US military operations on the continent have accelerated far beyond the more limited actions of the Bush years.
By Nick TurseJuly 15, 2012 (Aljazeera) – They call it the New Spice Route, in homage to the medieval trade network that connected Europe, Africa and Asia, even if today’s “spice road” has nothing to do with cinnamon, cloves or silks. Instead, it’s a superpower’s superhighway, on which trucks and ships shuttle fuel, food and military equipment through a growing maritime and ground transportation infrastructure to a network of supply depots, tiny camps and airfields meant to service a fast-growing US military presence in Africa.
Few in the US know about this superhighway, or about the dozens of training missions and joint military exercises being carried out in nations that most Americans couldn’t locate on a map. Even fewer have any idea that military officials are invoking the names of Marco Polo and the Queen of Sheba as they build a bigger military footprint in Africa. It’s all happening in the shadows of what in a previous imperial age was known as “the Dark Continent”. Read more…
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July 15, 2012, ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia (Huffington Post) — Ethiopia’s longtime ruler and most powerful figure, Prime Minister Meles Zenawi, is not attending an African Union summit that opened Sunday in Ethiopia, which further fueled speculation that he might be seriously ill.
About three dozen African heads of state and government gathered in Addis Ababa on Sunday, but Meles did not attend the meeting – a first since he assumed office in 1991.
Meles was expected to open the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) meeting on Saturday. But Senegalese President Macky Sall opened the gathering instead, telling participants that Meles was unable to be present due “to health conditions.” Sall wished Meles “good health.”
The most recent images of Meles aired by state-run Ethiopian Television showed him noticeably thinner. Opposition websites are claiming that Meles is being treated for a serious illness. Read more…
Buri Waddesso | July 15, 2012
(Opride) – Few among the African Heads of State knew before hand what awaited them upon landing in Finfinne/Addis Ababa for the 19th African Union summit; none would have guessed the venue for their meeting will be a city on the edge.
Unbeknown to them they walked right into the eye of a perfect storm.
They arrived in town on the heels of an Ethiopian court’s sentencing of a prominent journalist, along with about two-dozen political opponents, to years of imprisonment for writing critically against the regime. That is enough to nag the conscience of any sane person, even if such a feeling is a rarity among the crowd. To make matters worse, the host country’s leader is gravely ill, facing an unknown future. His novice deputy, a dour politician with a skin deep veneer of legitimacy just like his bewildered colleagues, is doing his level best to display all the trappings of power, extending the hospitalities and courtesies due heads of state. Although some have already begun to address him as the Acting Prime Minister, it is quite apparent that he shows no signs of being in charge. Read more…
July 15, 2012, CAIRO (Onislam) – At least four Muslims were shot dead when Ethiopian security forces stormed into a mosque in the capital Addis Ababa to disrupt preparations for a city-wide program called Sadaqa (feast).
Sources told OnIslam.net that Ethiopian federal police stormed the Awolia mosque compound late Friday, July 13, and attacked Muslim volunteers inside.
Sources said security forces fired teargas and beat Muslims gathering inside the building.
At least four people were reportedly killed in the attack, while several others were seriously injured.
The volunteers were preparing for food and drinks for a city-wide program called Sadaqa (feast) on Sunday, July 15. Read more…
July 15, 2012, WASHINGTON (AFP) — The United States said on Saturday it was “deeply concerned” by the conviction and sentencing of Ethiopian journalist Eskinder Nega, who was jailed for 18 years on “terrorism” charges.
“The United States remains deeply concerned about the trial, conviction, and sentencing of Ethiopian journalist Eskinder Nega, as well as seven political opposition figures, under the country’s Anti-Terrorism Proclamation,” State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said in a statement.
She said that the Ethiopian government had used the Anti-Terrorism Proclamation to jail journalists and opposition party members for peacefully exercising their freedoms of expression and association.
“This practice raises serious concerns about the extent to which Ethiopians can rely upon their constitutionally guaranteed rights to afford the protection that is a fundamental element of a democratic society,” the statement said. Read more…
By Mohammed Ademo | July 15, 2012
Oromiya’s Return: The Journey of Lost and Found, a 30-minute play by Jerrie Steele based on a book “Once Upon a Time in Oromiya (Sheeko Sheeko): An East African Traditional Folktale” written by by Lina Abdulaya and her family, with illustrations by Janet Curiel, will be remounted next month, the organizers said.
As we have previously reported , the play is the co-production of the West Bank Community Coalition and Bedlam Theatre. Last April, Bedlam and the Minnesota Historical Society presented the original production with a cast of East African performers to a full house. Read more…
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