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  03:43:58 am, by admin, 579 words  
Categories: Ethiopia

Ethiopia Continues to Hold U.S. Man, Frustrating Family

Ethiopia Continues to Hold U.S. Man, Frustrating Family

From News Services
Sunday, April 29, 2007; A07

-- The family of a U.S. citizen being held in Ethiopia has grown increasingly frustrated that he remains detained despite reports that he would be released.

A congressman's office said this month that Amir Meshal, 24, would soon be freed. But Ethiopia then changed its mind, according to an internal U.S. government document that was disclosed last week.

"It was an emotional roller coaster for us," said Mohammed Meshal, Amir's father, speaking from their home in Tinton Falls on the New Jersey shore. "We started cooking and marinating the meat for his homecoming, and the next minute, everything collapses."

Amir Meshal was in Somalia at a time when much of the country was controlled by Islamic militants. In December and January, hundreds of people, including Islamic militants, fled Somalia for Kenya after Ethiopian troops invaded the country in support of a weak but internationally backed government.

This photo taken by a U.S. consular officer and submitted by the subject's father, Mohamed Meshal, shows Amir Meshal, of Tinton Falls, N.J., filling out a U.S. passport application at Ethiopian National Intelligence and Security Service Headquarters, Wednesday April 4, 2007, in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Amir Meshal is currently being held in an Ethiopia for allegedly fighting on the side of radical Islamists in neighboring Somalia. (AP Photo/Congressman Rush Holt's office via Mohamed Meshal)

Meshal was arrested in Kenya, where U.S. authorities interviewed him and, according to officials in Washington, determined that he was not a threat and had not violated U.S. law. The U.S. Embassy in Nairobi asked Kenya to deport him to the United States, then filed a formal protest when it learned Meshal had been returned to Somalia and then sent to Ethiopia.

At an April 13 hearing in Addis Ababa, a military tribunal declined to charge Meshal with a crime, U.S. officials said. The State Department made arrangements to fly him home, then discovered that the FBI had placed Meshal's name on a no-fly list of suspected security threats maintained by the Department of Homeland Security.

U.S. officials agreed last week that Meshal should be removed from the list and brought back to the United States, but now the Ethiopian government is standing in his way.

"I'm worried about his welfare, his safety, his security," Mohammed Meshal said. "Why doesn't the U.S. government demand his immediate release and bring him home?"

Rep. Rush D. Holt (D-N.J.), who sits on the House intelligence committee, said he has been frustrated by the often-contradictory information he has received about Meshal from U.S. government agencies. Holt has asked Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to intervene.

"We certainly had hoped that this case would be resolved earlier," said State Department spokesman Tom Casey. "We continue to discuss this issue with the Ethiopian government."

The Meshals vehemently deny that their son was a fighter, saying he had been a tour guide in Dubai. They did not know he was in Somalia until U.S. officials showed up at their door in early February.

Relatives have not been able to talk with Meshal, although they have received written messages from him through U.S. Embassy officials in Ethiopia who visited him. He told them that he was being treated well.

Associated Press writers Rebecca Santana and Anne Gearan and McClatchy Newspapers writer Jonathan S. Landay contributed to this report.

  03:38:17 am, by admin, 555 words  
Categories: Ethiopia, ICT

China, Ethiopia in 200-million-dollar telecom deal

ZTE wins US$200 mln order from Ethiopia

Shanghai Daily

An Ethiopian man walks past a closed Chinese restaurant in the capital Addis Ababa 26 April 2007, in respect to their slained fellow citizens.(AFP)

ZTE Corp won a US$200 million contract to supply gear to Ethiopian Telecommunications Corp to diversify into overseas markets.

Profile of ETC

  • Ethiopia has 874,336 landline subscribers
  • 31,834 Internet Subscribers
  • 1,100,000 Mobile Subscribers
  • Total exchange capacity 1,040,907 April 2007
  • Tele Density Including Mobile 2.4 %

Source: ETC Latest Available data

The three-year agreement includes mobile-phone network equipment using code division multiple access, or CDMA, technology, ZTE, the mainland's biggest listed telephone equipment maker, said today in a statement to Shenzhen's stock exchange, Bloomberg reported.

ZTE said the sales of wireless network equipment, the company's biggest business, rose 23 percent from a year earlier in the first quarter due to increased revenue from outside China. The Shenzhen-based company has invested in developing nations to boost sales.

"Africa is one place ZTE has a real competitive advantage over American and European companies because ZTE's products work well and cost less,'' Randy Zhou, an analyst at Bank of China International in Shanghai, said today by phone. He rates ZTE's shares "underperform."

Shares of ZTE rose 0.7 percent in Shenzhen to 47 yuan( US$6) as of 10:24am local time. The stock has gained 20 percent this year, compared with a 61 percent gain by the Shenzhen stock exchange's index of yuan-denominated A shares.

China agreed to invest US$1.5 billion in Ethiopia's telecommunications networks, the east African nation's Prime Minister Meles Zenawi said in February. The Chinese government also agreed to loan Ethiopia US$500 million and an additional US$1.5 billion in short-term trade credits, Zenawi said.

Chinese President Hu Jintao pledged US$3 billion in loans to African nations over three years during a summit in Beijing in November last year.

ZTE's equipment costs 20 percent to 30 percent less than gear from rivals such as Ericsson AB and Alcatel-Lucent, Bank of China's Zhou said. Ernest Ndukwe, head of Nigeria's telephone regulator, said in December that Chinese equipment from ZTE and Huawei Technologies Co cost 40 percent less than Ericsson and Alcatel-Lucent's gear.


Ethiopia, China sign US$158m telecom expansion deal
Updated: 2007-04-29 06:31

-- The state-owned Ethiopian Telecommunication Corporation (ETC) and ZTE, a Chinese telecom company, on Saturday signed a 1.39 billion birr (US$158 million) agreement on three telecom service expansion projects.

The agreement includes the first phase of fiber transmission backbone, expansion of mobile phone service for the Ethiopian millennium as well as expansion of wireless telephone service.

According to the agreement, some 1.2 million mobile telephone lines will be provided to subscribers in Ethiopia's capital Addis Ababa and eight other towns in connection with the upcoming Ethiopian millennium celebration.

Moreover, the first phase of the wireless telephone expansion project with the capacity of 652,000 telephone lines will be also executed.

Upon completion, the projects will enable the corporation to provide standardized and quality telecom service to its customers.

The projects will increase the number of fixed and mobile telephone service subscribers to over 14 million.

ETC has designed and put in place a five-year strategic plan with a view to improving quality and coverage of telecom service across the country.


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  03:07:40 pm, by admin, 128 words  
Categories: Ethiopia, Opinion

Ethiopia - CUD asked to show its stand

Opinion Ethiopia - CUD-Diaspora asked to show exact position on recent outrageous massacre

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia April 28, 2007 (ENA) - The so called Coalition for Unity and Democracy (CUD) in Diaspora was requested to show its stand concerning the outrageous massacre committed on 65 Ethiopians and nine Chinese people last Monday in Degehabur zone.

Read more from ENA

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In respose to EPRDF's EFTIN

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File Photo: AFD

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The views expressed in this article do not necessarily represent the views of or its staff. The views are solely that of the author


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  02:43:19 pm, by admin, 677 words  
Categories: Ethiopia, Opinion

Ethiopia - AFD Vs ONLF's blunder By K. Sewenet

Ethiopia - AFD Vs ONLF’s blunder

By K.Sewenet

The violent attack of ONLF on the Oil installation in east Ethiopia that claimed the lives of innocent Ethiopians and Chinese employees is a cowardly act that does not in any way help the people of Ogaden – the people the organization claims to defend.

File Photo: AFD

According to its objectives and program it (ONLF) is waging an armed resistance against the TPLF led dictatorial government for the ‘self determination’ of the Ogaden people. The organization is therefore fully responsible for the manner and types of its operations. The fact that it has now – for the first time to my knowledge – targeted civilians and economic installations is a criminal act that can not be covered up simply because it is fighting a brutal government that commits the same crime against its own people.

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ONLF is also a member of the broad alliance – AFD. As to be recalled, AFD was formed a year ago with a view to convene an all inclusive conference to seek peaceful solutions to the complex political problems of the country. While each member of the alliance agreed to have its own independent freedom of action (and no one to be responsible for the other), the attack of ONLF on the oil installation constitute a breach of the spirit of the formation of AFD. It is therefore incumbent on the remaining members to distance themselves from the action of ONLF.
Some may hesitate on the relevance of AFD because of the paralysis state of inaction it currently exhibit. Nevertheless, the concept and hope that AFD broadly reflected for a negotiated settlement of Ethiopia’s woes among all its peoples and groups is the only salvation for the country.

Meanwhile, TPLF propaganda machine and its apologists on the web are having a field day by attacking Kinijit (CUDP) on the account of being a member of AFD. By their self serving and twisted logic, Kinijit is ‘implicated’ in the actions of ONLF. Leaving aside the deafening and boring analogy of Meles Zenawi to tie Kinijit with Eritrea’s Shabia, TPLF is now engaged full time in apportioning blame for every atrocity committed as a result of its own direct or indirect repression on the people of Ethiopia.

Kinijit is one among few parties in Ethiopian politics which has fully renounced violence and seek to only struggle peacefully to attain its objectives. Starting from the emperor of violence – TPLF – to various ‘libration fronts’, all have at one stage or another depended on violence as a means of struggle. It is a mere crying of wolf that Meles Zenawi is now labeling Kinijit as ‘violent’. It is just another white lie.
It is Meles Zenawi and his stooges which has now immersed the country into an ever growing list of conflicts. In 1991 when TPLF controlled the country, Meles based his argument for the cessation of Eritrea by saying that ‘peace can only be achieved by answering the demands of the people of Eritrea and TPLF’s objective was transforming Ethiopia into a period of a peaceful era’. What a joke! After sixteen years of TPLF rule the country is now choked with conflicts to its brim. He even has forayed east of the border into Somalia. His one track mind for solving a conflict by igniting another has led a poor country to the state of imminent chaos that will be unfolding if he goes unchallenged. Would any one be surprised if another war breaks out with Eritrea or for that matter even with Sudan? You can’t help wondering who he is working for. Certainly not for Ethiopians – especially not for Tigreans despite his claim.


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  02:02:53 pm, by admin, 381 words  
Categories: Ethiopia, Ogaden Ethiopia

Ethiopia - Rebels deny any role in grenade attack in Jijiga

Ethiopia - Rebels deny any role in grenade attack in eastern Ethiopia

ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia:
An Ethiopian rebel group denied on Saturday any role in a grenade attack in eastern Ethiopia that killed one person at the home of a family mourning a relative killed in a rebel attack earlier this week.

On Friday, government spokesman Zemedkun Tekle said that the rebel Ogaden National Liberation Front was responsible for the grenade attack in the eastern Ethiopian town of Jijiga, some 700 kilometers (435 miles) east of the capital, Addis Ababa.

The accusation "has no basis in reality," the Ogaden National Liberation Front said in a statement sent to The Associated Press. "We wish to make clear that it is the policy of the ONLF not to deliberately harm civilians or carry out military operations targeting civilians."

The rebel group claimed that the Thursday grenade attack stemmed from a dispute between soldiers of two tribes, but they did not give details about what the dispute was.

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Device explodes in Jijiga, killing 1

The front had claimed responsibility for an attack on a Chinese-owned oil exploration field in eastern Ethiopia on Tuesday, killing 65 Ethiopians and nine Chinese. The group said in a statement sent to media organizations that six other Chinese workers "were removed from the battlefield for their own safety."

The Ethiopian rebels promised on Friday to work with the Red Cross to return the six as soon as possible but said that government military operations placed the workers in danger.

The group said it would resume fighting after the Chinese workers were transferred to the International Committee of the Red Cross.

Patrick Megevand, a spokesman for the Red Cross, declined to discuss the case. Two Ethiopian government spokesmen also declined to comment.

Sun Qing, a spokeswoman at the Chinese embassy in Addis Ababa, would not discuss efforts to gain the release of the Chinese workers.

The rebels said again that no foreign company should try to work in the Ogaden region, a large state along the Somali border. The group says it is fighting for the region's right to self-determination.

The Chinese government has condemned Tuesday's attack and rejected the group's warning.


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