It is with great sorrow and anger that we heard the kidnapping of British and Ethiopian nationals in Ethiopia by Shabia agents posing as Tigrean or Afar Bandits.
Our concern should be first the safety and well being of our (British and Ethiopian) nationals and the blame game should be no where else but with the terrorists who ever they are and what ever their cause is.
A criminal is a criminal regardless of who he or she is . This is an afront on all civilized people.
Remeber that the victims of this henous crimes are now in the territiory of known Criminal and Terrorist areas. We should be concerned for their lives first and foremost.
I cannot believe that we are finding fault with Ethiopian Ministry of Foreign Affairs officials for his linguistic competency when people's lives are at stake.
This is not acceptable. All lives are precious and Ethiopian and British lives are at stake here and all Patriots should rally for their safe release first.
It is critical that British and Ethiopian Governments and Citizens should put all their differences aside and look for a common shared heritage of combating terrorism in all forms. This is a unique opportunity for us to see at the problem in the face and put all our resources into identifying the real terrorists in the region and make sure that such incidence never happens again.
We need to teach the terrorists the lessons of their lives by going not to the foot soldiers but to the root cause in Asmara the rougue leadership.
That is where British and Ethioipian National Security and leadership should focus.
The time is ripe to handle the shabia terror network once for all, so that we will not see this ever happening. The Saddam experience is a worth while lesson here. So long as he was left alone, he was recklessly firing at Allied Planes protecting those vulnerable Kurds in the North and the Shiites in the South. After Shock and Awe the whole terrorists moved to Bagdad and we need to ensure that is never repeated again.
Learn from Bagdad and Binladin is the message for All!
Belai Habte-Jesus, MD, MPH
Global Strategic Enterprises, Inc
HAMAD ELA, Ethiopia (AFP) - Four British diplomats arrived Monday at the remote site in northeast Ethiopia where five Britons and 13 Ethiopians were abducted last week, as Britain reportedly prepared a commando rescue team.
The Britons -- all linked to Britain's embassy in Addis Ababa -- and their Ethiopian drivers and translators, were kidnapped last Thursday in the remote Afar desert region near the Eritrean border, according to the Ethiopian state news agency.
Four members of a crisis team from London arrived at the remote town of Hamad Ela, where they questioned local inhabitants and examined the carcasses of three burnt out cars, one of which was an off-road vehicle carrying diplomatic number plates.
One vehicle appeared to have been destroyed by an explosion while the two others were peppered with bullet holes.
British newspapers reported Monday that a group of elite Special Air Service (SAS) commandos had been readied for a possible rescue attempt.
Some 60 SAS troops have already been dispatched to neighbouring Djibouti, the British Daily Mirror reported Monday, while the Times talked of a "substantial" team and the Guardian said special forces were already in Ethiopia itself.
The British Foreign Office refused to discuss the reports.
Eritrea on Monday categorically denied the abducted tourists were on its territory, calling reports they had been seen in a remote desert area inside their border "totally false".
"Today at least we know that they are not in Eritrea or have crossed the border illegally," Yemane Gebremeskel, the director of Eritrean President Issaias Afeworki's office, told AFP by telephone in Asmara.
"There is not even a probability. They are not in Eritrea."
He urged rescue efforts to focus their attention on the Ethiopian side of the border, from where the group was abducted.
"They must be inside Ethiopia and they must look for them there," he added.
Ethiopia's ambassador to Britain, Berharnu Kebede, and an Ethiopian foreign ministry spokesman also refused to be drawn on the issue of Eritrean involvement.
"We cannot fingerpoint anybody," said ministry spokesman Solomon Abebe, adding that the government still had no news of the abucted group.
Eritrean Information Minister Abdu Ali accused arch-foe Ethiopia of trying to tarnish his country's image.
"People have to ask the motive for this, and people should not rule out that this is not all a gimmick - for Ethiopia to use the catchwords of 'terrorism' and 'kidnapping' for their own public relations objective."
Relations between the two neighbours have been tense since Eritrea gained independence from Ethiopia in 1993 after a 30-year guerrilla war.
Despite a peace deal after a 1998-2000 war, the two neighbours have yet to define the status of their 1,000-kilometer (620-mile) frontier.
The kidnapped Britons -- three men and two women -- are members of staff, or relatives of members of staff of the Addis Ababa embassy.
According to the Italian foreign ministry, one of those kidnapped has dual British-Italian nationality.
Afar separatists started a low-level rebellion in the early 1990s against the division of the Afar people between the region's three countries.
Tourists visit the area mainly to see the Danakil Depression, one of the lowest and hottest places on Earth known for its salt mines and active volcanoes
The following is taken from a news site. Solomon Abebe is an official from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. It is saddening that priority is given to foreigners.
"We cannot fingerpoint anybody," said Solomon Abebe. "The priority for the government is that the Europeans are freed."
What a political blunder is it? It is no more about human lives that he is talking about. It is first the white man and then our citizens. The mental decolonization of our politicians has not yet taken place. While Ethiopia prides for not being colonized, our politicians seem to be willingly colonized.
Nearly in all airports of the West, we are being scrutinized as if we are time bombs. But here they are getting the utmost urgency. I would not mind if the Ato Solomon said the priority for the government is the hostages are freed. He makes a clear distinction between natives and the Europeans. (Note that all hostages are Europeans.) Had he done the same perhaps if the kidnapped were other Africans or Arabs? That is a question to be seen.
Pray that we get officials who have high concern for their own people in particular and for humanity in general.
Please read the whole news here http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20070305/wl_uk_afp/ethiopiakidnapbritaineritrea;_ylt=Ap2LVrh1rT2k8tbN6paSDEm96Q8F
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