May 19, 2011

Kenya: Army Awaits Kibaki Orders to Hit Raiders

Filed under: Ethiopia,Kenya — ethiopiantimes @ 9:00 pm
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Nairobi — The military is awaiting orders from President Kibaki to attack militias from neighbouring countries that have encroached on Kenyan territory.

Defence assistant minister David Musila said on Thursday the Armed Forces were ready to defend the country from foreign aggression.

However, he said, the orders could only be issued by the President, who is the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces.”The international norms on military deployment are very categorical. You cannot cross an international border without the orders of the Commander-In-Chief,” he said.

He added: “As and when those orders are given by the Commander-In-Chief, our forces will move in. They are ready at any time to defend the integrity of our borders.”

Mr Musila spoke a day after Prime Minister Raila Odinga accused the military of failing to protect Kenyans from external aggression along its problematic borders with Uganda, Sudan, Ethiopia and Somalia.

Citing the recent attacks in Turkana, where 20 Kenyans were killed by Merille tribesmen from Ethiopia, the PM said the military, not the police, should be blamed.

“The responsibility of protecting our borders is that of the military and not the police. We spend a lot of money on the military. We recruit, we train, we promote and maintain them until retirement when there is no war. Therefore, when people invade our territory, there should be no question on who should be responsible,” he said.

The PM, who was issuing a statement on security in Todonyang, Turkana North District, said that specific instructions had been given to the Defence ministry to safeguard Kenya from external aggression on all fronts, including Migingo and Ugingo islands.

MPs accused the government of being too soft on aggressors, and demanded immediate action to kick out the Merilles and Ugandan forces from Migingo.

Kenya’s relations with Uganda were strained two years ago after Kampala sent soldiers to Migingo Island on Lake Victoria, resulting in a protracted border dispute.

On Thursday, Mr Musila said the military had not been deployed in Turkana as that would have amounted to a declaration of war on Ethiopia, whose tribesmen have invaded Kenyan territory.

“For the military to go to an international border, it would mean a declaration of war on a neighbour. We are careful and it will be done within international norms of deploying armed forces,” he said.

Such an act, said the Mwingi South MP, will cause tension and turn Uganda, Sudan and Ethiopia into hostile neighbours.

He said this was largely the reason the government always deployed the police and General Service Unit to contain tensions on the border.

“We rely on the police and the GSU to contain the situation within our borders,” he said.

Mr Musila said the soldiers sent to the border with Somalia had eliminated threats by the al Shabaab militia.

The troops are on round-the-clock surveillance comprising air and ground forces, pushing the militia further into Somalia.

“There is no immediate threat from the al Shabaab. Our borders are being patrolled day and night both by air and land forces,” he said.

Mr Musila said the campaign will continue to smoke out all militants who had sneaked into the country.

“The Somali border is now safe. The clean-up is going on and we have contained the situation. The al Shabaab are now in Somalia but we are alert,” he said.


Ethiopia: The “Beka” Revolution on Facebook and Twitter is being noticed

Filed under: Ethiopia,Meles Zenawi — ethiopiantimes @ 6:53 pm
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Ethiopia’s own Facebook revolution may not get the attention it deserves from the mainstream media, slowly but surely, people are noticing it. To coincide with the 20th anniversary of the Nakba, several Ethiopians have launched a campaign on Social media websites like Facebook and Twitter by changing their profile images to that of Ethiopian Flag with the Amharic word “Beka” [enough] written on it. Writing for the The Cord, Shagun Randhawa says, “hundreds of Ethiopians have changed their profile picture to posters that have the Ahmaric word, “enough” while several groups are calling for nationwide protests on May 28, 20 years after Prime Minister Meles Zenawi came into power. Uganda’s Communications Commission has since ordered telecom companies to block access to social networking websites and have since proved they can intercept messages in order to suppress the uprisings.”

Ethiopia has one of the lowest mobile phone and Internet penetration Rates anywhere in the world. The government is the sole provider of all electronic communication services and frequently blocks websites it deems are critical to the government. So it is not lost on many that, revolution aided by social media is much harder in Ethiopia than the case in North Africa and the Middle East, which have millions of Internet users.

Have Your Say.

Kenya: Ethiopia Border Closed in Moyale Riots

Filed under: Ethiopia,Kenya — ethiopiantimes @ 7:54 am
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The Kenya-Ethiopia border remained closed yesterday following riots by Moyale resident protesting police failure to arrest four men who sexually assaulted a raped a 16-year-old girl. The border was closed to prevent a spillover of the riots into Ethiopia.

A man was hacked to death and two others went missing after the riots turned ugly with unidentified gunmen opening fire on the stone throwing protesters.

The Upper Eastern regional commissioner Nakoru Isaih said three of the four men who assaulted the teenage girl have been arrested and will be charged. Two women who lured the girl where the men were waiting have also been arrested.

Isaih said a team of police officers will continue patrolling the town to ensure there was no resurgence of violence. He also warned residents against taking the law into their hands and target members of the Burji community as they have been doing during the riots.

Isaih said the offence was a criminal offence committed by individuals and should not degenerate into a war between the Burji and Borana communities. ” We are not going to tolerate hooligans take advantage of the situation and loot, but we will ensure peaceful co-existence of communities in the area,” Isiah said. Tension remained high in the town as police attempted to retrieve some of the goods that had been stolen from the shops during the riots.

Ethiopia: Professor Abebe Zegeye sets the record straight on alleged plagiarism

Filed under: Ethiopia — ethiopiantimes @ 7:47 am

Professor Abebe Zegeye of Ethiopia sets the record straight in a Letter to the Editor of South African based newspaper Mail and Guardian. The Oxford educated academician and a former visiting scholar at Yale University has been wrongly accused of plagiarism as many of this website readers pointed out when the news first broke out. We now hear the other side of the story and below are other letters sent to the newspaper in defense of Professor Abebe.

Wits plagiarism process was flawed

The Mail & Guardian (“Plagiarism case kept under wraps at Wits”, April 15) published an incomplete story about so-called plagiarism at the University of the Witwatersrand that involved me as a former academic at the university. What are the facts?

After my appointment in 2009, a letter was sent to the vice-chancellor (VC) of Wits accusing me of plagiarism. The VC offered as modes of resolution either arbitration or to take the matter to the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA).

The refusal to grant my request to follow standard international scholarly procedure raises questions of motive. Had a peer-review panel been set up to assess the allegations, it would have revealed that not only were the allegations made in bad faith, but also that the entire process was a smokescreen for well-known divisions at Wits, which coalesced in their resentment over my appointment.

When interviewed for the Wits Institute of Social and Economic Research (Wiser) directorship, I outlined my plans to ensure that the institute graduates the next generation of African scholars; that it builds a pan-African institute that draws on the wealth of intellectual capital on the continent and does not privilege the West; that it works with scholars who take Africa seriously. My plan to change Wiser’s direction disrupted the plans of some colleagues. They therefore marshalled support of scholars in the north to assist in undermining my purpose and its legitimacy.

Guided by a closely knit network at Wits, the VC organised a deeply flawed process, the result of which was predictable. At the arbitration, it was evident that the type of expertise deployed to evaluate the allegations was not that which was required. I resigned from the university before the arbitration process had been completed because it was clear that the process was a set-up. My resignation was accepted. The decision to dismiss me was therefore an act of retribution and an attempt to distract attention from the defective process.

The vindictive and malicious acts by Wits management did not start and stop there, but continued with the leaking of supposedly confidential documents to the media and the writing of defamatory letters to academic and research institutions. The matter has been brought to the attention of the council of the university and the minister of higher education and training. It may or may not stop there.

My resignation from the University of South Australia was to provide space and time to clear my name by ensuring that academic rigour takes precedence over the witch-hunt against me. — Abebe Zegeye


The M&G’s story (I stress the term “story”) about so-called plagiarism concerned Professor Abebe Zegeye, whom the story transformed into an academic buccaneer who frequently and without hesitation contravened intellectual property rights over a long period of time, despite previous warnings.

The story initially accused Zegeye of plagiarism, then later said he was found guilty of “too-perfect paraphrasing”, which was declared a form of plagiarism by Gilbert Marcus SC, who is a lawyer and not an academic.

This story was based on a confidential arbitration document leaked to your paper. It is not clear if this is the final, signed arbitration between Wits and Zegeye or if the papers cited contain only the accusations.
If the article is based on the result of the arbitration, this should be stated. The position of the accused party should be reported with the same intensity as the accusation.

The small, unreferenced cut-out illustration in which most of the text was highlighted provided no reference or other information for me, as a reader, to check the evidence. — Dr Manfred Dutschke, Cape Town


It astounds me that advocate Gilbert Marcus was allowed by Wits University to assess an allegation of plagiarism in sociology and subsequently determine the fate of a world-class academic scholar, without Marcus having academic qualifications in sociology commensurate with those of Zegeye.

The advocate is a man of the law and as such, his understanding and interpretation of plagiarism is that of a copy typist who makes crude determinations based on the observed number of repeated words and phrases in the relevant articles. He does so with complete disregard for context.

The procedure to select three experts to help evaluate the case, as well as the assessment made by Marcus, is grossly biased, one-sided, shallow and poorly informed. His failure arises from his lack of understanding of the discipline in which Zegeye has excelled locally and internationally. Any reader could feel his contempt for the poor professor.

Wits could have displayed professionalism by giving the task of assessment to a panel of independently identified academic scholars in the field of sociology. Its failure to do so shows that the assessment is fundamentally flawed.

Zegeye’s colleagues at Wits should have shown more professionalism, caution and restraint. The leak was an insider’s job. Is xenophobia creeping into academic institutions? What Wits has done is unprofessional and unethical. The frantic attempt to ruin Zegeye’s professional life shows the level to which Wits has descended, reminiscent of the Dark Ages. — Bezabih Barasa , Open University of Australia, Sydney

Here is the original article in PDF

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