Saturday, January 12, 2008

MDG: Promoting US-African Interests in US Elections! Fact or Fiction?

Global Strategic Enterprises, Inc for Peace and Prosperity-;, Promoting Win-Win Synergistic Partnerships across the globe!

Remembering Adwa 112 years on in 2008 Millennial Year and Lead Day, 29 February 2008

Remembering Adwa: Ethiopians win the Battle of Adwa against the Italians!

African Renaissance Millennium Foundation: (ARM Foundation)

Strategy in Changing the Image of Ethiopia/Africa and the Horn
African (Ethiopian) Renaissance Millennium Foundation

Purpose: To convert our challenges into new opportunities during the African Millennium

Strategy: Continuous Positive image development communications

I. Immediate: One Week Strategy; Converting our challenges into opportunities
Purpose: to respond to the Senate Hearing of Tues 12 Mar 08@10 am
1. Develop a working paper in line with Ethiopian Government/Embassy and Community
2. Post the working paper on Ethiopia/Horn on web sites, e-mail systems and broadcast it via radio, paltalk promoting the new developments in Ethiopia/Horn
3. Send e-mails to the Senate Africa Subcommittee, its chair and the Senate International Relations to pre-empt its evolution there
4. Have a series of writers on the Ethiopian as well as US-Ethiopia perspectives and publish them on websites, papers and e-mail distribution networks.
5. Contact Pro-Ethio-US relations academicians, think tanks and former diplomats

II. Intermediate: First three months: Setting the Agenda for interactive dialogue with all stakeholders

Purpose: To improve dialogue and understanding about the current progress in the Continent, Horn and Ethiopia within the regional and global context.

Approach: A series of conferences, workshops and presentations at different fora

Goals and SMART Objectives

1. Reviewing the past and chartering a better future series of conversations and presentations.

2. Assessing current challenges and opportunities of Africa (Ethiopia) and the Horn

3. Risk Assessment and Option Appraisal of the security, development and diplomatic agendas

4. Africa’s role in the Millennium: Lessons from OAU and AU and the respective international organizations, such as ASEAN, EU, Inter-American States, etc.

5. The role of international development and diplomatic agencies in Africa (EU/World Bank Group, NATO and AFRICOM, Non Aligned Movement and Common Wealth Groups, etc.

6. Defining African Future and Promoting the Interests and Potential of All People of African Descent- The OBAMA factor in US politics

7. Defining US-EU and Asia Africa Policy Visa Vis US Presidential Elections

8. HR 2003 & Wuchale Treaty lessons of Adwa and US Voice Vote Congressional Bill

9. The Future: Converting our Challenges into Opportunities

III. Short Term: Upto November 2008 US Elections

Purpose: To deliberate the process of US-Africa Policy and make positive contributions:

Goals and SMART Objectives

1. Set up Democratic and Republican Caucuses to influence US-Africa Policy

2. Define the Renaissance US-Africa Policy

3. Promote a Positive Renaissance Africa Policy Across the world

All Patriotic Ethiopians, Africans and Friends of Ethiopia and Africa:
Please choose any one of the sample attached letters to write to the Senate African Subcommittee and Senate Foreign and International Committee and post them as soon as possible before Monday morning.

Sample One:

March 6, 2008

The Honorable ________
United States Senate
________Senate Office Building
Washington, DC

Dear Senator __________,

I am writing to express my deep concern that Ethiopia, and its role in the Horn of Africa, is being misrepresented by some in Congress.

Actions in the House of Representatives and inaccurate statements in the media mischaracterize Ethiopia and the important role it plays in promoting regional and global stability.

Ethiopia is a vital partner of the United States in the fight against terrorism, supporting regional stability, and combating Islamic extremism in the Horn of Africa.

As you may know, the Horn of Africa is at a critical juncture with radical Islamists attempting to take control of Somalia, with the help of Eritrea, a country which may soon be designated a state sponsor of terrorism by the United States.

At this time, Congress should support Ethiopia as it addresses serious threats of regional war and terrorism.

Moreover, like the United States, Ethiopia is committed to promoting freedom and human dignity around the world. Ethiopia has demonstrated its commitment to alleviating suffering in the Horn of Africa by recently pledging 5,000 peacekeepers to boost the UN Mission in Darfur (UNAMID).

In addition, the United States-Ethiopia relationship is also focused on combating widespread disease like HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria.

I hope that you will join me today in recognizing the important contributions Ethiopia is making in the region and worldwide.

I thank you for your time and consideration of this important matter.


Second Sample Letter:

US Senator Russell Feingold
Washington, DC
506 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510-4904
(202) 224-5323
TDD (202) 224-1280
Fax (202) 224-2725

If you wish, please send him the following letter I designed via mail, email or fax. Add what is in [Brackets]. NOTE: THIS LETTER CAN BE FOR ANY US SENATOR.


Hon. Mr./Ms./Mrs. [Name]
United States Senator for [State]
[City, State Zip Code]

Dear Mr./Ms./Mrs. [Last Name],

As an American citizen [and as your constituent] I am writing to inform you about a piece of legislation that is making its way into the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee. This legislation, House Resolution 2003, Ethiopia Democracy and Accountability Act of 2007, was authored by Representative Donald M. Payne (D-NJ).

HR 2003, as it is better known as, is detrimental to the over 100 years of relations the people and governments of Ethiopia have had.

The current Ethiopian administration, led by Prime Minister Meles Zenawi, is an unprecedented government. Under this government, Ethiopians have enjoyed three elections in 1995, 2000 and 2005, with the latter being the most competitive. Furthermore, the country has slowly but surely developed in all respects which I want to briefly outline below:

· The Constitution: The Ethiopian Government introduced the first democratic Ethiopian constitution in 1994 and ratified it in 1995. It guaranteed every Nation, Nationality and person in Ethiopia their unconditional right to self determination and self-governance. It has provided a platform for democracy and democratic advancement in Ethiopia.

· Elections: The government has helped the Ethiopian people conduct 3 successful national elections including the most recent one which was hailed as a free and fair election by institutions such as the Carter Center and the African Union. The May 2005 elections in Ethiopia, although they were disputed, it was the first competitive election in Ethiopian history.

· Education: The government believes that education is a key factor for the improvement of economy. To this day, the government has more than quadrupled the number of colleges and universities in Ethiopia within the last 14 years. Now, there are 22 government universities and over 200 private universities and colleges, compared to the 1 government university and no private universities 40 years ago. Student enrollment and private colleges are increasing.

· Economy: The government encourages a free and fair market through the Ethiopian Privatization Agency (EPA) that was established in February, 1994. Since then many small businesses and large-scale enterprises have been privatized. The government's plan however hasn't worked to the fullest it could because domestic investors lack the capital to buy government-owned companies (the government is promoting domestic investment because it stimulates economic growth at a rate equal or better to foreign investment). Ethiopia's economy is one of the fastest growing in the world and it is the best non-oil dependent African economy.

· Court System: Out of its conviction to justice and the rule of law, the government has established the first independent court system in Ethiopia. In today's Ethiopia, justice is served to every citizen, no innocent citizen gets penalized for a crime he/she didn't commit and that no one is above the law of Ethiopia. The government has established a program to streamline judicial information through public records which would be available via telephone and the Internet as well as it has introduced a program in which district, state and federal courts would be connected through satellite communications.

· The Press: In being consistent with the Ethiopian Constitution, the government has given licenses to more than 100 private newspapers and magazines in Ethiopia. Freedom of Press is a milestone in Ethiopia as it was unheard of and unimagined in the previous governments of Mengistu Hailemariam and the monarchy. It is when the press abuses their rights and neglect their responsibilities that issues arise.

· Parliamentary System: The government has also introduced the first truly representative parliamentary system in Ethiopia, compromised of members elected directly by the people and responsible to their people. Ethiopia's parliamentary democracy allows for a multi-party system in which there are over 70 state and federal political parties.

As you can see, Ethiopia is progressing. Nevertheless, there are many issues still to be taken care of. However, the affairs of the Ethiopian nation must be conducted by Ethiopian citizens themselves. As Ethiopian Americans, while attached to our motherland, we do not have a say in our nation's affairs because the majority of us have American citizenship.

Furthermore, Ethiopia is a nation that has remained politically independent for millennia and it is safe to say that we don't appreciate it when our friends demand things out of our relations.

The Government of Ethiopia under Meles Zenawi has laid down the groundwork for a robust democracy. We do not expect everything to be done underneath Meles Zenawi's administration. Rather, we have expected that the national framework will be set down to promote the advancement of democracy. Not only have we expected that, but we are witnessing it now.

As Ethiopia is developing, it is imperative that our friends in Washington, DC not hurt our process but promote it by continuing to assist in good-governance programs and anti-corruption endeavors that effectively tackle the issues of the day.

Therefore, I urge you to oppose the passage of HR 2003 because while the title may contain Democracy and Accountability, the bill is anything but democratic. Not only it will hamper Ethiopian-American relations but it will also exacerbate the political climate in Ethiopia to an unnecessary level of polarization.

Thank you in advance for reading my [letter/fax/email] and I look forward to a reply.

Yours truly,

Congressional Record Statement of Senator Russ Feingold
On the Political Crisis in Ethiopia
March 3, 2008

Mr. President, I rise today to discuss the political situation in Ethiopia. The US-Ethiopian partnership is an incredibly important one – perhaps one of the more significant on the continent given not only our longstanding history but also the increasingly strategic nature of our cooperation in recent years.

Ethiopia sits on the Horn of Africa – perhaps one of the roughest neighborhoods in the world, with Somalia a failed state and likely safe haven for terrorists, Eritrea an inaccessible authoritarian regime that exacerbates conflicts throughout the region, Sudan a genocidal regime, and now Kenya descending into crisis. By contrast, Ethiopia seems relatively stable with its growing economy and robust poverty reduction programs.

Indeed, one look at the deteriorating situation on the Horn of Africa and it is clear just how essential our relationship with Ethiopia really is. Unfortunately, the Bush Administration’s approach to strengthening and building bilateral ties with Ethiopia has been short-sighted and narrow. As in other parts of the world, the Administration’s counter-terrorism agenda dominates the relationship, while poor governance and human rights concerns get a pass.

Mr. President, genuine democratic progress in Ethiopia is essential if we are to have a healthy and positive bilateral relationship. We can not allow a myopic focus on one element of security to obscure our understanding of what is really occurring in Ethiopia. Rather than place our support in one man, we must invest in Ethiopia’s institutions and its people to create a stable, sustainable political system.

As we are seeing right now in Kenya, political repression breeds deep-seated resentment, which can have destructive and far-reaching consequences. The United States and the international community can not support one policy objective at the expense of all others. To do so not only hurts the credibility of America and the viability of our democratic message, but it severely jeopardizes our national security.

Mr. President, I am seriously concerned about the direction Ethiopia is headed – because according to many credible accounts, the political crisis that has been quietly growing and deepening over the past few years may be coming to a head. For years, faced with calls for political or economic reforms, the Ethiopian government has displayed a troubling tendency to react with alarmingly oppressive and disproportionate tactics.

For example, Mr. President, in 2003, we received reports of massacres of civilians in the Gambella region of Ethiopia, which touched off a wave of violence and destruction that has yet to truly loosen its grip on the region. At that time, hundreds of lives were lost, tens of thousands were displaced, and many homes, schools, and businesses throughout the area were destroyed.

Credible observers agree that Ethiopian security forces were heavily involved in some of the most serious abuses and more than 5 years later no one has been held accountable and there have been no reparations.

The national elections held in May 2005 were a severe step back for Ethiopia’s democratic progress. In advance of the elections, the Ethiopian Government expelled representatives of the three democracy-promotion organizations supported by USAID to assist the Ethiopian election commission, facilitate dialogue among political parties and election authorities, train pollwatchers, and assist civil society in the creation of a code of conduct.

This expulsion was the first time in 20 years that a government has rejected such assistance, and the organizations have still not returned to Ethiopia because they do not feel an environment exists where they can truly undertake their objectives.

Despite massive controversy surrounding the polls, it is notable that opposition parties still won an unprecedented number of parliamentary seats. Their pursuit of transparency and democracy was again thwarted, however, when they tried to register their concerns about the election process.

In one incident, peaceful demonstrations by opposition members and their supporters in Ethiopia’s capital of Addis Ababa were met with disproportionate and lethal force that killed more than 30 people and injured over 100. In another incident, the Ethiopian government arrested thousands of peacefully protesting citizens who took to the streets in support of the opposition.

The systemic nature of this crackdown was revealed in credible reports coming from the Oromia and Amhara regions that federal police were unacceptably threatening, beating and detaining opposition supporters.

Indeed, international human rights groups documented that regional authorities were exaggerating their concerns about armed insurgency and “terrorism” to try to justify the torture, imprisonment and sustained harassment of critics and even ordinary citizens.

This tendency to portray political dissent as extremist uprisings has been repeated more recently with regards to what is being characterized by some as a brutal counterinsurgency operation led by Ethiopia’s military in the Ogaden, a long-neglected region that borders Somalia. Certainly I recognize the serious security concerns in this region, made worse by the porous borders of the failed state just a stone’s throw away.

But it is precisely because Ethiopia is our partner in the fight against al Qaeda, its affiliates and allies, Mr. President, that I am so concerned about what I understand to be a massive military crackdown that does not differentiate between rebel groups and civilians.

While I am sure there are few clean hands when it comes to fighting in the Ogaden region, the reports I have received about the Ethiopian government’s illicit military tactics and human rights violations are of great concern.

I have been hearing similar reports of egregious human rights abuses being committed in Somalia, about which I am gravely concerned. When I visited Ethiopia just over a year, I urged the Prime Minister not to send his troops into Somalia because I thought it might make instability there worse, not better.

Tragically, more than a year later, it seems my worst fears have been realized as tens of thousands of people have fled their homes, humanitarian access is at an all time low, and there are numerous reports of increasing brutality towards civilians caught in the crossfire. In the interest of its own domestic security, Ethiopia is contributing to increased regional instability.

Mr. President, what troubles me most is that the reports of Ethiopia’s military coming out of the Ogaden and Mogadishu join a long list of increasingly repressive actions taken by the Ethiopian government. The Bush Administration must not turn a blind eye to the aggressive – and recurring – tactics being utilized by one of our key allies to stifle dissent.

I certainly welcome the role the Bush Administration has played in helping to secure the release of many -- although not all -- of the individuals thrown in jail in the aftermath of the 2005 elections. I welcome the Embassy’s engagement with opposition members and their efforts to encourage Ethiopian officials to create more political space for alternative views, independent media, and civil society. These are all important steps Mr. President, but they do not go far enough.

The Administration’s efforts at backroom diplomacy, Mr. President, are not working. I understand and respect the value of quiet diplomacy, but sometimes we reach the point where such a strategy is rendered ineffective – when private rhetorical commitments are repeatedly broken by unacceptable public actions. For example, recent reports that the Ethiopian government is jamming our Voice of America radio broadcasts should be condemned in no uncertain terms, not shrugged off.

The Bush administration must live up to its own rhetoric in promoting democracy and human rights by making it clear that we do not – and will not -- tolerant the Ethiopian government’s abuses and illegal behavior. It must demonstrate that there are consequences for the repressive and often brutal tactics employed by the Ethiopian government, which are moving Ethiopia farther away from – not closer to – the goal of becoming a legitimate democracy and are increasingly a source of regional instability.

Mr. President, I’m afraid that the failure of this Administration to acknowledge the internal crisis in Ethiopia is emblematic of its narrow-minded agenda, which will have repercussions for years to come if not addressed immediately. Worse yet, without a balanced US policy that addresses both short- and long-term challenges to stability in Ethiopia, we run the risk of contributing to the groundswell of proxy wars rippling across the Horn – whether in Somalia, eastern Sudan, or even the Ogaden region. And those wars, in turn, by contributing to greater insecurity on the Horn and providing opportunities for forces that oppose U.S. interests, pose a direct threat to our own national security as well.

I yield the floor.

# # #

A foundation established to promote the achievement of the individual and collective potential of people of African Descent all over the world presents..

.Remembering Adwa on February 29, 2008 at the Ethiopian Embassy in Washington, DC

There are 6.5 Billion people on earth and the Chinese lead with 1.5 billion, Africans follow with 1.3 Billions and Indians with 1.2 Billion and Europeans with 1.2 Billion and the rest indigenous populations about 1.3 llion.

ARM Foundation addresses the individual and collective potential of people of African Descent scattered all over the world.

ARM Foundation Remembers Adwa of 1896; 112th Anniversary
Ethiopia wins the battle of Adwa! Remembering Millennial Adwa
March 1, 1896; Menelik and Adwa

Remembering Millennial ADWA (01 March 2008)
The Victory at Adwa was the victory of intelligence and courage over greed, ignorance and arrogance!

The Adwa Victory was in essence the victory of intelligence and courage over ignorance and arrogance!

Looking back with Millennial Vision

What took place 112 years ago? Perspectives: The African and European Interest at cross roads!

Does it have any impact on US Presidential elections? The OBAMA Phenomenon/

Does it have any impact on the Africom Plan in Africa and the new Chinese, European and American Scrable for Africa/

On this date in 1896, Ethiopia defeated the Italian colonial army in the Battle of Adwa. This victory signaled the decline of European colonialism in Black Africa and resurgence of African Renaissance and Sovereignty!

When Black African (Ethiopian) Menelik II came to the Ethiopian throne in 1889 the Italians thought that he would surrender power to them because they had been supplying him with arms.

2.What was the social and cultural consciousness of the time?

Context: W hat was happening around the world in 1896? Why Adwa and Why the Victory?
The World in the 1890s: The Consciousness of the time

Africa: The scramble for resources; the challenges of Turkish and European Dominance in the Red Sea and Mediterranean region

Asia: The Struggle for Survival
Europe: The Berlin Conference for the Scramble of African Resources
Americas: The Civil War, Expansion to the West
Ethiopia: The struggle to balance local, regional and international challenges.

The struggle between Gondar, Tigre, Showa, and Southern Kingdoms! Emperor Menilik prevails by balancing the local, regional and international challenges!
The resources and technology of the time! Intelligence and access to Gun powder prevails!

What was The Mission and Vision of the Time: Democracy Vs Dictatorship;
Why was Africa chosen to be the resource center for Europe?
Who were the agents of this great plan? Has this strategy changed and who are the current players?

African Union, Africom, European Union and China what are they doing in Africa and are the prevailing situations any different from what happened some 112 years ago/

Missionaries, Business people, Adventurers, Treasure hunters, Spies and who are their modern equivalents?

Adwa’s lesson for 21st Century Millennial Renaissance Transformation Agenda:
Challenges and Opportunities!

US-Africa Relations and US-Horn (Ethiopia)Relations: HR2003? Is it the new Wuchale Treaty or bill?

Why are Ethiopians have challenges with HR2003 and the reason why modern Africa is shy of modern Globalization; Free

In May of that year Menelik signed the Treaty of Wuchale giving the Italians access to some land in Tigre and the adjacent highlands.

Why did the Italians want to swindle Ethiopia?

The Italians tried to swindle him by having two different versions of the treaty, an Amharic, and Italian one; with Article 17 reading differently in each version.
Challenges of language and culture; Any Common Shared Value/Interest?

The Italian version said, “The Emperor consents to use the Italian government for all the business he does with all the other Powers or Governments.”

The Italians wanted to subjugate Ethiopian Freedom of Choice! That is what the UN MDG calls bad governance, dictatorship and evil!

Why would US want to pass a law for Ethiopia? Any cultural discordance here?
Historical Lesson:

The US Congress and Proponents of HR 2003 should learn from the Adwa history! Ethiopians treasure their freedom and sovereignity! Do not play with fire!

The Amharic version said, “The Emperor has the option to communicate with the help of the Italian government for all matters that he wants with the kings of Europe.”
Ethiopians want to have option, freedom to choose, and that is what the UN MDG calls good governance!

Cultural Diversity Lesson:

And Ethiopians call “ Divine Free Will and Divine Covenant that is sacred! And that can never be taken away by any one on earth! A sacred covenant of Millennial Ethiopian Civilization!

When Menelik realized that all his attempts to make the Italians understand his perspective failed , he and his courageous Queen Taitu, rejected the treaty and ceased all gratuities from and to the Italians.

Diplomatic Lesson:
When you do not respect your diplomatic covenant of win-win good relationship, you get booted out, sanctioned and thrown out of your host country!

(The first Economic and Diplomatic Sanction Against the Italians was initiated by Africans!)

In Europe all countries except Turkey, Russia, and France chose to support the Italian version of the story.

Menelik confronted the Italians angering Rome who ordered the Italian governor of Eritrea, General Oreste Baratieri to retaliate.

Invading territories should have consequences!

He captured the cities of Adigrat, Adwa, and Makalle from the Ethiopians and was noted as a hero in Italy.

The Italians fatally underestimated the Ethiopians thinking that they were barbarians who needed Roman civilization.

Intentional misunderstanding or criminal and evil terrorist act!

Bartieri returned to Eritrea boasting that he would bring Menelik back in a cage, not knowing Menelik had assembled 196,000 men in Addis Ababa.

Over 50% of these were armed with modern rifles. General Bartieri could only muster 25,000 men and when he realized that he was outnumbered he retreated to Adigrat where Menelik overwhelmed him for 45 days.

Kindness and civility in the face of terror is sheer recklessness!

Menelik’s gift of safe passage to the Italian garrison and offer to negotiate only infuriated the Romans who sent reinforcements and more funds to continue the war.
Timing is critical for peace and war!

Instead of attacking, as Baratieri hoped he would, Menelik concentrated his forces at Adwa and waited. While both sides waited for the other to attack throughout February 1896, supplies started to run out for both.

Attacking a well defended fortress is converting your soldiers into shooting practice gallery for the enemy

Menelik had set up depots to store food for his army but soon even these began to empty and the Army considered retreat.

The Italians’ supplies would only last until March 2nd (on half rations).
Organization, supplies and strategy is critical at war and peace!

On February 29th, angered by a telegram from Rome calling him incompetent and cowardly, Baratieri prepared to advance.

Avoid confrontation with your own team

He planned to send his troops along different routes to meet on the high ground overlooking Adwa by dawn on March 1st.

Attacking a high ground with poor visibility and knowledge of the terrain is recipe for disaster!

However, the country was so difficult to cross that his forces became lost and confused.

The confusion expanded great holes in the Italian lines and the Ethiopians took advantage.

The Ethiopian Counter-intelligence spies misinformed Baratieri to his death and disaster! Know the culture and language!

Led by Ras Makonnen of Harar (Earthly father of Emperor Haile Selassie I, I God, and King) who, with 30 000 warriors engaged in battle, was joined by masses of Menelik’s warriors.

Give Credit to the local heroes and Lords and Patriots!

In the battle that ensued, wave upon wave of Ethiopian soldiers attacked the Italians, causing them to run off in total confusion.

Counting the Roman loses and war casualties

At the end of the battle 289 Italian officers, 2,918 European soldiers, and about 2,000 Eritreans, fighting for the Italians, were dead.

More were wounded, missing or captured. Menelik stopped the torture of prisoners and forced the rest of the captured troops to march to Addis Ababa where they were held until the Italian government paid 10 million lire in reparation.

Take prisoners and make the enemy pay for their lives instead of killing them. Mercy and Punishment the Ethiopian way!

At the news of the victory at Adwa, Black people all over the world rejoiced.
The Foundation of African Renaissance Millennium Foundation, keeping the spirit of Black People High and Free and always maintaining the efforts to reach our individual and collective potential.

Ethiopia became a symbol of the struggle for freedom and Black intellectuals and religious leaders made pilgrimages to the country.

Ethiopia remains to be the symbol of Freedom for people of African Descent! And freedom loving people all over the world!

The battle of Adwa not only saved Ethiopia from colonization by Rome but also raised the status of an African country to an equal partner in the world community.

When the Italians under Mussolini again invaded the country 40 years later, Black people worldwide supported Haile Selassie’ efforts to regain freedom for Ethiopia and celebrated on May 5, 1941 when the Emperor returned in triumph to Addis Ababa.

The Encyclopedia Britannica, Fifteenth Edition; Copyright 1996 Encyclopedia Britannica Inc. ISBN 0-85229-633-0


Dear Patriotic Ethiopians and Friends of Ethiopia:

Re: Promoting Excellent US-Africa Interests during US Election and Pre-emptive US Policy towards the Horn and Ethiopia:

At the outset, promoting good relations between the US and Africa and Ethiopia in particular should be a business that happens all the time.

However, election time is one time where Foreign and Domestic policies are reviewed by the whole population at the time of the elections and having a positive dialogue on Africa/Ethiopia and US interests both at the short and long term is critical.

So, all interested African Americans should proactively promote a positive transformational agenda during the US elections. Remember: The US president is not only the President of the USA he or she is actually the president of the Globe in real terms. So, other nations would ignore US elections at their peril.

Africans and Ethiopians in particular have a strong stake at what happens in the US. The recent 50 years of the history of the Horn is the direct outcome of US policy that has promoted the current state of affairs. The Carter Fiasco stands out as the most highly controversial Cold-war battle ground where the US and Russia literally changed offices within days of changes in local governance. Some of the current fiasco is the direct outcome of decisions in those fateful days.

I continue to hear and read with interest the rather detached and what appears there is nothing we can do comments about US Election and Ethiopia (Horn of Africa) Policy.

I say detached, because there is a clear notion that we can do nothing, and the US Policy cannot change. This with due respect is highly erroneous and the lazy man/woman approach to life.

The whole US election is premised on the option of change, big change that too with Obama and Clinton as well as Romeny and McCaine on both sides of the river.

Ethiopian Millennial Renaissance Transformation Agenda demands from all of us that we need to change not only the US but world opinion towards win-win diplomatic, security and investment ventures.

So, my dear friends, instead of just clapping hands when they are fighting for the future of their people and their country, we should also define and redefine the Horn Regional Interests and make a highly interactive group that defines our interests visa vis Americas, Europe, Arabs, Middle East and Asia.

The demands of the time is that this generation has to stop singing other's songs like it did for Mao, Marx, Lenin and then Kennedy and all other heroes of other nations by intentionally killing and demeaning our own contributions.

So, I challenge every one to come up with win-win strategies for all options, that is for Democrats, Republicans and all sorts of loony liberals in between, and translate Ethiopia's Millennial Transformational Renaissance Agenda of Good Governance, Pre-emptive Security and Sustainable Prosperity in their respective languages.

I challenge every one to stand up from the comfort of lose-lose we cannot do any thing attitude to Yes, We can and It is our responsibility to ensure that every one understands with uncertain terms that Ethiopia's Interests Prevails by all sorts means possible. Here I mean by intelligent, proactive and interactive dialogue that the time demands.

So, let us define what the talking points for Democrats and Republicans should be.

Here is my list:

1. Good governance for both Democratic and Republican Activists (Conservatives & Progressives, etc across the world)

2. Pre-emptive security for Republicans Activists (Ethiopia's historical and current role on international and regional security and prosperity agendas)

3. Sustainable Prosperity and Peace for Democrats and Republican Activists

4. Ethiopia as The only island of Peace and Security in the sea of terror and insecurity for Republican Activists.

5. Ethiopia as the beacon of civilization and freedom for the Democrats and Progresives

6. Ethiopia as the example of Unity in Diversity for the Republican
Ethiopia as the spring board for African Renaissance for Obama and McCain group

7. Ethiopia as the nation where women leaders had prevailed: Queens: Azeb, Maqda, Yodit Gudit, Taitu, Zewditu, etc for Ms Clinton and the Democratic and Progressive Gender Society.

8. Ethiopia as a wave of the future for Sustainable Development and Prosperity for the Obamas- show Obama what happened in Kenya and what happened in Ethiopia and how Ethiopia managed to Manage the Failed Orange Revolution while Kenya is suffering.

9. For details of great ideas, I refer you to and to Sunday 3:00 to 5:00 Broadcast Series of Voice of the Patriots (

Now is the time to be proactive and be volunteers in the Democratic and Rpublican Candidate Campaigns and let them know you count and your interest counts.

We can also build local Ethio-American Election Platform.

Yes Ethiopia' Interest Can and Will Prevail, if we are proactive, organized and have a vision and shared value with each group.

Try it ..courage and intelligence always wins!

with regards

Belai Habte-Jesus, MD, MPH
Global Strategic Enterprises 4 Peace & Prosperity
Evaluating U.S. Policy Objectives and Options on the Horn of Africa
Hearing before the Subcommittee on African Affairs
The Committee on Foreign Relations
United States Senate
March 11, 2008

Testimony by Thomas A. Dempsey, Colonel, U.S. Army (ret.)
Professor, Security Sector Reform

U.S. Army Peacekeeping and Stability Operations Institute

Former Director of African Studies, U.S. Army War College

I thank the subcommittee and Chairman Feingold for inviting me to participate in this hearing. I have been asked to discuss recent developments in the Horn of Africa and their implications for U.S. military and counterterrorism policy towards this region over the past two years.

I will also offer some comments regarding our efforts to improve regional security capacity more generally in this volatile area of the world. The views that I offer are my own, as an academic and former practitioner in African security affairs, and are not intended to be a statement on behalf of the United States Army, the Peacekeeping and Stability Operations Institute, or the current Administration.

Counterterrorism in the Horn of Africa

I suggested almost two years ago that the U.S. response to terrorist hubs operating in African failed states, like Somalia, had been less than adequate. I noted that military strikes which target terrorists directly have enjoyed few successes in failed states, and have tended to legitimate terrorist groups by providing them combatant status under the Geneva Convention.

Law enforcement efforts have likewise enjoyed few successes in failed states, as civilian law enforcement agencies lack the capacity to penetrate or operate effectively in the violent environments presented by countries like Somalia.

Security assistance programs, while enjoying some remarkable successes elsewhere on the African continent, require partnering with host nation security institutions that are simply not present in those areas of the Horn at greatest risk.

While attempts to address the root causes of terrorism may offer an effective counterterrorism strategy, such efforts require extended periods of time in order to show results—time which appears to be running short in the case of the Horn.

I argued in my original study of this topic that better integrating the efforts of the U.S. foreign intelligence community with U.S. military capabilities and U.S. law enforcement offers a more effective strategy for countering terrorist hubs operating in failed states and ungoverned spaces like those that confront us in the Horn of Africa.

The foreign intelligence community is best equipped to identify terrorist hubs operating in these areas which may be developing global reach and directly threatening U.S. national interests. Once those threats have been identified, a synthesis of expeditionary military forces and civilian law enforcement agencies will be far more effective in dealing with the terrorist hubs than either element can be while operating independently.

The military forces establish access to failed states and ungoverned spaces for law enforcement officers, and carve out a secure environment for those officers to perform their core function of indentifying, locating, and apprehending criminal, in this case terrorist, suspects.

Dealing effectively with terrorist groups and activities requires more than just taking them into custody, however.

Once terrorists have been located, identified, and apprehended, they must be screened to assure that they are, indeed, the terrorist suspects that the apprehending officers believe them to be, a task that I suggested was appropriate to a properly constituted and administered military tribunal, which could be provided by the supporting military force. Individuals whose status as a terrorist suspect is confirmed would then be delivered to an appropriate criminal justice system,

whether national or international, for arraignment and trial. This strategy would avoid the legitimizing effect of treating terrorists as military targets, while discrediting their activities through public trials that shine the light of international scrutiny on their terrorist acts.

In the two years since that study was published, I believe that events have borne out several of my original conclusions. Failed states and ungoverned spaces have continued to provide platforms for terrorist recruiting and operational planning, as events in Somalia have demonstrated.

Our continued dependence upon military strikes as our primary approach to counterterrorism has yielded a few tactical successes, but has yet to demonstrate any long term impact at the operational or strategic levels. Those strikes have, however, generated significant levels of controversy, skepticism and outright mistrust among many of our key partners, especially within the AFRICOM AOR.

The collateral damage, including loss of innocent civilian lives, which is an unavoidable consequence of military strikes, no matter how carefully or surgically delivered, threatens to undermine the moral authority of our counterterrorism efforts and arguably contributes to the ongoing recruitment efforts of the terrorist groups themselves.

This is particularly problematic in a country like Somalia, where clan politics and the complex web of alliances and obligations among dia-paying groups lend unexpected consequences to the exercise of lethal force.

On the positive side, however, the past two years have seen some significant progress in fostering cooperation and synergy between military and law enforcement communities in the Africa region, including the Horn. Several developments on the American side have contributed to this progress, most notably the promulgation of NSPD-44, the establishment of the Office of the Department of State Coordinator for Stabilization and Reconstruction, and issuance of Department of Defense Directive 3000.05, which established stability operations as a core mission of U.S. military forces.

The emergence of whole-of-government approaches to stabilization and reconstruction, both within the U.S. government and among its international partners, is transforming strategies for dealing with transnational problems like terrorism and drug trafficking in failed states and ungoverned spaces.

This transformation opens the door to pursuing an alternative counterterrorism strategy that leverages both military and law enforcement core competencies to identify, apprehend, and convict the planners and perpetrators of terrorist acts. The emergence of security sector reform as an effective tool of state, sub-regional, regional and international capacity building can facilitate and support the pursuit of such alternative strategies.

Improving Security Capacity in the Horn of Africa

The same developments that offer opportunities to enhance regional counterterrorism strategies promise to enhance the building of security capacity in the sub-region more generally. Integrated strategies that address capacity building in a comprehensive way have the potential to fundamentally recast the security environment in the Horn.

Promoting rule of law and good governance, to include strengthening accountability mechanisms and supporting democratic processes, can lay the foundation for a broader and more durable concept of sub-regional security.

This is not a pipe dream: the process is already underway in West Africa, embodied in the ECOWAS Mechanism for Conflict Management and its Protocol on Democracy and Good Governance, and clearly evident in the comprehensive governance and security sector reform programs underway in Liberia and Sierra Leone.

An especially encouraging development in this respect is the emergence of the UN Integrated Mission as a key player in stabilization and reconstruction efforts. UN Integrated Missions, the best examples of which are currently in Liberia and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, provide a comprehensive framework within which partners, to include the U.S., can develop and implement a complete restructuring of the security environment in collaboration with the host nation.

An Integrated Mission can provide levels of resourcing and oversight that are not available from any other source, and can offer a vehicle for undertaking the massive, transformative reconstruction of the security sector that is necessary to the recovery of states that have failed as completely, as was the case in Liberia, and continues to be the case in Somalia.

The rapid recovery currently underway in Liberia demonstrates clearly the potential of even the most devastated area to restore legitimate, functional governance, once a genuinely secure environment is created for the host nation and its partners to undertake reconstruction activities.

In the context of Somalia, a quick transition from African Union forces to a full-fledged, Integrated UN Mission is the key to jump-starting a recovery process that will ultimately support counterterrorism initiatives as well as broader governance and security agendas. U.S. support to such a mission in a whole-of-government approach orchestrated through the mechanisms currently being developed by the U.S. interagency, under the leadership of S/CRS, can provide critical mass to this effort.

Active involvement of AFRICOM, the new Unified Command for Africa, can also contribute significantly to helping U.S. agencies focus effectively on a broader security agenda in the Horn. Such an agenda, while it cannot neglect the other major issues confronting the sub-region, must center, first and foremost, on addressing the ongoing challenges posed by the situation in Somalia.

Evaluating U.S. Policy Objectives and Options on the Horn of Africa
Testimony Before the U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations
Subcommittee on African Affairs
March 11, 2008

Theresa Whelan, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for African Affairs
Office of the Secretary of Defense
Washington, D.C.


Good morning, Chairman Feingold, distinguished Members of the Committee. Thank you for the opportunity to speak to you today about the situation in the Horn of Africa, and the Department of Defense’s activities in the region.

Africa, and the Horn of Africa in particular, is a region of great strategic importance to the United States. At the crossroads of Sub-Saharan Africa and the Near East, the Horn presents a series of complex threats to U.S. national security, including weak governance, lawlessness, territorial disputes, and safe havens for terrorism.

If ignored or unaddressed, all of these issues will have dire consequences for the people of the Horn, for the broader region, for our friends and Allies on the continent, and for the United States. We believe that a coordinated U.S. foreign and national security policy in the Horn of Africa, of which our defense relations are a component, is of critical importance to U.S. strategic and security interests.
Department of Defense in the Horn

The Department of Defense’s activities in the Horn are a subset of the U.S. national strategy for Africa, as outlined by the President in National Security Presidential Directive 50, and support the Department of State’s foreign policy goals of countering terrorism and building local capacity. Our activities with African partners focus on issues of mutual strategic concern, including the
elimination of terrorist safe havens, prevention of arms and human trafficking, and ensuring enduring access to land and sea lanes of communication. We address these security interests by working with African partners to promote civilian control and defense reform, and to build local military capacity.

This is achieved by ensuring their militaries are appropriately sized and funded, by professionalizing militaries through training to develop and maintain well-trained and disciplined forces with a respect for law and human rights, and by building capacity of African partner militaries that positively contribute to combating terrorism, and that prevent and respond to national and regional crises.
Theater security cooperation remains the cornerstone of our strategy to enhance partner capabilities and to promote these relationships and common interests. Within the Horn, our engagement and activities are governed by the realities of regional instability and our bilateral relationships.


The security situation in Ethiopia remains challenging and complex, with profound regional implications.

One area of significant concern is the on-going border dispute between Ethiopia and Eritrea. Both Ethiopia and Eritrea dedicate a significant portion of military resources and efforts to manning the border region, and we remain concerned about the possibility for renewal of hostilities along the border. We believe that any return to conflict between Ethiopia and Eritrea would undermine stability throughout the entire region.

Beyond the border, Ethiopia is facing genuine security concerns in the Ogaden region.

The Ogaden National Liberation Front (ONLF) continues to wage a separatist movement in the Ogaden region with outside support, including from 2
neighboring Eritrea. Following the April 2007 attack that killed nine Chinese oil workers and more than 70 Ethiopians, the Government of Ethiopia increased its operations in a coordinated counterinsurgency campaign in the region. As a result, we have seen increased military operations coupled with restrictions on commercial traffic and humanitarian access.

We continue to monitor the situation in the Ogaden, but given that we no longer have the level of access that we previously had to the region, we are unable to confirm the actual facts on the ground. We are, however, acutely aware that for a counterinsurgency campaign to be successful, the military must respect the local civilian populace.

We continue to pursue a strategic bilateral relationship with Ethiopia and the Ethiopian National Defense Forces (ENDF), a partner in regional counter-terrorism activities.

We believe that promotion of a professional ENDF, committed to human rights and rule of law, is best achieved through engagement, rather than isolation, and we have invested in training and supporting the professionalization of the Ethiopian forces.

Our engagement with the Government of Ethiopia and the ENDF emphasizes our expectation that any military partner of the United States is to behave in a professional manner with full respect for the rule of law and citizens’ rights. Our training engagement is particularly important with the ENDF, a 200,000-person military that is professionalizing and restructuring into a more conventional force.

This transformation has been challenged and made all the more necessary by the border conflict, the counterinsurgency campaign in the Ogaden, and Ethiopia’s military activities in Somalia.

Our relationship with the ENDF includes military education, counter-terrorism capability development, and funding for equipment purchases and maintenance to support the ENDF’s modernization. Our security assistance office in Addis works closely with the Embassy to ensure our assistance complies with Leahy Law
requirements. Until last year, the U.S. conducted military to military training in basic soldiering and commando skills at small outposts in central Ethiopia. All of this training emphasized the rule of law.

While this training ceased in 2007 at the request of the Ethiopian government, we continue our activities at the Ethiopian Command and Staff College, where we have two uniformed instructors who have trained over 120 mid- and senior-level Ethiopian military officers. We believe that continued robust security cooperation, including military to military training, is critical to the development of the ENDF and to U.S. foreign and national security policy in the region.


Although we currently do not have a bilateral relationship with the Eritrean Defense Forces (EDF), we believe there are areas of strategic security interest to the United States, including maritime security in the crucial shipping lanes in the Red Sea and the transformation of the EDF from a guerilla force to a smaller, professional military. Since the closure of our Security Assistance Office in Asmara in early 2006, based on indications from the Government of Eritrea that it no longer wished to maintain a bilateral military relationship, we have had little to no contact with the Eritrean forces.

The Government of Eritrea continues to undermine security in the Horn of Africa by supporting destabilizing elements in the region.

We are concerned about Eritrea’s actions, including the decision in November 2007 to deny the United Nations Mission in Ethiopia and Eritrea (UNMEE) the right to purchase or import fuel, de facto forcing UNMEE’s current relocation of forces out of the TSZ and into Asmara.

We continue to monitor the situation with UNMEE, and particularly whether UNMEE, now that it has started to withdraw from Eritrea, will be allowed to take with it all its equipment. If UNMEE were not allowed to take its equipment out of the country, Eritrea in essence would receive a windfall of military equipment left by departing UN troops.


Another area of concern for us is the situation in Somalia. Although we have no bilateral military cooperation with the Transitional Federal Government (TFG), we are watching the security situation in Somalia and the implications of its continued instability for the region as a whole.

Although recent efforts of the new TFG Prime Minister to reach out to elements of the opposition appear promising, there are serious and on-going concerns about the security situation throughout Somalia.

There is sporadic violence between Somaliland and Puntland forces. The lack of a representative security force impedes the TFG’s efforts to extend its authority and control over all of Somalia, including portions of Mogadishu and the southern border area.

Terrorist and extremist elements, including the al Qaeda-affiliated al-Shabaab militia, continue to exploit TFG weaknesses and are attempting to undermine any efforts towards a peaceful dialogue process and seek a safe haven in Somalia.

The ability of al Qaeda operatives and their affiliates to continue to use Somalia as a base for operations is a real and severe threat not only to Somalia, but to the entire region and to the United States.

We continue to work with our partners, particularly Djibouti, Kenya and Ethiopia, to develop a regional counter-terrorism capability to respond to terrorists and extremist elements in Somalia that threaten U.S. interests and the security of the region.

Security assistance, including through traditional funding streams like foreign military financing (FMF) and international military education training (IMET), and the DoD 1206 authority, have allowed us to support partners as they develop the capability to respond to the terrorist threat emanating from Somalia. Kenya’s progress in developing a counter-terrorism capability, with U.S. assistance, has been critical to regional security.

Continued and increased assistance to these front-line states is crucial to ensuring that the instability in Somalia does not impact its neighbors. There also may be opportunities to make progress in Somalia by working with those parts of Somalia, including Somaliland, that are relatively stable. In addition to our partner relationships, the U.S. also has on-going operations in the region that respond to the presence of identified al Qaeda terrorists in Somalia.


We remain committed to promoting security and stability in the Horn of Africa, and believe this is in the best interests of the people and governments of the region, and of the United States.

The Department of Defense’s relations and policies in the region are subordinate to our foreign and national security policies, and consequently we continue to support and work closely with the Embassies and USAID missions in the region to ensure our activities are consistent with and support U.S. foreign policy objectives in the Horn.

Thank you, and I would be happy to take your questions.


MARCH 11, 2008

Chairman Feingold and Members of the Committee, thank you for the opportunity to appear before you today to discuss USAID’s programs in the Horn of Africa. U.S. Government objectives for the Horn of Africa are to promote stability, combat terrorism, and advance democracy and economic development while addressing the humanitarian needs of the region’s people.

Like elsewhere in the world, USAID’s efforts to promote economic development, strengthen democracies, and help people fulfill their human aspirations in the countries of the Horn of Africa will ultimately contribute to greater stability in the region.
The Horn of Africa continues to face numerous humanitarian challenges. Thus far in FY 2008, USAID has spent over $265 million in food and non-food humanitarian assistance in Ethiopia and Somalia alone.

In addition to drought, which has contributed to near-famine conditions in the Horn during six of the past 10 years, ongoing tension between Ethiopia and Eritrea, prolonged civil and clan conflict in Somalia, and the multifaceted conflict in Ethiopia’s Ogaden region continue to drain the human and financial resources of these countries, undermining national and international development efforts and the stability of the region as a whole.

Providing effective humanitarian assistance in these environments is enormously difficult, and attacks targeting humanitarian personnel in both Somalia and the Ogaden highlight the risks our partners face on a daily basis. The unexpected crisis in Kenya—the stable “anchor” country in the Horn and East Africa region—has also added further challenging dimensions.


Somalia has struggled to reestablish effective central governance following nearly two decades of civil conflict.

As Somalia enters a projected transition to a democratically-elected government in 2009, U.S. foreign policy objectives in Somalia are to eliminate the terrorist threat, promote political stability by supporting the establishment of a functioning central government, and address the humanitarian needs of the Somali people. U.S. assistance is helping to build the capacity of the Transitional Federal Government, the components of which are known as the Transitional Federal Institutions, to provide social services and support the transitional process leading to national
elections and the establishment of permanent, representative government institutions.

The United States also works closely with other donor partners and international organizations to support the development of an effective and representative security sector, including the military, police, and judiciary, while supporting ongoing peacekeeping efforts in Somalia.

The deteriorating humanitarian situation continues to be a significant concern to which the United States is providing substantial assistance. Peace and Security: USAID will continue to provide training and support in conflict mitigation and reconciliation to political, clan, and civil society leaders in order to promote stability conducive to social and economic development.

In FY 2007, the United States supported the successful convening of the National Reconciliation Congress, which brought together more than 2,600 delegates to Mogadishu.

The National Reconciliation Congress succeeded in producing concrete recommendations on the transitional tasks ahead, including the drafting of a constitution and preparations for elections, as well as calling for the Transitional Federal Parliament to ratify an amendment to the Transitional Federal Charter that allowed for ministerial positions to be held by non-members of parliament, paving the way for enhanced representation in the Transitional Federal Government.

USAID, in concert with the State Department, is working closely with other donor partners to support the efforts of Prime Minister Nur “Adde” Hassan Hussein, under the leadership of President Abdullahi Yusuf Ahmed, in promoting reconciliation at all levels across Somali society.

USAID is also supporting quick impact community based projects to provide tangible, practical benefits; in FY 2007, 65 quick impact projects were supported benefiting over 6,000 households. Complementary support is being provided to civil society and media programs to enable government-civil society collaboration and promote transparency and accountability.

Governing Justly and Democratically: USAID assistance both supports the transitional political process, as well as programs to build the capacity of government ministries and train public sector executives in the transparent and accountable management.

USAID recently contributed to a multi-donor package of minimum needs that will allow the new Transitional Federal Government cabinet to establish itself in Mogadishu over the next six months.

Programs are providing assistance for the Transitional Federal Institutions to help re-establish appropriate executive functions, including ongoing training of thirty directors general from selected ministries, provision of basic equipment, and deployment of technical advisors in the office of the President and other key ministries.

Support also includes the launching of a Public Administration and Capacity Building Institute in Mogadishu and programs to strengthen the capacity of the Transitional Federal Parliament.

Despite the difficult environment and the limited timeframe available for constitution-making, the outcome of the National Reconciliation Congress and the recent appointments of a new prime minister and cabinet provide an opportunity for reviving the constitutional process. U.S. assistance is also encouraging continued democratization and development in the regional administrations in Somaliland and Puntland. USAID will continue to support existing and emerging civil society institutions, including independent media outlets, which are key stakeholders in Somalia.

Investing in People: USAID is also working with the Transitional Federal Government to support the delivery of critical social services, including basic education and essential health interventions. The integrated USAID program provides support for essential social services directly at the community level.

The program is expanding assistance designed to increase student attendance and retention by rehabilitating community primary schools; training additional teachers, especially women; and increasing access to education. Health programs are focusing resources on delivering basic maternal and child health interventions at the health facility and community levels in collaboration with relevant line ministries and local government counterparts.

U.S. assistance will also provide funds to develop safe water points and latrines in community schools and health posts. Humanitarian Assistance: Continued insecurity, localized drought conditions, and increasing numbers of internally displaced persons have generated deteriorating humanitarian conditions in Somalia, particularly affecting Mogadishu and Lower Shabelle, Middle Shabelle, Hiran, and Central regions.

Multiple attacks on humanitarian relief staff and facilities in January and early February have led to the withdrawal of some international staff and temporary travel restrictions, further complicating efforts to provide critical assistance.

According to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization’s Food Security Analysis Unit, the number of people requiring humanitarian assistance and livelihood support has increased from 1.5 million as of mid-2007 to nearly two million people in early 2008, which includes both new and long-term internally displaced populations in rural areas of southern and central Somalia.

The Food Security Analysis Unit notes that these figures do not represent the sizeable but unknown number of vulnerable households in urban settings, which are also affected by record high prices for staple foods, disruptions in market and commercial activities, and the ongoing conflict.

In response to growing concern over food insecurity among displaced and affected households, relief agencies are reviewing current response plans and food stocks.

The United States and other donors are working with the Prime Minister and his Cabinet to help address bureaucratic and security impediments to delivery of humanitarian assistance and help improve access for humanitarian relief.

We are heartened by the Transitional Federal Government’s recent commitment to work with donor partners and NGOs to improve humanitarian access, but urge the Transitional Federal Government to implement the necessary steps as soon as possible to ensure that aid reaches those in need.

In FY 2007 and to date in FY 2008, the U.S. Government has provided more than $139 million for health, nutrition, agriculture and food security, livelihoods, coordination, protection, and water, sanitation, and hygiene programs, as well as for emergency food assistance, peace-building activities, refugee assistance, and air operations in Somalia.

ETHIOPIA Ethiopia is one of the world’s poorest countries, with severe malnutrition and health problems affecting up to one-tenth of the population of over 77 million. The country nevertheless has experienced robust economic and export growth in recent years (around eight percent annually) but subsistence agriculture is prevalent and vulnerable to seasonal flooding and cyclical droughts.

The country is experiencing growing pains in its march toward democracy and a market economy. With U.S. support, Ethiopia continues to undertake ambitious programs to facilitate peaceful change, reduce poverty, advance political reform, boost sustainable economic growth, and increase the quality and coverage of health, education, and other service delivery.

U.S.-supported governance, judicial and conflict mitigation programs help improve political dialogue, strengthen civil society, and lessen ethnic conflict. U.S. assistance will continue to help the government tackle the underlying causes of food insecurity through employment generation and enterprise growth. Support to the Productive Safety Net Program and Pastoral Livelihoods Initiatives will continue to build resilience among the most vulnerable.

Three Presidential Initiatives—the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, the President’s Malaria Initiative, and the recent Education Initiative—will provide assistance for integrated programs for the prevention, treatment and care of HIV/AIDS and malaria, and improve access to education for all Ethiopians, particularly underserved girls.

Regional foreign assistance programs will continue to support refugee flows, including repatriation programs, as well as projects which combat environmental degradation.

Peace and Security: Conflict mitigation and reconciliation programming is designed to help stabilize border regions with Eritrea, Sudan, and Somalia by addressing tensions arising from competition over scarce resources and expanding openings to resolve long-standing disputes between the Government of Ethiopia and insurgent groups.

USAID is working to build the capacity and support the interventions of joint government-civil society conflict management partnerships at the local, regional, state and national levels to prevent and manage conflict in violence-prone areas, including assisting with the development of a national conflict management policy.

Governing Justly and Democratically: USAID programs are supporting constructive dialogue among Ethiopians who represent diverse political perspectives and ethnic groups to build consensus on key issues.

Funds are also being used to support multilateral efforts to facilitate the ongoing restructuring of elections and political processes and build capacity in preparation for the May 2010 national elections.

USAID is helping to strengthen the capacity and role of civil society; improve independent human rights monitoring, investigation and reporting; and improve the respect the judiciary and police have for international, national and institutional human rights standards.

U.S. assistance is also used to ensure a U.S. role in the ongoing multi-donor support program to strengthen the federal and regional parliaments operating in the new, multiparty environment, and build the capacity of the National and Regional Judicial Training Centers and selected law schools.

Capacity building efforts are also assisting the Gambella and Somali Regional State Governments to improve governance through better service delivery. Investing in People: Ethiopia’s health services and education are slowly improving but are still among the poorest quality in the world.

USAID programs continue to support and improve management and quality of health care services including family planning services to meet the growing unmet demand in order to reduce Ethiopia’s very high population growth rate to sustainable levels. Investments in health and education are enabling Ethiopians to take advantage of expanded economic opportunities.

USAID is supporting activities that expand access to sustainable reproductive healthcare and high-quality, voluntary family planning services and information contributing to poverty reduction.

USAID provides support in maternal and child health to help mitigate the effects of external shocks, foster a healthier workforce, and focus on both child and adult education in the hinterlands.

Funds are also used to help combat tuberculosis and reduce the incidence of malaria, major sources of morbidity and workforce absenteeism, and improve access to safe water supplies and basic sanitation, ultimately improving rural household health and food security.

Africa Education Initiative assistance and other USAID support will improve the quality and equity of primary education through training teachers and administrators, strengthening planning, management, and monitoring and evaluation systems, and fostering community partnerships and school governance through capacity-building of parent-teacher associations and management of school grants. S

cholarship support is assisting girls and HIV/AIDS orphans to succeed in school. Ethiopia is receiving significant support to scale up integrated prevention, care and treatment programs throughout the country and support orphans and vulnerable children, thereby forging linkages with the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief funded-programs.

New assistance in FY 2008 under the President's Malaria Initiative will expand efforts to scale up proven preventive and treatment interventions toward achievement of 85 percent coverage among vulnerable groups to support the program’s goal of reducing malaria-related morbidity by 50 percent.

Economic Growth: The U.S. Mission in Ethiopia is using a range of assistance to leverage investment, export and private sector growth.

USAID programs help to drive economic growth and promote a more enabling environment for agriculture, the private sector, small and medium enterprises, and trade and investment in general. Focus will continue on developing commodity exchanges, improving access to finance, and establishing policies to enable private-sector-led economic growth.

Programs also focus on enhancing the productivity and competitiveness of key sectors, especially in rural areas.

This includes investments in the tourism sector, agri-business expansion, support to African Growth and Opportunity Act exports and World Trade Organization accession, continued support to pastoralist areas, and support to the livestock and agriculture sectors which employ 85 percent of the workforce and contribute 45 percent of GDP.

These programs are continuing to increase economic prosperity through exports and job and wealth creation.

The U.S. Mission will continue its focus on the most vulnerable populations, providing impetus for new and alternative livelihood programs, improved gricultural practices, better livestock husbandry and meat and dairy marketing, and phyto-sanitation.

Along with other major donors, the United States supports the Government of Ethiopia’s Productive Safety Net Program to reduce food insecurity, which affects 44 percent of the population.

Investments in the Safety Net Program and related policy, regulatory, and administrative systems are serving to protect vulnerable populations and contribute to poverty reduction and rural economic growth.

USAID funding is also helping to strengthen small enterprise and other poverty reduction efforts related to the Productive Safety Net Program. Humanitarian Assistance: The United States is the major donor assisting the Government of Ethiopia to anticipate and respond effectively to any natural or man-made disaster.

USAID will continue to work closely with the Ethiopia Disaster Prevention and Preparedness Agency, to increase capacity for early warning and to provide humanitarian assistance of emergency food and non-food aid.

Current Humanitarian Situation Ongoing trade and access restrictions in Somali Region—though they have eased just slightly over the last few months—coupled with insecurity and recent drought conditions in Southern Ethiopia have increased humanitarian needs and food security concerns.

In Somali Region, insecurity, reduced humanitarian access and now poor rainfall are leading to deteriorating humanitarian conditions and increased malnutrition.

Distributions of food aid and commercial food deliveries in some areas are subject to inadequate delivery systems or are being disrupted, impeding the ability to address the needs of affected populations, according to USAID’s Famine Early Warning Systems Network.

Food Security and Agriculture: Overall food security in Ethiopia has improved over the past several years, and the main agricultural season between October and December, which represents 90 to 95 percent of total crop production countrywide, was above the recent five-year average.

However an estimated eight million chronically food insecure people in Afar, Oromiya, Amhara, Tigray, Somali, and Southern Nations regions receiving food assistance and cash transfers while building productive assets through the Productive Safety Net Program continue to confront a food security crisis.

In addition, approximately 1.3 million people require emergency food assistance, including nearly one million people in Somali Region, 84,000 people displaced by last year’s flooding, and more than 260,000 people in Oromiya Region affected by localized crop failures, according to Famine Early Warning Systems Network.

Somali Region: Although slowly improving, recent restrictions on trade and movement in Somali Region have disrupted livelihoods and increased food insecurity among pastoralists and agro-pastoralists in the five zones under military operations—Warder, Korahe, Gode, Fik, and Degehabur.

The inability to access markets combined with high food commodity prices has decreased food availability and dietary diversity, contributing to increased levels of malnutrition in affected areas for local populations dependent on the sale and exchange of livestock for income.
The December 2007 deyr rains assessment mission in Somali Region identified approximately 1.5 million people living in restricted areas of Warder, Korahe, Gode, Fik, and Degehabur zones in need of humanitarian or livelihood assistance between January and June 2008.

As of February 19, humanitarian agencies had distributed approximately 10,000 of the estimated 52,000 metric tons of food aid required to the region, according to the UN World Food Program.

The Government of Ethiopia has approved 21 non-governmental organizations to operate in the five Somali zones under military operations, but few organizations have been able to initiate programs to date, according to field reports.

In addition, the Government of Ethiopia has approved 186 food distribution points—a 38 percent decrease from the previously utilized 300 distribution points.

However, delays and logistical restraints have limited actual food distributions, and the full resumption of commercial activities remains critical to improving food security in the region.

From November 23 to 26, USAID Administrator and Director of Foreign Assistance Henrietta H. Fore and I visited Ethiopia, including Somali Region, to discuss humanitarian conditions and efforts to facilitate emergency assistance to affected populations.

On December 4, we met with Prime Minister Meles to discuss our concerns and offer USAID’s assistance in response to his expressed need for better nutritional data for the region.

Administrator Fore formally offered to Prime Minister Meles that USAID could deploy a Humanitarian Assistance Team to the conflict-affected zones of Somali Region to assess nutritional and humanitarian conditions there and determine what steps could be taken to facilitate delivery of food and other humanitarian assistance.

The Prime Minister accepted and the team deployed to Ethiopia on December 20. The Humanitarian Assistance Team concluded an initial assessment phase on January 31 and while it did not observe indicators of an immediate crisis within the areas of travel to date, it cautioned that humanitarian conditions and the food security situation could significantly deteriorate in March or April.

Among the factors that signal potential deteriorating conditions in the region are:

 The poor performance of the 2007 gu and deyr rains Current restrictions on commercial trade and disruptions to livestock movement Poor delivery mechanisms for food aid being employed by the Government of Ethiopia’s Disaster Prevention and Preparedness Agency Limited access to and delivery of essential health services Ongoing insecurity and reduced humanitarian access.

In addition, Ethiopia’s National Meteorological Agency is predicting an 80 percent chance of average or below average rains beginning in the March through May rainy season, with a 45 percent chance of below average rains.

The Somali Regional Government has just appealed to donors for help due to poor rainfall and the UN is pressing the Government of Ethiopia to formally acknowledge the drought conditions and need for assistance. Some of the key recommendations from the team’s initial assessment phase were that:

 The capacity of the Government of Ethiopia’s Disaster Prevention and Preparedness Agency to target, monitor, and deliver assistance needs to be enhanced to address obstacles to effective food aid distribution; USAID should support the current joint UNICEF and Government measles vaccination campaign, given a serious outbreak in the region;

The Government of Ethiopia should allow qualified UN or non-governmental organization partners to conduct standardized nutritional surveys in conflict-affected areas;

and The Government of Ethiopia should work to improve humanitarian access to affected populations for further needs assessments and response activities.

The Humanitarian Assistance Team remains engaged in the conflict-affected areas of the Somali Region, and has shifted focus from assessment to advocacy, monitoring and program management.

The team plans to undertake ongoing targeted field visits to Somali Region to enhance findings and monitor humanitarian conditions, and assist the USAID/Ethiopia Mission, partners, and host-country government ministries to implement response programs.

OFDA has committed $5.3 million in Nutrition, Health, Water/Sanitation, Livestock and Market interventions in Somali Region to date in FY 2008. ERITREA We are not currently providing any development or humanitarian assistance to Eritrea.

We closed down our Mission in Asmara on December 31, 2005 in response to a request from the Government of Eritrea that we do so.

In FY 2007, however, we did provide nearly $3 million in humanitarian assistance for ongoing programming in the areas of health, nutrition, humanitarian coordination and information management, and water, sanitation and hygiene.

Chronic drought conditions continue to negatively impact food security, health, and nutrition indicators, as well as water availability in Eritrea.

According to the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, only 32 percent of rural populations have access to protected water sources.

Economic and political challenges, including a lack of human resources due to high levels of military conscription and shortages of agricultural inputs, have also contributed to the disruption of agricultural production and economic development, exacerbating existing poverty and deteriorating humanitarian conditions.

In addition, political constraints prevent comprehensive assessments and monitoring and have led to a significant reduction in the number of humanitarian agencies operating in Eritrea.


U.S. assistance programs supporting health, education, governance, food security, and economic development are helping Djibouti build on its demonstrated will to achieve its goals.

U.S.-funded programs serve as catalytic agents, helping Djibouti ensure that it stays safe from security threats, that its health care and education programs reach rural and marginalized urban areas, that it is prepared to respond to food emergencies, and that its people obtain the tools they need to secure jobs in a rapidly changing economy.

U.S. investments will also contribute substantially to achieving our own security and development objectives in the region. Peace and Security: Djibouti is on the mainline between the Middle East and Africa and faces steady pressure aimed at radicalizing its people and changing its polity. U.S. security cooperation is intended to ensure Djibouti has the tools to resist the threat of terror and instability.

Department of State-funded programs promote stabilization operations and security sector reform, fight transnational crime, and support counter-terrorism activities. Governing Justly and Democratically:

Assistance for improving governance, provided by USAID, is helping promote a more transparent and efficient government at the national, regional and local levels, increase confidence in the electoral process, and advance Djibouti’s decentralization.

It also helps to increase political participation, guarantee civil liberties, promote government accountability, and strengthen civil society. The democracy and governance program addresses major obstacles to Djibouti's capacity to sustain private sector development by promoting dialogue between government, civil society, and the private sector.

Popular frustration over the lack of jobs, inadequate public services, and obstacles to political participation must be overcome to ensure Djibouti's long-term success and stability. Leadership education and training will constitute a major focus of the democracy and governance program.

Investing in People: To ensure Djibouti’s continued stability in the volatile Horn of Africa region, U.S. assistance programs promote improved quality of life for Djiboutian citizens. USAID-funded health and education activities combat low life expectancy, maternal and under-five child mortality, and the transmission of infectious diseases such as HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis.

In addition, USAID activities continue to assist Djibouti in responding to food and other humanitarian emergencies. The health program continues to focus on expanded access to quality health care by improving maternal and child health services, and on the prevention of the spread of HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis.

The education program continues its essential focus on basic education, promoting expanded access, particularly for girls and rural children, and an emphasis on preparation for employment opportunities.

Support for teacher training, the provision of pedagogic materials, expanded community participation in education, the improvement and decentralization of education sector service delivery, and improved sector information systems and management capacity are also priority targets for U.S. assistance.


It is important to note how critical stability in Kenya is to avoiding massive instability in the entire Horn sub-region. The crisis in Kenya has already affected its neighboring countries region through the sharp increases in fuel prices and transportation blockades.

We are extremely encouraged by the breakthrough in negotiations and the agreement reached on February 28 but are very mindful that our attention will need to stay focused on Kenya as this will be a very long-term process of national healing and reform.

The political and security challenges in the Horn of Africa are significant as are the development and humanitarian needs. USAID is deeply engaged with our partners to help to address these challenges and support emerging opportunities. Thank you for the opportunity to testify before the Committee today. I am now happy to answer your questions.

Evaluating U.S. Policy Objectives and Options on the Horn of Africa
Senate Committee on Foreign Relations
Subcommittee on African Affairs
March 11, 2008
Testimony by David H. Shinn

Adjunct Professor, Elliott School of International Affairs
George Washington University

I thank Chairman Feingold for inviting me to testify on U.S. policy objectives and options on the Horn of Africa. The Horn has long been one of the most conflicted regions of the world and, as back door to the Middle East, is strategically important to the U.S. It merits close attention by both the Administration and Congress.

The Subcommittee on African Affairs asked me to assess the current security situation in Ethiopia, Eritrea, and Somalia, and to identify the most serious threats to regional and U.S. security. It also solicited my analysis of efforts by governments in the Horn and by the Administration to address these threats.

It then urged that I offer recommendations on how the U.S. can better contribute to security, stability, growth, and democracy in Somalia, Ethiopia, and Eritrea. In particular, the Subcommittee asked what tools and leverage the U.S. possesses that would be most effective in achieving U.S. objectives in the Horn of Africa.

Current Situation in Ethiopia, Eritrea, and Somalia

The serious challenges facing Ethiopia, Eritrea, and Somalia are long-standing and have implications for neighboring Djibouti, Kenya, and Sudan just as developments in those countries impact the situation for the three countries discussed in this testimony.

With approximately 75 million people and located in the center of the Horn, Ethiopia is in many ways key to peace and security (or lack thereof) in the region. But the cross-border linkages are so important in the Horn that any one of the countries has the potential to destabilize or make more stable the other countries in the region.
Turning first to Ethiopia, the country is still recovering from the aftermath of the 2005 general election.

The run-up to the election and the actual balloting were deemed to be generally free and fair. It was a major improvement over all previous elections. Charges by some opposition parties that the ruling Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) stole the election during the ballot counting process resulted in violence that continued sporadically for the subsequent six months.

In some cases the opposition provoked a strong reaction by government security forces. Nevertheless, the security forces clearly used excessive force in responding to a number of challenges.

With local elections (districts and kebeles or wards) and those for some forty vacancies in the national legislature scheduled for April 2008, the internal political situation approaches another potentially significant turning point.

Unfortunately, opposition political parties are demoralized, arguing that the government has shut down most of their regional offices and arrested some of their supporters.

Several of the opposition parties may not even contest seats for local offices, which in Ethiopia are actually very important.

The current internal political dynamic surrounding these elections does not auger well for enhancing democracy in the country. Traditionally, there are no international observers for local elections.

In any event, because of the size of the country and large number of contests, it would be difficult to mobilize a sufficient number of international observers. Nevertheless, the local elections are an opportunity for advancing democracy in Ethiopia. If they fail to achieve this goal, it will be an enormous lost opportunity.

Turning to Ethiopia’s relations with neighboring countries, Addis Ababa has close relations with Kenya and Djibouti, which now serves as the principal port for all Ethiopian imports and exports.

Relations with Sudan have fluctuated since the EPRDF took power in 1991, but have been good following the outbreak of conflict in 1998 between Eritrea and Ethiopia.

Addis Ababa is particularly hopeful that the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) that ended conflict between northern and southern Sudan not collapse.

From the perspective of Ethiopia’s security, maintaining peace in southern Sudan is more important than ending the conflict in Darfur. Nevertheless, Ethiopia has offered both helicopters and troops to the UN/African Union peacekeeping operation in Darfur. This has ingratiated Ethiopia with the U.S. and presumably with Sudan.

Ethiopia has also earned praise in Washington for supporting U.S. counterterrorism efforts in the region. Ethiopia has established a good working relationship with Somaliland, which declared its independence from Somalia in 1991 but has not been recognized by any country.

Ethiopia’s military intervention in Somalia in 2006 at the request of Somalia’s Transitional Federal Government (TFG) has been opposed by virtually all Somalis except those aligned with the TFG. If Ethiopian troops left Somalia tomorrow, however, the TFG would almost certainly collapse.

The leaders of most Somali groups opposing the TFG are in exile in Asmara, Eritrea, where they formed the Alliance for Re-liberation of Somalia (ARS) and receive support from Eritrea. Ethiopia’s intervention in Somalia has also led to increased conflict in its Somali-inhabited Ogaden region in the southeastern part of the country.

There is strong evidence that Eritrea is supporting the dissident Ogaden National Liberation Front (ONLF) in the Ogaden. The withdrawal of Ethiopian forces from Somalia and the end of Eritrean support for the ONLF would reduce, but not eliminate, conflict in the Ogaden between ONLF and Ethiopian government forces.
The situation in Somalia remains extremely volatile.

The TFG has limited support of Somalis, most of whom see the Ethiopians as an occupying force.

Almost 300,000 Somalis have fled the violence in Mogadishu since last October, raising the total number who has left the capital to about 700,000.

A UNHCR representative commented at the end of January that Somalia “is the most pressing humanitarian emergency in the world today—even worse than Darfur.” The African Union force is unable to take control of the situation in Mogadishu as a replacement for Ethiopian troops.

The UN is debating whether the security situation even permits planning to send a UN peacekeeping operation to replace the African Union force. An affirmative UN decision, which does not seem likely anytime soon, would be followed by many months of delay before the UN could mobilize such a force.

In the meantime, Somali animosity against the Ethiopians increases. Two spoiler groups, which may have concluded it is in their interest for conflict to continue, are also benefiting from the current deadlock.

The al-Shabaab militia, which once served as the muscle for the Islamic Courts, is by most accounts gaining strength. Some key al-Shabaab leaders now operate independently of the Islamic Courts while others reportedly still follow its lead. Mogadishu’s warlords, some of whom now support the TFG, are notorious for switching sides or operating completely independently when that serves their purpose. Often backed by businessmen, some of them actually benefit financially from continuing conflict.

Neither they nor al-Shabaab can be counted on to work for peace or to serve the broader interests of the Somali people. The positive development in this otherwise bleak analysis of Somalia was the appointment in 2007 of Prime Minister Nur “Adde” Hassan Hussein by President Abdullahi Yusuf. Nur Adde has stated that he supports a broad-based reconciliation process that takes into account Islamists and clan-based factions that now oppose the TFG.

He said the TFG is “ready to talk to those who are fighting in Mogadishu. Nobody is exempted from negotiations.” International envoys who have met with Nur Adde believe he is sincere in reaching out to disaffected Somali groups. There are still concerns, however, whether President Abdullahi Yusuf is as committed to a reconciliation process with the enemies of the TFG. Nor is it clear that the ARS is prepared to join a government of national unity before the departure of all Ethiopian troops.

Such a precondition would result in even more chaos in Mogadishu than exists now. Nur Adde has for the first time raised the possibility of real accommodation with the TFG’s opponents.

A sequenced departure of Ethiopian troops agreed upon by both the TFG and ARS should not be ruled out. The U.S. role in Somalia is focused primarily on countering terrorism, although it deserves credit for providing significant amounts of emergency assistance to Somalis through international and non-governmental organizations.

So long as the U.S. effort in Somalia remains essentially to capture and kill bad guys, and there are some in Somalia, the U.S. marginalizes its ability to impact in a positive way any long-term solution to the Somali problem. U.S. aerial attacks against suspected high value terrorist targets inside Somalia can be justified if there is a very high probability they are conducted on the basis of accurate, up-to-the minute intelligence.

Going back many years, however, the U.S. record for accurate intelligence in this part of the world is, unfortunately, not very good. The U.S. has conducted four aerial attacks inside Somalia since January 2007.

The most recent one occurred early in March. If there was any success against high value targets as a result of these attacks, this information has not become public knowledge. Anecdotal evidence suggests the aerial attacks accomplished little. In the meantime, each American attack only increases the anger of most Somalis towards the U.S., Ethiopia, and the TFG.

Developments in Eritrea present special challenges for U.S. policy. The internal Eritrean situation leaves much to be desired. While Ethiopia has had a long series of controversial elections, Eritrea has not even had a national election since it became independent in 1993.

It is subject to growing criticism in the West for a concentration of power around the executive, a lack of press freedom, a faltering economy, support for the Islamic Courts and opposition groups in Somalia, and effectively ending the ability of the UN Mission to Ethiopia and Eritrea (UNMEE) to operate in Eritrea.

It supports a number of organizations that are trying to destabilize the government in Ethiopia while Ethiopia provides sanctuary to Eritrean dissidents who wish to do the same in Eritrea. On the other hand, for a country that is approximately half Christian and half Muslim, it has managed to preserve cordial relations between these two major religious groups.

Eritrea has good relations with neighboring Djibouti and Sudan and even played the principal role in brokering a peace agreement between dissident groups in eastern Sudan and the government in Khartoum. A close friend of the U.S. until the outbreak of conflict with Ethiopia in 1998, relations between Washington and Asmara subsequently steadily deteriorated.

Eritrea has been particularly frustrated by the inability of the U.S. to convince Ethiopia to accept the 2002 ruling of the Ethiopia Eritrea Boundary Commission. This disagreement largely accounted for a series of decisions by Asmara that have worsened the U.S.-Eritrea relationship.

At one point recently, there was even a suggestion in Washington that Eritrea might be added to the list of states that support terrorism. This would have been an unwise decision. It is more important to find ways, as difficult as it will be, to encourage Eritrea to support initiatives that improve peace and stability in the region.

Most Serious Threats to Regional and U.S. Security The most serious threats to the Horn of Africa, and indirectly U.S., security are in order of priority the continuing violence in Somalia, a breakdown of the CPA in Sudan, the conflict in Darfur, and a possible but unlikely resumption of conflict between Ethiopia and Eritrea.

Other issues of concern are instability in Ethiopia’s Ogaden region, ethnic conflict in Kenya, opposition to the EPRDF by the Oromo Liberation Front, continuing violence by Uganda’s Lord’s Resistance Army, and a possible resumption of conflict in eastern Sudan.

The situation in Somalia is particularly worrisome because the country has effectively not been governed since the early 1990s. It has attracted a number of movements that do not represent mainstream Somali thought, including some affiliated with terrorism. The humanitarian situation is worsening.

The Somali conflict either impacts directly or has drawn in Ethiopia, Kenya, Eritrea, and Djibouti.

The U.S. treats Somalia primarily as a counterterrorist threat and is especially anxious to capture or kill three persons (all non-Somalis linked to al-Qaeda and believed to have taken refuge in Somalia) who were involved in the 1998 bombings of the U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania. Even if counterterrorism were not a key to the U.S. agenda, Somalia would pose a major threat to regional stability and, hence, American interests in the Horn.

The U.S. played a significant, positive role in helping to broker the CPA in Sudan and bring an end to the civil war. This was the most significant political achievement of the Bush Administration in Africa.

The international community and, at least until recently, the U.S. have allowed the conflict in Darfur to monopolize their collective energy while paying insufficient attention to a possible breakdown of the CPA.

As serious as the situation is in Darfur and its negative impact on neighboring Chad and the Central African Republic, the possible resumption of civil war between northern and southern Sudan would have far greater negative implications for the Horn of Africa.

Consequently, it is critical that all parties, including the U.S. refocus attention to assure the successful implementation of the CPA and the avoidance of a return to war both between the north and south and among rival southern factions. The absence of normal relations between Ethiopia and Eritrea contributes to instability in the region.

When these two countries resolve their differences and resume their important economic relationship, all neighboring countries will benefit. I do not subscribe to the school of thought that war is likely between Ethiopia and Eritrea because of the failure to implement the border agreement.

I believe both countries have concluded that it is not in their interest to initiate conflict, although both sides support groups that have hostile intentions against the other. Any diminution in effectiveness of the UNMEE operation increases slightly the possibility for conflict along the border.

Therefore, it is important, even as UNMEE is forced to leave Eritrea, that it maintain a presence, however modest, on the Ethiopian side of the border. Independent UNMEE observers would be in a position to identify quickly and point the finger at whichever party might initiate a border incursion.

Analysis of Efforts to Address These Threats Efforts by governments in the region to solve the problem in Somalia, keep the CPA on track, and encourage a normalization of relations between Ethiopia and Eritrea are sometimes at counter purposes with American objectives.

The U.S. seeks stability in the region and wants to mitigate or even eliminate the terrorist threat. Regional governments do not necessarily share these priorities. Eritrea and Ethiopia support each other’s opposition groups; this does not encourage stability.

The TFG has been more interested in retaining political power than encouraging reconciliation among all Somalis. It is not even clear how committed the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) and especially the Bashir government in Sudan are to implementing the letter and spirit of the CPA.

All governments in the Horn give lip service to countering terrorism, but with the possible exception of Ethiopia their support for this goal is not always convincing.

For its part, the U.S. obsession with counterterrorism emphasizes short-term objectives aimed at tracking down terrorists. It gives insufficient attention to working with regional governments on ameliorating the long-term root causes that lead to support for groups that use terrorist tactics.

Nor has there been a meeting of the minds on what constitutes terrorism in the region. The U.S. is primarily interested in international terrorism instigated by al-Qaeda and groups affiliated with it like the now moribund al-Ittihad al-Islami in Somalia.

It is much less interested in terrorist tactics used by local 6
groups such as the Lord’s Resistance Army, which is not affiliated with al-Qaeda. Ethiopia, for example, ascribes terrorist acts to groups such as the ONLF and the Oromo Liberation Front that are not on the U.S. terrorist list.

It should come as no surprise that regional governments are more concerned with these groups that have a domestic objective than they are with al-Qaeda.

All international and regional efforts since the early 1990s to solve the Somali dilemma have failed, although not for lack of trying. The U.S. essentially abandoned Somalia following the departure of American troops in 1994 and the end of the UN peacekeeping operation in 1995.

It reengaged sporadically only after 9/11 and the invasion of Afghanistan for fear that the Taliban might move to Somalia. It became much more involved about two years ago as the Islamic Courts began to assert authority in Mogadishu, but again with an overwhelming focus on counterterrorism.

The U.S. ill-advisedly supported an alliance of warlords in Mogadishu that led directly to a military victory by the Islamic Courts. Ethiopian military intervention, at some point encouraged by the U.S., resulted in the defeat of the Islamic Courts, but did not contribute to a solution that allowed Somalia to establish a government that has the support of most Somalis.

From the standpoint of regional stability, the situation in Somalia today is no better, and arguably worse, than during the period of control by the Islamic Courts. Sudan’s CPA nearly collapsed in 2007 when the SPLM withdrew its representatives from the government of national unity.

This occurred at a time when the international community was far more engaged in the situation in Darfur. Fortunately, the SPLM and the Bashir government resolved their differences. The CPA is back on track but remains in a highly fragile state. In recent months, the U.S. appears appropriately to be giving this issue greater high-level attention.

Ethiopia is also taking steps that encourage peace and stability between northern and southern Sudan. Since the outbreak of conflict in 1998 between Ethiopia and Eritrea, the U.S. worked hard to end the war and made considerable effort to convince both countries to normalize their relations.

The major stumbling block has been the unwillingness of Ethiopia to implement the decision of the Boundary Commission. Eritrea has not helped its case by taking a series of steps aimed at destabilizing Ethiopia.

The international community, including the U.S., seems to have concluded in the past year that there is little it can do to resolve the impasse. U.S. Leverage and Resources Of the major challenges facing the U.S. in the Horn, it probably has the most leverage with Somalia’s TFG. Although total American assistance to Somalia is modest and not likely to influence the TFG, its political leverage should be enormous.

The TFG is heavily dependent on Ethiopia and the U.S. for its very survival. If the TFG chooses to ignore advice from Ethiopia and the U.S., it does so at its peril. The U.S. has also worked hard to stand up the African Union force to replace the Ethiopians in Somalia.

The U.S. has brought substantial financial resources to bear in Sudan for both implementing the CPA and alleviating suffering in Darfur. It expended considerable political capital in helping to achieve the CPA, but has been much less successful in resolving the conflict in Darfur.

The U.S. has far better relations with the SPLM than it has with the Bashir government, with whom relations are strained.

The rocky relationship with Khartoum limits U.S. leverage to effect policy change in Darfur or to ensure implementation of the CPA. The U.S. provides Ethiopia substantial assistance, although most of it in recent years has been emergency aid and support to counter HIV/AIDS. Washington also has a close working relationship with Addis Ababa.

In theory, therefore, the U.S. has considerable leverage with the Meles government. At the same time, the close relations with Ethiopia have contributed directly to a worsening of relations with Eritrea. The Isaias government accuses Washington of favoring Ethiopia on the border question. As a consequence, it asked the USAID mission to leave Eritrea.

Washington has virtually no leverage with Eritrea. But even in the case of Ethiopia, leverage is a relative concept. The leaderships in both Ethiopia and Eritrea since they assumed power in their respective countries in 1991 are notably resistant to outside pressure even when large amounts of assistance are at stake.

Both Meles and Isaias will change positions on a policy only after they have concluded it is in the long-term interest of their respective governments.

Recommendations for the U.S. Taking the above analysis into account and as requested in the invitation to testify, I suggest the following recommendations for ways the U.S. can contribute to security, stability, growth, and democracy in Somalia, Ethiopia, and Eritrea.

I have purposely omitted many desirable recommendations that are hopelessly unrealistic or beyond the ability of the U.S. to implement because of its limited leverage in one or more of the three countries.

 Work closely with Ethiopia to encourage the TFG to create a government of national unity that includes moderates from the ARS and from sub-clans in Mogadishu who currently oppose the TFG. Consult closely with the Somalia “Contact Group” and ask its members to follow the same approach with the TFG.

Ask the Arab League and its member governments to encourage the ARS to engage without preconditions in power sharing talks with the TFG.

Encourage governments that have good relations with Eritrea to follow the same approach with Eritrea vis-à-vis the ARS.

If a government of national unity that is widely accepted by the Somali people actually materializes, be prepared quickly to mobilize a significant amount of development assistance for Somalia. Likewise, push the wealthier Arab countries to make major contributions to Somalia’s development.

8  As security improves in Somalia, work with Ethiopia and the TFG to design a quick, sequenced departure of Ethiopian forces from Somalia so as to encourage broader Somali support for a new government of national unity.

On a contingency basis, request the UN to draw up plans for a peacekeeping operation that would replace the small African Union presence and would actually keep the peace rather than try to separate warring factions.

Be prepared to offer substantial logistical support for standing up a UN peacekeeping mission in Somalia.

Make a concerted effort to reach out to the Somali diaspora in the U.S. to solicit ways it can help to bring peace and stability to Somalia. Help Ethiopia and Eritrea identify confidence building measures that may eventually lead to Ethiopian acceptance of the Boundary Commission’s decision followed by practical adjustments along the border that are acceptable to both countries.

Encourage both Ethiopia and Eritrea to end support for groups whose goal is to destabilize the situation in the other’s country. Following the departure of UNMEE from Eritrea, insist that it maintain observers inside Ethiopia along the border so that it can assign blame for any military incursion across the Ethiopian-Eritrean frontier.

If requested by the UN, assign a significant number of U.S. personnel to this effort, certainly more than the tiny number that has participated in UNMEE. Continue and even increase the high-level attention devoted to ensuring implementation of the CPA in Sudan.

Initiate a working group of government and non-government experts from the Horn, a few European and Arab countries, and China to identify and suggest solutions for the root causes of both domestic and international terrorism in the region.

Put front and center counterterrorism programs that mitigate the root causes of terrorism and the environment in the Horn that sustains both domestic terrorists and those coming from outside the region.

Engage governments in the region on their responsibility to reduce social and economic inequality and political marginalization as important ways to reduce both conflict and support for terrorist groups.

Engage governments and groups inside and outside the region to end their support for religious ideology of whatever persuasion that expressly encourages intolerance.

Increase support for democracy, good governance, and anti-corruption programs in Ethiopia and be prepared to initiate funding for such programs in Somalia and Eritrea when the situation permits.

Provide additional funding for basic education programs, especially in the Somali language, conducted over the radio and which also contain useful civic lessons that include encouragement of religious and ethnic tolerance. Identify and, where desired by host governments, fund programs, even on a pilot basis that help reduce youth unemployment.

Country Reports on Human Rights Practices - 2007
Released by the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor
March 11, 2008

Ethiopia is a federal republic under the leadership of Prime Minister Meles Zenawi and the ruling Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) coalition.

The population was approximately 77 million.

In the May 2005 parliamentary elections, the EPRDF won a third consecutive five-year term. Domestic and international observers reported that polling throughout the country was generally credible, although irregularities and intimidation of voters and election observers marred polling in many areas.

Political parties were predominantly ethnically based, but opposition parties engaged in a steady process of consolidation.

During the year fighting between government forces and the Ogaden National Liberation Front (ONLF), an ethnically-based, nationalist insurgent movement operating in the Somali Region, resulted in widespread human rights abuses.

While civilian authorities generally maintained effective control of the security forces, there were instances in which elements within those forces acted independently of government authority.

Human rights abuses reported during the year included: limitation on citizens' right to change their government during the most recent elections;

unlawful killings, and beating, abuse, and mistreatment of detainees and opposition supporters by security forces;

poor prison conditions; arbitrary arrest and detention, particularly of those suspected of sympathizing with or being members of the opposition or insurgent groups;

detention of thousands without charge and lengthy pretrial detention; infringement on citizens' privacy rights and frequent refusal to follow the law regarding search warrants; use of excessive force by security services in an internal conflict and counter-insurgency operations; restrictions on freedom of the press;

arrest, detention, and harassment of journalists for publishing articles critical of the government; restrictions on freedom of assembly;

limitations on freedom of association; violence and societal discrimination against women and abuse of children;

female genital mutilation (FGM);

exploitation of children for economic and sexual purposes; trafficking in persons; societal discrimination against persons with disabilities and religious and ethnic minorities;

and government interference in union activities, including killing and harassment of union leaders.

ONLF forces in the Somali region were responsible for widespread human rights abuses, including killings and the diversion of food supplies resulting in the displacement of thousands of persons.


Section 1 Respect for the Integrity of the Person, Including Freedom From:

a. Arbitrary or Unlawful Deprivation of Life

Government forces and armed elements of the ONLF were responsible for numerous targeted killings in the Somali Region during the year (see section 1.g.)

Security forces committed politically motivated killings during the year. Security forces committed arbitrary killings during the year. For example, on January 16, two police officers beat, shot, and killed Tesfaye Taddese, who was an organizer for the opposition Coalition for Unity and Democracy (CUD) during the 2005 parliamentary elections.

An autopsy later revealed that the victim had lost several teeth and one eye from the beating before being shot. The police officers were arrested and an investigation was ongoing at year's end.

On March 2, the opposition United Ethiopian Democratic Forces (UEDF) party reported that Degaga Gebissa, a party member from Meta-Robi District, Oromiya Region, was taken from his house by police and shot and killed. Police allegedly refused to allow an autopsy or to provide any information to UEDF party officials.

On March 5, Tsegaye Ayele Yigzaw of Debre Markos town, Gondar Region, died as a result of prolonged beatings and torture while in police custody. Tsegaye, a member of the opposition Ethiopian Democratic Party (EDP), was arrested and interrogated initially in late 2006.

Reports indicate that he was kept in custody beyond the legal limit, denied food and water, and severely beaten to extract a confession. On March 5, the court ordered that Yigzaw be released for lack of evidence; however, he died before being set free. The victim's family was not given a copy of the autopsy report.

Local police or kebele militia reportedly killed activists working on a sugar cane project in the Afar regional government (see section 6.a.).

No investigation was conducted into the August 2006 political killing by army troops of Elias Molago, of Gibe District.

After Molago was killed, his body was publicly displayed in the town of Hosana, the district capital. Molago, an election observer in the 2000 parliamentary elections, had disputed the official results that gave the ruling party victory in the area.

There were no developments in numerous other 2005 political killings.

For example, on January 3, police shot and killed two students during a raid on Gue Secondary School, Gue town, Oromiya Region. Police stormed the school in response to suspicions that supporters of the outlawed Oromo Liberation Front (OLF) were active in the school.

Several other students were beaten and arrested. Some of the students were released, but others remained in detention at year's end.

On January 5, police shot and killed Belachew Endale Bitew of Arbaminch town, Southern Nations, Nationalities and Peoples' Region, according to reports from the Ethiopian Human Rights Council (EHRCO. A suspect was arrested and at year's end the case was being investigated.

On May 26, police fired on the vehicle of Manaye Alamrew of West Gojam Zone, Amhara Region; Alamrew died from his injuries. Police fired on the vehicle reportedly on suspicion that it was transporting weapons. No investigation had been initiated by year's end.

During the year Alemu Deriba, an off-duty federal police officer who in February 2006, shot and killed four youths in Gondar, was tried and sentenced to death.

There were no developments in the May 2006 shooting by police in Nazret, Oromiya Region of Alemu Tesfaye, Tariku Yakiso, and Mensur Musema.

Five persons were killed and two were injured from landmines during the year. The government demining unit continued to make limited progress in its survey and demining of border areas.

United Nations Mission in Eritrea and Ethiopia (UNMEE) officials reported that new landmines were planted on both sides of the border with Eritrea during the year and disseminated information on the whereabouts of suspected mined areas to local residents.

At year's end there were approximately two million landmines in the country, many dating from the 1998-2000 war with Eritrea.

In 2006 several bomb explosions were reported in Addis Ababa and other parts of the country.

During the year four supporters of the opposition Oromo National Congress (ONC) were arrested in relation to the April 2006 blast in the central market in the town of Gedo, Oromiya Region that killed 15 persons and injured 37 others. There were no developments in any of the other bombings that occurred in 2006.

Violent clashes between different ethnic clans during the year resulted in hundreds of deaths. There were no developments in the following 2006 attacks: the September bus attack by armed men; the hand grenade incident in the town of Jijiga; and the explosion in Addis Ababa.

There were no further developments in the 2005 hand grenade attacks on four hotels and a residence in Jijiga, which resulted in five deaths and 31 injuries.

The federal high court in Addis Ababa continued to arraign and prosecute those formally charged with committing genocide and other war crimes, including extrajudicial killings, under the 1975-91 Derg regime (see section 1.e.).

b. Disappearance

There were reports of politically motivated disappearances. On January 10, Yohannes Woldu, who was a CUD observer during the 2005 elections, disappeared, according to EHRCO. Following the elections, Yohannes had reported repeated harassment and threats from security services.

On July 11, small business owner Girma Tesfaye Ayana was arrested for allegedly possessing illegal weapons and has not been seen since. On July 18, Befekadu Bulti Merri, a professor at Jima University, Oromiya Region, was arrested on the same charge and his whereabouts also remained unknown.

A few of the thousands of civilian protestors who were detained and held incommunicado in 2005 remained in prison; however, most had been released by the end of 2006 (see section 1.d.).

On January 12, Mulatu Gebremichel, a UEDF member who ran for the federal parliament in 2005, was released after reportedly being held in solitary confinement for over three months. However, on January 21, Mulatu disappeared, and his whereabouts remained unknown at year's end.

On September 20, the UEDF reported that Ismail Blatta, another member who ran for federal parliament, disappeared. Prior to his disappearance he had reported repeated harassment and threats from security services. Blatta was arrested several times following the 2005 elections.

During the year Tadesse Zelelam, Ayana Chindessa, and Legesse Tolera were released, according to EHRCO. The three had disappeared in January 2006, along with Lt. Abebe Alemu, Heletework Zewdu, and Wondimagegene Gedefaw.

During the year EHRCO reported that Daniel Worku, who had been abducted in 2005, was killed while in police custody.

There were no developments in the 2005 abduction by security forces of Ashenafi Berhanu, Tsegaye Neguse, Adem Hussien, Jelalu Temam, Girum Seifu, Mekonnen Seifu, Endeshaw Terefe, Daniel Abera, Tesfaye Bacha, Tesfaye Jemena, Bonsa Beyene, Getu Begi, Solomon Bekele, Amanuel Asrat, Mesfin Mergia, or Dawit Demerew.

c. Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman, or Degrading Treatment or Punishment

Although the constitution and law prohibit the use of torture and mistreatment, there were numerous credible reports that security officials tortured, beat, or mistreated detainees.

Opposition political parties reported frequent and systematic abuse of their supporters by police and regional militias. In Makelawi, the central police investigation headquarters in Addis Ababa, police investigators reportedly commonly used illegal interrogation methods to extract confessions.

For example, in May police arrested and reportedly tortured 37 CUD members suspected of having links with the outlawed Ethiopian Patriotic Front (EPF). Meqcha Mengistu, Anteneh Getnet, and Woldie Dana of the Ethiopian Teachers Association (ETA) were among the 37; the three had been repeatedly arrested beginning in late 2006. The trial of the 37 was ongoing at year's end.

On September 13, police beat regional parliamentarian Wegayehu Dejene of Me-ea District, Oromiya Region, and his family members. Police began harassing the parliamentarian after a February 2006 regional council meeting. Wegayehu filed several complaints with local authorities, but no action had been taken by year's end.

During the year two soldiers were arrested and convicted for the January 2006 rape of seven female residents of Guduru District, Oromiya Region. The two soldiers received sentences of seven and 14 years respectively.

There were no developments in the July 2006 incident in which security forces detained and beat one regional parliamentarian from the Oromo Federal Democratic Movement (OFDM) and five from the ONC after their attendance in a court case.

There were no developments in the 2005 beating and subsequent suicide of Abdeta Dita Entele, a member of the opposition coalition Oromo National Congress/United Ethiopian Democratic Forces of Siraro District in the Oromo Region.

There were no developments in the 2005 reported attack on Daniel Bekele, a policy advocate for the NGO ActionAid Ethiopia and a member of the executive committee of the Network of Ethiopian Nongovernmental Organizations and Civil Society Organizations, which monitored the May 2005 elections. At year's end Bekele remained in police detention on trial for "outrages against the constitution."

Security forces beat persons during demonstrations (see section 2.b.).

Prison and Detention Center Conditions

Prison and pretrial detention center conditions remained harsh and life threatening. Severe overcrowding was a problem, and prisoners were often allocated fewer than 21.5 square feet of sleeping space in a room that could contain up to 200 persons.

The daily meal budget was approximately $0.50 (4.5 birr) per prisoner, and many prisoners had family members deliver food daily, or used personal funds to purchase food from local vendors. Prison conditions were unsanitary, and access to medical care was unreliable. There was no budget for prison maintenance.

In detention centers, police often physically abused detainees. Authorities generally permitted visitors but sometimes arbitrarily denied them access to detainees.

While statistics were unavailable, there were some deaths in prison due to illness and poor health care. Prison officials were not forthcoming with reports of such deaths.

Authorities sometimes incarcerated juveniles with adults if they could not be accommodated at the juvenile remand home.

A few of the 10,000 to 18,000 individuals (mostly youths) detained in Dedessa military camp since 2005 remained; almost all were released in 2006.

During the year the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) visited regional prisons, civilian detention facilities, and police stations throughout the country and conducted hundreds of visits involving thousands of detainees.

However, they were prevented from visiting federal prisons, including those where senior opposition, civil society, and media leaders were being held. Regional authorities allowed the ICRC to meet regularly with prisoners without third parties being present.

The ICRC also received permission to visit military detention facilities where the government detained suspected OLF fighters. The ICRC also continued to visit civilian Eritrean nationals and local citizens of Eritrean origin detained on alleged national security grounds.

The local NGO Prison Fellowship Ethiopia (JFA-PFE) was granted access to various prison and detention facilities, including federal prisons. The government also periodically granted diplomatic missions access to regional prisons and prison officials, subject to advanced notification.

The government limited access by representatives of the international community to leaders of the CUD opposition party, members of civil society groups, and journalists detained in 2005 for alleged involvement in antigovernment demonstrations in Addis Ababa, two of whom who remained in federal police custody at Addis Ababa's Kaliti prison at year's end. However, the government permitted JFA-PFE and local civic and religious leaders to visit these detainees.

d. Arbitrary Arrest or Detention

Although the constitution and law prohibit arbitrary arrest and detention, the government frequently did not observe these provisions in practice.

Role of the Police and Security Apparatus

The Federal Police Commission reports to the Ministry of Federal Affairs, which in turn is subordinate to the parliament. Local government militias also operated as local security forces largely independent of the police and the military. Corruption remained a problem, particularly among traffic policemen who solicited bribes. Impunity also remained a serious problem.

The government rarely publicly disclosed the results of investigations into such types of abuses. The federal police acknowledged that many of its members as well as regional police lacked professionalism.

The government continued its efforts to train police and army recruits in human rights. During the year the government continued to seek assistance from the ICRC, JFA-PFE, and the Ethiopian Human Rights Commission (EHRC) to improve and professionalize its human rights training and curriculum by including more material on the constitution and international human rights treaties and conventions.

Arrest and Detention

Authorities regularly detained persons without warrants and denied access to counsel and family members, particularly in outlying regions. Although the law requires detainees to be informed of the charges against them within 48 hours, this generally was not respected in practice.

While there was a functioning bail system, it was not available in murder, treason, and corruption cases. In most cases authorities set bail between $55 and $1,100 (500 to 10,000 birr), which was too costly for most citizens.

Police officials did not always respect court orders to release suspects on bail. With court approval persons suspected of serious offenses can be detained for 14 days while police investigate and for additional 14‑day periods while the investigation continues.

The law prohibits detention in any facilities other than an official detention center; however, there were dozens of unofficial local detention centers used by local government militia and other formal and informal law enforcement entities.

The government provided public defenders for detainees unable to afford private legal counsel, but only when their cases went to court. While in pretrial detention, authorities allowed such detainees little or no contact with legal counsel.

Security forces arrested without warrant hundreds of persons during the year, particularly prior to the Ethiopian New Year on September 11.

Security forces began arresting individuals throughout the Oromiya Region on the grounds that they were involved with the OLF and possibly planning terrorist activity.
Many of those arrested were members of the opposition UEDF or OFDM parties. Approximately 450 cases of arrest were reported to opposition party offices in Addis Ababa.

Three of these cases were executive committee members of EHRCO's Nekempt office. Nearly all those held were not charged with any crime or brought to court. At year's end 148 remained in jail.

There were many reports from opposition party members that in small towns, authorities detained persons in police stations for long periods without charges or access to a judge, and that sometimes these persons' whereabouts were unknown for several months.

Opposition parties registered many complaints during the year that government militias beat and detained their supporters without charge for participating in opposition political rallies (see sections 1.c. and 1.e.).

Police continued to enter private residences and arrest individuals without warrants (see section 1.f.).

There were no developments in the 2006 arrest by security forces of 180 persons in the town of Nazret, Oromiya Region, following clashes between local police and store owners.

Initial charges included inciting an uprising and destruction of property, but most of those arrested had charges dismissed and were released by the end of 2006. However, there was no information available on those still detained.

During the year the 250 persons arrested in 2006 in the town of Tikur Inchini, Oromiya Region, following an uprising by local ONC activists were released.

In January 2006 the international media reported that more than 11,000 persons detained in November 2005 following large-scale antigovernment demonstrations had been released.

However, the commission of inquiry into post-election political violence found that over 30,000 individuals had been detained, while other reports placed the number at over 50,000. Most of the prisoners were released without charge. The exact number of persons who remained in custody at year's end was not known.

In February 2006 Amnesty International alleged that the government was still holding thousands of students under arrest in Oromiya Region.

The government denied the accusation, and claimed that only 86 students were under arrest for offenses including violence, property destruction, and "disrupting the teaching and learning process." Most of the 86 had reportedly been released by year's end.

At year's end, most of the CUD leaders and independent journalists detained in 2005 were released from prison.

During and following the December 2006 fighting inside Somalia, authorities in Somalia arrested and detained numerous persons accused of terrorism and support for the former Islamic Courts.

Authorities in Kenya subsequently arrested other suspected terrorists after they fled Somalia for Kenya. Some of those detained were released, while others were transferred without judicial process to Ethiopia.

In May Ethiopian authorities acknowledged that 41 suspected international terrorists were being held and investigated.

Most of the 41 detainees, including all women and children, were released during the year; some were sent back to their respective countries for possible prosecution. Those whose countries refused to take them back were sent to third countries and released.


On September 10, the government granted amnesty to 17,765 prisoners from throughout the country; this represented 22 percent of the prison population.

All but 383 federal prisoners were from regional prisons. Convicted murderers, rapists, and those jailed for corruption were not included in the amnesty.

In July and August, 71 political detainees--the leadership of the CUD and several journalists--were pardoned for crimes for which they had been convicted and sentenced to punishments ranging from a few years to life in prison (see section 1.e.).

e. Denial of Fair Public Trial

The law provides for an independent judiciary. Although the civil courts operated with independence, the criminal courts remained weak, overburdened, and subject to significant political intervention.

The government continued to decentralize and restructure the judiciary along federal lines with the establishment of courts at the district, zonal, and regional levels. The federal high court and the Federal Supreme Court heard and adjudicated original and appeal cases involving federal law, transregional issues, and national security. The regional judiciary was increasingly autonomous and often heard regional cases.

Regional offices of the federal Ministry of Justice monitored local judicial developments.

Some regional courts had jurisdiction over both local and federal matters, as the federal courts in those jurisdictions had not begun operation; overall, the federal judicial presence in the regions was limited. Anecdotal evidence suggested that some local officials believed they were not accountable to a higher authority.

To remedy the severe lack of experienced staff in the judicial system, the government continued to identify and train lower court judges and prosecutors, although officials acknowledged that salaries did not attract the desired number of competent professionals

Trial Procedures

According to the law, accused persons have the right to a fair public trial by a court of law within a "reasonable time," the right to a presumption of innocence, the right to be represented by legal counsel of their choice, and the right to appeal.

Despite these protections, closed proceedings occurred, at times authorities allowed detainees little or no contact with their legal counsel, and detainees usually were not presumed innocent. Judicial inefficiency, lengthy trial delays, and lack of qualified staff often resulted in serious delays in trial proceedings.

The Public Defender's Office provides legal counsel to indigent defendants, although its scope remained severely limited. Although the law explicitly stipulates that persons charged with corruption are to be shown the body of evidence against them prior to their trials, authorities routinely denied defense counsel access to such evidence before trial.

In the country's federal system, federal and regional criminal courts worked side-by-side. There are federal first instance courts, high courts, and the Supreme Court. There are also regional first instance courts and high courts. The Supreme Court maintains appellate authority over all courts.

The law provides legal standing to some pre‑existing religious and customary courts and allows federal and regional legislatures to recognize other courts. By law, all parties to a dispute must agree that a customary or religious court would be used before such a court may hear a case.

Shari'a (Islamic) courts may hear religious and family cases involving Muslims. In addition other traditional systems of justice, such as councils of elders, continued to function. Although not sanctioned by law, these traditional courts resolved disputes for the majority of citizens who lived in rural areas and generally had little access to formal judicial systems.

The federal first instance court's seventh criminal branch handled cases of sexual abuse against women and children. Three federal judges sat on one bench to hear all cases involving juvenile offenses. There was a large backlog of juvenile cases, and accused children often remained in detention with adults until officials heard their cases.

Criminal matters related to the military are handled by military tribunals. Civilians are not permitted to be tried by military tribunals. The military justice system lacked adequately trained staff to handle a growing caseload.

During the year Ethiopian forces serving in Somalia arrested and detained civilians suspected of being affiliated with foreign fighters in Somalia, including nine women and five children.

Some of the civilians were released after questioning; however, two international NGOs reported that some were transferred from Somalia through Kenya to Ethiopia, where some were tried by military tribunal.

Others were held without charge or due process. There were reports that some were held incommunicado and that others were tortured or sexually assaulted by Ethiopian security personnel. At year's end the status of many of those detained remained unknown.

In 2006 the 57 top officials from the former Derg (Mengistu) regime, including former communist dictator Colonel Mengistu Hailemariam, who were found guilty of genocide, treason, and murder for crimes committed during their 17 years of rule were sentenced. On January 11, they were given sentences ranging from 23 years to life in prison. Courts have convicted 1,018 persons involved with the Derg regime of crimes related to their role in atrocities, while 5,000 to 6,000 others remained on trial in other cases.

Political Prisoners and Detainees

The total number of political prisoners and detainees during the year was estimated to be in the hundreds.

In May police arrested and reportedly tortured 37 CUD members suspected of having links with EPF (see section 1.c.).

The trial of most of the CUD leadership, civil society members, human rights defenders, and journalists arrested following the demonstrations in November 2005 concluded after nearly two years of proceedings.

In April 71 of the orginal 131 defendants were found guilty of "outrages against the constitution," "obstruction of the exercise of constitutional powers," and other crimes. Several of the defendants were sentenced to life in prison. The court ruled against the death penalty, noting that the crimes had been attempted, rather than actually carried out. One defendant was acquitted, and 25 were released for insufficient evidence.

Immediately following the court's finding of guilt in July and August, the government agreed to pardon the 71 after negotiations led by a group of prominent civic leaders.

The pardon cleared all charges but was conditional on a pledge by the defendants to "abide by the constitutional order." The pardon also permitted the defendants' future political participation. Some of those pardoned had been held at Kerchele prison under harsh conditions. In 2006 CUD Secretary General Muluheh Eyoel and CUD member Andualem Arage, along with journalists Sisay Agena and Eskinder Nega, were placed in solitary confinement.

Two civil society leaders, Daniel Bekele and Netsanet Demissie, reportedly declined to sign an admission of guilt which would have made them eligible for pardon. They instead chose to present a full defense of their case.

Following numerous delays on the part of the courts, their case concluded on December 26, when the federal High Court convicted them of incitement and sentenced both to 30 months' imprisonment. Since Bekele and Demissie had already served two-thirds of their sentences, they were eligible for parole; however, neither had been released by year's end.

At year's end, many other political detainees, including approximately 100 other CUD members, remained in prison on trial on charges related to activity in the November 2005 demonstrations.

Several of the pardoned detainees were journalists, some of whom fled following alleged threats from security officials (see section 2.a.).

They later reported on detention conditions for political prisoners, noting that although they themselves had not been tortured, they had seen many others beaten and tortured. Family visits to political prisoners were restricted to a few a year in some cases, and the ICRC was not permitted access.

Prisoners were frequently denied proper light, mattresses, and adequate bathroom facilities. Several of the pardoned political prisoners had serious health problems in detention, and some received no treatment.

Prominent ETA members Tilahun Ayalew, Anteneh Getnet and Meqcha Mengistu, arrested in 2006 for allegedly being members of the Ethiopian Patriotic Front, an outlawed, allegedly armed front operating in the Amhara Region, and rearrested in 2007 remained in jail awaiting trial, along with 52 other detainees charged similarly (see section 1.c.). Many observers maintained that the detentions were politically motivated.

Two NGO members active in civic education remained in prison.

The ONC reported that 138 of their members who were arrested in 2005, including three elected regional parliamentarians, remained in Kaliti Prison awaiting trial at year's end.

The three Ethiopian Air Force personnel who landed a military helicopter and requested asylum in Djibouti in 2005 remained incommunicado detention in the country. No further information was available.

Civil Judicial Procedures and Remedies

Civil courts, which provided judicial remedy for alleged wrongs, were generally viewed as independent and impartial. The law provides citizens the right to appeal human rights violations in civil court; however, no such cases were filed during the year.

f. Arbitrary Interference with Privacy, Family, Home, or Correspondence

The law requires authorities to obtain judicial search warrants to search private property; however, in practice, particularly outside Addis Ababa, police often searched property without obtaining warrants. Opposition party representatives claimed that police sometimes used fraudulent warrants to enter homes and commit criminal acts, including extorting money.

There were reports that members of the federal police robbed persons during the year, including through the use of false warrants.

There continued to be reports of police forcibly entering civilian homes. During and following antigovernment demonstrations in June and November 2005, security forces entered homes and searched premises without warrants, took thousands of persons from their homes in the middle of the night without warrants, and often detained family members or other residents.

All electronic communications facilities were stateowned. Political party leaders reported incidents of telephonetapping and other electronic eavesdropping.

The government used a widespread system of paid informants to report on the activities of particular individuals.

There were reports during the year of the forced displacement of families in the Somali Region (see section 1.g.); however, unlike in the previous year, no families were moved as a result of the government's resettlement program. In 2006 the government claimed its program to move families from drought-prone areas to more fertile lands was voluntary, but opposition parties accused local authorities of targeting opposition supporters for resettlement by manipulating resettlement rosters.

There were reports that local officials used threats of land redistribution and withholding of food aid and fertilizer to garner support for the ruling coalition. There were many reports of ruling party or government harassment intended to prevent individuals from joining opposition parties or from renting property to them.

There were numerous reports of more serious forms of harassment and violence directed against members of opposition parties in many areas of the country, including beatings, arrests, and killings.

There were credible reports that teachers and other government workers had their employment terminated if they belonged to opposition political parties. According to opposition groups OFDM and ONC, the Oromiya Regional government continued to dismiss members--particularly teachers--from their jobs.

The law imposes a six‑month waiting period on anyone seeking to remarry following a divorce or the death of one's spouse (see section 5).

Security forces continued to detain family members of persons sought for questioning by the government.

g. Use of Excessive Force and Other Abuses in Internal Conflicts

During the year fighting between government forces and the ONLF, an ethnically-based, nationalist insurgent movement operating in the Somali Region resulted in widespread human rights abuses, including targeted killings, torture, rape, abductions, arbitrary arrest, burning of villages, the displacement of thousands of civilians, and a restricted supply of food and medicine.

Since it was outlawed in 1994, there have been numerous violent conflicts between the ONLF, which seeks greater autonomy for the Ogadeni people and the Somali Region, and the Ethiopian National Defense Forces (ENDF) and security services.

The regional conflict in Somalia that began in late 2006 spread to the Somali Region and, fueled by support from the Eritrean government, resulted in greatly increased armed activity by the ONLF, whose members share ethnic ties with Somalis. International NGOs and other aid organizations operating in the region have reported that both the ENDF and the ONLF were responsible for abuses and harsh techniques to intimidate the civilian population.

There have been no reports of authorities identifying or punishing the perpetrators of systematic human rights abuses in the Somali Region.

On April 24, in the largest offensive conducted in several years, the ONLF attacked a Chinese-run oil facility in the Degehabur zone of the Somali Region; 65 civilians and nine Chinese nationals were killed in the attack. Another seven Chinese were taken hostage by the ONLF, but later released.

The ONLF acknowledged responsibility for the attack, which they said was in response to government-permitted exploration for resources in the Somali Region. The April 24 attack resulted in a dramatic increase in the conflict, which triggered widespread criticism of human rights abuses perpetrated by government forces.

On May 28, several individuals attacked a crowd with automatic weapons and hand grenades during an official public holiday celebration in Jijiga town, Somali Region; six persons were killed and several wounded, including the regional administrator, Abdullahi Hassan.

The ONLF denied responsibility for the attack, but coming on the heels of the April 24 attack, the ENDF responded with a massive counterinsurgency campaign.

The government and rebel forces restricted delivery of necessary food aid from donor organizations into the five zones in which military activity was the most intense. Flow of commercial traffic into these zones was also prevented, thereby creating food and supply shortages, a doubling of grain prices, and a 30 percent reduction in the price of livestock, a principal source of revenue.

By year's end, the flow of humanitarian aid had resumed. Substantial improvements in food aid deliveries allowed relief to reach primary destination points, but distribution to secondary towns, rural areas, and to final beneficiaries remained limited.

The government restricted access by NGO workers and journalists to affected areas. International journalists who entered the Somali Region without permission of the government were arrested or asked to leave the country.

The ICRC and Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) were expelled from the region for alleged cooperation with the ONLF; MSF had reported on alleged human rights violations and expressed concern about a possible looming humanitarian crisis.

Section 2 Respect for Civil Liberties, Including:

a. Freedom of Speech and Press

While the constitution and law provide for freedom of speech and press, the government did not respect these rights in practice. The government continued to arrest, harass, and prosecute journalists, publishers, and editors. The government continued to control all broadcast media. Private and government journalists routinely practiced self‑censorship.

Government-controlled media reflected mostly the views of the government and the ruling EPRDF coalition. However, live radio and television broadcasts at times included televised parliamentary debates and broadcast the views of opposition parliamentarians, as did government newspapers.

Although some new, small circulation newspapers were published during the year, the number of private newspapers available in Addis Ababa remained small. Eight newspapers remained closed.

Two were banned after their publishers and editors-in-chief were arrested in 2005, and six others that ceased publication as a result of the government's crackdown or government-owned printing presses' refusal to print newspapers.

Three publishing houses owned by journalists who were detained and later released were ordered dissolved and fined during the year. Only 18 private Amharic-language and English-language newspapers with political and business focus were in publication with a combined weekly circulation of 100,000. The closed newspapers had a combined total weekly circulation of approximately 400,000.

The government operated the sole television station and tightly controlled news broadcasts. The broadcasting law prohibits political and religious organizations from owning broadcast stations. The law also prohibits foreign ownership.

Foreign journalists at times published articles critical of the government but were subjected to government pressure to self-censor their coverage. During the year some reporters were subjected to intimidation, harassment, and expulsion from the country for publishing articles critical of the government.

For example, on May 16, in the town of Degehabur, soldiers detained three New York Times journalists for five days. Nairobi Bureau Chief Jeffrey Gettleman, photographer Vanessa Vick, and videographer Courtenay Morris were reporting on the conflict between the government and separatist rebels in the Ogaden Region bordering Somalia.

They had not received proper press credentials or formal approval from the government to travel to the region. Authorities repeatedly threatened the journalists, questioned them at gunpoint, refused to notify their embassy, confiscated their equipment, and, in one instance, kicked Vick in the back.

The journalists were moved among three different jails before being released on May 21. Their embassy secured their release and departure from the country.

On July 18, Will Conners, a freelance writer in the country for over two years, was denied press accreditation by the Ministry of Information; Conners had been working with Jeffrey Gettleman and was investigating human rights abuses in the Ogaden area of Somali Region.

During the year the government convicted and sentenced journalists for articles or actions in 2005.

For example, on July 16, six journalists and three publishers received criminal penalties for "actions against the state" charges stemming from 2005.

Editors Andualem Ayele of Ethop, Zelalem Gebre of Menelik, Mesfin Tesfaye of Abay, and Abiy Gizaw of Netsanet were sentenced to life in prison and stripped of all civic rights.

The prosecution requested the death penalty for Mesfin Tesfaye and Andualem Ayele. Zelalem Gebre and Abiy Gizaw were sentenced in absentia. Wenakseged Zeleke of Asqual was sentenced to three years in prison, and deputy editor Dawit Fasil of Satenaw to 18 months in prison.

The government also pardoned and/or released other journalists who had been convicted of treason or "outrages against the constitutional order" stemming from the 2005 civil unrest.

For example, on April 9, the federal High Court acquitted and set free eight editors and publishers of Amharic-language newspapers who were arrested in 2005 along with opposition leaders and accused of treason and attempted genocide along with the top opposition leaders.

Those released were Serkalem Fasil, co-owner and publisher of The Asqual, Menelik, and Satenaw newspapers (who gave birth while in custody); her husband, Eskinder Nega, columnist in the same newspaper; publisher Sisay Agena of Ethop and Abay; editor-in-chief Nardos Meaza of Satenaw; publisher Zekarias Tesfaye and deputy editor Dereje Habtewold of Netsanet; deputy editor Feleke Tibebu of Hadar; and publisher Fasil Yenealem of Addis Zena.

They were acquitted of three criminal charges and were released from Kaliti prison. The publications have been banned since the crackdown. Eskinder Nega was also acquitted on three additional charges connected to his alleged political activism.

On May 17, the court fined and released two journalists, Abdissa Aberra Deressa, editor-in-chief of the defunct Dagim Wonchif, and Abraham Tezera Feleke, deputy editor-in-chief of the same newspaper.

The two journalists were arrested in May and charged with spreading false information against the ENDF and inciting violence as a result of a 2005 report on the defection of Ethiopian Air Force officials who had criticized government officials.

On June 11, four editors and three publishers of now-defunct weeklies were convicted of anti-state charges linked to their coverage of the government's handling of disputed parliamentary elections in 2005.

Two of the editors were convicted of charges carrying sentences of life imprisonment or death. Editors Andualem Ayele Legesse of Ethop and Mesfin Tesfaye Gobena of Abay were convicted along with 34 opposition activists of "outrages against the constitutional order," which can carry a sentence of life imprisonment or the death penalty.

Editor Wenakseged Zeleke Tessema of Asqual was convicted of similar charges. Deputy editor Dawit Fassil Woldeselassie of Satenaw, who was released on bail in April after 16 months in prison, was returned to Kaliti prison on June 11 and charged with "inciting the public through false rumors."

On July 20, deputy editor Dawit Fasil of Satenaw and editors Andualem Ayele of Ethop, Mesfin Tesfaye of Abay, and Wenakseged Zeleke of Asqual were granted a conditional pardon and released from Kaliti prison after they accepted responsibility for postelection unrest in 2005.

The four--who were among 71 opposition members and journalists pardoned--had requested clemency in a document in which they stated that they had attempted to change the constitution outside of the legal framework (see section 1.e.).

On August 18, another four imprisoned journalists of closed Amharic-language weeklies were pardoned and released along with 30 other opposition members; all were among the 71 opposition members and journalists pardoned during the year. Editors Wosonseged Gebrekidan of Addis Zena, Dawit Kebede of Hadar, Goshu Moges of Lisane Hizb, and freelance columnist Tadios Tantu had received prison terms ranging from four to 15 years after waiving their defense and pleading guilty in anticipation of a pardon.

Wosonseged Gebrekidan and Dawit Kebede, who had been in prison since 2005, were convicted on July 30 of "conspiring to incite disruption of constitutional rule," while Goshu, who was arrested in February 2006, was convicted of belonging to an illegal political organization.

During the year publishers and publishing houses were charged and convicted of libel, sometimes for incidents dating back to 2005.

For example, on July 16, Serkalem Publishing House was fined $13,500 (120,000 birr) and Sisay Publishing and Advertising Enterprise was fined $11,000 (100,000 birr) for "committing or supporting outrages to the constitutional order" in 2005. Fasil Publishing and Advertising was fined $1,700 (15,000 birr). All three publishing companies were ordered dissolved.

On April 19, Tilahun Bekele, editor-in-chief of the defunct Maebel private newspaper, was fined $330 (3,000 birr) for libel; Bekele had published a report 10 years ago alleging corruption in the administration of the Addis Ababa Kirkos Church. Bekele, who had 17 press charges against him during his journalism career, has been acquitted of all the other 16 charges.

During the year Eyob Gebre Egziabher Bayissa, editor-in-chief of the defunct Seife Nebelbal, was released on bail after paying $110 (1,000 birr) for each of two charges. He was accused of reporting in a 2005 issue of Seife Nebelbal that the OLF destroyed a military vehicle and killed 18 soldiers "without verifying the story and in violation of the proclamation on upholding legality." Gebre Egziabher, who subsequently left the country, was charged with libel and publishing false information.

The case of Getachew Sime, former editor-in-chief of the defunct Amharic language weekly, Agere, whose appeal to the Federal Supreme Court against his 2005 defamation conviction and three-month prison sentence was rejected, remained pending.

Several journalists arrested in 2005 remained in prison. For example, Shiferaw Insermu, a journalist with Ethiopian Television (ETV), who was arrested in 2005, remained in detention on several charges, including passing government information to the OLF leadership.

During the year the government passed laws to expand government control of the media.

On June 7, the government passed a law that prohibits broadcast organizations that were established and have financial or management assistance from outside the country from owning broadcasting companies.

In June the government issued a proclamation that empowers the Ministry of Information to direct and coordinate government information and communication activities and also to serve as the main source of government information; formerly these functions were handled by the Ethiopian News Agency (ENA), which was accountable to parliament.

The ministry is also empowered to "issue permits to noncommercial press and monitor their activities," giving further regulatory powers to the ministry. Under the new bill, media organizations that publish private newspapers are obliged to obtain a certificate of competence from the Ministry of Information.

The Ministry of Information requires that newspapers maintain a bank balance of $1,150 (10,000 birr) when annually registering for a publishing license. This sum effectively precluded some smaller publications from registering.

Authorities also required permanent residency for publishers to establish and operate a newspaper. The government did not require residency for other business owners, and some independent journalists maintained that the government used the residency requirement as a form of intimidation.

The press law requires all publishers to provide free copies of their publications to the Ministry of Information on the day of publication.

The Ethiopian Free Press Journalists Association (EFJA) remained in disarray following the 2005 crackdown on the private press. Several journalists remained in exile, including EFJA president Kifle Mulat, who was acquitted on April 9 of outrages against the constitution and constitutional order.

Internet Freedom

The government restricted access to the Internet and blocked opposition Web sites, including the site of the Oromo Liberation Front and several news blogs and sites run by opposition diaspora groups, such as the Ethiopian Review,, Quatero Amharic Magazine, Tensae Ethiopia, and the Ethiopian Media Forum. On May 1, Reuters reported that an Internet watchdog accused the country of blocking "scores of anti-government websites and millions of weblogs."

The Ethiopian Telecommunication Corporation, which has 23,887 Internet subscribers, remained the only Internet provider. Citizens in urban areas had ready access to Internet cafes; however, rural access was still extremely limited.

Mobile telephone text messaging, which was blocked by the state telecommunications monopoly following claims that the CUD had used text messaging to coordinate antigovernment actions, restarted on September 12.

Academic Freedom and Cultural Events

The government restricted academic freedom during the year, maintaining that professors could not espouse political sentiments. Authorities did not permit teachers at any level to deviate from official lesson plans and discouraged political activity and association of any kind on university campuses.

Reports continued throughout the year of both uniformed and plainclothes police officers being present on and around university and high school campuses. The government arrested students and teachers during the year.

Professors and students were discouraged from taking positions not in accordance with government beliefs or practices. There was a lack of transparency in academic staffing decisions, with numerous complaints from individuals in the academic community of bias based on ethnicity and/or religion. The freedoms of speech, expression, and assembly were frequently restricted on university and high school campuses.

Unlike in the previous year, there were no reports that the Ministry of Culture and Tourism banned performances.

b. Freedom of Peaceful Assembly and Association

Freedom of Assembly

The constitution and law provide for freedom of assembly; however, the government restricted this right. Organizers of large public meetings or demonstrations must notify the government 72 hours in advance and obtain a permit; however, the government has issued no such permits since May 2005.

Opposition political parties reported that during the year their supporters were targets of frequent and systematic harassment and violence by government security forces, often after leaving meetings. EHRCO reported that regional governments, including the Addis Ababa regional administration, refused to grant permits or provide security for large meetings.

There were few attacks by police, the army, and militia against demonstrators, largely due to the fact that no public assembly permits were issued and illegal demonstrations were limited; however, police killed demonstrators during the year.

For example, on April 24, the police chief in Damot Weyde District shot and killed Meredo Mega and Alkal Dabso Dingo. The victims were part of a demonstration against the regional administration's decision to merge the victim's district with another district. At year's end there had been no investigation into the shootings. The victims' families reported continued harassment and threats from the police chief.

There was no investigation into the 2006 killing by federal police of 15 demonstrators in the East Wallega zone, Guduru District

There were no new developments reported in numerous 2005 police killings of demonstrators.

The Independent Inquiry Commission, established in late 2006 by the government to investigate the alleged use of excessive force by security forces in violent 2005 antigovernment demonstrations, found that security forces did not use excessive force, given demonstration violence.

However, prior to the release of the report, the chairman and deputy chairman of the commission fled the country, allegedly in response to threats made against them by government forces. After fleeing, both stated publicly and showed video evidence that at an official meeting in 2006, the commission had originally decided, by a vote of eight to two, that excessive force was used and that the total number of killed and injured was the same as eventually reported.

Following this vote, government officials allegedly urged commission members to change their votes to indicate that excessive force was not used.

The OFDM reported that ruling party cadres seized and destroyed membership cards of OFDM supporters, disrupted OFDM political meetings, and detained OFDM members in police stations and army camps.

Freedom of Association

Although the law provides for freedom of association and the right to engage in unrestricted peaceful political activity, the government in practice limited this right. The Ministry of Justice registers and licenses NGOs, and there was some improvement in transparency of the NGO registration process.

As provided by law, the government required political parties to register with the National Election Board (NEB), which continued to limit political activity by the ONC. For example, during the year the NEB forced the ONC to rename itself by granting the ONC name to a renegade ONC member.

During the year the UEDF, CUDP, OFDM, and ONC reported arrests of members and the forced closure of nearly all political party offices throughout the country (see section 1.d.) and intimidation of landlords to force their eviction. There were credible reports that the government used legal means to harass leadership from an influential opposition political party, utilizing government agencies to restrict party control and membership.

During the year some political leaders, including members of federal and regional parliaments, were prevented from traveling to their constituencies and meeting with supporters.

The ETA continued to encounter government restrictions when attempting to hold meetings. On August 2, police raided a meeting of the Addis Ababa chapter of the ETA without warrant on allegations that the meeting was being held illegally.

The police arrested General Secretary Tesfaye Tirga after finding Education International postcards calling for the release of detained ETA members on trial (see section 1.e.). He was allegedly beaten and interrogated before being released.

The ETA has operated since 1967, but in 1993, after the EPRDF took power, an alternate, pro-EPRDF ETA was established. In 1993 the original ETA and the government-supported ETA began prolonged legal battles over the organization's name and property rights.

Although the original ETA received favorable judgments in lower courts, the newly formed ETA appealed to the Supreme Court; the appeal remained pending at year's end.

c. Freedom of Religion

The constitution and law provide for freedom of religion, and the government generally respected this right in practice; however, local authorities occasionally infringed on this right. The Ethiopian Orthodox Church (EOC) and Sufi Islam are the dominant religions; nearly 90 percent of the population adhered to one or the other faith.

While the government required that religious institutions annually register with the Ministry of Justice, there were no reports of government action against institutions that chose not to register.

Under the law, a religious organization that undertakes development activities must register its development wing separately as an NGO. The government did not issue work visas to foreign religious workers unless they were associated with the development wing of a religious organization.

Some religious property confiscated under the Mengistu (Derg) regime had not been returned by year's end.

Minority religious groups reported discrimination in the allocation of government land for religious sites.

Authorities banned a traditional animist Oromo religious group because it suspected that the group's leaders had close links to the OLF. Protestant groups occasionally reported that local officials discriminated against them when they sought land for churches and cemeteries.

Evangelical leaders stated that because authorities perceived them as "newcomers," they were at a disadvantage compared with the EOC and the Ethiopian Islamic Affairs Supreme Council (EIASC) in the allocation of land.

The EIASC reported that it faced more difficulty obtaining land from the government than did the EOC, while others believed that the government favored the EIASC.

Societal Abuses and Discrimination

On March 26, an evangelist was killed by a group of Muslim youth near a mosque in the town of Jima, Oromiya Region. At year's end there were no arrests in the incident.

Unlike in the previous year, there were no reports of deaths resulting from clashes between Muslims and Ethiopian Orthodox Christians.

The Jewish community numbered approximately 2,000, and there were no reports of anti-Semitic acts.

For a more detailed discussion, see the 2007 International Religious Freedom Report.

d. Freedom of Movement, Internally Displaced Persons, Protection or Refugees, and Stateless Persons

Although the law provides for freedom of movement within the country, foreign travel, emigration, and repatriation, the government restricted some of these rights in practice.

Throughout the year in the Gambella Region, the government continued to monitor and sometimes control the passage of relief supplies and access by humanitarian organizations, explaining that it was doing so as a matter of security for those traveling in the region.

Between April and year's end, the government severely restricted the movement of persons into and within the Ogaden Region, arguing that the counterinsurgency operation against the ONLF posed a security threat.

Travel by members of the press was particularly restricted (see section 1.g.).

The law prohibits forced exile; and the government did not force any citizens into exile. A number of persons remained abroad in self‑imposed exile, including 54 journalists (see section 2.a.).

During the year the ICRC repatriated 1,379 Ethiopians from Eritrea and repatriated 62 Eritreans.

Most Eritreans and Ethiopians of Eritrean origin registered with the government and received identity cards and six‑month renewable residence permits that allowed them to gain access to hospitals and other public services. However, there were anecdotal reports that local government officials denied indigent Eritreans the right to free medical services.

During the year the UNHCR processed 97 cases for resettlement in foreign countries.

Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs)

The conflict between government and rebel forces in the Somali Region resulted in the displacement of thousands of persons (see section 1.g.). Violent clashes between different ethnic groups during the year displaced persons and resulted in deaths and injuries.

The 1998-2000 war with Eritrea produced approximately 350,000 IDPs. Of these, humanitarian agencies resettled an estimated 225,000.

The UNHCR estimated there were approximately 200,000 IDPs in the country, including approximately 62,000 in Tigray Region, 44,700 in Gambella Region, 30,000 in the Borena area of the Oromiya Region, and 50,000 on the border of the Oromiya and Somali regions.

During the year the government cooperated with the government of Sudan in the forcible repatriation of Ethiopian refugees. The status of those repatriated in unknown.

Protection of Refugees

The law provides for the granting of asylum or refugee status in accordance with the 1951 UN Convention relating to the Status of Refugees and its 1967 protocol, and the government has established a system for providing protection to refugees.

In practice the government provided protection against "refoulement," the return of persons to a country where there is reason to believe they feared persecution, and granted refugee status and asylum.

The government generally cooperated with the UNHCR and other humanitarian organizations in assisting refugees and returning citizens.

The government, in cooperation with UNHCR, also continued to provide temporary protection to individuals from Sudan, Eritrea, and Somalia who may not qualify as refugees under the 1951 convention and the 1967 protocol.

During the year the government opened a new refugee camp at Teferi Ber, northeast of the town of Jijiga, to accommodate approximately 8,500 new Somali refugees.

The conflict between ethnic groups in the Gambella Region continued to complicate UNHCR refugee protection efforts (see section 1.g.). Food deliveries to refugees continued in spite of the crisis in the West; however, humanitarian organizations at times were unable to adequately monitor deliveries due to travel restrictions.

The government required that all refugees reside and remain in designated camps, most of which were located near the Eritrean, Somaliland, and Sudanese borders, unless granted permission to live elsewhere in the country. Such permission was given primarily to attend higher education institutions, undergo medical treatment, or avoid security threats at the camps.

Section 3 Respect for Political Rights: The Right of Citizens to Change Their Government

The constitution and law provide citizens the right to change their government peacefully, and citizens exercised this right in practice through generally free and fair elections held on the basis of universal suffrage; however, violence and intimidation of voters and election observers marred polling in many areas in the 2005 election. In practice the EPRDF ruling party dominated the government.

The government policy of ethnic federalism led to the creation of individual constituencies to ensure representation of all major ethnic groups in the House of Peoples' Representatives.

Nevertheless, small ethnic groups lacked representation in the legislature. There were 23 nationality groups in six regional states that did not have a sufficient population to qualify for constituency seats; however, in the May 2005 elections, individuals from these nationality groups competed for 23 special seats in the 547‑seat House of Peoples' Representatives. Additionally, these 23 nationality groups have one seat each in the 112-seat House of Federation, the upper house of parliament.

Elections and Political Participation

According to domestic and international observers, the May 2005 national elections, in which the EPRDF coalition won 372 of 547 seats, generally reflected the will of the people. Opposition parties made an unexpectedly strong showing, increasing their parliamentary representation from 12 to 172 seats.

Irregularities, including intimidation of voters and election observers, marred polling in many areas. The government and EPRDF also announced the "final" election results before the NEB released them.

Observers reported killings, disappearances, voter intimidation and harassment, and unlawful detentions of opposition party supporters, particularly in the Amhara, Oromiya, and Southern Nations, Nationalities, and Peoples regions.

The Carter Center expressed concern over reports of improper vote counting and tabulation, stating that its observer teams had "found evidence that ballot boxes have been moved improperly, were improperly secured, or that party agents were barred from polling stations or were not allowed to observe the entire count."

It also reported "election day and postelection intimidation and harassment." The head of the European Union's Electoral Observation Mission issued a preliminary report stating that the postelection complaint review process "did not live up to international standards," citing irregularities in key areas.

In spite of these criticisms, international observers noted that the elections, and particularly the preelection campaign season, were an important step forward in the country's democratization efforts.

Following the election, opposition parties accused the NEB of being an instrument of the ruling party and of failing to act when informed of electoral irregularities, including ballot stuffing, vote count fraud, bribery, killings, beatings, and widespread intimidation and harassment by ruling party supporters during the national elections.

In June 2005, negotiations between the ruling and major opposition parties over election complaints resulted in an agreement to adopt an ad hoc complaints resolution process to deal with the large number of unresolved electoral complaints.

According to the Carter Center, 44 different complaints investigation panels conducted formal investigations and hearings in 178 constituencies across the country, resulting in a decision by the NEB to hold new elections in 31 constituencies. New elections were held in those constituencies in August 2005, but were boycotted by opposition parties due to complaints regarding the election review process.

In 2005 the government and opposition leaders participated in discussions on the opposition's participation in the House of People's Representatives.

While most UEDF members decided to take their seats in the house, some CUD leaders announced they would boycott the federal parliament, as well as regional parliaments and the Addis Ababa City Council.

However, by year's end most elected CUD members had joined parliament. In 2005 the CUD called for civil disobedience measures, such as horn-honking, boycotting EPRDF-owned businesses, and ostracizing alleged government supporters, which the government publicly declared illegal.

Beginning on November 2005, violent antigovernment protests allegedly organized by the opposition were held in Addis Ababa, and the government arrested several dozen opposition leaders, as well as members of the independent media and civil society groups, for alleged participation in unlawful activities.

Security forces also detained between 30,000 and 50,000 demonstrators for up to three months without charge. Military intervention led to widespread abuses such as arbitrary detention and killings.

Security forces arrested at least 12 of the 20 CUD party executive committee members, including party president Hailu Shawel, vice chairman Bertukan Mideksa, secretary-general Muluneh Eyoel, and Addis Ababa mayor-elect Dr. Berhanu Nega, on charges of treason and genocide, among others (see section 1.e.).

During the year a new NEB was elected and a new electoral law was passed by parliament. The law was drafted by a group of ruling and opposition party representatives after several rounds of interparty negotiations.

These negotiations, which were also charged with selecting several nominees for the new NEB, initially included the EPRDF and all major opposition parties. However, when the EPRDF refused to consider many proposals from opposition members, several parties walked out of the talks, thereby giving the EPRDF control over drafting of the law and nomination of NEB members.

The EPRDF, its affiliates, and EPRDF supporters controlled all seats in the 112‑member House of Federation, whose members were appointed by regional governments and by the federal government. Membership in the EPRDF conferred advantages upon its members, and the party owned many businesses and awarded jobs and business contracts to loyal supporters.

The largest opposition party in the House of Peoples' Representatives was the CUDP, composed of most of the former CUD coalition members, which held 61 seats.

Registered political parties must receive permission from regional governments to open local offices.

Opposition parties, such as the CUDP, UEDF, and OFDM, claimed that the pattern of widespread intimidation and violence directed against members of opposition political parties by local government officials continued throughout the year. Opposition parties and the press reported hundreds of such cases, including killings, beatings, arrests, and property confiscation.

Authorities often disrupted or unlawfully banned opposition party meetings.

Unlike in the previous year, there were no reports that authorities told opposition members to renounce their party membership if they wanted access to fertilizer, agricultural services, health care, and other benefits controlled by the government.

Of the 19 members of the Council of Ministers, two were women, and a number of women held senior positions.

There were 116 women in the 547‑seat House of Peoples' Representatives, a gain from 14 in the previous parliament, and 21 women in the 112-member House of Federation. Of the 14 members of the Supreme Court, three were women.

During the 2005 national elections women constituted nearly half of the community observers, party workers, and election officials at polling stations.

Parliamentarians in the House of Peoples' Representatives are elected from every "woreda" (county) in the country and thereby represent the various ethnic minorities present.

The House of Federation is made up of one member per approximately one million population, one representative for each region, as well as 20 seats reserved for ethnic minorities that are underrepresented.

Government Corruption and Transparency

The law provides criminal penalties for official corruption; however, the government did not implement these laws effectively. The World Bank's worldwide governance indicators reflected that corruption was a serious problem.

The Ministry of Justice has primary responsibility for combating corruption. A combination of social pressure, cultural norms, and legal restrictions limited corruption.

However, government officials appeared to manipulate the privatization process, as state and party-owned businesses received preferential access to land leases and credit. The government's decision to grant MIDROC, the country's largest foreign investor, an exclusive license to import cement was perceived as favoritism toward a government ally.

There were no arrests of high-level government officials, although numerous low-level officials were arrested for corruption during the year.

The law provides for public access to government information, but access was largely restricted in practice.

The government publishes its laws and regulations in the national gazette prior to their taking effect. The Ministry of Information managed contacts between the government, the press, and the public; however, the government routinely refused to respond to queries from the private press (see section 2.a.).

Section 4 Governmental Attitude Regarding International and Nongovernmental Investigation of Alleged Violations of Human Rights

A number of domestic and international human rights groups generally operated with limited government restriction, investigating and publishing their findings on human rights cases. The government generally was distrustful and wary of domestic human rights groups and international observers.

Two of the most prominent domestic human rights organizations were EHRCO and the Ethiopian Women Lawyers Association (EWLA). The government routinely discounted EHRCO's reports and labeled it a political organization.

The EWLA's primary function was to legally represent women. These and numerous other groups primarily engaged in civic and human rights education, advocacy, legal assistance, and trial monitoring. However, the government neither shared information nor acknowledged the existence of human rights abuses with members of the domestic NGO community.

The government sometimes cooperated with international organizations such as the UN. However, in July the ICRC was ordered to cease its operations in the Somali Region. In September the government restricted international workers for MSF from continuing work in the region. Both the ICRC and MSF had expressed concern about the government's counterinsurgency campaign against the ONLF (see section 1.g.)

Two NGO members active in civic education remained in prison (see section 1.e.).

The ICRC was denied access to federal prisons and to political prisoners.

In 2005 the government expelled representatives of several foreign-based NGOs conducting electoral work and by year's end had not allowed them to return.

Security officials continued to intimidate or detain local individuals to prevent them from meeting with NGOs and foreign government officials investigating abuse allegations.

The government is required by law to establish a human rights commission and an Office of the Ombudsman with the authority to receive and investigate complaints with respect to misadministration by executive branch offices. Both of these entities began work during the year. Each began accepting complaints and performed investigations during the year.

The Ministry of Justice continued to implement a three-year program of human rights training workshops for judges, prosecutors, police, and community members around the country.

Section 5 Discrimination, Societal Abuses, and Trafficking in Persons

The law prohibits discrimination based on race, color, gender, language, national origin, political or other opinion, or social status; however, in practice the government did not effectively enforce these prohibitions.


The law criminalizes rape; however, the government did not fully enforce the law, in part due to widespread underreporting.

Most women were unaware of the law, and social mores also discouraged women from reporting rape.

Observers estimated that at least 1,000 rapes occurred annually in Addis Ababa, but data based on official police reports counted only approximately 400 cases per year.

The press continued to report regularly on rape cases, particularly when injury to minors resulted. Courts sentenced convicted rapists to 10 to 15 years' imprisonment, as prescribed by law

Domestic violence, including spousal abuse and rape, was a pervasive social problem. A 2005 World Bank study concluded that 88 percent of rural women and 69 percent of urban women believed their husbands had the right to beat them.

While women had recourse to the police and the courts, societal norms and limited infrastructure prevented many women from seeking legal redress, particularly in rural areas. The government prosecuted offenders on a limited scale.

The combination of pregnancy at an early age, limited birth space, chronic maternal malnutrition, and a lack of skilled care at delivery often led to obstetric fistulae and permanent incontinence.

Approximately 8,700 women developed obstetric fistulae annually, and 27,000 women with untreated fistulae were estimated to be living in rural areas. Treatment for fistulae was available at only one hospital, the Addis Ababa Fistula Hospital, which annually performed over 1,000 fistula operations.

It estimated that for every successful operation performed, 10 other young women needed the treatment but did not receive it. The maternal mortality rate was extremely high, partly due to food taboos for pregnant women, poverty, early marriage, and birth complications related to FGM, particularly infibulation.

Prostitution was legal for persons over age 18 and was commonly practiced around the country; however, the law prohibits pimping and benefiting from prostitution. Persons exploited in prostitution routinely reported that poverty was the principal underlying cause.

Sexual harassment was widespread. The penal code prescribes 18 to 24 months imprisonment; however, sexual harassment-related laws were not enforced.

The law sets the legal marriage age for girls and boys at 18, elevates civil law above customary and religious law; allows for the legal sharing of property by unmarried couples who live together for at least five years, eliminates family arbitrators as a means of settling marital disputes in lieu of the court system, allows for the joint administration of common marital property, requires the courts to take into account the situation of children or the weakest member of the family in the event of divorce or separation, and imposes a six‑month waiting period on women seeking to remarry following divorce or the death of a spouse.

However, the law was not always enforced, and regional councils had authority to determine family law for their respective regions. Four regions maintained their own family law: Amhara, Tigray, Oromiya, and Addis Ababa; however, regional laws were not uniformly enforced. By law, such regional regulations could not conflict with the national constitution.

Discrimination against women was most acute in rural areas, where 85 percent of the population was located. The law contains discriminatory regulations, such as the recognition of the husband as the legal head of the family and the sole guardian of children over five years old.

Authorities did not consider domestic violence a serious justification for granting a divorce. There was limited legal recognition of common law marriage. Irrespective of the number of years the marriage existed, the number of children raised, and joint property, the law entitled women to only three months' financial support if the common law relationship ended.

A husband had no obligation to provide financial assistance to his family and, as a result, women and children sometimes faced abandonment.

The law states that any property owned before marriage belongs to the spouse that previously owned it.

Any property gained during marriage is shared equally, although a wife does not have the right to inherit her deceased husband's share. Even with stronger formal laws, most rural residents continued to apply customary law in economic and social relationships.

All land belongs to the government. Although women could obtain government leases to land, and the government had an explicit policy to provide equal access for women to land, rural communities rarely enforced this policy. In nearly all regions women did not have access to land, except through marriage. In practice, when a husband died, other family members often took the land from his widow.

In urban areas, women had fewer employment opportunities than men, and the jobs available did not provide equal pay for equal work.


The government supported efforts by domestic and international NGOs that focused on children's social, health, and legal issues, despite its limited ability to provide improved health care, basic education, or child protection.

As a policy, primary education was universal and tuition-free, but not compulsory; however, there were not enough schools to accommodate the country's youth, particularly in rural areas, and the cost of school supplies was prohibitive for many families.

In 2005 73.2 percent of male primary-school-age children and 63.6 percent of female primary-school-age children attended school; in Addis Ababa girls' attendance was significantly higher. Government reports indicated that 22.4 percent of the children who attended school left the system before they reached the second grade, and only 34.9 percent of children who began first grade completed eighth grade.

Child abuse was widespread. Members of an NGO staffed 10 child protection units in Addis Ababa's police stations to protect the rights of juvenile delinquents and juvenile victims of crime. Some police officers received training during the year on procedures for handling cases of child abuse.

Societal abuse of young girls continued to be a problem. Harmful traditional practices included FGM, early marriage, marriage by abduction, and food and work prohibitions.

In the Afar Region older men continued to marry young girls, but media accounts suggested that this traditional practice continued to face greater scrutiny and criticism. Local NGOs, such as the Kembatta Women's Self‑Help Center and the Tigray Women's Association, also influenced societal attitudes toward harmful traditional practices and early marriage in their areas. During the year regional governments in Amhara and Tigray instituted programs to educate young women on the issues of early marriage.

The majority of girls and women in the country had undergone some form of FGM. Girls typically experienced clitoridectomies seven days after birth (consisting of an excision of the clitoris, often with partial labial excision, and faced infibulation (the most extreme and dangerous form of FGM) at the onset of puberty.

According to a Ministry of Health Demographic and Health survey released in 2005, the practice of FGM among all women had decreased from 80 to 74 percent, while support for the practice among women had dropped from 60 to 29 percent.

The penal code criminalizes the circumcision of any female by imprisonment of not less than three months or a fine of not less than $58 (500 birr). Likewise, infibulation of the genitals is punishable with imprisonment of five to 10 years. However, no criminal prosecutions have ever been brought for FGM. The government discouraged the practice of FGM through education in public schools and broader mass media campaigns.

Although illegal, the abduction of women and girls as a form of marriage continued to be widespread in several regions, including the Amhara, Oromiya, and Southern Nations, Nationalities, and Peoples regions, despite the government's attempts to combat the practice.

Forced sexual relationships accompanied most marriages by abduction, and women often experienced physical abuse during the abduction.

Abductions led to conflicts among families, communities, and ethnic groups. In cases of marriage by abduction, the perpetrator did not face punishment if the victim agreed to marry him (unless authorities annulled the marriage); even after the conviction of a perpetrator, authorities often commuted the sentence if the victim married him.

Child marriage was also a problem, particularly in Amhara and Tigray regions, where girls were routinely married as early as age seven, despite the legal minimum age of 18 for marriage. There were some signs of growing public awareness of the problem of abuse of women and girls, including early marriage.

The government estimated the number of street children totaled 150,000 to 200,000, with approximately 50,000 to 60,000 street children in Addis Ababa. The UN Children's Fund (UNICEF) estimated there were 600,000 street children in the country and more than 100,000 in the capital.

UNICEF stated the problem was exacerbated because of families' inability to support children due to parental illness and decreased household income.

These children begged, sometimes as part of a gang, or worked in the informal sector. Government and privately run orphanages were unable to handle the number of street children, and older children often abused younger ones. Due to severe resource constraints, hospitals and orphanages often overlooked or neglected abandoned infants. "Handlers" sometimes maimed or blinded children to raise their earnings from begging.

Trafficking in Persons

The law prohibits trafficking in persons; however, there were reports that persons were trafficked from and within the country. The country was a source country for men, women, and children trafficked for forced labor and sexual exploitation. NGOs estimated that international trafficking annually involved between 25,000 and 30,000 victims

According to the International Organization for Migration (IOM) there were a total of more than 130,000 Ethiopian migrant workers (legal and illegal) in the Middle East, predominantly women.

NGOs and Ethiopia's Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs (MOLSA) estimated that the majority of illegal Ethiopian workers in Middle Eastern countries were trafficked rather than smuggled for employment purposes. According to data from MOLSA and IOM, 13,498 Ethiopian workers migrated to the Middle East between September 2005 and August 2006; and 12,016 Ethiopian workers migrated to the Middle East between September 2006 and January 2007.

Young women were trafficked to Djibouti and the Middle East, particularly Lebanon, the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, and Bahrain for involuntary domestic labor. Some women were trafficked for sexual exploitation to Europe (Specifically Turkey and Greece) via Lebanon.

Small numbers of men were trafficked to Saudi Arabia and the Gulf states for exploitation as low-skilled laborers. Both children and adults were trafficked internally from rural to urban areas for domestic labor and, to a lesser extent, for commercial sexual exploitation and forced labor, such as street vending and weaving.

Trafficked Ethiopians transited Egypt, Yemen, Djibouti, Kenya, and Tanzania to perform domestic labor in Lebanon and other Gulf states.

They also transited Sudan and Libya as part of irregular migration to Europe and North America. Ethiopians were trafficked to Djibouti for domestic labor and the sex industry, and to South Africa to perform labor associated with hosting the World Cup.

Local NGOs reported that internal trafficking of children and adults within the country continued to be a serious problem.

Vulnerable individuals (such as young adults from rural areas and children) who transited the Addis Ababa bus terminal were sometimes identified and targeted by agents (or traffickers) who approached them offering jobs, food, guidance, or shelter.

NGO representatives reported that some traffickers focused on rural villages to recruit specific types of laborers.

According to international NGOs, child prostitution was a growing problem, particularly in urban areas.

Approximately 60 percent of persons exploited in prostitution were between the ages of 16 and 25, according to one NGO report. Underage girls worked as hotel workers, barmaids, and prostitutes in resort towns and at rural truck stops.

Pervasive poverty, migration to urban centers, early marriage, HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases, and limited educational and job opportunities aggravated the sexual exploitation of children.

NGOs reported that houses of prostitution recruited impoverished girls as young as age 11 and kept them uninformed of the risks of HIV/AIDS infection and other sexually transmitted diseases.

IOM officials reported some linkages between internal and international trafficking, specifically noting that children internally trafficked from Dire Dawa, Bahir Dar, and Dessie, were frequently sent to the Middle East, transiting through Dire Dawa, Jijiga, Bosasso (in Somalia), and then Djibouti.

The law provides penalties from five to 20 years' imprisonment and a fine not to exceed $5,656 (50,000 birr) for trafficking women and children. For particularly egregious cases involving bodily harm, the penalty can be up to10 to 20 years of rigorous imprisonment.

Organizations found in violation of Article 599 face a $11,312 (100,000 birr) fine and dissolution.

Approximately 925 cases of trafficked children were reported to police in 2006, and 67 of those cases were referred to the prosecutors office, according to an NGO. Of the 67, one resulted in a conviction in 2006, 23 were under investigation, and 43 had been closed due to lack of evidence or absconded defendants.

Low conviction rates resulted from an understaffed and overburdened judiciary, lack of cooperation fromdestination country governments, and alleged corruption on the part of responsible local authorities. Traffickers often destroyed evidence, making convictions difficult.

In 2006 and 2007 the government closed illegal international employment agencies suspected of trafficking persons.

The government also supervised the work of the legal international labor migration firms, which included antitrafficking training in their initial screening and predeparture counseling programs.

Predeparture counseling was designed to inform potential migrants of the risk of being trafficked. During the year the government also provided antitrafficking training to police, judges, and prosecutors.

A few NGOs aided child victims, including the Forum on Street Children‑Ethiopia, which provided children forced into prostitution or sexual exploitation with shelter, protection, and return to their families.

Persons with Disabilities

The law does not mandate equal rights for persons with disabilities, and the government devoted few resources to rehabilitate or assist persons with disabilities.

Persons with disabilities sometimes complained of job discrimination. The government did not mandate access to buildings or provide services for persons with disabilities.

There were approximately seven million persons with disabilities, according to the Ethiopian Federation of Persons with Disabilities. There was one mental hospital and an estimated 10 psychiatrists in the country.

The Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs, which was responsible for protecting the rights of persons with disabilities, funded prosthetic and orthopedic centers in five of the nine regional states over the past three years as part of its "National Program of Action for Rehabilitation of Persons with Disabilities."

National/Racial/Ethnic Minorities

There were more than 80 ethnic groups living in the country, of which the Oromo, at 40 percent of the population, was the largest.

Although many groups influenced the political and cultural life of the country, Amharas and Tigrayans from the northern highlands played a dominant role.

The federal system drew boundaries roughly along major ethnic group lines, and regional states had much greater control over their affairs than previously. Most political parties remained primarily ethnically based.

The military remained an ethnically diverse organization; however, Tigrayans increasingly dominated the senior officer corps.

During the May 2005 elections and subsequent demonstrations, there were many reports of Tigrayan or Gambellan troops being used in Addis Ababa and other urban centers where the opposition was strong and where officials did not consider Amhara members of the armed forces sufficiently reliable.

There were occasional reports that officials terminated the employment of teachers and other government workers if they were not of the dominant ethnic group in the region.

Government and ONLF forces were responsible for widespread human rights abuses in the Somali Region (see section 1.g.).

Ethnic conflict in the western, southern, and eastern areas resulted in killings and injuries; however, there were far fewer such cases than in 2006, when hundreds of persons were killed and tens of thousands were displaced.

There also were clashes among ethnic groups in the Oromiya, Benishangul-Gumuz, and Southern Nations, Nationalities, and Peoples regions.

On February 27, an ethnic conflict between the Guji and Burji groups in the Arero district of Oromiya Region resulted in two deaths and several injuries.

On May 19, a conflict over land rights between the Oromo and Gumuz ethnic groups in the Haro Limu district of Oromiya Region resulted in five deaths and an unknown number of injuries.

Other Societal Abuses and Discrimination

Homosexuality is illegal and punishable by imprisonment. Instances of homosexual activity determined to be cruel, involving coercion, or involving a minor (age 13 to 16) are punishable by not less than three months or more than five years in prison.

Where children under 13 years of age are involved, the law provides for imprisonment of five to 25 years. While society did not widely accept homosexuality, there were no reports of violence against homosexuals.

Societal discrimination against persons with HIV/AIDS continued during the year.

Section 6 Worker Rights

a. The Right of Association

The law provides most workers with the right to form and join unions, and the government allowed this in practice.

However, the law specifically excludes teachers and civil servants (including judges, prosecutors, and security service workers) from organizing unions. There was government interference in trade union activities during the year.

A minimum of 10 workers were required to form a union. While the law provides all unions with the right to register, the government may refuse to register trade unions that do not meet its registration requirements.

The government retained the authority to cancel the registration of a union after consulting the appropriate courts.

There were no reports that the government used this authority during the year. The law stipulates that a trade organization may not act in an overtly political manner. Approximately 300,000 workers were union members.

Seasonal and part‑time agricultural workers did not organize into labor unions. Compensation, benefits, and working conditions of seasonal workers were far below those of unionized permanent plantation employees.

Despite government recognition of the independent ETA, authorities required all public school teachers to subsidize a separate government‑created and controlled teacher's union (also called ETA) through mandatory withholding of $0.23 (2 birr) from their monthly salaries.

A 2003 ruling by the federal high court that authorities should return the assets of the independent ETA and allow its offices to reopen was appealed to the Supreme Court by the government-controlled ETA; the appeal continued at year's end, and the high court's decision to recognize the independent ETA had not been implemented.

During the year the National Workers Federation for Crops, Fishery and Agro Industry reported that union leaders in the Oromiya Region were harassed, intimidated, and imprisoned by regional police in collaboration with employers.

The federation also reported that kebele militia or local police killed activists working in a sugar cane project in the Afar Regional government, in Sabure Woreda, Awara Melka. The federation has submitted a formal letter requesting the government to investigate, but no investigation had been conducted by year's end.

Although the law prohibits antiunion discrimination by employers against union members and organizers, unions reported that employers frequently fired union activists.

Lawsuits alleging unlawful dismissal often took years to resolve because of case backlogs in the labor courts. According to labor leaders, a number of court cases in which workers were terminated for union activities were pending after four or five years.

Employers found guilty of antiunion discrimination were required to reinstate workers fired for union activities and generally did so in practice.

b. The Right to Organize and Bargain Collectively

The law protects the right of collective bargaining for most workers, and in practice the government allowed citizens to exercise this right freely.

Labor experts estimated that collective bargaining agreements covered more than 90 percent of unionized workers.

Representatives negotiated wages at the plant level. Unions in the formal industrial sector made some efforts to enforce labor regulations. There are no export processing zones.

Although the constitution and law provide workers with the right to strike to protect their interests, it contains detailed provisions that make legal strike actions difficult to carry out, such as a minimum of 30 days' advance notice before striking.

The law requires aggrieved workers to attempt reconciliation with employers before striking and includes a lengthy dispute settlement process. These applied equally to an employer's right to lock out workers. A majority of the workers involved must support a strike for it to occur.

Workers nonetheless retained the right to strike without resorting to either of these options, provided they give at least 10 days' notice to the other party and to the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs, make efforts at reconciliation, and provide at least a 30‑day warning in cases already before a court or labor relations board.

The law also prohibits strikes by workers who provide essential services, including air transport and urban bus service workers, electric power suppliers, gas station personnel, hospital and pharmacy personnel, firefighters, telecommunications personnel, and urban sanitary workers.

The law prohibits retribution against strikers, but labor leaders stated that most workers were not convinced that the government would enforce this protection.

Labor officials reported that, due to high unemployment and long delays in the hearing of labor cases, some workers were afraid to participate in strikes or other labor actions.

The labor law allows one or more permanent labor relations boards in the regional states to decide on cases involving enterprises owned by the federal government. The amendment also allows ad hoc labor relations boards in the regions to fulfill the same purpose.

In June 2006 the government further amended the labor law to provide severance pay for workers on additional grounds that were not previously provided for, such as discrimination against persons with HIV/AIDS and payment of severance to those without a pension plan.

c. Prohibition of Forced or Compulsory Labor

While the law prohibits forced or compulsory labor, including by children, such practices occurred (see sections 5 and 6.d.). Courts could order forced labor as a punitive measure.

d. Prohibition of Child Labor and Minimum Age for Employment

There were laws against child labor; however, the government did not effectively implement these laws in practice, and child labor remained a serious problem, both in urban and rural areas. Under the law, the minimum age for wage or salary employment is 14 years; however, the minimum age for employment was not effectively enforced.

Special provisions cover children between the ages of 14 and 18, including the prohibition of hazardous or night work.

By law, children between the ages of 14 and 18 were not permitted to work more than seven hours per day, work between the hours of 10 p.m. and 6 a.m., work on public holidays or rest days, or perform overtime work.

The government defined hazardous work as work in factories or involving machinery with moving parts, or any work that could jeopardize a child's health.

In 2005 approximately 58 percent of boys and 42 percent of girls ages 5 to 14 were working. The majority of working children were found in the agricultural sector, followed by services, manufacturing, and other sectors.

According to the Ministry of Social and Labor Affairs (MOLSA), many children work for their families without pay. In both rural and urban areas, children often begin working at young ages, with many starting work at age five. In rural areas, children work in agriculture on commercial and family farms, and in domestic service.

Children in rural areas, especially boys, engage in activities such as cattle herding, petty trading, plowing, harvesting and weeding, while other children, mostly girls, collect firewood and water.

In urban areas, many children, including orphans, work in domestic service, often working long hours which may prevent them from attending school regularly. Many believe they were unable to quit their jobs and fear physical, verbal, and sexual abuse from their employers while performing their work.

Children in urban areas also work in construction, manufacturing, shining shoes, making clothes, portering, directing customers into taxis, petty trading, and herding animals.

Estimates of the population of street children vary, with the government estimating it to be between 150,000 and 200,000 for the whole country, and UNICEF estimating it to be 600,000 children.

In the capital city of Addis Ababa alone, there are an estimated 50,000 to 60,000 street children according to the government, and 100,000 according to UNICEF.

The commercial sexual exploitation of children increased during the year, particularly in urban areas. Girls as young as 11 reportedly were recruited to work in brothels, they often were sought by customers who believed them to be free of sexually transmitted infections.

Girls are also exploited as prostitutes in hotels, bars, resort towns, and rural truck stops. Reports indicate that some young girls have been forced into prostitution by their family members.

The government's definition of worst forms of child labor included prostitution and bonded labor.

During the year there were reports of forced or bonded labor of children who had been trafficked from the Oromiya Region and the Southern Nations, Nationalities, and Peoples Region to other regions of the country to work as domestic servants. Family members reportedly forced young girls into prostitution.

e. Acceptable Conditions of Work

There is no national minimum wage. However, some government institutions and public enterprises set their own minimum wages.

Public sector employees, the largest group of wage earners, earned a monthly minimum wage of approximately $35 (320 birr); employees in the banking and insurance sector had a minimum monthly wage of $37 (336 birr).

According to the Office for the Study of Wages and Other Remuneration, these wages did not provide a decent standard of living for a worker and family.

Consequently, most families in the wage sector required at least two wage earners to survive, which forced many children to leave school early. Only a small percentage of the population was involved in wage labor employment, which was concentrated largely in urban areas.

The law provides for a 48‑hour legal workweek (with a 24‑hour rest period), premium pay for overtime, and prohibition of excessive, compulsory overtime.

Although the government did little to enforce the law, in practice most employees in the formal sector worked a 40‑hour workweek.

The government, industry, and unions negotiated occupational health and safety standards; however, the inspection department of the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs did not effectively enforce these standards, due to a lack of resources.

A lack of detailed, sector‑specific health and safety guidelines also inhibited enforcement. Workers had the right to remove themselves from dangerous situations without jeopardizing their employment; however, most workers feared losing their jobs if they were to do so.

An Ethiopian Millennial Prophecy: please listen:

Lessons from failed Orange revolutions of economy of violence in Kenya and Ethiopia

Ethiopia has fastest growing non-Oil Economy in Africa – IMF

Dear Patriotic Global Citizens and Friends of Ethiopia, Britain & USA:

Re: Security and Peace as the bed rock of Economic Transformations

MDG: Promoting Prosperity or Reducing Poverty Who is setting the agenda for whom?

It is becoming evident day by day from the global and regional current affairs and news stories that sustainable security is becoming the only indicator of potential peace and economic transformations.

The recent Kenyan Post Election 2007 experiment with failed Ukranian Orange Revolution is a case in point. The violence economy of gangs and unemployed youth turn vigilantes like in Somalia is the new threat to development and prosperity in the region.

If we do not manage the talents and aspirations of our youth, some one else will turn their youthful ignorance against us!

The Horn of Africa that is sitting at the fault line of regional and global cultural and economic pathway is most vulnerable to the ever changing pressures of ecology and economic transformations and population explosions.

It has been 8 years since the advent of the Gregorian Millennium and we are almost half way through the Ethiopian Millennial Year. Both Millennial Celebrations have launched what is termed as the Global Millennial Development Goals and the Millennial Renaissance Trans formative Agenda respectively.

The Gregorian MDG (Millennium Development Goal) is geared towards reducing or ending poverty, the Ethiopian/African MRT (Millennial Renaissance Transformation(aspires to transform the region towards promoting a pre-emptive security and sustainable prosperity agenda. One wants to reduce poverty and the other wants to build prosperity. Is there a difference between the two?

Can these two strategic millennial agendas ever meet some where? They are looking at a glass as half full and half empty respectively. Is the imagination the problem or are there hidden common shared values they represent?

At the outset, it is critical to understand the Diagnosis is not the problem, it is the solution or the planned therapeutic and prognostic outcomes that is the challenge. As the Ethiopian Global Millennial Renaissance Transformations Strategy is unfolding, it is critical to appreciate that Sustainable Security and Peace are critical for economic transformations that are likely required to generate an enterprising community around the world.

These two perspectives are divergent and convergent at the same time. Can we see a win-win option?

Sustainable security is preceded by Pre-emptive Security, while sustainable peace can take place only in the atmosphere of win-win partnership of all stakeholders in promoting peace and prosperity.

The Gregorian Millennial Development Goals focused on reducing poverty while the Ethiopian Millennial Transformation Agenda is seeking for building the foundations of prosperity. One cannot reduce poverty in the real sense but build the foundations for prosperity. There is a big psychological and empirical difference between the two.

Poverty reduction assumes, one can never get rich or have the opportunity to prosper. Alternatively, it suggests, let us keep them poor for ever and just allow them to reduce their suffering by a certain percentage. Why? No one has reduced poverty and gotten any where, why start now.

The game is over. The Ethiopian Millennium Transformation Agenda is seeking towards investing in infrastructure that enables the people to build the foundations for prosperity.

All the language of traditional strings attached aid of the cold war era, be it governance related and human rights focused or trade balance or deficit driven is not the agenda of the developing world. It is all manufactured in the international developing banks such as World Bank and IMF in the capitals of the West and specifically Washington, DC. The authors are Europeans or Eurothentric Americans, and Asians and not Africans.

The recent HR2003 of the Misguided US Congress Africa Subcomitteeled by misinformed and misguided Donald Payne and Christopher Smith of New Jersey is an excellent example of misguided passion to punish other nations to whom they have no legal or diplomatic association.

The Congressional oversight is to the White House not to Ethiopian Government. This basic knowledge has passed over the heads of misguided and mislobbied congressmen. Their oversight is their government and not other nations, but when ignorance is inflated by arrogance it produces HR2003 that has become a laughing diplomatic blunder by a misguided US Congressional lobbyists who are supporting terrorist networks against the very interests of their own country and their Constitution. This shows clearly what those loony liberals are thinking. They want to impose their version of corrupt governance, which is not good nor just.

How can one preach good governance and behave badly that too, by drafting a bill when the respective parliament was never consulted. The fools think they can continue to fool themselves and expect others to be fooled.

Ethiopia is demanding transparency and accountability from the US Congress that is passing a corrupt "Voice Vote Misguided HR2003 that is languishing at the Senate waiting for the new election to decide who is going to win the Corporate interest congress, senate, and White House.

As the country is reeling in recession, the politicians and their master corporate world, is not responding to the burning issues of the electorate who are shouting for help. Is this the type of democracy and misrule they want to export to the Middle East and the Horn. Ethiopia is saying; ....please for a second, stand in front of the mirror, and, see what you are advocating! Look before you leap is the common African saying that is appropriate here! Any one listening? any one paying attention can see the danger clearly!

the challenge is the perception and the attitude of those in power! It needs to change to reflect the changing challenge of the time!

Can we fight two, three challenges at the same time. Yes, the most important challenge is psychological that we can build prosperity in stead of reducing poverty.

The Horn of Africa currently acknowledged by scientific and cultural and historical literature is known as the mother of humanity (Garden of Eden, Lucy and Selam Archaeological finds, Mother of Egyptian Civilizations, etc) continue to have challenges and opportunities of managing old age, both at ecological, energy and human resource potential.

The Horn continues to be vulnerable to the competitive and at times combative interests of daughter civilizations such as: the Egyptian, Assyrian, Babylonian, Indo-Chinese, Greeco-Roman, Germanic-Slav (Russian), Portugo-Spanish and Franco-British Empires etc has besieged the region for the past 3 Millennia.

At the dawn of the third Millennia, the Grand children civilizations of the American, Japanese and Indo-Chinese and now the Arabian Penninsula cultural and carbon based economic monopoly continues to spread in the region and the Horn is the front line region for these competitive interests.

Within this challenges of highly competitive human enterprise, the ecology and the global climate change is impacting the region negatively more than other global regions.

Ethiopia continues to be at the center of these great challenges and opportunities and has the largest population density in the region with over 50% of its population lying under the age group of 20-25 years.

What a challenge and opportunity lies ahead!

Converting these challenges into new opportunities is the challenge of the government and parents of these vulnerable and yet potentially creative young geniuses. Will positive enterprise engage these youths or destructive orange revolutions. That is the question of the time!

This young population is vulnerable and yet creative for both developmental and destructive activities such as productive enterprises and destructive terrorist activities, etc.

Ethiopia is surrounded by high volume carbon and non carbon based resources such as high volume river basins, fertile soil, rare minerals, and even carbon based products and most importantly a potentially productive high density youthful populations,etc.

The most critical challenge has been security related and good governance challenges that makes these young and vulnerable communities, even more highly vulnerable to emulate the challenges of Irag, Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Palestine and Israel, etc.

The Horn is surrounded by highly volatile cultural and ecologic fault lines of the Somali/Eritrean terror network to which the rather stable Kenya is joining after the contentious elections. Imagine the Orange Revolution that failed in Ethiopia managed to create havoc and genocide in Kenya. It failed in Ethiopia because of the strongly rooted peaceful and multicultural civilizations that has been tasted time and time again.

The Ethiopian leadership managed to get the activists early pre-emptively and sent them to collect oranges in the forests instead of seeding highly volatile Orange Revolutions they intended. In the end pre-emptive security prevailed in Ethiopia and this should have been Kenya's strategies too, but Kenya failed as it listened to the liberals international institutions which set up their headquarters in its capital.

The liberals do not understand security, and they tend to give in to security threats as they did during the second world war, where French and British liberals even convinced the Prince of Wales and PM Chamberlain to appease the terrorists in Italy and Germany to their demise.

The looney liberal European of the last 50 years (Paris and London diplomatic fools) even tried to hand over Ethiopia's sovereignty to appease the Fascist Italians from joining their terrorist network in Germany. But terrorists by their very nature do not like appeasers. That is what happened in Kenya and will never be allowed to happen in Ethiopia if the leadership continues to be pre-emptive.

The double edged strategy of pre-empptive security and sustainable development and promoting peace and prosperity is the only solutions to the current advent widespread terrorist network.

The attached economic productivity is an indication that this challenged region can be the future economic and energy powerhouse if the current threatening challenges of security, development and peace are managed.

Change is the ever present constant in life. At personal level our body regenerates at the rate of 300 Billion cells per day. We are not aware of these micro and nano level changes that is taking place at metabolic and physiologic level and yet change is quietly taking place.

At Macro and galactic level the universe continues to expand and contract depending on which galaxy were are referring to. At our solar system level, major changes have taken place due to our capacity to visualize our global and solar system more accurately with advancing 24/7/365 and light year based observation capacity.

With Google, Microsoft, GPS technology and the ever increasing Internet capabilities that enhances our visual, voice and data communication capacity, we as the human race have much more potential for productive and destructive activities more than any time in recorded history.

The Horn and Ethiopia at its center is one area of the globe that is in transition where quality and quantity of life is being threatened or enhanced. The attached rather impressive economic performance should be looked at from this larger perspective.

If this economic performance continues, it will produce one of the great potential ecological and economic transformations of our time. It is therefore critical all civilizatons and culturally diverse global communities should take note and make these transformations take place by ensuring that all progress is made transparent and accountable and inclusive of all local and regional stakeholders.

The Hydro-electric power and energy export, and the ever present highly talented athletic prowess testifies that if the appropriate environment for development and prosperity is put in place the people and especially the youth are ready to excel. However, the challenge remains the institutional barrier for development and prosperity. Why do the Athletes of the Horn excel, while the development gurus or the politicians continue to fail miserably?

Individual talents need enterprising culture. The current and old set of politicians are into putting barriers on highly talented entrepreneurs from realizing their dream and potential.

That highly obsolete form of governance has to change by unleashing the creative power house of the population. Imagine, an athlete who can be a millionaire overnight and a scientist, artist or an engineer who becomes a pauper after a life time of productive life.

What about a cvofee farmer who continues to be poor by selling first class coffee at 10 cents per pound, while his first class Ethiopian coffee is sold by Starbucks at 10to 15 dollars a pound abroad. Where is the problem? On the quality of production, or in the market place.

The institutions of marketing, packaging and most importantly the local and international laws that do not respect the productive capacity of the farmer by ensuring that his intellectual and product label, brand and property values is not respected but makes others rich.

Can you imagine a UN that promotes Millennial Poverty Reduction, without consulting the poor who want to be rich. Who is running these Millennial Development Goals? Were they produced and crafted by the Poor who want to remain poor or by the rich who want to keep them poor?

That is the fundamental challenge of the time. The Ethiopian Millennial Transformation Agenda is challenging this rather outdated version of development or no development.

Please read below a very interesting article by an Ethiopian Scientist on Global Warming and its impact on the world.

The Earth at its core is very hot and should we be surprised if the magma and lava that spouts from the center of the earth some how manages to impact the Global Climate?

Should we not understand how the aging solar system manages change rather than being alarmed about its natural impact? Is Global Climate Change the natural process of an aging earth and solar system? Can we adopt rather than try to change it and in the process create or facilitate catastrophic global and solar cataclysms?

Can we trust the International liberals whose track record on pre-empting security and promoting prosperity is zero to charter our future? Millenial Development of Goal of Reducing Poverty? Whose agenda is it and who setting it for whom?

Can we have an alternative Millennial Transformative Agenda of Promoting Prosperity by Pre-emptive Security Strategy? Whose poverty are we reducing any way?

Please read on: the Lessons from the Kenyan failed "Orange revolution of the economy of violence and its comparision with ethiopia:

Source: Ethiopian-American, US

Decaffeinated Agreement

Wondwossen Mezlekia

Wondwossen Mezlekia is the Seattle-based publisher of

The trademark dispute between Ethiopia and Starbucks is deemed “resolved” to the satisfaction of both Starbucks’ executives and the Ethiopian Government. In November 2006, Oxfam, the international development and relief agency, launched the unprecedented global campaign in support of Ethiopia’s coffee trademark initiative against Starbucks, the specialty coffee giant. “For every cup of Ethiopian coffee Starbucks sells, Ethiopian farmers earn 3¢. Tell Starbucks: Honor your commitments to coffee farmers.” goes the campaign’s leading caption.

In June 2007, the parties announced that they have signed a confidential agreement and, in November 2007, they “turned the page of the misunderstandings, for a new beginning,” as put by Starbucks’ Chairman Howard Schultz, after his meeting with Prime Minister Meles Zenawi in Addis Ababa.

However, some questions still remain unanswered to the satisfaction of Ethiopian coffee farmers and their supporters, those activists around the globe who have been instrumental in forcing the multinational giant to par with one of the poorest nations in the world. Whether the reported agreement benefits the poor coffee farmers still remains an unanswered question. Whether or not Ethiopia has made the best out of Oxfam’s campaign also remains open to question.

Missed Opportunities

The catchphrase “For every cup of Ethiopian coffee Starbucks sells, Ethiopian farmers earn 3¢” contrasts the power and wealth of multinational coffee companies and the plight of poor coffee farmers across the globe.

Oxfam, a co-sponsor of the award winning documentary Black Gold, sought for years to create awareness of the injustices that exist in the global coffee trade. The organization has always been calling for a coffee market structure that will work for the poor as well as the rich. “Oxfam seeks to correct the imbalances of power at the root of unfair trade,” says Seth Petchers, Oxfam America’s coffee program manager. By highlighting the disparity that exists between coffee farmers’ struggle for barely hand-to-mouth living standards and multinationals’ huge profits, Oxfam hopes to create awareness among consumers. The Starbucks-Ethiopia dispute was one such opportunity for Oxfam but a threat for Starbucks.

Starbucks buys only less than 2 percent of the world’s coffee but it was targeted as a symbol of globalization along the lines of the world’s largest coffee companies Kraft, Nestle, Procter and Gamble, Sara Lee, and German’s giant Tchibo. The ubiquitous brand, which was generally perceived by the public, until the much publicized trademark campaign, as a new breed of socially responsible multinational was depicted as arrogant, exploitative, and insensitive to societal issues.

This left Starbucks rapt with quagmires opening ample opportunities for Ethiopia to negotiate a deal worth its forgone benefits.

Oxfam succeeded in bringing company executives to the table to negotiate with the Ethiopian Government towards terms that may be acceptable to both. Starbucks had no other choice but to give in. This is not surprising considering the gravity of the charges against the company. Unfortunately, Ethiopia’s Government has failed to see these opportunities.

Unfair Settlement

The age long exploitation of the farmers and the fact that Starbucks had worked to block Ethiopia’s efforts to register Sidamo as a trademark in the United States merit a meaningful compensation. But, the Government of Ethiopia and Starbucks’ executives have settled short of expectation even at standards of ordinary trademark disputes.

Ethiopia’s advisors managed to protest USPTO’s (United States Patent and Trademark Office) decision against the Sidamo trademark and the application has once again been pending as of October, 2007. It is not clear whether Starbucks’ agreement to sign a marketing and distribution partnership has so far played anything more than a public relations role. For instance, there is no sign of Starbucks promoting the coffee marks anywhere in its stores. Ten months after the hype, the farmers are still anxiously waiting to see what the agreement would bring for them.

During the 2007 Annual Meeting of Starbucks Shareholders that was held in Seattle on March 21, 2007, Chairman Howard Schultz said: “…I can only tell you that as we stand here before you, we are highly conscious and sensitive of the issues, and we will do the right thing that most importantly, at the end of the day, that will be pro-farmer....” Schultz’s message soothed investors who have been expressing their concerns over the company’s handling of Ethiopia’s trademark issues although whether that meant a change of heart or not remains to be seen. Schultz repeated his promise when he announced that Starbucks will open a farmers’ support center in Addis Ababa but details, including whether the center would be auxiliary to the one that is going to be built in Rwanda or a standalone regional center, are not disclosed.

As part of the negotiated settlement, and perhaps the only tangible outcome of the dispute, Starbucks also promised to cooperate in the country’s economic development efforts. Interestingly, the first of such economic cooperation benefits neither the coffee sector nor the impoverished coffee farmers: Starbucks is currently in talks with an Ethiopian apparel factory to manufacture the black apron worn by its coffee experts.

Lacking the competence or the resolve to stand up to the multinationals’ business acumen and public relations machinery is one thing; selling out the farmers’ interests is, however, unacceptable. Ethiopia could – and should - use any market based support to its development efforts. But, trading the coffee farmers’ interests for promises to benefit a non-coffee sector is unfair. The farmers have every right to ask whether the coffee trademark dispute was worth the fight in their name and what, if anything, has been achieved. And, all actors that have taken part in the coffee trademark conundrum ought to account for the burden of proof of an equitable settlement of the dispute.
Source: Washington Post, US

3. U.S. Policy in Africa Faulted on Priorities

Security Is Stressed Over Democracy

Stephanie McCrummen

Friday, February 22, 2008

NAIROBI, Feb. 21 -- In his tour of Africa, President Bush steered clear of countries where stability, human rights and progress toward democracy have degenerated during his tenure, among them Somalia, Ethiopia, Sudan, Chad, Uganda and Kenya.

In those countries, Bush's focus on counterterrorism has overtaken his other stated foreign policy goals of promoting democracy and human rights, according to analysts.

"While democratization has clearly been one of the three major stated objectives of the Bush administration -- the others being security and development -- democratization probably ranks third," said Joel Barkan, a senior associate with the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington. "You can see it in several ways, but it's mainly the subordination of democratization to the so-called war on terror."

Money for once-robust programs aimed at strengthening democratic institutions such as courts and parliaments has dried up, Barkan said. And critics say that several less-than-democratic African leaders have skillfully played the anti-terrorism card to earn a relationship with the United States that has helped keep them in power.

While Bush has received praise across the continent for his fight against malaria and AIDS, many Africans who hoped that the United States would support their struggle for more just and open societies have been disappointed. They include opposition groups, human rights activists, intellectuals, professionals and, significantly in Kenya and Somalia, moderate Muslims who've felt unjustly targeted in the U.S.-driven hunt for terrorism suspects.

"There was a time when Muslims here would trust the U.S.," said Ibrahim Ahmed, a lawyer who ran for Kenya's parliament last year. "As a Muslim, I can say that U.S. foreign policy has really destroyed the trust that existed."

Ethiopia, with U.S. backing, invaded Somalia in December 2006 to oust the Islamic movement, which the United States accused of having ties to al-Qaeda. Ethiopia then installed a U.S.-backed transitional government headed by Abdullahi Yusuf, who analysts say has used the fight against terrorism as an excuse to attack his political and business enemies.

More than a year later, no high-level terrorism suspects have been killed or captured. Yusuf and the Ethiopian government are accused of committing war crimes against Somali civilians. And analysts say a more radicalized contingent of Islamic fighters has joined an insurgency battling for control of the capital, Mogadishu.

By some measures, Somalia is now the worst humanitarian crisis on the continent, with more than 1 million people displaced by fighting that has left thousands dead in the past year.

"I actually think it's paradoxical: America is advocating democracy and at the same time using ruthless and brutal warlords in Somalia that have no democratic credentials at all," said Sheikhdon Salad, a doctor in Mogadishu.

The Bush administration's policy in Somalia has had ramifications across the region, especially in Ethiopia.

The 2005 elections there were initially praised as among the country's most open and democratic. But when the opposition leveled accusations of vote-rigging, protesters took to the streets. Ethiopian security forces fired into the crowd, leaving at least 193 people dead. Many opposition leaders were jailed.

U.S. criticism soon flagged, analysts say, because the United States was relying on Ethiopia as its key military ally in the region and later needed Ethiopian military and intelligence cooperation in Somalia.

"Dictators are using and abusing the U.S. anti-terrorism campaign for their own ends," said Marara Gudina, a member of Parliament who chairs an opposition party in Ethiopia. "I think democracy is secondary on the list of U.S. policy priorities."

In Sudan, analysts have suggested that U.S. reliance on Sudanese counterterrorism intelligence has prevented a tougher stance on the crisis in the country's western Darfur region, where a government crackdown on rebels has left as many as 450,000 people dead and 2.5 million displaced.

Charles Onyango-Obbo, a columnist in Kenya who writes about the region, said some African leaders with good relations with the United States often feel so powerful that they see no need to engage with opposition groups.

He cited Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni, who cast himself as a staunch U.S. ally in the fight against terrorism at a time when he was facing growing criticism for his increasingly dictatorial rule. Museveni, who has been in power for more than 20 years, changed the constitution ahead of the 2006 election to allow himself a third term, and jailed a leading opposition candidate.

As U.S. ambassador, James Kolker was critical of Museveni's government, but his successor was less vocal as the United States pressed Museveni to send peacekeepers to Somalia. Uganda sent 1,500 troops as part of an African Union force that has had trouble pulling in other participants.

"Museveni has very cleverly played the U.S. like a violin," said Barkan, of the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

Barkan noted that the Bush administration's response to Kenya's post-election crisis has been a welcome exception to the pattern.

The Bush administration initially congratulated President Mwai Kibaki, who is accused of rigging the vote, but diplomats have since become increasingly critical of his government's refusal to compromise with opposition leader Raila Odinga. On Monday, Bush dispatched Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, who said the United States would not conduct "business as usual" with Kenya unless a settlement is reached.

Critics say that sort of pressure has been lacking at crucial moments in other African countries over the past several years.

Rep. Donald M. Payne (D-N.J.), who chairs the House Foreign Affairs subcommittee on Africa, said that by ignoring electoral problems and human rights violations, the United States often winds up dealing with the consequences of political chaos.

"Turning a blind eye to government abuses and wanton disregard for human dignity often leads to political instability and massive humanitarian disasters," Payne said. "And we always end up paying for it."

Special correspondents Kassahun Addis in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, and Mohamed Ibrahim in Mogadishu contributed to this report.




1. Mortars hit Somali presidential complex, Yusuf safe
Sun 17 Feb 2008
MOGADISHU, Feb 17 (Reuters) - Somali President Abdullahi Yusuf was unharmed on Sunday after suspected Islamist insurgents hit his official presidential complex in Mogadishu with mortar bombs for a second day, one of his aides said.

Witnesses said the shelling wounded at least five people, but a presidential aide told Reuters that Yusuf was safe and the mortars did not land anywhere near his private quarters.

"Five mortars were fired at the president's house, one of them landed outside the gate of the palace wounding two women and three men," witness Abdulahi Mohamed told Reuters by phone.

"Another fell inside while others blasted at the corners of the palace."

Yusuf's interim government and its Ethiopian military allies are battling an insurgency that was triggered when the allied forces ousted in January 2007 Islamist leaders, who had ruled Mogadishu and much of southern Somalia for six months in 2006.

(Reporting by Aweys Yusuf and Abdi Sheikh)


Source: African Path, from Anuak Media, an Anuak community websit

2. Ethiopia: Ethiopia welcomes Russian oil, gas companies

February 16, 2008

Ethiopian Trade and Industry Minister Girma Birru said Wednesday that the Ethiopian government welcomed Russian oil and gas companies’ plans to develop deposits in Ethiopia.

The visiting minister was speaking following a meeting of a Russian-Ethiopian government commission.

Birru said that, in particular, Russian oil major Lukoil was seeking to develop oil and gas fields in the country.

In the eighties the Soviet Petroleum Exploration Expedition (SPEE) drilled nine deep gaz wells from 1982 to 1993 in the region of Calub.

The Calub gas reserves are estimated at 2.7 trillion cubic feet (TCF) while the Hilala gas reserves are estimated at 1.3 TCF. Ethiopia also plans to lay two pipelines - 80 km from Hilala to Calub and 700 km from Calub to Dire Dawa.

Different countries, China, India, Malaysia and the British White Nile company showed interest in Ethiopia’s oil exploration however the political instability particularly in Ogaden which is believed to contain huge amounts of oil reserves hinder the economic exploitation of oil resources.

Also, the Gambella basin is one of the five sedimentary basins found in Ethiopia, which are expected to be oil prospective.


Source: NY Times

This is primarily about Kenya's crisis. Sharing both a long border with Ethiopia and a history of ethnic tensions, it offers valuable perspective to current events in the Horn of Africa.

(The original item includes links to photos, video, etc.)

February 15, 2008
3. Signs in Kenya of a Land Redrawn by Ethnicity

Joao Silva for The New York Times
Two children have made their way to Gatuyaini, a village in Central Province, where many members of the Kikuyu ethnic group live. People have been taking trucks and buses to parts of Kenya that are the traditional homelands of their ethnic groups.


OTHAYA, Kenya — Sarah Wangoi has spent her entire life — all 70 years of it — in the Rift Valley. But last month, she was chased off her farm by a mob that called her a foreigner. She now sleeps on the cold floor of a stranger’s house, seeking refuge in an area of Kenya where her ethnic group, the Kikuyu, is strong. It is, supposedly, her homeland.

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The Segregation of Kenya
Unrest Stirs an Exodus
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Joao Silva for The New York Times
Gatuyaini has been taking in displaced Kikuyus, but space is limited. These women do their cooking behind the local stores.

“I am safe now,” said Ms. Wangoi, though the mob still chases her in her dreams.

Across the country, William Ojiambo sat in a field where the ground was too hard to plow. He, too, sought refuge with his ethnic group, the Luo. He used to live in an ethnically mixed town called Nakuru but was recently evicted by a gang from another ethnic group that burned everything he owned.

“We came here with nothing, like cabbages thrown in the back of a truck,” Mr. Ojiambo said.

Kenya used to be considered one of the most promising countries in Africa. Now it is in the throes of ethnically segregating itself. Ever since a deeply flawed election in December kicked off a wave of ethnic and political violence, hundreds of thousands of people have been violently driven from their homes and many are now resettling in ethnically homogenous zones.

Luos have gone back to Luo land, Kikuyus to Kikuyu land, Kambas to Kamba land and Kisiis to Kisii land. Even some of the packed slums in the capital, Nairobi, have split along ethnic lines.

The bloodletting across the country that has killed more than 1,000 people since the election seems to have subsided in the past week. But the trucks piled high with mattresses, furniture, blankets and children keep chugging across the countryside, an endless convoy of frightened people who in their desperation are redrawing the map of Kenya.

The United Nations and Western powers are pushing for a political compromise, and President Bush said he would send Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to “deliver a message” to Kenya’s leaders.

On Thursday, officials here said that Kenyan government and opposition leaders had agreed in principle to join together in a coalition government but that they remained bitterly divided over the specifics, especially how much power the opposition would have. Two officials close to the negotiations said the government had rejected the opposition’s offer to split power between the president, who would remain head of state and the military’s commander in chief, and a newly created prime minister position.

Whatever deal is struck will have to address the growing de facto segregation, since a resettlement of the country may further entrench the political and ethnic divisions that have recently erupted. Shattered trust is much harder to rebuild than smashed huts, and many people say they will never go back to where they fled.

“How can we, when it was our friends who did this to us?” said Joseph Ndungu, a shopkeeper in the Rift Valley, who said that men he used to play soccer with burned down his shop.

The government is lending a hand in the country’s separation, at least for the moment. Police officers are escorting people back to their ancestral homes, as the government calls them, which seems to be thinly veiled language for ethnic separation.

Alfred Mutua, a government spokesman, said this was only temporary until it was safe for people to live together again.

“Kenyans have the right to reside anywhere in the country,” he said.

But the mass migrations and resettlements that have been set in motion may be hard to reverse.

Take Joseph Mwanzia Maingi, a retired teacher who was just driven out of Narok, a town in the Rift Valley, by a gang of local men with bows and arrows. He fled to his father’s farm in an area that is a stronghold of the Kamba ethnic group, his people. He is now building a house. And not looking back.

“I don’t see any peace agreement that can guarantee our security there,” said Mr. Maingi, speaking of Narok, where he had lived happily for 40 years.

The ethnic segregation is pulling students and teachers out of schools and leaving thousands of jobs vacant across the economy. If it continues, said David Anderson, an African studies professor at Oxford University, “it’ll be an utter disaster.”

“You’ll never be able to reconstitute the state in a meaningful way,” he said. “You’ll have undone 50 years of work.”

The roots of the problem go deeper than the disputed election, in which the incumbent president, Mwai Kibaki, was declared the winner over the top opposition leader, Raila Odinga, despite widespread evidence of vote rigging.

At the heart is a tangle of long-festering political, economic and land issues. Part of the trouble is the winner-take-all system in Kenya, which happens in much of Africa, where leaders often favor members of their own ethnic group and in the process alienate large swaths of the population. Many people in Kenya saw this coming even before independence in 1963.

“We were worried about the smaller tribes getting dominated by the bigger ones,” said Joseph Martin Shikuku, a 75-year-old opposition figure. “And you know what? That’s exactly what happened.”

Mr. Shikuku was one of the founders of an independence-era political movement that embraced a philosophy called majimboism that has been around in Kenya since the 1950s. Majimboism means federalism or regionalism in Kiswahili, and it was intended to protect local rights, especially those connected to land. But in the extreme, majimboism is code for certain areas of the country to be reserved for specific ethnic groups, fueling the kind of ethnic cleansing that has swept the country since the election.

Majimboism has always had a strong following in the Rift Valley, the epicenter of the recent violence, where many locals have long believed that their land was stolen by outsiders.

“Majimboism was submerged but it never really died,” Mr. Anderson said. In some ways, the election in December was a referendum on majimboism. It pitted today’s majimboists, represented by Mr. Odinga, who campaigned for regionalism, against Mr. Kibaki, who stood for the status quo of a highly centralized government that has delivered considerable economic growth but has repeatedly displayed the problems of too much power concentrated in too few hands — corruption, aloofness, favoritism and its flip side, marginalization.

Because Mr. Kibaki is a Kikuyu, the largest and most powerful ethnic group in Kenya, and Mr. Odinga is a Luo, a group that feels it has never gotten its fair share, the political and ethnic tensions aggravated by this election have often blurred — with disastrous results.

Other African countries have struggled with ways of defusing ethnic rivalries. Ethiopia set up a system in the mid-1990s called ethnic federalism, which carved the country into ethnic-based regions, each with broad power — at least on paper — including the right to secede. But Ethiopia’s leaders soon concluded that too much regional autonomy would tear the country apart, and Ethiopia is now more or less centrally controlled by members of a small ethnic group.

Tanzania took the opposite approach. It de-emphasized ethnicity. It encouraged people to speak Kiswahili, and not their mother tongues, as a way to build Tanzanian-ness. The government sent children to high schools in different areas to expose them to different communities. Tanzanian election law even makes it illegal to campaign for office based on ethnic group.

In Kenya, such campaigning has been dangerous. Human rights organizations have accused several politicians this election season of using hate speech to incite their supporters. Land became the explosive issue, and after the election, opposition supporters rampaged against people who they perceived had not only voted for the president but had also taken their land long before then. To members of the Kalenjin ethnic group, this meant Kikuyus, even if they had lived next door for generations.

The small town of Londiani in the Rift Valley is just one example. Kikuyu traders settled here decades ago. In early February, residents said that hundreds of Kalenjin raiders poured down from the nearby scruffy hills. Even the Good Start nursery school was burned to the ground. The next morning, children with flakes of ash in their hair picked through the rubble, salvaging what they could — a mosquito coil here, a dented lantern there. With no fire engines in town and with running water scarce, all people of Londiani could do was run outside and watch the school burn.

Kikuyus have since taken their revenge, organizing into gangs armed with iron bars and table legs and hunting down Luos and Kalenjins in Kikuyu-dominated areas like Nakuru. “We are achieving our own perverse version of majimboism,” wrote one of Kenya’s leading columnists, Macharia Gaitho.

Many Kenyans blame William Ruto, a charismatic, smooth-talking opposition leader and a Kalenjin elder, for starting the violence in the Rift Valley. Kenyan government officials say that they are compiling evidence that Mr. Ruto instructed his supporters to kill and that he may soon be charged with murder.

Mr. Ruto, 41, denies any involvement.

“They will not touch me,” he said. “My hands are very clean.”

Still, hundreds of thousands of Kikuyus have fled the Rift Valley, followed by members of other communities displaced by revenge killings. The United Nations estimates that at least 600,000 people have been uprooted. About half have gone to camps in churches, police stations, stables and prisons. The living conditions are often horrible.

“Now they’re eating rats,” read a headline in a Kenyan newspaper.

In Othaya, in the hilly green center of Kikuyu-dominated Central Province, residents mobilized to absorb their relatives from the Rift Valley — and any other Kikuyus who escaped with them.

“I was expecting five or six people,” said Miriam Wanjiku, one of the hosts. “Then a whole bus showed up.”

Ms. Wanjiku found houses and abandoned stores for dozens of people to sleep in. She helped able-bodied men — many were wounded — get jobs at the local tea plantations that roll across the hills like one giant, verdant hedge. The children were put in school.

But there was little for the elderly to do. Ms. Wangoi spends her day on a couch, staring at the floor.

“They were sliced like meat,” she said, when asked what happened to her neighbors.

Ms. Wanjiku listened closely, looking distressed.

“I think she needs counseling,” she said.

Reuben Kyama contributed reporting from Nairobi, Kenya.



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The violence in Kenya may be awful, but it is not senseless 'savagery'
Saturday, 19 January 2008
The west's exotic fantasy of Africa means we fail to understand the real reasons for conflict in developing countries

By Madeleine Bunting

It will be Kofi Annan's turn tomorrow to arrive in a tense Nairobi, following in the steps of Archbishop Desmond Tutu and John Kufuor, the Ghanian president and head of the African Union, last week, and US diplomats and the former Sierra Leonean president the week before.

As the tourists abandon Kenya's beaches, the country has tragically become the premier destination for a new type of visitor - the international mediator. But so far, all of them have managed no more than what could be described as a minibreak, hastily repacking their overnight bags with nothing to show for their efforts.

Kenya is stuck in a dangerous stalemate, with no point of agreement between Mwai Kibaki, who has claimed presidency in the recent contested election, and his opponent, Raila Odinga, from which to start negotiations on power-sharing.

The country is bracing itself this week, when the newly elected MPs are due to take their seats, and there are fears fisticuffs could break out in parliament. Odinga's Orange Democratic Movement is poised to rally its supporters back on to the streets in protest at what they believe was a rigged election by Kibaki.

In London and Washington, not to mention Kampala and Kigali, there is close to panic. London needs Kenya to be an African success story; it gives the country £175m in aid a year.

The US badly needs Kenya as a stable ally for its post 9/11 strategy - it is a vital intelligence base for the Horn, Yemen, the Gulf and east Africa. Meanwhile, Africa's landlocked neighbours need Kenya as their link to the world economy; already fuel supplies are running short in Uganda and trade through the port of Mombasa has ground to a halt. No one is underestimating the scale of this crisis.

While western diplomats and aid officials are quietly gritting their teeth with a combination of frustration and anxiety, the media story - with a few exceptions such as Peter Kimani, a Kenyan journalist on - has been simple: utter bewilderment. Here is how the story has been framed: the peaceful Kenya we know and love from our holiday snaps has suddenly erupted in senseless, tribal barbarism.

There are two old elements underlying this perspective. There is the persistent western fantasy of the exotic that we project on to Africa, but the peaceful, palm-fringed beaches of our holiday albums (I have them too) are the creation of our tourist imagination, which strips out what we can't or don't want to understand. They have nothing to do with the tumultuous, violent, rapidly changing reality of Kenya in recent years.

Secondly, the coverage shows how quickly the west reverts to racism. Why is the word "tribal" only used to refer to Africa? Why don't we talk of Belgian tribes or Middle Eastern tribes? No, only in Africa is inter-ethnic violence cast as "ancient", immutable tribalism, associated in the European mindset with barbarism and irrationality. It's a language of self-congratulation - we are civilised, Africans are not.

How else could the ludiclous analogies with Rwanda have popped up? Kenya and Rwanda have completely different histories, ethnic relations and political economies. But that is swept aside as irrelevant, and the implication is that African violence is all basically the same. It's as if someone had claimed the blazing Paris suburbs of 2005 were the new Bosnia.

The bewilderment is born from ignorance. In Britain, a glamorous melange of White Mischief, Elspeth Huxley's The Flame Trees of Thika and a safari trip has passed for "knowing" the country. But Kenya is a complex society with 48 different ethnic groups and the highest internally displaced population in Africa, largely consisting of Somalis and Sudanese.

It has some of the biggest shanty towns in Africa and its burgeoning, largely unemployed, population struggles to secure some of the gains of the recent economic boom. It's hard to imagine any country negotiating such chronic insecurity and rapid social and economic dislocation without conflicts of interest flaring up. It's why a close Kenya watcher like David Anderson, professor of African politics at Oxford University, is not particularly surprised by the violence of recent weeks.

Anderson's most important work recently has been the analysis of how violence has become a part of Kenyan economic and political life. In poorer suburbs where crime is endemic and the police ineffectual and corrupt, gangs have proliferated. They demand bribes from local businesses and how they work is not much different from the police or private security companies.

Just as the success of your business depends on paying off such gangs, so in politics your success depends on your ability to mobilise the support of "youth wingers". Unemployed young men are used to protect supporters and intimidate opponents.

Their tasks can run from ripping down posters of an opponent to torching a neighbourhood. As the price of Kenyan politics has soared, politicians literally can't afford to lose and gangs are part of the strategy to ensure they don't. Always, there is the possibility the gangs will use the screen of politics to settle their own scores.

This "economy of violence", as Anderson describes it, can mobilise deep resentments along ethnic lines. Eldoret, the scene of the horrific church massacre earlier this month, is famous as a flashpoint. This is the region where Kikuyu, the biggest ethnic group who have done the best since independence, acquired land in the 60s dispossessing the Kalenjin - a grievance that has festered unresolved ever since.

What you end up with in Kenyan politics is a combination of the local and the global - Odinga was already planning to copy Ukrainian-style mass demonstrations in the case of electoral defeat back in November.

But calling his supporters (and his gangs) on to the streets unleashes its own momentum of frustration and anger, some of which goes back to generations-old land disputes, while some is much more recent, provoked by the Kikuyu middle class who have done so well under Kibaki.

The violence that results is certainly barbaric - children were reported to have been thrown back into the burning church in Eldoret - but it is not about a primordial African capacity for savagery. In a study of the appalling violence in Africa in recent years, Civil War is Not a Stupid Thing, the author, Professor Christopher Cramer, argues that, on a continent that has seen more wars since 1990 than in the whole of the previous century, violence can be a form of communication of last resort.

When all other channels of seeking justice for embittered grievances in a corrupt regime appear to have been exhausted, some will see violence as the only way to protect their interests. That doesn't make the violence right, but neither does it make it necessarily senseless. It can have its own awful rationality.

What we are seeing in Kenya - and in other unstable developing countries - is how human beings behave when faced with the kind of chronic insecurity that globalisation is incubating the world over. Dislocation breeds fear in which old, buried identities become an insurance policy - who looks out for you? - or make you a victim. The outcome is always tragic, and that is what is making so many Kenyans so anxious. The Guardian

BLOODSHED IN KENYA - 'We Will Kill Everyone!'

By Thilo Thielke in Nairobi

February 06, 2008

Five weeks after manipulated presidential elections,
Kenya is on the brink of civil war. Tribal violence is
raging -- without mercy, sense or discretion --
throughout the land. As negotiations stall, merciless
tribal violence is raging, leaving the country
littered with bodies.

It was another murderous night in Nakuru, the capital
of Kenya's Rift Valley province. The next morning the
local police found the bodies of 12 people hacked to
death with pangas, as the Kenyans call their machetes.

A cloud of smoke still hangs over Githima, a poor
neighborhood on the city's outskirts. Young people
armed with bows and arrows, bush knives and clubs
dance around a roadblock, chanting fighting songs and
waving a sign telling Kenyan President Mwai Kibaki to
go to hell.

The situation doesn't look any better along the road
to Eldoret, which lies 130 kilometers (81 miles) away.

For the few still willing to risk the journey to the
mountain town, the route has become a perilous
obstacle course. Piles of burning tires block traffic
just outside of Nakuru.

A young man jumps out of the bushes, wearing a motorcycle helmet and a biker's
jacket decorated with an array of insignia and animal

He peers into every car with bloodshot eyes
looking for Kikuyus, eager to exact revenge on them
because he feels oppressed by the country's largest
ethnic group. Only those vehicles with no Kikuyus
inside are allowed to proceed.

Two drivers working for the Mololine bus company
aren't as lucky. As they drive through a wooded area
about 20 kilometers (12 miles) outside of Nakuru, they
are suddenly attacked by 20 to 30 young fighters from
the Kalenjin ethnic group, who assail the buses with
stones and arrows.

They only barely manage to escape
-- and with great effort, driving at full speed over
stone barriers and past burning tires.

An Escalating Vortex of Violence

An ethnic war is raging in the Rift Valley, a wide
trench running through East Africa. In Nakuru, members
of the Kikuyu tribe -- the majority of which voted for
President Mwai Kibaki -- are hunting down members of
the Kalenjin and Luo tribes. The opposite is occurring
in the hinterlands, where tens of thousands of Kikuyus
have been driven away.

One of the ways to identify the individual warring ethnic groups is by their preferred methods of killing. The Kikuyus usually hack their
victims to death with pangas. The Kalenjin and the Luo
-- most of whom supported opposition leader Raila
Odinga in the election -- fight with bows and arrows.
One by one, Kenya's cities are being drawn into an
escalating vortex of violence.

The death toll has already shot well above 1,000. In Nairobi, unknown
assailants murdered Mugabe Were, a member of parliament from defeated presidential candidate Odinga's opposition party. Three-hundred-thousand
people are currently fleeing the violence throughout

The economic damages have been beyond calculation for a long time now. According to the umbrella organization of Kenyan trade unions, half a million people have lost their jobs. Meanwhile, tourists are staying away from the country's main
tourist centers on the coast and in the national parks.

Awakening Older Rivalries

The immediate cause of the current fighting was the
manipulated presidential election of Dec. 27 of last
year. But the conflict in the Rift Valley dates back
much further, to the British colonial era, when white
settlers seized Kenya's fertile highlands, where they
developed tea plantations and displaced the Kalenjin
from their traditional homeland. When Kenya gained its
independence in 1963, the whites left the country and
the estates were re-allotted to Africans.

The Kikuyus, who make up more than 20 percent of the
population, were already the country's most prosperous
ethnic group at the time. Jomo Kenyatta, Kenya's first
president, took steps to ensure their economic
well-being. Since then, the Kikuyus have dominated
Kenyan politics and business.

They began settling in the Rift Valley in the 1960s. These settlement
activities have infuriated the Kalenjin, who feel that
they are being cheated out of their land for a second

News of the rigged election had hardly become known
before the hunt for Kikuyus began in the region
surrounding Eldoret. About 30 women and children were
burned alive after having taken refuge in a church.

The massacre prompted many Kikuyus to swear revenge,
and armed Kikuyu militias soon appeared in the Rift
Valley. It was the beginning of a deadly conflict that
has since spread throughout Kenya.

Large parts of the country have already spun out of control. Gangs have
set up roadblocks everywhere, dragging members of
rival ethnic groups from their cars and killing them.

In Timboroa, a town north of Nakuru, the ruins of
torched houses are still smoldering. Sarah Waithera
Wamuli feels her way gingerly through red-hot embers.
This is where her house stood just yesterday.

A mob of 200 people surrounded the house in the middle of the
night, shouting: "Get out! We're going to kill you
now!" Wamuli grabbed her six children and ran outside.
The building went up in flames a short time later.
Four neighbors died in the attack.

Many Tries at Peace, Many Failures

All current efforts to resolve the conflicts have so
far been unsuccessful. South African Archbishop
Desmond Tutu was the first to leave Kenya

He was followed by President John Kufuor
of Ghana, who is also the current chairman of the
African Union, and even former United Nations
Secretary-General Kofi Annan's efforts to mediate have
been relatively unsuccessful.

Annan managed to bring together Kibaki and his
challenger Odinga for a meeting. But the two rivals
had barely shaken hands before Kibaki, seemingly
unimpressed by the event, declared himself the
country's "properly elected president." A fresh round
of negotiations began on Tuesday, and Annan warned it
would be much tougher.

It's another 63 kilometers (39 miles) to Eldoret.
Trucks are backed up for miles before the town of
Burnt Forest. "They beat three drivers to death," says
a trucker. Nearby, the bodies of two dead villagers
lie on the ground.

They were not killed by militias but by the police, when a special unit stormed into
town earlier in the day. The two dead men, John Ekai
and his son Daniel, failed to get away quickly enough.

Four police officers ordered the two men to kneel on
the ground and then shot them from close range in the
head. The bullets are still lying in the sand next to
the bodies. "We will get our revenge for this," vows
Fred Yego, a neighbor. "Now we will attack the Kikuyu
refugee camp and kill everyone."

No one in the raging mob seems to care that the
refugees living in makeshift tents a few hundred
meters down the road are mostly women and children.
"It doesn't make any difference to us," Yego says. "We
don't distinguish between civilians, police officers
or militias anymore. Every Kikuyu is our enemy."

No Place to Hide, No Place to Run

Twenty-five kilometers (16 miles) away from Eldoret,
in the town of Cheptiret, a truck is burning in the
road. The body of the driver lies on the roadside
about 100 meters from his truck. He had attempted to
flee. The large stones used to beat him to death lie
on the ground near his body.

A group of Kalenjin is gathered around the corpse,
chanting a fighting song. "We are only protecting
ourselves," says Reverend Daniel Rugut. "We have heard
that Kikuyu gangs are on their way here to kill us."

Suddenly his words are interrupted as two army attack
helicopters approach at a low altitude. As their
machine guns open fire and bullets whip across the
road, the pastor barely makes it to safety. He hides
beneath a truck and prays.

Eldoret itself is also in turmoil. Residents carrying
their belongings are flooding out of the city on foot
or in fully loaded cars to the sound of blaring horns.

A disturbing piece of news has shot through the city
like a brushfire: David Too, an opposition party
member of parliament from Eldoret, has been shot,
allegedly by a traffic policeman. Too's bullet-riddled
body lies in the basement of the Mao University
Hospital, his gray suit and red tie covered with

A few hundred Kikuyu refugees from the surrounding
area have been camped out near the police station in
the city's downtown for weeks. The police busy
themselves with setting up additional machine-gun
posts and roadblocks in anticipation of reprisals from
the angry mob.

Translated from the German by Christopher Sultan


Who could save the planet from destruction?
Saturday, 19 January 2008
Dr. Tewolde-Berhan G. Egziaber is one of the 50 nominees to prevent the planet from destrucion

Last year ended with the incongruous image of 10,000 politicians, businessmen, activists and scientists from 190 countries emitting vast quantities of greenhouse gases as they flew home from Bali clutching the bare bones of a global agreement on climate change.

The agreement was to keep on talking to try to reach a deal by 2010. It was a diplomatic triumph, achieved after rows and high dramas, but it leaves all nations a mighty hill to climb. There is no agreement on what emission cuts need to be made by when or by whom, and the US is still deeply reluctant to do anything. It is a roadmap with no signposts.

But who are the people who can bring about change, the pioneers coming up with radical solutions? We can modify our lifestyles, but that will never be enough. Who are the politicians most able to force society and industry to do things differently? Where are the green shoots that will get us out of the global ecological mess?

To come up with a list of the 50 people most able to prevent the continuing destruction of the planet, we consulted key people in the global environment debate. Our panel included scientists - former World Bank chief scientist and now the British government's scientific adviser on climate change, Bob Watson, Indian physicist and ecologist Vandana Shiva, Kenyan biologist and Nobel prize-winner Wangari Maathai; activists - Guardian columnist George Monbiot and head of Greenpeace International Gerd Leipold; politicians - Green party co-leader and MEP Caroline Lucas, and London mayor Ken Livingstone; sustainable development commissioner for the UK government Jonathon Porritt and novelist Philip Pullman. Ethiopian environmental Scientist, Dr. Tewolde-Berhan G. Egziabiher is one of the 50 people who are nominated to bring up change and to prevent the planet from destruction.

Then the Guardian's science, environment and economics correspondents met to add their own nominations and establish a final 50. Great names were argued over, and unknown ones surfaced. Should Al Gore be on the list? He may have put climate change on the rich countries' agenda, but some felt his solution of trading emissions is not enough and no more than what all major businesses and western governments are now saying. But in the end he squeaked through.

There was also debate over Leonardo DiCaprio. It would be easy to sniff at someone who seemed to have merely pledged to forgo private jets and made a couple of films about the environment, but we felt the Hollywood superstar who has grabbed the green agenda had to be included because of the worldwide influence he is expected to have. Thanks to his massive celebrity status DiCaprio could be a crucial figure in persuading and leading the next generation.

The final list includes an Indian peasant farmer, the world's leading geneticist, German and Chinese politicians, a novelist, a film director, a civil engineer, a seed collector and a scientist who has persuaded an African president to make a tenth of his country a national park. There are 19 nationalities represented.

Nearly one in five of those listed comes from the US, and one in three is from a developing country, suggesting that grassroots resourcefulness will be as important as money and technology in the future. Nearly one in three of the people chosen have a scientific background, even if not all practice what they studied. It's not a definitive list and there are no rankings, but these 50 names give a sense of the vast well of people who represent the stirrings of a remarkable scientific and social revolution, and give us hope as we enter 2008. Here are some of the public figures in the world in their contribution to the earth.

Angela Merkel, German chancellor

Angela Merkel, 53, has inherited Tony Blair's mantle as the politician forcing climate change the hardest on to the world stage, and she is a formidable advocate. The only major player left who helped hammer out the original global warming agreement at Kyoto in 1997, she is one of the very few with a grasp of what it means if humanity fails.

But it's what Germany does at home that gives Merkel authority. A quantum chemistry researcher brought up by a Lutheran pastor in communist East Germany, she was made German environment minister in 1994. The country now leads the world in turning away from coal and oil, and setting the highest targets for renewables and emission cuts.

She's not so popular with Greens, who accuse her of being a lackey to nuclear power and a friend of Bush, but they accept that she gets things done. Ten years ago, she shocked people when she said Germany should aim to raise the proportion of its electricity generated from renewable energy to 50% by 2050.

It's now 12% - compare Britain's 3% - and is on track to be 20% in 12 years' time. She asked Germans to believe her when she said renewables would provide more jobs. There are now nearly 250,000 people working in the sector. And at the UN meeting at Bali last month, she told the EU it had to stick together and be ambitious. It led the fight against President Bush.

The speed at which Germany under Merkel is pursuing climate change policies is embarrassing the UK and other countries, which talk up the need for action, but deliver little. The UK aims to cut emissions by 60% by 2050 and argues that it needs nuclear power to do so. Germany, meanwhile, wants 40% cuts within 13 years without resort to nuclear power - something far harder.

"The faster industrialised countries cut their emissions, the more willing other countries will be to do their bit," Merkel says. "An intelligent and fair regulation of CO2 reductions is in everyone's best interests."

Merkel is matter of fact about the costs. One leading thinktank recently calculated that climate change would cost Germany nearly £100bn a year by the middle of the century, so stumping up £4bn over the next few years to avoid that is cheap, she reckons.

"The costs of reducing emissions should be seem as a sound investment," Merkel says. "Unabated climate change will slash prosperity by between 5% and 25%. Rigorous climate protection will cost only 1% of this prosperity and makes economic sense."

She is lucky in that Germany has a secret weapon in the battle against global warming: called the Renewable Energy Sources Act, it sets minimum prices for generating electricity.

Anyone generating electricity from renewables now gets a guaranteed payment of up to three to four times the market rate, guaranteed for 20 years. This has not just kickstarted the whole German renewable industry beyond its wildest imaginings, it also reduces the payback time on such technologies and offers a high return on investment. The idea has since been adopted in many other countries, and was picked up by the Conservatives in Britain in mid-December.

Tewolde-Berhan G. Egziabher, Ethiopian scientist

Tewolde Berhan G. Egziabher, 67, a slight, Gandhian figure, is a UK-trained biologist who runs Ethiopia's environment protection agency and has proved himself an extraordinarily effective negotiator. At 2 am at the 2002 Earth Summit, he made one of the most impassioned speeches heard at a global meeting.

It had looked certain that the world's politicians would back a US proposal giving the World Trade Organization the power to override international environment treaties, but he shamed the ministers into voting it down. No one could remember a personal intervention having such an impact, and his battles on behalf of developing countries to protect them from patents, unfettered free trade and GM crops are legendary. He was nominated by Vandana Shiva.

Leonardo DiCaprio, Actor

Icebergs are becoming a recurring theme in the life of 33-year-old Leonardo DiCaprio. First, his acting career went stellar after playing the lead in Titanic. Now it is dramatic footage of icebergs and polar bears, both threatened by climate change, that is a striking feature of his documentary The 11th Hour (released in the UK next month), a powerful call to arms for our species to protect the environment a great deal better.

Combining the diametrically opposed worlds of the A-list Hollywood star and the impassioned environmentalist is a fraught, sometimes contradictory process, but DiCaprio has pulled it off, becoming one of the world's most high-profile campaigners.

His primary aim, he says, is to raise awareness, not to preach: "It's not about imposing a certain belief system or a way of life on people in any economic background. It's about just being aware of this issue - that's the most important thing - and really trying to say, 'Next time I vote, next time I buy something, I'm just going to be aware of what's really going on.' "

The first campaigning steps were taken a decade ago after he found himself the target of angry environmentalists. During the filming of The Beach, the bestselling novel about backpackers seeking a shangri-la off the Thai coast, the production team was accused of damaging a pristine beach in a national marine park - in an attempt to make it look even more "perfect" for the cameras, some palm trees were temporarily planted and sand dunes moved. Despite the authorities giving the film-makers permission, their actions made headlines around the world.

Evidently stung by the criticism, in 1998 DiCaprio established the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation, which has since collaborated with the likes of the International Fund for Animal Welfare, Oceana, the Natural Resources Defence Council and the Dian Fossey Foundation to raise awareness, particularly among children, of environmental issues.

In 2000, he was the US chair of Earth Day, the annual celebration of the environment. "Enough is enough," he told the crowd in Washington DC. "We must set an example now and move environmentalism from being the philosophy of a passionate minority... to a way of life that automatically integrates ecology into governmental policy and normal living standards. We are entering an environmental age whether we like it or not." But it was his Earth Day interview with President Clinton on ABC News that caused the biggest ripples: ABC journalists were said to be furious that a young, heart-throb actor had been allowed to do such an important interview.

The final edit of the interview itself was fairly soft in tone, but it did include questions that now seem ahead of their time - namely, about the science of climate change, the lobbying power of Big Oil, ways to decrease the use of SUVs and how vulnerable New Orleans was to sea-level rises. There was even a lengthy exchange about hybrid cars, long before they became the car du jour of Hollywood stars.

His next eco-project is already in production - he's a producer for a Discovery Channel show called Eco-Town, which records how a Kansas town devastated by a tornado in 2006 attempts to rebuild itself as a "model of green living".

Wangari Maathai, Nobel peace prize-winner

No one can doubt the persuasive powers of Wangari Maathai, Nobel peace prize-winner and 67-year-old former assistant minister of the environment in Kenya. It is she who has coaxed the Mexican army, Japanese geishas, French celebrities, 10,000 Malaysian schools, the president of Turkmenistan and children in Rotherham to roll up their sleeves dig a hole and plant a tree.

It was an off-the-cuff remark of hers in 2006 that led to this far-flung initiative. She was in the US accepting an award when a businessman told her that his company was planning to plant a million trees. Jokingly, Maathai, who has spent most of a lifetime planting saplings, responded, "That's great. But what we really need is to plant one billion trees." The UN - and the Green Belt Movement Maathai founded among African women - picked up the challenge.

In just over a year, in one of the largest mobilizations of people for a cause since the Asian tsunami, 1.5bn trees have been planted in nearly 50 countries, and a further billion more are pledged. Countries have fallen over themselves to plant the most and be linked with Maathai: Indonesia planted 79m in a day; Turkey says it has planted 500m, Mexico 250m, and India says that it will replant six million hectares of degraded forest.

Many of these saplings may not survive more than a few weeks, and the numbers are not to be trusted, but the billion tree campaign shows that Maathai - a professor of biology and mother of three children - has gone from being almost unknown in 2003 to a global treasure in just a few years.

There is now barely a president or prime minister in Europe, Asia or Africa who has not invited Maathai to endorse their plans or tried to sign her up as a goodwill ambassador to show off their newfound enthusiasm for the environment. She has addressed the UN general assembly, carried the flag at the Olympic games, and received sackfuls of citations and awards.

Maathai has succeeded in putting deforestation high on the agenda in developing countries, just as Al Gore made people in rich countries aware of climate change.

While Maathai is feted abroad as the first African woman Nobel laureate, she has always had a rocky time at home with party politics. She tried to stand for president in 1997, but her party withdrew her candidacy. She was finally elected an MP in 2002 with a 98% vote, but just before Christmas she failed to win even a nomination from the ruling party for the end-of-year election.

Maathai's strength now lies in what she stands for. "If I have learned one thing," she says, "it is that humans are only part of this ecosystem - when we destroy the ecosystem, we destroy ourselves, for on its survival depends our own."

Seeking your alternative and creative ideas, I forward the IMF Report.

Belai Habte-Jesus, MD, MPH
Global Strategic Enterprises, Inc.
Partners for Peace and Prosperity:
Focusing on Education+Empowerment+Ecology+Energy+
Economic+Enterprises, etc.


Global Strategic Enterprises, Inc for Peace and Prosperity
Via Win-Win Partnerships of all stakeholders Via the Synergy of 7Es:

Education+Empowerment+Emotion+Ecology+Economy and Enterprises

The concept of Orange Revolution is a new way of re-establishing Communism and Dictatorship via the back door.

The Eastern Europeans tried revolt to advance justice in the face of communist dictatorships. The Russians led the way via Captain Yeltsin who literally bombed his parliament building to take over power from Gorbachev in 1991.

Since then a series of small mini communist states have thought to change color from Communist Red to Green Democracy by going via the colour orange. Orange Code in the US, is the highest form of danger alert that the Homeland Security has been using about the terror of Islamo-fascism and AlQaeda operatives in western Europe and Northern America.

Now, a series of East African countries have been trying to use the Orange Code or to be exact the 'Orange Revolution" to usurp power via a combination of mass unrest and outright criminal activities that includes Genocide.

The recent 2005 post election fiasco in Ethiopia was led by misguided Marxist and Communist Cadres trying to take over power via misguided understanding of elections and their processes. A group of left oriented Marxist Cadres from Universities and abroad managed to register as candidates under the banner of a Coalition that was formed to create havoc. A Coalition that did not have even bylaws, rules, regulations and even protocol for managing change within the coalition. It was hastily put together for the sole purpose of creating havoc in Ethiopia.

Over 20,0000 activists gathered in the Capital Addis Ababa to create havoc and ethnic based genocide under the cover of election fraud. Fortunately, the Ethiopians were clever by allowing this fools to speak their mind under the banner of election campaigns. Their views, plans and strategies were published in a book and then articulated by the Orange Revolution Cadres via television, print and electronic media. Then their text messages via cell phones were identified as the command and control center for creating havoc and genocide in the city.

The savy and wise Ethiopian Intelligence then moven in the night before the D-Day (Destruction Day) and rounded up all the Orange Cadres of Doom and took them to the forest to collect their own version of "Seeds of oranges in Ethiopian forests"! Lo! and behold, there was no revolution and no genocide the next day. The captains of the Revolution were taken one by one to the nearby Kaliti prison and were prosecuted under "Treason and Genocide" with a series of rolls of evidence from their own meeting both public and private.

At last, after almost two years of prosecution, and the evidence weighted in and were all given life in prisonment. As the international media and especially the foolish Congress Payne and Chris Smith were going to defend the indefensible via their series of HR 2228. 5680 and 2003, the new Ethiopian Millennium arrived with its transformational agenda of peace and reconciliation. The Ethiopian elder's council led by Professor Issac of {Princeton) managed to negotiate the release of the hooligan Orange Revolution leaders who promptly went to their masters in the Diaspora and even testified in Congressional Hearing but soon turned the orange revolution on each other.

What they tried to do on the Ethiopian people in 2005, they managed to exercise among themselves in Diaspora especially in the USA under the watchful eyes of US media and weekly radio stations. Now, they are licking their wounds of the demonic orange revolution and planning a new tack via their surrogates in Asmara and Ogaden and Somalia and Congressman Terrorist Enabler, Donald Payne has just returned from Asmara the capital of "Horn Terrorist Network" to plan yet another series of terrorist enabler HRs. Unfortunately, the US Presidential elections is keeping the race and gender card alive with Obama and Clinton doing their mudslinging and potential race and gender riots in the USA, no one is listening to another mad terrorist enabler Donald Payne, who might be impeached and lose his seats all together as Ethiopian and Somali Americans want to punish him for his terrorist activities and betrayal of the US national interest where he was dining and winning with those who bombed US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania some decades ago.

As he faces his potential impeachment and all his congressional aides like Ted Dagne and VOA Africa Director are being scrutinized by GAO (General Accounting Office) for their conduct unbecoming, aiding and abating with terrorists, the Kenyan Orange Revolutionaries are at it again.

This time, the Kenyans Orange Revolutionaries succeeded what the Ethiopian and Diaspora Marxist Terrorist failed. The story below is a sad commentary of "Orange Revolutionaries" at their best creating havoc and genocide on the unsuspecting Kenyans under their usual cover of "Election Fraud".

Ethiopia is lucky to have a 7,500 years old history of good governance, wher people of different cultures, religion and ethnic backgrounds have lived in peace and harmony with well developed social and personal code of honor and practice that saved it from the Red and White Terror activists who have now re-invented themselves as "Orange Revolutionaries"

Kenya has not been fortunate. Here is the sad story of our fellow Kenyans who are crying for help.

Let us learn from Ethiopia and Kenya and keep the extremists masquerading under the banner of Orange Revolution to create havoc, unrest and genocide.

The lesson is that we need to have an aggressive "Proactive and Pre-emptive Security Strategy supported with Proactive Promotion of Sustainable Development and Prosperity.

In the mean time, please read the tragedy of Kenya below.

with regards and seeking your alternative suggestions

I remain

Dr B

Glolbal Strategic Enterprises, Inc for Peace and Prosperity
C: 703.933.8737;

Dear Patriotic

Annan hits out at Kenya 'abuses'

The Rift Valley town of Nakuru has seen some of the worst violence
Former UN head Kofi Annan has condemned "gross and systematic abuses of human rights" in Kenya, after a visit to violence-hit parts of the country.
Mr Annan said conflict may have been triggered by disputed elections, but it had evolved into "something else".

The facts had to be established and those responsible held to account, Mr Annan said on his return to Nairobi.

On Saturday, police brought 16 badly burnt bodies to the mortuary in Nakuru, the capital of Rift Valley province.

Mr Annan - in Kenya to mediate attempts for a political solution - was flown over Nakuru on Saturday as part of a tour that also included visits to Eldoret and Molo district.

Inter-ethnic strife in Nakuru
In pictures: Nakuru violence
Press sees long road ahead
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Hospital staff in Nakuru said they had received the bodies of nine more people, hacked by machetes or killed by arrows.

Earlier the authorities had imposed an overnight curfew across the city in the wake of renewed inter-ethnic conflict.

Rival gangs of young men battled with machetes, metal bars, bows and arrows, while thick smoke billowed up from burning buildings.

The violence came despite hopes of progress after President Mwai Kibaki met opposition leader Raila Odinga for the first time on Thursday since December's disputed polls.

Burnt forests

Mr Annan set off from Nairobi shortly after first light on Saturday to see for himself some of the destruction and human misery caused by more than three weeks of violence.

On Friday Mr Annan held talks with religious leaders

He visited some of the thousands of people in Eldoret whose homes have been destroyed or who moved to the town to try to find shelter.

The former UN chief also boarded a helicopter to fly to Molo district where many have been killed.

Speaking in the capital, Nairobi, Mr Annan said: "What we saw was rather tragic. We visited several IDP [internally displaced persons] camps, we saw people pushed from their homes, from their farms, grandmothers, children, families uprooted.

"And I think it is important that all Kenyans respond with sympathy and understanding, and not try to revenge."

He also said there needed to be fundamental changes to Kenya's institutions to prevent a repetition.

"We cannot accept that periodically, every five years or so, this sort of incident takes place and no-one is held to account. Impunity cannot be allowed to stand," Mr Annan added.

Tanzania's former President, Benjamin Mkapa, travelling with Mr Annan, said: "The political crisis in the country [has caused] a state of agony and despair. We console the people."

On Friday Mr Annan held talks with Kenyan election officials and religious leaders in Nairobi, urging them to use their leadership to encourage people to work for peace.

"The leaders may not be able to do it alone. We all need to play our part," he said.


Nakuru is said to be relatively quiet following the overnight curfew. But there has been sporadic gunfire in the city on Saturday.

The BBC's Adam Mynott says that some protesters erected a barricade across the main road and many homes have been burnt in the town.

Hundreds of people have sought refuge in churches or friends' homes.

There are also reports of truckloads of many young men being moved overnight to a village on the outskirts of the town.

The unrest triggered by the election on 27 December has driven 250,000 people from their homes. Mr Odinga says he was robbed of the presidency.

Published 01/09/2008 - 9:54 a.m. EST

Ethiopia's Trade and Industry Minister, Girma Birru, discusses Ethiopian leather export at United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) HeadQuarters, Vienna Share This Article

According to the IMF Gross Domestic Product (GDP) figures for 2007, Ethiopia had the fastest growing economy in Africa among countries whose economy is not driven by Oil revenue. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) data indicated that Ethiopia had a 10.5% GDP growth in 2007, well above the 6.1% average for Sub-Sahara Africa (SSA).

The IMF report said a rapid average GDP growth in Africa mainly reflects the “new production facilities in Oil-exporting countries” such as Angola, Sudan, Libya and Nigeria. Without tallying high growth rates from the Oil-exporting countries, IMF disclosed that Sub-Sahara Africa (SSA) had an average of only 4.9% GDP growth in 2007.

However, IMF indicated that Ethiopia remained a good performer last year, owing to a few emerging Ethiopian sectors that are challenging the dominance of Ethiopia’s coffee revenue.

Other good African performers in 2007 include Kenya (6.4%), Tanzania (7.1%), Sierra Leone (7.4%) and Liberia (9.4%). Ethiopia, one of the two African countries not to be colonized, has long had poor infrastructure compared to other African nations and still has a very low GDP per Capita of only 1,123 US dollars, according to IMF statistics.

Zimbabwe’s economic progression remained exceptionally weak with –6.2%. Other poor performers in GDP growth for the year 2007 were Togo (2.9%), Chad (1.5%) and Eritrea (1.3%)

Source: Bloomberg, US

1. Ethiopian Hydropower May Replace Coffee as Biggest Export

Jason McLure

Jan. 11, 2008

Ethiopia may build as many as nine hydropower plants over the next 10 years, making electricity rather than coffee the Horn of Africa nation's biggest export.

``There is a deficit around our neighbors,'' Mekuria Lemma, head of the program planning department at the state-owned Ethiopian Electric Power Co., said yesterday in an interview in the capital, Addis Ababa. ``If we are successful in doing this, power will be our biggest export.''

Ethiopia is building five hydropower dams by 2011 with a total generating capacity of 3,150 megawatts and is considering spending 3.2 billion euros ($4.7 billion) on four more, Lemma said. The aim is an 11-fold increase in capacity to 9,000 megawatts by 2018 with surplus power exported to neighboring Kenya, Djibouti, and Sudan.

Gibe IV, the largest of the four new projects, would cost about 1.9 billion euros and generate 2,000 megawatts. A feasibility study for Gibe River dam in southern Ethiopia should be finished by the middle of the year, Lemma said.

Ethiopia is seeking finance for three of the four proposed projects while the U.K. and Ireland-based FairFund Foundation will help fund the 470 million-euro Halele Worabese dam on a tributary of the Gibe. FairFund declined to disclose the size of the not-for-profit organization's investment.

Italy's Salini Costruttori SpA is building three of the five dams currently under construction, including the $1.7 billion Gibe III, which will generate 1,870 megawatts, Lemma said.

Export Agreements

Ethiopia has initial agreements to export 200 megawatts to Djibouti, 500 megawatts to Kenya and 200 megawatts to Sudan when the five dams under construction are completed. It will also consider a 26-kilometer (16 mile) undersea transmission line for exporting electricity to Yemen via Djibouti.

A feasibility study on the $196 million project to connect Ethiopia and Kenya with transmission lines should be finished within the next two months. Those lines may eventually link Ethiopia's hydropower plants to the 12-nation Southern Africa Power Pool via Tanzania.


Source: Sudan Times, France
2. Britain tops destination for Eritrean asylum seekers in EU

12 January 2008
January 11, 2008 (BRUSSELS) — Britain has replaced France as the top destination for Eritrean asylum-seekers among all 27 EU countries, according to figures released in Brussels pn January 8.

Among the 27,850 applications received in 2006, asylum-seekers from Eritrea were the largest group, with 2,725 applying to stay in Britain, followed by 2,675 from Iran and 2,650 from Afghanistan.

Overall, numbers of refugees to the EU have fallen sharply as a result of greater stability in the Balkans.

Britain received 3,000 fewer applications than the previous year, dramatically lower than the peak in 2002 of 103,080 requests.

After Britain, the most requests were received by France (26,300), Sweden (24,300) and Germany (21,000). The least popular destinations were the Baltic States, with Estonia receiving five formal applications and Latvia ten.

The EU received 192,300 asylum applications in 2006, some 15 per cent fewer than in 2005 and half of the total in 2001, according to Eurostat, the EU’s data monitoring service.

Iraq overtook Russia to become the biggest source of refugees heading to the EU. Nearly 20,000 Iraqis claimed asylum in EU countries last year, ahead of nearly 13,000 from Russia, and they were the biggest single nationality applying for refuge in Sweden, the Netherlands, Denmark and Romania.

The impact of Iraqis fleeing their country was felt most in Sweden, where the country’s welcoming asylum policy led to applications from 8,950 Iraqis, by far the highest number from any group in any EU country.

In contrast to Britain, where only around one in six Iraqis is given leave to remain, in Sweden up to nine out of ten have been allowed to stay.

Iraqis made up one in ten of all asylum-seekers arriving in Europe and the tide of refugees shows no sign of abating, with the United Nations saying that 19,800 requested asylum in 36 Western countries in the first half of 2007, twice as many as last year.


Source: Jimma Times, US

3. Ethiopia: Kenenisa runs by Eritrea’s Zersenay for a big win


Ethiopia’s Kenenisa Bekele sprinted past his Eritrean and Kenyan rivals with about 600 meters left from the finishing line, to win the 9.3 Kilometer Great Edinburgh Cross Country race for the 3rd straight year.

The ten-time IAAF senior world Cross Country champion, Kenenisa, finished the race in 27 minutes, 42 seconds. After several losses to Kenenisa, Eritrea’s Zersenay had a rare success last year in Mombasa due to a mid-race withdrawal by Kenenisa at the 2007 World Cross Country Championships. Most runners also dropped out of the Mombasa race due to the extreme heat weather.

Kenenisa bounced back last year to clock the year's best 10,000 time before his much celebrated wedding to Movie actress Danawit Gebregziabher in November 2007.The Olympic and world 10,000-meter champion, Kenenisa, closely defeated Kenya’s Eliud Kipchoge, who ran step by step with Zersenay.

In the women's race, Gelete Burka also won in Edinburgh for the third time, bringing another hat-trick win for Ethiopia. She took the gold Saterday, beating the Kenyans by 15 seconds.

1 comment:

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