May 31, 2011

በሰሜን አዲስ አበባ የመብራት መስመሮች ተበጠሱ(Tinsae Ethiopia cut off power in northern Addis Ababa)

Filed under: Ethiopia,Meles Zenawi — ethiopiantimes @ 10:02 pm
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Members of Tinsae Ethiopia Patriots Union have cut off electrical power lines in Sululta area yesterday and today, causing power outage in some parts of northern Addis Ababa.
የትንሳኤ ኢትዮጵያ አርበኞች ህብረት አባላት ከትላንት ሰኞ ጀምሮ በሰሜን አዲስ አበባ ሱሉልታ አካባቢ የሚገኙ የኤሌትሪክ መስመሮችን ቆራርጠው በአካባቢው መብራት እንዲጠፋ አደርገዋል። Sululta, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

ያለፈው ሳምንት በተመሳሳይ ሁኔታ በምዕራብ ኢትዮጵያ የኤሌትሪክ መስመሮች ተበጥሰው ለበርካታ ቀናት የመብራትና ስልክ አገልግሎት ተቋርጦ እንደነበር ተዘግቧል።

የኤሌትሪክ መስመሮችን መቁረጥ ትንሳኤ ኢትዮጵያ ከሚጠቀምባቸው የህዝባዊ እምቢተኝነት (civil resistance) ዘዴዎች አንዱ ነው።

ፋሽስቱ የወያኔ አገዛዝ ስልጣን ላይ የቆየበትን 20ኛ ዓመት በትልቅ ፍርሃትና ውጥረት ካድሬዎቹን፣ ቅልብ ወታደሮቹንና ሆዳሞችን ሰብስቦ ባለፈው ቅዳሜ አክብሯል። ወያኔ ስልጣን ላይ የሚቆይበት እያንዳንዱ ደቂቃና ሰዓት የኢትዮጵያ ህዝብ በግፍ የሚማቅቅበት፥ የኢትዮጵያ ህልውና የሚደፈርበት፥ የህዝብ ሃብት የሚዘረፍበት፥ ሀገር የሚቆራረስበት ስለሆነ የመለስና ግብረአበሮቹን የጎሳ አገዛዝ እድሜ ለማሳጠር ከመቼውም የበለጠ እንታገል።

ድል ለኢትዮጵያ ህዝብ።

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14 refugees die at smugglers’ hands

Filed under: Ethiopia,Somalia,Yemen — ethiopiantimes @ 9:48 pm
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SANAA, Yemen, May 31 (UPI) — At least 14 refugees died at the hands of smugglers as they traveled from Somalia to Yemen, the United Nations said Tuesday.

The U.N. refugee agency said in a release issued in New York that 10 Ethiopians suffocated when the smugglers crammed them and about 15 others in the boat’s engine room with no ventilation. Survivors claimed the bodies of the dead were tossed into the sea.

The U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees said there were reports the boat carried as many as 115 passengers as it set out early Sunday from Bossaso in northern Somalia.

Concerned the Yemeni navy would spot them, the smugglers allegedly forced the rest of the passengers to get out of the boat too far from land and four more people drowned before they could reach shore, the U.N. release said. Two of bodies had been recovered.

“We condemn the unscrupulous and inhuman treatment of refugees and others who are desperately seeking to flee the violence, human rights abuses and seriously debilitating life options in the Horn of Africa,” said Erika Feller, assistant high commissioner for protection

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Open letter to the UNHCR protect Ethiopian refugees in Yemen

Filed under: Ethiopia,Yemen — ethiopiantimes @ 2:35 pm
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A few days ago four Ethiopian refugees were killed in the ASABA area of Sana’a,
Yemen, as result of the fighting between government forces and armed rebels. Very
many Ethiopian refugees are facing death in many part of Yemen and their attempt to
go to the Sana‘a office of the UNHCR has not borne fruit. Aside from taking the names
of the dead and the wounded the UNHCR has (once again) called on the police to remove
the refugees from its premises. Five months ago, a pregnant refugee miscarried at the
UNHCR office as police called by the UNHCR office tried to remove her and beat and
mishandled her to no end.
The declared task of the UNHCR is to protect refugees but time and again the UNHCR
offices in Djibouti and Yemen (and other places) have failed to come to the help of
Ethiopian refugees. In Yemen, very many Ethiopian refugees suffer in desert jails and in
precarious condition without adequate protection. The ongoing unrest in Yemen has also
made the refugees even more vulnerable. The killing of at least four refugees (whose
corpses are in the morgue of the Kuwait Hospital) is a grave example.
SOCEPP has in the past commended the UNHCR for helping Ethiopian refugees but it is
forced to register its complaint in cases where neglect of duty has cost and continues to
cost the lives of our compatriots. The case in Yemen is an example. The refugees need
protection and repatriation to a safe country. Their situation is alarming, it is a

China’s backing for Ethiopia dam riles activists

Filed under: China,Ethiopia — ethiopiantimes @ 2:13 pm
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It’s a story that truly spans the globe: Activists from all over the world, including San Francisco, are trying to stop the construction of a dam in Ethiopia financed by a Chinese bank.

The Gibe 3 Dam is in the early phases of construction on Ethiopia’s powerful Omo River, using $500 million dollars in equipment funded by the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC). The hydroelectric dam, one of the largest construction projects in Ethiopia’s history, would regulate the flow of water along the Omo River as it courses through Ethiopia and into Kenya’s massive Lake Turkhana — a freshwater oasis in the heart of the desert.

The project has been mired in controversy since it was just a blueprint. The World Bank and the European Investment Bank financed smaller hydroelectric projects on the Omo River, but dropped consideration of the Gibe 3 Dam after viewing the environmental impact report commissioned by the Ethiopian government. Activists say the banks were scared away by the Ethiopian government’s lack of transparency regarding construction plans and the fact that the Gibe 3 will have a profound ecological impact on the region’s fragile ecosystem, from Ethiopia into Kenya.

A November 2010 hydrology report by the African Development Bank (pdf) (AfDB) noted that the Omo River is responsible for 90 percent of the water leading into Lake Turkhana. A major dam blocking the river would drain most of the lake, depriving 300,000 Kenyans of the water needed for agriculture, cattle herding and fishing. And that’s just the first concern: The activists’ extended list of fears about the dam seems as long as the Omo River itself.

Any changes to the Omo River’s natural flood pattern could affect 70 percent of the “more important” species living around Lake Turkhana, according to the AfDB report. Also, in the long term, independent Ethiopian engineers have questioned the wisdom of building such a large dam in a region with a history of strong earthquakes.

That’s not all. The area that will be flooded by the dam is home to low-level farmlands used by 300,000 Ethiopians. Food resources are already so scarce in the drought-hit border region between Kenya and Ethiopia that two of the main ethnic groups living there have resorted to violence in their bid for more land and water. In May, 70 ethnic Turkhana people from Kenya were killed when they attempted to buy food across the border in Ethiopia.

Landlocked Ethiopia is starved for electricity and also hopes to boost its revenue by exporting hydroelectricity. One section of the Kenyan government has already signed a Memorandum of Understanding to buy hydropower from the Gibe 3 dam. In a fax to CBS, the ICBC noted “relevant nations expressed interest in buying electricity from Ethiopia.”

However, Friends of Lake Turkhana, an activist group battling the dam, is taking the Kenyan government to court to fight the agreement to buy electricity without conducting a full environmental impact assessment on the dam. Now that the ICBC bank in China is offering financial support for the dam, the Kenyan opponents to the dam are widening their campaign to stop construction of the Gibe 3.

The ICBC Bank has long been silent on its reasons for supporting controversial Gibe 3 Dam, until now. Activists from Kenya and International Rivers flew to Beijing to plea their case to the ICBC, but their meeting requests were ignored. So, I contacted ICBC Bank to ask about the widespread concerns regarding ecological and safety risks of building the GIBE 3 Dam. Days later, the unsigned letter from ICBC faxed to CBS News insisted, “credit and loan for all projects conforms to environmental requirements.”

Further, the bank argues that other, smaller hydro projects on the Omo River, Gibe 1 and Gibe 2, were supported by the World Bank, the European Investment Bank and other financial institutions. The fax did not answer CBS News’ question as to why the ICBC continues to support the Gibe 3 project when other financial institutions have stepped away.

The ICBC’s annual general meeting begins Tuesday in Beijing and Hong Kong.

“Based on the serious findings of the [African Development Bank] hydrological impact report, which has now been published, ICBC should reconsider their funding of the Gibe 3 Dam,” Peter Bosshard, Policy Director at International Rivers tells CBS News.

The Chinese government is pressuring the country’s state-owned banks to invest in more projects outside of China. As Chinese banks extend their interests into international territory, activists from all over the world will likely find themselves spending more time in Beijing.

Kenyan government loses bid to stop Hague trials

Filed under: Ethiopia,Kenya — ethiopiantimes @ 8:51 am
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AMSTERDAM (Reuters) – Kenya failed on Monday to halt an International Criminal Court investigation into its post-election violence when judges said a lack of national proceedings warranted the need for the case to go ahead.

ICC prosecutors have accused six political and business figures of involvement in the 2007-08 violence that killed more than 1,200 people. All six say they are innocent of the charges.

In March, Kenya’s government objected to the proceedings, arguing adoption of its new constitution and other reforms had opened the way for it to conduct its own prosecution.

The court said that pre-trial judges had found that Kenya’s request did not provide “concrete evidence of ongoing proceedings before national judges” against the six suspects.

The pre-trial judges added that Kenya did not provide information on any crimes or incidents over which the suspects are being investigated or questioned.

They added the court lacked information about the dates when investigations, if any, had commenced and whether the suspects were actually questioned. ICC judges were not given Kenyan police or prosecution reports about any questioning.

Consequently, the court ruled that it “cannot but determine that the case is admissible.”

The Kenyan government can still file an appeal against the ICC decisions within five days.

The six accused men are Finance Minister Uhuru Kenyatta, Cabinet Secretary Francis Muthaura, Postal Corporation chief Hussein Ali, suspended government ministers William Ruto and Henry Kosgey, and radio executive Joshua Arap Sang.

Prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo accused government officials on Sunday of creating a “climate of fear” through a campaign to halt the ICC’s probe that was intimidating potential witnesses and undermining national and international investigations.

Last month the U.N. Security Council shelved a request by Kenya to defer the ICC proceedings.

Kenya and Ethiopia begin border security talks

Filed under: Ethiopia,Kenya — ethiopiantimes @ 8:49 am
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A high level technical Kenyan delegation is holding talks in Addis Ababa with their Ethiopian counterparts on the security situation along the border.

The technical meeting is a prelude to a ministerial one to follow soon.

The joint commission ministerial consultations are aimed at achieving clear border demarcation, inspection and maintenance, as well as establishing stronger economic ties.

Ethiopian- Kenyan joint commission was established in 2004 but the ministerial commission failed to convene in the last seven years due to ‘unknown reasons’.

Ethiopian ministry of Foreign Affairs, African Director Shemsedin Ahmed said the border commission of the two countries was capable of managing any border related issues.

Kenyan President Mwai Kibaki and Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi have met twice in the recent past and agreed to lay down further measures to avoid border insecurity.

Ethiopia said recent conflict among the border communities was not state to state confrontation, but a clash to secure resources.

Mr Michael Oyugi, the acting Political and Diplomatic Secretary at the Kenyan ministry of Foreign Affairs, said Nairobi wanted more economic development and security cooperation.

Kenyan ministers are expected to arrive in Addis Ababa Wednesday after the technical team prepares the documents.

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