Gutteridge was investigating alleged abuses by Kenyan authorities who arrested and held eight suspects longer than allowed by law, then deported them to Uganda without court orders. Kenyan courts have said the deportations were illegal.

Authorities accused the eight of involvement in a July bomb attack in Uganda that killed 76 people. The attack was claimed by the Somali militant group al-Shabab.


Average Age of African and western Leaders

Filed under: Africa — ethiopiantimes @ 4:54 pm
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Abdoulaye Wade ( Senegal )- age 83 , Hosni Mubarak ( Egypt ) – age 82 ,Robert Mugabe (Zimbabwe ) – age 86 , Hifikepunye Pohamba ( Namibia ) – age 74 ,Rupiah Banda ( Zambia ) – age 73 ,Mwai Kibaki ( Kenya ) – age 71 ,Ellen Johnson Sirleaf ( Liberia ) – age 75 ,Colonel Gaddafi ( Libya ) – age 68 ,Jacob Zuma ( South Africa ) – age 68 ,Bingu Wa Mtalika (Malawi) – age 76 ,John Evans Atta-Mills (Ghana) – age 67

Average Age: =======================75.6


Barrack Obama ( USA ) – age 48 , David Cameron ( UK ) – age 43 , Dimitri Medvedev ( Russia ) – age 45 , Stephen Harper ( Canada ) – age 51 , Julia Gillard ( Australia ) – age 49 ,Nicolas Sarkozy ( France ) – age 55 , Luis Zapatero ( Spain ) – age 49 ,Jose Socrates ( Portugal ) – age 53 ,Angela Merkel ( Germany ) – age 56 ,Herman Van Rompuy ( Belgium ) –

Besigye stuck at Jomo Kenyatta Airport

Filed under: Uganda — ethiopiantimes @ 8:07 am
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Opposition leader, Dr Kizza Besigye, is stuck at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) in Kenya after he was stopped from boarding a Kenya Airways flight to Uganda Wednesday morning.

Sources tell Daily Monitor that the airline’s officials approached Dr Besigye and claimed they were informed by Ugandan authorities that if he was on board the morning flight the aircraft would not be allowed to land at Entebbe International Airport, 40 km outside Kampala.

The Ugandan government however denied any such communication. When contacted Internal Affairs Minister Kirunda Kivejinja said the government can’t act crudely “and that Uganda doesn’t have any authority on Kenya Airways flights.”
“If we managed to allow him to leave, how can we stop him from coming back? We had all the powers to stop him from going there after all,” Mr Kivejinja said.

The opposition leader has been receiving treatment at Nairobi Hospital for multiple injuries sustained when security personnel attacked him on April 28 as he tried to drive into Kampala City.

He has now pitched camp in the Kenya government lounge of the JKIA departures lounge and is demanding an official and written explanation from Kenya Airways.

In Parliament, Yatta MP Charles Kilonzo claimed that the Kenyan government was returning a favour to its Ugandan counterpart by preventing Dr Besigye from boarding the flight.

“What has shocked us today is that the Kenyan government has refused to let Dr Besigye fly back to his country. Under what law can the Kenya government detain Dr Besigye?” Mr Kilonozo asked.

He spoke as he contributed to a motion by Budalang’i MP Ababu Namwamba of ODM seeking to establish a special committee of MPs to investigate the cause of the increase in food and fuel prices.

Mr Kilonzo accused Kenya working to protect President Museveni from planned protests by Dr Besigye and other organisers of the “walk-to-work” campaign he leads.

The latest development is yet another twist to the saga which has characterized the Uganda government’s heavy-handed clamp-down on the walk-to-work protests against high fuel prices and the rising cost of living.

Dr Besigye is one of hundreds of people who have been wounded in confrontations with the police and army that have left at least nine people dead from gunshot wounds.

Police had on Tuesday indicated that they would allow Dr Besigye to enter the country but drive from Entebbe in a convoy of not more than three vehicles escorted by police.

Nile dam project not negotiable, says Ethiopia ahead of Egyptian PM Visit

Filed under: Egypt,Ethiopia — ethiopiantimes @ 7:29 am
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By Tesfa-Alem Tekle

May 10, 2011(ADDIS ABABA) – Ethiopia will never stop its program to construct the recently launched massive hydro power project in Nile River whether Egyptians welcome it or not, government officials said on Tuesday ahead of the Egyptian prime minister’s visit to Addis Ababa this week.

“There won’t be any reason that would stop or delay the undergoing construction of the Nile Dam. It is not something based on the goodwill of Egyptians” Shimels Kemal, a spokesman for the Communications Ministry of Ethiopia, told Sudan Tribune.

Egypt, which failed to thwart a recent pact on Nile water use signed by six riparian countries, had recently sent a 48-member popular delegation to discuss the issue with Ethiopia despite the latter’s insistence the plan was not intended to harm Egypt.

As goodwill gesture Addis Ababa agreed to postpone ratification of the new treaty.

“Ethiopia only agreed to delay ratifying the new Nile pact until Egypt elects new government, if the upcoming rule in Egypt accepts the project we will push building the dam in joint cooperation” Ethiopian state minister for foreign affairs Birhane Gebrekirstos said.

“However if the new government in Egypt rejects to accept and bends to its old stance the program never stops and we will still carry on the project to end”.

The state Minister said Egypt’s Prime Minister Essam Sharaf, accompanied by senior officials, will arrive in Addis Ababa on Thursday for a two day visit.

According to the official, the Nile will be the main topic of discussion as well as some other bilateral issues.

“The Egyptian delegation will be briefed on the Nile project to illustrate them it doesn’t hurt them and we hope a common understanding will be reached between the two sides”, Gebrekirstos said.

Ethiopia has allowed a team of Sudanese and Egyptian experts along with other Ethiopian and international scientists, to observe the new dam in a bid to convince them the project is not intended to hurt them.


Ethiopia May Ban Coffee Exporters Caught Hoarding, Defaulting on Contracts

Filed under: Ethiopia — ethiopiantimes @ 7:26 am

Ethiopia, Africa’s biggest coffee grower, has threatened to ban exporters and producers caught hoarding beans or defaulting on contracts from trading on the domestic commodity exchange.

Those found holding surplus stocks in the hope of future price rises and therefore delaying deliveries are “stopping the country from getting the foreign exchange it could earn, making foreign buyers lose trust, and spoiling the country’s image,” Yakob Yala, state minister of trade, said in an April 29 letter to the Ethiopian Coffee Exporters’ Association. The directive, which was handed to Bloomberg News by an industry official, was confirmed by Amakele Yilma, a spokesman for the Trade Ministry.

Hoarding by traders is “harming the wide-ranging efforts of the government to grow the coffee sector,” Yakob said.

Ethiopia earned $528 million from its most valuable export in the year to July 7 and the Horn of Africa country plans to almost double revenue this year. Shipments totaled 3.64 million 60-kilogram (132-pound) bags of coffee between April 2010 and March 2011, ranking the country as the world’s eighth-largest exporter, according to the International Coffee Organization’s website.

Shippers who hold 54 metric tons to 500 tons of beans for two months without an export contract will be barred from buying from the state-owned Ethiopia Commodity Exchange for two months, according to the directive that took effect on April 28. Those holding more will be suspended for three months, it said.
‘Not Workable’

The regulation isn’t “workable” because exporters have legitimate reasons to contravene it, said Fekade Mamo, a board member of the exchange and chief executive officer of Mochaland Import and Export Plc, a closely held coffee exporter. The process of delivering samples to buyers before a contract is signed may take more than two months and a “good” exporter would want to hold as much as 1,000 tons in stock ready to deliver, he said by phone on May 9 from Addis Ababa, the capital.

“The law has been drafted by someone who does not know anything about the coffee industry,” he said. “How do you expect the country to export over 400,000 tons this year without holding a working stock? It’s not a day-to-day business.”

Exporters who default on delivery contracts for shipments of more than 36 tons will be prevented from trading for six months, while for lesser volumes the buying ban will be three months, the directive said. If a producer with an export contract doesn’t deliver within one month of the agreed date, the National Bank of Ethiopia won’t process any of their contracts for two months, it said.

In March 2009, the government suspended the licenses of six exporters for hoarding coffee and selling export-grade beans on the domestic market.

To contact the reporter on this story: William Davison in Addis Ababa via Nairobi at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Paul Richardson in Nairobi at

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