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Ethiopia's troubles increase....Eritria

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UN fears tension in Ethiopia will turn into war


Jonathan Steele

Friday November 4, 2005

The Guardian



Ethiopia's stability was under threat last night after a major troop and tank build-up on both sides of the disputed border with Eritrea and renewed clashes in Addis Ababa between police and protesters which have already left 42 dead.

The UN secretary general, Kofi Annan, has called for "decisive steps to defuse the escalating tension", while Maj Gen Rajender Singh, commander of UN peacekeepers in the border buffer zone, warned that "this potentially volatile situation could lead to a renewed outbreak of war".



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At least 100,000 people, mainly conscripts, died in the last war between 1998 and 2000 over a small piece of semi-arid territory, inhabited by only a few thousand people. The war was seen as a surrogate for deeper rivalry between the two countries' rulers over regional leadership, economic issues, and land-locked Ethiopia's access to the sea.

After the war both sides agreed to accept the results of an independent boundaries commission which reported in 2002. It awarded the Ethiopian-occupied town of Badme to Eritrea, but Ethiopia's prime minister, Meles Zenawi, has delayed implementing the report's findings.


In a successful effort to revive international interest and get the UN and foreign governments to press for Ethiopian compliance, Eritrea recently stopped helicopter flights by UN peacekeepers. But this tactic also roused the Ethiopians, who have moved tanks based 25 miles from the demilitarised zone to within 12 miles.


Eritrea has the right to send unarmed militias into the zone but UN observers have seen a growing number of men with guns. Under the peace deal only UN troops are allowed in the 16-mile-wide buffer area.


Reports from Addis Ababa say Ethiopian commanders are waiting keenly for any provocation from Eritrea on the grounds that this time they could capture vast areas of lowland Eritrea, including the port of Assab. Government officials blamed Mr Meles for ending the war in 2000 without taking enough territory.


The protests in the Ethiopian capital are not directly linked. Opposition groups from the Coalition for Unity and Democracy, who claim elections in May were rigged to give Mr Meles a third five-year term, resumed demonstrations earlier this week. Some observers say the government is stepping up tension with Eritrea to win support in Addis.


Three people were shot dead yesterday, according to local doctors, and the overnight death toll among those wounded on Tuesday rose to eight from three.


Witnesses said police opened fire to disperse anti-government protests in several areas of the city. Police have also detained scores of people including human rights activists, residents said. Special forces patrolled the streets, where shops were closed yesterday in part to mark the Muslim Eid al-Fitr festival.


The violence has prompted the Foreign and Commonwealth Office to warn Britons against non-essential travel to Ethiopia.


Mr Meles is well regarded in the West and Washington reacted to yesterday's protests by condemning "cynical, deliberate" attempts to stoke violence.


Washington urged the government to investigate the unrest and release all detainees, while urging the CUD to pursue its grievances peacefully and take up its seats in parliament, something it has so far refused to do.

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Anti-government unrest continues in Ethiopia


Police shot in the air to disperse protesters in the Ethiopian capital on Friday, witnesses said, in a fourth day of clashes between police and anti-government protesters that have killed at least 42 people.


Ethiopia's worst violence in months has fuelled fears about the stability of the Horn of Africa's dominant power, prompting the European Union (EU) and African Union (AU) to urge restraint.


The latest clashes broke out when a crowd of youths gathered close to the African Union (AU) headquarters in Addis Ababa and tried to pull passengers from a public transport bus.


Witnesses said protesters were targeting public transport because they saw the state-subsidised service as a symbol of authority.


There was no immediate word on casualties.


On Thursday police opened fire to disperse anti-government protests in several pockets of unrest across the city, a stronghold of opposition groups which accuse Prime Minister Meles Zenawi of rigging his way back to power at polls in May.


The violence has prompted Britain to warn its citizens against non-essential travel to sub-Saharan Africa's second most populous nation.


"The atmosphere in Ethiopia is not good. I am worried about myself and my family at home," said a government worker who gave his name as Tafara.


"We think it could explode anytime."


He said he walked two kilometres to his office as many taxis and buses stayed off the streets littered with rocks, broken glass and the remnants of barricades erected by protesters.


Doctors at several hospitals put the death toll since the start of the clashes at 42.


The government said on Wednesday it knew of only 11 protesters and two police officers being killed.


Scores of arrests


State-run Ethiopian News Agency reported late on Thursday that seven prisoners were shot dead and 26 wounded trying to escape from Kaliti prison near the capital.


Ethiopians say Kaliti had previously housed people held for politically-related offences, but there was no word on the identity of the reported casualties or whether the incident was linked to the latest disturbances.


Residents and human rights groups say the security crackdown has led to scores of arrests including leading figures from the main opposition Coalition for Unity and Democracy (CUD).


Mr Zenawi has repeatedly accused the CUD of inciting the bloodshed, warning that he would not accept any threat to the peace and security of the country's 77 million people.


The violence in Addis Ababa coincided with fresh tension with neighbouring Eritrea, its foe in a 1998-2000 border war.


United Nations peacekeepers patrolling the disputed Ethiopia-Eritrea frontier warned that recent military moves by both countries had produced a crisis that required urgent attention.


They said on Thursday they were concerned the moves in the past two weeks involving tanks, air defence missiles and troops could make the situation "more dangerous" and lead to a repeat of the conflict.


- Reuters

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Generaale, soo maaha xiligii aan shaaha cabi laheyn, saa amxaaro injirleey jabkooda waa inoo abshire. Jab iyo naaso beel idinku dhac, oo barqo maalin ah boodkiina balaayo soo gashay, oo eebaheey waxaan ka baryay inaad beerka u wada dhimataan!


Aamiin, aamiin, aamiin.


Iishub shaah kale, saaxiib, naacow aanba dareemee! :D

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^^^ Ethiopia trouble are on the up. The Tigray have dominated for too long in the eyes of the Amhara and the others. However would we be in a better osition with an Amhara led Ethiopia?


Their civil war has not happened yet. If it does it will not be like Somali's but closer to waht happened in Rawanda..

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However would we be in a better osition with an Amhara led Ethiopia?

Very good question. Traditionally these two ethnics, Amxaaras and Tigray have dominated Modern day Ethiopian politics. They are Orthodox fanatics who believe Somalia is integral part of Ethiopia and will one day join willingly or unwillingly. When it comes to dealing with Somalia, Eritrea and other Ethiopian ethnics including Somalis and Oromos(Oromos are the majority of Ethiopia, almost 50% of Ethiopia, Addis Ababa is located Oromo region one of the largest in Ethiopia, 80% of Oromos are Muslims), their is no difference between them. Therefore Amxaara led government might even be worse than tigray led government. Only Ethiopias disintegration will help Somalia come out of this mess.

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Therefore Amxaara led government might even be worse than tigray led government.

They (Amxaro) ruled for past 300 hundered years and what we gained? NONE OTHER THAN POVERTY,DISEASE, MISERY,MYHAM,TORTURE AND BACKWARDEDNESS. Its time for them to not only go but they should take with them such thing as Ethiopia with them to the grave. Trust me many ethinics will be better off.

Only Ethiopias disintegration will help Somalia come out of this mess.

NO DOUBT REQUIRED THERE. One less huraley meddling in Somali issue.

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